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Christmas Holidays – for news editors? Bah, HUMBUG! — Great minds… 😉

  • Henges, pyramids, and the Celtic cross helped ancient mariners sail the world: Crichton Miller’s discovery could lead to a total re-evaluation of Neolithic history.
  • Reconstructed Stone-Age circle in Germany catches sun’s rays.
  • Rare 6th-century seal bearing images of Jesus and a cross that signifies the name ‘Christ’ excavated in Tiberias, Israel.
  • Ice-age footprints left some 20,000 years ago are giving a fresh perspective on the lives of Australian Aborigines. Love that photo.
  • Unveiling part of the wooley mammoth’s nuclear DNA, researcher says, ‘Mitochondria is sooo 1980s.’
  • Just reactivate the thymus gland, insert blood stem cells from the organ donor, and voila’, you have a whole new immune system which permanently accepts the transplanted organ.
  • Neuroscientists find evidence that memory retrieval is a form of mental time travel.
  • Research finds SSRI anti-depressants increase the number of axons in areas of the brain that are important for thinking, feeling, and autonomic functions.
  • European Space Agency finds killer electrons.
  • Hubble Reveals New Moons, Rings, Chaotically Jockeying For Position Around Uranus.
  • The year of unnatural disasters. They bloody well should have added this to the list!
  • UK scientists squint really hard at Martian photos, and say, well, it certainly looks like a dead dog to us. Where’s Hoagland when you need him?
  • Prestigious US journal Science lists top 10 scientific achievements of 2005. Nice close-up of Titan’s surface.
  • Science on a lighter note: 2005 has had its share of unusual, outrageous, tragi-comic and just downright silly science news. I can’t decide which I like better, the two beetle-naming experts, or the inventor of an alarm clock that rings, then runs away and hides.
  • Cows excel at selecting leaders.
  • Effective, safe anthrax vaccine can be grown in tobacco plants.
  • Engineers show off prototype of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for the masses. Yo, Santa! This is what I want for Christmas next year! And, umm, one of those hiding alarm clocks too, please.
  • Harry Potter magics children out of hospital accident wards. Don’t be raising those eyebrows at me – this is scientific research!
  • Scholars, archaeologists, architects and engineers team up to design Nazareth Village, an authentic re-creation of a first-century Holy Land farm.
  • Anthropologist says, what we need is the historical context of the war on Christmas. Humm, War? What war?
  • The new Scrooges of Christmas present.

Quote of the Day:

The Scrooge factor is permanent in human nature, and seasons like Christmas always bring it out. But in many ways, excess is the point of Christmas. It’s a big blast at the coldest, darkest part of the year. I just hope that people balance the excess of pleasure with an equivalent excess of kindness and charity – and many people do.

Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh