In the year 1752, British and (soon-to-be) American citizens went to bed on the night of September 2nd...and all woke up on September 14th. How did they lose 11 days?
From Roman times, the Western world had worked with a calendar developed by Julius Caesar - the 'Julian Calendar'. But this calendar wasn't perfectly accurate, with its years actually being around 11 minutes out. Which isn't so bad over a few years, but after a millennium or two adds up to days.
By 1582 the mistake had multiplied out to 10 days, and the Catholic Church didn't like what it was doing to the timing of Easter. So Pope Gregory XIII instituted a new calendar - the one we use today (the Gregorian calendar) - but to do so the error needed to be corrected. Pope Gregory therefore decreed that that October 4th 1582 would become October 15th.
Protestants weren't such big fans of the Catholics, so they weren't about to listen to any papal decrees. It took them another 170 years to start instituting the change to the Gregorian calendar, with Britain and its colonies (including the soon to be United States) not changing over until 1752.
By that time, the error in the Julian calendar had built up to 11 days - so to fix the problem, in 1752 September 2nd was immediately followed by September 14th. Children with birth certificates showing each of those two dates were only born a day apart.
And if that isn't confusing enough: at that time the year began on March 25th, but with the calendar revision this was shifted to January 1 - so the year 1752 ran from March 25 to December 31, with September only being 19 days long as well.
This change in calendar results in some odd historical quirks, such as George Washington's birth certificate showing that he was born on February 11, 1731, while his birthday is now celebrated by us on February 22nd, 1732.
An important historical note to remember when setting the dates on your DeLorean!
If you thought the last cool thing worth waiting for in 2015 was the release of Episode VII, you're probably not a fan of Alternative History.
For us, there's the long-awaited publication of Graham Hancock's Magicians of the Gods --September 10 in the UK, one month later in the US-- 20 years after his international bet-seller Fingerprints of the Gods implanted the seed for a paradigm shift in our appreciation of the ancient past; a seed which has flourished and blossomed not only because of the Graham's international acclaim, but also because of the archeological evidence discovered after "Fingerprints..." which have proved his basic thesis --the existence of an advanced civilization of megalithic builders, with great knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, which was destroyed after the end of the last Ice Age but not before managing to inculcate their knowledge all around our planet-- to be very much on the right track.
Even though he rightly points out how ours is a species suffering from amnesia, I truly believe Graham's name has secured an enduring place in the annals of History; if nothing else, for inspiring an entire generation to look at our ancient legacy --our heritage as human beings and inhabitants of this wonderful and troubled world-- with fresh new eyes; offering us a vantage view from which to appreciate where we came from, how we got here, and where we are destined to go... if we deign to learn the lessons of our forefathers, that is.
You can pre-order your copy of Magicians of the Gods by clicking here.
When magical incantations go sour...
Your Wednesday weirdness.
- Elongated skulls in utero: a farewell to the artificial cranial deformation paradigm?
- Strange tiny being puzzles scientists and scares Russians.
- Curiosity finds a 'floating spoon' on Mars.
- The last woman who makes sea silk.
- Will AI get high?
- The disturbing consequences of seeing your doppelganger.
- Biology, psychology, and mysticism unite in synchronicity discussion.
- Evidence of ancient life discovered in mantle rocks deep below the seafloor.
- The martyr of Palmyra: Khaled al-Asaad was a world renowned scholar before being beheaded by jihadists.
- Secrets of Britain's Atlantis revealed? Archaeologists prepare to uncover ancient civilisation's drowned world.
- 5,500-year-old sun-worship temple excavated on island of Bonholm, Denmark.
- Scientists see four main stages of human evolution.
- New genes arise from 'junk' DNA.
- Algorithms predict schizophrenia with 100% accuracy.
Quote of the Day:
Coincidences are spiritual puns
One for the strange animal behaviour file: the video above shows ants circling the phone in an anti-clockwise direction as soon as it starts ringing.
According to scientists consulted in this news story, the attraction may be a magnetic field thing, the vibration of the phone, or just simply 'this is what ants do'.
Although it has to be said: ants and us, we ain't really that different:
- Ancient Temple of Bel in Syria blown up by Islamic State.
- Neanderthals may have lived in houses with hot water.
- Polish ‘Nazi gold train’ city basks in ‘Loch Ness Monster effect’.
- Hunting dogs on hallucinogens: Why do people around the world get their dogs high before hunting?
- French court validates completely invalid electromagnetic 'allergy'.
- Researchers develop a way to detect quantum motion at the macro level.
- How a Nazi rocket could have put a Briton in space.
- Alien transit systems may be a giveaway in the search for ET.
- The UN is using virtual reality to make the rich and powerful feel empathy.
- Psychologists ask: if we had credible warning of an alien invasion, how would humanity react?
- Oliver Sacks: Psychedelic drugs "taught me what the mind was capable of".
- How the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance went from PR gimmick to patriotic vow.
- Jack Kirby said The Incredible Hulk was inspired by a woman lifting a car off a little child.
- Detectives investigating missing persons cases 'should consider the advice of psychics', says UK College of Policing.
- The fortune tellers of Kabul: the danger of being a mystic or medium in a nation of religious hard-liners.
- Why the dying see their deceased relatives before they go.
- Images of the Day: Photos of the walking dead at the Ma'nene ritual of the Toraja people in Indonesia.
