The Alphabet for Lovers

Some of you may remember that back in December 2011 I reviewed the unique divinatory set Tokens of Light by Orna Ben-Shoshan. I’m happy to say she’s back with “The AlphaBet for Lovers: Insights, Advice & Prophecies about Love and Relationships According to the Hebrew Alphabet”. If you were intrigued by “Tokens of Light”, you’re going to LOVE “The AlphaBet for Lovers”.

“The AlphaBet for Lovers” is a set of 72 small (when compared to tarot) heart-shaped cards. Each card has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet on it and according to Ben-Shoshan the Kabbalah attributes more meaning to these letters. A heart will have a beautiful piece of Orna Ben-Shoshan’s art on one side along with a number and the other side will have a short phrase that is associated with the Hebrew letter that is on the back. The set comes in a box designed to look like a book and with a pretty bag to carry the heart cards in.

Although the name says “Lovers”, “The AlphaBet for Lovers” is designed for examining relationships in general. Relationships between co-workers, parent and child, etc. are all fair game for examination. Readings are relatively straight forward. You reach your hand into the bag and mix the hearts while focusing on your question. Once you feel your hand is drawn to a heart, you select it, and by using the number on the front of the heart you can easily look it up in the companion book and learn its meaning.

And not too sound like an infomercial, but wait! There’s still more! If you go to her site you can also check out “The 9 Blessings: For Love, Health, and Success”. These are 9 Kabbilistic amulets on cards conveniently sized to carry in your wallet or purse. You could easily carry them in your pocket as long as you think you could remember to take it out before washing your clothes!

Once again Orna Ben-Shoshan has created an enchanting and unique divinatory set. To learn more, you can visit her site.

The Lonely Life of CFBDSIR2149-0403

On November 14, 2012 the BBC World News website posted a story about a “rogue planet” in anticipation of its appearance in “Astronomy and Astrophysics”. These rogues aren’t that uncommon, but what’s special about this one is that it is our closest neighbor at 100 light-years away.

The article says that these rogue planets are formed much like stars but they just never reach a star’s full mass (There is a late years Elvis or Brando joke there but I just can’t put I finger on it.), or they form the way planets normally do but are then thrown out of their host star’s orbit. Kind of like if the Earth were suddenly flung out of the Sun’s orbit, but like millions of years ago, not right this minute. Right this minute would suck.

A team went looking for these planets using the Canada France Hawaii VLT. (VLT stands for Very Large Telescope. Seriously people, I can’t make that kind of stuff up! See? Science can be totally accessible.) Etienne Artigau, co-author of the study, is quoted in the article as saying they “observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighborhood.”

According to the article, this rogue planet, named CFBDSIR2149-0403, is believed to be 50 – 120 million years old. That’s a long time for a planet to be out there without a star to call its own. And it will continue to be “homeless”, a “rogue”, and “orphaned” until the sky ceases to be. It’s an interesting scientific discovery, but I also find it a rather sad, lonesome story.

Study co-author Philippe Delorme didn’t say it made him “sad”, but in the BBC article he did say, “If this little object is a planet that has been ejected from its native system, it conjures up the striking image of orphaned worlds, drifting in the emptiness of space.”

This rarely happens, but for some reason, this story made me immediately think of the song “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” by Moby. Some may know it from the movie “Heat”. Anyway, here’s a YouTube of the song. If you want the complete “Rebecca” experience, you can start the music on the video and the start reading the BBC World News article and see if they go together for you like they did for me.

God speed CFBDSIR2149-0403, God speed.

A Magical Path

By Marc Allen

The magical path is a short path, one that reaches its destination quickly, and for that reason, it’s appealing and useful for a great many people, including artists, young people, the overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed, or hopelessly lazy.

The magical path is a direct path to success as you choose to define it. You work directly with the creative forces of the universe, so that the life and the world you picture and focus on in your imagination very quickly become your life and your world in full, three-dimensional reality.

This is a course in real magic.

Real magic exists, absolutely. It is called by many different names by different people all around the world. Whatever word or words you use to describe it, it is the mysterious process by which something is created out of apparently nothing. It is the process that has created this entire vast universe with you and me sitting in it and pondering these words at this moment. It is the ever-mysterious process of life — call it what you will.

