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Old 09-05-2008, 06:25 AM   #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
Computer trained on the internet?

Considering it's training will be 99% porn, that thing would be able to **** like a champion.
Heh
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:24 AM   #377
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0902221741.htm

Zen Training Speeds The Mind's Return After Distraction, Brain Scans Reveal

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Experienced Zen meditators can clear their minds of distractions more quickly than novices, according to a new brain imaging study.

After being interrupted by a word-recognition task, experienced meditators' brains returned faster to their pre-interruption condition, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine found.

Giuseppe Pagnoni, PhD, Emory assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-workers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine changes in blood flow in the brain when people meditating were interrupted by stimuli designed to mimic the appearance of spontaneous thoughts.

The study compared 12 people from the Atlanta area with more than three years of daily practice in Zen meditation with 12 others who had never practiced meditation.

While having their brains scanned, the subjects were asked to focus on their breathing. Every once in a while, they had to distinguish a real word from a nonsense word presented at random intervals on a computer screen and, having done that, promptly "let go" of the just processed stimulus by refocusing on their breath.

The authors found that differences in brain activity between experienced meditators and novices after interruption could be seen in a set of areas often referred to as the "default mode network." Previous studies have linked the default mode network with the occurrence of spontaneous thoughts and mind-wandering during wakeful rest.

After interruption, experienced meditators were able to bring activity in most regions of the default network back to baseline faster than non-meditators. This effect was especially prominent in the angular gyrus, a region important for processing language.

"This suggests that the regular practice of meditation may enhance the capacity to limit the influence of distracting thoughts. This skill could be important in conditions such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder and major depression, characterized by excessive rumination or an abnormal production of task-unrelated thoughts," Pagnoni says.

Emory University (2008, September 3). Zen Training Speeds The Mind's Return After Distraction, Brain Scans Reveal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 5, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com≠ /releases/2008/09/080902221741.htm
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:25 AM   #378
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http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2...t-be-explained

Are scientists about to explain dark matter?
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:16 AM   #379
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http://www.searchmagazine.org/May-Ju...oreligion.html

What Happens to Religion When It Is Biologized?
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:27 AM   #380
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http://gizmodo.com/5042656/icelands-...e-elf+friendly

Iceland's Ragnarokkin' New Opera House Designed To Be Elf-Friendly
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:32 AM   #381
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http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/30/arts/truman.php

Culture of surveillance may contribute to delusional condition
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:42 AM   #382
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Brazilian jungle yields remains of surprisingly urban civilization of 1,500 years ago


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Roads and canals connected walled cities and villages. The communities were laid out around central plazas. Nearby, smaller settlements focused on agriculture and fish farming.

The place: the now-overgrown jungles of Brazil.

The time: centuries before Europeans landed in the Americas.

Once, about 1,500 years ago, an essentially urban culture existed in what is now jungle settled by scattered tribes, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

They weren't as sophisticated as well-known cultures like the Maya to the north, but their culture was more complex than anthropologists had thought.

The find "requires a rethinking of what early urbanism may have been like, in diverse and variant forms," said Michael J. Heckenberger of the University of Florida, lead author of the study.

Heckenberger and colleagues first reported evidence of the culture — which he calls Xingu after the local river — in 2003 and now have unearthed details of the ancient communities.

The researchers found evidence of 28 prehistoric residential sites. Initial colonization began about 1,500 years ago, and the villages they studied were dated to between 750 and 450 years ago. The local population declined sharply after Europeans arrived.

Villages were distinguished by surrounding ditches, with berms on the inside made from material dug from the ditch and topped with a wooden palisade wall, Heckenberger reported.

Each village had a central plaza, the team reports. Larger communities could cover 150 acres and included gates and secondary plazas.

And each settlement had a formal road connected to the central plaza and oriented northeast to southwest, the direction of the summer solstice.

Populations were estimated at 800 to 1,000 in the towns, with satellite farming villages bringing the total to about 2,500 in each of several village clusters.

