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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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If you like the song Lights by Ellie Goulding and you like sandbox games, Legos and blocks- you might want to check out this video that I rendered within the Minecraft engine in real-time as it is high-quality.  A few friends from YouTube and my son appear in the video as well.  It is a promotion of our hobby which is the combination of a series of modifications for our favorite video game called Minecraft; packaged for a variety of computer platforms such as Windows, MacOS and Linux- allowing everyone to play together on the same server over the internet or on your home network.  Those who have played Revenge say it is probably the best mod pack out for this indie game that has sold millions of copies.  Revenge doesn’t mean anything negative, but is simply a catchy name and meant as a sequel to my more popular mod pack called Mo’ SMP.  I don’t monetize the downloads or videos for any of this because I prefer to keep it my hobby.

This version of the song is the Bassnectar remix and was suggested by a friend of mine to use in the video.  If you want to download the mod pack client or server after watching the video and all the crazy aesthetic and engineering feats; from computer science to robotics, earth science, beekeeping, growing of crops, breeding of animals, questing, mining and exploration– visit this link for the downloads>

UPDATE 10/9/2012- Now that I have released Glixyl’s Revenge I am going to stop releasing content for Minecraft on my gaming blog for a while and focus on this blog once again.  Like I said in the previous article, I do have quite a bit of topics to discuss related to myth and religion, deep history and all things Unorthodox.

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I have a few articles that are ready to publish here, but I don’t like to hit publish until I feel the article is worth talking about.  I have been working on another blog related to another creative journey.

In addition to loving history, mythology, religion, literature, art and just about anything to do with science.. I also like to put together videos of me playing and reviewing games.  Doing that made me want to release custom content in the form of modification packs for the popular game called Minecraft.

When I was a child, I played with Lego blocks all the time.  I had a lot of Legos, most of which I keep until this day.

As an adult, I thought it would be a cool idea to get Lego Mindstorms for my son and I to play with.  After spending a few hundred dollars, I discovered I had very few parts to work with.. especially if I wanted to make something impressive.

That was about three years ago when it happened..  I was watching YouTube videos and stumbled across this video game called Minecraft with horrible graphics.  It looked like blocks, but with real-world physics.  It had water, growing of plants and domestication of animals.  It had mining and multiplayer play with skeletons, zombies and other baddies coming out at night.  You had to hide at night to survive or be well armed.  Once I figured out how to run and modify a Minecraft server, it was like I was a Dungeon Master again; back in elementary school playing pen and paper, grid-paper maps and dice, running my own module– trying to kill off my best friends!

I call myself Glixyl online because to be creative one needs to separate themselves from their hobby.   I like to take Minecraft and push the limits of its graphics so that people are more interested in it.. although the graphics are such a small part of the game compared to its amazing amount of content, sandbox like versatility and endless ability to be customized and extended.  This latest combination/configuration of other talented people’s freely downloadable Minecraft mods is called Entropy.  In scientific terms, Entropy is the measure of disorder in a system.  I collaborated with some dudes named CaptainRob, Spitfire25565, Jaeplane and others to come up with the idea for this pack and the modifications.  It is single player and designed to be played so that when you die, your game is completely over and you need to start over again.  Just how I like it!

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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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