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Dawn of the Apes

I needed to calm myself before my flight tomorrow so I headed out to watch a film. What I ended up seeing was the new Planet of the Apes film. “Dawn of Planet of the Apes” was just as good as “Rise”.

The virus that had begun to spread at the end of “Rise” is now a spreading epidemic. The human race is dying off in the millions and now cure is in sight. Some humans are immune to the virus and manage to find each other forming small communities desperate to survive.

The genetically enhanced apes continue to thrive out in the forest. Over the decades their numbers have grown considerably and they have constructed their own unique village. They haven’t seen any sign of humans in years and aren’t even sure if there were any survivors. Some of the apes feel like they are better off.

Conflict finds it’s way into the Ape village when a group of armed humans stumble into the ape’s territory and shoot a Chimpanzee out of fear.

The Apes want to be left alone and a human village desperate for electricity wants to use an old Dam Hydro-electric Plant in the Ape’s territory. Some humans are willing to take the Dam at all costs, others wish to find a peaceful solution with the apes and the Apes are divided on how they feel about the human strangers and whether or not they can trust them.

The tension in the movie never lets up as both societies struggle with survival, fear, trust and a desire to hold onto the things they cherish. It was just like watching the conflicts of human history play out right on the scene before me but with intelligent apes as one of the parties.

One of the big ideas in all of the Ape movies – old and new – is that like history, evolution repeats itself. What we feel is unique to humanity may possibly re-emerge in other lifeforms after we are gone or possibly while we still live. This film gets into this well. There is a scene where the lead Chimp Caesar admits that he made a mistake thinking apes were better than humans and through the conflict comes to realize that they are more alike than he thought. I think that sentiment can be carried outside of fiction as well. A lot of species out there today – other mammals in particular – possess so many of the same traits we do. Some are only a few evolutionary steps away from us.

Through these similarities we can understand that we all struggle to survive and thrive. There is always that fear that we’ll have everything we have taken away. When a raccoon hisses at a person exploring their nest is it any different then us calling the police when a stranger shows up poking around our house?

The film also reminded me of how delicate relations can be between different unassociated groups and how slip-ups and misunderstandings can escalate especially in the face of fear. The answers on how we should conduct ourselves around unfamiliar groups can be hazy. I wish that showing pure love and acceptance was a clear path to reciprocation but that isn’t always the case, caution can be vital… but so can keeping a cool head and paying close attention to the facts.

Other then some overly convenient plot points the film really did make me think and the ending left me a bit unnerved. Maybe it wasn’t the best movie pick right before hoping on a plane to another continent but at least it brought some interesting questions into my mind.

– Bear Hunter

pota2

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Off to Korea

I took the day off work to the chagrin of my employers. They are already uneasy with my leaving for a week. I’m nearing the end of my current contract and they want my 100% dedication. I wish I could give it to them… to my credit, I am ahead of schedule.

My flight leaves tomorrow. I’m off to Seoul. I’m both nervous and excited. I’ve never travelled east of London. I kept putting off travel because of one excuse or another. I’ve always been too caught up in work, always afraid of not being settled and ready for marriage and children. I’m 43 now and I have neither and… I’m not sure if I want either. I want to live. These trials I’m travelling overseas to witness are a once in a life-time opportunity. If I have to risk my professional reputation than so be it!

I have a cool job, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I feel like I’m in it for all the wrong reasons. I’m a capable engineer and I enjoy the constant challenges but hell, anyone could do my job! Maybe not anyone but you know what I’m saying, anyone with the skills. Lately, I’ve felt like I’m lacking something, like my life has no purpose. I spend so much of my time researching the bizarre and I stand by and watch people with true meaning in their lives accomplishing amazing feats. Why didn’t I go into Astro-Physics or become an Archaeologist? Try and created/discover something revolutionary rather than build bridges and over-passes.

Tomorrow I set out on my first adventure. I told Paradox and he just laughed and said, “It’s about time Bucko! Maybe you’ll find yourself a nice subservient Korean girl who can do all your calculations for you so you can start enjoying life for once.” The man has an interesting perspective on things… although, subservience has never interested/impressed me.

Time to put my work aside. I need to get my mind out of work and into robots. I am really excited. Wish me a safe flight.

– Bear Hunter

korean-air

Taking the Lunge

I’ve done it! I’ve booked a flight to Seoul, South Korea.

Over the last few months I’ve been in contact with a neuroscience specialist who has been engaged in some exciting and controversial experimental trials. He has assembled a team of scientists and engineers to construct machinery meant to create a mental link between man machines.

