News, news and more news. We don't just fill your Xmas stocking, we're here for the duration.

News Briefs 06-04-2007

Who could be an atheist while Chris Cornell is in existence?

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

The fact that Bell's non-local, instantaneous correlations (Einstein's "spooky interactions," Bohr's "influences") have been demonstrated to exist surely makes the a priori probability of anomalous cognition an order of magnitude more likely.

Bruce Rosenblum

News Briefs 05-04-2007

It's the right time in the lunar calendar for a giant bunny rabbit to bring chocolate eggs. To quote Bill Hicks, "that's the story of Jesus"...

Quote of the Day:

It'll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers.


News Briefs 04-04-07

Poles feature again, and again in the minds of nuts.

  • We’d be better off without religion.
  • UK impact crater debate heats up.
  • Revisiting the work of Linus Pauling.
  • Bizarre human brain parasite precisely alters fear.
  • Blair faked Iran map.
  • The real face of the European Union.
  • Rocket man!
  • Tunguska - the fire in the sky.
  • It is not so hard to feel sorry for sharks.
  • Unveiling the mystery of the construction of the Great Pyramid.
  • Did Hitler have an Antarctic base? Or why nuts are attracted to the poles.
  • Big auroras on Jupiter.
  • Jurassic art.
  • Massive Antarctic lakes discovered.
  • Weaving together minds, machines and mathematics.

Quote of the Day:

To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

News Briefs 03-04-2007

I predict that today is going to be a very long day -- for me, at least.

A big thanks to Greg for news and wry commentary.

Quote of the Day:

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.

Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.....There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.

Mark Twain

News Briefs 02-04-2007

I've been hiding under my bed wearing a tinfoil hat since April 1st.

  • Villagers witnessed a UFO crash in Somalia; currently parked in the desert, it glitters in the daylight and speaks a strange language at night. If it's shaped like a lemon, then it's probably just Bono.
  • Considering Somalia is a hotbed of Islamic militarism, is the UFO just an American UAV? If a gang of Jawas come and carry it away, then may the Force be with you.
  • In Zimbabwe, the Vadoma are a small group of people who all have inherited ectrodactyly.
  • Were jets from the RAF base at Lakenheath scrambled to intercept a UFO?
  • Former Arizona governor Fife Symington, who came clean about the Phoenix Lights, talks about his extraterrestrial experience.
  • A team from Saber Enterprises will search for evidence of the UFO that crashed near Roswell in 1947. Would the US Military leave any evidence?
  • Paul Kimball discusses why witnesses saw an airplane crash in Shag Harbour, but it was the military who classified it as a UFO.
  • Brian Vike director of HBCC UFO Research, discusses the recent UFO flap over Ontario Canada.
  • Earth lights are a phenomena witnessed across the globe, from Japan to Britain, and across time, from prehistory to the modern era.
  • Whitley Strieber has a tingling feeling that alien visitors may be about to show up. Will they knock this time, or just let themselves in again?
  • NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found that planetary systems are as common around double stars as they are around single stars. Excellent news story can be watched here.
  • Perhaps NASA need look no further than our own neighbourhood, which may be a binary star system according to Walter Cruttenden's very convincing Lost Star of Myth and Time (Amazon US or UK).
  • Workers digging a new tram line in a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem have stumbled upon the remains of an ancient Jewish city from the first century AD.
  • This May is the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the USA, but one journalist speaks up for the neglected pueblos and rock art of Native America that face destruction from development.
  • A French architect says the Great Pyramid of Giza was built from the inside out, with excellent slideshow.
  • French archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur thinks Cleopatra's palace may be found in the submerged ruins of Alexandria.
  • Graham Hancock has a few things to say about a sunken Alexandria in his book Underworld (Amazon US or UK).
  • Who was Cleopatra? Mythology, propaganda, Liz Taylor, and the real Queen of the Nile.
  • A review of The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory by Jim Adovasio (Amazon US or UK). Crikey, the Anmatyerre women of Australia's Northern Territory hunt with crowbars and axes!
  • Lisa Shiel laments the lack of women who study Bigfoot. Perhaps because they've all seen King Kong. Backyard Bigfoot, by Lisa Shiel and Nick Redfern (Amazon US or UK).
  • A court in Austria will rule whether a chimpanzee named Hiasl has equal human rights. Pretty soon the chimps who write for TDG will be demanding minimum wages and free bananas in the staff kitchen.
  • Why has Google replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite maps with pictures taken before the storm?
  • China has unveiled the nuclear-powered rover they will use for their first unmanned mission to the moon in 2012. Uh oh ... "nuclear-powered" and "2012" doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
  • China added more than 1500 big scraps of debris, and millions of smaller debris particles, to the junkyard orbiting the Earth when they destroyed a defunct weather satellite using a missile. The Chinese official who suggested they should blow up the debris using more missiles has disappeared.
  • The cremated remains of James "Scotty" Doohan will be blasted into space next month. Considering the orbital junkyard, photon torpedoes may be needed.
  • The FDA has found melamine, a chemical commonly used to make plastic cutlery, is the contaminent in pet food that has been killing animals across the US. I'll never drink from a melamine cup ever again.
  • Do animals have telepathy, or can dogs just smell what we're thinking?
  • As fun as flinging Dubya around is, it'd be better with spiky things. Or you can watch the real reason why Donald Rumsfeld was fired (Did Obama's people post that, or Hilary?).

