- Russian archaeologists discover body of 2000-year-old warrior preserved intact in permafrost.
- "Orcs in loincloths" is how this Mayanist describes Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.
- Peru pushes to make Machu Picchu a wonder of the world.
- Aboriginal anger as Wandjina graffiti spreads to the city.
- The Priory of Sion resorts to recruitment by spam. Things must be tough in the secret society business.
- Ball lightning created in the lab (with link to video).
- The subversive skeptical strategy: we all know UFO really means aliens from outer space...right?
- Unless they are of course owls. Greg Bishop riffs on 'skeptic' Joe Nickell's owl fixation, in a post on the 'Kelly Green Men'.
- Research continues into deep space travel propulsion.
- Europe targets its own Moon and Mars missions. It's gonna get pretty crowded up there I think.
- Dogs are as good at sniffing out cancer as an state of the art technology. Coincidentally, Astraea radio recently interviewed Nicholas Broffman on this very topic.
- Several thousand birds mysteriously drop dead in Australia.
- Pessimists are likely to die early. Guess they'll be self-righteous now too.
- And in more self-confirming news, a research thesis into procrastination is finally finished...after ten years.
- Hitachi develops system that reads people's minds via their blood flow.
- Desktop fabricator may kick-start a home revolution.
- Relax if you're in London. You're secure beneath watchful eyes.
- 2006 was the warmest year on record for the U.S. Conversely, it's half way through summer here and we've barely had a hot day.
- Scientists make molecular rings in shape of King Solomon's Knot.
- Here's a map of world happiness. One day I'm going to set up a lobby group for colour blindness...do people realise how hard it is to make sense of diagrams using such close colours?
- Next James Cameron movie (Avatar) will take 'digital actors' to a new level.
- Tourists ponder Loch Ness Monster's feeding times. I hope some quick local said something like "when the plumpest tourist gets close to the water".
- A short message from Robert Anton Wilson about his impending death.
Quote of the Day:
In America attendance at church is much higher, and it convulses the body politic because, unable to fulfill it's sacral function, the church has become simply a lobbying force for fundamentalist social policy...I think we should level [churches] to the ground and start over.
My to-do list has exceeded the limits of time provided by all of history combined. I'm going to have to become a deity to get through it...
- Rats, not men, to blame for death of Easter Island. It would be more poetic if it were bunnies, I think.
- Two Easter Island stories in one day: Easter Islanders wonder how many statues are enough. Perhaps they should be more worried about how many rats are about...
- Untangling the mystery of the Inca. Because they used knotted strings. 'Untangling'. Get it? I'm a frayed knot.
- Climate key to Sphinx's riddle.
- Were humans in North America 50,000 years ago?
- Struck down by Motor Neurone Disease at 21 and given two years to live, Stephen Hawking yesterday celebrated his 65th birthday. And he shows no signs of slowing down, with a trip on the Vomit Comet planned for this year.
- Pluto had something go its way in 2006 - it became the word of the year. As in, "you've been Plutoed".
- Seeking lost cities from space.
- Mysterious gas odor plagues New York.
- PBS wants you to pick their new science show. Power to the people.
- Chicago UFO story goes big - there's an interesting aside in the story about the FAA's position, worth taking note of.
- Also: Chicago now, and the Phoenix Lights ten years ago - the only difference may be video.
- John Mack Institute seeks to produce film on the Ariel School UFO sighting.
- 'Sea Serpent' surprises Nova Scotia lobsterman.
- Psychics called in to help with 25-year-old murder mystery.
- Italian police set up elite squad to take on the devil himself.
- Secular fundamentalists are the new Totalitarians.
- Visit the US, and have your fingerprints on record for crime agencies. Make that the centre of a tourism campaign, and see how well it goes...
- Trusting your instincts leads you to the right answer. Is it paradoxical if my instincts tell me this research is bogus?
- Augmented cognition: science fiction, or science fact?
- Cancer warning over stem cell therapies.
Quote of the Day:
All of us have mortal bodies, composed of perishable matter, but the soul lives forever: it is a portion of the Deity housed in our bodies.
Lots of good things in the news to start the year off...
- A video interview with 'NASA UFO Hacker' Gary McKinnon.
- Inventors win funding for research into flying saucer technology. Gary McKinnon's uncles perhaps?
- Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain. I'm really getting confused as to whether it's supposed to be good or bad for you.
- Looking back (or is that forward?) on the story of alleged time-traveller John Titor.
- Is taking the oath of office on the Koran a threat to American values? What about if it's on Thomas Jefferson's Koran?
- Pat Robertson says God has whispered in his ear that there will be mass killing in the U.S. during 2007. Hrm, hearing voices and predicting mass killing - sounds like someone should be sent to Gitmo without a trial...
- Free will: now you have it, now you don't. Is your conscious mind just a puppet of the subconscious?
