The escape from Efrafa has not gone as planned. General Woundwort and a patrol catch up with them.
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The escape from Efrafa has not gone as planned. General Woundwort and a patrol catch up with them.
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Malcolm meets a half-sister who becomes a source of hope and inspiration.
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Bigwig makes a mad dash for escape, the does and Blackavar following.
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Everyone is proud when Malcolm is elected class president. But racial issues still pressed upon him.
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The Tarkheena, Aravis, tells her story.
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The other traveler turns out to be a runaway girl who Shasta considers to be very snobbish and bossy!
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Bigwig launches the escape with a bit of deception and bold attack.
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Navigating a boy-girl relationship with white girls was complex for Malcolm X when young.
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After escaping the lions, shock of shocks, Shasta and Bree learn the other horse is a talking horse from Narnia, too!
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Hazel and the other rabbits try to decide what to do about Bigwig’s change of plans. And things get more complicated for Bigwig.
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Bigwig tells Blackavar the escape plan.
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Shasta and Bree discuss strategy on how to travel to Narnia. As they traveled, Bree told warhorse stories.
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Malcolm discusses how it affected him when white people talked openly in front of him using the “N-word”.
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Bigwig tricks Chervil so he can get a message to Kehaar without raising suspicion.
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Malcolm speaks of his behavior that leads him to reform school.
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Shasta and Bree survive their first day and night on the trail, making their way to Narnia.
The does and Bigwig are worried that their plan of escape has been exposed.
Darn those scientists. They have gone and spoiled it for the gringa again. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ghost story? The reason such a tale is so tantalizing is because no one really knows if ghosts are real or not. Until now. Yeah. Thinks Neil Degrasse Tyson and Brian Cox, you ol’ fun-spoiling physicists, you.
The dear reader would probably like to know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about an experiment that took place with the Large Hadron Collider. And the results are being interpreted to prove that ghosts just don’t exist. At least according to the laws of physics. According to Cox, a British theoretical physicist, he explains that if there were information zipping about after a person’s dies, the Large Hadron Collider would detect those bits of data. This is how his theory goes:
-For a ghost to exist, after death, a pattern of information from living cells would travel through some other medium.
-The traveling pattern would interact with particles of matter from the human body it leaves while it makes the transfer from one medium to the other.
-The Large Hadron Collider has detected nothing like this.
Is it possible that there is a physics law not yet known by today’s scientists which might then make it possible for ghosts to be real?
Cox’s answer for this is that scientists would need to invent a new model for Particle Physics. But, considering the energy scale by which particles interact with the human bodies, this is not conceivable with today’s knowledge or technology. So the gringa remains hopeful that ghosts still have a chance.
Tyson, however, likes to rain on the gringa’s ghost parade. He says that just because there are gaps in what physicists do know doesn’t mean that what they don’t know will automatically support the existence of things like ghosts. Darn it. In fact, he believes that Cox’ work at the European Centre for Nuclear Research is sufficient to definitively conclude that ghosts don’t exist.
Tyson references the law of entropy as proof. There is a complicated physics law related to entropy in thermodynamic states. In a nutshell, what it means for ghosts is that energy is simply lost, whether it is man-made energy or natural energy. Energy simply expends itself and is lost and you can’t get it back.
But the gringa says, “Whoa, there, Nellie!” I mean, entropy is about the relationship of matter and energy. There is also the principal that, although matter may lose energy and experience entropy, energy doesn’t cease to exist. Energy may simply change into another form and never cease to exist.
The gringa thinks that Tyson errs to use entropy to kill off ghosts. Entropy is what happens to the physical body when energy leaves the body. If the energy is consciousness, the inspiration and existence of thought and individuality, that energy would not cease to exist simply because the human body of matter lost control of it.
Cox answers this idea with the assertion that if consciousness exists as an energy that animates the human body, then it must interact with the particles the human body is made of. So far, with the precision instruments that he has at hand, he sees no evidence of such interaction. But does that mean it doesn’t happen? After all, there was a time when man couldn’t “see” an atom or a blood cell, but they still existed.
So, the gringa started out disappointed but, in the end, I find myself right back where I started from. Believing that ghosts might possibly be the consciousness energy of inspiration of each unique human being’s individuality. After death, this energy may very well transform into another existence, possibly residing in a dark matter universe. The gringa is still a believer in ghost possibility until physicists can come up with something better than “so far with what we know and the instruments we’ve got we have to say no to ghosts”.
After all, Cox nor Tyson were able to explain whether or not consciousness exists. They cannot explain why humans have individuality and how though originates. In other words, the only thing they do know are the laws of physics that relate to matter. A “ghost” has no matter. These guys need to get back to the drawing board. And the gringa suspects Tyson may secretly be a believer in ghosts:
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Shasta and the horse discuss the details of their escape only to discover Shasta doesn’t know how to ride! Shasta also learns the horse’s name, which was strange so Shasta just calls him Bree.
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Find out how Malcolm fared as an athlete in basketball and boxing.
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Hazel, Kehaar and the rest are worried when Bigwig doesn’t show up as planned. What should they do? A storm is coming!
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Mention the Mayan civilization and you probably think of strange celestial calendars carved in stone, Meso-American pyramids and human sacrifice. You probably wouldn’t think about an ancient library book. Well, the gringa says, “Think again.” And what scholars have translated from the pages of this 17th century Mayan book might have a plan of strategy for those Americans engaged in the Trump resistance of today. Who knew?!
During the time the manuscript was written, European colonialism and Christian religious oppression was in full swing over the indigenous people of pre-Columbia America. Although the entire manuscript is comprised of entries by different authors, it does open a very revealing window to how the influence of Pope Urban IV affected the Mayans.
The manuscript itself is a map of linguistic evolution. Four different languages are represented. It would be only natural to find Latin and Spanish. But two native tongues of the Mayan Empire, K’iche’ and Kaqchikel, are also part of this written record.
The K’iche’ language was already thousands of years old by the time European invaders arrived. But the K’iche’ dialect was what was commonly spoken between the Spanish speaking Europeans and the Mayans. Even today K’iche’ is still used in parts of Guatemala and Mexico by more than one million people, although the influence of Spanish and Latin can be detected in the most current versions. Thousands of immigrants to the United States also speak this ancient language.
The existence of this language into the modern age is a testament to a people who vehemently resisted the Catholic Church’s attempts to convert them and the efforts of Europeans to assimilate them. K’iche’ eventually lost status as an official language in Guatamala. Priests tried to convert Mayans through catechisms and confessionals performed in Latin and Spanish. But the Mayans wanted none of it.
By refusing to assimilate to European customs and the Catholic religion, Mayans were able to preserve their culture. They defended their beliefs by adapting certain elements of their public spaces. This compromise, a public recognition of the political and cultural sovereignty of the Europeans and the Catholic Church, created a buffer, allowing the resistance to live wholly Mayan in private, unmolested.
The religion practiced by the K’iche’ speaking Mayans evolved over time. It eventually became a hybrid with indigenous and Christian elements easily recognizable in their tenets, documents and art.
One example is the most fundamental concept of sin in Christianity. No such concept existed within Mayan beliefs. Dominican missionaries introduced the concept through a play on words. The K’iche’ word “mak” literally translates “will”, as in personal desire or impulse. The missionaries used the idea of personal impulse to illustrate sin because man is not to follow his own impulse but, rather, the will of god.
Even today, when visiting a Catholic church in Guatamala one will find a very different religious environment than a traditional Catholic setting. The effectiveness of the Mayan religion was a heritage that has reached far, even into our own current era.
To satisfy the Church that they were being compliant, the K’iche’ speaking Maya simply picked and chose the elements of Catholicism that seemed interesting or agreeable. Visiting Catholic officials would see an amalgamation of rites and rituals, many they easily recognized, and would go away satisfied. It was a resistance perpetrated through appearing to appease the oppressor.
Many people, especially Catholics, prefer to visualize the Catholic Church for its many charitable works it performs today. It is easier on the Catholic conscience to overlook the history of cruelty and brutality. But the reality of violent measures to mandate conversions are the reason the Church was met with such virulent resistance. Who wants to love and serve a god who is represented by something like that?
And it wasn’t just a cruel example of god that turned off the Mayans. The Europeans enslaved them. They, a proud, free and dignified people, a wealthy empire that had built massive monuments were forced into labor, slaves for their invaders. To refuse to serve their taskmasters and worship their overlord’s god often meant imprisonment, torture and, eventually, death.
Although the need for a slave class prevented the physical genocide of the Mayans, a cultural genocide was attempted as a means to force their religious conversion. Prized artifacts and relics were destroyed. Sacred shrines desecrated and razed to the ground. Any written text burned. So, it isn’t that ancient Meso-Americans intelligent enough to build pyramids were illiterate. It’s that their conquerors were effective book-burners. But one amazing book escaped their fires.
If you want to see it in person, it can be perused at the National Museum of History. Or, a digital version can be enjoyed online.
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Malcolm explains why he blames state welfare workers for destroying his mother’s mental health and how it affected him.
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Shasta and the Tarkaan’s Narnia horse make an escape plan.
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What does Woundwort want? Will he foil Bigwig’s plans?
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Malcolm tells about how state welfare workers prepared to remove him from his family.
How will Shasta react to finding out that his non-father wants to sell him as a slave? Maybe the Tarkaan’s horse can advise him.
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Bigwig is ready to execute his escape plan but then…
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In this part of chapter 1, Malcolm talks about how state welfare workers strategized to destroy his family by turning the kids against his mother.
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The gringa would like to know what people are really talking about when they refer to the good ol’ days. So many times, when referencing our founding fathers, they speak as if they imagine a happier time where romance was abloom and life was cruelty-free. Where the heck do people get this idea? Certainly not from REAL history.
Take, for instance, George Washington. He’s a hero, right? Father of the country, right? Surely he was raised by parents who instilled the best values by example, right? Nope. His life as a child, like the lives of most children and women in early America, was a living hell. That’s what happens when rich men rule a society, allowing no rights and protections for those who are considered weaker and less valuable.
The saddest part about this type of man-on-top hierarchy is how kicks and blows are delivered down the ladder. The way things usually went in a household in the “good ol’ days” was the man of the house was a tyrant toward his wife. She, in turn, took her repressed frustrations out on the kids, servants and slaves.
If you read the preferred history penned by historians toe-ing the patriot line, you will see George Washington’s mother, Mary Washington, depicted as a mythological grandmother to America. When you dig in to the personal letters that passed back and forth among multiple members of the Washington family, you recognize ol’ Mary for what she really was, a controlling matriarchal shrew. Poor George. No wonder he lost his teeth and needed wooden dentures at a young age. He probably spent many hours grinding his teeth and biting his tongue when mommy was around.
When dear, little Georgie was just a wee lad, about 15 (grown man by good ol’ day standards) he was eager to join the British Navy. Mumsie nixed the idea as far too dangerous for her boy. How embarrassing for George.
Decades later, while proving his mettle in the last months of the Revolutionary War, Mary just couldn’t help herself. Instead of behaving so as not to endanger her son with the distraction of her antics back home, she wrote a letter to the House of Delegates demanding some spending money. Despite the fact that George was physically on the battlefield, trying to do damage control after the Benedict Arnold betrayal and scandal, he had to high tail it back inside his tent, draft a hasty letter and order the Delegates not to give his drama-mama a single penny.
This letter was very telling. It wasn’t just that he said a firm “no” to her demands. He listed all the money-related things that had already been done for her, like the purchase of a new home. George even mentioned the vacant rental properties that he rented even though he didn’t need them just so she could have an income. In his exasperation he even drug into the mix his four siblings, all of which dear ol’ mum expected to part with their “last sixpence” for her own satisfaction.
If you thought that might check Mary to at least not cause a ruckus while George needed to devote attention to battle, you would be wrong. Later, in 1755, George joined the French in Pennsylvania. While fighting alongside General Edward Braddock, things took a turn for the worst and Braddock got killed in action. Instead of a letter of sympathy and encouragement from his mother, he got a note delivered from mom that informed George she was in great need of… wait for it… butter and a Dutch servant. Yeah, times were hard for Mary.
The gringa knows what she would have done. It would have been a very short note. Most likely beginning with the letter F and ending with the letter U. But George was a much better fellow than I. His response actually addressed his mother as “Honourd Madam”. What class. He politely reminded her that he was not even in the country and the Army supplies that he had at hand featured no butter or Dutch servants to spare. The gringa would think that such polite restraint would be enough but George goes on to impress. He actually apologized to dear, ol’, demanding mom for not stopping by for a visit the last time he was in the neighborhood of Williamsburg. The gringa can only imagine why he didn’t (eyeroll here).
So how might such a mother react when her son becomes elevated to such a position as the leader of a new country after a long, bloody war? Well, historians working from reports of witnesses construct a conversation that went something like this:
George: Mom, the nation has asked me to become president.
Mary: You do know I’m dying, right?
George: Well, let me get myself settled into my new office and I’ll be back as soon as I can.
Mary: You will never see me again. But it’s more important that you do your job than sit with your mother while she dies. So just go.
The gringa must admit, shamefaced, that, as a mom, I’ve had conversations right along that line with my own kids! Oy vey!
But George was not the only one who showed Mary Washington due regard. His cousin, Lawrence, was terrified of the old gal. He confided in a letter that he was “ten times more afraid [of Mary] than I ever was of my own parents.”
But why was Mary so controlling and demanding? Was she really just a mean, selfish hag or did she have good cause to turn out the way she did? Well, like the gringa said, to understand why women often gave their children a hard time in the “good ol’ days”, take a look at what the woman’s situation was with regard to her marriage. Mary was in a ticklish situation.
You see, back then the first-born son was the end-all of priorities for the man of the house. The same was true with George’s father, Augustine. George was the proverbial “overlooked” middle child. He was nothing special to dear ol’ dad. However, Mary was not Augustine’s first wife. For Mary, George was her first-born son, her everything, her security in old age.
When Augustine died Mary was a very young 35 and George only 11. As a widow, Mary held title to the lands Augustine had held. If she re-married, according to his will she would have to surrender those titles to Augustine’s eldest son who was not her son and, most likely, no sympathetic step-son. Mary was not about to let her Georgie be subject to a step-father who would most likely see him as a threat or nuisance thus suffer abuse. So Mary remained a widow. How lonely that must that have been. It is very likely that, emotionally, George also became a surrogate husband of sorts.
And she ruled those properties to the best of her abilities for a woman living in a time when most ladies were denied an education. Few could do more than rudimentary reading, writing and arithmetic. So, Mary started out an underdog (orphaned at the age of 13) yet finished a strong, independent woman who gifted this nation its first president.
As for the good ol’ days? Well, if the father and grandmother of the country enjoyed any aspect of an easy life of luxury and leisure, it can only be because they were slaveowners. Not so sure why the good ol’ days often overlooks the fact that those “days” were during a time when human beings were shackled and tortured physically and mentally as objects of ownership and denied the most basic kindnesses of humanity and any sense of liberty or freedom. Nothing good about that.
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We continue this rabbit adventure by Richard Adams. Bigwig shares his escape plan with Kehaar.
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(Book 3 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by CS Lewis). In this part of “How Shasta Set Out On His Travels”, Shasta eavesdrops and learns a shocking truth about his father.
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We continue the autobiography of Malcolm X. In this part of chapter 1, “Nightmare”, we hear about Halloween hijinks and gambling lessons.
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We begin chapter 1 of book 3 from “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis. In the first part of “How Shasta Set Out On His Travels”, Shasta learns that his father is not who he thinks he is!
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We start another chapter, “Approaching Thunder” of this great book by Richard Adams. Bigwig tries to work out how to include Blackavar in the escape.
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We continue our journey through Malcolm X’s life. In this part of the story we hear about the hunger of Malcolm and his family.
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Join the gringa for the final chapter of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. But, don’t be sad that it’s the ending. The adventure continues with book 3, “The Horse and His Boy”.
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Sometimes, when the gringa is home alone at night, or early in the morning after the caveman leaves for work, my imagination goes into overdrive. I get a little spooked. Should an unexpected noise be heard, that’s it. No sleep for the gringa. But what if you were an astronaut, adrift in the vacuum of space, surrounded by nothingness for thousands of lightyears yet “something” came a-knocking?
I tell ya, the gringa would probably die of fright! There’s certainly no hope for fear to disappear when the sun comes up. No waiting around for the hubby to get back. No paranoid call to 911 for the comfort of a first responder to do a quick looksie around. Nope, an astronaut is all alone for the duration of the mission wondering what the heck just knocked on the door and when or if it’s coming back. Guess what? That actually happened.
Word has it that, back in 2003, when China’s first astronaut in space, Yang Liwei, was performing a 21-hour tour-of-duty aboard Shenzhen 5, something came knocking. He described the noise like the sound of a wooden hammer hitting against a metal bucket. So, he wasn’t spooked by a few creaks or phantom noises created in an over-active imagination like the gringa’s. He described a very distinct, and distinctly loud, noise.
If one eyewitness account of such is not enough for the skeptic, there were other Chinese astronauts who also reported the same banging noise. Consecutive missions, Shenzhou 6 and 7, had astronauts returning to Earth and sharing this news in their de-briefings.
The gringa believes it would be the opportunity of a lifetime to travel into space. Imagine the prestige an astronaut must be looking forward to when they get the news that they are slated for a mission. Certainly they envision a future shaped by this achievement. Success is at hand. With respect to their career, they have, indeed, arrived.
How, then, must it come to them as a terrible disappointment to realize that they will forever be haunted by their space experience. Do some astronauts return to an Earth-bound life, riddled with anxiety, swept up in paranoia that they are stalked by other-worldly watchers? Do they spend the rest of their life feeling a coward’s shame because they didn’t have the guts to answer the door and see who was there?
