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Travel (General/Chat)

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  • A typical Auto Paint Job in California = $1250. OR MORE! EPA Busybodies to Blame?

    03/01/2015 1:23:41 AM PST · by lee martell · 39 replies
    March 1, 2015 | Lee Martell
    Let me be the first to say, I know very little about cars, their construction, their design and their maintenance. I'm also unfamiliar with typical costs of paint jobs. My former car, an old model Honda Civic, 4door had deteriorated. I knew it was time to get another car when a repairman told me "The trouble is that the Head Gasket is cracked', so that's why you hear the bubbling noise when you shut the engine off". "Oh!" says I. So I call Salvation Army to donate the car, get it out of my parking space and out of my...
  • Found Islamic Coins Hidden Inside Viking Age Shield Boss

    02/28/2015 1:53:09 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    ThorNews ^ | Valentine's Day, February 14, 2015 | unattributed
    In August 2014 a hobby archaeologist found a Viking Age sword with metal detector in a field in Skaun, just south of Trondheim in Central Norway. Now, archaeologists have examined the finding and have some exciting news about the owner. Having examined the grave, archaeologists at the NTNU Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim tell NRK that it is dated to about the year 950. In addition to the sword, researchers found the remains of a shield. 'We have not managed to find out who owned the sword, but we know that he was a well traveled man",...
  • Archaeologists discover secret room in ancient Sidon temple [Phoenicians]

    02/28/2015 12:44:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    The Daily Star ^ | February 24, 2015 | Mohammed Zaatari
    ...The newly discovered monumental room is believed to be an extension of the underground Temple of Sidon, which dates back to the Bronze Age. This finding comes as workers prepare the foundations of a new national museum, which will be established beside the archaeological site. Construction of the museum led to urgent excavations at the site last month. Ten years ago, the delegation discovered an underground "holy of holies" room, dating back to 1300 B.C., where ancient residents are believed to have worshipped their gods. The newly discovered room was found adjacent to it, and is thought to be an...
  • Apple Watch will replace your car keys, says Tim Cook

    02/27/2015 9:03:54 PM PST · by fireman15 · 65 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 02/27/2015 | Allister Heath
    Apple Watch will replace your car keys, says Tim Cook Exclusive interview: The Apple chief executive reveals to Allister Heath how the revolutionary features in the company's smartwatch could forever alter our daily lives. Like millions of people, Tim Cook stopped wearing a watch a while back. The Apple boss no longer needed one: his iPhone told the time just fine. There was just one problem, as he readily acknowledges in his interview with The Telegraph: glancing at one's wrist can be a very useful way to find out information. It is less rude and less intrusive. So Apple now...
  • Egypt Belly Dancer Running For Parliament: Sama El Masry Curses Islamic State....

    02/27/2015 1:39:38 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 21 replies
    International Business Times ^ | February 25 2015 1:19 PM EST | Lora Moftah
    Notorious Egyptian belly dancer Sama El Masry announced this week she will run for a parliamentary seat in Egypt’s March elections. The performer, whose online videos criticizing Islamists and President Barack Obama have gone viral on social media, may not yet have an electoral platform but she’s not wasting any time getting behind the Egyptian government’s airstrike campaign against Islamic State targets in Libya.
  • The Blackfish effect: SeaWorld loses $25.4 million after documentary [truncated]

    02/27/2015 6:19:27 AM PST · by C19fan · 4 replies
    AP and UK Daily Mail ^ | February 26, 2015 | Staff and Alexandra Klausner
    SeaWorld reported a wider loss in its fourth quarter of $25.4 million as attendance to its theme parks continued to fall - due in part to the documentary 'Blackfish,' which criticizes the company's treatment of killer whales. Its shares fell in premarket trading Thursday. SeaWorld has been battling negative publicity after a 2013 documentary, 'Blackfish,' suggested that its treatment of animals may have led to the deaths of trainers.
  • Viking boats to cruise Mississippi River

