News Briefs 09-02-2017

So say we all.

Thanks to Kat & Apollo

Quote of the Day:

"Seriah Azkath: We can’t understand these things for what they are, because our brains are limited and even though mind may not equal brain, the brain is what we have to use to interpret our reality and a lot of this stuff may just be beyond the capability of our brain to actually faithfully interpret."
"Joshua Cutchin: Yeah, I know, I agree, if you’ve got a 12" black-and-white tube television, you’re not going to be able to see some of the detail in a film that was released last year."

~Seriah Azkatch and Joshua Cutchin, on Episode 339 of Skeptiko.

News Briefs 08-02-2017

You've got love to burn...

Quote of the Day:

It's better to burn out, than to fade away.

Neil Young

Meet a Man Who Has Devoted His Life to Searching for the Loch Ness Monster

Steve Feltham has been a full-time hunter of the legendary Loch Ness Monster for 25 years. While skeptics might bemoan a person spending so much of their life chasing a mythical monster, Steve - parked in a caravan right on the shore of the loch, explains exactly why he does it: "The reason I sit here and I try and solve this mystery, is: that's what makes my heart sing."

I first came to Loch Ness when I was a 7-year-old boy, and found this set of caravans with this gang of grown men hunting for monsters in Loch Ness. And I thought...that's amazing, that would be the life for me, I'd love to do that.

...If that little 7-year-old boy could see what became of him, he wouldn't believe his luck."

(via Boing Boing)

News Briefs 07-02-2017

Couldn't see the geoglyphs for the trees...

Quote of the Day:

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken (1920)

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Henge-like Geoglyphs Hidden Under the Amazon Forest

Amazon Geoglyph (photo by Jenny Watling)

Archaeologists have investigated hundreds of ditched enclosures - similar to those constructed in Europe in Neolithic times - that were constructed in the western Brazilian Amazon some 2000 years ago. More than 450 of the mysterious structures have been revealed as a result of deforestation of the area, with the earthworks previously being hidden from view by trees.

The function of the geoglyphs remains unknown, though excavations have revealed very few artefacts, suggesting they were not the site of permanent settlements, but rather more likely were used sporadically as ritual gathering places.

The archaeologist who excavated some of the sites, Dr Jennifer Watling, compared the Amazon geoglyphs with European henges:

It is likely that the geoglyphs were used for similar functions to the Neolithic causewayed enclosures, i.e. public gathering, ritual sites.

It is interesting to note that the format of the geoglyphs, with an outer ditch and inner wall enclosure, are what classicly describe henge sites. The earliest phases at Stonhenge consisted of a similarly layed-out enclosure.

The research team found that the inhabitants of the area cleared the forest in small areas in order to build the geoglyphs, with the trees then growing back and hiding them from view until now. That finding, Dr Watling noted, "really challenges the idea that Amazonian forests are ‘pristine ecosystems'".

However, she was quick to note that fact should not be used as an excuse for modern deforestation:

Our evidence that Amazonian forests have been managed by indigenous peoples long before European contact should not be cited as justification for the destructive, unsustainable land-use practiced today.

It should instead serve to highlight the ingenuity of past subsistence regimes that did not lead to forest degradation, and the importance of indigenous knowledge for finding more sustainable land-use alternatives.

The research will be published in PNAS soon under the title "Impact of pre-Columbian “geoglyph” builders on Amazonian forests".


News Briefs 06-02-2017

That cognitive dissonance when you're an InfoWars reader and you're trying to figure out if GaGa's Satanic Super Bowl ritual helped the President's team win...

Quote of the Day:

A just a society for hating foreigners.

Olaf Stapledon

Graham Hancock and John Anthony West Discuss the Mysterious Origins of Civilisation

In December 2016 two giants of 'alternative history', Graham Hancock and John Anthony West, sat down for a long chat about their fascinating work on ancient Egypt and lost civilisations. Clocking in at over 90 minutes, the discussion veers off on a number of interesting tangents, from the work of G.I. Gurdjieff to the near-death experience phenomenon.

(Shortly after this talk, John Anthony West was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer - John currently has a crowd-funding page set-up to help in his battle, for those who would like to contribute.)

News Briefs 03-02-2017

”From modern thought to ancient wisdom the path would be short and direct, if one cared to take it.”

Quote of the Day:

“That which is and that which cannot be are both outside the realm of becoming.”

Simone Weil

Dune Movie Announced, with Denis Villeneuve as Director


Fans of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel Dune will be excited to learn that a new movie version of the story is 'officially' in the works, with the great Dennis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival, and the upcoming sequel to Bladerunner) signed up to direct the film. The announcement was made on Twitter by Herbert's son Brian, who has himself authored a number of other novels in the Dune series:

Dune has previously been made into a film by David Lynch (in 1984), and previous to that Alejandro Jodorowsky was also primed to make a movie version before the project fell apart.

Given Villeneuve's expert handling in bringing Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life to the screen (as Arrival), I'm really looking forward to this one.

Note too that Herbert's tweet refers to the project as a "DUNE series", so there may be more than just a single movie involved.

(via Bleeding Cool)

Related stories:

News Briefs 02-02-2017

"We're gonna build a huge bridge, and the trolls are gonna pay for it!"

Thanks to Guillermo del Toro

Quote of the Day:

"Vendel: You've never met a conspiracy theory you didn't like.
Blinky: I hate conspiracies. That is why I am dedicated to rooting them out.
Vendel: Like you rooted out the plot to rid Trollmarket of all its cat meat?
Blinky: That was a misunderstanding.
Vendel: Or the time you were convinced we were infested with flea trolls?
Blinky: Precaution is the soul of virtue.
Vendel: Everyone in Troll Market thinks you're paranoid.
Blinky: If it's everyone, it must be a conspiracy!"

~Blinky and Vendel, Trollhunters