The Bedfordshire pair, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their two daughters, say they have been persecuted for their beliefs and claim social services accused them of ‘devil worship’.
They are due to appear in court for the custody of the children in September after they were taken into foster care around 18 months ago. Read full story bedfordshire-news.co.uk
Mbozi man killed, wife injured over witchcraft THREE people, including an old man who was butchered by unidentified people on suspicion of witchcraft at Lumbila Village, Mbozi District in Mbeya Region, died in spearate incidents over the weekend.
Mbeya Regional Police Commander (RPC), Diwani Athumani, said that the old man, Msawile Halinga (70) was stabbed to deathe by unidentified people, saying the suspects also wounded his wife Esther Mgala Mgala (60). “The deceased’s wife was taken to Mbozi District Hospital for medical treatment after she sustained multiple wounds on her body,” said the RFC. Read full story dailynews.co.tz
The massive 1,200 feet in diameter pentagram just 12 miles west of the city of Lisakovsk has been identified as the remnants of a former Soviet-era summer camp whose grounds are said to have never been completed. Read full story nydailynews.com
Stacey Evans and her husband, Matt, are trying to sell her mother’s house, but they’re afraid its long-standing reputation as haunted might hinder the sale.
Enter investigators from nonprofit, Luzerne County based Deadline Paranormal to find out for sure.
On Sunday evening the house at 46 S. Welles St. swarmed with human activity as investigators placed cameras, recorders and assorted other electronic devices throughout both floors and the basement in order to check for paranormal activity. Read full story citizensvoice.com
Medieval ‘Vampire’ Skull Found
The remains of a medieval “vampire” have been discovered among the corpses of 16th century plague victims in Venice, according to an Italian archaeologist who led the dig.
The body of the woman was found in a mass grave on the Venetian island of Lazzaretto Nuovo. Suspecting that she might be a vampire, a common folk belief at the time, gravediggers shoved a rock into her skull to prevent her from chewing through her shroud and infecting others with the plague, said anthropologist Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence.
In the absence of medical science, vampires were just one of many possible contemporary explanations for the spread of the Venetian plague in 1576, which ran rampant through the city and ultimately killed up to 50,000 people, some officials estimate. Read full story from livescience.com
Kevin Carlyon, of Dane Road, St Leonards, well-known for offering Tarot card readings to residents, has branched out to copying old video films onto DVD, and discovered a lot of footage of the Victorian attraction, some dating back to the 1930s.
He hopes to create a DVD that can be sold in order to raise funds for the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT).
The pier was devastated by fire in October 2010.
Mr Carlyon said: “I don’t sit and watch people’s films through but as my computer is next to the recorders I do catch bits and there seems to be a fascinating amount of footage of Hastings Pier in its heyday. The earliest that I’ve seen is old cine film transferred to VHS which must come from the 1930s. Read full story from hastingsobserver.co.uk
The result is this great list of 27 books that range from introductory to scholarly in nature and cover the entire gamut of Pagan religions — Witchcraft, Wicca, Shamanism, Asatru, Druidism, Egyptian and Hellenic.
These books grapple with issues of sexuality, tell personal stories of faith, and provide information on the various Pagan religious rites. HuffPost Religion hopes that this list will be equally valuable for those who identify as Pagans, as well as those who are interested in Paganism, both academically and as a spiritual pursuit. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
Radical Faerie Camp
went to BC Radical Faerie Camp as a reporter seeking to capture Faerie culture, but Faerie culture captured me.
The low-profile Faeries have undergone a resurgence in Vancouver in the last three years, reviving once-dormant weekly coffee events downtown and adding another in East Vancouver. The group held its first BC Faerie Camp last year; I attended the second camp with 72 Faeries on Victoria Day weekend. I was transfixed and transformed, forging genuine bonds with other queer men, a wonderful respite from attitude-filled, frigid Vancouver.
