Monday, 8 January 2018

The 2-mile-long Marree Man

The 2-mile-long Marree Man is the second largest geoglyph

 in the world but nobody knows who made it…

By Boban Docevski

The first thought that comes to mind when beholding it is that this enormous piece of land art was made by the ancients to serve as a sign for the gods, or as a mythical representation of some tribal hero. But this is not the case with the Marree Man, the second largest geoglyph in the world. It was discovered recently after a plane flew over it in 1998, and it was probably created recently as well. The only problem is, nobody knows who made it or why.
Although it was the 1990s and information about somebody doing something traveled fast, somehow an individual or a group of artists managed to get to this hardly accessible part of South Australia, on the plateau of Finnis Springs, just outside an Australian military base called Woomera Prohibited Area, and created this huge geoglyph with a perimeter of 17 miles. It was definitely a massive undertaking that demanded a lot of labor, and it is strange how nobody noticed–especially because it was close to a big military base.
On June 26, 1998, Trec Smith, a local pilot, flew from the nearby town of Marree to Cooper Pedy and noticed the drawing that was spread across the whole plateau. Later, a hotel in the area claimed that they received an anonymous fax with the coordinates of the geoglyph. Soon the Marree Man geoglyph became headline news across Australia. A big part of the fascination lay in the fact that nobody knew who actually made it. It seemed like some extraterrestrials came and did it in a few seconds.
So what is the Marree Man? Visually speaking, the Marree man is a depiction of a man who holds a boomerang (or a woomera–a throwing stick that was used to chase away birds). Upon examination, it was discovered that the lines of the Marree man were about 8 to 12 inches deep and 114 feet wide. The whole figure is an astonishing 2.6 miles long, and it takes up a perimeter of 17 miles.
The following year, the media was anonymously informed that a small plaque was buried just 16 feet south of Marree Man’s nose. The plaque turned out to be a little American flag with Olympic rings over it. The short text on the plaque reads:
    “In honour of the land they once knew. His attainments in these pursuits are extraordinary; a constant source of wonderment and admiration.”
Research was done on this quote, and it was discovered that it comes from a 1946 book written by H. H. Finlayson called The Red Centre. The book is about the hunters of the Pitjantjatjara tribe–the tribe that lives around the Uluru rock formation. These particular words come from a chapter in which the author describes how wallabies were hunted with the use of throwing sticks. The section also describes the look of the hunters, who were naked and had initiation marks on their bodies.
The media received another anonymous message with the name of the artwork. Supposedly it was called “Stuart’s Giant,” after John McDouall Stuart, the famous explorer who led the first expedition across Australia.
Reception of the newly created geoglyph was mixed but mainly positive. A lot of people wanted it to stay. After all, it started bringing tourists to the area. One of the local newspapers, the Advertiser, wrote that the land drawing should be made permanent. Because of the weather conditions in the region, the Marree Man started to erode and disappear. By 2013 it was barely visible, so people demanded that the lines should be made deeper; down to the white chalk layer beneath the ground. Those that were against it, like Dorothy Kotz, the Minister for Environment and Heritage at the time, described the figure as “environmental vandalism.” David Ruthman, who was the Minister for Aboriginal affairs called it “graffiti.”
There are two main theories about the author of this modern geoglyph. According to some people, it was made by Aboriginal artist Bardius Goldberg, who died in 2002. He was the perfect suspect. He lived in Alice Springs and had often discussed his wish to create a piece of art that would be visible from space. One of his friends said that he received $10,000 during the time when the figure was discovered. Goldberg never confirmed nor denied this claims.
Another theory is that the geoglyph was made by a group from the United States. This is possible because of several facts. First of all, the description of the figure is written in feet instead of meters; also, the term Aboriginal “reservations” is mentioned, and this word is never used to describe the Aborigines. Another clue is a jar that was found buried near the Marree Man. In it, an American flag, together with a satellite picture of the geoglyph, was found. There was also a note in which the infamous Branch Davidian sect was mentioned. Despite all the clues, the creation of the Marree Man is still a mystery.
Mystery aside, this geoglyph is still an attraction. In 2016, its decaying lines were fixed with the help of a satellite-guided tool. Now it is visible again, and although the area is off-limits, those who want can take a flight over it and see it.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Something Extraordinary

Something Extraordinary is Happening in the World 
– and Most People Haven’t Realized

