I have always been of the opinion that the Neanderthals got a bad deal. Since they weren’t around to write the anthropology books, they were of course typecast as the bad guys. Or, at least, as the very dumb guys.
The story usually presented is that our near-relatives were wiped out by Homo sapiens sapiens and their superior technology (microwaves and nose-hair trimmers and the like). The poor dumb Neanderthals just couldn’t adapt to our frenetic gadgetry and found themselves booking tickets on the big mother-of-pearl Elvish ferry into the West.
However New Scientist likes to burst clichés such as this and the new evidence suggest that Neanderthal technology (ie. rock and pieces of rock) was comparable to and possibly better than that of our ancestors. So whatever caused them to disappear, it was not their inferior cutting and striking surfaces. Maybe they were just bad morning people.
And, while on the subject of pre-humans, here is a very scary piece of info about the leader of the free world (or, as I like to call him, the Hindmost). Apparently the provisions are in place in the US for a declaration of Martial Law. To quote the article in question:
“New legislation signed on May 9, 2007, declares that in the event of a “catastrophic event”, the President can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power.”
Well that’s nice then. Now all that remains is to work out a definition of “catastrophic event” that we can all agree on. And hope that Furious George doesn’t find one in the next 6 months or so.
That’s it, off you go now.