The difficult art of copying

Findings from archaeology to sequester carbon and make cleared jungle soil fertile for longer

It has long been assumed that the writings of Francisco de Orellana, who described the Amazon lowlands along the early 1540s as richly populated with villages, were greatly exaggerated – after all, it was mainly hunters, gatherers and slash-and-burn farmers who later roamed the forest in these areas. It was clay shards that first aroused the interest of archaeologists and provided clues that vast areas of land were populated quite differently before the demographic catastrophe triggered by pathogens than in the centuries that followed.

But in contrast to the cities and sacral buildings made of stone in Mesoamerica and in the Inca Empire, the buildings of the South American lowland Indians made of organic material were already overgrown by the forest a few years after the collapse of the societies and left hardly any visible traces. It was not until a targeted search was carried out that, in addition to shards of clay, a soil was found that was clearly different from the standard yellow-brown soil in the Amazon lowlands – the black terra preta.

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Turkey: opposition party hdp about to be banned?

turkey: opposition party hdp about to be banned?

The hunt for opposition members continues throughout the country with undisguised ferocity

AKP-MHP coalition wants to ban opposition party HDP. Already at the end of January, reports pointed in this direction. In recent days, Turkish media have reported signs that Erdogan and MHP leader Bahceli are on course to ban the HDP.

After hundreds of HDP members were arrested in one day alone, the Turkish government plans to revoke the parliamentary immunity of 28 of the 56 HDP parliamentarians. The hunt for opposition members continues throughout the country with undisguised ferocity. The Kurdish population is particularly affected. Many Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin are seeking protection in Europe, especially in Germany. But many Kurdish persecutees are denied protection.

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Welcome culture – sponsored by philip morris

welcome culture - sponsored by philip morris

Picture: Philip Morris GmbH

On the occasion of the Forderpreis "The power of the arts" for projects for the cultural integration of refugees and migrants

Philip Morris, the largest cigarette company outside China, is proud of its commitment to improving the world. That was made clear at a ceremony last Tuesday at the Berlin Academy of the Arts. On three floors of the Academy building on Pariser Platz, the Marlboro manufacturer celebrated the awarding of its Forderpreis for projects for the cultural integration of refugees and migrants. "The power of the arts" – This is the motto of the program, which was made public via a website of the same name.

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Chechen terrorist leader basayev is dead

Basayev had pushed the logic of terrorism with spectacular attacks, now he was presumably killed by an explosion on the way to a new attack

According to Russian intelligence, Shamil Basayev, one of Chechnya’s best-known terrorist leaders, and in any case the most wanted, was killed along with 11 other men. The death was also confirmed by the website KavkazCenter, which is close to the rebels. Only recently Basayev was appointed vice-president of Ichkeria (as the rebels call Chechnya), which indicated a radicalization of the resistance. Doku Umarov had only recently become president after the previous rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev was killed.

Shamil Basayev. Image: KavkazCenter

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Long sent pictures

Thanks to Kirch bankruptcy: The exhibition "Television makes you happy" recalls the golden years of television

Like water lilies, the monitors lie beneath the dark surface of the water and show slow-moving images: bizarre aquatic animals, nocturnal street crossings, passing cloud formations, a fireplace, an aquarium Pause images from television, from a time when it could still take a few minutes to switch from one channel to another. Even the canaries, which hooted around on stylized power cables for Sudwestfunk until the 80s, are not missing. The long-dispatched pictures can be seen in the exhibition Fernsehen macht glucklich (Television makes you happy), which has been on display at the Berlin Film Museum since the weekend.

Logo of the exhibition. (c) blotto, Berlin

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Ein richtiges kreuz auf dem stimmzettel fur einen job

U.S. Contractors declare to their employees, under threat of job losses, who they want on 6. November elections

Corporations allowed to vote since controversial ruling "Citizens United" not only invest millions in election campaigns. It allows them to exert political influence in other ways as well. The billionaire Koch brothers have now sent a letter to their employees. It is about the "right" election on 6. November.

Templates for anti-union laws, arch-conservative think tanks and millions of dollars for organizing the radical Tea Party movement: Infamous tycoons Charles and David Koch (Stealing and Carrying) have their own unique idea of how to protect the country from the influence of what they see as a liberal, regulation-minded Obama administration. Shortly before the landmark elections on 6. November, they therefore remind their employees which candidate allegedly threatens their jobs and who should take a seat in the White House as of January 2013.

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China plans a whole series of new internet policies

Censorship and "Sinicization" of capping technology as first steps

The number of ISPs in China has doubled in the past year, user growth has exceeded all expectations, and foreign investors are lurking for final WTO accession, while Madeleine Albright is already proclaiming how much the Internet will change China. The Chinese government therefore intends to draw the boundaries for doing business on the Internet in the course of the next few weeks. Last Wednesday, China’s National Bureau of Secrecy made a start with the publication of guidelines on the observance of secrecy obligations on the Internet.

The regulations, published in the party newspaper People’s Daily, address both the "physical separation" of networks in which data subject to secrecy is kept, as well as the dissemination of such data by service providers and users. "Information concerning state secrets, including information that has already been examined and confirmed within the framework of diplomatic cooperation and delivered abroad to the appropriate addressee in accordance with the law, may not be stored, handled or disseminated on servers", states in the original text quite comprehensively. Internet service providers, content providers and ordinary surfers are affected by the directive in the same way. The principle applies: "Responsible is who is online". In addition to news sites, chat rooms and Usenet groups are therefore also mentioned in the directive. Moreover, the users were not allowed to send any messages via email "State Secrets" send, forward or even make available to a broad public. Providers have to make appropriate agreements with their users for this purpose.

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The “honorable truth” of the taliban on tv

A new TV series in the Arab world and the ubiquitous Internet message from an Iraqi jihadi force

Holidays are also family days and television days. What is especially true for Christians at Christmas is now also a tradition during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began last Friday. This year’s TV highlight for Arab broadcasters was to be a 30-part production called "Der Weg nach Kabul" sein. But the broadcasters in Qatar and Jordan have decided not to broadcast the love story with a political background.

An Afghan and a Palestinian fall in love with each other in the West, in the English metropolis of London. But their love is put to the test: he wants to go to Afghanistan to join other Arabs in the Taliban’s fight against the Unbelievers. The woman has to go into hiding and is no longer allowed to work, and their love fades away.

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Ignorance pays off …

… Zumindest in einigen Bereichen wie der Borse schauen die Experten schlecht aus

Actually one tells us yes constantly that we live in a knowledge society, in which lifelong learning is necessary. There are supposed to be problems with the flood of information that comes at us thanks to the new media. But then there are the experts who call themselves knowledge workers, and of course new methods of knowledge management. Sometimes, of course, knowledge does not seem to pay off at all. Even those who do not burden themselves with knowledge or information can be quite successful, at least on the stock market, as a study by the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research in Berlin claims to have discovered.

In the background of the investigation there is of course also a concept: the so-called recognition heuristic. It is based on the tragedy of people who, for the sake of simplicity, always prefer the known to the unknown when making decisions. This economic attitude, which saves cognitive work, is not only a method of "method", to draw quick conclusions from limited information, it could also be said to be based on not taking off one’s blinders and insisting on one’s ignorance. One would think that decisions made with less knowledge would lead to worse results, but apparently there are also cases where a less is more approach can lead to worse results "Less-is-more"-effect, if one simply chooses what one already knows.

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Heavy-lift surfing

Towing kite sail against "gauze burning at sea"

For the British Guardian, it is a historic event: the maiden voyage of a heavy-lift freighter from Bremen to Venezuela. The special thing about it is the recourse to a classic means of propulsion in merchant shipping – wind. A rough towing kite sail is to be set in the fourth week of January and will contribute a good portion of the propulsion.

The killer argument for the use of conventional propulsion systems no longer works well. The times of cheap fuel for ship engines, which sail the world’s oceans with extremely sulfurous heavy oil, and thus "and thus operate a kind of mull incineration at sea" are probably over. Even the most stubborn shipping entrepreneurs were allowed to realize this in the "very conservative" industry, which is always considered to be very conservative.

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