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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Sixth of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Barkeep Laughter ... !
Today is  - Bartender Appreciation Day

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The Americas
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The Pacific
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Today in History

1492 Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold.
1776 Phi Beta Kappa, the first scholastic fraternity, is founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
1812 The majority of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand ArmeƩ staggers into Vilna, Lithuania, ending the failed Russian campaign.
1861 Union General George G. Meade leads a foraging expedition to Gunnell's farm near Dranesville, Virginia.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They are to be hanged on December 26.
1863 The monitor Weehawken sinks in Charleston Harbor.
1876 Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang.
1877 Thomas A. Edison makes the first sound recording when he recites "Mary had a Little Lamb" into his phonograph machine.
1906 Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge flies a powered, man-carrying kite that carries him 168 feet in the air for seven minutes at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
1917 The Bolsheviks imprison Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.
1921 Ireland's 26 southern counties become independent from Britain forming the Irish Free State.
1922 Benito Mussolini threatens Italian newspapers with censorship if they keep reporting "false" information.
1934 American Ambassador Davis says Japan is a grave security threat in the Pacific.
1938 France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.
1939 Britain agrees to send arms to Finland, which is fighting off a Soviet invasion.
1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues a personal appeal to Emperor Hirohito to use his influence to avoid war.
1945 The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.
1947 Florida's Everglades National Park is established.
1948 The "Pumpkin Spy Papers" are found on the Maryland farm of Whittaker Chambers. They become evidence that State Department employee Alger Hiss is spying for the Soviet Union.
1957  Vanguard TV3 explodes on the launchpad, thwarting the first US attempt to launch a satellite into Earth's orbit.
1967 Adrian Kantrowitz performs first human heart transplant in the US.
1969 Hells Angels, hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, beat to death concert-goer Meredith Hunter.
1971 Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with India after New Delhi recognizes the state of Bangladesh.
1973 US House of Representatives confirms Gerald Ford as Vice-President of the United States, 387–35.
1975 A Provisional IRA unit takes a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London, and a 6-day siege begins.
1976 Democrat Tip O'Neill is elected speaker of the House of Representatives. He will serve the longest consecutive term as speaker.
1992 The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, is destroyed during a riot that started as a political protest.
2006 NASA reveals photographs from Mars Global Surveyor that suggest the presence of water on the red planet.

Culinary Delites

Xmas Stollen Sweet Bread
German Recipe: Christmas Stollen Sweet BreadStollen is a deliciously stuffed German sweet bread that’s filled to bursting with raisins, ginger and nuts that pair perfectly with the sweet and dense, buttery dough. Making any leavened bread at home isn’t necessarily a walk in the park, as it’s time consuming and requires stopping and starting while the dough does its thing, but this stollen is so yummy you won’t mind making the effort!
The trick, since it’s so packed with goodies, is to make sure you take the time to let the dough rise once without any raisins or nuts in it, then let it rise again once everything’s neatly folded in. These steps will ensure a risen bread that’s perfectly moist. Stollen is an ideal choice for that big holiday dinner or party since it's both beautiful and delicious! This is one of those treats that's just right for any special occasion, a unique blend of textures and flavors wrapped up into a moist loaf of sweet bread!
Stollen Loaf
Yields 2-4 loaves
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur or warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl
  1. Soak raisins, ginger and almonds in orange liqueur in a medium bowl for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours) and set aside.
  2. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just about to boil. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter and salt.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm, then transfer to a large bowl or mixer.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar until liquid and add to the warm milk mixture. Stir well.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to mixture, then vanilla extract, and beat well.
  6. Mix in orange zest, cardamom and nutmeg, then add 2 cups flour and mix until dough begins to come together.
  7. Continue adding flour until dough ball forms. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. 
  8. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  9. Punch down dough and add raisin nut mixture. Knead until completely incorporated and smooth.
  10. Lightly grease a baking tray and shape dough into desired amount of loaves. Cover again with a clean towel, transfer to a warm, draft-free place and let rise for 1 hour.
  11. Press loaves down in center and fold over lengthwise.
  12. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (for smaller loaves) to 50-55 minutes (large loaves).
  13. Remove from oven, melt remaining 3/4 cup butter and brush it onto loaves, and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
    Optional: wrap loaves tightly in plastic wrap and let sit for 1 day before serving to maximize flavor.

