Hi and welcome back to The Real Twilight Zone and to what is effectively the end of the first series of TRTZ…

The first series?

Yes – the first series!

It probably has not escaped your attention that last couple of Twilight Zones have not followed a regular pattern. In some cases this have been due to technical challenges but mostly due to work and work-life challenges.

As many of you will know I  tend to work summer seasons – as an entertainer, speaker and all round mystical dude (www.alanthemagician.com : www.alanjonesmagic : www.aljonesmusic.com : www.mindalignment.com) – and this year I find myself needing to be on the ‘campaign trail’ to find bookings a little more earnestly than in previous years.

So I’m not sure I can promise a show every two weeks and feel that by calling TRTZ no 60 as an end of series, it will give me time to re-think and re-focus in order to keep on bringing you rational-mystical goodness. So this is not a show ending but a temporary hiatus.

There are real plans to take The Real Twilight Zone on-the-road and I’d love to be able to bring the live show to you and your venue.

So put your thinking caps on …

You can always contact me direct on alan@aljones.net or through Facebook (email is more direct and far more frequently accessed than the Facebook sites however).

Right ‘nuf said …

Let’s get on with some NEWS..

June 9th:  A team of scientists from the University of Houston and the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) have detailed a remote region of Honduras that may reveal the legendary lost city of Ciudad Blanca, known as the ‘White City’ of gold.

Using advanced laser mapping consisting of a small plane firing laser pulses at the ground, a digital 3D map of the topology beneath the jungle canopy was created which analysts believe feature man-made elevations that might be evidence of a plaza and several pyramids.

Over the course of a week, the NCALM and University of Houston engineers flew over 60 square miles of forest and at the end of each day, their findings were sent to Bill Carter, a University of Houston engineer who works with the NCLAM who was the first to discover these apparent ruins.

 

 

June 11th:  A man in China has been arrested after driving some 200 metres with a Traffic officer clinging to the bonnet of his car.  At a toll booth in East China’s Xuancheng city, the driver in question was pulled over by the officer for having no license plates on his car, it was later determined that he didn’t have a driver’s license and that this was the reason he had removed his plates and placed them in the boot as he believed this would somehow reduce the likelihood of being caught.

In the CCTV footage of the incident, the officer stands in front of the car and gesticulates for the driver to stop when he inches forward a little, the driver appears to relent a little before inching forward again at which point the officer places his foot on the bonnet and again gestures for the driver to stay put.  Instead the driver accelerates forward and the Officer is caught on the bonnet instead of being pushed out of the way or run over.

Even after the officer fell from his place on the car, the driver continued to drive off and attempt escape, only getting caught when a passing SUV driver managed to block his passage so that police could arrest him.  Commenters on the story jokingly speculate “Hopefully his defence isn’t ‘I didn’t see him.’”

 

 

The perhaps inappropriately named ‘Baltic Sea UFO’ is still shrouded in uncertainty as a team of divers and scientists, lead by Peter Lindberg, investigates.  The image of the odd looking structure has been drifting around the internet for some time, mostly because many have noticed its’ remarkable resemblance to the iconic Millenium Falcon of Star Wars fame.

The team involved in the investigation is currently still posting updates on their website, the most recent information appears to have come in on Thursday, stating that, “The divers are now down and investigating the circle and reports from the ship say they are really amazed. There is definitely something unusual hiding at the seabed.”

 

 

These vague posts have given rise to a great deal of excitement and speculation and on Sunday the co-discoverer of the object, Dennis Asberg, had this to say about what’s been discovered so far, “Everything is top secret now because of the risks, hope you all understand this is no game. But the truth will be reported shortly.”

Whatever the object turns out to be, these rather cryptic and unspecific updates are certainly working to circulate and promote discussion of the story!

Update :  A Swedish news TV channel has released this on the ongoing investigation.  Stefan Hogeborn, one of the divers at Ocean X Team, added that, “During my 20-year diving career, including 6000 dives, I have never seen anything like this… I went down there to answer questions, but I came up with even more questions.”

June 13th:  Students on an engineering course at Utah State University have created a device that allows users to literally climb walls with the greatest of ease.  As part of a national competition sponsored by the Air Force, the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC) has performed so well that the military is investing $100,000 towards further development of the contraption.

It consists of a vacuum motor and two suction paddles that strap to the hands of the user, allowing them to cling to any building surface, even glass.  Depending on the altitude of the surface being climbed, it’s powerful enough to support up to 700 pounds.  The team of students, named ‘The Aggies’, competed against other teams from 16 participating schools to see who could get four soldiers up a 90-foot face in 20 minutes with a device weighing less than 20 pounds.

