News Briefs 20-01-2005

Some good ghost stories and a UFO or two this week, along with the usual mix that is the TDG news. Enjoy.

  • TDG friend Marcus Williamson has added a picture of the famous 'a Midi Pommes Bleues' in the Church of Rennes le Chateau, taken on January 17th.
  • Since when is Greek culture obscene? Since A clutch of complaints by U.S. viewers that the Athens Olympics opening ceremony featured lewd nudity it seems.
  • Our ability to put ourselves in another person's shoes and 'read their mind' is what makes us human. But how do we do it?
  • Russia and Europe sign a space deal which will include launching Soyuz from ESA launchpads.
  • In Rome, hints of buried treasure as the city unveils art found in infamous Emperor Nero's entombed palace
  • Shackleton's ghost haunts Antarctic hut conservation project.
  • Mysterious comet-like object seen over East Texas. Has Bill been test-flying again, I wonder?
  • 'Flying Triangle' sightings are still on the rise. Are they alien craft or some advanced US military aircraft?
  • The EU has been urged to ban the swastika because of its Nazi associations with hate and racism. But the symbol was around long before Adolf Hitler.
  • Poltergeists and ghosts are troubling staff at a former Victorian lunatic asylum in Chester, England.
  • A federal judge has ruled stickers in evolution text-books are illegal, but the Cobb County, Georgia, school board are to appeal his decision.
  • Researchers have found a lowly mollusc which can neutralise enough botulism toxin to kill 100,000 people. Now at last, millions of botox patients may get their expressions back...
  • Microscopic imaging techniques have enabled scientists to delve deep into the brain of a living animal to see how visual circuitry works.
  • Behind the funny name of horny goat weed stands a time-tested aphrodisiac that increases libido in men and women, and improves erectile function in men.
  • Here's one for the 'reference' section of your Bookmarks. The Cuneiform Digital Palaeography Project - The project aims to produce a systematic and comprehensive survey of cuneiform signs as they appear through time and space.
  • The FBI has abandoned it's Carnivore internet-snooping system in favour of more efficient commercial technology.
  • At least nine primitive hominids, dating to between 4.3 and 4.5m years ago, have been discovered in Ethiopia.
  • Why are some people bitten by mosquitoes while others remain bite free? The latter have a strange smell, it seems.
  • 100 years after Einstein changed physics for ever, his intellectual heirs are still hunting for a theory of everything.
  • The Mars rover Opportunity has discovered what scientists said was the first meteorite of any type ever identified on another planet.
  • He was a Scottish professional golfer in the 19th century but he predicted bullet trains, driverless golf carts, televisions and digital watches.
  • The military dominates scientific thinking in the UK, with almost a third of all public spending on research funded by the Ministry of Defence.
  • The U.S. Air Force could start operating aircraft in "near space," the no man's land above 65,000 feet but below an outer space orbit, within a year.
  • Tsunami sparks ghost sightings - Locals say spirits are terrifying them; health experts say the phenomenon is an outpouring of delayed mass trauma.
  • Nessie fans plan to halt harpoon hunt - Supporters of the legendary creature have vowed to use wildlife legislation to halt American submariner Dan Taylor's plans to harpoon Nessie when he visits Loch Ness this spring. Yes, this is the guy with the yellow submarine from last Thursday.

Quote of the Day:

It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.

H.G. Wells

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Lee's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
4 years 50 weeks

The article didn't mention it, but no prizes for guessing which religious/ethnic group wants the swastika banned.

The swastika is a lot more prevalent in ancient geometric art than people realize.

The swastika was a symbol commonly used by the early Pythagoreans. There are a few examples of Egyptian and Minoan swastikas.

The swastika appears frequently in Greek, Roamn and Byzantine mosaics, on Coptic textiles, and on mosques and secular Islamic architecture.

In all cases it is associated with the Pythagorean tradition.

The swastika appears alongside the hexagram (Star of David) on a Jewish temple from the second century CE! No Jewish historian is able to explain its use there.

It won't be banned. It has too much cultural and religious significance besides the nasty political meanings given in the 20th century. The Jewish lobby will just have to learn to swallow its hate.

Cernig's picture
Member since:
11 May 2004
Last activity:
1 year 32 weeks

Hi Lee,

Actually, as you would have discovered if you had put "ban the swastika" into the BBC's search engines and hit return, it's the German Christian Democrats who are calling for the ban. What was that about swallowing hate?

The same search also reveals that Hindus in the UK are starting a campaign to reclaim the swastika from its Nazi associations. Good for them, I say. When they are done, I wonder if they can help reclaim the pentagram from its associations with Christian fundamentalist ideas of evil?

Regards, Cernig

Lee's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
4 years 50 weeks

Trust you to do some homework and prove me wrong! :-O

Still, I bet the J lobby put the Xians up to it. How's that for wriggling out of it? (Somehow I am reminded of Basil Fawlty when he said, "Don't mention the war. I only mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.")

Good point about the pentagram. Now I feel less guilty when I do my Satanic rituals. ;-)

Cernig's picture
Member since:
11 May 2004
Last activity:
1 year 32 weeks

Hi Lee,

Well, I know for a fact that answering your door in full Druidic robe and regalia stops the Jehovah's Witnesses from coming round your house *grin*

Regards, C

Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
1 week 4 days

They will never find a Theory Of Everything, because there is no such thing. They need to accept that it takes many theories to explain everything. The Theory of Everything is made up of lots of theories, not just one, but many.

That's my theory anyway. ;-)