An image on a truck tailgate has sparked a new wave of religious pilgrims in Texas.
(Via The Anomalist.)
An image on a truck tailgate has sparked a new wave of religious pilgrims in Texas.
(Via The Anomalist.)
When Dr. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz introduces his paper on the "phantom time hypothesis," he kindly asks his readers to be patient, benevolent, and open to radically new ideas, because his claims are highly unconventional. This is because his paper is suggesting three difficult-to-believe propositions: 1) Hundreds of years ago, our calendar was polluted with 297 years which never occurred; 2) this is not the year 2005, but rather 1708; and 3) The purveyors of this hypothesis are not crackpots.
(Via PAG E-News.)
Government officials deny that anything unusual is taking place, yet increasing numbers of concerned observers are seeing 727-like aircraft painted "all-white with a black stripe up the middle of fuselage" laying long and often cries-crossing chemtrail patterns over Southern Nevada and elsewhere. None of the planes carry identifying markings.
The geneticists behind the study say the increase in lifespan is so striking, they may have tapped into one of the most fundamental mechanisms that controls the rate at which living creatures age.
(Via The Anomalist.)
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.
Many scientists are eagerly exploring how people can be transmutated into some superior form of humanity through the convergence of nano-bio-info-cogno technologies. The hope is not only to improve humanity but to more firmly control human evolution in order to create bodies and brains that are more durable, easier to repair and more resistant to disease, stress and aging. By merging biology and electronics, bioartificial replacement parts for the lungs, pancreas, kidneys and limbs can be created. Artificial muscles can be made out of electroactive polymers. Biogerontology will result in the reversal of aging -- "engineered negligible senescence." We seem to be moving with surprising speed toward what Ray Kurzweil calls "Human Body Version 2.0" -- the new re-engineered human that will eliminate or overcome "the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to."
(Via PAG E-News.)
As if spotty teenagers releasing computer viruses on to the internet from darkened rooms were not enough of a headache. According to a scientific report, planet Earth's computers are wide open to a virus attack from Little Green Men.
The two developments -- the most alarming manifestations of climate change to date -- suggest that the ice cap is melting far more rapidly than scientists had thought, with immense consequences for civilisation and the planet. Its complete disappearance would raise the levels of the world’s seas by 20 feet, spelling inundation for London and other coastal cities around the globe, along with much of low-lying countries such as Bangladesh.
Instead of scanning the heavens for alien radio broadcasts, he thinks we should be looking much closer to home. Much, much closer: ET could be living or working with you. But the truly amazing thing about Wolfram's claim is that he believes all the knowledge we stand to gain from an extraterrestrial intelligence - surely the best reason for getting to know the alien in the first place - is already ours for the taking. We don't have to find ET; we can start the search for this ultimate knowledge right now.
Hellyer said, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning." He also stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."
"It's like something from a horror film," says Vera Schlindwein, a geophysicist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. The songs can vary, from resembling bees buzzing to something more melodic, like a string orchestra, she says.
(Via The Anomalist.)
"We estimate that the resolution of these photographs is about 100 Megapixels, or about ten times better than high-resolution printers. The difference is that we can print gene expression."
The workunit totals of users and teams will be frozen at that point, and the final totals will be available on the web.
The BOINC site will allow boffins to build other volunteer computing projects in areas like molecular biology, high-energy physics, and climate change study.
Officials from the Japanese space agency (JAXA) announced yesterday that Hayabusa successfully touched down on asteroid Itokawa last weekend, bounced at least once, and spent 39 minutes "resting" on the surface. It then launched back up into space again. Unfortunately, it failed to drop equipment that would allow it to collect samples from the asteroid's surface. Hayabusa will head back to the potato-shaped asteroid on Friday and attempt another landing.
6. Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.
7. Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.
Spirit, the untiring robotic "wonder child" sent by NASA to explore the eerily earthlike fourth planet from the sun, has completed one martian year--that's almost two Earth years--on Mars. Designed to last only 90 martian days (sols), the six-wheeled marvel the size of a golf cart has pursued a steady course of solar-driven geologic fieldwork, bringing back some 70,000 images and a new understanding of Mars as a potential habitat.
The Singularity, for those not yet up to speed, is currently touted as not only as the Next Big Thing in sci-fi/speculative fiction -- the logical successor to cyberpunk -- but also as a science-fact apex of technological development when, maybe some three decades hence, the computer will overtake the human mind, and man and machine will meld into some as-yet-undefined über-being.
