Sunday, December 20, 2015

Flat Earth: Thoughts On 2015

For me the biggest thing about 2015 has been that I've woken up to the sheer level of fraud committed by our world governments in the name of space exploration over the last 50/60 years. It's quite staggering really. In spite of the billions spent we still can't get decent footage of the Earth from space. Something really is quite wrong.

In tandem with this 2015 has also been the year of the Flat Earth revival. I've really loved every minute of it so far and have even joined in with it to some extent - making YouTube videos and posting articles on here. I think the whole Flat Earth movement is quite cool on multiple levels. Firstly it's made people genuinely question their world view and re-evaluate the many things they took for granted. And secondly, people like Math Boylan have used it not only to wake people up, but also to create an entire counter-culture, complete with art, comedy and music videos. It's been entertaining and thought-provoking all at the same time - nothing you'll see in the mainstream media can touch it. All in all it feels a little bit how I imagine the 60's must have felt for people waking up back then. Only possibly even bigger. Maybe like Boylan says "a new renaissance".

So is the world actually flat? It's a surprisingly difficult question to answer, and I don't feel the slightest bit embarrassed in admitting that I don't actually know the answer ..well, actually I do feel a little bit embarrassed, but I think that's a hangover from a now bygone era when it was wrong to think such thoughts.

At this present time I can only point out what I think I do know. A list might make it a little more readable;

  • NASA & friends can't do what they claim they can do in space
  • Google are using balloons not satellites to provide Internet coverage in parts of the southern hemisphere
  • Private companies interested in space exploration such as Virgin Galactic seem to be struggling to make any real headway despite their money and enthusiasm
  • There doesn't seem to be any genuine continual footage of the 24 hour Sun over Antarctica
  • The politics surrounding Antarctica is just bizarre
  • The politics surrounding climate change equally so - in fact the two seem quite heavily linked
  • Money seems to be being spent infiltrating the Flat Earth movement by governments or other interested parties
  • NASA & friends are clearly watching and reacting to the movement - for example when NASA asked people to look at a set of pictures and guess which were images of frying pans and which was an image of Jupiter's moon Europa - a clear riff on Boylan's "Photo or Painting?" routine.

Listing those things 2016 looks quite promising for the Flat Earth movement. However. there's still one quite huge Achilles' heel in my opinion: The Moon - and its relationship with the Sun.

I've been watching and studying the Moon quite intensely over the last few months - very much inspired by the Flat Earth revival. I've even been shining torch lights onto Xmas baubles to see how light plays on a sphere xD Anyway, all my investigations so far have led me time and time again back to the standard, ball-Earth, model. I have to admit it really is quite a beautiful and elegant model, and it does seem to make a hell of a lot of sense when it comes to what we see up there. At times I've even felt a renewed sense of admiration for Giordano Bruno and his dreams of an infinite universe of endless planetary spheres.
I've decided I'm not giving up that easily just yet though, and I'm going to keep attempting to come up with a way to make the Sun & Moon work on a flat plane. In fact, I'm really enjoying the challenge of it to be honest. This is the beauty of having two models of the world and not just one - the competition drives investigation. People get lazy when they just assume we have all the answers. Everyone just goes back to sleep. During 2015 Flat Earth woke people up. I hope it continues to do so in 2016 as well :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Recently Read: Sir Francis Drake by George Malcolm Thomson

I recently finished reading Sir Francis Drake by George Malcolm Thomson. The book was published in 1973. A very good read - well worth the £2 I paid for it in a local bookshop :)

Anyway I'll relay some of the interesting bits n bobs I found within its pages.

Firstly it mentioned the fabled great southern continent called Beach which earlier explorers searched for in vain. I'd heard tell of this great southern continent in other books and suchlike (more commonly known as Terra Australis), however I'd never came across the fact that it was named Beach - a name both simple and alluring. Beach was said to be rich in gold - a super-continental El Dorado of sorts. More real estate anyone?

Another snippet from the book I liked was one concerning Walter Raleigh.
'What is that island?' asked Sir Walter Raleigh of a Spanish cartographer. 'It is called the Painter's Wife's Island. Why? Because she wanted an island of her own. He put it in to oblige her.'
A tale illustrating how little people knew of the world back then, and how untrustworthy maps could be. As we know from our recent Flat Earth investigations of course all we really have are paintings ;) Are things really so different now?

Also worthy of note is the fact that the book mentions that one Spaniard, Don Miguel de Eraso, thought Drake was French! It's one of those odd little out of place bits of history that suggests our accepted historical narrative is somewhat wrong. The author simply decides that Don Miguel was misinformed, however other things in the book lend weight to Drakes apparent Frenchness. It mentions that French ambassadors would send pictures of Drake to their correspondents. There's also the fact that Drake sailed under French or Flemish colours when he "singed the King of Spain's Beard" by attacking the Spanish naval forces assembling in the Bay of Cadiz. It's said he later hoisted the Cross of St George and that the French/Flemish colours were intended to trick the Spanish. However, I guess it's possible that that could be a papering-over-the-cracks by later historians of an unwelcome fact that doesn't quite fit the narrative.

Finally one other thing that caught my eye. The book mentions that when Drake and his troops captured a Spanish palace in the Americas they found painted on the staircase a horse with one foot on the globe and the other in the air. It had upon it the motto: Non sufficit orbis - the world is not enough. A name now more familiar as the title of a Bond movie. Obviously the globe caught my eye as well xD

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Flat Earth & Fortean Times

Earlier this year I noticed a mention of the Flat Earth revival in the pages of the alternative magazine Fortean Times. That was in the September 2015 edition and it briefly noted the recent "flurry of activity on Flat Earth websites" and referenced Eric Dubay's Atlantean Conspiracy website.

The mention came in the Conspirasphere section of the magazine. For context Fortean Times is a magazine that likes to have its cake and eat it when it comes to conspiracies. Discussing them within its pages, but doing so with a healthy dose of mainstream scepticism and humour. I can't really complain about this too much, as I sometimes do it myself on these pages.
Anyway, the mention seemed like a little breakthrough for Flat Earth and I took it as a sign that the movement was indeed growing the way it seemed to be growing on YouTube. Since then I've been keeping a look out for further mentions. So far there hasn't been another direct mention of Flat Earth to my knowledge, however I do keep seeing indications that they're keeping an eye on things. For example, in the latest edition (December 2015) they mention the floating city that was seen over China. To be fair this is the sort of thing that Fortean Times would normally report on, but what was telling was its reference to claims that 'NASA' were responsible for the event - not the usual CIA/Military/HAARP bad guys that usually take the blame for such things.
The December edition also mentioned the Stephen Hawking conspiracy theories that are out there right now - the ones that point out the fact that Hawking is by far the longest living survivor of Lou Gehrig's Disease, and that suggest that the Stephen Hawking "character" has been portrayed over the years by a series of body doubles. Again this is a conspiracy theory rooted in the realms of Fake Space/Fake NASA and Fake Science. Sadly, they don't mention Math Powerland's Stephen Hawking vids though.

Deep down I'm hoping that at some point they'll do a full cover story about Flat Earth, but I think that may be a long time coming. Even if Flat Earth has aroused their curiosity, I think it still seems to be a little taboo - even for those writing from an observer, rather than a believer, perspective. I'll keep a lookout though.

I remember playing the same game with Fortean Times regarding 9/11. Wondering when they would finally start mentioning the mountains of alternative material out there about it. At first it started appearing in the magazine, but with a "how can people believe this stuff?" sense of derision. Then gradually that started morphing into a more tacit acceptance that maybe the conspiracy theorists have it right about some things.

In fact, in last months edition (November 2015) they discuss, again in the Conspirasphere section of the magazine, how the conspiracy industry has grown so big that it's started to develop a mainstream and an alternative of its own. And also how it's started to develop a "tabloid/broadsheet" divide, with sensationalist conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones on the one side and more "academic" theorists on the other. It's almost like the writers of Fortean Times are trying to justify their own obvious interest in the subject ;) ..hoping that they can somehow exist on the more respectable side of the divide without acquiring all the negative connotations of the "conspiracy theorist" label.

If any Fortean Times writers are reading this, unlikely though that is, I would say don't worry too much :) ..conspiracy theories are definitely mainstream now. A historic fashion shift has occurred and we can't go back. The only people who look like "loonies" these days are the few people who can sit through, say, September Clues and still believe they can trust their governments and media. The magic bean buying segment of the population XD

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kshir Sagar: The Ocean of Milk

More Flat Earth musings. I recently noticed a few posts on Facebook about the Hindu festival of Diwali. Out of interest I had a look on Wikipedia and did a bit of reading up on it and other aspects of Hindu mythology. Of particular interest was Kshir Sagar; the Ocean of Milk.

This was of particular interest to me as I'd already mentioned milk in connection with Flat Earth elsewhere, pointing out the possible etymological links between the Milky Way and Antarctica. The term Milky Way derives from the Hellenistic Greek term galaxías kýklos meaning "milky circle" - Antarctica, on a Flat Earth map of course looks very much like a milky circle. Likewise in Swedish the Milky Way is called Vintergatan meaning "winter road" - linking the two themes even more so.

The Ocean of Milk in Hindu mythology seemingly weaves these themes even further. It's said that in the Hindu (and also Buddhist and Jainist) view of the universe there are seven oceans that separate loka (directional space) from aloka (non-directional space). The Ocean of Milk is said to be the fifth or sixth (accounts seem to vary) from the centre.

According to one source the Seven Seas going outwards from the centre are; the Salt Ocean (our ocean), the Sugarcane Juice Ocean, the Ocean of Wine, the Ghee (butter) Ocean, the Curd Ocean, the Ocean of Milk, and the Water or Sweet Water Ocean.

It reminds me of playing Super Mario World with levels like Donut Plains and Chocolate Island xD.

Regarding the Ocean of Milk the story goes that at the suggestion of Vishnu the gods and demons churned the ocean to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortal life. They used the Serpent King Vasuki for a churning string, and for the churning pole they used Mount Mandara placed on the back of a giant tortoise (very FE !). The tale is said to be an allegory for the Milky Way as it turns in the sky above us.

The most interesting thing I found regarding all this however came on the Wikipedia page for the Ocean of Milk.

When discussing the Hindu cosmos it stated the following;
Cosmologically the Dvipas and Sagaras depict the entire Cosmos, though in Cartiography (or Cosmography), all the Dvipas and Sagaras are shown to lie in the Southern Hemisphere.
Dvipas are islands or continents, Sagaras are oceans. The fact that they're all shown to lie in the Southern Hemisphere really is the clincher that this is a Flat Earth world view. If you read the full page you'll notice the writer(s) trying to present it all as akin to our modern (planet n stars) thinking, they even mention Black Holes in the last paragraph xD, but I think they're projecting their own wishes onto something very much out of step with their own version of reality.

I'll happily steal this image from the Wikipedia page though :p said to show the churning of the ocean of milk.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Martian Moon-days and Planetary Pairs

Okay, back to flat ..well, back to flatish. I've been attempting over the last few months to understand the paths of the Sun and the Moon from a first person perspective. It's a fascinating thing to do, and one of the most noticeable things is the way the Moon lags behind the Sun in its motion through the sky.

