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These are the fragments I have shored against my ruins. I wonder if Eliot would be pleased or appalled?

  • Update: Newly-released secret documents reveal that the mysterious death of the ‘real James Bond’ was hushed up.
  • What happens when you throw an elephant into a black hole? After pondering for decades, Leonard Susskind has finally come up with an answer – which shakes the foundations of physics.
  • Soil minerals point to past planet-wide ocean on Mars.
  • Knowing the universe in detail (except for that pesky 96% of it).
  • Gas hole in Big Bang theory explained.
  • Enviro-catastrophe of the week: World’s leaders warned: tackle climate change or face deep recession.
  • Enviro-catastrophe runner up: Sea change – why global warming could leave Britain feeling the cold.
  • Rat studies suggest that ecstasy boosts the number of dopamine-producing cells in the brain – a finding which could lead to rave results for people with Parkinson’s.
  • The human body typically disposes of a billion billion genomes’ worth of ‘garbage DNA’ every day. Japanese scientists have discovered that mice which cannot degrade their garbage DNA develop a condition very similar to human arthritis.
  • Ancient human hunters could smell blood on the breeze. It’s said that journalists retain this sense to modern times…
  • Neandertal gene study reveals early split with humans.
  • Ancient footprints found in Mexico valley.
  • Ancient brothel restored in Pompeii.
  • Giant predators known as terror birds once dominated South America. The fossil of the largest terror bird yet has been found in Argentina.
  • Ancient manure may be earliest proof of horse domestication.
  • Team finds another seven tombs nearby in what is believed to be the site of ancient Tuba, one of Syria’s first cities.
  • Thieves first to discover royal dentists’ tombs at Egypt’s Saqqara pyramids.
  • When an art object vexes, nuke it.
  • New device will allow bilingual speech as you talk.
  • Atlantis Ho! David Hatcher Childress has traveled all over the globe in search of lost cities, but Kempton, Illinois, is where he has chosen to build his empire of the improbable.
  • Skunk Ape photographer (and skeptic-turned-believer) Judy Caseley responds to comments posted at Cryptomundo.
  • Russian scientists say tests prove their super-purified water can cure cancer and restore youth. Ahh, Pravda.
  • An interview with several modern-day werewolves.
  • Scientist bites myth of vampires, ghosts.
  • Legend has it: why scientists are turning to myths for inspiration.
  • The militant new Atheism.
  • Fortune says there’s a growing revolt of the fairly barely rich, who are rapidly spreading the word (Paul Revere-style?) that “If people no smarter or better than you are making 50 or 100 million dollars a year while you’re working yourself ragged to earn a million or two – or, God forbid, $400,000 – then something must be wrong.” Snarkilicious, but Pollyanna restrained me, whispering, they may yet discover they share commonalities with the Founding Fathers beyond mere purse size.
  • Eyewitness To History: The instinct to tell what we have seen is as old as humanity.

Thanks Greg, Isis, and Pam.

Quote of the Day:

President Nixon looked just awful. He used glasses–the first time I ever saw them. Close to breaking down–understandably. Everyone in the room in tears. The speech was vintage Nixon–a kick or two at the press–enormous strains. One couldn’t help but look at the family and the whole thing and think of his accomplishments and then think of the shame and wonder what kind of a man is this really. No morality–kicking his friends in those tapes–all of them. Gratuitous abuse. Caring for no one and yet doing so much. When he used the word “plumbers” meaning it “laboring with his hands” the connotation was a shock on me. I remember Lt. Col. Brennan who has been with him so long–Marine–standing proudly but with tears running down his face. People who labored next to Nixon’s side forever are not invited. It’s weird.

Part of George H. W. Bush’s diary entry for Aug. 9, 1974, the day Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. More here.