Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dreams

I've always been interested in the topic of dreams and what they really mean. A few months ago my grandmother was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and put on hospice almost immediately. My father stayed by her side day and night, until she passed two weeks ago. The night after she passed, my dad dreamed that he was right there in her living room (the same spot he was sleeping that night), and he woke up to her sitting next to him on the edge of the couch. Behind him, his brother who had passed away years ago was sitting there also, but he couldn't see him. His mother handed him a box with a balloon tied to it; inside the box there were gift cards and money. After she handed him the box she went to give him a hug; when he went towards her she disappeared and he woke up. This dream was really interesting to me, and when I looked it up each piece of the dream has a different meaning. For instance, his brother being there with him shows a sense of companionship. I feel that this is important because losing his mother is a time that he needed his brother by his side. The balloon being tied to the box represents an ability to "rise above it all", which is significant to the long journey of battling cancer. I used a website given in our lecture to interpret the dream called mydreamvisions.com.

Here is the link to the site: http://mydreamvisions.com/

Monday, July 21, 2014

EL Chupacabra

I would like to give you a little bit more on that idea of the creature called EL Chupacabra (goat sucker).  Well if you do not know already let us breakdown the meaning of the word.  Chupar means suck and cabra means goat, this is a legendary creature that inhabits parts of the Americas, but first reported to be seen and noticed on the small island of Puerto Rico.  It got its name from the attacking of livestock and drinking of their blood especially goats.  This creature was supposedly first sighted in March of 1995 and its myth and legend has been reported as far south of Chile and far north Maine.

When first reported in Puerto Rico eight goats were attacked with each one having 3 puncture wounds in the chest area and drained of all their blood.  Soon after visual sightings were being reported of this creature.  After this more and more livestock were found killed and drained of their blood.  Some people on the island blamed it on the Chupacabra while others believed it was part of a Satanic Cult.  Now more sightings and animals were being reported throughout the Americas.  In the United States Biologist Barry O'Connor stated that these attacks were not that of the Chupacabra but that of coyotes infected with a parasite, that explained how people could have mistaken infected coyotes with that of the creature the Chupacabra.  The coyotes appearance would have little fur, thickened skin, and a horrible odour.  With coyotes having this infection it would possibly have put them in a weaken state reason why they attacked livestock more because they were easier prey.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra




As you can see how this creature has become part of our badly made but funny movies.  Of course this is not the only movie made regarding this creature.  It just shows how a possible sighting from someone can go to stir up our ideas and thoughts.

Even though the first reported attack was introduced not to long ago many individuals have seen, taken pictures, and actually have video footage of the Chupacabra.


As we can seen many images have been taken of this creature and we can only wonder how real or fake they are but there have been video evidence also.  

I believe this all falls under the idea of Social Psychology and how a small myth can stir into something much larger. At first this just seem to be an isolated thing but it grew to become something much more.  It just shows how people can fall to mass delusions and hysterias.  I will say unlike bigfoot there is more evidence supporting the Chupacabra but also scientific thoughts on what it really could be.  

In my final thoughts I personally do not believe in a blood sucking goat attacker.  I do feel it is more possible for an infected animal to do these things or just a really ugly dog that lives in the wild, but it just solely ingesting blood with out any other food source is hard for me to believe.  You might as well say it is Dracula's pet dog running around doing these things.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Past-Life Identities

The debate of whether people can recall their past lives or not has always been a complicated one; this stems from reincarnation, the religious concept that the soul begins a new journey through life in a new body after biological death. There are many stories about people who can remember their past lives, but one article really stood out to me. This article is about a three year old boy who remembers his own murder in his previous life; the boy lead the elders of his ethnic group to the site of his own body, where his skull was found with a split down the middle. Before the body was found, the boy had told his elders he was murdered with an ax, which was uncovered in another location near the body. I find this article very interesting, and I hope you all do as well.



See book: Chapter 6.2, Page 160

Dream Interpretations

Recently, I have been having very strange dreams; my dreams have been so absurd that I have started recording them moments after waking up, before all of the memory is lost. The most farfetched of them all was a dream about the apocalypse, an end to the world in which a group of people were taking over society. These people were dressed in red polo shirts, decorated with a small symbol that I cannot remember. We were given 24 hours to make a decision: live, or die. If we chose to live, we had to abide by the new rules; this option was for everyone who valued the idea of life more than actually living it. The second option, death, was to be executed by a form of radiation delivered in a glass box, where a metal sheet would descend from the top of the glass and zap your forehead, killing you instantly. We were given 24 hours to make a decision, but we had to avoid the red shirts, or we would be dragged to the glass box and forced to make our decision instantly. I remember searching for my family, only to find them with an hour left on the countdown. My father, a man I truly look up to, decided to die; however absurd and frightening that may be, I understood his decision, because who would want to live in a world where you are told how to live? My mother, the kindhearted person she always is, decided to live; she values her life more than how she lives it, even in the present world. I had decided to die, like my father. For some reason, I was separated from my family once more, and was dragged to the glass box by a woman in a red shirt. After exclaiming my choice of death of life, I was placed in the box and the metal sheet came down. I was zapped, but, for some reason, I lived. My memory then skips ahead a little while in to the future, where I eventually find my mother again. When the officials discovered I had lived through the radiation, they let me have another chance to make my decision. Again, I chose to die; again, I lived. At some point I must have found my father, because I was shocked to discover him alive. My father, however, was not the man he used to be. In this new world, he was cold; he ignored my mother and I, without even a head nod of recognition. Later I realized that some people were given the option to live, regardless of whether they had originally chosen to die, and would continue out their lives in splendor, granted they follow a set of rules given to them by the administration. My father was forced to live, but had to deny any relation to my mother and I.

This dream was a very frightening and vivid nightmare, and I have tried to analyze it every day since that night. In Chapter 3.3 of Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, the second paragraph reads, “Today most scientists view dream interpretation as a pseudoscience that can produce inaccurate and potentially harmful results.” At first, I didn’t understand that line. After relating it back to my dream, however, I have realized just how dangerous these interpretations can be.


See book:  Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (Chapter 3.3).

Persuasion and Placebos

Within the two pages of the book, Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, I immediately thought of a lecture I was given in Elizabeth Shobe’s Intro to Psychology course last term. During that lecture, Liz explained the significance of advertising and persuasion; she emphasized that most advertisements shown on TV are an exaggeration, sometimes even entirely unreliable. When the product that is being advertised receives reviews throughout the commercial, each person who speaks is a stranger to the audience. Liz stated, and I quote, “For all we know, those people proclaiming their dire need for the new ShamWOW! could be family of the inventor.” After reflecting on this lecture, I have realized she was right. We don’t know those people who are reviewing the product, and we certainly don’t know if they have any relation or ties to the people selling the product. On Pg. 4 of Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, it reads, “Notice that the pseudoscientific approach did not involve systematic empiricism; in other words, the pseudoscientist did not conduct a study that was carefully planned to rule out alternative explanations for the improvement in patients’ symptoms. We do not know for sure whether the people who tried the herbal remedy were clinically depressed before taking the remedy…” This particular excerpt is referring to a pseudoscientist who delivered an herbal remedy spoken to relieve the symptoms of depression. The author, Timothy Lawson, has a very good point in relation to Liz’s lecture. Not only  are we unfamiliar with the reliability of a testimonial, but we also cannot prove how that testimonial came to be. Was the product actually helpful, or was the sudden improvement just an act of subconscious will power from an ineffective placebo?


Refer to the book: Page 4, Chapter 1. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Limited Brain Use

