Strange & Fun New Year Food Customs
Only a day away from Christmas, which means it’s only days left until the end of the year. This also means there are only days left to accomplish those 2010 resolutions! To start the New Year on the right foot, many will be out celebrating and setting the tone for the next year. There’s no better way to do that than with food, holiday traditions, and great company. Many people around the world agree and so here’s a round up of the strangest New Year food customs from around the world. Read full story from planetgreen.com
The art on the cave walls at Chauvet continues to thrill
Imagine, for one moment, that first shock of recognition when the creatures of the cave wall at Chauvet in the Gorges de L’Ardeche were exposed to artificial illumination and human consciousness for the first time in thousands of years.
The date is December 18, 1994. Here is Jean-Marie Chauvet, the archaeologist who discovered the caves, recalling the impact of those long-forgotten dream images: “Time was abolished, as if the tens of thousands of years that separated us from the producers of these paintings no longer existed. Deeply impressed, we were weighed down by the feeling that we were not alone; the artists’ souls and spirits surrounded us. We thought we could feel their presence; we were disturbing them.” Read full story from thenational.ae
Hitler’s Triumph of the Will & Christ
Do Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther and Christ really have anything in common? Consider the story of Hitler’s battle against Luther over the soul of Germany. This event reveals the political side of religion in Hitler’s Germany, found in the Nazis and their propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1934), placed against Luther’s greatest work—Bondage of the Will (1525). Hitler sought to move Germany beyond indomitable Luther and his Bible by sheer humanistic effort. Here was a politician trying to advance his cause by undermining traditional religion, which still occurs today, perhaps more than ever. Read full source from canadafreepress.com
Ft. Leavenworth’s military bloggers react to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal
The student blog of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, is a great way to find out how soldiers really feel about life in the military.
Naturally, Congress’ repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the military’s stale stance forbidding gays to serve openly, has inspired discussion. Some are all for it, others against, and still others seem to have missed the point entirely. Read full story from pitch.com
Did It All Happen in the 1980s?
Technoccult uses Google’s new Ngram Viewer, which searches for trends among various corpus of books Google has scanned, to track a seeming explosion of interest in the occult and “magick” in the mid-1980s. So I decided to do my own search, and compare the terms “Wicca”, “Paganism”, and “Magick.” Read full story from wildhunt.org
New Year’s Resolution: I will believe in free will
In the wee hours of this morning my eyes popped open, and I spent the next half hour trying to figure out what to write about in this column. After careful, albeit groggy deliberation, I decided to go with free will, both because of the tie-in to New Year’s resolutions and because some high-profile scientists have been questioning whether free will exists.
One is the neuroscientist Sam Harris. His new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Free Press, 2010), which I critiqued in a previous post, has a section titled “The Illusion of Free Will”. Harris argued that “no account of causality leaves room for free will.” He cited experiments in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) “predicts” that a subject is going to do something—on the basis of activity in the subject’s brain—up to 10 seconds before the subject consciously decides to do it. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
Did global warming stop in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010?
A common claim, made by those who deny man made global warming, is that the Earth has been cooling recently. 1998 was the first year claimed by ‘skeptics’ for “Global Cooling”. Then 1995 followed by 2002. ‘Skeptics’ have also emphasized the year 2007-2008 and most recently the last half of 2010.
NASA and climate scientists throughout the world have said, however, that the years starting since 1998 have been the hottest in all recorded temperature history. Do these claims sound confusing and contradictory? Has the Earth been cooling, lately?
To find out whether there is actually a “cooling trend” it is important to consider all of these claims as a whole, since they follow the same pattern. In making these claims, ‘skeptics’ take short periods of time, usually about 10 years or less, out of context (“Cherry picked.”) from 30 years of evidence; the minimum needed to make a valid judgment. Read full story from skepticalscience.com
Year in Review: Top Stories of March 2010
As the year 2010 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the top stories we’ve seen here at About Pagan/Wiccan. There were archaeological discoveries, tales of religious discrimination, news stories about church/state separation issues, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant stories of 2010, and see what happened in March. Read full story from Patti’s Paganism / Wicca Blog
Rare earth metals mine is key to US control over hi-tech future
It’s a deep pit in the Mojave desert. But it could hold the key to America challenging China’s technological domination of the 21st century.
At the bottom of the vast site, beneath 6 metres (20ft) of bright emerald-green water, runs a rich seam of ores that are hardly household names but are rapidly emerging as the building blocks of the hi-tech future.
The mine is the largest known deposit of rare earth elements outside China. Eight years ago, it was shut down in a tacit admission that the US was ceding the market to China. Now, the owners have secured final approval to restart operations, and hope to begin production soon. Read full story from guardian.co.uk