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2003
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Friday Night Feature: Encounter with "Dimensional Tourists"

This is a very frightening and totally unexplained event that happened to me seven years ago on a lonely, desolate road in Texas. My name is Markham A., and I am a former US Marine (0315-Recon), and I now work in the film industry as a cinematographer. In January of 1997 I was supervising the construction of my first home in north Houston, Texas. At the time, I was dabbling in semi-pro wrestling to make extra money. I had just left a match at a Bingo Hall around 1am, and was driving my Ford Explorer home down FM 1485 (small highway) in Montgomery County. I was thirty minutes into the one hour drive home. There were no other vehicles on the road, and I was not particularly tired or even sleepy. I stopped at a red light and bent down to grab my container of Gatorade. When I looked up, I immediately noticed a bright pair of headlights coming up behind me very fast! I jammed on the accelerator and proceeded to avoid getting hit. For the next mile or so, this vehicle rode my butt and woul

Visionary Scientist

I had the occasion to interview and photograph tonight's guest, Dr. Michio Kaku for After Dark back in 2000. It was a crisp September morning, when I dropped by Dr. Kaku's office at City College in New York City, where he has been a professor for the last 28 years. As might be expected, his office was filled with books, papers and journals—it even had a blackboard in it! Here is an excerpt from our interview: LL: It seems like the future is littered with certain dangers that you outlined in the book (Visions), such as by 2050 there could be self-aware styled robots. You can imagine the Frankensteinian possibilities that they could replace or destroy us. MK: There's that possibility. There's also a possibility that we may want to merge with them. By the late 21st century we should be able to tinker with not just one gene at a time but hundreds or thousands of genes at a time and we may be able to interface the human brain better than we can today. So it gives us the option of

Biochemistry of Love

Peggy LaCerra has studied cognitive neuroscience to develop her theories about the evolution of the human mind. As mind and brain studies continue, new information is coming forth about little-researched emotions such as love. In an article in the latest Discover, Steven Johnson writes about how studies have shown that a brain peptide called oxytocin may contribute towards feelings of love and romantic relationships. Neuroscientist Sue Carter examined the brain of prairie voles, a rodent species known for their unusually monogamous couplings, and found when they were injected with oxytocin they bonded more rapidly. But when the natural oxytocin in their brains was blocked, the voles coupled indiscriminately. There is some evidence that a similar chemical process is going in humans, and enhanced levels of oxytocin have been noted during such bonding experiences as childbirth, breast feeding and sexual relations. "Some scientists believe oxytocin works in tandem with the bod

Dirty Money

Among the types of germs that Dr. Philip Tierno has looked at, include those found on paper currency. A study by Dr. Peter Ender of the Wright Patterson Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio found that dollar bills might be capable of spreading disease. To gather a sample to study, they swapped new for old bills at a concession stand and grocery store. Among the 68 bills they gathered, just four were found to be free of bacterial contaminants. Of the remaining dollars, 59 had microbes such as Streptococcus that can cause infections in hospitalized people or those with compromised immune systems. The remaining five bills had bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae that can cause infection in healthy people. "One-dollar bills are widely used and each is exchanged many times…If some bills are contaminated with bacteria, there is potential to spread these organisms from person to person," Ender told a meeting of microbiologists. But he cautioned that the small sa

Spotlight on: The Michigan Plates

Tonight's guest Glenn Kimball has been associated with the publication Ancient American, which examines archaeological evidence that may indicate there were non-indigenous visitors here before the time of Columbus. For instance, in the article Christ in North America writer Wayne May takes a look at the controversial "Michigan Plates," relics which were first reported in a newspaper in 1879. The objects "feature portrayals of familiar scenes mostly of the Old Testament and three or more, undeciphered written scripts, together with depictions of what appear to be persons from Europe or the Near East in hostile interaction with Native Americans," May writes. Although dismissed by most archaeologists as being fraudulent, some antiquarians believe the artifacts were made by an "Old World" religious community who lived in the Michigan area during the fourth century A.D. or before. May reports that thousands of related tablets were unearthed by locals clearing forests and roads over

Life Elsewhere

Tonight's guest, Dr. David Darling, has pondered the idea of life in the universe. Many scientists have found the popular portrayal of humanoid-styled aliens as being statistically unlikely and a case of anthropomorphizing. "Looking at the diversity of life on Earth and thinking about how it has evolved should convince anyone that any aliens will have as much resemblance to us as a doorknob," said Daniel Altshculer, the director of the Arecibo Observatory. Certainly it's a difficult task to imagine life so dissimilar to ours, that to us it wouldn't even be life. "Our kind of life, biochemical life- needs water…But it wouldn't surprise me at all that we found other kinds of non-water based life. You can find self-replicating vortices in the atmosphere of the sun. There are all sorts of self-reproducing systems in all sorts of environments," said biology expert Dr. Jack Cohen in an interview on ThinkQuest. One topic that's been batted around in both scientific and science-ficti

Friday Night Feature: A Dangerous Encounter

--by Maria R. Late one night while I was laying in bed waiting for the Art Bell program to come on, I was attacked by several entities. This was not the first time I had been attacked by these creatures, but the first time while I was wide awake (I had insomnia) and never by more than one. I was lying in bed listening to the local news and all of a sudden they came through the mattress and lifted me off the bed. Well, I can tell you it happened so fast that I didn't have time to respond. Here I am, wide awake with these things levitating me and I am completely paralyzed. I can't move a muscle, my arms and legs are dangling in mid air, and they're beneath me pushing me higher up toward the ceiling. I then realize to my horror that they are lifting me up toward the ceiling fan. I can't do a thing about it because I am completely immobilized. When my face is only about a 2 inches from being pushed into the ceiling fan I hear a voice loud in my head saying very calmly 'they can only

Spotlight on: Mayan Prophecy

Among the books tonight's guest Maurice Cotterell has written is a fascinating treatise called The Mayan Prophecies (co-authored with Adrian Gilbert). When Cotterell was working as an electrical engineer at the Cranfield Institute of Technology, he developed a computation that correlated the relationship between the sun's magnetic field and the Earth. His calculations yielded the known 11.5-year sunspot cycle but he also discovered evidence of much longer cycles-- including one of 1,366,040 days. When Cotterell found that the Mayan Holy Number (1,366,560 days) nearly matched his number, he realized there could be a connection. He traveled to a Mayan ceremonial center in Palenque, Mexico to study their inscriptions. "Imagine my astonishment when I realized that my discoveries about the sun, and how its cycles affect life on earth, had all been discovered before; by the Maya more than 1,250 years ago," he wrote. According to Cotterell, the Mayan Holy Number refers to the "birthdate

Spotlight on: Interpol

David Bannon's thriller-like book Race Against Evil recounts his experiences working for Interpol. While most have heard of Interpol, it has a mysterious connotation for many. "We're seen as a semi-mythical organization of super-sleuths, (but) we want to get rid of that myth," Peter Nevitt (Interpol's Director of Internet Security) told CIO Magazine. Indeed Interpol, claims it is not a secretive agency populated by spies and double agents. "Interpol's mission is to promote international police co-operation i.e. to help officers from different police forces, countries, languages, and cultures to co-operate with one another and work together to solve crime," explains a fact sheet on the Interpol website. Over the years more and more nations have joined Interpol and they now have network of 181 charter member countries. The eighty-year old organization, which once sent data out using Morse code, now uses the Internet to house a secure database of information available in four la

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