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Ghostly Machines

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#15492 The Fastest Growing New Religious Movement in the America

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 13 October 2018 - 11:49 PM

Mictecaciahuatl is today's Santa Muerte,
The Holy Death
Her role in the underworld was to watch over the bones of the dead. Mictlantecuhtli was a primary god to the Aztecs, ever-present in all rituals involvingdescent into the underworld. Clay statues have been found, at the opening of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. His consort, Lady Death was associated with Spiders, Owls, and Bats and together theyresided in a temple of darkness, a place without windows or doors. There they stood, mirror opposites of their gods of life, Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl
In Mexico, Santa Muerte has been linked to Satanism by the Catholic Churchin an attempt to thwart followers. Catholics and Protestants have joined forcesin warning people of the 'Black Magic' and trickery of the devil. The Churchis often horrified by the skeletons, reapersand evolution of Our Lady of Guadelupe.Folk practice does involve mysticism andmagic, but so do most world religions butthe language is systematically 'holy'. Whatthe church calls Miracles, folk practice callsMagic. All religion is mystical and allreligion has some form of magic andtrickery. Whether those elements are goodor evil, light or dark; depends on personal interpretation and practicalapplication.The organization of information regarding Santa Muerte, her rituals, prayers, and dedications is chaotic.There is no centralized location a person may obtain information. There are a multitude of websites,ebooks, print material and referrals to mailing addresses but nearly all of them finger point to the'scammers' while scamming themselves. Like any new 'religion' it preys on the weak and their pocket books. None-the-less, I've managed to collect some worthy articles, books, prayers, a collective of symbolism, and practical application. It takes time and dedication, as you have to weed out the nonsense,and having a translating program is down-right handy. I put together this essay for any person who wishesto learn about Santa Muerte, regardless if they choose to devote to her. Devotion is not required to achievewisdom, and wisdom is achieved through self-education, examination and application.

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#15487 The Fastest Growing New Religious Movement in the America

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 13 October 2018 - 10:27 PM

Santa Muerte: The rise of Mexico’s death 'saint'
With readings, hymns and communion, Daniel Santana's Sunday service could pass for a traditional Catholic Mass, if it were not for the cloaked skeletons and skulls that surround him.
The ceremony takes place at a modest temple to Santa Muerte, the Mexican folk saint of death, in a rundown area of Guadalajara, the nation's second biggest city.
Despite a reputation as a death cult for criminals and drug traffickers, Santa Muerte has surged in popularity and taken on an increasingly prominent and polemic role in the Day of the Dead festivities held every 1 and 2 November.
Also known as the Bony Lady, the followers of Santa Muerte say her appeal lies in her non-judgemental nature and her supposed ability to grant wishes in return for pledges or offerings.
It isn't the Vatican's habit to give its opinion on every passing cult that flashes across the horizon, but the Santa Muerte is special.
That's because, ghastly as the figure may seem, and weird as the Holy Death cult beliefs may sound, its leaders borrow greedily from traditional church ritual for their own services.
In Mexico, the practice of Catholicism among the poor and desperate often involved crawling long distances on one's knees or tying thorny cactus paddles to one's bare back or making promises of future penance if God's favors were received.
Although these sacrifices were not sanctioned by the Catholic Church in Rome, they continued among people who knew of no other imaginable way to change their luck.
It makes sense, then, that when the cult of the Santa Muerte sprang up among Mexicans who are still poor, still desperate in different ways and for different reasons, worship would take on familiar forms.
At the Santa Muerte's most famous shrine in downtown Mexico City, traditional rosaries are said and young men crawl on their knees for blocks, cradling the holy skeleton in their arms. Instead of lighting incense, they exhale smoke from marijuana cigarettes for the Muerte to inhale.
Even worse—from the point of view of the Catholic Church—many of the pilgrims who gather around shrines to the saint of death still see themselves as devout Catholics.
Some self-appointed "priests," claiming to be leaders of a cult that has no hierarchies or structure, have even tried to insist that their temples are part of the official church.
For the Vatican, this month's declaration constituted a delicate balancing act.
On the one hand, the cult is un-Catholic, extravagant, and sometimes horrifying. The arrest last year of eight people charged with murdering two children and a woman in the course of Holy Death worship served to confirm that the Niña Blanca (White Girl), as she is sometimes known, can be invoked in dreadful ways.
On the other hand, churches are losing their flocks at alarming rates, even in predominantly Catholic Mexico, and it may be that Rome is anxious not to alienate millions of practicing believers who might worship a different kind of saint on the side.

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#14596 Current Human Condition And Perceptions

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 21 July 2018 - 11:02 AM

The Complete Moral Bankruptcy of Manipulating Human Psychology To Turn Users Into Addicts


Anyone who plans to use her own products AND believes that these products provide meaningful value OR entertainment to their users should have no qualms about manipulating their users’ pscyhology without disclosing to those users exactly what’s being done to their brains.

While I don’t know you personally, Nir, I believe from the reports of professional acquaintances and various things I’ve read that you are a genuinely kind, well-intentioned man who sees yourself offering services in the “facilitator” quadrant.

But with all due respect to your reputed kindness and good intentions, the core arguments in your essay and the moral logic of your Manipulation Matrix are complete and utter nonsense.

The true nature of the engagement >> revenue >> addictive products loop (and its utterly immoral consequences)

Here’s the hard truth: any business whose revenue model is built on a direct correlation between “engagement” and revenue has every incentive to find new, faster, and more efficient ways to make their products addicting.

This is true for cigarette makers and alcohol companies. It’s true for junk food brands. It’s true for slot machine manufacturers and the casinos who buy from them.

Likewise, people hooked on addicting games like Clash Of Clans or addicting social apps like Facebook and Instragram don’t tend to suddenly explode in weight or lose half their teeth in one go.

Sure, you’ll hear occasional stories of new parents literally letting their babies starve to death while they raised a virtual child in a game, but those are the wild and crazy exceptions.

The damage experienced by mobile gaming and social networking addicts tends to be much more subtle:

    Feelings of anxiety while away from one’s phone
    Bigger propensities to procrastinate
    Harder times following through on challenging but essential tasks
    Recurring failures to be mentally present while spending time with family and friends.

Yes, those harms are FAR LESS SEVERE to an individual than, say, lung cancer, cirrhosis, meth mouth, or chronic obesity, but they are still harms.

And unlike the harms from cigarettes, liquor, junk food, and meth, the harms from addictive technology are have not yet been researched enough to prove.

But as the weaponization of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter by enemies of the United States’s democratic system makes clear, optimizing for engagement at internet-scale can have profoundly harmful near-term consequences for civic society.

As for the long term consequences of creating dopamine-fueled filter bubbles, backed by business models that generate billions of dollars a year in profit on the back of emotionally-gratifying clickbait?

It’s too soon to tell, but it ain’t look so pretty from here.
Trusting the creators of any product to make accurate moral judgments when those judgements impact their profits is completely unrealistic (at best).
Likewise, expecting the managers, employees, and investors of any business to make clear-headed objective evaluations about the “value” or “entertainment” provided by their creations is so naive that it’s hard for me to accept that you really thought hard about what you are proposing.

We all wish to believe that we are good people, doing the best we can with the circumstances we’ve got.


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#14544 One minute video on how to break into a master lock

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 17 July 2018 - 03:00 PM

...millions of puzzles with millions of pieces all gathered together in a pile without any pictures on the box...

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#14539 Humanity Wake Up Call From An Icon Of The Past

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 17 July 2018 - 02:34 PM

You can observe a lot just by watching.




...and listening!





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#14537 Humanity Wake Up Call From An Icon Of The Past

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 17 July 2018 - 02:09 PM

The future ain't what it used to be...





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#14536 Swiss Army Knife

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 17 July 2018 - 01:25 PM





What about sum practical purposes?








