Wednesday, 11 November 2009

'Digital cloud plan for city skies...'

'A giant 'digital cloud' that would float above London's skyline has been outlined by an international team of architects, artists and engineers.

The construction would include 120m- (400ft-) tall mesh towers and a series of interconnected plastic bubbles that can be used to display images and data.

The Cloud, as it is known, would also be used an observation deck and park.

The unconventional structure was originally envisaged as a centre piece of the city's Olympic village. Its designers plan to raise the funds to build it by asking for micro-donations from millions of people.

"It's really about people coming together to raise the Cloud," Carlo Ratti, one of the architects behind the design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told BBC News.

More: Link.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Transmission 2012

He vowed in his mayoral manifesto to crack down on tall buildings and protect London's 'precious' skyline.

But it seems Boris Johnson is prepared to make an exception to the rule when it comes to sealing his legacy.

The London Mayor is planning a £15million monument intended to rival the Eiffel Tower.

To be built in the Olympic Park in time for the 2012 Games, it has already been nicknamed the 'Piffle Tower' after Mr Johnson's 'inverted pyramid of piffle' comments made when he denied an extra-marital affair in 2004.

Funded by the multi-billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Britain's richest man, the sculpture has attracted designs from some of the country's most famous artists, including former Turner prize winner Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, the designer of the Angel of the North, near Gateshead.

A panel is considering five submitted designs, with the winner likely to be announced within a fortnight. One early submission by Paul Fryer shows the epic scale of the project.

Six times taller than the Angel of the North, his proposed sculpture, called Transmission, is almost 400ft tall and features a translucent structure with viewing decks towering above the Olympic Park.

Its steel frame is inspired by a pylon in a possible reference to Mr Mittal's business. It would be lit at night and powered by solar panels.

... The Piffle Tower is part of an extensive cultural programme planned to celebrate the 2012 Olympics.

Twelve public artworks commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad last week include a three-mile plume of vapour rising from a dock in Liverpool, a giant figure of Lady Godiva to be led in procession from Coventry to London, a small 'island' which will be tugged from the Arctic to England to encourage discussion about climate change, and a pair of 30ft crocheted lions.'

Read more: Here.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Finally, the truth!

'Huge increases in immigration over the past decade were a deliberate attempt to engineer a more multicultural Britain, a former Government adviser said yesterday.

Andrew Neather, a speechwriter who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, said Labour's relaxation of controls was a plan to 'open up the UK to mass migration'.

As well as bringing in hundreds of thousands to plug labour market gaps, there was also a 'driving political purpose' behind immigration policy, he claimed.

Ministers hoped to change the country radically and 'rub the Right's nose in diversity'. But Mr Neather said senior Labour figures were reluctant to discuss the policy, fearing it would alienate its 'core working-class vote'.

... Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: 'Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite. Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock-up but a conspiracy. They were right.

'This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage.''

Read more: Link

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Papal Endgame

'As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.

Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church.

His decree, issued yesterday, is a serious blow to attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to save the Anglican Communion from further fragmentation and threatens to wreck decades of ecumenical dialogue.'


'A particle God doesn't want us to discover...'

'Explosions, scientists arrested for alleged terrorism, mysterious breakdowns — recently Cern’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has begun to look like the world’s most ill-fated experiment.

Is it really nothing more than bad luck or is there something weirder at work? Such speculation generally belongs to the lunatic fringe, but serious scientists have begun to suggest that the frequency of Cern’s accidents and problems is far more than a coincidence.

The LHC, they suggest, may be sabotaging itself from the future — twisting time to generate a series of scientific setbacks that will prevent the machine fulfilling its destiny.

At first sight, this theory fits comfortably into the crackpot tradition linking the start-up of the LHC with terrible disasters. The best known is that the £3 billion particle accelerator might trigger a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth when it gets going. Scientists enjoy laughing at this one.

This time, however, their ridicule has been rather muted — because the time travel idea has come from two distinguished physicists who have backed it with rigorous mathematics.

What Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, are suggesting is that the Higgs boson, the particle that physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be 'abhorrent to nature'.

What does that mean? According to Nielsen, it means that the creation of the boson at some point in the future would then ripple backwards through time to put a stop to whatever it was that had created it in the first place.

This, says Nielsen, could explain why the LHC has been hit by mishaps ranging from an explosion during construction to a second big bang that followed its start-up. Whether the recent arrest of a leading physicist for alleged links with Al-Qaeda also counts is uncertain.

Nielsen’s idea has been likened to that of a man travelling back through time and killing his own grandfather. 'Our theory suggests that any machine trying to make the Higgs shall have bad luck,' he said.

'It is based on mathematics, but you could explain it by saying that God rather hates Higgs particles and attempts to avoid them.''


Friday, 16 October 2009

'Manhatta Projects reveals New York of 1600...'

A New York exhibition has stripped back the concrete jungle that makes up the Big Apple to reveal the literal jungle that was the city 400 years ago.

Entitled the Mannahatta Project, these images show what Manhattan Island must have looked like in 1609, when the English explorer Henry Hudson first sailed up the river that now bears his name.

Using CGI technology, the team behind the Mannahatta natural history project can now pin point any area of Manhattan's 22 square miles to show what it might have looked like four centuries ago.

Imagining Central Park as a blueberry bog with wolves roaming around what is now the Empire State Building, the computer images display how fast the city that never sleeps has grown up.

"We chose the name Mannahatta because it is what the original inhabitants of the island the Lenape tribe called it,' says Dr Eric Sanderson, who heads up the Manahatta team.

"Translated it means 'land of many hills'.'

More: Link

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Jewish America

'Almost nothing is known about Christopher's mother beyond the fact that Susanna Fontanarossa married Domenico Colombo about 1445 and preceded him in death. Columbus himself was extremely reticent about his family background, and some scholars have cited this as evidence of his possible Jewish descent, which he would have concealed during his dealings with his Spanish supporters. According to two such theories: his mother was Jewish; and his father descended from a Jewish family that left Spain about 1391, settled in Genoa, and became Christians.

We do know that a converted Jew (Luis de Santange), with influence in the Spanish Court, provided financing for his voyage and that his crew contained Jewish members recently converted to Christianity. We also know that his interpreter Luis de Torres, was baptized (from Judaism) shortly before the expedition, and was among the first ashore, when Columbus landed in Cuba on November 2, 1492.'


Wednesday, 30 September 2009

'Let's talk about sex. With robots...'

'People often talk to machines, including computers and robots, and a growing number of AI (artificial intelligence) researchers are working to enable them to talk back. And soon, human-computer interactions may include having sex with them. That's the view of David Levy, who has just won the 2009 Loebner prize for the most human-like chatbot.'


'St Therese in Space...'

'With 28 venues in a single month, it's a punishing schedule. This week, her fans will be queueing round the block in Newcastle and Leeds before she starts heading south- via a prison- to take central London by storm in mid-October.

It's an itinerary to make Madonna or the Stones look positively idle. And you won't hear any absurd diva-style demands from this travelling star.

... This has to be one of the most unusual travelling shows in this country since the Middle Ages. I have certainly never witnessed anything quite like the St Therese of Lisieux tour.

... In life, she had written of her desire to be a missionary 'on all five continents simultaneously', yet her travels never extended beyond a teenage pilgrimage to Rome. In death, however, she would get to travel.

... Most of Therese's body is in the Basilica in Lisieux, while her head is in the neighbouring Carmelite convent, one foot is on permanent tour in France, a vertebra is also housed in another travelling reliquary and the rest of her bones - those now touring Britain - are on international duty.

There is also a small bone fragment somewhere in outer space. In 2008, a U.S. astronaut took a tiny relic with him on the Discovery space shuttle and left it up there, making St Therese the first saint to orbit the earth.

The plan is to take another tiny relic up there in 2011 and spread the poor girl even farther afield.'

