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There’s a shadowy group lurking in the squeaky clean corridors of the scientific information conglomerate known as TED. Here in the cockles of this monolithic shaft of Copernican cocksuredness hides a gloaming collection of secret scientists who decide the fate of the information you’re allowed to hear. They have no name, so we shall call them the Anonymous Society of Scientist (A.S.S. for short). We may have never known of A.S.S.’s existence if not for the hell raised over the removal of two popular TEDx Whitechapel speeches by Scientist, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and best-selling author, Graham Hancock.
Graham Hancock writes: I have just heard from my friend, geologist Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, head of the research team investigating the mysterious ancient site of Gunung Padang in Indonesia (see here for background http://bit.ly/1eEDRN6),who tells me there have been major developments that will allow him and his colleagues to move forward rapidly with their vitally important work. "My independent research team (TTRM)," Danny writes, "has just became the National Research Team (TIMNAS) with additional members from around Indonesia under the the ministry of education and culture. A couple weeks ago the president of Indonesia gave an order to the chief general of the Indonesian Land Troop Army (TNI AD) to back-up research activities in Gunung Padang. It has been already a week that 300 army personel have been deployed around Gunung Padang to serve the needs of local people and help with research activities. The chief general, Gatot Nurmantyo, had just been appointed, and Gunung Padang is his first assignment directly from the president himself. The National Research Team has just formed and awaits funding. But in the meantime I and my team have no choice but to get started using the available army task force. Fortunately the ministry has given us permission to go ahead while the National Team gets ready for action. We will start digging tomorrow (21 August 2014). Surely, we have identified a couple locations of possible access to the chambers but of course subsurface geological geophysical data have never been simple...always some complications and surprises...we’ll see. So, wish me luck!" End of message from Danny Hilman Natawidjaja to Graham Hancock dated 20 Aug 2014.
Consider this, if you would: a network of far-flung, powerful, high-tech civilizations closely tied by trade and diplomatic embassies; an accelerating threat of climate change and its pressure on food production; a rising wave of displaced populations ready to sweep across and overwhelm developed nations. Sound familiar?
A furious international dispute has erupted over the publication of a paper that claims the hobbit man of Flores was a modern human who had Down's syndrome. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this month, the research has been denounced by scientists around the world. The tiny Homo floresiensis, discovered on Flores, an island in Indonesia, is definitely a member of a distinct ancient species of hominins, they insist.
Pop quiz (that you will never be given within the halls of academia):
If Salvadore Dali were God, he would surely have designed an animal that looked like Hallucigenia. It has been described as the most surreal creature that lived in the strangest period in the history of life on Earth, more than 500 million years ago.
Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth's skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys.
Do you remember the last time you were dreading something, only to have it turn out to be a pleasant surprise? Maybe it was a bad summer blockbuster you were forced to watch, or a blind date set up by your parents.
A recent study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, has delved into the bone and tooth chemistry of King Richard III and uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Britain's last Plantagenet king. The study, published in Elsevier's Journal of Archaeological Science indicates a change in diet and location in his early childhood, and in later life, a diet filled with expensive, high status food and drink.
Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient Mayan cities hidden for centuries in thick vegetation in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula.
Cyperus rotundus, commonly known as purple nutsedge or nutgrass, is considered one of the world’s worst invasive weeds. But new research suggests that prehistoric humans in what is now central Sudan may have gotten an unusual benefit from it.
Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, was the first emperor of Rome. He brought peace after the turmoil in the republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar when he defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. But despite this, two millenia after he bestrode the world, his mausoleum lies in disrepair under piles of rubbish while his celebrated stables, only discovered five years ago, are to be reburied due to lack of funds.
Pity the hearts beating in Russian chests. The death rate from heart disease for men and women of all ages in Russia is six times higher than in France, according to data on heart and stroke deaths from 52 nations in Europe and northern Asia.
It’s that time again. Earth Overshoot Day is here and the clock continues to tick. As I described in Foreign Affairs last year, Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds the earth’s ability to renew them in a year. Last year, we hit that mark on August 20. This year, it comes one day earlier.
Related: We’ve already used up the planet’s resources for the year
For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones.
A rare adoption has taken place in New Zealand, where a bottlenose dolphin has taken up the rearing responsibilities for a common dolphin.
Magpies do not steal trinkets and are positively scared of shiny objects, according to new research.
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