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Date:Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:44:10 -0000
Subject: FWD - Patrick Moore spills the beans

Interesting - Dr Patrick Moore recaps many of the paradoxical facts I've been looking at in the `climate debate' and makes some sharper points (revealing many mistakes, massive misleading info and lots of downright lies from so-called scientists and IPCC).  Here's the fullest account I've found and with most references - Ray
Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells U.S. Senate: Earth's Geologic History `fundamentally contradicts' CO2 Climate Fears:  `We had both higher temps and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today'

and, if you've a sense of scientific curiosity (and a sense of humour) I'd recommend the [short] chapter referred to in his speech - it's at (scroll down)

which is a small, quickloading PDF.

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:02:48 -0000
Subject: FWD - Nominative intellectual breakdown

Ha!  Have seen this same intellectual crash by BBC staff (used to thinking in `labels', then using those `labels' for arguments).  The problem is that Arabs are Semites, indeed they're the majority of the world's Semites.
"Anti-Semitism raging among France's Arabs , says U.K. author"

Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 02:10:18 +0800
Subject: Re: FWD - Inter-active Map of "genetic mixing of populations from around the world

Here you go (Choong will be interested) - the map is highly interactive w/lots of data to pull up when clicking on pop-points - Ray
Global genetic map shows impact of colonialism and slave trade around the world A map that shows the genetic mixing of populations from around the world provides an insight into how people mixed through history

A genetic atlas of human admixture history
Companion website for "A genetic atlas of human admixture history", Hellenthal et al, Science (2014).

By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent7:20PM GMT 14 Feb 2014
A global map which details the genetic make-up of 95 populations across the world shows the impact of European Colonialism, the spread of the Mongol Empire and the Arab slave trade.

The map, produced by Oxford University, details the histories of genetic mixing between each of the 95 populations across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America spanning the last four millennia.

Researchers analysed the DNA of 1490 individuals across the world and compared the changes to important dates in history.

"DNA really has the power to tell stories and uncover details of humanity's past," said Dr Simon Myers of Oxford University's Department of Statistics. "Because our approach uses only genetic data, it provides information independent from other sources."

Many of our genetic observations match historical events, and we also see evidence of previously unrecorded genetic mixing.  For example, the DNA of the Tu people in modern China suggests that in around 1200CE, Europeans similar to modern Greeks mixed with an otherwise Chinese-like population.

The source of this European-like DNA is likely to be merchants travelling the nearby Silk Road.  Historical records suggest that the Hazara people of Pakistan are partially descended from Mongol warriors, and this study found clear evidence of Mongol DNA entering the population during the period of the Mongol Empire.

Six other populations, from as far west as Turkey, showed similar evidence of genetic mixing with Mongols around the same time. 'What amazes me most is simply how well our technique works,' said Dr Garrett Hellenthal of the UCL Genetics Institute, lead author of the study. "Although individual mutations carry only weak signals about where a person is from, by adding information across the whole genome we can reconstruct these mixing events.

Sometimes individuals sampled from nearby regions can have surprisingly different sources of mixing."

"For example, we identify distinct events happening at different times among groups sampled within Pakistan, with some inheriting DNA from sub-Saharan Africa, perhaps related to the Arab Slave Trade, others from East Asia, and yet another from ancient Europe.

Nearly all our populations show mixing events, so they are very common throughout recent history and often involve people migrating over large distances."

The team used genome data for all 1490 individuals to identify 'chunks' of DNA that were shared between individuals from different populations.

Populations sharing more ancestry share more chunks, and individual chunks give clues about the underlying ancestry along chromosomes. `Each population has a particular genetic `palette', said Dr Daniel Falush of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, co-senior author of the study.

"If you were to paint the genomes of people in modern-day Maya, for example, you would use a mixed palette with colours from Spanish-like, West African and Native American DNA.

This mix dates back to around 1670CE, consistent with historical accounts describing Spanish and West African people entering the Americas around that time.

Though we can't directly sample DNA from the groups that mixed in the past, we can capture much of the DNA of these original groups as persisting, within a mixed palette of modern-day groups. This is a very exciting development."

As well as providing fresh insights into historical events, the new research might have implications for how DNA impacts health and disease in different populations.

The study was published in the journal Science.

