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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

 Germ Warfare  Comments Off on Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare
Jun 302016
 

Our country recently passed the 9th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks of 2001, and the subsequent terrorist anthrax mailings that resulted in the deaths of five Americans and the infection of 17 others.

And while we all might rightfully wish to forget those horrific events except for a passing prayer for the victims and their families — and go on about our business as if nothing had ever happened

a prudent person would also quietly make sure he (or she) has taken at least a few protective precautions for their family, in case something like this ever happens again.

Crazy World

After all, you dont need me to tell you that today we live in a crazy, volatile and sometimes very scary world.

Only a few short days ago, half the Arab world erupted into fits of violent anger when a controversial preacher from Florida threatened to burn a copy of the Koran in protest of the building of the proposed Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero 9-11 attacks.

We have homegrown terrorists, too. And you just never know when some of our countrys older enemies like Russia or China, or that lunatic midget running North Korea might decide the time is ripe again to try to bring America to her knees.

The bottom line is that today, I dont think anyone in the U.S. lives in an it cant happen here fantasy world any longer. We all know it can happen here. And that it can take very little to set it off.

Therefore, after reflecting on these facts, I thought it might be high-time to revisit the idea of using colloidal silver as a means of protecting ourselves and our family members during a terrorist germ warfare attack.

A Quick Look at the Idea of Using Colloidal Silver

Against Germ Warfare Pathogens!

Will colloidal silver really work against germ warfare (i.e., biological warfare) agents like anthrax?

The truth of the matter is that while germ warfare experts might know the answer to that question, theyre not telling.

After all, our country also has a huge arsenal of germ warfare agents. And as you can probably imagine, we wouldnt necessarily want our enemies to know the antidote if one existed particularly if it was as easy to make and distribute as colloidal silver.

Nevertheless, we do have some strong indications that colloidal silver may very well be a valid first-line-of-defense against germ warfare pathogens.

So lets take a quick look at a little bit of history, and some of the known facts about colloidal silver, and see if we can make a reasonable assumption as to whether or not colloidal silver might serve as a potent natural remedy against germ warfare agents.

Colloidal Silver and the Soviet Military

Author Mark Aarons discusses the idea of colloidal silvers potential effectiveness against germ warfare pathogens in his 1994 book, The Secret War Against the Jews:

There is little defense against [a biological germ warfare] attack, and what few antidotes exist are withheld from the public as military secrets.

One of the best examples of this is Movidyn, a substance that the Soviets discovered in their satellite state of Czechoslovakia way back in the 1950s.

Movidyn is a form of colloidal silver, odorless, tasteless, and cheaper to produce than chlorine disinfectants. One part per billion of powdered Movidyn in water has a germicidal effect.

In a study of infected wells, it completely destroyed typhus, malaria, cholera, and amoebic dysentery. Drinking containers washed in Movidyn retained their germ-fighting abilities for several weeks.

Movidyn seems to be a cost-effective prophylactic for most of the water-borne diseases that infect the Third World.

To the astonishment of the Soviet military, Movidyn also disinfected every germ warfare bacteria in the Soviet arsenal, even their newest designer poisons.

In other words, Movidyn was too good.

The Czech factory was disassembled and carted back to the Soviet Union. To this day, the Movidyn formula seems to have been suppressed from the world.

— Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, 1994, pages 293-294

Microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris

On Colloidal Silver and Germ Warfare

In the most recently revised edition of my 547-page book, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, I also discuss the very real possibility that colloidal silver will turn out to be a valid defense against germ warfare agents during a terrorist biological attack

at least, for those who are prepared in advance and have plenty of colloidal silver stocked up, or who are foresighted enough to own the means of colloidal silver production so they can make their own colloidal silver whenever needed.

Heres what I wrote:

When former CIA microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris was asked on national television whether there were any natural substances that could protect the population against anthrax and other germ warfare agents, he responded:

The only natural substance I know of that is effective against these microbes is colloidal silver. I tested that myself when I was with the CIA, and found it effective against both anthrax and the bubonic plague pathogens.

After leaving the CIA, microbiologist Larry Harris is said to have re-tested colloidal silver against anthrax in his private laboratory in1997, and again found it to be highly effective.

According to Harris confidant Mike Seiler:

Harris definitely confirmed colloidal silver kills the anthrax pathogen. He used the minimum inhibitory test, in which he took ten vials of anthrax and put correspondingly higher concentrations of colloidal silver in each vial until he determined which concentration gives an effective kill rate. Harris discovered the kill rate was at 100 parts per billion an amazingly small amount of colloidal silver.

It is also important to note that colloidal silver was one of the few substances on earth that was successfully used against anthrax and other plague-like pathogens in the early 1900s prior to the advent of modern-day prescription antibiotic drugs, as verified by the 1919 book Colloids in Biology and Medicine by H. Beckhold, pages 364-376.

In fact, according to researcher James South, M.A., as early as 1887 a number of researchers had discovered that silver both in liquid solution and as an airborne aerosol was toxic to deadly anthrax spores. [Ref: N. Grier, Silver and Its Compounds in Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, S. Block, ed., Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1983, pages 380-428; H. Bechold, Colloids in Biology and Medicine, N.Y.,: D. Van Nostrand, 1919, pages 364-376; Anti-Aging Bulletin, International Antiaging Systems, Vol. 4, Issue 3. Apr/May, 1999, Hi Yo Silver, Away! by James South, M.A.]

Considering that anthrax is said to be the all-time favorite biological warfare agent of Islamic terrorists and is one of the infectious biological agents intelligence experts claim terrorist cell teams are known to be in possession of it would seem to be a prudent precaution indeed to have the ability to make your own therapeutic-quality colloidal silver at home in order to help protect yourself and your family in the event of a terrorist biological attack on U.S. cities.

— from The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, 2009, pages 313-314

The above chapter goes on to discuss theoretical dosage levels of colloidal silver for use against germ warfare pathogens.

Later in the above chapter, I also quote microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris as saying that in order for colloidal silver to be effective during a germ warfare attack, youll need to have certain levels of colloidal silver already built up in your bloodstream, cells and tissues, well before a terror attack occurs. Harris stated:

In the event of outbreaks of biological plagues, those who have already been taking sufficient levels of colloidal silver will have an automatic resistance in their bodies

If, however, a person has not been taking colloidal silver for 30 to 50 days prior to exposure to a plague, silver will have little effect. This is because invading bacteria can kill within several days, while it takes weeks for colloidal silver to be spread through your entire bodys millions of cells.

I don’t know about you. But for me, the idea that colloidal silver would only work during a germ warfare attack if you’ve already been using it daily for one to two months before being exposed to germ warfare agents, is not a very appealing one.

After all, many people who are experienced in colloidal silver usage only use it periodically — for example, if they feel a cold coming on, or whenever theyve actually come down with an infection and they want to deal with it naturally.

Is There Some Other Way To Get

Colloidal Silver Into the Body, Quickly and Effectively?

Fortunately, there is a way to get colloidal silver into the bloodstream and the bodys cells and tissues quickly and easily.

And we have the prestigious Health Sciences Institute (HSI) to thank for bringing this to our attention.

You see, HSI addressed this very topic in an e-alert to their members, back in October 2001, shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax attacks on our nation.

As the HSI pointed out at the time, one of their well-known health symposium panelists, Dr. Marcial-Vega, had discovered while dealing with pneumonia patients the fact that colloidal silver can be quickly and easily carried into the human blood stream and from there into the bodys cells and tissues, simply by nebulizing it.

Nebulizing is a process by which colloidal silver is run through a small medical device called a nebulizer (inexpensively available on e-Bay) which turns the colloidal silver solution into a fine mist. This fine mist can easily be breathed into the lungs as its produced by the machine. And from the lungs the body can efficiently and effectively distribute the colloidal silver straight into the blood stream, cells and tissues.

Heres what the Health Sciences Institute told their members:

Based on his experience treating other types of bacterial lung infections, Dr. Marcial-Vega believes he has discovered a way to prevent anthrax from developing even if you’ve already been exposed.

He’s currently talking with government health authorities about testing his hypothesis on live anthrax spores, but asked us bring this information directly to you now.

Just in his last decade of medical practice, Dr. Marcial-Vega has treated hundreds of people with a variety of viral, fungal, and bacterial pneumonias. And of all the available treatments, he has seen the greatest success with nebulizer treatments using a colloidal silver preparation.

Silver has long been known for its anti-bacterial properties, and the nebulizer allows the mineral to reach the lungs and kill harmful bacteria. Now, in the face of the anthrax threat, he believes it can do the same thing with anthrax spores.

‘We are constantly filtering all kinds of bacteria through our lungs,’ explained Dr. Marcial-Vega. Normally, a healthy body is able to kill off any dangerous bacteria on its own. But in the case of illness, like pneumonia, or an especially lethal bacteria like anthrax, the body may need some extra help.

For anthrax prevention, he recommends a daily nebulizer treatment with 4 cc’s of colloidal silver. By following this protocol, Dr. Marcial-Vega says your body can likely kill off the anthrax spores before you even know you were exposed. Colloidal silver may even be useful to treat cutaneous anthrax with the preparation being directly applied to the affected skin.

Dr. Marcial-Vega says there are no concerns about using this treatment because colloidal silver has no toxicity and no side effects. He has used the colloidal silver nebulizer treatments on infants, the elderly, and AIDS patients with pneumonia and has seen great results. All have responded quickly to the treatment even when no other approach seemed to help, and no one reported any adverse reactions.

Nebulizers are widely used to treat asthma, and are readily available at drug stores nationwide. The cost generally runs between $50 and $120 for the machine. Each member of the family should have their own mask, and both adult and pediatric sizes are available for a few dollars each. But the entire family can share the nebulizer machine and the tubing.”

If youre interested, you can read a more recent article here on using what I call a poor mans nebulizer. This is simply an inexpensive cool mist vaporizer from Wal-Mart or any other drug store. These inexpensive little devices do pretty much exactly what a medical nebulizer would do as long as you’re using full-strength colloidal silver in it.

No Clinical Evidence

The bottom line is that theres no real clinical evidence for colloidal silvers potential effectiveness in humans against germ warfare agents such as anthrax and others.

Thats chiefly because no one is going to allow themselves to be infected with such deadly biological agents in order to test the colloidal silver hypothesis.

Even if they conducted animal tests to see if colloidal silver would be effective against germ warfare agents, its likely the results would be kept secret due to national security. Again, we wouldnt announce to our enemies the antidote to one of the most potent (albeit non-humanitarian) weapons in our own weapons of mass destruction arsenal.

Nevertheless, theres plenty of historical and circumstantial evidence to indicate that colloidal silver may very well be a first-line-of-defense remedy against germ warfare pathogens.

And for that reason alone its worth owning a high-quality colloidal silver generator so you can make all of the colloidal silver you could ever need, quickly and easily, any time you need it, in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Helpful Links:

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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

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Oceania Aruba – Prestige Vacations Aruba

 Oceania  Comments Off on Oceania Aruba – Prestige Vacations Aruba
Jun 302016
 

Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort On behalf of all the condo owners that we represent, we welcome you to stay at this luxurious condo resort and have the most wonderful vacation experience in Aruba! The Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort (also known as Oceania Residences) is a new, and currently the only BEACHFRONT residential condominium resort in Aruba. ALL OUR CONDOS HAVE OCEAN VIEW, even though ground floor units may have ocean views through property landscaping, whereas storey floor units have unobstructed ocean views. It is located along the Eagle Beach within the high-activity resort and hotel strip of the island. The surrounding areas are all timeshare and/or hotel resorts, which are much more crowded and with much less spacious rooms.

View Condos at the Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort

The Alhambra Casinois within 5 minutes walk from the Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort. The Links Golf courseis another 5 minutes walk. Many exquisite restaurants are within a short walk distance (Las Ramblas, Chalet Suisse, Screaming Eagle, The French Steakhouse, etc.). All other major hotels, casinos as well as many other restaurants are about 5-10 minutes drive away, including the Tierra del Sol Golf community and the downtown shopping areas. The amenities of the complex include e.g.three large swimming pools (beautiful at night, too), a kiddy pool, two gyms, men’s and women’s saunas, a business center, a kid’s play center, a racquetball court, a squash courtand two tennis courts. Click here to view a site plan of the resort.

If you are looking for an upscale, private and relaxing condo with spectacular ocean view and just a few steps from the beach, but still close to all main activities and with all the benefits from adjoining hotels and resorts; look no further! We have wonderful and luxurious condos of all sizes and at reasonable seasonal rates. The Mid-season runs from April 16 to December 17. The High-season runs from January 4 to April 15. The Super high-season are the two X-mas and New Years weeks, from December 18 to January 3. Weekly rates are already discounted by about 10%, so take advantage ofthe lower nightly rates by staying a week or more!Click here for condos

We have the largest portfolio of units at Oceania Residences, of varying sizes, sleeping capacity, design, furnitureand in-room facilities. And since the Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort is still the only beachfront residential condo resort on the island and ALL UNITS HAVE AN OCEAN VIEW, there is thus no comparable offering of luxury beachfront accommodation in Aruba! You can choose between the most economic studio condos to the largest and majestic three-bedroom condos, from groundfloor units withprivate gardens, deck, hot tub and full-size gas BBQ grill, to the most luxurious penthousetop floor units with roof terraces also with same outdoor facilities. Accommodation is adequate for singles or couples in our studio units, up to the maximum sleeping capacity for a group of 12 in one large unit! For groups that require more individual privacy, there is also the option to stay in adjacent units so that the group members are still close to each other, yet are able to enjoy their so needed moments of privacy. No matter what your accommodation requirements are, subject to availability (book early and make use of our easy payment schedule!) we are sure toprovide you with a luxury condo or combination of condos that will enjoy your utmost level of satisfaction!

This is Google Maps’ most recent satellite image of Oceania Deluxe Beachfront Condominium Resort along the white-sandy Eagle Beach of Aruba, and we assure you, the white sand is not photoshopped!

1-866-940-7453 (Toll Free)

Note: Please be aware that all condominium units are privately owned and all units are very different. The interior design and the rates of each unit are at the owner’s descretion.

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Reflections On The Direct Influence Of Psychedelics On Art …

 Psychedelics  Comments Off on Reflections On The Direct Influence Of Psychedelics On Art …
Jun 302016
 

by Henrik Dahl

on January 2, 2015

The following piece first appeared in Psychedelic Press UK:

Psychedelics often trigger a rich flood of visual content. One may for instance experience highly intricate patterns, otherworldly landscapes and mysterious beings some angelic; others demonic. Colours are frequently perceived as being extremely intense and objects may transform into bizarre and unthinkable shapes. Surely visions like these must be of great interest to visual artists. Still, most psychedelic culture researchers will find it hard to come up with a satisfying list of visual artists who acknowledge the importance of psychedelics in their work. Why is this the case? When it comes to writers and musicians, examples are plenty. Shouldnt there be as many, if not more, visual artists associated with psychedelics?

Admittedly, there is a lot of psychedelic art out there. Usually though the term is used to describe a particular aesthetic rather than art directly influenced by psychedelic drugs. Surprisingly little has been written about art that is psychedelic in the true sense of the word. The typical take on the subject is exemplified by art critic Ken Johnson, who is the author ofAre You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art:

While I think it would be a worthy project for a sociologist or historian to find out who did what, when, and where, to provide some empirical grounding for speculations about the influence of drugs on art, I am neither equipped for nor inclined to do that job. What interested me was not necessarily the influence of drugs on particular individuals but the influence of psychedelic culture in general on artists (Johnson 2011, 8).

Image:Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s book cover.

A similar approach is found in David S. RubinsPsychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s, which explores the visual impact that psychedelic culture has had on artists working over the past five decades.

Although Johnson and Rubin have done a great and much welcome job with their respective books, they raise an important question: How many of the artists described as psychedelic actually feel comfortable with being categorised in such a way? In todays highly professionalised art world its likely that at leastsomeartists find the association problematic. Reasons for this may vary of course, but the connection to drug culture is probably one of them. Perhaps this is why Johnson points out that readers of his book are advised not to assume that any artist discussed has even used drugs at all or would agree that drug-induced experience has affected their art (Johnson 2011, 8).

Obviously, to be certain that a psychedelic has influenced an artwork one needs some sort of testimony from the artist that confirms the association. This fact dramatically narrows the number of artworks that are clearly induced by a psychedelic. That said, many artists have openly ascribed psychedelic experiences as a major influence on one or several of their artworks.

Discussions about psychedelic art are often reduced to speculations, where critics sometimes see trippy influences in artworks that in reality have little to do with the psychedelic experience, mistaking it for themes such as dreams states, New Age spirituality or the occult. This essay is a modest attempt at approaching the subject differently; rather than looking at art influenced by psychedelic culture as a whole, I will present some of the art that has been directly influenced by psychedelics.

A key figure when it comes to western art directly influenced by psychedelics is the Belgian-born French visual artist and writer Henri Michaux. Already in the 1960s he was looked upon as a pioneer in psychedelic art (Masters & Houston 1968, 118). His perhaps most notable work isMiserable Miracle, containing both his writings and drawings, published for the first time in French in 1956. The book was the result of the authors experiments with mescaline. In his dissertationA History of Irritated Material: Psychedelic Concepts in Neo-Avant-Garde Art, Danish art historian Lars Bang Larsen calls Michauxs drawings seismographic, describing them as pulsating,brutlandscapes (Larsen 2011, 115).

Michaux wasnt the only westerner experimenting with psychedelics at the time. Two years beforeMiserable Miraclecame out, Aldous Huxley described his experiences on mescaline in his essayThe Doors of Perception. Still,Miserable Miracleis an important work. Not least because of the inclusion of Michauxs psychedelic artworks. Incidentally, the same year asMiserable Miraclewas first published, psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the word psychedelic in a correspondence with Huxley. However, since Michaux was making his drug experiments long before psychedelic became a catch phrase in the sixties counterculture, Larsen aptly describes Michaux as a proto-psychedelic artist (Larsen 2011, 33).

Image: Miserable Miracle book cover.

Henri Michaux continued his explorations with mescaline, resulting in additional books on the subject. In 1963, he also made an educational film calledImages du monde visionnairefor Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz (recognized by psychedelicists as the company where Albert Hofmann worked when he synthesized LSD in 1938). Michauxs film was made in collaboration with French filmmaker Eric Duvivier for the purpose of demonstrating the hallucinogenic effects of mescaline and hashish. Given the limitations of the technology at the time, the films psychedelic effects look a bit bleak and feel rather unconvincing today and, according to an article on book publisher Strange Attractors webpage, Michaux himself was said to have been quite disappointed by the result. One may wonder if this is a common reaction among artists trying to depict psychedelic experiences. If that is the case, its possible that many artists avoid such attempts.

Although Michauxs drawings were induced by a psychedelic drug, it wasnt until the mid-to-late sixties that psychedelic art became recognised as a distinct artistic expression of its own. An early proponent of the style during this era was American painter Isaac Abrams. In 1965, he had his first LSD session with psychologist Stanley Krippner. According to the blog Transpersonalspirit, the experience gave him a vision of what he felt psychedelic art would look like. Abrams artworks display oceanic, cosmic and microscopic motifs, exemplified by his 1968 painting Cosmoerotica. Still actively pursuing his art, he has stayed true to the artistic style he envisioned on his first acid trip.

As a result of the popularization of LSD in the sixties, many visual artists experimented with the drug. Its easy to assume that those artists were automatically incorporating their experiences in their art. However, that was not always the case. German-born painter Mati Klarwein, known for painting the cover of Miles Davis classic jazz albumBitches Brew, said his experiences with psychedelics never inspired his art in any major way. Instead, according to his biography on Matiklarwein.com, his inspiration came from extensive travelling and the artists interest in non-western deities and symbolism.

One who ascribed great importance to psychedelics though, was Swedish poster artist Sture Johannesson. In his piece Psychedelic Manifestopublished in the Swedish magazine Ord & Bild, phrased in his typically humorous and anarchistic style, the artist immodestly promotes psychedelics saying, The cultural workers most important task in the future is to spread information about these matters. Psychedelic drugs mean freedom, equality and brotherhood (Larsen 2002, 8).

Image: Andre Will Take A Trip! (1969) by Sture Johannesson.

Between 1967 and 1969, Johannesson made a series of posters calledThe Danish Collection. They have stood the test of time surprisingly well and, apart from becoming collectors items, they are regularly exhibited at museums around the world. Included in the series isAndre Will Take A Trip!(1969). The poster, arguably one of his most complex and captivating works, shows a series of small photographs taken during Swedish engineer S.A. Andres balloon expedition to the North Pole in 1897, a misadventure that ended in the death of Andre and his group. The photos are arranged against a pink background and at the top of these is a quote associated with William S. Burroughs saying, Anything which can be done chemically can be done by other means! Lastly, much like a hallucination, three huge but delicately designed yellow letters placed in the centre of the image spells out the word LSD.

An artistic genre that is often associated with the use of psychedelics is visionary art. Artists working in this style often depict visions experienced while in altered states. Although far from being the only source of inspiration, many visionary artists acknowledge the importance of psychedelics in their artistic process. The genres association with mind-expanding drugs is evident inFirst Draft of Manifesto of Visionary Art written by visionary artist Laurence Caruana, where he discusses psychedelics at length. Interestingly, this type of art may have a particular function for those who view it. It is no secret that many visionary works of art are designed to be viewed with the aid of mind-altering substances, says Caruana in the manifesto (First Draft of Manifesto of Visionary Art,2001).

