(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Neanderthals, Denisovans and our ancestors were mixing and mingling a long time ago — and some of our genetics can be traced back to these archaic humans.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Neanderthals, Denisovans and our ancestors were mixing and mingling a long time ago — and some of our genetics can be traced back to these archaic humans.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR)
((Commentary from: Oldpoet56) During my lifetime I probably read articles within National Geographic Magazines about a dozen times. Because I only read spot articles here and there I never realized that they had been this racist. Their history on race is disgusting, and this does disappoint me greatly. I do commend them though on finally recognizing this glaring fault and for having the guts to ‘call themselves out’ on this issue. Hopefully in their future they will eliminate this fault. I know that any of their magazines that I come across in the future I will be looking to see if their racism has stopped.)
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)
Cyril Ramaphosa has become South Africa’s president a day after embattled leader Jacob Zuma resigned.
He was the only candidate nominated in parliament on Thursday so no vote was needed to make him president. MPs from the ruling African National Congress broke into song at the announcement.
In a speech to parliament Mr Ramaphosa, 65, said that corruption was on his radar.
The ANC had told Mr Zuma to step down or face a vote of no-confidence.
In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his party’s decision.
Mr Zuma faces numerous corruption allegations but denies any wrongdoing.
One opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, walked out of the parliamentary debate. It wants new elections, rather than the ANC deciding on the identity of the new president.
Analysis: Lebo Diseko, BBC News, Johannesburg
It is often said that Mr Ramaphosa has had his eye on the position of president since the ANC came to power in 1994.
The story goes that he was so upset at not having been chosen by Nelson Mandela as his successor that he left politics and went into business.
But Mr Ramaphosa has now finally realised that dream.
He has said his priority is reviving South Africa’s battered economy. But it won’t be easy: Unemployment is currently at almost 30%, a rate which rises to nearly 40% for young people.
Low growth rates and dwindling investor confidence were compounded by two credit agencies downgrading the economy to junk status.
One of the first steps in improving that investor confidence is addressing the persistent claims of corruption at the heart of government.
There is a renewed sense of hope as Mr Ramaphosa is taking over the reins of Africa’s most industrialised economy.
The markets appeared to welcome Mr Zuma’s resignation. The South African currency, the rand, reaching its strongest levels in three years – at 11.6570 rand for $1 in early trading.
Some will miss him though, pointing to achievements like announcing the abolition of fees for higher education, says the BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg.
Mr Zuma, a former member of the ANC’s military wing in the days of apartheid, rose through the ranks of the party to become president. He led the country for more than a third of its time after apartheid.
But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa’s economy in dire straits.
On Wednesday, police swooped on the Johannesburg home of the powerful and wealthy Gupta family.
Eight suspects appeared in court on Thursday on fraud and money laundering charges, local media report. But they did not include any of the best-known Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh.
Among the eight in court was Varun Gupta, who was Chief Operating Officer of the Gupta-owned mining firm Oakbay Resources and Energy. He is yet to make a plea in court.
The Guptas have been accused of using their close friendship with the president to wield enormous political influence. They deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
(NAIROBI, Kenya) — Esmond Bradley Martin, a Kenya-based American conservationist whose dogged investigations of the elephant ivory and rhino horn trades over decades were seen as critical in efforts to protect the threatened species, was found stabbed to death in his Nairobi home, Kenyan authorities said Monday.
International conservationists were shaken by news of the violent death of Bradley Martin, a distinctive figure known for his shock of white hair and a handkerchief tucked into his jacket breast pocket whose off-beat appearance belied the passion and rigor that he channeled into his work in far-flung parts of the world. He sometimes worked undercover, and at considerable personal risk, while still managing to extract valuable information from traders and dealers.
“He was an inspiration” and a pioneer of research on the illegal wildlife trade, said Julian Rademeyer, author of “Killing for Profit,” a book about rhino horn trafficking. “He was prepared to go to some of the most remote places on earth to dig up information.”
