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Dec 28 11 3:31 AM
FILE - A file photo shows Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan …
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s has died at age 80.
The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure.
Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Wednesday told The Tampa Tribune
(http://bit.ly/rRuTeJ ) that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger
painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned
into human feelings.
Based on the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs,
the Tarzan stories, which have spawned scores of books and films over
the years, chronicle the adventures of a man who was raised by apes in
Cheetah was the comic relief in the Tarzan films
that starred American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller.
Cobb says Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate
sometime around 1960.
Cheetah wasn't a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest
says that when the chimp didn't like what was going on, he would throw
Dec 29 11 5:04 PM
Tyrants are those who have NO PERSONAL POWER. They must either destroy or steal the Power of those who have it.
The first rule of Verbal Abuse
Jan 1 12 10:07 PM
She was born November 14, 1921, in Charleston.
The eldest daughter of Dennie Hamilton "Ted" Runyan and Cornelia "Corny"
Runyan, she was preceded in death by all five of her siblings: Betty
Jean Runyan Virzi, Dennie Hamilton Runyan, Walter Warren Runyan, Frances
Estelle Runyan Rich and Glen Edward "Eddie" Runyan.
She lived an amazing 90 years.
She attended and graduated from South Charleston High School. She worked
at Union Carbide as a chemist for a time before leaving for California,
where she spent the majority of her life.
She was married three times, first to Vialas Barthel; then to Dante
Villarino; and, finally to Carlos Castaneda. Castaneda was an
anthropology professor at UCLA and UC Irvine, and bestselling author.
Margaret wrote a book about her life with Carlos titled A Magical
Journey with Carlos Castaneda.
Between her second and third marriages, she was engaged to the Western author, Louis L'Amour, for a year-and-a-half.
Her favorite color was yellow, and her favorite flowers were hollyhocks. She always enjoyed conversations about philosophy.
Survived by her only child, Adrian and his wife, Janiell.
Adrian is in the process of writing a book and screenplay movie about his mother's incredible life.
In lieu of flowers, if you ever met Margaret and would be willing to
share your encounter, however brief, Adrian would be eternally grateful,
and would love to include your perspective and thoughts to add
personalized depth to the book and movie. Thank you in advance.
Adrian's contact info is as follows: [email protected]
Mar 12 12 10:47 PM
(Alain Jocard, AFP/Getty Images / March 10, 2012)
March 11, 2012
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
Mar 20 12 12:39 PM
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The century-old giant tortoise was found dead in his corral Sunday at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island (map), part of Galápagos National Park.
best known for his apparent aversion to female tortoises—hence his
nickname—George was the last known individual of his subspecies, Geochelone abingdoni, also called the Pinta Island tortoise or Abingdon Island tortoise.
longtime caretaker, Fausto Llerana, was "unhappily surprised" to
discover the tortoise "stretched out in the direction of his watering
hole with no signs of life," according to a park statement.
Among the longest lived animals, giant tortoises can survive well past a hundred, with the oldest recorded at 152.
body is being kept in a cold chamber to prevent decomposition until a
necropsy is done to determine his exact cause of death.
Giant Tortoise Decline
The Galápagos Islands were originally inhabited by thousands of giant tortoises in 15 subspecies.
in the 1800s and 1900s, sailors and pirates used the Pacific Ocean
archipelago as a pit stop, hunting huge numbers of giant tortoises for
food and oil.
Though hunting has ceased, introduced species such
as pigs and goats continue to overgraze the islands, munching through
the remaining tortoises' habitats.
With George's passing, the islands today house just ten tortoise subspecies, most of which are very rare.
In fact, George's subspecies was thought extinct until he was found on Pinta Island in 1971.
lone male was taken into captivity with high hopes that he would take a
liking to a female tortoise of close genetic makeup and continue his
lineage, at least in hybrid form. (See "Mating Turtles Fossilized in the Act.")
such luck. After sharing his home for more than three decades with
four different females, George failed to fertilize any of their eggs.
Erica Buck, then of the Charles Darwin Foundation,
told National Geographic News in 2001 that George "doesn't really show
any interest" in the females. "He mostly hangs out by himself."
George Inspires Conservation
Some might think the extinction of a subspecies isn't a major loss, since the other tortoises are still around, noted San Diego Zoo ambassador Rick Schwartz. But the giant tortoises' history shows that such loses can add up quickly to disaster.