When interviewed by journalists from Xinhua, Astronaut Liwei explained some of these very emotions. He recounted that when he would hear the knocking, he would become very tense. The gringa thinks, “Yeah. I bet!” He would peek outside the windows only to see nothing. Returning to Earth he spent much time with researchers trying to replicate the noise with a variety of instruments and materials. But they were unsuccessful.
As crews for Shenzhou 6 and 7 were preparing, Liwie warned them that they should expect to hear the noise. He tried to put their minds at ease, assuring them that the noise must be a normal, natural phenomenon. But was Liwie telling the truth or making up a comfortable lie?
The characteristics of the noise were:
-acoustic quality of wood on metal
The Shenzhou spacecrafts are classified as cargo vessels. The craft’s name translates roughly into “magic boat” or “divine vessel of god”. When the craft was first put into use in 1999 by China it was an unmanned vessel. After several successful unmanned missions, Astronaut Yang Liwei achieved the first successful manned mission October 15, 2003, completing 14 orbits around Earth within 21 hours.
The 2 manned missions that followed also reported back the strange noises. Could this be why the 2011 mission was unmanned except for 2 test dummies? In 2012 manned missions resumed with a 3-person crew delivered to China’s Tiangong-1 space station in 2012, 2013 and a final mission in 2016 delivering crewmembers to China’s Tiangong-2 space station. One more mission is slated for 2018 but no details are yet available on whether it will be manned or not.
The spaceship’s technology has roots in Russia’s Soyuz technology. The modified Chinese version features 3 modules. Upon returning to Earth, only one module, the re-entry module, makes the return trip. That means that 2 modules, the orbital and service modules, do not have the same bulky heat shielding as the re-entry module.
The orbital module is constructed of aluminum. This is where the crew spends most of their time. If a piece of space debris came into contact with the outside of the module, it would probably make quite a noise.
But would a piece of debris make a single contact noise or might it bump around the perimeter of the craft a few times until it went on its merry way? Would a tiny bit of space junk, too small to see out a porthole make a noise as loud as Liwie described? Could the spacecraft survive an impact with a small piece of space debris? How likely is it that this is the source of the noise? Yes, the gringa is filled with questions.
NASA estimates more than half a million bits of space junk are floating around Earth. They can travel as fast as 17,500 mph. Even a pebble-sized bit of debris can wreak havoc and cause quite a bit of damage. Check out this picture provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). A solar array on satellite Sentinel-1A took a hit from a tiny bit of space junk (about a 1 millimeter bit) and it punched an enormous hole in one of the solar panels. The size of the damage was about 100 times the size of the junk that hit it.
In 2014, just 6 years after the last Shenzhou mission with a crewmember reporting the strange knocking noises, an important book was published. In “Forging China’s Military Might” much of the material discusses the nation’s space program. It is proposed that spacecraft design should feature a “bumper” to absorb meteor and space junk impacts. Proving the point that even micro-debris can be deadly, the author points to the Space Shuttle Challenger 7 mission. A tiny fragment of debris, and when the gringa says tiny, she means tiny, the debris was a FLECK OF PAINT… it caused so much damage the entire window had to be replaced.
So, did Liwie hear an ET knocking on his spaceship door? Probably not. It’s more likely that it was a bit of cosmic rubble knocking about.
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Join the gringa as we near the end of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by reading chapter 16 of book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. In the next to the last chapter first, it’s Aslan to the rescue. Then, Aslan, his allies and the girls join the others in the battle with the witch.
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What has the gringa shared so far about what she knows regarding dark matter?
“There is no physical evidence that it exists, only a theory based on a mathematical formula to explain phenomena detected by gravitational lensing that suggests that objects with mass exist as determined by gravitational effects on visible celestial bodies yet the matter causing the gravitational effect cannot be seen by the naked eye.”
Until now. Kinda sort of.
Scientists estimate that about 25% of our universe consists of dark matter. That’s quite a bit of stuff out there that we have no idea, really, where it is, what it’s purpose is, what it’s doing, or what it looks like.
Some scientists believe that there are dark matter superstructures that act as connective tissue between galaxies. The gringa wonders if that means that the universe can get arthritis? But I digress. Back to the real stuff. Does this composite image prove the connective tissue theory to be true? Do we now know where dark matter exists and what its purpose is?
Since dark matter is kind of like a space ghost, neither reflecting or absorbing light, it’s impossible to see it. Maybe. Scientists may have devised a means to create an image using the same technology for detecting it: gravitational lensing.
This new discovery may be dark matter’s incognito existence Waterloo, literally. You see, it’s a former grad student from Canada’s University of Waterloo who has developed the technique to create an image of dark matter. As gravitational lensing displays the warping effect of dark matter on distant galaxies, images from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope captures images while it surveys the skies. From these images 23,000 pairs of galaxies were selected to create a composite image of dark matter.
In the feature image you see the white circles that represent two galaxies. You see all that red stuff surrounding them? Yep. That’s the connective tissue of dark matter. So, basically the Milky Way is like an egg yolk with a partner galaxy connected to it by dark matter. Next time you order a breakfast of 2 eggs sunny side up, just think of the great cosmic breakfast entrée where you live.
Join the gringa in reading Chapter 15 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Aslan is back!
Join the gringa in a reading of “The Triumph of the Witch”, Chapter 14 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, as we near the end of Book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Certainly this is the most dreadful part of the story. Or is it?
Join the gringa in a read along of “Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time”, Chapter 13 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis. Aslan and the witch discuss the fate of Edmund.
Join the gringa in a read-along of “Peter’s First Battle”, Chapter 12 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, book 2 of the “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Danger and excitement abound for everyone in Narnia!
When fretting over the future effects of climate change, one may be worrying about just how hot it will get, how many coastal cities and islands will be lost to rising oceans or the massive loss of life through drought and famine. But what about mystery diseases? Yep. Add one more thing to your climate change related anxiety list. Mystery diseases.
