Friday, July 12, 2013

Just the Facts?: My Kid Talks to the Dead -- Leah Remini Escapes Scientology -- What's Next For Human Evolution?


My Kid Talks to the Dead

Today I took my 2 year old son for a walk through a cemetery near our place. Its nice really nice and clam and shady which is nice on a hot day. Plus its behind a horse barn that he loves to visit. He was in his stroller and looked at a small plan grave, smiled and said hi little girl. I asked him where the little girl was and he pointed right beside this grave. I got a bit closer and it was a grave of a 5 year old girl. This is not the first time this has happened, but defiantly the creepiest.

Just wondering if anyone has had any experiences with children doing this type of thing. When he was really little he used to always look over my shoulder and smile and laugh at nothing when I was changing him. I just sort of assumed it was my grandpa. After he passed I would find random pennies dropped around my and when I was pregnant with my son a penny fell from no where onto my belly when I was laying down. Hard right now to find out any more info as he's very limited verbally. Any info from anyone who has had similar things happen would be appreciated, or any other insight at all. Thanks! - reddit.com/r/Paranormal

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Leah Remini Escapes Scientology

“King of Queens” star Leah Remini threatened to call police, sources said, after “her many unanswered questions” about the whereabouts of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, which led to the actress being interrogated for years.

Page Six reported Thursday that Remini is making a dramatic break from the church after she began to also question practices including forcing its followers to “disconnect” from family members branded as “suppressive persons” [SPs] and the treatment of its Sea Org members.

“When you ask a question, like, ‘Where is Shelly?,’ you are immediately hauled in, interrogated and asked, ‘Why are you asking, who are you connected to, are you going on the Internet?’” said a source.

The source added that in such sessions, “[You are then] shown pictures of the buildings that the church built, told that the ‘SPs’ are trying to get you because the church is winning, and that when you go on all these ‘SP’ sites, you are literally cutting across man’s ability to go free. You are, in fact, killing mankind.”

Remini released a statement last night, saying: “I wish to share my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming positive response I have received from the media, my colleagues, and fans from around the world. I am truly grateful and thankful for all your support.”

A Scientology rep had denied all allegations in The Post's previous story, and did not immediately return their request for comment. - Fox News

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion


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UGH!


This is a cross section of a colony of Pyura chilensis, a brainless filter feeding organism found in shallow waters off the coasts of Chile and Peru. They resemble squiggly rocks made out of cooked ground beef with nasty guts inside. Do people eat them raw?

...it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms -- and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare mineral called vanadium. Also, it's born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together.

Locals eat it raw or in stews, and non-locals describe the taste as "bitter" and "soapy" with a "weird iodine flavor."

Mmmm, bitter and soapy with a weird iodine flavor. I'm gonna be honest, I'm not sure God intended for us to eat these things. Of course you could argue the same thing about actual rocks, but a friendly giant told me they help aid digestion so I do eat a little parking lot gravel on the way to my car in the morning. - Geekologie

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FOR RENT (India)


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Human evolution: the next stages

What will become of humans as we evolve under the selective pressures of our modern lives and technology? If we adapt to some of the more bizarre elements of the present, humans could undergo some surreal changes

There have been a number of speculations lately concerning the eventual form humankind will take, particularly with regards to the role technology plays in our lives and how this could reshape our physical and mental selves.

Susan Greenfield recently released her first novel 2121, set in some dystopian future where all her predictions about the perils of technology have come true. I've not read it because I've still got some rusty nails that haven't been shoved into the soles of my feet, but reviews have not been kind.

Providing a polar opposite view to Greenfield's scaremongering is The Transhumanist Reader; a new book that contains a collection of essays and philosophies on transhumanism, a movement that argues that enhancement of the human condition via technology is good, even essential, perhaps inevitable? I'll hopefully review it once I've finished it, but it's an interesting position.

There was also a Daily Mail piece about how humans will eventually evolve beaks. Because why not?

Evolution is obviously a complex process. But it's also a slow process. This means you can make claims about it and by the time it progresses to the point where you're proved right or wrong, you'll be long dead so it won't matter.

So, in order to not miss a potential bandwagon, what could humans end up being like if current cultural trends and features remain relatively constant over the next few million years? Here are some possibilities.

Colour-changing skin

Much like the chameleon, humans could eventually acquire the ability to consciously alter the colour of their skin. Maybe via chromatophores, or perhaps a more technical method will be found. Either way, there are numerous benefits that could lead to evolution making this the norm. Individuals who can change their skin colour would confuse prejudices based on race, which would be a depressingly useful advantage. In addition, the false tan/body whitening market is presently quite a profitable one. Many people aspire to change their default skin tone, so the ability to alter it at will would be highly sought after, resulting in more mating opportunities. The sometimes unsettling orange skin tones worn by some also suggest that the ability to change skin beyond the "natural" tones would be a positive. Being able to either visually blend in or stand out at will would be a potent advantage in modern society, one that evolutionary pressures could make more common.

Selective hearing

Humans already have the ability to direct their attention to specific things that they are hearing. This is known as "the cocktail party effect", named for the scenario where it is particularly noticeable. When at a cocktail party, surrounded by conversations, it is possible to "focus" on a specific conversation that catches your attention for whatever reason, despite there being several others going on and all reaching your ear. The human ear has no physical mechanism for this; it's all done in the brain. But over time, this ability could become more important and advantageous. Given how the internet and mainstream media has seemingly given every person the impression that they should air their opinion, no matter how ill informed, on any subject they wish, the ability to more effectively control the things you listen to will become beneficial. Rather than diverting attention to more relevant inputs, humans could develop the ability to actively "tune out" things they don't want to hear, like closing your eyes to block an unpleasant sight.

Granted, people will end up less informed overall, but they'll be less stressed and angry in general, resulting in health benefits, longer lives and more pleasant demeanours, and thus making mating more likely. And so, the genes are favoured and spread.

Tentacles

Computer technology is becoming more and more commonplace in our daily lives (in the west at least). The most typical means of interfacing with this technology is via keyboard or touchscreen. Our human hands are impressively dextrous and capable of numerous fine movements. But with the increasing need to use technical interfaces, our priorities are changing. Evolution could push us towards developing digits that are more flexible than at present, taking a form that retains precision but loses rigidity, to give us a wider range and speed when typing or touchscreening, but retaining physical characteristics that make touchscreen use feasible. Our fingers could end up more like tentacles, perhaps like those on a sea anemone.

Why stop at the fingers? Although there will be limited practical reasons to develop tentacles instead of limbs, a major factor in evolution is sexual selection. If Susan Greenfield is right and constant exposure to online porn is desensitising us to sexual stimuli, alternative methods of arousal may be required. With the rise of tentacle erotica, that may be one possible outcome.

Flexible skeletons

Much like the shark and similar fish, human beings could evolve to have a lot more cartilage in their skeletons. An increasingly health-and-safety conscious world where people are prepared to sue for even the most trivial injury means the danger of forceful impact is reducing, and as such rigid and inflexible bones won't be as essential to humans. It could also be argued that ergonomics is more of a concern than ever. A more flexible skeleton would obviously be of benefit as a result, especially during the birthing process, but this will only be relevant if those with a cartilage skeleton are able to attract mates. This will be more likely if the increasing enthusiasm for dance groups and the like continues. Those with cartilaginous skeletons would be able to perform moves beyond those of their more rigid counterparts, ensuring a presence on numerous TV talent shows and a resulting wide choice of potential mates.

Wings

Humans may eventually evolve wings, meaning some extreme sports would end up being considered rather mundane. Photograph: Getty Images
I once spoke with someone who said he didn't believe in evolution. When asked why, his main argument was that people don't have wings. While this is definitely the case, I asked how this relates to evolution. His response was that "evolution is survival of the fittest, and wings are the best". So there's that. I don't know how much research this person had done to arrive at this conclusion, so I'm putting it here just in case. Even if it is based on some half-baked observations and a very limited understanding of how evolution works, it'll fit right in. - Guardian

How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction

The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution Of Human Nature


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TODAY'S TOP LINKS

Nessie: A 1972 Encounter - Monster Files: A Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creatures and Extraordinary Animals

Owls and the UFO Abductee and Owls & UFOs

8 Things To Do If You See a Ghost

A Dweller on Two Planets

7 Highest Cities in the World


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