Tuesday Roundup 20-11-2007

A strange assortment to get you through the week...


Anomalist Books Sign Vallee

Exciting news from the oh-so-excellent Anomalist Books, that Jacques Vallee has signed with them to reissue his classic "Alien Contact" trilogy (Dimensions, Confrontations, and Revelations). These books have been out-of-print for some time (originally published in the late 80s/early 90s), so it will be great to see new editions available. I'll let you know when the books become available for sale.

Radio 20-11-2007

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: This week Hilly talks to exorcist Rev. Bob Larson about how a demon invades a person and why (Real Audio or mp3).

Coast to Coast AM: On Monday Jeanne Cavelos will discuss how after 30 years Star Wars still remains an amazing vision for the future. Tuesday's guest is David Icke, discussing his new work on the Global Conspiracy. On Wednesday 'psychic madman' Jim Karol will discuss the extraordinary feats of the mind, including how he has predicted NFL games with a record of 14-2 as well as lottery predictions, and will perform feats of the mind live in studio with George. Thursday is a JFK Assassination Special.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website. You can listen to C2C live, or to recent archived shows, at CJOB.com.

Exploding the Moon Race Myth

I've commented recently about how a lunar free-for-all seems to be underway, with numerous countries announcing plans (or wishes) to make their way to the Moon. I came across an interesting article at The Space Review which discusses this topic in a critical manner, titled "Exploding Moon Myths: Or why there's no race to our nearest neighbour."

Germany recently announced that they possibly, maybe, might launch a robotic spacecraft to the Moon. That now brings to six the number of countries with spacecraft at the Moon in development to go to the Moon, or at the very least thinking about sending a spacecraft to the Moon. The others are: China, Japan, India, the United States, and the Russians (who have lots of plans, along with an official motto: “Please send money.”)

Just what the heck is going on?

The lay press, which has only a superficial understanding of space issues, has taken notice of all this space activity and struggled to understand it. They have reached for explanations, and in the process produced several erroneous theories based upon poor understanding both of what is currently happening, and what has happened in the past regarding exploration of the Moon.

The article covers theories ranging from a 'Lunar goldrush' in search of Helium-3, through to Richard Hoagland's 'glass cities' on the Moon. In the end though, the article says the simple reason for the new international rush to the Moon is "because these countries have recently acquired the capability to go beyond Earth orbit, and the Moon is the closest — and therefore easiest — target beyond Earth orbit. That’s it. It’s that simple."

News Briefs 19-11-2007

Guys, we're gonna miss you somethin' awful. I thought the Pentagon might accidently do you all in with a gender-specific weaponized virus, but this is worse - much worse.

  • Mesozoic 'cow' that chomped on mystery plants and had nine rows of replacement teeth that moved forward as if on a conveyor belt is helping rewrite theories about long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs.
  • Elite Mayans binged on big game animals, loved wearing furs.
  • Archaeologists discover Roman road in Jerusalem.
  • The famous curse of the Pharaoh's tomb -- and other curses reaching back through time.
  • French 'mathlete' claims new world record after working out in his head the 13th root of a random 200-digit number in just 72.4 seconds.
  • Hubble zooms in on heart of Comet Holmes.
  • NASA has extended the SORCE satellite mission until 2012 -- to resolve predictions about the upcoming solar cycle peak and it's influence on Earth's climate.
  • U.N. Report describes risks of inaction on climage change.
  • White House says it's 90 percent likely that humans are contributing, but it remains impossible to define a “dangerous” threshold in the concentration of greenhouse gases or resulting global warming.
  • First-ever 'State of the Carbon Cycle Report' for North America finds troubling imbalance.
  • Rising sea levels could swallow 40% more potable groundwater than previously thought.
  • Estrogen-mimicing man-made chemicals are causing males to change into females in the womb In one village in Greenland, only girls are being born.
  • China not fighting off e-waste nightmare.
  • Most Americans think they're helping when they 'recycle' their old computer, tv, cell phone, but chances are they're just contributing to the global trade in electronic trash.
  • Cockroaches successfully nest with their robotic clones. More.
  • From ants to people, an instinct to swarm.
  • Scorpion genes used to create a hypervirulent fungus which kills specific insect pests, including mosquitoes that carry malaria and a beetle that destroys coffee crops, but does not contaminate the environment as chemical pesticides do.
  • The new lie detector: Researchers use fMRIs to track blood flow in the brain to determine if someone is fibbing.
  • 'Speed of thought' guides brain's memory consolidation. Wild.
  • Tapered approach to smoking slashes nicotine addiction.
  • Beware of Cat-nappings: The disappearance of hundreds of cats has sparked an outcry amid fears they may have been killed, skinned and turned into blankets. Fur traders insist they only buy the skins of wild housecats in Britain and Switzerland.
  • Mean streets hold little magic for young African 'witches'.
  • A History of Histories: "Witty, scholarly and, above all, fair, it relates, in chronological order, the lives, learning and influence of the greatest historians, from Herodotus, Thucydides and Polybius to Herbert Butterfield, G.M. Trevelyan and Arnold Toynbee."
  • Mind of a Rock: Is everything conscious?
  • All hail the mystic President.
  • It may have tripled traffic at some science blogs, but not everyone is impressed with Garrett Lisi's theory of everything.
  • Forever Weird: A tribute to Hunter S. Thompson through the memories of those who were there for the ride. Great photo.
  • Reagan UFO Briefing: Transcript of classified tape recording made at Camp David during a presidential briefing on UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation of Earth.

