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NHNE News Brief 40
Friday, December 13, 1996
"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
1,107 days until January 1, 2000
Photon Belt to Arrive this Weekend!
Naming Hale-Bopp Companion
More About Ice on the Moon
NASA Now Plans Manned Mars Mission
New Minerals Discovered
Trouble for Insurance Companies
New Strain of Superbugs?
Web TV Popular
Inspass Speeds Up Customs
Home of the Future Looking for Buyers
GOOD NEWS WATCH:
Cairo Anti-Noise Campaign
New Bird Species
NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
Spirit of Sedona: Experience of a Lifetime
NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
Online 3, Offline 0, Total List 763
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK:
Winding Up 1996
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
No Value if Free
Do Not "Go Quietly into the Night"
People Want to Believe
NHNE Helps with Dishes
Accepting Without Being Gullible
Television for the New Millennium
Good & Bad News for Internet
Interview with Larry Dossey, MD
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US
"One blow struck at the right time,
is worth a thousand blows struck at the wrong time."
PHOTON BELT TO ARRIVE THIS WEEKEND!
(Sources: The Art Bell Radio Show, 12/10/96 via Sue Potter & Palden Jenkins; FARSIGHT INSTITUTE Web Site <http://www.farsight.org/galactic/>, 12/10/96)
Break out your raincoat, cans of beans, spare batteries, and TV Guide -- the Photon Belt arrives this weekend, according to Sheldon Nidle who appeared this week on the Art Bell Show. Nidle warns that during the three days of darkness that accompany the event, it will be important to stay indoors. He cautions not to look outside or open the door for any reason, no matter what you hear. To prepare for the event, Nidle recommends having an emergency supply of water on hand and covering the windows. In a related story, the FARSIGHT INSTITUTE Web site has been promising for weeks that "we are unraveling an amazing story through our remote viewing. On Sunday, December 8, 1996, we will introduce you to a group of beings that are making plans to admit humanity into the Galactic Federation." Apparently nothing dramatic happened on December 8, and the Web site has no other new information about the Galactic Federation. In NEWS BRIEF 37, NHNE investigated accounts of the approaching Null Zone and Photon Belt and determined that there was no scientific basis for such claims. (JG)
NAMING HALE-BOPP COMPANION
(Source: Art Bell Web Site <http://www.artbell.com/>, 12/10/96)
Art Bell has just concluded a poll to determine what name to call the alleged companion of the Hale-Bopp Comet. There were 926 valid votes cast; here are the final totals:
35% -- Hale-Mary or Hail-Mary
16% -- Shramek
15% -- Shramrock
11% -- The Big Bopper
8% -- Steve
7% -- Genesis
4% -- Rapture-Mobile
4% -- Kato (JG)
As reported in NEWS BRIEF 39 and our Special Report on Remote Viewing, professional astronomers (including Alan Hale, the co-discoverer of Hale-Bopp) are saying that there is no companion to Hale-Bopp. Contrary to rumors that were instigated by guests on The Art Bell Program, these astronomers claim that there is no object four-times the size of planet Earth tagging along with Hale-Bopp, nor is there anything unusual about Hale-Bopp or other stellar objects in the vicinity. (JG,DS)
MORE ABOUT ICE ON THE MOON
(Sources: Adam Rogers, NEWSWEEK, 12/16/96; MILLENNIUM MATTERS NEWSLETTER, 12/11/96)
In NEWS BRIEF 39, we reported briefly on the possible discovery of ice on the Moon. Here are some more details. The discovery was made by a DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE satellite called Clementine, which was sent to the Moon in 1994 to test the space-readiness of "Star Wars" technology. Clementine spotted a large dark region in an ancient crater called the Aitken Basin, twice the size of Puerto Rico and 12 kilometers deep -- near the South Pole on the near side of the Moon. The bottom of the basin is almost always in darkness. Researchers used Clementine's radio antenna as a radar emitter to peek into the bottom of the crater and saw reflections that looked like a patch of ice about 25 feet thick and the diameter of a small pond -- equivalent to 3.5 million cubic feet of water. One theory is that the source of the water may have been an ancient comet that smashed into the Moon. More information will be gathered on the anomaly when the orbital probe Lunar Prospector arrives at the Moon next fall. (JG)
NASA NOW PLANS MANNED MARS MISSION
(Source: NANDO TIMES via CNI NEWS, 12/1/96)
NASA admits it is working on plans to send astronauts to Mars. Elric McHenry, NASA spokesperson, said the agency assigned a secret team of three scientists to the project after announcing earlier this year that traces of primitive life may have been found in a meteorite from Mars. "Our goal is to do enough technology work that when we are asked to initiate a human program we could have humans on the surface of Mars within eight years or less." NASA had earlier claimed that manned flights were not on their agenda and was relying on robots to find out more about Earth's closest neighbor. NASA launched its Pathfinder mission on December 3 to take a Mars Rover to the planet to look for signs of current or previous life. A complementary mission to put a Global Surveyor satellite in orbit round the planet blasted off in November. (JG)
