A Dadaist history of Dada. Dada fascinates the gonzo scientist with its outside the box thinking. Truly inspiring stuff.
A Dadaist history of Dada pt. 2.
“The Dadaists were the first artists not to take an ecstatic view of life.”
Update on Republican Senator Craig Allen, the US Senator from Idaho who played footsie with an undercover cop in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport. Freud would be proud - the first thing Allen says in his statement here is, “Thank you all very much for coming out today.” No Senator - thank YOU.
(Original post here.)
Further Update: He’s retiring.
The two words do not go together, as the federal inspectors said to the napping guard at the nuclear power plant complex. They tried to wake the guy for like 5 minutes…fills you with confidence. Par for the course for the nuclear industry I’m afraid …emphasis on the “I’m afraid.”
I am posting this as a local news story - but it turns out an Idaho Republican senator has pled guilty to something dirty and hypocritical in a men’s room at a Minneapolis airport. Dude is married and a supporter of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Why is the GOP full of repressed sex offenders? Discuss.
I have edited the “Religious Whackjobs” category to merely “Whackjobs” as it not 100% clear to me if the guy is religious, although that would certainly fit the profile *cough Ted Haggard cough*.
UPDATE: This has gone from category “Whackjobs” to “Conspiracies.” Turns out there is a whole backstory of his lawyers squelching a news story about his homosexuality, and then he was arrested. Was there a tip-off, either by the reporter who got his story squelched, or someone in the Idaho GOP who wants to be Senator real bad? Details and speculation here.
UPDATE 2: The latest here - reporter spills some beans, promise of more to come! Oh goody! Put on the popcorn.
The nerve. A real life food crisis as a troop of 300 legally-protected monkeys have gotten into the crop-eating business, driving people away with rock-throwing and sexual harassment. Most field-tending in Kenya is done by women so they are bearing the brunt of it, even while disguised as men (which the monkeys are more afraid of). The monkeys aren’t fooled and point to the humans’ breasts, grabbing at them and pointing at their own genitalia. According to the article,
“The Kenyan Wildlife Service told the BBC that it was not unusual for monkeys to harass women and be less afraid of them than men, but they had not heard of monkeys in Kenya making sexually explicit gestures as a form of communication to humans.”
In other words, we have your basic war-footing situation going on between two related species in competition, and it’s generating some novel communication to boot. Reminds me of prehistory.
Biological dentistry is comprised of those heretical professional dentists who are against mercury in fillings, and against fluouride in water. I’ve read about biological dentistry over the years and it was a pleasure to talk to a live one. I was seeking to interview this dentist for publication but was told the risk was simply too great.
That is truly a shame because this professional is a fascinating wealth of knowledge. I’d heard most biological dentists only “come out” and start removing mercury fillings when they’re close to retirement, because then they aren’t worth the trouble of kicking out of the ADA. The dentist informed me the real trouble was getting your license yanked by the state, and told me several stories of mercury-removing dentists meeting that fate, adding, “If I take your mercury fillings out because you want tooth-colored fillings instead, then I’m being a good dentist. But if I take your mercury fillings out because you want the mercury out, then I’m being unethical!”
I basically can’t believe the amount of mercury in my mouth is not up to me, and that if I get a dentist to help me, their career is over. But that’s the current dark-ages state of things.
A couple things stand out from our conversation:
The dentist told me that they used to have a mercury-sniffer machine in the office that they had to get rid of, because it was such a sensitive piece of equipment that it was always in the shop and too expensive to upkeep. But while they had it, mercury vapors from fillings from could be measured directly as they offgassed just sitting there in people’s mouths. Then they’d have the patient chew gum for a few minutes and they’d go back and find like 10 times the previous mercury level. “And we know your body absorbs 80-90% of that,” the dentist goes.
I also clarified something I’d read about the biological approach to root canals (which I believe the dentist said is for dead teeth): they don’t do them. The dentist said something like: “Your teeth have lots of little tubules that transport fluid throughout the tooth. A root canal exposes those, allows them to be colonized by bacteria, and serves to transport their waste products into your system. Those are toxic enzymes. I know a guy who’s been extracting root canal teeth and sending them off to be tested, and even after three washings, they are all testing toxic in the lab.”
