Primitive Tools Push Land Bridge To Nowhere

I Can See The Land Bridge To Nowhere From My Cave!

        Confirmed by abundant flakes!

Yeah, so the Clovis people claim they were here first, but what do you expect from a bunch of illegal immigrants who sneakily entered the continent on a bridge that conveniently disappeared? And snuck sharp objects into the country, too! Them and their precious bifacially fluted projectile points. Of course, many of us insisted that we already had enough people sticking their fluted projectile points into the megafauna, and how many paleolamas could we spare? I think the absence of giant tapirs trotting through the suburbs of the Twin Cities says it all, don’t you?

Luckily, according to the BBC, archeologists may have settled the Clovis’ hash permanently with the discovery of over 15,000 stone tools underneath Clovis tools in a creek bed in Austin, the one town in Texas where history goes back more than 6,000 years. Said one Texas A&M anthropologist, “This is almost like a baseball bat to the side of the head of the archaeological community!”

Damn straight it is! You got yer chert blades, yer bladelets, chisels, naturally, and of course, abundant flakes. They’re not projectile-point pretty, but they do the job. There are the usual nay-sayers and Clovis-culture lovers who don’t know when they’ve been whipped, with their mealy-mouthing about being needlessly divisive, about objects found in floodplains being inconstant and moveable, complaining about the thinness of the layer where the tools were found.

Non-Clovian Americans, just ignore the naysayers. If there’s one thing we know about Texas, it’s that it’s a land of rigid sediments.

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 03/27/11 at 07:49 PM • Permalink

Categories: ImagesMessylaneousNews

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To be honest, said hash is easily settled.

Comment by sean on 03/27/11 at 08:41 PM

Not that you’d want to settle there yourself…

Speaking of primitive technology


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/radiation-levels-re ach-new-highs-as-conditions-worsen-for-workers/2011/03/27/AF sMLFiB_story.html

we have these things in the USA. Note the clever feature of the holes in the bottom of the containment with washers that melt.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/27/11 at 09:29 PM

The mistake here is invoking the discredited assumptions that (a) the relative depth of layers of sediment correlates with distinct historical epochs and (b) the individual layer strata were deposited sequentially in the order in which they appear to us today.

For example, most enlightened researchers recognize that Jesus and His Father have intentionally scrambled the “fossil record” to make it appear that Life has “evolved” over the course of “millions of years” and that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted, as a means to test our faith in the creation story of Genesis.

Thus, it is entirely possible that the “pre-Clovis” relics are not only “younger” than the Clovis settlements, but may actually have only materialized in place mere moments before they were “discovered.”

It’s obvious to me that these so-called “archeologists” are playing fast-and-loose with secular “rubber science” here, and the Godless BBC is only too willing to be duped by slick talk about “paradigms” and “optically stimulated luminescence.”

Dear Mr. Rootless,

You’ll find a much more target-rich environment over at [the Effluence](http://bit.ly/hJd61o).

Comment by sean on 03/27/11 at 09:43 PM

(Or Reddit, whose syntax you see above… ;-)

Egg, meet face.

I hate technology.

Many songbirds died to bring us these images.

Sean, Newkyoolar Technician’s Daughter (“don’t worry—my father was an expert!”) over at that pitiful Effluents, or whatever that skeletal thing is, has actually closed comments on the front-page post, which has been mouldering up there for five days now.

Either that, or shame was the spark that caused the blogging software for that primordial pool to become sentient enough to close comments on itself.

There are some logical connectives missing

(1) GE Mark I reactors appear to be designed very dangerously
(2) Wind turbines catch on fire

Is there some step missing here? Are we supposed to either worship “technology” uncritically or live on roots-and-nuts? Is that the theory?

Love the cite of National Wind Watch, an astroturf organization oddly located in Rowe (just a coincidence, I’m sure) that seems to be a little behind on filing its 990s.

Man, rootless, you’re obsessed.

I sell wind turbines. I can make as much fun of them as I want to. Geez.

So rootless, would roots-and-nuts be a tie-in to the primitive peoples theme? May we also expect a disquisition on the unparalleled evils of nuclear power in response to our cute puppy posts (evil nuclear power vaporizes puppies!) and food pron threads (irradiated buffalo mozzerella poisons Italian grammas!)?

Now that I think of it, an exploding wind turbine would have scared the hell out of Clovis Man.

