The Master’s Crypt | Aristotle’s 2,400-year-old Tomb in northern Greece

The discovery will be formally announced Thursday at an international conference, the “Aristotle 2400 Years” World Congress, held in Thessaloniki.


[The tomb is a mounded dome about 32 feet high, with a marble floor dated to the Hellenistic period, reported the Greek Reporter website — which published several photos taken at the site. It is located in the center of Stagira, with sweeping 360-degree views, which signifies its importance.

Evidence suggests the tomb was hastily constructed and later finished with higher quality materials. A pathway leads to the entrance of the tomb, which was destroyed by the Byzantines — who built a square tower on top of it.

Aristotle, who studied under the great philosopher Plato, is regarded as the first genuine scientist in western history.

He made significant and seminal contributions to biology, physics and zoology, and he also influenced thousands of years of thought in aesthetics, metaphysics, linguistics, government and poetry. He tutored Alexander the Great, who spread Greek philosophy to Africa and the Middle East.] RAW STORY




Reservation Blues | Sex Trafficking for Drugs

[POPLAR, Montana, May 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Life on the remote Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northern Montana has all the ingredients for sex trafficking – poverty, isolation, joblessness and violence, topped with an epidemic of crystal meth addiction.

Drug users are selling their babies, daughters and sisters for the potent stimulant that is ravaging Native American communities such as the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes living on the desolate plains of Fort Peck, say community leaders, experts and federal authorities.

“We’re in crisis mode,” said Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure. “We have mothers giving their children away for sexual favors for drugs. We have teenagers and young girls giving away sexual favors for drugs.”

No numbers record specific rates of local sex trafficking, which can often be buried in crimes of sexual assault, abuse, prostitution, abandonment or kidnapping. But it is a crime, poorly documented and fuelled by drug abuse, plaguing Indian reservations across the United States.

The rate of meth use among American Indians is the highest of any ethnicity in the country and more than twice as high as any other group, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

The number of drug cases on Indian lands nationwide rose seven-fold from 2009 to 2014, and crime rates on some reservations are five times higher than national averages, according to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration report…..

A harrowing number of victims are trafficked by their own family members.

“Traffickers are not just scary men who drive around in Cadillacs in their leather trench coats,” said Healey.

“A trafficker can be a parent or guardian. A trafficker can be an aunt or an uncle or it can be a boyfriend or another friend.”

The often close relationships between abuser and abused present a web of problems such as forcing victims to leave home for their protection, experts said.

Victims may fear the community and authorities won’t believe them and will instead defend the trafficker, said an Indian Health Service social worker who did not want to be identified.

“Nobody wants to go after a family member,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…..]

Read the full story | Thompson Reuters Foundation Group


Tribal elder Tommy Christian lives on Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation which is looking for ways to combat issues of drug abuse and sex trafficking, Poplar, Montana, April 28, 2016 | THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Ellen Wulfhorst


The Ogham that Wasn’t | A Unique Historical Site in SE Colorado

In one of my field research excursions in April, here in Colorado, I stumbled upon the Millennial Site, a notorious ground for academic drama, and a highly disputed site for Ogham writing. Even though beyond the scope of my research interests, I could not resist exploring it, after I requested permission by the ranch owner whose property now engulfs Millennial Site (aka Hackberry Springs, and Bloody Springs), and was granted escorted access to this unique, historically rich site. Here are some photographs from sites 1 and 2.


Panorama of Site 1 | Millennial Site | South of Ruxton, CO | @2016 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

Millennial Site | Blood Springs

Site 2, detail | Millennial Site | South of Ruxton, CO | @2016 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

Millennial Site | Blood Springs

Shallow Cave, Site 1 | Millennial Site | South of Ruxton, CO | 22016 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

Last Battle | Indian Wars | 1868

Alleged depiction of the last battle fought in Colorado between US 7th Calvary and Cheyenne bands – 1868 | Site 2 | Millennial Site | South of Ruxton, CO | @2016 Styliani Giannitsi Photography


Site 1 | Millennial Site | South of Ruxton, CO | 22016 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

Colorado Millennial Site is a prehistoric Paleo-Indian archaeological site located near Ruxton in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Colorado, sitting along the border between Baca and Las Animas counties. It is also known by its site ID, 5LA1115, and the names Hackberry Springs and Bloody Springs.[1]

The site was inhabited from 6999 B.C. to A.D. 1900. The prehistoric cultures included Archaic and Woodland cultures and the site is significant for its rock art, village settlement, and military battle site.[1]

The Cheyenne and U.S. 7th Cavalry had the last documented southeastern Colorado military battle with Native Americans at the site in 1868.[4]  [ WIKIPEDIA]


Some background on the Ogham controversy:

[In 1975, historian Dr. Donald G. Rickey (1925 – 2000) was investigating the site of an 1868 battle which took place between soldiers of the 7th US Cavalry and a raiding party of Cheyenne warriors at Hackberry Springs, in Colorado.

