Nature of Reality News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Nature of Reality News Articles in Media
Research is showing the power of expectations, that they have physical -- not just psychological -- effects on your health. “Your expectations can have profound impacts on your brain and your health,” says Columbia University neuroscientist Tor Wager. Doctors have long thought the placebo effect was psychological. Now scientists are amassing the first direct evidence that the placebo effect actually is physical, and that expecting benefit can trigger the same neurological pathways of healing as real medication does. University of Michigan scientists injected the jaws of healthy young men with salt water to cause painful pressure, while PET scans measured the impact in their brains. During one scan, the men were told they were getting a pain reliever, actually a placebo. Their brains immediately released more endorphins -- chemicals that act as natural painkillers -- and the men felt better.
Sony....has patented a device to evoke smells, flavours and even a sense of touch in audience's brains, in the hope of enhancing the movie-watching experience. Sony has been granted a series of patents that outline how the device works. According to the documents, pulses of ultrasound would be fired at the audience's heads to alter the normal neural activity in key parts of the brain. "Changes in the neural firing timing induce various sensory experiences, depending on the location," the company's first patent states. Elizabeth Boukis, a spokeswoman for Sony Electronics, said the device remained only an idea at the moment. According to Sony's patents, carefully directed ultrasound beams could evoke different sensations in people's brains, including tastes, smells and touch, and even moving images. "One of the advantages is that no invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live/recorded images," the patent says.
By [Alexander] Shulgin's own count, he has created nearly 200 psychedelic compounds, among them stimulants, depressants, aphrodisiacs, ''empathogens,'' [and] convulsants. And in 1976, Shulgin fished an obscure chemical called MDMA out of the depths of the chemical literature and introduced it to the wider world, where it came to be known as Ecstasy. Most of the scientific community considers Shulgin at best a curiosity and at worst a menace. Now, however, near the end of his career, his faith in the potential of psychedelics has at least a chance at vindication. A little more than a month ago, the [FDA] approved a Harvard Medical School study looking at whether MDMA can alleviate the fear and anxiety of terminal cancer patients. And next month will mark a year since [the start of a] study of Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Shulgin's knack for befriending the right people hasn't hurt. A week after I visited him, he was headed to Sonoma County for the annual ''summer encampment'' of the Bohemian Club, an exclusive, secretive San Francisco-based men's club that has counted every Republican president since Herbert Hoover among its members. For a long time, though, Shulgin's most helpful relationship was with the D.E.A. itself. The head of the D.E.A.'s Western Laboratory, Bob Sager, was one of his closest friends. In his office, Shulgin has several plaques awarded to him by the agency for his service. Shulgin has been credited with jump-starting today's therapeutic research.
Note: The sentence about the Bohemian Club is a very rare revelation in the major media on the influence of this secret society. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on secret societies, click here.
Marine experts have discovered a clump of archaeological structures deep beneath the sea off India's western coast. Although the discovery has not yet been accurately dated, the structures are said to resemble archeological sites belonging to the Harappan civilisation, dating back more than 4,000 years. This is the first time man-made structures have been found in this part of the Arabian Sea which is known as the Gulf of Cambay. The images gathered over the past six months led to a surprising discovery - a series of well-defined geometric formations were clearly seen, spread irregularly across a nine-kilometre (five-mile) stretch, a little beneath the sea bed. Some of them closely resemble an acropolis - or great bath - known to be characteristic of the Harappan civilisation. A leading marine archaologist says that far more detailed investigations need to be done to confirm the exact date of the structures.
Prof Phil Zimbardo, creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment: "In 1971 I became superintendent of the Stanford Prison, a mock prison. I was a young psychology professor at Stanford University. I wanted to understand what happens when you put good people in a bad place. [We] selected college-student volunteers - normal, healthy young men with no history of crime or violence - and randomly assigned them the roles of prisoner or guard. To increase the real-life feel, we arranged for actual mass arrests and booking by the Palo Alto police; visits by a prison chaplain, a public defender, and parents. Though not part of the plan, there were also prisoner rebellions. And, notoriously, there was chilling abuse and torture by the guards. The experiment was supposed to last two weeks, but we had to pull the plug after only six days because nearly half the prisoners had emotional breakdowns. Fast-forward to April 2004. Horrific images flash across our television screens - nightmarish abuses of Iraqi prisoners by young American soldiers. The images were ... strikingly similar to what I had seen at Stanford - prisoners naked, bags over their heads, forced into sexually humiliating poses. Historical inquiry and behavioural science have demonstrated ... that given certain conditions, ordinary people can succumb to social pressure to commit acts that would otherwise be unthinkable. In the prisons at Stanford and Abu Ghraib, men and women did terrible things to other people in part because responsibility for their actions was diffused. We find ourselves in a similar situation whenever we witness someone else's trouble but fail to help because we assume others will."
