Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Belated Halloween


"The Scream" - oil painting - 1893, Edvard Munch

"I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

- Edvard Munch, referring to his painting "The Scream". This painting was found on this Laughing Squid page, along with a mention of an animated film of the painting - by Sebastian Cosor - set to a Pink Floyd soundtrack (also) found here.


"To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish."

- Charlie Chaplin from "The Great Dictator," via boingboing's Cory Doctorow article: If ever there was a time to watch Chaplin's speech from "The Great Dictator...


"You always were a headache and
you always were a bore. 

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams."

- From William Burroughs' Thanksgiving Prayer. (Hat tip to boingboing's Rob Beschiza's article: Trump elected president.) See video below.


***

You know and I know, if Mac had a grave, he'd be spinning in it right about now. Donald Trump as president really is comparable to Donald Duck as leader of the free world.

Bring us your racists, your misogynists and the clinically insane... and then go back to boingboing and read another Cory Doctorow offering: A madman has been given the keys to the surveillance state.

But, whatever you do, don't imagine for a minute that all Americans are encouraged by the catastrophic events which have just occurred. Hardly. Some of us are on suicide watch... numerous others are considering emigrating to Canada. Is this the "End Times"? Frankly, I 
don't know. The encouraging aspect is that Donald Trump did not win by a landslide. There's still enough of us to make all the difference... here and abroad.

So, regardless of which side of the Great Divide you're on, remember: This, too, shall pass.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Seven Years Ago Today...






Seven years ago today, Mac Tonnies was just a phone call, a tweet, a blog comment, or an email away... and I guess that's a day I'd rather remember than all the days that followed. So, I'm jumping the gun on the usual PMB "anniversary" post because, ultimately, October 17, 2009, is the day that really mattered; Mac was still here.

I wandered over to his old Flickr pages today and, while it may merely be the fault of my outdated browser, half the photos on his photostream appear to have disappeared. This is not to say they can't, in some way, be viewed or accessed through old links off this blog or Posthuman Blues, but, well, it's still somewhat dismaying. Which is why I've decided to post Paul Kimball's 2009 tribute to Mac which appears on Youtube. Happily, he inadvertently archived many of those missing photos. Thanks Paul! And, thanks also for the video which appears below... Mac talking Cryptoterrestrials...




In the end, this is the way (I think) we'd all like to remember him... today, tomorrow, and every day after. It's the one comfort, the one "magical" power that film bestows more than any other art or medium...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Flying the Martian Skies


(click to enlarge)

This is a simulation... this is only a simulation... of a NASA aircraft (found on a NASA web-page) that may someday fly over Mars. (Full story here)

Pretty cool, huh? Almost kind of reminds me of one of those boomerang-type UFOs people have claimed to see... although not quite as cool as the one illustrated on this UFO Explorer page... a craft seen over Keisterbach. Germany in 2007...

Speaking of UFOs, here's a link to another informative site: UFO Hunters.

Meanwhile, over at Radio Misterioso, Greg Bishop - who's recently had a new book published (in which he mentions Mac, and discusses here) - hosted a UFO  Roundtable earlier in the week. Listen to his radio shows on the main RM page.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Dying to go to Mars


Strata at Base of Mount Sharp -   NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
(All images: click to enlarge,)

"Dying to go to Mars? You soon might have the option.

As early as 2025, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, plans to get humans to Mars. Mission “Heart of Gold,”  (in honor of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), could carry up to 100 people — with a “high” chance that participants could die.

The Guardian, a British publication, asked readers if they would be willing to risk their lives for this Martian outer-space adventure. Those who said yes were young, male and mostly American, and offered varied reasons, from taking out-of-this-world photos to dressing like a Jedi."

- From the Forbes article: Would You Risk Your Life To Travel To Mars? Elon Musk Offers The Chance -- & Many Are Ready

"Why go to Mars? Life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for everyone on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change, and a host of other disasters—from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes—all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. We have the technology not only to get humans to Mars, but to convert Mars into another habitable planet. It will likely take 300 years to “terraform” Mars, as the jargon goes, but we can turn it into a veritable second Garden of Eden. And we can live there, in specially designed habitations, within the next twenty years." 

-  From the Simon and Schuster (TED Books) page for How We'll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek. (see video below)




"The elegance of this mission, from a financial perspective at least, is that I wouldn't necessarily be coming back, sparing mission planners the need for a return vehicle. I'd wander the landscape and keep myself alive and healthy for as long as possible, awaiting eventual relief from a more robust crewed mission. It's quite possible I could "live off the land" indefinitely, giving me enough time to really take in the sights: the soaring slopes of Olympus Mons, the labyrinthine fractures of Valles Marineris, the enigmatic massifs of Cydonia."

