In this issue…
- TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE TAKING US BACK IN TIME
- Treasure…Odyssey Update…
- Antikythera mechanism
- BLUE CAP VIDEOS
- RHS1 News
- EARTHQUAKE WATCH
Hope and Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond From Different Crystals
Laurence Graff, after his 2008 purchase of the Wittelsbach diamond, allowed scientists from the Smithsonian to examine and display temporarily in the same hall as the Hope diamond, which many had speculated to this date was cut from the same stone as the Wittelsbach. It has been found that the stones are very similar, and may have come from the same geographical region, however, they are not cut from the same crystal as had been presumed. There – now you can all sleep tight again.
Reconstruction of a Neanderthal child from Gibraltar(Anthropological Institute, University of Zurich)
With the advance of technology we are seeing the future coming to our own time and place in history. While some scientists are busy looking toward a sustainable future, some are taking a bold stride into the past, and bringing it back to life for us. The following two stories are all examples of how our ability to build a future is also bringing us the ability to understand a living past in ways we could not have ever achieved before. I hope you enjoy these glimpses into our past world.
Neanderthal Speech Heard Again
In recent years scientists have discovered that Neanderthals survived next to modern man, not becoming extinct until as recently as 28,000 years ago. There has been much study on why they did not survive. Theories have abounded about the reasons for their demise. Studying remains has shown they had many differences from modern humans. Their vocal structure was one of those differences.
Anatomical comparison of the skulls of
anatomically modern humans and homo neanderthalensis
Recently, Dr. Robert McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University was able to reconstruct how Neanderthal speech would have sounded. The recreation was made using the findings about Neanderthal anatomy learned from studying remains found in France and coordinating the structure with a computer synthesizer.
McCarthy states that Neanderthals didn’t have the ability to use quantal vowels. These vowels are sounds that allow us to understand each other even though our vocal tracts are not all the same size. From this study we now know that Neanderthals had limited speech abilities in comparison to those of modern man.
For an exciting glimpse at what the Neanderthal next store 28,000 years ago would have sounded like saying the letter “E” see this download:
Long horned european wild ox.
Will Aurochs Walk the Earth Again?
In another blast to the past, scientists are now engaged in bringing back Aurochs from extinction. These giant cattle, which stood 6.5 feet at the shoulder and weighed in at 2,200 pounds were officially announced extinct in 1627. They walked the earth for 2 million years, migrating from India to Europe, until in recent human history the animals were hunted into extinction.
Scientists have attempted to recreate this animal before, as well as other species by manipulating the genes of various species of modern descendants, however, the animals they have been able to breed are only similar to the originals and not genetic recreations. This time scientists have been able to analyze the DNA from Auroch bones and think they may be able to recreate the animal in its full genetic structure.
What will be done with the beasts once they are thriving again is another question. Perhaps they will be re-introduced to the wild lands of Poland and surrounding regions where they once wandered free until cut down by unscrupulous over-hunting wiped them out. Being an animal being known for its incredible size and not known for its sweet temper, it is unlikely that they will be practical for use as domestic animals. There are many questions to consider and hopefully the right answers will be found before the breed once again proliferates.
Odyssey Marine Exploration Completes Offering
Tampa, FL – February 4, 2010 –
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX), pioneers in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, today announced that it has completed its previously disclosed registered direct offering of shares of common stock and warrants to purchase common stock. The investors included institutional investors, private investors and company management. The gross proceeds to Odyssey were approximately $6.3 million before placement agent fees and offering expenses.
In connection with the offering, Odyssey sold 4,000,000 units for $1.565 per unit. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and a warrant to purchase 0.6 shares of common stock. The warrants have an exercise price of $2.25 per share of common stock and will be exercisable in accordance with their terms at any time on or before the close of business on January 29, 2013.
Odyssey intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for working capital, capital expenditures, and other general corporate purposes.
Chardan Capital Markets, LLC acted as placement agent with respect to a portion on the units sold.
A Form S-3 shelf registration statement relating to the securities sold by Odyssey in the offering previously was filed with, and has been declared effective by, the Securities and Exchange Commission. All of the securities having been sold, this press release appears as a matter of record only. A copy of the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to the offering is available through the Internet web site maintained by the SEC at the following address: . www.sec.gov
About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-ocean shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, the Company announced the historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named “Black Swan.” In February 2009, Odyssey announced the discovery of Balchin’s HMS Victory. The Company also has other shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.
Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, and educational programs.
Odyssey’s operations are the subject of a Discovery Channel television series titled “Treasure Quest,” which is produced by JWM Productions. The 12-episode first season aired in the US and the UK in early 2009 and is scheduled to air worldwide throughout 2009. Production on a second season is underway.
Following previous successful engagements in New Orleans, Tampa, Detroit, and Oklahoma City, Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure is currently on exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. Additional information is available at www.discoveryplace.org.
