The Science Museum website has an excellent exhibition currently titled "Neurobiotics...the Future of Thinking?":

Your brain is amazing. And now medical technology can give us new ways to understand and use our brains. Imagine being able to control a computer with only the power of your mind. Or read people's thoughts and know if they are lying. And what if a magnetic shock to the brain could make you more creative... But should we be able to engineer our minds?

There is plenty to look at online, so take a browse. Found via Mind Hacks.

News Briefs 17-10-2006

It's raining news, hallelujah...

  • Major announcement scheduled for today by SETI: "for all of you out there who have been waving your arms around and speculating, this is not an announcement about finding a signal from ETs, the face on Mars, or anything else." I don't normally wave my arms around when I speculate, but it does make for an interesting visual (if a little dangerous for bystanders)...
  • Spielberg, Hollywood and the extraterrestrial threat. Caution: stand clear of the waving arms.
  • Richard Dolan gets a gig on Sci-Fi Channel. Richard's book UFOs and the National Security State (Amazon US and UK) is absolutely required reading for anyone interested in ufology.
  • Paul Kimball says he likes mysteries. A news piece just before the New Frontiers Symposium last weekend. Here's a follow-up story reviewing the conference.
  • Cartoon tribute to Pope John Paul to be released on DVD. I hope he's a Transformer, it would be cool to watch the Pope turn into a jet..."pontiffs, in disguise".
  • Pagan graves in the Vatican's basement. Hmmm, Pope in the TV, pagan graves under Vatican...sounds like Poltergeist IV.
  • Mexican archaeologists believe that the recently discovered Aztec monlith may be the largest stone idol ever found, and that it may be a door to a hidden chamber beneath the temple.
  • Author traces journey of "God's gold". Another article about the new book God's Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem by British archaeologist Sean Kingsley (available now from Amazon UK, or pre-order from Amazon US for May 2007 release).
  • Ancient Stonehenge houses unearthed.
  • Iraqi antiquities continue to be pillaged and destroyed.
  • The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has been released, and the website has the usual teasers for the feature articles.
  • Piltdown's lessons for modern science.
  • Women more likely to dress well near ovulation. Ladies, I'd like to point out that I only report the news...
  • Salon interviews Richard Dawkins (have to watch an ad to view the complete article, though a teaser is available).
  • Biographer claims novelist Agatha Christie's mysterious 11-day disappearance was due to out-of-body amnesia.
  • Top medium quits, saying "I Was Deluded".
  • Boeing begins testing aircraft-mounted combat laser.
  • Future aircraft might morph during flight.
  • Is the US government using LSD for interrogations?
  • Study finds pharmaceutical companies call the shots in leading medical journals.
  • Superheavy element 118 finally created. I propose calling it Jambi.
  • More on targeted electrical brain stimulation being used to revive head-injury victims.
  • Fans of cryonics are too cool for the 21st century.
  • Researchers detect the spread of skin cancer by listening to the blood.
  • Sorting through your computer files using your sense of smell. A lot of today's news would probably smell a little fishy.
  • To what degree do you create reality? Study finds that even black and white bananas look yellow.
  • Museum exhibit explores the gay animal world. Can a museum handle the excitement of two giant whale penises flailing about?
  • Mars Express and the story of water on Mars.
  • Astronomers need you to help find some planets.
  • Forget NASA heading back to the Moon - the Swedes are looking to build a house there by 2011.
  • Reuters opens a news bureau in the virtual world of Second Life. Who's got time for a second life...I can't even fit everything into this one.
  • US population to hit 300 million sometime this morning. Maybe now. Or now. Perhaps now? Now?

Quote of the Day:

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Richard Feynman

Lunar Explorer

Who's up for some space exploration? A new software package, Lunar Explorer, allows you to land on and explore the Moon:

Lunar Explorer is a realistic interactive visual representation of the moon using actual data collected by NASA spacecraft and earthbound telescopes. It uses real-time 3D graphics techniques to provide an immersive virtual environment for the user to explore our nearest neighbor in a variety of ways - at a distance, in orbit, or walking on the lunar surface.

Lunar Explorer retails for around $40, which you can order from the website. Hat tip to Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log, who posted about this.

Radio 17-10-2006

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

Fate Radio: This week there are a bunch of 'encore' presentations available, including interviews with John Anthony West, Michael Cremo and Loren Coleman. Follow the link and scroll down to see the full list.

