Plans to send an interplanetary pedalo to Saturn’s largest moon Titan have been unveiled by scientists.
The robot craft would land in one of the moon’s lakes and sail around propelled by paddles.
Other versions of the probe are fitted with screws or wheels.
Titan is the nearest thing the Solar System has to Pandora, the Earth-like moon featured in the film Avatar.
Like Earth it has a thick atmosphere and large bodies of liquid on its surface – only Titan’s chilly seas consist of lighter fluid chemicals instead of water.
The hydrocarbon lakes, seas and rivers cover much of the moon’s northern hemisphere.
Their existence was confirmed by the European Space Agency’s Huygens lander which visited Titan as part of the Cassini mission in 2005.
Huygens landed on solid ground but was designed to float for short periods.
The new plans, presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid, envisage dropping a boat-like probe in the middle of Ligeia Mare, the largest lake near Titan’s north pole.
The craft would then set sail for the coast, taking scientific measurements on the way.
Amateur beekeeper Mark Hohn first noticed the dead bees in front of his shop after returning from vacation in early September.
“When I first saw it, I just assumed it was natural,” he said. “I found them right in the flight path of my hives.”
Because Hohn keeps nearly 300,000 bees and only a couple dozen had died, he didn’t think anything unusual was going. But then he saw bees acting strange, as if they were drunk. He shot some video of the bees, bagged some of the dead ones and contacted the experts.
Soon, biologists at Washington State University and San Francisco State University found out that he had the first recorded case of Zombie bees in Washington. The bees aren’t a threat to humans, but they do pose a threat to the honey bee population, which has already been hit hard by various environmental factors and other sicknesses.
Via: Huffington Post
“I’m firmly convinced there’s an agency, and there is an effort to suppress,” Halt told an audience of 200 people Saturday night at the Smithsonian-affiliated National Atomic Testing Museum.
Two former Air Force officers who were part of the infamous Project Blue Book — the military’s official UFO investigation in the 1950s and ’60s — and a former investigator with Britain’s Ministry of Defense were among the panel of speakers for a program entitled “Military UFOs: Secrets Revealed.”
Halt, pictured below, was the deputy base commander of the RAF Bentwaters military base in England and one of numerous eyewitnesses to several UFO-related events at Rendlesham Forest in December 1980. He believes the observed UFOs were either extraterrestrial or extradimensional in origin.
“I’ve heard many people say that it’s time for the government to appoint an agency to investigate,” Halt said.
“Folks, there is an agency, a very close-held, compartmentalized agency that’s been investigating this for years, and there’s a very active role played by many of our intelligence agencies that probably don’t even know the details of what happens once they collect the data and forward it. It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?
Astrophysicist Adam Frank’s new book mixes cosmology with humanity. How does our understanding of the universe and cosmic time inform our daily lives? Especially if time is an illusion?
The “rebels” who fight the Big Bang theory are mostly attempting to grapple with the concept of time. They are philosophers as much as cosmologists, unsatisfied with the Big Bang, unimpressed with string theory and unconvinced of the multiverse. Julian Barbour, British physicist, author, and major proponent of the idea of timeless physics, is one of those rebels–so thoroughly a rebel that he has spurned the world of academics.
Julian Barbour’s solution to the problem of time in physics and cosmology is as simply stated as it is radical: there is no such thing as time.
“If you try to get your hands on time, it’s always slipping through your fingers,” says Barbour. “People are sure time is there, but they can’t get hold of it. My feeling is that they can’t get hold of it because it isn’t there at all.” Barbour speaks with a disarming English charm that belies an iron resolve and confidence in his science. His extreme perspective comes from years of looking into the heart of both classical and quantum physics. Isaac Newton thought of time as a river flowing at the same rate everywhere. Einstein changed this picture by unifying space and time into a single 4-D entity. But even Einstein failed to challenge the concept of time as a measure of change. In Barbour’s view, the question must be turned on its head. It is change that provides the illusion of time. Channeling the ghost of Parmenides, Barbour sees each individual moment as a whole, complete and existing in its own right. He calls these moments “Nows.”
“As we live, we seem to move through a succession of Nows,” says Barbour, “and the question is, what are they?” For Barbour each Now is an arrangement of everything in the universe. “We have the strong impression that things have definite positions relative to each other. I aim to abstract away everything we cannot see (directly or indirectly) and simply keep this idea of many different things coexisting at once. There are simply the Nows, nothing more, nothing less.”
The Dogon people are renowned for their artistic traditions — and their spiritual traditions are no less fascinating. But why did a French anthropologist believe they may have had contact with extraterrestrials? Tune in to learn more about the Nommo.
It is one of Britain’s most intriguing archeological mysteries.
When two almost perfectly preserved 3,000-year-old human skeletons were dug up on a remote Scottish island, they were the first evidence that ancient Britons preserved their dead using mummification.
The scientists who uncovered the bodies also found clues that one of them – a man buried in a crouching position – was not a single individual, but had in fact been assembled from the body parts of several different people.
