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I’m visiting Japan for two weeks in October, so if there are any TDG readers living in Japan who’d like to drink sake, see the future at Shinjuku and explore Jomon ruins, let me know and we’ll make it the first official TDG shindig.

  • Instead of Japan, perhaps you can plan a trip to Peru’s 5000 year old sacred city of Caral?
  • It’s suffered invasion and genocide, but now the ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples face another threat – tourist hordes.
  • A unique ancient statue of the Greek goddess Artemis was unearthed by archaeologists, but they’re still looking for her head.
  • Bones and tusks dating back 400’000 years are the earliest signs in Britain of ancient humans butchering elephants for meat.
  • The latest genetic techniques have revealed that the wooly mammoth’s coat varied in colour, from blonde and ginger to dark brown. Early humans only ate the blonde ones.
  • Discussion of a theory that suggests civilisations develop during periods of extreme climate change.
  • An expert panel convened by BBC News has concluded that climate change is real and dangerous. That’s a clear and present danger, Mr Bush.
  • If you weren’t fooled by the theatrics of the Da Vince Code court case, then perhaps you’d like to bid for the DVC copyrights on Ebay.
  • Another code-busting hopeful has stepped forward to solve the mystery of Shugborough Hall’s cryptic letters.
  • Got nothing to do on weekends? Then why not join the Society of Leyhunters. It beats bowling.
  • Were ancient civilisations able to levitate huge blocks of stone?
  • Dr Steven Greer claims SETI has received multiple extraterrestrial signals but has lost connection due to human interference, and Microsoft may be part of it.
  • British UFO hacker Gary McKinnon is being extradited to the US and may end up in Guantanamo.
  • The North Korean missile crisis heats up, with Japan pushing for UN sanctions. Even scarier, North Korea’s ambassador to Australia warns his country will retaliate with physical force if pushed to disarm. Only Team America: World Police can stop Kim Jong II.
  • China is harvesting organs from live Falun Gong prisoners, according to a Canadian human rights lawyer.
  • China will transmit 30 pieces of Chinese music to Earth next year aboard its first lunar-probing satellite, with the public helping to choose the tunes. I’ve already recommended Tool, Greg.
  • A huge sunshade a million miles from Earth could help astronomers search for signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars.
  • A mystery object has been discovered at the heart of a supernova.
  • Critics say Stephen Hawking is wrong to suggest we should abandon the Earth when things get bad to colonise outer space. I’ve already booked a seat on an escape pod.
  • Speaking of escape pods, a Christian archaeology expedition claims to have found Noah’s Ark in Iran.
  • A new exhibition explores how artists – from William Blake to John Cage – have portrayed visions of the universe, and sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss speculates on civilisations of the future. Great article.
  • Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich! A profile of actor John Malkovich and the many universes he’s created.
  • A great article about the secret of Bono’s success, his wife Ali Hewson and her ethical clothing company Edun.
  • Actor Robert Downey Jnr claims to have psychic powers, or maybe he just got too involved in the film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.
  • Forget Johnny Depp and Hollywood, modern pirates carry AK-47s and use speed boats to plunder gas tankers and foreign aid ships, with Southeast Asia a hotspot.
  • What about ghost pirates? A ghostbusting team of Malaysian healers and religious teachers seek the paranormal, and claim to have captured a Bigfoot in Cambodia three years ago, but can’t afford to transport it. Uh, cameras are pretty cheap these days.
  • Loren Coleman is dreaming of the day photographs are taken of the Johor Bigfoot.

Thanks Kat, Clifton, Gary, Ksmith and Badeye.

Quote of the Day:

Merchant and pirate were for a long period one and the same person. Even today mercantile morality is really nothing but a refinement of piratical morality.

Friedrich Nietzsche