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June 8, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Phillip Tobias, a renowned South African paleoanthropologist and expert on early man and hominids, died Thursday. He was 86. Tobias died in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness, according to South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, where he chaired the anatomy department from 1959 to 1990. He "was one of the greats in human evolutionary studies," Nick Barton, director of Oxford University's Institute of Archaeology, told the Associated Press.
June 3, 2012 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan — Four aid group workers held hostage in a cave in northeastern Afghanistan were rescued early Saturday by NATO-led forces, according to British and alliance officials. The four, a British woman and Kenyan woman and their two male Afghan colleagues, were reportedly in good condition. They had been kidnapped May 22 as they headed to impoverished areas of Badakhshan province on horseback during a mission for Medair, a charity group based in Switzerland. The rescue occurred shortly after midnight in a remote, forested area reportedly inhabited by smugglers and bandits.
May 29, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Make jokes about flute players all you want, but it's looking more likely that our earliest musical impulses may have been fed by a variation on just such an instrument based on recent discoveries in caves in southern Germany. Exploring a human cave settlement along the Danube with the tongue-twisting name Geißenklösterle, researchers have discovered flutes dating back to as much as as much as 45,000 years ago using radiocarbon-dated bones found in the same layer of the archaeological dig. The discovery marks the earliest example of such instruments found to date, which points to early humans showing artistic impulses far earlier than initially belived.
May 14, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Anthropologists working in southern France have discovered what they believe to be the oldest known wall art in a rock shelter that collapsed 37,000 years ago. The inscribed and painted objects in the shelter are thought to be slightly older than the previous oldest art, found at Grotte Chauvet, also in southeastern France. Both caves are relics of the Aurignacian period, named after the Aurignac site in France where the first artifacts from the period were discovered. The Aurignacian period stretches from about 40,000 years ago to 28,000 years ago and is the source of the famous Venus figurines, such as the Venus of Willendorf, which are the first statuettes of humans, displaying exaggerated female characteristics.
April 20, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The ladies are everywhere at the Atria Woodbridge senior living community in Irvine: It is the ladies who fill the dining hall, the ladies who while away the afternoon chatting and doing crossword puzzles in the sitting room, and the ladies whose photos are on display next to the needlepoint and paintings in the resident art gallery. Such is life in a place where women outnumber men at least three to one. But in a room on the second floor - where model airplanes dangle from the ceiling, work tables line the walls and a sign reading "Boys Will Be Boys" hangs outside the door - Al Ladine has created one spot where the guys run the show.
April 11, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
No place on Earth demonstrates the resilience or inventiveness of life quite like Lechuguilla Cave, whose subterranean tunnels stretch for 130 miles through Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Deep in the cave's most arid recesses, deprived of all sunlight and mostly starved of life-giving water, a lush garden of bacteria grows. Untouched by humans for all of their 4 million years, these strains of bacteria thrive on the harsh minerals of the geological formations to which they cling and fend off other life forms that would prey on them.
April 3, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Flame-bearing Prometheus may have visited humans earlier than we thought. An analysis of charred bones and plant ash in sediment from a South African cave suggests that Homo erectus was wielding fire a million years ago — and perhaps even cooking with it, according to a study released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings present the earliest clear evidence of such use of fire, experts said. The ability to control fire marks an evolutionary turning point: It would have kept our ancient relatives warm in unforgiving climes and allowed them to cook their food, releasing trapped nutrients and getting more caloric bang per bite.
March 18, 2012 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Like many peasants from the outskirts of Yanan, China, Ren Shouhua was born in a cave and lived there until he got a job in the city and moved into a concrete-block house. His progression made sense as he strove to improve his life. But there's a twist: The 46-year-old Ren plans to move back to a cave when he retires. "It's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It's quiet and safe," said Ren, a ruddy-faced man with salt-and-pepper hair who moved to the Shaanxi provincial capital, Xian, in his 20s. "When I get old, I'd like to go back to my roots.
March 1, 2012 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
An imaginative, cavern-style house in Malibu that looks like something out of "The Flintstones" has come on the market at $3.5 million. What a contrast then that the owners are seemingly ageless television personality Dick Clark and his wife, Kari , according to public records. The usual architectural retreat sits on a mountaintop within a nearly 23-acre site. Free-form walls punctuated with expanses of glass bring in ocean views. The one-bedroom, two-bathroom custom house, which has the interior ambience of a bright cave, has vaulted ceilings in the living and dining rooms, a fireplace and a wine cellar.
January 18, 2012
Jimmy Castor Wrote hit song 'Troglodyte (Cave Man)' Jimmy Castor, a funk and soul saxophonist, singer and songwriter best known for "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" and "It's Just Begun," died Monday of apparent heart failure at a Las Vegas hospital. He was 71, according to his family. A resident of Henderson, Nev., Castor was hospitalized in November after a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. Castor was born and raised in New York City.
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