Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Emerging Phone Service May Cost You

Phone companies will be more aggressive in blocking robocalls to customers' phones, but it may come with a cost.

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday issued an order to "expressly authorize voice service providers to block robocalls that appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls, without running afoul of the FCC's call completion rules."

The new authorization from the FCC applies to voice service providers including mobile phone carriers, traditional landline phone companies like AT&T and Verizon, and VoIP carriers such as cable companies.

Carriers will be "allowed to block calls purporting to be from invalid numbers, like those with area codes that don't exist, from numbers that have not been assigned to a provider, and from numbers allocated to a provider but not currently in use," the FCC said.

Read more here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Evidence of a Wet Sahara

There is no doubt that climate changes take place. The Sahara of Africa is an example. Between 10,000 and 4000 years ago the Sahara was much wetter. There were many lakes and rivers and it was possible to travel great distances along the interconnected water systems.

The map below shows the water ways of the eastern African Shear Zone. The waters of the Sahara collected and flowed along rifts. These include the Atbara Rift, the Blue Nile Rift, the White Nile Rift, the Abu Gabra Rift, the Bahr El-Arab Rift, and the Muglad Rift. There were also basins that filled with water, especially during the rainy monsoon season, and Lake Victoria. Hydrologic studies indicate many periods of flooding from the Nile to the Atlantic coast of Nigeria.

The Central African Shear Zone (shown below) was riddled with lakes and rivers. The gray shaded areas show the ancient water ways in the African Sheer Zone. The area was prone to flooding.

In 1984, United States Geological Survey researchers located some of the covered channels with the aid of a satellite navigation device modified for land use. Archaeologist William P. McHugh directed excavations on the shorelines of two sand-covered valleys. McHugh uncovered hand axes and other stone artifacts, evidence of tool workshops used intermittently over tens of thousands of years at the ancient water systems. Animals uncovered at the sites included crocodiles and turtles. Researchers estimate that the annual rainfall during the Aqualithic was at least 20 inches.

Noah lived in the region of Lake Chad. This lake is located at the northeastern boundary of Nigeria, between Nigeria and Chad. The region is called Borno, which means "Land of Noah." This is the only place on earth that is claimed by the native population to be Noah's homeland.

There is a considerable evidence that boats were once prevalent in the Sahara. The black mahogany Dufuna dugout (above) was found in the Sudan buried 16 feet under clays and sands whose alternating sequence showed evidence of deposition in standing and flowing water. The dugout is 8000 years old. By comparison, Egypt's oldest boat is only about 5000 years old. 

Peter Breunig (University of Frankfurt, Germany) has written this description of the Dufuna boat: “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. Judging by stylistic sophistication, Breunig reasons that, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Boats appear on prehistoric rock paintings in the Sahara. Many show people transporting long horn cows by boat. The Proto-Saharan were cattle-herding. Here are examples of the sickle, incurved sickle, square, incurved square, and flared boat types found on the prehistoric rock art of the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt.

The historicity of Noah’s concern for animals is supported by the discovery that Proto-Saharan rulers kept royal menageries of exotic animals. The oldest known zoological collection was found during the 2009 excavations at the city of Nekhen on the Nile. The royal menagerie dates to about 3500 BC and included hippos, elephants, baboons and wildcats. Noah would have known Nekhen. This painting was found on the wall of a tomb in Nekhen, the earliest known Horite Hebrew shrine city.

Related reading: The Historicity of Noah's Flood; Boats and Cows of the Nilo-Saharans

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forests in the Transantarctic Mountains

Researchers have identified two distinct environments at the South Pole at the close of the Permian Period. There was a warm rainforest with tree-ferns, palm trees and baobab trees at the lower elevations, and a cooler mountainous region dominated by beech trees and conifers.

Fossil tree trunk in what was an ancient polar forest
Credit: Erik Gulbranson

During Antarctica's summer, from late November through January, UW-Milwaukee geologists Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell climbed the McIntyre Promontory's frozen slopes in the Transantarctic Mountains. High above the ice fields, they combed the mountain's gray rocks for fossils from the continent's green, forested past.

By the trip's end, the geologists had found fossil fragments of 13 trees. The discovered fossils reveal that the trees are over 260 million years old, meaning that this forest grew at the end of the Permian Period, before the first dinosaurs, when Antarctica was still at the South Pole.

At the Permian Period's end, Antarctica was warmer and more humid than it is today. 

