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Man discovers Bronze Age antiques on Scottish soil

A haul of ancient antiques including a 900 BC Sword was uncovered by Mariusz Stepien in Peebles. 

Metal detectorists have had many field days since the inception of lockdown, sometimes quite literally, and Mariusz’s discovery is another addition to the pile. In July, we saw amateur treasure hunters observing lockdown measures discover a bunch of precious and valuable items right in their backyard, so this comes as no surprise. 

Barely a month later, a detectorist has now unearthed a stack of ancient items dated from the Bronze Age. Preserved wood and leather, and a complete horse harness are some of the uncovered items- and they were only Stepien’s initial findings. An in-depth exploration by Treasure Trove further discovered a sword dating about 900 BC. 

Metal detecting was a leisure thing for Stepien and he had been doing it with his friends for fun until his metal detector started picking up some strong signals from the earth. According to him, the moment of discovery was a very emotional one, and knew he had just discovered something significant to Scottish history from the very beginning. 

The initially found objects were only buried half a metre underground, but after reporting his findings to the Treasure Trove unit, more ancient items were uncovered. 

Experts took over the discovery site, but Stepien and his friends camped in the fields to witness the total excavation, which took about 22 days. “We wanted to be a part of the excavation from the beginning to the end,” Stepien said. According to him, they discovered something new every day and that alone “changed the context of the mind.” 

“I’m so pleased that the earth revealed to me something that was hidden for more than 3,000 years,” he said. The ancient sword was found unsheathed in a uniquely designed scabbard with buckles, straps, chariot-wheel axle caps, and pieces of rattle pendants to beautify. This type of design is the first of its kind discovered on Scottish soil, and only the third in the UK. 

According to Treasure Trove, the discovery was a phenomenal one. The soil played a great role in preserving the integrity of the unearthed wood and leather, which made it possible for archeological experts to trace the fragments that made up the harness- never has this been discovered in the history of Britain. 

Emily Freeman, head of the Treasure Trove Unit described the discovery as “nationally significant.” According to him, the discovery made it possible to recover bronze antiques as well as ancient organic material, however, they have to put in more efforts to ascertain the possible circumstances that led to their deposition in that region. 

Stepien’s discovery is just one of many since the start of lockdown. Individuals started looking closer at their surrounding environments in search of artifacts, and mother earth did not disappoint in revealing treasures from the past. Finds liaison officer from Shropshire, Peter Reavill disclosed that since the start of lockdown, he has seen some pieces of ancient pottery, tobacco pipes, and prehistoric flint tools from the Stone Age. Simon Maslin, another finds liaison officer in Surrey and Hampshire, said some of these discoveries have answered some questions about local history, even though they look like garbage. 

Stepien’s Bronze Age haul in Peebles has been moved to the National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh where experts will find answers to the mystery items through research and archeological operations. 

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The Returned Wallet from Antarctica – Half A Decade Later

Jess

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In 1968 a meteorologist was stationed in Antarctica among a number of military personnel. Their role was research as well as, and Paul Grisham’s job was to track the weather in the southern pole region. Unfortunately, as crazy as it seems, Grisham managed to lose his wallet while working in the remote location and never did find it before leaving. That wallet sat in Antarctica at the station for another 53 years until it was rediscovered.

When the wallet was returned to Grisham, he felt like he was going back in a mental time machine. The wallet was in exceptionally good condition as well as the cards and materials that were kept in it. At 91 Grisham remarked first about how young he looked in the card photos as well as how far back that part of his life was.

The location, McMurdo Station, was being redesigned along with the demolishing and removal of older buildings. During the work, one of the construction crew found the wallet which had stayed in its place since Grisham had been stationed. Looking back on the cards now, Grisham continues to repeatedly trigger memories when he looks at his own Navy ID card. Last carried in 1968, the card was preserved and never deteriorated except for the edges of the leather. Included in the contents was a beer ration card, a guide card on how to deal with attacks ranging from nuclear to biological. And Grisham even included a recipe folded up in the cards for a liqueur.

The weather monitoring was a big issue at the time. Unlike today with tons of satellites spinning around the planet for watching everything from a farmer in the western side of China eat a sandwich to the weather’s minute moves, back then the weather had to be observed in person. Grisham’s job was to track the regional patterns so that planes and ships moving through the edge of the southern hemisphere to the station could do so safely and avoid storms. The work shifts were hard; Grisham remembered working a half day on, literally, and the half day off to rest and went straight for five long months.

