Fate 04-2006

The April edition of Fate Magazine has been released, and as usual there are a few free sample articles available from their website. There's "Phone Call from an Alien" by Preston Dennett, "The Science Fiction Factor" by Kurt Sutherly, and "A Monstrous Good Time" by David F. Godwin. The print edition has much more, full details of the issue contents are available at the website.

News Briefs 06-04-2006

If you get the chance to have a look at David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth, do it. Fascinating...

  • Professor predicts human time travel within 100 years. How do we know he doesn't have some inside information on this?
  • Europe sets next phase in asteroid deflection project. Giant baseball bats swinging off the Moon was not accepted by the committee.
  • Asteroids: Treasures of the past and a threat to the future.
  • Are humans descended from Martian microbes?
  • China unveils ambitious space plans at National Space Symposium.
  • Chameleon clothing lets you vanish into the background.
  • Two new animal species discovered in the Philippines.
  • Scientists warn to brace for another bad hurricane season.
  • Lab-grown bladder a milestone. As long as it's not a gall-stone.
  • Japan unveils the new fastest train in the world.
  • Jurassic Park is back on the table.
  • Fossil fish with limbs is missing link.
  • Scientists create 'green' explosives to save harming the environment. If there's a higher power, he/she must really wonder sometimes...
  • Unusual Ancient Egyptian pillow analysed.
  • Egyptian techniques to be used to save China's ancient books.
  • Ancient pyramid discovered in Mexico under the site of a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ.
  • Talking of the J-man: study finds that Jesus probably walked on ice, not water. That's right up there with the study which found an anomalous tidal event parted the Red Sea for Moses. All in the name of science...
  • Restoration work begins on the Great Sphinx of Giza. Perhaps they can add an escalator down to the Hall of Records?
  • 9,000-year-old drilled teeth are the work of a Stone-Age dentist. Using "drills tipped with shards of flint" - I'll never complain about my dentist trip again.
  • Secrets of swamp girl revealed in Germany. I'm sure it would be every woman's dying wish to be remembered for eternity as 'swamp girl'.
  • Death-Crown phenomenon still evokes amazement.
  • Monk's uncorrupted corpse to stay on display. Perhaps someone will do him a favour and corrupt him a little.
  • New documentary investigates the mystery of Iceland's elves, and the widespread belief in the little folk.

Quote of the Day:

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature.

George Bernard Shaw

Exopolitics 1:3

The April 2006 edition of the Exopolitics Journal (Vol. 1, no. 3) is now available for free from the EJ website, downloadable as either PDF or Word doc articles. In this issue: "Are We a Security Threat to Extraterrestrial Civilizations?", by Eric Julien, "On a Quantitative Standard for Assessing Genuineness of Alleged UFO Contactees", by J.W. Deardorff, PhD, and "Colonel Philip Corso and his Critics: Crossing the Rubicon between Objective Criticism and Debunking", by Michael Salla, PhD. Also in this issue are interviews with Sergeant Major Robert Dean and Paul Hellyer, and also a review of Project Aquarius by William Hamilton. Full details available at the website.

News Briefs 05-04-06

Irish drinking songs have everything. Proof of the existence of God, man in song and chaos amidst order. Sing your songs.

  • Sunspots and earthquakes.
  • Predicting earthquakes from space. Earthquake precursors or background noise?
  • Physicists make a baffling discover: Chaos=Order. New concept, Chorder.
  • Cinnamon may prove useful for diabetes.
  • Lost photos confirm fossil finds.
  • Magnetic moondust is given the brush off.
  • What’s behind the solar systems biggest light shows?
  • Huge alcohol cloud stuns sky watchers. 100% Proof that God is Irish.
  • Ebola and the Army of the 12 Monkeys.
  • Caveman crooners may have aided early human life.
  • Some scientists think that humans descended from Martian microbes.
  • Why is a woman’s brain smaller than a man’s? Perhaps as I suggested on GHMB years ago - human beings applied breeding to themselves just as they did to other life. But with humans, morality, religion and social taboos may have been the method of achievement.
  • Einstein and his deadly error.
  • The case for evolution in real life.
  • Censorship: from Socrates and Copernicus to Galileo and the Present.
  • Astronomers watch the skies for threat of deadly impact.
  • Dinosaur tumour studied for human cancer clues.
  • Are morning-after pills abortion or contraception?
  • Kyoto and a climate of moralism.
  • Cutting calories may boost your lifespan.

