Lost Tribe on small Island in the Indian Ocean remain virtually untouched by modern civilization.

American ‘killed in India by endangered Andamans tribe’

An American man has been killed by an endangered tribe in India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Fishermen who took the man to North Sentinel island say tribespeople shot him with arrows and left his body on the beach.

He has been identified as John Allen Chau, a 27 year old from Alabama.

Contact with the endangered Andaman tribes living in isolation from the world is illegal because of the risks to them from outside disease.

Estimates say the Sentinelese, who are totally cut off from civilisation, number only between 50 and 150.

Seven fishermen have been arrested for illegally ferrying the American to the island, police say.

Local media have reported that Chau may have wanted to meet the tribe to preach Christianity to them.

“Police said Chau had previously visited North Sentinel island about four or five times with the help of local fishermen,” journalist Subir Bhaumik, who has been covering the islands for years, told BBC Hindi.

“The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they don’t even understand how to use money. It’s in fact illegal to have any sort of contact with them.”

In 2017, the Indian government also said taking photographs or making videos of the aboriginal Andaman tribes would be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years.

But on social media the young man presented himself as a keen traveller and adventurer.

The AFP news agency quoted a source as saying that Chau had tried and failed to reach the island on 14 November. But then he tried again two days later.

“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking.

“The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. They were scared and fled,” the report added.

Chau’s body was spotted on 20 November. According to the Hindustan Times, his remains have yet to be recovered.

“It’s a difficult case for the police,” says Mr Bhaumik. “You can’t even arrest the Sentinelese.”

BBC

The Sentinelese (also Sentineli, Senteneli, Sentenelese, North Sentinel Islanders) are one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most uncontacted peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in India in the Bay of Bengal. They inhabit North Sentinel Island which lies westward off the southern tip of the Great Andaman archipelago. They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. Their language remains unclassified.

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The Sentinelese (also called the Sentineli or North Sentinel Islanders) are the indigenous people of North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands of India. One of the Andamanese peoples, they resist contact with the outside world, and are among the last people to remain virtually untouched and uncontacted by modern civilization.
The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants. There is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. The Sentinelese language remains unclassified and is not mutually intelligible with the Jarawa language of their nearest neighbors.

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The precise population of the Sentinelese is not known. Estimates range from fewer than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. In 2001, Census of India officials recorded 39 individuals (21 males and 18 females); however, out of necessity this survey was conducted from a distance and almost certainly does not represent an accurate figure for the population who range over the 59.67 km2 (14,700 acres) island. The 2011 Census of India recorded only 15 individuals (12 males and three females). Any medium- or long-term effect on the Sentinelese population arising from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami is not known, other than the confirmation obtained that they had survived the immediate aftermath.
On previous visits, groups of some 20–40 individuals were encountered regularly. Habitations of 40–60 individuals were found on two occasions. As some individuals are thoughtto be hiding, a more precise approximation of group size cannot be determined. This would suggest that some two to six groups occupy the island. The rule of thumb population density of 1.5 km2 (370 acres)/individuals in comparable hunter–gatherer societies indicates that one such group could live off the land alone. A significant amount of food is derived from the sea. It seems that, at any one time, the groups that were encountered could only have come from a rather small part of the island, and that about half of the couples had dependent children or included pregnant women. There appeared to be slightly more males than females.

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The Sentinelese and other indigenous Andamanese peoples are frequently described as negritos, a term which has been applied to various widely separated peoples in Southeast Asia, such as the Semang of the Malay Peninsula, the Aeta of the Philippines archipelago, as well as to other peoples in Australia including former populations of Tasmania.[citation needed] The defining characteristics of these “negrito” peoples (who are not a monophyletic group) include a comparatively short stature, dark skin, and afro-textured hair.
Although no close contacts have been established, author Heinrich Harrer described one man as being 1.6 metres (5 ft 3 in) tall and apparently left handed.

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Negrito people of the Andaman Islands

Most of what is known about Sentinelese material culture is based on observations during contact attempts in the late 20th century. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society, obtaining their subsistence through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of any agricultural practices.
Their dwellings are either shelter-type huts with no side walls and a floor sometimes laid out with palms and leaves, which provide enough space for a family of three or four and their belongings, or larger communal dwellings which may be some 12 square metres (130 sq ft) and are more elaborately constructed, with raised floors and partitioned family quarters.
Advanced metalwork is unknown, as raw materials on the island are extremely rare. It has been observed, however, that they have made adroit use of metal objects which have washed up or been left behind on their shores, having some ability at cold smithing and sharpening iron and incorporating it into weapons and other items. For example, in the late 1980s two international container ships ran aground on the island’s external coral reefs; the Sentinelese retrieved several items of iron from the vessels.

Their weaponry consists of javelins and a type of flatbow. At least three varieties of arrows, apparently for fishing and hunting, and untipped ones for shooting warning shots, have been documented. Fishing arrows have a number of forward-pointing prongs; hunting arrows have ovoid arrowheads, the latter two as well as their associated barbs below the tip made from iron. The arrows are over 1 m (3 ft) long. The harpoon- or javelin-type arrows are nearly half as long again, about the same length as the bows (over 3 m (10 ft)), and can also be thrown or used for stabbing, but the latter probably only rarely.
For catching large fish, a harpoon is used which is similar in design to the fishing arrows, but nearly 2.5 m (8 ft) long. Knives are also known, but it is unclear to what extent the Sentinelese fashion them themselves.
Known tools include adzes, pounding and smithing stones, and various finely or coarsely woven baskets for small-grained or larger goods, as well as bamboo and wooden containers. Fires are maintained as embers inside dwellings, possibly assisted by resin torches. There exist fishing nets and basic outrigger canoes used for fishing and collecting shellfish from the lagoon but not for open-sea excursions.
Food consists primarily of plants gathered in the forest, coconuts, which are frequently found on the beaches as flotsam, pigs, and, presumably, other wildlife (which apart from sea turtles is limited to some smaller birds and invertebrates). Wild honey is known to be collected and the Sentinelese use a kind of rake to pull down branches to gather fruit or nuts, such as sapodilla and pandanus.

Rare photo Sentinelese on the beach

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Incidents of contact

In January 1880, an armed British expedition to the island led by 20-year-old Maurice Vidal Portman, the local colonial administrator, arrived to conduct a survey of the island, and to take a prisoner, in accordance with British policy regarding unwelcoming tribes at the time, which was to kidnap a member of the tribe, treat them well and give them gifts, and release them back to the tribe, hoping to demonstrate friendliness. Portman’s expedition of the island is believed to be the first by outsiders. While the Sentinelese tended to disappear into the jungle whenever outsiders were spotted approaching, Portman’s expedition found an elderly couple and four children after several days. They were taken prisoner and brought to Port Blair. The elderly couple became ill and died, probably from contracting diseases to which they did not have immunity. The four children were returned to the island, given gifts, and released. The children then disappeared into the jungle. After this incident, the British did not try to contact the Sentinelese again and instead focused on other tribes.
In 1967, the Indian government began a series of “Contact Expeditions” to the island. The programme was managed by the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. The first expedition, headed by Pandit, included armed police and naval officers. The Sentinelese retreated into the jungle, and the expedition failed to make contact with any of them. During these expeditions, an Indian Navy vessel would anchor outside the coral reefs and send small boats to approach the beaches, and while keeping a distance, the crew would drop various gifts into the water to wash up on shore. If the Sentinelese fled for the jungle, the parties might land on shore and drop off the gifts before leaving.
On 29 March 1970, a research party of Indian anthropologists, which included Pandit, found themselves cornered on the reef flats between North Sentinel and Constance Island. An eyewitness recorded the following from his vantage point on a boat lying off the beach:
Quite a few discarded their weapons and gestured to us to throw the fish. The women came out of the shade to watch our antics… A few men came and picked up the fish. They appeared to be gratified, but there did not seem to be much softening to their hostile attitude… They all began shouting some incomprehensible words. We shouted back and gestured to indicate that we wanted to be friends. The tension did not ease. At this moment, a strange thing happened — a woman paired off with a warrior and sat on the sand in a passionate embrace. This act was being repeated by other women, each claiming a warrior for herself, a sort of community mating, as it were. Thus did the militant group diminish. This continued for quite some time and when the tempo of this frenzied dance of desire abated, the couples retired into the shade of the jungle. However, some warriors were still on guard. We got close to the shore and threw some more fish which were immediately retrieved by a few youngsters. It was well past noon and we headed back to the ship…