That would be nice ...


Obama Wins As Boehner Announces His Plan To Cave To The President’s Executive Orders

John Boehner announced his plan to both respond to the president’s immigration executive orders and keep the government open. The idiot’s scheme is a thinly veiled cave to Obama that equals another presidential victory.
Politico reported,
boehner-angry-obamaJohn Boehner announced Tuesday in a closed repugican meeting that the House would vote to disapprove of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration this week and will vote to fund the government next week.
The two-part plan, which repugican cabal leadership laid out Monday evening to some lawmakers, is designed to give repugicans an opportunity to express displeasure with the White House’s move on immigration while avoiding a shutdown.
Boehner’s allies are claiming that the Speaker’s plan isn’t a cave, which is a big sign that the Speaker has caved. Rob Pittinger (r-NC) said, “I don’t think you’re caving when you’re trying to restrict the president who has been unconstitutional. I think you’re taking every initiative that is possible at this point so he’s not a position to enact the provisions he chooses to do.”
The fallback position of the Speaker’s allies appears to involve throwing their arms up in the air while screaming at the top of their lungs that President Obama is a dictator/emperor. What this means in practical terms is that House repugicans are going throw a tantrum and stomp their feet, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the guts to shut down the government right before Xmas.
To put it another way, President Obama won.
The passage of Boehner’s plan depends on his ability to sell it to his fellow repugicans. Since John Boehner is the worst salesperson in American politics, it is very possible that his plan crashes and burns as his own repugicans refuse to support it.
If the repugicans support Speaker Boehner’s scheme, their vote will be a tacit admission that the president has outmaneuvered and defeated his repugican opponents again. The plan that Boehner is floating is a cave to reality.
The repugicans don’t have a leg to stand on as it relates to opposing the president’s executive orders. There is nothing that they can do. Boehner has already lost. The Ohio repugican’s plan is a smokescreen that is intended to hide another crushing defeat.

Mitch McConnell Admits That He Is Perplexed That Obama Is Beating Him By Moving Left

Mitch McConnell (r-KY) admitted that he was perplexed by the fact that President Obama outsmarted him by moving to the left.
McConnell told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, “By any objective standard the president got crushed in this election. So I’ve been perplexed by the reaction since the election, the sort of in your face dramatic move to the left. I don’t know what we can expect in terms of reaching bipartisan agreement.”
This is the same Mitch McConnell who promised before the election that he would break Obama and force him to do the repugican cabal’s bidding. McConnell intended to accomplish this goal by using government shutdowns to force the president’s hand.
McConnell’s comments are another indication that repugicans have no idea who this president is. McConnell and Boehner thought that they were getting the imaginary Obama that Faux News is always talking about, but they are both realizing that the man they are going to be dealing with for the next two years is nothing like what repugicans imagined him to be.
President Obama isn’t indecisive. The president is not weak. Obama has shown in numerous standoffs with House repugicans that he doesn’t respond well to bullying and hostage politics. The president’s offers of bipartisanship are real, but he expects repugicans to meet him in the middle. Obama has spent years refusing to bend to repugican created crisis, so it is unfathomable that McConnell could be perplexed by anything that the president is doing.
With his immigration executive action, the president outflanked repugicans while reuniting his party. Obama has six years of evidence that repugicans had no intention of working with him on anything. The White House had a strategy in place, and they were prepared for a Democratic defeat.
McConnell and Boehner have already backed down on the threat to shutdown the government in December. McConnell doesn’t have the stomach for government shutdowns, which means that he has very few weapons to use against the president.
President Obama responded to the midterm election results ready to fight. Instead of a victory lap, McConnell has gotten himself a political street fight where President Obama has already won the first round.
One gets the sense that feeling perplexed is just the beginning of Mitch McConnell’s problems.

