By Henry Jom
Modern science has verified what the ancients believed about one’s heart—that the heart is a center of higher wisdom. It can actually remember things and it functions much like the brain.
The heart’s structure is similar to that of the brain: it has an intricate network of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and support cells.
“There is a brain in the heart, metaphorically speaking,” said Dr. Rollin McCraty of the HeartMath Institute, a non-profit that offers treatments based on the connection between heart and brain. “The heart contains neurons and ganglia that have the same function as those of the brain, such as memory. It’s an anatomical fact,” he said.
“What people don’t know that well is that the heart actually sends more information to the brain [than the brain does to the heart],” he added.
Dr. J. Andrew Armour coined the term “heart brain” in 1991; he has also called the heart a “little brain.”
According to Harvard Medical School, chemical “conversations” between the heart and the brain affect both organs. Depression, stress, loneliness, a positive outlook, and other psychosocial factors influence the heart. The health of the heart can also affect the brain and the mind.
As neuro-cardiology (the study of the brain and heart connection) has developed, researchers have found that negative emotions throw both heart rhythms and brainwave patterns out of sync.
Stress responses, for example, take a toll on the body, contributing to high blood pressure, the development of artery-clogging plaque, and brain changes that may contribute to anxiety and depression, according to Harvard Medical School.
Conversely, when a person experiences positive emotions, heart rhythms and brainwave patterns are harmonious and coherent.
Heart as an Emotional Center
The heart as an organ is linked to the concept of heart as an emotional center. The heart sends messages through physical pathways to the brain, which are then interpreted as emotion.
McCraty explained: “Heart beats are similar to morse code, with these messages reflecting one’s emotional state.”
McCraty has worked as a psycho-physiologist for nearly 30 years. One technique he works with through the HeartMath Institute is “heart-focused breathing.”
While breathing deeply, the patient directs attention to the heart, which “shifts the physiology and facilitates changes in the body’s rhythms,” McCraty said.
Heart and brain wave patterning has been measured to observe the effects of this technique, showing greater coherence.
By Tara MacIsaac
Two camps of scientists have faced off on the issue of the underwater structure known as Bimini Road off the coast of the Bahamas since it was first discovered in 1968.
One camp says it is a 12,000–19,000-year-old man-made structure—flouting the conventional understanding that advanced civilizations only emerged some 5,000 years ago.
The other camp says it is a natural formation.
Dr. Eugene Shinn dismisses as “New Age” the claims that a culture advanced enough to build such a structure existed in that region so long ago. He has behind him the heavy weight of current scientific understandings.
Dr. Greg Little realizes his claims to the contrary are viewed with “outright ridicule,” as he explains in a 2005 paper on the subject. “I have no expectation that any of the skeptics will actually change their views or even consider any alternatives to their beliefs,” he writes.
“All contradictions to their beliefs are probably perceived as a direct threat to them professionally and psychologically,” Little says. “The long history of science has countless examples of widely held beliefs that were proven wrong by research. But even in the face of incontrovertible proof that these beliefs were wrong, many so-called scientists refused to accept the new evidence.”
Little is a psychologist who has taken a keen interest in Bimini and has participated in multiple dives with archaeologist William Donato along the structure.
Donato explains in an email to the Epoch Times that the line of stones form a wall, known as a breakwater, built to protect a prehistoric settlement from waves. During their dives (documented by film and photographs), Donato and Little found the structure to be multi-tiered and to include prop stones they say must have been placed there by humans.
The duo also say they found anchor stones with rope holes carved into them and at least one stone later analyzed at the University of Colorado, which was found to have tool marks, deliberate shaping, functional wear, and erosion features similar to steps.
Little writes that a neutron activation analysis compared nearby shore stones to the Bimini Wall stones and showed the Bimini stones had fewer trace elements, suggesting they were formed elsewhere and transported to that location.
“We know what the Bimini Road is now,” Donato says. “The natural feature theory has been totally discredited. Shinn has no background in archeology and [Marshall] McKusick [who worked with Shinn to promote the natural-formation theory] seems to know nothing about marine archeology.”
Shinn, a retired geologist who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, argues Bimini Road is made up of beachrock—the climate in the region causes sand and other materials on the shore to cement into rock relatively quickly, creating “beachrock”—that was covered by water as the sea level rose.
Rocks of similar shape and in a similar formation have been found in some other regions, says Shinn. The information he sent the Epoch Times in response to inquiries, however, did not seem to explain exactly how the rock forms into the large, thick block shapes seen in Bimini.
Shinn carbon dated some rock samples and found them to be only about 5,000 years old or younger. But, he later admitted to Little, the accuracy of his dating is questionable. Little explains that bulk dating is inaccurate because the samples can be contaminated by materials from later dates.
Shinn told Little, according to Little’s 2005 paper: “You are right, dating of beach rock is not very precise especially if it is a bulk sample. The dates listed in the Nature article were bulk dates done at a later date by a student learning the carbon 14 method.”
Little also accuses Shinn of changing the results of some of his studies.
One of the proofs Shinn has given in recent writings and interviews that Bimini is naturally formed involves core rock samples he took to show a dip toward deep water. If all the cores show a dip toward deep water, explains Little, this would indeed prove the rock formed where it is and did not form elsewhere later to be transported by humans to its present location.
In 1978, Shinn’s published study of Bimini states that 25 percent of his samples showed a dip toward deep water. Little points out that Shinn’s later writings claim all of his samples showed this dip.
When Little confronted Shinn on his discrepancies, Shinn replied: “You must realize that because of all the craziness surrounding the Bimini site and the unusual people, it was hard to take the exercise with the same seriousness we would have employed with our regular research. We did it for fun. There was not the peer review usually associated with our real jobs. The details you have pointed out are evidence of minimal peer review. I got a little carried away to make a good story.”
The Epoch Times asked Shinn to confirm he said this to Little and asked him to clarify the discrepancies pointed out by Little.
Shinn said via email: “I am not going to nit-pick over Little’s concerns.”
He called into question the funding behind Little’s work. Little is funded by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, says Shinn, which was started by people who believe in the writings of Cayce (1877–1945), a purported psychic who had visions of Atlantis.
Little states in his 2005 paper that his work on Bimini is not a quest to find Atlantis. “Skeptics invoke emotion-laden, ridiculing terms,” Little wrote.
Little states: “For obvious reasons, mainstream archaeologists have avoided Bimini as if it was infected with a deadly virus. They have been convinced by reading others’ summaries of the early research—not by digesting the actual facts—that Bimini has to be nothing but natural beachrock and that a harbor cannot be there—therefore it is not there.”
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Near death experiences NDEs have been reported through the ages by those who were near death—or thought they were—and then return.
Though these experiences are not all the same, they have many distinctive hallmarks: seeing a tunnel of light; seeing loved ones who have passed away; feeling bliss or euphoria; having a heightened sense of cognition; feeling a sense of great love; reviewing one’s whole life, often in a very short period of time; and feeling as if the soul has left the body. NDEs also tend to transform the lives of those who experience them—leading them to try to become better people.
These rich, interesting experiences have provoked the question of whether we truly do have souls, or if our consciousness is only a product of the brain. As brain science advances, there are an increasing number of claims that NDEs can be explained by neuroscience alone, thus obviating any need for an explanation based on the soul.
But how well do these explanations from neuroscience hold up?
One very important piece of information is that about half of NDEs occur when individuals think they are going to die, but are not actually medically close to death. So for example, if someone fell off a building, and thought they were going to die, but only sustained minor injuries. This means that if we’re looking to the brain to explain all the different elements of NDEs, we need an explanation that accounts situations where the person is actually dying, and those where there is no real threat of death, in terms of one’s medical condition.
A common explanation that has been advanced by some scientists is that when the brain is deprived of oxygen, you can expect various patterns of response, particularly a sense of bright light in your center of vision. This kind of experience can indeed be induced by a lack of oxygen, but the problem is, not all NDEs involve anoxia, yet many still have the sense of a tunnel of light.
Furthermore, when the brain is out of oxygen, it starts firing rapidly in a disorganized fashion—it’s not working properly. From our knowledge of the brain, we would not expect organized experience in this state, but a jumble perhaps akin to what one might find in seizures or in mental illness—other examples of the brain not working correctly.
But what we get are vivid, organized, transformational experiences—people report that their NDEs feel “more real than real,” they feel free, that they understand the universe at a deep level, and have never been happier. This can happen both when the brain is not in immediate danger, and when it’s under severe duress because of a life-threatening situation.
Interestingly, when the brain is close to death, there is a higher incidence of cognitive enhancement—the mind feels unfettered and able to process more thoughts than usual. That we would find enhanced cognition under deprived conditions for the brain does not square with our understanding of brain function.
Another brain-based explanation is that the out-of-body experience (OBE) portion of NDEs is caused by a misfiring at the temporal-parietal junction, a region of the brain thought to be responsible for forming one’s body concept.
The evidence that this region is responsible for the feeling of people leaving their bodies and perceiving the nearby surroundings—sometimes nearby rooms and areas—is surprisingly weak. The most-often mentioned study, by Blanke and colleagues, is based on one patient, and the patient’s explanations indicated that though she felt like she was not in her body, she only saw her legs and her trunk—which she would have been able to see anyway.
The study only demonstrated that electrically stimulating this part of the brain can make people feel like they’re not in their body, but doesn’t produce any of the other perceptual qualities of an OBE, like seeing their entire body, floating around the room, and seeing the surrounding environment. In short, it failed to elicit anything qualitatively close to the out-of-body component of an NDE.
Explanations for the life review—a phenomenon where the person’s life is reviewed, sometimes in great detail, and they feel remorse for selfish acts and satisfied with their “good” actions—are also particularly lacking.
One explanation, in a Scientific American article by Charles Choi, suggests that the brain region responsible for the life review is likely the locus coeruleus, an area that is involved in stress and is connected to areas that process emotion and memory. However, why would this area evoke an entire life’s worth of memories during death—or when death is thought imminent—and not elicit any memories during other extreme stress? And how does it explain the new moral insights that often accompany this aspect of an NDE?
Another article, by Mobbs and Watt, appearing in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, attempts to explain the life review by citing a single patient who exhibited REM (a characteristic state during dreaming) during an NDE. They conclude that the life review is probably related to REM because it happened during the NDE and is also associated with consolidation of memory.
One critical flaw with this argument is that REM has only been shown to be involved with the consolidation of procedural memories—things like learning a new skill such as riding a bike—and not for episodic memories that constitute the memories of one’s lifetime, as revisited in a life review.
Another major problem with the explanation, just like with the out-of-body example, is that it relies on only one patient. Relying on one example to make a generalization in a case like this is simply bad science, because you can’t know if it’s an exceptional situation.
Mobbs and Watt also try to explain the presence of loved ones who have passed away, giving the example that people with extreme Parkinson’s disease will sometimes hallucinate headless corpses, monsters, and ghosts, as well as dead relatives. Parkinson’s involves a problem with areas of the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the authors suggest that these hallucinations arise from a dopamine imbalance.
The problem with this is that almost all NDE cases report positive experiences, and feelings of love and bliss—not headless corpses. While there are some cases where people apparently experience something like hell and demons, the majority of cases are not this way.
A more significant problem is that in Parkinson’s disease cases, there is an awareness that these are hallucinations, whereas those with NDEs feel that it is real. This would, at the very least, suggest a different neural pathway.
A good explanation from neuroscience needs to not only actually account for each individual phenomenon, but do so in a way that combines them and explains how they happen together.
Another explanation offered for NDEs is confabulation—that these experiences are concocted by the mind as a way of explaining a gap in consciousness. This has been offered by biologist P.Z. Myers, a noted skeptic.
Myers says that when people come back from clinical death and recount a story it doesn’t mean they were aware during the time of clinical death, it could just be the brain’s way of accounting for the lost time. In fact, he claims that this is the “the default understanding by neuroscientists of how the brain works,” in an article posted on Slate.
This explanation suffers from the same major problem as the other neuroscience explanations: about half of NDEs don’t happen in truly life-threatening situations, meaning these people didn’t go unconscious at all, and thus there’s no gap to account for.
The other problem is that confabulation sounds plausible at first, but in the scientific literature, confabulation of fantastic or extraordinary events—which an NDE would be considered—only happens in people with severe memory problems.
