As of Oct 21, we're $9,500 in the red for the year. Please donate here to support this vital work.
Subscribe here to our free email list

Nature of Reality Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Nature of Reality Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing the nature of reality articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These the nature of reality articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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.


North Magnetic Pole Moving Due to Core Flux
2009-12-24, National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/091224-north-pole-magnetic-ru...

Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core. Newly analyzed data suggest that there's a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core's surface, possibly being created by a mysterious "plume" of magnetism arising from deeper in the core. And it's this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada. The magnetic north pole had moved little from the time scientists first located it in 1831. Then in 1904, the pole began shifting northeastward at a steady pace of about 9 miles (15 kilometers) a year. In 1989 it sped up again, and in 2007 scientists confirmed that the pole is now galloping toward Siberia at 34 to 37 miles (55 to 60 kilometers) a year. A rapidly shifting magnetic pole means that magnetic-field maps need to be updated more often to allow compass users to make the crucial adjustment from magnetic north to true North. Also, nobody knows when another change in the core might pop up elsewhere, sending magnetic north wandering in a new direction.


Was a World War II pilot reincarnated in a body of a little boy?
2009-12-22, CNN Larry King Live
http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0912/22/lkl.01.html

[Guest Host Jeff Probst]: Was a World War II fighter pilot reincarnated in a little boy's body? Bruce [and Andrea] Leininger say yes. They are authors of Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. Their book describes how their son James had memories of a WWII pilot who was killed in battle more than 60 years ago. James is now 11 years old. Andrea, when did you first realize that ... James was having ideas or stories that he wanted to share about this? Andrea Leininger: [It] started about two weeks after James' second birthday. He had a -- a night terror, which he had never had before. And this first nightmare began a series of nightmares that started occurring every other night, every night. And after several months of this, he was having a nightmare and ... I was able to finally determine what he was saying. And he was saying, "airplane crash on fire, little man can't get out." Probst: Bruce, even at three, he was -- James was drawing pictures of an airplane crashing. Bruce Leininger: By the time he started drawing those pictures, he'd been talking about this ... for several months. And he essentially gave us three items of information over about a three month period. One, he gave us the name of the ship, which I verified through research on the Internet. "Natoma Bay." He gave us a name Natoma. About a month later, he gave us [the] name of a guy he said he flew with. When we asked him if there was anyone else in his ... dream that he could remember. Jack -- Jack Larson.

Note: Jack Larson was confirmed to be a member of the crew of the Natoma Bay, who when contacted, remembered the incident of the crash described by this boy. Watch an excellent, intriguing four-minute Fox News clip on this fascinating case.


You can’t handle the truth
2009-12-13, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/12/13/you_cant_handle_t...

In the United Kingdom ... the country’s top drug adviser was recently fired for publicly criticizing his own government’s drug laws. The adviser, Dr. David Nutt, said in a lecture that alcohol is more hazardous than many outlawed substances, and that the United Kingdom might be making a mistake in throwing marijuana smokers in jail. His comments weren’t the idle musings of a reality-insulated professor in a policy job. They were based on ... a scientifically compiled ranking of drugs, assembled by specialists in chemistry, health, and enforcement, published in a prestigious medical journal two years earlier. The list, printed as a chart with the unassuming title “Mean Harm Scores for 20 Substances,” ranked a set of common drugs, both legal and illegal, in order of their harmfulness - how addictive they were, how physically damaging, and how much they threatened society. Overall, alcohol is far worse than many illegal drugs. So is tobacco. Smoking pot is less harmful than drinking, and LSD is less damaging yet. Nutt says he didn’t see himself as promoting drug use or trying to subvert the government. He was pressing the point that a government policy, especially a health-related one like a drug law, should be grounded in factual information.

Note: For lots more on key health issues, click here.


Research in a Vacuum: DARPA Tries to Tap Elusive Casimir Effect for Breakthrough Technology
2009-10-12, Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=darpa-casimir-effect-research

The Casimir effect governs interactions of matter with the energy that is present in a vacuum. Success in harnessing this force could someday help researchers develop low-friction ballistics and even levitating objects that defy gravity. For now, the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a two-year, $10-million project encouraging scientists to work on ways to manipulate this quirk of quantum electrodynamics. Vacuums generally are thought to be voids, but Hendrik Casimir believed these pockets of nothing do indeed contain fluctuations of electromagnetic waves. He suggested [that] as the boundaries of a region of vacuum move, the variation in vacuum energy (also called zero-point energy) leads to the Casimir effect. Recent research done at Harvard University, Vrije University Amsterdam and elsewhere has proved Casimir correct — and given some experimental underpinning to DARPA's request for research proposals.

Note: Debunkers of the new energy movement have long claimed that zero point energy is a theoretical construct which cannot have practical applications. This article shows that attitudes are now shifting. For lots more reliable information on what's still hidden from the public on the new energy front, click here.


2012 Isn't the End of the World, Mayans Insist
2009-10-11, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=8801083

Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly "running out" on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it's not the end of the world. Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas. A significant time period for the Mayas does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years. But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials. It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades — the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or "Planet X." But this one has some grains of archaeological basis. One of them is Monument Six. Found at an obscure ruin in southern Mexico during highway construction in the 1960s, the stone tablet [is] unique in that [it contains] the equivalent of the date 2012. The inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation. However — shades of Indiana Jones — erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible. Archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico's National Autonomous University ... notes there are other inscriptions at Mayan sites for dates far beyond 2012 — including one that roughly translates into the year 4772.

Note: The highest counter in the Mayan calendar is the alautun, which is an interval of 63 million years. Those who state the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 have not researched the Mayan system carefully. 2012 may be the equivalent of the year 10,000 in the Mayan calendar, which is significant, yet it may end up being but another Y2K. For more, click here.


'Hitler skull' revealed as female
2009-09-29, BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8281839.stm

A bone fragment believed to be part of Adolf Hitler's skull has been revealed as being that of an unidentified woman, US scientists have said. The section of bone - marked with a bullet hole - was used to support the theory that Hitler shot himself. Russian scientists said the skull piece was found alongside Hitler's jawbone and had put it on display in Moscow. But US scientists said DNA tests revealed it actually belonged to a woman aged between 20 and 40. An archaeologist from the University of Connecticut travelled to Moscow, where the fragment has been on show in the city's federal archive since 2000, to take a sample. Nick Bellantoni said he had suspected even before the bone was tested that the fragment did not come from an adult male. DNA tests confirmed that the bone fragment came from a female. Doubts about exactly how Hitler died have persisted for decades. Russian officials said that the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun - who reportedly committed suicide in a Berlin bunker in 1945 - were removed from a shell crater shortly after they died. The piece of skull forms part of a collection that also includes a section of a bloodstained sofa where Hitler is believed to have shot himself after swallowing a cyanide pill.


Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years - and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?
2009-09-11, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1212851/Has-Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-seve...

[President] Barack Obama has launched a fresh operation to find [Osama bin Laden]. Working with the Pakistani Army, elite squads of U.S. and British special forces were sent into Waziristan this summer to 'hunt and kill' the shadowy figure intelligence officers still call 'the principal target' of the war on terror. This new offensive is, of course, based on the premise that the 9/11 terrorist is alive. Yet what if he isn't? What if he has been dead for years, and the British and U.S. intelligence services are actually playing a game of double bluff? What if everything we have seen or heard of him on video and audio tapes since the early days after 9/11 is a fake - and that he is being kept 'alive' by the Western allies to stir up support for the war on terror? Incredibly, this is the breathtaking theory that is gaining credence among political commentators, respected academics and even terror experts. Still more questions have been raised with the publication in America and Britain of a book called Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive? Written by political analyst and philosopher Professor David Ray Griffin, ... it is provoking shock waves - for it goes into far more detail about his supposed death and suggests there has been a cover-up by the West. The book claims that Bin Laden died of kidney failure, or a linked complaint, on December 13, 2001, while living in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains close to the border with Waziristan. His burial took place within 24 hours, in line with Muslim religious rules, and in an unmarked grave, which is a Wahhabi custom. The author insists that the many Bin Laden tapes made since that date have been concocted by the West to make the world believe Bin Laden is alive. Could it be that, for years, he's just been smoke and mirrors?