At the time, Dr. Rickey was the Chief Historian for the Bureau of Land Management (part of the US Department of the Interior), and had a personal interest in the battle in that one of the two 7th Cavalry troopers killed in the battle was his ancestor Sam Rickey.

While at the site, Dr. Rickey discovered groove marks which he initially called “spear-sharpening marks.” However, as circumstance would have it, he traveled to Scotland only a few weeks later, where he happened to visit a museum displaying the distinctive grooved writing system known as Ogham or Ogam, used by the Celts and found in throughout the British Isles, mainly in Ireland but also in England, Wales and Scotland, almost always in the form of grooves carved into stones.

He immediately suspected that the rock inscriptions he had seen in southern Colorado might be an example of this same writing system. Dr. Rickey returned to the site with other researchers over the next two years, and eventually contacted Dr. Barry Fell (1917 – 1994), a Harvard professor and the author of the controversial America BC, first published in 1976. Professor Fell agreed that the inscriptions were likely an example of Ogham, and of the older “all-consonant” variety which seems to prevail in the Americas.

Dr. Rickey submitted the site for consideration for recognition of its historic significance, but his mention of the possibility that the rock art might be Ogham elicited a swift and contemptuous response from his archaeological colleagues, as described in the short video clip above. The full text of the memos and letters between the defenders of the orthodox view of history (which does not admit to the possibility of ancient trans-oceanic travel) can be seen here.

The tone of these letters is revealing. Dr. Stuart Piggott of the University of Edinburgh (to whom the Chief Archaeologist of the National Park Service wrote upon learning of Dr. Rickey’s heretical suggestion) wrote back to say “I have just heard of this and have no doubt that it is not just the fringe but hard-core lunacy. I am astonished that anyone, particularly a historian, should have fallen for it” (see page 3 of the online pdf linked above; that pdf also contains a photograph of the inscriptions on page 6).]

Read the full article here | The Mathison Corollary


Respect and Protect Our Past

A Public Awareness Campaign to Eliminate the Looting and Vandalism of Archaeological, Paleontological, and Natural Resources in Utah

Wild, Wild West | “Big Nose” George Parrot: the Outlaw Who Was Turned into Human Shoes & an Ashtray


“Big Nose” George Parrot | Shoes made from his skin | George Parrot’s skull and bones | First to Know

[In February 1879, ‘Big Nose’ George and his gang executed a risky daytime robbery on a very wealthy merchant named Morris Cahn. Cahn was traveling with a military convoy that included 15 soldiers, two officers and an ambulance. Wearing masks, the gang first surprised and then captured the first element of soldiers and the ambulance with Cahn and the officers. They waited and finally captured the rear element of soldiers with the wagon. They robbed Cahn of an exorbitant amount between $3,600 and $14,000 (different amounts were reported in different papers at the time).

It was July 1880 when Big Nose George was finally apprehended by police after he drunkenly boasted to people about the robbery. Parrot was sent back to Wyoming to face murder charges.

Parrott was sentenced to hang on April 2, 1881, following a trial, but he soon tried escaping from Rawlins, Wyoming prison. When news of the attempted escape reached the people, a 200-man lynch mob snatched George from the prison at gunpoint and strung him up from a telegraph pole. After two botched attempts, they successfully killed ‘Big Nose.’

But the story only gets stranger after his death.

Doctors Thomas Maghee and John Eugene Osborne took possession of Parrott’s body after his death, in order to study the outlaw’s brain for signs of criminality, something that was commonly done at the time. The top of Parrott’s skull was sawed off and the top portion was given to a then-15-year-old girl named Lilian Heath, who would later become the first female doctor in Wyoming. She used Parrott’s skull as an ashtray, pen holder and doorstop.

