Current News from The Looking Glass:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Space Oddity...?

...Or perhaps not as odd as many of us may have suspected for many years. NASA announced today that they may have mistakenly erased the majority of the Apollo 11 Moon landing video recorded on June 20th, 1969, and they have employed Hollywood digital effects wizards to "recreate" the event from what survives of the "original" footage. Given that many already believe Hollywood was behind the whole event to begin with (see Stanley Kubrick & 2001: A Space Odyssey), this is hardly a groundbreaking admission from NASA but given all the MOON related oddities that have been ongoing since at least last November's Mumbai Attacks though the death of "Moonwalker" Michael Jackson (KING of POP); even a newbie to the world of conspiracy theory might have seen this coming. Obviously this doesn't serve as the ultimate smoking gun but it does give weight to all that has come before on one the worlds flimsiest achievements.

Michael Jackson Memorial Full Moon followed by Eclipse of the Sun (KING) 7/7/09

Also, according to televisions whipping boy Ryan Seacrest, MJ is having a crater on the moon named after him.

New York (6 July 2009 LT)The Lunar Republic Society has announced that a crater on Earth's Moon will be renamed "Michael Joseph Jackson" in honor of the celebrated entertainer, who passed away on June 25, 2009.

The crater, previously designated as Posidonius J, is located in the Moon's Lake of Dreams (Lacus Somniorum). It measures approximately 22 kilometers (about 13.5 miles) in diameter, and is located adjacent to a 1,200-acre parcel owned by Michael Jackson in the Lake of Dreams.

The decision to designate the crater in Jackson's honor came following a special session of the Lunar Republic Society's governing board on Monday morning. The designation proposal had been widely suggested during the week by fans and fellow landowners following Mr. Jackson's untimely and unfortunate passing last month.

Mr. Jackson (1958-2009) was among the largest private owners of Lunar property claims. In addition to his significant parcel in the Lake Of Dreams, which he obtained in 2005, he also owned a smaller property in the Sea Of Vapours (Mare Vaporum).

The crater shall be officially designated as "Michael Joseph Jackson" in order to differentiate it from the existing "Jackson," a 71-kilometer crater on the Lunar farside named for the renowned Scottish astronomer John Jackson (1887-1958).

Michael Jackson used the Moon and its symbology often in his life, from his trademark "moonwalk" dance move to the official seal of his beloved Neverland Ranch. "Moonwalk" was also the title of his best-selling 1988 autobiography, while "Moonwalker" was the title of a popular compilation of his greatest music video performances. He also recorded a song, "Scared Of The Moon," which has not been released commercially as of this date.

Mr. Jackson claimed that he had once witnessed a UFO during a plane flight. His interest in outer space, extraterrestrials, and his plan to someday actually perform the "moonwalk" dance move on the Moon were detailed in Michael C. Luckman's "Alien Rock: The Rock 'n' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection," published by Pocket Books and VH1, which devoted an entire chapter to Mr. Jackson.

Crater Michael Joseph Jackson is part of the Posidonius crater group, named for Posidonius of Apameia, a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher native to Apamea, Syria. Michael Joseph Jackson is the largest of the so-called "satellite craters" in the group, which numbers twelve in total, ranging in size from two to fifteen kilometers in diameter.

Under the naming system of Félix Chemla Lamèch, Posidonius J was once also known as Héllène. The designation to honor Michael Jackson becomes effective immediately.

The official designation of a Lunar crater is a singular honor bestowed upon only a select few luminaries. Among those receiving this rare tribute over the past century are Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, Sir Isaac Newton, Julius Caesar and Jules Verne.

If that weren't enough, news busters TMZ have gotten into the sync game by releasing their own Michael Jackson list of unlucky 7's not to mention the KING of POP's mysteriously unreleased final album 7Even.

Jackson signed his will on 7/7/02.

Jackson's memorial was on 7/7/09 ... exactly seven years after the will was signed.

Jackson's two biggest hits — Black & White and Billie Jean — were each No. 1 for seven weeks.

Jackson's three biggest albums — Thriller, Bad and Dangerous — each produced seven top 40 hits.

Jackson was the seventh of nine children.

Jackson was born in 1958 ... 19 + 58 = 77

Jackson died on the 25th ... 2 + 5 = 7

Jackson has seven letters each in his first and last names.

also of note: He was charged with 7 counts of child sexual abuse of Gavin Arvizo and made the Guiness book of records for selling out seven straight sold out shows at Wembley Stadium.

Back in January I looked at the Moon & Wolves:

Take a step back to relive one of my early posts in 2007 about NASA based Moon Madness...

WASHINGTON – NASA could put a man on the moon but didn't have the sense to keep the original video of the live TV transmission.

In an embarrassing acknowledgment, the space agency said Thursday that it must have erased the Apollo 11 moon footage years ago so that it could reuse the videotape.

But now Hollywood is coming to the rescue.

The studio wizards who restored "Casablanca" are digitally sharpening and cleaning up the ghostly, grainy footage of the moon landing, making it even better than what TV viewers saw on July 20, 1969. They are doing it by working from four copies that NASA scrounged from around the world.

"There's nothing being created; there's nothing being manufactured," said NASA senior engineer Dick Nafzger, who is in charge of the project. "You can now see the detail that's coming out."

The first batch of restored footage was released just in time for the 40th anniversary of the "one giant leap for mankind," and some of the details seem new because of their sharpness. Originally, astronaut Neil Armstrong's face visor was too fuzzy to be seen clearly. The upgraded video of Earth's first moonwalker shows the visor and a reflection in it.

The $230,000 refurbishing effort is only three weeks into a monthslong project, and only 40 percent of the work has been done. But it does show improvements in four snippets: Armstrong walking down the ladder; Buzz Aldrin following him; the two astronauts reading a plaque they left on the moon; and the planting of the flag on the lunar surface.

Nafzger said a huge search that began three years ago for the old moon tapes led to the "inescapable conclusion" that 45 tapes of Apollo 11 video were erased and reused. His report on that will come out in a few weeks.

The original videos beamed to Earth were stored on giant reels of tape that each contained 15 minutes of video, along with other data from the moon. In the 1970s and '80s, NASA had a shortage of the tapes, so it erased about 200,000 of them and reused them.

How did NASA end up looking like a bumbling husband taping over his wedding video with the Super Bowl?

Nafzger, who was in charge of the live TV recordings back in the Apollo years, said they were mostly thought of as data tapes. It wasn't his job to preserve history, he said, just to make sure the footage worked. In retrospect, he said he wished NASA hadn't reused the tapes.

Outside historians were aghast.

"It's surprising to me that NASA didn't have the common sense to save perhaps the most important historical footage of the 20th century," said Rice University historian and author Douglas Brinkley. He noted that NASA saved all sorts of data and artifacts from Apollo 11, and it is "mind-boggling that the tapes just disappeared."

The remastered copies may look good, but "when dealing with historical film footage, you always want the original to study," Brinkley said.

Smithsonian Institution space curator Roger Launius, a former NASA chief historian, said the loss of the original video "doesn't surprise me that much."

"It was a mistake, no doubt about that," Launius said. "This is a problem inside the entire federal government. ... They don't think that preservation is all that important."

Launius said federal warehouses where historical artifacts are saved are "kind of like the last scene of `Raiders of the Lost Ark.' It just goes away in this place with other big boxes."

The company that restored all the Indiana Jones movies, including "Raiders," is the one bailing out NASA.

Lowry Digital of Burbank, Calif., noted that "Casablanca" had a pixel count 10 times higher than the moon video, meaning the Apollo 11 footage was fuzzier than that vintage movie and more of a challenge in one sense.

Of all the video the company has dealt with, "this is by far and away the lowest quality," said Lowry president Mike Inchalik.

Nafzger praised Lowry for restoring "crispness" to the Apollo video. Historian Launius wasn't as blown away.

"It's certainly a little better than the original," Launius said. "It's not a lot better."

The Apollo 11 video remains in black and white. Inchalik said he would never consider colorizing it, as has been done to black-and-white classic films. And the moon is mostly gray anyway.

The restoration used four video sources: CBS News originals; kinescopes from the National Archives; a video from Australia that received the transmission of the original moon video; and camera shots of a TV monitor.

Both Nafzger and Inchalik acknowledged that digitally remastering the video could further encourage conspiracy theorists who believe NASA faked the entire moon landing on a Hollywood set. But they said they enhanced the video as conservatively as possible.

Besides, Inchalik said that if there had been a conspiracy to fake a moon landing, NASA surely would have created higher-quality film.

Back in 1969, nearly 40 percent of the picture quality was lost converting from one video format used on the moon — called slow scan — to something that could be played on TVs on Earth, Nafzger said.

NASA did not lose other Apollo missions' videos because they weren't stored on the type of tape that needed to be reused, Nafzger said.

As part of the moon landing's 40th anniversary, the space agency has been trotting out archival material. NASA has a Web site with audio from private conversations in the lunar module and command capsule. The agency is also webcasting radio from Apollo 11 as if the mission were taking place today.

The video restoration project did not involve improving the sound. Inchalik said he listened to Armstrong's famous first words from the surface of the moon, trying to hear if he said "one small step for man" or "one small step for A man," but couldn't tell.

