Archive for February 7th, 2007

Rome-ance

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Archaeological Society SAP via Associated Press

Sweet, but sad:

They died young and, by the looks of it, in love. Two 5,000-year-old skeletons found locked in an embrace near the city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale “Romeo and Juliet” have sparked theories the remains of a far more ancient love story have been found.

Archaeologists unearthed the skeletons dating back to the late Neolithic period outside Mantua, 25 miles south of Verona, the city of Shakespeare’s story of doomed love.

Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, because their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.

“As far as we know, it’s unique,” Menotti told The Associated Press by telephone from Milan. “Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and these are even hugging.”

(…)

Although the Mantua pair strike an unusual and touching pose, archaeologists have found other prehistoric burials in which the dead hold hands or have other contact, said Luca Bondioli, an anthropologist at Rome’s National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum.

Bondioli, who was not involved in the Mantua dig, said the find has “more of an emotional than a scientific value.” But it does highlight how the relationship people have with each other and with death has not changed much from the period in which humanity first settled in villages, learning to farm the land and tame animals, he said.

“The Neolithic is a very formative period for our society,” he said. “It was when the roots of our religious sentiment were formed.”

Menotti said the burial was “a ritual, but we have to find out what it means.”

Experts might never determine the exact nature of the pair’s relationship, but Menotti said she had little doubt it was born of a deep sentiment.

“It was a very emotional discovery,” she said. “From thousands of years ago we feel the strength of this love. Yes, we must call it love.”

I wonder how long love has been around. A lot longer than 5,000 years, I bet.

3 comments February 7th, 2007 at 08:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Science

Immigrationland

Maybe it’s a cultural gap, but this seems very, very strange to me:

CLAD in black clothes and moonlight, our guide Poncho adjusted his ski mask and faced us to speak. The desert has claimed many lives, he said, but tonight we would make it across the border.

The night was crisp and clear in the central Mexican highlands, the moon illuminating mesquite trees, cactus and pastures. Our group of 13 was about to set out on one of Mexico’s more bizarre tourist attractions: a make-believe trip illegally crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States.

(…)

The four-hour caminata nocturna — nighttime hike — traverses desert, hills, brambles and riverbeds in the Parque EcoAlberto, an eco-park communally owned by the Hñahñu Indians who live on some 3,000 acres of land in the state of Hidalgo, about three hours northwest of Mexico City (and roughly 700 miles from the border).

Organizers say they opened the park about two and a half years ago, with financing from the Mexican government, and began the caminata as a way to offer tourists a taste of life as an illegal immigrant.

(…)

Park guides say about 3,000 tourists — mostly Mexican — have hiked the caminata since it began in July 2004. It costs 200 pesos (about $18 at 11 pesos to the dollar), and tourists who want to stick around at the park can also go river-rafting, rappel down a cliff and sleep in cabins with roofs of maguey leaves. But guides say the mock border-crossing is the park’s main draw.

“Of course it’s just a game, where you’re always safe and where there are no real fights,” said Antonio Flores, a sociology professor from Querétaro, in central Mexico, who hiked the caminata in November with a group of students. “It was very interesting, very important. Often, immigration is a subject so far away. This gave us a chance to experience it through our own steps.”

I’m really not entirely sure what to make of this…

February 7th, 2007 at 08:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Immigration,Weirdness

Headline Of The Day

Skinny Models and Sheep

Do I even want to know?

5 comments February 7th, 2007 at 09:45am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Great Headlines

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

New frontiers in medicine:

It turns out mom was right.

“Kisses can cure boo-boos,” said Dr. Deborah Wright, inventor of Medical Kissing, or ‘Osculology’.

The realization, now backed by major clinical studies, came to Dr. Wright when she was assisting an ice rescue at an Arctic weather station.

“One of my patients needed stitches and it was too cold for me to take off my gloves,” the doctor told Weekly World News. I thought, ‘Why do I need my hands to tie stitches when I can knot a cherry stem in my mouth?’

Dr. Wright tucked a length of thread in her cheek and fed it through her front teeth. She used tiny incisor-bites to make puncture wounds, put her lips to the injury, and her tongue did the rest. Her invention, the ‘Smuture,’ is just one of many kissing techniques set to revolutionize treatment of even the gravest maladies.

“Cardiac surgeons now recognize that a kiss to the heart’s sinoatrial nerve can relieve ventricular fibrillation more effectively than drugs or manual compression,” according to Dr. Wright.

Aided by surgical mouthwash, a kissing cardiologist can use saliva’s natural electrolytes to promote nerve conductivity. Spit’s native glycoproteins also provide raw material for healing.

And Eskimo kisses now combat hypothermia. “The doctor rubs noses with the patient, deep enough inside the sinus cavity to stimulate the brain’s hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature,” said Dr. Wright.

Wright is currently developing even more advanced procedures. Brain surgeons’ puckering techniques will soon relieve intracranial pressure in coma victims. Blown kisses will gently inflate patients’ abdomens for laparoscopic surgery. Pursed ‘liplocks’ will replace metal clamps on bleeding arteries. And ‘diagnostic kissing’, or ‘making out’ the causes of disease, may replace ultrasound scanners with doctors’ vibrating lips.

Dr. Wright, who also invented ‘Heavy-Isotope Positron Emission Tomography’, or the ‘Heavy-PET Scan’, nevertheless considers kiss-based medicine her greatest contribution to science.

“Before Osculology, we were only playing doctor,” she said. “But now we’ve found the kiss of life.”

No mention of erectile dysfunction.

February 7th, 2007 at 07:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News


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