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Old 01-06-2009, 07:53 AM   #1351
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Is it possible that some serial killers were made to be that way?
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #1352
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...big-thing.html


New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of 'next big thing'
Leading thinkers - including Craig Venter and Ian McEwan - have marked New Year 2009 by predicting what will be the next big thing to shape the future.


Announcing the project, titled Annual Question 2009, the website's editor, John Brockman, wrote: "We are moving towards the redefinition of life, to the edge of creating life itself ... What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"

Freeman Dyson - Physicist at the Institute of Advanced Studies: Telepathy
"Radiotelepathy, the direct communication of feelings and thoughts from brain to brain. The ancient myth of telepathy ... would be replaced by a prosaic kind of telepathy induced by physical tools ... We have only to invent two new technologies, first the direct conversion of neural signals into radio signals and vice versa, and second the placement of microscopic radio transmitters and receivers within the tissue of a living brain."

Ian McEwan - Novelist and writer: New energy
"The full flourishing of solar technology ... The technologies are unrolling at an exhilarating pace, with input from nanotechnology and artificial photosynthesis ... My hope is that architects will be drawn to designing gorgeous arrays and solar towers in the desert –as expressive of our aspirations as Medieval cathedrals once were."

J. Craig Venter - Genome Scientist at the J. Craig Venter Institute: The expansion of genetic engineering
"We have now shown that DNA is absolutely the information-coded material of life by completely transforming one species into another simply by changing the DNA in the cell ...Very soon we will be able to do the same experiment with the synthetic chromosome ... to direct organisms to do processes that are desperately needed, like create renewable biofuels and recycle carbon dioxide."

Kevin Kelly - Editor-at-Large at Wired magazine and author of New Rules for the New Economy: Artificial intelligence
"Cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence ... We'd use it the same way we've exploited previous powers –by wasting it on seemingly silly things. Of course we'd plan to apply AI to tough research problems like curing cancer ... but the real disruption will come from inserting wily mindfulness into vending machines, our shoes, books, tax returns, automobiles, email, and pulse meters."

John Gottman - Psychologist and founder of Gottman Institute: Colonisation of the Milky Way
"In the year 2,500 more than 20,000 ships set out, 2 headed for each planet. It was inevitable that many ships would successfully make the journey. No one knew what they would find. There was no plan for communication between the stars. The colonisation of the Milky Way had begun."

Karl Sabbagh - Writer and television producer: End of harm
"In the brains of everyone, from abusive parents and rapists to arms dealers and heads of state, there can arise a concatenation of nerve impulses which allow someone to see as 'normal'... the mutilation, maiming or death of another for one's own pleasure, greed or benefit ... If such a specific pattern of brain activity were detectable, could methods then be devised that prevented or disrupted it whenever it was about to arise? At its most plausible ... everyone could wear microcircuit-based devices that detected the pattern and suppressed or disrupted it."

Irene Pepperberg - Psychologist at Harvard University: Mastering of the brain
"Knowledge of exactly how the brain works will change everything ... We will, for example ameliorate diseases in which the brain stops working properly –from diseases involving cognitive deficits such as Alzheimers to those involving issues of physical control such as Parkinsons. We will monitor just when the brain stops functioning optimally and begin interventions much earlier. Age-related senility, with its concomitant problems and societal costs, will cease to exist."

Lawrence Krauss - Physicist and Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University: Use of nuclear weapons against civilians
"The detonation of even a small nuclear explosive, similar in size, for example, to the one that destroyed Hiroshima, would produce an impact on the economies, politics, and lifestyles of the first world in a way that would make the impact of 9/11 seem trivial."

Steven Pinker - Professor of Psychology at Harvard University: Personal genomics
"Personalised medicine, in which drugs are prescribed according to the patient's molecular background rather than by trial and error ... The ultimate empowerment of medical consumers, who will know their own disease risks and seek commensurate treatment, rather than relying on the hunches and folklore of a paternalistic family doctor."

