News, news and more news. We don't just fill your Xmas stocking, we're here for the duration.

News Briefs 27-10-2004

So was the brain in the dish petrified or not?

  • Brain in a dish acts as autopilot.
  • The platypus is weirder than previously thought.
  • Man writes with both hands in two languages.
  • Puzzling Milky Way companion found.
  • Nanotech founder Eric Drexler has become a scientific outcast.
  • Iraqi fire pollution rivalled volcano.
  • Knowledge discovery could speed up creation of new products.
  • A buzz out of booze.
  • Quantum quirk may give objects mass.
  • Reworking intuition.
  • Death and synchronicity.
  • Honored by bad astronomy.
  • The hunt for cosmic blasts' secret.
  • Z machine refurbishment to advance fusion capabilities.
  • Strong tides set of earthquakes.
  • The Campeche, Mexico infrared UFO video.
  • Wanted: Enemy to justify $344 billion war budget.
  • Clues to the puzzle of talking root cells.
  • Chile's magical machi can cure any ailment.
  • Ancient language clings to life at the tip of Britain.
  • Lungs lose power at lunchtime.
  • Real superbugs can save the planet.
  • Scientists warn of ethnic weapons.
  • BBC news boss slams US media bias.
  • Is there a spacewar waiting for US?

Quote of the Day:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

News Briefs 26-10-2004

Can we arrange some sort of NASA experiment to slow the spin of the Earth, so that we have more hours in each day?

  • Family on houseboat videos an Ogopogo? View the video, listen to an interview with the man who took the shots.
  • British Navy hedges its bets and registers a satanist crewman. Can't fail with both God and Satan on your side, can you?
  • Memorial service for alien abduction researcher John Mack to be held November 13th at Harvard Memorial Church.
  • Here's the latest Near-Death Newsletter.
  • Your guide to haunted Chicago.
  • Lebanon bans The DaVinci Code. However will Dan Brown make ends meet now?
  • No more sleeping in front of the fireplace - coffee-based log burns cleaner.
  • Bringing order to the fungus among us. I know some fun-guys y'all should meet.
  • HP unveils new 'glossy magazine' computer display.
  • Researcher shows how false memories are formed. But what if his research is all false memories? Take the blue pill dude.
  • Science excludes black people. They've got that exclusion thing down pat.
  • Researchers find that strong tides can trigger earthquakes.
  • Squirrel drowning mystery may be due to mass migration.
  • Transhumanists rejoice - first rat brain prosthesis a success. Or at least the transratists can rejoice for now.
  • UN vote on human cloning once again fails to reach decision.
  • Life in a lavatube - it's not all it's cracked up to be.
  • Total lunar eclipse tomorrow night - at least if you're in the right part of the globe. In fact, it's right in the middle of World Series Game 4. By the way, can anyone explain to me why it's called 'world' series?
  • NASA to launch automatic DART craft tomorrow for first computer-controlled satellite rendezvous. Skynet awaits.
  • Exciting times for NASA, as high hopes surround Cassini's fly-by of Titan later today.
  • Europe leads the way in the race to hunt down ET. I just knew someone was going to come out loser when they banned fox hunting. Now there's a reality TV show for you.
  • Archaeology Magazine says forget the metaphysics - alchemists were more scientist than magician. The phrase 'for those with eyes to see' pops into my head unexpectedly, I don't know why...
  • Field museum reunites scattered collections from ancient Iraq site.
  • Danish researchers have spent four years replicating a 90-foot-long ocean-going Viking warship.
  • Archaeologists in Germany are thrilled to have discovered Martin Luther's toilet - the place where the constipated religious scholar spent hours in contemplation. That explains a lot to me actually.
  • Malta's famous ancient cart tracks to get increased scrutiny.
  • James 'the Amazing' Randi's newsletter for this week.
  • Forget the CNN poll - watch the Redskins home game this weekend to discover the winner of the US presidential election.
  • The ghostly secret behind John Kerry's mountain retreat.

