An Archaeologist Excavates a Hippie Commune, Preserved in 1969 by Fire

Loads of compelling material in io9 tonight:

‘In 79 AD, the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius covered Pompeii in ash, preserving the city for millennia. In 1969 AD, a fire broke out at the mansion of the famed Chosen Family commune north of San Francisco. Most of the possessions were left behind—providing archaeologists with a one-of-a-kind time capsule of hippie life.

If youre a Grateful Dead fan, youre already familiar with the commune, which was founded at Olompali State Park in 1967. The band—one of many musical legends who played there—used a photograph of the bucolic commune as the back cover for their album, Aoxomoxoa.’ (io9)

Can you dig it? [Sorry, couldn’t help myself.]


For The First Time Since WWII, Global Peace Is On The Decline

‘In what should be a surprise to nobody, a new report by the Institute for Economics and Peace shows that world peace is on the decline — a reversal of six decades of steady improvement. The annual report, called the Global Peace Index, cites militant attacks and growing crime as the primary culprits, particularly in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The number of people killed in militant attacks has risen in such areas as the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Murder rates are escalating in growing urban centers and more refugees are having to flee war zones. (io9)

Weve Now Lost So Much Arctic Ice That We Have to Change Our Atlases

‘The amount of Arctic ice left has been steadily shrinking. But its now dwindled by so much that National Geographic has said their updated maps will feature a much smaller ice sheet, in what theyre calling the most visible change to the atlas since the break up of the U.S.S.R. National Geographic drew its current map of the Arctic in its 1989 edition of the Atlas. Since then, though, the decrease of not just the area, but the volume of Arctic sea ice as seen in the graphic below, charting sea ice volume from 1979 to the present has been sharp. The newest edition, which comes out in September, will redraw the lines into a significantly smaller area, based on NASA and the NSIDC data on the amount of remaining multiyear ice.’ (io9)