Anthropology

What is the answer to gun control?

In light of every mass shooting the United States has had in the modern era, I got to wondering what can actually be done about this type of horror we keep seeing.

I know people will never give up their right to own guns. Why should they when a great number of them are gun intelligent? In other words, you give them a gun and they won’t shoot themselves or others on accident.

What’s left to do then?

I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer lies in the lives that we lose.

Upon some poking around and doing some research I discovered that the people who are dying from gun-related incidents are not from mass murders. Don’t get me wrong, 58 dead with more than 500 injured is no small thing.

Neither is the 49 killed and more than 50 injured on June 12, 2016, at Pulse nightclub.

Certainly not the 32 killed with an undetermined number of others injured on April 16, 2007, at Virginia Tech Blacksburg.

The senseless killing of 20 little ones, and 6 adults on December 17, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The 23 killed on October 16, 1991, at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.

21 adults and children dead in a San Ysidro California McDonalds on July 18, 1984, because of some old white guy.

16 were killed and 30 others wounded at the University of Texas in Austin Texas on August 1, 1966, where it was later discovered that two more were killed earlier that same day.

San Bernardino: 14 killed on December 2, 2015

Edmond, Oklahoma: 14 postal workers killed on August 20, 1986, with handguns.

Fort Hood: 13 are killed and 32 injured at Fort Hood, Texas military base.

There are five other instances where 13 people lost their lives because someone has been pushed to the edge of tolerance.

Here are some other numbers for you:

33,000* – the approximate number of lives ended by guns in the United States every year.

Two thirds – how many of those gun deaths in the United States that were suicides.

1 in 5 young men (15 to 34) killed in homicides often related to gang loyalties or other street violence.

1,700 – the number of women murdered every year generally as the result of domestic violence (quick note: I am more than aware that domestic violence goes both ways. I feel that the laws against domestic violence need to be enforced onto both sexes. Here the focus is on women deaths due to domestic violence as women are more often killed then men).

333 – the number of people who have lost their lives in mass shootings.

All these numbers are horrifying. But please explain to me how a blanket law for gun control is going to help?

Australia. Yes, they have a nice ban on guns but look at the number of mass shootings they have had. Not enough to actually make the ban show any difference in overall numbers.

In both Britain and Australia, bans have not reduced the number of mass shootings or gun related-crimes. And gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

Now let us look at some of the blanket ideals for gun control:

Assault weapons*: You do not go in and buy an assault weapon. This is a classification that includes any semi-automatic with two or more features. A bayonet mount, rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, folding stock or pistol grips. Anyone who is gun intelligent can tell you that these features can easily be added or removed to a gun like Lego sets.

Silencers: Not so silent. Or rather forget movie silencers. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer*. These are more for the shooters then quietly ending lives.

Magazine limits: A bit better, if you ignore the practiced shooters* who can change magazines so fast the limits are quite meaningless.

There has been no proposed restriction that would make it harder for people with guns on hand to actually use them.

A blanket gun control law is not going to help. What possibly will help is narrowly tailored interventions. All the deaths listed above need different protections.

People who think about committing suicide need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. These are usually older men!

Women who are endangered by specific men need police to get off their asses and enforce restraining orders that prohibit these men from buying and owning guns.

Mentors are needed who can help de-escalate conflicts and keep young people at risk of being violent from becoming so.

New Orleans has the right idea with their gang member identification practice*. The numbers are there, but they have to be disarmed one by one, personally.

When we can make the small individual changes then we can see a large scale difference in not only the not often seen numbers but in those publicized mass shootings ones as well. Most of those shootings are caused by someone, usually a white male that has problems that we know how to begin treating that just isn’t given the chance to be treated.

*33,000 gun deaths a year in the United States

Data of Mass Shootings (suicides, gang/street related, domestic violence)

Mass Shooting Analysis

Suicides in the US

Domestic Abuse towards Women

*Assault Weapons

*Loud as a jackhammer

*World’s Fastest Reload

*New Orleans gun control

This was spurred by an article with many of these points laid out, but it’s a Washington Post article and they really limit the amount you can read on their site without a subscription. Here is a 30 day pass for The Washington Post. As a subscriber I do not know if the Washington Post will hassle you into buying a subscription or not. Only you can choose if this is something you wish to do or not. Do not come at me because of anything the Washington Post may do to or for you.

Until next time, we as a nation need to look closely to laws that help the ones that need it the most. There has never been a successful blanket solution that works for all.

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Categories: America, Cultural, Gun Control, Guns, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s been far too long….

Today it dawned on me that I haven’t done a solid post on anything anthropological or biomedical for a very long time. I also came across an old list I have tucked into one of my biology books. There’s no author on it nor where it came from so I can’t give anyone credit for putting it all together. There is a list of where the author got all these facts and I did include those links at the end. Just know I didn’t come up with any of these. Anything in [brackets] is the first thought that came in my head after I read the fact.

Amazing and Awesome Facts About the Human Body.

-Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. In fact, most of the dust underneath your bed is probably your own dead skin. [I shed more then all my pets combined?]

-A human baby has 99 more bones than an adult. A baby’s skeleton is mostly made up of cartilage. As a person grows up, most of this cartilage turns into bone in a process called ossification, and the ossification process results in the joining of certain bones. Consequently, new born babies have around 305 bones, while an adult has just 206 bones. [How else would they painfully squeeze their way out of a woman’s body?]

-There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in an adult human body. The largest blood vessel is the aorta, which is just over an inch in diameter. [I do not suggest measuring your blood vessels or aorta…..then again, if you cannot vanquish this urge, measure away!]

-In a lifetime, an average person produces about 25,000 quarts of saliva, enough to fill two swimming pools. We also produce about a litre of mucus per day. [Does raspberries make this count rise?]

-Your body has enough iron in it to forge a 3-inches-long nail. You also have enough sulfur to kill all fleas on an average dog, enough carbon to make 900 pencils, enough potassium to fire a toy cannon, enough fat to make 7 bars of soap, enough phosphorous to make 2,200 match heads, and enough water to fill a ten-gallon tank. [Now figure out how much all those things are worth and you’ve got the worth of a human being. Financially at least, human individuals sometimes aren’t worth a penny and they probably would have been worth the amount of a good condom.]

-We all have tiny mites living in our eyelashes. These little mites actually aren’t too choosey; they’ll live anywhere as long as they have access hair follicles. They’re found on other parts of the body and on a host of other mammals. [Strangely this doesn’t bother me]

-Pound for pound, the strongest muscle in the human body is the masseter (jaw muscle). It can clamp your chompers shut with 55 pounds of force on the incisors and 200 pounds of force on the molars. [Guess you need to stop telling people to bite you 80’s babies!]

-Sweat itself is odorless. It’s the bacteria on the skin that mingles with it and produces body odor. Bacteria that are naturally present on our skin thrive in sweaty regions. [Damn bacteria! Why must you always be victorious?]

-Your ears and nose will never stop growing until the day you die. In fact, your earlobes will also elongate from gravity. [Lie to me, tell me the truth….]

-Similar to fingerprints, everyone also has a unique tongue print. It may be some time before your local police station starts taking tongue prints, but research on the required 3-D imaging technology is already being developed and tested. [Good thing you don’t have to lick stamps any longer…]

-Ounce for ounce, human bones are stronger than steel. A cubic inch of bone can bear a load of 19,000 lbs.—roughly the weight of five pickup trucks. [Just don’t have five pickup trucks run you over…no guarantee you’ll be fine.]

-People with blue eyes have a higher alcohol tolerance. Interestingly, they also have higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependency. [I did have a high alcohol tolerance. But I stopped drinking when I turned 21.]

-If the human eye was a digital camera it would have 576 megapixels. Currently, the most expensive digital camera in the world has 200 megapixels. [I have lamented many a time how something I am looking at cannot be captured by a camera with the same brilliant look I can see. For example the damn moon.]

-All of the bacteria in our body collectively weighs about 4 pounds. That’s enough to fill a big soup can. In fact, there are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people in the world. [Four pounds of bacteria. FOUR POUNDS I NEED TO LOOSE!]

-In some cardiovascular units, slow and quiet music is used to relax the patients and lower their blood pressure and heart rate. [This is why people are calmer with slow quiet music and it’s most often found in mental health clinics and floors. The opposite is also true. Loud, quick music makes us energetic.]

-Your brain accounts for only 2% of your body weight, yet it uses 20% of the total oxygen and blood in your body. [What an o2 hog!]

-If uncoiled, the DNA in all of your body’s cells would stretch 10 billion miles, which is long enough to reach from here to Pluto and back. [You’d also die]

-Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells will become food for the bacteria in your gut, which will release enough noxious gas to bloat your body and force your eyes to bulge outward. [Body Farm anyone?]

-In a lifetime, your brain’s long-term memory can hold up to 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) bits of information. [But apparently we don’t always have access to any of it when we could really use it]

-Your heart will pump about 1.5 million barrels of blood during your lifetime. That’s enough to fill 200 train tank cars. [Best not to try this at home]

-As long as it has an oxygen supply, your heart can keep beating even if it’s separated from the body because it has its own electrical impulse. [In case you ever thought that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom couldn’t happen]

-Your brain keeps developing until your late 40s. [Learn, learn and learn some more!]

-Human fingers can feel objects as small as 13 nanometers. This means that if your finger was the size of the Earth, you would feel the difference between houses and cars. [Brings a whole new level to ‘Your momma’ jokes..]

-The highest recorded body temperature in a human being was a fever of 115.7°F. A fever over 107.5°F is enough to damage the brain and, if untreated, cause death. [♪♫ You give me fever♬♩♫]

-The human heart is not on the left-hand side of the body. It’s in middle of your chest, in between your right and left lung. It is, however, tilted very slightly to the left. [In 6th grade we were taught that it was on the left side. And that blood is blue until it hit oxygen then it turns red. ‘(◣_◢)’ ]

-Half of your genes describe the complex design of your brain, with the other half describing the organization of the other 98% of your body. [This must mean that some people have only 10% of their genes describing the complex design of their brain and 90% describing the organization of the other 98% of the body.]

-Your taste buds are replaced every 10 days. Conversely, the average age of a human fat cell is 10 years. [I wish 80% of them would die already].

-There is no scientific evidence that shaving or waxing will make your hair come back thicker. There are believed to be two reasons that the myth continues to flourish. First, humans just aren’t the best observers. Second, hair often does grow back thicker when people first start to shave, but this isn’t caused by shaving. When an adolescent boy shaves his mustache for the first time, it’s likely to grow back thicker. This isn’t because shaving caused this; it’s because the hormonal changes in his body (which occur regardless of shaving) are encouraging new and thicker facial hair growth.

-1 in 10,000 people has their internal organs reversed or “mirrored” from their normal positions. The condition is called situs inversus. [I have a rare one in a million skin thing that pops up every so often that I was diagnosed with in middle school of whose name I can’t remember as I haven’t had problems with it until possibly recently. Also, would a doctor think about this condition when they can’t find a patient’s organ or freak the hell out?]

-Without your pinky finger, you would lose about 50% of your hand strength. While the index and middle fingers function with the thumb in pinching and grabbing, it’s the pinkie that teams up with the ring finger to provide grip power. [Pinkie Power! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ]

-Men’s Testicles hang between the legs to keep cool because sperm dies at body temperature. Keeping those baby-makers cool is a top priority, so make sure to keep your laptop off those bad boys! [And depending on some factors you may want to keep that laptop and other hot things ON those bad boys]

-1 person out of every 200 people has an extra rib. [And women actually do have the same number of ribs as men. The myth that says men have more is from a work of fiction]

-Your mouth is made of the same skin cells as a vagina. Flattened epithelial cells are well suited to areas in the body subject to constant abrasion, as layers can be sloughed off and replaced quickly. [How do you think some women get Angelina Jolie lips??]

-Muscle comes from the Latin “musculus.” Musculus means “little mouse,” and this was used to describe muscles because biceps were thought to look like mice. [*flexes bicep* Mine looks like, well, not a cute mouse that’s for sure!]

-When telling a lie, people blink less frequently than normal. After the lie is told, they speed up to around eight times faster than usual. [Now knowing this is going to make you quite self aware for a bit whether you are lying or not]

-More than 3% of people are born with phonagnosia: they can’t recognize the voices of familiar people. People suffering from phonagnosia do not suffer from aphasia (an inability to comprehend and formulate language), which suggests that separate areas of the brain govern linguistic comprehension and voice recognition. [I once thought I heard my husband’s voice at a gas station when he was in Germany. For a moment I thought he had come home early. So disappointed.]

-A scientist cracked his knuckles on one hand for over 50 years to prove it did not cause Arthritis. After 50 years, he concluded that there was no arthritis in either hand, and no apparent differences between the two hands. This is, of course, a rather small data set, but it’s interesting none the less! [I used to crack them, but I got bored with it so stopped for the most part.]

-You can burn 20% more fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach. Sex burns 3.6 calories a minute, so fifteen minutes of morning sex should burn off 130 calories. [Take THAT to the bedroom!]

-Humans have no more genes than worms. We have less genes than a tomato. How could this be, given that the all-powerful homo sapiens are clearly a more complex species? We’re not sure, but scientist have noted that the number of genes in the genome may be less linked to complexity than we thought. [Gives new meaning to being as smart as a tomato.]

-A strong cough forces air out of the airways at speeds up to 620 mph, which is almost as fast as the speed of sound. [Never mind the pain in the ribs at repeated coughs]

-Hearing is the fastest human sense. Your brain can recognize a sound 10 times faster than the blink of an eye, in as little as 0.05 seconds. [I was told I have better hearing than most people. This isn’t always a good thing as I am annoyed by more sounds then normal people. And it’s usually the normal people that are making those sounds.]

-Bras make breasts sag. Bras also do not reduce back pain. A leading study found that women who never wore bras had nipples an average of seven millimeters higher each year than regular bra users. Before you go throwing away your bras, note that the benefits of not wearing a bra will only be seen in younger women who are not obese, according to those managing the study. [I feel sadness for the millions of women who moan and complain about their bras hurting them. Bras shouldn’t hurt. Stop buying them from Walmart! Get your tits to a lingerie store and get fitted for a bra that isn’t going to hurt you, you won’t even feel it’s there and you may just forget to take it off! It’s what I did and although I paid a higher price for the bras, they also lasted longer and made my girls happy. Always get more than two good fitting bras and rotate them daily, hand wash them, let them dry on a flat surface (NEVER hang them to dry, stretches them out) and store them in a familiar fashion instead of inverting one cup into the other. Happy breasts are sexy breasts ( o ) ( o ) ]

-After child birth, a woman’s vaginal muscles can take up to 6 months to get back to their normal shape and size. [Probably takes that long for her to want to open her legs up again]

-We can’t digest grass because our bodies don’t have what it takes to break down the cellulose found in the plant. Grass also contains a lot of silica, an abrasive that quickly wears down teeth, so your dentist wouldn’t be thrilled about a grass diet. Grazing animals have teeth that continually grow to replace worn tooth surfaces. [Can this be used against vegetarian (or as I like to call them ‘bad hunter’) diets?]

-Your big toe carries more weight than any other toe, bearing about 40% of your body weight. To enlist in the United States army, you need to have all ten toes intact. [New meaning to going toe to toe?]

-One prevailing theory as to why butt hair exists is that there’s simply no significant evolutionary pressure against butt hair. I.e. it doesn’t affect our ability to mate, so the random mutations that caused butt hair persisted.

Other theories take a smellier view of things, suggesting that butt hair helps scent communication. We have body hair in the same areas where we produce odors. The hair is there to hold onto oily secretions that have their own smell and are consumed by bacteria that produces even more smells. Early human ancestors used their personal smell to actually help them with everything from broadcasting territorial rights to attracting mates. [Wait, I have butt hair!!! (__(__)]

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Until next time, amaze your friends and family with facts about their own body they didn’t know!

Categories: Anthropology, Biologic, Life | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

No, I didn’t forget….

Honestly. I did not forget yesterday to post something. I was gone all day long and then some. I took a little trip to Teotihuacan with the hubby, a friend and his group yesterday which started at 8 am and didn’t end until 2 am. It was suppose to end at around 9 pm. But yeah, that just didn’t happen. And no it’s not as exciting as you are probably thinking!

In fact, it included the hot sun, lots of walking, restraint from buying everything I saw, leg cramps, a raging migraine and car sickness. Also included was laughing, jokes, learning and snark. See? Not as wild as you were hoping.

It all started with our friend who will take groups of people to see the archaeological sites around Mexico. We already tagged along on another trip to a smaller less known site so going to Teotihuacan was of course a no brainer. For those of you who do not know, and don’t feel bad there are a lot of people who are not familiar with this and many other sites, Teotihuacan is a big tourist and local attraction. It’s huge and hard to explain so if you are curious, here are a couple of links you can peruse to learn some interesting things about it.

Another thing that unless you live in Mexico you are not going to know is that the price of gas rose on the first all over the country. I know you probably are sitting there going “Yeah, so?” The regulation of gas and the prices works quite a bit differently here in Mexico then it does where you are. Google it if you want the details. The thing is, the prices didn’t just raise a little bit, they were raised quite a bit and understandably people here were upset. So upset that groups started creating blockades around the gas stations and even on the roads. Some even took over the gas stations themselves and were distributing free gas to others (again, hit up Google as I KNOW you are clueless).

I have no problem with these protests at all. And the fact that they are being done with no guns and peaceful (in most cases) is just awesome. The problem came when it was time to go home (about 5:30) and we discovered that every place we tried to get on the main highway was blockaded. Our friend has a few connections and just really knows how to talk with people so he’s jumping off and on the bus talking to people trying to find either an unblocked entrance or a leader of any of the groups we encountered to see if he could get them to let us through.

