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Comment: Re:Neat (Score 1) 59

by brindafella (#48534999) Attached to: The Ancestor of Humans Was an "Artist" 500,000 Years Ago
> So, somebody deliberately did this for no practical reason - perhaps just for the joy of doing it? It also seems like a very well controlled scratch ...

Thanks, 'j'. You got the point of this discovery. It jumped out at me in the same way. The report makes the point that the covering of the shell would have probably been green so the marking down into the white shell underneath would have made the scoring stand out. If it had only been one scratch then it would be called an incidental mark, but it went well beyond that to be a deliberate pattern.

+ - The ancestor of humans was an 'artist' 500,000 years ago

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Our ancient ancestor, Homo erectus, around 500,000 years ago, has been shown to make doodles or patterns. So, it seems that we Homo sapiens have come from a thoughtful lineage. The zig-zag markings cut into the covering of a fossil freshwater shell were from a deposit in the main bone layer of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the place where Homo erectus was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891, says Dr Stephen Munro, a palaeoanthropologist with the Australian National University. The team's testing shows the erectus doodling was from 0.54 million years to a minimum of 0.43 million years ago. This pushes back the thoughtful making of marks by hundreds of thousands of years. The thoughtful gathering of shellfish and their nutrients also points to possible explanations for the evolving of bigger brains."

Comment: Re:Gay? (Score 1) 764

by Xenna (#48276133) Attached to: Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

"He could perhaps be proud of coming out if it took some courage or there was some barrier to overcome,"

Don't underestimate how hard it is for a child to come out with their homosexuality. I imagine every homosexual (even in my famously enlightened country - Holland) goes through a seriously difficult phase of self acceptation.

I recently had a high school reunion. I noticed that all the gay kids had not come out until after they left school. They must have known they were gay, but they all kept it quiet. Puberty is hard enough as it is, having to come to terms with your own being different must be pretty hard. Probably reason enough to turn your shame into pride.

Pride, also in the face of all those who still feel you should be ashamed.

Comment: Re:and they use cash businesses as examples (Score 1) 424

by Thangodin (#48235903) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

The problem is that it's a political trap. Any attempt to roll back these laws will result in some political opponent charging them with being soft on drugs, crime, terrorism, etc. And America now has a legislature that can't get anything done anyway, because there are a large number of people in office who make their name by blocking everything, including initiatives originally designed by their own party.

So the war on drugs, a bipartisan effort that resulted from this kind of rhetoric, has now created the largest incarceration rate since Stalinist Russia, militarized police that look and act like an occupying army, and now, the right to take whatever you have without justification. Law enforcement is simply taking advantage of a paralyzed government to do whatever they like, because you can't bring them to task. Instead of getting the job done, elected representatives are spending all their time bickering about faux issues like Benghazi, Affordable Health Care, etc, while the real issues which should have libertarians and Tea Partiers screeching just get ignored.

Hmmm... it's almost as if they actually don't care after all...

Comment: Business model for 'bulk' -- Pay By Weight (Score 1) 819

by brindafella (#47934335) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
There is already a 'flying' business model for Pay By Weight -- Samoa Air. The Samoan people tend to be "large framed", so they now pay for their bodies and their baggage, or cargo, by weight. Getting their frames into the seats is then another matter. But, how could they complain?

Comment: Spiral filter, and a Tardis (Score 1) 122

by brindafella (#47934225) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

I notice from the diagram (per the linked story) that I only need to fit a spiral phase plate (no, not a flux capacitor) to my Tardis and it all works automagically...

... via "orbital angular momentum" and "OAM multiplexing".

Frankly, I am still confused as to why it's not (more simply) "circular polarisation" that has been known about since the early days of radio.

Comment: Re:forensic 'science' (Score 1) 135

by Thangodin (#47858167) Attached to: New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

There is also the fact that Kosminski's personality profile fits that of a serial killer, he had a deep hatred of women, and he was a butcher (and had a knife that matched the cuts). Being a Polish Jew, Kosminski was a likely match for the person who left the 'Jewes' graffiti. This being the case, and with the already prevalent anger against Jews and immigrants in the wake of the murder and the news of the graffiti, it seems likely that the police actually knew they had their man, but did not want to prosecute him publicly for fear of starting an anti-Jewish progrom in London. So they locked him away and made certain that he could never get out.

Shortly after the anniversary of the murders, there was a television special where several experts were asked to weigh in on who the killer was. The most qualified person on the panel, a woman who worked on investigations of serial murderers, said that Kosminski was the obvious suspect, but the audience went with the Queen's Doctor theory because of a TV special that offered that theory--despite the fact that at the time of the murders, said Doctor had already suffered a stroke, and had lost the use of one of his hands. Conspiracy theories always favor the most powerful agencies for events of broad prominence; this is why large government conspiracies are always favored over individual (Lee Harvey Oswald) or small group (Al Quaeda) actors.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar