National Geographic has a nice brief interview with Alistair Pike, a British archeologist who found ancient cave art in Indonesia. This matters.
How surprising is it to find such old cave paintings outside Europe?
Absolutely this changes our views and is going to make us ask a lot of questions about the causes rather than the origins of cave art. The hand stencils are almost identical to ones seen in Europe and elsewhere around the world, which is really interesting.
We’ve been shown here that our views have been too “Eurocentric” about the origins of cave painting. It’s not surprising that people for years thought that France and Spain was the home for this art. That’s where it was found in caves. But now we have new evidence.
Before this find, what was the history of cave painting thought to be?
Well, one argument that was made largely because we had all these European cave paintings was that when modern humans migrated to Europe, they competed with Neanderthals for caves, which led to a cultural change.
Other forms of symbolism existed, but people just didn’t need to paint caves outside of Europe.
What’s clear now is that the phenomenon happened elsewhere.
Al Jazeera warns about the militarization of the Ukrainian state, notes the alienation of Turkish Kurds from their goverment and wonders if northern Syria will become a Turkish protectorate, wishes Arab authors could travel to the United States more readily, wonders about the impact of immigrants on Catalonian separatism, and notes Wheaton College’s issue with new federal healthcare regulations.
Bloomberg observes the shrinkage of the American labour force, the success of the coffee crop in Vietnam, the emigration from ethnic Czechs from Ukraine to the Czech Republic, the successful retention of industry in Singapore, observes the debilitating toll of illegal fisheries off of the West African coast, and notes the call for an investigation into the treatment of the United States’ first Ebola victim.
Bloomberg View notes that Uber can succeed only in the context of a struggling labour market, looks at the economic issues of European petrostates, notes how political concerns override fears for the Russian economy, argues British cities also need autonomy, and via Faroese fish exports notes that sanctions may not have that much effort.
CBC notes Tanya Tagaq’s stalking by a sexually aggressive man in Winnipeg, and notes that Windsor is using cayenne peppers to deter squirrels from attacking the city’s tulips. (That last should work.)
The Inter Press Service notes the scale of Samoan emigration, observes the negative consequences of climate change for livestock farmers in the Caribbean, looks at the drought besetting Sao Paulo, looks at an economically questionable train line in Sri Lanka, considers how the Karabakh issue makes Armenian entry into the Eurasian Union problematic, and u>observes anti-Palestinian discrimination in housing in the Jerusalem area.
IWPR reports on growing Ukraine-related ethnic tensions in Kazakhstan and observes Georgia’s clampdown on immigration.
Open Democracy recommends a consistent policy of European Union opening to the western Balkans, notes the plight of Copts in Egypt, looks at ethnic tensions in North Ossetia between Ossetians and Ingush, examines Basque and Corsican separatisms, fears for the future of secularism in Mali and Senegal, and considers the dire demographics of Ukraine.
Al Jazeera notes the effects of population aging worldwide, observes the quarantining of four individuals possibly exposed to Ebola, comments on the huge costs associated with reconstruction in eastern Ukraine, and reports on a conference held by the Vatican on the plight of Middle Eastern Christians.
Bloomberg View notes the profound uncertainty over Ebola, suggests Shanghai cannot replace Hong Kong as a financial centre yet, looks at skyrocketing real estate prices at the far upper end of the New York City scene, and suggests that Hong Kong’s revolt will sputter out.
CBC notes that Makayla Sault, a First Nations child who refused treatment for her leukemia, is relapsing, notes that global warming is leading Greenlanders to hunt more orcas, observes that the Islamic State has ended the Arab spring, and wonders what China will do with Hong Kong.
IWPR notes the odd optimism of many eastern Ukrainians, looks at the problems of Syrian Armenian refugee schoolchildren in the Armenian school system, and notes controversy over the creation of a Russian satellite university in Armenia.
National Geographicnotes the new phenomenon of sanctuaries for former pet pigs, and suggests that threats to an Ottoman tomb could bring Turkey into Syria.
Open Democracy notes the plight of Syrian Kurds, suggests that secularism is an alternative to oppressive religious identities, and criticizes European Union migration policy.
Wiredlooks at Europe’s history of trying animals for crimes and examines Andy Warhol’s sketching of Blondie’s Debbie Harry on an Amiga.
Centauri Dreams looks at gas giants with very unusual, even misaligned, orbits around their local suns.
The Dragon’s Gaze links to one study on the internal geology of silicon-carbon worlds and to another on the moderating impact of oceans on planetary climates.
The Dragon’s Tales notes the Indian military buildup in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and links to a study suggesting that even the very early Earth might have been hospitable towards life.
Geocurrents features a guest post from Will Rayner pointing out ways in which statistics can lie (Luxembourg looks very wealthy, but this is an artifact of a huge day-commuter workforce coming from outside of its frontiers).
Joe. My. God. reports that the Egyptian police seem to be using Grindr to hunt down gay men for arrests.
The Russian Demographics Blog notes the ethnographic justification for the Soviet invasion and partition of Poland.
Spacing Toronto points to an upcoming photo exhibit showcasing Toronto’s tower neighbourhoods.
Torontoist reports on the success of urban agriculture as an experiment in New York City.
Window on Eurasia notes the deteriorating situation of Crimean Tatars and suggests Russia is preparing to move into the Baltic States.
Al Jazeera notes controversy over a proposed women-only beach in Turkey, suggests that Iraqi Sunnis are ready to fight against the Islamic State while observing Germany’s arming of the Kurds, notes the decision of France to halt its delivery of warships to Russia, warns of general concern in the Netherlands about Islamic State activism, notes the existential issues of a relatively declining American evangelical Christianity, and notes African immigration to Brazil.
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Bloomberg View, meanwhile argues that there is a job shortage not a “stagnation vacation” in developed countries, warns that right now closer links with NATO would harm Ukraine, and favours the strengthening of the European Union’s eastern perimeter.
MacLean’snotes NATO’s reorientation away from Afghanistan towards containing Russia.
Al Jazeera notes India’s concern about the possible domination of BRICS institutions by China, and looks at controversies surrounding gender in the French education system.
BusinessWeeknotes that some Chinese have taken to growing their own food in their apartments to avoid contaminated produce, and comments on the troubles of hookah bars in Russia.
CBC notes problems for Canadian pot tourists in the United States.
The Economistobserves that relations between China and Vietnam are quite poor.
Foreign Policycomments on African skepticism about free trade agreements with rich countries and analyses the spectre of “Novorossiya” in Ukraine.
MacLean’sreports how seven different foriegn newspapers covered Canadian confederation in 1867.
National Geographicwrites about the Panana Canal’s Lake Gatun.
The New Yorkerargues that Iraq and Syria each have long histories.
Open Democracy comments on China’s speculative and opportunistic responses to the Crimean crisis and observes that Uzbekistan’s government prefers to stay out of regional trade agreements so to strengthen its government.
Transitions Onlineu>compares corruption in Bulgaria to that of Italy and notes the rebirth of the wine industry in Kazakhstan.
Wiredexamines the causes of the Ebola outbreak, looks at analyses of the networked structure of Jewish religious texts, and examines vintage space station designs.