Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Positive News of the Week


Volkswagen Debuts Self-Driving Autopilot for New Cars

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Obama to invest in Advanced Technologies

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Human vaccine cures Prostate Cancer in Mice

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An ultra-low calorie, low carb diet can reverse Type 2 Diabetes

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Monday, June 27, 2011

The Top 5 Nutrition Tips to Help Rev Up Your Conception Engine by Kimberly Tessmer, RD LD

For some women getting pregnant may seem easy yet for others it can be a different story. There are all types of issues that can make trying to conceive (TTC) a bit more difficult including health issues, age, good old timing and a host of lifestyle habits. Some of these issues you have control over and some you don’t. One of those issues that you DO have control over includes your lifestyle habits and right up there at the top of that list is diet and nutrition. Here are a few of the top nutrition tips to get give you an edge when it comes to TTC. Be sure you are in good health before trying to conceive by having a check up with your doctor.


1. Improve your food intake: If you are TTC and have not yet taken a closer look at what you eat on a daily basis now is the time. Eating an overall healthier diet won’t guarantee that you will become pregnant however research is discovering promising evidence that good nutrition can have a very positive impact on increasing fertility and that goes for both women and men! The sooner you begin improving your food intake the better and starting before you even begin your TTC journey can put you well ahead of the game.

Improving your diet does not need to be a difficult task. Lucky for us, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) provides us with everything we need through MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPlate is an online concept that offers dietary recommendations, nutrition education, up-to-date information, personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan and asses your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I’ll bet you didn’t even realize you had all of this right at your fingertips!

You don’t need many “special” guidelines to follow while trying to conceive you just need to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from all of the food groups and cuts out the majority of the unhealthy foods.
· Eat a good daily balance of fats, carbs and protein and shoot for the recommended goals for each.
  • Go for the healthier fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats.
  • Choose more complex carbohydrates and whole grains instead of refined grains and sugary foods.
  • Eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables with an array of varieties and colors.
  • Get brave and try adding more plant proteins to your diet. Be sure that the animal proteins you choose are leaner versions.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • The key is to make changes to your diet slowly and remember that you are human and don’t have to be perfect all the time. Eating healthy most of the time will help get you the results you are looking for.

2. Avoid certain foods: Though there are not too many specific guidelines to follow when you are trying to conceive besides eating a healthy and well-balanced diet there are some foods that are sometimes best to stir clear of. This is because many women don’t know they are pregnant right away so if you are actively trying it is best to avoid some of the same foods and/or beverages that you need to avoid once you become pregnant such as alcohol, sushi, raw eggs, soft cheeses and to limit others such as caffeine and fish high in mercury.

3. Get the nutrients important during pregnancy: To get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy it is vital that your body receives the proper nutrition it needs. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet will help ensure you get all of the nutrients that are important to getting pregnant and being pregnant. However, just to be sure many doctors recommend a prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement to account for days you don’t eat right and for the extra amount of some vitamins and minerals you need during this time.

One important nutrient that is extra important during TTC and pregnancy is folic acid. Getting the recommended amount of folic acid daily can help to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects such as spina bifida as well as other types of birth defects. You need plenty of folic acid stored up for when you do become pregnant so starting well before hand is imperative. Another key nutrient is calcium. Babies start to form bones and teeth early on so the more you have stored up and ready the better.

There is a good reason we need iron in our diets. When you get that friendly visitor every month, a good majority of your iron stores are depleted in the blood you lose. If your menstrual flows are heavy, you will lose even more iron. Ensuring you have adequate iron stores before conceiving will give your body a chance to replenish those stores before they are needed during pregnancy. While pregnant your need for iron increases quite a bit to match your increase in blood volume. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplement, as some can be toxic if taken in excess amounts, especially if you become pregnant.

4. Stay hydrated: Staying well hydrated is a good tip before, during and after pregnancy. Drinking enough fluids, especially water, has loads of health benefits but can also carry a few fertility benefits as well. Drinking enough water while you are trying to conceive can help to increase the quality and amount of fertile cervical fluid that is essential for successful conception. It is this fluid that carries the sperm to meet the egg so needless to say; the more you have of it the better your chances of becoming pregnant. In addition, since most of us don’t know we are pregnant right away, drinking lots of water during the TTC phase is a good idea. Keep in mind that when you increase fluids you need to choose the right type of fluids. Water is your best choice! Stay away from beverages high in sugar and/or caffeine as well as alcohol.

5. Reach and maintain a healthy body weight: Being at a healthy body weight doesn’t only benefit your health but it can benefit your fertility. It may not be a “nutrition tip” per se but it is what we do or don’t put in our mouth that most of the time has a big impact on our body weight. In fact excess body fat or not enough body fat can both make it more difficult to conceive, not impossible, but more difficult. The key for both problems is taking the necessary steps to reach and maintain a healthy weight the smart way.

If you are overweight a crash diet is the last thing you want to do. This can rob your body of the essential nutrients you need to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you are underweight eating the wrong foods to gain weight will also tend to rob your body of essential nutrients. Your best bet is a healthy diet and good old exercise, which works for both cases. If you are having problems getting to a healthy body weight your best bet is to see a registered dietitian, who is the expert in this area!

If you want to learn more about how your nutritional intake can impact your chances of trying to conceive check out, Tell Me What to Eat If I Am Trying To Conceive. You will find information on the process of conception, how to reach a healthy weight for TTC, the best diet rules to follow, the answers to your most burning questions on TTC and diet as well as information on unproven remedies for conception and alternative therapies to try. Last but not least you will find some great recipes and meal plans to help you get started on your journey!


Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD, LD, is an author and consulting dietitian in Brunswick, Ohio. Her books include the upcoming July release Tell Me What to Eat If I am Trying to Conceive, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Mediterranean Diet, and The Everything Nutrition Book. Kim currently owns and operates Nutrition Focus , a consulting company specializing in weight management, menu development, and other nutritional services. In addition, Kim acts as the RD on the board of directors for Lifestyles Technologies, Inc., a company that provides nutrition software solutions that develop a wide array of nutritionally sound menu templates.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Creature of the Month - The Unicorn by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart


Few creatures of fantasy have so captured the modern imagination as the Unicorn. The appeal of this lovely beast derives from its symbolic attributes of purity, strength, and hope—regrettably rare commodities in our materialistic age.

Unicorns were frequently depicted in the carvings and bas-reliefs of the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Indus valley, more than 4,000 years ago. During the Bronze Age, which was astrologically the Age of Taurus, the Unicorn was commonly represented as a magnificent one-horned bull—a taurine Unicorn.


With the coming of the Iron Age—the astrological Age of Aries—the Unicorn came to be represented as a single-horned ram. Plutarch (45–125 CE) tells of a ram’s head with only one horn that was brought to Pericles as a sign that he would become the single ruler of the Athenian state. The prophecy of this arian Unicorn was fulfilled as the warring city-states of Greece united for the first time, and the reign of Pericles (460–429 BCE) became known as the “Golden Age of Greece,” during which time brilliant philosophers and statesmen laid the foundations of Western civilization.

The Unicorn of the Middle Ages and Renaissance is pure white, with cloven hooves, little beard, and flowing mane. Physiologus, the 9th century medieval bestiary, describes the Unicorn as “a small animal, like a kid, but exceedingly fierce, with one horn in the middle of his head.” This manifestation of the legendary creature is thus identified as a caprine (goatlike) Unicorn.

The Unicorn is an exemplar of any of a number of horned ungulate species, and he embodies the highest potential of that species—larger, more intelligent, and more sensitive than other animals of his ancestral stock. He is a natural herd leader, inevitably rising to dominance. The single perpendicular horn is an invincible weapon, enabling the Unicorn to defend his herd even against lions, with which he is often depicted in combat.

For these reasons Unicorns became symbols of royalty and even divinity. Astrologically, the Unicorn represents the moon, as the lion does the sun. The contest in which they are so often shown engaged implies an eclipse. As the moon is darkened and then lightened during a lunar eclipse, so the Unicorn symbolizes rebirth and the triumph of life over death in many cultures.

As the alchemical symbol for the Element Earth, the Unicorn represents Earth consciousness and natural values. In both European and Oriental traditions, he is identified with a Messiah who appears when the world is in its darkest hour, and heralds the dawning of a new and better age.

The secret of the Unicorn was finally lost during the religious upheavals of the 15th-16th centuries, when the Inquisition destroyed libraries as well as people for anything it considered heresy. The Crusades and the Islamic expansion into North Africa devastated the indigenous people who had perfected various methods of animal husbandry unknown to the West. Thus vanished the secret of the creation of living Unicorns.

In the Age of Enlightenment, belief in Unicorns declined, particularly when it became known that what had been marketed as true Unicorn horns (unicornum verum) were actually narwhal tusks.

My wife Morning Glory and I tracked the Unicorn down through the centuries, sifting myths, legends, travelers’ tales, and anatomical studies to discover the reality behind the fantastic. As we catalogued all those images, it dawned on us that these Unicorns represented not one, but various species, all of which were depicted as ultimate idealizations with only the single horn in common.

Another realization was that there were no female Unicorns; even in scenes of Noah’s Ark, the Unicorns never appears with a mate. When shown with other animals, he is apart, aloof, and acting as a protector or leader.

In contrast to the assumption that if there had ever been living Unicorns, they must have had an evolution and a natural history as other species do, we posited unicornity as a multispecies phenomenon, perhaps produced artificially by some lost technique. Such an animal would, in effect, be fundamentally different from its ancestral stock, elevated so profoundly that it would develop as a different animal.

The final piece fell into place in 1976 when I came upon the forgotten work of Dr. Franklin Dove, a biologist at the University of Maine, who, in the 1930s, was experimenting with horn development in cattle. He discovered that horns do not, in fact, grow directly out of the bones of the forehead, as had been generally assumed. Rather, the os cornu, or bony horn spike, originates in special nodes of tissue called “buds,” which are imbedded in the loose skin of the forehead and later fuse to the frontal bones of the skull.

Within a few hours after birth, these nodes direct a flow of enzymes down into the bone beneath, stimulating it to grow upward into the horn core, which becomes correspondingly covered with a horny sheath of keratin. Dove determined that if the position of these nodes was shifted immediately after birth, they could cause a horn to grow wherever they were positioned.

Dove became convinced that his experiments could replicate the process by which ancient tribes had originally created genuine Unicorns—the real-life basis of the legend.

When Morning Glory and I got hold of Dove’s research notes, we realized that we now knew the secret of the Unicorn, and that it was in our power to resurrect authentic living Unicorns into the modern world. In 1977 we moved to the country to create a Unicorn farm, and embarked upon a truly amazing adventure raising living Unicorns.

Our first Unicorn, Lancelot, was born at the Spring Equinox of 1980. His white coat was iridescent in sunlight, with the texture of satin, and his long mane was like cloud fluff. Decades later, we still hear from people whose lives were transformed by their encounter with “the impossible dream” made manifest, and the epiphany that if a Unicorn can be real, then anything is possible!


Oberon Zell has accomplished many things in his long and colorful career. A modern Renaissance man, Oberon is a transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. Those who know him well consider him to be a true Wizard in the traditional sense. He is also an initiate in the Egyptian Church of the Eternal Source, a Priest in the Fellowship of Isis, and an initiate in several different Traditions of Witchcraft. He holds academic degrees in sociology, anthropology, clinical psychology, teaching, and theology. His books include Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, Companion for the Apprentice Wizard, Creating Circles & Ceremonies, A Wizard's Bestiary, and Green Egg Omelette.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weird News of the Week


Bugs & Cream, really?

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Iguana Meat - Seized!

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Living Cell Becomes Green Lantern I mean Laser

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Max the Crystal Skull Speaks Out

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Build Your Own Airship - a Retirement Project

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrating Litha!

In celebration of Summer we share information from Oberon Zell's Creating Circles & Ceremonies. This portion is from Book III: Wheel of the Year

Litha: Summer Solstice

Introduction: Litha

By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart & She’ D’Montford

Litha (LITH-ah), also called Midsummer or Summer Solstice, occurs around June 21. Litha is the name of a Saxon Grain Goddess corresponding to Greek Demeter or Roman Ceres, and her festival is one of joy, abundance, and play. Called Alban Hefin by the Celts, Midsummer was Christianized as St. John’s Day. Druids believed that snakes come together on the Solstice night to create the glain, or “Druid’s egg”—said to confer great magickal powers to its possessor. Many of the ancient stone monoliths are aligned to the Summer Solstice.

Several Native American tribes mark Summer Solstice with seasonal rites and rituals, such as the Sundance, performed by the Sioux tribe. The Natchez honor the sun, from whom they believe they are descended, with the festival of first fruits. No one is allowed to touch the first ears of corn until after the ceremony. The Hopi also celebrate the Solstice, with masked dancers in colorful costumes representing the kachinas, spirits of rain and fertility.

Midsummer’s Eve represented the apex of the God’s life. Variously called the Oak King, Jack-in-the-Green, or Pan—with the lower torso, cloven hooves, and horns of a satyr—he was the archetypal Wild Man of the wood, and the King of the fairies. Following their King on a romp through the countryside made this night second only to Halloween in its importance to the Wee Folk, who especially enjoyed playing tricks on a fine summer’s night. If you wished to see Fairy folk, this was (and is) the best night to do it. You only had to rub fern seed onto your eyelids at the stroke of midnight. Carrying a bit of rue in your pocket or wearing your jacket inside out can protect you from spiteful Fairies. If you can’t do that, and you must travel on Midsummer’s Eve, you must stay on the old straight ley lines until you get to your destination—otherwise you may be lead astray by the Fairy folk and get lost forever.

On this longest day of the year, picnicking, swimming, and water play are customary, as are bonfires and fireworks lit after sundown to provide light to the revellers and to ward off mischievous Fairy folk. Cakes are shared, in which one piece contains a bean or other marker; the one who gets it is considered “dedicated” and required to jump the flames three times. Throughout Europe lovers clasp hands or toss flowers to each other across the bonfire, or leap through it together before disappearing into the woods and fields (“searching for the Midsummer grass”) to make love under the stars. This celebration is specifically in honor of the great Earth Mother who nourishes us with her bounty from her ever-flowing cauldron, but we may also honor the Sun Father at this time. Litha is a festival for families, marriage partners, and children. The rituals commonly celebrate the marriages of the gods, so this is the best time for marriages, and also a time for future visions and Fairy favors.

At Your House

Litha is a classic time for magick of all kinds. Celebrate nature’s sacrifice and renewal, and make changes in your own life. Make a protective solar talisman to put up on your door. Nurture your crops, and harvest magickal herbs from your garden. Decorate your altars with summer flowers and sun images; use a white altar cloth and candles, and fill your chalice with water. Some sort of fire on your altar is important, so use candles or votives. Include fresh fruits as a reminder of the Earth’s bounty. A symbol or picture of Earth on your altar is a gentle reminder to honor her. Add flowers of gold, orange, and yellow; roses are traditional.

Litha is also a special time for honoring and blessing animals, so bring your pets and familiars into your Circle and give them special treats and attention.

Since Litha is just before American Independence Day on July 4, you can often buy fireworks at this time (unless they are illegal in your state, and/or you live in a very dry area with high fire danger in the summer). My favorites are fountains, which can be safely set off at a beach, around a campfire, or on the driveway. These have the colored sparkles and special effects of the high-exploding skyrockets, without the dangers of shooting them into the air. Each firework can be set off as a spell, naming the purpose before you light it. Be sure to keep a water hose handy just in case any sparks get away!


Oberon Zell has accomplished many things in his long and colorful career. A modern Renaissance man, Oberon is a transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. Those who know him well consider him to be a true Wizard in the traditional sense. He is also an initiate in the Egyptian Church of the Eternal Source, a Priest in the Fellowship of Isis, and an initiate in several different Traditions of Witchcraft. He holds academic degrees in sociology, anthropology, clinical psychology, teaching, and theology. His books include Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, Companion for the Apprentice Wizard, Creating Circles & Ceremonies, A Wizard's Bestiary, and Green Egg Omelette.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Creating a Gluten Free Kitchen

Celiac disease has many names, such as gluten intolerance, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, and non-tropical sprue. Each name describes a life-long autoimmune disorder in which a person’s body cannot tolerate a group of grain proteins known collectively as gluten. Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and any derivatives of these grains. Celiac disease was once thought to be rare, but is slowly being recognized as one of the most prevalent genetic disorders in the United States.

The only definite treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a 100-percent gluten-free diet for life. Following a gluten-free diet is not an easy task, but it can help prevent complications and symptoms that are associated with this disease.

The good news is that individuals with celiac disease are not alone. There are all types of groups that provide resources and support for people with celiac disease and for their families. As awareness of this disease grows, so does the pool of resources. There are more choices today than ever before for people with celiac disease.

Whether you personally have been given the diagnosis or you have a family member who's been diagnosed the first step to getting things under control is knowing what kinds of foods you should have at hand so as to avoid further complications caused by this condition. Below you will find an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Tell Me What to Eat if I have Celiac Disease by Kimberly Tessmer.


The Gluten-Free Kitchen - Stocking Your Kitchen

It is a great idea to clear out a special cupboard in the kitchen to store all the special products you will need for the gluten-free diet. Making sure you always have certain products on hand will make whipping up meals and snacks much easier. You can make things even easier by batch cooking. Cook large quantities of food or dishes and freeze the leftovers in individual storage containers to allow for a quick and easy meal or snack.

People on gluten-free diets often need to cook from scratch to ensure that meals and dishes are in fact gluten-free. Cooking from scratch does not have to be so time-consuming. There are several kitchen appliances you can use to help reduce your workload. Bread-makers, heavy-duty mixers, crock pots, and pasta makers can be very helpful additions to the gluten-free kitchen.

As with any type of diet, it is wise to plan ahead when on a gluten-free diet. Having the following foods on hand will ensure no-hassle preparation when it is time for a meal or snack.

Gluten-Free Kitchen Essentials

Assorted jams and jellies

Baking powder (GF, such as Clabber Girl or Calumet)

Baking soda

Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, GF refried beans, GF baked beans

Breads: GF bread, bagels, buns, waffles, and/or muffins

Bread crumbs (GF)

Bread machine

Bouillon base and cubes (GF)

Canned chicken (GF)

Canned tuna or salmon (GF)

Cereal (GF)

Cheese (GF)

Condiments (relish, GF ketchup, etc.)

Cookbooks

Cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch

Corn tortillas or tacos

Cottage cheese

Crackers (GF)

Cream of tartar

Crock pot

Eggs (whole, fresh)

Flours such as bean flour, chickpea flour, millet flour, potato starch flour, brown/white rice flour, sorghum flour, soy flour, sweet rice flour, and/or tapioca flour

Fresh and/or frozen fruit

Fresh meats

Fresh and/or frozen vegetables

Fruit juices

Herbs and pure spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, pure black pepper)

Honey

Margarine or butter

Milk (low fat or fat free)

Mixes for GF bread, muffins, waffles, cakes, and brownies

Nuts and seeds

Onions

Pasta (GF such as rice, corn, potato, legume, quinoa)

Peanut butter

Popcorn, plain or GF microwave popcorn

Potatoes (whole)

Pretzels (GF such as Glutino Brand)

Rice (brown)

Rice cakes: GF mini flavored rice cakes or large version

Salad dressings (GF)

Sauces (GF): BBQ sauce, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce

Seeds and nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)

Sugar (white and brown)

Tofu (plain)

Tomato paste, whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (GF)

Vanilla

Vegetable oil

Vinegar: white and red wine, cider, rice and balsamic

Xanthan gum or guar gum

Yogurt: plain or GF fruited yogurt

All About Gluten-Free Flours

There are plenty of gluten-free mixes on the market today that are perfect for breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes, and any of your favorite baked goods, but you can still bake from scratch if your heart so desires. It just takes a little extra work when baking with gluten-free flours. Many health food stores, specialty online gluten-free stores, and even local grocery stores sell gluten-free flours and/or flour mixtures. There are many types of flours that are gluten-free, but the typical ones include corn, rice, soy, tapioca, potato starch flour, or a mixture of these.

