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

News Briefs 28-05-2010

“What we need is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out…

  • A planet, devoured.
  • The black hole at the core of the Andromeda Galaxy is no longer stable. More here about displaced supermassive black holes.
  • Are brown dwarfs the result of a cosmic hit-and-run?
  • Meanwhile, back on earth, a second more powerful Icelandic volcano may soon erupt.
  • Were the oldest humans cannibals?
  • Still wondering… Are we alone?
  • New debate about oldest human skeleton (Remember ’Ardi’?)
  • It’s officially the biggest spill in U.S. history.
  • A link between altered states and gaming?
  • Sugar-fueled pacemakers.
  • DNA from under the sea.
  • Population of Canadian polar bears might decline 30% in one year.
  • Saving monkeys from ebola.
  • Spirals and stomach bacteria.
  • Milky Way gets a new star.
  • Sex, drugs and Renaissance art?
  • USAF’s hypersonic X-51 WaveRider smashes aviation records. More here.
  • Real life kung-fu panda (and by panda I mean black bear).
  • Alice’s lost chapter.
  • Ninjas rescue student in Sydney. And by ninjas, I mean... ninjas.
  • Trying to predict pre-crime.
  • Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny in 'Space Jam' or the ‘Hero Twins’ in the Popul Voh… you be the judge.
  • 2010’s top ten new species.
  • Is dirt 'brain food'?
  • Does the future of planetary robotics play fetch?
  • We have liftoff!! Timelapse video of Atlantis preparing to boldly go
    where plenty of men and women have gone before… one last time.
  • Still no explanation for the Sun’s strange behavior as of late.
  • The burp that ended an ice age.
  • Are we being prepared for the revelation of aliens among us?

Thanks and a mighty tip o’ the hat to Greg, Kat & RPJ!

Quote of the Day:

“To begin... begin.”

W. Wordsworth

News Briefs 27-05-2010

Farewell, Mr. Vargas. And thank you for starting my social awareness at an early age, with the help of your beloved characters :'(

  • With all the recent hyperbole re. the 'creation' of synthetic life, Micah Hanks asks: Could mankind be hijacked? Personally, I'm more worried about copyright issues.
  • Jon Ronson: the man who stares at other people's writing —he's not a spell check Nazi, though.
  • The next Moon race is not US vs China: it's humans vs robots.
  • First human 'infected with computer virus'. Rick has been complaining recently that his laptop gave him the clap :P
  • Tracking the ancestry of corn back 9,000 years. Man & tortillas have been almost inseparable.
  • Blame the methane: are the accursed hydrate crystals responsible for the Deep Water explosion? IMO what we're dealing with here is Lord Chtulhu's poop.
  • Do humans need a golden rule 2.0? Great, *another* gold scam...
  • The unlikely Jesus: reading & unreading the Gospels.
  • Beware of Prince William, for he is the Anti-Christ, cloned from the shroud of Turin! At least this is the theory of Dr. Joye Pughe, recently interviewed by the unbeatable Tim Binnall. Listen, if you dare [Caveat auditor].
  • The Large Hadron Collider is not only good for, you know, colliding hadrons —it's also the world's biggest (and most expensive!) musical instrument. Harmonics & Creation makes good food for thought, no?
  • 13-year-old Jordan Romero is the youngest climber to conquer the Everest —shouldn't you be playing some videogame or something, you overachieving brat?? [Video]
  • Vindicated!! Playing video games can train you to experience lucid dreaming.
  • House for sale: great opportunity for young couples with children —with just one minor irrelevant kink...
  • Big surprise: British government does a 180 on Gary McKinnon.
  • How to Train a Human, by Chris Holly —to be followed next week by How to Spay & Neuter a Human.
  • 1977: Best year in Science Fiction —Hey, Close Encounter is NOT fiction; it was real!
  • DARPA's new sniper rifle gives perfect shot across 12 football fields —painting my windows black, BRB.
  • Russian general says Stalin blocked two attempts to assassinate Hitler. He was probably waiting for his army of humanzees to be ready.
  • The subtleties of time travel...
  • Movie product licensing: U r doin it WRONG!! >_<

Thanks to Greg, Rick, Kat, Susan & Borola Burrón.

Quote of the Day:

"I have an immense respect for Craig Venter, whom I consider one of the smartest men who ever breathed, but, giving fallible humans such powers is similar to giving a small child a bunch of explosives."

Nassim N. Taleb. Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU-Polytechnic.

News Briefs 26-05-2010

Does Perceval have an alibi for the night the Wilton Windmill crop circle appeared? ;-)

Thanks Greg, Kat, & Claudia.

Quote of the Day:

We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell

News Briefs 25-05-2010

More twilight of the idols...

Quote of the Day:

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell

News Briefs 24-05-2010

Best news I've heard lately: After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain is about to reveal all.

Thanks, Red Pill Junkie.

Quote of the Day:

In the month that has passed since the Deepwater Horizon sank, after an explosion that killed 11 people, we have all become aware of the cracked pipes and the valves that failed; of underwater robots and ineffectual oil capturing domes. Much like those struggling seabirds, such things are easier to comprehend than the enormous, opaque reality that exists at the coalface of an undersea environmental catastrophe.

The reality is a grim picture of fish swimming in poison, feeding on organisms fed on poison, while poison gushes from below and is sprayed from above. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. This is not just a sad tale of valves and scenery. This is awful.

What Lies Beneath

News Briefs 21-05-2010

”A new untruth is better than an old truth…”

  • Ancient Mayan city discovered with lasers.
  • Another image of Atlantis and the ISS transiting el sol.
  • Immaculate scientific creation: U.S. scientists create world’s first synthetic cell. More here and here about artificial life.
  • Star eats planet.
  • Plasmarons in graphene… Finally!
  • Scientists are building a noah’s ark for data.
  • Explaining the chirality of the universe.
  • UFOs and nuclear bombs.
  • Calcium, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Supernova. More here.
  • Ever wonder how much water is on the planet?
  • Portals to another universe by way of… Florida?
  • Identifying objects, one photon at a time.
  • First research on celestial body that crashed into Jupiter last July has been released.
  • Memories, at the flip of a switch.
  • Anti-matter… Why it matters (according to the Tevatron). More here.
  • The Akatsuki orbiter’s experimental solar sail has a date with Venus.
  • Robot butterflies from Japan and cloned fighting bulls from Spain.
  • Will the next ice age take place in four years?
  • A vaccine for Ebola?
  • Measuring Brownian motion and proving Einstein wrong.
  • Power outage strands NASA astronaut on space station robotic arm.
  • Does Lightning cause hallucinations? Take only in small doses.
  • World's biggest airship takes flight for the first time (and H. Hughes rolls over in grave).
  • Is this the meaning of the 2001 monolith?
  • The dangers of FTL.
  • Are we alone?
  • Step into the 3-D sensory box.

Many thanks to RPJ and Kat!

Quote of the Day:

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation and never returns to its former dimensions.”

Oliver W. Holmes

News Briefs 20-05-2010

RPJ has a date with destiny…

Thanks Greg & Kat

Quote of the Day:

I know very well that many scientists consider dowsing as they do astrology, as a type of ancient superstition. According to my conviction this is unjustified. The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the uncanny reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time.

Albert Einstein

News Briefs 19-05-2010


Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing.

from Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (Amazon)

News Briefs 18-05-2010

More mad nonsense for destroying your mind, if you have one.

  • Files reveal Britain's secret biological weapons trials in second world war.
  • A hidden history of evil.
  • Academic disciplined over fruit bat sex paper.
  • Space yacht Ikaros ready to cast off for far side of the sun.
  • Humans emerged due to mass fish extinction.
  • The ocean in a laboratory.
  • Gary McKinnon: They can't return me to a place I wasn't in.
  • What do we mean by mind?
  • The new war between science and religion.
  • Dissecting bad models: the solar temperature gradient paradox.
  • Metric mania.
  • Ancient pyramid tomb found in Mexico.
  • Egypt unearths red granite colossus of ancient deity.
  • Scraps of cosmic electricity.
  • Skeptical about skepticism. Or living in denial.
  • How we get others to do what we want.

Quote of the Day:

There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

Bertrand Russell

News Briefs 17-05-2010

Devil fingers at half mast today —m—