Two hours, three minutes and two seconds. That is the fastest time established by a human being running the Marathon.
Covering that same distance took 11 years for a 4-wheeled vehicle, which would seem like the worst mileage ever --unless you took into account this marathon was traversed on the surface of another world.
The above clip is a time-lapsed video produced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, from the POV of the Opportunity rover's stereoscopic cameras, showing its progression from January 2004 to April of 20015. The rover's top speed is 0.18 km/h.
By comparison, the Apollo 17 astronauts traveled a total distance of 35.74 km on the lunar surface with the 'moon buggy' vehicle, just behind the Soviet Lunokhod 2 rover, who covered a total distance of 39 km in 1973. All this making Opportunity the undisputed long-distance champion in the entire solar system.
And the little guy is still going! Keep in mind its designers were originally counting its mission would only last 90 (Martian) days. Give me THAT kind of sturdiness and reliability over speed any Sol of the week, mister.
Rovin' rovin' rovin'
Keep on your explorin'
*sung with the Rawhide music*
Since Google decided to open-source their Deep Dream visualization tool, which was designed to help them understand how neural networks work in recognizing images through different 'layers' of appreciation, artists and programmers all over the world have been having a blast using it to create pictures worthy of a Hunter S. Thompson's nightmare --like the one above, featuring renowned graphic-novel writer Alan Moore.
I've been thinking a lot about DeepDream lately, and what it could possibly mean. Is it a quirk of Google's algorithms, or is it hinting at some fundamental aspect in the process of perception itself?
And, could it be related somehow to the UFO phenomenon aswell? I think it just might! I think in fact it's the perfect example of what my friend and colleague Greg Bishop has been proposing for sometime, of how when we observe something completely outside of our normal frame of experience --say, a disc-shaped object in the sky, or a humanoid form on the ground-- we unconsciously struggle to put inside one of our 'mental boxes'.
When we finally make it fit, the end result might be an aberration from the original signal, shaped by the expectations and desires of the observer.
In any case, DeepDream should at least give us some comfort in thinking the Robot Apocalypse is gonna be groovier than we thought --and to stay away from the killer sentries, just hide behind a flock of chickens...
C'mon FOX! You call that a tease!!
- The Space-X Conspiracy Theory: It's rocket was shot down by Lockheed Martin with a freaking laser.
- Revealing sprites thru slo-mo.
- Cuba becomes the first nation to completely eradicate mother-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
- New Alzheimer's treatment fully restores memory function... on mice.
- DeepDream's vision of porn images looks like a trippified circle of Hell! (Links sez it's NSFW, but if this could get you fired, you should've quit already!)
- Why do wind farms make some people sick?
- The Mystery of the Amazonian savannah --Solved.
- Alien hunting could go Hi-Def with ginormous space telescope.
- Dutch medium Robbert van den Broeke claims to have in his possession actual 'alien limbs'. My suggestion? Find a calamari recipe, Rob...
- Pic of the Day: New Horizons snaps a new image of Pluto, prior to its historic flyby.
- Edgar Allan Poe, the Cosmologist.
- For André Borschberg, the 5-day flight onboard the tiny cockpit of the Solar Impulse 2 plane was a "zen-like experience." Dude must be a New Yorker.
- Archeologists find remnants of ship wreckage belonging to Kublai Khan's invading armada.
- New species of triceratops show curly horns were all the rage in the Cretaceous.
- Helium leaking from bottom of the Earth in Southern California. In other news, Orange County is reporting an increase in party clowns residents.
- Red Pill of the Day: "Gay marriage could damage our cattle exports" sez Australian minister. Here's the cattle's reaction...
Thanks to Charles.
Quote of the Day:
"Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity."
- A talking white elephant, given 'acoustic smile therapy' could save the world with his wisdom, claims scientist.
- Snails fly out of crater on beach.
- Were the Americas inhabited 30,000 years ago?
- Medieval Graffiti – charms and curses.
- Strange stars pulse to the golden mean.