Economist: I've crunched the numbers, and the American Dream is dead

by Travis Gettys
A California economics professor says he's crunched the numbers, and he has concluded that the American Dream is dead..
Gregory Clark, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, found that social mobility had diminished significantly in the past 100 years, reported KOVR-TV.
"America has no higher rate of social mobility than medieval England or pre-industrial Sweden," Clark said. "That's the most difficult part of talking about social mobility, is because it is shattering people's dreams."
He said social mobility is little different in the United States than in other countries, where ancestry strongly predicts adult social status.
"The status of your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, (and) your great-great grandchildren will be quite closely related to your average status now," Clark said.
That's upsetting to many of his students, Clark said.
"My students always argue with me, but I think the thing they find very hard to accept is the idea that much of their lives can be predicted from their lineage and their ancestry," he said.
Clark's findings, which were published by the Council on Foreign Relations, showed that Americans with French ancestry, for example, became doctors at a much lower rate than other immigrant groups.
"The French who arrived in the United States were overwhelmingly drawn from the lower classes of Acadia and Quebec, as a result of demographic patterns and selective migration," Clark argued. "The effects of this lower social status have persisted across generations, even amid extensive intermarriage."
Some immigrant groups - such as Africans, Chinese, Christian Arabs, and Indians - enjoy higher social status because visa restrictions limited entry to mostly skilled workers from higher social classes, he found.

White Blood Cells Attacking A Parasite

 This is what it will look like when the normal well adjusted people turn on the perverted wingnuts who are currently corrupting our society. Just like their kindred parasite above they well be destroyed.

White supremacists worry Austin anti-government shooting will harm their reputations

From the "You've got to be kidding" Department:
by Scott Kaufman
White supremacists on the Stormfront forum are claiming that the Austin man who opened fired on a federal courthouse, a police headquarters, and the Mexican consulate last week is a "false flag" designed to stir up hatred against white Americans, SITE reports.
"I had a feeling [the shooter, Larry Steve McQuilliams] was a white man, and you can be sure the hostile aliens who really control the country are going to use this against US," wrote "Volodyamyr."
According to Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, McQuilliams demonstrated a "violent anti-everything behavior, anti-government behavior" during his attack.
McQuilliams' Facebook page indicated that he was, in fact, upset at the government - as well as a fan of Ron Paul.
Acevedo further speculated that "when you look at the national debate right now about immigration, that comes to mind [as a possible motivation]. Sometimes our political discourse becomes very heated and sometimes very angry."
At Stormfront, "Volodyamyr" insisted that this is precisely what those in power - Jews and "hostile aliens" - want people to believe.
"Half cocked attacks on the part of 'an angry white male' is a dream come true for any Jewish or darkie gun grabber and agent of genocide against whites," he said. "The putrid smell of a Zionist or Mexican false flag against whites and the U.S. Constitution hangs heavy in the air here."
Others, like "FatherOdin," agreed, claiming that "once the media picks up this story we will once again hear nonstop about how all Whites are racist, anti-government, violent threats to America."
The media's focus on the identity of the shooter is "why we have to keep telling the truth," wrote "14words_of_truth."
"The Federal Government is anti-white! The Federal Government is a lawless out of control violent mob! The only solution to the Federal Government is secession!"

The Truth Be Told


Family kept father's corpse in bedroom for six months as they prayed for resurrection

