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Fire

Did our early ancestors start cooking to make carrion safe to eat?

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Fire would have provided our early humans, like the Neanderthals shown in the artists rendition above, warmth but also allowed them to cook their food.
Early humans may have first started cooking their food to make carrion safer for them to eat, new research has suggested.

Anthropologists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have found humans scavenging for meat from carrion would risked exposure to dangerously high levels of bacteria.

They claim that simply roasting meat on hot coals can kill most of the bacteria that grows on carrion, making it safer for human consumption.

This they say could have helped to transform the diet of early humans, allowing them to access a rich supply of meat long before the development of weapons made hunting more efficient.

The findings provide strong support for theories that early humans obtained much of their meat by scavenging the kills of other predators.

Arrow Down

The legacy of the atomic bomb: Radium contamination in New York City

© National Park Service
A lingering Manhattan Project mystery is still buried at New York’s Great Kill Park.
In August 2005, the New York Police Department, with the Department of Energy, conducted an anti-terrorism radiation flyover survey. The survey was intended to provide a baseline of radiological activity, in order to catch a suspicious construction of a dirty bomb.

They didn't find a dirty bomb—but there was plenty of radiological activity. Surveyors found 80 radioactive locations in the city—one of them being Great Kills Park in Staten Island, one of the city's five boroughs. The Park is a popular place near a suburban enclave inhabited by cops, firefighters and other unsuspecting residents. The Park, more than 500 acres of woods surrounding softball and soccer fields and a marina, was constructed from garbage dumped in the bay between 1944 and 1946. Unregulated and illegal dumping has a long history in New York City.

Children Are Especially Vulnerable

The radium is the legacy of nuclear weapons production coupled with a cavalier attitude towards the odorless, tasteless and invisible threat posed by radioactivity.

"This is potentially a very dangerous situation," said former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) in 2013, whose congressional district includes the park. "The last thing I want is to have anyone or their children get sick or hurt because of this contamination."

Comment: See also: Undark and the Radium Girls


Boat

Mongol ship sent by Genghis Khan's grandson to invade Japan is discovered after 700 years underwater

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Historic: Archaeologists have discovered a Mongol ship which took part in a failed invasion on Japan over 700 years ago

The Mongolian ship which was sent to invade Japan in the 13th Century had been decaying underwater for over 700 years.

Dispatched by Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai, it formed part of two massive armadas - made up of 4,000 ships and 140,000 men - tasked with invading the island and expanding the legendary Yuan Dynasty in 1274 and 1281.

But both fleets were destroyed by destructive typhoon winds which have gone down in Japanese history as 'kamikaze' - or the divine wind - which saved the country from foreign invasion.

It was found in a bay close to the city of Matsuura on the west coast of Kyushu island - and archaeologists believe it was taking shelter from the storm when it sunk.

Question

Gun collector's dream: WW2-era tank and anti-aircraft gun found hidden in German villa's basement

The tank, among the weapons haul discovered hidden in the cellar of a villa in Kiel, took nine hours to remove
© European Press Agency
A World War Two era 'Panther' battle tank is removed from a residential property in Heikendorf, Germany
German soldiers grappled for nine hours with an unusual task: trying to remove a Second World War tank found in the cellar of a villa.

Almost 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from a villa on Thursday in a wealthy suburb of Kiel in northern Germany, after police searching the property discovered the tank, a torpedo, an anti-aircraft gun and other weapons in the cellar on Wednesday.


A WWII era flak canon is prepared to be transported
Police raided the home in the town of Heikendorf under instructions from prosecutors, who suspected that the villa's 78-year-old owner held the weaponry illegally under a law controlling the possession of instruments of war.

The army was called in to try to remove the 1943-vintage Panther tank, and struggled for nine hours to tow it out using two modern recovery tanks designed to haul damaged battle tanks off the field.

The soldiers ended up having to build their own wooden ramp in order to free to tank.

Ulrich Burchardi, an army spokesman, described the difficult task of removing the tank without damaging the house as "precision work".

The other weapons have also now been confiscated by police.

