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Monday, 10th January, 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

# I was browsing through the Ebay and Trademe (Online auction sites) listings related to Pitcairn. Lots of stamps there but the following non-stamp items look interesting (Note I'm neither selling or associated with the sellers of the items. Nor am I bidding on them):

# How Societies Commit Suicide. A review of a book called 'Collapse' from the author of 'Guns, Germs and Steel', Jared Diamond. It writes about failed human societies and apparently has a small section on Pitcairn. Most likely it will be about the pre-Mutineer inhabitants, the unknown Polenesians that originally populated the island leaving tools and stone piles.

In addition to its fairly detailed treatments of Montana and of the various Norse settlements, the book also makes less lengthy stops at other destinations, visiting failed societies on Easter, Henderson and Pitcairn islands, drawing portraits of other contemporary societies at crossroads, including China and Australia, considering the strange case of the island of Hispaniola (divided between the quite successful Dominican Republic and the devastated, and quite possibly doomed, country of Haiti -- a difference so stark, Diamond writes, that one can see it from an approaching airplane) and devoting a depressing chapter to one of the most catastrophic and disturbing social collapses of recent decades, the genocide in Rwanda.

# New Eel Species - Apterichtus australis. A new eel species found near Pitcairn and other Pacific islands.

The eel, which is a member of the family Ophichthidae, was found in trawls taken at depths of 12-100m off the Easter, Pitcairn, Rapa and Kermadec islands in the Pacific Ocean.

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