- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 07 May 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Signs Economic Commentary for 7 May 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-05-07 07:42:00

It was a depressing week, with bad economic news on several fronts, ended with a discouraging victory for predatory capitalism and neoconservative foreign policy: the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France. France, which until now seemed immune from the twin diseases of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, is about to experience what those of us in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries have experienced for decades.

The plan is to force the ratification of the EU constitution over the wishes of the voters. Capitalism will be unchained and let loose on France. The people of France will be told that There Is No Alternative...

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Book Review: The Haunted Universe by D. Scott Rogo

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Signs of the Times
2007-05-06 13:56:00

I picked up this book to read because I had recently learned that there is a journalist looking for clues in the murder of D. Scott Rogo and I suggested to her that there might be clues in Rogo's owns writings that might point to who may have wanted him dead. Was he writing anything that might be considered threatening to any agency or organization? That was the question in my mind as I began to read.

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Best of the Web

No new articles.

U.S. News
California Man May Go to Prison for Kissing on a Plane

ABC News
2007-05-05 15:43:00

A California man may pay with prison time for a public display of affection on a plane.

Carl Persing was convicted Thursday of interfering with flight attendants and crew members after he and his girlfriend, Dawn Sewell, were seen "embracing, kissing and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable," according to a criminal complaint.

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1 Dead, 1 Hurt in Las Vegas Luxor Hotel Parking Lot Blast

2007-05-07 11:39:00

LAS VEGAS - A backpack exploded in a parking garage attached to a Las Vegas hotel early Monday, killing a man who had picked it up and injuring another person, authorities said.

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Evangelical America! Putting Stop into 'Stop and Think'

Talk to Action
2007-05-07 11:31:00

Let me ask a simple question. Does the following condition from a contract have religious overtones to you? "The presenter and supervisor (must) possess an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ?"

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DOJ Busts Author of Cracking the Code

Tax Prof Blog
2007-05-07 11:13:00

The Department of Justice has announced that it has obtained a permanent injunction against Peter Eric Hendrickson, author of Cracking the Code: The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America:

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Popcorn flavoring killing Californian workers

Sonya Geis
Washington Post
2007-05-07 09:51:00

SOUTH GATE, Calif. -- She was once in constant motion; her co-workers compared her to a roadrunner because of the way she darted around the workplace. But now Irma Ortiz sits at the edge of her couch, too winded to sweep her patio or walk her son to school without resting. She is slowly suffocating.

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Book details plot to steal Abe's body

Don Babwin
Associated Press
2007-05-07 07:58:00

When it comes to Abraham Lincoln, apparently there's no such thing as enough. After countless books about his boyhood, his presidency, the hunt for his killer and yes, even his feet, maybe it was time for a new book devoted to what happened to Lincoln's body after he was done using it.

As its title implies, "Stealing Lincoln's Body" by Thomas J. Craughwell (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) is devoted to Lincoln after, as Craughwell writes in the first sentence, "the last tremor of life" left his body.

Craughwell details a little-known plot to steal the 16th president's remains from his tomb in Springfield, Ill., in 1876 -11 years after he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Junk food nation; 3.6 million people in Britain suffer from malnutrition

Marie Woolf,
The Independent
2007-05-07 15:36:00

Alarming levels of malnutrition have been recorded in Britain, The Independent on Sunday has learned, prompting further medical concern at the effects of the nation's addiction to salty, fatty, junk food.

Despite high-profile campaigns by the Government and celebrity chefs to improve eating habits, new figures reveal that there has been a 44 per cent increase in hospital cases of malnutrition over the past five years.

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Blast cuts Russia-EU gas pipeline: Ukraine

2007-05-07 11:29:00

An explosion in Ukraine has knocked out of service one of the main pipelines exporting Russian natural gas to the
European Union, the Ukrainian emergency situations ministry told AFP on Monday.

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Vive la France! Cars burnt, police hurt in French election violence

Thierry Leveque and Alexandra Steigrad
2007-05-07 11:19:00

PARIS - Hundreds of people were arrested in France overnight in clashes between police and protesters angry over conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's victory in Sunday's presidential election, police said.

Official figures released early on Monday said demonstrators set fire to 367 cars and injured 28 policemen across France, and 270 people were arrested in the violent protests against the tough-talking former interior minister.

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Sarko's first public manipulation as a president: Sarkozy Urges Action On Global Warming

2007-05-07 08:57:00

President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy said Sunday that the United States can count on friendship from France but urged Washington to show leadership in the struggle against global warming. Sarkozy, who won Sunday's presidential election to succeed Jacques Chirac, said "a great nation like the United States has the duty to not create obstacles in the struggle against global warming."

"Quite the contrary, it should take the lead in this battle because what is at stake is all of humanity," said the rightwinger, who won 53 percent of the vote, according to projections.

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British elite urges Putin to restore "peace and justice" in Chechnya

RIA Novosti
2007-05-07 08:17:00

Over a hundred representatives of Britain's political and intellectual elite have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to restore "peace and justice" in Chechnya, The Independent reported Monday.

In an open letter sent to the British newspaper Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, the country's third-largest party, his predecessor Charles Kennedy, Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign secretary, Lord Judd, the former head of the PACE mission to Chechnya, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, philosopher Alain De Botton, other figures of culture and representatives of all British parties are asking President Putin "to use his time left in [his] office to act ... to restore peace and justice in Chechnya," where almost a decade-long war was waged from 1994.

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Children 'bad for planet'

Sunday Times
2007-05-07 06:07:00

HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.

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Around the World
Anti-U.S. Uproar Sweeps Italy

David Swanson
The Smirking Schimp
2007-05-07 10:46:00

The U.S. government has proposed to make Vicenza, Italy, the largest US military site in Europe, but the people of Vicenza, and all of Italy, have sworn it will never happen.

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India: Big booster dose for missile arsenal

Huma Siddiqui
Financial Express
2007-05-07 08:33:00

When an Indonesian airliner had to turn around in Indian airspace and return to Jakarta to avoid flying into the path of Agni-III, the country's indigenously built intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), the message being sent out to the global community was crisp and clear: India intends to make its nuclear missile reach far and wide.

After Agni-III failed its first flight test last July, this time around, much was at stake. The flight of the nuclear capable 3,000 km ballistic missile was flawless and without any hiccups. It was also an important milestone on the road to India achieving a credible nuclear deterrent and a testimony of the country achieving maturity in a wide range of missile technologies. Officials at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), makers of Agni missiles, say, "We view the development, not just the possession, of nuclear-capable missiles, as symbols of world power and an important component of self-reliance."

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Report traces tainted medicine to China

2007-05-07 08:11:00

A Chinese factory was the source of a counterfeit chemical that killed dozens of people in Panama after it was used in human medications, a newspaper reported.

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Eco-Extremist Wants World Population to Drop below 1 Billion

Dan Gainor
Business & Media Institute
2007-05-07 06:14:00

Apparently, saving the whales is more important than saving 5.5 billion people. Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and famous for militant intervention to stop whalers, now warns mankind is "acting like a virus" and is harming Mother Earth.

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Big Brother
You are a Mind Control subject

Hari Heath
Idaho Observer
2007-05-07 05:54:00

"Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. A propaganda organization employs propagandists who engage in propagandism - the applied creation and distribution of such forms of persuasion."

~R.A. Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, 1996

We are mind control subjects. This is hard to believe because we pride ourselves on our independence and self-control. But we have been subjected to a barrage of "programming" our entire lives and are, therefore, mind control subjects - whether we like to admit it or not.

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Axis of Evil
The AWOL President

John Nichols
The Nation
2007-05-07 16:06:00

George Bush, the most ideologically-driven and politically calculating president in American history, wants Americans to believe that he has suddenly discovered a moral high ground from which to make grand declarations about who he must maintain the occupation of Iraq.

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Anti-Castro Terrorist Freed by US Divulges CIA Links with Terror

Prensa Latina
2007-05-07 15:26:00

Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles´ reaction to the US government´s attempts to conceal his CIA-links in his actions confirm that agency´s partaking.

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Top Wolfowitz aide resigns from World Bank

2007-05-07 12:08:00

A top aide to embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz resigned Monday, saying the controversy surrounding the development lender made it difficult for him to be effective.

Kevin Kellems, the director of strategy and an adviser to Wolfowitz since June 2005, told AFP he had resigned to pursue other opportunities.

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U.S. casualties will rise in next 90 days, commander says

Leila Fadel
2007-05-07 06:35:00

The U.S. military announced the deaths of 11 U.S. soldiers killed in combat along with an embedded journalist Sunday, and Iraqi officials said 163 civilians were killed or injured across the country.

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Kidnapped Palestinians 'routinely tortured' in Israeli jails

Conal Urquhart
The Guardian
2007-05-07 06:01:00

Palestinians detained by Israeli security forces are routinely tortured and ill-treated, according to a new report published by Israeli human rights groups yesterday. The ill-treatment, which includes beatings, sensory deprivation, back-bending, back-stretching and other forms of physical abuse, contravenes international law and Israeli law, the report says.

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Professors aren't evangelical enough, lawsuits filed

Alan Cooperman
Washington Post
2007-05-07 05:56:00

Frank G. Kauffman was teaching a course in social work at Missouri State University in 2005 when he gave an assignment that sparked a lawsuit and nearly destroyed his academic career.

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Middle East Madness
Pro-Palestinian rally on Holland's Liberation Day draws thousands

Cnaan Lifshitz
2007-05-07 11:44:00

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors gathered in Rotterdam on Netherlands's Liberation Day Saturday to demonstrate against Israel, drawing parallels between the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II and Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

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Families begin to flee Baghdad suburb as US-led forces strike

2007-05-07 11:26:00

BAGHDAD - Dozens of families started to flee Sadr City, the main Shi'a district of Baghdad, on Sunday following raids by US-led forces against suspected militants.

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Gulf on Alert In Advance Of Iran-U.S. Confrontation; Bahrain Requests IAEA Membership

Akhbar Al-Khaleej
2007-05-07 11:15:00

In recent days, the Gulf states are convening in various forums to discuss ways of dealing with the dangers in the Gulf, in light of the tension in the region and the possibility of a military confrontation between Iran and the U.S.

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Cannon fodder! 12 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq Attacks on Sunday

2007-05-07 10:38:00

BAGHDAD - A roadside explosion outside the Iraqi capital on Sunday killed six American soldiers and a journalist, the military said, among 12 U.S. deaths reported on a day when two car bombs killed at least 44 Iraqis at a Baghdad market and a police headquarters.

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Disfiguring "disease of destruction" plagues Afghanistan

Robert Birsel
2007-05-07 10:22:00

The 10-year-old Afghan girl has big eyes, a shy smile and a dark lesion speckled with blood on her right cheek.

The girl has leishmaniasis, a disease caused by a parasite transmitted by a tiny sandfly that can lead to severe scarring, often on the face.

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New Tape: Al Qaeda No. 2 Wants 200,000-300,000 U.S. Dead in Iraq

ABC News
2007-05-07 05:49:00

Ayman al-Zawahiri Says Al Qaeda Wants to Spill More U.S. Blood Before America Withdraws

In a new video posted today on the Internet, al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al Zawahiri, mocks the bill passed by Congress setting a timetable for the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq.

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The Loan Gunmen
Falling US dollar and surging stocks, like in 1987!

AME Info
2007-05-06 14:58:00

Remember the Wall Street crash of October 1987 when stocks had their worst single day in history? Older market professionals certainly do. They also recall that the 1987 crash came after a sharp weakening of the US dollar and a rally in stocks. Is that not what we are seeing again now?

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UK Mortgage misery as rate rises bite

Lisa Bachelor
The Observer
2007-05-06 10:14:00

Homeowners with average mortgages will pay £1,500 a year more in repayments because of interest rate rises over the past year. With another rise expected this week, those with a £150,000 mortgage could be paying up to £125 extra a month.

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American dream sours as housing market collapses

Philip Sherwell
Sunday Telegraph
2007-05-07 08:25:00

For Cathy Busby, May 1 marked a personal "Mayday!" as she was sucked into the housing crisis sweeping the United States.

On Tuesday, she went into arrears on her mortgage after her monthly repayments soared by 40 per cent. The 47-year-old hospital administrator will lose the three-bedroom home in the Denver suburb of Montebello that she bought 11 years ago, unless she can reach a deal with her lender.

"I raised my sons here and I planted these aspens and landscaped this garden. It's a terrible thought that I could lose it all," she said on the first day that she failed to pay her interest-only -mortgage.

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The Living Planet
Farmers Across Europe Threatened By Drought

Linda Young
2007-05-04 16:23:00

A severe drought in several European countries is threatening crops and has caused Italy to declare a state of emergency in its northern and central regions a day after France imposed water rationing. Farmers in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland say it is the worst drought they have seen.

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Italy declares drought emergency

2007-05-04 15:05:00

Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday due to fears of drought following unusually warm and dry weather.

A woman sunbathes on the dried out Ticino river in northern Italy.

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Red fire ants facing killer virus

Betsy Blaney
Associated Press
2007-05-07 08:25:00

Imported red fire ants have plagued farmers, ranchers and others for decades. Now the reviled pests are facing a bug of their own.

Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills the ants, which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

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F-5 tornado wipes out 95% of Greensburg, Kansas

Naples News / AP
2007-05-07 08:21:00

Paramedic Annette Gasten and her German shepherd, Greta, had a grim weekend searching amid the piles of wreckage left by one of the strongest tornadoes to rake across the Plains.

Every business on Greensburg's main street was demolished and officials estimate as much as 95 percent of the town was destroyed. Tree trunks stood bare, stripped of most of their branches. All the churches were destroyed.

At least eight people in this community of 1,500 were dead, putting the state's total death toll at 10. No one was found Sunday in the debris.

"Even though I have been to other disasters, this one was a lot worse - the amount of damage," Gasten said. "It is such a large area that was destroyed that it made it difficult" to search.

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Bt corn "cleared" in Colony Collapse Disorder

American Farm Publications
2007-05-07 07:11:00

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has caused much concern among beekeepers nationwide and it is not clear to date what is causing the die-off.
Genetically modified crops, specifically Bt corn, have been suggested as a potential cause of CCD. While this possibility has not been ruled out, the weight of evidence based on a multitude of studies argues strongly that the current use of Bt corn is not associated with CCD.

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Famous Caymans coral reefs dying, scientists say

Shurna Robbins
2007-05-07 07:06:00

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (Reuters) - To coral reef-driven tourism industries like those of the Cayman Islands, there could be a greater cost in ignoring climate change than fighting it.

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Health & Wellness
Spread of "disease of destruction" tied to US combat deployments

John Donnelly
Boston Globe
2007-05-07 10:25:00

WASHINGTON -- A parasitic disease rarely seen in United States but common in the Middle East has infected an estimated 2,500 US troops in the last four years because of massive deployments to remote combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials said.

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Alcohol Consumption More Detrimental To Women

Science Daily
2007-05-07 08:46:00

Alcohol consumption more severely affects women than men, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International, Pavlov Medical University, Leningrad Regional Center of Addictions, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The study, published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that women become alcohol dependent more quickly than men and that alcohol more severely impairs women's cognitive functioning including perceptual and visual planning and processing, working memory and motor control.

"Our studied showed that female alcoholics experience a greater decrement in cognitive and motor functions and sustain an accelerated decline in processing speed than males," said Barbara Flannery, Ph.D., research psychologist at RTI. "Our findings confirm and extend prior research that alcohol exerts more profound adverse effect more quickly on women compared to men."

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Psychopaths are counting on it: Traumas -- such as being close to twin towers on 9-11 -- could make people's brains more reactive to fear, Cornell study shows

Susan Lang
Chronicles Online
2007-05-07 08:42:00

According to a new brain study, even people who seemed resilient but were close to the World Trade Center when the twin towers toppled on Sept. 11, 2001, have brains that are more reactive to emotional stimuli than those who were more than 200 miles away.

That is the finding of a new Cornell study that excluded people who did not have such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression. One of the first studies to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy people, it is published in the May issue of the journal Emotion.

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Premature births may be linked to seasonal levels of pesticides and nitrates in surface water

2007-05-07 08:38:00

The growing premature birth rate in the United States appears to be strongly associated with increased use of pesticides and nitrates, according to work conducted by Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He reports his findings May 7 at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting, a combined gathering of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Winchester and colleagues found that preterm birth rates peaked when pesticides and nitrates measurements in surface water were highest (April-July) and were lowest when nitrates and pesticides were lowest (Aug.-Sept.).

More than 27 million U.S. live births were studied from 1996-2002. Preterm birth varied from a high of 12.03% in June to a low of 10.44% in September. The highest rate of prematurity occurred in May-June (11.91%) and the lowest for Aug-Sept (10.79%) regardless of maternal age, race, education, marital status, alcohol or cigarette use, or whether the mother was an urban, suburban or rural resident. Pesticide and nitrate levels in surface water were also highest in May-June and lowest in August - September, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Chinese suppliers substitute a poison used in antifreeze for a common sweetener

Larry Liebert
2007-05-07 08:13:00

Regulators in the U.S. are warning drugmakers, suppliers and health professionals to be on the alert for counterfeit medicine additives that substitute a poison used in antifreeze for a common sweetener.

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Science & Technology
Volcanic Explosion on Mars Created Weird Formation

Stefan Lovgren
National Geographic News
2007-05-03 15:30:00

A mysterious area of layered bedrock on Mars that has puzzled scientists was formed by a volcanic explosion, new research shows.
©Image Science
A false-color image taken by the Mars rover Spirit shows a small rock "bomb" (indicated with arrow) and the impact "sag" it made in the Martian surface. The bomb is about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) wide. Scientists say the rock may have been jettisoned by a volcanic eruption, leaving what one researcher called the first "powerful evidence of explosive materials" on Mars.

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Tweaking the History? Historically Important Greek Stele Inscriptions Unveiled

The Epoch Times
2007-05-07 09:40:00

The Israel Museum unveiled a unique 2,200-year-old stele (inscribed stone block) on May 3 that provides new insight into the dramatic story of Heliodorus and the Temple in Jerusalem, as related in the Second Book of Maccabees.

"The Heliodorus stele is one of the most important and revealing Hellenistic inscriptions from Israel," said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum.

"It contextualizes the Second Book of Maccabees and provides an independent and authentic source for an important episode in the history leading up to the Maccabean Revolt, whose victorious conclusion is celebrated each year during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah."

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Golden Angle: The Mathematical Lives of Plants

Julie J. Rehmeyer
Science News
2007-05-07 09:15:00

The seeds of a sunflower, the spines of a cactus, and the bracts of a pine cone all grow in whirling spiral patterns. Remarkable for their complexity and beauty, they also show consistent mathematical patterns that scientists have been striving to understand.

A surprising number of plants have spiral patterns in which each leaf, seed, or other structure follows the next at a particular angle called the golden angle. The golden angle is about 137.5º. Two radii of a circle C form the golden angle if they divide the circle into two areas A and B so that A/B = B/C.

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Talk to the Hand: Language might have evolved from gestures

Patrick L. Barry
Science News
2007-05-07 09:07:00

Chimpanzees and bonobos can communicate with greater flexibility using hand gestures than they can with facial expressions or vocalizations, new research shows. Their use of hand motions to convey different meanings in different circumstances suggests that gestures may have played an important part in the evolution of language.

Researchers speculate about how prehuman species developed the capacity for complex language. One theory suggests that humans' apelike ancestors first communicated through gestures. Once the neural circuits for gesture-based language had evolved, those same brain areas could have switched over to verbal communication. Indeed, research has shown that modern apes use the same area of the brain to interpret hand signals as humans use to process spoken language.

Working at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Frans B.M. de Waal and Amy S. Pollick observed communications among 34 captive chimpanzees and among 13 captive bonobos, also known as pygmy chimpanzees. The researchers logged every hand gesture, facial expression, and vocal cry that one animal directed at another. They also noted the social context - playing, grooming, fighting, having sex, eating, and so on - in which each signal occurred.

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Our Haunted Planet
Flashback: F-16s Pursue Unknown Craft Over Region

Steve Vogel
Washington Post
2007-05-07 06:11:00

For Renny Rogers, it was strange enough that military jets were flying low over his home in Waldorf in the middle of the night. It was what he thinks he saw when he headed outside to look early yesterday that floored him.

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Flashback: Fireball over Colorado - sonic booms

Cloudbait Observatory
2007-05-06 23:53:00

This fireball occurred at 11:00 PM MDT [April 20th, 2007] over western Colorado. Witness reports for the event began pouring in almost immediately, mostly from the Denver area.

Captured image of meteorite that produced sonic booms in the Rockies.

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Fireball over Colorado - outshines full moon

Cloudbait Observatory
2007-05-06 23:43:00

This fireball occurred at 5:12 AM MDT over central Colorado.

From the Cloudbait camera. The setting full Moon is seen at the horizon to the right (azimuth 218°)

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Canadian poppy quarter triggered U.S. spy alert

2007-05-07 13:51:00


Canada's harmless poppy quarter has given some suspicious U.S. army contractors red faces after it was revealed they filed espionage accounts on the world's first coloured coin.

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