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Archive for April, 2010

Schrodinger's Cat and recent surreal humor

Quoting from a recent best-seller:

"A cat is placed in a box, together with a radioactive atom. If the atom
decays, a hammer kills the cat; if the atom doesn’t decay, the cat lives. As
the atom is considered to be in either state before the observer opens the box,
the cat must thus be considered to be simultaneously dead and alive.

-Erwin Schrodinger’s Cat Paradox, 1935

Wittgenstein’s Banana

A banana is flying first class from New York to L.A. Two scientists, one in
each city, are talking on the phone about the banana. Because it is moving in
relationship to its noun, the referent of the word "banana" never occupies one
space, and anything that does not occupy one space does not exist. Therefore, a
banana will arrive at JFK with no limousine into the city, even though the
reservation was confirmed in LA.

Elvis’s Charcoal Briquette

A barbecue is cooking wieners in an airtight space. As the charcoal consumes
the oxygen, the integrity of the briquette is weakened. As observer riding a
roller coaster will become hungry for wieners but will be thrown from the car
when he stands up and yells ‘Elvis get me a hot dog.’"

 - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

–All the above from Steve Martin’s _Pure Drivel_. Martin serves up six more
conundrums of this sort, with names like "Chef Boyardee’s Bungee Cord", "The
Feynman Dilemma", and "Sacajawea’s Rain Bonnet".


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Re: What is freemasonry?

thudh…@my-dejanews.com wrote:

> what is freemasonry? do you guys hate God? are you like people who worship the
> devil? are you anti amerikan people trying to take over the churches like our
> sister said?

> ———–== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==———-
> http://www.dejanews.com/       Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Never listen to nuns, ThudHead, they are pathologically repressed play-things
of an imaginal being they have devised for sexual sublimation purposes. In other
words they are not responsible for the opinions that emanate from their tragic vocal
chords. Now, as far as your other question: "what is freemasonry?" The answer is
simpicity itself:

        Freemasonry is an organization of Earth Humanoids
        who are by definition "Free", and they are also "Masons".
        Glad to be of service. Now as for your unasked question
        lurking in the depths of your secret subconsciousness:
        "Gee, what about alien bankers who chase zapatistas?"
        Well, ThudHead, that also has a simple answer, to wit:

[[Beware the subliminal ALIEN Chase messages in this top secret document]]:

The Infamous [ALIENS!!] Chase Memo

This is the memo that you weren’t supposed to read.
This was written by an analyst for Chase Manhattan
[ALIENS!!] Bank. You’ll read in it that the author
is recommending eliminating the [ALIENS!!] Zapatistas
and fixing [ALIENS!!] elections – anything to protect
[ALIENS!!] investments. When this memo was made
public, the Mexican government [ALIENS!!] troops
seemed poised to do just that. It was possibly due to
the release of [ALIENS!!] this document that a
full scale elimination of the Zapitista [ALIENS!!]
rebellion was thwarted.  It’s a truly disturbing
document. It should have brought indictments down upon
the author [ALIENS!!] and the bank. But instead, the
[ALIENS!!] media let this past almost unacknowledged.



Glad to be of help, ThudHead, don’t bump your head on the way out.


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El Myr rides again (in spirit, at least)

Couldn’t resist posting this when I found it. It all sounds so familiar…


Btw, if you are interested, and haven’t read Cliff Irving’s book on El Myr,
FAKE, I highly recommend it.

M. D. M.

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RAW's Gnoware February 1999

from http://www.botree.com/raw/index.htm

February 1999
     Cheerful Reflections on Death and Dying

     I don’t understand why people fear death — although of
     course I see good reasons to fear the process of dying.

     Dying often involves a great deal of prolonged pain, and in
     this country at least may drain your life savings into the bank
     accounts of the A.M. A.. Both prospects seem equally
     terrifying, especially if you hoped to leave a decent estate to
     your children.

     One can avoid these deplorable conditions, however, by
     moving to a civilized country with a national health plan and
     legal help to assist you in suicide if you have reached a
     condition where you can’t do it yourself. I personally intend to
     move to Nederland in the event that a painful, expensive and
     prolonged death seems inescapable. The medical banditos
     have made enough money out of me already; I refuse to
     enrich them further on my way out.

     But as for death, and what — if anything –comes after death, I
     see no cause for apprehension whatsoever.

