Over the Edge
Roundup of Strange Science for the Month
NASA Telescope Look's for ET Homes - NASA Telescope
Look's for ET Homes - NASA has launched its Kepler spacecraft
in a bid to find "Earth-like" planets orbiting stars in
our end of the Milky Way galaxy. The telescope will orbit
the sun will monitoring some 100,000 stars for the tiny
changes in brightness that signal a planet passing in front
of it. Scientists will then use information gathered to
calculate the size and orbit of the planet and deduce if
it could support life. Scientists have discovered 330 "exoplanets"
using this method with ground based telescopes. All of these
found are though not to be able to support life as they
are much bigger that Earth and closer to their stars. The
Kepler spacecraft will observe many more stars and be able
to look for smaller changes in brightness which will help
identify smaller, more Earth-like planets. Scientists hope
that by 2013 -- the end of Kepler's mission - they will
have a good idea on whether life in the universe could be
Dinosaurs on the Way Back to Life - Scientists,
led by Jack Horner, a professor of paleontology at Montana
State University and curator of paleontology at the Museum
of the Rockies, are working on a scheme straight out of
Jurassic Park: to create a living dinosaur. Unlike the movie,
where they used DNA from mosquitoes that had bitten dinos
and got trapped in amber, Horner thinks he can use the DNA
from living birds, like chickens. "Birds are dinosaurs,
so technically we're making a dinosaur out of a dinosaur,"
said Horner. Horner and other scientists think that dinosaur
characteristics are buried in chicken DNA. By changing the
levels of regulatory proteins that control the expression
of these genes they can restore to the animal dino characteristics
like teeth, a tail, scales and claws. The result would not
be so much a dinosaur of any particular species, but a kind
of dino-chicken. Horner describes the process in his new
book "How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to
Be Forever" due out in May.
Oldest Evidence of Upright Walking - Oldest
Researchers revealed the evidence of a modern stride in
humans dating back to over a million years. The footprints,
estimated to be 1.52 million years old, were discovered
at Ileret, Kenya, according to a report in the journal Science.
The prints show a large toe parallel to the other toes,
indicating a modern upright stride likely to have been made
by the early hominids Homo ergaster or Homo erectus. Scientists
are aware of older footprints, dating from around 3.6 million
years ago attributed to Australopithecus afarensis. Those
prints show an upright posture and a shallow arch with an
ape-like, divergent big toe.
Dead Sea Scroll Authors - The Essenes - Did Not Exist
- Israeli scholar, Rachel Elior, argues that the long-thought
authors of the dead sea scrolls, a group called the Essenes,
ever existed. Elior claims that they were the invention
of the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus
who wanted to impress the Romans that "the Jews weren't
all losers and traitors
" according to Elior. "He was
probably inspired by the Spartans. For the Romans, the Spartans
were the highest ideal of human behavior, and Josephus wanted
to portray Jews who were like the Spartans in their ideals
and high virtue." As evidence of her claim she notes that
nowhere in the scrolls do the authors refer to themselves
as the Essenes nor are them mentioned in other texts of
the period. She believes the scrolls were authored by renegade
sons of Zadok, a priestly caste banished from the Temple
of Jerusalem in 2nd century B.C. Other scholars disagree
arguing that the term Essenes is actually foreign in origin
and in the document they call themselves by term such as
'men of holiness.'
Smallest North American Dino Found - Hesperonychus
elizabethae, a 4.4-pound (2-kilogram) creature with razor-like
claws that lived 75 million years ago has been identified
as the smallest dinosaur known to have lived in North America.
Nick Longrich, a paleontology research associate in the
University of Calgary's Department of Biological Sciences
found the dinosaur not by digging in the field, but by digging
in the University of Alberta's collection of unstudied bones.
The fossils were found in 1982 and were thought at the time
to be a juvenile of a known species. Longrich noticed that
the hip bones were fused, which only happens after an animal
reaches adulthood. Longrich and Philip Currie, a collaborator,
determined that Hesperonychus, whose name means "western
claw," stood about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) high. The dinosaur
ran on two legs and had dagger-like teeth and an enlarged
sickle-shaped claw on its second toe.