Things weren’t all about work. Grisham remembers they had pretty useful mini bowling alley which never got boring. And an inside gym was handy since jogging outside was off the list everyday of the year. Location-wise, the station was in one of the best locations in Antarctica as well; it would usually get to a balmy 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That was considerably better than other locations a bit further in easily only getting to a tepid minus 65 degrees.

When Grisham left the southern continent, he did so with a promotion, but he never did find his wallet before taking off. He doesn’t have any fond wishes to return, still remembering a soda would explode from the cold in under 15 minutes if left outside. However, one thing he did miss was all the IOUs Grisham kept in his wallet from winning an inordinate number of poker games while on duty at McMurdo. It does make one wonder if he can still collect on this plus interest.

Grisham continues to be a name in history, but the rediscovered wallet was not his first entry. Grisham spent two hours talking with Sir Edmund Hillary about weather when Hillary arrived, and Grisham himself also got to reach the South Pole as well, some 850 miles inland. Sitting now at home, he enjoys the San Diego weather a lot more, but the wallet recovery was definitely a nice touch to Memoryville.

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Old Ski Gondolas Renovated Into Stunning Winter Destination

Kevin Wells

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Steamboat Springs is a city nestled along the northern edge of Colorado’s Yampa Valley. Known around the state as a ski resort town, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has put the future of the area into great question. As COVID-19 rules are in a constant state of flux, not to mention the deaths and injuries due to the disease itself, cities like Steamboat Springs are constantly being forced to adjust to survive — and that is exactly what Rich and Wendy Tucciarone would end up doing.

Wendy and Rich of Steamboat Springs

Wendy and Rich are the owners of a craft brewery located in Steamboat Springs known as the Mountain Tap Brewery. With a massive patio and giant garage doors, it is easy to see why so many guests chose to eat there during better non-pandemic years. Known as the ski town brimming with ‘champagne powder’, it was going to take more than a nice outdoor dining area to keep people visiting during COVID-19. This is where a set of out-of-service gondolas stepped into the story.

Rich and Wendy were sitting down with their accountant while brainstorming for ideas to survive the pending winter of COVID-19. With winter on the horizon, outdoor dining would plummet and one of the few remaining sources of income that the Tucciarone’s depended on would vanish. As avid outdoorsy-folks, Rich and Wendy were immediately interested in their accountant’s idea of renovating old ski gondolas that were no longer in service.

Gondolas Save the Day

After coming up with their idea to convert ski gondolas into outdoor private dining spaces, the Tucciarones would have to find actual gondolas to use. This would present a problem in regular times but as anyone who survived 2020 knows, we are no longer in regular times. Rich and Wendy would come into contact with Dominique Bastien, owner of The Gondola Shop and avid collector of down-and-out gondolas. Dominique and the Tucciarone family would work together to create novel outdoor dining areas from old skin gondolas while upscaling the old gondolas the entire way. Wendy stated, “The gondolas have saved us this winter for sure.”

With the help of Dominique and her team at The Gondola Shop, the Tucciarones were able to outfit enough ski gondolas to replace their outdoor dining options. Each gondola was specially outfitted to seat between four and six individuals, which ideally will consist of single-household families. Within each gondola, diners will find a heating unit, lights, a Bluetooth speaker, and other comforts and luxuries. After each pod has been used, the gondola in question will be spotless and sanitized before the next family takes their place.

Saving a Gondola Business on Accident

While Wendy and Rich became headliners of this story, it was really Dominique who stole our attention the entire way. Dominique Bastien had fallen in love with collecting gondolas long before the pandemic had rounded into view. In fact, the collector had purchased 96 gondola cars from the Steamboat Resort near Steamboat Springs a few years prior. As an avid gondola maintenance and restoration professional, Bastien is typically busy with maintenance work throughout the year.

Even though Bastien became the hero to Wendy and Rich in Steamboat Springs, they also helped to dig Wendy out of a deep hole. With COVID-19 shuttering so many ski resorts, Bastien was quickly coming to realize that her services weren’t as hotly needed. Bastien stated, “I was slowly planning to go bankrupt, no joke!” Following her partnership with Wendy and Rich, Bastien would go on to land contract inquiries from businesses throughout the country, ranging from Cleveland to Washington DC and back around to Utah! As-is pricing for a basic gondola sits at $4,800 while refurbished models can go for nearly $20,000.

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Lab-grown Wood May Be Answer To Deforestation Crisis

Kelly Taylor

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Over the last decades, scientists have come up with some of the most amazing innovations, others not so great.

However, this newest endeavor to create an alternative for trees instead of cutting down forests is absolutely mind-blowing and is now a topical issue among environmentalists.

It is a number of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) that are strategizing the venture toward laboratory-grown wooden furniture.

The process will be comparable to that of lab-grown meat, produced away from their parent phylum by formulating cells to break and reproduce into shapes. The proof-of-concept computation is a robust initial stride towards pursuing forestry options.

The scientists were able to selectively develop tissues like plants, independent of unwarranted organs, utilizing a Zinnia leaf.

In their related paper, the students illustrated how plant cells react adequately to the process and that it is very feasible, for instance, to scalable cultivation of plant substance without land use.

This includes wood for furnishing and is even simpler than what scientists do with meat developed through cell culture.

Despite substantial and initial investment in resources, only a slight portion of the cultured crop can be utilized once reaped, according to the scientists.

As for natural fiber development, less than five percent of the material will prove useful.

The technique is simpler to order for cultured plants, accumulated in the shape of a table or a rectangular board. It may come to be much more cost-saving than cultured meat since plants are really straightforward to develop in this manner.

Ashley Beckwith, a student, pursuing her doctorate in engineering and co-wrote the report, illustrates the inadequacies of depending on plants and trees from forests to generate lumber.

She emphasizes that trees develop as high poles in a cylinder shape, yet what they are harvested for is unrelated to that shape, leading to a large portion of wood constantly going to waste.

She notes that two decades is spent growing something which will mainly go to waste.

On the other hand, why not spend twenty years accumulating fibers and molds that belong only to furnishings or apparel?

So far, the scientists have not yet established a Petri dish table. However, their endeavor is an essential indication of the theory that if broadly approved, carbon footprint reduction would be a major element of the entire project.

The scientists have thought long and hard about every aspect of the project and the various benefits.

These may entail fueling and navigating robust, low-range freight vehicles up logging thoroughfares at low velocities, in addition to fueling and producing the automobiles to build the logging streets, and the manufacturing factories that create both, as well as the automobiles to haul the tools there.

Now, last but not least, is the topical issue of deforestation, the main reason for carbon dioxide pollution in the environment.

This is especially so since carbon normally would be expelled through the Earth’s thousand-year carbon process in a natural way is yanked from the earth as the trees are chopped down.

Now with the brilliant idea from these MIT science students, tree plantations could remain in place to age the normal way, getting the carbon cycle back to a natural format while enticing more outdoor life.

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Businessman Recycles Plastic Bottles into Building Bricks

Renee Yates

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Kenya’s entrepreneurs may have just figured out how to turn plastic trash into viable, functional building materials, a key re-use of resources that can be dramatic in under-developed regions. Nzambi Matee is the owner of Gjenge Makers Limited, a successful small business focused on building materials in the form of pavers, bricks and durable block materials for construction. Putting out 1,500 new units a day based on a mix of trash plastic and binding components, Gjenge Makers sits in an ideal situation: it relies on a supply that some days it gets for free, and the product produced is fundamentally in demand year-round to support construction and building.

Kenya Naturally Provides Plenty of Supply

According to Kenya’s government, well over 600,000 tons of plastic bottles alone are consumed in the country. Less than one-tenth of that amount is actively recycled by consumers. Instead, the rest of it ends up in trash cans, trash piles and landfills. Gjenge Makers positioned itself to be a consumer of that easily available plastic. Nzambi Matee by training is a materials engineer, so the plastic was simply a challenge to solve and make useful. Once the fundamental design of a brick was designed and confirmed in prototype, Matee just needed to find a way to mass-produce it. Machinery and automation were the key. With the second challenge solved, Gjenge Makers was in business. The Gjenge Makers paver is unique; due to the threaded nature of plastic when bonded, it has less porosity than the more traditional building material of cement. That makes a paver produced by Gjenge Makers far more resilient and less brittle in practice. It also tends to be far better at resisting water, a factor that ultimately causes cement reinforcement rebar to corrode.

