Our Dependence on Oil Needs to End.The environmental disaster, known as the ongoing Gulf Oil Spill, should not just be a wake up call for the United States of America: it should be the start of the development of new energy technologies that wean us from our addiction to oil.

In 1973, the Arab Oil Embargo, imposed on the United States because of its support of Israel during the "October War", put the United States on notice that our dependence on foreign oil could hurt our economy.  I recall the long lines of cars waiting to fill up at the gas station.  The United States at that time made large, gas guzzling automobiles, my family has two eight cylinder Buick sedans and two station wagons.

What did the Arab Oil Embargo teach us?  Did we suddenly realize that our dependence on foreign oil threatened our economy, and our "national interest"?  Did we decide, then and there, that we should not only start building smaller, more fuel efficient automobiles?  Did we, as anyone with an ounce of common sense, conclude that we should explore alternative energy sources?

The answers are no, no, and no!

Instead, we started making bigger automobiles in the 1980s, SUV's come to mind.  We increased our dependence on foreign oil, particularly from the Middle East.  We did nothing to fund clean, alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and opened no new nuclear facilities.  We developed domestic oil sources in Alaska, and then spilled huge amounts of oil from the Exxon Valdez, up to then, the largest domestic oil spill in our history.

The Gulf Oil spill is a consequence of the failure of the past 40 years of the United States to wean itself from its dependence on oil, a finite resource, and not to develop alternative energy sources.

It seems to me that developing these sources is fully in our "national interest", for now, and for the future!

National Geographic has reported an interesting, somewhat controversial, news story on the Hominid species Homo gautengensis. The problem is, that this taxon is not universally recognized by paleoanthropologists as being the oldest member of our genus, Homo. That honor goes to Homo habilis, or "handy man". 

Taxonomic 'lumpers' would include this with H. habilis. 'Splitters' would put it into its own species.

The problem is the disproportionate arm length.

Cannibalism cannot be proven, only inferred. Cutmarks on the skull could be from ritual defleshing for burial.

I have created a new website dedicated to human orgins.  It's another weebly page, and the address is: www.humanorigins.weebly.com   So far, I've added an introduction page, earliest ancestors, Australopithecus and Homo habilis and a references/citations page.
May is coming to a close soon.  I'll be off to Hong Kong this weekend to do some shopping and get my eyes checked.  I think it is time for some new glasses, and I haven't had an eye check since April, 2007.  My mother and father both had glaucoma, a genetic disease that builds up pressure on the eye, and one brother is diagnosed with it.  He told me that he, despite having treatments, has some blind spots now in his vision.  I had 'an episode' last week, where I felt great pressure in my eyes, and had about five minutes of a feeling that I was straining to look through a tunnel, so I think it is time to get my eyes checked out.
Glaucoma leads to blindness unless treated, so I better get my eyes to Hong Kong to get them checked out before its too late!  Why Hong Kong?  Well, the eye doctors there can speak English!  (One of my students, Natasha, just got her contact lenses there, and recommended the place highly, an American company called LensCrafters, I've used them before.)
We hiked up the 4 km trail to the top of Praying Mantis, or Tang Lang, Mountain on Thursday.  It's a moderately strenuous hike to get to the top, and there are groves of lychee trees along the way.  Red eyed bulbuls, cuckoos, and a few other species of birds were to be seen on the way.  True to its name, we found a foam nest of the praying mantis on a lychee tree at the base of the mountain.   At the top, I found an impressive toad, and wish to rename the mountain "toad mountain".    The mountain rises to 430 meters above sea level.  We even saw a cute snail on the trail.  See photos below.
Why is this a surprise?  

Despite the ideas to the contrary, the hitherto thought to be extinct Neandertals have shown themselves and manifested in our DNA.  It is only one to four percent, but I think that is not so bad.  

I wrote a paper six years ago about the Levantine Archaic Complex

This kind of vindicates it;
Happy Birthday Mom!
The unskilled engineers just can't think outside of the box.  I have really come to appreciate heating and air conditioning training and repairmen back in the USA.  They a
We've rented for 2.5 years this little apartment, and have been trouble free tenants.  However, the fridge which came as part of the furnished apartment, has seen better days.  My gf went ahead and put a call in to the landlords, and asked if we could get it replaced, and while they were at it, we've been with one old, air conditioner located in the bedroom, and had to sweat it out in the Shenzhen heat in the living room.

They have generously agreed to add these, but there are complications with th e installation of the air conditioner.  The items were delivered this afternoon, and the problem is that the 'engineers', that is, unskilled 'workmen' from the Haier Company, refused to install the A/C unit saying that the drainage hole was too high on the wall.  Citing this, they wanted to cut a hole a mere three inches below the existing drainage hole.  They don't seem to be able to think outside of the box, such as modifying the length of the drain tube to accommodate the length of the hole!

So, instead of trying, the workmen 'gave up', causing the landlords to visit and lots of consternation, and undo frustration on my part.
I just recently created a blogspot site: http://jameszaworski.blogspot.com/