27 December 2009
Nitinol wire is composed of approximately 55 percent nickel and 45 percent titanium. It has a physical memory. That is, a piece of nitinol wire actually "remembers" the shape in which it was manufactured. No matter how much it is crumpled or bent, a nitinol wire, when heated, springs vigorously back to its original shape. Byrd is quite familiar with the properties of nitinol. He knows that no simple ordinary force can alter the wire's memory; he wanted to see if Geller could.
Geller arrived at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in October of 1973. in one test Byrd held a five-inch straight piece of nitinol by its end while Geller "gently stroked" the middle of the wire with his thumb and index finger. After twenty seconds Geller felt a "lump" forming in the wire. He removed his fingers and there was a sharp "kink" at the wire's center. Byrd placed the wire in boiling water, which should have removed the kink. It did not vanish. "Instead of [the wire] snapping back with some force into a straight shape," Byrd writes, "[it] began to form approximately a right angle." Byrd then placed the kink over a flame, but still it did not straighten out.
In his paper "Uri Geller's influence on the metal nitinol," Byrd states that a crystallographic analysis of the kinked section showed that the crystals that contain the wire's memory had actually increased in size. Such a change requires that the wire be reannealed by being heated to a temperature of about 900o F. "There is absolutely no explanation as to how Geller bent the wire by gently touching it," says Byrd.
Perhaps not, but the metallurgists at the Naval Surface Weapons Center were intent on removing the kink. They put the wire under tension in a vacuum chamber, and heated it by passing an electric current along its length until the wire was glowing and almost molten; in other words, they reannealed it into a straight shape. When the wire was removed from the chamber and laid on a plate to cool it was indeed straight; it appeared to have regained its original memory. But when the wire cooled to room temperature, the kink spontaneously returned. "The day following the experiment, writes Byrd, "I took another piece of nitinol wire and tried to bend it into as tight a kink as Geller had formed; I used the point of a screwdriver ... It was impossible for me to [do it] without using Bunsen burners and pliers." Byrd also tried various chemicals on pieces of nitinol wires to see if the wires could be temporarily "softened" so that a kink might be formed without extreme heat and sizable force. The nitinol proved impervious to all the chemicals tested.
But experimentation between Geller and nitinol does not stop there. Byrd realized that anomalous effects can occur in the best of experiments. Perhaps the wires Geller altered (there were several of them) had a structural defect: Is this why Geller had been able to change their memory? Byrd pondered this question for eleven months before he got another chance to test Geller. This time it was not at the Naval Surface Weapons Center, but in an informal setting at the home of a friend of Geller's in Connecticut. Byrd brought with him three pieces of nitinol wire; all had been thoroughly tested at the lab to make sure that on being heated they sprang back to straight configurations. Geller rubbed the wires one at a time, and all three became deformed. Heating would not straighten them out. On later examination, nitinol experts at the lab concluded that the only way "permanent deformation" could have occurred was through the use of intense heat and mechanical stress. "All of the bends that Geller had produced thus far in nitinol wires have been permanent deformation," says Byrd. "The wires can be ... twisted into any shape by hand, but on being heated ... [they always] return to the shape Geller had imposed upon them."
Could Geller have somehow cheated to achieve the results he did? Because of the unusual nature of nitinol, the scientific controls essential for an unambiguous investigation are, for the most part, built into the testing material. Byrd and his colleagues conclude that Geller would have had to either "palm" a Bunsen burner or substitute his own pieces of nitinol, manufactured to his specifications, if deception is to be the explanation for the events that took place. Geller had to deform the wire, Byrd thinks, by paranormal means.
24 December 2009
Reason.tv's Ted Balaker sat down with Whitman to discuss his new Cato Institute policy analysis, coauthored with Raymond Raad, "Bending the Productivity Curve: Why America Leads the World in Medical Innovation."
Whether it's Nobel laureates in medical fields or the most important recent medical innovations, Whitman and Raad find that the U.S. has contributed more than any other nation, and in some cases, more than all nations combined. Whitman cites some key factors that account for America's innovative ways, and warns that if America adopts a more centrally planned health system we may not only innovate less but we might not know what innovations we're missing.
Interview shot by Alex Manning and Hawk Jensen; it was edited by Manning. Approximately 10 minutes.
And some people want to change our system that shoulders the burden of the world and leads it in innovation into something resembling a system that doesn't.
23 December 2009
22 December 2009
21 December 2009
In the same vein as an earlier entry this month, "Michael Chriton on PK", I have returned to the world of metal bending. While out eating I took the coffee spoon in my hand almost unknowingly and began the process of bending it. I'm not sure why I did this; perhaps the spoon wanted to be bent or wanted me to bend it. When I felt that it was in the state where it is ready to bend I approached with mild trepidation and decided against anyting spectacular for what I hope would be reasonable and obvious reasons. Anyway, here is the result of that.
Although I had no way of officially measuring it the spoon did seem more bent after an hour or so from the time I had put it down than when I initially bent it. This has been known to happen often. -Dee
20 December 2009
26 November 2009
16 November 2009
15 November 2009
An exerpt from Donald Hankey's book A Student in Arms. Sometimes it takes a war to find out what makes us truly human. The depth of our humanity can only be approached through the harshest of struggles. It is through this that we are able to find out who the true artist is: the one with the true sense of the dramatic.
Includes a brief history of Mr. Hankey and the book.
11 November 2009
11 November 1918: after four years and 20 million lives lost the war to end all wars came to an end. Heroes rose and empires fell. In the years ahead wars would arise and heroes would once again be needed to heed the call of duty to protect those who need protection and to stop those who would cause others harm. This is what Veterans Day is about. We honour those who rose to greatness when their country, and the world, needed them.
It is now 90 years to the day since the war to end all wars came to an end. The last of those brave men who served in that struggle for freedom won't be here for much longer, so while I still can I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you who served. And not only to those who served in the First World War, but in all wars since, and to all those who continue to step up when the world needs them most. Thank you.
16 October 2009
Map of the British Mandate Also: During the British mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and are today considered Palestinians. When approached by a student at Harvard in 1968 who attacked Zionism, Martin Luther King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.” That's okay. If Dr. King were around today the liberal racists would throw him under the bus because he's far too conservative for their liking. Now, you may ask why I'm being so one sided. They have answered the question for me: Even the most committed friends of Israel acknowledge that the government sometimes makes mistakes, and that it has not solved all the problems in its society. Supporters of Israel may not emphasize these faults, however, because there is no shortage of groups and individuals who are willing to do nothing but focus on Israel’s imperfections. The public usually has much less access to Israel’s side of the story of its conflict with the Arabs, or the positive aspects of its society. Getting back to the title. I'm a Zionist for the same reason I support Tibet and East Turkistan and other countries where a native population has been displaced. The liberal racists all agree the Tibetans deserve their homeland back after the Chicoms invaded it. Most liberal racists don't know about the Uygurs, but their homeland was invaded by the Chicoms too (renamed Xinjiang). I support their return to sovereignty and I support the Jews' right to sovereignty of Israel too. -Dee
17 September 2009
I know in the video I asked for "congenial debate," but someone already decided to call me a moron for not believing in King Hubbert's conjecture. The now deleted comment raises a few points that will be addressed here.
1. If oil is being generated abiotically it isn't fast enough to replenish our supply.
Well, considering how there's a 100 year supply of oil in the Alberta tar sands alone I don't see how running out of oil will ever be a problem. My big thing on abiotic oil is to eliminate fear of oncoming disaster "when the oil runs out" as one mocumentary states. I don't honestly believe humanity will still be oil dependent in 100 years nor do I want that to be the case. In the video I clearly state that we'll never run out "in our lifetimes," I never said there was an infinite supply. We keep drilling until over the next few decades technology becomes economically viable to replace oil. That's it.
