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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Daily Drift

Three Days To Go ....

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
the first cold shower
 even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw  ... !
Today is - National Haiku Poetry Day


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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Wautoma, Murfreesboro, Mont Belvieu and Saint Albans, United States
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Pontevedra and Zeanuri, Spain
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Cairo, Egypt
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Sydney and Homebush, Australia

Today in History

1135 Stephen of Blois is crowned the king of England.
1775 Esek Hopkins takes command of the Continental Navy — a total of seven ships.
1807 Congress passes the Embargo Act, which halts all trading completely. It is hoped that the act will keep the United States out the European Wars.
1829 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opens the first passenger railway line.
1918 The last of the food restrictions, enforced because of the shortages during World War I, are lifted.
1929 Soviet troops leave Manchuria after a truce is reached with the Chinese over the Eastern Railway dispute.
1941 Japanese troops make an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1942 The Soviets drive German troops back 15 miles at the Don River.
1944 During the Battle of the Bulge, General Anthony McAuliffe responds to a German surrender request with a one word answer: "Nuts!"
1945 The United States recognizes Tito's government in Yugoslavia.
1965 The EF-105F Wild Weasel makes its first kill over Vietnam.
1966 The United States announces the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the famine in India.
1989 The Romanian government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown, ending 42 years of communist rule.
1989 The division of East and West Germany effectively ends when the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin reopens for the first time in nearly 30 years.
1992 What became known as the Archives of Terror are discovered in a police station near the capital of Paraguay, records detailing tens of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly imprisoned, tortured and / or killed by the security services of several South American governments.
1997 Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes his disputed title of President of Somalia, an important step toward reconciliation in the country.
2001 President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, takes over an interim government.
2001 A passenger on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris, Richard Reid, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the plane in flight by igniting explosives he'd hidden in his shoes.
2008 Some 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry flood part of Tennessee after an ash dike breaks at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state.
2010 US President Barack Obama signs a law officially repealing the 17-year-old policy known as "Don't ask, don't tell"; the new law permits homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.

Non Sequitur


Xmas Countdown Xmas Stories

Mistletoe was highly sacred to the druids. As well as being a plant of the upper world, it symbolized the green soul of the bare winter tree on which it grew and the sacred tree (bile) was in turn representative of vegetal growth and fertility, desirable powers to agrarian societies. A symbolic branch of such a tree was borne by kings, and perhaps by druids, who used oak branches in their rites. King and tree would be connected, the king's life being bound up with that of the tree, and perhaps at one time both perished together. But as kings were represented by a substitute, so the sacred tree, regarded as too sacred to be cut down, may also have had its succedaneum. The Irish bile or sacred tree, connected with the kings, must not be touched by any impious hand, and it was sacrilege to cut it down. Probably before cutting down the tree a branch or something growing upon it, e.g. mistletoe, had to be cut, or the king's symbolic branch secured before he could be slain. This may explain Pliny's account of the mistletoe rite. The mistletoe or branch was the soul of the tree, and also contained the life of the divine representative. It must be plucked before the tree could be cut down or the victim slain. Hypothetical as this may be, Pliny's account is incomplete, or he is relating something of which all the details were not known to him. The rite must have had some other purpose than that of the magico-medical use of the mistletoe which he describes, and though he says nothing of cutting down the tree or slaying a human victim, it is not unlikely that, as human sacrifice had been prohibited in his time, the oxen which were slain during the rite took the place of the latter. Later romantic tales suggest that, before slaying some personage, the mythico-romantic survivor of a divine priest or king, a branch carried by him had to be captured by his assailant, or plucked from the tree which he defended. These may point to an old belief in tree and king as divine representatives, and to a ritual like that associated with the Priest of Nemi. The divine tree became the mystic tree of Elysium, with gold and silver branches and marvelous fruits. Armed with such a branch, the gift of one of its people, mortals might penetrate unhindered to the divine land. Perhaps they may be regarded as romantic forms of the old divine kings with the branch of the divine tree.

Drinking and Driving

Taxi2With the Holidays upon us I would like to  share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and  driving.

