Archive | April, 2015

When Spring Season Meets Exam Season

29 Apr
Spring weather has arrived. But for students, it is often wedded to the anxiety of final exams.

Spring weather has arrived. But for students, it is often wedded to the anxiety of final exams.

Spring has sprung. But for students, the gift of the warmer weather often comes with a price: the anxiety of final exams and projects.

The finish line of the semester or school year is in sight, but it can’t be reached before completing the tests, projects, theses and whatever else must be done — hopefully successfully.

Wise Words has posted some helpful tips for those who are going through this challenging period.

One previous post talks about how to study for final exams. Another talks about how to de-stress

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Fanning the Flames of Post-Game Riots

15 Apr

There are loyal fans, rabid fans, and then there are the hooligans.

A small number of hooligans react violently after their favorite sports team loses -- or wins -- important games. It sometimes entails setting fires, such as was the case recently with some University of Kentucky men's basketball fans after losing to Wisconsin at the FInal Four.

A small number of hooligans react violently after their favorite sports team loses — or wins — important games. It sometimes entails setting fires, such as was the case recently with some University of Kentucky men’s basketball fans after losing to Wisconsin at the FInal Four.

Those University of Kentucky fans who lit fires on the street following their team’s loss to Wisconsin in the recent NCAA men’s basketball semifinal fall into that third category. And so do those individuals who may have encouraged those lighting the fire.

Oh, Kentucky is hardly unique. Most of their fans are good people who are loyal to the school. In fact, we have seen rioting behavior in all parts of the country after many sporting events. In some cases, it’s not even fans of the losing team who engage in this kind of activity, but fans of the victorious team.

And it’s not just an American thing. If you’re a fan of world soccer, you know that it happens around the globe.

Why do people resort to this kind of behavior? Find out in a blog post from Last April.

In Search of Our Earliest Ancestors

1 Apr

Now this jaw bone is a little long in the tooth. Make that a lot long.

An Arizona State University student recently discovered what appears to be the oldest jawbone from man’s ancestors ever found. The fossil was unearthed in the Afar region of Ethiopia and is believed to be 2.8 million years old.

A jawbone (not pictured above), recently discovered in Ethiopia and estimated at 2.8 million years old, is believed to be a link between the ape man and the earliest humans.

A jawbone (not pictured above), recently discovered in Ethiopia and estimated at 2.8 million years old, is believed to be a link between the ape man and the earliest humans.

The jawbone – the left side of the lower jaw with five teeth, to be exact – contains elements of both the Australopithecus afarensis, sometimes referred to as the “ape man,” and the genus homo, which is responsible for the human lineage. It most likely involves the species “homo habilis,” an early and primitive human.

The discovery appears to fill in some scientific gaps between the two with fossils dated at 3 million years old and 2.3 million years old having previously been found. The fossils from the latter are more similar to man. The implications for this discovery, published in the journal “Science,” are major.

Michael Rogers, professor of anthropology at Southern, says the anatomical characteristics are consistent with an intermediate between Australopithecus and homo. “The surprise here is that it fits almost too perfectly as a transitional form, exactly what some have predicted would be found,” Rogers says.

Rogers – who has led many Southern student anthropological expeditions to the Afar section of Ethiopia, including a trip two months ago in Gona – says discoveries rarely fit this neatly into scientific hypotheses. But he said the discovery is exciting and potentially enlightening.

“It was found in a drier, more open grassland type of environment than that of any earlier human ancestor, which could mark a significant adaptive shift that began with the origin of our genus,” Rogers says.

“This adaptive shift also eventually included the use of stone tools, the earliest of which are found at the Gona site and are dated to 2.6 million years ago. This new find gives more weight to the suggestion that my colleagues and I have made that evidence of stone tool use will eventually be found earlier than 2.6 million years ago.”

Rogers was part of an international research team credited more than a decade ago with the discovery of those stone tools. The findings were reported in the September 2003 issue of the “Journal of Human Evolution.”

Meanwhile, the search into man’s past continues.

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