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For you night-owls, the Perseid meteor shower peaks today, with the best view coming after moonset at 11:20 p.m. (local time) on Friday. While you’re out there, you can see Andromeda too.

  • Oldest Christian monk cell unearthed in Egypt.
  • Ancient Roman temple found on island of Pantelleria.
  • The face of Mana – the 3000 year old woman from Fiji – was unveiled today.
  • Figure-eight knots may be the first word from the Incas.
  • Neolithic artefacts found in Marseille.
  • Ancient bronze Labrys – a double-headed ritual axe – unearthed in Bulgaria. Brilliant pic.
  • Fossil poaching runs rampant. This fossil hunter says business is booming.
  • Saints alive: The spirit of the Sufi mystics lives on in Karachi.
  • Salman Rushdie urges Islamic reformation. Rushdie’s Times op-ed.
  • Prince Turki explains the difference between Islam and the cult of terrorism.
  • Error at lab spreads nuclear material: Contamination from Los Alamos found in four states. Package may have contaminated Fed-Ex workers and other packages. Oops.
  • Communicating with the future: Egyptian pyramids inspire quardians of Britain’s atomic heritage.
  • The men responsible for planning Britain’s recovery from nuclear attack in the early years of the Cold War believed that they would be able to hush up the location of an atomic blast.
  • Embryo screening to stop babies being born with genes that might lead to cancer in later life is being considered by Britain’s fertility watchdog.
  • ‘Tyrano-crabs’ and ‘sumo-crabs’ are among the many new species discovered by researchers during five-month-long voyage in the Pacific.
  • Virus gene may be key to anti-ageing treatment.
  • Approaching revolution in particle physics will bring some 600 physicists and engineers to a Colorado workshop from August 14 – 27.
  • Our galaxy may be a lot bigger than we thought.
  • Shining protosun helped form solar system.
  • First asteroid trio discovered.
  • I figure if I just say glitch and delay, you’ll know what these articles are about.
  • Microcompartments: New discovery blurs distinction between human cells and those of bacteria.
  • DDT-resistant insects have a genetic advantage that has helped them spread across the globe.
  • Fire and ice.
  • Siberian thaw: The world’s largest frozen peat bog is melting for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago – and could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases.
  • Heavy snow blankets southern Australia for the first time in decades. Rico and Shadows sniff at news.
  • Breakthrough for scientists hunting AIDS cure.
  • Ecological Impact of 9/11: Contamination may still lurk near Ground Zero.
  • Farallon Islands mystery suggests ocean off of Northern California is in deep trouble.
  • Coming soon: scientists are working to produce a range of recreational drugs with no side-effects.
  • What do zero-energy homes have that your home doesn’t?
  • Key Argument for Global Warming Critics Evaporates.
  • Investigating a Mega-Mystery.
  • Crater Chains. Nice pic – wish they’d said where it was taken.
  • The Hot Poles of Enceladus.
  • Black hole blows bubble between stars.
  • Black-hole wanna-be’s: Quasars in Infrared are Still Nearby.
  • Attentional rubbernecking: When people see violent or erotic images, they fail to process what they see next.
  • Men and women perceive website aesthetics differently. Reminds me of a funny, long-lost TDG comment: “God! My Eyes!”
  • Men’s brains literally do have trouble hearing women’s voices.
  • Researchers discover why some people die in their sleep.
  • Egads! New MRI contrast agents, gadonanotubes, are 40 times more effective than the best now in clinical use.
  • At levels well below current U.S. standards, arsenic in drinking water stimulates cancerous tumors. Oklahomans beware!
  • ‘Hangover’ gene in flies may explain alcoholism.
  • Britain’s most eminent judges accuse politicians of seeking to subvert the rule of law in attempts to impose anti-terror measures.
  • Oh, so that’s how Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran got the bomb.
  • 9/11 Commission accused of ignoring information on Atta that would have forced a rewriting of the history of the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Warning: If you can’t stand seeing political articles at TDG, you’d best stay far away from Mark Morford’s latest rant.
  • China’s censors try to stifle awareness of steady upsurge in violent protests, riots.
  • Attention hackers: Uncle Sam wants to recruit you.
  • Arthur C. Clarke Foundation gives UK’s teen techies a chance to win trip to Kennedy Space Center.
  • Man dies after 50-hour online game marathon.
  • Offshoring gets personal. Feeling intrigued, disgusted, and envious all at the same time gave me a stomach ache.
  • Microsoft issues its latest monthly fix to end all fixes. Only 3 ‘critical flaws’ this month?
  • Pagan Puckers crown goat King of Ireland in ancient annual ritual.
  • The fellowship of the 700 Ringies: Tolkien Society celebrates anniversary.
  • World’s best beer is hard to come by.
  • Unlike the red, red rose, cornflower’s blue pigment forms a supermolecule.
  • Mystery Solved: How Plants Know When to Flower.
  • Whether alien or human, a talented graphic designer has been conjuring crop magic this August.
  • Mysterious voice in the dead of night talks to French soccer star.
  • Man’s claims that a UFO surgeon operated on his back – hospital tests showed he had undergone then-impossible back surgery, and his blood makeup matched an astronaut who had spent 10 hours in space.
  • An interview with Nick Pope, head of the Ministry of Defence’s UFO Project from ’91 to ’94.
  • In Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, due out in Oct., Harvard psychologist discusses research into memory, emotion, culture, and transformative experiences.
  • Noted UFO debunker Klass dies at 85.
  • Russia’s sorcerers look to the future.
  • Cheating: the surprising link between science and tattoos.
  • The Incomplete Gödel.
  • Literary and cultural connections between Sir Walter Scott, the Jacobites, the Society of Horsemen, the U.S. Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, and the crosh-tairie (fiery cross).

Quote of the Day:

It was Sir Walter that made every gentleman in the South a Major or a Colonel, or a General or a Judge, before the war; and it was he, also, that made those gentlemen value their bogus decorations. For it was he that created rank and caste down there, and also reverence for rank and caste, and pride and pleasure in them. Enough is laid on slavery, without fathering upon it these creations and contributions of Sir Walter. Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the war.

Mark Twain
Life on the Mississippi