- Study finds that coal mining causes earthquakes.
- Manufacturing uncertainty: how oil money funds groups who "cast doubts and deceive the public on the scientific consensus regarding global warming." I guess the critical part is whether it's deception or information.
- Climate shift helped destroy China's Tang Dynasty.
- The music of the hemispheres. Brain hemispheres, that is.
- 49 of 72 rare rhinos go missing in Nepal.
- The Lure of Móo: judging Augustus Le Plongeon.
- The ancient and mysterious history of tattooos. Grisly image warning.
- Satellites and video game technology used to track the movements of ancient Central Americans. I hope they didn't frag them.
- 2007 is the Asian Year of the Moon, as China and Japan ready lunar probes.
- Lost lakes of Titan found at last.
- Amazon forest relies on dust from the Sahara. And that butterfly beating its wings too, no?
- Human brain evolution slows to a crawl. Dubya, you're dragging our average down!
- Spaceship Earth sculpture falls apart. Art imitating real life?
- The Wunderkammer: cabinets of curiosities make a comeback.
- Spilt Animal parts and a tomahawk missile listed as worst traffic incidents in US during 2006.
Quote of the Day:
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Martin Luther King
All the best for the New Year! I took two weeks worth of news, and via secret alchemical techniques, distilled it into this one news update. Whether it's lead or gold is left to your opinion...
- France to publish their UFO archive online.
- Ghosts in the machine: is the supernatural all in our head? An interesting piece by Deborah Blum, the author of Ghost Hunters (Amazon US).
- William James: a famously open mind.
- Researchers say Scrooge saw ghosts because he suffered from an obscure brain disease. Considering Scrooge was a fictional character, I'd say the ghosts of Xmas lameness visited the researchers...
- Possible alien theme park for Roswell. I can envision the 'Rectal Probe' ride already...
- Kobe Bryant believes in UFOs.
- Forget the moai for a second, and consider the other mystery of Easter Island.
- Missing Mississippi slab could unlock mysteries of the past.
- 12th century BC carving may hold the secret of Karnak Temple.
- 2007 marks 60 years of Dead Sea Scroll controversies.
- Treasure kept in the dark: archaelogy (or the lack of it) in Israel.
- Mural of Genghis Khan's funeral found.
- Tuscan church reveals answer to the mystery of the Medici deaths.
- Survey of ancient Greek sources reveals the surprising properties of certain wines.
- And a 17th century book has provided modern researchers with new leads in herbal medicine.
- Psychedelic medicine: mind bending, but also health giving.
- NASA's vision is lost on the Web generation. Forget exploring space and scientific discovery...the sooner NASA learns to upload YouTube video of Vomit Comet flights, the better.
- IBM's best suggestions for the tech of 2012. Isn't that when the world ends?
- The mathematics of cloaking. Unfortunately, you can't see it.
- Cryptozoology books to look out for in 2007.
- Starting the year in style for our good friend Shadows: Parrot's oratory stuns scientists. They make it sound like a new discovery, but N'Kisi has been around a while now. Even Rupert Sheldrake has worked with the parrot on telepathy experiments.
- Genetic material from jellyfish makes pigs glow green. 10 points goes to the first person who picks the TOOL-related song which predicted this story (by 15 years or so).
- And speaking of predictions: here's a video of Mars in 2020.
Quote of the Day:
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
Pink Floyd, 'Time'
Solstice, smolstice. Like the guy in Groundhog Day, I'm convinced there's no way this annis horriblis is ever gonna end. Nevertheless...
~*~*~*~ Merry Christmas! ~*~*~*~
- Update: Whitley's Journal - The Triumph of Mankind.
- Study says mysterious Egyptian glass was formed by meteorite strike.
- Humungous European dino dwarfed T-rex.
- Stonehenge ceremonies start early.
- The Violent Brain: Violence erupts from a complex web of related factors, some genetic and others environmental.
- Juicing the Brain: Research to limit mental fatigue among soldiers may foster controversial ways to enhance any person's brain.
- Pow, right in the ticker: Shock wave therapy saves hearts.
- Enviro-catastrophy of the week: Oh deer, our favorite Christmas animal is in trouble.
- Animals dream in pictures, too.
- Vanishing Bigfoot: Anecdotal accounts, possible scientific explanations, and the implications and challenges for Bigfoot researchers. Hands down, the best Bigfoot article I've ever read.
- Bigfoot and Photosynthetic Piezoelectric Induced Transparency via H2S.
- Can you see through camouflage?: Would you walk right by these owls? Where's the octapus in this video? (The slow-mo reverse is amazing.) Can you spot the Bigfoot in these photos?
- Chimeras: As scientists combine human and animal cells to create hybrid creatures, what are the implications for society?
- The real secrets of remote viewing.
- Why death may no longer be a fact of life.
- British skydiver whose parachute failed survives 15,000-foot fall.
- If Extra-terrestrials exist, why would the Establishment seek to deny something so profoundly important to humanity?
- The Guardian asks... So was David Icke right?
- Update: Idiot of the Year Awards.
Quote of the Day:
For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Xmas madness. As such, it's a short news for a short day (or night, depending on whether you live north or south of the equator)...
- Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle complicit in the murder of Harry Houdini?
- What were the Top Ten Bigfoot stories for 2006? Let Loren Coleman tell you.
- Two-headed reptile fossil found.
- Virgin birth for giant lizards. Does this support a David Icke theory that Jesus was a lizard?
- Japanese man saves himself by going into hibernation.
- Who were the most inspiring people of 2006?
- British government paper considers robot emancipation. What's the good of robots if they don't do all the work?
- Practice does not make perfect. Any reader of my TDG news briefs for the past 8 years would know that...
- High IQ link to becoming vegetarian.
- Solstice celebrations seek renewed light.
- Mercury's magnetism mystery solved.
- Astronomers thought they saw Santa's sleigh the other day. Then they realised it was a JAXA H-IIA rocket carrying one of the largest geostationary satellites in the world. No word if the rocket was being pulled by a red-nosed reindeer.
- And what has to be the most beautifully poetic headline of the year: "Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds."
Quote of the Day:
We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star. In our barbarous society the influence of character is in its infancy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Brain tumours contagious, more like depleted uranium.
- Are brain tumours contagious?
- Head-butt from horse restores man’s sight. Like bashing the TV - perhaps this should be tested as a medical treatment?
- Strange sighting in the sky over Ohio.
- Depleted uranium, diabetes, cancer and you. Sounds like a sitcom.
- Fire from heaven.
- Unique petroglyphs discovered in the Caucasus.
- Study finds air rich with bacteria.
- Harebrained hypotheses prove invaluable to scientific debate.
- Jinn: born of fire.
- Psychic animals.
- The moon and its rilles. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
- Race to the moon for nuclear fuel.
- Alternative theory of gravity explains large structure formation without dark matter.
- Superconductor glory still up for grabs.
- A two-faced reptile.
- Now everyone’s paranoid.
- Rugged bacteria may be a sign of martian life, on earth.
- Health workers accused of deliberate HIV infection found guilty.
Quote of the Day:
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
Rick was all set to do Monday's news when he saw a reindeer silhouette spotlighted upon the night-time sky. He ran off changing into a red suit, muttering something about some deadline next Monday. I can only guess what that's all about...
- The Jesus you didn't know. Sneaky Jesus.
- And when was this shady character born anyhow?
- Dan Brown opponents, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh: up close and personal.
- The burning mystery of Joan of Arc, solved at last?
- Ancient Egyptian carving sheds light on Temple of Karnak.
- Exhibit shows Egypt's sunken treasures.
- Forget the stop sign - your star sign is an signficant indicator of whether you will have a car crash.
- The ultimate tourist destination: step off the Grand Canyon.
- Want to be an autistic savant. Perhaps you'd like to talk to a few aliens. Why not build your own Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS)? Now *that* would be a cool Xmas present.
- Bill Gates writes for Sci-Am about his prediction of a robot in every home.
- Direct brain control of robot demonstrated. It's all starting to make sense now isn't it...
- UFO buff says ridicule factor is fading. "Now the aliens pay attention when I tell them I talk to humans."
- Bryan Appleyard talks to Michael Crichton about his new novel, Next (Amazon US and UK), a satire on the science and laws of genetic engineering.
- US marijuana crop bigger than heartland staples such as hay and corn. Does that mean Cheech and Chong should play Farm-Aid?
- Diana's death: why are we so hooked on conspiracies?
- Reading Shakespeare has a dramatic effect on the brain.
- The race to the Moon for nuclear fuel.
- Is String Theory unravelling?
- Canadian man the only person alive without a pulse.
- National Geographic give their top ten animal stories for 2006.
- Fossil discovery turns scientific theory on its head.
- Pharma company said to play down the risks of its top pill.
- Michael Shermer detects airborne baloney in his latest Skeptic column for Sci-Am.
- The Good Book business is a good book business. A skater's bible? "Like yo, and the Lord did execute a gnarly 360 upon the Mount of Olives".
- NASA overwhelmed by climate data.
- Also: NASA and Google team up to bring you closer to space.
- Computers could store whole life by 2026. I'd be using CTRL-X a fair bit.
- US citizens ignorant of their GM diet.
- French high-speed train to try and break world record by travelling at over 540 km/hr (325 miles/hr). French flies.
- Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulu. Smackdown!
Quote of the Day:
The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it's only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse.
- Germs trapped in amber lived with first dinosaurs.
