1595 views

(image by Aaron Escobar, used under a Creative Commons license) This is the video of the talk I did at the Dublin Paracon 2009 on the subject of 9/11 and conspiracy theories. This talk resulted from a course called Digital Cultures, part of the MsC. in e-learning at the University of Edinburgh, where we were encouraged to carry out a 'virtual ethnography' on a community of our choice. I chose, for reasons passing understanding, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, choosing some of the recent 9/11 films as a field site. Press play. And this is the presentation with all of the materials. Press the play button, let it load and the choose the full screen option in the bottom-right corner to properly view all the embedded materials. For some context on how this all came about, you can rummage through my blog for the university course. Hat-tip Thanks to Mark Guerin...

1016 views

The 2nd Dublin Paracon will take place at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 on Saturday November the 7th 2009. I'll be there giving a talk entitled 'Blather, Rinse, Repeat: An Ethnography of Conspiracy Theory'. Update: online scrapbook from the talk added. Update 26/10/09 I've wanted to try out Prezi for a while and thought this might be a good chance to muck about with it. This is a 'Prezi scrapbook' which will eventually become the basis of the talk. It also overlaps with some of my university work at the moment. Wonderful when two previously completely un-related fields you move about it wander together. Suggest you go full screen to see it properly. Press play first. Then click More and Fullscreen. The Dublin Paranormal Convention is Ireland's largest event for those interested in ghosts, hauntings, ufology, unexplained phenomenon, spirituality, mediumship, cryptozoology, paranormal investigation and much much...

1277 views

Photo: Dave Walsh. More about this image here... Suffering from global warming fatigue? Considering the 30 percent drop in attendance rate at the Irish Skeptics talk on climate change in April, some might. Understandably so. Not only because of this feeling of having heard it all before... but also, living in Ireland even if you're one of the most environmentally concerned citizens, you might still find it hard to be really upset about the temperatures getting warmer. Rightly so? Well, this was actually the question addressed by Professor John Sweeney from the Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth in his talk "Climate change in Ireland: The need to move beyond skepticism". Professor Sweeney was invited by the Irish Skeptics as a member of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to tell us about the likely consequences that climate change will have for Ireland. It will maybe surprise some Irish...

1680 views

Yaaaar... The Irish Times had an enlightening article yesterday which illustrates the wonderful shitehawk shenanigans, smoke and mirror style hoop jumping, and outright obfuscation involved in modern Irish planning applications. AN TAISCE has warned that the proposed deepwater port at Bremore, north Co Dublin, could threaten an archaeological complex of passage tombs even older than Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in the Boyne Valley. The environmental trust was commenting yesterday on plans by Drogheda Port to extend its boundary southwards so as to incorporate Bremore for development of the deepwater port in partnership with Treasury Holdings. Saying it was opposed to this development, the trust complained no environmental assessment of its effects has been made available, and thus there could be no proper public consultation, as required under EU law. Ah now, An Taisce, hold on there just a minute. Don't you know that there's no need for one of them...

1904 views

This was first posted as a blog on the Greenpeace Climate blog - with with my pal Nick Cobbings excellent photographs. I'm currently the blogger and press officer on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, off the coast of Greenland as part of a four month expedition investigating climate impacts in the Arctic. It's five minutes past midnight on board the Arctic Sunrise. The sun never sets at this time of year; instead it casts long late shadows on the ice, and turns the sea water and icebergs buttery yellows and infinite blues.  Some of us should be asleep, but few of us are - we're pulled up beside a stunning iceberg, which has become known as 'The Donut', thanks to the circular hole formed by an exquisite archway of glacier ice.  I'm on the starboard bridge wing, looking at the Sunrise's shadow play on the 'berg, then reflection of...

1885 views

Every now and then, the Internet brings forth startling discoveries and staggering examples of original research bordering on such genius that they leave one completely gob-smacked, boggle-eyed, in need of a lie-down and perhaps even, a tiny little yellow stained leakage in one's summery cotton y-fronts, as one grapples with the ramifications of what has just been 'revealed'. The following is not one of those times. Though it may leave you with a profound appreciation of Darwinian evolution, chimpanzee typists, and/or the long term effects of hallucinogenic substances on the human mind. "For more than forty years a top US scientist, Professor Philip Callahan has turned his mind to the enigma of the distinctive round towers of Ireland. His discovery, one of the most important this century, has huge implications for modern man. For these towers, built by monks in the 6th and 7th Centuries are no less than radio...

1344 views

(image by Lazlo-photo, used under a Creative Commons sharealike license) In this, the fourth of the series, Dr. David Luke explores the extraordinary realm of 'dream psi' and how the counter-culture experiments of the 1960's are coming back with a sexy vengeance. Or something. Read Part 1 here Read Part 2 here Read Part 3 here The research of dream psi has long been fruitful in generating successful results , as has research with partial sensory deprivation environments known as the Ganzfeld, to some degree. But aside from a few projects looking into meditation there has been very little research done recently into psi with other altered states. Revisiting the hopeful days of the 1960s, one of the areas of research I've been working on, in virtual solitude, is the parapsychology of psychedelic experiences . So far, about a dozen experimental programs using LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, cannabis or Amanita muscaria...

1484 views

(image by Lazlo-photo, used under a Creative Commons sharealike license) Gyrarr. Yarrr. Etc. Etc. Dr. David Luke returns with the third part in his exploration of psychic piracy. This week the venerable doctor examines 'the unconscious reservoir of psychic information'. Oh yes. Read Part 1 here Read Part 2 here What many people may not be aware of is that much of the recent research in parapsychology adumbrates psi as a genuine, albeit subtle and largely unconscious phenomenon capable of escaping our conscious detection, even though our nervous system seemingly picks up the psychic information and responds to it. To illustrate, using brain mapping technology such as EEG a person in one room has their brain monitored while a person in a distant room has their brain randomly stimulated, usually through visual stimulation, such as a flash of bright lights. These visual stimulations are known to reliably cause easily observable...

1497 views

(image by Lazlo-photo, used under a Creative Commons sharealike license) Yaaaar! We be back with more brain piracy, psychic mularkey and general cerebral oddity. This week, Dr. Dave looks at (amongst other things) the rather curious history of EEG, why certain tribes survived that Tsunami and several women through a telescope. The Science Of Magic? Slouching towards 2012 there's a hopeful fervour brewing in the New Age and psychedelic cauldron that the end of the Mayan calendar will force us to leap spectacularly into an era of realised panpsychism, where telepathy no longer requires telephones and we can plug directly into the Gaian internet or Vernadsky's noosphere (a kind of human collective consciousness). As a contemporary spokesman for this view Daniel Pinchbeck has borrowed generously from Rudolf Steiner, who foresaw the coming of the Age of Michael and the development of universal telepathy, as did Steiner's contemporary Teilhard de Chardin....

1470 views

(image by Lazlo-photo, used under a Creative Commons sharealike license) In the first of a new series of articles, long-term Blather.net collaborator (we've been collectively barred from every pub in Hackney) Dr. David Luke gives us the skinny on the extraordinary abilities that may lie just within our cerebral reach. So, sit yourselves down, strap yourselves in and get ready to have your third-eye squeegeed clean... 'I woke up this morning...' I woke up this morning with a psychic advert left lingering in my dreaming mind. It was some kind of oneiric flyer for a new type of yoga, it even had a telephone number on it to call. This fanciful hypnopompic intrusion brought me back to the idea that if science can identify techniques for reliably producing psychic abilities (termed 'psi') then PR executives will soon be pumping millions into pumping adverts directly into our minds. Forget the television,...