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Veverka's Blog for Heritage Interpreters
October 3rd, 2023

Today - CA drought affects dams and reservoirs


Free Climate Interpretation Resource Issues

These are timely past interpretive resourse issues.  If you want a copy (sent as a PFD)
just send me an e-mail:

                   Extreme climate change(Killer Heat - Global Flooding Issues)

Visit my new Climate Crisis/interpretation Resource Center:


3 October 2023 Hi and welcome to my first October 2023 blog. I had a lot going on for the summer of 2023- new courses and working on new textbooks. My new book and course: Heritage Economics: A Guide for Interpreters, Planners, Site Managers, and Educators has been published and out/available from MuseumsETC. I also have a new course on Economics for Heritage Interpreters now too.  Here's the link for the course details.  

Check out my new MUFON page:
I 'm training to become a formal UFO Investigator
in Michigan.  

Visit the website page for more details.


InterpNEWS New Updates

Thanks to a nice grant to cover my new computer and computer publishing programs,  all issues of InterpNEWS will be sent out FREE again.

Our May/June Issue - Secrets of the Deep is still available. Our issue interpreting mummies -stories from the afterlife -  for July/August 2023 is still available, as is the September/October issue.



InterpNEWS – May-June 2023 The Deep Blue Seas now available.

In this issue                  

-10 bizarre deep sea creatures found in 2022 - By Harry Baker    
- In photos: Spooky deep-sea creatures - By Remy Melina        
-Illuminating the facts of deep-sea bioluminescence       
-12 of the weirdest deep-sea creatures that lurk in the oceans' depths -Dr Jon Copley  
-Mysteries of the deep sea: 5 burning questions about Earth's final frontier- Helen Scales  
- Is deep-sea mining a cure for the climate crisis or a curse? by Robin McKie   
-What Organisms Live In The Mariana Trench?       
- In the ocean’s twilight zone, a fish that could feed the world – or destroy it. Helen Scales
-Trash in Marianas Trench: the World’s Deepest Garbage Destination - iBan Plastic Team
- Plastic proliferates at the bottom of world's deepest ocean trench – Sarah Gibbens  
- Life In The Extreme – Hydrothermal Vents        
- Giant Squid – Smithsonian          
-5 Surprising Facts About the Oarfish That Has Been Washing Up on Beaches –
-These women unlocked the mysteries of the deep sea. Nina Strochlic    
-Rolling in the Deep: Climate Change and Deep Sea Ecosystems. Katherine Beem   
-Research: the deep sea is slowly warming. NOAA-led research.     
-Researchers Find Massive Rare Sponge Mounds Hiding in the Deep Sea. NOAA   
-Chambered Nautilus. NOAA  


July/August 2023 InterpNEWS Issue.
Mummies - stories from the afterlife.

In this very special issue interpreting mummies:   stories from the afterlife.              

-Mummies in Ancient Egypt and the Process of Mummification – History   
-Mummification: The lost art of embalming the dead - Tom Garlinghouse
-Ötzi the Iceman: The famous frozen mummy - Tom Garlinghouse, Jessica Leggett  
-What Did Tollund Man, Eat Before He Died? N.McGreevy      
-The Ill-fated Elling Woman: An Iron Age Sacrifice to Appease the Gods? Ancient Origins
-The Chilling Mystery Of The Yde Girl, The World’s Most Infamous Bog Mummy
Marco Margaritoff | Edited By Erik Hawkins       
-"Frankenstein" Bog Mummies Discovered in Scotland. Rachel Kaufman    
-Peruvian Mummies           
-1,000-year-old mummy discovered in Peru – The Tribune      
-Mummy of ‘elite Inca man’ who died in Peru 600 years ago is unwrapped by experts.
Charlotte Edwards           
-Hundreds of Ancient Mummies Discovered at Ceremonial Site in Peru. April Holloway  
-Egyptian Mummies: Preserving the Body for the Afterlife. Angel Damian    
-Under wraps: X-rays reveal 1,900-year-old mummy’s secrets.  Andre Salles    
-The Mummified Animals of Ancient Egypt        
-Scientists ‘Digitally Unwrap’ Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies. Claire Bugos  
-The Modern Mummies of Papua New Guinea. Daniel Stone     
-Mummies and the Usefulness of Death. Mariel Carr       
-Anubis –God of the dead. Evan Meehan        
-Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth 2,500-Year-Old Mummified Crocodiles. Meilan Solly  
-Mummified ‘golden boy’ found covered in 49 precious amulets. Ashley Strickland,


Updated two climate courses for Sep/Oct 2023.  Start a course anytime - complete the course at your own pace with live online support via zoom or skype.

