Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aussie Student IDs Missing Mass

Expanding our understanding of the content of inter galactic space is certainly a good start when it comes down to detecting missing mass.  All such space could well be filled with material simply interacting weakly and not seriously agglomerating in any significant way.

We see the dynamic form of a galaxy and assume that it is representative, when it is certainly the exception.  The existence of filaments certainly confirms the existence of organized matter outside of the galaxies.

I personally favor low energy neutrinos for the so called dark matter, as it fits nicely into my own work.  That puts a lot of material outside the Galaxies.

Aussie student finds universe's 'missing mass'

 Fri, 27 May, 2011

A 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a problem which has puzzled astrophysicists for decades, discovering part of the so-called "missing mass" of the universe during her summer break.

Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the breakthrough during a holiday internship with a team at Monash University's School of Physics, locating the mystery material within vast structures called "filaments of galaxies".

Monash astrophysicist Dr Kevin Pimbblet explained that scientists had previously detected matter that was present in the early history of the universe but that could not now be located.

"There is missing mass, ordinary mass not dark mass ... It's missing to the present day," Pimbblet told AFP.

"We don't know where it went. Now we do know where it went because that's what Amelia found."

Fraser-McKelvie, an aerospace engineering and science student, was able to confirm after a targeted X-ray search for the mystery mass that it had moved to the "filaments of galaxies", which stretch across enormous expanses of space.

Pimbblet's earlier work had suggested the filaments as a possible location for the "missing" matter, thought to be low in density but high in temperature.

Pimbblet said astrophysicists had known about the "missing" mass for the past two decades, but the technology needed to pinpoint its location had only become available in recent years.

He said the discovery could drive the construction of new telescopes designed to specifically study the mass.

Pimbblet admitted the discovery was primarily academic, but he said previous physics research had led to the development of diverse other technologies.

"Whenever I speak to people who have influence, politicians and so on, they sometimes ask me 'Why should I invest in physics pure research?'. And I sometimes say to them: 'Do you use a mobile phone? Some of that technology came about by black hole research'.

"The pure research has knock-on effects to the whole society which are sometimes difficult to anticipate."

Canada Backs Israel’s Survival

Here we go again.  Obama has fallen into the logical trap of thinking it is ethical to reverse history in order to change a present reality.  Every revisionist uses this garbage logic.

A revisionist view of post contact western history would have all immigrant folk return to their original homeland and return the vacated cities to the ‘first nations’.

The harsh reality of Israel is that a global super ethnic community known as Jewry used a historical reality to justify and promote the effective recolonisation of part of what we know as the Holy Land.  They succeeded because of several factors in their favor.

1                    Collapse of the long time Islamic Empire and its messy replacement with Western sponsored Nation States.
2                    An ongoing flood of escapees from European anti Semitism and the economic failure of communism.
3                    A modern western society able to defend itself with mature western military doctrines.

The present situation is that Israel is economically and militarily secure as an urban society of several million.  It is opposed by a Palestinian population operating a pre modern economy that has brain washed itself into a belief system that supports only the out right genocide of the Israeli State.  This is presently expressed geographically in diminishing Palestinian lands within the whole of Israel, but particularly in the West Bank.

The failure to compromise by the Palestinians is setting the stage for another war to settle the issues.

Such a war will plausibly see the full expulsion of the Palestinian population from Gaza, Southern Lebanon and the West Bank into the State of Jordan.  This is similar to the final settlement of the German Polish conflict imposed by Stalin.  My point is that is what is really at stake here.  The Hashemite Bedouin Kingdom would disappear into history and a true ‘Palestinian state would then occupy the East Bank of the Jordan.

Forty years ago, I thought such an outcome to be totally improbable. Today, I am not so sure.  Such a Palestinian State would and could swiftly reform itself and rethink its role in the middle East and be in position to enter a successful settlement with the Israeli reality.  It would be one of the great turning points in the history of the region.

It would also come just as the general nature of Islamic social economic failure is to be fully revealed by the sudden end of the Oil Age.  This has begun as we write and will unfold over the next decade..

The present reality, rather than historical fantasies is of a failed Palestinian enterprise hijacked by an ideology of hate, not unlike Nazism.  Appeasement is not a viable option and we can applaud Canada as the only State to see this clearly and to stand alone among the G8.

Canada Backs Israel’s Survival

Posted by P. David Hornik on May 30th, 2011 and filed under Daily MailerFrontPage. You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator in Beersheva, Israel. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com.

Reuters reported on Friday that Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper prevented the G8 from calling for Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders in a communiqué. The group of eight leading industrialized countries was meeting in Deauville, France.

All the other seven countries—including the United States—favored calling for the Israeli withdrawal. But “the Canadians,” a European official told Reuters, “were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week.”

Instead, the communiqué said:

Negotiations are the only way toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.

The framework for these negotiations is well known. We urge both parties to return to substantive talks with a view to concluding a framework agreement on all final status issues.

To that effect, we express our strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama on May 19, 2011.

The G8, then, appears to be implicitly opposing the Palestinian plans for a unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN in September—without explicitly demanding that Israel commit territorial suicide.

Israel’s Haaretz further reported on Sunday that Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself had called Harper last week to request that he keep the 1967 borders out of the G8’s statement—and that Netanyahu had done so after his speech to Congress on Tuesday.

Netanyahu’s appeal to Harper was, of course, no accident. The Conservative prime minister, reelected with a solid majority earlier this month, is a staunch supporter of Israel who stated last year:

When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.

Reuters also reports that “Canada’s strong backing for Israel was cited by diplomats last year as one reason why Ottawa failed to win a rotating two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council.”

Notable here is that the other G8 countries—the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan—were all prepared to stipulate Israel’s return to the “Auschwitz borders” even despite the Israeli prime minister’s fervent, publicly expressed opposition to it both after his meeting with Obama on May 19 and in his speech to Congress last week. By returning to those lines, Israel—situated in the heart of the Middle East and surrounded by Muslim-Arab countries—would shrink from its current width of 45 miles to 9-15 miles.

Here are the (maximum) widths in miles of those seven G8 countries (minus Canada):

United States   3300
Russia             4800
France              620
Germany          400
Britain              350
Italy                  200
Japan                140

Also notable—and lamentable—is the rarity of a national leader taking such a principled stand on Israel as Harper has.

The administration of George W. Bush, for instance, was—like Harper—on the conservative side of the fence and considered strongly pro-Israel. Yet it frequently hectored Israel about building plans for Jews in Jerusalem. Along with Russia, the UN, and the EU—and without inviting Israel to the gathering—it produced the 2003 “road map for peace,” which laid out a path to a Palestinian state even as Palestinian suicide bombers were besieging Israeli cities. In 2001 Bush’s policy led then-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to declare angrily that Israel would not be “sacrificed” like Czechoslovakia before World War II.

Israelis are well aware that, as Harper put it, their “very existence is under attack” and yet that they are “consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation.” They are also aware that other democracies—sometimes even including the one that is their major ally—are often willing to throw Israel to the wolves of their own perceived interests. In such a world Stephen Harper stands out like a beacon.

Global Resource Consumption to Triple by 2050

As usual we get the hand wringing.  In the end resource consumption will be huge and every human being will participate.  Get over it and allow pricing to do its job.  The demand increases slowly enough to allow price signals to do their work.

To start with we are entering a world of freely available energy that will not be tied to fuels.  Goodbye to coal, oil and uranium.  Just that will make a lot of other resources much cheaper.  If power drops in cost by an order of magnitude, electrical separation becomes cheap.  That means aluminum becomes very competitive in place of steel.

Recall that all materials have slightly more expensive alternatives and a price increase brings these on.  Just what do you think the oil sands are all about except the replacement of cheap oil with great gobs of expensive oil?

Oh well, as long as there are forecasters and simple models, we will have to listen to the end of happiness.

Global resource consumption to triple by 2050: UN

by Staff Writers

United Nations (AFP) May 12, 2011

Global consumption of natural resources could almost triple to 140 billion tons a year by 2050 unless nations take drastic steps, the United Nations warned Thursday.

A UN environment panel said the world cannot sustain the tearaway rate of use of minerals, ores and fossil and plant fuels. It called on governments to "decouple" economic growth from natural resource consumption.

With the world population expected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050 and developing nations becoming more prosperous, the report warned "the prospect of much higher resource consumption levels is far beyond what is likely sustainable."

A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) panel said the world is already running out of cheap and quality sources of some essential materials such as oil, copper and gold, which in turn need rising volumes of fuel and water to produce.

It said governments must find ways to do more with less, at a faster rate than economic growth -- the notion of "decoupling".

"We must realize that prosperity and well-being do not depend on consuming ever-greater quantities of resources," said the report.

"Decoupling is not about stopping growth. It's about doing more with less. Global resource consumption is exploding. It's not a trend that is in any way sustainable."

Total world resource use has risen from about six billion tons in 1900 to 49 billion tons in 2000 and has already gone up to an estimated 59 billion tons now.

Currently people in rich nations consume an average of 16 tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass -- fuels and other products from plants -- per year. In some wealthy countries the figure rises to 40 tons.

In India, however, the average person only consumes four tons per year, the report said.
The panel said there has to be a major rethink of resource use and "massive investment" in technological, financial and social innovation to at least freeze consumption levels in wealthy countries.

"People believe that environmental 'bads' are the price we must pay for economic 'goods'. However, we cannot and need not continue to act as if this trade-off is inevitable," said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner.

Mark Swilling, a professor at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa who was one of the authors of the report, said rapid industrialization and the growing population was leading to the resource crisis.

"There is another billion middle-class consumers on the way as a result of rapid industrialization in developing countries," he said.

He said that current rates of efficiency to make goods and services mean that "we are looking at that massive growth to 140 billion tonnes."

With populations in rich countries stabilizing or falling, the main challenge would be in developing countries.

The latest of a series of UNEP reports on economic and environmental sustainability said decoupling has started but is not being activated quickly enough.

Between 1980 and 2002, the resources required for 1,000 dollars of economic output fell from 2.1 tons to 1.6 tons. The increasing move of people from the countryside to cities as helped as this aids campaigns to achieve economies of scale, the report said.

The authors praised Germany and Japan for their move to set goals for energy and resource productivity. It highlighted how South Africa's constitution requires "ecologically sustainable development and the use of natural resources."

China has also set out to build an "ecological civilization" and the report said that China would be a "test case" because of its huge population and growing industrialization.

"The measures that China introduces to reconcile these objectives will be of crucial significance for every other developing country with similar policy intentions," the report said.

A world summit on sustainable development is to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June next year.

Owl Man History From Cornwall

This piece from Lon Coleman is as one with the reports relating to the Mothman out of the Appalachians.  We do not seem to have many reports so far, even though we are covering both sides of the Atlantic.

What becomes clear is that this is a creature distinctly separate from the much more observed Vampire Pterodactyl showing up in the Great Plains.  It is clearly a giant owl capable of the same style of flight as any large owl which is significantly different than that of most birds.

As I have posted before, it appears to be a variation of any giant horned owl that we are familiar with.

1                    It will cover a wide hunting range late at night and never be easily identified even in daylight.  Again it is nocturnal and thus rarely seen in flight easily.
2                    It is an owl and feeds of rabbits and the like that it catches on open ground.  There is obviously plenty of such food.  The other smaller owls feed of much smaller prey.
3                    It roosts in deep woodland inside excellent cover and always retains the option of a quick flight making human capture nearly impossible.  Thus a large population is actually possible, however unlikely we may believe that to be.
4                    This is negative evidence but we do not appear to have related cattle deaths.
5                    If seen in flight, it will be seen at a distance and at height and be seen only in silhouette making recognition nearly impossible to even an expert who will merely dismiss as another large Eagle or Hawk.  I once had the privilege of observing a low flying Swamp Hawk in Ontario at 200 yards, exactly once.  Had it been twice as far or simply in the sun or even at a decent height I would never have made that identification. It was the only one I ever saw and the only large raptor I ever saw back in the sixties.
6                    This observation difficulty has also hidden the Vampire Pterodactyl in plain sight as its head lacks the distinctive Pterodactyl shape, although the tail is a giveaway if it is close enough (observed once perhaps)

What is more, a giant owl is actually quite plausible and a body would be instantly recognized as such.  So even with the scantest of eye witness reports, we know what we are seeing and it has an honored place in our menagerie.  The same is not true for the Vampire Pterodactyl.  No scientist in his right mind is going to champion that cause even possibly with a body in tow.  Yet as Sherlock Holmes so succinctly had it, after all other possibilities are ruled out; it is time to consider the impossible, however confounding.  

We have a predator and an ample prey supply and they need each other.

The History of the Owlman

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

A few weeks ago I was informed of a large flying being seen in a village in southeast Wales. The huge size was not determined but the description paralleled the classic reports of the Owlman of Mawnan.

Mawnan is a village in southern Cornwall, UK. During the 1976 Easter weekend, two young women, saw a 'huge great thing with feathers, like a big man with flapping wings', hovering over the church tower at Mawnan. The women were so frightened that their family holiday was cut short by three days.

In another sighting, two people saw it standing in a large tree, near the Mawnan church. At first the witnesses thought someone was playing a trick on them by being dressed in a costume. But as they observed the creature, it flew up into the air, and away from the area. After it flew away, there was a crackling or static noise heard in the trees for some time.

In a 1996 sighting a woman reported seeing a strange glob of glowing light floating over the church. She watched as the light faded away, only to be replaced by another one a short distance away. The color of the lights was orange-red.

In 2003 two teenage girls were out after midnight driving in a vehicle, when they wanted to listen to some music. They wanted to have the music playing loudly, so not wanting to disturb local neighbors, they drove to the Mawnan church which is isolated and empty at night. After they were at the church for a few minutes the girls observed a glowing or pulsating blog of colored light hovering over the church, after awhile it vanished and the girls returned home.

in September of 2009 a 12 year old girl named Jessica Wilkins or Jessica Wilkinson encountered the Owlman of Mawnan. This is the first sighting that I have heard of in several years and only the second this century.

The creature has been described as a monstrous thing resembling a mix of 3 beings; an owl, a bear, and a man. The creatures height is estimated as 7 feet tall. It has large flapping wings that are covered with grayish-brown feathers. The legs and body are also covered with feathers.

The eyes are large, slanted and glow bright red. On top of it's head are pointy ears, it's feet have large, black crab-like claws.


The History of the Owlman

A letter written by Tony 'Doc' Shiels - April 1976: "A very weird thing happened over the Easter weekend. A holiday-maker from Preston, Lancs., told me about something his two young daughters had seen ... a big, feathered bird-man hovering over the church tower at Mawnan (a village near the mouth of the Helford River). The girls (June 12, and Vicky, daughters of Mr Don Melling), were so scared that the family cut their holiday short and went back three days early. This really is a fantastic thing, and I am sure the man wasn't just making it up because he'd been told I was on a monster hunt. I couldn't get the kids to talk about it (in fact, their father wouldn't even let me try), but he gave me a sketch of the thing drawn by June.

"There have been no reports, so far as I know, of anybody else seeing the Bird-Man ... even if it turned out to be just a fancy dress hang-glider, you'd think someone else would have spotted him ... but Mawnan is not a place for hang-gliding! I really don't know what to think ... it's as if a whole load of weirdness has been let loose in the Falmouth area since last autumn!"

For a period between the late autumn of 1975 and the early spring of 1977 it seems that Southern Cornwall was seized by a period of collective madness. Much of this is chronicled in some depth in the book The Owlman and Others.

There were dramatic extremes in the weather - droughts and floods – heat waves and frozen wastes. The local animal life went (figuratively and literally) crazy; one unfortunate woman was imprisoned in her house by hordes of attacking birds which literally beat themselves to death against the walls of her house, which was dripping red with their blood. Another woman was similarly imprisoned by a mob of feral cats, dog attacks trebled, swimmers were attacked by dolphins (who also saved other swimmers from drowning), and there were reports that cattle belonging to local farmers had developed the power of teleportation. Most interesting to the fortean were the burgeoning numbers of UFO sightings and the reports of three entirely different sets of mystery animal in the region; Morgawr (the Cornish Sea Serpent), the Cornish mystery big cats and the Owlman of Mawnan.

The first reports of these 'creatures' in print were in an obscure booklet entitled Morgawr-the monster of Falmouth Bay by Anthony Mawnan-Peller. He gave a brief description of the events of Easter Saturday: "During the Easter weekend, the two young daughters of a holidaymaker ... Mr. Don Melling, from Preston, Lancashire ... saw a 'huge great thing with feathers, like a big man with flapping wings', hovering over the churchtower at Mawnan (on 'Morgawr's Mile'). The girls ... Vicky, 9, and June, 12 ... were so frightened that the family holiday was cut short by three days".

Although not widely read outside Cornwall, this booklet was available extensively throughout the county and was read by many people including two young girls of fourteen, SallyChapman and Barbara Perry, who in early July 1976 were camping in the woods by Mawnan Old Church when they, too, saw the Owlman.

They met Tony on Grebe Beach, below Mawnan Old Church the day after their sighting. Sally, who was from Plymouth, had been staying with her friend Barbara, (who would only admit that she lived 'quite near the river'). Sally approached Tony and said: "Are you Doc Shiels? We've seen the bird monster."

Sally described what they had seen: "It was like a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man. The eyes were red and glowing. At first, I thought that it was someone dressed up, playing a joke, trying to scare us. I laughed at it, we both did, then it went up in the air and we both screamed. When it went up you could see its feet were like pincers"

Her friend added some details of her own: "It's true. It was horrible, a nasty owl-face with big ears and big red eyes. It was covered in grey feathers. The claws on its feet were black. It just flew up and disappeared in the trees".

Although as Tony admitted at the time, it is possible that the two young ladies were trying to hoax him, he is convinced that they were genuine.

He separated the two girls and had each of them draw a picture of what she had seen. The two pictures are dissimilar enough to rebuff suggestions of collusion but have enough points in common, both with each other, and with the other accounts of the 'creature' to be considered as a significant piece of evidence.

