I suspect my ancient ancestors lived in a rainforest. How about yours?
- China's terracotta army may be guarding buried treasure.
- Headless mummy unearthed in Peru.
- Research sheds light on lions in the Tower of London.
- Nut-cracking gorilla is smashing palm nuts between rocks in the 'hammer and anvil' technique, considered among the most complex tool-use behaviors.
- Hubble's lunar observations yield signs of oxygen-bearing minerals.
- Wanted: a flat, mineral-rich plot - with a nice view of Earth.
- This suit is made for walking - on Mars.
- NASA loses the Mars Polar Lander - again.
- Failed stars may succeed in planet business.
- 'Buckypaper': engineers drool over possibility of working with a material that's 250 times stronger than steel, but 10 times lighter.
- Military's new aluminum windows can stop .50-caliber bullet.
- Amazon rainforest being destroyed twice as fast as experts had thought.
- Dutch windmills may be idled by climate change.
- Twenty-six starving polar bears terrorize Siberian locals.
- After 3 huge storms in one season, scientists rethink hurricane rating system.
- Apocalypse, now? Katrina, other disasters fuel doomsday predictions.
- If doomsday is coming, will we next face a year without a summer or worse from volcanic eruptions such as the 1815 Tambora eruption?
- On the other hand, catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions aren't that unusual. FYI - beyond 'cataclysmic', there are 4 more categories in the Volcanic Explosivity Index.
- Melodic brain waves: Music from her mind is music to her ears.
- Where the brain combines what's heard and felt.
- Your brain remembers what you forget.
- Making friends is hard to do - at least for mice lacking a receptor for the hormone oxytocin.
- Governed by emotions - literally: Officials' emotional responses in crisis situations cause them to make decisions with little regard to the long-term consequences.
- Do all human differences - and conflicts - boil down to whether we had rainforest or desert-dwelling ancestors? What makes us who we are - the society in which we live, or something more primeval? Adapted from Robert M Sapolsky's Monkeyluv : And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals. Amazon US & UK.
- Brain research shows why old habits die hard.
- An 'evildoer' by any other name: How labels shape our attitudes toward violence.
- Scientists develop 'megacloning' method of transferring entire genomes from one bacterial species into another.
- Dry eye syndrome linked to low ratio of Omega 3 fats in diet.
- Eating fish is good - eating fish is bad: Balancing the health risks and benefits.
- Got milk? A fatty acid in milk is a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Sleuths Crack Tracking Code in Color Printers: the hidden information that could be used to track you down if you ever cross the U.S. government.
- Furor Grows Over Internet Bugging.
- After years of hype, surfing through the power grid becomes a reality - here and there.
- Dutch crime ring hacked 1.5 million computers worldwide, setting up a "zombie network" that secretly stole credit card and other personal data.
- Five major publishers sue Google over print library.
- Beyond the pale: Arab makeover renders The Simpsons barely recognizable.
- Interview of undercover explorer of white-collar unemployment, Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. Amazon US & UK.
- Scotland has loads of haunted trains, cars, buses and ships - all causing panic and paranoia.
- Mockery is good: former Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking out against plans to outlaw religious hatred, says followers of all religions should get used to be being criticised.
- Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code (Amazon US & UK), is being sued by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Their new The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail Illustrated Edition will be available Oct. 25th at Amazon US, and is already available at Amazon UK.
- Post-Katrina tattoo boom in New Orleans includes a design for the true-blue 'Fort Apache District' police.
Quote of the Day:
We were the only ones that stayed. The only ones that held. They were shooting at us in the station. We were shooting back. I'm glad people are back now. It was like a zombie movie, man.
Unidentified New Orleans Policeman, Fort Apache District
The latest issue of Skeptic is on the streets (Volume 11, #4), with the cover dedicated to the late evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. In this issue James Randi critiques ABC's "John of God" program, there's an analysis of conspiracy thinking, and a test for supernatural occurrences. Two free articles are available online for your reading pleasure - "The Da Vinci Code Cult: A Critical Look at Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code", and "Close Encounters of the Facial Kind: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?". Full details of the current issue's content is available from the magazine link above.
Slide on into the weekend with a little reading matter...
- The latest newsletter from Ian Lawton's 'Rational Spirituality Movement' is now available - of note, a standalone website for the RSM, which includes this handy introduction to what it's all about.
- This week's eSkeptic newsletter features Michael Shermer's review of the Dalai Llama's book The Universe in a Single Atom : The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (Amazon US).
- Fortean Times has an interview with David Barnett about his novel Hinterland.
- Author Robert Graham asks Was the War In Iraq Caused by Paranormal Dark Forces?", for Phenomena Magazine.
- Filer's Files #43 for 2005 has the latest UFO news.
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week's guest is General Parviz Jafari, an Iranian Air Force pilot who participated in the famous “Tehran Dogfight” - one of the most noted UFO sightings. Afterwards Linda Howe reports on gigantic Burmese Pythos that have been let go in the Everglades by Florida pet owners no longer able to keep them.
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, Saturday's guest is druid John Michael Greer, who will be sharing facts and folklore of fairies and dragons; vampires and werewolves; & angels and demons. Sunday sees Art Bell talking to Nick Begich about technology issues, the enhancement of human performance, and the question of whether this hurricane season has been the product of weather manipulation by HAARP.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, it can be listened to through KOGO, while Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.
Begin that slide into the weekend a bit early with TDG news.
- The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago.
- Been there, done that. A small early Chinese dinosaur called Microraptor gui used a two-level, biplane wing configuration to fly from tree to tree in the early Cretaceous.
- Pompeii's ruins rise to tell tale of horror.
- Astonishing ruins lurk in the dense rain forest of Guatemala.
- An ophthalmologist will examine the windows to the souls of ancient Chilean mummies.
- Peru's Nazca lines are being threatened by scribblers and squatters.
- Go check your storage room. A 5,000-year-old treasure has been rediscovered in a library storage room.
- A fugitive rat outsmarts pursuers for 4-months, evaded traps, baits and sniffer dogs, then swims across 400-meters of open sea as it evades capture by chasing New Zealand scientists. Savor the mental image we just created.
- Cats may be allergic to humans. That's fair.
- Tuberculosis and infertility may have influenced George Orwell’s gloomy visions of the future.
- U. S. lawmakers are urging the Bush administration to resist a push from other countries to shift control of the Internet to the United Nations.
- Forced underground, cold fusion research lives on as a cult, certain that Dick Cheney and Big Oil are thwarting their efforts.
- What UK garden would be complete this Halloween without Baby's Toes, Blood Lily, Devil's Fig, and other spooky plants?
- The EU and the US: a declaration of interdependence.
- Newfound undersea rocks explode when hauled to the surface and could hold a treasure trove of information about Earth's insides. They're great for parties, too.
- The Intelligent Designer could be someone other than God. The plot thickens.
- There's a $1-million bounty for evidence leading to the live capture of Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster. Hey, just kidding.
- The U.S.-European Cassini spacecraft reveals Saturn's grayish moon Dione, a mature, frigid world with hints of tectonic activity.
- An attempt by scientists to raise the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) by some 10 kilometers (six miles) failed. Stay indoors for a while.
- Hubble takes a look at the Moon for possible mining sites.
- Call for British astronauts.
- Scotty's going to ride a rocket to the final frontier.
- We live in a big galaxy with billions of stars. So, where is everybody?
Quote of the Day
An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
President Dwight David Eisenhower
Due to the recent work of scholars such as Elaine Pagels and Marvin Meyer, the Gospel of Thomas and other rediscovered teaching of Jesus are capturing the imagination of a public increasingly committed to pursuing their faith outside the bounds of orthodoxy. Original Christianity, however, proposes that a critical element essential for fully understanding these scriptures has been lost until now. Novak suggests that the authors of these early texts believed in something he calls the Binary Soul Doctrine — a belief that allows for both reincarnation and an eternal afterlife. Novak’s startling new theory offers fresh insights on the beliefs and politics of the early church founders and helps explain the current flight from traditional religions.
