Archive | News

Is an Erotic Christian Religion 
Really Possible?

gnostic sex[Excerpted from Gnostic Mysteries of Sex: Sophia the Wild One and Erotic Christianity by Tobias Churton]

I discussed in the introduction why I have not focused on the alleged sexual excesses of the numerous Gnostic schools before. There is probably an additional reason, less easy to express. To be honest, I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of communion with God through sexual communion very difficult to conceive of clearly, either as an idea or in a practical sense, unless, that is, one takes it that there is something profoundly godly about sexual intercourse in the first place. While familiar with the crossover between romantic yearning, deep love, passion, desire, and spiritual feelings—feelings where physical acts are experienced as far more than mere sense experiences and where more appears to be involved than a physical exchange of energy or emotion, however intense—something in my thinking is still inclined to balk at the prospect of applying a sense of reality to expressions such as sacred sex, which fall too easily, it seems to me, from the lips of moderns.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology

worldpopantiaging

Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Human Rights

Recently several human rights groups have documented that the US State Department has upgraded the status of some countries, notably Malaysia and Cuba, regarding human trafficking in order to improve diplomatic relations with those countries. Human trafficking, which is modern day slavery, is the illegal buying and selling of people, typically for forced labor or forced prostitution. According to news reports, some diplomats privately say that human rights workers are naive “purists” and should recognize that diplomatic interests properly outweigh human rights interests.

625px-Les_Mortels_sont_égaux,_ce_n'est_pas_la_naissance_c'est_la_seule_vertu_qui_fait_la_différence

As a human rights worker, I know it is vitally important to tell the truth about human rights and not to falsify official reports about human rights in order to achieve diplomatic goals.

Human rights workers are rarely “purists.” They fight a lonely battle, often knowing there is little they can do in the offending country and knowing that “good” countries such as the US often will choose to elevate diplomatic goals over human rights goals.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Moon landing was a giant leap. The next leap is staying there.

There’s something in the zeitgeist about off-earth colonies right now, whether they be on Mars, asteroids or the moon, which is the focus of this piece at Macleans:

When Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, left the lunar surface in December 1972, people on Earth seemed to check it off the cosmic to-do list. Been there, done that. The grey orb was dry and deadly, with freezing 14-day nights that dipped to –270° C and equally long days that reached a blood-boiling 100° C. Mars, meanwhile, was calling. Humanity’s interplanetary ambitions wandered elsewhere.

s89_26097

Then, in late 2009, scientists confirmed the existence of water and found evidence of water at the Moon’s southern pole. “Finding that stuff was a big deal,” says Paul Spudis, a Houston-based lunar scientist who has worked with NASA and the White House. “It showed us that a permanent habitation of the Moon was possible.”

Suddenly, the Moon was once again the solar system’s top travel destination—and, this time, the plan would be to stay.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Creepy cloaked figure photographed dropping meat near playground

Why?

Why?

A creepy cloaked figure was photographed outside of an apartment complex in Gastonia, North Carolina. Witnesses claimed that the figure was seen dropping meat near a playground. Police are currently investigating.

Chris Dyches via WBTV:

According to online posts, the mysterious pale figure “sparked fear among locals after it was reportedly caught on camera standing outside an apartment complex in Gastonia, North Carolina, dressed in a dark cloak.”

Police spokesperson Donna Lahser told WBTV that investigators were called out to meet with the manager of the Hudson Woods Apartment complex last Monday about the photo.

h/t Boing Boing.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Just How Gullible Are You?

Peter McGuire reports for the Irish Times on a recent experiment in which scientists deliberately made false claims on social media sites to find out how easy it is to dupe people into believing in spurious conspiracies (some of their conjured theories are pretty funny – Viagra chemtrails anyone?):

Earlier this year, Italian scientists and data researchers set out to chart how conspiracy theories – the idea that a secret society, politician or, increasingly, large corporation, is responsible for an unexplained event and cover-up – spread in the information age. And, if someone thinks, despite the lack of any evidence, that Princess Diana was murdered by the British royal family, the moon landings were faked and that secret, shadowy groups such as the Illuminati or lizard people rule the world, what else might they believe?

