Thursday, February 23, 2017

THEE STRANGER NEWS for Feb. 23rd, 2017

A Liberated Zone on the FM, to enhance alternative culture and cognitive freedom! 
Convened by Dr.G., a Renegade Illuminati, convening Thee Temple [link], for knowledge, whimsy, and inspiration. Everything is true, nothing is forbidden!
Broadcast Thursdays at 89.5 FM KZCT in Vallejo, California, to a worldwide audience.

Science & Futurism

* "Epic Russian-made hoverbike like something out of Star Wars" (2017-02-17, [], photo caption: The bike retails at US$150,000.


* "New method uses heat flow to levitate variety of objects Two UChicago undergraduates lead breakthrough work" (2017-02-14, [], photo caption: UChicago researchers achieved levitation of macroscopic objects between warm and cold plates in a vacuum chamber.


* "Learning how to fine-tune nanofabrication" (2017-02-15, SPX Newswire) []

* "Now you can "build your own" bio-bot" (2017-02-10, []

* "Will androids dream of quantum sheep? CQT researchers find that quantum 'replicants' could be more efficient than classical models" (2017-02-13, []

* "Large groups of individual photons now available on demand – an equivalent of photonic ‘integrated circuit’ " (2017-02-08, []

* "A new technique for creation of entangled photon states developed" (2017-02-14, []

* "Empa-PSU team studies mobility of single molecule; Measuring entropy: A scanning tunneling microscope (STM), used to study changes in the shape of a single molecule at the atomic scale, impacts the ability of that molecule to make these changes; the entropy of the molecule is changed and, in turn, can be measured. The study led by Empa physicists is published in the current issue of 'Nature Communications' " (2017-02-14, [], photo montage caption:
Two weeks of probing a single molecule – with picometer precision -
Images of a single molecule of dibutyl sulfide captured by a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) at temperatures ranging from 5.41 to 16.03 Kelvin (K). As the temperature increases, the molecule changes shape more quickly resulting in an image that captures multiple configurations of the molecule.


* "Zealandia: Study confirms Earth has hidden continent" (2017-02-16, []

* "Scientists want to 'de-extinct' the woolly mammoth" (2017-02-17, []

* "Geneticists reveal how parenting rewires the beetle brain; 'It is exciting science when you take a step toward predicting the genetic changes involved in a behavior as complicated as parental care,' researcher Allen Moore said" (2017-02-14, UPI Newswire) []

* "Would you delete traumatic memories? Scientists have discovered how" (2017-02-19, []

* "New, flexible brain probes to improve long-term neural recording" (2017-02-15, UPI Newswire) []

* "Squishy supercapacitors bathed in green tea could power wearable electronics" (2017-02-15, American Chemical Society, []

* "Is a stretchable smart tablet in our future? " (2017-02-15, []

* "Ant treadmill could be a game changer for mini robots, seriously" (2017-02-18, []

* "50,000yo microbes discovered in Mexican cave" (2017-02-18, []


Space News

* "Possibility of Silicon-Based Life Grows" (2017-02-14, by Charles Q. Choi for Astrobiology Magazine) []
* "Researchers take small step toward silicon-based life" (2016-03-16, []

* "Dwarf planet Ceres could harbor life, NASA mission finds" (2017-02-17, []: NASA’s Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres has discovered evidence of organic material on the mysterious icy world which could be signs of microbial life.
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and lies between Earth’s closest planetary neighbor, Mars, and gas giant Jupiter. The organic material was detected on the dwarf planet’s northern hemisphere in and around a crater known as Ernunet.
Such organic compounds are, according to NASA, “necessary, though not sufficient, components,” of life on Earth.
Scientists studied data detected by Dawn’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIR), making Ceres the latest cosmic body to test positive for organic material, after similar material was found on a number of asteroids and meteorites.
Ceres is seen as a special case because the organic material is thought to be local, meaning it has always been there and has not been deposited by a passing comet or asteroid. “The organics discovery adds to Ceres' attributes associated with ingredients and conditions for life in the distant past,” NASA said in a statement [].
"This is the first clear detection of organic molecules from orbit on a main belt body," said lead study author, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, of Rome’s National Institute of Astrophysics.
“The combined presence on Ceres of ammonia-bearing hydrated minerals, water ice, carbonates, salts, and organic material indicates a very complex chemical environment, suggesting favorable environments to prebiotic chemistry,” the study [], published in the journal Science, says.
“This discovery adds to our understanding of the possible origins of water and organics on Earth,” added Julie Castillo-Rogez, Dawn project scientist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The scientists believe that Ceres, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Mars, could all have the right ingredients for life. Ceres, along with the two gas giant moons, could even have liquid water hiding beneath their rocky exteriors.
These are exciting times for the mission, which reached the ball of rock and ice back in 2015 having previously studied the giant asteroid Vesta [].
On February 23, the spacecraft will take up a new position, orbiting at a distance of 20,000 kilometers, in order to study Ceres with the sun at its back in the hope that the illuminated world will give up more of its secrets.