     To consider the alternatives in order:

     Most people through most of history have believed that after
     death comes rebirth (reincarnation.) I think most people,
     planetwide, still believe that. It fails to terrify me. If I get
     reborn as a cockroach, I intend to hide in the vicinity of
     somebody’s computer and write poems on the keyboard at
     night, like archy, the famous roach who left his verse in the
     typewriter of Don Marquis. If I get reborn as a human, I might
     meet my wife Arlen again and love her again and marry her
     again. That sounds great to me.

     Other rebirths, as a tree, say, or a blue whale, also seem
     more entertaining (and educational) than frightening.

     Unfortunately, I have no good reasons to believe in
     reincaration, although I’d sort of like to. I include it only for
the sake of completeness.

     A sinister rumor, widely believed in the Occident, holds that
     after death we go to a place called Heaven. From all the
     descriptions I’ve read, it sounds dreadful to me. It seems to
     have a population made up entirely of some gang of
     Christians; the experts on Heaven disagree about which
     conglomeration of Christians will qualify, but they always
     seem to think that they personally belong to that elite group.
     An eternity with people that conceited seems intolerable to
     me,but fortunately I am not a Christian so I won’t be
     consigned to such a boring place.

     An even more nefarious report appears in the United States
     Marine Corps hymn:

     If the Army and the Navy
     ever looked on Heaven’s scenes
     they would find the streets were guarded
     by the United States Marines

     A place where every street is guarded by Marines sounds
     like a particularly vicious police state, especially if
     run it, and I definitely don’t want to go there, even for a
visit. I
     wouldn’t even wish it on my worst enemy, if I had any

     (Some people hate me for the books I write, but I refuse to
     hate them back, so they don’t count as enemies.)

     Fortunately, as noted, I don’t qualify for Heaven, with all its
     harps and fanatic Christians and martial law by Marines. A
     worse idea, which has terrified millions, claims that some of
     us will go to a place called Hell, where we will suffer eternal
     torture. This does not scare me because, when I try to
     imagine a Mind behind this universe, I cannot conceive that
     Mind, usually called "God," as totally mad.

     I mean, guys, compare that "God" with the worst monsters
     you can think of – - Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy.
     None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their
     victims. Even de Sade, in his sado-maso fantasy novels,
     never devised an unlimited torture. The idea that the Mind of
     Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters
     for endless infinities of infinities seems too absurd to take

     Such a derranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much
     less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us.

     If such a monster-God did exist, the sane attitude would
     consist of practising the Buddhist virtue of compassion. He
     seems very sick in His head, so don’t give way to hatred: try
     to understand and forgive him. Maybe He will recover his
     wits some day.

     (I wrote "He" instead of the fashionable "He or She"
     because only male Gods appear to have invented Hells. I
     can’t think of a single Goddess who ever created a Hell for
     people who displeased Her .)

     A fourth alternative after-death scenario involves merger with
     "God" or with "the Godhead" (the latter term seems more
     popular.) This idea, which seems Hindic in origin, currently
     enjoys vast popularity with New Agers. I see nothing
     terrifying here; in fact, I suspect I would enjoy it, based on my
     previous experiences in which this merging/melting seemed
     to take place on LSD. An infinite Acid Trip in which the
     whole universe seems like your body: who could fear that
     (except Republicans)?

     The fifth and, as far as I know, the last thinkable alternative
     holds that after death comes total oblivion. This has either
     terrorized or angered many intelligent writers (e.g. Bertrand
     Russell and Jean Paul Sartre, who seem to have hated "life
     after death" for not existing, just as they remained
     permanently pissed off at "God" for not existing. ) Sorry: it
     doesn’t seem terrible to me at all. If I become totally
     oblivious, I won’t know about it (by definition of oblivion.) How
     can you feel terrified of something you can’t experience?

     Besides oblivion means freedom from "all the ills the flesh is
     heir to," from bleeding piles to cancer, including even bad
     reviews of my books.

     Living in New York or Los Angeles seem much worse than
     notliving in Oblivion.

     Although I have a few opinions, or hunches, I have no dogma
     about what happens after death. But none of the above
     alternatives seem really unpleasant, except the ones that
     seem too absurd to take seriously.

     As some Roman wrote:

     Nothing to clutch in life:
     Nothing to fear in death.

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stem-cell research/organ regeneration (article)

   Source:  Science, Nov 6, 1998 v282 i5391 p1014(1).

