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2/26/2006 Health. Told you so years ago: Viral connection to Prostate Cancer.
Read about Raymond Royal Rife who invented a super microscope in the 1930's. He is said to have isolated a filterable virus from cancerous human tissue samples donated from the Mayo Clinic. He injected the virus into rats and they got the same cancer the humans had. He found out how to kill the virus and then later cured the cancer in rats and supposedly in humans. His lab burned down and his notes disappeared right as he was about to present his results. Anyway, we know today that some cancers have a viral source, but when I spoke to a leading cancer doc about all cancers having a viral source, I was told that I shouldn't pay attention to conspiracy theories. Well, I don't dispute that there are scams using Rife's name today, but his original research seems real and interesting. I bring this up because in the news today we now have yet another cancer with a possible viral link: Virus found in Prostate Cancer. Makes you wonder.
2/26/2006 Music / Blog. The quest for perfect pitch, can it be learned?
A person who has the ability to tell if a given single pitch is slightly out of tune and even to sing or name any tone out of the blue without a reference note is said to have perfect pitch. (The naming is learned, the perception of pitch color differences is instant and automatic after it is learned.)
I've seen and have performed with many amazing musicians, but there are two people who stand out in my mind as having something extra. They both sang with an effortless exactness of pitch which I could hear, but could not duplicate, even with my years of experience. Playing a few gigs with Jason Mraz freaked me out. When I first heard Bobby McFerrin as a kid at a Jazz festival, I knew there was something unique about him, but perhaps it was just his ability to mimic instruments? Years later, when I heard Jason Mraz raw, live, and unprocessed by a recording studio, I knew what it was about Bobby McFerrin which had fascinated me as a kid: perfect pitch. This is something subtle, something you can't get from listening to records, especially these days when most studios have pitch correction.
At one point after a show Jason came out to smoke and stand with us in the front of the True Love Coffee Shop in Sacramento, CA. He then sang a few bars of one of my songs he liked a capella. This kid singing MY song sounded better than me. (And I'm no slouch!) It wasn't just the type of voice he had, it was the exactness of the pitches he sang from memory. It was like meeting Mozart or something. Mraz heard with such exactness. I was amazed. (Oh, and Toca Rivera was there harmonizing too for a minute which was so awesome.)
Anyway, I'm now taking some time away from performing as a musician to see if it is possible to acquire perfect pitch as an adult. From what I've heard, Jason grew up singing in church choirs and I figure that's where he tuned his ear and ability to harmonize. I grew up around music too, but we always just tuned our guitars to themselves, never to a pitch fork or a tuner. As a result, I have great relative pitch, but I can't sing an "A" note out of the blue.
I once drove a girlfriend crazy by playing an "A" reference tone over and over for a week and trying to sing it out of the blue. I failed. This is NOT the way to obtain perfect pitch. Don't try to memorize a tone this way. Now I'm trying some new exercises which I'll share here. There is hope. In the last few weeks I've started to see progress.
You have to go slow and learn to hear in a new way. Each note has a unique "color" or character about it, so I'm told.
EXERCISE 1. Perfect Pitch Training For Guitarists. Learn to sing the open strings. Learning the strings as a new song. Sing the tune and say the notes. Sing it to yourself during the day. Sing low to high E A D G B E, and then high to low E B G D A E. Get to the point where you can do this when given either the high or low E string as a reference.
EXERCISE 1a. Wait 5 or 6 seconds. Blindly play any note on the guitar (use the wrong hand and locate a string without knowing by touch which string it is) and with that as a reference, sing the other strings using the above melody which you have learned.
EXERCISE 1b. Play any open string on the guitar blindly (see above) and name that note. Vary the amount of silent time between tests. Spend a few days working on this until you can name the strings correctly 30 times in a row.
2/23/2006 Archaeology. Jurassic Beaver: Find Shows Mammals Diversified Much Earlier Than Was Thought
By comparison, the oldest known hominid footprints found near Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania are over 3.7 million years old. The earliest known footprints of our species Homo species are about 385,000 years old at most. So, we might now crudely say that 160 million years of evolution could get mammal complexity and size from that of a beaver to a human.
"The Castorocauda lutrasimilis, the largest mammal of its time ever found, is characterized by fur, beaverlike scales on its wide, flat tail and soft tissue webbing between its hind toes. It lived and died about 164 million years ago. ...Its discovery, reported in today's issue of the journal Science, showed for the first time that mammals diversified much earlier than was thought, even in an age dominated by dinosaurs." - wpost
"Paleontologist Jason A. Lillegraven, a Docodontans specialist retired from the University of Wyoming, noted that the world's first mammals appear to have arisen about 200 million years ago, with their history paralleling that of the dinosaurs right up to the moment of the dinosaurs' extinction 65 million years ago."
2/23/2006 Health / Biology. Fluoride, is it safe and does it help?
Someone asked me about the fluoride debate. Is it helpful or dangerous? That depends on who you choose to trust and how you handle your personal health choices. I use the precautionary principle: If a number of people reasonably express what seem to be good reasons for avoiding something, I avoid it. For that reason, I've avoided fluoride and healed cavities while doing so.