Coast to Coast AM: First hour Monday Richard C. Hoagland will reveal a startling Moon 'artifact' photo. Afterwards, peak performance hypnotherapist Pete Siegel will discuss how luck is a function of the mind and what you can do to change your fortune. On Tuesday Dennis Swift will discuss his work compiling evidence of dinosaurs and man living together on Earth, Wednesday is author of New York State Ghosts David Pitkin, who will discuss some of his favorite experiences researching the nature of disembodied spirits and ghosts. Thursday's guest is producer of paranormal documentaries Barry Conrad, who will go into his research on such cases as Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster and the San Pedro haunting.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.

News Briefs 16-10-2006


  • Sardinia is Atlantis, according to Italian journalist Sergio Frau, and UNESCO supports him. Support Robert Bauval, I say!
  • A UK team has proposed a new location for the mythical Ithaca.
  • A joint American-Iranian archaeological team will begin excavating the Susan Plain in southwestern Iran for the first time since 1973.
  • Obelisks belonging to the Neolithic period have been found in southeastern Turkey, and are decorated with human and animal figures.
  • Bronze idols of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati dating to the 12th century AD were unearthed at a temple in Tamil Nadu.
  • Nine Neolithic-era buildings have been excavated near Stonehenge, the first house-like structures discovered there.
  • A self-described hobby physicist challenges the skeptics.
  • A non-profit US group has reached an agreement with Libya to provide each of its 1.2 million schoolchildren with an inexpensive laptop by 2008.
  • It was exactly ten years ago when 176 world leaders at the World Food Summit pledged to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015. Things have gotten worse.
  • Bono enlists Oprah to preach charity where people will listen -- in the shopping mall.
  • New software will give computer-generated characters more soul. Does anyone remember Max Headroom?
  • This old house is haunted.
  • A prophetess says Russia will face a series of large-scale catastrophes in 2014 because the mummy of princess Ochy-Bala was recently unearthed. Egypt's in a wee bit of trouble then ...
  • A new biography (Amazon UK) of crime-writer Agatha Christie claim's her two-week disappearance was a case of out-of-body amnesia.
  • A new book investigates sightings of deceased pets and tells you how to contact your own departed furry friends. Pet Ghosts: Animal Encounters From Beyond The Grave by Joseph P. Warren (Amazon US or UK).
  • Is this a photo of a UFO over Tel Aviv, or just a plane's exhaust painted orange by the sunset?
  • Here's video of UFOs filmed on a flight somewhere over Europe en route to England.
  • More than 700 UFO sightings have been reported to the UK's Ministry of Defence, but only 12 of them are worth investigating according to MOD officials.
  • An article discussing the problems of UFO hoaxes.
  • A shadowy sack-like being was encountered by a Polish resident. I see plastic-bag-like beings on windy nights all the time.
  • A teenage boy in eastern India married a hill to appease its goddess who had put a curse on his mother.
  • No explanation needed -- Crying, while eating.

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things.

Pablo Picasso.

News Briefs 13-10-2006

It's been quite a while since I last found a parrot article for Shadows.

