Posts Tagged ‘vikings’

Sex and Drugs and Ice Age Furries

December 28, 2013

The British Museum boasts a mind-blowing display of the world’s oldest known sculptures, drawings and portraits, crafted by the hands of Homo sapiens as long as 40,000 years ago. Ice Age Art: The Arrival of the Modern Mind ran from 7 February until 26 May 2013, but the photos are to die for.

Researchers have drawn up the first definitive list of genetic changes that make modern humans different from our nearest ancient ancestors, who died out tens of thousands of years ago. “We are quite confident that among these genetic changes lie the basis for the interesting differences between modern humans and Neanderthals,” said Janet Kelso, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

“Minted in Norway, spent in Iceland, gambled in Greenland, traded in Newfoundland, carried to Goddard where it fell through a hole in a brave’s pocket”. Beach brings us the tale of the Maine Penny, a medieval coin found in New England soil. Looks like one of the legit OOP artifacts.

But what if humans are not smarter than animals – we just don’t understand them? I repeat: there’s always the results of the Laser Pointer Test to consider!

Godfather Christmas and the Yuletide Enforcers: Have Yourself a Monstrous Christmas!

Neanderthals may have invented a tool that is still in use today. Bone tool called ‘lissoir’ made by Neanderthals is similar to instruments still used by modern leather workers.

Mark Plotkin’s “Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest” sounds like an interesting read.

How much of religious history was influenced by mind-altering substances? I’ve got a small bet in favor of the psychoactives triggering the development of culture, myself. What would a developing culture make of the shamans that continued to explore Nature’s neuroactive toolkit for performance tuning? Were they later called Evil Wizards?

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Atlantis, Vikings, Nazis and HAARP!

July 20, 2013

Behold the Ellora Caves in the Indian state of Maharashtra: a official UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain temples and monasteries carved right out of the the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th century.

The YouToobs has the Nova episode, “The Secret of the Viking Sword”, in which an anomalously good grade of steel was used to make the finest Viking swords… but only for about 150 years, then the secret was lost. And there were crap knock-offs, too! Another article on the Ulfberht swords.

Apparently the Vikings were into importing brides from North America to Iceland, as revealed by mDNA studies. How do you say “I wish they all could be Beothuk girls!” in Norse?

The obligatory Viking kittens link.

An newspaper advert from 1800 in which a wife reports a husband to be missing, and hopes he will stay that way.

Another historical note: if the preacher drowns the guy ahead of you in the baptism line, you might suddenly remember a previous engagement. Does the baptism count if you don’t survive it?

Nazi ideologues had a particular weakness for Atlantis. Hollywood moguls had a particular weakness for Nazis.

Nothing but respect from Dr. Gonzo in his obituary for Tricky Dicky:

“Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together”.

There goes the youth vote! Virginia’s teabagger Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli really wants to make oral sex illegal.

Creepy parent tricks, episode 6000: “I Measure Every Single Thing My Child Does. And I track it on spreadsheets. Really—every single thing. Even every poop. And it makes me a better parent”. Just keep telling yourself that while you enjoy that nice nursing home in Somalia your kids picked out for you.

Do you ever wonder what astronauts talk about in space? Here, Apollo 10 astronauts debate the provenance of a turd found floating in their capsule.

The Air Force’s total fuel bill in 2012 topped $9 billion (with-a-B), so they’re taking a cue from geese and testing “vortex surfing”.  If that doesn’t work they’ll just start flying Priuses covered in feathers.

Study shows direct link between outgoing personalities and a love of spicy foods. Hmmm, that would make me the most dynamic person in the tri-county area, if true. Maybe I should leave the basement more often.

“Why BMW Drivers Are Jerks to Cyclists”. I endorse theories #1 and #4. I’m not sure they should even be separate theories.

As yummy as they may look in cross-section, you really shouldn’t eat golf balls. Unless you a jerk that drives a BMW, in which case you should have ‘seconds’, too.

Even the Illuminati has to pay its bills: HAARP (the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) shut down in early May 2013 due to lack of funds. I guess the wackosphere didn’t get the press release. (My confidential sources say HAARP was secretly replaced by LAARP, it’s the perfect cover!)

House Republicans reject a proposal to ban gun sales to – wait for it – suspected terrorists! Because terrorists stick together in the melting pot that is our great nation!