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Archive for April, 2008

The Marie Celeste Ghost Ship

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he Mary Celeste (sometimes incorrectly spelt Marie Celeste) was a brigantine discovered in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and under full sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar in 1872. The fate of the crew is the subject of much speculation; theories range from alcoholic fumes to underwater earthquakes, along with a large number of fictional accounts. The Mary Celeste is often described as the archetypal ghost ship.The Mary Celeste was a 103-foot (31 m), 282-ton brigantine. She was built in 1861 as the Amazon at Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia, the first large vessel built in this community.

The Universe – Dangerous Places

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n The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe, we take a tour of the cosmic hot zones and danger areas. We journey through black holes, galaxy mergers, gamma ray bursts and magnetars. Super massive black holes can ‘lasso’ the Earth out of the solar system. A clash between two galaxies can result in a barbaric ritual called ‘galactic cannibalism’ in which the dominant galaxy’s super massive black hole literally eats the weaker one. Magnetars are a cosmic magnetic force so strong it could wipe out data on every credit card on the planet. Cutting-edge computer graphics are used to bring the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on other planets, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres.

The Universe – Constellations

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onstellations are formed of bright stars which appear close to each other on the sky, but are really far apart in space. The shapes you see all depend on your point of view. Many societies saw patterns among the stars with gods and goddesses or stories from their culture.

Most of the constellations with which we are familiar come from ancient Greece. But other civilizations created their own patterns in the sky based on stories and people that were important to them.

Many peoples noticed that the planets, the moon, and comets moved through the sky in a different way than the stars.

Because of the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun, we divide the constellations into two groups. Some constellations never rise nor set, and they are called circumpolar. All the rest are divided into seasonal constellations. Which constellations will be circumpolar and which seasonal depends on your latitude.

The Man Who Walked Across the World

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series of documentary travelogues in which Tim Mackintosh-Smith follows in the footsteps of 14th Century Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah, who covered 75,000 miles, 40 countries and three continents in a 30-year odyssey. He was islam’s and perhaps the world’s greates traveller

The Man Who Walked Across The World – 1 – Wanderlust

1 – Beginning in north Africa, Tim visits Battutah’s birthplace of Tangier in Morocco, and stumbles on a performance of medieval trance music. In Egypt, he goes to a remote village where Battutah had an astonishing prophetic dream and visits the world’s oldest university in Cairo.

The Man Who Walked Across The World – 2 – Magicians and Mystics

2 – Magicians and Mystics. In an effort to smash the West’s monolithic view of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith follows in the footsteps of 14th Century Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah, who covered 75,000 miles, 40 countries and three continents in a 30-year odyssey. In Turkey, Tim watches an illegal whirling dervish ceremony, and in the Taurus mountains he meets the last of the Turkoman nomads. He chats to Tatars in Crimea, while in Delhi he watches a Muslim magician performing the Indian rope trick.

The Man Who Walked Across the World – 3 – Trade Winds

In an effort to change the West’s monolithic view of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith follows in the footsteps of 14th Century Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah, who covered 75,000 miles, 40 countries and three continents in a 30-year odyssey. He explores the place of Islam in Hindu-dominated India and also China, and tells the story of the Islamic trade empire of the 14th century.

Mind Science

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cientists, with the help of Buddhist monks and the Dalai Lama, are unlocking mysteries of the brain. Can a person really “re-wire” his or her own brain? In this Tuesday’s episode of “Dan Rather Reports: Mind Science” Rather and his team investigate the new scientific field of neuroplasticity. This study examines the brain’s never-ending ability to change — giving researchers new hope for treating disease and improving life as we age.

The study of neuroplasticity has caught the attention of many, including one of the most revered spiritual and philosophical leaders of our time, the Dalai Lama himself. Buddhist Monks who study with the Dalai Lama (and devote their time to rigorous meditation training) now find themselves at the forefront of advanced research performed at the University of Wisconsin. This research is looking to find the connection between the mind, emotion and the brain.

In this episode, Rather speaks to the Dalai Lama about this research and how the study of the mind’s power over emotion in the brain can change people’s lives.

“I think, from my viewpoint, my expectation, through experiment or through investigation, we will find certain ways to tackle our destructive emotion and try to reduce this negative emotion and increase positive emotion,” the Dalai Lama told Rather in a recent interview.

Rather also speaks with Nobel Prize winning doctor, Eric Kandel who discovered how the brain changes to store memories. Dr. Kandel is also currently researching a drug that may slow the affects of age-related memory loss in human beings.

Also in this episode, Rather and his team speak to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco who have developed “exercise” programs for the brain. These programs can help improve aging brains by speeding up the way the brain processes sounds and sights.

The program also travels to the University of Alabama to visit with stroke victims who “retrain” their brains in order to reverse the damaging affects that a stroke has had on their bodies.

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  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It's the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead."
    ~ Albert Einstein (1930)."
  • "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet."

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