People who have recently had some sort of brain trauma and have trouble both learning new information and remembering old information will sometimes confabulate stories to explain things. These are occasionally quite fantastic, such as being a space pirate, but share little in common with NDE-type experiences.
The explanation suffers other weaknesses, as well. For one, this kind of confabulation goes away over time. Two, the stories often change. And three, they don’t have any qualities of ineffability, a hallmark of NDEs—that is, people try to explain what they went through, but acknowledge that words really aren’t adequate for describing the experience.
So confabulation is a kind of cheap explanation—it might sound good at first, but doesn’t fit with what’s known about confabulation, and completely fails to account for half of NDEs.
It is important to try to explain these phenomena through known mechanisms, because we don’t want to falsely believe in things, but we also have to acknowledge weaknesses or when an argument entirely fails.
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By Naveen Athrappully
Each person is endowed with a unique set of characteristics that define him or her, with fingerprints and eye scans being the most commonly used methods of biometric identification. Now scientists have come upon another way through which a person, including his ethnicity, can be classified. As every smile is precious, every mouth, it has been proven, is unique. The microbial cocktail that thrives in the mouth cavity is different for everyone.
This study, undertaken by the University of Ohio, has also concluded that each ethnicity has a different oral bacterial composition. Following the results of this study, oral treatment, which has until now been basically the same for everyone, could be more specialized in the future, thereby increasing its effectiveness.
The study of 100 people from four ethnicities—African American, Latino, Caucasian, and Chinese—found that approximately 400 unique bacterial species exist in the mouth, out of which only 2 percent were similar in everyone who participated. About 90 percent of the individuals had 8 percent shared between them. Bacteria were taken from tooth surfaces, saliva, and under the gums.
The press release by the university stated that researchers found that “each ethnic group in the study was represented by a ‘signature’ of shared microbial communities.”
“This is the first time it has been shown that ethnicity is a huge component in determining what you carry in your mouth. We know that our food and oral hygiene habits determine what bacteria can survive and thrive in our mouths, which is why your dentist stresses brushing and flossing. Can your genetic makeup play a similar role? The answer seems to be yes, it can,” says Purnima Kumar, associate professor of periodontology at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study, in the press release.
Furthermore, the researchers constructed an algorithm that predicted individual ethnicities, which was right 62 percent of the time. African Americans, however, were identified with 100 percent accuracy.
The findings shed light on why some ethnicities like African Americans and Latinos are more prone to gum disease.
“The most important point of this paper is discovering that ethnicity-specific oral microbial communities may predispose individuals to future disease,” Kumar said.
Only about 40 percent of the bacteria in the mouth has ever been identified and studied, mainly because they don’t grow well in laboratory conditions. The bacterial species were classified by sequencing their DNA.
“Nature appears to win over nurture in shaping these communities,” Kumar noted in the study.
The group had already recognized the adverse effects some substances like tobacco have on the oral cavity. Smoking disrupts the healthy microbial community, causing infections ranging from cavities to oral cancer. The study also suggests dispositions toward certain diseases among different ethnic groups.
The trillions of invisible bacteria that make our bodies their home have not yet been fully studied by scientists. These organisms affect our bodies in many significant ways, telling a lot about a person including their health, intake of fat, allergies, and reactions to certain external elements.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was supported by the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
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By Zachary Stieber
Will there be a supernova in the next 50 years that is visible from Earth?
Yes, astronomers with Ohio State University say.
The odds are nearly 100 percent that a supernova visible to telescopes in the form of infrared radiation will happen in the Milky Way in the next 50 years, the astronomers say. They discovered the probability by using a simulation of supernova positions and modern dust models.
The odds are much lower—depending on where you are, 5 to 50 percent—that the spectacle would be visible to the naked eye in the nighttime sky, the astronomers wrote in the study announcement.
Astronomers can definitely see the supernova with high-powered infrared cameras, and the sight would be unprecedented.
Astronomers would have a chance to detect the supernova fast enough to witness what happens at the very beginning of a star’s demise, something that’s never been done. Typically, only remnants of supernova are captured in images.
A massive star “goes supernova” at the moment when it’s used up all its nuclear fuel and its core collapses, just before it explodes violently and throws off most of its mass into space.
“We see all these stars go supernova in other galaxies, and we don’t fully understand how it happens. We think we know, we say we know, but that’s not actually 100 percent true,” said Christopher Kochanek, professor of astronomy at Ohio State. “Today, technologies have advanced to the point that we can learn enormously more about supernovae if we can catch the next one in our galaxy and study it with all our available tools.”
Actually witnessing a supernova could prove or disprove associated theories that have thus far only been figured out using computer models and calculations.
“Every few days, we have the chance to observe supernovae happening outside of our galaxy,” said doctoral student Scott Adams. “But there’s only so much you can learn from those, whereas a galactic supernova would show us so much more. Our neutrino detectors and gravitational wave detectors are only sensitive enough to take measurements inside our galaxy, where we believe that a supernova happens only once or twice a century.”
The astronomers have published their findings in an issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
Supernovas are often seen in other galaxies but are difficult to see in our own Milky Way galaxy because of dust blocking the view.
“Despite the ease with which astronomers find supernovae occurring outside our galaxy, it wasn’t obvious before that it would be possible to get complete observations of a supernova occurring within our galaxy,” said Adams. “Soot dims the optical light from stars near the center of the galaxy by a factor of nearly a trillion by the time it gets to us. Fortunately, infrared light is not affected by this soot as much and is only dimmed by a factor of 20.”
By balancing all the factors, the astronomers determined that they have nearly a 100 percent chance of catching a prized Milky Way supernova during the next 50 years.
Additionally, the astronomers incorporate the fact that supernovas issue neutrinos immediately after the explosion starts, but don’t brighten in infrared or visible light until minutes, hours, or even days later.
Adams explains the findings more in the video below.
NASA, using the Chandra telescope, has discovered the remains of multiple supernovas that exploded in the Milky Way, including on of those that are pictured, the Cassiopeia A, the youngest remnant in the galaxy.
“The blue, wispy arcs in the image show where the acceleration is taking place in an expanding shock wave generated by the explosion,” according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “The red and green regions show material from the destroyed star that has been heated to millions of degrees by the explosion. Although observers at the time didn’t notice this supernova, astronomers today have detected its light echoing through the galaxy 400 years after the fact.”
