Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/sworld/public_html/swn-content/mu-plugins/domain-mapping.php on line 511 and defined in /home/sworld/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 990
Shows | The Real Twilight Zone

Archive for category Shows

TRTZ no 60 Astrology and All That Stuff …

 

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

 

 

Tags: , , ,

TRTZ no 58 22nd April The Arthurian Myth

 

 

 

The familiar story of King Arthur – but what is the historical basis for this romantic character?

 

Well tonight we will be looking at the Arthurian Myth – exploring some of the origins of the Arthur story before a medieval French romantic got hold of the story…

 

 

 

But first some news…

 

From the UK

 

May 15th:  Victoria Shaw, was rescued by her Yorkshire Terrier Louis, when she suffered a nasty fall in her bathroom and he managed to press the ‘Call for Assistance’ button.  “I had been in the shower and I was just coming out when my slipper got caught under the rug and I tripped,” Shaw explains, “I hit my back and my shoulder and felt my leg going underneath me and heard a crack – I thought I’d broken my knee, but I hadn’t. I can’t remember hitting my head but I came round with my leg twisted under me and I could hear a voice.”

 

She suffers from glaucoma and arthritis and thusly is registered with Wrexham Council’s Telecare service and has emergency panic-buttons in her home if she encounters a major problem.  She had been training Louis to press an emergency button on the floor ‘just in case’ and while up to that point it had only been a game to the little nine-year-old dog, it turned out to be a worthwhile exercise.

 

An ambulance was called to get Shaw back on her feet and she suffered a headache, dizziness, and trouble bending her leg, but apart from this she is quite well and on the road to recovery.

 

Three years ago, a six-foot-long nurse shark known as Florence made headlines by becoming the first of her kind to undergo surgery out of the water, a risky procedure necessary to remove a rusty fish hook that had become lodged in her gut.  She made a full recovery and is on exhibit at the Birmingham National Sea Life Center, but she has recently made headlines again after it was noted her dietry preferences went awry, for a shark, anyway.

 

Nurse sharks are known for occasionally grazing on algae as well as their usual carnivorous eating habits, but Florence has gone all the way and now only eats heads of lettuce, abandoning her natural diet completely.

 

Wildlife specialists have to sneak fish into her diet somehow, by hiding it in the vegetables she apparently craves, as while she would rather chow down on a celery stick, fish is nutritionally vital to a shark.

 

 International

 

May 16th:  Orange County Fire Authority have reported a very unusual injury suffered by a woman from Orange county who’d just returned from an outing to Trestles Beach.

 

She had been home for about an hour when the pocket of her cargo shorts inexplicably caught fire.

 

While at the beach, she had picked up a couple of aesthetically appealing rocks – orange and green in colour – that are believed to have been contaminated with naturally occurring phosphorus and that could have ignited as they rubbed together in her pocket.

 

The rocks continued to smoulder after they were removed from the woman’s shorts and filled the house with smoke.

 

Paramedics treated her for severe second and third degree burns on her right leg and arm as well as her husband, who helped her remove the shorts as they were burning and also received second degree burns on his arm.

 

The rocks were still producing smoke when they were presented to doctors at the hospital, none of whom have ever seen a case quite like this.  The rocks have been taken to Orange County Public Heath for further testing to investigate exactly what happened and whether the phosphorus theory is possible.

 

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project, explained recently that the idea of the 887 heads at Rapa Nui being heads alone is actually an incorrect assumption.

 

Tilberg states that, “Those statues which are the most photographed are standing in the quarry. They’re buried up to mid-torso level. So it’s understandable that the general public didn’t have a clue that those statues had bodies.”

 

Years of exposure the elements has built up the ground around the statues, burying them until they appeared only as heads despite being more than 30 feet high in some cases.

 

 

The digs at Rapa Nui have also revealed that the statues may have been painted, and that later sculptures were different to earlier ones, reflecting changing culture and allowing for more individual expression.

 

Tilberg also reminds us that while 887 statues have been inventoried, the number is actually closer to 1000.

 

Arthurian Legend

 

King Arthur has been the centre of many a myth and legend, especially in Cornwall where several sites claim to be somehow part of some tale or another.  As for an actual historical figure, there are many possible names that fit the bill, and historians point out that it is almost impossible to exactly pinpoint any one man as being the Arthur of legend himself.