By Gustavo Tanaka

Most of us haven’t quite realized there is something extraordinary happening…
A few months ago, I freed myself from the standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that kept me locked up into the system. Since then, I see the world from a different perspective: the one that everything is going through change and that most of us are unaware of that.
Why is the world changing? In this post, I’ll point out the eight reasons that lead me to believe it.
1. No one can stand the employment model any longer
People working with big corporations can’t stand their jobs. The lack of purpose knocks on your door as if it came from inside you like a yell of despair. People want out. They want to drop everything and run. Take a look at how many people are willing to risk entrepreneurship, how many people are leaving on sabbaticals, and how many people are suffering with work-related depression, and burnout. We are reaching our limits.
2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing
The vortex of entrepreneurship was once to find an investor and get funded — to be funded was like winning the World Cup or the Super Bowl. But what happens after you get funded? You get back to being an employee. You may have brought in people not sharing your dream, not in agreement with your purpose, and soon, it’s all about the money. The financial end becomes the main driver of your business. People are suffering with it. Excellent startups began to tumble because the money-seeking model is endless.
A new way to endeavor is needed — and good people are doing it already. Over the past few years, with the explosion of startups, thousands of entrepreneurs have turned their garages into offices, to bring their world-changing, billion-dollar ideas to life.
3. The rise of collaboration over competition
Many people have figured out that it doesn’t make any sense to go on by yourself. Many people have awakened from the mad “each man for himself” mentality.
Stop, take a step back, and think. Isn’t it absurd that we, 7 billion of us living in the same planet, have grown further apart from each other? What sense does it make to turn your back on the thousands, maybe millions, of people living around you in the same city? Every time it crosses my mind, I feel blue.
Fortunately, things are changing. Sharing and collaborative economy concepts are being implemented, and it points towards a new direction. The direction of collaborating, of sharing, of helping, of togetherness. This is beautiful to watch. It touches me.
4. We are finally figuring out what the Internet is capable of
The Internet is an incredibly spectacular thing, and only now — after so many years — we are understanding its power. With the Internet, the world is opened, the barriers fall, the separation ends, the togetherness starts, the collaboration explodes, and the help emerges.
Some nations saw true revolutions that used the Internet as the primary catalyst, such as the Arab Spring. Here in Brazil, we are just starting to make a better use out of this amazing tool.
Internet is taking down mass control. The big media groups, who controlled the mainstream news and deliver the message they want us to read, are no longer the sole owners of information. You go after what you want. You bond to whomever you want. You explore whatever you may want to. With the advent of the Internet, the small are no longer speechless. There is a voice. The anonymous become acknowledged. The world comes together. And then the system may fall.
5. The fall of exaggerated consumerism
For too long, we’ve been manipulated to consume as much as we possibly can, to buy every new product launched — the newest car, the latest iPhone, the top brands, lots of clothes, shoes, in fact, lots and lots of pretty much anything we could our hands on.
Going against the crowd, many people have understood that this approach is way off. Lowsumerism, slow life and slow food are a few types of actions being taken as we speak, changing how we live and pointing out the contradiction of how absurdly we have come to organize ourselves. Fewer people are using cars. Fewer people are overspending. And more people are swapping clothes, buying used goods, sharing assets, cars, apartments, offices.
We don’t need all of that they told us we needed. And this consciousness of new consumerism can take down any company living on the exaggerated end of it.
6. Healthy and organic eating
We were once so crazy we accepted eating anything! It only needed to taste good, and everything would be alright. We were so disconnected that companies started to practically poison our food, and we didn’t say anything!
But then some people started waking up, enabling and strengthening the demand for healthy and organic eating. This is only going to get stronger.
But what has this got to do with economy and work? Just about everything, I’d say. Food production is one of the basic fundamentals of our society. If we change our mindset, our eating habit and our way of consuming, corporations will have to respond and adapt to a new market. The small farmer is getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production. People are even growing plants and seeds inside their homes as well. And that reshapes the whole economy.
7. The awakening of spirituality
How many friends do you have who practice yoga? What about meditation? Now think back, 10 years ago. How many people did you know by then who practiced these activities?
Spirituality, for too long, was for esoteric folks — those weird-like and mystic people. But fortunately, this is also changing. We’ve come to the edge of reason and rationality. We were able to realize that, with only our conscious mind, we can’t figure out everything that goes on here. There is something else going on, and I’m sure you want to get hold of that as well.
You want to understand how these things work — how life operates, what happens after death, what is this energy thing people talk about so much, what is quantum physics, how thoughts can be materialized and create our sense of reality, what is coincidence and synchronicity, why meditation works, how it’s possible to cure some ailments using nothing but bare hands, how those alternative therapies not always approved by regular medicine can actually work sometimes.
Companies are providing meditation to their employees. Even schools are teaching the young how to meditate. Think about it.
8. Un-schooling trends
Who created this teaching model? Who chose the classes your kids have to take? Who chose the lessons we learn in history classes? Why didn’t they teach us the truth about other ancient civilizations?
Why should kids follow a certain set of rules? Why should they watch everything in silence? Why should they wear a uniform? What about taking a test to prove what you actually learned?
We developed a model that perpetuates and replicates followers of the system, and breeds people into ordinary human beings.
Fortunately, a lot of people are working to change that, through concepts such as un-schooling, hack-schooling and homeschooling.
Final Thoughts
Maybe you’ve never thought of all this, and even may be in shock. But it’s happening. Silently, people are being woken up and are realizing how crazy it is to live in this society. So take a moment: Look at all these new actions, and ask yourself if everything we have been taught so far is normal. I don’t think it is. Thankfully, there is something extraordinary happening.

About the author: Gustavo Tanaka is a Brazilian author and entrepreneur, trying to create with his friends a new model, a new system and maybe helping to create a new economy.