For details on the Company’s activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Odyssey Marine Exploration P.O. Box 320057 Tampa, FL 33679-2057 www.shipwreck.net
Antikythera mechanism – Reconstruction now on Video
The Antikythera mechanism:
The Antikythera mechanism was first discovered in the Antikythera wreck in 1900 and has been the object of intense archaeological study ever since. Thought by some to be designed by Astronomer Hipparchus , others suggest perhaps it originated in Corinth, possibly a product of Archimedes. Nothing is known of the reason that the mechanism was on the ship.
It is known to have made between 150 – 100 BC, it is the first analog computer to be known of, although scientists think that due to its perfection that others most likely exist that have not been recovered. It is thought that information about the device may have been found in the Library of Alexandria before it was burned.
BLUE CAP VIDEOS :
A REAL TREAT FOR OUR ROCKHOUND PALS
I just recently stumbled upon Bryan Swoboda and his company Blue Cap Productions and could not wait to introduce you to both. Bryan has taken time from his very busy schedule to tell us who he is and why he built Blue Cap. For those of you going to the Tucson show this month, Bryan has given information about his exciting exhibits and where you can find him there. For the rest, you need not feel left out because at the end of the article you will find links to his products as well as some links to free videos he has graciously offered for public view. Here’s Bryan to tell us about how he got started in rock and gem hunting and later developed Blue Cap Productions.
My father is world-famous mineral collector Edward Swoboda so you can say that I’ve been around minerals all of my life. When mineral legend Fredrick Pough died in 2006, I recalled all the times Dr. Pough would spend Thanksgiving at our house swapping exciting mineral stories with my father. Upon his passing, so passed all his wonderful stories and it was then that I decided that stories like this needed to be recorded for all time. In honor of my father’s world-class 1970 find of the blue cap tourmalines at the Tourmaline Queen Mine, I named my production company BlueCap Productions and hit the road to Tucson.
BlueCap Productions really started at the 2007 Tucson show when we filmed What’s Hot In Tucson (www.whatshotintucson.com) – the first, comprehensive video review of the entire 3-week Tucson mineral show. With our Host David WIlber, a mineral collecting legend and pioneer, we visited some of the major mineral shows and interviewed dealers who showed us the latest and greatest mineral specimens on the market. With Wilber’s encyclopedic knowledge of minerals and the dealers closing their doors and sharing with us specimens that were hidden away for only their top customers, What’s Hot In Tucson quickly became THE insider’s guide to the best minerals in the world.
Since then we’ve returned every year and expanded the program to include What’s Hot In Tucson: Online – a series of segments that were filmed during our normal program but had to be cut due to the time limitations of the DVDs. These segments were too good to throw away so we post them online and are free for viewers to watch.
For the 2010 show we are, again, expanding our What’s Hot In Tucson series line to include What’s Hot In Tucson: Gems & Jewelry. In this series, we will be visiting the American Gem Trade Association’s Gem Fair in Tucson (the AGTA show) with Host Delphine Leblanc to cover the latest arrivals in the gemstone and jewelry world.
In addition to What’s Hot In Tucson, BlueCap Productions also produces a number of other DVDs on the mineral world. In 2009 we launched a new series called The New Crystal Hunters (www.newcrystalhunters.com) focused on getting kids more involved in the mineral world. In this series we take small groups of kids to various mineral locales around the world and let them dig for their own mineral treasures. Part educational, part adventure film, The New Crystal Hunters has filmed segments in Pala, the famous gem producing region in California, Arkansas and Colorado. Future episodes will include trips to Franklin/ Sterling Hill in New Jersey, the Adelaide Mine in Tasmania, the Pederneira Mine in Brazil, the Rogerly Mine in England and many more.
For the 2010 show we will be showing some sneak peeks from another new series called Collecting Minerals: Thumbnails. In this series we will be focusing on the people who collect thumbnail-size mineral specimens – often called the most perfect of mineral specimens. With full-screen footage of thumbnails rotating 360 degrees, while the viewer hears the owners tell the stories behind each piece, this is thumbnail collecting as it’s never been seen, or heard, before. Some of the top thumbnail collectors in the world are already onboard with this project and we will begin releasing these videos in 2010.
We are also the exclusive videographer’s to the Westward Look Mineral Show’s (www.westwardminerals.com) annual Sunday Evening Program. This is where top figures in the mineral world come together to present a multimedia show on different topics in the mineral world. This is a free event open to everyone and is usually a packed event with a who’s who in the mineral world.
For the 2010 Sunday Evening Program, BlueCap Productions, in association with Fine Minerals International, has put together the first ever Mineral Artist Show (http://bluecapproductions.com/mineralartists/ ) where some of the top mineral artists in the world will gather, for the first time, and present their incredible work. The Mineral Artist Show will continue a week later at the TGMS show (the “Main Show”) where we’ve set aside over 40′ of display cases in which will be displayed original artwork from Master Artists Eberhard Equit, Hildegard Konighofer, Wendell Wilson and Susan Robinson.
