Greetings, and welcome to The /x/ Files, the weekly news digest for 4chan’s Paranormal board. Every Sunday, we take a quick snapshot of the mysterious world around us and bring it, in an easily readable magazine format, to the board. I am The Editor, the anonymous creator of this idea and collector of the news that will be following below. In the interests of legitimacy, I will be using a secure tripcode to post the thread; once the posts are completed, I will take the tripcode off and return to my anonymity.
This week, WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE? A bunch of neat things, apparently, including genetically engineering chickens to be more like dinosaurs. Oh, and finding bacteria that eat plastic. There’s more in there, plus the regular batch of articles, in Issue Eighteen of The /x/ Files!
Table of Contents:
1: Paranormal News of the Week
2: Radio Show Roundup
3: Paranormal Podcasts
4: Editor’s Note
Paranormal News of the Week
Beads Found in Nordic Graves Traced to Egypt
Stunning glass beads found in Danish Bronze Age burials dating to 3400 years ago turn out to have come from ancient Egypt, from the workshop that made the beads buried with the famous King Tutankhamun.
Twenty-three glass beads found in Danish Bronze Age burials by the team of Danish and French archaeologists were blue, a rare color in ancient times. Altogether, 271 glass beads have been found at 51 burials sites in Denmark, the majority of which originated from Nippur, about 50 km southeast of modern Baghdad.
The 23 blue glass beads were analyzed using plasma-spectrometry, a technique that enables comparison of trace elements in the beads without destroying them. The analysis showed that the blue beads turned out to have originated from the same glass workshop in Amarna that adorned King Tutankhamun at his funeral in 1323 BCE. King Tut´s golden deathmask contains stripes of blue glass in the headdress, as well as in the inlay of his false beard.
The Egyptian and Mesopotamian glass beads found in the graves in Denmark indicates that trade was established already 3000 years ago, and conversely, Nordic amber has been found as far south as Mycenae, Greece and Syria.
“Trade systems in the Eastern Mediterranean seem to have collapsed around 1200 BC, which must have been due to troubled times, perhaps war and strife, and the emergence of the Sea Peoples. This collapse can also be observed in the Nordic burials. Fewer glass beads seem to have reached the north,” said Kaul Flemming, Curator of Prehistory at the National Museum of Denmark. “However an interesting phenomena occurred at the same time in Italy. In the Po Valley, new workshops arose, where they turned glass into glass beads. There are also large workshops where they processed Nordic amber from natural lumps into finished gems.”
Full Story: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.707620
Scientists Discover Plastic-Eating Bacteria
In a report published in the journal Science, a team of Japanese researchers described a species of bacteria that can break the molecular bonds of one of the world’s most-used plastics – polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET or polyester. Further tests found the bacteria almost completely degraded low-quality plastic within six weeks.
Initial genetic examination revealed the bacteria may have evolved enzymes specifically capable of breaking down PET in response to the accumulation of the plastic in the environment in the past 70 years. Such rapid evolution was possible, said Enzo Palombo, a professor of microbiology at Swinburne University, given that microbes have an extraordinary ability to adapt to their surroundings.
The bacteria took longer to eat away highly crystallised PET, which is used in plastic bottles. That means the enzymes and processes would need refinement before they could be useful for industrial recycling or pollution clean-up.
PET makes up almost one-sixth of the world’s annual plastic production of 311 million tons. Despite PET being one of the more commonly recycled plastics, the World Economic Forum reports that only just over half is ever collected for recycling and far less actually ends up being reused.
The potential applications of the discovery remain unclear. The most obvious use would be as a biological agent in nature, said Palombo. Bacteria could be sprayed on the huge floating trash heaps building up in the oceans. This method is most notably employed to combat oil spills.
This particular bacteria would not be useful for this process as it only consumes PET, which is too dense to float on water. But the discovery could open the door to the discovery or manufacture of biological agents able to break down other plastics.
Full Story: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/10/could-a-new-plastic-eating-bacteria-help-combat-this-pollution-scourge
Molecular Experiment Reverses Evolution in Birds
Anyone who has eaten chicken can account for the presence of a long bone in the drumstick. This is the fibula, one of the two long bones of the lower leg. In dinosaurs, this bone is tube-shaped and reaches all the way down to the ankle. However, in the evolution from dinosaurs to birds, it lost its lower end, and no longer connects to the ankle. Scientists noted long ago that bird embryos first develop a tubular, dinosaur-like fibula; afterward, it becomes shorter and acquires its adult, splinter-like shape.
Scientists from the Universidad de Chile, headed by Joâo Botelho under the advisory of Alexander Vargas, genetically manipulated chickens so that they would grow up with legs like dinosaurs. Suppressing one of the genes responsible for the differences between raptors and chickens resulted in chickens that develop a full-length, tubular fibula connected at the ankle, matching the lower leg anatomy of a raptor.
The results of the entire study have been published this week in the renowned academic journal Evolution. This is the second time Botelho has achieved an experimental reversal to a dinosaur-like trait in birds. Previously, he had managed to undo the evolution of the perching toe of birds to produce a non-twisted, non-opposed toe, as in dinosaurs. Another lab at Yale obtained a dinosaur-like snout by altering gene expression in embryonic chicken.
“The experiments are focused on single traits, to test specific hypotheses,” Said Vargas. “Not only do we know a great deal about bird development, but also about the dinosaur-bird transition, which is well-documented by the fossil record. This leads naturally to hypotheses on the evolution of development, that can be explored in the lab. This leads naturally to hypotheses on the evolution of development, that can be explored in the lab.”
Full Story: http://phys.org/news/2016-03-molecular-reverses-evolution-birds-dinosaur-like.html
Children That Can See Underwater Like Dolphins
Along the west coast of Thailand live small tribes called the Moken. Their children spend much of their day in the sea, diving for food. They are uniquely adapted to this job – because they can see underwater.
In 1999, Anna Gislen of the University of Lund traveled to Thailand to study the Moken. When the tide came in, the Moken children dived down to pick up food that lay meters below. “They had their eyes wide open, fishing for clams, shells and sea cucumbers, with no problem at all,” She said.
There are two ways in which you can theoretically improve your vision underwater – you can consciously change the shape of the eye’s lens to clarify an image, called accommodation, or you can constrict the pupil, thereby increasing the depth of field. Using a mathematical model, Gislen determined how much their lenses were accommodating to allow them to see underwater, and concluded that the Moken children were able to make their pupils smaller and change their lens shape to achieve superior underwater vision, up to twice as well as European children.
To find out whether the Moken children had a genetic anomaly or whether it was just down to practice, Gislen conducted an experiment on two groups of European children, and after 11 sessions across one month, both groups had attained the same underwater acuity as the Moken. The European kids ended up retaining the ability to constrict their pupils and achieve accommodation, even after four months of no underwater activities at all.
Unfortunately, the children in Gislen’s experiments may be the last of the tribe to possess the ability to see so clearly underwater, thanks to the tsunami of 2004 destroying their villages. “They just don’t spend as much time in the sea anymore,” she said. “I doubt that any of the children that grow up these days in the tribe have this extraordinary vision.”
Radio Show Roundup
Coast to Coast AM with George Noory
Monday: Environmental Toxins/Coincidences
In the first half, professor and author McKay Jenkins shared his discoveries about toxic chemicals, after he had a personal health scare. In the latter half, Dr. Bernard Beitman discussed the different types of coincidences, the meanings behind them, and who is more likely to have them.
Tuesday: Prophecy, Armageddon, & China
Financial analyst with an emphasis on macro-geopolitical events, H. Richard Austin, has used his superb analytical skills to dissect the Book of Revelation from its original Greek text.
Wednesday: Technology & Privacy/Open Lines
In the first half, technology expert Lauren Weinstein discussed the latest stories in the tech world, as well as privacy and the government when it comes to our electronic devices and the information we store on them. Open lines followed.
Thursday: Cyber Warfare/Victorian Murders
In the first half, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Fred Kaplan discussed how our lives and the nation’s infrastructure are dependent on digital technology, which is leaving American security vulnerable to malicious hackers that can conceivably wreak destruction from their keyboards. In the latter half, associate professor at Cardiff University in Wales, Jan Bondeson, talked about his most recent work on the history of Jack the Ripper and why he captured the fascination of so many over the last century. He also addressed other mysterious cases of murder in Victorian England, and the ghoulish handiwork of Ripper’s rivals.
Friday: Presidents & the Occult/Open Lines
First half guest Mitch Horowitz talked to George about the history the influence of the occult and paranormal on the office of the President of the United States. Open lines followed.
Last Podcast on the Left: Paranormal Photography
It’s the world of paranormal photography on this week’s Last Podcast! Today we’ll be covering bullshit artist/”scientist”/wolf-medicine shaman David Rountree, a slew of possibly authentic photographs of ghosts, and the infamous drunken unemployed bellhop/actual paranormal phenomenon, Ted Serios.
Paranormal Podcast: Paranormal Lockdown
Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman join us to talk about their new Destination America TV series, Paranormal Lockdown.
The Paracast: March 13th, 2016
Gene and Chris focus on nuts and bolts UFO research with research scientist Phyllis Budinger. In 2013, Phyllis was named “Ufologist of the Year” and the MUFON International Symposium in Las Vegas. She holds two degrees in Chemistry: B.S. from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio and M.S. from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Mysterious Universe: 15.09
This week we investigate the psychotic breakdown of a former US Marine who became convinced he was targeted by an ET Reptilian agenda. We then continue down the path of psychotic delusions with cases of ‘Gang Stalking’ while pausing to ask if ‘the voices’ could be more than a hallucination for some. Also featured are more Amazon jungle adventures and the new way to connect with coincidence.
Expanded Perspectives: Crop Circles
On this episode of Expanded Perspectives the guys start the show off by talking about how the loss of Louisiana’s coast due to saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and industry is a big problem for the environment and the economy. But it could also change our understanding of the state’s history. In some places, the water is taking with it ancient Native American sites, posing challenges for archaeologists. Then, A UFO investigator looking for evidence of flying saucers inadvertently stumbled across the suspected aircraft in an eight-month-old Google satellite image. Then, as scientists step up their search for other life in the universe, two astrophysicists are proposing a way to make sure we don’t miss the signal if extraterrestrial observers try to contact us first. Then, scientists are trying to clone extinct Ice Age cave lions using DNA from 12,000 year old remains. After the break Cam brings up the interesting and unsolved mystery of Crop Circles.
Skeptoid: Ninjas Unmasked
These superheroes of martial arts lore may not be exactly what you thought they were.
Thinking Sideways Podcast: The Disappearance of Andrew Gosden
In September of 2007, 14 year old Andrew Gosden slept in a bit, then left for school like any other day. After his parents had left for work, he returned home, drained his savings account and bought a one way ticket to London. He was never seen again.
I’m having a lot of trouble getting this Redpill Me On article done, for two distinct reasons: One, there’s a tremendouse amount of disinformation and utter bullshit floating around on the subject, and two, even the commonly accepted facts on it have been called into question by various authors. I have a pretty good bullshit filter, but I can’t sift through a mountain. If I can’t get something concrete hammered out on it by next week, I’m going to scrap what I have and choose another topic.
Until Next Time