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I can’t think of an opening line.

  • Symbols carved into 8600-year-old tortoise shells and other bones found in a Neolithic grave in central China may edit the history of writing.
  • A translation of the 2400-year-old Derveni Papyrus, a mystical text discussing the fate of the soul and other philosophies, has finally been completed. My novels might take a bit longer.
  • Heritage Malta has begun efforts to preserve 5000-year-old graffiti carved into megaliths at the Tarxien Temples.
  • An eminent 92-year-old Turkish archaeologist is to be tried for inciting religious hatred because she suggested in her book that the use of headscarves by women dated back to pre-Islamic sexual rites. Unfortunately the article doesn’t explain how the headscarves were used.
  • Mosaics from the late Roman period have been uncovered at the ancient city of Hadrianoupolis on the coast of the Turkish Black Sea, decorated with a myriad of animals and birds.
  • A travel piece (with a stunning photo) about the 5000-year-old ruins of Caral, Peru.
  • Archaeologists found the remains of a Viking-era ship within a burial mound on a Norwegian farm. It’s not every day I get news from Norway!
  • Been a while since we heard from Zahi Hawass too, who has just announced the first-ever discovery of a tomb belonging to a Pharaoh’s dentist. Click “next photo” for more pics and info.
  • The US State Department has delayed a decision to restrict the imports of Chinese antiquities to the United States, making museum directors and art dealers happy, but dismaying archaeologists and angering China.
  • A report in New Scientist says that if people were to become extinct today, all traces of humankind would be eradicated in 200’000 years. I’m sure plastic bags and six-pack rings will be floating around somewhere.
  • Science teachers say the demotion of Pluto brings new opportunities to teach kids about the solar system, and perhaps inspire future space pioneers. I bet it was the Taylor kids who taught their dad how to use Celestia.
  • A new study suggests life can exist deep underground for millions of years without any energy input from the sun, boosting hopes for subterranean life on Mars.
  • NASA scientists say the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has grown to the biggest size ever recorded — larger than the North American continent.
  • Folk in the UK will get a stunningly clear night to watch the Orionid meteor shower this Sunday. Bring your own soap and shower-cap.
  • A dozen space elevator prototypes are competing for US$150’000 in the X Prize Cup. Wouldn’t you be annoyed if someone hit all the buttons?
  • A new study from Stanford University says one in eight web-surfing adults are addicted to the internet. Don’t look at me, Kat, they refused to accept TDG volunteers for fears it’d make their statistic-machines explode.
  • A major exhibition at London’s Science Museum ponders the history of video games, and asks if they’re a blessing or a curse? When I pwn noobs and ninja l33t loot, it’s a blessing, but when I get pwned by noobs and have my l33t loot ninja’d, it’s a curse.
  • From Pravda, tales of people suffering from cranial injuries developing extraordinary abilities.
  • A Russian woman claims to eavesdrop on dolphins, and she can also communicate with ants.
  • Maybe she can talk to Narwhal whales, who have distinctive voices, according to researchers who have recorded individuals for the first time.

Quote of the Day:

It doesn’t have to be a big fire, a small blaze, candelight perhaps…

Ray Bradbury