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Chalkboard

Australian mathematician discovers applied geometry formulas engraved on 3,700-year-old tablet

geometry formulas babylonian tablet
© UNSW Sydney
Geometry engravings found on Old Babylonian tablet force re-evaluation of other tablets of the era, with Australian scientist saying it shows the ‘society has reached a particular level of mathematical sophistication’.
Old Babylonian tablet likely used for surveying uses Pythagorean triples at least 1,000 years before Pythagoras

An Australian mathematician has discovered what may be the oldest known example of applied geometry, on a 3,700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet.

Known as Si.427, the tablet bears a field plan measuring the boundaries of some land.

The tablet dates from the Old Babylonian period between 1900 and 1600 BCE and was discovered in the late 19th century in what is now Iraq. It had been housed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum before Dr Daniel Mansfield from the University of New South Wales tracked it down.

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Star of David

Revealed: In 1971, Israel secretly kept innocent Palestinians in remote detention centers

sinai camps israel palestinian
© Red Cross Archive
The Israeli government built secret detention centers for Palestinians in the years following the Six-Day War. (Pictured: the Red Cross visit the Abu Zenima camp in October, 1971.)
An investigative report reveals that hundreds of Gazans, including families of suspected Fatah agitators, and young men not suspected of anything were jailed in Israeli detention centers in 1971 for almost a year.

In 1971, under heavy secrecy, Israel built two detention centers in the Sinai Peninsula where innocent Palestinians were sent. One was used for the families of Fatah members who were suspected of terrorism, one was for unemployed young men.

Children, women and men were transported from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army and put in improvised buildings in the middle of the desert. They spent various stretches there - sometimes even months - in conditions the Red Cross called "unbearable." Less than a year later, both camps were closed and all the detainees were returned to Gaza. The minutes of the meetings on the subject were classified as secret for 50 years, some for even longer.

Archaeology

Neanderthals were painting caves in Europe long before modern humans, study finds

neanderthals art caves spain
© Pedro Cantalejo-Duarte
Red markings, which date back to more than 60,000 years ago, were made on a massive stalagmite 325 feet (100 meters) into Cueva de Ardales near Málaga, Spain.
Whether Neanderthals thought symbolically and had an artistic sensibility has been a question that has vexed experts in human evolution.

But evidence is mounting that our Stone Age cousins were our cognitive equals and created forms of art in Europe long before Homo sapiens were on the scene.

A new study of a rock feature stained red in a cave in southern Spain has concluded that the red pigment - made from ocher - was intentionally painted, most likely by Neanderthals, refuting earlier research that said the red marks were natural.

Cult

The ugly Truth of John Maynard Keynes and the Battle of Bretton Woods

John Maynard Keynes  bretton woods monatary system

Lord Keynes talking with the USSR and Yugoslavian representatives at Bretton Woods 1944
Seventy-five years of revisionist historians largely funded by the British Roundtable/Chatham House and its American branch (The Council on Foreign Relations) have obstructed the true anti-imperial nature of the founding intention of Bretton Woods and the post-war order centered on the United Nations.

Then, much as today, two opposing factions were vying to shape the essence of the world order as the Nazi machine (funded by Wall Street and London's Bank of International Settlements) was drawing to a close.

In case anyone was confused about these factions, I am not speaking of capitalism vs. communism.

Colosseum

Fruit baskets from 4th century BC found in mysterious ruins of Thonis-Heracleion

basket archeology
© Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti FoundationDalya Alberge
A fragment of a basket brought to the surface by the team.
Wicker baskets filled with fruit that have survived from the 4th century BC and hundreds of ancient ceramic artefacts and bronze treasures have been discovered in the submerged ruins of the near-legendary city of Thonis-Heracleion off the coast of Egypt.

They have lain untouched since the city disappeared beneath the waves in the second century BC, then sank further in the eight century AD, following cataclysmic natural disasters, including an earthquake and tidal waves.


Thonis-Heracleion - the city's Egyptian and Greek names - was for centuries Egypt's largest port on the Mediterranean before Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331BC.

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Blue Planet

Remains of high-status woman with twin fetuses found in 4000-year-old urn

Bronze Age
© Cavazzuti et al., 2021, PLOS One; CC BY 4.0
Researchers found the remains of a high-ranking woman (left) and her two twin fetuses (right) in a Bronze Age urn in central Hungary.
More than 20 years ago, researchers conducting excavations ahead of construction of a supermarket near Budapest, Hungary, discovered a Bronze Age cemetery filled with cremation urns. Though cremation typically preserves fewer details than standard burials, a new type of chemical analysis has enabled archaeologists to pinpoint an odd urn out: grave number 241. The urn contains the remains of not one, but three individuals: a pair of twin fetuses and their high-born mother, as reported this week in the journal PLOS One.

