Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Voodoo Chile

When we think of voodoo, the most popular thoughts that come to mind are black magic, human sacrifice and pushing pins into dolls. America has become entranced with the idea that there are people who can conjure up potions and cast spells among the unlucky. The city of New Orleans is rife with such myths and legends. Although voodoo originated from the West coast of Africa and Haiti, we will focus on the phenomenon that is Louisiana Voodoo.
Let's start off by pointing out that voodoo has become a very lucrative business of superstitions. Americans believe voodoo is real and truly evil and for some reason, this is wildly fascinating. In the city of New Orleans voodoo is a very popular tourist attraction. Here, you can buy voodoo dolls which are meant to resemble a victim to torture, charms and amulets, and ritual powders. The most unsettling theme of voodoo is the gris-gris, which according to legend is a small leather pouch that is worn on the person and is said to bring bad luck upon whoever is wearing it. Practitioners of voodoo are commonly thought to be much like followers of Wicca or even Satanism, meant to bring evil and misfortune.
Luckily for those who believe in this phenomenon, it is entirely inaccurate. As mentioned earlier, voodoo originated from Africa and Haiti and brought into America around the sixteenth century by slaves. In Louisiana, they mixed with Spanish, French, and Creole influences to create a cultural form of the original religions. Voodoo is practiced to treat anxiety and depression, to cure addictions and ailments, and to aid the hungry and the poor. The theory that voodoo is aimed to hurt and manipulate others is entirely contrary to the real ideals of voodooism.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Greada Treaty, Real or Fake?

On the night and early hours of February 20-21, 1954, while on a ‘vacation’ to Palm Springs, California, President Dwight Eisenhower went missing and allegedly was taken to Edwards Air force base for a secret meeting. When he showed up the next morning at a church service in Los Angeles, reporters were told that he had to have emergency dental treatment the previous evening and had visited a local dentist. The dentist later appeared at a function that evening and presented as the ‘dentist’ who had treated Eisenhower. The missing night and morning has subsequently fueled rumors that Eisenhower was using the alleged dentist visit as a cover story for an extraordinary event. The event is possibly the most significant that any American President could have conducted: an alleged ‘First Contact’ meeting with extraterrestrials at Edwards Air Force base (previously Muroc Airfield), and the beginning of a series of meetings with different extraterrestrial races that led to a ‘treaty’ that was eventually signed. This astonishing First Contact event, if it occurred, will experience its 50th anniversary on February 20-21, 2004.
This paper explores the evidence that the First Contact meeting had occurred with extraterrestrials with a distinctive ‘Nordic’ appearance, the likelihood of an agreement having been spurned with this ‘Nordic race’, the start of a series of meetings that led to a treaty eventually being signed with a different extraterrestrial race dubbed the ‘Greys’, and the motivations of the different extraterrestrial races involved in these treaty discussions. The paper will further examine why these events were kept secret for so long, the significance of the 50th anniversary of Eisenhower’s meeting with extraterrestrials, and whether an official disclosure announcement is likely in the near future.

Could it be an Angel?

In March 2005 the unthinkable happened when I woke up and found the man I was dating dead at 25, he had died in his sleep of a heart attack. When I found him his lips were blue and he wouldn't answer me when I called his name " Greg! " After that I realized he was gone and wouldn't come back. The night before his funeral strange things happened like when I was watching TV all of a sudden the channel changed by itself. I know what you are thinking maybe I hit the remote by accident! But how would that happen if the remote was on my nightstand and I was lying in bed no where near it. There wasn't a malfunction with the TV because that's never happened before and its never happened again. Also the pull chain for my ceiling fan swung and hit the light, when there was no heat or air on at the time! I had a touch lamp and every now and then it will turn on by itself! Its never done it before his death! Then a couple years later I'm driving and my current boyfriend notices something on my dashboard, and says hmm I never noticed this before. We tried wiping it off thinking maybe its dust or dirt, but it wouldn't come off. We both thought it looked like an angel! Thinking maybe its Greg or maybe a close relative watching over me! You tell me what do you see?