- Mac Tonnies from a 4/25/06 Posthuman Blues post reposted here.

***

Sorry for such a long absence. I intended to post a few times in the past 2 months, notably on Mac's birthday (August 20), but, truthfully, nothing moved me very much... no news inspired me, and life had a bad habit of getting in my way. (Come to think of it, it still does!)

I had started to gather information about Tabby's Star and Dyson's Spheres (my own interpretation, inset, right), but despite loads of hype, hoopla, and Kickstarter campaigns... well, no real joy there. When it comes to massive artificial structures, I'm more inclined to reconsider the reality of our Moon (and this, from Red Ice).

And, then, there's Proxima Centauri b - a possibly habitable planet - discovered in August of this year. Pretty exciting, right? Um, well, as Space.com (soberly) reminds us: Is the Nearest Alien Planet Proxima b Habitable? 'It's Complicated'. In other words, no real joy there, either.

Instead, what drew me back to Mac's memorial was... well, what else (?)... Mars! Yes, thanks to NASA (!) - and tech hero (and, rightly so) Elon Musk - I finally found some news I could sink my tiny vampiric teeth into...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NASA's Mars Recruitment Posters


(click to enlarge)


"BE A MARTIAN!
Mars needs YOU! In the future, Mars will need all kinds of explorers, farmers, surveyors, teachers . . . but most of all YOU! Join us on the Journey to Mars as we explore with robots and send humans there one day. Download a Mars poster that speaks to you. Be an explorer!"

-  Found on this NASA page.

***

In 2009 - the year Mac Tonnies took his own solo mission into the aether - NASA apparently commissioned a number of Mars recruitment posters. Who knew?

Well, now we all do.

Because, just in time (and not a moment too soon), NASA decided to share them with us. I took the liberty of downloading a few more below, but to enjoy the full effect, I suggest you head on over to the NASA page. As "the man" says: "be an explorer!" ;-)






In a related story:
You can eat vegetables from Mars, say scientists after crop experiment



Sigh... don't you just wish the posters applied to us older "explorers" in the here and now... and that a certain someone could see them?



Friday, June 10, 2016

Just Found...

One of Mac's (2008) shadow self-portraits.


"Ach weißte. Erst dieser Mist mit der Zeitumstellung. (Ich prüfte gerade mehrere Minuten, ob die Welt kaputt ist oder doch nur mein Gehirns. Es stellte sich heraus: Mein Gehirns war’s. Wir ham‘ wirklich ’ne Stunde früher.) Dann erschreckt mich Facebook (mit welchem ich täglich arbeite) mit einem neuen Look. Okay, denk‘ ich mir, Okay, lieste halt ein paar Feeds zur Beruhigung. Da ich am Wochenende nicht soviel im Netz hänge wie in der Woche, stauten sich also jede Menge ungelesene Artikel in meinem Reader. Und was war der zweite Artikel den ich las? Genau:

Mac Tonnies ist Tod!

Mir fehlen da so ein bisschen die Worte, jetzt. Ich hatte kurzen Email-Kontakt mit Mac. Und dieser war äußerst freundlich und sehr amüsant. Wir verlinkten und das Eine oder Andere mal gegenseitig, haben rumgetwittert; und ich freute mich erst vor ein paar Wochen sehr darüber, das Mac mich in seine Blogrolle aufgenommen hatte.

Mac wurde bereits am Donnerstag in seiner Wohnung gefunden und starb eines natürlichen Todes. Ich habe gerade Tränen in den Augen. Weil: Er war ein solch‘ toller Autor, Ufo-Freak, Transhuman-Interessierter und irgendwie einfach ein Teil meines Lebens. Hört sich doof an. Ist aber so. Gewesen.

Rest in Peace, auf das du den CERNern das Fürchten lehrst. Wo auch immer du jetzt stecken magst, Mac. Ich vermisse dich schon heute; hoffe das ein awesome-Weblog und deine incredible-Website dem Cyberspace noch lange erhalten bleiben.

So kann’s gehen. Ist das Leben kurz, oder was? Regt man sich über Scheisse auf, oder was?  Scheiss‘, da!

Mac, ich weiß es ganz genau: Jetzt machst du den Titel deines Weblogs zum Programm: Tanz uns den Posthuman-Blues, Baby! Danke für alles, Mac! I’ll never forget! "

- Chris Heil's Doktorsblog post (October 25, 2009): OH MIST. MAC TONNIES IST TOD.


