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Mysterious lake creature shrouded in myth

 

 

Once described as a being the spawn of an earwig and a whale, the mystery of Okanagan Lake's Ogopogo is still being debated to this day. Originally called M-ha-a-i-tk by local First Nations, Ogopogo's home is said to be near Squally Point (also known as Rattlesnake Island). According to city councillor and local historian Randy Manuel, the natives, out of fear of death by drowning, would sacrifice an animal like a dog when passing Squally Point. "It's a spot where wind and weather can bring waves up to six or seven feet there. It's a spot where you don't want to get caught in a boat," said Manuel. "It (sacrificing animals) was common practice when they were travelling the length of the lake in canoes." The local natives weren't the only ones that believed in Ogopogo either. In 1914 one man found what may have been an Ogopogo carcass. Author F.M. Buckland of Kelowna described the story of what happened to a group of campers near Greata Ranch in one of his books. "One of the party who had gone to the lake edge for water was attracted by a strong smell of rotted fish. On investigation he found the badly decomposed body of a strange animal lying at the water's edge.

 

The body was between five and six feet in length and would weigh about 400 pounds. It had a short, broad, flat tail and a head that stuck out from between shoulders without any sign of a neck. The nose was stubby, sticking out of rounded head with no ears visible. The thick hide was sparsely covered with a silky hair four or five inches in length and of a bluish-grey colour while the teeth resembled those of a dog. It had two ivory-like tusks and claws resembling those of a great bird, on flipper-like arms; claws that showed no signs of wear or use, such as those of a cougar or other land animal."

 

Source: Penticton Western News

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The mystery of the crystal skulls

 

 

 

According to a popular story, English researcher Frederick A. Mitchell-Hedges found the Skull of Doom among Maya ruins in Lubaantun (now Belize) in 1927. However, some people state that the researcher bought the thing at Sotheby’s in London in 1943. No matter what is the origin of the skull, the object of rock crystal is so perfectly worked that it is an invaluable piece of art. If we accept the first hypothesis saying that the skull belonged to Maya then a great number of questions arise in this connection. Researchers state that the Skull of Doom is in a certain way impossible from the technical point of view. The ideal copy of a female skull weighing five kilograms is so wonderfully perfect which could hardly be achieved without some modern methods that Maya knew and of which we have no idea. The skull is polished perfectly. Its jaw is an articulate part detached from the rest of the skull. The Skull of Doom has been the point of interest of researchers from various spheres for a rather long period. And it is sure to draw their attention in the future as well. A group of esoteric experts keep on insisting that the skull reveals supernatural capacities such as telekinesis, exhaling a rare smell and changing colors. But it is difficult to prove that these capacities actually exist.

 

The Skull of Doom was subjected to various analyses. It is incredible that the item made of fused silica with the hardness seven of the Mohs scale (the scale of mineral hardness from zero to ten) was worked without hard cutting rubies or diamonds. Hewlett-Packard studied the skull in the 1970s and stated that it must have taken 300 years for numerous generations to rub a block of rock crystal down with sand until the perfect Skull emerged. Was it possible that Maya planned this work that could be completed just in three centuries? One thing is for sure is that the Skull of Doom is not unique. Several items of the same type and made of materials similar to quartz were discovered in different parts of the planet. A whole skeleton of a smaller caliber than the human one made of jade was discovered in the area of China and Mongolia. According to various estimates, the skeleton belonged to 3500-2200 B.C. There is some doubt that many of the artifacts are genuine. One thing is for certain that crystal skulls give much pleasure to audacious researchers.

 

Source: Pravda.ru

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10 years after Dolly: No human clones

 

 

 

Is she a monster or a miracle? This was the front-page question posed by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1997. The article was just one of hundreds of news reports on the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. Born July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly was the genetic copy of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe. Because of a patent application on the cloning process, her birth was kept a secret until February 27, 1997. Researchers, religious leaders, and politicians immediately began debating the ethical implications of cloning mammals. Specifically, the announcement of a cloned sheep sparked concern that human clones wouldn't be far behind. The U.S. and British governments both called for reports on the implications of the achievement, while the Vatican urged a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade later human clones seem no closer to reality, but scientists have created copies of a barnyard's worth of animals.

 

"It's really astonishing," said Irina Polejaeva, referring to the number of species cloned within the last decade. Polejaeva is the chief scientific officer for Austin, Texas-based ViaGen—one of several U.S. companies offering commercial cloning services.