"passing is an opportunity for us to [show] humans our actions can
have an impact on the future without seeing it in the moment," said
Schwartz, whose zoo is home to a Galápagos tortoise.
"you get an opportunity to see these animals in person, [they're]
gentle giants—you can't help but just fall in love with them," he added.
although the lone tortoise wasn't able to deliver reproductively,
Lonesome George's story is "an opportunity to educate about other
species and conservation efforts as a whole," Schwartz said.
For instance, captive breeding programs like George's have given hope for populations of the endangered California condor.
But similar efforts weren't enough to save the West African black rhinoceros, a subspecies that was formally declared extinct in 2011.
July Galápagos National Park will hold an international workshop to
brainstorm how to restore giant tortoise populations over the next
decade, park director Edwin Naula said in a statement. (See "Extinct Galápagos Tortoise Could Be Resurrected.")
"The workshop," he said, "will be held in honor of Lonesome George."
Oct 23 12 1:52 AM
Dec 6 12 9:45 PM
Dec 12 12 2:32 AM
Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar has died in a hospital in the US, aged 92.
His family said he had been admitted to the Scripps Memorial
Hospital in San Diego last week, but had failed to recover fully from
Shankar gained widespread international recognition through his association with The Beatles.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as a "national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage".
In a statement quoted by Reuters, Shankar's wife Sukanya and
daughter Anoushka said he had recently undergone surgery which would
have "potentially given him a new lease of life".
"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and
doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the
strain of the surgery," they said.
"We were at his side when he passed away.
"Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a
time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able
to have him as a part of our lives. He will live forever in our hearts
and in his music."
Anoushka Shankar is herself a sitar player. Shankar's other daughter is Grammy award winning singer Norah Jones.
George Harrison of the Beatles once called Shankar "the godfather of world music".
He played at Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, and
also collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist
Shankar also composed a number of film scores - notably
Satyajit Ray's celebrated Apu trilogy (1951-55) and Richard
Attenborough's Gandhi (1982) - and collaborated with US composer Philip
Glass in Passages in 1990.
Talking in later life about his experiences at the
influential Monterey Pop festival, Ravi Shankar said he was "shocked to
see people dressing so flamboyantly".
He told Rolling Stone magazine that he was horrified when Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire on stage.
"That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God," he said.
In 1999, Shankar was awarded the highest civilian citation in India - the Bharat Ratna, or Jewel of India.
Born into a Bengali family in the
ancient Indian city of Varanasi, Ravi Shankar was originally a dancer
with his brother's troupe.
He gave up dancing to study the sitar at the age of 18.
For seven years Shankar studied under Baba Allauddin Khan,
founder of the Maihar Gharana style of Hindustani classical music, and
became well-known in India for his virtuoso sitar playing.
For the last years of his life, Ravi Shankar lived in Encinitas, California, with his wife.
Feb 4 13 11:58 PM
Well-known remote viewer Paul H. Smith has announced the passing of a (perhaps *the*) pioneer in the field, Ingo Swann, aged 79.
Born September 14, 1933, at Telluride, Colorado, he studied at
Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, receiving a double bachelor's
degree in biology and art. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served
three years in Korea, after which he worked for twelve years at the
United Nations Secretariat while pursuing an independent art career. Swann's active participation in parapsychology research
began in 1969 when he was 36 years old. During the next twenty years he
worked only in controlled laboratory settings with scientific
researchers. Although he lectured widely on the importance of psychic
faculties and potentials, he has never publicly demonstrated his
abilities. Because of his participation in hundreds of thousands of
experimental trials, author Martin Ebon wrote of him as
"parapsychology's most tested guinea pig," and Psychic News and other media often refer to him as "the scientific psychic."
During the 1950s and 1960s, because of psychic potentials partly
evident in childhood, he became actively interested in occult and
parapsychological literature and in a variety of novel mind-development
programs which took positive approaches to the enhancement of ESP
potentials. Swann early distinguished between psychic phenomenon and psychic mind-dynamic processes.
