Articles to 2021-12-27

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Martínez-Colón et al. finally present a mechanism. So perhaps an efficient treatment for obese Covid patients is not too far away.


Kraft et al. completely contradict a lot of what has been long established and taught in introductory courses. Women are mostly seen to work longer hours than men and to provide more and more reliable subsistence by gathering than men do by their hunting. Hunter-gatherers, the original affluent society, have much more spare time for leisure and socialising than horticulturists and early farmers. The latter can feed more people per area of land but have to work much harder to do so. Culture came with appropriating specialists and not with equally distributed leisure time.

I see no obvious faults in Kraft et al., but before I’m prepared to change the accepted view completely I need to see more independent evidence.


So the process Tyne et al. describe is not purely thermal but accelerated by microbes. Not totally without interest, I’m sure. But there’s one aspect they somehow don’t even deem worth mentioning. If up to 20 % of the injected CO2 are converted to methane (CH4) via the net reaction

CO + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O,

where does all that molecular hydrogen come from?


The buying power of gold has stayed roughly constant for thousands of years with the two great exceptions of rents and manual labour. The perceptions of what constitutes a minimum wage and what is acceptable as living space for people have changed a lot. Copper, called “cheap and undervalued” by Papasavvas, was much more expensive relative to gold than today, at least in Egypt. One thing that has become much cheaper and more reliable since then is bulk transportation. My guess is that the unknown ratio of values on Cyprus was more or less the same as ours is today. Can the Chinese invention of paper money be called the first “great leap forward”?

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