On The Rebound

going for the rebound in basketballIt’s a fact of life that after a break-up we all look for a rebound. It’s human nature. We want hope. We want to know that “we still have it.” That there is still a chance at that fairy tale happy ending, even if we know the originals were dark and rarely with the Disney Happily Ever Afters. We want to feel the things we miss most about being in a relationship.

After my decision to walk away from Windows completely, I checked out a lot of Linux options. As I stated previously, I decided that Zorin and Mint were at the top of my rebound list. If you are still unsure about ditching Windows and making the leap of faith to a Linux distro check out both of these:

Linux Mint OS

and

Zorin OS

When it came to Mint, I loved the clean modern look and the DE (desktop environment) options. I also, liked that they had different options for differing machines/systems and one of the most active support forums of all the distros available. Almost all previous versions of Mint can still be found for download. Also, Mint always has a LTS (long term support) version, as well as beta/developer versions for advanced users. In addition, right out-of-the-box there are lots of ways to personalize everything about Mint. These were the reasons that Mint was on the top of my rebound list.

But, so was Zorin.

The first thing that any long-term Windows user will notice when checking out Zorin’s website is how comfortable it is. You get a very Windows’ish sense about everything and that is intentional. Zorin is the brainchild of two brothers from Ireland. Their whole concept is to create a Linux distro that the ordinary, non-tech Windows user can master as easily and comfortably as Windows.

One of the things that, I think, really sells Zorin are their focused versions. They have a Lite that is very basic and designed for older machines, think Windows XP systems, still hanging on. They have other versions that can be just as easily compared to Windows’ versions. If you are a simple Windows Home user then Zorin Core would be the cross-over for you. However, if you are a hard-core Windows Pro guru you will be impressed with Zorin’s Ultimate version. It comes packed with all the business, entertainment, gaming and content creation programs and apps you need. Zorin also has an extra version that is virtually ignored by all other OS teams, which impressed me greatly. Zorin Education comes pre-loaded with lots of programs and apps for learners of all ages and most interests. Of course their strongest areas are math, science, and programming, but they do have other areas covered or easily added.

For me, the advantage went to Mint, as my tech rebound.

Why, you ask?

The biggest reason, even though I found Zorin much more appealing and their Education version melted my heart, I was not, yet, quite ready to have a Linux relationship on my own. I needed the security of a loving safety net and D at the time was using Mint. So, I went with the safety and security of Mint. After all isn’t that what rebounds are all about?

It was a good choice for me. With blogging, taking classes, running FB groups and other ‘online needs’, I just wanted to get back to focusing on what was important to me, instead of having Windows changing my system when it suited them and creating chaos seemingly for their own entertainment. It was also an easy way for me to dump Windows without excessive stress; since I could always ask D to bail me out or make it work for me. Yes, I can be spoiled by D!

But, like all rebounds, comfort with Mint was a temporary fix for a growth problem. And after catching my breath and regaining my confidence, I knew that I wanted more than the comfort of Mint, especially as that comfort recreated some of the same annoyances that Windows had.

Don’t get me wrong, Mint is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distros available. And for most non-techy and tech savvy users alike it is a great choice and can provide many years of great computing. It just didn’t meet my needs after getting over Windows!

Did YOU Get An Invite?

One thing that the virtual world has, some would say, more than enough of is social media platforms and one thing that those same some would say social media platforms have more than enough of are influencers! And while it is true that a lot of most people’s waking time is spent on social media, wanted or not, this has somehow created influencers, the newest sensationalism profession. And yet there seems to always be room for one more. But how often does the next one more actually have the dressings of something more? That being said, there’s a new kid on the block that looks and talks and walks like something new; Clubhouse!

So what makes Clubhouse the cool new kid on the social media block? Well, a few things actually.

First, Clubhouse is brand newish (it’s actually been around for about 14 months or so), And everyone loves something brand new. But, being brand new only takes you so far and in today’s society not as far as it used to take you.

Second, Clubhouse is invite only! And the formula for the invites creates an air of exclusiveness (which might actually also create a limiting user base down the road). You can only invite 2 others and you have to know them well enough to have their phone numbers as the invite links are sent via text (SMS) message to the recipients’ mobile phones. Current users include both Oprah and Elon, but also includes more normal and or regular people, not sure how they got so lucky, but good for them! (Actually, we will touch on this later.)

