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June 21 2014

The Medieval Origin Story of the Balcony


The Venice Biennale is basically the Architecture Olympics combined with the architecture State of the Union and architecture prom. This year’s event, the 14th, titled Fundamentals by influential architect and festival curator Rem Koolhaas, included an exhibition on the past, present and future of 16 architectural “elements” used by architects all over the world throughout history - wall, floor, ceiling, fireplace, stairs and many other concepts, including the balcony.

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June 21 2014

Possible UFO discovered in an old wall painting in Romania


A UFO research organization in Israel has sent out a report regarding a wall painting in a 14th century church in Romania that may depict a UFO. It is similar to objects seen in paintings and coins ranging from the 4th century to the 17th century. One UFO investigator feels that the objects in the images may have an explanation that is more down to earth.

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June 21 2014

3 UFO Sightings Recorded in Declassified NSA Document


The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) recorded several sightings of unidentified flying objects [UFOs] in a top secret report. In 1980, a civil action suit was brought against the NSA by a group called Citizens Against Unidentified Flying Objects Secrecy.

Since that time, the NSA has declassified many reports on UFOs.

Here’s a look at four of the incidents in one of the declassified documents.

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June 21 2014

What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital


In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm.

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June 20 2014

Ancient Man Used “Super-Acoustics” to Alter Consciousness (... and speak with the dead?)


A prehistoric necropolis yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity.

Researchers detected the presence of a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz inside a 5,000-years-old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground complex created in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period as a depository for bones and a shrine for ritual use. A chamber known as "The Oracle Room" has a fabled reputation for exceptional sound behavior.

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June 20 2014

Mystery Surrounding Lost Army of Persian King Cambyses II May Have Been Solved


Prof Olaf Kaper, an archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, believes he may have solved one of the greatest mysteries in ancient history – what happened to the 50,000-man army of Persian King Cambyses II in the Egyptian desert around 524 BC.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Cambyses II, the oldest son of Cyrus the Great, sent his army to destroy the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis.

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June 20 2014

When Slime Ruled: Evolutionary Pause Tied to Earth's Stuck Plates


The "boring billion," the long evolutionary pause when slime ruled the Earth, might be due to a planetary cooling-off period that stalled plate tectonics, a new study suggests.

The so-called boring billion refers to the span from 1.7 billion years to 750 million years ago when algae and microbes had the run of Earth. Why boring? The long pause comes after these single-celled creatures mastered photosynthesis.

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June 20 2014

Colorado River researchers find signs of ancient, devastating floods


Scientists say it would have been a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. If the Glen Canyon Dam had failed, it would have changed the lives of millions of people and reshaped the history of the American West.

Only a lucky break in the weather spared the dam in June 1983, as floodwaters coursed through the Colorado River and its tributaries. They pooled in Lake Powell, causing water levels to creep upward at a rate of 3 inches per day.

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June 20 2014

Scientists take first dip into water's mysterious 'no-man's land'


Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have made the first structural observations of liquid water at temperatures down to minus 51 degrees Fahrenheit, within an elusive "no-man's land" where water's strange properties are super-amplified.

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June 20 2014

Are Fish As Intelligent As Crows, Chimps... Or People?


The science shows that fish use tools, feel pain, have long memories, and deserve better treatment from us.

Whether they're caught in the wild or raised in captivity, fish are a major food souce worldwide. Nearly 5 billion people worldwide got 15 percent of the animal protein in their diets from fish in 2011; for another 2.9 billion it was 20 percent. In 2011, that added up to about 132.3 million metric tons of fish.

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June 20 2014

Fruit flies 'think' before they act


Fruit flies show a mark of intelligence in 'thinking' before they act, suggests a study by researchers from the University of Oxford's Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour.

In experiments asking fruit flies to distinguish between ever closer concentrations of an odour, the researchers found that the flies don't act instinctively or impulsively. Instead they appear to accumulate information before committing to a choice.

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June 20 2014

Japan robot firm showcases thought-controlled suits


A Japanese robot-maker on Wednesday showed off suits that the wearer can control just by thinking, as it said it was linking up with an industrial city promoting innovation.

Cyberdyne founder Yoshiyuki Sankai said he was allying with Kawasaki, a city south of Tokyo, to explore ways to expand real-life applications for his robo-suits, which are often used for physical therapy.

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June 20 2014

You've Got Smell: 1st 'Scent Message' Sent from NYC to Paris


NEW YORK — The first transatlantic "scent messages" were exchanged today (June 17) between New York City and Paris, and they smelled like champagne and macaroons.

At the American Museum of Natural History here in Manhattan, co-inventors David Edwards, a Harvard professor, and Rachel Field showcased their novel scent-messaging platform, which involves tagging photographs with scents selected from a palette of aromas, and sending them via email or social networks. The messages are then played back on a new device called an oPhone.

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June 20 2014

The Center Of Our Galaxy Smells Like Raspberries And Tastes Like Rum


Ever wondered what the center of the galaxy smells like? Depending on your preference, the answer could be raspberries or rum.

As improbable as this sounds, the discovery was made when astronomers from the Max Plank Institute used the IRAM radio telescope in Spain to study Sagittarius B2, a dust cloud near the center of the galaxy. The announcement was made at the time in Astrophysics and has since been confirmed with studies of similar dust clouds.

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June 20 2014

Astronauts May Suffer Artery Damage on Long Missions


At least some astronauts who spend six months aboard the International Space Station come back to Earth with stiffer arteries than before their flights, a new study reveals.

Stiff arteries in seniors here on Earth can lead to higher blood pressure and, potentially, problems with blood flow to the brain. But no blood pressure changes in astronauts have been noted so far, scientists said.

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June 20 2014

NASA sees Titan's potential for studying prebiotic chemistry


NASA is proposing a mission study to open up the mysteries of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The reason is compelling enough. Titan would serve as a vast reservoir of information about one of the most earth-like worlds ever discovered. With its thick atmosphere and organic-rich chemistry, said NASA, Titan resembles a frozen version of Earth, several billion years ago, before life began pumping oxygen into our atmosphere.

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June 20 2014

Mountain top in Chile to be blasted off for Extremely Large Telescope


Shortly after lunch on Thursday afternoon the silence of the Atacama desert in Chile will be rudely broken by the dull crack of dynamite sending a rush of mountain rock skywards.

The explosion, planned for 2pm local time (7pm BST), marks the start of a months-long project to lop the top off the 3,000m-high Cerro Armazones. Once the dust has settled and the rubble has been cleared, the mountain will be smaller, flatter, and ready to host the largest optical and infra-red telescope in the world.

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