News Briefs 18-12-2013

This is my last news briefs for 2013. Thank you for reading my mad wanderings & eclectic finds. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. So until next year, here are a few of my favourite things...

Thanks to the trickster of pronoia.

Quote of the Day:

I have some discomfort both with believers and with nonbelievers when their opinions are not based on facts. I am extremely uncomfortable with dogmatic atheists, who claim there can be no God; to my knowledge, there is no strong evidence for that position.

I'm also uncomfortable with dogmatic believers; to my knowledge, they don't have any strong evidence either. If we don't know the answer, why are we under so much pressure to make up our minds, to declare our allegiance to one hypotheses or the other?

~ Carl Sagan (Amazon)

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ZenPride's picture
Member since:
18 January 2011
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14 weeks 6 days

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why he is an agnostic, not an atheist:
http://tinyurl.com/7v5kcrw

Albert Einstein: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. … But I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

“There are people who say there is no God, but what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. I’m not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what that is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the most intelligent human toward God.”

Rick MG's picture
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2 May 2004
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2 days 19 hours

Cheers Rob. I like Sagan's quote particularly for this:

If we don't know the answer, why are we under so much pressure to make up our minds, to declare our allegiance to one hypotheses or the other?

We've been banging this drum here at the Grail for years. I'll swim with the mystics any day of the week before I'll sleep with an atheist (although I'm open to the experience!); but I'm happy mucking about here in the big blue ocean of open-minded but-not-quite-gullible agnosticism.

To be honest, some days I really don't want to know. It's enough to just be. Humility in the presence of the Big Wow. I like being a kid in a library.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

pov's picture
Member since:
16 July 2013
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1 week 2 days

I have that thought so many times. My guess is that those people do not allow themselves objective awareness of more/other than the physical.

undrgrndgirl's picture
Member since:
9 February 2009
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2 weeks 16 hours

thank you for sharing, rick. happy holidays to you, too.

Greg H.'s picture
Member since:
12 June 2009
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3 hours 9 min

How refreshing the President of Uruguay...

Not a greedy power driven narcissist! And fascinating his thought about the war on poverty aka trying to raise everybody's consumption level to the degradation of the world. Good perspective I never specifically considered. Basic relativism in his philosophy that one is only poor when one is chasing materialism, making them a slave to labor. He chooses to live austerely and be freed from worries and values his time. I know time speeds up with each passing year relative to the time we've lived, but it accelerates exponentially once children are thrown into the mix. Chasing the money, working the job, rushing to kid's activities, studies, fulfilling their needs - all one big mad rush from morning to night, the days become a blur of weeks and months. I like this guy, though admittedly I like my materialist comforts too.

Greg H.

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min

YES! there are tons of snowy owls here in New Jersey, especially where I am in the south. We have a lot of preserves and they are popping up everywhere. I hope to see one before they leave.

Here is an article about them in NJ:
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/13/12...

Happy Holidays Rick :)

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min

I actually quite enjoyed, and occasionally revisit, his 2009 work "The Secret History of the World" and I was amazed how it was just ripped to shreds (in some cases perhaps literally) by the reviewers from the UK. I look forward to this book as well.

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

pov's picture
Member since:
16 July 2013
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1 week 2 days
LastLoup wrote:

I actually quite enjoyed, and occasionally revisit, his 2009 work "The Secret History of the World"

Thanks as I didn't make the connection. I have that book.

Bad-ass cover on the new one

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min

At first i thought it was actually a woman dressed as an angel in body paint. Interesting how the statue aged.

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min

At first i thought it was actually a woman dressed as an angel in body paint. Interesting how the statue aged.

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
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18 September 2007
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16 hours 27 min

The EVP article writer appears to be ignorant of the state of the art as evinced by the more masterful crews such as Ghost Adventures. There isn't anything vague or ambiguous about some of the EVP's they have collected. Some of them are clear as a bell and quite "intelligent." I have to wonder how a serious journalist on this subject can write an article about it that does not include such crews of paranormal researchers some of whom have whittled EVP down to an art.

See video

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min

Do you watch Haunted Highway? If so did you see the one were they were investigating the Black Angel grave and they kept getting the EVP screaming "MURDER"? I think the science is getting better. Tesla once thought of a way to set up a telegraph system to talk to spirits, now we have EVPs and I have become fascinated with the history. A friend of mine does EVP sessions on her ghost tours and on the one I went with her we got on saying "WHALE" as we were near an old fishing town.

Always interesting...

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
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18 September 2007
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16 hours 27 min

I have been watching Haunted Highway a bit, but those kids are not exactly what you would call real savvy about spirit phenomena. For instance, the black angel IR images they were getting were probably caused by the absorption of sun heat through the day, and then it showed up on their IR cameras at night as the statue slowly cooled down. That sort of thing mars their investigations, but they do get some really good stuff every now and then. They will mature over time one hopes.

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 11 min
emlong wrote:

For instance, the black angel IR images they were getting were probably caused by the absorption of sun heat through the day, and then it showed up on their IR cameras at night as the statue slowly cooled down.

Yeah that I knew, and I find myself yelling at the TV a lot "It was probably a raccoon!" Little "common sense" things on that show bug the crap out of me, like when they were on the island prison and found a thick old chain which they thought was a prisoner's. Absolutely no knowledge of island life or seafaring...it was a mooring chain, so a boat could dock to it. Maybe I'd be a little more fascinated if I didn't live 15 minutes away from a shipyard, but...It's not a bad show for the time being until the new seasons of other shows come back in a few weeks.

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
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18 September 2007
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16 hours 27 min

The blunder into some very intriguing things, but "blunder" is the operative word here. They are intended to attract a very young and enthusiastic if often gullible audience, so I get the point of using them to anchor a series.