In the first half, space historian Robert Zimmerman discussed space-related topics in the news, such as the recent test flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. Virgin's craft, designed to carry paying space tourists, set a milestone, reaching a maximum altitude of 56,000 ft. It's taken them almost a decade to get to this point, he noted, and they now seem to have an engine that can deliver supersonic speeds. "They're aiming for their first passenger flight for the first quarter of next year, and I don't see any reason why that's not going to happen," he said, adding that the effort should be a profitable enterprise for Virgin Galactic. Virgin has also announced "LauncherOne," a rocket designed to deliver small satellites into orbit.
SpaceX is developing technology in which the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket can return to the launch pad and be used again instead of being dumped in the ocean, which would help reduce costs, Zimmerman reported. While the Hubble Space Telescope is on its last legs, the newer Kepler telescope (designed to look at exoplanets) could be facing technical problems from failing gyroscopes, he revealed. He also talked about global climate and solar activity. The decrease of sunspots has been correlated with colder weather, and we may be about to enter such a cycle now, he said.
In the latter half, ufologist and editor of Unicus Magazine, Robert Stanley, argued that Middle-Eastern shadow beings called the 'jinn' may be related to terrorism and acts of violence. The legend of the jinn (genie) in a bottle dates back to King Solomon, who was said to have found a way to bind the entities, and get them to do his bidding. They were allegedly instrumental in the building of King Solomon's Temple, he said. According to Middle Eastern lore, everyone has a jinn assigned to them, and the supernatural beings can be benevolent, neutral or evil. Stanley compared the jinn to fallen angels, and noted that in Islam, "Shaitan" (like Satan) commands an army of demons or jinn who tempt humans to sin.
Historically, there are descriptions of jinn-like entities across many different cultures, and it's only in the West that they've been dismissed as fictional, he commented. Stanley characterized their mode of action as like an infection from mental parasites, such as the Archons described in the Book of Enoch, who feed on negative energy. "They're non-physical but they have a physical effect on us through the energies in our body...and they can literally manipulate us into doing things for their benefit," he remarked. More of Stanley's thoughts on this topic are posted here.