Sunday, February 28, 2010

TVOD: Caprica gets hardcore

Some fans have been complaining that Caprica was taking too long with the exposition. Not any more. With the plotlines set up and the characters in place (it scares me how believable they are to me) we start to see how this world works and where it's going. We see how powerful the allure of virtual reality and transhumanism are in the face of tragedy, and exactly why these technologies are such a mortal threat to religious authority. They make it obsolete.

Some might see a Matrix ripoff in all of this, but old school Cyberpunks will recognize that it's actually stealing from the source- William Gibson's Matrix. Non-US viewers try here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shekinah Rising: The Missile Defense Logo "Controversy"

By now you've seen the news stories over the controversy over the Missile Defense Agency logo. The issue seems to be over its alleged use of the crescent and star of Islam, which neocons see as some kind of symbolic surrender to Sharia law (or something to that effect). I'm not sure any of them really believe it- it's an election year and the more they can divert the voters from America's grim economic future, the better. But there are deeper issues at work here...

First- if you're talking symbolism, note that the crescent is inverted. This is a significant detail in symbolism (upside down crosses, anyone?), not that it matters to the shills. Here are a couple typical arguments, if you can call them that:
"Team Obama’s anti-anti-missile initiatives are not simply acts of unilateral disarmament of the sort to be expected from an Alinsky acolyte. They seem to fit an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah."

"I'm having trouble seeing past the crescent and star in the new logo," one critic posted on "Is this our signal to the muslim world that we're not going to shoot down their missiles?"
It's funny, these are the people last week who were complaining Obama was killing too many terrorists (to call American politics a clownshow is to insult honest, hardworking circus performers). I would think Muslims might see a US defense project incorporating the (inverted) crescent and star as a profanation and an implied threat. Is that why this ridiculous controversy was manufactured, to preempt more legitimate concerns?

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Whenever a controversy erupts in the media over symbols, it's always an intentional diversion disguising a deeper meaning.

Let's take a closer look at the logo:

None of the media shills pointed out that the "star" is actually two crosses superimposed upon each other. Note those elongated bottom rays. Coincidence? Maybe, but maybe the whole thing is all a coincidence, then.

The effect resembles an X (or a Chi, if you prefer) laid over it, just as the Church of Scientology cross does. Why they use that symbol is another issue altogether. Some have speculated that Hubbard borrowed the logo from Crowley, who decorated the reverse of his Book of Thoth Tarot deck with the cross, which is derived from Constantine's chi-rho cross (why it is is another issue altogether).

But the cross, the globe and the crescent bring us to another Tarot deck- that of Crowley's arch-nemesis A.E. Waite. This is the High Priestess, who Waite describes thusly:

In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself--that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah--the co-habiting glory. - Waite, Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Sound familiar? Not a few researchers noticed that Shock and Awe- the big buzzword used during the early days of the Iraq invasion- sounds not a little bit like "Shekinah." Waite also writes that "according to Kabalism (sic), there is a Shekinah both above and below."

"Above and below." You mean like in the desert and the sky?

William Henry wrote on the "Shock and Awe" issue in 2003:

Most Christians and Jews are unaware that this Divine Fire is a feminine component of the deity in biblical times. This feminine Glory of God is called “shakina” (Shock-in-ah).

Shakina is the Indian Shakti, translated as “Cosmic Energy.” The term is used in the Talmud and Midrash in place of Word (Memra, Life Force Energy, Christ).

The image of the Shekinah reaches back to the goddesses of Sumeria and later to As-Tara in Canaan.

She was first exiled from humanity as a result of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, which some scholars locate in various places in Iraq. She has shared the exile from the Garden (Iraq) with all of humanity. She is addressed as the ‘Mystical Eden’, the ‘holy apple garden’.

Some occultists and students of the Tarot interpret the High Priestess as an incarnation of Hathor as well. Hathor was associated with the sphere, the crescent (which corresponded with her horns) and was known as the "Lady of the Stars."

But like Shekinah, Hathor had a violent streak- she was also known as Sekhmet, a "bloodthirsty warrior" and "goddess of destruction":

(Hathor) was also a goddess of destruction in her role as the Eye of Ra - defender of the sun god. According to legend, people started to criticise Ra when he ruled as Pharaoh. Ra decided to send his "eye" against them (in the form of Sekhmet). She began to slaughter people by the hundred. When Ra relented and asked her to stop she refused as she was in a blood lust.