    Title:  A Versatile Cell Line Raises Scientific Hopes, Legal
            Questions.(stem cells)

 Abstract:  Stem cells from human embryos have been isolated and been turned
into immortal cell lines. While the research may become a valuable tool for
repair of human tissues though a US law may prohibit research on cells derived
from human embryos. Biologist James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin has
experimented and created the cells. Another researcher, John Gearheart has
received support from Geron Corp. for related research.

 Subjects:  Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc. – Genetic aspects
            Stem cells – Research
Companies:  Geron Corp. – Research
Locations:  United States

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1998 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Imagine being able to reach into the freezer, take out a cell culture, treat
it with growth factors, and produce almost any tissue in the human body.
Sounds like science fiction? Today, it is. But the raw material for such human
tissue engineering–in the form of a type of universal cell called a "stem"
cell–is now growing in the laboratory. In a long-awaited announcement,
biologist James Thomson and his team at the University of Wisconsin, Madison,
report in this issue of Science that they have isolated stem cells from human
embryos and coaxed them to grow in five "immortal" cell lines.

Other biologists are hailing the work, reported on page 1145, as an important
advance that will provide a powerful tool for biological research. In a matter
of years, some researchers say, it may even be possible to use such cells to
repair blood, bone, and other tissues. But the achievement has also created a
dilemma, which will only intensify as other groups who are close behind
Thomson’s report similar feats: Many researchers who would ordinarily jump at
a chance to use and develop these cells may not be able to do so, because they
may be blocked by a U.S. law that forbids the use of public funds for research
on tissues derived from human embryos. As Science went to press, the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) was reviewing whether these cell lines come under
the law. The law may apply in this case because the cells used to create
Thomson’s cell lines came from embryos donated to research by couples at in
vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics in Wisconsin and Israel.

Thomson had to carefully wall off his own research from any public funding, by
setting up a separate lab in a building "across campus" from where he does
NIH-funded research. All the equipment and personnel in the duplicate lab are
funded privately, mostly by the Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, California, plus a
grant from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the university’s patent
agent. In return, Geron expects to get an exclusive license for commercial
uses of Thomson’s technology.

The challenge Thomson faced was to create an environment that was neither too
harsh, which would prevent the cells from thriving, nor too cozy, which would
allow them to differentiate into specialized forms. Thomson, who began working
with embryos from rhesus monkeys 5 years ago, stimulated cells from days-old
human embryos, called blastocysts, to grow on a layer of mouse "feeder" cells
in a lab dish. Other researchers had gone this far, but Thomson took the next
step: He coaxed the balky cells to continue growing without
differentiating–making an irrevocable commitment to grow into a particular
type of tissue. Thomson nudged the cells gently into this new state through
very "labor-intensive" tending, he says, and their chromosomes survived
intact. (Tumor cells are immortal, too, but their DNA is usually deranged.)
And judging by the presence of a critical enzyme called telomerase, which
repairs frayed chromosome ends, Thomson concludes that the cells are capable
of reproducing indefinitely. Yet tests showed that the cells retain the
potential to develop into all the basic tissue types.

Only a few of Thomson’s peers had learned of his accomplishment last week, but
those who knew of it said they were impressed. Austin Smith, a stem cell
researcher at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, called it an "extremely
important" milestone. Molecular biologist Brigid Hogan of Vanderbilt
University in Nashville, Tennessee, a pioneer of mouse stem cell technology,
calls the development "very encouraging." John Gearhart, a developmental
geneticist at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who is using a
different method to establish a culture of human embryonic cells, describes
Thomson’s research in a commentary on page 1061 of this issue as "a major
technical achievement with great importance for human biology."

Gearhart was in a close race with Thomson to publish first but wasn’t able to
move his project along quite as rapidly. In a paper coming out in the 10
November Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Gearhart will
announce that he, too, has established a line of embryonic stem cells. His are
derived from primordial germ cells, precursors of sperm and oocytes, isolated
from medically aborted fetuses. Gearhart and his team have sustained some of
these cells in culture for as long as 9 months, but he concedes that "Jamie
[Thomson] has done a lot more" to characterize his stem cells and deserved to
be first. Like Thomson and Roger Pedersen, another stem cell researcher at the
University of California, San Francisco, Gearhart turned to Geron for support
because it was unclear whether he could do the work with public funds. And,
like the other two U.S. groups, his team plans to license patents to Geron.

