News Briefs 24-02-2006

Someone just invented something I’ve always wanted – a ScubaDoo. Post your thoughts on the latest inventions.

  • Bones tell ancient tale of Kennewick Man.
  • Metal-detector enthusiast strikes gold, unearthing the biggest hoard of Bronze Age treasure found in Britain, worth £1million.
  • Gladiators fought by the book.
  • Many dinosaur fossils could have soft tissue inside.
  • Fossil overturns ideas of Jurassic mammals.
  • Fossil wood gives vital clues to ancient climates.
  • Monstrous virus suggests that viruses may have been the precursors of all life on Earth.
  • Worship of phoenix may have started 7,400 years ago in central China.
  • 8,000-year-old fire-making drill found in China.
  • Villagers claim church fresco is lost Michelangelo. With photo.
  • The ‘True Sun’ of the Incas, Parts one and two, by Andy Lloyd, author of The Dark Star. Amazon US & UK.
  • The Amadeus code: world of music is a fertile place for cryptograms, hidden messages, secret societies and weird religions.
  • Scots still regard ‘second sight’ as a certain but dubious gift.
  • New kind of cosmic explosion spotted in Earth’s celestial neighborhood. Amateur astronomers in the Northern Hemisphere might be able to see it next week. More.
  • Found: universe’s missing metal. Now, if they’d just find the missing mettle…
  • Galactic X-ray background source is found.
  • New brain imaging technology – diffusion tensor imaging – reveals damage MRI misses.
  • School science project shows, 70 percent of the time, ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than toilet water.
  • UK police will soon be able to predict the surnames of male criminals whose DNA is found at crime scenes.
  • Secretive UK radar base blamed for rash of car breakdowns.
  • MI6 pays out over secret LSD mind control tests.
  • Minority Report-style computer display responds to user’s every touch and movement. Amazing video of the display in action.
  • ScubaDoo, a new underwater scooter, allows you to ‘dive’ without a mask, mouthpiece, air tank, weights, or fins, and without being a strong swimmer or even getting your hair wet.
  • The huge new Aeroscraft blends elements of helicopter, airplane, blimp, and cruise ship into a craft that can carry hundreds of troops, tanks and helicopters and land in an unprepared field, or provide a slower-paced cross-country flight, with your own room.
  • Inner Clock: Time, at least partly, is something we control in our heads.
  • How to live for ever: the wacky world of anti-senescence therapy.
  • Unlocking the secrets of longevity genes.
  • Mistaken IQ: New test indicates autistics are smarter than people think.
  • A hormone produced in the stomach directly stimulates the higher brain functions of spatial learning and memory development, and suggests we may learn best on an empty stomach.
  • Cause of Crohn’s disease found to be the opposite of what has been supposed, and Viagra could be an effective treatment.
  • Like gardeners digging up potatoes, chimps show they can monkey around with tools.
  • Researcher finds ‘Bigfoot trail’.

Quote of the Day:

The White House has given permission for a company owned by the government of Dubai to run six U.S. ports, including the Port of New York. Now Dubai was accused of supporting the September 11th attacks and was one of only three countries to support the Taliban. Now they’re going to run the Port of New York. What’s next, we’ll put Mexico in charge of immigration? How about Dick Cheney in charge of gun safety? Courtney Love in charge of Olympic drug testing?

Jay Leno

  1. Re: News Briefs 24-02-2006
    A few days ago someone made such a salient point that no one knew what to say in response. Here was the story: I remember a story from my childhood. There was once a King who sat on a great pile of treasure, yet he was begging for money. What is the reason? In all stories, there is one story. If you dig real deep, if you dig real deep enough, you will find the answer.
    To me that was the quote of the week.

  2. Re: Monstrous virus
    Every now and again there is an event that can be likened to the first motion of a snowflake in what will inevitably become an avalanche; I believe this story to be such an event.