Using these types of flours in place of wheat flour may give foods a different taste and texture so practice and experiment with them to find the right combination. There are all types of cookbooks that can provide you with detailed information about gluten-free baking along with scrumptious recipes.

The following is a list of some of the types of gluten-free flours.

Amaranth: Mild nut-like flavor and good for baking, it is best when used in combination with other gluten-free flours.

Arrowroot flour: No real flavor, typically used as a thickener in many foods, similar in texture to cornstarch and can be exchanged for cornstarch, measure for measure, in recipes and mixes.

Brown rice flour: Slightly sweet, mild flavor, and excellent for use in desserts, it has a higher nutrient content (including fiber) than white rice flour and contains bran. Use it in combination with other gluten-free flours as a type of binding agent (such as eggs, mashed banana, or applesauce) to avoid a crumbly end product. Best used for breads, muffins, and cookies where a bran or nutty flavor is desired. Due to the oils in the bran, this flour has a short shelf life and its flavor will become stronger as it ages. Purchase it fresh and store it in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve it longer.

Buckwheat flour: Strong flavored, best when used in small quantities in combination with other gluten-free flours. Even though it has wheat in the name it is gluten-free and not related to wheat—it is instead related to the rhubarb plant. Be aware that some companies mix buckwheat flour with wheat flour to lessen its strong taste so always check.

Chickpea flour: Hearty but mild flavor, made from garbanzo beans, and high in protein and fiber, it can be used in combination with other gluten-free flours and when baking.

Corn flour: Milled from corn (maize), has a mild corn taste, and adds a light texture to baked goods, it is great for blending with cornmeal to make corn bread or corn muffins and best when used in combination with other gluten-free flours.

Garfava flour: A blend of garbanzo and fava beans, developed by Authentic Foods, it is high in protein and fiber, and it creates excellent volume and moisture content in baked goods.

Millet flour: Because it tends to make breads dry and course, substitute only 1/5 of the flour mixture with this flour.

Nut or legume flours: Nutty in flavor, it can be used in small portions to enhance the taste of puddings, cookies, or homemade pasta.

Potato flour: Not the same as potato starch flour and heavier in texture, it is best when used in small quantities and combined with other gluten-free flours, and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Potato starch flour: Made from potatoes, this fine white flour keeps well and is excellent for baking if sifted several times and used in recipes that include eggs. It can also be utilized as a thickener.

Rice polish: Soft, fluffy, and cream-colored, this flour is made from the hulls of brown rice. Much like rice bran and high in nutritive value, it has a short shelf life. Buy it fresh and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Sorghum flour: A fairly new product ground from specialty bred sorghum grain, it is best used in combination with other gluten-free flours, stores well on the pantry shelf, and can be substituted for rice flour.

Soy flour: Smooth textured and nutty in flavor, its defatted type is lower in fat and will store longer. Soy flour should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer (due to its shorter shelf life), is best when used in combination with other gluten-free flours because of its strong flavor, and has a high nutritive content. If you are sensitive to soy, bean flour can be substituted for soy flour in most recipes.

Sweet rice flour: Called “sticky rice” and made from a glutinous rice, this is an excellent thickening agent, especially in sauces that are to be refrigerated or frozen. Not the same as plain white rice flour, it helps to bind ingredients together when baking.

Tapioca starch flour: A light tasteless flour that comes from the root of the cassava plant, it adds a “chew” factor to baked goods, is excellent for thickening soups, creams, gravies, puddings, and gravies. It can be stored on the pantry shelf for long periods of time.

Teff flour: A versatile grain with a mild, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor, it can be a great thickener in soups, gravies, stews and pudding.

Quinoa flour: Slightly bitter in flavor, this makes excellent biscuits and pancakes.

White rice flour: Not much flavor or nutrition, it has a long shelf life, and is best used in combination with other gluten-free flours.

Whole bean flour or Romano bean flour: Dark and strong in taste, these flours are milled from the Romano or cranberry bean. They are high in fiber, protein, and other nutrients. Products made with these flours are denser and require less for best results.


Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD, LD, is an author and consulting dietitian in Brunswick, Ohio. Her books include the upcoming July release Tell Me What to Eat If I am Trying to Conceive, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Mediterranean Diet, and The Everything Nutrition Book. Kim currently owns and operates Nutrition Focus , a consulting company specializing in weight management, menu development, and other nutritional services. In addition, Kim acts as the RD on the board of directors for Lifestyles Technologies, Inc., a company that provides nutrition software solutions that develop a wide array of nutritionally sound menu templates.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Positive News of the Week



Cure for HIV has been rendered for one

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Japanese Elderly volunteer to deal with Nuclear clean-up

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Want to erase bad memories, it may be a possibility

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Pete the Moose spared due to new environmental law

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case of Travis Walton, an Excerpt

Alien abduction has captured the public’s imagination for more than 45 years through literary works, television programs, and motion pictures. But many scientists assert that it is no more than a modern myth created in the minds of fantasy-prone individuals, with the aid of hypnotic regression or hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations and/or sleep paralysis experienced by the scientifically na├»ve. Critics claim that there is no tangible evidence worthy of consideration, only unacceptable anecdotal information. But serious researchers assert that some UFO abductions are, in fact, real. Here we share information about the 1975 abduction of Travis Walton from Kathleen Marden's submission for Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: UFO's & Aliens


The November 5, 1975 abduction of 22-year-old Travis Walton is one of the best documented, most convincing UFO abductions ever reported. Travis was part of logging crew that was riding in a extended cab truck driven by the business owner, 28-year-old Mike Rogers. Also riding in the cab were Allen Dalis (20), John Goulette (21), Ken Peterson (25), Dwayne Smith (17), and Steve Pierce (17). They had just finished a day’s work clearing debris in the Sitgreaves National Forest outside Snowflake, Arizona (about 100 miles northeast of Phoenix).

