Honor and Magic

Music for your edification: Andre Obin - Soft Rain

Artist: Andre Obin
Track: Soft Rain

Boston based producer André Obin made some ripples with the release of his The Arsonist album. He returned with another collection of eclectic electronic tunes called Ways Of Escape; the first track form which is Loaded Soul, and EBM lite Germanic opus that should have him nervous that Goths might like him, ‘cos then his career will be over.

A lot of people are throwing around the word ‘Darkwave’, and whilst those word throwers have probably never heard of Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Project Pitchfork or Das Ich they do have a point. The simplistic, growling synth bassline and whispered vocals are loaded with Teutonic, mascara fuelled, connotations. There’s a little House flavour in there too, and a surprising funk, amidst the synthesizer swirls and Loaded Soul turns-in a confident and engrossing SynthPop soundtrack.

Mysticism, by Annie Besant

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1914.

There is no doubt, for any observant person, that what is sometimes called a ‘wave’ of mysticism is passing over the world at the present time. It matters not whether you travel in the East or in the West; it matters not whether you look at the churches or at the many bodies outside the recognised churches in Christendom; wherever you look you see the same fact emerging - that men and women are turning away from external proof towards inner realisation; that they are beginning to feel that not the authority from outside but the authority from within ought to be the guiding force of life; that they are beginning to feel that scriptures, however sacred, authority, however venerable, is not [1] the final word of religion for man. And so on all sides you see a searching, a desire, a long­ing, to replace faith by knowledge, speculation by certainty.

You may remember, looking over the last year or two, that that which is called Mysticism has met with expositions in this country, and you may remember, perhaps with some feeling of slight amusement, that it was the pro­nouncement of the Dean of S. Paul’s which induced the Times newspaper to change its attitude to Mysticism. “We had thought,” said the Times, “that Mysticism was an exploded superstition”. It is true that Lord Rosebery had spoken of Cromwell as a practi­cal mystic, and had stated in various ways that the practical mystic was a very terrible person, that he was a man apt to carry everything before him, a man to be reckoned  with in the outer world as well as in the inner; but then you would agree with me that a man like Cromwell is not exactly the kind of man that the Times would approve of, unless he lived some centuries ago, and did not cause unrest and disturbance in the eminently respectable society in which the Times desires to live and move. But when a Dean, and not only a Dean, but a Dean of the Metropolis of the Empire, a Dean of S. Paul’s - surely the most respectable of all ecclesiastical dignitaries - when a man like that came out  with the statement that “Mysticism is the [2] most scientific form of religion”, you cannot  wonder that under those conditions the Times began to reconsider its view, and perhaps began  to think, with some inner disturbance, that Mysticism was rather an explosive superstition  than the exploded superstition, the burst and dead shell, which it had hitherto hoped that it was. It had belonged to cranks like Theo­sophists, to foolish people; but when a Dean pronounced it scientific, then, like mesmerism rebaptised as hypnotism, it could be accepted in respectable society and brought within the purview of the ordinary respectable man.

And so now we can deal with Mysticism without fear of being called superstitious for the dealing, and we may perhaps begin by asking: Why did the Dean of S. Paul’s declare that Mysticism was the most scientific form of religion, why did he remove it from the world of dreams and place it in the broad light of intellect, in the scientific world of fact? For a very clear and definite reason; because Mysticism, like all science, depends on the testimony of consciousness, the only sure testimony that we possess as to the existence of facts without us, as to the exist­ence of an external world at all. It is only from the testimony of consciousness that we can argue that anything exists outside our­selves. Because, when certain impacts are made upon us, consciousness answers to those in various ways, therefore we conclude that

[3] there is an external world. We do not know that world; we only know the response of consciousness to impressions made upon us from what we presume to be an external world. Many people, because they do not think closely, do not realise that all that they know is the impressions made upon their consciousness, they presume by something outside it; they know the impressions; they are conscious of them. That which we call our­selves makes answer to something from without, and according to the nature of the answer, the part of our consciousness which responds to the impression, we classify the various external objects, label them and place them in a certain division corresponding to a division in our own consciousness. We find, for instance, that external objects, producing a certain effect upon the consciousness through the senses, are classified as the phenomena which give the basis for science, and the observations are put aside as dealing with the facts with which science is concerned. We find that another class of impressions from without arouses in us what we call feeling, a feeling of pleasure or of pain and so of attraction or repulsion, and that these gradu­ally develop into what we know as emotions; we place them in their own category in turn and realise the emotional nature that responds in us to the impacts giving rise to those feelings and emotions. Then we find that [4] another set of impressions appeals to a different part of our consciousness and we have what we call thoughts, ideas. Percepts derived through the senses become gradu­ally manipulated by our consciousness into thoughts, ideas, concepts, and we put them into a class by themselves. So we have three classes of impressions - the sensuous, the emotional, the mental, - and these we realise as the answers of our consciousness to certain classes of impressions made upon us by the external world.

Then we begin to ask: is this all? do these three classes include everything to which con­sciousness responds? is there any other part of our consciousness which does not belong to the body, or the emotions, or the mind, which will respond to certain impressions from without, a class of impressions that cannot be included in one of the three that I have named, and yet impressions that we recognise, and to which we find our consciousness respond? Hence, when the question is asked: have we exhausted all impressions in the sensuous, the emotional, the mental? The normal consciousness of humanity in all times, in all countries, in all stages of civilisation answers distinctly: No; there is something more.

For the full book, click here.

Music for your edification: Grimes - Genesis (album: Visions)

From Last.fm

Grimes is the alias of the electronic musician Claire Boucher (born in 17 March 1988 in Vancouver, Canada and based in Montreal). Her music is an eclectic mix of styles which she described herself as “ADD music”, because it shifts frequently and dramatically. She fuses contemporary instrumentation with classical vocal practices.

Boucher was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She graduated from Lord Byng Secondary School and studied ballet for 11 years. In 2006, she moved to Montreal, Canada to attend Montreal’s McGill University, studying Russian literature and later, neuroscience. During her studies, she began to record and perform under the name Grimes. While in Montreal, she began attending concerts put on by local experimental musicians at Lab Synthèse, a performance space located in an abandoned textile factory.

Her first release was the album Geidi Primes, issued on cassette in 2010 by Arbutus Records. It was followed in the same year by the sophomore album Halfaxa, through Arbutus Records. In 2011, Grimes released a split album with d’Eon titled Darkbloom.

In January 2012, she had signed with record label 4AD. In February 2012, Grimes released her third studio album, Visions. The album incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, drawing from genres like new jack swing, idm, new age, k-pop, industrial and glitch.

Visions was met with critical acclaim and featured on many Best Albums of 2012 lists. The Guardian named Visions the second best album of 2012, calling it “a masterpiece in gonzo pop that is weird, original and derivative at the same time”. The NME ranked the album at number two on its 50 Best Albums of 2012 list, while naming her best known songs “Oblivion” and “Genesis” the sixth and sixteenth best tracks of 2012, respectively.

Grimes herself cited various musicians as influences, including Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins, How to Dress Well, Swans, OutKast, k-pop, medieval music, industrial music.

The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America by J Stillson Judah.

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Writing in the 1990s, Wouter Hanegraaff refers to this book as a “standard work” on the topic, and notes that Judah coined the term “metaphysical movements.” (See Judah, p. 7) The volume treats a set of “religious philosophies” in the United States, beginning in the 1840s, and progressing up until the date that the book was written. Although Judah provided no evidence for the claim, he asserted that these religions were growing in popularity at the time of his writing. (p. 12) He characterized these metaphysical movements by family resemblance, with a set of fifteen chief features, including: gnostic anthropology, divine monism, pragmatism, psychological interpretation, optimism, mental or spiritual healing, and preferring “principles” to creed. Even when explicitly Christian, these groups tended to view Jesus as a teacher, rather than as the unique human incarnation of God.

Judah’s first chapter is devoted to inventorying some aspects of the germinal milieu of the American metaphysical movements. Besides the transcendentalist school and its effects, which he remarks as their foremost precedent and influence, he observes the importance of American religious pluralism, revivalism, deism, Swedenborgianism, Puritan utilitarianism, and occultism (i.e. hermeticism and kabbalah). He then goes on to provide historical sketches, with representations of doctrines and practices, for each of the following metaphysical movements: Spiritualism (with its various institutions and sects), Theosophy “and its allies” (i.e. the Arcane School and the Astara Foundation), New Thought (with the precedent teachings of Quimby and Evans, and the progeny of the Divine Science Church and the Church of Religious Science), the Unity School of Christianity, and Christian Science. A closing chapter treats the effect of the metaphysical movements on Protestantism, especially through the avenue of notions of health and mental healing.

