Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5 Mad Geniuses …Is insanity the secret companion to ­genius?

Is insanity the secret companion to ­genius? Though we can't very well perform psychological examinations on those who are long dead, that hasn't stopped historians from speculating about the mental conditions of deceased geniuses by interpreting their personal letters, their works and others' accounts. It turns out some of the world's greatest geniuses were quite mad. In fact, some scientis­ts claim that a far greater percentage of creative types (poets, painters, musicians and the like) have been afflicted with bipolar disorder than the general ­population. Some of the world's most renowned creative minds, including writers Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway; composers Irving Berlin and Sergey Rachmaninoff; and painters Paul Gauguin and Jackson Pollock are all believed to have suffered from the illness

 

5: John Nash (1928 - )

The award-winning film "A Beautiful Mind" popularized the story of John Nash. Nash is a world-renowned mathematician who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia after coming up with significant contributions to the concept of game theory. The idea of the "Nash Equilibrium," which discusses whether players in a game can benefit if one of them changes a strategy, can be applied to various fields, including economics. The U.S. Military even adopted tactics based off his ideas to use for the Cold War.

Although the film (based on Sylvia Nasar's biography of the same name) takes liberties with the true story of Nash's life, he did experience hallucinations and delusions. His hallucinations included hearing voices, but not seeing people or things that weren't there. He began to have delusions of grandeur and believed that m­ajor world fig­ures were out to get him . After spending about 30 years struggling with the disorder and spending time in and out of hospitals, he was able to make a significant recovery in the late 1980s. In 1994, John Nash received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his early work with game theory.

John Nash suggests that irrational thought actually has its benefits. Discussing his recovery from schizophrenia, Nash remarks that it is not "entirely a matter of joy" for him. He explains: "One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos"

 

4: Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

Vincent van Gogh's paintings, such as "Starry Night" are quickly recognizable by their unique brushwork and expression. However, it was not until after his death that van Gogh gained popularity. Now he is considered among the greatest painters in history.

Van Gogh's life was a tortured one. Almost everyone knows the painter cut off part of his own ear. He also supposedly drank turpentine and tried to eat paint . Tragically, he committed suicide in 1890. Authors D. Jablow Hershman and Dr. Julian Lieb propose in their book "Manic Depression and Creativity" that van Gogh had bipolar disorder. In her book "Touched with Fire," Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison reaches the same conclusion. She also discusses van Gogh's art in relation to his mental illness. For instance, she notes that the typical seasonal patterns of moods and psychosis align with van Gogh's productivity, which also varied by the season. Others think he suffered from schizophrenia

 

3: Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)

Best known for his poem "The Raven," writer Edgar ­Alla­n Poe wrote compelling horror and detective stories as well. He put great emphasis on form and structure in his taut short stories. His short story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," published in 1841, is often called the first modern detective story.

Despite his skill as a writer, it is well known that Poe had a ­drinkingproblem, and letters reveal that he struggled with suicidal thoughts. The causes and circumstances around his death at 40 years old are unknown, but perhaps have to do with heart failure or ­his drinking. Based on her interpretation of Poe's letters, Kay Redfield Jamison speculates that Poe was a manic-depressive, a condition known today as bipolar disorder. In her book, she argues that creativity like Poe's can spring from states of mania. From the mind-sickness emerges a "cosmic" perspective that lets creative juices flow, she writes.

Edgar Allan Poe may have seen a connection between creativity and mental illness, himself. He wrote:

"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence -- whether much that is glorious -- whether all that is profound -- does not spring from disease of thought -- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect"

2: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)

Beethoven's contributions to music were monumental. His passionate intensity and brilliant design brought instrumental music to a new level. However, the famous composer had a hard life. Raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, Beethoven was responsible for the well-being of his struggling family by the age of 18. One of the most tragic aspects of his life was his gradual descent into deafness, which occurred between the ages of 30 and 49 and may have come as a result of his father's beatings. Remarkably, he was able to compose some of his most esteemed work after losing his hearing.

His internal struggle is documented in letters to his brothers, where he discussed his flirtation with suicide. Authors Hershman and Lieb propose in their book that Beethoven probably struggled with bipolar disorder. In addition, Francois Martin Mai brings up the possibility that he specifically suffered from bipolar depression in the book "Diagnosing Genius." Mai argues that, despite his tendencies toward depression, Beethoven had periods of intensity and vigor consistent with bipolar disorder. Examinations and tests of Beethoven's hair recently revealed a dangerously high lead content . This could have triggered not only his mental illness but also the digestive maladies of which he often complained.

1: Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

With numerous and far-reaching contributions to ph­ysics and mechanics, Sir Isaac Newton is universally known as a brilliant thinker. Indeed, polls of both scientists and the public show an agreement that Newton even surpasses Einstein in influence . Some of his notable contributions include inventing calculus, explaining "universal gravitation," developing laws of motion and building the first reflective telescope.

Despite his many achievements, Newton suffered from psychotic tendencies and mood swings (including wildly enthusiastic periods), and he was often difficult to get along with. Hershman and Lieb also theorize in their book that Newton probably suffered from bipolar disorder . In addition, his delusional letters lend credence to the theory that he was schizophrenic . Newton's father died before he was born, and he was separated from his mother between the ages of two and 11. His mental disorder might have been a result of this prolonged traumatic childhood experience

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Black Eyed Kids

 

It’s late, it’s dark and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you’re walking down a lonely stretch of moonlit road, maybe you’re in a desolate parking lot trying to get your car started or perhaps you’re nestled in the warmth of your own home reading yourself to sleep; whatever the circumstance, you find yourself in an isolated locale when you’re suddenly startled by a sharp knock at the door or window. You look up from your steering wheel or cautiously pull back the curtain to see… wait for it… a pair of thin, trendily dressed, usually olive skinned teenagers.

Sounds pretty anti-climatic, right? But just wait; these aren’t your average, ordinary scallywags. These adolescents have something horribly wrong with them — something almost none of the witnesses notice at first glance — it’s their eyes. These “creatures” have no white corneas, no colorful irises, just a pair of big, black, shark-like eyes that inspire abject horror in all who have claimed to have seen them.

What’s worse is that these bizarre younglings aren’t content to scare you and continue on their merry way; no they are insistent that you help them. They stare through you with those dull ebony orbs and demand you let them in your car and give them a ride home or that they be allowed into your house to use your phone. The most horrifying aspect of all of this is that those who claim to have encountered these sinister kids swear that they’ve had to actively resist the temptation to do their bidding, as if their voices carried some sort of hypnotic influence.

 

ORIGIN OF A LEGEND

bk1-copyStories of Black Eyed Kids — or BEKs as they were swiftly dubbed — have been popping up all over the internet for over a decade, but have yet to achieve any real pop culture notoriety… you’ll know when that happens as soon as you start seeing commercials for a Wes Craven’s or Eli Roth’s new movie based on the “horrifying, real-life phenomena!”

This strange trend was first reported by journalist Brian Bethel on January 16, 1998. According to Bethel, two boys approached him while he was sitting in his parked car. Bethel described the kids in prototypical BEK fashion as stylish, olive skinned kids. The boys asked for a ride home explaining that they were on their way to the movies, but had forgotten their money.

Bethel claimed that he was overwhelmed by a “fight-or-flight” response, but was nevertheless tempted to allow the boys entrance into the vehicle. He resisted the urge, which seemed to only agitate the boys, who grew ever more adamant that they be allowed into the car. It was then that Bethel finally noticed their “coal black” eyes, whereupon he was momentarily paralyzed with fear.

Several cases and scores of others have been reported from all across the globe with very few variances. Some neglect the olive skin, while other reports state that the BEKs were dressed in fashionable clothes of another period rather than contemporary trends. Most of these cases involve a pair of boys, but there are also reports of adult women and even one bizarre account by an elderly couple concerning group of black-eyed teens that pulled in front of their house in a new van. While a pair of BEKs attempted to gain access to their home they noticed that the rest of them were walk a dachshund in front of their house. Needless to say these cases represent the exceptions and not the rule.

So presupposing this phenomenon is not only real, but increasing in frequency we are forced to ask the most basic question…

 

What are these things??

This query is as fascinating as it is frustrating, as it would seem that BEKs dwell in that nebulous void between demonology, ufology, cryptozoology and the plain old paranormal. This is a dark and perplexing realm wherein the most eccentric entities — such as the New Jersey Devil or Point Pleasant’s Mothman among others — are said to exist, carving their own unique niches in these distinctly different disciplines.

VAMPIRES

Having yielded a better part of my misspent youth to monster flicks such as “The Lost Boys” and televisions shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I have to admit that there is a certain horrible appeal to the notion that fashionable, charismatic vampires may be stalking our streets.

To begin with the bulk of BEK encounters consist of youthful, usually dapper young men who employ hypnotic voices and mesmerizing black eyes to try and coerce their “victims” into doing their bidding. Secondly, these beings have displayed an evident inability to enter someone’s property without first being invited. It’s difficult to argue that these attributes aren’t vampire-like.

Still, as scores of scholars have noted in the past half-century, the concept of the seductive, chic, trance inducing vampire is more the product of modern fiction than ancient legend. Traditionally speaking vampires are not young and suave Edward Cullen types, but bestial creatures that look like bloated corpses with blood slathered maws.

While, to date, attempted blood consumption has not figured into any reported BEK encounters, it bears noting that there is not a single account from anyone who has succumbed to the demands of these black-eyed beings and actually allowed them into their home, car or tent. When speculating as to why this is, it is difficult not to assume the worst… there is a real possibility that exsanguination may play into the ultimate fates of those who indulge these creatures, but that, of course, is pure conjecture.

So, assuming we’re not dealing with vampires, then how about the equally outlandish possibility that these entities may be…

 

HUMAN/ALIEN HYBRIDS

The scant bit of evidence that suggests that BEKs might be a the result of a strange synthesis of human and extraterrestrial DNA comes not from any reported UFOs seen at the sites of BEK encounters — which, as far as I know, has never happened — but from the vague reference some female alien abductees have had toward encountering half-human, half-Grey alien babies that were allegedly created utilizing their unfertilized eggs, which were extracted from them during the diminutive extraterrestrials’ notoriously invasive examinations.

More than a few of these unfortunate women have claimed to come into contact with humanoid babies,which they described as having olive shaded skin and jet-black, almond shaped eyes. Frankly, this wild supposition offers barely enough data to even call it a theory, but a more plausible explanation might be that BEKs are actually…

 

LOST SOULS

While some might be tempted to think that BEKs are merely the lost spirits of departed children who are sorrowfully wandering the Earth seeking help from adults, it should be noted that in each and every case the eyewitnesses have claimed to have felt an almost overpowering rush of fear when they came into contact with these beings. It’s as if they instinctively knew that they were not dealing with harmless children, but dangerous predators in disguise.