@Strange, just what are the innards of that turbine that provide the fuel for those flames?  Lubricating oil, wire insulation, hard plastic,... some, all, or other stuff entirely?

@meep: That may look like a wind turbine, but it’s actually one of Joe Barton’s nuclear powered wind fans, which keep the wind from stopping.

Yeah, meep, it’s your basic mixture of oil, insulation and composites. Fires are actually rare, but occasionally you burn out a bearing or pop a seal. Fortunately, a lot of the recent improvements have been in the areas of more robust gearing and automated blade pitch and yaw controls designed to reduce the wind load, prevent overspeed rotation or shut the turbine down entirely in the presence of excessive wind.

Thanks Strange.
I assume those moments of “excessive wind” are too rare to be worth planning for, i.e., there’s no benefit from a cost/benefit standpoint of installing equipment to enable the “harvest” of all the extra energy of those particularly windy intervals that rarely come along.

...Joe Barton’s nuclear powered wind fans, which keep the wind from stopping.

@sean, it’s best you not put such ideas into the heads of Smoky Joe and his pals. The HoR has already denied the existence of global warming (in a Resolution or somesuch); hard to tell whether it’s just because they’re so full of themselves these days, or also gorging themselves in an orgy of industry-favored wingnut “policy” crap while they can, prior to the next election.

Well, actually, I think those considerations have been in the mix since the beginning, although they’ve become progressively more urgent as turbines have increased in size and cost. The basic assumption is that you want to make the most out of routine or slack winds, which puts the emphasis on lightweight design, smooth gearing and decent brakes.

I’m sure you could design a turbine that’s optimized to function in 40+mph winds without tearing itself apart or going airborne, but I suspect it would cost a ton more and spend most of its time doing nothing.

Just a small bit of news that I thought would interest some people here. I mean it is a kind of significant accident and there are a large number of plants of the same design and approximate age in the USA.  Is there a local custom I’m violating?

I find the volatile defensive response very peculiar indeed.


There are other wind skeptics of course
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-03-25-wisconsin-gov.- scott-walker-ruins-everything-including-wind-powe

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 12:05 AM

by the way, vestas medium speed turbines have a cutout at 55mph. That seems typical
http://www.energybible.com/wind_energy/wind_speed.html

Even roof mountable can do 60mph
http://www.swiftwindturbine.com/specifications.php

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 12:23 AM

Yeah, rootless, it’s kind of unfortunate that the Koch brothers - scumbags though they are - have gotten so much attention in Wisconsin as to take the spotlight off of other scumbags up there.  Specifically, the real estate lobby gave a LOT to Walker’s campaign for guv - more than any other business sector, IIRC - and one of the things they wanted real bad was to kill those wind turbines that would supposedly upset their customers (NIMBY and all that). The insanely impractical new set-back requirements for siting turbines in the state will apparently chill the wind energy business with brutal efficiency.

pshaw!  put those nukeular Big Mac models down in hurricane alley, and watch the big bucks roll in!

rootless, wind is great for what it is. As you may remember my telling you before, I grew up the next town over from Indian Point, officially known as the unsafest nuclear power plant in the nation. My mother went to every hearing, we heard nothing but tales from the Atomic Energy Commission every night at dinner, with fist-pounding, and our kitchen clock permanently read two minutes to midnight.

Since the glory days of my mother annoying the bejesus out of the AEC, an unpleasant realization has dawned on her: there are no sufficient and available power-producing technologies that don’t contribute to global warming except nuclear power.

The problems with it, that it produces furiously dangerous waste that nobody knows what to do with besides producing lovely weapons, and that nuclear plants are subject to being run by venal, corruptible, fallible humans, aren’t under debate here. But we’ve seen that its alternatives exact a tough environmental toll: coal and gas power are hell on the environment, too, with much more frequent disasters than nuclear, if less spectacular. But tell the people whose family members drowned in mine tailing disasters or die of black lung every year that nuclear power isn’t as safe as coal.

If Americans got a maturity transplant and threw themselves into conservation, we might get somewhere before the sea levels rise and the Maldives disappear, but really, do you think that’s going to happen?

vestas medium speed turbines have a cutout at 55mph

Yes, and well they should.

Even roof mountable can do 60mph

Of course they can. They fit on your roof. Life’s a bit more complicated when you’re dealing with, say, a 300-foot tower with a 180-foot sweep.