Peter Wald's family truly believed he would rise from the dead. They believed it because they had prayed for it, every single day, while his corpse lay rotting for six months in an upstairs bedroom of their home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. When neighbors asked about her husband, curious about the 52-year-old man's seeming disappearance, Kaling Wald would tell them he was "in God's hands now." On Monday, Kaling, 50, pleaded guilty to failing to notify police or the coroner that her husband had died due to a sickness that was not being treated by a doctor. It's the first known case of its kind (involving the resurrection belief) in Canada. The criminal charges originally laid in the case – neglect of duty regarding a dead body and offering an indignity to a body – were withdrawn and replaced with that single charge under the Coroner's Act. Kaling had no ill intent, all agreed.
As assistant crown attorney Janet Booy put it, the devout christian woman's delusion had "tainted and warped her better judgment." "We were trusting dog … we thought, 'Okay, you know better," Kaling said after her court appearance on Monday. Peter Wald, 52, died "probably on around March 20th" last year, according to the agreed statement of facts read out in court Monday. He'd suffered from diabetes and his left foot had become infected. But he had refused to go to the hospital and believed dog would cure him. He went into a coma, she says, and days later she noticed his stomach bloating and signs of rigor mortis on his forehead. She then left him – his body covered with two blankets, his head with a toque – in the bed and padlocked the bedroom door. Kaling sealed in the door and the vents with duct tape to protect her family from the smell of the cadaver. And then for six months, life went on and they prayed for their dead husband and father in the bed upstairs as they awaited his return.
It was Sept. 17, 2013 when the body was finally discovered. The sheriff had arrived to evict the family from the house after they had defaulted on the mortgage. Expecting the eviction, the family packed the dead man's belongings and had his shoes and bags ready to go. "That was how strong our delusion was," Kaling says. But when she unlocked the bedroom door his body, which had attracted rodents, was so decomposed it was impossible to identify by photograph. His feet were sticking out from under the blankets with gauze still wrapped around the left foot. "He (the sheriff) said 'Okay that's enough, close the door," Wald remembers. Police and the coroner were called, but because of the mummified state of his body, toxicology tests could not be conducted and a cause of death was not confirmed - though it is "likely due to natural causes," the pathologist's report says.
The Children's Aid Society was called in too but they found no concerns for the well-being of the couple's children and the case was closed. Everyone living in the home – Kaling, five of her six children age 11 to 22, and seven other adult friends – were interviewed by police. Each provided a consistent account of his death and their religious delusion that he could be resurrected. In court on Monday, the crown acknowledged that had they gone to trial their chance at a conviction would be slim. There was no criminal intent - as Wald said afterwards, she wasn't even aware there was a law against this. "It's an extremely sad case…she truly believed her husband was going to be resurrected from the dead, even after six months," said assistant crown attorney Janet Booy. Booy says she researched the law extensively and could not find another case like this. Kaling – who has no past criminal record – had her sentence suspended and was put on 18 months of probation and ordered to seek counseling around the "public health concerns" of the incident.

Pupils at prestigious London public school told to cover uniforms with hoodies for safety

Pupils at a leading public school in west London are being urged to swap their blazers for hoodies to stop them being mugged outside the school-gates. Boys at St Paul’s School, in Barnes, are being targeted by robbers because of their distinctive uniforms displaying the famous school emblem.
They are being told to wear hooded tops as they journey to and from the school so they blend in more easily with other local teenagers. It is believed criminal gangs are targeting the boys at the £22,000-a-year school because they think they are carrying expensive items. One parent told the said there have been as many as 14 muggings in the past few weeks.
She said: “If anything they could get into trouble with teachers for keeping their uniform on these days. The mugging problem has become very bad lately.” Teachers are now reportedly keeping watch on nearby Hammersmith Bridge as muggers target boys on either end because they know there is no way of escape.
The parent added: “They know these children have the best iPhones or the best laptops and iPads.” Boys at the school usually wear charcoal grey trousers, a white shirt, a school tie with their corresponding house and a black blazer for formal events. The school, whose former pupils include poet John Milton, Samuel Pepys and George Osborne, has been telling pupils to cover up their ties and wear trainers when walking home.

Exploding wood burner caused by firewood that had grown around fragmentation grenade

A 22-year-old woman from Gmunden in Upper Austria narrowly escaped with her life after a fragmentation grenade exploded inside her wood burner on Sunday. Andrijana Mitrovic lit a fire at around 1pm on Sunday afternoon, and fed it with firewood she had bought from a local hardware store - the same place where she had bought the wood burner two months previously
Unbeknownst to her, the wood contained a World War II vintage fragmentation grenade. According to police spokeswoman Petra Datscher, the shell had most likely lodged in a tree during fighting more than 70 years ago, and the tree had then grown around the explosive, protecting it from the elements.
When the wood from the tree was harvested, the shell was still lodged hidden inside a log, which had been cut for firewood. The fire caused the shell to explode violently, but fortunately the wood burner was strongly-built, and contained the force of the blast. The glass door to the wood burner however was completely shattered.
Ms Mitrovic called the police, who brought in a specialist bomb disposal team. The team was able to confirm that the 8cm long by 2cm wide shell was a war relic, and determined that all the explosive was now burned away by the fire. Fortunately, no one was injured, and damage was limited to the wood burner. World War II munitions turn up on a regular basis in Austria.

