Tuesday Roundup 19-09-2006

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


News Briefs 19-09-2006

Aye, Roger the Cabin boy and hoist the mainsails, we be pirates today!

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

As long as there's a few farmers out there, we'll keep fighting for them.

Willie Nelson

Fortean Times #215

Beam me up Scottie! Fortean Times #215 will be out on news-stands from this Friday, and the latest issue focuses on Star Trek. Here's the rundown of articles:

  • From Deep Space to the Nine: What happened when Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was hired by an occult organisation to write a movie preparing humankind for first contact with aliens? David Sutton examines the strange history of Lab Nine, Spectra and The God-Thing.
  • The Science of Star Trek: NASA physicist David Allen Batchelor offers his personal view of the feasibility of Star Trek’s scientific basis and the possible future for its technology.
  • Do you speak klingon?: Star Trek’s most popular aliens have triggered the development of an artificial language. Jen Ogilvie explores the world of the Klingon tongue and those who speak it.
  • Conventional Wisdom: David Sutton boldly goes where no FT editor has gone before: undercover at a Star Trek convention. His three-day mission: to seek out the meaning of a modern cultural phenomenon enjoying its 40th aniversary.
  • Photographing Phantoms: The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has been held up as convincing evidence for spectral forms. FT’s ghostwatcher alan murdie re-examines long-forgotten files and reaches his own conclusions.
  • 9/11: The Video: It is now five years since the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and Jack Sargeant finds many alternative explanations on the Internet, video and DVD.

Head to the Fortean Times website for further information, or for some great free articles from past issues.

Radio 19-09-2006

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

Fate Radio: This week there are a bunch of 'encore' presentations available from the archives - check the link for the rundown.

Coast to Coast AM: Monday's guest is vampire researcher and self-proclaimed psychic vampire Michelle Belanger. On Tuesday author William J. Birnes joins George Noory to announce the release of their new book, Worker in the Light and also discuss his book The Day After Roswell. Wednesday is TBA at the time of posting (check the link for updates), while on Thursday wildlife biologist John Bindernagel and Professor of Anatomy Jeffrey Meldrum will discuss the scientific evidence for Bigfoot.

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

News Briefs 18-09-2006

Take a trip on a rocketship ...

  • It looks like a hoax, but this video of a UFO in China will grant you triple happiness.
  • During the Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-37 mission, astronauts filmed an unidentified sphere hovering in space.
  • Maybe the Russians will see something similar on their way to the International Space Station.
  • They've taken the first female space tourist for the trip, and she only paid $20 million for the privilege. Not for your feminists on budgets.
  • Are Russian-made laptops better than the spontaneously-combusting IBM brand that exploded at LAX?
  • Researchers have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams, a development that'll revolutionise computers.
  • Perhaps in reference to the Pluto fiasco, a rock even further from the Sun has been named after the Greek goddess of strife, Eris.
  • A planet discovered 450-light-years away is bigger than Jupiter but is so light it would float in a bathtub if you could find one big enough.
  • Changes in the Sun's brightness over the past millennium have had only a small effect on Earth's climate.
  • A stone block unearthed in Mexico may be inscribed with the earliest known writing in the Americas, anthropologists claim.
  • Despite the investigations of Dr Robert Schoch and Daily Grailer Dr Collette Dowell, an Egyptology professor from Cairo says it is still worth digging at the so-called pyramids of Bosnia.
  • Archaeology magazine's Mark Rose remains skeptical, and provides a pdf link of Zahi Hawass' letter. Aw, it's typed -- I was hoping we'd get to analyse the Big Zee's handwriting.
  • Roman relics found near Elephanta indicate trade continued between India and the Romans later than thought. That should brighten the heart of American economists.
  • A rarely-explored seascape off the coast of Papua is possibly the richest marine environment in the world, with dozens of new species discovered.
  • A 10'000-year-old quarry is rich in prehistoric artifacts, including a spearpoint still smeared with mammoth blood.
  • A cave in Gibraltar contains the earliest known remains of Neanderthals, a mere 24000-years-young.
  • Petroglyphs thought to be 6000-years-old have halted work on a building site in Utah.
  • I can't think of a suitable segue, so I may as well just give you the link to the peeing Madonna.
  • Buddhism continues to grow in America, adapting and changing in its Western environment.
  • Researchers want to find out why hearing voices in your head is a positive experience and not a cause of concern for some people.
  • If you want hobbits and vikings for neighbours, then consider buying a house in the Shire of Bend. I suspect Kat is a closet entrepeneur secretly developing a Hogwart's apartment complex.

Quote of the Day:

Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -- but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.

Salman Rushdie

News Briefs 15-09-2006

Did anyone else see Whitley Strieber on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night?