Scientists study supernovas to learn about the universe, according to NASA. For instance, one kind of supernova has shown that our universe is expanding, growing at an ever increasing rate.
Below, see an artist’s conception of a binary star system that produces recurrent novae, and ultimately, the supernova PTF 11kx.
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By Pure Insight
Reincarnation. Fact, fallacy, superstition or simply coincidence? Those stories of people with super-minds; minds that delve into the past, minds that have the power to move objects and perceive things the rest of us cannot with our ordinary senses; minds that operate independently of the body. Since ancient times, these enigmas have intrigued rational people but only back in the 1970s are scientists, the Mind Detectives, beginning to understand something of the mysteries at work inside of us.
Do we have one life only or several? Have you ever experienced that feeling of déjà vu or a sense of “been here before”? According to mind detectives, we have experienced many previous lives in the past and we’ll go on being born again, into other forms, until we reach an absolute state.
Here are three interesting cases of experts’ experience on the subject of reincarnation. Below is Part I
Case Study 1 – the Bloxham tapes
Arnall Bloxham was a Welsh hypnotherapist from back in the 1970s who, over a 20-year period, hypnotized a few hundred people and recorded what appear to be descriptions of previous lives. Do the Bloxham tapes prove reincarnation or can they be explained in some other way? Arnall Bloxham is an expert in what hypnotists call ‘past lives regression experiments.’ Under hypnosis he can take a person back to the moment of his or her birth, and even beyond that. Bloxham was the president of the British Society of Hypnotherapists then and he was using hypnosis to cure people of physical ailments, like smoking, for instance.
What happens during his experiments on hypnotic regression defies common human logic. His clients could relate, in meticulous detail, lives of people who existed hundreds of years ago.
As unbelievable as it may seem, Bloxham produced over 400 tape recordings of hypnotized subjects reliving their previous lives. In addition, many detailed records, cross-references from these tapes, have been substantiated as facts. According to Bloxham, this strong evidence strongly supports the ancient belief of reincarnation as the truth.
One of Bloxham’s high-profile cases is that of Jane Evans. Jane’s regression into her past lives began in 1971 when she saw a poster that reads: “Arnall Bloxham says rheumatism is psychological.” Jane, a 32-year-old Welsh housewife who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, found the statement incredible, so she decided to get in touch with the man responsible for this poster. Indeed she did, through a friend of her husband. And ultimately got in touch with six of her past lives as well. They were: as a tutor’s wife in Roman times; as a Jew who was massacred in the 12th century in York; as the servant of a French medieval merchant prince; as a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon; as a poor servant in London during the reign of Queen Anne; and as a nun in 19th-century America.
The story of Jane Evans and several other examples of reincarnation were brought to light by BBC television producer, Jeffrey Iverson in his book, “More Lives Than One?” In 1975, in pursuing verification of the theory of reincarnation, Iverson asked Jane’s permission to let Bloxham hypnotize her again into regression, this time in the presence of a BBC television camera and tape recorder. Iverson then set out to uncover whether she did, in fact, have more lives than one.
Iverson researched the detail of these lives and verified that the details of Jane Evans’ recorded regressions were indeed founded on fact. At the end of the book he considers that Bloxham’s 20 years of work signify strong support for the concept of reincarnation. He also produced a BBC documentary film, called “The Bloxham Tapes” based on all these materials.
Case Number 2 - Dr. Arthur Guirdham’s Cathars
Skeptics have attributed this phenomenon to what mind detectives call “cryptomnesia,” a term that simply means remembering facts you forgot you ever knew! If such a distant memory could be culled from a person’s mind, it might logically explain Jane Evan’s supposed ‘reincarnation.’
However, for Dr. Arthur Guirdham, Britain’s other great authority on reincarnation, this explanation cannot account for the cases he had seen and heard. Dr. Guirdham relates these experiences in his books, “We Are One Another,” “The Cathars & Reincarnation” and his autobiography, “A Foot in Both Worlds.”
Dr. Guirdham, a retired national health psychiatrist in the U.K., heads a small group of people who believe that they were Cathars in their past lives, a heretical religious group which existed in the Languedoc area of south-west France in the 13th century.
The incident that led to Dr. Guirdham’s reincarnation theory began in Bath, 1962, in a hospital’s outpatient department, where Dr. Guirdham worked as a psychiatrist. His last patient on one particular day was an attractive, apparently normal young woman who had had a recurring nightmare occasionally since her teens, but was now experiencing it two or three times a week. In her dream she was lying on her back on the floor while a man approached her from behind. She did not know what was going to happen but was absolutely terrified.
Although Dr. Guirdham remained calm and detached, he had to hide his surprise while listening to his new patient for the woman was describing the same nightmare that had plagued him, too, for more than 30 years. The doctor was intrigued but said nothing to his patient. She never had the nightmare again and, as for Dr. Guirdham, his dream stopped within a week of meeting this new patient.
Their meetings continued, though. Dr. Guirdham was certain there was nothing mentally wrong with his patient and her knowledge of the past intrigued him. Later she gave him a list of names of people she said had existed in the 13th century and described things that happened to them. She also told Dr. Guirdham that he, too, had been alive then and was called Rogiet de Cruisot.
As a psychiatrist, Dr.Guirdham had picked up some basic information about the theory of reincarnation, but never had much interest in the subject. Nevertheless, intrigued by this case, he decided to investigate. He found that the names given to him by his patient were indeed accurate, though only mentioned in fairly obscure history records of the Middle Ages. Those records had been written in French though, and had never been translated into English. The people Dr. Guirdham’s patient described were all members of the Cathar sect, a group that had flourished in southern France and northern Italy in the Middle Ages. Among other things, the Cathars believed in reincarnation. Over time, Dr Guirdham met more and more individuals, 11 in total, who had memories of their past lives living together in a Cathar group.
None of the subjects were drugged or hypnotized; past names and incidents simply appeared in their minds, said Dr Guirdham. Dr Guirdham also produced one of the most remarkable pieces of evidence he had. It was the sketchpad of a seven-year-old girl, containing drawings of a bygone era. The sketchpad also includes many members’ names of the Cathar sect. Amazed, Dr Guirdham said, “It’s beyond me how a 7-year-old child could know these names when I shouldn’t think there was an expert in medieval history in England at the time who knew them.”
The sheer amount of memories, names and contacts convinced the doctor that he and his group had all lived together, not just once, but several lifetimes before. He said, “With 40 years of experience in medicine, it is either that I know the difference between a clairvoyant’s experience and a schizophrenic one or I am psychotic myself. None of the people in my group is mad in any way – and none of my colleagues have found me psychotic.”
Case Number 3 - Dr. Ian Stevenson, University of Virginia
If the world’s top experts on reincarnation were to be named, Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia would be on that list. He has traveled all over the world to investigate various reports of reincarnation and has devised a rigorous test to rule out fraud, cryptomnesia, etc. Out of 200, only 20 cases survived this tough test by Dr. Stevenson to be suggestive of possible cases of reincarnation. Seven of these cases occurred in India, three in Sri Lanka, two in Brazil, one in the Lebanon and seven among a tribe of Indians in Alaska.
Take the case of a very young girl, born in 1956 in central Sri Lanka with a tongue-twisting name of Gnantilleka Baddewithana. Soon after she had started learning to talk, she began mentioning another mother and father in another place, where she said she also had two brothers and many sisters.
From the details the little girl gave, her parents were able to fit her descriptions to a particular family in a town some distance away. They found that this family had lost a son in 1954. When Gnantilleka was taken to visit this family, she said that she was their dead son and correctly identified seven members of “his” family. But until then the families had never met each other or even visited each other’s town.
Skeptics may dismiss the theory of reincarnation as fallacy, while non-believers in reincarnation may brush it off as baseless superstition.
Regardless of whether you believe it or not, since time immemorial, Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Taoism have been advocating the theory of reincarnation in their beliefs. They believe in the theory of causation, in other words, the connection between cause and effect. They believe a person’s conduct in this present life matters and all the good deeds and misdemeanors committed by one will be accounted for. But, well, who is the bookkeeper?
Theory has it that the natural forces of the Cosmic Law, or you may call it Nature’s Law, will take precedence over this. A person’s deeds, good or bad will manifest their effects in one’s present life or the next, as good fortune or destiny versus bad destiny or retribution, and so on, according to the case itself.
The atheists would probably consider this theory as an example of “fatalistic syndrome.” The atheists believe life is what one makes out of it; one’s destiny is in one’s own hands.
On the contrary, Taoists believe a person reaps what he/she has sown. Perhaps, this explains one of the theories of Taoism about the eight types of people’s reincarnated destinies; such as, wealth vs. poverty, honor vs. ignobility (lowliness), longevity vs. short-life, and the like.
Perhaps this is also the reason why Buddhism has promoted the theory of the “six paths of samsara (reincarnation)” beginning some 2,500 years ago until today.
And perhaps this could be the reason for the often heard advice of our forefathers and parents to follow the maxim of, “Doing good deeds will be rewarded with virtues and doing bad or evil deeds will beget retribution”.
Read more: Reincarnation: Fact or Fallacy?
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A planet with no sun was spotted by astronomers, according to astronomers in Hawaii this week. The sun-less planet is reportedly six times the size of Jupiter.
Scientists have said that the planet, called PSO J318.5-22, could be the first real free-roaming planet spotted by astronomers to date. The planet was spotted drifting alone around eighty light years from Earth, according to the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manao, which conducted the research.
“We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that looks like this,” said lead researcher Michael Liu in a statement. “It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone. I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do.”
The planet, researchers said, formed around 12 million years ago and is similar to other gas giants orbiting around young stars, the university said. Earth is thought to be around 4.5 billion years old.
“Planets found by direct imaging are incredibly hard to study, since they are right next to their much brighter host stars. PSO J318.5-22 is not orbiting a star so it will be much easier for us to study. It is going to provide a wonderful view into the inner workings of gas-giant planets like Jupiter shortly after their birth,” Dr. Niall Deacon of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said in a statement.
The planet was discovered while researchers were trying to find brown dwarfs. Like PSO J318.5-22, brown dwarfs are faint and have cool temperatures.
But PSO J318.5-22 “stood out as an oddball, redder than even the reddest known brown dwarfs,” they said.
“We often describe looking for rare celestial objects as akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. So we decided to search the biggest haystack that exists in astronomy, the dataset from PS1,” said Dr. Eugene Magnier, co-author of the study.
More in Space
By Tara MacIsaac and Henry Jom
In the Eastern spiritual discipline of Daoism, the human body has long been viewed as a small universe, as a microcosm. As billion-dollar investments are made in the United States and Europe to research brain functioning, the correlations between the brain and the universe continue to emerge.
The two pictures below illustrate the similarities. The top picture shows the neural network of a brain cell; the bottom picture shows the distribution of dark matter in the universe as simulated by Millennium Simulation.
Pest adaptation to GMOs a global problem
South Africa’s government is increasingly opening the door to genetically modified organisms GMOs—along with the issues that arise as GMOs sweepingly change the country’s agriculture industry.
Many African nations are wary of welcoming GMOs. South Africa, however, is now the world’s eighth-largest GMO producer, with 2.9 million hectares (4.9 million acres) of GM maize, soybeans, and cotton grown in 2012.
One of the major problems South Africa has encountered is the increasing resistance of pests to the GM crops. A misuse of the technology is to blame, say some researchers.
Pest Resistance and Biotech Misuse
Pests have been a big problem in South Africa for decades, and GM crops, when first introduced, were seen by many as a new and much-needed solution to the problem.
Despite the higher cost of GM seeds, adoption by many farmers was quick, steady, and widespread.
The first GM crops, yellow maize hybrids from Monsanto, were introduced in 1997. By 2009, 98 percent of cotton, 85 percent of soybean, and 73 percent of maize grown in the country was GM.
During the mass transition, however, some regulations and controls were overlooked, and the result has been a resistance developed by pests to the toxins produced by GM plants. The plants are genetically engineered to kill pests.
Refuge areas are supposed to be created, in which a certain number of pests are allowed to live so that they don’t develop a resistance. Johnnie Van den Berg of the School of Environmental Sciences and Development at North-West University worked with researchers to survey 105 commercial farmers. Most farmers did not follow refuge requirements.
Because of this critical mistake, the pest targeted by GM maize—stem borers—developed widespread resistance to the crops.
