terça-feira, 30 de setembro de 2008

Mystery of the Mind

September 2008

From rose-tinted views of childhood to clear recollections of events that never happened, research shows that memories are both suggestible and inherently idealised. Kate Hilpern finds out just how unreliable our powers of recall are.

Oscar Wilde described memory as "the diary that we all carry about", but psychologists increasingly believe that even when our recollections of the past are held with great confidence, emotion and clarity, they can be at best inexact and at worst completely false.

For years, Sonya Wheeler remembered her early primary school days as full of fun. "I used to think about the school's beautiful garden that had a sprinkler, which we all used to run through in fits of giggles," she says.

Recently, however, her mother put her straight. "She said that I had been miserable at that school, that a couple of girls really picked on me. She also said the school didn't have a pretty garden, nor did it have a sprinkler. I think I might have muddled it with a garden of a friend where I used to play years later."

Wheeler's rose-tinted recall is not uncommon. Memories, no matter how distant, generally work in our favour. "Our memories have a superiority complex," says Elizabeth Loftus, professor of psychology and social behaviour at the University of California. "We remember we got better grades than we did, that we voted in elections we didn't vote in, that we gave more money to charity than we did, that our kids walked and talked earlier than they really did. It's not that we're lying. It's just something that happens naturally to allow us to feel a little better about ourselves."

This illusion happens less among people who are depressed. "You could argue that they are sadder, but wiser," says Loftus. Anyone who is horrified at the thought of unwittingly distorting their memories to suit their own ends, she says, should ask themselves: "Would you rather be living with a little bit of fiction or a lot of unhappiness?"

In order to prove the extent to which memories are malleable, Loftus carried out a major study in the 1990s in which participants were asked to read descriptions of events that happened to them as children. Unknown to them, one event was fabricated - a shopping trip when they were five, in which they got lost and were rescued by an elderly person.

So susceptible to the simple but suggestive techniques used by the researchers were some participants that in their memory reports, they talked about the event in detail, with self-assurance and emotion.

You could argue that these people might have genuinely lost their mum in a shop at some point during childhood, but Loftus later carried out similar studies where the fake event was an attack by a vicious animal, witnessing someone being demonically possessed, or being responsible for knocking over a punch bowl at a family wedding and spilling it all over the bride. The results were the same.

Since then, ever more sophisticated studies have taken place, again with similar conclusions. One recently found that when researchers accompanied their suggestive techniques with a related photo, the participant was even more likely to believe a false memory fed to them. This time, the participant was told that they were reprimanded at school for sneaking Slime (the gooey green toy) into their teacher's desk.

Of those subjects who were not given a class photo featuring themselves, 23% formed false memories of the event. But with the photo, the false memory rate soared to 65%.

In one of her latest studies, Kimberley Wade, associate professor in psychology at the University of Warwick, digitally altered childhood photos of participants so that it looked as though they were in a hot-air balloon. The participants were handed the photo. The level of detail with which they created the false memory was astounding.

"I'm still pretty certain it occurred when I was in Year 6 at school - basically for $10 you could go up in a hot-air balloon and go up about 20-odd metres," said one. "I'm pretty sure that Mum is down on the ground taking a photo."

These findings matter, says Wade, not least because some police interrogators use suggestive techniques and images that could lead to illiciting false memories from witnesses and defendants. "We know that some people have been led to believe they committed a crime which they didn't, and have even confessed to it," she says.

A new study, released recently by the University of Portsmouth found that, when asked leading questions, four in 10 people had false memories of the 7/7 London bombings - describing in detail non-existent CCTV footage, such as images of the explosion on the bus in Tavistock Square. Dr James Ost, a psychologist at the University of Portsmouth, said: "Memories are not like a videotape you can rewind and replay for perfect recall. Because of this, memory alone is not reliable enough to form the basis of legal decisions."

Therapists, too, warns Wade, sometimes use stronger suggestive techniques than psychological researchers are allowed to use on ethical grounds. "In my early adolescence, I had early-onset clinical depression that was not picked up," says Sarah Gee. "I had the bad luck of seeing a psychiatrist who believed that something had happened to me. Feeling under pressure, I too began to believe something terrible must have happened," she says.

Later, when Gee was in an adolescent psychiatric unit, this psychiatrist continued to use language that Gee believes was suggestive and that eventually pushed her into making allegations of abuse by family members.

"When I tried to retract what I'd said, I felt I was seen as not being able to deal with the truth. I spent 18 months in foster care," she says.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood stresses, however, that we should not fall into the trap of seeing recovered memories as inherently false. Planting false memories can also have positive effects, says Wade. "If you lead people to believe they liked healthy food as a child - getting them to 'remember' that they enjoyed asparagus the first time they tried it - that person is likely to go for healthy food when a range of choices is presented to them."

She adds:"There's also research that involved videoing kids with behavioural problems. The more they were exposed to a video in which the bad behaviour was edited out, the more they created memories of being well-behaved and the more they started actually behaving well."

The writer Karl Sabbagh, who is working on a book entitled ‘Remembering Childhood: How Memory Betrays Us’, says that we use memory to score points in our daily lives, which influences our recollections. "We love telling stories in the hope that people will find us interesting," he says. "That in itself is a passive mechanism by which memory gets shaped. It doesn't even need someone to ask leading questions or show photos."

One of the most surprising things of all about memory is that contrary to popular belief, the more specific the detail, the less likely the memory is to be accurate. And while gaps in a memory are generally believed to indicate an unreliable memory, the reality is that gaps are virtually a hallmark of the remembering process.

"People still have this intuitive belief that if someone recounts a memory, it must be true if they display strong emotions," says Cara Laney, lecturer in forensic psychology at the University of Leicester. "But I've been studying memory so long that I don't trust very many of my childhood memories at all."

Article from:


Humans Have Astonishing Memories, Study Finds
Mind Control Slavery and the New World Order
Monarch Mind Control
The Mind Has No Firewall
Subliminal Advertising and Modern Day Brainwashing
Electromagnetic Weapons, Mind Control, New Technology & Animal Recruits
We are moving ever closer to the era of mind control
Forces of the Unconscious Mind
On the Nature of Four - Jung’s Quarternity, Mandalas, the Stone and the Self
Subtle Bodies - Manipulating the Mind of Man
Consciousness, OBE, RV, NDE, Entheogens and Altered States
Deep DNA memory theories: Can we remember our ancestors’ lives?
What some Think About Existence
The Speed of Life
Rapid Perception - Slowing Time Down

Source: http://www.redicecreations.com

sábado, 27 de setembro de 2008

Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran

August 2008
By Marguerite Del Giudice
Photograph by Newsha Tavakolian

Iran Archaeology

Iranian woman visiting Persepolis

What's so striking about the ruins of Persepolis in southern Iran, an ancient capital of the Persian Empire that was burned down after being conquered by Alexander the Great, is the absence of violent imagery on what's left of its stone walls. Among the carvings there are soldiers, but they're not fighting; there are weapons, but they're not drawn. Mainly you see emblems suggesting that something humane went on here instead—people of different nations gathering peace­fully, bearing gifts, draping their hands amiably on one another's shoulders. In an era noted for its barbarity, Persepolis, it seems, was a relatively cosmopolitan place—and for many Iranians today its ruins are a breathtaking reminder of who their Persian ancestors were and what they did.

The recorded history of the country itself spans some 2,500 years, culminating in today's Islamic Republic of Iran, formed in 1979 after a revolution inspired in part by conservative clerics cast out the Western-backed shah. It's argu­ably the world's first modern constitutional theocracy and a grand experiment: Can a country be run effectively by holy men imposing an extreme version of Islam on a people soaked in such a rich Persian past?

