News Briefs 01-05-2006

Amarantine, Amarantine, Amarantine …

  • Happy New Year! Yep, 1st May is Beltaine, and Edinburgh’s Carlton Hill is the place to be. Have a pint for me.
  • Romania has officially legalised witchcraft as a valid occupation.
  • An excellent video about Cardiff University researchers’ discovery of unidentified DNA in red rain that fell over India. Red rain is pouring down, Pouring down all over me…
  • Champion of the Panspermia theory Chandra Wickramasinghe is cautiously optimistic and ignores the sounds of Skeptics sharpening their knives.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has captured extraordinary pictures of a comet breaking apart.
  • Unexplained loud booms are at it again in the USA, this time around Port Angeles.
  • Meanwhile, scientists have come close to identifying the source of a loud boom that rattled San Diego County.
  • The northern beaches of Sydney are a hotspot for UFO sightings … and that doesn’t count beer bottles thrown during riots.
  • Randi wannabe Aaron Sakulich identifies the B-grade scifi movie that he reckons alien abduction victims get their stories from. Ironically, it was the inflight film when Sakulich was abducted.
  • A Skeptical Inquirer review says “[Susan] Clancy has produced a real masterpiece” in her book Abducted: How People Come To Believe They Were Kidnapped By Aliens. It’s even more biased than Greg’s review of the new Tool cd (wink).
  • I humbly eat my biasness, and recommend Dr John E. Mack’s book Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (Amazon US or UK).
  • Psychotherapist Dr Janet Colli (yes Ms Clancy, she has a Ph.D. just like yours) says other-worldly beings have long played a role in human history.
  • ThothWeb gives a modern perspective on levitation and flight in the ancient world.
  • A new film about the history of heavy metal highlights the Devil’s Interval, a musical phenomenon suppressed by the Church. Any tritones in Tool’s music, Greg?
  • The Church of Scotland is planning to teach ministers how to deal with evil spirits after research showed half the clergy believe they have directly encountered Satanic forces.
  • Will pregnant women expecting to give birth on the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year spawn the son of Satan, or will the child just be a Gemini?
  • Sun-sign Astrology has been debunked (again), but the door is left open for other explanations. Toyah Wilcox says Astrology affects us all.
  • The blood-sucking goat vampire Chupacabra has been sighted in Russia.
  • A two-headed snake has a South African gardener reaching for two shovels.
  • Two kittens born on Good Friday are marked by a cross, but their owner just thinks they’re cool cats and not prophets for the Almighty.
  • A panel from the National Academy of Sciences has concluded physics in America is at a crossroads and in crisis.
  • Not according to these US physicists, who have made water run uphill.
  • A Tustin astromomer gets pulled into a real-life, Indiana Jones adventure when his long lost pal asks him to solve the riddle of a hidden Peruvian temple. My long lost pals just remind me I owe them money. This article has pictures.
  • Executive and online editor of Archaeology Magazine Mark Rose writes a scathing editorial on Semir Osmanagic and the Bosnian Pyramid. Yes, Semir is an amateur, but he has professional archaeologists excavating the site. Rose conveniently fails to mention that.
  • Archaeologists hope to glimpse the mysteries of cult worship in Roman Britain when they excavate a vast religious complex in Ewell.
  • In the Edinburgh of the Enlightenment, the distinguished gentleman who muttered quietly to himself whilst following Dr James Hutton, is the subject of a new book, Adam Smith and the Pursuit of Perfect Liberty by James Buchan (Amazon US or UK).

Thanks Kat (I think I posted the news you sent me?)

Quote of the Day:

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whosoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmer.

Albert Einstein