Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adieu... and Greetings!




"I'm a Kansas City, Missouri-based author and essayist. I blog daily at Posthuman Blues and tweet religiously. My latest book is After the Martian Apocalypse (Paraview Pocket Books, 2004), a speculative and generally well-received examination of extraterrestrial intelligence on the Red Planet. I'm presently at work on a new non-fiction book titled The Cryptoterrestrials: Indigenous Humanoids and the Aliens Among Us, excerpts of which I've posted on my blog. If you're in the mood for a multiplex Fortean anthology, my essay "The Ancients Are Watching" is included in 2008's Darklore Vol. II. (My first book, Illumined Black, is a collection of naively "Blade Runner"-ish science fiction short-stories. It can still be found in used-book stores and on Amazon.com.)

I've been a guest panelist at ConQuest, Kansas City's premiere science fiction convention. More recently, I've lectured in the United States and Canada on subjects ranging from exoarchaeology to transhumanism and have appeared on programs such as Coast to Coast AM, Strange Days . . . Indeed, 21st Century Radio, The Paracast, Binnall of America, and Radio Misterioso. My first play, produced and directed by Paul Kimball, debuted in Halifax, Nova Scotia in late 2007. In early 2009 I appeared as the "investigator" in an episode of "Supernatural Investigator," a Canadian program covering fringe beliefs and esoteric science. I also make an appearance in "Best Evidence," an award-winning UFO documentary.

I spend an inordinately large portion of my time pursuing unpopular ideas and esoteric theories with what I sincerely hope is balanced skepticism. I'm a member of the Society for Planetary SETI Research, a group that seeks to use scientific methodology to explore the possibility of extraterrestrial artifacts in our solar system. I read voraciously; preoccupations include cosmology, nonhuman intelligence, UFOs, consciousness studies, and futurism. Writers I admire include William Gibson, Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs.

I tend to think in the future-tense. I'm a skeptic, agnostic and existentialist; I perceive reality as a kind of consensual hallucination that forces us to define our sense of identity without recourse to faith or superstition. I have a deep affinity for 80s pop music; some of my favorite bands are The Cure, R.E.M., Portishead, Talking Heads, and The Smiths. Favorite film-makers include David Cronenberg and David Lynch. I can regularly be found haunting the Country Club Plaza, taking pictures, reading cyberpunk novels, and marinating my synapses in espresso. And I'm a voracious doodler; I've put some representative (if dated) drawings in my Sketch Gallery. (For artwork and graphics sent to me by colleagues and friends, please see the Art Gallery.) For more information (including links to archived radio appearances), see the Mac FAQ. For photos, refer to my Flickr stream."

- Mac Tonnies, via the MacTonnies.com bio page

***

And so runs Mac's bio page on his website. (Wikipedia editors take note. In the last analysis, Mac's Wiki entry pretty much, well, bites... too invasive, incomplete, and, to some degree, inaccurate. For instance, at one point, Posthuman Blues was getting hundreds of hits per day - hardly a "small" following by the standards of its time.)

But then, I'm not here to discuss internet politics today (technically Veterans Day); I'm here to finally put up the last post that was slated to go up November 1st, and would have, had I not - and the entire Connecticut town in which I live - been plunged into a 5 day black-out after a freak snowstorm. I've pretty much just gotten into recovery mode... "damage control" took about another 5 days. And so it goes.

Anyway, no, I didn't intend to cut y'all off so abruptly in my previous post. My decision to end this blog wasn't a superficial whim. The fact is, I am no longer able to maintain it. It isn't that there isn't more to be said... one could easily find material for numerous posts by referring to Posthuman Blues. Try searching a topic there - any old topic... the word "aliens" for instance, and you'll find a wealth of material covering numerous pages, with videos, images, story fragments, and essays. I really don't know how Mac did it.

He did do it, of course... but there is no longer a purpose for PMB than to bring Mac's work to attention. And this is something interested readers can do for themselves without my input. I hope this blog has helped somewhat. I have recently revised and updated the sidebar to map out Mac's various online contributions (and some of my contributions to PHB). More can be found within the body of this blog, but even this is an undertaking more suited to a dedicated website than it is a blog.

Originally, Post-Mac Blues was a place to mourn Mac's passing - it was never meant to be a replacement for Posthuman Blues - but I think the time of public mourning has come to a close, and therefore, to continue a mere personal blog - apparently the best-kept secret on the web (Re:, G.B. in a recent Radio Misterioso Mac tribute: "What's the name of that site Dia Sobin does now?") is rather pointless and redundant, and doesn't do justice to either Mac or myself.

That being said, there are still blogs and sites in which you might find Mac mentioned... Mike Clelland's Hidden Experience, Greg Bishop's Radio Misterioso, Nick Redfern's and G.B.'s musings on UFO Mystic, Paul Kimball's remembrances on Philosopher King and The Other Side of the Truth, Capn Marrrrk's Twitter page, Mac's publisher, Patrick Huyghe's Anomalist news page, Rita J. King's and Joshua Fout's Imagination AgeMacbots - a community Mac Tonnies tribute site - and, lastly, at Triptych #15.

As for me, I will still continue blogging at Trans-D. And if you have an comments or queries (or links or information to share) my email address is: araqinta@att.net.

The photo above is one Mac shot the winter before his death. It always struck me as rather sad but, ironic... and fitting for the last post on this blog.

Adieu, then... to all of my previous visitors and supporters...

Greetings, to those travelers who have just recently stopped by. This blog is now an archive, but your comments and queries are still welcome here.

(Note: I am no longer moderating comments, but all spam will be promptly deleted.)






Friday, October 28, 2011

Seasons Greetings!


Sutton Hoo artifact found here

"To the Celts, time was circular rather than linear. This is reflected in their commencing each day, and each festival, at dusk rather than dawn, a custom comparable with that of the Jewish Sabbath. It is also reflected in their year beginning with the festival of Samhain on 31 October, when nature appears to be dying down. Tellingly, the first month of the Celtic year is Samonios, ‘Seed Fall’: in other words, from death and darkness springs life and light.


Caesar confirms this and offers an explanation (Conquest of Gaul, VI.18):
The Gauls claim all to be descended from Father Dis [a god of death, darkness and the underworld], declaring that this is the tradition preserved by the Druids. For this reason they measure periods of time not by days but by nights; and in celebrating birthdays, the first of the month, and new year’s day, they go on the principle that
the day begins at night.


The Celtic year began with Samhain. Celebrated around 31 October, it was a time of deliberate misrule and contrariness, rather like the Roman Saturnalia. It was also a time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld was thought to be so thin that the dead could return to warm themselves at the hearths of the living, and some of the living - especially poets - were able to enter the Otherworld through the doorways of the sidhe, such as that at the Hill of Tara in Ireland.


Our modern Hallowe’en stems from Samhain, and one explanation of the traditional pumpkin lanterns is that the Celts once placed the skulls of ancestors outside their doors at this time. The Christians took over the Celtic festival and turned it into All Saints Day. Even the modern English celebration of Guy Fawkes Day has echoes of the ancient fire festival."


- via this Living Myths page


Raven - digital image - Bogdan Zwir


"Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth?    Death.
Who owns all of space?    Death.

Who is stronger than hope?    Death.
Who is stronger than the will?    Death.
Stronger than love?    Death.
Stronger than life?    Death.

But who is stronger than Death?
Me, evidently.
Pass, Crow."

- Ted Hughes, excerpt:  "Examination at the Womb-Door"
from Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow


***


What goes around comes around, as they say, and October 31 will mark the second turn of the Celtic wheel for Post-Mac Blues. No cause for celebration, by and of itself, but fitting that it was couched within the ancient mythological framework of the Celtic year, beginning and ending with Samhain ((pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne).

Post-Mac Blues is then a two-year "time capsule", set free in cyberspace, and set into its fabric till cyberspace's end. But, as for that "tall young man in the black fedora", he belongs to eternity.

So, adios, cats and kitties; it's been real. Best wishes to you all, and, most especially, enjoy a happy and healthy Celtic New Year!

Dia




Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Solar Ship






"In recent times there's been a resurgence of interest in airships for military and commercial uses as evidenced by Lockheed Martin's High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) and Hybrid Air Vehicles heavy-lift variant of Northrop Grumman's Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). Like HAV's design, this concept from Canadian company Solar Ship is a hybrid airship that relies on aerodynamics to help provide lift, and like the HALE-D, it would have its top surface area covered in solar cells to provide energy and minimize its carbon footprint."


