It’s the second half of August and the time of year when many people are at places like cottages, camp sites, or boats etc.
I myself am about to head off on a one-week houseboat trip on Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes and the Trent Canal system, hoping to make it as far as Peterborough and its famous, enormous locks.
I thought with many of you enjoying similar idles, it’d be a good time to provide a short list of interesting things to read or watch. This list is especially useful for those of you able to download books on a Kindle or Kobo-style ebook reader, or watch video movies on a laptop (i.e., on YouTube or NetFlix).
Speaking of YouTube, I used to think it was all about funny clips of people’s pets or kids wiping out on skateboards. A while ago I discovered that some of the best programming is available on YouTube and nowadays I rarely watch regular “appointment” television. (As an aside, YouTube is now populating its videos with short commercials; you can download a little program called AdBlock that blocks these.)
And if you don’t have Netflix, you really owe it to yourself to get a subscription! It’s only $8 per month and has lots of good stuff (as well as lots of crap). And no ads. Plus you can watch it on your TV if you play it through a Blue Ray player, and on your smart phone, iPad, laptop, etc.
Okay, now that I’ve lectured you on technology, here are some interesting items you may wish to enjoy in the dog days of summer.
I Am (Netflix)
This is a terrific documentary about the meaning of life filmed by Tom Shadyac, director of campy films like the Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Via these films, Shadyac made millions of dollars and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle of big houses and private jets, but an illness forced him to remain housebound for a period of time during which he reflected on life’s true meaning. He sets out with a camera crew to interview some of the world’s intellectual and spiritual leaders, and comes up with some moving and profound answers. Note that the scene with the yoghurt is especially interesting! (Watch the film and you’ll see what I mean.) The film’s official website is here: http://iamthedoc.com
Science and the Akashic Field (Book)
This book by Ervin Laszio is written for a layperson and is very accessible, but I wouldn’t say it’s an easy read. But it’s so worthwhile. This is one of the most profound books I’ve ever read, and explains in a deep and convincing way the connection between what we’re learning from the latest quantum physics and how it substantiates what the eastern mystics have been telling us for centuries. There’s lots about how consciousness creates reality, some interesting clues about the cycle of life and death, and the “multiverse” model of the universe. This is a rigorous, demanding book and not New Age fluff. Read it and you’ll be on the “bleeding edge” of the latest thinking in both science and spirituality. (Here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Science-Akashic-Field-Integral-Everything/dp/1594771812)
From the Ashes of Angels (book)
The full title of this book is actually From the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race and is written by Andrew Collins, one of my favorite science and history authors. (I have previously written in this space about his excellent book The Cygnus Mystery.)
In this book, Collins examines the written and archeological evidence of the most ancient early civilization that appears to have existed in the mountains of present-day Kurdistan. This race of people are referred to in obscure passages of the Old Testament (where they appear as fallen angels or “Watchers”) and in ancient Sumerian and Assyrian texts where they appear as snake-headed or feathered god-men, who Collins deduces were actually shamans that venerated the vulture and the snake as symbols of fertility and reincarnation. This book represents a good and academic “reality check” against the more outlandish interpretations of the Nephilim and the Annunaki that some ancient astronaut theorists claim were extraterrestrials, who are “reptilians” who are still among us!
You can access the book for purchase and Kindle downloading here: http://www.amazon.com/From-Ashes-Angels-Forbidden-Legacy/dp/187918172X
Out of the Blue (YouTube documentary)
If you’re in the mood for some intellectual fun and to have your assumptions challenged, the UFOTV channel on YouTube offers this fascinating documentary on the history of UFO sitings and government coverups. I like this particular documentary because it contains excellent video and photo evidence, and gets into the government role without being overly conspiratorial. You’ll find the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYPCKIL7oVw
The Crop Circle Conspiracy (YouTube documentary)
Still in the paranormal vein, while I believe some crop circles are hoaxes, I’ve come to believe many of them are not. You can make up your own mind after watching this intriguing documentary on YouTube, by following the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcZLn2RWn-M&list=PLDC6F222104974346
(Note that this documentary, as sometimes occurs on YouTube, is broken into eight parts that you watch one at a time, obviously.)