China Stumbles Into Future of Genetically Modified Food

29 September, 2014 at 07:23 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Food, health, Science, sustainable development | 6 Comments
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Despite health concerns authorities push GMO, without fully admitting what they are doing

By Zhang Hong
Epoch Times

On Aug. 17 safety certificates for genetically modified GMO varieties of corn and rice were due to be renewed by China’s Ministry of Agriculture, but the deadline came and went with no action being taken.

The failure to act was apparently not an oversight. Huang Dafang, a researcher from the Biotechnology Research Institute and a member of China’s Biosafety Committee, told state-run Xinhua news agency on Sept. 4 that the central authorities have an attitude of “active research and careful promotion” of GMOs.

Because local authorities fear public opinion against GMOs, Huang said, there was “a very slow procedure in getting approval” and the Aug. 17 deadline was missed.

The failure to act in this case amounts to a de facto approval. The curious handling of these safety certificates fits a general pattern of the Chinese regime moving toward a broad adoption of GMO food without publicly acknowledging this is happening.

Although authorities have never approved the commercial distribution of GMO rice in China, the environmental group Greenpeace reported that GMO rice was found in 4 of 15 samples bought by activists in randomly chosen supermarkets in November 2013 in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province.

Last year, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily reported that 27 countries in Europe have found GMO-contaminated rice among Chinese exports, including 46 shipments in 2010, and 19 shipments in the first 10 months in 2011. According to People’s Daily, although all of the shipments were returned and supposedly destroyed, they were actually sold on the domestic Chinese market.

On July 31, China News published an article headlined, “GMO Rice Grown in Hubei on a Large Scale, Growers Refuse to Eat It Themselves.”

According to the article, farmers who grow GMO rice sell all of it, refusing themselves to eat it. Instead, they grow a small amount of conventional rice for themselves and their families. As a result, GMO rice has taken over.

A rice farmer named Dong Kejiang told China News, “It is now difficult to find conventional rice seeds.”

Not Just Rice

The Economic Observer, a magazine in mainland China, reported in June 2011 that a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences said at a forum hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture that GMO crops such as corn and rice have been illegally grown in China for a long time.

GMO corn varieties were found all over the country including in the provinces of Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou, Liaoning, and Jilin, according to the Economic Observer.

Much of the GMO food consumed in China is imported.

Professor Sun Wenguang from Shandong University Department of Economics told Epoch Times the Communist Party imports large quantities of GMO crops to alleviate food shortages, since GMO foods are relatively inexpensive. The Party intentionally conceals data such as the varieties of and lab results for GMO foods, according to Sun.

According to China-based Science Net, Li Guoxiang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said China imports over 70 percent of its soybeans and more than 90 percent of its vegetable seeds, and most of them are genetically modified.

The extent to which the state is pushing GMO food can be seen in budgetary figures mentioned in a 2010 report.

China-based Science and Technology Daily quoted a member of the National People’s Congress who is also a director of a research institute for rice as saying that the central government had approved 30 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion) for the research and development of GMO crops, but only 180 million yuan (US$29 million) for non-GMO crops.

The state’s official data doesn’t reveal the extent of the use of GMO in China.

According to the data published by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013, China has issued GMO Safety Certificates for eight domestically developed, genetically modified crops, including varieties of tomato, cotton, petunia, sweet pepper, chili pepper, papaya, rice, and corn.

However, according to the Plant Genetic Engineering Center in Hebei Province, a government-funded research center, the Ministry of Agriculture has in fact issued as many as 1,110 certificates since 1996.

This plunge into GMOs may have presented Chinese society with a fait accompli.

“GMO has entered so many areas of society, it’s almost impossible to ban it now,” said Li Guoxiang.

Safety

The GMO rice whose safety certificate expired on Aug. 17 is named Bt Shanyou 63. It has a protein called Bt added to it, which helps the rice resist pests.

Dr. Wang Yuedan of the Department of Medicine at Beijing University noted that Bt is a type of bacterial protein that kills insects and bugs by dissolving and “melting” their intestines.

“The Bt protein is not a natural component of rice,” Wang said. “It is a bacterial protein. There have not been sufficient laboratory tests on the safety of this variety of rice.”

“We do not yet know what possible effects eating this variety of rice will have on human physiology, especially when this bacterial protein is absorbed into the blood stream,” Wang said. “This bacterial protein, when fully integrated into the human body, may cause allergies and may weaken the immune system.”

