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Lots of strange stuff in the news today. Things are seldom what they appear to be.

  • Was the South American rain forest home to complex societies?
  • A Roman statue of Atlas holds clues to the ancient astronomy of Hipparchus.
  • Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami – is something wrong with Mother Earth?
  • For you anti-GM crop fans, Monsanto is cracking-down on seed-savers (Monsanto calls them ‘pirates’).
  • Cutting down on fossil fuel pollution could accelerate global warming and help turn parts of Europe into desert by 2100. Clean air kills!
  • Residents of Catworth have overwhelmingly voted against a wind farm – labelling the proposed 360ft high turbines ‘monsters’. What’s Plan B?
  • China floats a plan to build a road to Taiwan (Taipei).
  • Attention! Earn easy money in your spare time as a bounty hunter in the jungles and mountains of Columbia.
  • Losing weight and lowering blood glucose with Gila monster venom?
  • Gene silencing – an effort to turn off problem genes before they cause disease. Amazing.
  • The head-on collision between an U.S. Navy submarine accident and an undersea mountain shows that the earth’s crust is changing fast without notice.
  • Muslims on the island of Sri-Lanka assume that the deadly tsunami has been inflicted upon them by Allah and He signed his work.
  • Al-Jazeera’s tsunami conspiracy theories include eco-weapons and space aliens.
  • ABC will make a new Ten Commandments. Did they change?
  • Boys will be boys. Prince Harry’s Nazi fancy-dress uniform complete with swastika armband has sparked international outrage and calls for him to apologize in public for his “shameful” antics. Just add the incident to other embarrassing moments involving Britain’s royal family.
  • Has the U.S. threatened to vaporize Mecca?
  • Two private U.S. companies have designs on building the first luxury RVs that could withstand nuclear radiation.
  • The 15 January 2005 issue of New Scientist is on the newsstands. You can browse the issue here.
  • Four endangered whales have been found dead in the past six weeks.
  • Crows that live on an isolated Pacific island demonstrate that the birds are even more intelligent than originally thought.
  • Evolution made easy. Animal development is not as complicated as it seems.
  • Scholars interviewed say that Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code) [Amazon US and UK] is relying on discredited sources and flimsy connections to make his bloodline theory.
  • The Pope invokes the Apocalypse and discusses ultimate defeat of evil.
  • Autotrophs: new kind of humans appears who neither drink nor eat.
  • The CIA says it has finally come clean about UFOs. To absolutely no one’s surprise, it knew more than it ever let on.
  • Here’s the outlook for human space exploration in 2005.
  • A celestial ‘spring’ of mysterious particles that slam into Earth from all directions may have been discovered by a US physicist.
  • The unimaginably big of today has its explanation in the fantastically small of 13-billion years ago.
  • Keep yourself warm with frozen smoke.
  • Strange objects in faraway space known to astronomers only as Giant Galactic Blobs have, upon close inspection, become a lot weirder.
  • NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft has begun its one-way trip to a smash into a comet on the 4th of July. “Deep Impact’ sounds like the title of ………oh, never mind.
  • The Red Planet is alive with dust devils.
  • Opportunity has spotted a curious object on Mars. With pic.
  • The galaxy is even more weird than we supposed. UCLA astronomers present the first evidence that tens of thousands of black holes are orbiting the monstrous black hole at the center of the Milky Way, 26,000-light years away.
  • Astronomers have seen evidence of hot iron gas riding a ripple in spacetime around a black hole, a new phenomenon that goes beyond Einstein’s general relativity.
  • The early universe rang with the sound of countless cosmic bells, filling the primordial darkness with ripples like the surface of a pond pounded by stones.
  • The Huygens probe visits the surface of Titan on Friday, 14 January 2005. Watch the animation (click on image).

Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said.
Feed your head.

Grace Slick
White Rabbit
Jefferson Airplane