Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is a film that sits comfortably on the shelf next to its most closely related films; Stanley Kubrick's classic trip, 2001  and Robert Zemeckis' Contact . A little too comfortably actually, as it leeches ideas and material from both of these two major works of the "quasi-mystical space quest" SF sub-genre, mutating them to serve in its own plot.
Held against the recent piece of clear anti-space propaganda, the “life in space is impossible” of Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, it functions as a much needed response, but overall comes off as a less focused work.
Starring Matthew McConaughey - who played a Christian philosopher in Contact and was most recently seen on TV's True Detective as the grim Rust Cohle, a role heavily influenced by the “cosmic pessimist” philosophy outlined in Eugene Thacker's book In The Dust Of This Planet - as Cooper: a former NASA pilot, engineer and reluctant farmer in a new Dust Bowl America of unclear proportions who is chosen by outside forces for a most optimistic cosmic, covert mission; to save the human race.
Put simply, it's not a great time to be alive. This is the near future of economic and ecological collapse and near-term human extinction; a similar setting to the recent Autómata. It's hinted that the Earth's population has been decimated, though no exact facts are given... in fact, the truth is a casualty of the times. One of the most powerful scenes early on involves an earnest young school teacher repeating the line of the 'updated textbooks': the Moon landings were faked in an effort to bankrupt the Soviet Empire by making it spend all its money on all that unnecessary spacecraft. This is a “caretaker generation” that has long since stopped looking at the Heavens and is focused purely on the dirt and the muck of Earth. No ambition (unlike the ESA), just grit-teethed, dumb-minded stoicism – as embodied in the film by Cooper's son.
Cooper's daughter, Murph, is a dreamer. Reading his old textbooks, getting into fights in defence of her beliefs, seeking the wondrous in the world. There's a ghost in her room that she's convinced is trying to tell her something. It's Coopers eventual interpretation of this message and act of faith in following it that sparks his quest to another galaxy, in search of a new homeland for his species.
This world’s a treasure that’s been telling us to leave for a while now.
Mankind was born on earth. It was never meant to die here.”
Without getting too much deeper in the details of the plot (trailer below) – they travel through ... Read More »
Probably the best way to start the Halloween festivities: A recent news spreading around the interwebs, that Michael Jackson spent millions of dollars before his untimely death in an attempt to clone himself. Just another WTF! myth to ensure his long-lasting cultural legacy, or does the story have any (dancing) legs?
According to author and UFO researcher Michael Luckman --who's no stranger to controversial allegations-- the King of Pop paid a fortune to Europeans geneticists, because his wish was that his clones would carry on his legacy after his death. From The Boys from Brazil to The Boys from Neverland!
Michael C. Luckman claims the information was given to him from the late celebrity fashion designer Andre Van Pier - who designed stage costumes for Jackson and his sisters.
Luckman told BANG Showbiz: ''Van Pier first learned of the futuristic cloning experiments and the secret sperm deposits from a close associate at a longevity centre based in Panama. Michael's enthusiasm for cloning began with the successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep and escalated following false claims by the Raelians, a UFO cult group with headquarters in Canada, that they had cloned the first human baby.''
Luckman, who has just finished his book 'The Battle for Michael Jackson's Soul', believes the cloning process could even be being carried out now.
The author says: ''Michael wanted this happen, and spent time and money trying to achieve his goal. We could see many dead stars resurrected with science. Canadian dentist Dr. Michael Zuk purchased one of John Lennon's teeth at auction and has announced plans to use the DNA from the tooth to create a perfect double of the former Beatle.''
It's a bit hard to take this story seriously; but even if Jackson did try to preserve his genetic material for posterity --and let's be honest, he wasn't particularly famous for making sound economic decisions with his money-- we know fully well that heredity plays only a part in the make-up of a human being. Even if you had a perfect genetic copy of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley or even Jesus, that does not guarantee the clone would be able to replicate the accomplishments of its 'original'. Would Michael have agreed to submit his clones to the same pain and abuse he suffered himself as a child?
Personally, I prefer the fact that there will never be another King of Pop, and what better way to honor his memory, than to enjoy what still is the best, god-damned music video of all time?
Happy Halloween, Grailers!
”Man is the most insane species…”
- Parallel worlds.
- The beginning of life?
- Titan-ic sunlight.
- Manipulating light.
- Music for Gaia.
- Sending messages from now to then.
- Equality for man & monkey.
- NASA finally concedes to escape hatch.
- Is Deepmind just a pseudonym for Skynet?
- Earth’s ancient waters.
- Get out of my mind, Jobe.
- Antarctic melt could lead to global floods.
- When plants eat meat.
- Illuminating the dark side and a blue marble.
- Lego goes dark.
- The science of Interstellar.
- Tips for getting more treats than tricks.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… Dr. Bot.
