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Andes Ancient Sacred Sites Alignment – Lost Global High Culture?

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By Dave Truman | GrahamHancock.com

In the 1970s the Dutch-Peruvian mathematician, Maria Sholten D’Ebneth wrote a book in which she claimed to have discovered, or rediscovered, an alignment of pre-Columbian sacred sites stretching from the ancient city of Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) in Bolivia to north of the city of Cajamarca in northern Peru. The alignment appeared to be on a celestial scale and covered a distance of around 1,000 miles (1,600 km), cutting across some of the highest mountains and steepest gradients in the entire world. The mathematician found that the alignment had a precise orientation of exactly 45° west from True North, following the twin parallel lines of the Andean peaks that lie to the north of the 18th parallel.

Published only in Spanish, and now out of print even in that language, Sholten D’Ebneth’s, La Ruta de Wiracocha (The Way of Viracocha)icontains a wealth of information hardly known to the English-speaking world. The alignment’s association with Viracocha, the great Andean creator god, teacher and civiliser of humankind, is a highly significant one. Many legends concerning the feats of Viracocha speak of his undertaking a journey, from the city of Tiwanaku towards the Northwest, eventually to leave the shores of South America’s Pacific coast around the present day border between Peru and Ecuador. Viracocha’s legendary journey, Sholten D’Ebneth revealed, corresponded with her own geometrical discovery of the alignment of many of the most ancient and sacred sites in the Andes, including the famous ones at Cusco (Cuzco), Ollantaytambo and, of course, the great and mysterious complex of Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco).

Related Article: The Lore and Lure of Ley Lines

Andean landscape and geometry

The many megalithic sites along the Way of Viracocha have long given rise to theories and speculations about who built them and to controversies about when they were built. At this juncture, it is perhaps worth pondering the sheer technical challenge of surveying this vast alignment across some of the most rugged, remote and mountainous terrain on earth. Indeed, my own research and that of others, indicate that the alignment could extend beyond Tiwanaku.

When I plotted the Route of Viracocha, I had the benefit of using software such as Google Earth® and Marble. These programs enabled me to employ a spherical projection of the whole globe, rather than the “flat” Mercator Projection apparently used in previous decades. As we will see later, using this map projection yielded rather different results from those of some earlier researchers. This became evident when I extended Sholten D’Ebneth’s alignment beyond Tiwanaku towards the Southeast. If my findings are correct, it implies that whoever surveyed the Way of Viracocha, not only had an understanding of the earth’s curvature, but also understood the principles of spherical trigonometry.iiIt is equally likely that those who undertook this work knew the dimensions of the Earth. The question then arose in my mind: could it be that Viracocha, the great teacher and restorer of civilisation in the Andes, in some way embodied the scientific knowledge of a sophisticated, but long forgotten high culture?

Some geological considerations

Another curiosity struck me as I pondered various maps of South America. The very topography of the Andes seems to coincide with the 45° geometry of Sholten D’Ebneth’s rediscovery. It is almost as if whoever first conceived of the alignment had wanted to emphasise the 45° NW orientation of the stupendous panorama of summits and high plateaux that lie to the north of the Andean 18th parallel. At the southern end of the great alignment, the direction of the two chains of rugged peaks changes dramatically. This is the Andes’ widest point and, from following a diagonal from northwest to southeast, the mountains veer sharply due south. This latitude – almost exactly 18° south of the Equator – marks the northernmost edge of what is known as El Cono Sur; South America’s great continental cone that tapers southwards towards Antarctica.

South of the 18° latitude the chemical composition of the high plateau, or altiplano separating the parallel chains of mountains, is extremely salty. Southern Bolivia’s mountain plateau is speckled with saline lakes and salt flats that stretch down as far as the provinces of Salta and Córdoba in northern Argentina. They are the lingering and still evaporating vestiges of the vast Lake Tauca that had once covered the entire length of the Andean plateau at the end of the last Ice Age. Geological convention has it that the lakes and salt flats are simply the remnants of glaciers that melted gradually in the transition to our modern era, known to geologists as the Holocene. However, glacier melt-water alone cannot explain the presence of such high levels of salt on the altiplano’s southernmost reaches.

