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

News Briefs 23-01-2007

Happy birthday for tomorrow to my wonderful, amazing, beautiful Tonita!

  • Does the 'Murphy mover' explain the pyramids? I didn't realise there were Irishmen in ancient Egypt.
  • Quarrying company wins battle over ancient Henge site.
  • Is the real Mona Lisa buried in Florence?
  • USD professor says that the Battle of Big Horn was actually a rout, with Custer's troops disintegrating in panic.
  • Swiss archaeologist digs up African pottery dating to at least 9,400 BCE.
  • Drawing back the veil on Pre-Columbian America: a review of Charles Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Amazon US and UK).
  • Meet the real Dr Frankensteins of the Cold War era.
  • Mental training has the ability to physically change the brain. As opposed to Cold War scientists changing it for you. This article part of a current Time magazine feature on the mystery of consciousness.
  • 'Baby mind reader' wants to challenge Randi for his million.
  • Uri Geller is 'spooking' Israeli magicians.
  • Is the O'Hare UFO sighting the start of a new 'flap'?
  • Alfie Carrington has spent half his life trying to build a flying saucer. Probably better off hijacking one this year sometime.
  • New research suggests that the Moon influences our lives in many ways.
  • Exploding robots may scout hazardous asteroids. I've been waiting for the day when astrophysics and slapstick would combine for the greater good.
  • Scientists say 'Fantastic Voyage' willl be a reality in 2009.
  • The twenty most popular scientific myths.
  • India's space hopes soar as capsule returns to Earth.
  • Gambling appears to show that consciousness is a sure bet.
  • Ironically, also in today's news: activation of brain region predicts whether a person will be selfish or altruistic. What about if you gamble your own money and give it to someone else?
  • Western faiths begin to connect with Yoga.
  • Neural 'extension cord' developed for brain implants. Why not add in a double adaptor so that great minds can think alike?
  • While nanotechnology is all the rage in the scientific world, for most people it's off the radar.
  • MIT study urges use of geothermal energy as a power source.
  • Aerosol pollution slows down winds and reduces rainfall. Apparently also good for cleaning glass, eradicating mosquitoes, and starching your clothes.
  • Stephen Hawking warns of climate change danger. Hmm, his spaceflight training makes more sense now....deserter!!
  • More on that ball lightning in the lab story from a week or so ago.
  • Don't try this at home kids...television repairman shoots electricity from his fingertips (video). Ball lightning in the home?
  • US man survives 17-story tumble. Unfortunately, loses out in sympathy stakes to the duck that survived being shot and then surviving two days in a fridge.

Quote of the Day:

I'm fascinated that our government could lie to us so blatantly, so obviously for so long, and we do absolutely nothing about it. I think that's interesting in what is ostensibly a democracy.

Bill Hicks

News Briefs 22-01-2007

Monday again.

  • Here are those robots I was asking for last week, but I prefer nurses of the human kind (especially cute ones).
  • Two US human rights groups claim to be working with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodaphone to protect civil liberties. Hrmm, which satellite did China shoot down?
  • The site discusses Randi's obsession with Uri Geller.
  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, a new book by Wall Street Journal science writer Sharon Begley, discusses a conference of buddhist monks and neuroscientists (Amazon US or UK).
  • The Sentience and Consciousness website has an interesting article about the development of conscious perception.
  • Nick Redfern writes about Puerto Rico's (no relation) Moca Vampire. Not to be confused with the cappuccino vampire.
  • Whitley Strieber's talking about nothing really, just something about global superstorms, UFOs and nuclear armageddon.
  • Joe Kovacs (any relation to Ed?) reports that Colonel Brian Fields has photographed UFOs eerily similar to the Phoenix Lights (Wiki? We need a Red Pill entry).
  • UFO Digest says that the O'Hare UFO and the latest in Arkansas could be sign of more sightings to come.
  • Carl Mason says we shouldn't ignore skeptics completely. Except Randi.
  • An excellent article about the Chachapoya "Cloud People" ruins found in the Peruvian Andes last August. National Geographic also has an excellent feature with pics, as does Living In Peru dot com.
  • Ancient weapons 5500-years-old speak of ancient battles in Syria, near the Iraq border. Close, Dubya, but not close enough.
  • A brilliant four-page feature about the 13th century medieval text found to contain the oldest known writings of Archimedes.
  • A statue of Hanuman in an Indian temple apparently shed tears. Attention-seeking deities will do anything to pull a crowd.
  • Researchers in Canada have resurrected the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic and infected monkeys with it. So that's why Hanuman is crying.
  • Analysis of a 40'000-year-old human skull found in Romania suggests Neanderthals and early Europeans may have interbred. We still are.

Quote of the Day:

You gotta be pretty desperate to make it with a robot.

Homer Simpson

News Briefs 19-01-2007

Anybody know where I can buy an inexpensive sonic ice disintegrator? While a brick chisel and a hammer are effective for breaking up sheets of ice, I've found out the hard way, they're also hard on soft tissue.

  • As The Da Vinci Code copyright appeal rolls on, do articles like this one - from 36 years ago - argue against the originality of Baigent and Leigh's 'hypotheses'?
  • So much space, so little time: Danish researcher believes he's solved Fermi's paradox, and argues extra-terrestrials haven't found us yet because they haven't had enough time to look. His original paper is here.
  • If extra-terrestrials tens of light-years away have radar and FM radio, we may finally be able to hear them.
  • Parrots' language skills are more complex than previously thought. And Alex must have the patience of Job, to have put up with these stupid researchers for so long.
  • Cat and dog save their human companions from house fires.
  • 1918 flu pandemic killed by pushing immune systems into overdrive.
  • Their doctors told them it was impossible, but neuroscientists have discovered why women with severe spinal-cord injuries can still feel sexual stimulation and have orgasms.
  • Bored out of your mind? Scientists say the mundane moments of life allow brains to shift into a default resting state that invites daydreams.
  • Anomalous ruins found in Peruvian jungle.
  • Earth Tranformation and Exopolitics Conference announced; former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister champions extraterrestrial awareness.
  • The Pentagon says its sensational espionage report about Canadian spy coins was not true, and has launched an internal review to determine how the false information found its way into a report.
  • ESA's gamma ray observatory Integral has caught the centre of our galaxy in a moment of rare quiet.
  • A world of wild weather: The first maps of their kind show how climate change will turn rare disasters into regular events.
  • Bright white beetle dazzles scientists.
  • Tobacco pandemic fuelled by nicotine hike.
  • The maneuverability of a bat in flight makes even Harry Potter's quidditch performance look downright clumsy - and may point to a novel lift-generating mechanism.
  • Psychedelic Alchemy.
  • The real Frankensteins.
  • It's official: Elvis lives. It might sound a little crazy, but our standard theories of cosmology and physics suggest that an infinite number of Presleys still exist, says Marcus Chown.

Thanks, Greg.

Quote of the Day:

Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality.

Michael Ellner

News Briefs 18-01-2006

So glad to see you. I've missed you so much...

Thanks Baldrick.

Quote of the Day:

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.

Robert Wilensky

News 17-01-07

It has been a while so I am a bit rusty. Happy New Year.

  • Casual sex is a con.
  • Microbe experiment suggests we could all be Martians.
  • Sleep paralysis happens all the time.
  • Skull shows possible human and Neanderthal interbreeding.
  • Titan’s strange atmosphere.
  • I, Columbine killer.
  • Tesla’s fuelless generator.
  • Basque-ing in welsh dna.
  • Even closer to finding Ithaca. Or not?
  • Doctors plan womb transplant.
  • Dwarf planet becoming comet.
  • The scientific basis for race.
  • Ancient book of herbs used in the war on bacteria.
  • Human immortality: a scientific reality?
  • Bring back the Neanderthals.
  • Parasitic infections could stop the immune system from self-attack.
  • Why are lions not as big as elephants?

Quote of the Day:

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.


News Briefs 16-01-2007

This is a circular vortex, spinning...

Quote of the Day:

Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence.

Martin Luther King

News Briefs 15-01-2007

It's 2007, where are the hover cars and robot maids?

  • South Korea isn't letting me down, aiming to put a robot in every home by 2010.
  • Also in South Korea, a robot that gives birth is helping medical students who can't practice because of the country's low birthrate. Governator Arnie plans to use it in his new movie, Terminator Junior.
  • Australia is taking part in the One Laptop Per Child project for aboriginal communities in the top end.
  • Will Windows Vista be one step forward, two steps back? One day we will witness iWindows.
  • Comet McNaught, named after the Australian astronomer who discovered it last August, streaks across the southern skies this week, but Sydney may miss out. Some punters say it's a cricket ball smashed by Gilchrist from hapless English bowlers.
  • Black diamonds may have their origins in intersteller space, US researchers claim.
  • A researcher says the Viking space probes of 1976-77 did find life on Mars, but inadvertantly killed it and didn't recognise what it had found.
  • We are the Martians.
  • New life forms have been discovered in the Arctic Ocean.
  • A plant with the world's largest flower evolved from a family of flora whose blossoms were nearly all tiny. You should see the bees.
  • A duck believed to be extinct has been found alive because scientists were looking in the wrong habitat for 18 years. Maybe the duck was hiding.
  • A 36'000-year-old skull discovered in South Africa gives support to the "Out of Africa" hypothesis.
  • But wait, there's more. Modern humans may have spread out of Africa only relatively recently according to the analysis of fossil finds in Russia.
  • Tools found in northern Minnesota may be 13000 to 14000 years old, which many skeptical archaeologists are having a hard time grasping.
  • A quartz stela unearthed in the Avenue of Ram-headed Sphinxes in Luxor has changed what Zahi Hawass knows of Ancient Egypt's 20th dynasty.
  • A slickly-produced SciFi Channel program is looking for flying dinosaurs in the mountainous jungles of New Guinea with sexy guides.
  • The Transylvanian castle loosely associated with Vlad the Impaler is on sale for $91million US, but could end up as part of a theme park. Now I know why Greg made a donation link for TDG.
  • This is the reason, not Stephen King's It novel and miniseries, why clowns scare the hell out of me.
  • A campaign to clear the name of Mrs Helen Duncan, jailed for nine months in 1944 for being a witch, is gaining international support.
  • What is this strange flying orb captured on video?
  • The Other Side of Truth says the O'Hare UFO incident, for better or worse, will define how the public views UFOlogy. If only the public read TDG instead of celebrity paparazzi gossip magazines.
  • Paul Kimball also believes that self-styled alien abduction researchers -- such as David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins, have is a cult. I'm disappointed in Paul, he (conveniently) fails to mention John Mack's research.
  • But this piece by the UFO Iconoclast(s) is just plain offensive, describing abductees as people experiencing psychotic episodes who need to be "cured". Whoever wrote that needs to be anal probed by klingons.
  • Nick Redfern says he supports people who search for ET using radar and radio, but wonders if we'll have a better chance winning the lottery. I forgot to buy a ticket last week.
  • The Beyond Reason talkshow discusses the latest in UFOlogy with Dr Kevin Randle.
  • Does this video footage really show a spiraling UFO above Russia, or is it a clever fake?
  • The opposition to String Theory is growing. I can hear the snip snip of scissors.
  • The internet needs less cell-phone recordings of Saddam Hussein's latest booze-up and Paris Hilton's execution , and more pics of the O'Hare UFO.
  • Is this the face of Dante? The author of The Divine Comedy (Amazon US or UK), not the guy from Clerks.
  • I'm a big fan of Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology and Pronoia (Amazon US or UK), and I'm delighted to discover he reads TDG.

Quote of the Day:

"I have a dream that in the New World Oprah Winfrey will buy up all the Pizza Huts on the planet and convert them into a global network of menstrual huts, where for a few days each month every one of us, men and women alike, can resign from the crazy-making 9-5, drop out and slow down, break trance and dive down into eternal time."

from Pronoia, by Rob Brezsny

News Briefs 11-01-2007

Happy 101st birthday to Dr Albert Hoffman (I don't blame him for anything). Why not celebrate with a signed portrait poster by the incomparable Alex Grey (click on 'Posters' in in the shop)...

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.

Terence McKenna

News Briefs 09-01-2007

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...

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.

Flavius Josephus

News Briefs 04-01-2007

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