Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Acupuncture simply is the treatment of symptoms or illness through the strategic placement of small needles into the skin. This treatment began many centuries ago in the Far East. Today many people are unsure of the validity of the claims of acupuncture. One problem with acupuncture is the disagreement between schools of thought. The Eastern Explanation for how acupuncture works is that the life energy flowing through the body, known as Qi (pronounced chee) can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked. On the other hand the western definition of acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.
Really, how does acupuncture work? Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain, which is responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. Acupuncture can be used for treating a myriad of symptoms and illnesses such as nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy, postoperative dental pain, addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma. The question at hand however is how this happens, and is it for real?
In a German study of acupuncture for back pain, Dr. Heinz Endres studied 1,100 randomized patients with three treatment arms. The first received standard therapy; massage, anti-inflammatories, and heating pads. The second received acupuncture. The third received sham acupuncture where the needles were inserted but not deeply, not manipulated, and were not in traditional acupuncture points. The study found 47% improvement in the acupuncture group, 44% in the sham acupuncture, and 27% in the standard therapy group after 6 months. The problem with acupuncture however is not just ambiguous results but difficulty in running scientifically sound studies at all. This being said acupuncture as in many other questionable or unproven medical treatments is continuing to be practiced around the world.
You've probably heard that if you shave hair, it will grow back coarser, darker, thicker, and/or faster. This is an urban legend, and you should ignore others who try to tell you that it's true. Shaving the hair will never result in coarser hair, but many people suggest that, as it starts to grow back, the hair feels more coarse or stubbly.
As you stand there holding your triple-bladed razor wondering whether or not to shave your happy trail, you might think the hair will grow back thicker. After all, doesn't it seem that freshly-shaven legs or face are eventually overtaken by thick strands of dark-colored hair?
Fear the hair no longer! Paul Birnbaum, doctor of dermatology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, said shaving will not cause hair to grow back thicker. Hair thickness depends on a number of factors, including the number of hair follicles and genetics.
"The number of hair follicles clearly doesn't change by shaving," Birnbaum said. "(Thickness) is not affected by shaving. The only thing that affects (thickness) is what goes on in the follicle."
Go ahead, shave away that unibrow, upper lip or toe hair. It may be stubbly and weird, but it won't be any thicker on its way back.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Growing up and constantly dropping my favorite food on the floor, I was a strict follower of the five second rule. For those who never drop their food on the floor; the five second rule is mostly followed by children and states that if you drop food or anything that you want to eat on the ground there is a five second window that exists before it is contaminated with germs. It is hard to believe but scientific research has actually been conducted to investigate this curious question.
Most people think that saying, "God Bless You" when someone sneezes originated during the bubonic plague era. This is correct because it is documented that Pope Gregory the Great began saying this to people infected with the plague because sneezing is a symptom of the plague. Also, people began responding to sneezes because of an ancient belief that sneezing is the soul leaving the body and saying, "God Bless You" would stop the devil from capturing it. Despite the thousands of years that have gone by, we still continue to say this when someone sneezes. The reason for this, I believe, is out of etiquette. It seems to be polite to recant this statement when someone sneezes. The fact that it originated out of ancient religious-type beliefs does not seem to be a factor in anyone's mind. Many people know this explanation and origin of the saying, but still say it. Even many atheists will say it, despite their beliefs. It is ingrained into our society, just like many rituals. What's funny is that we don't "bless" anyone when they perform any other bodily action, like burping or passing gas. If fact, it is considered rude when you burp or fart, but when you sneeze it is like an inconvenience to you that people around you have to almost apologize for. At least that what it seems like to me. If you burp or fart, you have to say "excuse me" or apologize in some way because those actions are considered rude. But if you sneeze, people are almost apologizing to you by saying, "God Bless You." Its like they are trying to make you feel better. For what ever reason you want to believe, this is just a norm in our society.
I'm sure when many of you were younger you were told by your parents to stick out your tongue when they think your lying and they assure you that they can see spots. In researching this myth, I discovered that there are things as "lie bumps". Unfortunately for parents, if kids find out the truth about lie bumps, they will be able to catch their parents in a lie.