The Sun goes past, of course, once every 24 hrs, the Moon once every 24 hrs and 50 minutes. Quite curious.

By the way, on a side note, I should first mention that by contemplating the Flat Earth model I feel I now understand the Ball Earth model much better than people who simply believe it's a ball. People who denigrate others for asking "Is the Earth flat?" are kind of ignorant by default in my opinion. They learn by rote, but fail to gain any true understanding of the processes involved, as they never attempt to build and test systems for themselves. This is why with all our "knowledge" people are still generally baffled by the sky above them - they know it's a ball, yet have no idea where the moon is, or where it's going. Or even which direction is East and which is West. They claim that the Earth is self-evidently round, yet laud Copernicus & Co as geniuses for figuring this stuff out. Is it hard or is it easy to figure out? - it can't be both. If you laugh at someone for asking if the Earth is flat maybe it's you that's failing to understand the complexity of the world we're living in.
It's very hard to visualise the apparent motions of the planets - especially when you have to consider that you yourself are moving and spinning. However, it's much easier when you start by considering things from a fixed position. After all Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler all started out with a fixed view of Earth. And they no doubt built things up gradually beginning with that premise. It's like learning how to do maths and physics problems - when we're asked at school to calculate the speed of a car travelling from A to B we're allowed to pretend that A and B are fixed positions. It would be far too difficult if we didn't. You need to start somewhere simple, grasp that concept, then build complexity from there. It's a process. Likewise it's easier to start by thinking that your position is fixed when considering the motions of the stars and the planets. After all, how can you build a true understanding of the world without looking through your own eyes? Knowledge without context is simply useless.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the Moon passing across our sky every 24 hrs and 50 minutes. I found this fascinating. In fact, I can't believe it's took me this long to notice it. For the first time ever in my life I now know (vaguely) where I'll find the Moon in the sky each day. I still have no idea regarding the overall model, but I feel I have a much, much better grounding on which to build my future opinions and theories.

When considering the Moon I was also reminded of the length of the day on Mars. The Martian day is apparently 24 hrs and 40 minutes long. I've always found it interesting how close an approximation the Martian day is to the Earth day. To find it's an even closer approximation to the Moon "day" is particularly interesting.

When looking at the day lengths of all the other planets I came across something maybe even odder still. The day lengths appear to be paired into groups as we move out from the Sun.
Mercury and Venus both have a very long day (1,408 hrs and 5,832 hrs respectively). Then Earth and Mars have days that are less than an hour different (24 and 25 hrs). Next up we have Jupiter and Saturn, again with just an hour difference (10 and 11 hrs). Then finally Uranus and Neptune, yet again with days of just an hour in difference (17 and 16 hrs).

This seems like something a little more than random. Anomalies are always an interesting window into other places. So this is definitely something worth looking into further.

It would maybe be interesting to check the day lengths of the moons of all the planets too - just in case the pattern continues. I think that'll be my next step actually.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Crows, Seagull Culls and Tree-Like Lampposts

At the start of the year I said I was going to focus this blog more on animals. I haven't really done that though, it's been mainly Flat Earth and the Ball. I do actually have a post about animals today though (:

I feel very British touching on this topic. It seems a very "middle England" thing to talk about. Not very cool or esoteric, but quite important for animal lovers - and for people being regularly pecked by large birds.

It would seem in Britain at present seagulls are becoming, quite frankly, a pain in the arse. They're attacking and harassing people in the streets. Stealing food. Attacking and killing other animals. There have even been reports in the press of seagulls killing family pets. They're kind of the new chavs. It's became such a problem that there is now strong talk of a population cull. Normally I'm aghast at the very suggestion of anything like this, however in this case I had to pause for thought, as even I've had my run-ins with angry urban seagulls.

When asked it would have been nice to have simply said that I'm against culling, but that would have been avoiding the obvious problems we're having with seagulls. Simply saying a cull is wrong isn't much use to someone who's being constantly attacked by what are quite large, aggressive animals. Anyway, the issue has been on my mind over the last few months and after thinking about it I've finally realised what should have been obvious straight away really; that the seagull problem has been caused by the way we have changed the landscape or our country.

Native birds are happy in trees and hedges, however when you watch seagulls inland they tend to loiter on man-made things: lampposts, buildings, chimney pots. Our concrete jungles are inland cliff faces, and by creating this landscape we have essentially invited the seagulls in. What's worse by doing this we have pushed the seagulls natural competitor in size, the crow, out. For example, recently a large tree where crows nest near my home was cut down. The crows are now gone, and seagulls now rule the roost. Tall trees of course are perfect for crows, but totally unsuitable for seagulls, who aren't designed to be flitting about in tree branches. Crows, although large in size, are generally much more well behaved than seagulls too. In fact, compared to seagulls, they're almost our perfect avian neighbour.

Therefore, if we want to rid ourselves of the seagull menace we have to change the landscape. Simply culling a bunch of seagulls would only be a short term, and somewhat cruel, solution. Their numbers would simply rise again after the cull to refill the ecological niche once again. A more intelligent solution is needed. Firstly, we need more trees and hedges - tall trees especially need to be protected and encouraged. It would also be useful if we could introduce changes to architecture and street design that would dissuade seagulls of the merits of town life, and that would maybe encourage other species to take up the occupation. It sounds silly, but even if lampposts were more "tree-like" in their design it would make a huge difference. We'd have starlings instead of seagulls.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Flat Earth & The Collins Elite

I think it might be time I ditched the Flat Earth hashtag. Things are getting a little shaded. I think it's time to go somewhere beyond. So this'll probably be my last post with "Flat Earth" in the title.

In conclusion I've seen enough to make me deeply sceptical that mainstream science has all the answers it says it has, but at the same time I've seen enough to know that there's a lot of disinformation in the Flat Earth movement. Half the major YouTube channels dedicated to the topic seem backed and pushed - if not by "the government", then by other interest groups. There's something to all this, but exactly what I just don't know.

I'm left with a few obvious anomalies to guide me.

Anomaly One: NASA & Co can't do what they claim they can do in "space".

Anomaly Two: The politics and science surrounding the Antarctic continent is very odd, and doesn't make too much sense in light of the traditional narrative we have.

After that I don't really know what to believe ..but I'm very, very curious and will keeping investigating.

Going back to the topic at hand I thought I'd mention "the Collins Elite" in this post. The Collins Elite are supposedly a secret group within the U.S. government that believe that UFOs, far from being nuts n bolts spaceships from other planets, are actually demons - that's demons in the biblical sense. The group were brought to public light by Nick Redfern, in his book Final Events. It's a good read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the UFO topic.

Anyway, when I first read the book a few years back I found it fascinating, as it made sense of a few things that previously had seemed quite odd. Now personally I don't believe that UFOs are demons, in fact I'm quite agnostic about the whole UFO issue in general, however I do believe that some people believe they are demons - if that makes sense. And it maybe explains some of the more bizarre aspects of American foreign policy that we've seen over the last few decades.

For example, take the story that George Bush referenced "Gog and Magog" when trying to persuade French President Jacques Chirac to support the war in Iraq. According to French sources Bush saw "Gog and Magog at work" in the Middle East and believed that biblical prophecies were unfolding there.

When this story first appeared it seemed simply bizarre that a world leader would be speaking in such terms. Just as it seemed equally bizarre to us here in the UK when it was suggested that George Bush and Tony Blair "prayed together" in the run up to the war. In fact, Tony Blair even converted to Catholicism straight after stepping down as Prime Minster. Are these guys really that religious? At the time I thought they were maybe just putting on a false front of piety, but maybe they really are believers. Maybe they have their reasons.

Anyway, the subtext of all this is that 9/11 was faked as an excuse to trample into the Middle East, in a bid to fulfil end-times prophecy - by people high-up in the American government that literally believed that UFOs were biblical demons and signs of the end times. The book Final Events even contains testimony from one Collins Elite whistle-blower that elements within the government wanted to detonate a dirty bomb in an American city to pave the way for totalitarian lock down in the U.S. - in order to turn the U.S. into a true "Christian" state. I remember warnings about a "dirty bomb" attack being reeled out on TV at the time.

All of this is quite far fetched of course, but again, it does kind of explain the "Gog and Magog" madness. And now with "Flat Earth" blowing up all of a sudden, it may even make a little more sense. If there is some sort of kink in the scientific chain when it comes to the state of our earthly realm, it may give people of a Christian mindset a little more reason to believe they have it right. Just as we're seeing on YouTube at the moment. Maybe the higher-ups have had a head start on this debate we've been having.

For me though the answers won't be found in any book, be it a physics book or the Bible itself. I think more work is needed, and I think I'll stick to scientific and spiritual agnosticism for the time being. Peace out x

Monday, August 31, 2015

Flat Earth: 24hr Antarctic Sun ;p

Ignore this - just more Flat Earth mischief. If you're curious and wanna know more though you can check out this video on YouTube -

(Click on the images to enlarge)



I should probably flesh this article out a bit for it to make more sense. The above pictures were originally uploaded in response to a comment posted on the above linked-to YouTube video. The video concerns the merits of another video;

this one -

- which purports to show unedited footage of the 24-hour Antarctic sun. The comments however have now been removed from beneath the video, so the images above probably won't make much sense to anyone xD

To provide background information, Flat Earthers and Ball Earth Skeptics (which I suppose is probably the category I'd put myself in at this present moment) claim that the lack of video footage of the 24 hour Antarctic sun is evidence that we're effectively being lied to about the nature of the earth's true shape. On a tilted ball earth there should be regions in the extreme south that experience 24 hours of daylight for given periods of the year - given this fact footage shouldn't be too hard to come by. However, thus far most of the footage out there showing the phenomena has been discontinuous - i.e. cutting from one shot to the next, and not showing continual, uninterrupted coverage of the sun.

The video in question however is different. It was released about a month or so ago and shows continual footage of the Antarctic day, with the camera following the sun a full 360 degrees around its course. Ball Earthers have hailed it as definitive proof of the Earth's rotundity, Flat Earth & Co have dismissed it as a piece of government-shill fakery.

Personally I'm not too convinced by the footage. I think they've simply used the same bit of sun footage for both the beginning and the end of the video to create the impression of a continual loop. Hence the above screenshots I've took (from 0.55 and 1.54 in the video) showing the obvious similarity. The rays of the sun are identical in length and angle, and both images also appear to have identical lens flares. The second image has a few extra lens flares added over the top for good measure, no doubt from another image layer. I therefore deem the video unconvincing evidence of what it purports to show.

I should say of course that all of the above is just my opinion though, and it's not my position to cast a definitive judgement on another person's work. This article intends no offence and is simply me just exercising my own critical judgement. I urge others to do the same. Peace x

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sprites and Red Lightning??

A brief post today. A week or so ago there was a thunderstorm where I live and I noticed that the lightning flashes were red coloured. This was also the case the previous time it thundered, which was about a month or so before that. I don't ever recall seeing red lightning flashes at any previous point in my life, so the fact that the last two thunderstorms have produced them seems a little odd. I thought maybe I'm getting old and that my eyes were deceiving me a little. Anyway, I'm sure it's a perfectly natural weather phenomena, but it seemed worth mentioning on here.

