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

News Briefs 26-11-2004

Do yourself a favour and get Shpongled. Audio samples available at the site, but you're better off just treating yourself to the complete experience...

  • Shugborough solution unveiled: "likely to stand for 'Jesus (As Deity) Defy', a message from a sect called the Priory of Sion." Apparently. More details here.
  • The Holo-Dek in New Hampshire.
  • Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury says forget ET invasions - that's our job.
  • Robert Bigelow's inflatable space module gets the okay from the government. What would be real cool is if they made it look like a jumping castle.
  • What is slowing down the Pioneer space probes?
  • Test your space IQ with this pop quiz.
  • If you pass, you might want to add a few of these space geek gift suggestions by Alan Boyle to your Xmas list.
  • Article in Nature claims proof that homing pigeons use magnetic fields for navigation.
  • Forget gargling, if you want to get rid of that bad breath then go get yourself a laser.
  • Zahi announces that Tutankhamen isn't going anywhere, and the announced tests will not be happening after all.
  • Stone Age relics found off coast of Isle of Wight.
  • Climate change, not human hunters, may have been the cause of the mass extinction of megafauna at the end of the last Ice Age. Who would have thought that an Ice Age could be so destructive...
  • We always think better of the dead. Damn dead people, think they're so good in their polished coffins and best suit...
  • President Bush orders CIA to increase spy numbers by 50%. Why am I seeing Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd?
  • UFO researcher Stanton Friedman claims 'we are not alone'.
  • Meanwhile, in Scotland they get very upset if you say there is no Loch Ness monster.
  • Flying triangles in India. Or Vimanas. Take your pick.
  • Channelling ET and the orb phenomenon.
  • Mysterious booms in Virginia solved, after authorities arrest 15-year-old for creating 'pressure devices'. Damn, we used to call that having fun, now you get 10 years in jail for it?
  • Forget the grilled cheese sandwich, if you want to see the Son of God then you better get yourself a fishstick.
  • Dolphins shield swimmers from shark attack.

Thanks Cernig.

Quote of the Day:

What arrests my attention is the fact that this space is inhabited.

Terence McKenna

News Briefs 24-11-04

The statistically-based art forgery software was founded on data authenticated by other means... Lies, damned lies, and statistics, as the saying goes.

  • Britain's 911 foiled by security forces.
  • Experts debunk JFK conspiracy theory.
  • Current restrictions on Marijuana research are absurd.
  • Scientists hope to unravel Moon mystery.
  • Residents shaken by mysterious booms.
  • Prehistoric site found in underwater cave.
  • Self-repairing teeth on the way.
  • Scientists discover that air is heavier than previously thought. A measurement inaccuracy or has it become more dense?
  • Pain linked to permanent brain loss.
  • Thousands of new species discovered in the ocean.
  • Mycenaean tomb unearthed.
  • Dinosaur bones on the Isle of Wight rewrite evolutionary history.
  • A possible ancient origin for tuberculoses in Casablanca. Here's coughing at you kid.
  • Atlantis has been found again and again.
  • Tomb may shed light on the 10th Plague.
  • Scientists debate blending species. Ancient examples: cats, dogs, humans?
  • Ukraine in turmoil after claims of election fix.
  • Yushchenko poisoned by dioxin?
  • Life on Planet Charles. Does he believe he was born to be King by social convention or by genetic pre-determination, or both?
  • A compendium of evidence for Psi.
  • Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life?
  • Von Braun: ultimate rocket builder.
  • Defending repression.
  • Flying triangles.
  • Artful software spots faked masterpieces.
  • Strange illnesses blamed on police radio system.
  • Not so fast, Chicken Little.
  • So what if Iran gets nukes.
  • Moon/Mars initiative harms science.

Quote of the Day:

Learning without liberty is always in vain.


News Briefs 23-11-2004

And there is this sound, like the crumpling of a plastic bread wrapper...

  • Theory about early Spanish explorers in America may be correct.
  • National Treasure: Freemasons, fact and fiction. If you know the secret handshake, check out Seeker1's review in his blog as well.
  • Classical statues come to life in their original colour.
  • A team of international scuba divers has located an underwater cave which reveals promising signs of prehistoric human activity.
  • Easter Island, fools' paradise.
  • What was the medieval Islamic conception of Cleopatra?
  • President Bush's space vision becomes official, with Congress approving NASA's 16 billion dollar budget request. No word yet on my $2 billion request for running TDG, I'll keep you posted (I'm feeling optimistic).
  • Brain in dish composed of only 25,000 neurons flies simulated fighter jet. Maybe one day it'll be President...
  • NASA's scramjet engine technology ready for Mars mission.
  • Beyond Pluto, there may not just be a Planet X, but Planet Y and Z too. It's like Dr Seuss doing astronomy. Voom!
  • The Universe seems just a bit too convenient - was it built for us? If that wasn't spooky enough, the dateline tells me the story was written next week. Now that's a harsh deadline - "I want it last week".
  • Perhaps that journalist has been reading physicist Fred Alan Wolf's new book, The Yoga of Time Travel (Amazon US and UK).
  • Steve Squyres tells Astrobiology Magazine what's on the horizon for the Mars rovers (gawd, it's sneaking up on a year since touchdown...).
  • India is go for manned space mission within seven years.
  • Randi's rant for this week - telling us he's a skeptic, not a cynic. Mmmhhh.
  • Internet abuzz with election conspiracy theories.
  • Amityville murderer tries to stop the remake of the 1979 horror movie, The Amityville Horror, saying it will impact badly on his parole hearing.
  • Chocolate is the tonic to that perisistent cough. I think I feel a scratchy throat coming on right now.
  • Czech man invents vibrating shoes to help the blind see. Or so Maxwell Smart can enjoy a movie without bothering the other patrons. One of those two.
  • The Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese miracle has spawned its own cottage industry. Does that make it the Virgin Mary Grilled Cottage Cheese?

Quote of the Day:

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows.

Lawrence of Arabia (1920)

News Briefs 22-11-2004

Roll-up, roll-up! Come see the Missing Link, the Pyramids of Egypt, ape-children and live dinosaurs! Take a ride in a Chinese UFO! We don't, however, have a bearded lady.

Quote of the Day:

The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. .

H. P. Lovecraft

News Briefs 19-11-2004

In the dead of the night we've silently slipped through the gossamer strands of the Internet, gleaning interesting information. We leave the mundane for those having more mainstream interests ..................