Also at the TGMS Show will be the mineral world’s first Mineral Film Festival projected on the west wall of the Tucson Convention Center. From the BlueCap Productions booth in the south west corner of the main hall, we will be projecting our films on the wall throughout the entire show. There will be a lounge area with tables and chairs for visitors to relax in and enjoy the show courtesy of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society(TM).
BlueCap Productions was also responsible for bringing the first wet sluice to the TGMS show where kids can purchase buckets of gravel and wet screen them for all kinds of hidden mineral and fossil treasures. The wet sluice will be making it debut at the 2010 show and will be located outside by the food tent area.
With over a dozen mineral-related DVD titles available today through our online store (http://shop.bluecapproductions.com) and our involvement in numerous other projects, BlueCap Productions is committed to expanding the mineral world, getting more people involved in this hobby we all love and capturing these mineral stories for all to enjoy.
You can find us online at www.bluecapproductions.com or, if you’ll be in Tucson, come visit us at the TGMS show. We’ll be in booth #01E in the south west corner of the main hall.
President – BlueCap Productions
Thanks again for taking time to share with us Bryan. I’ve really enjoyed the videos and I am sure that everyone else is going to as well.
Wow – it’s almost valentine’s day again already. Time for normal people to get candy hearts and flowers and all that is romantic. If you are a rockhound, maybe you’ll be as lucky as I was one year and get an army issue folding shovel. Who else but another rockhound could ever understand how much that one pleased me?
The RHS1 Gazette is now back online. Members who have announcements or would like their article posted can contact me and we’ll get them online with a big global shout out for you. If you have club events, classes, or just information that you want to share the Gazette the place for it.
Some of you may find it a bit difficult to post pictures in the Photo Gallery. There is a video in the “Help Desk” forum at the top of the forums that will walk you through the process of posting pictures. If that doesn’t solve your problems, just give us a holler and we’ll be happy to help.
For those of you who have been signing up and just lurking……come on in and have some fun. We’d love to hear what’s up in your part of the globe
For You Gold Hunter’s Out There –
As I just pointed out, it’s already February. It’s a great time to place your gold traps to catch the spring run-offs. Black Cat Mining.com has some sluices that do a pretty terrific job of dropping the gold carried in the rapid spring run-off waters. Face it – it’s a lot easier to catch it coming down the stream than it is having to dig it out later!
You folks have a great month despite what the weather brings. Don’t forget, the forum is open 24/7 so come on in and share some tips together and start planning your summer hunting early.
Life’s Short – Rock Hard.
This year started of very strong and very tragically on the earthquake front with a 7 mag quake taking up to 200,000 lives in Haiti. It was the third 7 mag quake in the first month of the new decade.
Scientists investigating the fault in Haiti have reported that the area will most likely experience another major quake. They can give no hints of when. Over 50 aftershocks have been felt in the area, the largest being 5.9, and possibilities are that these will go on for months, and even as long as years. it is even feared that these aftershocks could trigger another major eruption of the fault line.
There have been a series of 10 km deep quakes around the globe over the past month, shallow quakes in crustal areas, suggesting the action of plate tectonics. A series of around 450 minor quakes in the Yellowstone area were examined and contributed to tectonics rather than volcanic action, so at least there is one good piece of news in all that shaking.
In the last week the quakes have settled to a lower than average number and all mag 5 and weaker. That is a good week by all means.
INCREASING WAVE HEIGHT IN THE NORTHWEST.
We’ve been hearing a lot about rising waterlines around the globe. This rise is hitting some areas but other areas are showing no increase. Scientists from Oregon State University have now reported that the rising waterlines in the North West are actually due to an increase of wave size.
Waves hitting the Northwest shores have increased around 10 feet since the mid-1970s. Because records of wave heights have not been kept for very long, scientists can not say with certainty what is causing the increasing size of the waves, but they cite that the possibilities include, change in storm tracks, winter storms and climate fluctuations.
They have gone on to say that some areas will gain sand and others are in danger of severe erosion. There is also a possibility of shorelines sinking due to earthquakes. With damage already starting to show in some coastal regions, it has been stressed that management of these coasts needs to be closely examined in the future.
While crops are doing better now than in the last two or three years, people in the US are now being struck by hunger. A report released by the organization Feeding America states that 37 million people in the US are now relying on food pantries and agencies . This has been recorded as a 46% increase from figures published in 2006. This food shortage is a completely man-made catastrophe at this point in time as there is plenty of food in the US to feed its citizens. They can no longer afford to buy it. Welcome to the 3rd world, America.
Sally Taylor… RHS1 Earthwatch.
Image and info credits for this edition:
Wikipedia: Odyssey Marine Exploration: Bluecap video:
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community