Persia was a conquering empire but also regarded in some ways as one of the more glorious and benevolent civilizations of antiquity, and I wondered how strongly people might still identify with the part of their history that's illustrated in those surviving friezes. So I set out to explore what "Persian" means to Iranians, who at the time of my two visits last year were being shunned by the international community, their culture demonized in Western cinema, and their leaders cast, in an escalating war of words with Washington, D.C., as menacing would-be terrorists out to build the bomb.

You can't really separate out Iranian identity as one thing or another—broadly speaking, it's part Persian, part Islamic, and part Western, and the paradoxes all exist together. But there is a Persian identity that has nothing to do with Islam, which at the same time has blended with the culture of Islam (as evidenced by the Muslim call to prayer that booms from loudspeakers situated around Persepolis, a cue to visitors that they are not only in a Persian kingdom but also in an Islamic republic). This would be a story about those Iranians who still, at least in part, identify with their Persian roots. Perhaps some millennial spillover runs through the makeup of what is now one of the world's ticking hot spots. Are vestiges of the life-loving Persian nature (wine, love, poetry, song) woven into the fabric of abstinence, prayer, and fatalism often associated with Islam—like a secret computer program running quietly in the background?

Surviving, Persian Style

Iran's capital city of Tehran is an exciting, pollution-choked metropolis at the foot of the Elburz Mountains. Many of the buildings are made of tiny beige bricks and girded with metal railings, giving the impression of small compounds coming one after the other, punctuated by halted construction projects and parks. There are still some beautiful gardens here, a Persian inheritance, and private ones, with fruit trees and fountains, fishponds and aviaries, flourishing inside the brick walls.

While I was here, two Iranian-born American academics, home for a visit, had been locked up, accused of fomenting a velvet revolution against the government. Eventually they were released. But back in the United States, people would ask, wasn't I afraid to be in Iran?—the assumption being that I must have been in danger of getting locked up myself.

But I was a guest in Iran, and in Iran a guest is accorded the highest status, the sweetest piece of fruit, the most comfortable place to sit. It's part of a complex system of ritual politeness—taarof—that governs the subtext of life here. Hospitality, courting, family affairs, political negotiations; taarof is the unwritten code for how people should treat each other. The word has an Arabic root, arafa, meaning to know or acquire knowledge of. But the idea of taarof—to abase oneself while exalting the other person—is Persian in origin, said William O. Beeman, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Minnesota. He described it as "fighting for the lower hand," but in an exquisitely elegant way, making it possible, in a hierarchical society like Iran's, "for people to paradoxically deal with each other as equals."

Wherever I went, people fussed over me and made sure that all my needs were met. But they can get so caught up trying to please, or seeming to, and declining offers, or seeming to, that true intentions are hidden. There's a lot of mind reading and lighthearted, meaningless dialogue while the two parties go back and forth with entreaties and refusals until the truth reveals itself.

Being smooth and seeming sincere while hiding your true feelings—artful pretending—is considered the height of taarof and an enormous social asset. "You never show your intention or your real identity," said a former Iranian political prisoner now living in France. "You're making sure you're not exposing yourself to danger, because throughout our history there has been a lot of danger there."

Geography as Destiny

Indeed, the long course of Iranian history is satu­rated with wars, invasions, and martyrs, including the teenage boys during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s who carried plastic keys to heaven while clearing minefields by walking bravely across them. The underlying reason for all the drama is: location. If you draw lines from the Mediterranean to Beijing or Beijing to Cairo or Paris to Delhi, they all pass through Iran, which straddles a region where East meets West. Over 26 centuries, a blending of the hemispheres has been going on here—trade, cultural interchange, friction—with Iran smack in the middle.

Meanwhile, because of its wealth and strategic location, the country was also overrun by one invader after another, and the Persian Empire was established, lost, and reestablished a number of times—by the Achaemenids, the Parthians, and the Sassanids—before finally going under. Invaders have included the Turks, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, and, most significantly, Arabian tribesmen. Fired with the zeal of a new religion, Islam, they humbled the ancient Persian Empire for good in the seventh century and ushered in a period of Muslim greatness that was distinctly Persian. The Arab expansion is regarded as one of the most dramatic movements of any people in history. Persia was in its inexorable path, and, ever since, Iranians have been finding ways to keep safe their identity as distinct from the rest of the Muslim and Arab world. "Iran is very big and very ancient," said Youssef Madjidzadeh, a leading Iranian archaeologist, "and it's not easy to change the hearts and identity of the people because of this."

They like to say, for instance, that when invaders came to Iran, the Iranians did not become the invaders; the invaders became Iranians. Their conquerors were said to have "gone Persian," like Alexander, who, after laying waste to the vanquished Persia, adopted its cultural and administrative practices, took a Persian wife (Roxana), and ordered thousands of his troops to do the same in a mass wedding. Iranians seem particularly proud of their capacity to get along with others by assimilating compatible aspects of the invaders' ways without surrendering their own—a cultural elasticity that is at the heart of their Persian identity.

Welcome to Aratta

The earliest reports of human settlement in Iran go back at least 10,000 years, and the country's name derives from Aryans who migrated here beginning around 1500 b.c. Layers of civilization—tens of thousands of archaeological sites—are yet to be excavated. One recent find quickening some hearts was unearthed in 2000 near the city of Jiroft, when flash floods along the Halil River in the southeast exposed thousands of old tombs. The excavation is just six seasons old, and there isn't much to see yet. But intriguing artifacts have been found (including a bronze goat's head dating back perhaps 5,000 years), and Jiroft is spoken of as possibly an early center of civilization contemporary with Mesopotamia.

Youssef the archaeologist, an authority on the third millennium b.c., directs the digs. He used to run the archaeology department at the Univer­sity of Tehran but lost his job after the revolution and moved to France. Over the years, he said, "things changed." Interest in archaeology revived, and he was invited back to run Jiroft. Youssef thinks it may be the fabled "lost" Bronze Age land of Aratta, circa 2700 b.c., reputedly legendary for magnificent crafts that found their way to Mesopotamia. But thus far there's no proof, and other scholars are skeptical. What would he have to find to put the matter unequivocally to rest? He chuckled wist­fully. "The equivalent of an engraved arch that says, ‘Welcome to Aratta.' "

Prospects for more digs at the thousands of unexplored sites seem daunting. In Iran the price of meat is high, there aren't enough jobs, the bureaucracy is inscrutable, bloated, and inefficient, and state corruption—as described to me by three different people—is "an open secret," "worse than ever," and "institutionalized."

"The country has many needs," Youssef said, "and certainly archaeology is not the main subject." But since Jiroft, "all the provinces are interested in excavating, and every little town wants to be known around the world like Jiroft. They're proud, and there are rivalries."

Youssef was slouched happily in a faux-leather chair in the offices of his publisher, munching tiny green grapes while musing about why Iranians are the way they are. As much as anything else, he thought, it was the geography, for when the Iranians were being overrun time after time, "where could they go—the desert? There was no place to run and hide." They stayed, they got along, they pretended and made taarof. "The tree here has very deep roots."

Superpower Nostalgia

The legacy from antiquity that has always seemed to loom large in the national psyche is this: The concepts of freedom and human rights may not have originated with the classical Greeks but in Iran, as early as the sixth century b.c. under the Achaemenid emperor Cyrus the Great, who established the first Persian Empire, which would become the largest, most powerful kingdom on Earth. Among other things, Cyrus, reputedly a brave and humble good guy, freed the enslaved Jews of Babylon in 539 b.c., sending them back to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple with money he gave them, and established what has been called the world's first religiously and culturally tolerant empire. Ultimately it comprised more than 23 different peoples who coexisted peacefully under a central government, originally based in Pasargadae—a kingdom that at its height, under Cyrus's successor, Darius, extended from the Mediterranean to the Indus River.

