Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Belated Birthday Card of Sorts

I was really hoping to have this post up on Mac's birthday (the 20th), but, well, I did try...

In any event, the illustration I warned you about previously has finally been completed. Oh, you know, that illustration I started for Mac years ago and abandoned several times in angst. Quite a process, I assure you... especially as it was created for eyes that will never see it. Well, maybe we can all, collectively, beam it up to him... he did tend to like my  weird "icons". This one is probably less futuristic than he would of liked but then, well, I was informed by ancient traditions.

And so, without much ado, I present to you a detail of "The Dragon and the Pearl". For the full image, and a bit more of Tatiana's story, you'll have to visit my other blog, that is: here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Comings and Goings

There's been sad news and glad news on the web in the past week. The former is that Bud Hopkins and Stuart Miller, two important contributors to the world of ufology, passed away recently. 

Stuart Miller was only indirectly mentioned on this blog in the past regarding his magazine "Alien Worlds". Paul Kimball has posted a touching memorial on The Other Side of The Truth found here.

Meanwhile, on a brighter note, Nick Redfern has this to say about his new blog, Nick's Fortean Pic of the Day:

"Back in 2008, the late Mac Tonnies - a good friend and brilliant writer and thinker - established a little-known blog titled Things That Look Like Flying Saucers.

As its name suggested, Mac's blog was a humorous look at a whole variety of down-to-earth "things" that, when photographed, resembled UFOs. 

Well, I recently thought, in the same spirit that Mac created his blog, why not establish a light-hearted blog - also of a photo-driven nature - that offers a bit of a departure from the grim-faced, oh-so-serious side of Forteana? 

So, for what it's worth, here's my attempt! Like it or not! 

Each day promises a new photo...Or, maybe several..."


(The photo above is one of Mac's that can be found on his "Pseudo saucers" blog.)

(Thanks to Regan Lee via Women of Esoterica!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Men on Mars

"Heated debates about how a Martian society might function erupted in the corridors. Spirited discussions were held at impromptu meetings in the venue's bar and restaurant. Everyone was buzzing with the excitement that the next few years could (could) see an injection of global interest in sending a manned mission to Mars.

Why? For starters, representatives from Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) were there discussing the private sector's plans to develop the means to send humans to the Red Planet.

This comes hot on the heels of Musk's grand announcement that SpaceX has its sights set on Mars. Naturally, enthusiasts have latched onto SpaceX's dreams, and for the first time I heard serious discussions about using commercial heavy lift rockets to take habitats to the Red Planet's surface."

Read the article here.

UPDATE: And read Dr. Michio Kaku's recent views on Mars here.

(Photo credit, "Ice on Mars": ESA)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virtual Reality

No, your eyes do not deceive you; yesterday there was, indeed, a post here with the same title. For those interested, an updated version has now moved here.

I decided I'd post the same video, however... in memory of a Bowiephile I once knew.

Video link via Greg at The Daily Grail. (Thanks!)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Time Machine

Sorry... but I just could not resist lifting the above image from this terrific HOTTC post! And, while you're there, check out this very Posthuman article.

Thanks ToB!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mac, "Contact" & SETI

"And here I am entering a recording studio with the SETI Institute's Seth Shostak. I disagree with many of the Institute's guiding tenets -- most notably its irrationally harsh, largely uninformed dismissal of UFO evidence. That said, Shostak was a charming and cordial host and I enjoyed strolling the SETI Institute's museum-like central corridor."

- Mac Tonnies, PHB 2009 post

Yes, gang, here I am again with yet another post... I imagine y'all are wondering when and if I'm ever going to let poor Mac R.I.P.; apparently not today!

I just saw this headline earlier today at

... and well, one thing lead to another. I guess I just remember that Mac was a big fan of the movie "Contact", and mentioned it a number of times on PMB... for instance, here.

I'd pretty much forgotten what a cool flick it was though, and how good Jody Foster was in it... but here's a little reminder: the worm-hole scene...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

"In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 (or, alternatively July 23-August 23). In many European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and frenzies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813."

- "Dog Days" entry via Wiki

Well, let me see, currently - that is, this past week - "world news" has seemingly become an endless litany of drought, famine, economic disaster, genocide... and, oh yeah, London is burning.

Meanwhile, out here in blog-land, the apathy is so thick that you can fold it, cut it with a pair of scissors, and make a garland of paper dolls with it.

What's not to love?

You've probably heard of the phrase "dog days of summer" in the past. I have... but I didn't realize that there is a formal period described as such. But there is, and we're in it. The expression actually originated from the fact (and/or assumption, and really, who cares?) that Sirius - the Dog Star - rises at the same time as the sun during this period. The actual dates seem to vary - July 3 thru August 11 is another time frame - but, regardless, these days (as the song goes...) certainly feel like those described by the Clavis Calendarium.

Sirius is an important star in "new age" mythology, sometimes referred to as "the dragon's tail". It, and the neighboring constellation of Orion, appear in the photograph above, which was taken in Guatemala by St├ęphane Guisard, near a Mayan temple.

While doing my research I came upon another interesting tidbit... and this concerns the "Dog Day Cicada". I've always been fascinated by the cicadas and their life-cyle, and the strange, cryptic pattern on their backs. I remember going out one summer day years ago, and finding a dead cicada on the doorstep. In my magical-child's mind I thought it was an omen or message, and secreted the husk in a tiny wooden box.

As it so happens, there are variety of cicadas, some hidden in the ground in a larval stage for many years before they emerge, but the Dog-Day - or, Tibicen - emerges from the ground every year around this time; hence it's name.

In Wiki's Cicada entry we read: "In Japan, the cicada carries further philosophical connotations of re-birth. Since the cicada emerges from the ground to sing every summer, it is a symbol of reincarnation. Of special importance is the fact that the cicada moults, leaving behind an empty shell. But furthermore, since the cicada only lives for the short period of time long enough to attract a mate with its song and complete the process of fertilization, they are seen as a symbol of evanescence."

As it stands, the cicada has a very rich, ancient mythologyThis comes from Plato:

"It is in Phaedrus that Socrates states that some of life's greatest blessings flow from mania, specifically in the four kinds of mania: (1) prophetic; (2) poetic; (3) cathartic; and (4) erotic. It is in this context that Socrates' Myth of the Cicadas is presented. The Cicadas chirp and watch to see whether their music lulls humans to laziness or whether the humans can resist their sweet song. Cicadas were originally humans who, in ancient times, allowed the first Muses to enchant them into singing and dancing so long that they stopped eating and sleeping and actually died without noticing it. The Muses rewarded them with the gift of never needing food or sleep, but to sing from birth to death. The task of the Cicadas is to watch humans to report who honors the Muses and who does not."

(... found hereTo listen to an example of cicada "song", click here. The above cicada photo and more can be found here.)

Hmmm... "muses"? Forgetting to eat and sleep? Sounds vaguely familiar... But then, during these sweltering days of late summer, the weather generally doesn't permit sleep anyway.

But, (all of) that being said, the latter days of summer hold another special meaning for many of us... specifically, a birthday.

The anniversary of Mac Tonnies' birth falls on a Saturday this year - the 20th of August... and, therefore, he was born on one of the Dog Days by some calendars. I don't know if he was aware of Dog Day mythology but, knowing Mac, he probably would have had something ironically humorous to say about it.

Sadly, I don't. 

But, on Saturday the 20th, I'll light a little birthday candle in his memory this year. No, I won't blow it out. I'll let it burn down to the very end.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Dragon on Mars!

"Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is preparing to launch its second test Dragon capsule on Nov. 30 with the intention of docking it at the space station. In addition to carrying cargo to and from the station, SpaceX plans to upgrade the Dragon to fly people into space and to one day land it on Mars."

Just found this little article on Graham Hancock's news page. Sigh... Mac might've just had his wish fulfilled!