two waves of pre-Columbian settlers in South America

Populations of early human settlers grew like an ‘invasive species,’ researchers find. Let’s see:

The researchers found strong evidence for two distinct phases of demographic growth in South America. The first phase, characterized by logistic growth, occurred between 14,000 and 5,500 years ago and began with a rapid spread of people and explosive population size throughout the continent.

Then, consistent with other invasive species, humans appear to have undergone an early population decline consistent with over-exploitation of their resources. This coincided with the last pulses of an extinction of big animals. Subsequent to the loss of these big animals, humans experienced a long period of constant population size across the continent. The second phase, from about 5,500 to 2,000 years ago, saw exponential population growth. This pattern is distinct from those seen in North America, Europe and Australia.

The dates come from radiocarbon dates from 1,100 sites. I still have the same old suspicion that there are more ancient sites that haven’t been identified or have been dated relatively conservatively. (Monte Verde, yo…) Those would alter the dates on the first wave quite a bit.

vestiges of an ancient port in Mamallapuram, India

Way back when, someone debunked a story of granite lions of Mahabalipuram being washed ashore by a 2004 tsunami in India. That might have turned out to be nonsense, but….

Millennium-old ‘sunken town’ found off Tamil Nadu. The people who spotted what they thought was a stone wall before the 2004 tsunami hit shore did indeed see exactly that. These structures appear to be 1,100 to 1,500 years old, although there appear to be more structures submerged.

morning 04.08.16

DC said made rumblings they were going to relaunch Vertigo recently, but that seemed like a bad idea. Some of their current titles aren’t that bad. Now the flagship for what would have been the Vertigo relaunch is getting its own imprint, Young Animal. Good. This is a better plan. Giving Gerard Way his own little corner to riff off Grant Morrison is better than forcing anything that doesn’t that mold out of Vertigo.

HIV overcomes CRISPR gene-editing attack. Well, damn. This is disappointing. The researchers were only surprised by the speed HIV could do this though.

Maybe John Podesta is scum but this amuses me. Clinton campaign chair: ‘The American people can handle the truth’ on UFOs. Then again, I wouldn’t trust a Clinton to tell the truth about anything.



Panama Papers

“2.6 terabyte leak of Panamanian shell company data reveals ‘how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, celebrities and professional athletes.'”

This is the fourth largest of its kind in hiding and laundering money. In understanding this, there are three larger companies doing the exact same things.

“In the past 12 months, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents.”

Adding to this as the evening and next few days unfolds:

noise rock ’86

Noise Rock in 1986. Hey- whaddaya know? Someone is talking about Big Black and Scratch Acid. And tah-dah, the Butthole Surfers, which is a band I cared for considerably more when I first got into that stuff. The writer mentions the video “A Blind Eye Sees All.” I never saw more than 15 minutes or so of the damned thing. Back in ’89 or ’90, there was a guy with a bootleg VHS of it who was more into Black Flag and Rush. (He absolutely lost his shit in joy a couple of years later when Roll the Bones came out.) Of course, Youtube has it.

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There are all kinds of minor errors in that Quietus article. Gordon sang three songs on EVOL, not one. I’m not an expert. It was just fucking weird when the writer mentions “Star Power” (sic) but then goes on to say Gordon sang only on “Secret Girl.” Peculiar.

No matter. I’m grateful to be reminded of Killdozer’s “Cranberries.” There was some weirdos on KLSU and WTUL that kept playing Killdozer at odd hours on the air into the 21st Century.

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Even more important was putting me onto Grong Grong. It seems like a band I should have run across a hundred times, but apparently never did. When I first began hanging out with Damien, he was deeply into the Birthday Party, but he still had a multitude of other influences, the musicians he played with at the time were almost exclusively into what I thought was hardcore at the time, but they called Pigfuck. It was years before I understood it was a term in general use, coined by Christgau himself. One of them is bound to have owned a tape of Grong Grong that Alternative Tentacles released.

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This 1983 show of the first gig Grong Grong ever played looks very much like some shows I attended in Hammond several years later.

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morning 04.02.16

View From Space Hints at a New Viking Site in North America. This deserves its own post, but it’s a busy morning.

The site is on the southwest coast of Newfoundland, about 300 miles south of L’Anse aux Meadows, the first and so far only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, discovered in 1960.

Pynchon in Public. A podcast devoted to Thomas Pynchon!

Turkey moves to rebuild San Stefano Russian Monument in Istanbul. After the blowup at the Syrian border, Russia and Turkey are attempting to repair relationships by rebuilding monuments from their conflict during World War I. That seems… backwards.

