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Unorthodox Thoughts

chewing gum for the mind

With the Chinese Shanghai Stock Composite Index gaining more than 150% of its value over the last year, many people have feared the Chinese bubble will pop; and soon.  Over the last few weeks, Chinese stocks have lost approximately 1/3rd of their value as investors panic.  The Chinese regulators are now propping up the Shanghai and altering trading rules, which many observers are nervous about perhaps making the problem worse.

China and the United States are the world’s largest trading partners, so in other words we do not live in a vacuum.

I decided to compare the US stock market statistics from the year 2000 to 2015 with the Shanghai, which is quite interesting I think (if you are worried about bubbles).  China is the dark black line and the grey one is the US.



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Without commentary, here are the most recent waveforms, charts and graphs related to these indicators.



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For many years mainstream science has bombarded us with data showing that the planet is warming.  Lately, however, things have quieted down and there is mainly talk of chaotic weather and anomalies.  However, the weather today isn’t any more extreme than it has been in the past according to many indicators.  If you compare the photos of Arctic ice cover below, there is 29% more ice at the North pole in 2013 than there was in 2012!  What could be happening?

NASA satellite images show August 2012 [left] and August 2013 [right]. (Photo: NASA)

NASA satellite images show August 2012 [left] and August 2013 [right]. (Photo: NASA)

The effect of our Sun on weather and temperature is usually ignored by mainstream science- as if it has little to do with the temperature and weather on Earth.  Scientists usually focus instead on human factors such as pollution and CO2.  This puzzles me considering that Earth is roughly one million times smaller than the Sun; coupled with the fact that we are stuck in its orbit.  Our Sun’s heliosphere has been shown to shield us from cosmic rays and other forms of radiation coming from outside of our solar system, so when the Sun is quieter (less Sun spots) more cosmic rays get through.  CERN has recently conducted experiments and it appears that increased cosmic rays are responsible for cloud formation that may be responsible for cooling our climate.


Sun spots have been an indicator of solar activity in the past, with the Maunder Minimum of the 1600s coinciding with the Little Ice Age.  Our current Solar Cycle 24 is already the weakest in roughly 100 years and NASA is predicting Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, to be the weakest in roughly 300 years!?!

Read my posts from last year for more information related to the Sun, CO2 and weather on our planet.

(note* The % of ice increase was related to a typo in many media reports of 60% from August 2012 to 2013; and has since been corrected to 29% as written above.)

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The official US stance on being under cyber attack from Chinese nationals, operating out of China and behind the Great Firewall of China, has always puzzled me.

For many years, Chinese nationals/patriots have been attacking Western infrastructure with zealous tenacity; in many cases being directly supported by the Chinese Communist Party and PLA.


I am sure that any person of Chinese descent is feeling a little defensive upon reading this, but my angst is not against the Chinese people in any way.  I am merely corroborating this claim with data from my viewpoint.. that a country doing so much business with the US would so callously allow and support these attacks is an affront to any meaningful cooperation between our governments.  To get an idea of the scale of Chinese cyber attacks, one only needs to pull some metrics.

This data (shown above) comes from Akamai, the world’s largest cloud provider; with more than 80,000 collection points across the planet.  The number of attacks originating in China is more than the rest of the planet combined over a 24 hour period at 365 attacks.  Compare this with the Russian Federation at 21 attacks over the same period.  Every day looks like this in case you are wondering..

You might say, “How can the Chinese government stop these attacks from inside the country?”  The reality is that these attacks aren’t even trying to be stopped, but are being encouraged and in some cases actually funded by the PLA.  If the Chinese government can stop the average citizen from getting information not allowable by the Communist censors, how can it be blind/unable to stop attacks against US institutions?  Answer.. it doesn’t want to stop the attacks because it serves Chinese national interests.

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It drives me crazy when I watch television shows that ask questions such as, “How could ancient man have created massive stone monuments, such as the Great Pyramid or Puma Punku, without the benefit of modern tools and machinery?”  ; then follow the question up with speculation about how Aliens must have made the monuments from a researcher like the floofy-haired guy pictured below.

