News Briefs 16-12-2004

Here is today's TDG news, I hope you enjoy our tales of Santa, Knights and philosophs, of UFO's and weirder things.

  • New island rises from the sea in the Maldives. I was so disappointed when I found it was manmade - I wanted to be the first to claim it was Atlantis.
  • Members of the local Knights Templar claim a clue to the Holy Grail lies in a Hereford church window.
  • A legendary monster hunter has fled Loch Ness after his home was vandalised.
  • The frontpage of the "Scotland Midlothian UFO & Paranormal Files" website claims to have pics of Nessie and a UFO. Two hits for the price of one - pity they aren't in the very same pics together!
  • Spy chief is main suspect in the poisoning of Ukrainian opposition leader.
  • Visitors will be able to "take part" in an historic 18th century battle at a new virtual reality visitors centre.
  • The Deep Impact comet-smashing mission is now set to launch on January 12th.
  • School distributes satanic sex calendar- Texas parents infuriated by explicit material. Hey Greg, when does the TDG Calendar come out?
  • In the "they should have tried this years ago" awards, hot favourite is "American Indians set to manage US bison reserve".
  • The iceberg cometh: it's 76 miles long, 17 miles wide and contains enough water to supply the population of the UK for 60 years. Impressive? Not if you're a penguin.
  • Many happy returns - the hunt for proof of reincarnation.
  • Newropean Magazine slams a recent US survey that said Europeans are just as religious as Americans - mainly because secular France was missed out of the survey but Turkey added.
  • Controversy dogs the planned demolition of historic artefacts in a Kenyan church over alleged links to Freemasonry.
  • Shiny white UFOs interrupt a barbeque in Victoria, Australia.
  • Looking for something different to make a statement or set the tone? Try hiring a UFO.
  • How do you reconstruct Santa's face? What St. Nicholas really looked like.
  • What do you get if you cross a tank of water, seven hungry sharks and one very long piece of copper wire? The answer is the first direct evidence that sharks can detect changes in the Earth's magnetic field.
  • The Bush administration plans to be able to take the GPS system offline if needed for national security reasons.
  • An eco-bot developed at Bristol University, England eats dead flies and rotten apples as fuel.
  • The very readable Annalee Newitz of Techsploitation tells an interviewer why she thinks transhumanism sucks.
  • From the same e-mag - Daniel Pinchbeck talks about his forthcoming book and 2012, the 'year of the singularity'.
  • Professor debunks internet rumours that he has ceased being an atheist.
  • A Starship Troopers moment (the book, not the movie). Real life exoskeletons are here at last. This might keep Rico happy till his jet-pack arrives.
  • The Belarusian Army is having an internet sale to clear stocks of old equipment. Next week, maybe the US will sell broken "missile shield" interceptors on ebay?
  • Part 5 of the BBC's "Planet Under Pressure" series looks at climate change and global warming.
  • A millionaire activist who believes the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 were and "inside job" is offering a $130,000 reward to anyone who can prove him wrong.

Quote of the Day:




To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.



Henry David Thoreau

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Anonymous's picture

Maybe Mr. Walters is right - but if he's so sure, why not "all in"? Seems like $130k isn't a whole lot of risk for him, considering the effort and research it would take to "prove" him wrong. True believers don't throw nickels and dimes in the collection plate.

Seeker1's picture
Member since:
5 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 40 weeks

This is an interesting question

1. If 9/11 *was* an inside job, and it hinges on the theory that a "plane didn't hit the Pentagon," then I hate to say it, but on this point, the theory already fails, as John Judge points out there's plenty of evidence that one DID (and he is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist!).

2. If it *wasn't*, what evidence would he accept? Osama has already admitted to it several times. Of course, the theorists will say it either isn't him on the tape, or he was just taking orders from the CIA. And round and round we go.

3. Last point -- the FAA in 2006 is about to legalize something Dewdney and many others claim is impossible, namely making cell phone calls from airplanes.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Anonymous's picture

3. Last point -- the FAA in 2006 is about to legalize something Dewdney and many others claim is impossible, namely making cell phone calls from airplanes.

look closely at this technology, its a rather recient development.

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
8 hours 51 min

Steven wrote:

>the FAA in 2006 is about to legalize something Dewdney and many others
> claim is impossible, namely making cell phone calls from airplanes.

On that point...more than five years ago a family friend who is quite 'high' in the flying business (scuse the pun) told me that the ban on cell phones was compete rubbish, and that they had no effect on navigation equipment in the slightest. He said the problem was actually that cell phone calls made from aircraft could not be tracked - whether the main problem was secrecy or just people getting away with free calls I'm not so sure. Interesting after all this time to see the FAA coming out and saying cell phones should be fine.