Anton Zeilinger - Scientific Director at the Austrian Academy of Sciences: Breakdown of all computers
"Some day all semi-conductors, and therefore all computers will break down ... The breakdown will be caused by a giant electromagnetic pulse (EMP) created by a nuclear explosion outside Earth's atmosphere."

Brian Eno - Musician and producer: The end of optimism
"Human development thus far has been fuelled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. But suppose the feeling changes ... Humans fragment into tighter, more selfish bands ... Long term projects are abandoned–their payoffs are too remote. Global projects are abandoned–not enough trust to make them work. Resources that are already scarce will be rapidly exhausted as everybody tries to grab the last precious bits ... Survivalism rules. Might will be right."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #1353
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28540927/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...ert-venue.html

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/...ets.4840100.jp



The monument has baffled archaeologists who have argued for decades over the stone circle's 5,000-year history but academic Rupert Till believes he has solved the riddle by suggesting it may have been used for ancient raves.

Mr Till, an expert in acoustics and music technology at Huddersfield University, West Yorks., believes the standing stones had the ideal acoustics to amplify a "repetitive trance rhythm".

The original Stonehenge probably had a "very pleasant, almost concert-like acoustic" that our ancestors slowly perfected over many generations

Because Stonehenge itself is partially collapsed, Dr Till, from York, North Yorks., used a computer model to conduct experiments in sound.

The most exciting discoveries came when he and colleague Dr Bruno Fazenda visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge, with all the original stones intact, which was built as a war memorial by American road builder Sam Hill at Maryhill in Washington state.

lthough the replica has not previously gained any attention from archaeologists studying the original site, it was ideal for Dr Till's work.

He said: "We were able to get some interesting results when we visited the replica by using computer-based acoustic analysis software, a 3D soundfield microphone, a dodecahedronic speaker, and a huge bass speaker from a PA company.

"By comparing results from paper calculations, computer simulations based on digital models, and results from the concrete Stonehenge copy, we were able to come up with some of these theories about the uses of Stonehenge.

"We have also been able to reproduce the sound of someone speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.

"The most interesting thing is we managed to get the whole space (at Maryhill) to resonate, almost like a wine glass will ring if you run a finger round it.

"While that was happening a simple drum beat sounded incredibly dramatic. The space had real character; it felt that we had gone somewhere special."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #1354
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...=moreheadlines



Nanodiamonds, such as these in the black layer of sediment at the Murray Springs archaeological site in Arizona, may explain the extinction of large animals, the disappearance of the Clovis culture and the climate change of an epoch known as the Younger Dryas. (Courtesy Of University Of Oregon)

In just the last few years, there has arisen a controversial scientific hypothesis to explain this chain of events, and it involves an extraterrestrial calamity: a comet, broken into fragments, turning the sky ablaze, sending a shock wave across the landscape and scorching forests, creatures, people and anything exposed to the heavenly fire.

Now the proponents of this apocalyptic scenario say they have found a new line of evidence: nanodiamonds. They say they have found these tiny structures across North America in sediments from 12,900 years ago, and they argue that the diamonds had to have been formed by a high-temperature, high-pressure event, such as a cometary impact.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:16 AM   #1355
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...hed-China.html

'Dinosaur City': World's largest fossil site unearthed in China

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:05 PM on 30th December 2008

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Scientists claim to have uncovered the world's largest haul of dinosaur fossils in China.

They recovered some 7,600 fossils from a 980ft-long pit near Zhucheng city in the eastern province of Shandong in a dig lasting seven months.

The finds at the site - dubbed 'Dinosaur City' - include the remains of a 65ft hadrosaurus, possibly a record size for fossils of the duck-billed species.


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Old 01-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #1356
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...-freckles.html


European Neanderthals had ginger hair and freckles
Neanderthals living in Europe were fair skinned, freckled and had ginger hair, a study has revealed.




The gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

In a major breakthrough, Spanish scientists have discovered the blood group and two other genes of the early humans who lived 43,000 ago.

