Anything and everything anytime
The Sentinelese (also Sentineli, Senteneli, Sentenelese, North Sentinel Islanders) are one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most uncontacted peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in India in the Bay of Bengal. They inhabit North Sentinel Island which lies westward off the southern tip of the Great Andaman archipelago. They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. Their language remains unclassiied.
The present population of the Sentinelese is not known with any great degree of accuracy. Estimates have been produced ranging from lower than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. In the year 2001, the Census of India officials recorded 39 individuals (21 males and 18 females); however, out of necessity this survey was conducted from a distance and almost certainly does not represent an accurate figure for the population who range over the 72 km2 (17,800 acres) island. Any medium- or long-term impact on the Sentinelese population arising from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami remains unknown, other than the confirmation obtained that they had survived the immediate aftermath.
On previous visits, groups of some 20–40 individuals were encountered regularly. Habitations of 40–60 individuals were found on two occasions. As some individuals are almost certainly hiding, a better approximation of group size cannot be determined. This would suggest that some 2–6 groups occupy the island. The rule of thumb population density of 1.5 km2 (370 acres)/individuals in comparable hunter-gatherer societies indicates that one such group could live off the land alone. A significant amount of food is derived from the sea. It seems that the groups encountered, at any one time, could only have come from a rather small part of the island. There appear to be slightly more males than females. At any given time, about half of the couples seemed to have dependent children or the women were pregnant.
North Sentinel Island
The Sentinelese and other indigenous Andamanese peoples are frequently described as negritos, a term which has been applied to various widely separated peoples in Southeast Asia, such as the Semang of the Malay archipelago and the Aeta of the Philippines, as well as to other peoples as far afield as Australia (notably former populations of Tasmania). The defining characteristics of these “negrito” peoples (who are not a monophyletic group) include a comparatively short stature, dark skin and “peppercorn” hair, qualities also found commonly across the continent of Africa. No close contacts have been established, but the author Heinrich Harrer described one man as being 1.6 m (5′ 4″) tall and apparently left handed.
Negrito people of the Andaman Islands
From 1967 onwards, the Indian authorities in Port Blair embarked on a limited programme of attempts at contacting the Sentinelese, under the management of the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. These “Contact Expeditions” consisted of a series of planned visits which would progressively leave “gifts”, such as coconuts, on the shores, in an attempt to coax the Sentinelese from their hostile reception of outsiders. For a while, these seemed to have some limited success; however, the programme was discontinued in the late 1990s following a series of hostile encounters resulting in several deaths.
In 2006, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who were fishing illegally within range of the island. The archers later drove off, with a hail of arrows, the helicopter that was sent to retrieve the bodies. To this date, the bodies remain unrecovered, although the downdraught from the helicopter’s rotors at the time exposed the two fishermen’s corpses, which had been buried in shallow graves by the Sentinelese.
On 2 August 1981, the ship Primrose grounded on the North Sentinel Island reef. A few days later, crewmen on the immobile vessel observed that small black men were carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach. The captain of the Primrose radioed for an urgent airdrop of firearms so the crew could defend themselves, but did not receive them. Heavy seas kept the islanders away from the ship. After a week, the crew were rescued by a helicopter working under contract to the Indian Oil And Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).
The Sentinelese apparently survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft with the apparent intent of repelling it. Although the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese were disturbed, they appear to have adapted to the island’s current conditions.
Amazing that in 2013 there is still a tribe that has had virtually no contact with the outside world. To resist contact in such a vigilant way. Reminds me of the scene from Mutiny On The Bounty with Anthony Hopkins.
Ancient meteorite older than the Earth discovered
A space rock formed 4.5 billion years ago during the birth of the Solar System could help us understand the origins of life on Earth.
The tumultuous period during the birth of the Solar System saw space rocks swarming around the growing gravitational field of the Sun and colliding at a rapid rate to form the planets, moons and meteors we see today.
Scientists have analysed one of the meteorites that formed during this period before crashing down on Earth 4.5 billion years later.
The analysis of the ancient grapefruit-sized space rock, known as Orgueil, revealed the elemental building blocks for life.
A chemical ‘fingerprint’ for oxygen, carbon and nitrogen was discovered hidden within the meteorite, opening the door for further research into how life blossomed on Earth and potentially on other planets, both in and outside our Solar system.
The rock is made of the first solid materials – such as rocks, organics, water ice, and fine grain dust – that formed in our Solar System.
When these early rocks are discovered on Earth, they act as time capsules to help scientists understand how planets formed and evolved over billions of years.
Isotope analysis of the 4.5 billion year-old Orgueil meteorite revealed traces of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulphur – all of which are central to the beginnings of life.
Isotopes are varying versions of the same element, with a different amount of protons but the same number of neutrons in the nucleus.
The research, published in PNAS, confirms these organic materials were likely formed via basic chemical reactions during the solar system’s infancy.
The scientists, led by researchers at the University of Manchester, believe that if organic materials can be formed through relatively simple processes, it is possible they are widespread elsewhere, too.
As well as helping us understand more about our own planetary system, it could also help us learn about the habitability of other solar systems.
The asteroid, borrowed from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, is an extremely rare rock known as a carbonaceous chondrite and weighed around 30 pounds (14kg) when it landed. It was first discovered in 1894 in southwest France.
Only a few per cent of all meteorites are Chondrites – rocks that have not been changed due to melting during their journey in space – making them hard to come by, and even harder to study.
The research team spent two years measuring and interpreting the oxygen isotope composition of organic compounds in some of these early-formed meteorites.
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4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism
“Problems are solvable. That does not mean that they will solve themselves, but it does mean that we can solve them if we sustain the benevolent forces of modernity that have allowed us to solve problems so far, including societal prosperity, wisely regulated markets, international governance, and investments in science and technology.” ~Steven Pinker
Humanistic environmentalism is the way forward if we wish to survive in harmony with the planet and to evolve in a healthy and progressive way.
This means being proactive in the de-escalation of carbon, unsustainable material excess, poverty, and overreaching bloated militaries.
This means not only placing our best efforts in building something new, but also in systematically dismantling the unsustainable system that outflanks us. As Arundhati Roy said, “Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness.”
This means going beyond merely being eco-aware, but also being eco-centric and eco-moral. Precisely because we are interdependent beings. We are the earth, and the earth is us: self-as-world and world-as-self.
The rising ecowarriors are the spearhead of this revolution-turned-evolution. They are the voices of logic and reason in the Desert of Conditioned Ignorance. They are the embodiment of healthy change amidst all the unhealthy stagnation. They are a personified force of nature. And they are willing to die bringing water to wasteland.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ~Aldo Leopold
As it stands, the excessive use of fossil fuels does the exact opposite of preserving the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.
Forget the ongoing debate about climate change and global warming. Some people’s cognitive dissonance is so powerful that no amount of arguing will convince them. It will only solidify their hardheaded stance.
Focus instead on the real problem; something we can all agree on: pollution. There is no denying that the excessive use of fossil fuels is a dangerous pollutant. From oil-based plastics choking plankton at the bottom of the food chain, to oil-slicked coastlines clogging our waterways. From non-biodegradable plastics piling up in landfills, to orange-hazed ozone poisoning the air we breathe. Nobody can deny that pollution is a huge problem in our world.
The new eco-warriors are focusing on scaling back the use of fossil fuels. They are co-creating new, healthier, more sustainable technologies while also shaming and mocking outdated, unhealthy, less sustainable technologies.
“The real revolution is the revolution of consciousness and each one of us first needs to eliminate the divisionary, materialistic noise we have been conditioned to think is true; while discovering, amplifying, and aligning with the signal coming from our true empirical oneness.” ~Peter Joseph
Unfortunately, the predominant paradigm in our culture is ego-centric, materialistic and ownership-based. We live in a world where human relations are mostly based upon materialism, ownership and immediate gratification. It’s almost like we’re conditioned to consume to the point that we “consume” each other. Even the words we use toward each other imply ownership.
It’s sad. But no condition is insurmountable. We can recondition ourselves to form healthy relationships based upon respect, honesty, and trust.
This process begins by first dematerializing our lifestyles. By investing in healthy experiences rather than unhealthy material excess. It begins by transforming our lifestyles into relationship-based rather than ownership-based lifestyles; into courage-based rather than fear-based lifestyles. It begins by doing as Gandhi wisely suggested: “live simply so that others may simply live.”
Let us not be possessed by our possessions. When we escape the linear, ownership-based matrix and discover the interconnected, relationship-based paradigm, we remove ourselves from the dead-end state of coercion, victimization and the subliminal desire to bend others to our will. We move, instead, into the open-ended embrace of cohesion, relationship and the holistic compassion of motivating and bringing people together.
“From the point of view of morality, it is not important that everyone should havethe same. What is morally important is that each should have enough.” ~Harry Frankfurt
Extreme poverty and starvation are avoidable in this age of extreme surplus. The utter failure of our distribution system undermines freedom itself. It prevents people from thriving because they are expending all their vital energy on merely surviving.
It behooves us, as both reasonable and moral human beings, to make sure that we each have enough by fixing the corrupt system of distribution. Fixing the problem of distribution and then creating a way where everyone has their basic needs met will go a long way in preventing unnecessary poverty.
The deeper psychological problem is that we believe that our sense of worth is wrapped up in how skilled we are at something, because we were raised and conditioned in a culture that values competition over cooperation. This creates ego-centric specialists concerned only with narrow-minded one-upmanship over open-minded compassion.
But we are social creatures, first and foremost. We need each other to survive. Competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species (Darwin).
So, our worth is actually wrapped up in how much we care for each other. The problem is that we’ve had the cart (competition) in front of the horse (compassion) for too long. It’s time we got the horse back in front of the cart. This will be an arduously Herculean task, considering our cultural conditioning. But it is very important, for the survival of our species, that we get it right.
“The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have.” ~John Rawls
The U.S. military is larger than the next seven militaries in the world, combined!
Let that sink in. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015 alone. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of that total. If that’s not a bloated military, I don’t know what is.
It’s time to scale back. It’s time to see the military industrial complex for what it really is: a terrorist-generating war machine propped up by profiting weapons manufacturers. As Arundhati Roy said, “Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons.”
Rising eco-warriors understand that violence is not the answer. The non-aggression principle is paramount. Only self-defense is needed. Overreaching bloated militaries with plutocratic political agendas is never needed. Unless your goal is to keep the rich richer and the poor dead.
At the end of the day, our militarized culture of violence and war is only fruitful through a vigilant rebellion against it. Demilitarization is the systematic dismantling of the war-machine while maintaining an organic adherence to the non-aggression principle.
The new eco-warriors realize that a species hellbent on violence against itself is unhealthy and eventually destroys itself. While a species determined to be healthy, on the other hand, only uses violence in self-defense.
The hardhearted tyrant juts his ugly head, violently declaring himself free at the expense of the freedom of others. The defiant hero rises-up in self-defense, denying the tyrant’s violent oppression while affirming freedom through the freedom of us all. That’s what Albert Camus meant when he wrote: “I rebel –therefore we exist.”
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism – The Rise of the New Eco-Warriors) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
Eight black rhinos die after move to new park
Image Credit: GNU 1.2 Ikiwaner
The critically endangered rhinos had been living in a new sanctuary in southern Kenya when the disaster occurred.
A total of fourteen black rhinos had been moved from the Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East national park as part of an operation carried out in collaboration with WWF Kenya.
The goal was to increase the country’s overall number of black rhinos by creating new populations in suitable areas, however disaster struck when eight of the new arrivals unexpectedly wound up dead.
It is believed that the rhinos had succumbed to poisoning due to the higher salt content in the water.
Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu described the incident as “a complete disaster”.
An investigation has since been launched in an effort to find out how this could have happened.
“The eight dead rhinos were among those that had been moved to the sanctuary in an initiative to start a new population in line with the National Rhino Conservation and Management Strategy,” the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said in a statement.
“This kind of mortality rate is unprecedented in Kenya Wildlife Service operations.”
Source: The Guardian
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