News Briefs 17-10-2006

It’s raining news, hallelujah…

  • Major announcement scheduled for today by SETI: “for all of you out there who have been waving your arms around and speculating, this is not an announcement about finding a signal from ETs, the face on Mars, or anything else.” I don’t normally wave my arms around when I speculate, but it does make for an interesting visual (if a little dangerous for bystanders)…
  • Spielberg, Hollywood and the extraterrestrial threat. Caution: stand clear of the waving arms.
  • Richard Dolan gets a gig on Sci-Fi Channel. Richard’s book UFOs and the National Security State (Amazon US and UK) is absolutely required reading for anyone interested in ufology.
  • Paul Kimball says he likes mysteries. A news piece just before the New Frontiers Symposium last weekend. Here’s a follow-up story reviewing the conference.
  • Cartoon tribute to Pope John Paul to be released on DVD. I hope he’s a Transformer, it would be cool to watch the Pope turn into a jet…”pontiffs, in disguise”.
  • Pagan graves in the Vatican’s basement. Hmmm, Pope in the TV, pagan graves under Vatican…sounds like Poltergeist IV.
  • Mexican archaeologists believe that the recently discovered Aztec monlith may be the largest stone idol ever found, and that it may be a door to a hidden chamber beneath the temple.
  • Author traces journey of “God’s gold“. Another article about the new book God’s Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem by British archaeologist Sean Kingsley (available now from Amazon UK, or pre-order from Amazon US for May 2007 release).
  • Ancient Stonehenge houses unearthed.
  • Iraqi antiquities continue to be pillaged and destroyed.
  • The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has been released, and the website has the usual teasers for the feature articles.
  • Piltdown’s lessons for modern science.
  • Women more likely to dress well near ovulation. Ladies, I’d like to point out that I only report the news…
  • Salon interviews Richard Dawkins (have to watch an ad to view the complete article, though a teaser is available).
  • Biographer claims novelist Agatha Christie’s mysterious 11-day disappearance was due to out-of-body amnesia.
  • Top medium quits, saying “I Was Deluded“.
  • Boeing begins testing aircraft-mounted combat laser.
  • Future aircraft might morph during flight.
  • Is the US government using LSD for interrogations?
  • Study finds pharmaceutical companies call the shots in leading medical journals.
  • Superheavy element 118 finally created. I propose calling it Jambi.
  • More on targeted electrical brain stimulation being used to revive head-injury victims.
  • Fans of cryonics are too cool for the 21st century.
  • Researchers detect the spread of skin cancer by listening to the blood.
  • Sorting through your computer files using your sense of smell. A lot of today’s news would probably smell a little fishy.
  • To what degree do you create reality? Study finds that even black and white bananas look yellow.
  • Museum exhibit explores the gay animal world. Can a museum handle the excitement of two giant whale penises flailing about?
  • Mars Express and the story of water on Mars.
  • Astronomers need you to help find some planets.
  • Forget NASA heading back to the Moon – the Swedes are looking to build a house there by 2011.
  • Reuters opens a news bureau in the virtual world of Second Life. Who’s got time for a second life…I can’t even fit everything into this one.
  • US population to hit 300 million sometime this morning. Maybe now. Or now. Perhaps now? Now?

Quote of the Day:

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Richard Feynman