As you may know some of us have been known to have brushes with  the authorities from time to time on the way home after a “social session” out  with friends. Well, two days ago I was out for an  evening with friends and had several cocktails followed by some rather nice red  wine. Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be  slightly over the limit.

That’s when I did something that I’ve never  done before – I took a cab home.

Sure enough on the way home there was a  police road block,  but since it was a cab they waved  it past. I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise as I had  never driven a cab before, I don’t know where I got it and now that it’s in my garage I don’t know what to do with it.

Did you know ...

Why do we dream?

That for economic stimulus, pensions beat stadiums and servers

That crummy service jobs are replacing good skilled jobs

That America hates congressional republicans more than ever

Private school get Public monies

by Stephanie Mencimer

In July, the increasingly wingnut legislature in North Carolina passed a bill to divert $10 million from the public school budget to create vouchers that would give low-income students up to $4,200 a year to pay for private school tuition. Such vouchers are a popular conservative proposal for "reforming" failing public schools.
North Carolina's vouchers, which will become available in 2014, allow public money to go to unregulated private schools that are not required to meet any educational or teacher preparation standards. In addition, thanks to the way the law was written, the money will be available to "home schools"-literally schools set up in someone's house. Homeschooling traditionally has been done by parents. But the state recently changed its home schooling law to allow people who aren't parents or legal guardians educate kids in a group setting. The only requirement for such schools is that the teacher have a high school diploma, that the school keep immunization and attendance records on its students, and that it give kids a national standardized test every year.
NC Policy Watch, a project of the nonprofit North Carolina Justice Center, went out and found some interesting "home schools" that may be eligible for taxpayer funding next year. The Paramount christian Academy has one teacher who teaches her granddaughter, a neighbor's kid, and one special-needs student. It uses textbooks from Bob Jones University and A Beka Book, whose offerings we've chronicled here at Mother Jones.

The Government Is Quietly Giving Way More Housing Aid to Rich People Than Poor People

by Danny Vinik Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
Business Insider - Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center for Budget Policy Priorities released a number of charts today that shows how much the federal government favors high-income households over low-income ones in housing benefits.
This largely results from the fact that homeowners receive significantly more aid than renters and high-income Americans are much more likely to be homeowners.
In 2012, the federal government gave out $240 billion in housing aid. Income data is not available for all of it, but of what is available, more than half went to those with incomes greater than $100,000 ($81.6 billion). Only $40 billion went to those with incomes less than $50,000.
Overall, high income households receive four times as much in housing aid as low-income ones.
The main reason for this is the majority of federal housing aid flows to homeowners, not renters. The mortgage interest deduction is the most well-known program that subsidizes homeownership. That deduction alone is larger than all federal rental aid combined.
The federal government gave out about $60 billion in housing benefits to renters in 2012. It gave out more than three times that much to homeowners. Low-income households receive the vast majority of that rental aid, but the opposite is true of aid to homeowners. That flows primarily to high-income households.
This comes at a time when renters are struggling to keep pace with rising housing costs . Fifty percent of renters now spend more than 30% of their income on housing. This has forced renters to cut back on other household necessities or live in inadequate units.
Renters are more likely to face a severe cost burden (defined as spending at least 50% of income on housing) than homeowners are. This is a result of rising median gross rent and falling media income over the past 15 years.
For both renters and homeowners, the percentage of households that have a severe affordability problem with their housing has increased since 2001.
These problems are only going to get worse as millions of seniors find themselves in need of rental housing in the coming decades.
Yet, while this silent crisis continues, the majority of the money that the federal government spends on housing flows to homeowners, not renters.

Banker Depravity

by Joan McCarter

A Bloomberg investigation has uncovered a secret office created by Bank of America called "the Office of the CEO and President" set up ostensibly to handle complaints [from] homeowners trying to refinance in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program. But when frustrated homeowners, and members of Congress and regulators, finally reached what they thought was the pinnacle of BoA where something might just be done to help them, they were really being shuffled off to a contractor site, Urban Lending, whose primary job appears to have been delaying the process until the homeowners could be forced into foreclosure.

About Minimum Wage

by Peter Cappelli
It wasn't that long ago that in most companies, especially large ones, a fair amount of time was spent worrying about whether the company's practices towards employees were fair. One of the functions of human resource departments was to advocate for the interests of employees.

