This weekend Mars will be as big as your Full Moon and Uranus!

This weekend Mars will be as big as the full moon and Uranus.
Totally true and hard science here folks. This weekend Mars will be as big as Your own Full Moon and Uranus (depending on your viewing distance).   As for Mars being viewed from earth and appearing as big as the moon, it is never, ever, going to happen.
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Gates of Gath, home of Goliath, discovered.

  A big honkin' gate recently excavated in Israel by  Aren Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel may very likely marks the entrance to Gath. The home of Goliath of David vs Goliath fame described in the bible. At it's time occupation it might have been the largest city in the region.  More from LiveScience :   
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What is the best song that sums up the life of an archaeologist?

What is the best song that sums up the life of an archaeologist? I was in Copan, Honduras when the Joshua Tree by U2 came out in March of '87. Mail was slow and expectations were high when someone finally got the cassette mailed to them. But this song made me me chuckle thinking of the fate of all archaeologists: "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" So what's your best example of a song that sums up the life of an archaeologist? (Please provide a link to the track if possible, or the lyrics) Post here or on facebook  
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Death of Rexdale Henry , a well known Choctaw Activist in a Neshoba, Mississippi Jail Prompts Questions

Rexdale Henry
Rexdale Henry, 53, a member of the Choctaw tribe and a lifelong community activist was found dead in his cell on July 14th.  Rexdale, who coached stickball and was a candidate for the Choctaw Tribal Council from Bogue Chitto was arrested for failure to pay a fine. "Rexdale W. Henry, 53, long-time Native American civil-rights activist and beloved leader in his Choctaw community, was found dead in his cell in the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Miss., sparking family and friends to seek an independent autopsy, reports Countercurrent News. Henry’s body was found at around 10:00 a.m. on the morning of July 14, about 30 minutes after he was last seen alive. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is allegedly investigating the case, but, knowing the history of Neshoba County, Henry’s supporters (justifiably) aren’t satisfied with just that... At a time when the nation is focused on the terrible circumstances of the brutal death of Sandra Bland, it is critical...
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Probably NSFW, but clever -> Key & Peele's Pirate Chantey Is the Feminist Anthem of the Summer

Key & Peele's Pirate Chantey Is the Feminist Anthem of the Summer
VIA Jezebel - Thanks for the heads up Lucy! Key & Peele's Pirate Chantey Is the Feminist Anthem of the Summer 77,557 91 Madeleine Davies Filed to: COMEDY 7/09/15 5:50pm   “I once met a lass so fine. She was dunk on barley wine. I’d been at sea for months a three. I knew I could make her mine. And the lass was past consent! So it was off with her we went,” growls pirate Jordan Peele. Don’t despair, though. There’s a twist! Sing it with me! “A woman has a right to a drink or two without worrying about what you will do! We’d say ‘YO HO,’ but we don’t say ‘ho,’ ‘cause ‘ho’ is disrespectful, yo!”
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South Carolina lowers the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Jaluladin Abdul-Hamib shouts "Take It Down" on the grounds of the South Carolina State House back in June.
VIA NPR Marking Historic Moment, South Carolina Removes Confederate Flag  JULY 10, 2015  8:32 AM ET EYDER PERALTA Twitter Jaluladin Abdul-Hamib shouts "Take It Down" on the grounds of the South Carolina State House back in June. Win McNamee/Getty Images During an emotional ceremony and amid popular cheers, the Confederate battle flag was brought down from a 30-foot flagpole that sits on the grounds of the State House in Columbia, South Carolina. The ceremony was conducted by South Carolina State Troopers, who marched in formation in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds. Slowly, they cranked the flag down from the pole, rolled it up and marched out. The crowd chanted, "USA! USA! USA." The flag was first flown over the state's Capitol dome in 1961, celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War. But it was kept there as a protest against the Civil Rights movement. After calls from African Americans to remove it,...
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Irish baptismal and marriage records from 1740-1880 are now online (and free to access!)

Great news for anyone with Irish Catholic ancestors who is into genealogy. The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has announced today a website dedicated to presenting over 390,000 microfilm images dating from the 1740's to the 1880's covering 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland. These are primarily baptismal and marriage records and can be accessed at the Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI .  
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Facebook now lets you choose who you see first in your news feed

Note: This is iOS only right now. It will be coming to other platforms soon. This is great news! Facebook has introduced a way to actually prioritize who you see on your news feed (though it caps at 30 unfortunately). It has also simplified who you are friends with (anyone have crazy uninformed friends on their list? lol!) that you choose not to follow (or want to refollow).  It is very easy to access:   1: Go to the facebook App and click "More" in the lower right corner:       2: Scroll down until you see "News Feed Preferences" under Settings:       3: Viola! There you go. Prioritize away! But keep in mind Facebook inserts a star into your news feed so you can see who you have prioritized...but so can your friend/relative looking over your shoulder!        
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Don't be like Arnie Kids! Don't Drink & Drive.