Read more:

Friday, 25 September 2009

'Is St Therese of Lisieux spreading swine flu?'

'St Thérèse of Lisieux, whose relics are touring the UK, is reputed to have the power to heal the sick. More than 15,000 people have visited Liverpool's Roman Catholic cathedral to visit the jacaranda wood casket that contains pieces of the saint's thigh and foot bones, among them a cancer patient who was interviewed this morning on the Today programme.

Listening to the Today report, however, it occurred to me that encouraging many thousands of worshippers to touch and even kiss the perspex box that protects the casket might have rather less welcome consequences for public health.

With a swine flu pandemic underway, we have been told to make sure we sneeze into our elbows, to wash our hands regularly with antibacterial soap, and to avoid greeting each other with needless kisses and handshakes. The Church of England and some Catholic regions have even recommended that wine should not be offered during communion, lest the chalice spread the virus.

The St Thérèse UK tour, however, is promoting just the sort of behaviour that swine flu likes.

It also comes at just about the worst possible time, when swine flu cases are starting to rise again after a hiatus over the school summer holidays. The schools are back, the weather is getting colder, and the stage is set for a second wave. And pilgrims are being encouraged to have close physical contact with a piece of plastic that's recently been touched by thousands of other people.'

More: Link.

'India discovers water on the moon...'

'Dreams of establishing a manned Moon base could become reality within two decades after India’s first lunar mission found evidence of large quantities of water on its surface.

Data from Chandrayaan-1 also suggests that water is still being formed on the Moon. Scientists said the breakthrough — to be announced by Nasa at a press conference today — would change the face of lunar exploration.

The discovery is a significant boost for India in its space race against China. Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, the mission’s project director at the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bangalore, said: “It’s very satisfying.”

The search for water was one of the mission’s main objectives, but it was a surprise nonetheless, scientists said.The unmanned craft was equipped with Nasa’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, designed specifically to search for water by picking up the electromagnetic radiation emitted by minerals. The M3 also made the unexpected discovery that water may still be forming on the surface of the Moon, according to scientists familiar with the mission.'


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

New posting...

... at BTB, for all interested parties.

Media Fragments

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

'Fairy tales have ancient origin...'

'They have been told as bedtime stories by generations of parents, but fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood may be even older than was previously thought.

A study by anthropologists has explored the origins of folk tales and traced the relationship between varients of the stories recounted by cultures around the world.

... Dr Jamie Tehrani, a cultural anthropologist at Durham University, studied 35 versions of Little Red Riding Hood from around the world.

Whilst the European version tells the story of a little girl who is tricked by a wolf masquerading as her grandmother, in the Chinese version a tiger replaces the wolf.

In Iran, where it would be considered odd for a young girl to roam alone, the story features a little boy.

Contrary to the view that the tale originated in France shortly before Charles Perrault produced the first written version in the 17th century, Dr Tehrani found that the varients shared a common ancestor dating back more than 2,600 years.

He said: “Over time these folk tales have been subtly changed and have evolved just like an biological organism. Because many of them were not written down until much later, they have been misremembered or reinvented through hundreds of generations.

“By looking at how these folk tales have spread and changed it tells us something about human psychology and what sort of things we find memorable.

“The oldest tale we found was an Aesopic fable that dated from about the sixth century BC, so the last common ancestor of all these tales certainly predated this. We are looking at a very ancient tale that evolved over time.”

Dr Tehrani, who will present his work on Tuesday at the British Science Festival in Guildford, Surrey, identified 70 variables in plot and characters between different versions of Little Red Riding Hood.

He found that the stories could be grouped into distinct families according to how they evolved over time.

The original ancestor is thought to be similar to another tale, The Wolf and the Kids, in which a wolf pretends to be a nanny goat to gain entry to a house full of young goats.

Stories in Africa are closely related to this original tale, whilst stories from Japan, Korea, China and Burma form a sister group. Tales told in Iran and Nigeria were the closest relations of the modern European version.

Perrault’s French version was retold by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century. Dr Tehrani said: “We don’t know very much about the processes of transmission of these stories from culture to culture, but it is possible that they may being passed along trade routes or with the movement of people.”

Professor Jack Zipes, a retired professor of German at the University of Minnesota who is an expert on fairy tales and their origins, described the work as “exciting”. He believes folk tales may have helped people to pass on tips for survival to new generations.

He said: “Little Red Riding Hood is about violation or rape, and I suspect that humans were just as violent in 600BC as they are today, so they will have exchanged tales about all types of violent acts.

“I have tried to show that tales relevant to our adaptation to the environment and survival are stored in our brains and we consistently use them for all kinds of reference points.”'


Thursday, 3 September 2009

'My soul rode on a UFO to Venus...'

'The wife of Japan's next prime minister claims to have had a close encounter on another world.

Miyuki Hatoyama believes she visited outer space 20 years ago - before she married premier-elect Yukio Hatoyama.

'While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular- shaped UFO and went to Venus. It was a very beautiful place and it was really green,' the 66-year-old former actress wrote in Strange Things I have Encountered, a book published last year.

... Mr Hatoyama, 62, once nicknamed 'the alien' for his prominent eyes, will be sworn in on September 16, following his Democratic Party's crushing election victory over the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

... She has told interviewers in the past that she had never had a dream that was not fulfilled and was now "burning" with desire to make a film in Hollywood.

'Unrealised dreams? I don't think I have one,' she said. 'Dreams will come true if you strongly believe in them. The dream I now want to realise and believe will come true is film-making.'

She playfully went on to say that the lead actor would be Tom Cruise, 'because I know he was a Japanese in a previous life'.

She declined to go into details about her film plot, but declared confidently that her movie would 'change people's sense of value dramatically... I'll get an Oscar for sure'.

Miyuki went on to say how she gets energy from the sun.

'When the sun is up, I always eat it... I tear it off and eat it like this,' she said, gesturing as if clawing at the sky, tearing pieces off the sun and putting them in her mouth. 'That gives me great power,' she said.

A former actress turned lifestyle guru with an interest in spirituality she will liven up the rather staid role of a premier's wife.

... The 62-year-old has spoken in glowing terms about his wife as the bedrock of his life.

'I feel relieved when I get home,' he told an interviewer for a photo book published in 2002. 'She is like an energy-refuelling base.'

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

'Templar relic found at car boot sale...'

'An antiques dealer has picked up what could be a priceless church relic dating back 1,300 years at a car boot sale.

The small piece of painted wood is believed to have come from a box which the Knights Templar used to protect religious items as they moved across Europe during the Crusades of the Middle Ages.

Quite how this ornate piece of wood found its way to a car boot sale in Yorkshire is anyone's guess.

But it could bring Leeds antiques dealer Martin Roberts a big windfall at the next stop on its unlikely journey - an auction house in London.

... Most experts are of the view that this piece was more than likely from a tabernacle which the Knights Templar would have used to carry the sacrament and other religious items.'


Monday, 27 July 2009

'Pope Benedict unfrocks Medjugorje priest...'

'Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former "spiritual director" to six visionaries who claim that the Virgin Mary visited them nearly 40,000 times over 28 years, has been laicised by Pope Benedict XVI a year after he was placed under investigation over allegations that he exaggerated the apparitions and had engaged in sexual relations with a nun.

While the Vatican has never given the shrine its formal blessing, an estimated 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje in the last three decades and hundreds of thousands make the journey from Britain and Ireland each year. The unfrocking of Father Vlasic will come as a blow to Medjugorje followers worldwide who were hoping that the Vatican would one day legitimise the controversial shrine.'


Thursday, 23 July 2009

National Apostasy

'Swine flu has spurred the Church of England to revive a rule drawn up more than 450 years ago when bubonic plague swept the land.

