Solar Eclipse

No, it's not the End Times. Right about now a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor that travels across half the Earth over the next 24 hours. There'll be two paths, the major one being that of the Moon's umbral shadow. Beginning in Brazil, it's extending across the Atlantic, through northern Africa and central Asia where it'll end at sunset in Western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be visible in the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow that includes two thirds of Africa, Europe and central Asia. For more information, including some fantastic graphics, click here. If anything weird or wonderful happens to you today, please post here or tell Jonathan Cainer about it. Blink and you'll miss it.

UPDATE: You blinked, and missed it. For a stunning photo gallery click here. I'm still looking for a news story that showed footage of crowds watching the eclipse at the Pyramids of Giza, on the banks of the River Ganges in India, the plains of Africa ... stunning.

Baigent and Brown Redux

In what is said to be a complete coincidence (though my cynicism runneth over), March 28th saw the release in the U.S. of books by both Dan Brown and his court adversary Michael Baigent. Five million paperback copies of The Da Vinci Code were (finally) released to U.S. stores, which will no doubt add to the 12 million hardcovers already sold (and 40 million copies worldwide), in anticipation of the movie version of the novel which is due for release May 19th...and no doubt the current court publicity has played out nicely as well.

Meanwhile, Baigent's embargoed book The Jesus Papers (Amazon US and UK) came dancing out of the shadows as well with an initial print run of 150000, to sit (at this moment) at #2 on Amazon.com's charts:

As a religious historian and a leading expert in the field of arcane knowledge, Baigent has unequaled access to hidden archives, secret societies, Masonic records, and the private collections of antiquities traders and their moneyed clients...The evidence he has uncovered has lead him to make shocking new assertions that threaten the conventional account of Jesus's life and death and shake the very foundation of Western thought, based as it is upon the assumption of Jesus's divinity.

For full details about the book, visit the Harper Collins website which has a full synoposis and also a chapter excerpt.

Robot Race

The PBS series Nova has yet another great feature on their website, the latest being on the DARPA-sponsored 'Robot Race' which we covered in the news here last year. The full show will be available online from tomorrow, and besides that they have plenty more information, out-takes from the show, and interactive features about this challenge, in which driverless vehicles 'competed' in a 130-mile race across the Mojave Desert.

Tuesday Roundup 28-03-2006

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

Enjoy!

News Briefs 28-03-2006

Data, for your mind to filter...

  • The Eye of God returns! Sounds dramatic doesn’t it.
  • Satanic art of the Catholic Church exposed. Apparently.
  • Weird science: the Financial Times review of Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near (Amazon US).
  • Could Ethiopian skull be the missing link?
  • Brighter sun adds to fears about Global Warming.
  • Whale song reveals sophisticated language skills.
  • Study finds that, among Europeans, German people are the most intelligent.
  • Meet Benjamin Radford, the 'real Ghostbuster' (he's a CSICOPian). Oh dear, even he trots out the "why haven't psychics found Osama Bin Laden" line. Must have been top of the talking points memo at the last CSICOP monthly meeting....
  • Have you seen the ghost boy in Three Men and a Baby? A good example of how easy it is to mistake one thing for another I guess.
  • Australian aborigines built underground water reservoirs.
  • Egyptian Museum in Cairo ‘finds’ the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. Perhaps a spring clean is in order Zahi?
  • What can we expect from quantum computers?
  • CNN.com has a video feature on the future. I would be more excited if I could watch them on my retinal implant.
  • First launch from New Mexico spaceport nears.
  • Artificial Gravity generator now possible?
  • First images beamed back by Mars probe.
  • Team readies for Venus arrival.
  • Oh my god, they killed satire. Is religion winning the battle against free speech?
  • Here come the God-killers. Interesting how this meme has jumped out in the past month, from Bering in this article to Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and others featuring in news or releasing books on the topic.

Quote of the Day:

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor— but they have few followers now.

Arthur C. Clarke

Radio 28-03-2006

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: Paranormal investigator Josh Warren discusses his theory that ghost, extraterrestrial, and cryptid sightings and experiences are fundamentally connected to one another (Realplayer or Windows Media).

Coast to Coast AM: Monday's guest is researcher Heidi Hollis who will discuss ‘Shadow People’ and sightings of a satanic-like being. On Tuesday David Icke will talk about what is happening with the world we live in and where his research has taken him recently, Wednesday is TBA (check the link for updates), and on Thursday Dr. Bruce Maccabee will discuss UFO incidents including a 2002 Mexico sighting as well as his study of Tesla's works.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website. Also C2C can be listened to through KOGO.

News Briefs 26-03-2006

Is my eyesight getting worse from staring at a computer screen, or is it the news?

  • A psittalinguist -- a person who interprets budgie-speak -- says birds have cognitive abilities, and talk about spiritual matters. And Shadows thought Captain was just a foul-mouthed parrot with the vocabulary of a sailor.
  • New research has confirmed that humpback whales use syntax in the complex songs they sing, making them better songwriters than most bands in the top 40.
  • Mice testicles may provide an "ethical" source of embryonic stem cells for research. You mean ... Mrs Frisbee was once a man?!
  • Australian water diviner locates legendary underground river, but only had to pay the ferryman AUS$1.75 due to the exchange rate.
  • A Malaysian construction worker gave up his day job to hunt the Johor bigfoot full-time. One day, Greg ... one day.
  • The Johor Government is serious (but not enough to give up their day jobs) about investigating and protecting the wild hairy ape-folk hiding in the jungles. This conflicts with recent news that local Johor authorities are bulldozing and destroying physical evidence of the Johor Bigfoot.
  • Loren Coleman's Cryptomundo has a great summary of the world's best cryptozoo museums.
  • An interview with British Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman, author of Dragons: More Than A Myth (Amazon UK only).
  • Here's a video report of a leprechaun spotted hiding in a Mobile Alabama tree. I haven't laughed so hard since my Harry Potter book spontaneously combusted. Priceless.
  • A 243-year-old pre-Columbus world map may be authentic, proving the Chinese explored the globe. Don't pop the champagne cork just yet, Gavin Menzies, there are still doubters.
  • A gallery of magnificent Ancient Chinese jade Bi Disks, used in the Dropa hoax.
  • What is jade, and why were (and still are) the Chinese obsessed with it?
  • Symbols found on 7000-year-old pottery offers clues to the origin of Chinese characters.
  • The Cassini space probe has sent back stunning images of Saturn's moons and rings.
  • Not to be outdone, the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has relayed spectacular images of the martian surface.
  • A fresh look at the mid-1990s controversy of the Martian meteorite many claimed to contain evidence of life.
  • Are we living in the End Times? An overview of apocalyptic predictions.
  • Michael Jackson has slammed reports he is desperate to meet an extraterrestrial, but he would like to share a bed Noddy-and-Big-Ears-style with Spielberg's ET.
  • A New Interpretation of Psi Phenomena -- an excerpt from Renee Haynes's The Hidden Springs: An Enquiry Into Extra-Sensory Perception (Amazon US or UK).
  • A group of researchers conducted a scientific study of the prayer healing phenomena, and received mixed and controversial results.
  • The Other Side Of Truth's Paul Kimball talks about J. Allen Hynek vs. The Psychics, and links to a classic 1977 tv appearance.
  • A review of Ray Kurzwell's The Singularity is Near (Amazon US or UK). I'll be going on 78, but better late than never.
  • Why was Michael Scott, the wizard who tutored the Pope, condemned to eternal torment in Dante's eighth circle of hell? Don't panic Mike, there'll be plenty of TDG regulars to keep you company, including yours truly.

Quote of the Day:

"The next, who is so slender in the flanks,
Was Michael Scott, who of a verity
Of magical illusions knew the game"

The Divine Comedy, Inferno, canto XX

Skinwalker Review

I've added a new review to the Grail, taken from the latest issue of Sub Rosa. Hunt for the Skinwalker by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp (Amazon US and UK) was our feature review in Issue 4, with good reason. The investigation of the so-called 'Skinwalker Ranch' in Utah by the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) has been one of the hottest topics in paranormal research over the past decade, and finally there's a book about it, direct from the source (Kelleher was the lead scientist on the research). Note that in Issue 4 of Sub Rosa we also featured an article about the NIDS investigation by Colm and George (complemented by a very nice piece of artwork by our very own Adam Scott Miller).

Sub Rosa Supporters

Over the course of the next few weeks I'd like to give some props to our advertisers in Sub Rosa. The reasons are simple - firstly, they help keep this site running, and that's no small matter. Secondly, I've actually found a number of them to be of great interest and definitely up the alley of TDG readers. As such, over the next couple of weeks I'll provide links to their sites - and a quick blurb about them - here on TDG, for those who would like to know more:

  • Walter Cruttenden's book Lost Star of Myth and Time looks at ancient myths about cycles of Golden and Dark Ages, and ties them in to the precession of the equinoxes and the possibility of our Sun having a distant twin.
  • William Henry's book The Illuminator investigates "Mary Magdalene’s origins, secrets and spiritual technology revealed." William has a special offer for readers - if you order the book and mention Sub Rosa, you get a free DVD: "The Stairway to Heaven: The Lost Secrets of Mary Magdalene".
  • For lovers of heavy, dark rock - check out this up and coming band. Alluvion are a quality bunch of musicians (and I have high standards) who are currently offering their 12-song album Lines through the Sun for download from their site for less than $5. If you want a sample, have a listen to this mp3 (or head to the Alluvion website for streaming audio).
  • I've posted this one on TDG before, it's so damn tasty - Consciousness is a 5-DVD box set of scientists such as Dean Radin, Stu Hameroff and Susan Blackmore discussing the mysteries of consciousness. Not bad value for only $29.95...
  • Avatar Publications have a range of books on topics from spiritual advancement to the alien abduction phenomenon. Two books of interest are: Summer Snow by William Hathaway, an anti-war novel involving Sufi mysticism (sample chapter available), and The Book of Light by Michael Sharp, on the nature and structure of consciousness (which is also available as a free eBook).

Definitely some worthwhile wares in there.

News Briefs 24-03-2006

The British Big Cats Conference is taking place in Leicestershire, March 24-26. Here's what you need to know about the mystery cats before you go.

Quote of the Day:

Political couch potatoes, that’s what we have become. Wimps’r’Us: the 90 percent of the nation’s citizenry who are subservient to the wishes of the other 10 percent. We are all believers, no way to deny it, whether it’s Jesus Christ that we follow, or the goddess Apathy; or render cult to both while pretending to be monotheistic.

Ben Tanosborn, here