* "Localized aliphatic organic material on the surface of Ceres" (2017-02-17, []

* "The Banyan trees of Mars: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's minority view" (2001-12, by Nicole Foulke, Popular Science magazine) [], also archived at []
"I'm now convinced that Mars is inhabited by a race of demented landscape gardeners," Sir Arthur C. Clarke announced recently.
The author of 2001: A Space Odyssey was only half-joking. He claims that an image produced by the Mars Global Surveyor satellite shows "large areas of vegetation . . . like banyan trees." Most experts dismiss the idea. But Popular Science loves a free thinker, especially one as talented and charming as Sir Arthur. We questioned him in Sri Lanka via e-mail.
- [Popular Science]: What makes you so confident there is life on Mars?
- [Arthur C. Clarke]: The image is so striking that there is no need to say anything about it -- it's obviously vegetation to any unbiased eye.
- [PS]: What about animal life?
- [AC]: If there is vegetation, it seems probable there are other life-forms as well.
- [PS]: Few experts agree with you.
- [AC]: Remember how a certain Astronomer Royal said that space flight was 'utter bilge'? [Indeed, Richard van der Reit Wooley said so in 1956 -- Ed.] But they are right to be cautious -- we still don't have 100 percent proof. I think it's in the high nineties!
- [PS]: Why are you so passionate about this?
- [AC]: Because nothing could be more important than the discovery of other life-forms. It's getting lonely down here.
Photo caption: Clarke believes plants row in the Red Planet's southern hemisphere

* "A.C. Clarke's Trees" (2001, []
* "Defrosting Polar Dunes - 'They Look Like Bushes!' " (1999-08-10, []

* "A forest on Mars" (2005, by Mirko Elviro) [] [begin excerpt]:
The possibility of existence of life forms on other planets has always charmed men. But only in fairly recent times the means with which we can explore celestial bodies in a scientific manner have become available. Countless probes have been launched toward planets belonging to our solar system, to study their characteristics and to understand if any form of life may have developed on them. Among planets, Mars is still the more studied planet, both for the proximity to the Earth and mainly because it is the most Earth-similar celestial body and maybe it's able to receive any type of living organism.
There's an opinion shared among scientists by now that says that if we'll find life on Mars, it surely won't have an evolutionary stage higher than the one of a bacterium. It's an opinion that has become a dogma with the passing of time, supported even in the presence of photographic documents, still without explanation, that could invalidate it.
It's the case of a photo taken by MOC (Mars Orbiter Camera), a satellite for photographical mapping of Mars that, at latitude -82.02°, longitude 284.38° (near to the Martian south pole) has filmed something totally incredible, but still neglected: it's some form of vegetation on Mars.
The photo number is M0804688 [] (via, full size image [].
Detail of photo M0804688 taken by MOC satellite that depicts the Mars surface (6.79 m/pixel)

As one can see in the image, shapes very similar to big trees (with branches) seen by above are visible.
For example, let's compare the MOC shot with this other photo, that portrays a terrestrial tree: there are really many similarities.