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

In writing songs, I've learned as much from Cezanne as I have from Woodie Guthrie.

Bob Dylan

News Briefs 30-03-2007

Another week gone. Who hit the fast forward button on my life?

  • Fresh from his 'win' over Baigent and Leigh, Dan Brown now has this Catholic author's $400 million plagiarism suit to worry about. Actually, looking at what the author says in the article, I don't think Dan's got much to worry about...
  • Caral may have a rival for the title of the oldest citadel in the Americas: Bandurria.
  • British Parliament asked how much did the Condign Report (the plasma UFO thing from last year) cost. Fourth item down on the page.
  • New Malaysian Bigfoot tracks?
  • Cone-headed skulls discovered near Nazca. Fodder for the next EvD book?
  • Archaeologists find remnants of legendary 'lost' Islamic kingdom.
  • Experiments show that communication signals between neurons are indistinguishable from random firings, calling into question fundamental theories of how the brain works.
  • Artery stents found to be no more helpful than drug therapy.
  • Asteroid? We don't need no steenking asteroid to triumph over the big lizards.
  • China and Russia join forces for Mars mission. The Red Planet is about to go crimson.
  • And just to add to the colourful view of space: star explosion highlights the "Purple Rose of Virgo".
  • Is living on the coast becoming a risky proposition?
  • Scientific precision at work: Mount St Helens could go on erupting for centuries, or it could stop today. Nothing like keeping your options open.
  • Religious precision at work: Pope says there really is a hell, with flames and heat and that whole eternal damnation thing. And, being the closest man to God on the planet, he should know. Except the previous Pope said the opposite. Ummmm.
  • Robotics engineers use amoeba movement for inspiration in their latest search and rescue bots.
  • Wall Street Journal comment to Americans concerned about Global Warming: you are morons.
  • Does the Mayan calendar predict apocalypse in 2012?

Quote of the Day:

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Carl Sagan

News Briefs 29-03-2007

A good reason not to use images hosted on another person's website...

Quote of the Day:

Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space...'cos there's bugger-all down here on Earth

Eric Idle (from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life")

News Briefs 28-03-07

If the Saturn anomaly had been a rectangle of 1:4:9 we’d be building the spaceship to get there, but it is only a hexagon made of air that has persisted for at least 26 years. After taking off the Joo Janta spectacles, we might be inclined to think that solids are much more likely to take hexagon shapes than liquids or gases. And a solid hexagon circling Saturn’s north pole might just pique the curiosity of a few scientists just enough to dare to dream the impossible. Or is that asking too much?

Quote of the Day:

If the Saturn anomaly had been a rectangle of 1:4:9 we’d be building the spaceship to get there, but it is only a hexagon made of air that has persisted for at least 26 years. After taking off the Joo Janta spectacles, we might be inclined to think that solids are much more likely to take hexagon shapes than liquids or gases. And a solid hexagon circling Saturn’s north pole might just pique the curiosity of a few scientists just enough to dare to dream the impossible. Or is that asking too much?


