Our EISP excavations recently exposed the torsos of two 7 m tall statues (Figure 4). Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of visitors to the island have been astonished to see that, indeed, Easter Island statues have bodies! More important, however, we discovered a great deal about the Rapa Nui techniques of ancient engineering:
- the dirt and detritus partially burying the statues was washed down from above and not deliberately placed there to bury, protect, or support the statues
- the statues were erected in place and stand on stone pavements.
- post holes were cut into bedrock to support upright tree trunks
- rope guides were cut into bedrock around the post holes
- posts, ropes, stones, and different types of stone tools were all used to carve and raise the statues upright Thanx to Neil Rooney Read More
Oldest Known Mayan Astronomical Calendar Stuns Scientists – TIME.
Archaeologists, excavating the ninth-century Maya complex of Xultun in Guatemala, say they have found what may have been a workspace for the town’s scribe. Paintings on the walls, they report, appear to include calculations related to the Maya calendar.
The researchers, writing in today’s edition of the journal Science, say the calculations project 7,000 years into the future. There’s no hint that the calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012, despite popular belief.
“Why would they go into those numbers if the world is going to come to an end this year?” said Anthony Aveni at Colgate University, a scholar of Maya astronomy and a co-author of the paper. “You could say a number that big at least suggests that time marches on.”
The EU is a project pursued with unstinting energy by a generation of utopians, to replace accountable national governments with a more distant authority that manages to be simultaneously sinister and naïve. For Laqueur a good symbol of its modus operandi came in late 2010, when the European Commission printed millions of calendar diaries to hand out to schoolchildren: they had the dates for Ramadan and for Hindu and Sikh feast days, but not for Christmas.
ALL WESTERN EUROPEAN countries have some version of this problem, which involves immigration, Islam, dissent from established European culture, and organized violence. Although it has been temporarily overshadowed by budgetary and currency woes, it is Europe’s most significant chronic problem. What to do about it depends on where one thinks the problem lies.
via Christopher Caldwell: Europe’s Other Crisis | The New Republic.
Wingsuit Video Flying Through The Dolomites
Be sure to click in the bottom-right-hand corner of the screen, so you can enjoy this amazing HD experience in full screen, following Wingsuit Flyers through the Dolomite Mountains. Start by clicking on the under-lined title, on top of this picture. Thanks to old friend Jeanne Bahnson for posting this video from her son Noah, seen in the Red & Black flight suit.
Psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent of the population but constitute roughly 15 to 25 percent of the offenders in prison and are responsible for a disproportionate number of brutal crimes and murders. A recent estimate by the neuroscientist Kent Kiehl placed the national cost of psychopathy at $460 billion a year — roughly 10 times the cost of depression — in part because psychopaths tend to be arrested repeatedly. (The societal costs of nonviolent psychopaths may be even higher. Robert Hare, the co-author of “Snakes in Suits,” describes evidence of psychopathy among some financiers and business people; he suspects Bernie Madoff of falling into that category.) The potential for improvement is also what separates diagnosis from determinism: a reason to treat psychopathic children rather than jail them. “As the nuns used to say, ‘Get them young enough, and they can change,’ ” Dadds observes. “You have to hope that’s true. Otherwise, what are we stuck with? These monsters.”
via Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? – NYTimes.com.
This fullscreen panorama was published in connection with the 50 year anniversary in May 2003, for the first who reached the top of Everest.50 years ago May 29 1953 The top of Mount Everest was reached for the first time by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.Since then 1.200-1.500 has climbed the top. Nobody knows the exact number. More than 140 climbers died on the way.On May 24, 1989 the Australian photographer and mountaineer Roderick Mackenzie reached the summit. He was no 271 since 1953He made which as far as I know is the only 360 degree panorama From the top. Thanx to Mike Douso
via Mount Everest-Monte Everest -360 panorama view from summit – Climbing Mt Everest – Nepal Trekking-panoramic photo from top of Mont Everest.
In his latest book, Civilization, The West and the Rest, the economic and financial historian Niall Ferguson argues that Western civilization’s rise to global dominance over the past 500 years was due mainly to six killer apps, as he calls them: competition, science, rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic.
While “the Rest” lacked these concepts, they might not for much longer, as emerging markets are quickly catching up. Someday, they could even surpass the West. (On May 22 and 29, PBS will air a program based on Civilization.)
What made the West unusual was that risk takers were not only rewarded but honored, whether in science, exploration, or in trade. Spreading across the Atlantic from Europe is an anti-risk culture that manifests itself in two ways. One is the welfare state, designed to remove risk from your life by guaranteeing you an income from the cradle to the grave. That’s great because it means that nobody is starving in the streets for want of work. But it isn’t great if you create poverty traps and disincentives, so that people in the bottom quintile never work, which is the case in much of Europe.
The other way in which the anti-risk culture manifests itself is with the manic regulatory mentality that tries to prescribe rules for every eventuality, including the tiny, tiny risk that an asteroid will hit this building. Regulations that protect from every eventuality end up being paralyzing because the more things are proscribed, the more the ordinary entrepreneur has to be afraid that if he doesn’t comply, he will get sued.
via Is America Becoming an Anti-Risk Welfare State? – Barrons.com.