News Briefs 29-10-2014

No lack of imagination here:

Quote of the Day:

Imagination should be used, not to escape reality but to create it.

Colin Wilson

  1. Another Secret Group Heard From (Without Any Actual Disclosure)
    Despite the influence of Pope Francis, his “science talk” barely made it onto http://www.buzzfeed.com

    I know Greg is looking into a TDG make-over, but is BuzzFeed really the standard now in terms of layout? It reminds me of the covers of old Family Circle magazines. I hope Greg will stay with the dark and mysterious look. Also came across a nice piece on guidelines for “content marketing”. Apparently I break every one of these rules (ouch):

    http://blog.bufferapp.com/the-ideal-length-of-everything-online-according-to-science

    Here’s one story on BuzzFeed that TDG maybe should have picked up on:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimdalrympleii/nasa-rocket-explodes-in-virginia-during-take-off

    Maybe this launch should have been out-sourced to India (double ouch)!

    Finally, since I’m breaking all the rules, the story on consciousness was NOT. I love visual and color science, but what does the visual cortex have to do with consciousness? Can’t we be conscious with our eyes wide shut?

    And best and really finally, has the Singularity of Kurzweil (Google’s new Director of Engineering) effectively been reached, and is this why the best us little people can hope for is an indefinite postponement of Disclosure?

  2. Re. Pope Francis declaring
    Re. Pope Francis declaring “evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God isn’t ‘a magician with a magic wand’…” still all just words/opinions/interpretations of a man. A man of high position, yet still with human limitations, same as all the limitations of scientific speculation. Critics of anything “God” will declare this as definitive evidence of God’s non-existence, the falsity of the bible (any bible) and evidence of Science’s triumph/truth. The truth is…we still don’t know nor may never know definitively, at least until after death (not NDE, but the longer version).

    IF God exists, God exists beyond our limited physical reality therefore beyond time, so billions of years of creation/evolution is meaningless and does not prove nor disprove God’s existence. NDE experiences report past, present and future occur simultaneously during their experiences, for whatever worth these prove to be.

    The Bible is based/inspired to varying degrees in real factual historical events, as evidenced by the ongoing discoveries of ancient cities cited within it’s text. However, it is a compilation of writings – again the interpretations of humans, through the human filter, whether divinely inspired or not. Therefore the literal reading which so many accept leads to so much criticism and mockery. At best nuggets of truth lie behind the stories and perhaps do give hint of the true nature of reality and God.

    One can only hope.

    1. Hi Greg H. Critical analysis
      Hi Greg H. Critical analysis of biblical content is “what I do”, so I appreciate the comment. Looking forward to your reaction to the blog I just did that compares Alexander to Jesus. Hopefully Greg T. will designate it as a Feature Blog and encourage everyone to sound off.

      http://www.dailygrail.com/blogs/Charles-Pope/2014/10/Alexander-the-Great-and-the-Grail-Tradition

      When I went over to check out BuzzFeed the very first link was titled “Afterlife” haha! It didn’t turn out to be anything the TDG crowd would be interested in, but made me do a double take. Obviously, the TDG news briefs are an attempt to capture significant stories that are NOT necessarily popular/viral and might otherwise go unnoticed. Great job lately by the staff in capturing so many provocative and esoterically intriguing links!

      1. The Shroud
        Is the author not aware of recent findings that the corner of the Shroud selected for carbon dating was a medieval repair? This has thrown the dating into a tizzy. Even the original scientist who performed the dating has now admitted that the carbon dating was worthless. After he looked at the selected fabric he discovered at the behest of archaeological weaving experts that the repair was a skillful interweaving of medieval fabric with the original fabric. This doesn’t prove that the Shroud is from the early date, but it doesn’t disprove it either. The best candidate for dating is the charred fabric around the burn holes from the fire that happened later in the Shroud’s lifetime, but as far as I know the Church has not allowed any more samples to be taken. I am kind of surprised the author was not aware of these developments. Even The Discovery Channel recently did a show on this with interviews with the strongly atheist scientist who has recanted his original dating work. Or perhaps I am the one who has not kept up?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyiZtagxX8

    2. This is true
      [quote=Greg H.]Re. Pope Francis declaring “evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God isn’t ‘a magician with a magic wand’…” still all just words/opinions/interpretations of a man. A man of high position, yet still with human limitations, same as all the limitations of scientific speculation. Critics of anything “God” will declare this as definitive evidence of God’s non-existence, the falsity of the bible (any bible) and evidence of Science’s triumph/truth. The truth is…we still don’t know nor may never know definitively, at least until after death (not NDE, but the longer version). [/quote]

      This is true. However I believe the point of all this is that it’s the first time a Pope, whether he believes it or not as a personal opinion, has ever spoken up and said this. Other Popes may have believed this too but never spoken their minds. NOW in this new world of thought, Pope Francis feels he can more openly speak his mind instead of turning into a heretic. Or the Church realizes it’s out numbered and even it’s most loyal followers believe in evolution as common knowledge, so it’ trying to bandage up the gaping wounds. Keep in mind though that just because someone is a devout Catholic doesn’t mean they blindly believe Genesis page for page.

      …I don’t really care what the Atheists believe…or don’t believe…

      1. Big Bang or No Big Deal?
        Reaction has been very mixed to the Pope’s statement. Many are saying that he didn’t actually say anything that wasn’t already the Catholic Church’s position, which is sort of the point. It was a story because it was a non-story.

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120025/pope-francis-quotes-evolution-big-bang-are-nothing-celebrate

        Obviously, the Atheists don’t think the Catholic Church is doing anything but finding some (wishy washy) middle ground.

        Personally I don’t care what Atheists or Catholics or Egyptologists or Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe, haha. We’re all so low on the learning curve that it hardly matters. But if we (I mean they) really do have the technology to “send ET home” that’s a start.

        1. Big Meh
          I studied in Catholic schools all my life. We were always taught about Evolution and the Big Bang. I can assure you I’d raised hell if they had taught me differently 😛

  3. The Bright Side of Climate Change
    Enjoyed the artistic collage of climate change “success stories”. I noticed that a large number of them involved riding bicycles!

    Emlong was on his soap box yesterday about the crumbling roads and bridges. If more people were allowed to work from home, then that would reduce the burden on the road system radically. I took an early retirement, partly because my employer would not let me work from home a few days a week in order to look after my parents and also reduce my own stress. Even though I had been a solid performer for almost 30 years, I still could not be trusted to work from home!

    1. I’m all for working from
      I’m all for working from home,which is what I have always done – but we are still left with triage. Fewer people using the roads means we will have to reduce the scale of automobile travel and infrastructure, ie we will have to give it our more undivided attention. It is already beginning to happen here and there. I drive a 1999 Ford pickup – I bought in ’99 – on which I have put only 50,000 miles, so maybe I am doing my bit too.

  4. Popes and Mayans
    I don’t think there is a lot of merit in the theory that 300 years were created by Pope Sylvester and Emperor Otto III “waving their magic wands”. Nevertheless, the vehement opposing of any questioning of chronology by Academics is highly disturbing. We really do need to know exactly how many years have transpired between certain catastrophic events that may potentially be cyclical. Without taking an extremely hard look at chronological accuracy, precise dating will never be achieved and we open ourselves up to being sucker-punched from space. The High Priest of the Mayan religion would never have allowed that to happen!

  5. Google
    Last week I got a message above my Gmail account stating my browser is no longer compatible and I had to download Chrome. Since it’s an office computer I was working on when this happened, and I can’t upgrade the system even if I wanted to (Mac OS Snow Leopard), I dismissed the annoying message that comes up every time I log into Gmail on Safari. After some research I found that Gmail no longer wants to work on ANY browser that is at least two system updates behind, making even my home computer which runs Windows 7 at risk for non-compatibility soon. The reason I believe Google is doing this is because it realizes that Chrome is crap and no one wants it so it’s loosing downloads and thus $$$. So Google can go fuck itself because the last thing I would ever do is let it into my body because I don’t want to wake up one day and have a message flash over my eyes that says “YOU ARE OVER 65, SIGN UP FOR AARP OR WE’LL CUT OFF YOUR AIR SUPPLY”. My Snow Leopard Safari can run circles around Chrome and with many websites still not functioning properly on Chrome (like important grant websites my company uses on a daily basis) maybe it should fix that before it decides it has the balls to tell us what browser we should use.

    It’s a hell of a lot easier just to change my email at this point, because Google – this is the textbook definition of “A+ bull crap”!

    Sorry…I needed to bitch 😛

    1. Google Complex
      I wanted to publish an abridged version of my book on Google Play for Android users, and was surprised how poorly executed Google Play is. There were even some incompatibilities with Google Play and Chrome! It seems the company has spread itself too thin and quality is suffering. I certainly wouldn’t be a guinea pig for Google’s medical tech, haha.

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