Monday, July 05, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/5/2010



2 Two-Headed Calves Born During the Weekend


AP - A farmer in northern Egypt says his cow has given birth to a two-headed calf that he calls a "divine miracle."

Sobhy el-Ganzoury said Saturday it took two hours and much pulling to deliver the rare calf. He said the difficult birth has weakened the calf's legs.

El-Ganzoury said the veterinarian informed him that the calf, which was born this week, is now in stable condition and is expected to survive. He said he intends to keep the animal as a reminder that "God is able to do anything."

The calf still can't stand up because of its heavy heads and weak legs, and is being fed her mother's milk with a baby bottle.

UPDATE - CAIRO (AP) — A farmer in northern Egypt says his cow has given birth to a two-headed calf that he calls a "divine miracle."

Sobhy el-Ganzoury said Saturday it took two hours and much pulling to deliver the rare calf. He said the difficult birth has weakened the calf's legs.

El-Ganzoury said the veterinarian informed him that the calf, which was born this week, is now in stable condition and is expected to survive. He said he intends to keep the animal as a reminder that "God is able to do anything."

The calf still can't stand up because of its heavy heads and weak legs, and is being fed her mother's milk with a baby bottle.

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FIJI - fijitimes - A cow which gave birth to a calf with two heads in Sigatoka yesterday drew crowds of curious onlookers.

Prem Narayan, the owner, said he came to the aid of his cow at 5.30am when it became obvious that she was having difficulties with labour.

"I called out to two of my neighbours to come and help me because the baby appeared to be stuck. They came and together we started pulling the calf out," he said.

"First one head appeared and then we got a shock when another head suddenly appeared," the 33-year-old sugar cane farmer said.

Word spread throughout the rural community of Ciri on the outskirts of Sigatoka as hundreds of people gathered to witness the curious phenomenon.

"This is the first time anything like this has ever happened here, so everybody came to have a look," Mr Narayan said.

Unfortunately, the calf lived for almost an hour before it collapsed on to its side and passed away.

"I buried the calf but the main thing is - the mother's okay," he said.

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2-Billion-Year-Old Fossils May Be Earliest Known Multicellular Life

A newly discovered group of 2.1-billion-year-old fossil organisms may be the earliest known example of complex life on Earth. They could help scientists understand not just when higher life forms evolved, but why.

The fossils — flat discs almost 5 inches across, with scalloped edges and radial slits — were either complex colonies of single-celled organisms, or early animals.

Either way, they represent an early crossing of a critical evolutionary threshold, and suggest that the crossing was made necessary by radical changes in Earth’s atmosphere.

“There is clearly a relationship between the concentration of oxygen and multicellularity,” said Abderrazak El Albani, a paleobiologist at France’s University of Poitiers. The fossils are described in the July 1 issue of Nature.

Single-celled organisms emerged from the primordial soup about 3.4 billion years ago. Almost immediately, some gathered in mats. But it was another 1.4 billion years before the first truly multicellular organism, called Grypania spiralis, appears in the fossil record.

Grypania may have been either a bacterial colony or a eukaryote — an organism with specialized cells, enclosed in a membrane. Whatever Grypania was, it was one of the few known examples of complex life until about 550 million years ago, when the fossil record explodes in diversity.

The newly described fossils, which have yet to be given a species name, make Grypania less solitary. They lived at roughly the same time — Grypania in what is now the northern United States, the new fossils in Gabon. By raising the possiblity that multicellularity was a trend rather than an aberration, they also hint at an answer to the question of why complex life evolved, not just when. Continue reading at wired.com

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Extraordinary Map Reveals Earth's Gravity Field For The First Time

(click image to enlarge) - dailymail - It is one of the most fundamental and mysterious forces in the Universe.

But this is the first glimpse of what the gravity field which surrounds the Earth looks like in a unique map created be a sophisticated European satellite.

The map is known as a geoid - an imaginary global ocean dictated by gravity in the absence of tides and currents.

It was first described almost 200 years ago but this is the first time it has been mapped in real-time.

Gravity does not exert an equal force everywhere on Earth. Factors such as the rotation of the planet, the effects of mountains and density variations in Earth’s interior mean that this fundamental force is not quite the same all over.

The extraordinary map will be used to measure ocean circulation, sea-level change and ice dynamics.

'GOCE is delivering where it promised: in the fine spatial scales,' GOCE Mission Manager Rune Floberghagen said.

'We have already been able to identify significant improvements in the high-resolution 'geoid', and the gravity model will improve as more data become available.'

ESA launched GOCE in March 2009 to map Earth's gravity with unprecedented accuracy and resolution.

The model, based on only two months of data, from November and December 2009, shows the excellent capability of the satellite to map tiny variations in Earth’s gravity.

GOCE’s final gravity map and geoid will be used in geophysics and surveying to oceanography and sea-level research.

Dr Floberghagen added.' Over continents, and in particular in regions poorly mapped with terrestrial or airborne techniques, we can already conclude that GOCE is changing our understanding of the gravity field.'

'Over major parts of the oceans, the situation is even clearer, as the marine gravity field at high spatial resolution is for the first time independently determined by an instrument of such quality.'

Chairman of the GOCE Mission Advisory Group, Prof. Reiner Rumme said: 'With each two-month cycle of data, the gravity model will become more detailed and accurate. I am convinced that the data will be of great interest to various disciplines of Earth sciences.'

The satellite was designed to orbit at a very low altitude because gravitational variations are stronger closer to Earth.

Since mid-September 2009, GOCE has been in its gravity-mapping orbit at a mean altitude of just 254.9 km – the lowest orbit sustained over a long period by any Earth observation satellite

Air at this low altitude causes the orbit of a standard satellite to decay very rapidly. But GOCE nullifies the drag by firing an ion thruster using xenon gas to boost its orbit.

It ensures the gravity sensors are flying as though they are in pure freefall, so they pick up only gravity readings and not the disturbing effects from other forces.

To obtain clean gravity readings, there can be no disturbances from moving parts, so the entire satellite is a single extremely sensitive measuring device.

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UFOs at Nuclear Bases?

Click link for the Binnall of America interview

Teaser: UFO/Nuke researcher Robert Hastings returns to the program, alongside notable UFO/Nuke witness Bob Salas. In this conversation, we'll find out about Bob's UFO encounter in March of 1967 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, the latest on Robert's investigation into the UFO-Nuke connection, the duo's appearance on Larry King Live back in 2008, tangential aspects of the UFO-Nuke connection such as nuclear submarines and nuclear power plants, what the pair thinks is really going on with UFOs hovering over nuclear facilities, and their impending press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., scheduled for September 27th.

Altogether, it's a fast-paced conversation that covers a hugely important, but all-too-often overlooked area of the UFO phenomenon, with both the researcher who has studiously investigated the story as well as a primary witness to the phenomenon.

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/5/2010