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Indigenous communities used the Caribbean Sea as an aquatic highway

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Indigenous communities used the Caribbean Sea as an aquatic highway

With some 7,000 islands and cays and a 7,000-year history of human habitation, the Caribbean Sea is practically synonymous with maritime travel. The very word “canoe” is derived from the term “kana:wa,” used by the Indigenous Arawakans of the Caribbean to describe their dugout vessels.

Without clear road signs to indicate where native islanders were traveling, however, the task of reconstructing ancient trade routes relies on subtle clues locked away in the archaeological record. Researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History recently turned to pottery to tease apart the navigational history of the Caribbean, analyzing the composition of 96 fired clay fragments across 11 islands.

The study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, is the broadest of its kind yet conducted in the Greater Antilles and marks the first time that pottery artifacts from the Lucayan Islands — The Bahamas plus the Turks and Caicos Islands — have been analyzed to determine their elemental composition and origin.

“Our methods mark a big improvement over other studies that mostly look at a single site or single island, where you might see differences but not know what it means because you’re looking at the results in isolation,” said co-author Lindsay Bloch, a courtesy faculty member with the Florida Museum’s Ceramic Technology Lab.

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People have lived on the Caribbean islands on and off for more than 7,000 years, migrating in waves from Central and South America. As early as 800 B.C., new groups arrived from Venezuela and established a trading network among islands, which they used to exchange food, tools and jewelry. But the most common artifacts that survived to the present are the pottery vessels these objects were carried in.

“Most materials don’t preserve well in the Caribbean because of the warm, humid environment, but pottery is durable, so it ends up being one of the most common things we find,” said lead author Emily Kracht, a collections assistant in the Ceramic Technology Lab.

Over the ensuing millennia, different Caribbean cultures developed unique styles and techniques for constructing their pottery. Some artifacts are simple and unadorned, while others are highly decorated, with a lattice of incised lines, punctations, raised ridges and flared rims.

Many studies have relied almost entirely on similarities in style to distinguish between different cultures and infer their movements. But, as Bloch explains, this method has often left more questions than answers and excludes material with potentially valuable information.

“The vast majority of pottery that we find anywhere in the world is going to be undecorated. It’s going to be things used for cooking or storage, which are typically plain and often get ignored because they’re seen as generic,” she said.

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Rather than studying the minutiae of varying styles, the researchers focused instead on what the pottery was made of. Using a laser to etch microscopic lines into their samples, the researchers determined the exact amounts and identities of each element in the clay used to make the pottery. Their final analysis included more than seven decades’ worth of archaeological collections that span over 1,000 years of Indigenous Caribbean history.

“One of the advantages of elemental analysis is that we’re explicitly looking for differences, which allows us to see where a pot was made and compare that to where it ended up,” Bloch said.

Such detailed comparisons are possible due to the complexity of the Caribbean’s underlying geology. The largest islands in the archipelago likely got their start as an ancient underwater plateau in the Pacific Ocean. After the breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, the Caribbean plate drifted east in a flurry of volcanic eruptions that elevated the plateau above sea level before ultimately reaching its current position in the Atlantic.

Millions of years of weathering reduced these volcanic outcrops into fine-grained clays with differing concentrations of elements like copper, nickel, chromium and antimony. These differences mean that even the smallest Caribbean pottery sherd bears the elemental signature of the region it was made in.

The results of researchers’ comparative analysis aren’t what might be expected by simply looking at a map. The Lucayan Islands were initially used only temporarily for harvesting resources, and the people who traveled to them would have set sail from the larger islands to the south that supported permanent population centers.

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Cuba might initially seem like it’s the perfect staging ground for these operations, being by far the largest Caribbean island and the closest to The Bahamas. While people did make the trek across open water from Cuba, the results of the study indicate the Caribbean’s cultural hub was instead centered on the northwest coast of Hispaniola, from which people imported and exported goods for hundreds of years.

“At least some of the pottery would have been used to ferry goods out to these islands, and people would potentially carry back a variety of marine resources,” Bloch said.

People eventually struck up permanent settlements in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, becoming collectively known as the Lucayans, or the People of the Islands. They began making their own pottery from claylike soils deposited by African dust plumes blown in from the Saharan Desert, but the results didn’t quite hold up to the pottery from Hispaniola — literally. Lucayan pottery, called Palmetto Ware, is most often thick and soft and crumbles over time due to the poor quality of the grainy Saharan soil.

Thus, up until the arrival of the Spanish, Hispaniola remained the main trading partner and exporter of pottery to the Lucayan Islands.

“We knew that the Lucayans were related to people in Hispaniola, and this study shows their enduring relationship over hundreds of years through pottery,” Kracht said.

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William Keegan of the Florida Museum of Natural History is also a co-author on the study.

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Brand new Thor: Love and Thunder clip reveals Mjolnir’s new power

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Brand new Thor: Love and Thunder clip reveals Mjolnir’s new power

We’ve known Mjolnir would be repaired ever since Marvel announced Thor: Love and Thunder nearly three years ago. Just as we’ve known that Jane (Natalie Portman) would return to Thor 4 where she would rock the Mjolnir hammer. But Marvel never explained how the magical hammer would find its way back to Thor, and that remains one of the biggest questions surrounding Love and Thunder.

But Marvel did show the hammer in trailers and TV commercials, going as far as to tease that Mjolnir will get a new power in Love and Thunder. And, with only a couple of weeks left to go to the premiere, Marvel confirmed the new Mjolnir power that Mighty Thor would wield. Mind you, some spoilers will follow below.

The new Mjolnir power

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lost Mjolnir in Ragnarok in a memorable scene. His sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) caught the hammer, held onto it, and then broke it into multiple pieces.

It all happened right before the events in Infinity War, so Thor found himself without a weapon while facing Thanos (Josh Brolin). That’s why he created Stormbreaker, an equally impressive hammer that Thor used for more than five years in the MCU.

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The Mjolnir that Captain America (Chris Evans) got in Endgame came from a different reality. So the same Cap took it back to that timeline, leaving Thor to use Stormbreaker.

Jane Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) holding a repaired Mjolnir
Jane Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) holding a repaired Mjolnir. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Love and Thunder trailers made it clear so far that it’s not Thor who will repair Mjolnir. He’s shocked to see the hammer appear. Even more so to find out that Jane is using it while wearing armor similar to his.

We saw Jane in a bunch of fights in Love and Thunder trailers that showed familiar Mjolnir powers. She’s throwing and retrieving the hammer just like Thor did. She can call on Lightning, and she can fly using the weapon.

But in one trailer, it seemed as if the hammer’s various pieces could break free after you throw the hammer. Each piece would act as a stone projectile, hitting a different target. After that, the elements will return to the hammer.

That’s an exciting power that we thought Marvel would not confirm while marketing the movie. But Marvel released on Thursday the following Love and Thunder clip that confirms this new Mjolnir ability.

Watch all the new Thor: Love and Thunder clips right here

As you can see above, we’re looking at an actual scene from the movie, the mysterious fight where Thor senses Mjolnir and sees Jane using it. And it’s in this clip we see for the first time the hideous monsters attacking what seems to be planet Earth. And Jane uses Mjolnir’s new power to fight these beasts.

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That’s not the only Love and Thunder clip that Marvel released this week. Also, on Thursday, Marvel gave fans another great scene from the movie featuring Thor and the Guardians as they prepare to save the people on a planet who lost their gods.

Thor is giving a motivational speech that might sound exciting to the natives. But we soon find out that it’s a speech that Thor often gives, one that the Guardians are more than familiar with. There’s no Mjolnir in this Love and Thunder scene, however.

Finally, there’s another clip that Marvel released earlier this week, one where the same Thor talks about forming the “greatest team ever” to beat the maniac who is looking to end them all. You’ll see some Mjolnir action in this one, as well as the goats that Thor will end up with below:

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More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

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5 new Netflix releases everyone will be watching this weekend

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5 new Netflix releases everyone will be watching this weekend

One of the biggest Netflix releases of all time is back — sort of.

The Spanish-language thriller Money Heist, released back in 2017, was a twisty, action-packed drama about a stylishly-clad band of thieves — working under the auspices of a brilliant character known as The Professor — who (initially) break into the Royal Mint of Spain. There was a Robin Hood, us-against-the-system vibe to the show, a populist streak that helped turn it into a staggeringly huge Netflix original series.

In fact, three of the series’ five seasons occupy individual slots on the streamer’s Top 10 ranking of the biggest non-English TV shows of all time, having garnered hundreds of millions of hours viewed worldwide between them. So, having said that, can you blame the streaming giant for wanting to resurrect the now-ended series and give it a try in Korean, reworking the show into an all-new Netflix release for another massive global audience?

Money Heist: Korea

It’s probably less correct, by the way, to regard the result — the just-released Money Heist Korea — Joint Economic Area — as a remake of the original than it is a “reimagining,” however. A remake, for example, would imply that the main difference here is simply the language, with pretty much everything else largely the same.

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Instead, the crux of the story here is completely different. This time, the series imagines a unified Korean peninsula in an imaginary future. Naturally, there would have to be a unified currency for such a new and expanded Korea, right? Voila: The need to print new money, which becomes a juicy target for our thieves.

Speaking of the thieves, they do once again don bright red jumpsuits and white face masks. There’s also still a brilliant “Professor” behind it all. And the thieves take the names of cities as aliases, just like they did in the original Money Heist.

money heist korea netflix
A still from the Netflix series “Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area.” Image source: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

“As a border looks set to vanish,” Netflix explains about this new series release, “the people of a long-divided peninsula seem about to reunite — but there are unsettling consequences.”

Under the new economic union, the streamer continues, only the rich have gotten richer. “Into this ruthless new world of inequality steps a crew of thieves from North and South Korea, led by the Professor, who set out to pull off a history-making heist.”

In this new retelling, Netflix continues, a “Joint Security Area” is situated between the two halves of the peninsula. And it contains a mint that becomes the focus of the story. “Amid reunification, the mint is printing a new unified currency as the groundwork to build a stable joint economy.”

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Other new Netflix releases

In terms of other new Netflix releases now available to stream, meanwhile, besides the new Money Heist? There’s a new slapstick action-comedy starring Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson to check out. Plus the long-awaited Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy, and a new reality series about super-spoiled, overly sensitive young people. Additionally, you can read more about each release, with details from Netflix, below.

The Man From Toronto: “A case of mistaken identity forces a bumbling entrepreneur to team up with a notorious assassin known as The Man from Toronto in hopes of staying alive.”

Umbrella Academy — Season 3: “Reunited by their father’s death, estranged siblings with extraordinary powers uncover shocking family secrets — and a looming threat to humanity.”

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Snowflake Mountain: “Hopelessly entitled or simply in need of tough love? Ten spoiled young adults experience nature without a parental safety net in this reality series.”

A New Netflix movie to check out

love & gelato netflix
(L to R) Susanna Skaggs as Lina, Anjelika Washington as Addie, and Valentina Lodovini as Francesca in the Netflix movie “Love & Gelato.” Image source: Maila Iacovelli/Netflix

We’ve also got one more title to mention, in our look at the latest and buzziest Netflix releases.

The #5 movie on Netflix in the US at the time of this writing, which hit the streamer just this week, is the sweet Love & Gelato — a Netflix release from writer-director Brandon Camp. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Jenna Evans Welch. And it’s easy to see why this one is so popular among many Netflix subscribers at the moment. It’s got young love, the picturesque setting of Italy — what more could you want?

As for the story, Lina is a young American girl who’s traveled to Rome to honor her mother’s memory. “Catapulted into an unknown country,” Netflix explains, “too messy and full of chaos for her serious, methodical, and even a little nerdy nature, she will find herself forced to have to deal with all her obsessions, anxieties, and fears but also to have to deal with the past of her mother who hides some surprises and some secrets.

“Immersed in magical landscapes and in unfamiliar and exciting foods, fascinated by the unique style of Italian fashion, overwhelmed by romantic unexpected events, and overwhelmed by a new and anomalous family, Lina will learn to look to the world and to herself with a finally different eye.”

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More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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Tesla’s Are Safer and Here is Proof

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Tesla’s Are Safer and Here is Proof




I did some research on Tesla safety using non-Tesla data to address the issue from the AI experts. Some AI experts criticized FSD. I used US, UK government and insurance data to show Tesla is already safer and why we should expect more safety from Autopilot and FSD. I also provided context about where and how accidents and deaths occur with cars.

Are Tesla cars safer and have they saved lives ? Spoiler Yes.

Has Tesla Autopilot saved lives? Again Yes. but I will provide data.

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Is FSD beta safe? Yes,

Is Autopilot safe? How many lives would you expect to save by superior automatic lane keeping? 20-30% of traffic deaths.

Will Full FSD be safer? Yes, and safety score can help ensure it will be.

Can Safety Scoring, Insurance and FSD get more optimal usage of FSD? Yes.

All Tesla’s come with safety features expected to reduce accidents by 30-50% (NHTSA analysis of those features)

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Youtube videos by FSD beta users show large improvement over last 8 months. No major accidents or deaths using FSD beta with 100k users for 7 months

Insurance and government statistics in US and UK show Tesla’s are among the safest cars involved in the fewest accidents. About 40% below average in US. Very Low accidents involvement in UK (10 times less than Toyota, Ford and several others of number per 10,000 cars).

UK Car Statistics

Tesls is among the manufacturers with the least number of accidents per 10,000 models?


Morris – 16


Austin – 26


Tesla – 28


Ferrari – 39


Aston Martin – 40


Lotus – 55


Bentley – 75

This is ten times less than Ford, Toyota and Mercedes in the UK.


Tesla is willing to charge 30-60% less for those with good Tesla Safety Scores. Can motivate 60% safer driving and lower accidents. Safety Scores with Real Time Insurance pricing can motivate safer driving.

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Safety Scoring could be adjusted to ensure FSD monitoring behavior after FSD is fully released for general usage.

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Tesla Real Risks, FUD, Recession and Recovery


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