Finally had the chance to see Gravity last week.
It was such a powerful experience, I completely forgot to feel some foolish nationalistic pride over the fact it had been directed by a compatriot.
But I'm sure the pride will return if the Academy doesn't give Cuarón the Oscar. You have been warned, Hollywood!
- Guess what, Dawkins? Turns out Genesis might have been right after all.
- A secret look into the late Arthur C Clarke's home in Sri Lanka.
- 1 in 5 stars in our galaxy have planets which could host life, new study finds.
- UFO sightings on the rise, 'thanks' to unmanned drones.
- Keeping up with the OpenMindians: Alejandro Rojas takes the Kardashians to a Dreamland roadtrip.
- Peer inside the Box of Crazy if you dare!
- The Grimerica Show talks to Robert W Sullivan IV, 32nd degree Mason & author of The Royal Arch of Enoch [Amazon US & UK].
MothraMothman sighting in Japan?
- Camp Century: The 'research' facility the US built in Greenland under the ice, whose real purpose was to store nuclear weapons.
- Thorium: The fuel of the future?
- Score 1 for Conspiracy theorists: Arafat may have been poisoned with radioactive polonium.
- Man, what DIDN'T kill King Tut??!
- Zana, the Russian Almasti captured in the XIXth century, had 100% Sub-Saharian DNA. Escaped slave, or remnant of an ancient tribe of humans?
- How English slowly became the (un)official language of Science.
- If all the ice in the poles melted, Florida would be swallowed by the sea --although perhaps many Americans would see that as an improvement…
- Red Pill of the Day: So long, Jar Jar!
Quote of the Day:
“The wish not to believe can influence as strongly as the wish to believe.”
- "Fairy-Tale Physics", by Jim Baggott.
- "Beyond Neuroscience: The Challenge of Yoga", by Donald J. DeGracia.
- "What's Next?", by Dean Radin.
- "The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor", by Gerald H. Pollack.
Grab a free PDF of EdgeScience 16 from the SSE website, or the print version from MagCloud. If you do grab the free PDF, please consider a small donation to help the EdgeScience team continue with this excellent publication, via the button on the webpage. There's also a link to join the SSE on that page if you want to keep up with the latest academic research into the fringe areas of science.
IT'S A CONSPIRACY! Or maybe just a sad unfolding of disagreements.
The fact of the matter is that, after just 6 weeks, Art Bell's new 'Dark Matter' radio show on SiriusXM has met an untimely departure. According to Bell, the program was rife with problems from the get go:
"Many thousands of my listeners came on board when it began but they have fallen off because of that reason," Bell said. "It's a systemic problem. For a caller-driven show like this one, speaking only to people on cell phones in moving vehicles is somewhat difficult.
"The show also is being pirated, oh you have no idea. We are all over the Net right now, from YouTube to a server in England, for example, that's streaming the show live. And because of all this, I have asked SiriusXM to alter their normal method of doing business and allow free streaming for everybody from artbell.com.
It doesn't take a psychic to guess Sirius said No...
Bell's departure could be attributed to problems with the platform. Or it could also have been the logical result of him losing touch with how quickly things have changed not only on the paranormal radio arena, but also with the consumption of content on the Internet. Having as recurring guests the usual suspects of his glory days --Linda Moulton Howe, Richard Hoagland, etc-- might have also been counter-productive into attracting a new audience willing to subscribe to Sirius.
But who knows? The Master of Paranormal Radio might still have a final surprise in store for us. It's not as if characters & topics stay out of circulation for too long in this field --that's why we keep talking about Roswell, ya know.
Are you saddened by Art Bell's retreat? Did you have a chance to listen to his show? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Take a walk down an abandoned path leading to an unknown place.
- Graham Hancock says this short film is "extraordinary, amazing, disturbing, thought-provoking. [It] flashed me right back into some of my DMT journeys..."
- Prof David Nutt says drug laws are blocking critical medical research.
- We're about to lose Net Neutrality -- and the internet as we know it.
- CIA realises it's been using black highlighters instead of yellow or pink.
- A Romanian scientist claims to have developed
- The Myth of the Watchers: how angels saved Jewish mythology.
- A 2300-year-old colourfully decorated collar found in an Egyptian tomb.
- Beautifully preserved 1500-year-old elongated skull unearthed in France.
- Watertown cashes in on Area 51 & a witch's claims of a time vortex.
- Channel Islands ghost pig may be a wild boar that swam from France.
- As if paying tribute, a pod of orcas swam with a ferry carrying tribal artifacts.
- Heartbreaking photos of wildlife in captivity around the world.
- Mass killings can haunt elephants for decades.
- Nepal's 'bird brother' calls crow conferences to highlight conservation.
- Crows make tools, play tricks on each other, & caw in unique dialects.
- Hummingbirds create symphonies with their tail feathers.
- New research suggests big cats are prowling the British countryside.
- International team hopes to find evidence Tasmania's thylacine isn't extinct.
- 80-year-old man survives falling off a cliff while fighting a bear.
Quote of the Day:
The Atoms of Democritus
And Newton's Particles of Light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.
