Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rabbis against the Moon Landing

This post came out of a photo at that’s too much woo for this Jew

MEMRI is, depending on who you ask, "publishes and distributes free English-language translations of Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Pashto, and Turkish media reports" or "aims to portray the Arab and Muslim world in a negative light through the production and dissemination of incomplete or inaccurate translations and by selectively translating views of extremists while deemphasizing or ignoring mainstream opinions" (both quotes from Wikipedia

But that's not what this post is about.  I decided to look for rabbis who deny the moon landing . So I did some searching. I came across a blog from 2012 (referring to an earlier one from 2009) that said "the Satmar Rebbe believed the moon landing must have been faked". So I looked for sources, and there, in the comments, was someone who asked for sources. Oops, that was me.

The blogger replied with two links. One is to a site which was active at the time but has since gone offline, I wish there were archives somewhere, I may have been involved in the discussion, there, too.   Another is to, where an anonymous poster wrote in 2007 "'Science' tells us that men have walked on the moon. The Torah tells us that above the earth is the Yesod of Aish and that anything that passes through it would burn up." and someone responded (at the bottom of page four) "Is the one about not having landed on the moon from the Satmar Rebbe? As far as I know, he's the only one to have said that."

Yesod means element and aish means fire, she's referring to the classical Four Elements and probably to Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah 3:10 or some later source based on it, which puts the "sphere of fire" below "the sphere of the Moon"  Also the thread at Imamother goes on for quite a while. mostly about other aspects of science, not the moon landing.  Also it was later discovered that two of the posters, TammyTammy and Sue DaNym were the same person, arguing with herself.  Because reasons?

But I haven't found a source for that claim or its attribution to the Satmarer or anyone else.

Josh, the blogger at Parshablog, referred to a different blog, about a different rabbi (Yaakov Kamenetzky) watching the Moon landing, and a commenter there wrote "Perhaps R’ Yaakov Kamenetzky Zt”l should have prayed to Hashem for extra guidance and sided with RaMbaM? Then he might have sensed that the "Chazon" - television broadcast, images, etc.,- was more than likely "faked" - part of Alma de Shikra" (the world of lies) and linked to a Moon landing conspiracy site that isn't working anymore (or at least not this second)

And there's this, from the Not the Godol Hador Archive (the blogger was later revealed to be Gideon Slifkin, brother of Nathan Slifkin, which is relevant because the blog entry begins by mentioning Nathan) "Reliable sources in Israel tell me that one of the kannaim, part of the group behind the Slifkin ban and intent on delegitimizing the Kamenetzky family (which is what the drive behind the Slifkin ban was actually all about), has been showing people a Foxtel documentary proving that astronauts never landed on the moon and it was all faked by NASA!"

I also once found and downloaded a copy of a "kuntres" (pamplet) about the Moon landing in Hebrew, but that was several computers ago.  I probably still have a copy on a backup, but don't know where.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

With apologies to Arlo Guthrie

"Kids, this-piece-of-paper's-got-666-words-17-sentences-23-words-we-wanna-know-details-of-the-derp-time-of-the-derp-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-derp-I-want-to-know-youtube-guru's-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say", and talked for ninety-three-million minutes and nobody understood a meme that he posted, but we had fun creating spam events and eating the crayons on the bench there, and I filled out the mudflood with the four part harmonics, and wrote it down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the following words:

"Kid, have you unindoctrinated yourself?"

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Fisking "Nikola Tesla - Limitless Energy & the Pyramids of Egypt

 Another video sent to me by a flat-earther.   I'm writing this as I watch it.  Text in quotes will be from the video, possibly paraphrases.  The rest will be my responses

"We don't know who built the pyramids" - It was the Egyptians.

"Stones cut with laser precision" - a unit of measurement might be more helpful but let's just say that's a figure of speech, stones can be smoothed without modern technology.  

"Stones weight as much as 80 tons from over 500 miles away" - heavy things can be moved without modern tech, too.  It takes a lot of people.

"There must have been a good reason to go to all this trouble" - probably, but I have a feeling a great leap of illogic is coming to explain that.

"We now know it was certainly not a tomb" - we do?  Or is the video merely asserting that?

"Tesla believed they served a higher purpose" - OK, he was a smart guy, but he also fell in love with z pigeon.  Hopefully just another figure of speech. "considering that Tesla is directly responsible for 80% of the technology we use today" - drawing shows a radio, light bulb, something marked AC which is probably a generator or motor, x-ray, laser, cellphone, tower with a some unspecified thing on top, and car. Tesla did claim to have invented a death ray, which is what comes up when I google to see what he had to do with lasers, but details are scarce, there's no way to know if it involved lasers, which as far as we know were invented in 1960, 18 years after his death.  Or did the death-ray use x-rays, discovered by W.C. Röntgen in 1895. Tesla described a communication device that would fit in a vest pocket in 1926, but did he build one?  Radio?  Many people were working on radio at the time  Or even earlier, Tesla filed for a patent on wireless telegraphy in 1897 but Heinrich Hertz first produced and detected radio waves in 1886 and Marconi submitted his patent application in 1896. 

"Perhaps we should view his theories with a more open mind" - OK, but even really smart people's claims need to be tested.  There's a story about Richard Feynman visiting a research facility where they were testing one of his predictions, at a cost of thirty seven million dollars.  "What, you don't trust me?" he asked.  But this was his humor, Feynman knew it needed to be tested.

"Suspend your disbelief" - no, I think I'll go on fact-checking.

Tesla is quoted as talking about non-physical phenomena" but did he mean some sort of handwaving "energy" or things like radio and energy transmission that don't use physical media?  The very next thing in the video is a 1905 patent application of his for transmitting electrical energy through the natural medium.  His design was called an "electromagnetic pyramid"  A voice, not the narrator's says that he thinks it was shaped like a pyramid because of his interest in the ancient ones.  Or was it a good way to build a sturdy structure, just like the originals?  The speaker appears but is not named.  Oh, my bad, it was underneath closed-captioning, he's Jack Cary, a former Naval Intelligence Officer.

He goes on to say that while pyramids "exhibit fractal energy" efficiently, citation needed, also what is "fractal energy", other than something that sounds science-y? "But what he discovered was it was the location of the pyramids that created the power" and he built his two pyramids "according to the laws of where the Pyramids at Giza were constructed" - laws?  Will we hear what those laws are?  "it had to do with the elliptical orbit of the earth" - remember how this was sent to me by a flat-earther?  But anyway, aside from these were special places somehow, no details of those laws.

"Tesla's device disappeared after his mysterious death in 1943" - a newspaper clipping on the screen helpfully lists his age at the time - 85.  We do remember that humans are mortal, right?  But the devices didn't disappear then, they were torn down earlier.

By the way, here's a photo of Wardenclyffe Tower, from 1904.  Doesn't look that much like an Egyptian Pyramid much, does it?  It was torn down for scrap in 1917 to cover his debts.  The same year this photo was taken, the same thing happened to his other location, in Colorado Springs although the scrap was only sold off two years later.

A new voice, "According to Nikola Tesla 369 is a key to the universe".  His name is Billy Carson, a researcher (into what?). "Tesla became so obsessed with this 369 that he would drive around a building three times before going inside" - this was probably easier when construction was less dense, as you can see from the illustration above, the tower arose from a detached building..  "He cleaned his plates with 18 napkins" - this is OCD, not science, or even numerology.  I have heard of people who are scared of the number two, and if they need an even number of something, will buy one more.  "lived in hotel rooms only with the number divisible by three" - this is attributing some sort of significance to a meaningless measurement, the hotel could just as easily used a different numbering system, or letters of the alphabet.

Skipping more examples of his obsession with three, Carson claims he was "trying to make us understand that we did not create mathematics, we discovered them".  A quote of Tesla saying that might be useful to help us decide if this is what Tesla was doing, or what Carson thinks he was, if it exists it's not here.