Despite the innovative design, they believe it still needs some work, especially for its’ purpose.  It’s apparently very loud and the team hopes to make it lighter and more efficient as well.

 

 

June 14th:  Michael Jamison and his girlfriend Jackie Smit in Brakpan, South Africa have a risky and controversial pet.  Enzo is a one year old Bengal tiger who shares their home along with 14 dogs.

Enzo apparently has a tendency to destroy furniture and engage in a bit of rough-and-tumble with Jamison that he admits ‘can get a little out of hand’.  They say he is very much ‘part of the family’ and is often bottle fed milk alongside his diet of meat as well as being allowed to sleep on the couples bed.  Jamison points out that “That’s one thing I’ve made peace with: every time I play with him I’m prepared to bleed a little bit.”

The couples’ very public relationship with the big cat has upset several observers, many of whom believe that it impossible to truly own such an animal, that it is unfair and cruel to keep one in such an environment and perhaps most disquietingly that while Enzo is just about small enough to handle at his current age, it may ‘all end in tears’ as he gets bigger.

While such creatures are beautiful and can be very affectionate to their apparent owners, they are also known for being unpredictable and can even kill by accident.

June 25th : Beyonce’s Daughter Blue Ivy has been named an honorary citizen of the Croatian town of Hvar, following reports she was named after local tree.

The National Trust launches Red Light App – The “Soho Stories” uses GPS technology to guide visitors through the red light district as they hear colourful stories of sex, violence and wild partying.

The organisation charged with protecting Britain’s historic sites, houses and gardens, has created the “no-holes-barred” audio guide in a bid to shed its conservative image and attract younger members.

Officials said on Monday that the stories involving “famous and not so famous Bohemians” provide extraordinary detail on the capital’s “long love affair with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”.

For the first time in the Trust’s 117-year history, the “X-rated” tours come complete with warnings about bad language and “references to sex and violence

June 26th : When computer scientists at Google’s mysterious X lab built a neural network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections and let it browse YouTube, it did what many web users might do — it began to look for cats.

The “brain” simulation was exposed to 10 million randomly selected YouTube video thumbnails over the course of three days and, after being presented with a list of 20,000 different items, it began to recognise pictures of cats using a “deep learning” algorithm. This was despite being fed no information on distinguishing features that might help identify one.

All Zipped-Up –  A student with a phobia of buttons is having counselling after years of wearing clothing with only zips.

Hannah Matthews, 21, panics when faced with the fastenings and runs away if they are near her. Her condition, koumpounophobia, first struck when she was five and refused to put on her school blouse. Hannah said: “I know it’s irrational and I obviously know a button can’t hurt me but there’s just something about the shape and the texture that freaks me out.”

Jimmy Carr –  Jimmy Carr’s popularity may be at an all-time low after his tax avoidance was revealed, but one eBay seller remains convinced they can find a buyer for a giant 13ft model of the comedian’s head

ASTROLOGY : Some Thoughts

The ancient Chaldeans and Assyrians engaged in astrological divination some 3,000 years ago. In India, astrology has been practiced for at least two millennia.

By 450 BCE the Babylonians had developed the 12-sign zodiac, but it was the Greeks–from the time of Alexander the Great to their conquest by the Romans–who provided most of the fundamental elements of modern Western astrology.

In order to explore Astrology we need to look at some of the basic ideas …

1) There is the MAGICAL thinking of As Above So Below

2) There is the suggestion, following from (1) that the planets effect us in some way AND that we effect the planets in some way

3) Astrologers study ‘patterns’ of stars (constellations) and ‘angles’ the planets make as they pass through them

4) A birth chart is based upon the Date, Time and Place of Birth  – hence treating the individual as the centre of  the Solar System

 

A traditional view upheld by astrologers, especially in India, is that each planet is literally the body and expression of a spiritual being or entity (deva; asura; god; goddess; guide). These spiritual beings are expressions of the life-force, planetary avatars whose job it is to affect and guide the destinies of life-forms on this planet.

Some astrologers believe that planetary energies themselves generate events in our lives.

And at this point what I’ve previously noted should be a logical fallacy, the argument from quantum absurdity, is brought into play.

This comment might help in this regard ..