After analysing the fossil bones found in a cave in north-west Spain, the experts concluded they had human blood group "O" and were genetically more likely to be fair skinned, perhaps even with freckles, have red or ginger hair and could talk.

The investigating team from Spain's government scientific institute, CSIC, used the very latest forensic techniques to remove the bones for analysis to prevent them getting contaminated with modern DNA.

Carles Lalueza, an evolutionary biologist with the investigation, said: "What we were trying to do was to create the most realistic image of the Neanderthals with details that are not visible in the fossils, but which form part of their identity."

The report, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, concludes that: "These results suggest the genetic change responsible for the O blood group in humans predates the human and Neanderthal divergence" but came "after humans separated from their common ancestor ... chimpanzees."

The Spanish scientists also describe how they also discovered two other genes.

One gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

Another, a variety of FOXP2, is related to speaking and the capacity to create a language and therefore suggests they could communicate orally.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #1357
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5446697.ece

Secret army of ‘scallywags’ to sabotage German occupation



By day they were ordinary civilians — from dentists and clergymen to gamekeepers and roadmenders – in a Britain gripped by fear of imminent invasion by Hitler’s blitzkreig troops.

The only clue to their alter egos might have been the pieces of paper in their pockets – informing any police officer suspicious of their behaviour “to ask no questions of the bearer but phone this number”.

But new details have now emerged of the highly secretive role played by a “resistance” army of fit young men and women chosen as would-be saboteurs and spies in the event of a German landing.

In the dark days of 1940, the unit grew to about 6,000 members, who knew little of each other and operated in small guerrilla groups. Recruited to disrupt a German occupation force – including roles such as blowing up tanks, lorry parks and communications – the teams prepared by carrying out covert missions, known as “scallywagging”, at night.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #1358
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http://www.spiegel.de/international/...599211,00.html

Energy of the Stars, With No Emissions

A consortium of governments will build a groundbreaking fusion power plant in France for a price in excess of €5 billion. After decades of discouraging setbacks, plasma physics has made jaw-dropping recent progress. Could it save the world?

Something went wrong during reactor experiment number 23,995. The fusion process started, continued for a second, but suddenly broke off. Before it collapsed the plasma in the reactor chamber began to vibrate, and microphones transmitted a squealing sound to the control center.

"The plasma probably had too much contact with the chamber walls," physicist Arne Kallenbach surmised, "and then underwent a sudden drop in temperature. That happens fairly often. Unfortunately, the plasma is pretty unstable, particularly during the phase when it is being heated up."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #1359
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/sc...spac.html?_r=2

The Fight Over NASA’s Future



NASA has named the rocket Ares I, as in the god of war — and its life has been a battle from the start.

___

Interesting:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...der-obama.html

NASA may get a boost from the Pentagon under Obama


___

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...TELLATION.html

A New Fleet of Spacecraft

NASA is developing spacecraft to replace its aging shuttle fleet and return astronauts to the Moon by 2020. The first spacecraft in the Constellation program is expected to be launched in 2015, five years after the scheduled end of the shuttle program. Related Article
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #1360
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http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/...-of.4840705.jp

2009 – the year of the big switch-off has arrived

Published Date: 03 January 2009
By Jenny Haworth
A FIFTH of the world's population can no longer see the Milky Way with the naked eye due to artificial lights blocking out the view of the stars.
This year, which is International Year of Astronomy, a new project is taking place to try to improve the visibility of the stars.

Campaigners at the Dark Skies Awareness project will be lobbying local authorities and members of the public to turn off lights in built-up areas at night.

Malcolm Smith, an astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, wrote about the importance of the project in the journal Nature.


_______

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...push-to-t.html

A New Push to Turn Off the Lights in 2009

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:24 AM   #1361
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Cattle up trees, roads swept away in NT flooding

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...05/2459550.htm

A property manager from the Northern Territory's Barkly region says eight times more rain has fallen in one downpour than fell in the whole of last year.

Manager of Avon Downs, Ben Wratten says he's had about 450 millimetres since Saturday, forcing his neighbours at Austral House to be evacuated by helicopter after being inundated.

In the 14 months previous, his property had received only 55 millimetres.

Mr Wratten says the rain has devastated the region because of the dry conditions leading up to it.

"There have been cattle swept away in the flood waters. Because we've had such a volume of rain in such a short period of time, although this country is very flat, the water's been very fast and that's where we've copped the most losses because there's cattle tangled in trees."

The Northern Territory roads manager in the Barkly says he's never seen so much rain dumped in the region during his 25 years with the department.

John Bertram says the monsoonal rain is unusually heavy, with massive falls in the Rankin and James River catchment areas.

He says the Barkly Highway has been closed since Saturday and is likely to be cut off for some time.

"At a rough guess, we would say about a week. We won't know the extent of the damage until the flooding recedes, but ... we currently have all contractors on standby to affect repairs (where the highway has been washed away) as soon as we're able to reach the location."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #1362
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http://thecrit.com/2008/10/05/florid...tree-with-thc/

Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC



In the summer of 1984, 10th-grader Irwin Nanofsky and a friend were driving down the Apalachee Parkway on the way home from baseball practice when they were pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction.

“It’s quite simple, really,” Nanofsky explains, “I wanted to combine Citrus sinesis with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.” In layman’s terms, the respected college professor proposed to grow oranges that would contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Fourteen years later, that project is complete, and Nanofsky has succeeded where his letter writing campaign of yore failed: he has the undivided attention of the nation’s top drug enforcement agencies, political figures, and media outlets.

The turning point in the Nanofsky saga came when the straight-laced professor posted a message to Internet newsgroups announcing that he was offering “cannabis-equivalent orange tree seeds” at no cost via the U.S. mail. Several weeks later, U.S. Justice Department officials showed up at the mailing address used in the Internet announcement: a tiny office on the second floor of the Dittmer Laboratory of Chemistry building on the FSU campus. There they would wait for another 40 minutes before Prof. Nanofsky finished delivering a lecture to graduate students on his recent research into the “cis-trans photoisomerization of olefins.”

“I knew it was only a matter of time before someone sent me more than just a self-addressed stamped envelope,” Nanofsky quips, “but I was surprised to see Janet Reno’s special assistant at my door.” After a series of closed door discussions, Nanofsky agreed to cease distribution of the THC-orange seeds until the legal status of the possibly narcotic plant species is established.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #1363
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/20/ar...gn/20sacr.html

Turning On, Tuning In and Painting the Results



The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in Chelsea will close at the end of this month. That may not mean much to most of the art world’s hipper denizens, but it will to visionary and psychedelic-art fans for whom the chapel has been a mecca since it opened in 2004.

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #1364
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http://commongroundmag.com/2009/01/pinchbeck0901.html

The Intention Economy
by Daniel Pinchbeck

While exploring shamanism and non-ordinary states, I discovered the power of intention. According to the artist Ian Lungold, who lectured brilliantly about the Mayan Calendar before his untimely death a few years ago, the Maya believe that your intention is as essential to your ability to navigate reality as your position in time and space. If you don’t know your intention, or if you are operating with the wrong intentions, you are always lost, and can only get more dissolute.

This idea becomes exquisitely clear during psychedelic journeys, when your state of mind gets intensified and projected kaleidoscopically all around you. As our contemporary world becomes more and more psychedelic, we are receiving harsh lessons in the power of intention on a vast scale. Over the last decades, the international financial elite manipulated the markets to create obscene rewards for themselves at the expense of poor and middle class people across the world. Using devious derivatives, cunning CDOS, and other trickery, they siphoned off ever-larger portions of the surplus value created by the producers of real goods and services, contriving a debt-based economy that had to fall apart. Their own greed — such a meager, dull intent — has now blown up in their faces, annihilating, in slow motion, the corrupt system built to serve them.