The marked differences in the concentrations of salt present in the various pockets of water on the Andes also interested the great Austrian-Bolivian researcher Arthur Posnansky. He spent almost fifty years systematically studying the geology and archaeology of Tiwanaku and its surrounding landscape. He took samples from numerous lakes on the altiplano and compared them with the waters trapped in the lakes of the high peaks, or Cordilleras, running along either side. Curiously, he found that the water from lakes in the higher mountains generally contained relatively little salt, whereas many of those from the Altiplano below had much higher concentrations. Posnansky came to the view that there had been several floods at the end of the last Ice Age in the Andes. Perhaps most significantly, he concluded that the earlier inundations had been of seawater; followed later by fresh water floods when the glaciers melted some time afterwards.iii

As we shall see later, further clues as to what really happened at the end of the last Ice Age may be found in the legends of the Aymará people living in the remote villages dotted around the southern altiplano in the Bolivian province of OruroOf course, in order to accept these legends as evidence, we must first accept that there has been some degree of cultural continuity between some 12,800 years ago and the present time. Intriguingly, some Aymará legends tell of a far more catastrophic and complex sequence of events in those remote times than the slow and steady melting of glaciers. A deeper understanding of such legends could help us to fathom why there is just so much salt present on one of the world’s highest mountain plateaux, at around two and a half miles (4 kilometres) above the level of the neighbouring Pacific Ocean.

Photograph of one of Posnansky's excavations at the Kalasasaya, Tiwanaku. Although there is a retaining wall between the megaliths, its height reaches only to the level of the ground. Note also the regular and shallow indentations on the side of the nearest megalith, which may indicate the use of a stone-softening technology.Photograph of one of Posnansky’s excavations at the Kalasasaya, Tiwanaku. Although there is a retaining wall between the megaliths, its height reaches only to the level of the ground. Note also the regular and shallow indentations on the side of the nearest megalith, which may indicate the use of a stone-softening technology.

Modern reconstruction of part of the Kalasasaya, with its retaining wall almost equal to the height of the megalith. Note the tenon at the top of the megalith; similar features are present on most of the others. Do these indicate that the Kalasasaya's megaliths once supported another structure, perhaps a roof?Modern reconstruction of part of the Kalasasaya, with its retaining wall almost equal to the height of the megalith. Note the tenon at the top of the megalith; similar features are present on most of the others. Do these indicate that the Kalasasaya’s megaliths once supported another structure, perhaps a roof?

The minds of Ice Age people: “primitive,” or just very different from our own?

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The possibility that people in the Andes as far back as the last Ice Age were skilled in surveying, knew the dimensions of the Earth and could employ spherical trigonometry is intriguing enough in itself. For me, it raises questions as to whether humanity’s existence in the Pleistocene (Ice Age) really did consist exclusively of small very isolated bands of hunter-gatherers who were clinging on for dear life against all odds, and who developed sophisticated achievements only after the slow and steady transition to warmer times. The standard view of human endeavours in this period allows no time or inclination on the part of our ancestors to cultivate what we may now think of as higher learning. Still less does it admit to the possibility that people could travel long distances around the world, conceive of complex ideas collectively, or undertake projects on a vast scale. What if life in most of the last Ice Age, at least for some people, was very different from what we’ve been led to think? There is now mounting geological evidence of two catastrophic punctuations at the very end of the last period glaciation. These were on such a scale that they could quite easily have obliterated most of any human achievements that may have existed prior to their impact.

