Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Signs of Stranded Amelia Earhart in Old Photos?

As a distant relation to the man who married the legendary aviatrix, I wanted to share this intriguing update.

This aerial view of a remote island could be one of the last sights Amelia Earhart saw as a pilot when she flew over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.


Taken 18 months after the legendary aviator’s disappearance, the photo shows a patch of the coast of Nikumaroro, an uninhabited tropical atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, which is believed to be Earhart’s final resting place by researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

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Egyptology is one field in which interested amateurs may make an enormous impact.

Cue story about an amateur satellite archaeologist and rare maps that have led to the potential discovery of new Egyptian pyramid complexes!

Long-Lost Pyramids Found?

Mysterious, pyramid-like structures spotted in the Egyptian desert by an amateur satellite archaeologist might be long-lost pyramids after all, according to a new investigation into the enigmatic mounds.

Angela Micol, who last year found the structures using Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina, says puzzling features have been uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition, revealing cavities and shafts.

“Moreover, it has emerged these formations are labeled as pyramids on several old and rare maps,” Micol told Discovery News.

Located about 90 miles apart, the two possible pyramid complexes appeared as groupings of mounds in curious positions.

One site in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile, featured four mounds with an unusual footprint.

Some 90 miles north near the Fayum oasis, the second possible pyramid complex revealed a four-sided, truncated mound approximately 150 feet wide and three smaller mounds in a diagonal alignment.

“The images speak for themselves,” Micol said when she first announced her findings. “It’s very obvious what the sites may contain, but field research is needed to verify they are, in fact, pyramids,”

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Unique Egyptian sphinx unearthed in north Israel

A little something for my Egyptology fans!

Part of an ancient Egyptian king’s unique sphinx was unveiled at a dig in northern Israel on Tuesday, with researchers struggling to understand just how the unexpected find ended up there.

The broken granite sphinx statue — including the paws and some of the mythical creature’s forearms — displayed at Tel Hazor archaeological site in Israel’s Galilee, is the first such find in the region.

Its discovery also marks the first time ever that researchers have found a statue dedicated to Egyptian ruler Mycerinus who ruled circa 2,500 BC and was builder of one of the three Giza pyramids, an expert said.

“This is the only monumental Egyptian statue ever found in the Levant – today’s Israel, Lebanon, Syria,” Amnon Ben-Tor, an archaeology professor at the Hebrew University in charge of the Tel Hazor dig, told AFP.

“It is also the only sphinx of this particular king known, not even in Egypt was a sphinx of that particular king found.”

Ben-Tor said that besides Mycerinus’s name, carved in hieroglyphics between the forearms, there are symbols reading “beloved by the divine souls of Heliopolis”.

“This is the temple in which the sphinx was originally placed,” Ben-Tor said of Heliopolis, an ancient city which lies north of today’s Cairo.

Tel Hazor, which Ben-Tor calls “the most important archaeological site in this country,” was the capital of southern Canaan, founded circa 2,700 BC and at its peak covering approximately 200 acres and home to some 20,000 Canaanites. It was destroyed in the 13th century BC.


“Following a gap of some 150 years, it was resettled in the 11th century BC by the Israelites, who continuously occupied it until 732 BC,” when it was destroyed by the Asyrians, Ben-Tor said.

He said the find was approximately 50 centimetres (20 inches) long, and estimated the entire statue was 150 centimetres (60 inches) long and half a metre (20 inches) high”.

How, when and why it reached Tel Hazor remains a mystery.

“That it arrived in the days of Mycerinus himself is unlikely, since there were absolutely no relations between Egypt and this part of the world then,” said Ben-Tor.

“Egypt maintained relations with Lebanon, especially via the ancient port of Byblos, to import cedar wood via the Mediterranean, so they skipped” today’s northern Israel, he said.

Another option is that the statue was part of the plunders of the Canaanites, who in the late 17th and early 16th century BC ruled lower Egypt, the expert said.

“Egyptian records tell us that those foreign rulers… plundered and desecrated the local temples and did all kinds of terrible things, and it is possible that some of this looting included a statue like this one”.

But to Ben-Tor the most likely way the sphinx reached Tel Hazor is in the form of a gift sent by a later Egyptian ruler.

“The third option is that it arrived in Hazor some time after the New Kingdom started in 1,550 BC, during which Egypt ruled Canaan, and maintained close relations with the local rulers, who were left on their thrones,” he said.

“In such a case it’s possible the statue was sent by the Egyptian ruler to king of Hazor, the most important ruler in this region.”

