News & Submissions 12/13/2010

December 13th, 2010 by sivodd

‘I’m Not A Witch’ Picked As Top Quote Of Year
Christine O’Donnell’s TV ad declaration “I’m not a witch” during her U.S. Senate campaign topped this year’s best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.

O’Donnell’s quote is cited by Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, who released his fifth annual list of the most notable quotations of the year. In the ad, O’Donnell was responding to reports of her revelations that she had dabbled in witchcraft years ago. Read full story from npr.org

Loch Ness monster ‘seen twice’
Simon Dinsdale, a retired police detective from Essex, insists that the two minute film recorded 50 years ago by his father, a famous Nessie-hunter, is genuine.

The footage, shot by Tim Dinsdale in 1960, is one of the best-known images put forward as evidence by those who insist on the existence of the mysterious creature.

Now the insistence of those who believe in Nessie that the film is genuine has been lent new weight after Mr Dinsdale claimed he had seen the monster with his own eyes on two occasions. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk

BP Gulf Spill the #1 Twitter Trend in 2010
There were 25 billion 140-character tweets sent out in 2010, and more of them were concerned with the BP Gulf Spill than any other topic. Twitter has just released its list of the top 10 tweets for 2010, and it’s a pretty interesting blend of pop culture phenomena, world events, and debuting gadgetry. And seeing as how Twitter has grown to be pretty international in its reach and user base, I was a tad surprised to see that the BP spill took the top slot. Here’s how the top trends broke down: Read full story from treehugger.com

Global Warming Mapped
The world is getting warmer. Whether the cause is human activity or natural variability, thermometer readings all around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. Read full story from nasa.gov

New Da Vinci mystery discovered in Mona Lisa
Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500-year-old Renaissance masterpiece has long been steeped in mystery with even today, the true identity of the woman with the alluring smile still far from certain.

The painting also featured in the Dan Brown blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, which was turned into a 2006 film starring Tom Hanks, in which his character interprets secret messages hidden in the Mona Lisa and some of Da Vinci’s other paintings, including The Last Supper.

Now members of Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage have revealed that by magnifying high resolution images of the Mona Lisa’s eyes letters and numbers can be seen. Read full story from scotsman.com

Jonathan Horwitz Discusses “Shamanic Inheritance” on December 14 “Why Shamanism Now?” Radio Show
Streaming live on the Co-Creator Radio Network on Tuesday, December 14, at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern time, on her show “Why Shamanism Now?: A Practical Path to Authenticity,” shaman and founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing Christina Pratt welcomes Jonathan Horwitz, co-founder with Annette Host of the Scandinavian Centre for Shamanic Studies. Horwitz says, “The shaman works by asking for help. We never get anywhere alone. We’re always being helped, although often we do not recognize… The shamanic path is excellent for learning to re-connect with being alive, re-discover the spiritual power we are all born with, and to re-learn what it means to be a part of the whole.” Read full story from pr-canada.net

Lost Civilization May Have Existed Beneath the Persian Gulf
Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.

At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.

The study, which is detailed in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects of human history. For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with dates as early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the more recent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. Read full story from livescience.com

Rooting for swarm intelligence in plants
They’re underfoot and underappreciated. But the roots of a plant may demonstrate the remarkable wisdom of crowds just as swarms of honeybees or humans can.

Three plant scientists now propose that roots growing this way and that in their dark and dangerous soil world may fit a definition for what’s called swarm intelligence. Each tip in a root system acquires information at least partly independently, says plant cell biologist František Baluška of the University of Bonn in Germany. If that information gets processed in interactions with other roots and the whole tangle then solves what might be considered a cognitive problem in a way that a lone root couldn’t, he says, then that would be swarm intelligence. Read full story from sciencenews.org

Now Playing: Geminid Meteor Showers, Year’s Best Sky Show
The annual Geminid shower is about to hit its peak, with anywhere from 60 to 100 meteors zooming across the night sky each hour between midnight tonight and dawn on Tuesday.

The weeklong shower is easily visible to the naked eye and is the best in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Associated Press calls the meteors (or shooting stars) “rocky celestial leftovers.” Earth passes through this stream of debris from 3200 Phaethon, which is considered an extinct comet, every December. Read full story from aolnews.com

Druid leader calls for Judicial Review on excavation of remains
DRUID leader King Arthur Pendragon went to The Royal Courts of Justice in London last week in a bid to see the return of cremated human remains taken from Stonehenge in 2008.

The Senior Druid and Pagan Priest presented a 36-page document asking for a Judicial Review on the decision by the Minister of Justice to grant Sheffield University an extension to retain the remains for five years.

King Arthur said: ‘This is not just a Druid or Pagan issue, and we have the support of thousands of people from all walks of life from nations around the world and all the major faiths, who have signed our petition demanding that the remains be re-interred at what should have been their final resting place. Read full story from salsburyjournal.co.uk

Challenge to Chillicothe council prayer should strengthen, not diminish, faith community
Another year, another civil liberties fight in the Scioto Valley.

Two years ago, a practicing Wiccan who was about to graduate from Southeastern Local Schools asked the district to eliminate the prayer at the graduation ceremony. Prayer went ahead as scheduled, and nothing more was said.

About a month later, it was the city of Greenfield — which had for years begun its city council meetings with a prayer that usually ended with “in Jesus’ name, Amen” — threatened with a lawsuit by The American Civil Liberties Union to stop the prayer. The practice was changed shortly thereafter. Read full story from chillicothegazette.com

Sarah Palin visits Haiti with Christian group (source cnn)

Fox News: Parents Outraged Over School Book Portraying Jesus as a “Socialist”

Fareed Zakaria: Glenn Beck wrong about 10 percent of Muslims being terrorists (source cnn)

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