 

Arthur is viewed as the triumphant fifth-century character that led the Britons into battle against Saxon invaders who evolved into the King of a wonderful new age, accompanied by his virtuous Knights of the Round Table and a wizened practitioner of magic, Merlin.

 

Of course much of this is just a great story, indeed, the one source that was written in the correct period puts forward somebody else as the celebrated leader of the Britons (‘The Ruin and Conquest of Britain’ by the British monk and historian Gildas, c.500-70)

 

It seems to be that Geoffrey of Monmouth was to blame for pushing this one man to fame as the protagonist in stories of triumphs against the Saxons.

 

Geoffrey claimed that his work ‘the History of the Kings of Britain’ was written after he had the good fortune to study a lost Celtic manuscript, one that only he was able to examine and which has certainly not been heard of or rediscovered since.

 

Geoffrey also used sources such as the aforementioned Gildas, along with the Annales Cambriae and the writings of a ninth-century Welsh monk, Ninnius.

 

His book includes the entirety of Arthur’s life, from his birth at Tintagel to his death at Avalon and places him as living from the late fifth century to 542.

 

It also includes account s of how Arthur goes on to invade France, defeat Roman armies and almost defeat the last of the Roman Empire.

 

It was also around this time that the yet more romantic stories of Arthur began to circulate the Northern French courts.

 

Chrétien de Troyes, who worked for Eleanor of Aquitaine’s daughter, Marie de Champagne, spoke of the quest for the Holy Grail.

 

The story expressed a concept that resonated with the masses and has since been a shining example of a good ‘quest’ story, thus this particular tale became ingrained into the rest of the myths and legends whispered about King Arthur.

 

Even one of the first books to be printed in England was about Arthur, being Thomas Malory’s ‘the Death of Arthur’ in 1486.

 

Henry VII´s eldest son was baptised as Prince Arthur with this in mind though in the end he didn’t live to become king anyway.

 

Henry VIII, his younger brother, strived to become a figure such as King Arthur though, at one point ordering the Winchester Round Table of Edward III to be repainted with himself as the main feature.

 

The legends of King Arthur underwent a revival in the Victorian ages.  Many believe that this was because the legends represented both an excellent icon of morality and an opportunity for escapism to a more mystical, less corrupt realm.

 

About all we can say about the real Arthur, if he even existed, is that he was probably a good fighter who fought against the Saxons, but we can’t really say where as he is linked to Cornwall, southern Scotland, the Midlands, the north and the south of England and many parts of Wales.

 

According to the writings of aforementioned Nennius, Arthur was ‘one of the last native British leaders to make a successful stand against the Anglo-Saxons who invaded the country from their homeland in Denmark and northern Germany in the fifth and sixth centuries AD.’

 

Nennius also mentions Arthur’s inclusion in the battle of Badon and this is one of the few sources that can be correctly dated from a separate historical source, being Gildas again.

 

Gildas additionally spoke of the same battle within living memory of it and states that it occurred around AD 500.

 

Other points mentioned by Nennius also clash with our picture of Arthur.

 

For example, most of the stories talk about Arthur as the one true king, but Nennius speaks of a man who leads an alliance of many kings.

 

However, it is thought by many scholars that Nennius may have drawn on Welsh folklore in his writings.

 

He may have fought at the Battle of Camlann, the earliest reference to his participation being is the entry in the 10th-century ‘Annales Cambriae’ which date the battle to the year 537.

 

Historical detective and a modern-day adventurer Graham Philips has written extensively on the subject (As well as many other historical mysteries) of the historical Arthur.

 

Philips points out that if Arthur existed, we might presume that he’d have ruled from the country’s mightiest stronghold.

 

At the time in question (500AD) Britain had fragmented into a number of smaller kingdoms and the largest of these was apparently Powys (Now a county, Wales).

 

In the late fifth and early sixth centuries Powys was much larger than it is today, including much of the Midlands and of Central Wales.

 

Its capital was Viroconium, which still exists, if only as a ruin, just outside Wroxeter near Shrewsbury.

 

Harleian MS 3859, a tenth-century manuscript listing family trees of Dark Age chieftains, lists Owain Ddantgwyn (Owain White Tooth) son of Enniaun Girt, as a king of Powys in the late fifth century.

 

It’s important to note at this point that it’s entirely possible that ‘Arthur’ wasn’t his actual name but a title bestowed on him.

 

Many Dark Age Kings were given battle titles that were meant to summarise their fighting style or something similar.

 

Many of these battle-names where inherited, specifically from chieftain/father to the eldest son and the reason there is a dragon on the Welsh flag is in reference to the succession of Welsh kings who had the battle name of ‘the Dragon’ during the later Dark Ages.

 

Even today the Welsh word ‘Arth’ means the same: ‘Bear’ and many linguists believe that this could be where ‘Arthur’ came from.

 

Gildas at one point refers to Cuneglasse, Owain Ddantgwyn’s son, as the Bear.  Therefore, Philips theorises that it’s possible Owain Ddantgwyn was also known as the Bear even though he is not specified as such.

 

Owain’s descendants later became the earls of the Warwickshire and continue to have the bear on their heraldic crest.

 

Philips also points out that Arthur’s father was called Uther Pendragon in the legends and that in the Brythonic British language this roughly translates as ‘the terrible head dragon’.

 

Owain’s father was called ‘the Dragon’, though, again, many Welsh Kings had this name.

 

Philips also believes that it’s possible that even the ‘Sword in the Stone’ Legend has its origins in something that actually happened.

 

Scholars of the fifth century wrote about the practices undertaken by British warriors to resolve leadership disputes.

 

They spoke of single-combat, a duel situation, during which the victor would draw a ‘sword of office’ from a stone altar, and from this it can easily be seen how a ‘sword in the stone’ legend might arise.

 

A stone circle in Shropshire called ‘Mitchell’s Fold’ claims to be the place where Arthur’s ‘sword in the stone’ story actually took place, including ‘Arthur’s stone’, a stone with a deep, weathered hole in it.

 

Though this is folklore, it ties in well with Philips’ theories.

 

Another piece of obvious myth that might well have roots in actual practice is the legend whereby Excalibur is thrown into the lake and the Lady of the Lake catches it before descending back into the water.

 

While the part about the Lady of the Lake is an embellishment, it was a genuine custom to throw a warrior’s cherished possessions into a lake as an offering to the Gods as part of their funeral rites.

 

There is much evidence of this practice, with many items having been preserved for hundreds of years by the mud and uncovered by archaeologists later.

 

While these are possibilities, it’s also possible that an Arthur of some nature dwelt at Tintagel, Cornwall.

 

Arthur’s legacy is still well-known today and is regularly referenced in modern film, TV, literature, gaming and other industries.  They are currently filming the fifth series of the BBC’s ‘Merlin’, suggesting that the stories as just as popular as they ever were!

 

 

 

 

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table...

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, surely is PD because of the age of the engraving - The Middle Ages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music from Aardvark Records

Callel – Gallus

Rasining Days – Craving

From Alan Jones Music

Gypsy Kiss – Switch UK

One More War – Switch UK

Fragrant Brew – Switch UK

Little Bird Girl – Shannon Farmer

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , ,

TRTZ no 57 Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943

Inventor, Writer, Engineer and Futurist

Starting with Some News

1st May:  Paul Harborne of Sedgeley, West midlands spent over £50, 000 restoring a car.

The result?  A fully functioning Ectomobile, complete with scrolling LED display saying ‘Ghostbusters – we’re back’.  Harborne has put a great deal of effort into every detail, hooking up an iPod in order to play the sirens and hoping to include outfits for the experience so that fans can hire the car and go out for their own busting adventures.

 

The 1959 Cadillac was an abandoned wreck before Harborne got hold of it, ‘It’s extremely rare and very hard to restore… It’s certainly been a challenge – 50-year-old Cadillacs are hard work!’ he said.  He’s also hopeful that there will be a third film in which case his car might get its own part, however, given Bill Murray’s rumoured disinterest in any script ideas put forward by Dan Aykroyd, it’s a question of ‘if’ rather than ‘when’ on that one.

 

International News

30th April:  Theerasak Saksritawee was taking a careful snapshot of a jumping spider as it lounged on a leaf at the Baan Suan Rojana resort in the eastern district of Muak Lek, when the unsuspecting spider was photobombed by a praying Mantis.

He stated that “One moment it was all clear – then this thing appears in front of me.”