Skin from George’s thighs, chest and nipples were sent to a tannery in Denver, where the skin was made into a pair of shoes and a medical bag. The shoes were kept by Dr. John Eugene Osborne, who wore them at his inaugural ball after being elected as the first Democratic Governor of the State of Wyoming.]

‘Big Nose’ George Parrot: the Outlaw Who Was Turned into Human Shoes & an Ashtray


‘Big Nose’ George’s death mask and shoes made from his skin | Carbon County Museum, Rawlings, WY

Survivorship Bias | The Curious Story of the Applied Mathematics Panel

The Misconception: You should focus on the successful if you wish to become successful.

The Truth: When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible.

[In New York City, in an apartment a dozen blocks west of Harlem, above trees reaching out over sidewalks and dogs pulling at leashes and conversations cut short to avoid parking tickets, a group of professional thinkers once gathered and completed equations that would both snuff and spare several hundred thousand human lives.

Carry The One POSTER

Illustration by Brad Clark at

People walking by the apartment at the time had no idea that four stories above them some of the most important work in applied mathematics was tilting the scales of a global conflict as secret agents of the United States armed forces, arithmetical soldiers, engaged in statistical combat. Nor could people today know as they open umbrellas and twist heels on cigarettes, that nearby, in an apartment overlooking Morningside Heights, one of those soldiers once effortlessly prevented the United States military from doing something incredibly stupid, something that could have changed the flags now flying in capitals around the world had he not caught it, something you do every day.

These masters of math moved their families across the country, some across an ocean, so they could work together. As they unpacked, the theaters in their new hometowns replaced posters for Citizen Kane with those for Casablanca, and the newspapers they unwrapped from photo frames and plates featured stories still unraveling the events at Pearl Harbor. Many still held positions at universities. Others left those sorts of jobs to think deeply in one of the many groups that worked for the armed forces, free of any other obligations aside from checking in on their families at night and feeding their brains during the day. All paused their careers and rushed to enlist so they could help crush Hitler, not with guns and brawn, but with integers and exponents.

The official name for the people inside the apartment was the Statistical Research Group, a cabal of geniuses assembled at the request of the White House and made up of people who would go on to compete for and win Nobel Prizes. The SRG was an extension of Columbia University, and they dealt mainly with statistical analysis. The Philadelphia Computing Section, another group made up entirely of women mathematicians, worked six days a week at the University of Pennsylvania on ballistics tables. Other groups with different specialties were tied to Harvard, Princeton, Brown and others, 11 in all, each a leaf at the end of a new branch of the government created to help defeat the Axis – the Department of War Math.

Actually…no. They were never officially known by such a deliciously sexy title. They were instead called the Applied Mathematics Panel, but they operated as if they were a department of war math…….]

Read the full story:

Survivorship Bias

Medicine, LGBT Community, and The Hippocratic Oath | The Curious Case of Mississippi, Tennessee and Maybe Florida


A fragment of the Oath on the 3rd-century Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2547

In the first week of April, Mississippi passed a new law making it expressly legal for doctors, psychologists, and counselors to opt out of any procedure or choose not to take on any patient if doing so would compromise their conscience. The law is specifically designed to protect medical professionals who object to gay marriage and non-marital sex.Tennessee’s general assembly just passed a similar law, which would only apply to counselors, and a now-dead Florida bill would have protected religious health-care organizations from having to “administer, recommend, or deliver a medical treatment or procedure that would be contrary to the religious or moral convictions or policies of the facility.”

Medical exemptions, though, deserve to be considered in a category of their own. Doctors and therapists interact with people at their most vulnerable, and their training and expertise gives them incredible power over patients. The advice they provide—or refuse to provide—to an LGBT patient could influence the treatment that person seeks. It could make that person less likely to seek primary care or identify themselves as LGBT to other doctors, which can lead to the “failure to screen, diagnose, or treat important medical problems,” according to the American Medical Association. The medical community has a problem: What should hospitals, private practices, and medical associations do about doctors and therapists who say it’s against their beliefs to provide care to LGBT patients?

Read the full article here | When Doctors Refuse to Treat LGBT Patients (The Atlantic)


The Hippocratic Oath (original -ancient Greek-), and modern version:

I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius, by Health, by Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture. To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath, but to nobody else. I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein. Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets. Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I transgress it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me. [5]

Modern version

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.