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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kirtan Playlist May 2011

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Astrology scientifically proven to influence personality

Once again, science may be catching up with ancient knowledge. It seems that some enterprising, open-minded scientists took a new look at astrology and discovered that, indeed, there may very well be a biological imprint that accompanies you from your birth date forward and has a definite, measurable effect on your life!

Check out the article below, reprinted from the Natural News website.
















Principle of astrology proven to be scientific: planetary position imprints biological clocks of mammals

Saturday, December 11, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/030698_astrology_scientific_basis.html

(NaturalNews) Mention the word "astrology" and skeptics go into an epileptic fit. The idea that someone's personality could be imprinted at birth according to the position of the sun, moon and planets has long been derided as "quackery" by the so-called "scientific" community which resists any notion based on holistic connections between individuals and the cosmos.

According to the conventional view, your genes and your parenting determine your personality, and the position of planet Earth at the time of your birth has nothing to do with it.

Then again, conventional scientists don't believe the position of the moon has anything to do with life on Earth, either. They dismiss the wisdom that farmers have known for ages -- that planting seeds or transplanting living plants in harmony with the moon cycles results in higher crop yields. Even the seeds inside humans are strongly influenced by the moon, as menstruation cycles and moon cycles are closely synchronized (28 days, roughly).


Researchers demonstrate scientific principle of astrology

Skeptics must be further bewildered by the new research published in Nature Neuroscience and conducted at Vanderbilt University which unintentionally provides scientific support for the fundamental principle of astrology -- namely, that the position of the planets at your time of birth influences your personality.

In this study, not only did the birth month impact personality; it also resulted in measurable functional changes in the brain.

This study, conducted on mice, showed that mice born in the winter showed a "consistent slowing" of their daytime activity. They were also more susceptible to symptoms that we might call "Seasonal Affective Disorder."

The study was carried out by Professor of Biological Sciences Douglas McMahon, graduate student Chris Ciarleglio, post-doctoral fellow Karen Gamble and two additional undergraduate students, none of whom believe in astrology, apparently. They do, of course, believe in science, which is why all their study findings have been draped in the language of science even though the findings are essentially supporting principles of astrology.

"What is particularly striking about our results is the fact that the imprinting affects both the animal's behavior and the cycling of the neurons in the master biological clock in their brains," said Ciarleglio. This is one of the core principles of astrology: That the position of the planets at the time of your birth (which might be called the "season" of your birth) can actually result in changes in your brain physiology which impact lifelong behavior.

Once again, such an idea sounds preposterous to the scientifically trained, unless of course they discover it for themselves, at which point it's all suddenly very "scientific." Instead of calling it "astrology," they're now referring to it as "seasonal biology."


How to discredit real science

It all reminds me of the discovery of cold fusion in 1989 by Fleishmann and Pons, who were widely ridiculed by the arrogant hot fusion researchers who tried to destroy the credibility (and careers) of cold fusion researchers (http://www.naturalnews.com/025925_c...). After the very idea of "cold fusion" was attacked and demolished by these arrogant scientists, it soon returned under a new name: Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR).

LENR has now been verified as true by none other than the U.S. Navy -- along with hundreds of other researchers around the world (see link above). And yet, even today, the conventional scientific community still insists cold fusion doesn't exist and cold fusion researchers are frauds.

Just as there is a solid scientific basis for LENR, there is a scientific basis for astrology, too. The relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun naturally alter light exposure, temperature, gravitational pull and other conditions that may be sensed by living organisms. To believe in astrology, all that's really required is to grasp the basic concepts of the interrelationships between all living things. Does the position of the sun or moon influence life on Earth? Of course it does: Life as we know it wouldn't even exist without the moon tugging on Earth and preventing its rotational axis from shifting around to the point where radical changes in seasonal temperatures would make life far more challenging. (The moon, in other words, is one of the key "stabilizers" of life on planet Earth because it tends to stabilize the seasons and keep the Earth on a steady rotational plane.)

None of this, of course, means that the position of Saturn today is going to make you win the lottery or find a new love. That's the tabloid version of astrology, not real astrology.


