Omnium Gatherum: 17feb2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for February 17, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Tweet—”I’m so thrilled to announce that I have just released a jewelry collaboration with @MetaphystWolf! We’ve designed a special talismanic unicursal hexagram necklace together. If you want an unique thelemic piece, pick yours up here: https://winterwolfjewelry.com/unicursal.”
  • Bring It Home: Bringing a Hawke’s Bay occult legend back to life. Toitoi marketing manager Rosie Dawson-Hewes’ charming Arts and Crafts​ home in sunny Havelock North has a strange history. Before being moved down the hill in the 80s, their 1910-built home was connected to the category 1 listed building Whare Ra. It was used by Whare Ra’s owner, Dr Robert Felkin, the then head of the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn, an international occult group that once included Aleister Crowley among its adherents, as a surgery. Now she and her teacher husband Phil Dawson-Hewes are returning the home to its original glory, starting with the petrol blue living room.” “Felkin was really into the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, so all the upstairs bedrooms were used for colour therapy. When we bought it, it had all been painted white for sale, so that’s one reason why we’ve gone for such bold colours, because we felt like that is true to the history of the building.”
  • Comments about Three Books of Occult Philosophy [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, translated with commentary by Eric Purdue, due November 2021, on this edition, via Facebook: “I thought I’d make a public post about why a new translation of Agrippa’s ‘Three Books of Occult Philosophy’ is necessary, since I’ve seen a few comments asking what is wrong with Tyson’s version. This is a natural question. Tyson’s edition of ‘Three Books’ has become sort of a mainstay in occult circles. It’s a good edition and I still flip through it even though I translated a newer version. There are several issues though: 1. Tyson did NOT translate ‘Three Books’. There are a lot of misonceptions about this. He transcribed the 1650 JF translation, modernized the spellings, changed the grammar, annotated it, and made corrections as he saw them. Sometimes these corrections were good. Sometimes they weren’t, precisely because he was not going by the Latin. Sometimes Agrippa was blamed for errors JF made. 2. JF mistranslated a lot of astrological material. Tyson did not notice these mistranslations. To be fair, this was edited in the early 90s, so much of what we know about the astrology of Agrippa’s time wasn’t known then, or at least easily available. It seems like he mostly consulted Ptolemy, which only helped somewhat. JF also mistranslated a lot of herb and stone names. Sometimes Tyson caught this, usually not. Sometimes Tyson annotated these with the wrong information because of the faulty translation. 3. Some of the graphics/sigils are flipped. 4. Tyson’s annotations often show secondary and tertiary sources. This is fine for an informational perspective, but my preference was to cite books Agrippa actually had access to. 5. Tyson didn’t know that the bulk of ‘Three Books’ is actually word-for-word transcriptions from other books. Agrippa created the narrative, but he essentially was copy and pasting from other books. I identified these books in the text. So now you too can have Agrippa’s library! Also it’s important to remember that everyone is working from the same 17th century translation. Maybe it’s time for a new look?”
  • How to Escape the Confines of Time and Space According to the CIA. In the 80s, the spy agency investigated the ‘Gateway Experience’ technique to alter consciousness and ultimately escape spacetime. Here is everything you need to know.”
  • Podcast episode “Enoch, Hermes & Hermetic Philosophy.”—”We explore Hermetic Philosophy and how it bestowed early humanity with a unified science-religion. It begins with understanding the ancient Egyptian “Sophia of the Ages.” Then it’s a journey with this primordial Gnosis first nurtured by the figures of Enoch and Hermes, smuggled across time by the classical Gnostics and other alchemists, and injected into modernity by luminaries like Giordano Bruno, John Dee, William Blake, and others.” About The Lost Pillars of Enoch: When Science and Religion Were One [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Tobias Churton—”Showing how the lost pillars stand as a twenty-first century symbol for reattaining our heritage, Churton ultimately reveals how the esoteric strands of all religions unite in a gnosis that could offer a basis for reuniting religion and science.”
  • Originally from 1994, but I think recently re-issued, or maybe that was 2015, idek: From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality with Imaginary Languages [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Theodore Flournoy (in 1900), edited by Sonu Shamdasani, preface by C. G. Jung, afterword by Mireille Cifali—”A classic in the field of psychology, From India to Planet Mars (1900) depicts the remarkable multiple existence of the medium Hélène Smith, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette, of a Hindu princess from fifteenth-century India, and of a regular visitor to Mars, whose landscapes she painted and whose language she appeared to speak fluently. Through a psychological interpretation of these fantasies, which consisted in the subliminal elaboration of forgotten memories, Théodore Flournoy vastly extended the scope and understanding of the unconscious, and in particular, of its creative and mythopoetic capacities. In the introduction to this work, Soriu Shamdasani evokes the rich cultural and intellectual setting which Flournoy published his findings, and discusses their impact on Freud, Jung, and other pioneers psychology. Originally published in 1994.”
  • Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television [Bookshop, Amazon] by Heather Greene, due October, 2021—””No industry has been as influential at shaping the popular notion of what it means to be a witch quite as much as Hollywood. This book traces the fascinating history of witchcraft and witches in American film and television. From Joan the Woman and The Wizard of Oz to Carrie and Charmed, author and film scholar Heather Greene explores how these films helped influence the public image of the witch and profoundly influenced how women negotiate their power in a patriarchal society. Lights, Camera, Witchcraft uncovers fascinating insights into the intersection of entertainment, critical theory, gender studies, and spirituality.”
  • Vicious Highsmith. A review of Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires, by Richard Bradford.” About Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Richard Bradford—”‘My New Year’s Eve Toast: to all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle – may they never give me peace’ PATRICIA HIGHSMITH (New Year’s Eve, 1947)”
  • How a secret European language ‘made a rabbit’ and survived.” By Martin Puchner, author of The Language of Thieves: My Family’s Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]—”As a boy, Martin Puchner learned this secret language from his father and uncle. Only as an adult did he discover, through a poisonous 1930s tract on Jewish names buried in the archives of Harvard’s Widener Library, that his own grandfather had been a committed Nazi who despised this ‘language of thieves.’ Interweaving family memoir with an adventurous foray into the mysteries of language, Puchner crafts an entirely original narrative. In a language born of migration and survival, he discovers a witty and resourceful spirit of tolerance that remains essential in our volatile present.”
  • Tasting the Pickle: Ten flavours of meta-crisis and the appetite for a new civilisation.” Adapted from Dispatches from a Time Between Worlds: Crisis and Emergence in Metamodernity [Publisher] edited by Jonathan Rowson and Layman Pascal, due Spring 2021.
  • How to be a genius. I travelled the world and trawled the archive to unearth the hidden lessons from history’s most brilliant people.” By Craig Wright, author of The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit – Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]—”He argues that genius is about more than intellect and work ethic–it is far more complex–and that the famed “eureka” moment is a Hollywood fiction. Brilliant insights that change the world are never sudden, but rather, they are the result of unique modes of thinking and lengthy gestation. Most importantly, the habits of mind that produce great thinking and discovery can be actively learned and cultivated, and Wright shows us how. This book won’t make you a genius. But embracing the hidden habits of these transformative individuals will make you more strategic, creative, and successful, and, ultimately, happier.”
  • Miraculous Mozart.” About Mozart: The Reign of Love [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Jan Swafford—”From the acclaimed composer and biographer Jan Swafford comes the definitive biography of one of the most lauded musical geniuses in history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.”
  • ‘Dostoevsky in Love’ Review: Possessed by Words. Sentenced and reprieved, exiled and returned, Fyodor Dostoevsky made human suffering the center of his work.” About Dostoevsky in Love: An Intimate Life [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Alex Christofi—”Reading between the lines of his fiction, Christofi reconstructs the memoir Dostoevsky might have written had life – and literary stardom – not intervened. He gives us a new portrait of the artist as never before seen: a shy but devoted lover, an empathetic friend of the people, a loyal brother and friend, and a writer able to penetrate to the very depths of the human soul.”
  • Speculative Los Angeles [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] edited by Denise Hamilton—”The debut title in a new city-based anthology series featuring all-new stories with speculative, sci-fi, and paranormal themes–each using distinct neighborhood settings as a launching pad.”
  • If Classics Doesn’t Change, Let It Burn. The field as is doesn’t deserve to persist. But scholars are hard at work improving it.”
  • Why Computers Will Never Write Good Novels. The power of narrative flows only from the human brain.”
  • 5,000-year-old “industrial-scale” brewery unearthed in Egypt.”
  • Where Did the Dinosaur-Killing Impactor Come From? A new study blames a comet fragment for the death of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But most experts maintain that an asteroid caused this cataclysmic event.” Also “Astronomers: A comet fragment, not an asteroid, killed off the dinosaurs. Jupiter’s gravity pushed comet toward Sun; comet was ripped apart by tidal forces.”
  • America’s Brutal Racial History Is Written All Over Our Genes. Our country has struggled to reckon with the horrors of the past. Could DNA tests help?”
  • Accusations of Sexual Harassment Rock Greek Arts World. Dozens of actors have accused some of the nation’s best-known performers and directors of sexual harassment and abuse, leading to several high-profile dismissals and resignations.”
  • The FBI Wants You To Make These Photos Of Capitol Insurrectionists Go Viral. Inside the bureau’s evolving strategy to get photos of the Trump supporters who invaded the U.S. Capitol on your social media feed.”
