After posting the Ron Paul thing, I’m curious as to the political leanings of readers of this site…
Earlier this year, Stelarc finally found a medical doctor willing to implant a cell-cultivated ear beneath the skin on the artist’s forearm.
Stelarc is apparently planning to go through a few more surgeries to give it more definition.
“He’s also going to implant a mic inside the ear that will connect to a bluetooth transmitter, so the ear can broadcast audio from the internet wirelessly,” explains former BB guestblogger and sometimes Stelarc collaborator Karen Marcelo. “That Stelarc, always got something up his sleeve! He likes to say that too. ”
Q: Your book points out several instances of mythological and historical anecdotes that point towards the possibility (or at least the idea) of possessing a non-human soul, yet it is fairly recently that a unifying social construction of “otherkinism” has emerged. Why is it important now that these Otherkin have a shared group identity? Looking closer at some of the different varieties of Otherkin (elves, vampires, therians) many of them seem to have little in common.
A: I think it’s mainly the idea of “I’m not the only one!” Even Otherkin admit that believing you’re not human through and through is a pretty weird thing, and a lot of us, especially those of us who recognized our “Other-ness” at a young age, questioned our sanity over the years. I know I went through what I call the “belief-doubt-belief” cycle a number of times about my therianthropy. I’d start out feeling okay with the idea of being lupine on some level, but then I’d start worrying “Am I insane? What the hell am I thinking?” And so I’d repress anything having to do with therianthropy whatsoever. This invariably would make me depressed, and as with anything we repress, the wolf side would start creeping out again, whether I liked it or not. I continued in this cycle until I finally decided to just accept that this is a part of me, for better or for worse. I can honestly say I feel healthier and happier now than I ever did when I was trying to shove it back in the box, so to speak.
Scientists have used silicon crystals to trap light and slow it down to the lowest speed ever recorded in the material. The breakthrough is a step towards light-based storage for quantum computers.
Researchers at Japanese telco NTT used man-made photonic crystals, which contain nanoscale holes, to achieve the feat. The cavity which controlled the light was less than ten millionths of a metre long.
Arthur: Of course the other aspect of magic that separates it from most religions is that it’s not based on faith, is it?
Oh, no. No. Faith is for sissies who daren’t go and look for themselves. That’s my basic position. Magic is based upon gnosis. Direct knowledge. It’s a kind of ‘I’m from Missouri. Show me’ approach, if you like. [laughter] I think that gnosis it’s probably the original form of spirituality in mankind. If you look back at the old Gnostic religions that proceeded Christianity, what they depended on was direct knowledge of the Mysteries, or the ideas being talked about. If you look at the early Christians, the people that were allegedly around Jesus, then you can’t get much gnostic than St. Thomas. [chuckles] He has to stick his hand in the wound before he was convinced! Or you’ve got the Essenes, with John the Baptist-they were certainly gnostics. Back then, everybody formed their own relationship to the godhead, which was seen as being inside them, as much as anything.
This is true of the old shamanic religions, that were the forebears of all kind of spiritual and religious thinking. The shaman didn’t so much act as a middleman between people and the gods; he showed them how to get there. He told them how to make their own journeys into the Underworld. I get the impression that the shaman in an ancient tribe would have had the same sort of position as a plumber or an electrician. [chuckles] A plumber is a guy who just knows about plumbing and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty when he’s unblocking your S-bend or whatever. A shaman is a guy who knows about traveling to the spirit world and doesn’t mind vomiting because he’s taking poisonous drugs, or getting the horrors of going to hell. It’s a community thing.
The later idea of magic, which probably sprung up when people started burning witches and magicians, when it became dangerous to be a magician. Which would probably have been around the ooo, what, the 3rd century, 4th century? When Christian mobs started putting Gnostics in hermetic scholars to death, Around that time there were Christian mobs that were putting to death hermetic scholars like Hypatea. We mention her in the first issue of Promethea. She was real. She was, I think, skinned alive by Christians. And so at that point, this is where you start to get the thing of secrecy and magic, which carries on from that point up to the present day. ‘If you’re a magician, don’t tell anybody. Don’t tell them and don’t tell them any of the visions you’ve had or give them any of the information that you struggled so long to accrue. Keep it to yourself.’ And that seems very elitist to me. I’d rather disseminate any information I’m getting by one of the means that are open to me. And I’m lucky in that I have several quite excellent means [chuckles] to disseminate information that are open to me. Comic books, CDs, things like that.