Back to the first narrator "Could it be possible that ancient humans created monuments like the great pyramids to remind us of these truths?"  Or did they already know enough math, sufficient for collecting taxes and constructing labor-intensive structures?

New speaker, Graham Hancock, author, Fingerprints of the Gods.  Sumerian texts talk of "seven antediluvian sages".  antediluvian means "before the flood", the biblical story of Noah's flood is similar to the flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh but the sages seem to be from other ancient inscriptions.  They're depicted in fish costumes, holding bags, and similar bags turn up in other ancient carvings.

Back to unnamed narrator, "could the sages have reemerged after the flood to teach the knowledge of the universe?" and "Egyptian depictions of gods are not holding a bag but an ankh"  "Could these carrying devices be transmitting the same kind of energy?"  Well there's a leap of logic that could use some evidence.

New speaker, Anton Parks, author, Eden and Researcher of Ancient Civilizations who believes "the great Pyramid was built by Isis .. to reincarnate Osiris into Horus.  It is quite complicated".  I can't tell if he believes the pyramid was built by humans, in light of their beliefs about Egyptian Gods, or that Isis et. al. really existed and she personally built the pyramids.  But wouldn't the latter mean that there weren't ancient humans with advanced knowledge, there were creatures of a different sort who had it (or perhaps were just had those abilities)?

A lot of Egyptian and Sumerian mythology follows, which I'm going to skip until it gets to some point.  OK, Isis lives underground,  nd there are underground passages in Giza, where the pyramids are.  He superimposes modern knowledge and claims that Isis used Osiris's genetic codeto reincarnate him.  "The Great Pyramid allowed Isis to find Osiris's soul again". There's a big citation needed, unless he's only talking mythology and the video maker is the one taking it as history.  "She would have put Osiris's genetic code in the pyramid" - nope I he's speaking literally.

Back to first narrator, "there is evidence that below the [pyramid] something existed there that was much older".  Robert Schoch, Ph.D, professor of natural science at Boston University says the site was "a a sacred mound"

Back to first narrator, who asserts that the resurrection story is connected to how the pyramid is "connected with the afterlife" - yeah, kings were buried in them, but they didn't come back to life and leave, their corpses were removed, either by grave robbers or archeologists who put them in museums (I'm not saying that there's not an element of grave robbing involved in that, too).

I've lost track of who is speaking, "the pyramid is an attempt to create a three-dimensional model of the afterlife realm"  But (original narrator) "could there be another hidden message?" - wait, what's the first message, "Resurrections performed here, inquire about rates?"

Andrew Collins, author, From the Ashes of Angels talks about geometry, "music of the spheres"  and this has to do with "the perfect fourth which has a ration of 4:3 and the perfect fifth, 3:2" - do we get to the the minor falls, the major lifts,  and the baffled king?  I tried to find a video from the Tel Aviv show in 2009, there were a lot of cellphone videos, but none were very good, so here's one from London, I think from the same year.

OK, so where we're going here is numerical pareidolia, if a musical ratio is 4:3, and something else has the same ratio, they must be connected.  Original narrator says "if the Great Pyriamid is indeed a construction to harmonize creation" (but is it?  and what would it mean to harmonize creation?) "wherein lies the code to such a great power?" (how many watts?)

Robert Bauvel, author, The Orion Mystery, "it has a very slight concavity on each side making it eight sided .. produces a bizarre geometry  .. when we analyze it it produces numbers: that shouldn't be there", examples are the universal constant (maybe I misheard and it should be plural, and it means constants like the Gravitational Constant (sorry again, flat-earthers), or maybe he meant the Fine Structure Constant phi (connected to the Golden Ratio), Euler's number.  "Could this geometry produce a message?" - or could it just be cherry picking, if you get to play with what units you measure things in and perform random operations, you can get rather close to any number you want.

"The Great Pyramid is  [close to] latitude 30" and it seems "the latitude choice was derived from astronomy".  It's unexplained how some lensing effect made them think it was exactly 30 so I can't check if that was true, 30 is "one third of the way between the equator and the North Pole" and this "speaks to our planet" - but does the planet speak back?

