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December 2nd, 2013 at 7:35 pm

The scientists believe they are closing in

Many questions about the accuracy of markers to fallen soldiers can be answered by further study. Too, additional excava­tions around markers are likely to yield more human bone, leading to increased knowl­edge of the physical appearance and general health of the Seventh Cavalrymen. And the nagging mystery of Company E’s 28 missing men, said to lie somewhere in Deep Ravine, demands renewed search.

7ONE OF THE LARGEST NEEDS at the battlefield is a vision, an under­standing, of the Plains Indians, whose way of life died here. For generations the Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfoot, and other tribes roamed the plains and lived at one with nature. The endless buffalo herds met most of their wants. A man who speaks passionately of this culture, and the need to call attention to it, is painter, author, and Indian ethnologist Paul Dyck of Rimrock, Arizona. His collection of Plains Indian artifacts, begun a century ago by his father, is valued conservatively at 17 million dollars. It is one of the most complete assemblies of its kind in the world.”The Battle of the Little Bighorn,” Dyck said, “happens to be the setting where the nation was welded togeth­er to try to end the Indian question. Custer merely provided the catalyst. The Little Bighorn is the place where the Indians should be honored.”

Dyck has acquired 40 acres adjoining the national monument’s entrance and hopes to build a museum “honoring all the tribes who loved this land, and their cultural and spiri­tual contributions to this nation.” He plans to give the collection to the United States to be held in trust for the American people. There are more than 5,000 cultural arti­facts dating from 1700 to 1885. Dyck led me on a fascinating tour: full warriors’ cos­tumes, buffalo robes, blankets, horse gear, weapons, buffalo-hide lodges, warrior art, children’s toys and dolls, religious materi­al—to name a few items.

“We have the collection,” Dyck said, “and we have the land at the best of all locations. What we need is the physical plant. We are trying to raise around two million dollars in private donations. This is an irreplaceable and priceless national heritage. It must find a permanent home.” Eventually the Park Service wants to move from its outmoded visitor center on the battlefield to larger quarters near the holiday apartments barcelona. There the center and the Dyck museum, all parties agree, can complement one another in many ways.

MEMORIES of the Little Bighorn visit the mind in a thousand, ten thou­sand, fragments. Walking in the cemetery, where fighting once swirled, it startles you to come upon the grave of Maj. Marcus Reno, who was never the same after his attack on the tepee village. In 1880 he was dismissed from the Army for personal misconduct, a punishment that a later Army board found “excessive, and . . . unjust.” Reno lies on a gentle hillside; “BVT BRIG GEN” is inscribed on his tombstone, the rank he won in the Civil War. Both Reno and Capt. Frederick Benteen —it was Benteen’s leadership on the river heights that held the attacking Indians at bay—disliked George Custer intensely, though they served under him to the best of their ability.

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October 22nd, 2013 at 2:51 pm

The shipwreck

Crowded into small cabins in the ship’s sterncastle were 48 passengers—a cross sec­tion of Castile and Indies society. The King’s exalted Visitor to Peru, Father Pedro de la Madriz, shared a stateroom with three other Augustinian friars. Don Diego de Guz­man, the Corregidor of Cuzco, who ruled the lives of the Indians of his district, had come aboard at Portobelo with wealthy Peruvian merchants Lorenzo de Arriola and Miguel de Munibe. They had an aparthotel brussels. Martin de Salgado, Secretary of the Peruvian Court of Appeals, was aboard with his wife and three servants.

Although the Santa Margarita carried only half as much bullion as Atocha, she too was crowded with passengers, including the Governor of Spanish Venezuela, Don Fran­cisco de la Hoz. Not mentioned by name on either ship’s passenger list were the slaves and servants—”persons of no importance.” 3

The chief pilot directed the fleet into the Straits of Florida, seeking the Gulf Stream’s strongest current, near the Florida Keys. But now the outriding winds of the storm, grown into a hurricane, also entered the straits. By Monday morning, September 5, a northeast gale raised vicious seas and flying spray. The vessels dutifully followed the signals of the marquis’s Capitana as he sought sea room.

