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

News Briefs 08-12-2006

Dear Santa, Here's what I'd like for Christmas. Since I've behaved myself exceptionally well this year, please bring me a pair (for later breeding) that are only 6-8 weeks old, so they'll still be in their language acquisition stage. Love, Kat

Thanks, Greg.

Quote of the Day:

I was walking past on my lunch break and a brick almost hit me in the head. I looked up at a house and half of it was missing. A bath tub fell out and landed on the street. The noise was deafening and we saw what looked like smoke swirling in the air. You could tell it was a tornado – from what you've seen on films – and it had bits of wood and other things swirling around.

Eddy Toroosian, 17

News Briefs 07-12-2006

Hope all my friends in the UK are still feeling excited about the ongoing Ashes series...

  • Was Britain's last witch prosecuted because she was revealing government secrets?
  • Bones of horse which launched animal mutilation UFO-lore go up for sale on eBay.
  • NASA announces that Mars has water. Again. More here.
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter images previous spacecraft on the surface of Mars, including the 30-year-old Viking landers.
  • Vatican archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of the Apostle Paul. That's the trouble with those Vatican types, bit too much believing going on.
  • Archaeologists uncover one of Christianity's first churches, which was once thought to house the Ark of the Covenant.
  • Indian mythology captivates the West.
  • Is it getting hot in here? The 'Goodbye Weapon' provides a sure way to get rid of an ugly crowd, without causing permanent harm (apparently). Defense Tech has the 411, including research documents testing the ability fo drunks to withstand pain. The highs and lows of being a volunteer...
  • Gene Simmons gets a case of tongue envy, with bat species taking record for the longest tongue - one and a half times the length of its body (with photo). You've gotta be able to make friends with that...
  • Marvin Minsky talks about computer love, with the release of his new book The Emotion Machine (Amazon US and UK). Will computers one day have tongues?
  • Should the Bamiyan Buddhas be restored?
  • Bat uses magnetic compass for long flights.
  • Researcher discovers universal baby language. "I call it 'crying'".
  • The climate change debate: it's time to get back to the science.
  • Uri Geller's Israeli reality show sees his life come full circle.
  • What's the real "reason for the Season"? It's just a big Sun party.
  • Flatulence forces plane to land. And I thought hot air rises...
  • Basketball stats shown live on player's shirts.

Quote of the Day:

We rarely recognize how wonderful it is that a person can traverse an entire lifetime without making a single really serious mistake -- like putting a fork in one's eye or using a window instead of a door.

Marvin Minsky

News Briefs 06-12-06

Usual stuff for a Wednesday.

  • Learning during sleep.
  • Closing the black/white IQ gap.
  • The dream palace of educational theorists.
  • US plans permanent base on the moon. Here’s a rendition. Is it worth the money?
  • Wobbling Earth linked to mammal extinctions.
  • Can we shade the sun?
  • Stardust shatters comet theory.
  • Gaia scientist predicts planetary wipeout.
  • Circles of power - behind UFO secrecy.
  • The Cydonia face is not pareidolia.
  • NASA to announce significant find on Mars.
  • Tiny bubbles may be linked to first life.
  • The Antikythera mechanism research project.
  • Roman limestone sarcophagus unearthed in London.
  • Second volcano erupts in Russia’s far east in two days.
  • A world of seven wonders vies for new list. Time for a bigger list?

Quote of the Day:


The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.

Ursula LeGuin

News Briefs 05-12-2006

Not sure why I bothered today. I'm still reading through Rick's wonderful news collection from yesterday...

Quote of the Day:

Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.

Terence McKenna

News Briefs 04-12-2006

You're gonna love today's news.

