- Archaeologists find elongated skull of a woman with jewel-encrusted teeth at Teotihuacan.
- Budj Bim in Australia had sprawling villages of stone houses and an aquaculture system that pre-dated Egypt's pyramids by at least 4000 years.
- Archaeologists have discovered 23 shipwrecks in 22 days in the Aegean Sea.
- 12,000-year-old shaman had a bizarre six-part funeral that involved a HUMAN foot, eagle's wing and 86 tortoises.
- The quantum origin of time - some scientists think the past may not be set in stone.
- Michio Kaku says we could become immortal by uploading our minds to machines.
- That time the U.S. government conducted telepathy experiments at Fort Meade.
- The original female ghostbuster.
- Earliest evidence of monkeys' use of stone tools found.
- The 'cure for homosexuality' experiments that were written out of history.
- Containing a super-intelligent AI is theoretically impossible.
- The speed of light is the speed of causality.
- Having three genetic parents makes mice age better.
- Brain zapping may sharpen vision.
- OTOH: DIY brain stimulation could have scary side effects, doctors warn.
- The Westboro Baptist Church is getting owned in Pokémon Go.
- True coincidences are hard to find.
- Radiation from ancient supernovae may have given evolution an astrophysical push.
- Astronomers say they’ve spotted a dwarf planet that’s farther out than Pluto.
- Identical twin sisters in different cities give birth at the exact same time.
- Image of the Day: Receiving transmission from Planet Fabulous.
Quote of the Day:
There is no way to peace; peace is the way.
A. J. Muste
Coming soon to Ancient Aliens: archaeologists in Mexico have unearthed a unique 'elongated skull' with ornate custom dental work while excavating at the ancient city of Teotihuacan. The skeletal remains belong to a woman - dubbed 'The Lady of Tlailotlacan' - who was 35 to 40 years old at the time of her death, around 350-400 CE:
Her teeth are of particular note. The central incisors in her upper jaw are embedded with round pyrite stones. This technique required cutting a hole in the enamel of the tooth and inserting the decorative stones. It was practiced in the Mayan cities of southern Mexico (see the jade tooth inserts found in Uxul on the Yucatan peninsula), Guatemala and Belize. One incisor in her lower jaw was replaced with a prosthetic made of serpentine, a green stone carved in the shape of a tooth. This was not of local manufacture and she must have worn it for many years because it shows signs of wear and tartar growth. Researchers are currently studying this tooth looking for evidence of how it was affixed to the jaw, possibly with a cement-like adhesive or some kind of fiber that held it in place.
Her grill isn’t the most extreme of her body mods. The shape of her skull is elongated, an intentional cranial shaping of the tabular erect type produced by fronto-occipital compression likely with a cradleboard when she was a child and her bones were still soft. Hers is an extreme example of the practice. This kind of skull shaping isn’t typical of the Central Highlands. It too is more frequently found in the south.
Her teeth and skull make hers one of the most extensively modified bodies ever discovered at Teotihuacan. It also confirms that the residents of Tlailotlacan weren’t only labourers who were brought to or moved to the big city for work, but people of wealth and status as well. The Lady of Tlailotlacan’s modifications were reserved for the Maya elites.
Below is a video of the skeletal remains:
- The mystery of the 101-year-old master pianist who has dementia.
- The child prodigies who became 20th century celebrities.
- Monkeys are aware when they don't know something. Which puts them one up on most humans...
- Can a heart transplant change your personality?
- The Dallas shooting and the advent of killer police robots.
- In the age of 3D-printed guns, do gun-control arguments make any sense?
- Vladimir Putin jumps into the race to build a 'Hyperloop'.
- Neanderthals ate each other and used their bones as tools.
- The man who created Bigfoot.
- The computer code that took America to the Moon has been published to GitHub. In case any of you out there have a functioning Apollo spacecraft that you've been holding on to, waiting...
- The mysterious syndrome that is impairing astronauts' sight.
- These are the ways the world could end.
- Image of the Day: Mummies for sale. Business looks a bit dead.
Quote of the Day:
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Philip K. Dick
The nature of reality is one of our abiding fascinations here at the Daily Grail, so I'm sure many readers will enjoy the TED talk above from Donald Hoffman:
Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Jupiter Crowned By Giant Auroras
- News Briefs 04-07-2016 (Monday)
- The Power of Ritual
- News Briefs 05-07-2016 (Tuesday)
- Long-term Immersion in the DMT Realm Through Controlled Intravenous Injection
- New Book: The Power of Ritual
- News Briefs 06-07-2016 (Wednesday)
- Video from Juno Space Probe Shows Moons Orbiting Jupiter
- News Briefs 07-07-2016 (Thursday)
- News Briefs 08-07-2016 (Friday)
Have a good weekend!
Be nice to as many people as you possibly can. Lord knows, we all need it...
- The mind isn't locked in the brain, but extends far beyond it.
- There's no such thing as free will...but we're better off believing in it anyway.
- A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea.
- On the flipside: religious extremists Daesh have been erasing Syria's rich cultural history, to the point of crushing mummies with bulldozers. We can only hope the Old Gods are displeased...
- Prehistoric tattoos were made with volcanic glass tools. Also: White walkers.
- Vatican unveils ancient frescoes that could show that women held power in the early Church.
- As the Earth's temperature continues to rise at an alarming rate, Britain faces the threat of catastrophic flooding.
- Over 100 years after the most powerful explosion in documented history, researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what happened at Tunguska.
- NASA lies about Jupiter probe, media swallows it.
- This planet with 3 suns shouldn't even exist.
- Ghostbusters, and why we like to laugh at things that go bump in the night.
- Fatality forces Tesla to confront the limits of their cars' 'autopilot' option.
- 'Vatileaks' pair convicted of leaking official documents about Vatican corruption.
- Wandering the labyrinth: monsters and magic.
- Kiefer Sutherland to resurrect his character in the Flatliners remake?
- Rat heart cells power robotic sting-ray
- This is your brain on silence.
Quote of the Day:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy; instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it...Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A reminder: if you would like to be in the draw for a cool prize this month, offer some support as a 'Friend of the Grail' (e.g. by chipping in a few dollars a month to help keep our heads above water)...
- Scientists are teaching robots how to hunt prey. Because that's exactly what we need to do after previously doing this.
- DARPA goes full Tron with its grand battle of the hack bots. Never go full Tron.
- 'Hyperloop' connecting Helsinki and Stockholm turns a 300-mile round trip into a 28 minute ride.
- When artificial intelligence goes wrong, we won't be able to ask it why.
- Getting to know the machine elves: long-term immersion in the DMT realm through controlled intravenous injection.
- Some of the very best alien conspiracy theories.
- Who is this man who seems to die in every terrorist attack?
- Fortcast - a transmission of the strange.
- The great sulphur pyramids of Alberta dwarf the pyramids of Egypt.
- If we return Nazi-looted art, the same should go for empire-looted treasures.
- Why is there a seed vault in the Arctic Circle?
- How the American Pledge of Allegiance went from PR gimmick to patriotic vow.
- Scientist claims he's discovered a magnetic 'sixth sense' in humans.
- Image of the Day: The galaxy at the end of the ocean.
Quote of the Day:
One day the AIs are going to look back on us the same way we look at fossil skeletons on the plains of Africa. An upright ape living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction
Nathan (Ex Machina)
I will never get tired of space probe images. Four centuries after Galileo gazed through his crude telescope and saw Jupiter being circled by a number of its own moons (thus dealing a serious blow to the Ptolemaic, Earth-centric view of the cosmos), NASA's Juno probe captured the higher-fidelity view above of the Galilean satellites orbiting the giant planet as it approached its own orbit.
During it’s final approach to Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this unique time-lapse movie of the Galilean satellites in motion about the planet. The images were taken 5 days prior to arrival and end when the spacecraft was 3 million miles distant. The innermost moon is volcanic Io; next in line is the ice-crusted ocean world Europa, followed by massive Ganymede, and finally, heavily cratered Callisto.
Imagine the look on Galileo's face if you could go back and show him that video...
Here and now:
- Possible remains of the Buddha found in China.
- Rock art on Danish island of Bornholm older than previously thought.
- Shaman woman's grave from 10,000 BC discovered in Galilee.
- Stone Age text links Australia to Europe: initial evidence for worldwide travel by an ancient Stone Age civilization.
- "Leaders of otherplanets are worried" - Confused EU President talks about extraterrestrials.
- Listen to the LHC’s weird, whale-like sounds.
- German 'Stonehenge' opens to the public.
- Scientists say Serpent Mound as old as Aristotle.
- What alien abductees’ stories tell us about humanity.
- Possible discovery of ancient mother and baby with elongated heads in Bolivia.
- Scientists warn of 'global climate emergency' over shifting jet stream.
- Massive 'lava lamp' blobs deep inside Earth have scientists puzzled.
- Single-celled organisms forced to play life-or-death Pac-Man.
- Stanley Kubrick's daughter has some choice words for moon landing truthers.
- A fifth force: fact or fiction?
Quote of the Day:
Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.
In my late twenties I sat - for the very first time - through a Catholic Mass. As a rather non-social person who, when put into a group situation, often finds myself studying the behaviour of those around me 'from afar', I was surprised when - despite not being an active participant in the ritual - elements of the Mass seemed to have intriguing effects on my consciousness. Alternating passages swapping from droning vocals to the ringing of a bell felt like they were breaking the door to my mind down, one strike of the bell at a time.
Having already studied the consciousness changing rituals of 'magick' in previous years, I did afterwards chuckle to myself that the Catholic Mass seemed to be an occult ritual of the highest order. But it also did make clear to me how malleable our mind can be when subjected to ritual elements, and I have had a growing interest in this topic since.
So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Daily Grail Publishing has just released a new book on this very topic: The Power of Ritual, by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles Laughlin (available now from both Amazon US and Amazon UK). The beautiful cover was once again put together by our good friend Mark Foster, of Artifice Design.
Here's the blurb:
This book is about ritual itself - what it is, how it works to influence human belief and behavior, what makes it powerful, what makes it dangerous, and most of all, what makes it useful to contemporary humans. The authors draw often on their own personal experiences with ritual to illuminate its potential for generating and perpetuating group belief and individual transformation, making the book an engaging read. Professors teaching about ritual will find this to be a useful resource, while students and scholars seeking to study ritual will find much to interest them, as will all those interested in designing and performing rituals, and understanding the rituals they choose to participate in or perform.
If you're at all interested in the human mind, and especially its relationship with ritual and belief systems, then I highly recommend that you add this one to your bookshelf.
I've just posted an excerpt from the Preface of the book in which co-author Robbie Davis-Floyd describes the origins of her own interest (and expertise) in ritual, from her anthropological studies - which at one point even led to her indoctrination in a cult - through to personally finding ways to work through the tragic passing of her daughter Peyton in an automobile accident at 20. It's an amazingly raw and honest piece of writing, which I hope you'll take time to read.