Third, Clubhouse is audio only. What does that actually mean? Well, it is a mix between live talk radio/podcast and town hall type events. All interaction occurs in a talk or conversation; either a table forum for smaller and or private rooms or for larger rooms with more participants it works like the town hall type event with speakers and an audience. And like with live talk radio and town hall meetings lucky audience members get to ask questions or give feedback during the conversation. So you could actually interact with a celebrity or industry leader on a topic of interest to you.

Lastly, it is another place for influencers to build their clout by directly interacting with their followers. One way of doing this is that your Clubhouse account can be linked to your Instagram and or Twitter account, which is currently the only way that you can have private chats via DM with other Clubhousers. But by hosting or participating in talks you can gain more followers by demonstrating that you know what you are talking about or what you know about relevant topics to your field.

So you want to know more…… like how to get in on the action or what to do after receiving your invite?

While, I cannot give you the 411 from personal experience, I am not on anyone’s contact list that is in, so far. And honestly, it is likely to stay that way for a long time, I am not the type to give my mobile number to everyone or to anyone without some specific need for them having it. That being said, supposedly if you look hard enough or at least in the right places, you can buy invite codes and or you can put your name on invite chains. But, I digress; so, back on track, what I have shared comes from someone that is in the know personally.

I was given the opportunity to read a New Release by author J.L. Fehr, Influencer Marketing High On Clubhouse and after reading the book last night, I can say that I feel comfortable saying that “I know Clubhouse” even if I am an outsider! This work is efficient and informative. The focus is on what to do, how to do, and why you are doing. It is direct to those questions, but is not a bullet point list with NO personality. Fehr uses his own experiences both good and bad to provide real and accurate support for his advice. In doing so, he has created a valuable resource for those influencers or just regular users that find themselves invited to the Clubhouse!

*Copy Received For Review.

Bright Greens Apocalypse

Bright green lies

Many years ago there was an environmental movement. It began long before anyone knew Al Gore or Gretta and it was full grown before carbon footprint consciousness was trendy or cool. These activists that were screaming about every single creature lost and every blade of grass turned into concrete seemed about as extreme and crazy as anyone could be. Most were considered left over hippies with a new cause. In those long ago days, they were also treated like any extreme fanatical crazy would be treated. They were demeaned, arrested, sued and denounced by their opponents and they were mostly ignored or laughed at by the regular people.

The sad thing is that now we know that they really were onto something. It can be a really hard thing for someone who is busting their ass to pay the bills and maybe get just ahead enough to have some comfort to find the time, energy, and or motivation to give a damn about some disaster to the planet and nature half a world away. It is a challenging thing to understand that what happens in some remote mountain village in Asia or South American can have profound and direct impact on your life and or your way of life. Heck, it is even hard to care about what happens in places like Love Canal, New York or Picher, Oklahoma or any of the other more than 1300 Superfund Toxic Sties in the United States. The problem is that like a cancer in the body, if you do not care about what happens because the cancer is not somewhere important, by the time it spreads to somewhere important it will be too late to stop it. The same holds true with industrial practices that destroy the planet wherever they go. They strip out every usable resource and squeeze every bit of profit and then leave a permanent scar and move on to the next site with resources to strip bare and they will continue to do so as long as there is a profit to be made. No location on the planet is safe from their greed.

Even if you are proactive, unlike the cancer patient above, and go to the doctor and get the tumor removed; but now you have not a life but an existence scheduled around chemo treatments and down days and check-ups and tests and more down days you get a cure that is more damaging and destructive than the original tumor (depending on your priorities and definitions). There is NO perfect solution to ANY problem. That is part of the challenge of life, solving problems the best way possible and then dealing with not only the known or foreseen side effects but more importantly recognizing and understanding and learning from the unintended and unforeseen side effects. And there are ALWAYS unintended and unforeseen side effects. How do we make the best choices and decisions and pick the best solutions to the most daunting problems facing us? Hopefully, we use our minds, our intelligence and creativity, our morals, our sense of fairness and right over wrong, our hearts, our compassion and our humanity. Most importantly, we have to have clear worthy goals and be willing to make hard choices to reach those worthy goals and live with those solutions.

https://alizul2.blogspot.com/2015/03/10-worst-environmental-disasters-caused.html

In the environmental movement this is not what happened. Instead, the movement was usurped by opportunists that could see a whole profitable movement sweep the world. Enter the age of the trendy, shiny, and very cool Bright Greens. They took the 3 R’s of the Green Movement and reduced them to the 1 that would be inline with profit margins and consumerism. Well done Corporate America and Corporate World. The original 3 R’s were to reduce the amount of waste that one created, presumably by reducing the amount of things that one threw out by reducing the amount of consumption and or being aware of the waste from each purchase or product, to reuse or repurpose those things that no longer worked in their original role, but could serve another purpose which would in essence also reduce, and the surviving R, recycle, the R that could be made into profit for the corporate world.

Most people today, consider themselves to be environmentally concerned citizens, but when you strip away all the marketing and trending hashtags, do you know just how you stack up in your roll of Steward Of The Planet? You might think that you are doing your best, buying products that are “organically” grown and packaged in recyclable packaging. Donating to the right causes. Voting for the right candidates. Supporting the right parties. But are you still buying the latest iPhone, every release date and remote working from your favorite coffee shop on your Mac Pro? Going home and still binging Netflix most nights while you order take out Sushi or pho delivered by your Uber Eats, Door Dash guy in his electric Mini, your water from bottles, cause tap water, GROSS! You have sworn off meat cause cow farts are second behind humans for causing CO2 emissions. You’ve gone vegan cause all the pretty people are and science proves we are herd animals so we should be eating plants and fake things.

However, there is a kink in your movement! It is built on a foundation of half-truths with walls of lies surrounding delusions of a Happily Ever After that cannot be. For every scientific study that proves one of the Bright Greens slogans there is at least one that disproves and more that find flaws with it. No this is not an article to bash lifestyles or living choices, but to ask you to make them with your eyes wide open and to engage in preferred behavior understanding all the implications. How do you do that, you ask.

Simple.

Pick up or order the new work Bright Green Lies by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert. I recently received a copy of the book and wow. First, it is a long read, but it is worth it, so stick it out if you really care about Planet Earth. Second, if you read it with an open mind and with the intention of learning and understanding it is full of information, a lot of it stuff that we really truly should know, but we do not think about and some that we might have had some idea about but not the full and complete implications. To keep things balanced, the authors are original, dyed in the wool environmentalists, not the chic, trendy brand influencers of social media. So while a lot of their suggestions for solving the problem might seem out there and or crazy extreme, they, themselves, are aware that most of us cannot be that committed and or dedicated. And in that regard they show their humanness by openly sharing their short comings in reaching the ultimate goals that they layout. That being said, most of us can be more intentional and more aware and make better informed decisions about how we live our lives and how we spend our money and how we focus our lives.

While the book addresses most of the impacts of today’s most common way of life and supports their arguments regarding the pros and cons of all the popular trendy solutions, they also provide references to a multitude of other sources for you to research for yourself. Another words, unlike the politicians and CEOs and even popular activists their stance is not “take our word for it” but go do your own research and make up your own mind. To get your started I have included a couple links in the article that are short reads and barely scratch the surface of existing damage. Or you could continue letting industry lead the way to solving any environmental problems, most of their own making while claiming that they care.

I can honestly say that I will never live up to the goals of the book. However, having hard numbers and even theorized numbers from ‘expert’ solutions spelled out has brought details that I knew superficially into much better focus. The result is that I want to strive to live a much more intentional life and make more intentional choices in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, I want to be able to live with my choices, because I make them as informed as I can be. Will all my choices be perfect, no, they will not, but, it is my goal that they will be the best choices that causes the least negative impact all the way around. And that in my opinion is a very good start.

For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of strangers read Bright Green Lies and make up your own mind, based on the research and not the trending hashtags.

*Copy Received For Review.

Windows Walk Away

despair nytimes

All the love that you had for Windows, got you in a downward spiral of betrayal? Are you so spent having your every second watched and followed and sold that you dread logging on? Does the mere thought of going online make you cringe? We all know that Windows is not the only “eyes” watching our every move, but when you have to have/use a Microsoft Account Login to even set up your new laptop, it does put Windows at the top of the Most Dreaded List for most users. In addition, their change in their Terms Of Service (TOS) policy that states they will restrict or freeze your account if they do not like or agree with things that you say online, is about as Orwellian as you can get. So much for free speech!

Of course the best step is to not have a Microsoft Account, however, if you really need one for your work or Skype or gaming, then the next best thing is to limit you dependency to only those required apps and use non-Microsoft services and programs for as much other stuff as possible. Previously, we have discussed the first-step away from Microsoft via the use of Open Source Programs. And I really encourage you to explore any of the Open Source options that you might need to accomplish your same daily grind in a more relaxed and private environment. Yes, there will be a learning curve; but first, anything worth having requires work and second, how many times have you had to relearn your go to Microsoft program because some update changed everything on you?

