I just found out, new power adapters for four-year-old monitors can be hard to come by.
- An almost perfect 29m-year-old fossilised skull from one of humankind's earliest ancestors has been unearthed in Egypt.
- From the 'news you couldn't make up' department: To keep back-from-the-dead ectoplasmic soldiers from giving away D-Day secrets, British intelligence agents, including Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, jailed a famous spiritualist for contravening the Witchcraft Act of 1735.
- Digital tricks preserve thousands of dinosaur tracks.
- Will an impending magnetic pole reversal spell danger for the Earth? An article from The Economist no less.
- ESA's Cluster was in the right place and time to make a shocking discovery. The four spacecraft encountered a shock wave that kept breaking and reforming – predicted only in theory.
- Mexican sinkhole may lead NASA to Jupiter.
- Changes in deep ocean circulation triggered the two enormous 'burps' of carbon dioxide released from the depths of the ocean around Antarctica at the end of the last Ice Age.
- 'My stroke left with me a foreign accent'.
- Pwnage news: Google has drawn up plans to compile psychological profiles of millions of web users by covertly monitoring the way they play online games.
- Google study finds one in 10 web pages searched contains malicious code. No surprise to most of us.
- Spreading viruses as we breathe.
- Researcher says some children demonstrate unusual abilities after UFO and Extraterrestrial Encounters.
- Robbie Williams talks to dead people.
- Mike Oldfield talks about his slow, painful recovery from the mental health problems that underlay his 40-year musical career - and about his autobiography, Changeling.
- Depleted uranium weapons linked to lung cancer in new study.
- Human enhancement: right or wrong?
- Doom creator John Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace is on track to win the 2007 Lunar Lander Challenge (with video link to test flight).
- Almost 30 years ago, NASA sent a gold record to the aliens. More pertinently though, were some of the strange images within due to Carl Sagan's predilection for a toke or three?
Quote of the Day:
Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.
This year's meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration will be held May 31 to June 2 at Michigan State University. The theme of the event is "Pushing Scientific Boundaries: Interactions, Intersections, Interventions", and speakers include Robert Jahn, Brenda Dunne and Dale Graff. Topics covered range from global consciousness, to bioenergy, UFO research, and psi abilities. Check out the conference schedule (PDF file) for a complete rundown of speakers, and the abstracts of their talks.
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Erowid.org have another free PDF of a classic available, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience, by Masters and Houston (links to PDF file). If you appreciate the work Erowid.org does, remember to support the site with a donation.
- Michael Prescott analyses the latest reaction to cold fusion research.
- Anthony North looks at the "Paranormal Mind" at Beyond the Blog.
- Nick Redfern comes to grips with the problem that is (are?) UFO Insiders.
- Skeptic Randi's latest newsletter is now available.
- Andy Gough's Arcadia website has a new '17 Questions' interview, the latest is with R-l-C researcher Maxwell N. Field.
- UFO Casebook #255 contains images of a strange craft (which most readers believe to be a hoax).
- And Filer's Files #19 for 2007 has plenty of other ufological news.
- UFO Area takes on the topics of Angel Hair and the Belmez Faces. You can find out a little more about angel hair, and the topic du jour - Fatima - in my essay here on TDG from a few years back, "Tripped on Angel Hair".
- The Biblical Archaeology Society has "The Tomb of Jesus? Wrong on Every Count", by Craig Evans and Steven Feldman.
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
Coast to Coast AM: First half-hour Monday Jerome Corsi and Hossein Hedjazi will comment on Iran, followed by Charlie Carlson discussing paranormal and strange events in Florida. On Tuesday historical scholar Bro. Hakim Bey will discuss his work on the real history of North America - how it was populated by vast global civilizations and connected to Mu/Lemuria, and Atlantis. Wednesday's guest is Robert Bruce, an Australian who has actively explored metaphysical, paranormal and spiritual phenomena for the past 30 years. Thursday should be fun, with futurist and author Dr. Cliff Pickover discussing his new novel, The Heaven Virus, which explores spiritual technologies for the 22nd century, virtual universes, and immortality.
More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.
Ramen noodles, food of the Gods.
- Scientists examining documents up to 5'500-years-old say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in Ancient Egypt, not with Hippocrates and the Hellenes. I can hear a collective "Told you so!" from alternative researchers.
- Ancient Romans built their towns using astronomically aligned grids, according to an Italian study. Marco Polo brought back Feng Shui.
- Glasgow Necropolis is a giant masonic symbol, 37 acres of landscaped metaphor.
- Archaeologists in Greece have discovered a rare 2700-year-old piece of fabric inside a copper burial urn, along with dried pomegranates. Persephone's gotta eat.
- Restoration work has begun to prevent Silbury Hill from collapsing, and perhaps solve a few mysteries.
- A neat article discussing the Kingdom of Bhutan's yeti, the mirgu, and the Sakten Wildlife Sanctuary that protects it. Here's a brilliant photo gallery of Bhutan.
- Forget Salem, there are parts of England packed with occult tales and history. With video report.
- Ghost Radar, a USB ghost detector, alerts you if there's a change in the magnetic waves within a room. The Bullsh*t Detector is free with every brain.
- South Korea's LG Philips has developed the world's first electronic-paper: A4-sized, colour, paper-thin and bendable. Imagine toilet paper.
- A rocket containing the ashes of Star Trek actor James "Scotty" Doohan is still missing after two weeks.
- Strange, orange lights have been witnessed in the skies of Northern Ireland. Jameske's been playing golf at night.
- It was the 90th anniversay of the Fatima Miracle on the weekend, with up to half a million pilgrims visiting the Portugese town.
- Jacques Vallee has his own theory, shared by other UFOlogists and alien abduction researchers, what the three Fatima children really saw.
- An excellent book about the Fatima Miracle is The Fatima Secret, by Michael Hesemann, edited by Whitley Strieber (Amazon US or UK).
- Researchers have found that at the molecular level, water flows like molasses.
- The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto (Amazon US or UK).
- Once thought to be useless, Junk DNA is a powerful regulator playing a role in controlling when genes turn on/off. That explains why the geneticist said I'm "trailer trash".
- Microbes survive in space, hitching rides on astronauts and spacecraft.
- Earth's extremophiles make microbial life on Mars plausible. Ironic the Viking probe killed the life it was sent to find.
- NASA has unveiled a model of the James Webb Space Telescope, to see the farthest reaches of the Universe. It replaces Hubble, which is still going strong.
- New data from the Voyager spacecraft says our solar system is bullet-shaped as it streaks through space at approximately 62'000 miles per hour. I feel dizzy.
- A self-confessed murderer accused of blowing up an airliner and killing 73 people walks free on a technicality, but Gary McKinnon faces life in prison for embarrassing the US military. If embarrassment's a crime, Dubya is the Don.
- One billion people will likely be displaced fifty years from now if climate change continues, says a report.
- Providing today's quote, what could you spend $456 billion on, other than a war in the Middle East? As the U2 song goes, "I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table" (the song is 2 minutes in, after Bono's speech).
Quote of the Day:
"According to World Bank estimates, $54 billion a year would eliminate
starvation and malnutrition globally by 2015, while $30 billion would
provide a year of primary education for every child on earth. At the
upper range of those estimates, the $456 billion cost of the war could
have fed and educated the world's poor for five and a half years."
'Spoon-bender' Uri Geller has found himself at the center of an Internet controversy, after contacting YouTube to take down a clip - featuring James 'The Amazing' Randi debunking his 'powers' - which he says infringes his copyright by including footage which belongs to him. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is backing the YouTube poster of the video ('Brian Sapient', a pseudonym used by a member of the debunking group Rational Response Squad), and has filed a lawsuit against Geller for misuse of the DMCA (Digital Management Copyright Act), asking for payment of damages and a judgement on the copyright status of the video, due to the fact that Geller is not the copyright holder on the complete video, only one small part.
With most stories circulating on the Internet referring to the clip as being 3 seconds long (based on the EFF lawsuit filing), Geller's lawyers have issued a press release in which they claim the clip is actually ten seconds long - which could be an important difference, in terms of copyright coverage of 'fair use' (interestingly, some stories have now changed their coverage to 'more like 5 or 6 seconds', but it is obviously 9 or 10 seconds if you watch the clip).
No matter what the outcome though, the result is a PR victory for skeptics such as Randi and the RRS. The publicity from the controversy has ensured even more people have seen the clip, and Geller comes across as a bully (and Randi portrays him as a fraud to boot). On the other hand, the EFF filing (and news stories across the web) stating that the offending clip was only 3 seconds in length (presumably the EFF took the word of Sapient?) is patently incorrect, and one can only wonder how a court will react to that issue - but which just goes to show more than anything, you should be skeptical of *everyone*, not just those claiming paranormal powers.
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Fortean Times celebrates the release of the movie 23 by reprinting a 1977 article on the topic by the late Robert Anton Wilson - from FT #23. Also at FT: "Who Was Charles Fort?", by Ian Kidd.
- Binnall of America becomes Kimball of Canada as Tim and crew host Paul Kimball for a special on Paul's new UFO documentary Best Evidence (available as mp3/podcast or streaming via Flash).
- The latest podcast from the Psychedelic Salon is the legendary Myron Stolaroff discussing the history of the psychedelic movement.
- Issue 2 of the free PDF magazine The Invisible College is now available.
- Filip Coppens has a new essay, "The Lothians’ Sacred Landscape", which appears to be connected to a new book from Filip.
- Colette Dowell offers an Ancient Egyptian Timeline at Robert Schoch's website.
- This week's eSkeptic newsletter features a review of Christopher Hitchins' book god is Not Great.
- Paul Kimball talks about Best Evidence and debunkers.
- In this week's Skeptico podcast Steve Paulson bemoans the media's approach to spiritual experiences.
- UFO Area has "Ancient Astronauts - The Shining Ones", by Ellen Lloyd.
- And to finish on a musical note, check out this lovely piano piece performed by our good friend, and astrological expert, Ray Grasse.
Data, damn data...
- Finding the grave of Charles H. Fort. Actually, graves. How Fortean...
- Forget the 'greys', and start worrying about the Michelin Men from outer space.
- The ashes of Star Trek's Scotty, and astronaut Gordon Cooper, are lost in New Mexico after rocket return. Hmm, dead interstellar traveller, spacecraft landing in New Mexico....why does that ring a bell?
- And perhaps one day we could send Spock's ashes to his home planet. We should probably wait till he dies though.
- Pope to canonize first Brazilian saint, despite claims of fraud.
- Does Glasgow necropolis hold the key to Freemasonry's secret history?
- The Great Zahi stomps on alternative pyramid construction theory.
- More on the discovery of King Herod's tomb - this time, a photo-essay.
- During Jamestown's "starving time", settlers ate horses, then rats, then snakes, then boots...and then, the other red meat.
- Archaeologist says Israeli Antiquities Authority is destroying the Leviticus Scroll.
- Can life travel from planet to planet riding on meteorites?
- Does wearing a helmet actually increase the chance of being hit by a car?
- NASA's next Mars probe, the Phoenix lander, touches down at the Kennedy Space Center.
- Why the low gravity over Canada?
- Our Solar System is bullet shaped.
- Marsupial junk DNA points to medical breakthroughs for humans.
- Do drug companies push anti-psychotics on to children?
- Drinking farm milk reduces childhood asthma and allergies, but raw consumption remains unsafe.
- US temperatures to jump 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next seven decades?
- Scientists ponder jet stream to fill global energy needs.
- What to do when you misplace nuclear material? Place an ad in the local Pakistani rag, of course...
Quote of the Day:
I am a pioneer of a new kind of writing that instead of heroes and villains will have floods and bugs and stars and earthquakes for its characters and motifs.
'Parapsychologist' and CSICOP fellow Professor Richard Wiseman is currently getting a blast of publicity for his new book Quirkology (playing on the Freakonomics vibe), with feature articles in New Scientist, The Guardian, The Times and a number of other publications:
For over twenty years, psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. He has spent nights in allegedly haunted houses, conducted clandestine experiments in over 30 countries, and dressed up in a giant chicken suit. Here, he describes his adventures into the backwaters of human behaviour, and pays tribute to others who have carried out similarly weird and wonderful work. Presenting a fresh look at the fascinating phenomenon that is your life, this is the definitive guide to what happens when scientists misbehave.
Part of the publicity for Quirkology involves some YouTube videos giving fun illustrations of human psychology - one in particular, the Colour Changing Card Trick, is going great guns on YouTube (and deservedly so) with at least 70,000 views just today, and about half a million all up since being posted, as I write.
The amount of publicity isn't all that surprising though, as Professor Wiseman has a long history of getting his name in the news - among CSICOPian skeptics, he virtually has no peer (maybe Michael Shermer could challenge) - and that's saying something, with that organisation's thirst for publicity. The Skeptical Investigations profile for Professor Wiseman describes him as "Britain’s most ambitious and ubiquitous media skeptic [who] has appeared in hundreds of TV and radio programmes." He also has a long history of controversial research and debunkings into parapsychological research, as the SI profile shows.
Quirkology is available from Amazon UK at the moment, publication in the US is set for September.
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week William Henry talks to Andrew Collins about his work on the Cygnus Mystery. Afterwards, Linda Howe talks to Prof. Lonnie Thompson of the Byrd Polar Research Institute about just how sudden and extreme climate change can be.
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, with Ian Punnett standing in for George Noory. Early show Saturday Trevor Marriott, a former British police murder squad Detective, joins Ian for a discussion about the Jack the Ripper case. Later, Art Bell chats with Evelyn Paglini and Richard Hoagland. On Sunday theoretical meteorologist Richard Summerville will discuss the implications of adding more and more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.