Friday, October 24, 2014
The BBC had an interesting write-up on "aircraft boneyards" around the world with lots of emphasis on the USAF facility at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. It's quite impressive just driving around outside of it. They offer tours and taking one is on my list.
Back in my aerospace days I worked at the Mojave Airport where a lot of planes are stored, mentioned in the article and pictured above. We were operating a Boeing 747, and occasionally we would buy used parts off of some of the 747s parked in the boneyard. We got a discount if we sent our mechanics to take it off the plane. One day our guys had to open up an internal bulkhead to reach an assembly when several plastic bags of a suspicious-looking white powder fell out. The Kern County Sheriff was immediately called. IIRC it was Bolivian marching powder.
A DNA study of Easter Island natives indicates that their genomes contain Native American DNA. Its presence seems to indicate that Native Americans somehow traveled to Easter Island in Precolumbian times and interbred with the Polynesians there. We have known for some time that there was contact between Polynesia and South America because sweet potatoes (native to South America) were cultivated throughout Polynesia when Europeans first arrived there and chicken skeletons (whose DNA matches Polynesian chickens) have been found in prehistoric sites in South America. This information adds to that story.
Rock art researcher Larry Loendorf has been working in a series of prehistoric Jornada Mogollon sites in southern New Mexico. He has noticed a repeated motif of yellow, red and black triangles (see above) on 24 pictograph rock art panels spread out over an area from Carlsbad to Las Cruces. Larry also noticed that growing under each of these panels were hallucinogenic plants: wild tobacco and datura. He believes that Mogollon shamans were using the plants to enter trances when preparing to paint the rock art.
Archaeologists in Norway have found a 1300 year-old ski melting out of a glacier. It still has its leather bindings attached.
This is an interesting article, but I couldn't resist putting it in for the title alone: Allosaurus Died from Stegosaur Spike to the Crotch.