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

News Briefs 07-03-07

Short of time today.

Quote of the Day:


Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

Bertrand Russell

News Briefs 06-03-2007

One of the first websites I found when I first got online was TDG. This site has come a long way from that first year when Greg was posting one or two news articles a week.

  • In Athens, archaeologists discover a very large 4th or 5th century B.C. marketplace with shops and a religious center.
  • Forgotten necropolis: An unknown lakeside civilization reveals its hidden treasures.
  • Richard Nixon and 'Bob' Haldeman: When archivists deal with power players.
  • The US and the Mideast - 230 uneasy years: A review of Michael B. Oren's Power, Faith, and Fantasy, the first comprehensive history of America's military, political and religious involvement in the area. Amazon US & UK.
  • Was there a 'before' the Big Bang?
  • Multiple Dimensions: Between Superstrings and Parallel Worlds.
  • DeLorean Tremens: Hold onto your flux capacitors - time machines have nearly arrived.
  • After 40 days of Holy Ychudim (unification with One), spanning the period from 1/7/2007 to 2/22/2007, I have received the following message from The One.
  • Religious surge in once-atheist China surprises leaders.
  • Darwin's God: In the world of evolutionary biology, the question is not whether God exists but why we believe in him. Is belief a helpful adaptation or an evolutionary accident?
  • Cloned beef: It's what's for dinner.
  • US Patent Office gets a clue!
  • Making water out of thin air.
  • Build inland: Scientists propose worldwide ban on construction on coastal land that is less than a metre above high tide, so as to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.
  • Is China's soot print changing weather?
  • Insulating houses can significantly improve health and well-being, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal.
  • Researchers link near-death and out-of-body experiences to arousal system disturbances in the brain.
  • People who 'fly' in their dreams are more likely to experience sleep paralysis.
  • NE1 WAN2 DO PRECOG RSRCH?
  • Researchers make progress in hunt for genes involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Severe stress may physically scar children's brains.
  • Gen Y's ego trip takes a nasty turn.
  • Study shows psychological torture is as bad as physical torture.
  • Oil innovations pump new life into old wells.
  • What they didn't want you to know: 59 intriguing facts disinterred via the UK's Freedom of Information Act.
  • A new Edwardian age is dawning.
  • The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal and choose to investigate.
  • The Must-Do List.
  • A two-part interview with Robert Kane Pappas, Director and Producer of the film Orwell Rolls in His Grave.
  • Waste not, want not: In Dharavi, a £700m a year recycling industry is helping 250,000 claw their way out of poverty. So why has the government begun demolition, and sent in police to force out inhabitants, leaving thousands homeless?
  • They said a reunion would be an act of insanity. So what changed their minds? Under intense interrogation, the Police break down and confess all.
  • With a gritty period realism, and actully shot in the forests of England, Robin of Sherwood portrays Robin Hood as a devotee of an underground pagan survival that worships Herne the Hunter. The DVD set of the first two seasons debuts in the US on March 13th.

Quote of the Day:

I really can't abide anyone who claims to be a pagan. This goes double for "witches", "wiccans" or anyone who spells "magic" with a "k". Mostly this is because I grew up in Canberra which, along with public servants and lesbians, has a disproportionately high number of smug hippies who seem to regard recycling as an act of religious piety (come to think of it, the three things frequently overlap)
...
I have come to the conclusion that pagans are evil -- not because they get in touch with the devil or warp the minds of the young or are responsible for more bad heavy metal art than anyone else, but because they have such appalling taste. I mean, sure, get in touch with the Great Spirit, run through the woods and kill a goat. But do you have to do it while wearing crushed velvet harem pants, Robin Hood shoes, pentagram jewelery and a purple satin cape?

Brendan Shanahan, in an editorial titled Bring back the witch hunt in Oz's The Daily Telegraph.

News Briefs 05-03-2007

I had a choice to post today's news early, or do my laundry, so I bring you the news late, but in clean underwear.

  • Have Stonehenge's missing altar stones been located?
  • An unknown civilisation that lasted from 6000 BC to 60 BC has been uncovered in two excavations of a Neolithic and Iron Age settlement in northern Greece.
  • Remembering and treasuring Brunei's ancient past.
  • 13th Century Islamic tile mosaic patterns may have involved an advanced math of quasi crystals, not understood by modern scientists until three decades ago. Dubya can't count anyway.
  • Khufu's funerary barge at Giza is being considered for urgent, long-overdue conservation/repair work. The question is, will Zahi swap his fedora for a tricorner with the Jolly Roger?
  • A team of scientists will embark on a voyage next week to study an enormous hole on the Atlantlic seafloor where the Earth's deep interior lies exposed without any crust covering. I hope they like reading Jules Verne.
  • Arizona State University professor wants NASA to explore Jupiter's moon Europa, where life may exist in subsurface oceans. So say we all.
  • Two spelunking scuba divers have discovered the world's longest underground river in the Yucatan peninsula. These pics from a series of the Yucatan's immense cave system are amazing: cave entrance; skylight; giant stalagmite; olla.
  • Are these holes in the ground the source of notorious UFOs in Chile's north? I'll leave the "chili" and UFOs-emerging-from-holes jokes to Greg.
  • A research expedition comprised of a submarine, two ships and a ROV is surveying an area 180 kilometers off the coast of Texas and Louisiana for evidence of early man.
  • I hope they're not lost, because a Portugese man claims to hear an unusual humming sound close to the ocean where he lives.
  • Can you hear angels singing in this audio recording from a church service in Baltimore, Maryland? Maybe Greg can confirm if Maynard Keenan was in the area at the time.
  • No one ever hears pirates singing sea shanties at church services, but maybe it'll happen when they excavate the shipwreck of Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge. The Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project website will shiver yer timbers.
  • The USB Absinthe Spoon should not be used to make Greg his hourly coffee.
  • Mind-Energy.net's first Psi Experiments have been launched, but you already knew that didn't you?
  • Gil McDonald believes a secret extraterrestrial base exists in Jefferson City, Missouri. Er, it's no longer a secret.
  • UFOlogist Art Champoux says a UFO landing felled four trees in a diamond pattern. They're here to play baseball?
  • Sand circles that appeared in Rio Grande aren't messages from aliens, nor are they a hoax -- they're art.
  • Where have all the crop circles gone, long time passing?
  • In the 1960s, Men in Black were regularly encountered, but were they government agents or evil spirits? The 1970s phenomenon of Men in Tie-Dye is a mystery few know of.
  • A Texas family rescued by the Coast Guard were disoriented and experienced missing time, but further answers are hard to come by.
  • We've seen the evidence of mysterious cattle, horse and other types of animal mutilations, but frighteningly, human cases do exist.
  • The Chilean Chupacabra is wanted, dead or alive, for the gruesome and savage murders of 19 ducks and 12 geese.
  • UFO Mystic Nick Redfern wonders if there's an African chupacabra, in response to bat-winged demons sexually assaulting Tanzanian men. Wow, Batman's really lost without Robin.
  • My good friend Bono was honoured with the NAACP Chairman's Award at the NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. His acceptance speech is inspiring (especially for short, pink Irishmen).

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Where you live should not decide, whether you live or whether you die.

U2, "Crumbs From Your Table" (from the album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)

News Briefs 02-03-2007

Thanks to all those who have lent some support to Loren Coleman - Loren says he has been blown away by the good will out there. How inexpensive it can be to make a difference (and in a perversely selfish way, it makes you feel damn good too)...

  • It's a deluge of Space Probe eye candy - New Horizons spots a volcanic eruption on Jupiter's moon Io, Cassini takes a wonderful top-down shot of Saturn and its rings (also check out this video of Cassini's orbit), and STEREO takes a wide look at our Sun. So many little pieces of hardware shooting around the solar system at the moment...
  • And keep an eye into space yourself, for this weekend's lunar eclipse (though Australia and much of the US will miss out).
  • Stephen Hawking set for zero-gravity flight.
  • Flare-dumping pilot debunks Phoenix Lights ufo case.
  • Aliens saved me from addiction, says rock singer. Okay, so now I can see why people think we're sensationalising stories here on TDG. But, according to former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, it's all true.
  • DARPA's amazing ultrasonic cloaking device. Is that the title of a Roald Dahl book?
  • And you can only imagine what they might do with this: new nanocoating reflects virtually no light.
  • Chinese scientists tell pigeon where to fly by remote control. They abandoned trials on ducks, after they told one to go to Peking.
  • New study may rewrite brain science, with evidence that nerve cells communicate along their entire length, not just at the synapses.
  • Evolving robot intelligence.
  • Pre-Inca solar observatory is the oldest in the Americas.
  • Cemetery of headless skeletons holds to Polynesian origins.
  • Tarot cards contribute to $6.8million lotto win.
  • Extremist rabbis aim to renew animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount. Let's just hope they aren't influenced too much by that bit of the Bible where Abraham is tested...
  • Scientists probe hole in the Earth.
  • The power of Yellowstone has been underestimated.
  • New documentary tells the story of the Glastonbury music festival.
  • At least 20 new species of sharks and rays have been discovered at markets in Indonesia.
  • New material is the thinnest ever manufactured, at one atom thick. Giving new meaning to the word 'sheer'.
  • Scientists store data on DNA of bacteria, successfully encoding "e= mc2 1905!" - Einstein's theory of relativity and the year he enunciated it - on the common soil bacteria, Bacillius subtilis.
  • An old favourite enters the computer age - put your orders in for a USB Absinthe spoon.

Quote of the Day:

For it is in giving that we receive.

Saint Francis of Assisi

News Briefs 01-03-2007

I just spilt a full cup of coffee all over everything while doing the news. If you can't sleep tonight, it's because you read too much on TDG today...

Quote of the Day:

Time has been annihilated...your dream began inside of eternity, you did not pass into it.

John Uri Lloyd (from 'Etidorhpa')

News Briefs 28-02-07

Ever get the feeling this has happened to you?

Quote of the Day:


There's a touching argument that people used to use against the idea of artificial people, namely that a machine will never be able to paint like Velasquez. But the world is full of real people who couldn't paint the Rokeby Venus, either. They may lack originality or talent, or they may happen to lead unfortunate lives cut off from beauty, lives wholly constrained and mechanical.

John Sladek

News Briefs 27-02-2007

First there was this odd report about a failed attempt to arrest him; then came an assassination attempt - by someone who knew the 'where and when' details of his 'unscheduled' visit to Afghanistan. Looks like the question of the day is, will Cheney make it back to his bunker before strike three?

Quote of the Day:

Apparently there is a great discovery or insight which our culture is deliberately designed to suppress, distort and ignore. That is that Nature is some kind of minded entity. That Nature is not simply the random flight of atoms through electromagnetic fields. Nature is not the empty, despiritualized lumpen matter that we inherit from modern physics. But it is instead a kind of intelligence, a kind of mind.

Terence McKenna

News Briefs 26-02-2007

Things that make you go "hrmmm"...