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In the spring of 1974, a National Geographic film crew came to the island, in what was one of the most unsuccessful expeditions made on the island. North Sentinel was visited by a team of anthropologists filming a documentary, Man in Search of Man. The team was accompanied by armed police officers and a National Geographic photographer. When the motorized boat broke through the barrier reefs, locals emerged from the jungle. The Sentinelese responded with a curtain of arrows. The boat landed at a point on the coast out of range of the arrows and the police (dressed in jackets with padded armour) landed and left gifts in the sand: a miniature plastic car, some coconuts, a live pig tied, a doll, and aluminium cookware. The policemen returned to the boat and waited to see the locals’ reaction to the gifts. The reaction was to launch another round of arrows, one of which struck the documentary’s director in the left thigh. The man who wounded the director withdrew and laughed proudly, sitting in the shade while others speared, then buried, the pig and the doll. Afterwards, everyone left, taking with them only the coconuts and aluminium cookware.
In the early 1990s, the Sentinelese began allowing the boats to come closer to the shore, and sometimes greeted them unarmed. However, after a few minutes, the Sentinelese would warn them off by making menacing gestures and firing arrows without arrowheads. In 1996, the Indian government ended the “Contact Expeditions” following a series of hostile encounters resulting in several deaths in a similar programme practised with the Jarawa people of South and Middle Andaman Islands and because of the danger of introducing diseases.
The Sentinelese appear to have emerged relatively unscathed from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, apparently managing to reach high ground. Three days following the tsunami, an Indian naval helicopter was sent to check on them and drop food on the beach. It was warned away by a Sentinelese warrior who emerged from the jungle and brandished a bow and arrow.
In 2006, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who were fishing illegally for mud crabs within range of the island. Their boat’s improvised anchor failed to prevent it from being carried away by currents while they were asleep. The boat drifted into the shallows of the island, where they were killed. An Indian Coast Guard helicopter that was sent to retrieve the bodies was driven off by Sentinelese warriors, who fired a volley of arrows.
There were two documented occasions when Onge individuals were taken to North Sentinel Island in order to attempt communication resulting in brief and hostile exchanges, during which they were unable to recognise any of the language spoken by the inhabitants.Their island is legally a part of, and administered by, the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In practice, however, the Sentinelese exercise complete autonomy over their affairs and the involvement of the Indian authorities is restricted to occasional monitoring, even more infrequent and brief visits, and generally discouraging any access or approaches to the island. The possibility of future contact, whether violent or non-violent (armed or unarmed) has been discussed by various organisations and nations.

Jackson Brown – Stay – Live

I always liked the way two other singers join in and belt it out during this song.

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 17 million albums in the United States alone.

Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded several notable songs throughout his career including “These Days”, “The Pretender”, “Running On Empty”, “Lawyers in Love”, “Doctor My Eyes”, “Take It Easy”, “For a Rocker”, and “Somebody’s Baby”. In 2004, he was both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

Saturn’s Moon Resembles the ‘Death Star’

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A new image from NASA’s Cassini probe is raising eyebrows among sci fi fans for its eerie resemblance to the infamous Death Star from the Star Wars films.

The unsettling celestial body, dubbed ‘Tethys,’ is one of Saturn’s icy moons and measures about 660 miles across.

With its enormous crater positioned in just the right spot when photographed by the spacecraft, the moon looks remarkably similar to the monstrous weapon at the center of the epic space opera.

While it is almost certainly not a fabricated space ship designed to destroy planets and wreak havoc across the universe, who knows what creatures could lurk in the deep deep depths of the moon?

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Popsci.com

The Nuclear Bunker Where America Preserves Its Audio-Visual Heritage

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The Library of Congress has over 160 million items in its collection, including 23 million books, and more than 1.1 million films, and television programs ranging from motion pictures made in the 1890s to today’s TV programs. It has the original camera negatives of 1903’s The Great Train Robbery and Victor Fleming’s Gone With The Wind. It even has all the sequels of Scary Movie and modern hit TV shows such as Judge Judy. The library also holds nearly 3.5 million audio recordings of public radio broadcasts and music, representing over a hundred years of sound recording history. It has films and audio on nearly all formats, from cylinders to magnetic tapes to CDs. It’s the Noah’s Ark of the creative history of the United States.