___

On the Net:

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:47 AM   #383
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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...006786,00.html

Sleuths think Jack the Ripper could be buried in Bribane
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:50 AM   #384
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http://www.latimes.com/news/science/...,6116765.story


Diabetes researchers convert pancreas cells to produce insulin
The Harvard study may ultimately shift treatment options away from stem cells for a variety of diseases.
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:51 AM   #385
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http://www.physorg.com/news139138581.html

The advantage of using two eyes to see the world around us has long been associated solely with our capacity to see in 3-D. Now, a new study from a scientist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has uncovered a truly eye-opening advantage to binocular vision: our ability to see through things.

Most animals — fish, insects, reptiles, birds, rabbits, and horses, for example — exist in non-cluttered environments like fields or plains, and they have eyes located on either side of their head. These sideways-facing eyes allow an animal to see in front of and behind itself, an ability also known as panoramic vision.

Humans and other large mammals — primates and large carnivores like tigers, for example — exist in cluttered environments like forests or jungles, and their eyes have evolved to point in the same direction. While animals with forward-facing eyes lose the ability to see what's behind them, they gain X-ray vision, according to Mark Changizi, assistant professor of cognitive science at Rensselaer, who says eyes facing the same direction have been selected for maximizing our ability to see in leafy environments like forests.

All animals have a binocular region — parts of the world that both eyes can see simultaneously — which allows for X-ray vision and grows as eyes become more forward facing.

Demonstrating our X-ray ability is fairly simple: hold a pen vertically and look at something far beyond it. If you first close one eye, and then the other, you'll see that in each case the pen blocks your view. If you open both eyes, however, you can see through the pen to the world behind it.

To demonstrate how our eyes allow us to see through clutter, hold up all of your fingers in random directions, and note how much of the world you can see beyond them when only one eye is open compared to both. You miss out on a lot with only one eye open, but can see nearly everything behind the clutter with both.

"Our binocular region is a kind of 'spotlight' shining through the clutter, allowing us to visually sweep out a cluttered region to recognize the objects beyond it," says Changizi, who is principal investigator on the project. "As long as the separation between our eyes is wider than the width of the objects causing clutter — as is the case with our fingers, or would be the case with the leaves in the forest — then we can tend to see through it."

To identify which animals have this impressive power, Changizi studied 319 species across 17 mammalian orders and discovered that eye position depends on two variables: the clutter, or lack thereof in an animal's environment, and the animal's body size relative to the objects creating the clutter.

Changizi discovered that animals in non-cluttered environments — which he described as either "non-leafy surroundings, or surroundings where the cluttering objects are bigger in size than the separation between the animal's eyes" (think a tiny mouse trying to see through 6-inch wide leaves in the forest) — tended to have sideways-facing eyes.

"Animals outside of leafy environments do not have to deal with clutter no matter how big or small they are, so there is never any X-ray advantage to forward-facing eyes for them," says Changizi. "Because binocular vision does not help them see any better than monocular vision, they are able to survey a much greater region with sideways-facing eyes."

However, in cluttered environments — which Changizi defined as leafy surroundings where the cluttering objects are smaller than the separation between an animal's eyes — animals tend to have a wide field of binocular vision, and thus forward-facing eyes, in order to see past leaf walls.

"This X-ray vision makes it possible for animals with forward-facing eyes to visually survey a much greater region around themselves than sideways-facing eyes would allow," says Changizi. "Additionally, the larger the animal in a cluttered environment, the more forward facing its eyes will be to allow for the greatest X-ray vision possible, in order to aid in hunting, running from predators, and maneuvering through dense forest or jungle."

Changizi says human eyes have evolved to be forward facing, but that we now live in a non-cluttered environment where we might actually benefit more from sideways-facing eyes.

"In today's world, humans have more in common visually with tiny mice in a forest than with a large animal in the jungle. We aren't faced with a great deal of small clutter, and the things that do clutter our visual field — cars and skyscrapers — are much wider than the separation between our eyes, so we can't use our X-ray power to see through them," Changizi says. "If we froze ourselves today and woke up a million years from now, it's possible that it might be difficult for us to look the new human population in the eyes, because by then they might be facing sideways."