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:37:57 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Why do people believe women aren't funny?"

Ha! The article is about the MSM (BBC) - and the truth is very different.  The fact is, most men are deeply afraid of women's intellect and humour - because it's too good!

[Recently, when] I was a wage slave, worked in PC-networking open office where most were youngish girls doing fast info and sales calls.  The girls would call me over if the prospective client wanted tech info, and we had a good `esprit de corps' as two of them were already long-term friends of mine.

However the younger girls would vie with each other to try to shock me, and, as they were all day on the lines to other girls around the country, they would collect really ribald "women's jokes" to sneak onto my desk - and watch my face when I read the faxes. - Ray
"Why do people believe women aren't funny?"

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:30:12 -0800
Subject: CFOI news February 2014

Dear Colleague

Funding appeal
Many thanks to all those who have donated to our emergency fund raising appeal and helped publicise it.  Your support has been absolutely critical.  If you haven't already done so, please donate if you can

New website
The Campaign has launched a new look website  It contains most of the information from our old site and will eventually have all of it. In the meantime, the old site is still accessible at:

Government vetoes release of HS2 project assessment report

The Government has vetoed a decision of the Information Commissioner ordering the disclosure of a project assessment report on the High Speed 2 rail project.  The Information Commissioner ruled that the public interest favoured disclosure of the report under the Environmental Information Regulations, a parallel regime which operate alongside the FOI Act.  The Cabinet Office appealed against the Commissioner's decision but just before the Tribunal was due to hear the case, the appeal was withdrawn the and veto was subsequently exercised.

The Campaign was quoted in a Times article on the case (maybe subscription required).

This is the 7th time the veto has been exercised and the 5th by the current government.  The current statement of government policy on use of the veto states that it should only be used in "exceptional circumstances" in line with the "commitment given by the previous administration during the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill".  However, in its response to the Justice Committee's post-legislative review of the FOI Act, the government said it was "minded to review and, as appropriate revise the policy on the use of the veto", suggesting the rules would be relaxed  The Campaign's view is that any increase in the use of the veto would be extremely unwelcome as the government can already appeal against any IC decision to the Tribunal and against any Tribunal decision to the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

Update on government proposals to restrict the FOI Act

Last October, the Campaign co-ordinated a joint letter to the Prime Minister urging him to drop proposals to restrict the FOI Act.  The letter was timed to coincide with an international summit on open government, hosted by the UK, and was signed by 76 campaign groups and press bodies

We've had a response to the letter from Lord McNally, who at the time was Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice.  (He has since been replaced by Simon Hughes MP).  The response states that:

* the government's objective is to reduce the burdens of FOI without undermining transparency or affecting legitimate requesters. (Unfortunately this is precisely what the government's outline proposals would do, in our opinion).

* the government will decide which of its options to take forward and then publicly consult on them in the near future.  This means that new proposals to restrict the Act are likely to emerge.  Any changes are likely to be made by regulations, not by primary legislation, and will therefore be difficult to amend in Parliament.

You can read more about the government's proposals on our web site

We will let you know of any significant developments.

New publication illustrates the benefits of FOI

The Campaign has published a compilation of disclosures under the FOI Act and the related Environmental Information Regulations.  It includes significant disclosures on a range of issues, including the NHS, policing, prisons, nuclear safety, environmental protection, asylum, education, public service cuts and political lobbying.  The disclosures illustrate the contribution FOI makes in keeping the public informed, revealing when authorities fail to meet required standards and holding government to account.

The government's proposed new restrictions would make it easier for public authorities to refuse requests on cost grounds. But many of the examples show how FOI itself reduces costs, by revealing and helping to deter unjustified spending.

Read about the disclosures here

Practical training on using the FOI Act, London 13 March 2014

Do you want to learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act? Are you already using the Act, but want to know more about how key provisions are being interpreted? Making a FOI request is straightforward but making an effective request can be more difficult.

This practical course is designed to help campaigners, journalists and others make the most of the Act and the Environmental Information Regulations. It explains the legislation, shows how to draft clear and effective requests, describes how to challenge unjustified refusals and highlights critical decisions of the Information Commissioner and Tribunal. The course's interactive sessions will encourage you to work out how best to apply the Act in a variety of situations.

