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The lies that started the First World War

The personality and motives of the young assassin, Gavrilo Princip, who fired the fatal shots at Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, were twisted by Austrian propaganda.
Gavrilo Princip
© Alamy
Gavrilo Princip is paraded by his Austrian captors after assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo
This day 100 years ago dawned memorably bright over Sarajevo. After days of stormy rain, Sunday June 28,1914 began cloudless as Austria-Hungary, the imperial power that held dominion over the small Balkan province of Bosnia, prepared for a show of ostentatious pageantry in its capital.

Loyal citizens came out in their thousands, lining the route into the city centre that was to be used for a rare official visit by a top member of the Habsburg royal house, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, second only in imperial protocol to the venerable, mutton-chopped emperor himself, Franz Joseph. Witnesses remember the morning sun being fierce as the crowds gathered, eight deep in places, many of them waving the yellow imperial standard of Austria-Hungary with its double-headed black eagle, some shouting ''Long Live the Archduke'' as the Gräf & Stift limousine drove sedately by. An imperial 21-gun salute, from the fortress high in the hills that ring Sarajevo, sent out puffs of smoke, vivid white against the blue summer sky.

But the crowd was seeded with six would-be assassins united in their loathing of Austria-Hungary. By the time the sun set, what happened in Sarajevo would plunge the world into the darkness of global war for the first time.

The details were well recorded: how the first attacker lost his nerve as the cortege passed, how the next attacker threw a grenade that struck the limousine but did not harm the Archduke, how the royal party nevertheless continued with the visit, how three would-be assassins melted away into the crowd and how one, a 19-year-old peasant, stood his ground.
Newspaper

First World War survivor tells how it happened, hour by hour

Britain went to war on August 4, 1914. In the first part of a four-day series, we document the dramatic events leading up to the declaration of war as they happened, hour-by-hour
© Daily Telegraph
Germany declares war on Russia: the Kaiser addresses the crowd from the balcony of the Imperial Palace, Berlin, pictured in the following morning's Daily Telegraph
Books

Solzhenitsyn and the struggle for Russia's soul

solzhenitsyn
There are many people who write history. There are very few who make history through their writings. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week at the age of 89, was one of them. In many ways, Solzhenitsyn laid the intellectual foundations for the fall of Soviet communism. That is well known. But Solzhenitsyn also laid the intellectual foundation for the Russia that is now emerging. That is less well known, and in some ways more important.

Solzhenitsyn's role in the Soviet Union was simple. His writings, and in particular his book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, laid bare the nature of the Soviet regime. The book described a day in the life of a prisoner in a Soviet concentration camp, where the guilty and innocent alike were sent to have their lives squeezed out of them in endless and hopeless labor. It was a topic Solzhenitsyn knew well, having been a prisoner in such a camp following service in World War II.
Boat

Ship found under collapsed World Trade Center dates back to 1773

WTC ship
© AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
In this July 27, 2010, file photo, a pair of archeologists begin dismantling the remains of an 18th century ship at the World Trade Center construction site in New York. Columbia University scientists say this week they have determined wood used in the ship's frame came from a Philadelphia-area forest in 1773, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.
It's a ship tied to two critical points in American history: Sept. 11, 2001, and the eve of the Revolutionary War.

Researchers said this week that a vessel unearthed four years ago at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan was made from wood cut around the year 1773 - two years before the start of the war and three years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, writing in the July issue of the journal Tree Ring Research, said the white oak in the ship's frame came from a Philadelphia-area forest and matched the material used to build the city's Independence Hall.

They said they tentatively identified it as a Dutch-designed, Philadelphia-built sloop made to carry passengers and cargo over shallow, rocky water.

They said it sailed for 20 to 30 years before being weighed down and sunk to the bottom of the Hudson River as landfill to extend lower Manhattan.
Info

Bones of Iron Age warriors in Danish bog were mutilated

Iron Age Shull
© Ejvind Hertz, Skanderborg Museum
A skull of an Iron Age warrior discovered in a bog in Denmark shows signs of battle.
The bones of dozens of Iron Age warriors found in Denmark were collected and ritually mutilated after spending months on the battlefield, archaeologists say.

At least six months after the soldiers died, their bones were collected, scraped of remaining flesh, sorted and dumped in a lake. Some were handled in a truly bizarre manner; for instance, four pelvises were found strung on a stick.

"We think it's a kind of ritual closure of the war," said Mads Kähler Holst, project manager at the dig and head of the department of archaeology at the Moesgård Museum in Denmark. The victors seem to have carried out their gruesome work on a spit of land extending into the lake where the bones were dumped, the researchers said. [See Photos of the Mutilated Iron Age Skeletons]
Wine n Glass

Wine cup allegedely used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens

pericles cup
A cup believed to have been used by Classical Greek statesman Pericles has been found in a pauper's grave in north Athens, according to local reports Wednesday.