A family member found Bradley Martin’s body with a stab wound to the neck on a bed in his house on Sunday, said Nicolas Kamwende, head of criminal investigations in the capital, Nairobi.
The motive for the killing of Bradley Martin, who was in his mid-70s, was unclear. There was no immediate suggestion from authorities of a link to his work, which often delved into the illegal activities of traders and traffickers whose exploitation of African ivory and rhino horn for international buyers, many of them in Asia, has fueled the mass slaughter of the iconic species.
The area in Langata, the Nairobi suburb where Bradley Martin lived, has some security barriers and guards on main roads. However, some properties are large with big gardens that could be accessible to an intruder.
An Associated Press reporter who visited Bradley Martin at his home in 2015 noted that the conservationist didn’t appear to be slowing down despite his advancing years. Bradley Martin talked animatedly for about an hour, leafing through research papers and reeling off statistics about rhino poaching. He was both precise and excited, seemingly eager to make every minute of discussion count.
Bradley Martin, often working with co-investigator Lucy Vigne, conducted many surveys for the Save the Elephants conservation group that “shone a powerful spotlight on the wildlife markets around the world that are sucking ivory, rhino horn and countless other African species into their maw,” the group said. The work provided “a solid foundation for action to close them down,” it said.
The pair’s most recent report, published in 2017, concluded that Laos has the fastest growing ivory trade in the world. Bradley Martin was working on research on Myanmar when he was killed.
“Esmond and Lucy have produced report after report that documented in detail the exploding demand for illegal ivory in China, Vietnam and Laos that fed into the worldwide move to ban domestic ivory trade,” Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a non-profit group based in Washington.
The pair also reported on drops in the price of ivory in China, “providing the world community with key information that underlined the importance of China’s domestic ban in reducing ivory demand in the world’s biggest market,” Thornton said in an email to The Associated Press. China banned its ivory trade at the beginning of this year.
Bradley Martin, whose books include “Run Rhino Run,” co-written with his wife Chryssee and published in 1982, carried out important research in Yemen in the 1970s that linked rhino poaching to the use of rhino horn in carved dagger handles.
Today, Vietnam and China have the main illegal markets for rhino horn, which is viewed by consumers as a treatment for cancer, hangovers and other ailments, even though it is made from the same substance has human fingernails.
Martin Mulama, a rhino expert with the WWF conservation group and former Kenyan government official who worked with Bradley Martin, said the American did the legwork to prove rumors about the illegal wildlife trade, thereby encouraging officials to take action.
“He tried to unearth some of these difficult things,” Mulama said. “He would actually come with evidence to show that this is actually happening.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AND THE AP)
(WASHINGTON) — A fossil found in Israel indicates modern humans may have left Africa as much as 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Scientists say that an ancient upper jawbone and associated stone tools could also mean that Homo sapiens — modern humans — arose in Africa far earlier than fossils now show. And it may cause rethinking about how we evolved and interacted with now-extinct cousin species, such as Neanderthals.
“When they start moving out of Africa and what geographical route they choose to do it are the two most important questions in recent human evolution,” said Tel Aviv University anthropologist Israel Hershkovitz, lead author of a study published in the journal Science .
The jawbone, complete with several well-preserved teeth, was found to be somewhere between 177,000 and 194,000 years old.
Previously, the oldest fossils of modern humans found outside of Africa were somewhere from 90,000 to 120,000 years old, also in Israel. So given the range in both those estimates, the jawbone might be about 50,000 to 100,000 years older.
The jaw was found in 2002 in the collapsed Misliya (miss-LEE-uh) cave on the western slope of Mount Carmel. Researchers spent the last decade-and-a-half looking for more remains and other fossils before publishing their study. They say the jaw belonged to a young adult of unknown gender.
