February Pieces Of My Mind #2

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These milestones helped prevent arguments with farmer taxi drivers.
  • Please let me remind you that the Pixies have a song about a bird sleeping in a tree and dreaming about a mountain on Mars. This makes me happy.
  • Re-reading the Akallabêth after 30 years.
  • Death Angel is a cooperative boardgame about killing aliens. I just realised why it’s so hard to get it to the table. The people who like co-ops are not the same people who like to kill aliens.
  • Making my own Silmarillion edit which only covers events on land that remains above sea level in the Third Age.
  • I have my students do read-alongs of classics straight from Gutenberg.org with me providing running pronunciation aid and explanations, and they just don’t want to stop. Or miss a cue!
  • I knew that it’s fun to teach university archaeology. After a week in Stocksund I can now report that it’s also fun to teach high school languages.
  • Microsoft Outlook knows that users like to separate addresses in group mail with commas. It recognises when you try to do this. But rather than accept this and act, it has an error message where it instructs you to change the commas to semicolons. *facepalm*
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This historical newspaper may need the attention of a document conservator.

 

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

101 thoughts on “February Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. Does the !/4 sign mean a “fjärdingsväg”, a quarter of an old “mil” (approx. “league”)? (not to be confused with the English “mile”)
    — — — —
    Is the language gig likely to lead to a longer employment at the school?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I believe that’s one fjärdingsväg from the previous milestone.

      How long I’ll be teaching at this particular school is down to the health of the colleague I’m replacing. In any case, there won’t be a salary for me after the end of the spring semester.

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  2. A block down the street from my house there is a US Geological Survey benchmark. Every 15 years or so the USGS issues a new series of topographical maps, and the benchmarks are specific locations where they measure the elevation. The benchmarks are shorter and thinner than the milestone in the photo, but at least in this part of the US, they are made of granite, like that milestone.

    Old maps occasionally reveal details about the present world. Several years ago I saw a display of a bunch of old maps of the region. One of those maps, from the USGS 1941 map series, explained why a certain nearby road is so much straighter than is typical of this part of the US: back then it was a rail line, and sometime between 1941 and 1956 (when the next USGS series was issued) it was converted to a state highway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Microsoft Outlook knows that users like to separate addresses in group mail with commas. It recognises when you try to do this.

    Clippy: I see that you are trying to separate e-mail addresses. Do it my way, or the highway.

    Facepalm, indeed.

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  4. There were once elephants really far north in China – a now-extinct species of straight tusked elephant. No one knows much about them, other than that they did exist, including during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, which were really not that long ago in the context of extinctions of megafauna. Shang bronzes clearly depict straight tusked elephants.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephants_in_ancient_China

    The Shang were into mass production of massive ritual bronze objects in a very big way – prompting my daughter to quip, as we trekked our way around a large collection of them in a museum in Taipei: “Ar, see one ancient Chinese bronze vessel, you’ve seen ’em all.”

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  5. I stumbled on a pair of (modern) ceramic stools in HK in the form of elephants. I got pretty excited when I noticed they depicted straight tusked elephants – copies of copies of copies of …something.

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  6. Find some well-preserved elephant fossils and we will get the University of Leipzig paleo-DNA people working on it!
    The time factor means the DNA will be in better shape than the mammoth DNA found at Wrangel’s Island from 5000 years ago.

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      1. Pun appreciated, and it’s always dangerous to project backwards, but maybe not. Why do I say so?
        1. Modern nomadic HGs are less hierarchical and patriarchal, and more egalitarian, necessarily so for nomads without domesticated animals who can’t carry much personal property, and who need to share resources for group survival. But skilled hunters get respect for bringing back and sharing essential nutrition (people die without adequate protein) and also exert a fair bit of dominance. Interpersonal violence tends to be relatively high (as opposed to organised warfare, which needs some kind of structured hierarchy). These general rules seem like they could be generalised and back-projected.
        2. We can’t know about WHGs in Britain, because only few remains have been discovered, and CM is the only complete skeleton. WHGs were isolated in Britain for a couple of thousand years after the inundation of Doggerland and before Neolithic farmers arrived. So we can’t know about mean stature and robustness of WHGs in Britain, although CM seems from skeletal evidence to have been in generally good health (condition of teeth, etc.). But WHGs in Europe were typically taller, more robust and in generally better health than the Neolithic farmers who migrated in later, there were just a lot more farmers. But CM was only 5’5″, a lot shorter than mean adult male height for male WHGs in Europe, or HGs generally, suggesting he would not have been a physically imposing individual among WHG adult males.
        3. Researchers have been careful not to over-interpret evidence, and also maybe mindful that possible interpretations might not play well publicly. But CM seems to show some evidence of (i) some non-fatal cranial injury or infection some time before death, and (ii) death by cranial injury, i.e. bashed over the head. Two. Position of remains suggests either that he was killed in situ and just fell that way, or that he had been killed and then his remains positioned that way in the cave after death. Both seem to suggest maybe some kind of ritual killing, maybe as sacrifice, or as punishment for some infraction, or just as an act of interpersonal violence. But that is reaching pretty far, and no doubt over-reaching on my part.

        The researchers who published the paper on CM et al. knew that their findings would not play well publicly – people seem to like a narrative that supports the idea of in situ ancestral line from ancient people to moderns, but that happened almost nowhere in the world without at least partial replacement, and only in places that were geographically isolated. So, the narrative that WHGs in Britain were wiped out by incoming Neolithic farmers with very little or zero interbreeding, who in turn were almost completely wiped out by incoming Bell Beaker culture people, is probably not one that plays well to the local public, disappointing, but it is whatever it is – can’t falsify to make people feel good.
        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180221131851.htm

        Interesting things about Britain:
        1. Neolithic farming population crashed at a certain point, and was only just beginning to recover when Bell Beaker people migrated in and then they were almost completely wiped out (>90%). Why the population crash? Disease? Regional short term climate fluctuation inducing famine in farming populations? I noticed quite a while back that Neolithic populations in Ireland and Scotland both crashed during a certain time period, can’t remember but likely the same time period, both not linked to any significant numbers of invading ‘other’ people.
        2. Neolithic farmers built Stonehenge, and similar but less well preserved monuments. Bell Beakers just took them over and used them for whatever they used them for. Why wouldn’t you?
        3. Neolithic farmers in Britain built some really solid, well thought out, defensible stone village settlements, some of which still survive in the UK largely intact (well, one at least that I know of that is still in seemingly perfect condition – pretty impressive). Bell Beaker people just took over those houses, and carried on the local house-building traditions. They did that everywhere they migrated into – if it works in the local conditions, whatever they are, use it. If it worked for them, copy it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, but ‘bones’ sounds so counter-pseudo-intellectual. Bones & Stones. In fairness to Birger, a lot of writers use ‘fossil’ to describe remains that aren’t. Wikipedia refers to the Cheddar Man skeleton as a fossil, seemingly written by a contributor who should know better – Brian Sykes had already published the skeleton’s mtDNA in 1996 (but that’s controversial due to possible contamination – but U5 would be really unsurprising for a WHG). And a lot of times it’s not evident from writing to what extent remains have been fossilised. ‘Remains’ seems like a safer collective term to use when discussing interesting things.

      Curiously, the Cheddar Man preprint out now doesn’t identify his Y Haplogroup. Maybe too decayed to identify, but it’s not stated in the paper.

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    1. China has a really big problem with Type 2 Diabetes. Huge, like 1 in 10 of all adults, and rising rapidly. Ageing population + health care costs + diabetes and associated ‘metabolic’ health problems = looming massive problem. Health care costs are really a big problem in the Mainland, which seems counter-intuitive for a ‘socialist’ state.

      India also has a very big problem with high incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, despite a much younger population; on the mean, South Asians have higher body fat % than other populations, which might seem weird on face value.

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      1. Diabetes is also a serious health issue in the US.

        There is the obvious correlation with cheap (compared to local incomes) sugar. It is plausible but not proven that too much sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, which is basically an inability of the body to process sugars (the presence of large amounts of glucose in the blood is a standard test for diabetes). I don’t know about China or India, but in the US the populations most prone to diabetes are precisely the ones most likely to have diets high in sugars, because high-sugar foods have become so cheap in the US and are relatively easy to prepare.

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  7. What is ‘vibrant’ about avocado? Ripe avocado is good stuff but, without additives or eaten without other things, it’s as bland as hell. Bloody food writers. There’s a reason the Mexica developed guacamole.

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    1. It does depend on the variety of avocado, some are a lot tastier than other with a distinct nuttiness. My greengrocer had some mini avocados a couple of weeks ago, they were the size of a dill pickle, and they were delicious, I ate them all straight from the peel. Of the varieties I see regularly Hass have far more flavour than Fuerte, and of others in general the nobbly skinned ones more than the smooth skinned ones. However I suspect that as with tasting bitterness there is some variation in the way people taste foods that means some of us find avocados a lot tastier than others do. Personally I love a good ripe Hass mashed onto toast with just a little salt and pepper.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Haven’t had those very small ones, and don’t know what the big ones we get are called – only one kind are marketed here, that I have seen, and they are very bland to me without any seasoning. But yes, a bit of salt and pepper is enough seasoning to lift them to something that tastes really good to me. Reportedly, guacamole as made by Aztecs was just mashed avocado with some sea salt added, although now of course people spice it up in different ways, and add some lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown. I love guacamole, but can’t take the really hot stuff.

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  8. Serious travel tip, though – for anyone going to Taipei (and everyone should, at least once), if you want to see a lot more than seemingly endless masses of Ming & Qing bling (might patent that expression) and much smaller collections of other stuff that Chinese emperors deemed suitably shiny enough to collect, then after the National Palace Museum (which I suppose is a ‘must do’, but it’s truly arduous, especially with a daughter who insists on mulling over every single exhibit in a vast display in a vast building, and ultimately curiously unsatisfying), then people should really go to this place, which has an excellent collection of real gems in a very accessible and well balanced display, in a building that is small enough that you can look at everything without suffering terminal exhaustion or having to fight through heaving masses of Mainland tourists gawking at the Jadeite Cabbage, etc.:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_History
    And you can have lunch there, which is definitely worth it, whereas the F&B at the big shiny place isn’t.

    I guess an alternative could be to go to Henan Museum, but I have never been there. I wish to go.

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  9. https://theconversation.com/prehistoric-wine-discovered-in-inaccessible-caves-forces-a-rethink-of-ancient-sicilian-culture-89116

    Those cave systems must be deeply unpleasant and risky.

    I have an old Australian friend with serious health problems who worked recently as a blasting engineer on a tunneling project – he had a daily 45 minute tunnel walk dressed in protective clothing in 48C and high humidity to get to the working face, and then back again afterwards. Nearly killed him. There’s a reason that Zulus are used to work deep diamond mines in South Africa – expendable + willing to do it for money. Not just insanely hot, there is the constant hazard of rock bursts – at those depths, horizontal rock stresses are very high – form an opening, and the rock walls will, now and again, just burst into the opening.

    Tunnel boring machines don’t completely avoid this problem in tunnel construction. They need ‘face interventions’ to replace worn cutter heads and make mechanical repairs or deal with other problems – very risky and uncomfortable job. On subsea tunnels as deep as 120m below seabed level or deeper, the work crews need to work at very high pressures. It is not practical for them to undergo decompression every time for 36 hours just to work for 30 minutes, so they spend a month at a time living in high pressure in a hyperbaric chamber. They earn a lot of money for doing it, but it has longer term health consequences.

    People have the intuitive idea that underground = cool, maybe because in shallow cave systems the temperature range is smaller/less extreme than on the surface. And wine cellars in France or wherever. But the deeper you go, the hotter it gets, and that’s without geothermal activity such as in Sicily.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is clearly a problem with analysing ancient DNA by modelling from modern reference populations; people today who have been genotyped within the last 10 years – those ancient people were not like us, and I’m using ‘us’ in a very broad sense. Prior to 5,000 years ago, populations had much more heterogeneity – populations were a lot more distant from one another genetically. This might seem counter-intuitive, given that modern humans outside of Africa derived from, evidently, a single population that went through a major bottleneck (no more than 1,000 to 10,000 breeding people, so effective population size). But that happened a long time ago. Modern humans are very old in relation to a time line of 5,000 years ago, and also there was obviously mixing with different populations of archaic humans as well. And there is the problem of where you demarcate the emergence of ‘modern humans’ – we didn’t just pop out suddenly from some common human ancestor, we were evolving, and still are.