You see, frozen in the Arctic and Antarctic tundra and ice sheets are pathogens that have been imprisoned for more than a millennia. And climate change is going to bring about the big thaw that will set them free. Many of them have never before been encountered by modern man. Remember what happened when Europeans introduced strange pathogens to indigenous peoples in their invasive travels? Yeah, without natural resistance, those native populations were decimated with disease.
So what exactly is lurking in the permafrost and ice?
– Example: August, 2016, remote Siberian tundra region of the Yamal Peninsula, a 12-year-old boy dies and 20 other people hospitalized with anthrax infections.
Now, a conspiracy theorist would point the finger at the Russian government, accusing it of using these poor folk as guinea pigs in bio-terror weapons research. The reality is, as determined by medical researchers, that the anthrax was a 75-year-old reindeer strain.
A quarter of a century ago the dead reindeer were covered with permafrost where they died. The heatwave that occurred in the area in 2016 exposed the contaminated corpses. The soil was then contaminated, thus the grassland being currently grazed upon was contaminated as well. The pathogens also washed into natural water supplies during periods of rainfall.
Final result? About 2,000 head of local reindeer grazed on the infected grassland. They, in turn, infected their human herds-people. This is the future of mystery disease due to climate change. Especially since there are more than a million reindeer carcasses infected with anthrax in Arctic regions that are buried close to the surface because you can’t dig deep graves in frozen ground.
In addition to anthrax, scientists also suspect strange varieties of influenza will be released. In Alaska, there have been discovered intact viruses of Spanish flu dating back to 1918. What else might be buried in shallow graves in frozen ground around the world? Corpses infected with active strains of smallpox and bubonic plague.
One Siberian town has a mass grave containing about 40% of its population that died in a smallpox epidemic in the 1890s. Already the permafrost layer is melting and washing away. Not only will this lead to contamination in the old town’s immediate area but any part of civilization the waters of the nearby Kolyma River contact will also be in danger of infection.
And pathogens can live longer than a couple of hundred years. Back in 2005 NASA researchers were successful in resurrecting bacteria removed from a frozen Alaskan pond. The microbes were 32,000 years old.
In 2007 scientists brought back to life bacteria that was 8 million years old and another sample that was 100,000 years old. They retrieved them from a glacier in Antarctica.
But do they have the strength to be virulent after a period of dormancy that long? For the answer, just refer to the findings of French evolutionary biologist Jean-Michel Claverie of Aix Marseille University. In 2014 Claverie resurrected two viruses from Siberia’s permafrost that were 30,000 years old. Once alive again, they quickly took on infectious status. Claverie’s conclusion:
“… these ancient layers could be exposed… If viable virions are still there, this could spell disaster.”
The most dangerous virions are called “giant viruses”. These are the ones that can survive being buried in ice, dormant for eons, and become active again. It’s because, unlike a regular virus, a giant virus has a tough genetic make-up that can survive outside a host cell. Think of it like the virus having a protective shield around its DNA that prevents biochemical degradation.
And it gets worse. It’s not just ice melt we modern day humans have to worry about. Crystals, as old as 50,000 years, dug out of a Mexican mine were found to harbor microbial bacteria, a bacteria that has not seen the surface of the earth for over 4 million years. Studies have determined that this particular bacteria is resistant to 70% of current commonly used antibiotics. Great. The gringa says, “Stop all that digging!”
How does a super-bacteria like that come about? Well, there’s not much for it to eat in a cave, isolated from water, light, etc. To survive, an organism has to be ruthless in competition with other organisms for whatever means are available for nutrition.
What the heck is being done about this? Well, the gringa would like to provide some measure of relief. This all means that the diseases that riddled Neanderthals, our ancestors, may all come back to haunt us. But thanks to scientists like Claverie the diseases our ancient ancestors suffered from are being discovered and vaccines are being created.
Image Credit: BBC
Video Credit: Seeker
We finish another chapter from book 2 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” authored by CS Lewis. As “Aslan Is Nearer” comes to a close, the thaw is moving toward Spring, making the Witch angry enough to kill anyone who mentions Aslan’s name.
Image Credit: Find Pik
Respected physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gave a very grave status update for the United States recently. He made the following claim while delivering a warning alongside his claim:
“America is already kind of fading… there’s no future [for a country that ignores science].”
Is Tyson simply a disgruntled scientist complaining about the position the Trump administration has taken with regard to climate change or is he on to something here? Let’s look at history. That is, after all, one of our greatest teaching resources.
Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi: Simply known as Rhazes, he was a pioneer in medicine in the Baghdad of the late 9th and early 10th centuries. He followed the rational and logic methods of Hippocrates and penned a comprehensive medical tome, Continens Liber. The book made him famous but not for the reasons he had probably hoped for.
A Muslim priest, offended by his work, ordered him beaten with the work’s manuscript. The abuse was so severe he was blinded which put an end to his illustrious medical career.
Was religious motivated persecution of Baghdad’s science community the beginning of its end? During the Abbasid caliphate, also called Baghdad’s “Golden Age”, the Islamic theocracy was churning out the world’s greatest scholars, mathematicians and scientists of that time. But as Sunni ruled Baghdad was achieving glory, Shiite Muslims were slowly simmering in their religious rivalries. Rhazes was one of the first casualties of this in-fighting.
The battle of religious ideology supremacy would lead to a weakening that made Baghdad vulnerable to Mongol aggression which eventually destroyed the city a couple of centuries later. But the short-sighted Shiite’s could not see this coming. They were so intent in destroying their rivals, the Sunnis, that they did not consider the consequences of their actions.
You see, the crazy thing is that the origins for the religious rivalry had nothing to do with science. It was all about the rights of succession for religious leaders, whether they be elected (Sunni belief) or a descendant of Mohammed (Shiite belief). Since patronizing the scientific community was a source of strength for the Sunni faction, the Shiite’s strategy for supremacy was to destroy the Sunni’s source of strength, the scientific community. But by persecuting the science community, the Shiite’s also brought about the entire destruction of Baghdad’s empire.
Michael Servetus: This Spanish physician’s work included a book that promoted a reformation of the Christian religion that was dominated by the Catholic Church during his lifetime in mid 16th century Spain. This earned him the label heretic. He fled his native country to avoid imprisonment and torture, the hallmarks of the Spanish Inquisition. He arrived in what he thought would be a more tolerant nation, Protestant dominated Switzerland.
However, it wasn’t just Christian Catholics who wanted to see him dead. John Calvin, who himself was a reformer of Christianity as a founding father of the Protestant Reformation, considered this medical scientist such a threat to the power of the church that he ordered the arrest of Servetus.
You see, although Europeans were being terrorized by Christian leaders of the Spanish Inquisition, Nordic peoples were equally terrorized by the Protestant Inquisition that was going strong in Switzerland. Eventually Servetus was captured and tortured. Religious leaders crafted quite a public spectacle, burning him at the stake with Lake Geneva as the backdrop. Stoking the fire? Copies of his book.
So, if the 16th century is noted by historians as the era of Spain’s Spanish Inquisition, what happened in the next century? Did persecution of scientists make the nation greater or worse? Historians describe the 17th century as an era of Spain’s decline. So, yeah, kill off your scientists and expect your country to fail.
The gringa could go on and on recounting the many scientists throughout history who have endured periods of purposeful persecution from governments of religious extremism that eventually led to the destruction of a nation. The dear reader can do their own homework on the life and times of scientists and their respective countries. Why not start with these:
So what should be expected as the anti-intellectual, religious extremists of the Republican party transform the US? Well, right now we are at the brink of what will become known as the cliff this great nation falls off of. Anti-intellectualism will inevitably lead to a less informed democracy. A nation of people who believe false science are incapable of solving the problems that will plague them, whether it be pollution, disease or social conflict. Without the right information, all decisions are the wrong decisions.
What happens then? If religious extremism prevents an embrace of the truth, then when solutions fail blame must be cast. The US can expect, then, a rash of scapegoat classes to be created and systematically persecuted for all the ills in society.
As other nations cultivate their own science communities, eventually one will emerge as the leader, filling in the vacuum the US leaves behind as it abandons real science. We already see this happening with the nations supporting the Paris Climate Agreement. This will result in the US losing its competitive edge in the consumer markets dominated by science and technology. And what can we expect that to do? Affect the US economy disastrously.
So, as the US denigrates, denies and persecutes science, it is stabbing innovation and hope for the future right in the back. The Trump administration may be the catalyst for a destruction the nation cannot recover from. Consider what can happen in 4 short years of no innovation or inspiration. Scientists who cannot pursue their passions, have their work published, implement their methods and are maligned for what their research indicates will go elsewhere. And once settled in a new home that welcomes and supports them, it is highly unlikely they will ever come back.
An exodus of talent will make America’s science community a veritable wasteland not just of scientific talent but of the backers who fund their work. Investors will then put their money where it will be used in the research and development of tomorrow’s technologies that will sell big.
The Trump administration is initiating a chain reaction of scientific abandonment that is not just ideological. Scientists who want to be empowered to fulfill their potential will go elsewhere, hand-in-hand with those who have the money to make their dreams come true. In the next few years the landscape of science and technology will change. Other nations will be developing the cures for AIDS and cancer. A new Silicon Valley will emerge as California’s own becomes a ghost town. Tyson is right.
For those of the gringa’s dear readers who enjoyed the last post about the disappearance of Bruno Borges, we will continue the journey here. If your curiosity was piqued about the breadcrumbs he left for others to follow in order to join him in enlightenment and initiation, let’s take a look at the videos posted on the YouTube channel If You Believe Anything Matters.
The earliest upload seems to be an attempt to help crack Borges’ code, entitled “This might help”. Then there’s the MacDonald Codex… music accompanied by text. The message The Lion will open the Gates of Hell the gringa finds curious with regard to obvious religious imagery, with both the nation of Israel and Jesus always referred to in Jewish and Christian symbology as the Lion. And we all know what Hell refers to. However, in this regard, it looks as if Israel and/or Jesus are the antithesis of the general “truth” that is taught, that Israel/Jesus are mankind’s saviors from Hell.
There is reference to the works of Pythagoras, implying that understanding the order of the Universe can be discovered in his book of numbers. Another point of interest, considering that if Borges is attempting to expose what is generally believed about Christianity and Judaism to be false and that the truth of the Universe is the opposite, then this, too, is in line with that perspective. Christianity and Judaism teach that the Universe is chaos and that order is found in God. Borges is saying that order is found in the science of mathematics.
He confirms this belief, claiming it was discovered by Dr. Joseph Puleo, who used the Pythagorean skeen. This is a mis-spelling. What the gringa thinks was meant is the “Pythagorean Skein”, which is a 2500 year-old philosophical and mathematical mystery according to most modern philosophers and mathematicians. The goal of this method is to secure power by understanding the numerology of words.
This is an esoteric practice of Jewish mystics and has a rich history. Aside from power, the point of the practice is to create such harmony and wholeness that one becomes transformed into the image that the creator intended. In other words, attain enlightenment, become immortal, whatever it is that you want to call it. This theory is also practiced in Freemasonry.
Music, as an audio manifestation of mathematics, is also considered to have the power to inspire certain emotions as well as heal diseases.
But there is also a curious genetic aspect to the Pythagorean skein. You see, as Pythagoras began to trace the origins of all things in this world back to their numerical representation, he proved that race does not exist. Mankind’s origins are mathematical, not genetic. And just as the Universe and numbers are infinite, so is a human’s ability to expand consciousness through the pursuit of more intelligence. And harmony with everything in the Universe is the regulating principle of seeking enlightenment.