One of the foremost artists working in the visionary style is Alex Grey. A prolific painter, his artworks have appeared on several album covers and his 1990 art bookSacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Greyhas been translated into several languages and is still in print. In the mid seventies, while on LSD with his future wife, the artist Allyson Grey, Alex experienced what would prove to be a pivotal moment in his career as an artist. In a 2008 interview with SFGate.com, Alex said the trip made him interested in the study of consciousness, and that he started making drawings of what he had seen. For Allyson the experience turned out to be equally profound, saying it was to become the subject of our art for a lifetime (Allysongrey.com). AlexsUniversal Mind Lattice(1981) and AllysonsJewel Net of Indra(1988) are both depictions of their LSD trip.

Another visionary artist associated with psychedelics is the Peruvian painter Pablo Amaringo. Amaringo, avegetalistawho depicted visions on ayahuasca, was brought to the attention by ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna and anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna. At Lunas suggestion, Amaringo started painting his ayahuasca visions, which resulted in the coauthored bookAyahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shamanpublished in 1999. Apart from being a painter, Amaringo was the art teacher at his Usko-Ayar School of Painting and was supervising ayahuasca retreats.

Most visionary artists are highly skilled at their craft. According to Laurence Caruana, as precise a rendering as possible is absolutely necessary for vision-inducing works. Fine lines, gradual transitions, infinite details there is no limit to the pains endured nor the patience required to successfully render a vision into image form (First Draft of Manifesto of Visionary Art,2001). One may wonder at what length the complex nature of altered states of consciousness including those triggered by psychedelics has affected the technical abilities of artists working in the visionary style. Its possible that the sometimes incredibly detailed visions seen on mind-expanding drugs have forced these artists to perfect their work considerably more than had they worked in another artistic field.

When discussing artists who use psychedelics one should keep in mind that very few of them are likely making art while actually under the influence. For example, in an interview published on Historygraphicdesign.com in 2002 San Francisco poster artist Victor Moscoso strongly opposes to the idea:

People ask me, Did you draw on acid? Draw on acid? Thats like drawing while youre tumbling down a flight of stairs. Are you kidding? With you dying and being re-born, having an understanding of the molecular structure of your body and of the cosmos at the same time. Drawing is absurd. You cant do it! Whatever you draw will not come close to what you can see, or perceive.

Most artists using psychedelics would probably agree with Moscoso. Yet there are several examples of artists who have made art while they were on mind-expanding drugs. In 1990, Charles Ray shot a self-portrait when he was under the influence of LSD, resulting in his artworkYes. Another contemporary artist making art while on LSD is Rodney Graham, whos film The Phonokinetoscopeis a 2001 reenactment of Albert Hofmanns legendary LSD bicycle trip in 1943. Also in 2001, Bryan Lewis Saunders made a series of self-portraits while on a variety of drugs, including psilocybin mushrooms and DMT.

The three artworks mentioned pose the question of how these artists actually managed to make art while tripping. In all likelihood, they either made their artworks while they were coming down from their trips, or their doses were low from the beginning. In the case of Graham, he is quoted on Ubuweb.com saying he ingested a blotter. Considering the fairly low doses usually distributed on blotter acid, Grahams trip was likely rather mild compared with Hofmanns, making the formers reenactment a less dramatic event.

Why are relatively few artists associated with psychedelics? I can think of several possible explanations. For instance, its probable that many artists trying to depict visions seen on psychedelics actually fail in their attempts. Translating such complex experiences as discussed by visionary artist Caruana in his manifesto requires great technical skills and an endurance that few possess.

Furthermore, artists working in the contemporary art scene may feel inclined to keep their psychedelic experiences to themselves. In todays highly professionalised, academically shaped and in many ways commercialised contemporary art world, its probable that many dont want to risk being associated with psychedelics for fear of being reduced to a drug artist. This is something I have encountered myself during interviews with artists working in this field.

From a historical perspective, its likely that quite a few artists have been using mind-expanding drugs in their artistic process. However, without testimonies there is no way to know for certain. One such example is New York avant-garde filmmaker Storm de Hirsch. Although generally left out of history, her 1965 filmPeyote Queenhas become a minor underground classic. The films kaleidoscopic imagery, combined with its title, strongly indicates she had taken peyote. There are many artists, like de Hirsch, who have probably been using psychedelics in the past. Yet because of their relative obscurity, their experiences with these substances will remain unknown.

Artists in the future will most likely keep experimenting with psychedelics as part of their artistic process. One can also assume that the various types of mind-expanding drugs used for this purpose will be greater than those mentioned in this essay. How these artworks will look like, one can only try to imagine.

Perhaps we will soon see more art historians, curators and psychedelic researchers focusing on psychedelic art. Lately there have been many signs of a growing activity in this field. One recent example is the 2013 exhibitionUnder Influences Visual Arts and Psychotropicsat La Maison Rouge in Paris, where many artists directly influenced by psychedelics were exhibited. In addition, several books on psychedelic art have been published in recent years, clearly showing an increasing interest in the topic.

References:

Caruana, Laurence.First Draft of Manifesto of Visionary Art(retrieved fromhttp://visionaryrevue.com/webtext/manifesto.contents.html), 2001

Johnson, Ken.Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art. Munich: Prestel, 2011

Larsen, Lars Bang.A History of Irritated Material: Psychedelic Concepts in Neo-Avant-Garde Art(PhD dissertation). Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, 2011

Larsen, Lars Bang.Sture Johannesson. New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2002

Masters, Robert E.L. & Houston, Jean (Eds.).Psychedelic Art. New York: Grove Press, 1968

Rubin, David S. (Ed.).Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s(exhibition catalogue). San Antonio: San Antonio Museum of Art, 2010

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Reflections On The Direct Influence Of Psychedelics On Art …

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Trance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Trance  Comments Off on Trance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 302016
 

Trance in its modern meaning comes from an earlier meaning of “a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition or state of fear”, via the Old French transe “fear of evil”, from the Latin transre “to cross”, “pass over”. This definition is now obsolete.[1]

Wier, in his 1995 book, Trance: from magic to technology, defines a simple trance (p.58) as a state of mind being caused by cognitive loops where a cognitive object (thoughts, images, sounds, intentional actions) repeats long enough to result in various sets of disabled cognitive functions. Wier represents all trances (which include sleep and watching television) as taking place on a dissociated trance plane where at least some cognitive functions such as volition are disabled; as is seen in what is typically termed a ‘hypnotic trance’.[2] With this definition, meditation, hypnosis, addictions and charisma are seen as being trance states. In Wier’s 2007 book, The Way of Trance, he elaborates on these forms, adds ecstasy as an additional form and discusses the ethical implications of his model, including magic and government use which he terms “trance abuse”.

John Horgan in Rational Mysticism (2003) explores the neurological mechanisms and psychological implications of trances and other mystical manifestations. Horgan incorporates literature and case-studies from a number of disciplines in this work: chemistry, physics, psychology, radiology and theology.

The following are some examples of trance states:

Trance conditions include all the different states of mind, emotions, moods and daydreams that human beings experience. All activities which engage a human involve the filtering of information coming into sense modalities, and this influences brain functioning and consciousness. Therefore, trance may be understood as a way for the mind to change the way it filters information in order to provide more efficient use of the mind’s resources.

Trance states may also be accessed or induced by various modalities and is a way of accessing the unconscious mind for the purposes of relaxation, healing, intuition and inspiration. There is an extensive documented history of trance as evidenced by the case-studies of anthropologists and ethnologists and associated and derivative disciplines. Hence trance may be perceived as endemic to the human condition and a Human Universal. Principles of trance are being explored and documented as are methods of trance induction. Benefits of trance states are being explored by medical and scientific inquiry. Many traditions and rituals employ trance. Trance also has a function in religion and mystical experience.

Castillo (1995) states that: “Trance phenomena result from the behavior of intense focusing of attention, which is the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are ‘tuned’ into neural networks in the brain and depend to a large extent on the characteristics of culture. Culture-specific organizations exist in the structure of individual neurons and in the organizational formation of neural networks.”

Hoffman (1998: p.9) states that: “Trance is still conventionally defined as a state of reduced consciousness, or a somnolent state. However, the more recent anthropological definition, linking it to ‘altered states of consciousness’ (Charles Tart), is becoming increasingly accepted.”

Hoffman (1998, p.9) asserts that: “…the trance state should be discussed in the plural, because there is more than one altered state of consciousness significantly different from everyday consciousness.”

According to Hoffman (1998: p.10), pilgrims visited the Temple of Epidaurus, an asclepeion, in Greece for healing sleep. Seekers of healing would make pilgrimage and be received by a priest who would welcome and bless them. This temple housed an ancient religious ritual promoting dreams in the seeker that endeavored to promote healing and the solutions to problems, as did the oracles. This temple was built in honor of Asclepios, the Greek god of medicine. The Greek treatment was referred to as incubation, and focused on prayers to Asclepios for healing. The asclepion at Epidaurus is both extensive and well-preserved, and is traditionally regarded as the birthplace of Asclepius. (For a comparable modern tool see Dreamwork.)

The Oracle at Delphi was also famous for trances in the ancient Greek world; priestesses there would make predictions about the future in exchange for gold.

Stories of the saints in the Middle Ages, myths, parables, fairy tales, oral lore and storytelling from different cultures are themselves potentially inducers of trance. Often literary devices such as repetition are employed which is evident in many forms of trance induction. Milton Erickson used stories to induce trance as do many NLP practitioners.

From at least the 16th century it was held that march music may induce soldiers marching in unison into trance states where according to apologists, they bond together as a unit engendered by the rigors of training, the ties of comradeship and the chain of command. This had the effect of making the soldiers become automated, an effect which was widely evident in the 16th, 17th and 18th century due to the increasing prevalence of firearms employed in warcraft. Military instruments, especially the snare drum and other drums were used to entone a monotonous ostinato at the pace of march and heartbeat. High-pitched fifes, flutes and bagpipes were used for their “piercing” effect to play the melody. This would assist the morale and solidarity of soldiers as they marched to battle.

Joseph Jordania recently proposed a term battle trance for this mental state, when combatants do not feel fear and pain, and when they lose their individual identity and acquire a collective identity.[3]

The Norse Berserkers induced a trance-like state before battle, called Berserkergang. It is said to have given the warriors superhuman strength and made them impervious to pain during battle. This form of trance could have been induced partly due to ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

As the mystical experience of mystics generally entails direct connection, communication and communion with Deity, Godhead and/or god; trance and cognate experience are endemic. (see Yoga, Sufism, Shaman, Umbanda, Crazy Horse, etc.)

As shown by Jonathan Garb,[4] trance techniques also played a role in Lurianic Kabbalah, the mystical life of the circle of Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto and Hasidism.

