Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Italian professor to reveal evidence of extraterrestrials among us






By Michael Salla, Ph.D.
Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner

Professor Stefano Breccia led a distinguished career as an electrical engineer and taught at a number of universities in Italy and Europe before his retirement. He is the author of Mass Contacts, a book detailing evidence of human looking extraterrestrials having lived in several underground bases in Italy from 1956-1978. According to Prof Breccia, some of the extraterrestrials were over 8 foot tall and allowed themselves to be photographed. In early January he will travel to the U.S. to present evidence for his remarkable conclusions. He is a keynote presenter at the annual Earth Transformation Conference in Hawaii (Jan 7-10, 2010) that brings together pioneers in New Science, Alternative Healing, human consciousness and extraterrestrial contact. Prof Breccia plans to present audio and film evidence of human looking extraterrestrials interacting with more than 100 private citizens over several decades in the largest contact case in modern history.

Read more...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Water on the Moon: What Does It Mean for the Human Species?

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We've found water on the moon! This is one of the most important things ever, it could change the course of the next stage of humanity, and it makes the fact that "Dancing With The Stars" still has fifteen times the Google search volume is almost terminally depressing factor. Until you realize it's just another reason to get off-world as soon as possible.


The extraplanetary oasis-ness was triple-confirmed by Cassini, the Chandrayaan-1 probe, and a few special guest scans by the Deep Impact system on its way to slam into a moving comet - if satellites could be superstars, this would have been a red-carpet event. Each detected the unmistakable spectroscopic signatures of oxygen and hydrogen combinations, meaning that water (H20) or hydroxyl (OH) is definitely up there. Even more interesting it has "weather" variations - more of it near the poles, and it moves around depending on daylight.

This is major moonbase news, as water is the single most difficult component of any manned space mission. The life-giving liquid has a thousand and one applications other than simply "preventing astronauts dying of thirst" - it's just as essential for machinery as for mankind. Air can be compressed, and we require far less food (by volume), so the crippling cost of any off-Earth endeavour is carrying the liquids - fuel and water. The more of either stuff we can find anywhere the better. Plans for lunar living have so far been based on polar craters, where we suspect deposits of ice remain frozen in shadow (and we'll know for sure shortly when the LCROSS mission blows one of them up to check - informative and awesome) and the idea of endless fields of fluid-harvesting are the stuff of science-fiction. Which now happen to be true.

The polar plan won't be changed by the news that there's water all over because it's spread out very thinly - about one kilo of water per tonne of lunar topsoil. But there are many, many tonnes of topsoil, an unimaginable bounty of H20 just waiting to be farmed once we work out how. Mark your calendars: that's when you'll hear the most idiotic conservation protesters ever to exist.

You heard it here first: People will protest our evil mining of a dead dusty rock to expand the frontiers of human knowledge, in fact the actual frontiers of where humans are, and it will be hilarious, and they will fail because the sort of people who grow dreadlocks and protest progress are very rarely in a position to influence the space program. Besides, astronauts have gone far further in the field of water conservation than any whining hippie. When you can piss into a machine, watch it for a while and drink the result you automatically win any environmental argument.

We'd like to conclude our discussion of this breakthrough with one final statement: Water on the moon, for god's sake!

The images above show a very young lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, as viewed by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

t's Official: Water Found on the Moon

Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Andrea Thompson

Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called "unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

The new findings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, come in the wake of further evidence of lunar polar water ice by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and just weeks before the planned lunar impact of NASA's LCROSS satellite, which will hit one of the permanently shadowed craters at the moon's south pole in hope of churning up evidence of water ice deposits in the debris field.

The moon remains drier than any desert on Earth, but the water is said to exist on the moon in very small quantities. Finding water on the moon would be a boon to possible future lunar bases, acting as a potential source of drinking water and fuel.

Apollo turns up dry

When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back several samples of lunar rocks.

The moon rocks were analyzed for signs of water bound to minerals present in the rocks; while trace amounts of water were detected, these were assumed to be contamination from Earth, because the containers the rocks came back in had leaked.