  • A new study claims many of the Giza Pyramids' stone blocks are made of concrete.
  • A Londonderry man claims in his new book that the Pyramids of Giza were built circa 800BC. Empire of Thebes, by Emmet Sweeney (Amazon US or UK).
  • A man has been arrested in France after advertising what he claims to be a lock of hair stolen from the mummy of Ramses II. So that's why Zahi wears a hat.
  • A new theory suggests Stonehenge was a healing site.
  • A Roman sarcophagus discovered near Trafalgar Square could lead to the map of Roman London being redrawn.
  • A 1700-year-old stone tablet inscribed with an ancient curse aimed at a thief is one of many treasures excavated in Leicester.
  • A complex of tombs found under a pyramid in Peru offer clues to the mystery of a thousand-year-old pre-Incan culture. Includes pic of a tumi knife.
  • China has passed laws for the first time protecting the Great Wall, banning graffiti and driving on the wall. Blame Lara Croft.
  • More than 200 monuments at Delphi that were listed in a 1920s survey have since disappeared.
  • Experts say that Zoroaster's Kaba will collapse if plans for the construction of a railroad near the ancient monuments continues.
  • The construction of a damn in northeastern India has been delayed by locals who claim it threatens a sacred lake holding the sword of a mythical hero.
  • The Book of THoTH has an interesting article discussing whether Vimanas of Ancient India were flying machines.
  • A Russian doctor of philosophy maintains that the mythical land of Hyperborea exists somewhere in the Arctic.
  • Russian officials apparently reported a UFO fell out of the sky and burned on impact somewhere in the taiga of East Siberia. A bit late with their news in Russia, Tunguska happened in 1908.
  • A Different Perspective discusses some of the best photographs of UFOs ever taken.
  • But it's hard to please some UFOlogists -- one pic is too fuzzy, while another is too clear to be true.
  • Does the Bayer stone head found in New York in 1932 depict the legendary Windigo from Native American folklore?
  • A 500-year-old document lists witchcraft and fairies as causes of death. One man was turned into a newt, but got better.
  • A researcher has found a link between lunar cycles and the stock market.
  • A 2005 article published in Scientific American by Christof Koch asking if "reality" is merely a movie inside our heads? If your brain can tap into the future, then you already know the answer to that.
  • Put this list of public parapsychology research centres next to the one containing emergency numbers and next of kin.
  • If you're near Richmond, Virginia, why not check out the Virginia Paranormal Conference, hosted by the CPRI?
  • Japanese psychic Masako Mitaki endorses a new range of psychic USB memory sticks. Unidentified Supernatural Bullsh*t perhaps?
  • A professor has found chemicals gave the Stradivarius violins their uniquely beautiful sound.
  • Stephen Hawking says humans must colonize other planets if the species is to survive. He's like a dog with a bone regarding this issue.
  • Astrobiologists ask if the Earth could be host to an undiscovered Shadow Biosphere, alternative forms of microbial life.
  • A meteorite that hit a lake is older than our Solar System.
  • Scientists have levitated small animals using sound. They're looking for small children to volunteer, Greg.
  • Speaking of exhausted website administrators, is there an exhaustion epidemic? I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease last week, which explains my tiredness.

Thanks Kat and Pam.

Quote of the Day:

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

Thomas Merton

News Briefs 01-12-2006

A tsunami 130 feet high, and traveling at 450 mph, sounds like the makings of a helluva flood to me. Post your thoughts.

  • 4.5 billion year old meteorite contains organic matter far older than our solar system. More.
  • Cyanobacteria Catch 22: How photosynthetic organisms caused a rise in atmospheric oxygen 2.5 billion years ago.
  • Towering ancient tsunami devastated the Mediterranean 8,000 years ago.
  • A series of massive droughts killed giant kangaroos and other megafauna in south-east Queensland 40,000 years ago.
  • Very ancient Snake Cult: Archaeologists prove humans worshipped the python 70,000 years ago.
  • In an article published today in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Michel Barsoum, a professor of materials engineering, says some parts of the Giza pyramids are made of cast concrete blocks. More.
  • Roman sarcophagus discovered near Trafalgar Square could lead to the map of Roman London being redrawn.
  • Is 1,400-year-old treasure evidence of Christianity's first foothold in Britain?
  • Asymmetric ashes: Astronomers study shape of stellar candles.
  • Enviro-cateclysm of the week: Viruses frozen in Siberian lakes prompts scientists to examine if global warming may release harmful microbes locked in glaciers.
  • Not so long ago, the notion that particles 80,000 times thinner than a human hair could somehow self-assemble and cause harmful effects in the water, air and even cells seemed far-fetched, but chemists are now trying to understand the effects of nanoparticles and other contaminants, and discover ways to cope with them.
  • Fragmentation is eroding Amazonian biodiversity far faster than previously suspected.
  • The first case of a blind man experiencing déjà vu - through smell, hearing and touch - has turned the 'optical pathway delay' explanation on its head.
  • Common chemotherapy drugs found to cause brain damage, not to mention heart failure.
  • The Quest for Truth: Mysteries, Enigmas and the Unexplained, a new, free e-book, is a compendium of 75 in-depth articles written by ThothWeb's members on everything from Bigfoot sightings to UFOs.
  • When Nazis went wyrd: A review of Richard Rudgley's Pagan Resurrection: A Force for Evil or the Future of Western Spirituality? (Amazon US & UK).
  • More about the mystery of the Antikythera Mechanism, including 3D animation, the inner workings, and great close-up photos.
  • What people are saying about the gears of the ancient mariner.
  • Have you had your therapeutic dose of beauty today?
  • Update: Chemicals within us: National Geographic Magazine paid $15,000 to test for the trace-chemicals of modern life in the body of this feature article's author, David Ewing Duncan.
  • Earth in the Beginning.

Quote of the Day:

Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.

Don Henley, My Thanksgiving

News Briefs 30-11-2006

So much news about, I had to edit it down to a readable size....

Quote of the Day:

Kinda grabs ya' by the boo-boo, don't it?

Tommy Chong ('Up in Smoke')

News Briefs 29-11-06

Ufology meets Toxicology. Post your thoughts.

  • Diary of a collapsing superpower.
  • Chimps: more human than human. Perhaps they are descendents?
  • High heels for men. Vive Le Napoleon!
  • The top 100 green campaigners of all time.
  • Saturn’s rings smudged by greased lightning?
  • Study suggests the existence of ferroelectric ice in the universe.
  • Is full UFO disclosure advisable?
  • Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 disintegrates.
  • Eastern wisdom embraced by the West. Chinese government is on its way.
  • Using logic to counter 911 non-thinkers.
  • No actual shortage of holocaust survivors. Good news or not?
  • Depleted uranium situation worsens.
  • Home-baked plants solve petrol mystery.
  • Oceans teeming with viruses.
  • Indian mythology captivates the west.
  • Out of this world solution to a Scottish standing stone.
  • Déjà Vu research is outta sight.
  • Cancer: how to avoid it and what to do if you get it.
  • Ex-spy's poison on the Internet sold by Bob Lazar.
  • Humpback whales have brain cells also found in humans.
  • Why we worry about the things we shouldn't and ignore the things we should.
  • Does everyone smell different?

Quote of the Day:


used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness.

James Thurber

News Briefs 28-11-2006

Better late than never, as they say...

  • 15th century sketch of Stonehenge found, which suggests that more of the monument was standing at that time.
  • Gary Lachman reviews Richard Rudgely's Pagan Resurrection (Amazon UK now, or pre-order from Amazon US for January).
  • Intellectual property rights debate to take place on traditional plant cures. That scribbling sound is me working on my list of those to go first against the wall when the revolution comes...
  • Tombs of Pre-Inca elite found under Peruvian pyramid.
  • MSNBC says Darren Oronofsky's (Pi, Requim for a Dream) new movie The Fountain is a 'pointless riddle'. I have tended to like movies in the past that were 'pointless riddles' though, so I'll be checking it out all the same. IMDB voters seem happy enough with the film.
  • This summer solstice, you can take part in the Global Orgasm for Peace. Not a good day for motel room cleaners to go to work I'm guessing...
  • Scottish doctors say 'nay' to modern medicine. Are they horses?
  • WHO predicts death and disease in 2030. What's on second.
  • Whales boast the brain cells that make us human.
  • Police in the UK warn of ABCs lurking in the hills.
  • Bizarre deep sea creatures imaged off New Zealand coast. What do you expect from a country with hobbits.
  • What does a baby elephant look like in the womb? Awwwwwww....
  • Professor devises new form of solar cell that may make it economically competitive with fossil fuels.
  • British police target criminals before they offend. Who's got a pool of pre-cogs then?
  • NASA auditions robots for lunar exploration mission. I'd go for the one that rotates back and forth exclaiming "Danger, Danger!". But maybe that's just me.
  • Young Australians attracted to 'spiritual aerobics'. So that's what all those teenagers were doing on the Gold Coast this weekend...looked more like a drunken binge to me, but I must have been mistaken.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn't watching. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother's holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed... and this being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind.

