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Archaeology

Canada's Dene people: History, science, and the 'year of two winters'

© John Ives
Elder Bruce Starlight, a member of the Tsuut'ina Nation and co-organizer of the Dene Migration Symposium, with University of Alberta professor John Ives in Utah on an archeology project.
Uncovering the secrets of Dene migration Archaeology shows Northern Indigenous people travelled and traded widely

Raymond Yakeleya, a Dene filmmaker originally from Tulita, N.W.T., is struck by the rich history of his people.

He attended the second Dene Migration Symposium hosted by the Tsuut'ina Nation, a Dene community near Calgary, earlier this month. Part of the focus of the conference was on the people defined by the Dene family of languages and their movements across North America.

"It seems that all of the Dene were true nomads," Yakeleya said. "They were not scared to go around the next corner or go around the next mountain in search of their livelihood in North America."

2 + 2 = 4

How the NFL blitzes taxpayers

Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn't apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It's time to stop the public giveaways to America's richest sports league-and to the feudal lords who own its teams.


BLITZING TAXPAYERS: Even in states facing billion dollar budget shortfalls, the NFL has been able to get massive handouts in recent years.
Last year was a busy one for public giveaways to the National Football League. In Virginia, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who styles himself as a budget-slashing conservative crusader, took $4 million from taxpayers' pockets and handed the money to the Washington Redskins, for the team to upgrade a workout facility. Hoping to avoid scrutiny, McDonnell approved the gift while the state legislature was out of session. The Redskins' owner, Dan Snyder, has a net worth estimated by Forbes at $1 billion. But even billionaires like to receive expensive gifts.

Taxpayers in Hamilton County, Ohio, which includes Cincinnati, were hit with a bill for $26 million in debt service for the stadiums where the NFL's Bengals and Major League Baseball's Reds play, plus another $7 million to cover the direct operating costs for the Bengals' field. Pro-sports subsidies exceeded the $23.6 million that the county cut from health-and-human-services spending in the current two-year budget (and represent a sizable chunk of the $119 million cut from Hamilton County schools). Press materials distributed by the Bengals declare that the team gives back about $1 million annually to Ohio community groups. Sound generous? That's about 4 percent of the public subsidy the Bengals receive annually from Ohio taxpayers.

Comet 2

Death from the clouds - Toxic Comets

© Flickr/Kevin Dooley
Although molecular Nitrogen represents 78.09% of the air we breath this doesn't mean all substances containing Nitrogen are nice and nurturing.

In reality Nitrogen is a very curious substance that can also be very nasty.

The combination of Nitrogen and Carbon in the form of Cyanogen is very toxic.
Cyanogen is the chemical compound with the formula (CN)2.

It is a colorless, toxic gas with a pungent odor.
© Malaga Bay
Like other cyanides, cyanogen is very toxic, as it readily undergoes reduction to cyanide, which poisons the cytochrome c oxidase complex, thus interrupting the mitochondrial electron transfer chain.
...
Inhalation of 900 ppm over a period of 10 minutes is considered lethal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanogen
© Wikipedia
Comets are very toxic because they produce cyanogen.

Archaeology

Tomb of Mayan king Discovered in Guatemalan rainforest is over 1,000 years old

© Proyecto Arqueológico Waka' and the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Guatemala
A jade mask painted red with cinnabar was found in the tomb of the Maya ruler.
The royal tomb was found during excavations of the Palace Acropolis at the Maya city of El Peru-Waka in northern Guatemala. Credit: Damien Marken

Archaeologists digging under a Maya palace in Guatemala say they have opened the tomb of a royal and found a jade mask and bones, both painted bright red.

The tomb was unearthed at the site of El Perú-Waka' in the rainforest of northern Guatemala. Though the dense city was filled with hundreds of buildings, including pyramids, palaces, plazas and houses, it was only rediscovered in the 1960s, when petroleum workers stumbled upon the ruins.

The site was occupied during the Classic Maya period (from around A.D. 200 to 800), and it had close ties to the nearby Maya rival capitals Tikal and Calakmul. A wealthy royal family once ruled Waka' and controlled what was a major trade route along the San Pedro River.

A team of American and Guatemalan archaeologists have been excavating Waka' since 2003. They've found several burials of kings and queens (as well as some potential human sacrificial offerings).

In the latest finding from this past summer, the researchers tunneled beneath the city's palace acropolis and found what might be the oldest royal burial at the site. Based on the style of pottery found at the tomb, they think the burial dates to A.D. 300-350.

Info

Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq

© British Museum
Qalatga Darband is the triangular spit of land beyond the bridge on the right.
Archaeologists say they have found a lost city that was founded more than two millennia ago following the conquests of Alexander the Great in modern day Iraq.

The city is called Qalatga Darband, first discovered using now declassified spy satellite photographs taken by the US military in the 1960s, and made public in 1996. Follow-up studies have further revealed the origins of the city.

It was discovered by the Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Programme, set up to mitigate the damage caused by Islamic State. The team is being trained by the British Museum in London.

After making the discovery in the declassified photos, the team sent a drone over the site to confirm its existence. They were able to spot statues of Greco-Roman deities and terracotta roof tiles, while major buildings are thought to be buried at the site.

