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Thu, 04 Jun 2020
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Bad Guys

From Dresden to Gaza: Some people never change

Goodnes over Dresden
© Richard Peter, 1946, Air Force Magazine
August Schreitmüller's sandstone sculpture "The Goodness" on Dresden's town hall overlooking the city in 1946, after the February 13-15, 1945 bombing.
64 years since that ill-fated day when Dresden was completely destroyed by the Allied forces and defenseless civilians perished helplessly in a firestorm of bombing raids, questions remain unanswered. One of the most beautiful and green-laden cities of Europe, "with a pleasant location and a mild climate on the Elbe, Baroque-style architecture housing numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden became known as 'Elbflorenz' (Florence on the Elbe)." The descriptions of the city as well as pictures from that time also give us an idea about the people inhabiting it: they must have been individuals who cared about beauty, art and nature, and who were predominantly civilized and refined, personality traits reflected in their cityscape. But their lives were destined to change overnight, the beautiful city traumatised by the horrific events of Valentine's Day 1945, its charred remains testimony to the psychopaths in power's relentless oppression of humanity.

As we now know, after years of following the events of our world and observing how the pathocrats make war as an excuse to "express their thirst for blood and evilness", the deliberate targeting of the most humane of people is a favorite tactic, one with the added benefit of extinguishing certain bloodlines and genetics. It wouldn't be surprising if the pathocrats wanted Dresden destroyed for what it stood for, as a symbolic warning to the rest of humanity. And the psychopathic leaders of the time went over and beyond with brutality, ceasing only at humanity's opposition. That's how psychopaths gauge when enough is enough, since they don't posses the internal "stop-cruelty switch" themselves. Same story with the recent carnage in Gaza. Without humanity voicing its opposition (citizens rather than heads of states and governments), the Israeli government would have "cleared out" Gaza completely. And so the British and US forces, following commands from above, unleashed hell on the city of Dresden.

Footprints

Arabian Gulf: the Cradle of Civilisation?

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Is the Arabian Gulf the Cradle of Civilisation? Yes, postulates Dr Jeffrey Rose, archaeologist and researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK, in a recently published paper. Rose's paper summarises the theories that are now gaining ground and causing considerable excitement among Middle Eastern archaeologists and historians: that the shallow waters of the Gulf may well hide evidence of the earliest human migrations out of Africa.

Around 8,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age drew to a close, rising sea levels resulting from the melting of the ice caused the Indian Ocean to break through a natural barrier in what is now known as the Straits of Hormuz. In what must have been the mother of all waterfalls, sea water poured through the gap and over a period of some 200 years flooded what had been a fertile plain, watered by rivers including the Tigris and Euphrates in what is now Iraq, and springs which welled up from an aquifer through the karstic limestone which lines the basin. Such springs, known as khawakh in local Arabic, still exist to this day and are thought to have given rise to the name Bahrain - 'two seas', ie salt and fresh water.

During the Pleistocene period, which ended around 12,000 years ago, the inhabitants of Arabia were among the first anatomically modern humans to branch from the common ancestral population that first appeared in East Africa some 190,000 years ago.

Sherlock

University of Arizona scientists carbon-date mysterious Renaissance-era document

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© Unknown
Researchers at the University of Arizona have solved one of the biggest mysteries about what has been called "the world's most mysterious manuscript."

Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA's department of physics has determined that the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript was penned someone in the early 15th century, making it a century older than scholars once thought.

A release from the University of Arizona states that the "The DaVinci Code" is lackluster compared to The Voynich Manuscript - which contains alien characters penned in a language no one understands, flowing artistically between illustrations of plants, astronomical charts and human figures.

Hodgins is fascinated with the mystery.

"Is it a code, a cipher of some kind?" he asks. "People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use - the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven't figured it out."

But thanks to Hodgins' team, its age has been figured out. He traveled to Yale University and dissected a pieces of the parchment to obtain four tiny samples that were brought back to Tucson.

