Healing diplomacy, California mastodons and hemp pioneers.

Monday April 24th - Sunday April 30th

Hello dear readers,

I have changed my location this weekend and thus have been having an exciting experience getting to know my new home. Therefore this newsletter is again not in the morning, and only three stories instead of five. But don't worry! Next week will be full length. Again, I would love to hear for feedback and responses. Even just letting me know you read it is very encouraging. And now, the stories:


Traditional healers and western doctors teamed up to fight Ebola. Can it keep going?

Mark Hay writes in Vice’s Tonic that everyone benefits when allopathic and traditional healers find common ground and purpose. During the Ebola epidemic, foreign intervention was often meet with distrust, but in Guinea, where up to 80 percent of the local population relies of traditional healers, they participating in trainings with health workers from abroad. In the process, an alliance formed and medical groups are no coordinating more deeply.

This spontaneous connection emerged in part because many countries which rely heavily on traditional healers don’t have any official frameworks in place to coordinate with their allopathic counterparts. While there may be many benefits, common ground is complex.

“Many medical regulatory bodies… push for strict punitive measures against informal providers,” said Manoj Mohanan of Duke University's Global Health Institute who studies the intersection of modern and traditional medine. “Medicine, like any profession, would feel threatened by measures that [appears to relax] entry requirements.”

And “many traditional healers would also not welcome,” being pulled into the medical system where they “would be made into second-class medical practitioners” compared to doctors.


A paleontologist claims people lived in present-day California 130,000 years ago.

That's the bold proposition from a team of scientists led by paleontologist Thomas Deméré and published in the journal Nature. The findings come from an analysis of scratched-up mastodon fossils and chipped stones unearthed from underneath a San Diego highway more than 20 years ago.

If the findings are accurate, it would dramatically set back the commonly accepted dating of human arrival to the Americas. Most archeologists hold to the theory that humans crossed a land bridge from Asia and into Alaska around 25,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Unsurprisingly, some of Deméré's colleagues are incredulous.

"You can’t push human activity in the New World back 100,000 years based on evidence as inherently ambiguous as broken bones and nondescript stones," David Meltzer told the Washington Post.

The site was identified in 1992 by paleontologist Richard Cerutti, one of Deméré's fellow researchers at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. The most compelling evidence is the partial skeleton of a single American mastodon with the largest bones scarred and broken, and more fragile ribs and vertebrae intact. Some bones seem to have been arranged deliberately alongside each other.

"It is a bold claim," admitted Deméré, but "this evidence begs for some explanation, and this is the explanation we’ve come up with."


New York is exploring uses of industrial hemp, expanding pilot program.

Hemp is classified as schedule 1 by the federal government, having been equated with the its cousin cannabis. While hemp does contain trace amounts of THC, it lacks any psychoactive effect. Despite the clear benefits of hemp from plastics to fuel, adoption has been slow.

This has started to change, more than a dozen states have experimented with industrial hemp. New York is now expanding its pilot program to six private research organizations. 21st Century Hemp in Rochester believes that hemp could soon add strength to automobile parts and construction supplies.

"Once hemp becomes a viable product, where you can purchase legally across the board, now you have products that will be created through incentives, not only from state but the industry itself, to create products that we all can use here," said Ira Fair, the Founder and General Manager of 21st Century Hemp. "That will spur new jobs."


"We learn, too, that the life of man as a soul is of, what to us seems, enormous length, and that what we have been in the habit of calling his life is in reality only one day of his real existence."
— C. W. Leadbeater,
A Textbook of Theosophy (1912)

That's all for this week. Look out next Monday morning!