Note: Hundreds of scholars, officials and professionals have raised questions about bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and other aspects of the official conspiracy about the events of 9/11. Click here and here to read their concerns.


Up, up and away! Scientists levitate mice
2009-09-09, MSNBC/Live Science
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32760311

Scientists have now levitated mice using magnetic fields. Scientists working on behalf of NASA built a device to simulate variable levels of gravity. It consists of a superconducting magnet that generates a field powerful enough to levitate the water inside living animals, with a space inside warm enough at room temperature and large enough at 2.6 inches wide (6.6 cm) for tiny creatures to float comfortably in during experiments. Repeated levitation tests showed the mice, even when not sedated, could quickly acclimate to levitation inside the cage. The strong magnetic fields did not seem to have any negative impacts on the mice in the short term, and past studies have shown that rats did not suffer from adverse effects after 10 weeks of strong, non-levitating magnetic fields. The researchers also levitated water drops up to 2 inches wide (5 cm). This suggests the variable gravity simulator could be used to study how liquids behave under reduced gravity, such as how heat is transferred or how bubbles behave.

Note: Remember that secret government research projects are generally at least 10 years ahead of any public research.


Only You. And You. And You.
2009-07-29, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/id/209164

Terisa and Matt and Vera and Larry ... believe in "ethical nonmonogamy," or engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person – based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. They are polyamorous, to use the term of art applied to multiple-partner families like theirs, and they wouldn't want to live any other way. Researchers are just beginning to study the phenomenon, but the few who do, estimate that openly polyamorous families in the United States number more than half a million. Over the past year, books like Open, by journalist Jenny Block; Opening Up, by sex columnist Tristan Taormino ... have helped publicize the concept. Today there are poly blogs and podcasts, local get-togethers, and an online polyamory magazine called Loving More with 15,000 regular readers. Celebrities like actress Tilda Swinton and Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, have voiced support. Polys say they aren't so much denying their biological instincts as insisting they can work around them – through open communication, patience, and honesty. Polys call this process "compersion," or learning to find personal fulfillment in the emotional and sexual satisfaction of your partner, even if you're not the one doing the satisfying. "It's about making sure that everybody's needs are met, including your own," says Terisa. "And that's not always easy, but it's part of the fun." It's a new paradigm, certainly – and it does break some rules. "Polyamory scares people. It shakes up their world view," says Allena Gabosch, the director of the Seattle-based Center for Sex Positive Culture.


Strange New Air Force Facility Energizes Ionosphere, Fans Conspiracy Flames
2009-07-20, Wired magazine
http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/17-08/mf_haarp

The senior senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, enjoyed a reputation for inserting projects into the federal budget to benefit his home state, most notoriously a $223 million bridge from the town of Ketchikan to, well, not much of anyplace. In 1988, [physics] researchers sat down with Stevens and assured him that an ionospheric heater would be a bona fide scientific marvel and a guaranteed job creator, and it could be built for a mere $30 million. Just like that, the Pentagon had $10 million for ionospheric heater research. In a series of meetings in the winter of 1989-90, the field's leading lights ... pitched the Navy and the Air Force. Haarp, they asserted, could lead to "significant operational capabilities." They'd build a giant phased antenna array that would aim a finely tuned beam of high-frequency radio waves into the sky. The beam would excite electrons in the ionosphere, altering that spot's conductivity and inducing it to emit its own extremely low frequency waves, which could theoretically penetrate the earth's surface to reveal hidden bunkers or be used to contact deeply submerged submarines. Of course, the scientists said, you'd need a brand-new, state-of-the-art ionospheric heater to see if any of this was even feasible. The Pentagon ... began using Stevens' earmarked cash to fund the appropriate studies. For more than a year, planning proceeded largely out of public view. Then, in 1993, an Anchorage teachers' union rep named Nick Begich—son of one of Alaska's most important political families—found a notice about Haarp in the Australian conspiracy magazine Nexus. In 1995, he self-published a book, Angels Don't Play This HAARP. It sold 100,000 copies. He started giving speeches on Haarp's dangers everywhere, from UFO conventions to the European Parliament.