 

Source: National Geographic

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Mysterious lake creature shrouded in myth

 

 

Once described as a being the spawn of an earwig and a whale, the mystery of Okanagan Lake's Ogopogo is still being debated to this day. Originally called M-ha-a-i-tk by local First Nations, Ogopogo's home is said to be near Squally Point (also known as Rattlesnake Island). According to city councillor and local historian Randy Manuel, the natives, out of fear of death by drowning, would sacrifice an animal like a dog when passing Squally Point. "It's a spot where wind and weather can bring waves up to six or seven feet there. It's a spot where you don't want to get caught in a boat," said Manuel. "It (sacrificing animals) was common practice when they were travelling the length of the lake in canoes." The local natives weren't the only ones that believed in Ogopogo either. In 1914 one man found what may have been an Ogopogo carcass. Author F.M. Buckland of Kelowna described the story of what happened to a group of campers near Greata Ranch in one of his books. "One of the party who had gone to the lake edge for water was attracted by a strong smell of rotted fish. On investigation he found the badly decomposed body of a strange animal lying at the water's edge.

 

The body was between five and six feet in length and would weigh about 400 pounds. It had a short, broad, flat tail and a head that stuck out from between shoulders without any sign of a neck. The nose was stubby, sticking out of rounded head with no ears visible. The thick hide was sparsely covered with a silky hair four or five inches in length and of a bluish-grey colour while the teeth resembled those of a dog. It had two ivory-like tusks and claws resembling those of a great bird, on flipper-like arms; claws that showed no signs of wear or use, such as those of a cougar or other land animal."

 

 

Source: Penticton Western News

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10 years after Dolly: No human clones

 

 

 

Is she a monster or a miracle? This was the front-page question posed by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1997. The article was just one of hundreds of news reports on the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. Born July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly was the genetic copy of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe. Because of a patent application on the cloning process, her birth was kept a secret until February 27, 1997. Researchers, religious leaders, and politicians immediately began debating the ethical implications of cloning mammals. Specifically, the announcement of a cloned sheep sparked concern that human clones wouldn't be far behind. The U.S. and British governments both called for reports on the implications of the achievement, while the Vatican urged a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade later human clones seem no closer to reality, but scientists have created copies of a barnyard's worth of animals.

 

"It's really astonishing," said Irina Polejaeva, referring to the number of species cloned within the last decade. Polejaeva is the chief scientific officer for Austin, Texas-based ViaGen—one of several U.S. companies offering commercial cloning services.

 

Source: National Geographic

 

when are they gonna get how much GOOD cloning can do?! by cloning organs for instance we can help save a lot of lives! dumbasses :punishing_wft:

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Official: Jack the Ripper identified

 

 

Private handwritten notes by the man who led the hunt for Jack the Ripper naming the chief suspect were given to Scotland Yard’s Black Museum yesterday. Chief Inspector Donald Swanson kept quiet for years but in retirement, frustrated that the murderer had escaped justice, could not resist scribbling notes in the margin of his boss’s memoirs, naming the man that they both believed had become the world’s most famous serial killer. The man he named was Aaron Kosminski, a Polish-Jewish hairdresser living in Whitechapel, East London, who was eventually committed to a lunatic asylum, where he died. According to Swanson the police were so convinced that Kosminski was the killer of at least five prostitutes in the 1880s that they organised a secret identity parade at a police rest home. The witness was a Jew who was said to have refused to give evidence. Swanson made his notes in a book called The Lighter Side of My Official Life by Sir Robert Anderson, who was an assistant commissioner, for whom Swanson became staff officer. Sir Robert said as a “definitely ascertainable fact” that the killer was a Polish Jew. He said that the only person who ever had a good view of the killer “unhesitantly identified the suspect the instant he was confronted but refused to give evidence”. Mr Swanson wrote: “Because the suspect was also a Jew and also because his evidence would convict the suspect and witness would be the means of murderer being hanged — which he did not wish to be left on his mind.”

 

He said that the suspect had been taken by police to the rest home for the identification and that Kosminski knew he had been identified. He was taken back to his brother’s home in Whitechapel and police kept a secret watch. Eventually he had to be taken, bound, to a workhouse and then to an asylum where he died “shortly afterwards”. Swanson wrote: “Kosminski was the suspect.” Yesterday as the Swanson family handed over the book with its margin notes to the Yard’s refurbished Crime Museum, Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Lovelock, who heads detective training and the museum, said that the identification was very interesting.

 

 

Source: Times Online

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10 years after Dolly: No human clones

 

 

 

Is she a monster or a miracle? This was the front-page question posed by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1997. The article was just one of hundreds of news reports on the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. Born July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly was the genetic copy of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe. Because of a patent application on the cloning process, her birth was kept a secret until February 27, 1997. Researchers, religious leaders, and politicians immediately began debating the ethical implications of cloning mammals. Specifically, the announcement of a cloned sheep sparked concern that human clones wouldn't be far behind. The U.S. and British governments both called for reports on the implications of the achievement, while the Vatican urged a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade later human clones seem no closer to reality, but scientists have created copies of a barnyard's worth of animals.

