Thursday, April 06, 2006

Today's fun news!

  • Scientist: Jesus May Have Walked on Ice: Jesus walked on water, according to the Bible, but a Florida State University professor says he may have actually walked on a hard-to-see patch of ice.
    Doron Nof, a professor of oceanography, said a rare combination of water and atmospheric conditions in the Sea of Galilee 2000 years ago may offer a scientific explanation for one of the miracles recounted in the Bible.
    Nof said a patch of ice floating in the Sea of Galilee _ which is actually a freshwater lake _ would have been difficult to distinguish from unfrozen water surrounding it.
    "I'm not trying to provide any information that has to do with theology here," Nof said in an interview Wednesday. "All we've thought is about the natural process. What theologians or anybody else does with that, it's their business, so to speak."

  • Libby da fink?? Bush da fink?? Libby court papers: Cheney said Bush OK'd intelligence leak: Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors that his boss said President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.
    Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

  • Ancient Pyramid Discovered in Mexico
    Ancient Pyramid Discovered Under Site of Crucifixion Re-Enactments
    By MARK STEVENSON, The Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY (April 6, 2006) -- Archeologists announced on Wednesday they have discovered a massive 6th-century Indian pyramid beneath a centuries-old Catholic religious site.

    Built on a hillside by the mysterious Teotihuacan culture, the pyramid was abandoned almost 1,000 years before Christians began re-enacting the Crucifixion there in the 1800s.

    "When they first saw us digging there, the local people just couldn't believe there was a pyramid," said archaeologist Jesus Sanchez. "It was only when the slopes and shapes of the pyramid, the floors with altars were found, that the finally believed us."

Maria Flores, an archaeologist working on the excavation of a pre-Hispanic structure in Mexico City, Mexico, Wednesday, April 5, 2006. Archeologists said they have discovered a massive 6th-century Indian pyramid beneath the site of a centuries-old re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ. Built on a hillside by the mysterious Teotihuacan culture, the pyramid was abandoned almost 1,000 years before Catholics began re-enacting the Crucifixion there in the 1800s, unaware they were celebrating one of the holiest moments of their faith on a site originally dedicated to gods of earth, wind and rain. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Ceramic fragments and the presence of other ceremonial structures on the hill suggested the possibility there was a pyramid or temple somewhere nearby, but the theory wasn't proved until a member of Sanchez's team, Miriam Advincula, started a project to map the site in 2004. Exploratory trenches dug in 2005 and 2006 confirmed the find.

"Both the pre-Hispanic structure and the Holy Week rituals are part of our cultural legacy, so we have to look for a way to protect both cultural values," said Sanchez, who, along with archaeologist Miriam Advincula, has been exploring the site since 2004.

The people of Iztapalapa now a low-income neighborhood plagued by squatter settlements began re-enacting the Passion of Christ in 1833, to give thanks for divine protection during a cholera epidemic.

During the ritual, which draws as many as a million spectators every year, a wooden cross is raised just a few yards from the buried remains of the Teotihuacan temple, and a man chosen to portray Christ is tied to the cross.

Archeologists said they will fill in the excavation pits that revealed the pyramid to prevent the structure from being damaged by Good Friday spectators.

Measuring nearly 500 feet on each side, the 60-foot-tall pyramid was carved out on a natural hillside around 500 A.D., the scientists said. It was abandoned about 300 years later when the Teotihuacan culture collapsed.


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