Category Archives: Oddities

altruism is dead — Long Live Altruism!

The time is coming when the paper pellet must be replaced by the golden bullet and altruism, with all its good intention, is to be taken barn side and shot in the head. There it shall remain buried until further notice. It is of no benefit for a man to attempt a conviction of my soul from this point forward. No man will dictate that I give to my neighbor, nor will he plead to my mind the largeness of his own needs or the usefulness of my donations, nor will an elected official argue the point that I must pay more in order to adhere to the moral responsibility I have to my brother. I have no moral responsibility to my brother, other than that which I deem to be moral. I have no moral responsibility to anyone but myself, nor does my neighbor have a moral responsibility to me. With that, both he and I, can now exist knowing that what we give to each other, we give freely from our hearts, not because a governmental body has decided to play the role of clergyman and convict our souls while tugging at our heartstrings, all the time sneaking in and about our purse strings. But along the way, I suspect that altruism will attempt an escape from his grave and look to rise from his confinement back to his moral high-ground. But when he does, I will be there. On bended knee, my mouth will let drip whispers and suggestions that will saturate the very dirt through which his compassion claws away. Leave me alone, I will tell him…leave me be and I will take a step toward you on my own, in my own time, at my own pace. Though while you wait, my altruistic friend, take notice of your precious Collectivism waiting in the hand basket as your Russian revolution burns away in hell. Yesterday’s rebel is awake and it wasn’t your science that saved me, it was the way that He and they prayed and prayed for me and now I am no longer THEY or WE…I am individual…I am I. — Mike McMannes 2012

Multiplying Universes: How Many Is The Multiverse? – New Scientist

Multiplying universes: How many is the multiverse? – space – 28 October 2009 – New Scientist.

HOW many universes are there? Cosmologists Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin at Stanford University in California calculate that the number dwarfs the 10500 universes postulated in string theory, and raise the provocative notion that the answer may depend on the human brain.

The idea that there is more than one universe, each with its own laws of physics, arises out of several different theories, including string theory and cosmic inflation. This concept of a “multiverse” could explain a puzzling mystery – why dark energy, the furtive force that is accelerating the expansion of space, appears improbably fine-tuned for life. With a large number of universes, there is bound to be one that has a dark energy value like ours.

Calculating the probability of observing this value – and other features of the cosmos – depends on how many universes of various kinds populate the multiverse. String theory describes 10500 universes, but that just counts different vacuum states, which are like the blank canvases upon which universes are painted. The features of each canvas determine what the overall painting will look like – such as the laws of physics in that universe – but not the details.

Thanks to the randomness of quantum mechanics, two identical vacuum states can end up as very different universes. Small quantum fluctuations in the very early universe are stretched to astronomical scales by inflation, the period of faster-than-light expansion just after the big bang. These fluctuations lay down a gravitational blueprint that eventually determines the placement of stars and galaxies across the sky. Small differences in the form of these fluctuations can produce a universe in which the Milky Way is slightly bigger, or closer to its neighbours.

So just how many of these different universes can inflation’s quantum fluctuations produce? According to Linde and Vanchurin, the total is about 101010,000,000 – that’s a 10 raised to a number ending with 10 million zeros (arxiv.org/abs/0910.1589). Suddenly string theory’s multiverse of 10500universes is looking rather claustrophobic.

It might be, however, that this number is irrelevant, and that in a world ruled by quantum physics what matters is how many universes a single observer can distinguish. “Before quantum mechanics,” says Linde, “we thought that ‘reality’ was a well-defined word.” In classical physics, observers are irrelevant – we simply want to know how many universes exist.

It may not matter how many universes exist – just how many a single observer can tell apart

According to quantum physics, observers affect the systems they measure(see “Restricted view”). If observers are an integral part of the cosmic formula, then it may not matter how many universes exist – just how many a single observer can tell apart. If the observer is a person, that depends on how many bits of information the brain can process. “Based on the number of synapses in a typical brain, a human observer can register 1016,” says Linde. That means humans can differentiate 101016 universes, which is much more manageable than the 101010,000,000 Linde and Vanchurin found to start with.

But does the human brain really play a role in making predictions in the multiverse? “This goes deep into philosophy,” Linde says. “It’s a slippery slope.”

Cosmologist Alex Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston is equally ambivalent. “It could be right that what is important is what an observer sees,” he says. “But there might be things an observer doesn’t see that are still there.”

Restricted view

Quantum theory splits the world into two parts: the system under study and the rest of the world, which contains the observer. The system hovers in a ghostly state of near-existence made up of a host of possibilities until the observer makes a measurement – and so reduces this to a single reality.

Cosmology suffers from the paradox that no observer can be outside the universe – so the universe is doomed to spend eternity as nothing more than a vague possibility. The lesson of quantum cosmology is that we can’t talk about the universe as a whole, but only what a given observer inside it might measure. Applying that lesson to the multiverse, Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin suggest that what matters is not the total number of possible universes, but the number of universes a single observer could distinguish.

If that observer is a human, the brain limits the amount of information they can register. But any observer – even an inanimate one such as a galaxy – is limited in the information it can store. These limitations in what observers can measure whittle down the number of universes that come into play in cosmological predictions. That means an observer might make a difference in explaining the value of things like dark energy.

Rethinking relativity: Is time out of joint? – space – 21 October 2009 – New Scientist

EVER since Arthur Eddington travelled to the island of Príncipe off Africa to measure starlight bending around the sun during a 1919 eclipse, evidence for Einstein’s theory of general relativity has only become stronger. Could it now be that starlight from distant galaxies is illuminating cracks in the theory’s foundation?

Everything from the concept of the black hole to GPS timing owes a debt to the theory of general relativity, which describes how gravity arises from the geometry of space and time. The sun’s gravitational field, for instance, bends starlight passing nearby because its mass is warping the surrounding space-time. This theory has held up to precision tests in the solar system and beyond, and has explained everything from the odd orbit of Mercury to the way pairs of neutron stars perform their pas de deux.

Yet it is still not clear how well general relativity holds up over cosmic scales, at distances much larger than the span of single galaxies. Now the first, tentative hint of a deviation from general relativity has been found. While the evidence is far from watertight, if confirmed by bigger surveys, it may indicate either that Einstein’s theory is incomplete, or else that dark energy, the stuff thought to be accelerating the expansion of the universe, is much weirder than we thought(see “Not dark energy, dark fluid”).

The analysis of starlight data by cosmologist Rachel Bean of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has generated quite a stir. Shortly after the paper waspublished on the pre-print physics archive, prominent physicist Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena praised Bean’s research. “This is serious work by a respected cosmologist,” he wrote on his blog Cosmic Variance. “Either the result is wrong, and we should be working hard to find out why, or it’s right, and we’re on the cusp of a revolution.”

If it is wrong, we should be working hard to find out why, but if it’s right, we are on the cusp of a revolution

“It has caused quite a furore in astronomy circles,” says Richard Massey of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in the UK. “This paper has generated a lot of interest.”

Bean found her evidence lurking in existing data collected by the Cosmic Evolution Survey, a multi-telescope imaging project that includes the longest survey yet by the Hubble Space Telescope. COSMOS, which detected more than 2 million galaxies over a small patch of sky, takes advantage of gravity’s ability to bend light. Massive objects like galaxy clusters bend the light of more distant objects so that it is directed towards or away from Earth. This effect, called gravitational lensing, is at its most dramatic when it creates kaleidoscopic effects like luminous rings or the appearance of multiple copies of a galaxy.

The sky is also dominated by the distorting effects of “weak lensing”, in which intervening matter bends light to subtly alter the shapes and orientations of more distant galaxies, creating an effect similar to that of looking through old window glass. Since galaxies come in all shapes and sizes, it is difficult to know whether the light from an individual galaxy has been distorted, because there is nothing to compare it with. But by looking for common factors in the distortion of many galaxies, it is possible to build up a map of both the visible and even unseen matterMovie Camera that bend their light.

