samedi 31 août 2013

Measles, peasles

And cancer, shmancer.


Kristy Beach, 41, said that because of the ministry's teachings, her mother, Bonnie Parker, refused to see a doctor, even as her cancer advanced rapidly. After Parker died in 2004 at age 59, Beach found her mother's diaries, which detailed the words of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland she'd heard on television in her home in Winnsboro, La.

"If she went to a doctor, it was a sin," Beach said. "You didn't believe enough if you did. She just wrote: 'God heal me. God heal me. God heal me.'"

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Obama - Amatuer Hour

“Look, I think he should go to Congress,” he continued. “I think it is absolutely necessary. But he has done no preparation. What they should have done — I mean, this is sort of amateur hour. When there were the first attacks six months ago or if you like, when we had the current attacks, he should have immediately have called in the Congress the way the prime minister of Britain had called in the parliament, had a debate and got a resolution and then went out and told the world we are going do x or we are not going to do x.”

It is a struggle.

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What's going on in this video of comet ISON?

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What if we had $50 million for a new investigation?

Suppose I was an eccentric billionaire. Perhaps for my own amusement I decide to set aside fifty million dollars for the all brand new Truther led investigation into the September 11th attacks that will obviate the hundreds of prior investigations that they don't like.

So the money is there waiting to be spent. How should I spend it?

Who can I hire and not have the Truthers claim they are poisoning the investigation from within?

What evidence can I use that won't be claimed to be faked or tainted later on?

What witnesses can be sourced that won't be claimed to be misled or plants later on?

I am all for spending all that money on this I just want to be sure it will be done to the satisfaction of the Truth Movement so that there will be no need to discredit it later. So how do I do it?

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Did life on earth begin on Mars?

Prof. Benner from the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology makes the claim that "life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock", and bases his hypothesis on the absence or rarity of molybdenum from early earth.

More here.

I'll be intrigued to see the opinions of someone other than a Sky News journalist on this one. So come on folks, what sayest thee?


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Statute to memorize the homeless

A new local law was passed in Austin (or somewhere similar) requiring citizens to memorize the area homeless and report on their movements to the police. Particulary if they are aurrounding a statue of themselves anywhere!!!

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If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You're a Bad Person

That's the claim made by a Slate writer named Allison Benedikt:


You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)

Yes, who cares if their kid gets a mediocre education? Obviously this piece is not aimed at suburbanites, but affluent urban liberals. Allison practically boasts about her crappy public school--why she only had to read one book in all of high school. But it's okay, because eventually she got a job at Slate and she's doing quite well.

At times you have to wonder if it's a parody piece:


Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

Who knows, your kids might even get a first-hand education in heroin!

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Putin Denies use of chemical weapons

This is the story on the bbc website -

This strikes me as a rather incredible claim by Putin.

PUTIN: "If there is evidence it should be shown. If it is not shown, then there isn't any."

Yet, quoting from the news story, the US say they have this evidence:

-the attack killed 1,429 people, including 426 children

-Syrian military chemical weapons personnel were operating in the area in the three days before the attack

-Satellite evidence shows rockets launched from government-held areas 90 minutes before first report of chemical attack

-100 videos attributed to the attack show symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve agent

-Communications were intercepted involving a senior Damascus official who "confirmed chemical weapons were used" and was concerned about UN inspectors obtaining evidence

Who's right?

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In this thread I report on Logitech K811 Keyboard

Otherwise known as the Easy-Switch Bluetooth keyboard, it pairs with up to 3 Apple devices and you can switch the currently selected device by pressing a function key on the keyboard.

I've just paired it to both the iPad and the Mac, and it works as advertised.

Keyboard feel is a little different to the Mac bluetooth keyboard - the keys are a little less squishy and more clicky, but not anywhere near as clicky as a proper mechanical keyboard (e.g. Matias or Das Keyboard).

Key placement will probably take a little getting used to - will report back later.

For the Windows PC users, the equivalent keyboard is the Logitech K810, but I don't think it has the clever switching capability (could be wrong though).

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Paroxysmal Attrial Fibrillation

I developed paroxysmal attrial fibrillation after a nervous breakdown 2 months ago.

I have been thoroughly checked out by a cardiologist and there is no underlying physical defects.

My uncle (at my age) and grandmother (in her 70's) also had AF so it seems it's genetic.

My uncle had an ablation and it solved his problem.

I am currently on a pill-in-pocket(200mg flecainide) approach with cardio-aspirin as an anticoagulant.

I get attacks about 2-3 times a week and then take flecainide which puts my heart back into sinus rhythm within 2 hours.

It gets triggered it seems by anxiety and exercise. But it is not always obvious.

It's really unpleasant being in AF, makes me very tired and is disrupting my whole life.

I am 43 with two kids 5 and 8 yrs old and 3 years into starting up my own company.

Lots of stress, travel, the need for long working hours and lots of time for my young family in between, is what I need to do.

I can't stop my new business venture now otherwise I will lose everything as its at a critical stage.

I thought I might be able to change my lifestyle and live with it but its not working.

I am starting to think ablation is the only way forward.

I would appreciate anybody with experience in this condition to give me some advise.

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vendredi 30 août 2013

Seamus Heaney has died.

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Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013

Today sees the sad passing of the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. I first took note when I read his wonderful Beowulf translation, and have since gone back to read much of his poetry. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995.

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The science of organic

A couple new things being "discovered" about how organic works. Submitted for discussion. Personally I have been taking advantage of many of these things for a long time. But my observations don't reach the standard of science. Nice to see real science finally catching up and beginning to determine causation.

Mycorrhizal Fungi: The World’s Biggest Drinking Straws And Largest Unseen Communication System

Fighting Microbes with Microbes

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Possible new image of Billy the Kid

A historian beleives he has found an tintype that shows the famous gun slinger William Bonney, AKA Billy the kid. Only one image to date has been accepted as an actual picture of the kid. This would be the second possible image.


Billy the Kid would have been about 20 years old when the picture was taken - with less than two years left on the planet. The only known photo of the youthful Billy was a tintype owned by Dedrick's family for years and then sold for $2.3 million to Palm Beach, Fla., businessman William Koch in 2011 at Brian Lebel’s Annual Old West Show and Auction in Denver. In that photo, Billy is packing a Colt revolver and trademark 1873 Winchester carbine rifle.

Read more:

Clearly there is motive for fraud but what do you all think?

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Kim Jong-un's approval rating higher than Obama's

Maybe Obama can take a similar step that Kim did in regards to his wife.

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NSA Commandeering the Internet

While almost certainly information that has come into the public eye due to Snowden's actions, this is an article that looks at just what the NSA has been doing to get access to everyone's internet.

More on the NSA Commandeering the Internet by Bruce Schneier


If there's any confirmation that the U.S. government has commandeered the Internet for worldwide surveillance, it is what happened with Lavabit earlier this month.

Lavabit is -- well, was -- an e-mail service that offered more privacy than the typical large-Internet-corporation services that most of us use. It was a small company, owned and operated by Ladar Levison, and it was popular among the tech-savvy. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden among its half-million users.


As more and more is revealed about just what the NSA has been doing, it is pretty clear to me that they crossed the moral line on what is acceptable long ago, regardless of what the legal situation ultimately ends up being.


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Victim of rape ordered to pay child support


I'm uncertain of the veracity of this and honestly hope that it's fake.

Short version, kid gets legally raped, over and over, and then is ordered to pay child support for the result of actions that were illegal.

Anyone happen to have more information? Is this a larger problem, for that matter? A friend of mine claims that there's also a case where a 13 year old has been ordered to pay child support as well, though his parents apparently get to shoulder the burden.

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Sylvia Browne plays Chinook Casinos

Large billboards have gone up for psychic actress Sylvia Browne, previously convicted of investment fraud and grand theft. Her recent apparent delusions of forecasting to parents shocking visions of their dead children --- the same children later actually found alive --- have shrunk her audience. Compound that shrinkage with now just scattered bookings in smaller spots down to less than 8,000 citizens. This billboard shows her September 13 and 14th appearance at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon. Amazing just how far and how rapid she has fallen --- and continues to fall.

Attached Images

File Type: jpg Sylvia Brown2.jpg (30.6 KB)

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Psychic Readings

Doing readings for anyone whom wants one..

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Morality of biblical characters

I have searched all over for this but I have yet to see it discussed anywhere.....

I've seen many discussions on the morality (or lack of) of Yahweh. My question is why did this god reveal itself to the most reprehensible characters in the scriptures. I could start with the Moses character. Or bring up the King David story or the Mohammed character, or...... The one that sticks with me most is the Noah character in the Genesis myth.

To think there would be a human being alive that was told the world was about to be destroyed and made no attempt to save any other humans is unconscionable. I'm sure a 600 year old man had some kind of family other than the 3 sons, wife and 3 daughters-in-law. This monster made no attempt to save any relatives, friends, acquaintances, or anyone.

Given the situation, I'm curious if anyone reading this would do the same. If anyone can defend this action, I'd like to see what justification there could possibly be to defend such an action. I would also like to see other opinions on the immorality of characters in scriptures.

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Religion, Spirituality or Science

I start this thread to get an idea on people thought son those three things.

I have never been into religion organized or otherwise for a few reasons.

I was raised by my mum who said she was raised Pentecostal-which I have no working idea of because when she mentioned that in a conversation we were having once at that point she didn't go to church or read any bible. She liked to hang out in cemeteries and living in haunted houses believed in spirits, even going so far when I was a teen to have a team sent out by the Warrens to see about incorporeal that were tormenting my younger brothers. And then she wants to start saying prayers to chase spirits away and for protection.

My father on the other hand I spent weekends with and he was a preacher in his church. Believed in god and all that went with it and took me to church with him on the weekends. Where I would have to wear the patent shoes I couldn't scuff without getting fussed at and a dress. (let me tell you I refused to wear a dress unless forced to for a long time in my teen years because of that) But overall going to church with him didn't seem as bothersome as when I would go with an Aunt to her Baptist church were the kids were sent downstairs and separated from the adults for like the first half of whatever sermon they had and then we kids were allowed to go up for the last 30-45 min.

Then there was another Aunt who did drugs, abused her kids in ways I won't get into. Even going so far as to beat someone she was seeing who was so sick when Aids fist came out because he didn't clean up something. Who claimed an about face reversal because she became a Jehovah Witness.

Now in my teen years I went for about 2-3 months to Jehovah Witness meetings with a girl from school. I was 13/14 at the time and I couldn't take it seriously in the least even though I tried to keep an open mind. But any belief system that tells you dinosaurs are not real and the world was only a few thousand years old when I had at the same time learning about dinosaurs a the planet evolution in school how can you take it seriously and realistically?

At the same time going through that teen I'm different phase which in my case was a desire to be away from people in space or on another planet to get away from them as you body changes ect. The only thing that made sense to what I was experiencing was in mythology. By the time I was 15/16 I had read so much history on mythology but rationally couldn't equate mythology to everyday life and yet felt more comfortable identifying myself as a pagan. Now at this time the hype for those were two categories goth or new age. And I didn't agree fit with either of those. I would read and watch shows where they would tell you and mind you this was 1989/1990 and before, that the subculture of witchcraft was harmful to youth mentality, leading them to be goth or new age. Now I have my own prejudiced against new agers at times that I won't get into here.

So personally while I was looking for my spirituality at a young age the only thing that I could relate to was considered essentially fake and unsubstantiated by science if not slandered with misconception and superstition of generations.

I believe in science and the things that have evolved from it but at the same time I resent the superstation and conditioning that people take for granted when they forget that the science you use today is based initially on what some would consider magic. The study of herbs and plants used for home remedies discounted today are the base of your chemistry creating the pills and antibiotics you take. That ancestors study of the stars over generations creating calendars and star maps of our system with their naked eyes verified by astrologers with their tech. Just two examples.

So are you personally religious or spiritual not the same thing and how do you relate that to science. I am aware that there are those who don't believe in deities or religion and feel that science is the end all be all. If it's not validated as true through scientific experimentation and documentation it's not real somehow. Yet how can concepts passed down through generations and repeated enough to be reoccurring because science hasn't found a way to validate it. But the very fact that it's a concept which is carried through generations well doesn't give it credence should make one wonder at the origin.

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Hawking radiation and black hole evaporation

Okay. Here's hoping to hear from some of you theoretical physicists and cosmologists.

Particle-antiparticle pairs are popping into existence all the time, but the energy of the universe as a whole is conserved because they annihilate each other quickly. When this occurs near the event horizon of a black hole, one particle can be sucked into the black hole while the other escapes as Hawking radiation.

Now, I've heard several times that this is the reason why black holes will evaporate over time. But that doesn't make sense to me - the black hole isn't losing mass or energy in this transaction, it is gaining mass from the particle that's swallowed up. The Hawking radiation can't carry away any of the black hole's energy, because whatever it carries away ought to be exactly balanced by the particle that is swallowed.

I'm clearly misunderstanding something here. Any help for someone with a non-mathematical background?

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Napalm/White Phosphorous used in Aleppo, Syria?

There has apparently now been an aerial attack with either napalm or white phosphorous on a school in Aleppo, in Syria. Not sure if there is a thread on this but here is an article on this story.

It does contain some very nasty photographs. And it is from the Mail.

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jeudi 29 août 2013

.exe and .jar files opening up by themselves

Iv been having this issue for sometime now and I was hoping someone here can help explain why its happening,

its usually old an plasma based video game and a jar file that was made for the old plasma based game by

fans to add a few extras but now its happening to a video game made with UDK/Unreal Engine.

I have never had a wireless key board or mouse for this pc, and no one else with access to my pc

that I know of is really interested in my old video game although I do have a OUIJA board mouse pad hmm:D....nevermind, any way.

Does any one know how/why this could be happening and should I be concerned about a security issue,

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Did you like No Child Left Behind?

Then you'll love the post-secondary version!


President Obama announced a set of ambitious proposals on Thursday aimed at making colleges more accountable and affordable by rating them and ultimately linking those ratings to financial aid.


A draft of the proposal, obtained by The New York Times and likely to cause some consternation among colleges, shows a plan to rate colleges before the 2015 school year based on measures like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend. The ratings would compare colleges against their peer institutions. If the plan can win Congressional approval, the idea is to base federal financial aid to students attending the colleges partly on those rankings.


Tennessee has been trying something similar:


After a series of meetings with the colleges, outside experts, and lawmakers, the state’s Higher Education Commission narrowed the evaluations down to about a half-dozen key factors that are tailored to the goals of each college. Community colleges have different criteria than four-year institutions, and research institutions get points for the amount of research grants they’ve been awarded. To encourage schools to work with needy and nontraditional students, the system awards school a 40 percent bonus for the outcomes of adult or lower-income students who receive Pell Grants.

The early efforts by Tennessee and other states that used performance metrics to mete out bonuses didn’t prove to make major changes to student outcomes, such as reducing dropout rates, according to a 2011 study (pdf) from Columbia University’s Teachers College. The researchers noted that there’s not yet enough data to evaluate the new, bigger efforts by Tennessee and a handful of others to make performance the dominant source of funding.

Regardless, as the trailblazer, Tennessee’s model is bound to be influential. As the New England Board of Higher Education wrote (pdf) in 2011, “The Tennessee approach is a game-changer, and its success or failure should be evident in short order.”


Having looked at college stats, I am kind of dubious about how the ranking will actually... work.

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Why didn't the GOP send any speakers to the MLK 50 yr event?

So Bill O'Reilly, the fact checker, went on a rant saying no Republicans were invited as speakers. Turns out all the top GOP leaders except McConnell were invited to speak and all had other engagements. This was planned well in advance so that in itself is odd.

Republicans absent from March on Washington

OK, let's see:

The elder Bush was too ill. I can believe that.

GW was supposedly still recovering from the stint they put in. Unless he had some unexpected complication, being unable to get out 3 weeks later is hard to believe. Most people are back to work in a week after a stint.

Jeb Bush didn't come. Guess they were trying to be fair inviting him?

Cantor, Boehner, and John McCain all turned down invitations to speak, too busy fund raising.

And apparently the one black GOP Senator was left off the invitation list along with McConnell.

Some claimed formal invitations coming only a month ago wasn't enough notice. :rolleyes: Because they didn't know the 50 yr event was scheduled?

If Michael Steele spends much more time with MSNBC, I wonder it he'll change parties?


Michael Steele, the first black Republican lieutenant governor of Maryland and a former Republican National Committee chairman, said event organizers told him that they were having difficulty attracting Republican speakers. He faulted GOP leaders for not making time to attend.

“It’s part of a continuing narrative that the party finds itself in with these big deals for minority communities around the country and how they perceive our response to them,” he said.

To be fair, Reid and Pelosi stayed in their home states, but it's not like the Democratic Party wasn't represented at the event.

I wonder if O'Reilly will correct his error or claim not enough notice for the speakers was a plot to make the GOP look bad.

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Psychic disclaimers

Walking past the supermarket notice board I noticed the following;

Sydney based Psychic Medium and author Louise Hermann ,will be connecting with loved ones in the spirit world.Through an evening of mediumship,Louise endeavors to provide you with comfort that your loved ones survive the process of physical death and continue to live on in spirit form.Louise has conducted more than 400 demonstrations in Australia,US and UK.

Date:Friday 20 September 2013.

Time:Seating from 6:30 pm for7pm sharp.There will be no interval with the evening concluding at 9pm

Cost:$20.00 cash payable at the door after registration below.

Registration:At or call or text with first name only and number of people attending on 0415183950

Please Note:There are no guarantees on readings for the evening as this is determined by the spirit world.

I have quoted verbatim,and would like some comments on the above poster.As far as I'm concerned this is just another scam,using cold reading possibly [unless electronics are involved].So,if the spirits decide NOT to cooperate ,she gets to keep the door takings.This is the first time I've come across this person

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I was forwarded this instructional video about how to perform CPR. Presumably to raise interest, the video uses Vinnie Jones who is famous for once being in a football team and in some films trading on his "hard man" image.

But one thing that I was surprised to hear in the video is that CPR should be performed as "hands only" without mouth-to-mouth. Has mouth-to-mouth been discredited or is "hands only" considered more effective for people who otherwise wouldn't know what to do?

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

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Richard Pryor Vs. George Carlin

How to choose?

Good luck.

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Who to vote Australian Federal Election Senate

Who will you vote for in the coming Australian Federal Senate elections.

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Who to Vote Australian Federal election

Who will you vote for in the coming Australian Federal Election.

I have already voted. Voted early going to USA on Monday for the all of September.

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Life on Earth may have come from Mars?

I'm currently at the Goldschmidt Conference in Florence, where Dr. Steven Brenner gave a talk proposing that life on Earth may have come from Mars. This has led to some head-scratching and furrowing-of-brows. His primary evidence is the oxidation state of molybdenum (Mo). Why Mo? I have no idea. To be fair, though, I am not an astrobiologist.

I missed his talk because I was in a different session, but I've been enjoying listening to the commentary in the aftermath.

Here's the BBC article and here's the abstract that he submitted to the conference (in the right-hand column).

Two things that catch my eye from the abstract:

1. This is a single-author abstract. While not rare, those are uncommon, especially at a conference like this. For comparison, I'm a co-convener for a different session here at Goldschmidt and we received a total of 34 submitted abstracts-- only 4 of them are single-author. To very broadly generalize, single-authors in the geosciences tend to be either lone geniuses, people who don't play well with others, or people who have unsupported ideas (and can't get anyone else to sign off on them). Of course, sometimes it's just people that prefer to work alone and have the means (both financial and intellectual) to pull it off-- it's just exceedingly rare in the geosciences.

2. His affiliations-- both of them are companies that he founded after leaving academia. Both seem to be in the business of selling stuff (amusingly, his second affiliation has a glowingly positive Yelp review).

Neither of these, in and of themselves, mean that his conclusions are invalid-- but the whole situation is certainly unconventional. It's been less than 24 hours and the rumblings about his talk have already begun to fade, so either there's not much controversy there, or his argument isn't convincing enough to generate much controversy. I'll loiter around the water cooler tomorrow and see what I can overhear :)

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H. P. Lovecraft films

A few nights ago I was channel surfing and found on the Chiller channel an exquisite black and white film version of H. P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness. Unfortunately, I hit on it fairly well into the movie; but it was still well worth watching. It was set in the late 1920s, with a 20s' view of advanced technology. Filming it in black and white made for excellent use of chiaroscuro. It had a very creepy Lovecraftian atmosphere. The same people who made this film also made a silent version of The Call of Chthulu. I've heard of a German version of The Color out of Space, done, appropriately, in black and white, that is also supposed to be well done.

This is a lot better than the 1970 film version of The Dunwich Horror, starring, Dean Stockwell, Sam Jaffe, Sandra Dee and Ed Begley, although it was fun seeing Miss Dee in sexy open-sided outfit. Before that, there were a bunch of Roger Corman style films, supposedly based on stuff by Edgar Allen Poe, but in reality Lovecraft stories.

You can see a preview of At the Mountains of Madness here which is being produced by James Cameron. From the preview one can see that they've sensibly set the film in the 20s or 30s. It's big budget, which may be promising, although I'm not sure Tom Cruise is a good fit for the film.

What do the rest of you think of this film, as well as The Whisperer in Darkness, The Call of Chthulu, The Color out of Space and others?

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Skepticism with and without interests

I wonder what Randi had answered if the scientist who discovered the photon teleportation had applied for the million dollar challenge.

It could have paid the donuts for every morning in the lab it was run.

I guess being skeptical must have a limit, and I guess anyone can be more skeptical than others just by interests: e.g. releasing a million dollar hehe, or pushing for a higher cause like saving people from scammers.

What is Randi's stake at teleportation now that is proved?

Would a magician STILL find fault in such a giant axe research facility?

or in other words, would a magician manage to make people believe the photon really didn't teleport because it broke one of the non-stablished quantum laws that the same experiment was trying to test? Like, basically the photon "didn't" teleport at the moment of the experiment because the new quantum or whatever law it might have led to discover teleportation wasn't declared as such until after the data collection, so whatever happened before wasn't called "teleportation" because the word as such didn't exist yet… you got the point.

I'm being just skeptic here, at the many ways words can be bent to deny something due to interests (marketing).

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Is this a fallacy? If so what is it?

In London, if homeless people are found on the street, and then never seen again in a particular period on the streets, they are then presumed to have not spent another night on the streets (I.e, they must have been accommodated).

Is this a fallacy? Is so what is it?

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Four teens accidentally break into store, pay for things

CBS News:


Four New Jersey college football players are proving that honesty is the best policy, CBS New York reports.

The students, from William Paterson University, were praised and rewarded after they mistakenly broke into a convenience store to buy sunglasses and batteries, then left cash on the counter when no employees were around.

WCBS reporter Steve Langford reported that the honest customers were caught on surveillance video walking into Buddy's Small Lots in Wayne, N.J., Sunday night. The story was actually closed when the customers walked in, but the lock malfunction and the door was open.

Looks like the stores lights were on, the door was unlocked, so very easy to mistake the store as open.

The four guys shop around a little while, call out for a cashier to pay for their items, leave cash on the counter + change to cover sales tax.

Thankfully no police showed up before the kids paid for their items.

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More executive orders on gun control.


….the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.

This is not a loophole. Many firearms are sold/owned by corporations. This does not allow them to give them to criminals and others who are prohibited from possessing them.


One new policy will end a government practice that lets military weapons, sold or donated by the U.S. to allies, be reimported into the U.S. by private entities, where some may end up on the streets.

It is much more likely that the vast majority of these firearms (mostly bolt action or old WWII vintage semi-autos) are going to end up in a law abiding gun owner’s safe or gun cabinet.


The White House said the U.S. has approved 250,000 of those guns to be reimported since 2005; under the new policy, only museums and a few other entities like the government will be eligible to reimport military-grade firearms.

The Obama administration is also proposing a federal rule to stop those who would be ineligible to pass a background check from skirting the law by registering certain guns, like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns, to a corporation or trust.

This proposal has been around for a while now. Why Obama has been sitting on his hands this whole time is beyond me.


The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks as individuals if they want to register those types of guns.

No reason to require mug shots and fingerprints for machine guns when a NICS is good for title 1 guns.


"It's a very artful dodge to get around people who are not capable, constitutionally or legally, of owning a weapon," Biden said.

Not really.


(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise

dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or

having reasonable cause to believe that such person -

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court

of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one



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Did environmentalists cause the Rim Fire near Yosemite?

Since this fire is currently only a few miles away from my house I have much interest in it. And I ran into the following comments from this MSNBC article.

First off it seems that it is the namby pamby hippies fault San Francisco gets its water and electricity from the Sierra Nevada.


I do not understand. All the tech firms and they depend on somebody else. To receive water and electricity from somebody. Looks like they can make pretty toys and gadgets. But not much else.


Well, now the progressive-liberal, greenie, tree hugging, filthy wannabe hippies can walk their talk! Those whack jobs think we should go back to living like that of the 1850's - so here you go. It's not like you people shower. No power, no water - start pedaling!


If San Francisco loses power, this is the perfect opportunity to show libs what life would be like without carbon emitting power. This is a possible teachable moment

Note that the fire is threatening a hydroelectric source of power.

But then we get to this comment which is similar to many others I have been seeing on articles about the giant New York City sized wildfire raging in my backyard.


Get the welfare bums, the prisoners, off of their collective butts and have them help to clean these forests. If we would allow the Forests to be cleaned, IE: logging, (clean up to be included in contract), you wouldn't see this happening.

Except that most of the area that is now burning is, in fact, logged on a regular basis. I see them go into these areas all the time to cut down the bigger trees leaving the smaller ones to grow into future lumber sources.


The militant environmentalists caused this. Decades and decades of natural fire suppression is the reason wildfires get so out of hand so easily. Take a look at pictures of Yosemite a 100 years ago. There were wide open spaces and meadows. The forest was naturally maintained by wildfires, which in turn created natural fire breaks. Look at it now, dense forest, even on the valley floor.

Except most of the area now burning burned in 1987. There are some isolated areas now burning that haven't burned in a long time but they are not representative of most of the devastated region. Furthermore I'm not aware of too many environmentalists being in favor of total fire suppression. I took ecology classes in college and everyone there seemed to understand the benefits of periodic wildfires.


As for the tree-huggers and hippies, yes, they're a part of the reason we can't have responsible forestry management out west. Old growth is pretty and all but if it is not periodically cleared this is the disaster you invite.

But old growth is not the problem with these wildfires. New growth is the problem. If there were periodic wildfires the new growth would be kept down and large tress would be mostly unaffected. And, again, I'm not aware of anyone arguing against fires for environmental reasons. I live in these forests and the only people I've seen fight against things like prescribed burns are the logging companies. They don't like them because they eliminate the young trees they want to harvest in a few years.


If you're talking about the federal congress, they should not be funding firefighting. It's not a federal authority. That is a local/state issue. Nowhere does el Constitution provide for firefighting, or as AG added, education. If you're talking about California not funding firefighters, that's for the people of Cali to deal with.

Hope all the firefighters remain safe. Hope all the SF greens get to live their utopia for a month. No power.

Darn that federal government for funding firefighting efforts in federal forests. And since when does anyone in SF want to live without electricity?


just let it burn. the problem is they keep puting out small fires and than there is more fuel for the next fire. this is the natural way to keep large fires from burnning is that the small fires burn the small amount of fuel and go out but when you keep putting them out large amounts of fuel pile up and when you have a fire it is a disaster.

Interesting. So the solution to not having periodic small fires that don't burn hot is to not fight a giant fire that burns everything with so much heat it sterilizes the landscape?


What happened to the HotShot firefighters (they sure have a great pension plan)? All the resources that go into the fire departments and Parks and Recreation. And the costly restrictive building codes and fire sprinkler systems etc. rules we must follow, yet the city of San Francisco is being threatened by fire. I'm afraid many residents will die if they have power and water services cut. Many of those city folk can't survive without comfortable amenities not to mention, basic resources. I'd hate to see an upset in a vital technology center not to mention the mecca of far left liberal superstructure. I guess, on the bright side, even natural disasters can provide an economic stimulus that has yet to occur. And fire is one thing Mother Nature uses to cleanse herself...

Erm....right. Firefighters are just lazy union softbodies. And a major city potentially losing power is something only liberals would find to be a hardship. I'm so sure that Montgomery, Alabama wouldn't even notice a sudden absence of electricity and water.


Let nature take it's course. Concentrate by using the available man-power on protecting buildings and homes where possible. Nature will always rejuvenate itself.

This fire was caused by either and arsonist or a neglected campfire. Is that nature taking its course?


So where are all of the SF solar power cells. There shouldn't be an issue in SF or with the environmentalists. Forest fires are healthy for the forests, but no so much for humans.

Yes, because we all know that what environmentalists really want is for each person to have their own solar generating plant. :rolleyes:

And very large wildfires like this one are not particularly healthy. They burn far hotter than anything that would naturally occur.


Why should San Francisco worry? They always wanted to go back to the stone age or they thought the rest of us should when it comes to power.

I really must keep an eye out for these pro stone age people down in San Francisco next time I am there.


Finally a good news! Those liberals, progressives, eco-Nazis, socialists, communists, "social sciences" professors, Democrats, and other creeps, bottom-feeders, slime, and scum of our once free and prosperous country in San Francisco can soon enjoy their "green energy" heaven right there!



Best natural way to rid the country of the worst's a free Obama fire!

Well I'm sure the fire will make sure to ask us who we voted for if it overtakes my town. I'm sure regretting for rejecting Romney now!


Could not happen to a better place full of greedy, perverted sick progressives.

Interesting. :boggled:


So San Francisco relies on powerlines that travel all the way across the San Joaquin valley from the opposite side of the state? This is ridiculous

Yeah, I mean who does that? Everyone knows that other cities get all their electricity from within.


Better not tell the global warming alarmists that an ecosystem is creating its own weather patterns.

Yeah, we know how much climatologists hate that! Just piles and piles of papers from them on how ecosystems don't create their own weather. :rolleyes:


it's these western states own fault. they will not allow the dead scrub brush to be removed as it will impact the enviroment. without a fire break these fires could rage for weeks. unless you allow the removal of dead scrubs these things will happen yearly. what's funny is when they do, the ones fighting the fires remove the brush themselves to try to stop the spread. to a liberal tree hugger hindsight never matters!

And here I'm gonna stop because this is all just too frustrating. The reality is that people with the environment in mind have been trying to get prescribed burns in more areas for years. It is the logging companies that stop it. Not hippies from San Francisco.

Now this wouldn't be that big of a problem if they logged properly but the logging method of choice these days are large clear cuts. And that is the absolute wrong thing if you want to prevent these huge wildfires. Clear cuts leave vast swathes of the forest with trees of the same age that will all go up at once if they are ever in a fire.

But all this is somewhat beside the point here because most of the territory now burning burned in 1987. However that fire burned so hot it left the entire area deforested which meant a massive tree planting campaign had to be done in the aftermath. Those tress are now 25 years old and ripe for burning very hot in the ongoing drought.

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Has the MMR Vaccine changed since we were kids?

I'm not much for debating with people over the internet. That being said, there is a guy on another site I frequent who is constantly going on about how terrible vaccines are (every site has them, right?) I point out that millions and millions of people have gotten the classic "booster" MMR shot, and the fraction of people with averse effects is very small, as would happen with prettiest much anything. Some people can't eat peanuts.

His retort today was that the booster shot "is not the same booster shot we got as kids." He then listed something from activistpost that had "100 compiled studies on vaccine dangers", although most of them were pre-1996.

We THEN confronted him about having legit peer-reviewed science, and apparently there are a few articles from the British Medical Journal in there. Sorry, I can't be bothered to check out all 100 articles.

Anyhow, I'll shut my rant down, and go back to my original question. What, if anything, is different about the MMR shot since we were kids?

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Military drones in use over USA skies!!!!!

Oh noes. Can the FEMA death camps be far behind?

Actually FEMA is in charge of much of the effort to evacuate locals from the fire.......I think maybe I should get a warning to them that they will end up in a Utah gas chamber?

But anyways right now is the time to panic over robot warplanes over our skies!!!!!


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Two Israeli soldiers walk into a Palestinian disco and...

Get down to Gangam style!

I feel that there's a lesson here.

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Does it work?

I'm not interested in the metaphyiscal aspects of prana, energy locks or chakras, i'm interested in physical exercise.

Does yoga help you get fitter? Build strength? Build flexibility and suppleness?

Or not?

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Tell me this crap is just a conspiracy site full of nut jobs...especially this story:


The CDC has quickly removed a page from their website, which is now cached here, admitting that more than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine within an 8-year span when a proportion of the vaccine was contaminated with a cancer causing polyomavirus called SV40. It has been estimated that 10-30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of the vaccine.

V40 is an abbreviation for Simian vacuolating virus 40 or Simian virus 40, a polyomavirus that is found in both monkeys and humans. Like other polyomaviruses, SV40 is a DNA virus that has been found to cause tumors and cancer.

SV40 is believed to suppress the transcriptional properties of the tumor-suppressing genes in humans through the SV40 Large T-antigen and SV40 Small T-antigen. Mutated genes may contribute to uncontrolled cellular proliferation, leading to cancer.

Michele Carbone, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Loyola University in Chicago, has recently isolated fragments of the SV-40 virus in human bone cancers and in a lethal form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. He found SV-40 in 33% of the osteosarcoma bone cancers studied, in 40% of other bone cancers, and in 60% of the mesotheliomas lung cancers, writes Geraldo Fuentes.

Dr. Michele Carbone openly acknowledged HIV/AIDS was spread by the hepatitis B vaccine produced by Merck & Co. during the early 1970s. It was the first time since the initial transmissions took place in 1972-74, that a leading expert in the field of vaccine manufacturing and testing has openly admitted the Merck & Co. liability for AIDS.

The matter-of-fact disclosure came during discussions of polio vaccines contaminated with SV40 virus which caused cancer in nearly every species infected by injection. Many authorities now admit much, possibly most, of the world’s cancers came from the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, and hepatitis B vaccines, produced in monkeys and chimps.

It is said mesothelioma is a result of asbestos exposure, but research reveals that 50% of the current mesotheliomas being treated no longer occurs due to asbestos but rather the SV-40 virus contained in the polio vaccination. In addition, according to researchers from the Institute of Histology and General Embryology of the University of Ferrara, SV-40 has turned up in a variety other tumors. By the end of 1996, dozens of scientists reported finding SV40 in a variety of bone cancers and a wide range of brain cancers, which had risen 30 percent over the previous 20 years.


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The Sasquatch in the Patterson film or the "Messing with Sasquatch commercial? Both are very good suits.