Palette

Ancient South Africans used milk-based paint over 49,000 years ago

An international research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa has discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000 years ago that inhabitants may have used to adorn themselves with or to decorate stone or wooden slabs.
© University of Boulder Colorado
(A) MOD flake before sampling, scale bar = 1 cm. (B) Detail of residue left after sampling for chemical and proteomic analyses. (C) View at 40 x. (D) View at 128 x.
While the use of ochre by early humans dates to at least 250,000 years ago in Europe and Africa, this is the first time a paint containing ochre and milk has ever been found in association with early humans in South Africa, said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and lead study author. The milk likely was obtained by killing lactating members of the bovid family such as buffalo, eland, kudu and impala, she said.

"Although the use of the paint still remains uncertain, this surprising find establishes the use of milk with ochre well before the introduction of domestic cattle in South Africa," said Villa. "Obtaining milk from a lactating wild bovid also suggests that the people may have attributed a special significance and value to that product."

The powdered paint mixture was found on the edge of a small stone flake in a layer of Sibudu Cave, a rock shelter in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Africa, that was occupied by anatomically modern humans in the Middle Stone Age from roughly 77,000 years ago to about 38,000 years ago, said Villa. While ochre powder production and its use are documented in a number of Middle Stone Age South African sites, there has been no evidence of the use of milk as a chemical binding agent until this discovery, she said.

Vader

France narrowly avoided becoming a US protectorate after WW2

© WikiCommons
Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark presenting newly arrived U.S. equipment to the French Ground Forces in a ceremony held at Casablanca, 9 May 1943.
General Auguste Nogués is at the left.
In 1941-42 the United States intended that France, together with soon-to-be defeated Italy, Germany and Japan, was to be part of a protectorate run by the Allied Military Government of the Occupied Territories (Amgot). According to the agreement of November 1942 between Admiral Jean-François Darlan and US General Mark Clark, which secured France's commitment to the Allied cause, Amgot would have abolished its national sovereignty, including its right to issue currency.

Some US historians believe this plan stemmed from President Franklin D Roosevelt's antipathy towards Charles de Gaulle. Roosevelt saw him as a dictator-in-training and sought to prevent him from ruling post-Pétain. (Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain led the pro-Nazi government of unoccupied France at Vichy,1940-44.) The argument that Roosevelt intended to establish universal democracy is compelling but wrong (1).

The US was concerned that France, although weakened by its 1940 defeat, might reject the plan, especially if its presidency went to De Gaulle, who had vowed to restore French sovereignty. It feared France might use its nuisance capacity as it had when it opposed pro-German US policies after the first world war. France would not have wanted to relinquish its empire, rich in raw materials and strategic bases. The US had long called for an open door policy for goods and investments in all colonial empires(2). The US relied on twin strategies: ignoring De Gaulle, and dealing with Pétain's regime with a combin ation of accommodation and toughness. It realised that Vichy, like the Latin American regimes dear to its heart, was more malleable than a government with broad popular support.

The US plan for a "Vichy-sans-Vichy" took shape. French elites supported the idea: they clung to the Vichy regime, which had restored privileges taken away by the pre-war republican government, and were eager to make a painless transition from German rule to the pax americana.

Comment: Imposing a 'pax americana' by force is not a new idea. US dreams of world hegemony have a long history.


Info

Stalin was less of a criminal than Churchill, Truman, and LBJ

© The Greanville Post
We have long maintained that the truth about the USSR, in general, and particularly the Stalin period, has long been the object of the most cynical, mean-spirited, and comprehensive propaganda effort ever seen in the annals of history.

For reasons of sheer class interest among the plutocrats of the West, the business elites that still rule most of the so-called "capitalist democracies," the demonization of Stalin was a necessity, a campaign only briefly interrupted by World War Two and quickly resumed literally a few hours after its ending.

The Western elites —with the American ruling circles in the lead—correctly saw an enemy in Stalin. They could not bribe him and they could not intimidate him. Nor could they easily topple him, as they had done (and still do) countless times with weaker, "inconvenient leaders." What's more, Stalin was at the helm of a powerful nation and titular leader of an ideology directly opposed to their indispensable economic system.