The discovery began a 10-year investigation into what had led the bronze-age islanders to this strange fate.
Children playing near a hillside gravel mine found the first graves. One ran home to tell his mother, who was skeptical at first—until the boy produced a skull.
Because this was Griswold, Connecticut, in 1990, police initially thought the burials might be the work of a local serial killer named Michael Ross, and they taped off the area as a crime scene. But the brown, decaying bones turned out to be more than a century old. The Connecticut state archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni, soon determined that the hillside contained a colonial-era farm cemetery. New England is full of such unmarked family plots, and the 29 burials were typical of the 1700s and early 1800s: The dead, many of them children, were laid to rest in thrifty Yankee style, in simple wood coffins, without jewelry or even much clothing, their arms resting by their sides or crossed over their chests.
Except, that is, for Burial Number 4.
Bellantoni was interested in the grave even before the excavation began. It was one of only two stone crypts in the cemetery, and it was partially visible from the mine face.
Scraping away soil with flat-edged shovels, and then brushes and bamboo picks, the archaeologist and his team worked through several feet of earth before reaching the top of the crypt. When Bellantoni lifted the first of the large, flat rocks that formed the roof, he uncovered the remains of a red-painted coffin and a pair of skeletal feet. They lay, he remembers, “in perfect anatomical position.” But when he raised the next stone, Bellantoni saw that the rest of the individual “had been completely…rearranged.” The skeleton had been beheaded; skull and thighbones rested atop the ribs and vertebrae. “It looked like a skull-and-crossbones motif, a Jolly Roger. I’d never seen anything like it,” Bellantoni recalls.
Subsequent analysis showed that the beheading, along with other injuries, including rib fractures, occurred roughly five years after death. Somebody had also smashed the coffin.
The other skeletons in the gravel hillside were packaged for reburial, but not “J.B.,” as the 50ish male skeleton from the 1830s came to be called, because of the initials spelled out in brass tacks on his coffin lid. He was shipped to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, in Washington, D.C., for further study. Meanwhile, Bellantoni started networking. He invited archaeologists and historians to tour the excavation, soliciting theories. Simple vandalism seemed unlikely, as did robbery, because of the lack of valuables at the site.
Finally, one colleague asked: “Ever heard of the Jewett City vampires?”
In 1854, in neighboring Jewett City, Connecticut, townspeople had exhumed several corpses suspected to be vampires that were rising from their graves to kill the living. A few newspaper accounts of these events survived. Had the Griswold grave been desecrated for the same reason?
In the course of his far-flung research, Bellantoni placed a serendipitous phone call to Michael Bell, a Rhode Island folklorist, who had devoted much of the previous decade to studying New England vampire exhumations. The Griswold case occurred at roughly the same time as the other incidents Bell had investigated. And the setting was right: Griswold was rural, agrarian and bordering southern Rhode Island, where multiple exhumations had occurred. Many of the other “vampires,” like J.B., had been disinterred, grotesquely tampered with and reburied.
In light of the tales Bell told of violated corpses, even the posthumous rib fractures began to make sense. J.B.’s accusers had likely rummaged around in his chest cavity, hoping to remove, and perhaps to burn, his heart.
Headquartered in a charming old schoolhouse, the Middletown Historical Society typically promotes such fortifying topics as Rhode Island gristmill restoration and Stone Wall Appreciation Day. Two nights before Halloween, though, the atmosphere is full of dry ice vapors and high silliness. Fake cobwebs cover the exhibits, warty gourds crowd the shelves and a skeleton with keen red eyes cackles in the corner. “We’ll turn him off when you start talking,” the society’s president assures Michael Bell, who is readying his slide show.
See: http://www.grahamhancock.com/tours/lectures.php for details on Graham’s upcoming speaking events in the US, Australia and the UK during October, November and December 2012.
As the Mayan Calendar comes to an end (most interpretations of the Mayan Long Count place this epic event on or near 21 December 2012), and over 17 years after he first published his seminal book on the subject, Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth’s Lost Civilization, Graham Hancock speaks out about the state of our planet, consciousness, time travel, and what he has learned on his remarkable journey through life.
In this provocative and often poignant interview, Graham speaks passionately and at length on these, and many other emotionally charged subjects, such as Atlantis, the significance of Göbekli Tepe, and his own experience with marijuana, ayahuasca, and DMT.
The interview is by Andrew Gough, who met with Graham in July 2012 in Graham’s home in the English West Country. A condensed version of the interview can be found in the September 2012 edition of New Dawn Magazine [http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/], and an extended version will be featured in The Heretic Magazine [http://thehereticmagazine.com/] (a new history and mystery magazine for which Andrew is Editor) on 1 November 2012, and still another version will be featured on Andrew’s ‘Arcadia’ [http://www.andrewgough.com/] website soon after that.
“In 1992 the Food and Drug Administration decided that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are the functional equivalent of conventional foods. They arrived at this decision without testing GMOs for allergenicity, toxicity, anti-biotic resistance and functional characteristics. As a result hundreds of millions of acres of GMO crops were planted in America without the knowledge or consent of the American people: no safety testing and no long term health studies.
