Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, October 29

New and promising medical treatments debut. The futurism of Back to the Future is examined and compared to our own culture. And the truth about meat and cancer is reviewed. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly take on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common chronic conditions in the world, affecting between 2 and 2.5 million globally and causing a significant impact on quality of life. For years the disease has evaded attempts to cure or treat it. But could that be changing? The Guardian reports on a new, experimental treatment which appears to have cut relapses in the disease by almost 50%.

Typically, when we think of a garden we imagine a sunlit pavilion of vegetation. But not all gardens are above ground. Bloomberg takes a look at a new subterranean park in New York City, with a gallery of images showing off the unique environment.

A lot of discussion was made recently about the observation of a star 1500 light-years away whose light showed an uncharacteristic level of dimming unexplained by expected phenomena. Speculation immediately abounded over whether or not the strange dimming was caused by a massive superstructure created by an alien civilization? How likely is that? Phil Plait, astronomer, considers the facts and offers his opinion.

For years, October 21, 2015 was known to many people as the date on which Marty McFly arrived in his future during Back to the Future Part II. Now the date has come and passed. How does our present compare to Marty's future? Scientific American takes a look.

Headlines were made last week when the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that processed meats, such as sausage and bacon, had been identified as a definite contributor to bowel cancer. Immediately, comparisons were made to tobacco, another known link to cancer. But exactly how large of an impact does processed meat have on your cancer risk and how worried should you be? Casey Dunlop, writing for Cancer Research UK, explains that while you should probably cut back a little on the bacon you don't need to panic.

Top image by Mattes

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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