- Germs trapped in amber lived with first dinosaurs.
- Mammals may have soared before birds.
- Humans first migrated out of Africa 70,000 years ago, but 30,000 years later some of them moved back.
- Update: Discovered buried under mud in 2002, a 3,246-year-old dam built by the Hittites - complete with purifying pool to make the water drinkable, as well as irrigation channels - is now back in service in a Turkish village.
- New transcription reveals Newton's rare 'theory of everything'.
- Freak solar explosion disrupts satellites.
- Astronauts reroute space station's power, but retracting the solar array proves tricky.
- Dust samples from comets upend scientists' beliefs.
- Venus Express sees right down to the hell-hot surface.
- Australian astronomers strike gold in search for planetary nebulae, the beautiful remains of dying stars.
- Some physicists think stars can be strange.
- Alternative theory of gravity explains large structure formation - without dark matter.
- Very high frequency radiation makes dark matter visible.
- Structure of self-assembling nano-ice resembles DNA.
- Cryptologist takes a crack at deciphering DNA's deep secrets.
- Remember Toxoplasma gondii, the brain parasite that may be driving us crazy? Researchers may have just discovered its Achilles' heel.
- Brain tumors and other neural system cancers may be contageous.
- Breast cancer may be sexually transmitted.
- World's first cloned cat has kittens - the old-fashioned way.
- After years of preparing them for life in the wild, conservations say 200 orangutans are ready for release in Borneo forest.
- Enviro-cateclysm of the week: Study based on air temperatures and sea level changes, rather than computer models, suggests oceans could rise much faster and higher than previously thought.
- Worldwide, 2006 is set to be the 6th hottest year on record, but it's Britain's hottest year since records began in 1659.
- 2006 brought a deluge of severe record-breaking weather, and a new study predicts more wet and wild weather in the decades ahead.
- Inventor claims pump device could reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by almost one third. Good - thing, huh?
- UN says world's livestock industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity.
- Discovery of a relatively shallow deposit of natural gas hydrates brings use of one of Earth's biggest untapped energy sources a step closer.
- Cool idea from British scientists: A magnetic fridge based on quantum spin's magnetocaloric effect.
- Announcing they've produced a prototype that ran independently for four weeks, and have built another free-energy motor that produces enough energy to power a Porsche, Steorn reiterates the free energy claims which have outraged scientists around the world.
- A cut above fiberglass: London barber makes chair from recycled human hair.
- From the 'you can't make up headlines this good' department: The world's tallest man has saved two dolphins by using his long arms to reach into their stomachs and pull out dangerous plastic shards.
- Wisconsin hunter bags hermaphroditic deer - with 7 legs. More.
- Called in to fix a blocked toilet, Oz plummer looks down to find head of seven-foot-long python peering at him from the bottom of the bowl.
- Amphibian cryptid caught in Bolivia.
- Sasquatch sighted in Saskatchewan.
- Had a car crash? New study says it's all in the stars.
- Cool UFO photos.
- Bush administration clamps down on scientists at U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy.
- UK diplomat's previously suppressed evidence lays bare Tony Blair's lies about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. The whistleblower that ministers tried to muzzle, and full transcript of evidence. (Read, save, or pay-per-view later.)
- Saddam seen as no threat - then politicians got to work.
- Boston air traffic controller says 9/11 was an inside job. He also says other air traffic controllers have been ignored or silenced.
Quote of the Day:
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Andy Gough has a new addition to his Rennes-le-Chateau blog 'Arcadia' - the latest is an interview with renowned researcher Jean Luc Robin. At the bottom of the page you'll also find a podcast of the highlights of the interview.
- Erowid.org have Mike Jay's review of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Amazon UK).
- Thothweb examines the legend of the Thunderbird.
- Lesley from Binnall of America has a good round-up of the year that was in ufology (2006).
- Skeptical Observations has a new article available, the latest is "How Scepticism Blocks Progress: Cuvier and Spallanzani", by Guy Lyon Playfair.
- The latest MAPS news update has the lowdown on the latest in research with psychedelics.
- The Psychedelic Salon continue to post podcasts of McKenna, Sheldrake and Abraham doing their Trialogue thing.
- Mac Tonnies discusses the link between UFOs and bodies of water.
- Nick Redfern gives his thoughts on Gary McKinnon.
- Filer's Files #50 for 2006 has the latest ufological news from around the globe.
- Seth Shostak for the SETI Institute writes about "Making the Search Simple". Alliteration not intended.
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week William Henry interviews William Mann, who hasn't just written about the history of the Knights Templar in the New World, but is also a descendant of the Supreme Grand Master of the Knights Templar in Canada.
Coast to Coast AM: First 2 hours on Friday Associate Professor of History Dr David Jacobs will be discussing alien abductions, the rest of the night is open lines. Early show Saturday is a rebroadcast of Ian chatting with freelance science writer Ann Finkbeiner about her book, The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite. Later on Saturday, Art Bell talks to astrophysicist Dr. Bernard Haisch about his work reconciling the Big Bang, Darwinian evolution, and special properties of the universe that will reveal infinite conscious intelligence, and that matter arises from consciousness and not the other way around. Sunday's guest is Dr John Jay Harper, who will discuss how solar cycles affect climate, consciousness & civilization, and how current solar activity will increase at a cataclysmic rate as we approach the solar maximum in 2012 AD.
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.
Just to keep the ufological theme running this week: well-known researcher Nick Redfern has joined the world of regular bloggers with his new site UFO Mystic. Nick is well-respected as both a ufological investigator and writer (Strange Secrets, Body Snatchers in the Desert, On the Trail of the Saucer Spies), and also in the field of cryptozoology, so it should be stimulating to see what he writes about. Obviously I'll include worthy items in the TDG round-ups, but definitely a site worth bookmarking.
All I want for Xmas is to get over this flu...
- Nobel Prize-winning scientist defends the paranormal.
- Martians could kill life on Earth, says Mars Express scientist. A million to one they said! (but still, they come).
- Question of the day: how do you steer a spy shark? Video here.
- Colour of dog fur linked to personality.
- So what colour was the dog that tunnelled through snow to save its owners?
- Scientists debate severity of the next sunspot cycle.
- Microsoft unveils free robotics software package. Perhaps that's what powers Mr Gates...
- Christian video game stokes controversy with its "convert or kill" message. Hey, if it's good enough for the 13th century Catholic Church...
- 4,000-year-old Seahenge will rise again in 2008. Felt like I was channelling a bit of Edgar Cayce when I said that...
- Archaeologists solve riddle of mysterious faces on South Pacific artifacts.
- Aboriginal language had Ice Age origins.
- Experts rush to record coastal history in face of advancing North Sea.
- Egyptian conservationists fight to protect dwindling Mummy population (The Onion).
- Boy who could feel no pain leads scientists to pain-killing discoveries. Interestingly, the boy died aged 14 jumping from a house. I guess that tells you why we experience pain...
- Regeneration ironically hinges on cell death.
- Laughter really is contagious. So make sure you don't have unprotected jokes.
- Skepticism is on the rise in Australia. Would it be paradoxical for me to be skeptical of that claim?
Quote of the Day:
I am comfortably numb.
Over the past week, filmmaker Paul Kimball has been uploading video segments from some of his UFO documentaries to Google video, and embedding them within his blog "The Other Side of Truth". You'll find commentary from some of the most respected researchers in ufology, including Stanton Friedman discussing hoaxers and frauds, Kevin Randle on debunkers vs skeptics, and the late Karl Pflock on numerous aspects of UFO history. In contrast to the usual UFO docos, there's no hype here - just intelligent, thoughtful commentary. Easiest just to go to the blog and scroll through the entries (for latecomers, look in the blog archive under December 2006) - you may have to skip a few music videos in the process though. Kudos to Paul (who from the music videos, is obviously a teenager of the 80s) for sharing these with the community.
Nothing spectacular in today's news. I recommend not reading it, and instead going out to enjoy the world outside your house or office...
- NASA won't put a price tag on Moon base. "You make an offer first."
- National Geographic give their top ten stories of 2006.
- More on the story about the Vatican unearthing the tomb of St Paul (with photo).
- Christmas: From pagan festival, to Christian celebration, to festival of Capitalism.
- Livestock emissions the greatest contributor to global warming? And you know what I mean by 'emissions'...
- Frozen frog comes back to life.
- This year's Geminids could be the best meteor shower of the year.
- World's oldest person dies aged 116. Perhaps they should phrase their links better: "Watch Video: World's Oldest Person Dies at 116". Ew.
- Does storm video show ball lightning? Kind of has a Spielbergian War of the Worlds feel about it, don't it.
- Are stem cells being harvested from live babies in the Ukraine?
- UK experts say there is a "strong scientific and moral case" for primate research.
- Is Wi-Fi a health hazard?
- Arctic sea ice faces 'rapid melt'. Where will ice bag providers harvest their ice from now?
- Shuttle docks with ISS.
- Firefly to be reborn as a multiplayer game.
Quote of the Day:
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they see nothing but sea.
Some of the latest additions to Erowid.org are worth reading (and they have been handily bundled into PDF documents and printable booklets as well, just to make things easier). New on the site is Terence McKenna's "Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness" (PDF and PDF booklet), as well as some of the writings of Myron Stolaroff: "The Future of Human Consciousness" (PDF and PDF booklet) and "Using Psychedelics Wisely" (PDF / PDF booklet). Always interesting things being added to Erowid.org, so keep an eye on their What's New page, not least to read through the various trip reports (ranging from enlightening to unbelievably frightening).
Issue 99 of New Dawn has been released, featuring the usual eclectic mix of stories covering everything from alternative history to occultism and conspiracy theories. On the ND website you'll find a few free articles as samples of the content in the latest issue, including "William S. Burroughs: 20th Century Gnostic Visionary", by Robert Guffey, and "Depleted Uranium, Diabetes, Cancer And You", by Alan Cantwell, MD. Other stories in the print mag include John Major Jenkins on Mayan cosmology, and Professor Michel Chossudovsky on the next phase of the Middle East war. Head to the New Dawn website for the full run-down on the latest issue.
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Astrobiology Magazine has "Launching the Alien Debates" - part one in a seven part series of debates about life elsewhere in the Universe.
- Binnall of America have a new audio interview available, the latest is with a central character in the Project Serpo case, Bill Ryan (mp3/podcast or streaming audio via Flash).
- Filip Coppens continues his film analyses with the latest being the movie Conspiracy Theory.
- Peter Watts makes his sci-fi novel Blindsight available under Creative Commons.
- The Book of Thoth has "The Anthills of Orion" by Gary A. David.
- Skeptic Randi's latest newsletter attacks the woo-woo worldwide. Someone needs to tell Randi about the whole CSICOP name change thing...he's a little out of the loop.
- UFO Casebook #234 is now available.
- Mac Tonnies writes, "If not from space, where?"
- The Psychedelic Salon continue to post podcasts of McKenna, Sheldrake and Abraham doing their Trialogue thing. Stimulating listening.