Most of us English-speakers weren't able to see the recent total eclipse first hand, but we may yet get our chance to stare upward in awe from the path of totality - in Oz on Nov. 13, 2012, from Darwin to near Cairns and onward across the Great Barrier Reef; and in the U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017, in a 70-mile wide path beginning in Salem, Oregon, reaching the eclipse maximum near Paducah, Kentucky, and onward to Charleston, South Carolina. Thrill-seekers with ample funds have more opportunites. Also, watch out for Jeff's curve balls at Rigorous Intuition - he rarely ends up where you think he's going.
- Rare Dan Brown lecture is an immediate sell-out.
- Pharaonic hall unearthed in Luxor.
- Stonehenge: Eclipse Computer?
- Winged Sun over Egypt: why there's not a single reference to an eclipse, either of the Sun or the Moon, in ancient Egyptian history.
- Popular image of Jesus' crucifixion may be quite erroneous: 1st century eyewitness descriptions show the Romans had a broad and cruel imagination.
- Archaeologist links ancient palace with warrior-king Ajax, hero of the Trojan War.
- Grave mysteries: Aleister Crowley, the occult and High Weirdness, parts one & two, which includes a molecular biologist's take on Pablo Amaringo's ayahuasca-inspired paintings.
- How Myths Are Made: An excerpt from Ronald Hutton's Witches, Druids and King Arthur. Amazon US & UK. The UK paperback is due out in July.
- Dramatic and unexpected warming of air temperature over Antarctica brings into question the reliability of climate models, which failed to simulate the rise in temperatures.
- Heat-loving bacterium found beneath frozen lake in Antarctica.
- NASA restarts canceled asteroid mission.
- Contradicting accepted ideas of planetary behavior, computer simulations suggest hot Jupiters do not rule out alien Earths.
- Life waxes and wanes with bobbing of the Solar System.
- Thunderbolts revisits the Columbia disaster, and asks, what are we to think about giant lightning bolts to space?
- Alien Bases: The Mystery of the Moon.
- New study says Himalayas are far, far older than previously thought.
- GeneDupe's chief science officer says Muggles may soon own pet dragons, other mythological creatures. That on top of Voldemort, and the the Ministry of Magic will really have its hands full!
- Why Some Animals Are So Smart: The unusual behavior of orangutans in a Sumatran swamp suggests a surprising answer.
- Cat stuck in wall waves paw for help.
- Rooster in Kyrgyzstan saves itself from the pot by crowing 'Allah, Allah'. Skeptical? Just check out this BBC audio.
- Cockroaches make group decisions democratically.
- Evidence suggests some women with menstrual cycle disorders like asthma and migraine headaches may be allegic to their own estrogen and progesterone hormones.
- Oz researchers say extreme laziness is a medical condition called motivational deficiency disorder. No doubt a world-wide epidemic caused by those bacterial parasites in our brains.
- Depression breakthrough: "When we turn the current on, the patients report the emptiness suddenly disappears."
- Biotech firm says it's blood-cleaning technology can cure bird flu and a slew of other infections, including anthrax, Marburg, smallpox, and Ebola.
- When a gene regulating long-term memory is knocked out of operation in mice, they can retain information for much longer than normal.
- Brains of very intelligent children develop differently than less intelligent children.
- Frictionless motion observed in water.
- Watching new blood vessels grow using engineered viral nanoparticles.
- Why spiders' silk threads don't twist.
- Warbots to replace human soldiers: the days of crewed vehicles – both on the ground and in the air - are numbered.
- Breakthrough technique for growing replacement cartilage offers hope of replacing the entire articular surface of knees damaged by arthritis.
- Still lusting after that ancient sword, Roman helmet, or jewelry you saw in a museum or on the web? Life's short - buy a copy.
- ET's flown home – chased off by the internet. Disinfo, or just the usual mass media idiocy?
- Primary voting-machine troubles raise concerns for Nov. '06 elections.
- The curious case of Sirhan Sirhan, the occult, and MKULTRA.
- The secret world of anagrams. For my full name, the trial version of the anagram software came up with 'Harry trivia, knowingly', which fits amazingly well.
Quote of the Day:
The Sun and the Moon are dancing, circles in the sky,
The shadow is advancing, the dragon passes by.
And in the darkest moment, in the soul's dark night,
Great Mystery reveals itself, and the darkness turns to light.
Surely there is more to Coral Castle than a fanciful myth. Post your thoughts.
- Physics world buzzing over faster than ever particles.
- The Lincoln conspiracy: inside the plot to avenge the Confederacy.
- Coral Castle: a fanciful myth.
- Asteroid Itokawa and why Saturn shouldn’t float on water.
- Stanislaw Lem is dead.
- Searching for the invisible man.
- Earth is at the tipping point.
- The Dam is breaking on the 911 cover-up.
- Skull find could force rethink on human origins.
- A pill to beat fear?
- Great fakers scammed Ancient Italy.
- Italian scientists find Ancient Ur tablets.
- Garlic has efficacy against cancer and heart disease.
- Forbidden planet Mars.
- Noah’s ark plan from top moon man.
- Surgeons remove two foetuses from infant.
Quote of the Day:
If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake.
Data, for your mind to filter...
- The Eye of God returns! Sounds dramatic doesn’t it.
- Satanic art of the Catholic Church exposed. Apparently.
- Weird science: the Financial Times review of Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near (Amazon US).
- Could Ethiopian skull be the missing link?
- Brighter sun adds to fears about Global Warming.
- Whale song reveals sophisticated language skills.
- Study finds that, among Europeans, German people are the most intelligent.
- Meet Benjamin Radford, the 'real Ghostbuster' (he's a CSICOPian). Oh dear, even he trots out the "why haven't psychics found Osama Bin Laden" line. Must have been top of the talking points memo at the last CSICOP monthly meeting....
- Have you seen the ghost boy in Three Men and a Baby? A good example of how easy it is to mistake one thing for another I guess.
- Australian aborigines built underground water reservoirs.
- Egyptian Museum in Cairo ‘finds’ the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. Perhaps a spring clean is in order Zahi?
- What can we expect from quantum computers?
- CNN.com has a video feature on the future. I would be more excited if I could watch them on my retinal implant.
- First launch from New Mexico spaceport nears.
- Artificial Gravity generator now possible?
- First images beamed back by Mars probe.
- Team readies for Venus arrival.
- Oh my god, they killed satire. Is religion winning the battle against free speech?
- Here come the God-killers. Interesting how this meme has jumped out in the past month, from Bering in this article to Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and others featuring in news or releasing books on the topic.
Quote of the Day:
Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor— but they have few followers now.
Arthur C. Clarke
Is my eyesight getting worse from staring at a computer screen, or is it the news?
- A psittalinguist -- a person who interprets budgie-speak -- says birds have cognitive abilities, and talk about spiritual matters. And Shadows thought Captain was just a foul-mouthed parrot with the vocabulary of a sailor.
- New research has confirmed that humpback whales use syntax in the complex songs they sing, making them better songwriters than most bands in the top 40.
- Mice testicles may provide an "ethical" source of embryonic stem cells for research. You mean ... Mrs Frisbee was once a man?!
- Australian water diviner locates legendary underground river, but only had to pay the ferryman AUS$1.75 due to the exchange rate.
- A Malaysian construction worker gave up his day job to hunt the Johor bigfoot full-time. One day, Greg ... one day.
- The Johor Government is serious (but not enough to give up their day jobs) about investigating and protecting the wild hairy ape-folk hiding in the jungles. This conflicts with recent news that local Johor authorities are bulldozing and destroying physical evidence of the Johor Bigfoot.
- Loren Coleman's Cryptomundo has a great summary of the world's best cryptozoo museums.
- An interview with British Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman, author of Dragons: More Than A Myth (Amazon UK only).
- Here's a video report of a leprechaun spotted hiding in a Mobile Alabama tree. I haven't laughed so hard since my Harry Potter book spontaneously combusted. Priceless.
- A 243-year-old pre-Columbus world map may be authentic, proving the Chinese explored the globe. Don't pop the champagne cork just yet, Gavin Menzies, there are still doubters.
- A gallery of magnificent Ancient Chinese jade Bi Disks, used in the Dropa hoax.
- What is jade, and why were (and still are) the Chinese obsessed with it?
- Symbols found on 7000-year-old pottery offers clues to the origin of Chinese characters.
- The Cassini space probe has sent back stunning images of Saturn's moons and rings.
- Not to be outdone, the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has relayed spectacular images of the martian surface.
- A fresh look at the mid-1990s controversy of the Martian meteorite many claimed to contain evidence of life.
- Are we living in the End Times? An overview of apocalyptic predictions.
- Michael Jackson has slammed reports he is desperate to meet an extraterrestrial, but he would like to share a bed Noddy-and-Big-Ears-style with Spielberg's ET.
- A New Interpretation of Psi Phenomena -- an excerpt from Renee Haynes's The Hidden Springs: An Enquiry Into Extra-Sensory Perception (Amazon US or UK).
- A group of researchers conducted a scientific study of the prayer healing phenomena, and received mixed and controversial results.
- The Other Side Of Truth's Paul Kimball talks about J. Allen Hynek vs. The Psychics, and links to a classic 1977 tv appearance.
- A review of Ray Kurzwell's The Singularity is Near (Amazon US or UK). I'll be going on 78, but better late than never.
- Why was Michael Scott, the wizard who tutored the Pope, condemned to eternal torment in Dante's eighth circle of hell? Don't panic Mike, there'll be plenty of TDG regulars to keep you company, including yours truly.
Quote of the Day:
"The next, who is so slender in the flanks,
Was Michael Scott, who of a verity
Of magical illusions knew the game"
The Divine Comedy, Inferno, canto XX
The British Big Cats Conference is taking place in Leicestershire, March 24-26. Here's what you need to know about the mystery cats before you go.
- Carbon dating suggests map drawn in 1763 by a Chinese cartographer is real, not a modern forgery, but doubters still question the results.
- Were early humans and cave bears trading spaces?
- London and many other areas to be under water by 2100.
- Main-belt comets between Mars and Jupiter may have played a role in forming Earth's oceans.
- Does the Gulf of Mexico hold as much oil as Saudi Arabia?
- Research reveals oxygen's contributions to evolution.
- Humans are a hostile host to bird flu. Wanna bet this won't end the hype?
- Speaking of birds, if your computer modem sounds a little odd, try checking the tree outside.
- Rare syndrome puts women in state of sexual overdrive.
- Humpback songs reveal sophisticated language skills.
- Whose Internet is it, anyway?
- Mars meteorite similar to bacteria-etched earth rocks.
- Walgreens customers sue over insults on their prescription printouts.
- Russian researchers open UFO School for lovers of paranormal.
- Richard Freeman: Interview with a cryptozoologist.
- The U.S.'s missing $3 trillion, including info on the aliens among us (circa Sept. 2002), and America's Black Budget (circa May, 2004).
- The history of U.S. response to UFOs and extraterrestrail visitors: A review of Exempt From Disclosure.
- Actor Charlie Sheen Questions Official 9/11 Story. CNN has a poll where you can vote on whether or not you agree with Sheen that the government covered up the real events of 9/11. At the time I checked the results, 82% agreed.
- Wiccan veterans want gravesite recognition.
- Cold Warrior in a Strange Land: An interview with Chalmers Johnson, parts 1 and 2.
Quote of the Day:
Political couch potatoes, that’s what we have become. Wimps’r’Us: the 90 percent of the nation’s citizenry who are subservient to the wishes of the other 10 percent. We are all believers, no way to deny it, whether it’s Jesus Christ that we follow, or the goddess Apathy; or render cult to both while pretending to be monotheistic.
Ben Tanosborn, here
Rest your trigger on my finger...
- What's strange on the west coast of the U.S.? There's a good chance you'll find out in Weird California (Amazon US). Did Bill Hicks know more than he was letting on about the lizard people of Los Angeles?
- The Economist predicts the Singularity will occur in 9 years, based on the hyperbolic rate of increase in the number of blades on razors. Not only will we be god-like, but we'll be cleanshaven.
- Monk's death linked to The Da Vinci Code? No, his name is not Silas.
- Californian UFO sightings turn out to be big boys' toys.
- Was Einstein wrong about space travel and relativity?
- The gods of cosmology ask questions that can't be answered.
- Tiny Greek island prepares for solar eclipse invasion.
- A short review of Will Storr vs the Supernatural (Amazon US and UK).
- Girls just want to talk to the dead. Cyndi Lauper says she's psychic.
- The Buddha Boy. He's here, he's gone, he's here.
- The Archbishop of Canterbury says Creationism should not be taught in schools.
- Revisiting that Martian meteorite.
- And revisiting those Martian gullies carved by water - perhaps not.
- New Mars Orbiter is ready for action.
- Space tourism lures rising number of U.S. entrepreneurs.
- I've come to the conclusion that necessity is not the mother of invention. Killing is.
- Is the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker a living bird, or just a haunting memory? The debate continues.
- Experts say Carolina mystery beast is a rare, abnormal fox (with photo). Next they'll be saying Nessie's an elephant....
- Is the grouping of plants in species simply an exercise in convenience, or a viable scientific activity?
- BoingBoing has a cool link to a 1972 documentary about the Arpanet's early work on the thing we like to call the intarweb.
- San Francisco to turn dog poop into biofuel.
- Oetzi the Iceman's murder recorded on an ancient stone? Grissom's eyebrows raise...
- Appeals court overturns Nevada petroglyph theft conviction.
- Should the proposed M3 motorway in Ireland be rerouted, to let their High Kings sleep in peace?
- It's all civilised in Afghanistan since the Taliban were evicted. Men don't have to have beards, women don't have to wear veils. Just don't convert to Christianity.
Quote of the Day:
Los Angeles, every day, hot and sunny...and they love it. "Isn't great, every day, hot and sunny?" What are you, a f**king lizard? Only reptiles feel that way about this kind of weather. I'm a mammal, I can afford coats, scarves, cappuccino and rosy cheeked women.
All sous rature.
- Human genes may kill HIV.
- Geomagnetic flip may not be random after all.
- Cancer vaccine one step closer.
- Earth may have infected Titan with life.
- High-speed surprise for lying eyes.
- Woman with perfect memory baffles scientists.
- Ancient sarcophagus unearthed in Cyprus.
- AP erases video of Israeli soldier shooting Palestinian boy.
- Religious belief itself is an adaptation.
- Defense Intelligence Agency explores weird science.
- Questions about why we and the universe exist are worth asking even if there are no answers.
- The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll.
- The life and times of Economic Man.
- Peru: Hell and back.
- Unexpected photochemistry unearthed.
- Magnetic memory: new model forecasts solar storms.
- Worry advice: Don’t Panic and wear Joo Jantas.
- The moon and its rilles. Part 1, 2 and 3.
- Brain parasites responsible for suicide bombings?
- Journey to the dark side.
Quote of the Day:
He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.
- If 40 million people have read The Da Vinci Code, why doesn't anyone admit to reading it? A very observant article about the intellectual snobbery and uneven standards being applied to what is, basically, a fun read about fascinating subjects.
- Is Stigmata case a bleeding miracle?
- Blackstar: the false messiah from Groom Lake.
- The unique signs and clues that there may be a Bigfoot in your backyard.
- Waking the dead, with a pay-per-view seance with John Lennon.
- Does Project StarGate predict mushroom clouds for a town near you?
- New book describes history of U.S. response to UFOs - a review of Exempt from Disclosure, by Richard Doty and Robert Collins (Amazon US).
- Mothman now has his (?) own museum.
- BBC comedy mocks belief in the supernatural.
- Woman with perfect memory stumps experts. A moment she'll never forget, I'm betting.
- A positive review of Lewis Wolpert's Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief (Amazon UK).
- Here's the contents of the latest Skeptic magazine.
- Proof of Big Bang seen by space probe.
- What do you think about sex that's out of this world?
- Bacteria could power tiny robots.
- U.S. government accused of rewriting science.
- Evangelicals warn Republicans that they'll need to pull up their jackboots if they want their support.
- Japan starts issuing biometric passports.
- Mayan underworld is a researcher's - and divers - dream.
- Cleopatra used hair power to get her way.
- The Parthenon was once a riot of colour.
- Archaeologist stands by controversial rock art book.
Quote of the Day:
The customer is usually wrong; but statistics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so.
I've plumbed the depths of my exhausted brain to bring you a mish-mash of news and information. I hit bottom pretty quickly.
- Paid volunteers in a UK drug trial have suffered life-threatening effects, one victim expected to remain in a coma indefinitely.
- An investigation by New Scientist suggests a catastrophic over-stimulation of the immune system may have caused the horrific reactions.
- In an odd opinion piece, the UFO Iconoclast(s) think alien abductors are elitists who only probe the lower classes. Yeah, but they give me a lollipop.
- NASA plans to send a manned mission to the dark side of the moon. I guess they're trying to shake their harmless nice-guy image.
- The best map ever made of the early universe has been revealed. Don't panic.
