Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Many people today believe you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day or you will suffer chronic dehydration and many other health problems. However, according to scientific american, unless you are at risk for kidney stones or urinary tract infections, drinking large amounts of water is not necessary. That is not to say that drinking water is not healthy, it is just that drinking very large amounts is not really necessary. The misconception of drinking 8 glasses of water a day came from a study in 1947 that stated that people usually consume 8 glasses of water in the food that they eat. Once bottled water came on the scene it misused this to sell water.Personally that seems like a scam to me. When you have water coming from your faucet, but you buy cases of bottled water. If you are exercising or something then you probably need more water than usual. However, drinking 8 extra cups a day is not necessary according to Dr.Valtin a professor from Dartmouth who specializes in kidney research. So only drink what water you need, the 8 cups a day thing is not true.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
My family isn't especially superstitious except here and there. My grandmother wore the Italian Cornuto to "keep the evil eye away" and kept Chinese cat statues in her home for luck. This never effected my household as much as the Curse of the Great Bambino. My Dad, a die hard baseball fan used to tell me about it when I was young and I'm sure everyone is at least a little familiar with it. The legend goes as followed.. In 1918 the Red Sox won their 5th World Series with Babe Ruth as their pitcher. The owner sold Babe's contract to the NY Yankees and since then NEVER won a world series in over 80 years -- Hence, the Curse of the Great Bambino.
http://www.soxsuck.com/losses.html (haha) Here you can see a timeline of the Sox, to further 'prove' the curse. But while the Sox are telling themselves to "wait till next year", think about it. Is the curse real? Or just coincidence.
Based on the poll, it's really up to the viewer whether or not they truly believe. The sighting in Mexico was not visible to the naked eye, but could be picked up with infrared -- making it possible that it was just the Air Force passing through. What do you think? Keep this in mind --> http://www.rense.com/general52/deff.htm
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Astrology itself is not accepted as a science, and rightly so. There are many errors and contradictions in astrology. First off, there is the use of the constellations of the Zodiac. In Western astrology, two Zodiacs are used, the Tropical and Siderial Zodiacs. The Tropical Zodiac relates the position of the Earth to fixed points in the sky, whereas the Siderial Zodiac relates the position of the Earth to the constellations and what sign the sun rises through on the equinoxes. But these two Zodiacs do not coincide. There is a phenomena known as the procession of the equinoxes. The Earth wobbles on its axis at a rate of 30 degrees (one zodiac length) every 2,160 years. This means that the Tropical ans Siderial Zodiacs will give different readings for the same person, only coinciding every 26,000 years.
Another error in astrology lies in the signs themselves. There are actually 13 signs in the Zodiac. Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, lies between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Poor Ophiuchus was left out until recently, probably due to a superstition of the number 13. Just the addition of an extra sign would change the entire Zodiac. People who were originally born under one sign now have a different sign. How could any predictions be made for a person if their sign has changed?
Astrologers also make use of the angular relationships of planets. Some angles of importance are a conjunction of 0 degrees, an opposition of 180 degrees, a trine of 120 degrees, a square of 90 degrees, a sextile of 60 degrees, a quincunx of 150 degrees, a semisextile of 30 degrees, a semisquare of 45 degrees, and so on. What is important to note here is the large number of "important" angles. With more chances for an important angular relationship, astrologers are basically just fishing for a relevant association.
Another error can be found in the planets used. Originally, there were only six "classical planets" that were used, because they were the only ones discovered at the time. As new planets were discovered, they were added to the astrological charts and took ruling characteristics from the classical planets. Again, as in changin the Zodiac, changing the list of important celestial bodies in turn changes the readings for every person. Also, why aren't comets and asteroids included in astrological readings. If Pluto and Ceres are still being used even after their loss of planetary status, why can't other non-planetery bodies be important?
