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  • Rick Osmon
    Hello Loopers! In this issue: This Week s Show: Hugh Fox Op/Ed: Tools of the trade Other news: First in North America Events: Send your organization s events
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2008
      Hello Loopers!
      In this issue:
      This Week's Show Hugh Fox
      Op/Ed: Tools of the trade
      EventsSend your organization's events to  oz@...
      Last week's show:  The Short Month
      Hugh Fox, author, researcher, scholar, identified clear evidence of Phoenician influence in tribes in Mexico, Peru, and Chile. He drew together evidence from Santiago Chile to Paris. He'll tell us about it and take questions.
      Please tune in this Thursday at 9 PM Eastern
      Op/EdTools of the Trade
      My words and how I choose them, string them together, punctuate them, pace them, or eat them, these are my tools. Well, these are my main tools. The internet and all it offers, for good or ill, is also an important toolbox. What I see as the most important tool in that particular toolbox is the vast network of diligent researchers who are willing to share their methods, data, and conclusion with the world. I don't always agree with them, but I am always willing to spend the time to read what they have to say. Sometimes, I would like to share with them another important tool in that box called a "spellchecker", but that doesn't, for me at least, detract from the importance of their work. These folks are the heart of the diffusion "community" and they deserve accolades for their work, ingenuity, and courage. Even when they are wrong, they should be commended for trying. When they are right, the results are even more unacceptable to some folks, mostly in the academic world, than when they are not completely correct in the conclusions drawn or methods used. The data almost always speaks for itself. I say "almost" because the ability to interpret data also plays an important role. Data that can be easily misinterpreted by a lay researcher might include ground penetrating radar, magnetometer, photographs, topographical forms and geo-location, linguistic forms, and skeletal evidence to name a few. Some tasks truly are best left to the specialists. Without ever having touched one before, I'm confident I could operate a ground penetrating radar set and acquire data with it, but interpreting that data with any level of proficiency is another matter altogether.
      A solid background in the "hard sciences", physics, chemistry, math, astronomy, etc., is one of the major enabling factors in validating data is this general area of study, at least with certain types of data. Those backgrounds mean little when working in linguistics, for example. But having a grasp of those "core" sciences is a major contributor to being skilled at interpreting data in general. I'm weak on that linguistics thing, but I'm fairly adept at the more technical data in general and  I am expert or on the verge of expertness in some specific areas. However, if I were in a position of interpreting data for publication, whether on the internet for other diffusionists or for some formal review by academia, and even within my areas of expertise, I would recruit other folks with requisite expertise to also interpret the data, just to add a level of validation and credibility. This is not only a good practice, it is an important part of scientific method. And without practicing scientific method, we will never have the ear of academia, whether our conclusions are correct or not.
      The conclusions (called synthesis in educational terms) is more than just repeating the results of the data reduction and validation phase, it is also providing predictions of future events or findings based on the outcome of the present work. Even academia and formal education lose sight of this on occasion. Some, particularly in the particle physics, climatology, and cosmology arenas, take it to an extreme well beyond what the data actually indicates and the result is sometimes wild claims that can neither be validated not debunked. I don't want that for this community. Conclusions should be reserved but assertive, self-contained, but open for constructive influence, self-consistent, but acknowledge variables and contradictory findings.
      These are the tools of the trade for diffusion research.
      This section is for you, the audience. You are welcome to contribute to it either as a letter to the editor or an editorial. Submit your "stuff" to
      We've had an incredibly prolonged period of wet weather here at Possum Holler. The studio is flooded, but the show WILL go on, even if I have to wear waders.
      Your host's travel schedule for the year has become quite crowded. Norway, Nova Scotia, Quebec, other parts of Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan,  New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, and Ohio are on the itenery for one purpose or another. Iin addition to the credit card, both the motorhome and the ol' pickup truck will get real workouts this year, while the party boat will get some rest.
      Other news: 

      Pint-sized primates were first in North America. Leaping, furry mini-monkeys that were as small as mice crossed the Bering land bridge long before humans, representing North America's oldest known primates.

      Prehistoric stone circle unearthed in India - 2 days ago An ancient human burial site, estimated to be 3,000 years old, was unearthed at Drugdhamna on Nagpur-Amravati road by the department of ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology, Rashtrasant Tuk... Heaney claims motorway near Tara desecrates sacred landscape - 2 days ago Poet and Nobel laureate Séamus Heaney has described the M3 motorway as a ruthless desecration of the sacred landscape around the Hill of Tara, in a BBC documentary broadcast last... Ancient toy or whistle found in Cyprus - 2 days ago A small masterpiece of coroplastic Early Bronze Age Cyprus (3500- 2000 BCE), believed to be a water whistle or a toy, was found during the excavations at Pyrgos/Mavrorachi, in... Drill near London to find evidence of ancient occupation - 2 days ago Archaeologists from Durham University will be returning to a London borough site (England) where a 19th century historian once found flint tools and animal bones. This time, however, the latest... Power works avoid Scottish prehistoric site - 2 days ago

       Did the Chinese beat Columbus to America?

      A Speck of Sunlight Is a Town’s Yearly Alarm Clock

      Events: Send your organization's events to  oz@...
      Last week's show:  The Short Month
      How February got robbed! The Gregorian calendar is but the latest version of man's attempt to quantify and predict the passage of time.
      Site of the week www.grailseekers.com
      Oopa Loopa Cafe merchandise Tell the world you're a Looper!!
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      Thanks for listening
      Your host
      Rick Osmon, aka Oz
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