Thursday, May 24, 2007

Homo heidelbergensis Exhibition in Mauer near Heidelberg

In 1907 the famous Homo heidelbergensis mandible was found in Mauer near Heidelberg. Because of its 100. anniversary there is a special exhibition with the original mandible and lots of activities. Don't miss it.
Check out their web page (alas, it is only in German, how rude and ignorant of them):

This picture shows the old river Neckar and the location of Mauer:

House Hippos

And this is for you Julia:

I wish I could buy you one for X-mas :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beth, this is for you:

Listen to what the former White House Lady, Barbara Bush, has to say about the victims of Katrina (maybe stupidity runs in the family).

Hurricane Katrina victims stay at the Astrodome for shelter and food in Houston

Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.

On the tape of the interview, Mrs. Bush chuckles audibly as she observes just how great things are going for families that are separated from loved ones, people who have been forced to abandon their homes and the only community where they have ever lived, and parents who are explaining to children that their pets, their toys and in some cases their friends may be lost forever. Perhaps the former first lady was amusing herself with the notion that evacuees without bread could eat cake. What a family! (source:

Well, I guess he was underpriviliged anyway and we know that Mrs. Bush does not want to waste her beautiful mind:

But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him (George W) suffer."— Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003

There is nothing more to add.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

National Museum Edinburgh

It's hard to decide which photos I should upload from the ones I took at the museum. Although I don't like the way the objects were displayed a lot (I may be old-fashioned but I prefer a chronological order; that way my time can be much more concentrated on the time periods I really like and not spent hunting down objects from the Neolithic period thru 5 exhibition halls). Anyway, I thought I show you what is really unique to Scottisch prehistory, starting with the Neolithic.

This is one of the many and enigmatic carved stone balls:

Isn't it beautiful?
Next is the Iron Age. Edinburgh hosts one of the rare actually preserved Carnyx heads, the Deskford Carnyx. The only others are one in Ireland and a couple in a hoard in France. Although they are often depicted on coins etc. finds are few. And here it is, the Deskford Carnyx:

Should you wonder how it sounded like, please visit John Kenny's webpage on and listen for example to 'The voice of the Carnyx'. It is quite certain that it was never used as a musical instrument (after all it is an instrument of warfare) but it is still fun and you can read some interesting things about its history and reconstruction on his other webpage

A last thing that is unique to Scottish prehistory is the Pictish period. They produced these marvellous stone stelae:

Although they were made in a basically Christian period they more than often depict pagan motifs. Look at a close-up: