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Sergio Rojas indigenous land activist is pictured during a interview in Salitre, Buenos Aires de Puntarenas, Costa Rica, October 2, 2015. Courtesy of La Nacion via REUTERS

A well-known Costa Rican indigenous land rights activist was gunned down on Monday night.

Sergio Rojas was at his home in the indigenous territory of Salitre, about 200 km (124 miles) south of the capital, San Jose, when the attack happened late on Monday, the office of President Carlos Alvarado said, calling the killing “regrettable.”

According to a press release, Rojas was assassinated by armed gunmen who shot him as many as 15 times at around 9:15 pm in his home in Yeri. It appears the armed assailant entered the back of Sergio’s home. Neighbors called 911. Over an hour later police arrived. Eventually members of the Red Cross entered and confirmed that he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Tico Times reports

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The Extinction Chronicles

By Katrina Nilsson-Kerr & Pallavi AnandMarch 18, 2019
The past may be a surprisingly useful guide for predicting responses to future climate change. This is especially important for places where extreme weather has been the norm for a long time, such as the Indian subcontinent. Being able to reliably predict summer monsoon rainfall is critical to plan for the devastating impact it can have on the 1.7 billion people who live in the region.

The onset of India’s summer monsoon is linked to heat differences between the warmer land and cooler ocean, which causes a shift in prevailing wind direction. Winds blow over the Indian Ocean, picking up moisture, which falls as rain over the subcontinent from June to September.

The monsoon season can bring drought and food shortages or severe flooding, depending on how much rain falls and in what duration. Understanding how the monsoon responded to an abrupt…

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The Extinction Chronicles

Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital
Firefighters tackle a bush fire in Sydney.
 ‘The need to keep the wheels of capitalism well-oiled takes precedence even against a backdrop of fires, floods and hurricanes.’ Photograph: Fire & Rescue NSW/AFP/Getty Images

Climate change activism is increasingly the domain of the young, such as 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the unlikely face of the school strike for climate movement, which has seen many thousands of children walk out of school to demand that their parents’ generation takes responsibility for leaving them a planet to live on. In comparison, the existing political establishment looks more and more like an impediment to change. The consequences of global warming have moved from the merely theoretical and predicted to observable reality over the past few years, but…

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Dream Temples


Sangameswarar Kovil Bhavani (1)Bhavani, a quiet town situated between the Kaveri and Bhavani rivers, is known for the beautiful hand-woven cotton carpets or floor linens called as Jamakkalam. However its main claim to fame is the ancient temple of Sri Sangameswarar and Vedhanayagi Ambal and the confluence at Kooduthurai – pilgrim destinations for more than two thousand years.

The towering Rajagopuram of Sangameswarar temple is a familiar landmark for commuters on the Salem-Coimbatore National highway NH 544, while crossing the Kavery river bridge at Bhavani near Erode in Tamilnadu. The entire temple complex built at the Kooduthurai confluence looks like an island between the Bhavani and Kaveri rivers.

Sangameswarar Kovil Bhavani (16) The Sangameswarar temple from the Kaveri bridge. The hill seen behind the temple is Vedhagiri



Kubera was the king of the Yakshas and ruler of Alakapuri, a place believed to lie close to Mt. Kailas in the…

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Bharata Bharati

Sri Ram

Arun AnandThe issue of whether Lord Rama was born there or not, and whether a temple existed, has already been decided upon by the Allahabad High Court. Now the dispute is over a piece of land and it is a title suit in the Supreme Court. – Arun Anand 

The Allahabad High Court judgment on the Ram Janmabhoomi, delivered on September 30, 2010, caused great discomfort to Left historians and commentators. This discomfort has now increased with the Supreme Court setting up a panel for mediation on this issue with a time limit of eight weeks. And, there also seems to be a systemic campaign to build a communal narrative around this issue: To project it as a dispute between two communities while questioning the credibility of the panel itself (‘The mediation trap’, IE, March 11).

To begin with, Pratap Bhanu Mehta subtly questions the historicity of Lord Rama…

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Bharata Bharati

Alexander Cunningham of the Archaeological Survey of India

Prof Michel DaninoAs archaeologists dig the ground, they also dig into our minds—and their  own. And sometimes these latter findings are equally revealing. – Prof Michel Danino

The fluidity of historical interpretation is well known among historians themselves: it is accepted that there can be no such thing as “objective history”. The French philosopher Voltaire was rather scathing in his assessment of the discipline: “History is the lie commonly agreed upon,” he wrote. The assessment of the U.S. historian Will Durant was probably closer to the truth: “Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice.”[1] Depending on the model they choose (and the best of the day is likely to be obsolete tomorrow), the scholars’ readings of events will vary widely.

At first glance, archaeology would appear less immune to such guesswork. After all, potsherds are potsherds, bones are bones, dating techniques are now fairly secure, and major events, such as…

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Despite the title, there are no birds. However, it is fascinating anyway.

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2014 video is called Paleolithic Art.

From the University of Barcelona in Spain:

Palaeolithic art featuring birds and humans discovered

An exceptional milestone in European Palaeolithic rock art

March 11, 2019

Summary: A new article tells how researchers found — in the site of Hort de la Bequera (Margalef de Montsant, Priorat) — an artistic piece from 12,500 years ago in which humans and birds try to interact in a pictorial scene with exceptional traits: figures seem to [tell]a narration on hunting and motherhood.

It is not very common to find representations of scenes instead of individual figures in Palaeolithic art, but it is even harder for these figures to be birds instead of mammals such as goats, deer or horses. So far, historians have only found three scenes of Palaeolithic art featuring humans and birds in Europe.

Now, an article published in the journal L’Anthropologie

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Natural History Wanderings

More than 27,000 Audubon supporters have sent public comments to oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The deadline to comment is next Wednesday, March 13. Will you join them? It’s quick and easy.

Did you know that birds travel through all 50 states to raise their chicks in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? No wonder some call it “America’s bird nursery.”

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Land Management has announced a plan to sell out the heart of the Arctic Refuge to oil companies, which will pave the way for drilling on the coastal plain of the Refuge—the nesting ground for vast numbers of birds such as Tundra Swans, American Golden-Plovers, and more.

This is especially disappointing since most of America’s Arctic coastline is already open for oil and gas development.

We need your help to protect this vital habitat from oil rigs, pipelines, and convoys of trucks and bulldozers that…

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Bharata Bharati

Lord Shiva grinding bhang.

“The scholarly hold this narrow view of you—that you are the sun, the moon, fire, air, water, space, earth, the Self. But who knows the things that you are not?” — Pushpadanta

“Nada tanu manisham shankaram….” sang Tyagaraja, the Carnatic saint-composer, in an immortal ode to Shiva or Shankara, the Lord of Auspiciousness.

“I salute you, with my head and my mind, for you are the embodiment of Nada (sound) and the essence of the Sama Veda. The sapta-swara or the seven notes, Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni emerge from your five faces—Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Tatpurusha, Ishana and Aghora.” Tyagaraja’s chosen deity was Ram, and his usual language of composition was Telugu, but here he employed some stunning Sanskrit epithets for Shiva.

Pushpadanta, a Gandharva, composed the Shiva-Mahimna Stotram, a string of lyrical verses in praise of Shiva, where he noted, “The scholarly hold this narrow view of…

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Bharata Bharati

Brahmins blessing British military flags in Calcutta

Prof M.D. NalapatIndia’s history as dictated by the British has largely continued its sway over school and college curricula, and thereby into modern Indian mindsets. – Prof M.D. Nalapat

The most successful colonial empire in human history, the British Empire, ensured that the history of India as taught in schools and colleges would reduce the imprint of both the Vedic as well as the Mughal periods, passing off most of the first as fictional and the latter as a seamless and accelerating period of national decline. In contrast, the 230-odd years of British domination of the subcontinent was presented to our young minds as a period of enlightenment and empowerment, while in reality it was marked by a steady reduction in overall historical awareness and in economic growth. By the close of the British era, the subcontinent was much poorer than during earlier epochs. Given that the post-1947 leadership of the…

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