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

News Briefs 11-08-2006

Second half of this week has been a bit slow on news. So I had to make all of this up...

  • Canadian crop circle shaped like musical note sparks debate. "In every case we know to be real, we have found an elongated node on the plants' stems" - I'm wondering how they know which cases are real? Perhaps the ones with elongated nodes..?
  • Well before the Wright brothers, there was the Scottish king's alchemist who thought he could fly (mistakenly).
  • Plane crash blast or UFO?
  • Mars rover inspects Beagle Crater. Now, the researchers say the crater is named after Darwin's ship, but you've gotta be thinking it's an in-joke about the Beagle II. Relatively young...crater...Beagle. Hmmm?
  • Will Anousheh Ansari be the first female space tourist?
  • Satellite patent submitted by Bigelow Aerospace includes military pleasing stealth capabilities.
  • Wired pulls reporter's fake space news stories.
  • Navigational secrets of songbirds uncovered.
  • Researchers create music based on the underground movements of Sicily's volcanic Mount Etna. "Part-time Lava"? "Easy Lava"? Yes, I am a musical child of the 80s, with bad taste in puns.
  • Software developed to morph your snapshots so that your face is more aesthetically pleasing. I may need a supercomputer to do my processing...
  • Vladimir Putin orders a nationwide inventory of cultural treasures, after valuable works are stolen from the Hermitage Museum.
  • Scientists discover the molecular janitors which are supposed to clear away the sticky gunk blamed for Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Greenland ice cap may be melting at triple speed, new research suggests.
  • Gartner names the hot technologies for the coming decade.
  • Biotech - it means different things for science and spirituality.
  • Goat crowned King of Ireland at ancient fair. It's good to b-a-a the king.
  • Drought conditions in Wales has allowed the discovery of a treasure trove of ancient monuments.
  • Has the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film been proven a hoax?
  • SETI: the search for science in science fiction.
  • Apocalypse soonish. From Christian Fundies, to the dangerous date of August 22nd in regards to Iran. Personally I can't wait for the rapture...Earth will be so much more liveable without all the fundamentalist idiots.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, and try it. The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt. That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard.

Clearly, it is the second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.

Douglas Adams

News Briefs 10-08-2006

Happy Birthday to our good buddy Mark James Foster!

Thanks Pam, Hoo and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone capable of getting themselves made President should by no means be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

Douglas Adams ('The Restaurant at the End of the Universe')

News Briefs 09-08-06

Not much to go on today. A few good things worth it though.

  • The chosen ones.
  • Why we should beware mad scientists.
  • A flickering black hole.
  • A parasitic answer to allergies?
  • Allergies linked to Parkinson’s disease.
  • Strange holes in the ground discovered in Krasnoyarsk region.
  • One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures.
  • Microbes reshuffle Earths early history.
  • From hot to cold in the Arctic.
  • British Petroleum’s smart pig.
  • Alchemy recast: modern science sees a gem.
  • Flu pandemic coming!
  • Space hotel gets a check up.
  • Evolution reversed in mice.
  • 911 Commission chairmen admit to whitewash.
  • Arthur Koestler: the 13th Tribe.
  • Stretching DNA yields surprise.

Quote of the Day:

The perfection of art is to conceal art.


News Briefs 08-08-2006

It's a rare and unique event - the daily news briefs. Cherish it...

Thanks Kat, Rainer and Corona.

Quote of the Day:

There are three ways of knowing a thing. Take for instance a flame. One can be told of the flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and finally one can reach out and be burned by it. In this way, we Sufis seek to be burned by God.

Unknown Sufi Scholar

News Briefs 07-08-2006

It's Monday already.

  • In response to my bad pun last week, several people have told me that C.S. Lewis did write science-fiction: Space Trilogy (Amazon US or UK).
  • Strange Horizons, a science-and-speculative-fiction magazine, has a great article discussing the rise of Right-Wing apocalyptic Christian scifi thrillers.
  • There's no theological allegories in Japanese toy consumerism. Toymaker is producing human-sized versions of the Gundam Mobile Suits from the Japanese anime classic. When they build one that I can actually pilot, then I'll be impressed.
  • Robotics researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro has built a life-like android in his own image to teach long-distance classes.
  • It all started with Astroboy, and decades later Japan continues to march into the future of robotics.
  • If our global civilisation dies, what will replace it? Cockroaches, lawyers and bloggers is my guess.
  • For decades, the Amazonian Kayapo people have defended their land against developers, and they're not giving up.
  • A travel piece about the Catholic shrine at Lourdes, which predictably doesn't mention the cave's fairy origins at all. You can read Greg's interviews with Vallee and Hancock in Sub Rosa issues 2 and 4.
  • A Florida medium says he can contact the dead, and that everyone has the capability to do so.
  • FATE magazine has an interesting article about Wolf Messing, Russia's greatest psychic. He has a Native American cousin, Messing With Wolves.
  • The UK's MoD is investigating muliple sightings of orange orbs in the night sky.
  • It's not the Sword of Damocles from the Cave of No Return (I went there once), but a golden dagger has been discovered in Bulgaria, as sharp as it was 5000 years ago.
  • The Roman numeral VI has been discovered etched into an Indian hill, resembling the lines of Nazca in Peru. If there's a IV or a VII nearby, then look for a tall structure casting a shadow.
  • Five years after the Taliban blew up the giant Bamiyan Buddha statues, UNESCO is helping to fund an Aghan initiative to put them back together again.
  • Galloping in the ancient hoofprints of Ghengis Khan.
  • Southwest China is experiencing one of the worst droughts on record, with 2.39 million people facing a serious shortage of clean drinking water.
  • Ugandan politicians are considering making ancient reconciliation rituals part of the country's legal system in an effort to help end one of Africa's longest wars. Do they have those in Judaism and Islam?
  • Five years after the event, the Scholars for 9/11 Truth are dusting off their tweed jackets with the corduroy elbow patches and chasing conspiracies.
  • Microsoft has invited hackers to test the security of their new Windows Vista software, only to find the hackers invited themselves months ago.
  • Feeling down when online? Computer-based art will change to match your mood. You're in trouble if Hieronymous Bosch is set as wallpaper.
  • A UK bank plans to send 1.6 million hand-held password devices to its customers in a desperate bid to beat increasing levels of internet fraud. No one's impersonated me on TDG yet.
  • Our good friend Cernig is most probably off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this week. Don't be shy to ask the ladies of Bangkok for a dance to a good ol' Scottish jig.
  • Or if you're feeling even more adventurous, perhaps you'd like to attend Europe's first ever Masturbate-a-thon.
  • If you go blind, Hong Kong scientists have developed a pair of glasses and shoes that will help you navigate the trickiest of terrain.
  • Astronauts may need a pair, as NASA plans to send a manned mission to the dark side of the moon.
  • The moon's odd bulge around the middle has been explained, and it's not because of rabbits feeding it too much mochi.
  • In the Chilean Andes, astronomers are building a telescopic time machine to catch a glimpse of the universe exploding 1.3 billion years ago.
  • Ten years after a martian meteorite caused an extraterrestrial controversy, few people still believe it contains fossilised bacteria from Mars.
  • Russia is asking for volunteers to take part in a simulated 520-day flight to Mars. They should use Big Brother contestants, and make it one way.
  • Store plenty of apples: apple juice is one of the best foods for boosting brain function and memory.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.

Philip K. Dick

News Briefs 04-08-2006

I totally forgot I was standing in for Kat today, and I apologise for the news not being up to her high standards (I'd need amphetamines and cyber-augmentations to achieve that).