NEW MINERALS DISCOVERED
(Sources: ASSOCIATED PRESS 12/2/96; Warren H. Anderson, "Rocks and Minerals of Kentucky," 1994)
A UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY doctoral candidate has accidentally discovered three new minerals in the Great Smoky Mountains. Dennis Coskren was studying the elements of the Alum Cave Bluff when he made his find. While in the process of collecting 26 distinct elements from the area, he discovered three that were unfamiliar. After analyzing them at the OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Robert Lauf, Head of Ceramic Processing, said that the new minerals are like nothing found anywhere else in the world. The minerals have yet to be named. There are 4,000 named minerals in the world. (KAB)
TROUBLE FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES
(Source: EARTH CHANGES REPORT, 12/96)
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE, the fifth largest in the U.S., announced in October that it will curb sales of new policies in 17 coastal states from Maine to Texas. The decision was made days after Tropical Storm Josephine battered the entire eastern portion of the country. Earlier in the year, Hurricane Fran left a similar $6 billion trail of destruction. Disasters are occurring with greater frequency while the density of coastal centers is increasing. "The top 10 natural disasters in U.S. history, in terms of insured losses, have all happened since 1989," said Steven Goldstein of the INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE. A number of insurance companies have been concerned about the situation in the coastal states, but NATIONWIDE is the first company to take action. (JG)
NEW STRAIN OF SUPERBUGS?
(Source: REUTERS, 11/22/96)
Scientists have learned how to genetically alter seeds to contain the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). They are also learning that while the engineered seeds reduce infestation, they do not eliminate it. Last summer, for example, boll worms damaged cotton crops from Texas to Georgia, including some planted with MONSANTO's "Bollgard" Bt seed. This year, U.S. farmers planted less than 1 percent of their corn acres in Bt corn, but next year that number is expected to rise to 3 percent. A spokesman for MYCOGEN CORP., which makes engineered corn called "NatureGard," said his company recommends farmers continue to plant a portion of their acreage with conventional crops. That way, even if resistant pests do develop, they will breed with those susceptible to Bt. Environmental groups oppose the genetically-altered crops, saying farmers will be forced to use more pesticides if insects develop an immunity to Bt. "We have a whole arsenal of no-longer-useful pesticides that testify to the fact that insects can become resistant to pesticides," said Margaret Mellon, Director of Agriculture and Biotechnology Programs with the UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS. Many farmers who avoid chemicals and genetically-altered seeds have relied on Bt (which occurs naturally in small amounts in the soil) as an organic pesticide. "Bt is probably the most important biopesticide that farmers who are trying to go organic can use," said Ronnie Cummins, Director of the PURE FOOD CAMPAIGN. (JG)
WEB TV POPULAR
(Source: NEWSWEEK, 12/16/96)
In a surprising result, the CONSUMER ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION, has found in their annual holiday wish list survey, that this year's third most popular electronics item was an "Internet appliance/Web TV device." Such a device allows viewers to access the most of the sites on the World Wide Web and receive email on the Internet at a cost of $200 to $400 without the need for a conventional computer. An optional keyboard allows for the writing and sending email as well. (JG)
INSPASS SPEEDS UP CUSTOMS
(Source: USA TODAY, 12/3/96)
Frequent air travelers will soon be spending less time waiting to clear U.S. and Canadian customs. Three airports have already had a special electronic system installed, and eight more will be added to the list by June 1997. Frequent travelers begin by lining up at a special section of customs and inserting their special "Inspass" card into what looks like an automatic teller machine. Then they place one hand on a scanner to confirm their identity. That's it. The process takes about 30 seconds and when the gate opens, they are free to go. The new system was launched in 1993, and there are now 65,000 frequent flyers who hold Inspasses. To be eligible for an Inspass, travelers must cross the U.S. or Canadian borders on business at least three times a year. They also must be citizens of the U.S., Canada, or one of the 26 other nations of the visa-waiver program. There is no cost to enroll. (JG)
HOME OF THE FUTURE LOOKING FOR BUYERS
(Source: REUTERS via SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/29/96)
