I'm proud to announce that in another week or so, we're going to go public with a little project we've been working on. Tired of the restrictive context of web pages, we've put together a magazine version of TDG, which we'll be making available for free as a PDF download to all. This will allow us to build beautiful designs around the content we regularly serve up here, and perhaps make it easier for you to print out some of the articles for reading elsewhere. If there's enough interest, we may even progress to doing a print version. I'll get back with details in a few days, but until then, please feel free to leave any comments/requests.
I've been thinking lately of adding a 'library' of sorts to the site, in which we could hold topical books, audio and video. Obviously, these files would have to be either public domain, or have been donated (or at least had permission granted by the copyright holder). I'm sure we could pool together our resources and find much of interest - if you've got some suggestions for worthwhile additions, please either leave a comment here on the website or send me an email (preferably with a link, rather than being deluged with email attachments).
I've added a contact page for TDG, so now you can contact any of us via a web-based form (which stops spam-bots getting hold of our email addresses). For future reference, the link to the contact form is available at any time from the links directly beneath the site logo ('Contact Us'). We welcome your comments and feedback.
In breaking news all over local TV here, Australian scientists have announced that the 'Hobbit' species found on the Indonesian island of Flores may actually have been genetically mutated due to chronic use of nicotine. Head researcher at Newcastle University, April Dujour, said that excavations of the Flores lowlands had revealed that nicotine was the major crop on the island - but that no trace remained, suggesting that extreme use of the plant species, probably by smoking, meant that it had become extinct (much like the treeless Easter Island).
Working with a well-known genetic biologist, the Australian team has surmised that the endemic abuse of the nicotine crop led to stunted growth in the population. Dujour's former lecturer was stunned by the idea of nicotine in Indonesia: "This is a world first for April," he said. "It's a big day for her career." A peer-reviewed article is said to be imminent, in which the astounding claims are accompanied by another - that the bread baked by the primitive people lacked a crust, and as such caused the 'Hobbit' hair to be completely straight and free of curls.
Update: This story is of course our regular April Fools Day joke. We all know the real story about Flores - that they are the archaic super-race from which jockeys are descended. If you really want some interesting news, how about the fact that Dan Brown is now saying that Kashmir belongs to the U.S., or the apocalyptic revelation that Maynard James Keenan has left TOOL as he has recently found Jesus. Fascinating news stories over the weekend, that's for sure.
A quick note: Amazon.com has decided in its wisdom to offer a discount on my book Da Vinci in America: Unlocking the Secrets of Dan Brown's 'The Solomon Key'. So if you haven't picked up a copy yet, you can currently purchase it for less than $10 in the United States. Apologies to those who snapped it up straight away at the full price, but you retain my gracious thanks for your kind support.
Book Review - State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton's State of Fear is rapidly climbing the best seller lists. I had asked TDG member X_O to review the novel but I was not around when he published it on his blog. Now that I've returned, I am reposting the review:
STATE of FEAR by Michael Crichton
A review by X_O
A quick heads-up to let y'all know that I'm travelling for the next couple of weeks, so will only be around sporadically. Stepping into the chair for to cover the Tuesday news briefs while I'm away is our long-time helper and link gatherer, Kat - I'm sure she'll do a great job...in fact she'll probably be far better than me. Catch you on the other side.
The flying triangle poll has been archived after just over 1000 votes, with more than half of respondents saying these mysterious craft are just secret government projects. Around a quarter of those surveyed did think the triangles were from an alien civilisation. If you still want to vote on this poll, or any of the older ones, they all remain open and can be accessed from the Polls page (a handy link from the front page is just under the site logo).
The new poll takes its cue from my book Da Vinci in America, and asks what sort of influence Freemasonry had in the founding of the United States. With influential identities such as Washington and Franklin having a long history of involvement with 'the Craft', and the esoteric symbolism of the Great Seal, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it played a major role in the creation of the new nation. Add to that, the desire of people such as Francis Bacon to create a 'New Atlantis', and it is certainly an interesting question. Feel free to add comments to the poll as well as your vote.
A sad piece of news just breaking: counter-culture author Hunter S. Thompson has reportedly shot and killed himself:
Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.
This is breaking news, so I'm sure further information will be forthcoming.
The site has undergone a major upgrade today, and there are a number of issues we'll be working through over the next few days. So if you notice something looking a bit strange (or broken), please bear with us as we sort it all out. Some other changes are here for good - for instance, if you go into the 'My Account' section, you'll find that there are now clickable tabs at the top of the page for the different parts of your account. Also, the themes (all two of them) now have screenshots to show what they look like. Expect to notice numerous changes like these.
One new addition to the site which I would like to point out is the Amazon search module - in the left hand menu you'll now see 'Search Amazon.com': this link will take you to a page which lets you search Amazon while remaining within the Daily Grail website. This can only be set up for one particular Amazon branch, so we've decided to go with Amazon US - apologies to the other countries excluded.