So Persia was arguably the world's first superpower.

"We have a nostalgia to be a superpower again," said Saeed Laylaz, an economic and political analyst in Tehran, "and the country's nuclear ambitions are directly related to this desire." The headlines are familiar: A consensus report of key U.S. spy agencies—the National Intelligence Estimate—concluded last December that a military-run program to develop nuclear weapons in Iran was halted in 2003. Iran continues to enrich uranium, insisting that it wants only to produce fuel for its nuclear power plants, but highly enriched uranium is also a key ingredient for a nuclear bomb. As a deterrent, the UN has imposed increasing economic sanctions. But Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative hard-liner, is giving no ground while at the same time making frequent threatening remarks about nearby Israel, denying the Holocaust, and, according to the U.S. government, sending weapons and munitions to extremist militias in Iraq that are being used against Iraqis and U.S. forces there.

"At one time the area of the country was triple what it is now, and it was a stable superpower for more than a thousand years," said Saeed, a slender, refined man in glasses and starched shirtsleeves rolled to three-quarter length, sitting in his elegant apartment next to a lamp resembling a cockatoo, with real feathers. The empire once encompassed today's Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the Caucasus region. "The borders have moved in over the centuries, but this superpower nostalgia, so in contradiction to reality," he said, "is all because of the history."

At the foundation of which, again, is Cyrus, and in particular something called the Cyrus Cylinder—perhaps Iran's most exalted artifact—housed at the British Museum in London, with a replica residing at UN headquarters in New York City. The cylinder resembles a corncob made of clay; inscribed on it, in cuneiform, is a decree that has been described as the first charter of human rights—predating the Magna Carta by nearly two millennia. It can be read as a call for religious and ethnic freedom; it banned slavery and oppression of any kind, the taking of property by force or without compensation; and it gave member states the right to subject themselves to Cyrus's crown, or not. "I never resolve on war to reign."

"To know Iran and what Iran really is, just read that transcription from Cyrus," said Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. We were in her central Tehran apartment building, in a basement office lined with mahogany-and-glass bookcases. Inside one was a tiny gold copy of the cylinder, encased in a Plexiglas box that she held out to me as if presenting a newborn child. "Such greatness as the cylinder has been shown many times in Iran," but the world doesn't know it, she said. "When I go abroad, people get surprised when they realize that 65 percent of the college students here are girls. Or when they see Iranian paintings and Iranian architecture, they are shocked. They are judging a civilization just by what they have heard in the last 30 years"—the Islamic revolution; the rollbacks of personal freedoms, particularly for women; the nuclear program and antagonism with the West. They know nothing of the thousands of years that came before, she said—what the Iranians went through to remain distinct from their invaders, and how they did it.

For instance, she said, after the Arabs came, and Iran converted to Islam, "eventually we turned to the Shiite sect, which was different from the Arabs, who are Sunni."

They were still Muslims, but not Arabs.

"We were Iranian."

In fact, the first thing people said when I asked what they wanted the world to know about them was, "We are not Arabs!" (followed closely by, "We are not terrorists!"). A certain Persian chauvinism creeps into the dialogue. Even though economically they're not performing as well as Arab states like Dubai and Qatar, they still feel exceptional. The Arabs who conquered Iran are commonly regarded as having been little more than Bedouin living in tents, with no culture of their own aside from what Iran gave them, and from the vehemence with which they are still railed against, you would think it happened not 14 centuries ago but last week.

I met a woman at a wedding who gave off the air of an aging movie star, her dapper husband beside her wearing his white dinner jacket and smoking out of a cigarette holder, and it wasn't five minutes before she lit into the Arabs.

"Everything went down after they came, and we have never been the same!" she said, wringing someone's neck in the air. And a friend I made here, an English teacher named Ali, spoke of how the loss of the empire still weighed on the national consciousness. "Before they came, we were a great and civilized power," he said, as we drove to his home on the outskirts of Shiraz, dodging motorcycles and tailgaters. Echoing commonly stated (though disputed) lore, he added: "They burned our books and raped our women, and we couldn't speak Farsi in public for 300 years, or they took out our tongues."

The Cult of Ferdowsi

The Iranians spoke Farsi anyway. The national language has been Arabized to some extent, but Old Persian remains at its root. The man credited with helping save the language, and the history, from oblivion is a tenth-century poet named Ferdowsi. Ferdowsi is Iran's Homer. Iranians idolize their poets—among many, Rumi, Sa‘id, Omar Khayyám, Hāfez (whose works are said to be consulted for guidance about love and life as much as, if not more than, the Islamic holy book, the Koran). When the people were oppressed by the latest invader and couldn't safely speak their minds, the poets did it for them, cleverly disguised in verse. "Sometimes they were executed," said Youssef the archaeologist, "but they did it anyway." So today, although Iran is home to many cultural denominations (and languages) other than Persian—Turkmen, Arab, Azeri, Baluchi, Kurd, and others—"everyone can speak Farsi," he said, "which is one of the oldest living languages in the world."

The poet-hero Ferdowsi, a sincere Muslim who resented the Arab influence, spent 30 years writing, in verse with minimal use of Arabic-derived words, an epic history of Iran called the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings. This panorama of conflict and adventure chronicles 50 monarchies—their accessions to the throne, their deaths, the frequent abdications and forcible overthrows—and ends with the Arab conquest, depicted as a disaster. The most heralded character is Rostam, a chivalrous figure of courage and integrity, a national savior and "trickster hero," according to Dick Davis, a Persian scholar at Ohio State University who has translated the Shahnameh into English. "The stories of Rostam are their myths," he said. "This is how the Iranians see themselves."

The tales involve feuding kings and hero-champions, in which the latter are almost always represented as ethically superior to the kings they serve, facing the dilemmas of good men living under an evil or incompetent government. The work is haunted by the idea that those ethically most fitted to rule are precisely the ones most reluctant to rule, preferring instead to devote themselves to humankind's chief concerns: the nature of wisdom, the fate of the human soul, and the incomprehensibility of God's purposes.

The original Shahnameh is long gone, and all that's left are copies, including one in Tehran's Golestan Palace museum. Its caretaker, a sweet-faced young woman named Behnaz Tabrizi, cleared a large table and covered it with a green felt sheet. She retrieved a black box from a safe in an adjoining bulletproof room equipped with fire and earthquake alarms and climate control and laid a red velvet cloth on top of the green felt cloth, because the Iranians like to make little ceremonies out of everything, if they can. I had to wear a surgical mask to protect the manuscript from stray saliva and the condensation from my breath, and Behnaz put on white cotton gloves. She gently lifted the book, which dates to about 1430, out of its box and gingerly turned the pages with the tips of her fingers while I examined its 22 illustrations with a magnifying glass. They depicted scenes the collective cultural memory is steeped in—someone tied to a tree while awaiting his fate; Rostam unwittingly killing his own son, Sohrab, in battle; men on horseback with spears fighting invaders on elephants—all precisely drawn and vibrantly colored, using inks that were made from crushed stones mixed with the liquid squeezed from flower petals.