The motivation wasn't entirely altruistic. Since WWI, employers figured they could keep unions out by giving employees virtually all of the wage and benefits they would have gotten from joining unions. Even without that concern, though, the leadership of the company considered it part of their job to strike a balance between the other demands on the business and the needs of employees.  They were one of the important stakeholders in the business, along with customers, shareholders, and the community around them.


Let's be clear about the wage levels that are associated with not having enough to eat. A family of four with one breadwinner is eligible for food stamps if they earn less than $2500 per month. That is the equivalent of a $15 per hour job and a 40 hour work week.  The government has determined that full-time workers earning less than that do not have enough money to feed their families on their own. If that breadwinner earns less than $16 per hour, they are also eligible for Medicaid assistance to provide healthcare. Depending on where they live, that breadwinner is also eligible for subsidies to help pay for housing.

Jobs paying $15 per hour are not the concern, though. Those are routinely seen as good jobs now. The concern is those jobs paying at or around the minimum wage, $7.25 per hour or only $1160 per month for a full-time job. About 1.6 million workers in the U.S. are paid at that level, and a surprising 2 million are actually paid less than that under various exemptions. If you are an employer paying the minimum wage or close to it, the Government has determined that your employees need help to pay for food, housing, and healthcare even if they have no family and no one to look after but themselves.  As we've been reminded this season, many of those workers also need help from families and coworkers to get by.

No doubt the reason low-wage companies continue to pay low wages is because there are plenty of workers willing to take jobs at those wages, and the need to pay more to avoid the risk of being unionized is largely gone. But "can" and "ought" are not the same thing.

U.S. Income Inequality in Six Panels, featuring Lucky Ducky

The American People Rise Up and Demand an End to Government Favoritism of the Rich

