Connect with us

Science

Archaeologists may have uncovered London’s earliest theater

Published

on

June 10 (UPI) — Archaeologists claim to have unearthed the oldest theater in London.

Discovered by a team of archaeologists with the University College London, the Elizabethan playhouse, called the Red Lion, was originally constructed in 1567.

“This site, with its prototype stage and seating, could represent the dawn of Elizabethan theater!” UCL Archaeology South-East wrote on Twitter.

For the last two years, excavators have been working carefully to unearth the remains of theater, revealing a prototype stage and seating.

“This is one of the most extraordinary sites I’ve worked on,” UCL archaeologist Stephen White, who led the excavation, said in a news release. “After nearly five hundred years, the remains of the Red Lion playhouse, which marked the dawn of Elizabethan theater, may have finally been found.”

“The strength of the combined evidence — archaeological remains of buildings, in the right location, of the right period, seem to match up with characteristics of the playhouse recorded in early documents,” White said. “It is a privilege to be able to add to our understanding of this exciting period of history.”

Historians suggest the Red Lion theater was built by John Brayne prior to his construction of The Theater in 1576. Brayne built The Theater with his brother-in-law James Burbage, a member of acting company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. It became the earliest permanent home to acting troupes and staged the plays of a young Shakespeare during 1590s.

All that is known about the Red Lion is found in a pair of lawsuits between Brayne and carpenters that worked on the construction project. The lawsuits describe the physical elements of the stage, seating and scaffolding. Historians and archaeologists have long debated the exact location of the outdoor theater.

The excavated remains match the dimensions described in the lawsuits, and nearby structures found by archaeologists look to be the remnants of an inn. Documents suggest that the farmstead and theater were joined by other buildings over the years, forming an expansive complex — a place to drink beer, eat, take in a comedy and spend the night.

Archaeologists also uncovered what look to be a pair of ancient cellars, not far from the stage and seating.

“Tudor period inns needed somewhere cool and secure to store their drink, as beer would have gone off much more rapidly than it does today,” said Michael Shapland, an historic buildings specialist with UCL Archaeology South-East.

Excavations at the site have also turned up drinking glasses, ceramic cups, mugs, bottles and tankards, as well as coins and ceramic money boxes.

In the years that followed the construction of the Red Lion, Brayne suffered a series of financial difficulties, including trouble involving the financing of The Theater. He died penniless in 1586.

The excavations also turned up the remains of several dogs, a few with injuries, suggesting the theater was repurposed as a dog-fighting venue during the 17th century.



Source link

Science

Apple recalls shipment of iPhone 6 Plus due to photo glitch

Published

on

CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 23 (UPI) — Apple has recalled a shipment of its iPhone 6 Plus due to a technological glitch that produces blurry photos in the device’s camera, the company announced.

The recall affects a small number of iPhone 6 Plus devices, Apple said in a statement, which have demonstrated a glitch in the iSight camera.

Apple said it’s “a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry.”

Apple created a web page where users can enter their phone’s serial number to determine if they are affected by the recall.

The iPhone 6 and larger iPhone 6 Plus were released last September.



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

‘Invisible’ words reveal common structure among famous stories

Published

on

Aug. 7 (UPI) — Storytelling requires a narrative arc, but the trajectory of a dramatic arc isn’t always obvious.

By tracing the abundance of “invisible” words — pronouns, articles and other short words — researchers were able to identify patterns shared by a diversity of stories, from Shakespeare to Spielberg, according to a study published Friday in Science Advances.

“Over the years, these ‘invisible’ words have been found to be related to a whole mess of psychological processes — how people use small words like articles and pronouns tell us about a person’s mental health, thinking style, their social status, and even how well they get along with other people,” study lead author Ryan Boyd told UPI.

“In many ways, it was a natural progression to look at what these words can tell us how the nature of stories,” said Boyd, a lecturer in behavioral analytics at the University of Leeds.

For the study, Boyd and his colleagues used a range of statistical techniques to analyze the abundance and distribution of invisible words in 40,000 fictional texts, including short stories, novels and movie scripts.

The analysis revealed a common structure — a so-called narrative curve — featuring three distinct phases.

During the “staging” phase, authors use prepositions and articles in greater abundance, peppering their prose with “a” and “the.” These words are more useful at the beginning, when authors must set the scene and provide the audience with basic information.

The middle phase is defined by plot progression, which is revealed by a greater abundance of auxiliary verbs, adverbs and pronouns — or interactional language. During this phase, “the house” from the staging phase becomes “her home” or “it.”

During the third phase, cognitive tension is ramped up as the narrative arc reaches a climax. As the author guides the reader or viewer through the process of conflict resolution, cognitive-processing words like “think,” “believe,” “understand” and “cause” begin to crop up in greater numbers.

Researchers found this three-phase narrative shape remained consistent, regardless of a stories length.

“A 25,000 word story has the same shape as a 250 word story,” said Boyd, lead author of the new study. “It seems, then, that we are able to do a good job of structuring our stories in an optimal way regardless of how much space we have to do it in.”

The researchers set up a website showing the shapes of staging, plot progression and cognitive tension in eight texts at The Arc of Narrative website.

The patterns left by invisible words proved both good and bad stories — tales spun by amateurs, as well as professionals — utilize similar structures.

“Our results confirm what people have long believed about stories,” Boyd said. “Like DNA, we knew about it long before we could actually see it and measure it. With these new methods, we are able to see and measure the ‘DNA’ of stories and understand them in more objective, scientific ways.”

According to Boyd, studying the patterns of stories can offer insights into cognitive processes unique to humans.

“What these story shapes seem to tell us is that we have, to some degree, evolved to process information in certain ways,” he said. “We need to understand the ‘who’ and ‘what’ in order to understand the ‘why’ of our everyday lives and the lives of others.”

The authors of the latest story are already mining text for other language patterns that might help researchers determine whether a story-teller is telling the truth, or perhaps reveal the secrets to a “good” story.



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Florida Current study confirms decline in strength of Gulf Stream

Published

on

Aug. 7 (UPI) — New research suggests the strength of the Florida Current, which forms the beginning of the Gulf Stream, has weakened considerably over the last century.

The findings, published Friday in the journal Nature Climate Change, corroborate the predictions of several models that suggest the Gulf Stream has slowed over the last several decades.

The Florida Current is a thermal ocean current that flows from west to east around the tip of Florida, joining the Gulf Stream off Florida’s east coast.

Scientists have been tracking the strength of the Florida Current since the early 1980s — not long enough to identify multi-decadal or centennial trends.

To better understand the current’s historical changes, Christopher Piecuch, researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, decided to study the relationship between coastal sea level and the strength of near-shore currents.

While researchers have only been measuring the Florida Current for a few decades, scientists have been recording sea level data since the early 1900s. Piecuch was able to use the data to predict historic changes in the strength of near-shore currents.

“In the ocean, almost everything is connected,” Christopher Piecuch, sole author of the new study, said in a news release. “We can use those connections to look at things in the past or far from shore, giving us a more complete view of the ocean and how it changes across space and time.”

The statistical analysis performed by Piecuch showed the Florida Current and Gulf Stream are the weakest they’ve been during the last 110 years.

The findings are in agreement with ocean current models that suggest climate change has caused a slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, of which the Gulf Stream is a part.

Piecuch said he hopes his research will help other scientists use coastal current data to study changes in bigger currents like the Gulf Stream.

“If we can monitor something over the horizon by making measurements from shore, then that’s a win for science and potentially for society,” he said.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending