“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” from Wikipedia

D-Day Anniversary and U.S. Memorial Day:
Little compares to encountering this poem for the first time,
the most famous U.S. poem of the Second World War,
unassuming, and unforgettable.
-The Voice before the Void

“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”

Wikipedia

“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” is a five-line poem by Randall Jarrell published in 1945. It is about the death of a gunner in a Sperry ball turret on a World War II American bomber aircraft.

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State, Continue reading

Todd in Baghdad with the North Dakota National Guard during the Iraq War

Explicit.
Todd served at Camp Slayer in Baghdad with the 164th Engineer Battalion, Headquarters Company, of the North Dakota Army National Guard in 2007 and 2008.
Recorded in 2011 in Todd’s home in North Dakota while looking at Baghdad on Google Maps and at his photos, with the television in the background.
Todd’s recollections are filled with charm and dark humor, wonder and sudden horror.
-The Voice before the Void

Todd in Baghdad with the North Dakota National Guard during the Iraq War

Sections:
1. Stray Bullet
2. We Didn’t Have a Bunker, We Didn’t Have Shit
3. Victory Over America Palace
4. One Night with the Wrecker
5. Work Area
6. All Demolished
7. Patriot Missile Launcher
8. They Were Trying to Hit That but They Could Never Hit It
9. What Kind of a Damn Tree Is This?
10. Quick Response Force
11. Weird Bunch of Boys
12. Our Flags
13. Blimp
14. Orange Sandstorms
15. Crammed in There
16. Little Fox
17. Towers and a Firefight
18. Destroyed Vehicles
19. Up-armored Humvees
20. Totally Destroyed the Shit but What Are You Going to Do?
21. Civilian Peterbilt
22. Convoys
23. Trouble
24. They’d Get Nailed
25. They Had It Rough but They Had It Made
26. Firing Range in Kuwait
27. Camels
28. Flying in a Tanker
29. Loaded to the Max

2004 January unfinished Victory Over America Palace Camp Slayer Baghdad Iraq War Saddam Hussein Al Radwaniyah Presidential Complex photo by Khartoba

“You and the Atom Bomb” by George Orwell

Orwell logically and accurately predicted the Cold War – and creeping tyranny.
-The Voice before the Void

“You and the Atom Bomb”

George Orwell

Considering how likely we all are to be blown to pieces by it within the next five years, the atomic bomb has not roused so much discussion as might have been expected. The newspapers have published numerous diagrams, not very helpful to the average man, of protons and neutrons doing their stuff, and there has been much reiteration of the useless statement that the bomb ‘ought to be put under international control.’ But curiously little has been said, at any rate in print, about the question that is of most urgent interest to all of us, namely: ‘How difficult are these things to manufacture?’ Continue reading

Stargate in the Gulf of Aden

Watching a YouTube video.
This one:
youtube.com/watch?v=7PC7CG1qj6M
-The Voice before the Void

Stargate in the Gulf of Aden

Alsazzi Terrato and The Voice before the Void

“Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings” by Ralph Adams Cram, with Discussion

U.S. Inauguration Day:
“All the multiple manifestations of a free and democratic society fail of their predicted issue, and we find ourselves lapped in confusion and numb with disappointment and chagrin.”

“Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings”

Ralph Adams Cram

The Ancient doctrine of progressive evolution which became dominant during the last half of the nineteenth century, was, I suggest, next to the religious and philosophical dogmas of Dr. Calvin and the political and social doctrines of M. Rousseau, the most calamitous happening of the last millennium. In union with Protestantism and democracy, and apparently justified in its works by the amazing technological civilization fostered by coal, iron, steam and electricity, it is responsible for the present estate of society, from which there is no escape, it would seem, except through comprehensive calamity. Continue reading

“Acámbaro figures” from Wikipedia

acambaro-figures-mystery-figurines-mexico-guanajuato-museo-waldemar-julsrud-1 acambaro-figures-mystery-figurines-mexico-guanajuato-museo-waldemar-julsrud-2 acambaro-figures-mystery-figurines-mexico-guanajuato-museo-waldemar-julsrud-3 acambaro-figures-mystery-figurines-mexico-guanajuato-museo-waldemar-julsrud-4

Seems legit.