***

In an effort to repair a link (and a video) in this post, I found myself scrolling through the comment section of Mac's last Posthuman Blues' post, Triptych #15... a rather sad place I hadn't been to in a long time. Sad because it represented the unfolding nightmare of Mac's passing and the slow process of realization left to his friends and followers. After all, none of us knew firsthand... we had to find out the Virtual Reality way.

As it was, my venture was not successful, but, lo and behold, I found the links to several memorials I had been totally unaware of all this time. Well, better late than never!

The first was found in this comment from Thorsten Küper:
"Many people will remember him, its the same over here in Germany. Doktorsblog and Kueperpunk blogposted on Mac. He left a mark not only with his blog. I hope for him there is a posthuman life, that he will experience now."

Happily, I did find Chris Heil's Doktorsblog post (linked to above). (I'm going to see if I can somehow reverse-translate his post via the Google translation widget on PMB.*

As for Thorsten Küper's blog Kueperpunk, I'm afraid posts before 2012 are no longer available. But, I think Mac - who was of German ancestry - would've been pleased to know he had a number of German fans...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Twinkle, twinkle, artificial star...


Twilight in the Land of Enchantment (outside my back door). 2016, DS
(Click to enlarge.)

... how I wonder what you are.
Wandering the sky so high,
Like a drone or dragonfly..."

No, that's not the real nursery song... but, it may as well be the 21st Century version. Not just my version, thank you; apparently others are seeing a similar phenomenon, too. Which is why I've decided to write a separate post about my "red star" sightings, as opposed to continuing my report in the body of my last post (as originally planned).

__________________________________


"Discerning UFO researchers have noted the failure of "nuts and bolts" hypotheses to adequately address the weirdness that accompanies so many UFO-related events, calling the conventional interpretation of UFOs as spacecraft into serious question. Sizing up the phenomenon from the early 21st century, it would seem that visiting ETs could do a much better job at concealing their presence if they truly desired. Far from constituting a paradox, this begs us to reconsider the motives of a truly alien intelligence, even is that means casting away much of the ufological conventional wisdom (to say nothing of SETI dogma) in the process."
- Mac Tonnies via the 2009 Posthuman Blues post UFOs: Why no "open contact"?

__________________________________


I wish Mac were here. No, I mean, I really, really wish Mac was here... especially a few days ago, when I had a regular "red star" flap in the skies outside my back door. Not that anyone would notice it was a "flap". In fact, I bet anyone seeing them wouldn't remark on them at all. They'd just assume that some of the stars looked particularly "sparkly" in the sky that night. That is unless, after hours had passed, they happened to notice one or more of the "stars" suddenly fly away in their strange, slow, silent, meandering way... very similar to the two this Canadian guy videotaped (below the jump).

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hidden Experiences and Unknown Countries... (UAP update)


"Grey Skies" - a photo appearing on Mac's Twitter page (not included here).


"Most every night I have a dream. One time I dreamed my toys came out of the closet and attacked me. Sometimes I can't believe how stuff like that gets in my mind."
- Mac Tonnies, from a third-grade class essay, found on this Hidden Experience page.


***

"Space and dinosaurs are what I think about..." typed an eight-year old boy for his grade-school class assignment. Little did his teacher know when scribbling "Great Job! in the corner, that she (or he) may have been launching Mac Tonnies' future writing career.

But, then, we never really do know the types of impressions we leave on others... no more than we can predict the future nor truly replicate the past. And, most certainly, we've little to no control of the "stuff" that gets in our minds - our "dream" closets - or, for that matter, into the skies above our head. And, oddly enough, Mac's third grade musings would continue to intrigue him for the rest of his life. Space, monsters, dreams and analyzing the "stuff" which mysteriously entered his head was what he thought about - and wrote about - right up till 2009.

I noticed Mac's essay on Mike Clelland's site weeks ago and would've mentioned it here, but I've been focused on my other blog for the past month or so: tangled in a series of lengthy, convoluted "Frankenstein" posts. No, they're not about Mary Shelley's book, but they are, for me, monsters. I am not the effortless writer Mac was.

Meanwhile, Mike Clelland just happened to upload a short audio file on this Hidden Experience page  yesterday you might enjoy. It was originally a subscriber-only feature Whitley Strieber offered on Unknown Country. It contains short portions from two of Mac's podcasts - Mac with Tim Binnall, and the other with George Noori on Coast to Coast (see sidebar list) - and the topics range from Mars to the Cryptoterrestrials. It was nice to hear Mac's voice again, so, thanks Mike!

________________________________________________


"The framework we present here is based on such an apparent contradiction, because we will argue that UAP (Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomena) can be thought of both as physical and as “psychic”. We hope that it will prove stimulating as a unified approach to a puzzling phenomenon that presents both undeniable physical effects suggesting a technological device or craft and psychic effects reminiscent of the literature on poltergeists and psychokinetic phenomena.  Here we use the word “psychic” in the sense of an interaction between physical reality and human consciousness. 
   
The feeling of absurdity and contradiction in these two aspects is not worse than scientific 
puzzlement during the particle/wave or, more recently, quantum entanglement and multi- 
dimensional transport controversies. The contradiction has to do with the inadequacy of our 
language to grasp a phenomenon that defies our attempts at classification."
- Excerpt from Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: A 6-layer Model for Anomalous Phenomena (.pdf), 2003, Jacques F. Vallee and Eric W. Davis.


 "The UFO Phenomenon exists. It has been with us throughout history. It is physical in nature and it remains unexplained in terms of contemporary science. It represents a level of consciousness that we have not yet recognized, and which is able to manipulate dimensions beyond time and space as we understand them."
- From Heretic Among Heretics: an Interview With Jacques Vallee - date unknown.

________________________________________________

In the short audio file, Mac mentions a scientist - software engineer and ufologist - he much admired, Jacques Vallee, who was a notable influence on his Cryptoterrestrial theories. Vallee also was a prominent figure for Bruce Duensing, and it was from Bruce's post, The Alchemy of Unidentified Atmospheric Anomalies And Ritual Initiation, I first found Vallee's .pdf (linked to above).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Orchestral Maneuvers on the Moon




"Almost four decades went by before lost recordings emerged that revealed something unsettling that the three Apollo astronauts had experienced while flying above the far side of the moon. The taped recordings contained "strange, otherworldly music coming through the Apollo module's radio," according to the upcoming Science Channel series, 'NASA's Unexplained Files.'

The unexplained 'music' transmission lasted almost an hour, and just before the astronauts regained radio contact with Earth, they discussed whether or not to tell Mission Control what they had experienced:

'It's unbelievable! You know?'
'Shall we tell them about it?'
'I don't know. We ought to think about it.'

- From the Huffington Post article: Lost Tapes Reveal Apollo Astronauts Heard Unexplained ‘Music’ On Far Side Of The Moon.

***

There's a clip from the show on the Huffington Post article, but it is merely the first of two parts. Part 2 Is unlisted, but I found it here. I can't say I heard anything that resembles music, but, on the other hand, the astronaut's claims have never been successfully debunked.

Regardless of the answer to the anomaly, it begs the question: would SETI recognize an extra-terrestrial transmission if it was an alien musical composition?

Kind of like this:




And then again, remember this?




(And, a hat-tip to the original Orchestral Maneuvers...)




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"X-Files" Online


UFO sighting in Cave Junction, Oregon,1927

"The Central Intelligence Agency says it has finally come clean about UFOs. To absolutely no one's surprise, it knew more than it ever let on."


While I'm still in a "newsy" sort of mood, this just came in: apparently the CIA just released some old UFO files on it's website

Huh? I didn't even  know the CIA had a website... but, there you have it. For more articles relating to this event see the following:




***

So, cats and kitties, is this a major event? Probably not. But, what do I know?



Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Ninth Planet







"The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today."

- from the January 20, 2016 Science Magazine's news article.


***


What's this? Two posts in one day?

Yes, the news is coming in fast and furiously in 2016!  (Am I up to it?  No, but maybe you are.)

Dana Tonnies, star reporter, has just notified me of this latest scoop: the possible discovery of a ninth planet. Which is very cool. If you remember, I did note in my new year's article, that 2016 is, in a numerological sense, a number 9 year. (Thanks, Dana!)

As it was, I never did buy into the downgrading of Pluto's status... because it destroyed the wonderful symmetry a ninth planet creates. So, maybe the symmetry will be restored. Then again, we must reign in our enthusiasm until nuts and bolts evidence is found:

"That something didn’t have to be a planet. Sedna’s gravitational nudge could have come from a passing star, or from one of the many other stellar nurseries that surrounded the nascent sun at the time of the solar system’s formation.

Since then, a handful of other icy objects have turned up in similar orbits. By combining Sedna with five other weirdos, Brown says he has ruled out stars as the unseen influence: Only a planet could explain such strange orbits. Of his three major discoveries—Eris, Sedna, and now, potentially, Planet X—Brown says the last is the most sensational. 'Killing Pluto was fun. Finding Sedna was scientifically interesting,' he says. 'But this one, this is head and shoulders above everything else.'"

"Killing Pluto was fun" ?!

Scientists are so weird.

Meanwhile, Planet X isn't a wholly new discovery. Before Pluto's downfall, Mac mentioned similar anomalies on Posthuman Blues here, and here.



Triangulation of the third kind...


The End of Physics As We Know It...?


Perhaps, things are looking up!



"The stakes now could not be higher. This summer, the LHC began its second phase of operation with an energy almost double what we achieved in the first run. What particle physicists are all desperately hoping for are signs of new particles, micro black holes, or maybe something totally unexpected emerging from the violent collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. If so, then we can continue this long journey that began 100 years ago with Albert Einstein towards an ever deeper understanding of the laws of nature.

But if, in two or three years' time, when the LHC switches off again for a second long shutdown, we've found nothing but the Higgs boson, then we may be entering a new era in physics: an era where there are weird features of the universe that we cannot explain; an era where we have hints that we live in a multiverse that lies frustratingly forever beyond our reach; an era where we will never be able to answer the question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

- Harry Cliff, from the TED Talk interactive transcript.

***

Okay, call me optimistic (or stupidly hopeful), but for a transdimensionalist, this is actually good news.

I came upon the above article earlier in the week, but, for obvious reasons (see previous 2 posts), wasn't up to posting any notice about it. Meanwhile, Paul Kimball beat me to it, and posted the TED video here.

While there isn't anything new about a physicist's inability to answer The Big Question, what is new is the admission that there might be a vastly unknowable X-Factor involved.

Might there be a ghost in the machine, after all?

We do so love a good ghost story! ;-)



The mandala of the Hadron Collider


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

David Bowie: A Constellation of 7 Stars


It's official:
A new constellation - as of January, 2016 - found at Stardust for Bowie.
(click to enlarge)





Scientists have registered a constellation shaped like a lightning bolt in honour of David Bowie and his out-of-this-world talent...


Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars — Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204 132, and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis — in the vicinity of Mars.

The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lightning bolt and was recorded at the exact time of his death.”



(Hat-tip to Chis Savia at the Daily Grail.)

***

Note about that lightening bolt: Hmmm... but where have we seen that symbol on this blog recently?

Remember that wonderful "benign" robot in this post? I don't know that Johnny Rodriguez (aka KMNDZ) had Bowie in mind when he created this soulful robot, but he may have.

Then again, I'm wondering what was reverberating in J. K. Rowling's mind, when she first envisioned Harry Potter's mystical scar?



"Yes, Yes, but you see...it is necessary to start with your scar. For it became apparent, shortly after you rejoined the magical world, that I was correct, and that your scar was giving you warnings when Voldemort was close to you, or else feeling powerful emotion. And this ability of yours...to detect Voldemort's presence, even when he is disguised, and to know what he is feeling when his emotions are roused...has become more and more pronounced since Voldemort returned to his own body and his full powers..."
- Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter



Interestingly, for those of us intrigued by the use of symbols, the lightening bolt represents the "loss of ignorance".



Monday, January 11, 2016

From Stardust to Stardust...


"There are still so many people on an immortality kick... what are we after exactly? There's just too much ego involved. And who wants to drag their old, decaying frame around until they're 90. Just to assert their ego? I don't certainly." 

- David Bowie from a 1977 Melody Maker interview, found here.









The original Martian has died. Frankly, I never thought I'd see this day... and Mac would've been devastated. What do you say about one of the greatest performers who ever lived?

Synchronistically, he just released his last album this month: Blackstar.

Vale, David...





"The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul. In its experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not resolve. Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.

As with events, so is it with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come."

- from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, The Over-soul, 1841.


***

I'm still reeling from yesterdays news, as I imagine countless others are as well, and, as we slowly process this information, it's likely that the internet will be one immense galaxy of Bowie memes in the coming days. I'm listing a few things here I've recently found for those interested. The best one is this: the main-belt asteroid that is Davidbowie! Betcha didn't know that. I didn't... till I read this article from Gizmodo.

Other noteworthy articles: This from boingboing's Xeni Jardin, Red Pill Junkie's tribute at the Daily Grail, the Telegraph article, the NPR article, and the Daily Mail's article: David Bowie died from liver cancer and was told it was terminal a year ago.

Is it too late to express to David the deep gratitude that many of us feel? I hope not.