  • Jim Hansen, leading climatologist and director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, issues now-or-never warning: we only have a decade to save the planet.
  • Oldest writing from New World discovered.
  • Mongolian paleontologists find 67 dinosaurs in one week.
  • 10,000-year-old 'Quarry of the Ancestors' yields Ice Age tools and weapons, including a pristine spearpoint still smeared with the blood of a woolly mammoth.
  • Touted as the last refuge of the plants and animals that populated the ancient supercontient of Gondwana, New Zealand may in fact have once sunk beneath the waves, taking all traces of Gondwana with it.
  • Astronomers discover that the galactic center of the Milky Way formed independently of the region where Earth is located.
  • Puffed-up planet puzzles astronomers.
  • For 15 years Chicago biochemist Raphael Lee has been working to bring a revolutionary therapy to trauma patients. In spite of increasingly positive evidence of efficacy, and the FDA's 1995 green light to begin humans trials, he has yet to administer his treatment to a single patient because other doctors simply refuse to believe it's possible to reverse trauma, and thus consistently steer their patients elsewhere.
  • Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking ... a sleeping pill. And no one is more baffled than the GP who made the breakthrough.
  • The vole, a mouselike rodent, is not only the fastest evolving mammal, but also harbors a number of puzzling genetic traits that challenge current scientific understanding.
  • Savants: Charting 'islands of genius'.
  • Slow brain waves play key role in coordinating complex activity: Theta waves in separate regions of the brain lock in phase to coordinate their activity, essentially tuning in the high-frequency waves that transfer information.
  • Ten-thousand volunteers sought for world's biggest academic study -- on musical taste and lifestyle.
  • The Meanings of Magic (pdf), an article from the new journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft.
  • New research shows anemia may impair thinking, especially 'executive functions' such as problem solving, planning, assessing dangers, and following up on important activities.
  • Researchers attempting to design terrorist-proof airplanes want a comprehensive network of microphones and cameras installed throughout each aircraft, including the lavatory, which would be linked to a computer 'trained' to pick up suspicious conversations and movements.
  • US Air Force chief says nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield.
  • No psi please -- we're British. Greg says, 'Excuse me Lord Winston, but is that hypocrisy I smell?'
  • Princeton Researchers Announce Diebold Voting-Machine Hack. Here's their demonstration video. More Diebold hack videos: So much for ballot security.
  • YouTube in copyright cross hairs: as Greg says, proof that big business still doesn't 'get' the Internet age.
  • Experimental A.I. Powers Robot Army. Time to take that Red Pill?
  • The comforts of madness: J G Ballard explains why consumerism is a new fascism.

Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

People are very busy, and there’s a deep, built-in, cognitive inability to think carefully and intelligently about catastrophic risks with unknown or slight probabilities. When you ask them to start thinking about something that doesn’t connect to anything in their experience, a purely theoretical danger, it’s difficult for them to take it seriously.

Richard Posner, author of Catastrophe: Risk and Response (Amazon US & UK).

Weekend Roundup 15-09-2006

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Radio 15-09-2006

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

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week Dean Radin, the author of Entangled Minds, explains the proof for psychic powers. Afterwards Linda Howe discusses a new finding that global warming is happening faster than scientists ever dreamed that it would.

Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, while on the 'early show' Saturday Ken Jennings joins Ian Punnett to share stories from the world of trivia buffs. Art Bell follows with former NASA manager John C. Mankins, who will discuss the exploration and development of space & clean renewable energy from space. On Sunday Philip Gardiner will discuss his latest research into the scientific proof of paranormal and spiritual dimensions.

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.

Egypt Code Release Date

Official word from Robert Bauval's publisher (Century/Random House) is that his much anticipated - though delayed - book The Egypt Code will be released in a few weeks time, on October 5th:

"The Egypt Code" develops the pyramid-stars correlation, challenging the long held assumption by many Egyptologists that the pyramids were tombs principally meant to house the bodies of dead kings. In addition to this theory, Robert Bauval also reveals an amazing 'Grand Unified Plan', which involves the wonderful temple of Upper Egypt. "The Egypt Code" is unlike any other book before it and covers the whole of Egypt's ancient civilisation in a manner never before attempted. Much has been written as to 'how' the Egyptians might have aligned their monuments with such high precision, but the question that has always remained unanswered is 'why?'- why did the ancients put so much emphasis on astronomical alignments? And what could be the function, practical or symbolic, behind these mysterious alignments?

I'm hoping to get a bit more info over the coming weeks, and perhaps an interview with Robert, so stay tuned. You can pre-order the book from Amazon US and UK.

Rennes le Chateau Research

For an excellent resource on Rennes le Chateau information and research, check out the Rennes le Chateau Research and Resource website. The site has a great look (complete with graphic novel illustrations of Saunière et al), and is full of excellent information: bios on the players in the mystery, a timeline, the layout of the Saunière Estate, reading lists, a forum and much more. A real keeper for RlC enthusiasts.