“Acámbaro figures”

Wikipedia

The Acámbaro figures are several thousand small ceramic figurines allegedly found by Waldemar Julsrud in July 1944, in the Mexican city of Acámbaro, Guanajuato. The figurines are said by some to resemble dinosaurs and are sometimes cited as anachronisms. Some young-Earth creationists have adduced the existence of figurines as credible evidence for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans, in an attempt to cast doubt on scientific dating methods and potentially offer support for a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative.

However, there is no known reliable evidence for the validity of the Acámbaro figures as actual ancient artifacts; and many have questioned the motives of those who argue for their validity.

1. History

The Acámbaro figures were uncovered by a German immigrant and hardware merchant named Waldemar Julsrud. Continue reading

“Body Ritual among the Nacirema” by Horace Mitchell Miner

Worth listening twice.
-The Voice before the Void

“Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

Horace Mitchell Miner

Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. A single value or pattern of perceiving the world often leaves its stamp on several institutions in the society. Examples are “machismo” in Spanish-influenced cultures, “face” in Japanese culture, and “pollution by females” in some highland New Guinea cultures. Here Horace Miner demonstrates that “attitudes about the body” have a pervasive influence on many institutions in Nacirema society.

The anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs. In fact, if all of the logically possible combinations of behavior have not been found somewhere in the world, he is apt to suspect that they must be present in some yet undescribed tribe. The point has, in fact, been expressed with respect to clan organization by Murdock. In this light, the magical beliefs and practices of the Nacirema present such unusual aspects that it seems desirable to describe them as an example of the extremes to which human behavior can go. Continue reading

“Nyarlathotep” from Wikipedia

H.P. Lovecraft encounters Nikola Tesla and dreams a nightmare.
-The Voice before the Void

“Nyarlathotep”

Wikipedia

Nyarlathotep is a name used for a character in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and other writers. The character is commonly known in association with its role as a malign deity in the Lovecraft Mythos fictional universe, where it is known as the Crawling Chaos. First appearing in Lovecraft’s 1920 prose poem of the same name, he was later mentioned in other works by Lovecraft and by other writers and in the tabletop role-playing games making use of the Cthulhu Mythos. Later writers describe him as one of the Outer Gods.

Although the deity’s name is fictional, it bears the historical Egyptian suffix -hotep, meaning “peace” or “satisfaction.” Continue reading

“Nyarlathotep” by H.P. Lovecraft

Few things are as fun as Lovecraft at the height of his powers.
Nary a word in excess here.
A wonderful evocation of the atmosphere of the End of the World.
-The Voice before the Void

“Nyarlathotep”

H.P. Lovecraft

Nyarlathotep… the crawling chaos… I am the last… I will tell the audient void…

I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. Continue reading

Lights in the North Dakota Night Sky

We were sitting around the kitchen table, telling stories.
-The Voice before the Void

Lights in the North Dakota Night Sky

The Voice before the Void

“Sex and sexuality in speculative fiction” from Wikipedia

Some of the most challenging of ideas.
-The Voice before the Void

“Sex and sexuality in speculative fiction”

Wikipedia

The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.

Sexual themes are frequently used in science fiction or related genres. Such elements may include depictions of realistic sexual interactions in a science fictional setting, a protagonist with an alternative sexuality, or exploration of the varieties of sexual experience that deviate from the conventional.

1872 illustration by David Henry Friston in lesbian vampire story Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu 0Science fiction and fantasy have sometimes been more constrained than non-genre narrative forms in their depictions of sexuality and gender. However, speculative fiction also offers the freedom to imagine societies different from real-life cultures, making it an incisive tool to examine sexual bias and forcing the reader to reconsider his or her cultural assumptions. Continue reading

Top Secret – United States Air Forces in Europe item 14 – 1948 November 4

“This document was found at the National Archive II in College Park, Maryland in the USAF HQ intelligence Top Secret files for 1948.”
http://www.nicap.org/docs/481104usafedoc.htm

Top Secret USAFE item 14 1948 November 4 Declassified United States Air Forces in Europe UFO Sweden flying saucer