As concern mounts about the spread of the virus, which has killed at least 29 people in the UK, some Anglican churches have begun to allow “intinction” or dipping bread in communion wine rather than sharing the chalice, while others have stopped offering wine altogether. The practices are permitted under the 1547 Sacrament Act, introduced after the plague, which requires both bread and wine to be given “except necessity otherwise require”.

... A number of Catholic churches have already taken the step of removing wine from communion and offering only bread amid fears of the spread of swine flu. The Archdiocese of Liverpool, which represents the Catholic church in Liverpool, said that some churches had taken the precaution but added that it was a decision made by individual churches.

Parishioners in the Anglican diocese of Southwark in London have been advised to hug rather than shake hands as a ‘sign of the peace’, while in Chelmsford they have been discouraged from using shared holy water stoops to dip their fingers and make the sign of the cross.

The Rt Rev Christopher Budd, the bishop of Plymouth, advised in a recent letter: “In the light of the decision to designate the swine flu outbreak a pandemic, I now recommend suspending the chalice and giving the Sacred Host in the hand only.”

Michael Fay, a spokesman for the diocese, told the Financial Times: “Some people say they are receiving the body of Christ and he will protect you, but it’s not a magic potion. We need to be prudent.”

Fears of the spread of swine flu are affecting churchgoers around the world. In New Zealand, the Roman Catholic Church has advised priests not to place communion wafers on the tongues of worshippers.

Church of England rituals including communion and shaking hands as a ‘sign of the peace’ are being altered or dropped altogether as concern mounts about the spread of swine flu.

More: here and here.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

'Feel the power of the dark side...'

A BTB article from February used the Dendermonde nursery killings to illustrate a wider point: the meta-narrative of the triumph of the moon in the Age of Horus-Maat. (The Maritime Signals.) The article ended by concluding that:
'The Dendermonde attack, then, is Diana/Delilah's return; arising from the depths of the unconscious to force the submission of the sun to the moon. (The total eclipse of the masculine by the feminine. Pertinently, a note found on [Kim] de Gelder's person indicated that he may have intended to attack a second creche, the Sunshine Nursery, a mile and a half from Fabeltjesland.)

The submission of the sun: the purpose not just of this, but of every occult conspiracy, those psychic operations directed by and from the paranormal field.'
As Anadae pointed out a couple of days ago, today is the Feast of St Mary Magdalene; one of the most significant of lunar archetypes, and a figurehead of the Black Virgin/Babalon 'current'. Appropriately, the day dedicated to the Hidden Church that may soon eclipse the Church Militant, also saw the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting as much as 6 minutes and 39 seconds in some places. According to Wikipedia:
This was the second in the series of three eclipses in a one-month period, being book-ended by two minor penumbral lunar eclipses, the first was on July 7 and second will be on August 6.

It was visible from a narrow corridor through northern Maldives, northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, northern Philippines, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.
Interestingly, the best country from which to view the event- according to some experts- was India: the country whose lunar signals were comprehensively decoded by several synchro-bloggers through November-December of last year.

Todd Campbell has recently posted a new moon-related article- see here.

Rather wonderfully, in light of the Big Brother reflections which provoked Anadae's timely comment, a Telegraph piece about the eclipse from January begins: 'Addiction can be a brutal mistress.' (Encapsulating Akin's starry humiliation; the Seven Veils seduction of the Magdalene in the life of the individual; and the meta-narrative seen all over.) The title of the article is also appropriate: 'China's solar eclipse: Feel the power of the dark side.' (See here.)

As Ean Begg writes, in one of the most profound meditations on the Divine Feminine:
'The feminine principle is not a theory but real and it has a will of its own which we ignore at our peril. It is an independent principle and cannot be forced against its will to go anywhere or do anything without bringing retribution on the perpetrator. She brings forth, nourishes, protects, heals, receives at death and immortalizes her children who follow the way of nature... If she brings forth from her treasury things both old and new, we need to be wise to what possibilities are now on offer, before it is too late... Men need for the good of their souls to relate consciously to the power of the feminine or they become overwhelmed and possessed by it through their own unconsciousness.'

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

New article...

... at BTB, for the Elect.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Well, I shouldn't admit this...

... but Big Brother 10 is superb television. My career in voyeurism has progressed from catch-can and make-do passivity, to insomniac addiction. Something is truly wrong when you watch the live feed on E4 all night just to watch Noirin stir in her sleep. (Or Siavash, or Freddie.)

The crux of the show so far- what has made this series the most compelling thing I have ever seen on the box- is the fascinating relationship between the aforementioned Noirin (a Dublin lass, half-Kenyan, practising Catholic) and a 35 year-old window fitter from round my way called Marcus Akin. What makes it so intriguing is that both contestants- unusually for a 'reality' show- are real and complicated human beings, and that the 'relationship'- in all its strangeness- is not faked... Watching this proud, inexperienced but decent 'working man' flounder in his sea of obsession is car crash stuff... And Noirin: the sort of woman for whom Celtic ballads were penned, inadvertently (yet brutally) stringing him along...

Noirin is beautiful; a word which has lost its value in recent years. The value of beauty can- unfortunately- be measured: in multiples of millions; and Noirin looks like at least ten. Marcus, on the other hand, is the physical embodiment of Job Seekers Allowance; Swamp Thing with a pony tail; the vest made flesh.

The meaning of goetia is 'to charm... to beguile'. 'She's got the whole house mesmerised,' said Marcus, in one of the more revealing soliloquies from the Diary Room. That is slowly becoming the case... but the one truly beguiled, truly bewitched, is poor Akin himself; a man for whom this 'reality experience' is becoming more unreal by the hour. This wasn't meant to be happening; the most brazen show on television reduced to a war of attrition; a solemn sport. Unfortunately for him, another meaning of goetia is 'to groan... to bewail'- which is exactly what he'll be doing, in time. In spades. At the moon. For a very long while to come.

'Noirin is Beethoven's Fur Elise, smiles and wildflowers...'

Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Great Clairvoyant...

hopes Australia pull off a memorable victory at Lord's tomorrow. I backed them at 6/1 midway through the first day.

Friday, 17 July 2009

'Call me Delores,' says MI5 whistleblower...

'A little over a decade ago, ex-MI5 agent David Shayler was facing prosecution under the Official Secrets Act as a whistleblower.

Today the 43-year-old is a squatter who declares that the 'world will end in 2012' and dresses as a transvestite called 'Delores Kane' complete with false breasts, mini-skirt and ginger wig.

Friends and family of the former spy think he has suffered a 'severe breakdown' after moving into an empty farmhouse near Dorking, Surrey, at the end of June with eight other squatters calling themselves the 'Rainbow Movement'.

In 1997, Shayler went public after quitting MI5 and told the Mail on Sunday about a series of botched 'assassination' attempts and cover-ups.

In 2002 - after a series of legal battles and a spell in a French prison - he returned to the UK and was jailed for six months for breaking the Official Secrets Act.

Yesterday, posing in a wig and miniskirt and wearing false breasts, he said: 'I know in my heart that I am Christ and I am here to save humanity.'

He claimed his attire was 'part of the prophecy' because 'Jesus was a transvestite'.

Last night, his former partner and fellow spy Annie Machon, 40, said: 'I believe David is a good and honourable man but he has had some sort of severe breakdown.

'I do blame the Government and the intelligence agencies for what he has become and they have ruined his life.'


Thursday, 16 July 2009

'One dead and six injured after Madonna's stage collapses...'

'A stage being constructed for a Madonna concert has collapsed, killing one person and injuring six others - including one Briton.

Technicians were working on the rigging at the Velodrome stadium in the southern French city of Marseille when the roof of the stage collapsed at around 5.15pm.

The disaster led to the immediate cancellation of Sunday’s planned sell-out performance by the 50-year-old star.'


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

'Masked farm worker fired shotgun at crop circle tourists...'

'An angry farm worker has been arrested after allegedly blasting a shotgun over the heads of crop circle spotters.

