[Marxism] Ancient science

Charles Brown charlesb at cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Jul 31 14:07:22 MDT 2008

World's First Computer Displayed Olympic Calendar 

The world's first known (uh just now known to us -CB) scientific instrument plotted the positions of celestial bodies nineteen years into the future -- and as an added bonus, it kept track of upcoming Olympics. 

"The maker took information about astronomical theories, and made a machine that could predict the future," said Tony Freeth, co-author of a study to be published in Nature this week. "And it would tell you, as a bit of an add-on, what Olympic games would be in progress at the time." 

A dictionary-size assemblage of 37 interlocking dials crafted with the precision and complexity of a 19th century Swiss clock, the machine was recovered in 1900 from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Scientists dated it to 150 BC. 



Yucatan Jungles Are Feral Maya Gardens 

The jungles of the Yucatán peninsula look as wild as a forest can: dense, lush and filled with dozens of varieties of trees. It certainly doesn't look cultivated in the way that Iowa does. But research suggests that the landscape was intensely managed before the Maya civilization collapsed over a thousand years ago, and that what we see as "wild" bears the marks of thousands of years of human intervention. 

"The species you see in Yucatán jungles are Maya village community garden plants that have gone feral. That isn't the forest that was there before humans landed in the Americas," said Christine Hastorf, an archaeology professor specializing in long-term human-plant relationships at Berkeley. 



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