A psychologist in Britain has finished a study that provides the first scientific proof that psychic powers actually exist.
While some will claim the results of the study by Professor Daryl Bem could come down to chance, the mathematic probability of his findings being a statistical fluke are one in 74 billion.
via Proof we all have psychic powers | Space, Military and Medicine | News.com.au
The study referred to in this article is hardly the “first scientific proof” of psi ability. Hundreds or even thousands of studies have been done before that produce results like these. I recently read a book called Entangled Minds which referenced many such studies. The thing about psi research is that while results are not what you would call good in terms of impressing someone with your psychic skills, they are consistently much better than would be expected by random chance. The question is not whether we have access to information from sources other than the five traditional senses, but rather how and how we can improve our reception and interpretation of that information.
So while psychic powers may exist, evidently research powers are in short supply at news.com.au. I was vaguely amused by the article We’re sorry for claiming Captain Kirk was in command of Captain Picard’s starship, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek apology to Star Trek fans for getting some facts wrong in an earlier article. This didn’t make them feel the need to double check that things were correct in the apology article, however. I noticed at least one big mistake (Enterprise E is not Galaxy class) that they repeated more than once, and commenters were quick to point out others. Now on the one hand, yes, it’s Star Trek, it’s fiction: it’s not world shattering if they make a mistake (or few) about some details. On the other hand, they’re a major commercial news publication, and they should be able to be relied upon to get things correct – especially such easily verifiable details. I’m not sure if the further errors in the apology were intended as part of the humourous rebuff to the obviously passionate and indignant response they got from Trekkies about the original mistakes or if they were geniune additional errors. Either way, it has to make you wonder what is going through the minds of those journalists. One explanation means that they were intentionally provoking readers who have already demonstrated that they won’t tolerate errors about their favourite show; the other rather ironically highlights their incompetence in that they do not even get the facts correct in an article about getting the facts correct.
I guess this is why I don’t usually use news.com.au as my preferred source of news.
I’m not into news in general, because most of it is a bit boring. I do like to read the articles in the “Oddly Enough” category, though, because they are often good for a laugh or a WTF? There seem to be a lot of those this week.
I find the story about the Icelandic Phallological Museum to be quite amusing. The guy has a collection of 261 penises from 90 different species. He apparently doesn’t have a human penis yet, but has had several men offer to donate theirs once they no longer require it.
Then there’s this article about a Canadian woman was having some rather rough and unusual sexual fun with her partner and ended up on three years probation. He asked her to carve a love heart into his chest. She slipped and punctured his actual heart. Now I certainly can’t imagine wanting to do that or have it done to me but the woman was charged with assault and the article implies her sentence was one of the “light” ones that you get when you plead guilty instead of trying to get off. Given that the guy had ASKED her to do it and the injury part was an accident, isn’t assault a little bit harsh? It was a consensual activity between two adults that had an unfortunate result. So can anyone who injures themselves accidentally during sex now charge their partner with assault? Sorry, but that just seems ludicrous. Anyone who engages in vigorous (and sometimes rough) physical activities should expect that occasionally you’ll get a bump or scratch you weren’t expecting. It’s a part of the game. If you don’t like it, don’t play.
Further to that topic, here’s a more lighthearted article about sexual related injuries :) Though this part did give me pause for thought:
“Six patients presented with a precipitous decrease in vision in one eye with no apparent predisposing factors. After obtaining a careful history, each patient revealed that he or she had been engaging in rigorous sexual activity…”
In these cases, the patients popped blood vessels in their eyes, perhaps from screaming during orgasm.
But then you get stories like the one about a young couple who were killed in India. And this is the kind that just makes me wonder why? Their crime? Being in love, and wanting to spend their lives together, basically. They had loved each other since school age, yet she’d still been forced into an arranged marriage with another man. To make their “crime” worse, it’s a taboo to marry someone from the same village as you, and the guy was from a lower caste than the girl. I think what is most difficult for me to understand is that her own parents don’t see anything wrong with the way she was killed, and her father even confessed to having a part in it and is PROUD that he did it. How could you do that to your child? How can that family be so different to me? My most sincere hope for my children is that they grow up and find someone that they love and who loves them. Yet that guy sees that as so terrible that it is worth taking his own child’s life. I really hope that the couple and their unborn child (she was 22 weeks pregnant when she was murdered) are together now in another world where no one challenges their right to love.
I wish that this world could be that way.
I read this news article about a guy who calls himself a Guerilla Gardener and I thought it sounded like something a few of you might like the idea of :) Actually, I even like the idea of the really simple seed dropping attacks. That’s even easy enough for me.
An army of self-styled guerrilla gardeners is growing across the world, fighting to transform urban wastelands into horticultural havens.
They work under the cover of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their tactics are anarchistic, their attitude is revolutionary, their aim is to beautify.
I read this article in the newspaper: Classmates see footage of girl’s sex act which explained how a video circulated around to most of the students at a school, via their mobile phones, of a girl “performing a sex act on a classmate”.
There was a bit at the bottom of the article which really annoyed me though:
Parents said yesterday the incident underlined the dangers of mobile phones in schools.
Sorry? It has NOTHING to do with the “dangers” of mobile phones in schools. Mobile phones are designed for communicating and sharing images, videos and sounds. Kids are designed to gawk and take interest in the personal goings on of other people that are not necessarily any of their business. The video could just have easily been made with a webcam or digital camera and emailed around between all the students, or even posted on the web. And then what would the danger have been? That kids can be exploited online?
It seems that the incident, to me, highlights the dangers of not teaching your kids to respect other people. So that maybe they would think twice about forwarding around such a video which clearly should be a private matter between the girl and boy involved. Or maybe the danger of not educating your kids about what people are really like. For Christ’s sake: if a teenage boy wants to make a video of you giving him a blow job, OF COURSE he’s not going to be able to keep it to himself. So maybe try teaching your daughter DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE VIDEOS OF YOU DOING SEXUAL THINGS. It’s not rocket science, people.
Study finds chocolate has anti-depressant qualities
A study of 3,000 people by the Black Dog Institute found 45 per cent of people with depression craved chocolate.
“Of those 45 per cent, 60 per cent found that the chocolate improved their mood when they were depressed,” Joanne Crawford, study co-author said.
This is hardly new news though, I have read of studies like that before. And I’ve been conducting a long term, small sample study of the phenomenon myself for, oh, my whole life. :)
They believe it is the endorphins and opoids in chocolate which make people feel more relaxed.
“The opoids are morphine-like and lower pain and that also flows through into mental wellbeing,” Professor Gordon Parker from the Black Dog Institute said.
One does love those opium-like substances.