 

"It's really astonishing," said Irina Polejaeva, referring to the number of species cloned within the last decade. Polejaeva is the chief scientific officer for Austin, Texas-based ViaGen—one of several U.S. companies offering commercial cloning services.

 

Source: National Geographic

 

when are they gonna get how much GOOD cloning can do?! by cloning organs for instance we can help save a lot of lives! dumbasses :punishing_wft:

 

Yes, we can save a lot of lives, but do you think scientists will really succeed with cloning organs/humans? It's impossible to clone a fully healthy human/animal, there will always be some complications, whatever it's has to do with sickness or not!

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10 years after Dolly: No human clones

 

 

 

Is she a monster or a miracle? This was the front-page question posed by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1997. The article was just one of hundreds of news reports on the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. Born July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly was the genetic copy of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe. Because of a patent application on the cloning process, her birth was kept a secret until February 27, 1997. Researchers, religious leaders, and politicians immediately began debating the ethical implications of cloning mammals. Specifically, the announcement of a cloned sheep sparked concern that human clones wouldn't be far behind. The U.S. and British governments both called for reports on the implications of the achievement, while the Vatican urged a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade later human clones seem no closer to reality, but scientists have created copies of a barnyard's worth of animals.

 

"It's really astonishing," said Irina Polejaeva, referring to the number of species cloned within the last decade. Polejaeva is the chief scientific officer for Austin, Texas-based ViaGen—one of several U.S. companies offering commercial cloning services.

 

Source: National Geographic

 

when are they gonna get how much GOOD cloning can do?! by cloning organs for instance we can help save a lot of lives! dumbasses :punishing_wft:

 

Yes, we can save a lot of lives, but do you think scientists will really succeed with cloning organs/humans? It's impossible to clone a fully healthy human/animal, there will always be some complications, whatever it's has to do with sickness or not!

 

Since 1982 is possible my good firend :) .

 

Snake spotting key to human evolution

 

 

The ability to spot venomous snakes may have played a major role in the evolution of monkeys, apes and humans, according to a new hypothesis by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at UC Davis. The work is published in the July issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.Primates have good vision, enlarged brains, and grasping hands and feet, and use their vision to guide reaching and grasping. Scientists have thought that these characteristics evolved together as early primates used their hands and eyes to grab insects and other small prey, or to handle and examine fruit and other foods.Isbell suggests instead that primates developed good close-up eyesight to avoid a dangerous predator -- the snake."A snake is the only predator you really need to see close up. If it's a long way away it's not dangerous," Isbell said.Neurological studies by others show that the structure of the brain's visual system does not actually fit with the idea that vision evolved along with reaching and grasping, Isbell said. But the visual system does seem to be well connected to the "fear module," brain structures involved in vigilance, fear and learning.Fossils and DNA evidence show that snakes were likely the first serious predators of modern mammals, which evolved about 100 million years ago. Fossils of snakes with mouths big enough to eat those mammals appear at about the same time. Other animals that could have eaten our ancestors, such as big cats, and hawks and eagles, evolved much later.Venomous snakes evolved about 60 million years ago, raising the stakes and forcing primates to get better at detecting them.

 

"There's an evolutionary arms race between the predators and prey. Primates get better at spotting and avoiding snakes, so the snakes get better at concealment, or more venomous, and the primates respond," Isbell said.Some primate groups less threatened by snakes show fewer signs of evolutionary pressure to evolve better vision. For example, the lemurs of Madagascar do not have any venomous snakes in their environment, and in evolutionary terms "have stayed where they are," Isbell said. In South America, monkeys arrived millions of years before venomous snakes, and show less specialization in their visual system compared with Old World monkeys and apes, which all have good vision, including color.

 

 

Source: UC Davis

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Why do large animals go extinct ?

 

 

Once upon a time, a 2-ton wombat lumbered across the Australian Outback. Around the same time, mammoths and saber-toothed tigers had the California coastline all to themselves. Millions of years before any of these animals existed, Tyrannosaurus rex and other colossal dinosaurs ruled the world.These and some of the other largest and most fantastic creatures ever to walk the planet are long gone, victims of mass extinctions of large beasts. And for reasons poorly understood, often the animals to fill the voids were tiny by comparison.Scientists generally accept that a giant asteroid slammed into the Gulf of Mexico some 65 million years ago, setting off a chain of catastrophic events that ultimately led to the extinction of dinosaurs. Whether or not an asteroid is to blame, the so-called KT boundary in the in fossil record displays a mass extinction of dinosaurs and other large animals around the world.Small scavenging mammals and birds survived the event, and scientists can't say for sure why dinosaurs did not.