The ceramic wine cup, smashed in 12 pieces, was found during building construction in the northern Athens suburb of Kifissia, Ta Nea daily said.

After piecing it together, archaeologists were astounded to find the name "Pericles" scratched under one of its handles, alongside the names of five other men, in apparent order of seniority.

Experts are "99 per cent" sure that the cup was used by the Athenian statesman, as one of the other names listed, Ariphron, is that of Pericles' elder brother.
Fireball 2

What did in the dinosaurs? Climate change, volcanic eruptions played a part

earth asteroid
The demise of the dinosaurs, some 66 million years ago, represents the ultimate "Cold Case" - no eye witnesses, ancient physical evidence that's partial at best, and a pod of PI's bent on solving the mystery.

Armed with data from an additional decade of fossil discoveries - a new species is unearthed about once a week - and new analytical tools, an international team of paleontologists is pointing the finger at a now-familiar suspect: an asteroid or comet, which triggered the geologically sudden disappearance of dinosaurs.

But, the researchers add, the impactor had accomplices: changing climate and sea levels and a series of eruptions in which magma flooded the surface of a nascent Indian subcontinent as the motion of crustal plates carried it north across the Indian Ocean toward its eventual collision with Eurasia.
Sherlock

Debunked: 'Out of Africa thing completely disproved by genetics'

© Atlanteangardens.blogspot.com.au
Scientific evidence refuting the theory of modern humanity's African genesis is common knowledge among those familiar with the most recent scientific papers on the human Genome, Mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes. Regrettably, within mainstream press and academia circles, there seems to be a conspicuous - and dare we say it - deliberate vacuum when it comes to reporting news of these recent studies and their obvious implications.

Australian historian Greg Jefferys explains that, "The whole 'Out of Africa' myth has its roots in the mainstream academic campaign in the 1990′s to remove the concept of Race. When I did my degree they all spent a lot of time on the 'Out of Africa' thing but it's been completely disproved by genetics. Mainstream still hold on to it."

It did begin the early 90's. And the academics most responsible for cementing both the Out-of Africa theory and the complementary common ancestral African mother - given the name of "Eve" - in the public arena and nearly every curriculum, were Professors Alan C. Wilson and Rebecca L. Cann.

In their defense, the authors of this paper were fully aware that genealogy is not in any way linked to geography, and that their placement of Eve in Africa was an assumption, never an assertion.
Info

Archaeologists find earlier Stone Age artifacts in Northern Cape of South Africa

Stone Age Artifacts
© Steven James Walker & et al.
Hand axes from surface collection. (A-B. Banded Ironstone) (C. Quartzite).
Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools. These discoveries were made by archaeologists from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa and the University of Toronto (U of T), in collaboration with the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, South Africa.

The archaeologists' research on the Kathu Townlands site, one of the richest early prehistoric archaeological sites in South Africa, was published in the journal, PLOS ONE, on 24 July 2014. It is estimated that the site is between 700,000 and one million years old.

Steven James Walker from the Department of Archaeology at UCT, lead author of the journal paper, says: "The site is amazing and it is threatened. We've been working well with developers as well as the South African Heritage Resources Agency to preserve it, but the town of Kathu is rapidly expanding around the site. It might get cut off on all sides by development and this would be regrettable."
Meteor

Did the dinosaur-killing asteroid hit at just the wrong time?

Triceratops
© Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library
A cooling climate may have led to less diversity among horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops.
Animals might have survived if impact happened a few million years earlier or later.

Just before a large asteroid slammed into the Earth 66 million years ago, the diversity of plant-eating dinosaur species declined slightly, a new study suggests. That minor shift may have been enough to doom all dinosaurs when the space rock hit.

The scarcity of plant-eaters would have left them more vulnerable to starvation and population collapse after the impact, with consequences that rippled all the way up the food chain.

"The asteroid hit at a particularly bad time," says Stephen Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. "If it had hit a few million years earlier or later, dinosaurs probably would have been much better equipped to survive."

Brusatte and his colleagues describe this nuanced view of the famous extinction in Biological Reviews.

Palaeontologists have argued for decades about whether dinosaurs were doing well when the asteroid hit, or whether they were experiencing a worldwide drop in the number of species. To explore this question, the study pulled information from a database on global dinosaur diversity, including hundreds of fossils found in the past decade.

Comment: One can detect shades of teleology and information theory in Earth history. For more background,read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3 by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk

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