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News Briefs 12-10-2009

As the old Cuban saying goes, they only call it class warfare when we fight back.

Quotes of the Day:

Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.

Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the Bank of England in the 1920’s, and the second richest man in Britain.

  1. Bullseye or… Bulls**t?
    What the headline says:

    In test of water on the Moon, craft hits a bullseye.

    What the story doesn’t say:

    The bullseye was still in the bull. LCROSS apparently missed the moon entirely but is due to arrive in the constellation, Taurus, in a little over 360,000 years.

    NASA calls the mistake a win-win situation because they would have never been able to figure out how to get back to the moon anyway.

    Next mission? Crash the Mars Science Lab on Uranus!

    1. I can’t find a link…

      Okay, since I can’t find a link to send this to you any place else (am I being technostupid and missing it, or is there just not one?) …

      Well, there used to be a link for news contributions — in one of the Daily Grail’s yearly incarnations. In another incarnation, there were email links to all the admins; and in yet another, there was an email link to just Greg. As for no email links at present, Welcome to TDG 2009, which is still under construction — because our fearless leader, Greg, has been completely snowed under lately.

      I think Perceval posted this ‘God isn’t the creator’ story in last Friday’s News.

      As Rick MG said at the top of last Wednesday’s news, “Wondering where the news briefs are disappearing to? Click the ‘news archive’ link directly below the latest news collection.”

      Hope this helps,


  2. The end of a thisty empire (The Maya)

    “The cities tried to keep an 18-month supply of water in their reservoirs,” says Sever. “For example, in Tikal there was a system of reservoirs that held millions of gallons of water. Without sufficient rain, the reservoirs ran dry.” Thirst and famine don’t do much for keeping a populace happy. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

    “In some of the Maya city-states, mass graves have been found containing groups of skeletons with jade inlays in their teeth – something they reserved for Maya elites – perhaps in this case murdered aristocracy,” he speculates.

    And the circle starts all over again… :-/

  3. Brain “Noise”, Science Noise
    The only people who thought that spontaneous brain activity was background noise were those who never bothered to look at the history of research into its dynamics. To begin with, it’s not “white”, it’s “pink”. That is, it is confined into a range, not equal across all frequencies. Within narrow (appx. 2 Hz) frequency bands and in various regions, it synchronizes and desynchronizes according to tasks or lack thereof. The most well known of these is “resting alpha” where the visual system synchronizes. The “resting” part is a misnomer because the same activity can be instigated by forcing a monochromatic, featureless visual field onto it (taping halves of a ping pong ball over open eyes works a treat). The same synchronized activity at the same frequency occurs in the motor cortex. It’s called “tau” rather than alpha because its major contribution is oriented along a dipole that appears at a steep angle to EEG electrodes, making the waveform look like a comb. Cognition related synchronization/desynchronization has been examined by Wolfgang Klimesch of Graz and his lab as well as myself and my labs, for at least 15 years. The functional mapping that resulted represents the first real advance in EEG based cognitive research in over 50 years. Those that aren’t aware are simply admitting their irresponsibility in failing to look into a subject they claim to research.

    Karl Pribram used to point out the fact that the “background” noise represented real brain activity by using it to answer to people who made the mistake of passing the very poorly considered quote that we only use 10% of our brains. He’d reply “Sorry to hear about your brain. Most of us use 100% of ours 100% of the time, and I can show you EEG to prove it.”

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