Thanks Pam.

Quote of the Day:

Just give the great unwashed a pair of oversized breasts and a happy ending, and they'll 'oink' for more every time.

Mr Burns

News Briefs 25-10-2004

News is late today because I've been violently sneezing after inhaling too much fossilised crocodile dust. Don't ask.

  • The Elmendorf Creature is proven to be canine, but its DNA has been subjected to too much stress to determine a specific species. Someone's been cross-breeding for illegal dog fights, methinks.
  • The Canadian town of Moonbeam embraces its history of UFO sightings by luring the tourist dollar.
  • The Australian town of Wycliffe Well, north of Alice Springs, claims its own status as a UFO hotspot in the name of the almighty tourist dollar.
  • The story of a UFO close encounter in Mexico.
  • According to a Roper poll, two thirds of Americans believe their Government is withholding information on UFOs.
  • A ghost that can only be seen by women.
  • The German discoverer of Iceman, the bronze-age mummy frozen in a glacier, dies in the Alps where he found it.
  • Scientist says some humans alive today will live to the age of 150. Quality, not quantity, is the key to a life well lived.
  • Chinese archaeologists begin to excavate hundreds of tombs near the Lop Nur desert, north-west China, that may have belonged to a mysterious caucasian civilisation (Urumchi area). I think the arid desert lands of north-west China hide a lot more mysteries yet to be discovered.
  • Believers and skeptics mix at Bigfoot conference in Texas. Mangey zombie-coyotes and Bigfeet: Bill sure lives in an interesting part of the world!
  • Letters and documents 1000-years-old show Egyptians were sophisticated, polite and literate. They should be compulsary reading at SCA meetings.
  • Should modern Egypt and Israel put aside their differences and rediscover their shared past?
  • If you were at Abu Simbel on Friday, you may have witnessed the rising sun's rays fall perpendicularly on the face of Ramses II.
  • Mexico is struggling to preserve and research ancient sites. Perhaps Wal-mart could sponsor archaeological excavations?
  • Archaeologists are mystified by what they're finding at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
  • Here's a report about the submerged structures off the coast of Cuba, by Manuel Iturralde-Vinent. It will be updated regularly.
  • Believe it or not, 25'000 rate neurons can pilot an F-22 plane.
  • A sign of the times, Halloween is going high-tech.
  • The bizarre biology of Australia's platypus.
  • The quantum effect of entanglement (which allows two particles to behave as one, even when separated) could reveal where mass comes from. I think it could also reveal what God is.
  • Technology is creating smart fabrics. Personally, I don't want underwear that's smarter than me!
  • The film Troy is out on DVD (Amazon US and UK). Apart from the musical score and the actress who played Briseis, this is a great film. What do you think? Log in under a username and post your thoughts.

Quote of the Day:

War is young men dying and old men talking.


News Briefs 22-10-2004

Apologies for today's late news, I've been busy with job interviews. I'm filling in for Bill, who is being hunted by packs of mangey zombie-coyotes in Texas.

  • Here's an excellent interview with Neal Stephenson, scifi and speculative fiction writer. For the newbie, check out his cult smash Snow Crash (Amazon US and UK).
  • India's Taj Mahal is tilting and sinking. Mama mia!
  • Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (ie, Zahi Hawass) allows excavations to continue in the Valley of the Mummies at the Bahreya Oases in Giza.
  • Section of 500-year-old wall in Pingyao, China, collapses. What the Red Guard didn't destroy in the 1960s/70s, apathy and poverty now is.
  • The 2004 National UFO Conference will be taking place October 29th - 31st in Hollywood, California. You can get updates at the official site.
  • Skeptics criticise inconsistent results of repeated parapsychology experiements. Methinks skeptics are ignoring the successful experiments by publicising the few failures.
  • Two scientists beat NASA by measuring Einstein's warp effect. Captain Jean-Luc Picard wonders what all the fuss is about.
  • A genome scientist believes we will one day be able to predict how long we have to live. There are some things we are not meant to know.
  • The United Nations begins a two-day debate on the future of cloning.
  • Photos taken by Landsat II satellite in 1975 may show pyramids in the jungles of Peru.
  • Here's an intriguing website pondering lost ruins east of the Peruvian Andes.
  • Interested in Stonehenge?
  • What will we begin to learn when the Huygens Probe enters the orange atmosphere of Titan on January 14th 2005?
  • New research confirms the chaotic process of planet formations.
  • What are the risks of an uncontrolled Hubble re-entry? Answer: a Chinese remake of Donnie Darko.
  • Australia is named as one of the world's worst environmental plunderers. This is one top four I don't want to be a part of.
  • Canadian scientists are using pumpkins to clean up the environment. Good grief, Charlie Brown.
  • Chinese palaeontologists have found feathers on the legs of a fossilised primitive bird, estimated to be between 124- and 145-million-years old, which could prove to be a missing link between the evolution of dinosaurs into birds.
  • Coincidentally, the Chinese Dinosaurs exhibition begins soon at the Melbourne Museum, Australia. There will be fossilised examples of feathered dinosaurs, and visitors will be encouraged to question the possible evolution of dinosaurs to birds. I volunteer at the museum, so if anyone wants free entrance via the backdoor ...
  • You'll soon be watching the cricket on your mobile phone, unless you're one of the lucky few with Foxtel (cable).
  • A Suffolk man invents a jet-powered shopping trolley. Why?
  • A curious moose gets his antlers tangled in power lines and is hoisted 50 feet into the air. I saw that once on an episode of Northern Exposure.
  • I've saved the bad news for last. Experts fear the 1918 flu virus may have escaped from laboratory containment. Guess the movie quote: "There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion."

Quote of the Day:

I am convinced that any amount of theology can be smuggled into people's minds under the cover of science fiction.

C. S. Lewis

News Briefs 20-10-2004

I wonder if Roast Guinea Pig is as tasty as Roast Beef?

  • Forest excuse is pure Roman spin.
  • Tombs offer clues to ancient mystery.
  • Super Guinea Pigs are the last supper in Peru.
  • Coral Castle: the key to creation?
  • Solar minimum is coming sooner than expected.
  • An apple a day keeps cancer away.
  • US Airforce pursuing antimatter weapons.
  • Dawkins has another go at phenotype and this time it is Race.
  • Randomness, risk and financial markets.
  • Is the US playing politics with Pot research.
  • Early solar system was a mess. So no change there then.
  • Ancient fungus revived in the lab. Foot powder at the ready.
  • Unseen comets may raise impact risk for Earth.
  • Toothache made lion eat humans.
  • Shaking up gravity.
  • Giant proximity effect supported by latest superconductor research.
  • If your brain has a buy button then what pushes it? Someone else's sell button?
  • A new culprit in depression?
  • First skeleton of sleeping giant found.
  • Inventor rejoices as TVs go dark.
  • Artefacts may provide clues to ancient Texas coast dwellers.
  • Medieval houses of God or ancient fortresses? Both? Perhaps the God being worshipped was very unpopular.
  • Fisherman nets 2400 year old bronze statue.
  • Global climate change to kill Earth with ice and deserts.
  • Two spectacular discoveries make the case for birds evolving from dinosaurs even stronger.
  • Girl who wept stones admitted to hospital. Lucky for her they weren't crocodiles.
  • Synaesthetic woman sees colours around faces and names.
  • Bacteria are genetically modified by lightning.
  • Ancient tree a legacy from prehistoric times.
  • Cave art reveals ancient Chinese science thrived.
  • TV emits distress signal.
  • Scientist is building a planet in his lab.
  • Mining the Moon.
  • The Cold Truth. If it is all true then one wonders if the theories are right.

Quote of the Day:

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.

Joseph Heller

News Briefs 19-10-2004

Movie quote trivia day today. See how many you can pick out, post your answer in the comments section.

  • Science and religion. Why can't they just get along?
  • Scientists attack intelligent design theory.
  • The civilisation of bees - it's pretty nifty.
  • Gravity constant called into question. Scientists should give up and devote themselves to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!
  • Dinosaurs were struck down in their prime.
  • South German comet 5000 times more powerful than A-bomb. Life went on, and we prevailed.
  • Orionid meteor shower to peak on Wednesday night.
  • UK explosion explained by fireball in the sky?
  • Magnetic beams could power swifter spacecraft. I'm hanging in there for the C-beams glittering in the dark by the Tannhauser Gate.
  • Artificial intelligence could aid space missions. This conversation can serve no purpose anymore, goodbye.
  • An interview with Phoenix Lights ufologist, Jeff Willes.
  • Men in Black - a bumper crop of hogwash. The alternative explanation would probably be that swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
  • Residents report glowing light in the sky. An event sociologique?
  • Abductee feels like 'an Eskimo trying to describe what a desert is like'. Also: don't bother kicking those aliens between the legs because they've got "no testicles". Sound advice for one and all.
  • Chupacabra a mangey coyote. All the same, I recommend: stay on the road, keep clear of the moors.
  • Stench marks the spot - Bigfoot hunter follows his nose.
  • From the corporate mind control files - Coke takes over parts of the brain that Pepsi can't reach.
  • Google search becomes personal. If members of the intelligence community aren't already inside Google, you can bet they are working on it...the holy grail of intelligence gathering. Anonymise yourself folks, big brother is well and truly here.
  • Fragile conspiracy theories: what happened to Bush as the Arabian Candidate? His brain has not only been washed, as they say... it has been dry cleaned.
  • Rage against the machine. Literally. Hasta la vista babee.
  • Falling turtle damages Hong Kong taxi. Do turtles fly? I guess not.
  • Related news? Antelope found tangled in power lines.
  • Researchers ask: where do the fish go during hurricanes? Maybe they fly south with the turtles and antelope.
  • Being able to see auras may be just a quirk of the brain. You ever feel the prickly things on the back of your neck?
  • Mystery signal traced to man's television. Wonder what he can do? I looked in the Yellow Pages. "Furniture Movers" we've got; "Strange Phenomenon" there's no listing.
  • Weird America. New book scheduled for release at Halloween (see Amazon US).
  • Scientific models may underestimate climate swings. Mankind survived the last ice age. We're certainly capable of surviving this one. The only question is, will we be able to learn from our mistakes?
  • The E-bomb is almost here. The deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.
  • Randi's rant for this week, in which he focuses on a lot of dead people.
  • Wealthy new lab aims to capture dreams. Come to Freddy.
  • A mission to Mars mean some tricky planning. Three commanders, one ship...there's not enough rocket fuel in the world to get those egos off the ground.
  • The new face on Mars. Certainly seems a friendlier fellow.

Quote of the Day:

I've discovered I've got this preoccupation with ordinary people pursued by large forces.

Steven Spielberg

News Briefs 17-10-2004

I don't know why I've posted numerous political links in todays news briefs, because I loathe politics. Perhaps Jameske and Cernig have perfected their Mind Control machine. This TDG gig is messing with my head, man!

Quote of the Day:

In dreams we pass into the deeper and more universal truth.

Carl Jung

News Briefs 15-10-2004

Join me in a little tour of things that I found interesting and wanted to share with you. The value of this knowledge will be revealed at a later date.

  • One more time. In the dino-extinction debate, dinosaurs and science writers are the losers.
  • A sleeping dragon in a bird-like repose has been unearthed.
  • It may hard to believe, yet lush ferns and dinosaurs coexisted in Canada's great north 240-million years ago. A mere-152 million years ago dinosaurs were tromping through Switzerland.
  • The 3,600 year old Sky Disk of Nebra -- the world's oldest image of the cosmos -- is the centerpiece of the biggest Bronze Age show of Europe.
  • The world's oldest staircase is discovered in Austria.
  • More than 300 years before the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik satellites and American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped on to the Moon, England had its own ambitious space program.
  • Blindness may have provided an evolutionary advantage to a certain kind of fish that lives in dark underwater caves.
  • An image of how John Lennon would have looked if he were still alive has been created by scientists.
  • An ancient Chinese folk remedy packs an anti-cancer punch. A Japanese heart surgeon is getting good results in treating diabetics with an old cure once practiced by Australian Aborigines - maggots. We wonder if these tomato vaccines against Hepatitis and AIDS work. Energising alternatives.
  • The state of Florida is moving ahead with plans to reroute water through the Everglades in an effort to save the precious wetlands. A good start might be to quit draining swamps to build Disneyworlds.
  • Israeli wildlife experts are desperately searching for hundreds of stolen baby crocodiles sold as household pets. Uh, when they grow-up they .... oh never-mind, you'll find out later.
  • A middle-aged Australian woman sleepwalker sneaked out the house to have sex with a series of strangers. That's your story, lady, stick with it.
  • Lava has begun to ooze out of Mount St. Helens. NASA's keeping a space-eye on it. Great pics.
  • Mathematical "truth serum" promotes honesty. Truth wizards know when you are lying.
  • Physicists at NIST have proposed a new way to slow light down to almost one-millionth its usual speed--to the mere speed of a jet aircraft.
  • An electronic robot tongue gives sweet tastes a licking.
  • There is a growing community out there with absolutely no desire to have sex. Sorry.
  • Pot heads can't stop puking. Now there's a visual for you. Here's another - Furry teeth can be a wine drinker's friend.
  • Scientists find new clues underlying mood disorders.
  • An earthquake shakes up gravity.
  • British scientists believe they have found an environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum to power cars.
  • An unexplained jump in greenhouse gases -evidence of accelerating global warming or is just a blip.
  • Throughout the world amphibians are in deep trouble.
  • So what have we here, another dead Chupacabra in Texas? You're closer to Lufkin than I, Cernig. Go take a look.
  • A woman tells her story of being married to Bigfoot. No, we don't make this stuff up. [Check the non-endorsement at the bottom of the page. We wonder if Xerox doesn't recommend reading Pravda.]
  • Summit makes a big, hairy deal of Texas town.
  • Scientists prepare to plunge through a haze of hydrocarbons and methane clouds onto a surface of seven-kilometer-high ice mountains and liquid methane seas.
  • A newfound star cluster may be the final Milky Way 'fossil'.
  • UK astronomers scan the skies for threat from space.

Quote of the Day:

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

News Briefs 13-10-2004

Looks like the New World Order is on the move, and so is Mars. Perhaps they are connected? Post your thoughts.

  • Searching for the Mayan Atlantis.
  • US seizes independent media sites.
  • Germany imposes draconian internet tax on citizens.
  • Asteroid did not wipe out the dinosaurs.
  • World's biggest meteorite field found in Egypt.
  • Evidence of jungle yeti found.
  • The last supernova: 400 year old explosion imaged.
  • Tea tree oil research finds scabies killer.
  • Giving land to the sea to rescue other shores.
  • Money really doesn't buy happiness.
  • Investigators unearth clues to convict Saddam.
  • Mitochondria findings may help beat a wide range of diseases.
  • Superfluid hydrogen: a new state of matter?
  • New star cluster may be Milky Way fossil.
  • The caste war, the church of the speaking cross, and the Cruzob Maya.
  • Dolphins, therapy and autism.
  • Drug may keep astronauts' bones strong.
  • Molecular clock tied to fossil record.
  • Square bacteria grown in the lab.
  • With history like this, who needs fiction?
  • Deconstruction icon Derrida dies.
  • A federal inflation conspiracy?
  • Why do people talk to themselves?
  • Mars could be quaking.
  • Will humans hibernate their way through space?
  • World's pollution hotspots revealed from space.
  • Scientists find a way to turn off cancer.
  • Disabled groups at the forefront of e-voting campaign.
  • Victimless leather is on the way.
  • Medici family murders debunked in Italy.
  • Europe's oldest wooden staircase discovered in Austria.
  • Timeline: Anti-Terror Laws.
  • Election conspiracy theories don't impress sceptics.
  • Space tourism to face the end?