There is about 25 of use counting our friend and the driver and we were having no luck at all. This is about the time my brain thought to add to the fun by giving me a sharp headache that slowly grew into a mini migraine (ha, who the fuck am I kidding?). Then to add to the fun, we kept having to back up–in a large charter bus. I tend to sit either in the front or as close to it as I can possibly get because I sometimes have a nasty habit of getting car sick. Going backwards A LOT did NOT help that nasty habit at all.

We finally just pull over after being blocked for the fifth time (as in they pulled the semi truck right in front of us before we could go any further) and our friend went to find out some information or something. By this time I can’t keep my eyes open, which of course makes me feel sicker and a lot of us now have to use the bathroom –it’s about 8 pm by this time and so many of us get off the bus, myself included.

We’re not within any place that has public bathrooms as we’re in a small town and many things are closed up for the night. I’m sitting on a large concrete block with my head in my hands as I was stupid enough to not bring any pain relievers. One of the ladies saw me and asked what was wrong. Thankfully she apparently is a walking pharmacy (with all the normal restrictions of course) and hands me a couple of Advil, which despite the fact I shouldn’t take them (stomach reasons other than car sick) I really don’t care and I take them. Our friend comes back and informs us he managed to talk a bakery owner into opening up and allowing us to use the restroom.

I guess the entire bus had to go by this time so we all gratefully followed him to the bakery. I was one of the first in as everyone did in fact notice that I wasn’t doing very well. I went back to the bus after I was done, and let me tell you the last thing you want to smell when you’re sick to your stomach is a bakery full of goods you’d normally find mouth watering. It’s just me and hubby back at the bus and I just start crying cause I’m tired, I’m sick  and I have a fireworks display going off in my head and the sounds around us are just NOT helping what-so-ever.

After soaking half the hubby’s shirt he got me some water and I crawled back onto the bus and reclined the seat to see if I couldn’t at least get some quiet rest. My head does start feeling better and our friend has come back saying the group is headed for another destination because they want to back up the blockade there that is being threatened by armed guards or something (keep in mind only half of my mind is working about now) but we have a limited window to get the heck out of there. Let’s say it did not take long for that bus to fill back up and we were once again off.

We did manage to get on the main highway, but there’s a blockade on it as well. Which takes about an hour or so to clear. After that we were pretty home free. But seeing as we were north of Mexico City and we were heading to the other side (that would be south) we still had an hour or two before we even got back into our home city. Even after we did, we had to go back to the school to get our car and then we managed to get home a bit before 3am.

Needless to say, I slept all damn day and I am not ashamed to admit it. So tomorrow I’ll do the post I wanted to do yesterday and you can count this one as the one for today.

Until next time, get plenty of sleep and always keep your head when things go sideways as later it’s going to be one hell of a story to tell!

Categories: Adventures, Archaeology, News | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Archaeology for Fall 2013

This term one of the things I have to do for my Archaeology class is submit blog posts on certain topics so I figured I’d post the same material here and get even more feedback. I’ll supply the instructions and of course my post that I make on Blackboard–which I do not believe anyone outside of the class has access to.

This term’s schedule is a little twisted. I have Archaeology and Greek Mythology on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays online. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Medieval Europe at 9:30 am and then Archaeology Lab and Field Methods at 1:30. No idea if I will have a weekly blog (yes, I have read the syllabus, doesn’t mean I remember anything on all four of them!) but you’ll be getting something!

So let’s begin shall we?

Professor Instructions: After reading Archaeology as a Political Tool, find an article that relates to archaeology and politics or modern issues (e.g., archaeological methods being employed in excavation of Kurdish mass graves or the looting of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad in 2003) and read about your chosen topic. Write a 400 to 700 word blog on the issue, and provide your own response to the problem. Be detailed and thorough. Writing should be entirely your own, and direct quotes should be used sparingly. Include a descriptive title in the subject heading.

Blog Post:

There have been many instances where politics and archaeology have overlapped. The most famous is of course the time during the Nazi when Hitler was out to justify the so-called Aryan supremacy. He created the “Ahnenerbe” or “Ancestral Heritage Society” program in order to find the evidence of the Aryan greatness. Archaeology was subverted to these political ends. We are well aware of how these events eventually played out but many myths were created around “archaeological” finds to suit the needs of Hitler.

The Indus Valley is rife with political purposes controlling archaeology. In Ebla, Syria a palace archive was difficult to read but many decided to make biblical claims—stating that this archive was the ancient text of Sodom and Gomorrah which could have been spurred by territorial claims. The archive actually ended up being a list of metals.

You don’t have to travel very far to find politics polluting archaeology. Since it was impossible that Native Americans could have built the effigy mounds found in the Midwest, white archaeologist in the early 19th century tried to prove that it was another lost tribe or maybe Aztecs or Toltecs that had built them. Wisconsin’s Aztalan effigy mounds are a sad example of this. Mindsets often can determine how finds are interpreted.

But one I find most daunting is the happenings in Egypt. 1,000 artifacts have been stolen from the Malawi Museum in the central Mina governorate on August 14 2013. All because there have been moments where security was lax; like when Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in early July and then again when there were clashes between troops and Morsi’s loyalists. The museum was burnt and mummies and statues that were too large to be carried off were destroyed.

Museums are not the only places that have been left vulnerable, archaeological sites, old churches and the ancient Egyptian royal necropolis of Dahshur are also in danger. Not even the famed Egyptian Museum in Cario’s Tahrir Square is immune as in 2011, 50 pieces of the museum’s artifacts disappeared. Cairo University’s affiliated museum had pieces go missing as well. All which has prompted the closures of all archaeological sites and museums across Egypt.

It’s not just the artifacts that have already been excavated, but the ones of the future. Archaeologists are looking to the future of excavation in Egypt with little hope. Excavations were shut down during the revolution in January 2011 which left many sites unprotected from looters and to illegal excavations as well. But not being able to excavate is only one in a series of obstacles archaeologists have had to face because of politics. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has been paralyzed since the departure of its leader Zahi Hawass who was forced to leave as he was an ally to the deposed president Hosni Mubarak. The SCA has gained and quickly lost three heads since July 2011. Today it is headed by Mohammed Ibrahim

Another barrier for archaeologists is the blow to the economy as tourism in Egypt has suffered greatly. Excavations led by the antiquities ministry have ground to a halt as well as many of the foreign-financed digs as the continued unrest has deterred many. But the biggest barrier yet is from the Archaeologists Syndicate (formed in 2011) coordinator Salah Al-Hadi who stated in a press statement that the syndicate wanted “all ties with foreign archaeological missions, especially American to be cut and for foreign researchers and students to be prevented from entering Egyptian museums and archaeological sites.” They have asked the ministry of state for antiquities (MSA) for all work with foreign archaeological and cultural institutions, mainly the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) and Chicago House as they believe our country “support for terrorism in Egypt”. The ban is wanted to be continued until the above mentioned institutes provide official rejections of America’s policy of intervening in Egypt’s interior affairs. “We are not happy about our heritage being in the hands of our enemies,” Al-Hadi said, adding that “if the MSA does not accept our demands, our archaeologists will implement the policy themselves and will work to cut cooperation with foreign institutions.”

Should this action actually go through it will be the first time since the 1955 Suez Canal crisis that foreign/non-state intellectuals have been ejected from Egypt. Although a few doubt that the Syndicate has any legitimate standings to make this claim of the MSA as these types of announcements tend to grandstanding rhetoric and fairly removed from any actual policy threat.

One can only hope that it will not be too much longer before the real intellectuals can step back in and save what is left of Egypt’s past before too much is lost for all time. Like someone said, if a building falls, we can easily rebuild it. If a monument is destroyed there is no way to rebuild it as the original builders cannot be resurrected. And even if they could, I am not sure how well zombies do heavy lifting or other related jobs.

Resources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/top-egypt-archaeologist-sees-hope-future-past-1C8395590

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/3772/47/Saving-Egypt%E2%80%99s-heritage.aspx

http://whyfiles.org/155war_archeo/3.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/79035/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Egypts-archaeological-sites-and-museums-closed-ind.aspx?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer43fd3&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/806305.shtml#.UiPiin81mvs

http://hyperallergic.com/79447/egyptian-archaeologists-syndicate-calls-for-expulsion-of-foreign-researchers/

Categories: Archaeology | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Going Slowly Am I?

It is a good thing I have a lot of TNT or these bloody roadblocks would have surly stopped me by now.

The first lovely roadblock that I came upon was someone at UNM not inputting how many hours I had already put in through CNM as a transfer student as without that I’d need to submit my high school transcripts. I went in and talked with a “One-Stop” person (One Stop is where they combine all of the Administration, Financial Aid and Registration offices so you only need to talk to one person to get everything taken care of–BRILLIANT!) and I asked her if everything is ready to go which is when she noticed a hold on my account which would explain why no one had been able to pull up anything on me despite me having a student ID number. So she fixes it and I get another “Welcome to UNM!” letter–apparently the first one didn’t count? So that roadblock got demolished pretty quick. Too bad NO ONE MENTIONED THIS THE MILLION TIMES I CALLED.

Now it’s gotten down to the consortium agreement. I plan to take classes at CNM still because damn it’s cheaper! So I filled out an agreement, took it over to CNM where they told me they would fill it out then fax it over to UNM. A couple of weeks later I find out that CNM wouldn’t fax it over as I still would need to get a signature from my academic adviser so it was off to CNM I went to collect my agreement. Sure enough they still had it just sitting there–would have remained there forever if I hadn’t gone and asked if UNM had received it yet.

Next step is to actually take said agreement to my adviser and go through an orientation that I have to pay $50 to attend (WTF??) which apparently covers materials and food, however the one I’m attending isn’t going to offer food but I still have to pay the same price? When it’s question time I’ll probably ask that very one. Won’t get a good satisfactory answer as I am sure these things are run by students who don’t know what they are talking about. So looking forward to it can’t you tell?

MAYBE after all of this is done (this week thankfully) I will be able to think about registering for a couple of classes. MAYBE. I did however discover that I only need a couple of years before I get my BS in Anthropology. That is a serious rough estimate done using what I understand of the audit I did on my own. Thankfully (hopefully) when I see my adviser on Thursday I’ll get a real estimate of what I need to complete before they will hand over a BS to me. This will give me a better idea of when I can get good and serious about moving to Australia.

Yes, I did say move to Australia. Yes, sadly this does mean my faith in America is now non-existent. I hate to put that in writing but I’ve been watching as the rich are getting richer, the poor get poorer before they die and no one in the position to do anything about this even cares as they are of course the part that are getting richer. I no longer want to sit around and just watch things spiral down; I’ve tried to get others to care enough to do something, but…..

I have researched what needs to be done to move permanently to Australia. Bob in Oz has been absolutely brilliant in providing information through his site and everything one could possibly need to know. Granted he went to Oz from the UK and I’m going to have to keep reading his site to find more useful information, such as a good MARA Migration Expert and how much I can expect to spend to migrate down under. Looking at maybe $20,000 just to get there. This of course doesn’t count a place to live or a vehicle to drive once we’re in Australia.

But first and foremost, I am looking at field schools in Australia so that we can “visit” before making a final decision. Although I don’t really see us staying in America after I get my BS. And yeah, this will mean I’ll be continuing to my Masters in another country.

For the moment, fall term will consist of Archeology and Archaeology: Field Methods and Lab. Both (or all three as one is in fact a lab) should be fun and I am most looking forward to it.

Until next time, keep living like every day is your last and there is no end to wonder. Explore your world as if you are discovering it for the first time each and every time and most importantly, do not waste your time on those who are not worth your time, attention or love. Stay safe, sane and happy.

