Ancient Cave Paintings Show Early Humans Understood Complex Astronomy

Even cave-dwellers were fascinated with the mysteries of time and outer space. Analysis of some of the world’s oldest cave paintings revealed that ancient people had a better conception of time and astronomical properties than previously thought.

A study led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, humans were already keeping track of time using their knowledge of how the positions of stars and constellations in the night sky shift over millennia.

The UE researchers, joined by others from the University of Kent, studied Neolithic and Paleolithic paintings in France, Turkey, Spain, and Germany. All of the paintings they studied showed signs of this ancient method of time-keeping.

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36 million have voted early, setting the stage for big midterm turnout

A staggering 36 million voters cast their ballots ahead of Election Day this year, setting the stage for much-higher-than-usual turnout for a midterm — and, potentially, big surprises on Tuesday night.

Republican enthusiasm for President Donald Trump and Democrats’ itch to repudiate him at the ballot box have driven people to the polls far faster than in 2014, when 27.2 million people voted early, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who tracksvoter turnout.

And that trend is expected to extend into Election Day. Early voters in three states — Texas, Nevada and Arizona — have already surpassed total turnout in the last midterm election, McDonald’s data shows, and more states will blow past their normal non-presidential turnout with just a handful more votes on Election Day. The high voting rates have transformed expectations about who will show up in the midterms — and they could inspire results that diverge from any pre-election polls that did not reckon with this year’s unusually high enthusiasm.

“This is not a normal election,” McDonald told POLITICO. “The best guess is that we’re looking at some sort of hybrid midterm/presidential election” in terms of turnout.


Early Voter Turnout Surges As Republicans Hold Lead In Battleground States

As voters prepare to head to the polls and the number of Americans casting early ballots surges, election analysts will likely focus on one question: Will the Democratic “blue wave” be powerful enough to reverse the early leads wracked up by Republicans in seven out of eight key battleground states? So far, enthusiasm levels among both Democrats and Republicans have climbed to historic levels, complicating the efforts of forecasters and throwing the forecasting orthodoxy – the notion that Republicans will pick up Senate seats while Democrats wrest back control of the House – into doubt with the polls set to open across the US in 24 hours.

According to Bloomberg, some 34 million people have already voted in the 2018 midterms, and, in at least 28 states and the District of Columbia, early voter tallies have already surpassed their totals from the 2014 midterms.

In Texas alone, where Ted Cruz is defending his seat from Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, more than 4.5 million people have already voted. That momentum has apparently carried over from the record turnout during primaries and special elections this year. “People are engaged and voting in this election,” said University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

But in what may be an ominous sign for the left, while Democrats are boasting a narrow lead over Republicans nationally, Republicans are leading in the key swing states, including Arizona and Florida. Still, this comes with an important caveat: Early voting data can only show who voted, not for whom they voted.


Mexican election front-runner offers referendums, could end term early

“I’m conscious of my historic responsibility,” he told supporters. “I won’t fail the people, I won’t betray the country.”

Lopez Obrador did not give more details of how the “popular consultations” would be carried out. Mexico’s constitution does not mention recall referendums.

He repeated his plan to amend an article in the constitution to make it possible to try presidents for corruption.