 

5th May:  ‘Dominic Deville’ of Lucerne, Switzerland, is providing an unusual service for birthday boys and girls, for a fee, he will don his best evil clown outfit and stalk your children until their big day when he will approach them upfront and throw a pie in their faces.  The service includes text messages, phone calls and letters warning the child of their impending pie-related doom.

Sound a little much?  Dominic ensures worriers that ‘It’s all in fun, and if at any point the kids get scared or their parents are concerned, we stop right there,’ plus most of the children he has stalked ‘absolutely love being scared senseless’ by his appearance.

Deville came up with the service after his favourite horror franchises inspired him and his clown mask could certainly be likened to Stephen King’s ‘It’.

Perhaps to mark 2012’s Star Wars Day, company ‘Wicked Lasers’ have released their ‘LaserSaber’, claiming to be the most realistic Lightsabre replica ever made and which you can purchase for $400.  It features the brightest laser that it’s possible to own (Legally!) though sadly this means that it’s technically ‘not a toy’ as a laser this intense must be handled with care as it is quite dangerous.  Try telling that to a true Star Wars fan.

Watch the video of the gorgeous bit of tech in action…

 

8th May:  Albuquerque, New Mexico is the proposed site for a ‘scientific ghost town’.  It will act as a sort of testing ground for a wide variety of automated technology, but will house no human residents.

It will be modeled after Rock Hill in South Carolina and will go as far as having functioning plumbing and household appliances, despite the fact nobody will be there to use them.

While the project may cost up to a billion pounds, it will also create 350 permanent jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs in the process of its design, development, construction and ongoing operation.  The project will mean that researches will be able to test new technology without disturbing everyday life, while ensuring a realistic setting.

10th May:  The Mayan Calendar has been ever in the public consciousness this year as some believe it predicts the end of the world, but archaeologists in Guatemala have just reported an amazing discovery that could change that theory.

The discovery consists of a small building adorned with surprisingly well preserved paintings, one of a Mayan king and others of Mayan Calendars which extend far beyond 2012.

The calendar in question precedes the oldest Mayan Calendar so far discovered – being the one in the Dresden Codex – by several hundred years.  It consists of a table filled with huge numbers which relate to how long it takes Mars and Venus to cross the sky and return again.  This calendar spans 7,000 years.  The building itself has been known of since 1915, but it has only now been excavated professionally.

Cimolais, Italy now has a reluctant Mayor.  Fabio Borsatti stood in at the last minute because he was concerned that his good friend Gino Bertolo would not get enough votes if he stood unopposed.  His entire family voted for Bertolo and he had not imagined that he might win, but he received 58% of the vote and states that “I find myself a mayor who didn’t want to be a mayor.”  His ‘rival’ was not remotely bitter about the surprise win, saying “I wasn’t upset… Something apparently unusual happened but it is nothing to joke about.”  Borsatti has no plans to resign despite his unwanted election and plans to focus on promoting tourism to the area.

Thanks Catherine…

And from Fee we have …

A Nebraska man has changed his name to Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold. Why? Because it’s ‘cooler’ than his birth name.
Tyler Gold, 23, of York, Neb., appeared in district court. In his filing, he wrote he wanted the name change because it’s ‘cooler’ and more appealing than his birth name, the York News-Times reported.
“Also, as an entrepreneur, name recognition is important and the new name is more recognizable,” Gold told the Times. Judge Alan Gless asked Gold if he was avoiding debt collectors or law enforcement, but he told the judge no and that his request was innocent, the Christian Science Monitor reported. His request was approved, and Gold is now legally Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold

10 weird and unusual phobias

A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of a specific situation, object, person or activity. While we are generally familiar with common phobias such as acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), some phobias are less well known. Here are 10 of the most bizarre phobias.

Optophobia: Fear of opening one’s eyes

If ever an award was given for Most Inconvenient Phobia, it would have to go to optophobia – the fear of opening one’s eyes! Although the act of opening our eyes is something that few of us ever give thought to, for optophobics this simple, daily act can be a nightmare. Luckily, if you are reading this list, you most likely aren’t suffering from this condition!

