October 2014: Breakfast Pie in Gunning

There’s not much to the main drag of Gunning but it is cute.  Historic streetscape,  delicious pie (from a Goulburn pie maker) and a cemetery all before 10 am? Pure luxury.

October 2014: An afternoon in Yass

Cobblestone Cottage, Yass. Source: Wikipedia, Mattingbh

One fine afternoon after a long drive from Balranald with nothing but myself, the God awful Amarok and an even more God awful (but fun) Matthew Reilly audiobook for company, I found myself wandering the streets of Yass like some kind of reprobate. And like all reprobates of calibre, I found myself in the local historical society’s museum. People, we need to stop a moment and appreciate tiny little leather boots and hand drawn cardboard cut outs of Yass’s historical street scape with photos. And Hamilton Hume’s telescope. And fossils! I had a great chat with the historical society member at the desk about the value of a historical streetscape and the threat of urban sprawl from Canberra before continuing down the street, ducking in and out of op shops. I stopped to admire a beautiful old cottage down near the park along Yass River and found myself chatting to its devoted owners. That beautiful cottage turned out to be one of the oldest buildings still standing. Cobblestone Cottage was built as a store and Post Office and an extension hosed the first Commercial Bank in Yass. The owners had poured a small fortune into its upkeep and its facade gleamed like the glossy and full coat of a living creature that was well loved. On cottage dwellers’ recommendations I continued my explorations with a walk along the river. Eventually the sun began to set and I wandered back to the motel and fell into an exhausted sleep. Learn some more about Yass here.

October 2014: Another Lizard or two for Balranald

Bones, stones and lizards. Another month of adventures in Balranald

September 2014: Muogamarra Nature Reserve

 Muogamarra Nature Reserve is open for six short weeks a year during Spring. All the plants are flowering, the native bees are out in force, the weather is perfect and you get sweeping views across the sandstone country of the Hawkesbury River.  And if you’re extra lucky, your loved ones take you for pie at Pie in the Sky across the road or down to Brooklyn for fish and chips afterwards.

August 2014: An afternoon at Middle Harbour

  

August 2014: Before climbing at Sydney University

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Embedded Skull In Altamura Cave, Italy Yields Oldest Neandertal DNA Sample

Anthropology.net

Only the skull and part of a shoulder are visible on Altamura Man. The rest of the body is incorporated into calcite concretions. ITALIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE Only the skull and part of a shoulder are visible on Altamura Man. The rest of the body is incorporated into calcite concretions.
ITALIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

A nearly complete fossilized Neandertal skeleton accidentally found in 1993 in a cave near Altamura, Italy is about 128,000 to 187,000 years old. Only the upside down skull and part of a shoulder were visible. The rest of the body is incorporated into calcite concretions.

For six years researchers have been carefully working on studying this specimen, and up until now, held off from excavating the remains as they believed it would cause irreparable to the skeleton. Recently they removed a sample consisting of the articular portion of the right scapula. The team say samples of DNA have also been retrieved and because of the age, represent the oldest such samples ever recovered from Neandertal remains.

Giorgio Manzi, professor of paleoanthropology and human…

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