- Neolithic 'shaman' discovered in Egypt.
- The intriguing history of ghost photography.
- Democracy may have predated ancient Greece.
- Long-distance cyclist sees 'goblins'.
- Bonobos use a range of tools like stone-age humans.
- Earth and Mars could share a life history.
- Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder sees a huge UFO in his back garden.
- Report finds UFO sightings doubled in June.
- Marie Curie's research papers are still radioactive 100+ years later.
- Red Kites steal bathers' underpants.
Quote of the Day:
The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn't feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.
The 2015 Breaking Convention is on this weekend in London, so if you're in the area and interested in all things shamanistic and psychedelic you should definitely make the effort to get on down to the University of Greenwich and attend.
Speakers at the conference include a bunch of absolute legends in the field: Jonathan Ott, Kat Harrison, Rick Doblin, Amanda Feilding, Dale Pendell, Rick Strassman, Carl Ruck, Martina Hoffman and David Nutt. Also there will be a bunch of people Grailers might be well familiar with, including Daniel Pinchbeck, Anthony Peake, Jack Hunter and David Luke.
Fantastic line-up, sad that I'm on the other side of the globe from this one. Note though, if you're in the same boat as me, that the Breaking Convention website posts plenty of online videos of talks from previous years that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Link: Breaking Convention 2015
My daughter Isis has started a blog about the books she's reading - check it out...
- The universe might contain millions of hidden black holes. Which would explain all my single socks and missing pens finally...
- Philae comet could be home to alien life, say scientists.
- Philae comet not home to alien life, say scientists.
- The Founding Fathers of the United States had a thing for extraterrestrials.
- Is this creepy real-life secret society the key to the storyline of True Detective Season 2?
- Man who flew over Calgary in a chair carried by helium balloons charged with police for public
- Supreme Court forces German parliament to release document on UFOs.
- These are the projects Elon Musk is funding to prevent a killer AI.
- Fox News anchor annoyed that Satanist she is interviewing is intelligent.
- Ancient 'mummy' unearthed from 'lost medieval civilisation' near Arctic, claim scientists
- Did H.G. Wells predict the atom bomb three decades before Hiroshima?
- The Deadly Thing at 2.4 Kiloparsecs: Are we sharing the galaxy with something large, dangerous and periodic?
- The Tunguska Event: Still a mystery after 107 years.
- Mystery 'beast' spotted roaming UK suburbs.
- Nine portraits of the same person done during and LSD trip. FOR SCIENCE!
- Video of the Day: Someone ran Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas through Google's 'Deep Dream' neural network and made it the movie it always wanted to be...
Quote of the Day:
You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.
Hunter S. Thompson
This is a short, little video of which I wished I had more information regarding when and where it was taken: Jacques Vallee, possibly our favorite UFOlogist in the world* --even though he deliberately chose to move away from the public eye of UFOlogy, because he grew tired of all the asinine in-fighting between 'researchers' promoting their favorite BS (Belief System)-- is shown discussing a few things about the phenomenon and its undeniable link with what we call 'psychic phenomena' --something MANY nuts-and-bolters refuse to acknowledge to this day.
He also briefly mentions his participation with SRI, the non-profit research institute which originally branched out of Stanford University --fun fact: SRI was responsible for the AI research behind Apple's Siri-- and was focusing on study the possible military and security applications of 'Remote Viewing' under the guidance of Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ during the 1970s and until 1995, when the program was (officially) cancelled.
It wasn't long before the UFO phenomenon become 'entangled' with the members of the Stargate Project, something which likely hurt the credibility of an already outlandish pursuit. A brief study of Remote Viewing, however, will bring anyone with an open mind to the conclusion that the program's (apparent) cancellation had nothing to do with its actual effectiveness though, but because the seemingly 'occult' properties of Remote Viewing did not sit well with the religious sensibilities held by the higher echelons of the US top brass --not to mention that spending billions of dollars in spy satellites is part of what makes the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex turning...
