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

News Briefs 01-02-2007

Zacar, od zamran!

Quote of the Day:

We won't have any GM, no. Which is a shame - I think we've missed a trick there. We could develop wheat with the properties of velcro, to catch whatever it is that's forming those crop circles! But then the spaceship would have to have the corresponding it's a bit of a long shot really.

Bill Bailey

News Briefs 31-1-07

  • The mystery of Chaco Canyon.
  • Stroke of insight.
  • What we don’t know.
  • Stonehenge builders’ houses found.
  • Is philosophy progressive?
  • Hobbit human is a new species.
  • Who runs the world and controls the value of assets?
  • How the moon rules your life.
  • Hunt for ancient medicine secrets.
  • Ancient Mayan ruins to be studied.
  • Cancer treatment happy end for more patients.
  • Deep space explosion baffles astronomers.
  • Biblical natural cures.
  • Life on Mars may lie dormant in frozen seas.
  • Endless universe made possible by new model.
  • Apocalypse never? Science could yet save the day.
  • Scientists rethink causes of Mad Cow.
  • Bacteria and viruses alter evolution’s speed.
  • Neptune may have thousands of escorts.
  • Undersea vent blows blue.

Quote of the Day:

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Albert Camus

News Briefs 30-01-2007

I read the news today, oh boy...

Thanks Pam and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

I think one could say that time and again in science, something that looks like a curiosity initially often leads to a completely new direction of research. Sometimes, they provide the golden key. Doesn't always happen. Sometimes it's just mumbo-jumbo. But that may well be true with savants.

V.S. Ramachandran

News Briefs 29-01-2007

Last night I was woken from a terrific nap by Tool playing right across the road from my house, literally. Turn the volume down next time, Maynard! ;-)

  • Part I of an article by Mary Alice Bennett discussing giants in the Americas. Chinese import basketballer Ming Yao doesn't count.
  • Cryptomundo has screenshots of the San Francisco Bay sea serpent filmed by Bill and Bob Clark.
  • A second O'Hare UFO pic has come to light. This must be a hoax, witnesses never mentioned lights around its rim.
  • Another UFO was photographed in Poland last December, and this one's very interesting.
  • France's National Space Studies Centre (CNES) are about to release an archive of over 1600 cases of UFO sightings. Their cellar of over 1600 cases of wine will remain top secret.
  • Earthfiles has an excellent article (with photos) about encounters with UFOs and animal mutilations on a farm in North Dakota.
  • A review of Hollow Earth by David Standish (Amazon US or UK). Looks like a good book, but where do giant drills fit into his idea that our fascination with a Hollow Earth "can be seen as a sort of ultimate metaphysical retreat to the womb"?
  • New scientific research suggests the moon affects human behaviour and health. "That's lunacy!" the skeptics cry.
  • Novelist Michael Prescott discusses the bullying behaviour of the academic elite and their crusading skeptics. Excellent read.
  • Just don't mention the war at this meeting of 800 skeptics and "freethinkers".
  • American Chronicle's R. Lee discusses the new meme of skeptics to discredit the UFO phenomenon; label it as a religion. Look out, R. Lee, I bet they have a voodoo doll in your likeness.
  • New Scientist magazine and skeptics alike have been duped by a story suggesting Grand Canyon employees were ordered to give tourists the Creationist version of when the world wonder was formed.
  • More than just ordinary sound vibrations are recorded by musicians; emotions, thoughts and a piece of their soul are transferred, according to Artie Wayne. That explains Soul music.
  • Craniotomy, a surgical operation performed on the brain through an incision in the skull, may have been in use in China nearly 3000 years ago.
  • The recipe for a 9000-year-old Chinese wine is being made and marketed as Chateau Jiahu by an American brewing company. I bet the label says Made In China.
  • The inhabitants of a 2500-year-old city discovered in Mexico may have been influenced by the Olmec. By the Olmec themselves, or just the relics they left behind? With pics.
  • A Taliban governor who oversaw the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas has been killed by a mystery assassin. Reports say he was whipped to death.

Quote of the Day:

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.


News Briefs 26-01-2007

There's no shortage of news today, but exploring an occasional tangent can also be interesting. Ever tried a taste of conspiracy rap? My current fave is 'Special', from Voice's The Chaotic Order, the 1st song listed in the player on this page. For Voice's 9/11 rap, click the 4th song in the list.

Big thanks to Greg!

Quote of the Day:

The challenge for the United States is that we have to be correct one time -- I mean, 100 percent of the time.

George W. Bush

News Briefs 25-01-2007

And the whole scene unfolds with a tedious inevitability....

