Author: winter b

Midday Matinee – Scientist vs Believer

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Now that’s a provocative title: Scientist vs believer. But in truth scientists are believers, too, and don’t always yield to evidence. I’m quite sure that my partner is right when she says scientists won’t accept a hypothesis unless there’s a way to test it. Hypotheses must be testable, and they must predict outcomes with reasonable accuracy or they’re worthless. I get the worthless part. I even get the testing part. What sometimes drives me nuts is the body of so-called anomalies that get utterly ignored as outliers. For years science has denied the existence of ball lightning, despite thousands of years of eyewitness descriptions. There is one scientist who is attempting to create it in his warehouse lab to show that it can exist. Unfortunately, since he can’t reach the voltage of real lightning, his experiments remain questioned and questionable. And it will still leave the problem of a testable hypothesis with predictable outcomes. I’m not against science. Quite the contrary, I love science. But I get irritated when questions go begging for answers and anomalies are ignored because, well, we don’t have a testable hypothesis. Frankly, scientists accepted the predictions of Einstein’s theories even though they weren’t able to actually test and prove time dilation until we had space flight. (Although in fairness to science, they held off on accepting...

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Midday Matinee – Beauty Before Age

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. This isn’t really a gripe. It’s an observation. I’m used to being ignored. It creeps up on you with time, so it really isn’t something you notice. You think customer service isn’t as good as it used to be, you assume those folks are really that busy. But no. The first time I realized what was going on, which is ageism, was when I was in our local pharmacy with my eighteen-year-old daughter. Now my daughter is beautiful. She’s tall, statuesque and has a thousand-watt smile. That day she was suffering from a pretty severe sinus headache, so we struck out to find something that would relieve the pressure. I have been in that pharmacy hundreds of times, have perused the shelves hunting for something and never, ever have I been offered help unless I went to the counter and asked. But with my daughter there, things changed. The pharmacist instantly came from behind the counter to ask what we were looking for. He discussed her symptoms with her in depth, and then proceeded to recommend she take something we already had at home. I left laughing and told my daughter: remind me to take you with me everywhere if I’m going to need assistance. She thought I was joking. Uh, no. I’ve noticed it since. I can...

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Furthermore! – Georgia Guidestones: America’s Stonehenge or America Unhinged?

If ever there was an argument that someone wants a New World Order, the Georgia Guidestones are it. Since their erection on a hilltop in 1979, they have been surrounded by mystery, conspiracy theories, and some pretty wild claims. (More) Back in 1979 a man calling himself R.C. Christian appeared at the Elberton Granite Finishing in Georgia with an order for six huge granite stones. To this day, no one has been able to discover who R.C. Christian was, and even one of the stones itself says this was a pseudonym. But the monument remains, now the property of Elbert County, and has been the focus of both praise and infamy ever since. The stones themselves are impressive: four massive monoliths surround a center stone, rising up 18 feet to a capstone. They are astronomically aligned to the moon and the solstice, and even function as a sun dial, accurately timing noon each day by the way the sun passes between them. Altogether these stones weigh an amazing 240,000 pounds. That alone would be enough to garner them attention, but they are also engraved, and that’s where the controversy begins. A stone slab placed flat in the ground tells a brief tale of the stones: their astronomical alignments, their size, and their purpose: to lead to a New Age of Reason. That doesn’t sound so bad. The slab also says the stones were erected...

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Midday Matinee – I’ll take a UFO with that lie

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. There are some pretty strange reports of things flying around our skies, and there have been for a long time. I’ve even seen a real UFO (it was never identified or explained). I was about sixteen at the time, and like most people my age, I needed to be alone occasionally. Living in a small house with six people, that often meant I would go stand or sit outside at night and study the heavens. One night I was absently watching the planes taking off from our regional airport. Green, red and white lights were all I could see of the planes and they were too far away to hear. But it was something to follow with my eyes while I pondered the mysteries of the universe the way we do at that age. One, however, took off, rose to great height and then split. The red light went one way, the green light another, and the white light continued forward. It did not crash. The next afternoon our evening newspaper carried the story, saying that over 4000 people had called to report this oddity. The Air Force gave its usual response: we no longer investigate reports of this type. But it wasn’t until years later, after working with a defense contractor for many years, that...

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Midday Matinee – Talking to myself?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Well yes, I am talking to myself. All the time. I don’t like it when I catch myself. But I finally figured out why I do it. This subject inevitably leads me back to my great grandmother. I adored that woman. She made huge chunks of my childhood special, all the more appreciated because I had a plethora of grandparents (8) all of whom were divorced and remarried, and between them carried as much baggage as any army. In short, they were not the kind of grandparents who played with kids, baked cookies, or even hugged. Easy to see why my parents had problems. But then there was Great Grandma. Spry, cheerful, full of love. And she always made me feel so special. I used to love to sit on her lap while she rocked, and hold her conch shell to my ear to listen to the “ocean.” I still have that shell, and it still has a piece of tape inside it on which she’d written: “Promised to Susan age 5.” For years she saved a magazine because I loved the photo of pussy willows on the cover. She made the world’s best fresh squeezed lemonade in the evenings, and we’d sit on her shaded porch drinking it, watching the world go by. She was a real grandma, but one...

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