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Happy Halloween
October 31, 2014

Jack O. Lantern sun



Native History
October 30, 2014

For years Hopes and Dreams has freely provided a set of timelines of United States history that I made. United States history timelines (free)

I should update them and expand on them, possibly by creating a timeline of world history. But has studying history become... history?

Older scientists and doctors have complained to me of the rising expectations of keeping current with research and changes in their fields. Access to information has become easier, yet experts are expected to read everything that comes along, while it's still hot. The studying not only never ends; it increases. So why study something as accessible as history?

I'm not certain we should. Civics? Absolutely. History? (Shrug.)

Part of the problem I've had in expanding my historical timelines is a matter of values.

Values
Is history about kings? Is it about who left the biggest scar on Earth? Is it about conquerors? Are those our values?

Or is it about cultural understandings, understanding how most people of a time and place lived, sometimes with nature, and leaving without much of a trace.

Think about how environmentally friendly the Native American cultures were, despite being as diverse as their landscape. Native Americans certainly qualify, especially the tribes north of Mexico. My second prior post “The Oldest Of The New World” shows the lack of traces of thousands of years of life prior to the United States.

Michigan's Native Americans
The Old Copper culture (4000-1500 bce) was the earliest known Native Americans in what is today Michigan. Their area surrounded Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron and included lower present day Ontario. In addition to hunting, gathering, and fishing, they were miners, metalworkers, and traders of copper items, mined from Isle Royale and the southern coast of Lake Superior. The copper mining started with gathering float nuggets in soil and streams then turned to the mining of copper sheets from rock fissures. The earliest copper work was chipping like what was done to stone. Learning to take advantage of copper's flexibility, they turned to annealing techniques (alternating heating and hammering) to craft beautiful tools and ornaments.

The Hopewell (200bce-700ce) were one of the four main mound building groups of North America. The Goodall Focus was a Hopewell subgroup covering southwestern Michigan and northwestern Indiana, including the Goodall mounds in Indiana and the Norton (or Converse) mounds in Michigan. You may wonder, why not call it the Norton focus? Most of the forty Norton mounds were destroyed. They were either leveled in 1874 as part of a development by James Converse, trenched through with a water line in 1885, or destroyed by Interstate 196 (later the Gerald R. Ford freeway) in Grand Rapids in 1963. Some of the gutted burial mounds contained earthenware pots and pottery fragments, copper needles, deer bone needles, graystone pipes, pipestone pipes (using catlinite from Pipestone Creek, MI), beetle totems made from antler, and bear canines (illustrations).

Sacred. Burial sites. Would the same people pillage cemeteries and churches? It boggles the mind.

Native American burial mounds have been found in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,  Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ontario. In Minnesota, Native American mounds are in Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul. In and around Lake Minnetonka there were 524 mounds at 48 sites. Today 40 mounds remain at 12 sites. Native American mounds are also found in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Ottertail, Red Wing, and probably other spots. The largest Native American mound is at Cahokia in Illinois.

The Late Woodland Period (500-1000ce) found hunting with bows and arrows, taking over for spears.

Forest signposts were trees -- big trees with a branch unnaturally outstretched, pointing the way. Forest dwelling Native Americans would pick a spot along a trail, where the trail wasn't easy to follow, and plant a sapling of a large tree with a main branch pointed toward the nearest destination. They would loosely wrap the tree branch to cause it to grow parallel to the ground. The wrap would be only a few feet wide, maybe a piece of deerskin, that would last a few years. After a few years, a scar-free tree would act as a trail marker for generations.

The Council of Three Fires was either formed at Michilimackinac in 796ce or they migrated from the northeast sometime after 1400, when the North American continent became colder. By oral tradition, the council had been a tribe traveling the Atlantic coast before settling on the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The Council of Three Fires were the Ojibwe (Chippewa) the older brother - keeper of faith, the Ottawa (Odawa) the middle brother - keeper of trade, and the Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi) the younger brother - keeper of the fire. All three tribes are language off-shoots of the Algonquian family of languages, which are northeastern tribes not part of the Iroquoian language family.

The Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi) lived in wickiups, domed houses of arched sapling poles and interwoven mat coverings. Their hunters and warriors used bows and arrows and wooden clubs. They fished using spears, bone fishhooks, and nets of swamp ash and milkweed with stone sinkers. They tapped maple trees with spouts and buckets. Sassafras was an insect repellent. They traveled with birch bark canoes, dugout canoes, toboggans, snowshoes, and beginning in 1755, on horses. Their trails crisscrossed Michigan with multiple trails converging on Michilimackinac and Detroit. The Potawatomi weave is named after them. They were famous for their embroidery and beadwork. They crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads, possibly adding Lake Michigan crinoids as ready-made wampum beads. They were the keeper of the fire, the hearth, and the Michilimackinac meeting place.

The Bodéwadmi grew beans, peas, squash, melons, corn, wild rice, and tobacco. They boiled fish on the eastern coast of Wisconsin before it was a Friday night event in Door County, Wisconsin. They followed deer mouse prints in the snow to storage stashes of nuts. They made soup from cattail roots, soup from blueberries and wild rice, and soup from milkweed flowers, wild garlic, and lichen. They made pudding from corn and from squash. Maple syrup was a sweetener. Everything in its season, like the Bodéwadmi medicine wheel.

Iroquois war parties chased the Bodéwadmi and other Algonquian language tribes out of Michigan and into Wisconsin during the Beaver Wars of the mid-1600s. The Bodéwadmi spread out in Wisconsin and into Illinois, and were back in the St. Joseph area of southwest Michigan in 1695. During the War of 1812, the Bodéwadmi, siding with the British, attacked a column of soldiers and civilians escaping Fort Dearborn. A Bodéwadmi-French woman, Archange Ouilmette, intervened on behalf of the Americans. As a result, Archange and Antoine Ouilmette were given a reservation in 1829 where Lake Street meets Lake Michigan in what is today, Wilmette, Illinois.

The Treaty of Chicago in 1821 caused the St. Joseph band of Bodéwadmi to surrender a large tract of land in southwest Michigan (nearly all land south of the Grand River) and northwest Indiana. In 1823, the US Supreme Court ruled Native Americans could not own land, except as part of reservations. In 1838, the Bodéwadmi of the Wabash River Valley, Indiana were forcibly removed to Kansas, which killed 41 (mostly children) of the 859. During the following ten years, 600 more died.

Some Bodéwadmi escaped to Canada or Wisconsin. Most intermarried. Many returned to Michigan or moved further west.

Sounds and drinks
I wrote this while listening to a CD by Carlos Quinche titled Meditation - Contemporary Native American Music from 2008. It's wonderful instrumental music. It's great music for contemplation, writing, and peace. Simultaneously, I was drinking tea from the Native American Tea Company. They have six tea blends: Good Medicine (spearmint), Indian Love Tea (ginger), Warrior's Brew (cinnamon), Teepee Dreams (peppermint), Chief's Delight (berry), and Victory Tea (punch). Plus they have a black tea and a green tea. (Box 1266, Aberdeen SD 57402-1266; phone 1-888-291-8517). For a better balance in life, I highly recommend the ones I have tried: green tea, Good Medicine, Indian Love Tea, Chief's Delight, and Teepee Dreams.

I'm not sure how to create any sort of depth, any sort of real values, in a timeline. Maybe it would be best as a blog post about native history.

Music Association: Carlos Quinche - Ancient Dreams
Drinking Association: Native American Tea Company - Teepee Dreams
Twin Cities Calendar Association: November 2, 2014No Honor In Racism Rally (Washington NFL name)


Bodéwadmi - medicine wheel






Tower Hill of Warren Dunes State Park

History Schmystery
Sand Dunes & Fossilized Cheerios
October 25, 2014

Take a straw and use it to blow a little pile of sand.

If you blow straight down, the sand scatters. If you blow with water in your mouth, the sand will get wet and won't move much. If you blow from the side, you can cause an escalator effect -- the sand grains bounce up the little sand pile and over the top. Now do that for thousands of years.

Congratulations, you've created a sand dune.

Maybe...You'd need more sand. Your wind was fine.

What you learned was that the wind has to be consistent, from one direction and one angle, no cross purposes, for the thousands of years. And dry. It has to be a dry wind. A wet wind isn't going to do any good. Water shuts down the escalator. Cold shuts down the escalator. Cold temperatures take the slightest bit of moisture on the surface of the sand and freezes the sand together so the dune is frozen in time. Walking on a frozen dune makes the same sound as crunching on tortilla chips, except not as close to your ears.

Wind likes to sort stuff. You can see it at Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan's most visited state park, on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Look at the sand on Tower Hill, the big, obvious dune by the beach. The grains of sand are fine.

R.A. Bagnold identified sand as any particle between .02 - 1.0 mm in diameter in The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes, from 1941. The grains of sand must be light enough in relation to the strength of the wind to be bounced or carried but heavy enough to be dropped off or stopped. Soil particles would keep moving. The squeak of the sand comes from the high quartz content.

Run down to the beach and the sand grains are larger, darker, and heavier. At the water line you'll find sand that is borderline pebbles, actual pebbles, and fossilized Cheerios.

Cheerios were first created in 1941 by General Mills. Cheerios haven't been around long enough to get fossilized, and these aren't really fossilized Cheerios. They are crinoids, little white ringlets of plantlike marine animals that were the dominant life forms of the Silurian period (380-350 million years ago). They are still around today, but these crinoid fossils are most likely from the Silurian. Crinoids are too heavy to be carried by the wind (usually).

For hundreds of millions of years, much of the North American continent was an inland sea, a mega Gulf of Mexico (630-306 million years ago). Seacoasts and ocean coasts make sand. The Great Lakes don't have the tidal forces to make sand to the degree an inland sea would.

How Sand Dunes Are Formed
The recipe for forming sand dunes is:
•  medium-fine sand
•  a strong single direction (One Direction) wind
•  obstacles that stop the sand, like beach grass or a hill of sand. Most of the sand bounces up the sand hill. Some sand gets carried by the wind.

Dry and warm helps.

Cooking time varies by location and conditions. Some dunes like Tower Hill at Warren Dunes are in a funnel-shaped area that may have caused two or more dunes to converge as one.

Historians say that Lake Michigan used to be larger on nearly all sides (except around Warren Dunes), and they call it Lake Chicago. Historians are funny. If they were in Minnesota, they would have a blast continuously renaming all the lakes as the water levels rise and fall.
Great Lakes map - 9,500 years ago
Some say the dunes were formed when glaciers dumped an accumulation of sand in one spot. Funny people.

There was a time, 9,500 years ago, when Lake Michigan or glacial Lake Chicago or whatever was half drained. At that time there would have been a sand bowl sitting just to the west of where Warren Dunes is today. The sand was formed by the same seas where the crinoids lived. Lake Whatever washed it together and then dried up. That's when the winds took over. They've been working at it ever since.

Remember the description of sand dunes being like escalators? The back edges of dunes are often like cliffs where the sand drops off. In the 1980s, the Warren Dunes staff built a picnic area behind the Tower Hill dune. At the same time, the escalator speed escalated when park rangers began driving over Tower Hill on ATVs.

Steep slopes became less steep, and beach grasses became uprooted. And only a few years later, the dune swallowed up the picnic ground.
Music Association: Dido - Sand In My Shoes


North America plate tectonics (animated gif)









History Schmystery
The Oldest of the New World
October 24, 2014

It's quantification time: time to put numbers to the statement, North America is “a young continent and an old continent.”

North American oldies
1,300 years ago (700 ce)oldest city - north of MexicoCahokia, near Collinsville, IL
2,100 years ago (100 ce)oldest templePyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico
2,600 - 2,800 years agooldest buildingCuicuilco, Mexico
10,500 or 14,800 years agooldest art - petroglyphsWinnemucca Lake basin, NV
10,550 years agooldest footprintsCuatrocienegas Basin, northeast Mexico
13,000 years agooldest human bonesSanta Rosa Island, Channel Islands, CA
13,000 - 15,000 years agooldest toolsstone scraper - near Walker, MN
stone tool kit - Buttermilk Creek, TX
14,400 years agooldest shit - coprolitesPaisley Caves, Oregon
5-6 million years agoGrand Canyon beganColorado Plateau uplift & Colorado River carves
85 million years agooldest bonehead - dinosaurPachycephalosaur, Alberta, Canada
112 million years agooldest aquatic reptile Nicholisia borealis (plesiosaur), Alberta, Canada
115 - 125 million years agooldest flowering plantPotomacapnos apeleutheron, James River, Dutch Gap, VA
2 billion years agooldest layer of the Grand CanyonVishno Schist, Grand Canyon, AZ
3.5 billion years agooldest rocksMorton Gneiss, Morton, MN (& gneiss in western Greenland)
13.7 billion years agooldest stuffhydrogen, created 3 minutes after the big bang