Photo courtesy of Travis Walton.

They were traveling on a forest service road at twilight when they observed a glowing, disk-shaped object less than 90 feet away from the road, hovering about 20 feet above the ground. It wobbled and changed brightness, glowing a yellowish-white color. Travis exited the truck and approached the object, which by that time had started to rotate. A bright blue light suddenly shot out from the bottom of the craft, striking Travis and throwing him into the air and backward 10 feet. Fearing for their lives, his coworkers fled the area, but returned 15 minutes later when Mike Rogers observed what he believed to be the outline of the glowing object leaving the area. They searched in the frigid night air for Travis, but he was nowhere to be found.

Mike then drove the 10.5 miles along the rough forest service road into Heber and reported the incident to the sheriff’s department. The men’s UFO report was initially met with incredulity, but the fact that a young man was missing in rugged terrain and in potentially lethal weather conditions prompted a full-scale search. Men scoured the area on foot and horseback, but to no avail. Finally, Jeeps and helicopters were called in, but there was no trace of Travis.
Suspecting that he had been murdered and buried somewhere in the vast expanse of the Turkey Springs area of the Sitgreaves National Forest, the sheriff’s department asked the six suspects to submit to polygraph exams. The first three questions probed the men’s possible involvement in Travis’s disappearance. When asked, “Did you tell the truth about actually seeing a UFO last Wednesday when Travis disappeared?” all but Allen Dalis, an agitated and belligerent accused burglar, were deemed to have given truthful corroborating testimony. Allen’s exam was inconclusive due to his edgy emotional state.

Five nights later, Travis’s sister received a phone call from a phone booth in Heber. It was Travis. He told her he had “come to” lying down on the pavement and that he had seen the craft depart. He was dehydrated and had lost a significant amount of weight. Later he remembered waking up on a table with a 3 x 1 1/2 foot luminous rectangular object suspended above his body. A curved, dark gray appliance was folded over his chest cavity. The air was close, humid, and uncomfortably warm, and pain and weakness wracked his body. But when his eyes focused on a horrifying sight—enormous dark eyes set in a huge, hairless cranium—he struggled and began to lash out. He saw that he was surrounded by non-human entities slightly less than 5 feet tall and dressed in what looked like brownish-orange coveralls. He described their skin as having a pale, marshmallow-like appearance and texture. Their facial features reminded Travis of fetuses—small noses, slits for mouths, and no visible ears. By now nearly hysterical, Travis jumped up and assumed a defensive stance. The object that had been folded over his chest fell to the floor as he staggered into a corner in search of a weapon. The entities immediately scurried out the doorway, leaving Travis alone in the wedge-shaped room.

Travis fled down a curved hallway until he spotted an opening on the inside wall. He entered a round room that contained a single pedestal chair. As he approached the chair, the room darkened and he suddenly saw stars everywhere. When he moved a lever on the chair, a screen that was attached to the chair signaled movement. Realizing that his reckless experimentation might prove fatal, Travis left the chair and inspected what appeared to be a door that conformed to the shape of the circular room. Suddenly, what appeared to be a normal man (except for his strange amber eyes) wearing tight blue coveralls and a crystal clear helmet entered the room. He took Travis by the arm and led him into a tiny cubical that connected to what appeared to be a hangar. As he passed through the hangar, Travis observed three or four disk-shaped craft ranging in size from 45 to 60 feet long. He was led through an automatic door into another room. Seated at a table were three more people, two men and a woman. Without speaking a word, they assisted Travis onto a table and covered his face with a mask-like apparatus. His next conscious memory was of waking up on the cold pavement near Heber. Although Travis remembered only a two-hour ordeal, a total of five days had passed since his disappearance.

Naturally Travis wanted medical tests. Immediately, a representative from Ground Saucer Watch, a UFO investigating group, contacted Travis and arranged for him to see a doctor who was also a hypnotist. Coral Lorenzen, the co-founder of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), arranged for a confidential house call with two physicians. They performed a thorough physical exam and sent Travis’s urine sample to a laboratory for analysis. An examination determined that Travis wasn’t suffering from any major physical injuries. However, he was dehydrated, extremely distressed, had lost anywhere from 10 to14 pounds, and had what appeared to be a one- to three-day-old puncture wound in the inner part of his right elbow.

Although they were advised that Travis’s lack of rest and distressed emotional state would yield inconclusive results, authorities rushed Travis to submit to a polygraph exam. However, he passed two tests—one in 1976 and the other in 1993—with flying colors. Allen Dalis, the only man whose first test results were equivocal, passed a follow-up polygraph exam in 1993, as did Mike Rogers, whose integrity had been questioned by debunkers. Additionally, according to his MMPI results, Travis was emotionally healthy, had good self-awareness, and was adequately skeptical. A Rorschach (ink blot) test indicated that he was not highly suggestible. The late Dr. James Harder, a professor of hydraulic engineering at U.C. Berkeley and a trained hypnotist, attempted to recover more information from Travis through hypnotic regression, but only a few additional details about his abductor’s physical appearance and the craft’s interior emerged.

An ample amount of misinformation caused many twists and turns in the final outcome of this case. Some skeptical individuals intentionally lied, while others embellished the facts to create their own versions of the story. Despite a protracted effort by debunkers to discredit Travis Walton and the witnesses, however, no one has been able to successfully refute the case once they’ve examined the evidence. Now married with children, Travis has established a solid reputation as an honest, intelligent man who continues to swear that his abduction was real. This, combined with the fact that all seven men passed polygraph exams swearing that they didn’t take part in a hoax, and that Travis’s psychological evaluation was normal, lends credibility to his claim.


Kathleen Marden earned her BA in social work at the University of New Hampshire in 1971. After graduate studies in education at the University of Cincinnati, and later, at the University of New Hampshire, she began her professional career as a social worker and eventually entered the field of education as a teacher. Later, she was promoted to a supervisory position, coordinating education programs and supervising education staff. She eventually left her job in 1990 to pursue a career as a UFO investigator, researcher, and writer. As the niece of Betty and Barney Hill, Kathy had the opportunity to observe and learn from many of the great abduction researchers.

Kathy has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the History and Discovery channels, NH Chronicle, FOX News, and Coast to Coast AM. Kathy is currently a full-time writer and lecturer, speaking at numerous major UFO conferences throughout the United States. She is also the author of two books with Stanton T. Friedman: Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience and Science Was Wrong, both published by New Page Books.

