Tom Petty Died from an Accidental Overdose

Tags

, ,

tompetty-fi-1600x900-v1

Tom Petty Died from an Accidental Overdose

The New York Times reports that Tom Petty’s family has released his cause of death: accidental overdose. America is crippled in an opioid crisis. An opioid is an opiumlike compound that binds to one or more of the three opioid receptors of the body. Painkillers such as morphine and oxycodone are opioids. So is heroin. Mixing opioids with other prescription medication is deadly. Unfortunately, Tom Petty’s death highlights how this epidemic reaches all walks of life. If you or anyone in your family suffers from an opioid addiction, please seek professional help.

Please follow the link to read the newspaper’s article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/arts/music/tom-petty-cause-death-opioid-overdose.html?hpw&rref=arts&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well.

 

Catholic Church and the Harry Potter/Yoga Controversy

Tags

,

HP

Catholic Church and the Harry Potter/Yoga Controversy

In 2003, the Catholic Church defended Harry Potter stating that author JK Rowling’s series is “consistent with Christian morals.” Instead, the Church spoke out and cautioned against “new age spiritual beliefs” that attack the Catholic faith. Further, the Church noted that most—if not all—children grow up reading about “fairies, magic, and angels.”  Puritan censorship is destroying creativity and doing it in the name of Christianity. Harry Potter themed yoga classes are a thing and sell out.

yoga-e1486765138894-1024x576

First, Harry Potter is not satanic. It’s a fictional series about good and evil. It’s about the ramifications of choices made. And in the end, good wins. The Potter books are like The Narnia series, Lord of the Rings, and the Star Wars universe. Ban one, then ban them all. Churches cannot cherry-pick which titles they will censor. Both Harry Potter and Narnia are deeply rooted with Christian themes. However, only Narnia is held up as the standard for creative fiction. Wonder why? Is it because C.S. Lewis was a man? It certainly isn’t because he was an ordained priest or minister. He wasn’t. He was essayist, novelist, critic. He wrote about his Christian faith. Compare him to Rowling, a woman who had to use her initials so not to often male readers. She is also a novelist, essayist, critic. She often discusses her Christian faith. They’re similar. To say one is okay but the other is not is unfair and wrong. Both books build on the same themes.

Even though Pope Francis permits Catholics to read the Harry Potter books, he is not a fan of yoga. He stated: “practices like yoga aren’t capable of opening our hearts up to God.” However, that’s not the purpose of yoga.

Recently, small groups of Catholics have decried yoga as causing demonic possession. Father Cesare Truqui blames Harry Potter and Vinyasa yoga as causing demonic possession. Truqui stated “[yoga] leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter.” That’s ridiculous!

The Catholic Church reports a rise in reports of demonic possession. Reports. Most of the reports are not possession issues and don’t go beyond the initial in-take step. However, the growing number of the reporting is concerning until one analyzes the ease of reporting, the media stories encouraging reporting, and the willingness of someone to be interviewed. The fact that the Catholic Church has a stable of 12 exorcists doesn’t necessarily support an out-of-control demonic possession events. It means that there are more people training in that area.

Yoga consists of holistic meditative “exercises that unite the body, mind, and spirit.” It originated in Hinduism; however, the meditative practices are not isolated to the Hindu religion. It would be like saying no other religion can recite “The Lord’s Prayer” unless one was Catholic.

Yoga is incredibly popular. Annually, yoga instruction brings in $2.5 billion. Vinyasa is the most popular form. People report practicing yoga for #1 wellness, #2-3 peace and calm, and #4 health. Over 1.7 million children under the age of 17 practice yoga. In the US, 9.5% of adults practice totaling 21 million people. If it came down to it, people would give up organized religion to practice yoga.

For most people, yoga is physical exercise. It helps relax and calm the practitioner. True yogis seek spiritual perfection. Yes, they meditate. However, a lot of people who pray are meditating. The Catholic Church has not banned meditation. The Catholic Church attempting to hijack yoga by claiming one should only pray to God. That’s incorrect. The Catholic Church encourages practitioners to pray to saints and Jesus’ mother Mary. Finally, practicing yoga does not convert one to Hinduism. Just like praying the Rosary does not convert one to Catholicism.

Participation in organized religion is declining. The Catholic Church, as with others, should embrace young people. They should openly discuss Harry Potter and apply Christian doctrine to the events in the book. They should host integrated programs with other religious groups. My Episcopal Church would have trips to visit the Buddhist Monks in the area. That’s how participation grows. Knee-jerk censorship stifles creativity and discussions. It also chills academic discourse and turns people away.

So, no, you will not become demonically possessed if you read the Harry Potter series. Nor will you become possessed if you practice yoga. Instead of attacking the idiotic, religious organizations should address the real crimes done in the name of God: rape, hate, bigotry, adultery, rise in KKK membership, and prosperity Christianity.

Find your Hogwart’s House Yoga Program:

 

Strange Evidence Strives to Answer Mysteries

Tags

strange-evidence-59e82d0a91102

Strange Evidence Strives to Answer Mysteries

Science Channel’s new TV show Strange Evidence has experts from around the globe attempting to explain strange phenomena caught on video. The TV-PG 10-episode season 1 debuted on October 17, 2017. Although viewers rate it 4.2 stars on IMDb.com, the show is okay. It meshes the best from Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files starring Ben Hanson. Both shows examine video to solve what seems unexplainable. Unlike Fact or Faked, Strange Evidence interviews experts and foregoes the panel of assemble actors. The show covers a wide range of topics. Watch episodes at https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/strange-evidence/.

Insidious 4: The Last Key Opens in US

Tags

, , ,

LinS

Insidious 4: The Last Key

Chapter 4 in the popular Insidious franchise opened a month earlier than expected this past weekend. Still, there was plenty of time for movie critics to review and to thoroughly trash the film. Filmed on a meager $10 million-dollar budget (considering the entire franchise has brought in over $378 million), the film takes parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier back to her former home to investigate strange phenomena. The film is expected to pull in $26 million in the US and land in 2nd place behind Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. From the reviews I’ve read, I’ll wait for the film to stream.

The first Insidious (2010) made $97 million worldwide. This was a huge margin of profit considering the estimated budget was a paltry $1.5 million. The initial film was the strongest and best; however, Chapters 2 and 3 grossed more. The production company rubber-stamped a Chapter 4 and seems fine with the lackluster film. [Note: The films should be viewed in their story order which is 3, 4, 1, and 2.]

Insidious

The Guardian gave Chapter 4 2 stars. Jordan Hoffman likens Elise’s sidekicks Specs (played by screenwriter Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (played by Angus Sampson) to the Scooby-Doo gang with their Mystery Machine van. Hoffman bluntly states that the film “squanders its opportunities to get interesting.”

Although NPR’s Scott Tobias enjoyed the interplay between Lin Shaye’s Elise with Specs and Tucker, he tired when the film enters the predictable “The Further.”

RogerEbert.Com’s Simon Abrams warns viewers to bring a friend. He writes that the films really are improving but some viewers may miss the subtlety. He writes: “This one is almost good.”

Insidious: The Last Key’s release date was moved up in anticipation for February’s highly anticipated Winchester starring Helen Mirren as the haunted heiress to the Winchester gun fortune and the Irish film The Lodgers which has garnered solid reviews. If you’re a monthly moviegoer, see all three; however, if you must select one, choose The Lodgers.

Spontaneous Human Combustion Strikes Again

Tags

, , , , ,

SHC

Spontaneous Human Combustion May be Attributed to 2 Men’s Death in England

December 2017 ended with 2 suspicious cases of possible Spontaneous Human Combustion, also know as SHC. On December 15th, John Nolan burst into flames. The 70-year-old man was airlifted to the area hospital but died the next day. He suffered 3rd-degree burns to 65% of his body. Police did not find any accelerants by his body and continue to investigate.

A few weeks later on December 27th, police received calls about another man on fire on Thanet Road, Hull, England. Just like with Mr. Nolan, paramedics administered treatment only for him to succumb from his burns. Police are seeking the public’s help in solving these cases.

