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Mind Over Matter on a Planetary Scale
Posted on 2002/1/8 22:48:02 ( 705 reads )


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PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, January 2, 2002: Intriguing research suggests that the collective horror across the globe on September 11, 2001, was so great it was recorded by machines. Evidence from a worldwide experiment that has been running since 1998 has lent credence to the belief that electrical energy generated by the human brain is powerful enough to exert an influence on objects -- in essence, that mind can move matter. The experiment, based at Princeton University, New Jersey, is known as the Global Consciousness Project (GCP). The research involves computers at 40 places across the world, producing a steady stream of random bits -- the digital equivalent of flipping a coin 200 times a second at each site. Normally the outcome will be about 50:50. But, field research in situations where large groups of people become integrated, such a concerts, shows a reduced randomness of the bits. Significant events in the last two years, such as the 2000 US presidential election, the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia and the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony have created blips on the data collection system large enough to hint that the combined focus of large numbers of people on the event produces an effect detectable on appropriate instruments. But these incidents were dwarfed by the extraordinary findings of September 11, when instruments recorded a marked aberration from the usual random data. Across the world, the project's machines remained less than random for three days. GCP director Roger Nelson said, " We do not know how the correlations that arise between electronic random event generators and human concerns come to be, and yet the results of our analysis over the past three years repeatedly indicate such correlations".




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Genetically Modified Corn Discovered in Mexican Farm Fields
Posted on 2002/1/8 22:47:02 ( 622 reads )


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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO December 29, 2001: Looking for a control sample for a project to produce natural, organic corn, a variety over 4,000 years old, Oaxaca's Uzachi agricultural researchers sought out the Zapotec Indian village of Calpulalpan in November, 2000. After analyzing the sample, they were surprised to find that it contained a gene common in genetically modified plants. Thinking that their equipment was not working properly, the researchers went back to the mountains for further samples. Only after venturing more than three hours from the state capital of Oaxaca were they able to find two fields out of six that did not contain engineered plants. Researcher Francisco Chapela published his findings in Nature science magazine in December of 2001. Mexicans were outraged by the findings mainly because of their belief that the Gods created man from an ear of corn. Scientists are concerned that the genetically modified corn, apparently coming from farmers who plant GM corn imported only for consumption, will contaminate Mexico's gene pool of at least 60 corn varieties that provide diversification to staple crops worldwide. Over 80 scientists from twelve countries have appealed to the Mexican government to stop the genetic contamination. On the flip side, advocates of GM corn claim they are not alarmed by the findings. They say the environment will benefit by planting these crops as they need less pesticide or soil cultivation. But the inability to control introduction of GM plants into the environment, with subsequent unknown consequences, has been one main objections to the rapid release of GM crops.




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MCC Blasts Religious Institution in Bihar
Posted on 2002/1/7 22:49:02 ( 672 reads )


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GAYA, INDIA, January 7, 2002: Naxalites of the banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) blew up a mutt (religious institution) at Khajbati village, about 15 km from Gaya. Police said the ultras attacked the mutt late on Sunday night and demolished part of it with dynamite. Later, they set fire to a jeep belonging to the institution. The head of the institution Mahanth Laxmanand Giri, who was severely beaten up, was admitted to a government hospital in Gaya in a serious condition. Police said the desperadoes also decamped with the cash chest of the mutt. No arrest has so far been made in connection with the incident. The Naxalites are communists who often engage in violent encounters with the police in a region of India across Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and parts of Tamil Nadu. Its members are called Naxalites after the eastern Indian town of Naxalbari, where their movement originated in 1967.




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Herbal Cures May Receive UK NHS Approval in 2002
Posted on 2002/1/7 22:48:02 ( 629 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, December 30, 2001: The beginning of 2002 may see the United Kingdom government giving the National Health Service stamp of approval on herbal remedies. Backed by the prime minister and his wife as well as thousands of other followers, the government plans to bring herbal remedies and maybe even acupuncture under statutory control. Presently general practitioner's could prescribe herbal remedies but they very seldom do because of legal responsibility. Under the new regulations, GP's could refer a patient to an alternative therapist who would prescribe the remedy. Herbalists are somewhat leery about the backing of the NHS as they feel many remedies are cheaper over the counter than by prescription, herbs are readily available now and the controlled regulations may up the price of many herbs.




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Sixty-Eighth Kanchi Shankaracharya to be Honored
Posted on 2002/1/7 22:47:02 ( 617 reads )


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KANCHI, INDIA, January 8, 2001: The Eighth Annual Aradhana of Jeevan Muktha and Parabrahmaswaroopi, the 68th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamigal will be performed at the Brindavan at Sri Matam Complex on Thursday, January 10, 2002. The week-long celebrations commence on January 5, 2002. Details of the Aradhana at Kanchipuram and elsewhere (Calcutta, Chicago, Atlanta, New Jersey etc.), as also daily updates at Kanchipuram are available at "source" above.




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Hindu Shadow Puppetry Loses Allure in Indonesia
Posted on 2002/1/4 22:49:02 ( 657 reads )


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JAKARTA, INDONESIA, January 2, 2002: The ancient world of the Indonesian wayang kulit, Indonesia's renowned shadow puppets, is fast disappearing. Sugiri, 47, a well-known dalang, or puppeteer, is carrying on a family tradition that goes back more than 300 years. "All my family and relatives can play dalang or play the instruments," said Sugiri. But although the wayang kulit retains a hard-core following on Java, the traditional puppet shows are struggling to maintain their popularity in an increasingly urbanized country awash in foreign soap operas and other cultural imports. Some Indonesians are fearful that they are fighting a losing battle to save their signature art form. There are only a few schools left where students can learn how to make and perform with the traditional puppets. Indonesia's economic crisis of the past four years has quickened wayang's retreat, making performances too expensive for many people. Puppetry was introduced to Indonesia about 900 years ago by traders and immigrants from India, Arabia, and China. In wayang kulit, the dalang sits on a mat behind an illuminated screen, manipulating the puppets to cast their shadows. The stories are sometimes based on local Javanese tales but more often on Javanese adaptations of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata.




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Government Offers Land for Ram Museum in Delhi
Posted on 2002/1/4 22:48:02 ( 656 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 3, 2001: The Indian government will allot land in the capital for the construction of a museum depicting the journeys of Lord Ram across the country. "While Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate [both built under British rule] reflect a century or so of our history, the museum would bring to life 10,000 years of the country's heritage and inspire people to visit all the places visited by Lord Ram," said Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar. Offering the plot of land to the Mahasangh, Kumar hoped the museum would be as grand as the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya. Equating "Ram darshan" [receiving blessing by the sight of Ram] with "Bharat darshan," Kumar said the story of Ram's journey should be incorporated in the curricula to make the younger generation aware of it.




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Muslim, Hindu, Christian Holidays Overlap in Guyana This Year
Posted on 2002/1/4 22:47:02 ( 760 reads )


Source: CNN





GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, January 4, 2002: Conflicting dates for holidays this year have Christians, Hindus and Muslims in Guyana asking how to honor all religious traditions without rescheduling some celebrations in the South American country. This year, the Hindu festival of Phagwah, Holi, which joyously celebrates spring and the Hindu new year, falls on the same day as the Christians' solemn Good Friday -- March 29. After many letters from readers debating whether some holidays should be rescheduled, the Stabroek News newspaper took a position in an editorial Friday, saying it is a major challenge for multi-faith societies such as Guyana. "There can be no question of any religious holiday being moved to another date," the newspaper said. "We just have to adapt to the situation and find ways of ensuring there is no unnecessary friction."




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Karnataka's Dattatreya Shrine, both Temple and Mosque
Posted on 2002/1/4 22:46:02 ( 707 reads )


Source: G. K. Nair, HPI correspondent





CHIKMAGALUR, KARNATAKA, January 4, 2002: The Dattatreya temple here is under the possession of Muslims for many years. It functions like a mosque, except on the Hindu holiday of Dattatreya Jayanti in December, when Hindus come to pay homage to the original God of the temple. Hindus come on others days as well, even though the Muslim rituals are going on. Now there has been a move by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal to post a Hindu priest there and to recover the actual icon of Lord Dattatreya which is said to be in a cave inside the shrine. The three-day "Datta Jayanti" celebrations which concluded at the Dattatreya Peeta had more than 15,000 persons come in from all over the State to pay homage at the hilltop shrine.




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California College of Ayurveda Certification Programs Start in April and June 2002
Posted on 2002/1/4 22:45:02 ( 630 reads )


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GRASS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, January 2, 2002: For those seeking a career path in the holistic health field, the California College of Ayurveda announces several programs that lead to certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (C.A.S.). The College's upcoming programs include full-time weekday studies starting April 23 in Grass Valley, California. The program runs three days per week for 15 months. They also offer extended weekend program starting June 7 in Oakland, California. Held one three-day weekend per month for approximately two years, the extended program provides an ideal way for students to work while attending school. Contact "source" above for more information.




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Australia Temple Prays for Rain to Stop Fires
Posted on 2002/1/3 22:49:02 ( 670 reads )


Source: Press Release





HELENSBURGH, AUSTRALIA, January 4, 2002: The Sri Venkateswara Temple announced today special ceremonies to invoke Varuna, God of the oceans, seas and water in general, for rain and the calming of the wind and fire threatening the area around Sydney. At least 15,000 firefighters have been battling the blazes, according to the BBC. There is no end in sight to the bush fires which are still threatening thousands of homes. One fire came dangerously close to the temple before it was extinguished by the local Rural Fire Service. Blazes have destroyed half a million hectares (1,235,000 acres) of bushland across the state for 12 days. More than 100 fires are still blazing. Ash from the fires -- which are visible from space -- has been dropping in New Zealand 2,200km (1,400 miles) away. The temple ceremony, called Varuna Homan, is being conducted in Australia for the first time. Temples around the world are invited to also pray that the fires be brought under control.




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Muslim Terrorists Who Attacked Hindu Temple Convicted in Malaysia
Posted on 2002/1/3 22:48:02 ( 614 reads )


Source: Reuters





KUALA LUMPAR, MALAYSIA, December 28, 2001: Convicting three men to death from a Muslim sect called the Al-Ma'unah and pronouncing a life sentence on 16 other members of the movement, a Malaysian court is trying to stop the self-declared jihad (holy war) in its country. In a stable country where ethnic Chinese and Indians also comprise part of the culture, Judge Zulkefli focused on the intent of the Muslim sect to form an Islamic state by pursuing an Islamic jihad. In the year 2001, the Muslim sect attacked a Hindu temple, a power company's electric tower, breweries, and an army base in Northern Malaysia where both a policeman and soldier were killed when the gang attempted to steal arms and ammunition.




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India's Home Minister in America
Posted on 2002/1/3 22:47:02 ( 690 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 3, 2002: Union Home Minister L K Advani's six-day visit to the United States beginning January 8 will take him across the country from New York to San Francisco and bring him face to face with some of the top decision-makers in the Bush Administration. These include Secretary of State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft who sent him the invitation, the Mayor of New York, the top brass of the FBI and the CIA. A ''brief session'' with President George Bush is also likely. Advani will be escorted to Ground Zero to pay his respects to the victims of the 9-11 attack. Advani's main agenda is to discuss ways to set up a strong intelligence-sharing mechanism between India and the United States.




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Meditation Works for Attention Deficit Disorder
Posted on 2002/1/3 22:46:02 ( 627 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, DECEMBER 30, 2001: Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be taught to meditate as an alternative way of controlling their behavior in a Sydney program that is the first of its kind. The children, aged 10 and under, will be taught meditation techniques practiced by devotees of Sahaja Yoga, a method of meditation founded in India. The techniques -- intended to relax the mind and to improve concentration -- include lying still and repeating affirmations. Program coordinator Dr. Ramesh Manocha said the unit decided to set up a trial program after requests from a number of teachers and schools looking for better ways of controlling classes with ADHD children. "We are not particularly interested in the spiritual dimension of Yoga, but its therapeutic use," he said. "ADHD is essentially a problem of attention control and meditation is a way of helping people control their attention span." ADHD is a behavioral disorder which affects up to one in 20 children. Currently an estimated 50,000 children in Australia use drugs to control ADHD.




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Inauspicious Beginnings Become Popular for Marriage
Posted on 2002/1/3 22:45:02 ( 1002 reads )


Source: Times of India





AMEDABAD, INDIA, JANUARY 1, 2002: As if the existing increase in the divorce rate in India wasn't enough, people are actually now planning to get married during astrologically inauspicious times. For example, some so-called progressive Gujaratis have started ignoring the no-marriages-during Kamurta tradition. Many are getting married in Kamurta (December 14 to January 14), a time when in Gujarat even government projects will not be inaugurated. Maulik Shah, a wedding invitation expert, says the main reason for having marriages during Kamurta is the easy availability of decorators, wedding planners and caterers who are normally out of work during the inauspicious month. Another is that non-resident Gujaratis return to Gujarat to arrange marriages during their Christmas vacation period in the West. Some astrologers argue, for unknown reasons, that the Kamurta applies only to residents of Gujarat, not to the expatriates who stay abroad.




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