Chuck Palahniuk (from 'Lullaby')

News Briefs 27-11-2006

After several hours of queues on Saturday, I was told I couldn't vote in the state election because I don't exist. So I queued for several more hours to prove I do exist, only to be told, no, I don't exist and I should come back on Monday. It's Monday, and I didn't go back. I quite like not existing.

  • Experts who study dreams say we should throw out our dream dictionaries, because symbolism is personal.
  • The Giving Gift, a holiday short story by Brian Joseph, author of The Gift Of Gabe (Amazon US or UK). I interviewed Brian somewhere on TDG, but can't find it. Kat?
  • A British historian is giving the bird to the belief that Thanksgiving is all about turkey. I'll find you a proper parrot story next week, Shadows.
  • A museum of sorcery and witchcraft has opened in Iceland. Bjork is the curator.
  • Music therapy can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia, according to a new study. People playing walkmans too loudly on public transport make symptoms worse.
  • A mysterious 'dead zone' in the US has scrambled remote-control car locks over the past few weeks.
  • A US physicist says wireless electricity is on the way. That's good news for the Japanese.
  • Could the smudges that appear in Saturn's rings be caused by massive lightning strikes?
  • Cassini's spectacular image of Saturn's polar vortex puts in the same club as Venus.
  • Indian scientists not only want to send probes to the moon, but also Mars by 2012. If that doesn't inspire Alan Moore to write a new Captain Nemo adventure, I don't know what will.
  • Some scientists think air pollution could help combat global warming. It may save the Earth, but too bad we'll all asphyxiate to death.
  • A mass extinction 250 million years ago is responsible for the rich variety of sea creatures in the ocean today. Every time I eat sushi, I think of their sacrifice.
  • Too bad the rich variety of sea creatures in the ocean today will be virtually extinct themselves in another 50 years. I feel like Fry eating the last anchovie in Futurama.
  • According to Captain Obvious, money makes people selfish. It makes me happy.
  • If you fancy busting Zahi Hawass for antiquities smuggling, then Operation Art Beat is for you. Good cop or bad cop, Greg?
  • A Ming dynasty tomb has been discovered during the construction of a subway in Shanghai. Trains, not franchise food.
  • Experts have always found tumi ceremonial knives through looters, but archaeologists in northern Peru have excavated the pre-Inca treasure for the first time. I guess that depends on how you define "looter".
  • An economic solution to the Fermi Paradox (we need a Red Pill entry for that) claims that extraterrestrials can't afford to visit us. No wonder ET had no change to phone home.
  • Scientific data supports the theory that a cow found mutilated on a Montana ranch dropped from the sky and bounced. Bill says it makes the beef more tender.
  • Three people witnessed the transit of a triangular UFO over Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Various reports from Tenerife of strange lights in the sky and household appliances playing up.
  • Did an amateur photographer snap a UFO during a Dakota airshow?
  • BBC's Horizon is airing a program discussing the Panspermia theory, including India's red rain.

Thanks Brian and Captain Obvious.

Quote of the Day:

Inside you there's an artist you don't know about ... Say yes quickly, if you know, if you've known it from the beginning of the universe.

Jalai Ud-Din Rumi