He especially noticed that while parapsychology researched the
existence of paranormal phenomena (such as ESP, telepathy, and
psychokinesis), there was little interest in the mental processes
involved in producing evidence of them. From this distinction he slowly
developed unique theoretical approaches to process enhancement of
psi perceptions, which was in keeping with ancient descriptions of
Siddhis as found in various Eastern Yoga literature and Abraham Maslow's
developmental abilitism theories. In 1970-71 Swann experimented
with Cleve Backster in attempting to influence plants by mental
activity. In 1971-72 psychokinetic experiments involved successfully
influencing temperature recorded in a controlled setting devised by
parapsychologists Gertrude Schmeidler and Larry Lewis at City College,
New York. this involved PK effects upon target thermistors (temperature
measuring devices) in insulted thermos bottles at a distance of 25 feet
from Swann. (For a report, see G.R. Schmeidler, "PK Effects Upon
Continuously Recorded Temperature," Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, no. 4, Oct. 1973).
Swann was also the subject of experiments in out-of-body travel, or
psychic perception at a distance. These took place during 1971-73 at the
American Society for Psychical Research. They involved Swann sitting in
a chair and attempting to project his consciousness into sealed boxes
on a small platform several feet above his head, in which there was a
target symbol completely shielded from view. Swann was monitored by
electrodes that would have recorded any movement from the chair.
Under these difficult laboratory conditions, Swann nevertheless scored
significant successes in describing the targets. In one test he was
actually able to state correctly that a light that should have
illuminated the target was inoperative. There was no normal way of
ascertaining this fact without opening the box. In 1972-73, at
the American Society for Psychical Research, Swann began suggesting
experimental protocols to test for the existence of mind-dynamic
processes that would enhance ESP and Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, he coined
the term "remote viewing" to describe the experiments in which subjects
attempted to view targets at a far distance. His original remote-viewing
protocols were later utilized and expanded upon in collaboration with
the researchers Dr. H.E. Puthoff and Russell Targ. Other laboratories
ultimately repeated various kinds of remote-viewing experiments.
Swann's successes on the East Coast attracted the attention of the
quantum physicist Harold E. Puthoff, at the Standford Research
Institute, in Menlo Park, California (later renamed SRI International).
From late 1973 until 1989 Swann worked principally at SRI's
"psychoenergetics project" established by Puthoff to examine important
psi faculties (rather than psychic phenomena per se). One of
the first most remarkable experiments involved a successful attempt to
influence the stable magnetic field of a super-cooled Josephson junction
inside a quark detector (a complex apparatus designed to detect
subatomic particles). The apparatus was completely inaccessible, being
encased in aluminum and copper containers and buried in five feet of
concrete. When Swann mentally visualized the hidden target, significant
variations were recorded in sine waves. This PK effect was reported at a
conference on quantum physics and parapsychology. On April 27,
1973, in another extraordinary experiment, Swann "visited" the planet
Jupiter in a joint "psychic probe" shared by fellow psychic Harold
Sherman. Swann's drawings made during the experiment showed a 'ring' of
tiny asteroids around the planet which scientists at the time said did
not exist. The existence of the ring was later scientifically confirmed
in 1979. From the first experiments, Swann was increasingly
considered a very unique test subject because, at the command of the
experimenters, he could reproduce and sustain the desired effects over
time at a significant rate of success. Throughout the history of
parapsychology, other test subjects had been temporarily or
spontaneously successful. But these subjects typically suffered from the
well-known "decline effect" or "psi-missing effect" which statistically
erased the successes, and thus permitted skeptics to believe that the
successes were due to some outside factor other than claimed human psi
abilities. Most books and articles written after 1973 about
parapsychology and psychic matters refer to Swann's work in some way.
Many analysts of science and parapsychology generally concede that his
work and the high levels of official sponsorship it obtained gradually
influenced positive reevaluations of the validity of psi in human
experiencing. After nineteen years on the cutting edge of psi
developments, the "longest run" of any subject on record, Swann retired
from full-time research to undertake independent research into the
problems and states of consciousness. In final interviews regarding the
dimensions of his past work, he stated that the long-term stresses of
laboratory work and the constant need to defend the validity of psi
faculties and exceptional experiencing had taken their toll. He
occasionally accepts invitations to lecture but refuses to talk to the
media. In a paper read at the United Nations in March 1994 (entitled
"Scientists find the basis for seventeen-plus human senses and
perceptions"), he stated that psi faculties and exceptional experiencing
are not purely scientific issues. Their discovery and development
involve larger social, philosophical, political, and religious problems
not amenable to objective research and rational appreciation.
Feb 13 13 4:28 AM
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