On Sarah Palin, from someone who knows

This is one of those messages that claimed to originate from a friend-of-a-friend; messages that are inherently suspect. But I have been told by reputable sources (thanks, Steve!) that the author has been vetted and is considered to be legitimate. At least she signed her name and gave an email address (although, as you can see, she does not want it posted on the web). — FmH

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks. :)

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .

Thanks, Anne

About Sarah Palin

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because she is a “babe”.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.

She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She’s smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though; borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved. The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.

These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s surplus, borrow for needs.

She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there are a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

Claim vs Fact

  • “Hockey mom”: true for a few years
  • “PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
  • “NRA supporter”: absolutely true
  • social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
  • pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
  • “Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
  • “Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
  • political maverick: not at all
  • gutsy: absolutely
  • open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
  • has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
  • “a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
  • fiscal conservative: not by my definition
  • pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
  • pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
  • pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
  • pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

Why Am I Writing This?
First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

Caveats
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they are swamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000”, up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.

— Anne Kilkenny [email obscured at author’s request] August 31, 2008

Related

When Cute Animals Go Bad

SAN DIEGO -  In this undated handout photo sup...

Dolphin serial killers?: “Dead porpoises (and other cetaceans) turn up regularly on beaches around Britain. According to a Defra report last year, the cause of death of 15 out of 56 porpoise bodies found – the majority – was ‘physical trauma (bottlenose dolphin attack)’. [A photo accompanying the article] shows the rake marks on a harbour porpoise caused by a bottlenose dolphin.” (New Scientist Environment Blog)

The question is why…

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Deepak Chopra’s take on Palin


“Look at what she stands for:


–Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.


–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.


–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.


–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.


–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.


–“Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.


Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.”

Army suicide rate could top nation’s this year

Brig. Gen. Micha...

“The rate of suicides among-active duty soldiers is on pace to surpass both last year’s numbers and the rate of suicide in the general U.S. population for the first time since the Vietnam war, according to U.S. Army officials.

Officials attribute the rise in suicides to anxiety and stress from increased operations and more deployments.

Officials attribute the rise in suicides to anxiety and stress from increased operations and more deployments.

As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.

Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.” (CNN)

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Enough!

Republican presidential nominee Senator John M...

Why Obama should release his righteous rage: “Obama has often said that he is running because of what Dr. King called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ He needs to show that fierceness and that urgency. When we think of King, we usually think of him as resolute and dignified. But King was also filled with a prophetic anger, especially in the later years of his life. As a leader fighting for fundamental change in this country, Obama has to be willing to show us that kind of righteous anger. I don’t know about you, but when I think about what George Bush has done to this country — and what John McCain wants to keep doing — I consider outrage the only rational and legitimate response. The last seven-plus years demand more than a beaming smile.” — Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post)

Related

The world’s verdict will be harsh…

…if the US rejects the man it yearns for: “An America that disdains Obama for his global support risks turning current anti-Bush feeling into something far worse…

Of course I know that even to mention Obama’s support around the world is to hurt him. Incredibly, that large Berlin crowd damaged Obama at home, branding him the “candidate of Europe” and making him seem less of a patriotic American. But what does that say about today’s America, that the world’s esteem is now unwanted? If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us – and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.” — Jonathan Freedland (Guardian.UK)

Confessions of an RNC security guard

“‘There’s a lot of hot chicks here,’ he tells me in a failed attempt at a whisper. He reeks of chardonnay. ‘You cannot spring a woody here, dude. Your pants got no give, know what I mean? It’d be totally obvious. Gov. Palin is staying here — you gotta be careful. You get what I’m saying? You can’t get wood on the job.’

‘Thanks. I got it,’ I say.

One of his pals chimes in.

‘Gov. Palin is hot, dude,’ he says, collapsing onto a bench in front of the hotel entrance.

Even in their lusty, alcohol-fueled swoons, these young politicos still call Palin ‘governor.’ In a way, this reverential horniness is sort of endearing. But mostly it’s just creepy. Sitting on the bench, the young man leans his head back and squeezes his eyes shut, trying, and failing, to stave off vertigo. ‘Total MILF.’

‘All right, gentlemen,’ I say, wielding the word ‘gentlemen’ like a prison guard. ‘Get out of here. Time to go to sleep.’

The right-wing youth resurgence is taking shape here before my eyes and it has a strong erotic undercurrent. For the first time in American politics there is a strong alpha woman with whom mothers identify, and after whom sons lust. The GOP is playing the Oedipal card. And it could mean bloody war, fought house to house.

…I’m developing a purely anecdotal theory about Republican drunkenness: that it’s related to ideology. The less ideological arrive back at the headquarters earlier in the evening, between midnight and 1 a.m. These are, in chronological order, the Romney and the Giuliani supporters. Both are East Coast, urban college grad, corporate types. They like to drink and reminisce about the Harvard-Yale game, but they also like to wake up early, shave and not smell like booze at committee meetings. The Giuliani people are secular and more openly lecherous. So they tend to drink a bit harder and stay out closer to 1 a.m. The Ron Paul people party past 1 a.m., but not much. And they shave but they don’t showboat.

The ones who stay out the latest and come back the drunkest, I notice, are the Huckabee folks, the party’s rural conservatives. They believe in Jesus, in the hard-bitten way of the true alcoholic. If they ever sober up, it’ll be by the grace of the Lord; and if they intend to stay on the sauce and continue living, then they’ll really need His loving kindness. If you intend to be drinking heavily until closing time — 4 a.m. in the Twin Cities during the RNC — you had better walk home with Jesus.

I can’t place true McCainites on the alcohol-ideology matrix. I think they were all asleep by 9:30 p.m.” (Salon)

For the Brain, Remembering Is Like Reliving

Experts say the study has all but closed the case: “Scientists have for the first time recorded individual brain cells in the act of summoning a spontaneous memory, revealing not only where a remembered experience is registered but also, in part, how the brain is able to recreate it.

The recordings, taken from the brains of epilepsy patients being prepared for surgery, demonstrate that these spontaneous memories reside in some of the same neurons that fired most furiously when the recalled event had been experienced. Researchers had long theorized as much but until now had only indirect evidence.” (New York Times)

Confessions of an RNC security guard

“‘There’s a lot of hot chicks here,’ he tells me in a failed attempt at a whisper. He reeks of chardonnay. ‘You cannot spring a woody here, dude. Your pants got no give, know what I mean? It’d be totally obvious. Gov. Palin is staying here — you gotta be careful. You get what I’m saying? You can’t get wood on the job.’

‘Thanks. I got it,’ I say.

One of his pals chimes in.

‘Gov. Palin is hot, dude,’ he says, collapsing onto a bench in front of the hotel entrance.

Even in their lusty, alcohol-fueled swoons, these young politicos still call Palin ‘governor.’ In a way, this reverential horniness is sort of endearing. But mostly it’s just creepy. Sitting on the bench, the young man leans his head back and squeezes his eyes shut, trying, and failing, to stave off vertigo. ‘Total MILF.’

‘All right, gentlemen,’ I say, wielding the word ‘gentlemen’ like a prison guard. ‘Get out of here. Time to go to sleep.’

The right-wing youth resurgence is taking shape here before my eyes and it has a strong erotic undercurrent. For the first time in American politics there is a strong alpha woman with whom mothers identify, and after whom sons lust. The GOP is playing the Oedipal card. And it could mean bloody war, fought house to house.

…I’m developing a purely anecdotal theory about Republican drunkenness: that it’s related to ideology. The less ideological arrive back at the headquarters earlier in the evening, between midnight and 1 a.m. These are, in chronological order, the Romney and the Giuliani supporters. Both are East Coast, urban college grad, corporate types. They like to drink and reminisce about the Harvard-Yale game, but they also like to wake up early, shave and not smell like booze at committee meetings. The Giuliani people are secular and more openly lecherous. So they tend to drink a bit harder and stay out closer to 1 a.m. The Ron Paul people party past 1 a.m., but not much. And they shave but they don’t showboat.

The ones who stay out the latest and come back the drunkest, I notice, are the Huckabee folks, the party’s rural conservatives. They believe in Jesus, in the hard-bitten way of the true alcoholic. If they ever sober up, it’ll be by the grace of the Lord; and if they intend to stay on the sauce and continue living, then they’ll really need His loving kindness. If you intend to be drinking heavily until closing time — 4 a.m. in the Twin Cities during the RNC — you had better walk home with Jesus.

I can’t place true McCainites on the alcohol-ideology matrix. I think they were all asleep by 9:30 p.m.” (Salon)

Is the Electoral Process About Reality?

Book cover of

George Lakoff Warns Democrats: “…[The] election campaign depends on the political mind-how people understand the candidates and the realities. Democrats have mostly criticized Sarah Palin as unqualified to deal with the realities we face as a nation. But the choice of Palin had to do with the way the political mind works in elections. In dealing with the McCain-Palin ticket, Democrats must take the way voters think into account, in addition to the external realities.” (Truthout)

School of Everything

Cory Doctorow, a Canadian blogger/author, at a...

eBay for knowledge: “Last night, I attended the launch of School of Everything, a new web service that acts as a kind of eBay for people who have something to teach. Potential teachers list their areas of expertise (anything from knitting to programming to driving to yoga to TIG-welding to whatever) and potential students find teachers with a simple search that can be geography bounded (for in-person instruction) or not (for online instruction). It’s one of those great, simple, smart ideas that make you want to smack your head and say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?'”

