Soon, anywhere else but Earth may be considered 'superhabitable'.
- Star next door may host a 'superhabitable' world.
- New DNA sequencing technique solves the problem of contamination, promising new insights into human origins from previously-handled samples.
- Dinosaur bones and jelly donuts on Mars.
- Need-based psychic ability appears to be strongest type.
- Babylonian tale of round ark draws ire from some Christian circles.
- NSA spied on climate talks so the Obama admin. could sabotage them.
- Did alien life evolve just after the Big Bang?
- Vinay Gupta talks about crisis preparation and resilience on a macro/micro scale on London Real.
- Seeing as a service: Forget augmented reality. What about diminished reality?
- New Cretaceous Titanosaur discovered.
- Mirrors may have worked magic in ancient Japanese rituals.
- Scientists who warn of the dangers of believing too much in science.
- Theo Paijmans asks "Where have all the monsters gone?"
- Is alchemy back in fashion?
- Theft of Pope John Paul II's blood raises the question "Is there really a Satanic New Year?"
- First-person view of Felix Baumgartner's space jump.
- Animated online realtime global weathermap. H/t BoingBoing.
- And here's what that weather around Britain has been up to.
Quote of the Day:
Without a free press, we have nothing, not even an illusion of freedom.
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week - check 'em out if you missed any:
- Spiders Make Sculptures of Other Spiders
- News Briefs 27-01-2014 (Monday)
- Man Can Listen to Four Symphonies in his Head - Simultaneously!
- News Briefs 28-01-2014 (Tuesday)
- Ancients - A Timelapse Video That Follows a Cycle Unbroken Since the Dawn of Time
- Will Storr's "The Heretics" Now Available in Paperback
- News Briefs 29-01-2014 (Wednesday)
- Historia Discordia - Documenting the Origins and History of the Discordian Society
- News Briefs 30-01-2014 (Thursday)
- A Nurse's Research into Near-Death Experiences
- Brazil, 12 Monkeys, and now The Zero Theorem - Terry Gilliam Completes His Dystopian Sci-Fi Trilogy
- News Briefs 31-01-2014 (Friday)
- Realistically Colorized Historical Photos: It's Just Like Time-Traveling!
- Retrocausality: Physicists Ponder Whether the Future Can Influence the Past
Have a good weekend!
Issue 9 of the wonderful online magazine Nautilus is now available to read, and offers a fantastic collection of articles on the theme of 'Time'. One of the pieces I recommend checking out is George Musser's article "The Quantum Mechanics of Fate", which delves into the (possible) mystery of retrocausality in modern physics:
Physicists as renowned as John Wheeler, Richard Feynman, Dennis Sciama, and Yakir Aharonov have speculated that causality is a two-headed arrow and the future might influence the past. Today, the leading advocate of this position is Huw Price, a University of Cambridge philosopher who specializes in the physics of time. “The answer to the question, ‘Could the world be such that we do have a limited amount of control over the past,’ ” Price says, “is yes.” What’s more, Price and others argue that the evidence for such control has been staring at us for more than half a century.
That evidence, they say, is something called entanglement, a signature feature of quantum mechanics...
...The standard interpretation of entanglement is that there is some kind of instant communication happening between the two particles. Any communication between them would have to travel the intervening distance instantaneously—that is, infinitely fast. That is plainly faster than light, a speed of communication prohibited by the theory of relativity.
...Price asks us to consider the impossible: that doing something to either of the entangled particles causes effects which travel backward in time to the point in the past when the two particles were close together and interacting strongly. At that point, information from the future is exchanged, each particle alters the behavior of its partner, and these effects then carry forward into the future again. There is no need for instantaneous communication, and no violation of relativity.
Before we get too carried away with the possibilities afforded by retrocausality, it should be noted that even those investigating it clearly say it's all a bit speculative right now. Furthermore, Musser points out that, even assuming retrocausality is real, "our control of the past is very limited — as it must be, if the universe is to avoid imploding in a big logical paradox. Quantum mechanics is set up to deny you that influence. It creates an eddy in the river of time, but only a little one" (sidenote for anyone else that thought it: yes I did hear Arthur Dent saying "Ah, is he?" when I read that sentence).
Nevertheless, I couldn't help thinking of Professor Daryl Bem's controversial findings that suggest humans may have the ability to 'feel the future'. I wonder what those physicists investigating retrocausality might say about what it allows in terms of presentiment in humans - still inconceivable, or is it a mechanism for such an effect?
