More trivia tonight. Rah rah ree, kick 'em in the knee, rah rah rose, kick 'em in the nose, rah rah rass, kick 'em in the other knee.
A new [as of 1998] hypothesis about recent human evolution suggests that a horrific "volcanic winter" 71,000 years ago, followed by the coldest 1,000 years of the last Ice Age, brought widespread famine and death to modern human populations around the world. The abrupt "bottleneck," or decrease, in our ancestors' populations, in turn, brought about the rapid "differentiation" - or genetic divergence - of the surviving populations.
Ambrose has linked geneticists' research to that of volcanologists Michael Rampino, Stephen Self, Greg Zielinski and colleagues, which shows the super-eruption of Toba caused a volcanic winter that lasted six years and significantly altered global climate for the next 1,000 years. Those six years of "relentless volcanic winter" led to substantial lowering of global temperatures, drought and famine, and to a global human population crash during which, if geneticists are correct, no more than 15,000 to 40,000 people survived.
It's probably for the best that, for instance, the catastrophic Black Sea flood never happenedthat was freaking me outbut this volcano business is an entirely different matter. The Toba crater is still out there, and seismically active; let's keep a lid on that fucker, eh?
In order to keep clear all the 2 Chik'chan 5 Pops (for example) of historical time, The Maya used another calendar system called the Long Count. This is a chronological sequence of days dating from the beginning of the present great cycle in 13 August 3114 BCE (a date, called by the Maya 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk'u, whose historical or mythic significance is unknown). The current great cycle will end (calamitously) on December 23, 2012.