Rock Art Reveals Elk May Have Roamed Los Angeles

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What if Los Angeles’ largest native herbivore already went extinct and we had no idea?

What if long-dead native people were the ones who could set the record straight?

Last year I was in the field researching California’s native Chumash culture and rock art through the help of a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant. Not far from Los Angeles, nestled high in the mountains within large boulders and surrounded by old oaks, I came upon a rock art site that left me with more questions than answers. Amid the images of stick-like humans, one figure stood out, bigger than the others and with hooves and broad antlers. It looked like an elk, but according to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, elk never lived here.

Setting the Ancient Scene

Five hundred years ago, Los Angeles was a far different place than we know it today. It was already densely populated, but by numerous indigenous peoples. The Tongva, Chumash, Fernandeño, Tataviam, and Serrano called the Los Angeles area home for thousands of years, each having their own territories in what is today the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. Imagine a Los Angeles without freeways or urban sprawl. The climate was —> Read More Here

‘Little Things Matter’ Exposes Big Threat To Children’s Brains

prevention paradox

Tiny amounts of lead, chemical flame retardants and organophosphate pesticides, among other toxins, course through the blood of nearly every American. But just how much worry is a little poison worth?

A lot, especially when considering the cumulative effects of this chemical cocktail on children, warns a video unveiled Thursday during an environmental health conference in Ottawa, Canada. The seven-minute project, “Little Things Matter,” draws on emerging scientific evidence that even mild exposures to common contaminants can derail normal brain development — lowering IQs and raising risks of behavioral conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

“The chemical industry argues that the effect of toxins on children is subtle and of little consequence,” co-producer Bruce Lanphear, an environmental health expert at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, states in the video. “But that is misleading.”

Drop a few tablespoons of sugar into an Olympic-size swimming pool, and you have the sort of minuscule concentration of a toxin that researchers are finding can wreak havoc on the brain. The drug Ritalin is designed to temper symptoms of ADHD at about the same level in the blood.

Children are most vulnerable to neurotoxins while in the womb and during —> Read More Here

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