News Briefs 24-07-2006

It’s been a long day …

  • It’s a new moon, a perfect opportunity to observe 2006’s lunar standstill, a phenomenon that only appears once every 18 years. The Lunar Times is a good place for moonwatching and lunacy.
  • After 60 years, the monster responsible for mysterious tracks in a Gulf of Mexico beach is revealed.
  • A 10-year-old boy from the Phillipines came back to life 17 hours after being declared dead, and claims Jesus woke him up.
  • Persecuted for centuries, alchemy and its practitioners are increasingly becoming the focus of serious scholarship.
  • Mayan experts are worried about the historical accuracy of Mel Gibson’s new film about the collapse of Mayan civilisation, Apocalypto. No one really knows what happened to the Maya, so a Hollywood film really isn’t that far off from an expert’s guesswork.
  • Mystery continues to shroud an egg-shaped sculpture discovered in New Hampshire in 1872.
  • Archaeological data suggests climate change forced early humans out of the Sahara 6000 years ago and into the land of the Nile, giving rise to the civilisation of Egypt.
  • An American executive accidentally dobs in his boss for having an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus in his office – in front of Zahi Hawass.
  • Egypt plans to build an offshore underwater museum, possibly near Alexandria.
  • Archaeologists in India claim that a centuries-old temple is submerged two kilometers from the Visakhapatnam coast.
  • Chinese experts argue whether to excavate the 1300-year-old Qianling imperial tomb, carved out of a mountainside and never broken into by tombrobbers.
  • After half a century, China and India have reopened an historic Himalayan trade route that was once part of the Silk Road.
  • Google, Yahoo and MSN have been slammed by an Amnesty International report for allowing China to censor the web, but do we have the right to judge? Here’s a link to the report (Adobe Acrobat).
  • A leader’s ability to identify and diffuse innovations is critical to corporate success, and such traits should be developed and encouraged in leaders, according to research. It should be encouraged in all areas of life, not just corporate.
  • Innovation we don’t need – new technology linking laundries to cell phones, computers, and TVs will tell you when the washing is done. Personally, I just check the time.
  • Sharing a bed makes men stupid, according to research. And sharing a bed with a stupid person makes you even stupider.
  • A team of American and German scientists launched a two-year project to decipher the genetic code of Neanderthals.
  • A new theory suggests early primates evolved to avoid poisonous snakes. That explains Steve Irwin.
  • A whistleblowing medic claims to have hard evidence of an attempt to produce a cloned human baby, and his name isn’t Mulder.
  • The electromagnetic fields that (supposedly) give us auras could send bacteria to colonise other planets. Or did they colonise us?
  • The molecular DNA switch has been found to be the same in all life, preserved for eons by evolution.
  • UCLA scientists have strengthened the case for life beginning more than 3.8 billion years ago.
  • The highlands of Saturn’s moon Titan may be riddled with caves.
  • Astronomers are excitedly watching a star that is about to explode and turn supernova.
  • A spacecraft taking off from a private West Texas spaceport being bankrolled by Amazon dot com founder Jeff Bezos would take off and land vertically.
  • An Iranian-US multimillionaire who grew up watching Star Trek will be the first female space tourist.
  • A firm arranging private trips to the International Space Station is now offering a bonus spacewalk – if you’re willing to pay more than the initial $20 million.
  • Here’s a great article about space entrepeneur Robert Bigelow. The Genesis 1 spacecraft is performing well, by the way.

Thanks David, Pam, Badeye and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Without glasnost there is not, and there cannot be, democratism, the political creativity of the masses and their participation in management.

Mikhail Gorbachev

  1. sleep studies
    I have kept up with sleep studies for many decades. It’s a fascinating subject really, as we need sleep to actually survive in the human body. I read reports on sleep styles, hours slept, with and without noise/light/others in the bed/ others in bedroom/ and many other variables. One piece of distilled information is that most men “feel lonely” which led to the need/want of a bed partner, which actually had nothing to do with sexual intercourse. It was just the need for a warm body near. I felt that it was something of a subconscious primal need for bonding. This then went back to being personally validated and accepted A. as a person B. as a family member C. as part of the greater whole (clan/community/group) D. Interaction with the former. Which led to a better cognitive ability and a generally healthier individual. Or as I like like to say, the loving attitude one for another creates harmony.

    Personally I like to sleep with no one else in the bed, my husband wants me in the bed. So, sometimes I sleep with him until he roots me out, then I go get on the couch or read or get in a recliner and nap. I sleep when I feel like I need to sleep if it is at all possible. No matter what time of the day or night so I do mess with my body clock. Sometimes the way we work affects us, if we are on call, anything could happen as we may be up for well over two days. Then there is a “crash” so to speak as we have pushed the bounds of our waking state. We have also tried the king size bed, and felt like that was a ridiculous amount of space for we were in cramped quarters. The full size bed provided a generally good enough size. Humans move much more than one expects, basically all over the bed. Turning and tossing back and forth, leg positions and arm positions. And I haven’t even addressed the sleep apneas, sleep walking/talking, dreams or sleep stages, yet all these aspects have a cause and an effect upon the quality and quantity of sleep. YAWN! Maybe I need to go back to bed! Your right Rick, it’s been a long day, no make that a long week. Love, Pam —————————–Truth is stranger than fiction.

    1. Thanks Pam.
      Thanks Pam.

      I’m single, so I sleep by myself, but I do know I talk and yell and walk and leap in my sleep. Another thing is if I get woken by an alarm, I’m tired and vague all day, no matter how much sleep I got the night before. However, if I get the same amount of sleep but wake up naturally, without an alarm clock, I feel great! It’s not the amount of sleep I get, but how I get woken up. I think I have a whacked out REM sequence. My body doesn’t want me waking up until I’ve let the REM thing run through its full cycle. I guess getting woken up during heavy REM is like being ripped out of Virtual Reality without warning.

      Speaking of sleep, it’s past midnight and I need to be up at 7am to be at a 9am lecture on Asian Religions …

  2. Good update Rick.
    I found TDG news particularly interesting today. Several entries captured my interest – the 60-year ago monster, the beginnings of civilization along the Nile, and the caves on Titan. The 1872 stone-egg carving found near Lake Winnipesaukee is intriguing although I’m certain that when no “acceptable” explanation is found, the carving, like so many other objects, will be buried in some dusty back room, forgotten and eventually lost.


  3. thunderstone or ancient astronaut?
    I wonder if Erich von Daniken has seen that egg-shaped sculpture? I’m sure he’d see it as a guy in a space helmet.

  4. Sharing a bed makes men stupid
    I knew there was a reason that over the years I seem to have lost my way; I was unaware that this was the reason for it. Now I can blame somebody else.

    It does not provide answers to why at times throughout my adult life I have had selective hearing, and at times selective vision.

    I seem to struggle to hear some things (usually to certain tones only) and definitely struggle to see some things especially in pantry cupboads and drawers where I put them a short time ago. Tupperware cupboards are a real trap for men! Experience tells us not to open the door at all!

    Maybe this is all linked and it is not my fault after all; I like most men are just victims of our environment!!

    Its probably just a big conspiracy


  5. Boy back from dead
    What an amazing story about the boy who came back from the dead.I saw something on TV recently about someone else to whom that happened.

    It makes you realise just how many people over the millennia have been buried alive.
    I think the statistics I put here a while ago were 6% of those buried.
    Not now though with organ donation and cremation.


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