Admittedly “gut instinct” is not easy to classify as evidence, but the universality of this feeling in those who come across BEKs makes it difficult to dismiss. I also find it hard to believe that lost children — be they alive or dead — would consistently inspire such terror in adults. Wandering spirits may not be the answer in this case, but that leaves open the alternate paranormal possibility that these beings might just be…

 

DEMONS IN DISGUISE

Like the existence of Noah’s Ark or the stone tablets that Moses retrieved from the peak of Mount Sinai, belief in demons is a matter of faith. If one is predisposed to believing in the existence of angelic or demonic entities, then one would be hard pressed not to consider the fact that BEKs might be old fashioned, shape shifting critters from the bowels of hell.

This theory is no more or less reasonable than any other, in fact, when one considers the permeating aura of evil given off by BEKs it becomes downright plausible. Of course, if these are demons in the guise of young humans, one must wonder why they aren’t plying their nefarious charm rather than employing palpably eerie personas like the ones described. Still there’s no telling what goes on in the mind of a devilish denizen of Hades.

 

Hoax

This is a very real possibility. As we all know every genuine paranormal event is riddled by scores of pranks and copycat reports. It is, as they say, par for course, but that does not mean that the genesis of this phenomenon is not authentic. It simply means that investigators need to be all the more cautious when separating the truth from the exaggerations or outright fabrications.

 

Conclusion

But whether BEKs are ghosts, vampires, demons, half-aliens, internet hoaxsters or prank prone teens with black contacts, anthropologists and folklorists should take note as this marks one of the few times in recorded history when a legend can be traced to a specific time, place and individual.

Whether or not this phenomenon proves to be true — and, like most of its ilk, the evidence will likely never confirm any solid conclusions — stories of BEKs will remain a fascinating and frightening addition to the hallowed halls of Fortean research and will no doubt send chills up the spines of children for generations to come.

10 things that define Human evolution…

"We seem to live in a hazardous time, drifting along here through space. Nobody knows just when we begun, or how far we've gone in the race."

-- Benjamin Franklin King, Jr

The 19th century American humorist King may have been unsure of his origins, but that era contributed to knowledge of the human race. Highlights included:

  • Early 1800s. French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, after studying fossils, argued that organisms changed their behavior in reaction to transformations in their environment, leading to changes in physical structure (such as the "stretching" of a giraffe's neck to reach tree leaves).
  • Mid 1800s. Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin were British researchers who concurrently, but separately, developed similar ideas about evolution: Although the population of any species has much in common, there are individual differences that might be advantageous to survival. If those individuals reproduce, the differences become traits of future generations.
  • Late 1800s. Ernst Haekel was a German scientist who believed the initial growth of an embryo matches the earliest, single-cell life forms. He called this "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." Unfortunately, Haekel modified some of his data to conform to his proposal.

Through peer review, discovery and revision, scientists have defined and refined evolution (inherited changes that occur over many generations of a population). They have traced the evolution of flora, fauna and hominids (humans and their ancestors). The following are 10 important discoveries in human evolution.

10: The First Fossil, 1856

The study of human evolution quickly became complicated. The first fossil identified as prehistoric human wasn't the first one discovered. In 1856, a fossil found in the Neander Valley, near Dusseldorf, Germany, was recognized as a hominid. The fossil's species was named, not coincidentally, Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals). Similar fossils had previously been uncovered (1829, Belgium; 1848, Gibraltar), but their significance was missed.

And such fossils are significant. They revealed that Neanderthals lived only 200,000 to 28,000 years ago, demonstrating that Neanderthals shared a common timeline with modern humans. That's not all they shared with humans: Compared with earlier prehistoric species, Neanderthals had relatively large brains. There is also fossil evidence that they employed tools, hunted, built shelters and clothed themselves.

And don't stereotype Neanderthals as "cavemen." Decorative artifacts have been found, indicating an interest beyond mere survival. Furthermore, the Neanderthals buried their dead, and, intermittently, ornamented the graves.

 

9. Homo erectus, 1891

Although the oldest hominine fossils have been found in Africa, the next important discovery was located outside that continent. In 1891, a fossil found in Indonesia proved to be the oldest non-African specimen. The species, Homo erectus, lived 1.89 million to 70,000 years ago. Related fossils have since been found in Africa and other parts of Asia.

There is evidence that, contrasted with older species, our Homo erectus ancestors had developed some human-like traits. They had relatively long legs and short arms; this may have been the end of our ancestors' regular tree-climbing. Noses were very large, but there was a subtle change in nostrils: they pointed down. The size difference between males and females was reduced. Homo erectus may have performed human-like behaviors as well. Fire was used and shared for food preparation, warmth, and protection.

 

8. Taung Child, 1924

until 1924It almost seems like some fossils play hide and seek. Although evidence indicates that the oldest hominids lived in Africa, it was not until 1924 that one of their fossils was uncovered there. Discovered in South Africa, the "Taung child" lived 2.8 million years ago. Claw and beak marks found on the fossil -- a skull -- resemble those of a modern eagle and indicate death due to an eagle attack. The Taung child belonged to the species Australopithecus africanus, and, at the time of unearthing, it provided the earliest evidence of upright walking.

 

How can scientists establish locomotion without a spine, pelvis or legs? Examination of the fossil revealed that the hole at the base of the skull, allowing the connection of the spine and the brain, was situated so the skull could sit upright on the neck.

7. The Handy Man, 1960

Hominids may not have used miter saws or power drills, but some did utilize simpler tools. In 1960, a previously unknown type of fossil was found in Tanzania, and stone tools were also discovered during the dig. The species' name, Homo habilis, means, literally, "handy man." The size of the skull suggested a larger brain, and that, coupled with the proximity of tools, indicated to scientists that this species had been the first ancient human capable of crafting and using tools.