Many Christian mystics are documented as having experiences that may be considered as cognate with trance, such as: Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Saint Theresa (as seen in the Bernini sculpture) and Francis of Assisi.

Taves (1999) charts the synonymic language of trance in the American Christian traditions: power or presence or indwelling of God, or Christ, or the Spirit, or spirits. Typical expressions include “the indwelling of the Spirit” (Jonathan Edwards), “the witness of the Spirit” (John Wesley), “the power of God” (early American Methodists), being “filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (early Adventists; see charismatic Adventism), “communing with spirits” (Spiritualists), “the Christ within” (New Thought), “streams of holy fire and power” (Methodist holiness), “a religion of the Spirit and Power” (the Emmanuel Movement), and “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” (early Pentecostals). (Taves, 1999: 3)

Taves (1999) well-referenced book on trance charts the experience of Anglo-American Protestants and those who left the Protestant movement beginning with the transatlantic awakening in the early 18th century and ending with the rise of the psychology of religion and the birth of Pentecostalism in the early 20th century. This book focuses on a class of seemingly involuntary acts alternately explained in religious and secular terminology. These involuntary experiences include uncontrolled bodily movements (fits, bodily exercises, falling as dead, catalepsy, convulsions); spontaneous vocalizations (crying out, shouting, speaking in tongues); unusual sensory experiences (trances, visions, voices, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences); and alterations of consciousness and/or memory (dreams, somnium, somnambulism, mesmeric trance, mediumistic trance, hypnotism, possession, alternating personality) (Taves, 1999: 3).

Trance-like states are often interpreted as religious ecstasy or visions and can be deliberately induced using a variety of techniques, including prayer, religious rituals, meditation, pranayama (breathwork or breathing exercises), physical exercise, coitus (and/or sex), music, dancing, sweating (e.g. sweat lodge), fasting, thirsting, and the consumption of psychotropic drugs such as cannabis. Sensory modality is the channel or conduit for the induction of the trance. Sometimes an ecstatic experience takes place in occasion of contact with something or somebody perceived as extremely beautiful or holy. It may also happen without any known reason. The particular technique that an individual uses to induce ecstasy is usually one that is associated with that individual’s particular religious and cultural traditions. As a result, an ecstatic experience is usually interpreted within the context of a particular individual’s religious and cultural traditions. These interpretations often include statements about contact with supernatural or spiritual beings, about receiving new information as a revelation, also religion-related explanations of subsequent change of values, attitudes and behavior (e.g. in case of religious conversion).

Benevolent, neutral and malevolent trances may be induced (intentionally, spontaneously and/or accidentally) by different methods:

Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of auditory driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of hearing. Auditory driving works through a process known as entrainment.[citation needed]

The usage of repetitive rhythms to induce trance states is an ancient phenomenon. Throughout the world, shamanistic practitioners have been employing this method for millennia. Anthropologists and other researchers have documented the similarity of shamanistic auditory driving rituals among different cultures.

Said simply, entrainment is the synchronization of different rhythmic cycles. Breathing and heart rate have been shown to be affected by auditory stimulus, along with brainwave activity. The ability of rhythmic sound to affect human brainwave activity, especially theta brainwaves, is the essence of auditory driving, and is the cause of the altered states of consciousness that it can induce.[citation needed]

Nowack and Feltman have recently published an article entitled “Eliciting the Photic Driving Response” which states that the EEG photic driving response is a sensitive neurophysiological measure which has been employed to assess chemical and drug effects, forms of epilepsy, neurological status of Alzheimer’s patients, and physiological arousal. Photic driving also impacts upon the psychological climate of a person by producing increased visual imagery and decreased physiological and subjective arousal. In this research by Nowack and Feltman, all participants reported increased visual imagery during photic driving, as measured by their responses to an imagery questionnaire.

Dennis Wier (http://www.trance.edu/papers/theory.htm Accessed: 6 December 2006) states that over two millennia ago Ptolemy and Apuleius found that differing rates of flickering lights affected states of awareness and sometimes induced epilepsy. Wier also asserts that it was discovered in the late 1920s that when light was shined on closed eyelids it resulted in an echoing production of brainwave frequencies. Wier also opined that in 1965 Grey employed a stroboscope to project rhythmic light flashes into the eyes at a rate of 1025Hz (cycles per second). Grey discovered that this stimulated similar brainwave activity.

Research by Thomas Budzynski, Oestrander et al., in the use of brain machines suggest that photic driving via the suprachiasmatic nucleus and direct electrical stimulation and driving via other mechanisms and modalities, may entrain processes of the brain facilitating rapid and enhanced learning, produce deep relaxation, euphoria, an increase in creativity, problem solving propensity and may be associated with enhanced concentration and accelerated learning. The theta range and the border area between alpha and theta has generated considerable research interest.

Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of kinesthetic driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of touch, feeling or emotions. Kinesthetic driving works through a process known as entrainment.

The rituals practiced by some athletes in preparing for contests are dismissed as superstition, but this is a device of sport psychologists to help them to attain an ecstasy-like state. Interestingly, Joseph Campbell had a peak experience whilst running. Roger Bannister on breaking the four-minute mile (Cameron, 1993: 185): “No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.” Roger Bannister later became a distinguished neurologist.

Mechanisms and disciplines that include kinesthetic driving may include: dancing, walking meditation, yoga and asana, mudra, juggling, poi (juggling), etc.

Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam) has theoretical and metaphoric texts regarding ecstasy as a state of connection with Allah. Sufi practice rituals (dhikr, sema) use body movement and music to achieve the state.

Divination is a cultural universal which anthropologists have observed as being present in many religions and cultures in all ages up to the present day (see sibyl). Divination may be defined as a mechanism for fortune-telling by ascertaining information by interpretation of omens or an alleged supernatural agency. Divination often entails ritual, and is often facilitated by trance.

In Tibet, oracles have played, and continue to play, an important part in religion and government. The word oracle is used by Tibetans to refer to the spirit, deity or entity that enters those men and women who act as media between the natural and the spiritual realms. The media are, therefore, known as kuten, which literally means, “the physical basis”.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India, still consults an oracle known as the Nechung Oracle, which is considered the official state oracle of the government of Tibet. He gives a complete description of the process of trance and possession in his book Freedom in Exile.[9]

Convergent disciplines of neuroanthropology, ethnomusicology, electroencephalography (EEG), neurotheology and cognitive neuroscience, amongst others, are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness resulting from neuron entrainment with the driving of sensory modalities, for example polyharmonics, multiphonics, and percussive polyrhythms through the channel of the auditory and kinesthetic modality.

Neuroanthropology and cognitive neuroscience are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness (possibly engendering higher consciousness) resulting from neuron firing entrainment with these polyharmonics and multiphonics. Related research has been conducted into neural entraining with percussive polyrhythms. The timbre of traditional singing bowls and their polyrhythms and multiphonics are considered meditative and calming, and the harmony inducing effects of this tool to potentially alter consciousness are being explored by scientists, medical professionals and therapists.

Scientific advancement and new technologies such as computerized EEG, positron emission tomography, regional cerebral blood flow, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, are providing measurable tools to assist in understanding trance phenomena.

Though a source of contention, there appear to be three current streams of inquiry: neurophysiology, social psychology and cognitive behaviorism. The neurophysiological approach is awaiting the development of a mechanism to map physiological measurements to human thought. The social-psychological approach currently measures gross subjective and social effects of thoughts and some critique it for lack of precision. Cognitive behaviorialists employ systems theory concepts and analytical techniques.

There are four principal brainwave states that range from high-amplitude, low-frequency delta to low-amplitude, high-frequency beta. These states range from deep dreamless sleep to a state of high arousal. These four brainwave states are common throughout humans. All levels of brainwaves exist in everyone at all times, even though one is foregrounded depending on the activity level. When a person is in an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, their brain also exhibits a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though only a trace may be present.

The University of Philadelphia study on some Christians at the Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, revealed that glossolalia-speaking (vocalizing or praying in unrecognizable form of language which is seen in members of certain Christian sects) activates areas of the brain out of voluntary control. In addition, the frontal lobe of the brain, which monitors speech, significantly diminished in activity as the study participants spoke glossolalia. Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, in analysis of his earlier studies as opposed to the MRI scans of the test subjects, stated that Buddhist monks in meditation and Franciscan nuns in prayer exhibited increased activity in the frontal lobe, and subsequently their behaviors, very much under voluntary control. The investigation found this particular beyond-body-control characteristic only in tongue-speakers (also see xenoglossia).

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Trance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cloning – Science Daily

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Jun 302016
 

Cloning is the process of creating an identical copy of an original organism or thing.

A cloning in the biological sense, therefore, is a molecule, single cell (like bacteria, lymphocytes etc.) or multi-cellular organism that has been directly copied from and is therefore genetically identical to another living organism.

Sometimes this term can refer to “natural” clones made either when an organism is asexually reproduced by chance (as with identical twins), but in common parlance, a clone is an identical copy created intentionally.

Molecular cloning refers to the procedure of isolating a DNA sequence of interest and obtaining multiple copies of it in an organism.

Cloning is frequently employed to amplify DNA fragments containing genes, an essential step in their subsequent analysis.

Frequently, the term cloning is misleadingly used to refer to the identification of the chromosomal location of a gene associated with a particular phenotype of interest.

In practice, localisation of the gene does not always enable one to amplify the relevant genomic sequence.

Cloning of any DNA sequence involves the following four steps: amplification, ligation, transfection, and screening / selection.

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Cloning – Science Daily

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Mind Uploading FAQs

 Mind Uploading  Comments Off on Mind Uploading FAQs
Jun 302016
 

What is ‘mind uploading’ (MU)? What is a ‘substrate-independent mind’ (SIM)? And what is ‘whole brain emulation’ (WBE)?

As described in the Wikipedia entry for mind uploading (MU),

‘mind uploading (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical process of copying mental content (including long-term memory and “self”) from a particular brain substrate and copying it to a computational device, such as a digital, analog, quantum-based or software-based artificial neural network.’

Mind uploading implies a process by which, from a subjective perspective, a person’s conscious experience (sense of ‘self’ or ‘personal identity’) continues, despite his or her neural functionality ceasing in the originating biological brain and subsequently occurring via brain-like processes in some other system (ostensibly some sort of computer). The concept of mind uploading therefore relies on the stance that all experience (sensory perception, conscious introspection, learning and memory, etc.) is an emergent function of neural-like processes. The biological brain is in that sense a device or machine, and as such utilizes functions which can be confidently replicated by properly arranged alternate systems, including nonbiological systems (once again, by this we imply something akin to a conventional computer).

