Monthly Archives: June 2011

TED – Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning


Oh, Ye (Space) Gods…


I was looking at the search term referrers on my stat page yesterday and was favored by the laws of probability to have noticed the following: “alien tomb found in africa”

So after googling it, I found this page http://www.burlingtonnews.net/skulls.html as the highest ranked link in the search results.

I noticed a lot of interesting pics of congenitally and ritually deformed human skulls, others looked as though they had been partially or entirely sculpted, cast-made, or merely photo-edited images of possibly genuine skulls.

Note the screenshot posted above for some examples…

There were the usual assertions attempting to dismiss conventional explanations for the deformities of the skulls. I found them unconvincing from a lack of real justification, much less ‘proof,’ a word that I do not believe means what some seem to think it means…

Anyhoo.

With this bountiful collection of somewhat macabre images, and there were more lower down the page, there were claims being made for them of an extraterrestrial origin for a lot of the skulls, and claims of human emulation of aliens for others, as well as a highly questionable image said to be that of a skull belonging to a ‘mysterious horned race,’ like one of those shown above, at the bottom row of images.

Among other tidbits were the typical claims of hidden, forbidden, secret, and otherwise jealously guarded ancient knowledge, that somehow eluded all of those blind, dogmatic mainstream archaeologists, and curiously enough, easily accessible on a publicly viewable website from nearly anywhere on the planet that the open web may be reached, and not requiring any special pass-code or membership status in a sooper-sekrit society.

One thing that was obvious is the discrepancy between the claims of the Pharaoh Akhenaten having an alien-shaped skull, though if you look at the photo near the top of the page labelled with his name, or the screenshot above in less detail, it’s apparent, given their own evidence, that no such thing was the case…

Looks just like a normal human skull to me, but what do I know?

Kind of Ye Olde and Ye Krustie on this and similar sites is the theme of public revelation of the deformed skulls causing public unrest, chaos, religious upheavals, smilodons and dire wolves living together, leading to ‘the collapse of civilization,’ requiring an impossibly well-coordinated global academic conspiracy to ‘hide the truth’ and maintain the status quo, an idea I’d heard in various phrasings years ago from a couple of fans of Graham Hancock, and even further back in the literature to Erich Von Däniken’s ethnically, culturally, historically, and intellectually insulting alien-astronauts-as-ancient-gods claims.

That’s a very common notion with many occult claims, though I’m unaware of any evidence of skeptics and mainstream research workers staging ideological cleansing pogroms or arresting and sending to concentration camps those who make these claims…

…and saying it so openly without any show of reprisal, publicly making these statements in bestsellers, on talk-show interviews, self-made documentaries, and presentations before live audiences.

And so, my somewhat uncharitable opinion shall be expressed, for the first time on this site, with an image that I shall be making some use of in future posts…

Have an awesome Tuesday!

TED – Shea Hembrey: How I became 100 artists


What are My Politics?


A blank Robinson-projection map of the America...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m going to deal this post on something I’ve touched on, hinted at, and alluded to in other posts, but haven’t dealt with directly, my political views.

Every once in a while, I’ll weigh in on some politically-connected topic, often in a less satisfactory manner than I’d like to.

Hence this post.

I don’t ordinarily have much interest in the subject, and my main concern with it lies in the intersections of religion and politics with science and science education, or otherwise when a policy decision somehow and otherwise is important and of interest.

When I use the phrase, ‘I believe’ in this post, I’m not using that to imply that I hold a given view is actually the case in fact, but that it ought to be that way, otherwise I’m committing the moralistic fallacy, confusing an ‘ought to be’ for an ‘is.’

I’m well aware that my opinions, like those of most people, are only interpretations of facts, and value judgments, not facts themselves.

Otherwise, aside from fulfilling my civic duty of voting during elections and referendums, I couldn’t give a rodent’s posterior. Most political discussions bore me to tears.

Bear with me for a bit, for this post will not have the usual opening, narrative, and closing at the end like some articles, and may be even ramble a bit as I’m collecting my thoughts even as I write this.

I consider myself socially liberal and financially conservative. Living on a fixed income, I’m very careful about my spending, but I support social programs like social security and medicare as social safety nets for the retired and financially less capable who need medical coverage.

Also, I believe that the civil liberties of individuals should be respected and protected, but also that in return, those individuals should recognize and carry out their responsibilities and civic duties to the community.

My view of federal taxation is that if you are able to vote in this country and enjoy the other benefits of its rights, laws and protections, and, yes, its privileges, then you shouldn’t bitch about the responsibility to pay taxes in return for those benefits.

I support full and equal rights, and responsibilities, for all, regardless of ethnicity, sex, gender orientation, religion, lack of religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, ideology, or cultural and national origin.

I support the separation of church and state, as outlined in the Establishment Clause in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

After all, it protects, at least in writing, believers from not only government repression of their own religion, but also from other religions who may wish to impose their beliefs on or discriminate against those not of their own faith or not of any faith, and it protects, again, at least in writing, from government sponsorship of religion.

While I’m certainly not a big fan of an overreaching government, I believe that a competent, effective federal government should have enough authority and funding to protect those within its borders from unethical, unfair, and unsafe practices by powerful socioeconomic bodies and that the rights of workers, public and private, with or without unions, should be protected.

These are my basic views in a nutshell, and are about the full extent to which I actually concern myself with politics.

TED – Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken


A renowned paleontologist discusses his ideas on recreating dinosaurs by the activation of dormant ancestral genes in living birds, such as the ‘Chickenosaurus.’ This makes me think of a joke I once had on the front page of this blog, in my avatar widget: “I found out what killed the dinosaurs…It was suicide. A time traveler went back sixty-five million years ago and told them that they would evolve into chickens.” I know…*Groan* Anyway, enjoy the talk.

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