Posts Tagged ‘ Committee For A Bigger Universe ’

New Superhero!

2010.11.24
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DELIGHTEDMAN! HIS SUPERPOWERS ARE HIS 100% Infectious Enthusiasm! the Smile of Impenetrability! and the deadly Triple Exclamation Point!!!

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Accented Enlightenment

2010.11.24
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SO MANY OF OUR VERBAL surroundings are invisible to us; we live like blind fish in a sea of words. Two experiments to make the background pop out:

1. Try shifting the accent on multiword phrases; e.g., “Vanity Fair” turns from a magazine into a wry comment on mores. (That may actually have been the original intent, FAIK.)

2. From where you’re sitting now, how many words can you see (e.g., ID tags, slogans, ads)? Of these, how many are necessary for the worded thing’s function (e.g., the colorful packaging on a soda can)? If not, then why do they exist?

By paying attention to our attention, we become open to universes-next-door … right in front of our faces.

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Arm’s Reach To The Stars

2010.11.16
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PERHAPS “ARM’S REACH TO AN asteroid” would be more accurate, but: For the first time ever, humanity has reached out with metal fingers and grabbed a hunk of asteroid to hold before its face.

To put it less poetically, Japanese scientists announced today that the space probe Hayabusa, battered and crippled but still greatly game, did indeed scoop up a bit of asteroid Itokawa and return it to Earth. As John Matson writes on Scientific American‘s blog today:

Material scooped out … with a special spatula and examined with scanning electron microscopy revealed “about 1,500 grains…and most of them were judged to be of extraterrestrial origin, and definitely from Asteroid Itokawa,” according to a JAXA press release. Most of the rocky particles are less than 10 microns in length. (A micron is one millionth of a meter.)

For the rest of the story, click http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=hayabusa-probe-succeeded-in-returni-2010-11-16. Meanwhile, could we please have a standing ovation?

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!

2010.11.08
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,.
– –. ? ,;.
? — http://languageremoval.com/.

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Ghosts Don’t Interest Me

2010.10.31
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NOTE THE SPECIFICITY OF THE title — I didn’t say I don’t like ghosts, or that I shun their company or “disbelieve” in their “existence.” But they’re no big thing to me, any more so than the other amazing things about which I can do nothing but appreciate.

Like most people, I stand at the rim and center of diverse circles of friends: the local Jewish community, the local media community, my pirate buddies, college fiends, pagans, ol’ hippies and any number of peace officers, firefighters and clergyfolk, each of exceptional intelligence and veracity, all of whom trust their eyes and ears despite preconceptions, and whose only motivation in retelling some awfully weird goings-on was to understand their UFO sighting, religious vision, haunting, reincarnation evidence, Ouija session, telekinesis, missing time, seance, monster encounter or near-death experience. (Like I would know.)

Most of those friends who’ve experienced anomalous whoopdedoofery (including the author) seem to develop an essential reality-agnosticism and open-face-value acceptance of things beyond one’s personal ken. (To be honest, I also know a few people whose pre-existing dogmas were reinforced by experiential weirdness, so you never can tell …) Perhaps, as researcher Jacques Vallee suggests, these misty goings-on have been kicking us in the collective head for millenia to expand our notions and horizons. (Even vampires, the most pretentious of the undead, may have merit when seen in this light.) If so, then challenge your next Weird Encounter with the old wizards’ adage: “Come on in and set a spell*.”

_____
* Labored pun explicable on request, or, better yet, not.

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World’s Smallest Particle Accelerator!

2010.10.25
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SCIENCE NEWS IS REPORTING THAT the humble adhesive-tape dispenser packs more X-ray wallop than the most sophisticated electrical machines:

Forget fancy particle accelerators — a cheaper tool for emitting X-rays is right there in the office supply cabinet. Pulling back Scotch tape emits X-rays, the same high-energy light emanating from airport security scanners and the interiors of galaxy clusters, and scientists now have a better understanding of why.

The radiation becomes human-scale harmless within a hair’s-breadth of generation, but it’s still pretty cool. And important. See the whole story: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/64111/title/Tale_of_the_tape_

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Of Monkey Brains and Infinity

2010.10.11
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ALTHOUGH WE’RE NOT GENERALLY A “quotes ‘n’ links” blog, today Metaphorager.Net feels compelled to pass along two related items:

1) From Robert Anton Wilson‘s Prometheus Rising, p. 201:

“[...] Simply accept that the universe is so structured that it can see itself, and that this self-reflexive arc is built into our frontal lobes, so that consciousness contains an infinite regress, and all we can do is make models of ourselves making models …
“Well, at that point, the only thing to do is relax and enjoy the ride.”

2) Charles & Ray Eames’ 1968 film Powers of 10. (I assign this completely scientific piece as homework for my religious-school students to flex their awe-muscles. It’s a brief magnification journey within and without the hand of a man sleeping next to Lake Michigan. See it. See it now.)

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Get Your Seats Now

2010.10.07
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SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY METEORS an hour are predicted for next year’s Draconid shower, when the earth passes through a knot of Comet Giacobini-Zinner debris. (Note: it’s best observed from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.) Mark your calendars and and reserve a tramp-steamer today!

- Alert courtesy of http://spaceweather.com/ (10/7/10 edition)
- Starmap: http://www.imo.net/calendar/2010#dra

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World Space Week! With Balloons!

2010.10.04
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THE THINGS YOU LEARN WITH a computer: This is World Space Week, shining a pre-dawn beacon on the modern launchpad set, and in observational honor thereof I offer the Brooklyn Space Project: a father-and-son team who sent a HD-camera-and-GPS-equipped weather balloon to touch the edge of space. (Evidently these things are all the rage on YouTube, but it’s the first one I’ve seen.) My favorite moments were the weird electronic chorus at 60,000 feet (?) and learning that a collapsing weather balloon does make a sound when there’s no one in space to hear it scream. (Pun courtesy of Ridley Scott.)

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$1 Says Martians By 2020

2010.09.30
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AS OUR EYES GET BETTER adjusted to the eternal night sky (read: as we build bigger and more specific telescopes) we are beginning to discover that planets are more common than we thought — and now, life may be as well.

Yesterday’s Wired News carries the story about Gliese 581g, the first exoplanet found within a star’s habitable zone — meaning the orbital zone favorable to liquid water and, at least as we know it, life.

So I’m creating a Martian Pool. $1 says we find exoplanetary life, or compelling evidence favoring the discovery of same, within 10 years. Who’s in?

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Biblical Note: No Idiots Need Apply

2010.09.27
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IT HAS COME TO THE attention of Metaphorager.Net that certain hatebrained wink-and-gigglers are selectively quoting vv. 8-9 of Psalm 109 to express their disdain for the President With The Suspicious Middle Name (simply paraphrased, they’re calling for his death). While I’m not one to upset the otherwise noble Lower North American art of president-disdaining, I really hate to see some of my favorite books hijacked by idiots. So it appeals to the Cosmic Jokester in me to discover that Psalm 109′s second and third verses say this (in the Artscroll translation):

2. For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me, they have spoken to me the language of falsehood,
3. And with words of hatred they have encircled me, and attacked me without cause.

(“God?” Please. Save us from those who think they know You. The rest of us are tiring of the irony.)

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Pithyism #23

2010.09.26
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ALL GREAT TRUTHS WERE ONCE heresies, but not all heresies become Great Truths.

N.B. I might have inadvertently nicked this from someone else, but ISTR specifically coining it after some New Age sweetness-and-lightster tried to convince Sputnik and I to junk our cars and levitate instead

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