Kathleen will be in attendance at the upcoming Roswalien Experience 2011 UFO Festival July 1-4 click here for tickets

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weird News of the Week



A Ninja and an Apple Store

Click Here for More


Police Shoot Fake Alligator

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A Bank account dating back to 1913

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Party Invite on Facebook Spins Out of Control

Click Here for More

Monday, June 6, 2011

Exposed, Uncovered and Declassified meets X-Zone Radio

Starting this afternoon we'll be kicking off our new series Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified with a special UFO Roundtable on X-Zone Radio with Rob McConnell. Authors will be featured talking about their different viewpoints on UFOs & Aliens.


The schedule is as follows for EST in hour segments:

June 6

11 PM Tom Carey

June 7

12 PM Nick Pope

Further details direct from X-Zone can be found here:

UFO ROUND TABLE MONDAY JUNE 6 & TUESDAY JUNE 7 2011

MONDAY JUNE 6 2011

SEGMENT 1: 10 pm - 11 pm / 7 pm - 8 pm Pacific
MARIE D JONES
- When is a UFO not a UFO? - Best selling authors Marie D. Jones and Larry Flaxman ask that very question as they examine the various potential alternative explanations for unidentified flying objects in "Identity Crisis: When Is A UFO Not A UFO?" From natural atmospheric phenomena and classified military prototypes to interdimensional time travelers and holographic projections, to constructs of the collective unconscious and hallucinogenic-driven visions, Jones and Flaxman explore the more "out-there" theories that prove there is a lot more to the UFO enigma than just the basic nuts and bolts spaceships from another planet.

SEGMENT 2: 11 pm - 12 am Eastern / 8 pm - 9 pm Pacific
THOMAS J CAREY
- Killing The Roswell Story - Thomas J. Carey, a native Philadelphian, holds degrees from Temple University (B.S. in Business Administration) and California State University, Sacramento (M.A. in Anthropology), and also attended the University of Toronto in its Ph.D. Program in Anthropology. An Air Force veteran who held a Top Secret/Crypto clearance, Tom is now a retired Philadelphia area businessman. He has been a Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) State Section Director for Southeastern Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2002, a Special Investigator for the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies [CUFOS] from 1991 to 2001, and a member of the CUFOS board of directors from 1997 to 2001. Tom began investigating aspects of the Roswell Incident in 1991 for the Roswell investigative team of Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt, and since 1998 has teamed exclusiv ely with Don Schmitt to continue a proactive investigation of the case. Tom has authored or coauthored more than 30 published articles about the Roswell events of 1947, and has contributed to a number of books on the subject as well. Tom was a consultant and interviewee (with Don Schmitt) on the highly acclaimed and rated 2002, two-hour SciFi Channel documentary, The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, the History Channel's Conspiracy Theory, the Travel Channel's Weird Travels, the SciFi Channel's SciFi Investigates and the History Channel's, The UFO Hunters. He was also featured in the 20th Century Fox, Golden Anniversary, re-release DVD of the 1951 sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still. His 2007 book [with Don Schmitt], Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-Year Cover-Up, was the #1 best-selling UFO book in the world in 2007-2008. The sequel, Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the Government's Biggest Cover-Up, published 2009, remains a best seller. Both books are con sidered to be the best books ever written about the Roswell Incident. A motion picture, based upon these books, is in the works, as is a book about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base [and its secrets] in Dayton, Ohio, which is scheduled for publication in 2012. Tom and his wife of 43 years, Doreen, have two grown children and reside in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.

SEGMENT 3: 12 am - 01 am Eastern / 9 pm - 10 pm Pacific
NICK REDFERN - The Kingman Affair: A Strange Tale of a Crashed UFO and a Dead Alien - Nick Redfern works full?time as an author, lecturer and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, the worlds of the supernatural and the paranormal, and government conspiracies and cover?ups. He is a regular contributor to UFO Magazine, Fate, Fortean Times, and Paranormal Magazine. He has also written for Military Illustrated, Eye?Spy, Penthouse and the British Daily Express, Western Daily Press and People newspapers. His previous books include Contactees; Memoirs of a Monster Hunter; Final Events; On the Trail of the Saucer Spies; Three Men Seeking Monsters; A Covert Agenda; The FBI Files; Cosmic Crashes; Celebrity Secrets; Body Snatchers in the Desert; Monsters of Texas; Science Fiction Secrets; There's something in the Woods; Strange Secrets and NASA Conspir acies. Nick has appeared on numerous television shows, including the BBC's Out of this World; Britain's Big Breakfast; History Channel's Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle; Monster Quest and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel's Paranatural; MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann; and the SyFy Channel's Proof Positive. His investigations have taken him to Puerto Rico in search of the blood?sucking Chupacabras; to Roswell, New Mexico on a quest for the truth behind the famous UFO crash of 1947; and to Wisconsin in pursuit of the infamous Mothman. Nick is the co?host, with Raven Meindel, of the weekly, paranormal?themed radio?show, Exploring All Realms. He writes a regular, weekly column for Mania.com on his investigations into mysterious creatures titled Lair of the Beasts. Nick runs the American office of the British?based Center for Fortean Zoology, one of the very few full?time groups in the world dedicated to the investigation of such unknown animals as Bigfoot, t he Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabras, sea?serpents, and the Abominable Snowman. Originally from England, Nick Redfern lives in Arlington, Texas with his wife, Dana. H

SEGMENT 4: 01 am - 02 am Eastern / 10 pm - 11 pm Pacific
KATHLEEN MARDEN - UFO's and Alien Abductions Betty and Barney Hill's Neice - Kathleen Marden was trained as a social scientist and educator and holds a B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire. She participated in graduate studies in education at The University of Cincinnati and UNH. She is also a certified hypnotherapist. During her fifteen years as an educator, she innovated, designed and implemented model educational programs. She also held a supervisory position, coordinating, training and evaluating education staff. Additionally, she taught adult education classes on UFO and abduction history. She is the director of field investigator training (emeritus) for MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), the largest international UFO organization. In 2003, MUFON publicly recognized Kathy for her outstanding contribution of advancing the scientific study of the UFO phenomenon and demonstrating positive leadership. For the past twenty years she h as engaged in UFO research and investigation and written numerous articles pertaining to UFO abduction phenomena. Kathy was a primary witness to the evidence of her aunt and uncle, Betty and Barney Hills' 1961 UFO encounter and the aftermath. After Betty's death in 2004, Kathy compiled two permanent archival collections for the Milne Special Collection and Archives Department at the UNH Library. The Hills' civil rights collection is comprised of documents, letters, photographs and newspaper articles pertaining to Betty's and Barney's social and political activities. The UFO collection contains all of all the correspondence, articles, and other material from Betty's extensive files, including new material, Betty's dress, and the forensic paintings of her captors by artist, David Baker. In 1996, Betty released to Kathy the audio tapes of the hypnosis sessions she and Barney participated in with renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Benjamin Simon. With Betty's approval, she transcribed t he tapes and conducted a comparative analysis of the Hills' individual testimony versus Betty's dream account of alien abduction. Her book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, (coauthored with nuclear physicist/scientific ufologist Stanton Friedman) was published in 2007. Kathy has appeared on numerous television and radio programs in the US, Canada and Europe. Additionally, she has lectured throughout the United States. Kathy divides her time between Clermont, Florida, and Newburyport, Massachusetts

