Jacques Vallee: Implications of UFO Phenomena (excerpt) – Thinking Allowed w/ Jeffrey Mishlove

Published on May 23, 2011
NOTE: This is an excerpt from a 30-minute DVD.

Regardless of the physical reality of UFO’s, says Jacques Vallee, Ph.D., the fact that people believe they have experienced contact with alien entities is an appropriate subject for scientific scrutiny. Vallee is a computer scientist, UFO researcher and author whose books include Challenge to Science, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, The Edge of Reality, The Invisible College and Messengers of Deception.

Catholic Leaders Transfer Most Alluring Children To Another Church

July 29, 2019 (theonion.com)

VATICAN CITY—In the wake of public outcry over a continuing spate of molestation allegations, leaders in the Catholic Church confirmed Monday that they have been pursuing a policy of quietly transferring the most alluring children in the faith to other churches. “As soon as any such issues come to our attention, we immediately take action to remove the sexiest little numbers from their parish and transfer them to another location where they can no longer tempt priests with their tantalizing ways,” said Pope Francis, stressing that the Catholic Church’s primary concern has always been ensuring the most beguiling altar boys were far away from the places where they could cause harm to a member of the clergy by forcing them to stray from the ways of Christ. “Of course, many critics wish we would simply expel these nubile cherubs from the faith altogether. But in recognition of their great service to the Church, we believe the best choice is simply moving them to places far away from bishops, where they’re unable to sin with their irresistible button noses and twinkling eyes.” The Pope also said that the Church had also taken great pains to vet all replacements for the children, ensuring that they would always be “fives or below” in terms of attractiveness.

Film preview: “This Might Hurt”

THIS MIGHT HURT | TRAILER from Kent Bassett on Vimeo.

This Might Hurt is an intimate vérité film that follows three chronic pain patients who have spent years trying to cure their illness through modern medicine. Desperate for relief, they enter a mind-body medicine program that focuses on uncovering buried trauma at the root of their suffering, and retraining their brains to turn off pain.

The film follows these people over several years as they make astonishing discoveries about their hidden emotional lives. With 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, and the opioid epidemic overwhelming the nation, this film explores a path to healing without drugs.

more info at: thismighthurtfilm.com

Researchers Confirm Meditation Can Reduce Stress But Totally Get It If You Were Just Venting And Don’t Actually Want Advice

July 30, 2019 (theonion.com)

SEATTLE—Announcing the conclusion of their landmark study, researchers from the University of Washington confirmed Tuesday that meditation can significantly reduce stress but added that they totally get it if you were just venting and weren’t actually looking for advice right now. “Based on a six-month double-blind study, we can state with a high degree of confidence that regular meditation can help reduce epinephrine and lead to decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism, but we’re not meaning to push that on you if you just needed to blow off some steam about how much you’ve got going on recently,” said lead researcher Emily Kurtz, noting that while entering a state of advanced relaxation has been shown to decrease the flow of cortisol and improve cardiovascular health, she and her fellow researchers weren’t trying to fix you or anything and understood if you just needed a sympathetic ear. “Our findings also suggest that the focused attention, deep breathing, and calm thoughts associated with meditation may even reduce the occurrence of ailments including asthma, chronic pain, and some forms of cancer, but again, maybe you’re just feeling frustrated and aren’t looking for a laundry list of self-improvement techniques, so we just wanted to mention our conclusions and we’ll leave it there.” Kurtz added that their research had also uncovered significant health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, but they could wait to talk about that until you were in a better mood.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 30, 2019 (theonion.com)

Leo | July 23 to Aug. 22

We don’t get to choose the person we fall in love with, as is obvious from the human pile of garbage you’ll be following around with roses and candy this week.

Virgo | Aug. 23 to Sept. 22

They say if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything, which is good enough for people who aren’t going to have their legs taken off by a road grader this week.

Libra | Sept. 23 to Oct. 22

Now that you take a closer look at what’s on display, you can tell exactly why the emperor has no clothes. I mean, Jesus Christ.

Scorpio | Oct. 23 to Nov. 21

You’ll be ruled unfit for trial, but they seem to think you’re just fine for sentencing and execution.

Sagittarius | Nov. 22 to Dec. 21

You said you’d retired, but $45 and a free bag of groceries isn’t something a person can just walk away from.

Capricorn | Dec. 22 to Jan. 19

You have to stop worrying about what everyone else says, especially nonsense like “You should dress better,” “Nice people don’t do that,” and “Put down the gun and release the hostages.”

Aquarius | Jan. 20 to Feb. 18

You’ve always thought of yourself as the ultimate cat person, but you’ll change your mind this week after meeting the seven feet of man and whiskers that is Big Meow Johnson.

Pisces | Feb. 19 to March 20

You will soon make a comfortable living exploiting other people’s deep-seated anxieties and crippling fears.

Aries | March 21 to April 19

After taxes, overhead, and legal fees, that million-dollar idea you’ve been working on for years will wind up costing you several thousand dollars.

