It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle? Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths. Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy. But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

Stonehenge: ghostly outlines of missing stones appear


September

How lovely the world is
In September

Warm air
Leaves just turning gold

Summer still lingering
Autumn coming nearer

It is a time of bittersweet endings
And bittersweet beginnings

It seems that every September
The world takes a deep breath

Shakes off the August heat
Prepares for a long winter

Knowing no one will feel this way again
Until next
September.

Nina Dringo


The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about his future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and the he dies having never really lived."

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle  a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Suns corona shimmers in the darkened sky. This is your guide to understand, prepare for, and view this rare celestial event.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017


"It's impossible," said pride
"It's risky," said experience
"It's pointless," said reason
"Give it a try," whispered the heart.
--Anonymous
How likely is a pandemic?

Epidemiologists believe we are statistically overdue for a global viral outbreak, which occurs every generation or so. This years Ebola crisis is probably just a dress rehearsal: Though the virus has killed at least 1,420 people in Africa in the last five months, it doesnt have the global reach of a true pandemic, such as Spanish influenza in 1918. Humanity had no prior exposure or immunity to the Spanish flu, which is believed to have incubated in birds and pigs. So it spread like wildfire, infecting about 500 million people and killing about 50 million of them.

The next pandemic is most likely to emerge in a remote region of Asia or Africa, from contact between people and poultry, rats, bats, pigs, monkeys, or some other animal. If that virus can be spread through the air or by touch, the way the common cold is, it will sweep from village to city, and air travel will allow it to hop continents within hours. A vaccine will take at least months of frantic work to develop, and in the meantime, millions will die.
The three deadliest events in human history were all infectious diseases, says medical historian David Morens: the Spanish flu, the Black Death (bubonic plague), and AIDS. There are lots of reasons to think more will be coming.

It's the birthday of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, born in Kansas City, Kansas (1920).

He is considered one of the half-dozen greatest jazz musicians, right up there with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Early in his career, he received the nickname of "Yardbird," and then he became known as "Bird."
Parker said: "I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That's when I was born."

Field of Gold


The first of two powerful solar storms hit the Earth on this date in 1859.

It became known as the "Carrington Event," after amateur astronomer Richard Carrington, who witnessed the solar flares through his telescope outside London. When the geomagnetic disturbance reached Earth, telegraph wires began shorting out, shooting streams of fire and igniting telegraph paper in North America and Europe. Compasses were useless because the Earth's magnetic field had gone haywire. The northern lights were seen as far south as Cuba and Jamaica, and the southern lights  aurora australis  were seen in Santiago, Chile. In some places, the aurora was so bright that birds began chirping in the middle of the night because they thought the sun was rising.

The Carrington Event was by far the strongest geomagnetic storm ever recorded: ice core samples reveal that it was twice as powerful as any other storm in the past 500 years. If a similar storm happened today, with our dependence on satellites and electronics, it's estimated that it would cause up to 2 trillion dollars' worth of damage.

The town of Las Animas takes about five minutes to drive through when the one stoplight is blinking yellow, as usual. Its easy to miss but hard to escape. Just ask Frank Martinez. Martinez doesnt remember having a deprived childhood. His mom was a home care nurse and his dad was disabled from a workplace injury, but he and his five siblings always had what they needed, even if they didnt wear the latest Nikes to school.

That childhood was cut short, however, when he fathered his first child at 16, married another girl when he was 18, and had three more kids before she left and his grandparents took them in. Meanwhile, with not much honest work around to do, Martinez started stealing and dealing drugs. At one point, he made it two hours away to the post-industrial town of Pueblo, and shacked up with his brother, who was working construction. But with a criminal record and no GED, jobs were scarce, and he retreated to the familiar.

How rural poverty is changing: Your fate is increasingly tied to your town


Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer
by Jane Kenyon

We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done...the unpacking, the mail
and papers ... the grass needed mowing ....
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.

And then we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.

A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities. Found in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, the cities were hidden in thick vegetation and hardly accessible.

"Aerial photographs helped us in locating the sites," expedition leader Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), said. Sprajc and his team found the massive remains as they further explored the area around Chactun, a large Maya city discovered by the Slovenian archaeologist in 2013.

Ancient Maya Cities Found in Jungle


Who knew?

The word touchstone, which we often use today to mean a specific standard of quality or authenticity, actually refers to a black, siliceous stone that produces colored streaks when rubbed with gold or silver. These streaks are an indication of the metal's purity.
--from the book "earth bound" by Brian Nelson

 

 

Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops.
There are ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable, we have to face them. It's what being human is all about. - Jet Black