Men in Black 3 star Will Smith today told BBC Radio 1 host Chris Moyles that his 13-year-old son Jayden himself a Hollywood star put President Obama on the spot recently during a private tour of the White House. The subject of Jayden’s enquiry – aliens!Remarkably, Obama anticipated Jayden’s question before the young star even had chance to ask it, and the President’s response was suitably tantalising:“The aliens, right? OK, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of extraterrestrials but I can tell you if there had been a top secret meeting and if there would have had to have been a discussion about it, it would have taken place in this room.”
Watch the video of Will Smith’s accounting of his son’s Presidential UFO encounter here…
Archive for May 17th, 2012
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops driven to extinction by aliens?
Brian Switek – … About halfway through the program, Cremo says, “Some researchers found human footprints alongside the footprints of dinosaurs.” The quote is a line out of context from Cremo’s interview, but is played in a section claiming that American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Roland T. Bird found human footprints associated with dinosaur trackways in the vicinity of Glen Rose, Texas.
Bird didn’t find any such thing. He found many dinosaur footprints and trackways—one of which he and his crew partially excavated and anachronistically placed behind the AMNH’s “Brontosaurus“—but no human tracks. Strangely, though, hoaxed human tracks did have a role to play in Bird’s decision to initially visit the tracksites.
Bird wasn’t the first person to notice the dinosaur tracks, and selling the sauropod and theropod tracks was a cottage industry in the vicinity of Glen Rose. And a few local people carved fake human tracks in the same stone. Bird actually saw a pair of such forgeries at a trading post in Gallup, New Mexico, along with dinosaur tracks removed from the Glen Rose area, shortly before he left to investigate the site himself.
Bird wasn’t fooled by the fakes. He saw them for what they were, and was much more interested in the real dinosaur tracks imprinted in the same stone. But some creationists, blinded by dogma, have put their faith behind fakes and even dinosaur tracks that they have misinterpreted as being human footprints. When theropod dinosaurs squatted down, for example, the backs of their lower legs, the metatarsals, left slightly curved depressions in the Cretaceous sediment, and creationists have misconstrued these markings to be the footsteps of ancient people.
Dye takes up the standard creationist line that humans and dinosaurs coexisted and reappears a little later in the episode to throw his support to a different icon of creationist nonsense—the Ica stones from Peru. These famous fakes are stones engraved with images of dinosaurs and humans interacting. They were created by farmer Basilio Uschuya and his wife, using pop culture depictions of dinosaurs in books as their guides. Despite this, both Dye and the Ancient Aliens program present the stones as if they were authentic ancient artifacts that record the survival of dinosaurs such as Triceratops to almost the present day. Dye says that ancient people must have known a lot about dinosaurs because the stones are engraved so precisely, even though we know that precision came from Uschuya copying mid-20th century dinosaur art so carefully. Our narrator says that scientists are skeptical about the origin of the stones, but nothing more.
The show offers a few other awful gems. Our narrator goes on at length about how carbon-14 dating is unreliable for telling the age of dinosaurs, but paleontologists do not use carbon-14 to estimate the age of non-avian dinosaurs. Radiocarbon dating only works for carbon-bearing materials up to about 60,000 years old. Instead, paleontologists use different radiometric dating techniques to constrain the history of non-avian dinosaurs. In uranium-lead dating, for example, geologists investigate the relative abundance of uranium and lead, the element uranium decays into, to determine the age of the rock the materials were sampled from.
Different dating systems are used for rocks of different ages, and these techniques have put time estimates on when dinosaurs lived. The key is finding layers such as ash beds that contain radioactive materials and are above or below layers containing dinosaurs. Since dinosaur bones themselves can’t be reliably dated, geochronologists determine the age of the under- or overlying rock to constrain the timeframe for when the dinosaur lived. Ancient Aliens, reliant on tired creationist talking points, casts aspersions over a process that the show’s creators clearly don’t understand.
But my favorite bit of babble involves the ultimate fate of the dinosaurs. The show can’t even keep its own story straight. Fringe television personality Franklin Ruehl makes a case for the modern or recent existence of non-avian dinosaurs by way of the coelacanth. These archaic lobe-finned fish, which Ruehl rightly points out were around long before the first dinosaurs evolved, were thought to be extinct before a live one was hauled up off South Africa in 1938. Since then, a handful of fossil coelacanth finds has bridged the gap between their modern representatives and those that lived at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago. Their unexpected reappearance has often been used by cryptozoologists and true-believers of various stripes to claim that some other prehistoric lineage may really still be out there, even if there’s no actual evidence to suggest this is so.
As paleontologist Darren Naish has pointed out multiple times, though, the coelacanth is a red herring. In strata from the past 66 million years or so, at least, coelacanth fossils are rare and hard to identify. It’s not really surprising that their fossil record appears to have petered out. Non-avian dinosaurs, however, had bones that were far more diagnostic. In fact, the resolution of prehistoric eras gets better as we investigate slices of time approaching the present. If creatures as large and distinctive as Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus and Tyrannosaurus really did thrive for millions of years after the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact, they would have turned up in the fossil record by now. The evidence is clear—with the exception of avian dinosaurs, all other dinosaur lineages went extinct about 66 million years ago. …
There were a few real scientists on the program. Paleontologists Luis Chiappe and Mark Wilson, for example, make appearances throughout the show. I can’t help but feel bad for them, and wonder whether scientists should simply boycott appearing on such programs. While I think it’s worthwhile and essential to call out false claims made in the name of science—such as intelligent design and myths of living dinosaurs—programs like Ancient Aliens only abuse scientists. Responsible researchers are typically taken out of context to help set up unsupported fictions spewed by the alien fan club. …
Brian Switek simply does not understand the truth about the aliens. Raul J. Cano and Monica K. Borucki discovered evidence of aliens preserved within the abdomens of insects encased in pieces of amber. They revived more than 1,000 types … – some dating back as far as 135 million years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs. I have no doubt that aliens (their mutated serial endosymbiotic descendants, actually) killed and ate the dinosaurs, including T. Rex. I don’t know if this caused their extinction, however. The early alien’s offspring are still here on earth, but go mostly unnoticed.
As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis’s laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens.
In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples — water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis’s home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001 — contain microbes from outer space. Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit . (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250 degrees Fahrenheit .)
So how to explain them? Louis speculates that the particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria adapted to the harsh conditions of space and that the microbes hitched a ride on a comet or meteorite that later broke apart in the upper atmosphere and mixed with rain clouds above India. If his theory proves correct, the cells would be the first confirmed evidence of alien life and, as such, could yield tantalizing new clues to the origins of life on Earth.
Last winter, Louis sent some of his samples to astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe and his colleagues at Cardiff University in Wales, who are now attempting to replicate his experiments; Wickramasinghe expects to publish his initial findings later this year. Meanwhile, more down-to-earth theories abound. One Indian government investigation conducted in 2001 lays blame for what some have called the “blood rains” on algae. Other theories have implicated fungal spores, red dust swept up from the Arabian peninsula, even a fine mist of blood cells produced by a meteor striking a high-flying flock of bats.
Louis and his colleagues dismiss all these theories, pointing to the fact that both algae and fungus possess DNA and that blood cells have thin walls and die quickly when exposed to water and air.
More important, they argue, blood cells don’t replicate. “We’ve already got some stunning pictures — transmission electron micrographs — of these cells sliced in the middle,” Wickramasinghe says. “We see them budding, with little daughter cells inside the big cells.” Louis’s theory holds special appeal for Wickramasinghe. A quarter of a century ago, he co-authored the modern theory of panspermia, which posits that bacteria-riddled space rocks seeded life on Earth. “If it’s true that life was introduced by comets four billion years ago,” the astronomer says, “one would expect that microorganisms are still injected into our environment from time to time. This could be one of those events.” The next significant step, explains University of Sheffield microbiologist Milton Wainwright, who is part of another British team now studying Louis’s samples, is to confirm whether the cells truly lack DNA. So far, one preliminary DNA test has come back positive.
“Life as we know it must contain DNA, or it’s not life,” he says. “But even if this organism proves to be an anomaly, the absence of DNA wouldn’t necessarily mean it’s extraterrestrial.”
Louis and Wickramasinghe are planning further experiments to test the cells for specific carbon isotopes. If the results fall outside the norms for life on Earth, it would be powerful new evidence for Louis’s idea, of which even Louis himself remains skeptical.
via CNN (2006)
As I’ve pointed out before, a human sperm cell head is about the size of a bacteria. It contains the complete genetic code for an intelligent human, which gets expressed under the right conditions. I think an intelligent alien species traveled to earth as seeds and that under the right conditions, they mature into large intelligent forms.
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
THE father and son team who broke historic Rosslyn Chapel’s musical Da Vinci Code have done it again with another of the artist’s riddles.
Stuart and Tommy Mitchell believe they have cracked another secret of the Renaissance genius, this time in Leonardo’s famous portrait The Musician.
Art historians have remained baffled for centuries over the meaning of the work.
They have also puzzled over the writing on the piece of music held by the subject of the 1490 painting, believed to be Da Vinci’s great friend Franchino Gaffurio.
Now Stuart and Tommy have used mirrors to reveal the words “agnus dei” and a musical score.
Once the score is fully deciphered, Stuart plans to incorporate it in one of his classical pieces. as he did with the notes he found in Rosslyn.
Stuart said: “I knew Da Vinci was very secretive about his work, with many of his notebooks written in mirror code.
“So I took the painting and flipped the image on my computer as if it was being held up to a mirror.
“I could clearly see the word agnus, and instantly realised Da Vinci was saying agnus dei, the lamb of God.
“Traditionally the lamb of God is a term associated with Jesus, the son of God, the sacrifical lamb who gave his life for us to be saved.
“But it could also be a reference to St John the Baptist.
“Da Vinci was fascinated by St John. There are references to him in many of the artist’s paintings, and his portrait was Leonardo’s last.
“Leonardo was a Grand Master of the legendary secret society the Priory of Sion, whose warrior priests were the Knights Templar.
“They were alchemists, astronomers and scientists who were supressed by a Church which feared their knowledge.
“I believe Da Vinci was sending a secret code, signalling those in the know, the ancient equivalent of the Freemason’s handshake.”
Stuart, 46, from Edinburgh, a renowned classical composer and pianist, was feted around the world in 2007 when he and his father Tommy, 79, a former RAF codebreaker, revealed the symbols at Rosslyn Chapel corresponded to musical notes.
The Midlothian chapel featured heavily in Dan Brown’s best-selling thriller The Da Vinci Code.
Tommy said: “This latest finding is equally exciting and although we still have lot of work to do, it corresponds with what we already know about Da Vinci’s fondness for secret code.”
Stuart is now working on trying to find a piece of music which fits the musical notes found in the document being held in The Musician portrait.
He said: “I’m looking at Ut Queant Laxis, which was written by the scholar Paul The Deacon in the 8th Century to honour St John the Baptist, and have found several similar notes to those found in the portrait.
“We’d love to hear from other experts who may be interested in helping us.”
The discovery has delighted art experts.
A spokesman for Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow and a keen patron of the arts, said yesterday: “This is fascinating. Leonardo has teased critics and art experts down through the centuries and he continues to do so today.
“The Agnus Dei is a prayer which would have been sung in Latin at important masses in the cathedral then, as it is now.
“And so it would make sense for the words to be deciphered as such.”
Richard Demarco, one of Scotland’s most respected art experts, said last night: “This is remarkable and uplifting.
“I’ve examined this portrait many times but never realised what was written on that bit of paper.
“It’s fascinating to know what inspired the great genius mind of Da Vinci.”
This makes me want to embed all kinds of secret messages in my music.
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
In 1990, an amateur inventor called Maurice Ward appeared on British TV demonstrating a super-material he’d invented without any scientific training. Called Starlite, it could withstand temperatures of 1000 °C, was hard enough to drill holes in walls, and could easily be painted on to surfaces. In 2011 Ward sadly passed away—without ever having explained to a single scientist how it worked.
So starts an intriguing story, which is told wonderfully by Richard Fisher in this week’s New Scientist. Unsurprisingly, since that first appearance in 1990 Starlite has been of interest to a small but select group of people around the world. In fact, it piqued enough interest that Ward spent time talking with private companies, defense researchers and even NASA throughout the past twenty years.
At first, many scientists were skeptical of his claims, but as time progressed and tests were conducted—under close supervision from Ward, of course—those same researchers softened. In fact, they ended up wanting a slice of Starlite.
But Ward was a tough cookie, and he never found anybody he was happy to hand his secret over to—either through a sense of power or desire for money. When he died, in May 2011, many thought he’d taken his secret to the grave.
But, as the New Scientists article explains, there may still be hope. Ward mentioned in one interview shortly before his death that his family knew about the Starlite recipe. They are, however, remaining tight-lipped—so the future of Starlite seems as uncertain as ever. …
I also saw it on Tomorrows World (now defunct BBC science program), the egg was painted with whats now called starlite and left for the length of the show (30 minutes at least) in the flame from a blowtorch and when cracked at the end of the program it was still completely raw. As I recall the program was live so no trick photography. – ats
From Maurice Ward ‘s now defunct web site:
According to the US Government “Ask a Scientist” website the highest known melting point for any substance is for diamonds at 3800C/6872F. Starlite can withstand nearly 3 times more heat, at least for a while… One difficulty in the manufacture of steel is its high melting point, about 1370C/2500F, which prevents the use of ordinary furnaces. Titanium melts at about 1660C/3020F… If heat is a problem for your company we have the solution that stands up powerfully to fire, lasers, and even atom bombs…
Starlite is a material claimed to be able to withstand and insulate from extremes of heat. It was invented by amateur chemist (and former hairdresser) Maurice Ward (1933-2011) during the 1970s and 1980s, and received much publicity in 1993 thanks to coverage on the science and technology show Tomorrow’s World. The name Starlite was coined by Ward’s granddaughter.
Starlite’s composition is a closely guarded secret, but it is said to contain a variety of (organic) polymers and co-polymers with both organic and inorganic additives, including borates and small quantities of ceramics and other special barrier ingredients — up to 21 in all. Perhaps uniquely for a thermal and blast-proof material, it is not wholly inorganic but up to 90 percent organic. – George, Rose (Apr 15, 2009). “Starlite, the nuclear blast-defying plastic that could change the world”. London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
Discussion of hoax possibility on a physics forum:
I find the tomorrow’s world video the most compelling evidence (sound is very low but is there):
Why would tomorrow’s world get in on a hoax? Possibly bribery or wanting to make the show more interesting, but how would they have done it. An unprotected egg pops instantly when a blow torch is applied. At the end of the video he picks up an egg being blow torched, places the exposed face on his palm and breaks it into a bowl all with no camera cuts. Are there other coatings which would allow the egg to survive for a brief time, so that they could have placed a fresh one in front of the blowtorch just before the camera pans back to it?
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
The chocolate building team was lead by Chef Francois Mellet and Stephane Treand, who added their pastry expertise to the construction of the oversized treat. The giant chocolate building is in the shape of the traditional Mayan temple, the ziggurat, which can be recognized by its ancient stair-stepped pyramid shape.
The 18,239 pounds of molten chocolate was slowly poured into each level of the pyramid. The base is 10 x 10 square feet, with each of the ascending ten levels being just a little smaller than the previous. The top is capped with a rectangular temple, which brings the entire structure to six feet tall.
Along the edges, Mellet and his team carefully carved rows of tiny steps along with tiny temple climbers and guards, also made from chocolate. The top of the temple is even decorated with a tiny chocolate Mayan sculpture, set behind chocolate pillars.
The record-breaking sculpture will be on display at the Qzina Institute of Chocolate and Pastry in Irvine, California from June 4th until the end of the Mayan calendar – December 21, 2012 – after which, we hope it will be eaten.
ITo celebrate our 30thanniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods, has broken a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture. The sculpture models an ancient Mayan temple and weighs 18,239 pounds, far surpassing the previous record set in Italy in 2010 by more than 7,500 pounds.
Qzina chose the Mayan theme because of the crucial role the culture played in the origins of chocolate. The Mayans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate Cacao trees and discover the true potential of the cocoa bean. Realizing the delicious possibilities of this powerful discovery, the Mayans worshipped the Cacao tree and praised its beans as the food of the Gods.
Qzina’s Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois Mellet, was the lead architect on this massive project and MOF Stephane Treand (Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman in France) lent his artistic touch to the sculpture’s intricate design elements. Mellet, together with his team, spent more than 400 hours constructing this magnificent structure of solid chocolate that was created using an assortment of Qzina’s leading chocolate brands.
“Breaking a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture will be Qzina’s greatest masterpiece yet,” said Richard Foley, founder and CEO of Qzina. “We studied Mayan pyramids at great lengths to create an exact replica of the Temple Kukulkan at Chichen Itza to honor the original chocolatiers.It was important for us to create something memorable in celebration of our 30th anniversary and the grand opening of the Qzina Institute of Chocolate & Pastry.” …
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
The meaning of dreams is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians. This hieratic papyrus, probably dates to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). On each page of the papyrus a vertical column of hieratic signs begins: ‘if a man sees himself in a dream’; each horizontal line describes a dream, followed by the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and then the interpretation. For example, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. Or, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream with his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife’. The text first lists good dreams, and then bad ones; the word ‘bad’ is written in red, ‘the colour of ill omen’.
The papyrus had several owners before it was, presumably, deposited in the cemetery at Deir el-Medina. It is uncertain who the original owner was, but it passed into the hands of the scribe Qeniherkhepshef; on the other side of the papyrus, the scribe copied a poem about the Battle of Kadesh, which took place in the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). The Dream Book passed to Khaemamen, Qeniherkhepshef’s wife’s second husband, and then to his son Amennakht (both added their name to the papyrus). The Dream Book was part of an archive, including a wide variety of literary, magical and documentary material, which passed down through the family for more than a century…
Posted by Xeno on May 17, 2012
A pair of skulls dug up in a Florida backyard aren’t linked to an unsolved murder mystery after all — they’re ancient artifacts that could date back to as far as 1200.
When the skulls, belonging to a 10-year-old boy and an adult male, were discovered in January, investigators thought they might be dealing with a 1970s murder case, according to MyFoxOrlando.com. But archeologists say the bones show signs of being from Peru or South America, and are actually centuries-old, from between 1200 and 1400.
“The mystery is how they ended up there,” medical examiner Jan Garavaglia said, according to ABC News. “We don’t have any way of finding out.”
Garavaglia, host of “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” on the Discovery Channel, is working with archeologists from the University of Florida to learn more about the skulls’ history, according to MyFoxOrlando.com.
She says the skulls featured an “Inca bone,” linking them to the Incan culture of Peru, according to ABC News.
What’s not clear is how the skulls made it from South America to Winter Gardens, Fla. …