  • Is this the O'Hare UFO photo?
  • Man 'reads' the contents of James Randi's secret box, and puts in a request for the million dollars.
  • Oldest Semitic text decoded on sarcophagus under Egyptian pyramid from almost 5,000 years ago.
  • Action taken to save graffiti on 5,000-year-old megaliths. Is there a quantitative measure of the amount of years for graffiti to change from 'vandalism' to 'heritage'?
  • Ancient Shinto ritual fueled by lots of sake and fire. Sounds like any Australian camping trip.
  • When the Athanasius Kircher Society meet, the nights always seem to end with walrus penises being waved above heads.
  • Hacking the human life span. Also: can ageing be stopped?
  • A review of Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Amazon US and UK), by Ben Witherington.
  • Do you believe in magic?
  • The Universe as a magic roundabout. Guaranteed to bend your brain if you read it early in the morning.
  • More on that story about Uri Geller coming under fire for his Israeli TV show.
  • Woman's toe produces colourful stones.
  • New Mexico sasquatch sighting?
  • Completely new mammal species discovered in Peru. Sadly, does not stand 8 foot tall, smell unpleasant or make frightening sounds. Probably rules out Bigfoot, but perhaps we could still shoehorn a chupacabra in there?
  • Humans caused Australia's Ice Age extinctions. I feel so ashamed....but giant wombat burger is unbelievably tasty.
  • Global Warming's Smoking Gun is on the table.
  • Alp's glaciers gone by 2050. But where will the upper class ski?
  • Indonesian volcano caused by gas drilling?
  • Hyperbike has NASA looking twice.
  • Astronaut seeks craft to 'bump' asteroids out of Earth collision path.
  • Planetary Society petitions President Bush to save space science.
  • An ambitious plan to make Mars habitable within 1,000 years. Hopefully our trade-in lasts that long.
  • Patient fixes hospital machine so his own operation can go ahead.
  • Military builds robotic insects. And they feel well proud of themselves, until they realise that when the enemy get their hands on the same technology, things go pear-shaped. The idiotic story of advancing military technology, summed up in one sentence.
  • It's a good thing then that the US military has invented this heat ray. That'll show them! For now anyway.
  • Boy's screaming kills 443 chickens.
  • How to isolate stem cells from a placenta. A home DIY guide. "Don't throw away the placenta once done; it makes for a nutricious breakfast when cooked with eggs."
  • The blue apples of Rennes le Chateau.

Thanks Baldrick.

Quote of the Day:

No one – and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag … is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the flag, see. That's freedom.

Bill Hicks

News Briefs 24-01-07

  • The invisible enemy in Iraq.
  • Happiness is a skill to be learned.
  • Altruistic brain region found.
  • Lethal secrets of 1918 flu virus.
  • How grue is your valley?
  • Earth: she’s hot and cold.
  • Massive ancient building discovered in Peru.
  • Black diamonds: from outer space?
  • One giant screw up for mankind.
  • Nimble minds.
  • Is the autism epidemic a myth?
  • Molecular magnets mystery.
  • Electric supernovae.
  • Nanoparticles act like atoms.
  • Junk DNA may be key to curing cancer.
  • Physicists develop test for string theory. Just in time to save funding.
  • You’re being watched. Rhetoric? Private versions of all these things would be fine - it is marrying them with big government that creates the justifiable paranoia.
  • Get more out of geothermal.
  • Acupuncture: a treatment for Parkinson’s.

Quote of the Day:

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Thomas Edison

News Briefs 23-01-2007

Happy birthday for tomorrow to my wonderful, amazing, beautiful Tonita!

  • Does the 'Murphy mover' explain the pyramids? I didn't realise there were Irishmen in ancient Egypt.
  • Quarrying company wins battle over ancient Henge site.
  • Is the real Mona Lisa buried in Florence?
  • USD professor says that the Battle of Big Horn was actually a rout, with Custer's troops disintegrating in panic.
  • Swiss archaeologist digs up African pottery dating to at least 9,400 BCE.
  • Drawing back the veil on Pre-Columbian America: a review of Charles Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Amazon US and UK).
  • Meet the real Dr Frankensteins of the Cold War era.
  • Mental training has the ability to physically change the brain. As opposed to Cold War scientists changing it for you. This article part of a current Time magazine feature on the mystery of consciousness.
  • 'Baby mind reader' wants to challenge Randi for his million.
  • Uri Geller is 'spooking' Israeli magicians.
  • Is the O'Hare UFO sighting the start of a new 'flap'?
  • Alfie Carrington has spent half his life trying to build a flying saucer. Probably better off hijacking one this year sometime.
  • New research suggests that the Moon influences our lives in many ways.
  • Exploding robots may scout hazardous asteroids. I've been waiting for the day when astrophysics and slapstick would combine for the greater good.
  • Scientists say 'Fantastic Voyage' willl be a reality in 2009.
  • The twenty most popular scientific myths.
  • India's space hopes soar as capsule returns to Earth.
  • Gambling appears to show that consciousness is a sure bet.
  • Ironically, also in today's news: activation of brain region predicts whether a person will be selfish or altruistic. What about if you gamble your own money and give it to someone else?
  • Western faiths begin to connect with Yoga.
  • Neural 'extension cord' developed for brain implants. Why not add in a double adaptor so that great minds can think alike?
  • While nanotechnology is all the rage in the scientific world, for most people it's off the radar.
  • MIT study urges use of geothermal energy as a power source.
  • Aerosol pollution slows down winds and reduces rainfall. Apparently also good for cleaning glass, eradicating mosquitoes, and starching your clothes.
  • Stephen Hawking warns of climate change danger. Hmm, his spaceflight training makes more sense now....deserter!!
  • More on that ball lightning in the lab story from a week or so ago.
  • Don't try this at home kids...television repairman shoots electricity from his fingertips (video). Ball lightning in the home?
  • US man survives 17-story tumble. Unfortunately, loses out in sympathy stakes to the duck that survived being shot and then surviving two days in a fridge.

Quote of the Day:

I'm fascinated that our government could lie to us so blatantly, so obviously for so long, and we do absolutely nothing about it. I think that's interesting in what is ostensibly a democracy.

Bill Hicks

News Briefs 22-01-2007

Monday again.

  • Here are those robots I was asking for last week, but I prefer nurses of the human kind (especially cute ones).
  • Two US human rights groups claim to be working with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodaphone to protect civil liberties. Hrmm, which satellite did China shoot down?
  • The site discusses Randi's obsession with Uri Geller.
  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, a new book by Wall Street Journal science writer Sharon Begley, discusses a conference of buddhist monks and neuroscientists (Amazon US or UK).
  • The Sentience and Consciousness website has an interesting article about the development of conscious perception.
  • Nick Redfern writes about Puerto Rico's (no relation) Moca Vampire. Not to be confused with the cappuccino vampire.
  • Whitley Strieber's talking about nothing really, just something about global superstorms, UFOs and nuclear armageddon.
  • Joe Kovacs (any relation to Ed?) reports that Colonel Brian Fields has photographed UFOs eerily similar to the Phoenix Lights (Wiki? We need a Red Pill entry).
  • UFO Digest says that the O'Hare UFO and the latest in Arkansas could be sign of more sightings to come.
  • Carl Mason says we shouldn't ignore skeptics completely. Except Randi.
  • An excellent article about the Chachapoya "Cloud People" ruins found in the Peruvian Andes last August. National Geographic also has an excellent feature with pics, as does Living In Peru dot com.
  • Ancient weapons 5500-years-old speak of ancient battles in Syria, near the Iraq border. Close, Dubya, but not close enough.
  • A brilliant four-page feature about the 13th century medieval text found to contain the oldest known writings of Archimedes.
  • A statue of Hanuman in an Indian temple apparently shed tears. Attention-seeking deities will do anything to pull a crowd.
  • Researchers in Canada have resurrected the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic and infected monkeys with it. So that's why Hanuman is crying.
  • Analysis of a 40'000-year-old human skull found in Romania suggests Neanderthals and early Europeans may have interbred. We still are.

Quote of the Day:

You gotta be pretty desperate to make it with a robot.

Homer Simpson

News Briefs 19-01-2007

Anybody know where I can buy an inexpensive sonic ice disintegrator? While a brick chisel and a hammer are effective for breaking up sheets of ice, I've found out the hard way, they're also hard on soft tissue.

  • As The Da Vinci Code copyright appeal rolls on, do articles like this one - from 36 years ago - argue against the originality of Baigent and Leigh's 'hypotheses'?
  • So much space, so little time: Danish researcher believes he's solved Fermi's paradox, and argues extra-terrestrials haven't found us yet because they haven't had enough time to look. His original paper is here.
  • If extra-terrestrials tens of light-years away have radar and FM radio, we may finally be able to hear them.
  • Parrots' language skills are more complex than previously thought. And Alex must have the patience of Job, to have put up with these stupid researchers for so long.
  • Cat and dog save their human companions from house fires.
  • 1918 flu pandemic killed by pushing immune systems into overdrive.
  • Their doctors told them it was impossible, but neuroscientists have discovered why women with severe spinal-cord injuries can still feel sexual stimulation and have orgasms.
  • Bored out of your mind? Scientists say the mundane moments of life allow brains to shift into a default resting state that invites daydreams.
  • Anomalous ruins found in Peruvian jungle.
  • Earth Tranformation and Exopolitics Conference announced; former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister champions extraterrestrial awareness.
  • The Pentagon says its sensational espionage report about Canadian spy coins was not true, and has launched an internal review to determine how the false information found its way into a report.
  • ESA's gamma ray observatory Integral has caught the centre of our galaxy in a moment of rare quiet.
  • A world of wild weather: The first maps of their kind show how climate change will turn rare disasters into regular events.
  • Bright white beetle dazzles scientists.
  • Tobacco pandemic fuelled by nicotine hike.
  • The maneuverability of a bat in flight makes even Harry Potter's quidditch performance look downright clumsy - and may point to a novel lift-generating mechanism.
  • Psychedelic Alchemy.
  • The real Frankensteins.
  • It's official: Elvis lives. It might sound a little crazy, but our standard theories of cosmology and physics suggest that an infinite number of Presleys still exist, says Marcus Chown.

Thanks, Greg.

Quote of the Day:

Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality.

Michael Ellner