Dog Eat Dog

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Page 238)

“Something had been disconnected. For though I had seldom used my capacities for anger and indignation, I had no doubt that I possessed them; and, like a man who knows that he must fight, whether angry or not, when called a son of a bitch, I tried to imagine myself angry—only to discover a deeper sense of remoteness. I was beyond anger. I was only bewildered. And those above seemed to sense it. There was no avoiding the shock and I rolled with the agitated tide, out into the blackness.”

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Display of Unity

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Cave Dwelling

Very little is known about Neanderthal cultures, particularly early ones. Other than lithic implements and exceptional bone tools, very few artefacts have been preserved. While those that do remain include red and black pigments and burial sites, these indications of modernity are extremely sparse and few have been precisely dated, thus greatly limiting our knowledge of these predecessors of modern humans. Here we report the dating of annular constructions made of broken stalagmites found deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwest France.

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Avoid Sticky Traps

In contrast, another of last year’s discoveries is the stuff of nightmares—a carnivorous plant 1½ meters tall. Drosera magnifica (above) is a giant sundew, part of a group that trap insects and other unfortunate small animals on leaves covered with droplets of sweet and sticky goo. It is possibly the first botanical find made via Facebook. Its discoverer, Paulo Gonello of São Paulo University, in Brazil, saw its picture, taken by smartphone, on his news feed.

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