I’ve always liked the word magic. I still have memories of the mystery and wonder of childhood, and the word has always fascinated me. You can call it by many other words, including physics or chemistry if those words seem more accurate or sensible or realistic to you. You can call it intelligent design — whatever you call it, however you imagine it to be, there is obviously a vast intelligence within the forces that design and create this universe. You can call it God, you can call it science. You can call it creative visualization. You can call it strategic planning. Successful people use magic all the time, whether they’re aware of it or not.

Many people who use magic very effectively don’t believe in it, and don’t even like the word or the concept of magic at all. The word has a great many negative meanings for a lot of people. Yet a large number of them have found out how to apply what we can call the laws of manifestation and — yes — magical creation in their lives. They just give the process different words. Choose whatever words work for you.
The words themselves are not that important — they are tools to summon powers that are far beyond our words. Call this mysterious process anything you want. For the purposes of this course, we’ll call it magic.

There is an ever-mysterious process of creation;
we can call it many things.
We will never understand how the process works,
but we can consciously set it in motion.

The process begins in the inner world of the mind. It begins with a thought, a dream — something ephemeral, fleeting, as light and vulnerable as a tiny seed blown in the wind. By focusing on that thought, that dream, we can discover how to create it in our lives and our world. We can create something out of apparently nothing.

About Marc Allen:
Marc Allen, author of “The Magical Path”, is an internationally renowned seminar leader, entrepreneur, author, and composer. He co-founded New World Library (with Shakti Gawain) in 1977 and has guided the company, as president and publisher, from a small start-up to its current position as a major player in the independent publishing world.

Excerpted from the new book The Magical Path ©2012 by Marc Allen. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com

Blimpin’ for Bigfoot

Readers interested in cryptozoology, specifically Bigfoot, are probably familiar with Dr. Jeff Meldrum. However, for those of you who are not, let me give you a bit of a Wikipedia run down, “Jeffery Meldrum is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. Meldrum is also Adjunct Professor of Occupational and Physical Therapy and Affiliate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Idaho Museum of Natural History.” He also happens to investigate evidence and claims of Bigfoot sightings, much to the derision of many of his peers. Meldrum is the author of “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science”, which I’ve never read but now that I know exists I totally want to read.

Next spring Meldrum is hoping to kick it up a notch by using a remote controlled blimp with thermal imaging to scour the Pacific Northwest, as well as the Northern tiers of California and Utah. The small hitch in this plan is the need to raise $300,000 or more from private funding. The news stories I read mentioned donations and/or crowdsourcing, but I haven’t been able to find a place where the average person can go to donate to the Bigfoot search cause. I did find a Facebook page for Dr. Jeff Meldrum – Project Sasquatch. It says, “We are developing an on-line show with CyberStationUSA called ‘Project Sasquatch’ where I will be sharing some of my research and investigations into this most intriguing natural history mystery.” Perhaps this online show is footing the bill?

No matter what, Project Falcon (which is what this is being called) would be a big, bold step in the Bigfoot search. The pressure is on because it seems to me if this $300,000 search yields nothing, it’s unlikely anyone would invest that kind of money in the search for Bigfoot again. Unless it makes for good television of course.

A few news stories, MSNBC and Huffington Post.

Sipe’s Soul of Light

I got an interesting offer from Quest Books. Would I like to review “Soul of Light: Works of Illumination” by Joma Sipe. What makes this interesting is that essentially this is an art book. I like art, of course, but I couldn’t help but wonder, why on earth would Quest books think that The Magical Buffet or its readers would care about this particular art book? I shouldn’t have doubted them.

The works of Joma Sipe are inspired from a spiritual background that rivals some published authors. At fifteen he began studying Theosophy and the works of H.P. Blavatsky and Annie Besant, and from there Rudolf Steiner, P.D. Ouspensky and more. At seventeen Sipe got involved with a school called “The Gnostic Movement”. In his late twenties he practiced ritual and practical magic with another mystical school. Inspired by “Autobiography of a Yogi” Sipe traveled India learning about Hindu religion. At the same time he was reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, which then led him to study “A Course in Miracles”. Indeed Joma Sipe is well versed on many matters of the occult and spirit.

Since he opted not to become an author, what does he do? Create art. Sipe says, “The intricate and elaborate process of creating each work includes the purpose of transmitting a message, although sometimes that message cannot be understood immediately. Each work disperses and concentrates the light that emanates from each line in the painting. This light represents Being and our deeper Essence, the deep heart of the energy from life that inhabits everything that exists. This energy seeks to break the barrier of the physical dimension to meld with the universal Energy that condenses, materializes, and takes form in each canvas.”

