via Oddity Central:
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While this American searched the entire African continent for a piece of land to call his Kingdom, Renato Barros managed to establish his own country much closer to home. The 56-year-old Portuguese citizen purchased a small island on Funchal harbor, in Madeira, Portugal. He named it the Principality of the Pontinha, and anointed himself Prince Renato II.
Pontinha is actually just the size of a one-bedroom house, and has only four citizens – Barros, his wife, and his son and daughter. In addition to his Portuguese passport, Barros holds a passport for Pontinha with the number 0001. An art teacher by profession, he’s also taken on the roles of policeman, gardener, caretaker, and member of the royal family of his very own country.
“I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it,” he said. “If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time.
Abby Martin interviews theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss, discussing everything from his belief that all religion will be eliminated within a generation to his view on the origins of the universe.
via Discovery News:
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A four-year-old Virginia boy is claimed to have had a past life as a Marine killed in 1983, prompted by his parents and a new reality TV show called “Ghost Inside My Child.” The boy, Andrew Lucas, made comments to his mother suggesting to her that he’s lived in a past life and died in a fire many years earlier.
Many people believe in reincarnation, from Shirley MacLaine to the Dalai Lama, but there is no scientific evidence for past lives. Usually, alleged memories of past lives emerge during psychotherapy or hypnosis when people are encouraged to fantasize about other lives they may have led (often of famous or important people such as Cleopatra or Caesar).
It remains scientifically unproven, however, because those who claim to have had past lives are unable to give historically accurate, provable details from other eras. Other times people glean information from films and television shows and unconsciously incorporate them into their memories, in a process psychologists call confabulation.
I recently came across an interesting and novel phenomenon via a remarkable fact I read on Kickassfacts.com. It seems organ recipients sometimes have living memories or peculiar affinities which somehow carried over along from their donor. Can the ‘Ship of Theseus’ that arrives with new oars, planks, and sail be considered the same ship that left port?
Ethically, very few religions around the world actually have a problem with organ harvesting and transplantation. With reference to harvesting from the brain-dead, Pius XII said that knowledge of when death occurs is the domain of medical science. However some Judaic authorities take issue with harvesting the organs of a brain-dead individual because anything that will stop the heart beating causes death. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses have changed their stance since the 1980s, excluding the acceptance of an organ from their definition of cannibalism (which includes accepting blood transfusions).
However, no religions to my knowledge presently acknowledge the idea that a person may somehow be incarnate after their death when another person has accepted that person’s organ.… Read the rest
We’ve got mail! Over the weekend, two Disinfonauts alerted us to the release of a satellite photo of MH17 being shot down. It appears that there is much controversy (surprise!) surrounding its authenticity.
What do you think?
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The Russian news service, Itar-Tass today published satellite photos clearly proving that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, was downed by a Kiev-backed jet fighter.
The United States and Great Britain have had these photos for months, proving the Kiev junta responsible for purposefully downing the plane and killing 298 passengers and crew, 196 of them from the Netherlands.
In fact, for months, the preponderance of evidence has indicated that the downing of MH17 was done by Kiev as an act of false flag terrorism, one of many during the conflict. However, as accusations against Kiev gained substance, the investigation was handed to the Dutch government, who tabled the entire process for over a year without any promise of a definitive finding.
… Read the rest
Despite decades of sending sounds and pictures into space no aliens have responded. Have we been doing it wrong? Tracey Logan investigates, and discovers some novel attempts to make contact – including the smells of our planet.
Artist Carrie Paterson has long dreamed of beaming messages far out to the emptiness of space. Except her messages would have an extra dimension – smell.
By broadcasting formulae of aromatic chemicals, she says, aliens could reconstruct all sorts of whiffs that help to define life on Earth: animal blood and faeces, sweet floral and citrus scents or benzene to show our global dependence on the car. This way intelligent life forms on distant planets who may not see or hear as we do, says Paterson, could explore us through smell, one of the most primitive and ubiquitous senses of all.
Her idea is only the latest in a list of attempts to hail intelligent life outside of the Solar System.
This post originally appeared in VICE UK
I don’t like Halloween. I never really have. So at the end of last month—with October 31 and its accompanying monotony of drunk, bleeding faces fast approaching—I figured I should try to coax some enjoyment out of the experience for the first time in my life. The best way to do that, I decided, was to spend the evening with a Satanist.
While media coverage of Satanism tends to err on the horse-mutilation side of things, my Satanist friend Phil Mawson—who, granted, does work at a butcher shop—actually prefers devoting his time to revising the work of Anton LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible and founder of the Church of Satan. Still, I couldn’t help treading a little nervously as I approached the door of his crypt, a bungalow in Cornwall, England.
via The Week:
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For as long as I’ve been reading about alien conspiracies, it’s been an accepted article of faith among believers that the government was the enemy of the people and was conspiring with an alien race, or simply with other governments in our world, to keep evidence of a sentient extraterrestrial presence hidden.
In 2012, authors Richard Dolan and Bryce Zabel became instant iconoclasts within the believer community when they published a book, After Disclosure, that laid out meticulously what the government should do to prepare the public for the “disclosure” of the conspiracy. The book leans in to the notion itself. The government conspirators, say these two, think that the conspiracy is untenable and that a full and open discussion of the fact of alien sentience is the best way to unite the world. Somehow.
This big secret will be revealed in 2015, if the chatter on shows like Coast-to-Coast AM is any indication.