News Briefs 03-07-2006

A very late bag of mixed everything.

  • Forget Bosnia, China’s pyramids are in danger of collapse and need urgent attention, yet UNESCO is silent.
  • Lord Averbury says he is stunned the Countryside Agency wants to label Silbury Hill, the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe, as “unimproved chalk grassland”.
  • Zahi didn’t find his mummy, but the mystery of Egypt’s tomb KV63 lingers.
  • What are these mystery rocks, with evidence of carvings, in Saskatchewan Canada? Maybe we can send Paul to investigate?
  • Unknown to most, New England has its fair share of mystery megaliths. Hrmm, that’s probably a bit out of Kat’s way …
  • Will she kill him off or won’t she? Rowling plays coy on the fate of Harry Potter. I’ve read the manuscript and Harry lives, but Hermione dies … ooops, sorry Kat!
  • A school for witches will open its doors in Illinois, attracting pagans and cats. The article has the predictable Harry Potter reference, when Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch is more applicable (Amazon UK or US).
  • My birthday in two weeks will be nothing like that of Professor Paul Davies’s 60th celebration — he invited thinkers from across the world to discuss life, the universe and the emergence of human consciousness.
  • Monster waves are being sighted more and more across the world’s oceans, causing concern for oceanographers. Which makes me wonder about the dreams I’ve been having of drowning and being swept off my feet by waves …
  • Global Warming has been recognised as the cause behind much of 2005’s hurricanes.
  • A Japanese man taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1945 has returned to Japan for the first time in almost seven decades.
  • Mira Kimura is an acclaimed Japanese violinist who has the rare ability of producing strange sounds with her instrument.
  • Will China’s train across the roof of the world damage Tibet’s unique culture? That’s assuming it isn’t already damaged beyond repair …
  • Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday demanding democracy.
  • Forensic scientists continue to exhume the mass graves of Kurdish villagers in Iraq, finding that many of them managed to hold on to their ID cards.
  • India will offer its cotton farmers cash and debt relief in a bid to halt the alarming number of suicides over loan repayments.
  • Scientists in Israel have discovered a new method to curb the spread of cancer through research on increasing the size of fruit.
  • A large cat dining on the entrails of one our early ancestors thousands of years ago contracted an ulcer-causing bacteria that spread to lions, cheetahs and tigers and which persists to this day, a new study concludes.
  • Researchers suggest the ancestor of every person now living on Earth lived in East Asia around the same time the Pyramids of Giza were built. Coincidence?
  • Scientists are trying to develop an artificial human body clock which would help combat sleeplessness. Gives a whole new meaning to the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock.
  • Is there a major discrepancy in the timeline of Ancient Crete?
  • Voyager 1 is probably 100 times as far from the Sun as is the Earth by now, and here’s a peek at what it’s like for the little spacecraft that knew it could.
  • Scientists have created a device that helps patients grow back their own teeth. I’m waiting for the device that will recover lost brain cells.
  • Can sufferers of Deja Vu reveal insights into the inner workings of human memory? (login: dailygrail, password: article)
  • Mice can feel each other’s pain, say Canadian researchers who have been injecting the rodents with acid to make them writhe while their cagemates look on.
  • Research has revealed males will willingly stand more pain if the person tormenting them is a woman. Even if I were tortured by this woman, I would buckle within seconds.
  • A Czech town has opened the world’s first beer spa, being marketed as the cure for a range of ailments. This link following on from the Choco Party ad above is no coincidence.

Thanks Kat, Rob and The Scotsman.

Quote of the Day:

“She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.”

from the novel Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

  1. chinese pyramids, dam
    not that long ago, a very large Dam was completed (well, sort of) in China.

    With all the workers that built it now getting bored, can’t their efforts be redirected towards these pyramids?

    1. I agree. A conservation
      I agree. A conservation effort was made, planting yew trees to halt the erosion (the pyramids were originally covered with yew trees, as the yew is a symbol of longevity and immortality). So much loam was taken from the pyramids by local farmers and officials, however, that many of them are probably beyond repair.

      No excavations will be made on the pyramids due to the strong Chinese belief in ancestors, which is fair enough, but I think they should take a step backwards in order to take two steps forward.

      And UNESCO should really be doing something about it, instead of playing petty politics in Bosnia (hint hint).

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