Nature of Reality News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on the nature of reality
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.
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.
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.
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.
Youďż˝re not likely to hear about this from your doctor, but fake medical treatment can work amazingly well. For a range of ailments, from pain and nausea to depression and Parkinsonďż˝s disease, placebos--whether sugar pills, saline injections, or sham surgery--have often produced results that rival those of standard therapies. As evidence of the effectďż˝s power mounts, members of the medical community are increasingly asking an intriguing question: if the placebo effect can help patients, shouldnďż˝t we start putting it to work? In certain ways, placebos are ideal drugs: they typically have no side effects and are essentially free. And in recent years, research has confirmed that they can bring about genuine improvements in a number of conditions. An active conversation is now under way in leading medical journals, as bioethicists and researchers explore how to give people the real benefits of pretend treatment. But any attempt to harness the placebo effect immediately runs into thorny ethical and practical dilemmas. To present a dummy pill as real medicine would be, by most standards, to lie. To prescribe one openly, however, would risk undermining the effect. And even if these issues were resolved, the whole idea still might sound a little shady--offering bogus pills or procedures could seem, from the patientďż˝s perspective, hard to distinguish from skimping on care.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on important health issues, click here.
A strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California [at] Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a "parallel universe" -- a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that traveling through time may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers. And it's all because of a tiny bit of metal -- a "paddle" about the width of a human hair, an item that is incredibly small but still something you can see with the naked eye. UC Santa Barbara's Andrew Cleland cooled that paddle in a refrigerator, dimmed the lights and, under a special bell jar, sucked out all the air to eliminate vibrations. He then plucked it like a tuning fork and noted that it moved and stood still at the same time. That sounds contradictory, ... but it actually happened. It's a freaky fact that's at the heart of quantum mechanics. Sean Carroll, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology ... accepts the scientific basis for the multi-verse -- even if it cannot be proven. "Unless you can imagine some super-advanced alien civilization that has figured this out, we aren't affected by the possible existence of other universes," Carroll said. But he does think "someone could devise a machine that lets one universe communicate with another."
A U.N. report says Afghanistan, the world's biggest producer of opium, is also a "major producer of cannabis" and "the world's biggest producer of hashish." The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime issued its Afghanistan Cannabis Survey on [March 31], documenting large-scale cannabis cultivation in half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. "While other countries have even larger cannabis cultivation, the astonishing yield of the Afghan cannabis crop -- 145 kilograms per hectare of hashish, the resin produced from cannabis, as compared to around 40 kilograms per hectare in Morocco -- makes Afghanistan the world's biggest producer of hashish, estimated at between 1,500 and 3,500 tons a year," said Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC's executive director. The report says money "is one of the main reasons" for large-scale cannabis cultivation. "The gross income per hectare of cannabis (US $3,900) is higher than from opium (US$ 3,600)."
Note: What almost no media reports point out is that in 2000, the year before the US invasion, the Taliban had virtually eradicated opium and hashish. Is it a coincidence that under US control Afghanistan has since regained its status as top producer of these drugs? For powerful evidence suggesting rogue elements of government profit greatly from the drug trade, click here.
"The Game of Death" has all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess urging the players on under gaudy studio lights. But the contestants did not know they were taking part in an experiment to find out whether television could push them to outrageous lengths, and which has prompted comparisons with the atrocities of Nazi Germany. "We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed" the sadistic orders of the television presenter, said Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary for the state-owned France 2 channel. "They are not equipped to disobey," he added. The game: posing questions to another "player" and punishing him with up to 460 volts of electricity when he gets them wrong -- even until his cries of "Let me go!" fall silent and he appears to have died. Not knowing that the screaming victim is really an actor, the apparently reluctant contestants yield to the orders of the presenter and chants of "Punishment!" from a studio audience who also believed the game was real. Nick said 80 percent of the contestants went all the way, zapping the victim with the maximum 460 volts until he appeared to die. Out of 80 players, just 16 walked out. "When it decides to abuse its power, television can do anything to anybody," said Nick. "It has an absolutely terrifying power."
Note: For more on this powerful and disturbing phenomenon, click here.
Where did humankind come from? If you’re going to ask Zecharia Sitchin, be ready for a “Planet of the Apes” scenario: spaceships and hieroglyphics, genetic mutations and mutinous space aliens in gold mines. It sounds like science fiction, but Mr. Sitchin is sure this is how it all went down hundreds of thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Humans were genetically engineered by extraterrestrials, he said, pointing to ancient texts to prove it. [He] has spent his life arguing that people evolved with a little genetic intervention from ancient astronauts who came to Earth and needed laborers to mine gold to bring back to Nibiru, a planet we have yet to recognize. Mr. Sitchin has been called silly before — by scientists, historians and archaeologists who dismiss his theories as pseudoscience and fault their underpinnings: his translations of ancient texts and his understanding of physics. And yet, he has a devoted following of readers. His 13 books, with names like Genesis Revisited and The Earth Chronicles, have sold millions of copies and been translated into 25 languages. Starting in childhood, he has studied ancient Hebrew, Akkadian and Sumerian, the language of the ancient Mesopotamians, who brought you geometry, astronomy, the chariot and the lunar calendar. And in the etchings of Sumerian pre-cuneiform script — the oldest example of writing — are stories of creation and the cosmos that most consider myth and allegory, but that Mr. Sitchin takes literally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth's liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet's surface, a new study says. "What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth's magnetic field," said study co-author Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. The findings suggest similarly quick changes are simultaneously occurring in the liquid metal, 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) below the surface, he said. The swirling flow of molten iron and nickel around Earth's solid center triggers an electrical current, which generates the planet's magnetic field. The study, published recently in Nature Geoscience, modeled Earth's magnetic field using nine years of highly accurate satellite data. Fluctuations in the magnetic field have occurred in several far-flung regions of Earth, the researchers found. In 2003 scientists found pronounced changes in the magnetic field in the Australasian region. In 2004, however, the changes were focused on Southern Africa. The changes "may suggest the possibility of an upcoming reversal of the geomagnetic field," said study co-author Mioara Mandea, a scientist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. The decline in the magnetic field also is opening Earth's upper atmosphere to intense charged particle radiation, scientists say.
What would you do if you couldn't forget anything in your life? For the woman formerly known to the world as simply "A.J.," her memory is so powerful that it dominates her life. In her first television interview, 42-year-old Jill Price told [ABC News' Diane] Sawyer, "I am in the moment, but I also have ... this split screen in my head. I always explain it to people like I'm walking around with a video camera on my shoulder. And every day is a videotape. So if you throw a date out at me, it's as if I pulled a videotape out, put [it] in a VCR and just watched the day. As it happened. From my point of view. I walk around with my life right next to me," she said. Price, who lives in California and works as an assistant at a religious school, has been remembering her life like this almost every day since she was 14. Eight years ago, she reached out to memory specialists at the University of California-Irvine for help. Dr. James McGaugh led a team who studied her for six years, and says he was stunned. "She wrote down the dates of the last 20 Easters, and she was off, I think, by two days on one of them," he said. "And she's Jewish!" McGaugh and his team tested Price with questions from a master list in an historical almanac. Dr. Larry Cahill works with Dr. McGaugh and questioned Price about a Christmas special on "Murphy Brown." "The Christmas episode was my personal jaw-dropping moment," he said. "I corrected her. I said, 'Well, actually my list here says it was a Brady Bunch Christmas special.' And like that, she corrects me. 'No, that was the week before.' Just like that. And later, we found out she was right and my book was wrong."
Note: For powerful insights into the nature of reality from reliable sources, click here.
The Earth is humming. Singing. Its song is ethereal and mystifying and very, very weird – a rather astonishing, newly discovered phenomen[on] that's not easily analyzed, but which, if you really let it sink into your consciousness, can change the way you look at everything. Scientists now say the planet itself is generating a constant, deep thrum of noise. No mere cacophony, but actually a kind of music – huge, swirling loops of sound, a song so ... low it can't be heard by human ears, [roars] churning from the very water and wind and rock themselves, countless notes of varying vibration creating all sorts of curious tonal phrases that bounce around the mountains and spin over the oceans and penetrate the tectonic plates and gurgle in the magma and careen off the clouds and smack into trees and bounce off your ribcage and spin over the surface of the planet in strange circular loops. It all makes for a very quiet, otherworldly symphony so odd and mysterious, scientists still can't figure out exactly what's causing it or why [it's] happening. Sure, sensitive instruments are getting better at picking up what's been dubbed "Earth's hum," but no one's any closer to understanding what ... it all might mean. Mystics and poets and theorists have pondered the "music of the spheres" (or musica universalis) for eons; it is the stuff of cosmic philosophy, linking sacred geometry, mathematics, cosmology, harmonics, astrology and music into one big cosmological poetry slam.
As they seek to document and demystify one of life's great thrills, scientists have run across some real head-scratchers. How, for example, can they explain the fact that some men and women who are paralyzed and numb below the waist are able to have orgasms? How to explain the "orgasmic auras" that can descend at the onset of epileptic seizures -- sensations so pleasurable they prompt some patients to refuse antiseizure medication? And how on Earth to explain the case of the amputee who felt his orgasms centered in that missing foot? No one -- no sexologist, no neuroscientist -- really knows. For a subject with so many armchair experts, the human orgasm is remarkably mysterious. But today, a few scientists are making real progress -- in part because they're changing their focus. To uncover the orgasm's secrets, researchers are looking ... to the place behind the scenes where the true magic happens. They're examining the central nervous system: the network of electrical impulses that zip to and fro through the brain and spinal cord. In an orgasm orchestra, the genitalia may be the instruments, but the central nervous system is the conductor. Armed with new lab tools and fearless volunteers, scientists are getting first-ever glimpses of how the brain lights up (and, in places, shuts down) when the orgasmic fireworks go off. They're tracing nerves and finding new pathways for pleasure that help explain how people with shattered spinal cords can defy sexual expectations.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key 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.