What leaves a nasty taste in your mouth?


A few minutes ago I was engrossed in checking my emails and catching up with the online news of the day, and perhaps a chat online with my good friend and editor Gerry in Australia, when a loud knock on my front door interrupted me.

I unlocked the door to be greeted by a large fearsome looking thickset man in paint daubed overalls, who immediately began to pressure me into parting with £300 to apply three coats of wood preservative onto the dilapidated picket fence in front of my home.

1. I hate being disturbed when my mind is on other things, like checking my emails etc.

2. I absolutely hate cold callers!

3. I loathe and despise pressure sales of any kind.

You can argue, quite correctly, that I should have ignored the loud knock and simply carried on with my emails. But, what if the person knocking on my door was one of my neighbours needing my help, or perhaps a worthy charity collector, or a friend?

The second I opened the door, my now apprehensive nature, a product of my age and mental state, kicked in big time. To be confronted by a large menacing individual who wanted nothing more than to bully me into handing over £300 which I haven’t got to spare, has left me with a nasty taste in my mouth as well as destroying my day, unnerving me to the point where I now have to write this account of the way he has affected me to somehow help the sick feeling I have in my stomach.

I am not the man I once was. Sadly after three major breakdowns, I am a shadow of my former self.

The thing that really angers me is that by his brutal intrusion into my day, my powers of concentration have now gone to hell in a handcart.

Before he showed up on my doorstep, I was going over in my mind the storyline for the next chapter in my novel. Now all I can think about is that damned man and how he has destroyed me for the rest of the day.

Damn him to hell!


Jack Eason – author of Onet's Tale

Blog: http://akhen1khan2.blogspot.com/

The Seventh Age


The Mayan clock stopped predicting events beyond 2012. Why did it not continue beyond that date?

Rebel archaeologist Nick Palmer experiences an almost unnoticed event at Stonehenge during the summer solstice celebration he attends along with hundreds of others, that worries him greatly.

He is made aware through a blog, of a sinister organization known as the ‘Order’, that are seemingly bent on preventing his every move to discover the reason behind the worrying event.

During his voyage of discovery, Nick is tracked across the world by an enigmatic entity that has been trapped here on Earth for over twenty-five thousand years, awaiting the discovery of the event by what she refers to as a ‘surface-occupier’.

Together with her and the few people Nick trust’s implicitly, they set out to prevent the alarmingly inevitable catastrophic conclusion that will affect not only the Earth, but the whole Solar System’s very existence…

Want to know more? Then you will have to wait to read the new science fiction mystery “The Seventh Age” by Jack Eason, next year, in 2011, published by IFWG Publishing.

Jack Eason – author of Onet's Tale

Blog: http://akhen1khan2.blogspot.com/

First use of tools pushed back a million years – study

The two mammal bones found in Ethiopia’s Afar region with chips missing and which are about 3.4 million years old could only have been removed by sharp-edged tools according to researchers. Photo: Nature/Dikika Research Project/AFP
Human ancestors were using stone tools to carve meat from the bone of wild animals nearly a million years earlier than thought, according to a new study.
Two mammal bones found in Ethiopia’s Afar region with chips missing that could only have been removed by sharp-edged tools are about 3.4 million years old, said the study, published in Nature.
Cut marks show that implements were used to slice flesh, while hammer-like marks suggest blows used to crack open the bone to get at nutritious – and perhaps tasty – marrow.
Up to now, the oldest known evidence of butchering with stone implements was dated to about 2.5 million years ago.
The crafting and sophisticated use of tools is a watershed moment in human evolution and is often said to set us apart from other animals.
“This discovery dramatically shifts the known time frame of a game-changing behaviour for our ancestors,” lead researcher Zeresenay Alemseged of the California Academy of Sciences said in a statement.
“These developments had a huge impact on the story of humanity.”
The fossil bones – both from mammals, one the size of a cow and the other a goat – were unearthed only 200 metres from the site where, in 2000, the same team of paleontologists dug up the remains of the most complete skeleton of a distant human ancestor ever found.
Like the famous “Lucy” discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley, “Selam” – who lived some 3.3 million years ago – was an Australopithecus afarensis, an extinct species between ancient monkey and modern man.
“In light of these new findings, it is very likely that Selam carried stone flakes and helped members of her family as they butchered animal remains,” Dr Alemeseged said.
With stone tools in hand to quickly pull off flesh and break open bones, animal carcasses would have become a more attractive source of food, the researchers speculate.
“This type of behaviour sent us down a path that later would lead to two of the defining features of our species: “carnivory” – or meat eating – “and tool manufacture and use,” said co-author Shannon McPherron, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.
“Now, we can for the first time imagine Lucy with a stone tool in hand looking for meat.”
The age of the two bones, one a rib and the other a femur, was determined by examining the volcanic deposits in which there were encased.
Electron imaging analysis and x-ray spectrometry showed the tool-inflicted marks were created before the bones fossilised and could not therefore have been added recently.
Moreover, the marks were clearly left by a sharp-edged tool, and not the teeth of a animal.
It is still not possible to know whether the two-legged hominins who wielded these primitive tools crafted them by chipping at their edges, or whether they simply foraged for naturally sharp rocks.
Noting the lack of large stone at the site, Dr McPherron said they were probably carried from elsewhere.
“One of our goals is to go back and see if we can find these locations, and look for evidence that at this early date they were actually making, not just using, stone tools,” he said.
The researchers also suggested that using sharp stones to slice meat from animal carcasses might have forced our early ancestors to learn teamwork to fend off attacks from dangerous carnivores homing in on the same meal ticket.

