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Canada: Scientists Discover an Unusual Stone Circle in British Columbia

Although it resembles stone circles made by humans, scientists believe that an unusual ring of stones in British Columbia is a natural feature.

Stone Circle
© Micahel Czajkowski and Andrew Okulitch.
Aerial view of the stone circle.
Scientists investigated an unusual ring of stones that was discovered in the Chilcotin Range of British Columbia and concluded that the stone circle was likely deposited by glacial activity and is not of human origin. The results of their research were published in the December 2011 issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

The ring of stones is composed of white colored felsite rocks that are high in silica. The stones are arranged in circle nearly 50 meters (164 feet) in diameter above the tree line along the Chilcotin Range in British Columbia, Canada. The white rocks stand out in stark contrast to the other darker rocks in the region, which are composed of granitoid gneiss and grandodiorite. The circle can be seen easily from the air and by viewing the terrain on Google Earth.

Many stone circles were created by humans during prehistoric times (approximately 3700 BC to 1500 BC). Archeologists believe that these circles were created either for use in religious ceremonies or as an aid in making astronomical observations. Europe contains a high number of stone circles of human origin, but examples of these structures can be found in other regions of the world as well.

Comment: Natural? Yeah, right.


Magic Wand

These Are the Earliest Human Paintings Ever

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© Unknown
According to new dating tests, these are the first paintings ever made by humans. They are seals painted more than 42,000 years ago, located in the Cave of Nerja, in Málaga, Spain. And they may change our ideas about humanity's evolution.

Until now, archeologists thought that the oldest art was created during the Aurignacian period, by modern humans. But these are way older, way more primitive than the ones in Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, the 32,000-year-old paintings featured in Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

According to the latest dating of the charcoal found next to the paintings - used either to make the paintings or illuminate them - these seals may have been made more than 42,300 years ago. In fact, they may be as old as 43,500 years.

Comment: Yeah, right.


Question

Did Easter Islanders Mix It Up With South Americans?

Easter Islands
© P. Drozd/Creative Commons
Island mystery. The famous stone heads of Easter Island were erected by Polynesians—but did South Americans play a role on the island?

The scattered islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were settled by seafarers who set out from the eastern coasts and islands of Asia and traveled thousands of kilometers by boat. Meanwhile pre-Columbian South America was populated by people who crossed a now-vanished land bridge far to the north. Did these two groups ever meet in the New World? There's a good chance of that, according to a new study, which finds evidence that Easter Islanders may have reached South America and mixed with the Native Americans already there.

University of Oslo immunologist Erik Thorsby first began analyzing the people of Easter Island in 1971 to see if he and colleagues could detect traces of an early contribution of Native Americans to Polynesians. He believes that his recent finds may show that Native Americans may have accompanied Polynesians from the coast of South America to Easter Island before the arrival of Europeans.

The island, also called Rapa Nui, is a remote and rocky place 3700 kilometers west of the coast of South America. The people were forcibly deported to Peru in the 1860s and enslaved; therefore, evidence of mixed Polynesian and Native American genes may stem from this time. But Thorsby was able to use blood samples from the islanders, collected since the 1970s, to examine their DNA for particular genetic markers.

Info

Ancient Fortress Proof 'Hill of Jonah' Was Inhabited

Hill of Jonah
© Sa'ar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Above, the excavation on top of the Hill of Jonah where the prophet, who was swallowed by a whale or fish, is believed by some to have been buried. It uncovered thick stone walls, in the center, believed to belong to a fortress occupied at around the time of the prophet, roughly 3,000 years ago.

Remains of thick stone walls uncovered recently atop a hill in Israel - where tradition says the prophet Jonah was buried - indicate the site was occupied during the time of the prophet, almost 3,000 years ago.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery, on Giv'at Yonah (the Hill of Jonah) above the modern city Ashdod, today (Feb. 6).

Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures tell of the prophet Jonah, who at first fled God's instructions to preach against wickedness in Nineveh, an ancient city in Iraq. After spending three days and three nights inside the belly of a fish or whale Jonah was forgiven by God and released. According to the story, he then went to Nineveh and persuaded the inhabitants to repent.

According to some traditions, including Muslim lore, Jonah was buried on Giv'at Yonah.

