News Briefs 15-05-2015

“The great cycle of periods is born anew.”

Quote of the Day:

“Blessed is he who has been able to win knowledge of the causes of things.”

Virgil

News Briefs 14-05-2015

...Does this mean I get a refund?

Thanks to Paul Revans, Chuckycabra and the Roswell Slides Research Group (RSRG)

Quote of the Day:

"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact"

~Arthur Conan Doyle

News Briefs 13-05-2015

You cannot step twice into the same news stream...

Quote of the Day:

I only answer to two people, myself and God.

M. C. Escher

Graham Hancock's Magicians of the Gods

Magicians of the Gods

The release date has been set for Magicians of the Gods, the much-anticipated sequel to Graham Hancock's 1995 'alternative history' bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods - September 10 this year - and the book is now available for pre-order from Amazon US and
Amazon UK.

In a statement published at The Bookseller, Graham says:

When I published Fingerprints of the Gods in 1995 I didn’t expect the immensely enthusiastic public response to the book or the furious academic backlash that followed. Twenty years on, however, Fingerprints has weathered all attempts to ‘debunk’ it and powerful scientific evidence has emerged to support the case it makes for a great lost civilization destroyed by a global cataclysm at the end of the last Ice Age. It’s because this evidence is so compelling, and so new, with such revolutionary implications for our understanding of history, that I’ve written Magicians of the Gods.

Get in!

You might also like:

Skeptical Thoughts on the Atheist & Skeptic Movements

Image

Richard Dawkins hasn't sent a Christmas Festivus card to fellow skeptic & atheist Massimo Pigliucci for years now. The Professor of Philosophy & editor-in-chief of Scientia Salon isn't afraid to turn the blowtorch of skepticism on itself, and call out the double standards of those who lead and the blind faith of those who follow. Pigliucci recently published this op-ed piece, and it's well worth a read.

"Here's what I find unpleasant about SAM [skeptic and atheist movements]: a community who worships celebrities who are often intellectual dilettantes, or at the very least have a tendency to talk about things of which they manifestly know very little; an ugly undertone of in-your-face confrontation and I’m-smarter-than-you-because-I-agree-with [insert your favorite New Atheist or equivalent]; loud proclamations about following reason and evidence wherever they may lead, accompanied by a degree of groupthink and unwillingness to change one’s mind that is trumped only by religious fundamentalists; and, lately, a willingness to engage in public shaming and other vicious social networking practices any time someone says something that doesn’t fit our own opinions, all the while of course claiming to protect “free speech” at all costs."

Pigliucci might not be winning many friends in the skeptic movements; but I'm sure he's not losing any sleep over it because importantly, he's winning minds. With Dawkins embarrassing himself in recent years, PZ Myers getting sex wrong, and James Randi pooh-poohing actual science, it's little wonder many are tiring of their boorishness and hypocrisy.

Tip o' the hat to Rob Brezsny.

And to Greg who posted this in Tuesday's news briefs.

News Briefs 12-05-2015

Breathe...

Thanks @djp1974.

Quote of the Day:

I'm not playing with death...I'm playing with life.

Jetman Yves Rossy

It's the Goddamn Jetman

Join Jetman Yves Rossy and his protege, Jetman Vince Reffet as they explore Dubai WITH GODDAMN JET WINGS STRAPPED TO THEIR BACKS. Be sure to pump up the resolution and full screen it!

This better be ubiquitous wearable tech before I die...

(h/t @m1k3y)

News Briefs 11-05-2015

If you're freaky, then own it...

Thanks @djp1974.

Quote of the Day:

Not all who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

More Than 1000 UFOs Were Sighted Over Canada in 2014

Canadian UFO

Since 1989, Ufology Research in Canada has collected UFO sighting data from active Canadian researchers, and each year has compiled it into an annual 'Canadian UFO Survey' and released it publicly "in an attempt to promote the dissemination of information across the field of ufology".

The 2014 report is now out, and it seems that - contrary to some media reports - UFOs are certainly not dead. 1021 UFO sighting reports were collected in Canada during 2014 - almost three a day - the third-highest number of UFO sightings recorded in the last 25 years.

Other interesting facts from the report summary:

  • The Top 5 metropolitan areas with the most UFO reports are (in order of highest): Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary and Montreal (tie), and Edmonton.
  • Although there has been a trend during the past 25 years of having more UFO reports received in the mid-summer months (corresponding to long nights and fair weather for observing UFOs in the night sky), 2014 was exceptional in that the was a marked peak in UFO reports in the early fall. In fact, almost 17 per cent of all reports in 2014 came in September, well above the average of 9.5 per cent for September during the past 25 years.
  • In 2014, the average Strangeness rating of UFO reports was 4.26, well above the 25-year average of 3.5 and above last year’s average of 3.67. Strangeness measures the degree to which a UFO report is comparatively unusual, for example a simple light in the sky being 2 or 3, and occupants observed outside a landed craft being about 8 or 9 on the Strangeness ratings scale. The average Reliability rating was similarly up in 2014, suggesting more cases were of higher quality or were better investigated. Most UFO sightings, unfortunately, are not well investigated, leaving the field wide open for speculation and sensationalism.
  • More than 47 per cent of all UFO sightings were of an object described as a “point source,” or starlike.
  • The typical UFO sighting lasted approximately 13 minutes in 2014, comparable with other years.

Head over to the Ufology Research website for more details, and follow the links to dig into the data.

(h/t Chris Rutkowski)

Smartphoned to Death

The real solution to the Fermi paradox?

Don't forget to RT!

[H/T Disinfo]