I like to believe that mankind has been a species of thinkers, innovators and technologists for much longer than our modern telling of history gives us credit for, but in this case let’s take a look at the technology known to have been in use and accepted by most historians.  Take for an example Ancient Aliens The Mystery of Puma Punku season 4, episode 6.

The H blocks, Gateway of the Sun, and other square-cut objects (pictured below) at Puma Punku are said to be too difficult to cut with stone age tools by ancient alien/astronaut proponents.  Often times on these television shows, books and blogs, it is speculated that these materials can barely be cut or moved now; so that alone should be proof enough of evidence for extraterrestrial influence.

Puma Punku is provided as evidence for E.T., but look at the detail of carving on the Code of Hammurabi. Diorite tools and vessels were being used thousands of years ago.

In fairness to the ancient alien proponents, the stones at Puma Punku are very heavy, difficult to cut and sourced from more than 15km away in some cases.  The blocks found at Puma Punku are made of red sandstone or andesite, with the latter being used for more intricate work such as the inset cuts.  These ancient builders also were metal workers, which is evidenced by the use of I-shaped metal clasps.

The limestone obelisks and granite blocks of ancient Egypt are known to have been worked using diorite and/or dolerite stone cutting tools (pictured) in combination with the application of fire for increased cutting speed and efficiency.  I recently watched Dr. Zahi Hawass perform experiments proving that using fire pits to soften the rock allowed it to then be quickly pulverized by workers using stone balls of greater hardness.

Cutting limestone is one thing, but ancient alien proponents often point out that granite and diorite are much harder, if not impossible, to cut with ancient tools to high levels of precision.  After a little searching around, I found many examples of intricate stonework being produced thousands of years before the Puma Punku site was erected such as the Code of Hammurabi.  Carved in 1772 B.C from a large piece of diorite (more than equivalent to the hardness and durability of the andesite blocks at Puma Punku), it was created more than 2,000 years before Puma Punku.

Diamond tools are known to have been used for thousands of years (2500 B.C. in China), and maybe even much longer as nothing would have barred the mineral from being collected (as it is found naturally in the Earth’s crust).  The reason that no diamond tools remain on these sites to be found today should be obvious to any modern or ancient observer; their value would not allow them to be discarded.

The drill holes and complex interlocking blocks would be a complicated engineering feat, but stone drills have been proven to be able to cut those holes at a similar level of precision in granite and sandstone.  Since copper was known to have been in use as well, the claims of drilling being proof of ancient aliens requires more than a stretch of the imagination.  Also at Pumu Punku can be found hydraulic hoses and aqueducts used for sewage management and irrigation of agriculture.  The Greeks, then later the Romans were known to have similar aqueduct and pumping/piping technology which also predates the Puma Punku site.

In closing, I suggest that anyone who doubts that ancient man could have moved large stone blocks around should watch this YouTube video.  Without the aid of pulleys, hoists, metal levers and/or other advanced tools, a  man named Wally Wallington is able to not only move and position large stone blocks weighing many tons each; but actually erects a 19,000 pound obelisk by himself on video.  How does Wally accomplish this?  Sticks and stones!

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Pigment was blown onto the cave walls using hand stencils, perhaps by Neanderthal?

While writing my previous post related to the knowledge of ancient man, I was concerned about pushing the limits of accepted timelines around the Lascaux cave paintings of France.  The conservative dating of most cave painting sites around the world have always been considered to be roughly 17,000 – 24,000 years ago.

Reverence for the bull is common amongst ancient cave paintings

Recently, this thinking has changed as a result of a new archaeological technique that measures the growth of  tiny stalactites on top of the paint pigments.  Using this method, the world’s oldest cave paintings have been dated in Northern Spain within a series of 11 caves; the most prominent being at El Castillo.  It appears that not only are many of the finds at least 40,000 years old, but according to researchers may have been created by Neanderthal.

These boat pictures give new meaning to the term ‘Ancient Mariner’

Another interesting facet of this discovery is that these cave paintings were created over a period of more than 20,000 years; which is two to four times longer than Lascaux site is thought to have been maintained.

