Net nuggets No 11
This article has some fascinating figures on how fundamentalism is heading in the direction of destroying America's technological advantage. (Although I don't agree with its conclusion on Turkey's membership of the EU, which sneaks into the end as though it is the writer's pet subject.) It would be interesting to look at the parallels between America and 15th-century China, which likewise turned its back on innovation and the outside world.
* A 2.3m-year-old "factory" (via Mirabilis).
As the date for humans in America is put back significantly, to about 40,000 years, you have to think just how smart our ancestors were. The current date for the emergence on anatomically modern humans emerging is about 100,000 years ago in Africa, and if you look at some of the suggested but still controversial dates, they colonised the planet in an astonishingly short period of time. We think we live in a world of massive change, but just imagine 98,000BC (or thereabouts).
* Time magazine has caved in and handed over a confidential source. This article explains why this is a dangerous thing (although some of the commenters present the other side of the argument rather well). The problem of journalistic confidentiality isn't going to go away.
*The women of Kuwait have made some great political advances in the past few months. This article sums them up and also has interesting figures on international representation. I didn't know that 49 per cent of the Rwandan MPs are female.
* A popular medieval history magazine in French, Les Temps Medievaux. (Now I must get back to my French studies, soon ...)