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Signs of the Times for Fri, 03 Feb 2006

Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 11:30 GMT
A fireball created in a US particle accelerator has the characteristics of a black hole, a physicist has said.

It was generated at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York, US, which smashes beams of gold nuclei together at near light speeds.

Horatiu Nastase says his calculations show that the core of the fireball has a striking similarity to a black hole.

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Comment: Disinformation becomes a standard in the media. It is necessary to be able to spot disinformation so as not to be its victim. How can we do it? Is there a method? Sometimes it is difficult if one is not an expert in the given area. Sometimes it is difficult even for an expert, as there are many experts who are experts in their domain, but not in the domain of disinformation! Experts are often naive; they easily become tools in the hands of economic and political manipulators. But ad rem: here we have News from BBC news service. The news starts with, "A fireball created in a US particle accelerator has the characteristics of a black hole, a physicist has said." Our attention should be drawn to the phrase "a physicist has said." When we see such a statement, that usually means that the person has no scientific record, that is someone not known by previous achievements. Then comes the name "Horatiu Nastase says his calculations show...". So we learn the name of "a physicist" and we do our search. The search brings us to Horatiu Nastase's Homepage and we see that we are dealing with a young postdoc.

Extra-Terrestrial Weekly Newsletter makes our poor Horatio "a Brown University Professor" while Science 24 blatantly states that he (Horatio) has created a black hole (!):
At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider particle accelerator in Upton, New York, physicist Horatiu Nastase may have created a black hole. (BBC)
BBC was then crediting Horatiu Nastase as "His work has been published on the pre-print website and is reported in New Scientist magazine." Whenever we see "" we should be alerted. Bad things have happened to in the last ten years and its policies are being rightly criticised. See Carlos Castro's "My Struggle with Ginsparg ( and the Road to Cyberia: A Scientific-Gulag in Cyberspace" and Tony Smith's "arXiv Blacklisting and the World of Physics". (By the way, among the members of the "Advisory Board" of, the most popular first name is David!) Good papers are being blacklisted, and nonsensical papers are accepted due to the support of anonymous "endorsers". New Scientist also became a tool of disinformation, often propagating nonsense for the sake of attracting the public and diverting attention from the real problems of science.

Checking newsgroups about the black hole we find, in March 2005: "Horatiu Nastase thinks so, but an informal census reveals his work is very controversial." After March 2005, nobody talks about Horatiu Nastase on newsgroups, and in his December 2005 paper, he ends with :
Thus as we advocated in "The RHIC fireball as a dual black hole", we have shown that we can describe the gravity dual picture for high energy scattering completely in terms of field theory, but we have seen the limitations of field theory in terms of calculability. The thermal property of black holes in the gravity dual is easily understood as the thermal property of "horizons" in the effective pion field. The colliding pion field shockwaves are seen as being just boosted versions of nucleons. The nucleons are described as solutions of an effective action, and lead to good qualitative features for the description of nuclei.
Which means: there is nothing extra-ordinary, just another speculation.

Next time you see a sensational title from the BBC or New Scientist, ask yourself: "Do really I believe it? Or is someone playing games with me?"

18/01/2006 - 16:29:05
The pituitary glands of hundreds of dead children were removed without their parents’ consent for manufacturing human growth hormones during the seventies and eighties, the Madden Report found today.

Between 1976 and 1988, almost 14,000 glands were removed – around 10% of which were from children – by staff at 26 hospitals in Ireland.

The report by Dr Deidre Madden into organ retention said hospitals were paid a nominal amount to remove the glands which were used by two international pharmaceutical companies.

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Comment: Is this evidence enough of the psychopathic nature of those that inhabit the worlds of big business and big government?

Ted Chamberlain
January 10, 2006
Sacrificial Camel
Stealing a last, long-lashed glance at a camera in Islamabad, Pakistan (map), yesterday, a camel sold for slaughter waits to be loaded onto a truck.

Purchased for the equivalent of nearly a thousand U.S. dollars, the animal was one of many sheep, goats, camels, and cows sacrificed around the world during Id al-Adha, the annual four-day Muslim festival of sacrifice.

The sacrifices commemorate the story of Ibraham (Abraham) and his son, wherein Allah (God) tested Ibrahim by telling him to sacrifice the child, then allowed Ibrahim to sacrifice a ram instead. Muslim families are encouraged to keep a third of the resulting meat for themselves. Another third is to go to the needy, and the final third to friends and neighbors.

WND - Nature
Dec. 8 issue
NASA scientists are about to publish conclusive studies showing abundant methane of a non-biologic nature is found on Saturn's giant moon Titan, a finding that validates a new book's contention that oil is not a fossil fuel.

"We have determined that Titan's methane is not of biologic origin," reports Hasso Niemann of the Goddard Space Flight Center, a principal NASA investigator responsible for the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer aboard the Cassini-Huygens probe that landed on Titan Jan. 14.

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Created: 18.01.2006 11:49 MSK (GMT +3)
At least eight people across Russia have died from the frigid weather as Arctic cold from Siberia descended on western Russia, sending night-time temperatures as low as minus 36 Celsius and prompting warnings of power cuts.

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17 Jan 06
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Augustine Volcano erupted Tuesday morning, sending an ash plume 8 1/2 miles into the air, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said.

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Comment: Oddly enough, the following headline "Officials say explosive eruption of Alaska volcano is more likely" (dated 17 Jan 06) shows up on a yahoo news search, but clicking the link leads to a 404 error. Going to the root of the linked site and searching for "volcano" gives us only the story above as the "latest" on the volcano.

