Note: The Nov 16, 2017 Keystone Pipeline oil spill is *not* the Keystone XL Pipeline (the XL is not complete yet).



The TransCanada Keystone pipeline spill of 210,000 gallons/5,000 barrels near Amherst, SD is *NOT* the Keystone XL pipeline that has been in the news so much this last year. The Keystone Xl is not completed yet. { Hat tip to JS for the heads up } The spill reportedly occurred because of a loss of pressure around 6:00 AM CST Wednesday, Nov 16th. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources  was not notified until 10:30 AM CST.  So how much is 210,000 gallons/5,000 barrels? It's about 500,000 times as big as a Beer Keg. (source: Measure of Things ) It's about five times as big as The Goodyear Blimp. (source: Measure of Things ) It is about equal to 5 days of all coffee drinks sold by Starbucks worldwide (source: Leo Qin ).          Read More: TransCanada updates on the "Amherst Incident"  https://www.transcanada.com/amherst-incident http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/us/keystone-pipeline-leak/index.html https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/16/564705368/keystone-pipeline-oil-spill-reported-in-south-dakota https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/keystone-oil-spill-south-dakota-spd/    
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Some of the oldest paper in the world are from the Diary of Merer documenting the building of Khufu's pyramid in Giza.


  I have been casually following the work of French archaeologist Pierre Tallet and his work with  Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, the University of Ismailia and the University of Paris-Sorbonne on the ancient harbors at  Ayn Sukhna and and the even more remote Wadi el-Jarf for a few years. Channel 4 just produced a neat documentary on the researchers discoveries and translations of the "Diary of Merer". It is fascinating because in this diary Merer (Merrer, Mererer) details the daily work in mining the stone to build the pyramid for Pharaoh Khufu, what would be the tallest man made structures for over 3,000 more years. The diary also definitively answers some of the questions researchers have had about the technology and the process of moving large scale materials for the construction of the pyramids.  My favorite quote from Tallert is: “Most new evidence is found in the periphery.”  Watch the episode here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/egypts-great-pyramid-the-new-evidence/on-demand/67194-001 Read more:...
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Help Change (the) History (channel): "Amelia Earhart – The Lost Evidence": A petition to get History Channel to acknowledge the photo evidence used is wrong (it pre-dates her disappearance by two years!).


  Did you see this picture on the History Channel special in July 2017 “ Amelia Earhart – The Lost Evidence ”? It purported to show Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan in Japanese custody. There is a small problem...the photograph was taken two years before they disappeared!  While the History Channel has removed the episode from it's streaming service, they have yet to publicly acknowledge to their audience this error. Please sign this petition  to Paul Buccieri President A&E Networks to get the History Channel to correct this mistake. This is a perfect example of bad science making headlines, but when refuted, there is little coverage or attempt to correct the spreading of misinformation.      Sign the Petition
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Beauty in Chaos: Lesson in data visualization from the near realtime wind visualization of Hurricanes Katia, Irma, and Jose


As a scientist one thing I genuinely appreciate is high quality visualizations of data to give lay people an idea of scale and complexity presented in a format they can understand without specialized training. I believe these wind maps from https://earth.nullschool.net/ do a great job of this type of visualization. They allow you to view interacations on both a regional and a global scale and see how these different scales overlap and influence each other. The maps do not necessarily represent the winds in realtime, but the data is usually no more than a few hours old at most and some of it is very current. Archaeologists can learn a lot from studying other disciplines ways of representing complex information. Or just sit back and chill out and admire the beauty in the organized chaos of global wind patterns.     The start page for https://earth.nullschool.net/     A snapshot from Friday, September 8th 2017...
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Ivanka Trump supports rolling back the Obama initiative to have equal pay for equal work for women. How will this effect CRM?


Well there you go. Ivanka Trump has given her blessing to the White House decision to roll back the Obama initiative to promote pay transparency in companies between genders. This contradict her previous statements, including her tweet on Equal Pay Day in April “Women deserve equal pay for equal work”.   Trumps comment on the rollback:   “Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” Trump said on Tuesday. “We look forward to continuing to work with [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.” So if you are woman at a company and you hear wages come up and with a boss (male or female) telling a female employee something along the lines of: "Your are paid great for your position",...
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Great78 project releases 25,000+ digital copies of early 78's


The Great78 project has released 25,000+ digital copies of early 78rpm records and are continuing their work on digitizing more of estimated 3 million "sides" that play for about 3 minutes.  A gateway to the history of the project and where to download from is here:  http://great78.archive.org   Read more: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/internet-archive-78-records-phonograph http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/arts-culture/item/106319-philly-company-digitizes-collection-of-25000-old-records-and-growing-free-to-download
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Richard Oakes (May 22, 1942 – September 20, 1972)