Man charged after break-in at police station

A 38-year-old man from Bentley in Western Australia has been arrested after he allegedly broke into a police station on Sunday night.
Police say the man used a brick paver to smash a window at Kensington Police Station after jumping a side fence at about 6.45pm.
He was caught by police after crawling through the hole. The man was taken to Royal Perth Hospital after sustaining injuries during the alleged break-in.
He has been charged with criminal damage, trespass and breach of bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court.

Man spent 20 minutes breaking into business, stole a couple of sausages then fell asleep

Police in Austin, Texas, have arrested a man who they say broke into a business, stole a couple of sausages and fell asleep. According to an arrest affidavit, 28-year old Ricardo Cardona tried for 20 minutes to kick down the door at Hudson Meats before finally succeeding.
“He comes over to the cooler and grabs a couple sausages. Goes back outside, then comes back inside,” said Ashley Booth, office manager at Hudson Meats. Surveillance cameras captured Cardona walk over to the meat cooler, quickly realize it wasn’t for him, then turn back.
Cardona walked into the office at about 5:30am, found a coat, kicked his feet up on a desk and fell asleep. When employees showed up for their shift at about 7am, they found the suspect and called police. According to the affidavit, Cardona woke up to the sight of officers and said “I don’t work here, sir.”

He is charged with Criminal Trespass. Cardona told police he was out drinking with friends the night before and was likely cold before entering Hudson Meats. Police don’t think the suspect had any plans to steal from the business. He also didn't eat the sausages. This all happened during Hudson Meats’ busiest time, rifle season, when hunters bring their trophies to be processed for meals.

Man arrested for trying to steal cow tongue by stuffing it down his pants

A Florida man has been arrested after allegedly trying to steal more than 6 pounds of cow tongue by stuffing it down his pants.
Jason Puckett was arrested on Friday after the attempted theft at Walmart in DeLand.
Police said Puckett went to the cooler, put the cow tongue down his pants and tried to walk out of the store. He was stopped by loss prevention officers, who called police after Puckett ran out of the store.
Police recovered two beef tongues, which were valued at $35.35. Puckett was charged with petit theft and taken to Volusia County jail on a $2,500 bond.

Police seek men who stole $600 worth of teeth-whitening strips

Two men accused of stealing from a Carroll County, Georgia, Walmart may now be sporting brighter smiles.
The pair are accused of taking $600 worth of teeth-whitening strips, according to investigator Joe Gramling with Carrollton police.
In surveillance video from inside the store, the two appeared to be working together on a health and beauty aisle before leaving in opposite directions, Gramling said.

Both men later left the store with several boxes of the strips, which promise noticeably whiter teeth in a matter of days. Gramling said the whitening strips likely will be resold for pennies on the dollar, possibly at flea markets.

Random Celebrity Photos

Marilyn Monroe

An Ice-Covered Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

It's shaping up to be a chilly winter in the American Midwest. Tom Gill, a photographer, can see and feel that with certainty. He takes photos of the natural environment around Lake Michigan. Recently, he snapped pictures of a lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan. The 35-foot tower and the catwalk leading to it were covered with thick layers of ice. It's a beautiful sight. You can see more of his photos of the lighthouse here, here, and here.

Oldest Art

Get an up-close look at what may be the earliest art ever found.
The find is the earliest known art and it could have profound implications for the evolution of both our species and that of another human.

Lessons From an Ancient Time When Recyclers Walked the Earth

by Isabel Kershner
Flint stones that indicate prehistoric recycling were found in Qesem Cave and examined at Tel Aviv University.
For years, archaeologists have been diligently digging their way through prehistoric layers of time, unearthing the secrets of Qesem Cave.
Located just outside Tel Aviv and discovered by accident during a road construction project in 2000, the cave most recently offered up insights into life hundreds of thousands of years ago that provide a sobering counterpoint to at least one aspect of modern life.
It seems that back in the day, early inhabitants of the area were all about recycling — a potential lesson for today’s Israel.
“Recycling was a way of life,” said Ran Barkai, an associate professor in the department of archaeology and ancient Near Eastern civilizations at Tel Aviv University who, together with Prof. Avi Gopher, his teacher, has researched Qesem Cave since its discovery. “It was part of human evolution and human nature.”
“At some point,” he added, “they taught us to forget that.”
After 14 years, archaeologists have penetrated about 32 feet below what was the original ceiling. Along the way, they found thousands of recycled tools in the cave, including bone hammers and reworked flint stones. With aged, glossy surfaces broken by newer, rougher razor edges, the flint tools were part of a vast collection of knives apparently used for butchering, cleaning animal hides and cutting vegetable matter. Some of the blades are as sharp as a scalpel and as small as a thumbnail.
Prof. Ran Barkai has researched the Qesem Cave since its discovery in 2000. 
Flint stones that indicate prehistoric recycling were found in the cave and examined at Tel Aviv University.
Recycling came naturally to these early humans, a habit largely neglected in modern-day Israel, where a current television public awareness campaign features children in superhero outfits pilfering plastic bottles from under their parents’ noses for recycling.
Amir Peretz, the minister of environmental protection until last month, was about to push through draft legislation to phase out the use of plastic bags at Israeli supermarkets. But he resigned, citing his opposition to the 2015 draft state budget and the lack of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and his initiative was shelved.
At the cave site, there is evidence that prehistoric humans were not always so thrifty, but that the behavior evolved. Life in the region dates back at least 1.5 million years, but Professor Barkai said that a dramatic change had occurred here 400,000 years ago. He said that for some unknown reason the elephants that had served as a main food source apparently disappeared, prompting a change of menu and lifestyle for the inhabitants of Qesem Cave, near the town of Rosh Haayin.
In the quest for survival, Israeli archaeologists say, the cave dwellers here began hunting fallow deer instead of elephants. At the same time, they discovered the delights of a hot, home-cooked meal — and apparently invented the barbecue.
These early humans had the intelligence to squeeze the maximum out of every product. After cooking the meat, then smashing the bones to extract the marrow, Professor Barkai said, “they used the bone fragments to create tools with which to butcher the next deer.”
“They closed a circle,” he said.
The cave is just 7.5 miles east from the bustling center of Tel Aviv, the fast moving metropolis on the Mediterranean. The cave was exposed by chance when road builders widening the highway to the West Bank settlement of Ariel blasted a hillside, collapsing the cave’s ceiling. Another archaeologist who happened to be nearby, guarding his own cave, spotted chunks of rock packed with bones and flint and immediately realized that the site was prehistoric.
The road was diverted to skirt the cave, but to this day, the primeval find is tested by the trucks hurtling by.
The cave now sits under a canopy a few footsteps up a path off the four-lane highway. Ladders and narrow planks connect the various levels of the site that have been exposed. There is no digging in the winter, and many of the discoveries have been removed and taken to laboratories or university storerooms. But flint and bone fragments remain lodged in every cranny of the cave’s beige earth.
The cave caused a bit of a stir in 2010, when it was reported that several teeth found there had provided evidence for the existence of Homo sapiens, or modern humans, 200,000 years earlier than in Africa, and earlier than in anywhere else in the world.
By now, 13 early human teeth have been found, and Professor Barkai said the inhabitants might have been a kind of missing link — more advanced than Homo erectus and precursors of Homo sapiens and the Neanderthals.
The latest research to emerge from the cave was the insight into recycling among the Stone Age innovators, who lived here on and off from about 400,000 to 200,000 years ago.
That phenomenon was recently documented in a series of articles that the Tel Aviv professors wrote with other experts for the Elsevier Quaternary International academic journal, with titles like “Recycling Bones in the Middle Pleistocene: Some Reflections From Gran Dolina TD10-1 (Spain), Bolomor Cave (Spain) and Qesem Cave (Israel),” and “The Function of Recycled Lithic Items at Late Lower Paleolithic Qesem Cave, Israel: An Overview of the Use-Wear Data.”
The early humans had to adapt to their changing environment — perhaps another lesson for the modern world. They developed an independent, local culture, Professor Barkai said, that stretched across the territory that now includes Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The hunters needed to become more discerning, agile and efficient. On average, 80 deer were needed to make up the food provided by one elephant. The cave dwellers also gathered small fruit and nuts and collected wood for fires. This area was a kind of Eden, with natural springs and flint in abundance.
They began crafting their sharp tools from flint, according to experts, racing ahead of their time and their human contemporaries in Europe and Africa.
“This was the high technology of the ancient man,” Professor Barkai said.
In a patch that once served as a hearth, layers of hardened ash date back 300,000 years. Here the earth is packed with bone fragments, including a horse’s jaw with two front teeth. Though sporadic use of fire existed much earlier, Qesem Cave has been established as the site with the earliest evidence of the systematic use of fire for roasting meat on a daily, domestic basis — “like when we turn on the gas stove,” as Professor Barkai put it. The cave dwellers’ ancestors probably ate their elephants raw.
The cave was organized like a house, he said, with different areas serving as a kitchen, a workshop and an area where children appeared to have practiced making flint tools of their own. The hearth also appears to have served as a kind of central campfire.
Professor Barkai said that evidence of some of the same behavior, technologies and methods had been found as far away as Syria and that there must have been some kind of communication between the early humans in the region.
“I don’t know how,” the professor says. “There was no Wi-Fi, but they knew each other.”

Archaeological Dig Uncovers Ancient Race Of Skeleton People

A team of British and Egyptian archaeologists made a stunning discovery Monday, unearthing several intact specimens of "skeleton people"—skinless, organless humans who populated the Nile delta region an estimated 6,000 years ago.
"This is an incredible find," said Dr. Christian Hutchins, Oxford University archaeologist and head of the dig team. "Imagine: At one time, this entire area was filled with spooky, bony, walking skeletons."
"The implications are staggering," Hutchins continued. "We now know that the skeletons we see in horror films and on Halloween are not mere products of the imagination, but actually lived on Earth."
Standing at the excavation site, a 20-by-20-foot square pit along the Nile River, Hutchins noted key elements of the find. "The skeletons lived in this mud-brick structure, which, based on what we know of these people, was probably haunted," he said. "Although we found crude cooking utensils in the area, as well as evidence of crafts like pottery and weaving, we are inclined to believe that the skeletons' chief activity was jumping out at nearby humans and scaring them. And though we know little of their language and means of communication, it is likely that they said 'boogedy-boogedy' a lot."
Approximately 200 yards west of the excavation site, the archaeologists also found evidence of farming.
"What's puzzling about this," Cambridge University archaeologist Sir Ian Edmund-White said, "is that skeletons would not benefit from harvested crops, as any food taken orally would immediately fall through the hole behind the jaw and down through the rib cage, eventually hitting the ground. Our best guess is that they scared away a group of human farmers, then remained behind to haunt the dwelling. Or perhaps they bartered goods in a nearby city to acquire skeleton accessories, such as chains, coffins and tattered, dirty clothing."

