Cool and Interesting News & Such.

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Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:22 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/201 ... ersiangulf

Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.

At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.

The study, which is detailed in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects of human history. For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with dates as early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the more recent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

"I think Jeff's theory is bold and imaginative, and hopefully will shake things up," Robert Carter of Oxford Brookes University in the U.K. told LiveScience. "It would completely rewrite our understanding of the out-of-Africa migration. It is far from proven, but Jeff and others will be developing research programs to test the theory."

Viktor Cerny of the Archaeogenetics Laboratory, the Institute of Archaeology, in Prague, called Rose's finding an "excellent theory," in an e-mail to LiveScience, though he also points out the need for more research to confirm it.

The findings have sparked discussion among researchers, including Carter and Cerny, who were allowed to provide comments within the research paper, about who exactly the humans were who occupied the Gulf basin.

"Given the presence of Neanderthal communities in the upper reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates River, as well as in the eastern Mediterranean region, this may very well have been the contact zone between moderns and Neanderthals," Rose told LiveScience. In fact, recent evidence from the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome suggests interbreeding, meaning we are part caveman.

Watery refuge

The Gulf Oasis would have been a shallow inland basin exposed from about 75,000 years ago until 8,000 years ago, forming the southern tip of the Fertile Crescent, according to historical sea-level records.

And it would have been an ideal refuge from the harsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by upwelling springs, Rose said. And during the last ice age when conditions were at their driest, this basin would've been at its largest.

In fact, in recent years, archaeologists have turned up evidence of a wave of human settlements along the shores of the Gulf dating to about 7,500 years ago.

"Where before there had been but a handful of scattered hunting camps, suddenly, over 60 new archaeological sites appear virtually overnight," Rose said. "These settlements boast well-built, permanent stone houses, long-distance trade networks, elaborately decorated pottery, domesticated animals, and even evidence for one of the oldest boats in the world."

Rather than quickly evolving settlements, Rose thinks precursor populations did exist but have remained hidden beneath the Gulf. [History's Most Overlooked Mysteries]

"Perhaps it is no coincidence that the founding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shoreline corresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulf basin around 8,000 years ago," Rose said. "These new colonists may have come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels that plunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."

Ironclad case?

The most definitive evidence of these human camps in the Gulf comes from a new archaeological site called Jebel Faya 1 within the Gulf basin that was discovered four years ago. There, Hans-Peter Uerpmann of the University of Tubingen in Germany found three different Paleolithic settlements occurring from about 125,000 to 25,000 years ago. That and other archaeological sites, Rose said, indicate "that early human groups were living around the Gulf basin throughout the Late Pleistocene."

To make an ironclad case for such human occupation during the Paleolithic, or early Stone Age, of the now-submerged landmass, Rose said scientists would need to find any evidence of stone tools scattered under the Gulf. "As for the Neolithic, it would be wonderful to find some evidence for human-built structures," dated to that time period in the Gulf, Rose said.

Carter said in order to make for a solid case, "we would need to find a submerged site, and excavate it underwater. This would likely only happen as the culmination of years of survey in carefully selected areas."

Cerny said a sealed-tight case could be made with "some fossils of the anatomically modern humans some 100,000 years old found in South Arabia."

And there's a hint of mythology here, too, Rose pointed out. "Nearly every civilization living in southern Mesopotamia has told some form of the flood myth. While the names might change, the content and structure are consistent from 2,500 B.C. to the Genesis account to the Qur'anic version," Rose said.

Perhaps evidence beneath the Gulf? "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands," said Rose, quoting Douglas Adams.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:42 pm

A collection of photos entitled "Urban Decay."

I would be all over these filming SOME kind of like post apocalyptic movie...
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Masonic Temple, Hammond, Ind. Cornerstone was laid in 1907; demolished in 2009
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City Methodist Church, Gary, Ind. Cornerstone was laid in 1925; closed in 1975
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Uptown Theater, Chicago, Ill. Opened in 1925, closed to regular audiences since 1981. Cost to renovate: More than $40 million
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Central Station Detroit, Mich. Built in 1913, closed in 1988. When first built, it was the tallest rail station in the world.… Read more »
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City Methodist Church, Gary, Ind. In addition to the sanctuary, this church also has an auditorium, several floors of classrooms, and a basketball court.… Read more »
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City Methodist Church, Gary, Ind.… Read more »
(Photo courtesy of Eric Holubow)
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City Methodist Church in Gary, Ind.… Read more »
(Photo courtesy of Eric Holubow)
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Schiller/Garrick Theater demolition, Chicago, Ill.
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Palace Theater, Gary, Ind. Built in 1924, closed in 1972.
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St. Boniface Catholic Church, Chicago, Ill.… Read more »
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Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit, Mich. Constructed in 1929, closed in the early 1990’s.… Read more »
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Packard Automobile Plant, Detroit, Mich. Opened in 1903; closed 1956.… Read more »
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby BBP » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:23 am

Anybody else here do urban exploring?

Those pictures are real cool Tawm, although honestly that grand piano in decay does hurt.
...OK, I've heard of a church converted into book store (Maastricht), into supermarket (Helmond) and into a disco (which reminds me of that old children's riddle: it's blue, red, green, yellow, silver, gold, black, orange, purple, pink and flies through church), but a church basketball court?
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:45 am

BBP wrote:Anybody else here do urban exploring?

