Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Nightswimming

Apparently you read my blog, so hello!  I'll tell you how i do the belly thing in a bit.

Anyway, i had virtually abandoned this, but i'm back.  In about two days' time, the Other Channel will reach half a million views, which is nice-ish.  In the meantime, i've uploaded three videos to the pregnancy vlog and also plan to make a slideshow about how it might be achieved.  Also, i've had plenty of new video ideas for the "main" channel, one of which i've just finished off:

Actually, i haven't just finished this off because for some reason blogger went all weird and wouldn't let me post any of my own videos, so it's now been several days.  Here's the doobly-do:


Click to tweet: http://clicktotweet.com/cam7P .  Humans are unusually hairless and fat for apes.  This and a number of other features led Elaine Morgan to hold that in the relatively recent past our ancestors were partly aquatic.  There's a whole list of features which suggest this:

* Like aquatic mammals, we lack hair - seals, whales, elephants, hippos, manatees and dugongs for example.
* We stand upright, like other apes when they enter the water.
* Our bodies are insulated using fat rather than hair, which is also true of aquatic mammals, where it also provides buoyancy.
* We have breasts like dugongs, which are aquatic mammals.
* Unlike other land mammals, we have a diving reflex where our respiration and heart rate slow down when we are underwater.
* We have good breath control, which enables us to speak.
* Our nostrils face downwards, like the Proboscis Monkey which is semi-aquatic.
* We have a hymen which protects the reproductive system from debris - this is a less popular idea than the others.
* We make love face to face, like aquatic mammals, for instance whales.
* Our genome lacks an endogenous retrovirus which entered all other African primate genomes several million years ago, suggesting that we were not in Africa at the time.
* The oldest hominin fossils are found nearest the coast and newer ones gradually move inland.
* The oldest stone tools are made of pebbles rather than the irregular stones more likely to be found away from water.

The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (or theory - the endogenous retrovirus is good evidence that we were at least not in Africa when that happened, and we weren't in Asia either so the possibilities are very limited) is not widely accepted among palaeoanthropologists for various reasons.  It is seen as feminist, it is not published widely in peer-reviewed journals and it is seen as an individual explanation for a wide variety of phenomena.  However, taking a Kuhnian and pro-feminist view, this reflects the tendency for established academics to hold on to power with respect to beliefs and accepted practices in the scientific community.  This reflects my experience in academia.

Desmond Morris and David Attenborough are both proponents of this theory and it is difficult to break into publishing in any area, including academia.

In fact, i think i'll add to some of the others.  This:

won't post, apparently.  There's also a great long rambling video on the periodic table which i've divided into two.  See if that posts:

Yep.  Right, now this gets me where i want to be since i want to add stuff which is new, namely on the Etruscan language.  The claim that Etruscan used "el-em-en" to mean "letter" as in letter of the alphabet, as it was LMN, like ABC, seems to have no historical basis at all.  There was at some point an idea that the Etruscan alphabet split down the middle.  In fact, it runs as follows:

This would split the Etruscan LMN at N.  Incidentally, the English alphabet, which is descended from the Etruscan, is divided into three groups of eight, so it's not entirely unfeasible, but it seems not to be true.

Etruscan fascinates me.  It's close to being a linguistic isolate like Basque is.  However, it now turns out that it was related to Lemnian, spoken on an island near Asia Minor, and Raetic, spoken in an area which is now part of Switzerland.  All of these may be related to Minoan as well.  Nonetheless, it is clearly unrelated to Indo-European languages and may not even be Nostratic (if Nostratic even exists).

On to today's callouts, at long last, and once again it can't be posted.  Suffice it to say, then, that i've made a callout video for danlacuna, jeremyhansen100, skateman70 and Tasarla Skaara.