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The first computer programmer was a woman - Ada Lovelace


Ada Lovelace
In a time when mathematics was "a man's work," Ada Lovelace was trained in aristocratic graces but pursued her passion for what later became computer science.

Many girls growing up in the aristocracy of Victorian-era London fantasized about dancing in elaborate ballrooms and marrying a favorable match. Ada Lovelace dreamed of building a flying machine.

She scoured periodicals for designs of new inventions, considering how a steam engine might power such a device, and studied the anatomy of birds to determine the proper proportion of wing length to body size to enable flight. Her design preceded Henson and Stringfellow's patent for the aerial steam carriage by some 15 years.

She was only 12 at the time, but it was already clear that Lovelace would not stick to convention, eschewing science and mathematics, as women of her time were expected to do.

The daughter of philandering poet Lord George Gordon Byron and aristocratic Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron, Lovelace did not follow in her father's footsteps, as her mother feared she might. Instead, she found a language of her own and wrote the world's first computer program, long before the advent of the first computer.

"Lovelace is a fascinating figure, not least because she made a huge leap when she foresaw the potential of a general purpose computing machine to create music or art," said Suw Charman-Anderson, social technologist and founder of the annual international Ada Lovelace Day.

"She was so far ahead of her time that it seems none of her peers understood her vision."

Footprints

Texas, USA: 16,700-year-old tools found, changes known history of N. America

© www.ancient-origins.net
Archaeologists in Texas have found a set of 16,700-year-old tools which are among the oldest discovered in the West. Until now, it was believed that the culture that represented the continent's first inhabitants was the Clovis culture. However, the discovery of the ancient tools now challenges that theory, providing evidence that human occupation precedes the arrival of the Clovis people by thousands of years.

According to the Western Digs , archeologists discovered the tools about half an hour north of Austin in Texas, at the site called Gault. They were located a meter deep in water-logged silty clay. The site contained more than 90 stone tools and some human remains including fragments of teeth.

The discovery changes everything people have been taught about the history of North America - that is, that the Clovis culture represented the first inhabitants of the continent. The results of the research were presented at the meeting of the Plains Anthropological Conference in 2015. According to Dr. D. Clark Wernecke, director of the Gault School of Archaeological Research:
"The most important takeaway is that people were in the New World much earlier than we used to believe. We were all taught [North America was first populated] 13,500 years ago, and it appears that people arrived 15,000 to 20,000 years ago."
© www.ancient-origins.net
The pre-Clovis artifacts include more than 90 stone tools, such as bifaces and blades, and more than 160,000 flakes left over from the point-making process.
For more on this topic go here.

Info

40,000-year-old rope-making tool discovered in Germany

© University of Tübingen
A 40,000-year-old rope-making tool in Hohle Fels Cave, southwestern Germany
Prof. Nicholas Conard and members of his team, present the discovery of a tool used to make rope in today's edition of the journal: Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg.

Rope and twine are critical components in the technology of mobile hunters and gatherers. In exceptional cases impressions of string have been found in fired clay and on rare occasions string was depicted in the contexts of Ice Age art, but on the whole almost nothing is known about string, rope and textiles form the Paleolithic.

A key discovery by Conard's team in Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany and experimental research and testing by Dr. Veerle Rots and her team form the University of Liège is rewriting the history of rope.

The find is a carefully carved and beautifully preserved piece of mammoth ivory 20.4 cm in length with four holes between 7 and 9 mm in diameter. Each of the holes is lined with deep, and precisely cut spiral incisions. The new find demonstrates that these elaborate carvings are technological features of rope-making equipment rather than just decoration.

Question

Fireball of 1910 remains a mystery in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Was it an astral body or a weather anomaly that a Kenosha neighborhood witnessed on a summer's morning more than 100 years ago?

The incident was recorded on the front page of the Kenosha Evening News of Aug. 25, 1910.

Witnesses said a great ball of fire came through the sky in the area of Grand Avenue (52nd Street) and Ashland Avenue (Sheridan Road) just before 8 a.m.

The sky was dark, and it was raining hard, with thunder and lightning. But the people who saw the phenomenon felt sure it was not a creature of their imaginations.

The news article reported: "The people in the neighborhood of Congress and York Streets (today's Tenth Avenue and 54th Street) were just sitting down to their breakfast when they saw a great light.

"So intense was the light that, notwithstanding the storm, it lit up their homes like bright sunlight, and they rushed to the windows just in time to see the ball of fire coming through the heavens in a southwesterly direction.

"It was only a few feet from the tops of the houses when it was seen by most of the witnesses
, and the women were so frightened that they fled from the windows."

Telescope

Oldest known European calendar was based on the constellation Orion


Orion's Belt and Vucedol Pot
In the late 1970s during the construction of an atomic bomb shelter, a shattered pot was found amongst the rubble. Archeologists were baffled by the strange patterns on the vessel, which dates back to 2600 BC until Dr. Aleksandar Durman finally cracked the code: it was a calendar. Yet, unlike the contemporary Egyptian or Sumerian calendars, this European timetable was based not on the sun or the moon but rather on the stars. Central to the charting of the seasons was the constellation named after the noble Greek hunter, Orion.