In use between roughly 2200 and 1450 B.C.E., the Szigetszentmiklós-Ürgehegy cemetery is linked to the enigmatic Vatya culture, which thrived on agriculture, farming and trade. (Bronze, gold and amber grave goods found at the site can be traced to trading partners across Europe.) So far, researchers have excavated 525 burials. But as Laura Geggel reports for Live Science, several thousand have yet to be investigated, making the graveyard one of the largest Bronze Age cemeteries known in Hungary.

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USA

History tells us the United States' supposed 'concern for democracy' in Nicaragua is nothing of the sort

President Ortega
© Nicaraguan Presidency/AFP.jpg
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, Carlos Fonseca Teran (R)
A century and a half has shown us that American meddling in Nicaragua is never about improving the lot of the people of that nation, and only ever about furthering Washington's imperialist agenda.

The US government is back at it. It is again expressing concern about the state of democracy in Nicaragua, and conjuring up a new round of punitive sanctions against that tiny country to allegedly prevent dictatorship from taking hold there.

The newest sanctions bill against the country is titled "Reinforcing Nicaragua's Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform (RENACER) Act." As the Senate version explains,
"This bill requires the Executive branch to align US diplomacy and existing targeted sanctions to advance democratic elections in Nicaragua, and includes new initiatives to address corruption, human rights abuses, and the curtailment of press freedom."
Sadly, many US non-governmental organizations and 'intellectuals' who should know better have sided with the government in its attack on Nicaragua.

NPC

'Follow the Science': Doctors joined the Nazis in droves

Mengele
© Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Dr. Josef Mengele (center) at Auschwitz by Bernhard Walther or Ernst Hofmann or Karl-Friedrich Höcker.
I'm still reeling at the stupidity of whoever at Scientific American decided to give a green light to publishing an article, "Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy," by Allison Hopper. The absurdity of tarring critics of Darwinism with racism boggles the mind — given how Darwin's own legacy, down to today's Alt-Right, is so tied up with racial pseudo-science, viciously denigrating Africans, African-Americans, and others. See, "On Evolution and Racism, Scientific American Goes to War Against the Truth."

As a reminder of that historical reality, Evolution News has been republishing some of our past ample coverage on the theme. However, this had escaped me when it was first published: an essay at Tablet by Ohio State bioethicist Ashley K. Fernandes asking, "Why Did So Many Doctors Become Nazis?" Perhaps more so today than ever, there is a tendency to sanctify the medical profession, with the white coat serving as an icon of wisdom, compassion, and morality. But history offers a warning.

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Pyramid

Slavery has occurred all over the world and at almost all times - Not just in America

few slaves to US
How many times have you heard that slavery was "America's original sin"? I'm not quite sure what that means, but I think the idea is that slavery was a uniquely horrible thing that defines the United States and will stain whites forever. It's one of the few things Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama agree on. There are books about it. Here's a college course at UC Davis called "Slavery: America's Original Sin: Part 1."

The fact is, there has been slavery in every period of history, and just about everywhere. The Greeks and Romans had it, the ancient Egyptians had it, it's all over the Bible, the Chinese and the pre-Columbian Indians had it, the Maoris in New Zealand had it, and the Muslims had it in spades. But I have never, ever heard of slavery being anyone else's "original sin."

America's original sin
About the only societies that never had slaves were primitive hunter-gatherers. As soon as people have some kind of formal social organization, they start taking slaves.

You've heard about slavery and mass human sacrifices of Central and South American Indians, but North American Indians were enslaving each other long before the white man showed up.

Tlingit and Haida Indians, who lived in the Pacific Northwest, went raiding for slaves as far South as California. About one quarter of the population were slaves, and the children of slaves were slaves. During potlatches, or huge ceremonial feasts, the Tlingit would sometimes burn property and kill slaves, just to show how rich they were. What's a couple of slaves to a guy who lives in a house like this?

one quarter of the population were slaves

Easter Egg

Canterbury Cathedral stained glass is among world's oldest

Canterbury Cathedral
© The Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral/BBC
The prophet Nathan appeared stylistically different to many of the others in the Ancestors series
New research indicates that some stained glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral may be among the oldest in the world.

The panels, depicting the Ancestors of Christ, have been re-dated using a new, non-destructive technique.

The analysis indicates that some of them may date back to the mid-1100s.

The windows would therefore have been in place when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, was killed at the cathedral in 1170.

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