Mass Extinction Threat: Earth on Verge of Huge Reset Button?
Mass extinctions have served as huge reset buttons that dramatically changed the diversity of species found in oceans all over the world, according to a comprehensive study of fossil records. The findings suggest humans will live in a very different future if they drive animals to extinction, because the loss of each species can alter entire ecosystems.
Some scientists have speculated that effects of humans - from hunting to climate change - are fueling another great mass extinction. A few go so far as to say we are entering a new geologic epoch, leaving the 10,000-year-old Holocene Epoch behind and entering the Anthropocene Epoch, marked by major changes to global temperatures and ocean chemistry, increased sediment erosion, and changes in biology that range from altered flowering times to shifts in migration patterns of birds and mammals and potential die-offs of tiny organisms that support the entire marine food chain.
Anthropologists have unearthed the leftovers of the world's first known organized feast, which took place around 12,000 years ago at a burial site in Israel, according to a new study.
Based on the findings, approximately 35 guests ate meat from 71 tortoises and at least three wild cattle while attending this first known human-orchestrated event involving food.
The discovery additionally provides the earliest known compelling evidence for a shaman burial, the apparent reason for the feasting. A shaman is an individual who performs rituals and engages in other practices for healing or divination.
A new synthetic marijuana and the resurgence in popularity of a hallucinogenic drug have police and community leaders worried because both substances are legal and for sale in the Santa Cruz area.
"I don't know enough about this stuff," Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano said. "That's what concerns me."
"Spice" is a relatively new herbal and chemical product that produces similar effects as marijuana. It does not show up on drug tests and is not regulated. Area smoking shops started carrying the substance about six months ago and Spice started gaining in popularity this summer.
WEARING a frilly dress and heavy makeup, the man strides down the aisle clutching a golden bowl in one hand and a golden cock in the other. His audience is made up mainly of old ladies, and when he starts to dance they go ballistic, deploying clenched fists and knobbly elbows in the crush to reach the front of the crowd.
Forget household coconuts and small tree shrines – this is nat worship, Taungbyone-style.
Teri Nehring, a petite blonde from Mishicot, is an unlikely shaman.
“It’s like entering the priesthood … you feel that you are called to this path,” she said as she spread out her medicine bundle, a colorful hand-woven cloth filled with healing stones, bottle caps, beads and pieces of wood.
“This is an old practice but it’s new coming into this area,” said Nehring, a psychotherapist for the Oneida Tribe of Indians in the Green Bay area.
A search for alternative medicine led her to learn ancient Peruvian healing practices in the South American country known as home to one of the oldest human civilizations.
“What’s so mystical about Peru is they’ve tapped into the energy of the Earth. They take that energy and have been able to integrate it into how to live your life,” Nehring said.