Native Americans are Originally From Europe

native american

The native American “We are part of humanity’s final migration.” http://www.ilhawaii.net/

A recent study performed by geneticists at the University of Copenhagen has confirmed that Native Americans are originally from Europe, at least in part. Up to 38% of Native American ancestry can be traced to Europe and western Asia, collectively known as Eurasia.

Palaeogeneticist Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen, along with his team, confirmed this by sequencing the genome of DNA found in the 24,000-year-old remains of a young boy from the Siberian village of Mal’ta. This is coincidentally the oldest known modern human DNA ever found.

Related Article: Ancient Human DNA Found: Old World Similar to Lord of the Rings

The study shows us that modern humans living in Europe spread much further East than anthropologists had initially realized and lived in Siberia during the last ice age.

Haplogroup_R_(Y-DNA)

While scientists have known for years that Native Americans are directly related to east Asians, the European genes are a breakthrough discovery. The whole story behind the origins of Native Americans is in fact still a mystery.  According to the research team,

The origins of the First Americans remain contentious. Although Native Americans seem to be genetically most closely related to east Asians, there is no consensus with regard to which specific Old World populations they are closest to.

Related Article: Modern Languages May Share Common, Ancient Ancestor

So, the idea that Native Americans are just slightly different east Asians is just an assumption. What we do know is that 24,000 year old Europeans had a hardcore Asian fetish.  According to Eske Willerslev,

At some point in the past, a branch of east Asians and a branch of western Eurasians met each other and had sex a lot.

Looks like the ideal location for committing genocide! http://www.nativevillage.org/

Looks like the ideal location for committing genocide! http://www.nativevillage.org/

Native Americans are a true meeting of East and West: the evolutionary offspring of the mingling of Europeans and Asians. This type of widespread, inter-racial sex is a repeat of humanity’s ancient past, one filled with inter-sub-species sex between neanderthals, denisovans, homo sapiens, and other early humans.

Related Article: The “Friends of the Indian” and How They Treated Their Friends

European features had previously been recognized in modern day humans living in the Americas. For example, some ancient Native American skulls look very different from modern day Native Americans. Mitochondrial DNA that shares a lineage with Europeans was also found in Native Americans. This type of evidence however, was always attributed to post-Columbian encounters with Europeans. We now know that is simply not the case.

If we view history in terms of the last few thousand years, the post-columbian invasion of the America’s can be viewed as totally alien invaders advancing on a land filled with an utterly strange group of people.  If we broaden that view to include the last few hundred thousand years though, we see a different picture: A group of people invading its own ancestral family; warring family trees sharing the same ancient roots.

 

Sources:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12736.html#ref10

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasia

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/science/two-surprises-in-dna-of-boy-found-buried-in-siberia.html?ref=nicholaswade&_r=1&

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982209020661

http://www.cell.com/AJHG/retrieve/pii/S0002929707612932

Conservation Efforts of Earth’s Seven Continents

Captain-Planet-Cartoon-Wallpaper Captain Planet conservation

Captain Planet and the Planeteers by Ted Turner

‘Mostly Harmless.’ The only entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy used to read just ‘harmless,’ but after much careful deliberation and much intensive high-level editing, writer Ford Prefect was able to attach “Mostly” to Earth’s entry.

Since then segue writers (probably just me) of the world have attempted to relate the science fiction musings of the Great Wizard Douglas Adams to articles about global conservationism.

Speaking about global conservationism – funny you should even be thinking about that, I’ve compiled a list of conservation programs and projects from around the globe. You know, because when the NSA is watching you or your money is being spent on the military it’s nice to sit back, relax, use some comma splices, and learn about some good old-fashioned-down-to-earth wholesome people.

Related Article: The 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot

 

Africa

Oh sweet Africa! The continent of origin. A place both filled with beautiful landscapes and plagued by poverty, war and oppression. Despite the evils that happen there, there is quite a lot of good-natured conservation going on.

For example, I present the KAZA project. This project aims to connect portions of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in an effort to co-facilitate human and wildlife-life.

It’s the size of a European country. The inhabitants include 2.5 million people, a quarter of a million elephants, 3,000 species and some of the last hopes that Africa’s wildlife will endure the 21st century in substantial numbers.

writes Michael J. Coren. But despite all of the good that this project will likely achieve, some critics are a bit skeptical.

Some question whether or not the focus is in the right place

Critics are also concerned that the project may end up enriching foreign tourism companies rather than local communities.

But whether or not this can save the declining African wildlife, it is wonderful to see these nations working together to bring balance to the force. Lets just hope that their efforts are for good.

Related Article: The 5 R’s Follow Up 1: Refuse

 

Asia

In Indonesia, there are many many many forests. Ask two of our writers, editors, and big cheeses in chief. I’m sure that they could tell you all about it. But where there are forests there are paper mills, tooth pick factories, and beavers. Lots and lots of beavers.

In this case the beavers are corporate and have decided that the woods might be a bit more precious than they previously had thought.

After recieving a lot of flack- and rightfully so- for their destructively belligerent deforestation practices (dbdp for short), Asia Pulp & and Paper has put a hold on their farming of national forests. The company, which holds a substantial amount of private land, has decided to focus on farming renewable trees that they’ve grown. This comes as a significantly awesome change of pace from the fern gully-eske practices which they so loved.

Related Article: The Profound Intelligence and Intuition of Elephants

 

North America

Oh to be a cowboy crossing the Great Plains of the United States. As you load your riffle, the rail car (built by slaves, and migrant workers) bumps a bit in protest and some of your precious gun powder spills to the floor. No worries, though, this hunt is easy. You load your riffle, take aim, and fire a round. You believe that you’ve missed your target but in all actuality the bison has been downed.

This sort of reckless behavior is exactly what caused the decline of the North American Bison population. Manifest Destiny-ers(?) took the land and it’s bounty as theirs and theirs alone.

As cattle ranching and fenced-in farming became more and more popular so too did it become popular for the bison to die. The  pre-columbian Americas boasted a bison population of more than 60 million. In 1890 the population almost entirely died out. There were only 750 left. Now, with much effort, the population is stably rising with approximately 360,000 bison roaming the Americas.

Bison conservation efforts by organizations such as The American Bison Society have dramatically aided bison, buffalo and many other species in an attempt to rejuvenate endangered populations.

Related Article: GMO Labeling Going In Right Direction In The US

 

South America

Ahh sweet Guyana, the Caribbean nation of South America. Now, you’re about to witness a rare quoting of wikipedia and if this were a dos X meme it’d read something like this: I don’t always quote Wikipedia but when I do It’s about the biodiversity of the only English-speaking non-island Caribbean Nation in South America.

The following habitats have been categorised for Guyana: coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests (NBAP, 1999). About 14 areas of biological interest have been identified as possible hotspots for a National Protected Area System.

Basically, Guyana is a wonderful paradise for nature’s plants and wildlife. It turns out nature thrives here for one simple reason: There aren’t very many humans living there. The population density of Guyana is 3.8 humans per square mile. That is single digits. To put that into perspective, The population density of Rio de Janeiro is 16,100 humans per square mile.

So not only does Guyana boast an incredibly low impact, the people that do live there want to keep it beautiful. The government is actively working to set conservation guidelines for when people find out about Guyana

The Government of Guyana, under the leadership of President Jagdeo, is taking major steps to protect its natural resources. In 2002, the government granted Conservation International (CI) the world’s first “conservation concession” to protect 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of primary rain forest in the Upper Essequibo watershed.

Related Article: Your Old Android Phone Can Save the Rainforest

 

Antarctica

In 1961 Japan, the U.S., the former Soviet Union, the U.K., France and several other countries agreed to “not do anything stupid in Antarctica“. The cleverly named Antarctic Treaty aims to:

to utilize the area for peaceful purposes only and prohibit to establish military bases and to carry out of the maneuvers, to promote the freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation in the area, not to assert, support or deny a claim to sovereignty or create any rights of sovereignty, and to prohibit any nuclear explosion and the disposing of radioactive materials.

Since that time, 36 other nations have signed onto the Antarctic Treaty.

Related Article: 2800 Year Old Lake Life Survives in Complete Isolation

 

Europe

Europe, the land of the conquerors, gypsies, and well-to-do aristocrats has much need for conservation. Because of its relatively high population density the types of conservation projects that go on here are a bit different. It seems that those wishing to do some good work have to really try hard to find areas to protect.

The EOCA is a conservation project base for those planeteers looking to help out in their own way. One project, focusing on the Alps, was successful in removing tons of unused metal from old ski lifts.

 From an abandoned ski re[s]ort, they took away about 50 tonnes of different waste materials. These included the remnants of ski lifts and a pile of concrete blocks – left from winter sport activities in the 1960’s and 70’s.  The slopes of the Montagne de Lure have been returned to a wild state, for the rare Orsini’s Viper, to allow the wild tulips and fritillaries to spread, and for the pleasure of its visitors.

Even in densely-packed Europe there are ways to protect the environment.

Related Article: Sweden is Running Out of Trash

 

Australia

And before I go on, I must take a second to marvel at how awesome it is that Australia is: an island, a continent, a nation and pretty bad-ass.

Down under, there are many conservation projects. The Tasmanian forests are dwindling. It’s a shame as they are a beautiful place. When you have a forest, you have people who would like nothing more than to chop it down to pulp for paper. The conservation of the Tasmanian Forests  comes amid

Growing concerns about the negative public perceptions of the logging of these forests and changes in the market have contributed to this decline and a loss of opportunity. The forest agreement is an attempt to break this downward spiral. It attempts to find a way to protect forests and protect people whose livelihoods are tied up with the forestry industry.  It seeks to open opportunity for the industry to move onto a more sustainable higher value path.

So many there is a way for both companies and people to work together to not completely destroy the world as we know it.

Related Article: The Effect of Agriculture on the Planet

Our Powers Combined…

 

Sources:

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Hitchhikers-Guide-Galaxy/dp/0345453743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371569115&sr=1-1&keywords=ultimate+hitchhiker%27s+guide+to+the+galaxy

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/kaza_ambitious_africa_experiment_to_preserve_threatened_wildlife/2527/

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680000/african-nations-team-up-to-create-a-nature-preserve-the-size-of-sweden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa

http://www.kavangozambezi.org/index.php

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2013/03/22/how-asia-pulp-paper-learned-put-down-chainsaw

http://www.wcs.org/saving-wildlife/hoofed-mammals/bison/the-american-bison-society.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

http://www.newgeography.com/content/003438-the-evolving-urban-form-rio-de-janeiro

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/guyana/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyana

http://www.conservation.org/where/south_america/guyana/Pages/guyana.aspx

http://www.env.go.jp/nature/nankyoku/kankyohogo_en/kankyo_en/hogo/kokusai/

http://www.ats.aq/e/ats.htm

http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/acf-opinion/forests-deal-only-solution

GMO Labeling Going In Right Direction In The US

http://dgchaacicgqa5.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/labeling-required-in.jpg

GMO Labeling World Map

GMO labeling finally got itself a small yet big win. Last week, Connecticut became the first state in the U.S. to pass a bill through the senate that would require mandatory labeling of all GMOs. There will be some understandable exceptions that would not have to label their food as a GMO, such as fast food restaurants and farmer’s markets. But come on, that’s not at bad start.

We’re not banning anything, we’re not restricting anything, we’re not taxing anything,

Senate Republican leader John McKinney said at a press conference.

We’re just saying let moms and dads know what’s in the food they’re buying for their young kids… That’s not a lot to ask.

Would the US food industry really suffer from this type of labeling?

Related Article: Mystery of the Dying/Disappearing Honeybees Solved

If you were to complain to a fast food restaurant manager that you found a hair in your hamburger, they would probably say that’s impossible, because they don’t use any natural ingredients! Joking of course, but you get the picture.

http://justlabelit.org/state-initiatives/

GMO Labeling Initiatives

Fortunately, there are other states in the union that are taking initiatives to make some sort of legislation for GMO labeling. As of this writing there are 29 states with initiatives for labeling of GMO products. You are able to find your own state group fighting for this initiative.

According to the polls taken from MSNBC in 2011, Reuters and Washington Post in 2010, Consumer Reports in 2008, and ABC News in 2001, 93-96% of Americans support GMO labeling. Also, according to justlabelit.org, GMO labeling is required in 64 countries worldwide. This includes most of the developed nations, exceptions being the United States of course, and Canada.