Through a letter read at a news conference Thursday, Armstrong had the last word about the video from the moon: "I was just amazed that there was any picture at all."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Green World

By Marc Morano – Climate Depot
Former Vice President Al Gore declared that the Congressional climate bill will help bring about “global governance.”

“I bring you good news from the U.S., “Gore said on July 7, 2009 in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times.

“Just two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate bill,” Gore said, noting it was “very much a step in the right direction.” President Obama has pushed for the passage of the bill in the Senate and attended a G8 summit this week where he agreed to attempt to keep the Earth's temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C.

Gore touted the Congressional climate bill, claiming it “will dramatically increase the prospects for success” in combating what he sees as the “crisis” of man-made global warming.

“But it is the awareness itself that will drive the change and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements.” (Editor's Note: Gore makes the “global governance” comment at the 1min. 10 sec. mark in this UK Times video.)

Gore's call for “global governance” echoes former French President Jacques Chirac's call in 2000.

On November 20, 2000, then French President Chirac said during a speech at The Hague that the UN's Kyoto Protocol represented "the first component of an authentic global governance."

“For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance,” Chirac explained. “From the very earliest age, we should make environmental awareness a major theme of education and a major theme of political debate, until respect for the environment comes to be as fundamental as safeguarding our rights and freedoms. By acting together, by building this unprecedented instrument, the first component of an authentic global governance, we are working for dialogue and peace,” Chirac added.

Former EU Environment Minister Margot Wallstrom said, "Kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide." Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper once dismissed UN's Kyoto Protocol as a “socialist scheme.”

'Global Carbon Tax' Urged at UN Meeting

In addition, calls for a global carbon tax have been urged at recent UN global warming conferences. In December 2007, the UN climate conference in Bali, urged the adoption of a global carbon tax that would represent “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.”

“Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,” Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, said at the 2007 UN conference after a panel titled “A Global CO2 Tax.”

Schwank noted that wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the “polluters pay principle.” The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund,” Schwank explained. He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”

The 2007 UN conference was presented with a report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled “Global Solidarity in Financing Adaptation.” The report stated there was an “urgent need” for a global tax in order for “damages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world.”

The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would “flow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fund” to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.

Schwank said a global carbon dioxide tax is an idea long overdue that is urgently needed to establish “a funding scheme which generates the resources required to address the dimension of challenge with regard to climate change costs.”

'Redistribution of wealth'

The environmental group Friends of the Earth advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations during the 2007 UN climate conference.

"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,” said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

[Editor's Note: Many critics have often charged that proposed climate tax and regulatory “solutions” were more important to the promoters of man-made climate fears than the accuracy of their science. Former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth reportedly said, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Losing her head!

Lady Liberty aka ISIS ($$) has yet again lost her head...becoming one of the more familiar cultural themes drawing on it's progression dating back to the original "Planet of the Apes" through the recent "Cloverfield"...this time a youtuber and a bit of stolen statuary.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A stolen Statue of Liberty replica has resurfaced in a disturbing video posted on YouTube that shows someone decapitating the blindfolded lady and smashing her head into pieces.

The 200-pound replica was stolen less than a month ago from Vox Pop, a coffee shop in Brooklyn.

"It's very disturbing," shop operator Debi Ryan told CNN, adding the video struck a chord similar to that of terrorist assassination videos. "I don't know what it means. ... I don't know who would do this."

The YouTube video begins with a waving American flag, and then shows a gloved hand sawing off the head of the statue before crushing it. The slogans "We don't want your freedom" and "Death to America" flash across the screen during the one-minute video, which is dated July Fourth.

It was anonymously e-mailed to the Daily News and Ryan earlier this week.

Ryan said she's sure the statue in the video is the one stolen from her cafe.

"She's unique. I know my girl," she said of the statue. "We just had her completely refurbished, outfitted with a solar torch and painted."

Authorities told CNN they are handling the case as a larceny rather than separately investigating the YouTube video.

"We want to verify who sent the e-mail with the video and see if they're responsible," police said.

A sign on the store, located in Ditmas Park, reads, "Books, Coffee, Democracy," near where the 8-foot replica of Lady Liberty used to stand outside. The self-described community coffee shop is also a bookstore and a spot for artists and performers.

"We've created a space here that's owned by the community," Ryan said. "We're all about freedom of speech and freedom to be who you are and say whatever you think."

But Ryan doesn't consider the YouTube video featuring her stolen statue appropriate free speech.

"Vox Pop stands for freedom of speech. You don't get to steal somebody else's property to send that message. We have to respect each other," she said.

Although the coffee shop recently faced economic problems and neighborhood tension, the motive behind the statue's theft remains unknown. As for whether there will be a replacement statue, Ryan said, "I'm hoping. I think she belongs here.

But she added, "Whether we have a physical statue or not, what she stands for remains here."