It is said that just about anybody on the street, regardless of education, can recite some Ferdowsi, and there are usually readings going on at colleges or someone's apartment or traditional Persian teahouses, like one in south Tehran called Azari. The walls were covered with scenes from the Shahnameh, among them the one of Rostam killing Sohrab. A storyteller did a one-man dramatic reading, and afterward musicians played traditional music and sang about yearning for the love of a woman or for the love of Allah. People sat together at long tables or stretched out on platforms covered with Persian rugs, smoking their tiny Bahman cigarettes and clapping to the music, while waiters brought dates and cookies and tea in delicate little glasses with little spoons, followed by kebabs, yogurt milk, pickles, and beet salad. Children danced on the tabletops as the patrons cheered them on and took pictures with their cell phones.

"They Can't Control What's Inside Us"

Thanks to Ferdowsi, the Iranians always had their language to unite them and keep them different from the outside world—and they also took pains to safeguard their cultural touchstones.

Take the New Year: Nowruz, a 13-day extravaganza during which everything shuts down and the people eat a lot, dance, recite poetry, and build fires that they jump back and forth over. It's a thanksgiving of sorts, celebrated around the spring equinox, and a holdover holiday from Zoroastrianism, at one time the state religion of the Persians. Zoroastrianism's teachings—good and evil, free will, final judgment, heaven and hell, one almighty God—have influenced many reli­gions, including the world's three main faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. By the time the Arabs arrived, bringing what was for them the new idea of worshipping a single God, Persians had been doing it for more than a millennium.

These days some officials see the bond with antiquity as a focus for hope. "We are a nation with such a history that the world could listen to us," Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee told me. "We hope that by taking pride in our archaeological sites, the people realize their capabilities, and it imbues the soul of the nation." But conservative Islamists who have no interest in reviving Persian identity can still hold sway. At times the government has tried to diminish the importance of Nowruz or replace it with a different New Year, such as the birthday of Imam Ali, the historical leader of the Shiite Muslims. "They would bring forces and arrest people," my friend Ali said. "But they couldn't get rid of Nowruz because we've been practicing Nowruz for 2,500 years! They don't really control us, because they can't control what's inside us."

That has never stopped Iran's leaders from trying, or foreign powers from interfering—particularly after the country was discovered, around the turn of the 20th century, to be sitting on what Iran claims is an estimated 135 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves, the second largest in the world after Saudi Arabia. Adding to the drama is that the Persian Gulf is located along Iran's southern border. On the other side lies much of the rest of the world's crude, in the oil fields of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. There's also a hairpin waterway in the gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes every day. So Iran is in a unique position to threaten the world's oil supply and delivery—or sell its own oil elsewhere than to the West.

Oil was at the root of a 1953 event that is still a sore subject for many Iranians: the CIA-backed overthrow, instigated and supported by the British government, of Iran's elected and popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Mossadegh had kicked out the British after the Iranian oil industry, controlled through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later BP), was nationalized, and the British had retaliated with an economic blockade. With the Cold War on and the Soviet bloc located just to the north, the U.S. feared that a Soviet-backed communism in Iran could shift the balance of world power and jeopardize Western interests in the region. The coup—Operation TP-Ajax—is believed to have been the CIA's first. (Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., Teddy's grandson, ran the show, and H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the father of the Persian Gulf war commander, was enlisted to coax the shah into playing his part. Its base of operations was the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the future "nest of spies" to the Iranians, where 52 U.S. hostages were taken in 1979.) Afterward, the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was returned to power, commercial oil rights fell largely to British and U.S. oil companies, and Mossadegh was imprisoned and later placed under house arrest until he died in 1967.

To Iranians like Shabnam Rezaei, who has created the online magazine Persian Mirror to promote Iran's cultural identity, Operation TP-Ajax set the stage for later decades of oppression and Islamic fundamentalism. "I think if we had been allowed to have a democratic government," she said, "we could have been the New York of the Middle East—of all of Asia, frankly—a center for finance, industry, commerce, culture, and a modern way of thinking."

For the Love of God

The shah had his own uses for Persian identity. He was big on promoting Persepolis and Cyrus while at the same time pouring Western music, dress, behaviors, and business interests into Iran. One attempt to instill nationalistic pride, which backfired and helped turn public opinion against him, was the ostentatious celebration he staged in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of Persian monarchy. It featured a luxurious tent city outside the entrance to Persepolis, VIP apartments with marble bathrooms, food flown in from Paris, and a guest list that included dignitaries from around the world but few Iranians.

The shah's vision apparently involved too much modernizing too fast, and many Iranians bristled. "We were getting westernized," said Farin Zahedi, a drama professor at the University of Tehran. "But it was superficial, because the public had no real under­standing of Western culture." Iranians experienced it as a cultural attack and rebelled in the press and with street demonstrations. The more paranoid the shah became, the more heavy-handed were his secret police—SAVAK, created in 1957 with the help of American and Israeli advisers. At least hundreds of people are believed to have been executed by SAVAK; many others were imprisoned, tortured, and exiled, and more than a thousand were killed by the army during demonstrations. So when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini spoke in the late 1970s of liberating the people from this latest yoke, they were moved by his eloquence and moral rectitude, and for a time the reemergence of religion after the shah's relentless modernism felt like a cleansing.

Yet many Iranians by nature are not particularly religious, in the sense of being mosque­goers and fasters. "They have a powerful soul and spirit," said a carpet salesman named Arsha, "but that is not the same." There's a tendency to follow more of a Zoroastrian model from antiquity, with its disdain for rules and for the presumption that an intermediary, such as a mullah, is required to know Allah. The spiritual journey has tended to be more inward, in keeping with the Persian proverb "Knowledge of self is knowledge of God."

So while Iranians at first were open to the idea of an increased role of Islam in public life, they weren't prepared for it to be forced on them with such rigor, especially given the Koran's specific instruction that there should be "no compulsion in religion." They certainly didn't expect the clerics to take over commerce, government administration, the courts, and day-to-day life, down to and including how to go to the bathroom and how to have sex. Punishments reminiscent of the Dark Ages—public stonings, hangings, the cutting off of fingers and limbs—were put into effect. The central government now discourages some of these archaic practices, but stubborn conservative mullahs out in the provinces cling to the old ways. Beneath it all is the spiritual aim to serve Allah and prepare for paradise.

"They're forcing heaven on me!" Ali said.

At his home one night, half a dozen friends sat in a circle and confided how awful it was to be trapped in an environment of fear and secrecy, not knowing if a friend or a loved one has been put in a position to make reports on what you're thinking and saying and doing.

"The ayatollahs and the ordinary people—everyone has to pretend," said a soft-spoken locksmith with a huge mustache named Mister D. "You don't know who is telling the truth; you don't know who is really religious and who isn't."

The Persians have a saying: The walls have mice, and the mice have ears.

"You can't trust your own eyes," Ali said.

"If you breathe in or breathe out," Mister D said, "they know."

The Generation of the Revolution

As for the revolution's effect on Persian identity? A typically Iranian thing seems to have happened.

For ten years the doors to the West were closed, and conservative clerics running the government went about trying to minimize any cultural identification that was pre-Islamic, a period referred to in much of the Muslim world as Jahiliya, age of ignorance. In official documents, where possible, references to Iran were replaced with references to Islam. Zoroastrian symbols were replaced with Islamic symbols, streets were renamed, and references to the Persian Empire disappeared from schoolbooks. For a time it seemed that Ferdowsi's tomb—a big, pale-stone mausoleum outside the holy city of Mashhad, with a beautiful reflecting pool leading up to it and chirping birds racing about the columns—might be destroyed. Even Persepolis was in danger of being razed. "But they realized this would unite the people against them," Ali said, "and they had to give up."

