News Briefs 28-12-2015

Smash the orthodoxy!

Quote of the Day:
"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better (hu)man."
- Benjamin Franklin

News Briefs 24-12-2015

The wait… was totally WORTH IT.

Thanks to Kat, Charles, Reddington and J.J. Abrams.
Feliz Navidad Grailers, see ya all in 2016!

Quote of the Day:

“Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.”"

˜Robert Anton Wilson

Boleskine House, Legendary Residence of Jimmy Page and Aleister Crowley, Destroyed by Fire

Boleskine House fire

Oh noes! The legendary Boleskine House, former residence of both infamous occultist Aleister Crowley and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, has today been gutted by fire.

The house, located beside Loch Ness, was reported as being on fire at 1.40pm, with fire crews working all afternoon to douse the flames.

Around 60 per cent of the building has already been destroyed but it was later established no-one was inside.

Two fire engines were initially sent to the scene, one from Foyers and another from Inverness.

Further pumps were later sent from Inverness and Beauly, along with a water carrier from Inverness, a pump from Dingwall and an incident support unit from Inverness.

Crews continued their efforts on the west wing of the building while firefighters in breathing apparatus are using four main jets to tackle the blaze.

Video of the fire can be found at the Press and Journal website.

Boleskine House has various dark mythologies surrounding it, as suited to a house located beside the home of 'Nessie':

Interestingly, at the site of what is arguably the world’s most famous monster, Crowley’s actions (which included black masses and wild orgies) led to some disturbing phenomena. In his autobiography, Crowley described how the spirits he summoned at Loch Ness got wildly out of hand, causing one housemaid to leave, and a workman to go mad. Crowley also insinuated that he was indirectly responsible for a local butcher accidentally severing an artery and bleeding to death. Crowley had allegedly written the names of demons on a bill from the butcher’s shop.

Across from Boleskine House is a graveyard with a reputation for strange activity, and which was established long before Crowley even set foot on the scene. One legend suggests a tunnel exists linking Boleskine and the graveyard, and that is said to be the haunt of a band of unholy witches.

While it now really makes no difference to the damage caused to this historic building, I'm hoping the fire wasn't deliberately lit by a deranged individual in response to Boleskine House's links with the occult.

For more about the high strangeness associated with Loch Ness and Boleskine House, see Nick Redfern's article "What Lies Beneath" in Volume 2 (Amazon.com link) of our Darklore series.

Related:

Orgone Artifact Confuses Archaeologists

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When a cemetery worker stumbled upon a weird object in an ancient building, he was rightfully suspicious. Israel has an ongoing crisis with terrorism, so the authorities were summoned and they set off a controlled explosion at the site. Sifting through the rubble, they uncovered a gold-plated object weighing 8½ pounds / nearly 4 kg, and about the length of an adult's forearm. Stumped, they handed it off to the Israel Antiquities Authority, in hopes of crowdsourcing the artifact's identity.

Turns out an Italian named Micah Barak recognized it as an Isis Beamer. This is one of the many bio-energy innovations sold by a German company called Weber. Nobody has come forward to reclaim their Isis Beamer, nor are there any suspects at this time. A shame, since an Isis Beamer can do a lot of good. Check out the wild product description from their website.

