Monday, December 24, 2012

Significa 12-24-12

R.I.P. Ravi Shankar


RAGA is a journey to Ravi Shankar's musical, cultural and spiritual roots.

This documentary is an intimate portrait saturated with music as it follows Shankar rehearsing, teaching and performing in concert.


Discover How Many Different Ways You Can Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is 85% Amorphous Silica! Silica is the most plentiful element on earth, following oxygen; but there are very few foods that contain an adequate amount to supply the quantity your body needs. Silica is crucial to bones, tendons, skin, cartilage and blood vessels. Silica is even located in the blood itself and important organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs. The average human body holds approximately 7 grams of silica, a quantity far exceeding the figures for other important minerals such as iron. It is as important to provide the body dietary sources of Silica early in life as it is during the aging process when Silica levels in tissue usually drop off steeply. Silica plays an important role in many body functions. Silica has an exact absolute influence on absorption of all minerals that the body requires to maintain health. It adds to the quality of life! Silica does not accumulate in the body; it is water soluble, is easily absorbed by the intestinal wall and rapidly excreted, so daily consumption is important. Studies have not found any negative side effects from too much Silica. Food Grade Diatomaceous earth is a 100% natural and organic source of silica, it is safe for the environment, pets, livestock, and people. It is taken from fresh water deposits and is the purest form available. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is not actually an "earth" but it is the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called DIATOMS. When taken internally, many health benefits have been observed. The biggest benefits seen have been lower cholesterol, lowering of blood pressure, relief from arthritis pain, increased energy, more regular bowel movements, smoother complexion, and sinus and cough relief. It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 ways DE is beneficial to humans, plants, and animals. As a daily supplement, many believe that its most beneficial use is for internal cleansing by aiding in the elimination of intestinal parasites, which are not able to develop an immunity to the sharp edges of DE. DE can also detox the body. According to a top cancer researcher, it is also the best natural chelating product available for pulling heavy metals from the bloodstream. Many believe that the increase in the number of cases of Heavy metal poisoning has occurred in part due to mercury in vaccines, fluoridated water, deodorants with aluminum, some seafood, foil wrap, cooking in aluminum cookware, soda/energy/beer aluminum cans, and a number of other ways. DE has many health benefits. Years ago the silica in our food was adequate, but with todays hybrids and depleted soils, only about 1/3 of the silica needed is supplied in our food. Diatomaceous Earth is a simple and inexpensive way to get the silica your body needs. Food grade diatomaceous earth - aka Food Chemical Codex Grade contains 85% amorphous silica. The micro-fossil deposits, also known as Amorphous Silica, are mined from ancient dried lake bottoms thousands of years old. When magnified 7000x, diatomaceous earth looks like spiny honeycombs. Food Grade DE is completely safe and non toxic.

DE is EPA approved: For treatment of indoor and outdoor crawling insects DE is USDA approved: As an anti-caking agent for animal feed

Other beneficial effects of Amorphous Silica: Stimulates cell metabolism and cell formation Inhibits the aging process in tissues Necessary for the structure and functioning of connective tissue Strengthens and stimulates the immune system Silica is important for the development of healthy nails and hair and regular intake can stop unnecessary hair loss Strengthens and stimulates the vascular system; lowers blood pressure and improves the condition called arteriosclerosis Increase elasticity and firmness of the blood vessels Silica is indispensable for the elasticity of lung tissue and, therefore, is a basic therapy for lung and respiratory disorders Has anti-inflammatory disinfecting, absorbing and odor binding effects

Nature's Wisdom DE leaves no poisonous chemical residues which can build up in the bodies of animals or people. Nature's Wisdom DE is composed of naturally occurring minerals and contains no cancer-causing synthetic chemicals. Nature's Wisdom DE kills any insect coming in contact with it Nature's Wisdom DE is not a pesticide that insects can develope a resistance to. Nature's Wisdom DE is permanent... will not dissipate Nature's Wisdom DE is stainless and odorless Nature's Wisdom DE is economical... more for your money!


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2013 Inductees: Rush, Public Enemy, Heart and Randy Newman
Donna Summer and Albert King will be inducted posthumously
December 11, 2012

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced next year's inductees: Rush, Public Enemy, Heart, Randy Newman, Donna Summer and Albert King will all join the class of 2013, with Summer, who passed away this May, and King, who died in 1992, earning the honor posthumously. Lou Adler and Quincy Jones will both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.