A crucial component of mind uploading is that the process does not merely transfer or duplicate neurological or cognitive functions. Rather, it implies that a person’s subjective experience (their identity) also comes to be associated with the emergent functionality arising from the activity of the new brain-like substrate. This concept is referred to as preserving personal identity in the new substrate. Recent work has addressed the question of whether the particulars of the method used to achieve mind uploading would lead to different outcomes (Wiley & Koene, The Fallacy of Favoring Gradual Replacement Mind Uploading Over Scan-and-Copy)

The concept of mind uploading, in its full meaning, has been used in science fiction at least since the mid 1950s (e.g. Frederick Pohl, The Tunnel Under the World; Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars), and has also been used as a tool for thought experiments in philosophy. Mind uploading became a topic of considered scientific interest in the mid 1990s (e.g. the Mind Uploading Research Group).

A substrate-independent mind (SIM) is the method-agnostic term for the concept of a mind that can operate on many different types of underlying functional processing substrates, e.g. a biological brain, a special ‘neuromorphic’ device, software executed in a digital computer, etc. SIM is the desired result, the goal or objective of efforts to achieve mind uploading. The objective is to be able to sustain person-specific functions of mind and experience in many different operational substrates. A mind is then considered substrate-independent in a manner analogous to a programmer’s understanding of platform-independent computer code, which can be compiled to run on many different computing platforms.

Whole brain emulation (WBE) is the principal method proposed by which to accomplish SIM for mind uploading and many other purposes (e.g. general brain research, research into clinical neural prostheses, research into artificial general intelligence, etc). In academic research, the shorter term ‘brain emulation’ is sometimes used, and terms such as ‘whole-brain activity mapping’ are used to describe data acquisition tools developed and used in closely related fields of neuroscience. Whole brain emulation uses high resolution data about specific brain structure (e.g. the connectome) and specific brain activity (e.g. electrophysiology).

The term ’emulation’ is used, specifically, to underline the distinction when compared with investigative simulations carried out in computational neuroscience. Simulations are generally built to study system or mechanism principles derived and abstracted through the study of brain function in many animal or human subjects. While the principles learned there are important for WBE, the emulation aims to match the characteristics of mental function specific to an individual brain. When a smaller piece of a brain is emulated this is also known as a neural prostheses or neuroprosthetic (e.g. Berger et al and the hippocampal neural prosthesis).

Whole brain emulation can therefore also be thought of as applying neural prostheses to all parts of a person’s brain. Emulation, as a means to match a whole collection of target characteristics of a processing platform is also a well-known term in computing, where an emulator enables one computer system to behave like another one (e.g. emulating the old Commodore 64 on a modern computer). In engineering, the reverse engineering of a system for purposes such as emulation is known as system identification (as applied, for example, by Berger et al for the hippocampal prosthesis).

The site minduploading.org is dedicated to interest in the broader concept and goal of mind uploading. The site aims to serve general public and specialists alike, providing news, answers to questions and background information.

The minduploading.org site is closely affiliated with carboncopies.org, the non-profit organization operating as a nexus for activity and interest in the objective of substrate-independent minds (SIM). Carboncopies.org explains fundamental concepts of SIM and maintains the research roadmap and network. A Facebook carboncopies group carries on public discussions with contributed posts and updates about topical events and news.

The research site wholebrainemulation.org links to activities, labs and contacts in the fields of connectome research (e.g. high-throughput microscopy), neural prosthetics, neural interfacing, large-scale computational neuroscience and more.

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Mind Uploading FAQs

Virtual Reality – Virtual Reality

 Virtual Reality  Comments Off on Virtual Reality – Virtual Reality
Jun 302016
 

Virtual Reality

Welcome to Virtual Reality Society (VRS). A one-stop information and news resource for virtual reality and its related technologies. Here you will find a wide range of information on the exciting world of virtual reality, from comprehensive material for beginners to interesting and deep discussions of virtual realitys problems, implications and applications.

Our mission is to become the definitive source of virtual reality information and we constantly strive to achieve this goal. Be sure to bookmark us and check back regularly for new features and new sections on our site.

Virtual reality is essentially the use of technology to create the illusion of presence in an environment that isnt really there. It works by sending information to various senses, such as sight and hearing, that fool our brains into experiencing something virtual. The illusion is often completed by the presence of interactivity, in other words the virtual world responds in some way to your presence.

Of course, generating such virtual worlds by technological means is quite a complex process and requires advanced computer hardware and software to accomplish, not to mention the complexity of peripheral devices that perform virtual reality specific functions themselves.

Its this historical cost of virtual reality that has confined its application to areas where it is either infeasible to simulate something in another way or the danger of doing so would be too great. Aviation and medicine, for example, have made use of virtual reality to allow pilots and surgeons to train in their respective professions in a highly realistic manner without risking life, limb or infrastructure.

There have been attempts to translate these high-end virtual reality technologies to the consumer space before, but the technological limitations of the day meant that not only were these products not particularly good, but many were actively unpleasant to use. Issues such as motion sickness brought on by slow and laggy visuals, for example, would be enough to put anyone off from trying the technology a second time.

Today however, thanks to the march of technological innovation, virtual reality is set to undergo a renaissance in the consumer world. Virtual Reality (VR) and its close cousin Augmented Reality (AR) are going to become ever more common features in daily life, just like smartphones and the internet. Youll likely find that no matter the area you work in, virtual reality will have some impact on it in the near to medium term. So, dont get caught out by the next big consumer technology revolution! Join us in exploring the state of the art as well as the past and future of virtual reality.

We have series of articles about the various applications of this technology and the equipment used, for example, VR glasses (or goggles as they are sometimes called). This is where you can find out more about the two types of virtual environments:

Both of these result in very different types of experiences.

A virtual environment needs to place the user at its centre and ensure that he or she has a productive experience which they are likely to repeat. But a common problem with virtual reality systems is motion sickness which is caused by poor ergonomics and a lack of awareness of the physical needs of the user. This, as one of the disadvantages of virtual reality, is something which needs to be addressed.

There are many other sections to discover here at VRS, so feel free to explore every part of the site. If you have any questions or comments you can find us on the contact page.

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The Life Extension Blog

 Life Extension  Comments Off on The Life Extension Blog
Jun 302016
 

There are many reasons why people eat way too many calories that lack nutrition, such as the low cost and convenience of fast food as well as insufficient education about how their diet affects them.

The diabesity epidemic is not helped by the power that many unhealthy foods have over people. Those with strong willpower often fail to lose weight and keep it off because they are literally addicted to things they shouldnt be eating: processed, sugar-laden, starchy, fried foods.

Humans are thought to have a genetic preference for sweetness, which was originally meant to ensure survival. However, a mild desire for sweetness seems to have grown into a powerful need for sweetness that controls many lives.

You could easily become a victim of sugar addiction without realizing it since sugar is added to almost every packaged and prepared food on the market.

Children then graduate to breakfast cereals, which may portray themselves as wholesome but are actually loaded with sugar.

Its no wonder then that children become accustomed to sweet-tasting things and nearly always prefer them over healthier foods (like veggies). Parents who reward their kids with sweet treats dont help matters either.

Between sugar-laden foods (some of which appear healthy), rewards, and desserts, children can consume large amounts of sugar. About 35 years ago, a study pointed out that some children were consuming more than 280 g of sugar per average day!1

Just imagine how much healthier we could be if these numbers were lower.

To find an answer, researchers allowed rats to freely consume a sugar solution. When the sugar solution was removed, the rats exhibited impulsive behaviors similar to those brought on by drug withdrawal.2

Its no surprise the rats had that reaction. Consuming large amounts of sugar has been shown to release dopamine, the feel good neurotransmitter thats involved in memory and reward.3

The powerful effect that sugar has on our brain (making us feel good so we keep wanting more and more until we actually crave it and have withdrawals when enough isnt consumed) is analogous to the changes that take place with addictive drugs like cocaine.4 Scary!

Just like some people become addicted to drugs and some dont, some people become addicted to sugar and some dont. For some, the more sugar they consume, the more they crave. So if sugar is not used in moderation, addiction could occur and the risk of diabetes and obesity could increase. This, unfortunately, is the path so many are on now.

However, it is possible to live without added sugar! Sticking to fresh produce and making your own meals is one way to maintain control over their ingredients (or lack thereof). Healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains still contain sugar, but its naturally occurring and in lower amounts than foods sweetened with added sugar or corn syrup.

Read the labels of every food and beverage you put into your shopping cart! If it contains sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, etc., these are red flags, and you should put them back on the shelf!

Addictions are hard to break. However, when people kick their sugar habit, they report more energy, weight loss, and many other health benefits.

If you regularly consume sugar, try going without it for a few days or weeks (if you can work up to that) and see how you feel. If you do find yourself facing irresistible cravings, try snacking on fresh fruit or engaging in some exercise to redirect your focus.

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DR Vitamin Solutions – Intramax, Vision Clarity, Zetpil …

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Jun 302016
 

We offer the best vitamin and supplement brands from big names like Life Extension vitamins and organic liquid supplements such as Drucker Labs/intraMAX, to extensively researched brands that only we carry, like Zetpil and Vision Clarity. Worried about freshness? We ship direct from the manufacturer; so if you order Life Extension vitamins, they will ship direct from Life Extension in their packaging, giving you the freshest product & newest formulations available.

This means we offer Reward Points and Coupon Codes on the highest quality, doctor-recommended vitamins and supplements available to help you get the lowest possible price! We are the only store that offers these year-round coupon codes as well as cash back for your very next order with our DR Reward Points. Our sole purpose is to serve you! We encourage you to check out all we have to offer here in our web-store, and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

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DR Vitamin Solutions – Intramax, Vision Clarity, Zetpil …

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Life Extension: Natural Healthy Concepts

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Jun 302016
 

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The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

 Seasteading  Comments Off on The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up
Jun 302016
 

I first wrote about seasteading two years ago, shortly after the Seasteading Institute launched. The brainchild of Patri Friedman (grandson of Milton) and others, seasteading is a program for political reform based on a proliferation of self-governing ocean colonies. As I described it in 2008:

A key advantage of seasteads is what Friedman calls dynamic geography, the fact that any given seasteading unit is free to join or leave larger units within seasteading communities. Seasteading platforms would likely band together to provide common services like police protection, but with the key difference that any platform that was dissatisfied with the value it was receiving from such jurisdictions could leave them at any time. [Friedman] argues that this would move power downward, giving smaller units within society greater leverage to ensure the interests of their members are being served.

Seasteading is based on a delightfully bottom-up argument: that the problem with government is the lack of choice. If I dont like my job, my apartment, or my grocery store, I can easily pick up and go somewhere else. The threat of exit induces employers, landlords, and store owners, and the like to treat us well without a lot of top-down oversight. In contrast, switching governments is hard, so governments treat us poorly. Seasteaders aim to change that.

The pragmatic incrementalism of seasteading is also appealing. Friedman doesnt have to foment a revolution, or even win an election, to give seasteading a try. If he can just a few hundred people of the merits of his ideas, they can go try it without needing assistance or support from the rest of us. If the experiment fails, the cost is relatively small.

Yet seasteading is a deeply flawed project. In particular, the theory of dynamic geography is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationships among mobility, wealth creation, and government power. In a real-world seasteading community, powerful economic forces would cripple dynamic geography and leave seasteaders no freer than the rest of us.

To see the problem, imagine if someone developed the technology to transform my apartment building in Manhattan into a floating platform. Its owners could, at any time, float us out into the Hudson river and move to another state or country. Would they do it? Obviously not. They have hundreds of tenants who are paying good money to live in Manhattan. Wed be furious if we woke up one morning and found ourselves off the coast of South Carolina. Things get more, not less, difficult at larger scales. Imagine if Long Island (which includes the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and a lot of suburbs) were a huge ocean-going vessel. The residents of Long Island would overwhelmingly oppose moving; most of them have jobs, friends, familiy, churches, favorite restaurants, and other connections to the rest of the New York metro area. The value of being adjacent to Manhattan swamps whatever benefits there might be to being part of a state with lower taxes or better regulations.

Successful cities need a variety of infrastructureroads, electricity, network connectivity, water and sewer lines, and so forth. At small scales you could probably design this infrastructure to be completely modular. But that approach doesnt scale; at some point you need expensive fixed infrastructuremulti-lane highways, bridges, water mains, subway lines, power plantsthat only make economic sense if built on a geographically stable foundation. Such infrastructure wouldnt be feasible in a dynamic city, and without such infrastructure its hard to imagine a city of even modest size being viable.

I think the seasteaders response to this is that the advantages of increased liberty would be so large that people would be willing to deal with the inconveniences necessary to preserve dynamic geography. But heres the thing: The question of whether the advantages of freedom (in the leave me alone sense) outweigh the benefits of living in large urban areas is not a theoretical one. If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, thats actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no ones goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

The power of governments rests not on the immobility of real estate, but from the fact that people want to form durable relationships with other people. The residents of a seastead city would be no more enthusiastic about dynamic geopgrahy than the residents of Brooklyn. Which means that the government of the city would have the same kind of power Mayor Bloomberg has. Indeed, it would likely have more power, because the seastead city wouldnt have New Jersey a few hundred yards away ready to take disaffected residents.

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The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

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NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …
Jun 302016
 

BRUSSELS NATO and the European Union promised closer defense ties at a summit on Tuesday to deter Russia and counter Islamic militants on Europe’s borders, seeking a show of unity days after Britain voted to leave the EU.

Unnerved by the departure of Europe’s biggest-spending military power, EU and NATO officials hope a new strategy to share information and work together from the Baltics to the Mediterranean will shore up defenses that have long relied on Britain to provide ships, troops and commanders.

“Cooperation between the European Union and NATO was important before the UK vote. It has become even more important now,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at the EU summit in Brussels.

“We have to work even harder,” he said, stressing that Britain remained committed to transatlantic security as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Britain makes up about a quarter of European military spending and pays for about 15 percent of EU-led missions. But it has also blocked deeper EU defense cooperation, fearing an EU army that would be an affront to its sovereignty.

In a call for unity after the EU referendum result left Britain in disarray, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Europe needed “to guarantee that this uncertainty, this chaos, is not extended to the other EU member states.”

Mogherini presented the EU’s new five-year global strategy to Stoltenberg and EU leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron, which sets out how the European Union could act more independently of the United States if needed.

Britain, as a leading member of NATO, has pledged to work with the European Union and avoid any isolation stemming from its decision to leave the bloc.

Having failed to stabilize its neighborhood economically over the past decade, Europe now faces a myriad of threats on its borders, from a more assertive Russia following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, to a migrant crisis stemming from strife in North Africa and the Middle East.

London is not expected to stand in the way of a formal EU-NATO cooperation pact set to be signed at an alliance summit in Warsaw in July, as the two pillars of Western security aim to overcome years of mutual distrust and competition despite often having similar goals.

The European Union’s focus is to reverse years of defense cuts and allow governments to develop new tanks and ships together without relying heavily on the United States, which has been Europe’s protector since the end of World War Two.

Mogherini’s five-year plan says EU governments need “all major equipment to respond to external crises and keep Europe safe. This means having full-spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities.”

(Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …

Offshore Banking for those wishing to reduce taxes …

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on Offshore Banking for those wishing to reduce taxes …
Jun 302016
 

Belize is a leading Caribbean offshore banking jurisdiction located in northern Central America. Many visitors to this country are intrigued about offshore banking. The growth in international travel, and the increasing use of the Internet to make a living or help manage businesses from afar, has led to the growing use of offshore banking and offshore trusts to help manage income, money and assets. Many modern-day entrepreneurs and others have made the decision to relocate or diversify their financial affairs and open offshore accounts.

Belize one dollar coins

As a premier offshore banking center, the country offers unique advantages. You can fly here (under two hours from the U.S.A.) or actually drive up from North America through Mexico about 36 hours from Houston. This is a mainland country with hundreds of offshore islands. Of course you can also sail on down on your catamaran or yacht. After all the country is also a highly regarded offshore Merchant Marine Registry as well and serves as a marine registry for several private and publicly traded shipping companies around the world.

The year 2014 marks the 24nd anniversary of the birth of Belizes international financial services industry. Starting from scratch in 1990, this offshore banking center has built up a thriving financial services business. It offers a variety of offshore structures geared to the needs of international investors. These include international business companies, international trusts, protected cell companies, limited liability partnerships, mutual funds, captive and other forms of insurance, international foundations, Forex and securities trading, open ships registry, and a host of other related services.

Noted American writer Bruce Barcott describes Belize thus: Belize is a tiny nation tucked between Guatemala, Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. It is firmly attached to Central America but considers itself a Caribbean island. For more than a hundred years Belize was known as British Honduras, one of the most remote outposts of the British Empire, which explains why it is the only Latin American nation to embrace English as its official language. Belize goes unnoticed by the rest of the world, and over the years the country has parlayed its obscurity into an attractive asset. For those shipwrecked on the shoals of life, Belize offers a new beginning.

Here we offer our popular Offshore Banking FAQ. Based on on our laws; many aspects cover other offshore jurisdictions.

It is simply banking in a jurisdiction other than the one in which you live or have citizenship or residency.

Offshore Banking may have tax benefits. For example earned interest on offshore accounts and investments is paid without the deduction of tax. You may also be able to reduce your tax liability in your home country by transferring savings and investments to an offshore bank account. Added benefits include high levels of confidentiality, security and convenience, as well as global access. Offshore banks offer ways to legally move your 401K account to Belize to help finance your retirement income or build the ultimate retirement home. Check out our exclusive Belize Retirement Book.

No. You never actually have to visit your offshore bank. You can simply bank from wherever in the world you live, via a secure Internet connection, secure e-mail, post or telephone (either through a touch tone phone or by contacting your banking representative or registered agent). You can also use an ATM card provided by the offshore bank.

There are several companies that specialize in setting up offshore bank accounts. We suggest the Belize Bank International located in Belize and the Turk and Caicos Islands (known as the British Caribbean Bank). You may also consider law firms and Belize lawyers that act as Registered Agents for offshore banks.

We strongly recommend due diligence by personally visiting the bank or law firm and making your own assessment as to the pros and cons of a service provider. In Belize we can suggest the following lawyers: Rodwell Williams or Emil Arquelles. Kindly mention Belize.com if you decide to contact these attorneys. The first step to an offshore account is to establish an International Business Company, also known as an IBC.

Yes, absolutely legal. Offshore banking has been routinely and legally used for many years by individuals, companies big and small and organizations worldwide. Once the exclusive purview of high net worth individuals, offshore banking has come of age and is accessible to most anyone. Because many countries encourage international trade and enterprise, there are usually only limited restrictions on residents doing business or having bank accounts in other countries. However, reporting requirements on these accounts differ from country to country.

Some countries require residents to declare their income on a worldwide basis and tax is payable on all your income. In certain circumstances the income of an entity which you control may also be taxable. For this reason, most countries have no restrictions on where your business interests, investments or bank accounts may be located. It is your responsibility to report income to your tax authority. Belize has no such requirement and best of all no Capital Gains Tax. U.S. News and World Reports says Belize is one of the Top Ten Retirement Destinations In The World.

There are many other reasons to bank offshore apart from minimizing your tax liability. Other reasons include asset protection, estate planning, confidentiality, better returns and the ability to advance active business interests overseas from a zero tax jurisdiction with near hermetic confidentiality.

Offshore jurisdictions offer extraordinary levels of confidentiality but they cannot offer absolute secrecy. All financial institutions have a legal obligation to report suspicions of serious criminal conduct. Foreign authorities can seek information through the legal system, where there are well-founded suspicions of serious crime. A serious crime is defined as anything which is a crime in the offshore jurisdictions and would warrant a prison sentence of at least twelve months. Near absolute anonymity and confidentiality are achievable via a combination of various offshore vehicles, including International Business Companies (IBCs) and Offshore Trusts. Otherwise, all personal data is subject to modern data protection legislation, and there are severe civil and criminal penalties for breach of confidentiality and unauthorized disclosure of client information.

Yes. You get an internationally accepted debit or credit card. And you can access cash from ATMs worldwide. Debit and credit card cards can be issued in your name, or the name of your offshore company or trust. The latter arrangement can be of particular personal safety benefit when traveling in high-risk areas such as the Middle East, Africa, the Arab world or other hot spots where carrying credit or debit cards issued in western countries can be a liability.

As of June 2015 the offshore banking industry is undergoing a transformation. Western countries have been exerting pressure on Belize to enact regulations in an attempt to bring more transparency to the industry. In a statement to the media on June 23, Prime Minister Dean Barrow declared that The international community is determined and has been determined for a while to close down our offshore sector. This is just a continuation of the kind of actions they have been taking over a period of time now. Stretching back to try to achieve their objective; what I saw, somebody made the point that their own offshore jurisdiction I love they said nothing about them so that is what is involved there. I have no doubt that sooner or later they will succeed. This is the empire striking back but I think our offshore people have been preparing themselves for a while now because it has been like I said a constant onslaught. I am sorry to say that I wouldnt be surprised that if in the end they dont achieve their objective. Several banks in Belize are currently moving away from consumer type offshore account activities, and adopting a more offshore investment banking focus.

Article Updated 29 June 2015

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Offshore Banking for those wishing to reduce taxes …

Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site

 Beaches  Comments Off on Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site
Jun 302016
 

It’s An Extraordinary One

Carolina Beach offers an original kind of beach experience from the past combined with a fun, family-friendly spin for today. Visitors can experience a vintage, nationally-recognized seaside boardwalk, live music, miles of beautiful beach, world-class fishing, one-of-a kind festivals and events, and all kinds of people united by good times that are unmistakably Carolina Beach.

Trade your ordinary summer beach vacation for an extraordinary one. Enjoy classic seaside fun at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy a hot donut from the famous Britts Donut Shop, or one-of-a-kind family fun at the boardwalks seaside amusement rides, weekly Boardwalk Blast series featuring fireworks and the Free Movies at the Lake. Beach nightlife heats up when the sun goes down with live music at local tiki bars.

Check out our Summer Highlights full of high-flying coastal fun andbook a vintage motel, hotel, or vacation beach cottage offering oceanfront, harbor and lakeside views!

There is always something out of the ordinary to do in Carolina Beach, whether you are here for a long vacation or weekend getaway.At Carolina Beach State Park, hike a scenic white-sand trail leading to an overlook with gorgeous views of the Cape Fear River. Cast a line from the wooden Carolina Beach Fishing Pier. Meet an albino alligator, come face-to-face with a sea turtle, and watch the sea life swim by in a 235,000-gallon saltwater tank at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. For the history buffs, explore the Civil Wars largest land/sea battle site at Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Civil War Museum. Wherever you are in Carolina Beach, it’s only a short walk, drive or bike ride to all the activities the island offers.

Experience a vibrant nightlife thats curiously entertaining by visiting local favorites from tiki bars to colorful island hot spots, including one that features a surfing cow on the roof! Groove to the tunes at area venues and festivals from North Carolinas biggest beach music festival on the coast to blues and jazz.

Rent a condo, cozy beach cottage or hotel room, or choose to return to simpler times and stay at one of our family-owned motels. Dine with oceanfront views or at locally owned restaurants in the heart of town. Shop for souvenirs and treasures of all shapes and sizes, from boogie boards to vintage apparel.

Get away and find your original beach experience. Youll discover why there are a lot of beaches in North Carolina, but theres only one Carolina Beach.

Read more about the area.

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Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site

Is this the dawn of bake-me-a-cake libertarianism …

 Misc  Comments Off on Is this the dawn of bake-me-a-cake libertarianism …
Jun 302016
 

The Libertarian Party just nominated two former governors, New Mexico’s Gary Johnson for president and Massachusetts’ Bill Weld for vice president, in a year when more voters than ever may look for a third choice.

But Johnson and Weld at times seem to be working hard to push away one particularly homeless voting bloc that could ally with Libertarians this year: social conservatives. From their rhetoric to their policy proposals, the Libertarian nominees seem to be running against conservatives more than for liberty.

Weld and Johnson held their first post-nomination joint interview on Tuesday, on liberal network MSNBC. “We’ve never bought into this anti-choice, anti-gaysense of the Republican Party,” Weld said, as his first comment to the national television audience.

The message was clear: We don’t need those backward Christian Right bozos as much we need as you MSNBCers.

Johnson has sent similar signals, suggesting that his love of liberty is second to his revulsion to religion. In January, for instance, Johnson said he would make it a federal crime for women to wear the Burqa, the full-body covering worn by women in certain strains of Islam. Johnson recanted a day later, while continuing his warnings about the threat of Sharia Islamic law in the U.S.

This spring, Johnson pushed aside freedom of conscience. When asked in an Oregon debate about laws and lawsuits requiring caterers to participate in gay weddings, Johnson took the big-government side for coerced baking in the name of gay rights. When later asked about this anti-liberty view, Johnson made the standard liberal conflation between selling off-the-shelf cupcakes to a gay customer (which is straight-up discrimination against a person) and refusal to participate in a ceremony (which is a freedom of conscience issue, a freedom of association issue, and often a free speech issue).

The dress-code libertarianism and bake-me-a-cake libertarianism Johnson has embraced isn’t libertarianism at all it’s left-wing social engineering enforced at gunpoint. Coming from Johnson and Weld, it reeks of raw identity politics. The only consistent theme is that religious people are bad.

Johnson’s quick reversal on his Burqa ban, and his logical fallacies and weird arguments on coerced baking suggest that he doesn’t hold libertarianism as a principle he is really just a social liberal and economic conservative, as he says. This is the heart of Weld’s campaigning, too.

Maybe Weld and Johnson haven’t been paying attention since they left office, and that’s why they conflate “socially liberal” with libertarian. These days, it’s not the conservatives trying to use government to enforce their morality. The Obama administration is trying to compel nuns to provide contraception for their staff. The ACLU is suing to force Catholic hospitals to abort babies. Gary Johnson’s own state fined a Christian wedding photographer for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.

Also from the Washington Examiner

The senators have been close politically for a few years, both having been elected with Tea Party support.

06/30/16 12:30 AM

The “anti-choice” side in America today is usually the cultural Left.

At the very moment when social conservatives would be most open to libertarianism, though, the libertarian nominees are running against conservatives.

This puts Johnson and Weld at odds with the rest of libertarianism. The Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation both filed amicus briefs on behalf of Hobby Lobby, the Christian-owned store that objected to Obama’s contraception mandate.

Even on abortion, Johnson and Weld could find common ground with social conservatives. The most libertarian GOP candidates in recent cycles Rand Paul and Ron Paul were both pro-lifers who pointed out that libertarianism doesn’t preclude protecting babies from homicide. In fact, all the most free-market lawmakers are staunch pro-lifers. For instance, the three senators with the highest 2015 Club for Growth scores are Mike Lee, Ben Sasse and Marco Rubio. You have to go down to No. 48 on the Club’s ranking to find a senator who’s a legitimate moderate pro-lifer all the top 47 are strong pro-lifers.

Social conservatives are homeless this election. They are also increasingly the victim of big-government culture wars. It won’t come naturally to Johnson and Weld, but they could reach out to social conservatives this election. Such outreach would expand the coalition, and maybe help persuade some social conservatives that the fight today is mostly about limiting government’s role in our lives.

Also from the Washington Examiner

The prospects for reversing Roe v. Wade before it turns 50 don’t look very good right now.

06/30/16 12:01 AM

Johnson and Weld just need to decide whether they are more dedicated to liberty or to identity politics.

Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner’s senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

Top Story

The prospects for reversing Roe v. Wade before it turns 50 don’t look very good right now.

06/30/16 12:01 AM

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Is this the dawn of bake-me-a-cake libertarianism …

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Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse

 Socio-economic Collapse  Comments Off on Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse
Jun 282016
 

For millennia, people have considered what events might transpire at the end of the age. The ancient prophet Isaiah predicted, very explicitly, events at the end of human history, as we know it, when he wrote Isaiah 24:1-23. Most of that passage speaks of the eventual laying waste and devastation of the earth. God will not do this because He is cruel, ruthless, or evil. Rather, He will do this because of the following:

However, there always was one essential ingredient missing: a seven-year agreement, involving Israel. Encompassed within the final seven years of this age, also known as the 70th Week, will be the events that will alter human history as we know it. The prophecy, making a reference to this unique perioda week of seven yearswas given by the angel Gabriel to the Israeli prophet Daniel:

Never before, in history, has Israel engaged in a seven-year agreement with anyone, much less one that reinforced a previous accordthat is, until the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was established and funded in October 2006. Not only is the ENP scheduled to run specifically for seven years (2007 through 2013), but it confirms and strengthens a prior accord: the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EuroMed) of 1995, of which Israel also is a member.

Furthermore, included in the collection of ENP documents, involving Israel, is the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument: Israel. This document contains language affirming a goal, by the European Union (EU), to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians:

Now, if the ENP is the prophesied seven-year agreement, we would expect to see an increase in instability around the globe, not only in nature, but also socio-economically as well, during the first half of the seven years. Jesus referred to this time as the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:8).

Indeed, such things have been occurring, especially during 2008 and 2009. Besides record-breaking floods, droughts, and tornadoes in the USA, as well as a marked escalation in the frequency of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, famines, and plagues worldwide, there also has been a severe financial breakdown globally.

Today (March 1, 2009), the stock market dropped 299.64 points; it is down to a 12-year low of 6,763.29. There may be some short-term improvement; but, in the long run, there probably is no bottom in sight. As such, I look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus, at the end of the 70th Week, to rule and reign. Jesus, alone, is the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

So what is next? Well, according to the Daniel 9:27 prophecy, in the middle of the seven-year period, an end will be put to sacrifice and offering , and the abomination that causes desolation will be set up in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)in Jerusalem. On my proposed time scale, sacrifice and offering should cease during the first week of April 2010, which happens to be Passover Week 2010.

I feel that at the midpoint of the 70th Week, the Fourth Seal (Revelation 6:7,8) of the heavenly scroll will be opened. This will commence the darkest period of human history up to that point, the Great Tribulation, described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21. (In Jesus narrative, some Bible versions use the phrase great distress; other versions read great tribulation.)

This is how John described the events to take place at that time:

As such, if my time frame is correct, I anticipate the following things to take place after Passover Week of 2010:

To make things worse, I predict that there will be huge power outages, phone and internet service interruptions, food riots, bridge and building collapses, escalating unemployment and homelessness, bankruptcies, foreclosures, drug abuse, crime, murders, widespread civil unrest and revolts, declaration of martial law, and other related occurrences. The widespread denial that any of this is going to happen will make it be a great deal worse when it actually does happen.

Aside from an increase in catastrophic natural events, causing a great deal of death on the earth, there will be a global socio-economic and financial collapse, not to mention horrendous tax increases and skyrocketing hyperinflation. It may be that once the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 fails (see my Feb. 17, 2009 entry), President Obama will be forced to tell the American public that their problems, economic and otherwise, are insurmountable.

Possibly the North American Union (Canada, USA, Mexico) will be formed, with the Amero, worth a small fraction of the dollar, as the common currency. The NAU will be immersed in a much greater global crisis, and this will require global solutionsby a global leader. As such, it may be that Obama, identifying this leader as the only one who can help us, will become the False Prophet: the second beast of Revelation 13:11-17 (see Barack Obama: False Prophet?).

After entering the holy place in Jerusalem, and setting up the abomination that causes desolation inside, the first beast or Antichrist will set himself up in the temple, proclaiming himself to be God (2Thessalonians 2:4). He also will exercise his authority for 42 months [3 years] and blaspheme [the true] God (Revelation 13:5,6). Many people will be taken into captivity, and many will be killed (13:10). I also believe that during the final half (3 years) of the seven years, there will be escalating conflicts between the Antichrist and Gog (see Gog vs. Antichrist).

Once the Seventh Seal is opened, the earth and much of the life on it will be utterly devastated by the supernatural Trumpet Judgmentsthe initial wave of Gods wrath being blown out upon the earth. It is at this time that most of Isaiah 24:1-23 will come to pass. I place the opening of the Seventh Seal, most likely, in September 2012. (See an email question and response, If we have entered the 70th Week, do you see any special significance to the year 2012?)

With all of this great tribulation, suffering, and tremendous devastation of the earth to take place within less than a handful of years, what can people do to prepare for, or perhaps to avoid, most or even all of it? I am convinced that it is imperative to develop an intensely close and strong relationship with our Sovereign Lord and Master, Jehovah-Adonai. This is done mainly through prayer and obedience.

