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Did anyone else see Whitley Strieber on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night?

  • Jim Hansen, leading climatologist and director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, issues now-or-never warning: we only have a decade to save the planet.
  • Oldest writing from New World discovered.
  • Mongolian paleontologists find 67 dinosaurs in one week.
  • 10,000-year-old ‘Quarry of the Ancestors’ yields Ice Age tools and weapons, including a pristine spearpoint still smeared with the blood of a woolly mammoth.
  • Touted as the last refuge of the plants and animals that populated the ancient supercontient of Gondwana, New Zealand may in fact have once sunk beneath the waves, taking all traces of Gondwana with it.
  • Astronomers discover that the galactic center of the Milky Way formed independently of the region where Earth is located.
  • Puffed-up planet puzzles astronomers.
  • For 15 years Chicago biochemist Raphael Lee has been working to bring a revolutionary therapy to trauma patients. In spite of increasingly positive evidence of efficacy, and the FDA’s 1995 green light to begin humans trials, he has yet to administer his treatment to a single patient because other doctors simply refuse to believe it’s possible to reverse trauma, and thus consistently steer their patients elsewhere.
  • Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking … a sleeping pill. And no one is more baffled than the GP who made the breakthrough.
  • The vole, a mouselike rodent, is not only the fastest evolving mammal, but also harbors a number of puzzling genetic traits that challenge current scientific understanding.
  • Savants: Charting ‘islands of genius’.
  • Slow brain waves play key role in coordinating complex activity: Theta waves in separate regions of the brain lock in phase to coordinate their activity, essentially tuning in the high-frequency waves that transfer information.
  • Ten-thousand volunteers sought for world’s biggest academic study — on musical taste and lifestyle.
  • The Meanings of Magic (pdf), an article from the new journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft.
  • New research shows anemia may impair thinking, especially ‘executive functions’ such as problem solving, planning, assessing dangers, and following up on important activities.
  • Researchers attempting to design terrorist-proof airplanes want a comprehensive network of microphones and cameras installed throughout each aircraft, including the lavatory, which would be linked to a computer ‘trained’ to pick up suspicious conversations and movements.
  • US Air Force chief says nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield.
  • No psi please — we’re British. Greg says, ‘Excuse me Lord Winston, but is that hypocrisy I smell?’
  • Princeton Researchers Announce Diebold Voting-Machine Hack. Here’s their demonstration video. More Diebold hack videos: So much for ballot security.
  • YouTube in copyright cross hairs: as Greg says, proof that big business still doesn’t ‘get’ the Internet age.
  • Experimental A.I. Powers Robot Army. Time to take that Red Pill?
  • The comforts of madness: J G Ballard explains why consumerism is a new fascism.

Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

People are very busy, and there’s a deep, built-in, cognitive inability to think carefully and intelligently about catastrophic risks with unknown or slight probabilities. When you ask them to start thinking about something that doesn’t connect to anything in their experience, a purely theoretical danger, it’s difficult for them to take it seriously.

Richard Posner, author of Catastrophe: Risk and Response (Amazon US & UK).