Comment: This journalistic piece is a bit sensationalized. The author of the study in question writes:
"It would be great if we could directly radiocarbon date the inks, but it is actually really difficult to do. First, they are on a surface only in trace amounts" Hodgins said. "The carbon content is usually extremely low. Moreover, sampling ink free of carbon from the parchment on which it sits is currently beyond our abilities. Finally, some inks are not carbon based, but are derived from ground minerals. They're inorganic, so they don't contain any carbon."



Info

Scientists Hunting for Giant Prehistoric Rat Fossils Stumble Across Ancient Rock Portraits

Ancient Portraits_1
© John Brush
Portraits: Australian researchers exploring a large cave on the north-east tip of East Timor were stunned to find a row of engraved faces staring at them from the wall.
A team of scientists searching for fossils of giant rats from a prehistoric age have stumbled across an extraordinary 'gallery' of rock art portraits up to 12,000 years old.

The Australian researchers were exploring a large cave on the north-east tip of East Timor, which gained independence from Indonesia after a bloody conflict in 2002, when they were stunned to find, by chance, a row of engraved faces staring at them from the wall.

'Looking up from the cave floor at a colleague sitting on a ledge, my head torch shone on what seemed to be a weathered carving,' said Dr Ken Aplin of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, based in Canberra.

'I shone the torch around and saw a whole panel of engraved prehistoric human faces on the wall of the cave.

'The local landowners with whom we were working were stunned by the findings.

'They said the faces had chosen that day to reveal themselves because they were pleased by the field work we were doing.'

Chalkboard

American Science Decline: The Cause and Cure

Peer Review
© Gideon Burton/Flickr

The methodology is seriously and multiply flawed that was invented by the National Science Foundation in the 1950s for U.S. Government funding of science. Those flaws have been gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades. Here I disclose the principal flaws and point the way for the President of the United States to correct them.

Science is an important component for the strength of America and for the well being of her people. Science is the mother that gives birth to the technology that makes our economy robust and our military strong. Science improves our health and enables us to see our world in ways never before envisioned, uplifting spirits and boosting national prestige. But for the past four decades, despite ever-increasing science budgets, American science has continued to decline toward third-world status. Why? Because fundamental mistakes underlie the methodology by which the U.S. Government supports science.

Before World War II there was very little government funding of science, but that changed because of war-time necessities. In 1951, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) was established to provide support for post-World War II scientific research. The methodology for administrating science-funding, invented in the early 1950s by NSF, has been adopted essentially unchanged by virtually all subsequent U.S. Government funding agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The problem is this: That methodology is flawed and those flaws have been gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades. Here I disclose the principal flaws and point the way for the President of the United States to correct them.

Cow Skull

UK's Ancient Secrets May be Buried With Old Bones

Top British archaeologists are urging the government to rethink a law requiring human remains be reburied, warning it risks undermining years of research into the island's ancient peoples and study of their DNA.

The row stems from the reinterpretation of a law introduced in 2008 by the Ministry of Justice. The rule states human bones discovered in England and Wales since that time, regardless of their age, must be re-interred after two years.

In a letter to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, 40 academics complained experts would have too little time to study the remains and that reburial would result in the needless destruction of immensely valuable material.

Important sites that will be affected include Stonehenge and a Viking mass burial pit near Weymouth on the south coast.

Many archaeologists believe secrets about ancient tribes and early humans in Britain could be lost to science forever if the rule is applied. Thousands of sites could be affected in the future, they say.

"Britain risks losing its leading role in archaeology, a decline that will be observed by a mystified international scientific community," the letter said.

"The current license conditions are impeding scientific research, preventing new discoveries from entering museums, and are not in the public interest," added the academics who want the government to return to the "simple, well-tried system" practiced up to 2008.

