Nature of Reality Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Nature of Reality Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
How aware are plants? This is the central question behind a fascinating new book, What a Plant Knows, by Daniel Chamovitz, director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. Chamovitz unveils the surprising world of plants that see, feel, smell—and remember. Just because we don’t see plants moving doesn’t mean that there’s not a very rich and dynamic world going on inside the plant. People have to realize that plants are complex organisms that live rich, sensual lives. Plants had to develop incredibly sensitive and complex sensory mechanisms that would let them survive in ever changing environments. [A plant] can mount a defense when under siege, and warn its neighbors of trouble on the way. A plant can even be said to have a memory. If a maple tree is attacked by bugs, it releases a pheromone into the air that is picked up by the neighboring trees. This induces the receiving trees to start making chemicals that will help it fight off the impending bug attack. So on the face of it, this is definitely communication.
Note: This article only touches the surface of a rich world of research suggesting that plant life is much more complex and miraculous than we might imagine. For more, explore the landmark book The Secret Life of Plants or the work of researcher Cleve Backster.
Teleportation is real. Using powerful lasers and optics to manipulate photons, or units of light, researchers in China set a record for teleporting a photon more than 10 miles (16 km), TIME reported in 2010. Now a different team of physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai says it has shattered that record, claiming to have sent a photon more than 60 miles (97 km). Quantum teleportation, which has been around since 1997, is a little different than what you see in sci-fi movies. Teleportation is the ability [to] move one object from one place to another without traversing the space in between. The actual object is not moving from point A to point B. Rather, the distant photon mirrors the information contained by the original photon, essentially becoming an identical twin. The team’s greatest contribution is not necessarily the distance it made the data travel but the method it used to harness the 1.3-watt laser beam that carries it. The longer a beam of light travels, the more it spreads out, causing the photon to lose information and trail off course. To keep the beam on target, the researchers created a technique that focuses and steers the laser. Though beaming up humans and animals ŕ la Star Trek is not on the agenda anytime soon, as the technology becomes more sophisticated, it will likely be applied to military communication. Theoretically, this method cannot be cracked or intercepted.
A powerful sun storm—associated with the second biggest solar flare of the current 11-year sun cycle—is now hitting Earth, so far with few consequences. But the potentially "severe geomagnetic storm," in NASA's words, could disrupt power grids, radio communications, and GPS as well as spark dazzling auroras. The storm ... won't hold a candle to an 1859 space-weather event, scientists say—and it's a good thing too. If a similar sun storm were to occur in the current day—as it well could—modern life could come to a standstill, they add. That storm has been dubbed the Carrington Event, after British astronomer Richard Carrington, who witnessed the megaflare and was the first to realize the link between activity on the sun and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth. During the Carrington Event, northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile. The flares were so powerful that "people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora," Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said at a geophysics meeting in December 2010. In addition, the geomagnetic disturbances were strong enough that U.S. telegraph operators reported sparks leaping from their equipment—some bad enough to set fires, said Ed Cliver, a space physicist at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts. If something similar happened today, the world's high-tech infrastructure could grind to a halt.
Note: For more on this, click here and here. The first article talks about the vulnerability of the world's nuclear reactors to such a storm. If telegraph systems failed in the solar storm of 1859, how much damage do you think such a storm would do to our modern electronics? And why aren't more people talking about this?
Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he [has] become one. For the past three years, Taylor has dominated the international science fair, walking away with nine awards ... and more than $100,000 in prizes. At 14, [he was] the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion. [He attends] Davidson Academy ... a subsidized public school for the nation’s smartest and most motivated students. When he began at Davidson, he found the two advocates he needed ... to build a fusion reactor. Atomic physicist Ronald Phaneuf ... introduced him to technician Bill Brinsmead. With Brinsmead and Phaneuf’s help, Taylor stretched himself, applying knowledge from more than 20 technical fields. Shortly after his 14th birthday, Taylor and Brinsmead loaded deuterium fuel into the machine [Taylor had created], brought up the power, and confirmed the presence of neutrons. With that, Taylor became the 32nd individual on the planet to achieve a nuclear-fusion reaction. When I meet Taylor Wilson, he is 16 and busy. Taylor’s reactor ... dominates the far corner of Phaneuf’s lab. Peering through the small window into the reaction chamber, I can see the golf-ball-size grid of tungsten fingers that will cradle the plasma. Taylor nudges the power up to 50,000 volts, bringing the temperature of the plasma inside the core to an incomprehensible 580 million degrees. “There it is,” Taylor says, his eyes locked on the machine. “The birth of a star.”
Note: The full article about this amazing genius will boggle your mind. Could Taylor be one of the many indigo children talked about in the New York Times article available at this link?
A second experiment at the European facility that reported subatomic particles zooming faster than the speed of light — stunning the world of physics — has reached the same result, scientists said [today]. The “positive outcome of the [second] test makes us more confident in the result,” said Fernando Ferroni, president of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics. Ferroni is one of 160 physicists involved in the international collaboration known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus) that performed the experiment. While the second experiment “has made an important test of consistency of its result,” Ferroni [said], more tests are needed. There is still a large crowd of skeptical physicists who suspect that the original measurement done in September was an error. Should the results stand, they would upend more than a century of modern physics. In the first round of experiments, a massive detector buried in a mountain in Gran Sasso, Italy, recorded neutrinos generated at the CERN [European Council for Nuclear Research] particle accelerator on the French-Swiss border arriving 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected. In recent weeks, the OPERA team tightened the packets of neutrinos that CERN sent sailing toward Italy. Such tightening removed some uncertainty in the neutrinos’ speed. The detector still saw neutrinos moving faster than light.
Note: For an awesome essay exploring both an earlier experiment which clearly showed faster-than-light effects and its powerful and inspiring implications, click here.
Amber Miller accomplished two monumental feats this weekend. Days from her due date, the 27-year-old joined 45,000 other runners to participate in Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then gave birth to a baby girl named June hours later. Miller, an avid runner, said she signed up for the 26.2-mile race before finding out she was pregnant. She said she never expected to finish the race. "I was having a conversation with my parents and said, 'You know what? I have no plans of actually finishing,'" she told reporters at Central DuPage Hospital this morning. "I was planning on running half, skipping to the end, then walking across the finish line." But Miller and her husband started running, and just kept going. They ran part of the race and walked the second half as her contractions started. It took the couple 6.5 hours to finish. She said she grabbed something to eat and the two headed to the hospital. "It was very interesting hearing people's reaction," Miller said about crowds watching an extremely pregnant woman among the runners. "I've been running up to this point anyway, so I'm used to it." At 7 pounds, 13 ounces, baby June entered the world at 10:29 p.m. Sunday, just hours after her parents crossed the finish line.
Nina De Santo was about to close her New Jersey hair salon one winter's night when she saw him standing outside the shop's glass front door. It was Michael. He was a soft-spoken customer who'd been going through a brutal patch in his life. She'd listened to his problems, given him pep talks, taken him out for drinks. When De Santo opened the door that Saturday night, Michael was smiling. "Nina, I can't stay long," he said, pausing in the doorway. "I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for everything." They chatted a bit more before Michael left and De Santo went home. On Sunday she received a strange call from a salon employee. Michael's body had been found the previous morning -- at least nine hours before she talked to him at her shop. He had committed suicide. If Michael was dead, who, or what, did she talk to that night? Today, De Santo has a name for what happened that night: "crisis apparition." A crisis apparition is the spirit of a recently deceased person who visits someone they had a close emotional connection with. As they chatted face to face in the doorway of her shop, De Santo said they never touched, never even shook hands. "I'm in a really good place now," she recalled him saying. And when she held the door open for him, he refused to come in. He just chatted before finally saying, "Thanks again, Nina." Michael then smiled at her, turned and walked away into the winter's night.
One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — was [challenged] by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked [a] subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the [speed of light]. The researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. "The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy. CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.
Note: This article fails to mention that the speed of light barrier was broken and seriously questioned several decades ago. To read more on this fascinating development, click here.
Every now and then the dawn of civilization is reenacted on a remote hilltop in southern Turkey. Dozens of massive stone pillars [at this site are] arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe ... the site is [made] from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture. Archaeologists are still excavating Göbekli Tepe and debating its meaning. What they do know is that the site is the most significant in a volley of unexpected findings that have overturned earlier ideas about our species' deep past. Just 20 years ago most researchers believed they knew the time, place, and rough sequence of the Neolithic Revolution—the critical transition that resulted in the birth of agriculture, taking Homo sapiens from scattered groups of hunter-gatherers to farming villages and from there to technologically sophisticated societies with great temples and towers and kings and priests who directed the labor of their subjects and recorded their feats in written form. But in recent years multiple new discoveries, Göbekli Tepe preeminent among them, have begun forcing archaeologists to reconsider.