And there's a tiny deviation from facing true north, "thee sixtieths of a degree, almost eerie" and once again it is "speaking to the Earth" - what's it saying, "Oops?"

But there's more, if you multiply the size of the pyramid by 43,200, it "give you the dimensions of this planet".  Sorry again, flat-earthers.

"So in all those centuries and millennia when our ancestors went through the dark ages and didn't even know that they were living on a planet let alone the dimensions of the planet, all the ever had to do was go accurately measure the Great Pyramid, multiply those numbers by 43,200 and the have the dimensions of our planet"  This is nonsense, but it's still fun that a flat-earther sent this to me.  Did he even watch it or did he just read the title?

"Egyptologists are aware of this but they say it's a total coincidence, no significance to it whatsoever"  Well it is, but his reason for multiplying by 43,200 is that the number comes from "a key motion of the Earth" - more bad news for flat-earthers, the precession of the Earth's axis, and he now talks about another thing flat-earthers don't like, how the pole star changes.

Now he talks about the "constellation that houses the Sun on the spring equinox" which is currently Pisces, and that's why early Christians used a fish as a symbol, the Age of Pisces having just started at the time.   So the Zodiac moves one degree every 72 years and multiply 72 by 600 (why?) to get 43,200.  Wasn't that obvious?  Osiris was killed by Seth and 72 conspirators, that's the number of syllables in the Rig Veda and it's in Norse Mythology, "it can't be an accident".

Back to Tesla, lots of multiples of 3.if you play games.  This isn't terribly exciting, if you randomly pick whole numbers, look at the first N numbers or any N numbers starting anywhere, one third of them will be divisible by three.

But there's even more! Angkor Wat is exactly 72 lines of latitude east of Giza.

Back to Robert Bauvel, who says that in the future we will speak in mathematics.  More bad news for flat-earthers!

In the next video, the Great Sphinx, which Robert Schoch says is from at least 10,000 BCE.  Sorry to you too, biblical literalists.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Fisking "Moon Landing Hoax- NASA Scientist Admits We CANNOT Go Through Van Allen Belts!"

A flat-earther posted this video, by someone who only identifies himself as Agent S.  It's only five minutes long, so let's take a look.

The title mentions "NASA Scientist" - will we get to hear from this scientist?  Well, it opens with an image of Wikipedia's entry on Van Allen Radiation belt. He didn't include a link to this or anything else, because he doesn't want you to read the article.  If you did, you might notice section 7, implications for space travel, that discusses how the Apollo missions did travel through the belts.

He then switches to this image  (from that same Wikipedia entry) and describes the belts as "impenetrable layers" and then displays an article, NASA's Van Allen Probes Spot an Impenetrable Barrier in Space

But if you look at the text right after the title, right there in his image, this "nearly impenetrable barrier" stops "the fastest, most energetic electrons", not spaceships or astronauts.  Oops!

Well he moves on to discussing Orion missions to Mars, and a scientist (the one from his title?) says something he doesn't understand.  He shows an unsourced video, with an unnamed person (that scientist from the title?  But I don't see any identification, perhaps this is a spokesperson.) speaking "We are headed 3,600 miles above Earth.  Fifteen times higher from the planet than the International Space Station.  As we get further away from Earth, we';ll pass through the Van Allen belts".  And a screenshot from this other video shows the words "high radiation", he stops it to make sure you saw it

Resuming (and rewinding a bit), the NASA speaker says "It will pass through the Van Allen belts, an area of dangerous radiation.  Radiation like this can harm the guidance systems, onboard computers, or other electronics on it".  He pauses the video again, because he wants us to really pay attention.  Resuming again, "Naturally we have to pass through this danger zone twice, once up and once back.  But Orion has protection. Shielding will be put to the test as the vehicle cuts through the waves of radiation.  Sensors aboard  will record radiation levels for scientists to study.  We must solve these challenges  before we send  people through this region of space".