Chorophobia: Fear of dancing

If nightclubs, weddings and small children in tutus fill you with an overwhelming sense of dread, you could be suffering from chorophobia – the fear of dancing. Regardless of dance ability and whether or not you are required to hit the dancefloor, any situation or event that relates to dancing can be a source of fear for chorophobics.

Geliophobia: Fear of laughter

Many studies suggest that laughter is great for our health; helping to build social bonds, improve mental health and look after the heart. However, for those suffering from geliophobia, the act of laughing, or being around those who laugh, can actually cause overwhelming fear and anxiety. Suggested reasons for geliophobia are anxiety about laughing in inappropriate situations or of being laughed at by others.

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

It may not be a debilitating or life-altering condition, yet no list of weird phobias would be complete without the inclusion of arachibutyrephobia – the inexplicable fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. While peanut butter is clearly not obligatory for a healthy and satisfactory life, arachibutyrophobics could miss out on the speculated health benefits of peanut butter, including its abilities to lower cholesterol and help ward off heart disease.

Heliphobia: Fear of sunlight

A rare but unfortunate condition, heliphobia refers to the fear of sunlight. Not only does going out in the sun instigate severe feelings of anxiety and panic in sufferers, but heliophobics may also experience fear of bright lights. Most often the fear or condition is associated with an anxiety about the perceived dangers of the sun; however, unless you happen to be a vampire, avoiding the sun entirely is likely to be an impossible and unnecessary task. It can also be dangerous for your wellbeing, as sunlight is good for regulating the mood and protecting bone health.

Deipnophobia: Fear of dinner conversations

While many people suffer from a general form of social anxiety, deipnophobia takes a rather more specific twist and is restricted to a fear of carrying on a conversation while eating. Although this can cause discomfort and awkwardness for dinner party guests, it seems that deipnophics could be on to something, as remaining silent while eating can actually help benefit digestion.

Neophobia: Fear of new things

While many people are wary of change, neophobia is a phobia that refers to an intense and irrational fear of all new things and experiences. Neophobia can impact on happiness and wellbeing as sufferers miss out on many life-enhancing experiences. When applied to the diet it can also mean that sufferers miss out on various healthy foods and nutrients. Research has also shown that the stress of neophobia can shorten life expectancy.

Syngenesphobia: Fear of relatives

Many of us experience embarrassment or irritation with our families at times. However, those with syngenesphobia suffer from an excessive fear of their relatives. Unless there is a specific, explicable reason for these fears, it is worth seeking help to alleviate this phobia and help you bond with relatives as research shows that forming strong family ties can help to increase life span.

Ablutophobia: Fear of washing and bathing

Although many children are resistant to being washed, this condition is much less common in adults. However, for a rare few the thought of stepping under a shower is quite literally terrifying! The good news for ablutophobics is that skipping the occasional shower can help to preserve natural oils and good bacteria that protect your skin and help to prevent disease. However, making it a regular habit is unlikely to benefit either your health or social life.

Geniophobia: Fear of chins

Geniophobia is an overwhelming fear of chins. Yes, that innocuous body part attached to the lower part of your face! Further phobias of seemingly innocent body parts include genuphobia (fear of knees), chirophobia (fear of hands) and ishicascadiggaphobia (fear of elbows). As these phobias can make normal social interaction extremely difficult, treatment through therapy is highly recommended.

The camera just can’t be trusted…

The image above is not real. It’s a computer generated digital sculpture of Korean Actress Song Hye Kyo.

The piece was created by CG artist Max Edwin Wahyudi using Pixelogic Zbrush and Autodesk 3DS Max for animation modeling.

It’s a pretty remarkable piece and extremely life like when compared with other digital photographs of live people.

 

 

A man in Hampshire has painted a picture of a Ferrari 250 GTO on the garage door of his home to fool passers-by he owns the classic car.

Chris Smart spent about two weeks transforming his garage in Bishopstoke by painting the cult, red sports car.

Mr Smart, 32, said: “We’ve had a few kids stop and stare as they walk past. Originally one of my neighbours wasn’t too keen, but now she loves it.”

A real version of the car sold for about £20m ($31m) in February.

 Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was perhaps one of the greatest inventors in history, largely overlooked and regularly stolen from, namely by Thomas Edison.

He was born on July 10th 1856 and died on January 7th 1943.