News Briefs 27-03-2007

Nielsen (think 'tv ratings') called me up today. They wanted me to install software to track which podcasts I view over the next 3 months. I politely declined their offer.

  • Researchers link human brain size and climate.
  • Modern man's earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed.
  • Ear bone remains suggest some prehistoric people spent a lot of time in the water.
  • Dinosaurs dug deep, possibly to survive catastrophe. Underground den reveals first evidence that at least one dinosaur species could burrow.
  • Llama dung mites track fall of the Inca.
  • The Ancient Order of Druids.
  • Ancient pollen could lead scientists to the kilns where the figures in China's terracotta army were made.
  • Genomics throws species definition of microbes into question.
  • Why do mitochondrial genes move to the nucleus?
  • Female rats avoid mating with males whose great-grandsires were exposed to a common fungicide.
  • Doctors have identified a third type of twins: semi-identical - somewhere between identical and fraternal.
  • Marmosets swap genes in the womb. More.
  • Antimatter device loses its ride to space.
  • Lines of magnetism may be what makes the sun's corona 100 times hotter than the surface.
  • In 1859, the largest solar flare of the past 500 years may have temporarily shredded Earth's ozone layer.
  • Global warming could re-make the world's climate zones by 2100. Take Arizona's 'sky islands', for instance, where higher temperatures are tearing at a fabric of life that dates to the last ice age.
  • Greenland's mysterious winds tied to global climate.
  • New Orleans: a modern-day Atlantis?
  • Britain is now being watched by a staggering 4.2million CCTV cameras - one for every 14 people, and a fifth of the cameras in the entire world.
  • The secret wills of the royals: a tale of mistresses, jewels and cover-ups.
  • A battle is raging over who sets the rules for treating patients who are in pain: narcotics agents and prosecutors, or doctors and scientists.
  • Whitley's Journal: The UFO elephant is stampeding in the living room.
  • Can you live with the voices in your head? On a related note: Chuck Bonnet and the hallucinations.
  • Importers question genetic purity of U.S. crops. A not-so-distant thunderclap on the GMO horizon?
  • The Farewell Dossier: a mountain of secret Soviet documents detailing the penetration of KGB spies in US industries was revealed by a KGB defector in 1980.
  • Russian military sources warn that the US plans to attack Iran on April 6; Russian general calls for emergency session of the UN Security Council to ward off looming US aggression.
  • Bush's Shadow Army: Jeremy Scahill reports on the Bush Administration's growing dependence on private security forces such as Blackwater USA and efforts in Congress to rein them in. This article is adapted from his new book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Amazon US & UK).
  • America's hidden war dead: More than 770 civilians working for US firms have lost their lives supporting the military in Iraq, and some families are now speaking out.
  • Here's the first chapter of Andrew Cockburn's new book, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (Amazon US & UK), detailing Rumsfeld's odd behavior on the morning of September 11, 2001.
  • Today's adolescents are the first generation to have grown up less healthy than their parents.

Quote of the Day:

...through childhood games we discovered early in life some of our strengths and weaknesses. I knew beyond doubt after my tiny mushroom farm failed to grow and most of my day-old chicks died that I would never be either an entrepreneur or a farmer. And I thank God for the early disappointment.

Will today's children ever have the unexpected benefits of such disappointments, or enjoy those rehearsals for adult life if their young days are lived only through electronic images on a high definition screen? It will certainly be more difficult.

We can't stop technological progress, and in many ways computer games are preparing the next generation for a different kind of adult world from the one I've known. But, however brilliant, computers are no substitute for real-life adventures.

Ray Connolly in his mailonsunday editorial, Why a real childhood gave us a blueprint for life.

News Briefs 26-03-2007

Something for everyone.

Quote of the Day:

Our democracy, our constitutional framework is really a kind of software for harnessing the creativity and political imagination for all of our people. The American democratic system was an early political version of Napster.

Al Gore