After Wang injected his lab rats with the Bt protein four times over a four-month period, he found their immune systems became abnormal, their spleens atrophied, and their white blood cell counts changed. He said this shows the Bt protein seriously affects mammals.

Yuan Longping is an agricultural scientist and popularly known as China’s “father of hybrid rice.” He is also a critic of the Bt rice.

During the China Development Forum 2014 Yuan told Xinhua, “A number of transgenic, insect-resistant rice varieties contain a toxic protein. If insects die after ingesting it, what happens when humans eat it? We have to be especially careful.”

Fudan University life sciences professor Yang Jinshui recently told Shanghai Daily, “The bacteria genes in GMO rice cannot be completely metabolized and eliminated.” Yang is a member of the genetic research team at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

“Rice is the staple food of the Chinese,” Yang said. “If [GMO rice is] industrialized and commercialized on a large scale, there is no turning back in our country. So we have to be extremely careful.”

via China Stumbles Into Future of Genetically Modified Food

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Scientific Proof for Karma? York U Study Finds Small Acts of Kindness Have Big Impact on Emotional Well-Being

16 September, 2014 at 10:04 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science, Spirituality | Leave a comment
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York University

TORONTO, May 17, 2011 – Practicing small acts of kindness will make you a happier person, and the boost in mood stays with you for months, according to research out of York University.

More than 700 people took part in a study which charted the effects of being nice to others, in small doses, over the course of a week. Researchers asked participants to act compassionately towards someone for 5-15 minutes a day, by actively helping or interacting with them in a supportive and considerate manner. Six months later, participants reported increased happiness and self-esteem.

“The concept of compassion and kindness resonates with so many religious traditions, yet it has received little empirical evidence until recently,” says lead author Myriam Mongrain, associate professor of psychology in York’s Faculty of Health. “What’s amazing is that the time investment required for these changes to occur is so small. We’re talking about mere minutes a day,” she says.

Participants’ levels of depression, happiness, and self-esteem were assessed at the study’s onset, and at four subsequent points over the following six months; those in the compassionate condition reported significantly greater increases in self-esteem and happiness at six months compared to those in the control group.

So why does doing good for others make us feel good about ourselves?

Read more: Scientific proof for karma? York U study finds small acts of kindness have big impact on emotional well-being | York Media Relations

New Study Finds 5 Days Away From Electronic Devices has Dramatic Effects on Children

26 August, 2014 at 14:02 | Posted in Body & Mind, Children, IT and Media, Science, sustainable development, Technology | 1 Comment
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PsyBlog

Children who spend five days away from their smartphones, televisions and other screens were substantially better at reading facial emotions afterwards, a new study has found.

The UCLA study suggests that children’s social skills are hurt by spending less and less time interacting face-to-face (Uhls et al., 2014).

Professor Patricia Greenfield, who co-authored the study, said:

“Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs.

Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs.

The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills.”

Read more: Why You Should Take a Week-Long Break From All Screens

 

Letting It Go: Take Responsibility, Make Amends, and Forgive Yourself

15 August, 2014 at 08:31 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment
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By Baylor University

Forgiving ourselves for hurting another is easier if we first make amends—thus giving our inner selves a “moral OK,” according to Baylor University psychology researchers.

The research, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, is significant because previous studies show that the inability to self-forgive can be a factor in depression, anxiety, and a weakened immune system, researchers said.

“One of the barriers people face in forgiving themselves appears to be that people feel morally obligated to hang on to those feelings. They feel they deserve to feel bad. Our study found that making amends gives us permission to let go,” said researcher Thomas Carpenter, a doctoral student in psychology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The research article was based on two studies. In the first, 269 participants recalled diverse “real-world” offenses they had committed, ranging from romantic betrayals to physical injury to gossip to rejection. In the second study, 208 participants were asked about a hypothetical wrong.

In the first study, participants were asked how much they have forgiven themselves for an actual offense; how much they had tried such efforts as apology, asking forgiveness and restitution; how much they felt the other person had forgiven them; and how much they saw self-forgiveness as morally appropriate.

The more they made amends, the more they felt self-forgiveness was morally permissible. Further, receiving forgiveness also appeared to help people feel it was all right.

Researchers said one limitation of the first study was that the offenses varied from person to person. So to further test their hypotheses, in Study 2 they used a standardized hypothetical offense—failing to take the blame for the action that caused a friend’s firing. This study revealed similar results to the first, although—unlike in Study 1—receiving forgiveness from someone else had little effect on whether one forgave oneself.

The research also showed that the guiltier a person felt and the more serious the wrong, the less he or she was likely to self-forgive. Making amends also appeared to help people self-forgive by reducing those feelings, the researchers found. Also, women were generally less self-forgiving than men.

Self-forgiveness may be “morally ambiguous territory,” researchers wrote, and “individuals may, at times, believe that they deserve to continue to pay for their wrongs.” But by making amends, they may be able to “tip the scales of justice.”

Funding for the research was supported in part by a grant from the Fetzer Institute. Study co-authors are Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences; and Robert D. Carlisle, Ph.D., an analyst at Mesa Public Schools and formerly of the department of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor.

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution.

From Newswise

via Letting It Go: Take Responsibility, Make Amends, and Forgive Yourself

Grounding – The Ultimate Healing Technique?

11 August, 2014 at 09:20 | Posted in beyond science, Body & Mind, health, Science | Leave a comment
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By Derek Henry
Holistic Health Coach for Healing the Body

The amount of barriers to healing is a long and sordid list, with a dirty food, water and air supply sitting at the top. Combine that with a poor relationship with the sun and the earth, and true healing becomes very difficult. However, if we can reignite our connection with the earth, we may find healing becomes a lot easier.

What is Grounding?

Grounding, also known as earthing, is based on research showing that having a connection to the earth’s electrical energy promotes physical well-being. This connection is made between the electrical frequencies of the human body and that of the earth, which can be achieved directly (e.g., barefoot in grass or on a beach) or by proxy through grounding technology.

Turns out, its one of the core foundations for true health.

The Pioneer and the Science

Clinton Ober, a recognized pioneer in the concept of earthing, knew that the earth’s surface is made up of negatively charged ions, which contain extra electrons. These electrons have the ability to reduce positive charges, like those of free radicals. Free radicals circulate in our body looking for electrons in order to be complete, and once they do, they are “neutralized” and no longer contribute to inflammation in the body.

Ober finally received support in 2004, after many years of personal research, when the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine published one of his studies. The results showed that “earthing during your sleep resynchronizes cortisol secretion more in alignment with its natural, normal rhythm.”

This research has provided us with a whole new way to appreciate the earth.

Read more: Grounding – The Ultimate Healing Technique?

Native American Awakes From War Trauma Speaking Russian, Paints Like Dead Russian Artist

2 August, 2014 at 10:59 | Posted in beyond science, Funny things :-), Science, Spirituality | Leave a comment
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By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In “Beyond Science” Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.

David Paladin’s true story is one so full of hardship, perseverance, and metaphysical mystery, that it has captured the imagination of many over the past 70 years.

“Have you ever heard a story so powerful that it reverberated loudly through your interior landscape? Or it stopped you cold in your tracks and made you think—hard—about your life? I did in 1994, and it’s still with me today,” wrote Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., in a Selfgrowth.com post, referring to Paladin’s story told to her by author Caroline Myss. “For weeks and weeks after attending a professional conference where I first heard this story, I told everyone I encountered this tale. And I mean everyone.”

In 1985, Paladin told Myss about his days as a childhood alcoholic on a Navajo reservation, his time serving in WWII, a strange coincidence that saved his life, and the torture he endured as a prisoner of war. The most mysterious part of Paladin’s story is the part in which the deceased Russian painter Vassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) may have entered his body and stayed there. That’s where reincarnation researcher Dr. H.N. Banerjee comes in. Banerjee wrote about Paladin’s case in his book “The Once and Future Life.”

The following account of Paladin’s life draws from Myss’s book, “Anatomy of the Spirit,” the story as she told it to Dr. McDowell, and Banerjee’s reports.

Read more: Native American Awakes From War Trauma Speaking Russian, Paints Like Dead Russian Artist – The Epoch Times

Everything We Have Been Taught About Our Origins Is A Lie

24 June, 2014 at 09:00 | Posted in archaeology, Culture, Funny things :-), Science | Leave a comment
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- See more at: http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927#sthash.xvdxlCGm.5LOInRq6.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927#sthash.xvdxlCGm.5LOInRq6.dpuf


Written by Graham Pick

In June 1936 Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk beside a waterfall near to London, Texas, when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. What they found within shocked the archaeological and scientific community. Embedded in the rock was what appeared to be some type of ancient man made hammer.

