Do not fuel far-right conspiracy theories


symposium on human evolution

I was just blown away by this conference at UC San Diego.

Half a dozen professors at the Anthropology Institute summarize the latest hominid theories.

1) Early hominids were less ape-like than our imaginations drew and displayed in museums in the past. We imagined homo erectus, the first to stand upright, to have a gourd-like rounded rib-cage like an ape, except it turns out they have a tighter one like we do.

2) The last lecture by the older woman was the keynote really. The Neanderthal had AS BIG a brain as modern humans. Except to raise a such a large brain, you need to have a well regulated body temperature for at least until the child becomes independent to feed / hunt itself. Early hominids may have had comparable brain sizes, but unless their bodies developed to match such a big head (human babies have giant heads compared to their bodies), and the body grew at a rate which could sustain the giant head — having an ape’s body but large brain made a difficult problem to regulate the temperature and rear children to a surviving age.

Our species was the first, to have a magical fit, between a lean and sustainable body with such a large brain. We quickly wiped out the other ones, if climate change didn’t do the rest.

The Song of Hiawatha

watching boardwalk empire, steve buscemi does a fantastic drunken bar scene, reciting from two amazing poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Hiawatha And The Pearl-Feather"
Take your war-club, Puggawaugun,
And your mittens, Minjekahwun,
And your birch-canoe for sailing,
And the oil of Mishe-Nahma,
So to smear its sides, that swiftly
You may pass the black pitch-water;
Slay this merciless magician,
Save the people from the fever
That he breathes across the fen-lands,
And avenge my father’s murder!"

"Straightway from the Shining Wigwam
Came the mighty Megissogwon,
Tall of stature, broad of shoulder,
Dark and terrible in aspect,
Clad from head to foot in wampum,
Armed with all his warlike weapons"

The Song of Hiawatha

Thus departed Hiawatha,
Hiawatha the Beloved,
In the glory of the sunset,.
In the purple mists of evening,
To the regions of the home-wind,
Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin,
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the Kingdom of Ponemah,
To the Land of the Hereafter!

Bain Capital strikes again

Buyout firms KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Bain Capital LP, together with real estate investment trust Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N), took Toys ‘R’ Us private for $6.6 billion in 2005. The deal saddled the company with debt, limiting its ability to revamp its stores and make online shopping easier.