There's a new webseries called Pacific NorthWEIRD "chronicling the strange, supernatural, and eccentric happenings of the Pacific Northwest". Their premier episode is about the mysterious Mima Mounds near Olympia, WA (map):
As the first generation of a technological society, we have been acted upon by forces of such power that few, if any, of us can understand: extensive information gathering on every American; human experiments with drugs and psycho-surgery; electronic surveillance; the era of the computer; invasion of privacy; growing government and corporate power over our lives; a people plagued by dehumanization, loneliness, and violence.
Dramatic? Perhaps. But we are losing control of our technology and our lives. Not so long ago, people in a similar situation did not awaken to the forces around them.
Are we so unwise as to do the same?
Sarah McAnulty and Andrea Suria, two Ph.D. students at the University of Connecticut, are working to understand how the immune system of Hawaiian Bobtail Squid is able to mediate the symbiosis between the squid and its bacterial symbiont, Vibrio fischeri:
The Hawaiian Bobtail squid has a glowing bacterium that lives in a specialized organ on their underside. As the squid swims at night, the bacteria glow, preventing predators from detecting the squid's silhouette against the moonlight. Squid immune cells are able to distinguish beneficial from harmful bacteria and know to kill only harmful bacteria. Our lab researches how the immune system makes this decision.
But the squid are hungry little guys who need lots of shrimp. So they (McAnulty and Suria, not the squid) have taken to crowdfunding site Experiment (like Kickstarter, only for science). Here's their project page, "How do Bobtail Squid choose their glowing bacterial partner?", and their video pitch:
H8ERS GONNA H8
Hatchan The Octopus (蛸の八ちゃん, "Tako no Hatchan") is a Japanese comic about an octopus, Hatchan, who goes on land to learn about being human and has various misadventures. The author, Suihō Tagawa (田河水泡), is more famous for his Norakuro character, a semi-autobiographical, anthropomorphic dog soldier in a thinly veiled Japanese Imperial Army.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, explorers had vanquished all the dragons from the map, leaving only the Poles as blanks to be filled. The Arctic, nearer to the majority of humanity than its antipode, had long been the subject of imaginative filling, playing host to paradisiacal lands of legend and rumor.
The idea of an undiscovered Arctic continent is an old one. The ancient Greeks believed in Hyperborea, an idyllic land of eternal sunlight beyond the North Wind, populated by long-lived Hyperboreans. William Fairfield Warren in his book Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole (1885) placed Hyperborea -- and Atlantis, Eden, Mount Meru, Yggdrasil, and Avalon -- in the Arctic.
Up to the 1890s, Greenland was widely thought to be the peninsula of a much larger land that covered the Pole. On the periphery, phantom islands like Sannikov Land and Frisland dotted the Arctic of the mind. For centuries, cartographers, most notably Mercator, filled the otherwise empty tops of their maps with various places drawn from mythology and tales of sailors seeking the Northern Passages.
It's no surprise then modern explorers, emboldened by scientific and technological advances, took up the search for lands hidden in the northern ice -- and some claimed to have found them.
The Blythe Intaglios (or geoglyphs) are found near Blythe, CA in the Colorado Desert. They include figures of humanoids and tailed quadrupeds that were created anywhere from 450 to 10,000 years ago. Some believe the glyphs represent mythic characters from Quechan history and cosmology, while others see it as evidence that the region is La Cuna de Aztlán, the legendary homeland of the Aztec.
The present is just a continuation of the past; and the site has not remained fixed in time, as modern peoples have added to the messages of the ancients. The most visible additions are the swirling tire tracks that some ethnographers believe represent an Atomic Age creation story, depicting the tracks of subatomic particles first seen in bubble chambers and since sublimated into the collective unconscious of drunk rednecks in pickup trucks.
(Indirectly via BLDGBLOG.)
Timothy Ray Murray, who on Tuesday allegedly "lost" the Oklahoma 3rd Congressional district Republican primary to supposed incumbent US Representative Frank Lucas, is now threatening to break the set of political theater by exposing the conspiracy at the heart of modern government: most politicians are actually android replacements known as Simulacra.
In a statement to the press on his campaign site, Murray contests the validity of the votes for "Rep. Lucas" since the real Lucas has been dead since his 2011 execution by hanging in Ukraine and was subsequently replaced with a look-alike robot:
The election for U.S. House for Oklahoma’s 3rd District will be contested by the Candidate, Timothy Ray Murray. I will be stating that his votes are switched with Rep. Lucas votes, because it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011.
The conspiracy is larger than just Lucas' replacement; other US Congress members were also executed and replaced, or are involved in the conspiracy through their silence:
Rep. Frank Lucas, and a few other Oklahoma and other States’ Congressional Members were depicted as being executed by The World Court on or about Jan. 11, 2011 in Southern Ukraine. On television they were depicted as being executed by the hanging about the neck until death on a white stage and in front of witnesses. Other now current Members of Congress have shared those facts on television also. We know that it is possible to use look alike artificial or manmade replacements, however Rep. Lucas was not eligible to serve as a Congressional Member after that time.
Murray makes clear that these are robotic A.I. replacements, not mere actors, and that he wants no part in this:
I will NEVER use Artificial Intelligence look alike to voice what The Representative’s Office is doing nor own a robot look alike. The World knows the truth, and We must always share the truth.
In 2006, I posted about the then-new CryptoKids, official propaganda mascots of the NSA. I pointed out that there was an unshown member of the CryptoKid team that the NSA refused to acknowledge: Y.R. Tap, the domestic spying fly, whose extortionist adventures I imagined in a series of web comics. But, it turns out that the NSA did show Tap, albeit through a semi-official channel.
The National Cryptologic Museum, which has close ties to the NSA (although operated via a non-profit org out of a former motel two blocks from NSA HQ), publishes a bulletin for donating members called The Link. In the Winter 2005-2006 issue
(PDF), they had an article on the CryptoKids (page 15). Notice who's creeping about in the lower right:
Of course they don't acknowledge him in the text -- no one likes Y.R. Tap! -- but he is there. Watching. Always watching.
(That image is the first panel of my Y.R. Tap Comic #3. The page is dated "Fall 2005" but obviously it was made sometime after May 2006. I don't know if whoever put it there did so intentionally as a joke or if they just Googled "CryptoKids" and thought my site was an official organ of the NSA... It's not, by the way.)
UPDATE: ...and they've since removed the PDF. It was probably a mistake that they made the back issues freely available since they weren't linked to on the public site. I only found it by accident doing a Google image search on a Y.R. Tap panel. I just did another search to see if I could find it again and instead found this amusing appropriation in a PDF of an ESL quiz from a university in Brazil: