The end of a myth: Medieval armors allowed for agile movements

armaduras permitian movimientos agiles-armaduras de placas-edad media- jean le maingre boucicault-ciencia hiistorica-arqueologia

It is overwhelming to see medieval knights in the movies, loaded with their heavy plate armor and fighting to the death in some crude battle. Canned in kilos of steel, they could at best move around like clumsy robots, right? Well, it’s time to abandon this distressing vision, because these armors were made to provide … Read more

The Spanish Chernobyl: a silenced negligence

accidente nuclear 1970 - Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas - CIEMAT - madrid - españa - junta de energia nuclear - franquismo - ocultacion de informacion - francisco franco-manzanares jarama y tajo - contaminacion radiactiva - Centro Nacional de Energía Nuclear

Social panic is a great excuse, a subterfuge used by cowards to avoid disclosing sensitive information. Data that, if known, rather than generating collective fear, would help to save lives. From Saturday, November 7, 1970 onwards, one of these informative censorships spread, as much or more than the trail of harmful radioactive isotopes that leaked … Read more

The crusade of Cerro Belmonte: the Madrid neighborhood that became independent from Spain

fidel castro- guerra de las embajadas-cerro belmonte 1990 - madrid - ayuntamiento de madrid - independencia de cerro belmonte - himno - queremos pan queremos vino queremos al alcalde colgao de un pino - Agustin Rodriguez Sahagun - reino independiente de belmonte

1990 was a tremendously turbulent year for Madrid and, more specifically, for one of its neighborhoods: Cerro Belmonte. The residents of the humble but tenacious neighborhood were unwilling to comply with a speculative plan supported by the Madrid City Council to expropriate and evict 125 families in exchange for building luxury villas. Thus, the first … Read more

Asteroids, meteors, bolids, meteorites, comets… What are their differences

diferencias entre asteroide, meteoro, meteoroide, meteorito-astronomia-oumuamua-la daga de tutankamon esta hecha de meteorito-bolido de chelyabinsk-cometa Halley

Although space may seem a distressing and empty place, the truth is that it is full of millions of roaming travelers that, from time to time, can be seen from Earth. There are several types of them, and you’ve probably wondered more than once how to distinguish them. Here are some clues: Asteroids: rocky masses … Read more

The lizards that weep blood

lagarto cornudo phrynosoma-mecanismo de defensa-eyaculacion de sangre-mecanismo antidepredador-falso camaleon-zoologia-ecologia-el lagarto que llora sangre

Because of this peculiarity, they look like creatures out of some disturbed mind, but they are very real, both they and their bloody “weepings”. They do not “weep” blood because they have seen something horrifying, but because it is an extremely curious defense mechanism. This behavior has been recorded mainly in some species of horned … Read more

The Turing test: Can machines think?

test de turing-prueba de turing-piensan las maquinas-inteligencia artificial-alan turing-eugene goostman chatbot

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), our conception of intelligence has been slightly disrupted. After all, AI machines meet the requirements of some of the definitions of “intelligence”, such as solving complex problems. So, can machines think? This question was already proposed in the middle of the last century by one of the fathers … Read more

The link between the Bluetooth technology and vikings

bluetooth y vikingos - tecnologia bluetooth-harald blatant-harald bluetooth-historia de vikingos-runas-Jim Kardach

It seems that we are referring to the Pleistocene if we consider that 32 years ago, in 1989, the idea of the Bluetooth technology emerged, a wireless networking system designed to connect devices of all kinds with each other, to somehow unify technology. The Swedes Nils Rydbeck and Johan Ullman of Ericsson Mobile were the … Read more

“Walpurgisnacht”: the witches’ night

noche de walpurgis-walpurgisnacht-brujas-brujeria-noche bruja-satanismo-aquelarre-sabbat

I imagine you are all prepared for this unique night. What is going to be celebrated? Today is the “witches’ night”, one of the most important festivities of the witches’ calendar in Northern Europe. On this night, one of the most intense and frightening witches’ sabbaths of the year takes place at the Brocken Peak … Read more

Types of snakes according to their fangs

vibora-serpiente cascabel-serpiente solenoglifa-colmillo-veneno-tipos de serpiente-denticion serpientes

Snakes have often been associated with evil, either for cultural reasons or, directly, because of our survival instinct. We fear and respect them and the venom they use to hunt and defend themselves. However, as it usually happens, fear is diluted when our knowledge about them increases. In fact, they are not all equally poisonous … Read more

Electrical therapies in ancient times

escribonio largo-medicina en la antiguedad-electroterapia-roma-romanos-grecia-griegos-platon-aristoteles-pez torpedo-raya electrica-pez gato electrico del nilo-Malopterurus electricus-gota-dolores de cabeza-prolapso anal-dioscorides-galeno

Most of us are familiar with or have heard of electricity-based therapies. They are used in a wide range of medical disciplines: neurology, psychiatry, physical medicine, rehabilitation… Logically, we consider these techniques an advance of the modern world, because if electricity had not been discovered, they could not exist. It is true that electricity is … Read more

The origin of nativity scenes

san francisco de asis-franciscanos-navidad-belen-belenes-arte-origen del belen-francisco de asis-milagros-cristianismo

The nativity scene tradition has become a true artistic expression. There are orthodox and heterodox nativity scenes worthy of admiration for their level of detail and complexity, not to mention the exquisite craftsmanship of some of their figures. Where does it come from? When did we start representing the events surrounding the birth of Jesus … Read more

“Smokescreen”: An expression with a military history

cortina de humo-dichos populares - expresion -guerra-armas-segunda guerra mundial-primera guerra mundial-distraccion-politica-dichos

“Smokescreens” are a strategy increasingly employed by politicians and the media to divert mass attention away from the truly important things and hide them. The expression has, therefore, a metaphorical use today, but not long ago it was used (and still is) in the military field to confuse adversaries and acquire strategic advantage. Let us … Read more

The crosswords that almost ruined the Normandy landing

desembarco de normandia-dia d-crucigramas-MI5-overlord-segunda guerra mundial-alemania-leonard dawe

D-Day, Operation Overlord, the Normandy landing. They are all synonymous referring to the most famous military operation of World War II that largely determined the final outcome of the greatest war in history. It began to be conceived as early as 1943 by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, although they had to wait until … Read more