Top Secret – United States Air Forces in Europe item 14 – 1948 November 4

DECLASSIFIED
Authority: NNDS13055
By: KC – NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] Date: 7/31/97

2-5317

TOP SECRET

USAFE [United States Air Forces in Europe] 14 – TT 1524 – TOP SECRET – 4 Nov 1948

From OI OB

For some time we have been concerned by the recurring reports on flying saucers. Continue reading

The 3 Classic UFO Encounters: Mantell Incident, Chiles-Whitted Encounter, and Gorman Dogfight

Mantell UFO Incident Anniversary Special:
Edward J. Ruppelt was the first head of Project Blue Book, an official U.S. Air Force investigation of UFOs. In his 1956 book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Ruppelt identified three UFO encounters of 1948 as the “classic” encounters that convinced Air Force personnel “that UFOs were real” and energized the UFO phenomenon in the mainstream public consciousness.

As Ruppelt wrote:

“With the Soviets practically eliminated as a UFO source, the idea of interplanetary spaceships was becoming more popular. During 1948 the people in the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) were openly discussing the possibility of interplanetary visitors without others tapping their heads and looking smug. … ‘The Classics’ were three historic reports that were the highlights of 1948. They are called ‘The Classics,’ a name given them by the Project Blue Book staff, because: (1) they are classic examples of how the true facts of a UFO report can be twisted and warped by some writers to prove their point, (2) they are the most highly publicized reports of this early era of the UFO’s, and (3) they ‘proved’ to ATIC’s intelligence specialists that UFO’s were real.”

The three “classic” encounters were: the Mantell UFO incident of January 7 near Franklin, Kentucky; the Chiles-Whitted UFO encounter of July 24 near Montgomery, Alabama; and the Gorman UFO dogfight of October 1 in the skies over Fargo, North Dakota.
⁓The Voice before the Void

circa 1947 - US Air Force North American F-51D Mustang - North Dakota Air National Guard - World War II era fighter plane P-51

“Mantell UFO incident”

Wikipedia

The Mantell UFO incident was among the most publicized early UFO reports. The incident resulted in the crash and death of 25-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, on January 7, 1948 while in pursuit of a UFO.

Historian David M. Jacobs argues the Mantell case marked a sharp shift in both public and governmental perceptions of UFOs. Previously, the news media often treated UFO reports with a whimsical or glib attitude reserved for silly season news. Following Mantell’s death, however, Jacobs notes “the fact that a person had died in an encounter with an alleged flying saucer dramatically increased public concern about the phenomenon. Now a dramatic new prospect entered thought about UFOs: they might be not only extraterrestrial but potentially hostile as well.” Continue reading

“Deep Web,” “Darknet,” “Dark Web,” and “Darknet Markets” from Wikipedia

The Internet is a network, or more accurately: it is a network of connected networks.
The World Wide Web is a cyberspace that exists upon the Internet… or “via”(?) the Internet. – (I don’t think our language, our human English, has words to accurately describe how networks and cyberspaces are related; for example, your brain is a neural network, or, more accurately, it is a network of networks; your consciousness (your thoughts, your memories, your emotions… your “content”(?)) exists “upon”(?) your brain. You see?: our language doesn’t really describe this.)
The Deep Web is content of the World Wide Web that is not accessible through standard search engines.
A darknet is a network that is built on top of, or overlaid upon, the Internet, and to which access is restricted, requiring, for example, special software or authorization.
The Dark Web is content that exists on darknets.
A darknet market is a marketplace that exists on a darknet.

The Internet and darknets are networks; darknets overlay the Internet.
Considering the World Wide Web as content on the Internet, the World Wide Web can be divided into two subsets: the Surface Web and the Deep Web. The Surface Web is content that is accessible through standard search engines. The Deep Web is content that is not accessible through standard search engines, and it is much, much larger than the Surface Web, but it is mainly composed of information in databases (databases are generally not searchable through standard search engines). However, some content of the Deep Web is not accessible by standard search engines because it exists upon darknets, and that content is called the Dark Web.
The World Wide Web is the superset; the Deep Web is a subset of the World Wide Web; the Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web; and darknet markets form a subset of the Dark Web.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Evolution darknet market vendor product relationships analysis graph cryptomarket black marketplace drugs weapons

“Deep web (search)”

Wikipedia

This article is about the part of the World Wide Web not indexed by traditional search engines. For the part of the World Wide Web which exists on Darknets, see Dark Web.

The Deep Web, Deep Net, Invisible Web, or Hidden Web are search terms referring to the content on the World Wide Web that is not indexed by standard search engines. Computer scientist Michael K. Bergman is credited with coining the term in 2000.

1. Terminology conflation

The first conflation of the terms came about in 2009 when Deep Web search terminology was discussed alongside illegal activities taking place on the darknet Freenet. Continue reading

“Bloop” from Wikipedia

Let’s say it was ice. But it was Cthulhu.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Bloop”

Wikipedia

Bloop was an ultra-low-frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. The sound was consistent with the noises generated by icequakes in large icebergs, or large icebergs scraping the ocean floor.

Analysis

The sound’s source was roughly triangulated to 50°S 100°W (a remote point in the south Pacific Ocean west of the southern tip of South America), Continue reading

“Talking with the Planets” by Nikola Tesla

Pop-culture cult-hero and legitimate science-hero Tesla reveals that he received electrical messages from, he believes, outer space.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Talking with the Planets”

Nikola Tesla

Collier’s Weekly Editor’s Note.–Mr. Nikola Tesla has accomplished some marvellous results in electrical discoveries. Now, with the dawn of the new century, he announces an achievement which will amaze the entire universe, and which eclipses the wildest dream of the most visionary scientist. He has received communication, he asserts, from out the great void of space; a call from the inhabitants of Mars, or Venus, or some other sister planet! And, furthermore, noted scientists, like Sir Norman Lockyer are disposed to agree with Mr. Tesla in his startling deductions.

Mr. Tesla has not only discovered many important principles, but most of his inventions are in practical use; notably in the harnessing of the Titanic forces of Niagara Falls, and the discovery of a new light by means of a vacuum tube. He has, he declares, solved the problem of telegraphing without wires or artificial conductors of any sort, using the earth as his medium. By means of this principle he expects to be able to send messages under the ocean, and to any distance on the earth’s surface. Interplanetary communication has interested him for years, and he sees no reason why we should not soon be within talking distance of Mars or of all worlds in the solar system that may be tenanted by intelligent beings.

At the request of Collier’s Weekly, Mr. Tesla presents herewith a frank statement of what he expects to accomplish and how he hopes to establish communication with the planets.

1901 02Feb 09 Collier's Weekly Talking with the Planets by Nikola Tesla - Mr Tesla's ExperimentThe idea of communicating with the inhabitants of other worlds is an old one. But for ages it has been regarded merely as a poet’s dream, forever unrealizable. And yet, Continue reading

“Hajile” from Wikipedia

Rocket science!
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Hajile”

Wikipedia

Hajile was an experimental project developed by the British Admiralty’s Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development (DMWD) during the final years of the Second World War for slowing the landing of air-dropped supplies with rockets.

1. Development

The project was initiated by a request from the Army for a method of dropping heavy equipment and vehicles from aircraft at high speed, retaining the materiel’s terminal velocity for as long as possible in order to minimise drift and damage from anti-aircraft gun batteries. It was further required that the materiel suffer only minimal or no damage from landing, and once dropped be ready to deploy within minutes.

The high falling speed ruled out parachutes, so the DMWD came up with the idea of loading the drops onto a platform surrounded with cordite rockets. These would fire at the last instant to decelerate the materiel to a safe landing speed. The initial test produced the project’s codename; as the rockets’ exhaust engulfed the apparatus in a plume of smoke and fire, an attending officer remarked “Look at it! It’s Elijah in reverse,” referring to the biblical prophet’s ascension to Heaven in a “chariot of fire.”

2. Testing

Initial tests

Once testing began, a number of problems became apparent. Continue reading

The Alien and the Human: 4 Novels by Stanisław Lem, from Wikipedia

Summarized narratives of four philosophical novels from the greatest science fiction writer. Spoilers.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Solaris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Solaris is a 1961 Polish science fiction novel by Stanisław Lem. The book is about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species.

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem science fiction classic Polish sci-fi novel book cover first English edition

Continue reading