Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Robots: First Variety, Second Variety

Second Variety by Philip K. Dick.

Those of you who have read the story Second Variety (first published in the May 1953 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine; the story is available online here) will appreciate this clip about new robots being built for the US Army that remarkably mimic biodynamics.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time and Superstitions: Friday the Thirteenth

Friday the Thirteenth is considered unlucky due to two main sources: Christianity and Paganism.  Fortunately, this is the only Friday the Thirteenth we will have this year.  The Christian part comes from the thirteen attendees at the Last Supper and Christ being crucified on a Friday.  Thirteen is considered an unlucky number because it is one beyond twelve, the latter thought to be a number of completeness and perfection.  Thirteen is also problematic because of the way many societies count months according to the lunar-solar calendar.  When drawing up a calendar of twelve months, there's always some time left over, a hidden thirteenth 'month' in the year that we don't know what to do with an don't acknowledge.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When You Wish Upon A Star

Tonight, the Perseid Meteor Shower reaches its peak and continues tomorrow night, but the whole shower, a result of Earth passing through the Swift-Tuttle comet's debris, runs from July 23 to August 24.  The Perseids are mainly visible in the Northern Hemisphere, from around midnight, near the Y-shaped constellation of Perseus, although I've found looking eastwards generally and directly above seemed to work.  I recommend them: last year I saw some amazing falling stars during the Perseids Shower, including what is called a Fireball

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Age of the Genome 3

Today, the BBC World Service is continuing its four-part series on the Age of the Genome in honour of the tenth anniversary on June 26 of our decoding of our own genetic map of life.  You can listen to the broadcast here; and program times are here.  This great discovery is the silent revolution of our times.  More, it suggests that genes themselves are a giant roadmap to our evolution - they are the unread history book of our species.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Continutity for DC's Character Terra Continued ...

DSC Terra. Sketch © Stalk (Daniel Campos) (2010). Reproduced with kind permission.

Today's blog post continues the history I'm writing of DC's character Terra. I've backdated it so that all the pieces on that topic are together. The link to the entry, which covers the character at the beginning of the 2000s, is here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Anniversaries: Lest We Forget

August 9, 1945: Nagasaki bomb, Fat Man.

The anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) are this week. British conservative politician, Daniel Hannan, has reflected on the relative silence around the anniversaries here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

NASA's Sensor for Distant Landings

Not an art exhibit: NASA's Rogers Dry Lake test site with potentially hazardous objects that sensors have to navigate. Credit: NASA/Tony Landis.

On August 19, NASA reported that it was working on distant landing systems that will enable spacecraft to land remotely on other planets and celestial bodies: "NASA is developing technologies that will allow landing vehicles to automatically identify and navigate to the location of a safe landing site while detecting landing hazards during the final descent to the surface. This is important because future missions -- whether to the Moon, an asteroid, Mars or other location -- will need this capability to land safely near specific resources that are located in potentially hazardous terrain."

How Many Books have been Written Through Human History?

Le Libraire. By Andre Martins de Barros.

A Google blog, Inside Google Books, reported on August 5 that Google is busy mashing together the libraries of the world and in so doing has come up with a number of algorithms to crunch out how many books there are in the world: 129,864,880Time has a report here. Of course, they're less clear about how far they go back historically, whether they include archival bound documents that are listed in databases, and how many langugages, countries and libraries they cover.  This is one of many grey areas in Post-Postmodern reality - we have a definite number - of something.