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Greg’s taking time off for a holiday? He’ll have to go somewhere without internet access to resist the Daily Grail’s temptations. We should shout Kat a holiday somewhere tropical, where drinks have colourful umbrellas in them, for her news effort last Friday.

  • Scientists think they now know the age of the moon.
  • Christopher Knight and Alan Butler discuss the theories and mysteries of the moon, in their book Who Built The Moon? (Amazon US or UK).
  • China aims to land on the moon by 2020, but will they find a rabbit there?
  • Saturn’s moon Enceladus is spewing highly-pressurised water and ice hundreds of miles into space, due to a mysterious energy source at the southern pole. Probably an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.
  • Using images taken by Hubble, a colour map of Pluto has been produced.
  • A surprisingly cheap camera technique is allowing UK astronomers to discover new stars. I use the same technique for finding news.
  • A tiny exoplanet has been discovered in another solar system, orbiting a red dwarf. Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.
  • A Las Vegas man has developed a cult-like following by claiming to have worked with a live extraterrestrial at Area 51.
  • How a new season of American tv shows use alien conspiracies to reflect upon human nature. Surface ripped off every Steven Spielberg and James Cameron film you can think of, but it was ok. I miss The X-Files.
  • A UFO was spotted over Shanghai, a bright red dish-like object flying west.
  • A brilliantly bright meteor was filmed over Perth, Western Australia. Here’s a news link with film footage, but I can’t get it to work (I saw it on the news though and it looked amazing)
  • George Knapp is a journalist willing to risk the ridicule of colleagues by investigating UFOs. His new book discusses animal mutilations and UFOs on a Utah ranch, Hunt for the Skinwalker (Amazon US or UK), co-authored by Colm A. Kelleher.
  • Seth Shostak weighs in on the Intelligent Design debate, and is annoyed SETI has been used to support it.
  • After being hit by Hurricane Rita, the residents of Sabine Pass believe they have found crop circles.
  • In a Virginia park, fairy stones abound, but they’re in the form of Maltese, Roman and St Andrew’s crosses. Fairies have a sense of humour.
  • Worried about exposure to mobile phone/electrical radiation, and alien mind-control? Products are already on the market to alleviate your symptoms. A sturdy and remarkably deep TDG coffee mug, or a comfortable and cozy TDG t-shirt, will protect you from voodoo, alien mind-control, poltergeists, cattle mutilation, sleepiness and head-lice.
  • Phantom apparitions on African roads could be the work of genies and spirits. Reminds me of a Ben Okri book, The Famished Road (Amazon US or UK).
  • If you’re thinking of traveling on African roads, everything from magical charms to ritual murder are now on sale to cater for your juju problems.
  • Sorcery and witchcraft is also alive in Papua New Guinea, haunting everyone from the powerful elite to simple villagers. It’s probably the ghosts of villagers haunting the powerful elite.
  • An Israeli professor of literature and history claims to have debunked and explained the entire Occult tradition, from Ancient Egypt to modern Freemasonry, in his book The Occult Tradition, by David S. Katz (Amazon UK only).
  • Loren Coleman takes to task a closed-minded, unnamed editorial writer. We’re one step from selling voodoo dolls of your favourite skeptics in the TDG store.
  • Perhaps the proof Loren seeks is in a series of photographs taken by a Canadian backpacker, of a Bigfoot-like figure silhoetted atop a snow-covered peak.
  • The oldest-known bird fossil is closer to a dinosaur than previously thought, confusing everyone, including birds.
  • Here’s an article about the Bosnian Pyramid. No new information, but the picture is worth it.
  • Footprints found in Mexico, fossilised in volcanic ash, may not be footprints according to a skeptical Nature magazine. Brilliant photograph.
  • A new technique studying the imprint left by the brain on the inside of the skull has demonstrated that the Flores Island Hobbit is indeed a previously unknown species of early humans, and was quite clever too.
  • Excerpts from a Cosmogonic Myth: A presentation to the First Annual Conference on “Precession and Ancient Knowledge” by Uwe Homann.

Quote of the Day:

“We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.”

Ben Okri