Monday, 22 November 2010

Possible Palin presidential poll a sign of impending apocalypse?

A new "political thriller" by one Sheldon Filger has been published, based on a scenario that former Alaskan governor and Tea Party darling Sarah Palin runs for - and wins - the 2012 American presidential election.

We've blogged about Mrs Palin's little girl before, but we're still searching for the fully expected linking of the Mayan end-of-the-world theories and the date of the next US election.

And, if you're in any doubt about the side of the debate that the author comes down on, he leaves a handy hint in the title: SARAH PALIN APOCALYPSE AMERICANA.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The OTHER Da Vinci Code ... of impending doom!

This has only just popped up onto our radar (it's amazing what random Googling can bring up) but we'd not spotted this insomnia-inducing prediction about the imminent end of the world ...

It has been claimed that the original Renaissance man, painter and polymath Leonardo da Vinci, predicted that the world would end on ... wait for it ... November 1, 4006!

Now, before you start selling your wordly goods, this prediction of impending doom has been made by Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia, who claims 'clues' were to be found in da Vinci’s Last Supper mural.

The central half-moon window, or lunette, above his painting of Christ with his disciples before the Crucifixion contains a “mathematical and astrological” puzzle which she has deciphered, she said.

She claimed to have worked out that da Vinci foresaw the end of the world in a “universal flood” which would begin on March 21, 4006 and end on November 1 the same year. Documents showed that he believed that this would mark “a new start for humanity”, Ms Sforza Galitzia said.

Last year, the Vatican published her study The Last Supper of Leonardo in the Vatican, in which she examined a tapestry of the Last Supper made for King Louis XIII of France, based on da Vinci’s design for his famous mural in Milan.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Planning for Star Wars: space threat experts still watching the skies

With governmental concern focused more on Armageddon of the financial kind over the past couple of years, it may sound like a costly extravagance to talk about asteroid-detection and deflection systems.

The end of the world, however, isn't something that is particularly concerned about whether we can afford to thwart it or not. Thankfully, the issue of global destruction at the hands of a sizeable lump of space rock has not dropped off the scientific radar. Late last month, representatives of the American, Russian and other national space programs met for three days at the European Space Agency's Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.

Their goal is to put together a Mission Planning and Operations Group (MPOG) to develop a global asteroid threat response. Participants studied several plausible impact scenarios to identify best responses to such an emergency.

Earlier John Holdren, President Obama's science and technology adviser, sent the House Committee on Science and Technology a letter calling for NASA to play a leading role in detecting and deflecting deep-space objects that threaten Earth.

Former Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart attended the Darmstadt meeting and told that disastrous asteroid impacts "can be prevented ... only, however, if we properly prepare and work together with other nations around the world."

Monday, 15 November 2010

Not so beautiful: how high-pitched singer "prevented World War III"

When we read a headline such as Singer James Blunt 'prevented World War III' we become intrigued. And then worried. And then tired. Then hungry. Then back to worried again ...

Singer James Blunt has told the BBC how he refused an order to attack Russian troops when he was a British soldier in Kosovo. Blunt said he was willing to risk a court martial by rejecting the order from a US General.

All jokes about his singing inducing the world's nucler powers into a mutual suicide pact aside, the account by the high-voiced hitmaker who healed a hundred million hearts has even been backed up by British General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the British forces during NATO operations in Kosovo, who told him at the time: "I'm not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War 3."

"...that sense of moral judgement is drilled into us as soldiers in the British army," said Blunt.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hit me baby one more time: asteroid impact calculator updated

It's a dubious curiosity, but have you ever wondered what would happen if a 10km-wide asteroid came out of the sky and slammed down on your city?

Well now you can, thanks to the nicely-updated impact effects calculator, first produced by scientists at Purdue University and Imperial College London in 2004.

By filling in the details of angle, mass, speed and impact site you can get an idea of how devastating - or otherwise - an asteroid impact would be.

After the first go, it's kind of irresistable seeing just how much devastation one can cause ...