Finally, Monsieur Vallee brings up the famous COMETA report, which involved credentialed scientists and retired generals presenting the best available evidence in support of UFOs' existence, whose objective was to request academic circles and government bodies to take the phenomenon with the seriousness it deserves.
Unfortunately the report never gained the traction its redactors' hoped for, and Vallee thinks the reason for that has to do with what is still the biggest blight plaguing this field: The Roswell Mythos.
Why, the fact that 'World UFO Day' is supposed to commemorate what many researchers still believe is the be-all and end-all of UFOlogy, is proof enough of how this field is still too American-centered; ironic, considering how this is supposed to be a global mystery.
C'est la vie...
(*)If you want to understand why Vallee is our fave, you should probably grab a copy of Passport to Magonia [Amazon US & UK] and Messengers of Deception [Amazon US & UK], both re-issued by Daily Grail Publishing.
UPDATE: Our friend Eric Wargo informs us the video above was taken during the Q&A session of Vallee's talk at the 2007 IRVA (International Remote Viewing Association) conference. The entire presentation is available here.
Incidentally, you should also check out Eric's interview at The Paracast, in which he delivered a lot of thought-provoking ideas about synchronicities and UFOs.
Surprising fact of the day: the Aztec Empire came into being 200 years after Oxford University began teaching students...
- Islamic State sets its sights on the destruction of the Great Sphinx and pyramids.
- Is the Himalayan Yeti a real animal?
- China establishes earthquake early-warning centre that uses changes in animal behaviour to predict imminent quakes.
- Science and the agony of ignorance.
- How many craters are there on Earth? Not as many as you might think...
- Why a meta-analysis of 90 precognition studies does not provide convincing evidence of a true effect.
- Couple married for 75 years die in each others arms within the space of a day.
- Haunting images of Italy's 'incorruptible' saints.
- The five most mystifying extraterrestrial sightings of the past year.
- Why do UFOs love this Utah ranch so much? (We covered the 'Skinwalker Ranch' comprehensively back in 2006 - researcher interview, book review, and guest article)
- Star Trek got it right: Convergent evolution suggests there should be some extraterrestrials that look human. But where are they?
- Early-morning canoeist shocked as man dressed as an undertaker emerges from morning fog standing in a coffin.
- 100 feet to hell: Centipedes discovered a kilometre underground.
- Image(s) of the Day: Animals around the world keep riding each other, and it's starting to freak me out.
Quote of the Day:
A monopoly on the means of communication may define a ruling elite more precisely than the celebrated Marxian formula of ‘monopoly in the means of production.
Robert Anton Wilson
- "Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality: A Brief History of the 'Sursem' Project", by Edward F. Kelly
- "The Sirius Mystery: Time for a Reevaluation?", by Anthony Mugan.
- "The Stralsund Incident of 1665", by Chris Aubeck and Martin Shough.
- "Looking for a Revolution", by Andrew May.
Grab a free PDF or order a print version of EdgeScience 22 from the SSE website, and please consider a small donation to help the EdgeScience team continue with this excellent publication, via the button on the webpage. There's also a link to join the SSE on that page if you want to keep up with the latest academic research into the 'edgier' areas of science.
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Transmitting Thought: A Documentary on the Famous Maimonides Dream Telepathy Experiments
- News Briefs 29-06-2015 (Monday)
- Japanese Cryptids and More! Courtesy of Brent Swancer in Binnall of America
- The Psychedelic Mountains of China
- News Briefs 30-06-2015 (Tuesday)
- The Fallen of WWII: An Interactive Experience
- 9 Portraits on LSD, For Science!
- Wanderer: Self-Portraits Under the Northern Lights
- News Briefs 01-07-2015 (Wednesday)
- Animals Around the World Keep Riding Each Other and it's Starting to Freak Me Out
- News Briefs 02-07-2015 (Thursday)
- Animal Alliances: Cooperation or Domestication?
- Strange & Norrell : V - The Raven King
- China Establishes Earthquake Early-Warning Centre Based on Changes in Animal Behaviour
Have a good weekend!