Dec 6, 2019


Report: Former Tallahassee priest misused power to sexually abuse men

A founder of St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee has been removed from the priesthood after a report revealed new details surrounding allegations of him subjecting men at the church to sexual harassment.

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In 2003, leadership of the Episcopal Church approved the election of an openly gay man to the position of bishop and moved closer towards acceptance of same-sex marriage. The decision led many leaders and churches, including Dudley, to leave the Episcopal Church.

In 2005, Dudley resigned from St. John's due to “deeply unrepentant heresies” in the Episcopal Church and announced he was starting a new church.

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In late August, Dudley suddenly resigned, something the report notes may have been prompted by a bishop making a formal accusation after received multiple reports about Dudley's misconduct.

Tony Robbins accused of sexually assaulting teen at summer camp in 1985

Self-help guru Tony Robbins was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at an elite California summer camp in 1985, according to a new report.

Robbins, then 25, was hired as a “star speaker” at SuperCamp in Oceanside, and, after his session, allegedly pinned the underage girl’s arms behind her back before kissing her and groping her breasts, BuzzFeed News reported.

The article is the sixth in a series by BuzzFeed on sexual misconduct allegations against Robbins. He’s also been accused of groping and harassing fans and staffers and berating rape victims. He has denied the allegations.

Shortly after Thursday’s article was published, Robbins wrote in a Medium blog post that he was suing BuzzFeed for “following a premeditated and malicious campaign against me and my life’s work.”

Pope Francis says today's 'culture of hate' reminds him of the days of Hitler

Pope Francis said some of the things he's heard targeting Jews and the LGBTQ community remind him of the days of Adolf Hitler.

The pope made the remarks Friday while speaking to members of the International Association of Penal Law, which is meeting this week in Rome.

"I confess that when I hear some speeches by someone responsible for public order or a government, I am reminded of Hitler's speeches in 1934 and 1936," the pope said. "They are typical actions of Nazism which with its persecutions of Jews, gypsies, people of homosexual orientation, represent a negative model 'par excellence' of a throwaway culture and a culture of hate."

"That's what they did then and today these things are resurfacing," the pope added, calling on his audience "to be vigilant, both in civil and religious society, to avoid any possible compromise...with such degeneration."

Iron Age shield found in Pocklington is "one of most important ancient finds this millennium"

After centuries underground, the dirt-encrusted object gave little hint of what it would reveal.

But painstaking conservation work has revealed what experts are now hailing as “the most important British Celtic art object of the millennium”.

The remarkably well preserved bronze shield, with a swirling pattern design, formed part of a unique chariot burial, which also contained the upright skeletons of two ponies found on a building site at Pocklington in 2018.

Its owner, a highly regarded member of his community, was in his late 40s or older when he died, between 320BC to 174BC.

A Kansas Find Reveals A 17-foot, Previously Unknown, Long-Extinct Shark Species

Paleontologist Mike Everhart had found a rib from a plesiosaur — an ancient ocean reptile — on the Ringneck Ranch in north-central Kansas in 2009. He returned in early spring 2010 searching for more bones.

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The ground was muddy that day, which made searching for more fossils impractical. Then a snowstorm hit the ranch. Everhart and the group came back a month later and began finding vertebrae and shark teeth.

In November, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology published an article detailing the shark finding by Everhart and shark fossil expert and paleontology professor Kenshu Shimada.

They’d discovered a long-extinct shark species that had navigated waters that once covered Kansas.

3,000-year-old tablet describing Babylonian Noah's Ark tale could be 'earliest ever example of fake news,' scholar says

Researcher Martin Worthington notes that nine lines in the clay tablets that tell the story of the Gilgamesh Flood can be understood in several different ways, thanks to deceitful language from the Babylonian god called Ea, whom he believes was motivated by self-interest.

“Ea tricks humanity by spreading fake news," Worthington said in a statement. "He tells the Babylonian Noah, known as Uta–napishti, to promise his people that food will rain from the sky if they help him build the ark. What the people don’t realize is that Ea’s nine-line message is a trick: it is a sequence of sounds that can be understood in radically different ways, like English ‘ice cream’ and ‘I scream’."

“While Ea’s message seems to promise a rain of food, its hidden meaning warns of the Flood," Worthington added. "Once the ark is built, Uta–napishti and his family clamber aboard and survive with a menagerie of animals. Everyone else drowns. With this early episode, set in mythological time, the manipulation of information and language has begun. It may be the earliest ever example of fake news.”

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The ancient epic poem of Gilgamesh is widely believed to be among the earliest known works of literature and the second oldest religious text. The Gilgamesh Flood story is known from clay tablets that date back approximately 3,000 years, including the Flood Tablet, discovered by Assyriologist George Smith in 1872. It is currently located at the British Museum.

Nasa's Parker Solar Probe beams back first insights from sun's edge

Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe, which has flown closer to the sun than any spacecraft, has beamed back its first observations from the edge of the sun’s scorching atmosphere.

The first tranche of data offers clues to long-standing mysteries, including why the sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, is hundreds of times hotter than its surface, as well as the precise origins of the solar wind.

“The first three encounters of the solar probe that we have had so far have been spectacular,” said Prof Stuart Bale, a physicist at the University of California, in Berkeley, who led the analysis from one of the craft’s instruments. “We can see the magnetic structure of the corona, which tells us that the solar wind is emerging from small coronal holes; we see impulsive activity, large jets or switchbacks, which we think are related to the origin of the solar wind. And we are also surprised by the ferocity of the dust environment.”

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The findings are reported in three papers in the journal Nature.

Saturn's moon Titan is a lot like Earth, new research finds

Using newly analyzed data from NASA’s Cassini mission, astronomers published a study in Nature Astronomy this week regarding a new map of the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. The first-of-its-kind map reveals a world that is similar-looking to Earth — specifically, Titan is chock-full of mountains, plains, valleys, craters and lakes. This makes it unlike anywhere else in the solar system, except Earth. Intriguingly, even Titan's atmosphere is similar to Earth’s atmosphere in its ancient days.

“Titan has an active methane-based hydrologic cycle that has shaped a complex geologic landscape, making its surface one of most geologically diverse in the Solar System,”  the authors of the study state in the paper. “Despite the differences in materials, temperatures and gravity fields between Earth and Titan, many of their surface features are similar and can be interpreted as products of the same geologic processes.”

While researchers already had insight into the moon’s diverse terrain, the new analysis and map revealed some surprises.

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Titan’s diversity and similarities to Earth make the moon a place to find microbial life.

NASA has found sugar in meteorites that crashed to Earth

Meteorites that crashed into Earth billions of years contain sugars, researchers say, lending support to the idea that asteroids may hold some of the ingredients to life.

An international team of scientists found "bio-essential" sugars in meteorites, which also contain other biologically important compounds, according to a press release from NASA on Tuesday.

Asteroids -- rocky near-Earth objects which orbit the sun -- are the parent bodies of most meteorites. And the theory suggests that chemical reactions within asteroids can create some of the elements essential to life.

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The researchers found sugars like arabinose and xylose -- but the most significant finding was ribose.

Over 140 New Nazca Lines—Including Strange Humanoids—Discovered in Peru

Over 100 new geoglyphs depicting fish, snakes and humanoids, among other things, have been identified near Nazca, Peru—thanks, at least in part, to artificial intelligence.

Researchers at Yamagata University and IBM Japan used AI technology belonging to the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York to locate 142 geoglyphs, which are thought to date back to a period between 100 BCE and 300 CE. A plethora of living things are represented in this ancient artwork, from fish and birds to monkeys, camelids and humanoids.

They were constructed by removing rocks, leaving a negative image in the white sand below.

The longest piece identified is larger than the Statue of Liberty, measuring more than 100 meters from tip-to-tip, and the smallest is 5 meters—approximately the same size as Michelangelo's David.

Top cosmologist's lonely battle against 'Big Bang' theory

James Peebles won this year's Nobel prize in physics for helping transform the field of cosmology into a respected science, but if there's one term he hates to hear, it's "Big Bang Theory."

The leading explanation for the universe in its earliest periods has held sway for decades, with Peebles' early work investigating cosmic background radiation helping to cement many of the details.

But "the first thing to understand about my field is that its name, Big Bang Theory, is quite inappropriate," the 84-year-old told a rapt audience at an event honoring US-based Nobel Prize winners at a Swedish Embassy event in Washington on Wednesday.

"It connotes the notion of an event and a position, both of which are quite wrong," he continued, adding there is in fact no concrete evidence for a giant explosion.

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