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 on: Yesterday at 10:14:32 pm 
Started by Mitt Romney - Last post by Mitt Romney
You may have heard snippets of that in the press, but I wanted to make it official to my friends at Atlantis Online. Why? I am having too much fun fighting crime as a caped superhero named Mittman, with Tag as my sidekick (don't tell anybody Wink ).

I do hope that the Republican Party adopts certain planks of mine to its platform, namely:

1. Sex Passes, people should have to have a permit to have sex! I believe that only the wealthy should be allowed to have sex and procreate. We're special and should be  treated as such.

2. Eliminate all middle class tax cuts. That way, conversely, the wealthy would be allowed to pay less taxes. We'll go back to the glorious days of kings and vassals. I already know that I'm a king, guess that makes each of you a vassal! That Sheriff Nottingham  fellow had a grand idea.

3. Taxpayer money should be funneled into the pockets of the rich as much as possible. To that end, we need to start more wars so the defense industry is booming again and those of us who have defense stocks will make a killing!

Part of me is saddened I won't be your president, America, as I looked forward to ruling you and raiding your treasury, but don't feel sorry for me. Mitt Romney is leading a pretty good life, all things considered.

 on: February 25, 2015, 12:03:26 am 
Started by Thunderhaw Decorah - Last post by Thunderhaw Decorah

 on: February 25, 2015, 12:03:05 am 
Started by Thunderhaw Decorah - Last post by Thunderhaw Decorah

Archeologists dig at Stokke following the discovery of a Stone Age grave containing a skeleton. Photo: Museum of Cultural History in Oslo

 on: February 25, 2015, 12:02:20 am 
Started by Thunderhaw Decorah - Last post by Thunderhaw Decorah
Stone Age skeleton judged Norway's oldest

Published: 16 Feb 2015 23:41 GMT+01:00
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The Stone Age skeleton found in Norway last summer could be as much as 8000 years old, archeologists now believe, making it by far the oldest ever discovered in the country.

“Brunstad man”, whose remains were found in Stokke, south of Oslo, is now believed to be from the Mesolithic period, which spans from 10,000BC-4000BC)
“The discovery is sensational in Norwegian, and indeed even in a north European context,” Almut Schülke, an archaeologist working for the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo, told Aftenposten journalists when they visited the laboratory where the find is being analysed on Monday. “It is very seldom that we find bones from the stone age.”
The skeleton is in an extremely fragile condition, meaning researchers are painstakingly examining it tiny fragment by tiny fragment, documenting the location of everything as accurately as possible and feeding it into a 3-D computer model of the find.
The archaeologists hope to learn the age of the man, his diet and the extent to which the people who found their way so far north had contact with other settlements around the Skagerrak and the Baltic Sea.
The skeleton was found lying in the fetal position, a typical stone-age burial position, in a pit which had been bricked in on the inside.
The researchers had to divide the skeleton and the surrounding soil into eight parts to remove it from the earth and bring it back to the archeological laboratory in Oslo.
Schülke told the newspaper she hoped to find further evidence of human activity at the same site.
“We do not know if Brunstad was a fixed settlement or whether it  was a place people went to pick up special resources, such as different types of stone,” she told the newspaper. “We do not know of other major tombs nearby, but it was not uncommon to add a single grave so close to a settlement, as they have done here.”

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 on: February 24, 2015, 10:31:47 pm 
Started by Witch-King - Last post by Witch-King

 on: February 24, 2015, 10:31:30 pm 
Started by Witch-King - Last post by Witch-King

Geoglyphs on deforested land at the Fazenda Colorada site in the Amazon rainforest, Rio Branco area, Acre. Site dated to c. AD 1283. Sanna Saunaluoma, Wikimedia Commons

 on: February 24, 2015, 10:30:42 pm 
Started by Witch-King - Last post by Witch-King

 on: February 24, 2015, 10:30:15 pm 
Started by Witch-King - Last post by Witch-King

Drones to scan for evidence of ancient civilizations in Amazonia

Mon, Feb 23, 2015

Scientists seek to detect earthworks and geoglyphs beneath the canopy of vegetation in the search for evidence of complex ancient human settlements in the Amazon rainforest.
Drones to scan for evidence of ancient civilizations in Amazonia

A UK-led initiative to scan the Amazon rainforest for new signs of ancient settlements was announced at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California. The project, which has already been awarded $1.9m grant from the European Research Council, will include conducting laser scans via drone.