Homo habilis lived 2.3 to 1.6 million years ago, but, since 1960, somewhat older stone tools have been uncovered. Although this species did, in all likelihood, employ tools, it was not the first species to do so.

 

6. Lucy, 1974

Arguably one of the most famous fossil finds, "Lucy" was discovered in 1974 in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. The scientists bestowed the very human name upon her because, during the dig, a Beatles tape was regularly played; it included the song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." 

Lucy's species, named Australopithecus afarensis, lived 3.85 to 2.95 million years ago. More than 300 of these fossils have been found, making Australopithecus afarensis one of the best sources of ancient human data.

This fossil was particularly noteworthy because, in 1974, Lucy presented the earliest indication of  two-legged walking, though she would have been proficient in tree climbing, as well. Other apelike traits included facial structure and smaller brain size.

 

5. Opposable Thumbs, 2000

Ah, thumbs! So useful for grasping tools, grabbing food and pinching siblings. In 2000, the fossil of an ancient ancestor discovered in Kenya proved to be a whopping six million years old. Not only was Orrorin tugenensis the oldest hominid found to date, but there was evidence that, at least sometimes, it walked upright. Even more astounding, perhaps, was the discovery of opposable thumbs on such an ancient fossil. Up to this point, the presence of opposable thumbs had been linked to tool use; now that connection was no longer solid.

Or was it? Fossils from younger species indicate that thumbs reverted back to less agile, ape-like digits until eventually becoming opposable again.

 

4. Ardi, 2009

In 2009, a fossil uncovered in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia provided some insight (and controversy) into how our ancient ancestors lived. A geographic if not temporal neighbor of Lucy, Ardipithecus ramidus("Ardi") was 4.4 million years old. The name means "ground" and "root," connoting an ape that spent time on the ground but was also at the base of the human family tree.

Why was Ardi at the base of the tree? There were ape-like physical traits: long, curving fingers and opposable thumbs on the feet, which would have facilitated tree climbing. On the other hand, the shape of pelvis and foot bones present the possibility of upright walking. This is controversial: Plant fossils discovered in conjunction with Ardi indicate she lived in a forest. It had been assumed that upright walking evolved as the environment changed into plains, but the wood-dwelling Ardi may contradict that.

 

3. Stone Tools, 2010

Step aside, "handy man" (Homo habilis); you're not the tool guy. A 2010 study revealed the oldest stone tools used to date. Until this point, it was thought that Homo habilis, who lived 2.3 to 1.6 million years ago, was the first hominid to employ stone tools. However, fossils of animal bones 3.4 million years old, discovered in Ethiopia, bore compression and cutting marks. The fossils, a cow-like rib and an antelope thigh, provided evidence of butchering: stripping meat and removing marrow.

It now appears that Lucy and her family,Australopithecus afarensis, used tools to prepare food. There is no evidence yet of this species developing tools for hunting or other activities.

 

2. Neanderthal Genome Project, 2010

Opposable thumbs, upright walking, use of fire -- just how different genetically are humans from our prehistoric ancestors? An international team of researchers evaluated human and Neanderthal DNA to begin answering this question. They analyzed the DNA of three female Neanderthal bones from Croatia and compared those findings to the DNA of five modern humans from Southern Africa, Western Africa, Papua New Guinea, China and Western Europe. 

The process was complicated, in part, because the Neanderthal bones had been contaminated over the years, first by microbes and then by human handlers. After eliminating the genetic "trash,"researchers discovered that 1 to 4 percent of the genomes from modern European and Asian samples could be traced to Neanderthals. The African and Neanderthal samples showed no connection. These results contradicted earlier beliefs about the separation of hominine species, instead suggesting that some early humans and Neanderthals interbred.

 

1. The Latest Find, 2010

A cave in South Africa yielded several fossils, and controversy, in 2010. The remains of an adult female and a boy two million years old were uncovered at the site, along with bones from an infant and an additional adult female. Named Australopithecus sediba, the fossils indicated the species was taller and stronger than Lucy's family, with long legs suggesting greater bipedal (two-legged) locomotion than earlier species. 

The controversy among the scientific community stems from the categorization of the new fossils. Although they were originally placed into the genus Australopithecus, some researchers believe that the fossils appear closer to our species, Homo sapiens, and therefore should be in the genus Homo. Although the fossils have the relatively smaller brain size, small body and long arms of Australopithecus members, the new discoveries' long legs, small teeth and pelvic bones resemble those of Homo erectus.

These 10 discoveries are some highlights in the study of human evolution.

Hitherto uncovered fossils, new technologies and additional analyses will undoubtedly narrow the knowledge gaps and further clarify the history of Homo sapiens.

Source: Curiosity @ Discovery, Smithsonian Museum of National history, National Geographic.

10 things that went down with the Titanic

 

We all know the famous ocean liner RMS Titanic, which went down in the sad cold icy depths of the Atlantic ocean.  named practically unsinkable , it unfortuantely sank at its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City when it struck an iceberg and sank within 3 hours.

With its sinking there have been many stories and conspiracies circling around the titanic for almost a century now, but the wealth  it carried, still lies in the depths  of the ocean untouched.

here are some of the things..notably were documented to be in the Titanic.