Most of the library’s audio and video collections are stored in a Cold War bunker at the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains in Culpeper, Virginia. Known as the Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, it is the Library of Congress’s latest audiovisual archive storage facility.

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The Packard Campus was originally built in 1969 as a high-security storage facility where the Federal Reserve Board stored $3 billion in cash, so that it could replenish the cash supply east of the Mississippi River in the event of a catastrophic war with the Soviet Union. Like most nuclear bunkers built during the Cold War period, the radiation-hardened Packard Campus was constructed of steel-reinforced concrete one foot thick, had lead-lined shutters and was surrounded dirt strips and barbed-wire fences. The bunker could also house up to 540 people for a month. It had beds and freeze-dried food, an incinerator, indoor pistol range, a helicopter landing pad and a cold-storage area for bodies awaiting burial in case radiation levels were too high to go outside.

After the Cold War ended, the bunker was decommissioned and sat abandoned for four years before it was purchased by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation on behalf of the Library of Congress. Nearly $240 million was spent transforming the bunker into a state-of-the-art storage facility with more than 90 miles of shelving for collections storage, 35 climate controlled vaults for sound recording, safety film, and videotape, and 124 nitrate film vaults.

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The facility also housed the Culpeper Switch, which was the central switching station of the Federal Reserve’s Fedwire electronic funds transfer system, which at the time connected only the Fed’s member banks. The Culpeper Switch also served as a data backup point for member banks east of the Mississippi River.

In 1988, all money was removed from Mount Pony. The Culpeper Switch ceased operation in 1992, its functions having been decentralized to three smaller sites. In addition, its status as continuity of government site was removed. The facility was poorly maintained by a skeleton staff until 1997 when the bunker was offered for sale. With the approval of the United States Congress, it was purchased by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond via a $5.5 million grant, done on behalf of the Library of Congress. With a further $150 million from the Packard Humanities Institute and $82.1 million from Congress, the facility was transformed into the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, which opened in mid-2007. The center offered, for the first time, a single site to store all 6.3 million pieces of the library’s movie, television, and sound collection.

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The Packard Campus was designed to be a green building, being situated mostly underground and topped with sod roofs. It was designed to have minimal visual impact on the Virginia countryside by blending into the existing landscape. From the northwest, only a semi-circular terraced arcade appears in the hill to allow natural light into the administrative and work areas. Additionally, the site also included the largest private sector re-forestation effort on the Eastern Seaboard, amassing over 9,000 tree saplings and nearly 200,000 other plantings.

The campus also contains a 206-seat theater capable of projecting both film and modern digital cinema and which features a digital organ that rises from under the stage to accompany silent film screenings. The Packard Campus currently holds semi-weekly screenings of films of cultural significance in its reproduction Art Deco theater.

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Countries with the largest railway networks

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RankCountryRailway length
(km)
Date of
information
NotesElectrified length
(km)
Historic peak length
(km)
Area (km2) per km trackPopulation per km trackNationalized or Private
1 United States250,0002014 <1,600409,00043.711,373Private
2 China121,0002015 65,000Present length79.3111,218Nationalized
3 India1150002016 27,99948.3417,796Nationalized
4 Russia86,0002013 “Commercial operational length”(50,000)
not verified
198.821,669Nationalized
5 Canada46,5522008 129214.48716Private
6 Germany43,4682010 19,97358,2978.221,881Nationalized
7 Australia38,4452008 2,715199.94572Both
8 Argentina36,9662008 13647,00077.451117Nationalized
9 South Africa31,0002014not verified24,80039.391,742Nationalized
10 France29,6402008 15,14021.532201Nationalized
11 Brazil29,303(2012)1,520285.576397Private
12 Japan27,1822009 16,70216.105451Both
13 Italy24,179(2007)16,68312.462507Both
14 Ukraine22,300(2010)9,75227.072048Nationalized
15 Romania22,298(2008)3,97110.69854Both
16 Poland19,627(2008)17,358about 24000 before 198915.931946Nationalized
17 United Kingdom17,732(2008)5,32834,000 (before Beeching axe)15.003825Both (Franchised)
18 Mexico17,1662008 22114.436,697Private
19 Spain15,947(2012) 9,62333.553062Nationalized
20 Kazakhstan15,372(2010) 4,000180.711,171Nationalized
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