Note: Other discoveries reported in BBC and elsewhere suggest civilizations on Earth much earlier than most archeologists believe. For more on this, click here. As this fascinating article indicates, the early site uncovered at Göbekli Tepe may be related to a number of newly-excavated sites in the Levant from the "Natufian" period, yet archeologists are still puzzling over this one.
The Iceman's students look wary as they watch him dump bag after bag of ice into the tub of water where they will soon be taking a dip. Under the direction of "Iceman" Wim Hof, the group of athletes is going to stay in the water for minutes practising his meditation techniques. Hof, 52, earned his nickname from feats such as remaining in a tank of ice in Hong Kong for almost 2 hours [and] swimming half the length of a football field under a sheet of ice in the Arctic. Hof tells his students meditation in the cold strengthens mind and body. For most people, hypothermia begins shortly after exposure to freezing temperatures without adequate clothing, and it can quickly lead to death. Hof says he can endure cold so well because he has learned to activate parts of his mind beyond the reach of most people's conscious control, and crank up what he calls his "inner thermostat." "I never had a teacher, and I never had lessons, other than hard Nature itself," he says in an interview at his apartment in Amsterdam. "If you do it wrong, it hurts and you take some knocks, and if you do it right, then you really learn." Hof may be able to exercise some influence over other body functions considered involuntary, [and] tells his students at the Rotterdam workshop that viewing mental and physical training as separate may hinder their performance. Hof describes the three main elements in his method as controlled breathing, paying close mental attention to signals coming from the body, and crucially, keeping an open mind.
Before the Second World War, the Ministry of War confidently predicted what would happen when London was bombed from the air by Nazi planes. There would be, they warned, "a mass outbreak of hysterical neurosis among the civilian population". The same predictions are made about every disaster – that once the lid of a tightly policed civilization is knocked off for a second, humans will become beasts. But the opposite is the case. It sounds grotesque to say we should see reasons for hope as we watch in real time while the earth is shaken six inches on its axis, tsunamis roar, and nuclear power stations teeter on meltdown. But it is true. From this disaster, we can learn something fundamental about our species. The evidence gathered over centuries of disasters, natural and man-made, is overwhelming. The vast majority of people, when a disaster hits, behave in the aftermath as altruists. They organise spontaneously to save their fellow human beings, to share what they have, and to show kindness. They reveal themselves to be better people than they ever expected. When the social scientist Enrico Quarantelli tried to write a thesis on how people descend into chaos and panic after disasters, he concluded: "My God! I can't find any instances of it." On the contrary, he wrote, in disasters "the social order does not break down... Co-operative rather than selfish behaviour predominates".
Note: For a beautiful example of how people come together to help and support each other in the face of a major crisis, read the inspiring "Letter from Sendai" which has gone viral on the Internet at this link.
By now, you likely know David Seidler, who won an Oscar on Sunday for best original screenplay for "The King's Speech," was a stutterer just like King George VI, whose battle with the speech disorder is portrayed in the film. What you might not know is that Seidler, 73, suffered from cancer, just like the king did. But unlike his majesty, Seidler survived the cancer, and he says he did so because he used the same vivid imagination he employed to write his award-winning script. Seidler says he visualized his cancer away. "I know it sounds awfully Southern California and woo-woo," he admits when he describes the visualization techniques he used when his bladder cancer was diagnosed nearly six years ago. "But that's what happened." Seidler says when he found out his cancer had returned, he visualized a "lovely, clean healthy bladder" for two weeks, and the cancer disappeared. He's been cancer-free for more than five years. Whether you can imagine away cancer, or any other disease, has been hotly debated for years. One camp of doctors will tell you that they've seen patients do it, and that a whole host of studies supports the mind-body connection. Other doctors, just as well-respected, will tell you the notion is preposterous, and there's not a single study to prove it really works. Seidler isn't concerned about studies. He says all he knows is that for him, visualization worked.
Note: The article goes on to quote a couple doctors who explain how chemically hope and visualization can cause the changes in the body's chemistry which could lead to spontaneous remission in cancer. For other fascinating major media articles listing potential cancer cures, click here.