Don't be like Arnie - Don't Drink & Drive
Have a safe 4th everyone! And remember the lesson my friend Arnie showed me when I found him on a country road in Texas or Arkansas. Don't Drink & Drive.  
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The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes -> 315 years. 20,528 voyages. Millions of lives.

From Slate: Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to North America. This was dwarfed by the 1.3 million brought to Spanish Central America, the 4 million brought to British, French, Dutch, and Danish holdings in the Caribbean, and the 4.8 million brought to Brazil...   Read more and watch the awesome two minute video :   
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Got The Itch? How to Identify and poisonous plants and treat the itch

How to stop the Poison Ivy Itch with a hairdryer
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Justice Roberts references the Aztecs, Kalahari Bushmen, the Han Chinese and the Carthaginians, in his strange dissent on the right of Gay Marriage

The Rainbow Supreme Court and Justice Robert's strange dissent
Justice Roberts references the Aztecs, Kalahari Bushmen, the Han Chinese and the Carthaginians in his dissenting opinion on the right of Gay Marriage:   The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judg- ment. The right it announces has no basis in the Consti- tution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invali- dates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthagin- ians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?   I find that to be a strange dissent for obvious reasons:  ...
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An Amazing Week!

An Amazing Week! Confederate Flag down, gay marriage up!
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The 5 Stages Of An Archaeologists Grief After Losing Their First Trowel

First Trowel
The ShovelBums version of the Kübler-Ross 5 Stages of Grief when losing/breaking your first trowel My long time friend Penny DuFoe Minturn posted today that she had lost her first trowel - which she mentioned has been around since a project we were together in '88 at Pueblo Grande - which is where my First Trowel actually broke (but that's another story). So I wrote this for her (see the bottom for a link to another 5 stages of grief on Trowel loss that has been pointed out to me).     Just as the Chinese philosopher Laozi (c 604 bc - c 531 bc) said in the Tao Te Ching (Laozi 581 bc)  "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" every archaeologist begins their career with their First Trowel. In the US it is often a Marshalltown, while a few outliers favor Goldblatt and in the UK the WHS is...
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13,200+/- Year old footprint discovered on Calvert Island, British Columbia, Canada.

13,000 year old footprint discovered by archaeologists on Canada's B.C. Culvert Island
13,000 year old footprint discovered by archaeologists on Canada's B.C. Culvert Island
Fossilized human footprints believed to be of an adult male, adult female and a child and estimated to be more than 13,000 years old were discovered on Canada's Calvert Island, which is located on B.C.'s central coast and is accessible only by boat, float plane or archaeologists who are really looking to get away from civilization. Archeologist Duncan McLaren said there is evidence of a Remnants of an fire pit near the footprints and that radiocarbon dating indicates the charcoal materials are 13,200 years old.  Duncan is preparing to duplicate those tests to confirm the results. "We're very excited about it," Duncan said, to no-one's surprise. While there are earlier signs of footprints at Monte Verde in Chile, these are the earliest in North America. And lets be honest - if archaeologists can win a carbon dating peeing contest by simple numbers, we will narrow down the geographic area until we do! Regardless this is an...
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Archaeology Kitten Says "Straighten Up Those Walls!"

Archaeology Kitten Says "Straighten Up Those Walls!"
Thanks to  Lorna Richardson for this! ‏ @ lornarichardson Check out Colleen Morgan's new poll for archaeologists " Do you still use film in archaeology? Or are you purely digital "
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Colleen Morgan has a poll up - Do you still use Film Photography in Archaeology?

Do you still use Film Photography in Archaeology? (update) Posted on   June 25, 2015   |   Leave a comment Five years ago I  posted a poll regarding digital vs film photography  in archaeology. I’m finally publishing a lot of my writing about photography (I know, I know!) and I’d like an update on this poll. If your browser is messing up the poll interface below you can go to this link to take the poll:  
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The Civil War - An excellent series of Then & Now superimposed photos.

Devil's Den - After the battle of Gettysburg, now a tourist attraction
  Devil's Den Corpses at Devil's Den after the battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, 1863. Today, it is a tourist attraction.   ‘Photographers would come along with their wagons and set up on the battlefield. They'd drag bodies to different places and pose them. It was a very new medium, so everything was fair game.’  Angela Atkinson, ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park See and Read more at:      
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[ShovelBums.Org] Field Techs Needed for South Florida Projects


1st posting of 2015 - A Happy and well employed New Years to all! (See a link below the fold for my pithy, but well intentioned, thoughts on the New Year ;-)

Onto the posting!


R. Joe

The Archaeological and Historical Conservan
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#HowWeFamily - A wonderful LGBTQ friendly commercial

As an anthropologist at heart if makes me very happy to see a large company take a public stance on supporting diversity with such a positive LGBTQ friendly commercial. So what if it is ultimately about marketing? This company is using their resources to make a loud, powerful and public statement on television and other media that most groups could never hope to have the resources to reach.  They currently have about 3,000 views on their youtube extended version. It is well worth watching and sharing.
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