A confusion of nature
Burmese script is mostly circle-based. မင်္ဂလာပါ is how they write “mingalaba,” or “hello.” Their alphabet is a descendent of older Dravidian scripts, which were written on palm leaves. The leaves tear under the stress of straight lines, but hold up under circular writing.
Asian dragons are mostly serpentine, while in Europe, they tend to be conglomerate beasts. The distinction’s not absolute, more like a rule of thumb.
In The Brothers Karamazov, a child is born with 6 fingers. The father tells his wife and priest not to christen it, because it’s a dragon. When pressed, and after a long silence, he elaborates only, “It’s a confusion of nature.”
Chinese dragons sometimes have stag heads, Sardinian dragons resemble basilisks. In South America, the feathered serpent is a central and recurring image. The Aztec Xiuhcoatl was a turquoise fire-breathing serpent. The Incan Amaru is depicted with birds wings and sometimes a puma’s head. In France, the Turasque is depicted with a lion’s head, 6 bear legs, an ox body covered in a turtle shell, and a lizards tail ending in a scorpion’s stinger. A Korean friend of mine described western dragons as “fat lizards.”
Figures vary depending on your parameters, but billions or hundreds of billions of dollars have poured into research on and purchase of antidepressants. After all this flurry of development, advertising, buying, selling, prescribing, antidepressants have an efficacy no greater than that of placebo.
The side effects of homeopathy and Reiki include neither suicidal thoughts nor anhedonia.
There are several explanations to the presence (though not the prevalence) of dragons in geographically distant mythologies. They range from unlikely (whale bones, as-yet-undiscovered diffusion) to begging the question (collective unconscious).
Groups of mice were implanted with both human bronchial epithelial cells (lung lining) and human lung carcinoma A548 cells (lung cancer). They were injected with a solution of Pomegranate Fruit Extract, at 50-150 micrograms per milliliter for a period of 72 hours.
After the scheduled 3 days, a grad student took the a mouse out of its enclosure, wedged its head into the gap of a piece of lab equipment, and swung a bladed lever to shear off the mouse’s head. The student repeated this series of motions on the next creature, and the next and the next. It was tedious work.
When the headless mice had their guts tugged open to examine the cell implants, the pomegranate extract had had “minimal effect” on the human lung tissue, but had slowed the growth of the cancer cells a little. (No word on how it affected the mice’s native cells over the three days.) This study was a modest success in showing that pomegranate has positive effects in inhibiting lung cancer growth. Other labs have decapitated their own mice and found little to no positive effect.
Kent Scientific Equipment sells Rodent & Small Animal Guillotines for $893 per unit. Replacement Blades are $425 per box.
Source Naturals sells Pomegranate Extract for $62.83 per bottle. Each bottle lasts 60 days if used as directed.
The Jackson Laboratory sells a 3-week old female mouse for $103.00 to academic and non-profit institutions. Commercial and for-profit institutions pay $233.85.
Zoroastrianism in modern Iran does not make survival easy for itself. Many sects hold to an absolute bond between blood and faith, which doesn’t allow for outside conversion. Ahura Mazda does not accept followers whose ancestors were not Zoroastrian.
When a Zoroastrian dies, they’re placed on a raised, circular platform called a Tower of Silence. Vultures make short work of the soft tissue, and decomposition takes care of the rest. Burial of the body has traditionally been seen as a desecration.
The last functioning Tower of Silence is in a suburb of Mumbai, India.
99.9% of India’s vultures were killed in the 1980s, by the introduction of an anti-inflammatory drug for cattle. Sun-reflecting mirrors around the Tower’s platform focus the sun’s rays on the center, to speed the decay of the bodies, but this is still significantly slower than tradition and public health demand. They’re experimenting with captive vulture breeding.
Depending on where you look, energy is defined either as “the ability of a system to do work,” or, “the capacity to cause things to happen,” or, “a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted to other forms.”
“Other forms”: the forms of energy include mechanical energy, thermal energy, radiant energy, electrical energy, sonic energy. A quick perusal reveals that “forms of energy” is a misnomer—the energy does not take different forms. What the term “forms of energy” describes is the object or body that is moved by energy; by this ability, capacity, or property.
If an electron is moved, we call this electrical energy. If a proton is moved, we call is radiant energy. If molecules are moved, it is thermal energy. (Though if those molecules are air, it is sonic energy.)
The one factor that does not change is the energy. What does not change is that physicists do not know what energy is.
The scientific facts about energy:
1- Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it is eternal.
2- Matter is a form of Energy. Energy is a state of Matter.
3- Energy’s relation to time is complex, maybe incomprehensible.
4- Energy is everywhere, and in a very empirical way, it is everything. (See #2)
5- Energy kick-started the universe. The exact mechanism is still debated.
6- Energy sustains the universe—which is itself energy.
Archaic Daoist prayer literature is as fascinating as it is boring. Petitions to the underworld were written on the template of petitions between imperial and provincial officials. Imagine modern prayers using the format and tone of interoffice memos.