Friday, October 31, 2014

The lie detector determined that was a LIE!

Polygraph tests have been around since 1921, and have been serving us with very questionable data since then. A polygraph test, or more popularly known as a lie detector, is designed to pick up when someone is telling a lie. This mechanism, in theory, can hold great power when it comes to criminal cases in court, police investigations, and employers who are interviewing prospective workers. The legality of the polygraph test varies between states. A machine that can accurately detect a lie is revolutionary, but the reality of it is it is a very poor method of obtaining truthful data.
In 2007, only 19 US states allowed polygraph examinations to be used in federal court, and only at the discretion of the trial judge. Polygraphs are used commonly in police investigations, but no individual can be forced to undergo an examination unless they have granted permission. The way polygraph tests operate is by measuring several physiological indicators such as blood pressure, pulse and respiration, and skin conductivity. The theory is that if an individual is telling a lie, the indicators will produce a response that is different than if the subject had told the truth. This method is arguable at best;  it operates under a legal gray area. It is not a completely reliable source and in many cases, can incriminate the innocent and let free a criminal. 
Interestingly enough, there are several places in southern Jersey where we can take a polygraph test. They advertise "specialty in infidelity/family issues and workplace theft" (see link below). In my opinion, polygraphs can serve us with a guideline or ballpark estimate, but certainly should not be used as a reliable source in searching for the truth. Polygraph tests can also serve us with great entertainment! (see video).

Monday, October 27, 2014

Madden Curse

Madden by EA Sports is a football video game for the Xbox and Playstation. Each edition since 1999 features a player on the cover that had a great season the previous year. With great reward ultimately comes to a drastic downfall according to this curse. The curse is once a player appears on the cover of the game he either has a poor statistical year or gets injured. It started in 1999 with Garrison Hearst the first player to be on the cover of Madden. The 49er broken his ankle the next season shortly after being on the cover. The curse continued in the next Madden with Dorsey Levens, who preformed badly and lost his starting position.The streak continued for many years, while fans claiming they don't want their star player on the cover in fear of the curse. In fact 16 out of the 18 players including this year have been affected by the curse. The only players not affected were Calvin Johnson on the Detroit Lions that put out a record breaking season and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks that is on the cover of this years issue. It is still in the season with a long time to take affect on Richard Sherman. Calvin was the only one fortunate to break the streak in 2013. Many thought the curse would end until Adrian Peterson suffered from injuries the next season after being on the cover. With Sherman on the cover of this years Madden all eyes are on him with all the previous injuries and statistical struggle. Will it be possible for him to add to Johnson to be the only two to break the curse? We will just have to see as the season carries on.

Long fingered Alien Friends?

          Recently I have read an article that says that a scientist on his death bed claims that he knows what really goes on at Area 51.  Area 51 is said to have secrets of aliens and other incredible things that the general public don't know about.  Dr. Boyd Bushman claims to have been apart of it and has reversed engineers the UFOs that have come into defense firm Lockheed Martin.  In a video that Dr. Boyd has made he confesses everything about these extraterrestrials.  He claims that there are two different kinds of aliens.  There are the friendly and then the one ones that supposedly steal.  These aliens apparently have long fingers and are friendly to us humans.  The doctor also says that he has picture evidence that he shows in his video.
       Although the idea of aliens is a very interesting and remarkable idea, the questions still stands are they really real?  If you think about it there are many variables that come along with these claims.  For example, this doctor is making all these claims and yet we don't see any data or published studies about it.  Also, does he show his credentials that he truly is capable of being an engineer to be able to work with these UFOs.  Another thing could be that this is an older man.  He could also have just dreamt this up and made himself believe that this is all true.  It really is a very interesting idea but can it truly be real?

