Friday, May 2, 2008

Parapsychology (from the Greek: παρά para, "alongside" + psychology) is the study of paranormal psychological phenomena, such as extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, and survival of consciousness after death. Parapsychologists call these processes psi, a term non-suggestive of what causes the phenomena or experiences. To date, no evidence has been accepted by the mainstream scientific community as irrefutably supporting paranormal phenomena.

The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was founded in London in 1882. The SPR was the first systematic effort to organize scientists and scholars for a critical and sustained investigation of paranormal phenomena. The early membership of the SPR included philosophers, scholars, scientists, educators and politicians, such as Henry Sidgwick, Arthur Balfour, William Crookes, and Charles Richet.

MPEG-4 Early psychical research
In 1911, Stanford University became the first academic institution in the United States to study extra-sensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) in a laboratory setting. The effort was headed by psychologist John Edgar Coover. In 1930, Duke University became the second major U.S. academic institution to engage in the critical study of ESP and psychokinesis in the laboratory. Under the guidance of psychologist William McDougall, and with the help of others in the department, including psychologists Karl Zener, Joseph B. Rhine and Louisa E. Rhine, laboratory ESP experiments began, using volunteer subjects from the undergraduate student body. As opposed to the approaches of psychical research, which generally sought qualitative evidence for paranormal phenomena, the experiments at Duke University proffered a quantitative, statistical approach using cards and dice. As a consequence of the ESP experiments at Duke, standard laboratory procedures for the testing of ESP developed and came to be adopted by interested researchers throughout the world.

Rhine era
The Parapsychological Association (PA) was created in Durham, North Carolina, on June 19, 1957. Its formation was proposed by J. B. Rhine at a workshop on parapsychology, which was held at the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University. Rhine proposed that the group form itself into the nucleus of an international professional society in parapsychology. The aim of the organization, as stated in its Constitution became "to advance parapsychology as a science, to disseminate knowledge of the field, and to integrate the findings with those of other branches of science".

Decade of increased research (1970s)
Contemporary parapsychological research has waned considerably.

Parapsychology today

Parapsychologists study a number of ostensible paranormal phenomena, including but not limited to:
The definitions for the terms above may not reflect their mainstream usage, nor the opinions of all parapsychologists and their critics. Many critics, for example, feel that parapsychologists are engaged in the study of phenomena that disappear under stringent experimental conditions and are thus normal processes.
According to the Parapsychological Association, parapsychologists do not study all paranormal phenomena, nor are they concerned with astrology, UFOs, Bigfoot, paganism, vampires, alchemy, or witchcraft.

Telepathy: Transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses.
Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.
Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations, by means unknown to current science.
Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to current science.
Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul or other non-physical aspect of human consciousness in a new physical body after death.
Hauntings: Phenomena often attributed to ghosts and encountered in places a deceased individual is thought to have frequented, or in association with the person's former belongings. Scope
Parapsychologists employ a variety of approaches during the study of apparent paranormal phenomena. These methods include qualitative approaches used in traditional psychology, but also quantitative empirical methodologies. Their more controversial studies involve the use of meta-analyses in examining the statistical evidence for psi.


Experimental research

Main article: Ganzfeld experiment Ganzfeld

Main article: Remote viewing Remote viewing

Main article: Psychokinesis Psychokinesis on random number generators
This experimental domain was previously called "bio-PK." More recently, researchers refer to it as 'direct mental interactions with living systems' (DMILS). It studies the effects of one person's intentions on a distant person's psychophysiological state. One type of DMILS experiment looks at the commonly reported "feeling of being stared at." The "starer" and the "staree" are isolated in different locations, and the starer is periodically asked to simply gaze at the staree via closed circuit video links. Meanwhile the staree's nervous system activity is automatically and continuously monitored.
Parapsychologists have interpreted the cumulative data on this and similar DMILS experiments to suggest that one person's attention directed towards a remote, isolated person, can significantly activate or calm that person's nervous system. In a meta-analysis of these experiments published in the British Journal of Psychology in 2004, researchers found that overall there was a small, but significant DMILS effect. However, the study also found that when a small number of the highest quality studies from one laboratory were analyzed, the effect size was not significant. The authors concluded that although the existence of some anomaly related to distant intentions cannot be ruled out, there was also a shortage of independent replications and theoretical concepts.

Direct mental influence on living systems

Main article: Near-death experience Near death experiences
A number of studies conducted in the American, European, and Australasian continents have found that a majority of people surveyed report having had experiences that could be interpreted as telepathy, precognition, and similar phenomena. Variables that have been associated with reports of psi-phenomena include belief in the reality of psi, the tendency to have hypnotic, dissociative, and other alterations of consciousness, and, less reliably so, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience. Although psi-related experiences can occur in the context of such psychopathologies as schizotypal personality, dissociative, and other disorders, most individuals who endorse a belief in psi are well-adjusted, lack serious pathology, and are not intellectually deficient or lacking critical abilities.

Anomalous psychology
Scientists who are critical of parapsychology begin with the assertion that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Proponents of hypotheses that contradict centuries of scientific research must provide extraordinary evidence if their hypotheses are to be taken seriously.

Parapsychology Criticism
There have been instances of fraud in the history of parapsychology research. The Soal-Goldney experiments of 1941–43 (suggesting precognitive ability in subjects) were long regarded as some of the best in the field because they relied upon independent checking and witnesses to prevent fraud. However, many years later, suspicions of fraud were confirmed when statistical evidence, uncovered and published by other parapsychologists in the field, indicated that Dr. Soal had cheated by altering the raw data. Such methodological failures have been cited as evidence that most, if not all, extraordinary results in parapsychology derive from error or fraud.

Although some critical analysts feel that parapsychological study is scientific, they are not satisfied with its experimental results.

Criticism of experimental results
Selective reporting has been offered by critics as an explanation for the positive results reported by parapsychologists. Selective reporting is sometimes referred to as a "file drawer" problem, which arises when only positive study results are made public, while studies with negative or null results are not made public.

Organizations and publications

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Coordinates: 53°26′33″N 2°59′34″W / 53.4424, -2.9929
Bootle is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, in Merseyside, England. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north of Liverpool city centre, and has a total resident population of 77,640.
Historically part of Lancashire, Bootle's economy has been around the docks and their associated industries for decades.

Geography and administration

Bootle derives from Old English botl 'building', although what building referred to exactly is unknown as of now. It was recorded as Boltelai in the Domesday Book in 1086.

Bootle Etymology
Bootle was originally a small hamlet built near the 'sand hills' or dunes of the river estuary. The settlement began to grow as a bathing resort for wealthy residents of Liverpool in the early 19th century. Some remaining large villas which housed well-to-do commuters to Liverpool are located in the area known locally as 'Bootle Village'.

The docks made Bootle a target for German bombers during the Liverpool Blitz and approximately 90% of the houses in the town were damaged.
Bootle played an important role in the 'Battle of the Atlantic'. The famous u-boat hunter Captain Frederic John 'Johnny' Walker, would rest in the Mayor's Parlour of Bootle Town Hall. His ship, HMS Starling, sailed out of Bootle and the ship's bell and flags signalling the General Chase can still be seen in Bootle Town Hall's council chamber today.

Second World War
After The Second World War large social housing estates were built inland from the town centre, including the area of Netherton which was built on New Town principles. The Liverpool Overhead Railway and Liverpool Tramways Company closure in the 50s reduced Bootle's connection to Liverpool.
Bootle did share in the postwar boom. The centre of the town was redeveloped and the 'Bootle New Strand' shopping centre was opened in the late 1960s. At the same time new offices and were built in the town centre. The town lost it access to the beach when neighbouring Seaforth Sands was redeveloped in the early 1970s, but the Seaforth Container Port brought new jobs into the area.
The local authority, and other 'social' landlords, saw to it that new housing was built and older stock rennovated. Bootle did not go down the route of massive housing clearance and many local communities remained intact.
The borough celebrated its centenary in 1968 and civic pride was much in evidence.

Bootle Post-War
The docks declined in importance in the 1960s and 1970s, and Bootle suffered high unemployment and a declining population. The establishment of large office blocks housing government departments and the National Girobank provided employment, but this was filled largely by middle class people from outside the town.
A further blow came in the early 1970s when local government reorganisation saw Bootle lose its borough status, to be absorbed into the new local authority of Sefton. While in the long run this was to be beneficial, the old borough being too small to support modern local government services, the town was robbed of its identity and few could muster any civic pride for the new creation.
More fundamental that political change was economic change. The very reason for Bootle's existence, the access to the Mersey, became almost irrelevant as the docks closed and the new container port required far fewer workers than the old docks had. This in turn affected practically every other industry in the town. The problems slowly gathered pace until Merseyside hit crisis point in the early 1980s.

Bootle is undergoing a massive regeneration project, which has already begun with the new HSE buildings and the new-look Strand Road. Many old houses are being demolished to make way for new housing projects and lots of regeneration projects for existing properties and council buildings are to begin shortly.
A number of other development projects have recently been submitted for planning permission and should commence development within Late 2006 or 2007 after being accepted. These include the significant refurbishment of Oriel Road Station, promoted by Merseytravel, the creation of a new block of apartments on the site of the Stella Maris building and a Lidl store on Stanley Road. Walmart stores inc, owners of Asda superstores have invested in building a new superstore on Strand Road.
It is perhaps in this new spirit of optimism, that banners have appeared, adorning the town centre with the Latin motto of the former borough: 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice.'

There are two railway stations served by frequent electric services from Liverpool to Southport. These are Oriel Road near the Victorian civic centre, and New Strand, serving the Shopping Centre. A freight line, the Bootle Branch, is still in use. Sefton has pushed for the reopening of the North Mersey Branch.
The Bus Station is underneath the New Strand Shopping Centre.


Tom Baker, of Doctor Who fame, born in Fountains Road, Bootle (1934).
Will Hanrahan, a BBC news and features presenter (Watchdog, Good Morning). Particularly notable for reporting from the Rwandan Civil War. Currently producing an eclectic mix of programmes, factual entertainment programmes for ITV and Sky one (Star Lives, Vorderman's Brain Game), and most recently produced a documentary marking the 10th anniversary of the Dublane massacre. Born in Netherton and schooled at St. Benet's and St. Mary's College in Crosby.
Ste McNally: (born Stephen Patrick McNally, on 4 July 1978, in Bootle) electric guitar and vocals for pop group BBMac
Jamie Carragher (born January 28, 1978 in Knowsley Road, Bootle, Sefton) is an English international footballer. He currently plays his club football, where he is vice-captain, at Liverpool F.C.., where he was taken on as a trainee youngster and wears the number 23 shirt. He plays almost always on the back line, most of the time at centre-half, though he has been featured in a variety of positions.
Steve McManaman (born February 11, 1972 in Bootle, England) was a famous English footballer of the 1990s and early 2000s who played as a midfielder in a career that spanned two of European football's biggest club sides in Liverpool and Manchester City.
Tom O'Connor (born October 31, 1939 in Bootle) is a British comedian. He is best known for presenting game shows such as Crosswits and Gambit. His TV break came when he appeared on The Comedians. During the 1970s and 1980s he was one of the most popular faces on British TV.
George Davies (born 1941, in Bootle) is a British fashion retailer who founded 'Next' in the 1980s and 'George at Asda' in the 1990s. Subsequently, he has also produced the successful Per Una fashion collection, launched in September 2001 at Marks & Spencer stores.
Alvin Martin (born July 29, 1958 in Bootle) is one of West Ham United's all-time greats, a true professional respected by fans and players alike. Alvin was rejected by his local club Everton before joining West Ham United straight from school
Roy Evans (born Bootle, 4th October 1948) was a Liverpool player who eventually rose through the coaching ranks to become team manager.
Craig Charles (born Bootle, July 11, 1964) is a British actor, poet and radio and television presenter. He is best known for playing Dave Lister in Red Dwarf. The character, Lister, lost his virginity at Bootle Municipal Golf Course, and once appeared naked onstage at the Bootle-players' amateur production of "The Importance Of Being Earnest".
Nick Dougherty born in Bootle on 24 May 1982) is an English golfer. He is a protégé of Nick Faldo and had an exceptional amateur career with numerous tournament wins including the 1999 World Boys Championship and three in Faldo Junior Series events. He was a member of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland 2001 Walker Cup team.
Billy J. Kramer was born Billy Ashton the youngest of seven children and lived in Hankey Drive in Bootle. He and his band "The Dakotas" played the Hamburg clubs at the same time as "The Beatles". There first hit was the "Lennon and McCartney" composition "Do You Want To Know A Secret" which reached No2 in May 1963. He had two number one hits with "Bad To Me" and "Little Children"
Mark Ford the poet and intellectual is one of the more famous residents of Bootle; the family home there owing to his father's past manufacturing interests, long since abandoned.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cleves is a village located on the Ohio River in western Hamilton County, Ohio, United States. The population was 2,790 at the 2000 census. The village is named for John Cleves Symmes who lived here, laid out the original town site, and sold lots.

Cleves, Ohio Geography
Cleves is located at 39°9′40″N, 84°45′1″W (39.161241, -84.750288).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²), all of it land.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Plaza de soberanía
The plazas de soberanía ("places of sovereignty"), also referred as "África Septentrional Española" (Spanish North Africa) or simply "África Española" (Spanish Africa) are the current Spanish territories in continental North Africa, bordering Morocco.
Since the Reconquista, the Spanish have held numerous emplacements in North Africa. Many of them, such as Oran, have been lost, and nowadays, with an approximate population of 143,000 people, only the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla, which constitute the two Plazas de Soberanía Mayores (or Large Places of Sovereignty), and the Islas Chafarinas, the Peñón de Alhucemas and the Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, which constitute the three Plazas de Soberanía Menores (or Lesser Sovereignty Places), still forming part of Spain.

Castile intervened in Northern Africa, competing with the Portuguese Empire, when Henry III of Castile began the colonization of the Canary Islands in 1402, sending Norman explorer Jean de Béthencourt.
The coastal villages and towns of Spain, Italy and Mediterranean islands were frequently attacked by Barbary pirates from North Africa, the Formentera was even temporarily left by its population and long stretches of the Spanish and Italian coasts were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants. In 1514, 1515 and 1521 coasts of the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland were raided by infamous Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa. According to Robert Davis between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by North African pirates and sold as slaves between the 16th and 17th century. Slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
In 1481 the papal Bull Æterni regis had granted all land south of the Canary Islands to Portugal. Only this archipelago and the cities of Sidi Ifni (14761524), known then as "Santa Cruz de Mar Pequeña", Melilla (conquered by Pedro de Estopiñán in 1497), Villa Cisneros (founded in 1502 in current Western Sahara), Mazalquivir (1505), Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera (1508), Oran (15091790), Algiers (151029), Bugia (151054), Tripoli (151151), Tunis (153569) and Ceuta (ceded by Portugal in 1668) remained as Spanish territory in Africa.
In 1848, Spanish troops conquered the Islas Chafarinas.
When Spain relinquished its protectorate over the North of Morocco, Spanish Morocco, and recognized Morocco's independence in 1956, it did not give over the plazas de soberanía, since Spain had held them since before its acquiring its protectorate. They are, however, part of the Greater Morocco claimed by nationalist movements in Morocco. Isla Perejil was occupied on July 11, 2002 by the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie and troops, who were evicted without bloodshed by Spanish naval forces.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The desktop metaphor is a set of unifying concepts currently used in a number of graphical user interfaces in computer operating systems. The monitor of a computer represents the user's desktop upon which documents and folders of documents can be placed. A document can be opened into a window, which represents a paper copy of the document placed on the desktop. Small applications called desk accessories are also available, such as a desk calculator, etc.
The desktop metaphor itself has been extended and stretched with various implementations, since access to features and usability of the computer are usually more important than maintaining the 'purity' of the metaphor. Hence we find trash cans on the desktop, as well as disks and network volumes (which can be thought of as filing cabinets — not something normally found on a desktop). Other features such as menu bars, task bars, or docks have no counterpart on a real-world desktop.
In recent times the filing cabinet and desktop metaphor has become less important, especially since the advent of very large storage media, which can make the easy navigation of large numbers of files and folders problematic. A more user-oriented approach is gaining favour, where the user can organise documents in a manner that facilitates his or her particular needs, rather than being forced to use a file-system view of the system. The addition of 'smart folders' and the like leads to a method of locating files that is based on search criteria important to the user, rather than its physical arrangement on disk, which, according to recent thought, is of no importance to the user.

