The Most Recent 66 Million Years, Abridged

Dinosaurs’ reign on earth ended sixty-six-million years ago. That’s when an asteroid crashed into our planet at twelve miles per second—typical meteor speed—burying itself nineteen miles deep. The impact created a crater fifty miles wide. Scientists estimate the asteroid’s diameter at seven-and-a-half miles.

The crater is not visible today. It now is buried two-thirds of a mile under the Yucatan Peninsula. When the asteroid hit, the area was seawater. The impact generated a tsunami and sent gases and debris into the upper atmosphere blocking the sun. Lack of sunlight and the resultant cooling exterminated much of life on earth. Goodbye dinosaurs.

After sixty-five-million-and-some years with no dinosaurs, humans appeared on the world’s stage. All humans trace their origins to Africa. The main Homo sapiens diaspora was about fifty-to-seventy-thousand years ago.
Anthropologists have lately been studying a human skull found in Eurasia dating back 210,000 years, the oldest human bone found outside Africa. It appeared that Homo sapiens first left Africa much earlier than previously thought.

But also found in the very same cave, in southern Greece, was another skull, probably Neanderthal. This one was 40,000 years younger. This discovery becomes more interesting, as researchers have been unable to find any living descendants of the older human. Scientists concluded that the first dispersal from Africa failed and this branch of humankind died out and was eventually replaced by Neanderthals. Neanderthal success was temporary, though. Over a few tens-of-thousand years, they lost the contest for world domination to Homo sapiens, who are considered to be modern humans.

Scientific research goes on. So far, fossils unearthed in Africa still predate any discovered in Eurasia by 100,000 years. None of the recent evidence contradicts the general conclusion that Homo sapiens left Africa generally on a 100,000-year cycle, as the Saharan and Arabian deserts expanded and ebbed.

Auction News

During this time of COVID-19 we’re hesitant to jump on an airplane where social distancing is not possible or be sequestered for days on a cruise ship with a few thousand other people. Now comes an opportunity to travel with family and friends while maintaining proper social distancing.

The Evergreen State, a three-hundred-foot long passenger-and-car ferry may soon be for sale. Built in 1954 and rebuilt in 1988, the vessel carried eighty-seven cars and eight-hundred-fifty passengers as part of the Washington State Ferry System’s fleet. The ferry system decommissioned it in 2017. A purported businessman in Florida purchased it at auction for $300,000.

The new owner had several declared possible plans for the ferry, but ended up selling it on eBay for $205,100. The deal fell through when the seller could not provide the buyer with documentation—including proof of ownership .

The Evergreen State has been docked at the Port of Olympia all this time, to whom the owner has not been paying rent. The Port, owed back rent of $32,000, has declared it abandoned property and is preparing to put it up for auction.

You likely have seen DUCK amphibious vehicles lumbering around Seattle or other cities, carrying cheering passengers. The twenty-five-passenger jitneys are converted military transport vehicles from the Second World War era. (“Duck” comes from army nomenclature: DUKW.) Duck sightseeing tours travel on roads and water and are popular tourist attractions wherever they operate except, until recently, Seattle.

A Ride the Ducks vehicle crashed into a bus on Seattle’s busy Aurora Avenue Bridge—Highway 99—in 2015. Five people died, more than sixty injured. In 2019, a jury awarded a total of $123 million to the victims. The Seattle Ride the Ducks could not recover and has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation.
The remaining nineteen ducks will soon be available by auction. You will definitely attract attention cruising along in your duck.

You are many eons late for your very own pet dinosaur. Not to worry, though. An auction house in Vancouver, British Columbia is readying for sale a menagerie of animatronic prehistoric animals. Lifelike in appearance but filled with gears and electric motors, the beasts can be controlled by a human operator. Many have motion sensors and spring to action when someone gets too close. Imagine the fun you could have with trick-or-treaters.

A small apatosaurus can be yours for a couple-hundred bucks. A brontosaurus will cost you a few thousand. The auction house has not disclosed the source, but speculation is they’re from a bankrupt manufacturer or touring exhibition operator. The auction company says they have had inquiries from a liquor store and other retail businesses, zoos, restaurants, and private individuals who want to entertain their neighbors or grandkids.