While many in America were happy about the collapse of the Mubarak government, they were likely happy for the wrong reasons. Optimists, it is said, are people who do not learn from experience and the toppling of a dictator in Egypt looks a lot more like Iran in 1979 than it does America in 1776.
But regardless of the irrational optimism of many in the political spectrum, plenty of scientists are going to be happy that protesters have now turned their sights on Zawi Hawass,
a man who could only have gotten his job in a dictatorship and wielded his position just like one.
An artificial big toe found attached to the foot of an ancient Egyptian mummy is the world's oldest prosthetic. At least for now. It predates the previous earliest known practical prosthesis , the Roman Capula Leg, by several hundred years.
It wasn't simply cosmetic. The two toes, a three-part wood and leather artifact housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Greville Chester artificial toe on display in the British Museum, also helped their toeless owners walk like Egyptians.
Despite the various claims surrounding the idea of alien visitation in the past, one of the primary arguments has been the creation of immense structures in the past that have been argued as being impossible to create without sophisticated modern technologies. More to the point, the argument even suggests that it would take quite advanced technologies (even beyond our abilities today), to produce such construction projects.
Invariably the size of the blocks is mentioned (on the order of several tons to several hundred tons), as well as the issue of moving them, positioning them, and of course the precision involved in their placement.
Well, we now know what a Cargo Cult is, and we are now up to date on the recent research into the Nasca Lines. What I haven’t brought you completely up to date on is the actual Ancient Alien Theory explanation of the Nazca lines. The History Channel
sums it up pretty succinctly:
“The Nazca Lines
into a high plateau in Peru’s Nazca Desert, a series of ancient designs
stretching more than 50 miles has baffled archaeologists for decades.
Along with simple lines and geometric shapes, they include drawings of
animals, birds and humans, some measuring more than 600 feet across.
In ancient times, when things went wrong in battle or the economy, people blamed leaders (if they didn't like them) or the Gods (if they liked the leaders) but maybe they should have blamed global warming. Errr, and cooling.
A new study in Science uses the same techniques as dendrochronology to map the rise and fall of empires and cultures as it was recorded in tree rings - and then to weather conditions.
A cave inside some remote mountains of Armenia contain what is being called the oldest winery yet discovered, dating back to around 4,100 B.C., 1,000 years earlier than previous finds.
The discovery was made in the same mysterious Armenian cave complex where ancient leather shoe was found last summer.
This is the oldest complete wine production facility ever found, including grape seeds, withered grape vines, remains of pressed grapes, a rudimentary wine press, a clay vat apparently used for fermentation, wine-soaked potsherds, and even a cup and drinking bowl.
If you think people in your family can't cook, imagine how bad the soup must have been to bury it and leave it untouched for 2,400 years.
Chinese archaeologists say a bronze cooking pot dug up near the former capital Xian (for 1,100 years - go see the terracotta army at the burial site of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor, there) contains bone soup. They found it while excavating a tomb because they need an extension of the airport - nothing new, China is sort of like a "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" opening when it comes to history getting in the way of Progress.
Less than 8,000 years ago, evidence shows modern people suddenly appeared en masse outside Africa, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. An odd event, to be sure.
Jeffrey Rose, writing in Current Anthroplogy, now says the reason is that the land that brought them there more gradually is now under the Gulf itself.
It makes sense as a hypothesis - you don't just go from sporadic hunting camps to dozens of archaeological sites without a trail, unless the trail is underwater. Rose believes the that humans may have inhabited a fertile land mass where the Gulf now is for up to 100,000 years and it gradually became flooded by the Indian Ocean.
Amelia Carolina Sparavigna in the department of physics of Politecnico di Torino says she has discovered geoglyphs, essentially earthwork graphic designs carved into the landscape, near Lake Titicaca is in the Andes Mountains on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
And she did it using Google.
You may not be able to see it so clearly but time and wear would certainly have made geoglyphs less obvious, though how and why anyone would have made them is also not obvious - unless they were insuring some deity or another could see something more interesting than farmers when they looked down.
"So did you watch "Big Trouble In Little China?" I asked Patrick. He did, he replied, while coding away.
"So you saw what I mean. Chinese people got a lot of Hells, which is bad, but at least they're apparently easy to find. Western religion has just one, but good luck locating it. In that movie they just go under some old guy's house and there it is and they get to fight Raiden(1) and stuff and save the world. If I want to find Hell, I am stuck going into "Revelations" and that isn't much help at all."