Desktop metaphor Paper Paradigm

Interface Metaphor
History of the GUI
Desktop environment
WIMP (computing)
Virtual desktop
Tiling window manager
Operating system
File browser

Friday, April 25, 2008

Franz Schlegelberger
Louis Rudolph Franz Schlegelberger (born 23 October 1876 in Königsberg, East Prussia, now Kaliningrad, Russia; died 14 December 1970 in Flensburg) was State Secretary in the German Reich Ministry of Justice (RMJ) and served awhile as Justice Minister during the Third Reich. He was the highest-ranking defendant at the Nuremberg Judges' Trial.

In the Nazi Party
At the Nuremberg Judges' Trial Schlegelberger was one of the main accused. He was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In the reasons given for the judgment, it says:
'…that Schlegelberger supported the pretension of Hitler in his assumption of power to deal with life and death in disregard of even the pretense of judicial process. By his exhortations and directives, Schlegelberger contributed to the destruction of judicial independence. It was his signature on the decree of 7 February 1942 which imposed upon the Ministry of Justice and the courts the burden of the prosecution, trial, and disposal of the victims of Hitler's Night and Fog. For this he must be charged with primary responsibility.
'He was guilty of instituting and supporting procedures for the wholesale persecution of Jews and Poles. Concerning Jews, his ideas were less brutal than those of his associates, but they can scarcely be called humane. When the "final solution of the Jewish question" was under discussion, the question arose as to the disposition of half-Jews. The deportation of full Jews to the East was then in full swing throughout Germany. Schlegelberger was unwilling to extend the system to half-Jews.'
In 1950 the 74-year-old Schlegelberger was released owing to incapacity. For years afterward, he drew a monthly pension of DM 2,894 (for comparison, the average monthly income in Germany at that time was DM 535). Schlegelberger then lived in Flensburg.


Michael Förster, Jurist im Dienst des Unrechts: Leben und Werk des ehemaligen Staatssekretärs im Reichsjustizministerium, Franz Schlegelberger, 1876-1970, Baden-Baden 1995
Eli Nathans, Franz Schlegelberger, Baden-Baden 1990
Arne Wulff, Staatssekretär Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Franz Schlegelberger, 1876-1970, Frankfurt am Main 1991

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jerry Holkins
Keith Gerald "Jerry" Holkins (born February 6, 1976), is the writer of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade. Holkins goes by the pseudonym "Tycho Brahe" online. This is also the name of one of the two main characters of Penny Arcade, who is a cartoonized self-insertion of Holkins. However, as the character of Tycho was not originally meant to represent Holkins, the two have few physical similarities; they are primarily similar in their various interests and attitudes.