Categories: Archaeology, New Start | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

So we meet again.

And what have I been doing this summer? Well, nothing terribly exciting I am afraid. I’ve worked, looked into the UNM Anthropology department and considered schooling elsewhere..as in another country… like the UK. For many reasons I have looked at this as a serious consideration. Mainly because going to school in another country is a whole lot cheaper than it is here in the US, looks damn good on a resume and really with the crap the government *cough*Republicans*cough* has been doing (raising student loan rates) and the fact that universities around here including UNM have raised their tuition where I am almost required to take on more credits in order to *save* money another country is looking damn good.

There are many things going on in America that makes me wonder what the hell is happening. I don’t know if I just grew up and realized this country is being run by idiots or if in fact the people running this country have gone senile. Now I am not saying one party is better than the other, as both parties are lately being quite disappointing in tremendous ways but one would have to be blind and brain damaged not to wonder about Republicans as of late. I have a hard time finding my pride in America. Although there still are some rare moments that make me smile.

But mostly I would not mind a few years in the UK. UCAS.com has been a godsend if there is such a thing. Although I want to see what my grades translate to for them (A levels? Now that is an interesting concept I know nothing about!) and see if there is a chance in hell I could get into one of the 26 universities that have Anthro. There are a few I actually have my eye on as they have forensic anthro which, with archaeology, is what I want to concentrate on.

*Yawn* Sorry, must need more coffee or stimulants.

I have added two kittens to the herd; brother (blond) and sister (black) long hair cuties that have earned the names Blond Star (should be obvious) and Tsubaki (pronounced sue-bacc-y which of course is the black one) from a little anime called Soul Eater. Honestly if you are familiar at all with this anime or manga you know Black Star is quite vocal, well our little Blond Star is VERY vocal and Tsubaki can wipe  you out with a fart so yes, she’s the perfect weapon. Also sweet and lovable as all kittens are. The other cats are not sure about the new additions, except Trouble who indeed adores all kittens (he is still one himself) and my Memnoch who only gives me that annoyed used-to-be-mom look (she had a couple of litters before she got spayed). And of course the kittens are mostly oblivious to all of this.

I’d say I’ll post again when I have something interesting, however if I did that I may never post again! LOL

Until next time, take in a few animes and look at options as they are good to know even if you do not believe you will never need them. As Scar in the Lion King sang “Be prepared!”

Categories: America, Anthropology, Interests | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Anthropology

I am going to need to make a trek to CNM to put in a transfer request so I can get ready for Summer term at a real four year university. Work is going extremely well. I enjoy playing with the newspaper as I do and I am getting better with less mistakes. I think my supers are surprised to find how quickly I have picked up on this. Don’t know why everyone is surprised, I’ve been around computers for ages, my associates is in web technology so I am always using image and text editing software. I am only disappointed in the fact I am not creating things from my own imagination, but I am still happy with the work and what I am producing. I hope the people who look at the Albuquerque Journal online enjoy how easy it is for them to read the paper!

On a different note, I got a fantastic grade on my forensic midterm. It’s the only Midterm I had this term which is both great and disappointing. Other classes are going well if not annoying in some ways. I’m on my last term and I’m getting a little Senioritis…as in I just want to get this over with, despite the fact that I really do love this stuff. I don’t love ALL of it of course. Not thrilled with PHP as I don’t really understand it and truthfully need to seriously read up on it as I need to include it in my final project and I’m feeling so very clueless at the moment. And the time she is a running.

So in my tv show watching I came across a situation that made me raise an eyebrow. Anyone who has seen the latest episode of “Monday Mornings” know what I am going to talk about perhaps, but let me clue in the rest of you.

Have you ever heard of Alienation of Affection? Basically it is the power to sue a home-wrecker for ending your marriage or getting into your marriage and it’s a real thing. BUT you have to live in one of the EIGHT states who have not abolished the cause of action of Alienation of Affections through legislation. Hawaii, Illinois , Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah are those eight states. The other 42 states started to abolish this tort action beginning in 1935, deeming it a an archaic but legal way to exact revenge.

I think it is a BRILLIANT way to exact revenge! And why the fuck not? It works both ways so neither sex is safe from being sued. It is a great deterrent I’d think but there are some details one will want to know before jumping aboard this ship…

An alienation of affection lawsuit is one in which a deserted spouse can sue the alleged third party if his or her partner leaves the relationship for another person and causes the marital relationship to fail. To prevail on the claim, the plaintiff needs to prove that:

-Love between the married spouses existed prior to the onset of the relationship; and
-The marital love was alienated and destroyed as a result of the relationship with the third-party; and
-The third party’s conduct was a malicious interference with the marital relationship.
-The plaintiff need not prove that the third party set out to destroy the marriage. It is enough to show that she or he engaged in conduct that was foreseeable to impact the relationship in a negative manner.

The defendant in these cases can protect him or herself from the claim through several recognized defenses including:

-The Defendant lacked knowledge of the spouse’s marital status
-The Defendant was not the aggressor in the relationship with the spouse.
-The Plaintiff’s spouse was so unhappy in the marital relationship that it negated the love between the married spouses.
And, it turns out, adulterous homewreckers aren’t the only ones that need to fear these suits in the eight states that still recognize them because the deserted spouse does not need to prove extramarital sexual contact. The defendant in an alienation of affections suit is typically an adulterous spouse’s lover; however, family members, counselors, therapists or clergy members who have advised a spouse to seek divorce may also be named in such suits.

What gets me is the fact that the Plaintiff doesn’t have to prove much but there has to be something there that is documented, but the Defendant has to prove they didn’t know, wasn’t the aggressor and that the Plaintiff’s spouse was so unhappy in the marital relationship. It is fitting I believe as people have been treating marriage like crap for decades. I find it extremely funny how one of the main or loudest reasons why gay people should not be allowed to marry is that they will destroy the institution of marriage.  I think that’s already been done!

It's already destroyed.

It’s already destroyed.