Opportunities such as this one don’t come along very often and should be seized once they appear. When the edifice of mainstream society suddenly collapses, as is happening now, it is a fantastic time for artists, visionaries, mad scientists and seers to step forward and present a well-defined alternative. What is required, in my opinion, is not some moderate proposal or incremental change, but a complete shift in values and goals, making a polar reversal of our society’s basic paradigm. If our consumer-based, materialism-driven model of society is dissolving, what can we offer in its place? Why not begin with the most elevated intentions? Why not offer the most imaginatively fabulous systemic redesign?

The fall of capitalism and the crisis of the biosphere could induce mass despair and misery, or they could impel the creative adaptation and conscious evolution of the human species. We could attain a new level of wisdom and build a compassionate global society in which resources are shared equitably while we devote ourselves to protecting threatened species and repairing damaged ecosystems. Considering the lightning-like pace of global communication and new social technologies, this change could happen with extraordinary speed.

To a very great extent, the possibilities we choose to realize in the future will be a result of our individual and collective intention. For instance, if we maintain a Puritanical belief that work is somehow good in and of itself, then we will keep striving to create a society of full employment, even if those jobs become “green collar.” A more radical viewpoint perceives most labor as something that could become essentially voluntary in the future. The proper use of technology could allow us to transition to a post-scarcity leisure society, where the global populace spends its time growing food, building community, making art, making love, learning new skills and deepening self-development through spiritual disciplines such as yoga, tantra, shamanism and meditation.

One common perspective is that the West and Islam are engaged in an intractable conflict of civilizations, where the hatred and terrorism can only get worse. Another viewpoint could envision the Judeo-Christian culture of the West finding common ground and reconciling with the esoteric core, the metaphysical purity, of the Islamic faith. It seems — to me anyway — that we could find solutions to all of the seemingly intractable problems of our time once we are ready to apply a different mindset to them. As Einstein and others have noted, we don’t solve problems through employing the type of thinking that created them, but rather dissolve them when we reach a different level of consciousness.

We became so mired in our all-too-human world that we lost touch with the other, elder forms of sentience all around us. Along with delegates to the UN, perhaps we could train cadres of diplomats to negotiate with the vegetal, fungal and microbial entities that sustain life on earth? The mycologist Paul Stamets proposes we create a symbiosis with mushrooms to detoxify eco-systems and improve human health. The herbalist Morgan Brent believes psychoactive flora like ayahuasca and peyote are “teacher plants,” sentient emissaries from super-intelligent nature, trying to help the human species find its niche in the greater community of life. When we pull back to study the hapless and shameful activity of our species across the earth, these ideas do not seem very farfetched.

In fact, the breakdown of our financial system has not altered the amount of tangible resources available on our planet. Rather than trying to re-jigger an unjust debt-based system that artificially maintains inequity and scarcity, we could make a new start. We could develop a different intention for what we are supposed to be doing together on this swiftly tilting planet, and institute new social and economic infrastructure to support that intent.

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002) and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006). His features have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Wired and many other publications.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #1365
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http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ad...ures/peru.html


Peru: Hell and Back—Video Exclusive
Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within.

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #1366
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http://www.livinginperu.com/news-812...t-barack-obama

Peru: Shamans hope the best for Barack Obama



A group of Peruvian shamans met at Lima's highest point on Sunday to perform a ceremony which they believe will help protect the spirits of world leaders in 2009.

The cleansing ritual was lead by shaman Juan Osco who took his group of shamans to the highest point of Lima, San Cristóbal, located in the district of Rimac.

The ceremony involved the flag of the United States of America, a picture of Barack Obama and his family and a group of shamans wishing the family and Obama’s 2009 presidency good luck.

Also on the list for cleansing were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Cuban President Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Peruvian President Alan Garcia Perez. The shamans wished for Chavez, Fidel and Morales to rid themselves and their countries of bad spirits.

Oddly enough, also on the list was pop sensation Michael Jackson. Shamans dedicated a cleansing ceremony for the King of Pop wishing him good health and strength in the coming year.

To watch the video of the shamans performing their ceremony, click here.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:59 AM   #1367
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http://www.inauka.ru/blogs/article88287.html

STORY ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF EARTH FROM FOLKLORE OF THE EVEN PEOPLE OF BEREZOVKA



A myth “How human appeared on earth” about a maiden and an eight-legged reindeer was written down in Chubukulakh, Mid-Kolyma district of Yakutia, in 1978 by professor Vasily Afanasievich Robbeck according to a story told by Even Semyon Egorovich Dyachkov, born in 1919. The English translation is published by Yuri Klitsenko according to book V.A. Robbeck, E.K.Tarabukina, Folklore of the Even People of Berezovka. Samples of Masterpieces, Yakutsk, 2005.

A maiden, expelled from heaven, descends to the surface of the sea riding an eight-legged reindeer. On the reindeer's advice the maiden threw flocks of reindeer’s fur on water that turned in no time into wooden logs, out of which she made a raft. On strong request of the reindeer she sacrificed it and carved it, as it willed. At once the reindeer's skin turned into earth, skull and bones into mountains, hair into forests, lice into wild reindeer. When she broke its bones, the crackle turned into thunder, and death sigh - into wind. The reindeer's heart turned into a hero, lungs - into a boy and a girl.

The Evens told that before dry land appeared first humans had to float on the waters on rafts: "The Evens floated in the sea on a raft. One of them saw land on the bottom of the sea. At request of people Sun evaporated Sea… Earlier this earth was all water, without firm ground. One lad with his sister floated on a raft… Earlier the land was covered with ice. When it gradually got warmer, ice started melting, and heroes commenced floating on a raft. There appeared animals and fish… Diver (loon) brought from sea floor a hardly visible fleck of clay. God took this fleck of clay with his finger and put on the edge of the raft. In the morning the Even sees: his raft stands berthed to the bank of an island" (V.А.Robbeck, Kh.I.Dutkin, Myth about the origin of earth and human in the Even folklore. Epical art of Siberian and Far East peoples. Materials of All-Union folklorist conference, Yakutsk, 1978).

Wooden decorations of the Evenk shaman's tent include rafts floating along cosmic rivers, as well as monumental images of sacred kalirs – elks, reindeer and mammoths.

In a number of Tungus myths the primeval elks and reindeer are identified with mammoths: "When rocks appeared from under water, wild reindeer gradually came out of water. They were called mammoths. Tracks of those wild reindeer (mammoths) turned into rivers. Where they stepped, lakes appeared. Place of their pasture turned into sea" (V.A.Robbeck, Descriptions of reindeer in Even myths. Folklore and Etnography of indigenous peoples of the North, Leningrad, 1986). “The great elk cow got from the sky to the sea. The elk became mammoth and remained in the sea” (G.M.Vasilevich, Evenk Concepts about the Universe, Studies in Siberian Shamanism, edited by Henry N. Michael, Toronto, 1963).
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:01 PM   #1368
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http://www.ellisctaylor.com/cjtemplartunnelsearch.html

IN SEARCH OF THE TUNNEL TO THE TEMPLARS' TREASURE
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:01 PM   #1369
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/...Kr2E832moPLBIF

Where Words Come From

I want to tell you something. Wait, wait, I'm searching for the right word to begin. I just can't remember it. Oh, there it is ...

We all fumble around for the right word, and once you get to a certain age, that fumbling often ends with, "Ah, another senior moment," and the secret worry that dementia is around the corner.

Researchers at Rice University in Houston have just discovered that there is a particular part of the brain that guides us when choosing words. On an MRI brain scan, the left temporal cortex and the LIGF, an area that encompasses Broca's area, which is known for speech production, light up when people are trying to choose between two words. The researchers were also able to pinpoint those two areas as the spots for word choice when testing subjects with brain damage.

