Sunday, April 28. 2013
'It's time, if you're so inclined, to plunk down a reservation for a one-way ticket to Mars. The privately funded Mars One foundation recently opened up applications for astronauts to take a journey to the Red Planet in 2022/23. Return trips, the organisers said, just aren't feasible with the technology we have.
Tuesday, March 19. 2013
Having been interested in the old-time American hobo lifestyle for some time, it has come as a great surprise and pleasure to find a thriving subculture of modern hobos still riding freight trains across the US. PBS has a superbly evocative film about hobos here.
Friday, March 15. 2013
Having taken up the briar a little over a year ago (as a result of a few pals accusing me of being a 'Chap' and saying that "you should smoke a pipe"), I began investigating the unusual world of contemporary pipe smoking. What at first glance appeared to be a moribund pastime soon revealed a distinct, thriving, colourful, and even subversive subculture, with adherents from all over the world.
Thursday, February 7. 2013
'A judge's ruling Friday paves the way for two comedians to show their videotaped confrontation with a Port St. Lucie man one of the comics claims sexually molested him nearly 40 years ago.
Friday, December 7. 2012
A bunch of ex-NASA executives have formed a company with the objective of landing on the moon. Money well spent...
Tuesday, November 20. 2012
'The master wears an amulet with a blue eye in the center. Before him, a candidate kneels in the candlelit room, surrounded by microscopes and surgical implements. The year is roughly 1746. The initiation has begun.
Monday, October 29. 2012
How exactly is it that SpaceX can do everything so cheaply? Well, it would seem from this recent interview with Elon Musk that there are a couple of reasons in particular. The first being that there’s a tendency for big aerospace companies to outsource everything to subcontractors who then, bizarrely, outsource work to other subcontractors who subsequently - in what seems to be little more than an utter bureaucratic shambles by this point - outsource to other subcontractors and so on and so forth... ad nauseum. As one commenter aptly points out at the foot of this Wired article: "One reason for all that expensively administered subcontracting is that it pleases exactly those committees [who control NASA's funding]. The large projects they favor can subcontract in many different districts, whose congressmen then have a good reason to vote for NASA's budget. This means the committee members need not trade away any more of their political capital to get the projects that support contractors in their districts."
Thursday, October 25. 2012
'SKYLON is the successor to Britain's HOTOL spaceplane concept, being developed by Reaction Engines Ltd (REL). It is an unpiloted fully reusable aircraft-like vehicle capable of transporting 12 tonnes of cargo into space and is intended as a replacement for expensive expendable launchers in the commerical market.
Wednesday, October 10. 2012
'In quantum mechanics, quantum suicide is a thought experiment. It was originally published independently by Hans Moravec in 1987 and Bruno Marchal in 1988 and was independently developed further by Max Tegmark in 1998.
Saturday, October 6. 2012
I think I've read this book three times cover to cover. One of the best books ever written on the UFO phenomena. It doesn't look like it's on BitTorrent yet because it hasn't been converted to an ebook but you seriously need to get a copy. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Friday, October 5. 2012
Media Underground is glad to welcome back James Inman as one of our regular contributors. James used to write for us several years ago as a guest and he's been bugging me ever since to put a good team of contributors together (with him included) to restore Media Underground to its former glory.
When you go to your doctor do you assume he/she prescribes medicines to you based on what the best thing is to fix what is wrong with you? Or maybe they prescribe just what the best deal is for the NHS? Some doctors do one or both, many don't. A lot of doctors fall foul of the corporate megalith known as 'Big Pharma' and it's massive marketing machine. Many doctors are willing participants working with the Big Pharma machine because they get to go to Acapaulco and drink free cocktails. Having worked for a good while - much to my eternal shame - for Big Pharma, I was so glad to see the new book Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre published. It pours withering fire on a multi-billion pound industry that exists to pay its own greedheads rather than find effective and reasonably priced cures to human diseases. Don't be surprised if we hear about Ben Goldacre being found dead in a skip somewhere...
Sunday, September 23. 2012
Here at media underground, it is with pleasure that we welcome new contributor Stephen Lewis to the site. Stephen (or the 'Sergeant Matron' as he is often referred to) is some kind of bizarre human hybrid prototype with a keen eye for everything that is fucked up with the planet.
Sunday, August 26. 2012
'Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died aged 82. The former US astronaut, who will go down on history as the most famous pioneer of space exploration, passed away as the result of heart complications following surgery.
Wednesday, August 22. 2012
'Pussy Riot, the feminist Russian punk band from which three members were found guilty of hooliganism driven by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in jail, have released a new single called Putin Lights Up the Fires. The Guardian has edited the new song to a montage of Pussy Riot members and their supporters.' (Free Pussy Riot website).
Sunday, May 13. 2012
'This is a note to our friends across the pond, friends who may be freaking out about the news of The Pirate Bay potentially being blocked in the United Kingdom. While the news may come as a shock, especially in a country that’s so outspokenly against ACTA, all hope should not be abandoned.
Monday, March 12. 2012
'We Are Legion is a forthcoming documentary about Anonymous and hacktivism. The film explores the historical roots of early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater and then follows Anonymous from the early days of 4chan to a full-blown movement with a global reach.'
Sunday, March 11. 2012
'Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During "loss of signal" periods, viewers may see a test pattern or a graphical world map that depicts the station’s location in orbit above the Earth. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.'
Wednesday, December 7. 2011
Fed up with space games that insult your intelligence and violate every law of physics? Orbiter is a simulator that gives you an idea what space flight really feels like today and in the not so distant future. And best of all: you can download it for free!
Tuesday, October 18. 2011
William Shatner's new album is out and it's pretty damned good.
Tuesday, July 19. 2011
'Rupert Murdoch doesn't like the BBC. And sometimes the BBC doesn't seem to like Rupert Murdoch either.
Tuesday, July 12. 2011
With all the current sordid revelations emerging concerning the appalling criminal practices conducted by Rupert Murdoch's News International, I am reminded of an account my late friend and mentor, Gerald Suster, gave about the deceitful way in which a News Of The World "journalist" ruined his career back in 1989.
Thursday, June 16. 2011
'After six months under virtual house arrest, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange acknowledged Thursday that his detention is hampering the work of the secret-spilling site. His supporters accused Britain of subjecting him to "excessive and dehumanizing" treatment.
Wednesday, June 15. 2011
'In an interview with Press TV, Charlie Veitch, political activist, elaborates on Queen Elizabeth II's recent comments that she may be the last royal head of state.
Thursday, November 25. 2010
'The First Earth Battalion was the name proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon, a U.S. soldier who had served in Vietnam, for his idea of a new military to be organized along New Age lines.
Wednesday, September 29. 2010
'In the end, no one really knows what led Mitchell Heisman, an erudite, wry, handsome 35-year-old, to walk into Harvard Yard on the holiest day in his faith and fire one shot from a silver revolver into his right temple, on the top step of Memorial Church, where hundreds gathered to observe the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Tuesday, September 28. 2010
'Several sources report, with accompanying photographs, that the Swedish ISP and broadband provider hosting WikiLeaks has moved its servers into an underground location first blasted from solid rock in the 1960s, yet recently refurbished and upgraded.
Tuesday, August 24. 2010
'Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen). The fact that it’s easier for companies to make money on these platforms only cements the trend. Producers and consumers agree: The Web is not the culmination of the digital revolution.' (Wired article).
Wednesday, August 4. 2010
A couple of nights ago I experienced what is commonly known as sleep paralysis. I've had a minor occurrence of it before, but on this occasion I found myself overcome with a feeling of intense terror. This coupled with what looked like a tall dark figure that appeared to be breaking into reality through one of the corners of my room next to the door. The figure was gaunt and somewhat Nospheratu-like in stature with what looked like a wide-brimmed had on it's head. I couldn't make out its features but my ears were filled with a pulsating sound and my body seemed to be vibrating as though I was somehow being phased out of reality, beamed up, or probed by some kind of scanner.
Wednesday, July 28. 2010
'Robert Anton Wilson was perhaps the first to popularize the observation that during the history of human civilization, power and money has always moved west. From the beginnings of civility in Sumer to modern day China, there has always been a westward flow of technology, money, power and manufacturing capacity. In the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, we witnessed the flow of influence from the Vatican to Britain, an empire on which it was said that the sun never set. As Britain's power waned in the early 20th century, so the flow moved westwards to America. Now in the 21st century we have witnessed a further flow westwards towards East Asia. While America still holds most of the cards as the world's richest economy, the focal point of industry and manufacture has long left its shores.
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