Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Attention, audiophiles!

Did you know that Aldous Huxley's dystopian classic "Brave New World" is available on LP, narrated by the author? Neither did I. Better yet, you can download it for free.

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Link-dump #22 (space edition)

Mystery Space "Ribbon" Found at Solar System's Edge

Nuclear-Powered Robot Ship Could Sail Seas of Titan

Stunning photo: Earth and Jupiter in the same shot

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Tube twins

Michael Garrett sighted this example of the "tube-girl" meme at this amazing gallery*.

While a purist might argue that the structure encapsulating the twins is too wide to qualify as a genuine tube, I would argue that the presence of two women justifies the unusual proportions.

*Be sure not to miss the weaponized lobster.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Tube-girl sighting!

I found this while browsing Golden Age Comic Book Stories' collection of Andre Norton covers.

For more, click here, here and here.

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"The Lady Who Fell to Earth"

Kinga Rajzak stars as a fetching ufonaut in this amusing "Vogue" editorial.

Discerning ufophiles will no doubt note that Rajzak appears to be a garden-variety "Nordic," while fellow models Masha Telna and Lily Cole show every indication of being hybridized "Grays."

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The entomological art of Cornelia Hesse-Honegger

Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, scientific illustrator and science artist, was born in 1944 in Zurich, Switzerland. For 25 years she worked as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich. Since the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied and painted morphologically disturbed insects, which she finds in the fallout areas of Chernobyl as well as near nuclear installations.

See more of Hesse-Honegger's painstaking illustrations here.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Skeletons in the planetary closet

Chemical Archive

As the world's glaciers melt, they've begun to release an archive of banned industrial substances back into the environment, chemicals that have been locked, frozen, inside the glacial ice for up to thirty years.

[. . .]

The idea of a poisonous atmospheric archive being unintentionally released -- on a global scale -- makes me wonder what sorts of news reports we might read in several thousand years' time, when carbon tombs start to leak their quarantined contents back into the atmosphere. The buried skies of an industrial era, put to pharaonic rest beneath the earth's surface, will make their operatic reappearance in future human history.

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The Knife

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

That strange feeling is your head spinning.

Is The Large Hadron Collider Being Sabotaged from the Future?

The quest to observe the Higgs boson has certainly been plagued by its share of troubles, from the cancellation of the Superconducting Supercollider in 1993 to the Large Hadron Collider's streak of technical troubles. In fact, the projects have suffered such bad luck that Holger Bech Nielsen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto wonder if it isn't bad luck at all, but future influences rippling back to sabotage them. In papers like "Test of Effect From Future in Large Hadron Collider: a Proposal" and "Search for Future Influence From LHC," they put forth the notion that observing the Higgs boson would be such an abhorrent event that the future is actually trying to prevent it from happening.

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Rise of the tumorbots

I like it when bots take on organic traits, and the blob above is as good an example as any I've seen lately -- with the possible exception of this Cronenbergian mass . . .

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Behind the scenes at the Singularity Summit

You should have seen Kurzweil. That dude can 'bot with the best of them.

(Tip of the hat to Dangerous Minds.)

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I don't have an iPhone . . .

. . . but if I did, there's a fair chance I'd have this app.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You want one, don't you?

Get it here.

(Thanks to @servanti.)

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The existential implications of ufology

Greg Bishop has written a wonderfully thought-provoking piece on the UFO inquiry titled "UFOs As Agents Of Deconstruction." Here's a brief excerpt:

Ostensibly, the UFO question is whether a non-human source is causing sightings, abductions, radar returns and flying saucer religions, but the intricacies of the problem impinge on so many other areas that we redefine them as well. Examples include reported physics of UFO movement, the question of cultural antecedents and perhaps how our society decides what is acceptable as serious study. That last one may be the most deconstructive effect of all. Changes in our mindset, and not any so-called "answers" may be the real reason behind the whole thing, or at least the most meaningful. There may indeed be "knowledge gained without awareness."

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This is more like it.

Trips to Mars in 39 Days

Using traditional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars -- at quickest -- lasts 6 months. But a new rocket tested successfully last week could potentially cut down travel time to the Red Planet to just 39 days. The Ad Astra Rocket Company tested a plasma rocket called the VASIMR VX-200 engine, which ran at 201 kilowatts in a vacuum chamber, passing the 200-kilowatt mark for the first time. "It's the most powerful plasma rocket in the world right now," says Franklin Chang-Diaz, former NASA astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra.

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The art of Xia Xiaowan

This isn't a hologram; it's a succession of glass frames meticulously tinted with colored pencil by multimedia artist Xia Xiaowan. I'd love to see this stuff firsthand.

(Hat tip to Beautiful/Decay.)

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Deja vu

Twin Towers seen once more via Augmented Reality iPhone app

Mobilizy, the company from Salzburg, that brought us one of the world's first Augmented Reality browsers, Wikitude, just released a major upgrade which crosses that significant line between technology and its effects in the 'real' world. Their idea was to build a virtual memorial in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. The result will be the ability to point their Android and iPhone application at the place where the World Trade Center once stood and witness a 3D rendering of the Twin Towers, once more.

(Via Beyond the Beyond.)

How long until someone develops an app that populates the New York City sky with phantom airliners and billowing CGI smoke?

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The bold new look of The Future!

Now there's absolutely no excuse for missing an episode of "Leave It To Beaver." (Incidentally, the man wearing the headset is none other than science fiction editor extraordinaire Hugo Gernsback.)

More endearingly ill-conceived inventions here.

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No bachelor pad's complete without one!

In the future, single men will take the sting out of alienation by tending to the needs of giant robotic maggots. Or something like that.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

You can't win.

(Thanks to BotJunkie.)

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Then came the great comet, Dionysus."

More about "Star Maidens" here.

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New photos

I've posted some new photos (taken today).


For more, see my Flickr stream.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ernst Haeckel remixed

Gene-splice the amazing illustrations of German biologist Ernst Haeckel with the reiterations of a computer-generated fractal and the results are both elegant and unaccountably alien . . .

More here.

(Thanks to Reality Carnival.)

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Link-dump #19

Joint Russian and Chinese mission to Mars slips to 2011

Mayans "Played" Pyramids to Make Music for Rain God

From Space: Huge River of Dust Over Australia

New Images Reveal "Pure" Water Ice at Low Latitudes on Mars

Iran downs strange bright craft over Persian Gulf

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This one really got my attention.

The DNA Mystery: Scientists Stumped By "Telepathic" Abilities

In the study, scientists observed the behavior of fluorescently tagged DNA strands placed in water that contained no proteins or other material that could interfere with the experiment. Strands with identical nucleotide sequences were about twice as likely to gather together as DNA strands with different sequences. No one knows how individual DNA strands could possibly be communicating in this way, yet somehow they do. The "telepathic" effect is a source of wonder and amazement for scientists.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

A breakthrough to warm one's posthuman heart

Remote Control Cyborg Insects Now A Reality

The awesome part is that this implant only steers the insect, and only when necessary. Once the bug is pointing in the right direction, the steering signal cuts out, and the bug self-stabilizes and gets back to the tricky business of flying, which it was just fine at before some roboticist stuck a bunch of wires into its optic lobe, thank you very much. As you can see from the video, the insect has no trouble landing itself on a vertical surface, a maneuver which would be, uh, a little bit difficult to code.

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Coast to Coast AM

I will be a guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory this Monday on Sep. 28. Here's a preview.

(It's a four-hour spot, so you better believe I'll be drinking coffee.)

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some recent (and semi-recent) UFO posts

I've assembled the following list for newcomers to this blog curious about my attitude about UFOs. It's by no means exhaustive, but summarizes my conviction that the phenomenon is a genuine mystery with the potential to challenge our deepest cosmic and existential certainties.

While I think the UFO enigma indicates some form of intelligence, I'm not sure where that intelligence originates. Certainly it could come from the interstellar neighborhood -- but the evidence, taken in its entirety, suggests we're dealing with something substantially stranger. (Of course, we could be confronted with myriad overlapping phenomena.) In any case, we'll likely never know until the rigid definitional framework that has come to dominate discussion of all things "paranormal" is relaxed to accommodate a genuinely agnostic approach.

Sagan and the Hill encounter

UFOs: Why no "open contact"?

UFOs, aliens and consciousness

The Roswell controversy

The persistent myth of UFO "disclosure"

The "Grays" as posthumans

Do aliens smoke cigarettes?

Talking flowers and other denizens of the imaginal realm

Strange "helpers"

Little green men

Asemic texts and "alien" writing


(To view all posts tagged with "UFOs," click here.)

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Drink up!

It's Official: Water Found on the Moon

Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called "unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

The new findings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, come in the wake of further evidence of lunar polar water ice by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and just weeks before the planned lunar impact of NASA's LCROSS satellite, which will hit one of the permanently shadowed craters at the moon's south pole in hope of churning up evidence of water ice deposits in the debris field.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Further evidence that we inhabit a cosmic fractal

Ego City: Cities organized like human brains

"Natural selection has passively guided the evolution of mammalian brains throughout time, just as politicians and entrepreneurs have indirectly shaped the organization of cities large and small," said Mark Changizi, a neurobiology expert and assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer, who led the study. "It seems both of these invisible hands have arrived at a similar conclusion: brains and cities, as they grow larger, have to be similarly densely interconnected to function optimally."

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Link-dump #19

The Visible Human Project: Full Body MRI GIF

Scary alien hand in real estate listing photo?

Debunking roundup

The sexbots are coming

Roasted Crab Candy (Something the prawns from "District 9" might enjoy snacking on?)

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Transcendent machines

"Someone once said plants invented animals to carry them around. Well, I think the Earth invented human beings to build machines; and those machines will be the consciousness of the Earth. Have you not noticed that these machines are made of the Earth? They are made of gold and silver and arsenic and copper and iridium. They are the stuff of the Earth, organised by primate fingers into more complex arrangements than the Earth could achieve through geological folding, glaciation, volcanism, what have you. We do the fine-tuning; but the Earth is beginning to think."

--Terence McKenna

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More Roswell "insider" testimony

Former U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Supervisor Says the Roswell Object was an Alien Spacecraft

Click here to read Greg Bishop's thoughtful synopsis.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009