Posts tagged South Africa
“Next to Nothing”
“Hotshots” looks at a movie!
Safe House is a bang-bang, shoot-’em-up, run-run-run, bang-bang, shoot-’em-up-some-more action thriller that is the very epitome of a movie with more style than substance.
It stars Denzel Washington as a rogue CIA agent who has been on the run for nine years and Ryan Reynolds as an inexperienced CIA agent who is in charge of a safe house run by the CIA in Capetown, South Africa.
Matt Weston has been in charge of the safe house for only 12 months, but hasn’t seen any action or activity at all in that year.
In fact, at the beginning of the movie, when he checks in with his superior at CIA headquarters, Matt says, “I’m dying here. What happened to the post in Paris?”
And then everything changes drastically for Matt. A team of agents bring rogue agent Tobin Frost to the safe house for questioning.
Frost is so notorious that even inexperienced Matt recognizes him.
However, during the interrogation, a team of men break into the safe house and start killing everyone, and only Matt and Frost are able to escape, leading to an unbelievable car chase through the streets of Capetown.
Frost is in handcuffs, and he tells Matt that the men want Frost alive, but they will kill Matt if they can.
Back at CIA headquarters, they are aware of what is happening in South Africa, and they admit that Matt is all they have to keep Frost in custody, and so they relay directions to another safe house out in the country and tell Matt to take Frost there.
However, before Matt can get Frost there, they are still being chased by the men intent on killing Matt and capturing Frost, and Matt also has to worry that someone in the CIA set everything up and is directing the chase.
So, whenever Frost escapes from Matt, Matt has to track him down and capture him again, dodge the bullets from the men trying to kill him, and still get Frost to the new safe house.
Oh, and all the action takes place over only two days, there are surprises in store for the audience, but you might be able to guess the final surprise.
Safe House is full of sound and fury, signifying next to nothing.
I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”
The males of two bipedal hominid species that roamed the South African savannah more than a million years ago were stay-at-home kind of guys when compared to the gadabout gals, says a new high-tech study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
The team, which studied teeth from a group of extinct Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus individuals from two adjacent cave systems in South Africa, found more than half of the female teeth were from outside the local area, said CU-Boulder adjunct professor and lead study author Sandi Copeland. In contrast, only about 10 percent of the male hominid teeth were from elsewhere, suggesting they likely grew up and died in the same area.
“One of our goals was to try to find something out about early hominid landscape use,” said Copeland, who also is affiliated with the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. “Here we have the first direct glimpse of the geographic movements of early hominids, and it appears the females preferentially moved away from their residential groups.”
A paper on the subject is being published in the June 2 issue of Nature. Co-authors included CU-Boulder anthropology Professor Matt Sponheimer, Darryl de Ruiter from Texas A&M University, Julia Lee Thorp from the University of Oxford, Daryl Codron from the University of Zurich, Petrus le Roux from the University of Cape Town, Vaughan Grimes of Memorial University-St. John’s campus in Newfoundland and Michael Richards of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
The new study results were somewhat surprising, said Copeland. “We assumed more of the hominids would be from non-local areas, since it is generally thought the evolution of bipedalism was due in part to allow individuals to range longer distances,” she said. “Such small home ranges could imply that bipedalism evolved for other reasons.”
The team used a high-tech analysis known as laser ablation, zapping the hominid teeth with lasers to help them measure isotope ratios of strontium found in tooth enamel in order to identify specific areas of landscape use. A naturally occurring element, strontium is found in rocks and soils and is absorbed by plants and animals.
Since unique strontium signals are tied to specific geological substrates — like granite, basalt, quartzite, sandstone and others — they can be used to reveal landscape conditions where ancient hominids grew up, said Copeland. “The strontium isotope ratios are a direct reflection of the foods these hominids ate, which in turn are a reflection of the local geology.”
The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Max Planck Society, a University of Colorado LEAP Associate Professor Growth Grant and the University of Colorado Dean’s Fund for Excellence.
“It is difficult enough to work out relations between the sexes today, so the challenges in investigating the ways that male and female hominids used the landscape and formed social groups over a million years ago are considerable, to say the least,” said CU-Boulder’s Sponheimer. “Disembodied skulls and teeth are notoriously poor communicators, so the real difficulty with a study like this is finding new ways to make these old bones speak.”
Strontium isotope signatures are locked into the molars of mammals by the end of tooth enamel formation — for the hominids, probably at about eight or nine years old when they were traveling with their mothers. The Sterkfontein and Swartkans cave systems that yielded the teeth are less than a mile apart and dominated by a sedimentary carbonate rock known as dolomite, which has a distinct strontium signal, she said.
The team tested 19 teeth dating from roughly 2.7 to 1.7 million years ago from both Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus individuals from the two caves, which are well known for yielding valuable scientific data on hominid evolution.
Because the male hominids, like male humans, were larger than the females, the team used the size of individual molars to determine which were most likely from males or females, said Copeland. They also compared them to teeth and jaw fossils recovered from five early hominid sites in South Africa.
Both Paranthropus robustus and Australopithecus africanus were part of a line of close human relatives known as australopithecines that included the Ethiopian fossil, Lucy, estimated to be some 3.2 million years old and regarded by many as the matriarch of modern humans. While Australopithecus africanus may be a direct ancestor of modern humans, Paranthropus robustus and its close relative, Paranthropus boisei, both dead-ended on a side branch of the hominid family tree for reasons still unknown.
The female dispersal pattern believed seen in the two hominid groups is similar to that of many modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, said Copeland. But it is a dispersal pattern unlike most other primates — including gorillas — where the females stay with the group they are born into and the males move elsewhere. “This study gets us closer to understanding the social structure of ancient hominids, since we now have a better idea about the dispersal patterns,” she said.
The team also used laser ablation to zap 38 fossilized teeth of baboons, antelope, and small, rodent-like creatures known as hyraxes that lived in the same area at about the same time as the two australopithecine species under study. The results showed nearly all of the mammal teeth were local, implying such groups had relatively small home ranges, much like the australopithecine males, said Copeland.
While Sponheimer said the study could be taken as support for the position that bipedalism arose for reasons other than improved locomotion, the data might also indicate that many hominids simply preferred to live on dolomite substrates where caves would have been abundant. “I’ve never thought of these early male hominids as the quintessential cavemen, but the potential use of caves at this early time period is something worth considering.”
In addition, the team analyzed more than 170 modern plants and animals within a 30- mile-radius the two cave systems, sampling 11 different geological substrates. The minimum distance from the cave systems to non-local geology areas is about two miles to the southeast, four miles to the northwest, and more than 20 miles each in northeast and southwest directions, said Copeland. It is still not clear where the roaming female australopithecines identified in the study spent their formative years, she said.
Friday and Saturday Boulder is hosting quite a bit of music all over the city. More than usual. With CU graduation, parents and family in town, Mothers Day, Musickings tent sale, farmers market and hot weather the city should be gridlocked…but fun. There has been little press on the Pearl Street Music Festival ( they don’t have a phone) so we pick up bits and pieces where we can. Below is as much information we could find. One thing is for sure there will be a hulluvalot of bands playing in Boulder.
No Black Bands ??? Not one out of 40 acts. Oooh. hOW VERY WHITE OF US. so we bring you Kool and the Gang won’t be there, we could wish. but it’s time to “Get Down on it”
They are not all exactly playing on Pearl Street though. ok A few are playing in the Lazy Dog. But Pearl Street Music Festival is a catchy name but a bit misleading. You’d expect a big stage set up on Pearl Street and the roads blocked off. Right?? well, no.
Most of the bands are appearing in Boulder Theatre which is on 14th street. A few are scattered around at bars on 13th street and Walnut st.. So is it a festival?? A real music festival?? It is certainly a way to drive people to shop in Boulder. We’d like it better if the called the Pearl Street Music Arts and Shopping festival. Wait did somebody say Arts……..?? Arts ?? What Arts?? Will there be tents with Art?? No info on that. We’ll get back to you. but read on for al the latest.
FROM POP WRECKONING:
This weekend, Dr. Dog, The Head and The Heart, Mason Jennings and many more musicians and bands will play at the inaugural Pearl Street Music Festival in Boulder, CO. Although smaller than other two-day festivals, the stellar line-up and humble community makes Pearl Street Music Festival a great primer for the various outdoor summer concerts and festivals coming through Colorado this summer. Festival organizerTravis Albright spoke to PopWreckoning about the festival line-up and the perks of a Pearl Street Music Festival wristband.
PopWreckoning, Brianna Hernandez: How did you decide which artists to feature at the festival?
Travis Albright, Pearl Street Music Festival: I wanted to have a nice mix of local and national acts with a wide array of genres. The genres at this festival include indie, folk, bluegrass, jam, rock, and even late night DJs. Plus, they’re bands that I really love. The Head and the Heart and Dr. Dog are two of my favorites.
PopWreckoning: Aside from Snowball Music Festival, this is really the first music festival in CO this year. Is there any pressure as Pearl Street Music Fest kicks off music festival season in CO?
Travis: There is absolutely no pressure. We have had such strong support from the community since day one. All of the businesses, bands, fans, and the city of Boulder have been so great to work with.
PopWreckoning: How are you working with local businesses to enhance the festival experience?
Travis: Because the festival and local businesses decided to work together on festival logistics, the entire downtown area is benefitting this weekend. With one single festival wristband, patrons can get into seven different venues from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., attend a film premiere, and check out art expos, all while receiving great discounts from local restaurants and retailers.
PopWreckoning: As Paste Magazine highlighted, this is your inaugural year. What are your goals for this festival?
Travis: We are so honored to named one of Paste Magazine’s “Top 10 Most Interesting Inaugural Music Festival of 2011!” It’s great to be in the company of such festivals as the Dave Matthews Caravan, Escape to New York, Electric Forest, and even Rock A Field in Luxembourg. Our only goal was to logistically get the downtown area to work together for a true Boulder experience. Hopefully next year we will have all of the Pearl Street district involved.
PopWreckoning: 2011 is the inaugural year for both Snowball Music Festival and Pearl Street Music Festival. With a slew of already successful music festivals, and several new music fests (including Pearl Street and Snowball), what does this mean for CO’s music scene?
Travis: I think that the music scene on the front range of Colorado is something that exceeds major markets such as New York, Chicago, and L.A. Our humbly populated area is able to run with the big dogs. That alone speaks volumes.
PopWreckoning: How is Pearl Street Music Festival different from other CO music festivals such as Westword Music Showcase, Underground Music Showcase, Snowball Music Fest, Telluride, etc?
Travis: I think it’s different because even though some of the others are multiple venue festivals, this is the only where you can buy a single festival pass and have access to so much in just a few blocks.
PopWreckoning: How would you describe CO’s music scene?
Travis: I think anyone that loves music already knows about the Colorado music scene. I’m from the east coast. Six years ago, the music scene was one of the main reasons that I moved to Boulder. That and the great beer, outdoor activities, sunny weather…
FROM PEARL STREET MUSIC FESTIVAL
Boulder Theater Schedule
Boulder Theater Schedule
11:45 – 1:00 The Head and The Heart
11:00 – 1:00 Dr. Dog
10:00 – 11:15 Mason Jennings
9:30 – 10:30 Paper Bird
8:30 – 9:30 Gregory Alan Isakov
8:00 – 9:00 Boulder Acoustic Society
7:30 – 8:00 Ian Cooke
Other Evening Performances
Other Evening Performances in Clubs downtown Some may be FREE
The Congress @ Conor O’Neills
The Springdale Quartet @ Conor O’Neills
Oakhurst @ The Lazy Dog
Boulder Theater Performers
“Perhaps thanks to pal Jim James from My Morning Jacket (who lends a hand on the title track here), Dr. Dog are digging deeper into their rootsier leanings, taking cues from the Band and CSNY”
“Add a new name to summer’s soundtrack. The music of Hawaii born, Pittsburgh bred Mason Jennings has infiltrated the beach-party scene the way Jack Johnson’s folk-harmonies did ten years ago.”
- Outside Magazine
“I’m completely obsessed with them.”
- Dave Matthews
“Born in South Africa and raised in Philadelphia, Isakov makes quietly lush, deeply vibrant music more rooted in the starry night sky than any terrestrial locale”
- Paste Magazine
“Paper Bird created a local buzz with its modern folk sounds and harmonious vocals. The band’s genre-busting music earned the group loyal fans and sold out Colorado shows.”
- Colorado Daily
“Champion of Disaster may be an evolution beyond the beginnings of Boulder Acoustic Society, but it may also be the evolution of Americana.”