Any research that informs us about language production is important because words are what make humans special.

No one knows when people began to speak, but anthropologists assume that talking came when we emerged as fully human, about 200,000 years ago. Of course, there was communication before that. All animals have ways to convey their feelings to others - dogs bark, birds sing, monkeys screech - but in most cases individuals are calling out their immediate situation. That communication is important because those calls can mean the difference between life and death.

But it gets interesting when animals have something else to say besides, "Help! That eagle is going to eat me." And it's not just humans who choose the right words.

Anthropologists have dragged recorded equipment into the field to figure out exactly what nonhuman primates say to each other. They recorded the animals in various social situations and then replayed the recordings to see the animals' reactions. It turns out that monkeys can identify calls from individual troop mates, that is, they "know" each others' voices, and they use this information selectively. And the grunts, calls, and screams of primates carry more information than the emotional reaction of fear or contentment. In other words, they have words, of a sort.

For example, rhesus monkey mothers can tell if their kids are really in trouble. When a juvenile is being attacked by a relative, it seems, they call out in a fake-y way and mothers ignore them. But if the kid is being attacked by a non-relative, someone who really might hurt them, the mother goes running. And the kid does this using "words" alone.

The words we primates choose are especially important in social interactions.

Anthropologist John Mitani of the University of Michigan analyzed the shape of the male chimpanzee's classic "pant-hoot," a call that starts out with a low "huh, huh, huh" and then builds to a scream. He compared this call from two sites in Tanzania and found that males modulate their voices to sound like each other, much as we take account of the accent of another country or culture when we move around. Sounding like each other, Mitani thinks, is important to male chimps because they are tightly bonded. Males hang out together, patrol the borders of a territory together and hunt together.

We don't know why exactly humans developed their word play beyond grunts and screams. But in doing so, we gained the ability to talk about more than predators and more than each other.

Unlike other primates, we can choose the right words to describe a dream, or talk about our goals. We can tell a story, or write a column, if only we can find the right words.

* Video - Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
* Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind
* Amazing Animal Abilities

Meredith F. Small is an anthropologist at Cornell University. She is also the author of "Our Babies, Ourselves; How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent" (link) and "The Culture of Our Discontent; Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness" (link).

* Original Story: Where Words Come From

LiveScience.com chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology. We take on the misconceptions that often pop up around scientific discoveries and deliver short, provocative explanations with a certain wit and style. Check out our science videos, Trivia & Quizzes and Top 10s. Join our community to debate hot-button issues like stem cells, climate change and evolution. You can also sign up for free newsletters, register for RSS feeds and get cool gadgets at the LiveScience Store.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:02 PM   #1370
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7810846.stm

Isaac Newton is, as most will agree, the greatest physicist of all time.

At the very least, he is the undisputed father of modern optics,­ or so we are told at school where our textbooks abound with his famous experiments with lenses and prisms, his study of the nature of light and its reflection, and the refraction and decomposition of light into the colours of the rainbow.

Yet, the truth is rather greyer; and I feel it important to point out that, certainly in the field of optics, Newton himself stood on the shoulders of a giant who lived 700 years earlier.

For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is a scientist born in AD 965 in what is now Iraq who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.

Most people in the West will never have even heard of him.

As a physicist myself, I am quite in awe of this man's contribution to my field, but I was fortunate enough to have recently been given the opportunity to dig a little into his life and work through my recent filming of a three-part BBC Four series on medieval Islamic scientists.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #1371
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/41...over-cure.html


New treatment for blood poisoning could prove instant hangover cure
A bloodstream 'cleaner' which could save thousands of lives a year by quickly disabling poisons has been invented by British scientists, and and may even provide an instant hangover cure.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #1372
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7803619.stm

An extract from grape seeds can destroy cancer cells, US research suggests.

In lab experiments, scientists found that the extract stimulated leukaemia cells to commit suicide.

