Date 2-5-11: Time 5:23 p.m.: almost no clouds, sunny afternoon
I live on a mountain (3K+ feet OSL) east of Asheville NC.
I was casually standing out on my deck observing 3 hawks circling to the south of me. Then I noticed what at first I thought was a jet liner in the distance behind the hawks, moving east to west at a lower-than-normal rate of speed. But it seemed different in shape (as the wings were not discernable) and speed and was south of me maybe 5 miles. I quickly got my binoculars and observed what appeared to be a craft CHANGING from an airliner (with a solid red tail, and that may be important) to a long cigar-shaped and bright silver craft. For maybe 5 seconds the craft disappeared behind some branches of trees in my view and after that the craft was nowhere to be seen in its ongoing trajectory/flight path. It had literally disappeared.
I'm a former pilot (with over 25K hours of flight time in ALL kinds of weather conditions) and I know ALL kinds of aircraft. This craft, again, CHANGED, into something else completely and then disappeared! That was a first for me, as I've seen MANY UFO's in my personal and flying career. - MUFON CMS
Too stupid for sex?
telegraph - The 41 year-old had been in a relationship with a man whom he lived with and told officials “it would make me feel happy” for it to continue.
But his local council decided his “vigorous sex drive” was inappropriate and that with an IQ of 48 and a “moderate” learning disability, he did not understand what he was doing.
A psychiatrist involved in the case even tried to prevent the man being given sex education, on the grounds that it would leave him “confused”.
Mr Justice Mostyn said the case was “legally, intellectually and morally” complex as sex is “one of the most basic human functions” and the court must “tread especially carefully” when the state tries to curtail it.
But he agreed that the man, known only as Alan, should not be allowed to have sex with anyone on the grounds that he did not have the mental capacity to understand the health risks associated with his actions.
Under the judge’s order, the man is now subject to “close supervision” by the local authority that provides his accommodation, in order to ensure he does not break the highly unusual order.
The judge concluded: “I therefore make a declaration that at the present time Alan does not have the capacity to consent to and engage in sexual relations.
“In such circumstances it is agreed that the present régime for Alan's supervision and for the prevention of future sexual activity is in his best interests.”
It is the latest controversial case to come before the Court of Protection, a little-known authority whose proceedings are held behind closed doors.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, its judges have the power to make life or death decisions for people deemed to lack the intelligence to make them for themselves – such as ordering that they undergo surgery, have forced abortions, have life-support switched off or be forced to use contraception.
In the latest case, the man known as Alan was described as “sociable” and “presented as an able man” but who was “seriously challenged in all aspects of his mental functionality”.
He lived in a home provided by the council, where he developed a sexual relationship with a man called Kieron by the court. Alan was also accused of making lewd gestures at children in a dentists’ surgery and on a bus, although no police action was taken.
In June 2009 the town hall began court proceedings to restrict his contact with Kieron on the grounds that he lacked mental capacity, and an interim order was made to that effect.
“Since then Alan has been subjected to close supervision to prevent any further sexual activity on his part,” except when he is alone in his bedroom.
However he told representatives of the Official Solicitor, who acts in the Court of Protection, to tell the judge “I want to kiss them again”.
Mr Justice Mostyn highlighted the fact that the court cannot prevent people from merely making “unwise” decisions, and that a simple test can be carried out to see if a person is capable of consenting to sex based on the act itself rather than the proposed partner.
The judge said it requires an understanding and awareness of the “mechanics of the act”, “that there are health risks involved” and that sex between a man and a woman may lead to pregnancy.
He said that the psychiatrist thought Alan “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush”, and that “sex could give you spots or measles”.
On that basis the judge ruled that Alan did not have the capacity to consent to sex, but also ordered that the council should provide him with sex education “in the hope that he thereby gains that capacity”.
Pope's organs are too holy to donate to mortals, says Church
independent - Benedict XVI has tried to scotch rumours that he carries an organ donor card after his secretary revealed that his ascension to the position of Holy Father means he is no longer able to bequeath his body parts to lesser mortals.
On the pontiff's instructions, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Benedict's personal secretary, fired off a letter to quell the rumours that started in the Pope's native Germany.
"It's true that a simple cardinal can have an organ donor card but, despite public declarations to the contrary, it ceased to apply when he was elected head of the Catholic Church," Mgr Gaenswein said.
In 1999, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger said he was on an organ-donor list. "I am available to offer my organs to whoever might need them. It is an act of love, of affection and generosity," he said at the time.
And as recently as 2008, three years after being elected pontiff, Benedict attended an international congress on donor transplantation where he repeated his support for organ donors. "It's a special way of showing charity," he said, though he added that donations had to be "free, voluntary [and] respectful of the health and dignity of the donor".
Mgr Gaenswein did not specify why the Pope is not able to donate his organs. But Archbishop Zymunt Zimowski, a member of the Vatican health council, said it was because the body of the Pope effectively belonged to the entire Catholic Church. "It's understandable that the body of the Pontiff should rest intact because, in his role as successor to Saint Paul and universal pastor of the Catholic Church, he belongs entirely to the Church in spirit and body," he told La Repubblica.
But pontiffs' bodies have not always been kept intact. Until the end of the 19th century, it was traditional for a pontiff's organs to be preserved after his death and kept in an urn in the Church of Saints Vincenzo and Anastasio near Rome's Trevi Fountain. In 1958, after the death of Pope Pius XII, an Italian doctor devised a new method for conserving the body without extracting the organs. Unfortunately it was not a success; the body turned green and began to putrefy.
In other health matters, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that the Vatican is preparing guidance for health workers in relation to HIV/Aids. Last year, Pope Benedict said that condom use by male and female prostitutes could be a good thing because it indicated the user's intention to protect others from a deadly infection.
His comments appeared to back the use of condoms by sex workers to prevent the spread of the Aids virus.
Randi's Challenge to Homeopathy Manufacturers and Retail Pharmacies
randi.org - To expose a scam industry that endangers and rips off millions of consumers a year, world-renowned conjuror, escape artist, and skeptic James Randi has put one million dollars on the line.
In a video statement released at 10:23 a.m. (ET) today, Randi joined hundreds of consumer advocates in more than 25 countries in exposing so-called homeopathic remedies—scam medications with no active ingredients that are sold by major retailers with no warning to customers. Demonstrators around the world swallowed homeopathic products by the handful, in a worldwide day of action inspired by a lecture by James Randi in which he downed an entire bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills to show they had no effect.
In his message, Randi issued a one-million-dollar challenge to the manufacturers of homeopathic products to prove their claims, and challenged major drug retailers like CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens to stop tricking consumers into paying real money for fake medicine.
"Consumers have the right to know what they're buying," Randi said. "No one should walk out of a drugstore with a homeopathic product without knowing these basic facts: there is no credible evidence that the product does what it says; there is not one bit—not a single atom—of the claimed "active ingredient" in the package; and no U.S. health agency has tested or approved the product. It should be a crime for retail corporations to profit by denying the public this critical information about the products on their shelves."