Tag Archives: battle

The Vikings: Yale Historian Looks at the Myths vs. the History

As a lead-up to the forthcoming History Channel series “Vikings,” Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR’s “On Point,” talked with a foremost authority on the subject — Yale’s Anders Winroth — to de-mystify the legendary raiders of the North.

Winroth is  professor and director of graduate studies in history. His most recently published book is “The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants, and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe” (Yale University Press, 2011). His forthcoming volume, “A New History of the Viking Age,” will be published by Princeton University Press in 2014. YaleNews spoke with Winroth recently about some of the issues raised in his “On Point” interview. The following is an edited transcript. (more…)

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Terracotta Army Craftsmen Pioneered Toyota-style Industry

The most comprehensive analysis of the Terracotta Army’s weapons has revealed that the craftsmen responsible for arming the 7000 warriors, chariots and horses followed a sophisticated labour model now associated with Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker.

Toyota is widely credited with introducing an alternative method of mass production to standard assembly lines. Sometimes referred to as ‘Toyotism’, the approach involves using small workshops of highly skilled engineers, capable of producing any model of car as and when it is needed, rather than a production line where each unit concentrates on making individual components. (more…)

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Civil War Stories Forever Preserved

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Faded and sometimes tattered, letters and journal entries written 150 years ago by hopeful and homesick Civil War soldiers will forever be preserved online, thanks to digitization by Michigan State University archivists.

University Archives and Historical Collections started the project two years ago in recognition of the sesquicentennial celebration of the Civil War. Today, nearly 3,000 pages and images have been digitized and placed online, with more materials added every day. (more…)

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When to Rein in the Stock Market

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The stock market should be regulated only during times of extraordinary financial disruptions when speculators can destroy healthy businesses, according to a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

The study, in the Journal of Financial Economics, is one of the first to suggest when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should get involved in the market.

The answer: rarely. The SEC should step in only when outside financial disruptions make it impossible for large shareholders to fend off “short sellers” – or speculators betting a company’s stock value will decrease, said Naveen Khanna, finance professor in MSU’s Broad College of Business. (more…)

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Biologists Turn Back the Clock to Understand Evolution of Sex Differences

Battles of sexes shown to spur adaptive sex differences

Sex differences account for some of the most of the spectacular traits in nature: the wild colours of male guppies, the plumage of peacocks, tusks on walruses and antlers on moose. Sexual conflict – the battle between males and females over mating – is thought to be a particularly potent force in driving the evolution of traits that differ in males and females.

However, the genetic processes responsible for producing such traits are not well understood, nor how they evolved from their simpler less elaborate ancestral forms. We tend to assume that each tiny step in evolution is an advantage. But are they really? (more…)

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South American Beetle Released by UF Researchers Benefits Florida Ranchers

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Over the past two decades, Florida cattle ranchers have spent as much as $16 million a year doing battle with an invasive weed called tropical soda apple, known as TSA, that takes over pastures, elbowing out the forage grasses ranchers need for their cattle.

But a beetle released by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is taking a bite out of the problem by feeding on the weed and reducing its competitiveness. UF researchers describe the beetle’s success as a biological control agent in the current issue of the journal Florida Entomologist. (more…)

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