Here's the complete "strip" taken by MOC, that shows plants becoming more and more thick, actually creating a forest. A geological phenomenon vaguely similar to this doesn't quite exists. The high resolution photo is visible by clicking here (259Kb) [].
But then, what is the explanation? The simplest explanation is that some vegetable life forms (perhaps dating back to times when water was abundant on Mars) continue to grow on the planet, probably sinking their roots in a partially frozen water layer and able to bear strong changes in temperature.
In regard to their size, the biggest trees visible in the image have a diameter of about 1 kilometer. It obviously may seem too much, if it's compared with a terrestrial tree. But if we consider that:
1. atmosphere is more rarefied than the terrestrial one
2. gravity is only a third of the one of our planet
3. probably there are no parasites that can attack them
4. it's an alien species, surely unknown to us, with a different metabolism,
then their huge dimensions become more acceptable. Anyway in the photo we can see also more "normal-sized" trees.
Unfortunately no scientist accurately studied this document, because the "official science" says we cannot find trees there. Stop. But the "Martian forest" continue to grow regardless.
Link to the MOC official photo M0804688 (via [] [].
This isn't the only evidence of vegetable life on the red planet, other images taken by MOC exist which show what could be brushes grown among dunes (E05-760, 2001-06-08).

Let's compare it with this satellite photo showing a desertic area of Australia:

In this image of the martian surface we can observe what is resembling a wood seen from above (MOC2-166) []:

Here we see what really seems to be a lake (photo MOC m0901354, 2.75m/pixel) []:

Here too (MOC m0902042) []:

And in these photos too (click to view): e0801033 [], e0900020 [], e0900304 [] (this one at a 3.5 m/pixel resolution).
The following picture was acquired by the Opportunity probe on December, 19 2004 and it needs no comments (to the right there is a zoom of the yellow box). The original photo is visible by clicking HERE [].

Here we have two other meaningful images which show the growth of vegetation on the red planet (MOC m1001442):

Click here for another photo showing vegetation on Mars (646 Kb) [].
It must be noted that unfortunately the Mars Global Surveyor has a camera (MOC) that shows only the red and the blue color, but not the green. It's probably the only camera ever constructed that has this feature, and I leave to your imagination what may be the reason for this technological choice....
Final note: probably not all people know that a certain amount of methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere (it was detected by Mars Express, by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, by International Gemini South observatory in Chile, by Mars Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) etc...).
Methane is not a stable molecule in the atmosphere, it vanishes after a few hundred years. Then if it's still present, it must be regenerated in some way. Two are the possibilities: either volcanic activity or bacterial production.
It exists a third hypotesis too: methane may be generated by the impact of a comet on Mars, but nobody found any recent sign of collision on the surface, and anyway it couldn't have produced long-lasting effects.
It's difficult to support the first hypothesis, because the TES on Mars Global Surveyor and the Themis on Mars Odyssey (thermical sensors with a resolution of 100 meters) never detected any volcanic activity on Mars.
Then the second hyphotesis is the most likely, there seems to be some sort of biologic activity on Mars.
UPDATE October, 6th 2006: currently there is the actual possibility to observe forests and lakes in color and with great detail, the proof is the photo taken from orbit by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows perfectly the Opportunity probe on the red planet surface [], and even the tracks that its wheels left on the sand. At this point one question arises: what is NASA waiting for before taking pictures of the most interesting zones and finally solving some mysteries?

* " 'Trees' on Mars?" (by S. Holland) []

* Mars Global Surveyor pictures:
- M0804688 [], photo []

- M0804874 [], photo [], closeup A [], B []
- M0401220 [], photo [], closeup A [], B []
- E0500762 [], photo [], closeup C [], D []
- M0801095 [], photo [], closeup A [], B []
- M0804580 [], photo [], closeup []
- M0902042 [], photo [], closeup A [], B []
- M053408 [], photo [], closeup A [], B []
- M008405 [], photo [], closeup A [], B [], C []
- M0307336 [], photo [], closeup A [], B [], C []
- M0701643 [], photo [], closeup A [], B [], C []
- M09-01354 [], photo []
- M0305635 [], photo []
- M0402115 [], photo []
- M1000205 [], photo []
- M1001442 (via [], photo []; (via [], photo []:

* Comparison chart showing growth within 9 months during the transition form winter to summer on Mars:

* comment (2004-11-10): has lots of images, mainly (as the name suggests) of features with a "spidery" appearance, but also a lot which I would classify as "tree-like", as well as "dalmatian dunes".
There are some interesting things in there, for instance [], if you didn't know better you might swear that this was a tree-lined highway and railway line running along the side of a lake studded with small islands. And [], don't those look like piers sticking out into a harbour?

