I’d like to be surprised — in a good way, for a change.
- Did a hyper-black hole spawn the Universe? Big Bang was mirage from collapsing higher-dimensional star, theorists propose. Sounds damned-near metaphysical to me.
- British scientists collect alien life from stratosphere.
- Gobekli Tepe was no laughing matter.
- Archaeologists discover new tomb and passage at Newgrange.
- Richard the Lionheart: battle addict who spent much of his life in France.
- Diamond-shaped UFO captured on Nebraska Live TV towercam.
- The bizarre case of the mutilated cow.
- Legendary Michigan dogman seen in Ottawa county?
- Florida overrun with herpes-infected feral monkeys.
- Orangutans plan their trips in advance.
- Elephants flee tigers’ growl but scoff at leopards before retreating.
- Perception of time is linked to size — which explains why flies so easily avoid being swatted by humans in slow-mo.
- Amoebas farm bacteria and carry guards to protect their crops in the wild.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Another series of Harry Potter films are to be made, based on what muggles call cryptozoology.
- Surgical exposure to a brain-eating protein, a small but unavoidable risk.
- Mishaps from robotic surgeries are ‘vastly underreported’ according to new data.
- Food-borne illnesses are not always home-grown: Complex international circulation of bacteria may underpin epidemics.
- Ig Nobel prize for discovery that opera is good for a mouse’s heart. The Ig Nobels also recognised work on dung beetle navigation, walking on water, and predicting when cows will sit down.
- Ig Nobels 2013: from attaching penises to stargazing beetles.
- Colorado’s ‘Biblical’ flood in line with climate trends.
- More than 5,000 cubic feet of water per second exploded into Colorado cities and towns at the foot of the mountains. We’re talking about 300,000 pounds of water exploding against bridges and roadways — every single second for hours on end.
- Before and after the flood, as seen from space. Channel 7 in Denver reported that the South Platte river has flowed at up to about 500,000 cubic feet per second during this event, which works out to 30 million pounds of water flowing past a given spot on the South Platte every second.
- Canadian scientists protest against government censorship.
- Atheists are coming out of the religious closet: London’s godless congregation to launch satellite assemblies in other UK cities and as far afield as New York and Sydney.
- Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.
- After being ejected from the GQ awards for cracking a joke about sponsor Hugo Boss, Russell Brand writes about the role elite institutions play in reinforcing their legitimacy and how they maintain control of public discourse.
- The NSA’s next move: silencing (some) university professors?
- Fisa judge: Snowden’s NSA disclosures triggered important spying debate.
- Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden stood on the pulpit of a church across from the White House on Sunday and declared Gmail is the preferred online service of terrorists.
Quote of the Day:
When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, [NSA chief Gen. Keith] Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
‘Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,’ says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
Via Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen Keith Alexander: A lavish Star Trek room he had built as part of his ‘Information Dominance Center’ is endlessly revealing — which also includes photos, 1180 comments, and several informative links.