MonthDecember 2004

Debunking the “animals have ESP” hypothesis

Everything Isn’t Under Control rounds up links debunking the myth that animals have ESP because they sense signs of upcoming disaster before humans do.

Full Story: Everything Isn’t Under Control: Debunking animal ESP

Open thread

Technoccult isn’t really a discussion driven site like Key 23 but I figure it couldn’t hurt to post an open thread here.

So, talk among yourselves.

The animals knew: tsunami kills people ind Sri Lanka, but not animals

As Sri Lanka’s human death toll surged, wildlife officials expressed surprise Wednesday that they found no evidence of large-scale deaths among animals from the weekend’s massive tsunami.

Full Story: AP: Tsunami kills people in Sri Lanka, but not animals

(via DRT)

See also: “Debunking animal ESP”

Josh Ellis on Rural Poverty

Outstanding post by Josh Ellis comparing small towns to inner cities. I have a similar geographic background as Ellis (we both grew up in small towns in Texas and Wyoming), and mostly agree with what he’s written here. Reminds me of the first chapter of Jim Goad’s Redneck Manifesto (which I loaned out after reading the first chapter, but never got back. Heard it goes down hill after the first chapter anyway).

Update: Josh has written a newer piece called Common People on the same subject. In the newer place, he acknowledges the role of white privilege but still emphasizes class and geography.

See also: Palin’s Small-Town Snobbery: Why it’s time to bury the myth of rural virtue

Narrative magic/hypersigils on Sorceryforge

Nice to see running notes on this particular technique.

A hypersigil is a narrative work which includes the author (and/or other targets of the working). Aspects of the story will tie with elements of the real world targets and their pasts, and also to events and changes that have not yet happened but you want to happen. A hypersigil is intended to be read or otherwise experienced by many people, ideally as a published book.

A hypersigil can also be a work of fiction intended to bring about a change in the mental state of the reader. Beware the Golden Barge by Michael Moorcock. Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott and White Light by Rudy Rucker are both hypersigils in as much as they help open the mind of the reader to the fourth dimension and some of the various infinities.

Maybe all good fiction is a hypersigil at some level.

Sourceryforge: Narrative Magic

(via Xiombarg)

also via this article: Hypersigil wiki by some of the Barbelith crew.

Take back your time

How not to buy happyness:

I wish to propose two different answers to the question “Does money buy happiness?” Considerable evidence suggests that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods–such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job–then the evidence paints a very different picture. The less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel, and other restorative activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer– and happier–lives.

Take Back your Time is a group lobbying for legislative solutions to the problems of over work, including:

Guaranteeing paid childbirth leave for all parents.

Guaranteeing at least one week of paid sick leave for all workers.

Guaranteeing at least three weeks of paid annual vacation leave for all workers.

Placing a limit on the amount of compulsory overtime work that an employer can impose.

Making Election Day a holiday

Making it easier for Americans to choose part-time work. Hourly wage parity and protection of promotions and pro-rated benefits for part-time workers.

Via This Utne Reader article which includes this quote I wish would be unpacked a little:

Reconsider your dream job – I see little hope for a reevaluations of leisure until our pexpetation that the American Dream is fulfilled by a job that is rewarding, has a good salary, and so on, begins to change.

Remote viewing Tibetan monks see Extra Terrestrial powers saving the World from destroying itself in 2012

This sounds reassuring:

According to these tourists remote viewers are seeing world powers in the course of self-destruction. They also see that the world will not be destroyed. Between now and 2012 the world super powers will continue to engage in regional wars. Terrorism and covert war will be the main problem. In world politics something will happen in and around 2010. At that time the world powers will threaten to destroy each other. […]

In 2012, the world will start plunging into a total destructive nuclear war.

And at that time something remarkable will happen, says, Buddhist monk of Tibet. Supernatural divine powers will intervene. The destiny of the world is not to self-destruct at this time.

India Daily: Remote viewing Tibetan monks see Extra Terrestrial powers saving the World from destroying itself in 2012

(via Dark Planet)

Paul Laffoley Paranoia Magazine Interview

Longish interview with Paul Laffoley in Paranoia Magazine:

RG: The painting you’re working on now is about Lovecraft?

PL: It’s called “Pickman’s Mephitic Models,” based on the story. Certain things about it many people don’t realize. Pickman was a real painter who lived between 1888 and 1926. Now, there’s a question mark [gesturing toward the writing in the margins of the painting], because Lovecraft claims that he turned into a ghoul. God knows how old he is now.

Full Story: Paranoia Magazine: Satan, God, H.P. Lovecraft and Other Mephitic Models: An Interview With Paul Laffoley

(via New World Disorder)

6 questions for web designers

Excellent piece and follow-up by Adam Greenfield for site re-design, also valuable for initial design. Using this at work right now.

5 questions and the 6th question.

  1. who is this site for?
  2. what is this site for?
  3. what isn’t this site doing for its users that it should be?
  4. what about your own needs? what do you want to see from a redesign?
  5. what sites do these things particularly well?
  6. what does this site already do well?

Christmas links

The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus Santa and the aminita muscaria mushroom.

E-Sheep: Saturnalia a Jack Chick parody about the origins of Christmas.

Pagan Origins of Modern Christmas Traditions

Wikipedia: Christmas linked Holidays

And, why not: Wikipedia: Christmas

Happy holidays everyone!

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