Sauron the Economist

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jlvanderzwan
7 hours ago
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Huh, so I was aware that Mordor and Orcs were a not-so-subtle representation of Britain's industrialization and everything Tolkien hated about it, but that makes me wonder: does that make Tolkien a Luddite? Like, the actual kind, not the pop-culture misrepresentation of them.
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Badness 0 (Apostrophe‛s version)

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From: suckerpinch
Duration: 22:15

Never before seen pilot episode.

Keywords: Types

If you see any errors, please post about them in the comment section!

Source code, papers, etc.: http://tom7.org/bovex

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jlvanderzwan
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D.C. woman finds 2,000-year-old Mayan vase at thrift store and returns it to Mexico | CBC Radio

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For five years, Anna Lee Dozier had no idea she had an ancient Mayan artifact on display at her home.

The Washington, D.C., woman found the ceramic vase in a local thrift store near a U.S. Air Force base, and bought it for $3.99 US ($ 5.48 Cdn). 

"In my work, I travel a lot to Mexico, and this item caught my eye because it looked different than the things on the shelf, but it also was recognizably from Mexico," Dozier told As It Happens host Nil Köksal.

"It looked old … but, like, I was thinking a 20- or 30-year-old tourist thing — something someone brought home, you know, from a trip somewhere." 

It turns out, it's a 2,000-year-old vase from the heart of ancient Mayan civilization. And thanks to Dozier, it is being repatriated to Mexico. 

'Congratulations, it is real'

Dozier says she kept the vase in a small room in her house that she calls her library — a place she can keep books and other valued items where her children don't play.

"I now have three little boys and have learned very quickly that putting things within their reach is likely to get them broken," she said.

She works for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organization that promotes freedom of religion, and often travels to Mexico as part of her job.

On a trip to Mexico City in January, she was browsing the National Museum of Anthropology, when something clicked.

"As I was walking through, it just occurred to me that some of the things that I was looking at looked very similar to what I had at home," she said.

So she asked a museum staff member what she should do if she believed she had a cultural artifact. 

The employee, she says, looked skeptical, but advised her to contact the Mexican embassy back home in the U.S., and they would take it from there. So that's what she did. 

"In April they contacted me to say that, yes, it was in fact something real and very, very old," she said. "[The email] just said: Congratulations, it is real. And we would like it back, — in a very nice way. Which is what I had intended."

A nervous drive with an ancient vase

Sergio Aguirre Gamboa, a spokesperson for the Mexican embassy in the U.S., says when Dozier contacted them, it kicked off a procedure set in place by the Mexican government in 2021 to "combat the sale of Mexican archaeological materials and facilitate dialogue with museums and private institutions for the restitution of our heritage."

He says the embassy collected photos and information about the vase, and sent them to the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico for authentication.

Experts there identified the vessel as a painted vase of Mayan origin, from what is now called southeastern Mexico, dating back to the Mayan Classic period, between 200-800 AD.

The embassy arranged to have Dozier return the vessel in a ceremony with the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. at the Mexican Cultural Institute in D.C. on Tuesday.

She says she packed it up in a food delivery box, and surrounded it with newspapers for padding. 

"That little 30-minute drive, the whole way, I was just praying that [there would be] no fender benders, no accidents. Just get it there in one piece," she said.

Once there, Ambassador Moctezuma Barragan thanked her returning the artifact. 

"When you have strong roots, you know them and you honour them," Ambassador Moctezuma Barragan said, according to NBC affiliate WUSA9. 

"She recognized that a whole country, a whole culture cares about it, and we are deeply in gratitude with her."

13,500 items repatriated so far

The Mayans were a Mesoamerican, pre-Columbian people whose civilization spanned what is now known as Guatemala, Belize, southeastern Mexico, and parts of western Honduras and El Salvador.

It is renowned for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, astronomy, and of course, hand-crafted pottery.

"Ceramic vessels nourished in both life and death: they held food and drink for daily life, but also offerings in dedicatory caches and burials, which range from the simplest graves to the richest royal tombs," according to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Once the vase is back in Mexico, Gamboa says archaeologists will examine it closely to learn more about it, including whether it was a ceremonial vase, or something intended for everyday use.

He says it will be shipped to the National Institute of Anthropology and History along with 19 other archaeological pieces anonymously donated to the Mexican Cultural Institute, and could ultimately end up in a museum. 

Under Mexico's 2021 legislation, he says "all our archaeological, artistic, and historical monuments are inalienable and imprescriptible properties of the nation ... irrespective of how these items left the country or were acquired."'

"Through co-ordinated efforts and international collaboration, we have successfully recovered approximately 13,500 objects of Mexican archaeological and historical heritage from abroad in recent years," he said.

But Dozier says, even if it were an option, she never would have considered selling or auctioning off the vase.

"It has value beyond what you could put money on. And so for me, it just was never a question. If it was something special, it should go back to where it belongs," she said.

"I feel very lucky that I got to find it and have it in my house for a few years, but now it's going back where it should be."

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acdha
2 days ago
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Doing the right thing isn’t hard
Washington, DC
jlvanderzwan
1 day ago
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I Need This More Than You

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Black and white cartoon by War and Peas: A man is going up a slide on a playground. Two kids watch him. He says, "I need this more than you."

This comic is made possible with the help of our backers on Patreon. Go to War and Peas to read more comics and find all links.

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jlvanderzwan
1 day ago
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The giant slides at Dinoland Zwolle were unironically among the most fun moments of last summer for me
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Irregular Webcomic! #5218

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Comic #5218

Just nobody tell Dirque that Royal Navy sailors don't actually get "a share of the loot". EDIT: A few readers wrote to tell me that this is incorrect. In the 1600s Royal Navy sailors actually did get a share of the loot! If they captured enemy vessels that were defeated as part of official Navy duties, then the crew did in fact receive shares of the money raised by selling those ships and their cargoes. As Jonathan R. writes:

This [my original statement at top] is true today (but only since 1945!) but it was certainly not true for RN sailors of Dirque's time: the prospect of prize money was a big factor in persuading men to join up and suffer the privations and miseries of the Navy at that time. I've found a scholarly thesis on the subject (PDF file), but this web page is briefer and slightly more entertaining.
Who said webcomics weren't educational?
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jlvanderzwan
1 day ago
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I'm guessing British (and Australian) schools skip over the privateering parts of history since it clashes with the traditional narrative of colonialism bringing Law and Order to savages who totally didn't have any kind of functioning government of their own.

Meanwhile, in Dutch school history: "So our navy was basically a government supported bunch of pirates and our crowning moment of awesome was when Piet Pieterszoon Heyn looted the Spanish silverfleet. Get rekt Philip 3/4."
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The Enduring Mystery of How Water Freezes

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We learn in grade school that water freezes at zero degrees Celsius, but that’s seldom true. In clouds, scientists have found supercooled water droplets as chilly as minus 40 C, and in a lab in 2014, they cooled water to a staggering minus 46 C before it froze. You can supercool water at home: Throw a bottle of distilled water in your freezer, and it’s unlikely to crystallize until you shake it.

Source



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jlvanderzwan
6 days ago
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> The process of freezing water actually releases heat, which is why you can use an infrared camera to see ice heat up as it solidifies.

.. hmm, so could one theoretically create the most counter-intuitive phase change- based heat engine using liquid and ice?

EDIT: Forgot about the negative thermal expansion of water (which I assume also applies for supercooled water?)

Something like: cool down liquid to supercooled state, being denser this sinks, trigger nucleation somewhere below, this releases the heat over there, then let the ice clumps float back to the top in a separate channel?

Like, super impractical but is it theoretically possible?
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