I think Ufology has more of a problem on its hands than ever before. It appears that increasingly the "unidentified flying objects" some of us see are now far more than likely to be "ours".  More can be found on this Gizmag page.




SOINN - Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network






"This robot can think, learn and act by itself using artificial intelligence. It is being developed by the Hasegawa Group at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.Using a technology called a self-replicating neural network, or SOINN(Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network), it can think as humans do when taking on tasks that it has never done before. It can make educated guesses and decisions based on it's past experiences and knowledge."


Well, I guess this baby is, more or less, in response to Michio Kaku in the video I posted the other day. It can be found, along with a number of other interesting "gadgets" at Diginfo TV.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Illumined Black - a midnight journey




"This is a slim volume of short stories I wrote in high school, the first and last of which are better than the others. Looking back, I think "IB" has some nice, atmospheric moments and some fairly candid self-commentary... the magazine "Science Fiction Universe" described this tendency as "naively self-indulgent," a criticism I don't particularly object to. If "IB" seems fragmentary it's because it is the product of many months of revision and editing. Some of the stories I liked were dropped in favor of others that may or may not be more "commercially viable." The final story, "Between Worlds" (written my first year in college and more mature than the others), stands up to my own self-criticism. I like to think of my first book as a competent first attempt and a unique glimpse into the workings of the small press in fiction/genre writing. I hope you enjoy it."


- "Reflections on Illumined Black" by Mac Tonnies


***

"Illumined Black" by Mac Tonnies is a collection of short stories that explore the future from inspired and compellingly skewed perspectives. The stories are strange, stylized and topical, with a prose style that suggests cyberpunk underpinnings as well as "Golden Age" genre tropes. Ultimately, "Illumined Black" is a chilling reflection on inner and outer space. As Bruce Sterling writes on the back cover, "I like it when young guys with attitude tear right into the genre without asking anybody's permission."


"Compared to other sci-fi authors, Mac Tonnies ranks with P.K. Dick, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling. He is thought-pivotingly original. If you wallow in science fiction like I do, you'll eat this book up.In this short 133-page book, Tonnies' ethereal ideas strikingly contribute to the advance of science fiction.
In the introductory story, "Reflections of a Specimen," Tonnies wow-ed me with a new take on clique leaders. He launches into a seeming takeoff on William Gibson's style yet holds his own by injecting his own provoking vision. The other stories in this book are just as juicy. There's no way you can have a favorite because they're all so invitingly well-developed and original. Absolutely fantastic.
This is a book come before its time."


"How does a man awakened from cryonic sleep react to a genetically-altered species? Can brief, induced nightmares take the place of capital punishment? What does the human brain experience when severed from its body? With growing interest in what life will be like in the future when earth "hangs in the balance," ILLUMINED BLACK & OTHER ADVENTURES by Mac Tonnies reminds us of what can happen if we soon do not alter our ways of thinking about humankind's relationship with Mother Earth. In language beyond his years, Tonnies reveals a startling & imaginative vision of the future, an era on the threshold of the apocalypse with human nature caught in a technological web of its own making. Science-fiction author Rob Chilson says, "Tonnies has a gift for words & a bright, bent vision." Currently a college freshman, Tonnies won several NASA-sponsored essay contests & wrote this brilliant collection of short stories while still in high school. Expect to see many outstanding works from Tonnies in the future. He is an author every science-fiction aficionado & librarian should add to their collection. Available in softcover or as a signed limited edition from the publisher or through Baker & Taylor Distributors."


***

My own adventure with Mac's 1995 publication, "Illumined Black... and Other Adventures" began around midnight of last night, after re-reading through the amazing stories within. It came to me that posting some excerpts from the book might be an inspired idea, till I read the copyright line on the inside of the title page. Lo and behold, Mac, apparently, didn't own the copyright; the publisher did. Upon googling the publisher, Phantom Press Publishers, this page was all that could be found. According to this information, Phantom Press Publishers never published another book after 1996. So, if you've wondered why there are only 8 copies of the book in circulation - currently priced from $30.44 to $260 - herein lies a clue. As to the fate of "Illumined Black", it's not for me to say. Hopefully, there will be another edition... or, at least, a Kindle edition available.