There are no rules, but Faerie rituals turn tradition on its head. Instead of applause, for example, Faeries hiss. Nobody leads Radical Faeries or defines its mission. Read full story from xtra.ca
Christian Author Tells How God Took Her Back From Witchcraft
A feeling of being abandoned by God and a curiosity about the pagan religion of Wicca led her to a 10-year life immersed in witchcraft, says a first-time Christian author. S.A. (Seleah Ally) Tower said she wants to share her story in order for others to learn how she escaped a very dark period in her life.
Tower told The Christian Post that her book, Taken from the Night – A Witches Encounter with God, is meant to tell her spiritual journey from first being a doubtful Christian, then to a witch, and later to a born-again believer in Jesus as authentically as possible. She wants the book and her testimony to help others who have experienced the same struggles in the spiritual realm. Read full story from christianpost.com
Taking the Taboo out of Wicca Jamie Dana was only in eighth grade when his life was shaken by the tragic loss of an infant child within his family. Unable to find an answer or explanation that made sense to him, he began a spiritual journey that led him to Wicca. Now the High Priest hopes to share his knowledge with others in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
According to Dana, Wicca is an earth-based religion that is both dualistic, meaning there are two equals, and polar, meaning everything has an opposite such as light and dark and life and death.
“We believe everything is connected to a divine essence and that everything has a soul or spirit, and anything that is put out affects that divine essence which affects you,” he explained. Read full story from theweekender.com
‘Wicker Man’ followup is more of a straw man
The original 1973 version of “The Wicker Man” is a horror classic. The 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage is an unintentionally hilarious diversion.Unfortunately, “The Wicker Tree” — director/writer Robin Hardy’s completely unnecessary followup to the 1973 film, which he directed from Anthony Shaffer’s screenplay — is neither.
It’s neither good nor bad enough to be entertaining, and you find yourself wishing the inevitable and unsurprising conclusion would just hurry up and arrive already.
Not quite a sequel and not quite a remake either, “The Wicker Tree” tells basically the same story as “The Wicker Man,” only with a much less interesting and far more grating cast of characters. Read full story from timesdaily.com
Between 35,000 and 40,000 fans are expected to be in attendance this weekend at Phoenix Comicon 2012. Those planning ahead as weekend attendees will want to book reservations with the Hyatt Regency which is across the street from the Phoenix Convention Center.
Phoenix Comicon one of the biggest underground events that happens annually in Phoenix area. Art and techno paganism are running wild at these fun filled gatherings, but basically it is good clean fun times for young and old alike. Read full story from examiner.com
America’s first president wrote the letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, assuring American Jews that their freedom of religion would be protected. The document will go on display this summer for the first time since 2002 in an exhibition at Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History.
For nine years, the letter has been kept out of public view, in storage at a sterile Maryland office park a few hundred feet from FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins play. CNN took an inside look at the document in September. Read full story from cnn.com
Accused priest: ‘I was helping priests and helping victims as best I could’
Philadelphia (CNN) — The highest-ranking cleric to be charged with child endangerment testified Wednesday in the landmark child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial in which he and another Philadelphia priest are defendants.Dressed in clerical garb, Monsignor William Lynn took the stand inside the packed Common Pleas courtroom under the watchful eye of Judge Teresa Sarmina. He was calm, confident and very matter-of-fact during direct examination by one of his defense attorneys, Thomas Bergstrom.
“I felt I was helping priests and helping victims as best I could,” Lynn told jurors, swiveling in the witness chair.
Lynn is accused of knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children. Also on trial is the Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of the attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Both Brennan and Lynn have pleaded not guilty. Read full story from cnn.com
The verse, Exodus 23:1, offers this admonition: “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.” (New Revised Standard Version)
It comes in a section following Moses’ bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai. “Exodus 23:1″ also is the title of a new song from rapper Pusha T, which may explain why it’s trending. Read full story from cnn.com
Ginger Strivelli, who practices Witchcraft, a form of Paganism, said she was upset when her 12-year-old son [who did not wish to be photographed for this article] came home from North Windy Ridge intermediate school with a Bible.