Chapter 3.1 of the textbook, Whence Cometh the Myth That We Only Use 10% of Our Brains?, immediately had me thinking of two movies; one movie I have already seen, and one that I keep seeing trailers of on TV commercials.  The movie Limitless starring Bradley Cooper, and the movie Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman would be the two movies, respectively.  Both movies’ plots are centered on the main character somehow ingesting a drug that enables them to access their brains full potential.  Limitless claims humans have access to 20% of their brain, and Lucy claims humans have access to 10% of their brain.  In Limitless, the main character doesn’t get any nonhuman powers, but his ability to think, do math, write, etc. greatly improves.  In Lucy, the main character has more and more powers as her access increases such as moving objects with her mind and making everything stop moving.  The plots are examples of the factoid, as defined by the textbook, that humans only have the ability to access or use 10% of their brain.  By calling this idea a factoid, it is understood that there is no evidence to support the idea or getting the evidence to support the idea is not possible. 
If there is no evidence in support, then how do these kinds of ideas stay alive? The textbook answers this question and discusses how an idea like this gives people the hope that they have more potential they’re just not capable of obtaining.  The two movies that I immediately thought of after just reading the title to the textbook section are another answer to this question.  By centering a movie’s storyline around this idea, true or not, will help to continue belief in this factoid.  Millions of people will watch these movies, and if some people have heard of this myth that we can only use a certain percentage of our brains, seeing a movie that says it’s true and shows what happens once we can access it may influence a person to believe even more.   

Here are the trailers to both movies!

Lucy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN7ksFEVO9U

Monday, July 14, 2014

Magic Trick

So I decided to take a look at one of those videos you see posted all over your news feeds in which people believe without any hesitation. This video basically illustrates how a pre-recorded magician is going to guess the card that is on your mind. After watching you will see that all he did was jumble the cards and suits to produce an illusion that yours is missing. If you go back and analyze the remaining cards, you will see, at least in my instance, that your card is halfway there. This reminded me of our into in chapter one, on pseudoscience. I believe that this perfectly demonstrates how someone's supposed "expertise" is appealing to a false authority, being us. This also draws my attention back to the Q-Ray. It was advertised to get people to believe that it does such wonderful things, such as this instance of mind reading. How do we really know though? If it's not labeled as a definite in science, is it automatically considered pseudoscience? This trick definitely breaks the laws of reality as well as going against what can be replicated. I do understand its a trick not so much as an ancient belief or even a home remedy to disease. Could this still be considered a part of pseudoscience since it follows the general guidelines?


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202386730044878

^ this is a facebook link so you may need to sign into your account first!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Welcome Summer 2014 Students!

Welcome Summer 2014 Students! This is our site for your posts and book report.
Thanks, Mark

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broken Mirror


It is said that when you break a mirror, your cosmic reparation is to endure seven years of bad luck, unless you can find a way to counteract the negative effects. The source of the " break a mirror and face seven years bad luck" superstition can be traced back to the Romans. The Romans, Greek, Chinese, African and Indian civilizations thought that a mirror had power to take part of a person's soul. If the user of a mirror were to break it, the person's soul would be trapped inside the mirror. A broken mirror created a broken soul, which in turn lead to the broken health of the unfortunate user. The Romans also believed that a person's physical body renewed itself every seven years, so under that criteria it would take seven years before the user's soul would be fully restored. Up until then, life for a mirror breaker would be one long string of unfortunate events, since he or she no longer had a healthy soul to ward off spiritual evildoers.


imgres.jpg

El Chupacabra


The Chupacabra, which means goatsucker in Spanish, is a legendary cryptid that is believed to inhabit parts of the America's and first sighted in Puerto Rico. The first attacks happened in Puerto Rico when eight sheep were found dead with three puncture wounds in their chest and drained of all of their blood. A common description of the Chupacabra is it is reptile like animal with a leathery grayish skin with sharp quills along its spine. It stands around 3 to 4 feet and stands and hops like a kangaroo. Its been reported to have large fangs, eyes, and a forked tongue. Others have reported that the Chupacabra looks like a mutated coyote. Many people report finding this creature but after examinations they always turn out to be dogs and coyotes with severe cases of mange.  
chupacabra.jpg

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ouija Boards

Ouija boards root from spiritualism. Many of the people who created them believe that they had magic powers that allowed them to talk to the dead. "In 1886, the New York Daily Tribune reported on a new talking board being used in Ohio" as stated by Erin McCarthy. These Ouija boards are the ones that we think of today when someone mentions a Ouija board.

According to Erin McCarthy "These types of talking boards became very popular, and in 1890, Elijah Bond, Charles Kennard and William H.A. Maupin had the idea to turn the board into a toy. They filed the first patent for a game they called the Ouija board." The reason that these new boards were created was because the old boards took too long to get answers. People like Elijah Bond took the opportunity to take an idea like the Ouija board and make it huge also patenting it.

Many people believe that Ouija boards really do work if you are a true believer in spiritualism and witchcraft as well as the afterlife, but there are many people who do not believe in this. I say the only real way for anyone to know if these things work is to go out, have an open mind and try it if you have the courage. As a result, you will know for yourself if it works, but you must have an open mind to it or there is no point.

http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/history.html

http://mentalfloss.com/article/12952/brief-history-ouija-board

Ghosts.

People either believe in ghosts, spirits, apparitions, whatever, or they don’t.  I do though.  I believe people leave behind their energy in a soul.  I don’t really care if that sounds crazy.  I’ve been touched on the head while I was sleeping by something that I couldn’t see, and it scared me so much.  I didn’t like to talk about it for a while because my dad thought I was nuts, but my mom believed me… Or at least, she said she believed me!  My grandmother was a nurse, and she died in my house a few months before I was born.  She was a really nice women, and my mom said I shouldn’t be worried about it.  Of course people who have had similar experience try to rationalize the situation after its occurrence.  I told myself I was probably dreaming, but I know I wasn’t because my eyes were wide open.  I was so frightened.  It really did happen.  I think in my mind I was more scared, and I was trying to talk myself out of the fact that something touched my head rather than someone because no one came into my room that night.

What I do find annoying is watching television shows where people go ghost hunting.  I could do that.  I could get a team together and make a show where all I hear is creaking and crackling noises.  The people on the shows go, “OH MY GOD, DID YOU HEAR THAT?!” and also, “DID YOU FEEL THAT?!” We don’t see or feel it because we’re watching through cable television.  I’d like to get paid for just walking around in the dark scaring myself.  What a thrill, right?  I don’t really know.  I do know what I’ve felt though personally.  On these shows we often see "orbs" fly by on the camera screen.  How do we know it's not a dust particle or a little fly?


Do we feel the need to believe in these things because maybe we’re too scared of what happens after we’re dead?  Is it too difficult for us to face the fact that we really don’t know?  Do we make up religions in order to make us feel better about what happens after we die?  

Here's a link to one of the shows I'm talking about.
What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac2-PcRfOUo

Alien Sightings: UFOs


I thought it would interesting to share some of the views of people whom I know who either believe they’ve seen aliens, believe they could exist, or they have explanations for what UFOs could be.

My best friend Jill has always been someone who I’ve looked up to.  She always received amazing grades.  She is just a naturally intelligent person.  She never drank or smoked until she was 21.  So when she told me her and her sister saw a UFO fly over her pool during the day while she was swimming, I just was astonished.  I automatically assumed she was just messing with me.  Jill is a completely level-headed.  She would definitely be the person to rationalize the situation.  She said while she was swimming with her sister, a saucer type aircraft quickly flew over them.  The UFO hovered for about thirty seconds, and then it quickly zoomed off into the sky.  She said it went so quickly that it was like it almost just disappeared.  She was nineteen when this happened, and her sister was seventeen.

My cousin worked at this place called Picatinny Arsenal located near where I live in Morris County.  According to Wikipedia, “The Picatinny Arsenal is an American military research and manufacturing facility located on a 6,400-acre of land in Jefferson Township and Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, encompassing Picatinny Lake and Lake Denmark.” She worked there a long time ago before I was born.  I began talking to her about aliens and UFOs when we were at the beach.  When you work at this place, you’re sworn to secrecy and was a secretary at this place.  Secretaries know everything that’s going on usually, unlike what we see in TV shows or movies.  They have to be able to do a million things at once.  Anyway, she told me when she worked there, an aircraft was built which is much bigger than any plane in which anyone had ever seen.  She said the aircraft is placed underground, and it’s rectangular and is for the president to use if he needs protection from any kind of disaster on Earth for which he and his family are unsafe.  Apparently, this aircraft is supposed to be able to go into space.  She was saying to me that we don’t know what our government does, and to say there aren’t any aliens would be putting blinders on.  Her point was that we don’t always know exactly what our government is testing, and she wasn’t even supposed to be telling me that.  An unidentified flying object can be anything our government is testing, or it could even be aliens!


Here’s a link to the National UFO Reporting Center State Report Index For IN:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picatinny_Arsenal

Freemasons


I always find it interesting when people find Freemasonry skeptical.  I've heard from friends who thought the Freemasons are “devil worshipers” and in Illuminati or whatever.  I’ll be flipping through the channels on my TV, and I’ll see shows twisting what they really are.  My father is a Freemason.  He’s told me things that maybe he shouldn't really tell me.  I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret… Just because they’re secretive and there’s rights a passage, doesn't mean they’re killing people, sacrificing anything, or worshiping the devil.  From what I've been told many times by my father is that you have to believe in a God.  It doesn't matter what religion you are.  You could be Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, et al.  You have to believe in something.  The organization is like a fraternity; it’s a brotherhood.  Images depicted of Freemasons can provide misunderstanding, such as the one below:



My father, along with other brothers, invited all family into where they have meetings.  My dad was earning a pin for being a member for I think thirty years.  I placed the pin on my dad because they asked if anyone would like to.  I, of course, was like “HEY, I’LL DO IT!”  Women aren't usually allowed in there. 
What I found very interesting later after the ceremony was a smaller room where it appeared to be where men would hang out, relax, and talk.  There were photos of I suppose different “chapters” of men (I’m not really sure), but one framed photo was of almost all NJ State Police.  There were so many of them!  There had to have been about 30-40 men in the photo, but it was older… Probably from the mid-1980s.


Another thing I found very interesting was in the big room where the ceremony was held.  The room reminded me of a church honestly.  My favorite thing in the room was at the back (close to where you walk in).  There were these two planet Earths that lit up.  I was told what they represented, but I was provided so much information that I just didn't understand.

This photo is what the room I was in looked like where the ceremony was held:

And in this mural is what the two statuesque planets looked like in the back of the room which lit up.  I couldn't find a photo on Google which showed the exact same ones as the pillars I saw:


*Found images on Google.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cursed Movies


There are some very infamous movies that are supposedly cursed. There have been deaths and injuries on set, deaths and injuries in subsequent years after the filming or movie premiere; all of which affected cast and crew as well as their families. Some movies you would expect to be cursed, like the Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, The Omen, and the Exorcist. But movies like Superman as well as The Wizard of Oz have been branded as cursed, as well.

The recent Amityville Horror remake had a lot of supernatural hype surrounding it, from the body of a dead fisherman washing ashore or the real-life father’s death before filming began, to the fact that Ryan Reynolds kept waking up at the exact same time that his character used to.

The Poltergeist has had some very well-known instances which label the trilogy as haunted. In each of the three movies, a lead has died after post-production. First to die was the actress who played the teenage daughter, and then there was the death of a male character in the second, and lastly the tragic death of the 12-year-old after the third film. The supposed reasoning for this curse was because Steven Spielberg's is said to have used real human skeletons as props in the first film's swimming pool sequence, although it’s never actually been proven that this is true.

The Exorcist has also had its fair share of tragedies on set—Linda Blair was thrown a little too far during one scene and injured her back pretty badly. As many as nine other deaths plagued the filming processes too; various unexplained accidents also occurred on the set, including fires. A real priest was brought in to figure out what was going on at the set, and apparently the verdict was that someone whose name started with “S” didn’t want the movie being made. That’s pretty creepy if you believe it.

The Omen was possibly the most cursed, out of this list of films. There were a lot of accidents that happened during the filming of this movie. Three very important cast/crew members were all aboard planes that were struck or almost struck by lightning; another plane that the crew planned to use for aerial filming but was reserved elsewhere at the last minute crashed during that flight and killed everyone onboard; a hotel used for filming was bombed by the IRA while filming was occurring; the day after the film's safari park scene was filmed, an animal handler was mauled by a lion while other animal handlers were attacked by dogs; the star of the movie, Gregory Peck's, son committed suicide several weeks before filming commenced; and several crew members were involved in a head-on car accident during the very first day of filming. Also (on a Friday the 13th, nonetheless!) the special-effects designer John Richardson— who had been in charge of a very bloody decapitation scene from the movie— got into a car accident that left his assistant, who was in the passenger seat, decapitated. There was a remake of Omen recently, and the director was quoted as attributing ruined footage due to supernatural forces. Apparently the camera kept reading Error 666—which, of course according to the repairman of the camera, was an error message that didn’t actually exist.

Now, like I said, some cursed films don’t have to be horror films. The Wizard of Oz is one of those “normal” films that are considered cursed. Of course there is the infamous hanging munchkin scene, which actually has been debunked! What people thought was a human figure hung from a tree in the background was actually a very large bird. But Judy Garland’s spiral into drug abuse afterwards is attested to the curse, as well as Uncle Henry’s death before the premiere and Auntie Em’s suicide. Also, Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) was severely burned during the scene when she bursts into flames—a stunt person was also burned during the same stunt.

The Superman series of films has also had its fair share of accidents that can be called supernatural. George Reeves was found in his bedroom as an apparent victim of suicide; Christopher Reeve was paralyzed during an equestrian accident; Richard Pryor’s death, and Margot Kidder’s bipolar meltdown. Dean Cain and Brandon Routh have not had anything serious happen to them as of yet, but each actor’s career has almost come to a standstill afterwards. So far Henry Cavill seems to have escaped the curse—but like I said, that’s only as of right now.

There are plenty other movies that are supposedly cursed; if you Google it you can come up with a plethora of interesting and creepy anecdotes from them. This is a subject that’s always fascinated and yet terrified me, because it’s obviously a trend in Hollywood films. Obviously, most of these events are just coincidence and pseudoscience, because being around that much equipment on a film set and also being so busy on a film set can account for accidents more than the supernatural can. Film crews and casts are enormous, so statistically the odds of someone dying in that amount of people are pretty decent—and that’s normal, not supernatural.

Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory


“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

These are famous words that we grow up learning about and hearing, even if we weren’t old enough to witness the moon landing itself. The moon landing was not only a big step for mankind, but for history too. To travel into space is to prove that we small human beings are, in fact, worthy and capable of doing something remarkable; that we can take control of our fate and our lives on this small planet.
We are so-called Masters of the Universe.
But there are some people who think they can call NASA out on a bluff with the whole thing.

20% of the American population believes that the moon landing, the entire thing, was a hoax. That’s right, a hoax. Their belief is that the entire footage of the moon landing was shot on a soundstage.
And to be honest, they have some compelling arguments for the theory.
One of the most well-known bits of “evidence” seemingly supporting the moon landing conspiracy theory hoax is the supposedly waving flag they plant on the surface of the moon—there’s no wind in a vacuum, which is supposedly what space is. NASA says the flag moved because the astronauts were touching the pole to dig it into the moon surface, or because it had been in a tube and, when unfurled, it got wrinkled. Conspiracy theorists also claim that if the lunar module actually landed on the moon, then there would have been a blast crater under it, or at least some sort of indication that it hit the ground, rather than just being placed there. There is no obvious indentation or misplacement of soil in the still pictures of the landing.

Conspiracy theorists also point out that there seem to be multiple light sources in the moon landing footage, as shadows do not run parallel with each other. NASA has said that the bumps and hills on the moon’s surface interfered with the Sun’s light and created the uneven shadows.

The creepiest, to me, “evidence” that the moon landing was a hoax is the “unexplained object”. That is the name for the weird floating thing that is reflected in an astronaut’s helmet from the Apollo 12 mission. Theorists believe it looks like a theatre spotlight hanging from the ceiling—but,
take it from an actor, that doesn’t look like any theatre light I’ve ever seen. So, what can it be? Alien or man-made? It remains a mystery to this day, and still creepy.

The last argument against the moon landing that I’ll cover today is the argument being made about the lack of stars in the video and photographic footage. It’s funny, because I didn’t even notice that until I read about it while researching this. But it’s true; the background is just plain black in all of the footage from the moon landing. Seeing as the moon has no clouds or pollution to block them, stars should be pretty visible, and also brighter than what we see through our Earth’s atmosphere. NASA released a statement about the lack of stars, which blamed the quality of the photographs. They said the quality washed out the stars. But the argument for theorists is that NASA would have found it impossible to map out the exact locations of all stars for the hoax without being found out, and therefore left them out. You can take pretty low quality pictures on Earth, with all of its pollution and clouds and atmosphere blocking the stars and still have the stars in the picture, so really if you think about it, why couldn’t you on the moon when you have a high-quality camera and when there’s nothing at all blocking them?

There are a lot of reasons conspiracy theorists believe the moon landing was a hoax—and while some are clearly scrambling for proof, some others are pretty convincing. I’m not sure what to think, but it is certainly interesting to hear what they have to say about the matter. It’s funny, really, because if you think about it: with half of the population believing the government is hiding aliens from us, and now with half of the population believing we can’t even travel into space—well, you just can’t win.
If you want to read more about why conspiracy theorists believe the moon landing was a hoax, there’s an article here that lists 10 reasons why conspiracy theorists believe what they believe.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Occult Tarot Card Readings

Occult tarot card readings have remained a common source for divination in popular culture for many decades. The cryptic symbols on the cards convince unwary customers to believe in the oracular power of simple cards. Tarot cards actually originated as complex, but, nonetheless, ordinary card game in 15th century Europe. It was not until the late 18th century that the cards garnered their occult connotations, largely as a result of the efforts of Jean-Baptiste Alliette and Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand. As one might expect, the mystic qualities of tarot cards were only substantiated by the anecdotes of practitioners. Claims of the cards' origin in ancient Egyptian mysticism gave the cards an exotic, yet alluring presence, despite any real evidence to support this.
The claims made to substantiate the occult powers of tarot cards are noticeably lacking in several areas of thought. Disregarding for the time being that there is no information to support these claims, much less any credible data or observations, practitioners of tarot card readings make numerous assumptions with complete disregard for the implications that would come with them. To believe that ordinary cards could unlock secrets about the future and the nature of the universe is to completely depart from logical thought. It is bad enough that this poor assumption is being made, but stacked on top of it is a rather greedy neglect for what one would consider to be the proper use of these "divine powers." If the key to deciphering future events were really so simple, is it really wise to be using it to determine the success of relationships or winning lottery numbers?
   

Jimmy's



The last public hanging in Morristown, NJ occurred in 1833. A man by the name of Antoine Le Blanc was hired by the Sayre family to help around the farm. La Blanc murdered the Sayre Family by bludgeoning them with a shovel and killed their servant girl Phoebe with an axe. He was caught, tried, convicted, and hung in the Green in Morristown.  
The hanging was a major event in Morristown history. It turned into quite a celebration. To cover the expenses of the trial and subsequent celebration, Le corpse was skinned and made into wallets and purses.
In 1946 the old Sayre House was converted into a restaurant called Jimmy’s. It suffered a devastating fire in 1957. After the fire, reconstruction included additions and expansion to the building while maintaining the tree that was kept growing through the atrium dining area. There was one room which was Phoebe's bedroom, that could never be heated properly and the waitresses working in that room would sometimes see Phoebe's reflection in the mirror and not their own. Waitresses also reported the feeling of chilling hands being placed on their shoulders.
One owner of the restaurant noted the ghostly time he had when his keys disappeared right off his desk. He searched and searched, but could not find them. He returned to his office and had his back to his desk and heard the keys drop. Sure enough, he turned around and there they were right where he had originally left them.
Psychics indicate that both LeBlanc and Phoebe exist in the place as restless entities.  They've tried to exorcise the spirits, but cooks and wait staff alike at Jimmy's have continued to describe eerie sensations. One waiter claimed that he was spun fully around by an unseen force.
The gallows are still inside the Morris County Courthouse, in the attic. 

Source: http://www.njhm.com/wedgewood.htm and various stories from patrons of Jimmy's