Spandrel in architecture, and spandrel in biology. Short version.
You learn something every day. Via BoingBoing.
The rest of the transcript is available at This American Life, but it's much more enjoyable as an audio experience.If you ooze like a slug or you prick like a cactus,every ill-feeling bug finds his way to my practice.Whether dozens of styes mar your 100-eyed face,whatever your ailment, you're in the right place.Not to brag, but I've never yet failed to determinewhatever root causes were vexing a vermin.Rest assured, I'll endeavor to glean and deduce.You'll be better than ever or my name isn't..... Seuss.
Now I don't get texts when the vehicle is moving; and people that text me receive a polite message that I'll return their inquiry as soon as safely possible. Highly recommended.Seconded.
Ocasio-Cortez ran decidedly to the left of Crowley, but she also shook up how Democrats go about getting elected. Until now, Democrats have seen big money in politics as simply a deal with the devil that had to be made. Democrats are so often outspent by Republican mega-donors that they viewed courting big-dollar donors and corporations as part of creating a level playing field.But if one of Democrats’ top fundraisers and likely successor to Nancy Pelosi can be toppled, perhaps Democrats need to rethink that deal.
Most of the Democrats who win primaries and then win election in November will not be as progressive as Ocasio-Cortez. Should the Democrats surge to victory, the new Congress will not be one in which Democratic Socialists are swarming the halls of power. But it will certainly be a more progressive Democratic caucus than the one that’s there or, probably, any in the last century.
"We seen something on the ice. Wasn't sure what it was," Russell told CBC's Labrador Morning. "So we got up closer to it. It was a little fox, Arctic fox. And he wasn't very big. He was soaking wet, and the gulls was trying to pick at him."The full report, with close-up photos, is at CBC news. This is your feel-good story of the day.
The sewage plant in [St. Cloud, Minnesota] does something even a non-engineer might find remarkable: It makes so much of its own energy that on some days, when the sun shines bright, the plant’s managers don’t need to buy electricity... That happened for the first time on April 12 of last year. Since then, it’s happened on 30 additional days, most recently on June 5.
Those “net zero” days in St. Cloud are among a wave of positive anecdotes from municipalities across the state about early efforts to adopt renewable energy. Driven by favorable economics and, to a lesser extent, constituent proddings, many cities have turned to solar and other renewables so quickly that even the people pushing for the change say they’re surprised...Solar has grown so quickly in Minnesota, in fact, that between 2016 and 2017 the amount of solar power produced didn’t just double or triple, but grew by a factor of 72, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce...The city has since subscribed to 32 solar gardens — at least 20 commissioned last year alone — for a total of 23 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy, or enough to meet about three-quarters of demand.
Solar panels were also installed on the roof of the police headquarters, a fire station, a senior center and three other city buildings. A conversion to LED helped cut in half electrical use for streetlights between 2015 and 2017. Efficiencies at the sewage plant lowered its power demands as the new biodigester and solar panels came online. The public transportation system, meanwhile, converted nearly two-thirds of its bus fleet to compressed natural gas. That lowers carbon emissions and has saved St. Cloud Metro Bus about $450,000 in fuel costs over the past three years.
Is it really the case that Barcelona would prefer to receive thousands of penniless immigrants rather than the millions of tourists who last year spent around €30bn in the city? The short answer, it appears, is yes. Increasingly it is tourism, not immigration, that people see as a threat to the city’s very identity – though numbers of both have risen exponentially in recent decades...Posted for my cousin Karl, an English teacher in Barcelona.
Immigration has changed the city, but tourism is destabilising it – and even people in the industry agree that it can’t go on like this. In 1990 the city received 1.7 million tourists; last year the figure was 32 million – roughly 20 times the resident population. The sheer volume of visitors is driving up rents, pushing residents out of neighbourhoods, and overwhelming the public space...
Her colleague Santi Ibarra argues that the diversity that comes with immigration enhances the city – but tourism contributes nothing positive. “Tourism takes something out of neighbourhoods,” he says. “It makes them more banal – the same as everywhere else.”
The main obstacle to integration is language, especially as schooling is in Catalan, which none of the immigrants speak...
“There’s no question that a lot of people here live off tourism, but it can’t be a case of anything goes – there have to be limits,” says Esteban. “We’re losing much of the identity of the centre of the city, the port, the very traditions that attract visitors.