“This study shows irresponsible management of GM crop technology by farmers, chemical, and seed companies,” the researchers said in the 2010 report.
Farmers had mixed views of the growing stem borer resistance. In Christiana, one of the six areas surveyed, farmers were highly aware of the resistance, and only 34 percent said they would plant Bt maize in the future.
In the other five areas, the high majority (70 to 100 percent) said they would plant Bt maize in the future, though at least 45 percent in each area said the growing resistance to stem borer may prevent them from doing so sometime in the future.
At the same time, the majority of farmers expressed an overall positive attitude toward Bt maize, associating it with increased productivity and convenient management.
Is GM Food Necessary in South Africa?
Professor Van den Berg wrote in an email to Epoch Times that there are many benefits to GM crops, including farmers saving money by spending less on fertilizer and other inputs, as well as getting higher yields. However, the resistance pests have developed against both Bt cotton and maize in some areas of South Africa means “the value of GM technology” has been lost in these areas, he said.
“The main message that we send out to industry and the farming community is that stewardship of GM technology is very important and that GM technology should not be used as a silver bullet approach but as part of integrated pest and weed management strategies,” he said. Private companies, such as Monsanto, that develop GM technologies will determine the future of GM crops in South Africa, he said.
The growing pest resistance is part of a worldwide phenomenon.
In an analysis of 77 studies conducted in eight countries, a team of U.S. and French scientists found that nearly half of major pest species had become resistant to Bt cotton or corn plants, including the one in South Africa.
“Either take more stringent measures to delay resistance, such as requiring larger refuges, or this pest will probably evolve resistance quickly,” said Bruce Tabashnik, a professor at the University of Arizona and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
On the other hand, the development of resistance in pests is inevitable even with conventional pesticides, said Karl Kunert, a professor at the Plant Science Department of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria.
While “resistance will ultimately occur” with all pesticides, including those produced by GMOs, proper application of GM technology “has delayed such development of resistance, which certainly speaks for the technology,” he wrote in an email.
He said South Africa does not yet have the expertise needed to deal with GM crops, but the crops could have benefits beyond producing more food, such as providing economic opportunities and health benefits in less developed areas.
“A simple example is engineered cotton with a better fiber quality,” he said. It “addresses the need for better nutrition, which cannot be easily addressed by simply supplementing food in Africa.”
Thus, the question of whether it’s necessary for GM crops to be grown there “is rather a question of benefit and demand by both farmers and consumers.”
GMO watchdog Biowatch South Africa has a different perspective.
Rose Williams, Biowatch’s director, wrote in an email to the Epoch Times that GM crops are not necessary. They undermine food sovereignty for the country, she said.
Williams cited four reasons GM crops aren’t necessary.
First, the seeds are patented, meaning the farmers have to buy seeds every year instead of re-using them. Second, the relative danger of GM crops contaminating non-GM crops is high. Third, the lack of bio-diversity in the mono-crop industrial model that GMOs are a part of. And lastly, the chemicals used in GMO production, which “poison the land” and “are not part of healthy and culturally appropriate food.”
A Negative Cycle
Mariam Mayet, an environmental lawyer who represents Biowatch South Africa, spoke to the increased pesticide and herbicide use.
The growing pest resistance has forced Monsanto, one of the largest GM crop and pesticide producers, to sell farmers more chemicals to control the epidemic, she said. Monsanto has completely abandoned the maize variety it was using and has introduced another variety.
“This, too, will result in insect evolution, necessitating more pesticide use, and so the treadmill will continue,” she said via email.
Mayet also takes issue with the common statements that GM crops decrease pesticide use, lead to greater yields, and are less susceptible to pests and drought.
In the United States, for instance, the introduction of GM crops resulted in a net increase of pesticide use, Mayet said, citing research by the Organic Center. From 1996 to 2009, pesticide application increased by 144,000 tons. In Brazil, pesticide sales increased by 72 percent from 2006 to 2012.
“We appear to be aping these trends here in South Africa,” she said. “Over half of our GM maize is now herbicide-tolerant and domestic glyphosate [a type of herbicide] use has rocketed accordingly, from 12 million liters [3 million gallons] in 2006, to 20 million liters [5 gallons] at present. In addition, between 2007 and 2011 glyphosate imports increased by 177 percent.
“This is particularly disturbing in the case of South Africa, as it is clear that our food safety authorities do not have the capacity to adequately monitor pesticide residue levels in our food.”
The Government Stance, Regulations
The country’s Department of Environmental Affairs website outlines the potential benefits of GM crops, including higher yields, and lower herbicide use. However, the department also outlines the main concerns, including potential risks to human and animal health.
GM crops are vetted by several agencies before being approved for commercial production. Notably, a type of locally developed GM potato was rejected in 2009, though 49 varieties of canola, cotton, maize, rice, and soybeans have been approved in the country.
Also, grain imports from the United States are not allowed in South Africa unless an accompanying permit certifies the grain is milled and can’t be planted in the country. Corn from the United States is not allowed in at all.
Officials say they want to make sure GMOs don’t completely take over local strains.
Illustrative of the mindsets of many elected officials who spoke at a 2006 parliamentary debate on a GMO bill amendment, then-Member of Parliament Dr. Ruth Rabinowitz said: “even though South Africa could not afford not to develop biotechnology, it could also not afford not to develop organic farming or indigenous plant [cultivation].”
“Both these two fields were being sacrificed to develop biotechnology,” she said.
A bill currently on the table could close a loophole in the the current GMO labeling law, mandating all food with more than 0.9 percent genetically modified ingredients be labeled.
The Department of Science and Technology’s manifesto on biotechnology states that GM crops are safe because any approved in South Africa have been “subject to extensive testing and regulations.” At the same time, it says, “There are groups who believe the effects of GMOs will only be determined after many, many years of consumption, and until this time, we should proceed with caution.”
It does not appear that any studies on the health effects of GM food have been conducted in the country, though researchers have looked at multiple other aspects.
South African scientists are developing unique GM varieties not found anywhere else. This could cause trouble, however, in exporting to countries that forbid non-approved GM strains, according to a 2010 Council of Scientific and Industrial Research study titled “GMOs in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges in South Africa.”
Several problems persist in the country, including limited funding for agricultural biotechnology research and a shortage of trained biodiversity experts, which means only one GM crop (MON810) out of the 129 in the country is being monitored.
Though the production of GM crops is kept separate from non-GM crops, a 2011 South African National Biodiversity Institute study showed a flow of genes from the GM Bt maize to non-GM maize. As most farmers now grow GM maize, and cross pollination does occur despite efforts to separate the crops, it is difficult to find non-GM maize in the country.
Knowledge of GMOs and Labeling
A study of 7,000 adults aged 16 and older across the country found that eight out of ten South Africans have no knowledge about biotechnology. The 2005 study by the Public Understanding of Biotechnology found that 63 percent of respondents didn’t know whether they had ever eaten food containing genetically modified ingredients.
Also in 2005, researchers from the GMO Testing Facility at the University of the Free State reported on the lack of a system to verify claims made on labels. They found 71 percent of products in South African stores labeled “non-GM,” “GMO free,” “organic,” contained genetically modified ingredients.
The Epoch Times is exploring the issue of genetic modification, especially as it pertains to food products, with a series titled “GMOs, A Global Debate.” Each article in this series focuses on the role and reception of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a different country. See all articles tagged GMOs and Biotech here
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The idea of continents that supported ancient, perhaps even cultured and prosperous people, before they sunk under the sea has captivated historians since the days of Plato and even earlier.
Made popular by the famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis is perhaps the most widely known, but certainly not the only sunken great landmass. In addition to the legend of Atlantis, there are also legends of other sunken continents, or large landmasses, one called Lemuria and another called Mu. Furthermore, there are others which have already been verified by science: Zealandia, Doggerland, and the Kerguelen Plateau, for example.
Perhaps the most famous sunken continent legend, Atlantis has sparked centuries of theories without much verification other than Plato’s stories, titled Tinnaeus and Critias, according to BBC. Plato tells a story of an island; he actually doesn’t use the term continent.
Its influence extended into the Mediterranean, past the Pillars of Hercules, which are known today as the Straits of Gibraltar. He said it was larger than Libya and Asia combined.
Its kings were descended from Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakes, according to Plato.
Atlantis was a powerful empire and its influence stretched to Italy and Egypt. Following a war with very ancient Greeks, Atlantis was destroyed in one terrible day by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods, approximately 9,000 years before Plato wrote about it around 360 B.C.
Plato documented the origin of the legend in Timaeus. According to Atlantis Quest, Critias learned the story from Solon, a Greek statesman and ancestor of Plato, when Critias visited Egypt about 590 B.C. Apparently, while in Sais, he had learned the legend from Egyptian priests who knew of the lost land.
Interestingly, Solon’s quest to Egypt is corroborated in Plutarch’s Solon, written 75 A.C.E.
The debate continues over the true location of Altantis. Some theorists claim that land masses off the coast of Crete may have been Atlantis. The latest theory came from physicist Rainer Kühne who claims that Atlantis was a piece of southern Spain destroyed by a flood between 800 and 500 B.C, according to National Geographic.
“These satellite photos show rectangular structures and concentric circles that match very well with Plato’s description of the palaces and the city of Atlantis,” said Kühne, according to National Geographic. His research was reported in the journal Antiquity.
Another interesting theory comes from Atlantis Quest. The continent might have existed as part of the mid-oceanic Azore Plateau and sunk quite suddenly, due to sea floor subsidence. The interesting part of this theory is the fact that the geologic timetable for the sinking corresponds to the time period Plato described.
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More in Beyond Science
Tags: archaeology, Culture, Science
A comet strike hit the Earth long ago, and evidence has been discovered in Tutankhamun’s brooch by African and international researchers.
The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago and exploded, “raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path,” according to the researchers.
The explosion heated the sand beneath it to about 3632 Fahrenheit, resulting in the formation of yellow silica glass. The glass is scattered over an approximately 3728 mile area in the Sahara desert.
A specimen of the glass is found in Tutankhamun’s brooch, a yellow scarab at the center.
“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor David Block of Wits University in the announcement.
The research was published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters and presented in public on Thursday at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Another form of evidence was a mysterious black pebble dubbed “Hypatia” that was found by an Egyptian geologist in the Sahara. After chemical analysis on the pebble, the researchers concluded that it is the first known evidence of a comet nucleus.
“We propose that the Hypatia stone is a remnant of a cometary nucleus fragment that impacted after incorporating gases from the atmosphere,” the researchers write in the introduction to the published findings. “Its co-occurrence with Libyan Desert Glass suggests that this fragment could have been part of a bolide that broke up and exploded in the airburst that formed the Glass. Its extraordinary preservation would be due to its shock-transformation into a weathering-resistant assemblage.”
“It’s a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realization of what it must be,” professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, lead author of the study, said.
“Comets contain the very secrets to unlocking the formation of our solar system and this discovery gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study comet material first hand,” said Block.
The gigantic impact of the explosion also produced microscopic diamonds.
The discoveries point to a new way of finding comet material.
“NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) spend billions of dollars collecting a few micrograms of comet material and bringing it back to Earth, and now we’ve got a radical new approach of studying this material, without spending billions of dollars collecting it,” said Kramers.
The study has come international. For instance, Dr. Mario di Martino of Turin’s Astrophysical Observatory has led several expeditions to the area where the desert glass is found.
Dr Marco Andreoli of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation and Chris Harris of the University of Cape Town were also involved, along with other researchers.
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Tags: archaeology, Culture, Science
CAVALESE, Italy—The year 1492 is one of history’s most famous dates, when America was discovered by Europeans. However that “New World” may have been already known to the ancient Greeks, according to a book by Italian physicist and philologist Lucio Russo.
The translated title for Russo’s book would be “The Forgotten America: The Relationship Among Civilizations and an Error Made by Ptolemy.” But the author told the Epoch Times that the title for the English version, which isn’t ready yet, will probably be “When the World Shrunk.”
Among the many clues of contact between ancient Europeans and Native Americans are the few pre-Columbian texts to have survived the Spanish devastation.
In a book about the origins of the Maya-Quiché people there are many interesting points. The fathers of that civilization, according to the text, were “black people, white people, people of many faces, people of many languages,” and they came from the East. “And it isn’t clear how they crossed over the sea. They crossed over as if there were no sea,” says the text.
However, researchers later decided to translate the Mayan word usually meant for “sea” as “lake.”
There are also many Mayan depictions and texts about men with beards. But Native Americans do not grow beards.
Furthermore, some artworks of the ancient Romans show pineapples, a fruit that originated in South America.
Ways of Thought
Russo, who currently teaches probability at Tor Vergata University of Rome, says the main reason why researchers think America wasn’t known to ancient Greeks is not due to lack of proof, but to scientific dogma.
For years, the theory that civilization evolves according to fixed stages has been dominant. For example, a civilization discovers fire, then invents the wheel, writing, and so on, all the way to modern technology and democracy. All civilizations are supposed to pass through these stages and they can be ranked according to their level of evolution.
But Russo presents a different scenario: inventions, like writing or breeding, didn’t develop independently in every different civilization, but filtered from one to another.
It is also untrue that science becomes better and better with time. There were, in fact, many instances of scientific and cultural decay, like the destruction of Carthage and the fall of Greek civilization, from which the Romans inherited only a small portion of their scientific knowledge.
Importantly, one of the skills they didn’t inherit was how to navigate the oceans.
You can get an idea of this by considering that “the size of the ships in the Hellenistic era was exceeded only in the era of Napoleon” and that Columbus based his trip on a partial recovery of Hellenistic math, according to the book. The Greeks were, among other things, at that time the only civilization that was able to understand that the Earth was round—an understanding that was later lost.
Even today we are in an epoch of “scientific crisis,” Russo told the Epoch Times. But it’s a crisis different from that of Roman times. The modern decay hides itself using technological advancements as a mask and consists in shrinking the availability of knowledge, now the property of a few people.
The Error of Ptolemy
So, how did people come to forget America, if it is true that it was already known to the ancients? The error, according to the author, is mainly due to Ptolemy, who developed a world map finding a midpoint between the claims made by various ancient sources.
The key problem is the identification of the Fortunate Islands, which the ancient Greeks sometimes referred to, as the Canary Islands (near the West coast of Africa). But the Greeks were actually referring to the Antilles, according to Russo. The misunderstanding was due to the Romans and other post-Greek people’s disbelief and incapability of navigating the oceans.
With philological and mathematical reasoning, Russo leads the reader to understand the meaning of all of Ptolemy’s errors—which are generally considered pretty huge—showing how the knowledge of the planet by ancient Greeks was instead very precise. Ptolemy missed the latitude of Canary Islands by 50 degrees, making them to appear on the point of the map were the Antilles would expected to be. Of course America was not on his map.
According to Russo, the book prompted two kinds of extreme reactions. Scientists and philologists showed enthusiasm, while negative reactions came from historians and geographers, whom he said were often unable to understand some logical aspects of his works.
Russo thinks we have “a lot to learn” from the ancient Greeks. For example we should “try to limit excessive specialization,” because the most interesting things can be understood only by those who have a grasp of more than one aspect of human knowledge.
Tags: Body & Mind, Nature, Science
The full moon can cause people to have a restless night’s sleep, according to research
By Richard Gray
With a reputation for triggering the appearance of creatures of the night, a full moon has often been associated with restless sleep.
However, new research has shown that the lunar cycle influences the way we sleep far more than simply causing us to cower beneath the covers.
Scientists have found that people’s sleep patterns are tuned to the waxing and waning of the moon, even when they were unaware of whether it was a full moon or not.
Tags: Nature, Science
By Tara MacIsaac
The science behind sunsets has a lot to do with how thick the atmosphere is between the sun and one’s vantage point.
Google+ hosted an online conference Monday with meteorologists to discuss age-old questions like “Why is the sky blue?” The conference was part of a ramp-up to Sunset Day on September 19. Netizens are asked to submit sunset photos on September 19 to the Google+ Sunset Day webpage.
The photos should ideally be taken on September 19, but may be taken on the days leading up to Sunset Day. They must be uploaded, however, on Sunset Day.
So why is the sky blue? Why does the sunset come in different colors? Why is the sky on Mars red?
The color we perceive in the sky has to do with how far the light must travel to reach our eyes, and which colors in the white light get filtered out along the way.
Brad Panovich, Chief Meteorologist at NBC Charlotte, explained that when the distance between the sun and our eyes is the shortest, violet is the color that makes it through the atmosphere best without being scattered.
Technically, the sky is violet, not blue—our eyes compensate and we see it as blue.
Thus, midday, the sky is blue because the sun is overhead and the light has a shorter distance to travel through the atmosphere.
This diagram, shared by Tim Brice of the National Weather Service El Paso, shows what happens when the sun sets. The light coming in from an angle in the evening must travel through more atmosphere to reach our eyes. When this happens, blue and violet are scattered, leaving more red and orange light.
Some factors in the atmosphere can also affect the color of light reaching our eyes. Smoke particles, for example, filter out yellow light, leaving more vibrant red.
Why is a sunset by a lake or another body of water especially beautiful? Panovich said it isn’t necessarily that the light is affected; it could simply be that a large body of water often means better visibility of the horizon without trees and other obstacles.
Meteorologist Morgan Palmer said people have asked him “Why is the sky on Mars red?”
The answer is that the wind and red soil combined creates a red dust in the atmosphere. He thinks without the dust, the sky would be a deep blue.
Tags: Nature, Science, Society
By Jack Phillips
A Bermuda Triangle 1817 tsunami that tossed ships as far away as the Delaware River near Philadelphia was triggered by an earthquake.
At the time, reports said that a “tidal wave” tossed the ships, but according to a report on Tuesday, it was actually a tsunami triggered by an earthquake.
LiveScience.com reported that the tsunami was caused by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that hit at around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 8, 1817. It was discovered that the quake, which was originally between a magnitude-4.8 and a magnitude-6, was actually much stronger.
U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist Susan Hough found the source of the quake via newly found archival records.
“That was the eureka moment,” Hough told LiveScience. “Darned if that wave doesn’t hit the Delaware River and slow way down.”
Ships in the Delaware River also shook in 1858, 1877 and 1879.
“It was interesting enough to mention,” Hough told the website. “People were feeling earthquakes on ships, and earthquakes can damage early ships. Maybe this is part of the thinking that there were strange things going on in that part of the ocean.”