Is there a local custom I’m violating?

Only the usual proscriptions against flogging your own well-worn personal crusades on wholly unrelated threads under the guise of “public service.”

Is there a local custom I’m violating?

Well, comments are still open on the earlier threads dedicated to thrashing out nukes and their pros and cons—and we’re quite capable of decamping to enjoin debate on older threads even if they’ve slipped off the front page—whereas this one wasn’t about all that (well, not at first anyway).

Since a lot of us haven’t had much of a chance to interact with you till recently, it just makes you come across as somewhat Johnny one-note. And I’m not clear you’ve made much of an attempt to establish what our various views, perspectives, and experiences concerning energy issues are prior to your attempts to enlighten us.

from my perspective, I posted several kinda inoffensive notes about nukes in a nuke thread and got told that I was a stupid, ignorant, technophobic luddite, and that the functioning of these reactors was a success, and that flatly nukes or coal are absolutely necessary and shut the fuck up anyways. I was told that citing testimony of the Ph.d. physicist at the Union of Concerned scientists showed I didn’t know basic physics, that the Stanford U. energy experts are “power elves” and that there must be some psychological trauma behind my irrational dislike for fission or that my position was a kind of Energy Hamsherism. All that seems peculiar in the face of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Bullying always sets me off.

Ms. Polly, I’m sorry that your mom was annoying about the AEC, but I am puzzled why you, without any engineering background, feel compelled to dismiss all the people who have power engineering expertise and don’t agree that nuclear is so necessary. Do you know something they don’t know? Certainly they could be wrong, but just repeating the mantra that nukes are necessary over and over as a response is not super compelling as a response.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_an d_global_warming/ucs-position-on-nuclear-power.html
There’s a kind of interesting debate here
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2009/10/21/brand-vs-lovins-on-n uclear-power
Keep in mind that Brand is a salesman and Lovins has a successful engineering consulting practice.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 07:15 AM

Meepmeep - the Koch’s are involved in the wind debacle as well. Walker’s bill gives him the right to sell off without auction Wisconsin’s state power plants. Wind farms would drive down prices those plants could charge.

http://ecopolitology.org/2011/02/28/in-wisconsin-koc h-brothers-have-much-more-to-gain-than-power-plants/

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 07:20 AM

from my perspective, I posted several kinda inoffensive notes about nukes in a nuke thread and got told that I was a stupid, ignorant, technophobic luddite, and that the functioning of these reactors was a success, and that flatly nukes or coal are absolutely necessary and shut the fuck up anyways.

That’s not exactly how it went down. And, anyway, I only accused your horse of being a Luddite.

the actual luddites, of course, were pro-machinery, but anti-starvation wages.

http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/kevin .binfield/luddites/LudditeHistory.htm

“collective bargaining by riot” is a typically great Hobsbawm line.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 08:39 AM

Ms. Polly, I’m sorry that your mom was annoying about the AEC, but I am puzzled why you, without any engineering background, feel compelled to dismiss all the people who have power engineering expertise and don’t agree that nuclear is so necessary.

Mrs. P is more than capable of speaking for herself, but I don’t think she DID say nuclear power is necessary. I believe her point was that ALL current, viable sources of mass-energy production have downsides. She’s right.

Mrs. P is more than capable of speaking for herself, but I don’t think she DID say nuclear power is necessary. I believe her point was that ALL current, viable sources of mass-energy production have downsides.

There are downsides to every decision like that, but what she wrote was:

there are no sufficient and available power-producing technologies that don’t contribute to global warming except nuclear power.

That’s a claim that is, at best, in dispute. One can disagree with the arguments made e.g. here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path -to-sustainable-energy-by-2030

but just stating the opposite is not really much of an argument. The nuclear industry has spent a lot of money championing the plausible sounding argument that only nuclear can combat the effects of coal, but plausible and correct are different beasts.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 09:53 AM

Dipwads

I just flipped over here because writing about biomass gasification in Uganda was driving me crazy. But, suddenly, it looks like fun. At least the Ugandans aren’t demanding an argument.

Someone’s not aware of all internet traditions!

I am puzzled why you, without any engineering background,

That’s funny. For a moment there, I could have sworn I was being patronized by a nuclear industry spokesman.

Are you by any chance related to the rootless_e who attacks firebaggers for their kneejerk binary thinking, naïveté, and projection? Cos that guy is great. You should send him over some time.