Dressed in full combat gear, the masked farm employee hid in a camouflaged tent in the centre of the crop circle before bursting out and firing the gun over the heads of a group of terrified Norwegian tourists, it is alleged.

He is believed to have become enraged after the 300ft crop circle, which caused damage estimated at thousands of pounds, appeared overnight in fields near Cannings Cross Farm in Devizes, Wiltshire.

As he fired shots into the air the Scandanavians, who had visited the farm especially to see the complex crop circle, scattered in a panic.'

Read more:

Sunday, 12 July 2009

'Macabre photoshoot of Amanda Knox's sisters...'

'The sisters of murder suspect Amanda Knox have posed for photographs outside the cottage where British student Meredith Kercher was brutally killed.

Americans Deanne and Ashley Knox were taking part in a photoshoot for an Italian magazine.

And last night their decision to stand beside the house in Perugia, Italy, where Meredith, 21, was sexually assaulted and murdered was described as ‘macabre’ by her family’s lawyer.


Saturday, 11 July 2009

'Bono: I was inspired by the Virgin Mary...'

'The Irish singer Bono has revealed that he was inspired by the Virgin Mary while writing the U2 album No Line on the Horizon.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono said: "The song 'Magnificent'; was inspired by the Magnificat, a passage from the Gospel of Luke in the voice of the Virgin Mary that was previously set to music by Bach. There's this theme running through the album of surrender and devotion."

Bono has previously said that his faith gives him "the strength to get up every day and put forth 100 percent of my energy."

He celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary with his wife, Alison, earlier this year.

'Magnificent' was originally called 'French Disco' but was renamed in later recording sessions.'

Source: The Catholic Herald

Friday, 10 July 2009

'The Moons: Gods, myths and legends...'

'We see the moon as a Goddess, a great mother a benign presence floating in the sky. But, moon goddesses have not always been nice to know, and sometimes the lunar deity was male. 5000 years ago in Ur in Mesopotamia they worshiped the moon god Sin. The very name of Allah, may stem from the moon god Hubal. In Germany, the sun is feminine and the moon male - Frau Sonne and Herr Mond. Many Sanskrit names for the moon are male, including Kandra, Soma, and Vidhu. Here are eight moon gods and goddesses, they are all fierce and they are all proud...'


'Pilgrims flock to "Virgin Tree" in Limerick...'

'It has been 14 years since her last major apparition in Ireland but the Virgin Mary is back and this time in the lowly form of a tree stump in Limerick.

To the dismay of local Catholic church leaders, the freshly severed stump, with its supposed image of Our Lady, is rapidly becoming the focus of pilgrims. The last time that Ireland experienced anything similar was during its last recession in 1985, when a “moving” statue drew tens of thousands to Ballinspittle, Co Cork.

This time almost 2,000 people have signed a petition to prevent the stump’s removal and hundreds of worshippers have been gathering to recite decades of the rosary and light candles.'


Thursday, 9 July 2009

'G8 summit begins in L'Aquila...'

'At the Group of Eight summit in Italy, the leaders of the richest countries said there could be worse to come before the situation improved.

Meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, G8 leaders issued a statement warning: "The economic situation remains uncertain and significant risks remain to economic and financial stability".

... Though the summit was originally meant to take place on the island of La Maddalena, Berlusconi opted to move it to the quake zone, he says, to stimulate its local economy and raise awareness of the remaining devastation from the April 6 quake.'


'From La Maddalena to L'Aquila'

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

'Easter Island holds the key to human longevity...'

'A miraculous 'fountain of youth' drug that could extend people's life spans by more than a decade has been developed by scientists.

The anti-ageing pill was created from a chemical found in the soil of Easter Island - one of the most remote and mysterious places on the planet.

In tests, the chemical increased the life expectancy of animals by a staggering 38 per cent.

Although it is not yet suitable for use on people, researchers say it opens the door to the first generation of longevity pills that actually work.

While the breakthrough sounds like something out of science fiction, scientists say the discovery is a major leap towards longer lives for everyone.'


'A society without men?'

'Despite all the twists and turns taken in the new world of reproductive medicine, the news that a scientific team is trying to make the male human redundant is still profoundly shocking.

For the first time, the possibility of 'parthenogenesis' - or 'virgin reproduction' - has come within scientific reach.

Put at its crudest, we now face the possibility of a world where women do not need men to make babies - with all of the immense moral, ethical and philosophical questions that raises.

... Combined with the inevitable advances in (related) cloning techniques which are sure to emerge from shady and unregulated labs, a bizarre future beckons, a future in which the wealthy and unscrupulous will be able to create offspring using any number of artificial means.'


'Scientists in Newcastle claim to have created human sperm in the laboratory in what they say is a world first.

The researchers believe the work could eventually help men with fertility problems to conceive.

... The sperm cannot be used for fertility treatment as this is prohibited under UK law. The scientists in Newcastle say it will be at least five years before the technique is perfected - when they believe it should be available to help infertile men.

This research also raises ethical issues. Josephine Quintavalle from Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Corethics) said: "This is an example of immoral madness. Perfectly viable human embryos have been destroyed in order to create sperm over which there will be huge questions of their healthiness and viability.

"It's taking one life in order to perhaps create another. I'm very much in favour of curing infertility but I don't think you can do whatever you like."'


Monday, 6 July 2009

'Is this the ghost of MJ?'

It had to happen eventually...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

'A New Age of female sexual assertiveness?'

'Tonight, it transpires, is something of an initiation for Claire, who, at 32, is the oldest of the four. For the first time, she will join the rest of her friends at what has become one of the most important nights in their social diary: a Killing Kittens party, an unusual private-members' event where, in the words of its organisers, "the sole aim is the pursuit of female sexual pleasure". According to Paloma, who is something of an old-timer (this will be her fifth party), if the event is a success, after an hour or two of cocktails and outrageous flirting, the gathering will turn into an orgy.

...Judging by the booming numbers attending parties such as tonight's – Killing Kittens alone boasts 6,500 members, 70 per cent of whom are women – we are witnessing something of a sexual revolution, or at the very least, a new age of female sexual assertiveness.'


Friday, 3 July 2009

The Queen of Grass

In a few hours time, we will know whether Andy Murray will have become the first British finalist at Wimbledon in... a long time; or whether the predictions of The Great Clairvoyant have once again been found wanting. One prediction I didn't make, however, partly because it seemed too obvious, was that Venus Williams was very likely to progress to the final, and probably to win. Wimbledon has always been considered the premium tennis tournament in the world, partly because it is the oldest; but also, in my opinion, because it conveys a clear- but silent- message of the Divine Feminine to the Dreaming Mind. With a name like Venus, the 'harmonic resonance' which draws like to like would will always ensure that the elder Williams thrives here, in the Venusian enclave of SW17. (Very close to where I used to live.)

Wimbledon, from memory, is in the Taurean segment of the land zodiac centred on Kingston, discovered by Mary Cain in the 1990s. Taurus, of course, is ruled by Venus; and Cancer by the feminine moon, under whose rulership Wimbledon is always held. The tournament's colours- defining its global 'brand'- are amongst those most closely associated with the Divine Feminine: purple and green; and it is still, of course, well-known for its unique insistence that its athletes all wear white. (The White Goddess.) (Andre Agassi was one of the rebels to buck the trend; but quickly learned that nobody can hold out against the wishes of maman very long. He caved in, respectfully.) It is also the venue for a mild case of annual (or anal) hysteria, centred specifically on the pert bottoms of young women players, usually of Slavic or Nordic extraction. The hind, of course, is a profound symbol of the May Queen; one of the reasons that pornography- for all its faults- may represent a form of sublimated goddess worship. Is that a hind on that intriguing Slazenger sigil I see featured so prominently all over Centre and Court Number One?