- 5280 Magazine
Also: Oakhurst, The Congress, The Springdale Quartet, Jet Edison, The Lumineers, Ian Cooke, Sticky Mulligan, Whitney Mann, Various Late-Night DJ’s
Jet Edison @ The Lazy Dog
The Lumineers @ Topo Ranch
Ian Cooke @ Topo Ranch
Sticky Mulligan @ The Laughing Goat
Whitney Mann @ The Laughing Goat
Wicked Won @ Tahona
DJ Psi Star @ Tahona
DJ’s TBA @ Absinthe House
DJ’s TBA @ Absinthe House
23 Feet @ Boulder Rock Club (8:00 PM Friday)
Exclusive Pearl Street Discounts
Complimentary “Grab and Go” cookie
Foolish Craig’s Cafe
10% off Food and Drinks
10% off one non-sale item
Happy Hour Drinks from 10-Close
20% off all items *except UGG and Sorel
Complimentary glass of house wine purchase of Mixed Appetizer Medley
15% off all services
15% off all purchases
Complimentary MarQaha drink with purchase
$5 Salad or Panini
20% off all purchases
10% off all meals
Blue Skies Boutique
10% off non-sale items
Free introductory class
Savory Spice House
15% off all purchases
10% off purchase
Color Me Mine
50% off studio session
10% off all meals
Om Time Yoga
Free Class Saturday *Must email their reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen FitzGerrell of Studio 22
Melissa Rubin of Ruby Star Designs
|Single Day Passes on Sale Now $35
Multiple Venues. Incredible Bands. Exclusive Discounts. Boulder Lifestyle. Limited Tickets.
Silverfox advanced festival passes are now sold out; however, you can still purchase tickets from the Boulder Theatre.
[All tickets purchased after April 27 will be held at the Boulder Theatre Box Office for day of show pick-up.]
The Laughing Goat
Tahona Tequila Bistro
The Head and the Heart
Gregory Allen Isakov
Boulder Acoustic Society
Tahona Tequila Bistro
Blue Skies Boutique
Savory Spice Shop
Color Me Mine
|Om Time Yoga
Easton’s Brazilian JuJitsu
A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been developed at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The new findings show that the technique, known as pressure flaking, took place at Blombos Cave in South Africa during the Middle Stone Age by anatomically modern humans and involved the heating of silcrete — quartz grains cemented by silica — used to make tools. Pressure flaking takes place when implements previously shaped by hard stone hammer strikes followed by softer strikes with wood or bone hammers are carefully trimmed on the edges by directly pressing the point of a tool made of bone on the stone artifact.
The technique provides a better means of controlling the sharpness, thickness and overall shape of bifacial tools like spearheads and stone knives, said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and a study co-author. Prior to the Blombos Cave discovery, the earliest evidence of pressure flaking was from the Upper Paleolithic Solutrean culture in France and Spain roughly 20,000 years ago.
“This finding is important because it shows that modern humans in South Africa had a sophisticated repertoire of tool-making techniques at a very early time,” said Villa. “This innovation is a clear example of a tendency to develop new functional ideas and techniques widely viewed as symptomatic of advanced, or modern, behavior.”
A paper on the subject was published in the Oct. 29 issue of Science. Other study co-authors included Vincent Mourre of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research in France and Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway and director of the Blombos Cave excavation. The research was funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation of New York.
“Using the pressure flaking technique required strong hands and allowed toolmakers to exert a high degree of control on the final shape and thinness that cannot be achieved by percussion,” Villa said. “This control helped to produce narrower and sharper tool tips.” The bifacial points, known as Still Bay points, likely were spearheads, she said.
The authors speculated that the pressure flaking technique may have been invented in Africa and used sporadically before its later, widespread adoption in Europe, Australia and North America. North American archaeologists have shown that Paleoindians used the pressure flaking technique to fashion stone points likely used to hunt a menagerie of now-extinct mammals like mammoths, mastodons and ancient horses.
With the exception of obsidian, jasper and some high-quality flint, few stone materials can be pressure flaked without first heating them, Villa said. While there is evidence of silcrete heating some 164,000 years ago at the Pinnacle Point site in South Africa, the Blombos Cave artifacts are the first clear evidence of the skillful pressure flaking technique being used to carefully shape, refine and retouch tools, said Villa.
