Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"What's At the End of Main Street?" Part Two in NEW DAWN #159

The most recent issue of New Dawn Magazine (No. 159, November/December 2016) includes Part Two of my sweeping three-part series entitled "What's At the End of Main Street?:  The Struggle Between the Artificial and the Real in Recent Gnostic Cinema."  In the previous installment we analyzed key examples of "Gnostic Cinema" (i.e., films that explore the illusory nature of reality within a fictional framework) ranging from Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. in 1924 to Gary Ross's Pleasantville in 1998.  Part Two covers key films from the years 1999 to 2002, everything from The Wachowskis's The Matrix to Mark Pennington's The Mothman Prophecies 

New Dawn Magazine, available from a well-stocked newsstand NEAR YOU, is also available from the New Dawn website HERE.  

This issue also includes fascinating articles by likes of Richard Smoley (author of How God Became God:  What Scholars Are Really Saying about God and the Bible), David Jay Brown (author of Dreaming Wide Awake:  Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing & Psychedelics), and David Icke (author of Phantom Self).


Sunday, November 27, 2016

PS Publishing "Black Friday" Sale

Heads up:  PS Publishing (the publisher of my second book, SPIES AND SAUCERS) is now having a "Black Friday" sale.  Included in this sale are hardcover copies of both SPIES AND SAUCERS as well as POSTSCRIPTS #30/31:  MEMORYVILLE BLUES, which contains my rather bizarre short story "Selections from The Expectant Mother Disinformation Handbook."  Also discounted are hardcovers by fine writers such as Brian Aldiss, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Di Filippo, Harlan Ellison, Joe Hill, Richard Christian Matheson, and Paul Park.  The sale continues until Tuesday!  Click HERE for more info!




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nigel Turner's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:  Nigel Turner's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (Episodes 1 through 9)....

Episode 1:  "The Coup d'Etat":



Episode 2:  "The Forces of Darkness":


Episode 3:  "The Cover-Up":


Episode 4:  "The Patsy":


Episode 5:  "The Witnesses":


Episode 6:   "The Truth Shall Make You Free":


Episode 7:  "The Smoking Guns": 


Episode 8:  "The Love Affair": 


Episode 9:  "The Guilty Men": 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Strange but True Facts Regarding the Election of Donald J. Trump

Dear President Obama:

As you know, I’ve been teaching English at CSU Long Beach for well over ten years now.  I’d like to think I have some modicum of wisdom and experience.  Nonetheless, I made a very stupid mistake last week, the kind of mistake only an amateur makes.  On the morning of Monday, November 7th, a wide-eyed, eighteen-year-old student approached me after class and asked if I planned to vote for Hillary Clinton.  “My father’s a little on the conservative side and doesn’t support Hillary at all and… well… he demanded I ask you.”  She seemed a little embarrassed when she said this.

I nodded.  I tried to be as delicate as possible with the girl while still remaining truthful:  “Listen, if it was up to me, I’d be voting for Donald Trump tomorrow just to spread as much chaos in this country as possible.  That’s my thing.  But you know what would happen if I crossed the ideological line and cast a vote for that joker?  Do you know what would happen to me if my dirty little secret got out?  This is what would happen:  My communist comrades in the English Department would shank me with a sharpened toothbrush in the back nine times in a row in the communal showers on the ninth floor of the McIntosh Building.  Did you know that all the professors shower together up on the ninth floor of the McIntosh Building?  Well, now you know.  The communal bathing chamber looks dank and depressing, a horrible place, like something out of Orange Is the New Black.  What’m I supposed to do?  You work up such a sweat teaching English Composition every day—you gotta stay clean, right?  So I’ll be standing there in the communal showers scraping the Long Beach dirt off my flesh, singing old Woody Guthrie folk tunes, when some long-haired English professor wearing nothing but a black beret will yell out, “J’accuse!” and shank me right in the spine with a No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil, boom boom boom, real fast, just like that.  Shank, shank, shank, and it’s all over.  There I’ll be, lying in a pool of my own blood, my life essences swirling down the drain, the camera closing in on my unblinking eye as I try not to hear the sound of my bearded colleague yodeling ‘The Internationale’ song so prevalent on CSUcampuses these days.”  I performed an enthusiastic rendition of the stirring refrain, just in case the girl wasn’t familiar with it:  “‘C'est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L'Internationale / Sera le genre humain!’”  I balled my fists at my side and said, “Now tell me:  Will I wish I hadn’t voted for Donald Trump at that point?  You bet your white ass I will!  That’s why I have to vote for Hillary, sister.  I have no choice.  My very life—and the life of my beloved family—hangs in the balance!” 
  
My student just looked at me for a few moments, mouth agape, then replied, “You professors… you all shower together?”

“A horrid image, is it not?  I won’t invite you to see the showers in person, because it’s a sight you’ll never be able to unsee.”  Here my voice lowered in a whisper.  “But if you want, you can sneak up there after hours and check it out yourself.  It’s really wild.  The communal showers in the McIntosh Building resemble some nightmarish, black and white, expressionist set used in an unusually depressing Fritz Lang film shot in the 1930s.”

I thought the student was going to say, “Who the hell’s Fritz Lang?”  But instead she said, “What the hell’s ‘the 1930s’?”

I sighed and said, “Forget it, comrade.  It’s better if you don’t know.  Forget we ever had this conversation.  There are ears everywhere.  Loose lips sink ships and all that.”

She agreed to forget every seditious word my lips had so foolishly uttered.

Alas, little did I know that one of my Marxist colleagues in the Comparative Religion Department had overheard the conversation and would repeat everything I had said to my union rep, a gentleman-enforcer some refer to as “Boris the Hammer.”  (Personally, I never called him anything but “Friend.”  I swear, I speak nothing but the truth.  That is my curse.) 

Early the next morning, I was stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant while toasting a bagel decorated with an impressionist hammer-and-sickle symbol sold only at the campus commissary.  

Now here I lay in the hospital, surrounded by hostile eyes, on death’s door.  Needless to say, I wasn’t able to cast my vote on Tuesday the 8th, but apparently there weren’t enough “Boris the Hammers” in this country to prevent Donald Trump’s ignoble victory.  Please don’t worry, sir… California went solidly for Hillary, as you well know.  My non-vote didn’t affect the outcome in any appreciable way.  

Please, President Obama, I beg you:  Just leave my family alone.  They did nothing to you.  And please tell the General Secretary, “The chocolates are in the mail.”

I only wish I had lived long enough to see this editorial in print. 

Yours in Eternal Solidarity,
Robert Guffey


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

OR Books' Annual Sale!

OR Books’ annual sale is on NOW!  Print copies of my latest book, Chameleo, are 20% off and the e-book versions are only $1.  The sale lasts for one week.  If you want to take advantage of the sale and order a discounted copy of Chameleo, please click HERE.  



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The NASA EmDrive

From Daniel Oberhaus' 11-14-16 Motherboard article entitled "The Fact and Fiction of the NASA EmDrive Paper Leak":
"If humanity ever wants to truly explore the outer reaches of our solar system or travel to other stars, we’re going to have to build a better engine for our spacecraft. In fact, this engine will have to be so good that it will be capable of generating thrust without consuming propellant. That’s right: If we ever want a four-hour trip to the moon or a two-month trip to Mars, we’re going to need a rocket engine that doesn’t need rocket fuel.
"This is the idea behind the radio frequency resonant cavity thruster—otherwise known as EmDrive—a theoretical reactionless engine powered by turning electricity into microwaves and bouncing them around a closed metal funnel.
"The EmDrive has been dismissed as 'impossible' on more than one occasion because it appears to violate Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But if a leaked NASA paper posted online last Saturday is to be believed, then not only are NASA scientists pursuing an EmDrive, but they actually made one that works.
"As detailed in the paper, a team of NASA physicists led by Harold 'Sonny' White and Paul March—both leading figures in exotic propulsion systems—was able to generate thrust in a 'tapered RF test article' (read: EmDrive prototype) during a series of tests at NASA’s Eagleworks Labs at Johnson Space Center in the fall of 2015.
"In essence, the NASA EmDrive in the paper consists of a closed copper cone, the inside of which is being bombarded with microwaves. To test the EmDrive, the researchers powered it with 40, 60, and 80 watts and found that it generated up to 58, 128, and 119 micronewtons of thrust, respectively. Given that this 'anomaly' was still observed by White and his colleagues after accounting for error, this suggests that the results of the experiment show an EmDrive is indeed possible.
"Based on these results, the researchers estimated that their contraption would be capable of generating approximately 1.2 millinewtons of thrust per kilowatt were they to scale up the power input. To put this in perspective, the Hall thruster—one of the most powerful in development and powered by ejecting plasma—generates about 60 millinewtons of thrust per kilowatt.
"'The issue involved here is whether the experiment is seeing something real or not,' Jim Woodward, a physicist at California State-Fullerton, told Motherboard. 'I know Paul [March] does clean work and to be honest, I suspect there may really be something there. But the result they're seeing can't actually be explained in terms of the theory they're proposing. So the question is: what is causing it?'
"Per Newton, if you want to propel a rocket through space, you’re going to have to eject some material in the opposite direction of the rocket’s travel. But an EmDrive appears to generate a reaction without any action—so what gives?
"A number of theories have been floated attempting to explain this ostensible violation of the bedrock of physics. White has been a proponent of the quantum vacuum explanation, which posits that the EmDrive is able to generate thrust by acting on virtual particle pairs that are generated by fluctuations in the quantum vacuum (in this theory, these vacuum fluctuations are created by the electromagnetic field generated by the EmDrive). In essence, the microwaves would be ‘pushing off’ of these virtual particles within the EmDrive cavity to generate the thrust that has been observed by White and his colleagues in EmDrive experiments.
"Another leading explanation is that the EmDrive’s thrust is generated by radiation pressure, a position held by its inventor Roger Shawyer. On this view, when the microwave radiation enters the copper cavity, the radiation pushes against the walls of the EmDrive and generates thrust.
"Yet, according to Woodward, both of these theories are unlikely to be correct for a simple reason: Physics doesn’t allow them."
To read the read of Oberhaus' article, click HERE.