It’s the same me - the one who likes to see empirical tests of categorical statements. You say:

there are no sufficient and available power-producing technologies that don’t contribute to global warming except nuclear power.

I’m asking why you disregard the opinions of the engineers I cited. I could be wrong, but I’m mystified by your reasoning.

Don’t do it, Polly. He just lives for the battle.

I’m asking why you disregard the opinions of the engineers I cited.

And if she defers to them, you’ll pretend she didn’t. And if she poses a legitimate response invoking, say, power-density or the current configuration of the US electrical grid, you’ll sidestep that and reassert the authority of your authorities, who are beyond reproach.

Then, eventually, we’ll get back to the obvious rectitude of the Bazillion Windmills and PV Panels Global Manhattan Project…which would be fine with me, since at least then I wouldn’t have to worry about the number of untapped BTUs residing in Kampala’s municipal waste dump.

I don’t disregard their opinions, rootless, but when it comes to knowledge of human behavior, their expertise is questionable to say the least.

It’s a golden plan, but it totally ignores political realities, financial realities, and human behavioral realities. This commenter in your link above addresses some of that:

The authors are aware of the cost issue and on page 64 write “the overall construction cost for a WWS system might be on the order of $100 trillion worldwide, over 20 years, not including transmission.” Let’s consider that number a bit. The United States consumes 25% of the world’s energy. That might imply our bill should be $25 trillion. The poor countries of the world won’t let us off that easily. They will demand that we pay for our previous sins by subsidizing their upgrades. Let’s estimate our negotiated share as $50 trillion. Divide that among our population of 300 million people and it amounts to almost $200,000 per person. For a family of four, that’s slightly less than a million dollars. Even over 20 years, that figures out to $50,000 per year per family to finance this brave new world. Mr. and Mrs. America, can you spare $50,000 a year in additional energy costs? I don’t think so. Ain’t gonna happen.

One of the geniuses of Obama is his ability to use forces that are already in operation to get some good accomplished, for which he is castigated endlessly by fauxgressives as a sell-out to those forces. It’s not the Ultimate Good, it’s not the Perfection they wanted, so the hell with it, tear it all down.

How does this translate? Well, perhaps the disaster in Fukushima will enable us to get more regulation in the nuclear industry, and old plants shut down. That seems doable, even in a country where curly light bulbs are regarded as a plot by Al Gore to enrich himself while drawing an iron curtain of darkness over the heartland.

Thanks for predicting my response, but I’m not looking for “defer”. What I’m looking for is some admission that it is not black and white and that

there are no sufficient and available power-producing technologies that don’t contribute to global warming except nuclear power.

is a proposition under debate by people who study the issue, not an axiom.

What I’m looking for is some admission

Now that you mention it, that seems to be your sole purpose in engaging people online.

Thanks for your response Mrs. Polly.

The commentator you cite is making an error of not comparing apples to apples which would involve comparing Jacobson’s plan with a plan to replace all the worlds coal with nuclear. Nuclear power plant building is EXPENSIVE.
http://scitizen.com/future-energies/how-much-will-new-n uclear-power-plants-cost-_a-14-2287.html
Those huge numbers in Jacobson’s plan have to be seen in terms of his claim that Nuclear is a more expensive way to reduce carbon. Even at a ridiculously optimistic $1B/1GW for nuclear, a terra watt is a lot of money and probably $8B is more reasonable.

(BTW if micro-nukes become actually practical, they will require big grid upgrades too)

If we look at a more modest goal - e.g. reducing US carbon production in power generation by 20% in 10 years, those stupendous costs become manageable. And the commentator also makes the standard error of critics of environmentalism by only counting costs and not benefits. Aside from benefits of reduced carbon, Spanish wind power has reduced electricity costs which is an economic boost to industry and consumers. The costs of solar/wind are dominated by finance costs and production is very low cost.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 01:14 PM

Spanish wind power benefits from being located in a country with a fairly low density of nincompoops, and a rather low density of population, and handles only a small percentage of that. As was pointed out in the last ennervating go-round.

I think your apple-to-apples comparison only shows that Jacobson’s plan is as unrealistic a hypothetical as a plan to use nothing but nuclear would be.

My poor little thread!

Arguing over the shape of spear tips. That’s what killed the Clovis people.