Related Article: The Senate is Useless and Should be Dismantled 

If you are interested in seeing the whole world map of where GMO labeling is required, head over to the Center For Food Safety website.

There are only five countries in Europe that do not require labeling of GMOs. Those are Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Moldova. Serbia, however, is the exception in the group because it actually has an official ban on GMO imports and cultivation! Benin and Zambia, two countries in the African continent, are the only other countries in the world that have an official ban on importing and cultivation of GMOs.

Related Article: Don’t Fear Anti-GM Hysteria (Nor the Reaper)!

 

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/

GMO Labeling In Europe

 

Sources:

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/

http://justlabelit.org

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-Senate-approves-genetic-labeling-4534999.php

http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/labeling-around-the-world/

http://justlabelit.org/state-initiatives/

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/976/ge-food-labeling/us-polls-on-ge-food-labeling

https://wondergressive.com/2013/04/20/united-states-senate-is-useless/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/03/28/dont-fear-the-reaper-or-anti-gm-propaganda/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/10/10/mystery-of-the-dyingdisappearing-honeybees-solved/

The Folly of High Speed Rail in America

 

This transit layout, put together by California Rail Map and Alfred Twu, envisions a future America thoroughly connected via high speed rail. After repeatedly popping up on my Facebook feed like a freakish case of shingles, I decided that I couldn’t allow this quixotic dream and the fevered intentions behind it go unchallenged. The love affair for high speed rail in the US is nothing more than noxious propaganda, seeping fumes that mute rationality in favor of misplaced adoration for antiquated, 19th century technology.

Don’t get me wrong: I love trains. I’ve been living in South Korea for over three years and am fully enamored with its spectacular rail service. I also lived in Germany and was equally impressed with the efficiency of their inter-city mass transit system. The problem with Alfred Twu’s map is simple and profound: America was not designed to be like Europe or Korea. What works for them simply cannot function Stateside, no matter how much people wish it would.

There is one area in America where high speed rail  makes sense: The megalopolis between Boston and Washington D.C., a relatively small stretch of land that supports almost one-sixth of the US population. With the possible exception of a route between San Diego and San Francisco, that is the only place where extensive passenger lines are sensible. It is a hyper population-dense region with a string of cities that enjoy adequate access to public transportation. Every other route on Twu’s map is expensive folly. I should actually say more expensive folly, because in 2011 Amtrak somehow managed to lose about $1.2 billion, despite having better than expected ridership.

The rail system in Korea works so well because of its unique geography and population density. South Korea is home to about 50 million people, all living in an area roughly the size of a mountainous Indiana. Because of its condensed urban nature and high public demand, every city has an orderly and efficient public transit system. This makes it possible to travel to every city, and also within every city without the need for a car. Another simplifying factor is that a trip between Korea’s two largest cities, Seoul and Busan, which are on totally opposite sides of the country, can be made in about two and a half hours.

Most cities in Germany and other European countries are also similarly compressed and friendly to high speed rail. Their narrow, bicycle-spoked street layouts are based on their medieval roots, when expanding city streets were cobbled together for immediate convenience and with an understanding that space was at a premium. This makes the modern cities more conducive to light rail systems than the spacious grids of most American cities. This in turn helps ensure that once a tourist or visitor arrives to a city by train, they can fairly easily travel to wherever they want to go by public transport.

Other than the notable exceptions I mentioned earlier, America simply doesn’t have the population density required to sustain high speed rail. One of the glaringly obvious and defining characteristics of the US is its size, and this geographical reality has helped to fundamentally shape American culture and the design of our cities. Once Americans migrated west of the Appalachian Mountains, they built cities that reflected the new-found abundance of land. They eschewed the congested, radial street plans of Boston and Washington DC in favor of the sprawling grids of cities like St. Louis, Phoenix and Los Angeles. The farther west people traveled  and as railroad and eventually automobile technology advanced, this effect was magnified. For a simplistic example, the Greater Los Angeles Area covers just under 34,000 square miles, compared to just 5,617 sq miles for the Paris aire urbaine.

