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

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

News Briefs 24-11-2006

In grand U.S. tradition, on the heels of yesterday's food-abuse festival, comes the massive credit card abuse of Black Friday.

Thanks, Greg.

Quote of the Day:

What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beam. I don't know. Apathetic bloody planet. I have no sympathy at all.

Vogon captain, in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Amazon US & UK).

News Briefs 23-11-2006

I'm submitting a scientific paper on the anomalous drop in turkey numbers on the fourth Thursday of every November...is there a giant turkey wormhole somewhere?

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

"It's the wild colour scheme that freaks me,'' said Zaphod whose love affair with this ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight, "Every time you try to operate on one of these weird black controls that are labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you've done it. What is this? Some kind of galactic hyperhearse?"

'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' (Douglas Adams)

News Briefs 22-11-2006

Yes, me again. I'm like the guest who doesn't know when you want him to go back to his own house...

Thanks Jameske.

Quote of the Day:

To play it safe is not to play.

Robert Altman

News Briefs 21-11-2006

Many Tales of the Inexpressible in today's news...

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Very brightly coloured, very irridescent...deep sheens and very highly reflective surfaces. Everything is machine-like and polished, and throbbing with energy - but that is not what immediately arrests my attention. What arrests my attention, is the fact that this space is...inhabited.

Terence McKenna (discussing DMT)

News Briefs 20-11-2006

Hot November night ...

  • Researchers have unearthed a 27000-year-old Stone Age site in Austria, including two bodies that might be twins under a mammoth's shoulder blade.
  • Human settlements almost 2400-years-old have been excavated near the ancient Nalanda University, India.
  • US scientists are using modern imaging techniques to digitally restore a rare 700-year-old Indian palm leaf manuscript on Hinduism.
  • A new exhibition in Paris will display ancient artifacts and secrets of the Sassanid empire.
  • A jar containing the skeleton of a dog discovered in a human grave in northern Iran has archaeologists puzzled. Man's best friend until the end.
  • A Roman gravestone which depicts a mounted soldier holding a sword and a severed head will go on display in Lancashire.
  • The stone monolith recently discovered in Mexico city could be a massive headstone honouring one of the last Aztec rulers. More info, with pics.
  • Roadworkers in Hanoi, Vietnam, discovered the 1000-year-old Xa Tac altar belonging to the Ly Dynasty.
  • Parts of a 2000-year-old bronze drum belonging to the Dong Son culture was handed to museum authorities by a resident of Vietnam's Phu Yen province.
  • Medical specialist and holistic practitioner Dr Amir Farid Isahak discusses the benefits of Qi, the energy of life.
  • Where were you before the Tree of Life, by Peter R. Farley, Volume 1.
  • Dark Energy has been discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. Here's more about this incredible discovery of 9-billion-year-old Dark Energy.
  • The first of four trailers for UFO: The Greatest Story Ever Denied by Jamie Escamila.
  • What is the UFO captured in these photographs over Palos Verdes?
  • Brazilian UFO researcher Jan Val Ellam is claiming contact with aliens could take place between November 16 2006 and April 30 2007. Dust off your tinfoil hat, fill the esky with ice and beer, and watch the skies from your roof on a lounge chair Greg.
  • Predictions of what life will be like in 2056 submitted to New Scientist magazine by some of the world's prominent scientists don't include aliens, but I still plan on sticking around.
  • If there are more people like the Secret Santa, who since 1979 has given away $1.3million on the streets of Kansas City, then the world will be a better place in 2056.
  • Here's an article discussing the $100 laptops built by the One Laptop Per Child non-profit project for poor children. Bill Gates plays Scrooge and is not impressed, mocking the laptop.
  • Wikipedia has again been blocked in some parts of China. Maybe they consider academic/professional standards are more important than freedom of speech, but I doubt it.

Thanks Kat and Pam.

Quote of the Day:

I ate the mythology & dreamt.

Yusef Komunyakaa, "Blackberries"