The weak lensing technique can also be used to measure two different effects of gravity. General relativity calls for gravity’s curvature of space to be equivalent to its curvature of time. Light should be influenced in equal amounts by both.

When the COSMOS data was released in 2007, the team – led by Massey – assumed these two factors were equivalent. Their analysis revealed that gravitational tugs on light were stronger than anticipated, but they put this down to a slightly higher concentration of ordinary and dark matter in the survey’s patch of sky than had been predicted.

To look for potential deviations from general relativity, Bean reanalysed the data and dropped the requirement that these two components of gravity had to be equal. Instead the ratio of the two was allowed to change in value. She found that between 8 and 11 billion years ago gravity’s distortion of time appeared to be three times as strong as its ability to curve space. An observer around at the time wouldn’t have noticed the effect because it only applies over large distances. Nonetheless, “there is a preference for a significant deviation from general relativity”, says Bean (www.arxiv.org/abs/0909.3853).

Gravity’s distortion of time appeared to be three times as strong as its ability to curve space

At this stage, it’s hard to say what would happen if the deviation from general relativity was confirmed. Cosmologists have already considered some modifications to general relativity that could explain the universe’s acceleration(see “Not dark energy, dark fluid”).

Yet finding a deviation when the universe was less than half its current age is odd – if general relativity had broken down at some level, the signs should be most dramatic more recently, long after the repulsive effect of dark energy overwhelmed the attractive powers of gravity some 6 billion years ago.

Most astronomers, including Bean, are cautious about the results. “Nobody is yet betting money that the effect is real,” says cosmologist Dragan Huterer of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Various other explanations, like a bias in the technique used to estimate the distances to galaxies, now need to be ruled out.

Although COSMOS photographed a deep patch of sky, it was fairly small by the standards of modern surveys. This opens up the possibility that this region might be anomalous, notes Asantha Cooray, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Irvine. “You could have a massive galaxy cluster that could boost your weak lensing signal up. Or by random chance you could have more dark matter,” says Cooray, part of a team that analysed other survey data taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii and found no hint of a departure from general relativity. “The only way to take that into account is to look at data in a larger field.”

Future projects will scan the sky over much wider areas and collect images of many more lensed galaxies. For example, the Dark Energy Survey is poised to start surveying the sky from 2011 and will build up an even more precise picture of how light has been bent over the course of the universe’s history.

Whether these surveys find the effect or not, Bean hopes that her paper will generate more interest in the idea of using weak lensing to test general relativity. “I’m not putting my flag out there and saying this is a real thing,” Bean says. “We need to look at more data sets. This is really just the first stage for trying to test gravity in this way.”

Massey agrees: “At the moment we’re in the mode of just trying to hack into general relativity to find the chinks in its armour, to find any places where it might not be working.” n

Not dark energy, dark fluid

Dark energy could be weirder than we thought. Evidence that over large distances gravity exerts a greater pull on time than on space (see main story) might not necessarily suggest that the theory of general relativity is wrong. It could instead be a sign that the universe’s acceleration may require a more exotic explanation.

The simplest way of explaining the universe’s acceleration is to invoke a cosmological constant, originally proposed by Einstein to allow the universe to remain the same size in the presence of matter. This describes a universe filled with uniform, outward-pushing energy. But there are other possible explanations for acceleration.

One idea is that the entire universe exists on a membrane, or brane, floating inside an extra dimension. While matter will be confined to three dimensions, gravity could be leaking into this extra dimension. When the universe becomes large enough, this gravity could interact with matter in the brane, to produce acceleration on large scales.

A deviation could also be a sign that dark energy is a more complex “fluid” that exerts varying pressures in different directions. The snag is that telling the difference between a more exotic form of dark energy and a modification to our understanding of gravity could be tricky.

“If we were to detect a departure,” says cosmologist Alessandra Silvestriof the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we might not be able to tell whether there is a flaw in general relativity or just evidence that dark energy is “some sort of fancy fluid”.

