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News Briefs 03-06-2004

I had forgotten about the joys of dial-up internet. The kind of joy you experience by poking a hot needle through your eyeball…

  • It’s a solstice celebration for SpaceShipOne: June 21 set as launch date for attempt at first privately-funded manned space flight.
  • Meanwhile, NASA now optimistic about chances of success with robotic mission to save Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
  • Speaking of robots, those Martian rovers just keep roving.
  • The ‘nightmare scenario waiting to happen’ – chances of ‘dirty bomb’ attack rise significantly.
  • But who needs a dirty bomb when you can count on your own government to dose you up on plutonium?
  • Archaeologists search for lost Torah near Auschwitz.
  • Afghanistan’s fabled Bactrian Gold to tour the world.
  • The archives of the Royal Geographic Society to be opened to the public.
  • Major excavation to open Viking graves.
  • Following hot on the heels of the cicada plague, comes the massive stink as they all die and rot. Ewww.
  • Asperger’s Syndrome – not just a medical condition, but perhaps the creator of geniuses.
  • Retired chemistry professor to test Brisbane’s weeping statues. And Randi’s not one to miss an opportunity to get his name up in lights, as he offers his $1million prize if the church can prove the phenomenon is supernatural. Can someone offer a $1million prize to prove that James Randi’s prize is bona fide (see here and here)?
  • Star Dreams: A documentary about crop circles.
  • Man-made chemicals are affecting the development of children’s brains.
  • Forget cold fusion, here comes banana power.
  • Alaskan quake of 2002 unblocked geysers in Yellowstone Park.
  • Genetically-modifed virus explodes cancer cells. Is that like the opposite to a dirty bomb?
  • University unveils tool to check student essays for plagiarism from 4.5 billion webpages.
  • Cattle mutilation in Rio Cuarto – hoax or the real deal?
  • Book review of Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, by Steven Strogatz (Amazon US).
  • Sir Paul McCartney reveals Beatles’ drug use. My lord, I had no idea…the 60s have lost their innocence for me now. Just think of the subversity – elevator music created by LSD-crazed junkies. Where’s the Christian Right when they’re needed?

Quote of the Day:

Without anomalies and their validation, later incorporation, and explanation, we would not have any progress in science. We have a fundamental problem in science of somehow trying to balance openness with conservatism, and imagination and creativity with criticism.

Marcello Truzzi

  1. 56k?
    Oh 56k! how could we have been so primitive?
    Yes, I had to resort to dial up recently and the very fact that my home page failed to appear in a nanosecond filled me with the urge to launch the laptop over the sleeping cat, and through the nearest window!
    But I guess its worse now when a 2meg connection still (sometimes) fails to produce my page in said same nanosecond.
    Maybe in 20 years time we’ll all be laughing at those old 32meg fibre optics we used to plum into our homes, whilst phoning the local sattelite engineer to report our own personal orbiting server is losing trajectory…………one day I’m just going to log off, lay down, and shout….it is now safe to switch off!


    “good times are going to come”

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