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 on: Today at 05:02 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CS Monitor

Did humans kill off cave lions for their furs?

Human-made cuts appear on toe bones of the cave lion, Panthera spelaea, say scientists.

By Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Staff writer October 26, 2016

Some 16,000 years ago a big cat died. Today, its toes may provide insight into its species' extinction.

The cave lion, Panthera spelaea, once roamed from Europe to northern North America. Scientists think the animal was much like its modern African counterpart and hunted large animals like deer and bison. But about 12,000 ago or so, cave lions vanished from the landscape.

Scientists have suggested that changes in climate drove P. spelaea to extinction, but a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that might not be the whole story.

"Humans could have played a much more active role in the extinction of this animal," study lead author Marián Cueto, an archaeologist at the University of Salamanca, writes in an email to The Christian Science Monitor.

Humans and cave lions hunted the same animals, which could have made it difficult for the two species to share the same landscape.

But Dr. Cueto and her colleagues found evidence that might suggest humans played a more direct role in the demise of the big cats: distinctive marks on cave lion bones.

The bones, discovered in a cave on the northern coast of Spain, bear cut-marks emblematic of "expertise skinning lions," Cueto says. "They had knowledge of the anatomy, where to cut in the exact place."

And because these cut-marks seem to be made by an adept tool-user, this suggests humans were skinning lions surprisingly often, she says.

The researchers found just nine cave lion toe bones and no more of the animal's skeleton. If these cave-dwellers had hunted the animal for dinner, they likely would have dragged the whole thing back home. So perhaps the animal died and was skinned elsewhere.

But why did the toe bones make it back? The cut marks are consistent with those made when modern hunters and taxidermists want to keep an animal's claws attached to the hide, the researchers say. And, based on where the bones were found in relation to stone structures constructed in the cave, they suspect the hides were ultimately stretched across either the floor or roof of huts built by these primitive humans.

The cave lion bones were found among the remains of other large carnivores, like bears, that also display evidence of human use. This, the researchers say, suggests these humans were skillfully hunting dangerous game.

But Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota who was not part of the study, isn't so sure. "Unfortunately," he writes in an email to the Monitor, "there is no evidence of how the lion died – the people occupying the cave may have found it dead from natural causes. Lions quite frequently kill each other during territorial disputes, and make an enormous amount of noise during their fights, so people could have ventured forth to collect the body after it was already dead."

Adrian Treves, founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who was also not part of this research, agrees that these fossils do not shed much light on the story of cave lions' extinction.

"The authors deserve praise for their meticulous examination of the foot bones of an extinct cave lion, which were indisputably processed by pre-agricultural humans," he writes in an email to the Monitor. "However I doubt we can reliably infer much about cave lion extinction from this find."

Dr. Packer thinks it's unlikely that humans played a direct role in the cave lions' extinction. Instead, he suggests, it was likely a suite of challenges, including climate change and humans' improved hunting skills and tools targeting the same prey as the lions.

But these cave lion toe bones could still say something about the cavemen of 16,000 years ago, he says. "Whether or not this particular specimen was actually killed by people, the fact that it occupied such a central place in the floor of that cave illustrates that it played an important role in the minds of those people."

Cave lions, despite their name, didn't just prowl caves. The animal has sometimes been called a steppe lion because it largely hunted across open grasslands. The ancient feline is indeed a lion, however. Panthera spelaea, or sometimes Panthera leo spelaea, is an extinct relative, or possibly a subspecies, of the modern lion, Panthera leo.

Last year two frozen cave lion cubs were found in Siberian permafrost, giving scientists the first glimpse of the animal in the flesh. Before these kittens were discovered, the species was only known from bones, tracks, and cave drawings.

 on: Today at 04:59 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
October 27, 2016

Religious people don’t fully understand the world, new study claims

by Chuck Bednar
Red Orbit

New research certain to cause controversy among the religious faithful is claiming that men and women who believe in God tend to be worse at math and have an overall worse understanding of the world’s physical and biological phenomena, CNET and The Independent report.

As part of their research, Marjaana Lindeman and Annika Svedholm-Häkkinen of the University of Helsinki, surveyed 258 individuals about their beliefs – specifically, if they thought there was a God and whether or not they believed in paranormal phenomena. They also subjected each of the subjects to a series of problem-solving tests that measured their ability to think scientifically. Their study is published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology.

The researchers found that people who believed in an all-powerful, omniscient deity, as well as those who believed in the supernatural, were comparable to those with autism spectrum disorders in that they struggled to understand the realities of the world in which they lived. Spiritual beliefs were also associated with a reduced ability to understand things like flowers, rocks and the wind without attributing human qualities to them, according to media reports of the study.

