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).
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.
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.
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Andrew Gough's Arcadia website features a new essay, "The Arcadian Meridian - London's Paradise Lost".
- Michael Shermer debates the benefits of religion in his latest Sci-Am Skeptic column.
- Frank Warren investigates the 1896 air-ship sightings at American Chronicle.
- Kevin Randle goes looking for more OOPARTS ('Out of Place Artifacts').
- Thothweb has "Before Recorded History: The Civilizations Lost in Time".
- Michael Prescott goes deeper into the story on remote viewers aiding in Saddam Hussein's capture.
- The latest MAPS news update is now available.
- UFO Casebook #230 is online.
- Brent Raynes reviews Brad Steiger's classic Strange Guests, recently re-released by Anomalist Books (Amazon US and UK).
- Filip Coppens revisits the prescient movie Wag the Dog.
- The Société Périllos have part four of their ongoing series, "Enigmas of the cemetery of Rennes-le-Château".
- Skeptic Randi's latest newsletter is out, with some news about Daniel Dennett having a brush with (a completely non-existent) heaven.
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")
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.
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.
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
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.
- Rupert Sheldrake's theories tested on British TV.
- Fossil teeth reveal buffet for early humans 1.8 million years ago.
- Rise in atmospheric oxygen some 2.3 billion years ago and an attendant shift of trace metals in ancient oceans drove the evolution of the three superkingdoms of life – Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya – which each use trace metals differently. Or that's how I read it, at least.
- Sea urchins share 7077 genes with humans, which means they're closer kin than worms or fruit flies.
- Ship comes in for those seeking emigration histories of long-lost Scottish ancestors: website offers searchable records on 100m Scots who crossed the Atlantic between 1820 and 1960.
- NASA struggles to restore contact with Mars Global Surveyor.
- One-way ticket? NASA considers sending Mars rover into a crater with no escape route.
- Blasts of gas from deep beneath the lunar surface may periodically slough off a few metres of topsoil, which suggests the moon is still geologically active.
- Cut from a different cloth: Chemistry of stars in dwarf galaxies is not consistent with current cosmological models.
- Casini reveals hurricane-like storm raging on Saturn's south pole.
- Mysterious waves seen in Venus's clouds.
- Two new research tools will allow Hubble to peer deeper into universe's mysteries.
- Pacific Ocean gives birth to new volcanic island.
- Enviro-cateclysm of the week: Himalaya mega-quakes likely every 1000 years.
- World energy supply heading for crisis.
- Chemical emissions from ocean phytoplankton may influence the formation of clouds, which would add a critical new component to global climate models.
- Antarctica and Greenland appear to be linked by remarkable ocean current.
- New nanotech membrane promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation.
- Cheap, super-efficient solar power is coming. How sea sponges may help.
- Experimental evolution: Tracking rapid genetic changes will help researchers engineer ethanol- and antibiotic-producing microbes.
- Chemical pollution responsible for silent pandemic of brain damage.
- Chemical hazards: Remember what happened to the Romans.
- Bioartificial kidneys seem to work, but can we make enough for everyone who needs one?
- People who experience a pounding heart, sweaty palms or dizziness - even if the cause is something as mundane as stress, exercise or caffeine - are more likely to develop a clinical case of anxiety or panic disorder.
- New study finds major differences in brain-chemistry of seriously depressed women - specifically in the endogenous opioid system that is a central part of the brain's natural pain and stress-reduction system.
- Researchers show brain injury may occur within one millisecond after head hits car windshield - when a car hits a stationary object at only 34 mph.
- Neurons associated with Parkinson's disease die due to inflammation.
- Biologists invent the LouseBuster - a chemical-free, hairdryer-like device which eradicates head lice in one 30-minute treatment.
- Study finds lizards have warm personalites, like to socialise.
- Social exclusion changes brain function, which can lead to poor decision-making and diminished learning ability.
- Memories: It's all in the packaging. More.
- Study shows subliminal information is consciously processed by the brain.
- Why exercising muscles tire when needed most.
- Why we end up spending more when we think we're saving: Unexpected changes in price trigger feelings of anger or gratitude.
- Can Eric Bonabeau's Hunch Engine expand your mind? Video (6 min): Bonabeau explains why computers can provide design variations that no human would have imagined.
- Stealth train uncloaks on Google Earth.
- High-flying canines and their disc-flinging humans compete for glory in US Disc Dog Nationals.
- Canadian documentary, The Great Warming, is bringing conservative Christians into global-warming fold.
- After barricading 300 officials and foreign businessmen in a warehouse, 10,000 Chinese villagers riot over land seizure, clash with riot police.
- Startling findings in probe of Pat Tillman's death by 'friendly fire'.
- Political op/ed: A Come-to-Daddy Moment.
- Political blogs (of all stripes) effectively become online national clearinghouse for polling problems, with supporting evidence posted on YouTube.
- Former UK diplomat reveals secret testimony on Iraq war in spite of his lawyer's warning that he could be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. Read, save, or pay-per-view later.
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.)
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Melissa Chan takes a big stick to "SciFi Investigates", over at Unexplained-Mysteries.com.
- This week's RU Sirius Radio show features an interview with Adam Gorightly about his book The Shadow Over Santa Susana: Black Magic, Mind Control and the Manson Family Mythos (Amazon US and UK).
- Filer's Files #45 has the latest ufological news from around the globe.
- Edward F. Kelley discusses the new book Irreducible Mind which he contributed to (as did our good friend Michael Grosso, who writes about it in his latest column in Sub Rosa).
- Lloyd Pye gives a 'Starchild skull' update.
- The Book of Thoth has "Ancient Beliefs and UFOs" by Oddthings, and "The Scientist and Dharma" by Carbonek.
- Graham Allen reviews "The British UFO Mystery Documentary" at UFO Casebook.
- SurvivalAfterDeath.org has another historical essay available, the latest addition being "The Mediumship of Miss Showers", by Florence Marryat.
- The latest issue of Official Disclosure magazine ("Biblical Perspectives on the Paranormal") is now available as a free PDF download. OD is the new name for Tom Horn's online magazine Anomalos.
- Alternative history researcher Gary A. David was recently interviewed by Red Ice Creations Radio (mp3 file).
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.