Set up in 2017, the Gjenge Makers puts out currently 1,500 plastic-based bricks and is looking for how to scale up to 4,500 bricks in the future. That in turn produces both a viable building material as well as removes 60 tons of plastic out of trash piles and landfills. Within three years the company is already on track to achieve breakpoint and go into the black financially.

Plastic Waste – A Continental Problem

Africa is not a stranger to plastic waste. South Africa, for example, generates 1 million tons of the materials itself in trash annually. 500 shipping containers of plastic recycle is relocated to African shores every year without much of plan what to do with it on arrival. The recycle rate of Kenya is duplicated across the continent with the highest recycle level barely breaking 10 percent of the plastic consumed in product in country after country. So, the idea that someone like Nzambi Matee and her company can create not only a way to put that plastic back to use but provide a building product that is better than cement is a double benefit for the continent. Its trash might very well now become building material gold.

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A Four Year Old Girl Finds A 230 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Footprint on A Beach In Wales

Kevin Wells

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Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles that existed on the earth about 260 million years ago. In early 1842, Sir Richard Owen, the English naturalist, coined the term Dinosauria which is adopted from a Greek work deinos meaning (fearfully great) and sauros, meaning (lizard).

Today there are over 700 known dinosaur species that vanished from the face of the earth. However, modern birds resemble common behaviors and features with their ancestor’s non-avian dinosaurs.

Interestingly, most of us think that dinosaurs existed in the same geographical periods. Here is a random fact you will not believe is true; for example, Stegosaurus lived during the late Jurassic period, about 150 years ago. At the same time, during the late cretaceous period, about 75 million years ago, Tyrannosaurus rex was still roaming on earth. This means Stegosaurus vanished from the world 66 million years before the existence of Tyrannosaurus on earth.

There are two theories that try to prove what contributed to the mass extinction of the eras of dinosaurs, which include

  • The massive asteroid which struck earth causing a catastrophic earth climate change
  • The change in sea levels and large-scale volcanic activities

There are thousands of dinosaur fossils that have been revealed on all seven continents. About 66 million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs were exterminated.

Recently a four-year girl has made an astounding archeological discovery that dates back to about 230 million years ago.

As the family was walking along the beach near Bendrick bay in South Wales, UK., with their dog pet, Lily Willer foxed a virgin dinosaur footprint that has excited paleontologists around the globe.

Lilly wilder reported that in a press release, “I was out with my dad walking at the Bendricks near Barry in the South Wales when I luckily came across the spoor on a loose block of stone near the ocean, Amguendfa Cymru National Museum Wales.”

Her mom said, “it was Lilly and her dad [Richard] who rumbled on the footprint. Lily spotted the spoor as they were walking, and she said, ‘Daddy, look.’ her dad took some photos, and when they came home, he showed me the photographs. I thought of what a well-done job. Richard felt the deal was too sweet to be true.”

“lily’s father shared the photos with the entire family, and it was Lily’s grandmother who pushed us to reach out to the local experts and fossil enthusiasts for further investigation.” Lily’s mother reported.

Interestingly, Cindy Howells from Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum of Wales paleontology curator reported that “even though it is tough to identify exactly which type of dinosaur let the 3.9-inch spoor, there are some undeniable facts. It looks like the dinosaur stood 75 centimeters tall and 2 meters long.”

The footprint is unbelievably stunning, revealing all the muscle details and exactly where the joints are in the foot.

Although the location where Lilly spotted the spoor is known to have many dinosaur spoors, Lilly’s discovery is said to be the best’s specimen ever found on this beach. Cindy Howells said.

Cindy Howells said that the spoor would significantly help the paleontologists to gain a better understanding of how these early dinosaurs walked.

Although there are no fossils or bones left behind in this area that might help identify the type of dinosaur that left the mark, similar marks were left by a Coelophysis revealed in the US.

It is unbelievable preservation, and more actual about their feet’ structure since lily’s discovery shows individual parts and claw impressions. The spoor was legally removed from the site of discovery with permission from the natural resource Wales, and it was transferred to the national museum Cardiff to be protected and for further scientific studies.

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