Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Paranormal things.

It's Halloween time again.  Time for all things creepy to take center stage and hog all the spotlights.  There is a word for all the things we like to think about around Halloween.  it's called the PARANORMAL.  Para from the french parachute and normal from the American abnormal.  Literally means 'I think you pulled that story out of your backside'.  Some people are unaware of all of the OTHER things that are also classified as paranormal and might like to broaden their Halloween horizons.

to wit and not in any particular order...

10. Ghosts - For me, this is what Halloween is all about.  I love a good ghost story.  It's the apex of mans innate fear of his own mortality.  The desperate hope for some existence albeit tortured, beyond this one.  Do I believe in an afterlife?  Yes, I suppose I do.  The only thing I know about it, is that it's completely different than anything anyone has ever thought of in our current mortal state.  I have written several blogs covering ghosts.  I hope you'll re-read them.   In short.  I don't believe in them, and yet I really do enjoy the idea of ghosts.  At this point I'm more inclined to believe that they are images from parallel realities that somehow overlap into our own.  Yeah, far fetched I know.

9. Psychic Phenomenon - I've had my hand at being psychic.  I'm pretty good at it. There are a lot of elements to psychic phenomenon though, clairvoyance is just one among many.  There is the medium that can contact the ghosts mentioned above.  there are those called 'sensitive' that can sense influences from an unseen world.  Distance viewing, the ability to project ones consciousness across vast distances, was even experimented with by military organizations in several countries.  They all involve our brain.  The problem is, the results are not clinically reproducible   This doesn't mean they can't happen, it just means it can't happen on any kind of measurable scale on demand.  As a result it also opens up the field to all kinds of fraudulent fortune tellers and mentalists.

8. UFO's - Unidentified Flying Objects.  In case you were living under a rock, or on board a spaceship that would like a better, more informed view into human societal relationships.  As a race, we humans are more and more intrigued with the idea that intelligent life from outer space is not only interested in us, but is interested in helping us.  I've discussed the elements and characteristics of Aliens in a separate blog.  Anything that is flying that you can't identify is technically a UFO.  Don't forget the UFO's little sister the USO.  Unidentified Sea Object.  these are ostensibly not aliens, but a race we don't run into much because they are from the bottom of the ocean.  They create craft that can interact with us, but they find us to be both violent and stupid and would rather not have anything to do with us.  Men in Black also fall under this heading.  Like the movie, these ill dressed aliens go around erasing peoples memories about extra terrestrials but not with nifty technology (as far as we know), but with vague threats and sinister intent.  Most sighting of UFO's will include some kind of resume about the viewer having been around a lot of airplanes and that was not like any airplane THEY'VE ever seen.  Of course we later come to find that 99% of all UFO sightings end up being military experimental stuff.  Is it because they are working in conjunction with aliens?!  maybe.  They aren't telling.

7. Exo-Biology - This covers Big Foot, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, Gorilla's and Orangutans.  What's that you say?  We've verified the existence of the last 2?  Yeah, I guess we have.  So to say that the others aren't possible is really kind of ignorant of the fact that we simply haven't discovered ALL of the animals on our little blue ball yet.  Any kind of strange animal that has more fancy and folklore about it than fact falls under this category.  Normally, if we can't identify it or capture or kill it, we don't believe it exists.  I presume pet ghosts also fall under this category, though I'm not really sure.  I think there are explanations for all of these creatures (the living ones anyway).

6. Religion - Hey now Mark, you are treading on thin ice here.  Yes I probably am.  But ultimately Religion often asks believers to assume certain fantastic events to be fact without evidence as we know it, but simply through faith.  As an exercise, take a good hard look at the deep religious philosophy of a religion that is not your own.  It seems strange doesn't it?  There are paranormal events that claim to occur in the name of religion all the time.  One of the more fantastic ones involve the liquification of a mass of solid holy blood during a ceremony.  For Christians, the bible itself contains many tales of paranormal events that can only be explained by the 'Hand of God'.  Even within Christianity, if you've ever attended a service of a church that is not your particular denomination, it all seems kind of strange, doesn't it?

5. Zombies. - These come in a separate place because They are kind of in vogue these days.  The idea that somehow the person that you once were now is a flesh/brain eating being that only knows to continually search for food. The idea that this could happen at all is ludicrous.  A zombie of of course is a human body that has been taken over by either a magic or parasite rendering the individual personality of the person inside that body to be dead.  The body now only hunts for brains/human flesh.  The old version of zombie just meant someone that was under the control of someone else.    On the other hand, there are some strange practices that involve a near trans like state of the individual (which usually involves some kind of mind altering drug) that makes them very suggestible.  Granted this is not the brain slurping zombie we all know and love, but some definitions change over time.

4. De Ja Vu - This is in a separate category because we've all experienced this.  The idea that you have already experienced an event and you already know what is going to happen next.  The feeling is so vivid that you could swear you know what will happen.  I don't have a problem with this.  I'm just not sure what to make of it.  My dad used to say that when you experience it, it means you are on the right track.  I'm really not sure what THAT means either.  I think that your brain optimizes similar experiences and sometimes gets it wrong.  some neurons fire that shouldn't and bingo, instant memory of something that hasn't happened yet.

3. Spontaneous Human Combustion - When I was a wee lad of tender years, this one really freaked me out. The idea the people could just burst into flame and turn to ash without disturbing their surroundings spooked me.  People would be found as a 1/2 burned pile of ash but with a leg or arm still intact. How does that work?! Weird.  It doesn't seem to happen as much anymore.  Probably because people are used to calling for help when they find themselves on fire now.  Maybe it was rude to ask for assistance back then.

