Positive News of the Past Year Around the World

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With such awful news lately, here’s some good news from around the world this past year:

~ Rwanda became the first low income country to provide universal eye care to all of its citizens

~ London fashion week will no longer use animal fur in its shows

~ Ethiopia and Eritrea made peace following a 20-year conflict

~ An international agreement banned commercial fishing in the Arctic

~ The world’s first electrified road opened in Sweden

~ Global numbers of critically endangered mountain gorillas are now above 1,000

~ 70% of the world’s population is reducing their meat consumption.

~ In the UK, half of the cheapest deals are now green tariffs

~ Pakistan’s new government pledged to plant 10bn trees over five years

~ The EU banned bee-harming insecticides

~ The Belize Great Barrier Reef was removed from the UNESCO list of threatened world heritage sites

~ Colombia created the world’s largest tropical rainforest national park

~ In Germany, share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from 3% to 9% in the last two elections.

#GoodNews #WorldNews

The Great Pyramid of Giza

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is the defining symbol of Egypt and the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. It is located on the Giza plateau near the modern city of Cairo and was built over a twenty-year period during the reign of the king Khufu (2589-2566 BCE), also known as Cheops, of the 4th Dynasty. Until the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France in 1889 the Great Pyramid was the tallest structure made by human hands in the world; a record it held for over 3,000 years.

The pyramid rises to a height of 479 feet (146 metres) with a base of 754 feet (230 metres) and is comprised of over two million blocks of stone. Some of these stones are of such immense size and weight (such as the granite slabs in the King’s Chamber) that the logistics of raising and positioning them so precisely seems an impossibility by modern standards. Exactly how it was built, however, still puzzles people in the modern day. The theory of ramps running around the outside of the structure to move the blocks into place has been largely discredited.

Contrary to the popular opinion that Egyptian monuments in general, and the Great Pyramid in particular, were built using Hebrew slave labor, the pyramids of Giza and all other temples and monuments in the country were constructed by Egyptians who were hired for their skills and compensated for their efforts. No evidence of any kind whatsoever – from any era of Egypt’s history – supports the slave labor narrative of building the pyramids.

Worker’s housing at Giza was discovered and fully documented in 1979 by Egyptologists Lehner and Hawass but, even before this evidence came to light, ancient Egyptian documentation substantiated payment to Egyptian workers for state-sponsored monuments while offering no evidence of forced labor by a slave population of any particular ethnic group. Egyptians from all over the country worked on the monument, for a variety of reasons, to build an eternal home for their king which would last through eternity.

Source: Joshua J. Mark. “Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited”, a non-profit organization registered in the UK.

#Egypt #GreatPyramidGiza #MythBusting

A new and important hominin skull from Ethiopia

An interesting and important post about the discovery of a new hominin skull by American biologist Jerry Coyne:

Why Evolution Is True

A new analysis of a remarkable hominin find in Ethiopia suggests that the species it represents, Australopithecus anamensis, may be one of the very earliest species in our lineage, and possibly the first hominin we know of that is undoubtedly part of our own genealogy. (“Hominins”, formerly called “hominids”, represent all fossils on our side of the family tree since we branched off from our common ancestor with the chimpanzees). The find has also has led to a revision of the idea that A. anamensis was the ancestor of the later A. afarensis, thought by many to be the ancestor of the genus Homo, and thus of modern Homo sapiens. (We love to know who our ancestors are, as witnessed by the popularity of companies like 23 & Me.)

A. anamensis lived from about 4.2 to 3.9 million years ago (mya) and A. afarensis from 3.9…

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The Sphinx: An Introduction

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The Sphinx

The Sphinx. What words could describe this epitome of architecture? What hints could decipher the mystery in his gaze? Most likely built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu (4th Dynasty), the Sphinx is composed of a human head accompanied by the body of a lion.

Some people believe the Sphinx serves as a guard – protecting the pyramids from the destructive force of time. Yet several people made studies and predicted that the Sphinx gazes into that specific direction by no ordinary chance. They believe that the sphinx looks at a certain point, in the horizon, where Gods descended to earth.

Hieroglyphics and Cartouches Made Easy

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Hieroglyphics and Cartouches

Hieroglyphics was a system, an alphabet, which Ancient Egyptians used to express their thoughts in written form. Composed of over 1000 distinct and illustrious characters, cursive hieroglyphics were used for religious and historic literature – recorded on papyrus which was resourceful in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics can be found at many locations – from pyramids to catacombs to Pharaoh’s tomb writings (which helped identifying them).

The major discovery, which lead to the deciphering of hieroglyphics, was made by Napoleon’s army in 1799 – the Rosetta Stone! It took over 20 years, after the discovery, to fully comprehend Ancient Egyptian scripture. The Rosetta Stone involved the same text written in 3 different languages: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Demotic, and Ancient Greek.

Cartouches were carved tablets, mostly made of stone, which contained a message written in Hieroglyphic script. Cartouches were sometimes used as ornaments and, at other times, as titles for pharaohs and priests. the ancient Egyptians called them “shenu”.

The deciphering of hieroglyphics and discoveries of cartouches have, together, lead us to a much better understanding of the Ancient Egypt civilization. Ancient Egypt carries a rich history and it will take much more time – a year, a decade, a century, before we can have a complete and clear vision of its society… #AncientEgypt #Hieroglyphics

Women’s Equality Day!!

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Happy Women’s Equality Day!!

On this day in 1920 Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and American women finally won full voting rights. While Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18th it was not until August 26th that the ratification became official. The right for women to vote was first proposed in 1848, but did not become law until 1920, 72 years later.

I’ll conclude with a quote by one of my all time favorite authors :

“There was a time when Patience ceased to be a virtue. It was long ago.”
~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

#WomenRightToVote #NineteenthAmendment

Most Admired: Theodor Seuss Geisel

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Author Profile of the Day:

Theodor Seuss Geisel —> better known as Dr. Seuss, 1925. Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925. His first nationally published cartoon appeared in the July 16, 1927, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. His first book wasn’t published until 1931. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.

Geisel was a liberal Democrat and a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. His early political cartoons show a passionate opposition to fascism, and he urged action against it both before and after the United States entered World War II. His cartoons portrayed the fear of communism as overstated, finding greater threats in the House Un-American Activities Committee and those who threatened to cut the United States’ “life line” to Stalin and the USSR, whom he once depicted as a porter carrying “our war load”…

#DrSeuss #TheodorSeussGeisel