For $5 million, the Home of the Future in Brussels can be yours. Opened in 1995 as a showcase for all the latest comforts and conveniences, the house offers a glimpse of how our future lives could be transformed by technology. The house looks functional and industrial from the outside -- an asymmetrical amalgam of curves and corners, with the south-facing walls made of glass panels. Inside, a computerized "house keeper" controls lighting and temperature -- automatically working the sunscreens, curtains and energy-saving heating. A super-speed cooker in the kitchen heats food with magnetic coils under iron pans twice as fast as gas while the surface stays cool to the touch. Online grocery shopping saves tiresome trips to the supermarket -- scan coded labels on empty packages and let the computer reorder before the cupboards get bare. But don't order toilet paper, because the ecological toilet is paperless, using water and hot air instead. The bathroom looks conventional enough, but turn on the shower and there is no water, only steam. In the rec room, the only worry is deciding which video-on-demand to watch or what to buy in electronic shopping malls via the Internet. The office, like the bathroom, is paperless with nary a paper clip in sight. It comes equipped with the latest software, video-conferencing facilities, and a fax machine that can save 100,000 pages on compact discs. Money raised from the visitors to this Home of the Future will go toward building its successor. (JG)
(Source: Sherwood Ross, REUTERS, 12/2/96)
1996 is turning out to be a banner year for U.S. robot makers. For the first time, annual robot sales are approaching $1 billion, according to the ROBOTIC INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION. The U.S. robot population is up 64 percent since 1992 -- from 44,000 to 69,000. "Robots have matured to the point where there are now jobs that only robots can do" said John Teresko, Senior Technology Editor at INDUSTRY WEEK. Makers of pharmaceuticals, textiles, food and furniture increasingly summon robots for routine and hazardous jobs, with "automotive still the biggest user," said Ann Smith, Market Research Manager at robot maker ABB FLEXIBLE AUTOMATION. "They're getting people out of very dirty and dangerous jobs such as spraying toxic materials or loading a forging press in a foundry," Smith added. "In the near future, sensor-based robots will become a reality and more manufacturing jobs will be automated," predicts Avi Kak, of PURDUE UNIVERSITY's Robot Vision Laboratory. Will robots take over the world as predicted by Karl Capek, a writer who coined the word "robota" from the Czech word "forced laborers?" Not to worry says Frank Emspak, a continuing education professor at the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN'S EXTENSION SCHOOL FOR WORKERS, who points out that robots are suited for work in only about 10 to 20 percent of U.S. plants. (JG)
GOOD NEWS WATCH:
CAIRO ANTI-NOISE CAMPAIGN
(Source: NEWSWEEK, 12/16/96)
Cairo is a noisy city where the combination of blaring loudspeakers, honking horns, screaming vendors and roaring buses can reach almost 90 decibels -- rock concert levels. The Egyptian government has introduced an anti-noise campaign which, for starters, bans popular high-intensity horns and night-time honking. The penalty for violating the new law is a $150 fine and confiscation of the horn. Plan B is groups of school kids waving anti-honking signs at horn abusers. (JG)
NEW BIRD SPECIES
(Source: Les Line, NEW YORK TIMES, 11/19/96
With all the talk of extinctions, it sometimes comes as a surprise that new species are still also being discovered. For example, over the last decade 20 new bird species have been found in the remote tropical forests of South America alone. One, the pink-legged graveteiro found nesting along one of Brazil's busiest highways, has been hailed by Dr. Van Remsen of LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, as "the most exciting new species of bird discovered in decades." The graveteiro belongs to the ovenbird family, so named because of their distinctive oven-shaped clay nests. The bird lives in the foliage of 140-foot tall trees, a habitat that is rapidly disappearing in South America. However, due to a downturn in the cocoa industry, formerly Brazil's second most important export next to coffee, conservationists have had the opportunity to recently buy two large blocks of land that they plan to return to natural growth. (JG)
NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
NHNE is sponsoring a 7-day, all-expense-paid trip to Sedona, Arizona, USA, for two people from anywhere in North America. Activities include sacred hikes, tours, vision quests, body and healing work, massages, hot air balloon rides, and a special banquet with some of Sedona's movers and shakers (including David Sunfellow, the founder and publisher of NHNE, and James Gregory the Editor-in-Chief of the NHNE News Brief). All you have to do is write an essay about why you want to come to Sedona and include a donation ($50.00 is suggested). The contest ends March 1, 1997. Winners will be announced March 15, 1997. Seven runners up will also receive prizes.
