MonthApril 2006

Text might be hidden ‘gospel of Judas’

Associated Press:

National Geographic unveiled an ancient manuscript Thursday that may shed new light on the relationship between Jesus and Judas, the disciple who betrayed him.

The papyrus manuscript was written probably around 300 A.D. in Coptic script, a copy of an earlier Greek manuscript.

It was discovered in the desert in Egypt in the 1970s and has now been authenticated by carbon dating and studied and translated by biblical scholars, National Geographic announced.

Unlike the four gospels in the Bible, this text indicates that Judas betrayed Jesus at Jesus’ request.

Full Story: AP: National Geographic unveils “Gospel of Judas”.

More: NPR.

(thanks to Dale and Bill who sent word of this story almost simultaneously).

Viking Youth Power Hour: Every Man and Woman is a Star

Mat schools us on circus lingo and the virtues of the Farmer’s Almanac as we further dissect the implications of an increasingly intrusive government and corporate run culture.
Hey kids! Did you know that the top three TeleCom companies are in the process of using their power and money to turn the internet into a tiered system where information will be graded by them and shows like this will become near impossible to find? You can thank that mongoloid Michael Powell for helping to put this into motion back in his short and destructive stint as the head of the FCC, but it’s the heads of Verizon and his cronies who are trying to make sure that their hold on power remains tight.
But there are heroes in this battle and they demand your support:, the Media Access Project, Common Cause and Senator Widen, among others, are working diligently to lobby and pass laws protecting the neutrality of the internet and to expose ‘astro turf’ organizations which these giant corporations are setting up to make it look like the American people actually want this horse shit ruining their country and their lives. These organizations need your support please consider donating to them if you are able.
We also discuss RFID tags how they’ll be used to track your purchases, how they’ll be used to revolutionize the retail industry, whose fighting against their use, and how clubs in Barcelona are using them to fast forward fashion.
So much strangeness and so much hope, it makes you wonder how the panopticon will change our socieites taboos and their priorities in the future…

MP3 on Viking Youth Power Hour.

The Universe is Trapped in its Own Web

Red Orbit:

matter is not distributed uniformly throughout space but is instead arranged in an intricate “cosmic web” of filaments and walls surrounding bubble-like voids. Regions with high galaxy concentrations are known as galaxy clusters whereas low density regions are termed voids.

This inhomogeneous distribution of matter is called the ?Large-scale distribution of the Universe. When the Universe is considered as whole, this distribution has a similar appearance to a spider’s web or the neural network of the brain. But it was not always like this.

After the Big Bang, when the Universe was much younger, matter was distributed homogeneously. As the Universe was evolving, gravitational pulls began to compress the matter in certain regions of space, forming the large-scale structure that we currently observe.

Full Story: Red Orbit: The Universe is Trapped in its Own Web.

(via Vortex Egg).

Alcohol cloud spotted in deep space

Australian Broadcasting Company:

Astronomers say they have spotted a cloud of alcohol in deep space that measures 463 billion kilometres across, a finding that could shed light on how giant stars are formed from primordial gas.

The vast bridge-shaped cloud of methyl alcohol has been spotted in a region of our galaxy, the Milky Way, that is called W3(OH), where stars are being formed by the gravitational collapse of concentrations of gas and dust, the discoverers said in a press release.

[Insert your own joke about the present editor here]

Australian Broadcasting Company: Alcohol cloud spotted in deep space

(thanks Dr. Gabbo).

Science Journal: Caveman crooners may have aided early human life

Post Gazette:

Music gives biologists fits. Its ubiquity in human cultures, and strong evidence that the brain comes preloaded with musical circuits, suggest that music is as much a product of human evolution as, say, thumbs. But that raises the question of what music is for. Back in 1871, Darwin speculated that human music, like bird songs, attracts mates. Or, as he put it, prelinguistic human ancestors tried “to charm each other with musical notes and rhythm.”

Full Story: Post Gazette: Caveman crooners may have aided early human life

(via Vortex Egg)

Strange Reading Tastes of Children

Metachor notes:

Working in a middle school library recently, I noticed a trend of books dealing with cryptozoology and other “paranormal” topics being returned by the sixth- through eighth-grade students. Books with titles like Alien Visitors and Abductions, Giant Humanlike Beasts, and Powers of the Mind are in significantly heavy circulation according to the computer circulation system.

Other books being often returned include those from Rowling’s Harry Potter series, non-fiction books about criminal forensics, and biographies of sports stars and Latino musicians.

From Vortex Egg.

Hilma af Klint’s Revelatory Paintings

hilma af Klint painting

Before she died, at the age of 81 in 1944, the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint stipulated that her paintings were not to be shown in public for 20 years after her death. Perhaps she felt that the world was not yet ready for them. In some respects, the world never will be ready for the occult symbolism and spiritualist gibberish that her work was derived from, and from which she gained her inspiration. Although the same peculiar beliefs attend the work of pioneering artists such as Mondrian, Kandinsky and Malevich, they never suggested, as did Af Klint, that their work was guided by an imaginary “leader in the spiritual world”. For Af Klint, this was a certain Ananda, who in 1904 told her “she was to execute paintings on the astral plane”.

The Guardian: Out of this world.

Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer

The New York Times:

Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

New York Times: Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer

(for some background, here’s my post about the discredited study).

Scans Show Different Growth for Intelligent Brains

The brains of highly intelligent children develop in a different pattern from those with more average abilities, researchers have found after analyzing a series of imaging scans collected over 17 years.

The discovery, some experts expect, will help scientists understand intelligence in terms of the genes that foster it and the childhood experiences that can promote it.

Full Story: New York Times: Scans Show Different Growth for Intelligent Brains

Now That’s Using Your Brain

Wired reports:

Researchers in the brain-computer interface, or BCI, Group at New York State Public Health Department’s Wadsworth Center are enrolling patients in trials of a system that could enable them to send e-mail and communicate using their brain waves. They hope to have five to 10 people testing the interface by June.

Full Story: Wired News: Now That’s Using Your Brain

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