Direct response from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on how everything in the story does not exist....
just wanted another side to this article...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Stephen Hawking has been imprisoned by his body for many years. But for a few seconds on Thursday, the celebrated physicist and author will float free, unrestricted by his paralyzed muscles and his wheelchair as he floats weightless on a zero gravity flight.
"I have wanted to fly in space all of my life," Hawking told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. "For someone like me whose muscles don't work very well, it will be bliss to be weightless."
Hawking, 65, has the paralyzing disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He'll be the first person with a disability to fly on one of the flights offered by Zero Gravity Corp., a space tourism company. It has flown about 2,700 people on Florida-based flights since late 2004 and began offering flights in Las Vegas this week.
Unable to talk or move his hands and legs, Hawking can only make tiny facial expressions using the muscles around his eyes, eyebrows, cheek and mouth to communicate. Otherwise, he relies on a computer to talk for him in a synthesized voice. The computer is attached to his wheelchair and allows him to choose words on a computer screen through an infrared sensor on a headpiece that detects motion in his cheek.
He raises an eyebrow to signal "yes," and tenses his mouth to the side to indicate "no."
Flying from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., the modified jet creates the experience of microgravity during 25-second plunges over the Atlantic Ocean.
The jet's interior is padded to protect the weightless fliers and equipped with cameras to record their adventure. Normally, the plane conducts 10 to 15 plunges for its passengers who pay $3,750 for the ride, although that fee has been waived for Hawking.
After the jet has reached its proper altitude, Hawking's assistants will lift him out of his chair and lay him on his back in the front of the cabin for the first plunge.
Other plunges will be made only after the two doctors and three nurses who are accompanying him have made sure he is enjoying it. He won't have his wheelchair and talking computer on the jet with him, although his assistant will bring a laptop and a card with the letters of the alphabet in case Hawking wants to communicate beyond facial expressions.
"We consider ... having him weightless for 25 seconds is a successful mission," said Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of Zero Gravity. "If we do more than one, fantastic."
Gary A. Leo, president and CEO of the ALS Association, said there should be no medical concerns with someone who has the condition going on a zero-gravity flight, although any person who does should consult a physician.
Hawking, a mathematics professor at the University of Cambridge, has done groundbreaking work on black holes and the origins of the universe, making him one of the best-known theoretical physicists of his generation. He is also known for his book "A Brief History of Time."
He has an ulterior motive for going on the flight other than the personal thrill of being weightless - Hawking believes in the importance of private space ventures and the need to reduce the cost of space tourism so that it's accessible to more people.
"I am hopeful that if we can engage this mass market, the cost of space flight will drop and we will be able to gain access to the resources of space and also spread humanity beyond just Earth," he said. "Sooner or later, some disaster may wipe out life on Earth. The long-term survival of the human race requires that we spread into space."
On the Net:
Stephen Hawking: http://www.hawking.org.uk/
Zero Gravity Corp.: http://www.gozerog.com
ALS Association: http://www.alsa.org/
I have been working for sometime on my website and now that it has been launched thought I would tell you about it. This is the Spectral Light which looks at investigating the Paranormal from a Psychic Questing perspective. Focusing on the experiential rather than empirical aspects of supernatural phenomena I am interested in how peoples psychic perception interpretes the sensory input giving the experience and how this forms part of the shamanic level of awareness. More importantly I am also interested in developing new esoteric methods in which paranormal investigation can be performed
Hope this is of interest
If you are around a bunch of toddlers someday and are feeling like a social scientist, you can try this experiment. All you need is some time and a large piece of plexiglass. First, observe the children in a play setting and determine each child's preference for toys. Ultimately you must find for each child two toys that are about equally liked.
The second thing you need to do is select one child, the child's two toys, and the large sheet of plexiglass. Then put the two toys in front of the child about three or four feet apart. Now, put the large piece of plex in front of one toy such that the child can easily see the toy, but because of the plexiglass, cannot get to it. Now let the kid pick a toy.
Of course, the child immediately toddles over to the toy with the plexiglass barrier and starts wailing. He will plow into the glass like a little robot. He will pound on the plex. He will try to crawl over it like a Marine in boot camp. He will do everything but go after the other toy that is freely and easily available to him. He wants THAT one!
Children are so silly, aren't they? And a perfect illustration of reactance. According to this theory of reactance, whenever we perceive a threat to our freedom of action, we experience a state of reactance. We get angry. We are being unfairly put upon. We pound on the plex. We want THAT one!
Kids provide daily examples of reactance. But so do adults.
Did you hear about the Great Detergent Riots? This one is amazing. In the 1960s a city in Florida banned the sale of detergents that contained phosphates. You could not own Tide or Cheer or Whisk if it had phosphates in it. Now, it is important to note that phosphates have no impact whatsover on the cleaning effectiveness of the detergent. The phosphates were banned for environmental reasons.
Here's the amazing part. In the weeks before the ban went into effect, stores reported a run on phosphate-containing detergents. Not the "clean" detergents. Just the ones with phosphates. And, after the ban when into effect, stores in the city limits reported a drop in the sale of their detergents. Instead, stores outside the city limits reported increases in the sales of their phosphate-laden detergents!
PROCESS OF THE THEORY
Reactance Theory is really quite simple. It operates in three simple steps that are sequentially connected. Pay close attention to the first step because it is the key and defining feature of Reactance Theory.
Step 1. People perceive an unfair restriction on their actions.
The key word here is, "unfair." People can accept restrictions, but they must feel that the restriction is reasonable, equal, and just. For a toddler, the unfair restriction is the plexiglass panel. For adults, the unfair restriction is the banned phosphates. Something is denied and that denial is unreasonable, unjust, and maybe even un-American.
Another classic example concerns teen-age dating. Take a case where a daughter brings home a young man who is totally unacceptable to her father. If the father were to "ban" dating that boy, he would run the risk of eliciting reactance from the daughter. Indeed, this is almost a cliche and everyone knows of an instance where a hardheaded parent literally drove a child into the arms of an undesirable partner.
When the restriction is unfair (they don't know why it was applied, or it only applies for some people, or it is too tough), the next stage occurs. It may sound familiar.
Step 2. A state of reactance is activated.
Reactance is an intense motivational state. A person with reactance is emotional, single-minded, and somewhat irrational. It arises because we have been wronged and we aren't gonna take it anymore. Reactance is important to understand because it has strong motivational properties and leads to the final stage.
Step 3. The person must act to remove the reactance.
The motivational qualities of reactance are so strong that the person must do something about it. The reactance cannot be ignored or put aside. In particular the person is motivated to either "right the wrong" or to get around the restriction. In other words, people with reactance will try to get the unfair restriction removed or they will try to subvert the restriction.
Another consequence of reactance at Step Three is that people will tend to overvalue the action that was unfairly restricted. In the study on detergents, housewives rated the phosphate-based detergent as a better cleaning product than the one without phosphates even though phosphates have no real chemical impact on cleaning.
If you think about reactance, you realize that it operates a lot like dissonance in consistency theory. Both reactance and dissonance are powerful motivating agents. It is reasonable to think of reactance as a special type of dissonance. Reactance, while very similar, has one distinctive feature. People experience reactance when someone else does something to them (the unfair restriction). Dissonance, by contrast, is experienced when people themselves do some thing inconsistent.
I think you need to know about Reactance for one very important reason. Sometimes when you try to persuade others, they may at first perceive your communication as an attempt to restrict them.
"Why are you trying to make me stop smoking. You got some kind of authority hangup?"
"What's wrong with eating cheese dogs? You the food police or something?"
Here your influence attempt is seen as an unfair restriction on behavior and you've got a major case of reactance on your hands. This is very bad for a lot of reasons. First, you aren't persuading. Second, the receiver is defending very actively and in the wrong direction. Third, you are likely to get defensive yourself and respond in an angry way (which only makes things worse).
Remember, reactance is not a logical or reasonable response. It is the reaction of a highly motivated, emotional person who believes that a serious injustice has been perpetrated. It does no good to ignore the reactance, nor is it a good idea to fight the reactance. Fighting the reactance throws more fuel on the fire, giving the person an even stronger motivation to rebell, to resist, to deny.
So, what does it all mean?
When you sense that your receivers are responding with reactance, take a step back. The situation is telling you that you probably need to take a few minutes to understand what is going on and to try and understand how your receivers are reacting. This is a great moment to apply all your effective communication skills. What you are trying to find is the "unfair restriction." Remove that from the conversation and maybe you can succeed.
REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDED READINGS
Brehm, J. (1966). A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press.
Brehm, J., & Weintraub, M. (1977). Physical barriers and psychological reactance: 2-year-olds response to threats to freedom. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 830-836.
Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III
by William B. Scott
Space Wars by Willliam Scott, Michael Coumatos, and William Birnes, Forge Books (April 17, 2007) describes how the first hours of World War III might play out in the year 2010. While fiction, it's based on real-world military scenarios and technologies, dramatically highlighting the West's vulnerability to destruction of its space-based commercial and military communications infrastructure.
In 2010, advanced space weapons fall into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists, who launch them against the West's reconnaissance, weather, and communications satellites. Meanwhile, inside U.S. Strategic Command, top military commanders, space-company executives, and U.S. intelligence experts are conducting a "DEADSATS II" wargame, exploring how the loss of critical satellites could lead to nuclear war. The players don't know that the war they are gaming has already begun in space and that the Pentagon is about to find out that data from the GPS satellite system is no longer reliable, making accurate military operations impossible worldwide....
What makes Space Wars especially credible—and a fascinating and informative read—is the outstanding technical and military expertise of two of the authors. Michael Coumatos is a former U.S. Navy test pilot, ship's captain and commodore, US Space Command director of war gaming, and government counterterrorism advisor.
William Scott recently retired as Rocky Mountain bureau chief for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, and an electronics engineering officer at the National Security Agency.