"The isotopes of oxygen that exist on the moon are the same as those that exist on Earth, so it was difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between water from the moon and water from Earth," said Larry Taylor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is a member of one of the NASA-built instrument teams for India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite and has studied the moon since the Apollo missions.

While scientists continued to suspect that water ice deposits could be found in the coldest spots of south pole craters that never saw sunlight, the consensus became that the rest of the moon was bone dry.

But new observations of the lunar surface made with Chandrayaan-1, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and NASA's Deep Impact probe, are calling that consensus into question, with multiple detections of the spectral signal of either water or the hydroxyl group (an oxygen and hydrogen chemically bonded).

Three spacecraft

Chandrayaan-1, India's first-ever moon probe, was aimed at mapping the lunar surface and determining its mineral composition (the orbiter's mission ended 14 months prematurely in August after an abrupt malfunction). While the probe was still active, its NASA-built Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) detected wavelengths of light reflected off the surface that indicated the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen — the telltale sign of either water or hydroxyl.

Because M3 can only penetrate the top few millimeters of lunar regolith, the newly observed water seems to be at or near the lunar surface. M3's observations also showed that the water signal got stronger toward the polar regions.

Cassini, which passed by the moon in 1999 on its way to Saturn, provides confirmation of this signal with its own slightly stronger detection of the water/hydroxyl signal. The water would have to be absorbed or trapped in the glass and minerals at the lunar surface, wrote Roger Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey in the study detailing Cassini's findings.

The Cassini data shows a global distribution of the water signal, though it also appears stronger near the poles (and low in the lunar maria).

Finally, the Deep Impact spacecraft, as part of its extended EPOXI mission and at the request of the M3 team, made infrared detections of water and hydroxyl as part of a calibration exercise during several close approaches of the Earth-Moon system en route to its planned flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2 in November 2010.

Deep Impact detected the signal at all latitudes above 10 degrees N, though once again, the poles showed the strongest signals. With its multiple passes, Deep Impact was able to observe the same regions at different times of the lunar day. At noon, when the sun's rays were strongest, the water feature was lowest, while in the morning, the feature was stronger.

"The Deep Impact observations of the Moon not only unequivocally confirm the presence of [water/hydroxyl] on the lunar surface, but also reveal that the entire lunar surface is hydrated during at least some portion of the lunar day," the authors wrote in their study.

The findings of all three spacecraft "provide unambiguous evidence for the presence of hydroxyl or water," said Paul Lacey of the University of Hawaii in an opinion essay accompanying the three studies. Lacey was not involved in any of the missions.

The new data "prompt a critical reexamination of the notion that the moon is dry. It is not," Lacey wrote.

Where the water comes from

Combined, the findings show that not only is the moon hydrated, the process that makes it so is a dynamic one that is driven by the daily changes in solar radiation hitting any given spot on the surface.

The sun might also have something to do with how the water got there.

There are potentially two types of water on the moon: that brought from outside sources, such as water-bearing comets striking the surface, or that that originates on the moon.

This second, endogenic, source is thought to possibly come from the interaction of the solar wind with moon rocks and soils.

The rocks and regolith that make up the lunar surface are about 45 percent oxygen (combined with other elements as mostly silicate minerals). The solar wind — the constant stream of charged particles emitted by the sun — are mostly protons, or positively charged hydrogen atoms.

If the charged hydrogens, which are traveling at one-third the speed of light, hit the lunar surface with enough force, they break apart oxygen bonds in soil materials, Taylor, the M3 team member suspects. Where free oxygen and hydrogen exist, there is a high chance that trace amounts of water will form.

The various study researchers also suggest that the daily dehydration and rehydration of the trace water across the surface could lead to the migration of hydroxyl and hydrogen towards the poles where it can accumulate in the cold traps of the permanently shadowed regions.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This week on VERITAS: Clif High

This is one of Clif High's most explosive interviews. A 3-hour special edition of The Veritas Show.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Revealed: The ghost fleet of the recession anchored just east of Singapore

By Simon Parry

The biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history lies at anchor east of Singapore. Never before photographed, it is bigger than the U.S. and British navies combined but has no crew, no cargo and no destination - and is why your Christmas stocking may be on the light side this year

The 'ghost fleet' near Singapore

The 'ghost fleet' near Singapore. The world's ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world's economies

The tropical waters that lap the jungle shores of southern Malaysia could not be described as a paradisical shimmering turquoise. They are more of a dark, soupy green. They also carry a suspicious smell. Not that this is of any concern to the lone Indian face that has just peeped anxiously down at me from the rusting deck of a towering container ship; he is more disturbed by the fact that I may be a pirate, which, right now, on top of everything else, is the last thing he needs.

His appearance, in a peaked cap and uniform, seems rather odd; an officer without a crew. But there is something slightly odder about the vast distance between my jolly boat and his lofty position, which I can't immediately put my finger on.

Then I have it - his 750ft-long merchant vessel is standing absurdly high in the water. The low waves don't even bother the lowest mark on its Plimsoll line. It's the same with all the ships parked here, and there are a lot of them. Close to 500. An armada of freighters with no cargo, no crew, and without a destination between them.

Simon Parry among the ships in southern Malaysia

Simon Parry among the ships in southern Malaysia

My ramshackle wooden fishing boat has floated perilously close to this giant sheet of steel. But the face is clearly more scared of me than I am of him. He shoos me away and scurries back into the vastness of his ship. His footsteps leave an echo behind them.

Navigating a precarious course around the hull of this Panama-registered hulk, I reach its bow and notice something else extraordinary. It is tied side by side to a container ship of almost the same size. The mighty sister ship sits empty, high in the water again, with apparently only the sailor and a few lengths of rope for company.

Nearby, as we meander in searing midday heat and dripping humidity between the hulls of the silent armada, a young European officer peers at us from the bridge of an oil tanker owned by the world's biggest container shipping line, Maersk. We circle and ask to go on board, but are waved away by two Indian crewmen who appear to be the only other people on the ship.

'They are telling us to go away,' the boat driver explains. 'No one is supposed to be here. They are very frightened of pirates.'

Here, on a sleepy stretch of shoreline at the far end of Asia, is surely the biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history. Their numbers are equivalent to the entire British and American navies combined; their tonnage is far greater. Container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers - all should be steaming fully laden between China, Britain, Europe and the US, stocking camera shops, PC Worlds and Argos depots ahead of the retail pandemonium of 2009. But their water has been stolen.

They are a powerful and tangible representation of the hurricanes that have been wrought by the global economic crisis; an iron curtain drawn along the coastline of the southern edge of Malaysia's rural Johor state, 50 miles east of Singapore harbour.

Fisherman Ah Wat

'We don't understand why they are here. There are so many ships but no one seems to be on board,' said local fisherman Ah Wat

It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here. The world's ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world's economies.

So they have been quietly retired to this equatorial backwater, to be maintained only by a handful of bored sailors. The skeleton crews are left alone to fend off the ever-present threats of piracy and collisions in the congested waters as the hulls gather rust and seaweed at what should be their busiest time of year.

Local fisherman Ah Wat, 42, who for more than 20 years has made a living fishing for prawns from his home in Sungai Rengit, says: 'Before, there was nothing out there - just sea. Then the big ships just suddenly came one day, and every day there are more of them.

'Some of them stay for a few weeks and then go away. But most of them just stay. You used to look Christmas from here straight over to Indonesia and see nothing but a few passing boats. Now you can no longer see the horizon.'

The size of the idle fleet becomes more palpable when the ships' lights are switched on after sunset. From the small fishing villages that dot the coastline, a seemingly endless blaze of light stretches from one end of the horizon to another. Standing in the darkness among the palm trees and bamboo huts, as calls to prayer ring out from mosques further inland, is a surreal and strangely disorientating experience. It makes you feel as if you are adrift on a dark sea, staring at a city of light.

Ah Wat says: 'We don't understand why they are here. There are so many ships but no one seems to be on board. When we sail past them in our fishing boats we never see anyone. They are like real ghost ships and some people are scared of them. They believe they may bring a curse with them and that there may be bad spirits on the ships.'

Two container ships tied together in Sungai Rengit, southern Malaysia

Two container ships tied together in southern Malaysia, waiting for the next charter

As daylight creeps across the waters, flags of convenience from destinations such as Panama and the Bahamas become visible. In reality, though, these vessels belong to some of the world's biggest Western shipping companies. And the sickness that has ravaged them began far away - in London, where the industry's heart beats, and where the plummeting profits and hugely reduced cargo prices are most keenly felt.

The Aframax-class oil tanker is the camel of the world's high seas. By definition, it is smaller than 132,000 tons deadweight and with a breadth above 106ft. It is used in the basins of the Black Sea, the North Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the China Sea and the Mediterranean - or anywhere where non-OPEC exporting countries have harbours and canals too small to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCC) or ultra-large crude carriers (ULCCs). The term is based on the Average Freight Rate Assessment (AFRA) tanker rate system and is an industry standard.

A couple of years ago these ships would be steaming back and forth. Now 12 per cent are doing nothing

You may wish to know this because, if ever you had an irrational desire to charter one, now would be the time. This time last year, an Aframax tanker capable of carrying 80,000 tons of cargo would cost £31,000 a day ($50,000). Now it is about £3,400 ($5,500).

This is why the chilliest financial winds anywhere in the City of London are to be found blowing through its 400-plus shipping brokers.

Between them, they manage about half of the world's chartering business. The bonuses are long gone. The last to feel the tail of the economic whiplash, they - and their insurers and lawyers - await a wave of redundancies and business failures in the next six months. Commerce is contracting, fleets rust away - yet new ship-builds ordered years ago are still coming on stream.

World shipping is tracked by satellite service Vesseltracker

World shipping is tracked by satellite service Vesseltracker

Just 12 months ago these financiers and brokers were enjoying fat bonuses as they traded cargo space. But nobody wants the space any more, and those that still need to ship goods across the world are demanding vast reductions in price.

Do not tell these men and women about green shoots of recovery. As Briton Tim Huxley, one of Asia's leading ship brokers, says, if the world is really pulling itself out of recession, then all these idle ships should be back on the move.

South China Sea map

'This is the time of year when everyone is doing all the Christmas stuff,' he points out.

'A couple of years ago those ships would have been steaming back and forth, going at full speed. But now you've got something like 12 per cent of the world's container ships doing nothing.'

Aframaxes are oil bearers. But the slump is industry-wide. The cost of sending a 40ft steel container of merchandise from China to the UK has fallen from £850 plus fuel charges last year to £180 this year. The cost of chartering an entire bulk freighter suitable for carrying raw materials has plunged even further, from close to £185,000 ($300,000) last summer to an incredible £6,100 ($10,000) earlier this year.

Business for bulk carriers has picked up slightly in recent months, largely because of China's rediscovered appetite for raw materials such as iron ore, says Huxley. But this is a small part of international trade, and the prospects for the container ships remain bleak.

Some experts believe the ratio of container ships sitting idle could rise to 25 per cent within two years in an extraordinary downturn that shipping giant Maersk has called a 'crisis of historic dimensions'. Last month the company reported its first half-year loss in its 105-year history.

Martin Stopford, managing director of Clarksons, London's biggest ship broker, says container shipping has been hit particularly hard: 'In 2006 and 2007 trade was growing at 11 per cent. In 2008 it slowed down by 4.7 per cent. This year we think it might go down by as much as eight per cent. If it costs £7,000 a day to put the ship to sea and if you only get £6,000 a day, than you have got a decision to make.

'Yet at the same time, the supply of container ships is growing. This year, supply could be up by around 12 per cent and demand is down by eight per cent. Twenty per cent spare is a lot of spare of anything - and it's come out of nowhere.'

These empty ships should be carrying Christmas over to the West. All retailers will have already ordered their stock for the festive season long ago. With more than 92 per cent of all goods coming into the UK by sea, much of it should be on its way here if it is going to make it to the shelves before Christmas.

Large ships off the coastline close to Sungai Rengit

Lights from the fleet of ships illuminate the night-time horizon

But retailers are running on very low stock levels, not only because they expect consumer spending to be down, but also because they simply do not have the same levels of credit that they had in the past and so are unable to keep big stockpiles.

