- Dead goat scares recycling depot visitors (31 Oct 10)
- Outrage after rabbit slaughter broadcast (28 Oct 10)
- 17,000 minks set free in southern Sweden (4 Oct 10)
WSPA released a video on Monday that shows reindeer in distress when herded and transported, and while at the slaughterhouse.
“The film that we are showing is particularly shocking now that Christmas is upon us, but it clearly shows the cruel reality that reindeer are exposed to,” Roger Pettersson, secretary general of WSPA Sweden, said in a statement on Monday. Read full story from thelocal.se
Mum’s poltergeist fears
A YOUNG mum is calling in an exorcist amid fears she is sharing her new home with a poltergeist.
Student midwife Holly Taylor and her two-year-old daughter Willow will no longer sleep at the apartment in Pemberton town centre after a terrifying series of events.
And few people the 22-year-old has told are doubting her because many have witnessed ghostly goings-on too. Read full story from wigantoday.net
French library finds Leonardo da Vinci manuscript
A coded manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a public library in the French city of Nantes.
The document was found after a journalist came across a reference to it in a Leonardo biography, the library said.
It was among 5,000 manuscripts donated by wealthy collector Pierre-Antoine Labouchere in 1872 and then forgotten. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
On 69th Anniversary, Pearl Harbor Survivors Remember
Sixty-nine years ago today, Japan attacked the U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor.
And though fewer of them are still with us, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association don’t want to disband, association president Art Herriford tells the Associated Press. Read full story from npr.org
Resident challenges Christian prayers at Chillicothe City Council meetings
CHILLICOTHE –Chillicothe resident Rebekah Valentich formally has requested the Chillicothe City Council stop reciting Christian prayers at the beginning of every regular session.
“Myself and others have found that we are sitting in silence and being forced to participate in religious practices that I/we do not agree with,” Valentich said in her letter she sent council members by e-mail Sunday evening. “I am asking that this practice stop or be replaced with a non-sectarian prayer so as not to promote Christianity over other religions or non-religion.”
In 2008, the Chillicothe City Council conducted brief discussions on the role prayer should play in its meetings after the city of Greenfield received letters from the American Civil Liberties Union asking its council stop prayer at its meetings. Read full story from chillicothegazette.com
Healing thyself: Does psychedelic therapy exploit the placebo effect?
My last post talked about the depressing lack of progress in treatments for depression and other common psychological disorders. Talking cures and antidepressants alike are subject to the “dodo effect,” which decrees that all therapies are roughly as effective—or ineffective—as one another. The dodo effect implies that treatments harness the placebo effect, the patient’s expectation of improvement. Claims that one therapy beats all the others often reflect researchers’ favoritism, called the “allegiance effect”.
After reading the post one of my smart-ass students asked, “What about psychedelic therapies? Are those subject to the dodo and allegiance effects, too?” Good questions. He knew that, although bashing conventional psycho-treatments, I’ve written positively about psychedelics’ therapeutic potential. Does my reporting reflect countercultural allegiance to psychedelics and distrust of clinical psychology, psychiatry and Big Pharma? Maybe a little. But I’ve also pointed out the risks of drugs such as DMT and LSD as well as the role of suggestion in shaping psychedelic trips. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
Volcanic Eruptions May Have Wiped Out Neandertals
A cave in the northern Caucasus Mountains may hold a key to the long-standing mystery of why the Neandertals, our closest relatives, went extinct. For nearly 300,000 years the heavy-browed, barrel-chested Neandertals presided over Eurasia, weathering glacial conditions more severe than any our own kind has ever faced. Then, starting around 40,000 years ago, their numbers began to decline. Shortly after 28,000 years ago, they were gone. Paleoanthropologists have been debating whether competition with incoming modern humans or the onset of rapidly oscillating climate was to blame for their demise. But new findings suggest that catastrophic volcanic eruptions may have doomed the Neandertals—and paved the way for modern humans to take their place.
Researchers led by Liubov Vitaliena Golovanova of the ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in Saint Petersburg studied the deposits in Mezmaiskaya cave, located in southwestern Russia. First discovered by archaeologists in 1987, the cave once sheltered Neandertals and, later, modern humans. Analyzing the various stratigraphic layers, the scientists found layers of volcanic ash that, based on the geochemical composition of the ashes, they attribute to eruptions that occurred in the Caucasus region around 40,000 years ago. Because the cave preserves a long record of Neandertal occupation preceding the ash layers but no traces of them afterward, the team surmises that the eruptions devastated the locals. Read full story from scientificamericans.com
My Take: Who owns Jesus? Who owns yoga?
The recent scuffle over Christianity and yoga, initiated by remarks of the head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Albert Mohler and picked up in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and here at CNN, has raised a series of questions far broader than whether Christian faith and yoga practice are compatible.
The most intriguing of these questions is: Who owns the stuff of a religion? When my Christian and Jewish friends adopt and adapt yoga postures are they stealing something? Who owns Christmas? Who owns the Buddha? Who owns Jesus? Read full story from cnn.com
WRIGHT WAY: Holiday lights and ho, ho — huh?
When I was a child the most enchanting thing about Christmas was the colorful array of lights that decorated the holiday season. The appeal of a fluffy, jolly old man who lived at the North Pole knowing whether I was bad or good also brought a sense of wonder to my winter wonderland.
Those displays of holiday lights combined with someone coming down the chimney with a bag of toys, however, were not as fascinating as the origin of those Christmas lights and who initially was on the rooftops of primitive little children.
For example, in his book “4,000 Years of Christmas,” Earl W. Count said, “The bright fires, the giving of presents, the merrymaking, the feasting, the processions with their lights and song — all these and more began in Mesopotamia three centuries before Christ was born.” Read full story from clevelandbanner.com
Corals Reefs Will Be Wiped Out By 2050, Expert Says
First the news was that if we don’t change our habits around fishing, all the world’s fisheries will be wiped out by 2050. Now, experts guess that if we don’t significantly change our interaction with the ocean, coral reefs will be all but wiped out by that same time. J.E.N. Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, writes that human pollution of the water, as well as human-generated carbon dioxide emissions which are causing ocean acidification and rising ocean temperatures are rapidly killing off corals. He notes that without a radical change in our behaviors and priorities, we will be left with a bleak future for the oceans, and consequently, ourselves. Read full story from treehugger.com