2. Hubbert's equations were "very accurate," especially on the US peaking.
The US did not peak in the 1970s. Arab oil was discovered dirt cheap. Why remove expensive oil from US soil when cheap oil can be bought from the Arabs? A number of oil wells in the US have begun to refill, megafields have been discovered in Alaska, the Gulf coast, and the Dakotas, new technologies allowing us to break up rock in formerly depleted wells to start extracting useable oil from them again all show that there is an abundance of oil within the United States. There was no peak. Aside from that Hubbert created the bell curve first and then moulded his findings to fit his equations afterwards, sort of like the global warming people today making computer models and when reality doesn't match the models they proclaim that the models are correct and the Earth is somehow mistaken. -Dee
10 September 2009
Richard Dawkins has famously elaborated on Darwin's theory of natural selection, arguing that through a slow incremental process, evolution can explain the rise of new species. The new film, Darwin's Dilemma shows where Dawkins goes wrong. Growing evidence suggests that the creation of novel genetic information requires intelligence, and thus the burst of genetic information during the Cambrian Explosion provides convincing evidence that animal life is the product of intelligent design rather than a blind undirected process like natural selection.
29 August 2009
04 August 2009
23 July 2009
More people today are described as "spiritual" but not "religious." What does this mean? What implications does this have for the world? I'll tell you: tasteless food because fake trans fats have to be removed, everyone's on diets, concerned about what problem the TV tells them they have, taking pills, having their kids forced to learn Spanish to cater to illegals, neohippies, and much worse!
21 July 2009
15 July 2009
I am struck by just how many times Weiss must mention his patient's physical attractiveness. Isn't there an ethics issue involved here, and isn't he married with children? Does a book about reincarnation need passages like "I knew she was smoking hot before, but now that she's cured..." (not actually in the book).
The revelations from the "masters" seem like fancy new age-isms that never once struck me as profound (definitely not as profound as the author claims them to be) and many contradict the findings of the past 150 years of mediumship research, NDEs, and what genuine spiritual masters have told us over the centuries. For example, one of the "masters" says that we are not all created equal, to which Dr. Weiss casually muses, what would the founding fathers have thought about this? Well, if you're talking spiritually all souls come from God and to God they must return. All souls possess the same potential for enlightenment. If you're talking physically we all start at ground zero as infants, completely helpless, unable to do anything. Certainly we all possess different talents which set us apart from one another (Mozart was a musical genius and Hank Aaron could hit home runs better than anyone until steroids came along), but if, as the book mentions several times, the point of life is to grow more godly over several lifetimes then shouldn't we look past these transient talents at the soul within?
In fact the good doctor seems to contradict himself on this point at the very end. In what was my favourite part of the book, he recounts a dream he had months after the regressions:
On another night, in a different dream I was asking a question. "How is it that you say all are equal, yet the obvious contradictions smack us in the face: inequalities in virtues, temperances, finances, rights, abilities and talents, intelligence, mathematical aptitude, ad infinitum?"
The answer was a metaphor. "It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person. Picture a diamond a foot long. The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors.
"Now, some have cleaned many facets and gleam brightly. Others have only managed to clean a few; they do not sparkle so. Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets. The diamond is perfect, not one flaw. The only differences among people are the number of facets cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect.
"When all the facets are cleaned and shining forth in a spectrum of lights, the diamond returns to the pure energy that it was originally. The lights remain. It is as if the process that goes into making the diamond is reversed, all that pressure released. The pure energy exists in the rainbow of lights, and the lights possess consciousness and knowledge.
"And all of the diamonds are perfect."
The book is slow, repetitive, and unconvincing. I would recommend giving this one a pass.
14 July 2009
Religious, Spiritual, Mystical
I remember when I was a kid. Things were a lot better. For starters the quality of television and food was better. People weren't always on diets, trying to get everyone else to diet and taking the taste out of my food. There were no trans fats back then. Actually, there are no trans fats now. Trans fats are a fiction invented to ruin food. Television was entertaining and taught by example using well planned, intelligent exposition. They didn't try to teach kids with psychology, meaning assuming everyone is retarded and doesn't realize there is only one item presented before them to choose from and so is given several minutes to think over the nonproblem while condescending adults on screen pretend the problem is harder than it actually is while providing phony reassurance. No cartoon characters tried to throw alternative lifestyles down our throats, or PC values, or teach us how to speak Spanish because English was intolerant and we had to cater to illegals.
And there were values, and discipline, and love. Since then the world has really gone to hell. People can no longer spend five minutes in silence. Instead they must play with their music boxes and ever more annoying phones. They must call up the people whom they will speak with in person in only five minutes so as to announce their arrival and prepare an itinerary of useless things to do.
And when we are not being dumbed down, told to abandon our cultural heritage in favour of a usurper's, presented with impossible standards of beauty in the name of the Almighty Dollar (stretch marks are ugly, dark circles around the eyes are ugly, hair here, there, everywhere is ugly! Why can't I decide for myself what I think is attractive and what is not?), we are told our God must go too. We are presented with a science that is the business arm of hard core materialists. We are presented with zealous atheists trying to convert us (or deconvert us, I'm not sure) or told we believe in a "mythic sky god," whatever that is, Mathfails never responded to my question.
And then we are told that more people are spiritual but not religious. What are they doing? They are chasing cars with no idea of what to do should they actually catch one. They are spiritual epicureans, tasting bits and pieces of whatever and turning it into fluff. They are drinking soy pudding and vodka and wheat grass juice (which is as disgusting as it sounds). They are forming drum circles and prancing around in their neohippie tunics, chanting about peace and love and not practicing either. They are trying to take materialist science, like string theory and many worlds, theories openly antagonistic to spirit, and wedding them to talk of goddess or the divine feminine, trying hard as hell to stay away from Christianity or masculinity. Their practices are spiritually vacuous, or worse, involve wisdom without compassion. Sure, they can sit under a tree for days but they're still heartless jerks, communist sympathizers, "spiritual atheists" (whatever the hell that means), or smug elitists.
More important than a Bill Gates. More important than a thousand workers in their prime is that little old lady, blind and crippled who is the storehouse of wisdom and virtue. She who has given of herself selflessly all her life and now, in one last act of compassion, has granted us the opportunity to give of ourselves to serve her for our own benefit, is who is truly important.
More important than all the material knowledge in the universe, than any potential technological progress is the potential we must grant ourselves and others to grow spiritually. The sun will fade, the Earth will be no more, but spirit is forever.
Ours is a society whose economy is bankrupt because we are morally bankrupt. A few who are corrupt, who have fallen to avarice, can destroy the lives of millions who are too comfortable with their cel phones and their reality television to stand up and take notice; to stand up and do something to fix the state of the world.
Being spiritual and not religious is like having a car and no map or a finely choreographed fight scene with no explanation of how the characters got into that mess and why it is significant. To be spiritual and not religious is to have content with no context for which to frame it. Not only is the content, the practice, important, but the context is important or you won't understand anything, and important too is the teacher. You literally need someone who is well qualified and has crossed the gulf before to drag you kicking and screaming into authentic mystical realization. No fancy words, no ego stroking, or getting in touch with your inner brat of a child. Sit down, shut up, get over yourself. As a great Scotsman once said, if you want to touch the sky you better first learn how to kneel.
11 July 2009
02 July 2009
30 June 2009
27 June 2009
“Debunking” is not and has never been part of science. Science doesn’t debunk, magicians and media skeptics debunk. 7% of the UFO sitings in Project Blue Book special report remain unidentified. If instead it were 7% of drugs tested had the potential to cure every form of cancer researchers would be doing everything they could to investigate those 7% farther, not saying “most drugs can’t cure cancer so we shouldn’t even try.”
Nice post. What I find most interesting about UFO’s is that just about everyone seems to have a story. Both my parents have had paranormal/UFO encounters, and I myself had a sighting which I can’t explain about 25 years ago. Whatever the cause, I think it’s clear something is going on, whether it’s aliens or some sort of government coverup.
26 June 2009
UrbanMysticDee: “The 1% estimate is a gut feeling that I never said was scientific. I am able to criticize bad science without having to provide an alternate theory. And I never said my feeling was scientific. I extrapolated from what I’ve read and heard from first and second hand sources that there seems to be a number of different extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and that they are obviously gregarious otherwise encounters wouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
But you do realize that your 1% means that 1 in 100 stars (just in our galaxy) would have to show signs of intelligent life? This is an enormous number. No offence, but I think you need to recheck your gut! Personally I think I would trust Drake’s equation than yours (or mine) gut, because it is based on sound suppositions rather than what I feel. Of course feel free to show how you extrapolated and calculated that number if you think otherwise. But right now your 1% is little more than an assertion and not all that helpful.
And, to date, about 350 exoplanets have been discovered (and I think this is “good” science) - and so far none of them look likely for life. According to your gut, we should have already found ~3-4 intelligent lifeforms. Of course maybe scientists have been unlikely, but according to your gut the galaxy should be absolutely teeming with life, and certainly there is no evidence yet that this is the case.
You assume incorrectly that I accept that extraterrestials exist. I do not find the evidence conclusive and much of it is too anecodtal (or based on hearsay) to be of any value (I would say it is about on a par with the evidence for ghosts). A large number of UFO settings have been debunked so I think it there is good reason to be very skeptical here. As to ‘extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and are obviously gregarious’ you need to provide more solid evidence for such a statement before it can be considered seriously.
For UFO evidence please see point four below, esp. the links.
1. Again, I never said my 1% estimate was scientific! I never said it was helpful to anyone in any way! Besides, the Drake equation has seven variables of which we can make reasonable speculations of two; everything beyond that is a complete guess based on nothing. The only difference between my gut and the Drake equation is that my gut doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not - namely science.
2. I agree that our skill in finding other planets is increasing but it’s not like we can zoom in with three meter resolution on the planets surfaces and see anything. There might well be intelligent life existing in some form on those planets or their moons that current technology cannot detect or there might not. Right now looking at the gravitational effects on stars isn’t good enough to make any statements about the orbiting planets other than their potential distance and/or mass.
3. I never assumed you accepted that extraterrestrials exist, I said you didn’t up to the point of my posting deny their existence, that is, you did not openly argue that they do not exist. One is a positive statement and the other is a negative one.
4. “Debunking” is not and has never been part of science. Science doesn’t debunk, magicians and media skeptics debunk. 7% of the UFO sitings in Project Blue Book special report remain unidentified. If instead it were 7% of drugs tested had the potential to cure every form of cancer researchers would be doing everything they could to investigate those 7% farther, not saying “most drugs can’t cure cancer so we shouldn’t even try.”
More solid evidence other than the biggest government coverup in history (if no UFOs are extraterrestrial and they’re not national security concerns why doesn’t any government in the world besides Mexico come out and tell what they are? Why has the USAF come out with four different “official” reports of the Roswell crash, each one stating that the previous “official” reports were false misinformation campaigns?). More solid evidence than thousands of trained witnesses - pilots, retired military personel, police - who have come out with their reports to great personal risk of job loss, public ridicule, etc., who have nothing to gain by their testimony. If you want more evidence than that look into the trace cases. Potential landing sites with unusual chemical or radioactive properties, plants won’t grow in these areas even after decades when the surrounding areas are perfectly fine. Some people have gotten radiation burns from handling debris, sometimes leading to cancer and death. A supposed piece of the Roswell crash debris that has changed hands several times, each of the owners meeting with highly unlikely deaths (extremely rare diseases, improbable “accidents”). The website that was going to air a world-wide press conference revealing test results of chemical analysis was shut down, the server the site was on was stolen the night before, threatening phone calls convinced others not to cancel the conference.
Roswell Debris Videos:
More answers to UFO questions:
25 June 2009
But UrbanMysticDee thinks it’s conceivable that 1% of the stars in our galaxy could host intelligent life (”which I do not doubt is the case”). That would mean that there are some 1 billion stars in our galaxy with intelligent life. And if UrbanMysticDee is skeptical of Drake’s equation what is the basis for this 1%? Drake’s equation is not perfect, but is probably the best we have (other than pure guessing).
Yes, it’s true we may be “special”, but that is not the same as being unique or especially chosen. The honest answer is “we don’t know”.
“As far as I am concerned there is only consciousness - it arose from nothing but instead is forever preexistant.”
Where is any evidence for this? UrbanMysticDee complains that Drake’s equation is not scientific but makes an assertion such as this based on what? Agreed that consciousness may still be mysterious - but isn’t it a bit of a leap to say it is pre-existent? Where’s the evidence for that? And my reply: JTaylor
1. The 1% estimate is a gut feeling that I never said was scientific. I am able to criticize bad science without having to provide an alternate theory. And I never said my feeling was scientific. I extrapolated from what I’ve read and heard from first and second hand sources that there seems to be a number of different extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and that they are obviously gregarious otherwise encounters wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Besides, you don’t seem to deny the existence of extraterrestrial life so any argument between us on estimates as to their quantity would be purely academic.
A. As to your second question, I draw my assertion of the pre-existence of consciousness based on 40,000 years of experimentation from mystical traditions around the world and my own personal experimentation. When consistent data have been coming in for that long by that many people it seems more than reasonable to assume the data are good.
B. Consciousness cannot be reduced to anything physical yet can have effects on the physical world that are independent of time and space. Giants in the field of physics (David Bohm, Evan Harris Walker, John von Neumann, John Wheeler, Brian Josephson, Eugene Wigner, etc.) have proposed the primacy of consciousness and have produced very interesting experiments backing up their theories (observation theories, retrocausality, etc.)
C. Every single experience that can be had while awake can also be had while dreaming. All the senses can be present in dreams equally or to a greater degree than while awake. Waking appears to be of the same category of phenomena as dreaming.
D. Something has to be pre-existente, whether it be quantum laws or the multiverse or inflation fields or what have you, because the universe appears to have come from absolutely nothing - it is not eternal and it cannot be self-created. Reasons A-C have weighed the deck for me toward a non-physical, intelligent, concious entity of immense power.
24 June 2009
1. I never said or even implicated any connection to materialism or random chance in regards to myself or my views of life in the universe. I’m not sure I can give URLs here but if I can I suggest you peruse my little corner of the internet: http://theurbanmystic.blogspot.com/
* I don’t think consciousness arose through materialistic forces. I don’t even think there are materialistic forces. I’m an idealist. As far as I am concerned there is only consciousness - it arose from nothing but instead is forever preexistant.
* The same goes for life forms, simple or otherwise.
2. After studying the whole UFO/extraterrestrial visitation issue pretty much my entire life I am convinced the evidence is overwhelming that the Earth has been visited by intelligent beings from beyond our solar system and that the cover up of the best evidence constitutes the greatest misinformation campaign in history.
* I myself have seen such crafts.
* The SETI people are in denial about the above. They spent all this time and money on fancy machines and now have to justify the existence of the program by haranguing UFOlogy and repeat their mantra every night that ET will only contact them with their expensive equipment to keep their sanity.
* The Drake equation is based on pure conjecture and isn’t science no matter what the SETI people may say. Neither for that matter is many worlds, string/m-brane theories, and dark energy science as none of them can, by definition, be tested.
3. If one percent of the population of Earth had the ability to fly and see through walls I would still say that they are special just as if one percent of stars in the galaxy had intelligent life I would say such life is special. I think it is a sufficently small number to justify the special categorization. I'll keep you updated as things go down (expect a video on specialness as the next post). -Dee
05 June 2009
29 May 2009
14 April 2009
07 April 2009
03 April 2009
31 March 2009
29 March 2009
28 March 2009
An Excerpt from "Discipline and Leadership," Pages 46-50, from A Student in Arms by Donald Hankey.
Of course the types vary enormously. At first it is generally the men who want promotion that obtain the stripe, and they mostly belong to one of two classes. They are either ambitious youngsters or blustering bullies. The youngster who wants promotion has probably been a clerk and lived in a suburb. He is better educated and has a smarter appearance than the general run of the men. He covets the stripe because he wants to get out of the many menial and dirty jobs incidental to barrack life; because he thinks himself "a cut above" his fellows and wants the fact to be recognized; because, in short, he thinks that as a lance-corporal he will find life easier and more flattering to his self-esteem. He soon finds his mistake. He annoys the sergeant-major by his incompetence and the men by his superior airs. Soon he gets into a panic and begins to nag at the men. That is just what they hate. The whole situation reminds one of nothing so much as of a terrier barking at a heard of cows. As soon as the cows turn on him the terrier begins to waver, and, after trying to maintain his dignity by continuing to bark, ends by fleeing for dear life with his tail between his legs. So the young lance-corporal begins by hectoring the men, and, having roused them to a fury of irritation, ends by abject entreaty. Finally he is reduced to the ranks. The career of the bully is different. He is generally a vulgar, pushing fellow, who likes boasting and threatening, likes to feel that men are afraid of him, likes to be flattered by toadies, and likes getting men punished. The men hate him; but he sometimes manages to bluff the officers and sergeants into thinking that he is a "smart N.C.O." Usually he comes to a bad end, either through drink or gambling. When he is reduced to the ranks his lot is not an enviable one. A deplorable number of those who are first promoted finish by forfeiting their stripe. Then comes the turn of the man who does not covet rank for its own sake, but accepts it because he thinks that it is "up to him" to do so. Generally he is a man of few words and much character. He gives an order. The man who receives it begins to argue: it is not his turn, he has only just finished another job, and so on. The N.C.O. looks at him, and repeats: "Git on and do it." The man "curls up," and does as he is told. An N.C.O. of this sort is popular. He saves any amount of wear and tear, and this is appreciated by the men. He gets things done, and that is appreciated by the sergeants and officers. Finally, there is the gentleman, who is the most interesting of them all from our point of view. He is generally a thoroughly bad disciplinarian in the official sense, and at the same time he is often a magnificent leader of men. He is fair and disinterested. He has a certain prestige through being rather incomprehensible to the average private. He does not care a scrap for his rank. He is impervious to the fear of losing it. He takes it from a sense of duty, and his one idea is to get things done with as little friction as possible. He often succeeds in gaining the confidence of his men, so that they will work for him as for no one else. But, on the other hand, his methods are apt to be quite unorthodox and highly prejudicial to the cause of discipline as a whole. His authority is so personal that it is very hard for anordinary N.C.O. to take his place.
26 March 2009
22 March 2009
An Excerpt from "A Sense of the Dramatic," Pages 173-174, from A Student in Arms by Donald Hankey.
A sense of the dramatic is, of course, closely connected with a sense of humor. If you have this faculty for getting outside yourself and criticizing yourself, you will be pretty sure to see whether you look ridiculous. If you are a real artist in the exercise of the gift, you will also see yourself in your right perspective with regard to other people. The artist must not be an egoist. He must not allow the limelight to be centred on himself. He will see himself, not as the hero of the story, but as one of the characters – the hero, perhaps, of one chapter, but equally a minor character in the others. The greatest artist of all, probably, is the man who prays, and tries to see the story as the Author designed it. He will have the truest sense of proportion, the most adequate sense of humor of all. Undoubtedly prayer is the highest form of exercising this sense of the dramatic.
19 March 2009
09 March 2009
22 February 2009
15 February 2009
30 January 2009
"So the researchers knew all along that ESCR was wrong? They were violating their consciences? Previously, we had been assured that only religious fanatics viewed ESCR that way."
At the bottom of the article is a (very) partial list of diseases that can be treated with adult stem cells whereas embryonic stem cells have been shown to be completely useless: diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, heart failure, and spinal cord injury.-Dee