My technical expertise falls outside the realm of his experiments but he told me that he’s impressed by my enthusiasm towards the subject matter and has thus invited me to check out his work. I am beyond excited. This is the kind of thing I’ve been dreaming of seeing with my own eyes for far too long.

The Doctor – who would like to remain unnamed for now – has been experimenting with theories around creating a mental link between humans and robots. The ultimate goal is to transfer a human being’s consciousness into a robotic body. A person’s nervous system would allow them to operate the machine with thought. They would see through the robot’s cameras and feel through the robot’s sensors. His mind would be inside the machine.

From what the Doctor has told me, he has already had some success. There are a lot of kinks in both the hardware and software, and funding is limited so he can only reveal so much until his results are more consistent and reliable.

I’ll be jumping on my flight this Thursday. It’s a long flight but I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep a wink. This has been on my mind all week. I hope I get the chance to test the technology out myself. Prepare yourself world, because Robo Bear Hunter is on the rise!

– Bear Hunter

Robots that move like Humans.

I was browsing around online when I came across this article. You all know how fascinated I am by robots and the possibility of the gap between man and machine being slowly crossed. This article helps describe the inevitable.

Men will continue to invent robots that are more and more like us. Robots are meant to be practical and functional and what better functionality exists than in the mechanics of the human body. These particular robots are being built with simulated muscles and tendons so that there physical movements are more fluid and less jerky. This is so the machines are less likely to damage anything or anyone they are working with. The article describes how.

– Bear Hunter

Roboy_Robotic_Skeleton.img_assist_custom

Magic, could it possibly be real?

Paradox’s story is his northern trek and his photos of living fairies shook me to the bone.

My life has been dedicated to reason, dedicated to using the laws of nature to engineer structures of practical use. I spend most of my waking hours analyzing variables and trying to piece together logical explanations for whatever mystery or problem surfaces. My job depends on it and my personal life is soaked up by it. Only that one strange night when I was thirteen haunts me, it was the one thing in my life I could never explain.

I’m still not convinced by the idea of magic. I am open-minded and I’m willing to consider any possibility that is routed in science. Most established science and technology was once considered impossible or beyond belief. Scientists are shocked by new discoveries every day. Who can really say what exists out in this world both hidden and within view.

With Paradox’s discovery of the fairies I started to wonder, maybe there is a secret world out there. Human society has risen and fallen time and time again. History has been tampered with, this I am certain. Who knows what information was lost when the great library of Alexandria burned to the ground. Maybe some things that were buried preferred the world to never know they existed in the first place.

There are always rumours of secret societies and conspiracy theories floating around on the internet.

If our technology – what is public – has increased so much in the last century who is to say that other technologies weren’t developed in the past but kept out of the public’s eye? There could be instruments and processes so advanced and strange in play that we could only consider them magic or maybe they play such a big role in our lives already that we aren’t the wiser?

For all we know the world might have been threatened by doomsday asteroids many times over the millennium but were prevented by technologies we weren’t even aware of. That is an imaginary example, but you can understand where I’m coming from. With 7 billion people on our planet and limited resources one has to wonder what’s keeping everything from collapsing?

I’ve made good money over the years and I’ve saved well. I’m considering taking time off to really look into some things that have been brought to my attention. I have a lot of theories I’d like to put to the test. I have to really take the time to plan this out. I’ll keep you updated.

– Bear Hunter

Magic-Book-Wallpaper

Fairies of the North: Part 3.

Where I last left off, my good friend Paradox was deep into his journey into the “Torngat Mountains” in the north of Labrador, Canada.  He was determined to unlock whatever secrets lay within the mysterious land.  A harsh fall onto rock left the hefty explorer with a concussion, soiled snow pants and a brutal lack of sleep.  The loss of his tent in massive snow storm left Paradox with only one option, find shelter.

A sing-song hum pierced its way through the blizzard as Paradox fought his way through the wall of moving snow.  His head pounded, his backpack weighed down on his shoulders, and the smell of his pants had reach the level of eight-month-dead skunk roadkill.

He knew he had to reach some kind of shelter or he was done for.  The problem was, he had no idea where he was going.  The only thing he could think to do was to follow the song of the hum.  With every passing moment it became increasingly more melodic.  Paradox believes that when we find ourselves in our greatest peril that the spirits of the land will hear our pleas and provide us with guidance.  I believe that people hear things when they get their heads bashed in and can’t sleep for two days.  To each their own I suppose.

What Paradox described to me next about his journey I didn’t believe at first… no sane person would.  He said in his own words, “The snow flakes began to twinkle like diamonds and dance in unison like a school of fish.”

I replied, “Are you sure you weren’t dying?”

“Maybe I was.  Maybe it was at the brink of death when they found me.”

That shut me up.

As Paradox approached the “dancing” snowflakes they began to spin and disperse outwards creating an opening.  A tunnel formed before his eyes.  As he walked through the tunnelled the semi-solid walls of falling snow wavered and shifted.  A bright light shone at the end of the tunnel beckoning Paradox to follow.

I asked him again, “Are you sure you weren’t dying?”

“Shush” he replied, and he continued with his tale.

He then heard the song – no longer a hum – as clear as day.  It was the most enchanting song he had ever heard.  Hundreds of tiny voices singing in unison.  As he reached the end of the tunnel Paradox could see the tunnel expand into a massive sphere.  The storm fed into the membrane of the sphere but never penetrated it.  Paradox described it as a massive “inside-out snow globe”.

Within the shifting globe hundreds of tiny lights danced.  They glowed in all the colours of the rainbow.  A blue light descended down onto Paradox’s shivering hand.  The light from the creature warmed his near frost-bitten hand.  As Paradox’s eyes adjusted he could see that the light was in actuality a tiny little naked blue man the size of an X-Men action figure.  The tiny man had small intricate wings that Paradox described as having incredible tensile strength.  Paradox couldn’t pronounce the small fairy’s name so he refers to him as Jim.

Paradox sat on a rock and spoke with Jim for over an hour.  Paradox asked him about his culture and Jim asked Paradox all about the X-Men.  Apparently comic book characters are more interesting than actual people.  Time passed as Paradox spoke with the a couple dozen of the fairies, some male and others female.  He told me, “The fairies were the most gracious of people, the men offered me strange ice candies, they taught me their song and some of the females were very polite when turning down my sexual advances.”

Why exactly – you might ask – when half dead and lost in the arctic would Paradox make sexual advances on tiny fairy people?  “An opportunity is an opportunity.” was Paradox’s answer to that question.  Lucky for all of us and all of them, none of them took the bait.

True to his word, Paradox was not one to waste an opportunity.  As the fairies danced and told their tales he took out his old 35mm camera.  He slipped on an ND filter and a polarization filter – he couldn’t afford any burnout – and he started to click.  The fairies had no idea what a camera was.  They apparently assumed that it was a bigger eye that Paradox was using to see them better.  They had no idea that their images were being captured.

The sweetness of the song, the warmth of the light, the hypnotic sway of the dance, and the lack of sleep took ahold.  Paradox drifted into the sweetest slumber of his life.  When he awoke the next day the sun was shining, his headache was gone and his pants no longer smelled.  All was good except for Paradox’s claim that $100 was missing from his wallet.  Funny thing about Paradox, no matter what story he tells – no matter how positive – he somehow has to be victimized in the end… I don’t understand it.

He could barely believe it had happened himself.  It was the photos he took that kept him a believer.  Perfectly clear and crisp images of the Fairies of the North.  He has entrusted me with the images – I cried myself to sleep one night while looking at them – and I will never reveal them.  One day Paradox may feel the need to share them with the world… I hope his does one day.

I’ve never seen the man happier and his journeys inspire me to put more effort into my own explorations.  I might even join him on one of his expeditions one day.  That would be cool.

– Bear Hunter

 

Not one of Paradox's photos.  A nice image though.

Not one of Paradox’s photos. A nice image though.

Robots built to simulate humans.

It seems like great advances are being made in Korea when it comes to robotics and the pursuit of human-like robots. Steps towards the inevitability of sentient androids.

Their model thus far is really impressive with both effective walking mechanisms and facial expression. No real intelligence in the robot as of yet.

– Bear Hunter

Fairies of the North: Part Two.

A while back I wrote the first part of my friend Paradox’s treacherous journey into the “Torngat Mountains” in Labrador, Canada.  On the second day of his trek the hefty explorer suffered a terrible fall while setting up his tent causing him to smash his head against a rock.  Other than what I believe to be a concussion Paradox walked away unharmed.

The fall did slow him down.  He settled down in camp early.  Afraid to go to sleep – Paradox suspected a concussion himself – he decided to dig into his Elk Jerky and consult his logs, maps, and update his journal.  How he managed all of this with a minor head injury and snow pants frozen solid with urine is beyond me.  If you didn’t catch the first part, Paradox’s body did not react well to the fall, the poor man soiled himself.

