News Briefs 12-04-2007

If I'm covering for Greg, who covered for Kat, who covered for me, then who's covering for Jameske?

  • Locks of 3200-year-old hair from Ramses II were unveiled at the Egyptian Museum, stolen 30 years ago in France. So that's why Zahi Hawass wears the hat.
  • The decorated tombs of the Valley of the Kings are deteriorating faster than they can be preserved.
  • The tomb of Djehuty, overseer of works at Thebes during Queen Hatshepsut's reign, amazed Egyptologists not only because of its unique architecture, but the artifacts inside.
  • Clothing ornaments thought to confer supernatural powers were all the rage among important people in England 4000 years ago. Probably because those considered unimportant were cursing them.
  • A mountain village in Umbria wants a 2600-year-old Etruscan chariot restored and displayed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC returned or else. I wonder if they'll drive it back.
  • Like an ancient Chinese number puzzle, archaeologists have unearthed more than 5000 items dating back 2000 years from a complex of 385 tombs discovered in Mongolia.
  • The 3000-year-old city of Jinsha, including a palace and 800 tombs, is being excavated in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
  • Restoration work has begun on the tomb of Takamatsuzuka in Japan, its murals damaged by fungus.
  • Anthropologist discovers new evidence suggesting ancient farmers in Mexico cultivated maize almost 1200 years earlier than previously thought.
  • The Aztec kidnapped sacrificial victims from as far away as Mayan, Pacific and Atlantic coastal communities, according to DNA analysis of over 50 skeletons discovered at Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Moon.
  • The Sun is more active now than it has been at anytime in the previous 1000 years. Before that, it was the Dark Ages.
  • Danny Boyle and Alex Garland's film Sunshine couldn't be better timed. Except maybe a 2012 release.
  • Astronomers have detected water in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system for the first time.
  • The Pentagon's National Security Space Office (NSSO) is considering the possibility of using satellites to collect solar energy for use on Earth.
  • Researchers report that the Earth's magnetic field was at least half as strong 3.2 billion years ago as it is today.
  • NASA scientists have discovered that a mysterious red glow, seen throughout the Milky Way and other galaxies but never on Earth, radiates from extremely fine dust.
  • Space tourist Charles Simonyi is all smiles about the International Space Station. I'd be smiling too if I were him.
  • A former American astronaut is accused of intending to kidnap an ex-lover, wearing nappies and possessing X-rated bondage images. The Astronaut's Wife starring Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron might be worth watching again.
  • Do blogs need classifications for coarse language and some nudity, and do some bloggers use freedom of speech as an excuse?
  • The amount of spam originating from China dropped dramatically in the first three months of 2007, according to a US IT security firm. What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.
  • An international science journal has deleted a South Korean paper on wolf cloning from its website pending an investigation into incorrect data. Does that make Dolly a wolf in sheep's clothing?
  • Research has found that children who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet are 30% less likely to develop hayfever and asthma. I'm going to a traditional Greek wedding on Saturday, so I'll pig out.
  • Participants in an experiment exploring egalitarian impulses in human nature consistently robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, suggesting there's a Robin Hood in all of us. There's a Sheriff of Nottingham in political and religious leaders too.
  • Archaeologists are excavating a house they think may have belonged to legendary Scottish outlaw Rob Roy.
  • A British man who dreamed a phone number then called it out of curiosity has married the woman whom it belonged to. *Sigh* I only dream of 0055 numbers with hot, sexy female voice-overs.
  • A book review of How to Predict Your Future: Secrets of Eastern and Western Astrology by James Braha (Amazon US or UK).
  • Nick "UFO Mystic" Redfern discusses the British Ministry of Defense's chilling report that paints a strange and bleak view of our future 30 years from now. The Guardian has an article about the MoD's report which is worth reading.
  • As Hillary's presidential campaign gears up, researchers, journalists and the curious are finding it difficult to access the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library, including UFO files.
  • RIP Kurt Vonnegut, 1922 - 2007. So it goes.

Quote of the Day:

A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.

Aldous Huxley

News Briefs 11-04-07

Late but great.