“The FDA has received over a million comments from citizens demanding labeling of GMOs. Ninety percent of Americans agree. So, why no labeling? I’ll give you one reason: The influence and the corruption of the political process by Monsanto. Monsanto has been a prime mover in GMO technology, a multi-million dollar GMO lobby here and a major political contributor.
“There is a chance that Monsanto’s grip will be broken in California where a GMO labeling initiative is on the ballot. And here in Congress, my legislation HR 3553 will provide for a national labeling law. Americans have a right to know if their food is genetically engineered. It’s time for labeling and for people to know how their food is being produced.”
The drive by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity during the mission’s 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The rover team has assessed it as a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity’s contact instruments on a rock. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive.
The rock has been named “Jake Matijevic.” This commemorates Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012), who was the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the project’s Curiosity rover. He was also a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity.
Curiosity’s contact instruments are on a turret at the end of the rover’s arm. They are the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer for reading a target’s elemental composition and the Mars Hand Lens Imager for close-up imaging.
The case, reported in BMJ Case Reports, describes how the healthy young woman was mountaineering with her climbing partner when they heard heard cracking thunder and were thrown to the ground by a massive shockwave.
The air rescue team took her to hospital and she was put in a drug induced coma for three days as she was disoriented and extremely agitated.
When she awoke, her world was somewhat different.
In the evening, still awake and 6 h after extubation, strange phenomena occurred. These exclusively visual sensations consisted of unknown people, animals and objects acting in different scenes, as if in a movie. None of the persons or scenes was familiar to her and she was severely frightened by their occurrence. For example, an old lady was sitting on a ribbed radiator, who then became thinner and thinner, finally vanishing through the slots of the radiator. Later, on her left side a cowboy riding on a horse came from the distance. As he approached her, he tried to shoot her, making her feel defenceless because she could not move or shout for help.
The audio ‘Chorus’ in this video was recorded on Sept. 5, 2012, by RBSP’s Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS).
For more info about the auroral chorus phenomena visit: captaincynic.com
Audio Credit: University of Iowa
Visualisation Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The first ever Etruscan pyramids have been located underneath a wine cellar in the city of Orvieto in central Italy, according to a team of U.S. and Italian archaeologists.
Carved into the rock of the tufa plateau –a sedimentary area that is a result of volcanic activity — on which the city stands, the subterranean structures were largely filled. Only the top-most modern layer was visible.
“Within this upper section, which had been modified in modern times and was used as a wine cellar, we noticed a series of ancient stairs carved into the wall. They were clearly of Etruscan construction,” David B. George of the Department of Classics at Saint Anselm, told Discovery News.
As they started digging, George and co-director of the excavation Claudio Bizzarri of the Parco Archeologico Ambientale dell’Orvietano noted that the cave’s walls were tapered up in a pyramidal fashion. Intriguingly, a series of tunnels, again of Etruscan construction, ran underneath the wine cellar hinting to the possibility of deeper undiscovered structures below.
After going through a mid-20th century floor, George and Bizzarri reached a medieval floor. Immediately beneath this floor, they found a layer of fill that contained various artifacts such as Attic red figure pottery from the middle of the 5th Century B.C., 6th and 5th century B.C. Etruscan pottery with inscriptions as well as various objects that dated to before 1000 B.C.
It’s not a magic trick and it’s not sleight of hand – scientists really are using levitation to improve the drug development process, eventually yielding more effective pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a way to use sound waves to levitate individual droplets of solutions containing different pharmaceuticals. While the connection between levitation and drug development may not be immediately apparent, a special relationship emerges at the molecular level.
At the molecular level, pharmaceutical structures fall into one of two categories: amorphous or crystalline. Amorphous drugs typically are more efficiently taken up by the body than their crystalline cousins; this is because amorphous drugs are both more highly soluble and have a higher bioavailability, suggesting that a lower dose can produce the desired effect.
Law of Mother Earth sees Bolivia pilot new social and economic model based on protection of and respect for nature.
Bolivia is to become the first country in the world to give nature comprehensive legal rights in an effort to halt climate change and the exploitation of the natural world, and to improve quality of life for the Bolivian people.
Developed by grassroots social groups and agreed by politicians, the Law of Mother Earth recognises the rights of all living things, giving the natural world equal status to human beings.
Once fully approved, the legislation will provide the Earth with rights to: life and regeneration; biodiversity and freedom from genetic modification; pure water; clean air; naturally balanced systems; restoration from the effects of human activity; and freedom from contamination.
The legislation is based on broader principles of living in harmony with the Earth and prioritising the “collective good.” At its heart is an understanding that the Earth is sacred, which arises from the indigenous Andean worldview of ‘Pachamama’ (meaning Mother Earth) as a living being. An initial act outlining the rights – which was passed by Bolivia’s national congress in December 2010 and paves the way for the full legislation – defines Mother Earth as a dynamic and “indivisible community of all living systems and living organisms, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which share a common destiny.”