Quote of the Day:

Speech is the socialism of song.


The Jesus Papers on Dateline

MSNBC's Dateline currently has a (quite critical) feature on Michael Baigent's latest book, which you can check out on the web. The mystery of the Jesus Papers features some analysis of Baigent's claims, the first chapter of the book, an interactive look at the various locations (from St Sulpice to Rennes-le-Chateau) and also the full video of Baigent's appearance on Today last week. Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in all this Dan Brown/Priory of Sion/Rennes-le-Chateau/Jesus thing. The Jesus Papers is available from Amazon US and UK (still in the Top 10 at Amazon too!).

Tuesday Roundup 04-04-2006

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


News Briefs 04-04-2006

I have a splinter in my mind’s eye...

  • Study challenges prayers for the sick.
  • What do you do when your hand has a mind of its own. Hmm, now this could be the ultimate excuse.
  • Does Mozart help newborn babies?
  • Here's a review of The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies, by Anna Franklin (Amazon US and UK).
  • White witch Kevin Carlyon has threatened to put a curse on Fatboy Slim's Loch Ness concert.
  • A double review of Lewis Wolpert’s Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, which takes them to task for completely misunderstanding the roots of religion.
  • Our sixth sense gives us our place in space.
  • Virgin Galactic already has advance bookings for 157 people on their future edge-of-atmosphere flights.
  • Is NASA in out of space. I can see Richard Hoagland having a field day with this.
  • Historian looks at the failure of SETI.
  • If the British had a time machine, Winston Churchill would get a lot of visitors. Personally, I’d like to stop in on H.G. Wells...just to blow his mind.
  • Cockroaches live in a democracy. Hmm, I’m starting to see why the neo-cons are so keen to spread democracy.
  • Bug-eating robots use flies for fuel. I take it the flies have no vote in that.
  • Long term mobile phone use increases brain tumour risk.
  • Meeting Dr Doom - does a Texas scientist advocate killing 80% of humans with the Ebola virus?
  • Mushroom cloud over Las Vegas pencilled in for June 2nd.
  • Seven new wonders of the world.
  • Google to make the genetic information of the world searchable?
  • National Geographic has a feature on history’s best April Fools Day pranks.

Quote of the Day:

April 1st: This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four

Mark Twain

Radio 04-04-2006

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

Fate Radio: No new schedule yet this week, check the link for updates.

Coast to Coast AM: Monday's guest is psychologist Dr. Richard Boylan who will discuss recent developments in "star nations' communications with Planet Earth". On Tuesday Dr. Thomas Blass will discuss the work of Dr. Stanley Milgram, who pioneered controversial human obedience experiments. Wednesday Roger Tolces will discuss the increase in wiretapping and electronic harassment, and on Thursday former Stargate military remote viewer Paul Smith will talk about the skeptic conspiracy to keep evidence of the paranormal away from the public.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website. Also C2C can be listened to through KOGO.

News Briefs 03-04-2006

Daylight Savings just ended down here, but instead of winding the clock back one hour, I wound it back one day. No wonder I don't know what time it is.

