Category: science

Time traveling: Minnesota has many historic — even prehistoric — sites worth seeing

You don’t have to be Indiana Jones to be an archaeologist, and you don’t have to be Marty McFly to travel back in time. Minnesota is rich with its own treasures from antiquity, with sites across the state that tell the story of American Indian and European settlement in the region.

Visiting these historic places is not without controversy, as shrinking state budgets and a growing respect for the sanctity local Indians hold for some locations have led to restrictions and even some closures. Most notably, Grand Mound near International Falls, a prehistoric burial ground older than the Roman Empire, has been closed since 2007.

But there are plenty of wonders still to be seen, none more than a few hours’ drive from the Twin Cities. For an archaeological tour of the Upper Midwest, consider these sites:

Originally published July 31, 2011 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Read the complete article.

Limitless’ brainpower plot isn’t all that crazy

Recent films offer up some weird science, but believe it or not, some of it’s quite possible

When it comes to science-fiction movies, the fiction tends to trump the science. And that can be just fine — movies are supposed to be entertaining, and nothing saps the joy out of them more quickly than complaining that there’s no sound in space, so the Death Star should’ve exploded in total silence. You’ve got to meet the movie halfway. But it’s also hard to do that unless the filmmakers give you some plausible reason to believe that tyrannosaurs could be resurrected, or Captain Kirk could beam himself up.

We looked at a half-dozen recent movies — including the new thriller “Limitless,” out March 18 — to see how their science stacked up, and whether their near-future inventions would be anything we’d actually want to see in real life.

Originally published March 7, 2011 on Read the complete article.

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