  • Random House holds crisis talks as Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code slips out of the bestseller charts ... after a being in the Top 50 since March 2004.
  • Writer Terry James puts a heavy Christian spin to the UFO phenomena with his novel The Rapture Dialogues: Dark Dimension. Imagine if CS Lewis was a scifi writer ...
  • According to the results of a survey, books play a crucial role in influencing our opinions of strangers, with half of the participants admitting they judged a person on the basis of what they were reading.
  • Crop Circles have begun appearing in the English countryside again, with intriguing new permutations. They have their paranormal with tea and scones in England.
  • Circles don't always appear in crops, with the deserts of Africa providing a broad canvas for the mysterious designers.
  • A conceptual artist whose projects include copyrighting his brain and attempting to genetically engineer God is turning his attention to interstellar signals detected by SETI.
  • Dozens of crop circles have appeared in Poland this year, including UFOs such as a triangular craft.
  • Are contrails just streaks of water vapour from passing planes, or something more chemically sinister?
  • A survey suggests more than half of Britons believe in psychic powers such as mind-reading and premonitions.
  • Schools exploring paranormal subjects are booming, with students arriving from all walks of life. I'll enrol the moment I see a listing for Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
  • Kids aren't the magical thinkers we believe them to be, according to a new study that has implications for causal attribution and our beliefs in the supernatural.
  • Thousands of Sri Lankans gathered at temples after media reports that coloured images of the Buddha had begun emitting miraculous rays. The Vatican denies it needs to come up with new material, and that its statue-of-Virgin-Mary-shedding-tears-of-blood routine still draws crowds.
  • Is a common parasite found in cats affecting human behaviour on a global scale? Maybe this explains Kat's absence today ...
  • An alien abductee shares proof that we are not alone; Aware of Their Presence by Craig Jacocks (Amazon US or UK).
  • Spectacular images of a UFO were taken by a woman in Coral Springs on Bastille Day last month.
  • Legendary Remote Viewer Ingo Swann made claims of covert extraterrestrial activity on the Moon and here on Earth, and the CIA's Stargate documents support him.
  • Which makes you wonder about NASA recently announcing their plans to send a manned mission to the far side of the moon.
  • Japan plans to have a manned station on the moon by 2030. All your base are belong to us. I don't have the heart to tell them the truth about moon rabbits making mochi.
  • Astronomers are completely baffled by planemos, planet-like worlds that orbit each other. There's that duality thing again.
  • Mini planetary systems may orbit cosmic objects that are 100 times smaller than our Sun. Gulliver in space.
  • Chris Kennish sent me a link to an intriguing website detailing the forgotten correspondences of the Isometric Sephiroph.
  • Are antimatter-fueled spacecraft the stuff of scifi dreams or scientific reality? Make it so, Number One.
  • Two astronomers argue that cosmic radiation was the catalyst for human evolution 40'000 years ago. Spray us again please, Cosmos.
  • National Geographic has an awesome interactive program exploring extraterrestrial life. I highly recommend it.

Thanks Chris, Greg, and Kat.

No thanks at all to my memory.

Quote of the Day:

You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.

Terry Pratchett

News Briefs 03-08-2006

One great big festering neon distraction...

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Learn to swim.


News Briefs 02-08-06

Plenty of weirdness for all you Orang-utans

  • It’s like this, you see.
  • The adverse health effects of indoor moulds. I collect spores, mould and fungus - though not on purpose.
  • Artist claims ET code in Arecibo signal.
  • Why men are like dogs. And there was me thinking it was because the farts smell bad.
  • Martian butte and crater.
  • The peculiar disappearance of the war in Iraq.
  • What kind of genius are you?
  • The search for the Apollo 11 missing tapes.
  • Rare clouds seen above Antarctica.
  • Granite city in a spin over UFOs.
  • Prayer book reveals scientific secret.
  • Bronze age boat discovered.
  • Russian woman stops sleeping for 8 years out of fright. If you had no fear could you sleep for 8 years?
  • Abundant power from universal geothermal energy.
  • Has Alien contact been made? SETI urged to fess up over Alien signals.
  • Methane lakes on Titan?
  • Space show: the low down on tethers.
  • The spirit of the lone eagle.
  • The silent epidemic: the health effects of illiteracy.
  • Orang-utans, our smartest relatives. Orang-utan and the enigma of human origin.

Quote of the Day:

Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be

Jim Horning

News Briefs 01-08-2006

I wonder if Mel Gibson realises that Jesus was a Jew...

  • Another new tomb in the Valley of the Kings? Fresh news, straight from exiled Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves (hat-tip to Chris Ogilvie-Herald).
  • Meanwhile, KV-63 holds a mystery fit for a Pharaoh.
  • France's new Stonehenge: secrets of a neolithic time machine.
  • Nobel Prize winner Brian Josephson takes on Nature over its article attacking government funding of bubble fusion research.
  • Steven Greer repeats his assertion that SETI has made alien contact.
  • The Washington Times reviews George Basalla's controversial 'anti-SETI' book, Civilized Life in the Universe: Scientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials (Amazon US and UK).
  • Panspermia gets new life breathed into it with the electromagnetic bug transfer theory.
  • Will our Google future allow instantaneous Akashic records-like recall of information?
  • National Geographic have images depicting that giant dinosaur mentioned in Rick's news yesterday.
  • Did the Red Baron just get lucky?
  • Rosslyn ghost sighting spooks festival actors.
  • Does the Holy Grail lie under Lincoln Cathedral. And the bigger question - is this BBC news story about our own Spearjig?
  • The secret is out: Da Vinci mania is fading.
  • Forget all those first-person shooters, here's the real excitement in virtual reality gaming: become the French minister of budget. I can feel the adrenaline pumping already...
  • First ever world map of happiness produced. Funny how it seems to correlate with the areas which are well off financially. What's that saying about money and happiness?
  • Leaked memo reveals coal industry's global warming propaganda plan.
  • Arizona man lifts car off trapped cyclist.
  • The 40 year tradition of knocking people over with a big eel has been banned. Damn fish-huggers!
  • It's a bird, it's a crashed plane, it's....a log.
  • Scorpion venom attacks brain tumours.
  • Invisibility: It's closer than you think. Shhh, I think it's behind you.

Thanks Chris.

Quote of the Day:

Observing the work currently being carried out in the Valley my fears for this and other aspects of the site’s archaeological legacy have grown. As an informed third party no longer engaged in fieldwork I am able to speak freely on the current situation and indeed feel a strong responsibility to do so - to provide the sort of independent voice which has for too long been lacking and which like-minded colleagues, fearful for their own concessions, are loath to venture.

Nicholas Reeves

News Briefs 31-07-2006

I closed my eyes and clicked links at random.

  • Ellen Lloyd has written an excellent article about the possibility of alien stargates in Peru. She also has a book, Voices from Legendary Times (Amazon US or UK).
  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found lakes on Titan's surface.
  • The frozen outer reaches of our solar system could be littered with more objects than previously thought.
  • American astronomers claim that black holes may not exist. Then please explain what happened to the crew of the Palomino!
  • Sugar molecules have been found in a cloud of gas and dust near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, providing a clue to the origin of life. This also proves we're living in God's coffee mug, the spiral swirl of galaxies stirred by His spoon.
  • Here's some more information about galactic sugar from Astrobiology Magazine.
  • A drug made to enhance memory appears to trigger a natural mechanism in the brain that fully reverses age-related memory loss.
  • The New Yorker has an excellent article about the Red Pill ... er, I mean Wikipedia! I like the Onion's article best.
  • Those with bachelor's degrees are finding their incomes stagnate despite a growing economy. Mine comes with a free happy meal.
  • Argentinian scientists have discovered fossils from one of the largest dinosaurs ever to roam the Earth.
  • Archaeologists are refuting claims by a Canadian architect that 15th Century ruins on Cape Breton belong to Chinese explorers. Paul Chiasson has written a book, The Island of Seven Cities: Where the Chinese Settled When They Discovered North America (Amazon US or UK).
  • Indiana University archaeologists believe they are closer to discovering some of Christopher Columbus's lost ships, and answering the mystery of what they carried. There's a conspiracy novel idea worthy of Dan Brown.
  • Archaeologists who measured the Pyramids of Giza over a century ago were surprisingly accurate, according to a review of historical surveys. According to an Egyptian hatter, the measurements of Zahi Hawass's cranium are also surprising.
  • Enjoy higher energy and self-esteem levels by carrying Pyracards. I bet Zahi's is platinum.
  • Information and photo-tours of Malta's prehistoric megalithic temples.
  • Remarkably preserved ancient human footprints almost 20'000 years old have been discovered in Australia.
  • Japanese researchers have found a 7th Century painting of a Simorgh, a mythological Persian bird, in an Afghan cave. "Osama Bin Laden hearts CIA" was found nearby.
  • Is it a bird? A plane? Examining an Ancient Egyptian enigma, the Bird of Saqqara.
  • The Ninki-Nanka continues to elude cryptozoologists searching for this legendary dragon-dinosaur in the jungles of West Africa.
  • Erroneous claims of a 'spooky synchronicity' between the text of an ancient psalm book, recently unearthed from an Irish bog, and Israel's war in Lebanon, were based on the assumption that the Vulgate version of Psalm 83 is the same as the King James version. As the director of The Museum of Ireland recently explained, they are not the same.
  • A State Museum in Malaysia has opened an exhibition displaying artifacts from the region's supernatural folklore. The Johor Bigfoot got in for free.
  • Here's a great article examining the views, opinions and analyses of the many psychologists who have investigated the UFO/alien abduction phenomenon.
  • What are these UFOs hovering in a photograph of a Greek sunset?
  • Is there a connection between lights in the skies of Phoenix and ancient petroglyphs?
  • An interview with Chris McKay, a planetary scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center, about human exploration of Mars and life on other planets.
  • A new documentary reveals how desperate the Americans were to put a man on the moon before the Russians - and how NASA's haste almost saw them stranded there.

Thanks Doug, Ellen and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

“Physicists and astronomers see their own implications in the world being round, but to me it means that only one-third of the world is asleep at any given time and the other two-thirds is up to something.”

Dean Rusk (American Statesman 1909-1994)