We almost went the way of the dinosaur. Humans came close to extinction 70,000 years ago, when genetic research shows that there were only about 2,000 of us alive. Just one major disease or environmental disaster (like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs), and we wouldn’t be here today. Unlike chimps, who are our closest relatives, all human DNA is almost identical. We split off the family tree 5 or 6 million years ago, which is plenty of time for lots of genetic differences to turn up. The fact that we’re all so alike means that in the recent past, there weren’t many of us around. Everyone on Earth today came from that tiny, struggling population.

But once we got on our feet again, we traveled extensively.

read more

The Pew Oceans Commission, made up of 18 scientists, says the U.S. has a “frontier mentality” when it comes to our oceans, which includes ignorance, neglect and short-term planning (sounds like the way the government handles everything else as well). We know from Linda Howe’s recent Dreamland report that big fish are being fished to extinction, all over the world, but this is just one of the problems.
read more

Two new crop circles have appeared in the U.K. One, in traditional English crop circle country, is beautifully precise. The other, in the center of a large field in the middle of what looks like a suburban neighborhood, is amazing because there are clearly no tire tracks or foot prints leading from the surrounding roads to the circle. If humans made this one, they must have been dropped in by parachute.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.read more

If you thought Saddam’s art collection was wild, check out his son Uday’s videos. Newsweek’s Colin Soloway watched 100 of the tapes and reports on what he saw.

Most of the video tapes found in Uday’s bombed-out palace are not pornography, and they’re not amateur either–they’re professionally produced vanity videos of Uday doing things like playing with his pet lions or displaying injuries from a 1996 assassination attempt. Some tapes are marked “private,” and show drunken parties at his mansion. These seem to have been shot secretly from behind a two-way mirror, and show Uday making out with two women at once on his couch, while one of his friends chases another woman around the room.
read more