The Visit: An Alien Encounter

The Visita mockumentary, documents various government agencies as they try to deal with Earth’s first alien encounter. The film originally premiered at Sundance 2015 and is officially releasing on Vimeo today.

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“This film documents an event that has never taken place – man’s first encounter with intelligent life from space.” The film explores a first contact scenario, beginning with the simplest of questions: Why are you here?

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Male insect roars like a lion while walking on leaf

“Two types of mirid bug engage in roaring duels, possibly to establish dominance or attract females, but how they make the noise is unknown.”

via New Scientist:

They are rather diminutive to be kings of the jungle, but two species of mirid bug make sounds similar to the roars of big cats. These calls have never before been heard in insects, and we’re not sure why, or how, the insects produce the eerie calls.

The roars are too weak to be heard by humans without a bit of help. But Valerio Mazzoni of the Edmund Mach Foundation in Italy and his team made them audible by amplifying them using a device called a laser vibrometer. The device detects the minute vibrations that the bugs produce on the leaves on which they live.

“When you listen to these sounds through headphones you’d think you were next to a tiger or lion,” Mazzoni.

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Why High-Profile Murders Are Ripe for Conspiracy Theories

A history professor examines an American phenomenon for The Marshall Project:

The recent on-air shooting of a Virginia television reporter and her cameraman by a deeply troubled former co-worker prompted the familiar outcry for stricter gun control laws and mental health screening. But a radically different reaction, circulating in various corners of the Internet, suggested that the shootings never happened.

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WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward, from WDBJ7’s Twitter account.

 

Instead, these online theorists assert, the Aug. 26 attack near Roanoke was part of a vast government conspiracy to restrict their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Similar theories were put forth after the shooting deaths of 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, as well as the killing of 26 children and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Instead of actual gunfire and death, the theories go, the victims and their families are actually “crisis actors,” paid to portray scenes of artificial mayhem in order to gain political capital toward restricting access to guns.

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We found only one-third of published psychology research is reliable – now what?

Books in shelves, categorized, Wu Hsing Tao School, Traditional Five Element Acupuncture & Psychology, Seattle, Washington, USA
Elizabeth Gilbert, University of Virginia and Nina Strohminger, Yale University

The ability to repeat a study and find the same results twice is a prerequisite for building scientific knowledge. Replication allows us to ensure empirical findings are reliable and refines our understanding of when a finding occurs. It may surprise you to learn, then, that scientists do not often conduct – much less publish – attempted replications of existing studies.

Journals prefer to publish novel, cutting-edge research. And professional advancement is determined by making new discoveries, not painstakingly confirming claims that are already on the books. As one of our colleagues recently put it, “Running replications is fine for other people, but I have better ways to spend my precious time.”

Once a paper appears in a peer-reviewed journal, it acquires a kind of magical, unassailable authority. News outlets, and sometimes even scientists themselves, will cite these findings without a trace of skepticism.… Read the rest

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Christian Ministers Predict End of the World – This Month!

Haven’t Apocalypse doomsayers learned that attaching a specific date to the end of the world is a bad idea by now? Apparently not and the current target date is September 27th, per CNN:

There will be blood in September — literally, according to the Internet postings of end-times believers.

The night of September 27-28 will bring a “blood moon.” To skywatchers, it simply refers to the copper color the moon takes on during an eclipse, but to some Christian ministers, the fourth and final eclipse in a tetrad — four consecutive total lunar eclipses, each separated by six lunar months — fulfills biblical prophecy of the apocalypse. (The first three in the series took place April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; and April 4, 2015.)

In promotion for his 2013 book “Four Blood Moons,” Christian minister John Hagee claimed that the tetrad was a sign of the end.

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The Endless Synchronicity

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Greetings disinfonauts!

As a first time contributor, I would like to introduce myself by sharing some of my thoughts and perspectives on the beloved and cherished mystical experiences many of us have come to know by that oh-so-Jungian term, “synchronicity.” As has been the case for eternity, no matter how profound and mind-boggling that experience might have been for you personally… It’s seemingly impossible to communicate or share that experience with someone else that didn’t experience it themselves. It’s one of those, “you just had to be there,” type of scenarios. So, let me divulge a bit further into my take on this amazingly awesome synchronistic madness with one of my most recent blog posts…

When it comes to this synchronicity business, I’ve got some theories and philosophical view points of my own to shake things up a bit. The most blatant and arguable of those being that, if certain profound moments of our lives are to be taken as synchronicities, then we must accept every moment ever lived in our known universe as a synchronicity.… Read the rest

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Rithika Merchant: At The Dusk of Identity by Decadence Darling

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The Moon Devours Her Children, 2015 | 20 x 27.5 in | Gouache and Ink on Paper

Rithika Merchant: At The Dusk of Identity by Decadence Darling

Division requires a line whereby our minds process an object or concept not based on its entirety but upon independent qualities separated from the wholeness. Spirituality in its varied traditions throughout time is essentially to realize how you identify independently from the wholeness, while simultaneously crossing those intellectual lines of division to identify as part of the wholeness. It is a process of unifying duality while maintaining individuality. It is a process where one will find darkness in the light and light in the darkness. That glowing spectral satellite in the night sky reveals a host of mysteries beyond the shadows, it reveals the partitions within our psyche. It is that relationship with our individual mind and the wholeness of the universe that Luna Tabulatorum establishes a narrative to explore how natural phenomena has an effect on humanity and how division is both instituted and transcended.… Read the rest

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Reengineering the Sacred: Five Ways to Hack God

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Gary Z. McGee via Fractal Enlightenment:

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” ~ George Orwell

The above quote is powerful because if you are not the one who is tearing your own mind to pieces and putting it back together again in the shape of your own choosing, then someone else probably is. It’s fine if you’re okay with who is doing the tearing to pieces – like if it’s Buddha, Jesus, Nietzsche, Gandhi, Thoreau, or even Orwell – as long as you’re the one who is putting it back together again. Stand on the shoulders of giants, but don’t become attached to their shoulder.

Use their shoulders as tools to see further than they did, and then reshape your mind according to the newfound perceptions. Just remember to continue taking the leap into the unknown in order to discover more and more giant’s shoulders to stand on.

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Why the World Does Not Exist

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Kazimir Malevich, Black Square [1915]

Does the world itself exist? Do unicorns exist? German philosopher Markus Gabriel talks to four by three about his latest book Why the World Does Not Exist, tackling the big questions of ontology, why we should abandon metaphysics and why his theory of fields of sense can help us overcome the failures of post-modernism.


Even though you have argued that society has materially and spiritually benefited from attempting to grasp the world in its entirety, you deny that the world exists in your latest book Why the World Does Not Exist [Polity Press, 2015]. What motivated you to reject the concept of the world and why should we repudiate this profoundly familiar conviction? And how does your account differ from that of other philosophers, such as Heidegger or Wittgenstein?

Markus Gabriel: The idea that there is such a thing as the world in its entirety, in particular, very early on in Greek philosophy, comes to be understood as the view that there are overall principles/laws governing everything there is.… Read the rest

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Being Weird Makes You More Likely To Find Love

Let’s face it disinfonauts, collectively we’re a weird bunch. But that’s not a bad thing – a new study reported by Metro says we’re more likely to find love:

Your mum was right. The best thing is to be yourself, in all your weird, unconventional glory.

Lolitas habillées par " My oppa".

Being weird – or ‘noncomformist’, in fancier terms – makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reports.

Researchers studied people who identified as heterosexual or bisexual, asking them to select people from online dating websites, describe their ideal partners and picture dates with people they had just met.

They found that both men and women showed a preference for partners who didn’t conform, through clothing, life decisions or opinions.

Essentially, this shows that being a rule-breaker or a bit weird can seriously work in your advantage, dating-wise.

The researchers say this goes to show that the old stereotype of what men like – the submissive, girl-next-door type – just isn’t true…

[continues at Metro]

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