(BTW, my advice for the cover - B/W, like the image I've posted above...)

But, my journey did not end there, because when I clicked the "1995" box on the publisher's page, I learned that Mac Tonnies has a Wikipedia entry! How cool is that?! As thrilled as Mac might have been, I'm afraid the entry is rather brief... and one of the references is a negative review of his "Martian Apocalypse". But I guess it's better than no entry at all.

I also learned another fun tidbit; Mac had an essay published (1996) in a magazine - 'New Phase" - also by Phantom Press Publishers. The title: Bad Poetry and You: A Survival Guide. Hah! That Mac...

The last leg of my journey found me on the Simon and Schuster Mac Tonnies' page. Oddly, it was there I learned that Mac's "Cryptoterrestrials..." made another Top Paranormal Book of 2010 list! Author and cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman, had this to say.

All in all, it was one helluva midnight journey! :-)



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mac Tonnies Radio Tributes



Greg Bishop at Radio Misterioso brought back Walter Bosely, Mike ClellandA.J. Gulyas,  Paul Kimball, Tony Merrill (who has a written tribute to Mac found here.), and Nick Redfern, to pay tribute to Mac last night, Sunday the 23rd, the anniversary of the day that many of us became cognizant of the fact of Mac's passing. 

The podcast is now available here. Greg also provides links to two shows featuring Mac pulled from the Radio Misterioso archives. Note: The link shown is a "permalink" which, for whatever obscure reason does not contain the featured podcast... Currently, that can only be found on Radio Misterioso's main page at the end of the October 18th post...)


***



"That’s right, this week’s show features a special segment during hour three where the Gralien crew pays tribute to one of the great minds to have come and gone in the field of the esoteric: Mac Tonnies, the late author of The Cryptoterrestrials and After the Martian Apocalypse. He will be missed, but in dedicating a tribute to him on the show, it is my hope that we’ll help ensure that his work will run no risk of being forgotten."


Meanwhile, it has come to my attention that another radio tribute to Mac took place on the 18th of this month. Micah Hanks is joined by Mike Clelland and Dr. Maxim Kammerer - who explores Mac's Cryptoterrestrial hypothesis in this post - in a podcast which can be found here(Hat-tip to RPJ!)





Michio Kaku: Can We Download Our Brains?





This video was created at Big Think earlier this year and can be found, along with a host of other Kaku goodies here.



Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Beast




"Of immediate interest is Aleister Crowley's "Lam," a "magickal" entity who bears an uncanny resemblance to today's "Grays." Unlike Lam, who functioned as a mentor and paraphysical guru, the Grays are typically assumed to be dispassionate ET scientists; if Crowley were practicing his consciousness experiments today, would he be greeted by dome-headed beings in skin-tight jumpsuits?"

- Mac Tonnies, via this PHB post



Nothing says "Halloween" quite like Aleister Crowley, and that fact was not lost on ToB, our intrepid blogger at Histories of Things To Come. She's been doing a no-holds-barred Halloween countdown for the month of October, covering a range of topics that few others would be so bold to attempt... everything from the real "Cryptkeepers" and the suicide forest of Japan, to celebrity hauntings and the ghosts of Cambodia.

She kids you not! Great stuff!

As for Aleister, The Fake Mystic, oh ToB, don't be so hard on the man! Fraudulent he may have been (in ways), but such a brilliant fraud! ;-)




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wish You Were Here




"Perhaps these doors are a passage that does not require a journey from point A to point B, rather all the points are a pixels of a living portrait that in spacetime are simultaneously communicating to one another in a dialog so muted by distortions that they speak in a inaudible frequency below the range of hearing in a internal sense as well as in external perception."

Bruce Duensing, via The Persistance Of Unlocked Doors on Intangible Materiality


Today marks the day of Mac's passing two years ago, but I can't tell if it actually feels like two years ago, two decades ago, or 2 months ago. As it was, the minute October arrived this year, I dreaded writing this post. Whereas I had plenty to say last year at this time, featuring another door, this year I'm drawing a blank. My plans were to put up a video of that old Pink Floyd tune "Wish You Were Here", and leave it at that. But I couldn't find the right video of that tune that didn't have ads popping up on it.

I see Paul Kimball has continued posting more Mac quotes on his blog, most of which I like, but one of which I would've argued with Mac about. Can't argue with him now.
That being said, Paul has written a touching and haunting post commemorating this day which can be found here.

Apart from Paul's Post, there's a bit of Mac-related Tweet activity, notably from Capn Marrrrk and the Daily Grail's Greg Taylor, and a few cyber-space offerings at Triptych 15(UPDATE: "Mad 247" has a also put a remembrance post up on Macbots.)

Then again, 2 nights ago, searching for some inspiration for this post, I wandered over to Posthuman Blues. "Come on Mac, give me a clue", I whispered to myself. Then, for whatever reason, instead of browsing through his posts, I immediately clicked onto his Technorati page, which I'd never looked at before. Nothing much to be found... but this one link posted a few weeks ago.

Lo and behold, what should it be but a memorial to Mac I'd never seen before, dated October 25, 2009, found on a blog I'd also not been familiar with, TransAlchemy.

"R.I.P. Mac Tonnies. I don't know any details, I just heard. Sad to see him go. I knew him briefly. In the short time we knew each other I enjoyed his posts so much that I made this video for him, the pictures and song were of his choosing. Out of all the futurist bloggers on the map he was my favorite, simply because he was different and not scared to mix ufology in with futurism. He explored a great deal of the bizarre topics, and I thoroughly enjoyed that about him. I guess I will simply go through his huge archive and pretend they are all new posts... :("

- via this TransAlchemy page

The "pictures" referred to are those lurid, campy, vintage sci-fi illustrations of "women in tubes" Mac got such a kick out of, and mentioned several times on PHB, notably here. (Even Webomator got into the act with this post mentioning Mac and the "Tubular Belles".)

TransAlchemy's video was posted on YouTube July 26, 2009, and I've decided to feature it here. It begins with a great little mock-up of the PHB banner I created for Mac that last year (a bit of one of the panels is shown at the top of the post), and then after a moment of glitch launches into images of the "Belles". Can't quite recognize the eery background tune (Portishead?), but, all in all, it's a strange little video - see below. I'm also going to add TransAlchemy's memorial to the sidebar. Better late than never.

In the end, there's not much more I can say about this day, except (Mac) wish you were (still) here.






Update -  Sad to say, but the video above is no longer online. Meanwhile, Mike Clelland was inspired by Mac to create his own compilation of Sci-Fi Women in Tubes.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Virgin Galactic





"VIRGIN GALACTIC CURRENTLY HAS TWO JOB OPPORTUNITIES:


Position: Pilot – Astronauts


Position: Head of Operations


Please click here to apply online and for further details http://careers.virgin.com/"


- Found here

***



Think you've got the "right stuff"? No, I don't... but that doesn't mean I can't get excited about Sir Richard Branson's latest pet project, Spaceport America which was formally launched in New Mexico today!

"Looking skyward, more than 800 guests marveled at Virgin Galactic’s commercial space vehicles as they soared through the skies of southern New Mexico during the dedication ceremonies of Virgin Galactic’s new home at Spaceport America. The flight of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo was the highlight of a spectacular ceremony which featured the dedication of the Sir Norman Foster-designed building and announcements of new scientific and educational customers for the world’s first commercial space line."

Pictured above is the Virgin Galactic logo, and below that is one of the latest promo videos posted a few hours ago on YouTube. (And here's the link to another one.) For another article, click here.

Below is the Virgin Galactic's "Galactic Girl"... apparently inspired by Sir Richard's mom!







Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back Down to Earth




"NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Thousands of anti-Wall Street protesters rallied in New York's Times Square on Saturday, buoyed by a global day of demonstrations in support of their month-long campaign against corporate greed.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, protests on Saturday started in Asia and rippled through Europe back to the United States and Canada. Protesters fed up with economic inequality took to the streets in cities from Washington, Boston and Chicago to Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto."

- via Reuters News Page - Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:03 pm EDT - Edith Honan & Edward McAllister


Live streaming blogs found here and here.