In fact, when Malmstrom optically altered a photo of a woman in a way consistent with the characteristics of a newborn's vision -- astigmatism, an extremely shallow focal plane -- the resulting face looked remarkably like those big-eyed aliens drawn by self-declared abductees, he reports in the latest issue of the magazine Skeptic, which features scholarly articles on the paranormal and other extraordinary claims.
"This is a radical departure from conventional wisdom regarding the Hadean Earth," said Professor Harrison.
"But these ancient zircons represent the only geological record we have for that period of Earth history and thus the stories they tell take precedence over myths that arose in the absence of observational evidence."
"The simplest explanation of all the evidence is that essentially from its formation, the planet fell into a dynamic regime that has persisted to the present day."
Science fiction is writing that analyzes some fast-changing aspect of society by extrapolating current trends into the future or into an alternate world. Traditionally science fiction has certain standard tropes that it uses, but new ones are being developed all the time --- I'm thinking of things like blaster guns, spaceships, time machines, aliens, telepathy, flying saucers, warped space, faster-than-light travel, holograms, immersive virtual reality, robots, teleportation, endless shrinking, levitation, antigravity, generation starships, ecodisaster, blowing up Earth, pleasure-center zappers, mind viruses, the attack of the giant ants, and the fourth dimension. I call these our "power chords," analogous to the heavy chords that rock bands use.
When a writer uses an SF power chord, there's an implicit understanding with the informed readers that this is indeed familiar ground. And it's expected the writer will do something fresh with the trope.
This implicit contract isn't honored by mainstream writers who dip a toe into "speculative fiction". These cosseted mandarins tend not be aware of just how familiar are the chords they strum. To have seen a single episode of Star Trek twenty years ago is sufficient SF research for them! And their running-dog lickspittle lackey mainstream critics are certainly not going to call their club-members to task over failing to create original SF. After all (think they), science-fiction writers and readers are subnormal cretins who cannot possibly have made any significant advances over the most superficial and well-known representations, and we should only be grateful when a real writer stoops to filch bespattered icons from our filthy wattle huts.
"Techno-sublime" is how Leesa Fanning, the museum's assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, describes Manglano-Ovalle's piece, which is really a cosmic "lie."
The thousands of lights twinkling across the three huge screens in the darkened gallery are not a video of outer space but a computer-generated digital invention.
Nor does this continuous display loop like a video. At the end of each 15-minute cycle, in which 10,000 to 300,000 "stars" appear on the screens, the computer regenerates a whole new cosmos.
In his cyber way, the artist plays God.
Drive another quarter-mile up Interstate 75, past the billboards for Bristol's Strip Club and Trader's World Flea Market, and suddenly the image appears in all its full dimensions. Jesus, depicted from the waist up, is six stories tall and seems to burst from the ground, as if he might gather a tractor-trailer in his Honda-size hands and lift it to heaven.
(Via Exploding Aardvark.)
There are basically two groups in America. Group one, their life revolves around four dollar cups of coffee, taxis cabs, blue suits, high heels, conference rooms and getting ahead at all costs in the corporate world. If you fall into this group you're probably in the wrong place. Group two, enjoys blue skies, wide open spaces, raising animals, appreciating nature and truly understand the meaning of southern hospitality, even if you don't live in the south.
Deactivating a specific gene transforms meek mice into daredevils, researchers have found. The team believe the research might one day enable people suffering from fear -- in the form of phobias or anxiety disorders, for example -- to be clinically treated.
It's easy to be a media skeptic. You get the last word. You can say what you like. You don't have to spend years doing actual research. And you yourself can remain immune from criticism, because those you criticize have no right of reply. [. . .]
The problem seems to be in part that the media feel the need to present a "balanced" view, and this creates an opportunity for negative skeptics to pursue their agenda. Well-funded skeptical advocacy organizations like CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, concentrate their attention on getting their message into the media as often as possible, always with the privilege of the last word. They are very successful. Some TV channels, including National Geographic in its current "Is It Real?" series, have allowed themselves to become mass-market vehicles for organized skepticism.
If the media want to give a balanced view, one simple solution would be to reverse the normal procedure. Ask the skeptics to speak first, saying why they think something like telepathy is impossible, and then let those who have carried out real investigations present actual evidence. Better still, create a level playing field. Allow replies. This would be much more interesting for readers and viewers.
Unfortunately, media skeptics like Michael Shermer seem to be afraid of real debates. I would love to see a televised dialogue between you and him, with equal time on both sides. But I think he would do his best to avoid such an encounter. (Via The Anomalist.)
The MARSIS experiment will map the Martian sub-surface structure to a depth of a few kilometres. The instrument's 40-metre long antenna booms will send low frequency radio waves towards the planet, which will be reflected from any surface they encounter.
(Via Science Blog.)
"Microbial processes involved in organic carbon breakdown are extremely sensitive to even small changes in temperature," said Joye. "These results suggest that global climate change may influence the efficiency of organic carbon recycling," impacting coastal ecosystems.
As the object continued to approach Earth, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in La Silla, Chile, began tracking with a 60-inch telescope. At this point, the media became aware that something was going on and press statements were issued. Meanwhile, the ESO team (astronomers Richard West, Olivier Hainaut, and Alain Smette) conducted precise measurements of the "winking" and confirmed that the phenomenon was reminiscent of the pulsations of light observed on reflective, rotating artificial satellites.
(Via PAG E-News.)
Global warming is a planetary emergency everywhere but in the White House. While the Bush administration fiddles, the rest of the world burns with concern about the earth's rising temperature. With our industries billowing a relentless stream of gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat, we're decimating our natural ecosystems, exacting an incalculable toll on our planet and future health.
The climate warriors and heroes honored here embody the environment's best defense. They are scientists, ministers, students, politicians, activists, lawyers, celebrities, inventors, and world leaders. As Al Gore says in his accompanying essay, they share little in common. "But each of them recognized the threat that climate change poses to the planet -- and responded by taking immediate action to stop it," Gore writes.
Humanlike software agents are being developed to improve learning by providing computers with friendly facial expressions, soothing hand gestures and attractive voices.
If our solar system is a typical template, the chances for life in the universe would not be looking that great. But instead we find already an incredible variety of configurations, and that suggests to me that the universe is capable of far more variety than we thought - and that's one of those really obvious things you tend to forget as you go through your cynical 20's and 30's.
How would our religions and politics have developed differently if anyone with a half-decent backyard telescope could look up and see two or more other blue-green worlds, obviously crawling with life of their own? What if by now, we could resolve on those worlds the unmistakeable signs of an industrial intelligence?
"'We are not scanning all those books to be read by people,' explained one of my hosts after my talk. 'We are scanning them to be read by an AI,'" Dyson wrote in a posting on Edge.org following a visit to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of John von Neumann's proposal for a digital computer.
(Via Boing Boing.)
In fact, Brown had an explanation for everything found on the ranch with the exception of the bodies. He did speculate, suggesting that some kind of flying wing, this one designed by Northrop, had crashed while carrying five chimpanzees dressed in silver flying suits. Since the experiment related to the space race, and since launch operations at White Sands had been closed down because of an accident in May 1947, those involved hid their mistake.
(Via The Other Side of Truth.)
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town Thursday not to be surprised if disaster strikes there because "you just voted God out of your city" by ousting school board members who favored teaching "intelligent design."
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said Thursday on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club."
(Via Ravynstone Abbey.)
Here's the good news: China's leaders and business community know it. They know that as China grows more prosperous, and more Chinese buy homes and cars, it must urgently adopt green technologies; otherwise, it will destroy its environment and its people. Green technology will decide whether China continues on its current growth path or chokes itself to death. So green innovation is starting to mushroom in China.
And what's the U.S. doing as green technology is emerging as the most important industry of the 21st century? Let's see: the Bush team is telling our manufacturers they don't have to improve auto mileage standards or appliance efficiency, is looking to ease regulations on oil refiners and is rejecting a gas tax that would help shift America to hybrid vehicles.
"We want to know how the brain works to create intelligence," said Poggio, the Eugene McDermott Professor in Brain Sciences and Human Behavior. "Our ability to recognize objects in the visual world is among the most complex problems the brain must solve. Computationally, it is much harder than reasoning." Yet we take it for granted because it appears to happen automatically and almost unconsciously.
The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.
A Daily Press investigation also found:
These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off at least 11 states - six on the East Coast, two on the Gulf Coast, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence.
The chemical agents could pose a hazard for generations. The Army has examined only a few of its 26 dump zones and none in the past 30 years.
The Army can't say exactly where all the weapons were dumped from World War II to 1970. Army records are sketchy, missing or were destroyed.
"We may never find other life away from Earth, but we have already made aliens on this planet and we will continue to do so at an increasing pace," he said. "In the last five years we've come to realize that we can make microbial life in a lot more ways than Mother Earth did."
