Friday, August 24, 2007

That Out of Body feeling?

Two studies have claimed to induce "out-of-body" experiences in healthy volunteers and say there is a neurological basis for such happenings. The details of the studies appear in the August 24 issue of the journal Science.

An "out-of-body" experience is something of a mystery and has been reported by survivors of traumatic incidences who described their experiences when death neared. Basically this experience related to a feeling of detachment and surveying one's own body from a distance. This is possible because all the sensory apparatus become "disconnected during stress."

In one study researchers at the University College London's Institute of Neurology experimented on healthy volunteers by using high-tech 3-D goggles. Participants were able to see 3-D images of their own body as being some six feet away as it was filmed from behind.

Simultaneously a researcher took two plastic rods and stimulated the participant's chest as well as the same spot on the 3-D image. Participants said they were sitting behind and looking at their own body. "This was a bizarre, fascinating experience for the participants -- it felt absolutely real for them and was not scary," said a statement issued by the author the study, Dr. Henrik Ehrsson.

In the second experiment, researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, in Switzerland, were given the task of watching 3-D holographic projections. One projection was of their own body, the second was of a dummy, while the third was of a square block.

In each case researchers stroked the back of the projection with a brush. Sometimes the participant's back was also stroked simultaneously. After this the volunteers were blindfolded and asked to point to the exact spot where the brush was stroked.

Researchers said that those who watched the square block or dummy managed to accomplish this task accurately, but those who watched themselves were unable to do so.

Reacting to the studies, Dr. Kevin Nelson, a leading researcher on near-death phenomena said they showed "that the integration of various sensory modalities is important for retaining our sense of where our body is, of where our self is in that body."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Top Cleric rounds at Astrology

From todays METRO newspaper:

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has attacked astrology, horoscopes, clairvoyants and other new-age practices as among the most "disturbing" signs of our society.
Archbishop Seán Brady said reliance on them results from a fear of the future and insecurities that lurk behind the seeming confidence of modern culture and life.
Celebrating the Mass Of The Queenship Of Mary, closing the annual novena at Knock, Co. Mayo, he said: 'People who sepend money on these pursuits would have more influence on the future if they gave their money to those in need". He added that the "Land of Saints & Scholars" was now the "Land of Stocks & Shares".

In fairness I have to agree with him. I mean he's not saying that these things (clairvoyants etc) aren't genuine he's just saying that people have become dependent on them and that there are things that people can do themselves to make the world a better place. Obviously someone like myself has no problem with people going to readers but it can be addictive and used as a crutch by many people who can't seem to make any life choices without first seeking guidance from a deck of cards or a premium rate phone service.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In the Woods

Ok so I've been getting distracted with with photography lately and even when I go for a walk with my daughter to one of the spookiest woods in Ireland the focus is taking snaps rather than looking for "spookies" as my daughter calls them.

I promise though, I will find my focus!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Ok having gotten the 400D from my wonderful wife I'm trying to get back into photography. I did a degree in Fine Art a decade ago which included 2 years of photography. I loved it at the time but after a long break its a case of learning all over again. Note I went from a Pentax K1000 to my new Canon EOS 400D .... big jump!

Anyway these shots where taken a short drive from my house up at Kilakee. Its a great spot for photography as well as having the Hellfire Club, Kilakee House & Lord Massey's Estate.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

30 Year Old Father of 2

Wow that how I would be discribed now if I was in the newspaper! Actually its really cool being a father of 2 even though hardly any of the people I buzz around with have kids. Whats not to love though:

Now all my wife and me need to do is raise them for the next 18 years!