Don't confuse tabloid astrology with real astrology

Even astronomy has its tabloid versions, too, which are entirely non-scientific. For example, every model of our solar system that I've ever seen is a wildly inaccurate tabloid version of reality, with planet sizes ridiculously exaggerated and planet distances not depicted to scale. These silly, non-scientific solar system models imprint a kind of solar system mythology into the minds of schoolchildren and even school teachers. Virtually no one outside the communities of astrophysics and astronomy has any real grasp of the enormity of not merely our solar system, but of our galaxy and the space between neighboring galaxies.

To show a giant sun the size of a basketball, with a depiction of the Earth as a marble-sized planet three inches away is the astronomical equivalent of a gimmicky horoscope claiming you're going to win the lottery today because you were born under the sign of Pisces. Both are fictions. And both are an insult to real science.

In fact, even the whole idea that an "electron" is a piece of physical matter, made up of other "particles" is an insult to real science. The sobering truth of the matter is that "particle physics" doesn't have much to do with actual particles at all. It's all about energies that might, on occasion, vibrate in just the right way so that they momentarily appear to take on the illusion of a particle as measured by our observers -- observers who inevitably alter the outcome of the entire experiment, by the way, once again proving the interrelated nature of things in our universe, including observer and experiment.

The horoscope predictions in the Sunday paper -- as well as much of the hilarious mythology found in the modern description of an atom -- are both simplified, comic-book versions of a larger truth -- the truth that we live in a holistic universe where every bit of physical matter, every bit of energy and every conscious mind impacts the rest of the universe in subtle ways. There is no such thing as an individual who is isolated from the cosmos, because we are of the cosmos and we exist as the physical manifestations of energies that, for our lifetimes, are momentarily organized as beings.

We are made of star stuff, says Carl Sagan. He he's right: We are not only made of star stuff, we are influenced by that stuff, too. And finally, modern science is beginning to catch up to this greater truth that astrologers have known since the dawn of human existence on our tiny planet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

When Is A Moon Really Blue?

We all know the rule that states the Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in any given calendar month.

Well, turns out that was not the case a bout 80 years ago!

Here is a fun and interesting story not only on the origins of the Blue Moon, but how a mistake or misunderstanding can lead to a change in global knowledge!











The Really Strange Story Behind Sunday's Blue Moon

by Joe Rao
SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
posted 19 November 2010
12:26 pm ET

http://www.space.com/spacewatch/november-full-moon-blue-moon-101119.html

The full moon of November [2010] arrives on Sunday and will bring with it a cosmic addition: It will also be a so-called "blue moon."

"But wait a minute," you might ask. "Isn't a 'blue moon' defined as the second full moon that occurs during a calendar month? Sunday's full moon falls on Nov. 21 and it will be the only full moon in November 2010. So how can it be a 'blue' moon?"

Indeed, November's full moon is blue moon – but only if we follow a rule that's now somewhat obscure.

In fact, the current "two- full moons in one month" rule has superseded an older rule that would allow us to call Sunday's moon "blue." To be clear, the moon does not actually appear a blue color during a blue moon, it has to do with lunar mechanics.

Confused yet?

Well, as the late Paul Harvey used to say — here now, is the rest of the story:


The blue moon rule

Back in the July 1943 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, in a question and answer column written by Lawrence J. Lafleur, there was a reference made to the term "blue moon."

Lafleur cited the unusual term from a copy of the 1937 edition of the now-defunct Maine Farmers' Almanac (NOT to be confused with The Farmers' Almanac of Lewiston, Maine, which is still in business).

On the almanac page for August 1937, the calendrical meaning for the term "blue moon" was given.
That explanation said that the moon "... usually comes full twelve times in a year, three times for each season."

Occasionally, however, there will come a year when there are 13 full moons during a year, not the usual 12. The almanac explanation continued:

"This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number."

And with that extra full moon, it also meant that one of the four seasons would contain four full moons instead of the usual three.

"There are seven Blue Moons in a Lunar Cycle of nineteen years," continued the almanac, ending on the comment that, "In olden times the almanac makers had much difficulty calculating the occurrence of the Blue Moon and this uncertainty gave rise to the expression 'Once in a Blue Moon.'"


An unfortunate oversight

But while LaFleur quoted the almanac's account, he made one very important omission: He never specified the date for this particular blue moon.

As it turned out, in 1937, it occurred on Aug. 21. That was the third full moon in the summer of 1937, a summer season that would see a total of four full moons.

Names were assigned to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer was called the early summer moon, the second was the midsummer moon, and the last was called the late summer moon.

But when a particular season has four moons, the third was apparently called a blue moon so that the fourth and final one can continue to be called the late moon.

So where did we get the "two full moons in a month rule" that is so popular today?


A moon mistake

Once again, we must turn to the pages of Sky & Telescope.

This time, on page 3 of the March 1946 issue, James Hugh Pruett wrote an article, "Once in a Blue Moon," in which he made a reference to the term "blue moon" and referenced LaFleur's article from 1943.

But because Pruett had no specific full moon date for 1937 to fall back on, his interpretation of the ruling given by the Maine Farmers' Almanac was highly subjective. Pruett ultimately came to this conclusion:
"Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon."

How unfortunate that Pruett did not have a copy of that 1937 almanac at hand, or else he would have almost certainly noticed that his "two full moons in a single month assumption" would have been totally wrong.

For the blue moon date of Aug. 21 was most definitely not the second full moon that month!


Blue moon myth runs wild

Pruett's 1946 explanation was, of course, the wrong interpretation and it might have been completely forgotten were it not for Deborah Byrd who used it on her popular National Public Radio program, "StarDate" on Jan. 31, 1980.

We could almost say that in the aftermath of her radio show, the incorrect blue moon rule "went viral" — or at least the '80s equivalent of it.

Over the next decade, this new blue moon definition started appearing in diverse places, such as the World Almanac for Kids and the board game Trivial Pursuit.

I must confess here, that even I was involved in helping to perpetuate the new version of the blue moon phenomenon. Nearly 30 years ago, in the Dec. 1, 1982 edition of The New York Times, I made reference to it in that newspaper's "New York Day by Day" column.

And by 1988, the new definition started receiving international press coverage.

Today, Pruett's misinterpreted "two full moons in a month rule" is recognized worldwide. Indeed, Sky & Telescope turned a literary lemon into lemonade, proclaiming later that – however unintentional – it changed pop culture and the English language in unexpected ways.

Meanwhile, the original Maine Farmers' Almanac rule had been all but forgotten.


Playing by the (old) rules

Now, let's come back to this Sunday's full moon.

Under the old Almanac rule, this would technically be a blue moon. In the autumn season of 2010, there are four full moons:
Sept. 23
Oct. 22
Nov. 21
Dec. 21

"But wait," you might say. "Dec. 21 is the first day of winter."

And you would be correct, but only if you live north of the equator in the Northern Hemisphere. South of the equator it's the first day of summer.

In 2010, the solstice comes at 6:38 p.m. EST (2338 UT).

But the moon turns full at 3:13 a.m. EST (0813 UT). That's 15 hours and 25 minutes before the solstice occurs. So the Dec. 21 full moon occurs during the waning hours of fall and qualifies as the fourth full moon of the season.

This means that under the original Maine Almanac rule – the one promoted by Lafleur and later misinterpreted by Pruett – the third full moon of the 2010 fall season on Nov. 21 would be a blue moon.


Choose your blue moon

So what Blue Moon definition tickles your fancy? Is it the second full moon in a calendar month, or (as is the case on Sunday) the third full moon in a season with four?

Maybe it's both. The final decision is solely up to you.

Sunday's full moon will look no different than any other full moon. But the moon can change color in certain conditions.

After forest fires or volcanic eruptions, the moon can appear to take on a bluish or even lavender hue. Soot and ash particles, deposited high in the Earth's atmosphere, can sometimes make the moon appear bluish.

In the aftermath of the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in June 1991, there were reports of blue moons (and even blue suns) worldwide.

We could even call the next full moon (on Dec. 21) a "red moon," but for a different reason: On that day there will be a total eclipse of the moon and, for a short while, the moon will actually glow with a ruddy reddish hue.

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[The "red moon" must belong to us phoenixes :-) ]