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Out Of Body Experiences

Recently I have been reading up and researching out of body experiences. The best time to try and have an OEB is  either right before you fall asleep or right after you wake up.  The first step is relaxation, you have to be completely relaxed for an OEB to work, the more your body is relaxed the less you can feel it making an OEB more likely to work.  There are numerous steps on how to relax your body.  The next step is to focus your mind.  When you are leaving you body the most important thing is your state of mind, when you are in the right state of mind leaving the body is easy.  The right state of mind is to be a quiet, completely passive, single-minded observer.  The third step is to wander the edge of consciousness.  During this step you let yourself begin to  fall asleep and then catch yourself, after catching yourself you must make sure you are fully awake again.  You continue this process but each time letting yourself fall into a deeper sleep before catching yourself.  Step Four is to visualize an object.  A popular object is a small cube visualized about 6 feet directly in front of your face.  You keep on visualizing this object and may not continue the process until this small cube or other object of your choice is visualized in your minds "eye." Steps 5, 6, and 7 consist of you swaying the cube above your head progressively swaying faster and faster and then swaying your body in the opposite direction. The last step is to grab the imaginary cube and let it pull your soul out of you body.  You are then free to explore the nonphysical world.

Superstitions Or Super Stupid

We've all heard of superstitions before, but what triggers the existence of a superstition? Where do all of these beliefs come from, and is it actually true? Well we can start off by breaking apart the word; superstition. 

A superstition is any belief based on myths, traditions, tales, or irrational thoughts. Since superstitions are passed through oral tradition, there's no exact pinpoint on its origin. Superstitions usually involves animals, inanimate objects, spiritual beings, and even people. Superstitions are like rumors, they start out as facts, but becomes exaggerated over the years. So what makes people believe in them? Well part of it is through religious beliefs. Superstitions have become part of one's culture and religion, therefore there are various superstitions around the world. From Western superstitions to Eastern superstitions, everyone believes different because of their culture. 

In my opinion, I don't believe in superstitions. I find them rather silly, false, and don't really care for them. However, in my family, my father's side is very superstitious. It gets to the point where they actually sound silly. For instance, the number 3 is bad luck. So when you take a picture, there can't be 3 people. But what if the family consists of 3 people? Or, you're not supposed to comment on how the newborn baby cries a lot to the mother because it'll grow up crying endlessly. Superstitions play a big factor in culture and has the power to control how one thinks. Its just a part of belief and culture. What do you guys think?

Here are some popular Southeast Asian superstitions: 

- do not sleep in a big bed with unused pillows
- do not point at the moon 
- do not whistle in the dark
- if you hear your name being called and can't find where its coming from, do not answer
- do not leave your sticky rice container open
- do not lie down after eating
- keeping knives under your bed at night will keep bad dreams and scary spirits away 

Chupacabra: A Children's Story

            When I was young I heard stories of the Chupacabra also known as the goat sucker from my Father and his side of the family. There were various accusations on what it looked like but the one I was told was that it looked like a coyote and a dog mixed. It was a creature without hair and had an abnormal spinal cord. It apparently lives by the border of Mexico and Texas. The Chupacabra feeds on the blood of any preys it can get, like a vampire. Most "witnessed" descriptions of the monster were different from person to person but all of them claim to have seen it during the night. Most people who have seen it say that "there just see a pair of glowing eyes and distorted figure."
          An accusation that is false was that the Chupacabra does not come from Mexico but Puerto Rico around 1970's. There was an incident of farm animals being killed and left bloodless. After that more and more reports were filed and began to spread to other countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, and more in South America. The Chupabra was told as a children's story to scare them into listening to the adults because if they didn't "the Chupacabra would come and get you". Even with so many reports of it, there is no actual evidence that can conclude such a creature does exist. No one has ever been able to capture the real thing, just the remains of it's bloodless prey.

Basketball Hot Hand

      The basketball hot hand is the belief after a player makes a shot the following shot will have a greater chance at going in the basket. This has been proven to be a fallacy because each shot has the same percent chance of going in. Many people believe that players have hot and cold shooting streaks. When really each individual shot has the same theoretical chance of going in. There has been plenty of research and studies done on players disproving the hot hand phenomena. There is no statistical evidence once making the first shot the second has higher precent chance of going in. Although researchers have found some evidence for the hot hand in foul shots where defense is not applied and difficulty of the shot is constant. They have found after making the first foul shot, the second has a higher precent chance of going in compared to missing the first shot.

      Even after analyzing all of this information, I still believe if a shooter gets in rhythm there is a higher precent chance of them making shots. Some games people score 40 plus points, shooting 60 precent from the field which is way above average and I think is having the hot hand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj3_Wh4KPUI
Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points shooting 28-46 from the field 7-13 from 3 and 18-20 from the line proves a shooter can get into a streak and have greater chance at scoring baskets.


Since I was a little girl, my family has often moved from one place to another. We never found a place that was “home sweet home.” Every place had something unpleasant about it. The two places that stood out to me was because of the experience that my brother and mother had. The first apartment was where my mom had bad experiences. It was a three bedroom apartment, on a busy intersection. My mom had a feeling of someone following her around. My mom always had a very cold feeling about that house. This feeling of someone always watching over her shoulder had changed her personality, she seemed less happy and quieter. Eventually, we had to move out of that apartment because my mom could not deal with the whole situation.
The next apartment that we had lived in was where my brother had a paranormal encounter. His room was a little further from my and my parents room, which may be the reason his mind played a trick on him. One night, he was in his room watching a movie, it was pitch dark. Around 3 AM he heard a noise, it was very loud and clear. He got so scared that he wrapped himself with the blanket, creating some sort of comfort. He was not able to sleep for the rest of the night and was shaken up from fear. The next morning when I had woken up, he ran to my room and was telling me what happened the night before. He had heard a little girl in his room, saying hello to him.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Phases of Thought

By now, many of us have become comfortable in our way of thinking.  As I look back, however, I have become much more aware of who I am ] and who I used to be, not only as a person, but as a thinker.  In class, we learned of the three kinds of thinkers.  I believe that these types are not specific to any one person.  In discussion, we spoke of people we knew who were either naive in their thinking, selfish in their thinking, or fair minded in their thinking.  But as I look back into my past, I see not only a fair minded thinker, but a naive thinker and a selfish thinker.

Throughout my childhood, I was naive to things like the boogieman, monsters under my bed, Santa Clause, etc..  And while during that time I never thought of myself as being naive in my thoughts, many of my decisions and my actions were just that.  But then, as I went a little further into the future of my past (if that makes any sense), I became aware of the fact that I was very, very vindictive and manipulative in my thoughts and actions as a preteen and young teen.  This would have defined me as a selfish thinker, to which I obviously did not think was the case.  Now, as I look at my recent history of events, I see that of a fair minded thinker in both thought and action.  But how is it that I was, or am, all three?  I think we are all given the opportunity to be each of the three kinds of thinkers, and we seem to settle on the one that best fits our situations.  But no one is really ever set in one kind, and through all that occurs, we are who we are and will be who we decide to be.

Natural Remedies

     Natural remedies are very popular in our society today. Every house hold I've been in has a different remedy for the common cold, or for symptoms of allergies. People are still very fascinated with ancient remedies, often even opting to use those remedies instead of medicine that is scientifically proven to work. Perhaps this has to do with the cost of medicine, or lack of faith in doctors today.
     One remedy that I am I see often is honey mixed with cinnamon to reduce the symptoms of colds and allergies. This simple remedy apparently has very profound effects, often working nearly instantly with no repercussions. Members of my household are convinced in the power of this simple concoction, however I am not so sure. I tried to take this remedy once and felt no better until the cold I was dealing with had ran its course. So it begs the question: Does this remedy actually relieve the runny nose, and sore throat that is associated with the common cold? Or is it just a mental thing and people just believe they're being cured therefore their symptoms begin subsiding? For further reading, here's what naturalnews.com has to say on the topic:

Sleep Paralysis - Camila Llosa 1st Post

         Going to sleep can be one of the most relaxing and satisfying feelings a person experiences. Sleep is vital and important in order for a human being to survive. But what if this sanctuary for the body or time of relaxation and rest becomes a nightmare. A terror making you uneasy in bed or even make you reject sleep.  Why would anyone not want to fall asleep or get the rest needed? The answer to this question may be, within a sleep disorder called sleep paralysis.The exact definition of sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move (being paralyzed).Regardless this definition does not cover or describe the exact sensations a person experiences while going through sleep paralysis. Imagine waking up to find you can't move a muscle. You may feel a presence in the room, near your bed or standing or on top of your chest, crushing your breath. Frequently these examples of sleep paralysis are accompanied by hallucinations and sensations of breathlessness. This experiences or hallucinations give rise to the myths of incubus and succubus. Incubus is a male demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women.  While succubus is a female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men. Many people hallucinate images such as incubus or succubus that are night demons while sleep paralysis is happening.Some different sleep paralysis episodes come with a feeling of falling or leaving the body.  Many people that are unaware of this sleep disorder and maybe religious or believe on demonic entities become stressed by this experience.That’s why many people that experience sleep paralysis; learn to be afraid of falling asleep. Most people find out about the disorder but while people are clueless to this sleep phenomenon may become stressed and it may affect sleep cycles. But there is a scientifically explanation that gives ease to those who’ve experienced sleep paralysis and that were afraid of abduction or demonic possession. My experience was terrifying but instead of talking about it i will show a picture and video that depict and summarize better what it feels like and the scientific look on this disorder.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axeoTQtawt8

Personal experience relating to barometric pressure philosophy

  I played football throughout my four years at Absegami high school which is right up the street from Stockton. I ended up tearing my ACL and meniscus in my right knee during a practice my freshman year. The ACL is one of four main ligaments in your knee and is responsible for cutting and pivoting. The meniscus is basically just cartilage  that protects your knee. This required me to have reconstructive surgery on my knee to fix the damage. The ACL has little to no blood supply, therefore, they had to take a piece of my hamstring to use it as my new ACL. This kept me out of any sports related activities for about 10 months.

