It may not have been the one that killed off the dinosaurs, but a massive comet soared into Earth's atmosphere about 28 million years ago and exploded upon entry, raining down a "shockwave of fire" that killed off everything in its path and created a sea of silica glass spread out over a 6,000 square kilometer area in the Sahara desert.
This discovery marks the first ever definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, says a team of South African scientists and international collaborators that plans to announce its findings Thursday.
"Comets always visit our … Read more
By now it's almost cliche to note Twitter's involvement in breaking geopolitical news. The service has become so widely used globally, that it's almost expected to be part of any big story.
Even so, it was fascinating to watch Mohamed Morsi's use of the medium as he struggled to retain his presidency -- even after the Egyptian military officially declared him to be unemployed.
There have been plenty of far-out theories about otherworldly alien visitations of the ancient Egyptians, especially those involving aliens building the pyramids. That's all a load of bunk, but at least now we have a real scientist-approved story involving ancient Egyptians and objects from space.
Strings of unusual iron beads were excavated from a burial site near Cairo in 1911. The beads date back to around 3300 BCE. It took more than 100 years for scientists to conclusively sort out what they are made from. As it turns out, they are fashioned from meteorites.… Read more
Update: 11:30 AM PT Earlier today, the U.S. embassy in Cairo pulled a tweet that managed to annoy Egypt's government. The apparently innocuous link to a "Daily Show" episode from earlier in the week, which tweaked Egypt's government for going after a prominent television critic, had quickly transmogrified into a mini-diplomatic crisis yesterday after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's office tweeted a tart response: "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda."
In the last year the two governments have … Read more
Update: 5:09 PM PT The only thing missing from this contretemps is Stephen Colbert coming to the rescue. On second thought, scratch that. Bad idea.
But mark this one down as the latest episode in the annals of humorless politicians who wouldn't know a funny punchline if their lives depended on it. Turns out that the the office of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi did not at all care when the U.S. Egyptian Embassy retweeted a link to an episode of "The Daily Show" in which host Jon Stewart skewered the government for ordering the arrest … Read more
Egypt's naval forces arrested three divers cutting through an undersea Internet cable today, the country's military representative said, raising the possibility that saboteurs are behind severed lines and days-long Internet disruptions.
A coast-guard patrol stopped a fishing boat near Alexandria and arrested three men "while they were cutting a submarine cable" line belonging to Telecom Egypt, the country's main communications company, Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said on his official Facebook page. The page offered no details on the divers' identities, according to published reports.
It was not immediately clear if the divers were responsible for … Read more
The Web has made it hard to censor things.
Principally because it is both so open and so Byzantine that there are simply so many things out there for a budding censor to sink his opprobrium into.
I can remember when I lived in Singapore and my NFL VHS's -- mailed to me from Switzerland -- were pored over by men and women with extremely sharp eyes and ears that became highly attuned to the sound of John Madden saying "Boom!"
So imagine how much hard work the world's online censors are having to do.
Egypt … Read more
When we first looked into the ancient d20 die from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it spurred a lot of geeky excitement. The only thing that might have been more fun would have been uncovering an ancient Egyptian Atari cartridge.
Readers quickly chimed in about getting a replica made. There were pleas for ThinkGeek to get busy on it, or for someone with Autodesk and a 3D printer to tackle the project. Cornerstone Gaming on Shapeways has officially made it across the 3D-printed-ancient-die finish line.… Read more
An Egyptian administrative court ordered Google's YouTube suspended for a month as a penalty for broadcasting the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims," which mocks the prophet Muhammad, according to a Reuters report.
The 13-minute film, originally uploaded to YouTube in July 2012, was a trailer for a movie produced in the U.S. It denigrates the prophet Muhammad as a buffoonish molester, and it sparked violence and outrage throughout Muslim countries in September of 2012.
At the time of the unrest last fall, Google determined that "Innocence of Muslims" did not violate YouTube's community … Read more