The Fifth Down: Leading Off: The Patriot Highway


Two new condos report penny stock egghead sales, just months after a storm google sniper the area in tatters. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates in the 5 percent range? Minimum down payments below 5 percent? Jumbo-size home loans for high-cost markets at regular interest rates? Kiss them good-bye – possibly sooner than you might guess.Dr Dave Hone takes a look

at the issues facing palaeontologists past and present when it comes to moving fossilsA key problem with excavating dinosaurs and other fossils is that these tend to be in remote places.
Deserts and badlands are generally by definition not well populated and with few transport links.
That means that once you have dug up your bones and wrapped them in a protective plaster jacket, you need to get them to a road in order to get them to a museum.
Off-road vehicles help of course, but can’t always get that close to the site.My
field experience is limited compared to many of my colleagues, but I’ve had my share of trying to hump blocks that are a few hundred kilos across half a mile of incredibly broken ground, up sand-dune slopes, or out of narrow valleys.
A good grip can be hard to find and generally some rope, brute force and ignorance are all that can really do the job. Some locales suffer more extreme issues. A number of great sites in the U.S. are protected such that wheeled vehicles are not allowed off-road, so teams need to lug all their kit both in and out of the

field.
When it comes to big finds like whole skeletons, these would be impossible to manhandle multiple miles cross-country and so they have to be air-lifted by helicopter.Naturally
modern machinery makes a big difference, but even back in the late 1800s and early 1900s there were typically large numbers of horses (or camels in Asia) available, and distances to some form of road or railway were not too prohibitive. However, one major expedition really took the biscuit, cake and most of the sweet trolley when it came

to transporting bones, and recently I was lucky enough to catch up with the last vestiges of their efforts. Descend to the bone cellar in the Berlin Museum for Nature today and there are a couple of neat racks of bamboo cylinders on the shelves representing the last of the dinosaur remains collected in east Africa over a century ago.Back in the first decade of the 1900s, a team of German palaeontologists began excavating what would prove to be one of the great dinosaur field sites in what is now Tanzania. Huge numbers of colossal bones were uncovered (and indeed plenty of small ones) and in just a fear years of excavation they had amassed a collection of thousands of individual specimens (though sadly many were lost in World War II bombings).
However, the terrain was horrific and funds were relatively low, and pack animals didn’t do well in the heat.
So how do you transport single bones that weigh several hundred kilos some 60 kilometers (as the crow flies) to the coast?The solution was to have them carried by hand. A near army of locals were hired to help dig out the material and still more were employed to carry the bones out of the field. Local bamboo was cut and held together with wire to create cylinders that could be carried by a single person. The cylinders were then walked out in trains of people to the port of Lindi where they were packed

into crates and shipped to Germany.
Larger cases were created that could be carried by two to six people (and on one occasion eight), but beyond this they became too hard to manipulate over

the rough ground and so setting a relatively low size limit on what could be carried. The biggest bones were therefore carefully broken into smaller chunks, marked up, and then reassembled back in Berlin. All together it required more than 5000 man-journeys (it was a four day walk to the coast) to shift 185 tons of material in 4300 individual containers in under five years. So many of these were taken out in such a short space of time, and so much work was required in Berlin to open, prepare, clean and mount the fossils that not all of the containers were ever opened.
Fortunately while there may be a few still sitting unopened, their contents are not a mystery as a few years ago the museum had them CT scanned so we do know what is in there.One
would be surprised if technological advances hadn’t strongly influenced research developments and the techniques used by palaeontologists to get material out of the ground and back to their labs.
However some things do never change (and probably won’t for a great many years, if ever) and the simple physicality of lifting material and carrying it to where it can be safely loaded is one such feature of fieldwork. Even with hundreds of bearers, the idea of carrying the best part of two hundred tons of bones cross-country for tens of miles seems staggering, and my respect of their achievements is colossal: the material is in superb condition. Still, I wouldn’t have minded a spare helicopter on a couple of my last few trips to ease the burden.DinosaursFossilsDr
Dave Honeguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
| Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Lawmakers have passed a landmark shark conservation bill, closing loopholes that had allowed the lucrative shark fin trade to continue

thriving off the West Coast. British director fails to

appear for indie western Jane Got a Gun, her follow-up to We Need to Talk About KevinConfusion has erupted on the set of independent drama Jane

Got a

Gun after director Lynne Ramsay failed to turn up for work on the first day of shooting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to Deadline.Ramsay’s
follow-up to the critically acclaimed We Need to Talk About Kevin, Jane Got a Gun is a western that is to star Natalie Portman in the title role, as well as Joel Edgerton, Jude Law and Rodrigo Santoro. When the cast arrived for work on Monday morning they were told the British film-maker was a no-show.
Producer Scott Steindorff has described Ramsay’s behaviour as “irresponsible”. Earlier today it was announced that Warrior’s Gavin O’Connor would take charge of production, with suggestions he will begin work as early as tomorrow. The Hollywood Reporter described “clashes” between Steindorff and Ramsay, though no details have yet emerged. Deadline is also suggesting that Law has dropped out, as a result of Ramsay’s departure.”I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” Steindorff said. “I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people. I feel more for the crew and their families, but

we are keeping the show going on, directors are flying in, and a replacement is imminent.”Steindorff,
who has invested in the project via his Scott Pictures production company, said he was considering his legal options.
“This comes down to an irresponsible act by one person.”Ramsay’s apparent decision to not appear for the first day of the shoot is virtually unprecedented in Hollywood, but the director of Morvern Callar and Ratcatcher has yet to make a public statement and had not responded to a request to comment by the Guardian by the time of publication.Jane Got a Gun is based on a screenplay by Brian Duffield which made the 2011 Black List of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood and would have marked Ramsay’s first feature project by another screenwriter.
Portman, best known for her Oscar-winning turn in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, plays a farmer’s wife whose outlaw husband returns home bloodied and near death after his gang turn on him.
When the miscreants reappear to finish the job, Jane must enlist the help of an

old flame to defend her life and home.Ramsay left an adaptation

of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel The Lovely Bones in 2004 after producers declared an interest in seeing a film version that was more faithful to the book. The film was eventually directed by Peter Jackson in a rare critical bomb from the Lord of the Rings film-maker.Natalie PortmanJude LawFilm industryUnited StatesWesternsDramaBen Childguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Two United States attorneys traveled to Cambodia this week to see firsthand a temple tied to a 10th-century statue, whose ownership is under contention. A paper

published in Nature Communications details the 2006 discovery of the fossilized remains of a giant camel in Canada. It was August of 2006 when Dalia Ziada, a young Egyptian writer, discovered her favorite comic-book action hero.

He trumpeted justice.
He preached of nonviolent pressure.
And he had dreams of a promised land that protest might


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