The Science paper suggests modern humans could have left Africa 220,000 years ago, with some of the authors saying maybe it was even earlier. That’s in part because the cave also contained about 60,000 flint tools, mostly blades and sharp points, some of which are 250,000 years old, said study co-author Mina Weinstein-Evron.
“Now we have to write another story,” Weinstein-Evron said. “People were moving all the time.”
Scientists believe our species dispersed from Africa more than once.
The tool supply in the cave and other evidence were so complete it basically showed “industry” by the early modern humans, she said. “This guy or woman would have been very busy,” she said. “He didn’t have enough time do this. He couldn’t have made all of it. He must have had some friends.”
One of the interesting things about the tools is that while they were used on animal hides for meat and skin use, they were more frequently used on vegetables, Weinstein-Evron said.
Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College and the American Museum of Natural History who wasn’t part of the study, said in an email, “Misliya may be one of several ‘out of Africa’ migrations” and even though it is the oldest modern human fossil, there may have been even earlier migrations.
He and others said the jawbone finding makes sense and is an exciting discovery.
Israel Hershkovitz, an anthropologist at the Tel Aviv University in Israel and the study’s lead author, said the ages of the jaw and the tools suggest our species had left Africa 200,000 years ago or earlier. And that, he said, suggests we may have appeared in Africa as long as 500,000 years ago. The oldest known fossils of our species are about 300,000 years old.
Weinstein-Evron and Hershkovitz insist those tools could only have been made by Homo sapiens.
But Delson and two other experts unconnected to the study disagreed, saying the tools may have been made by Neanderthals or another of our evolutionary cousins.
There is “very solid data” that Neanderthals used the same type of tool about 290,000 years ago in western Europe, and that species was around western Europe from 400,000 years ago until about 40,000 years ago, said Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.
By now almost all of us have heard of Donald Trumps recent comments about how the people of some countries south of the U.S. Border and in Africa are part of ‘shit-hole’ countries. Trump admits himself that he has not been to most of these countries yet he dumps on them and their people. I myself have also been to none of these countries but I have known people who were from some of them, this does not make me an expert on the countries or their people. Mr. Trump has proven himself to not be an expert or even basically intelligent on any subject that I have ever heard him open his mouth and talk about, quite the opposite. If a person wishes to learn stats about a country they can Google the ‘CIA Fact book’ for things like population, GDP, average age, religion etc. Personally I do not believe that Mr. Trump has ever done even this as he feels that he is the world expert on all things plus the fact that he doesn’t trust the CIA’s basic intelligence or trustworthiness.
Back in 2016 during the Republican Presidential Debates Mr. Trump when speaking of Africa once said ‘I love Africa, many of my friends have gone there to get rich’. Think about that statement for a moment please, ‘many of my friends have gone there to get rich (er)’. Not, I have friends who have gone there to help bring up the standard of living for the people there. You see, people like Mr. Trump go to places like Africa to rape the people there of any and all financial elements the people of a country may have. Why do you think that the countries in Africa who have great mineral wealth whether it be diamonds, gold, oil or anything else still have such starvation rates? Why do you think that the people of these countries are living without clean water or electricity? The reason is that large out of country corporations and banks set up brutal Dictators who they buy off as they and these crooked Leaders funnel billions of dollars out of the countries and into their own personal bank accounts all around the world. They do this as the people starve and are enslaved or imprisoned or just plain murdered. Then pious asses like Mr. Trump slams the people for being poor as they rob them of their wealth and financial dignity.
Now I wish to turn my attention to the countries south of the U.S. border. First I am going to speak of Mexico which Mr. Trump has constantly slammed. Just this week the U.S. State Department put out travel warnings for 5 of the States in Mexico as ‘no go’ States. They say these States are to dangerous for people to visit. There are several issues that the Mexican government must fix within their own borders just like several other Nations to their south must fix. The first single thing that must be fixed is the security issues for the people who live in these areas. The second biggest issues that must be fixed is the economies of the places the citizens live. Mr. Trump doesn’t want these ‘poor’ people flooding across the U.S. border so to do this we must work with, not against these people.