Somethings that you need to keep in mind, especially if you try out some of these programs while still using Windows….the layouts might be different once you switch to Linux, but you will in almost all cases (I cannot think of any that do not apply) have all the same things, and the big plus is that you can change and modify and tweak your options and layouts and tool bars to suit you personally!
Another thing to keep in mind, is that Linux has some options, such as WINE and Play On Linux, for setting up a virtual space to run Windows programs, however, it might not be easier than learning an open source version or you might be reverting to an older version of a program to have success.

I confess, that I personally do not have any luck with using any of the virtual Windows options on Linux distros. That being said there are lots of users that use them daily. For my part, while there are like maybe 3 programs that there is not true matches to my liking in Open Source offerings, those 3 programs are not important enough to me on an often enough basis for me to put the effort into figuring out how to make them work.

To share, they are OneNote, which I do really miss and really wish that there was a true ‘copy’ version in Linux. Linux does have a couple really good note-taking options, that are not geared towards devs, so do not restrict their ‘pages’ to using markdown, but are instead WYSIWYG UIs. CherryTree is probably the most popular or best known option. However, there is always new code being written and someone wanting something different or better and thus you can always find new stuff. When I was first looking, BasKet was the actual closest Linux version of OneNote that I could find, however, it does not appear that BasKet is being maintained anymore. That is another issue that you need to be aware of, making sure that programs are still being supported. In spite of that, like I said there are always options to try out such as those listed here, one of my go to sources for finding new options for old habits! Furthermore, OneNote does have a browser option, I did consider this, however, I had been using, if memory serves, the last stand alone version of the program, before it went into Office/Cloud only subscription basis, and my old notes would not upload into the browser version, no matter how I tried, as I had back-up of my notebooks in all formats available.

Another program that I really liked was PhotoScape. I used it to make really quick and easy collages. There are versions that do work in some of the ‘Windows on Linux’ programs, however, they were older than the one that used and so not as fast and easy as what I had been using. All that being said, I can, absolutely, use other programs to do the same thing, in most cases with more options and features and versions to create much higher quality output, thus, I am fine without PhotoScape. As, it really was a quick and easy version to throw some images together without any effort.

As we move forward in our journey, I will share my experiences and thoughts on my individual searches for specific replacement programs, what I was looking for, what was more important to me, and how the options stacked up with those goals. Finding all your individual best fits is probably the best and worst thing about making the switch to Linux.
The best, you do have the option to find the program/option that works best for you.
The worst, you have to find that bast option by searching all the available options that Linux has to offer, which is quite literally, on par with searching for the perfect piece of straw in a haystack!

Fear not, it can be done and you are not alone in your journey! If I, just another ordinary her in the world looking for techno utopia can do it, so can you! And to make sure that you can, I am here to help you along the way.

Photo Credit: NY Times

Dear Windows, Good-Bye, Without Love

goodbye microsoft love linux with heart

Hi, my name is Cassi and I am a Windows survivor! In the beginning Windows seemed so perfect. It made my life easier and gave me an easy to use interface so that I could be more productive without having to be a programmer.  And it even still gave me my DOS command window. It allowed me to organize and tweak my OS environment to suit my needs and my skill level. So as we progressed, we settled into a normal regular routine.

Oh, sure we had our ups and downs I mean, all relationships do. I don’t think ours was any worse or more than anyone else’s. I still remember when Mac, the new guy in town showed up. Oh, he was a slick one, turning heads and promising everything Windows had, only newer and cooler and stronger! And I admit that Mac got one of his new friends to try to show me how cool he was; but, while his looks were impressive, I was comfortable with my own Windows, besides, if it ain’t broke why fix it, right.

To make matters worse, how was I to know that my beloved Windows would go through a mid-life crisis with the turning of the century and never come out of it!

First he, decided that he needed a new look and then he needed a new title and couldn’t settle on one…are you 2000 or Me? Do you even know who you are or what you want anymore? Why are you changing? What was wrong with the way we were? I was happy! Oh, sure I changed the desktop and background from time to time, but, I didn’t get all mid-life crisis on you just cause the 1900’s became the 2000’s! Oh, no you had to go and throw it all away! All the hard work and the building up and the years of ups and downs. So I let you have your wild ride for a few years until you stopped supporting my (XP)memories of the way things used to be!

Then you got all security conscious and protective with your Vista! So we did nothing but fight. I begged and pleaded and finally you said you saw the light and gave me 7! I could see the effort (at least I thought it was sincere at the time) and compromised that while it was not my beloved XP, it at least was not Vista. So we created a fragile balance of co-existence until you decided that we need a WHOLE NEW EVERYTHING!