Note: For more excellent information on HAARP, click here. There is much more than meets the eye here.


Animals can tell right from wrong
2009-05-23, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5373379/Animals-can-tell-right-from...

Animals possess a sense of morality that allows them to tell the difference between right and wrong, according to a controversial new book. Scientists studying animal behaviour believe they have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality. But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are "hard-wired" into the brains of all mammals and provide the "social glue" that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups. He has compiled evidence from around the world that shows how different species of animals appear to have an innate sense of fairness, display empathy and help other animals that are in distress. His conclusions will provide ammunition for animal welfare groups pushing to have animals treated more humanely. Prof Bekoff, who presents his case in a new book Wild Justice, said: "The belief that humans have morality and animals don't is a long-standing assumption, but there is a growing amount of evidence that is showing us that this simply cannot be the case." Prof Bekoff believes morals developed in animals to help regulate behaviour in social groups of animals such as wolves and primates. He claims that these rules help to control fighting within the group and encourage co-operative behaviour.


Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind
2009-03-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2009/mar/17/templeton-quantum-entangl...

What quantum mechanics tells us ... is surprising to say the least. It tells us that the basic components of objects – the particles, electrons, quarks etc. – cannot be thought of as "self-existent". The reality that they, and hence all objects, are components of is merely "empirical reality". This reality is something that, while not a purely mind-made construct as radical idealism would have it, can be but the picture our mind forces us to form of [a] mysterious, non-conceptualisable "ultimate reality", not embedded in space and (presumably) not in time either. The quantum mechanical formalism ... compels us to consider that two particles that have once interacted always remain bound in a very strange, hardly understandable way even when they are far apart, the connection being independent of distance. Even though this connection-at-a-distance does not permit us to transmit messages, clearly it is real. In other words space, so essential in classical physics, seems to play a considerably less basic role in quantum physics. [Erwin] Schrödinger had even given [this reality] a name: entanglement, and had claimed entanglement is essential. A real breakthrough took place [when John Bell] published his famous inequalities, which - for the first time - opened a possibility of testing whether or not entanglement-at-a-distance had experimentally testable consequences. Entanglement-at-a-distance does physically exist, in the sense that it has physically verifiable (and verified) consequences. Which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of our most engrained notions about space and causality should be reconsidered.

Note: For lots more intriguing scientific information suggesting reality is much more fluid and miraculous than most might suspect, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


Google Ocean: Has Atlantis been found off Africa?
2009-02-20, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/4731313/Google-Ocean-Has-Atlanti...

A "grid of streets" on the seabed at one of the proposed locations of the lost city of Atlantis has been spotted on Google Ocean. Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, allows web users to virtually explore the ocean with thousands of images of underwater landscapes. The network of criss-cross lines is 620 miles off the coast of north west Africa near the Canary Islands on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect rectangle – which is around the size of Wales – was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool by an aeronautical engineer who claims it looks like an "aerial map" of a city. The underwater image can be found at the co-ordinates 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W. Atlantis experts said that the unexplained grid is located at one of the possible sites of the legendary island, which was described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. According to his account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC. Dr Charles Orser, curator of historical archaeology at New York State University told The Sun that the find was fascinating and warranted further inspection. The legend of Atlantis has excited the public imagination for centuries. In recent years "evidence" of the lost kingdom has been found off the coast of Cyprus and in southern Spain.

Note: Many archeological finds which don't match accepted history have been suppressed and covered up. For five revealing BBC articles showing more manipulation around this, click here.


Hack your brain
2009-01-11, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/graphics/011109_hacking_your_brain/

Do you ever want to change the way you see the world? Wouldn't it be fun to hallucinate on your lunch break? Although we typically associate such phenomena with powerful drugs like LSD or mescaline, it's easy to fling open the doors of perception without them: All it takes is a basic understanding of how the mind works. Much of what we think of as being out there actually comes from in here, and is a byproduct of how the brain processes sensation. In recent years scientists have come up with a number of simple tricks that expose the artifice of our senses, so that we end up perceiving what we know isn't real. [Examples include:] The Ganzfield Procedure: Begin by turning the radio to a station playing static. Then lie down on the couch and tape a pair of halved ping-pong balls over your eyes. Within minutes, you should begin to experience a bizarre set of sensory distortions. Purkinje Lights: Jan Purkinje, a founding father of modern neuroscience stumbled upon a reliable hallucination as a child. First he closed his eyes (very important!), then tilted his head to face the sun and moved his hand quickly back and foth in front of his closed eyes. After a few seconds, Purkinje reported the appearance of "beautiful figures," which gradually became more intricate. The hallucinations are a side effect of our need to always make sense of reality.