So I asked him what the biological dentist’s solution is for dead teeth, which drew the response, “We say, you must expose the tooth to the light!” adding (because I didn’t get it), “That means you remove it.”
…And here’s the skeptical response from quackwatch, who are pretty pissed off about the whole thing. Turns out some removal of mercury fillings can cause nerve damage. Whoops! They pull out a lot of horror stories here … turnabout is fair play I suppose.
Well that’s my reading of this article anyway. What the U of M team has discovered is the largest void in space detected to date. Like way larger by 1,000 times what anybody expected to find, just kerjillions upon quillions of light years of nothing. And that is seriously bad news for the big bang theory, because it can’t even deal with the vast, but relatively much smaller, voids we already knew about.
The issue is the big bang originally expected everything to be uniformly mixed with an even distribution of matter throughout the universe. Instead we find it’s too clumpy. The very galaxies themselves can fairly be said to be problematic for the big bang. These problems have been patched over.
But these great voids are really increasingly troublesome for the big bang. The voids are interspersed with “great walls” of galaxies, where space is really full. These “great walls” of galaxies are in fact the largest “structures” known, and it must have taken a long time to assemble all this matter in one place. The book The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric Lerner argues that it would take at least 20 billion years to build a “great wall” of galaxies. But the big bang cosmologists say the universe is only 13 billion years old - you see the problem.
So the big bang assumption would sort of entail predicting that this great wall/great void situation better not get any more out of hand.
So finding the biggest by 1,000x void ever found has real implications as far as the viability of the big bang is concerned. How long did it take to make this super-void exactly…? And the answer better come in at less than 13 billion years, or the cosmologists are going to be pissed!
Update: Here’s New Scientist’s take on it. Theysay it’s only 40x the volume of the previous record-holding void, so the 1000x figure I used from the first article must have been mere poetic license. Still a huge problem though, everyone’s jaws are hitting the floor and it’s being passed around like a hot potato between the early-universe people and the structure formation people. Beautiful.
Planets’ rings have always changed faster than theory says they should. The old-school view is that essentially all phenomena in the solar system are effectively unchanging. For if any feature of the solar system (like a planetary ring system) was unstable enough to change perceptibly, then over the long life of the solar system, it would gradually fall out of equilibrium and disintegrate. Therefore, long periods of time select for stable structures - it’s a uniformitarian world view that is slowly fading - eclipsed by the new catastrophism.
Because as soon as astronomers started getting closer and closer looks at planetary ring systems, these systems turned out to be very dynamic, with visible changes occuring with every new photo. It’s far from the stately, eternal structures that were assumed until not too long ago. The ripples are still reverberating through the astronomical community, as in this article, reporting on recent imaging of planet Uranus’ ring system.
The group tells the journal Science their images show that the rings are changing much more quickly than researchers had previously believed…’People tend to think of the rings as unchanging, but our observations show that not to be the case.’
Why did researchers previously believe this? They are surely aware that the ring systems studied to date have already disproven this assumption? I’ve been listening to astronomers express surprise about this my whole life. Just change the paradigm already. Stop teaching the old stuff … and start teaching the new stuff. Somebody get a memo to every astronomer who graduated before say, 1980.
How is it that we here at Gonzo Science, humble anomalists, are not surprised at all by the changing rings of the planets, but the professional astronomers basically fail to expect it?
The larger implication is that the solar system is a happenin place. Those rings may not be there for long. But new rings may form somewhere else, probably sooner than we think. Get with it, astronomers - planets spend rings like nickels.
(That is certainly the view of the astronomer mentioned here, who believes Earth has had many temporary ring systems in the past. His theory is that rings are formed by comet capture, and gradually dissipate.)
(UPDATE: We have created a special page all about the Convention here, which we’ll be updating as the lecture schedule gets arranged, and as any new info arises. Thank you~)
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 at Lakeview Castle, Duluth MN, 5135 North Shore Drive. Exact time TBA but we have normally started the lectures and presentations at around noon or 1pm. Special Guest speakers to be announced, but as for the music (which normally starts around 7pm), Crew Jones return as four-year “Area 61″ veterans, and joining them are the Keep Aways, Hotel Coral Essex, and oh yeah we just booked Cloud Cult.
Topics this year for lectures and presentations includes a full spread of weird science topics: UFOs, Bigfoot, lake monsters, ghost hunting, and more, plus movies, art, vendors, activities, and the Castle’s food and drink. Admission is $5.00. Spread the word. Feel free to use the comments to ask any questions you may have or just email us at . Thank you.
Guess so. I had assumed the matter of “the location of humanity’s first footfall into Europe” was settled but silly me. Why even bother having established theories - or, as they are also known, “theories”.
We have turned the comments on.
Previous to now, as an anti-spam measure, we required people to register to be able to comment. It worked great as an anti-spam measure but at the expense of comments, flame wars, and liveliness. We will just spend some small time each day deleting spam from the comments section, but if we miss one every now and then, forgive us. Let’s see what we get.
I think I have enabled the comments properly; if there’s any trouble leaving comments, drop us a line. Thank you.
This site is keeping track of the discussion. Turns out the two pieces of video both have prosaic explanations. Although there may still be eyewitness accounts left unaccounted for… everyone’s got their fingers crossed for additional videos turning up. Earthquake lights are cousins to ball lightning and may shed light on the UFO phenomenon.
WTH? Why are bonobos so nice, but humans and chimps so mean? This article explores the question, with plenty of focus on buckwild bonobo sex.
EU: biofuels are not as efficient at reducing emissions as, say, reforestation. They say in fact their policy encourages deforestation. Looks like America should maybe oughtta look at this issue too…? Nah.
Here’s another link about the recent Liverpool “UFO” phenomena, a report which the investigator ascribes to “Earth Lights” instead, aka ball lightning and family. Here is a great ball lightning clearinghouse site I just found with lots of cool stories and links, including this, “Ball lightning orbits triple waterspout,” which is awesome. More, it links to this site, a favorite of ours that we refer to in the GS book. The gist of it is, tornados and ball lightning are linked on account of being torroidal phenomena. Apparently there is microscopic evidence of mini-plasma torroids/tornado-like phenomena. So that’s weird. If true it means tornados are really not understood that well at all - they have this weird, sort of underpublicized, electrified plasma connection.
(We posted yesterday about the Liverpool light-ball cases here.)
Link. Short version: clay acts as a catalyst for organic molecules to get their groove on. More clay than expected found during the Deep Impact comet mission. There are a lot of comets, containing more clay between them than the early earth. Comets have also been around for a longer time than earth, being remnants of the early solar system. Therefore, with more time to do it and more volume to do it in, life probably evolved in comets first.
This theory is great and I love watching these panspermia advocates take it to the man, slowly advancing the theory over the years and refining it, methodically painting the astronomical establishment into a corner.
On the other hand, not every heretical scientist believes comets are remnants of the early solar system, like Tom Van Flandern, who thinks they are the relatively more recent residue of planetary explosions.
I couldn’t resist posting this article because it dovetails with the seismic theory I just wrote about in the previous post. According to this article, Liverpool is in the grip of a lightball infestation, the kind of UFO flap that screams, “UFOs are ball lightning!” Ball lightning can exist in any weather, and may be the result of seismic tensions creating localized areas of glowing plasma over faultlines, which are then mistaken for UFOs. It’s a favorite theory of ours here at Gonzo Science, and in addition to writing about it in our book, we immortalized it in song (”The UFO Mystery”).
I know this sounds dismissive of the reality of “UFOs” - and it is - but really I am more of an “up with ball lightning” kind of guy. Ball lightning is weirder than commonly supposed, the physics are still not understood, and the way it sometimes acts intelligent haunts people for the rest of their lives. It’s not the best example, but one of the reports from the article says someone saw a ball of light zipping down the street about 6 feet off the ground, following the curve of the lane. Why would it do that? Possibly the lane channels the airflow and the lightball was being carried along an air current. But we also know they’re not truly solid, phasing through solid objects like window panes, flying into the ground etc etc, so that can’t be it.
This pattern-tracing manuver is classic ball lightning behavior - my mind always turns to the report I read where a ball of light traced the pattern on a carpet. Why would it do that? Doesn’t it hint at, well, perceptive faculties?
Is there a monster in Cameron Lake, British Colombia? According to this newspaper article, reports of “something big under the water” have rolled in periodically about this lake over the years. Many of the reports involve freak wave activity of some kind. I can’t explain “big things under the water” without assuming some kind of monstrous animal. But if we set those aside for a moment, I would bet there’s some kind of seismic activity that creates the freak waves. I have a soft spot for seismic explanations of the paranormal - Michael Persinger’s work highlighted the range of paranormal reports that could be explained this way, from UFOs to poltergeists.
This is admittedly just my speculation about some anecdotes. But check this out, from the article: the mystery surrounding the lake “involve(s) tales of a man drowning in Horne Lake and his body being pulled out of Cameron Lake. (Another report involves a lake-area resident who) saw the water recede very quickly from the shore and later heard there had been an earthquake in Alaska at the same time.” Leaving the drowned man anecdote aside, we have a convenient earthquake connection to the water acting strangely. Another reports mentions strange “swirls” in the water - possibly an interference pattern of seismic vibrations propagating through the water? Other reports mention waves much more than they mention monsters - the strange activity of the waves leads people to believe there is a large creature just under the water, but the creature itself is barely mentioned.
Loch Ness is another possible candidate for the seismic theory, it’s placed directly on a fault line and everything.
Here is another lake monster article from the same newspaper. It functions as a brief overview of 3-4 lake monster legends.
Turns out there’s one in Flathead Lake, Montana. Hell, that’s almost local for me. Gonzo Science Action Squad, assemble! We already have plans to visit the mouth of the Presque Isle River, the alleged scene of the one Lake Superior monster report I’m aware of. I believe it’s the same one mentioned in the article, and the one we blogged about here… and we need to get to Rock Lake Wisconsin, home of the underwater pyramids … But now we add Flathead Lake, Montana to the list of “anomalies in regional lakes to investigate.”
Update: A couple of fun links about the Flathead Lake monster.
Update 2: More about the Cameron Lake monster and the search thereof.
Update 3: This post brings a lot of web traffic. Welcome to Gonzo Science - you may be interested in the rest of our cryptozoology posts.
Our book and CD are for sale near the top of the sidebar. Enjoy your stay.
A star’s previously unseen cometary tail has just been revealed by viewing in the ultraviolet. 13 light years long, it represents this fast-moving star’s last 30,000 years of shedding gas as it hurtles through space. Apparently this star has been a favorite of astronomers for hundreds of years, and no one knew it was even more amazing until now.
As per this article, new simulations show that self-replicating helix structures can form from dust in the vast dust clouds of space, and possibly evolve. This defies conventional notions of what life can be/is supposed to be like.
Only people who haven’t listened to our CD or read our book will be surprised by this. Gonzo Science:1, NASA: 0.
Today’s Real Life Super Hero spotlight is on Florida’s “Super Hero” (that’s his handle).
Real Life Super Hero “Hardwire” describes an incident that happened on patrol of his city.
Favorite real life super hero myspace pages:
The Green Scorpion: http://www.myspace.com/greenscorpion
Here’s a great Master Legend audio file: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hostpage.aspx?host_id=7607
If I may, I feel compelled to note the unscientific observation that among the seemingly small community of real life super heroes, three of the more active, prominent ones have identified themselves somewhere on the internet as child abuse survivors: Master Legend, Tothian, and Super Hero. Reminds me of a point one of Andrew Vachss’ characters makes in the graphic novel of his short stories, “Hard Looks”: Whereas childhood abuse can turn someone into an abusive monster, the behavior is still volitional. Not everyone abused as a child becomes a monster. Some choose to become the most literal superheroes they can become, with a whole supportive community even, of people who want to make a difference.
An after-the-fact report has surfaced of a “Mothman” encounter in Stewartville, Minnesota on June 27, about a month before the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
We posted a nice picture of the Mothman here.
Turns out Mesopotamia isn’t all that - there’s a new cradle of civilization in town (right next door actually).
I was so stoked to read this. I am going to submit an application to the Justice Society of Justice STAT.