The Gideons International had delivered several boxes of the sacred books to the school office. The staff allowed interested students to stop by and pick them up. Read full story from foxnews.com
More about Pendulum dowsing
We look at this anicent method, which was used by the Romans, Greeks and also by Nostradamus to predict the future Melissa D’costa
The practice of pendulum dowsing is not a new phenomenon and dates back to the anicent Romans and Greeks who used it to predict the future. It is said that ‘scrying’ (another word for dowsing or divination) was a common practice during that time and was even used by Nostradamus. Read full story from indiatimes.com
Finding spirituality through shamanism
In this fast-paced world, many seek deeper peace through spirituality, meditation and religious devotion. For some, a course on shamanism offered by the anthropology department can expand spiritual knowledge. Bonnie Glass-Coffin, an anthropology professor, teaches such courses, including cultural anthropology, spirit and health, and shamanism.
Glass-Coffin said a survey was taken by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) in 2004 in which freshmen from public and private institutions were asked if they were religious or spiritual and if they considered this aspect to be a significant part of their lives. Read full story from usustatesman.com
Helix’s central star once resembled the Sun, but its outer layers of gas and dust sloughed off. The resulting planetary nebula, located some 700 light-years from Earth, is what telescopes now see. Read full story from wired.com
Interview with Author Dorothy Morrison
Dorothy Morrison is the author of a number of books on Wicca and Paganism, including the brand new Utterly Wicked. Dorothy was able to take some time out from her busy tour schedules to answer a few questions for About.com.
Accepting death is difficult for patients and doctors, but it needs to be done
My 64-year-old patient with terminal cancer and less than six months to live wanted to go to Oregon. He was contemplating assisted suicide, which is legal there. “My life has been long and good,” he said. “I believe it is my right. I want the ability to say it’s too much, I can’t do it anymore. A person should have a dignified quality of life.”
Another one of my patients, an 84-year-old woman from a nursing home, had heart failure, lung failure and kidney failure. She lay in her bed on a ventilator and on a dialysis machine with little hope for survival.“We want everything done,” her daughter insisted. “It’s in God’s hands, and God can do miracles.” For weeks we continued aggressive and ultimately futile efforts to keep her alive. Read full story from washingtonpost.com
The former New Mexico governor spoke with members of the Pagan Newswire Collective, ModernWitch Podcast and Patheos.com, among others. He said it was important to reach out to voters that fall outside the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, and slammed his own party for being too beholden to the Christian right. Read full story from thehill.com
Pastor defends teacher accused of anti-gay rant
UNION, N.J. — The pastor of a high school teacher who has been vilified for an anti-gay tirade on Facebook came to the woman’s defense, calling her a “very loving person” who should not be fired for expressing her religious beliefs.
The Rev. Milton B. Hobbs, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Clark, N.J., said special education teacher Viki Knox is not homophobic and that her comments, when taken in the context of the Bible, were not false.
Knox, 49, an ordained minister at the church and a faculty adviser for a student Bible study group, wrote on her Facebook page that homosexuality was a “perverted spirit” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer.” Read full story from washingtonpost.com
Shamanism: Religion next door to medicine
Shamanism is the national religion in many regions of the Earth, including Yakutia. The ancient belief has survived the Soviet persecution of religion. During those atheist years the Yakut shamans were hiding their abilities. The remaining oyuuns, as they were called by the local population, and Udege (female shamans) soon found a loophole. With a talent for medicine, they found work as medical staff and veterinarians. Hiding under the guise of the Soviet medicine, Yakut shamans secretly conducted their magical rituals. Read full story from pravda.ru
While many people view the Oct. 31 celebration as harmless fun, others express concerned about its origin.
The Encyclopedia Americana says, “Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods — a sun god (called Lug) and a god of the dead, called Samhain, whose festival was held on Nov. 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year.” Read full story from clevelandbanner.com
“THE WICKER TREE” grows in the U.S.
Fango has learned that writer/director Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER TREE—the British helmer’s semi-sequel to his 1973 classic THE WICKER MAN—has been picked up for distribution in North America and the UK, as early as this fall. The film’s international sales agent, High Point Media Group, will screen THE WICKER TREE at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival on May 14 and 16. Read full story from fangoria.com
Art exhibition offers a psychedelic experience
Visitors are invited to take a trip through hallucinogenic patterns, optical illusions and cosmic landscapes when the latest exhibition at The University of Queensland opens this weekend.
New Psychedelia takes over the entire ground floor of the UQ Art Museum from Saturday, May 7 with pieces by 43 contemporary Australian artists, including one that requires 3D glasses.
“A new psychedelia has undoubtedly emerged in the past decade as an off-spring of the rave party, but also out of the décor of virtual reality and what William Gibson dubbed the ‘consensual hallucination’ of cyberspace,” Dr Edward Colless writes in the exhibition catalogue.
Curator Sebastian Moody said it was debatable whether recent explorations of psychedelia are in fact a countermovement to the “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” mentality of the 1960s. Read full story from ug.edu.au
Deadly weather in US could become the norm
It’s been a severe start to the spring season in the United States. Tornadoes have ravaged the southeastern US, flooding threatens much of the Midwest, and wildfires are scorching Texas. But according to researchers, a confluence of seasonal oscillations in weather patterns, rather than climate change, is to blame. And growing populations mean that grim casualty figures from such events may become the norm.
“I don’t think there’s any way of proving climate change is responsible for the weather patterns this week and week before,” says meteorologist Howard Bluestein, of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Read full story from newscientist.com
Apache Leader Jeff Houser on Use of Geronimo’s Name
The day after the news spread that the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, or bin Laden himself, was code-named Geronimo, Fort Sill Apache Tribe Chairman Jeff Houser asked President Obama to issue a formal apology for associating one of the most enduring and heroic figures in Indian country with the name of the man who epitomized global terrorism. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
The location was in the shade cast by the Survivor Tree, an oak that was recently planted at the World Trade Centre for a second time. The first time was in the 1970s, but the tree was later engulfed in rubble on 11 September 2001. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
The archbishop of Canterbury has said the killing of Osama bin Laden left a “very uncomfortable feeling” because it appeared as if justice had not been done.
Bin Laden was shot dead in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday. It has since emerged that he was unarmed when US Navy Seals fired at him.
Lambeth Palace had previously refused to comment on the death of Bin Laden but, when asked at a press conference what he thought of the killing, Dr Rowan Williams replied: “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling; it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
How Many Intelligent Aliens are Out There?
OK, I’ve had enough. I’ve been looking up at the night sky for 20 years and not once have I ever seen anything that has aroused my suspicion that an alien visitor has popped by Earth to take a look.
The thing is, I am contacted far too often by people saying they have seen an unidentified flying object, or UFO. Being terribly literal, they probably have seen something “unidentified,” and it may look like it’s flying; whatever it is, it certainly is an “object,” but it doesn’t mean it’s aliens. Read full story from discovery.com
The figures, made public because of a Freedom of Information Request Act, reveal 14 recorded UFO sightings in the past five years, along with 26 reports of ghosts, 11 witches and two of zombies and vampires respectively. Read full story from countrytimes.co.uk
What is often not fully absorbed by onlookers, though, is the underlying role that religious doctrine – or “pulpit power” – plays in the environmental debate in the US. On the one hand, you have the “Creation Care” movement which is prevalent in some quarters of the Christian Church. On the other, particularly among evangelicals, you often see a vitriolic reaction aimed towards environmentalism. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Police in Munkyuong said they were overwhelmed with the investigation and declined to provide further details.
But local media depicted an elaborate reconstruction of the crucifixion of Jesus, with the victim wearing a crown of thorns and dressed only in his underwear. He put nails into the cross first, then drilled holes in his hands and hung himself on the cross, reports said. Read full story from cnn.com
Zam Zam water is taken from a well in Mecca and is considered sacred to Muslims, but samples from the source suggested it held dangerous chemicals.
Tourists can bring back small amounts from Saudi Arabia, but it cannot be exported for commercial use.
An undercover researcher found large quantities of bottles being sold in east and south London, and in Luton.