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Should Britain Get Involved Militarily in Syria?

ok - quite a few threads on Syria, but I was interested in other posters' opinions on this. The general public consensus seems to be we shouldn't, the general political mood seems likely that we will....

Lots of strands to discuss:

1) Is there sufficient evidence that this was carried out by the Assad regime (the joint intelligence chiefs clearly think so - though Iraq still casts a large shadow over our intelligence abilities in compiling dossiers....)

2) If 1 is correct, is there sufficient evidence that it was sanctioned by high ranking officials - or was it a "rogue" commander?

3) If there is compelling evidence that Assad was directly culpable then does that necessitate a military response? The Syrian civil war has already killed tens of thousands of civilians - so why this red line and not others?

4) Would military involvement make things better or worse? Are we looking for regime change? "Targeted strikes"? How would we achieve the former without an all out war, and would the latter actually have any impact? Would they lead to retaliatory strikes by Assad against Israel or Cyprus? And are the rebels fighting Assad any better than the regime they wish to overthrow?

5) Does Britain still have a role as a global policeman? Should we get involved in these things at all?

Those questions seem the most relevant - so, discuss :)

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End of the World as we know it.

Russia sends warships to Mediterranean as Syria tension rises

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Statue to memorialize homeless

Here in Austin they are talking about paying $175,000 to erect a statue in the park honoring the homeless.

Predictably, many homeless people are reacting to this by asking why they don't just use the money to buy them all a sandwich.

At first I thought, "Well, as long as it depicts the homeless in a dignified manner..."

Then I saw a picture of the proposed statue. The single most god-awful piece of crap I have ever laid eyes on.

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Judge in statutory rape case criticized for remarks and reducing sentence to 30 days.,1463530.story


A Montana judge has come under fire after handing down a 30-day sentence to a former high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student and for making statements in court that the victim was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher.

Outrage is particularly sharp in Billings, where the crime took place, because the girl committed suicide in 2010, just shy of her 17th birthday, as the criminal case was pending.


The uproar began Monday when Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, to 15 years in prison on one count of sexual intercourse without consent, but then suspended all but 31 days and gave him credit for one day served. Prosecutors had asked for 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.


The girl's mother, Auliea Hanlon, was in the courtroom and screamed at the judge before storming out, according to the Associated Press.

A 54 year old having sex with a 14 year old should get several years of real time in prison.

If they are a teacher (or in an equivalent position of authority over the child) they should get even more.

31 days is a joke.

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Freeman, Soverigns, their motivations and expectations

I have started this thread because the one named Freeman Success Stories has gotten way off topic. I fear the only reason we aren't getting any success stories is because the thread is too full!

I have tried to make this topic a little broader in order to allow more leeway for posts however I ask that you keep the complaining about Robert Maynard out of it. There is a whole thread just for that already called Rob Menard's FOTL Claims II.

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The uncountability of real numbers

I recently watched a YouTube video titled "Infinity is bigger than you think"...

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

In the video he brings up the idea of countable and uncountable sets (mentioning that he prefers to call them listable rather than countable, because you can't literally count an infinite sequence).

He starts with by pointing out that the set of whole numbers is countable listable, because if you keep adding the next number in the sequence to the list forever, you end up listing all whole numbers.

Then he explains how all possible fractions (using whole numbers) are also countable/listable.

Then he explains that real numbers are not countable/listable.

But this is where I have a problem. Thinking of how he made the fractions countable/listable, it occurs to me that there might be a way to do this with real numbers as well.

So I'll give my process for listing all possible real numbers, and then everyone else can explain to me exactly why I'm wrong.

(For simplicity I'll ignore negative numbers, because you can easily add them in afterward by having every positive number in the sequence followed its equivalent negative.)

Listing all the whole numbers is easy:

Example 1 - List of all whole numbers
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, .... (And so on)

But to list all the real numbers, we'll need to be able to list everything between the whole numbers as well. We need some method of listing every possible sequence of digits that can follow the decimal place.

But since the infinite sequence in Example 1 lists every possible sequence of digits, all we need to do is flip the numbers around so that all the digits are on the opposite side of the decimal place (while keeping all the digits the same relative distance from the decimal place as they were in Example 1).

Example 2 - List of all partial numbers
.0, .1, .2, .3, .4, .5, .6, .7, .8, .9, .01, .11, .21, .31, .41, .51, .61, .71, .81, .91, .02, .12, .22, .32, .42, .52, .62, .72, .82, .92, .03, .13, .23, .33, .43, .53, .63, .73, .83, .93, .04, .14, .24, .34, .44, .52, .64, .74, .84, .94, .05, ... (And so on)

All that remains to do is to merge the two lists together to get the list of all whole numbers.

The obvious problem is that you can't just take the first whole number and combine it with every possible partial number before moving onto the second whole number, because you'll never get to the second number even if you kept on listing it forever.

But that's exactly the same problem as with the fractions. He solved that in the video by putting them on a grid, an then listed the diagonals of the grid. We can apply the same solution here, listing whole values across the X-axis and partial values down the Y-axis...


Now we just have to list the diagonals...

Example 3 - List of all real numbers
0.0, 0.1, 1.0, 0.2, 1.1, 2.0, 0.3, 1.2, 2.1, 3.0, 0.4, 1.3, 2.2, 3.1, 4.0, 0.5, 1.4, 2.3, 3.2, 4.1, 5.0, 0.6, 1.5, 2.4, 3.3, 4.2, 5.1, 6.0, 0.7, 1.6, 2.5, 3.4, 4.3, 5.2, 6.1, 7.0, 0.8, 1.7, 2.6, 3.5, 4.4, 5.3, 6.2, 7.1, 8.0, 0.9, 1.8, 2.7, 3,6, 4.5, 5.4, 6.3, 7.2, 8.1, 9.0, ... (And so on)

Given that a list of all real numbers seems so easy to generate, can someone please explain why they're "uncountable" when the set of all possible fractions is "countable"?

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mercredi 28 août 2013

Sexual harassment at TAM?


Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe (Post 9457549)

Unless I've misunderstood you, this attempt at humour is implying that white people believe racism is an urban myth.

How is this implication not racist? You are attributing a negative quality to people based purely on their skin colour.

Careful now. If you're going to try saying "But white people really are racist!" then you're in the same company as people who say "But black people really are criminals who like fried chicken and watermelon!".

Oh, Kevin. On the Lisa Frank binder cover that is this thread, you truly are the wettest, shiniest, most pearlescent dolphin under the rainbow. I hope that you will always keep leaping, and that you will never stop twirling towards your fantastic dream*.

*Your dream of cleansing the world of mud people forever, that is. Because you are a white dolphin and white dolphins are racists.

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New Zealand Bans Software Patents

Well, this is going to cause some consternation!

Anguished reaction from patent trolls in 3,2,1.....???? Or not?

What do you think will be the real world ramifications of this decision:

ETA: More on the decision here at ArsTechnica:

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Largest Defense Spy rocket takes off

"VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE ( — The largest rocket ever to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base had a successful lift-off Wednesday.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket was launched with a $1 billion spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) “in support of national defense,” according to aerospace engineering firm United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Once it reaches orbit in about two days, the classified payload is expected to be able to distinguish details back on Earth as minute as the make and model of an automobile."

And you thought emails and phone calls were a concern!:eek:

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Retrocausality and the two-state vector formalism

I am interested in our resident physicists' opinions on this paper titled "Can a Future Choice Affect a Past Measurement's Outcome?"

The summary:

"An EPR experiment is studied where each particle undergoes a few weak measurements along some pre-set spin orientations, whose outcomes are individually recorded. Then the particle undergoes a strong measurement along a spin orientation freely chosen at the last moment. Bell-inequality violation is expected between the two final strong measurements within each EPR pair. At the same time, agreement is expected between these measurements and the earlier weak ones within the pair. A contradiction thereby ensues: i) Bell's theorem forbids spin values to exist prior to the choice of the spin-orientation to be measured; ii) A weak measurement cannot determine the outcome of a successive strong one; and iii) Indeed no disentanglement is inflicted by the weak measurements; yet iv) The weak measurements’ outcomes agree with those of the strong ones. The most reasonable resolution seems to be that of the Two-State-Vector Formalism, namely, that the experimenter’s choice has been encrypted within the weak measurement's outcomes, even before the experimenter themselves knows what their choice will be. Causal loops are avoided by this anticipation remaining encrypted until the final outcomes enable to decipher it."

I find the final paragraph both interesting and puzzling:

"Finally, this experiment sheds a new light on the age-old question of free will. Apparently, a measurement's anticipation of a human choice made much later renders the choice fully deterministic, bound by earlier causes. One profound result, however, shows that this is not the case. The choice anticipated by the weak outcomes can become known only after that choice is actually made. This inaccessibility, which prevents causal paradoxes like “killing one's grandfather,” secures human choice full freedom from both past and future constraints. A rigorous proof for this compatibility between TSVF and free choice is given elsewhere in detail [8]."

Here is another paper written for a more general audience:

~~ Paul

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The Air Beneath the Moon Part 1

The Air Beneath the Moon Part 1

So I have looked into the ancient sources, especially around the time of Paul and the early Christians, to see if the matrix of ideas and beliefs for Earl Doherty' sub-lunar (non-physical) incarnation theory of Jesus can be found in writings of the time. I have used computer searches to seek out key phrases for my quotes, to show that the elements of such a theory were known and discussed around the time of Paul. I have also included later quotes, if they confirm earlier comments.

Of course the authors quoted generally don't support a sub-lunar incarnation of Jesus - because it was Paul who crafted this original conception from that matrix of ideas.

I have used capitals for the key terms to emphasize their nature as specific, formal, named regions.

Disclaimer: I do support Earl's theory, and I often champion his views, and sometimes use his work for sources. I have occasionally been in touch with Earl, even recently when I suggested a few web fora to him. But this essay was written from my personal research of the sources; and occasional reference to Earl's works - any errors are mine.

Anyone is free to duplicate or post or distribute this essay, provide they attribute it to 'Kapyong'.

Ancient Greek philosophers divided the Universe into a broad dichotomy -

•Above the Moon -

divine, eternal, immortal, unchangeable, ethereal, spiritual, pure, light, divine providence

•Beneath the Moon -

material, changeable, mortal, corruptible, impure, dark, unreasoned, fortune, reproduction, destruction, perishable, ageing

Here are some quotes showing these various distinctions :

Cicero, The Dream of Scipio, 1st C.BC :

In the lowest Sphere the Moon revolves illumined by the rays of the Sun. Below [the Moon] in truth nothing exists which is not subject to death and decay, save indeed the Souls, which by the gift of the Gods are bestowed upon the human race. Above the Moon all things are eternal,

Plutarch, Isis and Osiris. 1st C. :

for that part of the world which undergoes reproduction and destruction is contained underneath the orb of the Moon, and all things in it are subjected to motion and to change

Plutarch, On the Failure of Oracles, 1st C. :

The power comes from the gods and demigods, but, for all that, it is not unfailing nor imperishable nor ageless, lasting into that infinite time by which all things between Earth and Moon become wearied out, according to our reasoning.

Philo, On Abraham, 1st C. :

...the light in heaven is unalloyed and free from any admixture of darkness, but in the sublunary atmosphere it is mingled with dark air.

Pliny Elder, History 2, 1st C. :

Above the Moon all is pure and lightsome continually


Epiphanius, Panarion I, 4th C. :

As well [Pythagoras] distinguished between what is Above the Moon which he called immortal, and what is Below [the Moon], which he called mortal.

Epipanius, Panarion I, 4th C. :

Aristotle the son of Nicomachus [said] that things Above the Moon are subject to divine providence, but that what is Below the Moon is not ruled by providence but borne along by some unreasoned motion. But he says there are two worlds, the world above, and the world below, and that the world above is immortal while the world below is mortal.

Eusebius, Preparatio Evangelica 15, 4th C. :

Aristotle: the part of the world Beneath the Moon may be affected by change, and the things terrestrial therein are doomed to perish.

Julian, On the Mother of the Gods, 4th C. :

Attis, therefore, the intelligible Power, the holder together of things material Below the Moon, having intercourse with the pre-ordained Cause of Matter, holds intercourse therewith, not as a male with a female, but as though flowing into it, since he is the same with it.

Sallust, On the Gods and the World, 5th C. :

Fortune has power Beneath the Moon, since Above the Moon no single thing can happen by fortune.

Here is a simple diagram of this dichotomy :

The region Below the Moon or the 'sublunary region' has the Earth as it central part (these are usually seen as concentric spheres, rather than flat layers shown on my simple diagram) :

Chaldean Oracles, 2nd C. :

The Chaldæans assigned the place of the Image, the vehicle of the irrational soul, to the Lunar Sphere; it is probable that by the Lunar Sphere was meant something more than the orb of the Moon, the whole sublunary region, of which the terrestrial Earth is, as it were, the centre

Beneath the Moon are Air, Water and Earth - which undergo change :

Philo, On the life of Moses, 1st C. :

Now of the three elements, out of which and in which all the different kinds of things which are perceptible by the outward senses and perishable are formed, namely, the Air, the water and the Earth, the garment which reached down to the feet in conjunction with the ornaments which were attached to that part of it which was about the ankles have been plainly shown to be appropriate symbols; for as the tunic is one, and as the aforesaid three elements are all of one species, since they all have all their revolutions and changes Beneath the Moon.

Air is Beneath the Moon - and between the Earth and Moon

Air fills the empty regions Below the Moon, between the Earth and the Moon, separating them :

Philo, On the Creation, 1st C. :

For the Air is in a manner spread above the empty space, since having mounted up it entirely fills all that open, and desolate, and empty place, which reaches down to us from the regions Below the Moon.

Plutarch, On the Failure of Oracles, 1st C. :

Now if the Air that is between the Earth and the Moon were to be removed and withdrawn, the unity and consociation of the universe would be destroyed, since there would be an empty and unconnected space in the middle;

Nag Hammadi, Asclepius :

Listen, Asclepius! There is a great demon. The great God has appointed him to be overseer or judge over the souls of men. And God has placed him in the middle of the Air, between Earth and heaven. Now when the soul comes forth from (the) body, it is necessary that it meet this daimon.

The 'sublunar sphere' is a distinct sphere, separate to Earth, Moon, stars, etc. :

Porphyry, On Images, 3rd C. :

There are also nine Muses singing to his lyre, which are the (one) sublunar sphere, and seven spheres of the planets, and one of the fixed stars.

So, the Air is a separate, distinct region between the circle of the Moon and the Earth.

Air is, at least in part, adjacent to Earth.

Philo, The Special Laws, 1st C. :

the rulers being all the bodies which are in heaven, such as planets and fixed stars; and the subjects being all the natures Beneath the Moon, hovering in the Air and adjacent to the Earth.

Plutarch, The Plays of Homer, 1st C. :

The top part of the Air is finer and more distant from the Earth and its exhalations.

The Upper Air is just Beneath the Moon :

Julian, The Caesars, 4th C. :

But just Below the Moon in the upper Air he had decided to entertain the Emperors.

Good souls rest in the mildest parts of Air, unjust souls are punished elsewhere :

Plutarch, On the Face in the Moon, 1st C. :

Unjust and licentious souls pay penalties for their offences; but the good must for a certain appointed time, sufficient to purge away and blow to the winds, as noxious exhalations, the defilements which come from the body, their vicious cause, be in that mildest part of the Air which they call 'The Meadows of Hades'

So, there are at least two parts to the Air.

Shown in a diagram, it seems like this :

Completing The Picture

There are also the following spheres or worlds to add :

•The underworld (Hades, Tartarus, Elysium)

•The Planetary Spheres

•The Empyrean (a late term for the highest sphere)

This gives a picture like so :

This is my summation of the classical view - but not everyone saw it exactly the same - some early writers locate Hades Under the Moon, at the Moon, or even on the far side.

The Air is filled with living beings and things and events

It should be clear that the Air is not the same as the mundane air i.e. atmosphere, (although it developed from it.) The atmosphere was generally seen as being the highest physical later of Earth, and perhaps co-mingling with the lower Air.

In the Air are many living beings - invisible souls, demons, spirits, angels - they can see us, but we generally cannot see them :

Philo, On Dreams, 1st C. :

This Air is the abode of incorporeal souls, since it seemed good to the Creator of the universe to fill all the parts of the world with living creatures. On this account he prepared the terrestrial animals for the Earth, the aquatic animals for the sea and for the rivers, and the stars for the heaven; for every one of these bodies is not merely a living animal, but is also properly described as the very purest and most universal mind extending through the universe; so that there are living creatures in that other section of the universe, the Air.

Philo, On the Giants, 1st C. :

Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the Air.


It is therefore necessary that the Air also should be full of living beings. And these beings are invisible to us, inasmuch as the Air itself is not visible to mortal sight.

Plutarch, On the face in the Moon 28, 1st C. :

All souls, whether without mind or with it, when it has issued from the body is destined to wander in the region between Earth and Moon but not for an equal time.

Lucan, 1st C. :

205 Now darkness came upon their wondering gaze, Now daylight pale and wan, their helmets wreathed In pallid mist; the spirits of their sires Hovered in Air, and shades of kindred dead Passed flitting through the gloom.

Testament of Solomon, 1st-5th C. :

Testament of Solomon, son of David, who was king in Jerusalem, and mastered and controlled all spirits of the Air, on the Earth, and under the Earth.

Some demons Under the Moon are good :

Porphyry, On Abstinence from Animal food, 3rd C. :

Such souls as are the progeny of the whole soul of the universe, and who govern the great parts of the region under the Moon, these, being incumbent on a pneumatic substance or spirit, and ruling over it conformably to reason, are to be considered as good dæmons,

Some demons or 'powers' of the Air are bad, but can be conquered by the actions of Christian martyrs :

Augustine, City of God, 4th C. :

And these fables mystically signified that Juno was mistress of the Air, which they suppose to be inhabited by the demons and the heroes, understanding by heroes the souls of the well-deserving dead. But for a quite opposite reason would we call our martyrs heroes,--supposing, as I said, that the usage of ecclesiastical language would admit of it,--not because they lived along with the demons in the Air, but because they conquered these demons or powers of the Air,

Non-Physical Actions Occur in the Air

Various sorts of (non-physical) actions are performed by the beings in the Air - especially related to death, punishment, and birth.

Demons punish souls in lakes in the Air :

Plutarch, Vision of Arideus, 1st C. :

Moreover, he said, there were certain lakes that lay parallel and equidistant one from the other, the one of boiling gold, another of lead, exceeding cold, and the third of iron, which was very scaly and rugged. By the sides of these lakes stood certain Daemons, that with their instruments, like smiths or founders, put in or drew out the souls of such as had transgressed either through avarice or an eager desire of other men’s goods.

Transparent sacrifices occur in the bright Air, and it is filled with light for the manifestation of things below :

Macarius Magnes, Apocritus, 4th C. :

So invisible spirits which flew in the Air, which Isaiah sang of as flying serpents, demanded white and transparent sacrifices of birds, seeing that the Air chances to be bright, and filled with light for the manifestation of the things that are below.

Note the comment that gods have non-physical bodies and blood :

Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods :

it must be admitted that the gods have the outward aspect of man, though this is not body, but quasi-body, and does not contain blood, but quasi-blood.

So it is clear that higher beings and objects existed - not having physical bodies - but some OTHER sort of material.

All life on Earth is affected from the Air

Air is filled with the seeds of vitality, vital spirit, and is productive of life due to God's special favour :

Philo, On the Giants, 1st C. :

It is then natural that that medium by which all other animals, whether aquatic of terrestrial, are vivified should itself be empty and destitute of souls? On the contrary, even if all other animals were barren, the Air by itself would be bound to be productive of life, having received from the great Creator the seeds of vitality by his especial favour.

Pliny Elder, History 2, 1st C. :

For even that part also have our forefathers called the Sky, which otherwise they name Air: even all that portion of the whole, which seeming like a void and empty place, yields this vital spirit whereby all things do live. This region is seated Beneath the Moon,

Origen, Celsus 8, 3rd C. :

Celsus goes on to say: "Let any one inquire of the Egyptians, and he will find that everything, even to the most insignificant, is committed to the care of a certain demon. The body of man is divided into thirty-six parts, and as many demons of the Air are appointed to the care of it, each having charge of a different part, although others make the number much larger. "

Conclusion :

By Paul's time, the following beliefs were known and discussed :

• There is a distinct region between the Earth and the Moon

• This region, called 'Air', is Beneath the Moon

• This Air separates the Earth from the Moon

• The Air is occupied with invisible beings, spirits, souls, demons, even Gods

• In the Air are non-physical things - lakes, thrones, beds, goblets, mountains etc.

• In the Air are non-physical beings, good and bad - souls, demons, spirits, even Gods

• In the Air higher Beings take action - such as whipping, punishments

• What happens In the Air is vital to us down on Earth.

Next, I will look specifically into the Christian view of such things as the firmament and heavens etc.


via JREF Forum