Butterfly

Czech prehistoric engraved "Venus" has "twin sister" in USA

Venus of Predmosti
© Unknown

Brno - The prehistoric Czech "Venus of Predmosti", north Moravia, an engraving of a woman on a mammoth tusk, which is one of the oldest artifacts in Europe, may exist in another version that is in a U.S. collection, Martina Galetova, from Brno's museum, has told CTK.

The engraving dating back to the Upper Palaeolithic Age was found over 100 years ago by archaeologist Martin Kriz.

It is housed in the Moravian Land Museum (MZM) in Brno.

The possible "twin sister" of the "Venus of Predmosti" is owned by U.S. art collector Duncan Caldwell.

Heart - Black

Put those bones back! Future of archaeology threatened by law

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© PA
Scientists search an area at Starr Carr, North Yorkshire, last year after locating Britain's earliest house. Leading archaeologists today protested a law that requires all human remains unearthed at ancient settlements to be reburied
A controversial law that requires all human remains unearthed at ancient settlements to be reburied within two years threatens the future of archaeology, it is claimed today.

Under legislation introduced in 2008, bones and skulls found at sites in England and Wales, such as Stonehenge, have to be put back where they were found after 24 months.

A group of leading archaeologists has written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to protest that this will vastly diminish their ability to research the history of humans in Britain.

Forty archaeology professors wrote to express their 'deep and widespread concern' in a letter published in today's Guardian newspaper.

'The current licence conditions are impeding scientific research, preventing new discoveries from entering museums, and are not in the public interest,' their letter states.

Info

Archaeologist in Australia Finds Ancient Sites Near Jeddah via Google Earth

Saudi Arabia
© Arab News, Saudi Arabia
A screenshot of Saudi Arabia as seen from Google Maps.

Jeddah: Nearly 2,000 archaeological sites have been discovered east of Jeddah by an Australian archaeologist. Bizarrely, professor David Kennedy, from the University of Western Australia, has never set foot in the Kingdom. He discovered the sites from the comfort of his office in Perth, Western Australia, using Google Earth on his computer.

Altogether, Kennedy has identified 1,977 possible sites by looking at satellite images of a 1,240-square km area east of Jeddah. The find has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. It includes what he thinks are 1,082 ancient stone tombs or "pendants," so called because they are shaped like tear drops.

The professor, who specializes in archaeology of the Roman Empire in the Middle East and aerial archaeology, has worked mainly in Jordan. By comparing the Jeddah structures with others he has seen there, he thinks they may be 9,000 years old.

But without visiting the area, that cannot be verified.

"Just from Google Earth it's impossible to know whether we have found a Bedouin structure that was made 150 years ago or 10,000 years ago," he is quoted as telling the London-based New Scientist magazine.

Info

Stone Age Fertility Ritual Object Found

Ancient Etchings
© Tomasz Plonka
A close-up of etchings found on a 11,000-year-old elk antler. Scientists believe the figure is a woman with spread legs.

A Stone Age-era artifact carved with multiple zigzags and what is likely a woman with spread legs suggests that fertility rituals may have been important to early Europeans, according to new research.

The object, which will be documented in the March issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, is made out of a large elk antler and has been radiocarbon dated to about 10,900 years ago.

"The ornament is composed of groups of zigzag lines and a human representation, probably a woman with spread legs with a short zigzag nearby," lead author Tomasz Płonka told Discovery News. "The woman may be nude, but the geometrical style of representation does not allow us to answer (this question)."

Płonka, a University of Wroclaw archaeologist, and his colleagues analyzed the object, unearthed by a farmer at Swidwin, Poland.

At first the scientists believed the geometrical figure carved onto the antler could have been either the mentioned woman, or a nude man raising his arms. Measurements to determine the ratio of the stick figure limbs, in addition to comparisons with other early human representations, lead the researchers to support the woman interpretation.

Zigzags are very popular motifs on artifacts from many cultures throughout the world, with many possible meanings, but Płonka said, "I think our zigzag lines are connected with water and life symbolism."