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Thu, 23 Feb 2017
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Ice Cube

What New England's '1816 Mackerel Year' can tell us about climate change

Hundreds of articles have been written regarding the biggest volcanic eruption which took place in Indonesia. This was in Mt. Tambora and took place over 200 years ago on the historic timeline.

One of the effects of this natural explosion on the surrounding climate and ecosystem is extant even now and needs to be brought into the awareness of the public. A few distinguished environmentalists and scientists managed to offer a study on the matter which got published in a journal recently.

© NOAA Library, Silver Spring, Md.
Penobscot Bay fishermen cleaning mackerel near their saltwater farm. The shore mackerel fishery documented in Alexander and colleagues' paper lasted for over 100 years.
The eruption of Mt. Tambora led to the fish and fisheries in the surrounding waters to undergo a high degree of disturbance. The study which took place regarding this was almost a forensic one. The eruption had effects on New England, Europe, China and many other places for almost a year and a half. Proof of this devastation and destruction was searched for on home ground. Such data as was forthcoming from fish exports, weather reports, dam development and town planning was collated and tabulated in complex patterns to get to the bottom of the anomaly that had taken place due to a natural process.

Comment: To read a treatise about the importance of seeing reality over illusion, seeking the truth over lies, then this book is a must read: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Review: "Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection"


Sherlock

Ancient Cypriot Goddess sculpture discovered off Turkish coast

Hürriyet Daily News reports that a 2,700-year-old terracotta statue has been discovered at a shipwreck site under more than 140 feet of water off the coast of southwestern Turkey. The statue, discovered by a team of archaeologists from Dokuz Eylul University, is of the lower half of a woman's body, and is thought to represent a Cypriot goddess.
© Dokuz Eylul University, Marine Science and Technology Institute
The statue and other cargo items, including ceramic plates and amphoras, had been covered with sand. "When we cleaned its surroundings, we saw the toes of the sculpture," said team leader Harun Özdaş. "Then we uncovered the lower part of the body. The goddess sculpture had a dress on it. We know that such sculptures were made of two pieces.

This is why we believe that the upper part of the sculpture is in the same place." The team will return to the site, with the permission of Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry and the support of the Development Ministry, to look for the rest of the goddess later this year.

Document

Fake news purveyor: How the NYT plays with history


By failing to tell the hard truth about Establishment wrongdoing,
The New York Times — along with other mainstream U.S. media outlets — has destabilized American democracy, reports Robert Parry.

Whenever The New York Times or some other mainstream news outlet holds itself out as a paragon of professional journalism - by wagging a finger at some pro-Trump "fake news" or some Internet "conspiracy theory" - I cringe at the self-delusion and hypocrisy.

No one hates fake news and fact-free conspiracy theories more than I do, but the sad truth is that the mainstream press has opened the door to such fantasies by losing the confidence of the American people and becoming little more than the mouthpiece for the Establishment, which spins its own self-serving narratives and tells its own lies.

Rather than acting as a watchdog against these deceptions, the Times and its mainstream fellow-travelers have transformed themselves into little more than the Establishment's apologists and propagandists.

If Iraq is the "enemy," we are told wild tales about how Iraq's non-existent WMD is a danger to us all. If Syria is in Washington's crosshairs, we are given a one-sided account of what's happening there, black hats for the "regime" and white hats for the "rebels"?

If the State Department is backing a coup in Ukraine to oust an elected leader, we are regaled with tales of his corruption and how overthrowing a democratically chosen leader is somehow "democracy promotion." Currently, we are getting uncritical stenography on every conceivable charge that the U.S. government lodges against Russia.

Yet, while this crisis in American journalism has grown more severe in recent years, the pattern is not entirely new. It is reflected in how the mainstream media has missed many of the most significant news stories of modern history and has, more often than not, been an obstacle to getting at the truth.

Boat

Scientists' dilemma whether 'Furku.Al' rock inscription is genuinely of Viking origin

© Internet-us.com
Boulder appears to say "Furku.Al"
When a resident on the Isle of Eigg decided to clean his drains, he had no idea that he would stumble upon a mystery that would baffle archaeologists around the world. The islander's discovery of a boulder with the letters "Furku.Al" scratched into its surface has sparked a lively debate among experts as to whether it is a genuine runic inscription.

