Posts Tagged With: people

New DNA tests on ancient Denisovan people ‘shows them occupying Altai cave 170,000 years ago’…


Prehistoric Siberians lived in Denisova Cave earlier than scientists realised – new claim based on state-of-the-art technology.

It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone fragment of ‘X woman’, a juvenile female. Picture: Max Planck Institute

It has been called the cave that holds the key to man’s origins, and it keeps producing more surprises. It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone fragment of ‘X woman’, a juvenile female believed to have lived around 41,000 years ago. Analysis showed she was genetically distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans.

In 2010 analysis on an upper molar from a young adult, found in the cave ten years previously, was also from a Denisovan. As we reported previously: ‘Traces in the ‘cultural layer’ of the Denisova Cave show the human habitat reaching back 282,000 years.’ The richness of the cave’s prehistoric contents means scientists from around the world are co-operating in seeking to solve its riddles.

Denisova cave

The Denisova Cave is located in the Bashelaksky Range of the north-western Altai Mountains, close to the border of today’s Altai Region and the Altai Republic. Picture: The Siberian Times

Now a new report by the news site of journal Science states that analysis on the Denisovan finger bone and molars as well as cave material shows these little-known ancient people ‘occupied the cave surprisingly early and came back repeatedly’.

The young female ‘lived at least 50,000 years ago and that two other Denisovan individuals died in the cave at least 110,000 years ago and perhaps as early as 170,000 years ago’.

The report cites scientific talks given to a meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution. It cautions about a wide margin or error in the estimates over dates, but quotes paleoanthropologist Fred Spoor of University College London the findings provide ‘really convincing evidence of multiple occupations of the cave’, and that the Denisovans should be seen as a ‘valid species’.

Denisovan

In 2010 analysis on an upper molar from a young adult, found in the cave ten years previously, was also from a Denisovan. Picture: Max Planck Institute

When researchers first dated animal bones and artifacts in the cave’s layer 11, they were said to be between 30,000 and 50,000 years old. ‘So Siberian researchers invited geochronologist Tom Higham of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom to re-date the sequence,’ reported news.sciencemag.org

Sediments holding the finger bone, at the bottom of layer 11, came out right at the limit of radiocarbon dating, and are likely older than 48,000 to 50,000 years, reported archaeologist Katerina Douka, of Oxford, it was reported.

‘Researchers sequenced nuclear DNA from three molars from layer 11 and a child’s molar from a deeper layer, 22, according to a talk by graduate student Viviane Slon, who works in the lab of paleogeneticist Svante Paabo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.’ They succeeded in analysing ‘a significant amount of nuclear DNA from three teeth that turned out to be Denisovan’.

Denisova cave


Denisova cave


Denisova cave

The girl with the pinky finger was in the cave roughly 65,000 years after the oldest Denisovan, who was there at least 110,000 years ago and possibly earlier’. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

This showed that ‘the Denisovan inhabitants in that one cave were not closely related. They had more genetic variation among them than all the Neanderthals so far sequenced, although Neanderthals are known to be similar genetically’.

The team sequenced ‘their entire mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)  genomes and placed them on a family tree. Then they counted the number of mtDNA differences between individuals and used the modern human mutation rate to estimate how long it might have taken those mutations to appear. They concluded that the girl with the pinky finger was in the cave roughly 65,000 years after the oldest Denisovan, who was there at least 110,000 years ago and possibly earlier’.

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Old Saloons…..


Meeker, Colorado Saloon, 1899.

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Toll Gate Saloon, Blackhawk, Colorado, 1897

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How prophetic…….


H.L. Mencken (born 1880 – died 1956) was a journalist, satirist, critic, and Southern Conservative Democrat.  He wrote this satirical editorial while working for the Baltimore Evening Sun, which appeared in the July 26, 1920, edition, 93 years ago.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron

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How things have changed…. 1908…..New York. “Times Square” The old New York Times building, now encased in billboards, Hotel Astor and various theaters seen from Broadway.