(Via The Anomalist.)
We remember hearing about "organ printing" a long time ago. It sounded like a fanciful process of precisely layering different tissues, all while keeping the cells within oxygenated and happy.
Well, progress has been made. According to Deseret Morning News in Utah, organ printers now have a substrate, or bio-paper, with which to work.
(Via Future Feeder.)
That's a 99.98 per cent chance that the asteroid will miss Earth, according to NASA.
Yet the remote chance of catastrophe has set some great minds to thinking about how to divert this celestial body.
In Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, two NASA astronauts present their idea: deploying "asteroid tractor" -- an unmanned, 20-ton spacecraft that uses gravity to pull an asteroid gently into a new, non-threatening orbit.
We all have one or more numeric codes that follow the blueprint of Sacred Geometry. It is about the spiraling of consciousness - Phi - Fibonacci - Golden Mean Spiral - found in perfection, in the exact porportions [sic] in the Great Pyramid - as a reminder of 12 around 1 (source) that create our reality. Reality - the spiral of consciousness as if through a slinky toy - or cones - through many levels of experience - at the same time - for the soul. The spiral gives the illusion of time - but once in meditation or dream state - or beyond the slinky - your frequency is too high - moving too fast - beyond linear time and space.
When you see a repetition of numbers, your DNA is being activated on some level. You are remembering that [ . . .] you are now returning to higher frequency vibration also called the return of the Feminine Energies - Rebirth - Christ Consciousness - Return of Jesus or another Savior - Evolution of Consciousness into total awareness - and so on. Many believe awakening ocmes [sic] through healing and the creation of balance - 11.
It has long been suspected that the government has been using satellites to read and control the minds of certain citizens. The use of aluminum helmets has been a common guerrilla tactic against the government's invasive tactics. Surprisingly, these helmets can in fact help the government spy on citizens by amplifying certain key frequency ranges reserved for government use. In addition, none of the three helmets we analyzed provided significant attenuation to most frequency bands.
We describe our experimental setup, report our results, and conclude with a few design guidelines for constructing more effective helmets.
(Via Busy, Busy, Busy.)
So if we grant that human consciousness is a particular kind of physical process occurring in human bodies, and if we grant that physics is made up of deterministic computations, then we have to conclude that consciousness is a kind of computation.
Local authorities in France have been allowed to impose curfews in an attempt to end 11 days of riots, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says.
Speaking in a television interview, he called the violence "unacceptable" and outlined measures to curb the unrest that has hit 300 towns and cities.
I was into the whole "See how the People really live" mode of sightseeing. It wasn't the vast tracts of council project housing that I was expecting - the kind you might have seen in London or Toronto in the 70's. I'm not even sure I'd call it "housing". It was just concrete bunkers from horizon to horizon. No parks, no shops, nothing. No sense of community life, and no physical spaces for communing to happen. Just concrete boxes and vast deserted plazas done in that utterly impractical Soviet style, loftily disdainful of human scale and "sentimental" esthetic sensibilities. No joy and no possibility of hope or escape. There was no reason to aspire to joining in with French society because there was no evidence of French society to aspire to.
Astronomers have detected a faint glow from the first stars to form in the Universe, Nature journal reports.
This earliest group of stars, called Population III, probably formed from primordial gas less than 200 million years after the Big Bang.
Through Venus Express, scientists hope to understand better the mechanics of climate change on our own planet.
"Earth can certainly take a very uncomfortable step towards Venus, though it's not likely to go all the way," comments Fred Taylor, Halley Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, UK.
"The point is, we're moving in that direction and many of the constituents and mechanisms involved are the same. Even a few degrees change in temperature can be a disaster on Earth."
An anonymous donor, recognizing the promise and potential of serious antiaging research, has added one million dollars to the coffers of the Methuselah Mouse Prize overnight. As a result, the cash prize has increased to nearly three million, far outweighing end-of-year expectations.
The web developed because we went in the opposite direction -- towards openness and lack of centralised control. Unless you believe that some invisible hand of technological inevitability is pushing us towards openness -- I am a sceptic -- we have a remarkable historical conjunction of technologies.
(Via Busy, Busy, Busy.)
The problem with Iron is that it's inflexible - hardly the stuff of which true skeptics are made. True skeptics are more like quicksilver - always moving, always searching, always willing to look at new evidence, and always open-minded.
As Sakulich's latest reveals, "Iron" is exactly the right description for his type of "skepticism."