A major goal of the project is to understand the extent to which pre-Columbian populations built and flourished as far back as 3,000 years prior to the arrival of Europeans.

More than 400 geoglyphs have already been exposed by deforestation, suggesting collective, organized human behavior—an argument that has been an ongoing debate within New World archaeology.

"Although humans have lived in Amazonia for the last 13,000 years, until recently, the long-accepted paradigm has been one of a noble savage living in harmony with the ancient forest, with negligible impact on the forest," said Dr. José Iriarte of the University of Exeter, the lead researcher of the project. "Such a view was widely shared, not only among archaeologists, but also by most tropical ecologists whose interpretations of the biodiversity and ecological change were based on the assumption that this forest environment was largely pristine."

But, “based on mounting archaeological evidence that suggest the presence of complex Amazonian societies," Iriarte continued, "at the other end of the spectrum are those that propose that the Amazon Basin was densely populated, perhaps up to 10 million inhabitants, and so intensively managed that by 1492 there was no such thing as  a “virgin forest”— instead, it was a cultural parkland."


geoglyphsamazonGeoglyphs on deforested land at the Fazenda Colorada site in the Amazon rainforest, Rio Branco area, Acre. Site dated to c. AD 1283. Sanna Saunaluoma, Wikimedia Commons


Among other objectives, Iriarte hopes to test this idea of large, complex and hierarchical societies in the Amazon, known as the “cultural parkland hypothesis’, by conducting an intensive study of four distinct regions across the Amazon, implementing a battery of state-of-the-art techniques from the social and natural sciences, including archaeology, archaeobotany, ethnohistory, and paleoecology, in conjunction with remote sensing technology. Most notably, he and his team will be mounting LiDAR and multi-spectral sensors on UAVs (drones) beginning in the Fall of 2015 to scan large areas, comparing what they find to landscapes with areas already known to exhibit evidence of anthropogenic (human) manipulation of the landscape.

"It is only by applying this interdisciplinary approach that we can provide a holistic understanding of the origins of the modern Amazonian landscapes," said Iriarte.

Even if and when Iriarte and his team come up with strong evidence supporting the 'cultural parklands hypothesis', they also hope to find answers to some other key questions. Issues of conservation and sustainability play a salient role.

"How did the 1492 Columbian encounter affect these landscapes and cultures?" asks Iriarte. "And did pre-Columbian land use have a lasting affect on the modern forest and, if so, how does the knowledge of the legacy of Late pre-Columbian groups inform modern conservation and sustainable agricultural practices for the future of the Amazon and other tropical regions of the world?"

Irarte suggests that the outcome of the project could potentially guide policy-making in terms of land management and sustainability, and influence many other decisions that could otherwise be insufficiently informed without understanding past human management of the landscape.

 on: February 23, 2015, 01:08:51 am 
Started by Melody Stacker - Last post by Melody Stacker

 on: February 23, 2015, 01:08:37 am 
Started by Melody Stacker - Last post by Melody Stacker
Humans have a long history with ergot. Thousands of people died in Europe in the Middle Ages from ergotism, also called "St. Anthony's Fire," a condition which resulted from eating ergot-infected grains. And more than 1,000 compounds, including the drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), have been derived or extracted from it, according to the statement.

The best way to guess at how an ergot-like fungus would have affected dinosaurs, Poinar told The Huffington Post in an email, is to look at their descendants -- reptiles and birds. For instance, ergot can lead to deadly spasms in reptiles, while it produces strange disfigurations in chickens, he said.

As for whether the dinosaurs actually "got high?"

"It could have affected their mental state if the compounds in the fossil ergot were similar to those in present day ergot," Poinar said in the email. But we may never know.

The study was published in the 2015 issue of the journal Palaeodiversity.

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