  • Will the Federal Government Finally Embrace the Psychedelic Revolution? From approving religious exemptions to budgeting for medical research, advocates are hopeful that Biden and a Democratic Congress could mean progress for psilocybin and other therapeutic psychedelics.”
  • Watch “170 Manatees and Some Jumping Dolphins in St Petersburg, FL.”
  • Point of No Return. Alex Kitnick on the discontent with museums.”
  • Nation’s first human-composting funeral home is now open in the state of Washington. In California, where the massive number of COVID-19 deaths has inundated funeral homes, one legislator hopes the Golden State becomes the next place to legalize the process of converting bodies into soil.”
  • Neanderthals used stone tool tech once considered exclusive to Homo sapiens. A child’s molar from an Israeli cave links Neanderthals to the cave’s stone tools.”
  • Can a Fine Whiskey Age Overnight? That’s the claim being made by several companies that are using technology to speed their spirits to the liquor-store shelf.”—”Whiskey, in other words, is ready to be hacked — at least according to Stuart Aaron and Martin Janousek. Their company, Bespoken Spirits, in Menlo Park, Calif., says it can make whiskey in just a few days, using heat and pressure to force alcohol in and out of small pieces of wood that give the spirit its characteristic flavor and color. ‘With modern material science and data analytics, we can change this antiquated industry,’ Mr. Aaron said.”
  • Planet Nine Might Be a Giant Illusion, Scientists Say, And Here’s Why.”—”A hypothetical mystery planet thought to be responsible for strange orbits in the outer Solar System just got dealt one of its biggest blows yet. According to a comprehensive analysis of extremely distant objects, led by physicist Kevin Napier of the University of Michigan, Planet Nine may not exist – because the evidence for its existence doesn’t exist. Rather, what astronomers took to be the influence of a planet’s gravity is instead selection bias in the observations.”
  • Uh oh. “Antarctic researchers discover mysterious creatures deep beneath ice shelf. ‘How did they get there?'”—”Drilling through half-a-mile-thick ice and peering beneath Antarctica’s Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, researchers have accidentally stumbled upon strange creatures lurking on a rock beneath the icy continent. Using a GoPro, a team of polar scientists with the British Antarctic Survey examined a boulder at a depth of over 4,000 feet and found it was alive with alien stalks.” “‘Our discovery raises so many more questions than it answers, such as how did they get there? What are they eating? How long have they been there?’ asks Griffiths.” Yikes. I’ve seen this movie. It doesn’t end well for the humans.
  • This Ammonite Was Fossilized Outside Its Shell.”
  • Here’s How a 635 Million-Year-Old Microfossil May Have Helped Thaw ‘Snowball Earth’.”
  • Do quantum effects play a role in consciousness?
  • Teen Interning at NASA Discovered a New Planet Which Orbits Two Stars.”
  • I propose a buddy movie with the girl that found “Excalibur”! “Four-year-old girl discovers 220 million-year-old dinosaur footprint at a beach in Wales.”
  • From the Crowley’s Curry dept: “What Eating Hot Chillies Does to Your Body. How a plant that hurts so good became the heart and soul of Mexican culture.”
  • A new haint for your haunt: “Meet YInMn, the First New Blue Pigment in Two Centuries. The vibrant pigment, created accidentally in 2009 by chemists at Oregon State University, is now commercially available.”
  • Biblical ‘royal purple’ found at Timna offers look at King David wardrobe.”
  • We may have found the most powerful particle accelerator in the galaxy. And it’s quite a surprising source.”
  • From the Javacrucian dept: “Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure.” Also “Tomar un café bien cargado media hora antes de hacer ejercicio aumenta la quema de grasa, según un estudio” (Drinking a strong coffee half an hour before exercising increases fat burning, according to a study)
  • Video game play is positively correlated with well-being“—”People have never played more video games and many stakeholders are worried that this activity might be bad for players. So far, research has not had adequate data to test whether these worries are justified and if policymakers should act to regulate video game play time. We attempt to provide much-needed evidence with adequate data. Whereas previous research had to rely on self-reported play behaviour, we collaborated with two games companies, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, to obtain players’ actual play behaviour. We surveyed players of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for their well-being, motivations, and need satisfaction during play and merged their responses with telemetry data (i.e., logged game play). Contrary to many fears that excessive play time will lead to addiction and poor mental health, we found a small positive relation between game play and affective well-being. Need satisfaction and motivations during play did not interact with play time but were instead independently related to well-being. Our results advance the field in two important ways. First, we show that collaborations with industry partners can be done to high academic standards in an ethical and transparent fashion. Second, we deliver much-needed evidence to policymakers on the link between play and mental health.”
  • Finding Ourselves Within Ourselves: How Pandemic Hobbies Have Become A Lifestyle.”
