Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week Jim Marrs interviews Jerry E. Smith about his book Secrets of the Holy Lance, which journeys into the hidden world of occult beliefs about the lance that supposedly pierced the side of Christ.
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines. Early show Saturday has now become a new replay series called 'Art Bell: Somewhere in Time', with this week's presentation being Art's interview with Richard Boylan on the 'Star Kids' phenomenon from 1/11/04. Afterwards, Ian Punnett talks with retired FBI Agent and former Legal Counsel for the FBI, Coleen Rowley, who will discuss her suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the War on Terror as well as her experiences inside government bureaucracy. On Sunday guest host Rollye James welcomes oncology physician and founder of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, Dr. Jeffrey Long, for a discussion on NDEs.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.
Author Michael Prescott - one of the most insightful and eloquent bloggers out there on paranormal/supernatural topics - has posted an interesting series of blog entries which take a (real) skeptical look at...skeptical reports. Michael focuses on one particular article from Skeptical Inquirer, an analysis of the NDE case of 'Maria', who is alleged to have seen a tennis shoe on a ledge outside a hospital while 'out of body'. You can read through the five parts of Michael's piece, "Who Will Watch the Watchers" via the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
It's worthwhile reading through some of the comments to each entry as well, as there's some additional material worth considering (supporting both positive and negative views of the case, and the skeptical report). Also, in a similar vein, check out my article from a few years ago which challenged the trustworthiness of a Skeptical Inquirer cover story on death-bed visions: "Blinded by the Light".
A great line-up assembling for our Daily Grail anthology - stay tuned...
- Yahoo has a slideshow of the recently unearthed Thracian artefacts.
- Scholars in panic mode over Vatican Library closure.
- Ancient megaflood made Britain an island.
- M3 will not be rerouted away from Tara, despite EU warning.
- Divers find supposedly 'legendary' lost village beneath lake.
- 'Mystery metal' which fell through roof turns out to be a woodchipper part.
- The Today Show visits Roswell, and talks to Jesse Marcel Jnr and Stanton Friedman (linked video). Frank Warren expresses his disappointment at the lack of analysis.
- The 'science' of ghosthunting.
- Hindu priest offering opening invocation of U.S. Senate is shouted down by Christian 'patriots'. With cringe-inducing video.
- Physicist to charge backwards with time-twisting research.
- Nine brain quirks you didn't realize you had. Does that make it ten?
- UK report suggests links between electricity pylons and and health problems - primarily, childhood leukaemia.
- An interview with Sean McCarthy, CEO of 'perpetual motion machine' claimants Steorn.
- Pentagon eyes high altitude balloons for emergency communication system.
- Bird-sized airplane will fly like a swift.
- Authentic Enigma Machine on eBay.
- New skintight spacesuit design unveiled. I'm pretty sure that's a sculpture behind the model, not the air pack.
- Saturn's 'walnut moon' mystery solved.
- Vitamin C 'does not stop colds'. Let's move on to trying wine then.
- Echidna, feared extinct, is alive and apparently very 'tasty'.
- Unlike the strange and mysterious kangahippomouse.
- Forget the environmental peril of SUVs - a kilogram of beef is worse than a day trip in your car. I can see Grandma Grail's blood pressure rising from here...
- And - we need to stop cows burping if we're going to survive this global emergency. Maybe all this hot air has another origin?
Quote of the Day:
When a person identifies himself with a group his critical faculties are diminished and his passions enhanced by a kind of emotive resonance. The individual is not a killer, the group is, and by identifying with it, the individual becomes one. This is the infernal dialect reflected in man's history.
The latest edition of the BBC's "All in the Mind" radio programme (available as Real Audio) features two items of interest to TDGers, the first on parapsychology, and the other on using neuroscience in war (separated by a piece on the psychology of laughter). Having said that, the section of the show which discusses parapsychology is pretty disappointing, with Chris French and Caroline Watt talking nearly the whole time about possible pathologies linked to paranormal beliefs, which simply puts forth a negative view of the subject. Really, it's obvious to most knowledgeable parties that psi effects increase with creative-minded people, so tying in all the possible pathologies likely in those right-brained people is a little bit of backward logic to me. There is virtually no discussion of positive psi results and the possible explanations for them. So a big thumbs-up to begin with for the BBC covering the topic, but then a thumbs-down for handling it badly.
Pollution, all around, sometimes up, and sometimes down.
- Here's a video news story from China with footage of the mysterious boat-sized creatures seen swimming in Kanas Lake. It's the Chinese women's swimming team.
- Beijing persuaded the World Bank to cut from a report findings that pollution has caused about 750'000 premature deaths each year, according to the Financial Times.
- Excellent Sky News video story with further proof of rampant pollution in China causing death and illness. As long as it's not causing Global Warming, who cares right?
- This year could see the biggest dead zone form in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico since records began.
- Thousands of coins from China's Tang Dynasty era have been found in a central Vietnam province.
- Archaeologists think naming Petra as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World will see more tourists damage the ancient ruins.
- A group of Israeli archaeologists has condemned the Antiquities Authority for allowing Islamic trust officials to carry out a dig on the Temple Mount.
- Roadworks in Greece have unearthed a rare Mycenaean grave thought to be over 3000 years old.
- Blistering barnacles, Tintin in the Congo has been removed from the children's section of Borders stores in the UK, US and Australia because some find it racist (Amazon US or UK).
- A century after Ota Benga, a Congo pygmy, was displayed in a New York City zoo, a troupe of pygmy musicians visiting Brazzaville for a music festival were made to stay in the local zoo.
- The president of the Pagan Awareness Network in Brisbane says the magic of Harry Potter rings true for Wiccans. Please don't turn me into anything unnatural, Kat.
- Pagans have pledged to perform rain magic to wash away a giant outline of Homer Simpson painted next to the Cernes Abbas giant. If it's to promote the new film, surely they could just use CGI?
- Can't make it to New Mexico for the 60th anniversary of Roswell, then watch this video.
- At last, footage of eleven UFOs chased and filmed by the Mexican Air Force three years ago. A plethora of pinyatas?
- The anthropic principle is dividing physicists, exciting multiverse pundits, and confusing me. Which me is confused, I don't know yet.
- Out of sight and sound, Michael Prescott discusses NDEs and OBEs.
- New treatments for sudden cardiac arrest are saving more patients, and providing more Near Death Experiences.
Thanks Kat and Eibon
Quote of the Day:
“We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit.”
The Borderlands Network (TBLN) launched July 8th, 2007 during the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Roswell Incident. TBLN is apparently an attempt to create a media outlet for films on the paranormal, and other topics on the fringes of science (ie. typical TDG fodder). Though starting purely as a broadband network, the founders are hopeful that success will breed success, leading to an environment in which paranormal media production is well-funded:
I want to have more than a small broadband channel that presents films and documentaries. I want TBLN and our producers, directors and researchers out there to grow with us. There are many more films to be made, many expeditions to be covered, and this all requires funding and the resources required for making these programs a reality.
Though there is little information on the site for new visitor, it seems the network offers movies and documentaries via broadband, on a pay-per-view basis. The list of features available (and soon to be available) includes the brilliant crop circle documentary Circlespeak, and the alien abduction investigation Touched. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
Many long-time Daily Grail readers are probably aware that I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books. But if you haven't read them yourself, perhaps you've wondered what I (and other adults) find so interesting about these 'children's books.' If so, here's a big part of the answer for you:
Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter -- original Mugglenet.com editorials by S.P. Sipal
Part 1: Harry of the Two Ways
Part 3: Harry's Sacred Egyptian Triangle
Reading these essays may even provide some insight into my devotion to The Daily Grail. ;-)
- Why did Rome fall? It is time for new answers.
- La Brea yields oil eating bacteria.
- Mercury’s gooey centre raises problem of origin.
- Rock hypocrisy and the warming hoax.
- Deep inside you are a comma.
- Moebius strip solved at last.
- Planets go splat on stars.
- Seeing circuits.
- What science can and can’t tell us about the insanity defense.
- A race to solve the mystery of the subterranean chambers of Mystic Pointe.
- Back from the dead.
- Evidence found for novel brain cell communication.
- The myth of consistent scepticism.
Quote of the Day:
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Here's the transcript of last week's Larry King Live episode on UFOs. Alternatively, check out Tim Binnall's forthright review of the show (adult words and all).
- Over at AMNAP, Matthew Cromer tells "Why the Public Distrusts Science". Plenty of other interesting new postings (and reposts from AMNAP Version 1), so browse the main page.
- Michael Prescott continues the debate over reductionist explanations in his recent blog posting "Sight and Sound".
- John Lamb Lash debugs the Noosphere, and Erik Davis plays Galactic games, both over at Reality Sandwich.
- Skeptic Randi has posted his latest newsletter.
- Greg Bishop reviews Paul Kimball's documentary Best Evidence - The Top 10 UFO Cases at UFO Mystic (see our Daily Grail review also).
- UFO Casebook #264 is now available online.
- Anthony North discusses Carl Jung at Beyond the Blog.
- Michael Shermer's latest 'Skeptic' column for Scientific American is titled "Bad Apples and Bad Barrels".
- Regan Lee writes about "The Persistence of Chronic Skepticism" at American Chronicle.
- And to finish, some piccies from Loren Coleman's recent 60th birthday.
The excellent resource site Skeptical Investigations has had a makeover, with the express intent of making it easier to navigate about the site and read the numerous articles of interest available. Simply use the dropdown menus found beneath the main topics at the top of the page - you'll find plenty of intelligent argument against so-called 'explanations' offered by debunking organisations and individuals, as well as information about the best anomaly researchers out there.