…. the use of Quantum Physics to justify the mechanism of astrology. I would suggest reading John Gribbin’s excellent book “In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat” or listen to the SGU’s {Skeptics Guide to the Universe} interview with Michio Kaku who categorically states that Quantum strangeness does not explain supernatural mechanisms. The difference between Quantum Physics and Astrology is that Quantum Physics is demonstrable and Astrology has so far not been …

More about Quantum Quarrells…

NON-LOCALITY AND THE EPR EXPERIMENT

The name, the EPR experiment, comes from the first letters of its authors, Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen (1935). It is a thought experiment contrived by the imagination of Einstein. It suggests certain events are connected, even though they do not physically interact and are some distance apart.

A simplified version of the experiment, modified after Bohm’s suggestions, is as follows. A particle enters the experimental device. It has the properties that it is not spinning and can be split in half. It is split with each half heading off in opposite directions. One half is spinning one way and the other half has the opposite spin. The total spin must be zero by the conservation of spin at the point at which the parent split – the parent particle had zero spin, and the equal but opposite spins of the two halves cancel each other out. When the two halves are some distance apart, one has its spin changed. The question concerns what happens to the spin of the other half. It would instantaneously change so the conservation of spin holds. What tells it that the other half particle has changed its spin?

The EPR experiment suggests a connection between the particles which travels faster than light. It is instantaneous. This conflicts with Einstein’s relativity theory in which nothing can travel at such speeds. Einstein’s original intention in pointing to this problem was to bring out a difficulty with quantum theory. Einstein was wrong to insist that the experiment requires a superluminal connection.

The experiment is an example of a nonlocal effect. This means that something influences something else which is not within its immediate area. Neither is there a normal connection between the two things, such as a physical force, which could cause the influence. Nonlocality contrasts with the common-sense idea of locality. This says that what happens in one place has nothing to do with what happens at the same moment at some distant place.

It is clear why my student finds this idea so attractive as a support for the coincidences or synchronicities she sees all around her. Physics says there are connections, mysterious inexplicable connections, between otherwise disparate events.

Physics does not support my student’s hopes. She may want to see nonlocality in all situations. She may want to think of everything connected to everything else regardless of their separations in time and space. However, the connections between things at the quantum level at the moment appear to occur only in limited circumstances. An example is for simple systems over relatively short distances. It can also appear in complex systems and over somewhat longer distances with the temperature near absolute zero. Whether it exists in other situations is a matter for experiment and physical theory.

To go beyond the above physics is metaphysics. 

Experimentally and theoretically, physics supports the idea of nonlocality in certain conditions. Metaphysicians, including Bohm, have extended the boundaries of the idea of nonlocality to include the whole universe. The two uses of nonlocality are different. Further, the metaphysical use, an all-encompassing holism of interconnectedness, is not supported by its use in physics. The justification for a metaphysics is a matter which in this case is not the same as the warrant for the physical theory of nonlocality.

The information a model or metaphor such as nonlocality carries must be taken from its context. A scientific model carries scientific information, even though there be insight for religion there as well. If the latter is developed, then the model leaves its scientific context and enters another.

 

Astrology

Astrology is a much debated belief system with many branches and interpretations.

The basic idea behind astrology holds that there is a correlation between a persons’ birth date (NOT their conception date) and the alignment and position of the planets.  The positions and alignments in question are said to influence a person’s temperament and possible events in their future.

The theories have undergone a waxing and a waning in popularity throughout the ages and are by no means new ideas, having once been an accepted scholarly subject before dwindling in popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw something of a revival in concurrence with the rise of general New Age philosophies.

The word ‘astrology’ itself comes from Latin and the Latin from Greek.

The Latin ‘astrologia’ from the Greek ‘ἀστρολογία’ roughly translates as ‘account of the stars’.

Astrology depends on a principle of some degree of unity between the human individual and the world around them, though not on a level which might be measured.

It emphasizes the individual as a microcosm and the universe as a macrocosm, an idea illustrated by Robert Fludd’s 16th century woodcut of ‘Vitruvian man’.

 

It is also founded on the principle that “mathematical relationships express qualities or ‘tones’ of energy which manifest in numbers, visual angles, shapes and sounds – all connected within a pattern of proportion.”

There are many forms of astrology, the main branches of which are as follows.

Mundane astrology focuses on worldwide affairs as opposed to the individual, making predictions on global affairs such as warfare.

An offshoot of mundane astrology that has gained popularity in recent years is financial astrology, using similar methods to predict economic trends.