Taurus | April 20 to May 20

It’s not true that opening the dictionary to “loser” shows your picture, but for some reason, they’re still using it for “anteater,” “caisson,” and “dumbass.”

Gemini | May 21 to June 20

Sadly, it turns out that of all the people you’ve ever known, the only one who has your best interests at heart is comedian Katt Williams.

Cancer | June 21 to July 22

For some reason, all your plans for life boil down to, “In the confusion, we get away with both the money and the girl.”

Book: “Perfect Me”

Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal

Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal

How looking beautiful has become a moral imperative in today’s world

The demand to be beautiful is increasingly important in today’s visual and virtual culture. Rightly or wrongly, being perfect has become an ethical ideal to live by, and according to which we judge ourselves good or bad, a success or a failure. Perfect Meexplores the changing nature of the beauty ideal, showing how it is more dominant, more demanding, and more global than ever before.

Heather Widdows argues that our perception of the self is changing. More and more, we locate the self in the body–not just our actual, flawed bodies but our transforming and imagined ones. As this happens, we further embrace the beauty ideal. Nobody is firm enough, thin enough, smooth enough, or buff enough–not without significant effort and cosmetic intervention. And as more demanding practices become the norm, more will be required of us, and the beauty ideal will be harder and harder to resist.

If you have ever felt the urge to “make the best of yourself” or worried that you were “letting yourself go,” this book explains why. Perfect Me examines how the beauty ideal has come to define how we see ourselves and others and how we structure our daily practices–and how it enthralls us with promises of the good life that are dubious at best. Perfect Me demonstrates that we must first recognize the ethical nature of the beauty ideal if we are ever to address its harms.

Inception – Trailer

YouTube Movies
Published on Apr 4, 2011

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible–inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse, their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. MPAA Rating: PG-13 Inception © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures. All rights reserved. #Trailer #WB

Leo Tolstoy on Kindness and the Measure of Love

By Maria Popova (brainpickings.org)

acalendarofwisdom.jpg?zoom=2&w=680“Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now,” Jack Kerouac wrote in a beautiful letter to his first wife and lifelong friend. Somehow, despite our sincerest intentions, we repeatedly fall short of this earthly divinity, so readily available yet so easily elusive. And yet in our culture, it has been aptly observed, “we are never as kind as we want to be, but nothing outrages us more than people being unkind to us.”In his stirring Syracuse commencement address, George Saunders confessed with unsentimental ruefulness: “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.” I doubt any decent person, upon candid reflection, would rank any other species of regret higher. To be human is to leap toward our highest moral potentialities, only to trip over the foibled actualities of our reflexive patterns. To be a good human is to keep leaping anyway.

In the middle of his fifty-fifth year, Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828–November 20, 1910) set out to construct a reliable springboard for these moral leaps by compiling “a wise thought for every day of the year, from the greatest philosophers of all times and all people,” whose wisdom “gives one great inner force, calmness, and happiness” — thinkers and spiritual leaders who have shed light on what is most important in living a rewarding and meaningful life. Such a book, Tolstoy envisioned, would tell a person “about the Good Way of Life.” He spent the next seventeen years on the project.


Leo Tolstoy

In 1902, by then seriously ill and facing his own mortality, Tolstoy finally completed the manuscript under the working title A Wise Thought for Every Day. It was published two years later, in Russian, but it took nearly a century for the first English translation, by Peter Sekirin, to appear: A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World’s Sacred Texts (public library). For each day of the year, Tolstoy had selected several quotes by great thinkers around a particular theme, then contributed his own thoughts on the subject, with kindness as the pillar of the book’s moral sensibility.

Perhaps prompted by the creaturely severity and the clenching of heart induced by winter’s coldest, darkest days, or perhaps by the renewed resolve for moral betterment with which we face each new year, he writes in the entry for January 7:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people.

Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy, and dull things become cheerful.

At the end of the month, in a sentiment Carl Sagan would come to echo in his lovely invitation to meet ignorance with kindness, Tolstoy writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngYou should respond with kindness toward evil done to you, and you will destroy in an evil person that pleasure which he derives from evil.


Art by Olivier Tallec from Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme.

In the entry for February 3, he revisits the subject:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngKindness is for your soul as health is for your body: you do not notice it when you have it.

After copying out two kindness-related quotations from Jeremy Bentham (“A person becomes happy to the same extent to which he or she gives happiness to other people.”) and John Ruskin (“The will of God for us is to live in happiness and to take an interest in the lives of others.”), Tolstoy adds:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngLove is real only when a person can sacrifice himself for another person. Only when a person forgets himself for the sake of another, and lives for another creature, only this kind of love can be called true love, and only in this love do we see the blessing and reward of life. This is the foundation of the world.

Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.

Feast on more of Tolstoy’s deeply nourishing Calendar of Wisdom here. Complement this particular fragment with Albert Einstein on the meaning of kindness, Jacqueline Woodson’s lovely letter to children about kindness, and Naomi Shihab Nye on the remarkable true story behind her beloved poem “Kindness,” then revisit Tolstoy on love and its paradoxical demands, his early diaries of moral development, and his deathbed writings on what gives meaning to our lives.

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