So, an entirely different picture is starting to emerge from these symbols than the one the medias- both the mainstream and the so-called "alternative"- would want to make you believe.

Think about it- which crescent and star do you think elements in the military would want to identify with- that of Islam or Sekhmet/Shekinah?

But the mystery deepens- some neocons have compared the logo to the Iranian Space Agency logo- take a long look at it...

...then look again at Hathor's headdress. How about that, eh?

Of course, we've been down this road before, with the election logos, right? Like the Iran S.A. logo, it leads me to believe that maybe the forces the media presents as adversaries are no such thing. But there's one fascinating connection here...

Between the MDA logo and the Stairway to Sirius. Note that the "earth" is a pure blue globe. Kind of like a water planet, no? Coincidence?

Maybe. The world's full of coincidences these days, isn't it?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nazi UFOs, or Plan Nein from Outer Space

The old 'Nazi UFO' meme is floating around again. Dave Emory's been taking about it for ages, never failing to toss in his "green-eyed aliens from Uranus" joke that just gets funnier every time he repeats it (and he's been doing so as long as I can remember). It's all part of his Robert Ludlum-like master conspiracy theory of Germany taking over while the rest of the major world powers look on helplessly. Emory does excellent research, but his analysis? I don't know.

Flying saucer over America, 1920

But the Nazi UFO meme has an internal logic, in that it ostensibly accounts for the appearance of flying saucers after the war. The only problem is that flying saucers and UFOs have been around a lot longer than since 1947. Like Ancient Egypt longer. Like prehistoric rock art longer. There are lots of other problems for me but let me just make note that Joseph Farrell's new book is picking up on the meme as well, vis a vis Roswell:
In Roswell and the Reich alternative science and history researcher Joseph P Farrell presents a very different scenario of what crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947, and why the U.S. military has continued its cover-up to this day. By means of a meticulous review of the best-known Roswell research from both UFO-ET advocates and skeptics alike, as well as some not-so-well known Roswell research, Farrell presents a fascinating case sure to disturb both ET believer and skeptic alike, namely, that what crashed may have been representative of an independent postwar Nazi power, an extraterritorial Reich monitoring its old enemy, America, and its continuing developments of the very technologies it confiscated from Germany at the end of the war.
Hoagland's been on the case too, writing this in his massive Norway Spiral piece, namechecking Richard Dolan, whose video we watched here a few months back. Hoagland claims that the secret space program is actually a secret Nazi army flexing its muscles to the big world powers.

Now that could all be so, and Farrell's thesis could be correct as well. But I don't know how much that has to do with the alleged saucers in the 40s. Let me also point out that Fortean Times addressed the issue in a major article a few years back and the author Kevin McClure concluded thusly:
Secondly, there is no historical evidence – physical or photographic – of the supposed flying discs. We are repeatedly told of craft of immense power, and sometimes immense size, defying all scientific parameters known before or since. Yet not so much as a bolt or a tachyon drive remains to verify their existence. There are just the oft-reproduced, fuzzy post-war photos taken by those who wished to convince us of saucer reality, but who usually succeeded only in demonstrating the unexplored potential of domestic containers and the art of close-up photography.
A lot of Emory types point to the "foo fighters" as proof of the German saucers, but in point of fact the actual phenomenon was quite a bit different than your average flying saucer:
The first sightings occurred in November 1944, when pilots flying over Germany by night reported seeing fast-moving round glowing objects following their aircraft. The objects were variously described as fiery, and glowing red, white, or orange. Some pilots described them as resembling Christmas tree lights and reported that they seemed to toy with the aircraft, making wild turns before simply vanishing. Pilots and aircrew reported that the objects flew formation with their aircraft and behaved as if under intelligent control, but never displayed hostile behavior.
If these were German aircraft defending the Fatherland, then why wouldn't they display hostile behavior? These foo fighters sound a lot more like the objects we've seen chasing the space shuttle around (which strike me as some kind of surveillance drone, rightly or wrongly). Those too could be part of the secret Nazi space program, but I'm not really feeling it.