Clinton aides unite on FBI legal strategy. All four Clinton aides in the State Department being interviewed by the FBI have hired the same lawyer (Beth Wilkinson) and each are paying a flat fee. Politico says that the aides must think there must not be much of a case, because they’re not in fear of one person turning on the others, which would made the lawyer’s job difficult. My theory is that they have a plan as to who is going to fall on his sword to protect Hillary. They are the firewall. This is all about coordination. All they have to do is protect Clinton, hope she is elected, and whoever is the fall guy gets the same treatment Scooter Libby received.

My hero: Flann O’Brien by John Banville.

NASA Satellite Images Uncover Underground Forest Fungi.

Rover reveals puzzling sand dunes on Mars. Some of this is only now catching up with the crazy speculation from orbiter photos from the late ’90s.

Possibly one of the last recorded interviews with Dan O’Bannon.

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Anti-languages. The cants of the persecuted and criminal.

The Temple of Bel should not be rebuilt.

Hillary is more than a hippypunching addict

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What’s really going on here?

The incident feels semi-staged. Hillary was waiting to unleash one someone challenging her from the left- anyone. Activists have been asking her the exact same question for months. It wasn’t something she’s not heard before.

Clinton loves to play victim. When the heat turns up questioning her integrity, it’s rote for her to howl in rage and point the finger at anyone other than herself. Sometimes it’s someone who’s guilty of something just as crappy as her or worse. Sometimes it’s a non sequitor to attack someone she just feels is a threat. Although Sanders isn’t a serious threat anymore (unless the internal polling for the upcoming primaries are worse for her than we know yet,) Clinton resents that he’s given her as much trouble has he has.

The problem is that Clinton is horrible at this. Who is her intended audience?

Clinton fans love it. She’s hippypunching! Yay! Punch those hippies who don’t know how good they have it!

Sanders fans hate it. Most of us planned to vote for Clinton. No matter how disgusting she is, as the alternative is worse. However, she’s doing that Karl Rove thing is attacking an opponent’s strength as his weakness. Sanders beats her in integrity by a mile. Only her most partisan supporters believe otherwise. Does she really have to grind our nose in shit? She’s coming off as a sore winner.

Republicans laugh at this nonsense. Right or wrong (almost always wrong) on every other issue, they’ve been hip to the Hillary is an entitled kleptocrat story for a very long time.

The undecideds at this point will remain undecided for several months, if they vote at all in the general election. What do they care about the primaries? Will they even see this video?

Maybe Clinton is feeling the pressure of her upcoming FBI interview and misplayed her little stunt. Sanders campaign is lying? It’s Hillary Clinton and her aides being interviewed by the FBI. It makes more sense that Sanders refused to discuss the emails. Clinton would love to tar him somehow as being the reason why she burns. This is the real reason why Sanders has stayed in the race, not because he believes that he can win 58% of every state this point on or a silly superdelegate strategy. Hillary cannot stand that and will attempt to destroy anyone so that she can be the only alternative to the abyss.

morning 04.01.16

It ain’t right that I’ve never read Delany. Dhalgren has been on my To Read list for well over a decade, closer to three. LA Review of Books has an essay devoted to Delany and Paris Review has an interview with him.

Knights Templar win heresy reprieve after 700 years. The Vatican publishes the original trial documents. Thanks, Jeremy.

Alan Lomax archives now online. No time to dig through at moment.

An exhibition of John Dee’s books invites his rehabilitation as a mathematician. What happened to that giant mechanical beetle?

Bill pointed out to me that the creator of the #BernieMadeMeWhite tag is from Baton Rouge. I had an awkward exchange with someone who didn’t understand what the tag meant, only to be lectured that Hillary dominated the Southern States and Washington is indeed very white. Uhhhhh…. yeah…. Thanks.

Architect Zaha Hadid dies at age 65. She was unfamiliar to me but her work was immediately recognizable.

Heydar Aliyev cultural centre in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Homo floresiensis died out 50,000 years ago?

Humans (Homo erectus most likely)  colonized Flores a million years ago. This is 120,000 years earlier than previously estimated, based on the dating of volcanic sediments covering stones tools found at Wolo Sege.

There’s also a new study that insists that the dating of age of the Homo floresiensis is incorrect. The floor of Liang Bua eroded unevenly. They put the age of the oldest Homo floresiensis at 60,000 years old, with the last of their style of tools at 50,000 years. According to this study, modern humans and Homo floresiensis didn’t coexist for any length of time, with modern humans quickly driving them extinct.