After 20 years of city authorities flogging Barcelona to visitors from overseas, the council elected in 2015 has moved to put the needs of citizens above those of visitors. It imposed a moratorium on new hotels, made efforts to contain the spread of tourist apartments and devised an urban plan for Ciutat Vella that prioritises local commerce over businesses aimed at tourists...
Barcelona is not alone in its battle to protect its identity, with many European cities being overwhelmed by skyrocketing tourism fuelled by cheap flights and platforms such as Airbnb... “In Venice people hate tourists, especially the cruiseships – the worst kind of tourism...They pollute the city, and consume it as though they were eating a sandwich, what in Italian we call ‘mordi e fuggi tourism’: literally, take a bite and run.”
In Barcelona especially, immigrants are seen as part of the fabric – working, building communities, and generally making a contribution to the city while tourists simply use it.
"I saw this gentleman, Tim, in Boston's Logan airport with the sister he'd been visiting. It appeared he was both deaf and blind, as I observed her signing into his hand for him to feel her words. When he came aboard the plane he had been assigned the middle seat of my row. The kind gentleman who had the aisle seat graciously gave it up for him. At this point Tim was traveling alone. The flight attendants sincerely wanted to assist him, but had no way to communicate. I watched as they didn't flinch when he reached out to touch their faces and arms. They took his hand and tried so hard to communicate with him, to no avail. He had some verbal ability, but clearly could not understand them. The man who had given up his seat did his best to assist him with things like opening coffee creamer and putting it in his coffee. When Tim made the attempt to stand up and feel his way to the restroom, his seat mate immediately was up to help him. The flight attendants were talking among themselves and someone suggested paging to see if anyone on board knew sign language. That's when this lovely young woman came into the picture. 15 years old, she learned ASL because she had dyslexia and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn..."The rest of the story is at Lynette Scribner's Facebook post, via the StarTribune.
In 2016, cremation became the most common method of body disposal in the U.S., overtaking entombment for the first time. This shift is often attributed to the high cost of traditional burial and the waning importance of religion. But experts also point to society’s changing views about how dead bodies should be disposed of. The spectrum of what’s morally acceptable is broadening, at the same time that the most common disposal methods are coming under scrutiny for their environmental impact. More than four million gallons of toxic embalming fluids and 20 million feet of wood are put in the ground in the U.S. every year, while a single cremation emits as much carbon dioxide as a 1,000-mile car trip. Thus, the rise in America of “green burials,” where bodies are wrapped in biodegradable material and not embalmed...Much more at the longread at The New Republic.
Sieber is a part of this trend, but she doesn’t want a green burial. When she dies, she told me, she wants her body to be dunked in a high-pressure chamber filled with water and lye. That water will be heated to anywhere from 200 to 300 degrees, and in six to twelve hours her flesh, blood, and muscle will dissolve. When the water is drained, all that will remain in the tank are her bones and dental fillings. If her family desires, they can have her remains crushed into ash, to be displayed or buried or scattered. This process is known colloquially as water cremation and scientifically as alkaline hydrolysis, or aquamation...
Alkaline hydrolysis was originally marketed as a way to rapidly decompose animal bodies and use their nutrients for fertilizer. It was later adopted by scientific labs to dispose of disease-contaminated bodies, like cow carcasses infected by mad cow disease in the 1990s. Its commercial use for animals began in the early 2000s, Seiber said, as grieving pet owners sought a sentimental disposal option that didn’t require an expensive burial or involve burning Fido to ashes.
In addition to its gentleness and cost (aquamation for dogs runs anywhere from $150 to $400, while cremation is around $100), veterinarians and pet funeral homes began to market aquamation’s environmental benefits.
But Sieber may not get her wish of being aquamated when she dies. Only 15 states allow alkaline hydrolysis for human remains, and Indiana, where Sieber lives and where Bio-Response is based, is not one of them. Casket-makers and the Catholic Church are working to make sure it stays that way.
A crucial law on organ donations that was first introduced to Iceland’s Parliament in 2012 has finally passed. From this point forward, all Icelanders will be organ donors by default, unless they specify otherwise...