Interview with the author and links to more here: http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.htm...
The story Philip Lipson and Charlette LeFevre have been researching for years has almost all the elements of a made-for-TV movie.
As the story goes, a government employee swore he saw flying saucers three days after a Tacoma man said similar UFOs spewed metal and lava onto his boat. There was even a man in black.
A witness later recanted his statement -- some say out of fear -- after a military plane supposedly transporting classified debris exploded into flames.
"You don't want to know how complicated and bizarre this is," said LeFevre, who, with Lipson, runs the Seattle Museum of the Mysteries on Capitol Hill.
Lipson and LeFevre believe that 60 years ago a plane that crashed in Kelso contained slag from a UFO. They've tracked down newspaper stories and testimony, and gathered the clues at their museum.
But it's the black chunk of rock they keep locked in a glass case that may be their best clue, and a scientist may test the rock this week.
Officially, the story is poppycock. The government dismissed it as such decades ago.
On June 21, 1947, Harold Dahl was salvaging logs near the shore of Maury Island. Dahl said that at 2 p.m. he saw six doughnut-shaped aircraft, about 100 feet in diameter.
He said five of the metallic aircraft, which didn't appear to have signs of propulsion, circled above one, which dropped to about 500 feet and spewed what he thought was 20 tons of metal and molten rock.
Dahl reported to co-worker Fred Crisman that the falling debris injured his 15-year-old son, killed their dog and damaged the boat's wheelhouse.
Three days later, U.S. Forest Service employee Kenneth Arnold said he saw nine similar flying saucers between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. The Associated Press published Arnold's claims that when one of the aircraft dipped, the others did, too.
The day after Dahl's sighting, a man in a black suit arrived at his Tacoma home in a black 1947 Buick, Dahl said later. Books by UFO historians say the man in black threatened Dahl, saying that if he cared about his family, he'd never speak of the incident again.
He spoke of it at least one more time in July 1947, when he met with Arnold in a secret meeting in Room 502 of Tacoma's Winthrop Hotel. Arnold wrote about the meeting in his 1952 book, and said they were also joined by United Airlines pilot Capt. E.J. Smith -- another who claimed to see the discs -- as well as Air Force Lt. Frank M. Brown and Capt. William L. Davidson.
Smith told The Idaho Statesman that Brown and Davidson were given six pieces of "metal or lava."
The chunks were loaded onto a B-25 bomber at McChord Field to be shipped to a California military base, according to the now-defunct Tacoma Times.
It was still dark in the early morning of Aug. 1, 1947, when a fire erupted in the left engine of the B-25.
Longview police officers reported watching the B-25 circle over Longview and Kelso, leaving a streak of smoke behind the burning motor.
When attempts to extinguish the fire failed, two other crew members -- Sgt. Elmer L. Taft and Tech. Sgt. Woodrow D. Matthews -- parachuted to safety. Brown and Davidson, who some believe knew there were UFO parts on the plane, stayed with the bomber.
The B-25 crashed into the base of three alder trees. Brown and Davidson's mangled bodies were thrown clear.
On Aug. 3, 1947, an Associated Press report said the men died investigating flying saucers.
Kelso resident James Greear heard about the crash 10 years ago and had made several attempts to find clues. He found almost nothing in the woods until earlier this month, when Bob Davenport told him the exact location. Davenport, now 75, was 15 at the time of the crash and one of the first people to rush to the wreckage.
Greear went to the crash site April 15 with Lipson and LeFevre.
In the north fork of Globe Creek, a friend of Greear's found a black chunk slightly larger than a softball that looks as if it could have once been lava.
"We are not making any claims of what it is," Lipson said.
But he and LeFevre are hopeful.
"You can tell it's been liquid because it's all full of bubbles," said Bill Beaty, a research engineer in the University of Washington's Chemistry Department. He plans to have a colleague analyze the chunk this week.
"We have to look at the bedrock in the hill and see what's there," he said. "If it looks like that, then it's probably the same.
"If this is totally different than the bedrock that's there, then this will be very interesting."
Rarely spoke of sighting
Though popular among conspiracy theorists, Dahl's claim that a UFO spewed debris onto his boat is likely to remain folklore.
"I didn't know anything about it until 2003 when a man from Sacramento sent me about 50 pages of research about it," said Dahl's 76-year-old daughter, Louise Bakotich of Aberdeen. Though Arnold insisted his sighting was real, Dahl rarely spoke of his sighting after 1947, and often said it was a hoax when he did. Charles Dahl, who was supposedly injured by the falling debris, didn't confirm the injuries before his death, his sister said.
The Army and Air Force have repeatedly denied that UFO fragments were on the B-25 flight. An August 1947 document, said to be from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, states that the story of the B-25 having flying disc fragments was a hoax.
Those statements, however, only fuel the curiosity of UFO researchers such as Lipson and LeFevre.
"We're starting where they left off 60 years ago," LeFevre said. "There's a lot more out there."
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer