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Astronauts Grow a Water Bubble in Space »

During Expedition 40 in the summer of 2014, NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman — along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst — explored the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station. The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera. (Video: NASA)

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The Mindfulness Machine – Tech for the Brain »

A device nicknamed “The Mindfulness Machine” helps users cope with stress and possibly even enhance one’s creative abilities.   A biofeedback study from Nova University suggests stress related diseases might be mitigated by this unique visual device.

adagio-picture

 Overview

The study is called Hemispheric and Autonomic Laterality: Effects of Unilateral Repetitive Activation[i], and was conducted at the Nova University Biofeedback Laboratories, under the guidance of noted biofeedback pioneer Dr. Joe Kamiya.   The study involved 47 volunteer subjects, split between the experimental group watching my visual device, the “Kinoscope”, (see picture and description below) and a control group.  The experimental group is referred to as the “Right Hemisphere Activation” (RHA) group.  This group, in addition to watching the Kinescope, also listened to soothing music.  The control group, also referred to as the Left Hemisphere Activation (LHA) group, listened to spoken text while also seeing the text projected onto a screen.

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UNDREAMED – A new CD from Shrink Wrap (a review) »

Here’s something different:  DJs that are also talented performers.  The Wilson Brothers (collectively known as Shrink Wrap), have successfully created a rare blend of Electronic Music with acoustic instruments and vocals.

UnDreaCD-Cover-no-barcodemed offers 11 tracks of sonic space that manifests a rare sense of beauty (especially within electronic music), yet simultaneously contains a haunting and somewhat disturbing undercurrent of existential tension and unease.  Each track seem to tell a story that one often encounters in contemporary literature; we exist in a world full of beauty, yet behind this beauty lies an elusive, unearthly yearning that cannot be described or reconciled (German artists, poets and philosophers do have a word for it; “sehnsucht” – “an individual’s search for happiness while coping with the reality of unattainable wishes”.  It is often described as a deep emotional experience that is both positive and negative at the same time).

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Climate Change and the 5 Stages of Grief & Loss »

Many climate change scientists tell us that unless we act aggressively to curtail climate change in the next few decades, at the very least civilization as we know it will be decimated, and the extreme possibility that the human race, along with 1000’s of other species, will become extinct.

kyxfr7pv-1346041370This has to be taking a toll, perhaps still in the background, in our dreams, as a vague apprehension, a kind of subtle yet tangible anxiety.  Psychologists have actually come up with a term for this condition, called “Eco-anxiety”.  Here’s a definition by Stephanie Watson:

This relatively new psychological affliction is a chronic fear of environmental doom – the concern that increasing human development and pollution are leading us into an inevitable scourge off-loads, famines, heat waves, species extinctions, and ultimately, the demise of our planet.

For the first time ever, the human race is faced with extinction.  Since time immemorial, we humans have always held onto the promise of the future, that even if our own lives didn’t work out that well, at least our kids will have a future to look forward to.

Not anymore.   Climate change has changed all that.  We now must recon with not only our own deaths, but the death of all of humanity.  As a result, it is not unreasonable to think that we are, and will continue to work through the “5 steps of loss and grief” as it was first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

More below the fold.

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Slow Motion Therapy Keeps You Young »

” what we do know is that stress can be a contributor to premature aging”

Chronic stress has been shown to have a number of negative health impacts, from insomnia to weight gain to an increased risk for heart disease — not to mention impairing the immune and digestive systems as well as the central nervous system. And when it comes to aging, we’ve all heard that worrying will give you wrinkles, but is the science there to back up the idea that stress accelerates aging? Although more research is still needed on the exact mechanisms by which psychological stress contributes to biological aging, what we do know is that stress can be a contributor to premature aging

For this article I would like to draw on an experiment that was conducted at Nova University’s Behavioral Science Center in 1978.  The principle investigator was Joyce Keen who conducted this study as part of her doctoral dissertation.

Anti-Aging2-1024x682

Overview

The study is called Hemispheric and Autonomic Laterality: Effects of Unilateral Repetitive Activation, and was conducted at the Nova University Biofeedback Laboratories, under the guidance of noted biofeedback pioneer Dr. Joe Kamiya.   The study involved 47 volunteer subjects, split between the experimental group watching my visual device, the “Kinoscope”, (see picture and description below) and a control group.  The experimental group is referred to as the “Right Hemisphere Activation” (RHA) group.  This group, in addition to watching the Kinescope, also listened to soothing music.  The control group, also referred to as the Left Hemisphere Activation (LHA) group, listened to spoken text while also seeing the text projected onto a screen.

