HOW ELEPHANT DISAPPEARING ACT MADE US SMARTER …
In the days when lots of elephants roamed the Middle East, it didn’t take much skill to bring home dinner. But when the elephants became scarce, about 400,000 years ago, hunters had to become swifter (and longer-limbed) and develop social and technological skills to bag smaller and more elusive game. Thus the stage was set for the disappearance of Homo erectus and the emergence of Modern humans.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University offer this explanation for the recent discovery of Modern humans’ teeth in Qesem Cave, near Tel Aviv. These humans preceded by 200,000 years Homo sapiens in Africa, where the elephants disappeared 150,000 later than they did in the Middle East.
Prof. Avi Gopher, Dr. Ran Barkai and their co-researchers challenge previous assumptions about ancient human diet and the circumstances that lead to biological and cultural changes in human evolution.
If you wonder how archaeologists and anthropologists know these things, consider that they are true garbage-ologists. They painstakingly classify and count the animal bones in prehistoric garbage pits.
We are what we eat.
WHEN HÄAGEN-DAZS BECOMES A DIRTY WORD
Forget Iran. Forget planned terror attacks in Thailand. The real threat to Jewish Israelis is ice cream. According to a recent news item on Ynet, senior Chief Rabbinate officials say Häagen-Dazs ice cream should be pulled from supermarkets because it is made with “pagan” milk (milk produced without Jewish supervision) and therefore not kosher.
According to the officials, by selling the disputed ice cream two supermarket chains are in violation of the rabbinate-granted certificates attesting that all the products they sell are kosher. General Mills Israel, which markets Häagen-Dazs in Israel, insists the ice cream is indeed strictly kosher.
The SuperSol chain has reportedly pulled Häagen-Dazs products from its freezers.
If Häagen-Dazs goes, what next?
WHALE ON ISRAELI COMMEMORATIVE COIN MAKES A BIG SPLASH
A Bank of Israel commemorative coin featuring Jonah “in the belly of the fish” has won the Coin of the Year award in the annual competition by Krause Publications, a US publisher of books and periodicals devoted, inter alia, to hobbies and numismatics.
The silver coin was chosen from among 95 finalists from around the world. In the first round, it won in the most artistic coin category, and in the second round it was chosen as the coin of the year from among the winning coins in ten categories.
It is the sixteenth commemorative coin in the Bank of Israel’s Biblical Art series. The designers are Gideon Keich and Aharon Shevo. The competition organizers reportedly said that the design’s “simplicity speaks volumes and invokes a little bit of wonder.”
Text copyright 2012 by Esther Hecht. No part of the text may be used without written permission of the author.