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Paradigms are shifting all over the place today. Sorry I’m a bit late posting the news – apparently I can’t read fast when it’s hailing. 😉

  • Genome research is unraveling scientists’ basic biological beliefs. The science of life is undergoing a revolution so jolting, researchers are said to be awed, shell-shocked, confounded, and disoriented.
  • Researchers have discovered anaerobic bacteria that use sulphate instead of oxygen for respiration, and utilize propane and butane as their sole source of carbon and energy.
  • Velikovsky fan Robert S. Fritzius believes he’s found evidence of an interplanetary microbial delivery system; and he’s been trying to spark interest, and struggling to defend his ideas, at a mainstream science forum. *cough*cahones!*cough* More on his theories and research.
  • Scientists identify hundreds of new cold viruses.
  • NASA spacecraft found seven cave entrances on Mars. Some decent photos – that don’t take an hour to download.
  • Threatening asteroids that zoom past the Earth, fireballs in the sky seen by hundreds of people, and mysterious craters which may have been caused by impacting meteorites all make the ESA’s inaptly-named Don Quijote mission look increasingly timely.
  • Using a laser-heated diamond anvil cell to heat and compress the samples, scientists subjected ferropericlase to almost 940,000 atmospheres and 3,140 °F. Their results suggest that, from about 620 miles to 1,365 miles deep in Earth’s lower mantle, there’s a ‘spin-transition zone’ where density, sound velocities, conductivity, and other properties of materials continuously change.
  • All Change At Earth’s Core: Until recently scientists were fairly confident that they understood the way the iron atoms in the Earth’s core packed together, but new research has sent them back to the drawing board.
  • Geochemists challenge commonly held ideas about how gases are expelled from the Earth.
  • Unparticle physics: Our world may contain fields that have very unusual properties — properties that no particle field could have.
  • Why the mad scramble for the seabed?
  • UK plans to annex the south Atlantic.
  • Samples taken from a ridge beneath the North Pole appear to back up Russia’s claim on the potentially oil-rich Arctic seabed.
  • Oil Shale to the Rescue?
  • Blackwater: Where Military Rules Don’t Apply. (Wash-Post log-in req’d)
  • Seven CIA veterans challenge 9/11 Commission Report.
  • The Economist weighs in on the real price of freedom: It is not only on the battlefield where preserving civil liberties may have to cost many lives.
  • An Oracle for Our Time. (Not the computer algorithms, surprisingly enough.)
  • Accumulating and compelling evidence is undermining everything scholars originally thought about The Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • How Joan escaped the stake, and lived happily ever after.
  • Descent into madness led to the creative flowering of one of art’s supreme geniuses. Van Gogh’s final masterpiece to be auctioned for the first time.

Quote of the Day:

Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else. And what a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous. There are only a few enlightened people with a lucid mind and style and with good taste within a century. What has been preserved of their work belongs among the most precious possessions of mankind. We owe it to a few writers of antiquity (Plato, Aristotle, etc.) that the people in the Middle Ages could slowly extricate themselves from the superstitions and ignorance that had darkened life for more than half a millennium. Nothing is more needed to overcome the modernist’s snobbishness.

Albert Einstein, 1954