  • What Really Caused the Supply Chain Mess Over PPE Last Year. Automation and complex distribution software created a nightmare scenario we’re still unpacking.”—”The mask is the perfect prism with which to understand the world in 2021 … Politically, economically, culturally … it explains so much of the dysfunction in the world, especially if you start with just the basic supply chain side of it. It’s insane. It’s really insane.”
  • Inside the Lincoln Project’s ‘toxic’ workplace. Interviews with nearly two dozen people with knowledge of the group’s workings reveal a culture of infighting, sexist language and disparate treatment.”
  • What Comes Next For QAnon Followers.”
  • Democracy Is Weakening Right in Front of Us. Is technopessimism our new future?”—”It’s a mistake to conceive of technology as an external force with a known definitive effect on social relations.”
  • Anarchism: An Everyday Philosophy. ‘If we switch our mental focus and ground our conception of anarchism in the here and now, then what would our anarchism look like?'”
  • How’s that deregulated, privatized and dis-interconnected grid (to avoid federal regulation) working out for you? “Texas’ power grid crumples under the cold. Competition for natural gas and frozen wind turbines are only some of the problems.” Also “Texas knew for years power grid was at risk but did little about it. Unbelievable.” Also tweet thread—”A short thread of Texas Republicans sharing their thoughts on rolling blackouts elsewhere.” Also tweet—”1. 88% of Texas electricity is supplied by natural gas and coal power plants. 2. The electrical grid was deregulated, privatized, and removed from interconnected networks to avoid federal regulation and line the rich’s pockets. Simply put, Republicans fuck everything up.”
  • Understanding UBI with LEGO Bricks.”—”After watching this video, you’ll better understand how the concept of universal basic income works, how affordable it actually is to implement, how it removes the employment disincentives created by any conditional welfare it replaces, and how the rich can actually receive fewer subsidies from the government than they do now, despite also getting UBI just like everyone else.” Be like Golden Dawn Auntie Maude Gonne. Support UBI.
  • Judicial review hearing into Stonehenge road project ordered. Campaigners have secured a hearing in their judicial review challenge about the decision to allow a new A303 dual carriageway and tunnel that would cause significant harm to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS).”
  • The Sinner Season 3 Ending Explained. The Sinner season 3 concludes with an unexpected lesson thanks to Matt Bomer’s Jamie experiencing something real, rather than half-baked Nietszche-ian philosophy.”—”From Aleister Crowley to Frederick Nietzsche, Jamie and Nick are enraptured by intellectual theories that assure that God is dead, and the only meaning in the world is what you make of it.”
  • The Cosmic Journey of Kacey Musgraves. The queen of ‘galactic country’ is following up a career-defining album (and a divorce) with a little help from Bach, Greek tragedy, and magic mushrooms.”
  • The Hannibal Lecterverse Is Obsessed With the Human Mind—and How to Crack It Open. The films and TV shows based on Thomas Harris’s books may seem to center around serial killers, but really they’re an exploration into the mind. And the series’ directors each have their own ways of showcasing it.”
  • Love Under These Conditions.”—”I am, as I’ve made clear, a romantic in this sense, and I want to love, which is the best way to fall in love. Perhaps I will be very happy. Or perhaps I won’t. Who knows what counts as love under these conditions?”
  • Diamonds Aren’t Special and Neither Is Your Love. We’ve coupled love to marriage and marriage to gems, and all three thrive on the assumption of rarity. What would it mean for love to be common?”
  • I Put a Penis Fish in My Mouth and You Should Too. The flavor is mild, but it’s the experience of trying something you’d expect to find disgusting that’s so liberating.”
  • The Art of the Cover Letter.”—”I’ll say this: what I have done to language in the service of cover letters haunts me.”
  • HBO’s horror show 30 Coins explores evil with the style of an RPG. The latest from a Spanish horror master re-imagines both horror and religion.”
  • Review: ‘Beforeigners’ brings the heathen past to the present.”
  • The funny stories of Black Sabbath dealing with witches.”
  • Tweet—”There she goes – Trump Plaza casino imploded in Atlantic City.” Also tweet—”May this be just the beginning.”
  • Watch “Artist’s animation of the TOI-178 orbits and resonances (sound on!)“—”In this artist’s animation, the rhythmic movement of the planets around the central star is represented through a musical harmony, created by attributing a note (in the pentatonic scale) to each of the planets in the resonance chain. This note plays when a planet completes either one full orbit or one half orbit; when planets align at these points in their orbits, they ring in resonance.”
  • Instagram—”Oh wow, my tiny apartment was actually an INFINITY SPACESHIP this whole time.”
  • Meanwhile, at The Onion, “reporting” from Vancouver, WA (the ‘Couv, aka “Vantucky”): “Something About The Way Society Was Exposed As Complete Illusion Over Past Year Really Getting Man Down Today.”
  • Released today, watch ANDREW W.K.’s “Babalon“, official video.

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