Quote of the Day:
“He worships an invisible god and destroys visible nature, unaware that this nature he’s destroying is the god he’s worshiping.”
Though I've never had the pleasure to visit Egypt and contemplate the massive splendor of the Great Pyramid (yet), modern tourists will never truly grasp why sheer size and geometric perfection weren't the only things that made this monument the biggest wonder of the Ancient World.
That's because what remains of the pyramid attributed to the pharaoh Khufu is now almost completely devoid of its outer layer of highly polished limestone blocks, which would have made it look shiny white to the naked eye, and easy to spot for many miles around - a vision Egyptologist Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson has tried to recreate using the magic of CGI for a documentary produced by the Smithsonian channel.
I hope the documentary remembers to mention an oft-forgotten aspect in the mystery of the Great Pyramid: that of the missing capstone, which some believed was made of pure gold -- and which was supposedly going to be replaced as part of a grandiose ceremony at the start of the current millennium.
Seeing how the structure was covered in a bright material such as limestone, it makes sense the top portion of the pyramid, which would have been hit first by the ray of the rising sun, should have been made of an equally-reflective or more reflective substance, in order to turn it into a beacon presiding over the land of the pharaohs, bringing forth illumination from the realm of the gods.
[H/T Fast Company Design]
- October 2014 was 'the perfect synch storm', according to Twilight language researcher Loren Coleman.
- How the shadow of Ebola is settling into the subconscious of New Yorkers.
- My grandma, the poisoner.
- I think I saw an article on how chocolate may help improve memory, but now I can't remember it…
- The Dalai Lama sees a new spin in his Samsara.
- Turning the evolution of complex life inside out.
- Finding news species in the (urban) jungle.
- Professor Brian Cox shows incredible pessimism at our search for life in the Universe.
- The bad news: Traumatic stress may affect DNA. The good news: Psychotherapy may heal it.
- How NASA tries to cope with the mind-altering aspects of space travel.
- Paperclip? More like Paperweight! The CIA had THOUSANDS of Nazi 'assets' working for them during the Cold War.
- Flying car prototype unveiled in Vienna.
- Thanks to Movie Magic, UFOs are more than real. They're 'Hyperreal.'
- Cash-Landrum expert Curt Collins weighs in on Nat Geo's recent take on the famous UFO case.
- Stairway to Lawsuit? A judge will decide whether Led Zeppelin plagiarized their most famous song.
- Red Pill of the Week: If you find a stranger man naked with your dog, then SURELY he must be the Anti-Christ.
Thanks to my great-aunt Pina, who used to give me toy cars every time we went to spend the Easter holidays in Ocotlán. Descanse en paz, tía
Quote of the Day:
"Paranoia is just having the right information."
~William S. Burroughs
Want to debunk or dismiss points of view and theories that go against your own beliefs, but are just too under-informed and/or lazy to do it properly? No problem! You just simply have to label your adversary as a 'conspiracy theorist' and Voilà! That poor tinfoil-hatter will be seen as a kook faster than he can yell "Trilateral Commission."
Srsly though, we Grailers know that there are many stories and news which get covered in this site, and the fact that we link to them does *not* necessarily mean we endorse them or agree with them 100% of the time. TDG trusts in the intelligence of our members, yet we always remind them of our Caveat lector policy. We may end up agreeing to disagree, but that doesn't give us the right to belittle people of different opinions.
Yet the fact of the matter is that recently the term 'conspiracy theory' has been weaponized by mainstream media, or even websites aspiring to go mainstream, because it's easy to make fun of dissent than to give rational rebuttals.
Thus 'conspiracy theory' has turned into a blanket term in which EVERY dissenting or alternative thinking is piled up. So for example, if you have reasons to think genetically modified foods might not be as safe for consumption as the US Dept. of Health would have you believe, then by default you must also think all the governments in the world are controlled by shape-shifting Reptilians who used beam weapons and holograms of airplanes to take down the World Trade Center in 9/11, and are planning to deceive Humanity with a fake alien invasion designed to impose the New World OrderZOMGStartStockingUpTheBunker!!!
Maybe the way to stop this trend has to start with US in the alternative circles. We need to refrain of thinking that every. Single. Person! Who doesn't happen to agree with us is a complete fool or a brain-washed drone. There's a time for proselytizing, and there's a time when you need to move to better things.
Always remember: Those in power will NEVER admit that they were ever wrong about anything --they'll just quietly re-change their position hoping no-one ever noticed...
No lack of imagination here:
- England once plotted to kidnap the Loch Ness Monster. Perhaps they just murdered it instead?
- Ridley Scott to produce miniseries on rocket scientist, occultist Jack Parsons.
- Rock art panels may be linked to hallucinogenic plants.
- Was prehistoric rock art inspired by ghostly sound of stampeding animals?
- Turin shroud was made for medieval Easter ritual, historian says.
- Ray Kurzweil's transhumanism as contemporary esotericism.
- Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and
God isn't 'a magician with a magic wand'.
- Did a pope and an emperor team up to erase 300 years of history?
- How to bury a witch.
- Halloween? It's more than trick or treat.
- Sex, drugs, and broomsticks: the origins of the iconic witch.
- UK poll says more people believe in aliens and ghosts than God.
- The macabre romance of a man and a mummy.
- When spirits 'dictate' books: what's to believe?
- Aircraft passenger's stunning picture shows rainbow effect, but is it atmospheric or just light polarised by glass.
- Breaking down experiences into millions of parts may help explain consciousness.
- Google wants to be inside you.
- Climate change: the good news.
Quote of the Day:
Imagination should be used, not to escape reality but to create it.
Deadline is reporting that sci-fi film legend Ridley Scott will be co-producing a mini-series for AMC that will be based on the life of 'occult rocketeer', Jack Parsons:
Based on George Pendle’s book Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life Of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside, the drama tells the story of Jack Parsons, a brilliant rocket scientist and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While a pioneer in research that had only recently been dreamed up in science fiction, his bright future gave way to ruin as Parsons headed down another, darker path into the occult community of mid-century Los Angeles.
Personally, I'm amazed that it's taken this long for someone to adapt Parson's fantastical life story into a movie or mini-series (for those unacquainted with Jack Parsons, be sure to read through 'The Tragic Tale of the Rocket Maker' here on TDG for a fine introduction to his story).
(via Boing Boing)
It's been 77 years since H. P. Lovecraft passed away, and yet his influence on pop culture has only continued to grow; like some ancient alien virus spreading through our collective mind, triggering in all of us the kind of terrifying clarity that comes, when we are forced to pierce through the frail veneer of Reality... and look into the Void within...
A group of artists are intent of following in the footsteps of Dagon's favorite conjurer, by bringing to you Miskatonic West: A web series inspired by the Lovecraftian lore.
n the world of HP Lovecraft; the creaking of a door, a shadow passing in your periphery or a bizarre siting at sea could mean any number of things, natural or supernatural. The massive sea god, Dagon, may have really existed in a primordial age. Whole civilizations of alien beings may have coursed across the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The ability to reanimate the dead may actually be possible. Lovecraft wrote about these possibilities at the turn of the 20th century. They thought he was a fiction writer. He wasn’t. Everything he wrote about exists, and now Lovecraft’s distinguished Miskatonic University has a Southern California location.
Miskatonic West follows the exploits of Sousaku Kaos, the head of Miskatonic's biology department, and his band of intrepid students as they pull the curtain back on a world of monsters, magic and mystery inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Helping the LAPD with “cases of interest,” Kaos and his students must uncover a plot to awaken Dagon, the ancient ocean god, by the Esoteric Cult of Dagon, before it and an army of deep ones invade the West Coast.
In making Miskatonic West, the creators hope to bring the same verisimilitude and realism that Lovecraft brought to his writings of close encounters with the monstrous and supernatural. With an eye towards cinematic integrity, we want to bring the world of Lovecraft into an emotionally honest light and capture what it would be like to encounter things that should not be and the toll it might take on one's sanity.
If you are a Lovecraft fan, a fan of monsters, mystery, suspense and human drama join us in making this web series a reality. Thank you.
The Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund this project finishes on November 3rd, so make sure you appease the Old Ones with a tribute in cash --lest they force you to pay it in blood instead >:)
- Is this 9500-year-old statue the world’s oldest secret code?
- 13-angle stone discovered in ancient Inca wall reveals incredible skill of masons.
- 3000-year-old ancient Egyptian sarcophagus discovered in living room of an Essex pensioner.
- Revisiting the Age of the Sphinx controversy.
- New DNA evidence confirms pre-colonial contact between Easter Island and South America.
- How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it.
- Nancy Reagan’s astrologer Joan Quigley, the administration’s “most closely guarded secret”, has passed away at 87.
- That time big game hunters were called in to kill the Loch Ness Monster and almost sparked a war.
- Sci-fi giant William Gibson says the future will view us “as a joke”.
- India’s space madness amid astronomical poverty.
- You are powered by quantum mechanics. Really.
- Sick honeybees may be nursed by doctor bees.
- Experts have severely underestimated the risks of genetically modified food, a group of researchers claim.
- Scientists engineer stem cells that can kill cancer.
- Scans find that most autistic people have normal brain anatomy.
- Do you believe in ghosts? Leading psychologist claims “it’s all in the brain”.
- I went on a ghost-hunt, but all I got was this lousy heat-stroke.
- Men in Pakistan make curry using over 100 dead bodies they dug up. Brings new meaning to the phrase “finger food”…
- Take the red popcorn: Gnosticism in cinema.
- Comic mage Constantine comes to TV - check out Cat Vincent’s review.
Quote of the Day:
You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.