"Whoa whoa whoa whoa wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute" he interjects.  Kudos to scriptwriter.  He replays it twice and repeats it himself.   But didn't we already do that with Apollo 11 and enumerates each mission?  Yes, but evidentially he didn't read the Wikipedia entry with which he opened his video - "The astronauts had low exposure in the Van Allen belts due to the short period of time spent flying through them," with two footnotes. Oops again.

  1. "Apollo Rocketed Through the Van Allen Belts". 7 January 2019.
  2. "Apollo 14 Mission Report, Chapter 10" Retrieved 2019-08-07

Well why do we need to redesign shielding for a new spacecraft?  For one thing, even if nothing else had changed, we still would want to test it.  But transistors have gotten a lot smaller since the 1960's and 1970's which while on the one hand makes computers more powerful, increases their sensitivity to radiation.  And if we can further reduce exposure of astronauts to radiation, that would be good, too.  

    Monday, April 25, 2022

    Reviews of The Next Level (2022)



    Dead Kennedy in Space (5 parts, NSFW language)

    For reviews of the original film, see Reviews of Level (2021)

    Tuesday, March 22, 2022

    R Chaim's last miracle (until the posthumous ones begin)

    This one is making the rounds today.  If you want to honor R Chaim, I recommend learning something from one of his books.  Please wait until after the shivah before tossing a rock into Yanky Kanievsky's window. 

    Three Days Before His Passing, Rav Chaim ZT”L Did Something Unusual


    News spread quickly last Friday afternoon that the Gadol HaDor, Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l, had passed away from a major heart attack. Just three days before his passing, however, the Rav was in the news:

    For several years now, Rav Kanievsky has been the face & voice of most of Vaad HaRabbanim’s charity campaigns. Thousands of people rely on help from Vaad HaRabbanim to cover their most basic needs. Last week, Rav Kanievsky revived an ancient tradition: The writing of a kamia.

    Rav Kanievsky created a limited number of copies of a handwritten letter originally composed by Rav Yeshaya of Kerestir, a rabbi whose students experienced “miracles beyond the limits of nature.” A limited amount of those who donate to Vaad HaRabbanim’s fund (link removed) will receive their ‘kamia,’ as a symbol of protection and success.

    The demand for the kamia has shot up since Rav Kanievsky’s passing as this was the last charity campaign the Rav zt”l was involved in, after decades of lending his support.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2022

    Fuck Frum Charity

    I just saw an ad with the title, "I want to win this war. With your help, I can live".  It's all over the sort of sites for people too frum to use the Internet but are here anyway.  It begins "Right now, we’re all feeling what it is to watch war unfold—the fear, the uncertainty, the anxiety. Never knowing what tomorrow or even the next hours will bring…"

    Well if you are living in a future where WW III did not break out, you may have forgotten the Russian attack on Ukraine of 2022.  This link will probably remind you of the details, assuming the Internet and Wikipedia survived.  But back to the ad.  If you were reading it during the invasion, you were intended to think this was an appeal from someone trying to escape the war zone.  And who wouldn't have clicked on an ad with a boring title like "Six Year Old Child Needs Liver Transplant" because you can only care about the One Biggest Problem.

    Now this child didn't write any of that, nor the glurge at the site that the ad links to, where some adult wrote "In the last month, I heard lots of whispers about my “condition dee-tee-ree-or-ating. I don’t know exactly what it means, but I’ve been feeling really sick lately"  I hope that he recovers, and by the time he's old enough to not be allowed on the Internet himself, all copes of the ad, the fundraising site, and the videos have been scrubbed.  To that end, I'm not linking to any of them.

     none of this is the fault of the child, who needs a liver transplant and did not write any of the glurge disseminated under his name.

    One Biggest Problem is also why, IMUHO, the anti-vaxxers are upset about the invasion, they don't want anything distracting the public from their favorite conspiracy theory.

    For more on Frum fundraising campaigns, see Nathan Slifkin's How I Helped Yanky Kanievsky Buy His Luxury Home