Lynne McTaggart: Why Dan Brown’s Science Fiction Is Mostly Fact

Written by: Lynne McTaggart: Why Dan Brown’s Science Fiction Is Mostly Fact

LostSymbol“One of the main characters in Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol , is a scientist particularly interested in ‘mind over matter’: the power of thought–or intention–to affect and change the world. The ‘big idea’ in Dan Brown’s book is that science is only now providing evidence of what ancient traditions have traditionally espoused: that thought has a tangible power, enabling human beings to be creators of their own world.

I’m in a unique position to comment on this as I have extensively studied all the science Brown includes in his book, written two bestselling books on the subject and I facilitate these kinds of experiments all over the world. In fact, Brown prominently singled out me, my book, The Intention Experiment, my research and my website www.theintentionexperiment.com for special mention in the blockbuster, claiming that one of his main characters was ‘fascinated’ by my work and my web-based global laboratory, testing the power of thought.

Although Solomon is solidly fiction, the vast majority of her work is based on solid fact.
In a sizeable body of research exploring the nature of consciousness, carried on for more than 30 years in prestigious scientific institutions around the world — Princeton and Stanford Universities, the Universities of Arizona and California, and, in Europe, the Universities of Freiberg and Edinburgh –thoughts directed at targets in the laboratory have been shown capable of altering machines, cells and even complex organisms like human beings. This mind-over-matter power even seems to traverse time and space.

logoIn my own web-based experiments, we involve thousands of participants in 90 countries around the world, sending thoughts to targets created in rigorous laboratory settings at the University of Arizona, Pennsylvania State University, University of California at Davis, and other prestigious universities in Europe. Of our 19 experiments to date, 16 have shown significant positive results, six of which have been published in a scientific paper.

These studies go well beyond spoonbending tricks. This central idea, that consciousness affects matter, lies at the very heart of an irreconcilable difference between the world view offered by classical physics – the science of the big, visible world – and that of quantum physics – the science of the world’s most diminutive components. These discoveries offer convincing evidence that all matter in the universe exists in a web of connection and constant influence, which often overrides many of the laws of the universe that we used to believe held ultimate sovereignty.

At least 40 top scientists in academic centres of research around the world have demonstrated that an information transfer constantly carries on between living things, and that thought forms are simply another aspect of transmitted energy. Hundreds of others have offered plausible theories embracing even the most counter-intuitive effects, such as time-displaced influence, as now consistent with the laws of physics.

freemasonryIdeas about the power of thought are no longer the ruminations of a few eccentric individuals. They now underpin many well-accepted disciplines in every reach of life, from orthodox and alternative medicine to competitive sport. Medical scientists often speak of the ‘placebo effect’ as an annoying impediment to the proof of the efficacy of a chemical agent. It is time that we understood and made full use of the power of the placebo. Repeatedly, the mind has proved to be a far more powerful healer than the greatest of breakthrough drugs.

Frontier science is the art of inquiring about the impossible. All of our major achievements in history have resulted from asking an outrageous question. What if stones fall from the sky? What if giant metal objects could overcome gravity? What if there is no end of the earth to sail off of? All of the discoveries about the power of thought and remote influence have similarly proceeded from asking a seemingly absurd question: what if our thoughts could affect the things around us?

True science always begins with an unpopular question, even if there is no prospect of an immediate answer – even if the answer threatens to overturn every last one of our cherished beliefs. The scientists engaged in consciousness research must constantly put forward unpopular questions about the nature of the mind and the extent of its reach. In our group Intention Experiments, we have asked the most impossible question of all: what if a group thought could heal a remote target? It is a little like asking, what if a thought could heal the world?

It is an outlandish question, but the most important part of scientific investigation is just the simple willingness to ask the question. Mainstream science has grown ever more fundamentalist, dominated by a few highly vocal scientists who believe that our scientific story has largely been written. Nevertheless, a small body of resistance carries on in defiance of this restricted view. With every unorthodox question asked, with every unlikely answer, frontier sciences such as those featured in my books – and now Dan Brown’s — remake our world. May they and their ilk light our way.”
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynne-mctaggart/why-dan-browns-science-fi_b_325906.html

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Cold Fusion or sequel to ‘The Saint’?