~ William Blake, Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau
On October 23rd, the London Fortean Society celebrated "The Late Great Robert Anton Wilson" at the Horse Hospital in London. featuring lectures by our good friend John Higgs as well as Daisy Eris Campbell. John's well-presented talk, in which he riffs on RAW's thoughts about belief and reality, has been uploaded to YouTube and I heartily recommend it - in fact, I wish everyone on Earth would hear what John is talking about, because it's such a key aspect of the ways in which we fool ourselves (often to the detriment of others). I've embedded the talk below (John's talk is just over half an hour, followed by about 15 minutes of questions and money burning...literally), and after it I've pulled out a short quote from John's talk that resonated strongly with me (also, to whomever produced the video, I enjoyed the easter egg!):
The reason why I think Bob is important, and Bob is different, I think it can be summed up in a principle he talks about called the 'cosmic shmuck' principle, and it goes like this. If you wake up in the morning and you do not realise that you are a cosmic shmuck, you will remain a cosmic shmuck. But if you wake up in the morning and you think 'oh god, I'm a cosmic shmuck', you'll be very embarrassed [and] you'll want to be less of a cosmic shmuck; you'll try to be less of a cosmic shmuck; and slowly, over time, you'll become less of a cosmic shmuck.
And the fact that the underlying principle of Robert Anton Wilson's philosophy is "I know I'm wrong, I want to be less wrong", is very different to now, our current internet culture, where the underlying philosophy is "I'm right, and I want you to know that". And if you go onto any internet discussion, or debate, or things like that, you find people declaring certainties loudly, people with very fixed positions that they can express in 140 characters, that they hunker down and defend, and don't listen to anything else, and attempt to drown out all the others. That's so different to Robert Anton Wilson: he believed – hang on, the word believe is difficult with Bob – he thought that what you believed imprisoned you, he thought convictions create convicts.
His philosophy can be called 'multiple-model agnosticism'. That's not just agnosticism about God, that's agnosticism about everything...
There's a key core point [to Bob's philosophy], this phrase 'reality tunnel', that's at the heart of all Bob's thinking, so I think it's worth defining for you. A reality tunnel is the model of reality that you build in your head. It's not reality, it's what you think reality is. Just as Korzybski said, "the map is not the territory"; as Alan Watts said, "the menu is not the meal"; in the same way, your reality tunnel is not reality. It's a model you personally built over your entire life, based on your experiences, your memories, your senses, your prejudices, your culture, and to a large and surprising degree, language. And that's fine, that's normal, we need models. We need models to understand what's going on around us, to predict what's going to happen next. But a model is, by definition, a simplified version of something. It may look roughly the same, and it gives you a good idea of things, but there are going to be places where it lacks the detail, or it's just wrong or it's different. And when your reality tunnel doesn't map reality, then you are wrong. And the fact that we use these things means that we will always be wrong.
You can read more of John's thoughts on these topics in his fantastic books, The Brandy of the Damned, and The First Church on the Moon (both fiction), as well as The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds (non-fiction, even though it might seem more fictional than the first two).
Update: Here's part two of the event, Daisy Eris Campbell's discussion of her own links to Robert Anton Wilson - not least her conception backstage at her father Ken Campbell's epic stage adaptation of RAW's Illuminatus! - as well as her own upcoming adaptation of Cosmic Trigger (NSFW language warning):
My sincere thanks to the organizers of the event, and those who took the time to upload the video to YouTube - fantastic for people like me who would have loved to have attended in person.
My book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife is available on Kindle for just $5.99, or as a paperback for just $11.99 (and if you grab the paperback, you can get the Kindle version for just $0.99 extra). Appreciate your support, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the read!
- China's Forbidden City was built with giant 'sliding stones' moved on paths of wet ice.
- Researchers say King Tut probably died in a horrific chariot accident, and then his dead body spontaneously combusted. It's good to be the king?
- The Tibetan Book of the Dead and modern accounts of death: A comparative analysis.
- Ian Stevenson's case for the afterlife: are 'skeptics' really cynics?
- Don't worry, be happy: There probably is an afterlife!
- Richard Dawkins outraged over having his honey confiscated at the airport; says "Bin Laden has won", then goes on a rant against the "idiots" of Twitter. Then when people make fun of him, retweets this message in support of himself. Gold!
- A blow to the New Atheism? Britain is losing its religion - but is becoming "spiritual" instead.
- Wikipedia: the only way to win is not to play.
- Deepak Chopra on the rise and fall of militant skepticism. And a counterpoint from skeptic Steven Novella.
- LBJ was the man who killed Kennedy.
- 'Paranormal radio' icon Art Bell quits his new radio gig just six weeks into his comeback.
- The latest Binnall of America podcast features David Acord discussing his new book When Mars Attacked, on the famous Orson Welles radio program based on The War of the Worlds.
- Some of the most plausible scenarios for alien civilisations.
- But what if alien civilisations Act like parasites?
- Extraterrestrials genetic code may be found in human DNA, according to scientists' biological SETI theory.
- Meet SR-72, the most astonishing airplane you'll ever see.
- India successfully launches its first mission to Mars.
- Astronomers find there are likely billions of habitable planets in the Milky Way galaxy.
- Mysterious lights on the ocean. Alien patterns. What's it all about? Squid.
- Forget the geeks…the crows might inherit the Earth.
- Electrical fireball glides along power lines (video).
Quote of the Day:
I have found that if you get astronomers and physicists drunk enough, you can get them to admit that what’s going on in the quantum field is not a hair’s breadth from metaphysics.
Dr. Ciarán O'Keeffe is well-known in the United Kingdom - at least, to the paranormal-inclined - as a result of his appearances on Living TV's paranormal television series Most Haunted, and also on account of his criticism of that show for misleading viewers using "showmanship and dramatics". The problems he came across while working on TV features about the paranormal led O'Keeffe to set up his own team, with whom he is filming investigations under the name Ghostlands.
On Halloween the Ghostlands team posted their first outing on YouTube, an investigation into a supposedly haunted World War II bunker on the Channel Islands. The 20 minute mini-documentary shows the setting up, possible manifestations of EVP, and finishes with a ghostly shadow fleeing the researchers' cameras (screen capture at the beginning of this post). Those that enjoy ghost-hunting shows should find plenty to enjoy in Ghostlands, especially if you're sitting home alone on a dark and stormy night...
This is a brief insight into a paranormal investigation conducted over a number of days where I had control and was not bound by the rules and expectations of television. Where I could choose a location that had never been shown before, one I wanted to investigate, one that I thought you would find as fascinating as I have and with a team I had chosen. But most of all, I wanted to present you with the evidence, to "let the evidence speak".
But this will also be about you. You are ghost enthusiasts, investigators, paranormal fans, cynics, sceptics and believers and those who simply want to find out if the "truth is out there". So get involved by contributing with your comments. It's about recognising that this show is organic and can develop if there are the means available. So say what can be done differently, what can be done better, what you are expecting, what you don't like, but more importantly what you do like, what you've learned, but also...did you notice anything I didn't see?
Home again, home again, jiggety jig. And now that I've finished finding your news, I'm off to read Russell Brand's 4,500-word manifesto for revolution.
- Mindful individuals less affected by immediate rewards: People who are aware of their own thoughts and emotions are less affected by positive feedback from others.
- Different DNA: Surprising variation among genomes of individual neurons from the same brain.
- Rare hybrid solar eclipse wows world.
- Volcanoes in Maine - yes, Maine - among Earth's biggest.
- 9,000-year-old painting of volcano linked to a real eruption.
- The kraken rises! New fossil evidence revives sea monster debate.
- Egyptologist finds evidence that 'King Tut' spontaneously combusted.
- Norwegian vikings purchased silk from Persia.
- Heinrich Mueller, the head of Hitler’s Gestapo secret police, was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Berlin in 1945, a German newspaper reported Thursday.
- German police recover 1,500 art masterpieces looted by Nazis.
- How did life begin on Earth? Texas paleontologist says he's found the biological 'Holy Grail'.
- 'Bread from air': It's 100 years since Fritz Haber found a way to synthesise ammonia – helping to feed billions but also to kill millions, and contributing to the pollution of the planet.
- New botox treatment for 'suicide' headaches takes only 30 minutes, and lasts 3 to 8 months.
- A study using DNA testing offers most credible evidence to date of adulteration, contamination and mislabeling in the herbal supplement industry: Americans spend $5 billion a year for little more than powdered rice and weeds.
- Jump-starter kits for the mind. More.
- Keep the mornings honest, the afternoons for lying and cheating: Harvard study suggests that we're more likely to be economical with the truth when our brain gets tired.
- Tail-wagging in dogs reveals more than you think - especially to other dogs.
- Octopuses are so smart they get bored. Octopuses are so smart, they don't just look at you, they stare you down.
- Russian shepherd, 80, kicks and headbutts attacking bear, which tosses him off a cliff – but he lives to tell the tale.
- Nine skydivers leap to safety, as one pilot ejects and other manages to land plane, after midair crash over Wisconsin.
- Scientific research provides tantalising evidence as to the existence of big cats stalking the British countryside.
- Three men arrested after accidental shooting during 'Bigfoot hunt'.
- 18 percent of Americans claim to have seen a ghost, 29 percent report contact with the dead.
- CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds.
- No morsel too miniscule for all-consuming NSA.
Quote of the Day:
Contrary to what we once thought, the genetic makeup of neurons in the brain aren't identical, but are made up of a patchwork of DNA.
Fred Gage, Salk Institute researcher, here.
In case you missed it: my book, Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife is available now from Amazon for just $5.99...
- News Briefs 28-10-2013 (Monday)
- Jesus and Mary on a Cloud in Google Earth
- News Briefs 29-10-2013 (Tuesday)
- News Briefs 30-10-2013 (Wednesday)
- Help Solve the Mystery of Ancient African Coins Found in Australia
- Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife
- News Briefs 31-10-2013 (Thursday)
- News Briefs 01-11-2013 (Friday)
- An App to Remember Your Dreams
- Graham Hancock Writes about 'The War on Consciousness for New Statesman
- The Cerne Abbas Giant Now Has a Moustache
Have a good weekend!