Yet the question remained as to why anyone should even want to exert so much effort and energy in constructing megalithic sites that aligned over such a vast distance. If this was higher learning, it was not produced by anything like our modern western education system – that is for certain. I am starting to realise that we in the modern West invariably stick our own cultural labels of “religion,” “progress,” “function,” “survival” or of whatever else on to the remnants of the past in order to fashion ancient peoples into our own image. We have almost no idea if our Pleistocene ancestors thought the way we do, but we readily assume this to be the case. I started to realise just how much their minds may have been different from ours when I considered the geometry of the Way of Viracocha. What is distinct about this great alignment is that its features correspond, geometrically speaking, to those of its mountainous environment. Equally, as we have just seen, it displays a close relationship to the orientation of the Andes lying to the north of the 18th parallel.

I found another clue to this different mode of thinking when I noticed how the Milky Way seems to shift its position across the sky throughout the Andean year from our earthly perspective. Put simply, the great celestial river is not fixed rigidly in the heavens; its angle and position appear to change, as and when the Earth’s seasons down below do. In the season culminating in the December southern summer solstice, the Galaxy traces the exact same NW-SE path through the heavens as does the Way of Viracocha and, of course, as do the Andes. Without doubt, the December solstice was an important time in the high mountains and plateaux, marking as it did – and still does – the cardinal point of the rainy season. This was so necessary for the growth of crops and the stimulation of new life. We would be mistaken, however, if we confined our thoughts about this deliberate synchronisation of Heaven and Earth to agriculture alone. The sheer effort involved in constructing the Way of Viracocha, which must have been undertaken over many years, argues strongly against this. At this stage in my investigation, I needed to keep in mind questions as to why these people should have made all of this effort, as much as to how they had set about the task.

It seemed that the Hermetic dictum of As Above, So Below applied equally to the world-view of those who conceived of this great enterprise as it did in Egypt, Arizona, Southeast Asia, or in a plethora of other places across the world. There are, in fact, tangible relics that attest to the ancient Andean shaman-astronomers’ profound understanding of the symmetry of Heaven and Earth, but they are rarely recognised as such by the adherents of conventional archaeology. The builders of ancient Tiwanaku employed an architectural convention known as anticefalo(literally “head against head”). You would be hard put to find examples of this if you visit its ruins today, but specimens do exist in the Archaeological Museum in the city of La Paz. Anticefalos usually depict a stylised relief carving of a human form on the bottom part of a stone column. Immediately above this is carved an identical figure, but inverted. The net result is a kind of mirror image of the human form, so that the tops of the heads of the two figures create the meeting point between them. The standard archaeological interpretation is that this is merely a stylistic device, but I think that it encodes a profound metaphysical principle.

Related Article: Some Bizarre Facts — Fifth Excerpt From The Great Pyramid’s Blessed Curse

Posnansky's photograph of a damaged column showing the anticefalo motif.Posnansky’s photograph of a damaged column showing the anticefalo motif.

Other physical relics of this ancient appreciation of the symmetry of Heaven and Earth are what I call watery star-mirrors, for want of a better term, which were used from the very earliest of times. They consisted of holes, or receptacles, that were filled with water to create a mirror image of the heavens on the water’s surface. If you are lucky enough to visit an archaeological site in the Andes possessing any of these, your tour guide will probably tell you that they were used by the ancient peoples to gaze at the stars. He or she will then promptly usher you on to look at something else. The guide’s explanation, although technically accurate, is hardly adequate and makes little sense without any cultural or functional context. In the view of the Peruvian architect and archaeo-astronomer, Carlos Millena Villena, aquatic star-mirrors were devices that enabled the Andean knowledge-keepers, known as amautas, to construct temples, geoglyphs and other sacred places in the most auspicious locations, through replicating on the earth’s surface the geometry of particular asterisms.iv They also seem to have been a technology of time as much as of astro-terrestrial geometry in that the mirrors were located facing upwards in such a way as to reflect the light of particular stars, such as Sirius, Alcyon, or the Sun, on significant dates.v

By far, most of the vast complex of Tiwanaku, which includes ruins beneath present-day Lake Titikaka – more than 12 miles (20km) from the restored part of the Metropolis – has yet to be excavated (in the 1980s, an aerial survey estimated that the ruins of the complex not currently beneath the waters of the Lake covered some 1,038 acres, or 420 hectares).vi Tiwanaku’s most recent excavations, in the little-known area called the Kantatallita, have revealed a number of immense stone slabs that look to have been cut precisely by machine tools. The workings on the face of the slabs include an array of several round and rectangular shaped recesses, which probably functioned as star-mirrors. There is no doubt that in later times the Incas used star-mirrors, but the technology was certainly employed by much earlier Andean cultures, including the unknown one that occupied the very ancient site of Pukara Grande in southern Bolivia, which features towards the end of this article.