Learning as much as possible about God and Jesus (see Who Is God?, Was Jesus God?, and My Beliefs and Faith) will be critically important. For those who have not read the Bible from cover to cover, this would be a good time to do it, to understand whom God truly is and how He works (see Chronological Reading of the Bible in One Year). God does not change (Malachi 3:6). Just as He protected and delivered the ancient Israelites who loved and obeyed Him, He also will protect and deliver those believers, during the worst of times, who do the same.

A Rapture is an event in which believers (in Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Messiah) will be caught up and away from the earth, prior to the worst destruction and desolation that is to take place. Most likely, there will be multiple Raptures events (see secondary rapture events), removing true believers, at successive times, who have developed a real and intimate relationship with God. However, those who have allowed themselves to embrace the notion of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, to take place prior to the beginning of the 70th Week, have set themselves up for a gigantic disillusionment. This view of the Rapture is a bogus, pie-in-the-sky fantasy, with no valid basis in Scripture.

Potentially, Matthew 25:1-13could be indicative of a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, to occur midway through the final seven years, since the Bridegroom (Jesus) is seen to come at midnight (25:6) for half of the waiting virgins (Perhaps these are the believers who will have acquired their oil by properly utilizing, rather than wasting, the gifts of the Holy Spirit that God has provided them.) On my proposed time scale, this would be during the first week of April 2010. Interestingly, the exact midpoint is April 4, 2010, which just happens to be Resurrection Day (Easter). I believe it is possible that as many as half of believers could be caught up and away at that time.

If so, the majority of remaining believers would have to wait for the Pre-Wrath Rapture event to take place, soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal, but prior to the opening of the Seventh Seal (initiating Gods wrath). In any case, anyone who is present on the earth during the Great Tribulation period might wish to read repentance, endurance, and overcoming in my Chronology of Revelation commentary.

I also recommend that, besides becoming spiritually prepared for the dark tunnel ahead, people also should become psychologically and emotionally prepared as well. The world, as we know it, is going to change radically and drastically. Many of our comforts of daily life, and many of the things that we take for granted, will be compromised, or even eliminated altogether. Prices of common necessities, such as food and gasoline, will skyrocket, due to scarcity and hyperinflation. Sadly, multitudes of people will not be able to cope; unfortunately, the rates of insanity and suicide will soar.

It is advisable to stock up on items on my Adversity Supplies Basic Check List. This will provide at least some buffer when massive shortages (scarcity) and enormous price increases (hyperinflation) occur. It also is a good idea to recommend to friends, neighbors, and other family members that they do the same. Otherwise, when shortages occur, these people may come to you for help, and you will not be able to supply everybody that you know.

Know always that the Lord God is in charge. Nothing is too difficult for God. He provided, miraculously, for the ancient Israelites, drifting through the desert for forty years. Likewise, He can provide for those who acknowledge Him as Lord and God and follow His commandments.

Those who take the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16-18) will be forever sorry that they have done so (14:9-11, 16:2). At the same time that satanic miracles will be abounding, to deceive those who are lost (2Thessalonians 2:9),Jehovah-Jireh will be performing miracles of provision and deliverance for those who have refused the mark and who willingly and faithfully pledge their allegiance and devotion to Him. And those believers who die during this horrific time in history will have the blessed assurance and comfort that they will be with their God for eternity.

So if my seven-year hypothesis is correct, here is a summary of the things that can be expected to take place, beginning a few months into 2010:

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Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse

A Brief History of the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance

 War On Drugs  Comments Off on A Brief History of the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance
Jun 282016
 

The Early Stages of Drug Prohibition

Many currently illegal drugs, such as marijuana, opium, coca, and psychedelics have been used for thousands of years for both medical and spiritual purposes. So why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It’s not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs.

The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.

In the 1960s, as drugs became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and political dissent, the government halted scientific research to evaluate their medical safety and efficacy.

In June 1971, President Nixon declared a war on drugs. He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.

In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.

Between 1973 and 1977, however, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession. In January 1977, President Jimmy Carter was inaugurated on a campaign platform that included marijuana decriminalization. In October 1977, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

Within just a few years, though, the tide had shifted. Proposals to decriminalize marijuana were abandoned as parents became increasingly concerned about high rates of teen marijuana use. Marijuana was ultimately caught up in a broader cultural backlash against the perceived permissiveness of the 1970s.

The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.

Public concern about illicit drug use built throughout the 1980s, largely due to media portrayals of people addicted to the smokeable form of cocaine dubbed crack. Soon after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his wife, Nancy Reagan, began a highly-publicized anti-drug campaign, coining the slogan “Just Say No.”

This set the stage for the zero tolerance policies implemented in the mid-to-late 1980s. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that casual drug users should be taken out and shot, founded the DARE drug education program, which was quickly adopted nationwide despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. The increasingly harsh drug policies also blocked the expansion of syringe access programs and other harm reduction policies to reduce the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the late 1980s, a political hysteria about drugs led to the passage of draconian penalties in Congress and state legislatures that rapidly increased the prison population. In 1985, the proportion of Americans polled who saw drug abuse as the nation’s “number one problem” was just 2-6 percent. The figure grew through the remainder of the 1980s until, in September 1989, it reached a remarkable 64 percent one of the most intense fixations by the American public on any issue in polling history. Within less than a year, however, the figure plummeted to less than 10 percent, as the media lost interest. The draconian policies enacted during the hysteria remained, however, and continued to result in escalating levels of arrests and incarceration.

Although Bill Clinton advocated for treatment instead of incarceration during his 1992 presidential campaign, after his first few months in the White House he reverted to the drug war strategies of his Republican predecessors by continuing to escalate the drug war. Notoriously, Clinton rejected a U.S. Sentencing Commission recommendation to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.

He also rejected, with the encouragement of drug czar General Barry McCaffrey, health secretary Donna Shalalas advice to end the federal ban on funding for syringe access programs. Yet, a month before leaving office, Clinton asserted in a Rolling Stone interview that “we really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment” of people who use drugs, and said that marijuana use “should be decriminalized.”

At the height of the drug war hysteria in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a movement emerged seeking a new approach to drug policy. In 1987, Arnold Trebach and Kevin Zeese founded the Drug Policy Foundation describing it as the loyal opposition to the war on drugs. Prominent conservatives such as William Buckley and Milton Friedman had long advocated for ending drug prohibition, as had civil libertarians such as longtime ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser. In the late 1980s they were joined by Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Federal Judge Robert Sweet, Princeton professor Ethan Nadelmann, and other activists, scholars and policymakers.

In 1994, Nadelmann founded The Lindesmith Center as the first U.S. project of George Soros Open Society Institute. In 2000, the growing Center merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to create the Drug Policy Alliance.

George W. Bush arrived in the White House as the drug war was running out of steam yet he allocated more money than ever to it. His drug czar, John Walters, zealously focused on marijuana and launched a major campaign to promote student drug testing. While rates of illicit drug use remained constant, overdose fatalities rose rapidly.

The era of George W. Bush also witnessed the rapid escalation of the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors. While federal reform mostly stalled under Bush, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war.

Politicians now routinely admit to having used marijuana, and even cocaine, when they were younger. When Michael Bloomberg was questioned during his 2001 mayoral campaign about whether he had ever used marijuana, he said, “You bet I did and I enjoyed it.” Barack Obama also candidly discussed his prior cocaine and marijuana use: “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently that was the point.”

The assault on American citizens, however, has persisted. President Obama, despite advocating for reforms such as reducing the crack/powder sentencing disparity, ending the ban on federal funding for syringe access programs, and supporting state medical marijuana laws has yet to shift the majority of drug control funding to a health-based approach.

Marijuana reform has gained unprecedented momentum throughout the Americas. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for adults. In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legally regulate marijuana. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically in favor of sensible reforms that expand health-based approaches while reducing the role of criminalization in drug policy. Yet the assault on American citizens and others continues, with 700,000 people still arrested for marijuana offenses each year and almost 500,000 people still behind bars for nothing more than a drug law violation.

Progress is inevitably slow but there is unprecedented momentum behind drug policy reform right now. We look forward to a future where drug policies are shaped by science and compassion rather than political hysteria.

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A Brief History of the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance

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The Golden Rule in World Religions – TeachingValues.com

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Jun 282016
 

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1 Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2 Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5,1 Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517 Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id Taoism Regard your neighbors gain as your gain, and your neighbors loss as your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Yin Pien Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

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The Golden Rule in World Religions – TeachingValues.com

18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule : zen habits

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Jun 282016
 

thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself., Leviticus 19:18

One of the few rules I try to live my life by, and fail every day trying, is the Golden Rule.

I love the simplicity of the Golden Rule, its tendency to make I interact with happier and its tendency to make me happier as well.

Its true: the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated in their place will ultimately lead to your own happiness.

Lets say that you apply the Golden Rule in all of your interactions with other people, and you help your neighbors, you treat your family with kindness, you go the extra mile for your co-workers, you help a stranger in need.

Now, those actions will undoubtedly be good for the people you help and are kind to but youll also notice a strange thing. People will treat you better too, certainly. Beyond that, though, you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a belief in yourself, a knowledge that you are a good person and a trust in yourself.

Those are not small dividends. They are huge. And for that reason not even considering that our world will be a better place if more people live by this rule I recommend you make the Golden Rule a focus of your actions, and try to live by it to the extent that you can.

I will admit that there are strong arguments against the Golden Rule, that there are exceptions and logic arguments that the Golden Rule, taken to extremes, falls apart. Im not concerned about that stuff. The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, living by the Golden Rule will make you a better person, will make those around you happier, and will make the community you live in a better place.

With that in mind, lets take a look at some practical tips for living the Golden Rule in your daily life:

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18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule : zen habits

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Live by the Golden Rule (pledge/petition/proclamation …

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Jun 282016
 

Sign the petition Petition results Who What & Why All Life strives to incorporate the principle of the Golden Rule. Directing our attention toward understanding this most basic principle gives us a reasonable, common sense and compassionate direction in anything we do. Remembering and putting the Golden Rule to use each day in our own lives transforms our relationship with ourselves, with others and with our environment, the planet Earth. An invitation to All:

1stStrive and Incorporate: strive to understand the meaning of the Golden Rule for myself and how I wish to incorporate it in my life, recognizing that this effort is sometimes hard and yet always helpful.

2ndInvite and Request: invite/petition/request those who represent me to do the same: live by the Golden Rule. My representatives will change the world for the better when they apply it within their organizations, such as in any of the religious traditions, teachings and in communities; environmental, civic, economic, educational, political, or social entities.

3rdStand in Unity: join with those on this planet who wish to take real responsibility toward compassion and fairness; and to build an understanding with my neighbors about what is to be done in each new situation based upon the principle of the Golden Rule. Simply stated,

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Live by the Golden Rule (pledge/petition/proclamation …




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution