Category Archives: Biology

Zombie Apocalypse, Part 3: Emergency Preparedness and the End of Life As We Know It (We’re Not Kidding)

zombie preparednessIn Zombie Apocalypse Part 1:  The Lamentable History of Zombies and Zombie Apocalypse, Part 2: Zombies and Pop Culture, we looked at how zombies became the current phenomenon of choice. We also examined the allure of spine-tingling fear and the chemistry of why we love to be frightened.  After all, it’s a suspension of reality. It’s just great fun.

Or so you thought. Continue reading

Zombie Apocalypse, Part 2: Zombies and Pop Culture

Night of the Living DeadIn Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: The Lamentable History of Zombies we examined the backstory of zombies and how Haitian voodoo and African mythology contributed to their embedding in religious and cultural beliefs. Today we are exploring how the zombie became a pop culture phenomenon. Continue reading

Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: The Lamentable History of Zombies

zombieWhat is it about zombies that is so fascinating? The Walking Dead, a TV program now in its sixth season and the “world’s #1 show”[1], delivers a dystopic picture of a society beset by a virus that turns people into zombies. Its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, was a ratings winner upon its debut in summer 2015. Putting a new spin on an age-old plague story, these two shows build upon the premise that everyone somehow became infected, and that the virus lies dormant until death, when the corpse is reanimated unless a catastrophic brain injury is sustained. Drawing from this concept, the writers have crafted some intriguing twists and turns. Both shows have strong storylines and character development. Fans are rabid about the plot unfoldings, even when they diverge from the original comic books. Marketers have had a great run with all things zombie and rumor is some people are even reading again. So maybe it’s a lot of comic books but a range of zombie tomes has also joined the enviable list of beloved vampire and werewolf tales. Continue reading

It’s World Elephant Day!

Elephants holding trunksCelebrate this very remarkable and very ancient denizen of the wild with AntiquityNOW. Go to the links below to see how you can help save this species in peril. Continue reading

Happy Arbor Day! Trees Glorious Trees

treewith-leaves-remixTrees have always been awe-inspiring, even to our earliest ancestors. Trees can hold a poetic beauty as they sway in the breeze, musical tones fluttering from their leaves, colors riotously changing with the season. They are hallmarks of our holidays. They are the chroniclers of time, capturing in a ringed litany the ebb and wane of the world in which they are rooted. Trees protect, offer food, preserve the soil and provide resources. Indeed, one of their earliest representations illustrates the importance of trees to cultures through the ages: Continue reading

Newly Discovered Cheese Isn’t Just Aged, It’s Ancient!

Image credit: Wang da Gang

Image credit: Wang da Gang

A recent discovery has uncovered new, hard – or in this case, semi-soft – evidence of the history behind one of our very favorite foods. Whether the scent is described as floral or nutty or even malodorous to the nose, the smooth taste of cheese is nonetheless an enduring delight to the palate. It is believed that cheese has been enjoyed by humans since before recorded history. There are several theories as to its exact origin, but all of these theories are speculation based on evidence of cheese production, not of any cheese itself. Well, now we have some ancient cheese of our very own to study. Continue reading

The Ancient Roots of Modern Hygiene Part 2

No Business like itIn Part 1 of our ancient hygiene post we discussed the psychology behind our need for hygiene, our long history of soap-making and even ancient cosmetics. Now, continue on this journey with us to discover more ancient efforts to fight the “yuck.” Continue reading

Maps, Part 3: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future

"Gaia spacecraft" by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

“Gaia spacecraft” by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

In Parts 1 and 2 of Maps: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future, we explored how the ancients mapped the heavens and how modern space programs capture data today. Amazingly adept we humans have been at duality, both mythologizing and demystifying the worlds around us through time. As we calculate and calibrate and chronicle, we push the boundaries of our known existences and challenge ourselves to see where the impossible can become the possible. Take a look at the Gaia Probe that will map out the Milky Way using a billion pixel camera and two telescopes. The Milky Way was the stuff of dreams for millennia. Now the Milky Way will be rendered with a precision that boggles the mind and unlocks the mysteries that have intrigued the human imagination for centuries. Continue reading

Why We Love to Be Scared: Dopamine, Genes and a 2,000 Year Old Horror Story

Image credit: Barbara on Flickr.

Image credit: Barbara on Flickr.

It’s that time of year again.  Halloween.  What is it about houses moaning with restless spirits and apparitions rising from graveyard mists that so intrigue us? Today we have movies, TV shows, video games and books regaling us with the most horror-filled scenarios. Dystopias with—name your monster—demons and vampires and zombies threatening to eradicate our species (as if we don’t do a good enough job on our own).  There are possessions, evil twins, vivified dolls and deranged clowns. We even have self-proclaimed ghost hunters with their own “reality” shows and the ad revenues, market penetration and viewer numbers demonstrating that scary stuff really can rake in the dough. Why is it we are so enthralled and terrified by the supernatural? Continue reading

AntiquityNOW Celebrates Shark Week!

Strong, agile, mysterious, beautiful, ancient. Sharks have embodied our terrors and captured our imaginations for thousands of years. Today we celebrate and study sharks, even dedicating an entire week of television and social media to these denizens of the deep. Before popular culture caught on to the shark frenzy, however, ancient civilizations revered, respected, feared and even worshipped the shark. Below you’ll find a collection of images showing how some long ago cultures represented this iconic creature.

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