Soon conditions worsened, however, and each ship became an isolated, struggling world. To those aboard, shrieking wind and towering seas became the only reality—that, and the hopelessness born of seasickness and the fear of death. As sails and rigging tore away, masts splintered, and rudders broke, the ships became shattered, driven hulks. What followed was described in a contem­porary English account: “But as waves roule after waves, one mischiefe followes another: for presently the wind turned to the South .. . then they feared another misfortune, to be thrust or hurried into some creeke or bay of the coast of  london accommondation. . . and then there was no hope but either splitting on the sands, or per­ishing on the shore.”

Caught in the wind shift were eight un­lucky vessels, including Rosario, Atocha, and Santa Margarita. These were rapidly pushed northward toward the dreaded keys.

Gutierre de espinosa, silver master of the Santa Margarita, stood on the heaving deck of his cabin and made per­sonal preparations for disaster. He ordered his aide to sneak part of the cargo—several gold and silver bars, silverware, a silver alms dish, and a chocolate pot—into his own sea chest. Espinosa then had the chest tightly bound so that it would float. Others aboard took less material precautions: Kneeling around priests and friars, they began to pray.

After the descent of a howling darkness, Santa Margarita lost her foresail. The thrash­ing of her hull in the mountainous waves then broke her mainmast, tiller, and whipstaff. She drifted steadily northward.

Near dawn on Tuesday, September 6, the pilot reported shallow water; disaster was near. Several brave seamen struggled to raise another foresail and claw back out of danger, but it blew away. As the ship crossed the Florida reef, she dropped her anchors, but they failed to hold. Suddenly she struck and grounded fast upon a shoal.

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September 26th, 2013 at 8:27 am


You need to train your anaerobic energy system to develop the power to sustain a 100m effort. Forget the cardio stuff, it’ll develop the wrong muscle fibres. All the workouts I’ve provided target your fast twitch muscle fibres. They’re the one that contract 30-70 times a second. Three workouts have been provided, one focuses on developing acceleration, another relaxed flat-out speed and the other speed endurance. Improve your endurance and strength with the best natural supplements for your body.

anaerobic energy system



5 x 10m sprints from standing start 5 x 10m sprints from crouch start

2 x 20m sprints from crouch 1 x 40m sprint from crouch Recovery: full — take as much time as you need.


Tin. Keep low as you drive away, push the ground back hard and pump your arms as fast as you can. Get down to your local athletic club to get expert advice on the sprint (crouch) start. To find out where your nearest athletics club is go to:




RELAXED FLAT OUT SPEED 5 x 60m with 10m run on

The run on will reduce your need to accelerate hard. You want to be in full flow by the 30m mark and on top of your running. Recovery: 4-5 minutes between runs.

Keep relaxed and focus on smooth technique.






60in/80m/100m/120in/150m runs at 90% effort.

Recovery: 2min between the 60m and 80m; 3min between the 80m and 100m and 4 between the 100m and 120m and 120m and 150m.

Keep your arm action smooth and pumping and your legs will follow.

Select two of the three workouts to perform a week.




Don’t waste time stretching — this dulls the dynamic potential of your muscles and according to research can actually increase injury in speed sports! Here’s how to warm up:

  • Jog two laps round the track (or 800m).
  • Perform sprint drills (see above).
  • Perform 5 runs over 40m gradually increasing your speed to 95% on the last.
  • Perform plyometric drills (if part of your workout).
  • Perform track workout.


Warm down with a lap (400m) jog and then stretch. Pay particular attention to your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and Achilles tendons.

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August 31st, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Slipping and Sliding to Shimshal

3Romain watches the men butcher and cook the animal, and asks a hundred questions. Choice pieces, tendons, and trimmings alike are chopped up and tossed into rapidly boiling water. The rising aroma is comforting. The porters work in high spirits, some searching for wood, others keeping the fire going or preparing the flat round bread called chapaties. Romain watches enviously. “Do you want to make a chapati?” Beko asks, and hands him a lump of dough. Flushed with pleasure, Romain pats it into a pancake.