The resident alerted Camille Dressler, chair of the Eigg History Society, about his potentially significant find, and she sent a photograph to Historic Environment Scotland (HES). "It looks quite ancient. We are intrigued by it," Ms Dressler told The Daily Telegraph. "We just hope it is a genuine Norse inscription as that would highlight the Norse heritage of the island." The island, which off the coast of Scotland and is home to around 100 residents, was invaded by the Vikings around 1,300 years ago.

John Borland, a survey manager and member of the HES Heritage directorate, wrote to Ms Dressler, explaining that he consulted several experts in runic inscriptions about the find. "My reading of the inscription was furkusal. Whilst this might be a recognisable Norse name, I thought it more likely that it was a humorous (attempted, anyway) play on words," he said.
© Stephen Finn/Alamy
Residence of the find, Isle of Eigg

Archaeology

Hoards of the Vikings - Evidence of trade, diplomacy, and vast wealth on an unassuming island in the Baltic Sea

The accepted image of the Vikings as fearsome marauders who struck terror in the hearts of their innocent victims has endured for more than 1,000 years. Historians' accounts of the first major Viking attack, in 793, on a monastery on Lindisfarne off the northeast coast of England, have informed the Viking story. "The church of St. Cuthbert is spattered with the blood of the priests of God," wrote the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin of York, "stripped of all its furnishings, exposed to the plundering of pagans....Who is not afraid at this?" The Vikings are known to have gone on to launch a series of daring raids elsewhere in England, Ireland, and Scotland. They made inroads into France, Spain, and Portugal. They colonized Iceland and Greenland, and even crossed the Atlantic, establishing a settlement in the northern reaches of Newfoundland.
© Gabriel Hildebrand/The Royal Coin Cabinet, Sweden

This array of silver coins, bracelets, and other forms of Viking wealth typifies the hoards found deposited at numerous sites across the island of Gotland.
But these were primarily the exploits of Vikings from Norway and Denmark. Less well known are the Vikings of Sweden. Now, the archaeological site of Fröjel on Gotland, a large island in the Baltic Sea around 50 miles east of the Swedish mainland, is helping advance a more nuanced understanding of their activities. While they, too, embarked on ambitious journeys, they came into contact with a very different set of cultures—largely those of Eastern Europe and the Arab world. In addition, these Vikings combined a knack for trading, business, and diplomacy with a willingness to use their own brand of violence to amass great wealth and protect their autonomy.

People

CIA declassifies records of Project Star Gate experiments involving supernatural abilities

The CIA has published online nearly 13 million pages of declassified records, including papers on the US role in overthrowing foreign governments, but some of the most mind blowing information is in reference to the secret 'Star Gate' telepathy project.

The details of CIA's "Project Star Gate" are riveting, and expose uncharted waters to be researched as far as there is virtually no mainstream science or pop culture awareness of the phenomena exposed in the project - and is often ridiculed as the stuff of science fiction.

The revelations come as part of a massive almost 13 million file dump of declassified reports - that are now available on the internet for the first time.

Project Star Gate, was the code name for a CIA project that attempted to harness what until now has been thought of as "supernatural" or psychic abilities for military and intelligence use - noting in some of the documents that the method was "passive," "inexpensive," and that there was "no known defense."

The papers show how the CIA was attempting to harness these abilities in individuals to spy on people and alter important objects, amongst other abilities.

Comment: See also:


Palette

Art & Its Institutions: Notes on the Culture War

On the M.I.T. symposium The Public Patron: Drafting a Mandate for a Federal Arts Agency & related matters.


But the new barbarian is no uncouth
Desert-dweller; he does not emerge
From fir forests; factories bred him;
Corporate companies, college towns
Mothered his mind, and many journals
Backed his beliefs.

—W. H. Auden, in The Age of Anxiety

The life of art in this country has clearly entered upon an entirely new phase of its history in this last decade of the twentieth century. For a large part of this terrible century, the gravest assaults on art and its institutions have been mounted by totalitarian regimes in the course of their efforts to impose an absolute and remorseless control over every aspect of life and thought. Now, for the first time in the history of modern democracy, we are witnessing a similar assault on the art and culture of a free society from within the ranks of its own intelligentsia and its official cultural bureaucracy. The effects of this incipiently totalitarian incursion into the life of art are proving to be all the more insidious, moreover, for being made in the name of democracy itself.

It is not only that the politicization of art and its institutions is rapidly accelerating. As a direct consequence of this politicization, every aspect of the life of art has also been increasingly bureaucratized. In more and more of the art world's activities, the center of intellectual gravity has already shifted from decisions made by artists in their studios to decisions made by committees of non-artists that take a purely instrumentalist view of art. An immense superstructure of art advisers, art consultants, art lobbyists, art activists, and other non-artist art professionals, working in close conjunction with a vast network of arts councils, offices of cultural affairs, public art projects, minority and "community" arts groups, and other special-interest cultural organizations, both in and out of government, now exerts an enormous influence in determining public policy as well as private patronage in the art world.

Comment:


Better Earth

CIA released documents: US planned to deliver Falkland Islands to Argentina, airlift Brit islanders to Scotland

© PA
Steel helmets left by Argentine armed forces who surrendered at Goose Green to British troops.
Secret CIA documents show the US had plans to either give the Falkland Islands to Argentina and repatriate the islanders to Scotland or allow them become Argentine citizens because the spy agency thought the UK would lose the 1982 war.

The papers, called 'Solution to the Falkland Islands Crisis,' appear to the show the intelligence agency felt the UK had seriously underestimated the capabilities of the Argentine military when the two countries fought a short but savage war over the South Atlantic archipelago. The documents comprise just a few pages of 12 million formerly-classified internal papers published by the CIA this week.

The Falklands plan was written by Henry Rowen, then head of the National Intelligence Council. "For a period of three years the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will be given a chance to consider whether they wish to remain on the Falkland Islands or whether they wish to relocate to an area of British jurisdiction, either in the UK or elsewhere under British sovereignty, with a relocation grant of $100,000 per person," he said.

He said it was probable "that many residents will find this sufficient inducement to relocate to some other area, perhaps in Scotland or elsewhere where conditions may be similar to the Falkland Islands."

Comment: Though the British won the Falklands war, Argentina has never completely accepted the outcome. It claims the UK wants the islands for the offshore oil fields under the ocean.


Sherlock

Lost 'Dark Age' Kingdom of Rheged uncovered in Scotland

A "lost" dark age kingdom has been discovered in Dumfries and Galloway after archaeologists finally solved the mystery surrounding the location of the elusive stronghold. The kingdom of Rheged has been found following excavation work by Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway.

© GUARD Archaeology
A recreation of the royal stronghold of Rheged which has been discovered in Dumfries and Galloway.
Previously, it was thought the kingdom was headquartered in Cumbria although no evidence of it was ever found. Archaeologists were first drawn to the site by Pictish carvings in stones at Trusty's Hill given the unusual southerly location of the markings. But the team from GUARD Archaeology now believe the carvings belong to the stronghold of King Urien's where inauguration ceremonies for the Britons of Galloway were held around 600AD.

Ronan Toolis, who led the excavation, said: "The new archaeological evidence suggests that Galloway may have been the heart of the lost Dark Age kingdom of Rheged, a kingdom that was in the late sixth century pre-eminent amongst the kingdoms of the north." Excavations have revealed the summit of the hill was fortified with a timber-laced stone rampart.

Sherlock

1,000-Year-Old Noble's tomb unearthed in Denmark

The Copenhagen Post reports that a large tomb has been found in north Jutland by Bjarne Henning Nielsen of the Vesthimmerlands Museum. Nielsen speculates the tomb may have been constructed for the early eleventh-century Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer, who was known for his raids on Galicia and was sometimes referred to in historic documents as an "earl of Denmark." Nielsen says the burial site is surrounded by dark soil that may have been left by a building placed over the tomb—a practice reserved for the nobility.
© Vesthimmerlands Museum
Nielsen also recovered a sword from the grave that dates to the early years of the second millennium. The region where the tomb was found is thought to have belonged to Valdemar the Great, king of Denmark from 1157 to 1182, whose great-grandfather is known to have been Ulv Galiciefarer. "It is private property he inherited from his father's side," Nielsen said, "and Galiciefarer is part of the lineage."

To read about another discovery in Denmark, go to "Bronze Age Bride."