Palm Reader

Palmistry has been present since caveman era. Archaeologist have discovered many hand print made out of stone, wood and ivory. The discovery revealed the fascination ancient civilization had on the  details of the palm, it was believed that palm was the path of connection with god and also a healing tool. Palmistry was first used by Egyptians, Chaldeans and India, later it had spread to China, Tibet, Persia and other places in Asia and Europe. Palm reading was conducted by gypsies since 3000 BC. Alexander the great, had made decisions based on the reading of his sword, his sword makers were gypsies who were also fortune tellers. Palm reading was always praised until organized religion had bad mouthed it. However, palm reading is still popular amongst people. Psychic shops can be found everywhere, for example, in Atlantic City boardwalk, there are about one to two psychic shops in every block. People turn to palm readers to uncover their future, many find it comforting to know what will happen in the future. People are always seeking answers to question like what they are meant to do in their life? Who will be their significant other and when? This curiosity led them to believe palm readers.
 One day at work I was helping out a client, who was a palm reader. When she stepped to the register, she started making statements about my manager who was scanning her clothes she was purchasing. My manager stopped and all of his attention drifted towards her as soon as she had mentioned about a relationship in Florida. She had said that he had a relationship in Florida, but he had told her that he had never been to Florida. After that statement, she immediately changed it and mentioned he will get a better job in February. When he heard that he started believing everything that she had said about him through palm reading. He was in love with the idea of getting a better job, so he wanted to believe her. He had given her that money, so she would be more detailed about the reading. In the middle of the reading she had held his hand and passed him a rock, which would give him positive energy and wanted to charge him $50 for the rock. Of course he denied, since he will not give her money for the rock, she wanted him to help them steal from the store and pay for the rock, but he refused and asked them to leave the store. When this was all happening, my main focus was strictly on the behavior of the psychic, who seemed very aggressive. She had a very dominant attitude, which affected the confidence of my manager. This dominant trait is what allows them to convince people that palm readers are special. They specialize in scamming people by attacking their emotion.

The Full Moon

         There's a belief that the full moon causes people to go mad, but is it really the cause of the moon. At work they always suspect something to happen during the week of the full moon each month, but I never understood why. The case is that the moon brings out something in people that causes them to be crazier. I did experience such an event at work during a week of the full moon. Where a customer just lost it and started to hallucinate, but ironically it was a day before the moon was to be full. My coworker says it usually happens anytime of the week, but I doubt the moon had cause the customer to lose her mind. 

        Research has been done to see what effects the moon does have on human minds and our body. The results lead to that some studies have mistakes during the study and others show little to no correlation of people going crazy because of the moon. The correlation of people during crazy things happens to correlate with holidays and the weekends. Even the moon's gravity pulls that affect the tides is not strong enough to affect human. Thus, the myth that the moon causes people to have abnormal behavior is very unlikely. 

Articles to read:

Sunday, October 26, 2014


     Cryptozoology is a branch of paranormal study surrounding animals that have yet to be identified, or confirmed to exist. Perhaps the most popular example of this research in North America is "Big Foot." The legend of Big Foot has been around for decades, with new pictures of this animal/man surfacing in 2012. This picture, like all of the ones before it was deemed a hoax. This picture was actually a Canadian researcher in a ghillie suit made to look like Big Foot. But there's so much talk around this legend, there has to be something out there right?

     The next most popular example of Cryptozoology has to be the Loch Ness Monster. This urban legend was started in 1933 by a couple in the Scottish Highlands. A mere few months later, one of the most iconic pictures of all time was published. Both of these myths have had so many reported cases and incidents, but even with all of today's technology, nothing has every actually been scientifically documented. Do these monsters exist? Or are they just a product of good story telling and human subjectivity?

Friday, October 24, 2014

James VanPraagh: Medium of the Century

                On Sunday, October 19, 2014 Stockton was lucky enough to be graced with the presence of world renowned medium and window into the spirit world James VanPraagh.  Tickets sold to non-students for around thirty dollars while a student like myself had to pay a measly eight to experience this wonder that is VanPraagh. I was fortunate enough to sit in the second row, where I had an amazing view the man of wonder.  Now, I have to be honest, I did show up around ten minutes late, so the show had already started.  But, I arrived to VanPraagh already giving it his all to convince every one of the audience members of his powers to talk to those who have crossed over.  I got the following out of his teachings, and really, I have to say that I’m a tad disappointed. 
            First off, he talked of the presence of God ad his view on religion.  He personally doesn’t have one but believes, not in the being God, but in the acronym ONE: Omniscient Nurturing Energy.  He believes that we are all God, in a sense, and that he is simply the energy within us.  Then he talked about the acronym FEAR.  Can you tell that he likes acronyms?  Anyway, FEAR stood for a False Ego Appearing Real, which led to the acronym EGO.  That’s number three, ladies and gentlemen!  So, now you’re wondering and just have to know, “What does EGO stand for Joe?!”  Well, it stood for Edging God Out.  So we have EGO edging out ONE based on FEAR.  By this time, I was just so infatuated I had to hear more.  He began to speak of a “near death” experience he had a couple years ago in which he saw an old cousin of his who had committed suicide years before.  She told him of this beautiful piece of ribbon, which he later refered to as a tapestry, that was connected to a large matrix of another dimension that hovered over all of our heads.  This tapestry represented the energies we brought into and put out during our on Earth years. 

