Friday December 24, 1999

NEVADA Preservationists trying to save Reno's historic Mapes Hotel from a Super Bowl Sunday implosion got an early Christmas present Thursday from the Nevada Supreme Court -- a stay order. The Mapes has been vacant since 1982. Since then, three plans to refurbish the building have fallen through. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

NEW MEXICO The Aztec Ruins National Monument Teacher's Guide is now accessible on the Internet. The guide is targeted for fourth through seventh grades, but can be adapted for other age groups. The collection of 15 illustrated lessons assists teachers in using Aztec Ruins and its loaner trunk of replica artifacts as resources to help teach students language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and art. Two decades ago, Park Ranger Chris Judson discovered the solstice sunrise aligned with a crumbling corridor erected 600 years ago at what is now Bandelier National Monument. A solstice marker would not be unprecedented. A window at Casa Grande in Arizona measures the sun's seasonal progress through a diagram on the opposing wall. Similar markers exist at Zuni Pueblo, Chaco Canyon and at Hopi.

ARIZONA A gravel road runs to the former mining town of Jerome, following the old narrow-gauge railroad bed that was used to carry ore. The old rail line, and now the road, has 183 curves along its 26 miles, more turns than any railroad in the world. So many fires were started by the inefficient coal-fired engines that the vegetation on the mountain along its course changed from pine to chaparral. Pearl Hart robbed a stage coach on the Globe to Florence route on June 5, 1899. She got five years at the Yuma Territorial Prison. She went on the vaudeville stage acting our her role as Arizona's woman stage bandit.

CYBERIA,1575,SAV-9912240190,00.html Cahokia's inhabitants began moving away by 1200 A.D., leaving the site abandoned well before Europeans arrived. How Grey Owl won over the West. In the winter of 1937, he preached a gospel of saving the wilderness and its animals. He made up a story that he had been born in Mexico of a Scottish father, a Texas Ranger and an Apache mother. His writing struck a meaningful chord with audiences in depression-era Britian and North America. He was a celebrity. But this was no Indian. Belaney's strange metamorphosis into Grey Owl is a tale of imagination. The hoax this imposter played on the world is also one of the century's great frauds. The only Indian the Britians, Americans and Canadians warmed to in the 1930's was actually one of their own people, dressed up, who spoke like them, who thought like them. They were never interested in the real thing. How canines got a 100,000-year free lunch. Humans are compulsive anthropomorphisers. This is what provided those early wolves with their window of opportunity. Now dogs have fallen foul of a particularly virulent human folly, the notion of racial purity. But as it turns out, the ethnic cleansers are not just morally wrong - they are also pragmatically wrong. A strong and healthy race is a diverse one. the best sort of dog is a mongrel. If we could only lkearn that lesson from these world-class freeloaders, they would have more than earned their keep. Knowing the rate at which DNA tends to change, anthropologists have used this DNA to calculate when human populations separated and estimate how long ago there was a single original human “mother,” whom they call Eve. If it turns out that DNA from mothers and fathers are combining in mitochondria, those dates will have to be recalculated.