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Entries in evolution (5)

Friday
Jun152012

Michigan House Leader Silences Rep Lisa Brown for Using Word 'Vagina' on House Floor | Cave Art May Be Neanderthal

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

The Panel of Hands at El Castillo cave in northern Spain. The hand stencils are dated at 37,300 years old, the disk is at least 40,600 years old. (Image courtesy of Pedro Saura. / June 14, 2012)Using a new method of dating antiquities and artifacts, a large group of independent scientists have dated hand stencils in Spain to be as much as 10,000 years older than previously-dated cave art in France. Believing that the art is nearly 41,000 years old and coincident with the evolution of modern humans from Neanderthals, researchers conclude that it’s possible that the cave paintings could be associated with Neanderthals, writes the LA Times.

NPR adds to the discussion:

Archaeologist Joao Zilhao from the University of Barcelona is part of the team that did the work. He says his gut tells him it’s Neanderthal art.

“We can’t be 100 percent certain that they did it,” Zilhao says. “I think that there is a strong probability. My point is the evidence for symbolic behavior among the Neanderthals already exists.”

Neanderthals did perform ritual burials. They made decorative beads and other ornaments. Pike also notes that DNA evidence now suggests that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred.

Related reading: Study: Neanderthals Wore Jewelry and Makeup NPR

France: 37,000-year-old ‘vulva art’ Global Post

Scientists believe that 37,000 years ago, the vulva was sacred — at least in wall art discovered in the south of France. Today in America, not only is the word vulva or vagina considered to be pornographic, it is a banned word in the Republican War on Women.I

Michigan Silences Women Legislators

The Spittin’ Sisters of Women who are also legislators sent messages loud and clear about their opposition to Michigan’s massive omnibus abortion bill that passed the House by a 70-39 vote on Wednesday. The Michigan Senate is not expected to take up the three-bill package until September.

In one of the more dynamic moments in the debate, State Rep Lisa Brown was prohibited from speaking on the House floor Thursday, after ending a speech in the video above with the word vagina. Brown stated that her Orthodox Jewish faith mandated that abortion be the right of any mother needing one to save her life.

“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’ ” said Brown, D-West Bloomfield.

State Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, also wasn’t recognized to speak Thursday for a disturbance she caused on the House floor Wednesday when the GOP majority wouldn’t allow her to propose a ban on men getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life, writes the Detroit Free Press.

Yesterday’s consideration that the Catholic bishops’ hierarchy hire someone to soften the messages in their assault against American women and Catholic nuns on behalf of fertilized eggs begs the question of whether they understand at all the depth of anger turning against them. Sugar-coating their agenda surely won’t stop the hatred that is building against the bishops among many American women.
Thursday
Feb232012

Georgia Democrats Introduce Anti-Vasectomy Bill | Romney Plummets With Women | Virginia Tables Personhood Bill

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

The new Republican term for blogs like AOC is “elite media”. Slate writes that Santorum is incredibly angry that the “elite media” is dogging him because of his conservative religious views. The Republican candidate pulls out the stops with one appalling assertion after another — from the Devil attacking America to why he’s opposed to birth control but chooses not to talk about his manufacturing proposals on ‘Face the Nation’. Duh?

Today was the first time we read that Santorum wants creationism taught in America’s classrooms, as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. Pushing intelligent design in classrooms was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2005, based on a lack of scientific evidence for the theory.

Santorum insisted just days ago that President Obama’s policy decisions aren’t based on Biblical principles. It’s Santorum who promotes a theocracy for America and then criticizes journalists for asking questions about an agenda never openly discussed in a presidential election race.

The Vatican accepts the scientific theory of evolution and the big bang theory. The basic difference between atheists and the Vatican is that the pontiff believes God causes the big bang. Read details of “Scientific Insights into the Evolution of the Universe and of Life,” put on by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2008.

More DFR

In response to a new abortion bill in Georgia that would punish procedures performed after the 20th week of pregnancy with prison sentences of between one and 10 years, Georgia Democrats introduced a new bill that will outlaw vasectomies in Georgia, a procedure that leaves “thousands of children … deprived of birth.”