Many people have accused me of trying to portray ancient man as a ‘Noble Savage’.  The argument most of these critics give is that ancient myth, religion and knowledge are useless to study because ancient man didn’t understand the world in the way we did today.  People can’t get past the fact that ancient cultures used stories filled with anthropomorphic figures (part-man, part-animal beings) and other symbolic metaphors.  It doesn’t occur to people that it would be difficult to pass down knowledge to an ancient audience in a way they could not only understand it; but themselves repeat it.  In my opinion, shamanism and myth/story telling was the instrument for both passing down this knowledge and the framework for preserving succession so that this knowledge could continue to be propagated.

Don’t buy that argument?  I will leave you with this quotation by the late Giorgio de Santillana, History of Science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of whom I will be talking more about in future posts concerning myth:

“[the modern reader] insists on his capacity to understand mythical ‘images’ instantly, because he can respect as ‘scientific’ only page-long approximation formulas, and the like.  He does not think of the possibility that equally relevant knowledge might once have been expressed in everyday language. He never suspects such a possibility, although the visible accomplishments of ancient cultures – to mention only the pyramids or metallurgy – should be a cogent reason for concluding that serious and intelligent men were at work behind the stage, men who were bound to have been used to a technical language…”

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Xultun, Guatemala

An ancient Mayan astronomy lab was recently discovered within a Guatemalan rainforest.

In a couple of my posts below, I talk about the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar and its relationship to those civilizations studying the sky over long periods of time.

This calendar is amazing for an ancient people because it accurately predicts the 26,000 year cycle of axial precession of our planet.  The movements of the planet Venus and our Moon are also tracked over time.

The long count calendar, which originates with the Olmec civilization, was thought to have ended in December 2012.  However U.S. scientists working at a site in Guatemala have recently uncovered a calendar that shows the Sun cycles continuing for billions more years.  At this site named Xultun, located in Mayan ruins within a rainforest, an astronomy lab was also discovered which shows calculations drawn on the wall by ancient math/astronomy geeks.

Check out the imbedded links above for more information and pictures.found in a Mayan ruin in Guatemala

I have been following more research and articles to the mystery of the Sun’s poles going asymetric (which is happening this month, see post below) and apparently more researchers are correlating this with cooling events in the Earth’s past.

If you have been following the news at all, you are aware of the massive Sun spots we are now seeing that are ejecting solar flares at Earth.

may 2012 solar predict

The updated (May 2012) solar prediction chart from NASA is pictured to the left and we are almost at the peak of solar cycle 24.

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote of the legendary city of Atlantis in his dialogues of Critias and Timaeus.  Scholars debate whether or not Plato fabricated this story of Atlantis to be told as a parable or if the story was based on an actual myth from antiquity.

In any regard, there have been hundreds of books, magazine articles, blogs, television shows, documentaries, alien conspiracies and other works produced that have tried to correlate the Atlantis legend to a location on a map.

I am of the opinion that Atlantis, and other stories such as the Lost Continent of Mu, are merely faint memories of man’s distant past and are actually related to the 120 meters rise in sea level since the last glacial maximum.

Nothing mystical, nothing magical, just sea rise and the tendency for humans to settle and construct defensive formation on shorelines; getting covered up by water over time as the polar caps and glaciers melt and freeze during interglacial periods.

Yonaguni Underwater FormationsI have been following the discovery of underwater sites for quite a few years.  Each time one of these sites is found, some skeptic will show up and do their best to debunk the site as a naturally occurring formation.  I believe in a healthy amount of skepticism, but sometimes skeptics also resort to speculation when trying to dismiss potential discoveries.

Take for example, the underwater rock formations of YonaguniThe Yonaguni underwater rock formations are located to the south of Japan and east of Taiwan.  The top of the formation is about 5 meters below the surface and extends down another 20 meters.  Skeptics of Yonaguni proclaim that it is no different than the Giant’s Causeway, or perhaps Old Rag Mountain.  But if you visit the links for those formations or do some image searching, you won’t see anything similar to Yonaguni.  To me, Yonaguni looks more like Machu Picchu (pictured below) than something obviously created by nature such as Giant’s Causeway.  One of the skeptical arguments related to the Yonaguni site is that earthquakes caused the rock to shear into geometric shapes, which is possible of course.

Machu Picchu, Peru

In 1954, Leicester Hemmingway (Ernest Hemmingway’s brother), took an airplane from the United States to Havana, Cuba.  Hemingway was looking out the window of the plane and at one point exclaimed “A city of glistening marble” was visible below the sea.  He then spent the next forty years of his life looking for it, but never found it.  In 2009, a team of researchers found what they believe to be a sunken city in the western Carribean; roughly 40-70 feet below the surface of the water.

Sunken city

At 40 to 70 feet below the surface, this site close to Havana would be roughly 4-9 thousand years old.

I talk to people who often tell me, “We know more about space than our own oceans.  We should spend more time examining the oceans.”  There is a certain wisdom to those words as we seem to discover things thought previously improbable by science.

It seems that new species are discovered such as once thought to be extinct plants and sea life, giant squids and extremophiles each time we set out to explore the ocean’s depths.

(See parts 1 and 2 of the Legends of the Great Flood post below)

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transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus against our Sun will be viewable June 5-6th, 2012. This won’t happen again during our lives.

As I discuss in the post below on Sun myths, humans have studied the sky and Earth over long periods of time to look for patterns.  Some ancient cultures recorded those patterns as they were important for planting, harvesting, navigation and many other activities.

Today, observers of the heavens have much better tools at their disposal than those available thousands of years ago.  The use of telescopes has helped us to understand the last few hundred years pretty well and the patterns, such as sun spots, that allow future solar activity to be predicted.

2012 affords us some rare and interesting sky gazing opportunities.  Starting this week, and especially on May 5th (Saturday night), a Super Full Moon will be viewable.  This is the closest pass of the Moon to Earth (356,954 km) since 1912.

There is the Transit of Venus across the Sun that will be partially viewable on June 5th in the evening from North America and in Europe the whole transit will be viewable on the 6th.  This is a very rare conjunction of Earth, Venus and the Sun, which will line up in a near-perfect alignment and will not happen again during our lifetimes.

2004 Transit of Venus

The Solar Maximum for Solar Cycle 24 will peak late this year and early next year, which will result in increased activity from solar storms.  For those of us in North America, these solar storms could have attributed to our warm weather this Winter and the warmest March on record, when warm air flowed from the Gulf of Mexico Northeast through the central and New England states.  In contrast, Alaska, Europe and parts of Russia experienced their coldest Winter in what was perhaps hundreds of years.

As I have stated in the post below, our Sun’s poles are becoming asymmetric this month which has turned out to be a big surprise for scientists.  I have found a few more articles talking about this, but for now I think everyone is just watching and waiting before they comment.  This asymmetry is believed to have last happened during the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715.  (read more in the post below on Sun myths)

If you go looking for evidence of solar effects on the planet, there is a general trend of science to downplay the role of the Sun as compared to the effects humans are contributing to such as increased levels of CO2.  There is evidence, as I point out in my post below, that our Sun’s magnetic field has an effect on weather here on Earth.  It seems that an increase of solar activity helps stop incoming cosmic rays.  Increased cosmic ray activity (seen in the Space Environment Overview chart within this post) can be linked to creating low precipitation clouds which have a cooling effect on our planet.  Solar cycle 25 (beginning in 2020 or so) is predicted to be the weakest solar cycle in roughly 300 years.

I agree that humans are destroying habitat too fast, burning way too much fossil fuels and are probably already exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet.  However, I am certain that our Sun, moon, planets and asteroids that make up our solar system and galaxy do have an effect on our planets’ ecosystem over time.  Recent discoveries are showing that as our solar system moves through our galaxy, it sometimes comes close to supernovae remnants and that there is a correlation to life thriving on Earth when that happens.

To say that Earth exists in some human-controlled vacuum where we have much more influence than earthquakes, volcanoes and the cycles of our Sun is arrogant.  After all, the Sun is 1,000,000 times the size of Earth and is essentially a giant nuclear explosion held together by gravity and magnetism.

To wrap up this post, I thought it would be fun to post some images related to Sun worship:

from wikipedia

Sun Obelisks

Great Seal and Horus, Sun GodSun RayJapanese Flag - Sun

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sun godFor many modern observers, it seems such a silly thing that ancient humans once worshipped the Sun.

