Noah's Ark clip art

Noah's Ark - Have they found it this time?

Ah, so they’ve found Noah’s Ark again. Is this Ark no.1 or Ark no.2 or…oh, I don’t know, I give up.

Controversy is raging around the world over the reported discovery of the Ark, 4,800 years after it is believed to have come to rest on a mountain in Turkey. There have been claims before that the Ark had been discovered on Mt Ararat after a huge boat-like structure of what was thought to have been petrified wood, was found by religious groups – but that ‘Ark’ has been largely dismissed as a natural geographical look-alike.
Now a team of fundamentalist Christians say they have ‘99.9 percent’ evidence they have found the Ark’s final resting place. Digging underground on the slopes of Mt Ararat, they say they have found chambers where the two-by-two animals that Noah is recorded in the Bible as taking on board before a great flood swept the land were kept.
It is said that if the group really have found the Ark, it would be the greatest coup in the history of archaelogy. Terrific. Inspiring. We all want to believe it.
But I, for one, dragged to my local Baptist church by relatives when I was younger and where I learned virtually every Old and New Testament story back to front, have my doubts that this is the Ark. Common sense in my older wisdom tells me that a ship that could hold two of each animal species from the Middle East – let alone the world – would have to be enormous.
All right, so Noah, warned by God that a huge flood was coming, set about building his Ark. Where on earth did he find all those long planks, the length of a football field, that would be required to make a huge boat? How did he make it totally waterproof? Boatbuilders say that keeping out leaks in a wooden boat that size would be a huge problem. Water seeping, or perhaps pouring, in would make the vessel unstable and just think of the size of the rudder that would be needed to keep a straight course – an army of men would be needed to manoeuvre it.
Mike Pitt, a British archaeologist, notes that if there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship some 4km up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, there would have to be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world. And there isn’t.
The story of Noah and his Ark is in the Book of Genesis and relates how God commanded him to build the vast ship for himself, his family and ‘two of every sort of animal’. Then we learn how the flood waters rose until all life, except fish, is destroyed.
The question then arises, says Oxford University lecturer Nicholas Purcel, how the complex societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, already centuries old, survived.
Perhaps the ‘new’ Ark, will give us some answers. Unless it turns out to be the remnants of an ancient mountain hut.
But as I said earlier, I want to believe…I really do.
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An Email From a Werewolf!

On 25/04/2010, in News, by admin
werewolf and full moon

They're Coming Out....!

A few months ago, I reported on a scientist’s findings that people with the tendancies of werewolves – humans who change into terrifying flesh-ripping monsters under a full moon – exist among us.

The announcement was the result of a serious study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia, which told how in just one year, between August 2008 and July 2009, no less than 91 emergency patients suffering violent, acute disturbances comparable to mythical werewolves were admitted to a hospital in Newcastle, north of Sydney.
A quarter of these occured on a night of a full moon and some of these people attacked the hospital staff like animals – biting, spitting and scratching. Scientist Leonie Calver, a clinical research nurse in toxicology, added in her study: ‘One might compare them with the werewolves of the past, who are said to have also appeared during the full moon.’
Since reporting those findings, I have received several emails from people claiming to be werewolves, or who believe they are going through changes. This month, an American teenager has contacted me on three occasions insisting he is going through ‘changes’. I make no further comment as I reproduce his latest email here:
‘I‘ve just recently realized what I am. There is another one of my kind that goes to my school. One day I got really mad and started freaking out. He was able to calm me down and told me what I was. I’m 17, still in high school. I still haven’t had my first change, but it’s close to that time. I’m faster, stronger, have better senses than most humans. I say most because I have a friend who has spent so much time with us, he’s taken on some of our attributes. I constantly have to chew something(like a dog/wolf). Never really fit in anywhere, until I met the other Werewolf. I was born a werewolf. The gene passes down through the generations until it finds the right host, sometimes skipping dozens of generations. Neither of my parents were as far as I know. I constantly twitch. The closer I get to my first change the worse it’ll get. We are only forced to change our first time, after that it is at will. We are aware of everything. The moon does not force us to change, but she makes it easier…’
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Chinese ship Shen Neng1

The Chinese ship Shen Neng1 throws up coral dust while stranded on the Great Barrier Reef. Pic EPA

A Chinese cargo ship which smashed into the famous Great Barrier Reef earlier this month gouged a massive one-mile-long channel through the fabulous coral.

The damage was so severe, said scientists, that it could take more than 20 years for the reef to recover from the 250 yard wide scar created by the rogue coal-carrying vessel, the Shen Neng 1, which has been accused of taking a short cut through the reef, off the Queensland coast.
‘This is by far the largest ship grounding scar we have seen on the Great Barrier Reef to date,’ said Mr David Wachenfeld, chief scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority.
‘This vessel did not make an impact in one place and rest there and was then pulled off. There is massive damage.’
In fact, said divers who inspected the vessel when it was finally pulled clear of the reef  late on Monday, April 12,  it hit the coral at so much speed that it kept going after the initial impact, crushing all the colourful undersea outcrops in its path.
Apart from the collision damage to the reef – a major tourist attraction – the coral had been placed in extreme danger from paint that had ‘rubbed off’ from the vessel’s hull.
The marine park authority’s chairman, Mr Russell Reichelt, said that as well as the collision damage, the toxic paint had already begun killing the coral.
As the Sheng Nen 1 was towed to safe waters off Great Keppel Island – where work will continue to make it safe to sail on to China – Mr Reichelt told of his concerns for the reef.
‘The paint that’s scraped off onto the reef is killing corals in its vicinity,’ he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
‘It could be weeks before the full extent of the damage is known and lessons must be learned from this grounding,’ he said.
The captain of the Sheng Nen 1, which is named after a mediaeval Chinese emperor, has been accused by conservationists of taking a short cut close to the reef on its journey north along the Queensland coast, instead of heading further out to sea.
For many of the nine days the coal-carrier was stranded a white plume could be seen around the vessel, evidence that the hull was crushing coral as it moved with the swell and the wind.
A team of marine scientists, aided by divers, is at the scene of the grounding to carry out a full assessment of the environmental damage.
A full report will be given to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett as authorities consider charging the captain and the owners of the vessel.
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