2. Vampires - This doesn't fall under exobiology, nor does it fall under Psychic phenomenon.  If anything, it falls under religion and yet it's not a good fit there either.  Vampires like zombies are created through contact with other Vampires, but the Idea behind this fictional species is that you are either food or eventually enslaved by the Vampire that has bitten you.  You essentially become a part of their down line in a blood related multilevel marketing scheme.  They have lots of powers and in some cases will actually sparkle, much to their chagrin.  They bite their victims and suck/eat their blood.  If they feel so inclined, they will turn you into a vampire, otherwise, they just kill you.  There ARE some real life counterparts to this that aren't nearly as fantastic.  They mostly seem to be overly dramatic people that really want to stand out with the other people that stand out like them.

1. Politics - This has elements of nearly everything above.  The Candidates appear to be both alien and born and raised here.  They haunt your TV with ads like only the most annoying poltergeist would dare.  You believe you've seen them all before saying the same things, because you have De Ja yuck.  They appear to be under the slavish control of their respective parties like zombies.  Like religion, they would like the faithful in their party to ignore the problems and focus on the good parts of the candidate.  After you've seen enough of their commercials, you would rather spontaneously combust than see another one.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, October 1, 2012

10 'entitled' people

During the course of our lives, we find that we all feel like we are entitled to something.  Some of us more than others.  Sometimes it depends on our circumstance, other times it depends more on our disposition.  These are 10 entitled people that I've seen,  Not all the people in any given category have the feeling of entitlement, but in a stereotypical way, many do.

10. Exercisers - Specifically those that exercise on the roads and sidewalks.  They seem to think that they have so much right to the pavement that others should simply understand that they need to get out of the way.  These oblivious workout mavens often wander around the road and it's up to you to keep them safe while you ride around in your lazy fuel burning non exercising conveyance.

9. Motorcyclists - I've always liked the idea of a motorcycle.  it seems really exciting.  The problem is, it's small and completely without any kind of protection.  If you wear a helmet, that's probably a good idea.  But they zip around on the road in ways that a car would never dare.  They buzz down the lines during busy traffic and take liberties around the cars that they should be the most careful around.  If motorcycles were invented a year ago, there is NO WAY they would ever be considered street legal.  Yet here they are, legal and driving around like they can't get hurt.  Cars that have bumper stickers that say 'Start seeing motorcycles' should have another one that says 'Start seeing cars'.

8. Kids and Allowance - When kids are young, they have an idea of what allowance is, but they are really not sure about money or anything else.  As they get older and the allowance begins to mean more, they believe that their allowance is a part of a regular program.  When they are taken off allowance and put on chores to earn money, they initially are annoyed that money they once got for just existing now must come by the sweat of their brow.  That's if you're lucky and persistent.  Otherwise, the allowance comes without actual regard to the tasks performed.  If the payment for the 'chores' is not requisite to the task, the kids will not appreciate an actual job where they will likely be paid less for harder work.

7. Artists - When I speak of artists, I do not speak of those that work with different mediums to create artwork both commercial and personal.  I'm talking about the Ar-teest.  Those that believe that their high minded ideas are in fact so important that they can not be bothered with the shackles and trappings of regular life within the species.  I understand the importance of creating representations and points of view.  It's what separates us from the animals.  Art that finds nobody to value it other than the artist is still technically art, may be ahead of it's time, but it is not entitled to much else.

6. College Graduates - It's sad really.  The state of the Wizard of Oz like sheen that Academic Education once enjoyed is on the ropes and probably on it's last legs.  You see, people that used to get their degree would assume that they could find gainful employ.  These graduates believe that they should have employment by force of their certification.  Now that this isn't the case, many decide to default on their loans and leave them for everyone else to pay.  99% indeed.

5. Relatives - There are some relatives that believe that because of their relationship with other members of their blood that they can take advantage of that relationship in any number of ways.  It doesn't happen in every family but it happens in enough of them that it makes the list.  Every family seems to have that member that believes that they are entitled to the resources of everyone else in their family.  After all, if you can't count on family, who can you count on.  Just be thankful you have family, and don't feel entitled.

4. People with God/Not God on their side - Somehow people with convictions that they can't prove specifically seem to believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion.  They blather on about what you should or shouldn't believe in.  As though they've had thoughts that are unique and new to everyone around them.  Their feeling of entitlement is nothing more than to be taken seriously based on what they believe.  I often wonder if this force is actually born of their lack of belief and their desire to continually re-establish it.

3. People that need expertise that you have - I've noticed this in computers, but I think it's probably true in many professions.  If someone needs help and you can give it to them.  They assume that you are duty bound by your knowledge to not only give it to them, but in a way that doesn't make them feel bad about not knowing what you know.  Of course the difference is when the person that expects this also happens to be the person that signs your paycheck.

2. Original Story Fans - This day and age we have come to realize that there are only so many stories to tell. They are all variations on a theme.  The trick is in presenting that tale in a way that seems fresh to the observer.  In the case of movie remakes, there is always an original.  Those fans of the original seem to be entitled to tell people how the remake SHOULD BE.  I've likely been guilty of this myself.

1. Large Campaign Donors - So you want your guy to win.  Bravo.  You want that candidate to win so badly that you actually give that person a bit of your hard earned money.  When you donate a little, you have little or no right to expect any kind of favor from the representative of your choice.  However for some reason if you donate a LOT of money, you seem to think that you have something coming to you.  This is a problem no matter where it presents itself.  This is why Campaign finance reform is so important.

Well, that's the list.  Sorry if it's more toothy than usual, but I guess I'm all out of gummy subjects.  Thanks for reading!