News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty



Vietnam jungle saga: Father & son spent 40+ years hiding from US airstrikes in the wild

© Docastaway - Desert Island Experience

Having survived a deadly American bombing that killed their entire village, a Vietnamese family of two spent over 40 years hiding in jungles confident the war was still going on and getting close to human settlements was unsafe.

The “Tarzans” were found in 2013 – Ho Van Thanh, now 85, and his now 44-year-old son Ho Van Lang, according to reports in local media. For over four decades they had been living as hermits in a remote area of the Tay Tra district of Quang Ngai region of Vietnam.

© Google maps

The father served in the North Vietnamese Army. In 1972, the US Air Force bombed their village, killing everyone including Ho Van Thanh’s wife and two of his children. He decided to flee to the jungles with his surviving two-year-old son. Nobody set eyes on them again for 41 years.

Through all those years they evaded people they encountered in the jungle and lived in a small wooden hut elevated 5 meters above ground, wearing loincloths, making tools they needed and eating anything that could be gathered, picked and hunted down in the wild forest.

Finally, they were spotted by foragers who reported about the “jungle men” to the authorities. A distant relative was found, who tried to talk them into returning to civilization.

Initially, they refused to come out of the woods, believing the war was still on, but given his age, Ho Van Thanh eventually needed medical attention, which forced the father and son to leave the jungle.

For the next three years, they lived in a village, trying to adapt to civilization.

Last November, their story got the attention of Alvaro Cerezo, managing director of the Docastaway tourist company in Hong Kong, which provides tours to uninhabited parts of Asia.

Cerezo managed to talk the son, Ho Van Lang, into going back to the jungle with his crew to show how they managed to survive for so long in total isolation.

The man said he and his father didn’t lead a Tarzan life per se. They grew corn and cassava, and kept their fire lit, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In fact, the diet of two Mowglis was extremely varied, as they consumed practically anything that could be found in the forest. The majority of plants and fruits growing there are edible.

They ate fruit, vegetables, harvested honey and cooked a wide variety of meats, including bats, birds, frogs, lizards, monkeys, rats, snakes and fish.

“While I was with him in the jungle I saw him eat bats as though they were olives,” International Business Times cited Cerezo as saying. Practically no creature in the jungle could pose any threat to them.

They also used a number of hand-made tools, collecting items they needed to produce them across the jungle, which included fragments of American bombs.

“They never ate with their hands, but had improvised chopsticks made of bamboo,” Cerezo said.

It turned out they never had any major issues with health, narrowing their concerns to flu once a year and occasional stomach ache.

However, when they got back to civilization, they drank their cup in full, being not immune to the many maladies that spread among people who live crowded together.

Alvaro Cerezo discovered Ho Van Lang is still not interested in any news from the outside world or his own country. He doesn’t use electricity and cultivates a piece of land he was given. He plans to get married, although previously he had never seen a woman.

source: RT














Illustration of Draupadi, a princess and queen in the Indian epic “Mahabharata”, with her five husbands (Wikipedia)

David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington; his most recent book is Out of Eden: surprising consequences of polygamy (2016, Oxford University Press). A version of this post recently appeared in Psychology Today.

Human history did not begin with historians, or with the events recorded and interpreted by them. It is as old as our species … actually, older yet, but for my purposes, it’s enough to inquire into those aspects of our past that gave rise to our behavioral inclinations. Among these aspects, sex is prominent (albeit not uniquely formative). I wrote earlier about polygyny, which is dramatically evident in our bodies no less than our behavior. But polyandry, the mirror image of polygyny, is also “us”; ironically, we are both. Part of human nature inclines us to male-oriented harems, but also – although more subtly – to their female-oriented equivalent.

When biologists such as myself began doing DNA fingerprinting on animals, many of us were shocked, shocked, to find that the social partner of even some of the most seemingly monogamous bird species was not necessarily the biological father. And people aren’t altogether different, although for understandable reasons, the sexual adventuring of women has long been more obscured. Polyandry –unlike polygyny – has only rarely been institutionalized in human societies, and yet women, like men, are also prone to having multiple sexual partners. (This may seem – even be – obvious, but for decades biologists had assumed that female fidelity was generally the mirror-image opposite of predictable male randomness.

Male-male competition and male-based harem keeping (polygyny) is overt, readily apparent, and carries with it a degree of male-male sexual intolerance which also applies to polyandry, whereby “unfaithful” women along with their paramours are liable to be severely punished if discovered. This intolerance is easy enough to understand, since the evolutionary success (the “fitness”) of a male is greatly threatened by any extra-curricular sexual activity by “his” mate. If she were inseminated by someone else, the result is a payoff for the lover and a fitness decrement for the cuckolded male. As a result, selection has not only favored a male tendency to accumulate as many females as possible (polygyny), but also an especially high level of sexual jealousy on the part of males generally and of men in particular. This, in turn, pressures polyandry into a degree of secrecy not characteristic of polygyny. Another way of looking at it: patriarchy pushes polyandry underground, but does not eliminate it.

full story:HNNhistorynewsnetwork






Identification Of Animals And Plants Is An Essential Skill Set

photo credit: La Trobe University students learning how to identify plants near Falls Creek. Susan Lawler

I have recently been made abundantly aware of the lack of field skills among biology students, even those who major in ecology. By field skills we mean the ability to identify plants and animals, to recognise invasive species and to observe the impact of processes such as fire on the landscape.

My colleague Mike Clarke calls it “ecological illiteracy”, and identifies it as a risk for nature at large. While people spend more times indoors in front of screens, we become less aware of the birds, plants and bugs in our backyards and neighbourhoods. This leads to an alienation of humans from nature that is harmful to our health, our planet and our spirit.

On a more practical, academic level, I was in a meeting this week where an industry representative complained that biology graduates are no longer able to identify common plants and animals. This limits their employment prospects and hampers the capacity of society to respond to changes in natural ecosystems predicted by climate change.

Field taxonomy vs. Bloom’s taxonomy

So what is going on? Why don’t ecology students get this information during the course of their University degrees?

Practical sessions teaching scientific names of animals or plants can be perceived to be boring and dry. Students may be asked to collect and pin a range of insects or press and identify certain plants as part of their training in biological diversity, but these activities are time consuming and expensive. As we strive to be more flexible and efficient, classes and assessments relying on identification skills are quickly dropped.

ful story IFLScience








Stephen Hawking Warns Humanity Could Destroy Itself In The Next 100 Years

photo credit: Hawking said we must colonize other planets to survive. NASA/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Stephen Hawking has warned that humanity is in danger of destroying itself in the next 100 years as we rapidly progress in the realms of science and technology.

Speaking to the BBC, he said that while progress was good, it creates “new ways things can go wrong.” He highlighted nuclear war, global warming, and genetically-engineered viruses as possible harbingers of doom of our own creation.

This is not the first time Hawking has warned that we face a self-made disaster; in 2014, he said that artificial intelligence could “spell the end of the human race.”

Hawking pointed out that he is ultimately an optimist, and he believes we can overcome the problems that could face humanity. But if the worst were to happen, one way we could ensure the survival of the human race is to have a colony on another planet, such as Mars.

This is unlikely to be a reality in at least the next century, though. Suggesting that a global disaster was a “near certainty” in the next thousand to ten thousand years, Hawking therefore said that the next 100 years are our most dangerous, as we become much more advanced but without a safe haven off this planet.

“Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years,” he said. “However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”

Hawking said we need to colonize other worlds to survive. Aphelleon/Shutterstock

Nonetheless, Hawking said this was a “glorious time to be alive” for scientists, specifically theoretical physicists like himself, with countless new discoveries waiting to be made.

Hawking was speaking to the Radio Times ahead of his Reith Lecture on black holes, which will be aired on BBC Radio 4 in the U.K. at 9 a.m. GMT on January 26 and February 2. International audiences can listen in on the BBC World Service on the same days at 10:06 a.m. EST (3:06 p.m. GMT).

Hawking’s latest theory on black holes, published in a paper earlier this month, is that they could contain “hairs” at their event horizon – the boundary beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape. These hairs could contain information about the black hole, and help resolve the “information loss” paradox.

Main image credit: Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

VIA ifls










Castaway survives 15 months at sea, gets sued for $1mn over ‘eating’ his crewmate

Castaway fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga. © Jose Cabezas

A fisherman from El Salvador who was lost at sea for 438 days but miraculously survived is being sued for $1 million by the family of his dead crewmate, who accuse him of eating their son’s remains in order not to starve to death.

Salvador Alvarenga, 36, is the only man in the world to have survived so long stranded at sea, but he might now have to pay $1 million to the family of Ezequiel Cordoba – the man who accompanied him on his shark fishing trip in November 2012.

A storm destroyed the communication system of their vessel, washed their supplies overboard and pushed the boat far out to sea. The two men had to catch birds and fish to eat, and were forced to drink tortoise blood and urine.

This turned out to be a much more difficult ordeal for Cordoba, 22, whose stomach didn’t agree with the food. He hallucinated and tried to throw himself overboard several times.

One of the birds they ate was poisoned, Alvarenga said. He consumed raw meat to induce vomiting and stayed alive, while Cordoba refused to do so and died, asking Alvarenga not to eat his corpse and tell his mother what happened.

Alvarenga kept the body of his deceased companion for six days, chatting with it as he was afraid to stay alone. However, he soon started to doubt his sanity and says he got rid of the corpse.

full story at RT






How To Create Homemade Penicillin. Seriously.

How To Create Homemade Penicillin. Seriously.

This information I feel is very relevant to potentially everyone, but specifically those whom may be living in poverty or have limited resources around the world. Oranges and simple bread are two of the most universally common household kitchen items. But did you know that oranges and bread are capable of producing penicillin simply by letting letting them sit around and age? Believe it or not, that green disgusting mold which develops on the surface of bread is actually called Penicillium.

It is time for a thought experiment. You are living in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, in a dash your partner has deeply slashed their leg. As you take shelter the next few days, your partner begins to develop a noticeable infection. Keeping in mind that in real world cases infections can result in serious medical concerns, cause the loss of a limb or end with death if left untreated. Without access to modern medical supplies, would you know what to do to help your partner? Here is one cheap, easy way to potentially save your partner from these fates.

  • Take bread and place it in a bag or container
  • Let sit until spores begin to form
  • Take all the bread and break it up into smaller pieces
  • Add some moisture and place the broken up pieces back in the same sealed bag or container
  • Monitor the mold growth and do not remove until the majority of the mold culture begins to turn decidedly green.

full article here:Anonymous

Living Wild

We aim to “live” in the wilderness, rather than “survive” it to get back to civilization.
Our programs focus on re-kindling and applying the practical skills based on ancient knowledge, experiencing the inter-dependency necessary in community living, and nurturing an appreciation for the Earth as a living organism. We do this through intensive hands-on wilderness living skills training, teaching people how to harvest and transform the gifts of nature for everyday needs such as tools, fire, shelter, food…. in a conscientious and sustainable manner, as the ancients did.
link to courses,skills and photographs :Living Wild

1914-1916 The Endurance Survival against the greatest odds. by Alex Q. Arbuckle

Some stories that speak of the strength of spirit like this one,give me hope that there are more people like that guarding the guardians then not.

The ice is rafting up to a height of 10 or 15 feet in places, the opposing floes are moving against one another at the rate of about 200 yards per hour. The noise resembles the roar of heavy, distant surf.

full article and photographs

1914-1916 The Endurance Survival against the greatest odds. by Alex Q. Arbuckle

This is one of the most amazing survival stories I think in all of history.The dozens of photographs give a wonderful intimate feeling to the observer of those men’s lives.

see the pictures and whole story at Retronout

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