Other developers of human embryonic stem cell technology are close behind.
Martin Pera at Monash University in Clayton, Australia, reports that his
team–together with scientists at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and
the National University of Singapore–has "achieved extensive serial
cultivation" of cells from human blastocysts, which he expects will meet the
criteria for human embryonic stem cells. Smith says that his team at Edinburgh
has been trying to develop a human stem cell line, too, but doesn’t yet have
anything to announce.

Thomson says the first big payoff will be to aid fundamental research on human
development. He points out that the details of human embryo development after
implantation are essentially unstudied. Animal models haven’t been useful, he
says: "For example, the placenta and all the extraembryonic membranes differ
fundamentally between humans and mice." Now, scientists may be able to produce
cells specific to stages of human development that have been inaccessible to
research. By manipulating gene expression in these cells, they might be able
to probe how development can go wrong.

Another payoff, one that could be lucrative for Geron in the not-too-distant
future, according to Geron Vice President Thomas Okarma, will be drug
screening. Okarma says, "The potential to supply unlimited quantities of
normal human cells of virtually any tissue type could have a major impact on
pharmaceutical research and development." Cell lines used for drug screening
are currently derived from animals or "abnormal" human tissue, such as tumor

The real "home run" of this technology, Okarma says, is the "enormous"
possibility that researchers might be able to tailor stem cells genetically so
that they would avoid attack by a patient’s immune system, then direct them to
specialize into a particular kind of tissue and transplant them into diseased
organs. Geron suggests it might be possible to repair damaged heart muscle by
injecting new cardiomyocytes, for example. Okarma points out that researchers
have already used mouse stem cells to produce cardiomyocytes that were
successfully transplanted into a mouse heart.

But that possibility also remains the most distant. "Right now," says Thomson,
"we don’t know how to direct [stem cells] to become any specific cells." And
developing cells that can be immunologically suitable for transplantation will
take even more work. Still, Thomson says, "it’s no longer in the realm of
science fiction; I really believe that within my lifetime I will see diseases
treated by these therapies."

For some researchers, however, the complicated legal issues associated with
the cell lines may prove discouraging. Federal law governing this topic was
updated most recently in the 4000-page appropriation bill Congress passed on
20 October. It says U.S. funds may not be used for "the creation of a human
embryo" for research purposes, or for "research in which a human embryo or
embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or
death…." The embryo is defined as any organism not protected as a human
subject under other laws (such as those applying to fetal tissue) "that is
derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from
one or more human gametes or diploid cells."

When NIH officials learned of Thomson’s work, their initial reaction was that
federal funds could not be used for research using his cell lines. But
director Harold Varmus sought legal counsel, and a top aide told Science that
the cells may be exempt from the law because they could not grow into embryos.
NIH was scrambling to come up with a final ruling by the time Thomson’s paper
was published. The cell line Gearhart is developing may not have the same
legal complications because it was derived from fetal, not embryonic, cells.

The law clearly prohibits the use of federal funds for the initial development
of an embryonic stem cell line, however. Okarma says Geron carefully
considered the ethical implications before proceeding. "We recognize and
affirm that there is moral authority associated with this tissue," he says.
Geron has established a panel of ethical advisers, chaired by Karen Lebacqz of
the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, representing "five
different religious traditions," Okarma says. The panel approved the stem cell
project, he says, on the basis that Geron was making beneficial use of fetal
tissue and IVF embryos that would have been discarded or frozen indefinitely.

Researchers are hoping that the legal uncertainties hanging over Thomson’s
cell lines can be cleared up quickly. "People have been a little scared off by
the controversy" already, says Smith, and "it would be a tragedy if [legal
barriers] exclude the best people" from the field.

                                — End —

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Robert Temple quote

   Just picked up a recently minted copy of
Robert Temple’s book The Sirius Mystery.
A quote from the top of page seven of that  book:  
   "But the sad part of the aftermath of The Sirius Mystery was the
extreme and virulant hostility towards me by certain security agencies,
most notably the American ones. "
                                         Bobby Joe

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F is for Fragments

A is for Awareness Alteration; also Awareness of Alterability of Awareness

E is for Empathy Enhancement

K is for Knowledge

still looking to find out what B and D are for; from what I’ve read D may be for
Dancing Demons and Deeper Dimensions

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The Meta as Physical

It strikes me more and more as I contemplate these things that there are levels
of meaning, levels of reality, levels of truth. We go round in circles yet each
time appear to be in a different, higher place; perhaps we ascend a spiral.

