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News Briefs 03-02-2006

We may never stop looking for it, but somehow I don’t think we’ll have much luck finding the Holy Grail until we figure out what it is.

  • Why we’ll never stop looking for the Holy Grail.
  • Experts say King Tut was slain by sword in the knee.
  • Bronze Age man’s burial site unearthed on Rathlin Island, off the County Antrim coast.
  • Scientists discover new source of well-preserved DNA in fossil bones.
  • Did climate change trigger human evolution?
  • Scientists See and Analyze 650-Million-Year-Old Fossils Inside Rocks in Three Dimensions – a First, With Implications for Finding Life on Mars.
  • Deep-sea robot photographs 4th-century B.C. shipwreck in the Aegean Sea.
  • DNA rewrites history for African-Americans, as 30% of those tested prove to be descended from Europeans on their father’s side.
  • Sudden increase in Earth’s oxygen during late Precambian was due to clay formation.
  • ‘Deep Impact’ team reports Comet Tempel 1 is covered with a small amount of water ice.
  • The smell of Moondust.
  • Evolutionary mystery: Spider venom and bacteria found to share the same toxin.
  • Doctors are just beginning to identify and study patients who suffer chronic déjà vu. These patients rarely go to a doctor about it because they believe they’ve already been.
  • Blue light found to perk people up in the middle of the night. Does this mean our yellow-orange-emitting light bulbs have been turning us into zombies?
  • Researchers prove a single memory is processed in three separate parts of the brain.
  • Aging Cells, Aging Body: Fresh Evidence for a Connection.
  • Small snippet of DNA tells 60 human genes where, when and to what degree to “turn on.”
  • Two-drug treatment may block source of asthma, COPD and chronic bronchitis, but in the mean time, get rid of the gas. Interesting bit about cellular transformation in the first article.
  • New tool gives biologists an intriguing look inside a virus.
  • Researchers find that sense of smell is dependent on body position.
  • New York City’s billionaire mayor gives Johns Hopkins $100 million for stem cell research.
  • Factoring in the earth ore, rubble and other waste generated in the extraction and processing operations, not to mention oil, trees, etc., how much energy does it take to produce all that packaging you throw away? It’s surprisingly difficult to find out.
  • Games without Frontiers: The Shadow World of the CIA.
  • Opinion or fact? It’s capitalism or a habitable planet – you can’t have both.

Quote of the Day:

Some trust-fund prosecutor, got off-message at Brown, thinks he’s gonna run this up the flag pole, make a name for himself, maybe get elected some two-bit, no-name congressman from nowhere, with the result that Russia or China can suddenly start having, at our expense, all the advantages we enjoy here. No, I tell you. No, sir. (mimicing prosecutor) “But, Danny, these are sovereign nations.” Sovereign nations! What is a sovereign nation, but a collective of greed run by one individual? “But, Danny, they’re codified by the U.N. charter!” Legitimized gangsterism on a global basis that has no more validity than an agreement between the Crips and the Bloods!

…Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption ain’t nothing more than government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulation. That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around here instead of fighting each other for scraps of meat out in the streets.

Corruption… is how we win!

Danny’s rant in the movie, Syriana

    1. deja vu all over again
      >>I’m sure this story was posted a while back…

      As the patient said in the article, ‘How should I know? – I’ve got memory problems!’

      Actually, the same story, from a different source, was posted in yesterday’s news. But what else would you expect us to do with a story about chronic deja vu? Maybe my memory’s just playing tricks on me, but I think the last time there was a good deja vu news article, Greg posted it twice in the same News Brief.

      >>I’m sure this story was posted a while back…

      Love your sense of humor, Nostra!


  1. King Tuts Knee
    What a waste of resources and expertise guessing what killed King Tut. Maybe he cursed himself; who will ever know, and what does it matter.

    These resources could be much better spent DNA testing the 18th dynasty family and comparing the results to other dynasties and later populations/races.

    One would assume that is this DNA testing did occur then many more resources would be required to rewrite many history books. But this won’t happen will it Zahi?


  2. The Holy Grail
    Is it really a story about another apocryphal object or just a tale about how we seek to impose ourselves on history?

    We Humans are a curious breed. We invent time to Humanize entropy; we are the only beings we know of who seek to measure the flow of decay. We seek the Grail, even though, as noted, we’re not clear on what it is; is it a search for an object, for purposes we know not, or an attempt to tie ourselves to a grander narrative?

    Likely the Grail will never be found and that’s probably just as well. I think we need to search, even more than we need to find, for perhaps in the searching we might find ourselves, the greatest treasure, unsought for.


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