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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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November 18 2014

Taiwan Buddhists transform plastic waste


Millions of discarded plastic bottles that might normally land in Taiwan's trash are being diverted into the hands of Buddhists, becoming items of transformation — although not of a strictly spiritual nature.

Thousands of religious volunteers are taking the discards and turning them into shirts, toys and suitcases sold as far afield as San Diego.

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November 18 2014

The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia


Today, the isolated village of Hogewey lies on the outskirts of Amsterdam in the small town of Wheesp. Dubbed “Dementia Village” by CNN, Hogewey is a cutting-edge elderly-care facility—roughly the size of 10 football fields—where residents are given the chance to live seemingly normal lives. With only 152 inhabitants, it’s run like a more benevolent version of The Truman Show, if The Truman Show were about dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Like most small villages, it has its own town square, theater, garden, and post office.

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November 18 2014

Laughing Matter: Finding the Roots of Humor in the Brain


WASHINGTON — Where does humor come from in the brain? To find out, team of researchers scanned the brains of professional comedians to identify the brain activity involved in telling jokes.

Compared to regular people or amateurs, professional jokesters had more brain activity in regions involved in producing humor. But the comedians had less activity in regions linked to pleasure and enjoyment of humor.

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November 18 2014

Unattractive Men Look Better to Women on the Pill


Picking a partner while on the Pill might have lasting ramifications on marital satisfaction, new research finds.

The new findings show that women who start or stop hormonal contraception during a relationship tend to experience a drop in sexual satisfaction.


Related: 'Sex will be just for fun by 2050 as we all switch to IVF,' Pill inventor claims

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November 18 2014

A Quick Kiss Could Trade 80 Million Bacteria


You’re sharing more with your partner during a 10-second French kiss than you may realize: up to 80 million bacteria, to be precise.

“French kissing is a great example of exposure to a gigantic number of bacteria in a short time,” the author of a new study on kissing, Remco Kort, a professor and scientist at Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, told the BBC.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing: “There are a number of studies that show if the diversity in bacteria increases — more different types of species — this is a good thing,”.

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November 18 2014

'Good guy' virus kills bacteria


There have been tantalising reports for thousands of years that the waters of certain holy rivers (such as the Ganges and Yumuna rivers in India) could cure infectious diseases such as leprosy, cholera, the plague and dysentry. This knowledge is giving us a new way to kill bad bacteria.

Antibiotics have been used for three quarters of a century to treat bacterial infections. Evolution is real. And so bacteria have evolved resistance to the antibiotics we use to kill them.

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November 18 2014

Triclosan: Soap ingredient can trigger liver cancer in mice, warn scientists


A chemical ingredient of cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoos and toothpaste has been found to trigger liver cancer in laboratory mice, raising concerns about how safe it is for humans, scientists said.


Related: Walnuts slow prostate cancer in mice

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November 18 2014

Can’t Clap to the Beat? You Might be Beat-Deaf


Good news for those who struggle to bop to the beat, clap at the wrong time and bump into everyone on the dance floor: You may have an excuse. Researchers are working on defining a new kind of sensory problem—just as some people are color-blind or tone-deaf, some could be beat-deaf.

The first person officially diagnosed with beat-deafness is Mathieu Dion, a 26-year-old reporter in Montreal. "I just can’t figure out what’s rhythm, in fact," he told NPR. "I just can’t hear it or I just can’t feel it.".

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November 18 2014

Shocking altruism? People will pay to reduce others' pain, study says


No pain, no gain. People who gladly underwent electric shocks for cash in an experiment were more willing to sacrifice money to reduce others’ pain than they were to reduce their own.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested the limits of people’s willingness to inflict pain on others for their own benefit -- and reveals human behavior to be, at least in this case, surprisingly altruistic.

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November 18 2014

Family ties that bind: Having the right surname sets you up for life


If your surname reveals that you descended from the "in" crowd in the England of 1066--the Norman Conquerors--then even now you are more likely than the average Brit to be upper class. To a surprising degree, the social status of your ancestors many generations in the past still exerts an influence on your life chances, say Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis, in the US and Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics in the UK. They used the Oxbridge attendance of people with rare English surnames (last names) to track social mobility from 1170 to 2012.

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November 18 2014

Huge twin study homes in on 'gay genes'


A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay twins has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.

The finding is an important contribution to mounting evidence that being gay is biologically determined rather than a lifestyle choice. In some countries, such as Uganda, being gay is still criminalised, and some religious groups believe that gay people can be "treated" to make them straight.

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November 17 2014

'Darwin's Dilemma' May Be Solved


Scientists following two different lines of evidence have just published research that may help resolve "Darwin's dilemma," a mystery that plagued the father of evolution until his death more than a century ago.

Biologists and geologists have been puzzled for decades over why life began so early on this planet, and then took so long to get interesting.

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November 17 2014

How to Check if Your Universe Should Exist


If modern physics is to be believed, we shouldn’t be here. The meager dose of energy infusing empty space, which at higher levels would rip the cosmos apart, is a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times tinier than theory predicts. And the minuscule mass of the Higgs boson, whose relative smallness allows big structures such as galaxies and humans to form, falls roughly 100 quadrillion times short of expectations. Dialing up either of these constants even a little would render the universe unlivable.


Related: Maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle after all

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November 17 2014

Are we sending aliens the right messages?


Despite decades of sending sounds and pictures into space no aliens have responded. Have we been doing it wrong? Tracey Logan investigates, and discovers some novel attempts to make contact – including the smells of our planet.

Artist Carrie Paterson has long dreamed of beaming messages far out to the emptiness of space. Except her messages would have an extra dimension – smell.


Related: Is your religion ready to meet ET?

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November 17 2014

Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist


In high school biology, we are taught that there are three types of life: eukaryotes (that's us, and most everything else we often think of as life), bacteria, and archaea (extremophiles and other very primitive life forms). But some scientists are pretty sure that there are entirely different, undiscovered lifeforms that could be prevalent on Earth, and they remain undescribed because we're not good at looking for them.

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November 17 2014

New Scans of the Voynich Manuscript, a Medieval Book No One Can Read


The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most obsessed-over historical enigmas. A medieval book dating from the late 15th or 16th century, its strange, flowing script has never been deciphered, its origins never determined. The 113 plant illustrations it contains seem to depict no flora found on Earth, and throughout its vellum pages are visuals of the cosmos, a small army of naked women cavorting through pools of water, and the arcane alphabet that has so frustrated linguists and cryptographers.


Related: Elephant Water Clock Among 25,000 Pages of Medieval Arabic Scientific Manuscripts
Related: A book 100 years older than the Magna Carta goes digital

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November 17 2014

The Mystery of the Devil’s Bible


There is something about ancient books and texts that holds a certain sense of mystery and allure. To hold something that was once handled by ancient hands long ago brings with it a fascination about the past, and the enigmatic knowledge held within the worn, dusty pages beckons from across the vast field of time separating us from the past. Ancient books are just naturally mysterious, often inscrutable, and sometimes spooky. Surely one of the weirdest and most bizarre books from the ancient era is the one known as the The Codex Gigas, a text dating from the 13th century AD that is also known as the Giant Book, or more ominously as The Devil’s Bible.

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