Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I was myself only recently very close to the fires, in Metung. When we drove through Sale it was the most bizarre and surreal experience. Ash was falling from the sky, the sun was red, the light was yellow, and everything seemed in a permanent haze.
Waking up on Tuesday morning we all found burnt debris, leaves, ash etc. coating the house and the vehicles. It had travelled for over 100kilometers to settle on the surrounding areas.
Kudos to the firefighters, many of whom are volunteers and are doing such a great job. Hang in there guys.
For you curious pleasure I now post some photos i've compiled of the fires from around the net. Enjoy (if I can use those words in wake of such a disaster).
AL JIZAH, EGYPT—A team of British and Egyptian archaeologists made a stunning discovery Monday, unearthing several intact specimens of "skeleton people"—skinless, organless humans who populated the Nile delta region an estimated 6,000 years ago.
"This is an incredible find," said Dr. Christian Hutchins, Oxford University archaeologist and head of the dig team. "Imagine: At one time, this entire area was filled with spooky, bony, walking skeletons."
"The implications are staggering," Hutchins continued. "We now know that the skeletons we see in horror films and on Halloween are not mere products of the imagination, but actually lived on Earth."
Standing at the excavation site, a 20-by-20-foot square pit along the Nile River, Hutchins noted key elements of the find. "The skeletons lived in this mud-brick structure, which, based on what we know of these people, was probably haunted," he said. "Although we found crude cooking utensils in the area, as well as evidence of crafts like pottery and weaving, we are inclined to believe that the skeletons' chief activity was jumping out at nearby humans and scaring them. And though we know little of their language and means of communication, it is likely that they said 'boogedy-boogedy' a lot."
Approximately 200 yards west of the excavation site, the archaeologists also found evidence of farming.
"What's puzzling about this," Cambridge University archaeologist Sir Ian Edmund-White said, "is that skeletons would not benefit from harvested crops, as any food taken orally would immediately fall through the hole behind the jaw and down through the rib cage, eventually hitting the ground. Our best guess is that they scared away a group of human farmers, then remained behind to haunt the dwelling. Or perhaps they bartered goods in a nearby city to acquire skeleton accessories, such as chains, coffins and tattered, dirty clothing."
Continued Edmund-White: "The hole in that theory, however, is that a 1997 excavation of this area which yielded extensive records of local clans and merchants made no mention of even one animated mass of bones coming to town for the purpose of trade. But we are taking great pains to recover as much of the site as possible, while also being extremely careful not to fall victim to some kind of spooky skeleton curse."
As for what led to the extinction of the skeletons, Edmund-White offered a theory.
"Perhaps an Egyptian priest or king broke the curse of the skeletons, either by defeating the head skeleton in combat or by discovering the magic words needed to send their spirits back to Hell," Edmund-White said. "In any case, there is strong evidence that the Power of Greyskull played a significant role in the defeat of the skeleton people."
According to Hutchins, the skeletons bear numerous similarities to humans, leading him to suspect that there may be an evolutionary link between the two species.
"Like humans, these creatures walked upright on two legs and possessed highly developed opposable thumbs," Edmund-White said. "These and many other similarities lend credence to the theory that hundreds of thousands of years ago, human development passed through a skeletal stage. These skeletons may, in fact, be ancestors of us all."
"Any of us could be part skeleton," he added.
Other experts disagreed.
"The evidence of an evolutionary link between humans and skeletons is sparse at best," said Dr. Terrance Schneider of the University of Chicago. "Furthermore, it is downright unscientific to theorize that skeleton life originated in Egypt merely because mummies, another species of monster, are indigenous to the area. Spooky creatures are found all over the world, from the vampires of Transylvania to the headless horsemen of Sleepy Hollow."
Monday, December 04, 2006
Aries March 21 - April 19
While others frequently refer to you as a sex machine, the label is sadly based on your cold, almost mechanical execution of the physical act.
Taurus April 20 - May 20
Although doctors will suspect a brain tumor to be behind all the swelling, they won't know for sure until a wider MRI tube is built.
Gemini May 21 - June 21
Your correspondence course in applied chemistry will be terminated this week after the violent demise of nearly two dozen mailmen.
Cancer June 22 - July 22
You will finally leave your boyfriend this week after learning that he's been physically and emotionally abusing some other girl on the side.
Leo July 23 - August 22
A head-on collision with a bright red 18-wheeler will all but end this Thursday's game of "I Spy."
Virgo August 23 - September 22
You can cry all you like, but it's not going to bring back the 56-ounce carton of ice cream you just ate.
Libra September 23 - October 23
While alternate-side-of-the-street restrictions may ultimately help, it's probably not the most effective way of dealing with your town's recent wave of curbings.
Scorpio October 24 - November 21
Covered only partially in Vaseline and shrieking nearly coherent obscenities about the Jews, you'll be amazed by the amount of progress you've made since entering therapy.
Sagittarius November 22 - December 21
The stars strongly sense the presence of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and possibly even some pineapple in this Tuesday's bowl of fruit salad.
Capricorn December 22 - January 19
You will find yourself siding with Islamic extremists this week after an eco-terrorist organization claims responsibility for several car bombings.
Aquarius January 20 - February 18
Hundreds of miners will lose their lives this week in a series of tragic and unforeseen lung collapses.
Pisces February 19 - March 20
Researchers this week will trace years of unjust and painful suffering among thousands of Americans to a pretty common skin condition.