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Slowing of Earth's Spin Revealed in Ancient Astronomers' Tablets

The time it takes our planet to do a full rotation has increased every century due to friction caused by tides.
The work of ancient astronomers reveals that the Earth's spin is slowing down — though not as much as scientists believed.

Each century, the length of the solar day, or the time it takes the planet to do a full rotation, grows by 1.8 milliseconds, according to a new study using astronomical observations going back to 750 B.C. Researchers have known that the planet's rotation is slowing because of friction caused by the tides, as water that's being tugged on by the moon's gravity sloshes against the solid Earth. However, measurements of this tidal effect suggest that the planet should be slowing in its rotation by 2.3 milliseconds per century, slightly more than the new research finds.

The difference between 2.3 milliseconds and 1.8 milliseconds over a century may seem trivial, said study researcher Leslie Morrison, who worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory for nearly 40 years. But those fractions of milliseconds are important for understanding the ways that the Earth has changed shape since the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago, Morrison told Live Science.

Comment: Related articles:


Imperial-era Roman skeletons show signs of malaria in their DNA

© Luca Bondioli / Pigorini Museum
Skeletal remains of an individual from Velia, Italy are shown.
In today's issue of Current Biology, an international group of researchers has published some of the first direct DNA evidence of malaria in Imperial Italy. While the study did not find DNA of Plasmodium falciparum in skeletal remains near Rome, the discovery points to a way forward in our understanding of disease and death in the Roman Empire.

The team, led by Stephanie Marciniak of McMaster University, investigated 58 skeletons in total from Isola Sacra (the cemetery associated with Portus Romae, about 25 km from Rome on the coast), Velia (a site in southwestern Italy), and Vagnari (in southeastern Italy). All date to the 1st-4th centuries, or the Imperial period. They found evidence of P. falciparum, the organism that causes malaria, in two individuals -- one from Velia and one from Vagnari.

There are two interesting outcomes from this project -- first, that the researchers have found evidence of malaria that tracks the assumed geographical spread. That is, given the evidence of malaria further south in earlier time periods, Marciniak and colleagues show a northward spread of the disease through DNA evidence. And second, that the researchers found no evidence of malaria in the sample from Portus Romae.

Heart - Black

47 years ago - the assassination of Black Panther Fred Hampton

© Paul Sequeira
Photograph of the funeral of Fred Hampton, which was attended by over 5,000 people mourning his killing by members of the Chicago Police Department.
On this very day, as the Army Corps of Engineers and police forces from Morton County North Dakota and nine surrounding states gather their collective forces and fearsome weaponry in an effort to evict the proud and peaceful Indigenous Water Protectors from their sacred land at Standing Rock, and thousands of veterans gather to protect them from concussion grenades, water hoses, rubber bullets and God knows what else, it is profoundly appropriate to reflect on the courage and leadership of Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and revisit the sordid history of his assassination at the hand of a conspiracy between local law enforcement and the FBI 47 years ago.

On December 4, 1969, 47 years ago today, a select unit of Chicago police officers executed a predawn raid that left Illinois Black Panther Party (BPP) leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark dead and several other young Panthers wounded. The seven survivors of the raid were arrested on fraudulent attempted murder charges. The officers who committed the execution were specially assigned to Cook County State's Attorney Edward Hanrahan. The claims of a "shootout" that were made by Hanrahan and his men were soon exposed as bald-faced lies: the physical evidence definitively established that the raiders fired nearly 100 shots at the sleeping Panthers, while only one shot could be linked to a Panther weapon.

However, as was painstakingly proved over the next eight years, the false official claim of a violent confrontation was only one layer of a massive conspiracy that was also designed to cover up the central role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its COINTELPRO program in the murderous raid.