"It's a terrific honor and we'll show up smiling," Rush's singer and bassist, Geddy Lee, tells Rolling Stone. "It made my mom happy, so that's worth it." Lee is especially happy for Rush's army of hardcore fans. "It was a cause they championed," he says. "I'm very relieved for them and we share this honor with them, for sure."

Public Enemy are only the fourth hip-hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted in 2007, Run-D.M.C. made it in in 2009 and the Beastie Boys received the honor last year.

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart were also overjoyed to learn the news. "Some people have an idea of what the shape of rock & roll is supposed to look like," says Ann Wilson. "We're not really it. Personally, that's why I think it's taken quite a while . . . We're always traveling and out there doing it. It can start to feel like you're a tree falling in the forest, but nobody notices. So this kind of acknowledgement is really sweet."

For Randy Newman, the news came as a shock. "I thought maybe I'd have to die before they let me in," he says. "I'm really glad it happened when I was still around to see it . . . They're always a little doctrinaire about what's rock & roll and what isn't rock & roll. It's nice they opened up a little to let me in."

The public was allowed to vote for the first time in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Votes were taken online, and the result was a "fan's ballot" that was counted along with roughly 600 other ballots.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on April 18th, 2013 at the Nokia Theater and broadcast on HBO May 18th. Tickets will go on sale to the public on January 25th.


"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
~ Albert Einstein


Head Light: Taking the Psychology Out of Parapsychology
Paul Devereux

The existence or otherwise of  psi, ESP or whatever you want to call it, is one of those key controversies at the centre of the great consciousness debate concerning whether mind somehow exists beyond the confines of the brain.  Hardened materialists say such a notion is nonsense, that psi phenomena such as telepathy simply do not exist and that parapsychology is a sham.

A classic example of this attitude is pinpointed in David Metcalfe's Psi News 4 here on RS where he links to an Alex Tsakiris interview with arch-sceptic Victor Stenger, author of the recent God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion. In the interview, Stenger manages to call parapsychologists charlatans, even including venerable researchers like Stanley Krippner in that charge.  Apart from displaying such gall, "New Atheist" Stenger goes on to effectively equate psi research with beliefs about god and religion - something the likes of Richard Dawkins is guilty of too. But this linkage is false, a non-sequitur: the existence of psi phenomena does not necessarily need there to be a god.

This inappropriate free-association of ideas is typical of the muddled thinking in this whole area - even among some non-sceptics. But the nub of the matter remains - are critics like Stenger correct in their dismissal of psi? Well, this bleak midwinter I bring you the glad tidings that ongoing, remarkable experimental evidence not only indicates such scepticism to be misplaced, but that the whole nature of the debate is about to be superseded.

Parapsychology generally provides its evidence in the form of statistics, and so is all too readily subject to the charge of "lies, damned lies and statistics" - how reliable is monitoring lots of subjective responses to laboratory tests, and why isn't psi robustly repeatable in experimental conditions?  When it comes to actual, real-life psi experiences - telepathic or precognitive events, apparitions and so forth - critics tend to level accusations of misperception or dishonesty against the claimants, and point out that in any case such reports are merely anecdotal, and not acceptable as scientific evidence. Mainstream scientists demand "hard" evidence (whether or not their idea of that is applicable to the mercurial nature of psi phenomena). But now, research by the redoubtable Michael Persinger, with Blake Dotta and their team at Laurentian University, Ontario, makes it look as if the hard-nosed sceptics can at last be confronted on their own ground. To do so, the Laurentian researchers have taken a different track to standard parapsychology - and it is all to do with light.

Persinger is famous (or infamous) for his so-called "God helmet", a helmet that holds electrodes in place on the wearer's temples that generate programmed patterns of weak magnetic fields which massage the temporal cortex producing sensations  of unseen "presences" and other strange perceptions. (In fact, Persinger had developed this procedure to explore the neurological use of magnetism in therapy in place of pharmaceutical products.) But on the heels of this device, he and his co-workers developed a further instrument, nicknamed "the octopus" on account of all the wires involved. More properly known as a circumcerebral magnetic stimulation (CMS) device, this basically is comprised of solenoids (coils) set at intervals on a headband fitted around a person's cranium. The solenoids are controlled by a computer program that enables them to rotate precisely configured weak magnetic pulses around the head. This magnetic stimulation can affect the brain in certain ways, including partially disrupting the 40 Hz so-called "binding factor" of the brain which normally seems to help pull all our sensory inputs together into a smooth, seamless perception of the world. Put in non-technical language, this disruption allows normally curtailed or masked information from "Mind-at-Large" to reach awareness. Some of this information can seemingly possess psi properties, whatever they turn out to be.