“The more the participants believed in religious or other paranormal phenomena, the lower their intuitive physics skills, mechanical and mental rotation abilities, school grades in mathematics and physics, and knowledge about physical and biological phenomena were... and the more they regarded inanimate targets as mental phenomena,” the authors told The Independent.

Belief in God and the paranormal compared to autism, small children

The authors defined "mental phenomena" as the inability to understand the physical world and the need to use supernatural explanations for natural processes, "resulting in belief in demons, gods, and other supernatural phenomena.” The same confusion between mental and physical qualities, Lindeman and Svedholm-Häkkinen continued, “has [also] been recognized mainly among ancient people and small children.”

Like autistic people, the researchers wrote, those with religious convictions and those believing in the paranormal have difficulty distinguishing between the mental and the physical, except that people with autism struggle in the opposite way, as they view the world as entirely physical and have difficulty accepting the mental attributes of others.

Lindeman and Svedholm-Häkkinen based their views on surveys of 258 Finnish people, each of whom were asked to report the degree to which they believed that “an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God” existed and whether or not they believed in supernatural phenomena such as psychic powers or telepathy. They then matched those responses to exam results, test scores and answers on other surveys to draw their conclusions.

The scientists found that, overall, those who believe in God and the paranormal are more likely to be female and to base their actions on instinct instead of analysis or critical thinking. Previous research has found that religious men and women tend to have a lower IQ, while also tending to be happier, more generous and more trustworthy than non-believers, The Independent said.

 on: Today at 04:57 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
October 26, 2016

ExoMars mission continues to thrive despite loss of lander

by Chuck Bednar
Red Orbit

Despite the apparent loss of the Schiaparelli lander, the other half of the ExoMars 2016 mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), has successfully entered the Red Planet’s orbit and will continue to function as expected, officials from the European Space Agency (ESA) have confirmed.

According to Gizmodo and The Verge, ESA officials believe that the lander likely experienced a computer glitch during its descent which made it erroneously think it was closer to the surface of Mars than it actually was, disrupting the spacecraft’s landing sequence and causing it to crash.

Last week, the Schiaparelli’s remains were spotted by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and as Nature World News noted, ESA officials believe that the lander fell from a height of between two and four kilometers, impacting at a speed of over 300 km/h and likely exploding on impact. However, the investigation into exactly what caused the incident continues.

As Andrea Accomazzo, head of solar and planetary missions for the ESA, explained, the cause can likely be traced back to a yet-unidentified glitch that gave the lander incorrect data about its position in space, causing landing procedures to execute as if it were at a much lower altitude.

“If confirmed, this would actually be good news, as software issues are much easier to correct than hardware problems,” Gizmodo said. “Researchers on the ExoMars team are confident in the integrity of Schiaparelli’s hardware, and they’re now hoping to replicate the software error using a simulation” so that they can design, implement and test a potential fix for the issue.

Orbiter ‘healthy,’ preparing to begin science operations next year

While much of the media attention regarding the ExoMars mission has involved Schiaparelli and its crash, ESA officials are quick to point out that the other spacecraft involved in the project, the TGO, has entered orbit around the Red Planet and is continuing to function as planned.

The orbiter is “looking well and healthy” and remains “well within the planned initial orbit,” said Nature World News. In March, it is scheduled to undergo a maneuver to correct its trajectory and bring it to a circular orbit at an altitude of 400 km (250 miles) above the Martian surface. Shortly thereafter, it will begin a two-year mission to identify and catalog atmospheric gases.

According to Chemical and Engineering News, TGO has been outfitted with spectrometers and cameras that it will use to trace nitrogen oxide, acetylene, and methane in the air surrounding the Red Planet. It will also be able to detect hydrogen, a potential indicator of water ice, at depths of up to one meter below the ground.

“Scientists are particularly interested in Mars’s production of methane,” the website said. This is because the majority of atmospheric methane on Earth is produced by microbial life, although it can also be produced by natural geological processes. A methane spike was detected by NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars in 2014, and ESA scientists hope that the TGO will help determine the still-unknown source of those readings.

 on: Today at 04:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Fossilized parrot marks first proof of Parrots in Asia

by Brett Smith
Red Orbit

A Russian paleontologist has stumbled upon a parrot fossil in Siberia, the first proof of parrots living in Asia.

