Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for the 'People' Category

HAARP, Crop Circles and Giant Weather Rings?

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“This Dramatic Spiral Burst known to ‘insiders’ as The Ring of Fire Fault was observed on national radar over Melbourne Australia today – but then what?  Is this the HAARP smoking gun?” – Colin Andrews

Andrews, more known for his involvement with crop circles, tries very hard to work up some curious geometric patterns seen through weather stations in Australia over the last few days. They are indeed quite interesting, which gives him room to speculate about “strange weather effects, possible weather modification experiments or the secret agenda behind the global HAARP project”.

Amazingly, however, Andrews has already received and actually reproduced the quite prosaic explanations for these patterns… but he simply don’t seem to get it.

haarpweatherrings

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Man as a Machine

Or better yet: the human body as a whole factory, complete with control and production systems operated by tiny little… men! You certainly must have seen some graphical illustration with the metaphor of heavy machinery to explain how our body works, and the animation above, by German artist Henning Lederer must be the first detailed video, with a special touch.

At the “intertwining of science, culture, art and technology”, as Lederer writes, he paid homage animating the original poster by Fritz Kahn, “Man as Industrial Palace”, published in 1927. Almost a century ago, Kahn is the inspiration, if not the direct source, for all the graphics of giant men as huge factories we came to know. You can see his original illustration in high resolution clicking below.

kahn

Kahn, a physician in Berlin, was a writer and illustrator who spread science and, in particular, medical and biological findings through wonderfully illustrated books. Going beyond the reduction of biological systems to what may look now as outdated machines, Kahn also did the opposite. At an age of extreme confidence in technological progress, he showed how many organic structures incorporated the most sophisticated engineering solutions.

kahn_termica 

It’s inevitable to consider his wonderful art in context. “Man as Industrial Palace” depicts a human being as a giant chemical factory, at a time when Germany was leader in the field. It was also the between-wars era, and besides being a doctor, Fritz Kahn was Jewish. His books were banned and burned by the Nazis, and the author escaped to the USA with the help of none other than Albert Einstein.

That his art portrayed humans as assembly-lines when shortly thereafter Nazis would put in effect their assembly-line genocide may at first cause some repulse to these illustrations, but we must remember: Kahn was a doctor. And Jewish.

Portraying our bodies as machines is a beautiful and adorable metaphor, valuable exactly for its over-simplification, and these works are quite simply beautiful. There’s nothing leading those visions directly to fascism, one must not forget national-socialistic ideology was just as reliant and at the same time suspicious of both “reductionist” and “holistic” visions, whatever fit them best.

Banning those marvelous works, that is indeed Hitler’s job. [via Nerdcore]

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Keanu Reeves is immortal

Whoa. Also, do watch The Man from Earth.

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Scientific legends together in motion

At the most important scientific meeting of all time, the fifth Solvay Conference, among the 29 select scientists, one of the 17 who earned a Nobel also had a camera. And beyond the novelty of seeing all those great icons together, in motion, in bad hair day and joking around, as the narrator tells the film also records the change of mood before and after the conference.

It seems you couldn’t simultaneously have the greatest scientific minds discussing together and have them all agree at the same time. At least not when the subject of the Conference was quantum physics.

Between those brief moments captured on film, Einstein, disenchanted with Heisenberg‘s "Uncertainty Principle," famously remarked "God does not play dice." Bohr replied, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do." [via gaussianos, I couldn’t confirm but the voice-over is by Nancy Thorndike Greenspan.]

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Carl Sagan “A Glorious Dawn” ft Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed)

Amazing work by melodysheep, Autotune put to good use! Download the MP3 here. Now sing with us:

[Sagan]
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch
You must first invent the universe

Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way

The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature

I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky

But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has it’s own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world

[Hawking]
For thousands of years
People have wondered about the universe
Did it stretch out forever
Or was there a limit

From the big bang to black holes
From dark matter to a possible big crunch
Our image of the universe today
Is full of strange sounding ideas

[Sagan]
How lucky we are to live in this time
The first moment in human history
When we are in fact visiting other worlds

The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean
Recently we’ve waded a little way out
And the water seems inviting

[via Brudna, thanks!]

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