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

News Briefs 19-02-2007

Just got home from seeing Damien Rice perform, so the news is a wee bit late.

  • The pig was always late in Chinese mythology. Happy Lunar New Year!
  • The Vietnamese welcomed the Year of the Fire Pig a day earlier than the rest of Asia, all because of the moon's orbit.
  • A renowned German Indologist claims he has decoded the mysterious Indus Valley scripts. He's renowned for being an Indologist, not a German.
  • A Japanese excavation has uncovered four incredibly intact sarcophagi in the Saqqara necropolis.
  • Recent discoveries in the Saqqara area shed more light on the history of this Ancient Egyptian necropolis.
  • Here's what Dutch archaeologists have been digging up in Saqqara.
  • If you were thinking Zahi Hawass was oddly absent in the previous articles, that's because he's been forced to take three weeks off. Quick, investigate the Pyramid shafts while he's away!
  • A new archaeological site dating back to the Harappan period has been discovered.
  • A well-preserved coin from 32 BC has Cleopatra on one side and Mark Antony on the other. Which one is heads and which is tails?
  • The hairless Mexican Xoloitzcuintle dogs were once used as bed warmers by the Aztecs. Waking up to one of those is the reason I stopped drinking at pubs.
  • A new study suggests barley may have undergone domestication twice, with important implications for the beginning of agriculture. My ex-girlfriend tried to domesticate me three times.
  • Archaeologists are returning to the Savannah River to investigate the Clovis culture and 50'000-year-old artifacts.
  • Native Americans share gene signature with the indigenous people of eastern Russia. It makes sense, it's where shamanism (and the word) originated. I wonder if they've compared Japan's Ainu people?
  • Lasers beamed from space have detected big sloshing lakes of water underneath the Antarctic ice. Let's hope it's not meltwater.
  • All EU nations must back proposals to cut harmful emissions by 30% by 2020 or risk jeopardising the global effort to curb climate change, calls UK's environment minister.
  • An orbiting spacecraft has sent back new evidence for the presence of water on Mars.
  • Experts suggest a 150 million pound space mission should be launched to deflect an asteroid coming our way in 2036. Twelve is the magic number -- 2012, 2024, 2036. Ok, I made that up.
  • "Recent developments in cosmology have irreversibly changed our understanding of the structure and fate of our universe and of our own place in it," says Stanford physics Professor Andrei Linde.
  • Officials deny that tightened security measures at Prague airport were provoked by a psychic's predictions.
  • John Wenz doesn't know if he believes in psychic abilities, but neither does he disbelieve.
  • Is this photo of a Russian bigfoot legitimate or a hoax? A few shots of vodka and you'll see it too.
  • Alfred Webre, a principle investigator of civilian studies of extraterrestrial communication undertaken by the White House, Pentagon and Stanford Research Institute under President Carter, says there is no doubt about the authenticity of alien visitors.
  • Virtual reality is being used to treat soldiers returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. They make them watch Fox and CNN.
  • Here's audio streams and a transcript of veteran journalist Bill Moyers' speech at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis. Listen to or read it, it's very important.
  • A new article challenges Cuba's claims that it found the remains of Che Guevara in Bolivia ten years ago.

Thanks Kat, and especially Damien Rice and band.

Quote of the Day:

Big Media is ravenous. It never gets enough. Always wants more. And it will stop at nothing to get it. These conglomerates are an Empire, and they are Imperial."

Bill Moyers

News Briefs 16-02-2007

I keep singing in my head the ever-so-prescient "Information Overload" by Living Colour. Methinks my brain may be on to something...

Quote of the Day:

If a civilization survives to a certain point they could easily become immortal...their lifetime effectively becomes the lifetime of the universe. Migrating between stars to stay alive will not be a hurdle for these "old ones"...If you don't insist on making the trip within the current human life span, there are no huge technical hurdles.

David Grinspoon

News Briefs 15-02-2007

Too many books + Not enough time = large pile on my bedside table...

Quote of the Day:

All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

Mark Twain

News Briefs 14-02-07

Good luck to McKinnon.

Quote of the Day:


I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Thomas Jefferson

News Briefs 13-02-2007

There's probably more news out there somewhere, but I'm off to watch Star Trek instead.

Thanks a bunch to Greg.

Quote of the Day:

Whoever's producing CBS News doesn't seem to grasp that 'the blogs' are not some undifferentiated goo to spread on stories for spice. The salient features of the blogosphere are its diversity and depth. Perhaps that explains why it's so alien to nightly news producers. Where the nightly news puts a homogenizing sheen on every 2 minute clip, blogs and blog posts vary wildly in length, tone, erudition, evidentiary support, and uses of the term 'wanker.'

David Roberts, in CBS News and the blogosphere.

News Briefs 12-02-2007

I got kinda distracted, so the news is late and short.

  • A new book claims Heinrich Himmler made a secret wartime visit to Montserrat Abbey in Spain to find the Holy Grail. Sorry, no Amazon link, the book's in spanish.
  • But here's a real Amazon link -- another South American 'stonehenge' has been found on a grassy hilltop in the Brazilian rainforest.
  • Gary David discusses how the three major Giza pyramids may have been modeled after three mountains in the Arizona desert. I reviewed his book, The Orion Zone (Amazon US or UK) somewhere on TDG, and an interview is on its way (I better let Gary know about that!).
  • The prehistoric Native American Pilsbury Mound is being sold for $200'000 by the South Florida Museum because it doesn't fit their "mission", allowing the site to be legally developed. Contact details for the SFM can be found here, I encourage everyone to protest.
  • Are there more ancient man-made mounds to be found in Lincoln Parish?
  • If you live in the UK, then this fossil exhibition in Hertfordshire is worth a visit.
  • A 1700-year-old Buddhist temple has been discovered in northern Bangladesh.
  • Ask not what you can do to looters of archaeological sites, ask what looters can do for you.
  • The world's smallest bible has been found in a boot stuffed up a chimney to ward off evil. I'd hate to be a kid living in that house at Christmas.
  • A team of neuroscientists has developed a technique to scan an individual's mind and read their intentions before they act. You get a free souvenir copy of your brain scan before being taken away to Guantanamo Bay.
  • The PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is closing down after decades of embarrassing university administrators and outraging Nobel laureates with their scientific research into psychic phenomena. They will be missed.
  • Dean Radin has a few words to say about PEAR's closure.
  • UFO Digest's Steve Hammons discusses recent research into anomalous cognition, and how we may get used to it becoming not-so anomalous.
  • Can a mushroom once used by ancient Chinese royalty succeed where western medicine has failed?
  • Vikings may have used special crystals to navigate without the aid of the sun.
  • Scientists have discovered that the surface of the moon can accumulate a huge charge of static electricity.
  • Mars' moon Phobos could be used in a technology trial that seeks to return rock samples to Earth.
  • Lesley the Debris Field blogger rebukes the accusations of skeptics that UFOlogy is a cult by highlighting that the majority of UFOlogists don't agree with each other. She makes a good point about tax exemptions for religious organisations too (wink wink, Greg).
  • Stanton Friedman tears apart a National Geographic 'documentary' that makes a mess of debunking aliens at Roswell.
  • Remember Randi's one-million-dollar Paranormal Challenge? Turns out the prizemoney is in worthless bonds.
  • Speaking of worthless, Prime Minister John Howard has publicly tongue-lashed Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Howard's too scared of Hilary to attack her.

Quote of the Day:

"So, if [Howard's] ginned up to fight the good fight in Iraq, I would suggest he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them up to Iraq. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of empty rhetoric."

Senator Obama, telling Howard to put his troops where his mouth is.

News Briefs 09-02-2007

Even though I've pared it by half, it's still a huge news day.

Quote of the Day:

Aesthetically, earthen floors are "really special. After a while they look like an old cracked leather couch. When people walk in, they don't say, 'Oh, nice floor.' Everyone gets down on their hands and knees to admire it."

Frank Meyer, natural builder in Austin, TX

News Briefs 08-02-2007

How's the new Daily Grail working out for you?

  • Nazi Grail hunters: Himmler's secret quest to locate the Holy Grail.
  • Ghosts find a home in Canada.
  • The garbage dump that is our skies. Good thing we haven't had rocket science since the time of the Egyptians (please, no arguments), or we wouldn't be able to see the stars at night anymore.
  • Team envisions exploring Mars with mini probes.
  • UFO(s) over Lake Erie (video)?
  • Maybe it was a few people joy-riding in their advance order X-Hawk fancraft?
  • Court told that HIV deniers are like UFO supporters. Glad to see ufology is held in such high regard.
  • "Global warming, as we know it, does not exist". Careful there, soon you'll be compared to UFO supporters.
  • Where have all the real scientists gone? You know the ones, those tough geeks that will jab themselves or swallow all manner of strange things (right Dr Hofmann?).
  • Hi-tech search for prominent computer scientist lost at sea.
  • Poking fun at Newtonian reality: stopped laser pulse reappears a short distance away.
  • Newly discovered skeletons push primates closer to the dinosaur era.
  • Hobbit skeptics split on what a second skull would mean.
  • First American's arrived recently and settled the Pacific coast. Wonder whether they had to be fingerprinted like the rest of us?
  • The Bible versus science, in the Grand Canyon.
  • Women have played a major role in history - right from the beginning. The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory is available from Amazon US and UK.
  • Video blogger who recorded vandalism at a G8 conference serves longer in jail than any other journalist for refusing to comply with a subpoena.
  • Woman missing for 25 years, after hopping on the wrong bus.

Quote of the Day:

May God keep us from single vision and Newton's sleep.

William Blake

News Briefs 07-02-07

Quote of the Day:


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

News Briefs 06-02-2007

Damn I'm tired. Might try this sleeping thing for a change, I've heard it's good...

Quote of the Day:

Nothing remains without change.

The Buddha