Another important pitfall in astrology is the fact that the constellations are not actual objects in the night sky. They are merely groups of stars that someone in the ancient past assigned a certain shape to. Often, different people see different shapes in the same group of stars. The Big Dipper, for instance, is recognized as the Great Plow in other cultures. These groups of stars don't even exist on the same plane of space. Any given star in a constellation may be thousands of lightyears away from each other, with no relevance or importance to one another, other than the importance attributed to them based on subjective reasoning.
It is important to study space and celestial bodies, but we must remember to look at it through a scientific scope. In this regard, astronomy is the way to go, based on its use of empirical evidence. Astrology can be fun, but we must also remember that the heavens do not impact our lives other than through cosmic radiation (which is taken care of by the magnetosphere), or the odd meteor. We can't let what happens in space determine our futures. We can take care of that on our own.
Monday, March 21, 2011
On youtube I found an interview of some Umass players who also have some crazy rituals like always taping their stick before the game, not letting it touch the floor until they are on the field. One player will play Call of Duty until the warm up because it gets him in the zone. A few players would take a nap a few hours prior to game time, while many players would lace up their cleats in a specific order. (left then right or vice versa). Also the goalie from Syracuse smears mud from his backyard on his face before every game, (many players use eyeblack a certain way). Whichever superstitions they believe in, each player will have their own specific interesting pregame ritual to follow, which is one reason that Lacrosse is such a fun sport.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Conspiracy Theories have been a topic of interest for people for many years. In our day and age, people always feel as if they are not being completely informed. This could be true, and it could also be for many perfectly understandable reasons. However, this has cause many people to become extremely paranoid about things that they do not understand. I believe that people naturally thirst for knowledge, and when people cannot understand something or are not completely informed on some matter, they tend to attribute that to wrongful doings. I believe that most people who subscribe to most conspiracy theories do so because they believe that if information is being held than it must be because those withholding information believe that we (meaning the public) will strongly oppose what is going on. This more recent rise of a societal feeling of a lack of knowledge and released information on important matters has gave way to many conspiracy theories.
Some of these theories are minor and insignificant, but the majority of them are on a large, impactful scale; such as the worlds end in 2012, the Georgia guidestones, the churches, etc. All in all the majority of these theories involve subject matters that people fear; either for harmful reasons, or because we simply do not understand. What I have found interesting, though, is how many more conspiracy theories have developed since the original apocalyptic 2012 theory revolving around the ending of the Mayan calender. Ever since a theory or thought about doomsday on earth had surfaced, it seems like people have made everything else that is not well understood fit perfectly with this theory of the end of the world. I, personally, believe that people innately need to find confirmation for their beliefs, and having an unprovable theory to attach their beliefs to is the easiest way to "prove" them to themselves.
Another interesting thing I have found about current conspiracy theories is that people always seem to attribute the people who are behind their conjured heinous things are usually groups of people who are not well understood. It seems that most conspiracy theories tend to lay the blame on groups such as the "New World Order", the Freemasons, the Templar Knights, the Rosicrucians, the Skull and Bones, etc. The list goes on and on. As I have said, it seems as if people are always placing the blame on groups such as this because they are "secretive" groups. Being labeled as cut off from the public, or not common knowledge, it is easy to assume that these groups are behind such sly and devious deeds.
I have done a lot of research and reading into some of these groups that I have previously stated out of pure interest. From what I have uncovered it seems as though these groups are not as mischievous, deadly, and scary as people may think. They are simply pre-labeled and misunderstood.
Some conspiracy theories are fun to investigate. It is interesting to see the correlations that people find between different things. Some of these theories that are floating around today's society may very well be true, and, some, you may not find a single thread of truth behind. Either way I would encourage people to take the time to formulate their own opinions, do their own research, and make their own correlations before jumping on a bandwagon that is anti-this or anti-that simply because their is a large conspiracy against it.