Those pictures are real cool Tawm, although honestly that grand piano in decay does hurt.
...OK, I've heard of a church converted into book store (Maastricht), into supermarket (Helmond) and into a disco (which reminds me of that old children's riddle: it's blue, red, green, yellow, silver, gold, black, orange, purple, pink and flies through church), but a church basketball court?


I imagine the basketball court may have been like a youth program thing. You know, the more (most) churches can keep their members interacting with one another vs the real world, the less likely they're to be tempted (to do anything, including, but not limited to, leaving the Church).
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby AndreaDraco » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:14 am

The first picture is amazing. This kind of scenery always intrigues me. And yes, they would be gorgrous as post-apocalyptic film sets.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby BBP » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:57 am

AndreaDraco wrote:This kind of scenery always intrigues me.


In that case I heartily recommend a trip to Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Maiandra » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:00 pm

Those photos are amazing! I love the first one and I also really like the one of the Uptown Chicago Theatre.

That story is very fascinating as well. It will be interesting to see what further research discovers about that.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:15 pm

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:21 pm

saturn.jpg
This Oct. 6, 2004 photo provided by NASA, taken by the Cassini Saturn Probe, shows the planet Saturn and its rings.
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WASHINGTON – One of the solar system's most evocative mysteries — the origin of Saturn's rings — may be a case of cosmic murder, new research suggests.

The victim: an unnamed moon of Saturn that disappeared about 4.5 billion years ago.

The suspect: a disk of hydrogen gas that once surrounded Saturn when its dozens of moons were forming, but has now fled the crime scene.

The cause of death: A forced plunge into Saturn.

And those spectacular and colorful rings are the only evidence left. As the doomed moon made its death spiral, Saturn robbed its outer layer of ice, which then formed rings, according to a new theory published online Sunday in the journal Nature.

"Saturn was an accomplice and that produced the rings," said study author Robin Canup, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The mystery of Saturn's rings "has puzzled people for centuries," said Cornell astronomer Joe Burns, who wasn't involved in the study and said Canup's new theory makes sense.

One of the leading theories has been that either some of Saturn's many moons crashed into each other, or an asteroid crashed into some of them — leaving debris that formed the rings. The trouble is Saturn's moons are half ice and half rock and the planet's seven rings are now as much as 95 percent ice and probably used to be all ice, Canup said. If the rings were formed by a moon-on-moon crash or an asteroid-on-moon, there would be more rocks in the rings.

Something had to have stripped away the outer ice of a moon, a big moon, Canup said.

So her theory starts billions of years ago when the planets' moons were forming. A large disk of hydrogen gas circled Saturn and that helped both create and destroy moons. Large inner moons probably made regular plunges into the planet, pulled by the disk of gas.

These death spirals took about 10,000 years and the key to understanding the rings' origins is what happened to them during that time. According to Canup's computer model, Saturn stripped the ice away from a huge moon while it was far enough from the planet that the ice would be trapped in a ring.

The original rings were 10 to 100 times larger than they are now, but over time the ice in the outer rings has coalesced into some of Saturn's tiny inner moons, Canup said. So what began as moons has become rings and then new moons.

This helps explain Tethys, an odd inner moon that didn't quite fit other moon formation theories, she said. Saturn has 62 moons — 53 of them have names. New ones are discovered regularly by NASA's Cassini probe.

But this doesn't explain rings on other planets in our solar system, such as Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus, which probably formed in a different way, Canup said.

The rings and ice-rich inner moons are the last surviving remnants of this lost moon, "which is pretty neat," Canup said.

Burns said Canup's theory explains the heavy ice components of rings better than other possibilities. Larry Esposito, who discovered one of Saturn's rings, praised the new paper as "a very clever, original idea."

"I would call it more like cosmic recycling," Esposito said because the moon became rings which then became moons. "It's not so much a final demise, but a cosmic effort to reuse materials again and again."

___

Online:

Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature

NASA on Saturn's moons: http://tinyurl.com/28rn3ln
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:54 pm

Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse

This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a small break in the clouds overhead allowing sunlight to momentarily illuminate the ice-covered Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse Tuesday Dec. 14, 2010. High winds and subzero air temperatures caused waves to crash onto the lighthouse and other aids to navigation and freeze, coating the structures and their lights in multiple layers of ice and making it impossible for mariners to see the lights or distinguish the color of the aids.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby dotkel50 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:06 pm

That is totally bizarre !!
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:24 pm

dotkel50 wrote:That is totally bizarre !!


I love stuff like that. :)

Which explains why I am here... attracted to all you bizarre people.

Cuz... I'm totally normal. :lol:

(Cuz normal 40 year old men always dress up as pirates, donchyaknow?)
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Collector » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:11 am

Tawmis wrote:Cuz... I'm totally normal. :lol:

Voice in Tawm's head wrote:Am not... are to... am not... are so... am not... are so...am not... are so...
01000010 01111001 01110100 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 00100001

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby BBP » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:03 am

That's gorgeous in a strange way... sure beats the cheesy christmas card I'm walking in too much lately.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby AndreaDraco » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:32 pm

That's really beautiful. Just seeing the pictures before reading the post, I thought it ought to be some kind of film set or something.
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