TUESDAY JUNE 7 2011

SEGMENT 1: 10 pm - 11 pm / 7 pm - 8 pm Pacific
LARRY FLAXMAN - "Identity Crisis: When Is A UFO Not A UFO? - Larry Flaxman is the best-selling author of "11:11- The Time Prompt Phenomenon: The Meaning Behind Mysterious Signs, Sequences and Synchronicities" and "The Resonance Key: Exploring the Links Between Vibration, Consciousness and the Zero Point Grid." He also has a screenplay in development and is a regular contributor to TAPS ParaMagazine, New Dawn, and other paranormal publications. Larry is the President and Senior Researcher of ARPAST, the Arkansas Paranormal and Anomalous Studies Team, which he founded in February of 2007. Under his leadership, ARPAST has become one of the nation's largest and most active paranormal research organizations, with over 150 members worldwide dedicated to conducting research into the paranormal using the most stringent scientific methodology. ARPAST is also now a proud member of the TAPS family (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). Larry supervises a staff of fully trained researchers and over $250,000 worth of top-of-the-line equipment. Larry also serves as technical advisor to several paranormal research groups throughout the country. Larry has appeared in numerous print interviews, including newspapers, magazines and online publications and has appeared on television, most recently on Discovery Channel's "Ghost Lab," and on JustIn TV's "In Search of the Paranormal." He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio programs, including "Coast to Coast AM," "X-Zone," "Ghostly Talk," "Eerie Radio," "Crossroads Paranormal," "Binall of America," "The Jeff Rense Show," and "Haunted Voices." In addition, Larry is co-creator of the popular new ParaTracker software program for documenting data from paranormal investigations. He is a highly requested speaker at major paranormal conferences educational seminars across the country, and is partners with Marie D. Jones in ParaExplorers. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

SEGMENT 2: 11 pm - 12 am Eastern / 8 pm - 9 pm Pacific
MICHAH A HANKS - Army Officer's Experience of Seeing a UFO - Micah A. Hanks is a full-time journalist, radio personality, author and investigator of the unexplained. Since an early age, he has been fascinated with strange mysteries and "Fortean phenomena," a field of study named for the pioneering researcher of all-things-strange, Charles Fort. Hanks' exposure to Fort's work, as well as the later writings of personalities such as zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson, cosmologist Carl Sagan, and several others helped establish an open minded-but inherently skeptical-approach to studying the unexplained, which Hanks maintains and continues to cultivate today, much like his numerous influences of past decades. Throughout his many years studying the world's mysteries, Hanks has visited a number of places collecting information about not only aliens and UFOs, but also cultural data, folklore, and reports of strange creatures like Sasquatch. From steep mountain passes in remote parts of Montana, to the rolling valleys where Ohio's "Grassman" is said to trudge, Hanks has made a lifestyle of pursuing mysteries, often right to their sources. He also spent a number of years working with various scientists, historians, and film crews, particularly fellow researcher and friend Joshua P. Warren, attempting to solve the mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights. These strange "ghost lights" represent an atmospheric phenomenon specific to Western North Carolina, likened by many to be ufological in nature. His interest in the region and its many mysteries, as well as his ever-evolving methods of inquiry pertaining to the UFO phenomenon at large, remains underway. Hanks has been featured as a guest on many television and radio programs, including History Channel's Guts and Bolts, Travel Channel's Weird Travels, CNN Radio, and The Jeff Rense Program. He is also a staff writer for UFO Magazine, Mysterious Universe, and regular contributor t o Intrepid Magazine, with past articles appearing in FATE, Mysteries Magazine, and several other publications. The latest news about UFOs and unexplained phenomena, as well as information about Micah's ongoing projects and appearances, are available at his website The Gralien Report.

SEGMENT 3: 12 am - 01 am Eastern / 9 pm - 10 pm Pacific
JIM MORONEY - UFO Abductee - Jim Moroney is author of the The Extraterrestrial Answer Book and UFOs and Aliens Book. He is a respected and engaging international speaker on the UFO phenomenon with over 20 years of experience in UFO research. A formal education in science, transpersonal psychology and health and safety he is also the Executive Director of a Health and Safety Association in Canada and continues to instruct courses at The University of Calgary. He is also the former radio talk show host on Web Talk Radio - "Into The Unknown" and has appeared on local and national television and documentaries.

SEGMENT 3: 12 am - 01 am Eastern / 9 pm - 10 pm Pacific
NICK POPE - UK's Ministry of Defense UFO Files - Author, journalist and TV personality Nick Pope worked for the British government for 21 years, at the Ministry of Defense. In the course of his career, he served in a number of different posts, but is best known for work that he did between 1991 and 1994, when he was posted to a division where his duties included investigating reports of UFOs. The purpose of these investigations was to see whether anything reported might pose any threat to the defense of the UK, or suggest the existence of anything that might be of more general defense interest. Most sightings turned out to be misidentifications of ordinary objects or phenomena, but a small percentage remained unexplained. Contrary to popular belief, there was no definitive evidence that any of these sightings were extraterrestrial in origin. However, the Ministry of Defense remained open-minded about the possibilities and took no position on the existence of extraterrestrial life. Nick Pope was initially skeptical about UFOs, but his official research and investigation convinced him that whatever the nature of the sightings that remained unexplained, the UFO phenomenon raised important defense, national security and air safety issues. He was particularly interested in cases where the witnesses were pilots, or where UFOs were tracked on radar. More recently, Nick Pope has been involved in the program to declassify and release the MoD's UFO files and send them to the National Archives. This involved selecting some cases that would be of interest to the media, making a film to promote the release and giving newspaper, TV and radio interviews to publicize the story. Nick Pope left the Ministry of Defense in 2006. He now works as a freelance journalist and media commentator, writing and broadcasting on a wide range of subjects, including UFOs, the unexplained, conspiracy theories, fringe science, defense, intelli gence, space and science fiction. Nick Pope works with a wide range of film companies, TV networks and production companies, helping develop ideas for new films, TV shows and documentaries. He contributes regularly to various news programs, chat shows and documentaries. Nick Pope works with various PR, marketing and advertising agencies, promoting sci-fi films and advertising campaigns themed around the unexplained. He has worked for clients that include Microsoft, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures and has been involved in promoting The X-Files: I Want To Believe and the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Nick Pope lectures all around the world and this has included addressing the Oxford Union and the Cambridge Union Society, as well as speaking at the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Global Competitiveness Forum 2011. Nick Pope has written four books, all of which have been published by Simon & Schuster. His non-fiction books are Open Skies Closed Minds, abo ut UFOs, and The Uninvited, about the alien abduction mystery. Both books made the Top Ten in the Sunday Times list of hardback non-fiction books, with Open Skies Closed Minds reaching number three and staying in the Top Ten for ten weeks. These books have been translated into various foreign languages. Nick Pope has also written two science fiction novels about an alien invasion, Operation Thunder Child and Operation Lightning Strike. There have been discussions about producing a film or a TV miniseries based on these books. Nick Pope lives in London.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Awaken Your Personal Power with The Path of Energy

Learning to consciously interact in the domain of subtle energy is the next step in personal and planetary transformation. The Path of Energy is a unique handbook of principles, practices and exercises to help you access your energy awareness and live a more empowered life. Here we've shared a meditation exercise from Chapter 10: Developing Personal Power: Grounding, Centering, Presence and Creating Boundaries. Also shared is one of the Foundations from Chapter 3: Patterns of Light.

Presence

Your presence is your personal emanation—your projection of yourself into the world. It’s the vibe people have when they’re with you. You may have a calm and gentle presence, a murderous presence, or any variation in between. Your presence is your ambassador to the world. It negotiates your intent and opens or closes the doors that co-create your circumstances.

Presence informs others of the manner in which your energy is following your mind. If your mind is frenzied and unbalanced, your energy will be scattered and your presence will be insubstantial. If your mind is focused and disciplined, your energy will be coherent and you will be masterful. The quality of your energy is reflected in your presence.

Where you place your attention is where your energy flows. Strong attention comes from disciplining your mind, a practice that increases the strength of your energy field. When you place your attention firmly on an object with no distractions, you develop your presence and it becomes a powerfully ally. Your presence can feel into the nooks and crannies of a situation, it can discern truth, it can forge strong alliances, and it can bring meaning and connection, creating better outcomes.

The key skill in developing presence is the ability to hold multiple factors in focus simultaneously. One example of this is staying connected with your inner core while also connecting with elements in the outer world, balancing your attention between your inner feelings and an external person or event. The presence involved with this kind of attention is profound. As a receiver, it is the difference between being listened to and being heard, and the difference between simply being with someone and being connected. Another example is balancing intuitive information with intellectual reasoning. Both work together, one providing energy information and the other providing intellectual reasoning.

Being in the present moment, balanced between the forces of the past and the forces of the future, is one of the most profound examples of this skill. The point of power, the place of decisions, is always in the present moment and the ability to be engaged in the present is the point of personal power.

The Circle of Life pattern activates an energy flow in the shape of a torus, or donut-like array, through and encircling your body. The donut hole of the torus aligns with your cylindrical core and the outer tube expands your personal emanation. Both increase your presence. Here’s a shortened version.

Increasing Presence Exercise

1. Center and ground yourself as described.
2. Activate the Circle of Life pattern.
3. As you inhale, draw energy up your center line from your Base chakra.
4. Breathe the energy through your physical and spiritual centers, and send it out through your Crown chakra.
5. Allow energy to flow as a fountain out of the top of your head, cascading in an arc around you and collecting in a pool beneath your Base chakra.
6. Keep drawing the energy up, through, and out, forming the torus pattern.
7. With every breath, increase the size of the torus until it reaches the largest radius you can sustain with ease.
8. Notice how your balance, vitality, clarity, and attention are affected.

Circle of Life

Keyword: Energizing

Description: This meditation activates your meridians by circulating energy along the Great Central Channel of Chinese medicine. This channel feeds and interacts with your entire meridian system, while nourishing and defending your bodymind. The meditation has two distinct flows. In one, energy travels down the center line of the front of your body, under and then up your back. Sometimes this pattern is called the Microcosmic Orbit. In the second flow, a circle is created by energy traveling up the internal central core of your body, the Hara line, becoming a fountain when it crests the top of your head. Like a fountain, the energy flows down around the boundary of your aura, pooling under your Base chakra, where it is gathered together and re-circulated up your core. The Circle of Life nourishes and revitalizes all aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional being. It helps prepare your nervous system to handle larger quantities of high frequency energy.

Benefits

  • Promotes balance between nourishment and defense.
  • Supports your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual constitution.
  • Revitalizes, renews, and rejuvenates.
  • Balances excess/deficient energy.
  • Creates even distribution and smooth flow of energy.
  • Clears your thinking and focuses your actions.
  • Opens psychic perception.
  • Prepares the body for higher spiritual frequencies.

Use to:

  • Improve health and strengthen the immune system.
  • Regain physical strength after trauma, depletion, or exhaustion.
  • Clear old, stagnant ideas and beliefs; create positive action.
  • Prepare for spiritual and /or healing work.

Flow Pattern

  1. Sit comfortably with your back straight and well supported.
  2. Breathe in, center, and ground yourself, letting go of unnecessary tension.
  3. Relax your jaw and place your tongue lightly on the roof of your mouth. Contract your perineum as though holding your bladder.
  4. Inhale, drawing the breath in below your belly button to an area called the Hara or Sea of Energy, where vital life force is stored. Breathe light into this area until your belly feels full and vibrant.
  5. While breathing, on your inhale imagine light flowing from your belly down under your torso into your sacrum, up your spine, and out through the top of your head.
  6. On your exhalations, imagine energy flowing down your face and through your tongue, down the front of your body, curling under your torso, and up your spine to complete the circuit.
  7. In tandem with your breathing, keep the energy flowing along this pathway until your bodymind feels awake and alive.
  8. At the completion of the meditation, draw all the energy into your Hara for storage.

Caution: It’s easy to become over-stimulated with this exercise. To avoid this, begin your practice with shorter sessions. If you do become over-stimulated, send the excess energy out of your hands and feet. With practice you will be able to handle both larger quantities and higher frequencies of energy.

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