Now, we have seen a lot of photos that look like they're of German provenance, but the funny thing is that most of the "craft" look like something out of an Ed Wood movie. And, oh yeah, most of them aren't flying. And the ones we see flying are obvious fakes. The ones we see on the ground don't match the ones in the air, and there seem to be way too many different models on offer to boot. Which would make sense if it was all smoke and mirrors, not so much if it were a real weapons program at a time when most of Germany's factories were rubble.

So how and why were these photos made? I'd suggest two possibilities. First- we know of all kinds of propaganda gambits during the war (the Allies even made inflatable scale models of airplanes to throw German recon off) and it could be that the Germans wanted the Allies to believe that they'd mastered this technology that had been seen in the sky for centuries, or perhaps had cut a deal with the saucer men themselves. Classic psych-out propaganda.

Or it could also be that the Brits or the US faked it all long after the fact to create doubt in the minds of the public in the wake of the saucers scares- particularly in the wake of the Washington flyovers in 1952. Joe Sixpack would sleep easier knowing the saucers were birds we stole from the Jerries and were fixing to use on the Reds, than if he thought the saucers were alien and there wasn't a damn thing Uncle Sam could do about it.

I'm sure we've got a lot of exotic flying tech up there, but how exotic I'm not sure. Call me crazy, but I still think that something that wasn't ours could well have come down at Roswell and that might account for the transistor and all sorts of other new toys hitting the market not long after.

It's a funny thing, a lot of people will believe pretty much anything before they believe that there could be non-human intelligences flying around up there for reasons unknown to us. I've never understood it but there are a lot of people who just can't deal with the possibility of ET. And it's usually people who like to fancy themselves as smarter than everyone else.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TVOD: Caprica and the Spi-Fi Ascendency

OK, I need to rinse the rancid taste of Braintree out of my mouth...

A lot of you may have seen this already, but I'm so jazzed on this series I want to make sure the rest of you do as well. This is the prequel to the Battlestar Galactica revamp, but it's grabbed me in a way that BSG still has not (never fear, the missus and I have the first season DVDs and plan to dig into them soon).

There are several aspects to this show that have really hooked me. First is the alternate reality vibe of Caprica itself- it's no much a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as an other-dimensional version of 21st Century Earth (particularly considering we're currently trying to build our own Cylons). I've always been sold on that concept. It's an old standby in comic books (Earth 2, 3, 4, etc) and in a way in Ed McBain's 86th Precinct novels (set in the fictional city of Isola) or his Matthew Hope novels (set in a fictional Florida exurb).

It's almost as if by taking a step back from our reality- or looking at it through a mirror- we can better understand ourselves. But it also gives lots of room for the imagination to run free and rewrite our histories and reconfigure our environments.

Second, Caprica is part of the sudden revival of cyberpunk, specifically the immersive virtual reality environments in William Gibson's seminal Sprawl novels (or his Matrix novels if you prefer). Lots of really mediocre-to-horrible cyberpunk films in the 90s tarnished the brand (one of which- Johnny Mnemonic - Gibson is partly to blame for) and the fizzle of VR hype soured people on the concepts. But the immersive environments of Avatar seem to have reawakened the VR meme, and we're also looking down the barrel at the same dystopian conditions that Gibson prophesied. And I mean "prophesied" quite literally.

Which brings me to my next point- like the Sprawl novels, Caprica is a landmark in the burgeoning Spi-Fi (or spiritual sci-fi) movement. Meaning that spiritual concepts like reincarnation and resurrection - and yes, apotheosis- are playing out in a technological context (as is a very compelling subplot of religious extremism). And the whole idea of an artificial intelligence achieving not only sentience but spirit is straight out of the Gibson playbook.

The main conceit here- the very origin of the Cylon race- is ripped straight from my favorite all-time short story, Gibson's 'The Winter Market', in which a gifted cyberspace artist reincarnates in the Matrix. Read this:
I looked down at my feet and saw my toes clear of the edge of concrete, the water between them. I was wearing Japanese shoes, new and expensive, glove-leather Ginza monkey boots with rubber-capped toes. I stood there for a long time before I took that first step back.

Because she was dead, and I'd let her go.

Because, now, she was immortal, and I'd helped her get that way.

And because I knew she'd phone me, in the morning.

fans know what I'm talking about here.