Climate change summer surprises - Nov/Dec 2023 InterpNEWS Issue
"What Happened to Winter"?

1. Interpreting the Climate Crisis - 2023 (Updated course)

2. Interpretive Planning for Programs, Exhibits, Panels and Related Services To Help You to Interpret Climate Change and Global Warming Issues to Your Audiences, Communities and Regions.

13 Units, 4 CEU's $250.00. Our Climate Change special resource issues will be included.
Interpretive Planning for Climate Change (

Visit my new Climate Crisis/interpretation Resource Center:


New October Interpretive Stories to Share

Mysterious and 'beautifully carved' life-size camel carvings
discovered in Saudi Arabian desert

By Jennifer Nalewicki published 3 days ago

Life-size carvings of camels have been found in the Saudi Arabian desert,
but archaeologists aren't sure who created them and when.

The mysterious camel carvings in the Saudi Arabian desert were likely created thousands of years ago. Virtual white lines are drawn over the carvings to enhance them for viewers. (Image credit: Maria Guagnin, et al)

Archaeologists have documented a cluster of carvings depicting camels on a rock outcropping near the southern edge of Saudi Arabia's Nafud desert.

The monumental artwork portrays a dozen life-size wild camels, a now-extinct species that once roamed this swath of the Arabian Peninsula desert thousands of years ago but has never received a scientific name, according to a study published in the December issue of the journal Archaeological Research in Asia.

While the site, named Sahout, had been recognized by other archaeologists for some time, this is the first time someone noticed the camel carvings on the outcropping.

"We learned about the site from another paper — but the panel was difficult to find because its location wasn't precise, and this isn't an easy landscape [to navigate]," study lead author Maria Guagnin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology in Germany, told Live Science.

Finding the outcropping in the sand dunes wasn't the only challenge. Because the carvings have newer etchings overlapping the camels, there's an added layer of mystery surrounding which culture created the artwork and when. 84E-A13F-3A7FFA3B55C4&utm_source=SmartBrief

'They seemed primed to take over': How the Great Dying doomed the 'beast tooth' and set the stage for the dawn of the dinosaurs

By Michael Mann published 1 day ago

"Much as we can only wonder today what knowledge was lost in the ransacking of the Library of Alexandria, we can also ponder what sort of magnificent creatures born of the Cambrian explosion were lost."

Inostrancevia is a genus from the extinct group Theriodontia that appeared during the Middle Permian. (Image credit: Stocktrek Images/Getty Images)

The excerpt below is taken from "Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth's Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis" (Hachette Book Group, 2023), by Michael Mann. It looks at how climate change following the Cambrian explosion caused the biggest mass extinction on Earth — dooming the creatures set to dominate and set the stage for dinosaurs to rule.  

The mechanisms that can freeze the planet, as was the case with Snowball Earth can also lead to inhospitably hot climates, when enough carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. Arguably the greatest extinction event of all time — called the Great Dying — appears to have resulted, at least in part, from a massive heat-inducing release of carbon into the atmosphere 250 million years ago.

Is this ancient event a possible analog for a sixth, human-caused, climate-change-driven mass extinction today? In answering this question, we will at times work our way through some details of the science, but the payoff is that we will see not just that scientists are able to unravel such mysteries, but how they do it.

In the late Proterozoic eon, around 550 million years ago, Earth had thawed out from a series of major glaciations, perhaps even global snowball conditions. The end of the Proterozoic marked the beginning of a brand new era — the Paleozoic, which extended from around 540 million to 251 million years ago.

The first period of the Paleozoic — the Cambrian — saw a remarkable explosion in the diversity of life, known, appropriately, as the Cambrian explosion. Most of the life that exists today emerged during the first 10 million years of that period, including the first complex multicellular life and familiar groups such as mollusks and crustaceans. ent=D1FA2713-71AE-484E-A13F-3A7FFA3B55C4&utm_source=SmartBrief


Watch ghostly dumbo octopus swim with its massive 'ears' in rare new footage

By Harry Baker published 3 days ago

On an expedition in Hawaii, a remote underwater vehicle filmed a dumbo octopus swimming with its ear-like fins near the seafloor. The pale white creature is one of the deepest-dwelling octopuses on Earth.

This video footage captured Sept. 13 by an ROV shows a dumbo octopus swimming with its ear-like fins in Hawaii's deep sea. (Image credit: Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA/Nautilus Live)

Researchers exploring an underwater mountain in Hawaii's deep sea recently stumbled across a rare, "ghostly" dumbo octopus — one of the deepest dwelling octopuses on Earth — flapping its large ear-like fins as it swam near the seafloor, a new video reveals.

The unidentified species of dumbo octopus, from the genus Grimpoteuthis, was spotted Sept. 13 by researchers aboard Ocean Exploration Trust's (OET) Exploration Vessel "Nautilus." The team was exploring a seamount in the north of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) — one of the world's largest marine protected areas — using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at a depth of around 5,500 feet (1,675 meters) when they came across the pale white cephalopod, researchers wrote in a statement.

Video footage from the dive, which was live-streamed online, shows the dumbo octopus slowly pushing itself through the water with its ear-like fins just a few feet above the seafloor. This unusual form of locomotion strongly resembles the flying elephant Dumbo, from the classic Disney film, which inspired these octopuses' name.

"Oh, look at the flappy ears!" one researcher exclaimed during a commentary of the live feed. "I'm so glad we got to see this beautiful creature," another added, "I've never seen one before." artBrief


Bronze Age hexagonal 'pyramid' not like anything 'found before in
the Eurasian steppe'

By Owen Jarus published 10 days ago

Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered a hexagonal pyramid
that served as a burial site in the Bronze Age.

An aerial view of the hexagonal-shaped pyramid in Kazakhstan. Notice how the inner stone walls form a maze-like path that leads toward the burial site at its center.

n aerial view of the hexagonal-shaped pyramid in Kazakhstan. Notice how the inner stone walls form a maze-like path that leads toward the burial site at its center. (Image credit: Ulan Umitkaliyev)

Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered a 3,800-year-old hexagon-shaped structure that they describe as a "pyramid." The maze-like structure is not as tall as Egypt's monuments, but currently stands about 10 feet (3 meters) high and likely served as an elite burial site.

The discovery is not like anything "found before in the Eurasian steppe," according to a statement from Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan.

"This pyramid on the territory of Eastern Kazakhstan was found this year," Ulan Umitkaliyev, the head of Eurasian National University's archaeology and ethnology department who is leading excavations at the site, told Live Science in an email. "It is hexagonal in shape, with megaliths weighing up to 1 ton [0.9 metric tons] placed in each corner."

While archaeologists use the term "pyramid" or "step pyramid" to describe it, the Bronze Age monument is unlike the pyramids found in Egypt. Its outer stone walls form a hexagon, the structure's inner walls look like a maze that leads to a grave at its heart. Parts of it were once covered by an earthen mound, Umitkaliyev added. It's not clear if there was ever a roof over part of the structure or whether it was entirely open air.

The people who lived in this region at the time built many graves and stone monuments and engaged in metal working and making jewelry. Their economy may have been partly pastoral — herding large numbers of animals across the Eurasian steppes. SmartBrief


15 places on Earth that look like alien planets

By Annie Corinne Shaink published 10 days ago

These stunning locations feel out of this world, but are actually right here on Earth.

                                 (Image credit: John M Lund Photography Inc via Getty Images)

While we often look to the stars, planets and moons for bizarre and fantastic sites, the Earth itself remains home to vast and varied landscapes and structures, fit for a science-fiction epic. Here are 15 of our favorites.


Move over, Viagra — this spider's boner-inducing venom could treat
people let down by the blue pill

By Sascha Pare published 10 days ago

Scientists say a synthetic compound derived from Brazilian wandering spider venom could treat people with erectile dysfunction for whom drugs like Viagra don't work.

Brazilian wandering spiders are some of the most venomous spiders on Earth,
and their bite can be fatal.  (Image credit: Joao Paulo Burini via Getty Images)

A spider whose venom triggers prolonged and painful erections may hold the key to more inclusive treatments for erectile dysfunction, scientists in Brazil report.

The researchers are testing a new drug derived from the venom of the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer), also called the banana spider because it is sometimes accidentally exported in banana shipments. It is one of the most toxic species of spiders in the world.

Among other symptoms — including increased blood pressure, nausea, abdominal cramps and convulsions — this spider's bite can cause a "prolonged and painful erection, which can lead to necrosis of the penis," meaning death of its tissues, Maria Elena de Lima, a professor of biomedicine and medicine at the Santa Casa Belo Horizonte hospital in Brazil who is leading the research, said in a translated statement.

However, in initial tests, a boner-triggering molecule drawn from the venom appears safe to use in humans. "Tests, so far, have demonstrated that the compound works with the application of a minimum amount and without any toxicity," de Lima said.

The team hopes the molecule will eventually be an alternative to the drugs that are currently available to treat erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra and Cialis. These currently available treatments don't work for all patients and pose risks for those already taking nitrates — which are often prescribed for chest pain — as the combination can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

While erectile dysfunction treatments are generally thought safe for people with high blood pressure who are otherwise healthy, they are not suitable for patients who, in addition to high blood pressure, also have urinary tract problems. The drugs may also pose risks for people with severe heart or liver problems.