- Mammals may have soared before birds.
- Humans first migrated out of Africa 70,000 years ago, but 30,000 years later some of them moved back.
- Update: Discovered buried under mud in 2002, a 3,246-year-old dam built by the Hittites - complete with purifying pool to make the water drinkable, as well as irrigation channels - is now back in service in a Turkish village.
- New transcription reveals Newton's rare 'theory of everything'.
- Freak solar explosion disrupts satellites.
- Astronauts reroute space station's power, but retracting the solar array proves tricky.
- Dust samples from comets upend scientists' beliefs.
- Venus Express sees right down to the hell-hot surface.
- Australian astronomers strike gold in search for planetary nebulae, the beautiful remains of dying stars.
- Some physicists think stars can be strange.
- Alternative theory of gravity explains large structure formation - without dark matter.
- Very high frequency radiation makes dark matter visible.
- Structure of self-assembling nano-ice resembles DNA.
- Cryptologist takes a crack at deciphering DNA's deep secrets.
- Remember Toxoplasma gondii, the brain parasite that may be driving us crazy? Researchers may have just discovered its Achilles' heel.
- Brain tumors and other neural system cancers may be contageous.
- Breast cancer may be sexually transmitted.
- World's first cloned cat has kittens - the old-fashioned way.
- After years of preparing them for life in the wild, conservations say 200 orangutans are ready for release in Borneo forest.
- Enviro-cateclysm of the week: Study based on air temperatures and sea level changes, rather than computer models, suggests oceans could rise much faster and higher than previously thought.
- Worldwide, 2006 is set to be the 6th hottest year on record, but it's Britain's hottest year since records began in 1659.
- 2006 brought a deluge of severe record-breaking weather, and a new study predicts more wet and wild weather in the decades ahead.
- Inventor claims pump device could reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by almost one third. Good - thing, huh?
- UN says world's livestock industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity.
- Discovery of a relatively shallow deposit of natural gas hydrates brings use of one of Earth's biggest untapped energy sources a step closer.
- Cool idea from British scientists: A magnetic fridge based on quantum spin's magnetocaloric effect.
- Announcing they've produced a prototype that ran independently for four weeks, and have built another free-energy motor that produces enough energy to power a Porsche, Steorn reiterates the free energy claims which have outraged scientists around the world.
- A cut above fiberglass: London barber makes chair from recycled human hair.
- From the 'you can't make up headlines this good' department: The world's tallest man has saved two dolphins by using his long arms to reach into their stomachs and pull out dangerous plastic shards.
- Wisconsin hunter bags hermaphroditic deer - with 7 legs. More.
- Called in to fix a blocked toilet, Oz plummer looks down to find head of seven-foot-long python peering at him from the bottom of the bowl.
- Amphibian cryptid caught in Bolivia.
- Sasquatch sighted in Saskatchewan.
- Had a car crash? New study says it's all in the stars.
- Cool UFO photos.
- Bush administration clamps down on scientists at U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy.
- UK diplomat's previously suppressed evidence lays bare Tony Blair's lies about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. The whistleblower that ministers tried to muzzle, and full transcript of evidence. (Read, save, or pay-per-view later.)
- Saddam seen as no threat - then politicians got to work.
- Boston air traffic controller says 9/11 was an inside job. He also says other air traffic controllers have been ignored or silenced.
Quote of the Day:
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
All I want for Xmas is to get over this flu...
- Nobel Prize-winning scientist defends the paranormal.
- Martians could kill life on Earth, says Mars Express scientist. A million to one they said! (but still, they come).
- Question of the day: how do you steer a spy shark? Video here.
- Colour of dog fur linked to personality.
- So what colour was the dog that tunnelled through snow to save its owners?
- Scientists debate severity of the next sunspot cycle.
- Microsoft unveils free robotics software package. Perhaps that's what powers Mr Gates...
- Christian video game stokes controversy with its "convert or kill" message. Hey, if it's good enough for the 13th century Catholic Church...
- 4,000-year-old Seahenge will rise again in 2008. Felt like I was channelling a bit of Edgar Cayce when I said that...
- Archaeologists solve riddle of mysterious faces on South Pacific artifacts.
- Aboriginal language had Ice Age origins.
- Experts rush to record coastal history in face of advancing North Sea.
- Egyptian conservationists fight to protect dwindling Mummy population (The Onion).
- Boy who could feel no pain leads scientists to pain-killing discoveries. Interestingly, the boy died aged 14 jumping from a house. I guess that tells you why we experience pain...
- Regeneration ironically hinges on cell death.
- Laughter really is contagious. So make sure you don't have unprotected jokes.
- Skepticism is on the rise in Australia. Would it be paradoxical for me to be skeptical of that claim?
Quote of the Day:
I am comfortably numb.