Tuesday October 5, 1999

CALIFORNIA His stockpile of used computers figures to become a cache of historical artifacts. Sellam Ismail is passionate about preserving old computers and their history. This is what the next 100 years of our history is going to be based on.

NEVADA Everyone says Southern Nevada doesn't have any history, but the Kiel Ranch adobe house, which was built in 1855, is said to be the second oldest building in Southern Nevada. The historical Mormon Fort near Cashman Field is the area's oldest building. The organization 'Friends of Kiel Ranch' is planning a Western Heritage Festival and Cowboy Poetry Gathering Nov. 5-7 to increase awareness of the ranch.

UTAH Ogden Environmental and Energy Services has won a five-year consulting contract from the General Services Administration. The company will advise federal agencies worldwide on issues ranging from air quality to protection of archaeological resources to wetlands. The contract has a ceiling of $31.6 million per year. The company has 26 offices across the country.

ARIZONA annual festivities are held in tribute to the days of yesteryear when the Butterfield Overland Mail Company in Oct. 1857, first transported mail and passengers from St. Louis to San Francisco. The overland trail included a stage stop in what is now Benson.

NEW MEXICO "There's no fire protection, one toilet and it leaks when it's flushed," said Frank Ortiz, a regent at the Museum of New Mexico, during a tour of the 1907 armory and another leaky basement holding the museum collection at the Palace of the Governors. "This is where New Mexico's cultural patrimony is stored." The tours and the outspoken concern are part of an intensive lobbying effort to build a three-story annex behind the Palace of the Governors that would expand exhibit space eight-fold at the museum now based in the 17th-century adobe building on the downtown Plaza.

TEXAS The well-preserved label on the more than 100-year-old bottle in the Pioneer West museum in Shamrock reads: "Glovers Barbed Wire Liniment for Man and Beast Cuts, Bruises, Running Sores, Tape Worm, Scours and Gleet Internal use Tace Glover, Ft. Gibson Cherokee Nation" Often cowboys and settlers purchased a bag of gum resin called asafetida to hang around their necks. Asafetida was said to prevent contagious diseases, colds, and act as a general stimulant. Of the 254 counties in Texas, 225 have historic courthouses. In the 14-county Central Texas region, all but five were built before the 1900s and all are considered historic. The Texas Historical Commission estimated that to renovate all of the courthouses in the state it will cost $800 million or $1 billion.

CYBERIA Accompanied by the vice chair of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, three American mayors travel to Havana to study historic preservation. An exhibit opening Saturday will educate people on the uses of North Dakota clay and show off other clay objects from around the world -- including ancient tablets from Babylon that date back to 2350 B.C. Archeologists discovered what they believe is a palisade from Ford Edmonton, built in the river valley in the early 1800s. Aspirin took its place yesterday in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Bayer donated a sample of aspirin's active ingredient, acetylsalicylic acid, and a replica of the first Bayer bottles made in 1899. [ Replica artifacts in the Smithsonian ?? It gives us a headache to think about it. ] A convicted thief has pleaded innocent to charges of trying to sell stolen documents signed Edison and Jefferson. Spiegelman, 35, from New York City, was on parole following his conviction for stealing $1.3 million worth of historical documents from Columbia University's Rare Collection Library in 1994. The items recovered Friday in Greenwich were from the university collection. Online auction houses are putting rare and costly fossils just a keyboard's length away from casual collectors, and perhaps out of reach of researchers. Paleontologists fear that online fossil sales could drive prices through the roof, increase pressure to open public lands to exploitation by commercial fossil-hunters and encourage fossil theft from museums and laboratories. " From the creators of the best-selling series of games ever, Deer Hunter, comes Carnivores 2. Geared towards a younger audience than it's predecessor, your goal here is to hunt dinosaurs, not deer. Set in the distant future, a safari company has purchased a number of planets in a far away galaxy that are still in the Jurassic period of evolution. They've preserved the prehistoric ecosystems and set up exotic hunting tours for rich thrill-seekers wanting to bag the really big game... there's no plot, story, or goal. Kill things, make money, get better gear, move on to new worlds with bigger game. Try not to get eaten. " At Yankton, S.D., we paused briefly for refreshments and a look-around, and discovered that near here Lewis and Clark's expedition that opened the American West made contact with friendly Yankton Sioux and were treated to a feast of roast dog. It's a fact I'd just as soon not dwell on. Digging in the cave, its as much a crime scene as it is an archeological site. It is not a pretty site. Neanderthals butchered at least six of their own, cutting off the flesh and breaking the bones to remove the marrow and brains. A set of bones points to a grisly scenario in which some Neanderthals were butchered, eaten, and disposed of similarly to local game.

[ Grisly Adams -- and Eves -- in the Garden of Eaten ? ] Scientists have discovered the remains of the earliest Europeans: two skulls, believed to be around 1.8 million years old, have been recovered from a site at Dmanisi in southern Georgia, in the Caucasus. The discovery is startling because the bones predate the previous oldest bone fragments found in Europe by a million years. It had previously been thought that human beings had not crossed from Africa to Europe until about a million years ago. Until last week the honour of being the first true European had been accorded to a human fossil dug up at Gran Dolina, in northern Spain, several years ago. Fragments of bone were found to be about 800,000 years old - and even this date was thought to be surprisingly early.