The pot was unearthed on March 21, 1978, during construction of what is now the Hotel Slavonija in Vinkovci, Croatia. Archeologists quickly recognized it as an artifact of the ancient Vučedol culture, which flourished on the western banks of the Danube River between 3000 and 2200 BC. However, though researchers knew it to be of the Vučedol people, the pattern was not decoded for several decades.

Sherlock

DNA from 2,000-year-old elongated Paracas skulls changes known history

© public domain
Elongated skulls on display at Museo Regional de Ica in the city of Ica in Peru
The elongated skulls of Paracas in Peru caused a stir in 2014 when a geneticist that carried out preliminary DNA testing reported that they have mitochondrial DNA "with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far". Now a second round of DNA testing has been completed and the results are just as controversial - the skulls tested, which date back as far as 2,000 years, were shown to have European and Middle Eastern Origin. These surprising results change the known history about how the Americas were populated.

Paracas is a desert peninsula located within Pisco Province on the south coast of Peru. It is here where Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, made an amazing discovery in 1928 - a massive and elaborate graveyard containing tombs filled with the remains of individuals with the largest elongated skulls found anywhere in the world. These have come to be known as the 'Paracas skulls'. In total, Tello found more than 300 of these elongated skulls, some of which date back around 3,000 years.

Easter Egg

The origins of the cannabis trade: Eurasian Steppe nomads were world's first 'pot dealers'

The nomad tribe known as the Yamnaya, who were among the founders of the European civilization, may have been the first pot dealers, archaeologists say. Moreover, they were responsible for the first transcontinental trade of cannabis.

The tribe of nomads came from the eastern Steppe region, which is nowadays Russia and Ukraine, and entered Europe about 5,000 years ago, bringing with them herding skills, metallurgy and even the Indo-European languages. According to a recent analysis, they were also responsible for introducing marijuana and establishing the first transcontinental trade of the herb.

According to Seeker.com, the research carried out by specialists from the German Archaeological Institute and the Free University of Berlin, involved a systematic review of archaeological and paleo-environmental records of cannabis fibres, pollen and achene across Europe and East Asia. During the study, they concluded that the herb was not first used and domesticated somewhere in China or Central Asia. Rather, it was used in Europe and East Asia at the same time - between 11,500 and 10,200 years ago. As Tengwen Long and Mayke Wagner at the German Archaeological Institute, and Pavel Tarasov at the Free University of Berlin, and colleagues wrote in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany :
"Cannabis seems to have grown as a component of natural vegetation across Eurasia from the early Holocene''.

Eye 2

"Christian" Europeans: The most brutal and genocidal people of all time?

"It is true that the "new Europe" has largely kept itself in check over the past few decades choosing peace and prosperity over war. But is that about to change? Is "Western Christian" Europe backsliding and reverting to her old ways?"

The author is Professor of Humanities - Moscow University Touro.

Let us begin with the spiritual words uttered by the 16th century German preacher and theologian Thomas Muentzer:
"Curse the unbelievers ... don't let them live any longer, the evil-doers who turn away from God. The sword is necessary to exterminate them ... if they resist let them be slaughtered without mercy ... don't be moved by pity ... At them! At them! While the fire is hot! Don't let your sword get cold! "
Sound familiar?

Many will complain that the comparison is unfair, but history teaches us to be very wary of Europeans. Here's why...

Footprints

Unknown hominin species found in Australasian family tree

© Penny Tweedie/Panos Pictures
Go west? Or go east?
Who's your daddy? An unknown hominin species that bred with early human ancestors when they migrated from Africa to Australasia has been identified through genome mapping of living humans.

The genome analysis also questions previous findings that modern humans populated Asia in two waves from their origin in Africa, finding instead a common origin for all populations in the Asia-Pacific region, dating back to a single out-of-Africa migration event.

Modern humans first left Africa about 60,000 years ago, with some heading west towards Europe, and others flowing east into the Asia-Pacific region.

Previous research looking at the genomes of people living today has revealed that the Asia-Pacific arrivals mated with two hominin species they found there - the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

Mysterious ancestor

But when Jaume Bertranpetit at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and his colleagues analysed the genomes of living Indigenous Australians, Papuans, people from the Andaman Islands near India, and from mainland India, they found sections of DNA that did not match any previously identified hominin species.

These DNA sequences are not present in the genomes of living Europeans or east Asians, suggesting that the ancestors of these people met and bred with a mystery hominin in south Asia or the Pacific region, who left their genetic legacy in the area's present-day populations.


The unidentified hominin may be Homo erectus or "upright man", says Bertranpetit. H. erectus is believed to be the first hominin with a similar stature to today's humans, and the first to leave Africa.

Pyramid

Canal found under Maya pyramid

© Thinkstock
Mexican archeologists have discovered a canal system under the pyramid containing the tomb of a Mayan ruler, suggesting the water tunnel could represent a symbolic path to the underworld.

The hydraulic system was found under the Temple of the Inscriptions, which houses the seventh-century tomb of Pakal "The Great" in Palenque, the ancient Maya city in southern Chiapas state, the National Anthropology and History Institute announced Monday.

"The presence of these canals is very important and very significant," said Arnoldo Gonzalez, the directory of archeology in Palenque.

An inscription in the tomb says that to be accepted in the underworld, the dead must be submerged in the water of a god called Chaac.

The underground network of canals has different levels and goes in different directions, and it was built "well before" the pyramid, according to the national anthropology institute.