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

News Briefs 15--06-2004

Apparently nothing below is happening (although paradoxically, that would then include the story that tells us none of this is happening). It's tough being my brain...

  • Taking life's final exit. Really nice piece.
  • Climber says Mount Everest is haunted by spirits.
  • Teenagers really like the new magazine-style Revolve Bible. Wonder what'll be in the next issue?
  • 'Invisibility cloak' inventor looks to make invisible walls, as others worry about the criminal implications. "It would become incredibly difficult to spot a thief...if the items they were taking were simply disappearing under the cloak." Ummm, doesn't that happen with a normal cloak/coat/pocket anyhow?
  • Memory fails under stress, throwing into doubt witness testimony extracted during psychological trauma.
  • Cocaine vaccine stops addiction.
  • Parkinson's vaccine shows promise.
  • Independent inquiry to be held into Gulf War Syndrome.
  • Scientists determine solar storm speed limit. Who's going to give the Sun a ticket?
  • Taiwanese space authorities say they may sell imagery from their brand-spankin' Earth Observation satellite.
  • Cassini sends back some nice pictures of Phoebe. No, not some Italian voyeur on's the Cassini space probe.
  • Milky Way's satellite enigma solved.
  • Giving life back to Mars - a debate on terraforming the Red Planet. Astrobiology just keeps serving up the tasty stuff.
  • Nessie, UFOs, and ghosts - where are they all? I think the best measure of weirdness is my spare time...and it has been non-existent for a couple of months. Somebody pass on a few decent web addresses to this guy.
  • Analysis of the Utah UFO. Obviously can't be a UFO as we're in a weirdness drought.
  • But wait, there's more - exhibition traces UFO signs in Slovakia.
  • Researcher returns for another crack at the Sumatran Yeti (known to his friends as orang-pendek).
  • What do you do with a piece of UFO? Leave it at the scene like a hubcap?
  • Research on Nazi underground systems.
  • American travel writer Bill Bryson wins the Aventis Prize for his book A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Amazon US/UK).
  • Divers fail to find Babe Ruth's piano in Sudbury Pond. It's like a mix'n'match headline isn't it?
  • Richard Branson sets the record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle. If Sir Rich needs to spend big to keep himself entertained, me and my balloon animals are just waiting for the call.
  • Iraqi authorities smash illegal trade in ancient artifacts.
  • More on the new discovery in Egypt.

Quote of the Day:

What if Earth

Be but t' shadow of Heaven, and things therein,

Each to the other like more than on earth is thought?


News Briefs 14-06-2004

Here's Tom with the weather...

Quote of the Day:

We all walk in mysteries. We are surrounded by an atmosphere of which we do not know what is stirring in it, or how it is connected with our own spirit. So much is certain, that in particular cases we can put out the feelers of our soul beyond its bodily limits, and that a presentiment, nay, an actual insight into the immediate future, is accorded to it.


News Briefs 11-06-2004

If you're missing some rainfall, I've probably got it. I've seen Junes with no rain here. Water's spilling over the tops of the dams; the lakes are beyond full. Where are the Ark plans? Rain, rain, go away .......