It's a shame that it will all have to end badly- well, at least until the events of the BSG series finale- but I'm really looking forward to the ride. Apparently the show hasn't found its audience yet- at least not in the Friday night death slot, but I'm willing to be a lot more people are doing what I've been doing and watching it on DVR or online.

It kills me that this and Fringe are put in such tough slots in the weekly schedule, but perhaps by now the nets have factored in all of the viewers coming in from secondary sources. I hope so-I desperately need this stuff. The Fringe winter finale kicked my ass so damn hard I'm still having trouble sitting down.

I'm willing to bet SyFy is in it for at least two seasons, since Ronald Moore (who cut his spi-fi teeth on my beloved Deep Space Nine) is someone whom they want to stay on the good side of.

More on this in the days to come. Non-US readers, try this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sync Log: Crimes, Coverups and Fringe Science edition (UPDATE)

BREAKING: The coverup is unraveling: Former Chief Now Doubts Bishop Police Report:

NewsCenter 5's Shiba Russell reported Tuesday that Amy Bishop shot and killed her brother in the Bay State more than 20 years ago in a shooting that was ruled accidental.

During the weekend, the former police chief in Braintree dismissed any allegations that the Bishop case was mishandled in 1986. Now, he appears to be changing his tune. John Polio, now 87, told the Boston Globe he has questions about Bishop's accidental shooting of her brother.

Why do I feel like this incident is a loose string on a sweater that could unravel for years?

UPDATE: The files may be missing from Braintree, but the DA had copies. Here's the report.

UPDATE: Fringe science? I got your fringe science right here:

An archived article accessible through the wayback machine depicts a "Press Release" about Dr. Bishop which reports that on March 10, 2009, Dr. Bishop's "Neuron Research Lab Launches Experiment in Space."

The "launch" was on par with the Balloon Boy's purported takeoff, only with less drama and coverage.

Also, while Dr. Bishop more than once mentions NASA on her web page, the March 2009 'launch' was handled by UAH Space Hardware Club, not NASA. Cherokee Labsystems, however, was purportedly involved; Dr. Bishop credited Cherokee with "payload support development." The payload -- live neuron cells from Dr. Bishop's lab secured in what looks to be a jury rigged contraption she calls the "'incubation chamber" purportedly designed to maintain temperature and pressure as the balloon ascended.

UPDATE: OK, now this is getting ridiculous:

In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant. When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling "I am Dr. Amy Bishop."

UPDATE 1013 PM: Yeah, I'm willing to go on record as saying that Amy Bishop was definitely in my SciFi Lit class, judging from this story.

This is from the 1986 report on Seth Bishop's death:

Teachers say he was an accomplished violinist. He began studying music in elementary school and developed a broad repertoire. He was a member of the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Braintree High School Orchestra and other student orchestras.

His sister was also a musical prodigy, with almost identical credits in her own high school yearbook entry. Note the Through the Looking Glass quote:

Amy Bishop

National Honor Society 4, Orchestra 1,2,3,4, BHSSA 2,3, New England Conservatory of Music, Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, BHS Chamber Orchestra, BHS Orchestra 1,2,3,4, “The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes-and-ships-and sealing wax-Of cabbages-and kings-And why the sea is boiling hot – And whether pigs have wings.” Lewis Carroll

This distinguished Braintree High alumni you see featured in the 1984 yearbook had a similar resume and obviously traveled in the same prodigious circles as the Bishops.

Click to enlarge to see what Bozo lurks beneath the musical genius.

UPDATE: I mentioned the Sci-Fi Lit class that I believe I took with Amy Bishop- here is the somewhat enigmatic dedication the teacher of that class wrote to me. Click to enlarge.

The Secret Sunset on Binnall of America (UPDATE)

Part two of my marathon gabfest with Tim Binnall is now up on the BOA website. Mr. Binall?
Our conversation with Christopher Knowles continues as we discuss his epic and increasingly popular blog The Secret Sun. In this jam session style of conversation, we'll talk about the Vatican and Royal Society recent statements on aliens, the sense that something is looming on the horizon, mythic elements finding their way into our everyday world, the ongoing subliminal references to Sirius in the mainstream media, and tons more.

