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  1. I'm not sure if it's necessarily accurate to say that Columbus underestimated the size of the Earth, it's more like he overestimated how big Asia was, and Columbus would not have been alone in that. No European had ever been to east Asia by sea before. That might be kind of splitting hairs, but I think it's an important enough distinction. Only point I was making is that the Polynesians had an established history of making voyages with no guarantee of return, or even of ever making landfall. Who knows how many groups of Polynesians went out on a colonial voyage and just died at sea. Native South Americans didn't really do that, as far as we can tell. The Polynesians reached Hawaii long before they reached anywhere in the southeast Pacific, which makes sense with the currents and winds, then I would think it's not too much of a leap to assume they would have reached the coast of Mexico, then down to South America, where they got introduced to the sweet potato, then out west again to places like the Marquesas Islands after they had already interbred a bit with the Americans.
  2. Also, it's interesting that, assuming dates are correct, the Norse and the Polynesians would have both reached the Americas independently of one another separated by only a century or so.
  3. What I find interesting is a couple things: If you judge simply by ocean currents, it's equally as likely that the Polynesians didn't reach South America, rather it was the other way around. Sailing from South America to the Marquesas is easier to do than the other way around. I'm not sure I buy that, as Polynesians obviously had the more established seafaring culture (we know the South American people sailed up and down the coast as far as Mexico, but it's a big leap for people to start going "I'm just going to sail west until I hit something.") But yeah, judging by the mix of DNA evidence and the even more concrete fact that Polynesians were growing sweet potatoes, there was clearly some established connection between Polynesians and native South Americans by about 1000 years ago. I don't know if any significant contact happened before that, as you would think the importation of sweet potatoes would have been one of the first things that got transfered between cultures, and the earliest archaeological evidence places that somewhere in the 900-1200 range. Whether the Polynesians sailed first to California/Mexico from Hawaii, then down the coast to South America, then over to the Marquesas, or whether the South Americans just went west themselves, we'll probably never know for sure.
  4. I hate how fighting games these days go on sale for like $5 all the time, but then it's like "spend $400 on our DLC!" They're worse than sports games these days.
  5. Vikings were in North America by 1021 CE ARSTECHNICA.COM An ancient cosmic ray event helped archaeologists pinpoint the date. They did some newer science-y things to more precisely date when the settlement was occupied. The Norse explorers never went too much farther into North America than possibly New England, probably because they never found anything in North America that they couldn't get from Europe far easier. And Europeans didn't try to kill their traders. That being said, the idea of Norse explorers making more permanent settlements in North America is a fascinating thought experiment. Like what would have happened if they discovered corn and brought it back to Europe? Or imagine if they somehow discovered potatoes or tomatoes (not likely, since they're native to South America, but still, imagine a northern Europe that got introduced to the potato 500 years earlier). If I recall correctly, there is evidence that the Norse explorers did eat winter squash, which is a really hardy winter food. It's surpising that those weren't brought to Europe earlier.
  6. We already tried intervening in Haiti. We had a whole puppet government set up under US military supervision and everything for like a whole fucking 20 years. All that happened was that government contracts got handed out to corporations that just skimmed all the wealth from the actual people of Haiti and funneled the wealth back to- oooooooh....
  7. In Portland, I'd say we're like 90% back to "normal," and I don't know how much more we'll get to beyond lifting the mask mandate. Restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open till 2:30 again, but a lot of them just don't want to, and that doesn't seem like it's going to change any time soon. A lot of businesses have just closed altogether. I think it'll be another 3-5 years before things are fully back to the way they were before.
  8. I mean, ebola exists, and iirc it has multiple origins. We're just lucky that the fatality rate of ebola is so high that it doesn't spread very far. Now I'm thinking about a slightly less lethal strain of ebola that eventually spreads over the whole world.
  9. They had no other choice, MCU Spider-Man only has one more movie left in the contract and iirc it can't be a standalone, which means he'll be in the next Avengers or whatever this phase's version of Civil War is, then that's it. Unless Sony and Disney come to an agreement (and I think they will - everyone is getting rich, it's just a pissing contest, there's too much money on the table for one of the parties to just leave)
  10. It's like last year when I heard people praising how well India had been coping with the pandemic, like they're doing full autopsies on every poor person who dies of illness to determine if it was from covid, let alone giving accurate reports about it.
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