Note: For exciting insights into the nature of reality from reliable sources, click here.


Heaven for the Godless?
2008-12-27, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/opinion/27blow.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pag...

In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped V.I.P. area reserved for Christians. But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that. The evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the question. The respondents couldn’t actually believe what they were saying, could they? So in August, Pew asked the question again. Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them. And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go. What on earth does this mean? One very plausible explanation is that Americans just want good things to come to good people, regardless of their faith. We meet so many good people of different faiths that it’s hard for us to imagine God letting them go to hell. In fact, in the most recent survey, Pew asked people what they thought determined whether a person would achieve eternal life. Nearly as many Christians said you could achieve eternal life by just being a good person as said that you had to believe in Jesus.


Charting the psychology of evil, decades after 'shock' experiment
2008-12-19, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/12/19/milgram.experiment.obedience/index.html

If someone told you to press a button to deliver a 450-volt electrical shock to an innocent person in the next room, would you do it? Common sense may say no, but decades of research suggests otherwise. In the early 1960s, [Stanley Milgram,] a young psychologist at Yale began what became one of the most widely recognized experiments in his field. In the first series, he found that about two-thirds of subjects were willing to inflict what they believed were increasingly painful shocks on an innocent person when the experimenter told them to do so, even when the victim screamed and pleaded. A new study to be published in the January issue of American Psychologist confirmed these results in an experiment that mimics many of Milgram's original conditions. This and other studies have corroborated the startling conclusion that the majority of people, when placed in certain kinds of situations, will follow orders, even if those orders entail harming another person. "It's situations that make ordinary people into evil monsters, and it's situations that make ordinary people into heroes," said Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University and author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. "Most heroes are everyday people who do a heroic deed once in their lifetime because they [happen] to be in a situation of evil or danger," he said.

Note: What's amazing about this is the willingness of many people responding to nothing more that verbal authority to deliver shocks up to 450 volts to victims who are writhing in pain, screaming and begging for them to stop. What would you do? For more, click here.


Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity
2008-12-14, Time magazine
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1865467,00.html

Most of us take for granted that those rectangular green slips of paper we keep in our wallets are inviolable: the physical embodiment of value. But alternative forms of money have a long history and appear to be growing in popularity. It's not merely barter or primitive means of exchange like seashells or beads. Beneath the financial radar, in hip U.S. towns or South African townships, in shops, markets and even banks, people throughout the world are exchanging goods and services via thousands of currency types that look nothing like official tender. Alternative means of trade often surface during tough economic times. "When money gets dried up and there are still needs to be met in society, people come up with creative ways to meet those needs," says Peter North, a senior lecturer in geography at the University of Liverpool and the author of [a book] on the subject. He refers to the "scrips" issued in the U.S. and Europe during the Great Depression that kept money flowing and the massive barter exchanges involving millions of people that emerged amid runaway inflation in Argentina in 2000. "People were kept from starving [this way]," he says. Closer to home, "Ithaca Hours," with a livable hourly wage as the standard, were launched during the 1991 recession to sustain the economy in Ithaca, N.Y., and stem the loss of jobs. Hours, which are legal and taxable, circulate within the community, moving from local shop to local artisan and back, rather than leaking out into the larger monetary system. The logo on the Hour reads "In Ithaca We Trust." Alternative (or "complementary") currencies range from quaint to robust, simple to high tech.

Note: Read the entire article at the link above to learn about the great range of uses and benefits provided by alternative currencies.


Dutchman aims to break record in freezing bath
2008-12-09, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/3684102/Dutchman...