The president of the Association of Public Analysts said he would “certainly would not recommend” drinking it. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Nigerian kids ‘slain as witches’
HUNDREDS of Nigerian children have been severely beaten, burnt or killed after being accused of witchcraft, a British charity was to tell an inquiry overnight.
Stepping Stones Nigeria has compiled a dossier of more than 250 cases of severe violence against children accused of being witches in Akwa Ibom state. Children as young as two have been burnt, poisoned, buried alive or chained up because their families believed they were witches, according to the report. Read full story from australian.com
Three covens, with up to 13 witches in each one, regularly meet either behind closed doors or outside at night.
Witch and Doyle’s Psychic Emporium owner Robert Doyle, 35, dabbles in what were once considered the dark arts. He said: “I have taken part in different rituals. In one, we welcome the four elements – earth, air, fire and water. Sometimes we meet in people’s homes and sometimes on the beach.”
Robert explained that witchcraft is deeply rooted in paganism. He added: “One ritual is called the rites of cake and ale where we say goodbye to winter and hello to summer. We pass cake and ale in a clockwise direction saying, ‘May you never hunger or thirst.’”
Witch Wendy Starr, 54, who co-owns a psychic shop called Magik in Ramsgate with Serena Lowman, 58, has started her own gathering of pagans called Magik Cafe. She said: “We had our first night last week and we had 30 people come along. I started it because I wanted to bring together the pagan community and give them somewhere to go when they meet up.” Read full story from thisiskent.co.uk
The Origins of Monothiesm in Hindu Dharma
The dialogue which Raja Ram Mohun Roy had started in the third decade of the nineteenth century stopped abruptly with the passing away of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948. The Hindu leadership or what passed for it in post-independence India was neither equipped for nor interested in the battle for men’s minds. It believed in ‘organising’ the Hindus without bothering about what they carried inside their heads. It neither knew nor cared to know what Hinduism stood for. Its history of India began with the advent of the Islamic invaders. The spiritual traditions, ways of worship, scriptures and thought systems of pre-Islamic India were beyond its mental horizon.
The Christian missions, as we have seen, had never had it so good. Unchallenged ideologically, they broke out of the tight corner in which Mahatma Gandhi had put them and resumed the monologue which had characterised them in the pre-dialogue period. A number of mission strategies were dressed up as ‘theologies in the Indian context’. The core of the Christian dogma remained intact, namely, that Jesus Christ was the only saviour. The language of presenting the dogma, however, underwent what looked like a radical change to the unwary Hindus, particularly those in search of a ‘synthesis of all faiths’.
In the days of old, the missions had denounced Hinduism as devil-worship and made it their business to save the Hindus from the everlasting fire of hell. Now they abandoned that straight-forward stance. In the new language that was adopted, Hinduism was made a beneficiary of the Cosmic Revelation that had preceded Jehovah’s Covenant with Moses. Hinduism was also credited with an unceasing quest for the ‘True One God’. The business of the missions was to direct that quest towards Christ who was ‘hidden in Hinduism’ and thereby make them co-sharers in the final Covenant which Jesus had scaled with his blood. That was the Theology of Fulfilment. A number of learned treatises were turned out on the subject. The labour invested was perhaps praise-worthy. The purpose, however, was deliberately dishonest. Read full story from chakranews.com
You can map those sparks in the growth of grassroots events, such as the Million Women Rise march, launched three years ago, and the Feminism in London conference, whose thousand cheering delegates surprised me with their numbers and energy last year.
You can also map them in the increasing readiness of influential organisations and individuals, from the UN to Judi Dench, to be associated with what might once have been seen as stridently feminist rhetoric. To see the grassroots and the establishment coming together is to witness a movement with a great legacy taking on new energy.