    So much effort has been expended trying to grasp how stray chemicals could organize themselves into life…what an unbelievably elegant solution if a virus, neither living nor dead, was the facilitator for such an event…not to mention that the origin of a virus, not being life as such, would by definition need to be somewhat simpler than explaining life itself.

    If this story is true and if the science holds up the implications are going to resonate for a very long time. Appreciator of irony that I am, I can’t help wondering how the God supporters are going to react to the idea of life owing its existence to what we now think of as a disease…imagine the frantic tap-dancing of religious types trying to reconcile their particular creation-myth with this virus theory. Not to mention the implications for the question of life elsewhere in the universe; if this inherently simpler mechanism holds up then life could literally be everywhere, in some form. Rather than the current model where Earth is an oasis of life in an otherwise sterile universe we’d be compelled to think of sterility as the aberration, that the universe is most likely teeming with life, and the unequivocal nature of such a discovery would create such a paradigm shift in the Human mindset as to be beyond imagination.

    The times, they just got a lot more interesting…


  3. Hasn’t anyone watched or read?
    Hasn’t anyone watched the video of the Minority Report-style computer display? I thought surely some of TDG’s more creative visitors would see its potential as an artistic medium, while those who are into programming would be raving about the technological aspects.

    Hasn’t anyone read the article about 70% of fast-food restaurant ice being nastier than toilet water? I’ve always thought it was the food that was potentially hazardous, especially after the last time I ate at Taco Bell (4 years ago), and ended up in the Emergency Room for 4 liters (!) of intravenous drip. Before I read this article, it hadn’t occurred to me that it might have been the soft drink instead.

    Just in case someone out there doesn’t know that fast-food restaurants will do this… When I went back to Taco Bell and told them about the food making me sick, and about having to go to the hospital, they agreed to pay my $1300 hospital bill.

    If the above two articles didn’t interest anyone else, I’d love to know which articles you guys are reading.


    1. Kat
      For my part, I’d been going down the list of news items and when I hit the “Monstrous virus” one I just lost any interest in the rest of them.

      I will at some point go back and look through whatever came after that one item but for the near future it will be occupying the bigger part of my attention. In that one item you have something which could ultimately influence every person on Earth, in some way or other…it could trigger a new Renaissance, it could finally free Humanity from the tyranny of religion, it could fundamentally change how we look at the universe; if one is interested in “Meaning of Life” stuff, I find it difficult to picture something potentially more significant and if one was not so inclined it would still be a story that might affect just about any nuance of Human behavior that one might imagine.

      What a concept…the mind boggles, my mind at least.


    2. Multitouch Computer
      Greg said he’s ordering one for each TDG news editor. I can’t wait to get mine, Kat! Imagine doing the news on one of those. It’s about time the future started turning up, it’s the year 2006 already.

      As for fast-food ice, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I once went into a Mickey D’s on a hot summer day and asked for a large coke without ice. The girl stared at me suspiciously and asked, “Why don’t you want ice?” “Because I have no teeth,” I replied. She believed me and gave me a large coke without ice. Er, don’t ask about my weird sense of humour. It just is.

      I’ll post on your news if you post on mine, Kat.


      1. What, what?
        >>I’ll post on your news if you post on mine, Kat.

        Have I been remiss about commenting on your news? If so, sorry about that. I haven’t been keeping up with myself lately. 😉 Who knows – maybe I’ve been sleeping on Sunday nights and Mondays, although I don’t remember any weekend carousing lately that would justify that. haha

        I can hardly wait for my nice new touch-screen display. Did Greg win the lotto, or is David building them in his garage?


  4. dirty water
    I have always known when travelling overseas never to have ice in my drinks.This was the sort of info handed out to people here for years about travelling,along with taking copies of your documents in different case from your passport.
    But it is a bit worrying when you find that the ice in some US restaurants is unsafe to ingest.
    Maybe the Oz government should issue warnings.


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