To create his pieces Sipe waits for inspiration, and then on canvas or black paper using gold or silver ink to draw out his designs. Once drawn he uses intuition, inner vision, and sensibility to decide what points on his painting he wishes to place crystals. Sipe uses both simple crystals that only reflect a white light and aurora boreal crystals that reflect in a rainbow of colors. Sometimes he’s inspired to use both gold and silver and/or both types of crystals. Lastly Sipe does what he calls the “illuminated work”. This is where he adds light and soft-color computer effects. That’s what makes his works have that otherworldly glow about them.

The book “Soul of Light” is simply beautiful. Many of the works are accompanied by poetry from the artist to provide a glimpse into his mind about the piece. The pages are entirely black which helps highlight the artwork. I don’t want to tell you what to do, but the holiday gift giving season is coming up and “Soul of Light” is a pretty awesome gift. It’s not the perfect gift for everyone on your list, but right now your looking at the sample art here (which our resized scans don’t do justice) and you already know someone who would like this. You know it, I know it, and the Amazon widget to the right knows it.

Licorne and Chakras

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

This column is intended to provide messages from the Tarot to address modern problems experienced by everyday people. Questioners, also known as “Querents” submit requests to have their issue addressed in a complimentary three card Tarot Reading published as part of the Magical Buffet. The reading not only addresses the Querent’s issue but also provides education about the role of Tarot as a tool for exploration and empowerment.

It’s November, and love is in the air…at least it is for our Querent who will be referred to as Helena. She writes in wanting to know if the man she is seeing is as serious about the relationship as she is. Whether her relationship has long term commitment potential, and what obstacles she may face in this relationship as well as general advice for the future are also questions on her mind. For this reading the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg is used. The resulting cards drawn are the 10 Pentacles, Knight Swords, and Wheel of Fortune.

The 10 of Pentacles was drawn to show whether Mr. Man has long term commitment potential. When selecting cards for a reading in which specific questions are involved it is sometimes helpful to designate while shuffling what the specific question will be, like designating variables in an algebra equation. This card is associated with stability and commitment. Whereas the suit of cups would usually indicate emotional bonds and pentacles would indicate material stability, the 10 of Pentacles influences relationships but with a focus on the material aspects of nurturing. It indicates a commitment to providing long term stability, growth and protection for the benefit of a family. It indicates that growth is important to this individual, as is providing security in the relationship. Emotional commitment is likely to be demonstrated through work, provision of assets and resources, and development of material essentials and luxuries. Helena, you must be warned that in a way this person will seem married to their job, but that does not mean they are not committed to their relationship as well. Their business is important to them, but it is a commitment that serves as a vehicle through which this person can demonstrate their commitment to their relationship. Be aware this man will make decisions that seem more committed to work than to family or home, but to him it is a matter of following work to make things better for the home and family. This card indicates an approaching resolution to a work related conflict. More emphasis may have been placed on business than affection and romance recently, but it seems to be what this individual deems a necessary evil in order to be able to provide for those he cares about. This relationship has staying power but it will likely be expressed through generosity and material establishment, less through emotional expression and affection. In this relationship, working hard to provide material comforts is the expression of love.

Knight of Swords

The next card is drawn to represent obstacles in this relationship. It is the Knight of Swords. Sudden change, action, restlessness are indicated by this card. Eagerness to push for results may bring overbearing energy which becomes confusing, counterproductive, and stressful. Impulsivity may need to be addressed as well. Pushing this relationship forward too aggressively or too quickly will pose an obstacle. Delivery of a message or communication regarding the need to change, move, proceed to the next level, or take action could also be problematic if the communication is made out of frustration, anger, or aggression. Be mindful to not lose your own footing in the haste and excitement to start a new life together, especially as it seems many changes will be taking place at once. These changes can threaten your foundation and sense of security and it is important to be open to growth and change as it occurs in this relationship without completely losing track of your own foundation and individual needs. Hastiness, impulsivity or a flaring temper can also be detrimental to this relationship. If either of you has an older child- of teen or young adult age- who is impulsive, passionate, and sometimes given to emotionally charged outbursts, it is likely that a conflict will arise out of this child’s adjustment to growth in the relationship, especially if it involves travel or new living arrangements. Expect a move or relocation to be stressful and frustrating, and be mindful of how anger is channeled and communicated.