Original Christianity continues with the theme of Peter's previous books regarding his 'Binary Soul Doctrine' hypothesis (see The Lost Secret of Death and The Division of Consciousness). You can also find more information on the Division Theory website.
Plenty of judgements to be entertained without conviction. Post your thoughts.
- Geologists tackle landslide fire mystery.
- A warmer world might not be a wetter one.
- X-rays may provide the spark to generate powerful bolts of electricity.
- High times for brain growth: marijuana-like drug multiplies neurons.
- Fueling the future without oil.
- Feuding over the origins of fossil fuels. Hydrocarbon heresy - rocks into gas.
- Mars theory backs plate tectonics theory at work. Sounds like the new theory backs expansion also.
- Rainmaking has its true believers and skeptics.
- Catastrophe 11500 years ago.
- Herding hurricanes. Some already think this sort of weather control already exists.
- Gold-plated bacteria control current in sensitive gadget.
- Experimental magnetic brain treatment could help rehabilitate stroke patients. And its effect on the healthy?
- Chinese spice is cure for bird flu.
- Was Washington attacked with a deadly pathogen?
- Vaccination: a killer cure?
- Are Jews smarter?
- What sparked the divine idea?
- A judgement entertained without conviction. The trouble with hypotheticals.
- Strange dodecahedron of unknown function.
- Earth's rotation can lead to the deluge.
- To the Moon: together or separately?
- Antarctic glaciers calving at an unprecedented rate.
- Hate crime laws as Orwellian Love.
Quote of the Day:
One must care about the truth to seek it, and one must not care about the truth to find it.
A varied list of readings to get you through the week...
- An Astrobiology thought experiment: Steven Soter muses about the chances of alien civilisations.
- A 'freebie' from the Biblical Archaeology Society: your Holy Bible Buyers Guide (PDF file). The range is second only to the Dan Brown cottage book market.
- Phenomena has "Wilhelm Reich, Orgone Energy and UFOs", by Peter Robbins.
- Skeptic Randi's latest weekly newsletter saves you from superstition.
- Binnall of America interviews Greg Bishop (author of Project Beta) - broken into two 46 minute mp3s for downloading convenience.
Raise your bat, Grandma R, for bringing up the century in style...
- Alien life in space probably not too buff, says researcher.
- Earth to aliens: no signal yet, could you please try again, by Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees.
- Was Stonehenge part of a much larger complex, with ceremonial avenues joining stone and wood henges to the River Avon?
- Terry Pratchett to be a guest speaker at the upcoming Witchfest conference in the UK.
- Mount Diablo keeps its name despite religious objection.
- Skeptic Joe Nickell investigates psychic Sylvia Browne.
- Joe's been busy - he's also searching for a Canadian Lake Monster. Searching, debunking...same definition?
- More on the million dollar reward for Bigfoot photo.
- These guys would all like a piece of that - Texas Bigfoot conference draws hundreds.
- Why is Darwin still on trial? The legal bill must be crippling...
- New study forecasts no winter by the 2105. I suggest putting your stocks into air conditioning companies.
- Arrival of new tropical storm equals record.
- 200 million-year-old tree found growing in Australia. Well, not that particular tree, I think we're talking about the species.
- Sea lily caught creeping away from trouble.
- Classical music makes good wine at Italian vineyard.
- Japan tests vehicle-to-vehicle communication system aimed at stopping collisions.
- Moving print advertisements coming soon as cheap 'paper displays' arrive.
- India says Google Maps are showing too much.
- One small jump for a flea, one giant leap for mankind. Australian scientists copy resilin, which gives fleas their bounce. I vote we rename it flubber.
- A seaweed found in Fiji may help fight cancer and AIDS.
- New NASA website features 'live images' of Mars.
- Pentagon to use radars as death rays?
- Woes at the J. Paul Getty Museum ripple through the art world.
- The end of the mouse? Tactapad puts your hands into the digital world. What happens when you combine that with porn?
Quote of the Day:
'We've strayed into a zone with a high magical index,' he said. 'Don't ask me how. Once upon a time a really powerful magic field must have been generated here, and we're feeling the after-effects.'
'Precisely,' said a passing bush.