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Peat bogs, which cover 3% of the world’s land surface, are special places. While historically often considered as worthless morasses, today they are recognised as beautiful habitats providing environmental benefits from biodiversity to climate regulation. However, they are threatened by drainage, land reclamation for agriculture, and peat cutting for fuel, which has significantly reduced the extent and condition of these ecosystems on a global scale. Bogs are fragile and sensitive to change, whether by human hands or by processes such as climate change. A less well known aspect of bogs is their remarkable archaeological potential. In their undisturbed state at least, bogs are anoxic (oxygen-free) environments due to their saturation. These conditions are hostile to the microbes and fungi that would normally decay organic material such as the remains of plants, which are the principal constituents of the peat. The same anoxic conditions also offer protection from decay for organic archaeological remains. The vast majority of objects and structures used by our ancestors were made from organic materials (in particular wood). These are normally lost on dryland archaeological sites but can be preserved in peatlands. The saturated conditions mean that even soft tissue can survive, including both skin and internal organs. Probably the best known archaeological finds are the remains of “bog bodies” such as the famous prehistoric Tollund Man in Denmark, Lindow Man in the U.K., or the more recent Irish discoveries of Clonycavan Man, Old Croghan Man and Ireland’s oldest known bog body, Cashel Man, dated to the Bronze Age.

Excavating a trackway on Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire. © Henry Chapman

Seeing hidden landscapes

But archaeology is only part of the story these environments have to tell. They are important archives of the past in other ways: the layers of moss and other vegetation that make up peat are themselves immensely valuable as archives of past environments (palaeoenvironments). The manner in which peat accumulates means that the deposits have stratigraphic integrity, meaning that contained within each layer can be found macroscopic and microscopic remains of plants and other organisms that shed light on landscape change and biodiversity on timescales ranging from centuries to millennia. The high organic content of peat means that these records can be dated using the radiocarbon method.

The best known such records are probably pollen grains which provide evidence of past vegetation change. But evidence from other organic material can be used to reconstruct other past environmental processes. For example, single-celled organisms called testate amoebae, preserved in sub-fossil form, are highly sensitive to peatland hydrology and have been extensively used in recent years to reconstruct a history of climatic changes. Meanwhile, fossil beetles can tell us how the biodiversity and nutrient status of a peatland has altered over time.

Fossil beetle remains associated with Old Croghan Man bog body, Ireland. © Nicki Whitehouse, Author provided

The potential of bogs to preserve both environmental and archaeological records means that they can be regarded as archives of “hidden landscapes”. The accumulating peat literally seals and protects evidence of human activity ranging from the macroscopic (in the form of archaeological sites, artefacts, and larger plant and animal remains) through to the microscopic (pollen, testate amoebae, and other remains) material that provides contextual evidence of environmental processes.

Through detailed integrated analyses these records can provide evidence of past human activity ranging from the everyday exploitation of economic resources of peatlands, through to the ceremonies associated with prehistoric human sacrifice and the deposition of the so-called bog bodies. The associated palaeoenvironmental record can be used to situate these cultural processes within long term patterns of environmental changes.

Taming the wild

There has been extensive study of the palaeoenvironmental record from bogs and notable archaeological excavations of sites and artefacts, but there have been relatively few concerted attempts to integrate these approaches. In part this is because generating sufficient data to model the development of a bog in four dimensions (the fourth being time) is a formidable research challenge. But some peatlands have seen relatively extensive archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research over the last few decades, providing an excellent starting point. Hatfield and Thorne Moors, situated primarily in South Yorkshire, are two such peatlands.

These two largest surviving areas of lowland bog in England are located within a wider lowland region known as the Humberhead Levels. After decades of industrial peat extraction, these bogs are now nature reserves managed by Natural England, and are becoming the “wild” bogs they once were. We are attempting to reconstruct the wildscape and bring the complex histories of this vast and dynamic boggy landscape to life.

Flora on Thorne Moors. © Peter Roworth, Author provided

These moors are just two surviving parts of a once rich mosaic of wetland landscapes. In the past, this landscape was famed for its wildness – a remnant of an extensive complex of mires, rivers, meres and extensive floodplain wetlands. Antiquarians such as John Leland visited the area in the 16th century, and his descriptions provide a “window onto what must have been a truly fabulous ‘everglades-like’ landscape”, as described by local historian Colin Howes.

Now largely drained, tamed, and converted to farmland, it’s hard to imagine the vast wetland landscapes that once characterized these areas. Following large-scale land reclamation in the 17th century, many of the traditional practices such as fishing, fowling, grazing and peat-cutting (turbary) rights were no longer available to commoners. Consequently, the connections between people and place became increasingly defined by a new, dryland landscape and disconnected from its former wetlands that were once so central to people’s lives.

Sphagnum moss on Thorne Moors. © Peter Roworth

We are investigating and reconstructing this dynamic and changing wildscape throughout its history, reconnecting communities to these wetland landscapes. Drawing together previous research alongside targeted archaeological fieldwork and palaeoenvironmental analyses, we are combining these with newly available digital data and sophisticated modelling techniques to reconstruct their interwoven landscape and human histories. Together, for the first time, we are beginning to see the complexity of the dynamic and changing landscape that once characterised the Humberhead Levels.

Henry Chapman is a Professor of Archaeology at University of Birmingham, Ben Gearey is a Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology at University College Cork, Jane Bunting is a Reader in Geography at University of Hull, Kimberley Davies is a Research Assistant on the Wildscape Project at Plymouth University, and Nicola Whitehouse is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Physical Geography at Plymouth University. This article was originally featured on The Conversation.

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Star Wars Just Brought Back Human Jabba, Again, Sort Of!

Star Wars just brought back human Jabba, again, sort of!

The latest canonical story action in the Star Wars universe comes courtesy of the Star Wars comic book series from Marvel Comics. In the latest issue (Star Wars #16, 2023, Marvel), we see the very familiar face of a character we only recognize because we’ve seen a scene cut from the original Star Wars movie. Filmed for Star Wars (now called A New Hope), a scene showed Han Solo meet up with a very human version of Jabba the Hutt.

Originally filmed for the first-ever Star Wars movie, a scene featured Harrison Ford and his first meeting with Jabba the Hutt, as played by Declan Mulholland. Below you’ll see a well-constructed 3-up video showing the first version of the scene as well as the subsequent edits (including the last version that remains in the “final” cut of the movie today).

This original human Jabba wasn’t exactly what George Lucas had originally planned on using. Depending on who you ask, this scene was filmed as a placeholder for special effects that’d be added later – stop-motion, or something else that hadn’t yet been invented for creators with imaginations as wild as Lucas. This scene didn’t make the cut for the original version of the movie – it was only later brought back once the technology could meet the task.

The human version of Jabba has a fairly distinctive look. Not nearly so distinctive as Jabba turned out to be, of course – but still. He had potential! What very much appears to be the same character as portrayed by Mulholland appeared in a Star Wars comic here in the year 2023.

As discovered by Gizmodo this week, here in the comic Star Wars #16 (2024), we see the same face we saw back in the cut scene from A New Hope (1977). This comic strip shows a character that’s the same size and shape as the original filmed representation of Jabba, complete with the fur coat, brown hair, and white sideburns.

This character is effectively destroyed in quick order, complete with what might be construed as a cheeky jab at the persistence of the original Jabba footage, or the Mulholland personification of Jabba in general.

It might be possible that this newest character shown in the Star wars Marvel comic book from 2023 is none other than the character Heater. Much like a Mall Santa, the story of Heater appears to be one of a “stand-in” for Jabba.

Heater is, or was, the first way in which the Mulholland character was fit back into the Star Wars universe – with a different name. The original footage of Mulholland was eventually fit with graphics matching George Lucas’s vision for the project, but not before the visual representation of human Jabba was changed to one of “Heater.” Heater can be heard in the original Star Wars radio drama as voiced by Joel Brooks in a scene that’s essentially the same as we see in the original Jabba footage.

Subsequently, Heater is shown in “Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters” published in 1995, then in writing in Tales from Jabba’s Palace. He also appeared in Topps trading cards with an illustration that’s very clearly using the original Jabba footage as its source material, as the Heater from the radio drama. This card is part of the 2013 Topps Star Wars Illustrated A New Hope set.

It’s possible, but not entirely likely that this Heater is the same person as we see in the new 2023 Star Wars comic. If we believe there is a Sacred Timeline of canonical facts that make up the Star Wars universe as it stands today, Heater would still (most likely) be part of Jabba’s crew at the point at which this new Star Wars comic is set – between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

BONUS NOTE: “Jabba” appeared in the original Star Wars comic series (also from Marvel) looking a lot more like a slim stock alien from the Mos Eisley Cantina than he does a Hutt. His look is effectively usurped by that of Mosep Binneed, a Nimbanel alien that appeared in both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi – with a retconned storyline as Jabba’s accountant!

Top Tech Women Who Turned The History Of Technology

Tech Women in  the world

While girls are a minority in technology, they have made some huge innovation in tech! Listed below are a number of female tech legend.