The full name of the club which hosts the tournament is The All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club: the game much loved by that icon of the faerie faith, Alice Liddell. But it is in the name and design of the women's trophy that 'harmonic resonance' is at its most obvious. Having now been held aloft by Williams on three occasions, and by her sister by a further two, I suspect even she might be willing to attribute something to the correspondence. (Her superb athleticism notwithstanding.) Its full name, this famous silver platter, is the Venus Rosewater Dish; and its design- which, at 18.75 inches in diameter, is considerably larger and aesthetically far superior to the trophy awarded to the men- draws not on sport for its decorative motifs, but mythology.

At its centre, sits the figure of Sophrosyne (the god of temperance and moderation), with a lamp in her right hand and a jug in her left. Around her are placed her elements: a sickle, fork and caduceus. Around this centre four classical gods are depicted, each with their elements; and presiding over the whole, is Minerva, shown in conjunction with her seven Liberal Arts (which include astrology.) Interestingly, Sophrosyne means 'moral sanity'; and encapsulates a philosophical ideal of attaining happiness through living in harmony with yourself and with nature. A Classical equivalent, perhaps, to the 'focus' and 'positivity' of tennis stars, Williams the Elder is one in whom the 'sophrosynic' injunctions seem deeply embedded. 'So long as I'm playing great tennis... Just goin' out there and bein' the best I can be... I'm happy,' is an almost Delphic utterance, highly characteristic of her media style.

The full name of the Black Madonna I imagine will lift this platter for a fourth time tomorrow... is Venus Ebony Starr. (Informing the name of her interior design company, V Starr Interiors, based in Jupiter, Florida.) As a devout Jehovah's Witness- according to some reports- Venus's personal life has been somewhat less colourful than her lapsed younger sister. And in the Christian tradition, the word sophrosyne has come to mean purity, integrity and virginity.

Witnesses of the Marian Dawn [#1]

'A 400-yard naked "Green Goddess" is to be carved into the Northumberland landscape, under a new plan revealed by a mining company.

Dubbed the "Goddess of the North", Northumberlandia will be made from two million tonnes of earth dug out from an open cast mine in Cramlington, and tower 112ft into the northern sky.

The Goddess, designed by artist Charles Jencks, will recline over the Shotton open-cast mine and form the centre piece of a new public park at the site.

The entire development is estimated to cost around £2.5 million, and work will begin on the sculpture next year.

Plans for the sculpture, which will be visible from the A1, were originally blocked by Northumberland County Council 2006 after 2,500 people objected to the proposals.

But after a successful appeal to the Government by the Durham based The Banks Group, which runs the mine, the Goddess will now be able to go ahead.'


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Our Lady of the Angels

The funeral of Farrah Fawcett has taken place in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles. (Fawcett was famous as one of the original 'Charlie's Angels' in the 1970s TV series.) The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic diocese of Los Angeles; and one of the more prominent Marian churches in America. Its patron saint is Saint Vibiana, a female martyr saint, whose relics are also housed there. (Vibiana, interestingly, was the titular saint of the cathedral this new building replaced, after the original sustained damage in the Northridge earthquake of 1994.)

Its postmodern design- by architect Rafael Moneo- has attracted criticism for breaking with the conventions of Catholic aesthethics. The church and visitors' center are predominantly built around obtuse and acute angles; eschewing right angles, for some undisclosed- possibly esoteric- reason. The icons and statuaries are also contemporary in feel: as this rather masculine image of the Blessed Virgin Mary (by artist Robert Graham) indicates.

Clearly, Catholic one-upmanship was responsible for the decision by Cardinal Roger Mahony to exceed the length of the main sanctuary of St Patrick's Cathedral in New York (often regarded as the mother church of American Catholicism) by a single foot; bringing its total to a highly suggestive 333 feet.

The name, interestingly, was approved by the Holy See in the 1940s, for a cathedral which was never built. The pope during that decade was Pius XII, the 260th pontiff from 1939 until 1958. Pius was one of the great Marian popes, invoking papal infallibility to introduce the Fifth Marian Dogma (her Assumption into Heaven, a teaching which leaves open the question of whether Mary died before her assumption, or whether she was 'assumed' still living) in 1950. (On May 1, appropriately.) He also instituted the Feast of Queenship, currently celebrated on August 22.

Some images of the cathedral:

'Grieving Jackson fans commit suicide...'

'The man behind the world's biggest online Michael Jackson fan club has said heartbroken followers of the star have committed suicide because of his death.

Gary Taylor, president and owner of, said he understood the tragedies had mostly taken place outside of the UK but he believed one may have been British.

"I know there has been an increase, I now believe the figure is 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life," he said.

"It is a serious situation that these people are going through but Michael Jackson would never want this. He would want them to live."'


'Have we found the body of St Paul?'

'Ruthless, half mad, he stoned Christians to death. He also founded modern civilisation. And until yesterday, his fate was one of history's great mysteries...

Deeply moved, the Pope delivered the news on Sunday that fragments of bones found in the tomb traditionally considered to be that of Saint Paul did indeed date from the first or second century.

Which means that, in all likelihood, they are the bones of the Apostle Paul - bones that have lain there for 1,950 years yet, astonishingly, have only been discovered in our time.'


Monday, 29 June 2009

Michael Jackson: The Unanswered Questions

'Michael Jackson's father has claimed his son's death was linked to 'foul play'.

Joe Jackson said he had 'suspicions' about how the superstar could be alive one moment and dead the next.

He told California's ABC7 new channel: 'Michael was dead before he left the house. I'm suspecting foul play somewhere.

... Bizarrely, Mr Jackson then went on to use the interview to plug his record company.

The development comes after it was revealed that Michael Jackson’s aides took an astonishing 50 minutes to call an ambulance, it was revealed last night.

Their 911 emergency call was not made until frantic attempts to resuscitate him had failed.

The entire drama was witnessed by the singer’s 12-year-old eldest child Prince - who thought his father was clowning around before a doctor began pumping his chest to try to start his heart.

But 50-year-old Jackson never regained consciousness - and Prince watched 'in a trance' when he realised his father was lying dead in front of him.

The staggeringly long time it took to get emergency services involved, disclosed by relatives, could well have contributed to the singer’s death.

... In a further development, it was reported that although his body has been released to them, his brain has been retained for medical examination as part of the investigation.

... The first public detail about what happened at Jackson’s rented Los Angeles mansion emerged from Stacy Brown, a Jackson family biographer who has spoken extensively to relatives as the full extent of the tragedy unfolded.

He revealed that Prince thought his father was messing around when he collapsed on the living-room floor but stood in a trance as the King of Pop’s personal physician tried to revive him.

Brown told the New York Post: 'The horror of it all is that Prince thought his dad was just being his dad and clowning, but it was real, and he watched as they worked on him. Prince was stunned -in a trance- just watching.'


How many people were in the house on the day Jackson died?

We still do not know whether any personal friends were present, and what influence the controversial Nation of Islam had over arrangements on the night. Neither do we know the exact location of Jackson’s three children as the drama developed. Last night it was claimed that the elder boy witnessed his father’s collapse.

What was his involvement with the Nation of Islam?

His links to the black separatist American Muslim group centre around his children’s former nanny Grace Rwaramba. Described as the 'queen bee', she had ties to the black militant organisation and its controversial leader, Louis Farrakhan. The Nation supplied Jackson’s security staff – who have been linked to heavy-handed threats – and Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Muhammad, was appointed as Jackson’s business manager. The Nation of Islam was renting the house in California where he died to the pop star for £60,000 a month – although the market rate for similar properties is £15,000 a month. It also emerged that Jackson’s brother Jermaine, a Muslim, employed a woman from the Nation to look after the children in Michael’s final weeks.

Why was the body released for burial /cremation when more investigations could still be made?

