Retracing, step by step, humanity’s long trek across the globe

Monday, 21 January, 2013

Paul Salopek, a US journalist, will spend the next seven years walking from Ethiopia to the southern tip of South America, as he retraces the steps of the earliest humans, as they began spreading across the world some 50 to 70 thousand years ago:

From Ethiopia’s Rift Valley he will walk with Afar nomads to the Red Sea and cross over into Arabia, where he will follow the western coast north to the Middle East, ending the year either in Jerusalem or Amman. “From there I shall continue the trek eastward across Eurasia into East Asia, through China and north through Siberia,” he says. China alone will take him 14 months to cross. “I’ll hop a boat across the Bering Straits and then ramble down the New World to Tierra del Fuego, the place where our ancestors arrived about 12,000 years ago, the last continental corner of the world to be colonised by our forebears.”

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Thor Heyerdahl partly right, some Americans went to Polynesia

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

Researchers studying the genes of the inhabitants of Easter Island have found traces of indigenous American DNA in their genetic make up, a finding that partially corroborates Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl’s contention that people from South America colonised Polynesia, though he speculated they arrived in the region first.

A team of scientists have tested the genetic make up of descendants of the original islanders and found it includes DNA that could have only come from native Americans. That means that some time before the remote islands – including Easter Island – were colonised by Europeans the locals had interbred with people from South America.

While it is believed the Polynesian islands were first settled by people from Asia, it now looks likely that South Americans also migrated there, through probably much later afterwards.

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Normal transmission will resume soon (I hope)

Saturday, 28 November, 2009

Apologies for the downtime over the last few days. My webhost was the subject of a hack attack on Thursday afternoon Sydney time. Apparently ten per cent of the sites they were hosting were effected. You can read more about the incident here, it may be eye opening.

I’ve since moved disassociated to another webhost so things will be a little weird around here for a few days. I managed to restore the database but Friday’s posts are missing so I’ll manually restore those shortly. Images and photos will be missing here and there until I can fully restore them.

Some RSS and email subscribers may have seen posts from six months ago pop up in their reader, or in the email summary. Hopefully all will be back to normal shortly.

Talking of email, I’m also going through a batch of “new” messages that are six months old that suddenly arrived here last night. Totally mind boggling…

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Wednesday, 3 June, 2009

Apologies to those who may have had trouble accessing disassociated in the last 12 to 24 hours, but I have been in the process of migrating this site to the Media Temple web servers.

If you’ve tried to email me during this time, it might pay to resend the message as a few emails were apparently lost during the transfer.

If you are a RSS subscriber could I ask that you use to access the feed in the interim.

I’m gradually going through sorting out missing images and broken links, but if you see anything else that is not working, please drop me a line.

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Meanwhile at the backend of the Microsoft Yahoo! merger

Monday, 4 February, 2008

John Gruber takes a look at some of the technical issues that the possible Microsoft Yahoo! merger could present.

Engineering-wise, it’s interesting. Yahoo’s stuff is almost all written in PHP, and runs on FreeBSD and Red Hat Linux servers. I don’t think Microsoft has ever bought – and maintained – a significant software product that wasn’t written against Microsoft technology. E.g., when they bought Hotmail, the migration from FreeBSD/Apache to Windows 2000 was painful and difficult. Hotmail was just one product (albeit a popular one). Yahoo has hundreds of properties, several of them, I’m guessing, more popular than Hotmail was back in 2000.

I can imagine there would be one or two people who will be sitting back enjoying this…

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