Continued Edmund-White: "The hole in that theory, however, is that a 1997 excavation of this area which yielded extensive records of local clans and merchants made no mention of even one animated mass of bones coming to town for the purpose of trade. But we are taking great pains to recover as much of the site as possible, while also being extremely careful not to fall victim to some kind of spooky skeleton curse."
As for what led to the extinction of the skeletons, Edmund-White offered a theory.
"Perhaps an Egyptian priest or king broke the curse of the skeletons, either by defeating the head skeleton in combat or by discovering the magic words needed to send their spirits back to Hell," Edmund-White said. "In any case, there is strong evidence that the Power of Greyskull played a significant role in the defeat of the skeleton people."
According to Hutchins, the skeletons bear numerous similarities to humans, leading him to suspect that there may be an evolutionary link between the two species.
"Like humans, these creatures walked upright on two legs and possessed highly developed opposable thumbs," Edmund-White said. "These and many other similarities lend credence to the theory that hundreds of thousands of years ago, human development passed through a skeletal stage. These skeletons may, in fact, be ancestors of us all."
"Any of us could be part skeleton," he added.
Other experts disagreed.
"The evidence of an evolutionary link between humans and skeletons is sparse at best," said Dr. Terrance Schneider of the University of Chicago. "Furthermore, it is downright unscientific to theorize that skeleton life originated in Egypt merely because mummies, another species of monster, are indigenous to the area. Spooky creatures are found all over the world, from the vampires of Transylvania to the headless horsemen of Sleepy Hollow."
You do realize this is an 'article' from The ONION. right?!

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Martian meteorite may contain evidence of extraterrestrial life

A meteorite from Mars that landed on Earth in 2011 contains a carbon compound that is biological in origin.
by Michelle Starr
NASA rover Curiosity is beavering away up on Mars, examining rocks, drilling holes, checking out the weather -- but it's not just up there to look at the planet's hospitability for humans. It's also looking for conditions favorable for life; not now, but in the past, when Mars may have been home to extraterrestrial microbes.But maybe the answer is right here on Earth, after all -- in the form of a meteorite.
Tissint landed in the desert of Guelmim-Es Semara, Morocco, on July 18, 2011. It was thrown from the surface of Mars by an asteroid collision some 700,000 years ago -- and there is no other meteorite quite like it. The 7-11 kilogram grey rock -- seared glassy black on the outside by the heat of entry, called a fusion crust -- showed evidence of water. It was riddled with tiny fissures, into which water had deposited material.
This material, on analysis, turned out to be an organic carbon compound -- one that was biological in origin. It is not the only meteorite in which organic carbon has been found, but the debate has always centered on whether the carbon was deposited before or after the meteorite in question landed on Earth -- to wit, whether it is terrestrial or extraterrestrial in origin.
A team of researchers studied the organic carbon found in the fissures of Tissint and determined that it is not of this world.
There are several points of evidence put forward by the team. First, there was a relatively short time frame between when the meteorite was observed falling to Earth and when it was collected.
The second is that the microscopic fissures in the rock would have had to have been produced by a sudden high heat -- such as, for example, the heat of atmospheric entry. This shock, and the temperatures required to open the fissures, could not have come from the Moroccan desert.
tissint2.jpgThirdly, some of the carbon grains inside Tissint had hardened into diamond. There are no known conditions under which this could have occurred on the surface of the Moroccan desert -- and certainly not in the time it took between the meteorite's fall and discovery.

Fourthly, the carbon contains a high amount of deuterium, heavy hydrogen with one proton and one neutron in its nucleus -- consistent with the composition of Mars geology. "Such an enormous concentration of deuterium is the typical 'finger print' of Martian rocks as we know already from previous measurements," study co-author Professor Ahmed El Goresy of the University of Bayreuth, Germany, said.These points are supported by the nano-scale secondary ion mass spectroscopy data. This reveals that the material was significantly depleted of carbon isotope 13C, compared to the level of 13C in the carbon dioxide of Mars' atmosphere as measured by Phoenix and Curiosity. This difference was consistent with the levels found on Earth between the atmosphere and a piece of coal -- which is biological in origin.
While the case looks strong, though, it would be a mistake to consider the evidence conclusive just yet, cautioned Yangting Lin, the study's senior author and professor at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
"We cannot and do not want to entirely exclude the possibility that organic carbon within Tissint may be of abiotic origin," Lin wrote, meaning the carbon maybe physical in origin rather than organic -- devoid of life.
"It could be possible that the organic carbon originated from impacts of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. However, it is not easy to conceive by which processes chondritic carbon could have been selectively extracted from the impacting carbonaceous chondrites, selectively removed from the soil and later impregnated in the extremely fine rock veins."
The full study, "NanoSIMS analysis of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite: Evidence for the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars", can be found online in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

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