A Happy Accident

Stopping by the Bois D’Arc Knap-in recently I got to see some remarkable works of art and a few natural wonders as well.  My friend Regan showed my a little treat he discovered in a Burlington Chert core he was reducing to make some stone tools.  There was obviously a band of crystals crossing the stone but little did he know that while removing this imperfection he would find a real gem inside.  A Mississippian-age brachiopod was hidden inside for 325,000,000+ years!  This makes him the first mammal to ever see it.  I enjoy that kind of perspective on the universe as we sometimes forget the significance of the little things.

I was a little distracted the day Regan showed this to me so I didn't photograph it. He was kind enough to send along this photo.

I was a little distracted the day Regan showed this to me so I didn’t photograph it. He was kind enough to send along this photo.

Here’s a little more information about this sort of life-form from the Illinois State Geological Survey:

Click the image to go to the Brachiopod web page.


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Man vs. Feind!

We aren’t responsible for our own safety the way we used to be.  In the industrial world we’re safer from attack than ever but still live in daily fear.  Fear is an excellent way to keep the masses at bay.

Joachim Köppe’s 1619 Kunst des Fechtens.

Joachim Köppe’s 1619 Kunst des Fechtens.

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Thoreau says:

George Crawford:


Originally posted on The Muscleheaded Blog:


” In human intercourse the tragedy begins,
not when there is misunderstanding about words,
but when silence is not understood.”

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Simple but Ingenious

Tying your own shoes –

Before looking at the ethnographic literature I experimented with tying up some simple sandals with mixed success.  It turns out that it’s not as simple as one might think.  Now I’m a connoisseur and am always making mental notes when I see old depictions, or in the old world, images on statues.  For simple, soft lace sandals, the Tarahuamara style works perfectly.  A single lace does everything you need.

DSC_0139 (1)DSC_0138Learning from the past may save us from losing our future.

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Colonel Thomas H. Monstery and the Use of the Quarterstaff

When this came to my attention I was very interested as I do generally carry a staff when hiking these days.  It has lessened the tension when encountering stray dogs, allowed me to poke into brush, distract rattlesnakes, etc. but I think it is severely underestimated as a tool and weapon of self defense in the modern era.  In America, we have an obsession with guns where anyone in possession, and I mean anyone, can slaughter a large number of people with little to no effort.  The fear mentality (from a people who allege to not fear for an afterlife) has grown to epic levels with inundation of “news” and violent entertainment disguised as media.

The staff, sword, and bow come from a little better era before we handed over our self protection to hired gunmen and made our own liberty.  The humble walking stick is a force to be reckoned with in the wild if you choose to learn to use it.

Have a look and learn some great stuff from Another Century.

Source: Colonel Thomas H. Monstery and the Use of the Quarterstaff

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How to Travel at Home

George Crawford:

This is a very well-written and insightful piece. Recommended reading.

Originally posted on Vagrant. Anonymous.:

There are many travel blogs out there . . .

A lot of them will tell you about what it’s like to walk off a plane into some remote culture. The bliss that comes with eating fresh coconut on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean. You will read these things, and you will feel jealous. Wanderlust, itchy-feet, maybe you will relish their experience because it brings you back. It reminds you of the time when you were on a beach, eating a coconut, in the Caribbean.

These accounts are enthralling, informative, and entertaining. And if nothing else they can be a great gauge of privilege. Something the travel industry is steeped in. At times a piece will be riddled with outright prejudice and even more so with unacknowledged biases. All too often it seems that we are doing little more as ‘travel writers’ than unconsciously assisting neoliberalism in it’s attempt…

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I study the technology of prehistory.  Because of this, I believe strongly in the benefits of experiential archaeology.  It gives perspective on a very deep level.  We can walk in the shoes of our ancestors, so to speak.

Replicated woven sandals from the Southern High Plains and the greater Southwest.  Produced from narrow-leaf yucca.

Replicated woven sandals as found on the Southern High Plains and throughout the greater Southwest. Produced from narrow-leaf yucca.

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