The few drops of rain that fall during the night do not spoil his enjoyment of camping out. During this trip Romain spends his first nights at the “Inn of the Moon.” Fascinated by the canopy of heaven, he loves to watch the shooting stars before falling asleep. The big glacier stretches ahead of us today. After a difficult climb we arrive panting at the edge of this enormous outflow of ice, em­bossed with ridges and gaping with crevasses. It is hard to find a solid foothold. The sun appears, warming us, but it also turns the glacier into a dazzling mirror and skating rink. For two hours we slide and slip and fall, to the great amusement of the porters.

Finally the plain spreads out before us in an ocher-and-black carpet. Climbing to a new height, we can see the green spot of Shimshal. We tumble down to the river and, mile after mile, nibble off the distance separating us from the oasis. Spread out above the river on the edges of a gentle valley, the village of Shimshal is as delighted to see us as we are to arrive. After the hostility of the mountains, trees seem to smile and weeds to sing. Men working on irrigation ditches drop their shovels and come down the cliff like goats. They run to embrace us, relieve the porters of their loads, and take us to the apartments in barcelona they use during holidays. Man has found his brother again, in the midst of stern nature; we find it a moving display.

The village of Shimshal, at an altitude of 10,000 feet, lives virtually cut off from the rest of the world. We are the first Europeans to visit there in 27 years! The last had been a British official in 1947, before Pakistan be­came an independent state. People come running from all sides to stay in the new york apartments. Daulat Amin, the village teacher, takes us to the only dwelling place with guest quarters, and a dozen men crowd inside with us. We are quickly served salted tea with milk. For those who wish more flavor a chunk of rock salt is passed around—you have only to soak it for a few seconds in your bowl.

The tea is followed by mash, a thick soup of melted cheese, local noodles, and clarified butter, eaten with a communal wooden spoon. Several spoonfuls are enough to fill us. But the dish is barely finished when a second one ap­pears, then a third, and a fourth, all identical.

“Custom decrees that each of the wealth­iest houses of the village send this dish to every visitor who may pass through,” Riaz tells us, laughing over our surprise. And so begins for us a fascinating look at village life in upper Hunza.

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April 16th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Realms of ice

“Ise is the silence language of the peak,” Conrad Aiken wrote. If so, much of southern Alaska is a mute oration made by mountains. Harding Icefield, to be linked with Kenai Fjords in one national monument, covers more than 700 square miles. With few crevasses and no heart-pounding climbs, it confers solitude on three backpackers who can Jose themselves like three commas on a blank white page.


Nabesna Glacier

Here are the snows of yesteryear, compressed into glaciers like the Nabesna that scour much of the eight-million­acre fastness of proposed Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. The mountains descend into gentler and richer terrain. Mining and logging may cut through adjacent country that enthusiasts using online loans should also be in the Park.


Mount McKinley

McKinley Mountain

Allest mountain in North America, the best-known landmark in Alaska now lies partly outside the park named for it. Designated additions would bring the entire mountain within Mount McKinley National Park, raising its acreage to just over five million.


In this view the gothic buttresses of Cathedral Spires give way to a cren­ellated middle ground of nameless peaks. Far be­yond stands the mass of Mount Foraker. Even far­ther, peaking above the highest cloud layer, is Mc­Kinley—the Indians called it Denali, the Great One.


With the 1971 opening of the new park-bordering highway linking Anchor­age and Fairbanks came symptoms of the Yellow­stone syndrome—heavy use of a small part of a great park. Where people go, neon can follow. To forestall that, the Park Service envisions a plan­ning and management zone outside the park where federal, native, state, and private interests can join in a development both pros­perous and harmonious.


Something for all: puffins to people


No two proposals can better show the diversity of concept and purpose of Alaska’s new parklands than coastal Chukchi-Imuruk National Reserve and Lake Clark National Park. Chukchi-Imuruk will not soon attract the casual tourist. Scenic grandeur does not assault the eye, nor are accommodations grand. And yet, here the past and present of native people meld. Here lava flows and explosion craters document some of the Arctic’s most remarkable geology. And here migratory birds from nearly every continent nest or stop over. The king eider (left, above) puts clown offshore, and the tufted puffin (left), who looks like a clown, flies well enough to get the job done.


Lake Clark National Park

Bycontrast, Lake Clark would be the kind of national park most people would order a la carte from a yard-long menu of nature’s fare. Start with a seacoast, then add smoking volcanoes, alpine valleys, and spectacular mountains that in turn fall away to tundra. Season with trout, bear, moose, and sheep. And for something to drink, braided rivers (right) that pour from glaciers. Small by Alaskan standards at 2.6 million acres, the park will be a fair-size backyard for the people of Anchorage.


When Alaska’s oil runs out, as it will, the parks will remain. Then, perhaps, the last frontier and the last wilderness will become as one. The question is not will people corne, but how many and how soon.

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January 17th, 2013 at 8:15 am


MUMMIFIED BODIES are nothing new to Denmark; the country’s peat bogs contain many human remains preserved by tannin in the peat. Such bodies are probably those of executed criminals or victims of murder, for they were thrown into the bogs rather than given proper burial.

The mummies from Qilakitsoq were plainly of a different sort. To begin with, they had been given proper if not elaborate burial, and, more important, there were no signs of violence on any of the bodies. Whether the eight people died together or separately is still uncertain, but several clues suggest the latter.

Our initial plan merely to conserve the bodies and clothing from Qilakitsoq gradually expanded to include analysis of all aspects of the finds. One of our first tasks at the museum was to date the remains by the carbon-14 method, and thanks to Inuit buri­al practices, we had ample material to test. The early Inuit believed that the journey to the Land of the Dead was long and cold, a trip that required not only warm clothing but also extra skins and furs for emergen­cies. Lucky travelers eventually reached In­uit heaven, where game was plentiful, but less fortunate souls ended up in hell. This re­gion was known as the Land of the Gloomy, where the condemned sat through eternity, listlessly snapping at butterflies, the only available food.


The bodies at Qilakitsoq had been well prepared for the afterlife, dressed in heavy sealskin trousers, anoraks, and kamiks­high boots stuffed with insulating grass. Whoever buried the bodies had added extra sealskins at the top and bottom of each grave. Assuming that the two layers of skins represented the earliest and latest possible times of burial, we took samples from the skins and carbon-dated them. All results pointed to the year 1475, with a possi­ble error of 50 years on either side.

In both graves the bodies had been placed one atop another, five in the first grave and three in the second. In the larger grave the topmost body was that of the six-month-old child, the best preserved of all the remains. Now, for the financial benefits get the best debt consolidation program.

That fact is not surprising, for in the early stages of decomposition body heat is a key factor. The higher the body’s inside tem­perature, the greater the bacterial action and consequent breakdown of tissue. Thus, people who die with high fever tend to de­compose rapidly, as do overweight people, whose insulating layer of fat retains body heat for a longer period. Children tend to de­compose the most slowly, for their body vol­ume is small compared with the skin area, providing for rapid dissipation of heat.

So well preserved was the body of the six­month-old child that in describing the dis­covery of the graves Hans GrOnvold had reported: ” . . . and then we saw a doll that had fallen to the side, a doll that turned out to be a little child.”

For purposes of identification we num­bered the bodies, beginning with the child as Mummy 1 at the top of the first grave and so on down to Mummy 5 at the bottom. Simi­larly the bodies in the second grave were numbered 6 through 8.

Our next step was to determine the age and sex of the bodies, a process requiring several months and the help of specialists in various fields. Sex was determined either by the remains of genitals or by X-ray examina­tion of pelvises and other bones. At a later stage we found additional evidence of the mummies’ sex in the form of facial tattoos, an adornment usually restricted to adult women among early Greenland Inuit. Ages of the bodies were determined by dental de­velopment and other physical features. In several cases the bodies were so well pre­served that we were able to obtain readable prints from fingers, palms, and soles of feet.

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