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Posted on Friday, August 30 - 2013

The Cabinet Secretariat of India.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 Laurie Jones

Maharashtra has imposed the new law in response to the recent killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The comprehensive new bill makes it illegal for anyone to engage in superstitious practices such as black magic and witchcraft.

Maharashtra is the first state in India to enact such a law which could lead to similar restrictions being imposed elsewhere in the country.The recent death of Narendra Dabholkar, the rationalist founder of a movement opposing superstitious practices, has been seen asthe catalyst that prompted accelerated action by the state government.Dabholkar was gunned down by an unknown assailant while out walking on August 20th, prompting widespread protests across the state.

Source: NewIndian Express

Views : 4646

Posted on Friday, August 30 - 2013

India"s Chang"e-2 spacecraft.
Image Credit: Wikipedia

China is stepping up its space program with plans to launch a lunar probe before the year is out. The mission willrepresent the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another world and will be the second phase of their lunar program.

The probe, known as Chang"e-3, is scheduled to launch later this year from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China."Chang"e-3 has officially entered its launch stage, following its research and manufacture period," the space agency said in a statement. Tests of the carrierrocket and launch systems have already been successfully carried out."The Chang"e-3 mission makes best use of a plethora of innovative technology," said lunar program chief commander Ma Xingrui. "It is an extremely difficult mission, that carries great risk."

Source: Xinhua

Views : 4585

Posted on Thursday, August 29 - 2013

Could all life on Earth have originated on Mars ?
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

New evidence suggests that life on our planet may have arrived here after first developing on Mars. The revolutionary theory will be presented at the annual Goldschmidt conference today and is based on new evidence that backs up the notion that life didn"t originate on Earth at all but instead was carried here from Mars on meteorites.Professor Steven Benner is due to present the findings thatsuggest that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, thought to be a crucial component in the development of life, would have only been present on the surface of Mars."It"s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed," he said.

"This form of molybdenum couldn"t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It"s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."Furthermore, early Earth is likely to have had so much water coverage that this would haveimpeded life"s development. The evidence even points to the likelihood that the conditions favorable to the origins of life on Mars are actually still present there now."The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," said Benner. "It"s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell."

Source: Goldschmidt PressRelease

Views : 4638

Posted on Thursday, August 29 - 2013

A photo of the strange footprint engravings.
Image Credit: Nitish Priyadarshi

Geologist Nitish Priyadarshi has identified some unusual rock carvings near a small Indian village. According to local lore, the mysterious footprints represent the location at which the "sky gods" landedthousands of years ago.

Engraved in to pure granite, the prints have the appearance of the type of sandals worn in the region in ancient times and measure between 10 and 11 inches in length.Perhaps the most interesting point of all however is the presence of an engraved image of what Priyadarshi believes to be a "flying object"."The footprints and the flying object are on the same piece of rock on each other"s side," he told the Epoch Times. "Maybe they were engraved to show that the two king gods arrived at the place ona flying object."The exact age of the engravings is unclear however Priyadarshi believes that the weathering indicates that they are likely to date back thousands of years in accordance with the legend."We live in a highly advanced, technical world, but there are nevertheless a great many mysteries all around us," he said.

Source: EpochTimes

Views : 4872

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