Greetings, fellow Coppertops! As we come closer to the end of 2012 --and maybe even the end of EVERYTHING according to some-- the Fortean Matrix still holds a few interesting stories for us. We'll encounter spherical escaping pods on China, and spherical Death Stars on North America, Pontifical tweets & Pachyderm coffee, Prehistoric catastrophes & Transhumanist achievements. And as we take a good look at the face of the diminutive cousins we once shared this planet with, we'll try to decipher the meanings & intentions of the Russian president during a seemingly revelatory moment. You'll have to excuse if this edition of the Red Pills turns out to be a bit nonsensical, since we here at the Nebuchadnezzar are strong followers of the Mexican tradition known as the 'Guadalupe-Reyes marathon' --SALUUUUD!
(10) With less than a week away from that infamous date everybody's talking about, whether they care to admit it or not, the good folks at NASA, who have never been known to procrastinate --when manned space flight is not concerned, that is-- have already posted a video to show their absolute certainty that nothing is going to happen on Dec. 21st.
And of course, we should all feel a whole lot better because NASA is never wrong, right?
It's actually kind of ironic frankly, since the reason I started to get worried about the Mayan prophecy, was when I discovered that some people were warning about the possibility of catastrophic CMEs by early 2013. And who were those people? NASA, that's who.
(9) Of course, not everybody feels Dec. 21st is going to bring chaos & destruction. Even the modern descendants of the Mayas believe the end of the baktun will mark the dawn of a new era of enlightenment & understanding. And that's why they had organized the celebration of ceremonial rituals at the monuments erected by their ancestors. Alas, the Mexican government has shown an incredible amount of bigotry, and have banned the rituals at Chichen Itzá & other sites.
The press director for the government's National Institute of Anthropology and History claims there are two reasons for the ban: "In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors... Many of the groups that want to hold ceremonies bring braziers and want to burn incense, and that simply isn't allowed."
Oh yes, because those poor poor frail monuments couldn't possibly withstand the nasty effects of some tiny copal brazier --you know, the kind of utensils that were used by their original inhabitants for thousands of f$%&ing years!! On the other hand, they are perfectly capable of withstand the installation of light & sound equipment, and be used as a modern concert hall for an Elton John concert.
These are the kind of things which make me think that maybe this world deserves to be destroyed after all...
(8) Last week we discussed how Russia is suffering from a doomsday paranoia. Well, it turns out that in China some entrepreneurial prepper has manufactured a series of spherical survival pods allegedly capable of withstand giant tsunamis, earthquakes & hurricanes --Dramamine not included. IMO this is the best goddamn compliment Roland Emmerich is ever going to receive in his whole life.
(7) Then again, maybe our mockery of this Chinese guy is not unlike the sneering suffered by Noah when he was building that big-ass boat of his. The story, which most people believe is nothing but religious myth, is being backed by Robert Ballard, the underwater archeologist who attained global fame after he discovered the location of the sunk Titanic. In his opinion, the biblical text refers to a historical cataclysm that occurred on the Black Sea & destroyed an ancient civilization some 7,000 years ago.
According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there really was one in the Black Sea region. They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the rising Mediterranean Sea. The force of the water was two hundred times that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away everything in its path.
Fascinated by the idea, Ballard and his team decided to investigate.
"We went in there to look for the flood," he said. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed... The land that went under stayed under."
Four hundred feet below the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah's flood could have occurred.
This is kind of old news, since Ballard has been researching the Black Sea for quite some time. And to be honest, it's not that interesting to me, since there's nothing 'universal' about his interpretation of the 'universal flood', which is a myth that can be traced to cultures wide-spread all across the planet --including the Maya, the Hopi & the Aztecs in the Americas. If Ballard starts to talk about Yonaguni in Okinawa, then he'll have my full attention.
(6) The most logical objection one could raise to the Biblical passage of the flood is: how did Noah managed to feed all the animals? Take the elephants for example, which can eat from 300 to 600 pounds of food per day. What do you give these behemoths to keep them happy?
Well, turns out a rather visionary fellow in Thailand decided to feed the pachyderms coffee beans, in order to produce premium gourmet coffee. Move over Kopi Luwak! Here comes Kopi Babar --"strong, with a peanut aftertaste."
(5) Getting back to the Bible though: not only can Catholics have the famous publication in Kindle edition to go along with the modern times, but now you can also have your Pontiff on teh Twitter too! Pope Benedict XVI joined the famous social media this week with the handle @Pontifex gathering over 1.1 million followers, making him just slightly behind me.
Ok that was a lie, which also makes me wonder: will Twitter confessions be too far away on the horizon?
(4) Yes, the times they are-a changin'. Further proof of this: Oscar Pistorius, the half-man half-carbon fiber athlete who made history this year by competing with full-legged runners during the London Olympic games, is fast-bent to prove that people with disabilities are more than capable of matching --& even beating-- regular folks. To make his point & fight against discrimination in sports, his next PR stunt was racing against a race horse!
I have no doubt that cybernetic enhancements and new materials will allow people who have suffered amputations to re-gain their lost physical abilities. What I'm not so certain of is how long will it take before humans willingly discard their healthy flesh & blood limbs in favor of mechanical counterparts.
(3) Of course the most famous cyborg in all Sci Fi is lord Darth Vader. And it seems Americans are still so enamored with the famous saga, that since they still can't have a working light saber --that we know of-- the next best thing they are now demanding from the government is the building of a Death Star. For real!
The petition, raised through the 'We the People' webpage, gathered over 25,000 signatures, so now the Obama administration is required to respond.
The campaign's founder, identifying himself only as John D, is based in Longmont, Colorado, and registered the petition on the White House website on Nov 14 [...]
John D wrote: "By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering and space exploration."
Job creation eh? now what does that remind me of...
So I guess we now know what the 'D' stands for, huh?
(2) But one thing Mr. John Dante seems to be forgetting, is that the mighty Death Star was destroyed with the help of a few rogue pilots & a band of prehistoric muppets. Another great example of little folk having a big impact in the shaping of events is naturally TLOTR & The Hobbit, which was released this week to rather tepid reviews. Speaking of Hobbits, the real-life equivalent of the Shire folk, Homo Floresiensis, has been given a face thanks to forensic facial approximation techniques:
Using techniques she has previously applied to help police solve crimes, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong and specialist facial anthropologist, Dr Susan Hayes, moulded muscle and fat around a model of the hobbit’s skull to flesh out her face.
The results show a surprisingly familiar face, with high cheekbones, long ears and a broad nose.
“She’s not what you’d call pretty, but she is definitely distinctive,” Dr Hayes said in a statement.
With a face like that, it's no wonder that Hobbits were so fond of food & pipe weed!
(1) But there was another famous movie who made the rounds this week, thanks to the indiscretion of a Russian news channel. And that movie was Men in Black, mentioned by Russia's Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev while he thought he was off-camera during a television interview. The footage, released last Friday, shows Medvedev conversing with a female journalist who asked the powerful politician about his knowledge of aliens, to which Medvedev --without a trace of a smile on his face-- responded:
“The president of the country is given a special 'top secret' folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet. Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country... More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called 'Men in Black'... I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic."
So now the question rises: Was Medvedev joking, as most people --including myself-- think, or was he caught unaware by him in a rather revelatory moment of disclosure? My esteemed colleague Robbie Graham over at Silver Screen Saucers reminds us of that famous moment when the movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial was shown at the White House, and president Reagan approached Spielberg and told him “There are a number of people in this room who know that everything on that screen is absolutely true,” in front of an audience that erupted in laughter, although Reagan uttered his 'punch line' without smiling, just like Medvedev.
Granted, sometimes it takes a a very stern face in order for the joke to sink in --that's why Tommy Lee Jones was so great as Agent K in the aformentioned MIB, which was also produced by Spielberg. Furthermore my other esteemed colleague Mr. Micah Hanks discussed this story in the latest edition of the Gralien Report, and according to one of his correspondents in Russia Medvedev was indeed making a joke. But still Robbie raises a fair question: "other than a formal televised press conference beamed live from the White House, the Kremlin, 10 Downing Street, etc., are there any circumstances in which heads of state can tell members of the public ‘aliens are real’ and expect to be taken seriously? "
My answer is that such a circumstance could only be presented if the hypothetical head of state showed some sort of material evidence to support his claim. A piece of the Roswell wreckage for instance. Because other than that it doesn't matter his or her credentials, the moment the word UFO is uttered the media are Pavlovianly conditioned to treat the story on giggle mode.
Forget about We The People and demanding Obama for Disclosure. what we need is demand Disclosure from Steven Spielberg.
Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out. Next week I'll try to come up with something special for all my dear readers, so stay tuned!