A password will be emailed to you.

As I gaze into my cup of tea, I wonder if the Maranatha Puzzle is a storm to come. Initially hostile, I’ve changed my mind to cautiously curious. I’m adopting a wait and see attitude. For now, we have a myriad of miraculously mercurial news items to get through:

  • Science Vs Norse Mythology. A very funny comic strip.
  • A Government agency has accused scientists at the Smithsonian Institution of coordinating a smear campaign against Richard Sternberg, author of a paper discussing intelligent design. Richard Sternberg eplains why he wrote the paper.
  • Scientists are messing around with the speed of light. .thgil fo deeps eht htiw dnuora gnissem era stsitneicS
  • An original manuscript by Einstein, Quantum Theory of the Monatomic ideal gas, has been discovered. I didn’t know Einstein had a wind problem.
  • Is the science of cosmology in the same position that geology was circa 1900 — due for a big overhaul?
  • Over the next few months, we will get a spectacular view of Mars that won’t be seen again until 2018.
  • Will genetically-engineered plants, such as the jellyplant, be grown on Mars? Imagine Martian ‘shrooms!
  • Two members of the Dutch parliament have questioned whether a free Google mapping program will help would-be terrorists. I advise you not to google “bush”.
  • The Pentagon’s spoon-benders, and strategic mind wars, by Jeffrey Steinberg. A commentary on Steinberg’s article here.
  • The Earth is one hot mamma, thanks to her core radioactivity.
  • Climate change is affecting the UK’s bird populations. If the day comes when a cricket match in England is uninterrupted by rain, then I’ll start worrying.
  • Bringing the ancient faces of 2000-year-old skeletons to life. Hollywood botox injections were not used.
  • A 600-year-old shipwreck has been found intact in Shandong Province. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.
  • China’s 1000-year-old court music is being kept alive by Chinese women.
  • Supportive footwear was worn by Eurasians almost 30’000-years-ago. Nike neanderthals are still wearing it.
  • Archaeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed more than 15’000 pieces of Thracian royal jewellery dating back to the third millennium BC. Here’s a close-up picture, showing how finely crafted the jewellery is.
  • A 16-inch-long bronze key 3200-years-old has been found in Austria. Perhaps it belonged to the security guard for the Thracian royal jewellery.
  • Three arrests have been made over the murder of anthropologist James Petersen in Brazil.
  • The former director of a national antiquities department was among three men sentenced to life in prison for smuggling thousands of artifacts out of Egypt. There is no Egyptian law capable of convicting Zahi Hawass for smuggling lies.
  • A Chinese sea goddess has been called to ward off the restive spirits of tsunami victims in Thailand. Alternative author Ed Kovacs comments in his blog.
  • Chinese experts say lake monsters do not exist. This American fisherman disagrees, as does a photographer in Quebec.
  • A great article on Colin Wilson, the Philosopher of Optimism. His autobiography, Dreaming to Some Purpose, is available from Amazon (US or UK) and all good bookstores.
  • Mexican archaeologists have dug past phone lines, electricity cables and a traffic light under chaotic city streets to excavate a large sculptured stone that was part of an Aztec sacrificial temple.
  • They didn’t find any crystal skulls, but the ones that have been discovered elsewhere are a mystery within a mystery.
  • A hunting whistle that may have belonged to Henry VIII has been found. Blowing it will attract your wife.
  • Russian archaeologists have found birch-bark pieces dating to the 12th-century AD, inscribed with profanities. Unfortunately the article doesn’t tell us what these profanities are — I’d love to use medieval Russian profanities on people who annoy me!

Thanks much to Kat.

Quote of the Day:

I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.

John Locke (the 17th Century British Philosopher, not the character from the TV series “Lost”).