SYNC LOG UPDATE: The ever-present blue people make the front page of the Ipswich Chronicle site. According to the article, Amy Bishop was passionate about writing, sci-fi as well. Which may be why I remember her as being a bit more lively than others do, if my memory serves and she was in my Sci-Fi Lit class at BHS.

Ipswich is Lovecraft Country, in case you were wondering- right near Innsmouth.

UPDATE: From Amy Bishop's yearbook entry:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes-and-ships-and sealing wax-Of cabbages-and kings-And why the sea is boiling hot – And whether pigs have wings.”- Lewis Carroll
Check out the Braintree/Bishop megapost for today's latest outrage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Crimes, Cover-ups and Fringe Science (UPDATE 2/16)

By now I shouldn't be surprised by these kinds of things, but I was a bit stunned to find out that I attended high school in Braintree, Mass. with the accused shooter at the University of Alabama. Not only that but I also attended high school with the brother she mowed down with a shotgun in 1986.

I left Braintree as soon as I could and never went back. It was a normal enough town, on the surface at least. But there was a very weird undercurrent at work there, particularly in East Braintree where I grew up. And I wasn't the only one who sensed it. A friend of mine from the same part of town used to call it "Twin Peaks East." Appropriately enough, this is the place where I had my leprechaun 'encounter', and there's been other weirdness in EB as well, such as a dying dolphin showing up in a river behind an apartment complex I once had a paper route in. A fresh water river, I might add.

I used to chalk a lot of it up to the fact that there was/is a major gasoline depot on Quincy Avenue near the old General Dynamics shipyard, and that the lead in the gasoline was causing aberrant behavior in kids, particularly in the nearby junior high school. Kids were constantly fighting then, and there were a few incidents of truly brutal and horrific kid-on-kid violence. I did notice that the tenor of the town changed quite a bit when leaded gasoline was taken off the market in the early 80s. There's been some studies to the effect of lead on children, particularly in regards to violence.

Stunning press conference with Police Chief Frazier

But in December of 1986 there was an weird outbreak of murders involving young people and the accused University of Alabama shooter Amy Bishop was at the forefront of it. There was also a local townie who murdered a girl and buried her in a yard I used to cut through every day on my way to Jr. High, and a thrill-killing of a pregnant woman outside a convenience store.

Seth Bishop, from my yearbook

But the Bishop case was unique in that the police chief had the case dropped before charges could be filed and at some point the case files disappeared from the police station. From a story in The Patriot Ledger:

The Braintree police chief sparked a firestorm yesterday over the case of the rampaging science professor arrested for killing three colleagues in Alabama on Friday, alleging the woman was freed decades ago after a politically derailed investigation into her fatal shooting of her own brother.

On Dec. 6, 1986, Frazier said, then-20-year-old Amy Bishop blasted her brother, Seth Bishop, 18 - described in newspaper reports at the time as a talented violinist and science student - with a shotgun during an argument, fled and was then arrested by cops at gunpoint.

That, Frazier said, is where the investigation of the case stopped.

Frazier went on to describe the tense atmosphere in Braintree at the time:
“I was not on duty at the time of the incident, but I recall how frustrated the members of the department were over the release of Ms. Bishop. It was a difficult time for the department as there had been three shooting incidents within a short time frame. The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers and I can assure you that this would not happen in this day and age.”
I knew Amy Bishop by name, but that's all. She lived in a neighborhood where I spent a great deal of time in my wild days, but her yearbook pictures (courtesy of a Braintree friend) don't look familiar to me at all.

You can make of this what you will- I think there's a lot going on under the surface here, typical for Braintree. I found it interesting that Bishop was in denial that the Huntsville shootings ever happened, but it appears not to be a first-time deal for her, obviously. The story behind her brother's shooting is a lot more incriminating than people knew at the time, and this is bound to cause a major scandal since the DA at the time is now a US Congressman.

The deeper connection here is that the Huntsville campus borders the US Space Center at the Redstone Arsenal and the U of A is also deeply involved with the space program. There's even a building named for Werner Von Braun on the Huntsville campus. Then this:
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Huntsville officials are working to save NASA's program for sending astronauts back to the moon. Mayor Tommy Battle and others will introduce a new task force on Friday to lobby for the Constellation program. The group will be led by former Democratic Congressman Bud Cramer.