Paradox suffers from what I would consider overly obsessive compulsions.  Once he starts something he has to finish it.  His journey had only begun and nothing was going to cut it short.  A good example of his dedication would be the time he stalked a Big Foot expert for two months straight to expose the man as a fraud.  He found the evidence he was looking for but something else as well.  The hoaxer was a CIA agent who was already investigating Paradox.  The watcher was watching the watched as the watched watched him.  Paradox wiped the man’s hard-drive, his servers and left a sex tape on the man’s desktop of Paradox having an affair with the man’s wife.  Paradox doesn’t like being watched… I suspect his alias is starting to make sense to you.  A lot happened in those two months of stake-outs.

Back to the mountains.  After a night of forced insomnia and drying his crotch with a flip-up lighter Paradox was good to set out again.  Lucky for Paradox, the subzero temperature and the pounding headache was enough to keep him awake in spite of no sleep.

The early morning was looking bright… it was summer in the arctic so I suppose it’s always bright.  Paradox was in good spirits.  He spotted a lone polar bear in the distance and he also identified seven unique varieties of lichen.  The man was in paradise.  He fished in a creek and drank from it’s clear waters.  He ran free in the grassy valleys.  He felt a renewed connection to his inner spirit and a connection to the land.  Despite the increasing intensity of the smell emanating from his pants, Paradox was sure that the worst was behind him.

That night Paradox set up camp in the glow of the low hanging sun.  He climbed into his still salvable tent and wrapped himself tight in layers.  The gentle hum of the creek – and his exhaustion – lulled him to sleep.  The banshee wail of a sudden storm jerked him awake.  His head pounded with renewed vigour.  The fabric of his tent shook and rippled like a beluga’s stomach after being paddled by a fisherman’s ore.  Paradox fought agains’t the blankets and furs tightened around his body from uneasy sleep.

A hole in his tent – from the previous accident – whistled a high pitch shrill in the wind like a lost soul desperate to be heard and found.  Paradox has a rare inner ear condition and is sensitive to high pitch sounds… which only served to acerbate his migraine.  The man groaned out loud as he struggled against his furry prison.  The whistle was driving him mad.

After moments of agony that stretched on for eternity, as described to me by Paradox, he managed to free a single arm.  He reached out with great speed and purpose, his finger on a collision course with the hole in the tent.  With the aim of a master archer, Paradox’s finger entered the hole in the tent plugging it up… but for an instant.  By reaching out with such force Paradox had propelled his large form into a roll.  His finger shot through the hole, followed by his arm.  In an attempt to regain his balance Paradox’s arm tore through the tent wall with a vengeance.

The man sighed at the site of the large hole in the side of his tent.  At least the whistle was gone, but hell it was cold.  Paradox began to pry the layers away from his body as a massive gust of wind forced its way into his tent.  The tent inflated like a warm plastic bag full of dry ice.  Paradox held his breath as the ground lost its solidity.

In frantic desperation Paradox thrust off his covers and dragged his weight over to the hole and stuck his head through.  Whether it be evil spirits or the worst storm he had ever seen, Paradox’s tent was now airborne.  He was five feet off the ground and climbing. The flight was short lived as Paradox’s body was slammed into the ground.  Another gust and the tent was airborne only to once again slam into the cold ground.  This repeated time and time again as he scrambled to find his knife.

With knife in hand Paradox slashed away at the fabric.

Freedom came as Paradox fell free from his tent.  He lay flat on his back as he watched his tent rise up into the white sky and out of sight.  It was at this moment that Paradox made a profound life decision, he was going to invest in an RV.

The man stood – head pounding, furs torn and pants reeking – in the howling haze of the storm and screamed at the top of his lungs.  He would not turn back and he would not be defeated.  There was a strange hum in the air, something beyond the snow and wind.  Paradox heard, and he followed.

– Bear Hunter

Not one of Paradox's photos but very nice.

Not one of Paradox’s photos but very nice.

NASA’s New Warp Drive Vehicle Concept

NASA’s New Warp Drive Vehicle Concept

I watched more than my fair share of “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” growing up.  The idea of visiting strange new worlds and civilizations has always fascinated me.  The idea that alien civilizations might possibly already possess means of interstellar space travel both intrigues and frightens me.  I definitely don’t want to wake up one day to a bunch of Klingons standing over me with Bat’leth’s pointed at my throat.

The above link is to an article I came across online.  NASA is still hard at work researching the possibility of “faster-than-the-speed-of-light” space travel.  I don’t know much about “Warp Bubbles” or how they work but I do hope they find a way to make it all possible.  I want to see this happen in my life time.

– Bear Hunter

NASA's new Warp Drive Vehicle Concept

NASA’s new Warp Drive Vehicle Concept

Fairies of the North. Part One.

I’ve met some interesting people over the years.  Most of which have been in the last three years.  I have a friend I met online, he’s quite the character.  I can’t tell you his real name.  He often goes by the alias “Paradox”.   I could only dream of living the life this man has lived.  I can’t give you specifics about the man, he is very secretive.  He does like to share his stories.

One of his more interesting tales he has agreed to let me share.  One thing you need to know about Paradox is that he is an explorer at heart.  The man has travelled to Egypt, the Barmuda Triangle, Tibet, the Amazon and the Middle East.  His mission in life is to solve the world’s greatest mysteries.  Most of his evidence he keeps confined to private archives – I suspect he doesn’t deem the world ready to know.  My favourites are his findings on Jesus Christ but he would disown me if I were to leak any of those online.

For some odd reason Paradox has a fascination with the Canadian north, particularly the remote regions.  He believes that there are great mysteries hidden deep beneath the ice.  One summer he took a trip to Northern Labrador.  It is the northern mainland portion of the province of “Newfoundland and Labrador”.  Labrador resides along the northern Atlantic coastline and borders the province of Quebec.  The northern tip of the province is designated part of the arctic and has a very some population made up primarily of aboriginal peoples.

Paradox decided – evidence or not – he had to explore a region called the “Torngat Mountains” before the end of his days.  Local people believed that the mountains were home to evil spirits.  All that scientists could find inhabiting the area were Caribou and Polar Bears.  Then again, it’s a massive area that few people dare traverse.  Paradox figured that if nothing else he could challenge himself both body and soul.  He also takes giddy pleasure in trekking where few if any had trekked before.

Paradox’s journey began in a small village on the outskirts of the mountains.  He wouldn’t reveal the name of the town to me.  He told me that he didn’t want anyone to retrace his steps, I think he didn’t want any women to retrace his steps.  Paradox has difficulty keeping his travel companion – Baby Yeti – in his pants.  He had some fun stories about local women smiling at him and calling him Big Bear – he’s a big guy.  Paradox spent some time in San Francisco a few years back and had some confusing experiences with men labelling him a bear, and inviting him to underground parties.  Paradox used to love underground parties… up until San Francisco.  Because of San Fran it took Paradox days to realize that these northern women were flirting with him as opposed to labelling him gay.  Just to be clear, my alias “Bear Hunter” has nothing to do with the above subject matter… just so you don’t make any false assumptions about me or how I came to meet Paradox.

After days of experimenting with different methods of boosting body heat in the village Paradox was ready to set out into the wilderness.  The big hairy guy is an expert survivalist.  He’s been hospitalized twice for experimenting with five different types of anti-vemon.  That knowledge saved his life once while in the Amazon, he doesn’t mess around.

His plan, was to hike 20 kilometres into the mountain valleys.  If he found any clues of any unusual phenomenon he planned to return for a more in-depth investigation a few weeks later.  His hike onto the mountains started out to be promising.  The long summer days allowed him to cover a lot of ground in a single day.  For a big guy Paradox has amazing endurance – I’m sure the single women in the village discovered much the same thing.

On day two things started to get rough.  Paradox was setting up his tent on a ridge when he lost his footing and slipped on some ice. Taken by surprise he reached out and grabbed his tent for dear life.  The momentum of his hefty body as it slid down the ridge caused the securely tied and spiked tent to rip clear in half.  Paradox continued to slide down the ridge with shredded tent in hand until his body crash hard against a flat rock.  On the way down he had become rolled up in his own torn tent fabric which bound his arms to his side.  Unable to break his fall Paradox’s head had slammed hard into the flat rock, it knocked him out cold.  He isn’t sure how long he laid there unconscious.  All he remembers was waking up with the tent fabric wrapped around his face and screaming “10 000 foot fall and I’m still alive mother fuckers!”.  In his delirium Paradox had waken up believing he had just jumped out of a plane with a faulty parachute – I can’t confirm if such a thing ever happened to him.  The moment he ripped the fabric from his face only to see icy mountains instead of a muddy field was a shock to his system.  The shock – and possibly a concussion – caused the man lose control of his bladder and soak his best pair of snow pants.  I don’t know why, but he insisted that I made sure I included that detail.  Paradox is a very detail-oriented person.

For the rest of the trip Paradox would have to endure the acrid odour of his own essence.  Despite my skepticism, he stands by the belief that this very odour played a part in attracting the mysterious “allies” he claims came to his rescue during the most treacherous moments of his arctic mountain trek.  I have to get back to work but I will continue with this – hard to belief if it weren’t for the photos he showed me – tale another time.

– Bear Hunter

 

Not one of Paradox's photos.  I just like the art.

Not one of Paradox’s photos. I just like the art.