Mrs. Polly, I just want to say thank you for the link to the pre-Clovis finds. I would have heard about them eventually, since I have a long list of bookmarks to archaeology sites and read three or four magazines on the subject, but it’s nice to get the news while it’s fresh.

I’m sorry to see the BBC fall into the journalistic trap of playing up controversy, though.

The Google ads on this page also got a lot more interesting thanks to this post!

Spanish wind power benefits from being located in a country with a fairly low density of nincompoops,

Not really.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0411/p05s01-woeu.html

Using renewable energy is also not a function of th intelligence of the public -we are not talking about wearing sweaters indoors in winter or something.

and a rather low density of population, and

Denser than the US
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_a nd_dependent_territories_by_population_density

handles only a small percentage of that.

Not really.

2010 was a windier year than average in Spain, and the country’s wind farms generated 42.7 TWh of electricity, accounting for 16,6% of the national net power consumption. All renewable energy sources combined produced around 38% of Spain’s electricity needs, with wind being the largest single contributor within the renewable energy mix.

http://www.gwec.net/index.php?id=131

As was pointed out in the last ennervating go-round.

Pointed out indeed.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 03:21 PM

Ennervating indeed!

Spain has 44 million people. That’s not much bigger than California. Spain’s windpower provided 11% of the electricity for needed for 44 million people. That makes it a very nice accent in a large patchwork, in the most ideal environment possible.

Did you also see that Spain’s financial meltdown KO’d the subsidies meant for solar, creating a big solar bubble, as Republicans love to point out? Of course, it’s infuriating that they are basing their view of clean energy subsidies as unreliable because they’re just the bastards who’re going to stop them, but they are 100% reliable in predicting their own venal behavior, so I’d believe them.

That’s why Spain’s model doesn’t translate to the U.S.  A president and Congress, working together, taking the long view, pouring subsidies into alternative energy—sounds good, doesn’t it? What are the chances, do you think, of getting something on an enormous scale done, when the other party is happy to use any means necessary to destroy the whole pretty picture?

President Bernie Sanders sounds good, too. God knows I’d love to see it. I’ll certainly vote for clean-energy candidates, but I’ll tend to favor the ones who can deal with what is possible to do, and then do it. Like Barack Obama.

@Origuy: Thank YOU! It’s an honor to have served up something a savvy archeological type finds fresh. And yes, why does the search for knowledge have to be winner-take-all?

rootless, look what you have done to the google ads. We were getting all the most enticing stonecutting equipment and Clovis-centric material, and now it’s just roof panels, as if we couldn’t find them on any old eco-blog.

For shame. Snark weeps.

Molecular analysis of coprolites from Hinds Cave, Texas recovered chloroplast DNA sequences. The sequences were interpreted as evidence
of diet. We analyzed 19 Hinds Cave coprolites to evaluate the potential sources of the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) and compared our results to
previous studies. This review shows that some cpDNA sequences could be from well-known prehistoric plants foods. Some other sequences
could have come from ambient plant material in the guts of small animals eaten by humans in antiquity. Using pollen concentration analysis,
we identify sources of ambient plant material which could have been inhaled or imbibed. It is even possible that cpDNA sequences are from
proplastids within ambient pollen grains themselves. However, three sequence types cannot be explained as resulting from only dietary or ambient sources. We suggest instead that these might be from medicinal or hallucinogenic plants. We compared these three sequences to existing
sequences in the GenBank. We found that these sequences are 100% matches for Rhamnus, Fouquieria, and Solanum.

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?artic le=1065&context=natrespapers&sei;-redir=1#search=“ coprolite+studies+texas”

And more practically
http://www.practicalprimitive.com/intensiveskills.html#sits

Beginning with the earliest and most primitive of stone tools, you will work your way through millions of years of history and discover how, far from being inferior, stone tools in many cases work as well as or better than their modern conterparts. From there I will take you through my specially developed 9 Step Knapping™ program, which will open up to you the entire world of points, knives, daggers and blades. We will move into the more advanced techniques of the Clovis and Folsom cultures, including fluting, and you will learn how to properly notch, haft and sharpen your points so that they can be used for display or for hunting.

Comment by rootless_e on 03/28/11 at 05:56 PM

Thanks, rootless. Obviously, I could use a few tips on how to not only flute and haft, but sharpen my point.

And Hinds Cave was just lousy with coprolites, wasn’t it! And having looked at one, I can only say, plus ça change…

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