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Future/Time
image A South African psychic by the name of 'SilverJade' is predicting that a series of earthquakes "and other natural disasters" will hit the west coast of America on February 23, and she's issued a press release to warn everyone. If you read through her website you'll discover that she learned this was all going to happen in a dream. In the dream she was stuck inside a building that was shaking. Then she woke up and saw that it was 1:23 am. She felt that there was some kind of significance to this time. She also had a strong feeling that the place she was seeing in her dream was San Diego. This is especially interesting to me since I live in San Diego. She came up with some kind of convoluted explanation to account for the significance of the number 1:23, but I'm at a loss to follow her reasoning. It has something to do with this: "Starting in San Diego take an Easterly heading and set your bearing to 312 degrees... Plotting a straight line at this bearing takes us right through the epicentre of the recent undersea quake off the coast of Indonesia." Anyway, if a major earthquake really does hit San Diego on February 23 I swear I'll give up being such a skeptic and become a disciple of SilverJade. (via Gullibility Isn't in the Dictionary)
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 14, 2005
Comments (6)
Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending spree was the Bank of Ephraim. They approved loans for one bizarre project after another: a watermelon farm that didn't grow watermelons, a construction company that made a loss on everything it sold (materials, labor). The bank liked giving loans to the end-of-world sect because the end-of-worlders readily agreed to outrageously high interest rates (Why not? If the world ends tomorrow you don't have to pay it back). I'm trying to imagine how the interview to assess credit worthiness might have gone:
-'So you're a member of a sect whose members have sworn an oath to borrow as much money as possible before the world ends and all financial markets collapse. Is that right?'
-'That's right.'
-'Sounds good. You're approved.'
I like the understatement of Utah Banking Supervisor Jim Thomas who simply notes that the bank got in too deep with sect members who "didn't have much to lose".
Categories: Business/Finance, Future/Time, Religion
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 08, 2004
Comments (5)
Here's an interesting short crime report from the China Post:

Hong Kong customs officers have seized nearly 1,500 fake fortunetelling books that contain published predictions for the wrong year, a customs official said Sunday. The fake books, which were seized Friday, purport to offer predictions for the next Chinese calendar year, the Year of the Rooster, but their texts are lifted from published predictions for previous years, said Customs and Excise Department official Chiu Yuk-hung. The fakes were published under the names of local fortune tellers and legitimate publishers, he said.

I wonder if the police were most worried about the plagiarism, or protecting the public from potentially inaccurate predictions?
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 05, 2004
Comments (2)
In late 2000 a man calling himself John Titor began posting messages on internet discussion boards, claiming that he was a time traveler from the year 2036 (his time travel machine was a 1967 Chevrolet). His mission had been to journey back to the year 1975 and make contact with his grandfather, who was a member of the engineering team developing the IBM 5100, but somehow he ended up in 2000 instead. The tale of John Titor is pretty familiar internet lore by now, and I'm surprised that I've only made brief references to him before (though I have posted more about other time travelers). Anyway, to make a long story short, John Titor, during the few months he spent posting messages on the internet (he 'traveled back to the future' in March 2001), made a number of specific predictions about the future. In a nutshell, here they are:

2004: Civil unrest develops around the US Presidential election.
2005: An American civil war begins in earnest: "I would describe it as having a Waco type event every month that steadily gets worse. The conflict will consume everyone in the US by 2012 and end in 2015 with a very short WWIII."
2015: Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States. A world war proceeds that kills nearly three billion people
2034: First time machine built by GE
2036: Titor travels back in time to acquire the IBM 5100

Mr. Dark, on LiveJournal, does a good job of debunking much of the illogic in Titor's vision of the future. However, he also points out that we have arrived at the first stage of Titor's predictions: the 2004 election that is supposed to cause unrest that eventually flares up into civil war. Mr. Dark notes:

"it's been a week and no civil war has broken out, and only the most fringe elements of the left wing still dispute the outcome of the election, do you think we can officially declare the John Titor tale a hoax?  Without this lynchpin, the story falls apart completely.  If there is no 'civil unrest' over a 'disputed election in 2004', then there is no civil war.  No civil war, no nuclear war.  No nuclear war, no need to return to the past for some near-ancient IBM PC to solve some otherwise-unsolvable problem."

The creepy thing, however, is that this election has produced an incredible amount of bitterness and division. Witness all the maps of the New United States that people are sharing via the internet. But are we on the verge of a civil war? I don't think so. So it looks like Mr. Dark is right. John Titor is definitely a hoax (was this ever really in doubt?). Though we'll know with even more certainty at the end of next year when the all-out civil war has never materialized.
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Fri Nov 12, 2004
Comments (42)
Tmxxine is a hardware and software project that is thinking ahead (quite literally) and has committed itself towards developing "public domain Time Travel technology," because it would obviously be quite scary if a single corporation were to gain proprietary control of time travel technology (these guys must have seen Paycheck one time too many). Sadly they report that no time machines are yet available for purchase on eBay, although "Real experimental devices are expected for 2008CE with legislation required for 2012CE."
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 30, 2004
Comments (1)
image Here's something that brings back memories of the Nostradamus predictions that swirled around in the weeks after 9/11. Some guy is claiming that comic book artist Simon Furman predicted 9/11 in a Transformers comic book published on Sep. 14, 1991. His main proof: a picture of a transformer (rodimus prime) hanging between the destroyed towers of the World Trade Center. He's selling the comic book that contains this picture (as well as some other stuff) on eBay UK. He launches into some convoluted explanation of other ways in which his Transformers comic book predicted 9/11, and then he winds up his sales pitch with this startling, though rather garbled, claim:

wouldn't you like some glimpse into future events, these comics if used to predict events from week to week, they are currently around issue 230, this is august 1989 (2004), and they run until 18th feb 1992 (2007), that means there are over 100 more issues to go, thats almost three years of predictions, i can send you information of exactly what to look for in them, how to make sense of the vague and cryptic predictions, and will allways answer emails from anyone who wants to help understand these better.


In other words, he's saying that these old Transformers comics are like windows onto the future. But the question you have to ask is why, if this guy can see into the future via his comic books, isn't he taking advantage of that ability? Why wouldn't he use this power to enrich himself (or at least warn the world about upcoming disasters) instead of giving it away for a pittance on eBay? (via Metaphorge)
Categories: eBay, Future/Time, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 23, 2004
Comments (15)
I just received this rather non-humorous letter from the folks over at the Time Travel Mutual Fund:

Hello Alex,
I see you have our site, The Time Travel Fund, listed in your museum
of hoaxes.(www.TimeTravelFund.com)
I am writing you to ask that you remove us from your site. We are not
a hoax; we are serious in what we are attempting to do. Your site
lists us as being a hoax as if it were a fact, not as simply being
your personal opinion.
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, presenting it as a
fact and not an opinion is slander.



This raises a dilemma for me. I do, in fact, list the Time Travel Fund in my gallery of hoax websites, having assumed that the site was a kind of cute, tongue-in-cheek idea whose main purpose was to sell $10 certificates that people could hang on their wall as a joke, rather than really being in the business of fund management. But if they're perfectly serious about their time travel fund, then that makes it a kooky site, rather than a hoax site. Should I keep the site on the list? I'm not sure.

I'm inclined to keep it on there just to annoy them because I don't like their legalistic threat about me slandering them. But I think the best thing to do would be to keep their site in the list, but add a disclaimer noting that while I thought the Fund was a joke, the fund managers themselves seem to take their task very seriously.
Categories: Future/Time, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 20, 2004
Comments (95)
Instructions for building a time machine: "You will need rocks, a Sega Saturn, some celery, spaghetti noodles, thumbtacks, a port-o-potty, and a cellular telephone from the 1980's." But this model of time machine will only transport you to 1993, so it's not of much use. (via The Presurfer)
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 28, 2004
Comments (13)
I received a mysterious message informing me that "something tragic will go to happen... after the midnight of day 31 of March of 2004." Naturally I couldn't resist checking out the url that accompanied this message, and it took me to this website. It's a geocities page, so that automatically makes it credible. A brief investigation of the site then turned up this page: the past life analyser. It informed me that in my past life I was a writer, dramatist and organizer of rituals living in Egypt around the year 1150. Sounds about right. So I wonder what the terrible thing will be that's going to happen after March 31? Maybe their English translator is scheduled to quit on that day.
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Sun Feb 15, 2004
Comments (4)
You may have thought that last week's massive blackout was caused by something like an aging national grid, bad transmission lines, or even human error. But guess what? It actually happened because it was the 60th anniversary of the Philadelphia Experiment. At least, so claims Al Bielek. I'm not clear on why the anniversary caused the lights to go out, but maybe all the power got sucked backwards through time or something. Even more sensationally, Bielek claims that he predicted the blackout a few weeks ago. In case you don't know about him, Bielek claims to be a time traveler stuck in the present era. He says that he was originally Ed Cameron, a participant in the 1940s Philadelphia Experiment, but that Ed somehow travelled through time and ended up being born in 1927 as Al Bielek. So Al is really Ed, if that makes sense. Not having listened to the radio show on which Al is claiming to have made his prediction about the blackout, I can't positively confirm or deny whether the prediction was really made. But my hunch is that he's somehow pulling a Tamara Rand.
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 19, 2003
Comments (0)
A visitor, Dave Kaplan, has sent me some correspondence that he has had with Bob, the time traveler in search of a dimensional warp generator.

Update: Another visitor has pointed out that Bob is not the first time traveler to have visited us. Three years ago a guy named John Titor made a big splash for a couple of months, before he mysteriously disappeared (he said he was returning to his own time). I guess John had a dimensional warp generator, whereas Bob doesn't.
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Sat Aug 09, 2003
Comments (0)
David Emery, at About.com, has dug up some interesting clues about the time-travel spammer. He notes that an authentic mind warper generator was once offered for sale on eBay, as well as a Generation 4 Dimensional Warp Generator. Bidding on these items has closed. He also notes that there's speculation that the mystery spammer is a well-known, Woburn-based spammer named Robert Todino, since the mystery spammer states that he lives in the Woburn area. But someone who wrote to me claims to have talked to the time traveler on the phone and supports the theory that the guy is crazy as a loon.
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 07, 2003
Comments (0)
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