  Today would be the 75th birthday of Mohawk Native American activist and educator. At the age of 30 Richard Oakes was shot and killed by a YMCA camp manager named Michael Morgan. Oakes had confronted Morgan over his reputation of treating Native American children poorly. Morgan, claiming self-defense, shoot him point blank and was acquitted of all charges by an all white jury six months later.  You can read about Richards accomplishments in his life, including helping SanFrancisco State to set up one of the first Native American studies programs and the occupation of Alcatraz (1969-1971): http://heavy.com/news/2017/05/richard-oakes-activist-google-doodle-native-american-bio-facts-75th-birthday/ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/richard-oakes-activist-native-american-rights-alcatraz-google-doodle-mohawk-american-indian-san-a7749221.html http://time.com/4787893/richard-oakes-activist-google-doodle/ http://www.refinery29.com/2017/05/155552/google-doodle-richard-oakes-activist
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ICC begins historic trial for the destruction of Cultural Heritage

Destruction of a Timbuktu Mausoleum in 2012
The trial of Ahmed Al Faqi al-Mahdi, known as Abu Tourab opened today August 22nd at the International Criminal Court (ICC). This trial is important because the ICC prosecutor is only charging Mahdi with the destruction of cultural property, which gives the case significance as it opens the door to helping to prosecute others who have violated cultural property. This charge has not been used before, but the destruction of cultural heritage has had the potential to be prosecuted as a war crime under the Rome Statute of 1998 that established the ICC. Enforcing this statute sets a precedent for similar cases such as ISIL’s destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra last year (which is complicated by Syria not being a signatory) Ahmed Al Faqi al-Mahdi was head of the Ansar Dine Islamic morality brigade during their occupation of Timbuktu, Mali, from April 2012 to January 2013. During this period Mahdi is accused by the ICC of war crimes...
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How to prevent a poison ivy rash from occurring after you have been exposed to it.



Have you ever been in the field and either known, or suspected, you were exposed to poison ivy or poison sumac? If you have, and act promptly, you can prevent or minimize your bodies reaction to the exposure to the urushiol oils  that cause the inflammation on your skin. Dr. Jim Brauker  has a great video that summarizes how urushiol effects you skin, and how to treat it. If you are short on time or a TL:DW type person the short answer is this. Wash the area thoroughly. Even if you do not have soap available at least use water and a cloth. The important thing is that your finish by using friction and a cloth to remove as much as the oil as possible.  In the video Dr. Brauker implies that for just washing, without using friction to remove the remaining oils, that Dawn dishwashing soap is more effective that Tecnu. I have reached out to ...
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GPS signal may be wonky in southern California on June 7, 9, 21,. 23, 28, 30th 2016

FAA GPS signal scramble area in California June 2016
  If you are planning on using a GPS in California in this area on June 7, 9, 21,. 23, 28, 30th be advised that there will be a "GPS Disturbance Test" that on these days that could mess up your accuracy. The FAA Notice to Airmen is below.   FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION FLIGHT ADVISORY GPS Interference Testing CHLK GPS 16-08 07-30 June, 2016 China Lake, California GPS testing is scheduled as follows and may result in unreliable or unavailable GPS signal. A. Location: Centered at 360822N1173846W or the BTY VOR 214 degree radial at 059 NM. B. Dates and times: 7 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z 9 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z 21 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z 23 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z 28 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z 30 JUN 16  1630Z  –  2230Z C. Duration: Each event may last the entire requested period. D. NOTAM INFO: NAV (CHLK GPS 16-08) GPS...
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A new Nasca Geoglyph found by Yamagata University Institute of Nasca in Peru

New Nazca Geoglyph Found in Peru
Prof. Masato Sakai - Yamagata University
Following up on the discovery by Yamagata University Institute's Prof. Masato Sakai of 24 new geoglyphs in the Nasca Region of the Peruvian South Coast in 2014 and 2015 the team has identified a new 33m geoglyph that could be linked to a near by major ceremonial center. The new geoglyph is located within the central area of the Nazca pampa, a large, flat, arid region of Peru. The line drawing is of an animal, with many legs, what appear to be spotted markings and which is sticking out its tongue. “It certainly represents an imaginary or mythical creature,” Masato Sakai at the Yamagata University in Japan, said. Most of the geoglyphs are almost invisible on the surface and the team needed to analyze them using a three-dimensional scanner to highlight the images on the ground. As a result, the Yamagata University team was able to identify 24 geoglyphs of animals, some of which probably depict Andean...
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Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That is celebrated on September 16.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That is celebrated on September 16. The Cinco de Mayo holiday celebrates an unexpected victory: the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Mexican army won the battle despite being smaller and ill-equipped. Have a great day! ~Gloria Everson
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ShovelBums 17th Anniversary

ShovelBums turns 17
...It was a dark and stormy night...   No, wait. That is not right.    It was a dark, but not stormy night, around 4AM April 25th 1999 when R. Joe was in his office in Ozark Hall at the University of Arkansas avoiding writing a final paper for Sabo's Environmental Archaeology class. After doing some, errr, research on a site Ryan had told him about he realized he needed to find another outlet to waste time to give his brain proper time to digest the nuances of his class notes. Inspired by how well an extended family mailing list he had set up recently was doing and remembering the axiom "Archaeologists are kind of technically slow and lazy" R. Joe decided to set up a little mailing list to help people find jobs in CRM and Archaeology. With no-one to talk to R. Joe typed in, and erased, a number of list "name" ideas...
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Cherokee Nation Principal Chief statement about replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20

