Edge's Dangerous Question

After the success of last year's question to leading scientists, "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?", the Edge Foundation's World Question Centre has now provoked a new round of thinking with the question for 2006: "What is your dangerous idea?" With answers from a diverse group of scientists and thinkers including Richard Dawkins, Brian Greene, Michael Shermer, Freeman Dyson and Clifford Pickover, you can be sure of some interesting reads. Shame the question wasn't posed to a few of the really 'dangerous' scientists though, those on the edge like Stuart Hameroff (or at least his highly credentialled partner, Roger Penrose).

Radio 13-01-2006

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week William Henry interviews Donald Brownlee, NASA's project manager for Project Stardust, the experiment that will be bringing primordial stardust back from deep space. Afterwards, Linda Howe reports on another bizarre cattle killing, this time with evidence that the animal was dropped from above.

Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, Saturday's guest is Tracy Twyman on the Masonic secrets of the U.S. dollar, while Sunday is a rebroadcast from June 5, 2001, in which Art Bell interviews veteran Bigfoot researcher Robert W. Morgan.

More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, it can be listened to through KOGO, while Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.

News Briefs 12-01-06

Over a year since my last TDG news post, it's just like riding a bike...

  • St. Michael's apparition linked to earthquake.
  • Want to help with the dig for pre-Clovis artifacts in South Carolina?
  • New archaeological discovery rewrites Hong Kong's history of human activity, moving the previous oldest dates from the Neolithic back to the Paleolithic.
  • A review of China's 7 significant archaeological discoveries in 2005.
  • The king and I by Zahi Hawass. Tut’s last tour is currently underway in America, as Zahi hobnobs with Jeb and Columba Bush.
  • A year of museums is the Ministry of Culture's theme for Egypt in 2006, including the building of a Grand Museum of Egypt overlooking the Giza Plateau amongst other projects.
  • Archaeologists are preparing a major excavation on a tiny Greek island to try to explain why it produced history's largest collection of Cycladic flat-faced marble figurines.
  • Ancient bog men make fashion statement.
  • Two ancient Malta temples dating back over 5,000 years and previously closed, are now open to the public on a weekly basis.
  • Discover magazine’s top archaeology stories of 2005.
  • The murky evolutionary history of cats is finally becoming clearer.
  • Attacks on humans by man-eating lions are on the rise in Tanzania and Mozambique due to a shrinking habitat.
  • LSD chemist wants drug ban eased.
  • A star South Korean scientist fabricated key research, including claims to have cloned the first human embryo in 2004 and patient-specific stem cell lines last year. However. Snuppy really is the world's first cloned dog.
  • Dude! Catch the wave! Pacific storms create surf nirvana.
  • Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions.
  • Deep-rooted plants have much greater impact on climate than experts thought.
  • Scientists surprised to find that plants produce methane.
  • China and India hold the world in balance.
  • Spitzer telescope sees heart of Milky Way.
  • NASA gambles all for a shot at the moon.
  • ESA and ANU make ion engine space propulsion breakthrough, allowing us to potentially leave the solar system.
  • Planet finders use much faster instrument to discover distant planet.
  • Dark energy changes over time, controversial new calculations suggest.
  • Spin doctors create quantum chip.
  • Strip-searching goes digital at London train stations.
  • Man claims to be reincarnation of snake god's wife.

Quote of the Day:

Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.

Bertrand Russell

Skeptical Inquirer 29:6

The November/December issue of Skeptical Inquirer has been released, and as usual the SI website has a number of the articles available for free. This issue's theme is on the 'war' between evolution and Intelligent Design:

See the SI website for complete details of the latest issue, and of all the available content.

UFO Review #14

Issue 14 of the online magazine UFO Review has been released - drop by the UR website to download a copy (in Word or PDF format). In this issue you'll find an interview with Errol Bruce Knapp, Joe McGonagle, and even a little bit of sexiness via an interview with burlesque performer Kittie Klaw (children, avert your eyes!). All the usual weirdness as well, delivered to your door (or computer at least) free of charge.

News Briefs 11-1-06

Lysergy has been doing the rounds. Post your thoughts.