If you examine Sun worship more closely, there are some interesting relationships of nature that the ancients may have passed down to us through myth.

Cultures who practiced Sun and nature worship observed, recorded and tried to predict the movements of our moon, stars and planets of our solar system for thousands of years.  Watching the sky would have been one of the most natural and available things to do at night, especially if you are a priest trying to predict the optimum planting and harvest cycles.

Sun as Creator God – In the universe, only three elements are naturally occurring; hydrogen, helium and lithium.  In the case of light elements such as boron, cosmic rays are involved in their creation.  For heavier elements such as gold, the energy of a supernova is required for their creation.  Humans, and all known life, are made up of elements that can only be fused together in a star.  In this regard, the ancient Sun worshippers were correct that the Sun is a creator and a catalyst for life.

Observing the Sun, and perhaps guessing that it is a creator is one thing, but predicting how it will behave is akin to prophecy.  Central to ancient religion was the ability to predict the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon as well as the position of planets; which were tied to omens and religious dogma such as the movement of the planet Venus.  In doing so, control could be exerted over commoners who would continue giving their power to the priest-class in return for the world not ending.

Around 1600-1500BC, the Olmec civilization sprang up in what is now Mexico.  The Olmec culture is responsible for many of the Mesoamerican technologies such as rubber, the number zero, advanced agriculture and rituals also found to be practiced by the later civilizations such as the Maya.  Some think their greatest innovation is the Long Count Calendar because of its accuracy over time.  One of the amazing things about this calendar is that it accurately predicts the axial precession of our planet every 26,000 years.

According to the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, the current world/era we are living in is the Fifth Sun.  This Fifth Sun (or era) started in September 6, 3114 BCE and is predicted to end in December of 2012.  The calendar and texts aren’t actually saying the world will end according to most scholars, but that the Fifth (cycle or era of the) Sun will end.

These are the Five Suns and their associated myths as passed down, to which I have added my own take on what this calamity may correlate to within the geological record in parenthesis:

Nasa and Hinode Predictions

In the Solar Cycles 1749 – 2040 Chart depicted, changes in the Sun’s radiated output are associated with periods of global warming and cooling and can be seen in the Dalton Minimum and End of Little Ice Age minimum.Every 11 years, our Sun’s north and south poles switch their polarity in a natural process.  This pattern has been observed for hundreds of years.  Until recently though, it was thought that the poles always switched at the same time.

May 2012 polar shift, Hinode / NASA

The Japanese research project called Hinode has changed our understanding of this 11 year solar pattern.  For some reason, our Sun’s poles are becoming asymmetric.  The last time this happened around the year 1600, the Earth went into a mini Ice Age with the coldest period being from 1645 to 1715AD.  “Right now, there’s an imbalance between the north and the south poles,” says Jonathan Cirtain, a space scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., who is also NASA’s project scientist for a Japanese solar mission called Hinode. “The north is already in transition, well ahead of the south pole, and we don’t understand why.”

This change in the Sun and associated reduction in solar spots (activity is lowest in more than 100 years) is reinforced by many scientific observers.  Could this have anything to do with our ancient Mesoamerican Sun Myths?  The Mayan and Toltec cultures were so concerned that they sacrificed tens of thousands of people to stop the end of the Fifth Sun.

Looking at the NASA projections for solar cycles 24 and 25, and the fact that the Sun’s global conveyor has slowed down dramatically; it is interesting to think that just maybe the Mesoamerican’s saw something in the patterns of nature they preserved in their mythos.  Solar cycle 24 is predicted to peak sometime in late 2012 or early 2013.

Read more about it by following the links in this post yourself and comment if you please on the content.  For all intents and purposes, there is no reason to believe that solar cycle 25 will be lower than the Maunder Minimum unless the Mayan and other Mesoamerican cultures were correct about the end of the Fifth Sun.

UPDATE – 5/10/2012 – Another version of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar was just discovered in Guatemala that continues on past the 13th Baktun.

(NOTE: This content was produced primarily for entertainment of the author and the readers of this blog.  I have tried to verify all of the information contained here and have added links to reputable sites supporting the data and interesting patterns as well.)

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