Of particular interest to me is what I perceive as the spiritualization of

Ever since the introduction of the telephone, CyberSpace has most concretely
introduced itself into our world. When a man in Paris speaks to a woman in Rome,
"where" is that conversation taking place? In Paris? In Rome? At the midpoint?
In their minds? CyberSpace is what some have chosen to call this new location;
Chardin’s noosphere is not too far off either. It is a mental realm.

The internet, more than anything thus far – thus far – appears to offer us the
ability to, in a very concrete sense, travel astrally. We are spirits in a
material world, as Sting sings. My thoughts find expression, among numerous
other ways, in the movement of my fingers on the plastic keys on a device on my
desk, the patterns of presence or absence of electrons, the patterns of magnetic
fields, the patterns of phosphor activation, that are transmitted across the
world. Somehow this embodies me. Where do "I" reside? We are fast becoming
omnipresent; everywhere and nowhere at once.

Perhaps we can say, with Bateson, that we need to look at systems and their
contexts – the lines of communication run right out of my body, the lines of
feedback run into it. The body, the visible border, is an illusory boundary. The
acorn, in one sense, can be said to know how to grow into the tree, yet in
another sense, that knowledge resides just as much in the damp soil, in the warm
sun’s cycle of appearance and disappearance, in the winds that blow, in the
stars that shine, and in a little girl’s smile. There are loops within loops,
systems within systems. Secrets within secrets.

More and more, we are becoming an ethereal species, a creature of Mind.

Philosophers wrestle with the question of immortality while at the same time,
physicians attempt to ascertain the DNA keys to same. And even farther out,
there are geeks envisioning methods of uploading their thought processes, their
memories, their minds, into what they believe to be more permanent physical
substrates than our frail bodies, so subject to rot.

What we have to work with is raw data, the sensorium, the endlessly overflowing
cup of colours smells feelings tastes sounds. All meaning, all coherence, all
order, is out of Mind. This universe strives not towards Chaos; there is a
steady upward curve of structure, indeed, an exponential one, as is inherent in
all that is Meta, all that is Mind. And always the taste of the infinite, the
vertical limit we seem to be approaching in our curve, lures us on.

All things are true and all things are false. Man is accident; man is destiny.
Man is an ambulatory seedpod; man is an invention of water to transport itself.
Cycles upon cycles of life and death can show us that consciousness is implicit
in any evolutionary process. Consciousness strives ever more towards the high,
towards Godness, away from the material plane. Yet Godness must be in the very
inner center of each atom of the material plane at the same time to dance in
such harmony and set us in such a direction.

Say it with the Bard: We are such stuff as dreams are made of.

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If we are to assert that all that exists is the physical, the concrete, the hard
– why, then, we shall be lead up onto the very plane of God, yea.

For contemplatest thou this: that in a universe of careening, colliding atoms
there is no place for Chance. One has cast out the demons of Quantum Physics and
Synchronicity: each electron, each proton, each neutron acts according to strict
laws; they have no choice in the matter – it is preordained.

And in these collisions and explosions, stars are formed, and swirling vortexes
of matter cluster together such that planets shall be formed, each and every one
of course an approximation of the Holy Sphere. It is inevitable; it is

And by random chance occurrence – curse! out with those demons! – at some point
is it not inevitable that some self-replicating mechanism of sorts should arise
– yea, that which we call Life? For once even a single such one had come into
being, it shall propagate and manifest itself, it shall spread out and conquer –
but wait! For here is a better answer, a faster snail! Thus was God born unto
the universe, but the Universe knew Him not.

One may fair wonder whether bipedalism, the incredible bilateral symmetry from
which we all deviate in so many so small ways, is inherent in the sphericity and
gravity of the planets; one may fair wonder whether that unattained ideal of
roundishness is itself implicit in the atoms of which it consists.

I adore thee, Evoe! I adore thee, IAO!

And these very same atoms which are being contemplated make up thy brain, from
which one believes thy Mind arises! Lo! Is such self-reflection, then, not
immanent in the atom itself? Was consciousness not its Destiny from the start?

I adore thee, Evoe! I adore thee, IAO!

Many things have been spoken; many things have been written; many songs have
been sung; many hearts have been stung. All of it is false – false I tell thee!
That which is spoken is not true! That is true which is not spoken!

I adore thee, Evoe! I adore thee, IAO!

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the internet

humanity’s Chapel Perilous
all lies within: all that we fear, all that we lust after, all that we can

methinks this analogy will hold some water – and if not, why, then let us pour
some Wodka Wyborowa in it, and drink from the Clear Spirit!

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