The Isis Beamers are active around the clock. They can create a protective field of the type generated by spirit energies or meditation. However, such a field needs constant renewal. The advantage of the Isis Beamers is that it seems like their energy is emitted constantly.
Before I had completed the first Isis Beamer and had it ready to wear as a pendant, I had meditated for a long time. After the Isis Orgone Beamer, I wanted to be able to offer a small portable device. The right inspiration arose from a crop circle motif. This was the shape I wanted to combine with the grooves. Then I added Sacred Geometry.
Sacred Geometry describes what is behind physical existence. Crystals, metals and organic cells can all be derived from particular geometric bodies. Within physical existence, everything in existence is based on just five bodies which are also called platonic bodies.
Based on the measurement of the cosmic key, 7.23 cm (2.85"), the form of the Isis beamer devised itself almost on its accord. This is also the form you will encounter in connection with some of the ancient Egyptian headdresses. The pharaos used wear one half of an Isis Beamer as a crown, so to speak, and it enabled them to receive supreme inspiration.(Fig.3 right side)
I started out by distributing some prototypes of the Isis Beamer to various people, and the feedback I received was consistently positive: People reported that the Isis Beamer strengthened the body's own energy field and open the mind for new insights. Exactly this was what I had wanted to achieve!
Nevertheless, I am unable to provide any 'hard' scientific proof for its functioning. On the other hand, approximately 25,000 Isis Beamers have been sold in the meantime, and I would say that this happened because they deliver the results that their shape encourages us to expect. In addition, there is a 7-page test survey issued by the Hagalis Institute which states that the Isis Beamer is able to provide a protective shield against the influence of emissions from mobile phones.

All this, and more, for the low, low price of €210.60 / $230.66 USD / $319 AUD, plus shipping.

Even if your 5 dimensional chakras are completely harmonized, it makes a dandy paperweight, or out-of-place artifact to prank your gullible friends.

News Briefs 21-12-2015

HUMBUG!

Gratitude to Chris Woodyard and her Haunted Ohio Books, and to the person behind the SPR's Twitter account. Both are notorious for sharing top-notch linkables.

Quote of the Day:
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."

- Dr. Seuss

Astronomy, Megastructures, SETI, and Synchronicity

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KIC 8462852 made headlines when volunteers spotted sudden, anomlaous dips in its light. Also known as Tabby's Star, Penn State's Dr. Jason Wright suggested this might be evidence of an alien megastructure. A mainstay of science fiction, megastructures are objects constructed on a planetary or stellar scale. It's an interesting idea since Tabby's Star isn't young, ruling out protoplanetary disks as the cause. Mainstream media went off the deep end with talk of aliens and first contact, but the loyal opposition went a bit nuts too. After a cursory optical and radio scan of Tabby's Star by SETI, skeptics are acting vindicated, crowing how there are no aliens, never will be, and it's just comets. Case closed. Since we can't directly image Tabby's Star, saner minds are left guessing the true nature of this phenomenon.

Just when you thought it was safe to peek through your telescope, there's a vanishingly small chance mainstream media's going to cry aliens again. Markus Janson, and a few friends, spotted a circumbinary disk around the faint binary star AK Sco. One theory proposes we're looking at a ring system, but there aren't any gaps in the rings to be seen. Another explanation is these might be spiral arms moving in opposite directions, clockwise and counter-clockwise, but their symmetry defies explanation.

Most likely the disk is natural, but it is weird and important. Discoveries like AK Sco and Tabby's Star may be an example of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Never heard of it before? You're probably going to hear about it again real soon. Baader-Meinhof is when you encounter something unusual or unique seemingly at random, then suddenly examples of it show up everywhere. No one's certain if it's a bias, quirk of our pattern matching algorithms, or synchronicity, but it may be key to spying aliens hard at work expanding their civilization. Perhaps, in a few decades, we'll detect so many inhabited systems, humans will wonder why we thought we were alone in the first place.

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Thanks to m1k3y for the tip.

News Briefs 17-12-2015

A long time ago… in a galaxy far far fff#$#K I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE THE WAIT IS KILLING MEEEE!!!!111

Thanks to Kat and master Yoda.

Quote of the Day:

"The Force will be with you. Always"

˜The Walt Disney Company Obi-Wan Kenobi

Does Science Advance One Funeral At A Time?

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Over the years Planck's Principle's been popularized by scientists with respectable credentials who can't get peer-reviewed, even if they put nudies of Jennifer Lawrence in their appendices. It's cold comfort believing The Man's keeping them down and stalling scientific progress, but is that the case?

Over at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a new paper suggests the answer is a resounding yes. But like all topics muddied up with human emotions and foibles, the conclusion is hardly cut-and-dried.

Pierre Azoulay, Christian Fons-Rosen, and Joshua Graff Ziven chose to study the field of academic life sciences. Tons of discoveries have been made over past decades, opening up new frontiers, creating many specialists for those new fields, illustrating a microcosm representative of the whole of science. Drawing upon the vast PubMed database, Azoulay and company determined who were the superstars in a particular field based on their professional achievements and papers. Out of more than 12,000 star scientists, they identified 452 who died suddenly. Their former collaborators, left in a lurch, pretty much stopped publishing at the rate when they were riding their deceased guru's coattails. After all former colleagues would be wary of anyone finding out they hardly did any of the heavy lifting, which is where outsiders come in.

With big shoes to fill, newcomers take the deaths as an opportunity to submit more papers to bridge the gap. Then things get kinda Orwellian:

Our results indicate that these additional contributions by non-collaborators are disproportionately likely to be highly cited and to represent their authors' first foray into the extinct star's subfield. They also are less likely to cite previous research in the field, and especially less likely to cite the deceased star's work at all. Though not necessarily younger on average, these scientists are also less likely to be part of the scientific elite at the time of the star's death.

One of the biggest hurdles outsiders face is being accepted socially and intellectually. In the former case colleagues only review each others manuscripts, collaborating within their own clique. In the latter there's an echo chamber with peers agreeing upon approaches, methodologies, and questions pertinent to their line of inquiry, rather than entertaining new ideas. It's basic schoolyard politics where kids won't let anyone join their club unless they're deemed smart or cool enough.

As for the specter of conspiracy, the paper's authors discovered a mere handful of the 452 deceased researchers were in a position of power in regards to new research. Only three subjects sat on panels determining the merits of grant applications, and another three were journal editors before their death. It's more likely they were murdered by frustrated peers, rather than actively suppressing fresh science.

This isn't the last word on the subject, since this paper raises still more questions.

What is the fate of the fields that these new entrants departed? Do they decay, or instead "merge" with those whose star departed prematurely? Given a finite supply of scientists and the adjustment costs involved in switching scientific focus, one would expect some other field to contract on the margin in the wake of superstar extinction. Is this marginal field more novel, or already established?

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Thanks to David Pecotić and Grail-Seeker for sharing this paper!

News Briefs 16-12-2015

Progress?

Quote of the Day:

The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.

Nikola Tesla

Alien Ice Circle Found In Utah

YouTube user pseudon name shares a video he stumbled upon at Facebook. Two bros in Utah discovered a strange ice formation upon a frozen lake, recording it for posterity. The formation appears to be at least six feet / 182cm in width, and riddled with regularly-spaced holes arranged like a mandala. From the video, the holes are about the length of an average person's index finger.

Upon closer inspection these holes contain white crystals, described by one of the dudes as being "slimy". A nearby Starbucks coffee cup led our intrepid bros to conclude the cause might've been hot coffee, possibly supported by the yellow-brown 'corona' around the center circle. Nobody seems to know the exact location of the video, and the exact Facebook page hosting the original remains elusive. Based on the Starbucks cup's design, the footage isn't from 2015 since it's not the controversial, plain red one.

What is it? Someone might've gotten pretty lucky tossing their coffee on the ice, creating this curiosity. Even if the cup was a grande, there wouldn't be enough coffee to create all those crystals. Commenters suggest this is a lion's mane jellyfish, typically found in high northern latitudes. But this is Utah, a landlocked state more than 700 miles / 1100km from the nearest ocean. Those unusual crystals might be indicative of antifreeze proteins from another cold-loving critter. The pattern might illustrate how the protein diffuses through the surface, altering the crystallization of the ice.

Then again, it might be aliens... or viral marketing for the upcoming sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.

What's your best guess?