Full, luxurious beards signal a certain machismo vibe but they have served a practical historical purpose — cushioning the impact of a punch to the jaw, much like the way the mane of a dominant lion protects a big cat's throat against a rival's lethal claws and teeth. So did beards evolve for that very reason?
To test that idea, the scientists built models that approximated the structure of bone in a human skull.
They cut the bony material into bricks and wrapped them in sheepskin fleece, "because it was not practical to obtain fully bearded skin samples from human cadavers," the researchers wrote.
Two types of sheepskin coverings were used — furred samples, where the sheep's wool was left at its full length and sheared samples to represent a beardless jaw.
Just saying ...
Coronaspeak for beginners
"You got the 'covo', mate?" The Covid-19 pandemic has created a bunch of new words and phrases. Shortenings and abbreviations are popular — like "sanny" (hand sanitiser) and "iso" (isolation), BCV (before corona virus) and WFH (working from home), but also compounding words, like "corona moaner" (the whingers), covidiot (Pete Evans) and "zoombombing" (the intrusion into a video conference). Some of the words combine more than one process — "the isodesk" (or is that "the isobar") is where many of us are currently spending our days. plenty of nouns have been "verbed" — the toilet paper/pasta/tinned tomatoes have been "magpied".
Once the media uses them, they're legit:
Coronaverse (Guardian) — the now prevailing socio-economic order
Quarantimes — a hashtag or label for the prevailing circumstances under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic
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Viral anxiety (New Statesman) — fear and uncertainty, sometimes excessive, due to the Covid-19 outbreak and its ramifications
The coronopticon (Economist) — the notion of a national or global system of surveillance and control
Contagion chivalry (New York Times) — acts of selflessness during confinement
Coronaphobia (Daily Mail) — fear experienced by the public at the prospect of having to return to work, send children back to school, using public transport, etc.
Corona-shaming (New York Times) — publicly criticising those people, particularly celebrities, who have infringed the public health regulations.