By studying the preserved tree rings, Gulbranson and colleagues have found that these trees transitioned from summer activity to winter dormancy rapidly, perhaps within a month

Read more here

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Build a 3-D Zoetrope

Build Your Own 3D Zoetrope With This Desktop Animation Kit

Inspired by the pre-film animation devices of the 1800’s, company 4-Mation has created a DIY kit that allows users to produce their very own tabletop animations. Unlike historic zoetropes, the kit is built for 3D objects. Using synchronized strobes and carousel rotation, the machine animates objects placed on its circular base, giving life to ravenous fish or leaping frogs.

The kit is available in three models. You can choose from a laser cut plywood frame, a machined walnut frame (as seen in the included videos), and an electronics version which comes with instructions for how to cut your own.

Read more here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ice Houses in the Persian Desert

Ancient Persia (Iran) was famous for mud structures to collect fertilizer (pigeon towers) and to create ice in the desert. The ice houses are called yakhchāls.

Beginning around 400 BC, Persian engineers created domed yakhchāls for the production of ice. These can still be seen in Iran in the region of Isfahan. The structures have an underground square-shaped containment area over which the dome was built. The dome and exterior surface of the yakhchal was waterproofed with a layer of mortar called sarooj. It is a mixture of clay, sand, ash, goat hair, and lime.

Ice was brought from the mountains and placed inside the containment area to start the process of freezing. Often walls were built to keep the water shaded as it was channeled to the yakhchāls so it would freeze faster. Water captured in the yakhchal would freeze overnight during the colder months. The ice was then cut into blocks so that it could be transported. In addition to storing drinking water, the yakhchal was also used to keep food from spoiling much as we use refrigerators.

The ice is used to make faloodeh, a traditional Persian frozen dessert made with thin noodles and semi-frozen syrup.

Read more here and here.

Watch this video of the inside of a yakhchal.

Related reading: The Yakhchals of Persia

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Massive Polynya in Antarctica

An hole in the sea ice as large as lake superior has opened in Antarctica. This is called a "polynya" and scientists have observed them before. This hole is unusual because of it great size. It has a diameter of about 30,000 square miles.

The first time scientists spotted something like this was in the 1970’s, but the opening disappeared for several decades before appearing again.

The blue curves represent the ice edge, and the polynya is the dark open water within the ice pack. Image: MODIS-Aqua via NASA Worldview; sea ice contours from AMSR2 ASI via University of Bremen

A polynya forms when water that is above freezing moves from the lower depths of the ocean to the surface. Heat transfers from the warmer water to the ice, melting it, and preventing new ice from forming. This type of polynya is called a "sensible heat" polynya. The ocean itself provides the heat needed to melt the ice. Sensible-heat polynyas usually form in mid-ocean areas, far from coasts or other barriers.

Polynyas are important as a source of heat and moisture in the atmosphere. This has an effect on the climate of the region. Polynyas also provide access between the ocean and atmosphere for a variety of animals, including seals and penguins. The overturning ocean water in a polynya brings nutrients to the surface, like phytoplankton, microscopic plant-like organisms that are a food source for marine life. During the summer, Antarctic polynyas are one of the most biologically productive regions in the world's oceans.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Technology-STEM Discovery Course

Fall 2017
Alice C. Linsley

The Middle School elective called "Technology-STEM Discovery"exposes students to 15 sciences and asks them to integrate their learning with Bible through the use of technology.

The students read, discuss, and complete projects on topics in agriculture, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, astronomy, biology, climate studies, earth science, forestry, genetics, linguistics, materials science, medicine, navigation, and zoology.

The Technology-STEM Discovery course has three components:
Component One: Computer Skills, History of Technology
Component TwoChristians in STEM throughout History
Component Three: Bible Technology Cards
Component One: Typical topics include:

The Power of the Internet
Google Docs
Internet Research/Search Engines
Style Sheets
Chrome Books
Creating and Managing a Blog
Animation: Pow Toon, Generator, Animoto
Digital storytelling: Toontastic tutorial

Cooperative Technology Project

The Technology-STEM Discovery classes will do internet research on the technologies throughout history. Students select a period of history and research the main technologies. This is a cooperative technology project. They are to produce a 6-page newsletter about the technologies of that period: archaic world 3000 BC to 500 BC; ancient world 500 BC to 200 AD; medieval world 200 AD to 1200 AD; or modern world 1200 AD to present.