"The drone yielded excellent information," Dr John MacGinnis, the archaeologist leading the program, told The Times. "It's early days, but we think it would have been a bustling city on a road from Iraq to Iran. You can imagine people supplying wine to soldiers passing through."

Biohazard

Evidence unearthed of Nazi's secret nuclear base suggests they were close to developing an atomic bomb

© Wikipedia
The German experimental nuclear pile at Haigerloch
If Hitler had his way and the Nazis developed an atomic bomb before the allies, the world in which we live would be a very different place. A surprising new find by a German relic hunter suggests Hitler may have been closer to his goal than we thought.

Bernd Thälmann, 64, was out and about in Berlin last week with his metal detector when he stumbled upon a rather strange, non-magnetic lump of metal.

Naturally, Thälmann brought his unusual find home, but after a brief examination he became somewhat concerned and notified the authorities, the Berliner Kurier reported. A smart move, in retrospect: Thälmann's find was, in fact, a piece of radioactive material.

The area he was surveying, Oranienburg, was the location of a secret Nazi nuclear test facility which was annihilated when the allies dropped over 10,000 bombs on it.

Boat

German WWI U-boat found in Belgium waters with 23 bodies inside

© AP (file photo)
An intact German World War I submarine containing the bodies of 23 people has been found off the coast of Belgium, authorities said Tuesday.

Western Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwe told The Associated Press that the find on the floor of the North Sea "is very unique."

"It's quite amazing that we found something like this," Decaluwe said. "The impact damage was at the front, but the submarine remains closed and there are 23 people still onboard."

The UB II-type dive boat that was found is 27 meters (88 feet) long and 6 meters (almost 20 feet) wide, and is lying at about a 45 degree angle, between 25-30 meters (82-98 feet) below the surface.


Christmas Tree

How pure quartz was formed in the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

© Patrick Fuchs | Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Our February issue, which focused on Petrified Forest National Park, generated a lot of reader interest in this Northern Arizona gem. And a few readers wrote to ask about something we didn't mention in the magazine.

"If the age of the trees and, I assume, tree pieces are more than 200 million years old, why is it that many of the petrified tree sections appear to have been sawed cleanly apart?" asked Bob Klages of Oxford, Michigan. "A bit more of the scientific explanation of the actual process of petrification would also have been fascinating to read about."

To answer Mr. Klages' question, we turned to Bill Parker, the park paleontologist we featured in the issue. "The fossilization process itself is fairly complex," he says, but it goes something like this:

A tree dies, falls over and is buried in a river channel or floodplain, under layers of mud, sand and gravel. In the groundwater table, the tree becomes saturated like a sponge and expands. The water, sand and gravel cut off exposure to oxygen, so the tree doesn't rot. Volcanic ash in the water breaks down, and the silica that was in the ash goes into solution - forming silicic acid, which enters the waterlogged tree and interacts chemically with the wood, altering it to silica and replicating the features of the wood. Over time, you end up with a silica replica of the tree.

Comment: See also: A second 1,300 year-old ancient village discovered in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park


Chess

Korea is the US 'Open Door' to China

How many citizens have ever asked themselves what the United States is doing in Korea in the first place?

In November of 1945, two months after the surrender of Japan, Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall spoke to President Truman and the chief figures of his cabinet about his fears of a "the tragic consequences of a divided China" as Chinese Nationalist forces and Communists resumed their struggle for power and Soviet forces seized control of large areas of Manchuria. The resumption of Soviet power in Manchuria, Marshall emphasized, would result "in the defeat or loss of the major purpose of our war with Japan" (emphasis added).

What could the general have meant by such a statement? What WAS the "major purpose" of the Pacific war? Most Americans are taught that the foremost reason the United States went to war with Japan was the attack on Pearl Harbor. But the reality was that the U.S. and Japan had been on a collision course since the 1920s, and by 1940, in the midst of the global depression, were locked in a mortal struggle over who would ultimately benefit most from the markets and resources of Greater China and East Asia. Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was steadily closing the "Open Door" to American penetration of and access to the profitable riches of Asia at the critical moment. As Japan militarily took control of East Asia, the U.S. moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii in striking distance of Japan, imposed economic sanctions, embargoed steel and oil, and in August 1941 issued an overt ultimatum to quit China and Vietnam "or else." Seeing the latter as the threat it was, Japan undertook what to Tokyo was the pre-emptive strike at Hawaii. The real reason the U.S. opposed the Japanese in Asia is never discussed and is a forbidden subject in the establishment media, as are the real motives of American foreign policy writ large.

Comment: Actually, only a determined and truthfully-informed elite could make this happen, which is why it won't.

More likely, the US's foot will be hacked off and thrown into the Pacific Ocean - either by local powers, environmental factors, or a combination of both.


Magnify

How the CIA invented "conspiracy theories"

A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn't any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as "crazy conspiracy theorists." This seems a realistic portrayal of human nature to me.

Obviously, a large fraction of everything described by our government leaders or presented in the pages of our most respectable newspapers-from the 9/11 attacks to the most insignificant local case of petty urban corruption-could objectively be categorized as a "conspiracy theory" but such words are never applied. Instead, use of that highly loaded phrase is reserved for those theories, whether plausible or fanciful, that do not possess the endorsement stamp of establishmentarian approval.

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