There’s Stonehenge, Carhenge and now … Woodhenge?
Virtual technology used by archaeologists near the English town of Salisbury has revealed a “henge” that is eerily similar to the familiar Stonehenge we’ve all grown to know and love. Except for one thing: This henge is made of wooden pillars instead of massive stone slabs.
The BBC reported that the new-found attraction was built around 4,500 years past, close to the same time of Stonehenge. A circular ditch surrounds a smaller circle of deep pits measuring approximately a yard wide, which is where the wooden pillars were arranged.
This surprising twist is an unexpected bonus only two weeks into a three-year project that uses virtual mapping technology that incorporates ground-invasive radar.
From the Los Angeles Times comes a report on a new poll on what American voters consider a higher priority: cutting the deficit or reducing unemployment. The hands-down answer, according to reporter Michael Muskal, is reducing unemployment.
The Quinnipiac University poll, released Thursday, revealed that respondents picked joblessness as the greater problem by a ratio of better than 2-to-1 – 64 percent to 30 percent.
The poll does not paint an upbeat political and economic outlook. Almost 80 percent reported the nation remains in recession and a mere 23 percent thought the economy is on an uptick.
President Barack Obama isn’t getting off easy, either. Fifty-six percent of respondents disapprove of the president’s economic strategy.
The poll, taken July 13-19, was based on responses from more than 2,000 registered voters.
On the brighter side, Science Daily reports on the recent discovery of a colossal cluster of humongous stars, with one tipping the scales at more than 300 times as heavy as the Sun. And that’s just its birth weight.
Science Daily said the mere existence of these mega-monsters, which are millions of times more luminous than our own celestial Sun, may even answer an oft-asked question: “How massive can stars be?”
According to the site, a team of astronomers led by Paul Crowther also found additional stars with temperatures of more than 40,000 degrees (more than seven times hotter than our Sun) and several million times brighter. Astronomy fans (and experts) may be interested in learning that other comparisons indicate several stars were born with masses in excess of 150 solar masses. One such star (if you must know, the Star R136a1, found in the R136 cluster) is the most massive star ever found. It is reported to have a current mass of nearly 265 solar masses and has a birth-weight of about 320 times as much as the Sun.
Finally, USAToday reports that air travel, once deigned only for the privileged and patrician among us, has eagerly embraced the hoi polloi with fare wars and fly-hither commercials. As a result, the flying experience is no longer for the pampered few, but for the teeming masses – including boisterous kids, delicious smelling (or revolting, depending on P.O.V.) ethnic dishes, teeny tiny seats, no leg-room, over-stuffed overheads, questionable air quality, laughably small bathrooms and rude attendants. Not to mention extra security sanctions, humiliating pat-downs and the “occasional” hours spent motionless on a runway.
Ah, vacation time. A time to relax, right? Well, not always. The stress of travel alone can make for an unpleasant experience and is the last thing you need when on that first leg of a long haul. Charisse Jones writes that air travel may be getting more crowded and unpleasant, but that there are ways to cope and rise above the noise and the fury.