            As you can imagine, it only got worse, to where he compared thoughts to that of a wifi hotspot and that thoughts could be transmitted from one person to another if we could just sync up our bandwidths.  Really, this guy is ahead of his time.  Well, after all of this lecture, there was a “meditation” in which we “released” all of our negative energy.  A reading followed, but before he could do the reading, he had to make one thing clear to everyone.  If you wanted spirit to come through, it wouldn’t.  Well, there went my hopes and dreams.  So, after pulling teeth for two readings I decided it was time to go.  Who knows, maybe if I had stayed, he would have talked about a cancer patient who I could have related to.  But then again, do I really want that?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Music... Help or no Help?

Who doesn't like to listen to music? Does it help performance? Does it hinder performance?

Personally I listen to music while doing any and everything! I don't feel that it affects me in any negative ways other than focusing. When I am in tune with the song it is hard to focus on the task at hand. But, in contrast to that, specifically while I am working out I feel that it gives me a good cadence when I am doing cardio. And, depending on the song it gives me a boost of motivation and drive to push harder.

From the searching and research I have done my personal findings are valid. According to "Psychology Today .com" Doing complex tasks while listening to music makes it harder to focus on that task at hand. Although some aspects I didn't think of; It boosts creativity and helps during doing monotonous or repetitive tasks. (Autopilot) In retrospect to that It makes it more difficult to perform tasks that require reading or writing.

In conclusion, as I said before music does help boost your mood. Some research I found explains that music helps the release of dopamine in the brain which boosts your mood. So keep up the music when doing everything else. But maybe when it comes time to do homework or study its better to turn it down. :'(

Monday, October 13, 2014


When I first heard of the movie "Lucy," I was extremely elated, not only because the beautiful Scarlett Johannson would be starring in the film, but because of the concept behind the film.  I had no idea where they were going to go with the whole ten percent theory and was intrigued to find out.  After watching the movie, however, and watching the Mythbusters prove the theory wrong on television, I am sad to say that the theory is definitely far from truth.  The amount of abilities in which Scarlett gained by simply using "20 percent" of her brain was astounding and far from believable.  According to the movie, by around 20 percent, one can feel all of the feelings they have felt from the time they were born, including the feeling of being born (take that to be as graphic as you want to take it).  This, to me at least, stretches the imagination.  Maybe, if the brain even was represented as a whole, you could get away with this statement at say 60 percent, going deep into the memory, but 20 percent is a little much.

I said before that Discovery Channel's Mythbusters have tested this myth, and they have.  A link to their findings will be below if you want to read what they have to say about this whole 10 percent business.

Monday, October 6, 2014

In Major League Baseball, there are many different things that a ball player "needs" or "has" to do to have a good game. In a sport that even the best players only preform exceptional 30% of the time, it seems ridiculous that a certain food, act, or anything else will cause the outcome of what the future will bring. Nevertheless, every day the majority of players have a routine they will do before every at bat or before every game that they think will give them an edge. In the video provided, there are a few of these superstitions that live on today in America's Favorite Pastime.

This is a small portion of what lengths players will go to maintain a hot streak or winning streak, but at the same time it's pretty funny to watch some of the things the players will do.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why Do Little Girls Love Fairies?

Why Do Little  Girls Love Fairies?:
I never understood why little girls loved fairies.
If you were anything like me, and the type of kid who discovered the powers Wikipedia before age ten, you might researched everything and everyone you could on Wikipedia, from Greek mythology to types of dresses to Egyptology to penis envy to, finally, fairies.
And fairies seemed like little hellions to me. What's ironic is that a common phrase I'd hear about fairies is that they were "too good for hell but too bad for heaven".
They stole human babies, they pulled pranks, they slept with human men only to drain away their life force, they pulled ranks, they glamoured(which is where the word 'glamour' comes from by the way-a sort of spell that enchants you to think what you want to think; to believe something was attractive in an almost supernatural way) a few people into thinking that they were well within faerie palaces only to have the fairy trick them and leave them sitting there chewing on a plank of wood, ect..
So, I'd read these legends, and just be left there wonder...why? Girls 3rd grade in my class loved Tinkerbell- and I would always wonder "why?" because I knew all these aforementioned "fairy facts" and facts about Tinkerbell herself-that she was jealous and possive and died by the end of the original novel anyway- and I couldn't get their overarching appeal. And then it hit me. Faeries were beings of unlimitied power who did what they want. Little girls don't get that a lot-we females don't have a lot of noteworthy superheroes(besides Diana of course) so faeries and princesses are pretty much all we got. And yeah, it makes sense-faeries, by analysis, aren't that much different from Greek heroes-they'd have children then abandon them, affect how the world works, work spells for their own benefit, all because they want to. They aren't perfect, and it's a little scary to think about, but hey, I can see why little girls would think this was cool. Maybe even me too, even with my extensive Wikipedia research. Now I think I understand why little girls can love fairies. I'd just do my best not to eat too much of their food.