Monthly Archive: October 2014

2,731

The Difference Between Occultism And Mysticism

Both practices involve the alleged ability of the human mind to reach out and experience that which is beyond our regularly experienced senses. Mysticism often exists within the context of organized, established religion, while the same religion condemns occultism. Occultism is an experience of conflict whereby the person practicing it is attempting to control something or learn something that they shouldn’t know, while those who practice mysticism are striving to exist in harmony and peace with the greater world.

2,363

New York City’s Resident Raptor

Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk that has lived in New York City for 24 years. He’s managed to survive in the dangerous and poisoned rat–infested environment while seven of his mates have died or disappeared. His hardiness, beauty, and uniqueness have made him a local icon and arguably the most well-known hawk in the world.

2,445

The Sad Tale Of The Other Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has heard of the famous President Abraham Lincoln, but many people don’t realize there was another Abraham Lincoln. The president was actually named for his grandfather, who was a Captain in the American forces during the Revolutionary War. Captain Abraham Lincoln was killed in a raid by Native Americans shortly after bringing his entire family to Kentucky.

2,897

The Fog That Killed 12,000 People

In 1952, weather conditions led to a massive smog descending on and gathering over London. Visibility was less than 30 centimeters (12 in), the air was black with coal and pollution, and the usually bustling city ground to a standstill. By the time the smog had cleared, 4,000 people had died from exposure to the pollution, and another 8,000 would die in the following weeks from complications. The smog would lead to increased awareness of the problems of pollution over city centers.

2,507

There Is No Reliable Evidence For Repressed Memories

According to some practitioners, if you use the right methods, you can find memories that someone repressed—sometimes of past abuse or even of alien abductions. However, despite the claims of those who try to recover repressed memories, there is no solid evidence for a single provable case. It’s not recognized officially by mental health researchers, and many researchers feel that therapists are unwittingly helping people create false memories, rather than finding repressed ones.

2,778

Difference Between Schizophrenia And Split Personality Disorders

When schizophrenia is mentioned, it often goes along with ideas that a person’s hearing voices from their other personalities. The two disorders are completely different, though, with those suffering from schizophrenia prone to delusions, hallucinations, and difficulty in finishing complete thoughts and sentences. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) happens when more than one personality exists in the same person, usually without the person being aware of it. DID often begins when a child struggles to come to terms with some sort of trauma, while schizophrenia is thought (but not confirmed) to be a genetic disorder.

2,155

The Ocean Is Not Flat

Staring out at the ocean from a beach, it might be easy to imagine that the world’s seas are completely flat. However, winds and gravity actually cause sea level differences around the world. One of the most pronounced ways this is illustrated is during an El Nino event, during which water that has been pushed west by winds comes rushing back to the East (and ruins a lot of Peruvian farms).

2,360

How A Bad Joke Triggered History’s Greatest Horse Race

In 1893, cowboys in Chadron, Nebraska decided to plant a joke story in an eastern newspaper claiming that they were planning America’s longest horse race. Unfortunately, the fake story went viral and captured the imagination of the world. In order to avoid national humiliation, the people of Chadron realized they were actually going to have to stage the greatest race the world had ever seen.

2,729

The Epic (And Wrong) Predictions Of Isaac Bickerstaff

In 1708, astrologer Isaac Bickerstaff predicted the death of one of London’s preeminent almanac writers, John Partridge. On April 1, 1709, the announcement of his death was issued—but Partridge was alive and well. A back-and-forth ensued, with Bickerstaff insisting that he was dead, and Partridge insisting that he was alive. Bickerstaff was the more convincing of the two, and Partridge was ultimately driven out of the almanac business . . . by the pseudonym of one of the period’s greatest writers.

2,751

The Strange Story Of Lord Minimus, Dwarf To King Charles I

Only 48 centimeters (19 in) tall, by all accounts perfectly proportioned, and the son of a man in the employ of the Duke of Buckingham, Jeffrey Hudson made his first court appearance when he was served to Charles I and his queen, Henrietta, in a pie. Quickly becoming a favorite of the queen, Jeffrey traveled with her on her trips between England and France, was captured by pirates more than once, lived for some time as a slave, and is said to have later served England as a spy. More about his life is unknown than known, however, leaving the man one of the most fascinating mysteries of the court of Charles I.