Mar 1, 2021


World's oldest known beer factory may have been unearthed in Egypt

American and Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed what could be the oldest known beer factory at one of the most prominent archaeological sites of ancient Egypt, a top antiquities official said on Saturday.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the factory was found in Abydos, an ancient burial ground located in the desert west of the Nile River, more than 450km (280 miles) south of Cairo.

He said the factory apparently dates back to the region of King Narmer, who is widely known for his unification of ancient Egypt at the beginning of the first dynastic period (3150BC-2613BC).

Archaeologists found eight huge units – each is 20 metres (about 65ft) long and 2.5 metres (about 8ft) wide. Each unit includes about 40 pottery basins in two rows, which were used to heat a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, Waziri said.

A 'Lamborghini' Of Chariots Is Discovered At Pompeii. Archaeologists Are Wowed

Calling it an "exceptional discovery," researchers at Pompeii have announced the uncovering of an intact ceremonial chariot from a villa near the famous Italian archaeological site.

The announcement Saturday called the chariot "an extraordinary find" that "has no parallel in Italy thus far."

The chariot is preserved in remarkable detail, officials say, with four iron wheels, metal armrests and backrests, and a seat perched atop that could sit one or two people. Notably, the chariot is adorned with metal medallions depicting satyrs, nymphs and cupids, suggesting the possibility that it may have been used in marriage ceremonies.

"I was astounded," said Eric Poehler, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has a specialty in traffic in ancient Pompeii. "Many of the vehicles I'd written about before ... are your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer. This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car."

Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales?

One of Britain's biggest and oldest stone circles has been found in Wales - and could be the original building blocks of Stonehenge.

Archaeologists uncovered the remains of the Waun Mawn site in Pembrokeshire's Preseli Hills.

They believe the stones could have been dismantled and rebuilt 150 miles (240 km) away on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.

. . .

The Welsh circle, believed to be the third biggest in Britain, has a diameter of 360ft (110m), the same as the ditch that encloses Stonehenge, and both are aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise.

Ancient remains prove women have been running shit for at least 9000 years

The skeleton of an ancient woman with hunting gear is challenging longstanding beliefs that men went out to hunt while women simply gathered. The 9,000-year-old remains were found with a fully decked out hunting kit including 20 stone projectiles and a pile of neatly stacked blades. The discovery spurred a team of archaeologists to investigate reports of other burial sites, leading them to theorize there were more gender-equal roles in ancient tribes than modern scholars thought. The archaeologists' study was published in the journal ScienceAdvances on Wednesday.

. . .

Their discovery led the crew to search for records of other ancient graves filled with individuals who were buried with hunting tools. Out of 107 sites that were over 8,000 years old, 10 women and 16 men were found with such items.

It's a pretty small sample size, but the authors believe it's enough of a finding to conclude that women took part in big game hunting. Their statistical models provided a possible percentage range of sexes that made up hunting groups, which they estimated were about 30 to 50 percent women. This meant, the team wrote, that "early big-game hunting was likely gender neutral or nearly so."

. . .

"Labor practices among recent hunter-gatherer societies are highly gendered, which might lead some to believe that sexist inequalities in things like pay or rank are somehow 'natural,'" Haas explained to Science Focus. "But it's now clear that sexual division of labor was fundamentally different — likely more equitable — in our species' deep hunter-gatherer past."

Study: Genetic mutation inherited from Neanderthals could help protect against severe COVID cases

Researchers have discovered a possible genetic link between Neanderthal DNA and a lower risk of developing a severe case of the coronavirus.

A new study, conducted by Hugo Zeberg and Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, followed up on recent research that suggested Neanderthal DNA was actually linked to higher risk of severe illness.

They found that a certain haplogroup, a population that shares common DNA, was roughly 22 percent less likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. The common DNA is believed to have been inherited from Neanderthals.

The haplogroup is common in populations outside of Africa, the study notes, as Neanderthal evolved off the continent.

Pope names two women to Vatican posts held by men

Pope Francis this weekend appointed two women to posts that have previously only been held by men.

Reuters reports that the pope appointed Nathalie Becquart, 52, as co-undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops on Saturday. Becquart, a French member of the Xaviere Missionary Sisters, will now be a part of the department that handles major meetings between world bishops that take place every few years.

. . .

Pope Francis also appointed Catia Summaria, an Italian magistrate, to be the first female promoter of justice in the Vatican’s Court of Appeals on Friday, Reuters added.

As the news service notes, the pope has previously appointed women to several other senior roles. Last year, he reportedly appointed six women to senior roles in overseeing the Vatican's finances and named women as deputy foreign minister, director of the Vatican Museums and deputy head of the Vatican Press Office.

A Japanese Cult That Believes Its Leader Is an Alien From Venus Is Speaking at CPAC

Aeba is no stranger to CPAC. In fact, 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of his first visit to the Republican lovefest.

His speaker bio on the CPAC website notes that Aeba is the chairman of the Japanese Conservative Union (JCU), a right-wing political organization, and that he helped found CPAC Japan, which has been running for the last four years in Tokyo.

What isn’t mentioned is the central role Aeba plays in a Japanese cult called Happy Science, whose leader believes he is the Messiah and sells “miracle cures” for COVID-19.

“Happy Science is a Japanese cult run by a man who claims to be the incarnation of multiple Gods while pretending to channel the psychic spirits of anyone from Quetzalcoatl to Bashar al-Assad to Natalie Portman,” Sarah Hightower, a researcher and expert on Japanese cults, told VICE News.

The Christian Prophets Who Say Trump Is Coming Again

Perched on a cream-colored armchair, Johnny Enlow, a 61-year-old, California-based Pentecostal pastor with short-cropped gray hair, a trim beard and Tom Selleck-style mustache, looked into the camera and prophesied that Donald Trump would become president again.

Not in 2024. In 2021.

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It’s well known that Trump received strong support from white evangelicals in the 2020 election; estimates hover around 80 percent. But the role that prophecy plays in that support might be underexplored. In a survey conducted last year, two political scientists found that nearly half of America’s church-attending white Protestants believed Trump was anointed by God to be president—a portion of the population that other scholars have dubbed “prophecy voters.” The share is likely higher among charismatic Christians, who skew more politically and theologically conservative than evangelicals as a whole. And although this population is only a subset of American Christianity, it’s a large one: Some estimates hold that as many as 65 million Americans could be counted as Pentecostals or charismatics.

Not all prophets have doubled down on their Trump prophecies since the election, however. And as some have backed away from Trump, a schism has emerged. At least six recognized prophets who initially predicted a Trump reelection have acknowledged those prophecies were wrong. They now say they are deeply troubled by their peers’ refusal to acknowledge the same—and worry that allegiance to Trump could threaten the prophetic tradition itself.

Evangelical Leaders Condemn 'Radicalized Christian Nationalism'

A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders is condemning the role of "radicalized Christian nationalism" in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

In an open letter, more than 100 pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals express concern about the growing "radicalization" they're seeing, particularly among white evangelicals.

The letter notes that some members of the mob that stormed the Capitol carried Christian symbols and signs that read, "Jesus Saves," and that one of the rioters stood on the Senate rostrum and led a Christian prayer. The letter calls on other Christian leaders to take a public stand against racism, Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories and political extremism.

Shelley Duvall: ‘I found out ‘the hard way’ what kind of man Dr. Phil is after 2016 cringe-inducing interview

Actress Shelley Duvall has broken her silence nearly five years after a 2016 cringe-inducing interview with “Dr. Phil” host Phil McGraw.

The off-the-rails conversation between the TV psychologist and now-71-year-old actress — for a show segment on mental illness in which she said that late “Popeye” co-star Robin Williams was alive and “shape-shifting” and that hornets had attacked her spinal cord — sparked concern for Duvall’s fragile state and condemnation for McGraw.

During a recent interview, Duvall, best known for playing Jack Nicholson’s terrorized wife in “The Shining,” recoiled when recalling her sitdown with Dr. Phil.

“I found out the kind of person he is the hard way,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “My mother didn’t like him either.”

Scientists Found a Way to Communicate With People Who Are Asleep And Dreaming

Scientists have identified a new phenomenon they describe as "interactive dreaming", where people experiencing deep sleep and lucid dreams are able to follow instructions, answer simple yes-or-no questions, and even solve basic mathematics problems.

As well as adding a whole new level of understanding to what happens to our brains when we're dreaming, the new study could eventually teach us how to train our dreams – to help us towards a particular goal, for example, or to treat a particular mental health problem.

There's plenty about the psychology of sleep that remains a mystery, including the rapid eye movement (REM) stage where dreams usually occur. Being able to get responses from sleepers in real time, rather than relying on reports afterwards, could be hugely useful.

"We found that individuals in REM sleep can interact with an experimenter and engage in real-time communication," says psychologist Ken Paller from Northwestern University. "We also showed that dreamers are capable of comprehending questions, engaging in working-memory operations, and producing answers.

How to Escape the Confines of Time and Space According to the CIA

She turned to me the other morning and said, “You heard of The Gateway?” It didn’t register in the moment. She continued, “It’s blowing up on TikTok.” Later on, she elaborated: it was not in fact the ill-fated 90s computer hardware company folks were freaking out about. No, they’ve gone further back in time, to find a true treasure of functional media.

The intrigue revolves around a classified 1983 CIA report on a technique called the Gateway Experience, which is a training system designed to focus brainwave output to alter consciousness and ultimately escape the restrictions of time and space. The CIA was interested in all sorts of psychic research at the time, including the theory and applications of remote viewing, which is when someone views real events with only the power of their mind. The documents have since been declassified and are available to view.

This is a comprehensive excavation of The Gateway Process report. The first section provides a timeline of the key historical developments that led to the CIA’s investigation and subsequent experimentations. The second section is a review of The Gateway Process report. It opens with a wall of theoretical context, on the other side of which lies enough understanding to begin to grasp the principles underlying the Gateway Experience training. The last section outlines the Gateway technique itself and the steps that go into achieving spacetime transcendence.

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