Shlomit Blecher, who manages the Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin, was the archaeologist who actually unearthed the finding in August 2012.

The statue’s incrustation was meticulously removed over a period of many months by the excavation’s restorer, before the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics were fully visible.

“It was the last hour of the last day of the dig,” she told AFP of the moment of the find. “We all leapt with joy and happiness, everyone was thrilled.”

“We hope the other pieces are here and that we find them in the near days,” she said.

Ben-Dor said the statue was most likely deliberately broken by new occupiers at Tel Hazor in an act of defiance to the old rule.

Finding the sphinx was “unexpected,” said Ben-Tor, “but fits” archaeological facts and findings. “When you’re in a bank, you find money,” he said.

To Ben-Tor, however, the true coveted find would be archives buried somewhere on Tel Hazor that could serve as an inventory to the ancient city’s content.

“I know there are two archives,” he said. “We already have 18 documents from two periods, the 17th and 14th century BC. If I found those archives, people would come running here.”

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Dear Readers:  Unless the Egyptians opt to enthrone a new, real pharaoh, I will be “off the grid” for a bit.  The MUT family is heading to Yellowstone for its summer vacation.

As Horemheb and I are both geologists, and the Young Prince adores science, we are really excited about the fact the region is home to a SUPERVOLCANO!


Yellowstone magma pocket
Yellowstone is an active volcano. Surface features such as geysers and hot springs are direct results of the region’s underlying volcanism.
CREDIT: National Park Service

SALT LAKE CITY — Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing is bigger and better connected than scientists thought, researchers reported here today (April 17) at the Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting.

“We are getting a much better understanding of the volcanic system of Yellowstone,” said Jamie Farrell, a seismology graduate student at the University of Utah. “The magma reservoir is at least 50 percent larger than previously imaged.”

Knowing the volume of molten magma beneath Yellowstone is important for estimating the size of future eruptions, Farrell told OurAmazingPlanet.

Supervolcano trail

Geologists believe Yellowstone sits over a hotspot, a plume of superheated rock rising from Earth’s mantle. As North America slowly drifted over the hotspot, the Yellowstone plume punched through the continent’s crust, leaving a bread-crumb-like trail of calderas created by massive volcanic eruptions along Idaho’s Snake River Plain, leading straight to Yellowstone. The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions occurred in between and after the big blasts, most recently about 70,000 years ago. [Infographic: Geology of Yellowstone]

The magma chamber seen in the new study fed these smaller eruptions and is the source of the park’s amazing hydrothermal springs and geysers. It also creates the surface uplift seen in the park, said Bob Smith, a seismologist at the University of Utah and author of a related study presented at the meeting.


And if that doesn’t sound awesomely awesome, a CAPITALIST HERO notes that more bison kill people than bears there!

Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing

Meek and mellow Yellowstone National Park bison most definitely are not. A woman learned that lesson painfully Wednesday when butted into the air by a bison that apparently didn’t like the phone call she was making.

The 50-year-old woman, a visitor from Spain, and her husband were using a pay phone in the Canyon lodging area with their backs to the road. Normally that’s not an issue, but in Yellowstone, where bison and other wildlife roam at will, these visitors were about to learn you have to be on guard all the time in the park.

According to witnesses, two bull bison walking down the road passed within 20 feet of the couple. One of the bison left the road, walked up behind the woman and butted her into the air. The couple, who were facing away from the road, did not see the bison.

Park officials say the unidentified woman was transported to the Canyon Lodge front desk by visitors, and taken by ambulance to the Lake Clinic where she was released with only minor injuries.

A search of “Yellowstone Buffalo Attacks” reveals a nice long list. Here is a prime example of why it happens — an adult was egging on a group of kids to get close to the fairly large animal. It did not end well

Here’s to hoping things don’t get too crazy while I am gone.

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A dancer named Billie Jean performs to the song “America” by Neil Diamond. HAPPY JULY 4TH FROM THE SHRINE OF FLAMING CAPITALISM!

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Why I love Matt Drudge

Cover Story of the Drudge Report.

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Skeleton of Saxon King May have been unearthed!

A little something special for my history fans today!


A skeleton found in Lincoln Castle is believed to belong to a Saxon king or bishop and dates back to around 900AD, according to archaeologists.

The skeleton was discovered in a stone sarcophagus, or coffin, buried three metres below the castle alongside eight other bodies in wooden coffins.

One skeleton appears to have been originally wrapped in a finely woven textile and this material suggests that the bones were part of a ‘votive deposit’ – when holy relics are placed within a wall to dedicate the building and create a sacred place for religious people to visit.

A skeleton found buried inside a stone coffin below Lincoln Castle could belong to a Saxon king or a bishop dating back to around 900AD, according to archaeologists.

The finds were found in a small area – around 3 metres by 3 metres – currently being excavated by the archaeologists for the construction of a lift shaft. 

The team has been carrying out DNA examinations of the eight skeletons.

They also hope to do a digital reconstruction of the skeleton in the sarcophagus.

Archaeologists uncovered the side of the coffin but have not been able to access the lid because of how deep it is buried. 


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Egypt Army Gives Politicians 48 Hours to Agree

The countdown to the coup I predicted begins now.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen!

The head of Egypt’s armed forces gave politicians 48 hours on Monday to answer demands made by the Egyptian people or the military would offer its own “road map for the future.”

In a statement read on state television, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called mass protests on Sunday, which called for Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to resign, an “unprecedented” expression of the popular will.

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Mubarak Miss Me Yet

Dear Readers:  Engaging with Beers with Demos in a little twitter exchange, I came across this tweet:

Egypt Tweet

The following image from the Egypt Daily News will give you a feel for the crowds, which are totally the envy of any Tea Party.  Perhaps I have a larger following in Egypt than I suspected?

Egypt Crowds

Unsurprisingly, Morsi remains defiant:

The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has vowed there will be no second revolution in Egypt, as thousands planned to gather outside his presidential palace calling for his removal after a year in power.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Morsi rejected opposition calls for early presidential elections and said he would not tolerate any deviation from constitutional order. He said his early resignation would undermine the legitimacy of his successors, creating a recipe for unending chaos.

Four are reported dead, with the worst clashes in Assiut:

In Assiut, the site of today’s most deadly clashes, army and police have been deployed at the governorate headquarters and at the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters, located 100 metres apart, reports Ahram’s Osama Sediq.

Police are firing teargas in front of the FJP headquarters, where clashes are still ongoing and sounds of gunshots can be heard.

Clashes started when an anti-Morsi demonstration of several thousand passed by the FJP office. The FJP youth, who were forming a human shield to protect the office, thought protesters were attacking them, so they fired birdshot and live rounds, reports Sediq.

For my American fans who want a better understanding of the origin of this phase of Egyptian unrest, time to go to Big Pharaoh. This was posted June 29th and is clearly prescient:

Will June 30 be big?

Depends on who will join. If we had the same middle class crowd that took to the streets last December following the constitutional decree, then nothing much will happen. These folks demonstrate till 10 pm. If we had a newer segment of the society, namely the lower social economic class, then we’re talking. Judging from events in the Delta during the past days, do expect a new kind of protesters. I don’t know how they will look like, but I know for a fact they won’t look like the neat middle class protesters you all loved on January 2011.

What will happen?

Cairo – clashes might happen if the number of demonstrators was massive and they decided to occupy Cairo. In other words, occupy the institutions of power to force the regime to abdicate. If that happened, the Islamists stationed in Rabaa el Adaweiyah will react and the mini civil war will commence.

Delta – This region has been boiling in the past days and will be on fire on June 30. It is controlled by no one. It will be MB vs pissed off apolitical locals who are not affiliated with any political organization. Both are armed and it won’t be nice there. Living conditions will drive people out to the streets and I expect that people from the rural areas, MB strongholds, will participate as well.

Alexandria – we’ve seen a rehearsal today in Sidi Gaber. Live ammunition was used and 2 persons were killed including an American who was taking pictures of the clashes. Just like Delta, Alexandria might witness very fierce clashes.

The Canal cities – there will be mass protests especially in Port Said, however the 3 cities there will remain relatively peaceful. The army is in total control there and MB presence in Port Said in almost nonexistent.

Upper Egypt – There will be demonstrations fueled by the deteriorating living conditions but I am not expecting clashes there nor massive demonstrations.


UPDATE 2: Looks like one of the country’s governors is reassessing his career options:

Egypt Tweet 2

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Egypt Protests: US Citizen Among Three Dead

The Temple of Mut has been following to eruption of protests and violence throughout Egypt.  This story is the latest episode in this sad saga:

Violent clashes across the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Port Said have left three people dead and more than 70 others injured.

Two people were killed in Alexandria. One of them was an American citizen, the US State Department confirmed.

He has been identified as Andrew Pochter, 21, from Maryland, who was a student at Kenyon College in Ohio.

He had been working as an intern at Amideast, an American non-profit organisation, a statement from the college said.

Mr Pochter died from a stab wound to the chest after violence erupted between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi.

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