  • Female koalas indulge in lesbian sex orgies. You don't want to know what wombats get up to.
  • Is this the hand of a yowie, or did a male koala get a little too close to the action?
  • Are these trees on Mars the kind of eucalypt fussy koalas like to eat? It was the film Ed Wood never made, Lesbian Koalas from Mars.
  • The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, launched in 1972 and 1973, aren't where they're supposed to be.
  • The planetary surface habitat and airlock unit has been delivered to NASA Langley for studies into permanent bases on the moon.
  • The director of Dan Aykroyd's UFO documentary says that a UFO changed his life.
  • The Book of THoTH has an article by Nick Pope about the Cosford incident, multiple UFOs witnessed by hundreds of people.
  • Newly released internal Ministry of Defence documents give a fascinating insight into the UK military's interest in UFOs. I love this quote, "We did encourage our scientists not to think that we in the west knew everything there was to be known."
  • Witnesses say a UFO they saw over Tuscon was one mile long.
  • Is this photo of a UFO at Los Confines Airport, Chile, genuine or a fake?
  • What are the strange light orbs appearing at a church?
  • A new documentary to air on the Discovery Channel claims a 2000-year-old tomb may have housed the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family, including his son named Judah. Japan, England, India, the moon ... where else has Jesus been buried?
  • There's a growing belief among some Christian groups that alien abductions are misinterpreted, and are really attacks perpetrated by demons. The thought of The Excorcist combined with Communion scares the hell out of me.
  • Men in Tanzania are apparently living in fear of being sexually assaulted by bat-like demons. I guess they've never seen a koala before.
  • Because seeing a chimpanzee spear and eat a bush baby in Greg's news disturbed me, here's an article without video. You sure we want those chimps typing up the news briefs, Greg?
  • If you prefer to eat bush babies with a spoon, then try this twelve-step guide to spoon-bending.
  • Have extraterrestrials built secret underwater bases, and what are the USOs emerging from the oceans?
  • Can science explain why people have reported seeing the Loch Ness monster as far back as the 7th Century?
  • Strange new sea creatures have been found in the Antarctic, including a psychedelic octopus. Now I understand the lyrics to the Beatles song: I'd like to be, under the sea, in an Octopus's garden, in the shade.
  • A 5000-year-old golden artificial eyeball once occupied the eye socket of an ancient Persian soothsayer or priestess. She looked like Aughra (who apparently looks like Condoleeza Rice).
  • A tourist invasion threatens to destroy Angkor Wat. Looters aren't helping either.
  • A group of more than 90 international companies have called for immediate action by the world's governments to stop man-made climate change.
  • If you thought climate change, war and disease were hard to deal with, an asteroid is headed our way in 2036. Let's party like it's 1999.
  • Mobile trailers bought and paid by FEMA for Hurricane Katrina refugees are tainted with formaldehyde and are causing major health issues.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

"The national security implications are considerable. We have many reports of strange objects in the skies and we have never investigated them. I also believe that it is important to appreciate that what is scientific 'fact' today may not be true tomorrow ... If reports are taken at face value then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems, they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest that we could use this technology, if it exists."

briefing note by anonymous author, from the secret UFO investigation branch of Defence Intelligence (DI55)

News Briefs 23-02-2007

I lick my brain in silence...

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey, over pieces of the ground.

TOOL ('Right in Two')

News Briefs 22-02-2007

In the player at the moment: Scarsick, by Pain of Salvation. Disco prog metal doesn't get any better than this...

  • The New York Times asks, can Dan Brown sound more like Dan Brown than Dan Brown's imitators do (I'm trying to do the math, but I think there is still only one Dan Brown)? And who is this Greg Taylor guy they mention anyhow, he sounds a bit dubious to me...
  • Opus Dei to strike back against Dan Brown with their own film. I see the plotline now...mild-mannered New England author revealed to be a baby-killer who burns the flag in his spare time.
  • US Army to demonstrate use of paralysing light beam. Sounds a little like some ET encounter stories I've read...they haven't been testing it on unsuspecting subjects have they?
  • Apocalypse now? Jeff Wells points out a few strange and disturbing news stories from the past two months.
  • 'Paranoid androids' in ten years. And when they say 'emotions', they of course mean some completely different thing.
  • Autonomous robots join together to make individual superbot. With video.
  • In the near future, people may be able to record everything they see and hear and keep it in a personal digital archive. We're going to need a powerful editing tool I think...
  • What colour is pi? Savant Daniel Tammet has an opinion.
  • Research turns memory theory on its head.
  • Bacteria used to reinforce buildings against earthquakes. Just as long as the earthquake doesn't measure 'antibiotic' on the Richter scale.
  • Astronauts should 'ski the Moon'.
  • Rocket explodes over Australia, showering space with debris.
  • Hail John Frum! Vanuatu cargo cult celebrates fifty years of 'in Frum we trust'.
  • Is it all a load of sh*t? "Led astray by a Dead Sea latrine".
  • Sudden freeze may have wiped out Neanderthals.
  • Raelians selling Quebec compound for $3million. I'd want a serious clean of the bedrooms if I were the buyer.
  • Endangered languages encode plant and animal knowledge.
  • The phony economics of Second Life.
  • Medium Allison Dubois drawn to missing teen case.
  • Jim Carrey's life is now ruled by the number 23.
  • Today's pwnage news: RFID powder.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world...If one can only see things according to one's own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind. It's only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it. That's what guerrilla ontology is...

Robert Anton Wilson