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

I wish I'd drawn this.

More . . .

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Ever wondered what might happen if David Cronenberg designed furniture?

Learn more about this piece by Ka-Lai Chan here.

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Just ignore it and maybe it will go away.

Human-made Crises 'Outrunning Our Ability To Deal With Them,' Scientists Warn

"Energy, food and water crises, climate disruption, declining fisheries, ocean acidification, emerging diseases and increasing antibiotic resistance are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity," say the researchers, who come from Australia, Sweden, the United States, India, Greece and The Netherlands.

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I love a good dose of paleo-transhumanism.

(Thanks to @daniel_poeira.)

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Can't afford your own private wormhole?

Never fear! Thanks to augmented reality, the next-best thing is a download away!

(Hat tip: Beyond the Beyond.)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Link-dump #18

Cyborg Nation: "Outsourcing" Biological Functions

Can you see time?

Physicists propose 'Schrödinger's virus' experiment

Evidence Points To Conscious 'Metacognition' In Some Nonhuman Animals

Early 20th UFO encounters

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Skywatchers, take note.

New class of UAVs look more like UFOs

Moveable flaps on sections of the lifting surface provide yaw control to allow the UAV to turn left or right. And flaps on the outside of the craft use the lift airflow to provide directional control, causing the craft to tilt and move in the direction of the tilt.

AESIR say their designs have inherent stability as a surveillance platform, thanks to a sustained hover capability, and can survive low speed impact with the ground, buildings and other fixed objects. They also have a large payload capacity when compared to similar sized fixed wing craft and have been designed to be flexible using "plug-and-play" payloads.

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A Ballardian moment

Revealed: The ghost fleet of the recession anchored just east of Singapore

Then I have it - his 750ft-long merchant vessel is standing absurdly high in the water. The low waves don't even bother the lowest mark on its Plimsoll line. It's the same with all the ships parked here, and there are a lot of them. Close to 500. An armada of freighters with no cargo, no crew, and without a destination between them.

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I always suspected.

Reading Kafka Improves Learning, Suggests Psychology Study

Reading a book by Franz Kafka -- or watching a film by director David Lynch -- could make you smarter.

Enough said.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Here's an astonishingly clever Disney animation depicting hypothetical plants and animals on the surface of Mars. (One of my favorites is the organic flying saucer that fries its prey before enveloping the carcass.)

(Thanks to John Shirley for the tip.)

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Baby universes, white holes and parallel worlds

Physicist Michio Kaku expounds on the prospect of parallel universes in this short, insightful discussion.

Could the UFO phenomenon represent visitors from parallel worlds? I find the notion at least as palatable as the more popular Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.

(Thanks to Reality Carnival.)

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Link-dump #16

Reboot for UK's 'oldest' computer

Chimpanzees Develop 'Specialised Tool Kits' to Catch Army Ants

Is It Ethical To Engineer Delicious Cows That Feel No Pain?

Fuck The Fermi Paradox

We're all mutants, say scientists

LRO Sees Bouncing, Rolling Boulders on the Moon

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The future wears a gasmask.

Many more right here . . .

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Synthetic landscapes

The following photos are taken from this fine pictorial by Next Nature.

I like the quiet surrealism of these arboreal phantasms; my favorites are the ones that don't look like their designers cared particularly if they resembled real trees . . .

Imagine entire forests of such transmitter-laden simulacra.

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"Artificial Paradise, Inc."

ARTIFICIAL PARADISE, Inc from Jp Frenay on Vimeo.

This posthuman fable is far too cool to pass up. Be sure to watch on full-screen mode.

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Today's dose of entropy fetishism

Feral Houses

I've seen "feral" used to describe dogs, cats, even goats. But I have wondered if it couldn't also be used to describe certain houses in Detroit. Abandoned houses are really no big deal here. Some estimate that there are as many as 10,000 abandoned structures at any given time, and that seems conservative. But for a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become "feral" in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.

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Link-dump #15

'Plasmobot': Scientists To Design First Robot Using Mould

Fleet of Wind-Powered Yachts Could Hold Off Climate Change for 25 Years

After Loss of Lunar Orbiter, India Looks to Mars Mission

A One-Way Ticket to Mars

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009