Quintessence of the Loon

Previous monthNext monthDecember 1999

The year (and the decade, the century and the millennium if you so believe) ended with disappointment for those who had predicted great disasters either coming from the skies or leaping out of our computers. Here at Quintessence of the Loon, however, we ended the year on a high note with a truly worthy collection of oddities.

You already know what this picture means. You constructed your own reality.Conscious Creation added 31 December 1999
I have a dilemma. Am I really writing this, or is this web site being created in your mind as you look at it? Does that mean you create me as well, and, if so, why have you not made me rich and handsome? Am I creating the people who look at this site, and if I am, why aren't you sending me money? Maybe we are all creations of the people who made the Conscious Creation site and they are just using us to increment their web counter (although why they don't just do it without us is a reasonable question). Perhaps I created the Conscious Creation site myself, which makes me wonder whether you will see what I think you are going to see if you click on the link. It says quite clearly on the CC site that "each of us creates the reality we experience in every moment". I seem to remember Berkeley, Kant, Locke, Hume and others writing about this sort of thing, but maybe I created them too. This is all making my head hurt. Somebody is making something up.

(I went to a Solipsists and Idealists conference once, but I had heard all the speeches before and all the women looked like my wife.)

The Champions added 31 December 1999
I thought I would end the year by paying tribute to the champions of loonity, those people whose web sites bring us such pleasure as we look at them and say "I didn't know that!". Full of accurate information, these encyclopaedias give us access to the knowledge of the ancients, the aliens, and the addled. Knowing not what to believe, we can choose to believe it all or believe none of it. In logic, there is a fallacy called "the undistributed middle". With these sites, it's the distributed unmiddle. Or should that be undisturbed muddle?

Loon of the Month

It was difficult, again, to select a suitable Loon of the Month from such a strong field of contenders. The "nobody went to the moon" people had nostalgia going for them, the Conscious Creation people tried to create a reality where they won, Lloyd and Conrado tried to dazzle me with argument and the elephants offered to paint my car. All was in vain, though, against the onslaught of J. S. Chiappalone whose intellect transcends those of all of us put together. One of his fans wrote to me and said: "You obvious a complete and deluded idiot ... . The Annwn Website ... contains more intelligence in one sentence than all the complete and utter ramblings of your website." Who am I to argue with that?
Take it or leave it, but think about what is going on.Annwn Publications - Gnosticism, Evil, Aliens, Ufos, Prophecy, Conspiracy. added 28 December 1999
I am envious and annoyed. I spend a whole lot of time collecting stuff for my site and then J. S. Chiappalone comes along and writes a whole Quintessence of the Loon site by himself.

A couple of weeks ago I told you about someone who says that everything we know is wrong. Here is yet another set of answers to the great questions. J.S. Chiappalone has developed a new system of metaphysics which renders obsolete all previous philosophies, religions, sciences, epistemologies and ontologies in order to tell us "what is going on". He is also a racist and holocaust denier, but these are just byproducts of the reinvention of thought. He, too, has an answer to the creation/evolution debate by declaring that creation is continuous and competitive. "Creation is massive and involves continual experimentation and correction. Out of one experiment an essence which contradicted all the Principles of Creation emerged and resisted correction. This defiant essence, termed Evil, for it exploited the situation, seized the opportunity and gaining powers in a manner humans cannot conceive, set about creating false dimensions and false beings within them." Frederick Nietzsche said "Language falsifies reality". He was right.

The Lunar Embassy - Barnum was right, there is one born every minuteThe Solstice - Closest, Biggest, Brightest appropriately added on 22 December 1999
Rumours have been sweeping the Internet that the full moon on 22 December 1999 will be the brightest since 1866. There will be a coincidence of December solstice, full moon and lunar perigee (when the Moon is closest to the Earth). Some rumours also state that the Earth and Moon will be at their closest point to the Sun. All of these will combine to make the moon look much bigger and brighter than usual. Does this foretell the end of time in a few days? What a sign for the end of the millennium. To celebrate, here are some lunar loons. And as for the Embassy - it has to be a joke, right?

I was misled! Maybe things won't be as spectacular as predicted. I believed something I read on the Internet, but I have now been set straight. The facts (from Sky and Telescope magazine) are that lunar perigee, full moon and solstice occur within a 10 hour period (it was 20 hours in 1866), but this occurred within 23 hours in 1991 and 25 hours in 1980. Perihelion (closest point to the Sun) is on 3 January 2000 (assuming that we live that long). The rumours stated with an article in The Old Farmers' Almanac and spread like chain letters.

Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shinin'MoonShadows
Where were you when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? Nowhere, because he didn't do it. One small step indeed! It takes a giant leap of faith to believe that bumblebees can fly or that water gets bigger when it gets colder, but these are nothing compared to the chasm you have to cross to believe something that is contrary to the Vedic scriptures, for there it is written that man may not go to the higher planets by mechanical means. Even though NASA (and the CIA?) knew this, they also knew that the gullibility of the people would not be denied. (Me? I have a different position, based on my study of another great eastern philosophy as expressed in the Karma Sutra. Several positions, in fact.) This site doesn't just rely on religious mumbo-jumbo to prove that nobody went to the moon. The author also looked at the top of his piano and went "Ahah!". You might find the intellectual link between the Sea of Tranquillity and the Lid of Steinway a bit tenuous, but the link is dust! How can you land a lander on the moon without raising some dust and getting its feet dirty? You can't. So there! Actually, so NOT there!

This site has disappeared. Is any further proof needed of the reach and influence of the CIA? PB May 2000.

Moon River, wider than 1.6 kilometresMoon Fakers?
This site argues that nobody went to the moon, but if they did some aliens were there at the same time to get reflected in things and appear in the backgrounds of photographs. All the facts are presented here for you to make up your own mind, and facts they must be for the names Hoagland and Bell are mentioned. My opinion, after weighing the evidence here (in both Earth and moon gravities), is that Armstrong et al did not go to the moon, but instead took part in an elaborate farce on a sound stage somewhere. This was done to provide a cover-up for a real mission to the moon for diplomatic talks with the Mars Face Builders who were demanding the dissolution of The Beatles. Earth lost.

Improve Your Health and Strength added 22 December 1999
There are some books here by a Michael H Brown. One tells you how he lifted 840 pounds and how you can get strong too by following Biblical principles; another tells you how to win a knife fight (presumably not according to the Bible). You could hold a Hyundai in the air and slash its tyres. And why is this site here? Because knife fighting is not normally associated with health improvement.

(There is also a book here on nutrition written by Rich Tucker. Australians will understand.)

I'll bet you didn't know THAT!Everything You Know Is Wrong by Lloyd Pye added 16 December 1999
At first glance, this site looks like just a promotion for a book with a catchy title. Sure, the introduction page to the site lists a whole lot of silly questions which have been answered many times before, and certainly if you believed all the stuff there then a lot of what you know would be wrong. But all of it? When you get into the site, you see that Mr Pye really believes he has the answers to many problems which have perplexed great minds for a long time. For example, he solves the creation/evolution debate by proving that both sides are wrong. He takes the Fox network to task for a hoax TV special about Bigfoot - not because they showed a hoax Bigfoot film, but because they tried to trick viewers into thinking that a hoax was a hoax. (Shame on you, Fox - and after you did such a good job with the Roswell autopsy film.) There's one thing I know that's not wrong - Mr Pye gets royalties from book sales.

An elephant trunk painting. No, really it is.Dolphin Society added 16 December 1999
That's a painting by an elephant over there on the right. I never knew elephants could paint. I also wonder why a painting by an elephant should be on a dolphin worship web site. Why is there no painting by a dolphin? It can't be because they aren't smart enough, and it can't just be because they live in water. (Anyone with a child in art classes knows how insoluble paint is.) So why don't dolphins paint? Is it because they are too busy writing symphonies or is it that when you stick a brush in its blowhole a dolphin can't see the canvas and the brush at the same time? We need to know these things.

A mind, too full for its own goodFree science as candle and discovery - Conrado Salas Cano added 12 December 1999
There are mad scientists. Some are born mad, some achieve madness, and some have madness thrust upon them. I think the author of this site is all three. I have no idea what his obsession is, except that he seems to revere Arthur C. Clarke and disagree with Carl Sagan. In fact, this site convinces me that it is possible to enter more than the conventional dimensions of our physical universe, because the mind of the author is going in so many directions at once that to confine it to just three axes and time would seem impossible. This mind, like the universe, goes in all directions yet folds on itself to form wormholes, black holes and gravity lenses. Also like the universe, it consists mostly of emptiness. That was cruel. The Sagan made me do it.

(The image was chosen because it seemed to make more sense than other pictures on the site.)

I received the following email about this site.

Subject: Mad? Bad? Or just daring to go where no-one else has gone before?
Date sent: Sat, 01 Apr 2000 04:31:55 PST

Hi, master of Lunacy (I call you like this only because you requested so)

I was pleased to find your not too denigratory review of my webpage on free science. Being called just ``mad`` (even three times mad), is not too bad in these days, trust me. Nevertheless, I am going to massively re-vamp my website, to make it less ``empty`` in its eerie, unapologetically-provocative exploration of all views and ideas about the universe. I am even going to be skeptic from now on. You can tell your friends....



Actually, an update of the update. The new site is at www.conrado.net, and I still don't know what it is about. PB October 2000

Even more Update
Conrado's site was hacked by terrorists, so it seems he has given up until he finishes his dissertation. See the sad story here.

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