Note: When each one of us takes responsibility for doing our part to build a brighter future, we will see tremendous positive changes both in our lives and our world.
In another sign that Japan is pressing ahead in revising its history of World War II, new high school textbooks will no longer acknowledge that the Imperial Army was responsible for a major atrocity in Okinawa, the government announced late Friday. The Ministry of Education ordered publishers to delete passages stating that the Imperial Army ordered civilians to commit mass suicide during the Battle of Okinawa, as the island was about to fall to American troops in the final months of the war. The decision was announced as part of the ministry’s annual screening of textbooks used in all public schools. The ministry also ordered changes to other delicate issues to dovetail with government assertions, though the screening is supposed to be free of political interference. The decision on the Battle of Okinawa ... came as a surprise because the ministry had never objected to the description in the past. The fresh denial of the military’s responsibility in the Battle of Okinawa and in sexual slavery — long accepted as historical facts — is likely to deepen suspicions in Asia that Tokyo is trying to whitewash its militarist past even as it tries to raise the profile of its current forces. The ministry’s new position appeared to discount overwhelming evidence of coercion, particularly the testimony of victims and survivors themselves.
Note: History many times is written -- or in this case re-written -- by those in power.
In her new "spiritual memoir" titled Finding Magic, veteran journalist Sally Quinn ... the widow of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee ... describes her lifelong belief in the occult and worries that hexes she once put on three people may have worked. "My family were Scots," [said Quinn]. "They all believed in Scottish myths and mysticism and the stones and psychic behavior and ghosts and astrology and palmistry and all that. And then of course we all went to church. So I had this kind of two-pronged religious upbringing. I would say my prayers to God and Jesus every night ... but I also believed in all this other stuff. When I was in my late 20s and early 30s, there were three people who hurt me in some way, or (hurt) somebody I loved, and so I decided to put a hex on them. I had never done it before. What I wanted to have happen was for them to feel what I had felt. I didn’t mean for them to die." One person died right away, another person got fired immediately and then died, and then the other one died. I’ve never done it again. And believe me, since (Donald) Trump was elected, and since the election, I can’t tell you how many friends have asked me to put a hex on Donald Trump, and I won’t do it. I just said no. I don’t do that anymore." The environment right now is more toxic and more poisonous than I’ve ever seen....(But I have) still been able to pull away and still find a sense of faith and joy and magic in the world."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the nature of reality from reliable major media sources.
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.
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.
Monkeys can experience the joy of giving in much the same way as humans do. Tests in capuchin monkeys showed the animals consistently chose to share food with another monkey if given the option, suggesting they are capable of empathy, the team at the Yerkes Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta found. "They seem to care for the welfare of those they know," Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes, said. His team tested eight female brown capuchin monkeys in pairs. They could choose a token that gave only themselves a treat or an option that rewarded both of them, called a prosocial option. Either way, the first monkey got the same amount of food. "Subjects systematically favored the prosocial option provided their partner was a) familiar, b) visible, and c) receiving rewards of equal value," De Waal's team wrote. "The fact the capuchins predominantly selected the prosocial option must mean seeing another monkey receive food is satisfying or rewarding for them," said de Waal. "We believe prosocial behavior is empathy based. Empathy increases in both humans and animals with social closeness, and in our study, closer partners made more prosocial choices. Capuchin monkeys spontaneously share food in both nature and captivity, and commonly sit next to each other while eating," the researchers wrote.
A woman claims to have undergone a complete "personality transplant" after receiving a new kidney. Cheryl Johnson, 37, says she has changed completely since receiving the organ in May. She believes that she must have picked up her new characteristics from the donor, a 59-year-old man who died from an aneurysm. Now, not only has her personality changed, the single mother also claims that her tastes in literature have taken a dramatic turn. Whereas she only used to read low-brow novels, Dostoevsky has become her author of choice since the transplant. [Ms] Johnson, from Penwortham, in Preston, Lancs, said: "You pick up your characteristics from your donor. My son said when I first had the transplant, I went stroppy and snappy - that wasn't me. I have always loved books but I've started to read classics like Jane Austen and Dostoevsky. I found myself reading Persuasion."
