Woman In China Hospitalized After Ghost Radar App Causes Her To See Spirits Everywhere

spirits in the crowdThe dangers of using smartphone apps to tap into the spirit realm, via The Star Online from Malaysia:

A 23-year-old woman is in hospital after she allegedly saw spirits while trying out a so-called ghost-hunting application on her smartphone, Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported.

The woman, known only as Wu, from Hubei, China, claimed to have seen spirits around her when she first tried the app.

When she went to the cemetery with her parents during the Qing Ming festival, she tried the application again. This time it allegedly showed three spirits by her side, leading her to have sleepless nights for three days. She had to seek medical treatment in a local hospital.

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An Esoteric Take on The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

More than a movie The Big Lebowski is the kind of miracle that, more rarely than occasionally, slips through the cracks of the Hollywood machinery. That’s because the Coen Brothers’ previous film, Fargo, earned seven Academy Nominations and won two, for best original screenplay and best actress in a leading role, Frances McDormand, incidentally Joel Coen’s wife. So, with a lot more clout behind them, the Coen Brothers embarked on their next project, The Big Lebowski, in which the leading role of the Dude is sublimely played by Jeff Bridges. The Dude, by the way, was inspired by a real man, Jeff Dowd, a publicist who helped the Coen Brothers in launching Blood Simple, their first film.

In the Dude we find the archetype of the slacker, i.e, according to the definition in the dictionary,  an educated young person who is antimaterialistic, purposeless, apathetic, and usually works in a dead-end job.… Read the rest

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Watch The Moon Turn Red – Tonight!

While it is true that the Moon will appear red in the Western Hemisphere, tonight is a bit of a stretch: it should take place roughly between 3 AM and 5 AM EST tomorrow morning, April 15th. Caused by the Earth, moon and sun aligning, the resulting full-lunar eclipse will give the Moon a red hue. Enjoy it if you can stay awake (or you’re in a more conducive time zone)!

The November 2003 Red Moon. Photo: Oliver Stein (CC)

The November 2003 Red Moon. Photo: Oliver Stein (CC)

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Psychiatrist Richard H. Stone On Affluenza and ‘The Poverty Of The Rich’

Watch Affluenza on PBS. See more from The Open Mind.

This interview with psychiatrist Richard H. Stone on the topic of affluenza was recorded 30 years ago, but it seems more relevant than ever.

When affluent criminals like Ethan Couch who was convicted of killing four people while driving drunk. (Also, one of the passengers in his vehicle paralyzed; Now he can only communicate by blinking) and Richard H. Roberts who was convicted of raping his three year-old daughter (and was also suspected of molesting his infant son) get probation in lieu of the lengthy prison sentences people of lesser means receive, it sends a very clear message about the nature of “justice” in America.

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Parents of Affluenza Teen Who Killed Four Driving Drunk Pay A Fraction of His Rehab Costs

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD)

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD) (Photo credit: takomabibelot)

Adding Insult to Injury: Evil Richie Rich’s parents are paying a pittance for a slap on the wrist court appointed treatment.

via Star-Telegram

The parents of a teen who was sentenced to 10 years probation for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed four people were ordered by the court Friday to pay $1,170 a month for his rehab treatment — far less than the actual cost of his treatment.

Ethan Couch, who turned 17 Friday, is being treated at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, a state-owned in-patient mental health facility. His treatment began there Feb. 19.

The actual cost of his treatment is $715 per day, according to testimony on Friday.

State District Judge Jean Boyd had previously ordered that Couch’s parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, pay for his therapy. The hearing Friday morning, similar to a child support hearing, was necessary to formally set the amount that the couple must pay.

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In Vitro Fertilisation Patient Pregnant With Wrong Embryos

Receiving a call that you are pregnant with some strangers’ children — in vitro fertilizaitonnightmare medical scenario of the future? Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up.

Italy’s Health Ministry said it was launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months’ pregnant. The mistake happened on December 4, when four different couples were receiving treatment at a specialist fertility unit at the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome, Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reported on Sunday. It is not clear whether the mistake led to any of the other women becoming pregnant with the wrong baby.

The local health authority in Rome said it only became aware there was a problem of “genetic incompatibility” between the parents and the embryos on March 27.

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Desmond Tutu Calls for an Apartheid-Style Boycott of the Fossil Fuel Industry

PIC: Benny Gool (PD)

PIC: Benny Gool (PD)

Of course it’s actually the human race that needs to be saved, not the Earth, and deforestation and the trashing of the oceans need to be addressed, but point taken.  Desmond Tutu writes at the Guardian:

Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects.

This is why, no matter where you live, it is appalling that the US is debating whether to approve a massive pipeline transporting 830,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Producing and transporting this quantity of oil, via the Keystone XL pipeline, could increase Canada’s carbon emissions by over 30%.

If the negative impacts of the pipeline would affect only Canada and the US, we could say good luck to them.

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Mitch Horowotiz: New Wave of Witch-Hunters Rising Around The World

HorowitzI discovered Occult America by Mitch Horowitz a few years ago and the book forever changed the way I write dark fantasy and horror. His eloquent and insightful approach to the study of the occult is fascinating. Mitch Horowitz is a nationally known writer, speaker, and publisher in alternative spirituality as well as vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. Deepak Chopra called his work “brilliant” and I would agree. Mitch and I talked about his new book as well as some of his other studies. We also discussed the impact of the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692, a personal interest of mine. Let me introduce you to Mitch Horowitz.

You have a new book out, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, and I was wondering if you could elaborate on your childhood and upbringing? You open the book with that story and I’m curious how that’s brought you to where you are today.Read the rest

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Dolphin Translator Relays First Word

dolphinsCan we handle what dolphins have to tell us? CNET News reports:

Scientists at the Wild Dolphin Project (WDP) who have been developing a dolphin translator may have succeeded in getting their software to work.

WDP director Denise Herzing was swimming in the Caribbean with a pod of dolphins she has been tracking for 25 years, wearing a prototype of a dolphin translator called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Thad Starner, when one of the dolphin’s whistles was translated as the word “sargassum” — a type of seaweed.

Humans have for some time been communicating with dolphins on a rudimentary level. The animals are capable of responding appropriately to commands and learning to recognise symbols.

The whistle picked up by CHAT, translated into human speech, was not a whistle from the dolphins’ natural repertoire. Instead, Herzing and her team invented a series of whistles and ascribed them to certain things — one of which was sargassum — and trained the dolphins to repeat the whistles when they encountered those things.

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