Unbeatable Brown

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from author Lewis Perdue, who has claimed that Dan Brown plagiarised parts of his book Daughter of God in writing The Da Vinci Code, and who was seeking $150 million in damages. Perdue has commented on the decision on his blog, where he also published his petition to the Supreme Court (PDF).

News Briefs 15-11-06

Lots of interesting nonsense today. Post your thoughts.

  • Corporate logos and freemasonry. The word.
  • The case of earth’s incredible shrinking field.
  • Meteor-dinosaur theory evolves again.
  • Two black holes?
  • Toilet evidence links Dead Sea Scrolls to sect.
  • Free speech and Israel.
  • 3D polymer with unusual magnetism.
  • Archaeologists unveil calendar of pre-Colombia cultures.
  • Sicilians in ancient Salcombe.
  • Freak one-eyed monster storm spotted on Saturn.
  • The 10 scariest medical mishaps.
  • Virtual system eases phantom limb pain.
  • I was frozen to improve my health.
  • Another electrical shock for astronomers.
  • Elevator in space.
  • Was life on earth inevitable? You’d have thought so, since it happened.
  • Eye-opening interview with Carol Rosin about the late Werner von Braun.
  • Airing out an early atmosphere.
  • Dandelion root cancer cure?
  • Unmistakable lunar ruins on the moon.

Quote of the Day:

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.

Will Durant

Hunting the Skinwalker

There are few more interesting stories over the past decade than that of the 'Skinwalker Ranch' investigation. A Utah ranch famed for its paranormal occurrences was bought up by Las Vegas entrepreneur Robert Bigelow (who has shot to fame recently via his achievements with Bigelow Aerospace), for the express purpose of a scientific study of the phenomena by his self-funded National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS).

The events that transpired have recently been set out in the book Hunt for the Skinwalker (you can read my review here). One of the authors of that book - and former lead scientist with NIDS - is Colm Kelleher PhD. Colm has been kind enough to contribute a personal account to TDG, of one of the investigations that took place during the NIDS investigation the ranch, which he thinks would interest readers. I've added it to our Features section under the title "Two Scientists Hunting the Skinwalker" (you can read a previous interview with Colm here at TDG as well). Thanks to Colm for sending it in.

Tuesday Roundup 14-11-2006

A strange assortment to get you through the week...


News Briefs 14-11-2006

Calling Mr Cold, Mr Indrid Cold...

  • Forty years ago this week, Mothman entered popular mythology (and perhaps reality) - but he's still a hot topic.
  • John Symonds, biographer and literary executor of the Great Beast Aleister Crowley, has passed away.
  • Apparently we've got a deep-seated fear of aliens. Perhaps due to the fact they like sticking things up your rectum (not that there's anything wrong with that)...
  • Conspiracy theories propel Coast to Coast AM to big ratings.
  • Got a few thousand dollars to spare? Why not bid on Alex Grey's birthday portrait of LSD pioneer Albert Hofmann on eBay?
  • Anatomy of a Virgin model. Err, business model, of Virgin Galactic that is. But all the guys out there probably clicked already anyhow...
  • $200,000 rare stamp used on postal vote in US mid-terms. Hope that vote counted.
  • Backside firework prank backfires. Literally. Ow.
  • Scientific American releases this year's SciAm 50 list.
  • Travelling museum exhibition gives the scoop on poop.
  • An interview with Doom-and-Quake-creator-turned-rocketeer John Carmack. I've worked with Carmack's rockets for quite some time, as the Carneous-gibs all over The Bad Place will attest to.
  • For anyone heading into surgery tomorrow, here's a list of the ten scariest medical mishaps you might encounter.
  • One hundred years of Alzheimer's.
  • Sea urchin genome turns out to be strikingly similar to humans.
  • Archaeologists unveil calendar of pre-Colombian cultures.
  • And a warning for Grandma Grail not to go skinny-dipping in the local billabong: Australian crocs head upstream.

Quote of the Day:

We mean you no harm. I come from a country much less powerful than yours. My name is Cold. I sleep, breathe and even bleed as you do.

Indrid Cold (from John Keel's "The Mothman Prophecies")

Radio 14-11-2006

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: This week a bunch of 'encore' presentations from the archive are available, including interviews with Seth Shostak, Stephen Bassett and Glenn Kimball.

Coast to Coast AM: First half-hour Monday Erika Frost will discuss teh upcoming 'Ghost Fest', which George Noory will be broadcasting from. Afterwards, James Arthur Ray will discuss how to use spiritual power for tangible results. On Tuesday Jack Trimarco will be talking about his time in the FBI and some of the big cases he's worked on. Wednesday's guest is 'alien authority' Timothy Good, who will be discussing his latest book, Need to Know: UFOs, the Military and Intelligence, while on Thursday Joshua P. Warren will be discussing 'phantimals,' aliens, and UFOs, as well as the upcoming Queen Mary Ghost Fest.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.

News Briefs 13-11-2006

Monday again already?

  • NASA scientists announced in the journal Nature that there may have been geological activity on the Moon in modern times.
  • NASA is struggling to find the missing Mars Global Surveyor. Maybe it doesn't want to be found.
  • The above article may answer the question in this one: how safe is travel to Mars?
  • An incredible hurricane has been recorded on Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft. Video here.
  • A former naval intelligence crypto-tech describes his recent UFO encounter and how his skepticism has changed to curiosity.
  • An extract from Timothy Good's Unearthly Disclosure (Amazon US or UK) about aliens underwater. I'd like to be, under the sea, in an extraterrestrial's garden in the shade.
  • Strange lights are seen in conjuction with Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas, coinciding with a UFO conference.
  • On November 17th 1896, the Sacramento Evening Bee reported that a man named Leon was building a 'flying machine'.
  • Salvadore Freixedo has challenged the Catholic Church, witnessed phantom animals, photographed the carcasses of mutilated cattle, and climbed a mountain in search of alien contact.
  • A new case of cattle mutilation on a Montana ranch, the udder, genitals and rectum removed with disturbing precision.
  • Loren Coleman discusses whether November 12th should be considered the anniversary of the first Mothman sighting.
  • A Scottish financial advice firm has been forced to call in a priest after being targeted by a suspected ghost.
  • Actor Jack Palance has died. Believe it, or not.
  • Was Nguyen Binh Khiem the Vietnamese Nostradamus of the 16th Century?
  • It was the eleventh of the eleventh on Saturday, and many believe there are mystical meanings behind 11:11. Uri Geller discusses the 11:11 phenomenon. I experience it all the time, but I'm very skeptical of 11:11 groups.
  • "Lunatic fringe," "head case" and "one-eyed pinhead"" are some of the names scientists give to genes they discover. When are you gonna tell Isis what her middle name is, Greg?
  • Atmospheric scientists report that ocean phytoplankton may influence the formation of clouds.
  • Two recent discoveries in astrobiology challenge many of our assumptions about biospheres on Earth.
  • Wired Magazine test-drives BMW's Hydrogen 7 car that uses an internal combustion engine that can switch between hydrogen and gasoline fuel.
  • ThothWeb asks if our modern civilisation is the first of its kind, or if we've been here before. Ah, I remember my first trip to the Cave of No Return.
  • Researchers in the fabled Mali town of Timbuktu are fighting to preserve tens of thousands of ancient texts that may predate the European Renaissance.
  • A 2600-year-old ancient Mexican moon calendar has been shown to the public for the first time.
  • Archaeologists have returned to the Burnt City in Iran to search for evidence of a 5000-year-old temple.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

Lewis Carroll, Through The Looking Glass

News Briefs 10-11-2006

My feet still haven't recovered from nearly 3 hours of standing in line to vote in Denver. For many others, the wait was closer to 6 hours. But if we have to, I'm sure we'll gladly wait even longer the next time Denver's Elections Commissioners come up for reelection.

Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

I'm a fuzzy-headed warm-hearted liberal, and I think fuzzy-headed warm-hearted liberalism is an ideological stance that needs defending - if necessary, with a hob-nailed boot-kick to the bollocks of budding totalitarianism.

Hugo Award winning Sci-Fi author Charles Stross
(Sorry, I thought this crowd would instantly recognize his name - and dry wit - without all these descriptors.)

Weekend Roundup 10-11-2006

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Radio 10-11-2006

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week's guest is John Anthony West, who discusses with William Henry exactly what the Ancient Egyptians knew, what we have lost, and some very surprising efforts that are being made to regain it.

Coast to Coast AM: On Friday Art Bell hosts a night of Open Lines. Early show Saturday Ian welcomes former Justice Dept. prosecutor John Loftus for a conversation about such topics as Iran's nuclear program and the JFK assassination, followed by Art Bell talking to adventurer, journalist, and author Robert Young Pelton about fear, instinct, ignorance, luck, and the many other aspects associated with survival. Sunday's guest is Professor of Physics at the Univ. of Conn., Dr. Ron Mallett, who will discuss what science has to say about the real possibility of traveling into the past or the future.

More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.