Denver Airport Conspiracy Part 1, Part 2
The Illuminati and the New World Order
Freemason symbolism in the 1 dollar bill
Psychics tend to do a good job convincing people they can predict the future, contact the dead, or even help find a killer. There are numerous accounts of mysterious murders that lead the police to call in psychics. Each case turns out the same; the psychic’s broad claims do not help find the killer, and most of the time they just waste police resources. One instance in particular is the case of John List; a man who shot his wife, mother, and three children. He left them out to be found in his mansion, with a letter confessing what he had done to his minister. He expected to be caught almost immediately, but ended up starting a new life with a new identity. The case in his home town did not die, and one detective took a lot of interest in the case. He had heard about a psychic living near by and decided to bring her crime scene photos and get her input on the matter. Although she had little leads, she did provide him with some interesting information. The psychic, Elizabeth Lerner, claimed that List had met a new woman, which he had, traveled by plane to the southwest, he lived in Colorado, and she claimed there was significance with Florida or Virginia, and List ended up in Virginia where he was eventually arrested. She had also told the detective that she was convinced he would visit the gravesite of his old family on his birthday. Since the detective’s other information was accurate, the detective got permission to watch the graveyard the day before and the day of List’s birthday. He never arrived. A few years later List was finally caught because a neighbor had recognized a picture of List on America’s Most Wanted.
In this case, people who believe in psychics can claim that Lerner was right since some of her details were accurate. The detective did not only ask for Lerner’s help; a psychologist had also assisted him in trying to figure out clues to lead to List. The psychologist had also come up with the idea that List had moved away from his home town and that he had met a new woman. Lerner went the extra step and predicted his visit to the graves. List never planned on visiting the graves, but the detective wanted to believe Lerner’s claims so bad that he had wasted two days staking out the gravesite. It can be assumed that anyone who knows the ways criminals behave could have made such assumptions because sometimes killers will return to visit past lives; List was just not one of those people.
This is just one example of how psychic crime detectives are used, and there are more that produce the same unfruitful results. Their confidence and their strong ability to convince people is their real power.
A common belief among the superstitious is that opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck. The claims of unfortunate events include bad luck for all of the people inside the building and even death to a family member before the years end. Of course, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate these claims. However, by examining the possible origins of this superstition we are better able to understand why people believe in this fallacy.
One possible origin for today’s belief is the European umbrella that was popular in the eighteenth century. These umbrellas were larger than modern umbrellas and had hard metal spokes and spring triggers. The opening of these umbrellas could cause damage to objects or people that happened to be nearby. Therefore, it was considered bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, because of the many cases in which people broke something or injured someone with them. One article suggested that the superstition of bad luck may have been created on purpose to reduce the number of accidents created by the umbrellas.
Superstitions involving umbrellas are also present in ancient Egypt, long before the creation of eighteenth century umbrellas. Unlike those umbrellas, ancient Egyptian umbrellas were to protect their users from the sun’s rays rather than from rain. It is believed that at this time, opening an umbrella inside was considered a sign of disrespect to the sun god.
This superstition reminds me of the myth about only being able to use ten percent of our brains and the myth about sugar making children hyper because although there is no proof to support the claims many people still believe the notion. The idea is promoted through word of mouth and it taught to each generation. For the most part, parents probably tell their children this myth so that the kids don’t break anything or hurt themselves by playing with umbrellas indoors.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I have always been told that it is bad luck to spill salt, and you must throw the salt over your left shoulder. Being a generally clumsy person I have participated in this ritual, with your right hand many times, but never knew the reason or origin of the superstition.
In ancient times, salt was an expensive commodity. It was a status symbol to be able to have a cellar of salt to present guests with during a celebration. Wasting salt by spilling it was frowned upon by many. The superstition of spilling salt came about as a way to warn people against being careless with it.
The throwing of the salt over the left shoulder specifically comes from a Christian belief that the devil resides and hangs about on the left side of the body. Throwing the salt over the left shoulder is in essence throwing the salt square in the devils face. Using your right hand to throw is important because it is regarded as “the good side” of the body. Therefore you are getting rid of the bad using the good.
