News Briefs 20-03-2008

The news will get you so excited, that by the end of it you might start sweating blood!

Quote of the Day:

"I hope that we have learned something from the most barbaric century in history -- the twentieth. I would like to see us overcome our tribal factions, and begin to think and act as if we were one family. That would be real globalization."

Arthur C. Clarke

News Briefs 19-03-2008

It's Wednesday already?

Quote of the Day:

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke Passes Away

Science fiction author and future visionary Sir Arthur C. Clarke has passed away aged 90. The man behind 2001: A Space Odyssey had quite a prescient mind when it came to picturing how the future would look - this is a huge (though hardly unexpected) loss:

George Whitesides, the executive director of the National Space Society, on which Clarke served on the board of governors, paid tribute to Sir Arthur.

He told BBC News 24: "That particular enthusiasm of his was what I think made him so popular in many ways.

"He was always thinking about what could come next but also about how life could be improved in the future.

"It's a vision that I think we could use more of today."

Clarke was also fascinated by the paranormal and mysteries, and many will remember him for his "Mysterious Worlds" television series. Although he later recanted some of his previous 'belief' in the paranormal, he appears to have retained his interest in 'strange' topics throughout his life.

Sure to be many thousands of words written about his passing, so no need for me to add any more to it.

Apology in Advance

I'm slayed with a flu at the moment, so apologies if updates are a bit scarce this week. New briefs should continue as normal, but some features I had planned for this week may have to wait until I can handle the glare of the monitor...

Tuesday Blogscan 18-03-2008

A strange assortment to get you through the week...

  • Paranormalia recounts the story of "The Andover Poltergeist".
  • Cabinet of Wonders offers some lifestyle programming via "Cooking with Qi".
  • This week's Binnall of America audio interview is with paranormal researcher and author Jeff Belanger (mp3/podcast download, or streaming via Flash).
  • Psychedelic research advocacy group MAPS have released their March Email News Update.
  • The latest Fate Radio interview is with Australian UFO researcher Bill Chalker (Real Audio or Streaming mp3).
  • At Beyond the Blog, Anthony North gets into the Easter spirit by taking a look at...err..."Vampire Mythology".
  • Filip Coppens opens the sacrililicious pages of "La Vie de Jesus". That's more like it.
  • Skeptic Randi's latest newsletter offers salvation from the Lord of Skepticism.
  • UFO Casebook #298 has nothing to do with's all about the UFOs baby.


Psychedelic History Documentary

Entheogenic Reformation has a heads-up to an upcoming television documentary that I'm very excited to hear about: "Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey":

Plant Explorer Richard Evans Schultes was a real life Indiana Jones whose discoveries of hallucinogenic plants laid the foundation for the psychedelic sixties. Now in this two hour History Channel TV Special, his former student Wade Davis follows in his footsteps to experience the discoveries that Schultes brought to the western world.

Shot around the planet, from Canada to the Amazon, we experience rarely seen native hallucinogenic ceremonies and find out the true events leading up to the Psychedelic Sixties.

Featuring author/adventurer Wade Davis ("Serpent and the Rainbow"), Dr. Andrew Weil, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and many others, this program tells the story of the discovery of peyote, magic mushrooms and beyond: one man's little known quest to classify the Plants of the Gods.

The feature is scheduled to air on The History Channel on April 20th. Not only is the topic a great one, but I'm really looking forward to seeing Wade Davis presenting it (see this video for an example of the man's knowledge and passion about ancient cultures).

News Briefs 17-03-2008

Who knows - this could well be one of those paradigm-shifting days. Shall we all start looking for a rock to hide under, or have you already made other plans?

Quote of the Day:

Part of me lives in a world of new age remedies and science. And some of the science is a little like voodoo -- but science was never an exact science. And personally I'd eat the arse out of a dead mole if it offered a fighting chance.

I intend to scream and harangue while there is time. I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the Cure comes along. There's nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with dementia will double within a generation. It is a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimer's research is just three percent of that to find cancer cures.

Author Terry Pratchett, on pledging $1million (£500,000) to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

Eye of the Phoenix

Gary A. David writes:

My new book "Eye of the Phoenix: Mysterious Visions and Secrets of the American Southwest" has just been published by Adventures Unlimited Press.

This nonfiction book is a sequel to "The Orion Zone", which was reviewed by Rick Gned in the October 2006 issue of Sub Rosa. The new book continues to explore enigmas and anomalies in the vast American Southwest. Having witnessed sacred Hopi ceremonies and rock art, I discuss little known aspects of the indigenous people. It is my belief that a global culture existing in pre-Columbian times profoundly influenced the dynamics of daily life there. The dimensions of high desert strangeness boggle the mind and enchant the soul of anyone who enters.

Gary is a TDG member and often posts here, so great to see one of 'our bunch' putting out a book on historical mysteries.

Weekend Blogscan 15-03-2008

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Moses and Psychedelics Poll

After numerous requests, I've changed the poll over (down the side column a little). To remain topical with today's story about Moses and ayahuasca, I'm asking a simple yes/no question: do you think Moses and other Biblical identities used psychedelics in order to see their visions? Reading through Benny Shanon's paper "Biblical Entheogens: A Speculative Hypothesis" should give you some background...also consider the literature, and shamanistic techniques from other parts of the world.

A simple yes or no, because I'm just asking for your opinion....