Quote of the Day:

We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity.... Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do.

Ben Rich, former Head of the Lockheed Skunk Works, in a lecture shortly before he died.

Vote for the Daily Grail!

Your help is required urgently! The Daily Grail is up for the 'Best Website (News Summary)' in the 2007 Zorgy Awards (thanks to those who nominated us). However, we are currently being wiped by The Anomalist, trailing by over 100 votes. So if you've got 30 seconds to spare (tough, I know), head on over there and cast your vote, to help us defend our 2006 title. If you're in a hurry, our category is 6th from the top. If you have more time on your hands, you may wish to vote in a few of the other categories, all of which have more-than-worthy nominations.

I would like to say though that if TDG is going to lose to anyone, I'd be more than happy for it to be The Anomalist - a great news site. But our friend Patrick Huyghe got one up on me last week with a bit of coup (more on that at a later date), so I now need that Zorgy (there is an actual trophy this year!) to justify my pitiful online existence - I may not have money, I may have no time, but I will have that Zorgy, dammit!

Update: Wow, what a great feeling to hop online today and see such a positive response - thanks! Sometimes it's hard to tell whether people are getting good things from the site, so this sort of reaction makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Cheers to all who have voted - if you haven't, feel free to widen the gap some more...

Darklore Spreads

Thought I'd share a few more of the article spreads from our anthology Darklore (Amazon US and Amazon UK), for those interested in what the inside of the book looks like (clicking on images will take you to a larger version). Here's the graphic for Michael Grosso's article "The Beatific Vision", which matches the feel of the title very well I think:

Our spread for Loren Coleman's piece on the premature demise of Bigfoot took a bit more of a light-hearted view of the topic:

And we got very literal with the graphic layout of the title of Nick Redfern's contribution, "Who Is Flying the Triangles?":

I'll post some more next week, though it's probably easier if you just buy the paperback (again, Amazon US and Amazon UK) - it's only $13.95, for 304 pages/18 articles. There certainly seems to be demand for what the anthology is offering, with around 500 copies sold already, which is a great effort for an independently published book available only online - so a massive thanks to all those who have purchased a copy, as you are helping not only the Daily Grail, but all the researchers and writers who contributed to Darklore. Kudos to you!

We Are All Precogs?

Public Parapsychology has added yet another great article from Bryan Williams, exploring scientific research which suggests that our brain knows things are going to happen slightly in advance of the actual occurrence. Titled " A Brain Response to a Future Event?", in the article Williams discusses the research of Dean Radin on the subject, as well as replications by Dick Bierman and others:

Whenever we suddenly encounter something that frightens or startles us, our body has a tendency to "jump" in response. Over the past decade, a considerable amount of evidence has been gathered to suggest that, on a very subtle and unconscious level, our body’s autonomic nervous system may also "jump" in response to frightening or startling stimuli. However, it does so even before our body encounters such stimuli. This evidence comes from various experiments designed to explore the possible physiological signatures of a precognition-related experience that has come to be known as presentiment or pre-stimulus response.

Williams also points out the interesting fact that EEG studies have shown higher levels of brain activity were present in the occipital region of the brain as this occurs. Interesting topic - the article is well referenced too, for those who would like to explore further.

Weekend Roundup 16-11-2007

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Judgement Day on Intelligent Design

A big week in the evolution vs intelligent design debate, with the broadcast of Nova's feature "Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", which has not pleased ID proponents at all (and obviously evolutionists/atheists are happy). As usual, the friendly folks at Nova treat us all by putting the show online, with a transcript to boot. I'd write more, but Alan Boyle has done up a pretty good primer already over at Cosmic Log, so head over there for a more detailed look at the show.