In a report published by Biology Letters, Nikita Zelenkov described how he noticing the lower limb bone of a bird being placed in a container in his office and instantly saw that it was from a parrot. The fossil was from a large collection of ancient animal bones produced by an excavation on a Siberian island that began back in 2010.

"We were excavating all kinds of animals there, and mostly they were rodents, rhinos, cats, hippos and others," Zelenkov told BBC News.

"But this locality is also interesting because it preserves a rich community of fossil birds. But no exotic birds have been found there before."

Dating the Remains to 18 Million Years Ago

According to the report, the parrot bone has been dated to about 16 to 18 million years ago, placing it in the latter part of the Early Miocene. It was determined to be one of the bones that connects a parrots' ankle and toes, which is known as a tarsometatarsus.

The majority of parrots today live in tropical or sub-tropical areas, making the remains of a parrot in an region that is extremely cold for most of the year a very unexpected find. However, the study noted, during the Early Miocene, Siberia was much warmer. Also, there are several parrots living today in colder climates. One species lives in an area of the Himalayas, for instance. The report also said since the bone is very similar to the same bone in modern species, this parrot probably they looked like the parrots we see today.

Discovering the fossil in Siberia indicates that theories on how parrots came to North America may need to be revised. Scientists have said the birds came via the Berengia land bridge that once connected North America and Asia. Now, it seems just as probable they came across the Bering Strait.

Since the fossil is so small, learning more on the bird that it came from isn’t very likely, the report said. Because evaluations of it have been exhaustive, further study has been ruled out, at least for the moment. However, now that we know parrots lived in the region, future excavations will certainly concentrate on locating parrot bones among the many others that are discovered.

 on: Today at 02:16 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by marty
dear Rad and Kristin,

   thank you for your time and insight and the opportunity to participate in this thread.

      I have some questions about transiting Saturn, conjunct Venus, squaring the Nodal axis and conjunct the S.N. of Uranus.

   If someone has their moon, or South or North Node conjunct transiting Saturn at 14 degrees of Sagittarius, would they be feeling this transit more than others?

   Does the current transit of Saturn/Venus to a personal planet, in any way, imply an individuals’ involvement in, or capacity to contribute to a ‘skipped step’ in the collective awareness of transiting Saturn square the Pisces/Virgo axis?

   Does an individual with a personal planet conjunct transiting Saturn have something to reflect on or review regarding their personal relationship to unresolved trauma affecting the collective?

   Because 15 degrees of Sagittarius is the South Node of Aquarius, could individuals with moon, or nodes, or personal planets, conjunct this point become potent catalysts for collective growth and vision if they choose to meditate and work on their pre-conditioned belief patterns vs. Natural Law?

   Would individuals with a personal planet conjunct 15 degrees of Sagittarius have an opportunity to ‘bring forth’ a stimulus of free-thinking and diversity (Uranus North Node in Gemini) that promotes freedom from Natural Guilt (Virgo – current North Node of discovery)?

   Thank you!

 on: Oct 26, 2016, 11:02 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by The Otherside
Hi Kristin and Everyone,

Thank you for sharing more of Ganika's story with us...

I am having a disconnect to this story in the life of Ganika. Could we also be talking about more than abandonment of her children here? You talk about the total lack of love for herself and a need to punish herself and the total disconnect from the Natural God but in The times of the Matriarchy whole tribes raised children and raising of someone else's child was quite Natural? I can see the symbolism in the chart to the story but not the following need for punishment of the self that actually lead to suicide because of this? Did Ganika actually, and honestly I don't even want to voice it, do something that lead to the death of her children not just abandonment? Like someone else has mentioned in this thread... I am feeling like major pieces of this story are missing?
In the life of Ganika her story and the essence of what I am seeing and feeling is someone who has actually ended a life with their own bare hands and the resulting of guilt a person would live with for eternity because of...

Thank you,

 on: Oct 26, 2016, 09:24 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Kristin
Hi All,

I will share now a few reasons for Ganika's Natural Guilt, expressed in a few different life themes.

Ganika has a beautiful way with children, its as if together they have their own language. She has shared that babies she has just met will speak to her in their native tongue and she will be able to understand them. Her Sun is conjunct the South Node in Gemini in the 11th house. Her Original Lilith is also conjunct her South Node and Sun in the 11th, reflecting her unique way of communicating with children.

