- Ancient Maya superhighways found in the Guatemala jungle.
- After a century of failing to crack the ancient Indus script, linguists have turned to machines for help.
- Why the Earth's magnetic poles could be about to swap places - and how it would affect us.
- Scientists turn hydrogen into a metal in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionise technology and space travel.
- Human-pig embryo 'chimeras' successfully created by scientists.
- Siberian officials to discuss accusations that Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker is a "work of the occult".
- Sorry, but psychic powers won't transport you to a parallel universe.
- And yet: virtual reality 'death simulator' could "cure society's fear of dying".
- Evidence shows that life continues within the body after death.
- Kim Kardashian 'enlightened' after reading about a near-death experience.
- The rise of fear and the strange death of the UFO.
- 'Alien' life could exist high in the Earth's atmosphere.
- DEA accidentally tweets reasons why cannabis should be legal.
- European space bosses reveal plan for 50m-high 'dome of contemplation' on the Moon.
Quote of the Day:
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
Running Out of Copies of the 'Spirits of Place' Limited Edition Hardcover, Signed by Alan Moore, Iain Sinclair and OthersPosted by Greg at 04:31, 30 Jan 2017
Just a quick heads-up that we are now basically down to our last box of the limited edition hardcover of Spirits of Place signed by a bunch of the contributors, including Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair (now that's a handy pair of signatures to have in a book!). Above you can see an example of the signed insert, this one for copy #69 (of 100 in total).
To grab a copy of this collector's edition for yourself, all you need to do is head over to our Shopify store. And remember, if you're not looking for a collector's/investor's piece that will no doubt go up in value, but just want to read the thing, we also have both paperback and eBook editions available - just click through the relevant links on the Spirits of Place website!
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Evidence Of Equine Empathy At A Human's Funeral
- News Briefs 23-01-2017 (Monday)
- Hallucinogenic Honey Hunters of Nepal
- News Briefs 24-01-2017 (Tuesday)
- The Palace Built Over a Hellmouth
- News Briefs 25-01-2017 (Wednesday)
- News Briefs 26-01-2017 (Thursday)
- Rethinking the Mysteries of Peru
- News Briefs 27-01-2017 (Friday)
Have a good weekend!
“He who marches out of line hears another drum.”
- Could Wolf 1061 harbor life?
- Doomsday Clock shifts closer to midnight.
- The volcano that’s erupted for 94 years.
- NASA reveals fateful hatch.
- Will metallic hydrogen end the superconductor quest?
- The key to LSD?
- Science defies gag order.
- The eternal sunshine of the spotless mice.
- Distant worlds in orbit.
- Nine female Nat Geo photographers who rock.
- Climate change models may need recalibrating.
- Cannibal hamsters.
- Which Hill Valley would you choose?
- Did Mars get slimed?
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… Airport ‘bots.
Quote of the Day:
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”
Elongated skulls, amazing megalithic architecture, and the Ica Stones - all mysteries of ancient Peru that have been covered by many alternative history researchers. Now Alex Mott, fresh from investigating the Bosnian pyramid and ancient Egyptian anomalies, and also the stoneworking mysteries of ancient India, has turned his camera to the New World in his latest short documentary on YouTube.
- Why Orwell's 1984 is more relevant than ever.
- In the Age of "Alternative Facts", climate scientists have no choice but the path of Activism.
- A swarm of robots has been set loose --upon the ocean.
- Silent but… homely? Methane bursts might have warmed a young Mars.
- Yeah, NASA's new space suits are Kubricklicious, but what we *really* want are N7 armors!!
- The Night of the Shape Shifting Humanoids (Part 2): The conclusion of my chronicle of the incredible Conil close encounter(s).
- New Mothman documentary digs into the terrifying events occurring in Point Pleasant during the 1960's.
- Thylacines: Getting inside the head of a (presumably) extinct predator.
- 2016 was a good year for the International Cryptozoology Museum.
- The Bye-Bye Man: Bad flick. Creepy urban legend.
- A case of a Buddhist poltergeist --in Arizona?
