Astronomy Picture of the Week – In Saturn’s Shadow

Time for a new series!!!!! Astronomy Picture of the Week!!!!

Totes original, right? I’m… like… the first person to ever think of doing this!

But seriously… I’m not an astronomer, but I’m addicted to the universe. Whether presented in false color or true color, the images sent back to us by our satellites and telescopes are wonders to behold. And I have to start with this…

This image, In Saturn’s Shadow, is why Saturn is my favorite planet… it’s simply beautiful.

Saturn Eclipses the Sun

In Saturn’s Shadow

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We Are Not Allies

Decided to move this post from my old blog to here. Been wanting to include it for a while…

I was 21 when I first realized I was an atheist, and the same age when I told my mom and brother. I told my dad only a few months later, but after I turned 22.

During this period, it was all I was. I was just an atheist. I wasn’t anything else. I lived and breathed atheism, searched for atheists and atheist stuff online, and my antitheism came screaming out like never before. Because I was an antitheist first. Bill Hicks indulged my antitheism long before I realized I didn’t even believe in a higher power or powers. I realized I was an antitheist when I was 16 and started hating authority. It was only natural that I’d abhor religion, while still believing in a living god who’d talk directly to you, without the aid of some pathetic book or middle-man (clergy).

But then I read The God Delusion, and then the Bible. And I was an atheist.

And for years, I was happy with anyone who was an atheist. I didn’t care if they were feminists or misogynists. I didn’t care if they tried to fight patriarchy and rape culture or denied their existence. But I would only fight alongside atheists and I would never fight alongside a theist, because theists were crazy/delusional and faith was a virus… and “The God Delusion” was my bible.

So it’s safe to say I did the whole “critical thinking” thing wrong.

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Raising the Skeptic Signal! Another Video Compilation.

Looks like this might just be a series… RtSS. Maybe we should have a hashtag? #SkepticSignal or something? Ooh! What do you artists out there think a Skeptic Signal would look like?

This time, it isn’t ghosts or demons, but time travel.

(Note: as with the last RtSS post, this is an embedded YouTube video that is a bit hard to transcribe. If you feel you can, go for it!)

So for my part, here’s what I think:

01. Unknown Demonstration

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if such a protest takes place. There’s only 195 days until January 1, 2017, so these protesters better get on it. Of course, we could then simply explain away the protest by saying it was planned when the video and pictures were first conceived, so the protest actually happening really wouldn’t be proof of Pictures from the Future, anyways…

02. Boxing Fan

I’m inclined to agree with the 1995 Casio Camera (or really, any camera from 1995) explanation.

Why would they be shooting the match vertically? I take pictures vertically with my phone all the time. I think everyone does it, and everyone has likely been doing it since cameras became portable.

03. Faster Than the Wind

I think it’s either fake or simply a trick of perception.

04. Chaplin Time Traveler

Captain Disillusion debunked this, along with another one that appears in the video, here.

Basically, she’s likely just scratching the side of her head.

05. (Is The? Misty? Visiting?) Angel

Looks like a fake to me. Maybe a viral video meant to advertise for The Flash or something?

06. Russian Cyclist

Despite the claims of the narrator in the video, this can easily be explained by camera positioning.

I do think that the lack of a reaction from the two people in the video is the giveaway. I feel like those two people, as well as the camera person, would be way more shocked that a bicyclist just randomly appeared out of nowhere than they were.

07. Phantom Car

This is another one Captain Disillusion talked about, but he dedicated a separate (and earlier) video to it.

In short… again, camera angle. Plus, the car in front of the camera only reacted as anyone would when another driver just barrels in front of them.

08. The Man Who Met Himself

Maybe he and his dad got the same tattoo, and decided to play a prank on the internet?

09. The Mysterious Woman

Yet another video Captain Disillusion discussed in the video I linked to under the Chaplin Time Traveler. He says it looks very much like a woman holding her glasses case nervously to her face, most likely because of the documentary camera pointed straight at her. I tend to agree.

Notice how the people surrounding the woman tend to not at all react to her supposed cell phone?

Also, Captain Disillusion makes a great point in that video…

Cell phones require towers to work. If this woman and the woman from the Charlie Chaplin movie really did have futuristic cell phones in these time periods, they would be nothing more than glorified paper weights. They certainly wouldn’t be able to take or make calls with the phones.

10. The Time-Traveling Thief

Even the narrator of the video says this is probably fake (note the obvious sfx used when the thief walks through the door).

But what do you think? Agree with me? Disagree?

Let me know!


On a separate but related note (I mentioned this in the comments of my last RtSS post) I would love to make a video that plays with this stuff, but I lack the skills needed behind the camera and with video editing software. It’d be cool to make a video that “believably” incorporates demons/ghosts, extraterrestrials, time travel, and teleportation into it, then upload it anonymously to YouTube to see the reactions.

If you live in New York, and think this would be a cool thing to do in your spare time, hit me up! I’ll make a secret Facebook group where we can all discuss the details privately. I’d like to get more than myself and one other person involved, if possible. Sadly, monetary compensation isn’t possible (I live on a Teavana salary), but I think participating in an experiment and watching how it takes off would be fun enough to be worth doing in our free time, if you’re interested.

We could let it cook for an amount of time (a year or more) before outing ourselves publicly.

And honestly, I’m not worried about posting this here, because we already know that people have done this before and the thing still goes viral as a paranormal phenomenon (crop circles, Loch Ness monster, etc)…

Alex Jones Would Have a Field Day With This

(Note: there are three Facebook videos here. I sincerely apologize if they auto-play. Hopefully they won’t, but if they do, let me know and I’ll replace the videos with links…)

So let me start out by reassuring everybody that I’m no conspiracy theorist.

I know that the Illuminati disappeared a couple centuries ago and that the New World Order was a heel wrestling outfit in the WCW in the 90’s led by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. I also am no fan of Alex Jones, who I think is possibly dangerous and certainly peddles basically nothing but bullshit.

So no, I’m not about to crow about some one-world shadow government planning to enslave of us all to some hivemind or whatever.

That said, though… I’m not very comfortable with this:

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