The first thing I am going to write about is the totally failed and totally dangerous U.S. War On Drugs Policy. The easiest first policy would be to totally legalize recreational Marijuana and tax it like it was beer or wine. This would take the profit away from the Drug Cartels and would save thousands of lives each year. Even though I am not a fan of any of the manufactured chemical drugs they should then be treated the same way, mostly. If the laws were different here in the U.S. in regards to drugs like Cocaine and Heroin we could also take all of the profit out of the Drug Cartels also saving many thousands of lives each year. Here is what I am getting at, if I could buy Heroin or Cocaine legally just like beer and wine all of the revenue for the Cartels is gone, now the people who live in the ‘Cartel’ areas would then be able to live in a more peaceful situation. Before you decide that I am totally crazy about making these drugs legal, there is more to my plan.
Here are some of my conditions about having legal chemical drugs. Just like you can get a ticket for being under the influence of a legal prescription medication if that medication messed up your physical ability to drive, expand this to the following. Right now here in the States you can get a ticket and go to jail for driving ‘under the influence’ of a drug like Morphine even if you have a script for it and you can be sued if you caused a wreck and you can go to prison. The same laws hold true if you were driving under the influence of Morphine in your system, but you did not have a script for it. Where we would have to tweak the existing laws is this: If you have a non-script chemical drug in your system ‘like Cocaine or Morphine’ and you get in an accident whether it be in a vehicle or on a job site you must receive Federal Prison time. Also, you personally must pay for all damages. No Insurance Company pays for any damages to you or your personal property. Any and all of your personal property will be attached and sold until all damages are paid in full. If you have an accident at work and you have a drug like Cocaine in your system the Company’s Work Comp carrier is not liable for any of your medical bills and you will not be eligible for payments from the Insurance company while you are unable to work. There would also have to be one other requirement which would be pointed straight at Companies. Just like a famous Soda Pop Company used to add Cocaine to their drink to make it more addictive there would have to be mandatory Federal Prison sentences for any and all company executives who were adding any of these drugs into their products as well as selling off of all of their personal property to help pay for the damages to people.
Most all of the people that I have spoken with who are here in the U.S. who are from ‘Southern Countries’ have told me that they would much rather be in their home Country but there is no work there, no way to feed their families, that this is why they are here in the U.S., for work. These ‘Southern Countries’ must put all of their efforts into creating livable wage jobs within their own borders. These Countries Leaders must not allow companies from other countries to come in and financially rape them of their assets whether it be mineral or human. Mr. Trump would not have to build his 18 billion dollar border wall if the Countries to our south had their own stable economies. One of the things that is obvious about Mr. Trump is that he hates poor people, it seems that if you do not have a personal net worth of at least several hundred million dollars he considers you as nothing more than a used piece of used toilet paper. The true reality of these “shit-hole” Countries is that it is people like Mr. Trump, the mega rich, who come in and steal everything these poorer Countries and their people have, for their own personal gain, who are the true pieces of human feces, not the people they steal from.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AND THE WASHINGTON POST)
(DONALD IS ‘THE SHITHOLE’ IN CHIEF)
President Donald Trump reportedly singled out Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa as “shithole countries” during a rant about immigration Thursday. Those places aren’t happy
Trump’s comments came during a meeting with lawmakers at the White House held to reach a bipartisan immigration deal, according to the Washington Post, which broke the news. Sources familiar with the meeting told the Post that the president was amenable to more immigrants from Norway and Asia, whom he says help the country economically, but wondered aloud “why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
According to the Post, Trump also said, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”
On Friday morning Trump posted a series of tweets about the immigration deal in which he appeared to deny he said “shithole countries.”
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!” he wrote.
In a second tweet, sent around two hours after the first, Trump said that he “never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country” and that he never uttered the phrase “take them out.”
Trump also claimed that the accusation was “made up” by members of the Democratic Party. “I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians,” he added. “Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
However, the White House on Thursday did not deny the Post’s report about Trump’s language.
A spokesman for the United Nations said Friday that Trump’s reported words were racist.
“There is no other word one can use but ‘racist’… This isn’t just a story about vulgar language, it’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia,” United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”
Here’s how Trump’s alleged “shithole countries” are responding to the remarks:
CBS News reports that the Haitian government promptly summoned charge d’affairs Robin Diallo, the top U.S. diplomat in the country, to respond to the comments.
Former Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe tweeted, “SHAME ON TRUMP! The world is witnessing a new low today with this #ShitholeNations remark! totally unacceptable! uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the US by any President! Enough is enough!!”
The Haitian government said in a statement “these insulting and reprehensible statements in no way reflect the virtues of wisdom, restraint and discernment that must be cultivated by any high political authority,” according to the Associated Press, adding that the comment “reflects a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States.”
Other Haitians took to social media to share pictures of their nation’s beautiful beaches to make a point about the president’s alleged remarks.
Hugo Martinez, El Salvador’s foreign minister, tweeted calling on the U.S. government to confirm or deny Trump’s statements. In subsequent tweets, he noted that a number of individuals who helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina were from El Salvador and saying that he “feels proud to be Salvadoran.”
Jean Manes, the U.S. envoy to El Salvador, tweeted that the United States “values the friendship and the relationship with the Salvadoran people.” Manes added that she has had “the privilege to travel around this beautiful country and meet thousands of Salvadorans,” and that it is “an honor” to live and work there.”
The African Union responded to the reported remarks by pointing out many Africans arrived in the U.S. as slaves.
“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,” Ebba Kalondo, a spokesperson for the 55-nation African Union, told the Associated Press. “This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”
Leanne Manas, a news anchor for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, tweeted Friday morning, “Good morning from the greatest most beautiful “shithole country” in the world!!!”
Somali information minister Abdirahman Omar Osman told CNN, “If it’s real, it doesn’t need a response. Those comments do not deserve a response.”
Mmusi Maimane, the leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party, described Trump’s comments as “abhorrent” on Twitter. His tweet continued: “He confirms a patronizing view of Africa and promotes a racist agenda. Africa/U.S. relations will take strain from this, with a leader who has failed to reconcile humanity. The hatred of Obama’s roots now extends to an entire continent.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(CNN)It’s quite a time for weird weather, and it doesn’t get much weirder than snow falling in one of the hottest places in the world.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)
On 25 December, Angola’s first satellite went into orbit, and the launch was celebrated with a large screen broadcasting it live at Marginal de Luanda, one of the city’s main avenues, accompanied by fireworks.
Named Anglosat-1, the satellite is Russian-made, the fruit of a Russian-Angolan partnership started in 2009, and is intended to bring high-speed internet and radio and television transmission to various countries in Africa and parts of Europe.
However, hours after its launch from Kazakhstan the satellite lost communications with its Earth platform and remained silent for several hours.
Angolans treated the launch and the glitch with humor, but also took the opportunity to question the narratives of the world’s media and the wisdom of spending money on a satellite when human development remains so poor in the country.
Social media was full of comic reactions when news of the satellite’s temporary malfunction broke:
Meme makers are getting quicker and sharper in wit. “The satellite used a Movicel chip, that’s why it lost connection” [Movicel is a cellphone operator in Angola]; “The satellite was found somewhere in Kwanza-Sul [province in Angola], it destroyed the vehicles of the soba [community-leader] and the administrator”
Yesterday the Angolans launched fireworks to commemorate the launch of the first Angolan satellite.
Today the Russian space agency lost contact with the satellite.
“Moscow lost the signal of the Angolan satellite” now there is no porn for anybody
Must be without a system…
After all, the satellite is Angolan
Some, though, criticized so much attention being given to the fault in the satellite – which finally re-established contact two days later, according to the Russian maker RSC Energia.