Judah repeatedly cites Frank Podmore’s history of Spiritualism, Charles J. Ryan on Theosophy, Horatio Dresser on New Thought, and several secondary sources on Christian Science. For all of the movements surveyed, he makes extensive use of their own doctrinal literature, and in several cases he has interviewed key leaders or their families. Perhaps it is significant that no secondary sources appear in different sections of the book, since Judah appears to have been the first to tie these various groups and teachings into a coherent tradition.

Short Story: Apotheosis

by Rosamund Hodge
SOURCE: Lightspeed Magazine

The people of Ipu needed a god.

Of course they already had one. His name was Kuromasai, and he had ended three droughts, cured seven plagues, and defended them from an army of Heccan raiders. But he was also old, and each morning when he appeared for his offering of praise, he had grown a little bit fainter. Soon he would disappear completely, and what is a city without a god?

So the seven Elders of Ipu met to discuss the matter. It had been over two hundred years since they had needed a new god, and though the scrolls said that the Iputians had once made their own, the method was lost.

“The Nimbagi seek their gods in the desert,” said the Second Eldest.

“Yes, and their gods smite them for the least offense,” said the Fourth Eldest.

“The Sornese gods last millennia,” said the Fifth Eldest.

“But what do they ever do?” asked the Third Eldest. “Sit on a pillar and give them ethical advice. That’s not our kind of god.”

Indeed it was not. Theirs were not the leather tents and warrior ways of the Nimbagi, nor the marble temples of the Sornese and their pursuit of virtue. Ipu was a small city of wood and sandstone, and its people were practical and loving; and they prided themselves that their gods protected and loved them.

The solution was obvious. “We must purchase a god from Tsubarime’s factory,” said the Eldest. “Nothing else will do.”

They consulted the oracle, and she told them to send the three sons of the Seventh Eldest. So the Elders gave them advice and a map, along with a diamond, a bag of gold, and a chicken’s tooth. With the faded blessing of Kuromasai they set out, and they walked all day until at sunset they made camp on the shore of the Commotionless Sea, which lies still across half the world.

The next morning they gazed at the water, dazzled golden by the rising sun, which they would have to cross; for Tsubarime’s factory lay beyond the curved horizon, at the eastern end of the world.

“Stupid oracle,” said the eldest son.

“But just think of how we’ll help our city,” said the youngest.

The eldest son snorted. “By walking halfway across the world!” He turned to the middle son. “Come on, don’t you think this quest is crazy?”

The middle son smiled and shrugged.

“Hell,” muttered the eldest son, wading into the clear water.

The youngest son followed him. “Dulce et decorum est.

It was easy going, for the Commotionless Sea is never more than knee-deep and its bed is of sand and rounded pebbles. So they walked eastwards all day, until the land was gone and they waded through a circular infinity of blue, until sunset turned the water silver and gold and left it darkest cobalt. And still they kept walking deep into the night, for they could not lie down without drowning.

“Damn water,” said the eldest son.

“It’s nothing to what our people will bear if we don’t bring a god back quickly,” said the youngest son.

“There are fish sniffing my toes,” said the middle son.

Suddenly a mighty wind buffeted them—though the water barely rippled—and a great serpent with three horns and a pearl on its forehead descended from the sky. It circled them three times and then hovered before them, its iridescent scales gleaming in the moonlight.

“I am the great serpent ferryman of the west,” it said. “I bear travelers across the Commotionless Sea. Would you care to avail yourselves of my services?”

“Gladly,” said the eldest son, leaping onto the serpent’s back.

“What of my fee?” asked the serpent.

“Do you take gold?” asked the eldest, raising the bag.

“Certainly,” said the serpent.

“But if you give it the gold, how shall we pay for our god?” demanded the youngest.

“Easy,” said the eldest. “I still have the diamond. Coming?”

Neither of his brothers moved, and after a few moments the serpent said, “In that case, we’ll be off. Good night.” With a flick of its tail, it rose into the air and bore the eldest son to the land of Jorongheer, where it devoured him and took both gold and diamond. Serpents are not the most honest of creatures.

Humanity's forgotten return to Africa revealed in DNA

Call it humanity's unexpected U-turn. One of the biggest events in the history of our species is the exodus out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, the start of Homo sapiens' long march across the world. Now a study of southern African genes shows that, unexpectedly, another migration took western Eurasian DNA back to the very southern tip of the continent 3000 years ago.

Psychic Phenomena: Why Scientists Deny It?

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Even though films like ‘Inception’, ‘Waking Life‘ and more recently, ‘John Dies at the End’ and ‘Now You See Me’ wouldn’t be approachable without assuming the authenticity of unexplainable events, most people, including most scientists, are unaware of the vast abundance of compelling scientific evidence for psychic phenomena, which has resulted from over a century of para-psychological research. Thousands of archaeological finds also suggest the use of such phenomenon in prehistoric times.

Hundreds of carefully controlled studies — in which psi researchers continuously redesigned experiments to address comments from their critics — have produced results that demonstrate marginal but statistically significant effects for psi phenomena, especially with regard to telepathy, precognition, and psychokinesis.

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, Neurologist Vilaynur Ramachandran and Physicist Dean Radin are modern scientific pioneers in this field, and speak of compelling evidence for psychic phenomena, which imply that our minds are also more interconnected to one another than previously imagined.

These perspectives have dramatic implications when they become the basis for how we see the world, where we define boundaries, and how we view the process of extinction.

According to Radin, a meta-analysis of this research demonstrates that the positive results from these studies are significant with odds in the order of many billions to one. Princeton University, the Stanford Research Institute, Duke University, the Institute of Noetic Science, the U.S. and Russian governments, and many other respectable institutions have spent years researching mysterious phenomena such as remote viewing and super-soldiers, and conventional science is at a loss to explain the results.

This question into the authenticity of the research is based on a very deep-seated, kind of knee-jerk prejudice reaction, and there’s nothing new about it. If you read the kind of comments that scientists made about some of the early psychical research in 1880s and ’90s, it was just as ignorant, with almost the same words they use today. Firstly, the reason is ideological. A lot of scientists are committed to a materialist ideology because they cannot imagine a world that would exist otherwise.

Essentially, they think that the mind and the brain are the same thing. The mind is nothing but the brain, or the activity of the brain, so therefore it’s all inside the head. So anything like telepathy, clairvoyance and the like that suggests that there might be mental inferences working beyond the spatial boundaries of the brain simply doesn’t fit into a clockwork view of the world, and therefore it has to be rejected.

This attempt to ignore or reject things that don’t fit into a world view is a very well known human tendency. It’s happened over and over again in the history of science. In the end the evidence wins out, but in the case of psychical phenomena, this denial is still quite strong.

This behavior is akin to the cardinals at the time of Galileo, who didn’t believe there could be craters on the Moon, so they just didn’t want to look through his telescopes which showed that there were. Similarly, in the nineteenth century, creationists who didn’t want to believe in an evolutionary theory had to explain away the fossils as being, in the most extreme case, put there by God to try our faith.

It’s based on a particularly limited belief system — one that was developed in the late eighteenth century, before we knew anything much about genes, electricity and magnetism and certainly before atomic theory and quantum non-locality was known about. It’s really Enlightenment rationalism of the sort of 1790s variety.

For the full article, click here.

'Nevermore' Forevermore: Bringing Edgar Allan Poe Back to Boston

SOURCE: BostInno

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As many of us are fully aware, Boston can be a difficult place for one to plant their roots. Looking back in time to the 19th century, things weren't much different. Celebrated author and poet Edgar Allan Poe may have had a tough time of it here in the Hub, engaging contentiously with local literati, but over a century later, Poe's hometown holds him in the highest esteem. And so too will future Bostonians when they gaze upon the life-sized, bronze-cast statue of American literature's most enigmatic writer.

The Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston has worked tirelessly to reincarnate Poe in bronze in the center of his native city, and their efforts certainly are not in vain. Stefanie Rocknak, the artist responsible for bringing Poe back to life, recently completed work on the full clay statue and has since delivered it to the foundry (New England Sculpture Service) in Chelsea.

Rocknack won the coveted commission after duking it out against 265 other artists who applied from 42 states and 13 countries. She describes her design, titled Poe Returning to Boston, as "Just off the train, the figure would be walking south towards his place of birth, where his mother and father once lived. Poe, with a trunk full of ideas—and worldwide success—is finally coming home." And of course, he's accompanied by the fowl he's synonymously and endlessly linked to: a raven.

BostInno chatted with Paul Lewis, chair of the foundation and a professor of English at Boston College, to find out more about the steps the foundation has taken to preserving Poe's legacy, his quarrelsome connection to Boston and some fun facts we might not have known about him otherwise.

Poe was born on January 19, 1809 at 62 Carver Street – now 62 Charles Street South – and it was celebrating his bicentennial in 2009 that gave Lewis, and his constituents, the idea for commemorating his life forevermore.

Music for your edification: Terrence Dixon - Mission

Artist: Terrence Dixon
Album: Badge of Honor
Track: Mission

From Resident Advisor:

Though he never really went away, Terrence Dixon's recent flurry of activity must qualify as some sort of come back, given the revival of his floor-focused Population One alias and last year's decade-late sequel to From The Far Future. That record saw the Detroit vet still at the top of his game, as bleeding-edge as he'd ever been. Badge Of Honor sails in just a year later, this time on UK outfit Surface, and shows Dixon adopting a very specific strain of electro-informed techno.

Dixon's adventurous tendencies here are embedded in more subtle ways than on Far From The Future Vol.2. It's less structured than that LP, and easier to take in piece-by-piece than all at once. The naval theme of the track titles ("High Current," "Ocean To Sea," "The Atlantic") crosses over into the music itself, with topsy-turvy basslines that emulate a turbulent sea ("Deploy"), sounds that imitate sonar pings ("Out Of Time") and other such aquatic touches. Comparisons to Drexciya seem obvious, but the connection is more spiritual than concrete.

With its emphasis on analog sounds, Badge Of Honor sounds retro, but in a way that feels more reverent than nostalgic. It could easily be an unearthed gem from the mid-'90s. Dixon's work has a richness many similar artists would have trouble tapping into. This is a man who intimately knows his equipment. We get deft synth work ("The Atlantic") as well as more trippy moments ("Light Years," which sounds like it's perpetually falling apart), offering some meaty detail below the surface-level coat of grit.

 

Mystery of Death Solved: DMT is the Key

We now know what happens at death:

Resting comfortably in the recessed center of your brain, encased snugly within the corpus colossum, wrapped tightly between the dual-hemispheres of spongy nerve bundles, encased in the quarter-inch-thick armor-plating of skull, finally surrounded by your main and expressive organs with which you face the world, exists a tiny gland, long considered vestigial (serving little to no function), that holds the key to our interpretation of existence as we know it.  I’m speaking of the pineal gland. This minute spec, roughly the size of a grain of rice, is more heavily protected than even the heart with its literal cage of protection, because if something happens to your heart you die, but if something happens to your pineal, you can’t go to heaven.

Never heard of it?

This pineal gland has influences on both melatonin and pinoline, but our interest is in the gland’s role in the creation of dimethyltriptamine, or DMT. This chemical, DMT, may well be the reason we, as a species, are capable of sentience itself.

I’m not a chemist; break it down.

First, DMT is a narcotic, schedule 1. It’s one of the most highly illegal substances on the planet (on par with plutonium), because DMT is the most potent hallucinogen known to man. Intensely powerful. Yet, every day your pineal produces this stuff.

Secondly, DMT is the chemical that elicits dreams. That’s right. Each night as you drift to slumber-land, not only are you tripping on a psychedelic but you’re premeditatedly committing a federal offence; it’s a felony.

And third, this illegal gateway to dreamland is released in massive amounts at the moment of death. When I say massive, if a water glass of DMT evokes a dream, at death, an equivalent river excretes into your system. Any druggies reading this?

How have I not heard of this before?

Well, the pineal’s significance is neither a new idea, nor an unfounded one. Spanning the expanse of human civilization runs an undercurrent of worshipful adoration to the almighty pineal, more widely known as the inner eye, all-seeing eye, or the like – considered the body’s gateway to the soul.

Egypt had its Eye of Horus (now emblazoned on the US dollar bill). Hindu culture has its bottu (the familiar forehead dot). Even the ancient art of yoga recognizes the brow chakra, or ajna, as blossoming at the pineal, or third eye. That’s only to name a few.

The hell you say! The truth behind the cult of the pineal has gone largely unnoticed collectively, though the symbols themselves have been downright ubiquitous. Tibetan Buddhists, as well, have long carried a belief that the soul enters the fetus precisely 49 days after conception. Likely, reading this, you are not a Tibetan Buddhist – their numbers fall less than 20 million – and whether you subscribe to an eternal soul or not isn’t the point, because day 49 is the moment the pineal is formed in a fledgling brain.

History 2D: Science, Magic, and Religion

Professor Courtenay Raia of UCLA lectures on science and religion as historical phenomena that have evolved over time. Examines the earlier mind-set before 1700 when into science fitted elements that came eventually to be seen as magical. The course also question how Western cosmologies became "disenchanted." Magical tradition transformed into modern mysticisms is also examined as well as the political implications of these movements.

All twenty lectures are available here.

Everybody's Psychic: Discovering Your Psychic Potential and What To Do with It

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SOURCE: Evolver Learning Lab

Explore your psychic potential with leading researchers in the field of parapsychology and anomalistic science.

6 Sessions, Starting January 15.
8:00 p.m. New York
5:00 p.m. San Francisco

Despite what debunkers would have you believe, many respected scholars, scientists and researchers feel that we’ve moved beyond proving that psi exists. Now it's time to start thinking about how to integrate psychic functioning into our daily lives. Are you ready to learn to live with psi?

  • How can you access your psychic potential?
  • What can you do to make your intuitions more reliable?
  • How can you use your psychic potential in everyday life?
  • If psychic potential exists in everyone, why do skeptics say there’s nothing to it?

 

In this unique course, you will reach a deeper understanding of your own psychic potential, discover what makes the psychic experience distinct, and benefit from the experiences of researchers and high functioning psychics who have paved the way for a new paradigm in consciousness.


Craig Weiler, of the Weiler Psi Blog, and David Metcalfe, Reality Sandwich contributing editor and “Psi in the News” columnist, have gathered together some of the leading thinkers in the field of of Parapsychology and Anomalistic Science to help you understand, integrate and learn to use the most recent research in this new frontier of psi.  They include:

 

  • James Carpenter, president of the Parapsychological Association and author of the groundbreaking theory of psi, "First Sight" 
  • Julie Beischel, PhD.  Co-Founder and Director of Research at the Windbridge Institute, whose work investigates the therapeutic value of mediumship and the mysteries of discarnate communication
  • Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Volden, pioneers of Systemic Constellations, a new form of therapy that assumes that consciousness is nonlocal
  • Chris Carter, author of the authoritative book, "Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics"
  • William Bengston, author of “Energy Cure,” his memoir of researching hands-on healing in a rigorous, scientific environment

 

Killian Schoenberger's Photography reveals the magical landscapes of the Brothers Grimm

German photographer Killian Schoenberger's collection entitled, Brothers Grimm's Homeland depicts mysterious and magical landscapes from his deep in Germany's Harz Mountains region. The images easily draw viewers into the world revealed to us through the prose of the Brothers Grimm.

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Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age

Graham Hancock's mind bending series on underwater civilisations, lost to humanity after being buried by the great floods at the end of the Ice Age. Are the stories about a great flood that come from all over the world true, like Noah's Ark? Do these ancient traditions and myths talk of real events, and can this time be pinpointed to the end of the Ica Age when sea levels rose by four hundred feet? In this programme, a huge city is found under the sea off the Western coast of India which could be related to the ancient Indus Valley civilisation. Does this civilisation go back farther than five thousand years? Also, in southern India a new site is found off the coast...

Tippi Degre, the real life Mowgli

SOURCE: Bored Panda

Riding a five-ton elephant, whom she called ‘my brother’, chilling with a cheetah or hugging a giant bullfrog as if it were a Teddy bear. The childhood of a French girl Tippi Degre sounds more like a newer version of Mowgli, rather than something real. A white child, she was born in Namibia to French wildlife photographer parents, and grew up in Africa. Tippi spent her whole childhood playing with wild animals including lion cubs, a mongoose, a snake, a cheetah, baby zebra, giraffes and crocodiles.

The little girl saw nothing unusual about her company: “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends,” she once said.

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Origins Conference 2013 - Livestream on Sat. Nov. 16

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For those unsuccessful in obtaining tickets for the Origins conference this Saturday in London, watch every presentation streamed live to your computer. View Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, Graham Phillips, Andrew Collins, Caroline Wise and Hugh Newman from the comfort of your own home. Cost is now only £19.99 or $33 for the entire day.