Author Archive | ralph

Chinese ‘Twitter’ Claims North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Assassinated

Dead TwitterReports Lucas Shaw via Reuters:
Did social media just prematurely kill off the leader of North Korea? Rumors that Kim Jong-un, the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated just months after he took power originated on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and have now spread all over Twitter. Others are reporting that Jong-un, believed to be 28 years old, may be on the run rather than dead, but both reports claim that some kind of coup is taking place. One person on Weibo wrote (loose translation): "north korea's biggest leader kim jung un, this morning in beijing time 2:45 am, had his residence broken into and was assassinated by unidentified people, who were shot dead by his bodyguards in korea's embassy in beijing, vehicles are rapidly increasing in number, and have surpassed 30 of them, this sort of battle formation hasn't been seen in over two years. please verify this."
Continue Reading

Newt Gingrich Is Right About Having A Permanent Moon Base

Earth To MoonYes, “Gingrich” and “right” in the same sentence is very strange: Saturday Night Live managed to successfully mock this derided idea in a recent well received sketch (which I thought was reminiscent of that show’s style from the ’70s). Here is a differing perspective presented by Robert T. Gonzalez on io9.com:

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has promised us a permanent Moon base by 2020. Many people have been calling Newt’s vow a publicity stunt, while others have chimed in by attacking the idea of a lunar base in and of itself, with assertions like “real scientists know [a Moon base] is fantasy.” We won’t speak to Newt’s political maneuverings, but we’re sure as hell not going to sit idly by while people bash the feasibility or scientific potential of a lunar settlement. In fact, we’ve got 185 reasons we should set a course straight away …

An Off-World Energy Source: We spoke to astrophysicist Michael Shara — curator of the astrophysics department at the American Museum of Natural History — about the scientific potential of a permanent Moon base, and one of the first things to come up was lunar resource utilization.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Alan Moore Wants to Build a Statue of Harvey Pekar in Cleveland (Video)

Pekar

Photo: Davidkphoto (CC)

Seems like a good cause to me. If you’d like watch the full two-and-a-half hour chat and/or read about the highlights, check out Bleeding Cool:

A few months back Joyce Brabner, the widow of comics legend Harvey Pekar, started a Kickstarter Campaign in the hopes of raising enough money to help fund a Harvey Pekar Library Statue in Cleveland.

Towards the latter half of the campaign it was made known that one of the incentives would be “A Cup of Tea and a Long Winter’s Chat With Comics Giant Alan Moore,” in which Moore would, for the first time, host a live video conference in which he would answer “impertinent questions” …

… Moore was the epitome of congeniality, proving himself gracious, rational and quite funny while speaking to all those present — even in the face of some potentially ire-raising issues (such as BEFORE WATCHMEN or the constant jabs made at him by Grant Morrison) …

More on Bleeding Cool

Read the rest

Continue Reading

California Court Rules Gay-Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Prop 8And now the Supremes will decide. Via Reuters:

The U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco Tuesday upheld a lower court decision, which had declared unconstitutional California’s controversial Proposition 8 banning same sex marriage.

The matter is now expected to travel to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling, made by judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins and Randy Smith — appointed by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush respectively — ruled on both the constitutionality of Prop 8 and whether the judge who struck down Prop 8 should have recused because he is gay. They heard oral arguments on the constitutionality question more than a year ago, and the recusal matter in December.

California voters agreed to Prop 8 — also known as the California Marriage Protection Act — in November 2008 by a 52 to 47 percent margin (approximately 13 million voters took part). That vote inserted language in the state constitution expressly allowing marriage only between a man and a woman.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Life On Venus, So Claims Russian Scientist

VenusMaybe Jack Nicholson was right after all. Via Yahoo News:

Leonid Ksanfomaliti, an astronomer based at the Space Research Institute of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, analyzed photographs taken by a Russian landing probe during a 1982 during a mission to explore the heavily acid-clouded planet.

Venus is roughly the same size as Earth, but it has a thick atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide. With an atmospheric pressure 92 times Earth’s, a waterless and volcano-riddled surface and a surface temperature of 894 degrees, the planet has never been considered a serious target of research into the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

But in his article, published in the magazine Solar System Research, Ksanfomaliti says the Russian photographs depict objects resembling a “disk,” a “black flap” and a “scorpion.”

“What if we forget about the current theories about the non-existence of life on Venus?” he wrote. “Let’s boldly suggest that the objects’ morphological features would allow us to say that they are living.”

Read More: Yahoo News

Read the rest

Continue Reading

America’s Ancient ‘Ten Commandments’ Rock: The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

10 Commandment RockThis is a strange bit of disputed archaeology. Check it out over the web and Wikipedia does have a good description:

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel. The stone is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock. The inscription is interpreted to be an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in a form of Paleo-Hebrew. A letter group resembling the tetragrammaton YHWH, or “Yahweh,” makes four appearances. The stone is controversial in that some claim the inscription is Pre-Columbian, and therefore proof of early Semitic contact with the Americas.

The first recorded mention of the stone is in 1933, when professor Frank Hibben, an archaeologist from the University of New Mexico, saw it.

Read the rest
Continue Reading