Make sure you check out all the stories in Issue 9 of Nautilus, there is some truly fascinating and beautiful writing to enjoy (for instance, see this wonderful piece on the life and work of acclaimed physicist John Archibald Wheeler).
Link: "The Quantum Mechanics of Fate"
Behold the Past come to life! Thanks to the work of such amazing digital artists like Jordan Lloyd, Dana Keller and Sanna Dullaway, you now can experience famous historical (black & white) photographs in a wholly fresh new way.
Visit 22 Words, where you'll find plenty more examples, along with some other links to similar content.
Let's see how many Grailers get a sense of deja-vú with these ;)
"To entire sincerity there belongs ceaselessness."
- The mathematic universe.
- Creating life.
- Molten iron rain and brown dwarves.
- Watching the secret eclipse.
- NASA refutes Martian lawsuit.
- All hail the mighty monopole.
- Atari asteroids-- The home version.
- From greenhouse gas to chemical?
- Lake Urmia and the burgeoning drought.
- ISO DIY planetary habitats.
- Messages in the Canadian skies?
- Beware of nazi mosquitoes.
- A new life for stem cells?
- The universality of immortality?
- Listening without being heard.
- Is Arkaim Russia’s Stonehenge?
- Regulating the vibration of life?
- Ever worn bad idea jeans? Thank your newly discovered lateral frontal pole.
- The secret of undersea ‘crop circles’.
- Smuggler bitten by greed.
- The end of inkjets?
- The benefits of learning to read.
- When computers watch The Matrix.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… ‘Bot theme parks.
And a very Happy Birthday to the Mightiest Quinn!
Quote of the Day:
“To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.”
Throw together the words "dystopian sci-fi movie by Terry Gilliam" and a lot of people would have positive feelings. Between his 1985 classic Brazil, or the time-travel themed mind-bender 12 Monkeys, Monty Python alumnus Gilliam has a strong pedigree in the genre (not to mention his excursions into other themes, such as The Fisher King). If you're a fan, you'll be happy to know that Gilliam is retreading the genre this year with a new film: The Zero Theorem (in fact, Gilliam has actually stated that the film is "the third part of a trilogy formed by earlier dystopian satires Brazil and 12 Monkeys". Here's the trailer, followed by the blurb - there's plenty of Gilliam-signatures in there, from examination rooms to bald protaganists and zooming, angled shots:
An eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst works on a mysterious project aimed at discovering the purpose of existence - or the lack thereof - once and for all. However, it is only once he experiences the power of love and desire that he is able to understand his very reason for being.
The film has some serious acting credentials on board, with Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis and Tilda Swinton involved. I for one am looking forward to it!
Over the past week the Daily Mail has been serializing articles on aspects of 'afterlife research', taken from intensive care nurse Penny Sartori’s new book The Wisdom Of Near-Death Experiences (pre-order from Amazon US and Amazon UK. Here's a list of links to the stories they've posted:
- Is this proof near-death experiences ARE real? Extraordinary new book by intensive care nurse reveals dramatic evidence she says should banish our fear of dying.
- Can you foresee the death of a loved one... and choose the exact moment you die? These accounts from an intensive care nurse will astonish you
- The children who have near-death experiences - then lead charmed lives: Study reveals youngsters as young as six months can have lucid visions
- Our astonishing near-death stories... by some of the thousands of you touched by our thought-provoking series by an intensive care nurse
Penny Sartori is certainly not a new-comer to this area - she has been actively researching near-death experiences for more than a decade now, and I mentioned some of that work in my own recent book on NDEs, death-bed visions and mediumship, Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife - so it's great to see her work getting such mainstream coverage. Here's the trailer for her soon-to-be-released book:
You can keep up-to-date with Penny Sartori's research and writings at her official blog.
"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender"
- Should schools teach kids to meditate?
- Boeing's drones are getting creepier & creepier!
- Bitcoin mining = Silk Road laundering?
- Physicists say energy can be teleported 'without a limit of distance.' Something tells me teleportation will become the bulimia of the 22nd century…
- When rocks fall from the sky --but don't come from outer space!
- How a little Mexican videogame company is helping NASA's space program.
- A lawsuit against NASA for failing to investigate alien life on Mars? Now what does that remind me of…
- Detecting alien intelligence might be even trickier than we realized.
- Proof of ancient aliens in Iraq's national museum? That's just gonna make Colavito choleric!
