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Discovery In Israel Of Oldest Metal Object In Middle East Pushes Back Historical Knowledge By Centuries

By NoCamels Team August 28, 2014 Comments

A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf, according to a recent study published by researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.

According to the study, which appeared in the prestigious journal “PLOS One,” the awl, a long pointed spike, dates back to the late 6th millennium or the early 5th millennium BCE, moving back by several hundred years the date it was previously thought that the peoples of the region began to use metals.

Aerial view of Tel Tsaf

A small finding with big meaning

Tel Tsaf, a Middle Chalcolithic village dated to about 5200-4600 BCE, is located near the Jordan River and Israel’s border with Jordan. The site was first documented in the 1950s and excavations there began at the end of the 1970s. From the earliest digs nearly 40 years ago, this area, the most important archeological site in the region dated to this period, has been supplying researchers with a great deal of valuable data.

Yet the most important finding to date is only 4 centimeters long. In the current research project led by Dr. Danny Rosenberg this unique item, a copper awl measuring 1 millimeter thick at the tip that was set in a wooden handle, was actually found during a previous excavation at the site by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University. The cone-shaped awl was found in a sealed grave of a woman about 40 years old that was dug inside a silo, and around her waist was a belt made of 1,668 ostrich-egg shell beads. The grave was covered with several large stones, and according to Dr. Rosenberg, its location within a silo testifies to both the importance of the deceased and the importance the community ascribed to the facility in which she was buried.

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Australians for Palestine Caught Fauxtographing


Australians Against Israel Australians for Palestine have been caught doing what many of us have caught Israel haters doing all the time: using photos from Syria and claiming they are from Gaza.

THE activist group Australians for Palestine has prompted outrage by…

So in other words (concerning her ‘apology’) it doesn’t really matter that it was the Syrian (Muslim) rebels who killed those kids; cause you know, any dead Middle Eastern kid’ll do the trick really. They’re all pretty much the same after all. </endsarc>



Tuesday August 26th, the Belgian feminist activist group Lilith’S took Liège airport by storm to condemn the airport authorities’ role in supplying arms to Israel. Under a banner bearing the slogan “HOW MANY TONS OF WEAPONS FOR SO MANY LITERS OF BLOOD ? “, the activists spilled a hundred liters of fake blood, creating a red pool to symbolize the slaughter committed by Israel in Palestine.

I wonder how they feel about Sharia Law

Since, you know, if you support terrorists enough, one day you might be living under it

Man I really hope they made those chicks scrub that floor til it fucking shined once they were done with their little bitch-fit. 

Ah, my old friend- how I’ve missed you, during the summer when I was away, searching blindly for reasons to groan and smack my head into a desk. This was the first slide of the first lecture of my first class this week, when school began again and I strolled on in wearing a shirt with Psalm 33:12 printed on it.

First off, ten points to you, original artist, for correctly explaining what a scientific theory is, and minus twenty for turning 2 billion people into a comically outdated stereotype. But my beef is not with the artist; my problem here is with the otherwise quite likeable professor who decided that this was a great kickoff to a physical science course.

Yes, you read that right: physical science. Like rocks, and atoms, and the solar system, and all that jazz that has absolutely nothing to do with evolution (a life science) whatsoever. He even admitted to it himself, once he saw the way some of our eyebrows hit the ceiling, that the joke was completely unrelated to the topic we were there to learn.

Now let’s play a little game, and then I’ll go into more detail about why this whole situation ran right up my admittedly short nerve. I want you to look at that picture above and mentally redraw it. Instead of a guy we’re all supposed to assume is a Christian, picture instead a Muslim woman with a hijab or burka, or maybe a Buddhist monk. Now suddenly I bet some of you are cringing. And yet, my (as I said, otherwise likeable professor) decided that this was a perfectly acceptable first slide for his class.

Now to a more detailed explanation of why I got really irritated by this. There are three specific reasons, which I’ll go ahead and list one by one.

First, there is the religious aspect. Does anyone really think we’re supposed to picture this old white dude in a shirt and tie as anything other than a Christian? Because if you do, buddy I’ve got a bridge to sell to you. And of course, everyone knows that no other religion on earth apart from Christianity has ever had any sort of conflict with science… <shuts off sarcasm function>

Second, like I said, this is a foundations of physical science class; exactly nothing we will discuss at any point in the semester deals with evolution or religion, and yet here is this poorly disguised jab at people solely because of their religious beliefs gracing our very first lecture. This joke was so out of place and jarringly off-topic that it effectively erased any doubt in my mind that it was not a deliberate attempt to demean Christians, whether they are creationists or not. Even the professor, after admitting that we wouldn’t actually be discussing evolution, then admitted that it was “maybe a little offensive” but, of course, not intended to offend anybody.

Thirdly, and this is perhaps my biggest bone to pick with this, foundations of physical science is not a science major class. It is an IDS course, mandatory attendance for everyone regardless of major assuming they actually feel like graduating at some point. That means that, myself excepted, almost nobody in that room was actually a science major. They came because they had to, and on their very first day they had their faith and personal opinion denigrated and turned into a punchline about scientific ignorance.

What difference does it make if an art major, or a business major, or an education major (like the friend of mine who was sitting right next to me at the time) is a creationist? Here’s a hint, your answer looks a lot like a big round hole. Am I creationist? No. Am I Christian? Absotively-posilutely. And I’m studying paleontology, where it is more or less a job requirement to believe evolution is real. But it makes not one single little bit of difference if someone who’s never going into the field of science disagrees with me on that, and besides, what are the real odds that joke was directed specifically at creationists and not just at Christians in general?

You’ll be getting a big round hole again.

No one I’ve ever met who deliberately makes fun of Christians for being Christian has ever even tried making that distinction, and even if they did, you know what? It would still be offensive and I would still get nerved up about it. So what if another Christian is a creationist? They’re still my brother or sister in Christ and I’ll still stand up for them when someone comes along who would rather accuse them of ignorance than spend any time getting to know who they’re making fun of.

Because that right there is the only thing that’s really truly ignorant.



"Multiple reports and witnesses have confirmed that almost half of Gaza city is now covered with white phosphorus gas. Mainly Shaja’ya area. This is not the first time Israel uses this brutal and heartless war method which burns the body and produces toxic gases. Incase you didn’t know, white phosphorus gas is illegal in all international war laws, and UN laws. It is a war crime.”

Mohammed Zeyara

Israel never used white phosphorus in gaza

The guy in the above link makes a really good point about not confusing weapons and smoke screen deployers. While white phosphorus can be used as a weapon, the effect of weaponized WP looks totally different from the effect of WP used as a smoke screen. As for it being toxic or burning people, I say again, smoke screen. This is used to generate cover. The Israelis aren’t about to let their own friggin’ foot soldiers walk through clouds of weaponized WP gas.

Yes, when used as a weapon WP will burn the absolute hell out of anything it touches, but if that cloud in the pic above were truly weaponized WP half of Gaza would have been stone cold dead from it. Look at the scale there, how tiny the buildings are vs. how large the smoke cloud is (for instance, what appears to my untrained eye to be a minaret sticking up in the middle which is absolutely dwarfed by the could in the background).

Phosphorus of any kind is used as some screens regularly because, weight for weight, it’s the best there is. But once the wedges inside the shell have burned out (which more or less happens before it even hits the ground) it’s no more of a burn risk than anything else.


BGS releases Minecraft geology map

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has turned to a novel new method for sharing information on the geology of Great Britain: Minecraft.

The data, shared as a resource pack, covers mainland Britain and its smaller surrounding islands, and plonks the user down at the BGS Cardiff office as a starting location. The surface of the island is covered in Ordnance Survey mapping data, but it’s when you start digging that you discover what the BGS has brought to the table: real geology, recreated in Minecraft block types. […]

"This work is an outstanding opportunity to get people using Minecraft, especially youngsters, to understand the geology beneath their feet and what it can be used for," claimed Professor John Ludden, executive director of the BGS.

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2D model  -  3D model

So I was reading this article talking about weird old medical treatments and one of them was basically a belt that gives your wang an electric shock; I told my dad about that just to see how he’d react and he said “hey, at least if something goes terribly wrong you can always break out the hot dog buns”. 

That’s only the second time in my life I’ve ever had to spit out what I was drinking.

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