Occasional diplomacy aside, they hated him. He and his nation stood in the way of their plans for global hegemony. So the the venom had to flow and did—abundantly. And in that sordid enterprise the capitalist elites found countless allies, not to mention the usual battalions of ignorant, useful idiots.

As any propaganda student will attest, when vilifying a nation's policies and social values, it's far easier (and effective) if the propagandist aims the Big Lie machine at its leader. As we have seen in recent times with Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, Iran and North Korea's leaders, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and finally Putin—among many others (the empire is never lacking in "dangerous enemies")—the character assassination of a leader is an old tactic to prepare the perennially benighted home population for an attack on the targeted nation.

From this perspective it's not difficult to see that if the Ministry of Truth could swiftly complete the total demonization of Vladimir Putin—a figure in good standing merely 3 years ago—and not even an avowed socialist, one can only imagine what outrageous fabrications they could have concocted (and did) to cordon off the image of Stalin, an outspoken communist, over several decades. This made eminent sense to the West's doctrinal gatekeepers. Given the identification of Stalin's long rule with the Soviet Union at its most embattled, the blackening of Stalin's name served an important purpose: it provided the Western propagandists an invaluable shorthand—an "irrefutable symbol" of communism's putative evil—to block the very idea of genuine socialism as an option for humanity.

Beaker

John Bryden - Deadly Allies: Canada's Secret War, 1937-1947

© John Bryden, design: K.T. Njo from OPA, Fort Detrick
This is about a book I just read called Deadly Allies : Canada's Secret War, 1937-1947 by John Bryden, and it was written in 1989.
This book is about Canada's secret war from 1937 to 1947, but it also kind of extrapolates (I think that's the right word) up to 1989 a bit.

When I was talking to the librarian about not liking bees, cause I don't like bees and I thought it would be a good idea to reduce bees, she got me this book to read to learn how to reduce the bees.

And this books talks about what Canada was up to like on:
Canada did not have the bomb, but it was a world leader in bacteriological warfare and very knowledgeable in chemical warfare. [1]

They [, Emlyn Llewelyn Davies and Otto Maass,] had built in Canada an impressive chemical and biological warfare establishment, and for the foreseeable future it was there to stay. [2]
And then the author goes into later on, like during his time when he was writing the book:

Fire

Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons: Israel's arsenal is a plague upon the world

This carefully research article by John Steinbach on Israel's nuclear arsenal was first published by Global Research in March 2002

© Unknown
"Should war break out in the Middle East again,... or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability."
Seymour Hersh(1)

"Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches." Ariel Sharon (2)

With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publically recognized as such.

Since the Gulf War in 1991, while much attention has been lavished on the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the major culprit in the region, Israel, has been largely ignored. Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. The Israeli nuclear program represents a serious impediment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and, with India and Pakistan, is a potential nuclear flashpoint.(prospects of meaningful non-proliferation are a delusion so long as the nuclear weapons states insist on maintaining their arsenals,) Citizens concerned about sanctions against Iraq, peace with justice in the Middle East, and nuclear disarmament have an obligation to speak out forcefully against the Israeli nuclear program.

Info

Human footprints found on Calvert Island oldest in North America

An amazing archaeological find has been made on British Columbia's Calvert Island. It consists of 12 human footprints from three persons, thought to be the oldest footprints in all of North America.
© Wikimdedia Commons
Footprints found on Calvert Island are believed to have been left there 13,200 years ago.
Prints radiocarbon dated

The cluster of footprints are from two adults, one large, the other small, and one child, likely a family, and they show the three were huddled around a fire on the island; radiocarbon dating indicated they were finding warmth together about 13,200 years ago.

Charcoal from the fire survived in the footprints and made radiocarbon dating possible. The prints were discovered during an archaeological dig on the island by two B.C. institutions, the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria.

The 12 impressions survived in clay formations and also found in the area were other prints, much younger at just 2,000 years old. Archaeologists Dr. Daryl Fedje and Dr. Duncan McLaren found the prints during excavation work below the high-tide line on a shoreline of Calvert Island.