Saturday, July 29, 2017

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered

  I've been waiting months for this class to begin. So I am very happy to announce that it has started! I've completed the first week and will update this post with class notes as I progress. Good stuff!

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered - University of Wollongong

Professor Richard G. Roberts, Director of the Centre for Archaeological Science at the University of Wollongong and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow

Professor Zenobia Jacobs, Director of the Luminescence Dating Laboratory at the University of Wollongong and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow

24 July - 3 September 2017, FutureLearn


Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago Nature article

Assignment: Local Archaeological Finds student map

Pre-contact hoe Chicago History Museum

Liang Bua Virtual Tour Smithsonian 3D

'Hobbits' on Flores, Indonesia Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Homo Floresiensis news at

Local Manggarai language:
Liang  = cave
Bua = cold/cool
Golo = hill
Wae = river


North American Arrowhead Identification Database website

  The megafauna that existed alongside Homo floresiensis include the giant rat, Komodo dragon, Marabou stork, large vulture and Stegodon. The giant rat and Komodo dragon still exist in Flores today. The Marabou stork, large vulture and Stegodon are now extinct and disappeared around the same time as the Hobbit.

Ebu gogo Wiki entry

Flake (silcrete) 3D model
Retouched flake (silcrete) 3D model
Core (silcrete) 3D model

Local Manggarai language:
Betu = giant rat

Marabou Stork

Marabou stork (Photo: © National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo) and remains (Photo: © Liang Bua Team/ARKENAS & The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History) 


Assignment: Local Dating Method
   C14, University of Chicago, Egyptian mummy Mask, wood, Ptolemaic period
Photo by Jean Lachat 

New evidence pushes back time of disappearance of Indonesian ‘hobbits' - University of Wollongong media release

Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores NATURE article preview

Liang Bua Sediments Summary 

MM7 (deeper)
Cracks and voids indicate burrowing by insects or worms, or the penetration of roots by vegetation. The grey layer consists of volcanic ash blown into the cave during and/or after a volcanic eruption.

Distinctive burnt layer (consisting of fine-grained brown silts, coarse particles, limestone gravel, baked pieces of clay and charcoal) indicates evidence of fire use. The calcium carbonate layer consists of wood ash.

MM4 (shallower)
Presence of black material (manganese oxide) produced by water percolating through bat droppings (which are highly acidic) on to flowstones (calcium carbonate).


Homo Floresiensis Characteristics

Small canines
Foramen magnum (area for the spinal cord) tucked underneath the skull, not positioned more posteriorly (as in a quadruped).
Remarkably small brain
Constriction behind the eye orbits where the cranium is narrowed (not present in modern humans)
Interesting mandible: full set of adult dentition, including all three permanent molars (evidence that it is an adult, not a child)
Stature approximately 106 cm tall
Body proportions very different to modern humans
Similar body proportions to Australopithecus afarensis (3 million years old) from East Africa
Arms and legs are more similar in overall length than in modern humans
Laterally flaring pelvis (upper part of the pelvis flares out to the side)
Proportionately long feet
Longer toes (more like mini fingers)

Current scientific understandings of Liang Bua and Homo Floresiensis

Fossil remains at Liang Bua have been dated to between about 100, 000 and 60, 000 years old
Artefacts have been dated to as early as 190, 000 years ago (at the back of the cave) through to about 50, 000 years ago (nearer the entrance)
The Hobbit likely lived at the site from around 190, 000 years ago
It is thought that the Hobbit survived until as late as about 50, 000 years ago
The Hobbit is definitely a new human species
The type specimen (original skeleton) of the Hobbit is about 106 cm tall, but other specimens of hobbits found in the cave are shorter
A volcanic ash layer was identified above where hobbits are thought to have gone extinct
Hobbits lived with a whole range of animals that we no longer see around us today (e.g. Stegodon, giant Marabou stork, vulture)
Modern humans were passing through Southeast Asia en route to Australia at about the same time that the hobbits went extinct (50, 000 years ago)

A recent article on Homo Floresiensis, published in the USA: Science Daily 21 April 2017
   The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.
-Australian National University 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Not a Moment of Silence

Saying goodbye to another talent that was blown too far away in the wind. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lovin' the 2017 Gypsy Queen

  Last week, I received some really nice cards from corozco for our most recent TCD trade. Highlights include a couple new to me Ernie Banks and some snazzy 2017 Gypsy Queen cards. With this trade, it took some time to choose which cards I want to post, as this packet rocked.

  Let the highlights begin! 

  Here we have my first Bazooka card. These are an odd size, but I like it! Is it just me, or does that bat Bryant is holding look rather small?

  I like these Panini Home Town Heroes cards. They have a classic baseball card vibe. This Dawson card is the second Home Town Hero going into my collection, the first card was Konerko. This is not a flattering Dawson pose. Photo shortage?

  Yay! Another Melky card! I don't know why his Sox cards are so hard to come by, but they are. So I am always excited when one shows up!

  I like the Topps Attax cards. Not that I think that I would ever play these as a game, but because they are one of those cool oddball items. 