…The service is only available in the UK now, but the plan is to spread it around the world. Now I just need to find something I want to learn and give it a spin. School of Everything. — Cory Doctorow (boing boing)

There He Goes Again

The Bell Curve

Charles “Bell Curve” Murray on Education: “Once again, Charles Murray is arguing that some people are not worth the time and trouble to educate because they are “just not smart enough,” in his words, to learn anything more than manual skills. And he can prove it! Scientifically!

Murray, for those of you who don’t follow this stuff, is the co-author of The Bell Curve, which famously argued, among other things, that poor people are poor primarily because of immutably low intelligence—an argument that has been refuted by some of the top scientists in the country (see, for example, Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man; see also The Bell Curve Wars). Murray is back…” — Karin Chenoweth (Britannica Blog)

Terrainspotting

A fully textured and lit rendering of a 3d model.Photosynth, the tech demo that trawls image sharing websites for geographically tagged photos and then pieces them together to form pseudo 3D models of popular tourist destinations, is stitching an increasingly coherent spatial simulation.

However, the edges of the scenes in these demos have always made me curious about the unmapped portions of the 3D model. While there is an abundance of data for the frontal elevations of Notre Dame or Piazza San Marco, but what of the periphery of these buildings? The parts of the building less likely to attract the attention of hungry tourists? And then what about the laneway around the corner? Or the street two blocks to the south? There may be a handfull of photographs that describe parts of these areas, but likely not enough to piece together a rich 3D model.” (Super Colossal)

Will He, Won’t He?

Mount Ararat (16,940 feet, 5165 m) is the larg...This review of Ararat by Frank Westerman: interested me, as someone who has been to Mt. Ararat, for the following rant:

“Who was Noah? The Bible tells us little. He was the flood hero of course, but what else? A drunken viniculturist who lived to the age of 950; who was 600 at the time of the flood and 500 when he fathered Shem, Ham and Japheth. His wrinkled bottom was ogled by his 100-year-old sons when he passed out from drunkeness in his tent one night. But was he not also an ‘upright man’ and a man who ‘walked with God’?

Each year hundreds of pilgrims, known as ‘Arkeologists’ make their way to Mount Ararat (where the Turkish, Armenian and Iranian borders meet) hoping to find clues and relics. Some return home with splints of wood, others only with soft memories of mystic vision. Arkeologists are simple folk, of whom the late Apollo astronaut, James Irwin, was one. They ignore the fact that in Genesis, Noah’s ship came to rest ‘in the mountains of Ararat’, which is not the same as ‘on Mount Ararat’. Never mind, they say, and never mind that the modern ‘Mount Ararat’ is situated outside the old Kingdom of Ararat and is not therefore among the ‘Mountains of Ararat’. Why should Arkeologists care if their mountain only got its name from Marco Polo in the 13th century? The Turks always called it Agri Dagi (Mountain of Pain), the Armenians, Masis (Mother Mountain), and the Kurds, Ciyaye Agiri (Fiery Mountain). If you start with an unbudgeable faith in Ararat you don’t give a fig that the Qu’ran claims that the Ark came to rest on al-Judi, a mountain miles to the south; that the 2nd-century BC Book of Jubilees says it was Mount Lubar, that Nicholas of Damascus says it was an Armenian peak called Baris.In the Babylonian account, the oldest extant Deluge story, from which the Genesis authors undoubtedly snitched their plot, the Ark lands on the top of Mount Nizir. ” (Spectator.UK)

Anthropologists Find New Type of Urbanism in Amazon Jungles

Xingu river from space, downstream section.

“Recently-discovered Amazonian settlements could be a new type of metropolis, unseen elsewhere in the world and hidden until recently in the Kuikuro jungle, say anthropologists.

…The work suggests that the Amazon basin, particularly the Xingu region, may have been more populated than previously thought, but without the traditional city structures that mark other old urban civilizations in other parts of the world.” (Wired)

Related

Is the common cold becoming a killer?

“Having a cold is a nuisance, but not dangerous. Right? Wrong. Sometimes it can turn deadly. Last year, 140 people in the US were killed by the kinds of virus that usually cause nothing more serious than sniffs and sneezes. In fact, we are surprisingly ignorant about the causes of the world’s most common disease. But new technologies are changing that – and turning up cold viruses that are completely new to science.” (New Scientist via WaccoBB)