Friday, September 07, 2012

Just the Facts?: Neil Armstrong’s UFO Secret? -- Colorado Girl Contracts Bubonic Plague -- Black Sea Monster


Neil Armstrong’s UFO Secret

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, passed away this weekend at age 82.

Many have asked if Armstrong took with him the secrets of what really happened during the famed 1969 Lunar Landing. Well, yes- and no.

Over the years, I have gotten to know a number of astronauts- and very close family members and friends of astronauts. As you may recall, my uncle was the senior project engineer for Grumman (now Northrop Grumman) that built the Lunar Module, that landed on the moon in July of 1969.

The truth of that historic event has never been told. We did go to the moon- but the events that transpired were kept secret and officially remain secret to this day. Continue reading at Neil Armstrong’s UFO Secret

DARKER SIDE OF THE MOON "They" Are Watching Us!

Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA


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Counterfeit fossils undermine research projects

Fake fossils are duping scientists and museums, a senior paleontologist has warned, after a scholar was forced to retract a controversial essay that stated the cheetah originated in China.

According to Li Chun, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, counterfeits are now widespread and have become a serious risk to genuine study projects.

"I believe many scholars are victims of fake fossils," he said, before estimating that more than 80 percent of marine reptile specimens on display in Chinese museums "have been altered or artificially combined to varying degrees".

"Without professional training in paleontology, it's impossible for researchers to recognize fakes from the real thing."

Li's alert follows the debunking last month of an essay co-authored by Huang Ji, a Chinese scientist, and Danish researcher Per Christiansen in 2008 about an alleged new species of cheetah.

The key piece of evidence was a fossilized skull unearthed in Gansu province that dated back 2.5 million years.

"Primitive Late Pliocene Cheetah, and Evolution of the Cheetah Lineage," which appeared in 2009 in "The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States," an international journal, stated the "new species" was the oldest cheetah ever found, which overturned people's belief that the animal originated in North America.

On Aug 21, the journal published a retraction.

"In recent years, I carried out serial research over the controversy problems in my essay, and I found it did have flaws," said Huang, a specimen maker at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, which has a strong interest in the origin of big cats.

"I decided I should face up to the problem, so I asked for the essay to be withdrawn," he said.

The essay had been controversial for the beginning, with several scientists questioning the validity of the skull.

However, Li said: "I don't think Huang used the fake fossil intentionally. His professional field is modern animals, which is quite different from paleontology."

Deng Tao, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, said he knew the skull was a fake on "first sight".

"A lateral view of the skull clearly shows the cheekbone is unnaturally high and robust, and has clear boundaries where the fake bone was artificially pieced together.

"The back is obviously not original. The surface is so abnormal."

Specializing in late Cenozoic mammals of the Linxia Basin, where the skull was said to have been unearthed, Deng had seen different kinds of fake fossils.

"Probably to make it appear more complete, thus enhancing its commercial value, Chinese fossil dealers makes numerous fake fossils. I had seen hundreds of 'complete' fossils actually glued by bone fragments, some fragments belonging to different animals," he said.

Li recalled the first time he saw a fake fossil, which was when he was still in high school.

"I knew nothing about paleontology but was highly interested in modern animals," he said. "I saw a clumsily forged fossil in a store in Beijing - just some colored carvings on an ordinary stone - but I thought I had found the fossil of a very important species, so I was very excited." - chinadaily

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Seven-year-old girl contracts bubonic plague on Colorado camping trip

Sierra Jane Downing, a seven-year-old from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is alive and recovering after briefly succumbing to a nasty little bug by the name of bubonic plague. Have you heard of it? Of course you have — but you probably didn't know people still contracted it.

A few days after returning from a camping trip, where doctors believe Sierra was likely to have contracted the plague, her temperature soared to 107 degrees, driving her body to seizure. And her parents originally thought was a nasty case of flu. The AP's Catherine Tsai reports:

The Downings eventually learned their daughter was ill with one of the last things they would've thought: bubonic plague, a disease that wiped out one-third of Europe in the 14th century but is now exceedingly rare-it hasn't been confirmed in Colorado since 2006-and treatable if caught early.

According to federal health officials, there have only been two other confirmed cases of bubonic plague this year (one in New Mexico, the other in Oregon), and one probable case (again in Oregon). None of the incidences were fatal, and 2—3 cases is actually pretty much par for the bubonic course in the U.S. on any given year:

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that a series of frightening illnesses linked to insects and pests have been surfacing lately across the country, including mosquito-borne West Nile virus outbreaks in Texas and other states, deadly hantavirus cases linked to Yosemite National Park, and some scattered plague cases.

But with some of the illnesses-like plague-this is not an unusually bad year. - io9

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time (P.S.)

The Black Death: Natural and Human Disaster in Medieval Europe


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New Black Sea Monster Photo

Please see the comments section for a translation of the following that I received via email this morning, along with the following photograph - New Black Sea Monster Photo

The Black Sea: A History

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This asshole is my State Delegate...uh, he lost my vote!

If all that Emmert C. Burns Jr. wanted was more attention then he has succeeded. If the Baltimore politician was trying to forward his political beliefs, silence All-Pro NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo or persuade the Baltimore Ravens to infringe on the First Amendment rights of an employee then he seems to have failed, with your attention.

A democrat in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Baltimore County's District 10, Burns sent a letter to the Baltimore Ravens to express his dismay that a member of the team had been voicing his support for same-sex marriage, as reported by WBALTV, Yahoo! Sports and other outlets. In a letter dated August 29, 2012 and addressed to Ravens owner Steve Biscotti, Burns writes "I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Ravens football player."

"Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide," wrote Burns, "and try to sway public opinion one way or another."

According to WBALTV, Burns became upset when he learned that Ayanbadejo had contributed a pair of Ravens tickets to a fundraiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. After expressing his dismay at Ayanbadejo's actions in his letter, Burns then asked the Ravens to silence the 36-year-old veteran.

"I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

CLICK HERE to see Burns' letter (H/T WBALTV)

By saying that he knows of no other NFL players who have "done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing," Burns reveals only a lack of awareness of the league and the players that make it live and breath and tackle. Moreover, his statement shows that he certainly hasn't been paying attention to Ayanbadejo, who joined the Ravens for the 2008 season and wrote about his support of same-sex marriage for The Huffington Post in 2009.

Maybe I am a man ahead of my time. However, looking at the former restrictions on human rights in our country starting with slavery, women not being able to vote, blacks being counted as two thirds of a human, segregation, no gays in the military (to list a few) all have gone by the wayside. But now here in 2009 same sex marriages are prohibited. I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as every one else. How did this ever happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are we really free?

Ayanbadejo has been consistent in his stance and his support of equality for all, filming a public service announcement for Marylanders for Marriage Equality in 2011. He was a Ravens player at the time but this far more visible gesture -- relative to the tickets he donated -- went unnoticed by Burns.

NOTE: this bozo received a nasty email from me this morning. The fact that Burns is African-American and wants to limit a person's freedom of expression is appalling to me! Lon

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America

The First Amendment, Freedom of Speech: Its Constitutional History and the Contemporary Debate (Bill of Rights)


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