- The mystery of the 'handbags' depicted across several ancient cultures.
- John Anthony West, the man who popularized the theory of a much older Sphynx than what is accepted by orthodox archeology, has been diagnosed with Cancer.
- Having a reason to wake up every morning will help you keep your health in the process.
- Apocalypse Now: The Video-game.
- Red Pill of the Day: Australian zoo begs public to catch deadly spiders for milking --Are you a druggo, mate??
Quote of the Day:
“The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.”
~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
- Virtual out-of-body experiences found to reduce fear of death.
- Organisms created with synthetic DNA pave the way for entirely new life forms.
- Pregnancy without men? New research lets us make babies from skin cells.
- UFO-hunting aerospace firm testing secret space station.
- Remote Russian lake deepens the Tunguska mystery.
- 1700-year-old skeleton found with a stone in place of a missing tongue.
- Wearable 'Rosetta pendant' holds an archive of many of the world's languages.
- Parasitic wasp found to be manipulated by smaller parasitic wasp. Apparently its not turtles, but wasps all the way down...
- Hallucinogenic honey hunters of Nepal.
- Is there an 'Element Zero?
- $20 million in cash discovered inside a bed frame in Massachusetts flat.
- If multiverses seem weird, it's because we need to revamp our notions of time and space.
- A new theory to explain why humans evolved selves.
- Image of the Day: Eye and the tiger. (Bonus: now you have an earworm.)
Quote of the Day:
We don’t live in the age of post-truth. We live in the age of internet-enabled bullshit.
The essay below is taken from the new anthology Spirits of Place, which features the likes of Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Gazelle Amber Valentine, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, Iain Sinclair and many others taking us on a tour of places where they themselves have encountered, or even consulted with, 'spirits of place' - " the echoes of people, of events, of ideas which have become imprinted upon a location, for better or for worse."
More information, and links for ordering Kindle, paperback and hardcover editions, can be found at the Spirits of Place website.
The Palace Built Over a Hellmouth
Only a king or a queen has the power to move the capital of their kingdom to their preferred location. For King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598), this place was at the very centre of the Iberian Peninsula, not far from the city of Madrid, in an area called El Escorial on the southern slopes of Mount Abantos. Here he vowed to build his life’s plan: a royal residence that would also be a pantheon, a monastery, a library, a museum and a centre of studies. To bring it to life, he hired a group of architects, experienced masons and theologists, who evaluated the terrain positively but, given the monarch’s interest in esotericism and alchemy, probably warned him of an ancient legend: that the Devil himself had lived in a cave at the foot of the mountain, after he was expelled from Heaven and before he opened up seven doors to enter his new abode in the Underworld. The location of one of these doors was El Escorial.
The locals whispered stories of monsters, visions and curses, of frequent electrical storms with lightning constantly hitting the area. Nevertheless, on the 30th of November 1561, the king’s experts travelled to El Escorial to make a final decision. Their official chronicler, Father Sigüenza, describes how the group was stricken by a gale that “didn’t allow them to reach their destination”, which the friar interpreted as the Devil trying to dissuade them from erecting a religious complex over what was rumoured to be a Hellmouth. But the king dismissed the ominous signs in a letter to his men, noting that there had also been a tempest in Madrid. And so the works started a year later, after the court was moved to Madrid, and lasted for over two decades. The complex remains the best-known symbol of Spanish royalty, with its rows of kings and queens resting in the Pantheon. But, in spite of Philip II’s Catholic fervour, it seems as though the chthonic currents managed to seep through the soil and leak into the rich marble and gold, into the silver crosses, statues of saints and reliquaries, playing with the senses of the palace’s inhabitants, driving them to madness and perdition.
To me, the centre of the Peninsula has always felt suffocating. I grew up on the south coast, in a luminous, heavily-built Mediterranean city where my dad was also born. My mum came from a small village in the north, all high mountains, coalmines and fog. They met in Madrid, almost exactly halfway, when Franco was still alive, and moved to the south after they got married. In the summers, my dad would drive us to the north in his rumbling Renault 14. It was a long journey, and it helped to think of it in two halves: before and after Madrid. In those days there was no seat belt to be worn, so I wriggled in the back seat, kneeling and twisting to catch the best sights on the way. One of the most intriguing was an enormous cross on the horizon, silhouetted and looming over its surroundings: the so-called “Valley of the Fallen”. Once I said I’d like to see it up close, and my dad frowned: “That’s where Franco and his pals are buried. We’re not going there.” I didn’t know much about the Civil War then, but I knew enough to find the sight disturbing, like a monstrous shadow of the past creeping over us, triumphant. Perhaps on the same trip, or on a different one, I was also told about the most powerful king Spain ever had, who built a huge palace-monastery, not far from that cross, many centuries before the bones of the Fallen had been buried in that soil.
I never liked that central part of the journey – the flat, monotonous roads, the merciless heat, the strange absence of the sea on the horizon, still too far from the fresh green meadows of my mum’s homeland. Travelling to the centre of the Peninsula in the summer was like slowly descending into a pit of burning coal, a journey to the centre of the Earth, from which one could only exit either side.
For many centuries, the Spanish court was itinerant and the capital city changed depending on where the monarch was established. Before Philip II’s decision, the honour fell on Toledo, a centre of tolerance and cooperation between Christians, Jews and Muslims until the establishment of the Inquisition brought turmoil. By the 16th century, the city was the focus of civil revolts against Philip’s father, King Charles I, but it also had one of the most important archdioceses in the Catholic world, second only to Rome. In contrast, Madrid was only a relatively important city, with no ports nearby and no navigable rivers. There was nothing there that could overshadow the king: barely any local aristocrats; no significant religious power. Perhaps he saw this relative isolation as an advantage, as a clean start in the exact centre of the Peninsula, an area with good terrain and benevolent climate.
Philip lived in the shadow of his father, Charles I, powerful warlord, cosmopolitan adventurer, silver-tongued speaker. It must have been a heavy burden to bear, especially because their talents were so different. Philip, the sole male heir, wanted to build a suitable place to bury ... Read More »
Facts, or alternate facts? You be the judge...
- Doomsday prep for the super-rich.
- Bill Gates warns that damage caused by bioterrorism could be "very, very huge".
- The not-so-fine tuning of the Universe: turns out there's more than one way to make a life-friendly 'verse.
- Is this horse mourning its dead human companion?
- Robot squeezes pig hearts to keep them pumping.
- Bizarre caterpillar that makes its own leafy armour seen for the first time.
- The fairy scam that folled the creator of Sherlock Holmes.
- Uri Geller, again.
- If you don't believe in Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, Loren Coleman's International Cryptozoology Museum may persuade you.
- Alternative Egyptologist John Anthony West has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
- China's growing ambitions in space.
- Ancient bits of rock help solve an asteroid mystery.
- Last time the Earth was this warm, sea level was a lot higher.
- Top ten occult media.
- Who killed JFK? A guide to the Kennedy conspiracy theories.
- Image of the Day: The six-sided pole of Saturn.
Quote of the Day:
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.
If you've read Paul Devereux's wonderful book The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia, you'll know how prevalent the use of shamanic plants was throughout the ancient world. But what about the use of hallucinogenic honey?
Nepal’s Gurung people live mostly in small villages in the vast Annapurna mountain ranges. In this remote region, they practice an ancient tradition of honey hunting where they descend towering cliffs on handmade ladders, to harvest honey nestled under jagged overhangs.
In spring, the Gurung’s honey contains a rare substance called grayanotoxin from rhododendron flowers that’s known for its intoxicating effects. While some accounts say it’s a deadly poison, others refer to it as an aphrodisiac, powerful medicine, and a hallucinogenic drug.
VICE travelled deep into the Annapurna mountains to join a Gurung village on their spring hunt and understand Mad Honey's effects.
The use of 'mad honey' wasn't just restricted to Nepal though; people in Turkey, Japan, Brazil, North America, and various parts of Europe have over the years been intoxicated by hallucinogenic honey.