If you'd like to believe it is safe you can find many dentists, governments and chemical companies who will agree with your decision. Whatever you believe, consider the fact that you may be brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking it in your water due to decades old national security reasons. No one debates the fact that industrial waste fluoride is a byproduct of atom bomb creation.
"Residents near Lake Champlain in New York say they have their own Loch Ness monster. They call it Champ, and it's a local legend. It is the inspiration for parade floats, T-shirts, key chains, minor-league baseball team mascots, and wild stories.
ABC News obtained exclusive video of something just under the surface of the lake that some say may be Champ.
The video was taken by two fishermen with their digital camera last summer. Before their supposed sighting, they were Champ skeptics.
... As for the latest sighting, two retired FBI analysts reviewed the tape and said that it appeared authentic. "I can't find anything in there that would suggest or indicate to me that this has been fabricated or manipulated in any way," said Gerald Richards, a forensic image analyst.
"However, there's no place in there that I can see actually see, an animal or any other object on the surface." - abcnews
"It wouldn't go forward if we had concerns to our nation's security." - Bush, cbc.ca
That sums it up. Most think Bush has no real concerns for national security, only for money and power, war and fear mongering in order to get more money, power and war. Look, I'm not cool with the Brits having control of our ports either. Who knew they had it? Not me. Not many. We are a big country. We are all grown up now. I think we can secure our own ports, especially during a "war". The UAE is an Ally in the war on terror?
"The September 11 commission's report raised concerns that United Arab Emirates officials were directly associating with the al Qaeda leader as recently as 1999." - ahn
Things keep making sense from the perspective that Bush is directly tied to the attacks of 9/11. Read enough bizzare facts like this: Bush gave $27 million to an al Qaeda foot soldier. ( What, you missed that story? ) The plane into building exercise pre-planned for 9/11, one top al-Qaeda operative was a British intelligence agent, etc. and you eventually draw the conclusion that the UAE is an ally in the war of terror, no the war on terror.
Imagine this: Legitimate voting with a paper audit trails! (fight dibold!) Imagine this: no cronies on the Supreme court halting the vote recount, no Bush, no Cheney secret energy meetings, no 9/11, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, no no-bid contracts for Haliburton, etc., no American's burned and hung from bridges, no Abu Graib torture, no beheadings, no White Phosphorus, no secret prisons, no anonymous indefinite detentions and torture in Guantanamo, no secret spying on Americans, no dirty bomb scares, no anthrax attacks, no sniper attacks, no patriot act, no lies about WMDs, no Plame-Gate, no VPs shooting people in the woods... ah, what a wonderful world.
"The giant grey "golf ball" cuts a sinister shape on the seaside skyline as it goes about its silent duty of helping protect the nation. But strange things, that could be part of an X-Files episode, are happening in the shadow of the radar dome. Frightened motorists have had their engines and lights cut out, while instrument dials crash to zero or speed to 150mph as they cruise past the landmark on the North Norfolk coast.
... "We must have had 30 cars in with problems over the past couple of months. And they are only the ones we know about, so there could be more. It is a mixture of lights and engines cutting out, along with dashboards going haywire."
... During six years in the RAF as a fighter controller Mr Crayford worked at Trimingham's "mother station" at Neatishead before joining the motor trade. He is barred under the Official Secrets Act from saying too much about the dome - which is a key part of the national air defence system.
But he said: "Something must have changed - either the frequency or output - for this to happen. "I lodged an official complaint with the Ministry of Defence two weeks ago, but incidents are still happening. We get about five a week, and had three more on Friday." An MoD spokeswoman confirmed it was investigating complaints about the radar head interfering with cars." - edp24
2/17/2006 UFOs. Amazing NASA video shows "shooting star" that changes direction, several things around ISS
This 1/2 hour UFO video is interesting. Is the change in direction of the shooting star due to thursters fired by the ship taking the video (notice the Earth changes position right around the time the shooting star does), or did it really change course? If it did, I don't think it is a shooting star. What are those things flying around the International Space Station? More ice crystals?
2/17/2006 Politics. Balistics study confirms Cheney lied?
One writer wrote:
"The story tellers insist Cheney was about 30 yards (90 feet) away and using a 28 gauge shotgun to shoot at quail. As Mr. Whittington has a bird shot pellet either in or against his heart ... well ... there's a problem with that story. I would like to see the ballistics report that shows how a 28 gauge shotgun can put bird shot through a hunting vest, jacket, skin and ribcage from 90 feet away!" -targ
See the infowars video.
2/16/2006 Technology / UFOs. Flying Luxury Hotel
"Even though the Aeroscraft dwarfs the largest commercial airliners, it requires less net space on the ground than any plane because it doesn't need a runway. The airship takes off and lands like a helicopter: straight up and down."
"Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the craft's weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body—driven by huge rearward propellers—generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent. This two-football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010." - popsci
Items here are moved to the various topics pages whenever I feel like it. See the index.