 

coldfusionWASHINGTON (AFP) – Researchers at a US Navy laboratory have unveiled what they say is “significant” evidence of cold fusion, apotential energy source that has many skeptics in the scientific community.

The scientists on Monday described what they called the first clear visual evidence that low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), or cold fusion devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists say are indicative of nuclear reactions.

“Our finding is very significant,” said analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss of the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, California.

“To our knowledge, this is the first scientific report of the production of highly energetic neutrons from a LENR device,” added the study’s co-author in a statement. The study’s results were presented at the annual meeting of theAmerican Chemical Society in Salt Lake City, Utah. The city is also the site of an infamous presentation on cold fusion 20 years ago by Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons that sent shockwaves across the world.

coldfusion_timeDespite their claim to cold fusion discovery, the Fleishmann-Pons study soon fell into discredit after other researchers were unable to reproduce the results. Scientists have been working for years to produce cold fusion reactions, a potentially cheap, limitless and environmentally-clean source of energy.

Paul Padley, a physicist at Rice University who reviewed Mosier-Boss’s published work, said the study did not provide a plausible explanation of how cold fusion could take place in the conditions described.

“It fails to provide a theoretical rationale to explain how fusion could occur at room temperatures. And in its analysis, the research paper fails to exclude other sources for the production of neutrons,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

“The whole point of fusion is, you?re bringing things of like charge together. As we all know, like things repel, and you have to overcome that repulsion somehow.”

But Steven Krivit, editor of the New Energy Times, said the study was “big” and could open a new scientific field. The neutrons produced in the experiments “may not be caused by fusion but perhaps some new, unknown nuclear process,” added Krivit, who has monitored cold fusion studies for the past 20 years.

“We’re talking about a new field of science that’s a hybrid between chemistry and physics.”

There’s Nothing to See Here!!

Science closing in on cloak of invisibility

WASHINGTON – They can’t match Harry Potter yet, but scientists are moving closer to creating a real cloak of invisibility.

Researchers at Duke University, who developed a material that can “cloak” an item from detection by microwaves, report that they have expanded the number of wavelengths they can block.
In 2006 the team reported they had developed so-called metamaterials that could deflect microwaves around a three-dimensional object, essentially making it invisible to the waves.
The system works like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky.

The researchers report in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science that they have developed a series of mathematical commands to guide the development of more types of metamaterials to cloak objects from an increasing range of electromagnetic waves.
“The new device can cloak a much wider spectrum of waves — nearly limitless — and will scale far more easily to infrared and visible light. The approach we used should help us expand and improve our abilities to cloak different types of waves,” senior researcher David R. Smith said in a statement.

The new cloak is made up of more than 10,000 individual pieces of fiberglass arranged in parallel rows. The mathematical formulas are used to determine the shape and placement of each piece to deflect the electromagnetic waves.

Science.com

Back from the Future?

Swiss watch found in 400-year-old tomb

Archeologists in China are baffled after finding a tiny Swiss watch in a 400-year-old tomb.

The tiny Swiss watch found in a 400-year-old tomb /Quirky China News

The watch ring was discovered as archeologists were making a documentary with two journalists from Shangsi town.

“When we tried to remove the soil wrapped around the coffin, a piece of rock suddenly dropped off and hit the ground with a metallic sound,? said Jiang Yanyu, former curator of the Guangxi Autonomous Region Museum.

“We picked up the object, and found it was a ring. After removing the covering soil and examining it further, we were shocked to see it was a watch.”

The time was stopped at 10:06am, and on the back was engraved the word “Swiss”, reports the People’s Daily.

Local experts say they are confused as they believe the tomb had been undisturbed since it was created during the Ming dynasty 400 years ago.

They have suspended the dig and are waiting for experts to arrive from Beijing and help them unravel the mystery.