  • Indian scientist challenges Einstein’s Relativity.
  • There is an inevitable temptation to massage results in the race for scientific status.
  • Milky Way has a cannibalizing nature.
  • A world without race.
  • Psychologists are better stock market speculators than economists.
  • No genes from the West for India, and possibly no language either.
  • Iran breaks seals on nuclear facility.
  • Hitler had nukes.
  • Cells that read minds.
  • Symbols on wall push Maya writing back by years.
  • The message of Valles Marineris.
  • New moons and rings found around Uranus.
  • American Jewish academic says historian Irving should be released.
  • It’s the demography, stupid.
  • Are newspapers doomed?
  • Just how far should scholars go in debunking intellectual opponents?
  • Day One: the war with Iran.
  • Unscientific methods.
  • The mysterious fire-starting hotspot.
  • What’s all that grey matter good for anyway?
  • The power of Mozart.
  • St. Michael’s apparition, earthquake linked.
  • Technohype bites back.
  • Desktop fusion is back on the table.
  • What a long, strange trip.

Quote of the Day:

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.


The Stargate Conundrum

Alternative history researcher and author Filip Coppens has been updating his site with new essays regularly over the past year (see the Tuesday Round-up below for the latest additions), but to start 2006 off he's got something extra special. On site at the moment is a three chapter book which revisits a mystery Filip first researched as part of The Stargate Conspiracy, by Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett:

Following on from research for 'The Stargate Conspiracy' (Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince), this three-chapter work delves into the work of Andrija Puharich and the Remote Viewing project, and the hidden motivations of the main players... and an unknown dimension to the work of those involved.

The chapters are titled The Stargate Conundrum, and it's fascinating stuff. The chapters are available in straight HTML, or as typeset PDFs - worth checking out.

Tuesday Roundup 10-01-2006

A varied list of readings, listenings and viewings to get you through the week...


News Briefs 10-01-2006

In a remarkable act of prescience, Bill Hicks comedy routines seem to match up well with today's big headlines. I'll start you off with the first few stories...

  • JFK's assassination was a Cuban plot. Apparently some anti-Castro pigeons were seen talking in a bar, saying 'coup, coup'...
  • Dr Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD, turns 100 tomorrow. Celebrations include a symposium in Switzerland this weekend. Here's Tom with the weather.
  • Creationists claim that dinosaur fossils refute evolution. Giant flying lizards? You moron! That's one of God's easiest jokes!
  • Innovations from DARPA's robot rally may make a better world...or at least better weaponry systems. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
  • Pat Robertson says God is punishing Ariel Sharon for giving land back to the Palestinians....
  • Is the sky going to fall?
  • Hyperspace engine could make interstellar travel a reality - 11 light years in 80 days.
  • Danny Vendramini believes that there is a secondary evolutionary process which he calls teemosis. Is he a crackpot or a genius?
  • The mystery is over, apparently consciousness is simply a by-product of our physical brains. At least so says this review of Jay Ingram's Theatre of the Mind: Raising the Curtain on Consciousness.
  • Is this movie the next What the Bleep?
  • Richard Dawkins to host television show starting this week which takes the knives to religion: The Root Of All Evil?. This reviewer isn't as impressed. And more here.
  • New research shows that the execution of William Wallace (that's Mel Gibson to you) was the opening attraction of a giant medieval carnival
  • Archaeological find raises questions about Jewish history: did the Jews stay behind after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70?
  • Evidence found for canals that watered ancient Peru.
  • Researchers shed new light on origins of ancient Chinese civilisation.
  • Can you communicate with deceased loved ones? Honing your psychic ability.
  • Sylvia Browne may need to have a read, after this screw-up on Coast to Coast AM about the mining tragedy.
  • A review of The Occult Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Present Day by David S Katz (Amazon UK).
  • A list of the top offbeat science stories from 2005.
  • Another list of the whackiest science stories of 2005.
  • The Top Ten astrobiology stories for 2005.
  • The top weird weather stories of 2005.
  • Global warming: 2005 lived up to previous years of record temperatures...so what's it all about?
  • Deep-sea trawling may be pushing the coelacanth to extinction, after 400 million years.
  • Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bookshop...5 million paperback copies of The Da Vinci Code planned for release at the same time as the movie version.
  • Speaking of which, Newsweek has an in-depth look at the movie.

Quote of the Day:

Talking about Kennedy, people come up to me: "Bill, quit talking about Kennedy, man. Let it go. It's a long time ago - just forget about it." And I'm like alright, then don't bring up Jesus to me. As long as we're talking shelf life here.

Bill Hicks

Swirled Cornucopia

The epicenter of all things croppie and circly, Swirled News, has had another mega-update with numerous stories posted over the Xmas period. Andy Thomas takes a look at Colin Andrews' recent attempt to sell his research archive, and also investigates the 'mowing devil' folklore in relation to crop circles. Numerous other updates on the site, so stop in and take a look.