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News Briefs 10-09-2004

I’m aware that this appears as the Return of Rich, but it isn’t. I’ve received a great amount of help with this post. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

  • 70-million years ago, Lucky took a hit to prove that Tyrannosaurus Rex was a hunter rather than a scavenger.
  • The rapid climate-change theory takes a hit. The last ice age began with gradual cooling rather than a dramatic climate crash.
  • Divers discover what appears to be one of the oldest human skeletons in Mexico.
  • The first Americans may have been Australian aborigines, but artifacts suggest a Chinese influence.
  • Who’s a Celt? Celtic nations like Ireland and Scotland have more in common with the Portuguese and Spanish than with people from ancient Alpine Europe. DNA’s amazing stuff, isn’t it.
  • A WalMart discount store rising a half-mile from the Pyramid of the Sun of Teotihuacan has touched off a fight.
  • Clean air technology has ancient roots.
  • Thales, Anaximander, Leucippus, and more: those great Greek geeks who invented science through observation, experimentation and theory.
  • Irish scientists have isolated a bacterium that can convert a toxic waste product into plastic.
  • Molecular biologists uproot the Tree of Life perspective of ancient ancestry. Native Americans’ and The Lion King’s take on life vindicated – it’s a circle, not a tree.
  • Deputies say a man in Pensacola, Florida, who was trying to shoot seven puppies was shot by one of the dogs. Holster that hardware puppy, we just want to talk.
  • British scientists are developing a smelly robot that will generate its own power by eating flies. SkyNet notified.
  • Plants have become the silent witnesses to crime.
  • Why bloodletting may have actually worked. Bring me a leech.
  • Sandia experiments may reduce the possibility of future water wars.
  • The European Union has approved a genetically-modified seed for planting.
  • Brain scans show hypnosis at work. Now cluck like a chicken.
  • There seems to be a dream-specific region in the brain. Something about this article reminds me of the story of Pandora’s box.
  • Wave at Big Brother. The City of Chicago plans to monitor you with a vast security network.
  • It’s time for Muslims to stand up for the once-noble, nearly lost traditions of their faith and condemn what Arab and Chechen terrorists and blasphemers did in the Russian town of Beslan.
  • Potential employers have gotten much better at mining your past. There are no secrets.
  • 20% of Germans want the Wall back. That means 80% don’t.
  • France, Russia and China supplied Saddam Hussein with missiles, arms, defense technology and spare parts before — and after — the start of the Iraq war, an explosive new book claims. Amazon US and UK.
  • A paranormal researcher says people should expect more terrorist attacks that mimic Sept. 11. The Copycat Effect is available from Amazon US and UK.
  • Europe is failing to clean up its air. Talk is cheap.
  • Much to the chagrin of global warming proponents, CO2 is not polluting the atmosphere at the rate that we generate it. So, where does the CO2 go?
  • Methane ice on the seafloor may hold a big tsunami risk as well as a great energy potential. What could go wrong?
  • A Welsh inventor has a rooftop plan to harness wind power without the need for hideous turbines.
  • British researchers want you to burn flower power in your vehicle.
  • The demand for gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles is exceeding the supply. Fad?
  • How shall we explain the increased Atlantic hurricane activity – global warming or cyclical?
  • Hurricane Ivan the Terrible has killed several people in Granada and has Jamaica and Cuba in his sites. You guessed it – they’re evacuating Florida, again. Here’s the projected path and the track.
  • The Earth’s magnetic field is fading. Is that a ‘so what’?
  • Linda Moulton Howe has an update on the Ohio corn pictogram – Were there balls of light?
  • You sound skeptical; don’t you believe that jinn exist?
  • Sweden’s Great Lake Monster will soon be fair game for hunters and curio seekers, as its protected status is about to be lifted. Trophy time!
  • A peculiar beastie, a mini Loch Ness Monster, has washed-up on the shore of Whitehaven (UK).
  • Aliens saved a family from collision to protect a pregnant woman.
  • Alleged witchcraft forces closure of a school.
  • There’s a quest to shed light on the secrets of Rosslyn Chapel, if any.
  • Genesis scientists try to salvage solar dust.
  • The White House plans to share earth data with other nations. Oh no, they’ll see the Big Board!
  • Was there life or just water on Mars? Gas may yield clue to life on Mars.
  • NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has set its infrared sight on a major galactic collision and witnessed not death, but a teeming nest of ‘life’.
  • UK scientists using the Cassini probe find a new ring and one, possibly two, new objects orbiting Saturn.
  • Ground control to MIT: Shoot for the moon, then get us to Mars, ASAP.

Thanks X_O, Marlin, and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Methinks we are flagellating a deceased equine quadruped here.

The Daily Grail
Tue, 07/09/2004
in reference to Zahi Hawass’ rejection of the theories
of two French Egyptologists.

  1. Celts
    Ireland and Scotland aren’t really Celtic nations. In their own histories it is found they referred to themselves as Gaidheils/Gadels/Gaels and the like. Invasions are catalogued in the Irish annals but they post date habitation of the countries by several thousand years, and that doesn’t include the strong possibility that most of that evidence has been lost beneath the sea. In the past the Irish have been linked genetically to the Basque people and the people of Galicia. Authors of previous centuries have linked the Irish to the Phoenicians on a linguistic basis. There probably is a genetic link given where the countries are. The trait of red hair is most common (in percentage) in the world in Ireland, followed closely by Scotland.

  2. Divers in Mexico
    >>Team co-director Carmen Rojas said the divers had 40 minutes to wind their way through the cave to the site, 20 minutes to work there and 40 minutes to swim back, followed by 20 to 60 minutes of decompression time.

    Can anyone tell me why they couldn’t just each take an extra air tank with them, so they’d have more time to work?

    Does anyone know of such sub-oceanic caves elsewhere? Sounds to me like Graham may need to put on his wetsuit and flippers again.


  3. WalMart
    At Gettysburg National Military Park there used to be a tall observation tower, built during a time when few people cared about the purity of the memorial park. It is now gone, having been razed a few years back in an effort to restore a more natural perspective to the battlefield. As a long time student of the American Civil War, I didn’t realize what an eyesore it was until it was gone. Physical damage to the area aside, much of the mystery and charm goes out of a place when modern structures and commerce intrude. At Gettysburg, a concerted effort is being made to restore the area to a more accurate historical appearance. Unfortunately, I believe this is a purely local phenomenon. So much for the aesthetic viewpoint.

    Practically speaking, I find it rather droll, and sad, that most of the third world is foaming at the mouth to live like the people they ostensibly despise. If you read Gibbon, you’ll find that one of the main factors contributing to the fall of the Roman Empire was the undermining of the local artisan and shopkeeper by the infusion of cheap and plentiful goods from the frontier. America is undergoing that now, with most of our goods sourced from the Pacific Rim, Central and South America, and eastern Asia. Strip malls proliferate in the suburbs, shopping centers abound, all marketing cheap third-world goods on easy credit terms (with outrageous interest attached).

    The corporations that slam-dunk these diseased pustules of the free enterprise system anywhere they’re allowed to have no soul, and no conscience. Their sole motivation is their bottom line, and their stockholders. If they cared at all about the stakeholders, they’d suggest a more unobtrusive location, and work with all parties to strike a reasonable compromise.


    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Pogo

  4. It’s time for Muslims to stand up,…..blah,blah,blah.
    Evil begets evil and the effects will be cumulative. Human memory is long and traumatic and hurtful treatment will render it much longer indeed. It is dishonest and hippocritical for this writer to moralize in this manner and forget the long series of events that led to Beslan. He needs to remember way back to the 1980’s when Soviet invaders rounded up Afghan civilians, herded them into the streets and sytematically crushed them with tanks. He needs to remember the thousands of anti-personnel mines disguised as toys, left by the Soviets to be picked up by Afghan children. He needs to remember what the Soviets(excuse me, Russians) have done to the Chechen homeland and it’s people. Yes, the Chechens have gotten into desparate straits and have no doubt turned to Al Qaida for help and the gloves are now totally off. They have stated that they intend to throw off the Russian grip on their country with even worse attacks, and I would not rule out the possibility of them going nuclear. If the author doesn’t like it, I have no satisfying response to give him. If this ever is to have a less than catastrophic resolution, the hatred will need at least as long to ramp down as it took to ramp up. Perhaps someday some rich person can fund a “holocaust” museum for victims of the Chechen War.

    1. Bwahahahaha
      For pete’s sake, your own first line discounts the rest of your posting — human memory IS long, and if you’ve got the time and energy, you can backtrack WAY beyond the 1980’s. Go back to the last time east & west clashed (think “Crimea”) — plenty of repercussions and angst to carry forward. Then go back a few more hundred years (think “Moors” and think “Turks”). Terror and generations-long hatreds that are still with us today — all begun before America or the Russian state existed, so it’s not the result of TV and pop culture or US/USSR oil and political agendas.

      If you can take an honest look at history before the 20th century, you’ll discover that everybody has been victim, and everybody has been victor. Putting blame for one group’s actions on a different group, is avoiding the truth. Whomever performs the action is to blame — and mass killings are the responsibility of the killers. Otherwise, we have the psychological and moral morass of passing blame back through time forever.


      1. The (seemingly) Eternal Plight of Man..
        Good analysis, A. Back in the 60s, a group called the Chad Mitchell trio, which included John Deutschendorfer, aka John Denver, cobbled up a song titled “Merry Minuet”. It goes like this:

        “They’re rioting in Africa, they’re starving in Spain;
        There’s hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.

        The whole world is festering with unhappy souls;
        The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles;
        Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch;
        And I don’t like anybody very much.

        But we can be tranquil, and thankful and proud,
        For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud;
        And we know for certain that some lovely day,
        Someone will set the spark off;
        And we will all be blown away.

        They’re rioting in Africa, there’s strife in Iran;
        What nature doesn’t do to us, will be done by our fellow man.”

        Before anybody goes crazy on me, these lyrics are the Chad Mitchell Trio’s, and not mine. At the time, in live performances, they got great laughs, because the song was intended as satire. It reflected some of the past hate and prejudice buried in mankind’s history, and although the names of the players may have changed, the game remains the same. Too bad we haven’t grown up much in the intervening forty years. We not only haven’t found the formula for peace, we’ve also lost the ability to poke fun at ourselves. I know, I know, it’s not funny, but was it ever any less so?


        “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

        1. Thank you alevangel and khefre
          Thank you both for your sound common sense and understanding that somewhere, somehow, sometime, this violence has to stop.
          All violence is senseless, but when someone offers the death of one person as the reason for the death of another, we have completely lost the plot.
          I suppose the only way is to start with the children and teach them that there is no need for violence.


  5. Deep-Sea Visionary’s photos
    A bit behind, I just read Greg’s Tuesday post of Deep-Sea Visionary, about Charles Mazel, marine biologist and pioneering photographer of undersea fluorescence. Although an interesting read by itself, it sure is a lot more fun when you can see what the man’s on about:, his home page.

    More florescent photos from


        1. Park Lane
          Someday, Bill is going to realise that I’m sending him monopoly money. But until then, let’s just keep this quiet.

          I don’t know who to sent the $10 prize for the beauty contest though…

          Peace and Respect
          You monkeys only think you’re running things

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