I would use this to sue someone who broke up my marriage without even thinking twice about it. I never understood cheating. If you are unhappy in your relationship, get out of it! Yeah that may mean a divorce but seriously that is better than being a jackass. I am not too sure about that whole “Once a cheat always a cheat” thing however. I do like giving people the benefit of a doubt but if I’m cheated on no matter what the reason (as there is no excuse really) I am out of there, married or not. Always have been that way and there’s no reason to change now.

Just discovering the show ‘The Neighbors‘ and OMG that shit is funny. Should be an interesting watch and I am snagging the rest of the episodes available. Can’t wait to watch some more now.

Until next time, bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry. If you’ve read the bible and you think that it says gay marriage should be illegal, that’s nice. But you might also want to read the constitution that says your religion doesn’t get to make laws in this country. Separation of Church and State. It’s pretty great. Also, you might want to read some other parts of the bible; the ones that says polyester,  shrimp, lobster, vegetable gardens all are sins.

Never all here am I.

Categories: Anthropology, News | Leave a comment

What Is Really Happening to the Human Race?

Warning Note: I want to warn you that this post will have some swear words and name calling in it. When the world is being stupid there are some words that convey my thoughts or feelings perfectly and those words just happen to be curse words. I am not meaning to offend anyone. The lack of intelligence in the 21st century just amazes me and literally dumb-founded me to the point where the only descriptive wording I can think of are curse words. And sometimes you just have to use what you are given to get a point across, even if it isn’t eloquent or intelligence sounding.

When I sit here and check the news or even my Facebook that question pops up quite a bit in my head. The world is a very different place now then when I was in high school and that was only in the early 90’s! I just skimmed an article about the Steubenville rapists and I am saddened and distressed at a number of things. First being that the mighty CNN apparently is in grieving that the guilty verdict has ruined the “promising” lives of the boys. This guilty verdict that they so deserve is not what ruined their so called promising lives. It was the actions they decided to push onto another human being.

Second, NOT A SOUL stepped in to stop these boys. Everyone whipped out their smartphones and started taking pictures or recording what was going on instead of getting off their fat asses and stopping what was going on. I don’t want to hear SHIT about how social pressures or the like has interfered and that no one wanted to be the next “picked” on by their peers because they stopped the entertainment. That is beyond bullshit and I think all of us intelligent adults know this. There is something wrong with any person who stands by and does nothing in moments like this. It’s actually called accessory to the fact. Meaning that everyone who stood by and watched are just as guilty as the two boys who did the act are. But until we remove our heads from our asses, we’ll never see bystanders being charged; perhaps if we did do this, more people would step up for their fellow human.

Third (this could turn into a long list, you may want to get something to drink and some snacks….); what happened to thinking about consequences? Has the past literally told people nothing? If you rape someone, I don’t care how old YOU are, how old THEY are or the circumstances, if you rape, murder, assault a person you damn well be prepared to suffer what happens when you’re caught. The fact that we coddle our kids by not punishing them or telling them no or being all lovely dovey with competitive sports by always ending games in a tie and telling our children that no matter what mommy and daddy will take care of it.

Fuck that! Tell them no, tell them that in order to get better at something they need to WORK at it and that mom and dad is not going to always bail their asses out of hardships they create for themselves. Make them stand on their own two feet and learn that every action they do no matter how small DOES have a reaction, sometimes equal sometimes much, much worst. KARMA is and forever will be a bitch, even when “she” is handing out the good kind, there’s always a bite somewhere.

Make them watch when politicians say or do stupid things like Romney throwing the $50,000 dinner and pretty much pissing on everyone who could not afford to attend said dinner. Do they not think that the consequence of that action is the fact he is not President? That and so many other reasons. Of all of the things we teach our children, how are we not teaching them to respect their fellow human beings and have compassion for them and to realize that whatever they do they must be ready to deal with the reaction of that action. If not what are we releasing onto the world? Is this just another “custom” that will die because it is not being taught? What kind of world will the future be then?

Until next time, unless we stand up and do something bulling, rape, assault and other things will continue. Step up, be that difference, save a future. If you cannot or will not do not expect someone to do it for you should you ever be in need of help. Karma is watching.

Categories: America, Cultural | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

What the Public Thinks We Anthropologists Do Through Movie Clips

Wordless Wednesday – What the Public Thinks We Do Through Movie Clips.

I found this brilliant and am looking forward to my many mini Introduction to Anthropology “classes” in the future.

Speaking of mini’s I may need a mini nap or a extreme cup of coffee. Or you know, both.

Categories: Anthropology | Tags: | Leave a comment

Let’s play Forensic Anthropology Jeopardy!

I give you the answers and you supply the questions. In case you wish to arm yourself, all answers are from chapters 1 to 10 in my Forensic Anthropology text book. Obviously this is to help me study for the mid-term that is this Wednesday. I don’t really expect anyone to give me the questions, and you don’t get anything really if you do….just so you know.

Chapter 1.

1. 1. Determine ancestry, sex, age and living height.
2. Determine the nature of trauma and injury
3. Estimate a postmortem interval.
4. Locate and recover buried remains.
5. Obtain positive identification of deceased.

2.
1. Anthroposcopy              3. Metric methods             5. Histology
2. Osteometry                      4. Chemical methods

3.
1. Decision table                    3. Indexes                            5. Regression equations
2. Range Charts                     4. Disciminant functions

Chapter 2

4. Osteology is the study of the bones of a human skeleton.

5. Odontology is the study of the human dentition (teeth).

6.
1.Many basic indications are marked on the teeth and bones like age, sex and ancestry.
2. Its importatn to understand the “normal” range of variation in human form because deviations are easier to identify.

Chapter 3

7. Is it bone?

8. Histologically; human bone grows differently than animal bones.
Maturity; nonhuman bone that is the same size as immature human bone will have fused epiphysis while the immature human bone will not.
Architecture; bipedal human skeleton looks much different than the quadrupedal animal skeletons.