So what do you do…..BOOM here’s 8, slamming through the fragile peace like Johnny through the bathroom door! I cannot find anything! I cannot change much of anything! All my favorite parts are gone and nothing is the way I like it! What happened to the WE in this relationship…..when did it become all about YOU!!! Oh, that’s right way back when you bullied all the hardware makers to ONLY load your OS on their mass produced products and I didn’t balk cause I was happy back then and I trusted you to like me happy! Instead I now have a tyrant telling me that I am happy cause you say so! NO! NO! NO! I am NOT happy!

So I pack my bags and hand you divorce papers and what do you do…..you promise me to make it all right and to do it for FREE! For my loyalty you give me 10! You tell me that you have super improved it for my ease of use and syncing and that EVERYTHING you do, you do for ME and my joy! But, what you have done is built me a golden cage! You track my every move! You watch my every moment! You force updates and installs against my will! With you No doesn’t mean no, it doesn’t even mean wait, stop, think about it, promise me more….it means yes to you. No matter how much I screamed NO! DON’T! STOP! You are killing us! You kept right on……

but, I had heard rumors of a hero in the night….

I dug in my memories for those whispers in the dark. Those breathy comments by the rebels of the web! Linux was the name….but, it seemed so strange and foreign, it looked so alien and complex. What was a girl to do?

I decided it couldn’t hurt to look, right? I mean I was in a broken relationship with NO hope, the worst place I could be, so what did I have to lose? Besides, I had always had that part of me that walked on the darkside; just cause I had been a longtime Windows OS girl didn’t mean that I was a total Microsoft mistress. No, in fact, I had always loved those Open Source guys! They knew how to give a girl what she wanted and more and usually always for FREE!

So I took a walk down Linux lane looking for my new beau and what did I find??? I found more options than I could count and more looks and styles than a 5th Ave Fashion Week! WOW! What had I been missing? How do you pick? How do you choose? I was dizzy from all the options; but, I was determined cause once a girl looses hope in her guy…..she has no option but to find a new hero! So I read and read and read some more….

I read and watched more reviews and compares and contrasts than there are sports teams in the US! And slowly and surely I weeded out the ones too techy for me and the ones too Mac’y for me. I listed all my must haves and then the extras that would melt my heart…..so my short list came down to finally 2 ……. Mint and Zorin……and I will give each their due coming up……. see who wins my heart and who gets my system for keeps or at least for right now!

It’s all about chemistry!

periodic table linux

Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse.  Switching to Linux was supposed to be an easy thing to do. If you feel like you’re being stuck in a bad marriage with either Windows or MacOS, than you know it’s time to leave things behind and move on.

Before you decide to move on and what to do next, much like with any relationship, you ask yourself hundreds of questions but here’s what you know for sure:

  • You are tired of being controlled by what you can and can’t do.
  • You are tired of being spied on and having your every step followed and analyzed.
  • You are tired of spicing up relationship (upgrades) which do nothing except create burden on you (your system), lagging, slowing you down and showing no progress.
  • You are constantly forced to accept new rules in the relationship which only favor the aggressor (Updated polices) and leave you no room to breathe.
  • You want your system to reflect your habits and lifestyle and to be able to adjust it to your liking, not to spend a lifetime of being in the same house without being able to even repaint the wall.

So, if you answered YES to all of the above then it really is time to move on. Yes, it can be scary, but just a bit, because you are about to land in an ocean filled with all sorts of fish. They are still a fish, but different kinds, some are fancy, some are robust, some are functional and organized and some are simply byproduct spin-offs of the major species of fish.

If you really want to look up genealogy of Linux species, I suggest you start with graphic representation on Wikipedia, which traces back to it’s origin. However be ready to get confused and scroll and scroll. Still, by then nothing will be clear to you and you may feel like you regret your decision to leave the aggressor; but don’t! Because that’s exactly what happens when you enter the dating ring after being absent for so long. There’s still hope. Big one, at that.

First you need to decide what you want and what you expect from a new relationship, are you looking for a fancy, robust, functional, sleek, average, simple, complex, brain-challenging, just watching movies and play music and or do basic office/home work, accounting, media production. You will feel like a kid in a candy store. You get to pick, experiment, learn, and test the waters until you find what works for you.

Much like I did, you may have read countless articles on the web which distro is right for you, writing down comparisons, getting stuck with stats and numbers, lack of support, big community, abundance of apps in the store etc…

By now you have probably asked yourself a question all of us who transitioned from Windows/MacOS to Linux already have – How do I pick (the) one? Well, my answer to that is above – you date! You become a distro-hopper (or worse distro-whore) until you find what works for you best.

You may start by narrowing down your likes and dislikes and look for options. Within that range you can download several LiveUSBs; test them out and see how it works for you. I know this is not a moral thing to do, but if in any way you depend on one of the “bad guys” you can cheat for a bit and have “dual-boot” until you decide to boot the other one for good.

I kicked it off with Linux Mint and Deepin, my girlfriend ventured out with different distros. Unfortunately due to the nature of my business and government regulations, I kind of had to go back to my ex-bad-guy for business purposes, but I still have a “side chick” and that’s not going to change until I find a more permanent solution. And I am so looking forward to it.

Until next time,

$sudo-apt-install-happiness

Facebook Drama … Censoring Who Not What

I went to check my profile before calling it a night….to find out that I had a post that had been removed for Nudity or Sexual content……What?!?! WTF?!?!?! I have not posted anything nude or sexual…..has FB done lost their mind completely….. So when I finally get to where I can see what post they are whining about…… Thank you National Geographic for getting me in the time out chair …… LOL

FB NatGeo Screenshot 1

 

And the screenshot below….. you can clearly see that National Geographic did not get the same treatment….

FB NatGeo Screenshot 2

 

Decrypting A Mayan Mystery

William Gadoury via CSA
William Gadoury via CSA

In the last few days there has been talk about the discovery of a new Mayan city by a schoolboy from Canada. William Gadoury has been interested in all things Maya for most of his young life. He has taken his interest seriously and used his curiosity and creativity to look for more understanding of the culture that stirs his imagination.

It has long been pondered about how the Maya chose the sites for some of their greatest cities. They are not near water sources. They are not along coasts. They are not along trade routes. They are not on grid patterns. They are not in open plains. They are not strategically impressive. Thus a question has plagued scholars for years; Why build cities in the middle of the jungle away from natural resources, especially water, and seeming to ignore all other logical rationale for human settlement? In most cases Mayan cities remained hidden and undisturbed of hundreds of years, due in part to the jungle having so completely reclaimed them. This adds another factor to the seeming illogical, irrational methods employed by a very intellectual culture in this area.

maya civilization-nwsisdmrc wordpress
via nwsisdmrc.wordpress.com

If we allow that the Mayans created their own calendar system, then they were incredibly intelligent and logical and rational, based on the mathematical skill required to create a calendar system that rivals our computer aided time-keeping in its accuracy. If we also allow that they and they alone built their cities, they were also incredibly skilled engineers and masons and artisans. Yet, between all these intelligent and skilled individuals their city locations seem beneath them based on logic and reason. It seems highly improbable that they did not see the need to have natural resources available for the masses, nor that they missed the need for defenses from regional enemies. Thus, it seems that one needs to look for some other more important reason for why their cities are placed in such unusual places.

Enter our young schoolboy from Canada. Mr. Gadoury studied the Madrid Codex and located 23 constellations that held enough importance to the Maya to be recorded. His theory was that the stars had great importance for the Maya, maybe even extreme importance. What William Gadoury decided to try was logically creative. He took the constellation maps and laid them over the area of Central America that was the Land of the Mayans and he found that the stars and cities matched.

maya-city-discovery-canada
via Canadian Space Agency

While, this in and of itself is significant in understanding the values and mental state of the Mayan elite, the best part was found in the 23rd constellation, which has 3 bright stars in its make up. When matching this constellation with known sites only 2 of the 3 stars has known complimentary sites. So Gadoury then used Google Earth to look at the area that matched the 3rd star without a matching known site. WOW! He found an area of the jungle canopy that was more uniform in shape than one would expect, unless it was covering something man-made.

As of yet, the site has not publicly been the object of a LiDAR search. So, while, Armand LaRocque, an honorary research associate at the University of New Brunswick, and the Canada Space Agency have supported and assisted Gadoury in his research and even claimed that in addition to the pyramid an additional 30 buildings have been located, it will not be accepted until a physical on-site discovery is documented.

However, considering the stance of several ‘experts’ in the various connected fields that 1) use of maps is a modern Western invention and thus cannot be used to locate ancient sites (I do not understand this conclusion on any level) and 2) that the Maya did not use stars to place cities (yet, I have heard of no sound and logical explanation of their unique site placement), it seems highly unlikely that even if a significant site is discovered in the proposed location due credit or even serious consideration will be given to the theory presented by Mr. William Gadoury.