The name "lie bumps" started because when trying to keep a straight face when lying, people would bite their tongue. Sometimes when doing this, the person will bite their tongue too hard and would irritate the taste buds (sharp food can also cause this). This irritation of the taste buds will cause small red bumps to appear. These bumps are a harmless problem and may just become red and irritated for a few days. Lie bumps cause minor discomfort. Now we all can see who is truly lying when making kids believe they can see spots on their tongue.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine, first introduced in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. His idea was that symptoms of diseases could be cured by extremely small amounts of substances, which will cause similar symptoms in healthy people when given in large amounts. Sounds pretty clever at first, but most believe this idea of medicine is completely fake. One popular homeopathic product is Head-On, which looks like a glue stick, and claims to cure migrains when applied directly to your forehead. In this product, the substance Blue Flag is so diluted that there is one part ingredient per one part of dilution. James Randi, magician and scientific skeptic, says product Head-On “works on suggestion only” and that it has no active ingredients in it. He even goes as far as offering them $1,000,000 if they can actually prove their product works. When told about the challenge, representatives said they would look into it. So far, Head-On has not been able to actually prove their product works.
Double-blind studies have been conducted and it has never been found that homeopathy actually works. If you think about it, these remedies are merely placebos. That is, it’s fake medicine that will work because you believe it’s going to work. Only problem with this is that these homeopathic products are a lot more expensive than other products that have been scientifically proven to work. Despite all of this, you’ll find homeopathic products all over the shelves at pharmacies and health-food stores you shop at. Fortunately for these fakes, homeopathic products are legally marketable. To learn more about “Head-On” and Homeopathy, check out these videos from James Randi:
Sylvia Browne is one of those popular psychics who has made a name for herself. I actually own one of her books The Other Side and Back (and NO I did not buy it. It was a gift). I only read a couple chapters from the book so far. Something she stressed on more than one occasion is, "no psychic is a hundred percent accurate". I found this quite funny. It kind of goes with the vagueness idea. It also struck me that she mentioned, "no genuine psychic, including me, is psychic about themselves." She continued to say that she doesn't use it for lottery tickets or the Super Bowl. She pretty much is saying that she doesn't use her "psychic powers" for money. Yet she writes books about her powers and goes on shows like Montel Williams.
On a final note, I feel I must point out what Sylvia said about the age of the "spirits" on the "other side". She said that everyone is thirty years old. So even if you are five, twenty-three, ninety, etc. when you die, you are thirty years old on the other side. I find this pretty hard to believe. But Hey! Sylvia said it in her book so it must be true.
By: Brandi Reinhard
The supporters of this theory clearly express that at the rate we are going now there will be catastrophic consequences unless drastic action is taken now. They go on to say that there will be not only harmful environmental effects but equally as harmful economic effects. The environmental effects as a result of global warming are a glacier retreat, Artic shrinkage, and a world wide sea level rise. The resulting effects from these events will be devastating to the world. It will lead to changes in rainfall patterns, extreme weather events, reduction in the ozone layer, changes in agricultural yields, and ocean oxygen depletion. They also are worried about a change to ecosystems and the resulting extinctions that can occur form that change. Along with these environmental effects the economic effects will be equally devastating. They say that the economic effects will be an increase in income inequalities, negative market impacts in developing countries, and would decrease GDP by a few percent. It would affect the livestock, fisheries, forestry, energy, construction, insurance, tourism, and recreation sectors the most.
With all that said the ney sayers say that even if the global warming theory is true the effects that the supporters claim will happen are untrue and grossly misstated. They say that even if global warming happens there will be significantly more positive effects then negative ones. They say that with the climate increase there will be a dramatic boost in plant productivity. They go on to say that the increased temperature will increase the human health around the globe because it is proven that warmer temperatures are conducive to better human health. Overall they say that there will be little to no harmful effects and if any effect at all it will be positive ones.
So I leave the decision to you is global warming all its cracked up to be?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
My girlfriend and her mother love Hunt the Ghost or Ghost Hunters, or whatever those shows are called. You know those ones where they use high tech equipment like cameras, microphones, thermal imaging and all kinds of stuff that’s used by cable guys and electricians to tell you if there’s a ghost around? Well they were watching one time and got the idea to use the EMF meter in their shed while they were using the Ouija Board that night. I don’t belive in the parker brother’s game personally, but that’s not why I’m here. I was watching them swear that they were communicating with spirits and the small fractions of jumps and activity on the EMF meter only proved them right. I asked them why and they said something along the lines of, “Didn’t you see those professional ghost hunters? They use EMF meters.”
Then I got to thinking about the subject and started doing some research. So naturally I asked the only man I know who can rattle off the instruction manual for just about any device found in the garage, my dad. Basically, the EMF meter, also known as an Electromagnetic Field Meter, is mainly used to detect AC current from things like wiring, lighting, appliances and other devices. In addition to needing scans from multiple directions if it is a single axis scanner, however some scanners are tri-axis and can take all directions readings at once.
What does all this technology actually have to do with the paranormal? Well, according to many sites devoted to the hunting of ghosts, ghouls, goblins and gremlins, such as the folks at Proof Paranormal, found that “Paranormal investigators have found throughout the course of their research over the years that spirits manifest themselves by feeding off of energy.”
They do not however, elude as to how throughout their supposed years of research they discovered spirits feed of off present energy sources. They go on to say that people swear in some places that their cell phones and electronics go dead faster and they attribute that to spirits feeding off of energy. So the spirits resonate this consumed energy or something I guess, and that’s why EMF meters spikes when ghosts are around.
So when the Ghost Hunters go headlong into renovated castles, mansions and historic tourist sites filled with call boxes, lights, radios and televisions with their cell phones, radios, video cameras, image detectors, sound recorders and lights in hand, no wonder their EMF meters always show a signal! I’d say that maybe it would help if you just had an EMF meter and were somewhere outside and away from electronics, perhaps the middle of Gettysburg’s battlefields. But then again you’d have to be able to rule out any EMF readings due to the weather because the sun, moon, storms and other natural things can throw out a reading as well.
Even giving the ghosts the benefit of the doubt and saying they do feed off of energy. The further back we go in time, history, legend or whatnot the more paranormal things seem to be present. What did the old timey ghosts eat? I doubt that if ghosts do exist that they often died of starvation before Benjamin Franklin came along.
Does the EMF meter really aid in detecting ghosts? I suppose it’s possible, I can’t prove that it doesn’t. Maybe I’ll ask my girlfriends Ouija board and see if I can get the answer.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Regardless of when the world will end or how. There is one man convinced that he knows how mankind will be saved from destruction. That man, is Riley Martin. I overheard his radio show which airs on Howard Stern's Sirius network Tuesday nights. Although much of Stern and his shows are merely jest. I could quickly tell that the story this man is relaying was true, well at least to him.
Riley's Website gives the rundown of his tale. Basically he was abducted, twice when he was young. But he didn't remember the reasons for his abduction till he took Polaroid photos of UFO's much later in his life...and when to a Psychic to find out what the photos meant. Through his psychic therapy he...you guessed it. Remembered everything that happened to him. He believes that the aliens visited earth to unlock a block put in his mind years ago by the aliens. A meeting with the alien Tan, a member of one of the 6 races aboard the Mother ship stationed off of Saturn. The flashing images into Riley's mind and gave him the history of both man and extraterrestrial kind and instructions for the future, were all things he suddenly remembered in vivid detail.
As for the instructions, among the images are a number of images that he sells to the public in order to show the aliens that you are to be among the humans that will be selected from to leave the planet and save human kinds existence by starting new somewhere in the universe. Ohh but to get the images, which he already supposedly only he knows you have to purchase them along with submitting details like your parents ethnicity and a photo of yourself so he can draw it, because these images are custom and exclusive to you only. Buy them now tho because they are in limited numbers, only 144,000 images were downloaded into his brProxy-Connection: keep-alive
n. But you dont need one of them to be selected to leave the planet, supposedly it just helps.
So is Riley Martin the chosen being to spread the word and save mankind's existance, maybe, maybe not. But last time I checked I'm not trusting shady unverified Polaroids of odd blurs that look in now way like spacecraft and more like a giant geese or something. Nor do I trust the magical remembrance of all of this over 20 years later due to a psychic reading. Who knows tho, if you want a sure fire chance at getting saved and hitching a ride off planet. Buy a Biavian Symbol fresh from the Mother ship of Tan the Alien directly through Riley Martins mind, or you can by one of his books, musical CD's, DVDs, posters, t-shirts, autographed photos, homade Cherokee beaded headbands, drawings of alien things, and last but not least his little friend Tan on a beer mug. Sounds like a bunch of a get rich quick schemes to me.
Friday, April 9, 2010
If you ever had the joy of talking to an animal activist they may use the argument that all animal attacks are because of "territorial disputes" or they were protecting there young, or even that they felt "threatened" and that animals don't attack people for no reason, well i think that's bullshit! I myself have nothing against animals, but i want to show that animals like people can be violent if desired and don't need to have a reason. one example is from a show i recently watched (Chimp Attack), it was quite disturbing and really changed my view of chimpanzees and the image the media gives them. Your probably thinking that there has to be some reason for an animal to attack a human right? Wrong. Trainers and animal psychologists are making the assumption that animal behavior is predictable, and that animals only do things when provoked, well what if a whale has a bad day, does that give it justification to kill its trainer (Killer Whale Report), which by the way has fed it for years and developed a relationship with the creature. Ok, so your thinking maybe animals just don't like humans, well how about this case that involves animal on animal vengeance (Elephants). I am not sure why but these random acts of violence seem to come from animals of higher intelligence, maybe there is a link between intelligence and the capacity to commit unprovoked brutality, who knows for sure, but i know i no longer feel bad when animals are put down for attacking humans, Once they taste blood they want more :-(
Thursday, April 8, 2010
At http://ghoststudy.com/main/fakepageorbs.html, which is based in Sacramento, California, these advocates do their best at explaining the reasons behind the life of orbs. Orbs are described as being fast moving, floating balls of light; the light ranges in strength of its luminescence as well as its size. The orbs are believed to be either spirits of the deceased or a whole separate life form. Although these advocates recognize the fact that many of the so-called orbs seen in pictures, for instance, can be explained as being false-positives, they give several tell-tale signs that prove their existence. When viewing a photograph, one should look for a bright, vibrating ball of light; apparently, these are more likely to be real than faded ones. The less the amount of orbs, the better; multiple “orbs” in a photo can usually be better explained as dust motes. Also, when looking into the authenticity of orbs, another key element is usually whether or not the orb leaves a slight trail within the photograph.
The other take on orbs is that not only are they not paranormal, but they are also nonexistent and can, in fact, easily be explained. Troy Taylor, a skeptic who is both the author of the “Ghost Hunter’s Guidebook” as well as the president of the American Ghost Society, has an entire webpage dedicated to disproving the life of orbs. He has done several studies on the existence of orbs and has reported both his findings and views online. At http://www.prairieghosts.com/trouble.html, Taylor begins by saying that orbs are not unexplained phenomena. Before the existence of digital cameras, orbs were virtually unheard of. He believes that a majority orbs can be seen with the naked eye, and when they do apparently show up in photographs, it can usually be blamed on either having been taken by low resolution, low pixel cameras or as a result of a refraction of light from the camera lens. He also gives examples of many semi-microscopic particles that can cause these so-called orbs to appear, including dust, moisture, and hair, just to name a few. Taylor also maintains that although there are pictures containing orbs that have been taken at haunted places, they show up literally all over the place.
In close, the existence of orbs cannot be entirely discounted. After doing some research on this topic, both the advocates and skeptics of these floating balls of light make valid points on their existence and nonexistence. And although many of these so-called orbs that appear in photographs are easily explained by something else, as a believer in paranormal activity, and a possessor of some of these photographs, there is always room left for the unexplainable.
The left-brain/right-brain theory arose in the 1800s when scientists realized that an injury to one side of the brain caused a loss of specific traits. in the 1960s, the thory became more popular when epilepsy patients who had the connection between the hemispheres severed were studied. Because the two hemispheres can't communicate, they each respond differently to stimuli. For example, a split-brain patient who is being shown an image in his/her left visual field will be unable to vocally name what he/she has seen. This is because images from the left visual field are sent to the right hemisphere of the brain; language, however, is localized in the left hemisphere.
While certain areas of the brain are specialized for particular functions, each hemisphere does not have exclusive traits. For example: The left-brain is not solely responsible for language. The left hemisphere processes grammer and pronounciation, while the right processes intonation. The right-brain is also not solely responsible for spatial abilities. The left hemisphere deals with objects in specific locations, while the right deals with a general sense of space.
Brain scan technology has revealed that the two hemispheres are co-dependent. Cognitive functions require the integrated actions of multiple brain regions in both hemispheres of the brain. Although we do have hemispheric dominance, that mostly determines handedness and does not mean that your personality or abilities are more right brain or left brain.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Iridology is something that would be pretty cool if it actually were true. What exactly is it? It is the idea that your iris in your eye can predict your current or previous health status. By using the different shapes, colors, and locations of each shape, your doctor is supposed to be able to tell what might be wrong with you by simply looking at your eyes.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Before I continue, I wish to explain to you a couple ghostly superstitions. A general superstition about ghosts is that a theater should be closed one night of every week. Interesting superstition, but why is it brought about? Well, generally if a ghost is attracted to a theater they would naturally be the theater type. Maybe they want to perform their own show? This is the exact reason a theater should be closed one night a week, to allow the ghosts to perform their own show. This is not, however, the only ghostly superstition of the theater. There is also Thespis and the idea of a ghost light.
A ghost light is a light that is always left on in the theater. Some say it is to ward off ghosts, others saying to give the theater's ghosts some light to see so they are not angry. Many say, however, that it is to keep non-spectral personnel from walking into the pit, which they could not see in the dark.
MACBETH! CLICK TO SEE A HISTORICAL VIDEO ON THE CURSE
If you read that out loud I urge you to please walk outside, spin around three times, spit, curse, and then knock and request permission to re-enter the building. That is, if you are in a theater of course. Why? You just cursed the theater. No, seriously, anytime that name is spoken in a theater, there is surely something to go wrong that night. I've almost died a few times after someone spoke it. Well, I'll admit I was looking for something to go wrong so I'm sure it would have happened either way.
This curse was first originated by the fact that anyone who played Macbeth would somehow get killed in the process of the show. Somehow, the fake swords that were supposed to be used in the show suddenly became real and many people have died. One explanation for why it is cursed is the idea that the incantations which the weird sisters have in the show, are actual curses.
Like I stated before, though, when someone speaks the name I tend to look for something to go wrong. This puts my guard down and there is more likely something to go wrong. It could very well all be in the mind and work kind of how a horoscope works. Someone gives you something vague and interpretive to look at, and you try to mold your life/day around it instead of allowing it to mold itself around your life/day.
Many parents believe sugar is the cause for their child's cranky behavior. Is this really true or are they trying to make two things that don't go together connect because "it's the only logical explanation."
Why would it be the only logical explanation? Well, the child seems to only get moody right after they have a lolli-pop, or after birthday parties. Logically, that means the child had some sugar and there seems to be a correlation between having sugar and getting moody. Are we just grasping for a quick answer?
First lets point out that babies, in fact, come into this world with a natural sweet tooth, which is what attracts them to breast milk. So, if we are brought into this world craving sugar, how can it be detrimental to our moods/health.
Pediatricians and nutritionists say sugar can have a healthful place in a child's diet as long as it is consumed in modest amounts. In fact, a few drops of sugar water can help soothe a fussing baby. Well then, what is the problem? The problem seems to be that children are getting too much too soon.
It seems that an excess of sugar causes high blood pressure which in turn cuases high amounts of insulin in the blood to wipe out the sugar. The sugar is cleared quickly and this makes the mood change quickly as well. It also makes one crave sugar and puts one into a vicious cycle of highs and lows.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
We discussed in class about how the Mozart Effect is false. I found a few web pages that discussed the effect and found that a majority of the opinions about it were correct. Most people do not think it will work but, these people do not represent the public as a whole. I find it funny that people want to believe in a result without even researching the theory. It is a true testament to the American public in general, because Americans are always looking for a fast and easy result. It can be anything from diet pills to increasing intelligence. This feverish trend of laziness seems to be getting worse as our country grows. Instead of putting in time and hard work, we are always trying to find a "quick fix" for almost everything. Trying increase intelligence is futile mainly because most of our intelligence is genetically based, but everyone can increase their knowledge. Reading a book increases your knowledge. In fact, reading is a proven tool that not only increases factual knowledge, but improves vocabulary and comprehension skills. But this would require some form of effort; it is much simpler to play some music and hope for the best.
Some people believe that the music can have an impact on a child while they are in the womb. This has also been dis proven. Besides the scientific reasoning of why this will not work, lets look at it logically. How would this specific type of music increase a developing child's intelligence? Why not other types of music, or a stand up comedy routine. Would playing George Carlin to a baby in the womb make it become a great comedian? I think not. But this also leads back to our laziness as a society. Most Americans won't research things thoroughly and will base their decisions on fancy advertising and false promises. We all need to take a look around and stop being so lazy.
Another popular theory about the moon is that there is a man who lives on it... Well sorry to say that the man who lives on the moon is about as real as it being made out of cheese. The reason why for centuries humans have thought there was a man on the moon is because we only see one side of it, and that side has several very large craters and with those craters and the light relfecting off of the moon it makes it look like there is a face on it.... O well I guess we are just going to have to find another way to explain the moon to little kids.