Comment: The Black Panther Party: The battle against poverty, racism, imperialism & police brutality
Fred Hampton was another dynamic Black Panther leader who was assassinated, another tragic loss of someone with the potential to inspire millions. Growing up, Hampton was both a star athlete and a star student. While still in high school he joined the Civil Rights movement, joining the NAACP and leading a strike at his high school. He was a charismatic speaker and was recruited into the new Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, quickly becoming its leader. He was a charismatic public speaker who could electrify a crowd. He also had a major talent for unifying people, trusted by both the old and the young, men and women, the poor and the middles class and people of every race. He tried to merge the Panthers with the P-Stone Rangers, a gang that had grown a conscience and begun social programs to aid the local community. Unfortunately this effort was sabotaged by COINTELPRO, which attempted to get the Rangers to turn on the Panthers by spreading rumors the Panthers were planning to assassinate the Rangers' leader Jeff Fort. Luckily Fort and Hampton figured out what was happening before a war erupted. Hampton was fearless during the negotiations, standing his ground despite the overwhelming firepower the Rangers had managed to amass and which was on as full display as Fort's dramatic way of explaining why the Rangers refused to be absorbed into the smaller Chicago Black Panther Party.

More successful were Hampton's efforts to bridge the racial divide in Chicago, in some ways even fiercer than that of the deep South, as Martin Luther King had discovered when he tried to hold a march in the nearby town of Cicero, Illinois, and was greeted by a violent mob worse then any in the South. Hampton created the Rainbow Coalition, which brought together poor Whites, Latinos, and Blacks in a demand for social change. With his ability to unite and inspire people, Hampton was a threat and he was brutally assassinated along with Mark Clark in a police raid instigated by the FBI. He was assassinated the night of December 4, 1969. The cowardly police even had an informant drug Hampton so that he lay helplessly asleep next to his 8-months pregnant girlfriend as they opened fire on the room where he slept, the informant William O'Neal having provided a complete floor plan. Hampton might have survived, but the police then shot him at point blank range to finish him off. The police then lied and claimed there had been a shootout, but the Panthers managed to expose this lie. All the bullets had come from the police. They led tours of the murder site and soon the transparent coverup had been completely exposed. Hampton was only 19 when they killed him - there was no telling what he could have accomplished. Tragically this is exactly why he was murdered. Today his son Fred Hampton, Jr., is trying to carry on the tradition of his father.


U.S. government has used propaganda against the American people for a very long time

CIA Admits Using News To Manipulate the USA (1975)
The Government's Been Deploying Propaganda On U.S. Soil for Many Years

The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press:

Wikipedia adds details:
After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.
In 2008, the New York Times wrote:
During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of "soft power" in American history.

Comment: See also: Modern Operation Mockingbird: "Everyone Who Disagrees with Me Is a Russian Propagandist"


Scientists find signs of intelligent tool use 300,000 year old Qesem Cave

© Zupancich, A. et al. / Scientific Reports
Sixteen years ago, road workers detonated a controlled explosive to remove a large limestone boulder blocking a planned roadway outside of Tel Aviv in Israel. Soon after the dust settled, it became clear that the road would need to be rerouted.

The workers had stumbled upon a vast cave, one that had been sealed off for more than 200,000 years! For the researchers who soon began exploring the cave's expansive interior, it was the find of a lifetime.

Now called Qesem Cave, the site has delivered a number of discoveries that live up to its explosive origin. Archaeologists found a 300,000-year-old fireplace, along with tortoise shells that showed signs of burning. Apparently, whoever live there had a taste for roast tortoise.


First written mention of the mythical Jesus found in ancient codices

The Jordanian tablets were confirmed to date 2,000 years back.
The metal "pages", held together like a ring binder, were found in Jordan in around 2008 and make reference to Christ and his disciples.

The lead has been analysed and the words and symbols translated and experts say the tablets date from within a few years of Jesus's ministry.

And what they reveal could be enlightening not only for Christians, but also Jews and Muslims.

The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting His own religion, but restoring a thousand year old tradition from the time of King David.

And the God He worshipped was both male and female.

Central to the books is the idea that Christ promoted worship in Solomon's Temple where the very face of God was believed to be seen - and this is where the episode with the moneylenders in the Bible came from.

Comment: For more on the Jesus story:

Ice Cube

Cold kills: A look at the coldest decade of the millennium

Whitby Abbey in the snow – the shell of the 13th-century church.
From the EUROPEAN GEOSCIENCES UNION and the "cold kills, so why all the whining about warming?" department.

How the cold 1430s led to famine and disease

While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, Chantal Camenisch noticed something odd. "I realized that there was something extraordinary going on regarding the climate during the 1430s," says the historian from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Compared with other decades of the last millennium, many of the 1430s' winters and some springs were extremely cold in the Low Countries, as well as in other parts of Europe. In the winter of 1432-33, people in Scotland had to use fire to melt wine in bottles before drinking it. In central Europe, many rivers and lakes froze over. In the usually mild regions of southern France, northern and central Italy, some winters lasted until April, often with late frosts. This affected food production and food prices in many parts of Europe. "For the people, it meant that they were suffering from hunger, they were sick and many of them died," says Camenisch.

Георгиевская ленточка

25 years ago the USSR collapsed: The biggest regime change in history

© Diane Lu-Hovasse/Agence France Presse
Boris Yeltsin gathers supporters of a coup in Moscow which later resulted in the collapse of the Soviet empire.
While many link the collapse of the Soviet Union to a failed economic system, few realize that there is much more to the story than meets the eye.

The collapse of the USSR took many people by surprise. More than anything, it was amazing that the disintegration of this military superpower happened without bloodshed.

In 1995, George F. Kennan wrote:
"I find it hard to think of any event more strange and startling, and at first glance more inexplicable, than the sudden and total disintegration and disappearance from the international scene of the great power known successively as the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union."
The most common explanation for the collapse of the Soviet Union in the West is the malaise of the communist system with its unsustainable reliance on five year economic plans and big military spending.

What is less scrutinized, however, is the degree of Western involvement in what can easily be called the greatest regime change in history. As with all regime changes, it appealed to the basic instincts of those who yearned for more power, in the case of the Soviet Union - the leaders of the Soviet republics. If you add to this the support for nationalism offered by Western NGOs from the mid-1980s, you get just the right explosive mixture.

Comment: If all had gone according to plan, Russia would now be a de facto colony, to be exploited as a source of raw materials for the rapacious West, and expected to be grateful for the blessings of 'democracy'. Fortunately Putin and those of like mind felt the people of Russia didn't deserve a fate modern serfdom. Russia is an old, proud nation now re-taking its place in the world.


Egyptian Archaeologists Just Discovered a 7,000-Year-Old Lost City Along the Nile

© Facebook/Ministry of Antiquities
The size of the grave reveals it belongs to someone of social affluence.
While we were stuffing our faces with mashed potatoes this past Thursday, we missed the announcement of a major scientific discovery—a sacred capital city of ancient Egypt that had been lost for 7,000 years.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced it excavated parts of Abydos, a "lost city" they believe dates back to 5,316 BCE and could have been part of the first capital of one of the earliest Egyptian empires. So far at the dig site, the team has uncovered fragments and remnants of houses, tools, utensils and at least 15 elaborate tombs belonging to royals.

On Wednesday, the Ministry's head Mahmoud Afify made the announcement and stressed the importance of the discovery, saying it could lead to new information on Abydos and on ancient Egyptian history in general. On Thursday, the Ministry took to Facebook to share photos of the excavated site.

Book 2

Orders to Kill: The government that honors Martin Luther King with a national holiday killed him

A Review of The Plot to Kill King by William Pepper

Very few Americans are aware of the truth behind the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Few books have been written about it, unlike other significant assassinations, especially JFK's. For almost fifty years there has been a media blackout supported by government deception to hide the truth.

And few people, in a massive act of self-deception, have chosen to question the absurd official explanation, choosing, rather, to embrace a mythic fabrication intended to sugarcoat the bitter fruit that has resulted from the murder of the one man capable of leading a mass movement for revolutionary change in the United States. Today we are eating the fruit of our denial.

In order to comprehend the significance of this extraordinary book, it is first necessary to dispel a widely accepted falsehood about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. William Pepper does that on the first page.
To understand his death, it is essential to realize that although he is popularly depicted and perceived as a civil rights leader, he was much more than that. A non-violent revolutionary, he personified the most powerful force for the long-overdue social, political, and economic reconstruction of the nation.