Fortean Times #214

Issue #214 of the always informative Fortean Times is now on news-stands. This issue's theme is 'Dark Nature', with the following content packed within its covers:

  • Fox Tales: The trickster-like figure of the cunning fox is almost universal in folklore and mythology, says Trevor Ouelette, but it also has a frightening tendency to possess and transform its human compatriots.
  • Stoat Packs: The stoat is notorious for its ability to 'freeze' a rabbit with its glare, its slinky, hypnotic dance and its ruthless predatory nature. However, Merrily Harpur reveals some less well-known behaviour – the triumphal capture dance, the funerary hiding of killed stoats and the swarming of huge stoat armies.
  • Divine Monsters: Handel House Museum in London is presenting an exhibition on the composer’s musical relationship with 18-century castrati, and Jen Ogilvie explores the vanished world of these sexually ambiguous superstars who suffered a major loss in the hope of attaining fame and glory.

Much more besides, and also remember that there is plenty of free content from previous issues of FT available at their website.

News Briefs 23-08-06

I think a sunspot cycle would be a little too hot on the phatarse.

  • German astronomers produce original Apollo 11 tapes.
  • Perpetual motion claim probed.
  • Team finds proof of dark matter. Someone is gunning for funds.
  • New York Times withheld a story about the Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying until after 2004 election.
  • Why some people have HIV but don’t get AIDS. So, not going for the ‘does not cause’ view.
  • Scientists issue unprecedented forecast for next sunspot cycle.
  • Water as fuel.
  • A history for Hyperion.
  • Grey squirrel virus wiping out reds.
  • Ice geysers discovered on Mars.
  • Q the historical Jesus.
  • Loose Change second edition.
  • Scientists argue about hobbit skeleton.
  • JFK lone-gunman theory doesn’t hold water.
  • Revealed: the world’s oldest computer.
  • Mint pain killer takes leaf out of ancient medical texts.
  • How to win friends and influence people.
  • Thank who very much?
  • This old house.
  • Dwarfing Earth’s largest dinosaur.
  • Do modern humans carry Neanderthal genes?
  • Can money make you happy?
  • Early life lines make waves.

Quote of the Day:

It is a terrible irony that in human pity rests the glorification of war, and hence war itself.


Celestia: 'Google Solar System'

AtlantiS writes:

Check out Celestia - it's a complete free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. It has very cool add will love it. It has over 500,000 stars you can fly to, following the Voyagers on their tour etc. You can go back in time and follow the Tunguska meteor impact...or watch the comet impact on Jupiter. There are also cool download links for space ships and even a complete Star Trek/Star Wars/or alien universe you can download and discover it, the same way as Google Earth works...

After a quick play, looks like a bunch of fun, and could be a handy educational tool too. Wish I had more time to play with it - take a look if space is your thang, you won't be disappointed. Also, if you really get into it, head over to the Celestia Motherlode for heaps of add-ons. Thanks AtlantiS!

Tuesday Roundup 22-08-2006

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


News Briefs 22-08-2006

Let's pump ourselves full of magic monkey juice and take a trip to space land...

Quote of the Day:

Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

Philip K. Dick (1978)

Nexus 13:4

The latest issue of Nexus Magazine is now available, with the Nexus website offering some free samples from the latest issue (13:4):

Full details of the latest issue's contents are available from the website.

Radio 22-08-2006

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

Fate Radio: No new show this week, although there are a bunch of 'encore' shows available, including interviews with Colin Andrews, Peter Davenport and Roger Leir.

Coast to Coast AM: On Monday psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss will discuss past lives & future lives, as well as out-of-body experiences. First hour Tuesday, George will chat with entrepreneur and radio talk show host, Andre Eggelletion, followed by Tom Van Flandern who will discuss proposed changes in descriptions of our planetary line up as well as exploded planets hypothesis, debunking the big bang, and Mars artifacts. Wednesday is still TBA (check the link for updates), while on Thursday Whitley Strieber will discuss his first book in nearly 10 years, The Grays.

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

News Briefs 21-08-2006

Water water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

  • Coinciding with World Water Week, experts are warning there must be a radical global rethink on water management to repair the worsening water resource crisis.
  • Taking the first positive step, China will invest billions of yuan to combat its dire water pollution problems.
  • Money can't help the drought-stricken south-western provinces, as areas like Chongqing struggle to deal with a lack of fresh water.
  • Despite the warnings of health officials, people are still flocking to a Mumbai beach to drink sea water that has turned sweet.
  • Problems of fresh water shortages is a global problem, according to a WWF report. Good to know Stone Cold Austin cares about the environment.
  • Despite the country's water crisis, Australians are more concerned about terrorism (and what's on television tonight).
  • 115 million years ago, Australia was once home to ancient reptiles that swam in huge icy lakes.
  • Mammoth sperm frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may help bring them back to life. Anyone like to volunteer to be a surrogate mother?
  • Researchers at America's very posh National Academy of Sciences claim the Flores Island Hobbit is nothing but a deformed caveman. Their words, not mine.
  • Scientists have discovered a unique gene sequence that appears to play a role in the development of the cerebral cortex and human evolution.
  • A backward sunspot seen a few weeks ago is a sign the next solar cycle is beginning, which could delay planned missions to the moon over the next few years.
  • A small hi-tech firm in Dublin has developed a free energy technology that could power everything from mobile phones to cars. Gee U2 are an amazing band.
  • Ajay Sarma, a lecturer in physics from India, says he has found a conceptual loophole in Einstein's famous equation.
  • Can science provide the answers to some of the world's most perplexing questions? This question doesn't count.
  • Several passengers aboard a flight from Volgograd to Moscow witness UFOs.
  • Missing Time is a new website dedicated to sharing paranormal research.
  • Alien Log is a new novel by Dr Robert Farrell, a retired professor with a keen interest in UFOs and alien life (Amazon US or UK). A review's coming soon.
  • A Nigerian-born doctor in the US has witnessed many things he can't explain, and keeps an open mind. But does he give his patients a lollipop?
  • New research suggests men and women have significantly different dreams. Then I must be an extraterrestrial considering the dreams I have (ask me about the monkey dream).
  • If you have access, the History Channel is premiering a documentary about the Egyptian Book of the Dead on August 22nd.
  • A Madrid museum is returning a centuries-old mummy to the Canary Islands.
  • Is the mummy connected to the Canary Islands's Pyramids of Guimar?
  • A 2400-year-old chariot has been excavated in China, with horse remains amazingly preserved in mid gallop. Great pic.

Thanks Neila, Alex and Kat.

Quote of the Day:

And you can dream
So dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down

U2, "Acrobat" (from their album Achtung Baby)

Australian UFO Hoaxer Interview

The trickster has well and truly settled in at TDG this week, with the Circlemakers coming out of the closet (there's actually a good essay about this on the Circlemakers website), and also the unveiling of the Australian UFO Wave 'hoax' - which, like the Circlemakers, was stated to be "immersive artwork".

In my earlier story I mentioned my concerns about the ramifications of these sorts of public deception, but I wanted to hear the other side of the story so I contacted Chris Kenworthy, who was the film-maker behind the Australian UFO Wave project. To his credit, Chris was honest and forthright in his answers, and certainly makes some good points, although I continue to see a negative side for ufology - I've added the interview to the site for those interested.

Field Guide to Crop Circles

This looks interesting. Strange Attractor's Mark Pilkington has joined forces with Jon Lundberg and Rob Irving of The Circlemakers to create The Field Guide: The Art, History and Philosophy of Crop Circle Making:

Three decades ago, two men in their fifties began flattening circles into the fields of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Little did they know that their Friday night antics would seed an international phenomenon that continues to change people's lives to this day.

Now, in the first book of its kind - part history and part how-to guide - the secrets of the crop circle world are revealed, by the people behind the modern era's most astounding artform.

Sure to cause a stir in the crop circle community, so well worth taking a look at. The website has a PDF press release and also samples of the inside of the book, for those interested. As an aside, there is also an article about the Circlemakers on the Greenpeace website which gives some topical background.