(Photo credit: Clare Trapasso)




More Mars: Hesperia Planum




"There's no greater mystery than a mystery cropping up somewhere you thought you understood. In the case of the Martian plain Hesperia Planum, it was filed under "Region on Mars. Not Particularly Interesting. No Further Study Needed." 

... But if water is a possibility, then Hesperia Planum suddenly became a lot more interesting. Evidence for a watery past plus ancient volcanism may have provided the ideal environment to incubate life."

- Discovery News, via "The Mystery of Mar's Bizarre Plumbing" - 10/13/2011 - Ian O'Neill 


Yet another newly reevaluated area - Hesperia Planum -  which poses the possibility of past life on Mars!

(Found today on Graham Hancock's News Page.)

***

And another Discovery article from March of this year that I somehow missed:




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cloud Cities




"With his solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin’s museum for contemporary art, he takes this experience a step further. Cloud Cities is Tom├ís Saraceno’s largest solo presentation to date. It features approximately 20 of his balloon models in various sizes. But instead of being able only to look at the installation, visitors can actually enter the two largest bubbles, that sit and float like soap bubbles in the former railway hall of the museum. Via ladders they can access the transparent balloons halfway of the structure and then walk or just lie on a flexible, transparent floor. From underneath it looks like they are walking on air."

- from an article found here (w/ interview)


I discovered "Cloud Cities" - a recent installation in a German art museum created by Argentinian artist, Tomas Saraceno - from a post at Boing Boing yesterday (thanks, DP). Never one to pass up a visionary thrill, I immediately hopped on board, and you can, too. No, you don't need a plane ticket to Berlin; it's just a click away.

Here's a page with some wonderful images, and a video walk-through. Really amazing, and meant to be witnessed in the flesh... but, in lieu of the obvious, that is, for those of us on the wrong side of the pond, the cyber-space version will have to suffice.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Feed Your Head



Alien Hive - ©2010 David C. Pearson - Music: Max Loginov, "Thing"



A Journey Through Fantasy - Vorticity - "Madman" - Music: "Good Thoughts Bad Thoughts, Funkadelic"

***

Just a couple of appetizers for your eyes...  examples of a relatively recent fractal development in video art referred to as the Mandelbox. For more videos and more information, visit my art blog, specifically this post: "Of Mandelboxes and Mandelbulbs".

Enjoy!



Monday, October 10, 2011

Graham Hancock Interview

One of my daily cyber-space stops is author Graham Hancock's News page, where I generally find all the latest unbiased paranormal news I need to find, plus new articles about science, archaeology, technology and outer space.


Then again, Graham Hancock pisses a lot of people off, often a selling point for people like myself, and one in his favor.


He posted an interview of himself with Joe Rogan recently that I had a chance to listen to last night. It is a long interview (2 hours +) but well worth the time, covering everything from the "war on drugs" - he feels that the world governments are holding our minds hostage (to which I agree) - Egypt, consciousness, Rupert Sheldrake, recent archaeological discoveries, Mars, and more. Despite my reservations on a couple of points, all in all, I found it fascinating.


To listen for yourself and draw you own conclusions go here.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Top Paranormal Book of 2010!




"The late Mac Tonnies provides a "meditation" on the idea that at least some of the UFO occupants generally thought of as aliens from other planets might actually be from right here on Earth. Perhaps these beings have evolved alongside us, or long before us, and have moved their civilization out of sight, perhaps underground. Perhaps they even walk among us all the time. It's an interesting hypothesis that has been kicking around for awhile, but Tonnies puts the idea into coherent form to explain the often odd behavior and activity of these beings today and throughout history."

- via Stephen Wagner's "Top Paranormal Books of 2010" list

***

Patrick Huyghe, author and publisher at Anomallst Books, announced last month - and somehow I missed this - that Mac Tonnies' The Cryptoterrestrials: A Meditation on Indigenous Humanoids and the Aliens Among Us was voted #1 on Stephen Wagner's (About.com, Paranormal Phenomena) list of "Top Paranormal Books of 2010"!!!

Also mentioned on the Anomalist's (Mac Tonnies-dedicated) news page is this review found in Australia's Living Traditions Magazine. Here's the intro:

"The Cryptoterrestrials is written in a succinct and engaging style condensing an immense amount of research. The author clearly has obviously studied the field for many years and digested vast amounts of information before coming to some startling conclusions. It is also beautifully illustrated and nicely presented."


***

Lastly, quoted in a previous post on the Anomalist page is a review of Mac's book by Paul Kimball. I mention it here because Paul has been posting some quotes of Mac's on his blog, The Philosopher King recently, in a series of "Thought du jour(s)", with some photos of Mac you may not have seen, so pay the page a visit and keep scrolling down.


Update: To open the currently existent posts up in separate pages for future reference, here's a recap from earliest to most recent: Sept. 15 - Sept. 27 - Set. 29 - Sept. 30 - Oct. 4 - Oct. 5 - Oct. 8 - Oct. 9 - Oct. 10.


*** 


The online catalogue page of other recent Anomalist offerings can be found here.




Saturday, October 8, 2011

Project Core




"Project Core is a long-term study of paranormal accounts submitted voluntarily and anonymously by the interested public. Our goals are as follows:

1.) To identify shared elements between every type of paranormal encounter submitted, if such elements exist.

2.) To identify common traits between the experiencers themselves, if any exist.

3.) To compare and contrast genuine experiences with imagined ones. For this, we present an option for people who have never had any sort of paranormal experience to write a fictitious account of what they think it would be like to, for example, encounter Bigfoot, live in a haunted house, have a near death experience, or be abducted by aliens.

Over the next 10 months we will collect your stories as well as answers to some questions that interest us. This is not a gathering of accounts for a book, film or anything profit-driven – only research into paranormal experiences and those who have had them. It’s an anonymous submitting process, but one that requires raw truth no matter how odd or unbelievable. This is not an exclusive data collection process – ghosts, PK, ESP, possession, non-human contacts, etc. are all sought and welcomed. When we complete our analyses, we will present our findings in a paper that will be freely available to all."

***



The above is a quote from an introduction to of a new study project presented by the folks at Paratopia, currently being conducted by Dr. Kimbal Cooper, Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, Jeff Ritzmann and Jeremy Vaeni.


For more information and a questionnaire, go here.


(Hat-tip to Reagan Lee at The Orange Orb.)



Friday, October 7, 2011

The New Superheroines - Girls with Guns



They're lean, they're mean, they're dead-serious, and well, they're deadly... and they're women - truthfully, cats and kitties, I think we can all stand behind the new cinematic superwomen. Pretty enough and sensual enough to intoxicate the boys, and androgynous enough to appeal to the ladies as well. I bet that even the most femininely-orientated women amongst us foster, to some degree, a girl-crush on at least one of them.

Sigourney Weaver (above) was the first, appearing as Ellen Ripley in the spate of "Alien" films, beginning in 1979. But, lets face it, if you grew up before the 1980's, superwomen were hard to come by, and while you may have had the occasional gritty female stereotype to inspire you, the truly down and dirty types simply didn't exist as cinematic heroines (case in point, "superheroine" is not even a bona fide word in a dictionary, whereas "superhero" is). You could have, perhaps, found them in comic books, but they were not the sort of females a prepubescent girl could actually wrap her head around. The proportions were all wrong.... melon-sized protrusions on their chests, wasp-like waists, wrestler's legs, not to mention the obligatory bathing suit costume. They looked silly, not scary. And they never packed any meaningful "heat" that I know of.












Girls with guns, big guns - what fun! Even the most pacifistic woman, and really, I am, experiences a certain vicarious release when, with a gun in each hand, a superwoman blows away a flock of her opponents, without so much as blinking her eyes. Hell, I have a hard time swatting a fly, but when I watch Kate Beckensale blast her way through a bevy of creeps, I get to share a certain heady sense of power.

So, in the interests of cultural anthropology, and for the amusement of all, I've chosen a few prime clips of girls with guns... and, if not exactly prime, the best I could do. From first to last we have Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux, Milla Jovovich as Violet Song, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, and, my personal favorite, Kate Beckinsale as the merciless Selene.

So, you go Kate, and Charlize, and Carrie-Anne... and you go Milla, and Sigourney, and anybody I may have left out. There are no underdogs quite so "under" as women, so, when you shine, all of our repressed warrior instincts finally get to kick some ass!