After decades of declining incomes an overwhelming majority of Americans finally realize their government exists to favor the rich, and they are demanding change.…
Chicago Raise the Min Wage Rally 
It is often the case that what seems glaringly obvious to a few is non-existent to the masses, and it is likely because in a highly developed nation with a preponderance of 24/7 media outlets, the focus of reporting is dictated by moneyed interests. However, when conditions in a country deteriorate to the point they affect the overwhelming majority of the population, the reality that they have been deceived by the media and the political cabal responsible for their misfortune can no longer be denied. The repugicans and their corporate media puppets have misled the people for the past five years of a thirty year campaign with an absurd notion that if the people, through their government, give every advantage and the nation’s riches to the wealthy, their fortunes will rise and they will join the ranks of the richest two-percent of income earners. But after decades of declining incomes, a vanishing middle class, and over 50-million working Americans barely surviving in poverty while the rich continue increasing their wealth, the overwhelming majority finally realize their government exists to favor the rich and they are demanding change.
Maybe it was Pope Francis’s late November Evangelii Gaudium where he critiqued income inequality and denounced trickle-down economics as “idolatry of money” he warned is “a new tyranny,” or maybe it was President Obama’s economic speech a week later reiterating his State of the Union and Inaugural message that income equality was “the defining challenge of our time” that brought Americans to their senses. Or maybe it was just Americans looking at their declining fortunes and millions of their fellow citizens struggling to feed their families while the richest two percent reap all the wealth that drove them to say enough already.
In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll over two-thirds of Americans said it is time to raise the minimum wage, rejected repugican claims doing so will encourage layoffs, and complained that current federal government policies favor the wealthy over the rest of the population. The overwhelming majority supporting a minimum wage hike even went so far as to proffer a figure higher than that called for by President Obama in his State of the Union address. The respondents proposed raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to $10.25 instead of the President’s figure of $10.10, and their support for raising the minimum wage is directly linked to their broader concern about income inequality devastating the masses and holding back the economy according to the overriding opinion of three dozen economic experts surveyed last week. Two-thirds of respondents said federal policies unfairly favor the wealthy, and 57% support efforts to reduce the income gap crushing Americans with overwhelming support for raising the minimum wage in each of those groups.
Support for a higher minimum wage among Democrats and liberals was a stunning 85%, and 71% of moderates and 65% of independents favored higher pay to “to help low-income workers get by.” Not surprisingly, repugican support fell to 50% and wingnuts supported higher wages by 46%, while only 31% favored keeping the poor in poverty earning $7.25 an hour. What is encouraging and should give Democrats some backbone to stand up to repugicans was that nearly 60% say it is up to government to reduce the income gap between the richest 2% and those less well-off. Two- thirds complained it is unfair that federal economic and tax policies driven by repugicans favor the wealthiest Americans and their corporations. Of course, while 81% of Democrats say repugican policies favor the wealthy and 76% strongly support government intervention to reduce the unfair income gap, only 48 and 40 percent of repugicans respectively think their cabal’s policies driven by their love affair with the richest 2% of income earners and their corporations is unfair. Still, the overwhelming consensus is it is high time for this government to stop giving the nation’s wealth to 2% of the population and they want it to take steps to help the least fortunate.
The poll’s results reflect an increasing concern for the plight of the poor and disadvantaged that has been missing from normally decent Americans. For thirty years, repugicans successfully convinced the majority of Americans it was patriotic to venerate the wealthy through unrestrained capitalism that inherently takes from the poor, but now that repugicans have set their sights on what is left of the middle class, senior citizens, Veterans, and children, it appears they are speaking out. It is probable that with so many Americans in poverty, there are few Americans who do not know someone, likely a family member, who has not been adversely affected by repugican machinations to rob from the masses to enrich the already wealthy. Their overwhelming support for raising the minimum wage and demand that the government stops enriching the wealthy is a sign repugicans have went too far.
Even though the majority of Americans support policies ending the government’s favoritism of the rich and raising the pathetic minimum wage that enables the richest corporations and Wall Street  to post record profits, repugicans are unlikely to change. In the states their money machine the Koch brothers, big tobacco, and Kraft Foods are on a crusade to raid pensions to send more seniors into the ranks of poverty, and across the South the Koch brothers legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has successfully held wages at poverty levels with anti-union right to work for less laws. In Congress, despite keeping their sequester in place to kill jobs and destroy safety nets, repugicans oppose raising the minimum wage, funding food stamps, or extending unemployment benefits. It is all a concerted effort to widen the income gap and send more Americans into poverty while protecting the rich and corporations from tax reform to close loopholes that further enrich the wealthy.
It was just reported that repugicans led by Mitch McConnell have set their sights on slashing Social Security and Medicare at the behest of Wall Street CEOs who claim they “can’t afford Americans’ Social Security” pensions or Medicare benefits seniors paid for throughout their working lives. Sadly, Democrats conceded cutting military and federal employee’s pensions to prevent repugicans from shutting down the government again in January that was a ruse to save the wealthy and corporations’ from tax reform that is restricting government revenue to repair this country’s third-class infrastructure. Whether repugicans get the message that Americans have had enough of their Koch brother, ALEC, and Wall Street masters driving government gifts to the rich remains to be seen, but if history is any indication, they will disregard the will of the people and dutifully obey their wealthy benefactors; only this time is it at their electoral peril.

Snowden doesn't appear in Google's top 2013 searches

The Washington Post points out that Edward Snowden's name doesn't appear in the list of top Google searches for 2013. Brian Fung suggests that maybe the world doesn't care about Snowden. Conspirancy theorists might ask whether Google has tweaked the zeitgeist report.

2013 was "Second worst year on record for jailed journalists," reports CPJ

The Committee to Protect Journalists today issued an annual report which claims 2013 was the second worst year on record for jailed journalists. "For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world’s leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China. The number of journalists in prison globally decreased from a year earlier but remains close to historical highs."

Airline pilot's sandwich demand delayed flight by over 2 hours

A pilot delayed a New York-bound Pakistan International Airlines' flight by two and a half hours because he wanted to take sandwiches, which weren't in approved menu, aboard the plane.
PIA flight Pk-711, scheduled for New York via Manchester, was ready for departure on Saturday from Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore at 6.45am. The catering department served the approved menu, including lunch, peanuts, chips and biscuits but flight captain Noushad asked them to serve him sandwiches.
The catering staff expressed their inability to serve anything beyond the approved menu and also informed him of the sensitivity of the flight's departure time. The staff told him that sandwiches could only be arranged by placing an order to a five-star hotel in the city, which would take more than two hours. The captain remained adamant and said no matter what he needed his sandwiches.
The catering department then contacted the PIA head office in Karachi and brought the matter to their notice. Surprisingly, the management then directed the catering department to meet the pilot's demand. Finally, the sandwiches were arranged from the five-star hotel concerned and the flight could depart to its destination at 9.15am after a delay of two and a half hours.

The Crossword Puzzle Is 100 Years Old

Historians of the crossword puzzle generally date its first appearance to December 21, 1913, just about 100 years ago. Arthur Wynne, a journalist from Liverpool, England, published a 'word-cross' puzzle (picture left) in the New York World that embodied most of the features of the genre as we know it. This puzzle is frequently cited as the first crossword puzzle, and Wynne as the inventor.

But a decade would go by before the crossword, as it was by then called - apparently due to a typesetter's error - would become one of the biggest fads of the Roaring Twenties.

The House On Elliðaey Island, Iceland

Also known as Bjork's house or the most secluded house in the world, the house on Elliðaey Island in Iceland has puzzled the web with its absurd set up. Who on earth would want to live in a windswept, treeless rock without anyone else in sight?



Metal detectorist finds possible Native American burial site

A treasure hunter was testing a new metal detector in Wetumpka on Sunday when he stumbled upon what could turn out to be a Native American burial site.
Metal detectorist finds possible Native American burial site
Treasure hunter Ray Camp found bones along with copper bracelets and beads while using a metal detector Sunday in Wetumpka [Credit: Alabama Archeometalology Historcial Society]
Ray Camp was on private property not far from Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino trying out his new XP Deus metal detector when he made the discovery. The metal detector helped him locate a copper bracelet about four or five inches below the surface.

Then Camp realized there was bone attached to the bracelet. He also found teeth, beads and other bones in the same location.

He contacted Heath Jones, founder of the Alabama Archeometalology Historical Society, a group of archaeological and metal detection hobbyists that Camp is a member of.

Jones said he advised Camp to contact Wetumpka police to ensure that it was not a crime scene, and state archaeologists also were contacted.

Wetumpka police officers responded and secured the site, and archaeologists planned to visit the site Monday afternoon.

Jones said his group, which consists of eight to 10 members from various parts of the state, prides itself on being respectful and following the correct procedures.

“It is an important part of who we are and how we go about these things,” Jones said.

Stacye Hathorn, state archaeologist with the Alabama Historical Commission, said she would be inspecting the site in an effort to determine whether the remains are from a Native American burial.

Hathorn said discoveries of Native American burials are not common in Alabama but that they are not unheard of.
Metal detectorist finds possible Native American burial site
Ray Camp found metal bracelets buried on property in Wetumpka on Sunday and soon discovered there were bones buried there as well [Credit: Alabama Archeometalology Historcial Society]
She said that once the remains are inspected and the historical significance is determined, the remains will be placed back into the ground in accordance with state law.

Hathorn said more would be known about the remains by this morning.

Jones called the discovery “the find of a lifetime.”

He said the copper bracelets, beads and proximity to the casino, where other remains have been located, all lead him to believe that Camp’s discovery is of a Native American burial site.

Jones said it was the first time someone in the group had discovered human remains with a metal detector and the first time he has heard of that happening in the state.

Most of the group’s historical discoveries involve items such as musket balls and other artillery from the Civil War along with items such as old coins, Jones said.

The group is mostly made up of former police officers and military members, Jones said, adding that he spent 16 years as a police officer in Heflin and as an undercover officer with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Jones said he and the group want to keep the exact location of Camp’s discovery under wraps right now to keep away anyone with less than honorable intentions.

“We are not treasure hunters, and we want to prevent that type thing from happening,” he said.

New theory turns pyramid building on its head

A Newport engineer says his discovery about how the Egyptian pyramids were built threatens to shake up the world of archaeology. Peter James revealed to Sarah Dickins how he thinks the accepted theories about pyramid building are wrong.
New theory turns pyramid building on its head

Cast your mind back to pictures in school books about the building of the ancient pyramids and you probably remember images of hundreds of workers in loincloths heaving massive stones up ramps.

