December 23, 1991 |
Two landmark exhibitions from this year combined to give a satellite's-eye view of human history evolving. They concern the time when the voyages of Christopher Columbus set in motion a turmoil of epochal change. They arrive in the troubled twilight of a millennial century when the peoples of the planet are again in anxious motion. They speak to the present.
May 8, 1994 |
The year 2000 . . . we've heard about that date all our lives. The phrase itself has become a staple of our language, signifying the moment when the real future begins. Our civilization has been talking about "the year 2000" incessantly, it seems, at least since 1905, when historian Henry Adams predicted that "every American who lived into the year 2000 would know how to control unlimited power." We've prophesied, fantasized, invented, planned, revised our plans and revised them again.
February 23, 1989 |
At the outbreak of World War II, the essayist E. B. White, who was writing a magazine column from his farm in Maine, complained that he felt inadequate, occupying what he called "the low hummocks of humor" when a man ought to be doing more muscular and heroic things in the cause of freedom.
December 26, 1997 |
Media monster 007 . . . You might say that Elliot Carver--the latest power-mad super fiend to foolishly challenge James Bond--is an old-fashioned reporter who'll do anything to get a story. Even create it himself. "I'm having fun with my headlines," global media scum Carver (Jonathan Pryce) blithely tells a subordinate in the just-released "Tomorrow Never Dies."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 1990 |
Modern fantasies about early native Americans living in harmony with nature are just that--fantasies, according to anthropologist Timothy Kohler of Washington State University. He has found that the prehistoric Anasazi of northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado significantly altered the plant and animal mixes near their settlements. The effect on the environment occurred through wood harvesting for fuel and construction, field clearing and burning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2000
Humans began camping on the shore and eating seafood at least 125,000 years ago, about 10,000 years earlier than previously believed, according to an international team of archeologists. The team reports in today's Nature that they found Paleolithic hand axes and obsidian flakes and blades on a fossil reef terrace on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. The reef terrace is about six miles long and 18 to 42 feet below sea level.
May 25, 1990 |
Flake by painstaking flake, the sloping skull of a long-extinct whale emerged from an eight-foot-long cocoon of sedimentary earth and plaster of Paris. "I don't want to chip any of the fragile bone away," said Marian Meyer quietly as she scraped at the partially exposed fossil that sat on a pallet in the back room of RMW Paleontologists, a small research company in a light-industrial complex on Via Fabricante in Mission Viejo.
November 18, 1991 |
As a budding anthropologist, Jack Weatherford went to Kahl, Germany, to study the impact of an atomic power plant on the 2,000-year-old town. He figured the technological behemoth was the biggest thing to happen there since the Roman Empire sent its legions into the dark forests of Central Europe. Instead, in this unlikely setting, he discovered the American Indians and their often-overlooked contributions to the world--including the daily life of an obscure German village.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1990 |
What began as a construction project turned into an impromptu history lesson when workers unearthed an assortment of Indian artifacts on the playground of San Juan Elementary School. An assortment of 50 to 75 items, including shells, tile, fragments of bone and stone tools, were dug out of 20 holes about four feet deep, said Nick Magalousis, director of the nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano Museum, who was called to the school to help.
May 9, 1997 |
A handful of squash seeds and a bit of rind from a Mexican cave are rewriting the saga of one of the most important turning points in the history of humans in the Americas--the development of farming. Dating of the seeds indicates that domestic cultivation of plants in this hemisphere began about 10,000 years ago--more than 4,000 years earlier than scientists had believed.