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It feels like I’ve been doing the news for years … but it’s just that I’ve had good role-models here at TDG.

  • Francis Crick, co-discoverer and pioneer of DNA, died aged 88. Rest in peace.
  • Nanotechnology poses no new risks. New risks? I’m worried about the old risks.
  • Dark matter, the mysterious force that propels our Universe, is linked to the recently discovered mass of Neutrinos. Accelerons play a part somehow. I’m confused. Where’s Philip Pullman when I need him.
  • Our universe has at least 30 billion years left. Phew, that’s a relief, but I’m not worried about the universe … I’m worried how long planet Earth has.
  • You’re invited to help catalog Mars. RSVP to NASA.
  • Messenger, the first mission to Mercury in almost 30 years, is set to go.
  • Forget about Secret Squirrel, it’s Ultrasonic Squirrel. No wonder I couldn’t catch one at the University of Tennessee four years ago …
  • Police use pepper spray on annoying cell phone users during movie screening. Perhaps Frequency-Selective Wallpaper is the answer but, Cinema Nazi that I am, I still like the pepper spray option.
  • Forget about sunscreen at summer beaches, use shark repellent.
  • Can Ecstasy help trauma victims heal emotional wounds?
  • The benefits of acupuncture for post-op patients.
  • No, it’s not a new Subway menu. Aussie mini-sub will revolutionise deep sea exploration.
  • Can you catch the world’s smallest fish with the world’s weirdest worm? Dwarf males live inside the female, who munches on dead whales.
  • The Vatican tells feminists to get back in the kitchen and cook the Pope his dinner. Why is the Catholic Church so afraid of women? Oh, they met my ex-girlfriend.
  • China’s internet censorship aims to ban pornography. Has anyone told them providing decent sex education is the better way to go?
  • 9/11 report is vague on technology.
  • Ancient site of Qumran is boring, yawn Israeli archaeologists.
  • Mystery plague that swept the world in the 1920s is identified as Encephalitis Lethargica. I may have a case of that. British writer Neil Gaiman used the disease in his Sandman comics.
  • A muddy piece of dirt discovered at Aberdeenshire may not look like much, but it was once a jewelled cross.
  • Ancient city of Heicheng being buried by shifting desert sands. The article proper is below all of the great photographs.
  • Evidence for links between Ancient China and South America: Xian’s Altar of Heaven and Muyuqmarka, Sacsayhuaman, Peru.
  • Black Sea investigation yields no evidence of cataclysmic flooding. I met Dr Walter Pitman many years ago and his geographical evidence is conclusive: there was massive flooding of the Black Sea thousands of years ago.
  • Student proves Government beaurocrats have no sense of humour when they demand he remove a website parodying what to do to prevent terrorist attacks. Parody site is here.
  • Bill Gates ignores my plea to fix Internet Explorer (which has been crashing on me all weekend and just crashed again) and goes after Google’s excellent news search engine instead. Could compiling the news for TDG get any easier?

Quote of the Day:

But you see, you can’t say this sort of thing in a funding application if you want to be taken seriously. It does not make sense. It cannot exist. It’s impossible, and if it isn’t impossible it’s irrelevant, and if it isn’t either of those things it’s embarrassing.

Dr Mary Malone, from Philip Pullman’s “The Subtle Knife”