Is it preposterous to consider the existence of parallel universes? Or is it preposterous not to? Physicist Brian Greene would tend toward the latter view. The Columbia University theoretical physicist's latest book, "The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos," follows up on his two earlier books for popular audiences, "The Elegant Universe" and "The Fabric of the Cosmos." Those works presented step-by-step guides to string theory and space-time, respectively, leavened with pop-culture references and analogies drawn from everyday life. Greene doesn't explain just one scenario in which unreachable universes co-exist alongside our own. He delves into nine possibilities, drawn from different corners of scientific speculation. As a string theorist, Greene is used to ... criticism. Like parallel universes, the idea that matter's fundamental building blocks are tiny vibrating strings or multidimensional membranes has often been knocked as unprovable, unverifiable, unfalsifiable speculation. "That's provocative nonsense," Greene [commented]. Theorists are not just pulling this stuff out of thin air. Rather, they're being led to seemingly wild conclusions while working within what he called "the tight straitjacket of mathematics." The math is clearly suggesting that there may be other universes out there.
Note: For an excerpt from Greene's intriguing book, click here. For summaries of many other major media articles which raise fascinating questions which stretch our beliefs of what is real, click here. And for lots more intriguing information presenting evidence for a rich new paradigm, click here.
The Brain: A Secret History [is] a television series which reveals how much we have learnt about ourselves through the work of some of the 20th century's most influential, and deeply flawed, psychologists. In the course of making the series we found rare archive and first-hand accounts of the many inventive and sometimes sinister ways in which experimental psychology has been used to probe, tease, control and manipulate human behaviour. High on the list of psychologists ... was Stanley Milgram. Some claim that what Milgram did was ethically and scientifically dubious. I have always thought it was justified and hugely important, but I had never had the chance to interview any of the "volunteers" who had unwittingly taken part in his notorious experiment, to get their perspective. What Bill and the other volunteers who took part weren't told was that the electric shocks were fake – and that both the Experimenter and the Learner were actors. The real purpose of the experiment was to see how far the volunteers would go. Stanley Milgram had asked colleagues how many people they thought would go all the way and administer a lethal 450-volt shock. Most said less than 1 per cent – and those would probably be psychopaths. Yet Bill, like 65 per cent of the volunteers, gave an apparently lethal electric shock when told to do so.
Note: For an amazing, six-minute ABC News clip on a modern day version of the Milgram experiment, click here.
There has been a discovery in the field of memory recently, so new you won't find it in any textbook. For the moment, the scientists studying it are simply calling it "superior autobiographical memory." Dr. James McGaugh, a professor of neurobiology at the University of California Irvine, and a renowned expert on memory ... is the first to discover and study superior autobiographical memory, and he is quizzing [violinist Louise] Owen - his fifth subject - to find out. "Let's move back in time now to 1990. It rained on several days in January and February, can you name the dates on which it rained?" McGaugh asked. Believe it or not, she could. "Let's see. It was slightly rainy and cloudy on January 14th, 15th. It was very hot the weekend of the 27th, 28th, no rain," she replied. We checked the official weather records and she was right. McGaugh says this type of memory is completely new to science. So he and his colleagues have had to devise their own tests. "These people remember things that you and I couldn't possibly remember," McGaugh [said]. Beyond the fun of asking what happened on a specific date and knowing you'll actually get an answer, there is a lot at stake here. The discovery of people with instant access to virtually every day of their lives could recast our whole understanding of how human memory works, and what is possible. Could understanding these remarkable people someday help with Alzheimer's and other memory disorders? The potential is enormous, but the inquiry is just beginning.
Note: Watch an excellent 14-minute segment from Australia's 60 Minutes on numerous individuals with the gift of perfect memory. How is this possible?
We are often the agents of our own pain. We cause our own deaths, conflicts, illnesses, every single day. We made cancer. Also, we invented war. Scientists have found almost no trace of cancer in the mummified remains of bodies from ancient civilizations. It simply did not exist. Cancer is [a] byproduct of heavily industrialized, high tech, toxic modern society. Same goes, in a way, for war and combat, our need to dominate and defeat. Plentiful are the cultures and peoples throughout time and geography that, even despite scarce natural resources, despite having all the supposed reasons to go to war, never once found a need to take up arms, or even understand the concept. War is learned behavior. Cancer is a modern invention, the dark underbelly of our madhouse race to progress. We create -- and even knowingly promote -- many of the sociocultural factors that spawn depression and internal demonization. But when it comes to love, sexuality, the infinite powers of the heart? It's just the opposite. The love, the sex, the chemistry of desire ... has its roots deep in our very being ... woven into our very DNA. You actually can't choose your particular wiring for love, but you can choose to be a warlike, antagonistic force of cancerous doom. We cannot design our innate sexual chemistry, but we sure as hell can choose whether to celebrate it with wine and song and fearless abandon, or poison it at its heart with ignorance, panic, a violent misreading of God.
The U.S. government's official line may be that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) don't pose a national security threat, but a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday in the nation's capital to tell a different story. During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., seven former Air Force officers once stationed at nuclear bases around the country said that not only have UFOs visited Air Force bases, some have succeeded in disabling nuclear missiles stationed there. "I want the government to acknowledge that this phenomenon exists," said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer. Salas said he doesn't think the UFOs he claims to have encountered had any offensive intent, but he believes they wanted to leave an impression. "They wanted to shine a light on our nuclear weapons and just send us a message," he said. "My interpretation is the message is get rid of them because it's going to mean our destruction." Other former officers recounted similar stories of unexplained moving lights and odd-shaped flying objects during their time in the service. Leslie Kean, an investigative journalist and author of the new book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record," said thousands of pages of documentation support the officers' accounts. She spent the last 10 years researching UFOs and combing through thousands of pages of declassified government material. Kean said that one declassified document that she researched for her book, relating to the Salas incident, said, "the fact that no apparent reason for the loss of the 10 missiles can easily be identified is a cause for grave concern to this headquarters."
Note: Watch CNN coverage of this most fascinating testimony. This is not the first time government and military witnesses have testified at the National Press Club about a major cover-up of UFOs. Watch 22 witnesses testifying to remarkable personal stories in May 2001. A two-page written summary presents amazing UFO testimony from top officials. And don't miss these fascinating news articles on UFOs. What may be the best UFO documentary ever made, Out of the Blue, is also available for free viewing.
It would take an unusual man to decide, in a split second after witnessing a car crash, to crawl into the Subaru that had erupted into flames 8 feet high to try to save a little girl and her dad. Early Thursday evening in Ballard, that is what Kenny Johnson did. He remembers talking to himself as he went into the Subaru: "Oh, my God, this car is gonna blow up and I'm going to be in it. Well, if does blow up, I guess I'm going straight to heaven because I'm trying to save that little girl." He did save the 3-year-old, Anna Kotowicz, who suffered a broken arm and some bruising. Her dad, Andy Kotowicz, 37, who had just picked up his daughter at day care, died at Harborview Medical Center three days later. Amid the crackling and popping of the car on fire, Johnson says he heard the cries of the 3-year-old, "a beautiful princess with blonde hair and blue eyes. I go to the passenger side. I don't remember this, but people afterward told me that when I couldn't open the door, I ripped it off the hinges. I jump into the car. For a few seconds, it's like there is no sound, no smell, everything is in slow motion. I can't explain it any other way." Days passed, and Johnson went back to his routine. That is, until Tuesday morning around 6, he says. "Then there is this man standing right by the bed. He says he needs help with a few things. He says he wants me to give a message to his wife and to his daughter. He also tells me to talk to the people at Sub Pop [his workplace], he wants to let them know not to be mad at the driver that caused the accident. That's his message." Johnson says that later that day, he went to the Sub Pop website, and there it was, a memorial photo of the man who had stood by his bed: Kotowicz.
Orange County sheriff deputies say a 170-page manual is circulating around Central Florida. It shows people, step-by-step, how to molest children. It also includes where to find potential victims. “I've never seen anything like it. It was pretty amazing when I first saw it just because how detailed it was,” said Detective Philip Graves with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies with the sheriff’s sexual offender surveillance squad have been aware of the manual for the past six months. The sheriff's office received it through an email listserve. Graves told WFTV that sending the manual by email or possessing it is not a crime in Orange County. However, federal investigators are trying to track down where the manual initially came from. "I was more amazed that someone would be as bold as to create an actual 170-page document that would detail how to do it," he said. The author uses an alias in the manual. He calls himself "the mule." Deputies believe whoever is responsible may have committed crimes against children.
Note: If you want to understand the harsh realities that likely lie behind this disturbing manual, watch the powerful documentary Conspiracy of Silence at this link.
It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. “The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.” There is a substantial body of psychological research showing that people tend to interpret information with an eye toward reinforcing their preexisting views. If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that doesn’t. This is known as “motivated reasoning.”
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.