Prehistoric women had stronger arms than today’s elite rowing crews

A new study comparing the bones of Central European women that lived during the first 6,000 years of farming with those of modern athletes has shown that the average prehistoric agricultural woman had stronger upper arms than living female rowing champions.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology say this physical prowess was likely obtained through tilling soil and harvesting crops by hand, as well as the grinding of grain for as much as five hours a day to make flour.

Until now, bioarchaeological investigations of past behaviour have interpreted women’s bones solely through direct comparison to those of men. However, male bones respond to strain in a more visibly dramatic way than female bones.

The Cambridge scientists say this has resulted in the systematic underestimation of the nature and scale of the physical demands borne by women in prehistory.

— source University of Cambridge | Nov 29, 2017

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Our Future vs. Neoliberalism

In country after country around the world, people are rising up to challenge entrenched, failing neoliberal political and economic systems, with mixed but sometimes promising results.

Progressive leaders in the U.S. Congress are refusing to back down on the Democrats’ promises to American voters to reduce poverty, expand rights to healthcare, education, and clean energy, and repair a shredded social safety net. After decades of tax cuts for the rich, they are also committed to raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations to pay for this popular agenda.

Germany has elected a ruling coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats that excludes the conservative Christian Democrats for the first time since 2000. The new government promises a $14 minimum wage, solar panels on all suitable roof space, 2% of land for wind farms and the closure of Germany’s last coal-fired power plants by 2030.

Iraqis voted in an election that was called in response to a popular protest movement launched in October 2019 to challenge the endemic corruption of the post-2003 political

— source | Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J.S. Davies | Oct 20, 2021

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Three indigenous Palestinian secrets

Most Palestinians see themselves as the self-evident indigenous people of the land. The relationship with the land, agriculture, and ancestral heritage has solidified this over centuries. However, huge efforts have been put in by Zionist propaganda groups to erase this fact and undermine this status. Like other colonial endeavors, the colonizer exerts his will on the land for self-profit with a disregard to local wisdom and possible consequences of their actions.

Over the past four months I have encountered a number of Palestinian “secrets” that either Palestinians keep to themselves in order to protect their heritage, or that others keep from the Palestinians in order to deny them from it.

First, at the beginning of August of this year, Jerusalem faced severe forest fires which consumed the hills of pine trees and uncovered a secret; Palestinian terraces. These terraces date back to the Ottoman period and consensus is that were in fact constructed by the indigenous Palestinian population. This is an ancient technique which attempts to

— source | Jack Munayer | Sep 13, 2021

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NYC Taxi Drivers Launch Hunger Strike

in New York City, where a group of taxi drivers are launching a hunger strike today, demanding the city enact debt relief for thousands of drivers who have been devastated by massive debt, accrued largely due to the artificially inflated cost of taxi medallions. This comes after taxi drivers held a 30-day, round-the-clock protest outside City Hall. Drivers have also been denouncing the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. At least nine drivers have died by suicide.

it’s just been really devastating. I mean, we’ve had nine driver suicides. And at this point, where drivers have an average debt of $550,000, the city has basically no solution. They’ve come out with what’s really just a cash bailout to the banks, with no real relief for the drivers. Thousands and thousands of families are going to be left in a debt, that it will be beyond their lifetime, and they’ll be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off.

— source | Oct 20, 2021

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The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State

Judge Loretta Preska, an advisor to the conservative Federalist Society, to which Chevron is a major donor, sentenced human rights attorney and Chevron nemesis Steven Donziger to six months in prison Friday for misdemeanor contempt of court after he had already spent 787 days under house arrest in New York.

Preska’s caustic outbursts — she said at the sentencing, “It seems that only the proverbial two-by-four between the eyes will instill in him any respect for the law” — capped a judicial farce worthy of the antics of Vasiliy Vasilievich, the presiding judge at the major show trials of the Great Purges in the Soviet Union, and the Nazi judge Roland Freisler who once shouted at a defendant,”You really are a lousy piece of trash!”

Donziger, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has been fighting against polluting American oil companies for nearly three decades on behalf of indigenous communities and peasant farmers in Ecuador. His only “crime” was winning a $9.5 billion judgment in 2011 against Chevron for thousands of plaintiffs. The oil giant had bought Texaco oil company holdings

— source | Chris Hedges | Oct 6, 2021

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Reactions to the Death of 16 Migrants

In the early hours of May 8, a goods train crushed 16 migrant labourers to death in Aurangabad as they slept on a railway track. A few days have passed since this tragedy, but I still find myself at a loss while trying to decide which is more heartbreaking – the actual accident, or the responses on social media that have followed.

“How could they have been so irresponsible?”

“They have no one but themselves to blame.”

“They had children, why weren’t they thinking about their children?”

“Who sleeps on a railway track?”

“Why couldn’t they sleep by the side of the tracks?

“How could they be so stupid?”

— source | Rohit Kumar | 13/May/2020

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Women in India are voting today, thanks to a Jewish MP’s initiative 100 years ago

Edwin Samuel Montagu is not a name that will resonate with Indians today. Born in 1879 and dying in 1924, he belongs to a bygone era — the Jewish MP who opposed the Balfour Declaration.

The name Edwin Samuel Montagu means little if anything to contemporary India. And yet, a hundred years ago, in 1917, the 38-year-old Montagu was perhaps the most discussed, the most important Englishman for our country.

Montagu had been appointed secretary of state for India that year. The position made him virtually in charge of “the brightest gem on the British Crown”, India’s remote controller. A liberal in every sense of the term, Montagu was a radical if not quite a “free-thinking” politician who could not be stereotypical. Responding to the growing demand for self-government in India, for Swaraj, Montagu proposed to his Cabinet “the gradual development of free institutions in India with a view to ultimate self-government”.
Montagu’s independent spirit showed itself in another theatre as well. On August 23, 1917, the House of Commons discussed Palestine in what has become famous as the Balfour Declaration. As the only Jew in the Cabinet at the time, Montagu could have been expected to support the idea of Palestine for the Jews. But Montagu being Montagu, he did the opposite. He passionately opposed the motion and submitted a memorandum to the Cabinet in which he said : “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen…I assert that there is not a Jewish nation…When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country…

It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so it does in modern Mohammedan history…I would say… that the Government will be prepared to do everything in their power to obtain for Jews in Palestine complete liberty of settlement and life on an equality with the inhabitants of that country who profess other religious beliefs. I would ask that the Government should go no further.”

— source | Gopalkrishna Gandhi | Mar 10, 2017

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How Companies Like Google Plan to Profit in High-Tech COVID Dystopia

the billionaires I was referring to is, he didn’t just announce that partnership with Eric Schmidt, who will be chairing this blue-ribbon commission to, quote-unquote, “reopen” New York state with an emphasis on telehealth, remote learning, working from home, increased broadband. That’s what they announced during that briefing. He also announced that he would be kind of outsourcing the tracing of the virus to Michael Bloomberg, another megabillionaire. And the day before, at the briefing, Cuomo announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to, quote-unquote, “reimagine” education.

And during all of these announcements, there’s just been sort of effusive praise heaped on these billionaires. They’re called “visionaries” over and over again. And the governor talks about how this is an unprecedented opportunity to put their preexisting ideas into action. And this is what I’ve described as the shock doctrine previously.

And we have talked on the show during the pandemic about what I would describe as kind of lower-tech shock doctrines of the kind we’ve seen before — immediately going after Social Security, immediately bailing out fossil fuel companies. And I want to stress that all of this is still happening, right? The suspending of EPA regulations. So, there’s still this kind of lower-tech

— source | May 13, 2020