Within 24 hours, 76% of leukaemia cells exposed to the extract were killed off, while healthy cells were unharmed, Clinical Cancer Research reports.

The study raises the possibility of new cancer treatments, but scientists said it was too early to recommend that people eat grapes to ward off cancer.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #1373
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/03/he...ml?ref=science

A New Cigarette Hazard: ‘Third-Hand Smoke’

Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #1374
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http://www.alphagalileo.org/index.cf...leaseid=534993

In an important breakthrough in deciphering dolphin language, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have imaged the first high definition imprints that dolphin sounds make in water.

The key to this technique is the CymaScope, a new instrument that reveals detailed structures within sounds, allowing their architecture to be studied pictorially. Using high definition audio recordings of dolphins, the research team, headed by English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid, and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image, for the first time, the imprint that a dolphin sound makes in water. The resulting "CymaGlyphs," as they have been named, are reproducible patterns that are expected to form the basis of a lexicon of dolphin language, each pattern representing a dolphin 'picture word.'

Certain sounds made by dolphins have long been suspected to represent language but the complexity of the sounds has made their analysis difficult. Previous techniques, using the spectrograph, display cetacean (dolphins, whales and porpoises) sounds only as graphs of frequency and amplitude. The CymaScope captures actual sound vibrations imprinted in the dolphin's natural environment-water, revealing the intricate visual details of dolphin sounds for the first time.

Within the field of cetacean research, theory states that dolphins have evolved the ability to translate dimensional information from their echolocation sonic beam. The CymaScope has the ability to visualize dimensional structure within sound. CymaGlyph patterns may resemble what the creatures perceive from their own returning sound beams and from the sound beams of other dolphins.

Reid said that the technique has similarities to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. "Jean-Francois Champollion and Thomas Young used the Rosetta Stone to discover key elements of the primer that allowed the Egyptian language to be deciphered. The CymaGlyphs produced on the CymaScope can be likened to the hieroglyphs of the Rosetta Stone. Now that dolphin chirps, click-trains and whistles can be converted into CymaGlyphs, we have an important tool for deciphering their meaning."

Kassewitz, of the Florida-based dolphin communication research project SpeakDolphin.com said, "There is strong evidence that dolphins are able to 'see' with sound, much like humans use ultrasound to see an unborn child in the mother's womb. The CymaScope provides our first glimpse into what the dolphins might be 'seeing' with their sounds."

The team has recognized that sound does not travel in waves, as is popularly believed, but in expanding holographic bubbles and beams. The holographic aspect stems from the physics theory that even a single molecule of air or water carries all the information that describes the qualities and intensity of a given sound. At frequencies audible to humans (20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz) the sound-bubble form dominates; above 20,000 Hertz the shape of sound becomes increasingly beam shaped, similar to a lighthouse beam in appearance.

Reid explained their novel sound imaging technique: "Whenever sound bubbles or beams interact with a membrane, the sound vibrations imprint onto its surface and form a CymaGlyph, a repeatable pattern of energy. The CymaScope employs the surface tension of water as a membrane because water reacts quickly and is able to reveal intricate architectures within the sound form. These fine details can be captured on camera."
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #1375
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/ga...=1&ref=science

Beloved Pets Everlasting?



IT TAKES TWO MissyToo, left, and Mira, clones from the same dog, share a love of chicken, which they wait for here.

THE most difficult thing about the cloned puppies is not telling them apart, but explaining why they don’t look exactly alike. This was the problem Lou Hawthorne faced on a recent afternoon hike with Mira and MissyToo, two dogs whose embryos were created from the preserved, recycled and repurposed nuclear DNA of the original Missy, a border collie-husky mix who died in 2002.

To be sure, they have a very strong resemblance to each other and to Missy. It’s just that sometimes, as soon as people hear that the dogs are clones, the questions start coming:

“Why is one dog’s fur curlier?”

“Why aren’t the dogs the same size?”

“Why is one of them darker?”

“Why does this one have a floppy ear?”
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