I have been a long-time fan of this CMS device ever since I tried out a prototype at Laurentian. It gave me an unambiguous, veridical remote perception or telepathy experience, which I have written about on and off over the years. Now the Laurentian researchers have gone a stage further and carried out tests using two synchronised CMS devices, one worn by the "sender" in a telepathy experiment type of set up, and the other by the "receiver" sitting in a separate, distant, lightproof room. And here's the quirky bit: the receiving participant is monitored by a photomultiplier - a device so sensitive it can detect individual photons, minute specks of light invisible to the naked eye.

In fairly recently published research papers, the experimenters describe in detailed technical terms some results of these tests. Put in simpler language, two types of experiment were involved. In one, a volunteer wearing a CMS device sat in a room and was subjected to flashes of light. In the distant lightproof room, a second volunteer wearing another, synchronised, CMS device was monitored for biophoton activity ("biophotons" are emissions of ultraweak light produced by all living cells). What the experimenters found was that in exact time with the flashes of light in the first room, there was an increase of biophoton emission from the head of the second, "receiving" volunteer: the increased activity was picked up by the photomultiplier tube set a few centimetres from the right side of the person's head, at the level of the temporal cortex (roughly, just above the ear).  This was a repeatable effect. The other experiment was the same basic design, except this time instead of people, two petri dishes of cells were used, each set within a separate ring of synchronised rotating magnetic fields, with one dish being stimulated by light flashes.  Again, the cells in the second, lightproof room registered greater biophoton emission in synch with the light flashes in the first room. It seems the cells like the human brains were somehow communicating with one another without regard to space or time. When the rotating magnetic fields were not present, there were nil results.

Clearly, none of this has a direct bearing on psi itself, but, crucially, the experiments do apparently show that given the appropriate environment, some mysterious means exists for cells, and especially neurons, to directly interact with one another at a distance without any identifiable intermediary mechanisms. (Persinger tells me that preliminary experiments show the effect still works at distances of up to about 2 km, and the distance limit has not yet been defined.) The Laurentian researchers ascribe the effect to "entanglement", to non-locality:  when an atom is suitably stimulated and two of its electrons fly off in different directions, changes made to one instantly affect the other, irrespective of how far apart they are. The electrons are said to be "entangled", but nobody truly knows what that means. It is "spooky action at a distance" to hi-jack Einstein's memorable phrase.

Psi phenomena like telepathy or remote perception would require consciousness to possess non-local properties. If the Laurentian work holds up under further study, then the researchers will have demonstrated that there is a biophysical framework within which psi can occur. They will have stripped the psychology from parapsychology and moved the whole issue of psi research onto a different level altogether. Be in no doubt, the Laurentian research is potentially game changing, and Persinger is under no illusions - he knows mainstream materialists will resist it, and ignore and shun it for as long as possible. This is understandable, because it challenges the very philosophical plank on which the Western view of reality is based. Identifying the workings of psi will be merely a sideshow to the deeper implications. It makes one feel positively light-headed.
The technical papers referred to:

Persinger, M. A., Saroka, K. S., Lavallee, C. F., Booth, J.M., Hunter, M.D., Mulligan, B. P., Koren, S. A., Wu-H.P. and Gang, N. (2010). "Correlated cerebral events between physically and sensor isolated pairs of subjects exposed to yoked circumcerebral magnetic fields." Neuroscience Letters, 486, 231-234.

Dotta, B. T., Buckner, C. A., Lafrenie, R. M. and Persinger, M. A. (2011). "Photon emissions from human brain and cell culture exposed to distally rotating magnetic fields shared by separate light-stimulated brains and cells." Brain Research, 388, 77-88.

Further information on a version of the "Octopus" CMS device can be obtained from Dr. Todd Murphy at


Craft Brewers Call For Transparency in Major Beer Companies
December 14, 2012

American craft brewing is becoming a lucrative industry, growing by 13 percent in 2011 and another 12 percent this year, even while the overall beer industry is down. Beer drinkers are no longer stuck with name-brand, commercial beers, opening their palates to different textures and tastes. This has lead to large brewers attempting to enter the craft beer marketplace.

The Brewers Association recently issued a statement in support of small and independent craft brewers asking for transparency as these major beer companies produce craft-imitating beers. Many supposed craft beers in the marketplace were actually the products of large breweries, which goes against the exact definition of what it means to be “crafty.”