I've had a few brief searches on-line for information but there doesn't seem to be much out there, although there is the odd bit of footage of red lightning on YouTube. There is however a type of lightning called a sprite that occurs high above thunderstorm clouds that has a red colour. Curiously enough, NASA recently released some pictures from the ISS showing these red sprites.

I think these are probably completely unrelated to the red lightning I witnessed, however, what with NASA's record on space fakery, you can never be too sure :p

Monday, July 27, 2015

Flat Earth: Secrets of Flight

Since my last post I've watched a lot of videos on YouTube about Flat Earth. It really is a fascinating subject and it's easy to get lost down the rabbit hole. Anyway, it has inspired me to think about flight and space exploration quite a lot.

Many of the Flat Earth folks point out that a lot of the footage from outer space is faked, and looking at it myself that certainly seems to be the case. It's a pretty big leap to say that therefore the earth is flat, but it certainly opens up a lot of questions. Some even state that the satellites are fake.

In this regard it's interesting to note that Google is using balloons and not satellites to provide internet access to more remote parts of the globe with its Project Loon. I'm sure there must be a perfectly logical reason for this ;) but it's another feather in the cap for Flat Earthers. Once again our old friend Antarctica pops up in relation to all this again too.
For me though what's interesting is how neglected buoyancy has been when it comes to space and conventional flight. The Hindenburg disaster is the most immediate thing that springs to my mind when thinking about this - I guess it planted the seed in our collective conscious that using helium and hydrogen balloons was something of a technological dead end. The preserve of clowns and novelty modes of flight like the Goodyear Blimp. (A conspiracy theory about how the Hindenburg disaster was faked to discredit this type of technology would be pretty cool right about now :) ).

In fact, it's interesting that the Germans were pioneers in both airships and submarines - both applications of the same principle only in different mediums. Whilst searching for information I also came across the concept of the "vacuum airship" - a ship that uses a vacuum instead of helium or hydrogen, that was first proposed in 1670 by an Italian monk named Francesco Lana de Terzi.
So far a successful vacuum airship has never been produced (or has it??). [On a side note, it's curious to make mention of the famous Roswell; was it a UFO? was it a weather balloon? debate. Maybe it was both.]

I had my mini-epiphany the other night when I was thinking about buoyancy and how it's used in nature. Fish have swim bladders that fill with air to help them rise up and down in the water - when the bladder fills with more air the fish becomes less dense and rises, when it expels air it becomes more dense and sinks. A good example of this effect is when you're lying in the bath; when you breathe in and fill your lungs with air your chest floats on top of the water. It occurred to me that flying birds and insects must also deploy this technology.

How do round little bumble bees and fat little robin redbreasts fly so effortlessly? Normally everyone just focuses on the wings, and from what I've been reading it seems that most commentators assume that air is just used solely for respiration. However, looking at the anatomy of birds and insects there seems to be clear evidence that they utilise buoyancy to very good effect as well.

Birds have air sacs as well as lungs and according to Wikipedia;
While bird lungs are smaller in comparison to mammals, the air sacs account for 15% of the total body volume, compared to 7% lung volume in mammals.
Birds also have hollow bones. Insects too have complex respiratory systems. For example I came across this statement about grasshoppers;
In 1957, Clarke found out that the tracheal system occupies more space in the body, when grasshoppers grow from instar to instar. But air sacs not only develop in the body core! The Harrison lab found that even in the leg, air sacs grew during development and that they took up more space as grasshoppers got larger and older.

Maybe Leonardo da Vinci's dream of flying would have been more possible if he added buoyancy devices to his wing contraptions. Maybe man could fly with artificial wings if we could lower our density to match that of birds and insects (:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part VII - Cool Maps

Since I started looking into all this I've came across quite a few interesting maps. I thought I'd share some here.

This first one is a Flat Earth style map from 1715. I don't think the cartographer (Louis Renard) intended to portray the earth as flat, I think it's more a stylistic choice. The world is held up by Hercules, not Atlas. It's said that Hercules held up the world for Atlas while he went to steal the 'Apples of Hesperides'.
The following map was created by Johannes Ruysch and again shows a disc-shaped earth. Once again though I don't think it was the intention of the mapmaker to convey the idea that the earth is flat.
Next up Europe regina. This map shows Europe depicted as a maiden. The cross and orb (which we've mentioned before) is shown as Sicily, and the heart is depicted as Bohemia. Quite a cool map. Sadly though Britain just seems to be floating about above her left shoulder ..just as well really, we never wanted to be part of the Holy Roman Empire anyway :p
I think this is my favourite though. It's by the cartographer Oronce Finé (1494-1555) and shows a heart-shaped world. The southern, at that time undiscovered, Antarctic/Australian continent is depicted as suitably big.

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part VI - Miscellaneous Oddities

A little list of odd and interesting things that I think are worth sharing now. I might as well start by sharing the United Nations (flat earth) flag. In the Flat Earth world view the edge is said to be Antarctica (not shown on the map) - which surrounds the earth as an impenetrable wall of ice, represented by the final circle on the map. It might explain why penguins are dressed like little bouncers. To be fair it's quite a cool map though.
One of the oddest things I've noticed when looking into Flat Earth Theory is the fact that the Chinese still believed the earth was flat in the 17th century. The Chinese historically have been quite advanced, so this was a bit of a surprise. It makes me think that maybe the historical record is a little bit muddled, and that maybe Europeans weren't as quick to adopt the globular model as we tend to think.

In fact, in 1674, the English natural philosopher Robert Hooke apparently stated;
"To one who has been conversant only with illiterate persons, or such as understand not the principles of Astronomy and Geometry,...who can scarce imagine the Earth is globous, but...imagine it to be a round plain covered with the Sky as with a Hemisphere"
This would suggest that the idea of a Flat Earth was quite common even then.

Another odd thing is the fact that the oldest extent globe, the Erdapfel, was made in 1492 - the exact same year that Columbus discovered the new world. Quite coincidental. The globe doesn't depict the Americas though as Columbus didn't return to Europe until 1493. Of course, it's an often repeated "fact" that Columbus & Co proved the world was round by sailing around it. However, as Flat-Earthers correctly point out, travelling around the world in a circle doesn't prove it's a globe as you can make the same circular journey on a flat map. As the above UN map shows. You'd need to go around north-south as well as east-west to prove it globular. So again, this would suggest the history is maybe a little suspect.

This next thing I'm mentioning is also a little odd. When I was reading about the Geocentric model of the universe on Wikipedia I found out that it's referred to as the Yellow Minion.
Now I've never heard this term used before. In fact, I couldn't find any other reference to it being called this on-line either. I'm sure it's right - after all Wikipedia wouldn't lie xD but it seems a little odd. All that kept popping up when I searched were the yellow Minions from the movie Despicable Me (and every captioned picture on Facebook it seems). Now I haven't seen this movie, but from what I've read it sounds like a bit of an Illuminati party. It's made by a production company called Illumination Entertainment and the plot centres on supervillains who steal the Great Pyramid of Giza, and try to shrink and steal the Moon! In fact, it's made me wonder if the name "Yellow Minion" has been put on Wikipedia as some sort of practical joke to lull the likes of me into formulating some Minions-based conspiracy theory about it all.

I've just looked it up and it turns out that there's a new Minions film out at the moment (!). According to Wiki this is the plot;
Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings who have only one purpose: to serve history's most despicable masters. After accidentally destroying all their masters, including a T. Rex, Genghis Khan, Napoleon and Dracula, they decide to isolate themselves from the world and start a new life in Antarctica.
Hmm... I think I've just been subconsciously manipulated into promoting a film I've never even seen ..maybe I should just go and watch the damn movie.

It's seems odd going back to Flat Earth after all that, but I'll try xD

Luckily though I only have one more thing to share. This time a picture from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, that shows the moon illuminated, in part, by light from the earth. This phenomena is called Earthshine. When there's a crescent moon on the horizon a ghostly image of the moon can be seen filling the rest of the circle. This part of the moon is dimly illuminated by reflected light from the earth. It turns out Leonardo understood this long before anyone else. It's interesting to us firstly because, yet again, it shows how truly brilliant Leonardo was, but also because it shows he was thinking in terms of planetary bodies at that time. In fact, interestingly, he actually thought that there might be water on the moons surface.

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part V - More Pictures of Globes :)

In my last post I was looking at paintings that had globes in them, in an attempt to get a handle on when the ball model of earth finally became popular. Since then I've been made aware of a few more which I'll share here.

I'll try and work back over and start with the more recent. So firstly a few from the 17th century. This first is titled A Young Astronomer and is by the Dutch painter Olivier van Deuren.
And this second one is titled The Astronomer by fellow Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.
This next one is thought to date from the second half of the 16th century. It's from a wall painting in the Castello della Manta castle in northern Italy. The picture's a bit fuzzy here, but it apparently shows a green Antarctica at the bottom.
Next up a portrait of Emperor Charles V. It's by the artist Parmigianino, dates from the first half of the 16th century, and shows a quite impressively detailed globe.
And finally, going way back, this image of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. I'm not sure quite what it is he's holding, but it looks very globe (or disc) like. He's holding it in much the same way that kings hold the Globus cruciger (orb surmounted by a cross) in images. It's said that the orb symbolises the earth. So if that's the case we might be able to take it as some evidence that people knew the earth was globular back then. The picture below this one also shows Henry II - this time with a more classic looking Globus.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part IV - Elizabeth's Earth

In Part II I mentioned that the oldest extent globe, the Erdapfel, was produced in 1492. Anyway, out of curiosity I thought I'd have a look to see when globes started appearing in paintings. After a brief orbit around Google I've found a few examples. The Elizabethans seemed to be particularly big on globes - quite in sync with Shakespeare's Globe which we mentioned in the last post. Unsurprisingly Francis Drake was often shown in portraits with a globe.

However, the real star was Elizabeth. The following three portraits all show her accompanied by the ball.

The above is the famous Armada Portrait. The earth takes pride of place out front. The seas and continents just give a general sense of the land masses and don't seem to depict anywhere in particular (I don't think anyway). I'm guessing the general theme conveyed is "I rule all this".

The two similar portraits above are referred to as the Sieve Portraits as they both show Elizabeth holding a sieve - a symbol of chastity. In both paintings the globes are in the background. The inscription in the bottom panel has been translated as "I see all and much is lacking".

There's also a globe depicted in Holbein's famous painting "The Ambassadors". The depiction is quite detailed, as is everything else in the painting. Holbein was active in the first half of the 16th century - contemporary with Elizabeth's father Henry VIII.
(Holbein's The Ambassadors - Detail)

It's said The Ambassadors was painted around 1533. I also found an even earlier depiction of a globe in art - this time in Raphael's The School of Athens. Painted between 1509 and 1511 it shows pretty much every ancient Greek philosopher known at the time - one of which (possibly Ptolemy) holds an earthly globe.
(The School of Athens - Detail)

Given how impressively rendered the two above paintings are I'm tempted to go full-Fomenko and suggest they may be dated too early, but I think that might be pushing my luck a bit. Actually, I'm sure there must be many more depictions of globes in paintings out there, it's probably just my anglo-centric bias that's found the Elizabethan ones first. I'll keep an eye out for any more I come across.

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part III - Shakespeare's Globe

I've been wondering when people started believing the earth was a ball, and if our general view of the history surrounding it is correct. Essentially I've been asking; When did the ball come into fashion?

My first thought was Shakespeare's Globe - the London theatre where many of Shakespeare's plays where performed. Built in 1599, the name generally comes from the idea that the whole world is a stage and we its actors. But why globe and not world or earth or some other name for this place we find ourselves in.
I'm thinking this: fashionable trend-setters and clever artists generally have their finger on the pulse and succeed in reflecting the culture of their day. I'm guessing that the name the Globe was quite edgy and cool at the time, and that it probably reflected the changing world it was built in. In particular the fact that Europeans, us English especially, were out pirating our way around the globe, generally trying to rock the party. Of course, over the previous century or so science had also started to rocket into existence as well - Galileo, a contemporary of Shakespeare, would be brought to heel by the inquisition not long after the building of the Globe. Astronomers were therefore essentially rebels. So the whole earth's-a-ball thing would have been very much in fashion - something that cool people believed ..and the Globe name therefore very much of the Zeitgeist.

We can see how science gets reflected in culture by looking at things today. Take a TV show like The Big Bang Theory for example - the name only makes sense in a post-big bang theory world. It reflects what we believe now. It couldn't have been created before we had this idea. It no doubt will sound out of date in a few centuries time too. Likewise I'm guessing the same for the Globe. So for the time being I'm going to choose 1599, the year of Shakespeare's Globe, as the high water mark of the ball hysteria. I'm going to suggest that the global model was new enough and hip enough at that time to have been considered very much à la mode. I'll take it as a marker for further investigation.

1599 - the year of the ball.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball Part II - The Earth is an Apple

This one hinges on quite a fortunate coincidence. In my last post I referred to the earth as an apple. This was just a bit of empty poetry on my part, but it seemed quite timely later on when I started looking into the history of the globe - that's the globe as in three-dimensional models of the globe, not the globe. Anyway, it turns out that the oldest surviving globe is the Erdapfel globe produced by Martin Behaim in 1492.
(Martin Behaim and his Globe)

Interestingly, Erdapfel literally translates as "Earth Apple". According to Wikipedia this may relate to the Globus cruciger  - the holy orb topped with a crucifix that is often held by kings and rulers as a symbol of power. In the German language this orb is called the Reichsapfel - meaning "Empire Apple" or "Imperial Apple".
I've actually seen this link between the royal orb and the globe made on some of the Flat Earth videos I've watched, so I guess it isn't anything new. The general theme being that the globe is used as a concept of control. Setting the boundaries of the political domain and the boundaries of our thinking.

I can't help but think of the apple in the Garden of Eden - assuming it was an apple of course. Was Eve given knowledge of the earth being a globe? Was that the secret the serpent whispered? It would be quite fitting come to think of it. A symbolic journey from the flat, godly garden managed by the almighty to the godless, godforsaken wilderness of the infinite universe.

Flat Earth in many ways is the Garden of Eden. A managed finite space, a wildlife sanctuary for God's pet humans. A beautiful place created especially for us. Leaving that world view means stepping into a world that wasn't created for us. A world where we aren't the focus. Where no-one is looking after us, keeping an eye on things.

The apple is knowledge, the globe is knowledge. Now you have that knowledge you're cast out on your own. A lonely lost species on a loose blue marble. Not even sure if up is up and down is down.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Flat Earth: The History of the Ball

Following my last post I feel inspired to dig down further into the Flat Earth hole. This time I'm wondering; When exactly did people start thinking it was a ball?
The general view is that people started adopting the globe model deep in antiquity. The ancient Greek Eratosthenes's measurement of the circumference of the Earth often being mentioned as a case in point. This was my view as well until very recently, I'm now wondering though if this was ever quite the case.

It's generally reasoned that the world is so self-evidently spherical that anyone who's thought about the problem for more than 5 seconds will unerringly come to the conclusion that it's round. A flat earth world-view being the property of only the unthinking and the religiously inclined. And further more that throughout history, whenever people have really thought about the shape of the world, they've inevitably come to the correct conclusion. After all, how could they not? It's so obviously round. Only an idiot would believe it wasn't. However, I'm not so sure it was ever this cut and dried.

I think maybe we're projecting our certainty on the subject back on to history. Forget NASA for a moment, forget Sputnik and other satellites. Forget high-powered telescopes. Without this direct evidence would the shape of the earth really be so obvious to everyone. My own ignorance has been exposed over the last few weeks. I have no idea how to prove the earth is a ball ..not without resorting to NASA images and the testimony of other people. Sure, I have a vague ladybird book sense of what the solar system looks like, and a vague idea that the phases of the moon are a consequence of the sun's reflected luminosity as it orbits around this earthly apple. But that's about it. Beyond that all I have is belief ..belief that it's round. How many other people out there are in a similar boat?

It's also clear from reading about the history of the Flat Earth movement that right up until the beginning of the Space Age there were still many, many people holding on to the idea that the Earth was flat ..or at the very least sceptical of the idea that we're all spinning around the sun on a giant ball. Were they all idiots? Are we entitled to dismiss them so easily? Forget our modern accumulated evidence and go back to year zero for a moment. What can you see? What do you perceive? What do you see in the sky? Can you really tell it's a ball when you're not standing on the shoulders of giants?

I'm getting back down to ground level for a moment. What do we see? Firstly, the earth seems flat. And as far as the eye can see it looks flat. Even high up on mountains you can't see a curve. Up feels like up and down feels like down. It intuitively seems flat. You'd be stupid to think otherwise.

So what about the sky? Well the stars just look like points of light. No real indication that they're balls of fire. Just lights. And the planets - the wandering stars - look fairly similar. So that just leaves the sun and the moon. They're the biggest clues, but even so the sun looks just like a disc of bright light, and the moon, although it looks more planet-like (not that you'd know what a planet looked like), only shows one of its faces to us. We can't see it turning. So again, like the sun, it looks like a disc.

Essentially the very vision of the universe we have today - in fact, the very concept of outer-space itself - is unavailable to our mind. It's not an option until we create it. Until we think it into existence. Growing up in a world of Star Trek and Science-Fiction we can't not have that image of outer-space in our head. We take it for granted, but it wasn't always the case.

So what next? Maybe we start watching the sky. Noting the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars. We see their circular motion and watch them dip beneath, then reappear above the horizon. But even then would that automatically allow us to leap to a vision of a globular earth? If we see the sun go down below the horizon in one direction, then reappear again the next day back where it started from, would it necessarily be the case that it was going around a round earth. Maybe the sun would be going down into a distant ocean? - after all, the sea looks endless when we look out from the coast. Going down beneath the ocean, then beneath the earth, then reappearing out of a distant ocean on the other side. Or maybe it would be going down somewhere else - into some distant unknown. Either way we just don't know. No need for us to start imagining that we're standing on a ball just yet. No need just yet to throw out the evidence of our senses and consider that we may be hanging upside down on an endless curve.

Now sure, sooner or later, some extra-clever mind may come along and suggest the counter-intuitive idea of a ball. Some ancient smart-arse, some Eratosthenes. But how certain would they be? And how many people would they be able to convince? How many others would believe or comprehend them? No satellite images to back up their case. No telescopes for those sitting on the fence curious enough to have a look. I think at best people would say that maybe it was round.

In this light, belief in a flat earth seems a perfectly reasonable stance for anyone living in any previous era. Not at all the illogical stance that we view it as today with all our modern certainty. The question seems much more open-ended. The debate very much open and unfinished to them. I've mentioned in other posts how I'm slightly sceptical about the accepted view of history. I'm very much in sympathy with Fomenko and other time-line renegades. I think I may use the Flat Earth question as a way to look back at history afresh. Who knows, I may see things in a slightly new light. Alternatively I may only once again discover the extent of my own ignorance. Either way it'll be an education. Long live the ball.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Recently Read: Flat Earth by Christine Garwood

I'm saying read, re-read would be more accurate. I first read this book a few years back. It's one of my all time favourites and what inspired me to read it again was the fact that Flat Earth Theory seems to be having a bit of a revival on-line at the moment. In a way it was always going to happen. Our collective thirst for conspiracy theories was sooner or later going to take us to the big one; the earth is flat. There is none bigger, and maybe none older.
Firstly the book. The book details the history of the flat earth movement over the last few centuries. Introducing us to the various mavericks that have dared to believe in a flat earth in the face of modern science. The most notable being the 19th century zetetic philosopher Samuel Birley Rowbotham, aka Parallax. A larger than life character that literally springs from the pages. A veritable anti-hero that it's hard not to have a genuine admiration for. In fact, most of the flat-earth believers presented in the book have a certain amount of charm. All characters in the truest sense. I really urge you to read it.

Now to the modern revival. I accidentally came across a few videos stating the earth was flat on YouTube. I must admit I'm a bit of a conspiracy buff, so I do watch my fair share of conspiracy vids, but even so I was surprised to see the flat earth pop up. Anyway, it turns out that there's a whole flat-earth community on there, many seemingly genuine believers. Some of the videos having thousands and thousands of views.

I was actually really pleased to discover this. Ever since reading the book I've been fascinated by the idea of a flat earth and I'm glad to see it's still living and breathing out there. Although I'm not a flat-earther myself I am open minded enough to consider the idea. In fact, I think it's essential that we question our assumptions, and that we look for proofs ourselves instead of just accepting the word of other people. The flat earth idea is a great tool for doing that. We all know the earth is a ball, but how many of us can actually prove this for ourselves. After all, it does seem flat. At some point in childhood most of us ditched the evidence of our senses and accepted that we're walking around on a giant spinning ball. How many of us asked for scientific proof of this? xD I guess, in essence we just took someones word for it.

My highlight in all this Flat Earth business was discovering Math Boylan's YouTube channel. Math is a comedian, artist and general polymath it would seem. He's the clown-prince of the YouTube Flat Earth Kingdom. He blurs the line between the real and the unreal. One of those rare people where it's difficult to tell at first if he's being serious or if he isn't. His YouTube channel -  The NASA Channel - is a work of genius. Funny, thought-provoking, blurring all sorts of lines. The modern Parallax.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tudor Mirror Theory

Ignore this :p I've posted it here because I need to anchor it somewhere so I can link to it somewhere else. Namely this place;

It concerns the (very much through-the-looking-glass) idea that certain kings and queens never actually existed and were simply duplicates or phantoms of other famous kings and queens. Put simply, the Tudor's never existed. Anyone interested in this idea can check it out on the "Did The Dark Ages Exist?" thread on the above mentioned website.

I'm posting this image for similar reasons :p




Korean theories;


Saint Paul's Cathedral in The Allegory of the Tudor Succession (ca 16th century)?