 

Since bigger beasts couldn't take shelter in small protected burrows, perhaps they were done in by fierce environmental conditions. Or maybe with so many plants dying off, big herbivores simply had nothing to eat, and as they died out, so did the big carnivores. Or perhaps with all the stress, dinosaurs simply couldn't reproduce quickly enough to keep up with sexually nimble mammals and were soon outnumbered.

 

 

Source: Live Science

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Did the Apollo astronauts see a UFO ?

 

 

In the documentary "Apollo 11: The Untold Story," shown on Britain's Channel Five on Monday night, July 24, astronaut Buzz Aldrin says he, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins all saw a UFO shadowing their spacecraft. Apollo 11, which took off on July 16, 1969, was the first manned mission to the moon. Aldrin says, "There was something out there, close enough to be observed, and what could it be?" In the documentary, he says, "Now, obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out, 'Hey, Houston, we've got something moving alongside of us and we don't know what it is,' you know? We weren't about to do that, because we knew that that those transmissions would be heard by all sorts of people and somebody might have demanded we turn back because of aliens or whatever the reason is." He says NASA knew about the UFO but covered up the information.

 

It has just been learned that all but two of the 700 boxes of Apollo 11 videos are mysteriously missing from the National Archives. The footage of the Apollo 11 mission was recorded on special 1-inch magnetic tape, and the only machines that can play it are at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, which is being closed in the fall of 2006.

 

Source: Unknown Country

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10 years after Dolly: No human clones

 

 

 

Is she a monster or a miracle? This was the front-page question posed by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1997. The article was just one of hundreds of news reports on the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. Born July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly was the genetic copy of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe. Because of a patent application on the cloning process, her birth was kept a secret until February 27, 1997. Researchers, religious leaders, and politicians immediately began debating the ethical implications of cloning mammals. Specifically, the announcement of a cloned sheep sparked concern that human clones wouldn't be far behind. The U.S. and British governments both called for reports on the implications of the achievement, while the Vatican urged a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade later human clones seem no closer to reality, but scientists have created copies of a barnyard's worth of animals.

 

"It's really astonishing," said Irina Polejaeva, referring to the number of species cloned within the last decade. Polejaeva is the chief scientific officer for Austin, Texas-based ViaGen—one of several U.S. companies offering commercial cloning services.

 

Source: National Geographic

 

when are they gonna get how much GOOD cloning can do?! by cloning organs for instance we can help save a lot of lives! dumbasses :punishing_wft:

 

Yes, we can save a lot of lives, but do you think scientists will really succeed with cloning organs/humans? It's impossible to clone a fully healthy human/animal, there will always be some complications, whatever it's has to do with sickness or not!

 

Azizam I dont think its impossible at all! Great progress has been made - scientists have cloned cats, dogs, donkeys, horses, etc - you name it! Dolly was actually very succesful, she died "young" but she was healthy all her life, no major complications at all. I was actually a bit reluctant to the thought of cloning up until this summer, but then i had the pleasure to work for a woman who majored in genomics and the area of cloning, so i actually cloned bacteria and genes and learned a whole lot which really made me change my mind about cloning. The last thing I heard about cloning was that scientists at Harvard are working on cloning human foeti, which is pretty amazing if you ask me =)

:friends:

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Black holes may not exist at all

 

 

They swallow everything that comes their way and exercise the world's finest minds, but the portrayal of black holes as awe-inspiring celestial menaces may be woefully inaccurate, a team of scientists claim. Indeed, they might not exist at all. According to the researchers, the traditional astronomers' view of a universe liberally sprinkled with invisible, all-consuming black holes should be replaced with an alternative that sees strange, magnetic balls of plasma floating in their place. If the finding is verified - an event some scientists do not see on the horizon - it would dramatically overturn a theory that emerged from an English geologist's calculations in 1784, was verified by Einstein and confined by four laws drawn up by Professor Stephen Hawking. The scientists, lead by Rudy Schild at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, spotted what they claim to be the death knell for black hole theory while observing a quasar, lurking nine billion light years from Earth. Quasars are believed to have black holes at their centres, but to test this assumption, the scientists set up 14 telescopes to keep an unprecedented watch on the object. By analysing the gentle flickering of the quasar, the team were able to probe the structure of its interior. They discovered a gaping hole in a disc of material surrounding the centre of the quasar, as wide as 4,000 times the distance from the Earth to the sun.

 

The hole, they believe, could only be caused by a vast ejection of material propelled by a strong magnetic field. Because black holes do not have magnetic fields, Dr Schild's team suggest in The Astronomical Journal, the quasar must be powered by a dense ball of plasma called a MECO (magnetospheric eternally collapsing object). But according to the astronomers' theories the MECOs' existence precludes the possibility of black holes. "I believe this is the first evidence that the whole black hole paradigm is incorrect," said Darryl Leiter, a scientist on the team told the New Scientist.

 

Source: Guardian Unlimited

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Martian life announcement plan needed

 

 

 

A plan should be formulated for how to tell the public if signs of Martian life are found by future missions to the Red Planet, say scientists from NASA and the SETI Institute. Otherwise, incorrect information could be leaked to the public before studies on the potential life could be completed.The Spirit and Opportunity rovers that continue to explore Mars are not designed to search for life. But if a sample return mission is ever sent to Mars, scientists could test for it in the rocks brought back to Earth.In 1996, news of possible signs of life in a Martian meteorite called ALH84001 leaked out ahead of a press conference that had been scheduled by NASA. This was partly because a high-ranking White House official told a prostitute about the meteorite. NASA had to scramble to reschedule its press conference to an earlier date to satisfy the growing demand for information from the press and the public.That rescheduling was just an inconvenience, but bigger problems could arise in connection with a Mars sample return mission, say John Rummel, NASA's planetary protection officer in Washington DC, and Margaret Race of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, both in the US.

 

The ALH84001 researchers were able to carry out their studies for years before finding themselves in the media spotlight. But the public will know about the Mars sample return mission ahead of time, so there will be intense media scrutiny from the beginning, they say.

 

 

Source: New Scientist Space

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Mystery creature on display in museum

 

 

A mysterious creature known as "Little Doug" has been generating a lot if interest in the Hull maritime museum. Nobody has yet been able to identify what the creature is, and theories range from a cross breed between a dog and a frog, to mermaids, to some sort of mutant seahorse. A recent article in the local paper has also helped to increase interest in the mystery. Corona Smith: "Well, the Hull Daily Mail article that was so explicit in its revelation of 'Little Doug' has done wonders for attendance to the museum. Literally hundreds have been pouring through the doors, with more than a little help from the rain too, I might add. I observed one family who were brought to the museum by that very article as they painstakingly studied little Doug. Dad didn't have a clue what it was, kids settled on Dragon or Sprite, and mum suggested it was the 'strangest thing she'd ever seen in her life!' High praise indeed! And a fitting tribute to Arthur's little secret.

 

When I asked another lady who had read the article what it was, she eyed me mysteriously as she uttered 'no one knows'.The comments book is almost full with what must be over a thousand suggestions of little Doug's identity."

 

203782581_13dd3c3dcf_b.jpg

 

Source: http://seethestrangething.blogspot.com/

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After 10 years, life-on-Mars rebuked

 

 

It was a science fiction fantasy come true: Ten years ago this summer,Top of Form 1Bottom of Form 1 announced the discovery of life on Mars. At a Washington, D.C., news conference, scientists showed magnified pictures of a four-pound Martian meteorite riddled with wormy blobs that looked like bacterial colonies. The researchers explained how they had pried numerous clues from the rock, all strongly supporting their contention that microscopic creatures once occupied its nooks and crannies. It was arguably the space agency's most imagination-gripping moment since Apollo. Space buffs and NASA officials said that it just might be the scientific discovery of the century."If the results are verified," the late Carl Sagan pronounced, "it is a turning point in human history."Ten years later, the results have not been verified. Skeptics have found non-biological explanations for every piece of evidence that was presented on Aug. 6, 1996. And though they still vigorously defend their claim, the NASA scientists who advanced it now stand alone in their belief.

 

"We certainly have not convinced the community, and that's been a little bit disappointing," said David McKay, a NASA biochemist and leader of the team that started the scientific episode.But even though the majority of his colleagues don't buy his "life on Mars" theory — McKay's own brother, also a NASA scientist, is one of his most prominent critics — many say they respect him and greatly appreciate his efforts.

 

Source: Yahoo! News

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The day the Dinosaurs died

 

 

 

The following is a chapter from the new book by Robert Walker O'Neal Ph.D which provides a fictional account of the asteroid impact in the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago which caused the death of the dinosaurs. Destination: Earth: The cosmic hammer was a space rock. The Earth was its timber. The hammer was fashioned in a violent inferno, when two planets collided billions of years before the rock would visit Earth. An asteroid-size stone was but a parcel amid the rubble. For eons, this rock tumbled at an unimaginable velocity toward a small blue planet parked along the galaxy's suburbs. This alien boulder was the size of Mount Everest. Given water and artificial atmosphere, it could have sustained several space colonies for humans and animals. But no space colonies would ever inhabit that real estate. During Earth's Cretaceous era, humans were yet to be born. Dinosaurs reigned over lesser animals and pterosaurs ruled the skies. Beneath the immense Western Interior Seaway, the great Megalodon shark was large enough to eat whales for breakfast. Although billions of years had passed since those alien worlds collided, these animals' fates were sealed from the moment of the planetary impact. All would be the victims of Earth's Fifth Mass Extinction.

 

This wasn't the first asteroid to hit our planet, and it won't be the last. 183 million years before, an asteroid ended the Permian-Triassic Age. And just one million years before, near what is now Mason, Iowa, a two-mile wide asteroid smashed into Earth's crust at 43,000 miles per hour, creating a twenty-mile wide and six-mile-deep crater. Its effect was that of ten times all the world's atomic bombs exploding together. But the rock now speeding toward Earth was three times the size of the Iowa asteroid. Three of the previous four extinction events had been by reason of earthborn calamities. The worst had been the Permian-Triassic extinction long before. 95 percent of all plants and animals vanished forever beneath the wrath of a ten-mile-wide asteroid.. Climate change was the identified killer for three mass extinctions. Only the asteroid from the Permian event had produced a tragedy comparable to the terror appointed to the inhabitants of the late Cretaceous. In previous epochs, plants had been of the non-flowering variety, like ferns and conifers. No one knows how or why flowers had developed just a few million years before. But here they flourished everywhere in this wild and wonderful age. Researchers most familiar with Charles Darwin's work admit that his most celebrated conclusion was more a leap of vast imagination than that of hard science. After all, no transitional fossil, indicating the change of one species to another, has yet been found. And those researchers find one failing of his imagination to be rather odd. Although Darwin could somehow envision that a single-celled creature might ultimately evolve to its standing as homo sapien, he couldn't figure out how primitive plants evolved into flowering plants. He called it an “abominable mystery.”

 

During its light-years' journey, the asteroid encountered an occasional floater, a rocky obstruction. Given the object's velocity, many of these road bumps understandably chipped away a random chunk or two. But in the relatively sterile vacuum of space, its gargantuan body had remained essentially intact from the day of its parent's destruction. So safe until that instant, the asteroid smacked into Earth's atmospheric shelf like a bus hitting a brick wall. Shards of pebbles and larger stones exploded at its outer perimeters and those fragments spider-webbed toward the planet below. Deeper into increasingly thickened atmosphere, the friction chafed its coat like sandpaper on wood. The main structure flamed blue-white and soon was chased by a forty-kilometer-long inferno of a tail that could now be spotted by inhabitants at the planet's surface. Had the rock not attained a targeted and directed velocity since the day its parent planet impacted another, it would have fallen straight down like any floater snared in Earth's gravity. Instead, its swift and angular trajectory hurled it from Earth's near edge toward its far side, facing the sun. At the asteroid's ultimate point of arrival, Earth's rotation had positioned that piece of real estate so that it was now early morning. The sun's rays would soon break at the far horizon.

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Faith full of folly

 

Submitted by Atlantis Rises- Pamela Bone: My parents were atheists, but whenever a school form required an answer about our religious denomination, my mother would tick "Presbyterian", because "that's what you're supposed to be". This aura of respectability around religion - oddly - still exists; and that is why whatever last week's census shows about the extent of religious belief in Australia, it is almost certain to be an overestimate.Even so, the percentage claiming no religion is likely to be higher than it was in the 2001 census, when it was a little more than one-fourth, because the numbers of non-believers have been growing steadily since 1971. (I use the term non-believers for convenience; because people don't believe in God it doesn't mean they don't believe in anything.) Even better news is the finding of a new survey that only 48per cent of young Australians (those born between 1976 and 1990) believe in God, though the result is unlikely to be viewed as good news by the Catholic University and the Christian Research Association, which, together with Monash University, commissioned the survey. Despite the general view that religious belief is on the rise everywhere, the picture around the world is that in nearly all prosperous liberal democracies, atheism is strong.

 

In Britain, about 44 per cent claim no religion; in France it is 48 per cent; in Canada, 30 per cent; in Sweden, surveys have put the proportion of those who describe themselves as agnostic or atheist at between 46 per cent and 85 per cent. Even in the most religious of Western countries, the US, a 2004 Pew Forum survey found 16 per cent of Americans had no religious affiliation. It is likely that globally the proportion of people who believe in God is growing because of the simple demographic fact that countries with high rates of religious belief also have high fertility rates. In Lebanon, those claiming no religion made up less than 3per cent of the population. In Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq, they are less than 1 per cent. In Nigeria, according to a 2004 poll for the BBC, 100 per cent of the population believed in God or a higher being.

 

Source: The Australian

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Author gives life to aliens

 

 

If youve ever wondered if were alone in the universe, you may want to come to Tracy today and pick up a copy of Alien Log by Dr. Robert Farrell. The Arizona-based author will be signing copies of his book, which posits the theory that millions of forms of intelligent life are out there. Farrell, 66, a retired professor from Penn State University, where he helped start a plastics engineering technology program, said he wrote the book in the same vein as Michael Crichtons Jurassic Park — the fiction is steeped in scientific research. Ive always had a deep curiosity about the subject matter, he said. His own questions led to extensive, years-long research, during which he studied genetics, sociology, anthropology, cosmology, crop circles and other topics. He also pored over the wealth of accounts on UFO sightings and the work of Dr. John Mack, a Harvard University psychiatrist who studied and took seriously the phenomenon of alien abductions.

 

Like many before him, Ferrell asked himself the Fermi paradox: Because of the staggering age of the galaxy — billions of years old — and the vast number of stars, aliens should be everywhere. So where are they? Farrell said he thinks theyre already here.

 

Source: Inside Bay Area

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Was 'hobbit' a disabled caveman ?

 

 

The remains of a fossilised stone age pygmy, hailed as a new species of human when it was found two years ago, probably belonged to a disabled but otherwise normal caveman, researchers have claimed. The discovery of the 18,000-year-old “homo floresiensis” on the Indonesian island of Flores was thought to be a major development in tracing human evolution when it was announced in 2004. However, a new analysis of the 3ft skeleton, nicknamed the “hobbit”, along with other remains found at the site, has indicated they probably belonged to an early human suffering from microcephaly, a condition that causes an abnormally small head and other deformities. “The skeletal remains do not represent a new species, but some of the ancestors of modern human pygmies who live on the island today,” concludes a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of America’s most respected scientific institutions. “The individual exhibits a combination of characteristics that are not primitive but instead regional and not unique but found in other modern human populations.” The controversy began in October 2004 when Nature, a leading British science journal, published what appeared to be a groundbreaking paper about a new species of human.

 

The original team, co-directed by Michael Morwood from the University of New England in Australia and Professor Radien Soejono of the Indonesian Research Centre for Archeology, made the discovery in the Liang Bua cave. The creature was found with fossils of animals including a snake, frog, monkey, deer and pig. “Here we have a creature that is substantially different from modern humans, a totally new species of our genus, that lived almost into historical times. This has a number of startling implications,” said Henry Gee, Nature’s senior editor for biological science, at the time.

 

Source: Times Online

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Did the Nazis recover a UFO ?

 

 

Recent years have seen the emergence of a rumour that float around the internet like moths to a flame about a crashed UFO in the Black Forrest in 1936 which was spirited away to the dark heart of Nazi Germany. There it was to be dismantled and dilligently studied by, it is claimed, the members of the Vril Society. While no historically verifiable evidence for this tale has come to light, the idea of alien technology that has fallen into the hands of a select group, was already the subject of a film in Germany in 1920.Just two years after the defeat of Germany in the First World War, a little known silent film was released. Entitled Algol, it tells the story of a superior extraterrestrial from the Dogstar, who donates incredible technology that enables a wealthy industrialist to enslave the world by this free energy device. Lost for decades, copies of the film have surfaced in recent years. The illustration here is of the alien being, poised far away in the eternal blackness of the universe.

 

One may wonder how the age old ritual of the trafficking with otherworldly beings and intelligences, the angelic beings and the demons of the old magical textbooks, evolved with the aide of a film like Algol that expressed a specific message or thought, and gradually transformed into alien entities from far away planets in the feverish and strange undercurrents of the German occult movements.

 

 

Source: The Black Sun Blog

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UFOs: Explaining the unexplainable

 

 

In the summer of 1952, the mayor of Alexandria was trying to clean up the city’s “skid row” on lower King Street, Virginia farmers were suffering through a punishing drought, the United States Senate was investigating a communist plot to infiltrate the Boy Scouts. But over the nighttime skies of the Washington area, something far more dramatic was happening.“Until unidentified objects — we call them targets — began moving onto our radar scopes, I thought people who reported flying saucers were just seeing things,” said Air Force Radar Specialist James Ritchey at the time. “Now, I don’t know what to think.”Ritchey’s bewilderment — splashed across the front page of the July 29, 1952 edition of the Alexandria Gazette — was understandable. Experiencing the unexplainable can be an existential threat for many people. But for an Air Force guy whose job it was to identify objects in the sky, being unable to recognize an airborne craft can be a tough pill to swallow.“I don’t think the objects were balloons or anything moving with the wind because their speed was greater than that of the wind,” Ritchey told a Gazette reporter.

 

“I don’t see how they could have been ducks, geese or any kind of night birds — these can be picked up on radar, but they wouldn’t explain the lights. As I said, I just don’t have an explanation, and neither does anyone else as far as I know.”Over the next few weeks, several explanations emerged in the pages of the Gazette. Winthrop Coxe and Rollin Gillespie — two writers with the International News Service — theorized that the unexplainable phenomenon had been “swarms of electrical particles” whirling through the air at high speeds. In a column that appeared on the editorial page, they attempted to put a scientific face on debunking the widespread notion that Washington was being visited by extraterrestrials.

 

Source: Connection Newspapers

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Doubt cast over brain 'God spot'

 

 

There is no single "God spot" in the brain, Canadian scientists say. A University of Montreal team found Christian mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions. Researchers asked 15 nuns to recount mystical experiences while studying them on MRI scanners, the journal, Neuroscience Letters reported. There has been much debate about how the brain reacts during connections with God among religious followers. Some people went as far as suggesting there was a specific brain region designed for communication with God. But the researchers claim this study discredits those theories. Nuns are said to experience Unio Mystica - the Christian notion of a mystical union with God - during their 20s. Researchers asked the nuns aged 23 to 64-years-old to recount such mystical experiences and measured their brain activity through MRI scans.

 

They found increased activity in at least 12 regions of the brain, including areas normally involved with self-consciousness and emotion. Lead researcher Dr Mario Beauregard said: "The main goal of the study was to identify the neural correlates of a mystical experience. "Rather than there being one spot that relates to mystical experiences, we've found a number of brain regions are involved.

 

Source: BBC News

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Vatican exorcist: Hitler, Stalin 'possessed'

 

 

Adolf Hitler and Russian leader Stalin were possessed by the Devil, the Vatican's chief exorcist has claimed. Father Gabriele Amorth who is Pope Benedict XVI's 'caster out of demons' made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio. Father Amorth said: "Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations. "I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler - and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil. "You can tell by their behaviour and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That's why we need to defend society from demons." According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime pontiff Pope Pius XII attempted a "long distance" exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect. Father Amorth said: "It's very rare that praying and attempting to carry out an exorcism from distance works.

 

"Of course you can pray for someone from a distance but in this case it would not have any effect. "One of the key requirements for an exorcism is to be present in front of the possessed person and that person also has to be consenting and willing. "Therefore trying to carry out an exorcism on someone who is not present, or consenting and willing would prove very difficult.

 

Source: Daily Mail

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UFO sightings over Norwich

 

 

A strange series of lights seen in the sky last week have prompted one group to ask for witnesses to come forward to help fuel the debate on whether we are being watched by beings from outer space. So far two people saw a black triangular craft appear in the sky above Low Road, but the Norfolk UFO Society (NUFOS) feels more people must have seen the mystery in the sky.The Evening News was contacted by one of the witnesses to the anomaly, which happened at 12.20am on August 23. A second man, a civil aviation worker at Norwich Airport, also reported seeing the lights in the sky.The aviation specialist, who did not want to be identified and said it was definitely not a stealth aircraft, was walking home from the cinema when he saw the craft about 50ft in the air, and judged it to nine feet by five feet by comparing it with nearby trees. He said: “A bright red ball just appeared. It glowed then turned blue and a triangular black glass type solid craft appeared. It pulsed various lights but there was no sound. It turned as if to look in my direction. “It fired off a light beam that jumped rapidly from house to house along Low Road. It then increased the light at the flat edge, I presume the back, and it just shot off in total silence towards the north. No sound at any time except a static fizz in the air

 

.”Witness Austin Paxman, of Norwich, contacted the Evening News and said he was taking a short cut across the Royal Norwich Golf Club when he saw the same craft, but from a different angle.He said: “There seems to be more and more UFO reports for Norwich and I am curious as to what is being done about it.”John Sayer, of NUFOS, said he would be interested to speak to people who have reported UFO incidents.He said: “This does appear to be a very detailed report and the fact they are in aviation lends it credibility - if they are telling the truth.“In a book by Timothy Good called Beyond Top Secret he says the hotspot for UFO activity in the UK in terms of reports to official bodies is the Norwich area.

 

Source: Evening News 24

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