Weird Science – Above and Below.

Tonight is the night of the Yule moon, also called the “wolf moon” (the first new full moon of the year), and coincidentally will be the largest and brightest full moon of 2010. This is because the Moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle but an ellipse, with its nearest point to Earth some 31 thousand miles closer than its furthest. And occasionally the full moon will coincide with this closest approach, which is enough for the moon to appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than at any other time this year. Incidentally, this also means the previous new moon was very nearly the smallest it could have been, which is why – along with occurring with Earth at its nearest to the Sun – the solar eclipse on January 15th was annular (

Also watching the skies tonight may be Luchezar Filipov, Deputy Head of Space Exploration at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. However, Filipov’s interest is not the Moon, but aliens, who he believes are living among us on Earth at this very moment. Filipov and his team claim to be in telepathic contact with the aliens, who he says are friendly, but could not establish a coherent conversation because of our “lack of evolution”. This lack of coherence appears to have only been one way however, as Filipov was still able to state that the aliens were critical of our immoral behaviour, environmental destruction and use of cosmetics and artificial insemination, which they condemned as unnatural – unlike space travel one presumes. The next meeting of minds between Filipov and the aliens is scheduled for sometime in spring this year (Sofia Echo).

But perhaps the aliens are backing the wrong species, because it’s move over Iron Man and make way for Iron Snail. The scaly-foot snail is certainly well protected for its kind, with an iron rich outer layer that deters piercing, a thick organic middle that dissipates the force of an attack and a calcified inner layer that gives the shell sufficient rigidity to resist attempts to crush it. The snail’s armour is so good that it’s attracted the interest of the Department of Defense, who are seeing if any useful lessons could be learned for application in the man-made versions (MIT).

Someone else who could have benefited from some armour is “Macho B”, who was – until his death in February last year, the last known wild jaguar in South West America. Perversely, it wasn’t poachers who did for him in the end but Arizona’s own Fish and Game Department, who deny it was their intention to capture the jaguar despite setting snares around his territory. Now a federal inquiry has concluded that Macho B was trapped deliberately, and the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to bring charges (NY Times).

But even as the jaguar takes one step nearer joining the dinosaurs in extinction, scientists are one step closer to bringing them back, in our imaginations at least. For the first time, a team from China, the United Kingdom and Ireland have determined the colours and pattern of a dinosaur, a metre-long feathered carnivore called Sinosauropteryx. Turns out the bird-like bipeds were orange, with white striped tails and a “mohawk” display crest on their heads. Despite the feathers, Sinosauropteryx was a flightless reptile who most likely used its feathers primarily for display (CBC).
     Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jan 29, 2010
     Category: Aliens | Animals | Government | Military | Science | Goofs and Screw-ups

Sorry, I was looking at it from the other side. 😉
Posted by Dumbfounded on 01/29/10 at 03:41 PM
i really liked the solar eclipse, very cool. so did all you werewoves have a good time during the yule moon?
that filipov guy makes me think of the crazy guy in california who got a bunch of people to off themselves with him so the aliens in the comet could pick up their spirits.
army snails?
arizona game and wildlife is hiding something. i'm thinking they made sure this animal died for some unknown reason. perhaps it was a danger to people in that area and they had to erect a smokescreen of sorts as to what actually happened to get away with getting rid of the animal without jail time for anyone.

if they can really tell the color of this animal why not other dinos too. this is one of those 'discoveries' i expect to be reported as a hoax later. it just seems implausible.

thanks dumbfounded, i've been mooning for one of your posts. i was beginning to fear they had become extinct. 😉
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/29/10 at 08:38 PM
what do you expect dumbfounded, he's from texas, the same as w. 🙄
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/30/10 at 10:43 PM
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