This one day course is aimed at both beginners and those who are already using the Act but want to do so more effectively.

Register online or download a booking form from

Best wishes,

Katherine Gundersen
Campaign for Freedom of Information
Unit 109, Davina House, 137-149 Goswell Road, London EC1N 7RJ, UK
Tel: (020) 7490 3958 | |

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:44:11 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Dating refined for Atapuerca sites ...

That "Out of Africa 60,000 yrs ago" theory for Homo Sap looks even shakier these days - Ray
Dating is refined for the Atapuerca site where Homo antecessor appeared

One of the issues of the Atapuerca sites that generates the most scientific debate is the dating of the strata where the fossils are found. Therefore, researchers at the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution, among others, strive to settle the dates. A study published by the `Journal of Archaeological Science' has clarified that the sediment of Gran Dolina, where the first remains of Homo antecessor were discovered in 1994, is 900,000 years old.

The findings at the Lower Palaeolithic cave site of Gran Dolina, in the Sierra de Atapuerca mountain range (Burgos), have led to major advancements in our knowledge of human evolution and occupation of Eurasia.

In 1995, specifically, the discovery of the first hominid remains in a stratum of land named TD6, which dated from more than 780,000 years back, was made public in the journal `Nature'. This was the Homo antecessor, the oldest known hominid species in Europe

As the dating of this and other archaeological sites is the subject of scientific debate - in 2012, a British newspaper questioned Juan Luis Arsuaga, co-director of the sites, and accused him of "distorting our picture of human evolution", - the researchers are working to date them more precisely.

As Josep M. Parés, from the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution, who is leading this study on the new dating of level TD6 of the Gran Dolina, tells SINC: "We are applying new methods and techniques, and we also have better field and laboratory knowledge. We have published a study that represents a small step towards a large project which will take us longer: reviewing all the dates in order to refine them. We want to include it all within a more solid geochronological framework."

What this study strictly contributes is the combination of the technique of palaeomagnetism - which entails revising the polarity of the materials constituting stratigraphic layers - with assessing existing dating figures.

"On the one hand we employ paramagnetic resonance, and on the other what is known as optically stimulated luminescence. This provides numerical dates, absolute ages. We have reviewed these and combined them with the new figures from palaeomagnetism in order to expand upon the chronology of this level TD6 of the Gran Dolina and the fossils it contains."

They were previously given a minimum age of 780,000 years and now it is known that they are referring more accurately to around 900,000 years. "The change might sound very small or very large", the expert continues, "but the TD6 stratum is known precisely as having been the place of discovery of the Homo antecessor and this further defines its age."

Since then, a further 90 human fossils and over 200 fragments of carved stone have also been discovered. The extent of the excavation grows ever larger and being able to date it is of great interest to the scientists.

"The site has produced thousands of fossils and artifacts and has become a Pleistocene landmark in studies on early human settlement outside the African continent", the article explains.

Now, they are going to attempt to use individual fossils, especially teeth, and obtain direct dates for the remains found, as well as those already known by their sediments.

"When we handle these figures there are always error margins. For example, when we publish the dating figures for the Sima del Elefante, we are talking about 1.2 million years and the error margin is around 130,000 years. It seems like a huge amount, but it is actually only a small percentage, which can reach 10% of the chronology", Parés concludes.

Contributing Source : Plataforma SINC

Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2014 21:07:16 -0000
Subject: FWD - Not featured: Why?

This wasn't featured by mainstream media - wonder why? - Ray
PressTV - Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:3AM - By Dr. Kevin Barrett
New studies: `Conspiracy theorists' sane; government dupes crazy, hostile

Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled "conspiracy theorists" appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.

The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled "What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories", the study compared "conspiracist" (pro-conspiracy theory) and "conventionalist" (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: "Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist." In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: "The research ... showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals."

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 - a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan - was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: "For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account."

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist - a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory - accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists to not like to be called "conspiracists" or "conspiracy theorists."

Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don't like being called "conspiracy theorists": The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! "The CIA's campaign to popularize the term `conspiracy theory' and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time."

In other words, people who use the terms "conspiracy theory" and "conspiracy theorist" as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations.

DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved "state crimes against democracy." An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the "Kennedy assassinations" in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime.

Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed "conspiracy theory" label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong "confirmation bias" - that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the "conspiracy theory" label) to avoid conflicting information.

The extreme irrationality of those who attack "conspiracy theories" has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled "Dangerous Machinery: `Conspiracy Theorist' as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion", they wrote:

"If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid ... By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur."

But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA's 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the "conspiracy theory" smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous - and more rational - than anti-conspiracy ones.

No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks.

Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2014 14:20:28 -0000
Subject: FWD - Market Forces?

Ha!  Shouldn't be surprised - it's logical outcome of an unregulated "market rat-race".
Similarly you can predict the logical outcome of "corporatism" will be the monopolization of wealth by a handful of power-figures who get absolute control (via CIA/NSA) - and slavery for everyone else.

And the logical outcome of any of the as-yet untried democratic systems (Xtianity / Buddhism / Communism) would be the abolition of "money / capital" and the hazardous freedom of individual responsibility (the classical definition of "anarchy" - i.e. without hierarchy).

Fake-food scandal revealed as tests show third of products mislabelled
Consumers are being sold drinks with banned flame-retardant additives, pork in beef, and fake cheese, laboratory tests show

Felicity Lawrence - The Guardian, Saturday 8 February 2014
Consumers are being sold food including mozzarella that is less than half real cheese, ham on pizzas that is either poultry or "meat emulsion", and frozen prawns that are 50% water, according to tests by a public laboratory.

The checks on hundreds of food samples, which were taken in West Yorkshire, revealed that more than a third were not what they claimed to be, or were mislabelled in some way. Their results have been shared with the Guardian.

Testers also discovered beef mince adulterated with pork or poultry, and even a herbal slimming tea that was neither herb nor tea but glucose powder laced with a withdrawn prescription drug for obesity at 13 times the normal dose.

A third of fruit juices sampled were not what they claimed or had labelling errors. Two contained additives that are not permitted in the EU, including brominated vegetable oil, which is designed for use in flame retardants and linked to behavioural problems in rats at high doses.

Experts said they fear the alarming findings from 38% of 900 sample tests by West Yorkshire councils were representative of the picture nationally, with the public at increasing risk as budgets to detect fake or mislabelled foods plummet.

Counterfeit vodka sold by small shops remains a major problem, with several samples not meeting the percentage of alcohol laid down for the spirit. In one case, tests revealed that the "vodka" had been made not from alcohol derived from agricultural produce, as required, but from isopropanol, used in antifreeze and as an industrial solvent.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2014 00:34:27 -0000
Subject: FWD - That debate on "Evolution" missed-out (in more ways than one

Interesting examinations of _that_ debate (Nye vs. Ham - "Creationism vs. Darwinism [or neo-Darwinism]) in the media today, and there's another one at

Note - that site has a double agenda (quasi-Creation +/or Intelligent Design) which sometimes pulls them in two directions.  E.g. while there's many intractable problems with Darwinism  (briefly - it's mathematically impossible as an _origin_ of human life, although normal "evolution", although too slow to serve as an origin, is visible all around us),  A R Wallace (sometimes called "co-discoverer of Evolution") had actually already developed an Evolutionary Theory which seems to account for some of the big (unexplainable) `intellectual' and `moral' difference between (some) humans and other simians.

BTW - Maybe presciently, Wallace also believed that our full present state could be partly accounted for by Intelligent Interference by a more advanced species.  Some recent work summarized by Nagel at creation.html#darwin-wrong means he might be proven right in the near future - not by `faith' or `belief' but by the mathematics of design probability as seen in biological evidence - see text.

Maybe also see that Wallace quote in his life-context:
"we must therefore admit the possibility that, if we are not the highest intelligences in the universe, some higher intelligence may have directed the process by which the human race was developed, by means of more subtle agencies than we are acquainted with"
at wallace.html#beings
Ray D

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2014 13:37:38 -0000 Re: Re: FWD - That debate on "Evolution" missed-out (in more ways than one

PS - Forgot to mention the interesting / scary corollary of Wallace's thought:  If humans' presence _is_ due to Intelligent Intervention (genetic manipulation?) by an advanced species then it's almost certain we are being observed by that species today - - maybe with `pruning' in mind?

Update Mar 2014 - Just found a possible mechanism for that `intervention' or `design'.

Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 10:56:07 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Secret plan to fit 'remote stopping' devices to cars

Ha!  No doubt we will be told it will only ever be used "in exceptional circumstances" and to "save lives".  Exactly what we were told about tasers; and we now see police bullies/thugs tazering kids and old people (in a wheel-chair) `just for fun'.

But with the "car-stopper" a mindless police-bully can play with the lives of a hundred families in cars on the motor-way or autobahn.
Secret plan to fit 'remote stopping' devices to cars
Matthew Day and Bruno Waterfield January 30, 2014

European Union working on technology that would allow police to remotely disable cars.
The European Union is secretly developing a "remote stopping" device that would be fitted to all cars and allow police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch.
Confidential documents from a committee of senior EU police officers, who meet in secret, set out the plan as part of wider law enforcement surveillance and tracking measures.
"The project will work on a technological solution that can be a 'build in standard' for all cars that enter the European market," said the document. The devices, which could be in all new cars by the end of the decade, would be activated by a police officer working from a computer in a central control room. Once enabled, the suspect vehicle's fuel supply would be cut and the ignition switched off, bringing it to a halt.
The technology, scheduled for a six-year development timetable, is aimed at bringing dangerous high-speed car chases to an end and to make redundant techniques such as spiking tyres.
The proposal was outlined as part of the "key objectives" for the European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies (Enlets), an offshoot of a European working party aimed at enhancing police cooperation across the EU.

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 15:14:06 -0000
Subject: Re: Hypnotic regression and UFO 'memories' (new subj)

Hello Terry,
Have no axe to grind for or against hypnotism.  However I did see a short demonstration which proved (to me) that while hypnotism clearly does something, what it does _not_ do is evoke factual truth from a subject.


The indications are that - at our present level of knowledge - hypnotism merely convinces a subject to agree with whatever the hypnotist (consciously or unconsciously / spoken or unspoken) wants to hear.

Ray D

PS - found earlier post:

From: Terry W. ******
Sent: Saturday, January 25, 2014 5:49 AM

> Of course my POV is along the lines of the nuts and bolts approach to UFOs. Hypnotic regression is all well and good; however, it is not usually repeatable and deals with that most enigmatic conundrum, the human brain.
Thank you for sending this.

>> Check out this video on YouTube:

Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:44:49 -0000
Subject: FWD - CIA (secretly) controls Congress?
Sen. McCain Blasts Secret Legislation on Drone Policy

In a striking new example of secret lawmaking, a classified provision in the consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress last week prohibited the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Department of Defense.
"This is outrageous, and it should not have happened. While there may be differing opinions on who should control drone counterterrorism operations, we should be able to debate these differences in the committees of jurisdiction and eventually on the Senate floor. The fact that a major national security policy decision is going to be authorized in this bill without debate or authorization is unacceptable and should not be the way we legislate on such important national security issues."

But it _is_ the way that this Congress legislates. And though Senator McCain voted against the measure, the full Senate approved it, 72-26, and the President signed it into law on January 17.


Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:50:45 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Why lawyers are prone to suicide

Have had suspicions about this subject for a while - see note* below article -
CNN - January 21, 2014 - Why lawyers are prone to suicide
By Patrick Krill - Editor's note: Patrick R. Krill is an attorney, clinician and board-certified, licensed alcohol and drug counselor. He is the director of the Legal Professionals Program at Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center.

(CNN) -- If you accept that all human life has value, and that suicide is a cruel and devastating end, you might conclude that a segment of society whose members are three to six times more likely to kill themselves might deserve some extra attention and resources. Makes sense, right? Of course. Now, does your answer change at all if I tell you that the group I'm referring to is lawyers? Be honest. And no, this isn't the setup for a punch line.

Sometimes revered and sometimes reviled, lawyers are both the guardians of your most precious liberties and the butts of your harshest jokes. Inhabiting the unique role of both hero and villain in our cultural imagination, lawyers play a key part in the proper functioning of society while also repelling any tendencies for sympathy or compassion toward us as human beings.

And the fact that we repel those tendencies is unfortunate, mostly because one important thing we do differently from all but a few other professions is kill ourselves with shocking frequency. The propensity of attorneys to die at their own hands is a very grim and under-reported aspect of practicing law.