To put all of this in a global perspective:
The India plate started crashing into Asia 40 million years ago.
The Amazon rainforest is 55 million years old.
Dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago.
The oldest dinosaur fossil found is Nyasasaurus parringtoni in Tanzania from 240-245 million years ago.
The oldest fossil (bacteria “footprints”) is 3.49 billion years old, from Pilbara, Australia.

Oldest cities are a source of national and regional pride:
9000 bce - Jericho, Palestine (not continuously inhabited)
7000 bce - Catal Huyuk, Turkey (not continuously inhabited)
6300 bce - Damascus, Syria

The hydrogen in all of us is older than anything else around us. Hydrogen, helium, lithium, and berylium were created 13.7 billion years ago, three minutes after the big bang. Oxygen, carbon, iron, and lighter than iron elements are star dust. Lead, silver, gold, and heavier than iron elements are supernova dust.

All of this will be on the test. Do your readings.

Music Association: Bob Seger - Old Time Rock and Roll





Hopes and Dreams


Deforestation
Brazil Says They Will Create A Rainforest Preserve The Size Of Delaware
My Reaction: “Pick A Bigger State”

October 23, 2014

Brazil announced on Tuesday they have created a rainforest preserve the size of Delaware.

Having driven across Delaware recently, twice, I understand the size of Delaware.  I say, “Pick a bigger state.”

Pick Minnesota. Or Texas. Or Alaska.

Yes, it's good they are heading in the direction of rainforest preserves. The Alto Maues rainforest preserve has 6,680 square km (1.65 million acres) of mostly untouched forests. The federal preserve makes logging and other development illegal.

I'm concerned about the pace. Deforestation of the Amazon increased in 2013. Destruction of the world's largest rainforest rose 29 percent in 2013 from the previous year, totaling 5,891 square km (3,360 square miles) or nearly the size of this preserve lost in one year.

A fifth of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed in the last three decades.

Greenpeace recently explained how they're using GPS trackers to expose illegal logging in the Amazon. They spent two months near Santarém, the center of illegal logging in the Amazon. They attached GPS devices to logging trucks and tracked the vehicles by satellite. Of the nine trackers attached, two trackers recorded particularly revealing journeys, while a small number appeared to have fallen off the trucks, and one was switched by the trucker onto a different unrelated vehicle.

The illegal logs, usually mahogany-like species such as jatobá, ipé, garapa and maçaranduba, came from state-owned parts of the rainforest, where no logging permits have been issued. Greenpeace also found evidence suggesting the logs delivered to the sawmills were being laundered using permits from other areas.

Greenpeace says, “There are laws banning the trade in illegal timber in markets like the European Union and the United States. Companies trading in timber from the Amazon [need to] take responsibility for the wood they’re buying, making sure it’s been harvested legally and sustainably, or they stop buying from high-risk regions like the Amazon.”

Music Association: Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice






History Schmystery
Pie Plate TectonicsPie Plate Tectonics
October 21, 2014

The universe is expanding. Our galaxy is in the process of crashing into its neighbor. Our star system is swinging on an outer leg of our galaxy. Our planet is orbiting the sun. Earth is spinning on its axis. Our continents are moving apart on one side and crashing together on the other. Erosion is smoothing the land, rock by rock. And you want to go on a trip because you are sick of sitting still?!?

Hang on, we're already traveling.

It's easy to understand parts of plate tectonics -- how South America fit into Africa, how India smashed into Asia, how Australia just sat there for so long...

North American plate tectonics is more weird. It's a young continent and an old continent.

The old continental shield, the Canadian Craton, is centered under Hudson Bay and stretches from Minnesota to Greenland. The oldest rocks of the North American continent are the 3.5 billion year old Morton Gneiss* rocks of Minnesota and the nearly as good gneiss rocks from western Greenland.

Understanding the young, hip part of the continent is the trick.

How did North America come together?

Was the younger part of North America underwater, waiting to emerge like a glistening Aphrodite, to crown the amber fields and purple mountains?

Or did the younger, lower part of North America (United States, Mexico) migrate from somewhere else, join up with the Canadian Craton, and zipper the seam with the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway?

Zip up.

The key is the Great Lakes region. Take away the Duluths, Chicagos, and Detroits. Take away the glacial ice sheets (like last winter). What impressed the Great Lakes?

The Keweenawan Rift System theory is that a trail of geologic hotspots from a billion years ago impressed by inflating, bubbling up the Lake Superior and Lake Huron** line only to later sink them down. The basalt flows of Gooseberry Park are a surface remnant of that time.

Not completely surface.

Fourth grade science. A surface volcano makes lava. Your underwater volcano makes basalt. The lower North American continent spent hundreds of millions of years being a ginormous Gulf of Mexico. Thick limestone tells the story of coral seas... coral seas that dried up as the continent was pushed up or stacked up like a pancake, while the Earth shrunk.

I'm hungry for plate tectonic knowledge.

Don't get me started about the Cheerios.

Music Association: Beyoncé - Rise Up
keywords - pie plate tectonics, Morton Gneiss, Canadian Craton, Keweenawan Rift System
*   Morton Gneiss was a really ancient man in the novel, Hopes and Dreams - Stuck on AutoDrive
** Lakes Superior and Huron are technically the same lake. What do you call two connected lakes with the same water level? The same lake.








time travel


TimeX-men Days of Future Past - Time In A Bottle
October 17, 2014

Do you believe in time travel?

It's an odd question. Time moves. We move with it. We move through time. Our memories and histories are visions of the past. We plan for the future with unwarranted certainty. Is that time travel?

Movie Review - “X-Men: Days of Future Past”X-men Days of Future Past - Time In A Bottle
A while back I saw the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was a fluffy popcorn movie like Guardians of the Galaxy, which I also saw and never reviewed. The two reasons to see the X-Men movie are Jennifer Lawrence and the Quicksilver scene. Quicksilver is a Marvel comics hero who runs very fast -- faster than a speeding bullet fast. The Quicksilver scene in X-Men has him running fast around a room while everything else moves very slowly, with the song Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce. A newspaper flies up with the headline: Truce Supervisors Belittled by Trask. The scene was the high point of a fluffy movie.

TV Review - “The Flash”
Two weeks ago, another comic book speedster, the Flash from DC comics, started a new network TV show. This is the second Flash series, which borrows from a mix of the previous show and a mashup of concepts from the Smallville series. The pilot Flash show lacked the magical places of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and featured two instances of time travel.
The Flash 2014
Running fast is a form of time travel, in fiction and to a point in reality. Think of all the Olympic sports that last mere minutes or seconds. Diving. Gymnastics. Track. A surge of adrenaline and it's over. Blink and it's gone.

Picture a hummingbird and a sloth. Their movements can be tough to register for being too fast or too slow.

And all of us, plus the hummingbirds and the sloths, are crazy fast compared to geologic time.

Continental plates crashing into each other... very... slowly.

Have you ever imagined what it must have been like to be around when the subcontinental India plate crashed into the Asian plate?

I can tell you what it was like, because it is still crashing today. The Himalayas are being pushed up higher and higher.

India is moving north at a rate of 67 millimeters per year, tucking under Tibet and pushing up the southern Himalayas by about 5 millimeters per year. It's a slowdown compared to the 15 centimeters per year India had been sailing across the Indian Ocean.

What's weirder is that part of the North American plate is eastern Russia. Kamchatka and the Dalne Vostochnyy are part of our plate that's being shoved into the Asian plate, just like India.

Music Association: Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle

X-Men - Jennifer Lawrence









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