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Thu, 27 Jul 2017
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A league of their own: The women of 1900 who started saving the redwoods

© www.savetheredwoods.org

Save the Redwoods ladies, 1918. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Historical Society.
On August 8, 1919, Save the Redwoods League founders Madison Grant and Stephen Mather spoke to a packed auditorium in the Northern California mill town of Eureka. They had driven up from San Francisco, where the League had just held its first Board meeting, and they called for local support of the League's mission to protect the redwoods. To their great surprise, they received a wildly enthusiastic response.

Why were hundreds of citizens of Humboldt County, the epicenter of redwood logging operations, so receptive to this message of conservation?

In large part, because another influential group had been working to raise awareness of redwoods preservation in the area for years: It was the women of Humboldt County who sparked the earliest awareness and action for preserving old-growth coast redwoods in Northern California.

Keep in mind that at the turn of the 20th-century, the culture and norms of the Victorian era still dominated, and there were few ways for women to engage outside the domestic sphere. So all across the country, women formed clubs to find creative means of civic engagement and community leadership, and in the still-very-wild West, women's clubs developed around fostering "civilized" behavior in pioneer country.

Through these clubs, women exerted a discreet and lasting influence on the future of the developing West. Fortunately for the iconic redwood forest, in California, women's clubs were on the forefront of forest policy reform. In 1900, when the California Federation of Women's Clubs was founded, it had just two standing committees: one for education, and one for forestry.

Comment: See also: Last tree-sitters come down from California redwoods


Monsanto was always evil

Monsanto is quite possibly the world's most hated company, but few know much of the history of this multi-national giant.
"When a company claims its product improves on nature, many consumers happily declare the product an example of scientific progress. Equally powerful, though, is the inclination toward skepticism." - Jesse Hicks
This skepticism is the reason millions now understand the shady and insidious nature of corporations like Monsanto. In fact, in a 2013 poll Monsanto was declared the "most evil corporation" in the world, beating McDonald's and even the Federal Reserve by a wide margin. However, not everybody knows just how far back this corruption truly goes.

Here are five things you may not have known about Monsanto, but should.

Comment: For more on the evil origins of the corporate spawn of Satan see:

Eye 1

Nixon official: The 'war on drugs' was designed to criminalize blacks & antiwar activists

The war on drugs: Is it a genuine public health crusade or an attempt to carry out what author Michelle Alexander characterizes as "the New Jim Crow"?

A new report by Dan Baum for Harper's Magazine suggests the latter. Specifically, Baum refers to a quote from John Ehrlichman, who served as domestic policy chief for President Richard Nixon when the administration declared its war on drugs in 1971. According to Baum, Ehrlichman said in 1994 that the drug war was a ploy to undermine Nixon's political opposition — meaning, black people and critics of the Vietnam War:
At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
This is an incredibly blunt, shocking response — one with troubling implications for the 45-year-old war on drugs. And it's possible Ehrlichman isn't being totally honest, given that he reportedly felt bitter and betrayed by Nixon after spending time in prison over the Watergate scandal.

Light Sabers

Goths vs. Greeks: Epic ancient battle revealed in newfound text

© Vienna, Austrian National Library, manuscript Hist. gr. 73, fol. 193r lower text. Spectral imaging by the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library. Processed image by David Kelbe. Project FWF P 24523-G19
Researchers used spectral imaging to read the writing on this fragment, which details the third-century Thermopylae battle.
Fragments of an ancient Greek text telling of an invasion of Greece by the Goths during the third century A.D. have been discovered in the Austrian National Library. The text includes a battle fought at the pass of Thermopylae.

Researchers used spectral imaging to enhance the fragments, making it possible to read them. The analysis suggests the fragments were copied in the 11th century A.D. and are from a text that was written in the third-century A.D. by an Athens writer named Dexippus.

During Dexippus' life, Greece (part of the Roman Empire) and Rome struggled to repel a series of Gothic invasions.


Bear bone found in 1903 pushes back the history of Ireland

© itsligovideos
The brown bear bone.
A butchered bear bone found in an Irish cave has revealed humans were active in Ireland 2,500 years earlier than thought, in a breakthrough described as "a new chapter to the human history of Ireland".

Since the 1970s, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Ireland dated back to 8,000 BC - the Mesolithic period - indicating humans had occupied the island for some 10,000 years.

However, radiocarbon dating of a brown bear's knee bone suggested it had been killed by a human some 12,500 years ago, in the preceding Paleolithic period, at 10,500 BC.

The adult bear bone, marked by seven cuts from a long blade, was originally discovered in 1903 by a team of early scientists in a County Clare cave and had been stored in a card board box at the National Museum of Ireland for almost 100 years.

In 2010 and 2011 Dr Ruth Carden, a research associate with the National Museum of Ireland, and Dr Marion Dowd, a lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology at the School of science in IT Sligo, re-analysed the bear bone, which was one of thousands discovered at the turn of the century.

The pair then applied for funding to have the bone carbon dated.

"When a Palaeolithic date was returned, it came as quite a shock," said Dr Dowd. "Here we had evidence of someone butchering a brown bear carcass and cutting through the knee probably to extract the tendons."


Cold War bombshell: Putin declassifies documents revealing that USSR wanted to join NATO in 1954 - Application was rejected

NATO, the Atlantic Empire
A year after Stalin died in 1953 and a year before the Warsaw Pact was established in 1955, the Kremlin asked to join NATO, according to a secret file which President Vladimir Putin unveiled last night.

In a coup de théatre which will have Cold War historians breaking out in a sweat, Putin brandished what he described as a recently declassified 'note' from the Soviet government to Western leaders from 1954.

It stated that Moscow was "holding to its intention of entering negotiations on joining" NATO, formed five years earlier.

Putin used the ploy to answer a question on Russian reaction to possible NATO expansion into parts of the former USSR following George Bush's robust advocacy of potential NATO membership for all countries 'from the Baltic to the Black Sea'.

Comment: From day one, apparently, Putin has had the Powers That Be periodically 'breaking out in sweats'!

Again we see that the 'Cold War' was entirely of the West's making. The US needed the Cold War to cement its post-WW2 position as 'world government'.

Russia, or the USSR, were not allowed to join NATO because its influence would interfere with NATO's true purpose: to establish and maintain Western, specifically Anglo-American, global hegemony.

Note that the Warsaw Pact was only formed AFTER the USSR was refused, thus completely undermining the revisionist NATO history which justifies its original existence as necessary to counter a Soviet (really, a Russian) military threat to Europe.

Once NATO (Washington and London) refused Russian entry into NATO, the Russians realized NATO's true purpose, and after having only just survived the most titanic war in all history, Russia thus had no choice but to establish a counter-alliance.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...


Ota Benga, pygmy caged at the Bronx Zoo, took his life 100 years ago today

© Wikipedia
Benga shot himself after years of humiliation and heartbreak.
100 years ago, on March 20, 1916, Ota Benga took a gun and fired a bullet into his own heart, ending the short and tragic life of the "missing link" from Africa.

His treatment at the hands of so-called gentlemen from New York's Bronx Zoo and the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri came in the height of the eugenics movement, forty years after the end of (legal) slavery in America.

Today, Benga is remembered for his sacrifice in documentaries and on social media networks like Twitter, a martyr for the cause to end racism.

The 32-year old Mbuti man from along the Kasai River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo stood just four feet, eleven inches tall and had teeth filed to sharp points, which was reportedly a tradition for his tribe.


Does Socos Pampa geoglyph reveal Nasca Lines predate Nasca culture?

© Wikipedia – ( CC-BY-SA-3.0)
The Hummingbird Geoglyph of the Nasca Lines, Peru.
Evidence taken from iconography and inscriptive material leads William to hypothesize that the three independent features may have been created by the same Trans-Oceanic Peoples from the Continent of West Africa and the Mediterranean Region.

As an Archaeoastronomer my primary research interest has always been associated with the famous Nasca Lines. Apart from research to determine if the Nasca Lines were astronomically orientated, I studied the unique surface variation of shales and gravels 'sand painted' within and around the gigantic geoglyphs; an art form that goes back many centuries—even to Ancient Egyptian times.

Comment: See also: Nazca lines of Kazakhstan: More than 50 geoglyphs discovered


DNA evidence corroborates the legend of Sweden's medieval King Eric IX

© Mikael Wallerstedt
On April 23, 2014, Erik IX's reliquary was opened at a ceremony in Uppsala Cathedral. After this, researchers from several scientific disciplines set to work running tests on the remains in an attempt to learn more about the medieval king.
For decades, various medieval scholars have labored to prove—or disprove—details of various medieval kings' lives. In recent years, DNA testing has allowed scientists insights into the true lives of medieval rulers and prompted calls for re-examination of the legends and secondary sources that inform their biographical sketches.

Now, a Swedish team from Uppsala University has used forensic analysis to prove that in one king's case, the legends seem to be true.


The Great Boston Molasses Flood

© stargazermercantile
In 1919 a wave of molasses traveling at 35mph destroyed an entire neighborhood.
In Boston's industrial North End is a small, easy to miss plaque memorializing a very strange moment in Boston's history: the Great Boston Molasses Flood, in which a sugary tidal wave wreaked deadly destruction on the city.

In January 1919, the Purity Distilling Company, located at 529 Commercial Street, was in the molasses business—in a nefarious way. Rather than using the sticky substance for dessert-friendly syrup, the company had taken to fermenting it to make booze and bombs. In a desperate race to turn this sweet sticky stuff into booze before prohibition hit in January 1920, the company had filled its largest holding tank with as much molasses as it could get its hands on.