Gondwana Supercontinent Underwent Massive Shift During Cambrian Explosion

The paleomagnetic record from the Amadeus Basin in Australia (marked by the star) indicate a large shift in some parts of the Gondwana supercontinent relative to the South Pole. (Credit: Illustration by Ross Mitchell/Yale University)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2010) — The Gondwana supercontinent underwent a 60-degree rotation across Earth’s surface during the Early Cambrian period, according to new evidence uncovered by a team of Yale University geologists. Gondwana made up the southern half of Pangaea, the giant supercontinent that constituted the Earth’s landmass before it broke up into the separate continents we see today.

The study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Geology, has implications for the environmental conditions that existed at a crucial period in Earth’s evolutionary history called the Cambrian explosion, when most of the major groups of complex animals rapidly appeared.
The team studied the paleomagnetic record of the Amadeus Basin in central Australia, which was part of the Gondwana precursor supercontinent. Based on the directions of the ancient rock’s magnetization, they discovered that the entire Gondwana landmass underwent a rapid 60-degree rotational shift, with some regions attaining a speed of at least 16 (+12/-8) cm/year, about 525 million years ago. By comparison, the fastest shifts we see today are at speeds of about four cm/year.
This was the first large-scale rotation that Gondwana underwent after forming, said Ross Mitchell, a Yale graduate student and author of the study. The shift could either be the result of plate tectonics (the individual motion of continental plates with respect to one another) or “true polar wander,” in which the Earth’s solid land mass (down to the liquid outer core almost 3,000 km deep) rotates together with respect to the planet’s rotational axis, changing the location of the geographic poles, Mitchell said.
The debate about the role of true polar wander versus plate tectonics in defining the motions of Earth’s continents has been going on in the scientific community for decades, as more and more evidence is gathered, Mitchell said.
In this case, Mitchell and his team suggest that the rates of Gondwana’s motion exceed those of “normal” plate tectonics as derived from the record of the past few hundred million years. “If true polar wander caused the shift, that makes sense. If the shift was due to plate tectonics, we’d have to come up with some pretty novel explanations.”
Whatever the cause, the massive shift had some major consequences. As a result of the rotation, the area that is now Brazil would have rapidly moved from close to the southern pole toward the tropics. Such large movements of landmass would have affected environmental factors such as carbon concentrations and ocean levels, Mitchell said.
“There were dramatic environmental changes taking place during the Early Cambrian, right at the same time as Gondwana was undergoing this massive shift,” he said. “Apart from our understanding of plate tectonics and true polar wander, this could have had huge implications for the Cambrian explosion of animal life at that time.”
Other authors of the paper include David Evans and Taylor Kilian.

Human kind’s future depends on space travel – Hawking


Stephen Hawking has warned that the human race must colonise space within the next two centuries or it will become extinct. Photo: PA Wire
The human race must colonise space within the next two centuries or it will become extinct, Stephen Hawking warned yesterday.
The renowned astrophysicist said he fears mankind is in great danger and its future “must be in space” if it is to survive.
In an interview with website Big Think he said threats to the existence of the human race such as the 1963 Cuban missile crisis are likely to increase in the future and plans to handle them must be put in place now.
“We shall need great careand judgment to negotiate them all successfully,” he re­marked.
“But I’m an optimist. If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe, as we spread into space.”
Prof. Hawking also warned that population rise and finite re­sources on earth meant life was becoming increasingly dangerous and the only way to build upon the progress made over the last century was to look out to the rest of the galaxy.
He added: “That is why I’m in favour of manned, or should I say ‘personed’, space flight.”
Earlier this year Prof. Hawking warned that exploring space may not be entirely without risk.
In a series for the Discovery Channel, he said humans should be wary about making contact with alien life forms as they may not be friendly.

Advertising – modern brainwashing for the mentally challenged


Have you ever stopped to wonder how much the world of advertising governs our existence, and how we are subconsciously controlled by it?

Take the often used word ‘free’ for example. To the less aware members of the public, when they see the word free used in an advert, they blindly swallow the fact that they are getting something for nothing. Not true. For a product to be free, means that the seller has to give it away. If they did they would very soon go out of business.

Look at those so-called free offers we are daily subjected to via the junk mail pushed through our letter boxes, or the two for one deals used by supermarkets to shift dead stock from their shelves. There is nothing free about anything the world of business is badgering you to buy.

 Another classic is the all inclusive weekend break for £150 pounds per head with free side trip to a historical place of interest; or that old chestnut that all the female members of the human race fall for, the free use of the hotel’s amenities where the ladies can be pampered beyond their wildest dreams. Come on get real folks, your being had yet again!

Let us look for the moment at staple foods. When there is a glut of a particular food stuff, we are told by the advertising world that it is good for us. But when the food stuff is scarce we are told it is bad for us. The sickening thing is that we go along with all the lies we are told.

 Years ago when foods like butter, milk and eggs where in plentiful supply, the advertisers fell over themselves to shift the so-called ‘food mountains’ to assist the embarrassment of supply in storage from the farmers who were being heavily subsidized by the governments of the western world to over produce.

These days we are bombarded by well meaning idiots advertising their cause over the danger to the environment from the pollution caused to the planet by airlines who deliver the food that you and I buy from the supermarket shelves.

 Instead of trying to make you feel guilty for buying that bag of carrots from southern Europe, or Garlic from Argentina, why not concentrate their obvious zealous energies on lobbying the government to support local farmers and horticulturalists.

Use advertising for good, not for profit – please…       

Jack Eason – author of Onet's Tale

Blog: http://akhen1khan2.blogspot.com/