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A Google search for ‘paradigm shift’ brings up 1,350,000 hits. But judging by today’s news, we’re still not there yet.

  • Huge 300m-year-old fossilized rainforest found in Illinois coal mine.
  • Kryptonite discovered in Serbian mine.
  • A lost landscape where early humans roamed more than 12,000 years ago has been uncovered beneath the North Sea.
  • Research on the Greek island of Crete suggests Europe’s earliest civilisation was destroyed by a giant tsunami.
  • Do cosmic forces control life on Earth? Physicists have come up with a galactic explanation for Earth’s biodiversity cycle.
  • Mystery cat takes regular bus to the shops two or three times a week. With photo. Guaranteed to cure any lingering doubts about animal intelligence.
  • Saved By the Sun: the grand hopes, latest innovations, roiling controversies, and practical realities of solar power are covered in this PBS/NOVA documentary, airing Tuesday night. More here.
  • Coming soon from NOVA: Newton’s Dark Secrets. More, including Newton’s Alchemy.
  • NASA reveals 3D images of the sun, which may help predict solar storms. More 3D images of the sun.
  • Houston, we have a problem: the approaching Kessler syndrome.
  • It now looks like Junk DNA is a powerful regulator, while jumping Junk DNA may fuel mammalian evolution.
  • Drugs. Implants. Virtual Reality. Do we really want joy 24/7?
  • Scientists express concerns over the use of autonomous decision-making robots, particularly for military use. Gee, ya’ think?
  • The Plague Fighters: Stopping the Next Pandemic Before It Begins.
  • Antioxidant found in many foods and red wine is potent and selective killer of leukemia cells.
  • New treatment yields complete regression of a human cancer in mice.
  • Simple injection shows promise for treating paralysis.
  • Electrodes show early promise in restoring lost sight.
  • German researchers have found a peptide in human blood that blocks HIV, and have identified a synthetic variant that is 100 times more potent.
  • New drug, now in human clinical trials, offers first real hope for people with common genetic disorders such as muscular distrophy and cystic fibrosis.
  • Patently Bad Ideas: Ever gotten drunk with your buddies and had a ridiculously awesome, testosterone-inspired idea? You’re not alone.
  • Scientists want to put hormone in baby formula, to chemically restructure the metabolic system of children to ensure they will never become obese.
  • Six degrees to hell: How bad will climate change really be? As Britain recently told UN members, there are few greater threats to global security than climate change.
  • Rare good news: Fish are growing faster in warming waters.
  • Pharm-Fresh drugs: Eight that may soon be coming from bioreactors that bloom, moo, and bleat.
  • Contaminated food isn’t just for pets: The safety of human food is also at risk from unchecked foreign ingredients, and from a corrupt, incompetent and/or underfunded FDA. In Britain, Cadbury has just been accused of a six-month-long failure to tell food safety watchdogs that it was selling chocolate it knew could be contaminated with salmonella.
  • Studies back Parkinson’s, pesticides link: Farm workers at especially high risk of degenerative brain disease.
  • Fed up with high utility bills? Here’s how others are finding out where energy is being wasted in their homes.
  • A man who bet £100 a decade ago that he would live to be 100 is preparing to pick up his £25,000 winnings.
  • DNA evidence exonerates man who spent 25 years in jail for a rape he didn’t commit, bringing to 200 the number of such cases overturned since the 1980s.
  • ‘Dont touch me!’: Recriminations and finger-pointing continued after global warming run-in between Karl Rove and Sheryl Crow.
  • Fascist America, in 10 easy steps.
  • The mystery of the 9/11 car bombs: Evidence points to multiple roaming backup teams with vans full of explosives.
  • Over the past two decades, Parliament has given an extensive range of public officials 266 excuses to smash into your home — some of which are indisputably needed, but many of which are patently ridiculous.
  • After long legal battle, VA finally adds Wiccan pentacle to list of emblems allowed in national cemeteries and on government-issued headstones of fallen soldiers.
  • Escape from the Holocaust: The secret life of Suzanne Rappoport, Britain’s ‘Anne Frank’.
  • How the CIA used a fake Sci-Fi flick to rescue Americans from Tehran. Tehran’s spooks were no slouches either – they hired teams of carpet weavers to successfully reassemble shredded documents.
  • Debt collectors linked to GM were named in court over black market in private information stolen from government databases.
  • Moscow’s suburb for billionaires: Fifteen years ago everything in Russia was owned by the state; today a quarter of Russia’s economy is owned by 36 men.
  • The chess world is populated by geeks and oddballs, as well as by people who are worldly, articulate and charismatic: A review of Michael Weinreb’s The Kings of New York (Amazon US & UK). Do all you patzers want to read more? With terms like ‘nerd machismo’ and ‘basilisk stare’, how can you resist?
  • You are what you grow: the far-reaching, dire consequences of the US Farm Bill.
  • Where does evil come from? Look in the mirror, says psychology professor Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect (Amazon US & UK).
  • A few late additions from Greg:
  • Rupert Sheldrake brings top-notch scientific credentials to psychic investigations.
  • A story for TDG member Shadows: Parrot teaches autistic boy to talk.
  • Time asks, ‘Was Timothy Leary right?’
  • During an era when merely writing about LSD therapy will get you barred from entering the US, some have fond memories of the good old days – when the elite loved LSD.
  • In the wake of the Catholic Church jettisoning the idea of limbo, the Discordians have acquired the non-corporeal realm. And here I was thinking government bureaucracies had a patent on it…
  • Father and son discover Holy Grail of music in Rosslyn Chapel. More information here.

Quote of the Day:

Up in space when you see a sunset or sunrise, the light is coming to you from the sun through that little shell of the Earth’s atmosphere and back out to the spacecraft you’re in. The atmosphere acts like a prism. So for a short period of time you see not only the reds, oranges and yellows, the luminous quality like you see on Earth, but you see the whole spectrum red-orange-yellow-blue-green-indigo-violet. You come back impressed, once you’ve been up there, with how thin our little atmosphere is that supports all life here on Earth. So if we foul it up, there’s no coming back from something like that.

John Glenn, first American to orbit the Earth (1962) and former US senator.

You’ll find more such quotes in How fortunate, how fragile, and how insignificant we are.