  • Global warming. Rising sea levels. Massive volcanic activity around the world. Widespread erosion. It’s not a scene from the latest Hollywood disaster film, The Day After Tomorrow, but the Earth as it appeared during the mid- to late-Cretaceous geological period, 135-million to 65-million years ago, when the largest dinosaurs ruled the planet.
  • The smallest dinosaur was the size of a sparrow!
  • Dinosaurs did not engage in head-to-head combat.
  • Rat study elucidates long-ago human migration.
  • A Mayan priest comments about the rare Venus transit. Yeah, well, what does he know? ;o)
  • Allowing a mammoth expansion of North Dakota's largest coal mine would cut a devastating swath through American Indian graves and cultural symbols. Easy call if one doesn't need electricity from that coal.
  • Archaeologists have dug up a thousand-year-old padded bra.
  • Spiral patterns carved into a small jade ring show use of complex machines more than 2500-years ago.
  • A former circus owner bought Wookey Hole a year ago and said the bones of a witch should be returned to the cave there. Toss-up.
  • Building starts on Texas Stonehenge.
  • It was not wars, but water woes, that ended Angkor's empire.
  • Hoping to learn more about undersea volcanoes, scientists capture an underwater eruption on tape. Do those eruptions make the water warmer?
  • Why the 'Lost Gospels' lost out.
  • Soaking string in the blood of a black dog and wrapping it around homes offers protection from the dreaded phi porp – a female ghost that kills married men and eats their innards. Some days it just doesn't pay to be a black dog.
  • A dead wallaby discovered on a remote Scottish island sparks a mystery.
  • Mad-Cow disease in cattle and human beings.
  • Follow-up: Everyone's got an opinion on the photo of a mysterious creature.
  • Here's some good news for those people who talk to dogs. That's you, isn't it?
  • The world's most famous endangered species, the Chinese giant panda, appears to be in much better shape than previously thought.
  • New research shows that the seasons may be involved in the onset of menopause.
  • Clowns can strike terror into some people's hearts. I've never liked clowns.
  • The tale of a boy whose brain keeps telling him he's still hungry.
  • Lights-out policies in cities are helping to save the lives of thousands of migrating birds.
  • It's big head and bulging eyes, this ugly-cuss, rare sea creature washes ashore. Click on the 'IMAGES'.
  • Pumping energy to nanocrystals from a quantum well.
  • Top quark measurements give the God particle a new lease on life.
  • Microscopy moves to the picoscale.
  • UA study on near-death experiences looks at brain.
  • See the flood plains on Mars courtesy of the the ESA Mars Express spacecraft.
  • Pterosaurs are still living on the islands of Papua New Guinea. Lots of videos of people that have seen Pterosaurs; no video of Pterosaurs.
  • The giant blast over New Zealand is believed to be a meteor.
  • Researchers have for the first time detected molecular nitrogen in interstellar space.
  • This odd black hole defies explanation. Don't they all?

Thanks Priscilla.

Quote of the Day:

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.

Hector Berlioz

News Briefs 10-06-2004

It's always interesting to watch the media rewrite the history of a previous generation...been watching it happen for these past few hours. Wonder how they'll remember this era?

  • Latest ice cores give Earth's climate a clean bill of health for the next 15,000 years. You can pull your trousers up now Miss Gaia.
  • Travelling England, getting a bit of Yin-Yang out of crop circles. Beautiful area the south of England, replete with stunning megaliths...make sure you visit sometime in your life.
  • A review of Megalithic Mysteries Of Cornwall.
  • Make sure you change in your currency and stock up on the Galacto before the UFOs open trade negotiations. Has anyone consulted Alan Greenskin about this?
  • Visiting monks urge spiritual advancement.
  • Mars rover Spirit finds more evidence of past water as it prepares to head for the hills. Would that be considered spiritual advancement?
  • If Spirit doesn't make it up the hill, perhaps one day this little sucker will.
  • Moon-Mars report to be released a little late, on June 16.
  • New NASA satellite to check on the air we breathe.
  • Some lovely images of the Venus transit. The cosmic dance continues...
  • Heart of French boy king finds a resting place at last.
  • Does Benny Hinn pray or prey?
  • More treasures found beneath the sea at Alexandria. I wonder whether Zahi is getting scuba training...
  • Perfect pterosaur found in fossil egg. Mmmm, fossil eggs.
  • Rainer W. Kühne's "Location and dating of Atlantis".
  • The golden ratio, the source of all things divine. Bunkum, apparently.
  • Before tackling Titan, the Cassini probe will fly-by Phoebe.
  • Birds know how to keep their cells young. Anyone know the language of the birds?
  • Atkins dieters celebrate - the low-carb potato is on its way.
  • Autism symptoms in mice linked to vaccine ingredient.
  • When is a UFO not a UFO? When it's sometimes a man-made UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). Check out the gallery, and see what I mean.
  • Dead wallaby found on Scottish island. Work of a hopeful Scottish rugby fan perhaps?
  • Nigeria divided over ban on television miracles. I define a television miracle as turning on the TV and finding something on that is actually worth watching.
  • Next reality TV show in the works - Ghosthunters.
  • Ghosts and paranormal phenomena in Pacheco Pass.
  • Robert Bauval goes and visits Mr Big in Memphis.

Quote of the Day:

Today history is what we say it is.

Unnamed Television Executive

News Briefs 09-06-2004

I wonder what the Elephants are saying? Stop stamping on the ground, I can't hear you? Post your thoughts.

  • The interplanetary day after tomorrow. #1. #2. #3.
  • Earth is much younger than scientists claim and dinosaurs co-existed with the first humans.
  • More and more on Atlantis in Spain.
  • Dinosaur's secret is in small print.
  • Theory of early human migration patterns proposes the North.
  • Green sweat puzzles Chinese doctors.
  • Proof for the Riemann hypothesis?
  • Water woes, not wars, ended Angkor empire.
  • Elephants turn to seismic communication.
  • Origin of enigmatic galactic filaments revealed?
  • We weren't made to multitask.
  • Eco glass cleans itself with Sun.
  • Black hole illuminates dust cloud.
  • Is Genghis Khan an Ancestor? Mr. DNA Knows.
  • 911: The Cleveland Airport mystery.
  • Congressman exposes vaccine fraud at the CDC. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Cattle polio fears threaten industry.
  • The thermochemical joy of cooking.
  • Step on the gas.
  • Rat DNA clue to sea migration.
  • Small world's big achievement.
  • Sloppy stats shame science.
  • Sea change for first shells.
  • Bold motorists clear roads.
  • Signs of 8000 year old culture found near Bedford.

Quote of the Day:

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.


News Briefs 08-06-2004

Hope your day is going swimmingly. Here's some news to make things interesting...

  • Want to see something no living person has witnessed before? Check out the solar transit of Venus today (just you and the other billion people). Like a good parent, I'll ask that you take protection with you.
  • Experimental pill halts breast cancer in eight weeks.
  • On July 1st, we'll get closer to Saturn than we have ever done before, courtesy of the Cassini probe. They'll have to set up a cable TV channel devoted entirely to space exploration soon.
  • Explanation put forward for Milky Way galaxy's mysterious filaments. Perhaps it's unravelling.
  • NASA decides on high-risk plunge into crater for Mars rover Opportunity.
  • Brisbane statue still far from miraculous. Quite the publicity-gainer though.
  • Green sweat puzzles Chinese doctors. The disturbing aspect is that the doctor is fine with red and blue sweat, but is upset about green sweat.
  • Ghostbusters called into haunted theatre. Two decades on, but it seems ghostbusting is becoming a respectable profession.
  • Can dying people postpone their death until after a meaningful event has passed? New research says no.
  • Review of Barbara Weisberg's TALKING TO THE DEAD, the story of the (in?)famous Fox sisters.
  • Satanic ritual blamed for death of Italian teens.
  • Maverick inventor's amazing electric motor uses permanent magnets to its advantage. Don't we all love a maverick inventor.
  • Farmers to control wi-fi herds from home like a computer game? Good news for Grandma Grail who was target practice for one of her cows last weekend.
  • Biotech crops cropping up where they shouldn't.
  • Is the world's oil running out quickly? Hard to tell - one news story says this, the next says oil is here to stay. Perhaps we should all run our engines 24/7 and settle this debate quickly.
  • Hospital tests barcoding of patients. Here's hoping you're never labelled 'out of stock'.
  • The skylarks did it! Crop circles help boost skylark populations.
  • Ancient Islamic map shows egg-shaped England.
  • Pharaoh Zahi says the Egyptian Museum will begin proper recording and storage of its treasures after some items disappeared.
  • Petra: an eroding archaeological treasure.
  • Embryonic stem cells link up as neurons, suggesting positive outcomes for use in brain diseases.
  • US doctor loses job after suggesting we are paranoid about the dangers of the sun, and need to spend some time outdoors to improve our Vitamin D levels. Beware the orthodoxy Dr Holick!
  • New research techniques could end animal testing.
  • Diabetes linked to bowel cancer.

Quote of the Day:

I remember hearing once of a little dying child shrinking timidly from the idea of going alone; but just before the end there came a spirit of sublime confidence, a supernatural opening of vision, a recognition of some companionship, and the little one cried out: 'I am not afraid; they are all here.' ... I believe the chamber of the dying is filled with the holy angels.

Basil Wilberforce

News Briefs 04-06-2004

We've deviated off the beaten path today in celebration of Friday, or something, so be careful. Hang-on the the sissy-bar if necessary. Comment at will.

  • Geologists digging deep into the Chesapeake Bay impact crater are uncovering more signs of a space rock that smacked us 35-million years ago.
  • A Danish student found some dinosaur footprints that were left by a sauropod 170-million years ago.
  • An ancient belch may have have triggered extinctions like the demise of the dinosaurs 10 million years before the Eocene.
  • A helmet-shaped critter that dates back 600-million years may be ancestor of most animals.
  • The ancient Egyptians enjoyed political satire, scatological and vomiting humor, jokes concerning sex, slapstick, and animal-based parodies. Doesn't everyone?
  • Pollution in North America falls 10-percent over three years.
  • Does the Atlantis myth represent a memory of major Earth change?
  • Were the 'Giants On The Earth' really genetic experiments?
  • Soldiers in Iraq help preserve 5,000-year old archeological sites.
  • The trial of two men accused of stealing ancient artwork from an American Indian site has sparked a discussion about the best way to protect artifacts — by keeping them secret or posting signs.
  • What goes on in the brain of a gambler? Seeing the other side of eleven's tummy on the first roll isn't a bad sign, is it?
  • The Techno Maestro's Amazing Machine. This is either bogus or incredible, I can't decide which.
  • The Catholic Church has enlisted a retired chemistry professor to determine whether religious objects in a Brisbane church are actually bleeding and weeping.
  • Baby food could trigger meningitis.
  • Can nuclear radiation improve human health?
  • Put your phasers on 'stun'. An invisible beam tops list of the Pentagon's new, nonlethal weapons.
  • Huge, freed pet pythons have invaded the Florida Everglades.
  • Scientists are finding strange life forms in the Great Salt Lake.
  • Plants are living creatures with feelings.
  • If it is true that big cats haven't lived wild in the U.K. for 2,000 years, then there's a lot of large house cats now roaming the British countryside.
  • Love really is blind.....
  • A 17th-century solar oddity believed linked to global cooling is rare among nearby stars.
  • A meteorite accompanied by sonic booms lit-up the skies in the U.S. Pacific northwest.
  • Chemtrails and terror in the age of nuclear war.
  • One of the UK's best-known scientists, Professor James Lovelock, claims that we should fear the wrath of Gaia.
  • A seven-spoked, 166 feet diameter, 'wagon wheel' crop circle has appeared in a wheat field in Peach Orchard, Arkansas.
  • The Portuguese air force has been on alert since late on Tuesday, when several authorities and witnesses reported seeing a silent, luminous UFO. In English, even.
  • Let's zoom-in on this UFO in Provo Canyon, Utah. Man, that thing looks like a classic flying saucer.
  • It's time for a retro-UFO tale - an arrowhead-UFO sighting that lasted for three-days.
  • It is now June, the Impact is coming. Here's an end of the world warning from 'Aussie Bloke'. Better tie-up those loose-ends; don't say you weren't warned.
  • It's not quite a fox, or a cat. Wait! It's an ....., uh, unidentified creature photographed in North Carolina that stumps the experts. With pic.
  • The ability to write backwards in the form of mirror writing is probably inherited. I worry more about people can taste sounds and hear colors.
  • The Centaurus A galaxy's last big meal was a spiral galaxy, now twisted into a parallelogram-shaped structure of dust.
  • An astronomer has turned observations of the early universe into a sound clip that represents a primal scream from the first million years after the Big Bang. It doesn't sound like a bang.
  • A major galactic mystery has been solved that will help astronomers in their quest to understand the chemical evolution of the Milky Way.
  • Nearing the end of its seven-year journey to Saturn, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft has primed its engine in preparation for the real mission scheduled to begin 30 June.

Quote of the Day:

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north-an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal.

Ezekiel 1:4

News Briefs 03-06-2004

I had forgotten about the joys of dial-up internet. The kind of joy you experience by poking a hot needle through your eyeball...