- Will the asteroid 99942 Apophis collide with Earth in 2029? Or will it hit the NASA spacecraft on its way to the dark side of the moon?
- New evidence suggests that the universe expanded from subatomic to astronomical size in a fraction of a second after its birth.
- If we could travel to distant stars and planets, could the human body withstand extended exposure to the harsh radiation of outer space?
- Sun-spawned cosmic storms could be 50 percent stronger in the next 11-year solar cycle than the previous one, say scientists.
- New analysis says Global Warming is responsible for the dramatic increase of intense hurricanes across the world.
- Are cosmic rays from the stars causing Global Warming on Earth? Hollywood denies any wrongdoing.
- Agent Mulder would have a different take on a Russian scientist's bold theory that the Tunguska event accelerated Global Warming.
- Could bits of the Earth blasted into space by asteroid impacts have carried life to Saturn's moon Titan?
- Evidence of a 3-million-year-old impact crater has been found off the coast of Antarctica.
- The Pentagon's defence scientists want to create an army of cyber-insects that can be remotely controlled. Gives a whole new meaning to having ants in your pants.
- Stanton Friedman is still touring the lecture circuit, talking about nuts and bolts UFOs.
- If you like your UFOs with a dash of ancient history, try ThothWeb's article about palaeoufology (my word, I just love the confusion of vowels) and ancient astronauts.
- A tour of mysterious architecture in Oceania that didn't make it into Graham Hancock's Underworld. Ancient Tonga and the lost city of Mua. Speaking of which, remote sensors were recently used to probe Tonga's ancient tombs.
- Is there a South American connection to these strange pre-Maori ruins in New Zealand? Fantastic photos in first link.
- Archaeologists in India discovered a 5000-year-old Harappan city recently.
- A Chinese frog has been recorded as the first amphibian known to communicate using ultrasound.
- Ground squirrels make an alarm call so high pitched, humans can't hear it. Kat can't hear their screams because she has her car stereo turned up too loud.
- Screaming squirrels can't explain Scotland's mystery monsters from the sea.
Quote of the Day:
Wondering's healthy. Broadens the mind. Opens you up to all sorts of stray thoughts and possibilities.
Charles de Lint
I've been lookin' all day, but I'm telling you up front, what with Greg posting 7 updates, and me contributing to his 3 News Briefs this week, there's no news left - nothin', nada, zip! In desperation, I've finally just made up a bunch of headlines, and inserted random links. So there's no telling where you'll end up, but I'm reasonably sure you'll have a pleasant trip. And congrats to TDG reader, Xaltotun, for having the 2nd highest score in ThothWeb's recent alternative quiz.
- St. Patrick's Day fast facts: Beyond the Blarney.
- Anatomy of the Big Bang: new data sheds light on how universe expanded.
- Scientists reassess geologic evolution of Venus.
- ESA satellite reveals Yellowstone's deep secret.
- Big new reservoir of water ice suspected under Mars.
- To learn if Mars ever supported life, researchers should look underground.
- Life on Mars? The real lesson from Lowell.
- Astronomers detect hidden stream of stars stretching halfway across the northern sky. Cosmic Log's Alan Boyle explains.
- Quest for philosopher's stone may rid the world of long-lived radioactive waste.
- Marine scientist shocked by great Barrier Reef's coral graveyard. What is the fate of the ocean?
- When emotions make you see colors.
- Do musical tastes help you get to know someone?
- How William Shatner changed the world.
- Going where no report has gone before: The manifesto that got science to the top of Bush's agenda.
- The Sixty-Million-Year Virus: How do we know that humans are kin to chimpanzees and other primates?
- Philosopher Daniel Dennett comes out of the closet as a nonbeliever, and calls for scientific investigation of religion.
- God's scientist receives supreme award: Richest grant goes to cosmologist who says religion best explains laws of universe.
- News from 2010: Study proves universe created by committee.
- FBI to get $425 million computer upgrade - to replace the doomed $170 million effort that left agents working largely on paper.
- What's lurking in that RFID tag? A big vulnerability to hackers, says computer scientist.
- Let's say you get religion of the South American kind - the kind that uses Ayahuasca: there are possible food/drug interactions you need to know about.
- Paleoufology: Visitors in the dawn of times.
Quote of the Day:
O Paddy dear, an’ did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his colour can’t be seen,
For there’s a cruel law agin the wearin’ o’ the Green!