Tag Archives: ancient

The most fun had all summer – The Paipo Stokefest 2012

The Paipo (pronounced pie-po), a member of the family of ancient Hawaiian surfboards like the alaia and olo, is experiencing a resurgence and finding a place back in the lineup. The small, flat, wooden bellyboards have become so popular that The Paipo Society decided to create a summer gathering.

 

 

Over 75 stoked people attended the inaugural Paipo Stokefest, which took place on July 29, 2012 at Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Besides having plenty of paipos to test ride (thanks to Encinitas shapers Jon Wegener of Wegener Surfboards and Christine Brailsford of Whomp), it included other prone surfing craft such as handplanes, mats, alaias, and basically anything that can be propelled by a pair of swimfins.

 

 

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Tug of War, once a part of Ancient Olympics, was also once a part of the modern Olympics

Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by clubs, which meant that one country could win several medals. This happened in 1904, when the United States won all three medals, and in 1908 when the podium was occupied by three British teams. Sweden was also among the top countries with two medals, one as a member of the mixed team.

During its time as an Olympic sport, it was considered to be part of the Olympic athletics programme, although the sports of tug of war and athletics are now considered distinct. – Wikipedia

 

Tug of war was also a part of the ancient Olympic games…

 

Just how serious do people take Tug of War? Here are a few things we learned from checking out the website for the Tug Of War International Federation:

• There’s a manual to build your own tug of war boots.

• The rule book for the 2009-2010 seasonis 84 pages long.

• They follow WADA’s drug guidelines, making this sport far stricter than any of the major sports played in the United States.

• Finally, you can get caught up on all of this by watching a nice video:

 

 

Source: ESPN – Bring back the tug of war

 

 

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The 7 best books on the science of happiness

1. In The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, psychology professor Jonathan Haidt unearths ten great theories of happiness discovered by the thinkers of the past, from Plato to Jesus to Buddha, to reveal a surprising abundance of common tangents.

 

 

 

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Researchers find ancient Roman beads in Japan – then find an East Asian man in Rome

Ancient Roman beads in Japan

Glass jewellery believed to have been made by Roman craftsmen has been found in an ancient tomb in Japan, researchers said Friday, in a sign the empire’s influence may have reached the edge of Asia.

Tests have revealed three glass beads discovered in the Fifth Century “Utsukushi” burial mound in Nagaoka, near Kyoto, were probably made some time between the first and the fourth century, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties said.

The beads, which have a hole through the middle, were made with a multilayering technique — a relatively sophisticated method in which craftsmen piled up layers of glass, often sandwiching gold leaf in between.

Via - Yahoo! News

 

 

East Asian man in ancient Rome

Some people of Italian ancestry, like me, might have a surprise in the family tree—a man of east Asian descent, who was living and working 2,000 years ago in the boondocks near the heel of the Italian boot. The discovery is the first good evidence of an Asian living in Italy during Roman times.

Researchers tested his mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through your maternal lineage. And this fellow had east Asian genes. The finding appears in the Journal of Roman Archaeology.

It’s impossible to say if the man trekked to Italy himself or one of his ancestors did. But it’s clear that this first known Roman Asian wasn’t some aristocratic diplomat. He was just a poor worker, buried with a single pot.

Via - Scientific American

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Google brings 130 World Wonders online – explore with photos, videos, and street view

The Google World Wonders Project is a platform which brings world heritage sites of the modern and ancient world online.

Journey to more than 130 world heritage sites across the globe—like Stonehenge, the Palace and Garden of Versailles, temples of ancient Kyoto or The White City of Tel-Aviv.

With videos, photos and in-depth information, you can now explore the world wonders from your armchair just as if you were there. Advancements in our camera technologies allow us to go off the beaten track to photograph some of the most significant places in the world so that anyone, anywhere can explore them.

The World Wonders Project also presents a valuable resource for students and scholars who can now virtually discover some of the most famous sites on earth. The project offers an innovative way to teach history and geography to students all over the world.

Together with partners including UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and Cyark, the World Wonders Project is preserving the world heritage sites for future generations.

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Start exploring the World Wonders Project and share your favorite places you’ve visited using the hashtag #worldwonders

 

via World Wonders Project

 

Screenshot of the site:

 

 

And, clicking on the Wonder – Three Castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland:

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Byblos, Lebanon – oldest inhabited city in the world (7,000+ years)

Carbon-dating tests have set the earliest age of settlement at Byblos around 7000 BC, however it was not officially established as a city until sometime around 5000 BC.

Byblos is in Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast about 26 miles north of Beirut. “Byblos” is the Greek name. The first city built by the Phoenicians, Byblos is Greek for “papyrus.” The Bible was named for Byblos as it was known as “the papyrus book.”

Between the fourth and thirteenth centuries, Byblos bounced between Christianity and Muslim rule during the various crusades. From early 1500’s until 1918, Byblos was part of the Ottoman Empire. From 1920 until 1943 Byblos was under French Mandate, and finally in 1943, Lebanon – and Byblos – achieved independence.

Today, Byblos is a progressive city that embraces its cultural history. Tourism is now one of the major industries for this ancient port, and Byblos is re-emerging as a premiere Mediterranean destination.

via Sometimes Interesting

Among the Ancients

Of all the literary themes out there trees happen to be one of my favorite. One of the best authors in this genre is, surprisingly, fantasy giant J.R.R. Tolkein. In his series of novels, The Lord of The Rings, he goes on endlessly about trees giving them an entire culture and personifying them with eyes, mouths, legs, wives, and even a flock (of trees) to shepherd. He is fascinatingly descriptive and beautiful, and, unfortunately, none of that made it into the the movie versions.

In some ways Tolkein was a vanguard, ahead of his time, as modern science is revealing just how important trees are to the environment. In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond discusses how entire societies failed due to mismanagement of trees (cutting too many down). He digs into the research uncovering how trees and tree roots tie together entire ecosystems and without them catastrophic events happen like wildfires, species extinction, desertification, and more.

If you dig into the tree world you quickly realize that one particular group is the CEO of the forests. The boss, the elder, and the strongest. Trees that in every way dominate the ecosystem. They are the old trees, well old in terms of human beings. In their world they are simply several hundred years old and considered middle age.

A grouping of these trees together is called an Old-Growth Forest. Among the characteristics of these groupings are an incredible resistance to forest fires, copious amounts of wildlife (including rare and threatened species), and even an ability to affect weather patterns. It is quite common for developments to pave into these old forests only to find that fires suddenly become a problem or see the land turn dry and become a desert.

If this fascinates you or if you just want to visit an Old-Growth Forest than I have the book for you, Among the Ancients, Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests.

The author, Joan Maloof, has personally visited each one and brought back meticulous detail about how to get there and what to look for. I want to call it a field guide but it is more than that. She provides narration and descriptions in the middle of the “turn-left here” moments.

Take this description:

“The webs I saw were a few inches across and not the type strung between branches; instead they were like webby sheets attached to ridges in the bark. As I looked closer I noticed, somewhere on each of these webs, a circular hole receding from the surface down toward the trunk like a funnel. This was the work of a funnel-web spider”

“The sheet of web isn’t sticky like a most other webs; it functions more like the head of a drum. When a small insect causes the web to vibrate, the spider senses it an zooms out of its funnel hole. He captures the insects, bites it, wraps it in silk, and drags it down the hole. Some types of spiders spin a new web every evening, but the funnel-web keeps the same one all year, making repairs as necessary.”

It’s a beautiful description of the funnel-web spider and it instantly brought me back to my own adventures in nature. I can picture that strong white funnel web and the spider sneaking around behind it. It offers such a tantalizing view into the abundant wildlife in old-growth forests. Places where you can find creatures beyond your wildest imagination.

The book covers the entire east coast (South, North, Mid) and I have read through all the adventures in my native Mid-Atlantic neighborhood, and I can’t wait to go through the other regions. A few brief glances at them have offered delightful glimpses of exotic creatures and forests.

If you are a nature lover or if any of this has grabbed your attention then the book is definitely worth checking out.

More information about the book can be found at Ruka Press, a local Washington D.C. based publishing company committed to environmental principles in book publishing.