Humans: Mammals of the Seashores
Shellfish fed human ancestors
map & photo of Buia & Djibouti bays
(Note similarity and nearness to Djibouti harbor just south along coast, with islands offshore rich in coral reefs and mangroves. During a slightly wetter period, paradise, but now desert isles.)
1ma beef at Buia, Eritrea: Surf & Turf at tropical lagoons
Surf & Turf @ coast
Dahlak archipelago settled 2ka, speak Dahalik dialect of Tigrinya, pastoral/fishing/pearl diving
Epic of Gilgamesh/Noah's ark was round
similar to the marsh Arab barns or coracles?
Finkel's research throws light on the familiar Mesopotamian story, which became the account in Genesis, in the Old Testament, of Noah and the ark that saved his menagerie from the waters which drowned every other living thing on earth.
In his translation, the god who has decided to spare one just man speaks to Atram-Hasis, a Sumerian king who lived before the flood and who is the Noah figure in earlier versions of the ark story. "Wall, wall! Reed wall, reed wall! Atram-Hasis, pay heed to my advice, that you may live forever! Destroy your house, build a boat; despise possessions And save life! Draw out the boat that you will built with a circular design; Let its length and breadth be the same."
The tablet goes on to command the use of plaited palm fibre, waterproofed with bitumen, before the construction of cabins for the people and wild animals.
50,000 year old pigments in shells for body paint
paint or mosquito repellant?
Scientists unearthed the shells at two archaeological sites in the Murcia province of southern Spain. Professor Joao Zilhao, the archaeologist from Bristol University in the UK, who led the study, said that he and his team had examined shells that were used as containers to mix and store pigments. Black sticks of the pigment manganese, which may have been used as body paint by Neanderthals, have previously been discovered in Africa. "[But] this is the first secure evidence for their use of cosmetics," he told BBC News. "The use of these complex recipes is new. It's more than body painting." The scientists found lumps of a yellow pigment, that they say was possibly used as a foundation. They also found red powder mixed up with flecks of a reflective brilliant black mineral. The shells were coated with residues of mixed pigments
Some of the sculpted, brightly coloured shells may also have been worn by Neanderthals as jewellery. [I think this was H sapiens, not neandertals.]
My dear sir, in this world it is not so easy to settle these plain things. I have ever found your plain things the knottiest of all.
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
'We are coming now rather into the region of guesswork', said Dr Mortimer.
'Say, rather, into the region where we balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination, but we have always some material basis on which to start our speculation', [replied Holmes].
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and
thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series
of hobglobins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken
Some years ago — it was February, 1955, late in the southern summer — I was introduced by Professor Raymond A. Dart to a room filled with fossil bones in the basement of Johannesburg's Medical School. In that room I met more than bones, for I encountered a variety of things that I had never heard of. I had never heard of man's origin on the continent of Africa. I had never heard of our probable ancestors, the australopithecines, a zoological group of small-brained erect-running creatures, hesitating between the roles of ape and man, who haunted the high African savannahs a million or two years ago.
Authors, being shameless, tend to rush into print. So fathomless was my ignorance, however, and so oceanic were the dimensions of scientific accomplishment while my back had been turned, that the rush consumed six years of my life, and even then I learned only to float. For it was not just a matter of Australopithecus and the predatory transition; there were alpha fish and pecking orders, gene pools and displacement activities, exploratory behavior and ritualized aggression, and all had bearing on the human condition. Above all, there was territory.
Robert Ardrey - The Territoreal Imperative
Babble from Bab-El, syllabic phonetic language roots in Hebrew/Arabic/Phoenician/Venetian
SS Earth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_Manual_for_Spaceship_Earth
Spaceship earth: The idea that the earth is a spaceship, with the sun as our energy supplier.
General systems theory: The idea of the earth is as a mechanical vehicle that requires maintenance, and that if you do not keep it in good order it will cease to function.
Synergy: Likens humanity to a chick that has just broken out of its shell and is now ready to enter the next phase of its existence. Suggests "How big can we think?"
Integral functions: Where the whole of a system is greater than the sum of its parts. "Ergo, only complete world desovereignization can permit the realization of an all humanity high standard support."
Regenerative landscape: Wealth is expanded by the development of tools which go beyond what was integral to man. States that the highest priority need of world society is a realistic accounting system, instead of one where a top toolmaker in India gets paid in a month what he would make in a day in Detroit. Defines tools as either craft tools that can be invented by one man such as bows and arrows and industrial tools that can not be produced by one man such as the S.S. Queen Mary. Finds language to be the first industrial tool. States that craft tools were used to create industrial tools. States that to take advantage of potential wealth we must give life fellowships to each person who is or becomes unemployed, and states that for every 100,000 fellowships given out one person will come up with something so valuable that it will pay for the remaining 99,999 fellowships. Predicts that soon the great office buildings will be turned into residences and that all the work that had been done in them will be done in the basements of a few buildings. States that we "must operate exclusively on our vast daily energy income from the powers of wind, tide, water, and the direct Sun radiation energy".
This quotation, referring to fossil fuels, reflects his approach:
"...can make all of humanity successful through science's world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years' energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth. These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship's life-regeneration-guaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions."
"Spaceship earth" may have been derived from a passage in Henry George's best known work, Progress and Poverty (1879). From book IV, chapter 2:
It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space. If the bread and beef above decks seem to grow scarce, we but open a hatch and there is a new supply, of which before we never dreamed. And very great command over the services of others comes to those who as the hatches are opened are permitted to say, "This is mine!"
Darwin's Origin of Species, David Winters @ Atavism blog:
Biological speciation vs Social specialization.
species: separate full-time from parent group type due to divergent geo/bio-niche
specialists: separate part-time from parent group type
"You can see where my number came from once you consider that only about 4% of the genome is functional DNA - 150 mutations in your genome will lead to about 6 mutations in functional regions."