Are Lucy’s bones those of the mother of mankind?

Lucy, three-foot-tall with an ape-like skull, jaws and teeth, and long dangling arms could be humanity’s most famous ancestor — the Mother of Mankind — or a distant relative. That’s right. The possibility she may have been human relates to the fact she walked upright just like we do.

Her bones were discovered in Ethiopia over 40 years ago, and she lived 3.2 million years ago.

But it’s the mystery of how she died that researchers are trying to unravel.

The manner of her death is significant because it provides important insight into how our ancestors evolved from tree-dwelling apes into bipeds that roamed the African savanna.

After poring over the bones and meticulously turning recent scans into 3D models, scientists analysed what they believed to be breaks in her right arm, left shoulder, right ankle and left knee.

These injuries, they hypothesised, were the result of an impact following a fall from considerable height.

“Lucy has been at the centre of a vigorous debate about the role, if any, of arboreal locomotion in early human evolution,” the research paper says. “It is therefore ironic that her death can be attributed to injuries resulting from a fall, probably out of a tall tree, thus offering unusual evidence for the presence of arborealism in this species.”

Lead researcher John Kappelman theorized that Lucy’s walking ability may have caused her to be less adept at climbing trees, making her more vulnerable to falling from heights.

But several other researchers, including Lucy’s discoverer, disagree. They contend most of the cracks in Lucy’s bones are well documented and came after her death from the fossilisation process and natural forces such as erosion.

Even if they find a way to prove Lucy died from a fall from a high place, that still wouldn’t help much in terms of her ability to climb trees. She could have fallen from a cliff instead of a tree, in which case her adeptness, or otherwise, at climbing trees wouldn’t be a factor.

And I can’t see how it could ever be determined whether it was a tree she fell from — or some other high place.

So it beats me why those guys are still arguing about what caused Lucy’s death, when it won’t in any case prove definitively whether or not she lived in trees.

By researching the treatment her doctor was prescribing, this mother of two saved her own life

Doctors are like mechanics. There are good ones and bad ones. The bad ones on both sides make mistakes. But, unlike the bad mechanics, the bad doctors bury their mistakes — often without anyone ever being the wiser.

A mother-of-two was given four rounds of chemotherapy she didn’t need — and only found out when she researched the treatment herself.

Jodi Huggett underwent the treatment after an operation to remove a low-grade form of bowel cancer. The grueling therapy caused her to go into anaphylactic shock twice.

But she discovered she had been put through the extra suffering after her doctor failed to investigate the most suitable treatment for her.

Now, after taking legal action against Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital’s NHS Trust, the Trust has agreed to pay a compensation settlement to the 41-year-old.

As she faced the fifth session, Mrs. Huggett researched her tumor only to find that chemotherapy had never been used for her condition.

And thanks to Google and the internet, Jodi Huggett was able to take matters into her own hands before it was too late.

Ben Carson Wants Trump to Stop Hurling Childish Insults at Hillary

I can’t help wondering whether Donald Trump genuinely wants to win the looming presidential election. I say that because if indeed he does, he’s going about it in a strange way — behaving like a boor.

And I also can’t help wondering whether he genuinely wants to win the election when he keeps harping on the fact that he doesn’t need to be doing this presidential race thing — that he was having a great life before he got into politics and that if he loses the election it would be no skin off his nose because he would simply go back to having a great life.

Maybe, consciously or subconsciously, Donald Trump really does miss the great life he had before his venture into the ugly world of politics.

Or, alternatively, maybe Trump behaves like a boor because he is one.

Take your pick.

On Thursday, during a CNN interview, The Donald called Hillary Clinton a “bigot,” his favorite term for her lately.

And Ben Carson, former candidate and adviser to Donald Trump, wants him to stop with the insults:

“I don’t generally get into the name-calling thing,” Carson said in a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Friday morning. “I kind of left that behind in the third grade. I certainly don’t encourage it because the issues that we’re facing are incredibly important — for us and for the future generations.”

That’s right. There’s a whole lot more at stake than The Donald’s precious ego.

During a rally in New Hampshire, on the same day at which Carson introduced him, Trump was again banging on at length about Hillary — this time over apparently calling his supporters racists:

“That’s what people do who don’t have anything to talk about,” Carson said of name-calling on both sides of the aisle. He said that it is the media’s responsibility to help guide candidates away from such attacks, despite the fact that Trump himself is the one who often perpetuates these self-inflicted errors.

I can’t think of a time, ever, when this country was in as bad a place, politically speaking, as it is right now, what with having to choose between two such unsatisfactory candidates for the presidency of the United States of America.

That said, Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She was at best a mediocre senator, without doubt a disastrous secretary of state, and she revealed herself to be a compulsive liar while answering questions about her personal email server.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a newly minted politician and not yet a fully known quantity. So, unlike Hillary, there’s always at least the possibility that he might make a good president.

Therefore, considering the ghastly alternative, what have you got to lose by voting for Trump?

In the final analysis, Hillary Clinton’s disastrous track record as a secretary of state, added to the email and Clinton Foundation scandals swirling around her, may prove to be her undoing — just as long as Donald Trump doesn’t gaffe himself out of contention between now and election day.

The Clinton Foundation Has Made the Clintons “Beholden to Scumbags”

A liberal journalist who has moderated forums hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative offered a brutal takedown of the organization, describing it as “creepy,” “disgusting” and “gross.”

Adam Davidson, who hosts a show for NPR and has written for New York Magazine, also said during an appearance on Slate’s “Political Gabfest” podcast this week, that the Bill and Hillary Clinton-controlled group’s events are “all about buying access.”

‘And later in the podcast, he said that the Clinton Foundation has made the Clintons “beholden to scumbags.”’

Shades of the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Davidson’s harsh critique comes as Hillary Clinton faces accusations that her family charities are massive pay-for-play schemes. An AP investigation found that more than half of the private individuals Clinton met with as secretary of state were Clinton Foundation donors.

Yet, ‘despite his grievances with the Clinton organizations, Davidson says he still supports Hillary Clinton for president.’

He said, “Obviously, I fully support Hillary Clinton. I can’t wait to vote for her.”

Yeah, that’s a dyed-in-the-wool liberal for you.

Hillary, however, would most likely prefer to hang on to the votes she’s potentially about to lose as a result of Davidson’s public denunciation of her family charities, than the one measly vote he’s offering her in return.

Chris Christie’s Role in Donald Trump’s Softened Approach to Illegal Immigrants

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a media outlet that Chris Christie was an influential force behind Donald Trump’s pivot this week to a more humane approach to dealing with illegal immigrants living in the country.

What happened was that The Donald paid attention to some sound advice given during a pow-wow.

Trump’s about-face on working with — rather than deporting — an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants came after policy meetings with his inner circle, led by Christie, that encouraged a more moderate tone, according to Trump this week said he’d work with the “great ones” on a plan that included paying back taxes.

While the wall can be non-negotiable, and while there is justification for deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in the U.S., it’s insane to think the civilized world would stand idly by while some 11 million undocumented, but otherwise law-abiding immigrants, are physically rounded up like cattle and driven out of the country.

There would be hell to pay, possibly even economic sanctions imposed against us.

Huma Abedin’s Muslim Journal Claimed Bill Clinton Bombed Saddam to Distract From the Monica Lewinsky Scandal

An article published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs claimed Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq in December 1998 in order to draw attention away from the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

He ordered four days of strikes by bombers and cruise missiles at the height of his impeachment trial, brought in the wake of his admission that he had had a ‘not appropriate’ relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

The strikes — known as Operation Desert Fox — were ordered the day after the House of Representatives issued a report accusing the president of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ and ended on the day the articles of impeachment were passed.

And at the time — get this — Huma Abedin was on the editorial board that decided to publish the article.

Donald Trump’s “Union With Europe’s Right Is Official”

The appearance of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage at a Trump rally has spurred Guardian columnist Lucia Graves to equate “Donald Trump’s movement” with “that of a rightwing European party.”

She writes:

Donald Trump’s movement has often been compared to that of a rightwing European party. Now, his union with Europe’s right is official. At a rally on Wednesday Trump presented himself as America’s Nigel Farage, holding the former Ukip leader up as his populist, nationalist twin.

And adds:

The architects of Brexit like to frame the vote as a righteous backlash against powerful elites. As Farage put it on Wednesday: “You can beat the pollsters. You can beat the commentators … Anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment.”

According to this oft trotted-out framing, Trump’s reviled Washington establishment is a parallel for Farage’s European Commission. But the hyper-focus on anti-elitism obscures the far less righteous xenophobia, racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that were also elements of the leave campaign.

Such uninspiring qualities are the core of Trump’s movement too, and that was apparent in no small number of crowd-pleasing lines. “Why do our leaders spend so much more time talking about how to help people [who are] here illegally than they spend trying to help American citizens?” Trump asked. “The media ignores the plight of Americans who have lost their children to illegal immigrants, but spends day after day pushing for amnesty for those here in violation of the law.”

The bigotry of Trump’s campaign is, if anything, more extreme. While leave campaign leaders such as Boris Johnson would at least distance themselves from the anti-immigrant rhetoric espoused by Farage and others, Trump has embraced it. And even Farage himself has suggested that some of Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric goes too far.

But here’s the thing. Trump is only saying what millions of Americans are thinking. That’s the reason for the traction he’s been getting.

The media have tried in vain to turn public opinion against Trump, and are even running out of fresh exaggerations — such as those we see above — with which to malign the man and his campaign.

That said, Trump can also be his own worst enemy; he absolutely must curb his proclivity to mouth off.

And he needs to understand that he’s very bad at making off-the-cuff speeches; when he does that, he rambles all over the place.

Teleprompters are there for that very reason.