News Desk Archive

Author of the Month

To sign up to the Graham Hancock newsletter mailing list, please click here.

Page:  <<<  prev  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  next  >>>

 

February 18 2014

Atopodentatus unicus: Bizarre New Fossil Reptile Discovered in China


Paleontologists led by Dr Xiao-Chun Wu from Canadian Museum of Nature say they have discovered a new genus and species of reptile that lived in what is now China during the middle Triassic, between 247 and 242 million years ago.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

In memoriam of a great free thinker

In memoriam of a great free thinker, Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake in Rome 414 years ago today, on 17 February 1600. Bruno was a proponent of the Copernican 'heliocentric' model of the solar system in which the earth and other planets orbit the sun (whereas it was wrongly believed by the Church and other authorities of the time that the sun and the planets orbit the earth). In his courageous advocacy of the heliocentric model, as in many other things, Bruno was correct and he was killed, quite simply, for speaking this truth aloud and refusing to be silenced by the voices of orthodoxy. His life, and his death, should serve as reminders to us that those who think outside the box, though no longer burnt at the stake, face great risks, persecution and vilification even today and often pay a heavy price for speaking their truth. Yet ultimately, in the longer picture of centuries and millennia we can see that it is precisely those outside-the-box thinkers who allow human society and human knowledge to advance for the benefit of us all.

For his out-of-the-box thinking and his courage in speaking his truth, Bruno suffered an eight-year ordeal at the hands of the Roman Inquisition. Tortured and tormented in the Vatican dungeons, he stood accused of heresy on several counts, including his claims that stars are other suns, such as our own (they are), that they are orbited by planets (they are), that these planets are likely to be populated by intelligent beings (21st century science is just beginning to catch up with this idea), that the earth itself is a planet (it is), and that the symbol of the cross was known to the ancient Egyptians (it was, in the form of the ankh, or crux ansata, symbolising the life-force).

Ordered to retract these and his other “heresies” or face death by burning, Bruno courageously stood firm. Fired by his convictions, he defiantly told his accusers that he had neither said nor written anything that was heretical, but only what was true. When his sentence was passed, Bruno bravely stared at the cardinals lined up in front of him and calmly told them: “Perchance your fear in passing judgement on me is greater than mine in receiving it.”

On the morning of 17 February 1600, Bruno, garbed with a white shirt, was taken to the Campo de Fiori, the Camp of the Flowers, a small piazza not far from the Roman Pantheon. There, he was securely tied to a wooden pole around which were stacked planks of wood and bundles of sticks. “I die a willing martyr”, he is said to have declared as the fire was being lit all around him, “and my soul will rise with the smoke to paradise.” A young protestant, Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, who had recently converted to Catholicism and thus enjoyed the favours of the Pope, was an eyewitness to the burning, and reported that “when the image of our Saviour was shown to him before his death he [Bruno] angrily rejected it with averted face”. The truth is that a Dominican monk had tried to brandish a crucifix in Bruno’s face while he suffered in the flames. Poor Bruno, his legs now charred to the bone, mustered enough strength to turn his head away in disgust.

A few days earlier Bruno had written his own epitaph:

I have fought…It is much… Victory lies in the hands of Fate. Be that with me as it may, whoever shall prove conqueror, future ages will not deny that I did not fear to die, was second to none in constancy, and preferred a spirited death to a craven life.”

Photo by Santha Faiia. This statue of Bruno, created in his honour in the 19th century, stands on the exact spot of his death in the Campo de Fiori, south of Piazza Navona in Rome.

[View as single article...]
February 17 2014

‘New’ Luxor mummy is 3,600 years old


Spanish archeologists have unearthed a 3,600-year-old mummy in the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister has said.

Mohammed Ibrahim said the rare find in a preserved wooden sarcophagus dates back to 1600 BC, when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned. He said the mummy appears to belong to a high official. The sarcophagus is engraved with hieroglyphs and decorated with inscriptions of bird feathers.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Aztec dog burials puzzle archaeologists


During salvage excavations in Azcapotzalco (Northwest Mexico City), archaeologists from the National Institute of anthropology and history (INAH) discovered the remains of 12 dogs.

The dogs were placed there around 500 years ago, but unusually, without any apparent association to human burial – acting as a guide for the soul to the underworld, or as an offering dedicated to a temple or building.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Did the ancient Celts practice human sacrifice?


Very little is truly known of the ancient Celts who left no written records. The names of many of the gods worshipped by them are known through Latin or Gallo-Latin inscriptions made in late pre-Roman and Roman times.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Ancient DNA from Montana Skeleton Holds Clues to Native American Ancestry


DNA from the skeleton of an ancient boy from Montana may just hold clues revealing who the first Native Americans were and where they came from.

A recent paper in the journal Nature details the results from the 12,500-year-old infant boy’s genome. The boy, nicknamed Anzick-1 in reference to the owner of the land where he was found, was buried with items associated with the well-known Clovis culture of North America.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Ardipithecus ramidus: Study Links Ancient Hominid to Human Lineage


A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, confirms close relationship of Ardipithecus ramidus – a species of hominid that lived in the east of the African continent around 4.4 million years ago – to the subsequent Australopithecus and humans.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Ancient graves hint at cultural shift to Anglo-Saxon Britain


Human remains dug up from an ancient grave in Oxfordshire add to a growing body of evidence that Britain's fifth-century transition from Roman to Anglo-Saxon was cultural rather than bloody.

The traditional historical narrative is one of brutal conquest, with invaders from the North wiping out and replacing the pre-existing population.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Prehistoric Paint to Shield European Sun Probe from Solar Inferno


A European spacecraft set to launch toward the sun in 2017 will be protected by a paint once used in prehistoric cave art.

The European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter probe will be coated in a substance derived from burnt bone charcoal — a type of pigment once used by early humans to create art on the insides of caves in France.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Mystery of the Martian ‘Jelly Doughnut’ Rock – Solved


The mystery of the world famous “Jelly Doughnut” rock on Mars has at last been solved by diligent mission scientists toiling away in dank research labs on Earth.

The “Jelly Doughnut” rock achieved worldwide fame, or better yet infamy, when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere in pictures taken by NASA’s renowned Red Planet rover Opportunity in January.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

How Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Killer Asteroids


The most destructive weapon humanity has ever developed could help our species avoid going the way of the dinosaurs.

Pretty much any asteroid that poses a threat to Earth can be blasted out of the heavens using a nuclear bomb, even with warning times of a week or less, say a team of scientists who have been developing the idea.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

A 270m asteroid is to swing past Earth almost exactly a year after a meteor burst over Russia


JUST days after the anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor that injured 1,000 when the spectacular fireball burst over Russia, a massive asteroid is set to flash past Earth.

The trajectory of the 270m diameter near-Earth asteroid, named 2000 EM26, has been analysed and it will pose no threat to our planet as it whizzes past at 12.37km per second late today.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

United Nations Takes Aim at Asteroid Threat to Earth


As the anniversary of last year's surprise Russian meteor explosion nears, a United Nations action team is taking steps to thwart dangerous space rocks, including setting up a warning network and a planning advisory group that would coordinate a counterpunch to cosmic threats.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Ganymede gets its first map 400 years after Galileo discovered the largest moon in the solar system


More than 400 years after its discovery by Galileo, the largest moon in the solar system has finally been mapped.

The first geological map of an icy outer-planet moon ever created, it reveals a 'dual landscape'.

One part is made up of complex grooves and ridges, while a second area is highly cratered.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

A Collision with Another Universe --Are Signs Lurking in the Big Bang Afterglow?


The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the left-over heat from the Big Bang. This radiation provides a picture of the universe when it was only 400,000 years old. Now, 14 billion years later, it has cooled to microwave frequencies and is nearly uniform. The slight variations of 1 part in 100,000 in its temperature reflect initial inhomogeneities in the matter and radiation that later collapsed to form clusters and galaxies.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Photons' journeys across the universe help unravel cosmological mysteries


The faint background glow that exists throughout the Universe, called the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), is made of photons that have been scattering since the universe was just 400,000 years old. Now in a new paper, physicist Liang Dai at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, has shown that the polarization of these photons is rotated as they travel by things such as gravity waves and cosmic matter flows.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Dark-Matter Detector to Begin Operations Soon in China


China is entering the race to detect mysterious dark matter in a big way, with a huge facility in Sichuan province set to begin collecting data in the coming weeks.

The $8 million PandaX (Particle and Astrophysical Xenon) experiment — which lies 7,874 feet (2,400 meters) underground, inside a mountain made of marble — will be up and running early this year, IEEE Spectrum reported recently on Discovery News.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]
February 17 2014

Melted magma could warn of brewing volcanic eruptions


Before volcanoes erupt, they must "defrost". The magma beneath some of the world's most dangerous volcanoes might be relatively cool and solid for more than 99 per cent of the time. That means evidence that it has warmed up and melted could be a sign of an imminent eruption.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]

Back to News Desk...

Page:  <<<  prev  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  next  >>>

Enjoy the newsdesk? Please tell others about it:

Tweet
Add Graham via his official Twitter, Google+ and facebook pages.

Site design by Amazing Internet Ltd, maintenance by Synchronicity. Site privacy policy. Contact us.

Dedicated Servers and Cloud Servers by Gigenet. Invert Colour Scheme / Default