A Dutchman who is able to withstand freezing temperatures that would kill most people will submerge himself in icy water for almost two hours in a world record bid. Wim Hof, known as "The Ice Man", has spent the last 20 years testing his talent in the most extreme conditions from scaling mountain tops wearing nothing but a pair of shorts to swimming under sheets of ice [at] the north pole. Now he is set to break his own world record by submerging himself in a Plexiglas container filled with ice at temperatures as low as -20 degrees for more than 1 hour 45 minutes. Mr Hof discovered his unusual talent over 20 years ago during a stroll in the park in his native Holland. "I was really attracted to it. I went in, got rid of my clothes. Thirty seconds I was in and a tremendous good feeling when I came out and since then, I repeated it every day." It was the moment that Mr Hof knew that his body was different somehow: he was able to withstand fatally freezing temperatures. Mr Hof began a lifelong quest to see just how far his abilities would take him. In 2000, dressed only in a swimsuit, he dove under the ice at the North Pole and earned a Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time swimming under the ice. Whilst many scientists around the world find Mr Hof's ability an anomaly, Mr Hof says it is merely a case of mind over matter. Practising an ancient Himalayan meditation called "Tummo," or Inner Fire, Mr Hof says he can generate his own heat. Mr Hof now travels the world teaching the technique through his record attempts, lectures and talks.


Standing in Someone Else’s Shoes, Almost for Real
2008-12-02, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/health/02mind.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&page...

Neuroscientists have shown that they can [create] a “body swapping” illusion that could have a profound effect on a range of therapeutic techniques. At the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience last month, Swedish researchers presented evidence that the brain, when tricked by optical and sensory illusions, can quickly adopt any other human form, no matter how different, as its own. “You can see the possibilities, putting a male in a female body, young in old, white in black and vice versa,” said Dr. Henrik Ehrsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The technique is simple. A subject stands or sits opposite the scientist, as if engaged in an interview. Both are wearing headsets, with special goggles, the scientist’s containing small film cameras. The goggles are rigged so the subject sees what the scientist sees: to the right and left are the scientist’s arms, and below is the scientist’s body. To add a physical element, the researchers have each person squeeze the other’s hand, as if in a handshake. Now the subject can see and “feel” the new body. In a matter of seconds, the illusion is complete. In a series of studies, using mannequins and stroking both bodies’ bellies simultaneously, the Karolinska researchers have found that men and women say they not only feel they have taken on the new body, but also unconsciously cringe when it is poked or threatened. In previous work, neuroscientists have induced various kinds of out-of-body experiences using similar techniques. The brain is so easily tricked, they say, precisely because it has spent a lifetime in its own body.


Why We Believe
2008-11-03, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/id/165678

It wasn't immediately obvious to Walter Semkiw that he was the reincarnation of John Adams. Semkiw is a doctor. In 1984, a psychic told the then [skeptical] medical resident and psychiatrist-in-training that he is the reincarnation of a major figure of the Revolution, possibly Adams. But one day in 1995, when Semkiw was the medical director for Unocal 76, the oil company, he heard a voice in his head intoning, "Study the life of Adams!" Now he found details much more telling than those silly coincidences he had learned a dozen years earlier. It was all so persuasive, thought Semkiw ... that as a man of science and reason whose work requires him to critically evaluate empirical evidence, he had to accept that he was Adams reincarnated. If you have never had a paranormal experience ... you are in a lonely minority. According to periodic surveys by Gallup and other pollsters, fully 90 percent of Americans say they have experienced such things or believe they exist. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Semkiw is driven by a what-if optimism. If only people could accept reincarnation, he believes, Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites might stop fighting (since they might be killing someone who was once one of them). He is dismissive of the idea that reincarnation has not been empirically proved. That was the status of everything science has since proved, be it the ability of atoms to vibrate in synchrony (the basis of the laser) or of mold to cure once-lethal infections (penicillin). Dedicated to the empirical method, Semkiw believes the world is on the brink of "a science of spirituality."

Note: This article overall is strongly dismissive of paranormal phenomena, yet it contains some interesting information. For Semkiw's website on the return of the revolutionaries, click here. For an excellent essay on how science is sometimes blind to new concepts, click here.


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.