Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, July 28

Rare species on Easter Island face extinction. New fossils in China challenge assumptions about human evolution. And we talk about the economics of air pollution. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island) is best known for its massive stone heads and the mysterious Polynesian civilization that built them. But it's also home to other animals, including several unique critters now under threat of extinction.

Most people today don't grow their own food. But some do. And some take a special joy from it, finding a common bond in working with earth and supporting their community. These women are among them.

It is close to a universally accepted idea that humanity originated from Africa. But could China have played a role too? Quite possibly, as new fossils suggest. But some suspect politics are at play.

With China's considerable air pollution problem, some are now looking into the question of how much exactly clean air costs... and whether people will pay for it. According to one study, people are open to paying, but only if the price is affordable.

Last week the Republican Party held their national convention and nominated Donald Trump for President of the United States. At Bad Astronomy, scientist Phil Plait takes the nominee and his party to task for repeated denialism of global warming and other anti-science positions.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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