As explanation for exactly what the Pythagorean skein is, the video features a text sharing a repeating code:
123456789 147 258 369
This repeating code is what is known as the Solfeggio Frequencies. These are used even now by well known mystics, like monks, who perform Gregorian chant. The frequencies serve different purposes:
-Liberating guilt and fear
-Undoing situations & facilitating change
-Connecting in relationships
-Returning to spiritual order
The video text claims that the MacDonald Codex is really the gateway to god. The gringa supposes this is reference to what is commonly called the Sinai Bible, or Codex Sinaiticus, a text discovered in 1846 by Captain C. K. MacDonald who delivered it into the hands of Saint Catherine’s Monastery that was located on the Sinai Peninsula.
However, the codex has a rich history of being discovered by many different people. It is an Alexandrian manuscript which would then also connect it with Egypt. It does not read quite like the most commonly used King James Version of the Christian Bible and contains more than is found in the traditionally accepted Torah, the religious text of the Hebrews.
So, after identifying the “gates of god” another code is given:
1D – 123456789123456789123456789
along with the instruction to add consecutive numbers to get a new number, 2 at a time. An example is provided:
1+2 3+4 5+6 7+8
This would create a new number:
2D – 3 7 11 15 10 5 9 13 17 3 7 11 15 10 59 13 17
Instructions then say to reduce all numbers over 9 to get a third. For example, 11 becomes 1+1, 15 becomes 1+5, etc.
Following these instructions results in the numbers:
3D – 3 7 2 6 1 5 9 4 8 3 7 2 6 1 5 9 4 8 3 3 7 2 6 1 5 9
4D – 10 8 6 13 11 9 7 14 12 10 8 6 13 11 9 7 14 12 10
5D – 1864297531864297531864297531864297531
6D – 9 10 11 12 4 14 6 16 8 9 10 11 12 4 14 6 16
But what’s the point of these numbers? Consider that there are 12 dimensions to our Universe. These numbers represent 6 of them. Take a look at the patterns and see if you can tell what is happening…
If you could, you are smarter than the gringa. I couldn’t make any sense of that and the next text clue linking these dimensions with the video poster’s claimed “bloodline” as Jewish (Lion of Judah) and of the tribe of Dan, using the symbolism of the serpent to indicate his rank as, perhaps, that of a judge, Dan’s tribal designation. Borges may be indicating that his new role is that of evaluating who gets selected for initiation into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
And thus ends this curious video. There is a part 2 which will likely explain more but the gringa will save that one for yet another post! Curioser and curioser, indeed! But you can watch this video for yourself right here:
Video Credit: If You Believe Anything Matters
What do you think is behind the story of the disappearance of a UFOlogist who left behind a bedroom covered in strange symbols and a coded language? Insane? Hoax? The real deal? Let’s take a look at Brazil’s Bruno Borges and his personal “X-Files” style life journey.
This past March the 24-year-old disappeared. Not only were the walls and ceiling of his room plastered with his life’s work, but he also had 14 books written in the same coded language that were ready to be published. Media images of his room reveal the organization of an ordered mind, although a tad obsessive-compulsive about order when the gringa compares own surroundings. I tend to be tidy with a splash of comfortably messy.
But Bruno was not just a fringe science recluse, shuttered away from the world, scribbling away in an alien tongue. He was also a psychology student at university.
But alleged coded languages from another world were not the only curiosities of his room’s décor. There was also a prized work of art, valued at nearly $3,000. Central to Bruno’s small room is a life-size statue of Giordano Bruno, a 16th century philosopher, set within a circle of symbols. Was this a tribute to a namesake kinsman or a tribute to the work of the philosopher?
You see, the Italian Dominican friar, Giordano Bruno, was not just a philosopher. He was also a theorist as to the mysteries of the cosmos, which meant the Catholic Church eventually labelled him a heretic. He threw off his friar robes and converted to Calvinism.
However, Protestantism was no great fan of his science, either. Eventually he would be burnt at the stake in Rome with his tongue tied down to prevent him from addressing the crowd. In today’s science and philosophical circles, Bruno is considered a martyr to scientific truth.
Now, dear reader, don’t think that this means younger Bruno was also a misunderstood religious devotee of the Christian faith. More fascinating clues remain to be discussed. Also decorating the walls and floor of the young man’s room were sigils and symbols affiliated with the legendary Illuminati and Satanism.
But wait, there’s more. Lacking any furnishings typical to a bedroom, there was, instead, religious furnishings crafting a shrine. Instead of a religious shrine to a long, dead philosopher, Jesus, Mary or Satan, the shrine was dedicated to the extra-terrestrial world young Bruno Borges believed in.
One of the key elements of his shrine was a self-portrait of the young man standing alongside a bulbous-headed, glowing-eyed ET against a backdrop that obviously points to the two of them being on another planet. The gringa supposes the implication is that his true biological origins are from this alien world.
For about a month young Borges locked himself away in this room and produced all of this. This is absolutely incredible. It defies, in the gringa’s mind, the rules of biology. It seems physically impossible. Especially since there is no bed in the room for the poor guy to get a good night’s sleep. How in the world could one remain super-humanly productive for 4 weeks?
Truly, this fellow was quite an enigma. But what does it all mean?
The first clue lies in one of his passages translated by a Brazilian cyber expert. It reads:
“It is easy to accept what you have been taught since childhood and what is wrong. It is difficult, as an adult to understand that you were wrongly taught what you suspected was correct since you were a child”
Now, although this quote indicates that Borges was faulting his parents for instilling false beliefs in him, it seems that they weren’t really so bad. After all, they were willing to pay for his college education, provide the funding for his project and patiently indulge a child they most likely considered an eccentric intellectual who would one day make them proud with his published works of brilliance.
And Borges, despite his seeming criticism of his upbringing, was not above taking money from those he blamed. When approaching his family for financial assistance in his project he assured them that he was going to “change humanity in a good way”.
From the moment the disappearance became known, Brazilian authorities have been investigating. The latest news indicates the possibility that the young man is alive and well and continuing his “humanitarian work”. Here’s the latest:
4/10/17 a page of binary code popped up online. It translates to the following:
“Hello. My name is Bruno de Melo Silva Borges and I am 24 years old, I am a psychologist and I am very smart, I left 14 books with messages with different letter, the answer will be revealed on 04/14/17 at 17:00, so stay tuned. The statue I bought and left in my room, I left the room all white and wrote many things. Good and this. #3301”
What does #3301 mean? It most likely refers to the Cicada 3301 organization, an internet mystery for codebreakers. It started January, 2012 and is, in effect, a test looking for the smartest individuals who are able to solve the puzzle.
Solving the puzzle delivers the clues necessary for the codecracker to find the Cicada organization. Each year leading up to 2016 (excluding 2015), new puzzles were posted. Speculations as to the organization that might be behind the Internet’s most fascinating mystery are groups like the NSA, CIA, MI6, cyber mercenaries. Then there are those who believe it is an alternate reality game, possibly from an off-planet source.
4/17/17 @ 17:00 hours, what happened? The Cicada website changed. Is this change what Borges’ message predicted? It seems so because the change made available an MP3 audio file named “Bruno”. So, seems pretty obvious that Bruno cracked the code and got accepted into Cicada. He informed the curious public, via cryptic message, of when a formal announcement would be made to that affect.
The audio ends at the 5:36.666 mark. “Oooh,” the gringa says to herself, “666. The legendary mark of the Beast from the book of Revelations of the Christian’s religious text.” So, does that have any significance?
It might indeed be a clue but not of the devilish variety. It is more likely related to that devil of devils, money. An amateur sleuth tracked down the number 5:36.666 and found it to be the number of a Mastercard debit card issued in… Brazil, Borges home country.
Thus far we have a missing Bruno, now a part of Cicada with traceable funds likely linked to his announcement. And the detective found more footprints along the Borges trail.
A new YouTube channel was found named Bruno Giordano. It has 2 posted videos. The first video posted about a month ago. It’s entitled with a long list of numbers:
It lasts only 35 seconds and sounds like the mumblings and ravings of someone who just dropped some ‘shrooms. The image is, of course, constant and depicts more symbols and code. What the heck does it mean?
There is a description listed for the content. It claims to be Borges’ magnum opus, accomplished directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. He was able to achieve his goal through what he calls the “practice of the absorptive capacity theory, oCc9rs an inevitable large scale chemical reaction”.
He explains that there are exponentially decreased numbers of awakened people while the numbers of people sleeping through their potential of enlightenment is exponentially increasing. He claims that the truth enlightens although we are taught that this “truth” actually does the opposite.
He says that the “observer” is actually the “observed”. He encourages everyone to become a spectator and that through preparing for this enlightenment you will understand its meaning. Following your intuition is the next step toward enlightenment.
He notes that nothing happens by chance and says “Remind the future”. He claims that this enlightenment that he has achieved is available to every man. In fact, it lives within every man as a world that is the Universe itself, dwelling within each individual. The gringa subscribed and the video is posted here for the dear reader’s convenience:
4/21/17 A new message was discovered online in the paste bin of YouTube channel, If You Believe Anything Matters. The channel is accredited to Borges. He states that he is living in caves and does not want to be disturbed.
The gringa subscribed to that channel, too. There are now 13 videos although there were 8 when the gringa began the first draft of this post. It looks like uploading has been going on since around mid-May with 5 more being uploaded in just the last couple of weeks. The gringa explored the videos and will follow up with posts regarding them. They were incredibly interesting.
I will mention here, however, that one of the videos featured a comment by Borges. It was, of course, coded. Consisting of Roman numerals only, a code breaker provides a translation:
“I gave a cry of astonishment. I saw and thought nothing of the other four Martian monsters; my attention was riveted upon the nearer incident. Simultaneously two other shells burst in the air near the body as the hood twisted round in time to receive, but not in time to dodge, the fourth shell.”
Bruno Borges’ trackers have found comment threads in various other online sites, crediting the comments to Borges. He claims to still be alive and living in hiding to protect himself. That, even in hiding, he is still bothered by those who would harm him. He claims to be in Portugal and will continue to update the world on what is happening.
Psychics are even getting involved in the hunt for Bruno Borges. One claims that she channeled his own thoughts. She said that he was in contact with an extra-terrestrial species called “tall whites”. Apparently, these ETs gave Borges the mission that he is on. While sequestered in his room during the month that he drafted his coded writings, the psychic said he was in regular contact with these aliens.
So what the heck is going on with this guy? Well, the gringa doesn’t put much stock in psychics. What we do actually know is provided by the law enforcement officers on the case. Borges left his home and took a taxi to a hotel about half a mile away. The gringa wonders why he didn’t just walk that short distance unless he wanted a record of where he was going.
The taxi driver attested to a phone call between Borges and others, discussing the hotel destination. However, Borges never checked in. If Borges was intent on disappearing without a trace, he would not have had such a conversation with a taxi driver present. The gringa is convinced Bruno was leaving a breadcrumb with the driver for investigators to follow to the hotel. When they didn’t find him there, naturally they would look around outdoors, nearby. Which is where they found a gathering area in the forest behind the hotel that had 4 white chairs, one red chair and remnants of a recent fire.
A local seamstress testified to creating 3 white robes similar to one depicted in a painting in Borges’ room, embroidered sigil on back and everything. Because of its detail, she asked if it was for something related to the church and Borges allegedly said, “Almost that.”
What could be going on with Borges is an hermetic initiation. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an order of the Jewish Kabbalistic (mystical) tradition. It is ancient and devotees commit themselves to studying the occult, paranormal and metaphysics. The gringa’s read a few of their texts and it sounds like a reasonable enough explanation to me.
So, Borges wasn’t abducted by aliens and he’s not a raving lunatic. Instead, he has been initiated into a secret society that claims to be in contact with supernatural and extra-terrestrial beings. The gods of the religious community are the advanced alien species of the esoteric science communities. And Borges is inviting all of mankind to join him. His online communiques are creating a pathway to enlightenment for all who are interested in joining him.
Image Credits: Bing
Video Credit: Fright Knight