 


A Baby’s Best Friend

Dog Protected Newborn Baby, Doctors say.

(CNN) — A dog sheltered a newborn baby abandoned by its 14-year-old mother in a field in rural Argentina until the boy was rescued, a doctor said Friday.

The abandoned infant was found in a field with this dog and her newborn puppies. A resident of a rural area outside La Plata called police late Wednesday night to say that he had heard the baby crying in a field behind his house. The man went outside and found the infant lying beside the dog and its six newborn puppies, Daniel Salcedo, chief of police of the Province of Buenos Aires, told CNN. The temperature was a chilly 37 degrees, Salcedo said. The dog had apparently carried the baby some 50 meters from where his mother had abandoned him to where the puppies were huddled, police said.

“She took it like a puppy and rescued it,” Salcedo said. “The doctors told us if she hadn’t done this, he would have died.”

“The dog is a hero to us.”

Dr. Egidio Melia, director of the Melchor Romero Hospital in La Plata, told CNN that police showed up at the hospital at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday with the baby who doctors say was only a few hours old. Though the infant had superficial scratches and bruises and was bleeding from his mouth, he was in good shape, Melia said. The next morning, the child’s mother was driven by a neighbor to the hospital and told authorities the 8 pound, 13 ounce infant is hers, Melia said.

The teenager was immediately given psychological treatment and was hospitalized, he said. She has said little about the incident. The child has been transferred to a children’s hospital in La Plata, 37 miles from Buenos Aires.

The Child of the Child King?

DNA tests to study mummy fetuses in King Tut tomb

Egyptian scientists are carrying out DNA tests on two mummified fetuses found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun to determine whether they are the young pharaoh’s offspring, the antiquities authority said Wednesday.

The two tiny female fetuses, between five to seven months in gestational age, were found in King Tut’s tomb in Luxor when it was dissevered in 1922. DNA samples from the fetuses “will be compared to each other, along with those of the mummy of King Tutankhamun,” the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said in a statement.

The testing is part of a wider program to check the DNA of hundreds of mummies to determine their identities and family relations. Hawass said the program could help determine Tutankhamun’s family lineage, which has long been a source of mystery among Egyptologists. The identity of Tut’s parents is not firmly known. Many experts believe he is the son of Akhenaten, the 18th Dynasty pharaoh who tried to introduce monotheism to ancient Egypt, and one of Akhenaten’s queens, Kiya. But others have suggested he was the son of a lesser known pharaoh who followed Akhenaten.

Scholars believe that at age 12, Tutankhamun married Ankhesenamun — a daughter of Akhenaten by his better known wife Nefertiti — but the couple had no surviving children. There has been no archaeological evidence that Tut, who died around the age of 19 under mysterious circumstances over 3,000 years ago, left any offspring. The council said that if the tiny mummies are unrelated to Tut, they may have been placed in his tomb to allow him to “live as a newborn in the afterlife.” Ashraf Selim, a radiologist and member of the Egyptian team, said the tests could take several months. So far, the team has carried out CT scans on the two fetuses and taken samples for DNA tests.

“We want to find out the truth and facts relevant to the history of these kings,” Selim told The Associated Press. Since they were found in King Tut’s tomb, the mummified fetuses were kept in storage at the Cairo School of Medicine and were never publicly displayed or studied, Selim said. One of his top goals is to find the mummy of Nefertiti, the queen legendary for her beauty. Abdel-Halim Nour el-Deen, a former head of the council and a leading Egyptologist said DNA testing on mummies thousands of years old is very difficult.

“It is doubtful that it could produce a scientific result to determine such important issues such as the lineage of pharaohs,” Nour el-Deen told the AP. Nour el-Deen also criticized the antiquities authority for not making public the results of the tests already carried out.

Obama IS Black, Right?

And Jessie is a racist, right?

