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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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April 25 2015

Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid could lead to king's tomb


An archaeologist has discovered liquid mercury at the end of a tunnel beneath a Mexican pyramid, a finding that could suggest the existence of a king’s tomb or a ritual chamber far below one of the most ancient cities of the Americas.

Mexican researcher Sergio Gómez announced on Friday that he had discovered “large quantities” of liquid mercury in a chamber below the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid of Teotihuacan, the ruined city in central Mexico.

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April 25 2015

Why Elephants Are As Ritualistic and Violent As the Mafia


Every summer, Caitlin O’Connell, author of Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse, packs her bags and travels to northern Namibia to study a group of male elephants. What she witnesses as the males jockey for power and position around a water hole is both shocking and heart-warming: violent conflicts, tender scenes of affection. But, above all, the elephants show her the importance of family and ritual behavior.

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April 25 2015

Do Chimps Trade Food for Sex?


Food. Sex. They're primal preoccupations for humans and our close relatives, chimpanzees. For years Homo sapiens scientists have watched those appetites play out among Pan troglodytes with mixed results.

Female chimps average five to six years between births, one of the longest intervals of any mammal. To raise the odds of reproducing, a female will mate "with most or all of the males she knows," says primatologist Melissa Emery Thompson of the University of New Mexico, while a male will compete or fight with other would-be sires.

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April 25 2015

Seattle attempt to keep addicts out of jail shines in study


Gailen Lopton was in a downtown alley two weeks ago, having a buddy jab him in the neck with a heroin-filled syringe, when he suddenly found himself in the company of Seattle’s finest.

The police officers weren’t looking to lock him up, though. Instead, they offered him a chance to enroll in a first-of-its-kind program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, aimed at keeping addicts and prostitutes out of jail and in housing, counseling, job training or even yoga — whatever services they need.


Related: Deprivation And Poverty Leave Visible Marks On The Brain

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April 25 2015

Scientists are testing MDMA as a PTSD treatment for veterans


About three years after his discharge from the US Marine Corps, Nicholas Blackston is in an unfamiliar office, starting to feel the effects of an unfamiliar drug: as he watches, an old-fashioned banker’s lamp in the office suddenly bursts into kaleidoscope fractals. While the MDMA Blackston’s been dosed with is usually more associated with raves, glow sticks, and rap lyrics, the chemical also has a second life as a medication used to heal psychological wounds.

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April 25 2015

Sometimes it’s best to feed the trolls


If you’ve been to the Internet, you’ve probably encountered a troll. “Don’t feed the trolls” is often considered the best response for dealing with such commenters, and data suggest that it’s effective: A recent Pew Research Center survey found that of people who did nothing in response to an incident of online harassment, 83 percent felt the ignoring tactic worked.

But the same survey found that of people who responded to the harassment, 75 percent felt that the tactic of engaging with the harasser worked. These intriguing data fit with several emerging lines of evidence suggesting that responding to online ranting can influence the behavior of the ranter. While censorship can further rile trolls, the right kind of reaching out can spur repentance. Sometimes, it’s good to feed the trolls.

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April 25 2015

Get rid of the song stuck in your head with chewing gum, scientists say


The next time you have a song stuck in your head, reach for the chewing gum. The very act of grinding it around your mouth might be enough to kick that annoying earworm out of your brain, scientists have claimed.

Songs are less likely to re-appear in your head if you’re chewing, according to a study at the University of Reading.

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April 25 2015

Study finds we think better on our feet, literally


A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts. In fact, preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, were based on a study of almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year.

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April 25 2015

Haptic Glove Lets Gamers Feel the Virtual World


With the imminent arrival of the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus, the era of virtual reality gaming is nearly upon is. Video game industry watchers expect the arrival of viable VR headsets to be the biggest revolution in gaming since the first generation of console machines some 40 years ago.

No matter how sophisticated, though, virtual reality headsets are still limited to the audio-visual experience. As such, several commercial and research groups are hoping to augment headsets by designing force feedback peripherals that replicate the sense of touch in the realm of virtual realitys.

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April 25 2015

New techniques for eye-gaze tracking could change computer interaction


Mice, and now touchscreens, have become a daily part of our lives in the way we interact with computers. But what about people who lack the ability to use a mouse or touchscreen? Or situations where these would be impractical or outright dangerous?

Many researchers have explored eye-gaze tracking as a potential control mechanism. These tracking mechanisms have become sophisticated and small enough that they currently feature in devices such as smartphones and tablets.

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April 25 2015

A leap for 'artificial leaf': Generating power by breaking up water molecules


As an idea, the notion of an "artificial leaf" was always meant to be simple: Could scientists, using a handful of relatively cheap materials, harness the power of light to generate two powerful fuels—hydrogen and oxygen—by breaking apart water molecules?

In practice, however, the idea faced a number of hurdles, including how to pattern the catalysts on silicon that would power the reaction. But that could soon change, says Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy Daniel Nocera.

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April 25 2015

Japan has floating solar power plants in Hyogo Prefecture


Kyocera is in the news this month. Two floating solar power plants in two reservoirs in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, are complete. This is a joint venture. The two players are Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing, which is in the business of equipment leasing. Construction started last year in September. They use 255-watt Kyocera modules, 11,256 modules in total.

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April 25 2015

Tesla's New Battery Could Solve One of Solar Power's Biggest Problems


So far, specific details are thin on the new battery designed for home use that Tesla’s announcing next week. But just based on what we do know, it’s a pretty big deal. The quest for a good battery that can store home-generated power is kind of like the holy grail for a renewable energy future. This one product might change everything.

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April 25 2015

These shoes expand five sizes so kids don't grow out of them


An entrepreneur has engineered a sandal, called The Shoe That Grows, that expands with a child in order to prevent them from growing out of them so quickly. It's an incredible idea no matter where you live, but it's particularly important in countries such as Kenya, where many families can't afford to replace shoes every couple of months.

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April 25 2015

A 250-Year-Old Clock Claimed A World Record (And Vindicated Its Maker)


Shortly before his death in 1776, eccentric British clock-maker John Harrison claimed to have designed the ‘perfect’ clock, one that would keep time flawlessly. His rivals and peers wrote it off as the boastings of a bitter, 80-year-old failure — but in modern-day light, Harrison has finally been proved right.

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April 25 2015

Vast replica recreates prehistoric Chauvet cave


In the Ardeche gorge in southern France lies one of the most important prehistoric sites ever discovered.

It's locked away behind a thick metal door, hidden halfway up a towering limestone cliff-face.

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April 24 2015

Zahi Hawass vs Graham Hancock -- the April 2015 "debate" debacle


From Graham Hancock:

Self-styled "world's most famous Egyptologist" Zahi Hawass had agreed to participate with me on 22 April 2015 in what was billed and advertised as "the first open debate between the representatives of two completely different versions of history." Each of us was to give a one-hour presentation, followed by a debate in which the audience would join in with questions. In the event the debate never happened. Zahi refused to accept a coin-toss to decide the speaking order and insisted that I speak first. I agreed to this, despite the fact that the first speaker is at a slight disadvantage in any debate since he does not have the opportunity to hear the other speaker's presentation before giving his own.

Before most of the audience had arrived, I was checking the focus on the slides in my PowerPoint presentation prior to giving my talk and I put up on the screen an image which shows the Orion/Pyramids correlation and the Sphinx/Leo correlation at Giza in the epoch of 10,500 BC. Rightly and properly since the Orion correlation is Robert Bauval's discovery I included a portrait of Robert Bauval in the slide. As soon as Zahi saw Robert's image he became furiously angry, shouted at me, made insulting and demeaning comments about Robert, and told me that if I dared to mention a single word about Robert in my talk he would walk out and refuse to debate me. I explained that the alternative view of history that I was on stage to represent could not exclude the Orion correlation and therefore could not exclude Robert Bauval. At that, again shouting, Zahi marched out of the debating room. Frantic negotiations then took place off stage between the conference organisers and Zahi. Finally Zahi agreed to return and give his talk and answer questions from the audience, but he refused absolutely to hear or see my talk, or to engage in any debate with me. I therefore gave my talk to the audience without Zahi present (he sat in a room outside the conference hall while I spoke). When I had finished I answered questions from the audience. Then Zahi entered, gave his talk, answered questions from the audience and left.

One of the few members of the audience who had arrived early did manage to record part of the scene of Zahi storming out of the conference room -- see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ziu2ygE_Wc.

Likewise during Zahi's Q&A he was asked a question about the 11,600-year-old megalithic site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and whether it had any impact on his assessment of the disputed age of the megalithic Great Sphinx of Giza (which I and my colleagues have long argued might be of similar antiquity). Unfortunately it appeared that Zahi was completely ignorant of the existence or implications of Gobekli Tepe, arguably the most important archaeological site in the world, so he was unable to answer the question which he passed on to the moderator who also happened to be an Egyptologist. I did at that point have a brief opportunity to stand up and give my own point of view on Gobekli Tepe and on its implications for the age of the Sphinx -- see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4NnCAZcxHg

I had high hopes for this debate -- that it might bring about some sort of civil dialogue between alternative and mainstream views of history but I was sadly disappointed. Here is a link to a post I made on Facebook 24 hours before the "debate" which will help to put what happened on 22 April into context.

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News desk archive...

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