This new discovery does not provide any archaeological evidence of Jonah's tomb. However, it, along with other evidence unearthed atop the hill, show Giv'at Yonah was occupied during the time of Jonah, the late seventh and early eighth centuries B.C., according to Sa'ar Ganor, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Crusader

The Triumphant Beast

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My husband and I had a conversation in bed last night that I'm going to share with you. Don't be shocked! You should have figured out by now that pillow-talk between a mathematical physicist and a historian is probably not what you would call a racy conversation! But I guess that depends on what you think is "racy." Anyway, I was telling him about some things that were weighing on my mind as a result of the book I am currently reading: The Origin of Comets by Clube, Bailey and Napier. The topics covered in the book include the more-than-dismal record of science in the fields of astronomy and cosmology. I was bemoaning how incredibly backwards our Science of today truly is because of all the great ideas that have been quashed by governments and religions in the interests of control of the masses and that has led to the dire state of our world and so-called 'civilization'.

As I wrote in "Dark Ages and Inquisitions":
Science took a serious wrong turn in the middle of the nineteenth century, about the time Darwin published his Origin of Species and that is why we do, indeed, live in a Dark Age as a consequence. It wasn't that Natural Selection was wrong, per se, but the way the principles have been applied has been disastrous. Natural Selection was seized upon as the one and only underlying law of the Universe - and this seizing was done by individuals with a very particular psychological make-up as we will see. The same kinds of people that become uber-religious and kill people in the name of their god, can - and often do - become adherents of the religion of science. [...]

[I]n the nineteenth century, certain discoveries led to economic and political considerations, and that is when Science took the wrong turn because those folks who tend to black and white thinking also have other character traits that include a need to dominate others, as well as a strong tendency to greed. The pursuit of science became a career rather than a hobby, and an army of scientific workers was sought to serve the agendas of what was to become known as the Military-Industrial Complex.
Fritz Zwicky and Dark Matter
© n/a
The "eccentric" Fritz Zwicky
My husband, as some of you know, is currently working on a book about the corruption of science in modern times, (to be released in late Spring/early Summer) and he had a story to tell me during our bedtime chat. Apparently, back in the 1930s, a man named Fritz Zwicky, a Swiss astronomer working at CalTech, came up with the idea of Dark Matter. Zwicky used mathematics to infer the average mass of galaxies and obtained a value about 160 times greater than expected from their luminosity, and proposed that most of the matter was dark. So, what's my point? Zwicky was correct, but nobody believed him since he had a reputation of being "eccentric".

Now, what is wrong with that last sentence? Did you catch it? Nobody BELIEVED Zwicky. What that means is, BELIEF blocked all of the scientific community from doing one, simple, scientific thing: check the math! And so, for over 30 years, science was ignorant of Dark Matter and all the work - entire careers - of hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of individuals, was lacking a key piece of data.

Because nobody believed Zwicky.

They didn't bother to check his math because he was "eccentric." That is to say, he was not an authoritarian follower.
Authoritarian followers have the psychological characteristic known as right-wing authoritarianism. This personality trait consists of authoritarian submission, a high degree of submission to the established authorities in one's society; authoritarian aggression, aggression directed against various persons in the name of those authorities; and conventionalism, a strong adherence to the social conventions endorsed by those authorities. Why do psychologists call authoritarian followers "right-wing" authoritarians? Are they all members of a conservative political party? No. Right-wing is used here in a psychological sense, meaning wanting to please established authority. One of the original meanings of the adjective right (riht in Old English) was "lawful, proper, correct," which in those long ago days meant doing what your local lord and the king wanted.

- Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology
Over and over again it is seen, in retrospect, of course, that irrational beliefs that are promulgated by authorities who desire to maintain control, and believed by the followers who want to be 'good', trump True Science; and here I mean the mode of Scientific Cognition, not just 'science' since the so-called Enlightenment. Over and over again, throughout history, going back even to ancient times, you can note that there were a few really intelligent free thinkers who made observations, drew useful inferences from those observations, and suggested solutions that were ignored, ridiculed, reviled, buried; and often, the thinker who dared to voice his ideas was destroyed by one means or another because Authoritarian Followers are also aggressive against anything that is not pronounced to be 'okay' by their leaders. Most often this destruction was - and is even today - due to power considerations: the individual has an idea that, in some way, threatens the political/social power structure.

Why is it, one has to ask, that truth is so threatening to power?

Boat

Ancient Greek Medicine Found in Greek Shipwreck

Greek bas relief
© n/a
In 130 BC, a ship fashioned from the wood of walnut trees, bulging with medicines and Syrian glassware, sank off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. Archaeologists found its precious load 20 years ago and now, for the first time, archaeobotanists have been able to examine and analyse pills that were prepared by the physicians of ancient Greece.

DNA analyses show that each millennia-old tablet is a mixture of more than 10 different plant extracts, from hibiscus to celery.

"Medicinal plants have been identified before, but not a compound medicine, so this is really something new," says Alain Touwaide, director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, which has the world's largest digital database of medical manuscripts.

The pills, which researchers believe were diluted with vinegar or water to make them easier to ingest, were preserved inside tin boxes and were the size of coins.

"What is remarkable is that we have written evidence [from the ancient Greeks] of what plants were used for which disorders," says Alisa Machalek, a science writer for the National Institute of Health, one of the world's leading research centres.

"This research is interesting, especially for medical historians, because it confirms that what we eat affects our bodies."

The shift toward synthetic chemical medicines occurred in the 20th Century, but according to Mark Blumenthal, the founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, there is renewed interest in the medicinal benefits of natural foods - including those found in the pills.

Book

JFK's Teen Mistress Addresses Relationship, Pol's Cold War Fears in Memoir

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© New York Times
Mimi Alford, seen here in a 1963 portrait as a White House intern.
She always called him "Mr. President" - not Jack. He refused to kiss her on the lips when they made love. But Mimi Alford, a White House intern from New Jersey, was smitten nonetheless.

She was in the midst of an 18-month affair with the most powerful man in the world, sharing not only John F. Kennedy's bed but also some of his darkest and most intimate moments.

In her explosive new tell-all, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, Alford, now a 69-year-old grandmother and retired New York City church administrator, sets the record straight in searingly candid detail. The book, out Wednesday was bought by The Post at a Manhattan bookstore.

In the summer of 1962, Alford was a slender, golden-haired 19-year-old debutante whose finishing-school polish and blueblood connections had landed her a job in the White House press office.

Four days into her internship, she was invited by an aide to go for a midday swim in the White House pool, where the handsome, 45-year-old president swam daily to ease chronic back pain. JFK slid into the pool and floated up to her.

Comment: One wonders if any of this is true. The constant efforts of Right Wingers to smear the name of JFK could include inducing a "good Christian" to write such a book. After all, we notice that the "good Christians" in the U.S. think nothing of lying, stealing, cheating and killing for Jesus.


Vader

Chaos and Consent: The Logistics of the One World Government

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© BBC
Reading "Columnist Calls for Internet "Quality Control" to Quash Dissent sent absolute shivers up my spine. As I posted on my Facebook Wall: "Is it just me noticing the increasing lock-down, the increasing propaganda FOR lockdown and abrogation of human rights, and the masses seem to be sleep-walking through it all?"

But what is happening has happened before in many times and places; it's just that now it seems to be spread over the entire globe. Just so you know, I'm not one of those who is taken in by the saber-rattling war propaganda. That too, has happened before and before and before. It's a ruse, a drama played out between ostensible adversaries to keep the masses afraid and loaded with stress so that they will welcome draconian controls everywhere.

Another thing that has happened before is the end result of such dramas: mass death and destruction AKA "collateral damage". A few comments on my FB wall indicate that I am not alone in what I see. One poster wrote: "Not just sleep-walking, but sycophantically justifying their own abuse and mindlessly trying the same failed methods to "solve" it over and over. It's been said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to come out different." (HB)

That's it, exactly. Psychopaths in power never seem to be able to get it that the end result is always and ever the same: the germs do not realize that they will be burned alive in the fire to which the body they have infected and killed will be consigned.

Another comment was: "This is the long-planned and meticulously coordinated recrudescence, on a global scale, of Nazism." (DST)

Exactly. And that is why I am resurrecting this topic which I wrote about back in 2008, back when Bush - remember Bush, the guy who was the puppet who got all this mess started? - was still president of the U.S. The article was focused mainly on Bush and the U.S., but since then, so many other world leaders and nations have gotten on the Totalitarian/Fascist/Nazi bandwagon that I have done a little re-working of the piece to bring it up to date.

Back then I wrote: Reading Robert Parry's When a Great Power Goes Mad gave me the shivers especially when I read:
With the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War and the grim milestone of 4,000 US dead, the nation has been awash with news retrospectives on the war and speeches by politicians, mostly offering sanitized versions of what's transpired. [...]

In the news media, there were specials, including a much-touted PBS "Frontline" two-parter on "Bush's War" which followed the mainstream line of mostly accepting the Bush administration's good intentions while blaming the disaster on policy execution - a lack of planning, bureaucratic rivalries, rash decisions and wishful thinking. [...]

