Thursday, November 22, 2012
RIP: James W. Mosely, editor of Saucer Smear.
Greg Bishop of ExcludedMiddle.com called him "the Hunter Thompson of Ufology." Kenn Thomas of SteamshovelPress.com described him as an "intergalactic journalist hero."
Loren Coleman gives an excellent farewell to on his blog:
Over his career, he has exposed UFO hoaxers and has engineered hoaxes of his own. He is known for the newsletter Saucer Smear.
Moseley was the son of U.S. Army Major General George Van Horn Moseley. Moseley attended Princeton University for two years before dropping out. He became interested in UFOs following the 1947 claims of pilot Kenneth Arnold, but his interest deepened following the 1948 death of U.S. Air Force pilot Thomas Mantell, in pursuit of a UFO.
In July, 1954, Moseley co-founded Saucer News, a periodical known for its unorthodox, "freewheeling" (Clark, 2002) style. Saucer News only occasionally featured serious UFO research; Moseley was among the first to publicize evidence against the claims of leading "contactee" George Adamski. In 1953 he investigated the Ralph Horton flying saucer crash.
VIVA Hysteria! - Las Vegas Residency
Def Leppard will be taking over the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for an exclusive nine show residency entitled VIVA Hysteria! The band will perform their iconic album HYSTERIA in full in addition to a greatest hits segment. The shows will run from 22 March through 10 April 2013 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
FeedBack: A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife
A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife...’ ”
Kenn Thomas of SteamshovelPress.com replies:
Further translation revealed the full phrase, "My wife... take her please."
Did Jesus have a wife? Scholar calls parchment 'forgery'
October 17, 2012
A copied error from an online translation of the Gospel of Thomas may be the "smoking gun" that strongly suggests the Gospel of Jesus' Wife, a controversial papyrus fragment that supposedly refers to Jesus being married, is a forgery, scholars say.
If the text is fake, it would represent an extraordinary tale of how an amateur with no knowledge of a long-dead language could fool some of the world's leading experts by using a readily available Internet tool — and how scholars countered by rallying online to swiftly investigate the case together.
The business card-size fragment of papyrus stirred up worldwide controversy with a line of text that reads "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'" Many skeptical scholars suggested the document was a forgery in the weeks following the announcement of the discovery by Harvard historian Karen King — and their early suspicions have evolved into solid theories and findings as they talked through Facebook posts, blogs and e-lists.
One of the most compelling arguments for the fragment being a forgery has emerged from Andrew Bernhard, an Oxford University graduate and author of the book "Other Early Christian Gospels" (T & T Clark, 2006). He published an online paper last week pointing out a pattern of similarities between the Gospel of Jesus' Wife and the Coptic Gospel of Thomas — similarities that include grammatical errors and line breaks found only in the online word-by-word translation of the Gospel of Thomas.
"It's remarkable that a forger could have forged something like this using a simple tool on the Internet," Bernhard said. "It's equally stunning how quickly scholars could respond and analyze the text."
The smoking gun
'It's remarkable that a forger could have forged something like this using a simple tool on the Internet.'
- Andrew Bernhard, author of the book 'Other Early Christian Gospels'
All the grammatical anomalies in the Gospel of Jesus' Wife suggest the writer was not a native speaker or even an academic expert in Coptic — the ancient, dead language of early Christians living in Egypt. Instead, Bernhard says that the pattern of errors and suspiciously similar line breaks suggests an amateur might have forged the "patchwork" text using individual words and phrases taken from Michael Grondin's Interlinear Coptic-English Translation of the Gospel of Thomas.
"There's this general pattern in that everywhere the Gospel of Jesus' Wife could diverge from gospel of Thomas, it doesn't, and in places where it does [diverge], it appears it's following Mike's Interlinear," Bernhard told TechNewsDaily.
One the most suspicious grammatical errors in the Gospel of Jesus' Wife appeared to be a direct copy of a typo in the PDF file version of the Interlinear translation — a connection that Grondin himself made when he was examining his translation. He shared that knowledge with Mark Goodacre, an associate professor of New Testament at Duke University, who had been writing up a blog post independently about the possibility of the "Jesus' Wife fragment" being a forgery.
Goodacre and Bernhard eventually got in touch and agreed to coordinate the online publishing of their respective blog post and paper. Goodacre credits Bernhard with first making the connection between the Gospel of Jesus' Wife and the online version of the Gospel of Thomas.
"I would have already put money on this thing being problematic, given the links between the fragment and the Coptic Gospel of Thomas," Goodacre explained. "But the link with the online Interlinear version of the Gospel of Thomas really makes, for me, the case of authenticity a very difficult one."
Internet peer review
Both Goodacre and Bernhard cautioned that any final proof of a forgery must come from Harvard University's chemistry tests of the fragment's ink and paper. But if the Gospel of Jesus' Wife is indeed a forgery, the scholars told TechNewsDaily that it would represent an eye-opening, first-time case where an amateur pulled off such a stunt — with more than a little help from the online Internet translation.
"They were able to mimic the word usage and grammar of Coptic convincingly enough so that I think a lot of people could have been fooled, including some of the most capable scholars in the world," Bernhard said. "It's a strange scenario in a strange new world where an amateur can fool the highest levels of academic knowledge."
The availability of the online translation of the Gospel of Thomas may have provided the unwitting tool for an amateur to fool the experts. But the Internet also allowed scholars from many different fields to combine forces and focus their collective attention on examining the Gospel of Jesus' Wife as soon as the news broke.
"Some people are experts in Coptic language, some people who are experts in the literary relationship among ancient texts," Goodacre said. "It's a combination of different voices talking to one another — things just move a little bit more quickly now than 30 or 40 years ago."
Similarly, Bernhard confessed to being amazed by how quickly scholars had mobilized online to analyze the Gospel of Jesus' wife. He wondered how anyone would have gathered all the Coptic experts in the world to do something similar just 20 years ago.
"To write this paper, I had to go through e-lists, Facebook posts, blogs, online articles — there was something like instantaneous international peer review," Bernhard said. "It's clearly a new world of scholarship."
Tesla Model S named 2013 Car of the Year by Motor Trend
Brittany Hillen, Nov 12th 2012
Motor Trend has bestowed its coveted Car of the Year title on Tesla‘s Model S, making it the first car without an internal combustion engine to earn such an honor. The vehicle won out of 25 other contenders, with a total of 45 variants. All of the vehicles were put through an “extensive battery of testing” that examined just about everything you can examine on a car.
There were 11 judges in total, and all of them unanimously awarded the honor to the Tesla Model S. Testing included a 0 to 60mph and quarter-mile acceleration, braking from 60 to 0mph, figure-eight handling, high-speed loops that replicates LA’s freeways, and a winding track. Each phase eliminated vehicles based on various criteria, until only a handful remained.
Motor Trend’s editor-in-chief Edward Loh offered this statement. “We had an extremely competitive field for Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. However, the Tesla Model S floored our panel of judges. The goal of the award is to name the car that best meets our six criteria, and the Tesla Model S accomplished that best … To be the first car in the 64-year history of the award to be powered by something other than gasoline must mean it is very special. It is, and thus we’re excited to name the Tesla Model S our 2013 Car of the Year.”
"Higgs Boson" was a contender. So were "superstorm," "Super PAC" and "YOLO" (an acronym that stands for You Only Live Once). But Katherine Martin, head of the U.S. dictionaries program at Oxford University Press USA, said that when it came time for her team of lexicographers to pick the word of the year, the choice was obvious. It had to be GIF, the verb.
"GIF verb to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event): he GIFed the highlights of the debate."
GQ's "Obsession of the Year":
Is There Life After Death?
Neuroscientist Shares His Near Death Experience
Dr. Evan Alexander tells us about his experience in the afterlife and concludes that consciousness survives physical death.
Kool Video of the Week
Banned Cartoons: Bugs Bunny - Hillbilly Hare
Muay Thai Home Study Course
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Kool Websites: Warby Parker
Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point.
Acer C7 Chromebook available for $199
Summary: Google is continuing its push to build the Chromebook market with the latest model by Acer. The Acer C7 Chromebook is available for $199.
November 12, 2012
Google has been seriously pushing the Chrome OS with the recent partnership with Samsung to offer the new Samsung Chromebook. That device lowered the price of a Chromebook to just $249. Continuing that push is the new Acer C7 Chromebook just released for a mere $199. Like the Samsung model before, Google is also offering free goodies worth more than the price tag of the Acer C7 Chromebook.
The new C7 from Acer weighs in at 3.05 pounds and is only an inch thich. In that slim body is an Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of memory, and surprising for a Chromebook -- a 320GB hard drive. The 11.6-inch display is capable of HD video, and has a quoted battery life of over 3.5 hours.
The Acer C7 Chromebook is available on the Google Play store and at Best Buy in the US. Those in the UK wanting a Chromebook can also buy it in the Google Play store, as well as at Amazon UK, PC World and Currys.
Google is offering two years of 100GB of free storage in the cloud for new purchasers of the Acer, along with 12 free Gogo Internet passes. Those two offers are together worth more than the price of the new Acer Chromebook, so you could say Google will pay you to get one.
Camden, N.J., sets homicide record
Jim Walsh, (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post Staff
Investigators seek masked man in latest case
Officials attribute surge in killings in part to massive layoffs at police department
This year's homicides include a toddler and a 6-year-old killed over the summer
November 17. 2012 - CAMDEN, N.J. — The city of Camden set a grim record Friday, with its 59th homicide of the year.
The latest victim was shot dead in the city's Fairview section around 11:30 a.m, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
Additional details were not immediately available, but radio dispatches said police were seeking a masked man.
The previous high mark for homicides was 58, set in 1995.
The city tied the record on Nov. 9 when a Cherry Hill man died from injuries suffered in a beating seven days earlier. Gregory Holder, 45, had been attacked by two men during an apparent drug dispute, authorities said.
His case remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.
Violence aside, the homicide total could still increase, as the victim of an Oct. 21 shooting remains on life support at Cooper University Hospital.
Jimmy Cortes Jr., 20, of Barrington was shot multiple times during a pre-dawn confrontation between two groups of men.
The city's homicide toll, which has varied from year to year, hit 52 last year. That was up from 37 in 2010 and 34 in 2009.
Law enforcement officials have attributed the surge in violence in part to massive layoffs that nearly halved staffing levels at the city's police department in early 2011.
Camden currently has about 270 police officers. There were about 335 officers in 1995, according to Courier-Post records.
This year's homicides include the horrific deaths of two city children over the summer — a toddler decapitated by his mother and a 6-year-old boy whose throat was slit by an intruder.
In addition, a masked gunman last month killed two young people — 18-year-old Jewel Manire and 20-year-old Khalil Gibson — as they sat in a car in the Fairview section. Three people were also wounded in that attack, which remains unsolved.