One area of the country that could theoretically support high speed rail is—at second glance—utterly incapable of doing so: The Midwest triangle between Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. Chicago is a large metropolis with a good transit system, and the cities are all economically and culturally intertwined, with a high volume of traffic between the three. However, St. Louis and Indy are decidedly built around the automobile. St. Louis does have two light rail lines, but they largely overlap and aren’t very popular. From personal experience, Indianapolis might as well not have any public transport. It has no light rail and its bus system is notoriously byzantine and tortuously slow. It would be virtually impossible for a businessman to pop into these cities by train and promptly get to where he needed to go. It simply isn’t feasible without a car. And these are major cities; can you imagine how these problems will compound in small towns like Quincy, IL (pop. 40,633) or Cheyenne, WY (pop. 59,466), which are also covered in Twu’s fantasy map?

With the size of the US, any proposed high speed rail lines are going to be prohibitively expensive, especially considering that the country is $16 trillion in the hole. The California High Speed Rail project from San Diego to Sacramento was approved by voters in 2008 and financing for the first leg was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, 2012. The project has already become a massive boondoggle, with the expected cost having greatly expanded from an estimated $45 billion to between $68 and $98 billion. The completion date has also been delayed 13 years to 2033. Incredibly, this is in a region that—on paper—looks like a perfect place to implement high speed rail. How farcically will the process further degrade on a proposed route between Tulsa, OK and Corpus Christi, TX?

Without a car, there is simply no reasonable way to navigate the vast majority of American cities. The infrastructure to travel on mass transit simply isn’t there. And in most respects it shouldn’t be: There just isn’t a big enough demand to justify it. The US system depends on cars and airplanes. The routes can be largely customized by the user and they provide a level of freedom wanting from high speed rail that is expected by the American traveler. They are also cheaper and more efficient in our country of suburbs and interstate travel.

There is no rational reason to support a mass increase in high speed rail projects in the US. America is not structured like South Korea or European countries that make rail a viable and dependable mode of transportation for the majority of inhabitants. They have a system that works, and so do we. We don’t need to abandon organically-driven functionality in a vain and expensive effort to be “more European.” Cars, from the ’67 Ford Mustang to Marty McFly’s DeLorean, are a part of America’s DNA; they symbolize and help grant the liberty that the nation was founded on. It would be a shame to throw that all away on a futile wish that “If we build it, they will ride.”

 

Sources:

Business Insider: Here’s What an American High Speed Rail Network Could Look Like

AMTRAK National Facts

Visit Korea

NationsOnline.org

Princeton.edu- Greate Los Angeles Area

Metro St Louis.org

St. Louis Park Patch

US Census Bureau

US Debt Clock.org

California High Speed Rail Authority

LA Times: Bullet Train’s $98-billion Cost Could Be Its Biggest Obstacle

Huffington Post: California High Speed Rail Still Faces a Lot of Obstacles

The Economist- An age of transformation

EU Funds Orwellian Plan to Invasively Monitor Public’s Behavior

 

 

In a push to prevent crime, the EU is beginning to implement various invasive techniques that monitor the public physically and virtually.

The name of the project is Project Indect, and its aim is to “develop computer programmes which act as “agents” to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.”

The EU has increased its budget for fighting crime, terrorism and handling migration by 13.5% in the last 5 years.  Through profiling entire nations, the new collective European police force is “likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.”

The ‘1984’ style overhaul will even analyze and monitor personal computers and networks. Critics all around the world are calling this the beginning of a ‘European CIA.’

EU Orwellian Plan to Invasively Monitor Public’s Behavior

 

In a push to prevent crime, the EU is beginning to implement various invasive techniques that monitor the public physically and virtually.

The name of the project is Project Indect, and its aim is to

develop computer programmes which act as ‘agents’ to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.

The EU has increased its budget for fighting crime, terrorism and handling migration by 13.5% over the last 6 years.  Through profiling populations of entire nations, the new collective European police force is

likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It  also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.

The ‘1984′ style overhaul will even analyze and monitor personal computers and networks. Critics all around the world are calling this the beginning of a ‘European CIA.’

 

Sources:

Telegraph: Orwellian Artificial Intelligence

Project Indect

European Union Financial Report

1984 by George Orwell