Looks pretty primitive to me.

A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.

The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression.

The study, released Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined grooves in a rock that had been covered with sediment. Archaeologists had previously found artifacts associated with Neanderthal culture in the overlying layer, suggesting that the engravings must be older, said Clive Finlayson, one of the study’s authors.

“It is the last nail in the coffin for the hypothesis that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans,” said Paul Tacon, an expert in rock art at Australia’s Griffith University. Tacon, who was not involved in the study, said the research showed that the engravings were made with great effort for ritual purposes, to communicate with others, or both.

JP morgan hacked?

JPMorgan Chase has confirmed it’s investigating a possible cyberattack earlier this month, Reuters reports.

“The bank is taking additional steps to safeguard sensitive or confidential information, though it not seeing unusual fraud activity at this time,” company spokeswoman Trish Wexler told the website.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the FBI was investigating an alleged cyberattack that affected five U.S. banks at the beginning of August, including JP Morgan Chase & Co., identified in the article as the target of the attack.

Two people familiar with the attack spoke to Bloomberg, and claimed that hackers gained access to gigabytes of sensitive data. The New York Times reports that the sensitive data included checking and saving account information.


That got your attention.

After naked photos of about 20 celebrities leaked online last night, the internet scrambled to try and figure out exactly how the images became public. In the original 4chan thread where the hacker first posted the images, the consensus was that Apple’s iCloud service was to blame. But how likely is it that Apple’s encrypted cloud service led to the mass hack, and what are the other ways that the nude photos could have emerged?

More money equals more influence.

Andrew Sabin gave Republicans so much money in 2012 that he accidentally went over a limit on how much individuals could donate to federal candidates and party committees.

So Sabin, who owns a New York-based precious-metals refining business, was delighted when the Supreme Court did away with the limit in April. Since then, he has been doling out contributions to congressional candidates across the country — in Colorado, Texas, Iowa and “even Alaska,” he said.

Top Republicans have taken notice: Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have paid him personal visits this year, he noted proudly.

“You have to realize, when you start contributing to all these guys, they give you access to meet them and talk about your issues,” said Sabin, who has given away more than $177,000. “They know that I’m a big supporter.”

Eric finds a job.

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has joined the global investment bank Moelis & Company as vice chairman and managing director, the company announced Tuesday.

Cantor, who resigned from Congress during the August recess after losing his primary in June, will also be elected to the company’s board of directors.

Cantor will focus on client development and giving strategic and financial advice.
Initially, Cantor will be given $1.4 million in cash and stocks. He will receive a base salary of $400,000 per year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On top of that, Cantor will receive $1.6 million in incentive cash and stocks in 2015.

Seems a little clumsy. … And probably expensive.

Listen to the radio and you might run across a segment that sounds something like a news report. A newsy music introduction plays as woman’s officious-sounding voice begins narrating a story. In a stilted delivery that appears to mimic that of a news anchor, the woman states, “In a move demonstrating the FBI’s valuable role of protecting national security, Director James Comey creates a separate Intelligence Branch…”

It turns out this isn’t a news report at all. And the “news anchor” is actually a public affairs specialist.

Day by Day

Geez …

Former Israeli Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, Refuses to Return Funds he ‘Mistakenly’ Received

It’s good being on the inside.

The gains that lawmakers are accruing highlight how lawmakers are generally wealthier than the public at large.

Calculations by The Hill found that about 47 percent of lawmakers — or 253 of 535 — had a minimum net worth of $500,000 or more in 2012. The actual number could be much greater, however, because lawmakers report their assets in sizable ranges.

The median household net worth in the United States was about $56,300 in 2013, according to a study from the University of Michigan. …

While it’s perfectly legal for lawmakers to hold and trade stock, critics argue that it often can create the appearance of a conflict of interest when lobbyists from those companies work to shape legislation.

“Congressional stock holders have a greater return on investment than the average American,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen. “Either they are geniuses on the stock market or they know something that we don’t. I suspect the latter.”

Holman lobbied for passage of the STOCK Act, which forces the disclosure of stock trades made by Congress and some in the executive branch. He says the disclosure provisions were weakened before the bill was passed, but said the new rules might are likely having an impact.

“I don’t know how much active trading has gone on since the STOCK Act. I suspect it’s dampened it,” Holman said. “Members are going to be more cautious now.”

Hmmmm …

Booming electric car sales under fire in Norway

NLRB an arm of organized labor.

In the six Labor Days since President Obama took office, his appointees have gone to outrageous lengths to compel the 93 percent of the private-sector workforce who don’t belong to an organized labor union to become dues-paying members.

While the Labor Department and the National Mediation Board have each pushed hard to create rules that overwhelmingly favor union organizers over those employees who oppose unionization, it is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which has taken the most outlandish actions in their attempt to tip the balance toward primary Democratic Party funders in Big Labor.

You really should not depend on government for a solution.

Governments do not solve problems. They exacerbate them.

French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls dissolved their government this week, after another row within the party rank-and-file left the Socialists looking weaker than ever. With the government’s austerity path being publicly questioned and with popularity at an all-time low, those inside Élysée Palace are now relying on their new economy and industry minister — a former Rothschild banker — to get France’s economy back up and running.

TEA Party in Germany.

Germany’s newest party, the Eurosceptic “Alternative for Germany” (AfD), has won its first seats in the state parliament of Saxony, according to preliminary results.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats won the vote with 39.5% according to exit polls.

The AfD, which says it is anti-euro (the currency), rather than anti-Europe, won around 9.6% of the vote.

Eurosceptic parties made large gains in the European elections in May.

The projected results from Saxony, a state in eastern Germany, indicate a much more successful showing at the ballot box than had been predicted.

What I find amazing …

… is that many people knew and, evidently, nobody spoke up. No body said that ‘this is wrong’.

If What This Guy Says Is True, A Lot More IRS Officials Than Just Lois Lerner Could Be Going To Jail

Even Mexico realizes it’s too expensive.

Mexico’s largest crackdown in decades on illegal migration has decreased the flow of Central Americans trying to reach the United States, and has dramatically cut the number of child migrants and families, according to officials and eyewitness accounts along the perilous route.

Convoys of Mexican federal police and immigration service employees in southern Mexico have begun scouring the tracks of the infamous freight train known as “La Bestia,” or The Beast, that has long carried crowds of migrants on its lumbering route north. They have also set up moving roadblocks, checking the documents of passengers on interstate buses.

Associated Press journalists witnessed dozens of federal police and Mexican immigration agents storming the train as it came to an unscheduled stop in the post-midnight darkness Friday.


Tiny Graphene Drums Show Potential to Act as Memory Chips in Quantum Computers

Sentencing in Egypt.

An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Mohamed Badie to life in prison after religious authorities rejected the death penalty, in one of many trials of Islamists since their removal from power.

The ebola solution.

A leading U.S. Ebola researcher from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has gone on record stating that a blend of three monoclonal antibodies can completely protect monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus up to 5 days after infection, at a time when the disease is severe.

Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology, has written an editorial for Nature discussing advances in Ebola treatment research. The filoviruses known as Ebola virus and Marburg virus are among the most deadly of pathogens, with fatality rates of up to 90 percent.

“So although these approaches are highly important and can be used to treat known exposures, the need for treatments that can protect at later times after infection was paramount,” said Geisbert.

This discovery could help.

Some surprising discoveries about the body’s initial responses to HIV infection have been made by researchers. One of the biggest obstacles to complete viral eradication and immune recovery is the stable HIV reservoir in the gut. There is very little information about the early viral invasion and the establishment of the gut reservoir. “We want to understand what enables the virus to invade the gut, cause inflammation and kill the immune cells,” said the study’s lead author.

Maybe we should remind him of the history.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has a stark warning to America: The Islamic State’s terror will visit American shores in one month if it is not confronted in Syria and Iraq.

“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” the king said Saturday, Agence France Presse reported. His comments came while he was speaking at ceremony for new ambassadors.

We’ve been at this for a while.

William Cobb demonstrates first solar-powered car

An explanation is probably in order.

Why has a federal civil-rights murder investigation arisen out of the tumult in a St. Louis exurb? There is only one plausible reason: Eric Holder is guilty of racial profiling.

To be clear, we are not talking here about whether there was justification for the shooting of a young black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, by a young white police officer, 28-year-old Darren Wilson. Was the shooting a legitimate exercise in self-defense by an officer under attack? Was it an overreaction for which Officer Wilson should suffer serious civil and criminal consequences? Such questions can only be answered by a thorough and fair investigation, the kind of due process owed to both the victim and the subject of the investigation — the kind that, as National Review’s editors point out, will be tough to mete out with political thumbs pressing on the scales.

The strange politics of California.

Two unnamed staffers of California GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio may have been responsible for a burglary at the campaign’s headquarters just before the June 3 primary, police said.

San Diego police have confirmed that a break-in did occur at the campaign’s headquarters in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego on the night of May 27 or early in the morning May 28. The burglars broke thousands of dollars of equipment, including computers and phones.

U-T San Diego reported Friday that police are looking at two former campaign staffers as suspects.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/216308-demaio-staffers-suspected-in-campaign-burglary#ixzz3BygnvMBm
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

It appears to that I live (at least part time), in America’s most affluent city.

But Galt’s Gulch is still a whole lot prettier.

New terrorists?

Two teenage girls have been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to blow up a synagogue in Lyon, French news websites have reported.

According to JSS News and Europe 1, a source from the French security agency the Central Directorate of Homeland Intelligence revealed that two Muslim girls, aged 15 and 17, were arrested in the Tarbes and Venissieux neighbourhoods a week ago, after authorities uncovered a plan to carry out a suicide bombing inside the Great Synagogue of Lyon. They were indicted on August 22nd for conspiracy to commit terrorism.

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