Harriet Tubman
A well said statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief regarding the U.S. Department of the Treasury's decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill and replace him with abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "Andrew Jackson defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and forced the removal of our Cherokee ancestors from homelands we'd occupied in the Southeast for millennia. His actions as president resulted in a genocide of Native Americans and the death of about a quarter of our people. It remains the darkest period in the Cherokee Nation’s history. Jackson's legacy was never one to be celebrated, and his image on our currency is a constant reminder of his crimes against Natives. It's been an insult to our people and to our ancestors, thousands of whom died of starvation and exposure and now lie in unmarked graves along the Trail of Tears. This is a small but meaningful vindication for them, and for our...
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Discovery of the Century? Radar scans suggest up to two rooms hidden behind Tutankhamun's North and West walls.

King Tut's Tomb
Luxor, Egypt The Discovery Of The Century? I was unfortunately not able to attend the press conference today in Egypt, but Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Egyptian antiquities minister said it best about the results of the radar scans, “It could be the discovery of the century.” Eldamaty went on to describe the results of the work that Hirokatsu Watanabe, a Japanese Radar specialist conducted in November 2015. Watanabe was brought in after Nicholas Reeves, a British Egyptologist, analyzed high-resolution images of King Tut's tomb that suggested there were straight lines in the wall that had been missed by previous researchers. These lines are suggestive of the architectural methods used when sealing a room, which indicated there could be rooms beyond King Tutankhamun's tomb chamber.  These lines, previously hidden by the color and the tombs stones' texture. Is it Nefertiti? Who knows? It could very well be a temporary chamber used during the rush construction project for Mamdouh Eldamaty, the...
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2016 ShovelBums Field Schools are now online!


Sorry for the delay! I never even officially opened up ShovelBums for entries for the 2016 Field Schools and there were already 150 when I finally got around to publishing them today! Please share this link to the field schools and suggest your prof advertise your field school on ShovelBums and reach the worlds largest targeted audience of students of Archaeology, Anthropology and related disciplines! http://shovelbums.net/l/2016-field-schools     http://shovelbums.net/l/2016-field-schools
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5D data storage could potentially record all digital knowledge to the end of time

An image of a 5D storage crystal.
Every archivist and anyone who has ever taken a digital image, filled out a spreadsheet, logged a GPS location has the same flickering fear in the back of their mind - "what happens if this data is wiped out?". I lay awake some night fretting about this on the global scale. We are at the dawn of an era of unprecedented access to knowledge, but as quick at the Royal Library of Alexandria became nothing but a memory of lost potential cultures prosper and fade throughout history. And if an event of a great of enough magnitude (pick your plausible collapse of modern iteration of civilization scenario and apply) occurs, so does such a vast epoch of potential knowledge.       in 2013 researchers at University of Southampton in the UK first announced that they had developed a potential prototype and over the last three years have refined the process to the point where they...
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Nov 10th 2015, 40th Anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald



November 10th, 1975. The Edmund Fitzgerald was caught by the Witch of November and sank.
Nov 10th, 1975 The Edmund Fitzgerald broke apart and sank
The Edmund Fitzgerald Underway
SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When originally launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, and to this day she remains the largest to have sunk there. The Edmund Fitzgerald had taken on a load of taconite iron ore in Superior, Wisconsin on November 9th and was making was to Detroit, Michigan. The Fitz was caught in a fierce Lake Superior storm with near-hurricane force winds and 11m waves. Around 7:10pm on November 10th Captain McSorley's last message to the nearby freighter The Anderson said, "We are holding our own." A few minutes later, with no distress call her crew of 29 perished, and no bodies were recovered. Gordon Lightfoot's song: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.         Captain ERNEST M. MCSORLEY (September 29, 1912 – November 10,...
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News Flash - Archaeologist were wrong! The pyramids at Giza built for grain storage, not Pharaohs.



Archaeologists Don't Dig Dinosaurs or UFO's
Thanks to the internet, the wisdom of Presidential candidate Ben Carson has been preserved and will heretofore save archaeologists, and egyptologists in particular, the hassle of having to wonder about what those crazy pyramids in Egypt were for.  As Carson told the 1998 graduating class of Andrews University: “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big (if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.” On the positve side Dr. Carson does clearly NOT give the aliens credit for building the pyramids! It is worth spending the 15 minutes watching the entire speech. One of my favorite lines is where he says this, but I think he is really...
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#ColumbusDay 2015

#ColumbusDay
#ColumbusDay #IndigenousPeoplesDay #October12th  Bartolomé de las Casas, who served with Columbus but later became an advocate for Indigineous rights described how Columbus and his men treated these people in The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account:  “They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house,” de Las Casas wrote. “They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, ‘Boil there, you offspring of the devil!'”
#ColumbusDay #IndigenousPeoplesDay #October12th Bartolomé de las Casas, who served with Columbus but later became an advocate for Indigineous rights described how Columbus and his men treated these people in The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account: “They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house,” de Las Casas wrote. “They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the...
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