10. Passenger Facilities

The sinking of the Titanic also meant the loss of some of the most opulent facilities ever seen on a cruise liner. These included the first-ever onboard heated swimming pool, a Turkish bath, first- and second-class libraries, and a veranda cafe with real palm trees. For communication, the ship had a Marconi wireless radio station to send and receive telegrams and a 50-phone switchboard complete with operator. The Titanic even had its own state-of-the-art infirmary and operating room staffed by two physicians. All of this was lost when the ship sank.

 

9. Freight

One important function of the Titanic was to carry transatlantic mail. When the ship sank, there were 3,364 bags of mail and between 700 and 800 parcels onboard, contents unknown. Other cargo claimed as lost included 50 cases of toothpaste, a cask of china headed for Tiffany's, five grand pianos, and 30 cases of golf clubs and tennis rackets for A.G. Spalding. However, contrary to popular myth, the Titanic was not carrying an ancient Egyptian mummy that was believed to have cursed the ship.

 

8. Art

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the wealth of many of its passengers, the Titanic was carrying a number of works of art, all of which were lost when the ship sank. The most spectacular of these was a jeweled copy of The Rubaiyat, a collection of about 1,000 poems by the 11th-century Persian mathematician and astronomer Omar Khayyam. The binding of this incredibly luxurious book contained 1,500 precious stones, each set in gold. It had been sold at auction in March 1912 to an American bidder for £405 or around $1,900 -- 15 years worth of wages for a junior crew member on the Titanic.

 

7. Linen

The restaurants, cafes, kitchens and bedrooms of the Titanic required so much linen that White Star Line built a large laundry close to the docks at Southampton.  Each time the ship docked, the dirty linen could quickly be unloaded and cleaned for the next voyage. The 200,000 individual items (not including items belonging to passengers) included 18,000 bed sheets, 6,000 tablecloths, 36,000 towels and 45,000 table napkins.

 

6. Tableware

Serving all that food and drink required 57,600 items of crockery, 29,000 pieces of glassware and 44,000 pieces of cutlery. The cutlery alone would have weighed more than 4,000 pounds -- about the weight of four cows

 

5. Drink

Passengers needed something to wash down all their food, so the Titanic carried 15,000 bottles of ale and stout, 1,000 bottles of wine, and 850 bottles of spirits, plus 1,200 bottles of soft drinks and mixers, such as lemonade, tonic water and orange juice.

 

4. Food

With all those people onboard, it's not surprising that the ship contained incredible quantities of food. There were 75,000 pounds of fresh meat, as well as 15,000 pounds of fish, 25,000 pounds of poultry and 2,500 pounds of sausages (around 40,000 sausages). Among other items, the ship carried 40 tons of potatoes and 1,750 pounds of ice cream -- that's the weight of a full-grown elephant.

 

3. Lifeboats

Famously, the Titanic had an inadequate number of lifeboats for the number of people it carried. In fact, it had just 20, with a total capacity of 1,178 people -- about half the number onboard. The ship had been designed to hold 32 lifeboats (still not enough for everyone), but the owner, White Star Line, had been concerned that too many boats would spoil its appearance.

 

2. Crew

The Titanic had around 900 crew members, of whom 215 survived. These staff included the deck crew (responsible for sailing the ship), the engineering department (who kept the engines running), the victualing department (responsible for passenger comfort), restaurant staff and musicians. As the ship was sinking, its two bands came together on the deck and played to keep the spirits of the passengers up. None of the band members survived.

 

1. Passengers

The ship carried 1,316 passengers -- 325 in first class, 285 in second class, and 706 in third class -- of which 498 survived. Around two-thirds of first-class passengers survived, compared to around one-quarter of those in third class, mainly because, at some point after the collision, the gates to the third-class quarters were locked, denying those passengers access to lifeboats.

Some of the more famous first-class passengers included millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim and his manservant, who both helped women and children into lifeboats before changing into their best clothes and preparing to "die like gentlemen," which they did. Also in first class was Lady Duff Gordon, a dress designer whose clientele included the British royal family. She and her husband survived, but they were later questioned why their lifeboat had been only half full. They were accused of bribing crew members to not allow more people into the boat.

John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man in the world at the time, was also onboard. He assisted his pregnant wife, Madeleine, onto a lifeboat but was not allowed to board himself because officers were applying the principle of "women and children first." Madeleine survived, but John went down with the ship.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is an NDE (Near Death Experience) ?

 

In 1991, Atlanta, Ga. resident Pam Reynolds had a near-death experience (NDE). Reynolds underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm, and the procedure required doctors to drain all the blood from her brain. Reynolds was kept literally brain-dead by the surgical team for a full 45 minutes. Despite being clinically dead, when Reynolds was resuscitated, she described some amazing things. She recounted experiences she had while dead -- like interacting with deceased relatives. Even more amazing is that Reynolds was able to describe aspects of the surgical procedure, down to the bone saw that was used to remove part of her skull.

What's remarkable (although not unique) about Reynolds' experience is that it is the combination of an NDE and an out-of-body-experience (OBE).  Science, has made its own headway toward explaining these weird phenomena. Two studies on the separate aspects of Reynolds' experience were conducted in 2007. Each seems to explain how a person can have an OBE or a NDE, but do they hold up in explaining experiences like Reynolds'? ­­

As many as 18 percent of people brought back from death after a heart attack said they'd had a NDE . While many religious adherents might not be surprised by these accounts, the idea that human consciousness and the body exist distinctly from each other flies in the face of science. A brain-dead person should not be able to form new memories -- he shouldn't have any consciousness at all, really. So how can anything but a metaphysical explanation cover NDEs?

A study from the University of Kentucky has quickly gained ground among scientists as possibly the best explanation for NDEs. Researchers there theorize that the mysterious phenomenon is really an instance of the sleep disorder rapid eye movement (REM) intrusion. In this disorder, a person's mind can wake up before his body, and hallucinations and the feeling of being physically detached from his body can occur.

The Kentucky researchers believe that NDEs are actually REM intrusions triggered in the brain by traumatic events like cardiac arrest. If this is true, then this means the experiences of some people following near-death are confusion from suddenly and unexpectedly entering a dream-like state.

This theory helps explain what has always been a tantalizing aspect of the mystery of NDEs: how people can experience sights and sounds after confirmed brain death. The area where REM intrusion is triggered is found in the brain stem -- the region that controls the most basic functions of the body -- and it can operate virtually independent from the higher brain. So even after the higher regions of the brain are dead, the brain stem can conceivably continue to function, and REM intrusion could still occur

What is a Grimoire or The Book of Shadows

 

A grimoire also called as Book of Shadows is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons.In many cases the books themselves are also believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures other sacred texts that are not grimoires, such as the Bible and Qur'an, have also been believed to intrinsically have magical properties; in this manner while all books on magic could be thought of as grimoires, not all magical books could.

While the term grimoire is originally European, and many Europeans throughout history, particularly ceremonial magicians and cunning folk, have made use of grimoires, the historian Owen Davies noted that similar such books can be found all across the world, ranging from Jamaica to Sumatra,and he also noted that the first such grimoires could be found not in Europe but in the Ancient Near East.

It is most commonly believed that the term grimoire originated from the Old French word grammaire, which had initially been used to refer to all books written in Latin. By the 18th century, the term had gained its now common usage in France, and had begun to be used to refer purely to books of magic, which Owen Davies presumed was because "many of them continued to circulate in Latin manuscripts." However, the term grimoire also later developed into a figure of speech amongst the French indicating something that was hard or even impossible to understand. It was only in the 19th century, with the increasing interest in occultism amongst the British following the publication of Francis Barrett's The Magus (1801), that the term entered the English language in reference to books of magic.

18th and 19th centuries

"Emperor Lucifer, master of all the rebel spirits, I beg you to favour me in the call that I am making to your grand minister LUCIFUGÉ ROFOCALE, desiring to make a pact with him; I beg you also, prince Beelzebub to protect me in my undertaking. O count Astarot! Be favourable to me, and make it so that this night the grand Lucifege appears to me in human form, and without any bad odour, and that he accords to me, by the pact that I am going to present to him, all the riches I need."

The 18th century saw the rise in the Enlightenment, a movement devoted to science and rationalism, predominantly amongst the ruling classes. However, amongst much of Europe, belief in magic and witchcraft persisted, as did the witch trials in certain areas. Certain governments did try and crack down on magicians and fortune tellers, particularly that of France, where the police viewed them as a social pest who took money from the gullible, often in a search for treasure. In doing so they confiscated many grimoires.However it was also in France that a new form of printing developed, theBibliothèque bleue, and many grimoires were published through this and circulated amongst an ever growing percentage of the populace, in particular theGrand Albert, the Petit Albert, the Grimoire du Pape Honorious and the Enchiridion Leonis Papae. The Petit Albert in particular contained a wide variety of different forms of magic, for instance dealing in both simple charms for ailments along with more complex things such as the instructions for making aHand of Glory. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, following the French Revolution of 1789, a hugely influential grimoire was published under the title of the Grand Grimoire, which was considered particularly powerful because it involved conjuring and making a pact with the Devil's chief minister, Lucifugé Rofocale, in order to gain wealth off of him. A new version of this grimoire was later published under the title of the Dragon rouge, and was available for sale in many Parisian bookstores. Similar books published in France at the time included the Black Pullet and the Grimoirium Verum.

20th and 21st centuries

The Secret Grimoire of Turiel claims to have been written in the 16th Century, but no copy older than 1927 has been produced.

A modern grimoire is the Simon Necronomicon, named after a fictional book of magic in the stories of author H. P. Lovecraft, and inspired by Babylonian mythology and the Ars Goetia, a section in the Lesser Key of Solomon which concerns the summoning of demons. The Azoëtia of Andrew D. Chumbley has been described as a modern grimoire.[46]

The Neopagan religion of Wicca publicly appeared in the 1940s, and Gerald Gardner introduced the Book of Shadows as a Wiccan Grimoire.

Popular culture

The term "grimoire" commonly serves as an alternative name for a spell-book or tome of magical knowledge in such genres as fantasy fiction and role-playing games. The most famous fictional grimoire is the Necronomicon, a creation of the author H. P. Lovecraft. Similarly in the television series, Charmed and The Vampire Diaries, the Grimoire refers to the evil spell book used by demons, warlocks, etc.. Similarly, on the Disney cartoon Gargoyles (TV series), the book of powerful magic sought by the Archmage, and held at various times by either Goliath or David Xanatos in the series' episodes was called the Grimorum Arcanorum. They are also featured in the anime/manga Toaru Majutsu no Index and Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san. The magician Alice Margatroid in Touhou Project also uses a grimoire. A grimoire is also featured in the Canadia television series "Blood Ties", where the main character, Henry Fitzroy uses the grimoire as a dictionary for demons.

The Grand Grimoire is a black magic grimoire that claims to date to 1522. It is possibly written some point after the 18th century but also possibly it represented the translation of The Sworn Book of Honorius, a 13th-century text. It was ostensibly published in Cairo by a person known as Alibek the Egyptian. Also known as "The Red Dragon", this book contains instructions purported to summon Lucifer or Lucifuge Rofocale, for the purpose of forming a Deal with the Devil. The book is called "Le Veritable Dragon Rouge" ("The True Red Dragon") in Haiti, where it is revered among many practitioners of Vodou. It is believed to be in the Vatican Secret Archives.

Some of the most famous grimoires include the:

The Magus Vol 1 & 2 by Barret, Francis

The greater keys of Solomon

The Lesser Keys of solomon

The Sacred Book Of Abramelin The Mage

The sixth book of Moses

The seventh book of Moses

Arbetel of magik

The Sacred Mushrooms (aka Magic Mushrooms)/ Psilocybe cubensis

 

Family :Strophariaceae

Genus :Psilocybe

Species :cubensis; cyanescens; semilanceata; ...

Genus :Panaeolus

Species :campanulatus; subbalteatus; ...

 

Psilocybin. It's the psychoactive substance in those "sacred mushrooms" that causes hallucinations and other novel mental experiences. The effects of those mushrooms have been explored and appreciated by members of the ancient Capsian culture in North Africa, Aztec shamans, and modern college students. But they're now the subject of serious study by scientists.

Magic-mushrooms_0

A team from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently published results from a roughly year-long experiment. The researchers worked with 18 volunteers who were given pure psilocybin to measure how it affected people and how different dosages changed the experience. The subjects were screened for psychological health and given the drug in a pleasant environment, after preparatory guidance. They even had a soundtrack consisting of "classical and world music chosen to complement the arc of the psilocybin action, from onset, through the peak of the effects, and subsiding back to baseline."

The results? At high dosages people occasionally experienced fear, anxiety, or delusions. But the negative effects of those "bad trips" were easily mitigated by the reassuring researchers and didn't outlast the session. At more moderate doses, the results were almost unambiguously positive. Moreover, people didn't just appreciate the experience as fun; they found it spiritually meaningful, with lasting benefits.

As a piece on Newswise explains:

Looking back over a year later, most of the experiment’s 18 volunteers (94 percent) rated a psilocybin session as among the top five most or as the topmost spiritually significant experience of his or her life. [...] Most volunteers (89 percent) also reported positive changes in their behaviors, and those reports were corroborated by family members or others, the researchers say. The behavior changes most frequently cited were improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice.

Reading the volunteers' first-hand reports of how the experiences affected them is a testament to their value. "More and more, sensuality and compassion and gratitude continue to unfold around me." "I try to judge less and forgive more." "I feel that I relate better in my marriage. There is more empathy." "I need less food to make me full. My alcohol use has diminished dramatically."

I'm not saying we should all start doing mushrooms. These were carefully measured doses, taken in a setting designed to be comfortable and supportive. There are certainly situations in which it would be dangerous or irresponsible to take psilocybin.

But these results illustrate the artificial dichotomy between medicine and recreational drugs in America. Stateside, Prozac is regarded as medicine, but psilocybin is a schedule 1 controlled substance like heroin. Americans assume that if some substance is made by nature instead of Eli Lilly, it can't be medicine. But if psilocybin has true psychiatric and emotional benefits, what's the difference? Sure, you can have a bad experience with psilocibin, but antidepressents like Prozac have been linked to suicidal thoughts, and it's hard to imagine a worse side effect than that. We also think that if a drug is used for fun, there must be something bad about it. But Vicodin and OxyContin are all still on the market. There are plenty of FDA-approved drugs that get used (and abused) recreationally.

We should aim to evaluate any drug objectively, whether it's made by an enormous pharmaceutical company or grows in the forest. If an engineered antidepressant generated reports like those from the volunteers in this study, it would be regarded as a breakthrough in psychiatric medicine.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is Extra Sensory Perception and how does it work?

All life is connected by a singular energy. In fact, everything in existence is made up of a singular energy at its root. The differentiates itself into people, animals, plants, stones, and even planets, everything that is a part of our present level of consciousness. Between living things this same energy makes connections. This is what some of us call 'the web'.
Sensing the web allows you to feel people and animals approaching. It's very much like feeling the rhythm of a place, and knowing when that rhythm changes. I believe animals may receive some information this way. While their sense of smell and hearing are usually superior to ours, there are times when no physical sense can explain their reactions. Right before natural disasters are obvious moments, but there are other, less glamorous occasions, like a dog minutes before someone they love comes home at an unusual time. They'll often sit right in front of the door, they know someone is coming.
Feeling the energy that comes across this web is like a form of empathy more than telepathy as we think of it. It allows you to know when something is wrong, or right, with those you come in contact with. It will also give you a better understanding of people, their motives and intentions. When you have this additional sense, you wonder how people manage without it.
To sense the web you must first be able to pick out your own energy from the energy emanating from others. It helps to take some time alone, meditating, and turning your awareness within, to your own frequency. I'm told you don't have to remove yourself from others to accomplish this, but I'm not certain that's true.
Once you're familiar with your own frequency then put yourself in the company of one or two people, relax and focus not quite to meditation level, but close, and open up to the energy outside of yourself. It's a process of allowing, rather than doing, and certainly not forcing.
This energy flows through your solar plexus. It's not at all like the 'god' energy that flows in through your crown chakra, and draws you into oneness in deep meditation. This energy will, and should, feel foreign, somewhat broken, and colored differently, for lack of a better phrase.
There are a couple of additional things which may help you in gaining this awareness. Firstly, don't attempt to rationally judge, or classify people and things in your environment. Oftentimes your other senses and intellect will give you incorrect information. We all see the world through the lens of our own imprinting, perception and reality are rarely a perfect match. Put your awareness first, and then let your rational mind come in. It's a waste of time and energy to pre-judge anyway.


Secondly, the frequency is very much like emotion, so it really is necessary to know yourself. You cannot sense others before you know yourself. You don't want to confuse your own feelings for those of someone else, or even more importantly a strange feeling you get from someone else as being your own.
Third, you need to be present in the moment you're living. Rehashing what you've done and planning what you will do dulls your senses to the passing moment. While some planning is needed if you don't want to have a life of chaos, most of us over-think. We missing living now, because we're thinking about then, be it the future or past.


By and large, I don't believe animals suffer this malady. Wild animals in particular are extremely aware of the moment they are living. Feral hyper-vigilance is not a good thing to suffer from as a human being, but to know what's really happening in your environment you have to actually be fully engaged with it.
You'll know you've fully developed this skill when you sense people coming before they arrive, and sense that you should take a different route, because there's been an accident that's got the traffic backed up. In the latter case, you probably won't listen to yourself, at least to begin with. With practice, sooner or later you'll learn to trust it, and to listen your instincts.

Ref: ghost-mountain.org

sorry i am currently referencing as i am not getting time to work and research on my blog. Hope you all understand. its just a few days and i will be back!

Feeding techniques for Psychic Vampires,..

Feeding Techniques

The First method is Contact feeding. The Second method is directional feeding or the "head, heart, hands method;

most of the vampires already know this technique if they are newly awakened. The Third technique is more advanced and focuses more on using psy-tendrils. Besides learning how to feed, it is important to know that there are different types or levels of feeding; Ambiant feeding, surface feeding, and deep feeding.

  • Ambiant feeding- Feeding off the energy of a croud, group, or room.
  • Surface feeding- Feeding off the energy of a specific persons, astral or etheric energy.
  • Deep feeding- feeding off a specific persons core soul energy.

Contact Feeding

Feeding By Touch is one of the easiest ways to feed. This can be something as casual as a hug or holding hands,or Something completely intense such as kissing or sex.

Also, one thing seldomly mentioned is left or right hand dominance. Everyone seems to have a hand that sends and a hand that takes energy. .. But since most of the population is right hand dominant, in most of the books you will find, that they say that your left hand is the energy taking hand and the right hand is the sending energy hand.. I have noticed that for me personally (since i am left -handed) and a few other psi's , my taking hand is my right hand and my sending is my left.

Alot of psivamps don't particularly like shaking hands for this reason,.

Contact by line of Site,or "eye contact" is another common way to feed by touch, and remote view (of course only with permission).

Directional Feeding

"Head, Heart ,and Hands- The Sacred Triad"

Directional feeding is usually one of the first methods of feeding you usually learn , and often times unintentional's /unawakends use this method, but obviously aren't aware of it. Some people prefer to call this method the head heart hand method, but its pretty much all semantics. Aside from the feeding techniques I've also included some other positions.. that are relevant...Only use this method on a Donor, or while feeding on Ambient energy

Now that that's been Said, Lets begin:

fig 1 fig 2

This is one of two typical methods you will learn to use, in order to feed in this manner. See Fig 1. Notice you are forming an arrow, you would point at "preferably a donor" or above a crowd to take in the ambient energy.. It not just point and click...bam! you have energy.. Most of the people forget to mention the breath. As you breath in, focus on drawing in, with mouth open to begin with, As you inhale draw in the life-force/Prana/Chi.

Now see Fig 2. Notice aside from a kind of arrow you are forming a pentagram (use a lil imagination to fill in the lines) .. Use the same technique to draw in energy...

After awhile it will become second nature to use either of these intentionally ...and you can progress to the second type of feeding. One of the main problems with this type of feeding is it is very obvious...even to the outside community.

Hense , why it is imortant for you to know that the hands only serve as a focus for tendril feeding. Though some may prefer one method over another.

NOW, here are some other hand positions connections you might see in the community at large, And I will attempt to translate them for you, though really they are very simple ...But sometimes finding the information is hard .... Hence why I'm posting it.

fig 3

This hand position in Fig 3, Generally means you are receiving energy from a person.. Or if a person has their hands in that position they, are receiving energy...This IS different than taking it.

fig 4

This hand position in fig 4 , is a way of sending energy. When or if you send energy to another psivamp, they often respond with the hand position in fig 3.... Though not always. there are exceptions to every rule and teaching.

fig 5

This Hand position in Fig 5 means the person is "omni present"... Or "on to what your doing"...generally a back off sign if you just psi'd them, or were talking about them...you probably did something you weren't supposed to, and lucky you... YOU just got caught!

Tendril Feeding

This technique of feeding is more advanced and is what most psychic vampires use, because it is less  readily detectible.  (This comes in especially handy if the culture you psi from is aware of psychic vampires)...  I will attempt to explain some various uses of the tendril technique.

From what I've experienced all Psychic vampires have psi-tendrils... Some have chosen to develop the skill, others remain with the head heart hand technique..  They are generally grayish in appearance, though some see it as other colors (perception). Of Course once moving on to this level, you realize that the hands and the directional feeding technique, simply serve as a focus for your tendrils.

Tendril feeding drawing in with breath.

        This Takes some developed sight, and familiarization with energy manipulation.. Focus on a donor from across the room.. Reach out with your mind, envision a long tendril extending from your subtle body to the donors.. Attach your tendril so that it penetrates, if it does not the first time...Try again.. Now envision your tendril is hollow, and suck in the energy like a vortex , using your will....As you inhale, draw in the energy.

Ref: www.psychicvampire.org