Tag Archives | Observatory

Vodou in NYC

Mambo Carmen becomes possessed by the Loa Klemezin. Shannon Taggart, 2010.

Often relegated to tabloid news coverage, the Afro-Caribbean religions, such as Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Palo Monte, and Vodoun, are some of the most beautiful and complex spiritual paths that can be found in the world. They have been forged in the sorrow, pain and violence of our colonial history, tempered with the hopes and joys that can only come from true perseverance.  It’s unfortunate that when we hear about them their beauty is usually obscured by patronizing, inept journalism, or, more frequently, by fear mongering, thinly veiled racism.

Maya Deren’s seminal work, The Divine Horsemen, was my first encounter with the depth of the Haitian tradition of Vodoun, and I’ll never forget how it changed my view of  life.  More recently I’ve enjoyed the work of Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, an anthropologist,  Palero, and Vodoun initiate, whose works on Quimbanda and Palo Mayombe are published by Scarlet Imprint.… Read the rest

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Astronomers Begin Search For Alien Signals From 86 Earth-Like Planets

398px-KSC_radio_telescopeVia Space.com:

A new survey is under way to search for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, but this one has a twist: Instead of listening for alien signals from anywhere in the sky, scientists are aiming radio telescopes at the alien planets most likely to be like our own Earth.

The new search, which began last week, is scanning 86 alien worlds for radio signals that could suggest the presence of an advanced civilization. The extrasolar planets are thought to be the most Earth-like of the 1,235 candidate planets discovered so far by NASA’s prolific Kepler space observatory.

“We’ve picked out the planets with nice temperatures — between zero and 100 degrees Celsius [32 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit] — because they are a lot more likely to harbor life,” said physicist Dan Werthimer of the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement.

This new SETI search is not part of the SETI Institute, which has long served as the Earth’s ears for any signals from intelligent aliens.

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Observatory 1.5 Miles Deep Under Antarctic Ice

Photo: The National Geographic

Photo: The National Geographic

Some secrets of the universe may be found by looking underground. Under the South Pole to be exact. There, under the ice, is the world’s largest neutrino observatory used to find clues to cosmic mysteries and subatomic particles that can travel through almost any matter. Via The National Geographic:

An IceCube sensor is dropped into 1 of 86 holes drilled into the Antarctic ice in a December 2010 picture.

To reach the icy depths, scientists designed and built the Enhanced Hot Water Drill, which can penetrate more than 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) of ice in less than two days. The team then fed the IceCube detector—86 cable strings that each contain 60 neutrino sensors—into the holes.

Each cable is equipped with another four sensors at the surface, which together make up one IceCube array. The detector and arrays combine to make the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

Situated at the geographic South Pole, the U.S.

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