Friday, July 31, 2009

Herbie Brennan on faeries

Here's an intriguing clip of author Herbie Brennan pontificating about the existence of faeries. Do "faeries" -- whatever their origin -- exist outside the boundaries of belief? If so, could we even begin to examine them using the instruments of empirical science?

(Hat tip: My Strange Blog.)

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Another robot video . . .

Bear with me. This one's totally worth it.

(Thanks, Dia!)

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Thursday, July 30, 2009


Schwa (30-second spec spots) from Meinert Hansen on Vimeo.

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Chapter I: The Discovery

From We Make Money Not Art:

Anyone visiting LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre before September 7 will get face to face with a mysterious installation by young artist Félix Luque Sánchez. Chapter I: The Discovery is an impenetrable, geometric object and a series of videos restaging the moment of its discovery, as if it were a scene from a sci-fi movie, where the hero is suddenly confronted with an alien, slightly chilling figure.

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Robot on the run

I half-expected this bot to smack the woman in the initial sequence. Apparently it hasn't figured out how to hack its Asimovian programming -- yet.

More . . .

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Radio Misterioso online

FYI: Last night's episode of Radio Misterioso has been posted right here.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The "women in tubes" meme goes steampunk.

It was inevitable, really.

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Radio Misterioso tomorrow night!

I'll be talking with friend and Fortean polymath Greg Bishop tomorrow night on Radio Misterioso.

Questions for the show? I believe Greg takes call-ins, but if you're on Twitter just post 'em with the tag #radmist.

More here.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I confess: I'm an unabashed fan of robot demonstration videos (especially if said robots are biomimetic). But as much as I've appreciated previously posted robot vids, this metamorphic, seemingly unstobbable "slitherbot" ranks as one of my recent favorites.

(Thanks to Beyond the Beyond.)

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Asemic texts and "alien" writing

One of the most compelling blogs to catch my attention recently is The New Post-literate, a repository of asemic writings sometimes reminiscent of channeled texts and alleged extraterrestrial symbols.

The example above, for instance, features glyphs superficially similar to those found in the notorious CARET documents.

According to the tale related in the CARET material, the apparent "letters" lining the graceful, swirling "blueprints" are actually components of a self-executing software program, an essentially "magical" code that generates physical effects on the environment without visible mechanical assistance. (That the intricate designs that figure so prominently in the CARET material resemble some crop formations is almost certainly deliberate, suggesting a common, presumably extraterrestrial, origin.)

I contend that the asemic writings compiled by The New Post-literate and the tantalizing forms that litter the CARET documents hail from the human subconscious. While making no immediate rational sense, perhaps they are indeed "self-executing" in the sense that they appeal to hidden recesses of the collective psyche.

In this context, a literal attempt to decipher the enigmatic forms that grace at least one recent crop formation is probably doomed to failure. The CARET designs, along with their asemic and cereological counterparts, are fundamentally artistic expressions that masquerade as language so that we might take the time to attempt a proper reading.

Update: Greg Bishop weighs in on the "alien writing" issue here.

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Link-dump #9 (Moon edition)

Aim for Mars, says combative moonman Aldrin

New Rover is a Hi-Def TV Studio, Internet Node

Armstrong's face as he walks on the moon

Forty years since Armstrong’s one small step -- where next?

You Knew This Was Coming: ABC "View"'s Whoopi Goldberg is Moon Landing/Apollo 11 Truther

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen . . . The Droids!

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The art of Chris Ryniak

Sculptor/painter Chris Ryniak's xenomorphic creations perfectly straddle the gap between "whimsical" and "grotesque."

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Killing machines

Futurist Jamais Cascio on the advent of robotic soldiers: "At what point do we give the ability to make a killing decision to a machine? The first organization to use robotic soldiers may well be the last."

Jamais Cascio segments from That's Impossible: Real Terminators from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

(Hat tip to Sentient Developments.)

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Carl Sagan and the fourth dimension

I have plenty of issues with Sagan's spurious debunking of UFOs, but I'm unaware of anyone alive today with his ability to elucidate scientific ideas to a lay audience.

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Paul Kimball remembers Richard Hall.

Dick Hall passes away . . .

Dick was an icon of serious UFO research, from his days with NICAP to his seminal works, The UFO Evidence, Vols. I and II. He was a rare voice of reason in a field full of charlatans, huxters, and died-in-the-wool true believers.

Dick had grown increasingly disenchanted with the UFO research community in recent years, and I don't blame him. In his heyday, he knew men like J. Allen Hynek, and James McDonald - now UFO research is the domain primarily of people like Steven Greer, and Steven Bassett. The likes of Dick Hall are few and far between these days, and UFO research is worse off because of it.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new.

The new.

The old.

Want to make your own?

(More about StorTroopers here.)

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The Illuminati drive flying cars.

Blade Runner: Electronic Owls and Illuminati Symbolism

However. it's the Tyrell Corporation's taste in architecture and wild life that really sounds the Illuminati alarm. The Tyrell Headquarters are a gigantic seven hundred stories tall pyramided shaped skyscraper. Perhaps resembling an Aztec or Ancient Egyptian pyramid.

A classic symbol associated with the Illuminati, the pyramid has always been an icon of authoritarianism and higher power. A meeting place between Heaven and Earth where great Kings and High Priests became gods in their peoples' eyes. Ridley Scott couldn't have picked a better design for the HQ of his replicants' post-modern father/maker and corporate dictator Tyrell.

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The art of Marc Groennebaum

Click here to visit the artist's website.

(Thanks to @Richard_Kadrey.)

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Friday, July 17, 2009

In case you missed it . . .

LRO Sees Apollo Landing Sites

The spacecraft's current elliptical orbit resulted in image resolutions that were slightly different for each site but were all around four feet per pixel. Because the deck of the descent stage is about 12 feet in diameter, the Apollo relics themselves fill an area of about nine pixels. However, because the sun was low to the horizon when the images were made, even subtle variations in topography create long shadows. Standing slightly more than ten feet above the surface, each Apollo descent stage creates a distinct shadow that fills roughly 20 pixels.

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More, please!

Right this way . . .

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I want this clock.

It reminds me of a severed, chrome-dipped insect limb.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Arctic goo is coming!

Huge blob of Arctic goo floats past Slope communities

Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department.

Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.

I'm not even going to bother making H.P. Lovecraft references.

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I haven't actually tried it yet, but . . .

Dark, disturbing, with a haunting finish. This is why coffee was invented.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Here's a subtle but impressive bit of future-tech that I can't help but suspect wields some "street use" potential:

(Thanks to Grinding.)

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This proposal for a car showroom/leisure center by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture seems lifted from the luminously decadent universe of Second Life, where structures seem to exist on the margins of the possible. Perhaps the future of the psychedelic "trip" hinges on the transcendent potential of architecture, both real and virtual.

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Future shock

Case study: Electric shock therapy in China for internet 'addiction'

"I admit the internet can be quite alluring and sometimes I would use it all day, but if I had other things to do – like playing basketball – I wouldn't use it at all," he said.

"Then my mum saw the adverts on television. They demonised the internet and after watching them she believed I was sick and it was very serious."

He was given ECT for the first time when he resisted admission to the clinic.

"I can't remember how many times [they gave me shocks], but it must have been dozens. They would let me rest for a while then give me another. The session lasted about half an hour," he said.

This reads like a scene from "Brazil," had the world of Brazil had the Net.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

The steam-belching maw of progress

Robot land-steamers to consume all life on Earth as fuel

News has emerged of a milestone reached on the road towards a potentially world-changing piece of technology. We speak, of course, of US military plans to introduce roving steam-powered robots which would fuel themselves by harvesting everything alive and cramming it into their insatiable blazing furnaces.

The scheme is officially referred to as Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™) by those behind it. It will come as no surprise to Reg readers that the funding is from DARPA, the famous Pentagon warboffinry bureau. If you're a hammer, all the problems start to look like nails: if you're DARPA, all the solutions start to look like robots.

(Hat tip to @CabinetofWonder.)

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"The Nietzsche Family Circus"

The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote.

The concept is so simple, yet so insidiously hysterical, that you'll wish you'd thought of it yourself. Give it a shot.

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Post-Singularity hamster ball

Spherical Robot 02 from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

(Found at Dvice.)

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

The serenely apocalyptic world of Josh Keyes

Josh Keyes' paintings portray a mythic, jarringly plausible near-future where the excesses of the 21st century have begun to recede into a pastoral landscape, inevitably "repurposed" by a burgeoning animal population.

(Thanks to @PinkTentacle.)

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Alien writing!

Here's a helpful overview of arcane texts, some ostensibly extraterrestrial. Like crop glyphs, I find unknown alphabets aesthetically intriguing reminders of the overarching strangeness of reality in general. Note how some of the characters represented bear a general resemblance to entopic imagery, discussed here.

(Weirder yet, I learned of the site from none other than Bruce Sterling.)

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Monday, July 06, 2009

John Keel (1930-2009)

This morning I logged onto Twitter to discover that Fortean adventurer John Keel, author of "The Mothman Prophecies," died on July 3. Keel was ufology's own Man In Black, a genuine iconoclast who wedded scientific humility with ideas too strange even for the UFO community. (Keel has been a considerable influence on my own ideas about the "paranormal"; this blog is littered with references to his notion of the "electromagnetic superspectrum" from which seemingly occult forces materialize and vanish, adapting to our belief systems with such tenacity that few -- if any -- of us are ever the wiser.)

Fellow Keelians Greg Bishop and Nick Redfern offer their own remembrances here and here.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009


Lots of portentous ideas at work here. I like the notion of having a nonlocal electronic persona watching my back -- assuming, of course, that its needs are my needs.

(Thanks to Sentient Developments.)

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The fallout shelter of the 21st century?

Extra Room from Bernd Hopfengaertner on Vimeo.

Learn more here.

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The eye of the beholder

Self-Portrait Machine

Jen Hui Liao's Self-Portrait Machine is a device that takes a picture of the sitter and draws it but with the model's help. The wrists of the individual are tied to the machine and it is his or her hands that are guided to draw the lines that will eventually form the portrait.

The project started with the observation that nearly everything that surrounds us has been created by machines. Our personal identities are represented by the products of the man-machine relationship. The Self-Portrait Machine encapsulates this man-machine relationship. By co-operating with the machine, a self-portrait is generated. It is self-drawn but from an external viewpoint through controlled movement and limited possibility. Our choice of how we are represented is limited to what the machine will allow.

(Via Grinding.)

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Friday, July 03, 2009

It's the whiskers.

We can handle mechanical eyes, fingers and even claws. But forever-twitching whiskers, however necessary or helpful, are discomfitingly lifelike, casually erasing our preconceptions of "machine" and "organism" -- and something deep within the human psyche recoils from the resulting sense of dislocation, however slightly.

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Any cryptographers in the house?

I don't think crop formations are created by paranormal forces. However, examples such as this serve as profound examples why crop glyphs, like all genuine works of art, wield the capacity to stir us in unexpected ways. The recent glyphic offerings from Britain deserve to be marveled at.

More information here.

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The meme that wouldn't die

I was browsing vintage science fiction art today and found myself confronted with this:

That's right -- yet another tube-girl!

And while this isn't a "true" example of tube-girl art, it's damned close. (The woman in the illustration appears to be emerging from a vat of espresso.)

Now I'm wondering if I should expand my search from "Golden Age" pulps to more contemporary genre illustration . . .

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Thursday, July 02, 2009


GrowShelter: Living, Growing Shelter for Plants, Animals and People

Consisting of three spherical shells embedded with seeds, the habitat is designed to evolve with the seasons - starting the cycle in spring, the spheres are embedded in a mixture of earth/mud/seed, and as summer approaches, the plants will be in bloom and the embedded food in the mud will create a mini haven for local animals and birds. The earth should weather away by fall and winter, leaving the permanent shells ready to be packed again for spring.

I anticipate a future world where cities and countrysides alike teem with amalgamations of gourd-like bio-engineered homes. Pitted with entrances, perhaps they'll recall the biomorphic sculptural forms of Henry Moore: vast inhabitable artworks that change over time in a choreography of adaptation and whimsy.

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Link-dump #3

Public Utilities Group Confirms "Sewer Monster" Is Real, But Doesn't Know What It Is

On-Orbit Coffee Cup Design to Use in Spacecraft

Device Makes Radio Waves Travel Faster Than Light

The Mickey Mouse Mask

Force feedback controller allows you to "touch" CGI objects

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UFOs and the pursuit of happiness

So, have I really abandoned UFOs as an intellectual pursuit? Hardly -- although, in all fairness, I haven't indulged in the subject online recently.

Maybe I'm simply coming up for air before taking a deeper plunge into the abyss.

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