Some 2,500 jobs are connected with the work at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, located at Redstone Arsenal. The Alabama Legislature has passed a resolution urging President Barack Obama to reverse a decision to end Constellation.

And just like her (sur-)namesake at Harvard in Fringe, it seems the Harvard-educated Mrs. Bishop was involved in some extremely interesting neuroscience, appropriately enough. From her UAH webpage:
My laboratory’s goal will be to continue in our effort to develop a neural computer, the Neuristor™, using living neurons. This computer will exploit all of the advantages of neurons...We are exploring the possibility of using neurons derived from adult stem cells, and from bony fishes provided by Bruce Stallsmith Ph.D. This laboratory has created a portable cell culture incubator, the Cell Drive™ that is an ideal support structure for the Neuristor™
There's a lot more to this story- the Braintree situation may be even more explosive than the Huntsville tragedy. I'll keep you all posted if I have anything more germane to say on the topic.

UPDATE: This from a link that a reader provided. A person who claims to have been friends with Bishop writes:
You are very correct. As I have said, I have known Amy since she was 17. Amy has NEVER been able to effectively communicate or connect with another human being. She was just missing that part of her brain.... She left Harvard after getting her degree because she couldn't get a position in the Boston area. She is brilliant, but out side of using technical language in a scientific paper or doing complicated research, she can't communicate in a way people she couldn't get a position.

This is not a case of environment - it is a case of a woman stuck with a brain that just didn't function appropriately.

I always found it interesting that she chose neuroscience to study and had a keen interest in mental illness....I think that even she didn't understand herself and wanted so badly to change.

UPDATE: OK- I definitely recognize both of them from these high school yearbook pictures. I'm almost certain that I was in a few classes with Amy. Seth was a couple grades below me, but I know his face. Photos courtesy of some Braintree homeboys. One writes this: "In her "Senior Class Will" she left her violin and her music to her brother Seth."

PS: I'm almost positive that one of those classes was 'Science Fiction Literature', which was a junior-senior elective. We read Dune and The Puppet Masters.

UPDATE 2015 EST: This story continues to get more and more bizarre. From The Boston Globe:

Alleged Ala. killer was suspect in attempted bombing of Harvard professor

The professor who is accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama on Friday was a suspect in the attempted mail bombing of a Harvard Medical School professor in 1993, a law enforcement official said today.

Amy Bishop and her husband, James Anderson, were questioned after a package containing two bombs was sent to the Newton home of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a professor and doctor at Boston's Children's Hospital.
Then there is this:
During a search of Bishop's computer, authorities found a draft of a novel that Bishop was writing about a female scientist who had killed her brother and was hoping to make amends by becoming a great scientist, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation and spoke to the Globe on the condition of anonymity.
Incredibly disturbing. The Globe also has it that Bishop is 44 and not 42 as originally reported. I don't know which age is correct (footnotes deleted).

UPDATE: It just gets worse and worse:

Before Bishop and Anderson moved to Alabama in 2003, they lived in a tight-knit community on Birch Lane in Ipswich with their three daughters and son.

Neighbors described Bishop as an angry person who often called police when teens were playing basketball or skateboarding in the neighborhood, and yelled and cursed at children for being too loud.

“She wouldn’t let the ice cream truck come down the street,’’ said one neighbor, who declined to give his name.

Ipswich police confirmed two calls for neighborhood disputes from Bishop, but did not release any details. Bishop also called police on March 8, 2002 to report receiving harassing phone calls, police said.

Onetime neighbors Denise and Nishan Mootafian said they stopped letting their children go over to play with Bishop and Anderson’s children, in part because Bishop “got very agitated by noise.’’

“I just feel like she was a ticking bomb who could have gone off on any of us,’’ Denise Mootafian said.

UPDATE 2/16: It's looking worse and worse for Polio:

Shortly after fatally shooting her brother in 1986, Amy Bishop held two men at gunpoint and demanded a getaway car at an auto repair shop near her family's Braintree home, according to one of the men involved.

Carrying a shotgun by her side, a 21-year-old Bishop walked intently across a car lot into the adjacent storefront, where she began searching for car keys. Coming down from the second floor, she was heading toward the garage when she ran into Tom Pettigrew and a friend, who had spotted her in the parking lot and came to investigate.