Component Two

Students are not aware that an estimated 60% of pioneers in STEM have been Christians. Component Two introduces them to some of these people. Each student will produce a Powerpoint or Google slide presentation on a person from the list below. No dates after the person's name means they are living and can be interviewed by the student.

Francis Bacon 1561-1626
Johannes Kepler 1571-1630
Blaise Pascal 1623-1662
Georges Cuvier 1769-1832
Michael Farraday 1791-1867
James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879
George Washington Carver 1864-1943
Robert Runnels Williams 1886–1965
Roger John Williams 1893–1988
Georges Lemaître 1894–1966
Austin L. Hughes 1949-2015
Raymond V. Damadian
Ian H. Hutchinson

Mary Anning 1799-1847
Agnes Giberne 1845-1939
Mary Celine Fasenmyer 1906-1996
Chris Templar
Faith Tucker
Katharine Hayhoe
Ann Marie Thro
Jennifer Wiseman
Robin Pals-Rylaarsdam
Nola Stephens

RUBRIC: The presentation is to have between 15 and 20 slides. The first slide is the title page with the student's name. The last slide is to be a summary of 5 or 6 main points. All slides, except the first and last, should have at least one image and no more than 10 words per slide.

Component Three

Students select a card from the Bible Technology Card Box. The cards address topics in 15 fields of science. Each card provides background information and context for students to research up to 3 questions per card related to science, technology, engineering and math in the Bible. Students are to complete 12 cards per semester (or 6 cards per quarter). The cards are color coded as follows:

Agriculture/Horticulture - sea foam green
Anthropology - gold
Archaeology - blue
Architecture - pink
Astronomy - bright green
Biology - blue
Climate Studies - purple
Earth Science - black
Forestry - teal
Genetics - red
Linguistics - brown
Materials - bright yellow
Medicine - orange
Navigation - white
Zoology - salmon

You will find answers to the Bible Technology Cards by clicking on the links below. The articles are listed under the branch of science. Be sure to check the "related reading" at the end of the articles for further information.

Horticulture in the Ancient World
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbolism
Olive Oil Production in the Ancient World

The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 1)
The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 2)
The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 3)
The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 4)
The Social Structure of the biblical Hebrew (Part 5)
Confirmation of Biblical Populations
Getting the Facts About Human Origins
The Rising Star Expedition
Rising Star Expedition Update
Science in Progress: The Rising Star ExpeditionNoah's Sons and Their Descendants
More About Noah's Descendants
Nahor and His Descendants
The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People
The Mighty Men of Old
The Pyramid Builders
The Genesis King Lists
The Antiquity of the Edomite Rulers
Two Named Esau
Edom and the Horite Ha'biru
Priests, Shamans and Prophets
Three-Clan Confederations and Twelve-Clan Confederations
Some Marks of Prehistoric Religion

The Stone Age
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
Artifacts of Great Antiquity
David's Zion Found
Jerusalem Virtual Pilgrimage
What Are Bullae?
3000 Year Temple Seal
Yahu Seals
Purity Seal From Herod's Temple
2400 BC Tomb of Purification Priest (Also read this.)
Sudan is Archaeologically Rich
Sixteen Pyramids Unearthed at Kushite Cemetery
70,000 Year Settlement Found in Sudan
Why Nekhen is Archaeologically Significant

The Pillars of Solomon's Temple
Shrine Cities Were Sun Shrines
Monuments of the Ancient Kushites
Kushite Shrines
The Temple of Winged Lions
Tumuli of the Ancient World
Petra Reflects Horite Beliefs
Prehistoric Obelisk Found in Judah
Circumcision and Circles of Standing Stones in the Judean Hills
Horite Temples
The High Places
The Shrine City of Nekhen
77,000-Year Settlement in Sudan
Europe's Oldest Prehistoric Town Unearthed in Bulgaria
The Trapezoid in Ancient Architecture
Sheep Cotes

Saros Cycles and Eclipses
The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere
The King Planet's North Pole Has Changed to Gold
The Celestial Dance Observed by the Magi
Who Were the Wise Men?
Horite Expectation and the Star of Bethlehem
The Sun and Moon as a Binary Set
The Sun and the Sacred
Ancient African Astronomers
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbols
Solar Imagery
A Tent for the Sun
The Sun and the Sacred
The Sun and Celestial Horses
Dung Beetle and Heaven Lights
Marcus Byrne: The Dance of the Dung Beetle