He was a genius, capable of speaking eight languages, possessing an eidetic memory and capable of picturing and designing complex devices without ever sketching a blueprint or taking a note.  He was also supposedly inspired to study electricity after he received an electric shock from his cat.

He was also notoriously eccentric and plagued by many neuroses, including an intense fear of dirt and germs, any round objects (He was specifically disgusted by pearl earrings) and he later developed an obsession with the number three.

Unfortunately, Obsessive-compulsive disorder was widely misunderstood at the time and he never received any nature of treatment.

He also often suffered from vivid hallucinations and struggled to differentiate between reality and these overwhelming ‘recurrent visual sensations, bright and geometric, which occasionally overwhelmed his sight, actually blotting out scenes in front of him.’

Additionally, towards the end of his life he grow very fond of the pigeons of Manhattan, taking care of sick and injured birds in his hotel room, including a bird he described as pure white with grey tipped wings that he claimed to ‘love as a man loves a woman, and she loved me’.

Well ahead of his time, he is directly responsible for:

  • First hydroelectric plant
  • The discovery of the resonant frequency of the earth.
  • The remote control
  • Neon Lighting
  • The electric motor.
  • Alternating current.
  • The Tesla Coil.
  • (Not the invention of, but certainly the research leading up to) X-Rays, he became aware of the damage done by them that was later identified by Rontgen.
  • The first radio transmitter.
  • Wardenclyffe Tower or the Tesla Tower, an early wireless telecommunications tower intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and the demonstration of the transmission of power without interconnecting wires.  It was apparently not financially viable however, and later in 1917 it was destroyed by the US government for fear of it being hijacked for use by the Germans.
  • Wireless energy transfer and the Tesla effect.
  • Radar.
  • Bladeless turbines.

Amongst many other significant discoveries.  He is best known for Alternating Current, a discovery that was fraught with heated resistance from Thomas Edison who went as far as to steal pet dogs and electrocute them to death to prove AC was unsafe to power cities; despite is obvious advantages over Edison’s favoured Direct Current.  He also killed a horse using the same method.

‘Topsy’ a rebellious circus elephant was also electrocuted to death to prove AC was unsafe and filmed using Edison’s motion capture camera.

The video of the act is available to see under the name ‘Edison electrocutes elephant’.  It was deemed too cruel to hang her instead.

Subsequently, Edison is responsible for the switch from hanging to electrocution in prisons.

Edison allegedly also prevented the use of radar in the First World War after Tesla pitched the idea to the Navy and Edison said it had ‘no practical application’.  Tesla came up with the idea in 1917, long before Robert Watson-Watt.

Marconi was credited with the invention of radio, but Tesla won the legal battle and Marconi’s patents were overturned, unfortunately posthumously for Tesla.

Tesla also allegedly came up with many theoretical inventions that are still debated about to this day, including a type of particle gun that he claimed would be able to shoot planes from the sky which he called a death ray (Although it was initially called a ‘peace ray’ instead), a steam powered, conveniently portable earthquake machine, a force field, a saucer or cigar shaped craft powered run electro mechanically, and many a theory relating to ball lightning.

Tesla’s electro-mechanical oscillator or earthquake machine was invented in 1898 and it was surprisingly small, weighing a couple of pounds and only seven inches in length.

At this time, Tesla’s lab was in Houston Street, New York and the story goes that his device shook the building violently, resulting in the arrival of the police and Tesla resorting to destroying it with a hammer.

It worked by applying five pounds of air pressure against a pneumatic piston of some nature using steam.  This would result in very high temperatures and enormous generated pressure.

The reason this story is regarded as something of a myth is that attempts to replicate the ‘earthquake’ have been unsuccessful, vibrations being generated that were felt from a great distance but certainly not an earthquake.

Tesla reputedly creative ‘electric fireballs’ in a laboratory setting, writing of his findings in the 1904 journal Electrical World and Engineer as follows: “I have succeeded in determining the mode of their formation and producing them artificially…

It became apparent that the fireballs resulted from the interaction of two frequencies…. This condition acts as a trigger which may cause the total energy of the powerful longer wave to be discharged in a infinitesimally small interval of time… and is released into surrounding space with inconceivable violence. It is but a step, from the learning how a high frequency current can explosively discharge a lower frequency current, to using the principle to design a system in which these explosions can be produced by intent.”