Ancient Secrets from Ancient Map Makers

According to most textbooks and published material on the subject, humanity became ‘civilized’ no more than circa 6,000 years ago, or ~4,000BCE. The first centers of civilization were the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East where Sumer and Egypt sprang forth about 3,500BCE, then the Indus Valley and China and 1,500 years later civilization appeared spontaneously and independently in the Americas. All the ‘independent’ areas just mentioned have and are credited with building pyramids, have stories of  Gods giving the gifts of civilization, studied the stars with incredible accuracy, and seemed to have a real and in-depth knowledge of the vastness of, not only, our world, but, the universe, as well. They did not doubt the existence of peoples from lands across the seas, they did not seem to deny the diversity of humanity, and they seemed to have more open minds about where we came from and how we progressed than do we humans of today.

Some of these cultures seemed to have very detailed and complex concepts of time and some seem to have the mathematical comprehension to create vast structures, some that modern man still does not fully understand; yet, we consider and label these cultures as ‘primitive’ or ‘technologically childish’. We have discussed how secrets or important information about our past might have been recorded for us to discover in the construction of the Giza Plateau and we will also discuss this when we explore other pyramid complexes and the layout of henges across Europe and other sacred sites, such as city plans in the Americas. For this article though, we are going to discuss knowledge that was left to us by unidentified people from an unidentified place and time that has managed to survive, if, as with all open secrets, one only looks.

LibraryofAlexandria
Library of Alexandria via crystalinks.com

If I could have any one thing from all history (well known history that is)  to explore and see and wander through, it would be the Library at Alexandria. It is believed that the library contained either the actual or copies of almost every piece of known knowledge of the time. Many of these treasures of history have been lost to humanity since their collecting within the great rooms of the Library.

The Library was part of the Musaeum of Alexandria, which was the predecessor of universities as the primary centers of research and higher education. Thus their knowledge was not limited to one area or state or source. It is said that every ship arriving in port in Alexandria was searched for ‘books’ which were then taken to the library where they were copied and it was a copy that was returned to the owner of the ‘borrowed book’. However, due to political winds of change many scholars that had studied at the great library removed themselves from Alexandria to other great cities of the time, such as Constantinople with her Imperial Library.

And it is at the Imperial Library that probably the most famous ‘ancient secret’ is revealed through the works of a favored and renown Turkish Admiral of the Ottoman Navy, Piri Reis. In about 1513AD, Piri Reis compiled a map that showed the West Coast of Africa, the East Coast of South America and the Northern Coast of Antarctica. While, if your history of European exploration is a little weak, you might think so what, what makes this a big deal; the thing is that his map shows Antarctica’s coast without ice. Let that sink in. I will wait. . . . . .

Piri Reis 1513AD Map
via http://laleyendaestaahifuera.blogspot.com

Okay, now let’s discuss some other ‘features’ of the map that lead to some interesting thoughts, or should. Piri Reis tells us in the notes on the map, that he compiled his map from contemporary as well as older source charts that he apparently found within the Imperial Library, some dating as far back as the 4th century BCE. So Piri Reis admits that he is not the original compiler, the man is a known historical figure, he was well respected, until he fell from grace and was beheaded. He was a Naval Admiral, so he understood maps and map-making, he authored Kitabi Bahriye, a famous sailing book providing comprehensive information of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Thus it can be said that the man was learned and knowledgeable about maps and map-making and the geography of the world.

So before we return to the ice free coast of Antarctica, lets see what else this enigmatic maps tells us. Other features on Reis’ map, that are of interest, include the following, with regard to South America;
1) the land mass is depicted from its eastern coast to the Andes, not yet discovered or mapped;
2) the map depicts the Falkland Islands, which were discovered in 1592;
3) the map does not show the Orinoco River, but instead shows two estuaries extending about 100 miles inland in the current location of the river;
4) the map appears to show the mouth of the Amazon not once but twice, first with only the Pora River mouth and without the island Marajo and secondly with Marajo as an island and in great detail (Marajo being discovered in 1543)
5) the map shows a large island about 700 miles off the coast of Brazil, that currently does not exist, however this island lays over the sub-oceanic Mid Atlantic Ridge where the Rocks of Sts. Peter and Paul jut above the waves.

To return to the original and most interesting anomaly, the ice free coast of Antarctica is that of Queen Maud Land, shown in accurate detail according to seismic surveys of 1948.  Antarctica was discovered in its present frozen state in 1818 and according to geological study of the area, the last time that Queen Maud Land would have been free of ice was between 15,000 – 6,000 years ago.
Military analysis of the map suggest that it is accurate and correct, mathematically speaking and seems to be drawn from an Azimuthal Equidistant Projection centered near Cairo.

