Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 26, 2016

ufoplaceinsvalbard

With all the other effects of climate change taking place, it’s understandable people may have missed noticing a burgeoning “northern paradise” in a giant subterranean cave between Svalbard and the North Pole. Actually, according to Greek mythology, the paradise known as Hyperborea has been there since ancient times and is populated by various human, animal and alien species. But this week the Chinese news website yes-news.com published what is Absolutely Not Photoshopped proof of the cave’s entrance, along with details of its history and landscape. It notes, for example, the 1908 book “The Smoky God” reveals Norwegian Jens Jansen and his son visited Svalbard on June 23, 1829, then sailed north for a few days until they encountered increasing warmth, green lands and a river into a cave with a sun-like object on the horizon. Inside the cave they found giants, trees up to 300 meters high and grapes the size of apples. “They lived there for two years, subject to a lot of hospitality…”

conspiracyformula

Zero-sum game: While the average layperson will see this formula as obvious proof the moon-landing wasn’t a hoax, people who know the “real truth” will no doubt be able to point the flaws that make it just one more part of the cover-up. Graph by David Grimes / Oxford University.

Since enquiring minds will doubtless be demanding to know how something as massive as Hyperborea could be kept secret,  it might be a good idea to call in Oxford researcher David Grimes and his conspiracy theory calculator. He’s come up with a formula that supposedly determines how many people would need to been in on a conspriacy and how long it would take for it to be exposed. If climate change is indeed a fraud nearly unanimously promoted by the science community, for example, 405,000 people would need to be in on the secret, and it would exposed three years and nine months later. He did similar calculations regarding the U.S. moon landings being a hoax (411,000 people; exposed in three years and eight months); vaccinations causing autism or other ailments (22,000 people‚ three years and two months); and a cancer cure being suppressed by the world’s leading pharmaceutical firms (714,000 people; three years and three months). For those who think this all sounds idioctic, look at the actual formula in the chart to the right and try to explain why he’s wrong (then, more amusing, check out the comments section of the actual paper in the link above, where a few folks do exactly that)…

bowiestars

Space Oddity: Stop bitching about being stuck in that tin can – at least you’ve got a better view of your Heavenly likeness than us. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Lots of folks have noticed the skies above Longyearbyen have been rather brilliantly lit in recent weeks and, while stuffy science types have offered varying explanations for varying phenomena, we’re going to go with the gods making up for the fact that Svalbard is apparently one of the few places on Earth where you can’t see David Bowie taking his place among the stars. His death has prompted calls for a “David Bowie constellation,” apparently for reasons having to do with the stars making up the unique lightning bolt on the cover of his 1973 “Aladdin Sane Album.” But the stuffy scientists say that shape would be a “asterism,” not a constellation, which basically would be at least the size of a small galaxy (a.k.a. “billions and billions…”), according to Phys.org. Such a thing exists and apparently includes astronomical destinations such as Sigma Librae, Zeta Centauri and SAO 204132, Sigma Octantis and Beta Trianguli Australis (all of which are or would be cool album names). Anyhow, whilen few people live someplace where the entire thing can be seen, “nearly anyone on Earth further south than Svalbard at 80 degrees north, could see at least part of the Bowie asterism.” Of course, with Longyearbyen at “only” 78 degrees north, we can hope the gods don’t notice if we try to sneak a free peek…