The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone.
Nobody knows exactly who commissioned it or why. The only clues to its origin are on a nearby plaque on the ground—which gives the dimensions and explains a series of intricate notches and holes that correspond to the movements of the sun and stars—and the “guides”, written in many different languages on each side, instruct a future society on how to conduct itself.
The story of the stones is just as strange as the monument itself. It’s since been covered in mystery and controversy. Books have been written, TV and press have swarmed to it and conspiracy theorists have pulled a mass of ideas for it’s use, from UFO landing sites to satanic cults ready to take over the world.
Wired magazine’s fascinating article writes:
The astrological specifications for the Guidestones were so complex that Fendley had to retain the services of an astronomer from the University of Georgia to help implement the design. The four outer stones were to be oriented based on the limits of the sun’s yearly migration. The center column needed two precisely calibrated features: a hole through which the North Star would be visible at all times, and a slot that was to align with the position of the rising sun during the solstices and equinoxes. The principal component of the capstone was a 78-inch aperture through which a beam of sunlight would pass at noon each day, shining on the center stone to indicate the day of the year.
The main feature of the monument, though, would be the 10 dictates carved into both faces of the outer stones, in eight languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and Swahili. A mission statement of sorts (LET THESE BE GUIDESTONES TO AN AGE OF REASON) was also to be engraved on the sides of the capstone in Egyptian hieroglyphics, classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Babylonian cuneiform. The United Nations provided some of the translations (including those for the dead languages), which were stenciled onto the stones and etched with a sandblaster.
Read the full article at Weird Wired
According to the Cape Times, six researchers from South Africa are reflecting on what they describe as the fright of their lives after their own close encounter with a great white shark.
The research team from Oceans Research was working off Seal Island, near Mossel Bay, on South Africa’s Cape coast, when the nearly 10-foot-long creature reportedly made its move.
Team leader Dorien Schroder told the newspaper that following more than an hour of shark activity around their boat, the Cheetah, the waters at the stern fell quiet.
“Next thing, I hear a splash and see a great white breach out of the water from one side of the boat hovering, literally, over a crew member chumming on the port side,” she reportedly said.
According to Schroder, the shark landed with half its body in the boat, but in a panic, thrashed its way further onto the vessel, cutting fuel lines and damaging equipment.
As the team scampered toward a safer portion of the boat, the shark reportedly became stuck.
Full Story at MSNBC
(Reuters) – Wild boar are invading the farms of central New York state, attacking livestock, killing family pets, chasing people and posing “devastating consequences” for the area, federal officials warn.
The feral swine are a non-native species suspected of escaping from game farms, and as many as a couple of hundred are roaming the state, said Paul Curtis, a natural resources professor at Cornell University.
While an exact picture of the wild boar population in New York State is unclear, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the swine were successfully breeding in the three counties and producing litters averaging 4 to 6 piglets.
“We’ve shot probably 15 to 20 of them in the last three years,” said Peter Andersen, a third generation farmer in Long Eddy in Sullivan County.
Noting how difficult it is to kill the wild boar, Andersen described what sounded like a scene from a horror movie that could be called “Robo-Swine.”
“We’ve shot them right square in the head and the bullet will glance off and they’ll get up and go. Their skulls are so thick in the front, if you don’t happen to hit it at a perfect 90 degrees, with the way their heads have that kind of curved shape, the bullet will glance right off,” he said.
Full article at Reuters
Latest figures from the US Treasury Department show that the country has an operating cash balance of $73.7bn (£45.3bn).
Apple’s most recent financial results put its reserves at $76.4bn.
The US House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill to raise the country’s debt ceiling, allowing it to borrow more money to cover spending commitments.
If it fails to extend the current limit of $14.3 trillion dollars, the federal government could find itself struggling to make payments, and risks the loss of its AAA credit rating.
The United States is currently spending around $200bn more than it collects in revenue every month.
Apple, on the other hand, is making money hand over fist, according to its financial results.
In the three months ending 25 June, net income was 125% higher than a year earlier at $7.31bn.
Full Story at BBC
Geeks.co.uk couldn’t afford to pay writers – so offered “free room and board” in London when their writers had job interviews, and opportunities in London.
The website – started in Scotland by award-winning journalist Ally Millar – is celebrating its first year in the capital with a fitting party: a sleepover in a location familiar to many of the site’s writers – the editor’s flat.
Although this has been a breakthrough year for the site – finally hitting profit in November – the coffers were so tight that payment came by the 26 year old editor inviting contributors – from as far afield as Ireland and even Denmark – to stay on his sofa when paid work opportunities in London came up.
The site whose motto is “by Geeks for Geeks” exists to display the talents of aspiring artists, photographers, journalists, filmmakers, creative writers, and unsigned musicians and is often compared to a UK-wide student newspaper. It enjoys good relations with institutions from Brighton to Aberdeen; Cardiff to Belfast.
In the past we’ve pinched a few links from these guys, so we feel its only fair to say you should head over and check out the new site and geek out.