Lots of fun with Digby and Stuart Zechman last night — so much fun, we kept talking for two hours! You can listen here.
So I’m guessing this means people were more advanced than they give them credit for? Fascinating:
Some of the volcanic bluestones in the inner ring of Stonehenge officially match an outcrop in Wales that’s 160 miles (257 kilometers) from the world-famous site, geologists announced this week. (See Wales pictures.)
The discovery leaves two big ideas standing about how the massive pieces of the monument arrived at Salisbury Plain: entirely by human hand, or partly by glacier.
As it looks today, 5,000-year-old Stonehenge has an outer ring of 20- to 30-ton sandstone blocks and an inner ring and horseshoe of 3- to 5-ton volcanic bluestone blocks. (See Stonehenge pictures.)
The monument’s larger outer blocks, called the Sarsen stones, were likely quarried some 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) away in what’s now England, where sandstone is a common material.
The origin of the bluestones, however, has weighed heavy on the hearts of archaeologists. Rocks resembling the material under a microscope haven’t been found anywhere relatively near Stonehenge—at least until now.
Pinpointing the stones’ origins is crucial to understanding how so many heavy hunks of rock made their way to the open plain where Stonehenge now stands.
“There’s no way of explaining how these stones were transported without knowing where they came from,” said study co-author Robert Ixer of the University of Leicester in the U.K.
This is awful news, isn’t it? Not to mention what it means for exposed humans:
SEATTLE — Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.
Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.
“We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Via Think Progress, it’s nice to hear the occasional congress critter who’s still speaking sense. And in this case, Chris Van Hollen couldn’t be more right. The Republicans will throw up any smokescreen they can to obscure the fact that they haven’t done a damn thing about “jobs, jobs, jobs!”:
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) rebuked House Republicans yesterday for suggesting the government require drug tests of individuals seeking unemployment insurance, calling such proposals “insulting” and a “red herring” in the unemployment crisis:
VAN HOLLEN: I think the drug testing thing is a red herring. The reality is that people are not out of work because they have substance abuse problems, people are out of work because there are four people looking for every job that’s available in America.
We’re willing to look at reforms, but the Republican rhetoric has been insulting to a whole lot of working Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own… I have to say, this Republican effort to kind of blame people who lost jobs through no fault of their own shows a total insensitivity to the stories that we’re hearing from districts around the country. Frankly I think the American people are hearing that tone and they’re not very appreciative, because they know that everybody, but for the grace of God, could also be in that position.
I can verify that what chemo patient say is true: The drug the doctor prescribed today (Compazine) does very little to help with the nausea. I don’t even like pot, but I wish I had some now.