Genesis Has No Evolutionary Framework
Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis
What is Meant by the Term "Kind" in Genesis?
Cambrian Explosion: The Binary Feature Signals Greater Diversity
The Genetic Difference Between Humans and Apes

Evidence of a Wet Sahara
Mega-Lake Chad
Katherine Hayhoe on Climate Change
Climate Cycles Indicate a Dynamic Earth
Two Environmentalists Knock Heads
Climate and Wealth Redistribution
Climate Change and Human Innovation
Antarctic Ozone Hole Smaller
America's Wake Up Call on Climate

Earth Science
The Pillars of the Earth
Volcanic Eruptions
Earth's Magnetic Pole Reversals
Reversals of Polarity: The Magnetic Flip
Afar Rift
The Lake Suigetsu Varve
Walking Rocks
The Atacama RockTumbler

Trees in Genesis
The Trees of Prophets
Trees as Boundary Markers
The Judean Nut Palm
What Happened to the Cedars of Lebanon?
Antarctica Once Had Baobab Trees
The Fig Tree in Biblical Symbolism
Congo Basin Forest Ecology
Amazon Basin Forest Ecology
Theories About the Tree of Life
The Tree of Weeping
Earth's Oldest Trees

Genetic Types: A few basics
Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists
R1b Profile of 64% of European Men
Ashkenazi Represent Judeo-Khazar Admixture
The Sub-Saharan DNA of Modern Jews
DNA Confirms Mixed Ancestry of Jews
A Kindling of Ancient Memory
The Bible and the Question of Race
80,000 Year Ancestor of Chinese Men

What is a Phoneme?
Phoneme Study Pinpoints Origin of Modern Languages
Early Written Signs
Ancient Canaanite Inscriptions
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y
Is Hebrew an African Language?
The Aleph as Ox/Bull Head
Technology to Preserve Languages on the Verge of Extinction
Conversation about the Beginning of Spoken Language
Navajo-Ket Linguistic Connection
Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith
The Generative Divine Word

Archaic Shell Technology
"Easter" Eggs in Antiquity
Brick Making in Antiquity
Bronze Serpent on Moses's Staff
Stone Work of the Ancient World
Textiles of the Ancient World
Stone, Shell and Egg Technologies
Noah's Ark
The Religious Symbolism of Gold
The Gold of Ophir
Kushite Gold
A Silver Lining at Abel Beth Maacah
Paradise of Ancient Memory
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Red and Black Smiths
Why Zipporah Used a Flint Knife
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Ancient Miners Venerated Hathor

Medical Care in Ancient Egypt
Physician-priests of the Ancient World
Prehistoric Humans Used Plants Medicinally
The Ancient Nubians Used Antibiotics
Neolithic Medical Care
Herbs Used for Healing in the Bible
Dental Health of Ancient Sudanese

Noah's Ark
Pythons Used for Sea Navigation
The Ancient Egyptians were Seafaring
4500-Year Harbor at Wadi al-Jarf
Boats and Cows of the Nilo-Saharans
When the Nile Was a Mega-River
Swimming and Diving: Activities of Archaic Peoples
Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt's Central Eastern Desert

Dogs in the Bible
The Animals on Noah's Arc
Dung Beetle
The Ostrich in Biblical Symbolism
The Rooster in Biblical Symbolism
Religious Symbolism of Long Cow Horns
Why Cows Were Sacred in the Ancient World
Cows of the Proto-Saharans
The Fatted Calf
Jesus: From Lamb to Ram
Elephants in the Time of Abraham
Abraham's Camels
Sea Birds Use Sense of Smell to Navigate
Celestial Horses
Noah's Birds
The Lion and Judah
Animal Totems Used to Trace Ancestry

Additional helpful reading:

INDEX of Topics
Who Laid the Foundations of Science and Technology?
Using the Bible to Test Hypotheses
When is the Evidence Sufficient?
Why Biblical Anthropology?
INDEX of Topics at Biblical Anthropology
INDEX of Topics at Just Genesis
The Key to Science and Scripture Alignment
Ancient Seats of Wisdom
Science and Technology in the Ancient World
The Oldest Known Calculator
Find Answers to Bible Technology Cards
Ancient Shrine Cities
Medicine in the Ancient World
Tumuli of the Ancient World
Clepsydra, an Ancient Time Device
The Sand Hourglass or Clepsammia
How Globes Are Made
A Brief History of Map Making
How Telescopes are Made
Ancient Textile Technologies