That was highlighted when an especially large number of Kentucky attorneys committed suicide last year. Suicide is a hazard so real that it is the third leading cause of death in the profession. By comparison, suicide is only the 10th leading cause of death in the general population.

So, why are lawyers far more prone to ending their own lives than almost everyone else? Part of the answer lies in their significantly heightened rates of depression and substance abuse. Studies have shown that lawyers are more than three times more likely to be depressed than others, and roughly twice as addicted to alcohol or other drugs as the rest of the population. A Johns Hopkins study found lawyers have the highest rate of depression of any profession. And, while not all people who are depressed commit suicide, a majority of those who commit suicide are depressed.

Similarly, people who struggle with substance abuse are about six times more likely to kill themselves. These are discouraging numbers to be sure, and maybe the old wisecrack about hundreds of lawyers at the bottom of the ocean being "a good start" isn't as funny when we understand how many are actually drowning.
(more ... [full text])

*note: suspect the realization - at law-in-democracy.html - is a major part of what makes lawyers kill themselves.

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:22:14 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Quantum Vibrations in 'Microtubules' Inside Brain

Yup, we've earlier discussed the possibilities of our `consciousness' existing in the quantum field (and therefore maybe being able to separate itself from the material body - giving rise to the ancient concept of `psyche' or `soul' *ref1).

And, after recent proof of quantum field use by plants (photosynthesis), birds and bees (navigation and communication [in insects]), and Duggins' *ref2 earlier proof that a material `microconsciousness' (tied to individual bits of the brain) does _not_ exist - this just about clinches it.
ScienceDaily - Science News
Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in 'Microtubules' Inside Brain Neurons Supports Controversial Theory of Consciousness

Jan. 16, 2014 - A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose.

They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions.

The theory, called "orchestrated objective reduction" (`Orch OR'), was first put forward in the mid-1990s by eminent mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, FRS, Mathematical Institute and Wadham College, University of Oxford, and prominent anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, MD, Anesthesiology, Psychology and Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson.

They suggested that quantum vibrational computations in microtubules were "orchestrated" ("Orch") by synaptic inputs and memory stored in microtubules, and terminated by Penrose "objective reduction" (`OR'), hence "Orch OR." Microtubules are major components of the cell structural skeleton.

Orch OR was harshly criticized from its inception, as the brain was considered too "warm, wet, and noisy" for seemingly delicate quantum processes.. However, evidence has now shown warm quantum coherence in plant photosynthesis, bird brain navigation, our sense of smell, and brain microtubules.

The recent discovery of warm temperature quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons by the research group led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan (and now at MIT), corroborates the pair's theory and suggests that EEG rhythms also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations.

In addition, work from the laboratory of Roderick G. Eckenhoff, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that anesthesia, which selectively erases consciousness while sparing non-conscious brain activities, acts via microtubules in brain neurons.

"The origin of consciousness reflects our place in the universe, the nature of our existence. Did consciousness evolve from complex computations among brain neurons, as most scientists assert? Or has consciousness, in some sense, been here all along, as spiritual approaches maintain?" ask Hameroff and Penrose in the current review.

"This opens a potential Pandora's Box, but our theory accommodates both these views, suggesting consciousness derives from quantum vibrations in microtubules, protein polymers inside brain neurons, which both govern neuronal and synaptic function, and connect brain processes to self-organizing processes in the fine scale, 'proto-conscious' quantum structure of reality."

After 20 years of skeptical criticism, "the evidence now clearly supports Orch OR," continue Hameroff and Penrose. "Our new paper updates the evidence, clarifies Orch OR quantum bits, or "qubits," as helical pathways in microtubule lattices, rebuts critics, and reviews 20 testable predictions of Orch OR published in 1998 - of these, six are confirmed and none refuted." An important new facet of the theory is introduced. Microtubule quantum vibrations (e.g. in megahertz) appear to interfere and produce much slower EEG "beat frequencies." Despite a century of clinical use, the underlying origins of EEG rhythms have remained a mystery.

Clinical trials of brief brain stimulation aimed at microtubule resonances with megahertz mechanical vibrations using transcranial ultrasound have shown reported improvements in mood, and may prove useful against Alzheimer's disease and brain injury in the future.

Lead author Stuart Hameroff concludes, "Orch OR is the most rigorous, comprehensive and successfully-tested theory of consciousness ever put forth. From a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions."

The review is accompanied by eight commentaries from outside authorities, including an Australian group of Orch OR arch-skeptics. To all, Hameroff and Penrose respond robustly.

Penrose, Hameroff and Bandyopadhyay will explore their theories during a session on "Microtubules and the Big Consciousness Debate" at the Brainstorm Sessions, a public three-day event at the Brakke Grond in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, January 16-18, 2014.

They will engage skeptics in a debate on the nature of consciousness, and Bandyopadhyay and his team will couple microtubule vibrations from active neurons to play Indian musical instruments. "Consciousness depends on anharmonic vibrations of microtubules inside neurons, similar to certain kinds of Indian music, but unlike Western music which is harmonic," Hameroff explains.

Journal References:
Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose.
Consciousness in the universe: A review of the `Orch OR' theory.
Physics of Life Reviews, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.plrev.2013.08.002

Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 09:23:43 -0000
Subject: FWD - "early humans ... dating back one million years

Ha!  Just shows how over-specialized `scientists' can get things wrong (often driven by the politics of tenure - i.e. fashion).

i) they've found no evidence of _who_ those humans were, or how large their brains were - it was a cooler-than-now period (pine forests and deeply cold snowy winters) so those folk surely had clothing and _could_ have been identical to modern humans; but political fashion says modern humans didn't come "out of Africa" until 60,000 to 100,000 years ago

ii) they've also given an oft-repeated "sexy+scary" claim of cannibalism - when actually the evidence of `de-fleshing' (or flensing) is probable proof of a link to relatively modern cultures living from ten thousand years ago all the way to Minoan Greece and Crete.  They defleshed their (female) chiefs' bodies and preserved the skeleton, earlier (at Çatal Höyük, Turkey ) burying it beneath the bed of her successor, while their males were probably given `sky-burials'.  Seven or eight thousand years later, in Crete, this was formalized by building special funeral halls equipped with beds for `sleeping with the dead'.

But of course modern `big-sci experts' are too specialized to know about any of that - and besides they daren't offend the fashions and politics of today.
Signs of Early Human Civilisation Found at Norfolk Caravan Park [VIDEO]
By FIONA KEATING | January 12, 2014 11:55 AM GMT

Scientists believe that early humans may have created one of their first settlements around Manor Caravan Park in Happisburgh, Norfolk.

Stone tools and fossilised remains uncovered so far are believed to be the oldest found in the UK, dating back one million years.

Ancestors of modern-day humans existed then, a primitive predecessor of Homo antecessor, one of the earliest known human species in Europe, and also Homo erectus.

These species had fairly small brains and may have been cannibals. Fossils of six individuals that may have belonged to Homo antecessor were found in Atapuerca, Spain. At the site were numerous examples of cuts where the flesh had been stripped from the bones, indicating that H. antecessor could have practised cannibalism.

"We don't know which species of early human first came to Britain so my dream is to find a fossil human at Happisburgh," Chris Stringer, research leader in human origins at the Natural History Museum, told the Sunday Times.

"Happisburgh could be the first place where humans settled in Britain... We have some spectacular finds of tools and the fossils of butchered animals beneath cliffs in front of what is now partly a holiday caravan park. We think the site where they lived was on the river Thames, which flowed out into the North Sea at that point," Stringer said.

The discoveries will be on show in February at an exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London called Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story.

Displays will include 200 specimens and objects, the world's oldest surviving wooden spear, lifelike models of a Neanderthal and a Homo sapiens, all specially commissioned for the exhibition.

The landscape of stone age Norfolk was covered with thick forest and populated with dangerous predators such as sabre-toothed tigers and hyenas.

However, it was also attractive to primitive man because there was also rich hunting in the shape of mammoths, bison, red deer and horses.

A million years ago, Britain was a peninsula of the European continent, with a land bridge connecting what is now Kent to Germany and the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2014 18:21:37 -0000
Subject: Celebrate - Days getting longer / brighter?

I don't usually _do_ Xmas or New Year partying or celebrations, except for noting the original significance of the Solstice.

Part of reply to a pal in India who sent conventional Xmas and New Year greetings


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