The concept of the law is fairly simple. All Icelanders will be assumed to be organ donors by default, with two exceptions: if the deceased specified beforehand that they do not want their organs to be removed, or if the deceased said nothing on the matter but their closest relative objects.
As reported, the bill is far from revolutionary. Other Scandinavian countries have similar laws on the books already.
Moths and butterflies have a behavior called “puddling”. Males (some females do this as well) will suck up liquids to gain nutrients such as sodium. Butterflies and moths can be observed puddling around puddles, ponds, mud, dung, damp concrete… and apparently, some are also attracted to saliva. Males are the usual suspects because they will offer these extra nutrients to females as a sort of nuptial gift along with their spermatophore during mating.Second photo and text credit to the caterpillar wrangler at Caterpillarblog.
This moth was fed sugar water while in his enclosure, but apparently the allure of sweat and saliva were too much to resist.
"Pedro Duque earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in 1986. He worked for GMV and for the European Space Agency (ESA) for six years before being selected as an astronaut candidate in 1992. Duque underwent training in both Russia and the United States. His first spaceflight was as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle mission STS-95, during which Duque supervised ESA experimental modules. In October 2003, Duque visited the International Space Station for several days during a crew changeover. The scientific program of this visit was called by ESA/Spain Misión Cervantes.
He has worked at the UPM, in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos, and at Deimos Imaging. Currently he is back as an astronaut of ESA, and leads the Flight Operations Office near Munich.On 6 June 2018, he was named Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Government of Spain. (via)
The bridge at Tello was built in the third millennium BC, making it the oldest bridge still in existence. This remarkable survival will be preserved by a team of British Museum archaeologists and Iraqi heritage professionals who are being trained to protect ancient sites that have suffered damage at the hands of Daesh (or the so-called Islamic State)...More photos and a video at the link.
Built for the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu, the bridge was only rediscovered in 1929. Described at the time as an ‘enigmatic construction’, it has been variously interpreted as a temple, dam and water regulator. Recent studies using 1930s photographs as well as recently declassified satellite imagery from the 1960s, alongside new research at the site, have confirmed that it was a bridge over an ancient waterway and that it is (at the time of writing) the earliest-known bridge in the world. Since the excavations nearly 90 years ago, the bridge has remained open and exposed, with no identifiable conservation work to address its long-term stability or issues of erosion, and no plans to manage the site or tell its story to the wider world.
"One of the greatest, most alluring posters in the world: those sly cat eyes, those sumptuous cushions, that seductive plume of cigarette smoke, and most breathtaking: the white negative space of the petticoats, on which to dream. Le Frou-Frou was a light-hearted, satirical publication that ran from 1900 to the beginning of World War I; its pages contained pictures of can-can dancers, cartoons, humorous anecdotes of Parisian life, and more risqué elements like some of the first advertisements for condoms. This is the rare, large format version: complete with bottom text banner."Image cropped for size from the original.
"For years, 'Becky' has been used as a general reference for a particular type of White woman," Damon Young wrote in Very Smart Brothas. "There are several theories on its etymology, but the one that makes the most sense is that it stems from the first line of 'Baby Got Back.'”USA Today suggested some literary counterparts:
One use of "Becky" is simply to describe a woman considered beneath the speaker's level. The other is to refer to "a white woman who is clueless, who is kind of racist, [and] who makes statements without knowing what she's saying," said Whitehead.
Others said "Becky" is used to describe white women just because it's a stereotypically white-sounding name.
I will wager dollars to doughnuts that nobody ever called Rebecca de Winter "Becky," and I think Becky Sharp and Becky Thatcher had nothing to do with the current usage.What we do know: The name Becky has become a stand-in for a generic woman, generally white, who is familiar with sexual acts.The cultural references date to William Makepeace Thackeray's satirical novel Vanity Fair published around 1847. The protagonist, Becky Sharp, is a social climber who utilizes one of the resources at her disposal -- her charm and ability to seduce wealthy men -- to move up the social ladder...
Fast-forward to 1876, and along comes Becky Thatcher seducing Tom Sawyer [top photo]...
In 1938, Daphne du Maurier sets up the ex that will haunt us all in her novel Rebecca...
Skip ahead to Sir Mix A Lot, who adds the phrase “oh my god Becky, look at her butt,” to the cultural lexicon. The lyrics to Baby Got Back indicate Becky and her friend are white, somewhat basic, and mildly racist...
Things get very NSFW in 2010 when rapper Plies takes the concept further. His song Becky is cited as the start of the name’s use as slang for a specific sexual act, not just a stand-in for a sexual woman...
Another incarnation has evolved simultaneously in gay communities, occasionally meaning gay or as a reference to the random girls who hang around gay bars that have no value-add...
Becky: (noun); a white woman who uses her privilege as a weapon, a ladder or an excuse.Way more at the link.
What started as a controversial term for fellatio has blossomed into an all-encompassing term for a specific class of white women. Not all white women are Beckys, but all Beckys are white women.
However, just as people note that “black people are not a monolith,” it is unfair to paint the entire genus of Beckys with the same broad brush.
To combat this stereotype, we gathered some of the world’s leading board-certified Beckyologists and asked them to classify the disparate classes of Beckys so that we may have a better understanding when we discuss this subject. And after much discussion, our experts came up with five subgroups into which all Beckys can be categorized...
"The company has installed hundreds of these lifts into all sorts of buildings and structures, from the Kensington Palace to Cambridge University. Many of the buildings in which the lifts have been placed are centuries old, with historic facades and entries preservationists hoped to keep intact. The Sesame retractible staircase blends so well, you can hardly tell the spaces have been altered..."I like the fact that there's a temporary anti-rollback ridge after it goes up.
The signs are starting to add up that the United States is at the top of the economic cycle, and therefore headed down, likely into a bear market and recession, an increasing number of economists and money managers say. The main culprit for the looming downturn, they say, is the Federal Reserve, which is expected to again raise U.S. overnight interest rates on Wednesday...
“When the music stops I do think it’s going to be pretty ugly,” said Jonathan Beinner, chief investment officer of global fixed income at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Beinner highlights the increase of global debt, now upwards of $237 trillion and the way the debt has been dispersed as risks to the economy. Rather than banks holding most of the debt as it happened in the financial crisis, this time it’s hedge funds, private equity and investment managers holding most of it. Also worrisome, he says, ratings agencies are again being overly generous with their appraisals allowing for companies with very high debt levels to gain investment-grade ratings.“We’ve sown the seeds for the next downturn and there’s a lot of similarities,” Beinner said, comparing today’s climate to what existed ahead of the global financial crisis in 2008.“After ’08 everyone was like, ‘I can’t believe we did all those very stupid things.’ But we’re doing them all over again,” he said during a presentation at the Bloomberg Invest summit in New York last week.
Around 1,500 years ago, shortly after the collapse of the Roman Empire, a baobab tree started growing in what is now Namibia. The San people would eventually name the tree Homasi, and others would call it Grootboom, after the Afrikaans words for “big tree.” As new empires rose and fell, Homasi continued growing. As humans invented paper money, printing presses, cars, and computers, Homasi sprouted new twigs, branches, and even stems, becoming a five-trunked behemoth with a height of 32 meters and a girth to match.More at NPR (whence the embedded photo) and at The Guardian.
And then, in 2004, it collapsed.
The tree’s demise was sudden and unexpected. In March, at the end of the rainy season, Homasi was in full bloom. But by late June, its health had suddenly deteriorated. One by one, its stems broke off from the gargantuan trunk and toppled. The last of them fell on New Year’s Day, 2005, ending 15 centuries of life...
This isn’t an isolated event. Of the 13 oldest known baobabs in the world, four have completely died in the last dozen years, and another five are on the way, having lost their oldest stems. “These large and monumental trees, which can live for 2,000 years or more, were dying one after another,” says Adrian Patrut from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, who has catalogued the deaths. “It’s sad that in our short lives, we are able to live through such an experience.”
Baobabs often have hollow trunks, with huge internal cavities that humans have used as shops, houses, chapels, and even prisons. When trees are hollow, it’s usually because the wood inside them has died. But baobab hollows were never filled; instead, these trees periodically produce new stems in the way that other trees sprout new branches. It’s the stems, fused together in a ring, that form the hollow space. That’s why the cavity is lined with bark, and shrinks with age.
[Trump] was pretty explicit about the source of his beef: It’s dairy. Referring to steel and aluminum tariffs he has imposed on Canada, he wrote: “Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” He has a point...Lots more on Trump/Trudeau at the link. And here's one excerpt from The Guardian:
At issue is the Canadian supply-management system, which covers dairy, eggs, and poultry products. The system sets domestic production quotas and keeps prices stable, thereby guaranteeing farmers a steady income. And, in order to keep the supply stable, Canada blocks imports from other countries, including the U.S., by imposing tariffs—up to 270 percent on dairy products...
“In a multilateral context, there was more to trade off. Now the problem is that Trump is dealing with this in a bilateral context where trade barriers are generally very low,” Christopher Sands, the director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, told me. “Most tariffs are down to zero anyway. So, there’s not much for the U.S. to give in return for the change.”
It doesn’t help that the U.S. subsidizes its own dairy industry heavily—up to $22 billion in 2015, according to one study. “The Canadians say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. You subsidize milk, too,’” Kelly, who is now a research scholar at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, said. “You’ve got all sorts of support programs for milk.”
In other words, Canada props up its dairy industry through quotas that cap the amount produced, and imposes heavy tariffs on imports. The U.S. subsidizes its dairy industry, resulting in lower costs for U.S. consumers, but a supply glut...
Those subsidies exist in the U.S. for the same reason Canada has a supply-management system: domestic politics.
As a recent visitor to Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland”, where low prices are forcing the closure of hundreds of dairy farms a year, Muirhead said he encountered no resentment against Canada among local farmers. “The president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union told me that what they really wanted was a supply-managed system like ours,” he said.To summarize: In Canada, you can't produce milk, eggs, etc without some kind of permit specifying how much you can produce. The government limits the amount so that prices are maintained at a level that produces a decent income for the farmers. In the United States, anyone can produce all the milk and eggs they want. In a good production year, product floods the market and drives down prices (good for consumers) which makes farming only profitable for immense corporate farms with the lowest per-unit costs.
Dairy deregulation has spread hardship wherever it has been implemented, Muirhead added. “Every single objective indicator says that in the case of dairy you cannot have a system that operates without production controls,” he said. “If you try, you’re basically consigning your farmers to a life of penury – or worse.”
Ever since the Depression, the Government has lent tobacco farmers a hand by bolstering the prices paid to them on the market. But the farmers like to point out that unlike the growers of other crops whose prices are supported by the Government, they receive help that entails no net cost to the taxpayers -- that is, no "subsidies" in the usual sense.The tobacco growers' boast, although accurate today, has been strictly true only in the last 11 of the 60 years since the Federal price-support program for tobacco was adopted. And even during this latter period, the Government has had to step in to bail the growers out once, in 1986. The cost was $1.1 billion.The tobacco support program shores up the farmers' prices by limiting production of their crop, setting a minimum price for it at market and providing for loans from a Government agency to farmers' cooperatives.
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial.For those who want to explore the subject, Act Two of the TAL podcast is mesmerizing (just click the little forward arrow below "A Tribe Called Rest." The entire segment lasts about 15 minutes, but try it for just 3-4 minutes...).
A group of Danish and Czech experts will therefore soon be able to carry out detailed analyses of the astronomer’s bone, hair and clothing remains to find the answer to a centuries-old mystery as to whether he was murdered.The leader of the Danish research team comes from the University of Aarhus’ wonderfully-named Department of Medieval and Renaissance Archaeology.
"We expected we would find the remains of Tycho Brahe and his wife in the grave. But after we opened it, we found remains of several other persons as well, which meant the team's archeologists had to keep working until last night to find out more about the identity of those bodies," said Petr Velemínský, head of the National Museum's anthropological depository. "We found remains of eight other individuals, five of whom were children, and that was certainly a surprise."These excerpts from the New York Times:
Conspiracy theorists claim a jealous Kepler poisoned Brahe before buying the astronomer's research from his unsuspecting widow and using it for his own ends. The story goes that Kepler used mercury to kill his former collaborator, but more skeptical voices say the tale is unlikely, calling the traces of mercury previously found in Brahe's corpse during an earlier exhumation a sign of nothing more than his penchant for alchemy, a common hobby of scientists at the time who sought to convert various elements into gold.