Remaining outside the frame of mainstream U.S. debate was any serious examination of the [Iraq] war's fundamental illegality.

During the post-World War II trials at Nuremberg, the United States led the world in decrying aggressive war as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Yet, "Frontline" and other mainstream U.S. news outlets shy away from this central fact of the Iraq War: by invading Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Security Council and under false pretenses, the Bush administration released upon the Iraqi people "the accumulated evil of the whole" - and committed the "supreme" war crime.

An obvious reason why the mainstream U.S. press can't handle this truth is that to do so would mean that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, a host of other U.S. officials and even some prominent journalists could be regarded as war criminals.

To accept that reality would, in turn, create a moral imperative to take action. And that would require a great disruption in the existing U.S. power structure, which hasn't changed much since Bush won authorization from Congress in October 2002 to use force and then invaded Iraq in March 2003.

Not only are Bush and Cheney still in office - and two of the three remaining presidential candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, voted for the war - but the roster of top Washington journalists remains remarkably intact from five years ago.
We realize, of course, since the above was written, that even Barack Obama - supposed to be the NKOTB who was not part of the insiders was, in fact, very much an insider and selected to carry on the Bush/Neocon/Fascist legacy. The only "change" that Obama has brought has been more of the same and worse.

It is obvious to many, though certainly not to everyone, that the World Body Social, following the Pied Pipers of the Body Politic have increasingly lost their ability to think rationally and perceive psychological reality with even a modicum of common sense. Almost the whole planet has descended into half-wittedness with its growing intellectual deficiencies and moral failings. Any group of people that can sit down and discuss the Iraq War as though it were anything other than a War Crime of the highest order, or debate whether or not waterboarding is torture, or whether or not torture is acceptable in this or that situation, has lost not only their moral compass, but their qualification as sentient beings on the evolutionary scale.

Palette

Did Leonardo da Vinci Copy His Famous 'Vitruvian Man'?

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Claudio Sgarbi says he "was totally astonished" when he examined a manuscript including a drawing that seemed to prefigure Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of a male figure perfectly inscribed in a circle and square, known as the Vitruvian Man, illustrates what he believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe. Beloved for its beauty and symbolic power, it is one of the most famous images in the world. However, new research suggests that the work, which dates to 1490, may be a copy of an earlier drawing by Leonardo's friend.

Another illustration of a divinely proportioned man - the subject is Christ-like, but the setting is strikingly similar to Leonardo's - has been discovered in a forgotten manuscript in Ferrara, Italy. Both drawings are depictions of a passage written 1,500 years earlier by Vitruvius, an ancient Roman architect, in which he describes a man's body fitting perfectly inside a circle (the divine symbol) and inside a square (the earthly symbol). It was a geometric interpretation of the ancient belief that man is a "microcosm": a miniature embodiment of the whole universe. Leonardo and other scholars revived this vainglorious notion during the Italian Renaissance.

After decades of study, Claudio Sgarbi, an Italian architectural historian who discovered the lesser known illustration of the Vitruvian Man in 1986, now believes it to be the work of Giacomo Andrea de Ferrara, a Renaissance architect, expert on Vitruvius, and close friend of Leonardo's. What's more, Sgarbi believes Giacomo Andrea probably drew his Vitruvian man first, though the two men are likely to have discussed their mutual efforts. Sgarbi will lay out his arguments in a volume of academic papers to be published this winter, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

Boat

Treasure Hunter Says He Found $3B WWII Wreck

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© The Associated Press/Winslow Townson
Greg Brooks, co-manager of Sub Sea Research, is seen aboard the salvage ship Sea Hunter in Boston Harbor Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 holding a picture of the British merchant ship Port Nicholson which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942 with a cargo of 71 tons of platinum now worth about $3 billion.
A treasure hunter said Wednesday he has located the wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II while carrying what he claims was a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion.

If the claim proves true, it could be one of the richest sunken treasures ever discovered.

But an attorney for the British government expressed doubt the vessel was carrying platinum. And if it was, in fact, laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could become a matter of international dispute.

Treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced that a wreck found sitting in 700 feet of water 50 miles offshore is that of the S.S. Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942.

He said he and his crew identified it via the hull number using an underwater camera, and he hopes to begin raising the treasure later this month or in early March with the help of a remotely operated underwater vessel.

"I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water," Brooks said.