Northwestern University researchers report they have used DNA as the blueprint, contractor and construction worker to build a three-dimensional structure out of gold, a lifeless material. Using just one kind of nanoparticle (gold) the researchers built two common but very different crystalline structures by merely changing one thing -- the strands of synthesized DNA attached to the tiny gold spheres. A different DNA sequence in the strand resulted in the formation of a different crystal. The technique ... is a major and fundamental step toward building functional "designer" materials using programmable self-assembly. "We are now closer to the dream of learning, as nanoscientists, how to break everything down into fundamental building blocks, which for us are nanoparticles, and reassembling them into whatever structure we want that gives us the properties needed for certain applications," said Chad A. Mirkin, one of the paper's senior authors. The structures that finally form are the ones that maximize DNA hybridization. DNA is the stabilizing force, the glue that holds the structure together. "These structures are a new form of matter," said Mirkin, "that would be difficult, if not impossible, to make any other way."
An Oneonta surgeon who survived a lightning strike in 1994 and suddenly began craving piano music will make his public debut as a composer and pianist next week. Dr. Anthony Cicoria said the lightning bolt that came out of a pay phone during a family outing near Albany caused a near-death experience that changed his life forever. Nearly 14 years later, Cicoria will perform concerts at ... the State University College at Oneonta. After seeing his body lying on the ground and his family rushing to him, Cicoria was surrounded by a bluish-white light, the 55-year-old orthopedic surgeon said. He began drifting up and away from his body and entered a state of bliss. Cicoria said he eventually came to and had no lasting physical effects from the strike. But he soon began having an intense desire to hear piano music. A short time after that, he said, he had a dream. "In this dream, I was playing in a concert hall," Cicoria said. The music in that dream stayed with him after he woke up. It and other music would be revealed to him in whole sections that would come into his mind at once, he said. While playing other composers' music, the notes from his dream would come out. "This music would suddenly come to the foreground and butt in," Cicoria said. When asked where the music comes from, Cicoria said it came from a divine place. "As Mozart said, it comes from heaven," Cicoria said. One of the greatest realizations he said he had from the near-death experience is the knowledge that there is life after death. "Whatever we are, our consciousness goes with the spirit," Cicoria said.
Improbable [findings] have poured forth in psychological research over the last few years. New studies have found that people tidy up more thoroughly when there’s a faint tang of cleaning liquid in the air; they become more competitive if there’s a briefcase in sight, or more cooperative if they glimpse words like “dependable” and “support” — all without being aware of the change, or what prompted it. Psychologists say that “priming” people in this way is not some form of hypnotism, or even subliminal seduction; rather, it’s a demonstration of how everyday sights, smells and sounds can selectively activate goals or motives that people already have. More fundamentally, the new studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known. Goals, whether to eat, mate or devour an iced latte, are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses. The give and take between these unconscious choices and our rational, conscious aims can help explain some of the more mystifying realities of behavior, like how we can be generous one moment and petty the next, or act rudely at a dinner party when convinced we are emanating charm. John A. Bargh, a professor of psychology at Yale, [said] “We’re finding that we have these unconscious behavioral guidance systems that are continually furnishing suggestions through the day about what to do next, and the brain is considering and often acting on those, all before conscious awareness. Sometimes those goals are in line with our conscious intentions and purposes, and sometimes they’re not.” Scientists have spent years trying to pinpoint the exact neural regions that support conscious awareness, so far in vain.
Matthew Dovel says he calls himself "a hostile witness to heaven and hell." Dovel is one of the thousands of Americans who have reported what are called near-death experiences. Many people brought back from the brink of death swear they've been to heaven. Far fewer report visiting hell, but Dovel believes he's seen both. Dovel's first near-death experience happened when he was 12 years old and was trying to swim the entire length of a pool underwater. As he surfaced, his friends playfully pushed him back under. "I was completely out of breath," he said. "The instant that I took the breath of water in, a white light engulfed me. And I flashed back over my life. It was just all these good moments in my life. I was completely happy to be at this place." In that moment, Dovel says, a "beautiful creature" came out of the light. He said you've got to go back." Dovel had been rescued by his friends, but that glimpse into the afterlife left him confused and profoundly depressed. "A rage came over me and an uncontrollable anger towards God that I had to come back." The next decade became a constant cycle of booze and cocaine-fueled binges [ending in a suicide attempt]. Dovel's lifelong wish to return to heaven ... ended in a personal vision of hell. "It was extremely hot and very humid and dense," he said. The experience then became extremely painful not physically, but emotionally. "I'm living in my past," he said. "And all the people that I had met throughout my life, they would come to me and ... start pushing and screaming and I would relive a moment that I had caused them pain. This is something so horrific that when I came out of that, I quit a $1,000-a-week drug habit cold turkey." Dovel sobered up and devoted his life to suicide prevention through International Suicide Prevention, his nonprofit organization.
Note: To see an ABC News "20/20" report on Matthew Dovel's near-death experiences, click here.
A sprawling waterfront state park known as Camp Hero [is situated] in Montauk on Long Island. Conspiracy theorists have long claimed that the park has been the site of sci-fi worthy events, including rifts in the time-space continuum [and] mind-control experiments. Such unsubstantiated reports were in large part ignited by a 1992 book, “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time,” by Preston B. Nichols with Peter Moon.. “All of the rumors, that’s part of why we came here,” said Patrick Wenk, 26, of Stony Brook, N.Y., who was visiting one chilly autumn afternoon. His girlfriend, Sarah Holub, 25, [said] it was her friends who piqued her initial interest in the park by telling her about the conspiracy theories and rumors of paranormal occurrences. A search on Google revealed several Web sites that elaborated on the theories and suggested that Camp Hero was the site of time-travel experiments that picked up where the Philadelphia Experiment — in which a 1940s Navy ship and crew were said to have been made invisible and teleported from Philadelphia to Norfolk, Va. — left off. when Ms. Holub shared a story about her friends being in Camp Hero at night only to have all their flashlights go dead simultaneously, we both laughed. Yet I was experiencing some technical difficulties of my own. My reliable digital camera was on the fritz. I changed the batteries. I played with the lens. It would not take a photograph. I slipped it into my coat pocket to fiddle with later and continued my hike.
Note: Though it's difficult to find reliable information on these matters, those with an open mind and a desire to know might appreciate spending some time exploring the links above.
Scientists are boldly going where only fiction has gone before to develop a Cloak of Invisibility. It isn't quite ready to hide a Romulan space ship from Capt. James T. Kirk or to disguise Harry Potter, but it is a significant start and could show the way to more sophisticated designs. In this first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder. It's like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky. "We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction," said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University's electrical and computer engineering department. Cloaking used special materials to deflect radar or light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream. The new work points the way for an improved version that could hide people and objects from visible light. Conceptually, the chance of adapting the concept to visible light is good, Schurig said in a telephone interview. But, he added, "From an engineering point of view it is very challenging." The cloaking of a cylinder from microwaves comes just five months after Schurig and colleagues published their theory that it should be possible. In an ideal situation, the cloak and the item it is hiding would be invisible. An observer would see whatever is beyond them, with no evidence the cloaked item exists.
Note: Remember that technologies developed in top-secret military, intelligence, and other government projects are generally at the very least 10 years in advance of anything being developed in the public domain.
Witold Bialokur...can run 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles, in less than 44 minutes. While Mr. Bialokur’s performance would be the envy of most young men, he is not young. Mr. Bialokur is 71. It is one of the persistent mysteries of aging, researchers say. Why would one person, like Mr. Bialokur, remain so hale and hearty while another, who had seemed just as healthy, start to weaken and slow down? Rigorous studies are now showing that seeing, or hearing, gloomy nostrums about what it is like to be old can make people walk more slowly, hear and remember less well, and even affect their cardiovascular systems. Positive images of aging have the opposite effects. The constant message that old people are expected to be slow and weak and forgetful is not a reason for the full-blown frailty syndrome. But it may help push people along that path.
Physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality. Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second. But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter. "It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday. The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They...teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further. "Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams, but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained. "Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement." Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.
Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, the researchers report, and there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected. Researchers have long known that political decisions are strongly influenced by unconscious emotional reactions, a fact routinely exploited by campaign consultants and advertisers. But the new research suggests that for partisans, political thinking is often predominantly emotional. It is possible to override these biases, Dr. Westen said, "but you have to engage in ruthless self reflection, to say, 'All right, I know what I want to believe, but I have to be honest.' " He added, "It speaks to the character of the discourse that this quality is rarely talked about in politics."
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