Some scientists are manipulating genes in bizarre ways that seem to have no practical use. Are they creating science or art? Or are they just making monsters?

New Scientist reports that Laura Cinti has created a cactus that grows human hair. She says, “Hair is a sign of reproduction, a sign of our bodies changing, becoming or being sexual. So the cactus with hair becomes a sexual symbol.” To create it, she combined human genetic material with cactus DNA. She says, “Bald men are particularly interested in the work.”

Alas, most of her genetically-modified cacti are not doing well. “They’ve been imploding, shriveling,” she says.
read more

More UFOs are showing up in Canada. Diana Luca and her mother were sitting in her kitchen when they looked out the window and spotted a UFO. It was shaped like a Frisbee and red and shiny. Luca says, “It still freaks me out. I could see it flying behind the trees and on top of the shorter trees.” Luca called to her husband Mark Murphy to come look. When he saw the UFO, he grabbed his camcorder and filmed it. In The Vancouver Courier, reporter Naoibh O’Connor describes the tape: “From the right side of the screen, a small, shiny object moves towards the center, then heads rapidly towards the camera. As it gets closer, it becomes a round, black form that vibrates slightly, at one point turning on its side, giving it the cigar more

The Sun nearly shut down the Earth last November when a wave of massive explosions on the Sun threatened power grids all over the world. This solar flare, which hasn’t been measured until now, was so violent that satellite detectors were unable to record its true size. It shot charged electrical particles and gas into space at two million miles per hour. Scientists in New Zealand say it almost caused unimaginable destruction.
read more

These days as never before, Americans are inflamed by politics. Radio and television commentators cynically howl out extremist poppycock in order to get attention and the ratings and money that go with them. The print media panders to the powers that be, rehashing press releases instead of doing real reporting.

The result is predictable: people are as overwrought as they are misinformed.
read more