Magical Thinking: It’s good for you!

Hugh Pickens at Slashdot gives us this gem:

“Natalie Wolchover says even the most die-hard skeptics among us believe in magic. Humans can’t help it: though we try to be logical, irrational beliefs — many of which we aren’t even conscious of — are hardwired in our psyches. ‘The unavoidable habits of mind that make us think luck and supernatural forces are real, that objects and symbols have power, and that humans have souls and destinies are part of what has made our species so evolutionarily successful,’ writes Wolchover. 

Read the rest of the article at Slashdot

Two Sleep Cycles a Day May Cure Insomnia

insomniaWhile residents of the Southwest, Mexico and Spain are no strangers to the midday ‘siesta’ prompted by high daytime temperatures, today’s industrial societies suffer by not having enough time in the day to do everything they feel is necessary and instead bank all their sleeping time at night, often cutting that time shorter than the recommend 8 hours.

However, the ‘First Sleep, Second Sleep’ practice was apparently well known to humans prior to the 17th century. The onset of industrialization and expansion to the New World caused a curb in in favor of a single 8-hour sleep period through the night supposedly to boost productivity during the day.

Hugh Pickens offers his summary of the phenomenon and recent studies showing how two sleep cycles a day can cure insomnia and improve your day-to-day life.

BBC Article

Wikipedia: Segmented Sleep

No Tritium Evidence Found In Los Alamos Water Supply

No Tritium Found In Water System

By  on Wed, Feb 8, 2012

Results from routine monitoring tests of the Santa Fe water system’s Buckman well field in 2010 came back with results showing traces of radioactive tritium, but Los Alamos National Laboratory and city officials now say the finding was erroneous.

Final, corrected findings from the tests on three Buckman wells will be posted soon and they will show a “non-detect” for tritium, said LANL environmental manager Danny Katzman.

Alex Puglisi, environmental compliance officer for the Santa Fe water division, said the city also is confident that the non-detect finding is correct, based not only on the corrected findings from the tests performed in August 2010 but also from “multiple lines of evidence” about the well water.

Puglisi and Katzman said the tritium finding reported to the city in March of last year was out of line with previous tests and what’s known about the hydrology of the well field along the Rio Grande west of town.

Puglisi said no tritium was found in subsequent testing on the wells.

“We would never use one sampling event to make a decision” on the wells, Puglisi said.

“If they had seen it (in the 2010 tests), it would persist in the wells,” he added.

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and was produced in the past as part of the production of nuclear weapons.

The original findings by a private lab hired to analyze the August 2010 water samples indicated a tiny amount of tritium in three Buckman wells – between 2.46 and 3.93 picocuries per liter. The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard for tritium is 20,000 picocuries per liter. A picocurie is a measure of radioactivity.

Even though only very small trace amounts were initially reported from the 2010 tests, at issue was whether tritium was somehow finding its way into the drinking water wells – either from the Los Alamos lab, which has historically had tritium on site, or from some other source. Tritium has been found in groundwater near the lab.

Tritium also was prominent in rainfall in decades past when nuclear weapons were tested above ground, according to Katzman.

He said that LANL changed analytical labs in recent years and the results started coming back with different findings than what the previous lab had found over nearly a decade of testing at the Buckman wells. When the tritium findings showed up, the new lab – American Radiation Services International – was “challenged to go back” and review its records and calculations for the low-level tritium tests, Katzman said.

“They actually found errors in what they had been doing,” Katzman said. “The city is aware of the corrections and approved the corrections.”

Katzman said it’s important to check for such low levels of tritium – which is mobile because it is “just water” – because even tiny amounts would be the “ultimate kind of canary indicator of the first arrival of something.”

“A long history of non-detects for tritium is really good news,” Katzman said.


Easter Island Heads Have Bodies

The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) is a private research program and archive created by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Principle Investigator and EISP founder and director, with Cristián Arévalo Pakarati, Rapa Nui artist and co-director of EISP.  The profound and immediate need for conservation actions on the moai became apparent over the course of more than 20 years of subjective observation and field experience acquired by us during our island-wide archaeological survey, which was conducted in association with our Chilean and Rapa Nui colleagues.

The Easter Island Statue Project office is located at 225 Arizona Avenue, Studio 500, Santa Monica, CA, 90401. The EISP field office is located at the Mana Gallery, Petero Atamu s/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile.

Via Seeker401

US Congress Declares Pizza A Vegetable

Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

Tuesday, by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our elected officials contained an Agriculture Department provision recognizing that school kids are dangerously obese, and that subsidizing school lunches of frozen pizza and french fries is unwise and unhealthy. The Congressional response: a slice of pizza = a serving of vegetables.

Continue reading…

IPCC Climate Panel Says Weird Weather Here to Stay


Despite uncertainties, the IPCC warns that climate change will bring more extreme weather.

Extreme weather, such as the 2010 Russian heat wave or the drought in the horn of Africa, will become more frequent and severe as the planet warms, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in a report released today. Some areas could become “increasingly marginal as places to live in”, the report concludes.

Climate change will make extremes of hot weather more common, and more extreme, in coming decades.

It is “virtually certain” — meaning 99–100% probability in IPCC terminology — that the twenty-first century will see an increase in the frequency and magnitude of warm temperature extremes and a decrease in cold extremes.

It is much less clear, however, how climate change will affect rainfall, flood risk and storminess.

A summary of the report for policymakers was released today at the IPCC plenary meeting in Kampala, Uganda. The full report, compiled over the past two and a half years by more than 100 scientists, draws on the results of thousands of published studies on physical-climate change, risk management and climate-change adaptation, and is scheduled for release early next year.

Read the rest of the story


Air Force Removes UFO Encounter Guidelines After Journalist Questions Their Existence

In a fascinating expose by Huffington Post via AOL:

The military deleted a passage about unidentified flying objects from a 2008 Air Force personnel manual just days after The Huffington Post asked Pentagon officials about the purpose of the UFO section.

Before the recent revisions, the document — Air Force Instruction 10-206 — advised pilots, radar operators and other Air Force personnel on what to do when they encountered any unknown airborne objects. Now in the 2011 version, the reference to UFOs — which simply means “unidentified flying objects,” not necessarily spaceships with little green men — has been eliminated.

“The reason why the military is claiming they don’t investigate UFOs is because they don’t want to respond to people like you,” former Air Force Captain Robert Salas told The Huffington Post.

“They don’t want to respond to reporters or to the public as to what the heck is going on, and it’s been going on for so long. They just don’t want to have to answer that question.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Help Rename New Mexico’s Very Large Array Radio Telescope

VLA New MexicoThe NRAO’s VLA facility just west of Socorro, New Mexico is completing a decade long state-of-the-art electronics infrastructure upgrade bringing its capabilities well into the 21st century, some say even surpassing that of the recently activated VLT in Chile. To commemorate this milestone, the NRAO is holding a renaming contest at The organization desires a new name that will both embody the landmark work the VLA has provided for over 30 years and express its significance as a leader in radio astronomy observations.
Your entry will be competing with some of the best minds in community and you have 6 weeks to meet the deadline of December 1st, 2011.


The Book of Aquarius

Alchemy and the Philosophers’ Stone are real. This is not a joke or a scam. This book covers the full theory and practice of alchemy and how to make the Philosophers’ Stone, capable of reversing the aging process and curing all disease to the effect that one could live forever. This is an ancient secret which has never before been publicly released. Please read the book before making any judgement on it; this world is not what it seems to be. The Book of Aquarius is free and public-domain (no copyright). You may copy and distribute the book in any way.

Read more and Download the book for Free