News Briefs 04/09/2015

“Those who make no mistakes are making the biggest mistakes of all — they are attempting nothing new.”

Quote of the Day:

“Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep.”

A. de Mello

Electricomics: A New Digital Comics Platform

Electricomics

Electricomics is a brand new, free digital comics platform that debuted this week with original content from the likes of Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Peter Hogan, and our friends Leah Moore and John Reppion. You can download the Electricomics app via this iTunes link.

The bundled content takes advantage of the digital format to explore and extend the capabilities of comics, with user interaction, character movement within panels, and iPad movements to unlock 'parallel storylines' all showcased in their short stories.

Perhaps even more exciting though is the feature that will appear in the next iteration of the Electricomics app:

Coming very soon, you will be able to go to http://Electricomics.net and download the creator tool to your desktop PC or MAC. It lets you lay out, and package your own comics, and read them in the app. You can build Infinite Canvas comics, where the reader follows the story from panel to panel in whichever direction it leads. You can make Panel delivery comics, where you have control of the reading experience at panel level, every panel can be a reveal, and the page is fluid, changing.

The professional comics are a jumping off point, we want you to join in, and push forward what is possible for yourself. Apart from the four free comics, when you start to make your own Electricomics and read those of other people, the App is ready for you:

Maintain control of your own content. We don’t host it, it’s yours. You store it where you like, make what you want out of it. Comics load in the Electricomics App instantly from their URL.

Keep a library of your favourite comics, whether they were made by you, your friends, or your greatest heroes, they are all accessible in the same app.

Open Source code is used throughout, and full access to our JavaScript library, so if you can see a piece of functionality you could add to it, the code is there to use, and we can add it to the next update.

Whatever is added to Electricomics remains Open Source, and the property of the community using it. Take it. Make with it. Improve it. It’s yours.

If you've got an iPad, go grab the app and check it out!

Link: Electricomics for iOS

News Briefs 03-09-2015

  • A deadly match between 2 of the world's most venomous creatures --no, I'm *not* talking about that angry tycoon...
  • Russian idol 3 times as old as the pyramids --the ones in Egypt, you know. Because TDB has never heard of Graham's books, apparently…
  • Cracking the Maya Code: Timeline of Decipherment --Linda Schele FTW!
  • How ​Oliver Sacks helped me deal with my hallucination-inducing headaches.
  • Treating Intellectually-disabled people with anti-psychotics is pretty cray-cray --and f#$%ed up…
  • Interview with the man who was picked by Kennedy to be the first black man in space --and why he was forced to quit.
  • Seth Shostak's op-ed on UFOs is further proof the people more fanatically devoted to the ETH… are the skeptics.
  • Minneapolis deputy's 1979 UFO encounter still 'extraordinarily important' --and still more recent than YOUR 'Wow' signal, Seth!
  • When aliens stopped Terrorism.
  • Radio Misterioso with guest Paul Kimball: Canadian para-conferences, hauntings, synchronicities, and a mysterious EVP during the show!
  • A Trojan Feast's Joshua Cutchin announces his next project --I 'smell' another hit coming ;)
  • Can a video game turn you into a vegan?
  • Is the feeling that we're immortal innate in humans?
  • Be careful your love of Science doesn't turn into a religion.
  • 23 ways to tell you've read waaay too much Robert Anton Wilson.
  • Red Pill of the Day: Auschwitz museum installs gas-chamber-like showers to keep visitors cool --Banksy approves.

Thanks to Bob Ross, godfather of ASMR and master of the happy little trees.

Quote of the Day:

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself"

~George Bernard Shaw

Time Travel Rookie Error: Aiming at Days That Never Existed

Rookie Time Travel Error

Like the Daily Grail on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter for more fascinating articles like this one.

In the year 1752, British and (soon-to-be) American citizens went to bed on the night of September 2nd...and all woke up on September 14th. How did they lose 11 days?

From Roman times, the Western world had worked with a calendar developed by Julius Caesar - the 'Julian Calendar'. But this calendar wasn't perfectly accurate, with its years actually being around 11 minutes out. Which isn't so bad over a few years, but after a millennium or two adds up to days.

By 1582 the mistake had multiplied out to 10 days, and the Catholic Church didn't like what it was doing to the timing of Easter. So Pope Gregory XIII instituted a new calendar - the one we use today (the Gregorian calendar) - but to do so the error needed to be corrected. Pope Gregory therefore decreed that that October 4th 1582 would become October 15th.

Protestants weren't such big fans of the Catholics, so they weren't about to listen to any papal decrees. It took them another 170 years to start instituting the change to the Gregorian calendar, with Britain and its colonies (including the soon to be United States) not changing over until 1752.

By that time, the error in the Julian calendar had built up to 11 days - so to fix the problem, in 1752 September 2nd was immediately followed by September 14th. Children with birth certificates showing each of those two dates were only born a day apart.

And if that isn't confusing enough: at that time the year began on March 25th, but with the calendar revision this was shifted to January 1 - so the year 1752 ran from March 25 to December 31, with September only being 19 days long as well.

This change in calendar results in some odd historical quirks, such as George Washington's birth certificate showing that he was born on February 11, 1731, while his birthday is now celebrated by us on February 22nd, 1732.

An important historical note to remember when setting the dates on your DeLorean!

Introducing 'Magicians of the Gods'

If you thought the last cool thing worth waiting for in 2015 was the release of Episode VII, you're probably not a fan of Alternative History.

For us, there's the long-awaited publication of Graham Hancock's Magicians of the Gods --September 10 in the UK, one month later in the US-- 20 years after his international bet-seller Fingerprints of the Gods implanted the seed for a paradigm shift in our appreciation of the ancient past; a seed which has flourished and blossomed not only because of the Graham's international acclaim, but also because of the archeological evidence discovered after "Fingerprints..." which have proved his basic thesis --the existence of an advanced civilization of megalithic builders, with great knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, which was destroyed after the end of the last Ice Age but not before managing to inculcate their knowledge all around our planet-- to be very much on the right track.

Even though he rightly points out how ours is a species suffering from amnesia, I truly believe Graham's name has secured an enduring place in the annals of History; if nothing else, for inspiring an entire generation to look at our ancient legacy --our heritage as human beings and inhabitants of this wonderful and troubled world-- with fresh new eyes; offering us a vantage view from which to appreciate where we came from, how we got here, and where we are destined to go... if we deign to learn the lessons of our forefathers, that is.

You can pre-order your copy of Magicians of the Gods by clicking here.

Lessons in Magic: Beware Cursive Script!

Summon a Lemon

When magical incantations go sour...

(Cartoon by Jim Benton)

News Briefs 02-09-2015

Your Wednesday weirdness.

Quote of the Day:

Coincidences are spiritual puns

G.K. Chesterton

Apparently the iPhone is the Ant Kaaba

One for the strange animal behaviour file: the video above shows ants circling the phone in an anti-clockwise direction as soon as it starts ringing.

According to scientists consulted in this news story, the attraction may be a magnetic field thing, the vibration of the phone, or just simply 'this is what ants do'.

Although it has to be said: ants and us, we ain't really that different:

News Briefs 01-09-2015

Falling...

Quote of the Day:

You are being force fed the worst the world has to offer, in graphic detail, on a daily basis. It is not natural, healthy, or useful.

John Reppion

Hunting Dogs on Hallucinogens: Why Do People Around The World Get Their Dogs High Before Hunting?

Ancient hunting dogs in a cave painting

Humans and canines have a long history of working together, with the use of hunting dogs stretching back to perhaps 20,000 years ago. And in some cultures, it seems ancient shamanic practices related to hunting success have extended to their four-legged partners: according to a new paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, at least 43 difference species of psychedelic plants have been used in cultures around the world to allegedly improve the performance of hunting dogs.

The researchers focused on the Ecuadorian Shuar and Quichua people - who use at least 22 species "for ethnoveterinary purposes" - trying to determine the possible pharmacological basis for the use of these plants with hunting dogs:

The use of psychoactive substances to improve a dog׳s hunting ability seems counterintuitive, yet its prevalence suggests that it is both adaptive and that it has an underlying pharmacological explanation. We hypothesize that hallucinogenic plants alter perception in hunting dogs by diminishing extraneous signals and by enhancing sensory perception (most likely olfaction) that is directly involved in the detection and capture of game. If this is true, plant substances also might enhance the ability of dogs to detect explosives, drugs, human remains, or other targets for which they are valued.

For more on the topic of animals and psychedelics, see the links below.

Related links: