Popular Culture

The Return of the X-Files

By Steven Sora

CAPTION: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International for “The X-Files” 20th Anniversary panel. After a fourteen-year hiatus, The X-Files are back for at least a few new episodes. The show was a favorite, in the 1990s, winning many fans and awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Dramatic Series. The story was about the fictional exploits of FBI agent Fox “Spooky” Mulder assigned to document those strange incidents that could not be explained away. Agent Dana…

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Body Art

By Rita Louise, Ph.D.

Tattooing may be the hottest fashion statement going these days, but it is an ancient practice, and its origin is clouded in mystery. The deliberate and indelible marking of the skin has been an essential and integral part of ancient cultures around the globe; its designs have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments, and even forms of punishment. The word ‘tattoo’ is believed to have been borrowed from the Tahitian word ‘tatau,’ which translates as “to mark something.”…

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When Magnetism Is Not Attractive

By Louis Proud

Magnetoreception (also magnetoception) is a sense that allows an organism to detect a magnetic field to perceive direction, altitude or location. This sensory modality is used by a range of animals for orientation and navigation, and as a method for animals to develop regional maps. For the purpose of navigation, magnetoreception deals with the detection of the Earth’s magnetic field. —Wikipedia   What we perceive with our eyes is less than one percent of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, the range of wavelengths over which EM…

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Is Time Speeding Up?

By Susan B. Martinez, Ph.D.

Over the centuries there has been much speculation on the nature of change, scientists even polarizing into uniformitarians versus catastrophists (gradualism versus Great Leap Forward), the latter especially championed by post-modern theorists. Some see the decline of our civilization threatening to “speed up dramatically” (Huntington, Samuel. The Clash of Civilizations. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1996, p. 83), others merely remarking the “vertiginous pace of change” (Thompson, Clive. Rage Against the Machine, Smithsonian, Jan–Feb 2017, p. 22). We can hardly doubt the notable speed-up manifest in…

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Time Traveling for the U.S. Military

By Len Kasten

The black and white photograph shows a boy standing alone in a clearing on the Gettysburg battlefield. He is wearing a men’s Union Army parka and shoes about four sizes too large. He appears somewhat out of place since he is all alone. In the background, a large audience is assembled, and a dais is set up, while in the foreground a group of three men is in serious discussion. The photo purports to be the scene just before Lincoln began to deliver the Gettysburg…

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Science Fiction Movies

BY LEN KASTEN

Was it synchronicity that brought me to Los Angeles that Wednesday before Memorial Day in 1977? Searching for a movie that evening, my friends and I settled on the premiere of Star Wars at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Holly­wood. A long-time sci-fi fan, I didn’t expect much, since no decent fare in that category had appeared on screen since 2001: A Space Odyssey nine years earlier. But, it turned out to be a memorable experience. That was the first (and last) time I ever witnessed…

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Ancient Magic—American Style

By Frank Joseph

Devoted materialists scoff at the very notion of any sacred relationship between certain places on Earth and the human spirit. They denigrate the mystical experiences men and women of all races and cultures have known at such places from prehistory to modern times. Yet, these cynics are contradicted by some outstanding examples in our own country of a phenomenon long familiar to investigators of the arcane as “sympathetic magic.” The idea is that at least something of the spiritual power possessed by one object deemed…

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What the Bleep…!?

By Robert J. Resetar

Ever wonder when Hollywood is going to wake up and realize that there are a whole lot of people out there starving for films that venture into the world of quantum physics, the meaning of life and higher consciousness? Instead, we see Sponge-Bob… Square Pants and a predictable assortment of films where special effects and a few celebrities are expected to disguise their emptiness. The Matrix (Part 1) gave us some hope… but soon soured into a series of meaningless, mechanical sequels. Fortunately for us,…

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