Science Quote of the Month - "I
think that only daring speculation can lead us further and
not accumulation of facts.." - Albert
New at the Museum:
Curators Notes: Magic & Teaching- Can
a book about the history of magic tell us something about
Zebop Finds a Friend - Join the author of
"The Bunny Stories" from our own Children's
Reading Room for this first book in the new series:
"The Martian Who Looked Like a Dog." Would you travel 36
Million miles to find a friend? Zebop the last Martian did.
But will anybody on Earth want to be the friend to a fuzzy
alien? Ages 6 - 8. At Amazon.com or on sale at our own Museum
of UnNatural Mystery Press page.
The Death of Bruce Lee - Was Bruce Lee Assassinated?
The demise of
movie star/martial arts expert /cultural icon Bruce Lee
in 1973, at 32 years of age, has inspired more conspiracy
theories than almost any other death in modern times. The
list possible culprits include:
Kung Fu traditionalists
- They resented Lee's open portrayal of their sect's secret
arts on the screen.
Kong filmmakers - They wanted to eliminate the competition.
- Who were angry about how the Japanese were portrayed in
(Chinese "Mafia") - They had him killed because he did
not bow to their extortion claims on his motion picture
- Lee refused their offer to be made an American movie
star choosing instead to return to Hong Kong.
prostitute - Lee had taken a powerful aphrodisiac which
had caused him to become very violent. The prostitute, fearing
for her life, hit him over the head with a glass ashtray.
- The Lee family was cursed and this accounted for his
death and the death of his son, Brandon Lee (Brandon Lee
was killed in an accident involving a gun on a set in 1993
while filming the movie "Crow").
Of course, not
all of these can be true and it is likely that not any of
them are true. However, there are some strange circumstances
surrounding his death that have allowed these rumors to
The first indication
that not all was well with Lee occurred on when the actor
collapsed at Golden Harvest studios in Hong Kong on May
10th of 1973. He was rushed to the hospital were doctors
determined he had cerebral edema - swelling of the brain.
He was successfully treated at the hospital and released.
Over two months
later on July 20 he was again in Hong Kong visiting the
apartment of actress Betty Ting to go over a script when
he felt ill. Ting gave him a tablet of Equagesic (a combination
aspirin and muscle relaxant) and he lay down for a nap.
Later on Ting and producer Raymond Chow were unable to wake
him and called a doctor. The doctor examined him but was
unable to help him and he died. The body was sent to Queen
showed that Lee had died from a cerebral edema similar to
the one he had experienced back in May. The official report
called it "death by misadventure." The only foreign substance
found in Lee's body was the Equagesic and trace amounts
of cannabis in his stomach. It seems likely that Lee's brain
had swollen because of a rare allergic reaction to some
substance. However, there was no evidence that Lee had taken
Equagesic before the May incident and the amount of cannabis
is his system seemed far too small for that to be the cause.
Most doctors who reviewed the case, however, feel that he
most have died of a hypersensitivity to the Equagesic, or
the cannabis, or some combination of the two.
have suggested that someone murdered Lee by giving him some
substance that caused the swelling. They contend that the
poison either did not show up on the toxicology tests used
or officials were bribed to suppress the evidence.
No real proof
of any murder conspiracy has ever surfaced and the death
remains a sad end to a promising life. Lee, at age 32, was
incredibly popular at the time of his death and many of
his fans refused to believe Lee - who many considered the
fittest man on the planet at the time - was dead. Others
blame his death on over training, though there is also no
evidence of this either.
to send it to the curator.
Death of Dr. J. Allen Hynek - April marks the
anniversary of the death of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a scientist
and early UFO investigator. Hynek, an astronomer, got involved
with UFO's in the 1940's when he was included as a part
of the team of Air Force investigators looking into flying
saucers. At first Hynek was unimpressed with the cases they
investigated. In 1966 his observation that a much publicized
UFO sighting in Michigan might have been caused by "swamp
gas" was widely ridiculed. Later on though, Hynek reversed
his stand saying that at least some sub-set of UFO reports
were worthy of scientific investigation. He later helped
found the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). Dr. Hynek died
of a brain tumor in 1986.
See If You Can Catch Mercury - If you have haven't
ever seen the first planet from the sun, this month could
be your chance. Mercury will be visible just after sunset
in the west-northwest sky this month. Mercury's greatest
elongation - which means its farthest separation from the
Sun when viewed from Earth - occurs on April 25. It should
be easiest to see that night. The moon should be visible
between Mercury and the horizon that evening too.
British Release "Dog Walker" UFO Report -
The British National Archives released records of 1,200
UFO sightings last month including one were a woman walking
her dog claims she met an extra-terrestrial. According to
the report in 1989 the woman was approached by a man with
a "Scandinavian-type accent" dressed in a flying suit-style
suit near Norwich, eastern England. The witness, who was
"completely terrified" during the 10-minute encounter, ran
home from where she saw a large glowing object rise vertically
from behind some nearby trees and disappear. A note on in
file of the incident describes it as "one of our more unusual
UFO reports." In another report in the files witnesses claimed
to have seen the large diamond-shaped object hanging in
the air for about 10 minutes before it shot away vertically
at high speed.
check local listing for area outside of North America.
The DaVinci Shroud - The Turin
Shroud is the world?s most famous religious relic, believers
think it once wrapped the crucified body of Jesus Christ,
but is the shroud a fake? Could it be the work of Leonardo
Da Vinci - the greatest artist of all time?. On Discovery
Channel. Apr 06, 9:00 pm; Apr 07, 12:00 am. ET/PT.
Treasure Quest: The Curse of the Black Swan - Part of the Treasure Quest series: Odyssey recovers an estimated half
billion dollars worth of silver and gold coins. Spain believes
it's from a 19th-century Spanish frigate and demands it
back. Part legal battle, part high seas drama -- who will
gain final possession of the treasure?
. Apr 02, 10:00 pm; Apr 03, 1:00 am; Apr 04, 2:00 pm; ET/PT
America's Lost H-Bomb - A deadly threat lurks just a few miles off the coast of Savannah, Georgia.
A thermo-nuclear weapon is ejected and lost during a war
game between U.S. bombers and fighters. Can U.S. military
experts retrieve the weapon before someone else tries to?
On the Science Channel. Apr 02, 8:00 pm; Apr 02, 11:00 pm;
Apr 03, 3:00 pm; Apr 04, 3:00 am; ET/PT
Last Mysteries of the Titanic - Academy Award winner James Cameron leads a film team of underwater explorers
on a series of historic dives to document the innermost
spaces of the world's most famous shipwreck. The team will
use four mini-robots and a seafloor-to-satellite data system.
On the Science Channel. Apr 05, 8:00 pm; Apr 05, 11:00 pm;
Apr 07, 3:00 am; ET/PT
Death of Loch Ness Monster- The search for the Loch Ness Monster has captivated the world for decades,
but now a startling realization about "Nessie" might shatter
this age-old myth. Could the Loch Ness Monster be dead,
and do its remains lie hidden at the bottom of the lake?
Robert Rines, a world renowned inventor, believes he may
have seen the remains of this mythical beast and is on a
mission to find evidence to prove it. Rines, who believes
he saw the creature surface in the lake in 1972, caught
sonar images of the monster's remains. He believes Nessie's
death may explain the decrease of sightings in recent years.
Our search team looks for evidence and deploys the latest
technology including remote operating vehicles (ROVs) and
sonar and underwater cameras as it goes on the ultimate
search for Nessie's remains.. On The History Channel. Wednesday,
April 08 09:00 PM; Thursday, April 09 01:00 AM; ET/PT.
Ancient Aliens - What if life on Earth began in outer space? Millions of people accept
the theory that intelligent life forms visited Earth thousands
of years ago and were worshiped as gods by primitive man.
Are monuments like Stonehenge and Easter Island the last
remains of an ancient alien visitation? From unexplainable
super structures, to knowledge of the solar system, mathematics,
and even the ability to make electricity, this special explores
evidence of super-human influences on ancient man and embarks
on an around-the-world search for answers. It's an investigation
into a theory some believe cannot be true, but many agree
cannot be ignored. On The History Channel. Sunday, April
12 08:00 PM; Monday, April 13 12:00 AM; ET/PT.
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Copyright Lee Krystek 2008. All Rights Reserved.