Ah, but maybe he just got lucky and imagined well! Well, maybe he did, but if he did he was not the only respected map maker with such imagination! Let us see what other renowned and learned men of the time presented in their work.

Finaeus
Oronteus Finaeus 1531 World Map

The next such cartographer that shows us Antarctica, under the ice, is Oronteus Finaeus. In 1531, Finaeus compiles a map that shows the coastal areas of the frozen continent ice-free. His map shows rivers and mountains, however, while he shows much more of the land mass his map is devoid of landscape features in the deep interior, suggesting the presence of glaciers during the origin of his source maps. Study of his map suggests that he used multiple source maps that used different projections, however, even so, Finaeus accurately locates Antarctica within the correct latitudes and longitudes. Finaeus’ map showing the whole coast ice-free gives a look at areas like Ross Sea that have not been seen in modern times with rivers flowing down from mountains not yet buried under a mile or more of ice, which is confirmed by core studies showing that layers of ‘fine-grained and well assorted sediment’ washed into the Ross Sea until about 6000 years ago. Thus, the cores suggest that before 6000 years ago there were in fact rivers that emptied into the Ross Sea and deposited their sediment carried down from the mountains before the glaciers covered the land and interrupted the flow.

The next 16th Century map maker that gives us more to ponder, is none other than Gerard Kremer, known to most of us that study geography as Mercator. Yes, that would be the same Mercator as Mercator projection, which is still in wide use today within the field of cartography.  Mercator included the above Finaeus Map in his Atlas of 1569 along with maps of his own. His maps such as this one showed Antarctica with identifiable Capes, Seas, Islands, Peninsulas, Bays, Mountains, Rivers and Estuaries.

Mercator World Map
via www.antiquemapsandprints.com

As European explorers returned with their ‘first-hand’ charts Mercator’s accuracy in his maps actually decreased. It is believed that the primary reason for this flaw lies in the complexity involved in proper and accurate map making. In simple terms proper map-making requires 3 things;
1) great journeys of discovery
2) advanced mathematical and cartography skills
3) sophisticated and accurate chronometers.

16th Century Explorers were lacking the sophisticated and accurate chronometers, it would not be until the late 18th Century that modern man was able to ‘invent’ such an instrument and thus acquire the ability to map our world properly.

Buache 1737 Map
via www.diegocuoghi.com

Into the 18th Century, ancient secrets were still being revealed by map-makers. French geographer, Philippe Buache’s map of Antarctica from 1737, shows a completely ice free land mass, actually 2 land-masses, thus implying that his sources were thousands of years older than either Mercator or Fineaus.

These examples are not the only ones that give us glimpses of ‘history before modern man’, but these are the most well known and since they all depict Antarctica in some form prior to her current state they show not just a glimpse but several moments in time prior to our understanding of history. The mere fact that the glimpses are recorded and have survived are amazing enough, yet the implications of their true and complete meaning are awe inspiring and should be pursued to the fullest to expand our knowledge of our history and our beginnings.  If this isn’t enough to make you wonder just when or how many times man has become ‘civilized’ then I invite you to check out for yourself the following other examples of extraordinary maps of history.
1) Claudius Ptolemy’s 2nd century Map of the North that shows southern Sweden covered with remnant glaciers and present day lakes.
2) a Chinese map carved on a stone pillar from 1137AD of precise and high quality information including accurate longitude.
3) ‘Dulcert Portolano’ of 1339AD, the map focuses on Europe and North Africa, the longitude of the Mediterranean and Black Seas are correct to within half a degree an the latitude is ‘perfect’ across the breadth, ‘with highly scientific accuracy….from Galway, Ireland to the eastern bend of the Don in Russia.’
4) Zeno Map of 1380AD, this map covers vast areas of the north as far as Greenland with longitudes and latitudes that are ‘amazingly accurate’.
5) Iehudi Ibn Ben Zara’s 1487AD Portolano of Europe and North Africa depicts glaciers further south than Sweden and also show more islands in the Aegean Sea, also the average error of longitude is less than a degree.
6) Turk Hadji Ahmed’s map of 1559 show a land strip a thousand miles wide that connects Alaska to Siberia the same land bridge that geologists say was lost to the rising sea levels with the end of the last Ice Age, a fact unknown to modern man of the 16th century.

And for further reading on the subject:
Maps of The Ancient Sea Kings by Charles Hapgood
Path of the Pole By Charles Hapgood
Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Underworld by Graham Hancock