- An astrolinguist explains how to talk to aliens.
- The new Google Earth virtual reality app is literally convincing people we are living in a simulation.
- Stopping killer robots at the source (code).
- Global sea ice shrinking at unprecedented speeds, warns scientist.
- A cure for ageing? Scientists discover breakthrough procedure to replace specific parts of ageing cells.
- How 'thunderstorm asthma' stopped a city.
- Why China's 'Terracotta Warriors' are stirring controversy.
- Ancient inscriptions show life once flourished in Jordan's "Black Desert".
- 46,000-year-old kangaroo bone ornament is oldest bone jewelry ever found.
- Expert claims new footage shows a Tasmanian Tiger roaming around in Western Australia.
- Ouija: the forbidden interview.
- Jesus was an alien: Inside the strange theology fo the Aetherius Society.
- SETI in the Anthropocene.
- Why did ancient Italians bury thousands of clay body parts?
- Why was the founder of Discordianism writing a novel about Lee Harvey Oswald years before the JFK assassination?
- Image(s) of the Day: Aliens of the deep.
Quote of the Day:
I sometimes fear that people might think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.
Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you...
It doesn't walk in saying, "Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution."
In last week's news briefs we reported the the death of David Hahn, aka 'the radioactive boy scout', aged just 39. In his teenage years Hahn constructed a 'breeder-style nuclear reactor' in the back-shed of his family home after becoming fascinated by the subject through the Boy Scouts and his father's chemistry books. The coroner's results are still pending, so it is still unknown whether Hahn died as a result of his nuclear interest, or by some other cause.
I've seen a number of comments around the web and on social media in the days since along the lines of "lol, Darwin Award winner" (referring to a mock award to "recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death"). I've always found the DA rather distasteful, perhaps because they boil down someone's life, and the tragedy of their death to their family, into a one-line, superficial quip (FWIW, I usually enjoy dark humour). So, to help you get to know Hahn a little better, here's an article with a bit more depth, followed by two videos documenting his story in his own words.
Like any teenager, Hahn held after-school jobs at a local fast-food restaurant and a grocery store, but unlike other teenagers, he was using his wages to buy chemistry supplies. For a summer stay at Scout camp, Hahn showed up with powdered magnesium, thinking the other scouts would use it to make fireworks. Instead, they blasted a hole through their tent. Finally, after an explosion in the family basement, David’s parents requested that his experiments be conducted in the shed in their backyard.
“Sure, they thought it was odd that Hahn often wore a gas mask in the shed and would sometimes discard his clothing after working there until two in the morning, but they chalked it up to their own limited education,” Silverstein wrote.
David’s father laid down the law, insisting that he find some other pastime — specifically, becoming an Eagle Scout. And it turned out that one of the program’s merit badges was in Atomic Energy. Hahn earned his merit badge by building a model of a nuclear reactor using rubber bands and soda straws on a can of juice, adding some coat hangers and kitchen matches...
...His ambition started to grow, and he was determined to produce real radioactive materials. “He remained unfazed by accidents that turned his hair green, burned his skin, or knocked him out cold,” the Christian Science Monitor wrote later. He extracted americium-241 from old smoke detectors, then welded it together with a blowtorch. He extracted thorium from thousands of old lanterns — again using his blowtorch — and successfully purified it “to at least 9,000 times the level found in nature and 170 times the level that requires NRC licensing.” Harpers even reports that “he wrote to a Czechoslovakian firm that sells uranium to commercial and university buyers, whose name was provided, he told me, by the NRC,” then formulated his own nitric acid to try to isolate to the uranium.
(thanks to @Becky_Bongos)
- Troubling study says artificial intelligence can predict who will be criminals based on facial features.
- Some people can 'see' calendars, and it could explain how our brain processes time.
- Could the laws of physics actually be an alien intelligence?
- It's official: NASA's peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published.
- How the 'impossible drive' could break Newton's Third Law.
- Fast-radio bursts (FRBs) as cosmological probes.
- Dinosaur-killing asteroid turned planet Earth inside out.
- George Orwell, prophet: 'Extreme surveillance' becomes UK law with barely a whimper.
- Space archaeologist uses satellites to uncover ancient Egyptian ruins.
- Vast, 5600-year-old religious centre discovered near Stonehenge.
- Did the Templars hide the Ark of the Covenant? Unvraveling the Cove-Jones cipher.
- Breakthrough as gene-editing technique restores sight to blind animals.
- The science fiction that came before science.
- North Pole soars 36 degrees above normal temperature.
- Teen who died of cancer in U.K. wins right to be cryogenically frozen.
- Occult Americans.
- Trump's occult online supporters believe 'meme magic' got him elected.
- The head-transplant doctor has a VR system for helping patients with the terrifying transition. Transition to death maybe?
- Putting the 'die' into diorama: the bizarre 17th century dioramas made from real human body parts.
- Image of the Day: This camouflaging spider will make you forever suspicious of dead leaves.
Quote of the Day:
Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
'1984' (George Orwell)
For those that enjoyed my essay on near-death experiences throughout history (expanded upon in my book Stop Worrying, There Probably is an Afterlife), the talk above, "Near-Death Experience and the Origin of Afterlife Beliefs", delivered by Gregory Shushan at the 2016 IANDS conference, will likely be of interest.