  • Stonehenge update (link now fixed): After more than 20 years of argument over what to do about disgraceful surrounding conditions, a leading expert has proposed a 'radical solution' - do nothing. Meanwhile, when Geoff Wainwright and Tim Darvill proposed that bronze-age builders believed bluestone had healing powers, and suggested that Stonehenge should be seen as a prehistoric Lourdes, archaeologists attending their lecture reacted with dropped jaws and outright laughter.
  • Scholars gather in Rome to discuss the theory that Sardinia is the lost island of Atlantis.
  • Fossil remains show the merging of Neandertals and modern humans.
  • If humanity were to suddenly vanish from the face of the Earth, it would only take 200,000 years for all traces of human existence to be wiped away.
  • For the first time, astronomers have measured the day and night temperatures of a planet outside our solar system.
  • First detailed images of a binary asteroid system reveal a bizarre world.
  • Rising ocean temperatures and pollution have put oysters in hot water.
  • Chemists reinvent the making of plastics. These guys should be nominated for a Nobel.
  • Scientists find molecular signature which protects cells from viruses, opening up completely new perspectives for the treatment of viral infections and cancer.
  • David Grinspoon, author of the excellent book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life (Amazon US & UK), has won the Sagan Medal for 2006.
  • Citing concerns about possible damage to the ancient site, Yahoo cancels 'time capsule ceremony' at Mexican pyramid. Actually, it wasn't Yahoo that was concerned...
  • Mexican officials to Yahoo: Get off our pyramid.
  • Pregnant women infected by cat parasite more likely to give birth to boys.
  • Cellular organism with only 182 genes could revise ideas about what's needed for a cell to work.
  • Neuroscientist claims he can unleash creativity by boosting low-frequency brainwaves.
  • Neurofeedback training (pdf) may correct abnormal brain wave patterns associated with several medical conditions. The technical aspects are way over my head, but the essence is understandable.
  • Sophisticated Toy Robot to Get Mind-Altering Software.
  • Teenager plays video games just by thinking.
  • The longest-living rodents, naked mole-rats, are unfazed by oxidative stress, which flies in the face of the oxidative stress theory of aging. Love that photo.
  • Human brain relies on eye movements to identify partially obscured or moving objects.
  • The future isn't what it used to be: A review of Eric and Jonathan Dregni's new book Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future. Amazon US & UK.
  • 'A living fossil': Mighty mouse discovered in mountainous area of Cyprus.
  • Mouse-eating carnivorous plant in Lyon's Botanical Gardens is the first to actually prove that plants can indeed eat small mammals.
  • 500-billion-year-old embryos give up their secrets. The text gets it right, but Greg points out that, for the article's title to be correct, these embryos would have to be 30 times older than the Universe itself.
  • Results reported from double-blind test of the effects of 'distant intention' on water crystal formation.
  • Hiding secrets in optical noise: CDMA encoder will allow secret messages to be sent over existing public fiber-optic networks.
  • Worth repeating: New research highlights what classical economic theory fails to take into account - emotion is nature’s way of letting people know that if you’re treated badly you’ll do something about it.
  • Happy 25th Birthday, PC.
  • IM Misconduct: Foley may be the current poster boy for IM bad judgement, but with 60% of US corporations saying it's a problem for them, this article is actually about the clash between generations in the workplace.
  • Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy - impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.
  • Tempting Faith: Former White House official David Kuo, whose 'conservative Christian credentials are impeccable', has written a scathing account of how the Bush administration used evangelical Christians for their votes - while consistently giving them nothing in return. Amazon US & UK.

Big thanks to Greg!

Quote of the Day:

It is no accident that the rise of so many democracies took place in a time when the world's most influential nation was itself a democracy.

George W. Bush, 2003

Weekend Roundup 13-10-2006

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


Radio 13-10-2006

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week's guest is Walter Cruttenden, explaining his theory that our sun has a companion star that is carrying us through a great cycle of stellar influenceswhich is causing the rise and fall of great civilizations. Afterwards, Linda Howe reports on ominous high-speed changes in the arctic.

Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, while on the early show Saturday Ian welcomes Dr. Kim Paffenroth who'll discuss the place of religion in pop culture including the 'Zombie' subculture, followed by Clint Van Zandt discussing his work in behavioral & forensic analysis including his role as the FBI's Chief Hostage Negotiator. On the 'late show' Saturday night, Art Bell chats to former Director of the Rhine Research Center, Stephan A. Schwartz, who will discuss his latest work on how consciousness affects the structure of water. On Sunday NASA Astrobiology Institute investigator Prof. Peter Ward will discuss his new book, Out of Thin Air.

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.

A Confluence of Esoteric Anniversaries

For anyone looking for an excuse to celebrate some anniversaries, especially those of the esoteric kind, now's a good time to crack that bottle open and drink some toasts. Today, October 12th, is of course Crowleymas (the 'Great Beast' was born 131 years ago today). Tomorrow is not only Friday the 13th (as the paraskavedekatriaphobes out there would know), but also Friday, the 13th of October - the 699th anniversary of the arrest of hundreds of Knights Templar in France by agents of King Philip (which also took place on Friday, the 13th of October). At least it's not the 666th anniversary! And to top it all off, tomorrow is also the 89th anniversary of the Miracle of Fatima.

Funnily enough, the new issue of Sub Rosa has major features on both Crowley and also Fatima. We're just tying up the loose ends and will have it out in no time. Just a shame we couldn't release it at midnight on this auspicious confluence of esoteric anniversaries...

News Briefs 12-10-2006

If you can't find something of interest in this lot, I give up...

Quote of the Day:

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

Thomas Paine