JohnNolan

Spontaneous Human Combustion is not fully embraced in the scientific communities. SHC occurs when a living human body catches fire without any external source. In nearly every case, only the body burns. Rarely are the surroundings effected. There are common threads in SHC cases: most victims are elderly people; the phenomenon occurs at home; the cause is a chemical reaction. Many witnesses notice a sweet smell in the area. The consistent characteristic is that the body is basically cremated—burned beyond recognition. Surprisingly, a small number of people survive.

SHC is not new. The earliest known case is from the 1400s where the Italian Knight Polonus Vorstius, a man who enjoyed copious amounts of wine every night, burst into flames after consuming “two ladles” of wine.

Two authors collected numerous cases and published the in the 1600s. Every century seems to have one SHC case.

In the United States, one case in 1951 still sparks interest. Mary Reeser, a 67-year-old retiree living at 1200 Cherry Street NE, Saint Petersburg, Florida, was found by her landlord. Only her left foot remained. Her death was ruled as “accidental death by fire of unknown origin.” Her possessions were shipped off to the FBI for analysis. The FBI concluded that the “robust woman” weighing 170 pounds fell asleep smoking a cigarette and her body fat caused the extraordinary cremation. Her death is known as the “Cinder Woman Case” and still generates debate.

MichaelFaherty

The most recent unsolved case stems from the 2010 death of Michael Faherty in Ballybane, Ireland. The 76-year-old man burst into flame and died. The local coroner, Dr. Ciaran McLoughlin, was unable to rule out SHC and issued a statement stating that Faherty “may have” spontaneously combusted.

There are several theories discounting SHC. One admits that there are things that self-ignite without the use of an accelerant; however, the human body is not one of them. They claim that there must be an accelerant. The second points to a medical condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, whereby a skin disease appears to have been burned due to adverse reactions to certain medications. It can be fatal; however, none of the people who die are turned to ash.

With stories appearing in mainstream media, spontaneous human combustion will remain a talking point until someone fully debunks the cases.

 

Police Clarify: Photo Is an Actual Human

Tags

,

Fake

Police Clarify: Photo Is an Actual Human

Police departments rarely issue statements regarding photographs that have gone viral. Instead, they usually wait for social media users to state the obvious: It’s fake. However, one police department felt the need to release a statement on a photograph taken on December 29, 2017. After conducting an investigation, the Probolinggo Police Station stated on December 31st that the image seen in the photograph is not a jinn or a vampire but merely a song guide covering his face from surveillance cameras.

There’s a lesson here. Rule out the obvious before claiming the extraordinary.

Phoenix Family Claims Ghost Wreaking Havoc for Christmas

Tags

, ,

Phoenix Family Claims Ghost Wreaking Havoc for Christmas

Rudy Calderon posted on December 24th, Christmas Eve, that he and his extended family were experiencing some interesting phenomena. It began with the “locked” kitchen drawers and cabinets opening in the morning. Coins from all over the world were spilled out. The Yiddish word for “danger” appeared in the shower. Finally, the toilets and bathtubs overflowed. Rudy took to Facebook for help. His posting leaves more questions than answers.

Rudy posts sporadically on Facebook. In 2017, he posted roughly 8 times on his public page. His posts are usually about his travels. According to media outlets, Rudy founded an affordable international travel company for college students to study abroad. He collects trinkets, specifically coins, from his travels. Rudy speaks at least two languages; however, he does not speak nor can he read Yiddish.

In one video, Rudy asked people via Facebook what the strange characters that were written onto the shower tiles spelled out. One person translated the word using Google Translate. He came up with a Yiddish word: “danger.” A reverse Google search does, in fact, come up with the spelling. For some odd reason, Rudy did not consider Google Translate as authentic. The young man continued to research and found an online Yiddish dictionary with the accurate, although older, spelling. Apparently, this rendition of the word is more modern.

Yiddish

In another video posting, Rudy stated that the family was leaving the word written in ash until someone blesses the house. He stopped posting comments on December 27th where he stated that they were still searching for someone to come bless the house. Few people suggested contacting a paranormal group to investigate. Rudy didn’t seem interested in that. He was looking for a quick, easy solution that would rid the family of these antics. Two weeks later and they still do not have any resolution.

In another posting, Rudy claimed that they set up a video camera to record through the night. It reportedly captured 6 hours of video. He hasn’t posted updates on whether the video camera picked up anything. Odds are it did not.

Most of the comments (actual comments and not merely tagging people) were supportive and offered good advice. Many had figured out how to translate the word. Most got the same meaning. Several encouraged him to reach out to a priest, rabbi, medium. No one asked why the kitchen drawers were locked at night.

Paranormal Study: Invest in a Proper Education!

Tags

, ,

PS--Logo

Paranormal Study: Invest in a Proper Education!

Begin 2018 by taking a class or two in paranormal studies. Although most major universities abandoned parapsychology departments years ago, there is a new online resource that debuted in 2018: Paranormal Study.

Founded by Tim Woolworth, expert in ghost box technology, the program offers courses in paranormal phenomena taught by seasoned veterans in the field. All for a reasonable price. Tim authors the first two courses: EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena and Working in the Light from Both Sides of the Veil. Both are offered for a flat fee of $20 per course or in a monthly subscription.

PS--Web

According to Tim, the program was conceived “to help educate people for their paranormal pursuits.” He correctly notes that there “are too few reliable sources” for people to learn about the field. However, the percentage of people interested in the paranormal continues to grow. There are a lot of amateurs dabbling out there. Now there is a reliable program utilizing the Internet to bring together some of the best people in the paranormal community. As Tim puts it: “Our goal is to help you Explore the Unknown.” Take him up on this. Invest in a proper education.

First Slender Man Stabber Sentenced

Tags

, , , , ,

Slenderman

First Slender Man Stabber Sentenced

In 2014, two 12-year old girls stabbed their “friend” 19 times in order to please the fictional Creepypasta character Slender Man. Both girls claimed mental illness as their defense. This week Anissa Weier pleaded guilty by reason of mental illness to the 2nd degree intentional homicide charge. She will spend at least 3 years in the Winnebago Mental Health Institute after being diagnosed with Schizotypy, a less severe delusional disorder. Her mental health supervision will last 25 years.

WeierGeyser

Weier and Morgan Geyser stood accused of the stabbings; both claimed mental illness. Geyser was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and also pleaded out. She will be sentenced in February.

The victim continues to suffer from the heinous attack. Her mother wrote to the Court that the event “has defined our lives.” Her mother stated that her daughter continues to live with the “emotional and physical scars” from that day.

Slender Man (or Slenderman) is a fictional character created by Eric Knudson in 2009. Knudson, under the user name Victor Surge, posted a story about a tall, thin shadow man. Internet users added to the initial story on the website Creepypasta, a fan-fiction site where users write short horror stories.

The stabbing was a warning to parents who assumed their children understood the difference between real and imaginary people. It was a cautionary tale that the Internet is not necessarily factually accurate. It also served as a reminder that Slenderman is a work of fiction and made-up.

 

Editorial Note: I intentionally omitted the victim’s name in order to protect her identity. Although her name may be found online, it should not. Her privacy, especially as a minor, is important.

Pentagon Still Investigating U.F.O.s

Tags

, , ,

PentagonImage

Pentagon Still Investigating U.F.O.s

This week the Pentagon confirmed that Congress funded researching extraterrestrials and unidentified flying objects (U.F.O.s) from 2007-2012 to the tune of $22 million per year. The U.S. government has always been interested in extraterrestrial life and began funding programs in 1952 with Project Blue Book. The program debunked most sightings; however, 701 cases remain unexplained. Despite media reports, the Pentagon is still investigating U.F.O.s.

Former Senator Harry Reid (D—Nevada) rekindled governmental funding for research in 2007 after talking about the possibility of alien life with former Senator and NASA astronaut John Glenn (D—Ohio). The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program is a secret program chartered for researching and investigating supposed sightings. During 2007-2012, the program funded research at Bigelow Aerospace, where subcontractors researched U.F.O.s and “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Media reports that the government no longer funds research.

However, the program was not truly shuttered. The government still investigates credible sightings by service members. No worries from Senator Reid. He recently tweeted out: The truth is out there. Seriously.

Harry Reid Tweet