Changizi's research was completed in collaboration with Shinsuke Shimojo at the California Institute of Technology, and is published online in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:52 PM   #386
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What a rep friendly idea for a thread!
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:15 PM   #387
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http://www.physorg.com/news139830010.html

Physicists investigate how time moves forward
By Lisa Zyga, Physics / Physics
As humans, we have a very intuitive concept of time, and of the differences between the past, present, and future. But, as scientists Edward Feng of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gavin Crooks of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory point out, science does not provide a clear definition of time.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:20 PM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amesj523 View Post
The Economics of Happiness

A growing number of economists are bravely asking: What factors make people happy?


In the last few years, a growing number of economists have been discovering happiness. Itís not that they are spending more time admiring flowers, helping old folks cross the road, dancing on the street or baking pies for neighbors. In fact, these happiness economists are working long hours in soul-numbing ways, torturing data with their latest econometric techniques to force deeply buried facts to the surface.


http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthr...ess#post995080

http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=1&gl=us

Truth and Happiness
Truth and happiness are two of the highest ideals among people. Ideals are those intangible principles that we seek with passion. Some people hold no ideals, but they are barely alive, as they have no passion. These men and women do not seek truth or happiness and therefore rarely find either. However, conflicts will arise when people are passionate about different ideals and prioritize those ideals differently. When truth and happiness collide, people typically freak out, and for good reason. Discerning between history and a fictional story is a skill that children must acquire in order to mature into rational adults. Santa Claus can tell us a lot about how we learn to choose and compromise these ideals.


http://www.livescience.com/health/06...ness_keys.html

The Keys to Happiness, and Why We Don't Use Them


http://www.latimes.com/features/heal...,3855201.story

The science of happiness
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:25 PM   #389
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http://altreligion.about.com/library...l_twoedged.htm

Freedom is a Two-edged Sword
Jack Parsons (Frater Belarion)
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:03 AM   #390
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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle4753389.ece

Google search finds seafaring solution

Google may take its battle for global domination to the high seas with the launch of its own “computer navy”.

The company is considering deploying the supercomputers necessary to operate its internet search engines on barges anchored up to seven miles (11km) offshore.

The “water-based data centres” would use wave energy to power and cool their computers, reducing Google’s costs. Their offshore status would also mean the company would no longer have to pay property taxes on its data centres, which are sited across the world, including in Britain.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:08 AM   #391
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http://monkeynonymous.livejournal.com/8300.html

www.arthurmag.com/magpie/
(Originally published in Arthur. No. 4/May 2003)

Magic Is Afoot

Celebrated comics author ALAN MOORE gives Jay Babcock a historical-theoretical-autobiographical earful about the connection between the Arts and the Occult
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:11 AM   #392
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http://www.wired.com/science/planete...home_biodiesel

Home-brewed biodiesel may be ready to move from your neighbor’s garage to prime time. No longer is the practice limited to a few mechanically inclined hippies with old converted electric water heaters. Now anyone can order up their own bio-brew kit online.

“We are testing some products now to make sure they work at the level of quality our customers expect,” said Go Green Home Stores spokesman Dennis Healy. “We’re really looking forward to having these products in our store.”

And Go Green’s interest in mass-marketing a processor comes on the heels of a decision earlier this year by Northern Tool, the Sears of professional-grade tools, to put biodiesel processors for home brewers in its catalog, for $3,000 to $13,500.

The Collective Biodiesel Project estimates that home brewers, who filter used vegetable oil from restaurants and then mix it with lye and methanol to create their own biodiesel, produced 450 million gallons of fuel last year. Some brewers say they got tired of waiting for alternatives to petroleum to come from big biz and set out to change their own habits.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:45 AM   #393
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=4077

U.N. Agency Eyes Curbs on Internet Anonymity
September 14th, 2008

The NSA and the Chinese government are working together, through the U.N., to draft plans for systems that would enable all Internet sessions to be authoritatively traced back to their origins.

Man, if this one doesn’t get your tinfoil in a knot, nothing will.

If you want to know what anonymous on the Internet actually means, under the present surveillance regime, here’s an essay that I wrote on the subject.

Via: Cnet:

A United Nations agency is quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous.

The U.S. National Security Agency is also participating in the “IP Traceback” drafting group, named Q6/17, which is meeting next week in Geneva to work on the traceback proposal. Members of Q6/17 have declined to release key documents, and meetings are closed to the public.

The potential for eroding Internet users’ right to remain anonymous, which is protected by law in the United States and recognized in international law by groups such as the Council of Europe, has alarmed some technologists and privacy advocates. Also affected may be services such as the Tor anonymizing network.

“What’s distressing is that it doesn’t appear that there’s been any real consideration of how this type of capability could be misused,” said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. “That’s really a human rights concern.”

Nearly everyone agrees that there are, at least in some circumstances, legitimate security reasons to uncover the source of Internet communications. The most common justification for tracebacks is to counter distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks.

But implementation details are important, and governments participating in the process — organized by the International Telecommunication Union, a U.N. agency — may have their own agendas. A document submitted by China this spring and obtained by CNET News said the “IP traceback mechanism is required to be adapted to various network environments, such as different addressing (IPv4 and IPv6), different access methods (wire and wireless) and different access technologies (ADSL, cable, Ethernet) and etc.” It adds: “To ensure traceability, essential information of the originator should be logged.”

The Chinese author of the document, Huirong Tian, did not respond to repeated interview requests. Neither did Jiayong Chen of China’s state-owned ZTE Corporation, the vice chairman of the Q6/17’s parent group who suggested in an April 2007 meeting that it address IP traceback.

A second, apparently leaked ITU document offers surveillance and monitoring justifications that seem well-suited to repressive regimes:

A political opponent to a government publishes articles putting the government in an unfavorable light. The government, having a law against any opposition, tries to identify the source of the negative articles but the articles having been published via a proxy server, is unable to do so protecting the anonymity of the author.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:46 AM   #394
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=4062

Lotus Concept Car Body Made Out of Hemp
September 13th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, this is the most absurd clean, green hype piece that you’re likely to read today. It’ll be a big hit with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf crowd in Santa Monica… However, I found it very fascinating that the body of the vehicle is made out of hemp.

We all know about hemp paper, hemp rope, hemp textiles, hemp building materials… But hemp as a replacement material for metal car body panels?

Yep. Well, according to Lotus, anyway.

I thought, “Gee, maybe someone will make a bike frame out of hemp some day.” Here are some that are made out of bamboo with hemp fiber lugs. How much? If you have to ask…

Via: Transport 2.0:

Sustainable hemp technical fabrics have been used as the primary constituent in the high quality “A” class composite body panels and spoiler. The renewable hemp has exceptional material properties that make for a very strong fibre. Historically hemp has been used in the manufacture of rope, illustrating the great strength of the material.

The hemp fibres have also been used in the manufacture of the lightweight Lotus designed seats. An additional benefit of using hemp is that it is a natural resource that requires relatively low energy to manufacture and absorbs CO2 whilst growing as a plant through natural photosynthesis. This hemp material is used with a polyester resin to form a hybrid composite, however it is hoped that a fully recyclable composite resin will be viable in the short-term future.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:49 AM   #395
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http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/913/he1.htm

Keep an eye on the Sphinx
While the SCA secretary-general was being interviewed for "Guardian's Spotlight" in July 2008, pigeons were seen pecking away at the eyes and ear cavities of the Sphinx and their droppings were splattered on the stone. Jill Kamil discusses this new danger

If more pigeons are attracted to the area, their droppings will cause more and more damage. The monument has undergone numerous restorations over the millennia, beginning with one conducted in about 1400 BC by the prince who later became Pharaoh Tuthmose IV, who dreamt that the Sphinx asked him to clear the sand around it in return for the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. It was cleared, and he was crowned Pharaoh, but wind- blown sand soon buried the monument to its neck -- its nose, incidentally, had been missing for at least 400 years by the time Napoleon arrived in Egypt in 1798 with the band of French savants who took measurements of the head.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:49 AM   #396
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7601145.stm

Ripper 'claimed earlier victims'

Jack the Ripper may have killed his first victim 25 years earlier than previously thought, a retired murder detective has claimed in a new book.

