Tuesday, November 15, 2005

news to moan & marvel at

heads up...
The mokomokai issue raises its ugly head again with the repatriation of 3 tattooed skulls from Glasgow museum.
"These are the remains of the dead ancestors of someone," said James Te Puni, of Te Papa.
"They will be someone's great, great grandfather back in NZ, so it's important that they be returned home"
This is madness. Since the descendents of these 'heads' are unknown, to whom should they be returned? If Te Papa retains guardianship, what difference does it make to 'aggrieved descendents' whether they're held in a 'pakeha' museum here or a 'pakeha' institution overseas. Most likely they'll end up locked away in a vault, unseen by the viewing public.

This thorny topic prompts further questions.
Should Te Papa return its mummy skeleton to Egypt? Should the remains of our fallen soldiers likewise be returned? And what of other foreign artefacts in our care? Give 'em back? The axiom "finders, keepers" seems apt to me.

The BluGene/L system reaches new supercomputing record 280.6 teraflops (1 teraflop = one trillion calculations per second), compared to a sedate 91 teraflops of the 2nd fastest, Watson Blue Gene. A list of the top 500 supermachines here. [hattip 'toonist]

and spills...

Scary news about Sony using rootkit 'spyware' technology to prevent people pirating their DVDs. The application installs itself, can't be (easily) uninstalled and it may interefere with a system's security.
[hattip 'eagle]

NZ green...

Our PM suggests the US should 'move on' from the NZ no-nuke stalemate, dismissing comments by US ambassador that the "ball is in our court." For a pragmatic lass, she's remarkably naive to believe Uncle Sam will ever turn a blind eye to our shunning of warships. It's also naive to believe our stance will soften any time soon. Remember Brash's painful hedging and vacilation during the campaign? If he's our Great White Hope, then forgetaboudit! Remember also when ACT introduced a bill allowing nuke-propelled ships in? Not one single MP from any other party voted for it. We need a good war to shake ourselves from our lazy, smug, pacifist wimpiness. God Defend New Zealand, coz we sure won't be able to do it, ourselves.

dig archaeology?
Reuters has a photo of a pottery fragment, recently unearthed in Israel, inscribed with the name "Goliath." Checks out pretty well with the scholars. Could be the McCoy...

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