The internet is filled with”top Five girls in technology” lists to inform us all about these wonderful girls who have managed to develop into top-tier tech specialists, CEOs and successful entrepreneurs from the area of technology now. However, women did not simply begin changing the area of technology lately — they always did so before as far as their masculine counterparts. Our current past is filled with amazing female characters who invented revolutionary creations and forever altered human history using their spectacular thoughts. Let us have a peek at these authentic female winners of this world of nerds.

Ada Lovelace (1815–1852)

I bet lots of you do not understand the very first computer developer ever was a girl, which she talented humankind with this discovery from 1843 — a entire century before the creation of the very first IBM computer! Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — just called Ada Lovelace — is widely considered the”mother of their pc” because of her ability to use creativity to”catch things in common, involving issues without clear connection” Though she didn’t create the Analytical Engine (the system’s daddy was, really, the famous mathematician Charles Babbage), she had the virtue to comprehend its software outside pure calculation, also invent a speech for its own operation.

“A brand new, a huge, along with a strong language is designed for the future usage of investigation, to wield its truths so that these can become of more fast and precise practical program for the aims of humankind than the ways hitherto in our ownership have left possible.” (To get more information, visit Ada Lovelace, Enchantress of Numbers.)

Grace Hopper (1906–1992)

Aptly named”Amazing Grace,” Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was among the incredible people for whom attaining the greatest peaks in 1 livelihood is not enough. In reality, she was a brilliant computer programmer who developed the first computer compiler along with the very first computer programming language, along with a Navy Rear Admiral in precisely the exact same time (the first woman to achieve this position ). And she retired because, you understand, the world needed her after her profession was (seemingly ) over!

Apart from being amazing on so many levels, Rear Admiral Dr. Hopper established the first software which translates arithmetic into speech, and has been the architect of COBOL, the significant language used now in data processing.

Anita Borg (1949–2003)

Seven Decades after she founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and in 1997 that the Institute for Women and Technology. Her efforts earned her the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award in 1995, and in 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Presidential Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Tech.

Joan Ball (1934–68) Patricia Bath (1942– 90)

These days, the planet”resilience” has come to be a symbol of the women’s battle against discrimination and disparity. The very first name that comes in my head once I think about”resilience” is Patricia Bath. The first African American female physician to get a patent for a medical creation, Toilet was the daughter of an immigrant from Trinidad and a female descended from African Americans and Cherokee Native Americans.

Despite growing up surrounded by sexism, poverty and racism that distinguished Harlem back into the’50s and’60s, Patricia was smart and decided she graduated from high school in only two decades. Her whole career was simply amazing, and in 1983 she had been the first woman from the United States to be appointed chair of ophthalmology. After finding that blindness among African Americans was twice that among the rest of the sufferers, she devised the LaserPhaco Probe, a machine that’s still used globally to remove cataracts using a laser and restore sight to numerous sufferers.

Conclusion

Writing about all of the girls who have formed the area of technology would demand a multi-volume encyclopedia. However, what really matters is that now, the planet is filled with just as many hi-tech girls that are performing their job as their male counterparts. May they live long and prosper!

Staying Human In A Digital World

Ideas to humanise your online communications

As we all now become digital natives, it makes you step back and think and ultimately realise that those who follow us, will be born into a purely digital society, where eBooks and augmented reality will have gone from exotic to everyday.

Thinking about what this means in the future is intriguing, but it’s equally interesting right here and now in 2013. Technology, software and the devices we use, have of course shaped our social and human behavior on a number of levels, from shopping, to leisure, to business. Lives are lived online, and the opportunity to have a live feed into the minds of those you care about is becoming a clearer reality. People are more willing to share and consume horizontally through their social networks, rather than vertically. The organic spread of ideas, relationships, and trade can now be observed and measured on scales of unprecedented detail.

Amongst all the positive aspects of instant global communication, accessibility of information, improved efficiency and the potential for learning, it is clear that there are negative “de-humanisning” aspects of the Digital World now and this will likely continue in the future. People see less of other people, there can be a lazy attitude inherited as a result.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. I want to highlight how in the context of business to consumer communication practices, organisations can act, appear and deliver more human aspects of behaviour both through, and alongside their digital communications, to complement each other.

Humanising

 Online Business Communications

Show the people within the business on their website people pages and social channels, e.g. LinkedIn profile page and Facebook

Personalise their twitter with a unique or range of staff administrators assigned to social media, giving a personal tone to the messages and responses given

Ensure sales and support emails are from staff addresses and use appropriate signatures to show real people behind the customer service aspect and gain trust

Deliver video and audio content including staff and to connect with the audience on real terms and improve brand personality.

Personalise marketing emails both through whom it is addresses but also based on preferences.

In the case of Twitter, a number of companies place images of their help team  on their

background image to show people what they look like. It’s a small move, but is effective in showing that there are people there who are going to engage with you, regardless of the query.

A high street retailer that also has an “inevitable” online presence can also humanise their consumer’s digital experience and simultaneously complementing the real in store experience by:

Promoting specific exclusive offers and promotions online, but only available in store to drive footfall and human interaction

Building knowledge of the online offering amongst staff to help deliver in – person sales and consumer loyalty

Use social media to help profile the products, local team(s) and staff to consumers

Have real staff actively engage with customers online through customer service and social media contexts

Ensure telephone numbers are clearly promoted online and personalised where possible to ensure more voice contact.

I think we all know the inevitability of an increased trend for more digital consumption and communication out of necessity, but this doesn’t mean we have to be any less human. It’s about balance. We must continue to act, sound and appear human even online and I hope that the norm isn’t that we get lazy and devalue personal contact by default over a more convenient digital equivalent or alternative.

How Starbucks humanise

I  often reference Starbucks as a stand out brand who seem to make all the right moves in terms of their digital brand strategy, and in context to humanisning their experience, they do the following very well indeed.

Promote a wide range of in cafe specific promotions online

They have a highly personal and responsive social media presence that is led by fans, not the brand.

Their global presence is strong, yet they have great local online content and activity

Starbucks rewards on mobile for in – cafe benefits

Humanising and socially engaging and accessible content.

A great example of this last point is in the “Join Us” section on the chúng tôi website. The content on this page helps paint a picture of an inclusive, social and people – centric brand built on community. This is what their product and experience stands for yet here it is simply using social media and technology as the delivery mechanism. This avoids many of the big mistakes many brands make, by adopting technology and digital platforms, yet they have no brand supporting or strengthening content strategies.

Related to this discussion from a social media perspective is a really good Q&A worth checking out with Nicholas Christakis from the TED series, entitled: “Our modern, connected lives.” It’s interesting as it raises many points around our influence and behaviour driven by our modern connected online social experiences. It’s a well-balanced series of responses to topics of friendship, social influence and even online dating from a real world vs digital perspective.

In Conclusion

One things is for sure, digital media has the potential to dehumanise our lives as we live our lives increasingly online, interacting with devices rather than people. We do know that as inevitable as this is, we can take positives from how it can help us connect with people instantly on a global scale. We can also be encouraged by the activities of brands delivering people centric and accessible digital content and engagement strategies, initiating and motivating regular real life personal and brand contact.

Standstand Review: A Beautiful, Easy

Are you a standing desk owner who wants to do more standing when working away from home or the office? Maybe you don’t own a standing desk but are looking for an affordable standing desk that can be used at home and away from home. No matter your needs, StandStand is a viable option that will deliver on style and functionality.

Whether you’re looking for a standing desk for your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, StandStand has you covered. In this review, though, we’re going to look at the most portable option available: the original StandStand.

Note: the company’s name is StandStand, and the model name of the portable standing desk in this review is also StandStand.

What Is StandStand?

StandStand is a very clever portable and lightweight standing desk that was “designed from the ground up with the user in mind.” When not in use StandStand looks like random pieces of wood, but once put together, it’s a strong, stable, and elegant surface for using a laptop, tablet, or anything else you’d like – at a comfortable standing level.

Not only is StandStand convenient, but it’s also ergonomic and sustainable. It’s made in the USA with sustainable birch and bamboo. Just as people come in different heights, so does StandStand. There are four different sizes to accommodate four height ranges:

The 9″ model is for those who are 5’5″ and under.

The 12″ model is for those who are 5’5″ to 5’11”.

The 14″ model is for those who are 5’11” to 6’2″.

The 16″ model is for those who are 6’2″ and over.

If you want to see StandStand in use, the below video will show you how cool you’ll look in public with your handy portable standing desk!

What’s in the Box

StandStand comes in three pieces that are neatly held together by the four pegs (two on each side) on the center piece. There is also a green velcro piece wrapped around all three handles to ensure that it doesn’t come apart while in transit.

You also get four extra “bumpons” (aka rubber feet) in case you lose one. They’re pretty small and come taped to the one-page instructional manual inside the box.

Putting It Together

StandStand is super-easy to put together and should take you no more than a minute. If it takes longer, then you’re overthinking it. In two steps it literally fits together like a puzzle. An illustration is also provided inside the box in case you are having a bit of trouble with it. (It’s OK, no judgment here.)