Interrogatory astrology also focuses on the individual, analyzing objectives or events within the subject’s life.  It can be broken down into further subcategories, such as:

Horary Astrology, whereby questions are asked that require an outcome answer, such as ‘where did I leave something?’ or ‘will I do this?’  It relies on the principle that upon asking a question the asker is connected to the universe, therefore, by looking at the chart corresponding to the time that the question is asked we can find the essence of the answer.

Electional astrology does not differ greatly from the aforementioned Horary astrology, however, instead of asking what the outcome of an event might be, instead the intention is to predict a favourable time in the future within which to plan an event.

Both of these end in event interpretation, whereby you can review the chart after the event that you asked about took place and see how the two correlate.  Supposedly the chart can often tell you the cause of the event.

Natal astrology is the form that is most well known amongst the public, being the form that makes assumptions based on the birth date of the individual.

A natal horoscope will depict a map of the universe at the time of birth for the individual in question; they will be at its centre with the important celestial bodies surrounding them.  This map is meant to be unique to the individual.

Therefore, with this map in mind, arises the horoscope.

Current natal astrology is said to have arisen from astrologer Alan Leo who was arrested several times for fortune telling and so changed the title of the astrology lessons he was conducting, claiming them to be a form of psychoanalysis instead.  Unfortunately it failed to convince the courts of the time and he went to jail anyway.

An individuals’ sign is determined by which zodiacal constellation the sun was in when they were born.

The sun appears to move across the ‘Celestial sphere’ on the ‘Ecliptic path’ as it is known.

The Celestial Sphere refers to the stars and planets visible from Earth viewed as though part of a giant sphere that encompasses our planet.

The Ecliptic Path simply refers to the path of the sun across said sphere.  The sun moves a degree along this path every day and is counteracted from the earth’s axis of rotation by 23.5 degrees, (Resulting in the seasonal sunlight variation).

Depending on the time of year (And the astrological system used), the sun will have a specific sign as its backdrop.  Thusly, if you are, say, a Pisces, this simply means that the sun was ‘in’ the constellation Pisces when you were born.

Some astrologers divide the ecliptic path into 12 regions and consign the zodiac names to each segment, though the divisions don’t necessarily line up quite right with the appropriate constellation.  This is ‘sidereal zodiac’.

Other astrologers use a method whereby the position of the signs is linked to the changing seasons.  This is ‘tropical zodiac’.

However, because the Earth teeters a little on its axis as it rotates, these two methods no longer line up.  Though they did 2000 years ago, the constellations have since shifted.

In any case, the twelve signs of the zodiac are as follows:

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

They are additionally grouped by element, that is, earth, air, fire and water as well as being either cardinal, fixed, or mutable, and masculine or feminine.

The cardinal, fixed or mutable aspects of the sign refer to ‘movement, resistance to change and ability to change freely.’

The masculine of feminine nature of the signs do not literally translate as being related to gender and instead associate more clearly with the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang.

The earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn and are meant to generally symbolize practicality and materialism.

The air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius and are meant to be signs of ‘the intellect’.

The fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius and symbolize affirmative action and good leadership.

Finally the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces and are known to embody softer sensibilities, renowned for sensitivity and compassion.

Aries – March 21st – April 20th: Cardinal. Masculine.  Proud and impulsive, brave, competitive, arrogant and even violent.

Taurus – April 21st – May 21st: Fixed. Feminine.  Conservative, loyal, stubborn, materialistic, resistant to change, possessive and sensual.

Gemini – May 22nd – June 21st: Mutable. Masculine. Persuasive, concerned with information, highly literate, curious, adaptable, absent-minded, and often loves to travel.

Cancer – June 22nd – July 22nd: Cardinal. Feminine. Cautious, family-oriented, romantic, domestic, imaginative, shy, thorough and interested in the past and tradition.

Leo – July 23rd -August 21st: Fixed. Masculine. Proud, courageous, stubborn, extroverted, vain, ambitious, optimistic, open, and associated with royalty.

Virgo – August 22nd – September 23rd: Mutable. Feminine. Conservative, shy, prudish, kindly, uptight, skeptical, concerned with health, often introverted and melancholy.

Libra – September 24th – October 23rd: Cardinal. Masculine. Extroverted, analytical, unbiased, secretive, tactful, concerned with harmony but prone to collapse in the face of conflict.

Scorpio -October 24th – November 22nd: Fixed. Feminine. Vengeful, sarcastic, courageous, tenacious, protective of itself, known for survival in the face of disaster.

Sagittarius – November 23rd – December 22nd: Mutable. Masculine. Daring, proud, impatient, dual-natured (refined and intellectual as well as bestial and passionate), extroverted, looking to the horizon, progressive, eclectic.

Capricorn – December 23rd – January 20th: Cardinal. Feminine. Neurotic, introspective, inhibited, conservative, fatalistic, methodical, practical, concerned with detail, a good planner.

Aquarius – January 21st – February 19th: Fixed. Masculine. Intellectual, connected to civilization, rational, individualistic, iconoclastic, concerned with science, tolerant.

Pisces – February 20th – March 20th: Mutable. Feminine. Emotional, self-sacrificing, adaptable, empathic, religious, versatile, talkative, often takes on the behaviors of others, creative, impractical.

Taking the model a step further, natal astrology can use what is known about planet movements to guess where a certain planet will be at any point in the future.

Each of the planets supposedly exerts some degree of its’ influence on the individual as well, depending on which sign they are in.

All these ‘influences’  lack any real scientific explanation or credit and astrology’s dependence on metaphysical explanations as well as well-versed astrologers’ being unaware of why a birth chart should match its’ owner has resulted in the practice falling under much criticism from the scientific community.

Some astrologers have taken advantage of the theories of quantum mechanics to try and explain how these influences might behave, but they still prove difficult to test.

Some have also considered the possibility of it being down to a well-known theory such as electro-magnetism, but this is also considered implausible since the magnetic field of an albeit enormous cosmic body is still miniscule compared to the magnetic field produced by most household appliances on earth.

Therefore, scientists generally consider astrology to be a pseudoscience, given that it is not testable, it has not altered its principles even in accordance with contradictory evidence and thusly simply ignores what data there is against it.

It is felt that ‘it works because it works’ explanation is simply not adequate if astrology were to be considered a solid scientific postulation.

There are arguments that there is far more to the theories and principles of astrology than just whether it is scientifically true or false.

Jung took astrology into his theories, believing that many of the themes present in astrology played into his notions of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

“Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.

As a tool to make a person feel safe and that they are making the right decisions, astrology could be considered useful; it fills a need to feel connected to the world around you as well as presenting you with a profile which can ensure that you fit in as X type of person whilst retaining the degree of uniqueness that everyone strives for.

It also makes you feel that you are ‘cosmically significant’ in some way, that you are an important part of something altogether larger than yourself – it can give life meaning, which is surely a basic human need?

It is also argued that astrology could be considered a form of art, a field which may perhaps suit it better.

Thanks to Catherine for this  ….

Thoughts about the Astrological Forces

One of the basic ideas in Astrology is that the ‘planets’ have some influence on people – there is some kind of cosmic force..

The Astronomer Phil Plait has commented about what kind of forces might be possible …

Our choices are limited. Planets are big balls of ice, rock, metal, and other stuff. Their ability to affect us is weak because they are pretty far away. As far as we can tell in science, there are only four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and two forces called the strong and weak force. Those last two only work (more or less) on the nuclei of atoms and subatomic particles. It’s hard to see how they could affect us on a macroscopic scale (the strong force weakens so rapidly with distance that it’s essentially gone by the time you’re a few billionths of a meter from the source!).

So what about GRAVITY ? I often hear people comment that the moon effects the tides and we are, after all mostly water …. ummm

We know quite a bit about how gravity works on large scales, scales like that of the solar system.

Basically, the gravity of an object depends on two things: how much mass it has, and how far away it is. The more massive an object, the stronger its gravity. The closer it is, the more its gravity affects you…

…..  the gravity from the planets in our solar system is a tiny fraction of the Moon’s. So if gravity were the force behind astrology, then the Moon would dominate all the planets combined. Yet it doesn’t in any astrologer’s horoscope.

So what about electromagnetism?

Electromagnetism (or just EM) depends on electric charge and distance. The problem here is that most large objects don’t have an electric charge!  Electric charges come from charged particles like electrons and protons. But opposite charges attract each other so well that it’s very rare to find one without the other nearby, which means that a planet is electrically neutral overall.

Some planets do have magnetic fields. But these fields are only strong near their home planet. Jupiter’s field is immense, but Jupiter is so far away it has no real effect on us. Furthermore, the Sun is far and away the largest EM source in the solar system.

 If gravity were the driving force of astrology, the Moon would dominate, but it doesn’t.

If EM were the driving force, the Sun would dominate, but it doesn’t.

 OK – using the oft quoted, well science doesn’t know everything ploy we could postulate an as yet, unknown force…

If this is the case then we’d have to accept that ‘science’ cannot measure it – so how can it have physical effects?