International Women’s Day has not, historically, been a huge deal in the UK. It kicked off in 1911 in more idealistic and embattled times, when women all over the western world were seeking basic political and employment rights. With its roots in the international socialist movement, it is perhaps unsurprising that we hear it has more of a profile in China and Russia than in Britain. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
International Women’s Day: how rapidly things change
A century ago International Women’s Day was associated with peace, and women’s and girls’ sweated labour – which votes for women were to deal with. Not a celebration, but a mobilisation. And because it was born among factory workers, it had class, real class. Later it came to celebrate women’s autonomy, but changed its class base and lost its edge. This centenary must mark a new beginning.
We live in revolutionary times. We don’t need to be in North Africa or the Middle East to be infected by the hope of change. Enough to witness on TV the woman who, veiled in black from head to foot, led chants in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, routing sexism and Islamophobia in one unexpected blow. She and the millions moving together have shaken us from our provincialism, and shown us how rapidly things can change. Women in Egypt have called for a million women to occupy Tahrir Square today. Who would have predicted that a month ago?
Feminism has tended to narrow its concerns to what is unquestionably about women: abortion, childcare, rape, prostitution, pay equity. But that can separate us from a wider and deeper women’s movement. In Bahrain, for example, women lead the struggle for “jobs, housing, clean water, peace and justice” – as well as every demand we share. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Museum of Natural History Lecture Explores Ancient Animal Remains Burial Cave In Israel The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History presents “Feasting with the Dead on the Eve of Agriculture: Ancient Animal Remains from a Burial Cave in Israel,” a lecture by Dr. Natalie Munro from the Department of Anthropology at UConn. The lecture will be held in the Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn Storrs Campus, on Sunday, March 20, 3 p.m.
Zooarchaeological evidence from a small burial cave in Israel reveals evidence that prehistoric funerary feasts and shamanism were practiced as early as 12,000 years ago, at the very beginning of human transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist. The site of Hilazon Tachtit in Israel, where Dr. Munro has conducted her research for several years, contains a variety of unusual deposits of animal associated with funeral practices. Read full story from courant.com
Stone Age walkers cause a stir
WALKERS clad in Stone Age costumes attracted plenty of modern-day interest as they made their way from Avebury to the Ancient Technology Centre in Dorset.
The fur-wearing wanderers were recreating a Walk of the Ancients which took them via Stonehenge, Old Sarum and the city centre.
On the way they visited St Michael’s School in Figheldean and met children and parents at Larkhill to answer questions about Stone Age life. Read full story from salsburyjournal.co.uk
We can be anyone we want to be, more so because Wicca can encompass anything. We are everyone. We are kind and loving. We can be mean, because we are only human. We are not better than anyone else, but we are equal to everyone else.
This isn’t about rights, it’s about respect. We need to find a way for people to respect us, regardless of those who try to bring us down. And maybe, we can even look to Christianity for examples. Is this our arena, and are the Christians our lions? Perhaps. Not all of them certainly. Obviously, however, some of them fall under this category. We are in a young religion, and we are being forged in the fires. Will we break, or come out stronger? Read more…
Calamus are perennial flowering plants from the Acorus family. Native to to North America and northern and eastern Asia. The leaves grow between 0.7 and 1.7 cm wide, with average of 1 cm, and the flower is between 3 and 4 mm.
The Penobscot people would cut the root and hang it throughout the house to cure illness. When traveling, they would take a piece of the root, and chew to ward off sickness. To cure a runny nose, The Potawatomipeople would powder the dried root and put up their nose. The Teton-Dakota warriors believed it prevented excitement and fear when facing their enemy, they would chew it to a paste and rub it on their face. Read more …
The 6.3-magnitude quake struck the country’s second largest city on a busy weekday afternoon.
The mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, has declared a state of emergency and ordered people to evacuate the city centre. “Make no mistake this is going to be a very black day for this shaken city,” he said.
Power and water was cut and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared throughout Christchurch in the aftermath of the quake, which was centred three miles from the city. The US Geological Survey said the tremor occurred at a depth of 2.5 miles. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
The cemetery, founded in the 1660s as a burial ground for nonconformists, radicals and dissenters, holds the remains of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and the poet and artist William Blake, among thousands of others.