So much international media suddenly interested only in the Angolan satellite’s failure… the hate and will to not see an African country stand out is so great?
Angola has become the seventh African country, alongside Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tunisia, to have a communications satellite in orbit.
The Angolan government reports that it has invested 320 million US dollars in the project, which it forecasts that it will recover in two years. According to Minister of State Carvalho da Rocha, the telecommunications operators of Angola spend, together, between 15 and 20 million US dollars each month in renting space on other satellites for the region.
Furthermore, the minister said that 40% of the satellite’s capacity has already been sold, to be used by national telecommunications operators, while the rest should be hired by other operators in Africa and parts of Europe. Angosat-1 should stay in orbit for 15 years.
Exclusive images of Angosat.
The Angolan satellite will be launched next month. Technicians are giving the finishing touches to Angosat’s preparation.
However, some raised concerns, such as activist Pedrowski Teca:
1 – What is the Russian flag doing on our satellite?
2 – Why is the Russian flag most prominent and Angola’s in second place?
3 – Why is the writing on the satellite in a foreign language (seemingly Russian)?
For Raúl Danda, the satellite is not his priority as an Angolan citizen:
[…] If it is a reason of pride, because it is not just any country that sends its own satellite into space, this episode reminds me of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations; a lot of show for nothing or almost nothing. Many of the stadiums that cost millions and millions of dollars (a “cost” cost and a stolen cost) remain there with grass growing for the goats to graze. At that time, the government of President Eduardo dos Santos (now “ex”) intended only to show that “we can too”! This time that repeats itself. Launching a satellite is a good thing, even really good. But it is first necessary to achieve other things. Buying a BMW while, at home, the children have no bread, is, more than absurd, irrational. Launching a satellite into space while on the ground there is no medicine, food, quality education, healthcare worthy of that name, basic sanitation … and other really basic things, seems to me a terrible irrationality…
Another Angolan activist questioned why the government had brought religious practitioners to attend the launch ceremony:
Aqueles “Lideres Religiosos” que foram levados à Moskovo- Rússia, no âmbito do lançamento do tal satelite que já anda desaparecido foram mesmo fazer o que ?
Este governo parece que ainda não deixou o habito de gastar dinheiro desnecessáriamente, ou estes custiaram a sua viajem?
Those “religious leaders” who were brought to Moscow-Russia, for the launch of the satellite which has already gone missing, were there to do what? It seems that this government has not stopped its habit of spending money unnecessarily, or did they pay for their own travel?
FACING STARVATION TODAY
Seven billion people face starvation everyday
One break in the link, one chink in the chain
Someone new will feel the sting of hunger each day
Regarding starvation the civilized have become soulless
Governments gelding the very ones who keep us all fed
Starvation; sure, but only in other Nations, not in mine
Do the fat turn a blind eye so they don’t see the pain
Proud people of the Navajo, Apache and the mighty Sioux
Wholesale and Casinos the only way left to feed, or famine
Black, White, Red, or Brown, being poor trampled the same
Africa and Asia on T.V. screens we see such sickening pitiful scenes
How can the World say they believe in God, then treat others this way
NASDAQ, profit margins, public company, bottom line all that matters
With the shortage of any product the cost per unit does always raise
Each country and village needs to work hard to be in food self-sufficient
The poor die young, the privileged die old, the middle class thinning away
Seven billion people; folks that’s a whole lot of mouths needing food today
Every turn from the light the Earth swallows the blood of the starving innocent
Daily the civilized throw millions of pounds of food, what some call trash; away
Missions and Shelters need our help, please don’t throw these people away
I have Malignant Melanoma, my son had Testicular Cancer
Welcome to a space about sparkling wine, winemakers and lost empires along the trails of the Alps and Adriatic Sea.
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Satirical & Poetic Musings Of A Self-Proclaimed Nobel Prize Winner