If it exists and we cannot measure it (yet) then it must be something which astrologers themselves can either measure or have techniques for identifying. So we would therefore expect some kind of ‘internal consistency’ within the ‘readings’ offered by astrologers… after all science, despite its limitations (tongue in  cheek here), strives for that internal consistency.

BUT the fact is that, as Phil Plait points out,

 If it exists, it must be measurable, and for astrologers to be able to use it to cast horoscopes, their claims must be consistent. After all, if a force cannot be measured, it cannot have an effect on us, and if astrologers say such a force exists, then all their claims must be based on that force, and should be consistent with each other.

Surprise! Astrologers’ claims are not consistent. They’re not even internally consistent.

Here’s an interesting point..

Geoffrey Cornelius (1994), a teacher and practitioner of divinatory astrology, suggests that astrological ‘connections’ are less a gift of nature and more a product of the astrologer’s mind; that is, of consciousness. In this ‘all in the mind’ view of astrology there is nothing actually ‘out there’ that involves planets. Instead what matters is the mental state of the astrologer. The technique used for reading the chart is then merely a ritual that leads to the right mental state. Just as astrologers differ, so will techniques, but all techniques will necessarily work no matter how much they may seem to disagree.

Charles Harvey (1994) points out that such a view has the advantage of elevating the internal confusions of astrology above criticism, and the disadvantage of denying any way for astrology to be improved over, say, tea-leaf reading, or to have been discovered in the first place. He argues that there can be a psi component to astrology.

Geoffrey Dean concluded in his research paper :-

Many tests of astrologers have been made since the 1950s but only recently has a coherent review been possible. A large-scale test of persons born less than five minutes apart found no hint of the similarities predicted by astrology. Meta-analysis of more than forty controlled studies suggests that astrologers are unable to perform significantly better than chance even on the more basic tasks such as predicting extraversion [sociability]. More specifically, astrologers who claim to use psychic ability perform no better than those who do not.

(see the link below to imprint.co.uk for references and main article)

The Forer Effect

The Forer effect refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people.

Psychologist Bertram R. Forer (1914-2000) found that people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone…

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself.While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

Confirmation Bias is the psychological principle which allows us to be selective when it comes to what we actually process from the information being offered.

So here’s another set of thoughts ..

The idea that stars express Divine Will goes back some 2,300 years to the Babylonians. They could see with the naked eye seven objects (that they called stars) that moved through the sky – the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They believed that the gods lived in these “stars”, and controlled the destinies of individuals and nations. They thought the gods controlled us either directly by meddling in our affairs, or indirectly, by the intricate relationships of these stars with each other.

To describe the positions of these stars more easily, the Babylonians divided the sky into 12 slices (they had a numbering system based on 12, not 10 as we have). Today, we call these 12 slices the 12 Houses of the Zodiac – eg, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius. The Babylonian astronomers/astrologers closely observed the sky, decade after decade. They noticed that these seven stars seemed to move through the Houses of the Zodiac in totally repeatable ways – coming back to the same location in the same house at the same time, year after year.

But this is where the big problem is.

The constellations shift by about 1o every 72 years, thanks to the drifting of the Earth’s spin. The Earth spins around an imaginary spin axis that runs through the North and South Geographic Poles. But it doesn’t spin true. If you have ever spun a top, you’ll see that this spin axis soon begins to wobble. The spin axis will slowly sweep out a complete circle.

The same thing happens with the spin axis of the Earth – except that it takes about 26,000 years to sweep out a complete circle. So roughly every 2,000-and-a-bit years (26,000 years divided by 12 Houses), the star signs get shifted by one House. The horoscopes you read in the daily newspapers (and that are often written by the most junior journalist on that shift) are wrong by one House. You should be reading the star sign before.

But this is not a new discovery. Back in 129 BC, Hipparchus was the first to find this shifting-of-the-stars when he compared the astronomical records with what he saw with his eyes.

Dr Karl – Great Moments  in Science

 

Some interesting references :

http://www.bobmarksastrologer.com/skeptics.htm

http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/astrology.html

http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf

http://www.astrology-and-science.com/a-conc2.htm

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref-news/1651-skeptic-history-astronomy-vs-astrology.html

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/12/16/1266452.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience

http://www.astrologycom.com/astrol3.html

http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-119-28-jan-2011

http://cura.free.fr/quinq/02negre2.html

http://www.ksharpe.com/Word/BM04.htm

 

MUSIC on TONIGHTS SHOW – from Aardvark Records

The IS –  You Can Only Be

The Truths – Miracle Drug and Hit The Streets