  • Rather than a single meteorite impact 65-million years ago, could Earth have been hit with a scattershot of several rocks from space?
  • Dinosaurs' 'bulletproof' armor is revealed.
  • The genome of an ancient fish could reveal evolutionary mysteries.
  • A nearly 13 million-year-old ape discovered in Spain is the last probable common ancestor to all living humans and great apes.
  • There's a new storm in the ranks of anthropologists, some saying humans were born to run.
  • Archaeologists are storming over the validity of dating of the 50,000-year old human habitation in South Carolina. Could humans really have been in North America 50,000-years ago?
  • Now that an evolutionary biologist has traced the origins of all Indo-European languages back 9,000-years to Anatolia, he has turned his attention to the language families of Mesoamerica.
  • The Man in Moon may be Mayan.
  • 3,000-year-old embryo-like skeletons have been found in Bulgaria.
  • The term 'Celtic' is banded about as never before, this version of the ancient culture has little to do with the austere people whose history and spirituality has been re-interpreted to suit our century.
  • Orgasms play tricks on your mind-brain.
  • A comet or asteroid smashed into modern-day Germany some 2,200-years ago, unleashing energy equivalent to thousands of atomic bombs.
  • Here's more on the Russian Stonehenge.
  • How animal rights took on the world.
  • Records from hundreds of years of wine harvests show unusually hot summers were common well before the industrial age.
  • The Nazis’ occupation of Greece resulted in death, devastation, and the theft and destruction of countless cultural relics of the classical past.
  • A new database documents Iraqi historical sites.
  • The origin of modern-day Thanksgiving isn't just Pilgrims and Indians.
  • Does GM food hold the key to solving problems of global starvation?
  • Position Available: Indestructible Bugs To Eat Nuclear Waste.
  • Down, down, deeper and down: a few thoughts on deep-sea exploration.
  • In a desert so dry, parts of it only receive one rainfall every decade or so, and NASA uses it as a model for the search for life on Mars, life is discovered. New life forms were found in NZ deep sea volcanoes.
  • New results From Anti-Neutrino studies reveal different neutrino 'flavors'.
  • Da Vinci Code Decoded, The Holy Grail, Parts One and Two.
  • Students from the University of Kiel have claimed in their own X-file that the German city of Bielefeld doesn't actually exist.
  • A skeptic explains the Virgin Mary-grilled cheese miracle. Here's the story in case you missed it.
  • Is Chester England's most haunted city?
  • The Blues Brothers star Dan Aykroyd has been appointed a Hollywood consultant for an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) network.
  • Russian scientists create a perpetual space motion machine. Well, almost anyway.
  • Fundamentalist Hindu organizations believe the waste from sacred cows can block nuclear radiation and cure cancer, but Indian physicists are not quite convinced. The cows were unavailable for comment.
  • Separating the fact and the fiction of the Tunguska event. I still vote for Tesla.
  • Retro UFOs: The 'UFO' Airships of 1896 - 1897.
  • How many Lee Harvey Oswalds were there?
  • Is the latest Atlantis discovery just a volcano?
  • A Swedish monster hunter believes he may have caught Norway's legendary serpent in Lake Seljord on film.
  • China plans to have over 100 Eyes in the Sky by 2020.
  • The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Part 2 of a 4-part series on the phenomena of Quantum Astronomy. Shadows and I are trying to understand it.
  • Astrophysicists attempt to answer the mystery of entropy.
  • How did the first stars form?
  • A star that exploded nearly three-million years ago left traces of debris on Earth and might have affected the course of human evolution.
  • China and 15 other countries joined NASA officials this week to consider how they might cooperate with U.S. plans for human exploration of the moon and Mars. It's easy - bring money.
  • Swedish poets have broadcast their work into outer space by radio to give alien life forms -- if they exist -- a taste of earthling literature.
  • Space Elevator? Build it on the Moon first.
  • There are hints of unseen moons in Saturn's rings.
  • Mars gullies were likely formed by underground aquifers.
  • This could come-in handy. How to Survive the End of the Universe (In 7 Steps).
  • TDG Friday Special - Noteworthy Absurdities from Around the World.

Thanks X_O, Kat, and Rick

Quote of the Day:

I want to know God's thoughts. The rest are details.

Albert Einstein

News Briefs 17-11-2004

Congratulations to beavers for recognizing the value of money.

  • Experts knock hobbit species claim.
  • Proof of Rathlin's ancient heritage.
  • Acropolis of Atlantis supposedly found in the Mediterranean. German physicist disputes the claim.
  • Tiwanaku: glimpses of a lost empire.
  • Ancient Iranian site shows Mesopotamian civilisation.
  • Acupuncture master shares his secrets.
  • They might be giants or dwarfs.
  • Beavers make dam out of stolen money. They'll end up sleeping with the fishes.
  • Peru seizes cocaine haul in giant squid. He'll get 30 years for that.
  • Massive raygun fires up in megawatt laser test.
  • Dark side of the shortwave band.
  • God gene discovered by scientist behind gay DNA theory. So, if you got both you become a Priest.
  • If drink of disease destroy your liver then grow a new one.
  • Hints of unseen moons in Saturn's rings.
  • On the origins of the mind.
  • Dinosaurs bullet proof armour revealed.
  • The chemistry of social interaction.
  • Strong evidence found for new state of superconductivity.
  • Alan Boyle: politics of the final frontier.
  • World's strongest acid created.
  • The rise and fall of the Mayan empire.
  • Tibet rifts curve away.
  • Was Einstein a plagiarist?

Quote of the Day:

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

James Thurber

News Briefs 16-11-2004

Sweet nectar of the gods, bringer of all good things. As you read these news briefs, dedicate a prayer to its

  • NASA's X-43A scramjet set to try for unprecedented Mach 10 today! That's around 7,000 miles per hour/11,000 kilometres per hour folks. We're talking about circumnavigation of the Earth at the equator in less than three hours (if the jet could last that long). Somebody lift my bottom jaw, please. Check for updates later in the day.
  • Surprised astronomers find second black hole at center of the Milky Way.
  • Laser test marks first anti-missile milestone.
  • Smart-1 probe arrives at the Moon. Poor little Smart-1, doing such a good job but living in the shadow of...hey wait, check this out! NASA to back Opportunity out of Mars crater. Now, what was I saying?
  • Scientists face up to the truth of methane on Mars. Is that like someone owning up after breaking wind?
  • ESA's Mars Express takes some really nice pictures of Phobos.
  • Top scientists ask whether we really might be living in the Matrix. For some reason the number 42 is stuck in my head.
  • Physicist finds gay gene, then god gene. A little genetic engineering...and hey presto, a gay God. Perhaps we could make him fluorescent as well?
  • Hey wait a minute bubba, this cain't be right? Lesbian couples raise well-adjusted teenagers. May the fluorescent gay god have mercy upon our souls.
  • High priest of Darwinian evolution Richard Dawkins is back with a new book, The Ancestor's Tale (Amazon US and UK).
  • Speaking tonal languages promotes perfect pitch.
  • Shock waves prove a good method for food sterilisation.
  • Chicago residents keep their grass on their roof. Settle down narcs, I'm talking lawn here, although I do see a Cheech and Chong movie in this.
  • The science of superheros - not as much fiction as you think.
  • Tom Hanks to play Robert Langdon in Da Vinci Code movie?
  • Rosslyn Chapel, post Da Vinci Code.
  • Tutankhamen to undergo full body scan to solve the riddle of his death. DNA tests as well, which a few people have been requesting for quite a while.
  • Database to be set up to help protect ancient Tibetan kingdom.
  • Egyptian officials unearth rare wooden sarcophagus in southern Egypt.
  • Anonymous researcher says the Tasmanian Tiger is alive, but on the brink of extinction.
  • Do you see dead people? You aren't that special.
  • What's that playing on the radio? Just your favourite tracks on NSA-SPY-666.
  • Noon turns to night in China.
  • An interview with the father of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot, to celebrate his 80th birthday.
  • Randi's rant for this week, with the US Air Force in the firing line for their teleportation study (and of course a little bit of the ubiquitous Uri Geller fixation).
  • Over at Paranormal News you'll find both Conspiracy Journal #288 and Filers Files #47-2004.
  • Bill Clinton tells of death visions during recent heart operation.
  • Always wanted your own Star Trek communicator? Try Ebay. All things considered though, do you really want Scotty to beam you up?

Quote of the Day:

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

Thomas Paine

News Briefs 15-11-2004

If you think creating a personal website is easy, then you're on the sure road to madness. If anyone has any tips on free domains, why MS Publisher 2003 files don't work on Yahoo, etc, please post and help me regain a little sanity.

Quote of the Day:

Thanks Steve and Bill.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

News Briefs 12-11-2004

I'm getting that achy, tired feeling that usually means the flu. I hate that.

  • The fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex gnawed bones like a modern-day dog.
  • African rock art under the threat of - guess what.
  • A fossilized jaw found in an Alberta gravel pit may have cleared up a mystery for researchers wondering how brown bears originally made it across North America.
  • Here's a 26-minute video on Ice Age humans in South Carolina.
  • American Indian languages are dying off.
  • Archeological discoveries dating back to about 10-thousand years ago reveal the ancient practice of make-up application that women and men used in what is now Iran.
  • Extinction in the ocean's mud presages key ecological changes.
  • Spinach power adds muscle to batteries.
  • Scientists unleash a pack of phorid flies to stop the relentless march of red fire ants across the United States.
  • While Hurricane Charley was pounding Florida, the fish sang.
  • The arctic is melting fast and may swamp the U.S. coasts by 2099. Let's just round it off to 3000. Global warming to expose Arctic to oil,gas drilling.
  • While the south-east of Australia has gone through years of drought, new research shows the rest of the country including the center, is getting wetter.
  • Indonesia peat fires may fuel global warming.
  • Talks at the United Nations appear to have failed to avert a new U.N. confrontation over a U.S.-led drive to ban all cloning of human embryos including for stem cell research
  • Do not ignore the danger of cell phones.
  • A new airborne combat robot prepares for duty.
  • A scramjet team funded by the U.S. and Australian armed forces will shoot for Mach 10.
  • The Double Slit Experiment, the simplest of quantum weirdness experiments, has been the basis of many of the unintuitive interpretations of quantum physics. You will have to read this four times to even pretend to understand it.
  • Ghosts stop a barn demolition.
  • Mind control: The Zombie Effect.
  • Americans expose the Russian X-ray Girl.
  • What best explains the UFO phenomenon?
  • Theorists tackle astronomer’s mysterious ‘baby’ planet.
  • An ambitious new Dutch program intends to get a glimpse of an ancient moment, 13 billion years back, when the first stars winked on and primitive galaxies began to form.
  • Europe's Mars Express spacecraft has taken its most detailed image yet of the Red Planet's largest moon, Phobos.
  • Avast, spaceman. Unfurl a lightweight, football field-sized sheet from your spacecraft and set sail for Mars.
  • There will be no surfing on Titan, Dude.
  • A second black hole is found at the center of our Galaxy.
  • New photos of Uranus reveal a ringed planet in flux.
  • Europe’s first lunar spacecraft is set to go into orbit around the Moon on Monday.
  • Taking a CAT scan of the early universe.

Quote of the Day:

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.

Richard Feynman

News Briefs 10-11-2004

An assortment of hidden terrors for you today. Post your thoughts.

  • Death by medicine. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • What if the Floresians are descended from modern humans, not from Homo erectus? For a similar notion regarding other human relatives, go here.
  • Lung cancer gene fault identified.
  • Mystery bone find keeps the saga of human origins alive.
  • NASA scans savant's brain.
  • Neocon against Neocon: A 'Fuku' moment.
  • Flying taxi vision for commuters. It'll make "Follow that cab" and "Lose the tail" more interesting.
  • Company touts weird soda flavours. Weird? More likely criminal.
  • Government obstructs science access.
  • Are we intolerant or is it all in the mind? Or is free speech so curtailed that prejudice has gone cellular? "See them peanuts..."
  • How do IVF babies turn out? Fertility specialists confront disturbing evidence.
  • Voting machines test for tamperability not done. MSNBC reports voting problems.
  • Synthetic human blood near a breakthrough thanks to crocodile haemoglobin?
  • Mothers' genetic skew linked to gay sons.
  • Honeybees defy dino-killing nuclear winter. Well, all sorts of interesting questions spring to mind.
  • Robot set to creep into Cheops Pyramid.
  • Life or death question: how supernovas happen.
  • Ideas stolen right from nature.
  • Life begins in space.
  • Teleportation physics study. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Kicking the hobbit habit.
  • The missing science of ball lightning. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Cassini discovers music of the rings.
  • Mummies' tar provides a link to ancient trade routes.
  • Berlusconi to legalise private ownership of archaeological treasures. Considering a lot of treasures sit in Museum basements, it might not be a bad thing.
  • Evidence mounts that American vote was hacked. Bush's incredible vote tallies. What happens if the mistakes mean Kerry would have won? Absolutely nothing - the candidates were the same anyway.

Quote of the Day:

'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Malaclypse the Younger