World's oldest aquarium fish 'Methuselah' could be decades older than we originally thought, DNA clock reveals

By Harry Baker published 10 days ago

A new study has found that the famous Australian lungfish Methuselah, who first arrived in the U.S. in 1938, could be up to 101 years old.

The Australian lungfish "Methuselah" swims in her tank at Steinhart Aquarium in California. She was believed to be 84 years old but a new study suggests she could be over 100. (Image credit: Steinhart Aquarium)

The world's oldest aquarium fish, a lungfish named Methuselah, may actually be decades older than researchers originally thought and may even be over 100 years old, a new study finds.

Methuselah is a female Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) that resides at Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, California. She first arrived at the aquarium in 1938 after being sent to the U.S. along with more than 200 other fish from Fiji and Australia.

Aquarium staff have never been sure how old Methuselah is, but until now the best guess was that she is 84 years old, which makes her the oldest known fish in captivity. (In the Bible, Methuselah was a man who reputedly lived to be 969 years old.)

The elderly fish, who loves belly rubs and is hand-fed figs by her doting keepers, shows no signs of slowing down, which has added to the confusion about her age. So researchers decided to work out exactly how old she is using a "DNA age clock."

In the study, researchers compared Methuselah's DNA to the genetic material of other Australian lungfish to work out how much wear and tear her DNA had accumulated. The results suggest that she is most likely age 92, but the level of uncertainty with this type of experiment means she could be up to 101 years old. The study will be published later this year. -6CAD734026F1&utm_source=SmartBrief


Paleolithic 'art sanctuary' in Spain contains more than 110 prehistoric cave paintings

By Laura Geggel published 13 days ago

Cave paintings and engravings dating to at least 24,000 years ago were discovered
ear Valencia in Spain.

An archeologist illuminates a part of the cave in Spain that's rich with artistic motifs.
(Image credit: A Ruiz-Redondo/V Barciela/X Martorell)

Archaeologists have discovered more than 110 prehistoric cave paintings and engravings dating to at least 24,000 years ago near Valencia, Spain.

The Paleolithic, or Stone Age, rock art is "arguably the most important found on the Eastern Iberian Coast in Europe," the team said in a statement about the finding.

Locals and hikers have long known about Cova Dones (also spelled Cueva Dones), a 1,640-foot-long (500 meters) cave in the municipality of Millares. Although Iron Age finds were known from the cave, the Paleolithic artwork wasn't documented until researchers discovered it in 2021.

At first, the team found four painted motifs, including the head of an aurochs (Bos primigenius), an extinct cattle species. Additional work in 2023 revealed the site as a "major Palaeolithic art sanctuary," the researchers wrote in a study published Sept. 8 in the journal Antiquity.

"When we saw the first painted auroch[s], we immediately acknowledged it was important," Aitor Ruiz-Redondo, a senior lecturer of prehistory at the University of Zaragoza in Spain and a research affiliate at the University of Southampton in the U.K., said in the statement.

Spain has the most Paleolithic cave-art sites in the world, including the up to 36,000-year-old cave art at La Cueva de Altamira, but most are found in the northern part of the country, making the location of the new find unique. "Eastern Iberia is an area where few of these sites have been documented so far," Ruiz-Redondo said. e=SmartBrief


Watch slime-covered penis mushroom that smells like rotting flesh grow and decay in mesmerizing time-lapse

By Sascha Pare published 13 days ago

A video of a stinkhorn fungus — a 10-inch penis-shaped mushroom — bursting from the ground, growing and decaying has been captured in a forest in Germany.

Scientists have captured a bewitching new time-lapse showing the birth and decay of a penis-shaped mushroom infamous for its foul smell.

The mushroom is the visible part of a stinkhorn fungus (Phallus impudicus), which commonly grows near rotting wood and plants and can reach up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) above the ground. The stem is topped by a bell-shaped cap covered in olive-brown slime, known as the gleba, which gives the mushroom its unmistakable stench.

"The smell of stinkhorns has been described as similar to decomposing flesh, rotting feces, and sewage," the University of Florida said on its website. Despite their unappetizing odor, stinkhorns are edible. "The flavor of Phallus impudicus, known as the common stinkhorn, is reported to resemble hazelnuts when eaten in its egg state," the website said.

Stinkhorns emerge from a small, egg-shaped base that is buried in the soil and tethered to the ground with white filaments. This base contains a blob of slime and spores that eventually becomes the mushroom's stinky cap. 9C9BCEF505A6&utm_source=SmartBrief


Hi folks -

Well, that's it for this blog.  Hope you found something of interest. I'll start looking for more unusual stories to provoke you with. Any comments about my blog please feel free to let me know if you like it.

John Veverka -


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