Stopford explains: 'Globalisation and shipping go hand in hand. Worldwide, we ship about 8.2 billion tons of cargo a year. That's more than one ton per person and probably two to three tons for richer people like us in the West. If the total goes down by five per cent or so, that's a lot of cargo that isn't moving.'

The knock-on effect of so many ships sitting idle rather than moving consumer goods between Asia and Europe could become apparent in Britain in the months ahead.

'We will find out at Christmas whether there are enough PlayStations in the shops or not. There will certainly be fewer goods coming in to Britain during the run-up to Christmas.'

Three thousand miles north-east of the ghost fleet of Johor, the shipbuilding capital of the world rocks to an unpunctuated chorus of hammer-guns blasting rivets the size of dustbin lids into shining steel panels that are then lowered onto the decks of massive new vessels.

As the shipping industry teeters on the brink of collapse, the activity at boatyards like Mokpo and Ulsan in South Korea all looks like a sick joke. But the workers in these bustling shipyards, who teem around giant tankers and mega-vessels the length of several football pitches and capable of carrying 10,000 or more containers each, have no choice; they are trapped in a cruel time warp.

There have hardly been any new orders. In 2011 the shipyards will simply run out of ships to build

A decade ago, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung (who died last month) issued a decree to his industrial captains: he wished to make his nation the market leader in shipbuilding. He knew the market intimately. Before entering politics, he studied economics and worked for a Japanese-owned freight-shipping business. Within a few years he was heading his own business, starting out with a fleet of nine ships.

Thus, by 2004, Kim Dae-jung's presidential vision was made real. His country's low-cost yards were winning 40 per cent of world orders, with Japan second with 24 per cent and China way behind on 14 per cent.

But shipbuilding is a horrendously hard market to plan. There is a three-year lag between the placing of an order and the delivery of a ship. With contracts signed, down-payments made and work under way, stopping work on a new ship is the economic equivalent of trying to change direction in an ocean liner travelling at full speed towards an iceberg.

Thus the labours of today's Korean shipbuilders merely represent the completion of contracts ordered in the fat years of 2006 and 2007. Those ships will now sail out into a global economy that no longer wants them.

Maersk announced last week that it was renegotiating terms and prices with Asian shipyards for 39 ordered tankers and gas carriers. One of the company's executives, Kristian Morch, said the shipping industry was in uncharted waters.

As he told the global shipping newspaper Lloyd's List only last week: 'You have a contraction of oil demand, you have a falling world economy and you have a contraction of financing capabilities - and at the same time as a lot of new ships are being delivered.'

Demand peaked in 2005 when, with surplus tonnage worldwide standing at just 0.7 per cent, ship owners raced to order, fearing docks and berths at major shipyards would soon be fully booked. That spell of 'panic buying' has heightened today's alarming mismatch between supply and demand.

Keith Wallis, East Asia editor of Lloyd's List, says, 'There was an ordering frenzy on all types of vessel, particularly container ships, because of the booming trade between Asia and Europe and the United States. It was fuelled in particular by consumer demand in the UK, Europe and North America, as well as the demand for raw materials from China.'

Cranes at Singapore Dock stand idle, waiting for work

Cranes at Singapore Dock stand idle, waiting for work

Orders for most existing ships to be delivered within the next six to nine months would be honoured, he predicted, and the ships would go into service at the expense of older vessels in the fleet, which would be scrapped or end up anchored off places like southern Malaysia.

But, says Wallis, 'some ship owners won't be able to pay their final instalments when the vessels are completed. Normally, they pay ten per cent down when they order the ship and there are three or four stages of payment. But 50 to 60 per cent is paid on delivery.'

South Korean shipyard Hanjin Heavy Industries last week said it had been forced to put up for sale three container ships ordered at a cost of £60 million ($100 million) by the Iranian state shipping line after the Iranians said they could not pay the bill.

'The prospects for shipyards are bleak, particularly for the South Koreans, where they have a high proportion of foreign orders. Whole communities in places like Mokpo and Ulsan are involved in shipbuilding and there is a lot of sub-contracting to local companies,' Wallis says.

'So far the shipyards are continuing to work, but the problems will start to emerge next year and certainly in 2011, because that is when the current orders will have been delivered. There have hardly been any new orders in the past year. In 2011, the shipyards will simply run out of ships to build.'

Christopher Palsson, a senior consultant at London-based Lloyd's Register-Fairplay Research, believes the situation will worsen before it gets better.

'Some ships will be sold for demolition but the net balance will be even further pressure on the freight rates and the market itself. A lot of ship owners and operators are going to find themselves in a very difficult situation.'

The current downturn is the worst in living memory and more severe even than the slump of the early Eighties, Palsson believes.

'Back then the majority of the crash was for tankers carrying crude oil. Today we have almost every aspect of shipping affected - bulk carriers, tankers, container carriers... the lot.

'It is a much wider-spread situation that we have today. China was not a major player in the world economy at that time. Neither was India. We had the Soviet Union. We had shipbuilding in the United Kingdom and Europe.

'But then, back in those days the world was a very different place.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1212013/Revealed-The-ghost-fleet-recession-anchored-just-east-Singapore.html#ixzz0RKh5XvJ6

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9-9-9 and the UFO - Crystal Skull connection

2009 Crop Circle displays information coded in Mayan symbology.
2009 Crop Circle displays information coded in Mayan symbology.

Attendees at the World Mysteries Conference in Tempe were dismayed to hear that the famous Anna Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull would not be on display due to the diagnosis of caretaker Bill Homann with a case of the swine flu, however the remainder of the conference did not disappoint. Today's session will conclude with a rare gathering of powerful ancient and contemporary skulls, which promises to be engaging. Thursday is reserved for private session consultations with specific skulls and their custodians.

Tuesday's session began with the activation of a crystal skull by the reading of a lost Codex by Mayan shaman Hunbatz Men. This invocation is part of the more esoteric design of the conference, whose final public day was planned over a year ago to coincide with the last day in this century that can be expressed entirely in single digits. The Mayan culture was driven by nuances in time, time keeping and the significance of certain dates in their complex cyclic calendar.

The opening ceremony yesterday is part of a process of awakening that the followers of the skulls believe is currently underway and of which the Tempe conference is a component.

In a later presentation noted Mexican television presenter Jaime Maussan revealed the existence of his personal crystal skull collection, including 'Rosie' a rose quartz skull discovered when a road construction crew cut into an embankment. Mussan's prime message, however, was to make the connection between the crystal skulls and their prophecy and the UFO phenomenon which he has studied for years.

Read more...

UFO or pterodactyl over Argentinian lake?

A strange object photographed over a lake in Argentina has been described as either a flying saucer or a flying dinosaur.

UFO or pterodactyl over argentinian lake?
Photo: Los Andes

The object, photographed by a fisherman near San Rafael over an artificial lake called El-Nihuil, was, according the the newspaper Los Andes, witnessed by more than one person.

Mr Pino, 44, from San Rafael, fishes on the lake and told Los Andes that he often goes down to the water to watch the swans. On Saturday last week, however, he noticed a strange object hovering over the lake and took a series of photographs on his mobile phone.

He said: "I was excited and I do believe life must exist on other planets."

Shortly after Mr Pino approached the newspaper, a second witness - Christian Figueroa - claimed that he and his father saw the object while travelling past the lake in a bus. "We froze (with shock)," he said.

Mr Rafael also told Los Andes that he had noticed several strange phenomena in recent months in the area. He described an incident when a range of hills around the Atuel river were illuminated by several bright white flashes which he did not believe were caused by lightning. He described them as similar to very powerful camera flashes.

Members of UFO and cryptozoology communities are both claiming ownership of the object with some saying that it could be an unknown creature or a Pterodactyl - a flying dinosaur that last lived on Earth 66 million years ago.

Google's mystery UFO doodle finally explained

know there are some people who have not slept for fear that Google had finally committed itself to some alien culture. Well, some outerworldly alien culture. Well, some outerworldly alien culture where all beings were green and no one used phrases like "market segmentation" and "41 shades of blue."

You see, a mysterious doodle appeared on the Google home page. It showed an alien spacecraft making off with the second "O" in the word "Google."

Were we really expected to merely gogle now? Didn't that sound uncomfortably close to ogling?

Though there were no references to the Church of Scientology, Google's first pronouncement on the subject did not quell the concern.