In the 19th century, when it had already become a place of pilgrimage for nonconformists and radical reformers, the poet Robert Southey called it the Campo Santo (holy ground) of the dissenters. By the time it was finally declared full and closed in 1853, at least 120,000 people had been interred in the four acres. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.
To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read full story from yahoo.com
‘Yoga’ – Another Serious Acid Test For Naga Christians?
I have come across the word ‘Yoga’ for many years but it didn’t register or make any impression on me until 21st Feb. 2011 when I glance through an article, ‘Yoga for healthy living’ in a local daily written by Imtila Sangtam. She introduced herself as being born into Baptist background whose grandfather and grandmother were the first convert to Christianity from Kubza village on 25-01-1914 and whose father died while in service as a lay evangelist. She also quoted from Bible- Luke 2:14, ‘Glory to God in the highest’, to support her belief and acknowledges God as the one who brought her to this beautiful world. .After reading the writer’s article, which she wrote in support of her work in promoting Yoga as a harmless exercise, I started questioning myself, If Yoga is harmless, what harm would there be for a Christian to practice Christian Astrology? Christian Goddess Worship? Christian Animist? Christian New Age? Christian Shamanism? Christian Reincarnation? Christian Tai Chi? Christian Wicca? Christian Witchcraft? Christian Hinduism? Christian Islam? or Christian Zen Buddhism? My intent in writing this article is not to attack anybody, religion or the writer whose purpose I believe is of good intention but to let every reader examine the other angle point of view.
Firstly, I want to cite the definition from Webster’s on “yoga.” It says it’s “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.” Read full story from morungexpress.com
The Theological Dilemma of Medieval Neuroscience
To casual observers the history of science goes something like this: Greek philosophers introduced the world to rational, naturalistic ways of thinking which freed us from superstition and myth. Sadly, the Roman Empire crumbled, Christianity replaced paganism, religious dogma replaced rationalism, and progress stagnated until about the 16th century when the foundations of science began taking shape. Of course, the real story is more complicated (interested readers should see David Lindberg’s The Beginnings of Western Science). At the risk of disorienting casual observers, I am going to explore one of those interesting complications: Medieval neuroscience.
The 12th and 13th centuries witnessed a flourishing of natural philosophy in Christian Europe. While creation, the cosmos, miracles and the nature of God were uppermost on the agenda, medieval natural philosophy also included the biological basis of the human mind. The major brain theory of the time was called the theory of the “inner (or interior) senses,” the roots of which ran back to Aristotle (see Simon Kemp’s book Cognitive Psychology in the Middle Ages, chapter 4). In his De Anima, Aristotle identified a number of intellectual functions including sensation, imagination and memory. Originally, Aristotle located these functions in the heart, but the renowned Roman physician Galen relocated them to the brain. Physicians after Galen (precisely who is unclear) put these function specifically in the ventricles of the brain given that the ventricles were highly interconnected via nerve fibers to sensory and motor systems throughout the body. Animal spirits flowing from the ventricles through the nerve fibers could then account for the direction of thought and action throughout the body. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
On the edge of history
Carleton University will award an honorary doctorate to Aung San Suu Kyi in absentia on Tuesday. I would like to share, in honour of the moment, a personal memory of my own visit to Burma (now Myanmar). This visit inspired a book of poems I wrote and attempted to send to Aung San Suu Kyi, to whom I dedicated the book. Her husband notified me that there was no means to deliver the book to her but that he thought she would have appreciated it as she was teaching herself French to pass the time in her house arrest.
Pagan, the plain stretching out along the Irrawaddy River, dotted with hundreds of ancient temples, captured my imagination. In my mind’s eye I could see the temples, shimmering in a mist of heat. I could imagine richly detailed carvings and ponder the mystery repeated in so many sites around the world. What causes humankind to create great works of art and architecture in one century and then abandon them abruptly to live amidst their ruins for centuries to come? Is it, as in Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse, because of over population and eco-failure? If so, why do remaining citizens not continue the traditions? Why are the noble arts lost? Read full story from ottawacitizen.com
Pilots, boaters adjust to shift in magnetic north
Magnetic north, the point at the top of the Earth that determines compass headings, is shifting its position at a rate of about 40 miles per year. In geologic terms, it’s racing from the Arctic Ocean near Canada toward Russia.