Both girls made brief additional notes underneath their pictures. Sally's read: "I saw this monster bird last night. It stood like a man and then it flew up through the trees. It is as big as a man. Its eyes are red and shine brightly".

And Barbara wrote: "Birdman monster. seen on third of July, quite late at night but not quite dark. Red Eyes. Black Mouth. It was very big with great big wings and black claws. Feathers grey."

The two girls agreed on most points with their pictures although Sally thought Barbara had 'done the wings wrong'. At the same time as Sally and Barbara were talking to 'Doc' on Grebe Beach, two other girls also saw what Tony refers to as 'his Owliness':

"It has red slanting eyes and a very large mouth. The feathers are silvery grey and so are his body and legs, the feet are like a big, black, crab's claws. We were frightened at the time. It was so strange, like something out of a horror film. After the thing went up, there were crackling sounds in the tree-tops for ages. Our mother thinks we made it all up just because we read about these things, but that is not true. we really saw the bird-man, though it could have been someone playing a trick in a very good costume and make up. But how could it rise up like that? If we imagined it, then we both imagined it at the same time".

Two years later, a young lady called 'Miss Opie' saw 'A monster, like a devil, flying up through the trees near old Mawnan Church'. A few days later Tony Shiels wrote to Janet and Colin Bord of the Fortean Picture Library: "The owlman is certainly back in business, it seems. I poked around his area, around Old Mawnan Church, a couple of days ago, and the atmosphere was positively crackling with 'odd presences', if you know what I mean.

As soon as anything really exciting happens, I'll let you know. It would be terrific if I really could get a picture of our feathered friend, but, he only seems to pop up for young girls ... and I ain't one!"

The Owlman, as it was now generally known, (it appears that Tony coined the name in late 1976), was seen again on the 2nd August by three young, unnamed French girls. The landlady of the boarding house in which they had been staying told Tony that the three girls had been frightened by something "very big, like a big, furry bird with a gaping mouth and round eyes" This was all that the landlady could tell him, so Tony left a message for the girls to contact him, but as always seems to be the case he never heard anything further. Many commentators on the case have questioned Tony's role in the affair. One investigator, Mark Chorvinsky of Strange magazine even claimed that because so many of the sightings were connected with him, that Tony had made the whole thing up. Such people do not understand the reticence of the Cornish people. They do not like to talk to outsiders, and I am convinced that if it had not been for Tony's presence in the area as a trusted 'local' the affair would never have been made public. The case of the French girls for example. Tony wrote to me in 1995 explainiing how he had become involved: "The French girls were students (at Camborne Tech - now known as Cornwall College), lodging in Redruth. I think they were on some sort of 'summer school' course.

 Their landlady 'phoned me about this sighting. Remember, at the time, I was getting quite a lot of media coverage. People reported weird shit to me"... Two years later the creature re-appeared when, "an enormous, bird-like creature" was seen flying "over the Helford River and into the trees near Grebe Beach".

At Hallowe'en 1986 Tony was at the centre of a media storm when the Bishop of Truro, and the local newspapers accused him of having committed unspeakable acts of blasphemy inside Mawnan Old Church whilst attempting to invoke the Owlman. The affair was somewhat of a 'five minute wonder' in the press and the actual sequence of events remains obscure. Ten years or so later Tony told me: "I did a few bits and pieces inside the Church ... There was a lot of misreporting that I was throwing out challenges to God, and saying I'd smack him in the gob. I don't think God has a gob, and I wouldn't do that anyway to the deity. He'd give me a harder smack back wouldn't he?" Eventually - more by luck than by judgement - I pieced together the true story.

He had indeed visited the church with a local radio team, but the "huge crowd of people" turned out to be ONE rather shy bloke called 'Dave'. He told me that there was no blasphemy, no swearing, no naked witches and no cigars, and that the wizard had entered the church, muttered a few things under his breath in a foreign language and then left again. It turns out that the radio team had approached my friend and asked him what he had planned to do to celebrate Hallowe'en. He said: "Buy me a drink and I'll show you."

This the radio people did, only to find that like many wizards, my friend has a legendary capacity for the stuff. Finding at the end of the evening that they had nothing to show for their severely depleted expense accounts, I have a sneaking suspicion that someone decided that it would be a good idea to concoct a bizarre tale of blasphemy and psychic mayhem.

In 1989 a young man called 'Gavin' and his girlfriend 'Sally' (not their real names), encountered the Mawnan Owlman. This was perhaps the most important sighting to date from a cryptoinvestigative point of view, because it is the only sighting that cannot in any way be linked to Tony 'Doc' Shiels. I have interviewed 'Gavin' on a number of occasions and am convinced of his veracity. This is his story in his own words:

"We had a torch and I was shining its beam across trunks about fifteen feet off the ground. I am fairly sure that the animal was standing in a large conifer tree and the illustration we made after the sighting (but not til we got home actually) does depict the animal in a conifer tree, but I'm not that sure now. Here is the actual sighting as written down in my diary:

'Every couple of hours we would walk along the fringe of the wood. This was the third time that evening and it was beginning to get dark. From a distance trees looked black but closer up the branches and trunks could be seen. We saw the animal at about 9.30 pm. It was standing on a thick branch with its wings sort of held up at the arms. I'd say that it was about five feet tall (but please read on). The legs had high ankles and the feet were large and black with two huge 'toes' on the visible side. The creature was grey with brown and the eyes definitely glowed. On seeing us its head jerked down and forwards, its wings lifted and it just jumped backwards. As it did its legs folded up. We ran away.

"We had a pretty good idea what it looked like. We didn't know what to do about it, and essentially vowed never to tell anyone. I last saw Sally about two years ago and talked about it then. She was as unkeen to share the information then as she was earlier, and I promised I wouldn't tell anyone about her involvement, but I could 'do what I liked' with my interpretation. I respect this and have never disclosed any information about her'.

To date the most recent sighting of the Mawnan Owlman, took place, allegedly, at the end of the summer of 1995 and is chronicled in a letter sent to Simon Parker, the night editor of the Western Morning News in Truro. It reads:

"Dear Sir, I am a student of marine biology at the Field Museum, Chicago, on the last day of a summer vacation in England. Last Sunday evening I had a most unique and frightening experience in the wooded area near the old church at Mawnan, Cornwall. I experienced what I can only describe as 'a vision from hell'. The time was fifteen minutes after nine, more or less, and I was walking along a narrow track through the trees. I was halted in my tracks when, about thirty metres ahead, I saw a monstrous man-bird 'thing'. It was the size of a man, with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears. It had huge clawed wings, and was covered in feathers of silver/grey color. (sic).
The thing had long bird legs which terminated in large black claws. It saw me and arose, 'floating' towards me. I just screamed then turned and ran for my life.

"The whole experience was totally irrational and dreamlike (nightmare!). Friends tell me that there is a tradition of a phantom 'owlman' in that district. Now I know why. I have seen the phantom myself. "Please don't publish my real name and address. This could adversely affect my career. Now I have to rethink my 'world view' entirely. Yours, very sincerely scared... 'Eye Witness'."

We have her name and address, but we have respected her wishes and kept her anonymity. We have tried a little piece of covert investigation into this particular eyewitness but have drawn a blank whenever we tried to investigate further. I think that it would be unwise to wholeheartedly accept this account as genuine, but it is included for the sake of completion.

We are left now with what devotees of TV gameshows would no doubt call the $64,000 question. Does the Owlman exist? and if it does what is it?

I quite understand the unwillingness of researchers like Mark Chorvinsky to accept such a bizarre tale purely on the evidence presented by such a notorious figure as 'Doc' Shiels. After all, by his own admission he is a 'charlatan' and a 'thimble rigger', and he has even told me not to "invest belief in anything" especially him! (and this is a man I count as a close and dear friend). The discovery of 'Gavin' and his succinct and believable eyewitness testimony provided an invaluable corroboration to the vast body of 'Shiels-channeled' evidence, and has persuaded even some noted sceptics that there is something to the story after all.

Graham McEwan has suggested that such 'creatures' are quasi-animate thought form manifestations created by the unconscious mind of a lonely traveller. The veteran explorer and mystic Alexandra David-Neel writing in With Magicians and Mystics in Tibet (1931) tells how certain Buddhist monks can create living thought forms called tulpas. She claimed that she managed to create one of her own, the image of a fat and jolly monk who was seen on at least one occasion by an independent witness. She warns, however: "Once the tulpa is endowed with enough vitality to play the part of a real being it tends to free itself from its makers control". In the case of her tulpa this happened and she described how the monk became thinner and less jolly and how slowly 'his face assumed a vaguely mocking, sly, malignant look. He became more troublesome and bold. In short he escaped my control.' 