The world's first Swiss Army knife' has been revealed - made 1,800 years before its modern counterpart.

An intricately designed Roman implement, which dates back to 200AD, it is made from silver but has an iron blade.

It features a spoon, fork as well as a retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.

Experts believe the spike may have been used by the Romans to extract meat from snails.

'Perhaps he was a traveller, who required a practical compound utensil like this on his journeys.'

The spokesman added: 'While many less elaborate folding knives survive in bronze, this one's complexity and the fact that it is made of silver suggest it is a luxury item.

'Perhaps a useful gadget for a wealthy traveller.'  




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#13613 The Future of Robotic Exoskeletons

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 09 February 2018 - 06:15 PM

Global Military Exoskeleton Market to Grow at a CAGR of Over 65% Through 2021, Reports Technavio 
Need for integrated soldier suits
With the evolving warfare mechanisms, most of the countries across the globe have developed or are developing exoskeleton suits or body armor for their armed forces. Although there have been innovations and developments attached with these military wearables, their basic functionality includes the provision of added strength, efficiency, and combat capabilities to the armed troops. The modern-day soldiers are equipped with radios, night vision equipment, GPS, and computers in their uniforms that provide real-time positioning data, which assist the troops with satellite imagery of the battlefield. Thus, there is a growing demand for integrated smart weapons and lightweight full body armors.
“The introduction of such wearables can enhance the soldiers' performance manifold and reduce the scope of injuries or exhaustion. Owing to this, the US DoD, UK MoD, DGA, as well as the defense authorities of other countries, extensively invest in wearable systems for their warfighters in the modern network-centric battlefield,” says Moutushi Saha, a lead analyst at Technavio for defense research.
Focus on enhancing soldier combat capabilities
With the global increase in peacekeeping and anti-extremist missions, there has been a simultaneous surge in the development of advanced military wearables and exoskeleton systems. These military exoskeletons are equipped with communication systems, computers, helmets, lethal assault rifles, modular gear, navigation gadgets, and upgraded weapon sights, which transform the common soldiers into high-tech warriors. They provide the soldiers with higher adaptability and maneuverability, which makes them more efficient.
Apart from increasing the strengths and endurance limits of the soldiers, these systems also help in improving their load-lifting capabilities, which is crucial in military operations. These systems also employ the use of commercial off-the-shelf technologies such as activity trackers, health monitors, smart glasses, and smart watches.
PERSEUS Military Exoskeleton - Marketing Brochure
Exoskeleton Market 2018-2025: Increasing Global Industry Demand from Healthcare Sector for Robotic Rehabilitation
Exoskeleton Market Component (Hardware {Sensors, Actuator, Power Source, Control System/Controller, Others}, Software), Mobility (Stationary, Mobile), Type (Powered, Passive), Body Part (Lower Extremities, Upper Extremities, Full Body) Global Industry, Research Trends and Forecast to 2025
The Global Exoskeleton Market accounted to USD 112.6 million in 2017 growing at a CAGR of xx% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2025. The upcoming market report contains data for historic years 2016, the base year of calculation is 2017 and the forecast period is 2018 to 2025.
Also the Global Exoskeleton Market Component (Hardware {Sensors, Actuator, Power Source, Control System/Controller, Others}, Software), Mobility (Stationary, Mobile), Type (Powered, Passive), Body Part (Lower Extremities, Upper Extremities, Full Body), End-Users (Healthcare, Defense, Industrial, Others), Geography – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2025.
Exoskeleton is a structural frame that is worn by a human operator. The frame forms a human autonomy, depending on which body parts are actuated or powered by exoskeleton devices. Numerous exoskeletons are available for humans for the full body, upper extremities, and lower extremities.
Market Segmentation: Global Exoskeleton Market
By component the global exoskeleton market is segmented into hardware, and software.
Hardware segment is further sub-segmented into sensors, actuator, power source, control system/controller, and others. Sensors segment is further sub-segmented into microphone, accelerometer, tilt sensor, gyroscope, position sensor, force/torque sensor, and others. Actuator segment is further sub-segmented into electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and piezoelectric.
By mobility the global exoskeleton market is segmented into stationary, and mobile.
By type the global exoskeleton market is segmented into powered, and passive.
By body part the exoskeleton market is segmented into lower extremities, upper extremities, and full body.
By end-users the global exoskeleton market is segmented into healthcare, defense, industrial, and others.
On the basis of geography, global exoskeleton market report covers data points for 28 countries across multiple geographies such as North America & South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Some of the major countries covered in this report are U.S., Canada, Germany, France, U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, Russia, China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Brazil among others. In 2018, North America is expected to dominate the market.

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#13610 The Future of Robotic Exoskeletons

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 09 February 2018 - 04:49 PM

Robotic Exoskeletons Are Changing Lives in Surprising Ways
Say the term ‘power suit’ and most people think of bold corporate attire. But the expression takes on new meaning when it refers to a powered “exoskeleton,” like Ellen Ripley’s power loader in "Aliens," or Iron Man’s armor from the Marvel films and comic books.
Until a few years ago, such exoskeletons — metal frameworks fitted with motorized "muscles" that can multiply the wearers’ strength far beyond that of normal humans — were entirely fictional. The only real-world exoskeletons were the natural external coverings of animals such as beetles and crabs; protective outer structures that provide a stiff frame upon which their muscles can push against to move their bodies around.
“The timber cutters and construction workers I worked with just loved the MAX suit,” says a workplace injury-prevention specialist who recently field-tested the device. “Right away you could see they all felt like superheroes.”
The workers liked it even more on the job site. “Instead of squatting, they could just sit right down into the suit; it becomes a ‘chairless chair,’” he reports. “If they’re cutting overhead branches or wiring overhead harnesses, the MAX shoulder unit takes the load; all they need do is maneuver the saw or the tools.”
The workers liked it even more on the job site. “Instead of squatting, they could just sit right down into the suit; it becomes a ‘chairless chair,’” he reports. “If they’re cutting overhead branches or wiring overhead harnesses, the MAX shoulder unit takes the load; all they need do is maneuver the saw or the tools.”
The FDA Just Approved a Robotic Exoskeleton That Augments Your Strength
Japanese robotics company Cyberdyne has officially received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make its lower-body exoskeleton, known as Hybrid Assisted Limb or HAL, available to U.S. patients. The exoskeleton, which would be available through licensed medical facilities only, uses sensors to detect bioelectric signals sent from your brain to your muscles, which it pairs with your movement (or intended movement) in order to increase strength and stability.
HAL has been shown to be especially helpful for people with lower-limb disabilities, as many of these conditions involve a disconnect between the person’s intentions to move (the signals the brain sends) and the actual muscle movement that follows — or, more often, doesn’t follow. The exoskeleton also supports itself while being worn, meaning there’s no added weight or stress on the wearer’s body while they’re operating it.
Types And Classifications of Exoskeletons
Exoskeleton systems can be divided into many different categories, types or classifications based on a series of questions:
What body parts are actuated or powered by the wearable device? 
powered exoskeletons use batteries or electric cable connections to run sensors and actuators 
passive exoskeletons do not have any electrical power source
pseudo-passive exoskeletons have batteries, sensors, and other electronics, but they are not used to provide actuation. 
hybrid-exoskeletons are wearables that have all of the controllers and sensors of a powered exoskeleton but use FES (functional electrical stimulation) of the muscles as actuators.
How is it built?

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#13595 Naughty Nuns, Flatulent Monks, and Other Surprises

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 07 February 2018 - 08:33 PM








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#13585 Places You Are NOT Allowed To Visit…

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 07 February 2018 - 06:59 PM

What’s hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?
Some believe it houses evidence of extraterrestrial life. Others, ancient texts that disprove the existence of Jesus. Perhaps dark truths that would discredit and destroy the Church?
A mistranslated Latin word may be responsible for the conspiracy theories about the Vatican Secret Archives. In fact, the actual contents can stand on their own without delving into the absurd.
The archives, or Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum, contains historical records chronicling intriguing historical events. Its contents, once plundered by Napoleon and moved to Paris, span 12 centuries.
There’s the document that began the Protestant reformations: Pope Leo X’s 1521 decree excommunicating Martin Luther.
A 1530 petition from 85 English clergymen and lords asks Pope Clement VII to annul King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The seals of many of the signatories were affixed to the petition, each held in place by red ribbon. This is considered the source of the term “red tape.” Clement refused, of course, leading to the establishment of the Anglican Church.
Michelangelo penned a letter to the pope warning that Vatican guards hadn’t received paychecks in three months, and that they were threatening to walk off the job.
A year after Columbus landed in what became North America, Pope Alexander VI issued Inter Cetera, the 1493 papal bull that split the New World between Spain and Portugal.
There are letters from Abraham Lincoln as well as Jefferson Davis, who wrote to try to convince Pope Pius IX that the South was an innocent victim of Northern aggression. Neither man was Catholic.
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the notion that Mary was conceived without original sin, was articulated in 1854 on a piece of parchment that’s in the archives.
Famous Vatican trials were recorded with handwritten transcripts that are housed there, including cases against the Knights Templar in the early 14th century and astronomer Galileo Galilei in the 17th, who was tried by the Vatican for heresy and forced to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.
When Sweden’s Queen Christina abdicated in 1654, she converted to Catholicism from Lutheranism, moved to Rome, and today she is one of the few women buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. There’s a letter to the pope announcing her conversion.
Interesting, sure, but hardly the stuff of Dan Brown novels.
Are the Vatican Archives really “secret”?
Sorry to burst your bubble, Dan Brown & Co.
The Vatican archives are far from being an amusement park for conspiracy theorists. In fact, they might be quite boring for the general audience: nothing too scandalous, noting too secret. Actually, the aura that covers the Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum — that’s its official full name — might only be due to a mistranslation from the original Latin: “secretum,” far from being translated as “secret,” simply means “personal.” Whomever has ever had a secretaire (a secretary desk, an escritoire, hopefully a Chippendale) might probably get a hint of what’s at stake here: the Vatican “Secret Archive” is a collection of personal documents, mainly private letters, chronicles and historical records of past popes. Sorry to burst your bubble, Dan Brown & Co.
The Vatican secret library – what mysteries lay hidden in the Holy See’s Vatican Secret Archive
The Vatican claims it contains documents dating back to the 8th century but many believe it contains much, much older artifacts. Since divulging items contained in the collection is considered a grave sin punishable by excommunication from the church, what truly lies inside is a mystery.
Gaining access to the Vatican Secret Archives
It is generally believed that the only human on earth with unfettered access to the Vatican Secret Library is the Pope himself (technically, the Pope is the owner of the Secret Archives). Rules allow for special permits to be provided for carefully accredited researchers but journalists, students, and amateur historians are barred.
For those that manage to gain access, there are strict limitations to what archive material they can access and view. Even for those rare individuals who are allowed to enter, there are entire sections that are strictly forbidden.
Researchers are only allowed to access three items per day. The items they wish to view must be specifically documented in their request, a remarkable feat given nobody truly knows what’s inside.
Researchers are only allowed to bring a pen and paper into the vaults. While inside the library, they are accompanied by two priests and two guards that stay with them throughout their time in the library. And their visit is timed.

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#13581 The Mysteries of Babylon

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 07 February 2018 - 03:11 PM


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#13572 Places You Are NOT Allowed To Visit…

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 06 February 2018 - 01:07 PM

These 11 laws are what keep space from becoming the wild west
When Russia launched the world's first satellite in 1957, it revealed a glaring hole in legal policy — how should we regulate outer space? Should Russia get in trouble for violating international law by flying a satellite over US airspace without permission? 
It was clear we'd need a new set of rules to govern airspace as humanity started climbing higher into the sky and eventually into outer space.
That, and the Cold War idea that the United States or Russia would try to colonize space and create a nuclear weapons base there helped inspire the United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967. 
The treaty was the founding body of space law and it's inspired several other international conventions and agreements. 
Here are some of the major laws that currently govern space, and what policies we'll need in the future:
One of the most important bodies of space law is the United Nations "Outer Space Treaty." It lays out several rules that dictate how countries must behave in space.
1. Space is common ground and everyone is allowed to explore it.
2. But anyone exploring space has to do it peacefully.
3. That means no military bases.
4. And it's not just military bases — no country can claim any land in space.
5. The "Moon Agreement" elaborates on the idea that no country can own any celestial object.
Not that people don't try.
6. Anything that launches into space has to be registered.
7. If there's a spaceship crash, the state is held responsible for the damage.
8. In fact, people were so worried about damages from space exploration, that they created a whole separate liability treaty.
9. No one is supposed to contaminate space.
10. The "Rescue Agreement."
11. US citizens can now harvest minerals from asteroids.
Lunar Parking Permits
Do you need special permission to land something on the moon?
In the United States, various government agencies follow private activities in outer space, but the bulk of the oversight comes through the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Space Transportation. Any American citizen who wants to launch a rocket or other kind of spacecraft into orbit must obtain authorization from the FAA, as would any foreigner who launches within U.S. territory. The FAA regulates the commercial sector's space activities by requiring parties to obtain launch and re-entry licenses. The office spends up to six months vetting launch plans for potential harm to the public that could occur if something went awry—like falling debris or the formation of a toxic cloud from an explosion. During the review of an application, the FAA also investigates a plan's compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, with deciding factors being whether the pollution from the launch could harm a historic site or the natural environment, or if noise from the launch could be detrimental to surrounding plant and animal life. To get a launch license, a company must prove that it could take financial responsibility if anything went wrong, and that its activities won't threaten foreign policy or national security interests. Additionally, a lunar launch team in the United States would have to get permission from the Federal Communications Commission to use government communications frequencies while in orbit.
Have you heard the one where it's illegal to come in contact with space aliens?
This message says that a law already passed by Congress makes it illegal to have contact with a space alien and establishes penalties for anybody who does. It specifies Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The Truth:
Several things to say about this story.

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#13568 Places You Are NOT Allowed To Visit…

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 06 February 2018 - 12:20 PM

With breakthroughs in technology every year, from improvements in transportation to new trip planning applications, wanderlusts can travel to more secluded places. However, there are some places that will remain off limits -- and for good reason.
The sites below are among the most fascinating on earth -- from the vault containing the highly coveted, secret formula for Coca-Cola to an island inhabited by thousands of snakes. Some are temporarily closed off from the public while others will remain so permanently, meaning exploration will have to be conducted via imagination.
Royal Air Force Station Menwith Hill
Vatican Secret Archives
Pine Gap
Moscow Metro-2
Google Data Centers
Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion
The Jiangsu National Security Education Museum
Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island)
Heard and McDonald Islands
Tomb of the Qin Shi Huang
North Sentinel Island, Island in the Indian Ocean
The haunted island of Poveglia
EXPOSED: The most secret and forbidden places you can NEVER visit
The world may be our oyster but there are some places you will NEVER be allowed to see
Snake Island
Area 51
The Queen’s bedroom
Club 33 at Disneyworld
The vault of Coca Cola
Fort Knox, Kentucky
Svalbard Seed Vault
Room 39, North Korea
The Lascaux Caves, France
North Sentinel Island
Bohemian Grove
Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine)
The Mormon Church Secret Vault
White’s Gentleman’s Club

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#13442 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Ghostly Machines on 25 January 2018 - 04:37 PM

Nice post on Verisimilitude.
I recently read a novel and I think it offers realism in all four of the categories!
Whether or not the future presented is real or not? That remains to be seen...
Here's a great article written about it touching on many of the posts you already pointed out in this thread. 
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Latest Novel Imagines Life in an Underwater New York

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