Another superstition that is linked with spilling salt and Christian belief is attributed to the Last Supper of Jesus. The famous painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci shows Judas the betrayer spilling a salt vessel.
Now that I know where this superstition came from I will still continue to throw salt over my shoulder, even if only as a way to show off my newly gained knowledge.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Wedding and marriage superstitions seem ridiculous to most people but many brides still follow these false notions so they will have a long wonderful marriage. Even though I am not a believer in all of these crazy superstitions I do know many women who believe in them. Some of these superstitions I have heard of but many of them are new and surprising. One very recognizable superstition is that when a bride is about to get married she needs something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The something old is to make sure that the couples past connects with their future, something new is for the couple to have health, happiness, and success in the future, the something borrowed is a token of love from the bride’s family, and something blue is very significant because it represents fidelity and constancy. Another recognizable superstition is that the groom must carry the bride over the threshold because if the bride stumbles or falls down, it is considered bad luck. At the end of the wedding, family and friends often throw rice at the couple as they pass by. They do this to wish the couple fertility by transferring Mother Earth’s prosperity onto the bride and groom. It is said to be good luck if you see a rainbow, black cat, or chimney sweeper on your wedding day. It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride the night before the wedding and also if the bride tries the wedding band on before the ceremony. It is also bad luck to see a grave, pig or lizard on your wedding day. There are also superstitions that follow after that wedding as well. For instance, if a man or woman loses their wedding band, it may symbolize a break in their marriage. One extreme superstition from Hindu culture is the bride is given a knife or any other sharp metal entity to take with her at all times after she is engaged and until the wedding day, this allow the future bride to protect her virtue.
In conclusion, wedding superstitions and rituals seem ridiculous but it is rare to find a bride who doesn’t follow at least one of them. Every wedding that I have been to, I have seen one or more of these superstitions. And the bride always seems pretty serious about it. Even though these superstitions can be fun at times, they clearly aren’t doing their job considering about 40-50% of marriages in America will end in divorce. So I am pretty sure that they have no effect on a couple’s marriage and future.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The first use of the term "Bermuda Triangle" was in February, 1964. The article, The Deadly Bermuda Triangle, by Vincent Gaddis was in the Argosy, also known as Argosy: Magazine of Masterpiece Fiction or The Argosy: A Magazine of Tales, Travels, Essays, and poems. The Bermuda Triangle has been a popular science fiction topic ever since. Each author can create stories around any incident and add their own artistic input especially their own theories. Many of the ships and planes that have been identified as having disappeared mysteriously in the Bermuda Triangle were not in the Bermuda Triangle at all. Other authors expand the area of the triangle past its normal boundaries to include other incidents in order to make their story entertaining.
The United States Coast Guard and other expert sources affirm that the number of incidents involving lost ships and aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle is no larger than any other heavily traveled region of the world. This amount of traffic in addition to the dangerous weather in the area makes the number of incidents in the area rather reasonable. Weather including thunderstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, high waves, currents and other natural and human causes are what investigators believe are the cause of the disappearances in the area. Investigations of Bermuda Triangle incidents have not produced any scientific evidence of any unusual phenomena involved in the disappearances. Investigations of stories based on certain disappearances do not align with the actual facts and include many fabrications.
We have become accustom to the idea that the Bermuda Triangle is an infamous location for mysterious disappearances when, actually, no such phenomena exists.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Growing up, whenever there was an aunt, cousin, or any family member pregnant, it was common for the mother and father to not announce the pregnancy or reveal the news until 3 months had passed. Grandmothers and other older relatives would let family know it was bad fortune for the pregnant couple to spread word of the pregnancy to everyone, and that God would grant good graces to the child if it was kept secret until 3 months had passed.