There are several ways to confirm whether silcrete has been heat-treated, Villa said. Archaeologists at Pinnacle Point used two common methods called thermoluminescence and archaeomagnetism that require the destruction of stone tool samples, as well as a non-destructive technique known as maximum gloss analysis.
Villa, Mourre and Henshilwood used a visual method for the Blombos Cave artifact analysis based on the contrast between heated and unheated tool surfaces observed microscopically at low magnification. While the removal of flakes from unheated silcrete produces scar surfaces with a rough, dull texture, heat-treated silcrete scar surfaces have a smooth, glossy appearance, said Villa.
The researchers analyzed 159 silcrete points and fragments, 179 other retouched pieces and more than 700 flakes from a layer in Blombos Cave linked to the so-called Still Bay industry, a Middle Stone Age tool manufacturing style that started roughly 76,000 years ago and which may have lasted until 72,000 years ago. The researchers concluded that at least half of the ancient, finished points at Blombos Cave were retouched by pressure flaking.
In addition to the microscopic analysis of the tools, the team also used experimental replication to show that pressure flaking was used in the final retouching phase of the points. The shaping of both heated and non-heated tools — known as knapping — was done by Mourre using silcrete chunks collected by Henshilwood from outcrops roughly 20 miles from Blombos Cave.
The silcrete samples used in the replication stage of the study were heated by Henshilwood in collaboration with Kyle Brown of Arizona State University, who published a 2009 paper in Science on the heat-treatment of silcrete in South Africa.
The team members compared attributes of points and flakes created for the experiments by percussion and pressure with points and flakes found in Blombos Cave, finding that unheated silcrete chunks first shaped with quartzite stone hammers and further worked on with wooden hammers known as billets could not be pressure flaked.
“Pressure flaking adds to the repertoire of technological advances during the Still Bay (period) and helps define it as a time when novel ideas were rapidly introduced,” wrote the authors in Science. “This flexible approach to technology may have conferred an advantage to the groups of Homo sapiens who migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.”
SOURCE: CU MEDIA RELEASE
Something for Everyone, I guess !
Boulder’s own Todd Burke, CEO and Founder of the True Collection, an ultimate vacation company, leaves this week for Zimbali, South Africa, near Johanasburg, with an entourage of 17 world class athletes and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Aspen’s champion extreme skier Chris Davenport and world champion cyclist Greg Minnaar will be there for a 4-Day first Celebrity-Pro True Athlete competition which will be a reality TV show.
It must be Hot Toddies this week as Todd Reed is renovating and his gallery will move into the old Timberline space. Invironments is closing on Pearl Street.
Sunday proved a full day for environmental concerns as 350, Carrot Mob and 10-10-10 gathered at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s UMC and St. Julien Hotel for workshops and partying.
Here’s Channel 1 News Producer/Owner Jann Scott with the 10-10-10 party organizer Nathaniel Janowitz and guest Sophia Bliu.
The party at the St. Julien included lively bands all night. Many of the local activists were dancing and swinging to the music! The St. Julien Hotel donated 50% of the night’s proceeds toward use of sustainable energy efficiency. Okay, it’s fine. Fine.
But, I received looks all night from one activist when I said “We’ve had enough moisture this year! and no one can mention the four-letter word beginning with “S” and ending with “W” in my presence!”
I knew it wasn’t a dog or cat walking in front of me. There was something about the tiny hairs on his back, the little tail and teenie ears! Where else would you see a piggy walked on a leash but on Pearl Street? It was a “Royal Dandie” or “Dandie Extreme,” a tiny pot-bellied pig, the smallest pet pig in the world.
That little piggy is named Finnegan and he’s not going to market. The very nice young owner, Mike, (or guardian as Boulder puts it but then Finnegan isn’t a dog, oh well) said Finnegan is quiet and good natured but loves to run and is totally afraid of dogs.
No doubt, because while we were chatting, a huge Rotti approached to say, “Hi, there!” and Finnegan practically jumped into Mike’s arms and squealed like crazy all the way home! Maybe he even had a nervous breakdown. Poor little “royal” piggy. Maybe some day he’ll meet Miss Piggy and calm down!
In case you’re wondering, the answer is “No” I don’t want a little piggy…One can’t walk down the street with just anyone or thing you know! Even though “royal dandie” Finnegan is worth around $3000. it’s still a piggy!