Tag Archives | History

9-Foot ‘Butcher Crocodile’ Likely Ruled Before Dinosaurs

A life reconstruction of the giant crocodile ancestor (Carnufex carolinensis) that lived some 231 million years ago in what is now North Carolina. Credit: Copyright Jorge Gonzales. Open access

A life reconstruction of the giant crocodile ancestor (Carnufex carolinensis) that lived some 231 million years ago in what is now North Carolina.
Credit: Copyright Jorge Gonzales. Open access

Bad. Ass.

Jeanna Bryner via Live Science:

A 9-foot-tall beast with bladelike teeth once stalked the warm and wet environs of what is now North Carolina some 230 million years ago, before dinosaurs came onto the scene there, scientists have found.

Now called Carnufex carolinensis, the crocodile ancestor likely walked on its hind legs, preying on armored reptiles and early mammal relatives in its ecosystem, the researchers say.

They named it Carnufex, meaning “butcher” in Latin, because of its long skull, which resembles a knife, and its bladelike teeth, which it likely used to slice flesh off the bones of prey, said lead study author Lindsay Zanno, of NC State University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. “‘Butcher’ seemed a very appropriate way to get that into the minds of people,” Zanno told Live Science in an interview.

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Vodou in powerful works of art

VODOUN, VODOU, CONJURE: THE ANIMISTIC ARTS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

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Africa Vodun Sculpture – Fon People – Benin Wood, padlocks, clay pots

The Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York presents an exhibition of magic and spirit expressed in intense and powerful works of art from Africa, Haiti, Jamaica and the United States.

Stereotypical language falls apart when speaking about this kind of magic. The end product of the piece is less important than the means by which it was made. It is all about process and intention. It is an animistic magic that relies on Nature for its material and spiritual sources for healing, for love, for midwifery, for remembrance, for power, for cultural resistance, and ultimately for finding a balance in human nature.

Conjure and Vodou’s earliest manifestations were in the Old World (Africa as the Old World) but when the slaves were forced here from West Africa and the Kongo area, it was remembered and reinvented (creolized) in an American form.… Read the rest

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What really caused the Chernobyl disaster?

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At 01:23:40 on the 26th of April, 1986, Alexander Akimov made his fateful decision and announced that he was pressing the emergency safety button to end a disastrous safety test and shutdown Chernobyl’s fourth nuclear reactor. The control rods began their slow descent into the core. During the few brief moments where Akimov had considered his options, this undoubtedly seemed to him to be the most sensible way to salvage the situation. A significant reason for the core to have become so unstable was that almost all two hundred and eleven rods had been retracted, leaving the men in the room with very little control over the reactor. Given how many backup systems had already been disabled, Akimov should known that there would have been a severe accident either way. Alas, it was, in fact, the worst thing he could have possibly done. Within seconds, the control rods stopped moving and the colossal containment building began to shake.… Read the rest

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Ancient Clay Tablet Contains Customer Complaint — circa 1750 BC

Photo Cred: Reddit user tbc34

Photo Cred: Reddit user tbc34

There’s a clay tablet at the British Museum that contains something social media users know all too well: a customer complaint. Apparently the wrong grade of copper ore was delivered to Nanni, and this severely pissed Nanni off.

The above photo was uploaded to Reddit yesterday by tbc34. Another Redditor, labarna, shared this translation taken from Leo Oppenheim’s book “Letters from Mesopotamia”:

Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:

When you came, you said to me as follows : “I will give Gimil-Sin (when he comes) fine quality copper ingots.” You left then but you did not do what you promised me. You put ingots which were not good before my messenger (Sit-Sin) and said: “If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!”

What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt?

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Wolfgang Grasse (1930 – 2008) – Temporal Misift

Wolfgang Grasse (1)

“Wolfgang Grasse is a temporal misfit, with artistic skills and attitudes that stand out, in our time, as a witch or an alchemist stands out… his work can be traced back to Bosch, Bruegel and Max Beckman.” — Art News

The world that Grasse created on his canvas is more than fantastic, it is magic. He was the wise-old magician. Through his paintings, he cast a spell on the viewer and in that perpetual moment of truth, revealed two thousand years of human degradations.

His painting possesses a haunting menace which appropriately reflect the moral and social values.

Wolfgang Grasse was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1930. After private artistic training first by his grandfather, Feidrich Grasse, and then later studying in Italy, he returned to a partitioned post-war East Germany. There he was imprisoned for his cartoons crtical of Soviet propaganda. He was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.  After serving 8 years of this sentence, he was granted an amnesty and released.

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How your eyes trick your mind

Via BBC Future [Follow the link to see more optical illusions]:

Visual, or optical, illusions show us that our minds tend to make assumptions about the world – and what you think you see is often not the truth.

Throughout history, curious minds have questioned why our eyes are so easily fooled by these simple drawings. Illusions, we have found, can reveal everything from how we process time and space to our experience of consciousness.

Scroll down our interactive guide to find out why.

Early illusions

Illusions have a long history, going as far back as the ancient Greeks.

In 350BC, Aristotle noted that that “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”.

He noticed that if you watch a waterfall and shift your gaze to static rocks, the rocks appear to move in the opposite direction of the flow of water, an effect we now call “motion aftereffect” or the waterfall illusion.

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064. Daniele Bolelli | Taoism and Gravity-Defying Glorious D-Cups

Via Midwest Real

“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” -Zhuangzi

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

TScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 7.29.32 PMaoism is, in a way, the anti-religion. Its very existence is a philosophical counter-punch to the jaw of the saintly pomp revered by most religions. Zhuangzi (widely regarded as one of the greatest Taoist minds) once told a curious man that if he wanted to understand the Tao, he should go take a close look at the nearest pile feces.

This is why Taoism is awesome.

As for the point of Zhuangzi’s poop story– if the questions you’re asking aren’t about making your way through every day life with full reverence and appreciation for each bite of food, puff of air and pile of dog shit you encounter, you’re missing the point.

Of course, there’s more to Taoism than cartoonish stories about excrement.Read the rest

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Dinosaurs on Acid

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Via Phillip Smith at Alternet

Was brontosaurus blissed out on prehistoric psychedelics as he munched the swamp grass in Southeast Asia 100 million years ago? Scientists who have analyzed a perfectly preserved amber fossil from a cave there say it’s entirely possible.

The amber fossil contains evidence of the earliest grass specimens ever discovered—about 100 million years old—and that they were topped by a fungus similar to ergot, which has long been intertwined with animals and humans. Ergot is known as a medicine and a toxin. It is also the source of the psychedelic drug LSD.

In animals, ergot can cause hallucinations, delirium, gangrene, convulsions, or the staggers. And this research provides evidence that the fungus, the grasses it lived on, and the dinosaurs who gulped down huge mouthfuls of them, coexisted for tens of millions of years. Imagine a multi-ton behemoth wrecked out of its dinosaur mind stumbling around the landscape.

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