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Parade…1900….Buffalo, New York. “Labor Day parade, Main Street”


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City Life… 1900….Chicago. “A walk in Lincoln Park”


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Famous Men Who’ve Died on the Crapper…..


Though there are many, many embarrassing ways to die, none seems to catch you more off-guard than dying on the toilet. Don’t get me wrong, dying on the toilet isn’t the most embarrassing way to plunge into death (trust me, I’ve read stories far worse that make me wonder how people go to the funeral without laughing), but I believe that it plays a bigger head trip on the person dying than any normal death. Picture it – sitting on your porcelain comfort seat, feeling safe and secure as you always do in this scenario when an assassin rams a spear through the inside of your toilet. All feelings of invulnerability are gone. Not to mention that it ensures a greater likelihood of tabloid photos shot at your death and wide spread rumors to circulate about what caused you to expire in the first place. “But that would only happen if you’re famous,” you say. Well you know what? Here are some of history’s best toilet travesties:
King Edmund “Ironside” II: The king of England from April 23 to November 30, 1016 who was mostly known for his efforts to fight off the Danes died on the toilet. Soldiers who were acting in favor of Edmund’s rival, King Canute, hid inside the lavatory and stabbed through his anus and into his bowels. Some regard this as merely a story, however, since no other explanation of his death has surfaced, this ‘story’ has been taken as fact by many. Given his death, I wonder if it would have been more appropriate to dub him “Ironslide. ”

King George II: The last king of Britain born outside of Britain had little control over anything in his life. The policies of his kingship had been made by the first de facto Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. The only thing he seemed to be able to achieve during his kingship was a useless war with Spain, not being dethroned and petty squabbles between his father and son. His heart apparently had no control either, since he died of aortic dissection on the toilet. It happened after drinking chocolate for breakfast.

Evelyn Waugh: Another Brit! It seems at least somewhat ironic that the high society satirist who poked so much fun at England’s aristocracy died while on the toilet. Born October 28, 1903 he was the son of noted English publisher Arthur Waugh. Though his early works were dark and satirical (‘Decline and Fall’, ‘Vile Bodies’, ‘Black Mischief’, ect.), he also produced works of broader interest such as the ‘Sword of Honor’ trilogy. During the later years of his life, Waugh ballooned himself to a rounder physique which caused a decline and fall in his health. On April 10, 1966 Waugh went to Easter Mass. Afterward, he suffered a heart attack on the toilet of a priest. I wish I could’ve seen the face on the priest when he found Waugh.

Elvis Presley: Before you ask – no. There is no way I could have done this article without bringing up Elvis. We all know what he did in his life. His spectacular early career and his not so eloquent later career have been widely publicized. On August 16, 1977 Presley was found dead on his toilet in Graceland by his fiancée Ginger Alden. Though he was believed to have died from a heart attack assisted by gastrointestinal problems, many speculate that the amount of drugs he was taking might have aided his departure. Or maybe it was those peanut butter and banana sandwiches he ate.

Lenny Bruce: The comic known for his ‘sick humor’ was also known by the court system. In more ways than one, he managed to get banned from performing in major cities and was arrested on obscenity several times. To be fair, the only thing ‘sick’ in his humor was the lack of structure in his jokes, though at the time, I guess someone saying the dreaded F-word was just too much for some people and could easily be seen as ‘sick’. On August 3, 1966 Bruce was found dead on his toilet at age 40. The death was ruled as an accidental morphine overdose. In tabloid photos, you can see a syringe and a burned bottle cap. In the spirit of ‘sick humor’ I believe Bruce’s corpse should have been put on puppeteer strings and brought on stage for one last show.

Remember: always be completely aware of yourself at all times and if necessary, work up the courage to fight the Grim Reaper for enough time to die in a dignified fashion.

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Battle of Britain….People and Places


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