   A couple of new Ernies! It's always a good day when Ernie makes an appearance.

  Four new 2017 Gypsy Queen cards have been knocked off my want list! The scans look good, but the cards look even better in hand. I really dig them. They may just be my favorite series in the modern card era. All of the cards in this trade were super nice. Thanks for the trade Carlos!

  🌠As an aside, today marks the 1 Year Anniversary of my move to Chicago! Never has a year gone by so fast!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Virtual Salvage

Post no. 2 coming out of the draft chute!

  Good afternoon blogiverse! As has been previously mentioned, Photobucket released the bird to the entire internet a couple of weeks ago. Last week I went into my former account at Photobucket and salvaged some of the images of my postcard and cover collections. Most of my images were of items for trade or sale, and I did not see any reason to keep images of things I did not want. But, it turned out that I was quite happy with having a virtual collection of things I left behind when I moved to Chicago.

  Here we go!

  A couple of older German postcards (fronts & backs). I like knowing that I could have bought a bratwurst at this establishment back in 1313. The second postcard below is a real photo postcard of the Roman monument in Potsdam.

  The Paricutin volcano in Mexico. This is also a real photo postcard. This volcano has an amazing story because it started out as a corn field. In a matter of hours, that corn field was ground zero for a newly formed volcano. The first eruption was on February 20, 1943.

  A modern era postcard of an Easter Island moai. What's not to like?! Plus, it entered the mail stream aboard ship, making it even more unique.

  Here is another postcard (back) that entered the postal system aboard ship. The Paquebot cancel signifies it as such. Unlike the above postcard which was posted via a cruise ship, this Canal Zone postcard was posted on a shipping ship.

    Next are a couple of miniature items. This postcard at the top is about the size of a trading card when opened. Not sure of it's origin... possibly it came packaged with a pack of smokes, while folded in half.

  This envelope is franked with two US Scott's #300s, and it is almost the size of a trading card. Many postcards sent in the US in the early 20th century are franked with the #300. It's one of my favorite stamps. (front & back shown, I saved the images from the auction when I won it, so these are not my scans.)

    Okay, I think I have two more items to share in this post, and then I'll call it good. If there is any interest, I can do one more post of collection item images. Give me a holler if you want to see the other salvaged photos.

  I like collecting donkey/mules/asses on postcards. Below is a very crowded postcard franked with the #300. I like the art on the back of this one.

    I lived in this area of Colorado a couple of times when I was younger, so that gives this postcard an added likability bonus in my collection.

  And there you have it, a peek into another one of my collections. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 Chicago Pride

  I have a few posts lined up in the draft chute, so I reckon I ought to get this one out. -No pun intended!

  So as I mentioned in a previous post, there are several thousand images of the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade posted elsewhere online, but not too many of interest for my needs, and of the images I'd like to use on Now and Zen, only a few of them listed a photographer.

  Here are the noteworthy photos I procured to share here with you.

   The parade was with brimming with absolutely fabulous balloon art. Above is one of the Conrad the Unicorns. He had several walking representations in this, his second year of participating in the Chicago Pride Parade. I'm not into unicorns, but Conrad was my favorite as far as the balloon entrants go.

  I don't know who this gentleman is, but he was inspiring. He would wheel himself for a stretch, then stop, and stand up for a few seconds. Shaking and exhausted, he'd sit back down and wheel away to repeat his feat.

   The Cubs parade entry was cool if you were standing on the north side of the street. Over there, one could glimpse the Commissioner's Trophy as it rolled by. I, however, was standing on the south side of the street which meant I had no idea the trophy was right there in front of me. Augh!

  The hate preacher on the loudspeaker outside the front of our building, on the last block of the parade route. He's out there every year. Each time he started bellowing, the 'Make Love Louder' mantra folks chanted over him. He's not nearly so loud outside as he is inside. The woman in the black t-shirt is Orange is the New Black actor Lea DeLaria, Grand Marshal of the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade. She had a couple of choice words for Mr. hellfire and brimstone. I was standing about 20' beyond the right edge of the photo.

  So that's it for the photos I plucked from the interwebs. There were a few other parade marchers that I searched for and wanted to share here, but I did not find them among the mass of images available. Over all, I saw nothing shocking or lewd, well except for the things the preacher was spewing. Teachers, schools, churches, politicians, fire departments, police departments etc... even the FBI had a parade entry. One FBI agent gave me a high '5'. -I had an encounter with a Secret Service agent last October, and for the record, the FBI is way cooler. When I first went out to line up on the parade path, there was a FBI agent wearing bomb disposal gear and eyeballing the parade route ahead of the marchers. It was a pretty cool day!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trade Meet-Up

   I'm a team and player collector, so I keep all of my cards organized with the same formula. (team name -alphabetically, year, then publisher -alphabetically.) It's easier to organize 30 teams that it to organize 100+ years of card publishers. As such, it is almost impossible to find want list hits on web pages strictly composed of card numbers, without using The Trading Card Database. The thing is, that I find almost all of my card trading partners through The Trading Card Database. Through The Trading Card Database, I have come across trading partners in the Chicago area, but Chicago is a big area, and sending trades through the mail is easier than the travel involved in a meet-up. That is, until this week!