The fireballs became more commonly known as the ball lightning phenomena, despite the differences between his described creation and the experiences of eyewitnesses to ball lightning.

Evidence of Tesla’s fireballs has never come about either, and attempts to emulate ball lightning have proved unsuccessful as well.

Most experiments succeed only in creating brief ‘fireballs’ inconsistent with the ones Tesla described.

As for ball lightning, it’s still a regularly reported though perhaps not fully understood phenomena.

Wardenclyffe Tower is sometimes quoted as being reputedly responsible for the rather odd Tunguska Event.

The Tunguska event (Or blast or explosion) was a massive explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River (Now Krasnoyarsk Krai) Russia, at 7:15am on June 30th in 1908.

The blast was believed to be 1000 times more powerful than that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb and it knocked over around 80 million trees covering 2150 square km.

The shock wave from the blast is estimated to have measured at least 5.0 on the Richter scale.

However, the notion of Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower having anything to do with the Tunguska Event is widely disregarded as there is very little evidence to support any such activity, plus the Tower was either totally or partially inoperable at the time the blast was said to have taken place.

Furthermore in relation to Tesla’s Death/Peace ray, it is pointed out by Brian Dunning that has little to do with Scalar Field Theory, though it is often quoted as differently.

‘Tesla did also claim to have completed a partial unified field theory that unified gravity with electromagnetism, which is something that scalar field theory also claims. Because of these similarities, Tesla’s name is often wrongly associated with scalar weapons and scalar field theory.’

The ray was also called Teleforce, and consisted of a uniquely designed large Van de Graaff generator another unique type of open-ended vacuum tube.  It would accelerate tungsten or mercury particles to about 48 times the speed of sound from the tube by electrostatic repulsion.

Tesla used the term ‘peace ray’ instead of the media proposed ‘death ray’ as he intended it to be used for defense purposes.

The method for producing great electrical force in the range of 60,000,000 volts (To propel the particles) could have been achieved by ‘Wardenclyffe type apparatus’.

After Tesla died, alone and in poverty, his papers were seized by the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover declaring the case ‘Top Secret’ because of ‘the nature of Tesla’s inventions and patents’.

Tesla’s family and the Yugoslav embassy fought with the American authorities to regain the items seized after his death because of the potential significance of some of his research to US defense.

Sava Kosanović (Tesla’s nephew) won possession of the materials and they can now be viewed at the Nikola Tesla Museum.

The morning after Teslas’ death, Kosanovic´ states that he by the time he arrived, Tesla’s body had already been removed, and that he suspected somebody had already gone through his uncle’s possessions.

Papers were allegedly missing, including a black notebook Kosanovic was certain Tesla kept.  He says that some of the pages of this notebook had been marked ‘Government.’

Despite Kosanovic winning the materials back again, there are still missing papers.  Whether or not these have anything to do with the FBI of course remains to be seen.

The following Tesla Videos may be of interest:-

http://youtu.be/7tTGg3LVCvk

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

TRTZ no 56 UFO’s, Rendlesham

Tonight we’ll be taking a quick look at UFO’s, SETI and focus on the UK Rosewell – Rendlesham…

 

Some News

25th April: Ant Hadleigh a kite surfer from Cape York, discovered a golden orb spider battling a brown tree snake near a friend’s home in Freshwater.

What’s more, the spider won!

While the golden orb spider is the largest known web-weaving spider in Australia, the odds would usually still be against it when pitted against a snake.  The snake involved was about a metre and a half long and Hadleigh states that every attempt it made to bite back was easily evaded by the spider.

26th April:  Many residents of San Diego were saddened to learn that a yarn bombing project whereby the stop signs were transformed into flowers may have to come to an end as there are ‘just too many restrictions to overcome’.

City official Bill Harris contacted the man behind the project, known only as Bryan, and informed him that “Even with the great community spirit this effort has generated… there is just no way to retain the works where they now are.”

Bryan currently has a week or so to remove the ‘flowers’ or they will be removed by city employees.  Bryan hopes that if he lives them up there is a chance they will be left alone after all, stating that “In January, 2011, I put up five as a test run and they are still there, so I’m hoping it was just the city doing their due diligence. But I’d like to think that if you were a busy city worker and had a whole day’s work ahead of you, removing this might be too much trouble.”

27th April:  Florida resident Blanca Riveron was very worried to hear that she may have lung cancer after an x-ray in December of last year showed a worrying dark spot on her lung.

She’d always been stricken with respiratory problems, suffering through bouts of asthma and pneumonia far more regularly than most.  However, upon coming to a halt at a set of traffic lights, she was struck with a coughing fit during which she coughed up a fruit pip she had inhaled by accident 28 years ago!

It is very likely that this was her ‘spot’ and she will be attending a checkup to make sure, but friends and family have remarked how much better she already seems to be getting.  “She’s even been able to blow up a balloon for my son. She had never been able to do that,” said her daughter, Dayana Noda.

28th April:  Since 2004, Seattle attorney Andrew Basiago has been claiming to have been part of ‘Project Pegasus’ between the age of 7 and 12.  Project Pegasus, he claims, was a US government program that worked on teleportation and time travel under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), apparently to test the effects of such travel on the bodies of children as well as adults, who also took part.

He says that children adapted better to the strains of time travel.  Most of the methods of time travel he speaks of he put down to Nikola Tesla, as papers discussing his theories on the subject were allegedly found in his New York apartment subsequent to his death in 1943.  “The machine consisted of two gray elliptical booms about eight feet tall, separated by about 10 feet, between which a shimmering curtain of what Tesla called ‘radiant energy’ was broadcast,” Basiago said. “Radiant energy is a form of energy that Tesla discovered that is latent and pervasive in the universe and has among its properties the capacity to bend time-space.”

He even says that he has photographic evidence of his travels, pointing out that he can be seen in a photograph of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863, “I left the area around the dais and walked about 100 paces over to where I was photographed in the Josephine Cogg image of Lincoln at Gettysburg,” he explains.  Perhaps not surprisingly, many are skeptical of his claims.

24th April:  Ginger Morneau happened to have her camera handy in order to document a rather unusual showdown while walking along the Ogden Point Breakwater in Victoria, BC.  A Glaucous gull whose eyes were probably bigger than its stomach when it spotted a potential meal, was spotted struggling with a Giant Pacific Octopus in the shallow water of the Point.

Morneau snapped several pictures of the somewhat dramatic event, describing it all as ‘primal’ and speaking of how she had rather wanted to rescue the bird, which was definitely losing the fight.  It had at first appeared to have been feeding on something just under the surface, but on closer inspection it was unable to lift its head from the water despite flapping its wings to try and free itself.

The gull was soon pulled completely under the water and the octopus slunk off to enjoy its enormous catch.  Gulls are capable of eating an octopus, but there have been odd reports throughout history of the opposite happening too as in this instance.  This is the first time anybody has ever been able to capture it though.

UFO’s

Yes the exist!

Strictly speaking ANY flying object which cannot be identified is a UFO – an Unidentified Flying Object

However when the term UFO is used many will immediately think of aliens – extraterrestrials.

Now this is a HUGE topic so we’re going to focus upon one key story and look at what ‘evidence’ there is and what we can deduce from that evidence…

The report that we are referring to in the show is can be found here and was compiled by Catherine : Rendlesham : Notes

The Drake Equation

While working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, Dr. Frank Drake conceived a means to mathematically estimate the number of worlds that might harbor beings with technology sufficient to communicate across the vast gulfs of interstellar space. The Drake Equation, as it came to be known, was formulated in 1961 and is generally accepted by the scientific community.

 N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L

where,

  • N = The number of communicative civilizations
  • R* = The rate of formation of suitable stars (stars such as our Sun)
  • fp = The fraction of those stars with planets. (Current evidence indicates that planetary systems may be common for stars like the Sun.)
  • ne = The number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system
  • fl = The fraction of those Earth-like planets where life actually develops
  • fi = The fraction of life sites where intelligence develops
  • fc = The fraction of communicative planets (those on which electromagnetic communications technology develops)
  • L = The “lifetime” of communicating civilizations

Frank Drake’s own current solution to the Drake Equation estimates 10,000 communicative civilizations in the Milky Way. Dr. Drake, who serves on the SETI League’s advisory board, has personally endorsed SETI’s planned all-sky survey.

 

Music on tonights show from Aardvark Records

Raising Days – Heart Stand Still

Raising Days – Earth

Raising Days – Craving

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,