Archive for February, 2012

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America – Americas – World – The Independent

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

New archaeological evidence suggests that America was first discovered by Stone Age people from Europe – 10,000 years before the Siberian-originating ancestors of the American Indians set foot in the New World.

A remarkable series of several dozen European-style stone tools, dating back between 19,000 and 26,000 years, have been discovered at six locations along the US east coast. Three of the sites are on the Delmarva Peninsular in Maryland, discovered by archaeologist Dr Darrin Lowery of the University of Delaware. One is in Pennsylvania and another in Virginia. A sixth was discovered by scallop-dredging fishermen on the seabed 60 miles from the Virginian coast on what, in prehistoric times, would have been dry land.

The new discoveries are among the most important archaeological breakthroughs for several decades – and are set to add substantially to our understanding of humanity’s spread around the globe.

The similarity between other later east coast US and European Stone Age stone tool technologies has been noted before. But all the US European-style tools, unearthed before the discovery or dating of the recently found or dated US east coast sites, were from around 15,000 years ago – long after Stone Age Europeans the Solutrean cultures of France and Iberia had ceased making such artefacts. Most archaeologists had therefore rejected any possibility of a connection. But the newly-discovered and recently-dated early Maryland and other US east coast Stone Age tools are from between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago – and are therefore contemporary with the virtually identical western European material.

via New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America – Americas – World – The Independent.

Strange Random Stone Age Quote:

“If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age” – Jacques Barzun (French Educator, b.1907)

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BusinessDay – AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Books not to be judged by their covers

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Lesley Lokko, A Private AffairIF LESLEY Lokko was in the habit of judging books by their covers, she admits she’d be giving all six of her bestsellers a wide berth. Five of them have twee images depicting idyllic seaside scenes, complete with pink beach umbrellas, swaying palm trees and rambling holiday homes.

“I absolutely loathe them — the last cover had a beach and there isn’t a beach reference in the book!” she says, exasperated.

But beach scenes sell, according to the UK’s supermarket giants, who are the biggest buyers of the books — and it’s a brave publisher to change a winning formula.

Another tropical scene does little justice to her latest work, A Private Affair (Orion) , which has as its backdrop army life in the UK and Europe and follows the lives of four women who all have one thing in common — a strapping, though rather sinister, army major whose dark side has repercussions for each of them.

There’s Sam, a gorgeous and successful entertainment lawyer who, having lived in the shadow of her more fashionable twin, has finally made her mark in the corporate world. But she yearns for Mr Right — and seems to have found him on a holiday in Morocco. Abby comes from a long line of army wives and has been groomed to put her husband’s career ahead of herself, playing the role of model wife and mother with aplomb. But she proves that looks can be deceiving.

via BusinessDay – AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Books not to be judged by their covers.

Strange Random Book Quote:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

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Give Greece a Chance

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

You have to admire a country that can go through all that Greece has in the last few years and still be able to come up with a slogan like Give Greece a Chance. It might even have prised a laugh from a normally sour John Lennon. (Does Greece have to pay Yoko for the rights?).

In any case, Greece is Changing is a new campaign founded by a group of the country’s leading businesspeople. In their own words:

We are a network of like-minded businesspeople, colleagues and friends who cannot be silent observers as the dialogue around Greece’s road to recovery deteriorates and the substance is often overshadowed by stereotypes.

As we enter a fifth year of recession we want to rebalance the agenda. Inject some more facts into a debate sometimes overrun by fiction.

We have absolutely no political aspirations and we do not serve nor promote any special interest, personal or professional.

We are a group of people who hope to voice the concerns of those other Greeks that aspire to a constructive role within Europe, that are Europeans, that will deliver on their country’s commitment, that have already made sacrifices and are ready to do more and that just need a chance to change Greece.

Click here or on the graphic above to go the site and let’s all give Greece a chance!

Strange Random Greece Quote:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. – Barack Obama

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Spirited Traveller: Comfort cocktails in Las Vegas | Reuters

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

English: The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Reuters – Whether headed to Las Vegas for a business convention or bachelorette party, Vegas thrill-seekers are legendary in their pursuit of flash and excitement.

However, that doesn’t necessarily extend to the drinks – at the bar, the objective is to make guests feel comfortable, even as they push limits at the poker table.

“There is no ‘iconic’ drink in Las Vegas,” says resident mixologist Patricia Richards. “The world visits Las Vegas, so people like things that are familiar, or somewhat familiar, and cocktails that are not too ‘geeked out.'”

In other words, classics like the Mojito, Margarita and Cosmopolitan are top Vegas tipples. Richards adds that if she had asked her the same question three years ago, she would have selected Grey Goose with Red Bull as the cocktail of choice.

Along the glittery Vegas strip, most of the action takes place within the enormous hotel complexes which encompass casinos, entertainment venues, and more bars, restaurants and cocktail lounges than anyone could tackle in a single visit.

For business travelers, Richards recommends the Parasol Up and Parasol Down bars both at the Wynn,

Food & Wine Magazine also selected Parasol Down as one of its “50 Best Bars in America,” due in large part to Richards’ drink list. The two-tiered bar features large inverted parasols and nightly shows projected on to the “Lake of Dreams” waterfall.

via Spirited Traveller:Comfort cocktails in Las Vegas | Reuters.

Strange Random Las Vegas Quote:

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” – Paul A. Samuelson

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Video, Independent Woman –

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Battersea power station up for sale | UK news | The Guardian

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

English: The Battersea Power Station is the la...

One of the most recognisable buildings in the UK is to be offered for sale on the open market for the first time in its history.

Battersea power station, in south London, has been vacant since it was decommissioned in 1983. Planning permission for a £5bn development including homes, offices, a hotel, retail and leisure facilities was secured for the site from Wandsworth council last year.

The scheme includes a £200m contribution towards connecting the power station to the London tube network by extending the Northern line from Kennington.

It would also mean the creation of 25,000 jobs – 15,000 within the power station building – and the construction of 16,000 homes.

via Battersea power station up for sale | UK news | The Guardian.

Strange Random Building Quote:

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

Winston Churchill (British Orator, Author and Prime Minister during World War II. 1874-1965)


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Traditional cider polishes its apples | Life and style |

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Three centuries ago it was “English champagne”. A couple of decades ago it was better known as the stuff drunk on park benches. Today, cider‘s star is on the rise – sales are booming pub cider sales last year were up 1.6%, beer and wine down around 4%, and in supermarkets sales were up £84m to £822m. And while most supermarkets and pubs doggedly push major brands to the fore, the real boom is among smaller producers using traditional methods and a higher apple juice content.

It’s best known as a great, refreshing summer drink, but in winter mulled cider triumphs, with many decent pubs now offering it from November through to January’s wassailing season. It’s especially good with a shot of Somerset cider brandy – just one of many diverse products coming out of British cider orchards these days.

Given how well cider works with food, it’s no surprise that well-known chefs have been quick to capitalise on some of the great artisanal products around. Jamie Oliver visited Roger Wilkins‘ barn in Somerset in his last series, and cooked pork belly with Wilkin’s bone dry scrumpy. Rick Stein and the Hairy Bikers have recently championed the ciders and perries from Gregg’s Pit, and Mark Hix is currently enthusing about the versatility our orchards offer.

“If you’re going to cook with British ingredients,” he says, “cider … can offer a substitute for French brandy, sherry, port, even champagne.” He demonstrates this with a perry cocktail with pomona a mix of apple juice and cider brandy to accompany sardines marinated in cider vinegar and veal cutlets flamed in cider brandy.

via Traditional cider polishes its apples | Life and style |

Strange Random Cider Quote:

“We have everything here a scarecrow could want, the fall harvest, the beauty of the changing colors, apple cider, pumpkins and cornstalks.” – Mary Martin

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