Via regular mail, send your essays and donations to:
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339
Via email, send your essays and a credit card number indicating what size of donation you would like to make to NHNE to:
For more information, including a growing list of participating individuals and business, visit our Web site:
NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
ONLINE 3, OFFLINE 0, TOTAL LIST 763
Here is our financial report for the week of December 13:
New Online Subscribers this week: 3
New Offline Subscribers this week: 0
Total Paid Online Subscriptions: 61
Total Paid Offline Subscriptions: 10
Total Online Mailing List: 763
NHNE Video 1: $0.00
Total Video Orders: 3
Sponsors & Donations: $0.00
Total Income: $78.00
This Week's Expenses: $436.23
This Week's Deficit: $358.23
"Spirit of Sedona" entries: 3
Amount of Money Raised from Contest: $130.00
Money Needed To Upgrade Computer System: $2500.00
Money Received To Upgrade Computer System: $100.00
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK:
WINDING UP 1996
Christmas has not even yet come and gone and here we are thinking of year end. 1996 has been a wonderful year, with lots of marvelous things happening, and 1997 looks like it will be even more exciting. In the final issue of 1996, we plan to prepare a number of summaries and analyses of the year. In preparation for the issue, we want to know what your favorite NHNE story was for 1996. And how about your favorite NHNE lighterside news story? Send them to us at "email@example.com" and we will post our readers' ten top hard news stories and light news stories for the year, plus our own favorites.
In the last issue of the News Brief, I mistakenly made Ted Daniels, President of MILLENNIUM MATTERS. Mr. Daniels is, in fact, Director of the MILLENNIUM WATCH INSTITUTE and Editor and Publisher of its newsletter, MILLENNIAL PROPHECY REPORT (honest mistake). Our apologies to Mr. Daniels and Judith Paulson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of MILLENNIUM MATTERS.
The "Spirit of Sedona" contest continues. Write us a letter telling us in 500 words or less why you would like to come to Sedona and you could win an all-expense paid trip for two to Sedona from anywhere in North America. You can use the prize yourself or give to someone else as a gift. We ask that each entry be accompanied by a donation to NHNE; $50 is suggested. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 1997. For more information, see our contest Web page <http://nen.sedona.net/nhne/spiritofsedona/>.
An finally, just a reminder that as of January 1, 1997 we will only be sending the News Briefs out to paid subscribers. The price remains $1 an issue and more detailed subscription information can be found at the end of this News Brief.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
"Years ago I started a mail order company. I advertised in supplements to statements like you get from credit card companies and banks, as well as inserts in Sunday newspapers. I also advertised in many publications that were free to the consumer. These included throw-aways distributed at markets and health food stores and free magazines. We ran the same ad in those freely-distributed publications as we did in those that charged a subscription rate. All our ads were coded so we could track the response. In the freely-distributed publications, 100% of our ads were a bust -- we received less than a dozen orders from three dozen freely-distributed publications. The ads cost us $2,500. The same ads in publications that charged a subscription fee provided us with a 1 to 3 percent response rate. The lesson we learned was that no matter how good the product and how great the offer, if something is given away for free, it is not valued. What does this have to do with NHNE and its finances? Lots. You have a terrific product and you need to earn a living with it and pay expenses. When you give it away, it is not valued. I'm glad to see you have made the changes your News Brief. I feel they will work well for you. Bravo!"
---David Livingston, Tiburon, California
DO NOT "GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT"
"Don't give your News Brief away and don't apologize for it. You have the right to earn a living. You and your crew are very talented. Don't despair, and do not 'go quietly into the night.'"
--Mary Anne Markley
PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE
"While some might marvel at why Scallion's predictions haven't come true, a greater mystery might be how he has been able to maintain credibility all these years and continue to round up a growing number of believers. It's probably because many people want to believe, and Scallion is saying the right things to fulfill that want. A vital ingredient is that people tend to see themselves to be outside such changes. Also, there's no thought about what happens after such changes -- supposedly there is some sort of miracle force which makes everything all right. However, if such scenarios really come about, a lot of people are likely to need to learn cabbage-growing real fast, or if God, angels or ETs rescue us, people will have to face up to the gut-ripping truth. Without wanting to criticize Scallion, there is a risk that he and his like are reinforcing escapism rather than counteracting it."
---Palden Jenkins, Glastonbury, England
NHNE HELPS WITH THE DISHES
"I am writing to tell you how much I enjoy your News Briefs. I find them so interesting that as soon as the new issue arrives, I bug my Mom to read me all of it right away while I do the dishes. It makes doing the dishes a lot easier! After my mother started reading to me about crop circles, I decided to do a project on them for school. (I'm in Grade 6.) My teacher and the Librarian became interested and photocopied two of the issues. Thank you for giving me material for my project and especially for making doing the dishes easier and more fun."
---Pascal Buchowski-Monnin, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
ACCEPTING WITHOUT BEING GULLIBLE
"I have enjoyed my subscription to NHNE and have been reading the newsletter since February. It is quite a feat to summarize all of the publications that you use. You are accepting of new and unusual ideas without being gullible at the same time. It is necessary to accept some ideas based upon intuition and 'resonance' with our own experiences, rather than scientific proof. This has the potential to lead us astray at times, but is better than blanketing with disbelief all scientifically unproven (or unprovable) ideas. Your expositions allow readers to have the available facts to reach their own 'truths,' and form a valuable service thereby."
---Mike Oberg, Olathe, Kansas
(Source: William J. Broad, NEW YORK TIMES, 11/19/96 via J. Osmers)
Not much has been said about the demise of BIOSPHERE 2 since the ambitious project ended abruptly and prematurely in 1993. The plan was to seal groups of volunteers into an artificially-created closed ecosystem in the Arizona desert as a bold demonstration of the Gaia Hypothesis. Proposed in 1972 by James Lovelock, the theory holds that the Earth and its living creatures evolved together in a self-regulating system that maintains conditions optimum for life.
Work on the BIOSPHERE 2 (so named because its creators viewed the planet Earth as Biosphere 1) began in earnest around 1984, financed by Texas billionaire, Edward P. Bass. The aim was to have its inhabitants thrive in a miniature world made up of sea, swamp, rain forest, desert and cultivated land, with all the areas interacting to form a totally independent life-supporting paradise.
The first crew of four men and four women (who came to be called "Biopspherians") was sealed in the BIOSPHERE in September 1991. Their would-be Eden soon became a nightmare. The air went sour, with oxygen levels plummeting from 21 to 14 percent, barely enough to sustain life. Levels of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide skyrocketed creating a condition that could potentially have caused brain damage. Morning glory vines introduced to reduce carbon dioxide flourished to the point where they overran other plants, including the food crops. What crops weren't being squeezed out by morning glories, had their roots attacked by an unusual pathogenic nematode unknown elsewhere in Arizona. Air temperatures soared. Too much rain turned the desert area into grasslands. 19 of the 25 vertebrate species became extinct, as did all pollinators, dooming most plants to seedlessness. Most insects died off, except katydids, cockroaches, and an exotic species of ant called the crazy ant, named for its speedy and erratic behavior when excited. The sea turned acidic.
The difficult conditions took their toll on the Biospherians. The crew lost weight, with one member dropping from 260 pounds to 150. They got sick. They became paranoid about food theft. They grimly endured this living nightmare for the planned two years, but at the end of the allotted time period, the crew left thin, and tight-lipped about the grand experiment that was to mimic the Earth's natural harmonies. No further experiments were scheduled and the project was terminated.
Until now. In January, scientists from COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY took over management of Biosphere and are attempting to build on what their predecessors did well. Their plan is to recreate the conditions of global warming, such as the strange weather patterns, elevated temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide that are now threatening the existence of Biosphere 1. Consultant Anthony Burgess comments, "BIOSPHERE 2 taught us that we are not quite ready to manage the planet." Dr. William C. Harris, the new Director adds, "When you see the complex dynamics here, you start to understand that... [our] models may have some large errors... We need new tools to learn how the planet operates and how to manage it more effectively." The bill for retooling BIOSPHERE 2 is expected to reach $40 million. The bill for retooling the original Biosphere is still being tallied up. (JG)
TELEVISION FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
By Gail Rossi & James Gregory
Ambitious efforts are underway to provide daily programming across America of commercial-free television dedicated to raising consciousness.
One such provider is the non-profit PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION CHANNEL (PTC) who by next March hope to begin broadcasting eight hours a day programming featuring such leading-edge thinkers as Gregg Braden, "Awakening to Zero Point," Dr. Jacob Liberman, "Light: Medicine of the Future," and Drunvalo Melchizedek, "The Flower of Life Workshop."
According to PTC General Manager Gary Smith, the people at the PTC come from many different spiritual paths and follow no single spiritual philosophy. Their vision includes programs offering consciousness-raising workshops, meditation and visualization techniques, a new-age children's story time with lessons of love and light, interactive programming with drumming, and "the real constructive news of the day."
"It's an idea whose time has come," said Smith. "We want PTC to be a global clearinghouse for information about new techniques and ancient teachings that benefit all of humanity." PTC is now circulating petition forms to anyone who is interested in order to demonstrate public interest in this kind of transformational programming.
For more information, consult their Web site:
Or contact them at:
PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION CHANNEL
25-6 Northwest Twenty-Third Place #155
Portland, Oregon 97210
Phone: (503) 294-1176
Another such player in the inspirational TV market who is already up and running is THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK (TPN). Jeff Olson wanted to create a special television network for self-improvement programs, but when no carrier would grant him a channel, he leased space on a satellite and started his own broadcasting system in February, 1995.
Subscribers pay $500 for a dish that captures only this one channel and about $75 a month for the service which is broadcast five hours each day. TPN's programming is motivational, innovative, and educational and helps people to achieve significant changes in their lives. Olson's thinking is that potential customers are regularly paying hundreds of dollars to attend motivational conferences and workshops and as much as $50 per month on self-help books, periodicals, and tapes. With TPN, viewers can learn from the professionals in the privacy of their own living rooms.
Among those who have offered to produce programs free of charge are motivational speakers Paul Pilzer, "God Wants You to Be Rich," Les Brown, "Live Your Dreams," Lillian Glass, "Toxic People," Mark Victor Hansen, "Chicken Soup for the Soul," and John Gray, "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus."
And there is money to be made as well. Touting TPN as "a high-tech AMWAY," Olson has set up his organization so that viewers earn financial rewards for recruiting other new viewers. TPN affiliate Percy Ross explains, "I got involved because I wanted to make money but also because helping people is the core of my existence." TPN also offers a catalog featuring a wide range of discounted self-help and motivational aids, health food products and nutritional supplements.
TPN promotes a sense of belonging by creating a support group of on-air meetings and conventions, including Olson's weekly Thursday evening pep talk. According to TPN sales representative Sharon Misch, "What draws people to TPN are the friendships that evolve around our common belief in personal development."
TPN has been rated one of the top home-based business in North America. For more information:
THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK
PO Box 111787
Carrollton, TX 75011-1787
Phone: (214) 680-4413
(Source: PTC press release; Kevin Helliker, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/22/95; Steven N. Mehta, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/23/95); Percy Ross, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/ 3/25/96)
GOOD & BAD NEWS FOR THE INTERNET
(Sources: Hiawatha Bray, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/14/96 via John D. Roehm; REUTERS via CNN ONLINE, 11/21/96)
First the bad news: it seems that forces are seeking to control use of the Internet once again. The latest threat is the TREATY ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN RESPECT TO DATABASES. The treaty was drawn up by a panel of U.S. and European bureaucrats in Geneva who draft international laws, and could be approved this month unless a coalition of opponents stop it. If signed, access to information on the Internet would be controlled and restricted in such a way as to make the Internet almost unusable as an information resource.
Supporting the treaty are diplomats representing the U.S. and the European Community; in opposition are the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, and Jim Bryant, President of PRO CD INC. The company, a leading maker of CD-ROM-based telephone directories, was founded in 1992, one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled telephone companies could not copyright their white pages directories. PRO CD markets "Select Phone," a computerized telephone directory of the entire U.S. for about $100. PRO CD data is also posted free of charge on AMERICA ONLINE (AOL) and the BIGFOOT Web site.
This is currently made possible by free access to the information in the white pages. But if the treaty becomes law, information providers will be able to claim proprietary ownership of their data. For example, Bryant would have to pay each of the 1,250 phone companies in the U.S. for the right to copy their material. The companies would have the right to charge whatever they wanted and even refuse to sell their information. Bryant comments, "I believe that the proposed legislation would establish information fiefdoms. It reminds me of the childhood image of a troll under the bridge who collects a toll from anyone who tries to pass."
It gets worse. James Love, Director of the CONSUMER PROJECT ON TECHNOLOGY, a Washington lobbying group founded by Ralph Nader, claims that under the treaty, sports leagues would own all the statistical information they compile about their games. "This would include the right to control access to the historical archives of sports statistics, and even dictate who could publish the box scores from a game or print a pitcher's ERA on the back of a baseball card."
Keith Kupferschmid, an intellectual property attorney at the U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, said there's no way this can happen, because you can't forbid somebody from reporting facts. That didn't stop a federal judge this summer from barring MOTOROLA INC. from relaying basketball scores to people using their pagers. The NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA) convinced the judge that the information belonged to the league, and that Motorola should have to pay to broadcast it.
To learn more about the issue, visit <http://www.public-domain.org>, where you will find a copy of the treaty and comments from its critics and supporters.
Now the good news: the U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT has just released a report recommending that no special taxes be imposed in cyberspace, concluding with the comment, "New technologies should not be used to justify new taxes." Instead, the department recommends that the current system should evolve to tax income from all sources in a consistent manner. This pronouncement comes at a time when businesses are already struggling with tax proposals from state and local governments. According to Kent Johnson, Head of Transaction Tax Practice at PEAT MARWICK, "State governments don't feel the same way as the federal government, but this report may be a good starting point for discussing all the issues." This year, about $1 billion of goods and services will be sold online, growing to over $7 billion by the year 2000, according to market researchers at JUPITER COMMUNICATIONS. (JG)
AN INTERVIEW WITH LARRY DOSSEY, M.D.
(The following are some excerpts from an interview of Dr. Larry Dossey ("Recovering the Soul," "Healing Words" and "Prayer is Good Medicine") in the Nov-Dec/96 issue of SPECTRUM.)
"The good news is that the data supporting alternatives is beginning to be acknowledged. Doctors and the medical profession are opening up to the importance of consciousness in healing. The strongest piece of evidence comes from what's happening in the curricula of medical schools. In the past three years, between one-third and one-half of all the medical schools in the U.S. have adopted courses in complementary and alternative therapies, and this fall, 11 of the medical schools started offering courses specifically devoted to exploring the role of spirituality in clinical practice.
"Religions are going to have to acknowledge that science really does have a role to play in how we view spirituality in people's lives. For instance, prayer can affect the physical health and longevity of human beings. The best-known study came out of the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MEDICAL SCHOOL. It involved 400 patients with heart attacks or severe chest pain. About half of them had their names farmed out to various prayer groups. The prayed-for group had fewer deaths and no one ended up on a ventilator, while 12 people did in the control group.
"[Interestingly,] there was no correlation between denomination and the effect of prayer in these clinical studies. The unifying thread is compassion -- a deep, genuine, authentic caring for who or what these people are praying for. You have to come from the heart. This was once called 'bedside manner.'
"Studies such as those on intercessory prayer, and others, such as those done on remote viewing by Robert John at PRINCETON, demonstrate that you can convey and receive information at a distance from other minds. There is some aspect of consciousness that cannot be confined to the body. This is what I call 'nonlocal.'
"Two people are involved [in remote viewing]: one is the sender, the other is the receiver. There have been over 300 of these tests run at PRINCETON alone, documented in the book, "Margins of Reality" by Professor John. In the majority of instances, the image gets through. Amazingly, the image is [sometimes] received up to three days before it is even sent.
"Another major rising star in American philosophy and science is David Chalmers at the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Santa Cruz. He says that it is time to acknowledge that consciousness is fundamental in the universe, on par with matter, energy, space and time." (JG)
David Sunfellow (DS)
James Gregory (JG)
Gail Rossi (GR)
Lea Harwood (LH)
Sandy Ezrine (SE)
Cynthia Stringer (CS)
Kathleen-Blake Frankel (KBF)
Karol Ann Barnett (KAB)
Deb Jamerson (DJ)
Mary Koch (MK)
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