Peter James and his team have been restoring the Egyptian pyramids for 18 years, with his company Cintec working deep inside the iconic structures.

He began to question how they were really built up to 4,000 years ago. He says the traditional view, that hundreds of workers manoeuvred two million stone blocks, laying one every three minutes, is impossible.

'Too steep to move'

He says the pyramids are so tall that the ramps would have needed to be at least a quarter of a mile long or they would be too steep to move the blocks along. He adds that had that happened, there would still be signs that the ramps had been there.

Instead, Mr James says, from what he has seen working deep inside the pyramids, he believes they were built from the inside out, with large stones on the outside and small material inside - a bit like a modern builder would construct a stone wall.

Mr James is managing director of Cintec International based in Newport. He employs 50 people and works across the world but has particularly been involved strengthening and restoring ancient monuments in Iran, Iraq and the Sahara, as well as Wales and England, where he's strengthened walls in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
New theory turns pyramid building on its head

One technique he's invented - and patented - is to drill into the ancient structures and take out a core of stone, almost like an apple core, and then use something he's developed a bit like a syringe to squeeze in thin concrete so no air is trapped.

Inside the Step pyramid in Egypt, they discovered that a massive tonnage of small stones was being held up by only the trunk of a palm tree thousands of years old. Traditional tubular props could damage a pyramid wall so, together, the Cintec team invented a new way of supporting the pyramid from inside.

They designed large airbags, one and a half metres high and a metre in diameter which they used, 11 at a time, inflated on site inside the pyramids. They are made in Cintec's factory in Cwmbran, strong plastic welded together with a very particular design of webbing inside so that the structure remains stable. They are fully inflated within the pyramid and in effect form a cushion.

Peter James says: "It was described to me that we were kissing the stones and stopping many tonnes of stones from falling on our heads."

His company is still working in Egypt and on many other historic sites around the world. He is now preparing to tell Egyptian archaeologists about his discovery and how he is challenging thinking accepted over generations about the way the pyramids were built.

Storms could reveal new sites in Scotland

The recent storms that hit the Scottish coastline could reveal important new archaeological sites, according to Fife scientists.
Storms could reveal new sites in Scotland
A before and after photo of what happened in a storm last year
at Brora excavation [Credit: BBC]
St Andrews University archaeologists are appealing to the public to help find sites that have been uncovered by the storms.

They also hoping people contact them to record local sites that have been damaged by the recent bad weather.

Scotland has been badly damaged by wind and rain over the last two weeks.

A few of the most famous sites in Scotland are shielded behind by sea walls, but the vast majority are unprotected and vulnerable to damage.

Tom Dawson, of St Andrews University researcher, said: "Scotland's coast is a treasure chest of information about the past, and some of Europe's best-preserved ancient sites were found buried in Scottish sand dunes.

"The sand has preserved sites for centuries, but recent storms have washed away parts of the coast edge, making this irreplaceable archive incredibly vulnerable."

He added that even a small amount of erosion can cause a great deal of damage and last year, four hundred year-old salt pans, Brora's first building, were destroyed in a storm in East Sutherland.

Scottish charity, SCAPE, fears many more sites may have been damaged after the recent storms, and is asking for help in recording what has survived and what has been lost.

'Particularly violent'

Working with Historic Scotland and St Andrews University, their latest venture, the Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk Project (SCHARP) shows all sites found in recent surveys.

They are appealing for people to visit local sites and tell the project team if the sites have been damaged.

They are also asking for photos of sites and of stretches of beach affected during the storms.

Mr Dawson said: "The recent storms have been particularly violent, and last week, the spring tides mean that the sea was very high.

"There are already reports of changes to the coast, and in some cases, erosion has revealed new sites that we didn't know about.

"Some of Scotland's most famous sites were revealed after storms, and we want to know if another Skara Brae has been uncovered.

"The help of the public will help us to save Scotland's precious heritage."