9.   a. State of Preservation
color, texture, hydration, weight, condition, fragility and soft tissue.
b. Body Modification
piercings, tattoos, crainal deformation, dental modification and prosthetics.
c. Personal Belongings
coffin type, clothing, funerary goods.
d. Burial Conditions
cultures, locations, flexed burials, extended burials and secondary burials.

Chapter 4

10.
1. Location                      3. Excavation
2. Mapping                      4. Collection

11.  a. swarms of insects, smell and visible body
b. vegetation disturbed, burial depression secondary depression
c. increased vegetation activity and soil color.

12. Starburst pattern used to work from the body out in all directions.
Check area for other human remains, weapons clothing electronic devices and nonhuman bones.

13. Allows for investigators to determine several things; carnivore activity, time since deposition, crime scen details, etc.

14. Carefully removes small fragments and remains are handled so nothing is lost or damaged.

Chapter 5

15.
1. Algor mortis; cooling of body-98.6 degrees general tempature of body. Environment greatly affects this.
2. Livor mortis; blood pooling-blood flows to lowest point of body, pulled by gravity which takes 6-8 hours.
3. Rigor mortis; body stiffening. Begins 1-2 hours after death, complete stiffening at 12 hours. Dissipates slowly.

16. We can tell how long a body has been dead which can help identify the body.

17. Environment and animals.

Chapter 6

18. There could be evidence that could easily get washed away.

19. Scapel, tissue scissors and sometimes Dermestid beetles.

20. There are few labs that have space to store or hold an entire body.

21. Maceration is the sofening of the remaining tissue.

22.
1. Reconstruction- the glueing of bones back together.
2. Sorting-multiple individuals may be present.
3. Reassembly- laying out the bones to check condition, consistency, duplication and join surface concurance.

23. That preserved elements are noted and those that are not recovered are as well. Conditions are also noted.

Chapter 7

24. Biologically people have somewhat different appearances based on their ancestral geography. Doesn’t mean the actual person conciders themselves of that ancestry.

25. Forensic anthroplogist’s major function is to provide law enforcement with enough information about the human remains that they can be positively identified.

26.
1. Nasal spine                            3. Dentition                                5. Eye orbit shape
2. Nasal sill                                 4. Profile projection

Chapter 8

27. Adult skeletons only- sub adults do not show age

28. The pelvis and cranium

29.
1. Nasal crest                      3. Shape of mandible              5. General appearance
2. mastoid process           4. Browridge

30. Top of femur and humerus can be measured.

Chapter 9

31. Only sub adult skeletons- bones stop changing after a certain age.

32.
1. Long bone length                                                4. Tooth eruption
2. Union of primary ossification centers       5. Epiphyseal Union
3. Tooth formation

33.
1. Pubic symphsis                                            4. Cranial suture closure
2. Auricular surface of the os coxa           5. Dental changes
3. Sternal rib ends

Chapter 10

34. 1. Full skeletal measure                       2. Stature formulas

35. They’re very reliable due to they are derived from thousands of measurements made from individuals with a known biological profile

36. Stature is often self reported and generally lied about.

37. The four characteristics used to distinguish people from one another so that positives IDs can be made. Given to law enforcement so they can be claimed by living family members and closure can be made.

So funny thing; while going through this I noticed I skipped number 13 and I thought “Great! I am now off on all my answers by one!” so I grabbed my first answer sheet I wrote out ( I find for me actually writing out the answers [while listening to Mozart] really helps me) and noticed that I didn’t just misnumber, I skipped the ENTIRE answer for 13! So they’re not off by any numbers, just missing an answer. It is amazing how the mind works…or doesn’t work.

So my professor was suppose to have her baby yesterday, which of course means she will not be in class tomorrow or for the mid-term. Which is fine as I am more than sure we’ll survive without her. As long as she comes back after Spring Break!

Speaking of which I have no big or exciting plans for Spring Break. The college kidlet will be  coming home this coming Friday (OMG can we move the entire house in a week?! Is the ongoing joke presently) and leaving probably the following Saturday, I’m not quite sure. I *SHOULD* be in training during the wee hours of the mornings (12:30am-5:30am) for my new job at the Albuquerque Journal at that time, providing I pass the spelling, speed typing and drug tests. Which really shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you are familar with said paper and familar with their online version (different from going to the website and viewing articles there) you know it looks exactly as the hard copy (printed) editions do and that will be what I am training to do. Make sure everything is looking good, where it is suppose to be and linked to the right places. Which explains the hours. Or should. There are four editions of the paper, there’s the Final which is what Albuquerque gets, the Rio Rancho edition, Santa Fe edition and Westside edition.

In a nutshell I get to sit in front of the computer for four hours a night making sure a web site looks pretty. That’s putting my Associate of Applied Sciences degree to work! LOL

Different train of thought; kidlet is coming home for Spring Break week. Did YOU go home during Spring Break? Or did you go somewhere “fun” with your friends? Last year we went to San Diego California where I murdered my cell phone by Shamu, saw an old friend I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years and saw a lot of baby seals–outside of SeaWorld. Never went to any wild places and doesn’t look like I will be any time soon. Unless you count a zoo….zoos are wild places for the most part.

Until next time, when you go to the zoo and you have younglings, don’t dress them in zebra colored or styled clothing and then visit the lion’s habitat knowing full well that only a very thick piece of plexiglass separates you and the lionesses. Although it makes for a great YouTube video, it may be wise not to encourage such dress in a place where there is no plexiglass. Say like Africa? (also note that a lionesses mouth would easily fit over a toddler’s head.)

Also anyone else upset at SeaWorld for removing Shamu Cam days before the orca was born on Valentine’s Day? Used to be my favorite way to wind down and relax; watching the orcas in San Deigo swim around and play, but they took it down to put up new ones in habitat’s I have no care for. Penguin Cam is still running and I know some people who will love Turtle cam, but I and many others seriously want Shamu Cam back up, specially since there’s a new baby swimming around damnit!

Categories: Anthropology, Forensics | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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