In my more frivolous moments I wonder whether Mark Chorvinksy was sort of right after all. Maybe 'Doc' had made the whole thing up, perhaps after he had been reading John Keel's classic The Mothman Prophecies (about a similar apparition in West Virginia during 1967), and had decided in a spirit of genuinely surreal mischief that it was perhaps time that Cornwall had something similar to counterpoint its very own sea monster. Perhaps this very act of creation helped form a tulpa which then got out of hand. If so then I suspect that Tony was as surprised as anyone else when other people started to report sightings of the creature.

Another theory that I have adopted at various times is linked with the sex of the witnesses. With the one exception - the young man who has asked to be identified only as 'Gavin' the only people to have seen the creature have been young women. Even 'Gavin' was accompanied by a young woman at the time. Could the owlman be a sort of three dimensional, feathered poltergeist? An apparition 'invoked' by the peculiar hormonal and emotional changes which affect young women at this time?

Maybe the combination of these conditions - which as anyone who has ever shared a house with a teenage girl will know can be quite devastating, with something inate in the psychical infrastructure of the area surrounding Mawnan Old Church has a synergistic effect, producing the apparition that has become known as The Owlman of Mawnan.

As Oscar Wilde said, 'the truth is never pure and seldom simple'. Perhaps the real identity of the Owlman of Mawnan, and indeed other similar 'creatures' seen across the globe is some, all, or none of the explanations given above, or perhaps, more probably, we shall never know! - Jonathan Downes - www.cfz.org.uk

Mawnan, Cornwall indicated with "A" marker

One theory which has been presented to explain the Owlman sightings was published in 1985 by researchers Janet and Colin Bord in their book Alien Animals. They suggest that the church, which seems to be at the center of most sightings, may have been built on a ley line, a straight line which passes through and links several ancient sites, and speculated that the appearance of the Owlman may be a manifestation of earth energy. However in a later book Modern Mysteries of the World, published in 1989, the two retracted this theory and stated that they believed that the sightings were probably of an escaped aviary bird rather than a paranormal phenomenon.

Others have suggested this more straightforward explanation that Owlman sightings were actually that of an escaped aviary bird, such as an Eagle Owl, a species that can grow more than two feet long, with a wingspan of nearly 6 feet. This is supported by a report by Karl Shuker in regards to a late 1980’s sighting of the Owlman in which the witness described it as four foot high, with two large toes on the front of each foot, it reportedly ducked down and forwards before it took off. Shuker stated in his report that this description and behavior calls to mind a very large owl.

A hand full of researchers have made the connection between the Owlman and the Mothman, a dark, winged humanoid that haunted Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966. Although some physical descriptions of the two seem to match up, the Mothman is thought to be a harbinger of doom whose appearance is preceded by a great disaster, however nothing that would be considered a disaster has occurred in the almost 30 years of Owlman sightings.

Downes, Jonathan - "The Owlman and Others" - CFZ Communications - 2001
Redfern, Nick - "Three Men Seeking Monsters: Six Weeks in Pursuit of Werewolves, Lake Monsters, Giant Cats, Ghostly Devil Dogs, and Ape-Men" – 2004
Janet and Colin Bord - "Alien Animals" – 1985

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grapefruit Naringenin and Cholesterol and Diabetes.

This is trying to make life complicated.  My intuition tells me that it will be a great idea if when one is confronted with a high cholesterol meal, that one should eat a grapefruit, but eat half of it just before you start and the balance at the end before you tackle desert, if that is done at all.

By the way, I have found it much easier to treat a grapefruit like an orange and to simply peel it.  A little fuss sometimes but the convenience of eating it in sections make it all much easier.  For some reason we have all been taught a strange ritual that is generally messy and needs tools.  Starting a meal with several sections of grapefruit or a glass of juice is better.

At least we now understand why grapefruit found its way onto the breakfast table.  It helps to control insulin and the effects of the bacon and eggs on cholesterol.

Grapefruit molecule may lower bad cholesterol, treat diabetes

Thursday, May 26, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Israeli scientists may have discovered an effective new way to treat high cholesterol and diabetes naturally. Dr. Yaakov Nahmias from the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science at Hebrew University and his colleagues have discovered that naringenin, a molecule in grapefruits that gives the fruit its bitter taste, can help to treat arteriosclerosis, hyper-metabolism, and even diabetes.

The study, which was recently published in the journal PLoS One, explains that when a highly-bioavailable "nano-complex" of naringenin is consumed just before a meal that is high in fat and sugar, it can reduce the development of bad cholesterol by roughly 42 percent, and actually increase insulin sensitivity by 64 percent.

Dr. Nahmias and his colleagues allege that naringenin in its natural form is not very easily absorbed by the body. So they developed what they say is an improved version on the substance, which is surrounded by a ring of sugar called cyclodextrin, and that is 11 times more bioavailable than naringenin that comes straight from a grapefruit.

"The complex is special in that it is taken just before a meal, as a preventative measure," said Dr. Nahmias. "In comparison, existing medications are given only after the chronic development of abnormal lipid levels in the blood."

Because the development of the new naringenin supplement involved the use of a type of nanotechnology, it is unclear whether or not this modified version poses any health threats. Some nano-type supplements, such as colloidal silver, have been safely and effectively used as natural remedies by many patients, while others may not have been effectively tested. Further studies will be necessary to form a solid conclusion.

When consuming or using any natural products that contain nano-sized particles, it is important to verify what type they are, and how they were developed. "Green" nanotechnology, for instance, can induce positive changes to various substances without using unnatural or toxic means to do so (http://www.naturalnews.com/030750_c...).

Sources for this story include:

Positive Feedback Mechanism For Eye

This is an unexpected system working to sharpen images in the retina, undiscovered until now.  It will certainly inform additional work on image processing as we learn to emulate the eye.

The achievement of the eye has always been amazing as well as out ability to understand it in the details.  Thus adding another remarkable detail is a big surprise to everyone I am sure.

Positive feedback boosts eye's ability to see

May 18, 2011 

Researchers in the US have discovered a new feedback mechanism that allows the human eye to be sensitive enough to see small details in a scene while also being able to detect the large contrast between bright and dark objects. The process involves boosting the output of certain light receptors in the retina while damping down others – and could help with the design of digital vision systems.

The retina of the human eye senses light using about 100 million photoreceptors and a host of neuronal tricks to convert light signals into a useful picture of the world. One of the most basic processes to occur in the eye is contrast enhancement, which allows the eye to resolve bright and dark objects. This is done directly in the retina by a negative feedback mechanism between neighbouring light-sensitive cells.

The first line of signal processing occurs in the star-shaped horizontal cells just below the surface of the retina. Each of these cells receives input from about 100 photoreceptors (rods and cones) on the retina. A photoreceptor responds to darkness with a burst of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. This chemical causes the horizontal cell to depolarize, and the resulting voltage change shuts off the signalling channels of other nearby photoreceptors, preventing them from emitting more glutamate. This has the result of isolating and sharpening the original signal within a circle of quiet – allowing the eye to see a dark object on a bright background and vice versa.

This process is called "lateral inhibition" and helps the eye to detect the edges of objects. The downside of this mechanism, however, is that it also reduces the maximum strength of the optical signal. This should theoretically cause a loss of dynamic range and limit the eye's ability to pick out faint details – something that doesn't happen in a real eye.

Positive feedback at work

Now Richard Kramer, Skyler Jackman at the University California at Berkeley and colleagues at the University of Nebraska and University of Massachusetts have discovered that the eye is able to pick out fine details using an unexpected positive feedback process. They found that cones exposed directly to glutamate, far from reducing their neurotransmitter production, increased their own production of glutamate four-fold.

Upon further investigation, the team discovered that while the glutamate-mediated change in horizontal cell voltage did have a negative feedback effect, glutamate exposure also caused an additional, more subtle change in the horizontal cells, increasing the number of calcium ions in nearby regions. It's thought that this triggers an increase of calcium ions within the cones themselves, boosting the production of glutamate very locally: in just the initially firing photoreceptor and perhaps a few of its immediate neighbours. "This recoups the signal strength lost to negative feedback, while preserving edge detection and contrast enhancement," explained Jackman.

The discovery of a secondary signalling system is particularly surprising because the retina has received a lot of attention from researchers. "The positive feedback circuit is very susceptible to damage, and disappears when the retina is studied using more traditional preparations, involving slices of the retina," explains Jackman. "This may explain why positive feedback has not previously been observed in such a well studied circuit."

Feedback circuits and other processing at a cellular level have several advantages for the central nervous system. First, it saves time because picking out important features helps the brain to interpret what it is seeing quickly, and make appropriate decisions. Second, there is an issue of information flow: 100 million photoreceptors are connected to a mere million nerve channels. This requires a slimming-down of data without losing anything important.

Emulating the eye

It is these virtues of the eye that researchers in digital vision want to copy. Neuroscience and visual prosthetics experts Stephen Hicks at the University of Oxford said, "This finding could well have a positive and relatively immediate effect in computer vision for intelligent systems." He added, "In computer vision we perform a process similar to the eye's lateral inhibition to identify and enhance the edges in a scene before putting them in context." He believes that this work will give researchers "new ideas for implementing a fast approximation of the boundaries between objects in a video feed, which would improve everything from robot–human interactions to video surveillance".

The work is described in PLoS Biology.