Visoko Pyramids- More Evidence

Maybe so:

An Egyptologist who investigated two hills in central Bosnia believed by some to be ancient pyramids on Wednesday recommended that archaeological digs be carried out there.

After investigating the two hills for a week, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Ali, a professor of Egyptology in Cairo, said nobody should be jumping to conclusions but having in mind everything he had seen in Visoko, his recommendations would be that “it is worth digging here.”

“You have to be patient. This might take decades,” he said.

No pyramids are known in Europe, and there are no records of any ancient civilization on the continent ever attempting to build one.

However, the theory that at least two oddly shaped hills near the central Bosnian town of Visoko might be ancient pyramids covered by dirt and vegetation was proposed by an amateur researcher last year.

I wrote on the topic almost a year ago, and it still gets a steady stream of search engine hits. It’s earth-shattering to think that we could find evidence of a lost human civilization, but if the Bosnian pyramid checks out, that’s exactly what we’ll have. Maybe then the country will be renowned for something positive.

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    A War Without End

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    Spying Out Nukes

    Gamma Ray Telescope could bust Iran and North Korea:

    The Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescope in La Palma, Spain, detects flashes of light produced when gamma rays hit the upper atmosphere. Now a group led by Daniel Ferenc at the University of California, Davis, has developed detectors based on light-sensitive semiconducting materials. When photons hit the semiconductors, they emit electrons, which can be measured.

    From Advanced Nano:

    As has been pointed out in the previous article, if the US can search for and find nuclear bombs and material from a distance (like 9000 meters) and the detector can go in a plane. This capability would let them target and destroy the nuclear weapons and weapons program of Iran and North Korea.

    Totally cool.

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  • Filed in: Technology, War on Terror at 10:32 am on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 TrackBack Speak Up

    The Confederate Code

    Encrypted Confederate Army message finally decoded- good thing the war’s already over.

    Cryptologist Dr. Kent Boklan discovers an unknown Confederate army code, revealing an urgent dispatch.

    This is a great illustration of why sources and methods are protected. Dr. Boklan broke the code without the aid of a computer, and largely for his own entertainment, but cryptography and signals intelligence are vital aspects of our nation’s defense.

    Confederate general Edmund Kirby-Smith wrote to his superior:
    (Read on …)

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  • Filed in: Technology, War on Terror, Pointless Fun at 7:48 am on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 TrackBack Speak Up

    What is Apple up to?

    Cringley on BootCamp:

    That’s not at all what I think will happen. Apple isn’t going to
    throw away its clearest point of differentiation and greatest technical
    advantage just to become another Windows OEM. That would make them
    little better than Sony and Sony can out-manufacture Apple any day.

    Where Dvorak is wrong is he believes Microsoft’s version of the
    story — that Apple will abandon OS X, at least for business, replacing
    it with Windows Vista. After all, isn’t that what this Boot Camp stuff
    is all about, enabling the choice of OSX or Windows?

    Not really.

    The version of Boot Camp that will ship with OS X 10.5 will likely
    be very different from the version people are playing with today. The
    actual shipping version, I predict, will have full OS virtualization so
    that both operating systems can run side-by-side and a user can cut and
    paste data from one to the other.

    Looking through Apple’s history, the one thing the company has done more, and occasionally better, than any other company is transition users to wildly different technology - and make it look easy. From Apple II, to 68000 Mac, to PowerPC, to OS X, to Intel OS X, Apple has evolved technology while improving the user’s experience.

    The original drawing board for OS X included a ‘yellow box’- which is where applications designed for OS X ran, a ‘blue box’, for Mac OS “classic”, and a rumored ‘red box’, which was Windows compatible. It seems clear the blue box is dead- classic Mac apps not ported to Cocoa will not work on Intel- but virtualization would allow users to play with Windows and OS X side-by-side.

    Undoubtedly, Apple feels OS X will win that comparison. If so, like with the other transitions, users will gradually gravitate toward the Mac stuff, and away from Windows. However, this will process will take a decade or more, and over that time, Apple will sell lots of copies of Windows XP/Vista and both versions of Office. Check back in 2015.

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    Apple Boot Camp Supports Windows

    Hell Freezes Over II: Revenge of Jobs:

    Apple said that the new software, called “Boot Camp,” enables Intel-based Macs to install and run Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP operating system software. Boot Camp is available as a download beginning today.

    This is going to increase Apple’s marketshare big time. Buy a Mac, bring your XP license and apps, and have everything on one platform. You want games? Boot Windows. Windows, Unix, and Mac, all on one box. Genius.

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    Technical Miscellany

    This blog has finally been updated to Word Press 2.02. I like the new administrative features, although the fancy “rich text” editor is taking some getting used to. Typing HTML doesn’t


    , unless you open the pop-up raw text editor. Update: Obviously, I lied. Terrific. End update.

    This wouldn’t be a problem if there were tooltip buttons for the most common HTML tags, but apart from images, “more”, alignment, lists, bold, and italics, there’s not a lot there- unless I’m missing something.

     Spam-fighter, Akismet is as good as advertised. Has zapped more than 400 spam trackbacks and comments since I upgraded Saturday.

     Also, via the Freakonomics blog, is WorldMapper, a neato groovy site for demography.

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    The Microsoft iPod

    It’s not that Microsoft and Apple seem to be polar opposites, especially in design, they really are:

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    I Wanna See You Suffer

    Men like seeing bad people in pain:

    Bill Clinton said he felt others’ pain. But a new brain-scanning study suggests that when guys see a cheater get a mild electric shock, they don’t feel his pain much at all. In fact, they rather enjoy it.

    In contrast, women’s brains showed they do empathize with the cheater’s pain and don’t get a kick out it.

    It’s not clear whether this difference in schadenfreude — enjoyment of another’s misfortune — results from basic biology or sex roles learned during life, researchers say. But it could help explain why men have historically taken charge of punishing criminals and others who violate societal rules, said researcher Dr. Klaas Stephan.

    So what’s the problem here? As long as the transgressor receives proportional punishment, who cares? Isn’t this the definition of justice? Do the crime, pay the time.

    People- men and women- enjoy seeing rule-breakers get their comeuppance.

    Dr. Stephan’s study suggests that women don’t feel that pain is an acceptable punishment for a relatively minor infraction (cheating in a game.) It’s also confounded because men are typically more sports- and games-oriented than women. Thus, it could be expected that men would accept a higher punishment for evildoers than women.


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    Pyramids in Bosnia?

    Looks that way:

    “It has all the elements: four perfectly shaped slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, a flat top and an entrance complex,” he said, gazing at the hill and wondering what lies beneath.

    No pyramids are known in Europe, and there is no evidence any ancient civilization there ever attempted to build one.

    But Osmanagic, a Bosnian archaeologist who has spent the last 15 years studying the pyramids of Latin America, suspects there is one here in his Balkan homeland.

    “We have already dug out stone blocks which I believe are covering the pyramid,” he said. “We found a paved entrance plateau and discovered underground tunnels. You don’t have to be an expert to realize what this is.”

    So what is it?

    He learned about the hill in April from Senad Hodovic, director of a museum devoted to the history of Visoko, which is rich in Bronze Age and medieval artifacts. Hodovic had attended a promotion of an Osmanagic book about ancient civilizations and thought he would like to see Visoko’s pyramid-shaped hill.

    When the pair climbed the hill, the sweeping view revealed a second, smaller pyramid-shaped hill. It reminded Osmanagic of pairs of pyramids he has seen in Latin America that together create a gateway into a valley.

    Osmanagic believes the hill was shaped by the Illyrian people, who inhabited the Balkan peninsula long before Slavic tribes conquered it around A.D. 600. Little is known about the Illyrians, but Osmanagic thinks they were more sophisticated than many experts have suggested.

    Nukic, who has walked up and down the hill several times, said she noticed symmetrical platforms in the slopes — indentations that Osmanagic believes are steps built into the pyramid.

    A local businessman who bought a lot at the foot of the hill and brought in a bulldozer to dig the foundation for a house, meanwhile, unearthed manmade sandstone plates that the archeologists think may have been paving stones.

    Anthropologists say the Visoko valley already offers ample evidence of organized human settlements dating back 7,000 years. The town was Bosnia’s capital during the Middle Ages, and German archaeologists working the valley recently found 24,000 Neolithic artifacts just three feet below the surface.


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