Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dinosaurs Did Not Gradually Die Out

Non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, and now researchers have proven that this die-off didn't happen over a long period of time.

A detailed look at dinosaur bones, tracks and eggs located at 29 archaeological sites located in the Catalan Pyrenees reveals that there was a large diversity of dinosaur species living there just before the fatal K-T extinction event, which many scientists believe was caused by several large meteors hitting Earth.

Dinosaurs thrived outside of this part of Spain as well before 65 million years ago, such as in North America, but this particular research, published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, focused on the Catalan region, a former dinosaur hotbed.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nazis had planned to infiltrate Vatican with spies dressed as monks

Germany hatched a plan during World War Two to infiltrate the Vatican with spies disguised as monks, according to secret MI5 intelligence reports.

A Nazi sympathiser living in Rome came up with the idea and it was quickly seized upon by officials in Berlin who saw it as the ideal opportunity to keep up with Allied activity in the city.

The plan is revealed in MI5 reports held at the National Archives in Kew and which have now been declassified - and it comes just days after other files revealed how Germany had also tried to infiltrate the Boy Scouts.

Operation Georgian Convent as it was called involved the purchase of a building in Rome by Michael Kedia, a Russian anti communist Nazi sympathiser from Georgia (Russian Republic of) who was also known to British intelligence.

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Ancient Tribal Meeting Ground Found in Australia

Australian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe to be the world's southernmost site of early human life, a 40,000-year-old tribal meeting ground, an Aboriginal leader said Wednesday.

The site appears to have been the last place of refuge for Aboriginal tribes from the cannon fire of Australia's first white settlers, said Michael Mansell of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

"When the archaeological report came out it showed that (life there) had gone back longer than any other recorded place anywhere else in Tasmania, dating back to 40,000 years," Mansell told AFP.

Up to three million artifacts, including stone tools, shellfish fragments and food scraps, were believed to be buried in the area, which appeared to have been a meeting ground for three local tribes.

They died out after white settlers arrived in the late 18th century.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Japan confirms Cold War-era 'secret' pacts with US

TOKYO -- Japan confirmed Tuesday secret Cold War-era pacts with Washington that tacitly allowed nuclear warships in Japanese ports in violation of a hallowed postwar principle, effectively acknowledging that previous governments had lied about them for decades.

While the move was welcomed as a step toward greater government transparency, atomic bomb survivors expressed disgust that officials kept such agreements hidden for dozens of years.

The revelations came after an investigation by a panel of experts appointed by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government, which swept to power last fall on promises to bring more openness to government. His left-leaning party defeated the long-ruling conservatives who repeatedly denied the existence of such agreements.

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