But I don't think anybody is saying that there are actual Banyan trees on Mars, similar, if not identical to, the Banyans of Earth. I think practically everybody realises that Mars is too cold for that. The claim is that tree-like appearance is evidence of tree-like growth, which suggests (but does not prove conclusively) that the phenomenon is biological in nature.
And before anyone starts accusing, no I'm not saying that there are actual highways or railway lines or docks on Mars. Only that there are a lot of very strange phenomena, and we have only just begun to scratch the surface. There was once a site (I think it was which did claim that the things which look like lakes in the middle of forests really are lakes in the middle of forests, and that furthermore the lakes are connected together by building-lined channels. The site seems to have gone now, which is unfortunate because it had a lot of the best "forest-like" images all together in one place, as well as lots of other interesting anomalies.

Don't humans naturally see what we are accustomed to recognizing?
* "Life-on-Mars, the smoking gun: Herd life forms", posted at [], photo montage [], showing geological formations in patterns resembling the herding activity of animals from Earth, posted as part of a trolling effort to help researchers recognize their own bias when seeing the "Forests of Mars".

Aren't the "lakes" really elevated plateaus called mesas?
* "Happy Valentine's Day From Mars!" (2000-02-11, Mars Global Surveyor, Malin Space Science Systems, []
Happy St. Valentine's Day from the Red Planet! The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) captured this unique view of a bright, heart-shaped mesa in the south polar region on November 26, 1999. This feature is located in the Promethei Rupes region near 79.6°S, 298.3°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left. The heart is about 255 meters (279 yards) across. The presence of this mesa indicates that the darker, rough terrain that surrounds it was once covered by a layer of the bright material.
Earlier in 1999, MGS MOC saw another valentine heart, but instead of a mesa, the feature was expressed as a pit.
If the heart looks to you like it is a pit (negative relief) rather than a mesa (positive relief), that is because there are two effects that make this a challenging object to see. Sunlight illuminates the heart from the lower left, thus the lower left wall of the heart looks bright because it is reflecting this sunlight. The problem here is frost. Some very small amounts of residual frost are seen on the slopes facing away from the sunlight (toward the lower right and toward the top). MOC images in the martian polar regions can sometimes fool the eye because a frosted slope might at first glance seem to be a sunlit slope. This picture was taken in late southern spring in a region that spends each winter and most of each spring completely buried in bright frost.

* " 'Happy Face' Crater Greets MGS at the Start of the Mapping Mission" (1999-03-11, []


* " ‘Are We Alone in the Universe?’ Churchill’s lost essay on alien life uncovered" (2017-02-16, []

* "Astronomers Propose a Cell Phone Search for Galactic Fast Radio Bursts" (2017-02-14, []

* "NASA to reveal new discovery 'from beyond our solar system' " (2017-02-21, []


Ancient News

* "Study rewrites early history of corn in corn country" (2017-02-14, []

* "A ‘Stonehenge,’ and a Mystery, in the Amazon" (2016-12-14, [], photo caption: Lailson Camelo da Silva, the caretaker of Amapá’s megalithic observatory.


* "Ancient jars reveal Earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing; According to new evidence presented by Tel Aviv University, Hebrew U. and UC San Diego researchers, geomagnetic force "spiked" in 8th century BCE" (2017-02-14, []

* "Aztec ‘Black Death’ may have been caused by salmonella – research" (2017-02-17, []

* "Empire of Tolerance", book review for "GENGHIS KHAN AND THE QUEST FOR GOD: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom" (2016-12-09, [], illustration caption: Genghis Khan seated on his throne with his wife, as depicted in a 15th-century Persian work.


* "Students brew beer using 5,000-year-old recipe from China" (2017-02-08, UPI Newswire) []

* "Baltic hunter-gatherers adopted farming without influence of mass migration, ancient DNA suggests; Ancient DNA analyses show that – unlike elsewhere in Europe – farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic. The findings also suggest that the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East" (2017-02-02, []


Miscellany & Errata

* "Brain tumor triggers visions of Virgin Mary & hyper-religiosity for Spanish woman" (2017-02-17, []

* "US Navy confirms Trident II test off California coast, puts end to ‘UFO glow’ speculations" (2017-02-15, []

The Far Side of the Moon -
- The first photo is from the 1994 Clementine 1 Mission (Naval Research Lab - DOD - NASA - JPL) [] []
- The 2nd photo is from the 1972 Apollo 16 Mission (NASA - JPL - NSSDC) [] []

The two photos are presented in a set [] [] [] attached to an article documenting the discrepancies [].



* "The Idealist View of Consciousness After Death" (2017-02-08, []

* "Navigating Your States of Consciousness" (2017-02-08, []

* "Honeybees love to ‘whoop’: Scientists discover vibrational signal is expression of surprise" (2017-02-14, []

* "Enormous pit of melting carbon the size of Mexico discovered under US" (2017-02-14, []


Thursday, February 2, 2017

THEE STRANGER NEWS for Feb. 2nd, 2017


A Liberated Zone on the FM, to enhance alternative culture and cognitive freedom! 
Convened by Dr.G., a Renegade Illuminati, convening Thee Temple [link], for knowledge, whimsy, and inspiration. Everything is true, nothing is forbidden!
Broadcast Thursdays at 89.5 FM KZCT in Vallejo, California, to a worldwide audience.

Science & Futurism

* "Scientists eye creating synthetic human genomes in lab" (2016-06-04, []

* "Scientists add letters to DNA alphabet to create ‘semisynthetic’ life" (2017-01-25, []: Scientists have created a new “unnatural” organism by expanding the letters in the genetic alphabet. Unlike previous attempts, this bacteria-based lifeform turned out to be more “life-like.”
The genetic alphabet encodes the biological information of all types of life on Earth. It is made up of four letters that form two base pairs - the DNA double helix.
However, a team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California have created a lab organism that has been modified to add two more letters, giving it a genetic code of six letters.
The team, whose work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal [], have shown that their single-celled organism can hold on indefinitely to the synthetic base pair as it divides.
"We've made this semisynthetic organism more life-like," senior author of the study Professor Floyd Romesberg said in a statement [].
At the moment, the new technology cannot be put to very much use. Romesberg likened the new “flawed” organism to an infant. It had some learning to do before it was ready for real life. But it is hoped that it could be used to create new kinds of single-celled organisms that could lead to the discovery of new drugs.
The “unnatural base pair” letters were first created by Romesberg and his colleague two years ago. They were demonstrated in modified E. coli bacteria that had them integrated into their genetic code.
However, the E. coli eventually lost those letters, unable to keep their code indefinitely as they divided. This limited the ways the organism could use the additional information possessed in their DNA. That left Romesberg and his team with more work to be do.
“Your genome isn’t just stable for a day,” he explained. “Your genome has to be stable for the scale of your lifetime. If the semisynthetic organism is going to really be an organism, it has to be able to stably maintain that information.”
They achieved that by creating a special system in the bacteria that rejected any genetic sequence that didn't include the X or Y letters. In doing so, the scientists appear to have proven that the very fundamental processes of life can be altered.
"We can now get the light of life to stay on,” Romesberg said. “That suggests that all of life's processes can be subject to manipulation."

* "Spanish scientists create a 3D bioprinter to print human skin" (2017-01-23, [], summary: Scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in collaboration with the firm BioDan Group, have presented a prototype for a 3D bioprinter that can create totally functional human skin. This skin is adequate for transplanting to patients or for use in research or the testing of cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical products.  


* "Animal Farm: Scientists create first pig-human hybrid" (2017-01-26, []

* "Scientists develop ‘world’s most powerful’ laser" (2017-01-25, []

* "Dress that’s 200 times stronger than steel changes color to track heart rate" (2017-01-26, [], attached video []

* "New class of materials could revolutionize biomedical, alternative energy industries" (2017-01-25, University of Missouri-Colombia) []

* "For this metal, electricity flows, but not the heat; Law-breaking property in vanadium dioxide could lead to applications in thermoelectrics, window coatings" (2017-01-26, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) []

* "Advance in high-pressure physics: Harvard scientists announce they've created metallic hydrogen, which has been just a theory" (2017-01-27, []
* "Hydrogen turned into metal in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionise technology and spaceflight ; ‘It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before’ " (2017-01-26, []
* "Hydrogen Has Been Turned To Metal, And It's About To Change The World" (2017-01-26, []