  • The countless achievements of a Math Master.
  • The pursuit of happiness in perspective.
  • Quake lifts Solomons island out of the sea.
  • Belief in reincarnation tied to memory errors.
  • Why are all the bees dying?
  • Global warming: why so gloomy?
  • Secret paper reveals Labour Government intended to force UK citizens to sign up to ID cards.
  • Bio-weapons could be used to combat overpopulation.
  • Scholars for 911 truth: Jim Fetzer versus Steven Jones.
  • Enmities ancient and modern: Britain's forgotten battlefields.
  • Roman tomb found full of ancient gold and jewels.
  • Rebuilt immune system shakes off diabetes.
  • Dreamed up phone number leads man to bride. The next one leads him to an affair, and the last one is the number of his divorce lawyer.
  • Noctilucent clouds linked to climate change?
  • Volcano’s fury throws up mystery fish.
  • The disappearing male.
  • Morgellons: the nanotech theory.
  • Early Earth was purple.
  • The mountain of tongues.
  • Seeing the light.
  • The comet and the Chicago fire. Parts 1, 2 and 3.
  • The galaxy’s rosy glow.

Quote of the Day:

An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.

Aldous Huxley

UFO Hacker Poll

A quick change of poll today, to survey opinions on the fate of 'UFO hacker' Gary McKinnon (mentioned in today's news update). The US government claims he caused $700,000 worth of damage (I'd be interested to know if that includes the costs of upgrading/patching computers that had shockingly lax security - in which case McKinnon did them a favour), while McKinnon claims he just innocently snooped around looking for UFO secrets. The UK hacker turned down a deal of 4 years in prison in the US originally, but has since lost his appeal against extradition, with only one last appeal option left to him (the House of Lords). What are your thoughts?

The previous poll (which yes, I did leave up far too long) garnered some 2000 votes, with 32% of respondents saying they think Mothman was an ultraterrestrial. 12% disagreed, suggesting the 'creature' was a cryptid, while around 38% of votes were devoted to either the idea that Mothman was a hoax, or just imagination or hysteria (divided equally). One in ten people believe the whole Mothman saga was actually a black/psy operation. You can view the results of all previous polls (and vote on them) at the poll archive page.

The New Underground Stream

Two new changes to TDG worth pointing out. Firstly, as you've probably noticed I've added a links bar to the top of the site, beneath the banner ad. This should help in navigating between the various sections of TDG, and our related websites.

Secondly, many people have asked how they can submit interesting news or websites to TDG, so I've now added a section to the site for submitted news (as well as giving members the ability to submit stories to that section). I've given it the short title of the old Underground Stream of Consciousness site (the 'Stream'), and you'll find a permanent link to it in the above-mentioned links bar. Members can submit stories in the same manner as adding a new blog entry (in the menu, click on 'Create Content', then 'Submissions'). Please try and keep some formatting about it, as the submissions will be read by many people. Occasionally I will also take important news from the Stream and promote it to the front page of TDG. This new 'Stream' area solves the problem of people not wanting to post news items in their blog, and also offers a new facet of TDG where stories/interesting links can be posted which wouldn't normally make it to the front page. Post away!

Tuesday Roundup 10-04-2007

A strange assortment to get you through the week...


News Briefs 10-04-2007

I'm covering for Kat who covered for Rick, who's going to cover for me, because I'm covering for Kat, who's covering for...I guess you get the idea.

Quote of the Day:

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore

Nexus 14:3

The latest issue of Nexus magazine (14:3) has been released, and as usual there are some free articles from the new release available on the 'net:

Check the Nexus website for the full run-down on the latest issue.

Radio 10-04-2007

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: This week Hilly interviews Rita Louise about the tradition of Kabbalah (Real Audio or mp3).

Coast to Coast AM: On Tuesday anthropologists and novelists Michael and Kathleen Gear discuss their conclusion that modern civilization is doomed due to the historic cycle of climate change and overpopulation. Wednesday's guest is hypnotherapist and UFO researcher Craig R. Lang, who will discuss his work with abductees and various experiences and themes involving the 'visitors.' Thursday is still TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates).

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.

News Briefs 09-04-2007

Rico claims he's still delivering Easter eggs.
Some of you may remember that, in the past, Paul Collins and dashour have posted about Kriya yoga. Today, there's welcome news of a particularly positive effect of Kriya yoga.

  • 3.2 billion-year-old surprise: The theory that Earth once underwent a prolonged time of extreme global freezing has been dealt a blow by new evidence that periods of warmth occurred during this so-called 'Snowball Earth' era.
  • Fifth space tourist goes into orbit. Despite space tourism, Russians worry about lagging in the space race.
  • Why your car's 'sat nav' doesn't like the sun.
  • Researchers have demonstrated a prototype nanometer-scale generator that produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow.
  • Chemistry professor developes 'fuel-latent plastic' that can easily be turned into a substitute diesel fuel.
  • Climbers become reluctant witnesses to global warming.
  • Scientists, governments clash over climate report.
  • To find out if the world can share the burden of climate change, scientists are swiping a few ideas from Asimov's Foundation series.
  • The recent 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific lifted the entire island of Ranongga, pushing its shoreline out by up to 70 metres and exposing the surrounding coral reefs, which used to attract scuba divers from around the world.
  • Imagine having a discussion with Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein on the nature of the universe, where their life-sized, 3-D representation looked you in the eye, examined your body language, considered voice nuances and phraseology of your questions, then answered you in a way that's so real, you'd swear the images were alive.
  • Los Angeles turns to wastewater sludge for electricity -- by a process that's a bit more complicated than you might suspect.
  • Big Bang at atomic lab after scientists get their maths wrong.
  • Extreme genetic engineering: An Introduction to synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems that do not exist in the natural world, and the redesign of existing biological systems to perform specific tasks. Hefty pdf.
  • Efforts to catalogue living species tops 1 million.
  • Over the centuries, many big ideas have struggled to dominate the planet - fascism, communism, democracy, religion - but only one has achieved total supremacy.
  • An overview of prophets and prophecies, including St. Malachy's unnerving prophecy of the popes, and the poem, Omen of the Dragon -- perhaps included in light of recent news on climate change?
  • The Puranas, ancient Hindu texts, are not merely mythological, sectarian, or religious stories but contain much genuine historical evidence, and have also, on occasion, proven to be prophetic.
  • Ritual sacrifice: A test of purity of intentions via charity to the poor.
  • In Vidarbha, India, statistics show that every 8 hours, a farmer commits suicide; but in 151 villages, not a single farmer has committed suicide since Art of Living volunteers began teaching Sudarshan kriya, a breathing technique that relieves stress, along with courses in organic farming, zero-budget farming, and rainwater harvesting. India's farmer suicides are a result of profit-driven free market reforms.
  • A group in India is on a mission to stamp out corruption -- with a zero-rupee note.
  • The 9/11 mystery plane.
  • Airman burned in DoD microwave beam weapon test.
  • Millions of Brits set to rebel against Blair's controversial ID card.
  • British MoD report outlines nightmare future society in which the population are forced to accept brain chips, immigration and urbanization ravages communities, class warfare ensues, and biological and neutron weapons are used to combat overpopulation.
  • When was Chinese civilization born?
  • Goodbye Magna Carta: Author Dan Kieran is so fed up with the loss of traditional British freedoms that he's turned criminal to shake Brits out of their apathy. Here's an excerpt from his book I Fought the Law, to be published on May 7 (preorder at Amazon US & UK).
  • Historical mysteries & occult personalities, Part 1: Comte de St. Germain (scroll way down).
  • Strange Relics from the Depths of the Earth.
  • Podcast: Jan Irvin, author of Astrotheology & Shamanism: Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and Other Religions (Amazon US & UK), discusses Jack Herer, hemp, astrotheology, shamanism, archeoastronomy, psychedelics and entheogens, suppression of plant-based medicines, the nativity story, the symbolism of the caduceus, the New Age and 2012. Reminds me of that MASH episode in which Klinger asks Hawkeye, How do you keep all that stuff in your head?, and Hawkeye matter-of-factly replies, I wear earplugs.

Quote of the Day:

Being rapt in secret studies
Now does my project gather to a head
My charms crack not; my spirits obey

I have bedimm'd the noontide sun
Call'd forth the mutinous winds
Graves at my command have waked their sleepers, by my so potent art

These our actors were all spirits and are melted into air
And like the baseless fabric of this vision
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself
We are such stuff as dreams are made on

Prospero, in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Quantum Enigma

There's a recent and interesting book out which deals with the 'skeleton in the closet' of physics, which is the interaction between consciousness and the physical world, via quantum processes. The book is Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness (Amazon US and UK), by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner:

Every interpretation of quantum physics encounters consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself—and encounter quantum physics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing.

Don't expect a "What the Bleep" in book form though - the authors explain that only by exposing this 'skeleton' can physicists "challenge the purveyors of pseudoscience who use the mysteries of quantum mechanics to promote their quantum nonsense." Nonetheless, they do give some ground to parapsychology - at least in private - as according to Dean Radin one of the authors agrees that non-local correlations do make "the a priori probability of anomalous cognition an order of magnitude more likely".

Perhaps most interesting is the growing momentum towards a change in the paradigm, with more physicists and cosmologists starting to lean towards the idea that consciousness is an integral part of the Universe. Another recent book Biocosm (Amazon US and UK), comes at the question from a different angle, while asserting that life and intelligence are primary cosmological phenomena. Perhaps Roger Penrose is closer to the truth than many have given him credit for?