The body was released to Jackson’s family on Friday night, which meant they could both arrange their own independent autopsy and prepare for his funeral. But it might have been wise for the Los Angeles County coroner to retain the remains for longer pending further tests, particularly with the chance that a criminal investigation might ensue.


'The doctor who was with Michael Jackson in his final hours had started work only 13 days ago after quitting his medical practice.

Dr Conrad Robert Murray, who is believed to have injected the singer with the painkiller Demerol and later tried to resuscitate him as he lay unconscious, had a history of financial problems.'


'Mystery surrounded the whereabouts of Michael Jackson's body today after last night's spectacular memorial show in Los Angeles's Staples Centre.

The family had then been expected to return to the Hollywood Hills to lay the star to rest at the Forest Lawn cemetery, where they had held a private funeral ceremony yesterday morning.

But there was no grand motorcade back into the hills to match the one which brought the coffin to the public show and a death certificate released by city authorities last night described the body's disposition at Forest Lawn as "temporary".

Some members of Jackson's family have reportedly been pressing for the star's remains to be taken to Neverland, the ranch in the Santa Barbara hills where Jackson lived until his acquittal on child abuse charges in 2005.

Under state laws, bodies cannot be buried outside a designated graveyard without special permission. If that was not forthcoming, Jackson's cremated remains could end up at the ranch if plans are adopted to transform it into a West Coast version of Graceland, the Memphis mansion where Elvis Presley died in 1977 and which lives on as a memorial.

... An LA coroner confirmed that Jackson's brain, or at least part of it, was still being held by investigators and would not be returned to the family for interment until neuropathology tests are completed – which cannot be done until the brain tissue has hardened sufficiently for it to be examined.'


Saturday, 27 June 2009

Return of the Elder Gods (Part IX)

Martinsell Hill, Wiltshire.
Reported June 25th

'Jackson to live on in Greenwich...'

'Michael Jackson will live on as a 'plastinated' creature preserved by German doctor Gunther von Hagens.

Von Hagens has caused controversy with everyone from the Pope to the chief rabbi in Israel with his practice of embalming corpses with preserving polyurethane.

Yesterday, he declared: 'An agreement is in place to plastinate the King of Pop.'

Von Hagens said that he spoke with representatives of the Jackson family 'many months ago' and it was agreed that his body will be plastinated and placed next to Bubbles, his late pet monkey who was plastinated a number of years ago and is exhibited at The Body Worlds & Mirror Of Time exhibition at the O2 Centre in London.

Von Hagens also confirmed it was one of Michael's final requests to be reunited with Bubbles.

'There is no better place than to do this at the venue where Jackson was due to perform his world record 50-date tour,' said a spokesman for Von Hagens.

He added: 'Von Hagens has hinted that a moonwalk pose would naturally be favoured. 'It is hoped the exhibit will be unveiled towards the end of July.''


Lisa Marie Presley: 'He knew'

Under the title He Knew, Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, has taken to her MySpace blog to record some very touching words. She writes:

'Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my father's death.

At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

... The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his autopsy.

... He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

... I became very ill and emotionally/spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

The world is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.'

Full story:

Friday, 26 June 2009

In Memoriam

A poster I saw on the way to the internet shop from which I am now communicating with you. 'When Nothing's Black and White. Listen in Colour.' So fitting, on this day of memorials for a man in whom those traditional boundaries had fully dissolved: Michael Jackson... Regicide, and the strange bond between citizen and celebrity, are matters which had been much on my mind of late. Was this event ('the Princess Diana of popular culture') the crystallization of those ruminations? Had I somehow sensed the rumbles before the earthquake?

Exactly when did our relationship with stardom eschew Christian morality for something more Thelemite? If celebrity is, as so many of its members insist, a form of revenge on obscurity, the last twenty years (and the career of Jackson, in particular) have witnessed the obscure exacting a vengeance all their own. Our relationship with our 'icons'- including our monarchs, and our Gods- is sado-masochistic; a thick streak of hatred concealed in the applause. Our relationships with our friends- and lovers- increasingly reflects this.

Are the warped values of internet-culture forcing new neuroses on a pallid and puffy-eyed public; or do the inverted worlds of Perez Hilton and Popbitch reflect a spiritual sickness which pre-dates their emergence? We are informed by the latter that 'The King of Pop referred to semen as Duck Butter. And the booze he gave to boys as 'Jesus Juice'.' Just another of the tiny, myriad acts of despoilation which will be performed in the weeks to come.

Yet for people of my generation, Jackson's regicide was accomplished once and forever years ago: at the Brit Awards in 1996, to be precise. Bursting on to the stage during the superstar's brief set, Jarvis Cocker's upended arse dispelled in a moment the illusion of Jackson's immortality. His protest may have been just, perhaps even essential: yet looking back on it, I can't help but lament the passing of something. Something as alien to the bedsit glamour of Jarvis Cocker (and the best of British music) as a phoenix to the skies over Stevenage.

Cocker's trade is reality, bleak and monolithic; Jackson dealt in magic. Magic is always manipulative; it bends reality, demands a suspension of disbelief. An act of alchemy is needed on the sorceror's part, whose first (and only) miracle lies solely in his ability to conceive his own zenith. But magic can also enchant reality, enrich and transform it... Convincing us, however temporarily, that things could be different.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My prayers...

... go out for the soul of Mr Jackson. From one fellow 'visitor' to another: I wish thee well.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

'Lars von Triers' Antichrist released uncut...'

A film described as 'an abomination' which features scenes of torture and pornography is to be shown in its entirety when it is released in cinemas next month.

Antichrist, which includes graphic unsimulated sex and a scene of genital self-mutilation, has been authorised for release with no cuts by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The decision to allow the film a release with even the most explicit scenes included has proven controversial.

Directed by Lars von Trier, the cult Danish film maker, and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, the film depicts a couple grieving for the loss of their son, who falls to his death from a window while they are having sex.

They retreat to the countryside in order to recuperate, but Gainsbourg's character becomes increasingly unstable and determined to take revenge on her husband for the tragedy.

... At a press conference after the screening, the Danish director refused to answer questions about why he had chosen to make such a film.

"I don’t think I have to justify it. I can’t justify myself. I make films and I enjoyed making this very much. I think it’s a very strange question. I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation. I never had a choice – it’s the hand of God, I’m afraid."'


Monday, 22 June 2009

Hypnosis by Disney

'Jack... Jack...'

The great clairvoyant says...

Bang a monkey or two on Andy Murray to reach the final at Wimbledon.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

'Marys of the Sea...'

Hey I am not in your way
Hey no need to push me again
I know it's your day in the sun
Last time I checked he came to light the lamp for everyone

'Relax love,' he said before he left
'Take those hands away from your eyes
From where I stand you're in my sky.'

You must go must flee
For they will hunt you down
You and your unborn seed
In all of Gaul is there safety?

Les Saint Maries de la Mer
You will dance the ring
Marys of the Sea
The lost bride weeps
Les Saint Maries de la Mer
You will dance the ring

Hey there's a new Jerusalem
Hey you built on rock that's on sand
For now you have hijacked the son
Last time I checked he came to light the lamp for everyone

I hear a voice and it says
'The red of the red rose is its own
And something no man can divide.'
So St. Jermaine, hear the prayer of this supplicant
For two scarlet women, Black Madonna.

Kennington Hoodoo

Sri Lanka have been my pick for the ICC 20-20 World Cup since just after the tournament began. I seem to be a socialist when it comes to cricket; 'anyone but England' defines my allegiances... and the home nation were duly eliminated in the first stage. (Even Ireland did better.) The West Indies were who I would have liked to see win; and there were moments during their semi-final match against Sri Lanka when I thought they were going to. Before a blitzkrieg from Dilshan in the final few overs, SL had been restricted to what looked like a low score on a ground very familiar to West Indies fans, the scene of many triumphs over the years. The West Indian captain, Chris Gayle, looked in decent form; and Gayle is perhaps the most exciting exponent of the short game in the world (on those occasions when his muse can be roused from its cave. He is still the only batsman to have scored an international century in a 20/20 match.)

And then the gods of cricket dealt the West Indies a series of blows from which no side could hope to recover. A D Mathews (a young man who always begins his spell by making the sign of the cross) stepped up, of 'military medium' pace, not- I thought- a bowler of the same calibre as Sri Lanka's other mighty M's: Murali, Mubarak or Malinga. But Mathews (whose first name is Angelo) stole three West Indian wickets with his first six deliveries; a feat made all the more extraordinary by the near identical manner of the dismissals. Each batsman was 'clean' bowled, mistiming a stroke and playing the ball on to the stumps. (Except Simmons, bowled leg-side off a deflection from his pad.) A few deliveries later, and Gayle very nearly perished by the same malefic echo; a blow which would have resigned his team to utter infamy. (Nobody else made more than 9.)

A more obvious example of black 'obeah' I have never witnessed in cricket. Sri Lanka face the storm devils of Pakistan in the final this afternoon.

Friday, 19 June 2009

A stunning new Avebury crop circle...

deserves your attention. (Reflecting the original design of that 'serpent temple', as recorded by Stukeley.) Here's the link:


Thursday, 18 June 2009

'Pre-Stonehenge era complex discovered via 'crop circles'...'

'Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.

A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among 'Britain's first architecture', according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project.

For such a site to have lain hidden for so long is "completely amazing," said Wickstead, of Kingston University in London.

Archaeologist Joshua Pollard, who was not involved in the find, agreed. The discovery is "remarkable," he said, given the decades of intense archaeological attention to the greater Stonehenge region.

"I think everybody assumed such monument complexes were known about or had already been discovered," added Pollard, a co-leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which is funded in part by the National Geographic Society.'


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The moon in June

Fame, fame, fatal fame, sang that other great rock star of British-Irish pedigree. (He of the 'Irish blood, English heart'.) It has been said, quite correctly, that the starmaking process demands a burst of collective hysteria; the nocturnal tigers- the sharks and snakes of the music industry- perform their part by sourcing, and sprucing, the candidates. But the motive part of the rite, the mysterious energy which powers it, is the work of the crowd, the mob: the lover to the beloved. The birth of the star is a triumph of collective will; a coronation quite impossible in the absence of mutual consent.

It is also a shared delusion: a suspension of disbelief, an act of faith. A priestly compact, with solemn obligations binding both players in the game. The star must be ready to behave like one: ritual acts- like a Gallagher V-sign- that tap a faintly masochistic desire, the need to be ruled. But the order of things is not eternal, resting as it does on a magical concord: a matrix of ideas, not immune from the threat of radical configuration. And when that occurs- as we are seeing, for example, in Iran- the narrative can turn surreal very quickly. The hanging tree, wicker man, Madame Guillotine: from history and myth are drawn these profound symbols of the destiny of the unrighteous king (like Ahab, left unburied for dogs to devour.) But there are certain duties incumbent upon the subject, also: the fan- the greatest of which is to Love.

There are those who take this injunction very seriously indeed (as every Morrissey fan knows. To join that august brotherhood requires a restraining order at least.) It is not unconditional; that Love may be witheld, or transmuted into an act of exquisite regicide should the star fail in his duties of office. (An act which is itself one of love, love for the spirit now seen to have departed from its vessel.) Like the birth of a child, a marriage, the coronation of a ruler or the election of a president, the star is legitimized, is cast adrift in a storm- a sea- of love and goodwill (as terminology recognises: the 'baby shower', the political 'honeymoon'.) The pedigree of the latter, indeed, is ancient and heady: derived from the traditional name for the full moon before the summer solstice, the Honey Moon, 'the moon in June'. (Which fell this year on the seventh.)

So here we are again in those Geminian days, and the mob and its prey are once more entwined in an act of ecstatic communion: the acclamation of its latest (unlikely) queen. And in Susan Boyle we have one in whom the work is so easy to complete... A woman who seems to have been gripped temporarily by the Queen of Love herself.

The nova- when it happens- is an extraordinary thing. For Bob Dylan, for example, the experience seems to have been one of almost uninterrupted terror: drawing far closer to Golgotha than the reluctant prophet was willing to travel. Boyle's rise is unlikely to be so dramatic; but whatever force it is that directs these operations (what Stephen King called 'IT') has done so with typical attention to detail. The timing is impeccable: the Honey Moon (when the handfasters drank mead, an aphrodisiac made from fermented honey) is a season of beauty, fairies... and for 'dreaming dreams'. (The Oberon and Titania of Shakespearean imagination.)

It is also, writes Laurence Gardner, when the god and goddess 'display their treasures'- the spear and cauldron which are the symbols of their rulership, 'equivalent to the blade and chalice of the Grail tradition'. And this is very fitting; for Boyle's other great anthem (a song with which she seems oddly uncomfortable) is Memory, a complex lyric based on lines by one of the greatest of modern experts in Grail lore and legend: T.S Eliot. (The mid-century flower of a stream which erupts periodically: in the Arthurian revival of the nineteenth century- the work of Tennyson, Rossetti, and the artists Beardsley and Burne-Jones; and in the Romantic movement of fifty years previously, to cite just two fairly recent examples.) Indeed, it was in recent performances of this song, this Grail anthem- and not her now ubiquitious signature tune- that the apotheosis of the 'moon-faced' Susan Boyle was at its most apparent... As we shall shortly discover.

The Empire never Ended... More to follow...

Monday, 15 June 2009

The great clairvoyant says...

Stick a few dollars on Sri Lanka to win the 20/20 World Cup.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

'Japan's Generation XX...'

'In Japan some call them herbivores, and on Saturday nights they come out to graze: a perfumed army of preening masculinity. Groomed and primped, hair teased to peacock-like perfection and bodies wrapped in tight-fitting clothes, their habitat is the crowded city where they live in fear of commitment, and the odd carnivorous female who preys on them.

For much of this decade, the older men who drove this country to the top of the economic league tables have looked on in bewilderment at the foppish antics of the generation below.

Japan's twenty- and thirtysomething males seem disinterested in careers and apathetic about the rituals of dating, sex and marriage. They spend almost as much on cosmetics and clothes as women, live with their mums and sit down on the toilet when they pee. Some have even been known to wear bras. "What is happening to the nation's manhood?" wonders social critic Takuro Morinaga.'


Friday, 12 June 2009

'Rare Nazi badge discovered...'

'A rare Nazi badge which bears an unsettling similarity to the three lions on the English football shirt is to be auctioned.

At first glance, the patch of embroidered white thread on a dark background, looks like it could be straight from a merchandise stall promoting the feats of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

But the 2in badge, to be sold later this month, belonged on the tunic of soldiers in the British SS Freikorps Brigade, a little-known elite unit in Hitler's army.

There would have only been 30 of the patches made and this one comes from a uniform which has since been destroyed.

The Nazi unit who wore them, which is shrouded in mystery, is thought to have been formed in January 1944.

Members had been recruited from a variety of sources and were formally accepted into the Waffen-SS. Those in the brigade were given German uniforms bearing the Union Flag shield and the badge bearing the famous three lions.'


Thursday, 11 June 2009

'The Road to 2012...'

A 2,000-year-old war grave crammed with up to 50 headless bodies has been uncovered by workers digging a new road for the Olympics.

The Iron Age victims found in the ancient burial site are thought to have been slaughtered by the invading Romans in about 43AD.

All of them had been decapitated and some had their limbs hacked off.

It has been discovered in the heart of Thomas Hardy country, on Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth, Dorset.

The site is being dug up to make way for a so-called Olympic Highway, an £87million relief road in time for the 2012 games.

The burial site is close to Maiden Castle - Europe's largest Iron Age hill fort where the local Celtic tribe staged their last stand against General Vespasian and his Roman legion.

Archaeologists are waiting to carry out radio-carbon testing on the butchered remains but believe the skeletons were young local men killed by Roman soldiers.

Dave Score, project manager for Oxford Archaeology which is managing the dig, said it was a 'remarkable and exciting' discovery.

He said: 'We have found a large pit about six metres in diameter.

'We have counted 45 skulls so far, these are in one section of the pit, and several torsos and leg bones in separate sections of the pit.

'We believe they date from the end of the Iron Age going into the Roman period.

'At the moment we don't fully understand how or why the remains have come to be deposited in the pit.

'But it is clear some kind of catastrophic event such as a major conflict or mass execution has taken place and this is a war grave of some kind.

'The heads have been removed and other body parts have been chopped up. We don't yet know if this was before or after death or was some kind of ritual.

'The pit is very close to Maiden Castle, which was a major Iron Age fort.

'If the victims were Roman we would have expected to find Roman artifacts in the pit, like hobnails from shoes.

'Our gut feeling is that this is the result of a conflict between Iron Age local people and Roman soldiers.'

... The site has been fenced off and is under 24-hour security due to the unique nature of the find, he said.

Archaeological finds from the Weymouth Relief Road project will be put on show at a Dorset museum after they have been analysed and catalogued.

Weymouth and Portland will host all the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics.'


An ancient river bed that has lain unseen for 185,000 years has been uncovered by scientists mapping the parts of the English Channel in the run up to the 2012 Olympics

The groundbreaking discovery was made during a two-year £300,000 project to map 500 square miles of seabed off the Jurassic coast in Dorset.

Using new and incredibly accurate mapping techniques, experts traced the river that may have once been used as a watering hole by woolly mammoths that roamed the area.

The mysterious river bed cuts through bedrock at the bottom of the ocean and is eight miles long, ranges between 90 to 150 yards wide and up to 30ft deep.

Scientists believe it would have flowed when Britain was still attached to the continent.

As ice melted and refroze, it was washed over and uncovered a second time, before finally being hidden at the bottom of the sea during the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago.'


Monday, 8 June 2009

'Eerie pop music video starring Meredith Kercher...'

A music video starring murdered British student Meredith Kercher has been released by her family.

Shot just weeks before she was sexually assaulted and brutally killed, the 21-year-old stars in the video for singer Kristian Leontiou's song, Some Say.

Yesterday, the Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca revealed what few details he knew of the video but not why it had only just come to light.

He said: 'It was made by a group of Meredith's friends sometime during 2007 - I think she knows the lead singer.

'The people on the video are friends of hers who were at Leeds University and it is unreal to see her in the video and to know that a few months later she was murdered.

'It was a very emotional experience for them to come and give evidence but they coped very well.

'They just wanted the court to know what a special and much loved person Meredith was not just to her family but all her friends as well.'

In the opening sequence, Meredith is seen walking down a flight of stairs and makes several other appearances including a haunting scene where she walks through a set of doors and looks straight at the camera.'


Thursday, 4 June 2009

'UFOs spotted in Cambridgeshire...'

A number of people claim to have seen UFOs in Cambridgeshire after dazzling orange lights flashed across the night sky.

Witnesses claimed to have seen up to 50 of the mystery bright beams at around 11.30pm in Huntingdon.

Scott Boswell, 37, a former pilot and soldier from nearby Hinchingbrooke, captured some of the lights on his camera.

Boswell, a banker in the City of London, said: "I noticed three lights floating past our house, probably a couple of kilometres away, and thought nothing of it.

"But then I noticed a big long string of lights coming from the direction of Brampton and heading over the Stukeley Meadows direction. This was about 11.30pm and I got a couple of blurred shots. I'm pretty sure these weren't aircraft.

"There was no noise, no navigation lights and their heading and height was relatively constant until they disappeared out of sight."

The former solider said he did not think they were flares or weather balloons, the standard explanation for unusual objects in the sky.

Auberon and Suzi Hedgecoe, who run the Braywood Guest House in Huntingdon, saw around 50 orange lights in the sky.

Mr Hedgecoe said: "It was like an armada. There was no sound. They were travelling 15 at a time and every six minutes more seemed to be coming over the horizon.

"They were not planes. These were not balloons. Each one was the size of a building. If they had been balloons, then they would have had to have been huge and they looked weighty."

He said the lights were no higher than 3,000ft.

Mr Hedgecoe said it was so extraordinary that the couple woke up their 10-year-old son Barney and his friend Zac, who was staying over, to see the spectacle.

Another witness said she had counted 35 lights in the sky.'


Saturday, 30 May 2009

Return of the Elders Gods (Part VIII)

Waylands Smithy, Oxfordshire
Reported May 29th

'A 250m-long crop circle of a jellyfish has appeared on farmland.

The owners of the land in Oxfordshire have urged visitors to stay away from the circle, which is also 60m (197ft) wide, to avoid further crop damage.

Sally Ann Spence and husband Bill, who own Berry Croft Farm near Ashbury, say hundreds of visitors have been trampling over their field.

They said it was "beautiful" but the flattened crops were now "useless" and the damage would cost about £600.

"We have not given permission for people to walk on our land," Mrs Spence said.'


A 600ft jellyfish pattern has appeared in a barley field in Kingstone Coombes, Oxfordshire, in what is one of the most intriguing crop circles ever seen in Britain.

The vast pattern appeared in the field last week and experts are claiming it to be the first of its kind in the world.

Karen Alexander, a crop circle expert, said: "We have seen butterfly and bird patterns in the past, but this is the first jellyfish crop circle in the world.

"It is absolutely huge - roughly three times the size of most crop patterns and extremely interesting. People have been aghast at the size of it. It is a complete monster.

"We are looking into the meaning of it, but at present it just seems to have appeared out of nowhere."'


Little London, nr Yatesbury, Wiltshire
Reported June 3rd

'There are many explanations as to why the circles barely appeared in Wiltshire. The suicide of one of the chief circle-makers in 2006 and the death of two others, as well as boredom in the ranks of pranksters, have all been cited. Mostly, though, it is thought that heavy rain and high winds have made crops hard to handle and have deterred aliens and humans alike.

But just as the demise of the peculiarly English rural tradition was predicted, the circles - which can take the shape of DNA structures, scorpions, snowflakes, helices, webs, knots and complex geometric patterns - have abruptly returned in force.

The 2009 season began in April with an unprecedented six formations. The first was a series of simple circles in a field of rape; then came a 350ft yin-yang symbol in a barley field near Devizes. Three ambitious formations were reported over the last bank holiday and on Tuesday this week a giant 600ft jellyfish was found in a barley field on Bill and Sally Ann Spence's farm near Kingston Coombes in Oxfordshire.

As of yesterday, there have been more than 20 major formations spotted. Potts, who could claim to be something of an expert on the subject, has a hunch that this will be a good summer for circles: "The crops are not true enough yet. Weather permitting, I'd say the best ones will start now. In the next two weeks there should be a burst of activity."

Francine Blake, who founded the Wiltshire crop circle study group in 1995, shares Potts's optimism. She and other self-appointed investigators identify, measure, photograph, and report on all formations. They go circle-spotting at night in likely places, send crop stalks for chemical analysis in university laboratories (yes, really), and have more than 6,000 crop circles on their database.

She was excited by the jellyfish: "It's fantastic. When we look at it, it's got seven small circles, or moon shapes. It's describing the magnetic field of Earth," she says. She too is optimistic about the summer ahead: "This year started much earlier. There's one every day now. It is very intense already. I have never seen such complex designs in rape in all my years of studying this subject. Usually, the season starts with a nice little pattern, a tri-petal flower or such like, one or maybe two in rape if we are lucky. But this year they are big, complex and numerous right from the start."'