    It is as well to be mindful that many, or even most, of the modern populations that people think of as ‘distinct’ populations today with distinctive traits like skin colour or facial features (humans are a very visual species, so something that really doesn’t matter is interpreted as a strong visual signal of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ – culture and language can matter a lot, especially if you let them, but ‘distinctive’ traits like skin tone, facial features and body proportions, really not really – we can all readily interbreed and have healthy offspring) only came into being within the last 5,000 years – certainly for Eurasian populations (you can think of some obvious populations this doesn’t apply to, but they are really not that many, outside of Africa, which has also gone through a fairly recent period of mixing and population turnover, but there is still a lot of population substructure in Africa which has only just begun to be elucidated). The genetic profile of Northern Europeans only came into being in the last 5,000 years, and that can be extrapolated to many other modern populations. Traits such as the very pale skin now associated with modern people of European ancestry or modern people of Korean ancestry, and lactose tolerance in adults, only really emerged in anything like their current form within the last 5,000 years. The genetic profiles of modern British people are even much more recent. Han people look to be really pretty recent – probably only coalesced with the unification of the first Chinese state under the Qin Dynasty.

    So, I post this link with some misgivings – maybe it’s a better model than previous ones, or maybe not, but they are all going to be afflicted with the same problem to some extent. And the way this author expresses things is potentially really confusing to a lay person – statements like “early European farmers had no Southern Asian ancestry” is totally backwards when taken as a statement in common lay language.
    “Ancestral heterogeneity of ancient Eurasians” – as in, even more than previously thought.
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/02/20/268524

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  11. https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/20/diet-genetic-matching/
    Back to the drawing board. One take-home – low fat or low carb didn’t make a significant difference to weight loss.

    Australian Aboriginal people were really very recently hunter-gatherers, and shifting to a modern agricultural diet has been disastrous for very many of them (along with lots of other disasters). A few are leading a ‘back to bush tucker’ movement, probably very wisely (includes no tobacco or alcohol – even wiser). But then, hunter-gatherers were probably perpetually hungry (as opposed to farmers, who suffered occasional disastrous famines), and starved for both sugars and fats, so any diet shift and forced move to sedentary lifestyle was likely to hit them.

    On a macro scale, genes probably matter. (Well, they do – note very strong selection for lactase persistence in adults, which evolved separately among at least three different populations via different genetic pathways, and all very recently, so these were ‘hard sweeps’ of selection; hammer blows – people who could live on high-dairy diets had a big advantage, although the ability to digest milk sugars might not have been it; doesn’t seem like it would make a big enough difference, but then milk has lots of other goodies, it’s just the lactose that makes many lactose-intolerant people sick, to varying degrees.) On an individual scale, no; genetic matching is not a silver bullet – not really surprising among people who have evolved to be at least part-adapted to agricultural and animal herding diet.

    Sorry about link-bombing. The genetic science world is exploding.

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    1. Australian Aboriginals on the Eastern coasts tended to be very well fed and healthy, compared with the tribes of drier inland areas. Tribal territory maps suggest that inland tribes needed much bigger territories to survive than coastal groups. Groups just inland of the coast were periodically granted access to coastal resources, as a “friendly” gesture to ensure peace, and the system appears to have worked well – up until white settlers blocked off access to traditional hunting and foraging areas. After that the unholy trinity of refined foods, alcohol and disease devastated the locals.

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  12. The ‘Bell Beaker Behemoth’ that gene geeks have been anticipating is finally out – pay-walled, unfortunately, but you can access the extended data, which have lots of goodies.
    “The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe.”
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25738

    I read the comments by the gene geeks on Davidski’s blog, and they are all talking in code, modeling this and that. I’m a broad brush guy, myself, content to learn about the significant sweeps of pre-history, and how people lived, and the technology they had; I can’t be doing with the minutiae.

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    1. Brexit is overwhelming most news here, it’s an extraordinary spectacle. If it weren’t going to have such a hugely damaging effect it would be hilarious watching unrealistic demand after unrealistic demand being rejected by the EU. The Brexiters believed their own propaganda and seem to be completely confuzzled that the rest of the EU is treating them like the toddlers they act like rather than the representatives of the super power they think they are.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Thinking about invasions of Britain made me think of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians. Anyone with a name like that deserves to be remembered.

