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Old 11-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #811
William
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

The mind-control machine is an interesting psychosis. The "machine" part of it is clearly something that could only exist after mechanization. I suppose the same illness earlier would have been more attributable to demonic possession or magical mind control.

--------

From a Washington Post article on "ultraconserved words," the oldest that survive in some form reasonably connected to their first construction:

Quote:
You, hear me! Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes!

Its an odd little speech. But if you went back 15,000 years and spoke these words to hunter-gatherers in Asia in any one of hundreds of modern languages, there is a chance they would understand at least some of what you were saying.

Thats because all of the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in the four sentences are words that have descended largely unchanged from a language that died out as the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age. Those few words mean the same thing, and sound almost the same, as they did then.
A little ritual, perhaps, for mages who find it advantageous to use older words. Perhaps they're close to the speech of angels, or the True Words?
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:00 AM   #812
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I don't vouch for the veracity of any of the stories on this spiritual site, but it's a handy set of "time travel incidents".

I found a link to a contemporary news article for the Swiss watch in a Ming Dynasty tomb story, but haven't found anyone offering an explanation.

A commenter mentions Paul Amadeus Dienach, a Swiss teacher from 1921 who supposedly visited the future during a year-long coma.

Another one is this ghost train story, where a train disappeared on a trip from Rome, with the coda of the passengers having shown up in Mexico City half a century earlier, but I couldn't find any info on the providence of the story.

And finally, a Spanish soldier is supposed to have teleported from the Philippines to Mexico City in 1593.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:26 PM   #813
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Occasionally a truly extraordinary thing deserves entry in this thread, in a good sense:

An NFL football player leaves a multi-million dollar contract offer on the table to become a farmer.

And not a commercial farmer, either -- he grew 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and 10,000 pounds of cucumbers, and gave them away to food pantries, and that's just so far.

I don't know what his costs are for a 1,000-acre farm, or how long he can sustain an operation like that... certainly if he can't give it away any more, he's not going to go hungry selling that at normal farm prices and giving away what he can.

An NFL player may not be Cincinnatus, but Cincinnatus couldn't claim charity like that.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:26 AM   #814
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Well, I think I could use this as a name for a game villain:

Project SIINN

The European Research Agency's program on Safe Implementation of Innovative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, complete with an icon of a hand holding a buckminsterfullerene (a truncated icosahedron or dodecahedron) surrounded by seven stars. I'll just leave the possibilities there hanging.

Side effects of innovative nanotechnology may include persistent nightmares, glossolalia, skin darkening or reddening, scaly or horn-like epidermal growths, and visits from unnameable entities with inviolable commandments.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:12 PM   #815
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When Art Preempts Life

I finally declared my earliest ever GURPS campaign deceased, and I have distributed "what could have been" plot summaries and spoilers to the players.

Looking through the notes, I found one weird little coincidence is that they tracked down a prophet (a tall bearded type who wore flowing robes and a turban) and cornered him in a farmhouse, where he took refuge in an upstairs bedroom with his wives. The PCs couldn't bring themselves to kill him so they sent in the party's two paramilitary types, who went in with an assault rifle and shot him in head.

My notes show that this session happened in March 2011, about a month and a half before Navy SEALs did something faintly similar in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

Granted, it's just a passing similarity, and bin Laden's death seemed to go pretty much the way that these raids normally go. But it was still a little "huh, neat" moment for the group.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:19 PM   #816
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Been reading Madness Dossier, finally, so these two seem apt.

- Mathematician tracks down the earliest use of zero to a shed in Cambodia filled with artifacts looted from local archaeological sites.
The Origin of the Number Zero
Note that he admits he "grew up on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean" and boasts that he found "a magic square on the doorway of a tenth-century Jain temple".


- Odd counting systems
12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages


And who doesn't like Euro-mummies?
- Only the well-dressed elite can join Capuchin Monastery's 'Club Dead'
- Why does this child mummy appear to open and close her eyes?
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:09 AM   #817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Well that certainly debunks the 'anything except base-8, 10, 12 or 20 is too weird/hard to ever be invented by a realistic culture'!
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:02 AM   #818
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well that certainly debunks the 'anything except base-8, 10, 12 or 20 is too weird/hard to ever be invented by a realistic culture'!
It's one of those things that you'd just have to use in a game but that you wouldn't dare use in a game.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:39 AM   #819
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Greenpeace wrecks important archelogical site
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:06 AM   #820
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well that certainly debunks the 'anything except base-8, 10, 12 or 20 is too weird/hard to ever be invented by a realistic culture'!
The really silly part is all the convoluted subtraction/addition rather than specific base number, in my opinion.
We say 97, not 10 times 10 minus 3.
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