It is thought that Jack the Ripper killed and mutilated at least five prostitutes in the East End between August and November 1888.

But Trevor Marriott says he may have struck in 1863 and 1872.

Mr Marriott will be presenting his findings at the Docklands Museum which is hosting an exhibition on the killer.

Bodies unattended

The body of 28-year-old prostitute Emma Jackson was found in a brothel in St Giles, central London, in April 1863.

She had five wounds to the throat and had not been robbed. The case was never solved.
The organs were not removed by the killer at the crime scenes but by person or persons unknown for medical research
Trevor Marriott

Mr Marriott also uncovered a second case he believes may have been committed by the Ripper.

Nine years after the Jackson murder, on Christmas Day 1872, Harriet Buswell was found with her throat slit at her lodgings in nearby Great Coram Street, after returning home the previous evening with a male guest.

Both cases remain unsolved.

In his book, The Evil Within, Mr Marriott claims that Jack the Ripper did not remove internal organs from two of his victims.

Traditionally, the serial killer is alleged to have removed organs from the bodies of his victims, including his second "official" victim Annie Chapman and Catherine Eddowes, his fourth, with a degree of medical precision.

But Mr Marriott said: "The organs were not removed by the killer at the crime scenes but by person or persons unknown for medical research at some point between the bodies being removed from the crime scenes and the post mortems taking place some 12 hours later.

"In both these cases the bodies had been left alone and unattended outside makeshift mortuaries."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/h...on/7601145.stm

Published: 2008/09/05 23:10:36 GMT

© BBC MMVIII
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:52 AM   #397
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http://www.thothweb.com/article6763.html

Scientists Interested In Large Footprint DiscoveryAnimals & Cryptozoology
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2008 (CDT) by Thoth
Fossil Imprint Is 11 Inches Wide, 15 inches Long.A retired Cookeville builder has discovered a mysterious set of large footprints on his property. Harold Jackson is an amateur archaeologist who enjoys collecting arrowheads and other Native American artifacts. But the most extraordinary find of his life came on his property near the Caney Fork River.

For months he stepped on a rock near his house that caught his eye. Finally, he brought the unusual rock home and cleaned it up. After all of the mud was removed, a remarkable discovery was revealed.

"I don't know anything about archaeology or anything, but if you look at it, it's a footprint. No animal footprint looks like that. Now, if it's a Native American, an Indian, then he was a big Indian," said Jackson. "(The print) is about 11 inches wide and about 15 inches long." Jackson said the fossilized print clearly shows the heel and all five toes.

"It's got to be thousands of years old," said Jackson.

About half-a-dozen scientists said they want to look at the print, including Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, a famous Bigfoot professor at Idaho State University. Meldrum collects Bigfoot prints from all over the world.

Jackson said the print has made him a believer in Bigfoot.

"It was just hard for me to believe. But listen, after I found this print, there's a Bigfoot out there somewhere. I don't know what kind of Bigfoot it is, but there's a Bigfoot out there somewhere," said Jackson.

Channel 4 has yet to reach Meldrum or Tennessee state archaeologist Nick Fielder to comment on the artifact.

Jackson said there is another similar-sized large fossilized foot imprint on his property but has been unable to extract it from the rock.

Copyright: WSMV Nashville
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:53 AM   #398
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0902143322.htm

ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2008) — Two fetuses found in the tomb of Tutankhamen may have been twins and were very likely to have been the children of the teenage Pharaoh, according to the anatomist who first studied the mummified remains of the young King in the 1960s.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:54 AM   #399
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http://www.livescience.com/health/08...editation.html

Study: Zen Meditation Really Does Clear the Mind
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:55 AM   #400
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http://www.dailytech.com/Sun+Makes+H...ticle12823.htm

Sun Makes History: First Spotless Month in a Century
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