Waythomas, C. F., and Waitt, R. B.
"Augustine Volcano is a 1250-meter-high stratovolcano in southwestern Cook Inlet about 280 kilometers southwest of Anchorage and within about 300 kilometers of more than half of the population of Alaska. Explosive eruptions have occurred six times since the early 1800s (1812, 1883, 1935, 1964–65, 1976, and 1986).

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Alaska Volcano Observatory
Site Includes webcam and latest updates.

Based on our current understanding of Augustine's past eruptions and our analysis of the current episode of unrest, AVO considers the following future scenarios as possible:

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Kiowa County
Deb Farris
January 11, 2006
A Kiowa County field again serves as the site of a large meteorite.

Steve Arnold has spent the past two months searching the Kiowa County farmland, and Tuesday his hard work paid off.

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John Roach
for National Geographic News
January 12, 2006
About 1.8 billion years ago, a meteorite or comet the size of Mount Everest slammed into what is now Canada.

According to James Mungall, a University of Toronto geologist, the impact turned part of the Earth's crust inside out and dusted the surface with a rare metal.

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Comment: Question is, could such an even have happened more recently? Say... 12,000 years ago or so?

January 18, 2006

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Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:35 PM GMT167
By Siobhan Kennedy
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Scientists in Ireland may have found the country's most fertile male, with more than 3 million men worldwide among his offspring.

The scientists, from Trinity College Dublin, have discovered that as many as one in twelve Irish men could be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th-century warlord who was head of the most powerful dynasty in ancient Ireland.

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Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News
January 11, 2006
Researchers say they have solved an 11-million-year-old puzzle: how a single feline-like ancestor in Asia spread throughout the world and developed into all modern cat species.

Cats are native to all continents except Australia and Antarctica, and the 37 wild and domestic species living today belong to one of the world's most successful carnivore families.

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National Geographic
May 10, 2005
Is this the true face of Tut? This silicone-skinned bust is billed as the most accurate forensic reconstruction ever of ancient Egypt's Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It was based on recent 3-D CT scans of the mummy of the "boy king," who is believed to have been about 19 when he died some 3,300 years ago.

Helen Phillips news service
23 January 2006
WHAT if there was a drug that helped you do your job better, and your boss was pressuring you to take it, even though it could be bad for your health? There are already drugs that can boost memory or alertness, but whose long-term effects are unknown. Or what if scientists could tell what you were thinking or planning to do before you knew it yourself? Brain scans can now do this.

Should these drugs and procedures be regulated - or permitted at all? That is the inspiration for the "Meeting of minds" project, a brainchild of Belgian organisation the King Baudouin Foundation.

For the past two years, a citizens' panel of 126 Europeans from different age groups and backgrounds has been considering the ethical dilemmas emerging from brain science research. This weekend they are meeting in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to finalise their recommendations before presenting them to the European Parliament on 23 January (see "Causes for concern").

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January 23, 2006 - 4:44PM
The Sydney Morning Herald
Plants are not unlike humans. They can talk to each other and even call in reinforcements when the going gets tough.

Who says so? Australian gardener Don Burke and Australian National University chemistry Professor Ben Selinger, in reviewing research on plants over the past 10 years, have come to the conclusion that many plants have human qualities.

They say plants can communicate with each other by using a range of chemical signals.

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By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Published: 23 January 2006
Doctors have found statistical evidence that alternative treatments such as special diets, herbal potions and faith healing can cure apparently terminal illness, but they remain unsure about the reasons.

A study of patients with incurable lung cancer who were given weeks to live and received only low-dose radiotherapy to make their final weeks more comfortable found a small number recovered completely.

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Ian Sample, science correspondent
Tuesday January 24, 2006
The Guardian
· DNA study supports call to reclassify chimpanzees
· 'Historic differences' may not be so great, tests find

They already use basic tools, have rudimentary language and star in TV commercials, but now scientists have proof that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than other great apes.

Genetic tests comparing DNA from humans, chimps, gorillas and orang-utans reveal striking similarities in the way chimps and humans evolve that set them apart from the others.

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24 Jan 06
Europe's relentless deep freeze, with sub-zero temperatures as far south as Sicily, claimed several dozen more victims, while closing schools and disrupting air, road and sea traffic.

Temperatures as low as minus 36 degrees Celsius (minus 33 degrees Fahrenheit) crippled power grids, burst frozen water pipes and caused thousands of road accidents in a swath of eastern Europe from the Baltic states in the north to Turkey, Greece and Italy.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-24 19:59:27
ANKARA, Jan. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Severe winter, particularly heavy snowfall, paralyzed daily life throughout Turkey as traffic was hampered and villages were isolated, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Tuesday.

Ferry and sea shuttle services between Istanbul, the largest Turkish city, and Yalova, Mudanya and Erdek respectively have been cancelled due to heavy snowfall, according to the report.

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24 Jan 06
3.6 08:48:48 GULF OF ALASKA
2.9 05:20:38 CENTRAL ALASKA
5.1 00:36:49 VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION 2006-01-24 12:53:20
BOGOTA, Jan. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- An earthquake registering 6.3 on the Richter scale Monday hit the rainforest that forms the eastern frontier between Colombia and Panama, Colombia's National Seismological Net (RSNC) said in a statement on Monday.

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January 24, 2006

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