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Monday, March 26

La Oroya still stinks up the place

Environmental News Service Polluting U.S. Owned Smelter in Peru Brought Before OAS: The La Oroya metallurgical complex has been around for almost a century and little has been done to keep it from poisoning the environment both in the area and downstream, either when it was run by the state or private enterprise.

The environmental and human rights groups point out that recent monitoring of air quality performed by Doe Run itself shows that daily average sulfur dioxide levels are between 80 and 300 times the maximum level permitted by the World Health Organization, the public health and environmental groups say.

Monday, March 5

The Inca khipu challenge

Wired 15.01: Untangling the Mystery of the Inca

Yet, if centuries of scholarship are to be believed, the Inca, whose rule began 2,000 years after Homer, never figured out how to write. It's an enigma known as the Inca paradox, and for nearly 500 years it has stood as one of the great historical puzzles of the Americas. But now a Harvard anthropologist named Gary Urton may be close to untangling the mystery.

His quest revolves around strange, once-colorful bundles of knotted strings called khipu (pronounced KEY-poo). The Spanish invaders noticed the khipu soon after arriving but never understood their significance ? or how they worked.

This is the most complete, non-academic explanation of Gary Urton's research into the mysteries of the Inca record-keeping system. These artefacts are fascinating, but on a completely different paradigm than anything created by the Western mind.

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