Fossil footprints challenge established theories — Don’t stop thinking on vacation!


Click to enlargeAndrzej Boczarowski

Newly discovered human-like footprints from Crete may put the established narrative of early human evolution to the test. The footprints are approximately 5.7 million years old and were made at a time when previous research puts our ancestors in Africa – with ape-like feet.

Ever since the discovery of fossils of Australopithecus in South and East Africa during the middle years of the 20th century, the origin of the human lineage has been thought to lie in Africa. More recent fossil discoveries in the same region, including the iconic 3.7 million year old Laetoli footprints from Tanzania which show human-like feet and upright locomotion, have cemented the idea that hominins (early members of the human lineage) not only originated in Africa but remained isolated there for several million years before dispersing to Europe and Asia. The discovery of approximately 5.7 million year old human-like footprints from Crete…overthrows this simple picture and suggests a more complex reality…

This discovery challenges the established narrative of early human evolution head-on and is likely to generate a lot of debate. Whether the human origins research community will accept fossil footprints as conclusive evidence of the presence of hominins in the Miocene of Crete remains to be seen,’ says Per Ahlberg.

RTFA for the reasoning behind these conclusions after the discovery in 2002 and further study begun in 2010. All because Gerard Gierlinski, a paleontologist at the Polish Geological Institute, kept his eyes and brain working while on vacation on Crete.

Texas Hucksters Hired for Trumpkin-Style Ad Campaign for Rightwing German Party


Trump loves parades – with or without torches

❝ Angela Merkel as a terrorist — that’s the motif that the Alternative for Germany party has chosen to launch the internet portion of its campaign leading up to national parliamentary elections on Sept. 24. The right-wing populists plan to spend a large part of their 3-million-euro budget on similar publicity offenses. The party is planning a digital campaign that may well be more drastic and aggressive than anything German voters have ever seen…

❝ To assist in its efforts, the party has…engaged the services of advertising professionals in the United States with experience on the right-wing spectrum. The party is working together with the Texas-based agency Harris Media, which recently presented its plans to the AfD’s national committee. With its provocative and aggressive campaigns, the agency has already contributed to the success of a number of controversial politicians. In Britain, it worked with the anti-EU UKIP party; in Israel, it worked with the governing Likud party; and in the United States, news agency Bloomberg has dubbed company founder Vincent Harris “the man who invented the Republican internet.”…

❝ Harris, a Christian conservative, married and still under 30, recently made a personal visit to AfD headquarters in Berlin to monitor progress on the German project, party officials report. Harris founded his agency in 2008 in his college dorm room. A short time later, he led the online arm of the campaign for Ted Cruz, at the time a relatively unknown Republican from Texas who hoped to ride Tea Party backing to a seat in the Senate.

With Harris’ help, Cruz saw the number of his internet supporters skyrocket, he established contact with influential bloggers and ultimately won the election. The Republicans have become regular customers of Harris’ ever since…

❝ To place advertisements on Google or Facebook, AfD now no longer has to go through the German subsidiaries of the internet giants. Here in Germany, the party has recently been facing a lot of resistance from those offices when it tries to buy ads. Now the team at Harris Media just places quick calls to the companies’ headquarters in Silicon Valley, sources say, where the agency is very well networked as a result of its many successful political campaigns for the Republicans. AfD’s orders are then simply put through to Germany from the United States.

Make America Great at everything the Germans used to do so well, eh? Germany for Germans is a slogan the AfD has felt reminded too many of Hitler’s rise to power. Harris appears to be working as hard as possible to change that “carefulness”. After all, Trump doesn’t worry about such comparisons.

Visit this anti-Trump site? 1.3 million people did. Now, the US government wants your IP address

❝ In an unprecedented and dangerous move, Donald Trump’s justice department is threatening to violate the first and fourth amendment rights of over a million people by issuing an overboard surveillance request aimed at identifying alleged anti-Trump protesters.

The justice department is demanding that web hosting provider DreamHost hand over, among many other things, 1.3m IP addresses – essentially everyone who has ever visited an anti-Trump protest site called disruptj20.org that was organizing protests surrounding Trump inauguration in January.

❝ Dream Host revealed the surveillance demand on Monday on their blog, also saying they were going to court to challenge the order. Dream Host called it “a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority” and explained that the “information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution”.

Looks like our fake president admires Nazi tactics as well as some “very fine people” who chose to stand with Nazis and other white supremacists while they rioted in Charlottesville.

Stonewall Jackson’s grandsons say, “The monuments must go.”

An open letter from the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson.

❝ Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,

We are native Richmonders and also the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.

In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses…

RTFA for the rest of the letter. Unlike our fake president, they know American history. They know the role their kin played in trying to destroy this young nation. They know what needs to be fought for – not denied and decried by bigots and racists.

Thanks, Danny Blanchflower

No Grandstanding — Confederate monuments removed from Baltimore overnight

❝ Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight by city contractors, who used heavy machinery to load them onto flat bed trucks and haul them away — an abrupt end to more than a year of indecision on what to do with the memorials.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, who made the decision Tuesday morning to remove the monuments overnight, watched in person as the four statues linked to the Confederacy were torn from their pedestals.

…The mayor said. “There was enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made. Get it done.”

❝ The Baltimore City Council had unanimously passed a resolution this week calling for their removal amid a renewed national conversation following a deadly terrorist attack by a white supremacist at a rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday…

❝ Protesters, who held a rally at the Robert E. Lee-“Stonewall” Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Dell near Johns Hopkins University Sunday, had pledged to tear down that statue themselves Wednesday night if the city didn’t…

“It’s done,” Pugh said Wednesday morning. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could…I did not want to endanger people in my own city.”

❝ The city is still deciding what to do with the removed statues, Pugh said, and she did not reveal where they had been taken in the meantime.

The only “polite” suggestion I can come up with is to melt them down, roll the lumps into sheet metal, stamp out commemorative coins for everyone from the brave soldiers who fought against Confederate separatists – and the traitors who led them – to modern-day civil rights leaders and activists.