"I can't rule out a geological source of methane" because there are many conceivable mechanisms, Krasnopolsky told New Scientist, but "this makes biological methane more plausible".
When I finally got to see it close, it looked like a white triangle, then it started changing to different shapes. I've never seen anything like this here, but have seen some videos and pictures of objects changing shapes or morphing.
When should you look? You might see a fireball flitting across the sky any time Taurus is above the horizon. At this time of year, the Bull rises in the east at sunset. The odds of seeing a bright meteor improve as the constellation climbs higher. By midnight, Taurus is nearly overhead, so that is a particularly good time.
(Via The Anomalist.)
Of course the game is not the same for everyone playing. Some never receive the chances to score points and so their game is cut short. Others are simply more lucky than the rest. They are able to take risks and and get away with them longer, seeming to play on longer than they really should.
Interracial relationships and marriages are becoming more common in the United States, according to a new Cornell University study.
The number of interracial marriages involving whites, blacks and Hispanics each year in the United States has jumped tenfold since the 1960s, but the older individuals are, the less likely they are to partner with someone of a different race, finds the new study.
The pyramid is over 300 feet high and may contain several rooms. It's built of stone blocks, which, according to the Daily, "indicates the presence at the time of a highly developed civilization . . . Archaeological excavations near the surface have uncovered a part of a wall and fragments of steps."
Geologist Nada Nukic says, "Visocica hill could not have been shaped like this by nature." It's worth remembering that the extensive pyramids of the Mayan culture in Mexico and Guatemala were overgrown and "lost" to modern civilization, until natives of these areas pointed them out to modern archeologists.
Evidence of methane-producing organisms can be found in inhospitable soil environments much like those found on the surface of Mars, according to experiments undertaken by scientists and students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the University of Arkansas and published online in the journal Icarus.
The results, they said, provide ample impetus for similar "biodetection experiments" to be considered for future missions to Mars.
The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft is now back in operation after a malfunction, reported a few months ago.
PFS was the first instrument ever to make direct 'in situ' measurements of methane in the atmosphere of Mars, and provided first indications of traces of formaldehyde, both candidate ingredients for life.
If humans continue to use fossil fuels in a business-as-usual manner for the next few centuries, the polar ice caps will be depleted, ocean sea levels will rise by seven meters and median air temperatures will soar to 14.5 degrees warmer than current day.
In this regard, nanotechnology could be utilized to create clouds of tiny smart particles. Atmospherically buoyant, these ultra-small computer particles could navigate themselves to block optical sensors. Alternatively, they might be used to provide an atmospheric electrical potential difference -- a way to precisely aim and time lightning strikes over the enemy’s head -- thereby concoct thunderbolts on demand.
You won't read it in US media, but Blair's speech on "10 ways to save the world today" was reported in detail in the Independent. They are reminiscent of the Canadian prime minister's list of ways that the average person can combat global warming.
The technology of the Sunball is unusual, but not unprecedented. Rather than a flat panel, it uses fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight onto an arrangement of high-efficiency cells, increasing the amount of light hitting the cells. This allows the Sunball to be less-costly than standard pv, with an estimated cost of AU$1,400 (about US$1,050) per 330 W peak unit. We've talked about solar concentrators before, but the previous examples were clearly meant for larger-scale power generation; one advantage of solar concentrator technology is that it can produce more power in a limited space than normal photovoltaic panels. What's novel about the Sunball is that it's meant for home users, particularly those who don't want to cover their rooftops with black glass panels.
The future of space exploration could lie in biomimetics, where engineering meets biology. In effect, it steals nature's evolutionary tricks to create revolutionary applications.
Engineers like Dr Alex Ellery, head of the Robotics Research Group at the University of Surrey, are trying to find out how natural systems might inspire human-made technology in space.
(Via Vortex Egg.)
"A stunning survey of the latest evidence for intelligent life on Mars. Mac Tonnies brings a thoughtful, balanced and highly accessible approach to one of the most fascinating enigmas of our time."
--Herbie Brennan, author of Martian Genesis and The Atlantis Enigma
"Tonnies drops all predetermined opinions about Mars, and asks us to do the same."
--Greg Bishop, author of Project Beta
"I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in the search for extra-terrestrial artifacts, and the political intrigues that invariably accompany it."
--David Jinks, author of The Monkey and the Tetrahredron
"Mac Tonnies goes where NASA fears to tread and he goes first class."
--Peter Gersten, former Director of Citizens Against UFO SecrecyAnd don't miss...
(Includes my essay "The Ancients Are Watching.")
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