"When we examine the hair samples in Sweden and in Prague, and we have about 8 centimeters of his beard, we will be able to find information on what substances he administered in the last three months of his life," Vellev said. "And the bone samples will give us even further-reaching information on the last 15 years of his life."
Brahe, who sported a distinctive gold and silver prosthetic nose — having lost the bridge of his real nose in a duel — was long thought to have died after his bladder burst. Legend has it that 11 days before his death he attended the banquet of a nobleman and was too polite to leave the table to go to the toilet.A second NYT article focuses more on the Kepler-Tycho connection, with a reference to a scholarly book on the subject:
Medical experts have exploded this theory, noting that bladder ruptures are highly unusual and that Brahe probably died from kidney failure. But even today, when Czechs excuse themselves from the table to go to the bathroom, they have been known to say, “Pardon me, I don’t want to end up like Tycho Brahe.”
Others contend that Brahe was killed by his cousin Eric Brahe on the orders of the Danish king, Christian IV, enraged over rumors that Brahe, a father of eight, was having an affair with the king’s mother. The cousin supposedly slipped some mercury into Brahe’s glass, causing him to die in delirious pain...
Legend has it that, at age 20, he damaged his nose in a duel with a fellow member of the Danish gentry, Manderup Parsbjerg, not over a woman, but over some fine point of mathematics...
Those findings inspired “Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History’s Greatest Scientific Discoveries,” a 2004 book by a pair of married journalists, Joshua Gilder and Anne-Lee Gilder. They argue that the evidence from the hairs [from a previous, incomplete exhumation and autopsy] points to two incidents of mercury poisoning, one at the time of the banquet and the other just before death, and that Kepler is the prime suspect because he had the means, the motive and the opportunity...The results of the forensic studies will not be available until later this year. In the meantime, I've requested the Heavenly Intrigue book from our library. Stay tuned.
A devoutly religious scholar may not sound like a good candidate for murderer, but the Gilders argue that Kepler was an unhappy, temperamental zealot. In an astrological self-analysis, he described his “eagerness for trickery” and his plots against his “enemies,” and said he was under the influence of Mars's “rage-provoking force.”
Kepler resented Tycho’s higher status and, above all, his refusal to allow access to the full log of observations, including the records of Mars’s movements that Kepler considered essential to demonstrate the validity of his own model of the universe. Kepler tried several schemes to see Tycho’s data — to sneakily “wrest his riches away,” as Kepler put it — but Tycho resisted and forced Kepler to keep working on calculations aimed at supporting the Tychonic cosmology...
The results of a Danish-Czech-Swedish examination of fragments of the earthly remains of the 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe has had to be postponed until 2012 due to a lack of funding, according to Prof. Jens Vellev who is leading the project.Addendum December 2012: The most recent forensic studies do not suggest murder by mercury or other detectable poison.
“There was mercury in the beard, you will also have traces of mercury if you have a beard,” said lead investigator Dr. Jens Vellev, from Aarhus University in Denmark, to BBC News. “But the amount of mercury was as you see in people [alive today].”Addendum June 2018: A detailed postmortem examination of Brahe's skeleton by a team in the Czech Republic shows definite evidence of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, which though not a lethal disease, is associated with various comorbidities that may be relevant in Brahe's case:
“It is impossible that Tycho Brahe could have been murdered,” Vellev added. He also discounted the possibility death from a combination of other toxins: “If there were other poisons in the beard, we would have been able to see it in the analyses.”
Previous studies of skeletal and hair remains of Tycho Brahe have ruled out the possibility that he died from a violent death (chronic poisoning) and excluded chronic long-term kidney disease and renal osteodystrophy, nutritional osteomalacia, vitamin D and calcium deficiency from gastrointestinal malabsorption syndromes, osteopenia, or osteoporosis.
The current paleopathological study provides further evidence about his health status, by revealing that he suffered from both diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and obesity. These results, along with those of the isotopic analysis, give a glimpse into the lifestyle of the famous astronomer, revealing the dietary excesses a 16th century high-ranking individual could have afforded (high caloric intake and presumably excessive alcohol consumption). They also reveal the possible health consequences such a prestigious way of life could have had. Although this study does not allow a definite diagnosis to be reached, it highlights plausible reasons for the sudden illness and premature death of the famous astronomer, notably conditions resulting from so-called civilization diseases, which occur with high frequency in DISH patients.