  Justin G. of  The Hopeful Chase blog, aka Lightningfan7609 at The Trading Card Database lives close. Real close- within walking distance! Yesterday morning we met at the Argo Tea shop that is located about halfway between about us. It was fun to actually trade cards in person. That is something I haven't done since the 1970s! I am a rather timid person, so I am downright pleased with myself for meeting face to face. Turns out that Justin is a calm, friendly sort of guy, and a loyal Orioles fan. As an added bonus, we both brought extra cards to the table. It was a fun trading experience and it was nice to meet and get to know Justin.

  Below are a few of my favorite cards, highlights from our trade.

  The Harold Baines card was one of the final three cards I needed to finish my 1988 Topps White Sox set, and Justin brought all three! Baines is also one of our pc guys.  -I realize now, that I've really got a thing for baseball cards with green on them. Wow.

And the 1988 Topps Cubs cards Justin brought, put me to within three cards of completion. 

  I acquired, the first (for me), seven 2003 Topps Cubs cards for my collection. One card stands out because I don't usually add cards to a team collection if the given player is not wearing the 'right' uniform.

See? Wrong uniforms because I don't collect Orioles or Diamondbacks.  
But, the back of the card is loaded with Chicago history. I like that. It's a keeper.

And the cream of the original trade we made, that was spared the postal system.-

Upper Deck Masterpieces. I really like these cards. Fantastic trade Justin! Thank you. 

Everyone have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Good For All of CHICAGO!

  This is a trade that I believe will be good for all of Chicago. This is fantastic for the North Side and the South Side. Although, I do think the Cubs need at least one more ace. But yeah, I am really liking this!

I Saw Mickey Mantle in Walgreens

  Good morning out there!

  So, I have not been posting at my usual rate. It being summertime, I suppose I've been busy doing other things. Such as... How about the clusterf... kerfuffle Photobucket has created on the entire interwebs?! I'm a member of a few philatelic forums, and what a mess they are dealing with now. Zipper has, for the past few days, been downloading her PB photos and replacing them on the stamp boards. She's about 1/3 through with that.  I was lucky, I only had a little over 200 images to sort through. Turned out I only needed to repair 2 forum images. The bulk of my photos were items I was offering for trade, but since I do not have that material here in Chicago, I simply deleted those images. There were a handful of scans that I saved. They are images of items in my collection. I will share some of those images in another post.

Hey! Photobucket!

   Speaking of photos, I have not had much luck finding relevant photos of the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade, but I will write a post to share the few that I did come up with.


  Last week I picked up a baseball card repack at Walgreens. Mickey Mantle was in the window, so I had to bring him home with me. I pulled a few keepers from that box, and I've already traded a few of the cards, so I got my $5 worth out of it! Below are what I consider to be the more interesting cards of the bunch. Enjoy!

Melky! Melky makes me smile and I love watching him play. This is only my 2nd White Sox card of him, so I was happy to find it in the repack.

A new to me Jacoby Ellsbury? I'll take it! This ups his count to three.

 Two new to my collection Cubs cards, and that's always a good thing. 

  Not a fan of Brett. This card gets a nod in this post because it is a Panini Triple Play card. It's the first Panini Triple Play card I have seen that actually looks like a decent card. I'll file this card in my Hall of Fame box, but I'd be willing to trade him to someone who loves him.

CM vs. MC 

  Mother's Cookies, a first for me. Love me some pizzeria cards, and I must stay focused on that or I'll end up with a collection that's way out of hand (You know what I'm talking about. Yeah, YOU.), so the Astros cookie card is also for trade has been claimed.

 And the card that sold the box, my first Mantle card. Not shabby at all!

  Okay,  now that I've shown all the baseball cards I wanted to share from the repack, I have to deal with Cookie Monster. I can't post that CM photo without giving props to my favorite Sesame Street character. 

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for the fabulous... 

the one... 

the only... 


Have a great day everyone!

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Analog Kid

  Eric, aka AnalogKid, sent me a private message at The Trading Card Database last Friday, announcing that I had won his Free Card Friday! give-away. I did not know there was such a thing, so imagine my surprise at being told I had won!

  The packet arrived with goodies from my TCD want list, and some Beatles cards I did not know existed until Eric brought them to my attention. Cool dude, this AnalogKid!

 Below are some of the baseball card highlights that the AnalogKid checked off my want list.

  I needed a 2nd copy of Jacoby Ellsbury's 2017 Opening Day card to complete my Yankees Opening Day set. His first card went into my Native American Players collection. I don't normally seek Yankees cards, unless it's for a player collection, but I do keep the Yankees that come my way because they are Zipper's 2nd favorite team. 

  In an alternate universe, Micheal Jordan is the world's greatest baseball player and he sucks at basketball.


 These next two cards are my absolute favorite Gypsy Queen Design! My first two 2017 Gypsy Queen Cub cards. 


The grand prize for me? 

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks. 

  Thank you Eric! I am off to add your name to The Beatles Honor Roll now.

Wishing a great day to you all!