    I rather like the name Ælfwynn – might have pushed for my daughter to be named that, if I had thought of it at the time. Probably a good thing I didn’t.

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    1. I had to read the former name twice to realize you were not talking about Æthelræd, the king without a plan (or as we say in modern English, “unready”).

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    2. Outrageous cis-hetero white male patriarchal misogyny! (Joke.)

      OTOH, the Red Lady of Paviland definitely wasn’t a lady.

      Seems like Marcus Aurelius did not intend his ‘meditations’ to be read by others:
      “Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been.”

      He converged with the Dalai Lama, who said “An insult cannot be given, only taken.”

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  14. Ten Canoes is a brilliant 2006 Australian film that not enough people watched. Can been got here, if people feel like it:

    No English subtitles, unfortunately, and dialogue is in Yolŋu, but the narration by David Gulpilil is in English.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They’re in Scandinavia and they’re carved on a rock, therefore they’re runes. If you don’t recognise them, that’s because they’re special magic runes. Your problem, Martin, is that you’re a professional. The last person you want to ask about special magic runes is someone who knows what they’re talking about 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Some European rock art has now been reliably dated to ca 60 000 BC, when only Neanderthals were around.
    – – –
    The SF film “Annihilation” is said to depart considerably from the film, which may be a good thing. Something about the plot and writing style really rubbed me the wrong way.
    I am told one of Iain Banks “culture” SF novels is to be filmed.

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  16. Finished binge watching Altered Carbon. Final score – 7/10 (that’s a lot better than most Netflix series I sample, which I dump before I’m half way through the first episode, and that’s with me already being very selective about what I sample).

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  17. “A reassessment of the Montmaurin-La Niche mandible (Haute Garonne, France) in the context of European Pleistocene human evolution.”
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0189714&type=printable
    Multiple archaic human ‘species’ (sub-species, whatever) living in Europe. People are having to try harder and harder to maintain “a coherent evolutionary scenario for the Middle Pleistocene” and “a largely anagenetic (linear) and coherent evolutionary sequence” – it’s becoming clear they are trying too hard.

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  18. https://theconversation.com/giant-handaxes-suggest-that-different-groups-of-early-humans-coexisted-in-ancient-europe-91977
    Evokes a prehistoric “Game of Thrones” scenario. A change from “Neolithic Brexit”, I suppose – wrong reading audience.
    I struggle with stone tools – who might have made what how, where and when makes my head swim. But it seems clear enough that different groups of hominins weren’t just making hand axes – they were using them to make other things from less durable materials that haven’t survived. Well, some did – wooden spears.

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    1. Of course there is Professor Peter Schickele of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, a nonexistent university (Hoople is a real town, but it’s only about 50 km south of the Canadian border, not the part of the state where you would expect to find a University of Southern North Dakota even if there were such a university). But USND is obviously part of Schickele’s humor, along with instruments like the tromboon (in which a trombone’s mouthpiece is replaced by the reed and bocal of a bassoon, thus combining the disadvantages of both instruments).

      That’s different from this guy, who uses his bogus university affiliation for what is intended to look like serious work.

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  19. Martin, if we follow Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers, I suggest you one-up Dirty Harry by getting a Lahti 20mm antitank rifle from Finland. And if you get a Russian Ural motorbike with a sidecar, it actually comes with a machinegun mount. Useful for those hallway chases.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ex-soviet hardware is probably cheaper. In Chechenya, the officers stole portable anti-aircraft missiles and sold them to the guerrillas they were fighting.

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      2. And while we are talking about Catch-22, let’s not forget Major Major’s father:

        His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbours sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” he counselled one and all, and everyone said “Amen.”

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Also, Tories accused Corbyn of being a Russian spy.
    Guys, you have been watching Alex Jones too much. And cut down on the pills you are buying from Eminem.

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  21. It’s official. Xi is doing away with the two-term limit Deng introduced to avoid another leader-for-life.
    I know some regard Xi as the sheriff that cleaned up the town, but this is worrying.

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    1. In reality, Deng remained leader for life. The presidency is a largely ceremonial position with no real executive power. The more senior position which wields the real power is Communist Party General Secretary, on which there is no constitutional limit – Xi is already leader for life, if he wants it. Likewise, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, a position he also holds, is subject to no constitutional limit.