Rep Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from Jonesboro, a suburb of Atlanta, introduced HB 1116, outlawing vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death. via CNN

Virginia Ultrasound & Personhood Update

Virginia Republicans have sent their personhood bill back to committee, effectively taking it off the legislative agenda for this year. It hasn’t died, just gone lurking to the back burner until the pressure is off. The Virginia legislature did pass a bill today requiring an external ultrasound, not the ‘transvaginal’ procedure Governor McDonnell supported.

How much harm has been done to the Governor’s political aspirations remains unclear. All polls show that women are turning against Republicans faster than the data can be polled.

Related: Contraception Cracksown: Grim Lessons from the Philippines TIME

Monday
Jan302012

Amazon Publishing Eyes Top Authors | 'New Girl' Has 'New Man' & John Wayne Is In Fits | Anjelica Huston Moves On

Betty Franke for Hermes

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

The Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore is located in a 13th century Dominican cathedral in the center of Maastricht, Holland.Larry Kirshbaum and Jeff Bezos are in role reversal. 15 years ago Kirshbaum was the powerful head of Time Warner Books Group, and he bought a young online bookseller named Jeff Bezos to an industry party. Today, Bezos and Amazon are titans in the world of book sales, and Larry Kirshbaum heads Amazon Publishing. Acutally, Kirshbaum isn’t heading up Kindle Books.

Last May, Amazon hired the 67-year-old publishing titan to open a bonafide publishing house with the lofty goal of publishing bestselling books by big-name authors.

In interviews, Amazon executives cast their new effort as an experiment in the booming world of e-books, not a plan to displace the Big Six—Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette, and Macmillan. “What we’re building is more like an in-house laboratory where authors and editors and marketers can test new ideas,” says Jeff Belle, vice-president of Amazon Publishing and Kirshbaum’s boss. “Success to us means working with authors who want to find new ways to connect with more readers.”

Many people aren’t buying it. Amazon is the 500-pound gorilla poised to out market, out connect, out just about everything the big publishing houses don’t do. Add to the complexity of Amazon publishing best sellers the reality that Amazon is the largest customer of the publishing houses. Game on. More at Businessweek

Next in Line

Following Genetic Footprints out of Africa: First Modern Humans Settled in Arabia Science Daily

Will Israel Attack Iran? New York Times Magazine

Occupy Oakland arrests reach 400; City Hall vandalized LA Times

Ukrainian Female Group Protest Topless (at Davos) ABC News

Femen, SlutWalks, Lysistrata | Body Politics Is On the Move AOC Body

More DFR

Good Magazine shares ‘What New Girl Says About the New Recession-Era Man’, drawn from Fox’s latest commentary on recession-era America. Much straight and psycho talk, too, is devoted to the changing lives of 21st century American women. ‘New Girl’ reminds us that straight men are changing, too. In many cases, they complete the gender reversal of roles and responsibilities — a situation damned by social conservatives.

Workers in the new economy use their personalities and communication skills rather than their hands. They build relationships rather than things. They rely on networking and “teambuilding.” They serve tech support or sandwiches with a smile, not to “customers” but to “guests.” They’re performers, paid not just to stock shelves but to nurture shoppers, not just to sell houses but to sell themselves. Even though workers of all genders are now told to wield these skills, we still associate this kind of work with women; social and emotional labor require the same expertise that caring for elders, heading up a household, and mothering does. The men of New Girl (and men in general) are encountering a new, feminized working world.

Anjelica Huston Moves On

Anjelica Huston, photographed by Cedric Buchet. WSJ Magazine features the life and times of Anjelica Huston, who at 60 and widowed from her husband of 16 years, the artist Robert Graham who died in 2008, expresses a “hard-won clarity about her life”. Huston is living in New York while shooting the new NBC series ‘Smash’, in which she plays a role that suits her. Her character is a producer coping with a marriage now over while fighting with strong convictions to advance her art.