The final card in this spread is the Wheel of Fortune, numbered 10. It is the second ten in this three card spread, the first being the 10 of Pentacles. This indicates completion, the evolution and growth through a process that brings finality and a new beginning. It is likely that things come full circle in this relationship and many new opportunities for both of you as individuals and as a couple will unfold. Where you are headed now is not where you will end up, but it is through fortunate and fateful turns and twists that you will arrive at a much more successful end point than you could currently imagine. The turbulent and aggressive energy of the Knight of Swords suggests pushing for too much too fast will backfire in this relationship. The Wheel of Fortune indicates that desire for change should be satisfied well enough by allowing fate and the universe to introduce opportunities, fortunate and unexpected, to alter the course of events, allowing you to navigate twists and turns and of course producing profound personal changes within this relationship. This card indicates success, luck and movement. A key to the best use of this energy is in your own ability to let go and allow the currents around you to lead the way. Pushing too strongly for an expected outcome will hinder larger potential growth and opportunities. This is an indicator of change and excitement. You will likely find yourself swept away from where you had established roots. You will be given opportunities that will inspire far reaching change on a personal level. Fortunate circumstances arise for both partners that allow you both to follow your personal visions, and evolve as a couple. It is important to not cling too tightly to a preconceived outcome. Twists and turns in this relationship will have fortunate outcomes for you but it is important to remain open to new ideas and experiences that challenge your previously planned courses of action. As you remain open to the twists and turns of fate remember that regardless of any reading or psychic advice you always have the free will to make choices. The Wheel of Fortune portends lucky opportunities unfolding around you. It is a Major Arcana card, therefore it speaks to larger matters related to your spiritual growth and can have ramifications for numerous areas of your life, your relationship being only one. The repetition of the number ten suggests advancement, growth and longevity for this relationship.

As always, you still maintain free will to accept or disregard any advice depending on your own goals and needs. If at any time a relationship becomes toxic, threatening or abusive it is better to consider your own personal safety regardless of outside advice. This being a general statement not representing anything indicated in this reading, however. Remember that no matter where you are when you read this post, in NYS all readings are for entertainment only and are not substitution for legal, medical, or professional advice. Best of luck to you and enjoy the excitement of your growing relationship!

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and formed Moonlight Tarot in 2009 which would become Moonlight Tarot LLC in 2010. Angela uses the Tarot to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011). In 2006 she joined ISIS Paranormal Investigations and has accompanied the team on numerous investigations in private residences and businesses throughout the capital region, Adirondacks, Vermont and Massachusetts.

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com

Check out Moonlight Tarot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoonlightTarotLlc

For more related to Tarot and Wicca, check out: Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? At www.wwtrd.webs.com

For more related to the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, artwork by Yury Shakov and Cynthia Giles, visit http://www.usgamesinc.com/product.php?productid=595

10 Mostly City Magick Questions with Christopher Penczak

1. “City Magick: Spells, Rituals, and Symbols for the Urban Witch” was your first book that was published. How does it feel to see it back in print?

It’s honestly a little weird. Though I am very happy with the book and how it started my writing career, I feel a lot less attached to it now and it feels like a lifetime away. I no longer work in the city and have those same issues, so when folks want to talk intensely about it, I feel a little disconnected. I just moved into a lovely home with a barn and five acres in New Hampshire, and we’re setting it up to be the home of the Temple of Witchcraft. I find the woods calling to me more and more, and only in the cities when I travel to teach.

2. What had inspired you to write “City Magick”?

I was working at Fort Apache, a Boston area recording studio and record label. I had just gotten my first degree in Witchcraft, and shifted from this more coven based, outdoor practice in the suburbs of New Hampshire to working all the time in Cambridge, and staying out late at shows and events in Boston. My time off was between office hours and the next show, and I was trying to squeeze a magickal practice in at that time. The techniques naturally grew out of my experiences there and some inspiriation from my partner, Steve Kenson, and his approach to magick through Chaos Magick. Some Peter Carrol, Phil Hine and Grant Morrison helped me on my way.

I kept good notes on my practice, and when I found myself no longer employed, I began writing about it to fill the time and soon had a book to publish.

3. I think many Pagan magic users feel the closer to nature the better. Are there perhaps any advantages to city based magic?

I think it teaches you to feel the current of life force anywhere you are. I think someone who can only practice in nature isn’t really paying attention and needs to gain better percpetion and connection. Nature is everywhere. It is tenaciously growing through the city cracks and found upon the streets no matter where they are. Cities have their own nature, their own ecosystems, their own spirit systems, and they are available to us.

4. At this point in your career you’ve traveled quite a bit, are there any cities you find particularly magical?

Seattle. I love Seattle. Great harmonious mix of nature and city, art and magick. Just returned from there actually, so I might be a little biased. I find San Francisco, Boston and New York City particularly magickal. London is overwhelmingly magickal. At times I feel like I’m wading through the aura of London, but at other times, it’s easier. I wonder if that has to do with seasonal or astrological alignments. Cities have astrology and charts, just like people. They have their own persona and character and life their share with their inhabitants.

5. “City Magick” offers an extensive list of exercises for readers to try such as Sidewalking and TV Scrying. What are some of your favorites and why?

The Sidewalking is still one of my favorite – to attune to the energy and currents and spirits just when out for a walk. You can do it in the woods on a trail, or in the city through downtown. It helps you pick up on what is present energetically wherever you are.

I also like looking for magickal symbols in graffiti art. That is still inspiring. I used to blog about it when I traveled, but haven’t done it in a while.

6. In “City Magick” you discuss magic having three basic building blocks, “the three Rs: reality, rapture, and ritual”. Do you still use those building blocks when discussing magic now, 11 years later?

I don’t think I use that same language today. I tend to focus now on the teachings of the Temple of Witchcraft, and the three there have gotten boilded down to clear intent, strength of will and a method to direct energy. There are some parallels, but not an exact match. I think for the Temple, it was more about basic spell casting magick to start, while City Magick was talking more about magickal consciousness in general.

7. Obviously there is no shortage of books dealing with magic in nature, and “City Magick” covers cities extensively. Can readers adapt the lessons in “City Magick” for life in any of the seemingly zillions of American suburbs?

I think so. In some ways, suburbs are becoming more urban now, aren’t they? The suburbs of my youth are not what they are like now. They are much more congested. So I think the basic idea of attuning the spirit of place, no matter where you are, applies anywhere and anytime.

8. You recently designed spell charms/coins for Deva Designs. Can you tell my readers a little bit about them and where they can find them?

I was approached by the owners of Deva Designs to help co-create a magickal line of products that would serve the Pagan communities and beyond. Deva Designs has a stellar reputation of making magickal products at fair prices. I was always a big fan of their Ted Andrews animal coins and liked their Goddess designs. We designed fifteen spell coin pocket charms, and have release the first five – Love, Healing, Prosperity, Protection and Psychic Power. They are designed with a magickal geometry and symbolism, combining images from several different systems as used in modern Witchcraft. On the back is a spell written to activate the charm. Follow the instructions and recite the spell while holding the charm and then carry it in your pocket.

I sell them on my own website, www.christopherpenczak.com, and local metaphysical retailers can obtain them through Deva Designs whole sale and provide them to the public.

9. I know you’re always insanely busy, do you have any upcoming projects you can share with my readers?

Well, I’m super excited about the Temple of Witchcraft’s new land project. We have obtained a mortgage on a property where the founders of the Temple will be living and paying rent to the Temple. We don’t work on the traditional parsonage model even though we are a nonprofit church in the eyes of the federal government. The first floor of the house and the barn will be Temple facilities, and we are raising funds for a parking lot and barn renovation. Anyone who wants to donate, can visit www.templeofwitchcraft.org. We’ll be putting together a formal donation program for these projects soon, as they really just happened less than two weeks ago, but anyone can donate via our paypal donation button.

I’ve also completed work on two new books to be put out through a publishing company that I’m a co-partner in, Copper Cauldron Publishing. This month’s release is The Feast of the Morrighan, a book about the Celtic Crow Goddess the Morrighan. The second will be out early 2013 is called The Mighty Dead, a book on the enlightened ancestors of the magickal traditions, and most specifically, of Witchcraft.

And lastly I’m helping Laurie Cabot out with her next book, a spell book gathering her years of experiencing running a shop, teaching and pioneering her way as a Witch. It’s great to be reconnected with one of my first and beloved teachers and get such a first hand, direct teachings that we are able to share with the world.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Have you tried Nettles for your allergies? They work wonders for me and my other partner, Adam.

I haven’t given that a try. I don’t know, using nature to treat my allergies……I’m suspicious of the enemy……

About Christopher Penczak:
Christopher Penczak is a modern Witch, teacher, and healer. He is the author of the acclaimed “Inner Temple of Witchcraft” series and of “Gay Witchcraft”, Weiser Books, 2003. He offers classes and workshops throughout the U.S. Visit him at: www.christopherpenczak.com.

Geek Month in Review: October 2012

By JB Sanders

Onwards to Halloween!

What’s Invisible? More Than You Think.
Great educational (but fun!) animated TED talk about what you can’t see and other random weird things.

How to Survive a Plane Crash
Watch news footage (and some commentary) of safety experts crashing a big jet into the ground, and see what effect where you sit and what you do to prepare for the crash can do for you.

Molotov Cocktail in Slow Motion
Very cool flame blossom on this super-slo-mo video of a molotov cocktail thrown against the side of a house.
Obviously, don’t try this at home without a company of firefighters and an ambulance handy.

And for reference, the Molotov Cocktail got its name during Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland. It was not complimentary to Mr Molotov.

Stop-Motion LEGO Dr Strangelove
And you’ve already clicked on the link, haven’t you? If you haven’t, it’s part of the war-room scene.

Safest Country in Europe?
Albania: home of 750,000 bunkers. Seriously. That’s one bunker for every 4 Albanians. Apparently the paranoid dictator who ruled there had them built between 1967 and 1986. They’re being repurposed as restaurants, nightclubs, tattoo parlors, and storage facilities.

Dr Who a Religion?
Video posits whether Dr Who fans constitute a religion. Interesting discussion, and no spoilers.

Enjoy Rain Without the Wet
A new 3D art installation at London’s Barbican Centre fills a room with rain — except where each visitor is standing. No running, though, or the detection systems that prevent rain from falling on you won’t be able to keep up.

Behind the Scenes Photos: Raiders of the Lost Ark
See Lucas and Spielberg before the billionaire years. See laughs. See the way they did the melting faces.

How to Control Your Own Dreams
Ever wondered how to control your own dreams? To perform Lucid Dreaming? Wonder know more!
(Controlling the dreams of others is covered in a different video.)

Does D&D Make You More Successful?
This question posed by the IDEA channel guy and then discussed. LOTS of geeky gaming references contained within!

Underwater Atomic Explosion for Your Files
Apparently a lot of the footage taken of the early atomic experiments has been declassified and put up on YouTube. This one is an underwater explosion, with a ship in the foreground for scale.

Are We All in a Computer Sim? Ask Physicists!
It is all really just the matrix/system/virtual world? Cosmologists and particle physicists are looking for the answers in some high energy cosmic rays. Extreme science geekiness within.

Two Suns? Pshaw!
How about 4 suns? There’s a planet out there, just discovered, which has four suns: two in it’s own binary system (which it orbits) and another binary star pair that orbits the first binary pair. Woo!

Alpha Centauri Has an Earth-like Planet
The nearest solar system to ours apparently also has a planet Earth-sized. That is SUPER handy, and not just for all the scifi that now becomes possible.

The Science of Blushing
Ever wonder why people blush? I mean, besides putting their foot in their mouth or when someone makes a rude suggestion. Here’s the science.

You’ve Never Seen Lightning Like This
Watch a video of lightning capture at 7,207 frames per second. Yes, you can see just about everywhere it goes. No sound, so feel free to watch it anywhere.

And Speaking of Lightning
Here’s a great article on various lightning safety tips and myths, with some great links (including that previous video of a slo-mo lightning strike).

What You Know About Galaxy Formation is Wrong
Astronomers are discovering that what everyone generally thought about how galaxies form and change over time is wrong.

Original Star Trek Goodness
So here’s a poster-sized picture of practically every major character to have appeared in the original Star Trek series, plus tons of bad guys and ships, too. Enjoy!

70’s Scifi and Superheroes of Television
While we’re on the subject of giant posters of scifi, here’s a character and ship from every scifi or superhero thing made in the 1970’s (same artist). See how many you can identify.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com