A team of archaeologists analysed and dated it. The rock encasing the hammer was dated to more than 400 million years old. The hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the wooden handle had begun the metamorphosis into coal. The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without assistance from relatively modern smelting methods.

A team of archaeologists analysed and dated it. The rock encasing the hammer was dated to more than 400 million years old. The hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the wooden handle had begun the metamorphosis into coal.  The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without assistance from relatively modern smelting methods.

In 1889 near Nampa, Idaho, whilst workers were boring an artesian well, a small figurine made of baked clay was extracted from a depth of 320 feet. To reach this depth the workers had to cut through fifteen feet of basalt lava and many other strata below that. That in itself does not seem remarkable, until one considers that the very top layer of lava has been dated to at least 15 million years old!

It is currently accepted by science and geology that coal is a by-product of decaying vegetation. The vegetation becomes buried over time and is covered with sediment. That sediment eventually fossilises and becomes rock. This natural process of coal formation takes up to 400 million years to accomplish.

- See more at: http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927#sthash.xvdxlCGm.5LOInRq6.dpuf

A team of archaeologists analysed and dated it. The rock encasing the hammer was dated to more than 400 million years old. The hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the wooden handle had begun the metamorphosis into coal.  The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without assistance from relatively modern smelting methods.

In 1889 near Nampa, Idaho, whilst workers were boring an artesian well, a small figurine made of baked clay was extracted from a depth of 320 feet. To reach this depth the workers had to cut through fifteen feet of basalt lava and many other strata below that. That in itself does not seem remarkable, until one considers that the very top layer of lava has been dated to at least 15 million years old!

It is currently accepted by science and geology that coal is a by-product of decaying vegetation. The vegetation becomes buried over time and is covered with sediment. That sediment eventually fossilises and becomes rock. This natural process of coal formation takes up to 400 million years to accomplish.

- See more at: http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927#sthash.xvdxlCGm.5LOInRq6.dpuf

A team of archaeologists analysed and dated it. The rock encasing the hammer was dated to more than 400 million years old. The hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the wooden handle had begun the metamorphosis into coal.  The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without assistance from relatively modern smelting methods.

In 1889 near Nampa, Idaho, whilst workers were boring an artesian well, a small figurine made of baked clay was extracted from a depth of 320 feet. To reach this depth the workers had to cut through fifteen feet of basalt lava and many other strata below that. That in itself does not seem remarkable, until one considers that the very top layer of lava has been dated to at least 15 million years old!

It is currently accepted by science and geology that coal is a by-product of decaying vegetation. The vegetation becomes buried over time and is covered with sediment. That sediment eventually fossilises and becomes rock. This natural process of coal formation takes up to 400 million years to accomplish.

- See more at: http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927#sthash.xvdxlCGm.5LOInRq6.dpuf

Read more: Everything We Have Been Taught About Our Origins Is A Lie – Malta Now

Comet Strike Evidence Found in Tutankamun’s Brooch and the Sahara Desert

10 October, 2013 at 09:08 | Posted in archaeology, Culture, Science | Leave a comment
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By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times

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.”

The discovery was one of profound joy for the researchers.

“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.

via Comet Strike Evidence Found in Tutankamun\’s Brooch and the Sahara Desert

ANOTHER THEORY:

Desert Glass Formed by Ancient Atomic Bombs?

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Reconsidering History: Ancient Greeks Discovered America Thousands of Years Ago

Reconsidering History: Ancient Greeks Discovered America Thousands of Years Ago

23 September, 2013 at 07:05 | Posted in Culture, Science | Leave a comment
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By Vincenzo Cassano
Epoch Times

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.”

Some Clues         

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.

Reactions

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.

via Reconsidering History: Ancient Greeks Discovered America Thousands of Years Ago » The Epoch Times

Full moon can cause restless nights

20 September, 2013 at 09:22 | Posted in Body & Mind, Nature, Science | Leave a comment
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The full moon can cause people to have a restless night’s sleep, according to research

By Richard Gray
Science Correspondent

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.

Read more: Full moon can cause restless nights – Telegraph

Why Is the Sky Blue? Why Are Sunsets Colorful?—Find Answers Here

16 September, 2013 at 11:03 | Posted in Nature, Science | Leave a comment
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By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

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.

via Why Is the Sky Blue? Why Are Sunsets Colorful?—Find Answers Here » The Epoch Times

Bermuda Triangle 1817 Tsunami Triggered by Earthquake: Report

15 September, 2013 at 17:26 | Posted in Nature, Science, Society | Leave a comment
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By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times

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.”

via Bermuda Triangle 1817 Tsunami Triggered by Earthquake: Report

Living Fossils: Prehistoric Species Still Among Us

13 September, 2013 at 18:18 | Posted in Nature, Science | Leave a comment
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By Epoch Times

Creatures we thought were long gone, creatures from millions of years ago, have been discovered alive and well, living among us. These living fossils take us back on a journey through millions of years of Earth’s history.

Read more: Living Fossils: Prehistoric Species Still Among Us » The Epoch Times

India: Footprints in Rock Evidence of Ancient People From Sky?

9 September, 2013 at 07:46 | Posted in Culture, Funny things :-), Science, Society | Leave a comment
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By Venus Upadhayaya
Epoch Times

A quaint village in central India has fueled some Facebook discussion on ancient foot prints and an engraved image of a mysterious flying object.

In Piska Nagri village, on the outskirts of Ranchi City in Jharkahnd State, geologist Nitish Priyadarshi has been studying large footprints that, according to local lore, may signify the presence of gods from the sky landing on site.

The footprints are on a rock and look like they were of those wearing wooden sandals commonly worn thousands of years ago in the region. One set of footprints measures 11 inches in length and 5 inches in width, and another set in the same area measures 10 inches by 4.5 inches. God-kings of Indian mythology Lord Rama and Lord Lakshmana are believed to have spent time in the area in search of Rama’s wife, Sita.

Priyadarshi said the imprints are on granite rock, and thus were likely carved there rather than imprinted on the hard substance. “It may have been made by the local people manually at that time in memory of the visitors,” he said.

What Priyadarshi finds interesting is the engraved image of a flying object next to the footprints.

“The footprints and the flying object are on the same piece of rock on each other’s side. Maybe they were engraved to show that the two king gods arrived at the place on a flying object,” Priyadarshi said.

The age of the footprints has still not been ascertained. “Seeing the weathering stage [foot prints found here are weathered] of the foot prints it can be said that the age of the foot prints may be thousands year old,” he said.

There have been many discoveries of ancient footprints around the world. Many of them are thousands of years old and are both natural (left by ancient inhabitants) and carved, denoting some meaning.

The Romans carved footprints before a journey as protective rites. Footprints were carved upon leaving for a journey and as thanksgiving for a safe return. In Ireland and northern Europe, rock footprints were closely associated with kingship or chieftainship.

Priyadarshi said: “We live in a highly advanced, technical world, but there are nevertheless a great many mysteries all around us. Ancient places and mysterious beings, sunken worlds and cultures, landscapes imbued with symbolism, unexplained apparitions, and unbelievable finds from ancient times—all of these remain mysteries for humankind, despite intense investigations.”

via India: Footprints in Rock Evidence of Ancient People From Sky

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First Mind Meld? Two Researchers Claim It’s Been Done

5 September, 2013 at 07:14 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment
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By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times

The first “mind meld”–the term used in “Star Trek”–took place between two humans, allowing a researcher to send brain signals through the Internet to control the motion of another person’s hand, scientists said.

Researcher Rajesh Rao sent a brain signal to Andrea Stocco, who was on the other side of the campus, causing Stocco’s finger to move on the keyboard. The two carried out the experiment at the University of Washington in Seattle, according to the school’s website on Tuesday.

“The Internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains,” Stocco said. “We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain.”

The two believe it was the first “mind meld” between humans. Similar experiments were previously done on humans interfacing with rats.

“On Aug. 12, Rao sat in his lab wearing a cap with electrodes hooked up to an electroencephalography machine, which reads electrical activity in the brain. Stocco was in his lab across campus wearing a purple swim cap marked with the stimulation site for the transcranial magnetic stimulation coil that was placed directly over his left motor cortex, which controls hand movement,” the university’s website states.

In the experiment, Rao played a simple video game with his mind. When he was supposed to fire a gun in the game, he just thought about moving his right hand to do so, without actually moving it. On the other side of the campus, Stocco, who had noise-canceling earbuds on and wasn’t looking at a computer screen, involuntarily moved his hand.

“It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain,” Rao said. “This was basically a one-way flow of information from my brain to his. The next step is having a more equitable two-way conversation directly between the two brains.”

via First Mind Meld? Two Researchers Claim It’s Been Done

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