Star-mirror at Pukara Grande, southern BoliviaStar-mirror at Pukara Grande, southern Bolivia

Although its flat summit has now been scooped out by treasure hunters, Tiwanaku’s Akapana Pyramid was once the location of a large star-mirror that took the form of an Andean cross, or chakana (see below for an explanation of the significance of the chakana’s geometry). It is not beyond the bounds of reason to wonder if this, and the other star-mirrors of Tiwanaku, were used to gauge when the Milky Way overhead reached an angle of 45°, when it would have aligned with the Cordilleras that stand on each side of the great Andean Metropolis. As we know, the solstice was an important time of the year in terms of material well being, but that was just the reflection on the surface of a wider and deeper cosmological meaning. Before we examine the mirroring of the Milky Way further, it is worth mentioning a curious but related fact. The British researcher Mark Vidlervii discovered that during our present era, the heavens’ brightest star Sirius passes directly over Tiwanaku along its path in the heavens running from east to west. This could be dismissed as arbitrary and coincidental, were it not for the timing of this celestial event – at the halfway point of a precessional cycle of 25,920 years from the ending of the last Ice Age. I cannot help but wonder if those who originally surveyed and established Tiwanaku’s location were trying to tell us something about the rhythms of cataclysmic change on Earth and in the Solar System.

Again, the question arises as to why the amautas of the Andes would go to the trouble of creating star-mirrors just to study the heavens, when they could simply have looked upwards in order to do so? As we have just seen, placing star-mirrors in specific positions would have helped them to determine the timing of certain key events, but there must have been other reasons for this practice. Staring at reflective objects – such as crystal balls – for long periods of time in something known as scrying, can induce a form of autohypnosis. The fact that these watery mirrors constantly reflected the stars and planets above, by virtue of their being placed face-upwards, perhaps hints that they were used for a sophisticated form of scrying. The emerging findings of my research have led me to the view that the ancient shamans of Tiwanaku took this process a step further than this, even. In effect, star-mirrors were a kind of astro-shamanic technology that enabled human consciousness to journey beyond its physical bounds under certain special conditions.

The notion that consciousness can leave the body may seem fanciful, perhaps even preposterous, to our western post-enlightenment culture, but it is entirely consistent with how shamans believe they work. They often maintain that the non-physical world through which they journey is a mirror-image of the material one; an idea that seems to have extremely ancient roots.viii Interestingly, some modern tribal peoples, such as the Hopi of the southwestern United States, still adhere to this kind of symmetrical cosmology.ix Our contemporary western conception of the world is generally set at odds with such ideas, but they were meat and drink to those who constructed the Way of Viracocha. Indeed, these notions seem to have retained a power in the minds of those who used star-mirrors in all of the successor cultures down to the time of the Incas. For this reason alone, we should consider them with respect at the very least. Without doing so, we in the modern world cannot appreciate – let alone fully understand – the magnificence of ancient cultures beyond the bones, stones and pottery shards that they left behind them before departing to the stars.

Where the river of stars meets the wheel of time

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We come now to what was probably an essential aspect of the 45° alignment, if not what all of the immense effort was principally in aid of. That the most ancient peoples, including those of the Andes, considered the soul to be immortal is something that may be thought of today as a primitive trait, especially if our values conform to the modern western materialist milieu of linear progress. For ancient peoples, however, the soul’s departure to the heavens after death was not some fable, or even a vague aspiration. Rather, it was a technical process that was associated with the Sun’s passage along the ecliptic to where it crossed the celestial river of the Milky Way. This was the heavenly spot where departed souls arrived at the junction between the realms of time (the ecliptic) and eternity (the Milky Way). Conversely, the same place was where returning discarnate souls entered into the realm of mutability and change, by re-joining the circular path of the ecliptic that marks the various cycles of time in the physical world. The solstices – as points along the annual path of the sun when it appears to stand still for a while – provided the gateways for the soul to pass between the world above to that below and vice-versa.x

READ THE REST  OF THE ARTICLE HERE…




15 Scientific Breakthroughs from 2015 that Made Our World a Little Better

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By Natalie San Luis | Upworthy

In 2015, science helped us learn a lot about the universe we’re living in.

From the tiniest molecules making up the building blocks of matter to gigantic planetary systems billions of light years away, we witnessed countless scientific discoveries, advancements, and inventions this year.

Regular people created amazing inventions to save humans and animals. Scientists discovered new species and planets. And researchers even learned new things about parenting and children.

Related Article: Weight-Loss Regimens May Soon Be Tailored To Your Genes

Here are just a few of the most amazing and world-changing breakthroughs you might remember reading about:

1. We finally got a close-up of Pluto.

For the past 10 years, a small probe has been hurtling through space toward the rock that was once the smallest planet in our solar system. (This is a true #tbt.)

This July, that little probe finally got close enough to snap some pics of Pluto’s surface. Since Pluto was discovered in 1930, scientists have proposed several flybys and exploration journeys to learn more about it. Now, those same scientists hope that New Horizons will be able to tell us a lot more about Pluto and our solar system’s history in the coming years.

2. We found a hairy-chested crab at the very bottom of the Antarctic Ocean.

Forget about outer space for a second — there are a lot of surprising and outer-space-like things on our home planet, too. For example, last year, scientists found a new species of hairy-chested crab.

https://twitter.com/Newsweek/status/613822661378969601/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

This crab lives so far down in the Antarctic Ocean that it uses the heat given off by churning lava at the center of the Earth as its own space heater. Seriously.

3. An 18-year-old figured out how to help visually impaired people “see” with echolocation.

Usually, human eyes take in light waves, sending that information to the brain and creating what we know as vision. But for people who are visually impaired, sound waves could be an alternative to light waves.

Related Article: Scientists Figure out How to Transmit Thoughts Over the Internet

That’s the science behind a Canadian teenager’s echolocation device, which could change navigation for people who are blind. Pretty darn impressive, especially for a high schooler.

4. Rhinos got their own security systems.

GoPros aren’t just for daredevils, nature enthusiasts, and kitten rescuers anymore. This year, conservationists began painlessly implanting cameras in the horns of rhinos, too.

If a poacher is threatening a rhino, an alarm goes off and the camera turns on to tip off nearby rangers. Rhino poaching in South Africa alone has increased by 9,000% in the past seven years, so if we want rhinos in our future, this is a pretty important invention.

5. (Almost) everything you need to know, you learned in kindergarten.

That is, as long as you learned how to be kind, resolve problems, and share. A study wrapped up this year showed how much those early behaviors shape our lives years later. It also showed that if you weren’t the most cooperative kindergartener, it’s never too late to drop your bad habits.

6. A guy beat cancer by getting new 3D-printed bones.

A man in Spain needed to have a tumor in his chest removed. Surgeons were able to take out the infected bone and replace it with customized, titanium, 3D-printed ribs and sternum.

Related Article: Researchers Can Now 3D Print A Human Heart Using Biological Material

You can expect to see more 3D printing in medicine in the future — it’s an awesome trend that could truly change how we make things and cure illnesses.

7. We found out (again) that vaccines don’t cause autism.

An anti-vaccine group funded a study on the link between vaccines and autism. Spoiler alert: The study found no such link. Go get your shots, y’all.

8. Researchers confirmed the existence of a new subatomic particle called the pentaquark.

OK, in the first place, it’s pretty awesome that we have a giant machine (a supercollider) that slams atoms together so we can learn more about physics. And it’s even more awesome when that machine shows us things we’ve never seen before.