"Her gun hit me in the chest," Pettigrew, 45, recalled from his Quincy apartment. "I yelled, 'What are you doing?' and she screamed at me to put my hands up. So I put my hands up."

Later, Braintree police briefly questioned Pettigrew and several other employees, and authorities never contacted Pettigrew again. He read in the paper the family shooting had been ruled an accident, and that Bishop was not charged with a crime.

"It was almost like they wanted to put it on the shelf and forget about it," he said. "I think if that happened to me I'd be wrapping up a long prison sentence. But with this, it seems like they just wanted it to go away."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

17 Days in Vancouver (UPDATES)

Well, I watched as much as I could take of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and DVR'd the rest. I realize all of the symbolism comes from indigenous cultures, but these four statues seemed a bit more canopic to me, like the four sons of Horus, or the four funerary goddesses. Maybe a little of both. At the same time. Canada is very liberal about that kind of thing. Of course, those hats seemed a bit more on the Sumerian side to me (NOTE: A reader informs us that these figures are called the 'Watchmen', which is perfect in so many ways).

And that sunwheel design on the floor doesn't mitigate the effect.

And Ursa Major made an appearance. Being the nutty guy I am, I thought back to the Sirius Election series and this Egyptian prayer:
“The sky is clear, Sothis (Sirius) lives, I am a living one, the son of Sothis (Sirius), and the two Enneads have cleansed themselves for me in Ursa Major, the Imperishable. My house in the sky will not perish, my throne on earth will not be destroyed, for men hide, the gods fly away. Sothis has caused me to fly up to the sky in the company of my Brethren…”
Utterance 302 of the Pyramid Texts

Did someone say fly? Now, I won't say this is yet another UFO reference, but boy, they sure love their flying boats at the Olympics, don't they?

Are those ears, horns or antennae? Of course, compared to the 1984 ceremony, this is weak tea. Everything is. But it did occur to me that the first time I wrote about the UFOlympic issue, I wrote about the release of 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Don't forget about the recent festivities in Beijing, either.

Or this beauty shot from the Sydney festivities. I still think they should come clean and play "Pets" at the closing ceremonies.

And you'll have to forgive me...

...but I couldn't resist.

Banging on the octagonal Stargate...

Speaking of flight, here's Nelly (Nellis?) Furtado, Our Lady of the Stars. Appropriately enough, since Nelly's label is called Nelstar. She's appeared on a CSI (Grissom Scene Investigation) series just to put the cherry on this particular sundae. And weren't we just talking about a blue dress? Maybe she's a fan of the Secret Sun too!

Really playing up the starry sky motif last night. And there's your "power of three."

So we have the enclosed alien habitat dome, where's the rocket pad obelisk?

Ahh, there we go.

A city in the sky- do you think this was inspired by the old Who song?

Don't forget about my undying love for Vancouver, the Holy Land of sci-fi TV.

PS: Just for the record, I DON'T believe in the power that comes from a world brought together as one, Nikki. No offense.

UPDATE: Hmmm, I wonder...

UPDATE: That Jungian demon-shadow projection also reminds me of this pivotal scene from Quatermass and the Pit. Note also that the character of Roney was Canadian in the original TV production. And when I see a fiddlin' devil, I can't help but think of the old Charlie Daniels hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Big Dog hits the Solar Seminar

Seeing that Bill "Big Dog" Clinton is in the news these days, I thought I'd raid the old files and show you guys some OG Secret Sun-o-sanity. It's called "The Big Dog and the Meaning of IS is Isis." This post is 11 years in the making, and ties back to my earliest semiotics/sync work. It's filled with extremely juicy symbolism, so check it out here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

That Other Avatar

With its Lost World settings and blending of Asian mythologies and philosophies, Avatar: The Last Airbender goes back to the earliest roots of the modern superhero (which Tim Binnall and I explored in depth on his podcast). By doing so, it ties into the single most important pop culture meme at work today- the blending of spirituality and science fiction (see the other Avatar). This is actually a very old story, but it is one that may yet come to define the future of Western civilization.

Certainly, the next generation of computer programmers and engineers are being bombarded with these memes, almost guaranteeing that many of them will rise against the dominant reductionist paradigm in the left-brain dominant reality consensus.

But that too will merely be a return to first principles.

UPDATE: "The Blue World." I forgot about this Sirian/Mermaid parable. Thanks to Andae.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Timing is Everything (UPDATE)

The operative element in "Synchronicity" is time- the Greek root means "to be contemporary" or "happen at the same time" (syn 'together' & chronos 'time'). So when we're looking for synchronicities- or something else, perhaps- we keep an eye on the timing of events.

Recently we saw some alarming satellite photos of planet-sized spheres orbiting the Sun, which were written off by NASA as radar blips or swamp gas or something. But then a funny thing happened- a mission to "study" the Sun popped back into the news. This project has also figured in 2012 theorizing, since it's set to study solar storms and their effect on the planet's magnetic spheres and especially, our power and communications networks. From
A powerful new solar observatory will spend the next five years recording images of the sun with 10 times better resolution than HD television, peering deep within the sun's layers to reveal just how solar storms erupt. The observations could help scientists build the first effective models for space weather forecasting.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is slated for launch on Feb. 10 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. It carries three instruments that will pierce the mysteries enshrouding the sun's magnetic fields and ultraviolet radiation, which together help shape the Earth's atmosphere every day.

"The unique characteristic of SDO is that it is designed to see everything all the time," said Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO Project Scientist NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
It turns out the mission was scrubbed for today and will be rescheduled.

But a crazy word keeps popping into my head when I think about the timing of the SOHO images and the SDO launch. It's like a itch I can't scratch. The word?


Crazy, right?

We've also been mulling over the Astronautical Theology of the Super Bowl, with "Sirius" kicking off the game and the Who with their Solar/Saucer imagery. And lo and behold the Who did perform the CSI:Miami theme song in their halftime medley. The next day that show presented us with a Grissom-like martyred astronaut theme with a Man Who Fell to Earth subtext.

But as Reader Jason reminds us, the Who also link us to Ken Russell, director of their rock opera Tommy, as well as Altered States, the innerspace odyssey that's the touchstone of the "Alien Dreaming and the Widening Gyre" series. Russell also directed Who singer Roger Daltrey in Lisztomania, which is the improbable name of a current hit by French hipster band Phoenix.

NASA's Phoenix mission was recently in the news itself, since it seems to have gone the way of so many Mars missions. Meaning it seems to have met a premature and unexpected end.

You can drive yourself insane with this stuff.

UPDATE: Speaking of timing- Bo, the "major issue" with "star quality" is seen playing in the snow in some photos the White House just released. Don't forget Bo is a Portuguese water dog, just in case the Sirius meme hasn't been drilled into your forehead yet. The snow kind of looks like stars on Bo's forehead there, no?

We also hear today that Obama now has an "attack dog" as well.

UPDATE: Which reminds me- according to's face recognition software the celeb (read:"dog/star") I most resemble is...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Sirius Super Stargate Bowl

I actually missed the opening minutes of the Super Bowl on purpose, tuning in at the coin toss. Big mistake. The victorious New Orleans Saints took to the field to the dramatic strains of "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project, also the theme song for the Chicago (Apis) Bulls. Cheers to an anonymous reader for the tip.

"Sirius" is the intro to the Project's 1982 hit "Eye in the Sky."

UPDATE: Remember that the "O" in the The Who logo is also the sigil for Mars.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Secret Sun Invades Binnall of America

From BOA: BoA:Audio explores the esoteric influences behind comic books and superheroes with Christopher Knowles, author of Our Gods Wear Spandex. We'll cover a number of areas of discussion including the evolution of comic books and superheroes, the enormous impact of Vril, The Power of the Coming Race, how Superman ushered in a new era of superhero, the Magical Battle of Britain, Batman as a golem figure, the odd man who created Wonder Woman, comic book titans Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Alan Moore, the comics code, and tons more. Part Two of this marathon conversation will cover Christopher's epic and increasingly popular blog: The Secret Sun.

This interview is not just for comics fans- we cover a whole gamut of cultural and esoteric topics, looking at the common roots of the superhero meme and the occult underground and how that's changed the face of culture and society. We talk a lot about Avatar and Twilight, hitting on some of the same points we covered here on the Sun. We also cover the evolution of the superhero from magical being to alien being, and how that reflects shifts in the cultural consciousness.