News Briefs 24-01-07

  • The invisible enemy in Iraq.
  • Happiness is a skill to be learned.
  • Altruistic brain region found.
  • Lethal secrets of 1918 flu virus.
  • How grue is your valley?
  • Earth: she’s hot and cold.
  • Massive ancient building discovered in Peru.
  • Black diamonds: from outer space?
  • One giant screw up for mankind.
  • Nimble minds.
  • Is the autism epidemic a myth?
  • Molecular magnets mystery.
  • Electric supernovae.
  • Nanoparticles act like atoms.
  • Junk DNA may be key to curing cancer.
  • Physicists develop test for string theory. Just in time to save funding.
  • You’re being watched. Rhetoric? Private versions of all these things would be fine - it is marrying them with big government that creates the justifiable paranoia.
  • Get more out of geothermal.
  • Acupuncture: a treatment for Parkinson’s.

Quote of the Day:

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Thomas Edison

Sam Harris on Psi

Recently the website published a story on one of the leading 'new Atheists' Sam Harris, author of the best-selling The End of Faith (Amazon US and UK). The story went on the attack on numerous fronts, attacking Harris firstly for his supposed support of torture, and secondly for his openness to parapsychology and reincarnation research (in particular, citing books by Dean Radin and Ian Stevenson) and also Eastern metaphysical concepts. Harris has posted a response to the article on his website, explaining his position(s):

My position on the paranormal is this: While there have been many frauds in the history of parapsychology, I believe that this field of study has been unfairly stigmatized. If some experimental psychologists want to spend their days studying telepathy, or the effects of prayer, I will be interested to know what they find out. And if it is true that toddlers occasionally start speaking in ancient languages (as Ian Stevenson alleges), I would like to know about it...

Interesting comments from Harris. The Skeptical Investigations website has reproduced both the original Alternet article and Harris's response in full for those that want to read it.

Update: As commenter 'Kamarling' points out, Dean Radin has responded to the Alternet article as well on his blog, in a post titled "On Militant Atheism".

Tuesday Roundup 23-01-2007

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


UFO Mystic and Cryptomundo Feeds

I have added the RSS feeds from two great 'alternative science' sites to the right hand column here at TDG - there are now blocks showing the latest headlines from UFO Mystic (featuring the thoughts of Nick Redfern and Greg Bishop), and the ultimate cryptozoological news site Cryptomundo. Needless to say, we will still link to the best entries at these sites in our daily news or round-ups - but the feeds are there for those that want to check each and every headline. For TDG members who are not interested in these feeds, you can switch them off in your account settings.

While mentioning Cryptomundo, it would be remiss of me not to mention the request for donations in order to buy Loren Coleman a decent computer. I can speak from experience in saying that it's difficult to stay on top of things financially in researching and presenting 'alternative' topics, while staying on the 'high road'. Loren's one of those guys, so if you appreciate the job he's done over the last forty years in cryptozoology, maybe it's worth a miniscule repayment.

News Briefs 23-01-2007

Happy birthday for tomorrow to my wonderful, amazing, beautiful Tonita!

  • Does the 'Murphy mover' explain the pyramids? I didn't realise there were Irishmen in ancient Egypt.
  • Quarrying company wins battle over ancient Henge site.
  • Is the real Mona Lisa buried in Florence?
  • USD professor says that the Battle of Big Horn was actually a rout, with Custer's troops disintegrating in panic.
  • Swiss archaeologist digs up African pottery dating to at least 9,400 BCE.
  • Drawing back the veil on Pre-Columbian America: a review of Charles Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Amazon US and UK).
  • Meet the real Dr Frankensteins of the Cold War era.
  • Mental training has the ability to physically change the brain. As opposed to Cold War scientists changing it for you. This article part of a current Time magazine feature on the mystery of consciousness.
  • 'Baby mind reader' wants to challenge Randi for his million.
  • Uri Geller is 'spooking' Israeli magicians.
  • Is the O'Hare UFO sighting the start of a new 'flap'?
  • Alfie Carrington has spent half his life trying to build a flying saucer. Probably better off hijacking one this year sometime.
  • New research suggests that the Moon influences our lives in many ways.
  • Exploding robots may scout hazardous asteroids. I've been waiting for the day when astrophysics and slapstick would combine for the greater good.
  • Scientists say 'Fantastic Voyage' willl be a reality in 2009.
  • The twenty most popular scientific myths.
  • India's space hopes soar as capsule returns to Earth.
  • Gambling appears to show that consciousness is a sure bet.
  • Ironically, also in today's news: activation of brain region predicts whether a person will be selfish or altruistic. What about if you gamble your own money and give it to someone else?
  • Western faiths begin to connect with Yoga.
  • Neural 'extension cord' developed for brain implants. Why not add in a double adaptor so that great minds can think alike?
  • While nanotechnology is all the rage in the scientific world, for most people it's off the radar.
  • MIT study urges use of geothermal energy as a power source.
  • Aerosol pollution slows down winds and reduces rainfall. Apparently also good for cleaning glass, eradicating mosquitoes, and starching your clothes.
  • Stephen Hawking warns of climate change danger. Hmm, his spaceflight training makes more sense now....deserter!!
  • More on that ball lightning in the lab story from a week or so ago.
  • Don't try this at home kids...television repairman shoots electricity from his fingertips (video). Ball lightning in the home?
  • US man survives 17-story tumble. Unfortunately, loses out in sympathy stakes to the duck that survived being shot and then surviving two days in a fridge.

