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News Briefs 02-06-2005

A little bit of the past, the present and the future.

  • What would happen if a major hurricane struck New York City? History reveals that New York and the Northeast have been hit hard before.
  • The latest edition of New Scientist is now available online. Check it out here.
  • Scientists are experimenting with a hormone that makes you trust others more. Politicians are drooling at the thought.
  • Astronomers have used supercomputers to make the biggest ever simulation of how the Universe evolved into the shape it is today. (With video)
  • It looks like the identity of the “piano man” is still a mystery. Where is Bill anyways, and can he play piano?
  • A Royal Navy task force was sent to the Falkland Islands to defend them from Argentine attack five years before the war there. If Thatcher had done the same the war would have been averted says Lord Owen.
  • A Polish physicist has developed a computer model which shows that periodic mass extinctions could be caused by the evolution of a “super-predator” – like humans.
  • Gregory Olsen of the United States may become the world’s third space tourist by visiting the International Space Station this fall.
  • Faced with the rising toll of global warming and soaring petroleum prices, countries like Canada and the United States are giving nuclear power another look. But this might be among the most expensive ways to produce electricity, say experts and environmental advocates.
  • Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, El Karnac and more – a look at some of the celestial observatories raised by ancient man.
  • Naturalists are outraged at an oil pipeline which they say is a threat to the last wild haven of the world’s rarest big cat, the Amur Leopard.
  • The first meteor ever to be seen on Mars has been traced to a trail left by a comet.
  • The idea behind World War II’s Project X-Ray “was that a bomb-like canister filled with bats would be dropped from high altitude over the target area, each clutching an incendiary device.
  • Mystery of the smiling Buddha and ancient carvings that arrived as a gift from the tsunami
  • The discovery of a short-necked dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period has turned on its head accepted theory that the long-necks ruled the roost.
  • Archaeologists have discovered the skeletons of a lord and his murdered retainers in a burial mound at Germany’s most celebrated Bronze Age site.
  • One of the great conspiracy nut questions of our time is answered – “How Mark Felt Became Deep Throat”, by Bob Woodward.
  • The US Air Force is getting behind a plan to put blimps in near space.
  • How the human brain can learn without thinking – Boston University psychologists find neurological mechanism for subliminal learning.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that some form of alien life exists somewhere in the universe, according to a new survey.

Quote of the Day:

It is extraordinary that whole populations have no projects for the future, none at all. It certainly is extraordinary, but it is certainly true.
Gertrude Stein

  1. almost space
    I like this idea of putting high altitude lighter-than-air craft instead of some satellites. You get to take down the useless junk much better, and can get current equipement there sooner, and burn less fuel. Perhaps more civilians can go on short trips for the view. Hopefully calling it near-space won’t scare too many people.

  2. The Falkland Islands.
    Whilst James Callaghan’s government might have secretly ordered Operation Journeyman after 50 Argentine “scientists” landed on South Thule, from records I have, it would seem that these scientists were not remove permanently, and returned to the Island. One of the reasons Argentina later invaded was the lack of further action by the UK government.

    The Islanders were not happy about the presence of foreign scientists on one of their islands but the Government in the UK did nothing about it.

    At the time I was working in the film industry and was servicing the Falkland Islands with feature films, and began an exhange of news from the UK with that from the Falklands. At the outbreak of hostilities, my correspondance was passed over to the UK Government. Nothing ever came of the information as far as I’m aware. And I’m not surprised: for example it turned out that the Bristish Government had very few maps of the Falkland Islands and asked people to send in any they had! So much for being aware of what was going on.

    My main infomation source was the ‘Falkland Island Times’, and I write this from memory. I can check out the originals if anyone is interested.


    1. lack of maps
      When the ANZACS landed at Anzac cove the ships they were brought on were guided by a 10 year old tourist map of Turkey.
      That was the only thing available at the time, and of course they landed at the wrong place and many were slaughtered.


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