The often-idiotic, rhyming-reverend Jesse Jackson apologized for some “regretfully crude” comments he made about Barack Obama’s speeches in black churches during what he thought was a private conversation. Do you wonder if Jackson is sorry that he said them or if he’s just sorry that he got caught? He says that the black community has more problems than just moral problems: housing, jobs, prison, etc… and that Obama is speaking down to the black community by emphasizing the lack of a black father. It’s actually funny but it’s THIS type of rhetoric that is the most racist of all: blacks chastising blacks because they’re acting TOO white. Being white implies some sort of birthright to intelligence? It’s this intelligence, genetically isolated to the country-club socialites that should be avoided by blacks? Wait…wait…wait – it’s not because they’d be ’sell-outs’ is it? That really is quite the 1980’s!

If I were black, all of this would be completely offensive to me. But it’s typical of this kind of leadership, or lack thereof, that has dominated the black community for far too long. White people have for years seen this but for years have been unable to say it. Why? The public out crying of “RACIST!! RACIST!!” can be a little much at times. Whites don’t like to talk about blacks. It makes them uncomfortable. Could they help the black community in some ways? Sure. Will they? No. Why? Leaders like Jackson and Sharpton don’t want white people’s help. They need the black community to look to them, the REV’s, for guidance. Yeah, well, there’s this new kid named Obama. Yeaaaahhhhhhh uh…he just might be the President. Yeaaaahhhhhh…..

You know, Jessie, you’re not the ONLY black leader that’s out there these days. They’re closing in on you Jessie, they’re closing! They’re the new and improved, younger blacks who ***GASP*** think for themselves. They don’t follow your cracked up ‘If there wasn’t racism, blacks would rule the world’ philosophy. These are the new speakers – the new leaders – with new ideals. There are now plenty of leaders in the black community that would have no problem listening to another point of view, maybe even from a white, Hispanic or Jewish perspective and these idealists aren’t quite so closed-minded as the dear REV. In time, they’re going to achieve what the good REV. never did: fundamental change within a community as opposed to the diamond-laced crutches they’ve been given (Fake diamonds, yes, but they look real and that’s what’s important!).

One man would be Harold Ford, Jr. Here is an absolutely brilliant man with fantastic insight into realm of good ol’ common sense. He’s articulate and well-spoken, and not in the bad, racist way of ‘talking white.’ He’d listen, I’m sure of it and he’s black, Reverend. I would propose a dare for you to say about Mr. Ford that he talks white just because he’s a professor of public policy at Vanderbilt University teaching American political leadership. Or, because he joined Merrill Lynch financial as a vice chairman and senior policy advisor and in 2007, was appointed the inaugural Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He’s also light-skinned. Be VERY careful here, Mr. Jackson when determining whether or not he’s black enough for you. I mean, he is, isn’t he? Even with all of these credentials, even though he does ’speak white’ and actually look a little white, please tell me that he IS black enough?

Perhaps Condy? She’s a little darker skinned. But at how many parties have you bashed the talented, genius-walking, former National Security Advisor, current Sec. of State, and future President? Is she too white because she balanced an entire university’s budget? If I told you that Dr. Rice (That’s DR. not REV.) is an accomplished pianist and at 15, she played Mozart with the Denver Symphony, would this be her ‘acting white’ or just being an accomplished black? Let’s see, she’s performed at diplomatic events, at embassies and has performed in public with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is Chinese (If you want to criticize Yo-Yo Ma for being born in Paris, well, I’m actually ok with that!) She has stated that her favorite composer is Johannes Brahms, not because he was German and white, which you most assuredly could find cause to accuse her, but because she thinks Brahms’s music is “passionate but not sentimental.”

She’s not listening to Snoop – she must be ‘listening down’ to black people. AND OFF GOES MR. JACKSON TO FIND THE NEAREST CNN TELEVISION CAMERA!!

Jackson is the old school, racist, ‘keep blacks in their place’ type of spiritual leader that actually offers no spiritual leadership whatsoever. If I were black (Actually, my genealogy found that Booker T. Washington is a not so distant cousin of mine so, I guess I am black!) …ok, if I were MORE black than I am, I would jettison these type of idiots faster than Rosa Parks could sit down on a bus seat (Rosa Parks grandfather was Irish. See? She was a fighter!).

But seriously with these clowns, when was the last time you heard REV. Jesse Jackson, or REV. Al Sharpton, for that matter, utter the name Jesus Christ in a public setting? You probably haven’t. You know who has said it and does say it? Sen. Barack Obama! Remember REV –

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” 1 Peter 2:7

Maybe those two, old, tired men are actually jealous of Barack Obama. I mean, he’s done something those two never did – ever: he’s put himself in a position to be President of the United States of America. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong and am giving these men too much grief. Perhaps they are just envious because Obama ACTUALLY IS African-American.

Riding the coat tails of the great MLK, Jr. can only last for so long. Would Dr. King ever utter such vile sentiment? Methinks not. Can you see Dr. King doing this? No. In 1984, Jackson called New York City “Hymietown,” referring to the city’s large Jewish population. I’m sure Dr. King would’ve been proud then just as he is now! Nice job, Jess!

Jackson’s opinions and rhetoric are stale. He no religious leader, he’s no political player. In fact, he’s laid no groundwork to support any recent political commentary at all. Here’s the best thing I can say about Jackson: you are a freak show and side-show act…and no, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson. You’re getting to be more and more irrelevant and that has got to hurt more than anything. You so desperately want to be relevant, but you’re just not. The 60’s have come and gone, my friend.
He said Wednesday that Obama’s speeches “come off as speaking down to black people” and that there were other important issues to be addressed in the black community, such as unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison. The black community has MANY issues that it needs to fix – MANY. But if you were to pick one issue to fix, one which could be the foundation by which all other issues would be built upon, that issue would be the absence the black father. Period!
Look, Obama panders to his base just like everyone else. It’s just politics. He’s a politician. You vote for the guy who’s the best looking on television. We all know that – we’re Americans! But Obama is dead on the money here.

Jessie Jackson just accused a black presidential candidate of ‘talking down to black people.’

Hmm…that’s just weird and actually, pretty funny!

Lord of the ‘Postcard?’ Tolkien sells fireplace? Huh?

A demolition man stripping a fireplace from the former home of “The Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien stumbled across a postcard to the writer dated 1968, and hopes to sell it for a small fortune.

Stephen Malton, who runs Prodem Demolition in Bournemouth on the south English coast, was working in the house in the nearby town of Poole before it was bulldozed to make way for a new construction project.

“Before we demolish a house we do an internal strip out,” Malton said Tuesday.

“One of the main features was a fireplace, and upon removing that we came across three postcards. The third one was a postcard dated 1968 and addressed to J.R.R. Tolkien.”

Malton said research on the Internet suggested that the carved wooden fireplace with marble inlay, a feature of the house when Tolkien lived there from 1968 to 1972, was already worth up to $250,000.

“To tie in both the fireplace and the postcard, we are talking about a price of around $500,000 for the combined pair,” the 42-year-old told Reuters by telephone.

He contacted the Tolkien Estate, which manages the author’s copyrights, and said that they had given him the all clear to sell the fireplace and postcard. The estate could not immediately be reached for comment.

Malton said he would probably sell the items at auction, although according to local newspaper the Dorset Echo, he has already had an offer from a Tolkien enthusiast in Belgium.

The postcard was addressed to Tolkien at the Miramar Hotel in Bournemouth, where he and his wife Edith often stayed.

It is from “Lin,” which Malton believed could be fellow fantasy author Lin Carter who wrote “Tolkien: A Look Behind ‘The Lord of the Rings,'” published in 1969.

Depicting a scene from Ireland, it reads: “I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances.”

Malton was not sure what the “difficult circumstances” might be.

Tolkien had achieved fame by the time he moved to Poole in 1968. His epic “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, already popular before the hugely successful film adaptations appeared, was published in 1954-55.

He remained in Poole until his wife’s death, when he moved back to Oxford. Tolkien died in 1973, aged 81.

By Mike Collett-White

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