October 29, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot - Halloween Edition

In this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, Carly invites us to post pictures based upon a Halloween theme. For extra credit, she says:

Show me a GHOST. A real one. A Fake one. Any old GHOST will do! Feel free to use your photo editing software if you like. The spookier the better! Scare me please!

Never having been one to be hung up on doing things in the right order, I chose to dive right into the extra credit question - mostly because it gave me a chance to dust off one of my old skeptical articles from the original Aurora Walking Vacation blog. Herewith, I am pleased to present a repost of a piece first published on Thursday, February 10, 2005. Boo!


  The other day on a message board I was accused of ridiculing somebody for my reply to their post offering spirit photography lessons. I wrote a fairly long and detailed reply offering up my expertise on the subject right there on the board, without people having to resort to taking some kind of formal lessons. Apparently, I stepped on somebody's toes, because my post was taken down by the powers that be in short order. A lesson learned. Far be it from me to impinge upon somebody's ability sell themselves and their 'talents' on AOL's message board system.

  Here, however, is an entirely different matter. In my personal journal, I can chose to make my expertise available to all for free if I so choose.

  I so choose. Herewith, find attached evidence of my mad spirit photography skillz. I have 'em. You can have 'em too. This entry shows the evidence. If there is interest, I will do another entry detailing my methods.

  An introductory note: All of the photographs in this entry are (with the exception of one) taken by me, and, other than some cropping and resizing for editorial purposes, unmanipulated. No photoshopping here. These are pictures of actual phenomena.

  First, let me introduce you to Matthew. Many of you, if you have been reading me for a while, have heard me mention his name. You may even have seen a picture or two of him here from time to time. Little known to us, Matthew has a guardian spirit who helps him with his homework. I have taken hundreds of pictures of Matthew before, and never before seen anything like this before. However, I had never before taken a picture of him doing homework before. Yesterday I did, and got this.


  It looks like, in this picture, there is a spirit of some kind hovering over Matt's head as he does his homework. In fact, if you look close enough you can see what looks like fingers reaching out to touch his head; almost as if some kind of otherworldly knowledge were being imparted to him. This may explain many of his teacher's comments regarding Matthew's homework assignments. Obviously, the answers he is providing are simply beyond her ability to comprehend.
  I enhanced the above photo with specialty software to reveal this:


  You can clearly see the otherworldly violet aura surrounding the spirit manifestation. It is in stark contrast to the more earthly colours of the rest of the photograph. You can even see that aura impacting on the hanging, potted plant in the background. I always wondered why that plant grew so well.

  A photograph taken a moment later reveals that this spirit falls into the famous spirit photography category of a vortex spirit. This appears to be a rare double vortex. Or a close up of the ghost's elbow, I'm not sure.


  One night I was in my basement, trying to take a picture of my cat. She didn't want to sit still for the picture, and was very restless. Later, when I looked at the pictures, I saw this:


  Look very carefully at the left hand side of the picture, and you will see the visible manifestation of spirit orbs. There are several to be seen in the picture, but the clearest one is right near the top of the frame. orbcloseupI have enlarged it to bring out more detail. You can clearly see a face, not unlike that of the man in the moon, on the close-up of this orb. These orbs are obviously ghosts. Due to the similarities in appearance, it is also quite clear that the moon is a ghost, too.
  I have hypothesized that these ghosts were attempting to protect my cat, when she did not want to have her picture taken by me. Due to my frequent sneezing at the time, I suspect that these were the ghosts of cats, thereby causing my allergies to flare up. On a related note, we have been erroneous in using the terminology 'the man in the moon' all these years. We should have been saying, 'the cat in the moon.'

  I was outside the other night, and happened, entirely by accident, to take a picture of the tree in my front yard. When I looked at the picture later I was amazed by the amazing colours of the colourful lights I saw.


  Look at the colourful illumination of the snow on both sides of the street. And the colourful lights in the background, behind the tree. None of these colourful lights was colourful like those colours to my eye. Obviously, the spirit world is at work here. There must be many ghosts of painters around the Aurora area.


  Look how the lights in this close up appear to be dancing around the telephone pole. In colours.

 What AWV entry would be complete without a picture of the redoubtable Shadow? Here he is with a piece of garden edging in his mouth. Somehow, he managed to tear this up out of ground that was frozen solid during our -30 degree cold snap a couple of weeks ago. It was originally about twenty five feet long. This is what is left. As you can see, of any member of our family, Shadow attracts more spirit attention than any other. They are drawn to the young, and cute.
  This picture shows Shadow surrounded by ghostly orbs. There are dozens of them in view, maybe hundreds, and remarkably, every single one of them unique. Not a one exactly like any other. (It's because they used to be people, and people are all different).


  Finally, here are two astounding pictures of spirit phenomena. I have saved the best for last. I have elected to link to the pictures rather than post them here so I could show them at a larger size, the better to view fine details. The first example is a picture I took in my back yard one January evening. I was standing there, doing nothing, minding my own business, with a digital camera in my hand, when I inexplicably started feeling cold. I suspected there was a spirit, or ghost nearby. Breathing heavily with fear, and fear, I raised the camera and snapped a few frames.  The first picture is here:
http://members.aol.com/plittle/ghostface.jpg . In this picture, one can see the bio-thermal pulmono-exhalatory cloud as it coalesces. If you look very carefully, you can just make out the outlines of a face.
  The second picture was taken a moment later, but still slightly too early. The carbondioxygenic vapourous apparition had not yet fully formed. Yet, the image is unmistakable. It is still quite fuzzy, but you can clearly see that this is the spirit of a young woman wearing a hat.
http://members.aol.com/plittle/ghostface2.jpg .
  I am left to wonder; who was this woman? When did she walk this earth? What is she doing in my back yard?

  I would like to close this topic with a short statement. We at Aurora Walking Vacation are on a quest for the truth, and are interested in an open minded examination of these phenomena. We invite all discussion, as long as it agrees with our views. Be advised that anyone who suggests there are rational, scientific explanations for our results will find their closed-minded comments immediately deleted, and their rude, harassing asses banned from making subsequent comments. Furthermore, we may complain about them on the message board and threaten to report them to AOL, the police, the F.B.I., and our Alien Overlords. Remember, open minded means, "in agreement with my point of view."

A few notes:

1) This post is made in memory of Lahoma Taylor, A.K.A. MzGoochi, who was alive when that last picture was taken, but was subsequently taken from us by cancer.

2) I left the text form of the last two links as they were. However, AOL Hometown, and the members.aol.com domain no longer exist, and the photographs are now hosted on my Flickr account.

3) If you like, you can visit the archived version of this article at http://awvarchive.blogspot.com/2005/02/spirit-photography.html. Some of the comments are interesting.

4) Happy Halloween.

October 23, 2009

Lime and limpid green, a second scene.

And now we present several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict.

I'm a little farklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: there is no dark side of the Moon really ... as a matter of fact it's all dark. Discuss.

October 21, 2009

Visit a Chiropractor...

...it could be the last medical appointment you ever make.

Talk about truth in advertising! There's a tagline the various Chiropractic Associations could use in all honesty. Although, in all honesty, the truth of it is somewhat more sinister than the headline might suggest on the surface.

A recent article by J.D. Haines in eSkeptic, the electronic newsletter of the Skeptics' Society, takes on Chiropracty, and Haines doesn't pull any punches. He begins by relating the story of Kristi Bedenbaugh, who visited her Chiropractor in the hopes of getting relief from a serious sinus headache. She died of a stroke caused directly by the Chiropractic manipulation of her spine.

Haines goes on to systematically dismantle the claims of efficacy made by Chiropractic for the treatment of any medical contition. Any condition whatsoever.

Some choice quotations from the article:

...however rare the incidence of adverse outcome, the risk always outweighs any perceived benefit. There is no medically proven benefit whatsoever to chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine.

The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics stated on May 27, 2002, “For neck and low back pain, trials have not demonstrated an unequivocal benefit of chiropractic spinal manipulation over physical therapy and education.” The report continues: “Repeated reports of arterial dissection and stroke associated with cervical spine manipulation and cauda equina syndrome associated with manipulation of the lower back suggest a cause and effect relationship.”

As practiced today, chiropractic is a threat to public health.

I strongly suggest you click through to read the rest of the article. And, I also strongly suggest that your take your Chiropractor's phone number off your speed dial. No matter how strongly you believe that he or she has helped you in the past, do you really want to risk the possibility that your next Chiropractic appointment will be your last...ever?

October 14, 2009

My new favourite skeptical quotation...

I have a text file full of quotations I like. I have picked them up here and there over several years of internet surfing. Most of them, as you might imagine, are of a skeptical nature. There are well over a hundred of them, so far. Maybe as many as a hundred and fifty. I use them as Facebook status updates every few days, you know - just to piss people off.

Today I added a new favourite to the file, from comic artist Wiley Miller, who writes the well know Non Sequitur comic. In Monday's comic this week, he writes, ""Stupid is a condition. Ingnorance is a choice." Click through to see the context. So true, in so many different ways.

I'm off to update my Facebook status.