The world’s first detailed prehistoric maps of Britain

The ABC Publishing Group has announced the publication of the world’s first prehistoric maps of Britain. These maps are based on the recently published book by Robert John Langdon titled ‘The Stonehenge Enigma’ which proves that Britain suffered massive ‘Post Glacial Flooding’ directly after the last Ice Age ten thousand years ago, and that mankind placed their ancient sites on the shorelines of these raised waterways.

The world’s first detailed prehistoric maps of Britain
Stonehenge - surrounded by water on three sides
[Credit: ABC Publishing Group]
The maps are presented on the old ordnance survey first edition that shows the natural ancient environment to a higher degree of detail than subsequent editions. The newly added waterways are colour coded to show how the land would have looked in both the Mesolithic Period (10,000BCE to 4,500BCE) and the Neolithic Period (4,500BCE to 2,500BCE).

“For the first time” says Langdon “archaeologists and historians will be able to understand the features that, until now, have baffled academics”. The newly release maps cover the Stonehenge, Avebury and Old Sarum area of Wiltshire as it has the most prehistoric activity in the country.

“To test the feasibility of my hypothesis, I decided to give it the ultimate test for Wiltshire has the highest concentration of Barrows and Earthworks in the country, so I decided to map the entire district to see if my theory was right or wrong."

The three 1:50 000 maps and six 1:25 000 maps are constructed using a combination of British Geological superficial maps, infrared and photographic satellite images that cover a total of 800 sq. kilometres (500 sq. miles) and incorporates over one thousand ancient monuments, including Round Barrows, Long Barrows, Earthworks and occupation Sites, including for the first-time features that were destroyed by modern farming and Victorian treasure hunters over the last 200 years.

“The results were truly amazing, with over a thousand barrows plotted, only twelve were in the areas we believed to be waterlogged during this prehistoric period. Greater inspection of these monuments showed that they were not as old as believed and built after the waters had receded in recent times. Moreover, the maps showed that every site in the area, including Stonehenge, was built on these waterways and would have been constructed and travelled to by boat as land travel was impossible."

An exhibition of Langdon’s work, including the full range of maps now available to the general public and a new set of maps for the Prehistoric South Downs, which is due to be published during in spring 2014, are at present on display at Ology 12-14 High St in Rottingdean in East Sussex.

Further information and details including pictures of the published maps are found on the ABC web site - Prehistoric Map page

Dna Mystery

Denisova Cave    Bence ViolaMystery early human revealed in DNA

DNA analysis of early human remains from a Siberian cave has revealed the existence of a mystery human species.

Oldest Flowering Plant Genome Mapped

Molecular geneticists have unlocked the genomic secrets of the oldest known existing species of a flowering plant on Earth.

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Human Intelligence Isn't Superior To That Of Other Animals

Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia argue in an upcoming book, The Dynamic Human, that humans really aren't much smarter than other creatures - and that some animals may actually be brighter than we are.

The book's co-author Dr. Arthur Saniotis says: 'For millennia, all kinds of authorities have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom. However, science tells us that animals can have cognitive faculties that are superior to human beings.'

What’s the Difference Between a Mammoth and a Mastodon?

When you think about prehistoric elephants, it's easy to confuse the mammoth (left) and the mastodon (right). After all, they roamed the world at the same time, and went extinct after the emergence of man, but before we kept detailed records (besides cave paintings). To look at them, you'd think that the mastodon would be the closer relative to modern elephants, but you'd be wrong. The two modern elephant species belong to the same family (Elephantidae) as the mammoth, but a mastodon is of the Mammutidae family. The mammoth and mastodon both belong in the order Proboscidea. Mental_floss takes you through the many differences between mammoths and mastodons, so you won't ever confuse them again.   

Dog has adopted baby armadillos

Faísca the dog has adopted two baby armadillos in the southern Brazilian town of Guaporema after developing a psychological pregnancy and producing her own milk.
The armadillos' mother was killed by a tractor in a nearby sugar cane field.
Dina Alves, Faísca's owner, says her husband took them home and began feeding them cow's milk.

Faísca soon became attached and took on nursing and caring for them.

This Ghost Glass Frog Has Got The Craziest Eyes

The Ghost Glass Frog (Centrolene ilex) is a species of frog in the Centrolenidae family. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. It has the craziest hypnotizing eyes you've ever seen.

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