The next year I started up football again. My knee felt very good and there was surprisingly no pain. However, I started to notice that whenever it rained the morning before practice my knee just didn't feel great. It was achy and very stiff when it rained as opposed to sunny days. I know there isn't any scientific fact behind the philosophy of barometric pressure and arthritis pain but this made me think a little.

Here's a photo of the different ligaments of the knee: http://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/Fathead/knee_ligaments_labeled_mediumB_prod?layer=comp&wid=444&hei=444&fmt=jpeg&qlt=95,1&op_sharpen=1&resMode=bicub&op_usm=0.5,0.2,0,0&iccEmbed=0&bgc=0xdedede&bgColor=0xdedede

Monday, September 22, 2014

Magic Real or Not?

Magicians or illusionist are a great way to find enjoyment  and to be entertained.  But sometime one might think, could this be a real thing?  Magic had an early beginning where the Egyptians had used sleight of hand to distract someone as they would steal their valuables as they weren't looking.  Then got to the point to where they would do illusions that were so mind blowing to people that they began to call them wizards and magicians.  Although many of these were not real magicians and were just doing illusions, some believe that this could be real magic.  In todays world there are many illusionist and magicians that can truly blow your mind to the point where you begin to wonder, is this something that can be supernatural?  There are Magicians that you watch that you think that this is cool you can tell that they are using sleight of hand, but it still amazes you. Then there are some that are just doing things that you would say that there is no way they could have done that without some sort of influence.  For example, Apollo Robins for of magic seems to be a mixture of sleight of hand and so simple principles of psychology.  Apollo uses the art of misdirection to distract the audience with one hand while he actually is doing the trick with the other hand. Here is an example of what he does https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZGY0wPAnus. Then there are some magicians like David Blaine who's tricks seem to be almost like superhuman or even supernatural.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoXvp9o20Y8  In this clip you see that he is able to take a needle and make his skin bulge out and even seems to put it through his skin and makes it seem almost painless.  Is this real magic?  Is he superhuman? No one really knows except him and I feel that these questions are what makes magic fun.  The mystery of not knowing the trick is what makes us truly intrigued and is what gives us the amazement that we feel as we see the trick. But the true question is if magic real or not?

                                                                                                                 Hector J. Figueroa-Gonzalez

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Site Post 1 by Kyrstin Arcolesse- Haunted house

To me, the paranormal is one of the most controversial topics in pseudoscience. Even though many scientists have ruled out the paranormal or have given explanations as to why it's a matter of science and not of spiritual components, there are those who have undergone experiences that say otherwise. Do we think of those who believe in the paranormal as naive thinkers? Or do we just not understand what they have faced? I myself believe in the paranormal. I know of others who have dealt with 'strange' situations including my father and my sister.

While I agree there are definitely scientific explanations available to solve many of the questions surrounding the supernatural such as left over energy, there are some components that cause the line between science and pseudoscience to blur. For example, when my father was a teenager, his friend's house was haunted. I don't mean haunted as in he saw something out of the corner of his eye though. I mean haunted as in something angry does not want them in that house. There had been a previous suicide and killing in that house before my father's friend had moved in. I guess that could explain the terrifying consequences. His pets had all died and his dog had even hung itself on their fence. My dad had come over for a visit one day, and while he and his friend were doing homework at the kitchen table, a loud crash came from upstairs. They ran to see what it was, only to discover the furniture in his friend's room upturned. As they fixed the furniture, another noise came from the kitchen. They went downstairs and the silverware drawer was on the floor with it's contents all over. My dad was freaked out but followed his friend to the living room- where the last encounter occurred while they did their homework on the coffee table. An ashtray shook and flew into my dad's lap while his friend was at the opposite end of the table. Getting up, my dad ran from the house and avoided it from then on.
As for my sister? Well, let's just say the Tuckerton Liquor Store is definitely haunted.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome Fall 14' Students ;)