In July 2015, that supercollider showed us the pentaquark — four quarks (which live inside protons) stuck to one antiquark.

Even though they’ve discovered the pentaquark, scientists still have no idea what it actually does. Here’s to more research!

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




The Top 5 Most Incredible Kid Inventions Of 2015

Video Source: DNews

Professional scientists make big headlines when they discover new planets, uncover tombs, or engineer technological marvels, but once upon a time, they were a kid with an idea. Trace and Crystal show off the top five kid inventions from 2015:

  1. Multipurpose Precision Maintenance Tool
  2. Braille Printer made from Legos
  3. Device To Cut Virus Spread On Planes
  4. S.T.Eye – color changing condoms that detect sexually transmitted disease
  5. Ebola detection test

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Crows Caught on Camera Fashioning Special Hook Tools

By Jolyon Troscianko & Christian Rutz | Science Daily

CROWS_927303f.jpg.Scientists have been given an extraordinary glimpse into how wild New Caledonian crows make and use ‘hooked stick tools’ to hunt for insect prey.

Dr Jolyon Troscianko, from the University of Exeter, and Dr Christian Rutz, from the University of St Andrews, have captured first video recordings documenting how these tropical corvids fashion these particularly complex tools in the wild.

The pair developed tiny video ‘spy-cameras’ which were attached to the crows, to observe their natural foraging behaviour.

They discovered two instances of hooked stick tool making on the footage they recorded, with one crow spending a minute making the tool, before using it to probe for food in tree crevices and even in leaf litter on the ground.

The findings are reported in the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters on Wednesday, December 23.

Dr Troscianko is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Exeter’s Biosciences Department based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, who worked on the project while at the University of Birmingham.

He said: “While fieldworkers had previously obtained brief glimpses of hooked stick tool manufacture, the only video footage to date came from baited feeding sites, where tool raw materials and probing tasks had been provided to crows by scientists. We were keen to get close-up video of birds making these tools under completely natural conditions.”

[Read more here]

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jolyon Troscianko, Christian Rutz. Activity profiles and hook-tool use of New Caledonian crows recorded by bird-borne video cameras. Biology Letters, 2015; 11 (12): 20150777 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0777



Does This Strange Animal Have Alien DNA?

Video Source: DNews

Tardigrades are awesome! They can survive in extreme weather and even breed in space, but what else do we know about them? Do they have alien DNA? Julia Wilde of DNews is joined by Dr. Meg Lowman talk about these very strange creatures.

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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Proton Arc over Lake Superior

Proton Arc over Lake Superior CN

By Iain Buchanan |GeekPower

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of the most beautiful I have seen, especially considering that it was taken here, on earth and was a fluke image taken in a 15 minute window of opportunity!

Taken on the banks of Lake Superior in Michigan you can see the warm glow of the lights of Marquette, the local city, offset by the ethereal green glow of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.

Related Article: Lose Yourself In This Stunning Aurora Borealis Time-Lapse Video

What makes this image super special though, despite the inherent beauty of it’s composition, is the long red streak called a Proton Arc, bisecting the night sky and offering a natural boundary between the lights of man and the lights of the cosmos. Magical!

Related Article: Earth and Space Weather News Sept 15, 2014: New Ice Record, Aurora Borealis, Proton Spikes

A Proton Arc is a very rare type of Aurora formed when much heavier protons have been ejected from a solar event and interact with particles in our upper atmosphere, charging them and creating the beautiful and contrasting red streak you see above, captured by a 30 second exposure and framed perfectly by the astronomy photographer Ken Williams.

Ken had chosen this spot before and was waiting diligently for the Aurora to show, as soon as it did he headed to lake Superior which is several hours away from his home.

Related Article: Seeing Beauty and Experiencing Awe Inspires Spirituality

As soon as Ken got there and set-up his lights and Camera the Proton Arc appeared, giving him just 15 minutes to capture the amazing shot you see above.

Image Credit & Copyright: Ken Williams Via APOD

See the original article and more here….




The Shape of the Universe – Orange Theory

Shape of the Universe-Orange Theory GCN

Theory, Content, animation and music By Cristian Bredee

How does the Universe work? dive in to The Orange Theory to find out some ideas… but if you seek the truth remember what Buddhist spiritual guide Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says: “The things we normally see do not exist”, meaning all things and that all phenomena is emptiness. Since a very long time there is a very beautiful and scientific method to learn how to understand this.

 

 

 




Research Shows These 36 Questions Make People Fall In Love

Video Source: AsapSCIENCE

Mitch and Greg from ASAP Science were interested in doing a little “test” of a recent study that claimed to give 36 questions to strangers that made them fall in love. Watch this interesting video and if you want to try on the 36 questions yourself, here they are:
Related Article: 14 Things to Stop Saying Now If You Want to Find Love
ALL 36 QUESTIONS:
Set I
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Related Article: 9 Questions to Ask Before Pursuing A Relationship
Set II
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
Set III
Related Article: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last? This Evolutionary Perspective Might Surprise You
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
Related Article: Is Hypnotism Real? Here’s What Science Says (Video)
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.



Brain Scans Show Conservatives and Liberals View The World Differently: Here’s How

mri-brain-scan-compressed

By Robert Torres | Truth Theory

Is there something politicians know that the vast majority of the US voters don’t? Some of them are proof that all they need to know is how their voters think. You don’t really believe some of them talk the way they do because they’re stupid do you? It may at times appear that way, but they are speaking to voter profiles.

Related Article:  How Your Thoughts Can Change the Structure And Function Of Your Brain

First they outline their demographic and then angle the pitch. There is plenty of published research on why and how certain types vote. And really it’s a predictable statistical function of the voter’s brain. But even given the current political atmosphere I couldn’t believe the venom certain candidates were spewing. With so much negativity – about “EVERYTHING”, I began to wonder if they might be fanning the flames of a growing national hate movement.

Then I read an article, “Red Brain, Blue Brain” about a joint study done by Dr. Darren Schreiber from the University of Exeter and neuroscientists at the University of California, San Diego. Using fMRIbrain scans of 82 participants, they actually found differences in the way conservative and liberal brains function. Conservatives are reactionary, using an area of the brain (amygdala) related to fear. Liberal brain activity involves internalization – self-awareness, competence (left posterior insula).

With data in hand Dr. Schreiber and his team looked up participants’ political party registrations. Based on neural response they found they could predict with an 82.9% accuracy how a person will vote. This has become the most accurate predictor known. Could it really be that simple? Well although intriguing, I needed more.

According to psychologist Mike Dodd, University of Nebraska, Lincoln – “The two parties simply see the world differently.” Using electrodes to monitor skin conductance of 48 people and eye tracking devices involving 76 students, this was his study’s conclusion. Conservatives just walk into a room and focus on negativity. “They’re essentially monitoring things that make them feel uncomfortable, which does feel fairly consistent with conservative policies. It doesn’t make them better or worse people but there might be a biological basis for their views” Mike said (Live Science).

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Then there’s the Yale Law School study in Social Neurosciencejournal, which also used fMRI to take images in real time. FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) works by tracking oxygen in the blood to image neural activity. Increased activity requires increased oxygen rich blood. For instance, the brain’s “reward center” becomes active when listening to music.

The Yale study however focused on racial bias in jury awards for discrimination cases. This was also a small study with 19 non-Hispanic white participants which included an IAT (Implicit Association Test). The IAT tests the strength of a person’s automatic subconscious responses. This measures precise reaction times to associations with positive or negative words to images of blacks and whites. Subconsciously favoring one race over another is not racism because it’s not explicit. Again bias was detected.

In Palm Springs, CA at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference they showcased several more studies about the nature of political beliefs – yielding many provocative results. The interests centered around, why there are such sharp divides between the parties on issues like war, same-sex marriage, abortion and immigration.

Emory University psychologist Drew Westen’s study strongly suggests that emotions and implicit bias influence how people view candidates. It causes them to spot faults in opposing candidates while rejecting negative information about candidates they favor.

Psychologist Brian Nosek, University of Virginia found that those with implicit and admitted racial bias tended to vote Republican. “What automatic biases reveal is that while we have the feeling we are living up to our values, that feeling may not be right. We are not aware of everything that causes our behavior.” Nosek along with Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji conducted their study online involving 130,000 whites and their views on blacks using the IAT method.

Among whites 75% showed implicit bias but Republicans harbor more anti-black prejudice. Theoretically all people have the ability to control explicit bias but I strongly believe some are hardwired.

At New York University, Neuroscientist David Amodio and his colleague Patricia Devine tested 150 white college students and once again, implicit biases shone through. But why do these split-second negative responses exist? The amygdala operates extremely rapidly, long before our conscious thoughts have time to react. Our brains have evolved to categorize and simplify patterns that are complex. Thus, “if left unchecked, they might lead to the expression of some bias in a way that you don’t intend,” says Amodio.

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Fortunately, the amygdala alone doesn’t control our behavior. We have a large highly-complex frontal cortex, helping to inhibit impulses, make complicated decisions and behave in socially appropriate ways.

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Successful German Nuclear Fusion Experiment May Lead To Clean, Cheap Energy

The Wendelstein 7-X machine's plasma - but nuclear fusion is still years away

The Wendelstein 7-X machine’s plasma – but nuclear fusion is still years away

Source: bbc.com

A German nuclear fusion experiment has produced a special super-hot gas which scientists hope will eventually lead to clean, cheap energy.

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The helium plasma – a cloud of loose, charged particles – lasted just a tenth of a second and was about one million degrees Celsius.

It was hailed as a breakthrough for the Max Planck Institute’s stellarator – a chamber whose design differs from the tokamak fusion devices used elsewhere.

The Sun’s energy is created by fusion.

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Physicists are in a worldwide race to create stable fusion devices that could not only mimic the Sun but release abundant energy, without the volumes of toxic waste generated by nuclear fission – the splitting of the atom.

The team at Greifswald, in northeastern Germany, aim in future to heat hydrogen nuclei to about 100 million C – the necessary conditions for fusion to take place like in the Sun’s interior. They will use deuterium, a heavier type, or isotope, of the element.

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The stellarator’s plasma was created on Thursday using a microwave laser, a complex combination of magnets and just 10mg of helium. The Max Planck Institute calls its machine Wendelstein 7-X.

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Quantum Time Travel –“Can We Receive Messages from the Future?”

quantum-time-travel-compressed

Source: The Daily Galaxy

Around ten years ago researcher Dave Bacon, now at Google, showed that a time-travelling quantum computer could quickly solve a group of problems, known as NP-complete, which mathematicians have lumped together as being hard. The problem was, Bacon’s quantum computer was travelling around ‘closed timelike curves‘. These are paths through the fabric of spacetime that loop back on themselves. General relativity allows such paths to exist through contortions in spacetime known as wormholes.

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Why send a message back in time, but lock it so that no one can ever read the contents? Because it may be the key to solving currently intractable problems. That’s the claim of an international collaboration.

It turns out that an unopened message can be exceedingly useful. This is true if the experimenter entangles the message with some other system in the laboratory before sending it. Entanglement, a strange effect only possible in the realm of quantum physics, creates correlations between the time-travelling message and the laboratory system. These correlations can fuel a quantum computation.

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Physicists argue something must stop such opportunities arising because it would threaten ‘causality’ — in the classic example, someone could travel back in time and kill their grandfather, negating their own existence.

And it’s not only family ties that are threatened. Breaking the causal flow of time has consequences for quantum physics too. Over the past two decades, researchers have shown that foundational principles of quantum physics break in the presence of closed timelike curves: you can beat the uncertainty principle, an inherent fuzziness of quantum properties, and the no-cloning theorem, which says quantum states can’t be copied.

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