Quote of the Day:
You are being force fed the worst the world has to offer, in graphic detail, on a daily basis. It is not natural, healthy, or useful.
Humans and canines have a long history of working together, with the use of hunting dogs stretching back to perhaps 20,000 years ago. And in some cultures, it seems ancient shamanic practices related to hunting success have extended to their four-legged partners: according to a new paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, at least 43 difference species of psychedelic plants have been used in cultures around the world to allegedly improve the performance of hunting dogs.
The researchers focused on the Ecuadorian Shuar and Quichua people - who use at least 22 species "for ethnoveterinary purposes" - trying to determine the possible pharmacological basis for the use of these plants with hunting dogs:
The use of psychoactive substances to improve a dog׳s hunting ability seems counterintuitive, yet its prevalence suggests that it is both adaptive and that it has an underlying pharmacological explanation. We hypothesize that hallucinogenic plants alter perception in hunting dogs by diminishing extraneous signals and by enhancing sensory perception (most likely olfaction) that is directly involved in the detection and capture of game. If this is true, plant substances also might enhance the ability of dogs to detect explosives, drugs, human remains, or other targets for which they are valued.
For more on the topic of animals and psychedelics, see the links below.
Happy 17th birthday to us! If only I had of known how many posts I'd be making in the next 6200 days....
- Quantum spookiness passes toughest test yet.
- Do weird quantum effects hold the key to solving biological mysteries?
- The lessons of out-of-body experiences.
- The science of the voices in our head.
- Dreaming while awake: Why do humans have visions of supernatural beings?
- NASA astronauts begin year-long isolation to simulate life on Mars.
- After a successful Pluto rendezvous, NASA's New Horizons has a new mission.
- Scientists are hopeless at communicating.
- Does atheism have to be anti-religious?
- Acclaimed neurologist Oliver Sacks has passed away aged 82.
- Also moving on from this mortal coil, the great horror director Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Serpent and the Rainbow).
- An interview with long-time paranormal researcher Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson.
- TV medium Colin Fry dies, aged 53.
- Convicted psychics reveal all: "It's a scam!"
- Polar radar image 'almost certainly Nazi train'.
- From Loch Ness to Bigfoot, 10 mythical monsters worth traveling for.
- The case of the MH370 wing segment keeps getting weirder. Nothing to see here, please disperse...
Quote of the Day:
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
The Daily Grail would not be able to continue without support from advertisers on the site, and the oh-so-cool readers who send voluntary subscriptions or purchase some of the books from Daily Grail Publishing. So here's a quick shout-out to New Dawn Magazine, who have been a supporter of this site for some time (see the banner at the top right of the page) and provide some cool reading material to boot - the latest being New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 9, No. 3, titled "Mystery of Consciousness and the Mind Matrix". Check out the full listing of articles from the latest issue below.
If you're in Australia or New Zealand you can grab a copy of New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 9 No. 3 from your local newsagency, or you can grab the digital edition regardless of your location for only US$5.95 direct from the New Dawn website:
New Dawn Special Issue Vol 9 No 3
Mystery of Consciousness and the Mind Matrix
- "Return Trip: The New Psychedelic Science", by Erik Davis
- "The War on Drugs & the Control of Consciousness", by Graham Hancock
- "Chavín de Huántar: Labyrinth of the Mind. Drugs, Rituals & Altered States of Consciousness in Ancient Peru", by Alistair Coombs
- "Entheogens, Initiation & the Modern World: There are No Shortcuts to Spiritual ‘Enlightenment’", by Robert Black
- "Alex Grey & the Mind Parasites", by Jonathan Zap
- "A Neurosurgeon’s Journey to Worlds Beyond: An Interview with Dr. Eben Alexander", by Richard Smoley
- "Where Does Consciousness Reside? Eben Alexander & the Brain-Mind Problem", by Richard Smoley
- "Science of the Whole: Integrating Matter & Spirit", by Chris Thomson
- "The Divine Art of Self-Correction: A Path of Unfolding Our Innate Divinity", by Danielle Graham
- "A Practical Guide to Power of the Mind", by D.J. Carville
- "Primal Vision & ‘Active Seeing’: Why We Don’t Perceive What’s Right in Front of Our Eyes?", by Colin Wilson
- "Doublethink & the Mental Construction of Reality", by Nick Meador
- "The Unlimited Mind of Doctor John C. Lilly", by Marshall Hammond
- "Earth Coincidence Control Office (E.C.C.O.)", by Dr. John C. Lilly
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Meet the First Human to Be Officially Recognised as a Cyborg
- News Briefs 24-08-2015 (Monday)
- Astronauts Photograph 35 Mile High 'Sky Jellyfish' That Live Above the Clouds
- News Briefs 25-08-2015 (Tuesday)
- Exploring Overlapping Themes Between NDEs and UFO/Alien Encounters
- Dreaming While Awake
- News Briefs 26-08-2015 (Wednesday)
- Glenn Campbell Reminisces with Area 51 'Cammo Dudes'
- Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century
- News Briefs 27-08-2015 (Thursday)
- Do Weird Quantum Effects Hold the Key to Solving Biological Mysteries?
- News Briefs 28-08-2015 (Friday)
- Name Your Favorite Bibliophilic Film
Have a good weekend!