Quote of the Day:

I'm fascinated that our government could lie to us so blatantly, so obviously for so long, and we do absolutely nothing about it. I think that's interesting in what is ostensibly a democracy.

Bill Hicks

Ayahuasca Monologues

Michael from Souldish writes:

I wanted to let readers know we have an entheogens event this Thursday (25th of January) in NYC called "Ayahuasca Monologues: Tales Of The Spirit Vine". Daniel Pinchbeck and 4 other storytellers will talk about their experiences with Ayahuasca. Their stories are diverse, it should be a
great time.

Should be a fascinating evening, make sure you check it out if it's within range. Once again, living in Australia gives me the equivalent of a poke in the eye. How about some video Michael?

Radio 23-01-2007

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

Fate Radio: This week's show is an encore interview, with UK ufologist and author Timothy Good (Above Top Secret) discussing UFOs, alien contacts, and worldwide government cover-ups (Real Audio or mp3).

Coast to Coast AM: Monday's guest is Mark Pinkham of the Intl. Order of Gnostic Templars, who will join Andrew Sinclair to discuss the history and hidden treasures of the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. On Tuesday parapsychology researcher and OBE expert, Albert Taylor, will talk about physical attack by spirit entities and recent research development with the psychomateum, following up on the work of Dr. Raymond Moody. Wednesday's guest is Glynis McCants, who will be a giving a major recap of 2006 and what is in store for 2007, while Thursday is TBA (check the link for updates).

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

News Briefs 22-01-2007

Monday again.

  • Here are those robots I was asking for last week, but I prefer nurses of the human kind (especially cute ones).
  • Two US human rights groups claim to be working with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodaphone to protect civil liberties. Hrmm, which satellite did China shoot down?
  • The site discusses Randi's obsession with Uri Geller.
  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, a new book by Wall Street Journal science writer Sharon Begley, discusses a conference of buddhist monks and neuroscientists (Amazon US or UK).
  • The Sentience and Consciousness website has an interesting article about the development of conscious perception.
  • Nick Redfern writes about Puerto Rico's (no relation) Moca Vampire. Not to be confused with the cappuccino vampire.
  • Whitley Strieber's talking about nothing really, just something about global superstorms, UFOs and nuclear armageddon.
  • Joe Kovacs (any relation to Ed?) reports that Colonel Brian Fields has photographed UFOs eerily similar to the Phoenix Lights (Wiki? We need a Red Pill entry).
  • UFO Digest says that the O'Hare UFO and the latest in Arkansas could be sign of more sightings to come.
  • Carl Mason says we shouldn't ignore skeptics completely. Except Randi.
  • An excellent article about the Chachapoya "Cloud People" ruins found in the Peruvian Andes last August. National Geographic also has an excellent feature with pics, as does Living In Peru dot com.
  • Ancient weapons 5500-years-old speak of ancient battles in Syria, near the Iraq border. Close, Dubya, but not close enough.
  • A brilliant four-page feature about the 13th century medieval text found to contain the oldest known writings of Archimedes.
  • A statue of Hanuman in an Indian temple apparently shed tears. Attention-seeking deities will do anything to pull a crowd.
  • Researchers in Canada have resurrected the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic and infected monkeys with it. So that's why Hanuman is crying.
  • Analysis of a 40'000-year-old human skull found in Romania suggests Neanderthals and early Europeans may have interbred. We still are.

Quote of the Day:

You gotta be pretty desperate to make it with a robot.

Homer Simpson

Psience of UFO Propulsion

I've just added a new guest article to the Features section here on TDG - "UFOs and the Zero Point Field", by Marie D. Jones, who is the author of the book Psience: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena (Amazon US and UK). The article gives a short overview of the science of zero point fields, and how this cutting edge topic may have relevance for ufology.

Giza Oracle Links

A short note regarding the new banner ad we have this week, for Scott Creighton's book The Giza Oracle - the banner links to an informative 'taster' article on Graham Hancock's website, but the link to the book purchasing page is a little obscure. For those that enjoy the article and are interested in purchasing the book, the direct link to the book sale page is here (available as both a paperback and electronic download).