“The large, multinational brewers appear to be deliberately attempting to blur the lines between their crafty, craft-like beers and true craft beers from today’s small and independent brewers,” the statement read. “We call for transparency in brand ownership and for information to be clearly presented in a way that allows beer drinkers to make an informed choice about who brewed the beer they are drinking.”


Wal-Mart, Kroger among companies bidding for Hostess
Jeffrey McCracken and Beth Jinks
14 December 2012

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co. are among the bidders for assets being sold by Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said a person familiar with the matter.

There are about two dozen bidders, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process is confidential. Last month, financial adviser Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners LP said the liquidation sale may generate about $1 billion.

A few of the bids are for all the assets, some are for just the cakes or breads businesses, and others are interested in individual Hostess plants or products, according to the person. Other first-round bidders include Grupo Bimbo SAB and Alpha Baking Co., the person said.

The 82-year-old maker of Hostess CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos said last month that it would liquidate and fire more than 18,000 workers after failing to reach agreement with its striking bakers' union on concessions to help it emerge from its second bankruptcy. Changes in American diets led to years of declining sales at Hostess, while ingredient costs and labor expenses climbed.

Representatives for Hostess, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Alpha Baking and Bimbo declined to comment on the auction process. C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., the private-equity firm that owns Pabst Brewing Co., planned to submit a bid, Daren Metropoulos, a principal at the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, said this week. He didn't respond to a request for comment.

A standoff with striking union workers triggered liquidation auctions of Hostess's brands, recipes, plants and other assets. The Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain imposed contract concessions opposed by more than 90 percent of the union's members. The union represents more than 5,000 Hostess workers.

Hostess emerged from an earlier bankruptcy in 2009 as a private company controlled by buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC and lenders. The company was previously known as Interstate Bakeries Corp. and changed its name to Hostess Brands in October of that year. Hostess entered its latest bankruptcy in January.


Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed
December 09, 2012

It may have something to do with all those Brontosaurus burgers everyone's favorite modern stone-age family ate, but when you think of a giant dinosaur with a tiny head and long, swooping tail, the Brontosaurus is probably what you're seeing in your mind.

Well hold on: Scientifically speaking, there's no such thing as a Brontosaurus.

Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long.

It dates back 130 years, to a period of early U.S. paleontology known as the Bone Wars, says Matt Lamanna, curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

The Bone Wars was the name given to a bitter competition between two paleontologists, Yale's O.C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia. Lamanna says their mutual dislike, paired with their scientific ambition, led them to race dinosaur names into publication, each trying to outdo the other.

"There are stories of either Cope or Marsh telling their fossil collectors to smash skeletons that were still in the ground, just so the other guy couldn't get them," Lamanna tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "It was definitely a bitter, bitter rivalry."

The two burned through money, and were as much fame-hungry trailblazers as scientists.

It was in the heat of this competition, in 1877, that Marsh discovered the partial skeleton of a long-necked, long-tailed, leaf-eating dinosaur he dubbed Apatosaurus. It was missing a skull, so in 1883 when Marsh published a reconstruction of his Apatosaurus, Lamanna says he used the head of another dinosaur — thought to be a Camarasaurus — to complete the skeleton.

"Two years later," Lamanna says, "his fossil collectors that were working out West sent him a second skeleton that he thought belonged to a different dinosaur that he named Brontosaurus."

But it wasn't a different dinosaur. It was simply a more complete Apatosaurus — one that Marsh, in his rush to one-up Cope, carelessly and quickly mistook for something new.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Although the mistake was spotted by scientists by 1903, the Brontosaurus lived on, in movies, books and children's imaginations. The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh even topped its Apatosaurus skeleton with the wrong head in 1932. The apathy of the scientific community and a dearth of well-preserved Apatosaurus skulls kept it there for nearly 50 years.

That Brontosaurus finally met its end in the 1970s when two Carnegie researchers took a second look at the controversy. They determined a skull found in a quarry in Utah in 1910 was the true Apatosaurus skull. In 1979 the correct head was placed atop the museum's skeleton.

The Brontosaurus was gone at last, but Lamanna suggests the name stuck in part because it was given at a time when the Bone Wars fueled intense public interest in the discovery of new dinosaurs. And, he says, it's just a better name.

"Brontosaurus means 'thunder lizard,'" he says. "It's a big, evocative name, whereas Apatosaurus means 'deceptive lizard.' It's quite a bit more boring."

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