* "Scientists unveil new form of matter: time crystals" (2017-01-26, []
* "Time Crystals Are Now A Thing" (2017-01-27, [] [begin excerpt]: Scientists have developed "time crystals", and while the name sounds like something from Doctor Who, they are very real, although they have nothing to do with time travel.
In the same way that a regular crystal has a structure that repeats regularly in space, time crystals have a structure that repeats itself in time. In a paper published in Physical Review Letter, American researchers led by UC Berkeley's Norman Yao discuss how to make and measure the properties of time crystals.
Time crystals were first obtained a few months ago. Researchers from the Univesity of Maryland constructed a chain of 10 ytterbium atoms and hit them with two lasers several times to keep them out of equilibrium. They found that the chain settled into a stable repetitive pattern, although the material itself remained out of equilibrium. This study marked the beginning of a new class of materials that can't just settle down in some motionless equilibrium like a diamond.
"Wouldn't it be super weird if you jiggled Jell-O and found that somehow it responded at a different period?" Yao said in a statement. "But that is the essence of the time crystal. You have some periodic driver that has a period 'T', but the system somehow synchronizes so that you observe the system oscillating with a period that is larger than 'T'." [end excerpt]
* "Discrete Time Crystals: Rigidity, Criticality, and Realizations" (2017-01-18, []

* "Making A.I. Systems that See the World as Humans Do; Model performs at human levels on standard intelligence test" (2017-01-19, []

* "Google awards $1.5m to research into robots that learn by doing" (2017-01-29, []

* " ‘Historic’ win for AI as machine destroys top poker players" (2017-01-31, []

* "First step towards photonic quantum network" (2017-01-25, []

* "Study of electron movement on helium may impact the future of quantum computing" (2017-01-25, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University) []

* "CREATING ATOMIC SCALE NANORIBBONS; A recent study conducted by researchers at the Beckman Institute and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has demonstrated the first important step toward integrating atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (APGNRs) onto nonmetallic substrates" (2017-01-19, [], photo:


* "A new approach to 3-D holographic displays greatly improves the image quality; With the addition of holographic diffusers or frosted glasses to wavefront modulators, KAIST researchers offer a simple and practical solution to significantly enhance the performance of 3D dynamic holographic displays by 2,600 times" (2017-01-27, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, []

* "Snap, Digest, Respire: Scientists show how the Venus flytrap uses its prey’s nitrogen compounds to extract energy" (2017-01-20, []


Space News

* "Visit Scenic Pluto: NASA Puts Out Landing Simulation Video; If Pluto’s temperatures of -240°C, frozen nitrogen surface, and 7.5-billion kilometer travel distance do not turn you off from taking your next vacation there, then NASA’s new video simulating a landing on the dwarf planet may be of interest to you" (2017-01-25, []

* "Detecting alien life: NASA unveils test for organisms on distant planets" (2017-01-27, []

* "Study reveals substantial evidence of holographic universe" (2017-01-30, []
* "Life’s just one big… hologram? New study suggests we live in a 2D universe" (2017-01-30, []


Ancient News

* "Archaeologists Say Jersey Was Neanderthal Vacation Hot Spot; Archaeologists exploring the island of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, France, have discovered that Neanderthals were regular guests at La Cotte de St Brelade, despite a vastly-changing climate and an altering landscape" (2017-01-25, []

* " 'Attraction centers' to rise instead of trees in Hevsel Gardens; The 8 thousand year old green heaven in the Mardin Gate, Kırklar Gate and Yenikapı triangle next to the Tigris River will be destroyed for unearned income" (2017-01-27, [], photo [], [begin excerpt]:
Hevsel Gardens, on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List since 2015, has been declared as a “Special Project Site” on December 28 in accordance with the (ğ) clause of the 1st paragraph of the 2nd article of the Statutory Decree numbered 644, and the 9th article of the Construction Zoning Law numbered 3194, and the approval of the Ministry of the Environment and Urbanization. Although the project must be made public and published officially, there has not been any official statement on the project since, leaving history and ecology under threat.
Located on a field of 10 thousand m2, Hevsel Gardens carry the signs of Hittite, Hurri-Mitanni, Assyrian, Arami, Urartu, Scythian, Medes, Persian, Macedonian, Parthian, Armenian, Roman, Sassanian, Byzantinian, Emevi, Abbasid, Sheikh, Hamdani, Mervani, Seljuk, Inals, Nisans, Artuqi, Ayyubid, Mongol, Aqqoyunlu, Safavid and Ottoman civilizations and have been used as the granary of the city since ancient times.
The name of Hevsel Gardens, which has been an inspiration to many legends and songs with its beauty and fertility, is said to have evolved from Hoser (dense woods). According to a legend, Prophet Mohammed sees the a dense wood during his ascension and says that “This must be the heaven”. Another legend suggests that Esfel (one held in contempt) is the origin of the word Hevsel. Accordingly, forty thousand people in Nusaybin fleeing form Iranian forces seek refuge in Amed but are forced to settle somewhere far away from the city. These people were referred to as Esfel, and are seen as those that cultivated the land and created the gardens.
More than 180 bird species including sand martins, little egrets, corn buntings, ortolans, magpies, owlets, kingfishers, eagle owls and red falcons, in addition to other species such as otters, hedgehogs, red foxes, wild boars, squirrels, lizards, snakes, toads and Euphrates turtles -that only live between Euphrates and Tigris rivers and lay their eggs on the banks of the Euphrates- live in Hevsel which is listed as an Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). [end excerpt]