  • It's a solstice celebration for SpaceShipOne: June 21 set as launch date for attempt at first privately-funded manned space flight.
  • Meanwhile, NASA now optimistic about chances of success with robotic mission to save Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
  • Speaking of robots, those Martian rovers just keep roving.
  • The 'nightmare scenario waiting to happen' - chances of 'dirty bomb' attack rise significantly.
  • But who needs a dirty bomb when you can count on your own government to dose you up on plutonium?
  • Archaeologists search for lost Torah near Auschwitz.
  • Afghanistan's fabled Bactrian Gold to tour the world.
  • The archives of the Royal Geographic Society to be opened to the public.
  • Major excavation to open Viking graves.
  • Following hot on the heels of the cicada plague, comes the massive stink as they all die and rot. Ewww.
  • Asperger's Syndrome - not just a medical condition, but perhaps the creator of geniuses.
  • Retired chemistry professor to test Brisbane's weeping statues. And Randi's not one to miss an opportunity to get his name up in lights, as he offers his $1million prize if the church can prove the phenomenon is supernatural. Can someone offer a $1million prize to prove that James Randi's prize is bona fide (see here and here)?
  • Star Dreams: A documentary about crop circles.
  • Man-made chemicals are affecting the development of children's brains.
  • Forget cold fusion, here comes banana power.
  • Alaskan quake of 2002 unblocked geysers in Yellowstone Park.
  • Genetically-modifed virus explodes cancer cells. Is that like the opposite to a dirty bomb?
  • University unveils tool to check student essays for plagiarism from 4.5 billion webpages.
  • Cattle mutilation in Rio Cuarto - hoax or the real deal?
  • Book review of Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, by Steven Strogatz (Amazon US).
  • Sir Paul McCartney reveals Beatles' drug use. My lord, I had no idea...the 60s have lost their innocence for me now. Just think of the subversity - elevator music created by LSD-crazed junkies. Where's the Christian Right when they're needed?

Quote of the Day:

Without anomalies and their validation, later incorporation, and explanation, we would not have any progress in science. We have a fundamental problem in science of somehow trying to balance openness with conservatism, and imagination and creativity with criticism.

Marcello Truzzi

News Briefs 02-06-2004

So, what's made the Pole Star brighten up its act? Post your thoughts.

  • Over the past two millennia, the star Polaris has brightened by 250%, and astronomers have no idea why.
  • Man-made calamity the world is ignoring.
  • Dinosaurs wiped out in a few hours.
  • We are all dimmed.
  • Dinosaur skull is evidence Africa broke off later than thought.
  • Stormy bands on ringed world.
  • Planet Earth dims then brightens.
  • Study examines how brain creates detailed recollections.
  • New theory finds common ground between conflicting evidence for first stars.
  • How the City of London runs the world. Is the Bank trying to steer market views on rates?
  • Putin and the mythical NGO conspiracy.
  • Folds at surface show ancient seismic stresses still at work.
  • Dark energy tied to human origins.
  • Bananas to generate electricity?
  • The march of the killer toads.
  • No such thing as paranoia; Part 1. Part 2


  • Mystery hand falls from the sky.
  • A square of dark chocolate a day could keep the cardiologist away.
  • Comet theory: the cause of the glowing tail. Or is it antimatter?
  • We can lament the mischief of hackers, thieves, and tricksters, or we can learn lessons in innovation from them.
  • Up in the air!
  • Pumped-up dummy does the ironing. Remember the autopilot in Airplane?
  • GM virus explodes cancer cells.
  • Earthquakes beget earthquakes near and far. More like making stretch marks.
  • Dead Sea to disappear in 50 years.

Quote of the Day:

A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.

W. C. Fields

News Briefs 01-06-2004

I need a chiropractor...anybody good with their hands?

  • Paranormal investigators earn their keep at Royal Navy hangman's cell.
  • Conman's role in IVF prayer-power miracle exposed.
  • Supernatural tourism a lucrative niche market for tour operators.
  • THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW - why the world's press are wrong and Whitley Strieber is right.
  • The Bear Lake Monster has returned from the depths.
  • Killer rash breaks out in New York City. I feel itchy already, and I'm half a world away.
  • The strange life of self-declared genius, panty-fetishist and esoteric author Colin Wilson. DREAMING TO SOME PURPOSE: The Autobiography of Colin Wilson is available from Amazon US and UK.
  • MacBeth's castle unearthed in Inverness? Not good enough, I want to see an archaeologist saying "This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself, unto our gentle senses."
  • Mel Gibson guaranteed to be panned for his proposed movie on Britain's warrior queen Boudicca, say experts. Just like that little film about Jesus I suppose, gosh what a disaster that was for his bank balance.
  • Mitochondrial mutations blamed for aging. And here I was thinking it was time.
  • Astronomers discover youngest planet, only just turned one (million).
  • Get yer weeping Mary, hurry before they sell out.
  • Global winter followed dino impact. Jump on the bandwagon...
  • Campaigners gather in fight to save Silbury Hill.
  • Archaeologists discover World War II plane that crashed near Buckingham Palace.
  • The Genesis Mission sounds kooky - collect the solar wind, fall to Earth and be caught in mid-air during descent by a helicopter. Sounds like good television, bidders please.

Quote of the Day:

The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.

Colin Wilson