Quote of the Day:

The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it

Adolf Hitler

News Briefs 12-10-2004

Now I wonder what percentage of our military budgets we could afford to cut in order to provide decent servies for the disabled?

  • Steven Spielberg to take on the afterlife in his next television series, Nine Lives. Where do I send my application for script writer?
  • Good thing you're in the US Steven, as British 'humanists' call for ban on paranormal programming on television. Ah no, you've got CSICOP's Council for Media Integrity and their fascist policies to contend with. What time was the revolution starting, I need to set my alarm...
  • Near-death researcher told of OBEs, lights, and a Jesus-like figure.
  • Teenager missing for eight days found alive in her wrecked car by a woman who said prayer and dreams led her to the site.
  • Black River UFO mystery explained. And the balsa wood interior of the UFO seemed so realistic...
  • When two pixels from your television screen (during the Waltons no less) emerge and turn into aliens, you know the evening is about to get interesting. G'night John-boy.
  • Disclosure Project Australia has released their latest newsletter, about the cover-up in Australia.
  • Black triangle report from Tennessee. Does anybody else see triangles? I guess so.
  • Scrubbing up for surgery in space.
  • Scientists check whether the Red Planet is doing the Marsquake. Shut up already, damn (with apologies to Prince).
  • The prognosis is good for other Earth-like planets.
  • Russian space researchers will mimic Mars challenges by locking six men in a metal tube for a year and a half. Nice gig, wonder how you get volunteered for that.
  • How to build a universe - just add cause and effect. Smoke a big spliff and try and read that story, I dare ya.
  • And just to really freak you out: scientists find that 'you' are only a small part of 'you'...the rest of you is a loose conglomeration of bacterial, viral and fungal cells.
  • Research discovers that 80 percent of our cognitive power is cranking away on tasks completely unknown to us.
  • Coalition of churches forms 'Project Noah' to campaign against global warming. If they start building a boat, I'm outta here.
  • Global warming clock ticks faster. Some might say only a faulty clock ticks faster. Also: sharp rise in carbon dioxide levels point at start of runaway global warming.
  • Mysterious mesa formations turn out to be ancient water storage system.
  • Archaeologists search the Scottish millennia beneath the surface of Loch Lomond.
  • Robert Ballard praises the work of his submersible 7-foot robot. Put your hand down Mr Freud!
  • No, the Vikings did not come to America. Apparently.
  • Miracle coincidences are bound to happen, mathematically speaking. Apparently.
  • Randi's latest newsletter. Hmmm, the Geller fixation continues.
  • Statue of Virgin Mary tumbles minutes after church hosts final mass.
  • Fish communicate by farting. I've known some great communicators...
  • Expert puts down mysterious clothing hole phenomenon to changes in the Earth's magnetic field. Did I miss something in that story?
  • Study shows that switching off a single gene can eliminate cancer. If only it was that easy to get rid of reality TV.
  • Nanoparticle test shows up harmful bacteria within minutes.
  • Doctor claims that dolphins have power to alter our DNA. I dunno what you're letting those dolphins do to you dude, but I hope they sterilise.
  • Superman dies, aged 52.

Quote of the Day:

I feel strongly that we are not our bodies. In fact, if a person says "my body," who is the "me" that is being referred to? Clearly, the spirit and body are two different things. And beyond that, I'm still searching for the meaning of it all.

Christopher Reeve