* "Jungle explorers contract rare flesh-eating disease among ruins of ancient lost 'City of the Monkey God' ; Ciudad Blanca abandoned by residents in 16th century when they thought it was cursed" (2017-01-12, []:
The team, including best-selling novelist Douglas Preston, were exploring the previously untouched ruins of Ciudad Blanca, also known as the ‘City of the Monkey God’, which were fully excavated last year in the middle of the jungle.
The ruins have been dated between 1,000 and 1,500 AD, and are thought to contain many valuable artefacts buried beneath thick foliage. A new laser mapping technology was used to analyse the jungle floor in search of ruined settlements.
Archaeologists believe Ciudad Blanca was deserted by its residents in the 16th century because they thought it was ‘cursed’ by disease. The area was conquered by Spanish explorers in 1520 who had heard the city contained great wealth, and brought diseases with them.
The team took a cameraman along with them and survived multiple attacks from venomous snakes during the course of their dangerous expedition.
They said they had particular trouble cutting their way through the dense trees of the Mosquitia rain forest, on the border of Honduras and Nicaragua, and stumbled on some ruins by chance.
However they concluded that the site could not be excavated at that time, and waited for intervention by the Honduran government.
Upon their return Mr Preston and his colleagues discovered they had contracted a virulent strain of Leishmaniasis, a disease transferred by sand flies which can eat through the face, and needed urgent hospital treatment. All members of the crew survived the disease unscathed.
“The parasite migrates to the mucous membranes of your mouth and your nose, and basically eats them away,” Mr Preston told CBS News. “Your nose falls off, your lips fall off, and eventually your face becomes a gigantic, open sore. It’s just too dangerous. Getting in and out of the jungle is dangerous.” [end excerpt]
Photo captions:
- Multiple rare artefacts have been dug out of the ruins of Ciudad Blanca since they were first unearthed last year

- The mysterious Ciudad Blanca has been buried beneath the jungle canopy for centuries, out of the reach of explorers


* "Study: Pueblo architects understand advanced geometry; 'The genius of the site's architects cannot be underestimated,' said researcher Sherry Towers" (2017-01-23, UPI Newswire) [], photo caption: Aerial surveys of ancient Pueblo sites in Colorado revealed the presence of sophisticated geometric shapes, such as the "golden rectangle," with mathematically perfect proportions.


* "Elves and Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts" (2016-01-18, [], photo caption: Charms mentioning elves, Bald’s Leechbook, England (Winchester?), 1st half of 10th century, Royal MS 12 D XVII, f. 106r


Miscellany & Errata

* "Paging Men in Black: NASA Cuts Live Feed After Object Appears on ISS Camera; A mysterious object appeared on the NASA live video feed from the International Space Station (ISS), prompting some alien hunters to declare it a UFO" (2017-01-26, [], photo caption: A strange object appeared on the ISS live feed for about 25 seconds.

* "Did NASA really pull space station footage over UFO sighting?" (2017-01-31, []



* " ‘Brain-sticky’ trait of LSD may be key to treating depression, schizophrenia – research" (2017-01-28, []

* "Court rules over pile of manure so massive it could be seen from space" (2017-01-30, []

* "Bizarre underwater ‘bag’ creature could be missing evolutionary link - study" (2017-01-30, []