Friday, March 11, 2011
So everybody knows that Christopher columbus discovered that the New World in 1492 which eventually became America. He was looking for a trade route and I do not think he found one. However he discounted a pseudoscientific myth that the earth is actually flat. Today everybody knows that the world is round. Except for the people at the flat earth society, they firmly believe that the earth is a flat plane or disk. Which is incredibly stupid because people have been to the moon and we have footage of the earth that shows it is not a disk and is not flat. We have photos that show the earth is round. Many of these flat earth beliefs were understandable in the middle ages. However now, it just seems stupid. The flat earth society firmly believes that the earth being round is an elaborate hoax. They acknowledge that the moon other planets and the sun are round. However they believe that the earth is a flat disk with the north pole in the center. The continents and oceans surround the disk. On the edge of the disk is a 150 foot wall of ice holding the ocean in. There is even a forum section were you can debate with them over your theories. Which will usually be shot down even if you show evidence that the earth is round. Normally i respect and understand other peoples thoughts and beliefs. However, the flat earth society are very strange. I just think that people like conspiracy theories. I really do not understand why this group of people believe in something that is obviously false.
Players in sports have some of the strangest superstitions from eating certain foods before games to getting dressed the same way everyday. But no sport has as weird of superstitions as baseball. Baseball players do the weirdest things to keep streaks and good luck going. Turk Wendell former Cubs pitcher brushes his teeth and chews licorice between every inning to have good luck. We have already talked about Wade Boggs and how he only eats chicken the day before a game but he also draws a symbol in the dirt meaning "To Life" in the batters box before every at bat. Another weird superstition is Mark “The Bird” Fidrych's. He would play with the dirt on the back of the mound and talk to himself and the ball before he pitched every game. Other not as well known superstitions in baseball is to spit into your hand before picking up the bat is said to bring good luck. Another not so well known superstition for baseball and one that isn't done so much is putting a wad of gum on a player's hat brings good luck. One thing that you never do is let another player use your bat apparently that is a jinx and they will do bad. One superstition that everyone in baseball follows is that if your pitcher is pitching a perfect game or no hitter you never speak of it while its going on or it will not happen. Another well know superstition is refusing to wash a piece or part of an entire uniform during a hot playing streak.http://www.webcitation.org/5OHaQX4IE
Thursday, March 10, 2011
There is always something mystical about the night sky. Looking up and seeing clear skies and the stars is something of amazement. Not knowing how far away they really are, and whether or not something else is out there. It's not hard to see why people put a lot of faith into the stars. But are the stars really able to predict how your day is going to go, or your month? Astrologers have never really explained how astrology works, that is how positions of different astronomical bodies supposedly have different effects upon different people. Bart Bok, the former president of the American Astronomical Society, said:
Many believers in astrology have suggested that each planet issues a different variety of special as-yet-undetected radiations or "vibrations" . . . [but] there is apparently conclusive evidence that the sun, moon, planets, and stars are all made of the same stuff, varieties and combination's of atomic particles and molecules, all governed by uniform laws of physics. It does not make sense to suppose that the various planets and the moon, all with rather similar physical properties, could manage to affect human affairs in totally dissimilar fashion.
There have been many tests done to try and prove that astrological signs can actually predict. "Michigan State University psychologist Bernie Silberman asked astrologers to list compatible and incompatible signs. Silberman then inspected the records of 478 couples who divorced and 2978 who married in 1967 and 1968 in Michigan. He found no correspondence beyond that of random chance between the astrological signs predicted to be compatible or incompatible by astrologers and the signs of those getting married or divorced."
French statistician Michel Gauquelin examined the signs (moon, zodiacal, planetary, ascendant, and mid-heaven) for 15,560 professionals from five European nations in 10 different occupations. He found no evidence of any astrological effects. His calculations showed that the correlation between astrological signs and occupations to be that of random chance.
Due to this scientific evidence one can see that daily horoscopes are in fact fiction, and their general predictions are bound to relate to anyone's life.