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

News Briefs 26-09-2007

Today we lift the veil and enter the Secret World:

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Fear is not the natural state of civilized people.

Aung San Suu Kyi

News Briefs 25-09-2007

I'm the last news editor standing: Jameske's fallen sick, Greg's away spreading the 'flu virus to others, and Kat is having computer problems. I'm expecting a satellite to crash through my ceiling at any minute.

Quote of the Day:

Adventure is just bad planning.

Roald Amundsen

News Briefs 24-09-2007

Paradigms are shifting all over the place today. Sorry I'm a bit late posting the news - apparently I can't read fast when it's hailing. ;-)

  • Genome research is unraveling scientists' basic biological beliefs. The science of life is undergoing a revolution so jolting, researchers are said to be awed, shell-shocked, confounded, and disoriented.
  • Researchers have discovered anaerobic bacteria that use sulphate instead of oxygen for respiration, and utilize propane and butane as their sole source of carbon and energy.
  • Velikovsky fan Robert S. Fritzius believes he's found evidence of an interplanetary microbial delivery system; and he's been trying to spark interest, and struggling to defend his ideas, at a mainstream science forum. *cough*cahones!*cough* More on his theories and research.
  • Scientists identify hundreds of new cold viruses.
  • NASA spacecraft found seven cave entrances on Mars. Some decent photos - that don't take an hour to download.
  • Threatening asteroids that zoom past the Earth, fireballs in the sky seen by hundreds of people, and mysterious craters which may have been caused by impacting meteorites all make the ESA's inaptly-named Don Quijote mission look increasingly timely.
  • Using a laser-heated diamond anvil cell to heat and compress the samples, scientists subjected ferropericlase to almost 940,000 atmospheres and 3,140 °F. Their results suggest that, from about 620 miles to 1,365 miles deep in Earth's lower mantle, there's a ‘spin-transition zone’ where density, sound velocities, conductivity, and other properties of materials continuously change.
  • All Change At Earth's Core: Until recently scientists were fairly confident that they understood the way the iron atoms in the Earth’s core packed together, but new research has sent them back to the drawing board.
  • Geochemists challenge commonly held ideas about how gases are expelled from the Earth.
  • Unparticle physics: Our world may contain fields that have very unusual properties -- properties that no particle field could have.
  • Why the mad scramble for the seabed?
  • UK plans to annex the south Atlantic.
  • Samples taken from a ridge beneath the North Pole appear to back up Russia's claim on the potentially oil-rich Arctic seabed.
  • Oil Shale to the Rescue?
  • Blackwater: Where Military Rules Don't Apply. (Wash-Post log-in req'd)
  • Seven CIA veterans challenge 9/11 Commission Report.
  • The Economist weighs in on the real price of freedom: It is not only on the battlefield where preserving civil liberties may have to cost many lives.
  • An Oracle for Our Time. (Not the computer algorithms, surprisingly enough.)
  • Accumulating and compelling evidence is undermining everything scholars originally thought about The Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • How Joan escaped the stake, and lived happily ever after.
  • Descent into madness led to the creative flowering of one of art's supreme geniuses. Van Gogh's final masterpiece to be auctioned for the first time.

Quote of the Day:

Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else. And what a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous. There are only a few enlightened people with a lucid mind and style and with good taste within a century. What has been preserved of their work belongs among the most precious possessions of mankind. We owe it to a few writers of antiquity (Plato, Aristotle, etc.) that the people in the Middle Ages could slowly extricate themselves from the superstitions and ignorance that had darkened life for more than half a millennium. Nothing is more needed to overcome the modernist's snobbishness.

Albert Einstein, 1954

News Briefs 21-09-2007

Plenty of high strangeness today. Or maybe I'm just getting a fever. You decide.

Thanks Kat and Rick.

Quote of the Day:

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.

John Keats

News Briefs 20-09-2007

I've scraped myself off the floor to bring you today's daily news. I recommend wearing a surgical mask, just in case.

Quote of the Day:

It's always funny until, someone gets hurt...and then it's just hilarious.

Faith No More ('Ricochet')

News Briefs 19-09-2007

Yarr, Jameske's off burying treasure on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. While the pirates are off drinking rum and getting treated for scurvy, we ninjas can meditate on today's news:

Thanks Jameske.

Quote of the Day:

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Ronald Reagan

News Briefs 18-09-2007

Either Greg fell ill when Melbourne Storm demolished the Brisbane Broncos, or he found a strange glowing rock in his backyard.

  • Residents of a Peruvian village close to the Bolivian border are reporting headaches and vomiting after exposure to the impact site of a meteorite. Here's a video report. I'll update this story tomorrow, it could be bigger than Tunguska.
  • Douglas Eugene Savoy, a real-life Indiana Jones who discovered more than 40 lost cities in Peru, has died at the age of 80.
  • Yale University has agreed to return most of the artifacts it looted from Machu Picchu almost a century ago.
  • Did three angels hold back German forces at the Battle of Mons in WWI to help British soldiers retreat?
  • A $25 billion project to pump water from China's southern rivers to its arid north has heritage officials racing against time to save thousands of priceless relics.
  • Almost half the water used in coolers across Beijing could be tainted. Still safer than China's rivers.
  • Satellite images of the North-West Passage in the Arctic have ignited a diplomatic battle between Canada and the USA.
  • A boy has recovered from a life-threatening illness, only to emerge with a new accent. It happens every St Patricks Day down here.
  • It's not a scene from an Ed Wood movie, but for the first time scientists have filmed the nanoscale interaction of an enzyme and a strand of DNA.
  • Trailer for Julie Taymor's Beatles-inspired film Across the Universe. I can't wait to take a trip across this universe, looks ace.
  • An international team of astronomers has discovered 14 new galaxies. 13 would have been a much more symbolic number.
  • The CIA passed the remote viewing STAR GATE program to the NSA, despite publicly announcing it was finished in 1995. If you can't remote view, visit STARstream Research.
  • If you enjoyed reading this article about lucid dreaming, I highly recommend The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (Amazon US or UK). Close your eyes, and I'll meet you over the seas of Quiddity.
  • Meet the dream detective who has been predicting future events for the past 20 years. If I'm psychic, then I'll turn up to work in my underwear next week.
  • What if the afterlife is made up of a lifetime of dreams? Glass Soup by Jonathan Carroll is a novel so brilliant, it'll wake you up dreaming (Amazon US or UK).
  • It's not literature, but Matthew Reilly's Seven Deadly Wonders is a fun, fast read that's like a TDG news brief with punctuation (Amazon US or UK).

Quote of the Day:

For an adult, eating alone at McDonald's is admitting a kind of defeat.

Jonathan Carroll

News Briefs 17-09-2007

Lots of news out there today -- here's a smattering.

Quote of the Day:

We interrupt this program for a message from the president:

Ladies and gentlemen... The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly-knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published; its mistakes are buried, not headlined; its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned; no secret is revealed. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, confident that, with your help, man will be what he was born to be -- free and independent.

Audio of speech by President John F Kennedy, as presented in Zeitgeist - The Movie, 2007.

News Briefs 14-09-2007

Doubt whether I'll be making the trip across the pond....loose ends just won't come together.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.

Michio Kaku

News Briefs 13-09-2007

Happy birthday for yesterday to my little nephew Ethan!

Quote of the Day:

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.

William Beebe