The people had welcomed the removal of cultural junk from the West, said Farin, the drama professor, as we sipped tea in her tasteful Tehran apartment. "But we soon realized that the identity the government was introducing also was not exactly who we were." In the cultural confusion, "elements of the old culture"—traditional music, Persian paintings, readings from Ferdowsi—were rekindled. "We call it 'the forgotten empire.' "

A young underground Persian rap singer named Yas joined us then. He had black spiky hair, stylishly long sideburns, handsome eyebrows shaped like two black bananas, and around his neck he wore a silver fravahar, the Zoroastrian winged disk that signifies the soul's upward progress through good thoughts, words, and deeds. He's part of the Generation of the Revolution, who grew up after 1979 and account for more than two-thirds of the country's 70 million people. Variously described as jaded and lacking belief in their futures—"a burned generation," as Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi put it—they are increasingly leaving for Europe and elsewhere. Some have a rich consciousness of their Persian past while at the same time supporting the idea of Islamic unity; some feel only Persian or only Islamic; and others immerse themselves in Western culture through television programming received on illegal satellite dishes. Farin said: "They're schizophrenic."

Yas raps about Persian poets, grandparents, and the history of Iran. One of his most popular cuts, "My Identity," was in response to the movie 300, about the famous battle at Thermopylae between the Spartans of Greece and the so-called Persian immortals. "The Greeks were portrayed as heroic, innocent, and civilized," Yas said. "The Persians were shown as ugly savages with a method of fighting that was unfair." The movie set off a tirade from Iranians here and abroad, who experienced it as a cultural attack. In defense, Yas rapped about Persepolis and Cyrus but also chastised his fellow citizens for resting on the laurels of greatness past.

An irony is that the Islamic revolution—at times referred to here as the "second Arab invasion"—appears to have strengthened the very ties to antiquity that it tried so hard to sever; it has roused that part of the national identity that remains connected to the idea, memorialized in places like Persepolis and Pasargadae, of Iranians as direct descendants of some of the world's most ancient continuous people. A civil engineer named Hashem told me of a recent impromptu celebration at Cyrus's tomb. People text messaged each other on their cell phones, and a couple of thousand "coincidentally" showed up, buying multiple entrance tickets to support restoration of the tomb. The celebration was informal. No speeches, no ceremony. "Just to honor Cyrus and show solidarity."

As Farin put it, shaking her lowered head with an air of world-weariness, "there has been this constant onslaught on our identity, and the reaction has always been to return to that deepest identity. Inside every Iranian there is an emperor or an empress. That is for sure."

Marguerite Del Giudice wrote about Iceland in the March issue. Newsha Tavakolian, an Iranian photographer, documents women in the Middle East.

Source: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com

Early Whales Had Legs

September 2008
By Charles Q. Choi

The first whales once swam the seas by wiggling large hind feet, research now suggests. These new findings shed light on the mysterious shift these leviathans made away from land.

The ancestors of whales once strode on land on four legs, just as other mammals do. Over time, as they evolved to dwell in water, their front legs became flippers while they lost their back legs and hips, although modern whales all still retain traces of pelvises, and occasionally throwbacks are born with vestiges of hind limbs.

A great deal of mystery surrounds how the anatomy of the first whales changed to propel them through the water. A key piece of that puzzle would be the discovery of when exactly the wide flukes on their powerful tails arose.

"The origin of flukes is one of the last steps in the transition from land to sea," explained vertebrate paleontologist Mark Uhen of the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa.

To shed light on this mystery, Uhen analyzed new fossils that amateur bone hunters discovered exposed along riverbanks in Alabama and Mississippi. These bones once belonged to the ancient whale Georgiacetus, which swam along the Gulf Coast of North America roughly 40 million years ago, back when Florida was mostly submerged underwater. This creature reached some 12 feet in length and likely used its sharp teeth to dine on squid and fish.

The first whales known to possess flukes are close relatives of Georgiacetus that date back to 38 million years ago. But while only about 2 million years separate Georgiacetus from these other whales, Uhen now finds that Georgiacetus apparently did not possess flukes. The new 2-inch-long tail vertebra he analyzed - one of some 20 tail vertebrae the ancient whale had - is not flattened as the vertebrae near whales flukes are.

Instead, Uhen suggests that Georgiacetus wiggled large back feet like paddles in order to swim. Past research showed this ancient whale had large hips, which suggested it also had large hind legs. Oddly, scientists had also found that its pelvis was not attached to its spine. This meant its hind legs could not paddle in the water or support the whale's body weight on land, leaving it a puzzle as to what they were for until now.

"The idea we are now helping confirm is that this ancient whale wiggled its hips to swim, moving its feet like hydrofoils or paddles. So it swam rather like a modern whale, which undulates its body up and down," Uhen told LiveScience.

The scientists detailed their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com

A Knot of Light

September 2008
By Julie Rehmeyer

Researchers find a new theoretical way to tie light into complex knots and links.

The torus can be covered with circles that wrap around the both the outside of the donut and through its hole.
Video available here

Imagine twisting a beam of light into a knot, as if it were a piece of a string. Now grab another light beam and tie it around the first, forming its own loop. Tie on another and another, until all of space is filled up with loops of light.

Sounds preposterous, but a pair of physicists has shown that light can do just this — at least in theory. Visible light, along with all other forms of electromagnetic radiation, is governed by Maxwell’s equations, and the researchers have found a new solution to these equations in which light forms linked knots. The team is now working to create light in this form experimentally.

It’s too soon to know what the applications of knotted light will be if they succeed, but possibilities include solving one of the problems that make it difficult to produce power from nuclear fusion and manipulating flows in an exotic state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Hopf Fibration
The Hopf fibration fills all of space with circles.
Video available here

“This is very exciting,” says Antti Niemi of Uppsala University in Sweden, who is unaffiliated with the research. “If an observation is made where one sees stable knots in light, that would also tell us a lot about the mysteries of fundamental forces that we still do not understand.”

The story begins with a mathematical discovery in 1931. Heinz Hopf found a way of filling up all of space with circles. (More precisely, he made a map from the analogue of a sphere in four dimensions to the circle.) He started with a donut shape, which mathematicians call a torus. He imagined taking a piece of string and wrapping it smoothly around the torus so that the string passes through the “donut hole” once and around the outside once as well. Enough pieces of string placed alongside this first one could cover the entire surface of the torus.

Now he just had to fill all of space with tori. He packed them like Russian dolls, extending forever both inward and outward from the starting torus. The smallest torus would be so skinny that it would simply be a circle. The biggest torus would be so fat that the “donut hole” on the torus wouldn’t be a hole at all — it would form a line extending up so far that its two ends would meet only “at infinity.” By filling space with tori and covering tori with circles, Hopf put every point in space on some circle.

Another VIew
A different view of the Hopf fibration.
Video available here

Mathematicians were excited about Hopf’s discovery (called the “Hopf fibration”) because it showed that high-dimensional spheres were more complex than imagined. But it wasn’t until 20 years ago that physicists realized the Hopf fibration had implications for electromagnetism: Antonio Fernández-Rañada of Complutense University in Madrid used the Hopf fibration to create a new solution to Maxwell’s equations, and thus an example of how electromagnetism can work. He was in search of a way to build a quantum theory for light without using quantum mechanics. He used the Hopf fibration, but did not consider whether, in an experiment, light could actually be forced to follow the circular paths.

William Irvine of New York University and Dirk Bouwmeester of the University of California, Santa Barbara stumbled across Rañada’s work around 10 years ago and realized that it might describe a form light could actually take. “The main thing we did is that we took this solution seriously,” Irvine says. The pair figured out how to turn Rañada’s solution into something that might conceivably be produced in the laboratory.

Irvine and Bouwmeester show theoretically that the shape the light rays formed would distort over time, with the individual torus shapes becoming twisted and misshapen. The individual loops the light would follow would also grow larger over time.

In special situations, however, the loops might be stable, such as if light travels through plasma instead of through free space. One of the problems that has plagued experimental nuclear fusion reactors is that the plasma at the heart of them moves faster and faster and tends to escape. That motion can be controlled with magnetic fields, but current methods to generate those fields still don’t do the job. If Irvine and Bouwmeester’s discovery could be used to generate fields that would send the plasma in closed, non-expanding loops and help contain it, “that would be extremely spectacular,” Bouwmeester says.

Rañada, whose work Bouwmeester and Irvine expanded upon, is excited about their discovery. “They’ve done outstanding work,” he says, “which most probably will have some surprising consequences.”



Biophotons And The Universal Light Code
Astronomers shed light on mystery of 'dark matter'
Now you see it, now you don't: cloaking device is not just sci-fi
Omega - A White Hole in Time

Source: http://www.redicecreations.com

Earth's Moon and Human Evolution

September 2008
By Dr. N Huntley, Ph.D.

It has been established beyond all reasonable doubt that the Moon is not what it appears; that it is not just another satellite orbiting a planet, Earth, but an entity which has thrown the minds of some of the greatest thinkers and scientific brains into a quandary and bewilderment unprecedented in the history of astronomy. Why haven't you heard about this? Another government cover-up? How could Moon mysteries have anything to do with government secrecy, and moreover could it relate to the suppression of the space programme?

Let us outline some of the extraordinary anomalies and mysteries surrounding this puzzle. Clearly not all data will be equally reliable but the abundance of interrelated information nevertheless gives an overall picture which can be determined with some certainty. The first academic enigma must surely be that the Moon is apparently in its wrong orbit for its size. However, this would presumably be based on its assumed density. Technical reports claim a density of 3.3 for the Moon compared with 5.5 for Earth. Astronomy data indicates that the internal regions of the Moon are less dense than the outer, giving rise to the inevitable but outrageous speculation that it could be hollow. The eminent and late scientist Carl Sagan, a typical sceptic, had made the statement, "A natural satellite cannot be a hollow object." But meaning here that if it is hollow, it is not a natural satellite -- and therefore artificial.

Possibly the strongest evidence for it to be a 'hollow object' comes from the fact that when meteors strike the Moon, the latter rings like a bell. More specifically when the Apollo crew in November 20, 1969 released the lunar module, after returning to the orbiter, the module impact with the Moon caused their seismic equipment to register a continuous reverberation like a bell for more than an hour. The same effect occurred with Apollo 13's third stage which caused the Moon to ring for over three hours. So what's going on with the Moon?

Two Soviet scientists, Mikhail Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, have spent much of their careers examining the facts compiled on lunar phenomena. Their conclusion is that the Moon is artificial, possibly a hollowed-out planet, and that it was steered from some distant region of the galaxy into a circular orbit around our planet (hence the extraordinary mystery of rock and Moon-dust age variations). They claim that intellectual life has existed in the Moon for eons.

In 1968 as Apollo 8 moved into orbit around the Moon, the astronauts spotted a colossal extraterrestrial object, which then had disappeared on the next orbit. Photographs were taken, of course, but not released to the public. On another occasion when the lunar excursion module was down to 4-5 miles from the Moon's surface astronauts witnessed a UFO suddenly rise from a crater and rapidly disappear. In 1969, "Buzz" Aldrin was checking the lunar surface from orbit, when two UFOs appeared, moved towards the Apollo rocket, hovered nearby, then to Aldrin's utter astonishment the UFOs joined to form one entity.

Furthermore, astronauts of Apollo 11 saw a spacefleet of UFOs lined up in a crater. Almost every Moon mission involved encounters with UFOs or UFO sightings, not to mention the discovery of many bases on the Moon's surface. Renowned astronomer Patrick Moore discovered over one hundred dome-like buildings. In fact, about one thousand such bases, dome-like structures of diameter around 700 feet, have been witnessed. Astronomy records extending back 200 years indicate no such artefacts until about the 1950s (remember the book entitledAlternative III?). Many of the UFO encounters by the astronauts were stated to be of a positive nature in which unintrusive assistance was given.

It has been found that asteroids and meteors not only create shallow craters on the Moon's surface but produce a convex floor to the crater instead of concave as expected, supporting the idea of a rigid shell. Countless other pieces of evidence from astronomers and NASA scientists began to reveal that some 2-3 miles down there appear to be dense layers of metal -- which would explain why the craters were convex. But the most astonishing conclusion is that the only theory which can completely explain all the anomalies is that the Moon is hollow with a shell about 20 miles thick --mostly metal. Note that mascons (higher concentrations of mass) found in the marias cause fluctuations in gravity and have never been satisfactorily explained.

Moreover, these structural anomalies were supported by two publications, one Time Magazine, which unwittingly revealed the gravity value of the Moon relative to Earth by publishing the distance from Earth to Moon of the null point between them, indicating a gravitational force some 60 -70 % of Earth. Furthermore, some people noticed the feeble plumage of the rocket exhaust as the module rose from the Moon's surface---explained away by NASA as due to the vacuum. But what about some of the telltale and suspicious features observed during the first Armstrong and Aldrin Moon landing.

The American flag was seen briefly to wave in... a breeze? But we are told there is no air on the Moon. The flag was then starched. Also we saw dust kicked up by the astronauts clearly drifting in... what? Dust particles do not drift in vacuum -- they cling together. And what about the feeble leaps of the astronauts off the Moon's surface -- were their spacesuits and backpacks really so heavy? The Moon is supposed to be about one-sixth the gravity of Earth.

Thus we now know that air is present, and the feeble rocket exhaust could not be due to a vacuum. Moreover, the exhaust was apparently too weak to account for the necessary power to escape from such a gravitational pull in relationship to the size of the module, which was not large enough to contain the necessary fuel to escape the Moon's high gravity. Was antigravity propulsion secretly being used as a booster?

The covert government have long since sent 'astronauts' into outer space in antigravity spacecrafts. They apparently had the so-called cosmospheres about 40 years ago, some larger than the old and massive dirigibles. They seized the antigravity research data from the Nazis, and have since then reverse-engineered captured spacecrafts and negotiated deals with aliens involving antigravity technologies.

The more thorough have been the investigations of the Moon the more bizarre the results have been. Probably one of the most startling was that moonquakes occurred like clockwork. Moreover, the fluctuations on each occasion were the same. This is impossible for natural conditions which always obey fractal distributions. Furthermore, a study of rock samples reveal an age of 5.3 billion years, and that not only is the Moon older than the Earth, estimated to be about 4.6 billion years, but that it is older than the solar system (and by theoretical standards as old as the universe).

What about the surface of the Moon? Several television viewers wrote explaining that they spotted one of the astronauts pick up what appeared to be a glass bottle and remark, "My God, I don't believe it, look at this ..." Then the television screen went blank. Other viewers observed the extreme difficulty astronauts had when drilling down a few inches into the Moon's marias and that when the drill bit was pulled out, metal shavings were visible. Rocks were found to contain brass, mica, titanium, and elements uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 not previously found in nature.

Astronomy literature reports the sighting of a 12-mile bridge-like structure over the Sea of Crisis in 1954 by John O'Neile, and in the 1950s astronomer Morris K. Jessup realised that UFOs had bases on the Moon (and so does the government of course). Other strange lunar phenomena are: the observation by Dr. Frank Harris of a black body on the surface, 250 miles long and 50 miles wide; clouds and lightning; strange moving shadows and objects, and spire-like structures thousands of feet high; a huge boulder with tracks (behind it) from inside a crater to the rim (uphill); the shrinking, over a period of time, of the crater Luna from six miles in diameter to one and a half miles; 'hill' effects in craters appearing and disappearing in a few hours; over 800 substantial observations made by scientists of blinking and flashing lights; the results of NASA photographs of the lunar surface, indicating several large pyramid structures, strange rifts in the surface with entrances, massive girders, machinery and some 1000 kilometre blocks of metal, alongside tears in the surface. This reveals massive subsurface interior 'plumbing', huge crosses a mile long, and enormous excavating equipment.

Professional astronomers have gradually been discouraged from investigating these observations, referred to as Transient Lunar Phenomena, and all such Fortean observations are now only of interest to the amateur.

Our satellite has long since been established as being extremely dry but this information has been contradicted by the appearance of clouds on the surface. On one occasion a cloud of water vapour appeared covering more than 100 square miles. And it has been reported that strange clouds appear at lightning speed. The capture theory that the Moon was pulled into its orbit by the Earth was once favoured but the circular orbit of the Moon invalidated it. As already mentioned the Moon is the wrong size and in the wrong orbit. It is too big and too far out. It does not rotate relative to Earth; the same side always faces the Earth. And what about the amazing 'coincidence' of the eclipse phenomenon. The position and size of the Moon is precisely that necessary to eclipse the Sun's disc.

Scientific experts, including NASA investigators believe that the Moon is hollow -- it is the only explanation. The velocity of sound has been found to increase with depth and at 40 miles it is too fast for the speed of propagation through rock substance.

'Spaceship Moon' is the brainchild of the two Soviet researchers but many others agree with the theory, including NASA scientists at JPL and an Oxford University physicist. The capture theory is now back in favour but with a significant adjustment that the Moon was steered into orbit.

It might be worth a comment on the recent 'conspiracy theory' that astronauts never actually went to the Moon. DVDs and television programmes have proffered that, in particular, photographs allegedly taken on the Moon were faked. In fact one can see clearly in the photographs that the shadows of objects on the Moon were not parallel as they would be if the shadows were cast by the Sun, rather than by studio lighting. Further evidence has been given. But we may know from earlier suspicions that NASA has a propensity for faking scenes -- for example, the view of the interior of the shuttle faking an outer-space mission when actually on the ground. Thus the conclusion, and personal opinion of the author, is that both scenarios are correct: astronauts did land on the Moon, and NASA has produced faked photographs.

Was the space programme cut because further encounters with UFOs might blow the government cover-up? Even more important than this, allowing the public to increase their confront and interest in the subject of Extraterrestrials would eventually lead to a worldwide awakening of the human race's true heritage, the causes of our downfall, the falsification of our history, and ultimately the disclosure and eradication of the control mechanism.

We see that the Moon mysteries are intimately bound up with extraterrestrial sightings and involvement, in particular, the conclusion of the two Russian scientists that the Moon is artificial and hollow. Is this a favourable omen for the human race or a harbinger of something more ominous. Why was the Moon directed to retain continuously a dark side? A side of the Moon we never see. Also police records referring to increased crime during the full Moon are commonplace. A study of ET material of which literature today abounds, strongly indicates that the nature of the Moon has a sinister purpose and plays a role in manipulating man's evolution.

Editor's Note:

Adapted and originally published in December 2005 as "Our Enigmatic Moon".

Source: http://www.trudeausociety.com

Europarlement wil nieuwe normen voor straling

BRUSSEL - De Europese limieten voor elektromagnetische straling door gsm's, bluetooth, wifi en andere zaken moeten nodig worden bijgesteld, stelde het Europees Parlement donderdag in een rapport.

De normen dateren uit 1999. Ze zijn inmiddels achterhaald door nieuwe technologieën zoals krachtig draadloos internet, aldus het rapport van het Belgische Europarlementslid Frédérique Ries.

Het parlement wil de normen dringend herzien. "Anders riskeren we dat consumenten onnodige gevaren lopen", zei Ries. "Een groeiend aantal studies toont dat herhaalde blootstelling aan elektromagnetische stralen kan leiden tot gevaar vooor kanker, Alzheimer, slaap- en psychologische problemen."

België, Italië en Oostenrijk hebben inmiddels strengere normen dan de EU-limieten, aldus het Europarlementslid.

Source: http://www.nu.nl

Dat zal Nederland vast niet overkomen

September 2008
By Abdul Haq

Hazrat Ahmad (vrede zij met hem), stichter van de Ahmadiyya Moslim Gemeenschap, waarschuwde in 1908 over drie wereldoorlogen. Twee zijn er al geweest. De derde zou vernietiging brengen over de hele aarde.

Ahmad, de voorspelde Messias

Bedenk, God heeft mij omtrent vele aardbevingen ingelicht. Wees er daarom van verzekerd, dat wanneer aardbevingen Amerika en Europa teisteren, zij ook Azië zullen treffen. Sommige zullen de Dag des Oordeels gelijken. Zoveel mensen zullen sterven, dat er rivieren van bloed zullen vloeien. Zelfs de vogels en de dieren zullen niet bestand zijn tegen de dood.

Een verwoesting zal over de aarde gaan die de grootste zal zijn sinds de geboorte van de mens. Woonplaatsen zullen weggevaagd worden alsof er nooit iemand gewoond had. Het zal worden vergezeld van andere rampen, voortgebracht door hemel en aarde, zodat hun buitengewone karakter geen zinnig mens meer kan ontgaan. Alle literatuur van wetenschap en filosofie zal te kort schieten om het te beschrijven. Dan zal de mensheid hevig beangstigd zijn, en zich afvragen wat er gebeuren zal. Velen zullen ontkomen, en velen zullen sterven.

De dagen zijn nabij. Ik zie dat het uur nadert, dat de wereld vele verschrikkingen zal zien. Niet alleen aarbevingen, maar ook andere rampen zullen over de mens komen; sommige van de hemel, andere van de aarde.

Het zal gebeuren omdat de mens verzuimt zijn ware God te aanbidden, en hij zijn hart, zijn werk en zijn doel heeft verloren in wereldse zaken.

Ware ik niet gekomen, dan zouden deze rampen wellicht zijn uitgesteld. Maar met mijn komst werden de geheime bedoelingen openbaar van een getarte God, die tot dusver verborgen waren. God zegt: ‘Wij straffen niet, tenzij Wij een Boodschapper zenden.’ [Koran 17:17]

Zij die berouw hebben zullen veiligheid vinden en zij die vrezen voordat de ramp over hen komt, zal genade geschonken worden. Denkt u dat deze rampen geen vat op u zullen hebben? Kunt gij uzelf redden door list en bedrog? Zeker niet. Op die dag zullen menselijke plannen te kort schieten. Denk niet dat aardbevingen alleen Amerika en andere continenten treffen maar dat uw eigen land bewaard zal blijven. Waarlijk, wellicht is voor u een nog grotere ramp bestemd.

O Europa, u zult niet veilig zijn en o Azië, ook u bent niet onkwetsbaar. En o bewoners van eilanden, geen valse goden zullen komen om u te redden. Ik zie steden vallen en nederzettingen verloren gaan. De Ene en Enige God heeft lang gezwegen. Afschuwelijke daden werden gewrocht voor Zijn ogen, en Hij zweeg. Maar nu zal Hij Zijn Aangezicht openbaren in majesteit en ontzag.

Laat hij die oren heeft horen, dat de tijd niet ver is. Ik heb mijn best gedaan om allen onder de bescherming van God te brengen, maar het werd bepaald dat hetgeen geschreven is, ook zou geschieden. In alle oprechtheid zeg ik u, dat ook de omkering van dit land snel nadert.

