The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis: ‘…the study of hypnotic phenomena is

now squarely in the domain of normal cognitive science, with papers on hypnosis published in some

of the most selective scientific and medical journals. Of course, spectacles such as “stage hypnosis”

for entertainment purposes have not disappeared. But the new findings reveal how, when used

properly, the power of hypnotic suggestion can alter cognitive processes as diverse as memory and

pain perception.’ Scientific American

Dead Man Talking: “When all that’s left of your loved one is a voice on an answering machine, how can you hit delete? … People have been struggling to deal with the artifacts their late lamented leave behind at least since humans began to bury their dead… But it’s the unearthly outgoing announcements on the answering machines that have given ‘Hi, I’m not here right now’ new meaning. Washington Post

Veteran U.S. Envoys Seek End to Executions of Retarded; they ‘say the practice puts the

United States at odds with the rest of the

world, creates diplomatic friction, especially

with European allies, tarnishes America’s

image as the champion of human rights and

harms broader American foreign policy


Calling the execution of the mentally

retarded a “cruel and uncivilized practice,”

the diplomats say that it subjects the United

States to “daily and growing criticism from

the international community.” ‘ New York Times

Daring Marketers Add Fizz To Fruit, Milk, Cereal, Yogurt. Believe this publicity and brace yourself for an onslaught of carbonation in all sorts of food ranging from coffee to fruit and breakfast cereal. An adherent suggests that a small carbonation box will be the next must-have kitchen appliance. It’s Pop Rocks for the new millennium.

Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in ’74 — “The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February,

2000 when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable

brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient

in cannabis.’ AlterNet

Review: The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy

by Noreena Hertz argues that

“a combination of globalisation, and the growing power of major

corporations, mainly American and European, is rendering democratic

governments impotent to influence key decisions that affect the lives of

ordinary people. So far, so conventional. But she takes the argument one

step further. In surrendering to the global capitalists, governments are

themselves debasing democracy, making it quite useless for people to

vote. People sense their powerlessness and the redundancy of ballot-box

politics, and take to the streets of Seattle, Davos, the City of London,

or wherever.

So direct action usurps democracy.” The Guardian UK

A Mind for Consciousness: Can we find specific neuron groups in our brains that are the seat of consciousness? Can we get at this with an animal model, when it’s not even certain animals are ‘conscious’ in the required sense? Hero worship of a neuroscientist tattooed with the Apple logo… Scientific American

A Vegas for veterans: “The planned World War II monument looks like a white elephant. Why not

focus on rebuilding lives rather than a feel-good memorial?” Arianna Huffington in


Time for justice in Oklahoma: “Although it was an unfortunate tragedy, the Oklahoma City bombing was

not — as it has been labeled in the media — the worst act of domestic

terrorism in peacetime America. If body count, property destruction and

the generational effect on human life is the measure, then the worst act

of domestic terrorism in peacetime America was the 1921 massacre of an

estimated 300 mostly African-Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma.”