      There is no constitutional limit on how long someone can remain Prime Minister of Australia. Before you say “But the Prime Minister of Australia is elected by the people”, no, s/he isn’t; s/he is elected from within his/her own party. Voters do not get to vote for who will be Prime Minister of the country, a leadership position of real power. Same in the UK. They only get to vote for whichever politician is running for election in their own constituency. Churchill had to be removed from power by his own party. Same with Thatcher. Robert Menzies was PM of Australia from 1939 to 1941, and again from 1949 to 1966 – he only stepped down from PM when he decided to retire from politics at the age of 72, by which time he was a very old man, as 70 year olds were in that era. John Howard was PM for almost 12 years – he was only finally removed when the conservative coalition was voted out of government.

      The alternate way to read this is that the CCP consider that the system should be changed to invest more executive power in the presidency rather than in the party leadership, and are proposing this change (not yet passed) as a step towards doing that while the country has a reformist leader who has people’s widespread support. Maybe you don’t realize that because you can’t read Weibo.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Found at Youtube:
    The Carrington event of 1859.
    The mystery of the Peruvian pre-inca stonework.
    And in the series “Inside the chieftain’s hatch” you get an introduction to tanks, and the many and varied ways the designers had made them difficult/impossible to escape from when they started burning after a hit.
    The only thing worse than being a WWII tank crew was being an aircrew.

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    1. Many years ago I read an article written by a British aircrew member (he may have been a pilot) who was stationed in the Western Desert in WW2. He was offered the chance to go for a ride in a tank, just to see how the “other half” lived. He described the experience as like being trapped in a steel drum, which was being slowly roasted over a fire while strong men beat on the outside with hammers. He was only too glad to get back into the air again.

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  23. Martin, I found the perfect classroom security gadget: search Youtube for “a swarm of angry bees”.
    A 200-round magazine!
    Just hose down the part of the school where the problem is.
    If that does not help, remember, “the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a flamethrower, burning the house down”.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. There was no Great Leap Forward. I have been saying that – there was no sudden great human leap to mental/cultural modernity 50,000 years ago. The writing has been on the wall about that for a long time now.
    https://blog.insito.me/r-i-p-great-leap-forward-b666598a1050
    I am not Spencer Wells’ greatest admirer – the way he speaks irritates the shit out of me, which most American accents don’t, and these days there are people who have surpassed him in their grasp of ancient and modern human genetics – but I have to admire his achievement; he mapped genomes all over the world for the first time, in order to track how humans migrated out of Africa and populated the world and in the process, in effect, kicked off the direct to consumer genomics era, or at least made a major contribution towards that happening. It’s not over the top to credit him with that. And maybe in the process he helped to inspire some of today’s luminaries in the science to become that.

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  25. Two ugly incidents happened at the Republican (US) CPAC meeting.
    -Mona Charen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center criticized Republicans and conservatives for their hypocrisy in supporting Trump and in bringing in a fascist speaker (Le Pen) from France. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/02/25/bright-spot-cpac/
    She criticized the support for the misogynic Trump, and the support for Roy Moore. Then the sh*t hit the fan and she had to be escorted out by security for her own safety,
    — — — —
    “Data? We don’t need no stinkin’ data!” https://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2018/02/24/data-we-dont-need-no-stinkin-data-skin-color-is-enough/#more-45816
    “As David Bier, a policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute, attempted to lay out research proving that immigrants actually have lower crime rates than native-born Americans, contribute significantly to the economy and are assimilating just as well or better than past generations of immigrants, his fellow panelists derided his statements as “nutty” and angry audience members shouted him down.”
    Jeez. They don’t even try to pretend anymore. They have LePen/Putin envy.

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  26. Pontus Skoglund’s (now based in UK) commentary on origins of Scandinavian hunter gatherers. Link is necessarily long because he’s giving author access to a pay walled piece. Skog never disappoints.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0505-7.epdf?author_access_token=yXFMceMxhNJ6OQRc72EhkNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MUnfGSDHBKt4yu-Xa7Lh2hy35nFJcy1r9KFiNVIcpx5EOYQ7P1XvP0hqQAl4KH_0UnA2pvMmRde65TFOa3h8JQrx-HvDJG21DLU_S0M2Zijg%3D%3D

    Liked by 1 person

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