De tijden van Noach zullen weer voor uw ogen verschijnen, en uw eigen ogen zullen getuigen zijn van de ramp die kwam over de steden van Lot. Maar God is langzaam in Zijn toorn. Heb berouw, opdat u genade geschonken moge worden. Hij die Hem niet vreest is dood, niet levend.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908)
De verwachte Messias en Mahdi (vrede zij met hem)

Haqiqatul Wahy (Waarheid der Openbaring) pp. 256-257
Deze tekst werd ook opgenomen in De waarschuwing van de derde Ahmadiyya kalief aan de westerse wereld in 1967

Lees meer profetieën over onze tijd in de categorie Prophecies

Source: http://spiritualchange.blogsome.com

sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2008

When Dragons Ruled the World

September 08, 2008
by Dave Smith

For eons now images and stories of dragons have abounded the world over, yet no known animal could display the many strange features of your 'average' dragon.

Small wings, serpentine body, multicolored fire-breathing beasts; surely our ancestors were just insane or their imaginations 'substance enhanced' to come up with such creatures. Or, did these stories originate from something which was actually witnessed by the ancients?

Until modern technology and research showed us otherwise, we could perhaps have been forgiven for having thought the way we did. But Plasma Cosmology demands that we re-think previous assumptions about the origins of much of what we call "myth" today as evidence is mounting that in a Plasma universe there may be a simple, logical and scientifically demonstrable answer to what motivated stories of dragons in the sky.

Chances are once you weigh up the evidence, you'll never look at a dragon the same way again.

For more info visit www.plasmacosmology.net
Source: http://www.thunderbolts.info

sexta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2008

DNA-Based Neanderthal Face Unveiled

September 17, 2008

Meet Wilma—named for the redheaded Flintstones character—the first model of a Neanderthal based in part on ancient DNA evidence.

Neanderthal with red hair named Wilma - photo of reconstruction

Artists and scientists created Wilma (shown in a photo released yesterday) using analysis of DNA from 43,000-year-old bones that had been cannibalized. Announced in October 2007, the findings had suggested that at least some Neanderthals would have had red hair, pale skin, and possibly freckles.

Created for an October 2008 National Geographic magazine article, Wilma has a skeleton made from replicas of pelvis and skull bones from Neanderthal females. Copies of male Neanderthal bones—resized to female dimensions—filled in the gaps.

(The National Geographic Society owns both National Geographic News and National Geographic magazine.)

"For the first time, anthropologists can go beyond fossils and peer into the actual genes of an extinct species of human," said National Geographic's senior science editor, Jamie Shreeve, who oversaw the project.

"We saw an opportunity to literally embody this new science in a full-size Neanderthal female, reconstructed using the latest information from genetics, fossil evidence, and archaeology."

For more on Neanderthals, watch Neanderthal Code, airing Sunday, September 21, on the National Geographic Channel.

—David Braun

Reconstruction by Kennis & Kennis, photograph by Joe McNally/NGS

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com

7000 Years of Iranian History Turned to Bricks

11 September 2008

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The 7000-year-old mound of Pardis in the Qarchak region is currently being bulldozed by a factory for brick production.

The mound is located in an area owned by individuals using the earth from the mound for producing bricks in their nearby factory, an informed source who preferred to remain anonymous.

The individual in question had destroyed the site without the fear of prosecution as he must have had the support of the ruling clerics, either by having some family ties or have included them in this lucrative but treacherous act against Iranian heritage.

The upper strata of the ancient site have been devastatingly damaged and ruins of artefacts are visible nearby, said the source, who has recently visited the site located near the city of Varamin in southern Tehran.

Meanwhile, the director of the Archaeology Research Centre of Iran (ARCI) warned cultural officials of the illegal excavations at the site during an interview with the Persian service of CHN published on Wednesday.

The excavations have completely destroyed about 70 percent of the site, said Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli. However, he refused to give more details about the excavations.

“Despite the unique character of the site and its potential to become a site specific museum, the Tehran Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department has no plans for the site, which is in danger of destruction,” he added.

“Based on the third season of archaeological excavations carried out at Pardis, the site could shed light on the nature and the date of many important developments that occurred in the central Iranian Plateau,” explained Fazeli Nashli, who is also the director of the archaeological team currently working at the site.

A joint team of Iranian archaeologists and experts from Kingston University, Durham University, and the University of Leicester in Britain took part in the third season of archaeological excavations in April 2006.

Iron necklaces, bracelets, and some other ornaments were discovered in the graves of the site’s cemetery during the excavations.

Discovery of the ruins of a great number of kilns used for pottery making in the region negated the theory that 7000 years ago, pottery was not mass-produced in the central Iranian Plateau.

They also unearthed the remains of a potter’s wheel, which had been made of an amalgamation of mud and animals’ horns.

Source: http://www.cais-soas.com

EU clears Berlusconi over Roma gypsies

September 4, 2008

The fingerprinting of Roma gypsies in Italian camps is ethnic discrimination. Ethnic discrimination may be in line with EU law.

Michael, UK,

The centre-Right Government of Silvio Berlusconi today declared that it had been "fully vindicated" after the European Commission said the fingerprinting of Roma gypsies in Italian camps did not amount to ethnic discrimination and was in line with EU law.

Roberto Maroni, the Interior Minister, said the statement by Jacques Barrot, the European Justice Commissioner, showed that "the accusations and insults we have received were unjustified. Justice has been done".

A Commission spokesman said Brussels was satisified that in conducting a census of Roma gypsies in camps as part of its crackdown on street crime since coming to power in May, the Berlusconi Government was not seeking ''data based on ethnic origin or religion". The controversial fingerprinting programme had the sole aim of ''identifying persons who cannot be identified in any other way".

The fingerprinting of minors was only being carried out ''in strictly necessary cases and as the ultimate possibility of identification,'' the statement said. However the Commission would continue to monitor the way the survey was being carried out.

The Commission had asked the Italian Government for a detailed report on the census after an international uproar over the scheme. The Italian report was submitted to Brussels on 1 August. The Commission spokesman said there had been "good co-operation" between Italy and the Commission over the issue.

The fingerprinting campaign had been criticised by human rights organisations, Unicef, the European Parliament and the Romanian Government, on the grounds that it had inflamed anti-immigrant feeling in Italy and encouraged vigilante attacks.

In June gypsy camps in Naples were set on fire in arson attacks after a Roma girl was accused of trying to steal a baby. The Roma census was compared by both Jewish and Catholic groups in Italy to Nazi racial discrimination and persecution.

However Mr Berlusconi said the scheme was intended not only to stop gypsy children begging and stealing but also to help Roma people to integrate by drawing them into the Italian health and education systems. Mr Maroni said illegal Roma camps were being dismantled so that "those who have the right to stay here can live in decent conditions".

There are an estimated 160,000 Roma gipsies in Italy, nearly half of whom were born in Italy and have Italian citizenship. The rest are mainly illegal immigrants from the Balkans and Romania.

The crackdown on crime by the Berlusconi government has also included the controversial deployment of troops on the streets of Italian cities in joint patrols with police. While many Italians say they feel reassured as a result, the centre-Left opposition has dismissed the move as "only for show".

Critics point out that it did not prevent hundreds of supporters from Napoli football club wearing masks and wielding clubs from wrecking trains and buses "with impunity" last weekend while travelling to an away match with AS Roma at the start of the new football season. Walter Veltroni, the opposition leader, said the Berlusconi Government "only acts tough with people who do not have the vote".

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk