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News Briefs 06-02-2006

I have sharp pains in my chest, I can barely breathe, my head is shattering into many pieces, and my eyesight is blurry … but the news must go on!

  • It’s entirely theoretical, and many physicists admit they don’t understand the science behind it, but hyperdrive could get us to Mars in less than three hours.
  • Astronomers have taken a step closer to understanding dark matter. I saw that on Dr Phil.
  • Here’s an excellent five-page article from Australia’s The Age newspaper discussing dark matter.
  • Follow that white rabbit down the hole, and you’ll be asking What the Bleep! Do We Know? too.
  • An object believed to be our solar system’s tenth planet is larger than Pluto, which makes it a planet, but scientists just like to squabble.
  • The rate at which two Greenland glaciers flow has doubled in the past two years. Ragnarok has thankfully been distracted by a cat named Easter, and he said “Will you ever learn? You’re just an empty cage girl if you kill that bird.”
  • Pigeons are getting backpacks containing a GPS receiver, a basic cellphone, a small camera, and air pollution sensors. Nab him/ Jab him/ Tab him/ Grab him/ Stop that pigeon now!
  • Rats can smell in stereo, which explains why the music industry is full of them.
  • The last live sighting of a Malabar Civet was at the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo in 1929, but some say this possibly extinct animal is still alive. Maybe it just got lost in the zoo’s name.
  • Do Stegosaurs wander the forests of Cambodia, its image carved into the temple walls of Angkor Wat? Watch out little civet!
  • Ridicule and racism inherent in the media frenzy to name Malaysia’s Bigfoot is a reflection of society’s prejudice and closed-minds to cryptozoology.
  • A mysterious baboon that terrorised Sierra Leone was killed by a joint operation between police and youths. The fact that police and youths conducted a joint operation is more mysterious than the baboon.
  • A Homo Erectus skull unearthed in Georgia is said to be 1.8 million years old.
  • Archaeologists think stone relics found in Jiroft, Iran, with reliefs depicting two men with snake tails for legs, were built for playing games. I’m lending them my copy of Graham Hancock’s Supernatural, they appear to need a little help.
  • Is the Ramayana a mere myth, or part of India’s ancient history? I vote history.
  • How did marine archaeologists find Dwarka? The answer isn’t because a nudist beach is nearby.
  • Russian television recently aired two documentaries claiming the KGB ran secret labs to study extraterrestrial civilisations. Russia takes Reality TV seriously.
  • The bonnie skies above Kilbride, Scotland, are abuzz with UFOs and a mystery man named Cernig looking for a pint.
  • A UFO with a flashlight was observed by the Dera tribal people of Pakistan. Shoaib Akhtar is trying to keep up with Brett Lee.
  • Here’s a review of The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P.Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture, by Jason Colavito (Amazon US or UK). If Cthulhu’s involved, I’m retiring from the UFO gig.
  • Howard Phillips would have loved this book. The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Ranaissance Magic and Science by Philip Ball (Amazon US or UK).

Quote of the Day:

A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.

Aldous Huxley

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