As a result, everyone who uses a compass, even as a backup to modern GPS navigation systems, needs to be aware of the shift, make adjustments or obtain updated charts to ensure they get where they intend to go, authorities say. That includes pilots, boaters and even hikers.
“You could end up a few miles off or a couple hundred miles off, depending how far you’re going,” said Matthew Brock, a technician with Lauderdale Speedometer and Compass, a Fort Lauderdale company that repairs compasses. Read full story from sunsentinel.com
World’s Buddhist Traditions Pray for Peace and Inter-faith Harmony
Taipei: Addressing a grand prayer congregation for world peace and religious harmony held on the New Year eve in Taipei, Tibet’s spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Representative to Taiwan has underscored the importance of religious harmony among different religions of the world.
Representative Mr Dawa Tsering also spoke on the essence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s commitment in the promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions. Read full story from thetibetpost.com
As few as 5,000 people speak the dialect but linguists believe that it is the closest, living language to ancient Greek and could provide an unprecedented insight into the language of Socrates and Plato and how it evolved. Read full story from independent.co.uk
That means smashed homes and ruined roads may not be attributable to greenhouse gases for centuries, according to new research that suggests climate policies like adaptation should be designed without financial evidence of climate-enhanced windstorms.
The researchers also warn environmentalists and policymakers against making claims that damage from Hurricane Katrina and other storms are rising from carbon dioxide emissions. Insurance companies that promote climate change as a reason for rising prices could also lose credibility. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
We are programmed to believe in a god
As a psychologist, the focus of my work has been on people’s reasoning about such things as God, the afterlife, and destiny. I am not a philosopher or a theologian, so I have not considered the actual, outside-the-head existence of these things. Not only do I find the latter ontological question rather dull, but I also start with the assumption – because there is simply no good scientific reason to assume otherwise – that these things do not exist. In my view, atheism is an essential starting point for the psychological scientist, because it enables us to examine the more intriguing and, more importantly, empirical question of why the human mind is so easily seduced by a ubiquitous set of unnecessarily complex claims. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Palaeontologists have identified two new sabretooth species among fossils unearthed at Toros Menalla in Chad.
In 2001, a team unearthed remains of a seven million-year-old human-like creature – or hominid – known as “Toumai” at the central African site. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Haunting Beauty of NGC 3190: Prime Habitat of Deadly Supernovas
This magnificent galaxy forces us, again, to ask: does advanced life exist there? The fact that we have no proof of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe may simply mean that intelligent civilizations have all too finite lifetimes. NGC 3190 is a spiral galaxy of unbearable beauty in the constellation Leo. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784. In 2002, astronomers uncovered one supernova in March in the southeastern part and then another team uncovered a second supernova on the other side two months later -sure destroyers of vicinity-based life. Read full story from dailygalaxy.com
Hours later, the 68-year-old grandmother of five returned to her St. Petersburg home to begin a new life. If neighbors had been peeking through their windows, they would have seen a petite woman with a shaven head wearing saffron robes. Sandy, as she was known to friends, had taken the vows of a Buddhist nun and a new name — Ayya Suseela. Read full story from tampabay.com
Healing your pain
In Telluride, moms are mountaineers, schoolteachers are ripping snowboarders, the postal worker is an endurance runner and the guy at the gear shop is a super strong mountain biker.
It’s a town of athletes — of tough and sometimes half-crazy people who put their bodies through an impressive gamut. Which means that it’s also a town where people get injured often. And while some can afford to take care of their injuries, others forgo or cut short treatment because they simply don’t have the money. They power through it, with mixed results.
Jay Holt and Jane Del Piero, who run Luvlight Acupuncture, want to change that. The practitioners want to ensure everyone who is injured or in pain has the chance to get proper treatment, regardless of how much money they make. Read full story from telluridenews.com