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Can Creativity Be Learned? »

Evidence of an experiment suggests that activating the right brain hemisphere can result in stress reduction and enhance the creative process. 

For this article I would like to draw on an experiment that was conducted at Nova University’s Behavioral Science Center in 1978.  The principle investigator was Joyce Keen who conducted this study as part of her doctoral dissertation.

creativity

Overview

The study is called Hemispheric and Autonomic Laterality: Effects of Unilateral Repetitive Activation[i], and was conducted at the Nova University Biofeedback Laboratories, under the guidance of noted biofeedback pioneer Dr. Joe Kamiya.   The study involved 47 volunteer subjects, split between the experimental group watching my visual device, the “Kinoscope”, (see picture and description below) and a control group.  The experimental group is referred to as the “Right Hemisphere Activation” (RHA) group.  This group, in addition to watching the Kinescope, also listened to soothing music.  The control group, also referred to as the Left Hemisphere Activation (LHA) group, listened to spoken text while also seeing the text projected onto a screen.

Read the rest

Just Light Your Tax Dollars on Fire »

by James Wilson

080319_iraq_troopsThe Los Angeles Times today had several front page articles that struck me as oddly related.  The first reads “Health Law to Return to High Court”.  The second major story is titled “U.S. to Double Force Aiding Iraqis”.

Evidently a conservative group called The Competitive Enterprise Institute has challenged what amounts to 5 words out of the 10,535 pages of Obamacare regulations (approximately 11,588,500 words).  The Supreme Court will hear the case.  In effect, the 5 words under consideration (most likely an oversight or even perhaps a clerical error), states that subsidies  are available only to policies bought on a state exchange.

Two thirds of the states opted to utilize a federal exchange.  Nearly 5 million people have purchased subsidized insurance in states using the federal exchange.  If the Supreme Court votes in favor of the challenge, which would mean that the highest court in the country would, in effect, be enforcing the letter of the law, and not it’s intent, then a major underpinning of the law would be ripped asunder and likely cause the whole thing to collapse.

Given the current lineup in the Supreme Court, odds are quite high they will move to destroy the law.

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Conservatives Take Orders From Their Left Brain »

By James Wilson

A study conducted recently and published by Neuro-politics.com, suggests that conservatives are left brain dominant, while liberals are right brain dominant.  I’ve provided some of the summary for this study below:

A self-assessment Internet survey was conducted by Brack and Zhang on Neuro-politics.com. The survey collected 490 questionnaires, which were subsequently cleansed for 48 cases of probable duplicate or incomplete responses. This left 442 usable questionnaires, of which 218 indicated support for George W. Bush, 195 for John Kerry, and 29 for unspecified other candidates. This survey period was January 28 through March 4, 2005. The survey questions were adapted from similar left-right brain surveys, with slight variations. Additional questions were included to determine family birth order, political affiliations, and strength of religious belief.

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Most Important Report in Human History: IGNORED »

By James Wilson

shutterstock_194649446-638x439Last Sunday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that if the world does not curtail the amount of atmospheric carbon, there will be “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems”.  The 116-page IPCC report, a review of more than 30,000 climate-science studies, is the latest in a series that began in 1990. It has been signed off on by more than 100 governments, and is the first report to be released since 2007. It presents new conclusions that environmental scientists arrived over the past seven years.

The new conclusions?  Mainly that unless we take our carbon emissions down to zero by 2100, we’re screwed.  We can kiss homo sapiens (and a huge number of other species), “good bye”.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes after ‘anomaly’ during test »

HT_virgin_galactic_spaceship_two_kabc_sk_141031_16x9_992A Virgin Galactic spacecraft intended to carry tourists crashed in the Mojave desert due to an “in-flight anomaly” during a test flight Friday, the company said. One person was reportedly killed in the incident, which was the second this week involving a craft intended for spaceflight.

“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo,” Virgin Galactic tweeted.

The company said in a statement that “a serious anomaly” occurred and that it is working with authorities to figure out what happened.

One person was killed, while another was seriously injured, according to the Associated Press.

The craft crashed east of Mojave, Calif., Mojave Air and Space Port chief executive Stu Witt told Bakersfield TV station KGET. WhiteKnightTwo, which carries the space ship to 50,000 feet before it is release, was able to land safely.