  • Surf's up, Captain. Giant waves seventy feet high pound a research vessel for 12 hours off the coast of Scotland.
  • Undeterred by reports of a 90-foot wave, a Dutchman has built a replica of Noah's Ark. Perhaps he knows something about the Netherlands' dykes that we don't.
  • The European Space Agency's chief scientist says there should be a Noah's Ark on the moon, in case life on Earth is wiped out. Me, worried?
  • Two months after accusations of censorship, NASA commits to free discussion.
  • Why does NASA refuse to spend more money on the enigmatic moons of Europa and Enceladus when they have more chances of finding life there than they do on Mars? I just answered my own question.
  • A review of Programming the Universe by Seth Lloyd (Amazon US or UK), who says the universe operates like an enormous computer. Mac or PC?
  • The collision of two superdense stars would produce the strongest magnetic fields in the Universe, say scientists. I've never heard of that Magnetic Fields album.
  • Physicists have confirmed that neutrinos, which are thought to have played a key role during the creation of the Universe, have mass. Does that make them Catholic?
  • A review of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast (Amazon UK) by Lewis Wolpert, a passionate rationalist exploring the scientific roots of religious belief, superstition and plain old luck.
  • Music may have played an important role in the evolution of early humans.
  • Which ties in nicely with a new article by Mike Hayes, who discusses the number seven, octaves and extraterrestrial DNA. A great read.
  • Out of control -- nearly 4 million Americans, most of them children and young adults, are being prescribed hyperactivity drugs. Ah, so Indigo Children are named after the colour of the pill they take!
  • Perhaps the Nepalese boy claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha was diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Sharpen your crayons and start drawing pictures of that Bigfoot or Chupacabra you saw -- a cryptozoology museum exhibition needs your sketches.
  • Amazing dinosaur fossils are being excavated on New Zealand's Chatham Islands. This is the first evidence that dinosaurs lived on isolated islands in the southwest Pacific.
  • MUFON discusses time travel, aliens and government coverups.
  • There's only one thing worse than Rense, and that's the UK's Sun -- but it has an interesting statement by SETI's Seth Shostak, who says we'll make contact with extraterrestrials between 2020 and 2025.
  • Among the ruins of a 3200-year-old ruins near Athens, archaeologists believe they have found the palace where Ajax, the legendary Greek hero of the Trojan war, ruled.
  • Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of stone tablets from the Sumerian civilisation of Ur, some dating between 2700 BC and 2100 BC. I can't wait for Zecharia Sitchin's translations.
  • It's a confusing website, but a good one detailing archaeoastronomy across the world.
  • Sheriff Zahi Hawass says the St Louis Art Museum has a week to turn over the allegedly stolen 3200-year-old mask of Ka-nefer-nefer, or face legal action. Ka-nyah-nyah.
  • A big happy 71st birthday to Erich Von Daniken, who has never ceased wondering at the mysterious. All the best mate.

Thanks Kat for the Dixie Chicks video.

Quote of the Day:

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whosoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

Albert Einstein

Da Vinci Code Shock

I just received an email from an 'insider' friend in London who says that the copyright court case concerning The Da Vinci Code (see a partial history here) has been thrown into confusion this morning, with the Catholic Church launching a cross-claim against both Dan Brown and the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Apparently lawyers for the Catholic Church are claiming that Dan Brown, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have all breached the Catholic Church's copyright on information held and owned by them. Citing never before seen documents in the Vatican Archives, they claim that ideas central to both books - that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child, and that this bloodline exists to this day - have been plagiarised from real historical documents which the Catholic Church has kept concealed for centuries.

As my insider friend wrote to me: "It's a unique day, not only in court history, but also in religious history and in other ways too. Some might think the Catholic Church to be fools, coming out with this information, but then when you look at the profits to be had - and the control they will now have over the ending of the film version of Brown's book - perhaps this is a mind-f**k which has been in the planning for some time." Certainly seems to be a power-play, with the express intention of removing Dan Brown and Michael Baigent as threats to their authority.

Interestingly, the 1st of the 4 documents released to the press says that the Catholic Church's agent is accepting bids on the film rights to the 'real' story of Jesus' life - and, funnily enough, that Martin Scorcese would be the preferred choice as director due to his "previous experience". I'll update further on this tomorrow.

Update: Yes, in case you missed it, this was our usual April 1st prank. Besides the utter incomprehensibility of the Catholic Church owning up to documents proving that Jesus got married and had kids, the other in-jokes were "unique day...in other ways too", "to be fools", "perhaps this is a mind-f**k", and "the 1st of the 4". And the Scorcese bit was just some icing on top. Thanks for the good humour everyone took it with. Cya next year!