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The EARTH Moves Under My Feet...
A human skull unearthed in south-central Brazil in 1975 was recently identified by scientists as the oldest human remains (11,500 years) ever recovered in the Americas. They belong to a young woman nicknamed Luzia, in homage to Lucy, the 3.2 million-year-old human found in Africa.

The Maori of New Zealand use the same word for "land"as for "placenta" (whenua) to symbolize our relationship with Mother Earth.

In the U.S., when babies are born out of hospital, new mothers or midwives will often bury the placenta, then plant a tree over it.

The Gabbra nomads of northwest Kenya plant a boy's placenta under the corral where baby camels are kept, and a girl's placenta under the hearth.

Twenty-three of the 209 road runners who qualified for the Olympic women's marathon trials last February in South Carolina were 40 or older.

Catch a FIRE
More than 43 million U.S. women said they would "definitely or probably" accept an invitation to go target shooting if asked.

A recently published study by the British Home Office found that 4.2% of men--the exact same figure as for women--were assaulted by a current or former partner in the previous year, although women were twice as likely as men to have been injured.

The arrests of U.S. women for violent crimes increased 96% between 1985 and 1994, compared to a 47% increase for men, according to the FBI.


Wade in the WATER
Sixty women surfers gathered at California's Huntington Beach to form the Women's International Surfing Association in 1975, the International Year of the Woman.

About 98% of women who give birth in water have had no pain medication, according to Waterbirth International.

Female hip-hop trio TLC won an NAACP image award for the music video "Waterfalls" in 1996.

What was believed to have been the first organized and recorded all-woman ice hockey game was played in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, in 1892. Research has since revealed that this game may have involved women playing against men dressed as women.


Would-be U.S. flight attendants in the 1940s had to be single, female, white, under age 27, between 105 and 125 lbs., between 5'2'' and 5'7'', and could have no "physical abnormalities," which included wearing eyeglasses.

In 1804, female balloonist Marie-Madeleine Blanchard was appointed France's chief of air service. She died in 1819 while releasing airborne fireworks for a crowd in Paris.

Craters on Venus bear the names of famous women throughout history, such as Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Emily Dickinson, and Lady Godiva.

--Angela Ards


Major Sources: Association of Flight Attendants; British Crime Survey; Canadian Hockey Association; FBI Uniform Crime Report; International Women's Air and Space Museum; Midwives Alliance of North America; Museu Nacional Brazil; NAACP; USA Track and Field; Wahine Magazine; Waterbirth International; Women's Shooting Sports Foundation.


Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009