Her own love of children has inspired her for lifetimes to work with them and rear them in the world. This natural gift became recognized as children flocked to her, that led to having some past lives working as a nanny for wealthy families. Working as a nanny can be seen with her South Node in the 11th conjunct the Sun in Gemini, ruler Mercury in Cancer in the 12th conjunct Saturn and oppose the 5th house Moon. Also, Pluto in Libra in the 2nd, ruler Venus in Taurus in the 10th, which is trine a 5th house Capricorn Moon. At some point, the husband of the family who hired her took a special liking to Ganika and boundaries were crosses and the relationship became intimate. This can also be seen with her Jupiter in the 8th house in Pisces squaring the Nodes, forbidden sexual acts with her powerful employer. In this instance, she knew if she was going to keep her job that she must comply. Over time, even though she knew this was wrong, she came to love this man, and they bore a child. As she was living under the same roof, it became impossible to hide and keep secret this baby that was growing in her womb. The wife discovered this and of course knew it was his. The intensity of the situation grew, he demanded that Ganika be allowed to stay in their house until the baby was born, shortly after that she was kicked out. Because of his status, it was now 'his' baby. The natural guilt here involves the secret affair but also in being forced to abandon her own child. She really did not have any other choice but to leave.

There are also themes that would have followed a life such as this, where she feared becoming a nanny for the obvious reasons, then choosing work where she was her own boss, as a type of courtesan or glorified prostitute. Her body was her power, 2nd house Pluto, ruler Venus in Taurus in the 10th, trine Moon in Capricorn in the 5th, oppose Saturn in Cancer in the 12th. There were periods in history where a woman could choose to marry a man and live in some hubble and raise children or become a prostitute, allowing her to work for herself, become educated and have more control of her life. Ganika chose this path. In these instances she would have been with men sexually that she did not want to be with because of her own survival needs and she did end up getting pregnant in some cases, the babies were abandoned because of her own need to survive and not having the means to support another mouth to feed as well as there being no one to take care of the child while she was 'working'. This would lead to a Natural Guilt for abandoning these children that she was responsible in part for bringing into this world. Of course because of her own love for children, it killed her to make choices like this, but it was enough for her to keep her own life afloat.

As you can see, this lead to an irreconcilable pain and self loathing, as she would call the unforgivable. Yet, while seeing the past clearly and objectively must occur so she can make new choices that release her from its hold, allowing her to change the present and thus her future, to bring her love and her light to others, especially children. This is her path to healing, North Node in Sagittarius in the 5th.


 on: Oct 26, 2016, 08:46 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Shocking new report reveals AT&T has been spying on Americans with secret Project Hemisphere

Erin Corbett
Raw Story
25 Oct 2016 at 18:37 ET                   

On Tuesday, the Daily Beast released a report that details extensive surveillance administered by AT&T. The program, called Project Hemisphere is reportedly able to search through trillions of phone call records and can also analyze users’ metadata.

AT&T used the program to help the US government keep tabs on American citizens and the news comes just days after the company announced that it was merging with Time Warner.

Project Hemisphere was first detailed in 2013 by the New York Times as a “partnership” between the communication company and the government. Its purpose was allegedly a tool in the war on drugs — to keep tabs on narcotics, Salon reports.

However, the Daily Beast’s report finds the program’s use went beyond narcotics, and was also used for homicide investigations and to track Medicaid fraud.

A technology policy analyst with the ACLU, Christopher Soghoian, says the company is being misleading with the scope of their program.

He tells the Daily Beast, “They say they only cooperate with law enforcement as required, and frankly, that’s offensive when they are mining the data of millions of innocent people, and really built a business and services around the needs of law enforcement.”

The revelations add to the broader conversation of communications companies abusing their power by expanding government surveillance of citizens for profit.

Read the whole report here:

 on: Oct 26, 2016, 08:29 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
If Trump loses, the news media should break the addiction. But can they?

By Margaret Sullivan Media Columnist
October 26
Washington Post

In the final pages of Richard Ben Cramer’s seminal book about presidential politics, “What It Takes,” Michael Dukakis looks around in wonderment at the scene outside his Massachusetts home less than 24 hours after his crushing 1988 loss to George H.W. Bush.

“The barricades were gone. And the agents. And the cop cars, the van, the people — that block had been wall-to-wall demonstrations,” Cramer wrote. No TV trucks, photographers, microphones. The only sound: birds.

“Nobody,” Dukakis says with relief to top aide John Sasso. And Sasso smiles and agrees: “Yeah.”

It’s what happens to losing presidential candidates: Mitt Romney, Al Gore, the elder Bush himself in 1992, after his loss to Bill Clinton.

The blazing spotlight moves away. It’s over.

That welcome relief from the madness, though, seems almost an impossibility if Donald Trump loses on Nov. 8. Trump won’t want it to happen, and I’m afraid that media will be equally reluctant to let go.

American news organizations may complain of Trump Fatigue.

But whether or not we’ll admit it, we have a far worse condition: Trump Addiction. Combined with the candidate’s own need for attention, and his skill at keeping all eyes riveted on him, it’s going to be a hard habit to break.

“Trump is catnip, especially to the cable news media. He is not going away,” predicted Jane Hall, a former Fox News contributor and now a communications professor at American University. “I doubt that he is going to let go of the adulation.”

And she said, depending on how his supporters react to a loss, continuing coverage could well be valid.

“Unfortunately, a lot of forces have been unleashed and they are going to deserve coverage,” Hall said.

Dan Roberts, the Washington bureau chief of British news giant the Guardian, sees it differently.

“The coverage of Trump himself will collapse. The minute the campaign is over, the value of that coverage drops,” he said.

Roberts thinks that there may be some residual Trump coverage, which he characterizes as “schadenfreude about the damage to his business” and “some interest in what he’s doing next.”

Essentially though, Donald Trump will be old news, he said, and won’t be worthy of much attention.

“But,” he added, there is a larger subject that does deserve more coverage: “We should continue paying attention to Trumpism,” fueled by the angry and disenfranchised Americans who have put their weight behind the unlikely candidate and his populist message.

Roberts makes the point that news organizations largely missed a huge story months ago when they failed to understand what was driving Trump’s support — millions of people who were “very unhappy with the status quo.”

BuzzFeed’s political editor, Katherine Miller, says that postelection Trump coverage will depend heavily on what he does.

“If he starts a media property, that’s a point of actual news,” she said. If he follows through on his threat to contest the election, that’s a legitimate story, too.

But Miller would draw a line: “Every stray comment he makes is no longer interesting.” And like both Hall and Roberts, she sees a larger story that will deserve continuing attention: “Trump has been divisive, and the divisions aren’t going to go away.” But, she says, “Trump himself doesn’t seem all that interested in leading an ideological movement.”

She notes, though, that Trump has always found a way to stay in the limelight, something he’s been doing for decades in various ways: “He is undeniably a captivating person and now represents the divide in the country.”

In recent weeks, even as Trump’s chances of winning have flagged, news coverage of him seems to have ramped up.

His threats — probably empty ones — of suing the New York Times and the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct are swamping everything else.

Trump coverage continues to overshadow anything involving Hillary Clinton, the woman who is almost certainly about to become president. It seems obsessive, and smacks of codependency.

So here’s a modest proposal. If Trump loses on Nov. 8, let’s avert our addicted gaze. Cold turkey may not be advisable, given legitimate Trump-related news that may demand attention. As Jane Hall puts it, “there are gradations of coverage.”

But the ratings-driven attention to Donald Trump’s every outrageous word and deed should come to a screeching halt.

The ugly truth is that the Trump/media relationship has worked for both, while doing damage to the nation. Adulation for the narcissist. Vast audiences for those who direct the spotlight.

Gladys Knight wasn’t thinking about 2016 politics when she sang, “Neither one of us . . . wants to be the first to say goodbye.” But she might have been.

For the sake of sanity, civility and democracy, somebody needs to show some discipline and break this thing off.

I say we go first.

 on: Oct 26, 2016, 08:13 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
WATCH: Former Trump rental agent explains how family systematically discriminated against blacks

Brad Reed
Raw Story
26 Oct 2016 at 07:23 ET                  

It’s hard to keep up with all the Trump scandals these days, but one that shouldn’t be forgotten is the scandal involving Donald Trump’s father discriminating against prospective black tenants.

Stanley Leibowitz, a former rental agent of Fred Trump, told the New York Daily News last month that a teenage Donald Trump sat silently while his father explained to Leibowitz that he refused to rent to black people.

In a new interview with NBC News, Leibowitz goes into further detail about how Fred Trump excluded black people from renting his properties.

“A black lady completed an application for an apartment in the building, a one-bedroom apartment as I recall,” he said. “And it was a very professionally written application, it was checked and verified, there were no leans, no judgments against her. And she was calling me on a daily basis wanting to know the status of her application.”

Although Leibowitz believed that Trump should have rented out an apartment to her, the real estate mogul apparently had other ideas.

“One day, Mr. Trump and his son Donald came into the office, and I asked Fred Trump what I should do with this application… and his response to me was, ‘you know I don’t rent to the n-word, put the application in a desk and forget about it,” he said.

Watch the whole video below.

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