Not So Primitive
Neanderthals, fondly known as “cavemen,” are not commonly thought to be intelligent. They are depicted as humans slouched over with large foreheads, wearing furs, and dragging a club around their caves. However, a recent discovery shows these ancient people may have been more intelligent than modern man thought.
In the Rhone River valley of southeastern France, archaeologists found a tool between 40,000 and 50,000 years old. On the bottom of the tool was a white mark that, when seen under a microscope, turned out to be a string. This is the first evidence that Neanderthals could make string, and it suggests they understood numbers. It also hints that early people could make other materials such as nets, mats, and fabric.
The string was made from fiber from the inner bark of trees. Three bundles of these fibers were twisted together in a counterclockwise direction, and then the bundle was twisted clockwise to produce the finished string. This demonstrates knowledge of numbers and counting, say researchers.
It looks like our ancient ancestors were smarter than we thought, and perhaps new sites will reveal even more evidence of intelligence and problem-solving.
Living on the Moon
Mankind may soon be living on the moon – for a few months at a time, at least. NASA’s Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess of the hunt and the moon, plans to land humans on the moon in just four years. A newly updated report from NASA gives us an idea of how the moon base may look in 2024.
The Artemis Base Camp may be placed in the Shackleton Crater located at the moon’s south pole. The camp is expected to hold four astronauts for about a week at a time. Eventually, the facility will need necessities such as waste disposal, power, communications, radiation shielding, and a landing pad.
Astronauts will also have a vehicle to help them move across the surface and a portable unit for trips lasting up to 45 days away from the main base. NASA also wants moon travel to help practice for a mission to Mars.
A moon-orbiting station known as the “Gateway” will be used for Mars practice missions. Here, a team of four astronauts would live on the station for a few months to prepare to visit Mars.
Music as Medicine
Did you know music can be used as medicine? According to a study by the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST), music stimulates the brain, and different sounds can help certain maladies. The research reported that “Most people hear or actively listen to music every day and as humans we tend to change our playlists based on our mood.”
Examples of this could be when you’re excited to hang out with friends, and you listen to upbeat and fast rhythms or when you’re sad and listen to ballads.
Of the 7,581 people who participated in the study, 89% said music was essential to their health. In fact, it only takes 13 minutes of listening to slow tempo melodies without lyrics to help people relax. “Our test subjects reported positive benefits including decreased muscle tension, negative thoughts disappearing, feeling peaceful and contented and being able to sleep better,” the study revealed.
Music lifts the soul, or so the saying goes. After listening to fast tempo music with positive lyrics for just nine minutes, 89% of the people said they had more energy, while 65% laughed more or felt happier.
If you’re feeling sad, 13 minutes of uplifting music may lift your spirits. Next time you’re feeling blue, try cranking up some upbeat tunes to see if you can change that mood around.