23 Million-Year-Old Lizard Found Preserved in Amber
Mexican scientists are currently examining a complete fossil of a lizard that has remained entombed in a chunk of amber for some 23 million years, according to a recent report in La Jornada en Linea.
The amber encasing the vertebrate is approximately 1.8 inches by .5 inches, Fox reports, and while the discovery does not mark the first time an Anolis lizard was found preserved in ancient reisn, scientists believe it may be the first of its kind in other ways: found in the Simojovel amber deposits of the northern part of the southeastern state of Chiapas, the creature was preliminarily identified as representing a new species of the genus Anolis.
Furthermore, the find represents only the second anole in amber discovered anywhere in the world other than the Dominican Republic; however, the first, Anolis electrum, was so incomplete that little could be said about its taxonomy of lifestyle.
In contrast, Fransisco Riquelme of the National Autonomous University of Mexico's Physics Institute told Efe that the specimen was "a complete and articulated animal that also preserves remains of soft tissue and skin."
The estaimte regarding the age of the specimen is based on the fact that the region's amber dates back 23 million years, Gerardo Carbot, the director of Chiapa's Paleontology Museum, futher explained.
Jonathan Losos is both a professor and curator at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Havard University. Regarding the genus, Loso wrote on his site Anole Annals that the lizards are "an upcoming model system for studies of evolutionary diversification" due to their "rapidly multiplying lineage, in which the members display great diversity in their ecology, behavior and observed characteristics."
Based on the complete nature of the newest lizard, Losos says he looks forward to the results of the studies currently underway.
"It will be interesting to learn more about this one," he said.
According to Science News, the oldest creatures ever found preserved in amber were 230-million-year-old mites discovered in northeastern Italy.
The specimen, meanwhile, is currently on display at the Amber Museum in San Cristobal del las Casas. - Nature World News
When the paranormal is normal
There are several often-used terms in the paranormal and occult fields which I wish were never invented, because they tend to confuse rather than clarify.
One of them is the word “paranormal” itself. This word does not tell us what it is. On the contrary, it tells us what something is not—namely, it is not “normal.”
But what do people regard as normal? Well, they consist of things that are commonly agreed upon by the majority of people, and that science considers to be normal and natural. Everything else outside this broad definition is considered to be paranormal or beyond the normal.
But as far as I am concerned, ironically enough, there is no such thing as the “paranormal,” meaning beyond the normal or natural state of things.
What people consider to be paranormal are those events or practices that are apparently outside the scope of science. So everything that science cannot explain is considered paranormal. But science was never intended to explain things beyond physical reality.
Its concepts, assumptions, tools and paradigms are limited to what can be seen, touched, smelled, heard or tasted, and to things that can be detected or measured by scientific instruments, like the microscope, the telescope, the electrocardiograph, x-rays and so on.
Any attempt to explain nonphysical phenomena in terms of physical standards of measurement is bound to fail and appear ludicrous. For example, one accepted theory why the native people of, say, Hawaii, India and Fiji Island can walk on fire is because “the natives have developed thick soles and very strong sweat glands so that when they step on the fire, the sweat glands on their feet are activated, thereby cooling them. That’s why they are not burned or hurt.”
It never occurred to these distinguished scientists that the natives of Fiji walk on six-foot- long, three-foot-wide and three-foot-deep paths of molten lava, which are a thousand times hotter than ordinary charcoal fire. No amount of sweat glands can cool such a high temperature, and yet this theory is accepted by scientists.
I believe that so-called paranormal phenomena are still normal, but not from the point of view of materialist physical science. If they had included the role of the mind and spirits in the explanation, everything becomes clear and normal.
Another word which is a pet peeve of mine is “psychic.” In the Philippines, this word has become associated with fortune-telling, or the ability to tell what’s going to happen before it does. But this is not what the word “psychic” means. Literally or etymologically, this word means “mind” or “soul.”
So anybody who has a mind or a soul is a psychic. And that covers practically all human beings, including congressmen and politicians, believe it or not.
Although I am convinced that everybody is indeed psychic, there are degrees of its manifestation. Some people are more psychic than others and are able to manifest such abilities at will or deliberately. Others may do so only rarely.
But this is the same case with almost any other human skill, talent or ability. For example, anybody can sing, but not everybody can sing like Gary Valenciano or Nora Aunor. Everybody can draw, but not everybody can draw or paint like Fernando Amorsolo or my greatgreat grandfather, Damian Domingo. The same is true with psychic ability. It is natural.
Related to the word psychic is extrasensory perception (ESP), sometimes referred to as the “sixth sense.” This was, in fact, the title of a popular Hollywood movie starring Bruce Willis. It was about a 12-year-old boy who could see ghosts all the time.
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an extra or sixth sense. We all have only five senses. But some rare and extraordinary individuals have such strength and sensitivity in the sense of sight, sound, touch or smell that it is regarded as a sixth sense.
Actually, what people consider a sixth sense is the use of the five senses in the astral or nonphysical body of man. For example, we see ghosts not with our physical sense of sight, but with our spiritual sight. That’s why even if you close or cover your eyes, you can still see ghosts. I have experienced this several times. And people have reported to me a similar experience. So it is not rare or uncommon.
Because of the vagueness of such terms as psychic or extrasensory perception, a famous Dutch psychic researcher from the University of Utrecht, the late professor Tenhaeff, has proposed the use of the word “paragnost” (a term which he invented) to refer to persons who have strong or well-developed psychic faculties or abilities. But this word never caught on. And therefore, we have no choice but to use words which are commonly accepted despite their vagueness and confusing nature.
There are other vague terms which I would rather not use but am forced to because people have become familiar to them—for example, supernatural, or the third eye, or occult or even ghost. But that’s another story. - Inquirer
Sixth Sense: Including the Secrets of the Etheric sublte Body
Trust Your Vibes Oracle Cards: A Psychic Tool Kit for Awakening Your Sixth Sense
Woman opened her eyes as doctors who thought she was brain dead began to take out her organs for donation
Doctors at St. Joseph's hospital in Central New York were in the process of starting surgery to harvest a dead woman's organs when that woman opened her eyes. She was still alive.
That massive mistake has now cost the hospital $6,000 after a federal inquiry in addition to another fine of $16,000 after another patient fell and injured her head when she was left unattended in 2011, according to reporting in the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Colleen S. Burns of North Syracuse, New York, 41, had been admitted to the hospital in October 2009 for a drug overdose.
Because of a series of mistakes in evaluation, doctors believed that the woman was dead and started the organ donation process.
The state Health Department investigation of the incident found that when Burns was first admitted, they skipped a recommended treatment that would prevent the drugs she had taken - Xanax, Benadryl and a muscle relaxant - from being absorbed by her stomach and intestines.
They also didn't do enough testing to see if she was free of drugs or perform enough brain scans.
Because they didn't perform enough of these scans, doctors believed that Burns was brain dead, when in reality the over dose had put her in a coma.
After doctors said she was essentially brain dead, her family agreed to take her off life support and her organs donated.
But the day before the organs were to be removed, a nurse performed a reflex test and found that Burns was still reacting.
She scraped her finger on the bottom of one of Burns' feet and her toes curled downward, a sign that she was still alive.
And that wasn't the only sign of life. As she was being wheeled to the operating room, Burns' nostrils flared and it seemed she was breathing independently from the respirator. Her lips and tongue were moving as well.
But doctor's ignored the nurse's observations which indicated Burns was still alive, and proceeded with the surgery anyway.
Before the procedure, Burns was given an injection of the sedative Ativan, but neither the sedative or the observations of life were recorded in the doctor's notes for the procedure.
Dr. David Mayer, a general vascular surgeon and associate professor of clinical surgery an New York Medical College, said the application of a sedative is quite strange.
'It would sedate her to the point that she could be non-reactive,' Mayer told the Post-Standard. 'If you have to sedate them or give them pain medication, they're not brain dead and you shouldn't be harvesting their organs.'
It wasn't until Burns opened her eyes in the OR that the procedure was called off.
Neither Burns or her family sued the hospital for malpractice. Sixteen months later, a determined Burns successfully committed suicide.
Her mother, Lucille Kuss said her daughter wasn't upset about the incident.
'She was so depressed that it really didn't make any difference to her,' Kuss said.
It did, however, make a difference for the state Health Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Both investigated the incident and found St. Joe's procedures lacking.
The hospital didn't even report the incident, nor conduct an investigation of their own.
It wasn't until after the Post-Standard started their investigation that the hospital put out any sort of explanation for what happened.
According to the federal report: 'The hospital did not undertake an intensive and critical review of the near catastrophic event in this case.'
The officials at the hospital did not 'identify the inadequate physician evaluations of (Burns) that occurred when nursing staff questioned possible signs of improving neurological function.'
Overall, the federal report found that the patient did not meet criteria for withdrawal of care.
The spokesman for the hospital said that they've learned from the experience and 'have modified our policies to include the type of unusual circumstance presented in this case.'
In addition to the total $22,000 fine, the hospital was ordered to hire a consultant to review the hospital's quality assurance program, implement the consultants recommendations and hire a consulting neurologist to teach staff how to accurately diagnose brain death. - Dailymail
The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers--How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death (Vintage)
Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains
The Ethics of Human Organ Trading
Skin and Bone: the Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts
Click for video: WARNING! GRAPHIC! Skin and Bone: the Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts
The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) discovered allegations of wrongdoing over the procurement of some of the raw materials used in the products. Find out more: www.icij.org/tissue.
TODAY'S HOT LINKS
I'm in the Wrong Dimension
In Search of Alien Viruses
He saw his son at home at the same time his son was alive but dying in the hospital
Psychic Kids, Abduction Misconceptions, Evil Spirit Scams, and The Living Dead Rise Again
Ohio Man Calls Police After Extraterrestrial Encounter
NOTE: In lieu of the 'Esoterica' links, I've decided to post a few of my favorite daily links at 'TODAY'S HOT LINKS', which will be added to the end of the 'Just the Facts?' posts. I hope you enjoy...Lon
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