SCIE CHIMICHE A MATERA - ChemTrails in Matera (Basilicata) - Italy

Could these be Viagra chemtrails?

The scientists got together and, in more than 5,000 comments on Facebook, made deliberately false claims: the trails left by aircraft had been chemically analysed and were found to contain Viagra; an infinite energy machine has been created but is being suppressed; and mosquito sprays are toxic to humans.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

It should be a capitalist flop, but Banksy’s Dismaland is pure magic

Banksy Releases Promo Video for Dismaland

It’s not easy being a superstar anti-establishment art celebrity. Back in the late 1990s I was one of a group of art students who, for a time, became mildly famous as art pranksters. Within the group we could never be sure – and this despite our most earnest efforts – that our work really was the stuff of revolution. But we were in the papers. We were on the Turner Prize programme. We were even offered a book deal. Nonetheless it’s hard to maintain revolutionary kudos once you’ve been interviewed by Timmy Mallett.

And so I feel for Banksy. In Bristol, his street-pieces are still powerful landmarks even if we know, and he knows, what a dichotomy he represents, caught somewhere between art and artifice; an anarchist in capitalist giftwrap.

This being so, I was not expecting much from his latest hyped-up creation, Dismaland. I assumed it would be trying too hard to recapture that lost edginess; that old sold-out soul.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Alien Transit Systems May Be a Giveaway in the Search for ET

Scientific American reports on the “Harvard professor [who] devises a scheme to detect extraterrestrials by tracking how they might commute from one world to the next”:

Avi Loeb has an unorthodox new idea about how to search for alien civilizations—and it is hardly a surprise. Loeb, who chairs the astronomy department at Harvard University, has spent much of his career thinking about how the first stars came to life after the big bang, and how galaxies were born. But lately he’s become intrigued with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, and he tends to come at it in unusual ways.

Blue solar sail. Credit: NASA/MSFC/D. Higginbotham

Blue solar sail. Credit: NASA/MSFC/D. Higginbotham

 

Over the past few years, for example, Loeb has suggested searching for aliens by looking for artificial lighting on Pluto, in the admittedly unlikely event that extraterrestrials (ET) have set up an outpost there. He also has proposed trying to detect industrial pollution on distant exoplanets.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Pulling the Cosmic Trigger: The Contact Experiences of Philip K. Dick & Robert Anton Wilson

robertantonwilson.jpgOur old friend Kenn Thomas’s Steamshovel Press has an exclusive essay by AK Wilks on the similarities between the contact experiences of two of our favorite writers, Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson:

This article will look at some of the similarities between the contact experiences of two American writers, Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson. In the 1973-1974 time frame, both would have unusual experiences that they thought could be contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Or some undefinable something that wanted them to think it was extraterrestrial. And as incredible as it sounds, some of their experiences are confirmed by other people, and include verified transmission of knowledge that it seems they could not have obtained from any human source. We will also look very briefly at some other possibly related contact experiences involving musician and cultural icon John Lennon, researcher into human-dolphin communication and consciousness Dr. John Lilly and the Swiss scientist and inventor of LSD Dr.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers

The Marijuana Policy Project has published a list of the people it deems the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers.” Most of them are not notable current potheads it must be noted.

mpp

The criteria for inclusion on the list were that, “individuals must (1) be alive, (2) be a U.S. citizen, and (3) have consumed marijuana at least once in their life according to either their own account or that of a legitimate source. They do not need to currently consume marijuana or support marijuana policy reform.”

1. President Barack Obama

“When I was a kid, I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point.”

Source: NBC News


2. 2016 Presidential Hopefuls

At least eight of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have consumed marijuana, and only six say they have not. The other nine — Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb —  do not appear to have ever publicly said whether they have consumed marijuana.

Read the rest
Continue Reading