Step 1

The two smaller pieces interlock to make the base of the portable standing desk. You’ll need to unstack them, turn them on their side, and hold them so that the slots are facing away from you.

You’ll notice that one of the pieces has a thinner edge (where the slots are) compared to the other. This thinner side goes into and then slides down (or up depending on how you’re holding them) to connect with the piece with the thicker edge.

If this all seems confusing to you, StandStand has a short video showing you how it’s done.

Step 2

All that’s left is to sit the larger surface piece on top. As you can see in the picture above, there are two rectangular parts sticking up on top of the base. Likewise, the surface piece has two rectangular slots that fit snuggly with them.

On the bottom of the base, you’ll also notice that there are four bumpons/rubber feet to keep the portable standing desk from sliding around on any surface. They really do make a world of a difference.

Personal Experience

I found that StandStand is just as great for at-home use as it is for away-from-home use. You can easily use this on a dining room table or even a desk (depending on the height). It’s not that great with counters, though, since those are going to make it too high for comfort.

I am only 5’2″ so I received the 9″ model, and I must say, it’s the perfect height for me. I had no issue using StandStand on three different surface levels.

I don’t have a working laptop, but I do have a tablet that I use regularly. The case I use has a built-in stand, and it works great on StandStand. However, if I wanted to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to it, there’s no room for that with my current case. This is the only downside I see; I’d have to switch out my case and use a smaller stand in order to use a keyboard with it.

Wrapping Things Up

StandStand doesn’t just come in this minimalist bamboo model either. If you want to be able to use a mouse with your laptop, there’s the “Mouse” and “Mouse de luxe” models. There’s even a “Grand” model that you can use on a desktop; there’s enough room for a monitor and full keyboard.

As someone who works primarily on my computer, I try to stand as much as I can so I’m not just sitting all day long. StandStand makes it even easier to do that since I can move around the house with my tablet. Better yet, I can do so when I’m traveling or want to work away from home.

If you want to do more standing in your life no matter where you are, StandStand is the perfect portable standing desk for the job.

StandStand

Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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What Are The Benefits Of Mobile Banking?

Mobile banking is a type of direct banking service that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the Internet from a cell phone (feature phone). It can be accessed through the official menu of cell phones (service providers), which makes it easy to use various services from your cell phone.

Direct banking is a service that allows you to perform various operations, procedures, and consultations by phone or via the Internet, without having to visit a branch of a financial institution.

In general, to use mobile banking, you need to log in by entering your subscriber number (account number), password, etc. After successfully logging in, you will be taken to a “special page for each subscriber,” where you can use various services (you must apply for them).

These services include balance inquiries, statement requests for deposits and withdrawals, transfers, deposit transactions, mutual fund transactions, loan applications and repayments, cash card settings, changing customer information, and more (services depend on the financial institution and are not available on all phones). Smartphones are often included in online banking and can be used through a special smartphone screen or smartphone app.

Prospects for the development of mobile banks

Apps that solve traditional banking issues are no longer enough for customers. Insurance, investment products, ordering everyday items, and digital cards – these and more can make your app stand out from the rest.

Also read: No Plan? Sitting Ideal…No Problem! 50+ Cool Websites To Visit

How mobile banking works

In general, mobile banking requires a connection to the global network, less frequently, transactions are carried out via SMS command codes. Transactions can be accessed through separate phone notifications or special mobile applications. Also, in some cases, an Internet browser is required.

Modern banking institutions even have their mobile service applications. They are developed for various mobile platforms: Android, Windows Phone, IOS, etc. Mobile banking applications for smartphones are essentially a simplified version of Internet banking.

You can sign up for this service at any branch of your bank. Often, mobile banking is part of the “free” package for your card account.

Benefits of mobile banking:

Also read: 11 best ways to Improve Personal Development and Self-Growth and its Benefit on our Life

The biggest plus of such a service: saving the client’s time.

You can carry out transactions at any time convenient for you 24 hours a day. All you need for this is a mobile device, and nowadays almost all of us use our phones every day.

Accessibility

Everyone has a mobile phone, we have already talked about this. Mobile phone networks are present even in the most remote corners of Russia and the world. This means that a person can use the mobile bank in any environment, wherever he or she is, and at any time of the day or night.

Saving money

Also read: Best 10 Email Marketing Tools in 2023

The more you know, the better you sleep

Customers use mobile banks also for the reason that they can always monitor the movement of funds in their accounts, keep track of their safety and use information services. On the one hand, it is much easier to make banking transactions with a mobile phone, on the other hand, not a single penny is lost from your account without you knowing where it went and for what reason.

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