The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)

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Introduction: Seeing the Swarm

It is expected that an inquest will be held early next week. Worthing FRCS testified that he found evidence of a single blow to the upper cranium, which caused instantaneous death. There was no evidence of foul play; the wound was not consistent with any ordinary weapon, and its location was wrong for the most common types of attack. He estimated that death took place at least two days before the body was found, and that the body entered the water some time after death. Worthing speculated that the woman might have intended to swim in the dark, tripped, and fallen against one of the groynes on the beach.

The body washed out to sea with the tide, washing back again two or three days later.

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There were no other injuries. The Coroner asked if there was any evidence of drowning; Dr. Worthing stated that there was not, adding that this would be consistent with a major head injury of the type described. Inspector Prendergast testified that the woman had been tentatively identified, but that the identification had not yet been confirmed; he expected to obtain proof later this week, when a relative could travel from Scotland to view the body.

The clothing that she was wearing had not been found, but it might have been washed out to sea by the tide. He had no reason to suspect foul play. The Coroner recorded an open verdict, suggesting that this unfortunate death might well be linked to illegal nude bathing. He appealed for witnesses who might be able to trace the woman's movements. She was last seen by her landlady on the 15th of May, and was reportedly looking for work in the Brighton area at the time of her death.

Weisdorf, Journal of Economic Surveys, 19 4 , Norton, Harris editor , Smithsonian Books, Dietrich, M. Heun, J. Notroff, K. Schmidt, M. Zarnkow, Antiquity, 86 , Mithen, W. Finlayson, S.

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Smith, E. Jenkins, M. Najjar, D. Watkins, Antiquity, 84 , Graeme Barker, Oxford University Press, Bellwood, Wiley-Blackwell, Stordeur, D. Helmer, G. Another question is about the purpose of cereals themselves. Instead of cultivating or at least simply harvesting them for bread, some argue that we may have been doing so for beer. One reason being that barley, left to itself, ferments. Another possible reason might be that consuming alcohol might be part of ritual, which might be an aid to tribal bonding. Willcox, Science, , Riehl, M.

Zeidi, N. Conard, Science, , Willcox, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 21 2 , Willcox, D. Stordeur, Antiquity, 86 , Colledge, J. Conolly, and S. Shennnan editors , University College London Press, Mitochrondrial evidence suggests that domestication events for goats were complex and geographically spread out. It seems likely that goats traveled great distances, perhaps by being herded, yet still intermixed with local populations. Luikart, L. Gielly, L. Excoffier, J.

Vigne, J. Bouvet, P. Taberlet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 98 10 , MacHugh, D. Bradley, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 98 10 , Vouillamoz, P. McGovern, A. Ergul, G. Tevzadze, M. McGovern, J. Zhang, J. Tang, Z. Zhang, G. Hall, R. Moreau, A. Butrym, M. Richards, C. Wang, G. Cheng, Z. Zhao, C. Wang, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 51 , Step back once again to 11, years ago.

The wheat variant we come across is rare around the planet, but in this time and place, it would be no surprise to us. Why we choose to store anything at all at this particular time is unknown. But of all the seeds that we could have chosen, we probably choose these particular ones because their seeds happen to be a little bigger than other grass seeds. It would make sense for us to gather them rather than other seeds. Also, although most of their stalks shatter as they ripen—so that their seeds fall to the ground, ready to sprout—the stalks of a few mutant wheat plants fail to shatter.

Normally that strain would be rare. But from our point of view, as the last ice age ended, those few mutants might have saved some of our lives. We would probably ignore wheat stalks that had done the right thing and shattered. But the few mutant plants would still have their ripe seeds on the stalk. That would leave them in the perfect position for us to harvest cheaply. Then, over time, we built more permanent seasonal shelters where they grew. Then, over time, we spent more and more time there. That gave those mutants an edge over their normal cousins, so they spread.

As we kept selecting among them, they grew taller, too, which made them easier to harvest, and their seeds grew bigger, which made them more worthwhile to harvest, and easier to store. What kept driving us all that time? Domestication probably took at least a millennium or so given that early farmers had no idea what they were really up to.

A mathematical model of how long it might take for genetic change to spread in wild-type versus artificial selection grasses estimates that it might take 3, years for our selection to really change a plant. Allaby, D. Fuller, T. Brown, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 37 , Tanno, G.

Kislev, A. Hartmann, O. Bar-Yosef, Science, , Vigne, F. Briois, A. Zazzo, G. Willcox, T. Cucchi, S. Franel, R. Touquet, C. Martin, C. Moreau, C. Comby, J.

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Guilaine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 22 , Driscoll, J. Clutton-Brock, A. Kitchener, S. Driscoll, D. Macdonald, S. Zeder, Daniel G. Bradley, Eve Emswiller, and Bruce D. Smith editors , University of California Press, Pigs and cattle were each domesticated about 10, years ago. Horse domestication seems to date to about 6, years, and donkeys to about 5, years ago.

Warmuth, A. Eriksson, M. Bower, G. Barker, E. Barrett, B. Hanks, S. Li, D. Lomitashvili, M. Ochir-Goryaeva, G. Sizonov, V. Soyonov, A. Manica, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 , Larson, R. Liu, X. Zhao, J. Yuan, D. Fuller, L. Barton, K. Dobney, Q. Fan, Z. Gu, X. Liu, Y. Luo, P. Lv, L. Andersson, N. Li, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 , Edwards, D.

Magee, S. Park, P. McGettigan, A. Lohan, A. Murphy, E. Finlay, B. Shapiro, A. Chamberlain, M. Richards, D. Bradley, B. Loftus, D. Machugh, PLoS One, 5 2 :e, Outram, N. Stear, R. Bendrey, S. Olsen, A. Kasparov, V. Zaibert, N. Thorpe, R. Evershed, Science, , Rossel, F. Marshall, J.

Peters, T. Pilgram, M. Adams, D. Today all those species can still reproduce on their own, but none of them would exist in the numbers they do without our intervention. Our planet now supports ten thousand million chickens, 1, million cows, over a thousand million sheep, million goats, and over million pigs. All those populations are perhaps a thousand times as large as they would be without us. Of course, they exist in such numbers at the expense of other species. Today we control their reproduction with selective breeding, hormones, and spaying, and one day, to make them even more suitable as food or pets, we may genetically remove their reproductive ability entirely, just as we in some sense have already done with maize and wheat and seedless grapes.

The Archaeology of Animals, Simon J. Davis, Yale University Press, One such example is the coastal tribes in the northwest of North America. Their subsistence was based on hunting, gathering, and fishing. They all had a tradition of potlatch. Slavery among them was economically valuable not for primary activities like fishing but secondary activities—like drying the fish for storage. Not so. Thorpe, World Archaeology, 35 1 , Martin and David W. Freyer editors , Routledge, Killing or exploiting each other is ancient.

Hawks, E. Cochran, H. Harpending, R. Moyzis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 52 , Sabeti, P. Varilly, B. Fry, J. Lohmueller, E. Hostetter, C. Cotsapas, X. Xie, E. Byrne, S. McCarroll, R. Gaudet, S. Schaffner, E. Yi, Y. Liang, E. Huerta-Sanchez, X. Jin, Z. Cuo, J. Pool, X. Xu, H. Jiang, N. Vinckenbosch, T. Korneliussen, H. Zheng, T. Liu, W. He, K. Li, R. Luo, X. Nie, H. Wu, M. Zhao, H. Cao, J. Zou, Y. Shan, S. Li, Q. Yang, Asan, P. Ni, G. Tian, J. Xu, X. Liu, T. Jiang, R. Wu, G. Zhou, M.

Tang, J. Qin, T. Wang, S. Feng, G. Li, Huasang, J. Luosang, W. Wang, F. Chen, Y. Wang, X. Zheng, Z. Li, Z. Bianba, G. Yang, X. Tang, G. Gao, Y. Chen, X. Luo, L. Gusang, Z. Cao, Q. Zhang, W. Ouyang, X. Ren, H. Liang, H. Zheng, Y. Huang, J. Li, L. Bolund, K. Kristiansen, Y. Li, Y.

Zhang, X. Zhang, R. Li, S. Li, H.

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Yang, R. Nielsen, J. Wang, J. Wang, Science, , One haplotype of Microcephalin was strongly selected for starting about 37, years ago confidence limit from 14, to 60, years ago , and a haplotype of ASPM about 5, years ago confidence limit between and 14, years. These are extremely recent haplotypes. Neither have spread very far in our African population yet.

Evans, S. Gilbert, N. Mekel-Bobrov, E. Vallender, J. Anderson, L. Vaez-Azizi, S. Tishkoff, R. Hudson, B. Lahn, Science, , Mekel-Bobrov, S. Gilbert, P. Evans, E. Anderson, R. Hudson, S. Tishkoff, B. Evans, J. Anderson, E. Vallender, S. Choi, B. Lahn, Human Molecular Genetics, 13 11 , The text tries to give the considered view of many geneticists.

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  • Woven clothing in the paleolithic is a guess. However, that we had woven clothing as opposed to the typical image we carry of paleolithic hunters dressed only in hides is not unlikely since their remote ancestors had cordage and nets, and thus some kind of weaving. The Pavlovian variant of the Gravettian people—who lived scattered over a region stretching from Spain to southern Russia about 29, to 22, years ago—apparently at least had nets.

    Pringle, Science, , Actual twisted fibers dating to about 18, years ago have been found in caves in France. The earliest known evidence of woven fabrics might be Venus figurines carved about 26, years ago. Some of them have incised representations of what may be skimpy string skirts, presumably for some symbolic purpose. So twining and plaiting may go back 26 millennia. Beaudry, Yale University Press, , pages and Good, Annual Review of Anthropology, , Soffer, J.

    Adovasio, D. Adovasio, O. Soffer, B. Barber, Princeton University Press, Tattoos in the neolithic are a total guess. Fricke, A. Halliday, M. McCulloch, J. Wartho, Science, , Incidentally, that particular find has ramified into a murder mystery with new, and so far unpublished, DNA and forensic analysis of the body and its artifacts by Thomas Loy of the University of Queensland. Dickson, M. Richards, R. Hebda, P. Mudie, O. Beattie, S. Ramsay, N. Turner, B. Leighton, J.

    Webster, N. Hobischak, G. Anderson, P. Troffe, R. Wigen, The Holocene, 14 4 , Paleolithic ornaments, shoes, and tools: Our earliest probable ornaments may go back at least 82, years and perhaps , years in the latest unpublished research. Bouzouggar, N. Barton, M. Vanhaeren, F.

    Collcutt, T. Higham, E. Hodge, S. Parfitt, E. Rhodes, J. Schwenninger, C. Stringer, E. Turner, S. Ward, A. Moutmir, A. Stambouli, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 , Henshilwood, F. Vanhaeren, K. Jacobs, Science, , Our oldest known ornaments are perforated teeth or eggshell beads from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and Lebanon, dated between 41, and 43,years-old, and 40,year-old ostrich-shell beads from Kenya. Beads found in Tanzania also appear to be very old, but are so far undated.

    Kuhn, M. Stiner, D. Reese, E. Ambrose, Journal of Archaeological Science, 25 4 , Vanhaereny, F. Stringer, S. James, J. Todd, H. Mienis, Science, , Our oldest known figurine is an ivory Venus dated to 35, years ago. Conard, Nature, , The oldest known musical instruments, bone and ivory flutes, are also 35, years old. Conard, M. Malina, S. Our oldest known shoe is 5, years old.

    The oldest known sandal is 10,, years old. Pinhasi1, B. Gasparian, G. Areshian, D. Zardaryan, A. Smith, G. Bar-Oz, T. Higham, PLoS One, 5 6 :e, Connolly, W. Cannon, Radiocarbon, 41 3 , Chewing gum, too, is prehistoric. Stern, S. Clelland, C. Nordby, D. Urem-Kotsou, Applied Geochemistry, 21 10 , Aveling, C. Heron, Antiquity, 73 , Milov, J. Andres, N. Erhart, D. Bailey, Pediatrics, 2 :e22, Sillitoe, Journal of Biosocial Science, 34 4 , Kaplan, Journal of Anthropological Research, 56 33 , Incidentally, the Bible refers to the by then settled Amorites living in Canaan as being tall.

    See also: Deuteronomy Bowles, John Murray, , page Parson, Wm. Really, though, all Europe tried to stop, and that ineffectively, was the lucrative sale of its Christian slaves to non-Christian foreigners. Slavery in medieval Europe was so common that the Roman Catholic Church repeatedly prohibited it—or at least the export of Christian slaves to non-Christian lands was prohibited at, for example, the Council of Koblenz in , the Council of London in , and the Council of Armagh in Sales continued.

    For example, in Pope Martin V threatened all Christian slave traders with excommunication. He also ordered all Jewish slave traders to wear a special badge of infamy. But then, in various European nations, Christian export slavery, had been occasionally prohibited since at least , by the Church or by various rulers. Not that it mattered. For example, the same year, , that Bathild, regent of France, who had herself been a slave some say, kidnapped from England , tried to ban Christian enslavement in France, the Church, which wanted to maintain full control of ecclesiastical appointments, decreed enslavement for any children produced by clerics.

    No longer would the bastard child of a priest succeed him to his post. There were occasional admonitions, for example, after the first invasion of Ireland by English barons in the s, but at most they lead to a reduction in Christian export slavery. In short: in Europe, it was ok to have slaves, it was ok for them to be Christian, it was ok to export slaves, too.

    The European abolition effort in medieval times was primarily about the export of Christian slaves to non-Christian lands. William Penn, for example, a Quaker, who also owned Pennsylvania, was both a slave holder and a slave trader. Nor was English slavery particularly special within Europe.

    For example, thanks to their longships, the Vikings earlier took Norse, Saxon, Irish, Gallic, Italian, and Slav slaves from all over Europe and sold them to other Europeans, to the Muslims, and to each other. Also, from the eighth century on, North Africans—from Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli, known at the time as the Barbary coast—took slaves in England and Ireland for centuries, as well as slaves all over the North Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, from Iceland to Palestine—including Miguel de Cervantes, who was enslaved off the Catalan coast on September 26th, , 30 years before he wrote Don Quixote.

    If we take grain prices as a proxy for poor harvests, then regular famine appears to have been common all over the world and for all recorded time. However, such price evidence may be good only for Western Europe in the recent past, with waves of inflation occurring in the s, s, s, and s. Slaus, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2 , Mays, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 9 1 , Spalding, D.

    Sinclair, A. Cox, K. Morley, Scottish Medical Journal, 41 2 , However, paleopathology and paleodemography are still very young fields, with many of their research agendas, tools, and methods still in flux. In particular, any studies that claim anything about disease prevalence, or overall mortality statistics for any non-provably stationary populations, needs to be approached with caution.

    Wood, G. Milner, H. Harpending, K. M Weiss, Current Anthropology, 33 4 , A single brass pot might cost over a pound 20 shillings —anything that we needed fuel or special tools to make was expensive. An Age of Transition? Dyer estimates that, at least in England between and , given the technology available at the time, a family needed acres. Prestwich details land holdings in Norfolk between and At Hinderclay in the average holding was seven acres.

    But some were as large as 30 acres while others were as small as two acres or less. For example, the same thing was common in China at about the same time. Also, a very few of us were royal, and we always lived well. Although, in , with our knowledge of disease being what it was, even princes of a royal family only lived on average around 30 years at birth.

    Herlihy, Viator, , , footnote In , the figure was 46 percent. Ferleger, Journal of The Historical Society, 2 1 , Not only that, our path is something we discover only in hindsight. Even those of us who eat a lot of meat are still grass-eaters. In total, over half of all our nutrition comes directly from plants, and the rest is indirectly dependent on them.

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    Plus, of the roughly , plant species on this planet, we mostly eat only about They give us around 95 percent of all our plant nutrition. Of those 30, 20 grow on about three-quarters of all cultivated land worldwide. They give us roughly 90 percent of all our plant nutrition. Of those 20, eight are cereals. All of them belong to the same genetic family of grasses.

    Just one of those, rice, feeds almost half of all of us alive today. All flesh is indeed grass. Note though that the figure of , is a guess. Smith, J. Beaulieu, M. They quote a figure of 13, for seed plants. Wheat, barley, rye, and oats belong to the subfamily Pooideae. Maize, sorghum, sugar cane, and most millets belong to the subfamily Panicoideae. Rice belongs to the subfamily Bambusoideae. All are members of the family Poaceae that is, the true grasses.

    However, an expert on agronomy, Richard C. Personal communication. His argument is that although technology has improved since the s, largely thanks to precision farming, pressure for improvement has also been nearly flat since then as oil prices had remained relatively low for all that time. Energy in Farm Production, R. Fluck editor , Elsevier, Rhizobia symbiosis may have arisen during a period where there was a lot of CO 2 in the atmosphere about 60 million years ago.

    Sprent, 1 , We now know that legumes have a gene that triggers the formation of nodules, which then encourage nitrogen-fixing bacteria to come live there. That gene can be transplanted to another legume and it too will become nitrogen-fixing. Gleason, S. Chaudhuri, T. Yang, A.

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    Poovaiah, G. Oldroyd, Nature, , For example, cassava a starchy tuber like the potato and the chief thing in tapioca feeds over million of us in the tropics, but it also contains cyanide. Rhubarb leaves, apple seeds, almonds, lima beans, potato skins, avocado skins, cherry pits—even too much nutmeg in your eggnog—all can kill. Swirsky Gold, T. Slone, B. Ames, Drug Metabolism Reviews, 30 2 , Stern, N. Manley, B. Ames, Science, , Bushway, R. Ponnampalam, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 29 4 , It takes at least 1.

    So 1 pound needs gallons. However, the global range is very wide. Zwart, W. Bastiaanssen, Agricultural Water Management, 69 2 , Pimentel, M. Estimates are that industrial fisheries typically reduce community biomass by 80 percent within 15 years. Worm, R. Hilborn, J. Baum, T. Branch, J. Collie, C. Costello, M. Fogarty, E. Fulton, J. Hutchings, S. Jennings, O. Jensen, H. Lotze, P. Mace, T. McClanahan, C. Minto, S. Palumbi, A. Parma, D. Ricard, A. Rosenberg, R. Watson, D. Zeller, Science, , Myers, B. Worm, Nature, , By some environmentalist guesstimates, about 24 percent of mammal species, 11 percent of bird species, and 3 percent of fish species are thought to be threatened.

    Wilson estimates that there are between 10 million and million species on the planet. The Diversity of Life, Edward O. Wilson, W. Norton, Reissue Edition, Hamilton, Y. Basset, K. Benke, P. Grimbacher, S. Miller, V. Samuelson, N.

    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village) The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)
    The Demons of Fortune and the Ten-Minute Psychic (The Tales of Aethelred Village)

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