Peace and Respect
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

Anonymous's picture

here's what the FAA is talking about:

FORT WORTH, Texas and SAN DIEGO — July 15, 2004 — QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, and American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, today successfully demonstrated in-cabin voice communications using commercially available CDMA mobile phones on a commercial American Airlines aircraft. Through the use of an in-cabin third-generation (3G) “picocell” network, passengers on the test flight were able to place and receive calls as if they were on the ground ... A small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station on the plane, that uses standard cellular communications, was connected to the worldwide terrestrial phone network by an air-to-ground Globalstar satellite link.

http://www.qualcomm.com/press/releases/2004/040715_aa_testflight.html

Seeker1's picture
Member since:
5 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 40 weeks

This technology is supposed to make making cell phone calls from planes more reliable and safer.

The real problem is that when you make an old-style cell phone call from a plane multiple towers get the signal at once since the plane is moving so fast.

Anyway, my main point is, even prior to this you could make cell phone calls from planes, although the airlines forbade it (claiming it interfered with navigation although some say it really interfered with their AirFone monopoly.)

Dewdney is wrong in saying that people can't make cell phone calls from planes, because I've seen people do it. And, no, I'm not talking about the AirFones. I saw a guy do it, he talked for a few seconds, then the stewardess came and yelled at him to turn it off -- and this was in the air, not on the ground.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Anonymous's picture

the real problem is cellular towers are configured to provide service to people on the ground not in the air.

assuming what you say above is true then all the cellular providers point extra sector antennas up too then? odd, i've never seen one configured like that, and i've been on 100's of cellular towers in the usa. granted cellular calls "may" work, most likely they will under 8000 feet, but its really doubtful that they work well, if at all from 30,000 feet. for one you'd have to increase the power at the antenna of the phone. secondly, your riding inside a metal tube while flying, which would effectively isolate the phone from the tower. think old metal trailer house ...

once again i'm not saying it won't/didn't work, just that its highly improbable that so many calls of such quality and length were completed successfully on 911.

X_O's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
1 year 12 weeks

Let me throw my $0.02 in here. First the cell business is generational. That is, in the U.S. we had analog systems that were very forgiving regarding directonality (up). They were routinely used by early private flyers. They never had any effect on the avionics. The problem was that the software algorithms that calculated which tower was to carry the call and therefore charge for that portion of the call were not capable of resolving the decision once there were more than three or four towers vying for the business. Therefore the "conspiracy" of getting the feds in the game to prohibit cell use in the air. It isn't the speed, it's the altitude.

The more modern cell technologies (CDMA, TDMA, GSM) are built with antennae that are deliberately directed in a horizontal beam and do not work well from higher altitudes. There is a cell service (I'm not sure if it is the same as the on-board type in the airlines) which has its antennae directed upward. This network does not work with conventional cell phones of any type, only specific units supplied by the service provider.

I have used many different digital phones at different times in my plane with very POOR performance. The networks are apparently able to block useage, but for a completely different reason: the spoofing of the registration number of the cell phone. In other words, if they see the registration number in too many places at once, they assume it has been cloned and consider them all to be bogus.

A year or two ago Boeing engineers fired up about 500 devices inside one of their planes to see if it had any effect. Zero, zip, nada.

Lastly, the windows in an airliner are plenty big enough to let the cell frequencies in/out.

Conclusion? use is possible, but not reliable. The micro cell inside an airliner is the right solution for reliable everyday use, but it doesn't preclude intermittent success under duress.

Xavier Onassis

Anonymous's picture

"1. If 9/11 *was* an inside job, and it hinges on the theory that a "plane didn't hit the Pentagon," then I hate to say it, but on this point, the theory already fails, as John Judge points out there's plenty of evidence that one DID (and he is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist!)."

Hmm, as I read the article, it isnt weather a plane hit the twin towers or not. I think what he is disputing, is weather an airplanehit like that is enough to bring down both towers the way they did, or if there had to have been planted explosives in the buildings themselves beforehand....

-Shaas

Seeker1's picture
Member since:
5 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 40 weeks

That's not what I'm referring to.

Some of the 9-11 deniers/conspiracy theorists are claiming their main proof for an "inside job" is their belief that a plane did not hit the Pentagon.

http://www.rense.com/general20/hunt.htm

That they ignore the eyewitnesses from the highway who saw it happen, and the body parts of the passengers found inside the building, boggles my mind. This is why I think sometimes the whole 9/11 conspiracy thing doesn't pass my smell test.

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/John...

That said, it's not that there aren't questions remaining. There are plenty. Why did Bush and Rice ignore the Osama memoes? How exactly DID the Pennsylvania crash occur? And why exactly did the Shrub sit there reading about pet goats for several minutes and do nothing?

Key thing is, and I keep saying this, the Iraq invasion had been planned by the neocon think-tank PNAC (Project for a New American Century, whose members included Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, & Cheney) back in 1999 so whatever the cause for 9/11, they were already prepared to exploit it as a new Pearl Harbor - just as their position papers state.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
20 weeks 5 days

I am chancing to add a link to this
article: (pop goes the Bush mythology bubble)
because both Bush and Clinton
are pointed at. (Nobody left behind, everybody get some.)