The questionably benign company declared: "We consider the second 'o' critical to user recognition of our brand and pronunciation of our name. We are actively looking into the mysterious tweet that has appeared on the Google twitter stream and the disappearance of the 'o' on the Google home page. We hope to have an update in the coming weeks."

The world continued experiencing the occasional shudder, until Google's Twitter page produced this revelatory tweet on Friday: "1.12.12 25.15.21.18 15 1.18.5 2.5.12.15.14.7 20.15 21.19."

Well, it was revelatory to those who think in a certain way, one to which I can only aspire.

"Yes, of course," those who think that way said to themselves, while simultaneously slapping their heads with a fly-swatter. "It's a reference to that wonderful Japanese video game of the 1980s, Zero Wing."

Now, look, I've heard of Vera Wang. But somehow Zero Wing passed me by, though I think it would be an excellent name for a fashion designer.

However, those on the inside (of the spacecraft) tell me that Zero Wing is terribly cool and features extremely characteristic English translations.

Apparently, Cats, a villain even greater than the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, makes this declaration at the beginning of Zero Wing: "How are you gentlemen. All your base are belong to us."

Well, when you take all those numbers in the Google tweet and turn them into the corresponding letters of the alphabet, you get: "All your O are belong to us."

Why would some Googlies want to feature Zero Wing now? Well, it's the game's 20th anniversary.

So there. The problem is solved. The world is safe. Google has not been taken over by aliens.

Or can we really be sure of that?

Read more...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

UN Says New Currency Is Needed to Fix Broken ‘Confidence Game’

By Jonathan Tirone

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar’s role in international trade should be reduced by establishing a new currency to protect emerging markets from the “confidence game” of financial speculation, the United Nations said.

UN countries should agree on the creation of a global reserve bank to issue the currency and to monitor the national exchange rates of its members, the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development said today in a report.

China, India, Brazil and Russia this year called for a replacement to the dollar as the main reserve currency after the financial crisis sparked by the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market led to the worst global recession since World War II. China, the world’s largest holder of dollar reserves, said a supranational currency such as the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, may add stability.

Read more...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This week on VERITAS: Commander Sanni Ceto - An alien hybrid with a message for humankind.

First Trace of Color Found in Fossil Bird Feathers

Published: August 31, 2009

Birds, more than any other group of animals, are a celebration of color. They have evolved to every extreme of the spectrum, from the hot pink of flamingos to the shimmering blue of a peacock’s neck. Yet, for decades, paleontologists who study extinct birds have had to use their imaginations to see the colors in the fossils. Several feather fossils have been unearthed over the years, but they have always been assumed to be colorless vestiges.

Now a team of scientists has discovered color-producing molecules that have survived for 47 million years in the fossil of a feather. By analyzing those molecules, the researchers have shown that they would have given a bird the kind of dark, iridescent sheen found on starlings and other living birds.

This new method may allow scientists not only to reconstruct ancient birds more accurately. Birds evolved from ground-running feathered dinosaurs, and now it may be possible to determine some of the colors on them as well.

“I really do think we are moving from dinosaurs in black and white to dinosaurs in Technicolor,” said Julia Clarke, a University of Texas paleontologist who was a co-author of the new paper, published in the journal Biology Letters.

The new research got its start with squid. Jakob Vinther, a graduate student at Yale, was examining a fossil of a squid when he discovered that its ink sac was packed with microscopic spheres. They were identical to the pigment-loaded structures that give color to ink in living squid, known as melanosomes.

Knowing that birds make melanosomes in their feathers, Mr. Vinther decided to look for them in bird fossils. He knew that unlike the spherical melanosomes in squid, birds make sausage-shaped ones. “When I zoomed in on the fossils, it was nothing but these little sausages,” Mr. Vinther said.

But Mr. Vinther had to rule out the possibility that the sausages were bacteria that fed on the feathers after the birds died and then fossilized. He and his colleagues did that by examining an unusual fossil feather from Brazil with a pattern of dark and white stripes. Last year they reported that they found the sausage-shaped structures only in the dark stripes and none in the white ones. It is unlikely that the bacteria would grow in such an arbitrary pattern.

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