- UFO & abduction researcher Elaine Douglas has passed away. Descanse en Paz.
- Here's round 2 of my mano-a-mano with Greg Bishop on Radio Misterioso: UFOs, ghosts & single-malt whiskeys!
- A look into Jacques Vallee's 'Control System' theory.
- Indiana family was besieged by more than 200 demons --200?! Must be a labor union thing… (still a pretty interesting case, though).
- Squid fighting an owlfish --will have to do until we finally see a battle between Architeutis vs a sperm whale…
- Swapping bodies --and gender-- thanks to virtual reality.
- Red Pill of the Day: Having debt problems? Have a sex change!
Thanks Kat, Rick & Redington
Quote of the Day:
"The world would never amount to a hill of beans if people didn't use their imaginations to think of the impossible."
~Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Intrepid chronicler of fringe culture (and Darklore writer) Adam Gorightly has a fantastic new project, a website (and future book releases) dedicated to documenting the origins and history of the Discordian Society: Historia Discordia. Discordianism is a philosophy - some might not even call it a religion - dedicated to the 'worship' of the principles embodied in the Greco-Roman goddess of chaos, Eris/Discordia (more cogently, Discordianism is somewhat of an 'anti-religion', rejecting dogmatism and parodying many of organised religions' more ridiculous practices):
And what are the Discordian Archives? Geez, I thought you would never ask.
The Discordian Archives are, of course, Greg Hill’s archives, who — along with Kerry Thornley — co-founded Discordianism in the late 1950s. Not only was Greg one incredibly gifted individual, but he meticulously saved damn near every project he ever worked on. And that was a good thing.
After his death in July of 2000, Hill’s archives were rescued from being potentially tossed into a dumpster by one Dr. Robert Newport, another seminal Discordian and good friends with Hill and Thornley. For a few years, Dr. Bob — as I fondly call him — entertained the notion of creating some sort of online Discordian Archives, but eventually became more interested in pursuing his passion of landscape painting. That’s where I come in. My name is Gorightly, I carry the Chao.
...In the years to follow, I periodically checked in with Newport inquiring if, at some point, I could use these materials to produce a book on the history of Discordianism. Newport, bless his heart, always gave the thumbs up to this potential project, which sat on the Gorightly Productions backburner for the next several years. Every now and again I would touch bases with Dr. Bob just to make sure he was still OK with my eventual use of the materials, and the answer was always positive and supportive. Then, in 2009, as I started getting a bit more serious about moving forward with the project, I yet again contacted Dr. Robert and as always he was totally down with whatever I wished to do. Additionally, Newport suggested that the next time I was down L.A. way I should drop by his place and he would give me the collection and “whatever else I wanted.” Granted, I’m a little dense at times, so I wasn’t quite sure what Newport meant, as I had assumed I’d seen the entire Discordian Archive contents back in 2001 at Wilson’s apartment. Never one to let an opportunity pass, I took Newport up on his offer, and — at that time, by the grace of Goddess Eris — he passed on several boxes of rare Discordian artifacts including the original versions of the Principia Discordia, editions 1 – 5.
At the top of this post is a video of Adam with the 'Bible' of Discordianism: the complete, 60 page first edition Principia Discordia (one of only five copies).
For updates regarding the Historia Discordia website and the related publishing project, follow @AdamGorightly on Twitter.
Link: Historia Discordia
- Polaris, the North Star, is getting brighter.
- Which is perfect timing for Imbolc this Saturday.
- The Celtic goddess Brigid, apple orchards, & otherworldly bees.
- Ruins of a bustling port unearthed at Egypt's Giza Pyramids.
- Previously unknown poems by Sappho have been recovered.
- Opening an ancient castle's window for the first time in 500 years.
- The Govan Stones, a unique collection of Viking-age monuments.
- Six new King Arthur films directed by Guy Ritchie. Yep, six of 'em.
- The Hope Diamond was once a symbol for Louis XIV, the Sun King.
- Where have all the flowers gone: RIP, Pete Seeger (1919 - 2014).
- Knitting & mushrooms -- it may explain the fourth Doctor's scarf.
- Famous writers' sleeping habits & their literary productivity.
- A falling star caught by a couple in Roanoke isn't a girl named Yvaine.
- Heart transplant recipient & donor's sister fall in love at first sight.
Quote of the Day:
Speak to the stars, and the stars answer. At first the visible obscures: Go where the light is.
~ Theodore Roethke