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13 real technologies Woody Allen (of all people) predicted in the ’70s

ecodallaluna (CC BY-SA 2.0)

ecodallaluna (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via DVice:

Back in 1973, eternally eccentric filmmaker Woody Allen made Sleeper. Set in the year 2173, Sleeper is, to date, Allen’s sole venture into overt sci-fi. A slapstick comedy, Sleeper pokes fun at other sci-fi classics, notable amongst them Fahrenheit 451 and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The political and social aspects of the film are thinly veiled 1970s sentiment, set in a dystopic inept police state.

What is truly interesting is Sleeper’s perspective on the progress of technology, 200 years from its production. While Woody Allen did not predict technological miniaturization, he did get a lot of things right. Was Woody Allen a tech prophet? Here’s a list of technologies predicted in Sleeper that already exist, 161 years ahead of schedule.

1. Sleeping Pods Not once, but twice in Sleeper are we given glimpses of long-term sleeping devices. I guess that’s appropriate, given the title.

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How One Woman’s Discovery Shook the Foundations of Geology

marie tharp maps (CC BY 2.0)

marie tharp maps (CC BY 2.0)

via Mental Floss:

Marie Tharp spent the fall of 1952 hunched over a drafting table, surrounded by charts, graphs, and jars of India ink. Nearby, spread across several additional tables, lay her project—the largest and most detailed map ever produced of a part of the world no one had ever seen.

For centuries, scientists had believed that the ocean floor was basically flat and featureless—it was too far beyond reach to know otherwise. But the advent of sonar had changed everything. For the first time, ships could “sound out” the precise depths of the ocean below them. For five years, Tharp’s colleagues at Columbia University had been crisscrossing the Atlantic, recording its depths. Women weren’t allowed on these research trips—the lab director considered them bad luck at sea—so Tharp wasn’t on board. Instead, she stayed in the lab, meticulously checking and plotting the ships’ raw findings, a mass of data so large it was printed on a 5,000-foot scroll.

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The insane history of how American paranoia ruined and censored comic books

secretlondon123 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

secretlondon123 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Vox:

One of the most hurtful things you can say to a comic book reader is that comic books are for kids.

It’s a chilling insult that the stuff they read — the stuff they love — never advanced beyond its funny-page beginnings. But it’s also — often unknown to comics fans — a blunt reminder of one of the worst things to ever happen to comic books.

Some 60 years ago, during the era of McCarthyism, comic books became a threat. The panic culminated in a Senate hearing in 1954. This, of course, isn’t to say that McCarthyism and the comic book panic were comparable in their human toll. But they share the same symptoms of American fear and a harsh, reactive response to it.

The reaction to the suspected scourge was the Comics Code — a set of rules that spelled out what comics could and couldn’t do.

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Randall Carlson talks The Quest for the Cosmic Grail on the Mathemagical Radio Hour

Marty_Leeds_Randall_Carlson_CoverVia SacredGeometryInternational.com and The Sync Book

Join Visionary scholar Randall Carlson and David Metcalfe for a journey into the Cataclysm Fields – Click Here for more information on Sacred Geometry International’s upcoming webinar: The Quest for the Cosmic Grail – Recovering the Lost History of the World”

12.09.14 Episode 17: Randall Carlson, The Harmed Brothers
This week’s guests include Randall Carlson from Sacred Geometry International and the musical guest is Portland, Oregon’s The Harmed Brothers.

Topics discussed include: Sacred Geometry, The Cosmic Grail, Randall’s recent research expedition with best selling author Graham Hancock, Cosmic Patterns and Cycles of Catastrophe, Walter Cruttenden’s Luni-Solar theory and Randall’s unique theory regarding Sirius, precession and the relationship to ancient cosmological ‘myths’.

Listen here.

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Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’

The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional ‘Christ of Faith’. Charles Roffey/Flickr

The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional ‘Christ of Faith’. Charles Roffey/Flickr

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Raphael Lataster, University of Sydney

Did a man called Jesus Christ walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved.

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?… Read the rest

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The Hermit Caves of Romania

noridamar (CC BY-SA 2.0)

noridamar (CC BY-SA 2.0)

These are awesome. Be sure to head over to Mysterious Universe to see more photos.

via Mysterious Universe:

Romania consists of 41 counties, and situated in the southern interior is one called Buzău.  This county is home to some 400,000 people and it hosts the southern end of the Eastern Carpathian Mountain range.  It also hosts, in those mountains, a wonderful gem of culture and architecture.  Several, in fact.

There’s a commune, known as Colţi, nestled into the curvature of the Carpathian Mountains (yes, the mountain range that loaned its name to the evil Vigo the Carpathian of Ghostbusters II, among other characters) which consists of a number of small villages.  These villages, such as Aluniş and Nucu, are the surviving remnants of an ancient troglodyte community.

Now, lest you take that in the wrong direction, the people who lived there circa 1050-1280 AD were anything but ignorant.  The word troglodyte applies because they dwelled in caves carved into the mountain.  There are a number of cave complexes through the region of Colţi, consisting of dwellings, storage spaces, and churches.  In fact, the oldest surviving Eastern Orthodox Church is a cave in Aluniş, dedicated to the Decollation of Saint John the Baptist.

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How We Lost Our “Freedom”

Jônatas Cunha CC BY-SA 2.0

Jônatas Cunha CC BY-SA 2.0

Andrew Levine writes at CounterPunch:

In Greek and Roman antiquity, “free” denoted a legal status; the opposite of “slave.” Independent political entities were also “free.” This usage never quite dropped away. Irish republicans, seeking independence from Britain, struggled to establish an “Irish free state.”   The national liberation movements of the latter half of the twentieth century shared this understanding.

In time, the underlying idea overflowed its origins. “Free” came to mean “independent” or “undominated,” irrespective of legal status. This was one of the ways it was understood when hundreds of thousands of African Americans and their allies in the Civil Rights movement marched for “freedom.”

Many of the most important political theorists in Europe in the early modern period understood freedom this way too. The strain of political theory they produced is called (small-r) “republican.”

The name is apt because, in addition to supplying its idea of freedom, the Roman republic, along with certain Greek city-states, inspired its leading thinkers’ visions of ideal political arrangements and their understandings of civic virtue.

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Torture Is Who We Are

Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Peter Beinart writes at the Atlantic:

Torture, declared President Obama this week, in response to the newly released Senate report on CIA interrogation, is “contrary to who we are.” Maine Senator Angus King added that, “This is not America. This is not who we are.” According to Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, “We are better than this.”

No, actually, we’re not. There’s something bizarre about responding to a 600-page document detailing systematic U.S. government torture by declaring that the real America—the one with good values—does not torture. It’s exoneration masquerading as outrage. Imagine someone beating you up and then, when confronted with the evidence, declaring that “I’m not really like that” or “that wasn’t the real me.” Your response is likely to be some variant of: “It sure as hell seemed like you when your fist was slamming into my nose.” A country, like a person, is what it does.

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America Is Built on Torture, Remember?

takomabibelot (CC BY 2.0)

takomabibelot (CC BY 2.0)

via Pacific Standard Magazine:

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report has sparked a great deal of outrage—and justifiably so. The details are grim and sickening: The report says that the CIA tortured innocent people, threatened to murder and rape the mothers of detainees, and used rectal feeding or, essentially, anal rape, as a punishment. The report paints a picture of heedless brutality, cruelty, and sadism.

Given the details from Abu Ghraib, and the long-known, supposedly sanctioned techniques like waterboarding, these revelations aren’t exactly surprising. But they still have the power to shock. Andrew Sullivan, who has been a bitter and committed critic of American torture, summed up the reaction of many when he suggested that readers “reflect on a president [George W. Bush] who cannot admit to being the first in that office to authorize such an assault on core American values and decency.” To numerous critics on the left and some on the right as well, the torture seems like a violation of the basic American commitment to freedom, justice, and human rights.

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