    02/27/2015 4:37:13 AM PST · by iowamark · 47 replies
    Fortune ^ | 2/25/1015
    Viking Cruises will establish its first North American beachhead, a homeport in New Orleans, starting in 2017. Viking Cruises will establish its first North American beachhead, a homeport in New Orleans, and will offer cruises up the Mississippi River starting in 2017, the company and Louisiana officials announced. The move is seen as an effort to capitalize on rapidly growing interest in river cruises, which involve much smaller vessels than most ocean liners. The company — whose boats ply the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt — will begin cruising the Mississippi with two boats in late...
  • A night with Godzilla? In Tokyo’s theme hotels, anything is possible

    02/27/2015 1:21:21 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 14 replies
    Japan Times ^ | Feb 26, 2015 | AFP-JIJI
    If you’ve ever wanted to sleep with a giant lizard — and let’s face it, you only live once — one Japanese hotel has just the thing with its soon-to-be opened Godzilla Room. Hotel Gracery in Tokyo’s buzzing Shinjuku entertainment district offers the chance to catch some shuteye under the watchful gaze of a man-sized atomic mutant as he stomps on a miniature version of Tokyo in the corner of your room. For those extra-unsettling dreams, a giant Godzilla hand, complete with razor-like claws, looms over the twin beds to ensure you get maximum value from the ¥39,800 a night...
  • Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food

    02/25/2015 10:38:18 AM PST · by Citizen Zed · 45 replies
    The Ecologist ^ | 2-25-2015 | Allison Wilson
    The first researchers to systematically document ill health in livestock, pets, and people living near fracking drill sites were Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald. Bamberger, a veterinarian, and Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University, used a case study approach-looking at individual households-to search for possible effects (Bamberger and Oswald 2012). Many fracking chemicals are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or other classes of toxins (Colborn et al. 2011). Bamberger and Oswald's studies, carried out during the ongoing fracking boom, uncovered serious adverse effects including respiratory, reproductive, and growth-related problems in animals and a spectrum of symptoms in humans...
  • GAO: Union Pension Insurance Fund ‘Likely To Be Insolvent’ Within Decade

    02/24/2015 10:41:02 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 24, 2015 - 3:18 PM | Barbara Hollingsworth
    Despite recent congressional action, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) multi-employer pension insurance program is “likely to be insolvent by the year 2024,” according to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) latest list of 30 “High Risk” government programs. PBGC collects premiums set by Congress from employers to insure the pension benefits of more than 44 million American workers and retirees currently covered under defined benefit plans. The agency’s “single-employer program protects about 33.6 million workers and retirees in about 27,600 pension plans,” according to the PBGC website. “The multi-employer program protects 10.4 million workers and retirees in about 1,500 pension...
  • Metrolink Crash Passengers Describe Moment Of Impact

    02/24/2015 10:17:18 PM PST · by Citizen Zed · 3 replies
    cbs Los Angeles ^ | 2-24-2015
    OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — While a number of victims of the Oxnard Metrolink crash on Tuesday morning remained in the hospital through the evening, the lucky ones who suffered no serious injuries spoke out about what the fateful moment was like. Passengers suffered scrapes, cuts and bruises, but said they were beyond grateful just to be alive. “I feel blessed, I am lucky,” victim Kent Groeneveld said. “It could have been a lot worse.” Groevenveld was riding on the top deck of the second car of Metrolink train 102, on his way to work in Monterey Park, when the train collided...
  • Humans may have migrated out of Africa in phases based on the weather

    02/24/2015 2:49:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | February 21, 2015 | editors
    Parton and colleagues writing in Geology, present a unique alluvial fan aggradation record from southeast Arabia spanning the past approx. 160,000 years. Situated along the proposed southern dispersal route, the Al Sibetah alluvial fan sequence provides a unique and sensitive record of landscape change in southeast Arabia. This record is to date the most comprehensive terrestrial archive from the Arabian Peninsula, and provides evidence for multiple humid episodes during both glacial and interglacial periods. Evidence from the Al Sibetah alluvial fan sequence indicates that during insolation maxima, increased monsoon rainfall led to the widespread activation of drainage systems and grassland...
  • Fish based diets cause archaeological dating problems

    02/24/2015 2:46:06 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | March 25, 2013 | Bente Philippsen and Rasmus Rorbaek
    Hard water contains less Carbon-14 than the atmosphere, because dissolved carbonates are Carbon-14 free. A fish caught in hard water has thus a higher Carbon-14 age than contemporaneous terrestrial samples. If such a fish is then cooked in a ceramic pot, the radiocarbon age of the food crust will be higher than if a terrestrial animal was cooked in the pot. This is known as the “reservoir effect” because the fish’s carbon actually comes from another “reservoir” than the carbon in terrestrial animals from the surrounding area. “Reservoir age” is the difference between the true age and the Carbon-14 date......
  • History's Largest Megalith

    02/24/2015 2:16:11 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 39 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Monday, February 09, 2015 | Eric A. Powell
    A team of archaeologists at a 2,000-year-old limestone quarry in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley recently excavated around a megalith weighing approximately 1,000 tons and dubbed Hajjar al-Hibla, or “stone of the pregnant woman.” It was intended for the Temple of Jupiter, which sits on three limestone blocks of similar size at the nearby site of Baalbek. To the team’s shock, they unearthed yet another block, this one weighing an estimated 1,650 tons, making it the largest known megalith. The German Archaeological Institute’s Margarete van Esse says excavation was suspended when the trench became dangerously deep. “Hopefully in a following campaign we...
  • Zigzags on a Shell From Java Are the Oldest Human Engravings

    02/24/2015 1:44:07 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | December 3, 2014 | Helen Thompson
    Perhaps even more intriguing is a single shell with what appears to be a geometric pattern—zigzagged grooves carved into the center of the outer shell. Analysis points to the patterns being carved on purpose. Again the team turned to modern mussels; they tried carving similar patterns into Potamida littoralis with a shark tooth and compared that to weathering and natural abrasions. Sure enough, their carvings were the closest matches to the ancient pattern. “That must have been an appealing thing for Homo erectus,” says Joordens. “You can imagine sitting there with a shell in one hand and a tool in...
  • The Diffusionists Have Landed

    02/22/2015 4:49:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | January 1st, 2000 | Marc K. Stengel
    The Norwegian archaeologists Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad's famous identification, in 1961, of a Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, from just after A.D. 1000 is, of course, a notable exception, no longer in dispute. But that discovery has so far gone nowhere. The Norse settlers, who may have numbered as many as 160 and stayed for three years or longer, seem to have made no lasting impression on the aboriginal skraellings that, according to Norse sagas, they encountered, and to have avoided being influenced in turn. The traditions of the Micmac people, modern-day inhabitants of the area, have...
  • Vintage PHOTO: "Pupsicle" ... A World-Weary Puppy In Antarctica, Circa 1912

    02/22/2015 2:23:50 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 36 replies
    Flickr via IO9 ^ | circa 1912 | Frank Hurley
    A World-Weary Puppy In Antarctica, Circa 1912 This poignant image (cheer up, buddy!) of a pup named "Blizzard" was taken in 1912 by Antarctic adventurer Frank Hurley, who two years later would be the photographer on Ernest Shackleton's famed Endurance Expedition. This shot is from the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition, which set out in 1911. Over a period of years, Hurley visited the frozen continent six times and came away with a trove of stirring images.
  • New paper-like material could boost electric vehicle batteries

    02/22/2015 10:55:50 AM PST · by Red Badger · 22 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Feb 18, 2015 | by Sean Nealon
    Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery. This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics. Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers...
  • A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

    02/21/2015 9:25:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    NY Slimes ^ | February 19, 2015 | Carl Zimmer
    In 2010, scientists made a startling discovery about our past: About 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians. Now two teams of researchers have come to another intriguing conclusion: Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of Asians at a second point in history, giving them an extra infusion of Neanderthal DNA. The findings are further evidence that our genomes contain secrets about our evolution that we might have missed by looking at fossils alone. "We're learning new, big-picture things from the genetic data, rather than just filling in details," said Kirk E. Lohmueller, a geneticist...
  • US travelers set for EU biometric dragnet

    02/20/2015 1:06:14 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 19 Feb, 2015, 18:02 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    US citizens and other non-EU nationals who enter Europe will be asked to have their faces image-captured and fingerprints scanned upon arrival at a half-dozen major airports. The biometric dragnet is part of a pilot test of the EU’s so-called “smart borders” package. Passengers can refuse to give the data for now, but there are plans to eventually make it obligatory.A draft internal EU document dated Wednesday (18 February) and seen by this website says the “proof of concept” is set to start in March and will run until September this year. “Should traveler participation be lower than expected, there...
  • It's an EXPENSIVE world, after all: Disney Magic Kingdom prices set to top $100

    02/20/2015 9:04:41 AM PST · by C19fan · 29 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | February 20. 2015 | Evan Bleiber
    Fans of Mickey Mouse, Frozen and It's a Small World are going to have to pay more than $100 if they want to see all three in one place. Tickets prices at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, are going up, possibly as soon as this weekend. Single-day ticket prices are expected rise to $105 for the Magic Kingdom and $99 for the three other resort parks - Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and the Animal Kingdom Park.
  • Antarctica post office seeking job applicants ...

    02/19/2015 3:35:54 PM PST · by Idaho_Cowboy · 24 replies
    Yahoo ^ | February 19, 2015 | Dylan Stableford
    Are you in good shape? Able to carry a big, heavy box over slippery rocks and slushy snow? Happy not to shower for up to a month, live in close proximity to three people and 2,000 smelly penguins for five months with no power, heat or hot water and limited communications on a small island off the coast of Antarctica? If so, we have the job for you!
  • Letter from Ireland: Mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh

    02/19/2015 2:24:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Archaeology ^ | January/February 2012 | Erin Mullally
    On a typically misty morning in the west of Ireland, just outside the medieval town of Athenry, County Galway, archaeologist Declan Moore... is taking me to visit an unexcavated fulacht fiadh (pronounced FULL-ahk FEE-add), or fulachtaí fia in plural, the most common type of prehistoric archaeological site in Ireland. Better known as a "burnt mound" in the neighboring United Kingdom, where they are also found, there are nearly 6,000 recorded fulacht fiadh sites dotted around Ireland alone... When we arrive at the site, Moore shows me the basic features of a fulacht fiadh -- a horseshoe-shaped mound of soil and...
  • Ancient artefacts at Tullaghoge [Ireland, 5000 BC]

    02/19/2015 1:31:39 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    Belfast Telegraph ^ | February 15, 2015 | unattributed
    An archaeological bid to discover more about the hilltop where Ulster chieftains were crowned 700 years ago has uncovered artefacts dating back more than 7,000 years. Tullaghoge Fort in rural Co Tyrone was the place leaders of the dominant O'Neill clan came to be crowned from around the 14th Century to just before the arrival of the planters at the start of the 17th Century. Targeted excavation work around the picturesque tree encircled earthen mound ahead of the planned development of new visitor facilities hoped to find and preserve buried artefacts from that period -- but it ended up unearthing...
  • Neanderthal groups based part of the their lifestyle on the sexual division of labor

    02/19/2015 1:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | February 18, 2015 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Marta Garcia
    Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex. This is one of the main conclusions reached by a study performed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)... which analyzed 99 incisors and canine teeth of 19 individuals from three different sites (El Sidron, in Asturias - Spain, L'Hortus in France, and Spy in Belgium), reveals that the dental grooves present in the female fossils follow the same pattern, which is different to that found in male individuals. Analyses show that all Neanderthal individuals, regardless of age, had dental grooves. According to Antonio Rosas, CSIC researcher at the...
  • Villa Owned by Ben-Hur's Rival Identified

    02/19/2015 1:12:27 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 64 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, February 13, 2015 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Archaeologists investigating the Tuscan island of Elba have identified the remains of the villa belonging to the real-life individual that inspired one of the principal characters in the epic tale of Ben-Hur. Overlooking Portoferraio's bay, the once magnificent 1st-century B.C. villa has long been believed to have been owned by Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, portrayed as Ben-Hur in the Hollywood blockbuster starring Charlton Heston. Now in ruins, the property was known as Villa Le Grotte (the Caves) because of the shape of its vaulted facades facing the sea. While Ben-Hur was a fictional villain dreamed up in Lew Wallace's 1880...
  • BYU grad rescues child sex slaves

    02/16/2015 8:00:56 PM PST · by Colofornian · 13 replies
    BYU Universe ^ | Dec. 1, 2014 | Donovan C. Baltich
    A team of former Navy Seals and CIA operatives splash beer on their faces as they prepare to play the part of American sex tourists. They’ll have to maintain laser-sharp focus as they engage in negotiations with some of the world’s dirtiest criminals. One suspicious move or remark could put their whole team at risk and prevent the rescue of dozens of innocent children. This team, known as Operation Underground Railroad, works to prosecute child sex traffickers and to rescue the victims. Heading the team is Tim Ballard — a husband, a father of six children and a BYU alumnus....
  • Larger area analysis needed to understand patterns in ancient prehistory

    02/16/2015 5:24:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Phys Org ^ | February 13, 2015 | unattributed
    "We are looking at Eastern North America," said Milner. "Nowhere else in the world has similar archaeological data been compiled for such a large area." ... He notes that the popular view of warfare in small-scale societies in North America usually falls either at the extremes of excessively warlike or eternally peaceful. However, the reality, as seen in archaeological evidence, is the levels of warfare varied both through time and space... The researchers also looked at skeletal indications of conflict including embedded arrowheads, evidence of damage by stone axes or mutilation including scalping. Over an area that includes the East...
  • Judaculla Rock [ Sylva, North Carolina ]

    02/15/2015 12:13:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 52 replies
    Judaculla Rock website ^ | 2002-2014 | Presented by L.E.M.U.R.
    Deep in the mountains of Jackson County, just outside Sylva, North Carolina, sets a large, baffling stone. It is a soapstone boulder, and it's covered with a plethora of strange drawings that some archaeologists believe may be 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Even the Cherokee Indians consider the site ancient, pre-dating their presence in the area... According to Cherokee legend, the markings on the rock were created by Judaculla, a slant-eyed giant who dominated the mountains in years long past. He was the "Great Lord of the hunt," a powerful being who could leap from one mountain to another, and...
  • The Voyage of Hanno [The Periplus of Hanno]

    02/15/2015 10:41:05 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Metrum ^ | circa 1979 | Livio Catullo Stecchini
    In describing a volcanic eruption from a high mountain towering over the sea Hanno mentions such details as sulphuric fumes and streams of lava. The only volcanic area in West Africa is represented by Mount Cameroon, which is still active today. It is located at the deepest point of the Gulf of Guinea, where it rises suddenly from the seashore, reaching a height of over 4000 meters... Those who have seen it from the sea consider it one of the most impressive sights in the world. The natives call it Mongana-Loba, "Mountain of the Gods," which well agrees with the...
  • People from Tuscany are most similar to Neanderthals

    02/15/2015 1:54:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    Abroad in the Yard ^ | February 9, 2012 | AITY
    In a series of histograms (graphs showing the distribution of genome and population data), Hawks shows that Asian and European genomes have significantly more Neanderthal DNA than African genomes. The averages for Asian and European samples are around 3% higher than the average for African samples. Whatever gave Africans some degree of similarity to Neanderthals, non-Africans seem to have received around 3% more of it. Europeans average a bit more Neanderthal DNA than Asians, showing that Europeans probably mixed with Neanderthals as they moved into Europe, adding a secondary mix of Neanderthal DNA into their genome beyond the primary mix...
  • CHINA AND RUSSIA JOIN FORCES TO BUILD NEW JUMBO JET

    02/13/2015 12:49:28 PM PST · by C19fan · 21 replies
    Popular Science ^ | February 13, 2015 | Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
    China and Russia are taking their high tech relationship to the next level, as the preliminary design for their jumbo jet will be completed by July. The C929 will be China's ever largest civilian aircraft, and Russia's largest post Cold War new jetliner.
  • European languages linked to migration from the east

    02/13/2015 12:32:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Nature ^ | 12 February 2015 | Ewen Callaway
    Large ancient-DNA study uncovers population that moved westwards 4,500 years ago. A mysterious group of humans from the east stormed western Europe 4,500 years ago -- bringing with them technologies such as the wheel, as well as a language that is the forebear of many modern tongues, suggests one of the largest studies of ancient DNA yet conducted. Vestiges of these eastern emigres exist in the genomes of nearly all contemporary Europeans, according to the authors, who analysed genome data from nearly 100 ancient Europeans. ...last year, a study of the genomes of ancient and contemporary Europeans found echoes not...
  • Butchered Bones Found in Yukon Cave Bear Marks of Early Americans, Study Finds

    02/13/2015 12:15:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Western Digs ^ | February 12, 2015 | Blake de Pastino
    They're probably about half as old as scientists once thought they were. But a pair of butchered bones found in a cave near the Alaska-Yukon border are "definite" evidence of human presence in North America just after the end of the last Ice Age, perhaps as much as 14,000 years ago, according to a new study. The bones were originally discovered in the late 1970s by Canadian archaeologist Dr. Jacques Cinq-Mars at a site known as Bluefish Caves, high in northwestern Yukon Territory. In one of the caves, dubbed Cave 2, archaeologists found more than 18,000 fragments of bones from...
  • ...Why was the wine of the Negev so renowned in the Byzantine Empire...

    02/13/2015 12:07:15 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Israel Antiquities Authority ^ | February 2015 | unattributed
    For the first time, grape seeds from the Byzantine era have been found. These grapes were used to produce "the Wine of the Negev" -- one of the finest and most renowned wines in the whole of the Byzantine Empire. The charred seeds, over 1,500 years-old, were found at the Halutza excavation site in the Negev during a joint dig by the University of Haifa and the Israel Antiquities Authority. "The vines growing in the Negev today are European varieties, whereas the Negev vine was lost to the world. Our next job is to recreate the ancient wine, and perhaps...
  • Why is Erdogan asking Cuba to let him build a mosque in Havana?

    02/12/2015 5:11:55 PM PST · by Rusty0604 · 12 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 02/12/2015 | Reuters
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has proposed to Cuba the construction of a mosque on the Caribbean island during a visit to Havana, pushing ahead with a plan apparently inspired by his belief that Muslims discovered the Americas. After talks with Cuban President Raul Castro, Erdogan said on Wednesday he had sought approval for Turkey to build the place of worship in Havana that would be based on the model of a mosque in the Ortakoy district on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul. Erdogan also told reporters the Cuban government had agreed with Saudi Arabia on a...
  • Expedia buying rival Orbitz for about $1.33 billion

    02/12/2015 8:03:10 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb. 12, 2015 10:29 AM EST | Michelle Chapman
    Expedia is buying rival online travel site Orbitz for approximately $1.33 billion, adding to the stable of brands it has snapped up recently in order to extend its reach and keep pace in the fiercely competitive travel-booking industry. Expedia’s acquisition of Orbitz is its second major deal in the past month as the industry continues to consolidate. Expedia announced the $280 million acquisition of another rival, Travelocity, in late January. It also follows the company’s July announcement that it was buying Wotif.com for $658 million. By bringing Orbitz into the fold, Expedia gains access to the Orbitz namesake brand, as...
  • A chance to advance to US Postal Inspection Service, and where to move?

    02/12/2015 3:48:01 AM PST · by Crazieman · 64 replies
    Selfie | 2/12/2014 | Selfie
    I have a chance to apply internally for a position as US Postal Police Officer. I find the opportunity fascinating and exciting. Right now I have a steady schedule as a postal clerk in Wichita, Kansas, after downgrading from supervisor not long ago. Recently divorced, I have few ties other than immediate family. None of the positions available are anywhere near Wichita, and looking at the vast, truth-telling population of Free Republic, I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to change positions and move to any of the following locations that have opened up. San Francisco, CA Los Angeles, CA...
  • Saving lives: Improved vehicle designs bring down death rates

    02/11/2015 10:37:02 AM PST · by jjotto · 33 replies
    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ^ | January 29, 2015 | unattributed
    The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in three years, the latest IIHS calculations of driver death rates show. Among 2011 models, a record nine vehicles have driver death rates of zero. However, the gap between the safest and riskiest models remains wide, and three cars have death rates exceeding 100 per million registered vehicle years... ...The list of models with the lowest death rates illustrates just how much vehicles have improved. Eight years ago, there were no models with driver death rates of zero (see Status Report special...
  • Europe's mini-space shuttle returns

    02/11/2015 8:10:08 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    An unmanned European Space Agency (Esa) mini-space shuttle has splashed down in the Pacific Ocean nearly two hours after launching. The IXV spaceplane resembles a smaller, robotically controlled version of the US space shuttle and could provide Europe with a new, re-useable space transportation system. It blasted off on a Vega rocket from South America just after 13:40 GMT. The test could inform future technology for landing payloads on Mars. The test vehicle flew east around the globe, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at about 15:20 GMT. The wedge-shaped IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) is designed to gather information...
  • Original Magna Carta Copy Found in Scrapbook

    02/10/2015 1:01:40 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    LiveScience ^ | February 9, 2015 | Stephanie Pappas
    An original copy of the Magna Carta has been discovered in a scrapbook in Kent, England. The tattered document dates back to 1300, 85 years after King John of England was compelled to sign the first agreement limiting the rights of kings. This version was issued by King Edward I (King John's grandson), who was under pressure from the church and the barons to reaffirm good governance, said Sophie Ambler, a research associate with the Magna Carta Project. "Nobody knew it was there," Ambler said of the damaged document. "This Magna Carta had been stuck into a scrapbook by a...
  • Barley and wheat residues in Neolithic cemeteries of Central Sudan and Nubia

    02/10/2015 12:15:00 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | February 9, 2015 | PLOS ONE
    A research team successfully identified ancient barley and wheat residues in grave goods and on teeth from two Neolithic cemeteries in Central Sudan and Nubia, showing that humans in Africa were already exploited domestic cereals 7,000 years ago and thus five hundred years earlier than previously known. Dr. Welmoed Out from Kiel University said, “With our results we can verify that people along the Nile did not only exploit gathered wild plants and animals but had crops of barley and wheat.” These types of crops were first cultivated in the Middle East about 10,500 years ago and spread out from...
  • Untouched Mycenaean Tomb Found in Central Greece

    02/10/2015 12:09:32 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Greek Reporter ^ | February 7, 2015 | Ioanna Zikakou
    An ancient Greek Mycenaean tomb was unearthed in Amfissa, central Greece, during an irrigation project that required excavation in the area. It is a unique finding, the first of its kind that has ever been found in West Locris and one of the few in central Greece. The preliminary archaeological study of the findings shows that the tomb was used for more than two centuries, from the 13th to the 11th century B.C.. Within the burial chamber archaeologists found a large amount of skeletal material, which had accumulated near the surrounding walls, while a few better preserved burials were also...
  • Flying Dogs

    02/08/2015 5:28:57 PM PST · by blueunicorn6 · 33 replies
    Keen Personal Observation | 8 Feb 2015 | blueunicorn6
    I try to be a good neighbor and get in the spirit of things in the neighborhood. At Christmas, I put up some lights on the front of the house. The really smart neighbor lady at Church kept talking about her "crèche". I didn't want to appear any more ignorant than I am (and some people say they don't think that's possible) so I didn't ask her what a crèche is. Using my superior talents of deduction, I figured that crèche was French for "creek". I like to be a part of the conversation, so I told her that we...
  • 'Civil War' skull from Gettysburg that was nearly auctioned off is actually more than 700 years old

    02/08/2015 12:56:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | Sunday, February 8, 2015 | Belinda Robinson
    A skull that was thought to have belonged to a Civil War soldier killed at Gettysburg is actually more than 700 years old and from the Southwest, say experts. The National Park Service has revealed that forensic anthropologists determined that the skull is from the late 1200s and belonged to a Native American man in his early-to-mid 20s. That's nearly 300 years before Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World and 400 years before the first settlement of English in the United States. The company that nearly auctioned the skull last year said notarized documents had showed it was discovered...
  • US sisters arrested for nude photos at Cambodia's Angkor

    02/07/2015 1:55:53 PM PST · by Gamecock · 45 replies
    AFP The Sun Daily ^ | 7 February 2015
    <p>PHNOM PENH: Two American sisters have been arrested in Cambodia for taking naked photos of each other inside the country's famed Angkor temple complex, officials said Saturday – the latest nude stunt by tourists to spark anger.</p>
  • Malocclusion and dental crowding arose 12,000 years ago with earliest farmers

    02/07/2015 10:06:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | February 4, 2015 | University College Dublin
    Hunter-gatherers had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding, and the condition first became common among the world's earliest farmers some 12,000 years ago in Southwest Asia... By analysing the lower jaws and teeth crown dimensions of 292 archaeological skeletons from the Levant, Anatolia and Europe, from between 28,000-6,000 years ago, an international team of scientists have discovered a clear separation between European hunter-gatherers, Near Eastern/Anatolian semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and transitional farmers, and European farmers, based on the form and structure of their jawbones... In the case of hunter-gatherers, the scientists from University College Dublin, Israel Antiquity Authority, and the State University...
  • Walk like a man: Fossil raises puzzling questions...

    02/07/2015 9:22:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Harvard Gazette ^ | February 3, 2015 | Peter Reuell
    For decades, scientists have recognized the upright posture exhibited by chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans as a key feature separating the "great apes" from other primates, but a host of questions about the evolution of that posture -- particularly how and when it emerged -- have long gone unanswered. For more than a century, the belief was that the posture, known as the orthograde body plan, evolved only once, as part of a suite of features, including broad torsos and mobile forelimbs, in an early ancestor of modern apes. But a fossilized hipbone of an ape called Sivapithecus is challenging that...
  • Poles reconstructed houses of the first Egyptians

    02/07/2015 9:14:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    PAP -- Science and Scholarship in Poland ^ | Wednesday, February 4, 2015 | J. Karmowski
    ...In the Egyptian religious architecture of the Old Kingdom (2686 - 2181 BC), the builders... mirrored less durable materials in stone buildings -- including wood and mud bricks... made on regular, rectangular plan, with an area of tens of square meters. Structures were built tightly next to each other. The windows were small and located in the upper part of the wall... Lintels and window had support beams -- their task was to relieve the empty space, and to protect mud bricks against erosion of and mechanical damage. As is clear from contemporary analogies and archaeological documentation, the lower part...
  • Dinner At Piso's: Ancient Romans ate meals most Americans would recognize

    02/07/2015 9:01:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 62 replies
    Inside Science ^ | Tuesday, February 3, 2015 | Joel N. Shurkin, Contributor
    Let's pretend it is 56 B.C. and you have been fortunate enough to be invited to a party at the home of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, a great social coup. Piso, after all, was Julius Caesar's father-in-law and a consul of Rome... You need to prepare for pig. Archaeologists studying the eating habits of ancient Etruscans and Romans have found that pork was the staple of Italian cuisine before and during the Roman Empire. Both the poor and the rich ate pig as the meat of choice, although the rich, like Piso, got better cuts, ate meat more often and...