Whatever their source (biological, psychological, and/or metaphysical), NDEs are unquestionably part of human experience. While they share similar themes wherever they occur, no two descriptions are exactly alike. As with any experience, NDEs are filtered through our layers of culture, language, and individuality. The interpretation of the phenomenon as indicative of survival after bodily death, however, appears to be universal. Accounts from around the world and throughout history show that NDEs regularly impact beliefs about the afterlife, despite cross-cultural differences. This presentation addresses their role in the formation of afterlife beliefs; the relationship between NDEs and cultural expectations; and the varying modes of interpretation and assimilation of these experiences in different societies. The argument that NDEs are a driving force behind religious beliefs aligns well with the conference’s focus on the transformative aspects of NDEs, and how they are integrated into people’s lives.
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Movie Review: Arrival
- News Briefs 14-11-2016 (Monday)
- Speculations on the Physics of Alien Spaceship Propulsion
- News Briefs 15-11-2016 (Tuesday)
- Gary Lachman Discusses His New Book "Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson"
- News Briefs 16-11-2016 (Wednesday)
- Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast
- News Briefs 17-11-2016 (Thursday)
- News Briefs 18-11-2016 (Friday)
Have a good weekend!
“If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.”
- The opening scene of every space disaster film.
- Superlattice single-atom data storage?
- Follwing the secret map of animals.
- Pluto’s slushy, underground ocean.
- Rehearsing for the apocalypse.
- What lies between galaxies?
- Hijacking photosynthesis.
- Subtropical Siberia.
- Mining alien life?
- Water 2.0.
Quote of the Day:
“The universe is an intelligence test.”
- Mexican pyramid is built on a pyramid inside a pyramid.
- Iran's 'Great Wall' is now buried and forgotten.
- Stephen Hawking puts an expiry date on humanity.
- President-Elect Donald Trump calls InfoWars' Alex Jones to thank his followers for their support, and promise he'll be on the show in the next few weeks.
- Fake election news outperformed real news on Facebook in the final months of the US election.
- What secrets can you uncover if you hit the NSA with Freedom of Information Act requests about Area 51?
- The New York skyscraper that spies on the UN, IMF, World Bank and at least 38 countries.
- China's space station now has insects, weeds and rice on board. Not big on housekeeping then I'm guessing?
- The CRISPR gene-editing tool is now being used on humans.
- DNA-editing breakthrough could fix 'broken genes' in the brain, heart and liver.
- 'Resurrection' experiment in India blocked by officials.
- 'Psychic powers' scientific paper pulled from journal after criticism. (See also my write-up on the paper when it first came out.)
- Will another paranormal challenge prove psychic ability?
- Top ten reasons to believe in Bigfoot.
- 3D-printed 'spider dress' defends your personal space.
- Man dissolved in acidic water after trying to soak in Yellowstone National Park hot pool.
- UFOs fly in front of the Moon.
- Sicilian town plagued by mysterious fires turns to science, the Church, and the law, in a search for answers.
Quote of the Day:
We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.
Our good friend Graham Hancock appeared once again on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast yesterday, joined by 'renegade scholar' Randall Carlson for a three and a half hour discussion on ancient cataclysms and lost civilisations. I still haven't got through the whole thing (3.5 hours!), but what I've listened to so far has been a fun and enlightening discussion touching on many of the issues raised in Graham's most recent book, Magicians of the Gods (available from Amazon US and Amazon UK).
- Earthquake lights spotted during recent New Zealand disaster.
- Humanity is not ready for alien contact.
- World-renowned genius speculates on the physics of alien spacecraft propulsion.
- Intelligent aliens are likely machines.
- "Radioactive Boy Scout" who tried to build a nuclear reactor in his back shed when 17, dies at age 39.
- Physics doesn't care who was elected President.
- MIT researchers break plant-human communication barrier.
- First home brain implant lets 'locked-in' woman communicate.
- Why Catholics built secret astronomical features into churches to help save souls.
- Photos reveal Daesh's near-complete destruction of ancient city of Nimrud.
- Earliest known stone version of the Ten Commandments goes up for auction.
- Mysterious medieval giant woman found in Polish cemetery.
- Happy 50th birthday Mothman!
- Researchers want to unravel the mystery of Machu Picchu and the Nazca geoglyphs.
Quote of the Day:
Culture replaces authentic feeling with words. As an example of this, imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something, marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a transformative hierophany of integrated perception and the child is enthralled and then the mother comes into the room and she says to the child, “that’s a bird, baby, that’s a bird,” instantly the complex wave of the angel peacock iridescent trans-formative mystery is collapsed, into the word. All mystery is gone, the child learns this is a bird, this is a bird, and by the time we’re five or six years old all the mystery of reality has been carefully tiled over with words. This is a bird, this is a house, this is the sky, and we seal ourselves in within a linguistic shell of dis-empowered perception.
Gary Lachman is one of my favourite writers on the history and philosophies of esotericism (and we're lucky enough to have him contribute here at the Grail periodically on his personal blog). So I really enjoyed sitting down and watching this recent talk Gary gave at Watkins Books in London about his latest book Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. It's got a lovely 'up-close' personal feel to it, as if I was sitting on a folding chair in the front row listening to Gary chat about things.
Gary Lachman, Wilson's friend and biographer, discusses his new book, Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson, and take the audience on a tour of Wilson's central ideas.
2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of the existential classic The Outsider, the book that in 1956 threw its twenty-four year old author, Colin Wilson, into fame and achieved worldwide success. Between then and his death in 2013, Wilson wrote an enormous number of books exploring the edgier areas of human psychology - such as his groundbreaking history The Occult (1971) - with gripping analyses of sexuality, criminality, consciousness, the paranormal, and mystical experience, as well as novels like Ritual in the Dark, The Mind Parasites, and The Space Vampires.