Deinotherium - Hoe tusker

When: Mid-Miocene to Early Pleistocene (~10 million to 3 million years ago)

Where: Asia, Africa, and Europe

What: Deinotherium is a proboscidiean. The only two living species in Proboscidiea are the African and Indian elephants, but there are dozens of fossil species in this order. Unlike some other groups that not only have a much greater number of fossil species than living but a much wider variety of morphologies to go along with that, most fossil elephants well… look like elephants!  That being large, graviportal, and trunked.

However, even though there is less extreme differences in morphology within proboscidieans, there are still a lot of variations on the basic elephant body plan.  One great source of variation is in the tusks. The tusks of Deinotherium are enlarged incisors of its lower jaw whereas in modern elephants the tusks are enlarged upper incisors.  The clade containing Deinotheirum spilt off from the rest of the order roughly 40 million years ago, and the last common ancestor had slightly enlarged upper and lower incisors - thus it appears that some elephant clades further enlarged one set over the other. Oh, one last note about Deinotheirum… it was over 3 times the size of the modern african elephant. It was the 3rd largest land mammal ever to lumber accross the Earth! 

(Reblogged from scientificillustration)


What if you reversed everything the United States does in regard to Iran?  Tom Engelhardt did.  He writes:

Imagine that, in late 2007, Iran’s ruling mullahs and their military advisors had decided to upgrade already significant covert activities against Washington, including cross-border operations, and so launched an intensification of its secret campaign to “destabilize” the country’s leadership — call it a covert war if you will — funded by hundreds of millions of dollars of oil money; that they (or their allies) supported armed oppositional groups hostile to Washington; that they flew advanced robot drones on surveillance missions in the country’s airspace; that they imposed ever escalating sanctions, which over the years caused increased suffering among the American people, in order to force Washington to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and give up the nuclear program (military and peaceful) that it had been pursuing since 1943; that they and an ally developed and launched a computer worm meant to destroy American centrifuges and introduced sabotaged parts into its nuclear supply chain; that they encouraged American nuclear scientists to defect; that one of their allies launched an assassination program against American nuclear scientists and engineers killing five of them on the streets of American cities; that they launched a global campaign to force the world not to buy key American products, including Hollywood movies, iPhones, iPods, and iPads, and weaponry of any sort by essentially embargoing American banking transactions.

For the whole story, read: “Iranian Aircraft Carriers in the Gulf of Mexico, It Can’t Happen Here.”

photo credit: DoD
(Reblogged from nickturse)


A Syrian woman reacts as she sits next to her son who was seriously wounded during a violence between security forces and armed groups in Latakia, northwest of Damascus, Syria, on March 27. [Photo: Hussein Malla/AP]

Bahrain, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen News Roundup: March 28.


Bahrain opposition says 250 detained, 44 missing | Reuters

Bahrain shuns Kuwait’s mediation offer | AJE

World ignoring Bahrain struggle | Toronto Star

Ivory Coast:

Battle Erupts For Key Ivory Coast Town | VOA

Ivory Coast Refinery Running Out of Crude, May Shut in April | BusinessWeek

EU weighs new sanctions on Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo | Reuters

Britain announces emergency aid for Ivory Coast refugees | Guardian

The Urgent Situation in Cote d’Ivoire | David Paltiel, Yale School of Medicine


Jordan PM defends freedom of speech after unrest | AFP

Jordan: Set Independent Inquiry in Attacks on Protesters | HRW


Syrian protesters come under fire from security forces | Guardian

Syrian president wavers between crackdown or compromise as southern protests continues | AP

Assad to replace emergency law with worse: dissident | Reuters

What is at stake if Syria’s regime falls | CS Monitor

A bloody mess | The Economist

As Obama talks Libya, neocons move on to Syria | MinnPost

Pawlenty: Obama administration ‘naive’ on Syria | CNN

Pawlenty blasts Clinton on Assad: ‘ignorant or frighteningly misguided’ | POLITICO

Opinion Brief: Should the U.S. intervene in Syria? | The Week

Argument: The Syrian Time Bomb | Foreign Policy

Peter Goodspeed: Syrian violence raises the stakes on Arab upheaval | National Post

Reader writes the problems of Syria are larger than any individual | CNN


Tunisia’s interim president sacks interior minister without explanation, report says | AP

The Casbah Coalition | The New Yorker News Desk


Blast at Yemen explosives factory kills 110 | AP

Yemen fighting worsening already dire humanitarian situation, warns UN official | UN News Centre

Activists urge UN rights council to meet on Yemen | Reuters

The Unfolding Situation in Yemen | Steven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace

(Source: pantslessprogressive)

(Reblogged from soupsoup)
It’s not interesting to me to just make (users) laugh or entertain them,” said Price. “I want to set up little challenges and have them make things; have them go off, come back and throw it into the zeitgeist. To me, that’s what Tumblr’s about.” The ability to ‘make things’ is how Tumblr differentiates itself. Using the platform, one can be creative. “I’m hoping that what I can do is sort of trickle down and set a tone that this is a place of open, free expression. And creativity.

I sat down and chatted with TopherChris about his role as community manager and how it has helped Tumblr grow. (This is the second post about Tumblr - the first one is up on Digiday about how media properties use the platform.)

EDIT: in my haste to put up this wonderful quote, I forgot to link to the post. Here it is.

(via joshsternberg)

(Reblogged from joshsternberg)



Dated January 25, 1870, these are the credentials for Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels of Mississippi, the first African American to serve in the Senate.

Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels

Source: Revels, Hiram Rhodes (1827-1901), Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

(Reblogged from congressarchives)
(Reblogged from ourrisd)


The Zombie Arts of Dan Hipp

Zombie Dan Hipp, one in a long line of illustrious undead, spreads his T-Virus not through nibbles, but through his art he then unleashes on the Internets, hungry for more braaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiins to consume.

Artist: tumblr / flickr / blogspot / twitter

(Reblogged from ianbrooks)

Javier Ambrois, Pelé, Ronaldo … who will add their name to Copa América’s top scorer list?


By Gordon Fleetwood, writing from NYC

One commodity that the South American continent is never short of is a great goalscorer. There will be a vast array of attacking talent on display over the next month in Argentina. Here are some of the men who might be walking away with the golden boot award when the proceedings come to an end. 

Radamel Falcao García (Colombia)

Some strikers make the jump to Europe, and take some time to find their form. Falcao hit the ground like Usain Bolt in full flight. After an productive first season at Porto, the Colombian raised his game even more this past campaign. Thirty-five goals from thirty-eight games—including seventeen in the Europa Lague to break Juergen Klinsmann’s record—in Porto’s treble winning season, has made him one of the most feared and wanted strikers in Europe. However, the man sometimes known as El Tigre hasn’t been in the same form for his country. Colombia has really struggled for goals at times. This fact could be used to undercut the idea of Falcao grabbing the golden boot. However, if he manages to find his best form for Los Cafeteros, Falcao will definitely be a contender.

Read More

(Reblogged from afootballreport)


Big thanks to Andrew Grexa for the cool new logo! Please spread around. 

(Reblogged from atatforamerica)


Stricken Russian Mars Probe Soon to Become Russian Earth Fireball

French amateur astronomer Thierry Legault (of UARS tracking fame) has captured a new video of Russia’s crippled Phobos-Grunt Mars probe. If you’re confused what you’re seeing, check this out:

Here’s the facts:

  • Phobos-Grunt malfunctioned soon after launch last year and has been stuck in Earth’s orbit ever since.
  • It is gradually falling, and new estimates say it is going to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in the next 8-9 days (highest chance of a re-entry on Jan. 15-16)
  • It is carrying around 10 tons of super-toxic propellants, but luckily they are in aluminum fuel tanks that should burn up on re-entry
  • The probe’s orbit is extremely wonky, which is making a prediction of where it might hit difficult
  • Russian space scientists are reporting that they think no more than 20-30 pieces of debris could survive re-entry, weighing no more than 200 kg total.

Anyway, this thing is coming down in the next couple weeks, and as soon as I hear of some model regarding where it might happen (and where you might watch the fireball), I’ll let you know.

In the past year, space debris and falling satellites have become an increasing problem. We need to get on top of this situation fast, start tracking and eliminating debris and dead spacecraft ASAP, or Chicken Little might end up being right.

(via BBC News)

(Reblogged from jtotheizzoe)