News Notes

Zip Dobyns

The doom and gloomers are still at it. I’ve gotten on an e-mail list which publishes some of Gordon Scallion’s forecasts, and his latest is a repeat: the BIG earthquake is coming to California in February or March 1999. He just keeps delaying the timetable when it doesn’t happen. February is past as this is written, and by the time you get this issue of The Mutable Dilemma, you will know if it happened in March. Meanwhile, the psychics ignore the earthquakes happening in many other areas of the world, along with the critical problems created by humans in Iraq, Kosovo, North Korea, Africa, etc.

A friend sent me the address of a web site which reports on crop circles. It is located in Austria, but fortunately has an English version of their material. The report I received describes (and has gorgeous pictures of) nine remarkable crop circles which could be interpreted as astronomical designs. I assume our readers are familiar with this phenomenon. Designs are formed in fields, mostly with growing grain but sometimes other plants. The plants are bent to form the designs. The stems are not broken, and analysis has found that the plant joints are affected in a way that suggests microwave energy. The designs sometimes appear within minutes while observers in the vicinity see nothing. A few have been created by pranksters and the debunkers eagerly assume that all have that source, but the intricate designs and world-wide appearances just can’t be explained in this simplistic way.

The web article from Germany interprets the designs shown in the article as forecasts of a coming catastrophe when a comet or asteroid is due to hit earth on August 11, 1999, the date of a solar eclipse. When (as I expect) nothing much happens at the eclipse, the authors of the article might look for other meanings, though skeptics could decide the designs are mostly an artistic stimulus for human imaginations. Doom and gloomers will imagine doom and optimists will admire the creativity of the cosmos with its multiple options for ideas and actions. So far, the crop circles remain inexplicable.

For those who want to explore further, the web site is printed out as: When my word processor underlined the whole web address, it obscured the fact that there are underlines between bindu and countdown and between countdown and e. There are no spaces in the address. Information is also available at: ARGE bindu, Bahnhofstrasse 10, A-8530 Deutschlandsberg, Austria. Tel/Fax: +43 3462 6373.

The doom and gloomers will be happy to learn about a newly described earthquake fault which runs under downtown Los Angeles and then angles down into Orange County, extending for about 25 miles. The geologists who explored the area looking for oil and gas already knew about the fault, but they kept their knowledge as a proprietary secret, hoping to make money on any promising finds. Now that the easily available oil and gas in the L.A. area has been mostly depleted and increased environmental regulations are in effect, the petroleum geologists are giving their old data to researchers. An article about the fault was published in the March 5 issue of Science and reported in the March 5 issue of The San Diego Union-Tribune. It is a blind, thrust fault named for the Puente Hills which lie above part of it, and it was probably responsible for the 6 magnitude Whittier earthquake of 1987. It is considered capable of generating a 7 magnitude quake. The Los Angeles area may have many more such faults which are called “blind” because they are deep underground and hard to spot from the surface, and “thrust” because blocks of earth move diagonally, almost vertically, while a “slip-strike” fault, like the famous San Andreas, involves major edges of continental shelves sliding past each other, moving horizontally.

Another Internet friend sent me an article from The Jerusalem Post newspaper about a beautiful mosaic floor uncovered from an early synagogue. It suggested a more inclusive religious faith than is currently acceptable in most of Judaism. A lower panel depicted Abraham posed to sacrifice Isaac, the top panel was jammed with Jewish symbols and ritual objects, but the central panel showed a detailed zodiac which included Helios, the sun god, charging forward upon four chariots. At the time of the synagogue, the region was under Christian sovereignty. In the corners of the central panel, bordering the zodiac wheel, the winged busts of four women are said to represent the four seasons. ?? Or maybe the four elements?? An inscription says that the panel was completed in the reign of Emperor Justin but the date is illegible. Two Justins ruled in the 6th century, and since the second Justin was strongly anti-Jewish, it is likely the mosaic dates from early in the century. The artisans were paid in grain. Zodiacs have been found on other synagogue floors in Na’aran, Tzippori, and Tiberias.

A much more recent, and fun, astrological discovery was reported in the March 5 1999 San Diego paper. A 400-year-old horoscope was found in a drawer of a University of California Santa Cruz archive. The horoscope was drawn with the diamond-shaped houses still used by Vedic astrologers, showing the chart of a long-forgotten Austrian nobleman with a very long name who was born in 1586. The chart’s claim to fame is that it was handwritten by the famous astrologer/astronomer Johannes Kepler. It is signed in black at the bottom by another eminent German astronomer, Wilhelm Struve, declaring that the horoscope is written “in the hand of Kepler, from the collection of Kepler Manuscripts in Pulkova.” The Pulkova observatory was founded near St. Petersburg, Russia in the early 1800s, and Struve signed the manuscript on May 13, 1864. An autograph specialist in Berlin has verified that Kepler wrote it.

Most astrologers know that Kepler was a practicing astrologer as well as the renowned source of the laws of planetary motion. Most astronomers do not know that he was an astrologer, or think that he only did astrology out of a desperate need for money. From Kepler’s own writing, we know that he was convinced that astrology was part of the natural order and potentially very valuable, though he also wrote that much of what was written in the name of astrology was nonsense. Many, if not most, competent astrologers would agree with the latter statement.

The Y2K issue has almost become a daily feature in our local San Diego Union-Tribune. The March 5, 1999 issue had a reassuring report from a meeting of local CEOs on March 4. The local phone company says it is 88% finished with its repairs, with 400 employees working on the project at a cost of $3 million a week. One of the biggest banks (Wells Fargo) says remediation and testing were mostly completed by the end of 1998, though some testing continues. The local gas and electric company expects to finish work on its essential systems by the end of June. They say they have not found any significant problems and we will have gas and electricity on New Year’s Day. Mayor Susan Golding thinks critical city systems will not have a serious problem. The airport expects to be compliant by September 1999. The consensus seems to be that small businesses are the most endangered. The Gartner Group (mentioned in a news item in a previous issue of The Mutable Dilemma) seems to be the most informed organization. They suggest that 25% of all companies have not started to address the problem, and that 80% of those are small businesses. The health area may be most threatened – hospitals and doctor’s offices. The March 6 story in the local paper described “smooth sailing” by the Navy in its Y2K testing. A few minor bugs were found in the Navy’s first at-sea test of 16 ships, none of them serious.

A report from the Reuters news agency describes the on-going testing for Y2K which is being done by Wall Street. The Securities Industry Association (SIA) designed and organized a test which first ran in July 1998, checking some of the world’s biggest financial institutions. The “dress rehearsal” went well, and now the test is being used for smaller firms. Starting this month, on each Saturday for six weeks stock brokerages will be checking their computers. Since the world’s financial markets are closely connected, blackouts in even one big area or firm could have wide repercussions. Edward Boehne, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said in a speech on March 5 in Reading, PA, that the financial industry was doing one of the best jobs to ensure that the arrival of the year 2000 is a manageable event.

Another claim to fame for the year 2000 comes from it being the eleventh year in the sun’s eleven year cycle. An increased number of solar storms is anticipated, which can damage satellites and electrical power systems. According to a note from an Internet correspondent, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, in a talk to the 16th Asia Electronics Union, called 2000 the “year of the angry sun.” The March 6, 1999 issue of Science News describes a re-investigation of a Midwest U.S. phone disturbance on April 4, 1972 when a surge of electricity snarled long-distance phone service. 1989 also saw widespread electric malfunctions in Quebec and the eastern U.S. Space physicists already knew that solar storms coincided with these incidents, and theorized that a blast from the solar wind had dented the earth’s protective layer, the magnetopause, which surrounds the ionosphere. The new study decided that the electric currents which produced the damage were in the ionosphere rather than the more distant magnetopause. They anticipate possible disturbances during the coming two years from increased solar storms.

An article in our SD newspaper from November 29, 1998 says that violent weather in 1998 set a world record in financial cost. The doom and gloomers love that kind of report, but the weather extremes still can’t match the “year without a summer” in 1816. They just cost more now, and there are much larger populations to be threatened than there were 182 years ago. The environmentalists also eagerly publicize the report, which came from Worldwatch, an environmental research group. Increasing numbers of scientists are making the point that cutting trees may be a major cause of the severe consequences from Hurricane Mitch, the flooding of China’s Yangtze River, and Bangladesh’s most extensive flood of the century.

Concerned Californians are cheering the purchase of a large area of old-growth redwood trees in the northern part of the state. Some of the trees are over 2,000 years old. A deal was worked out for the federal and state governments to share the cost. The private owner (who had acquired the property with a hostile take-over from previous, more responsible owners) was threatened with constant legal problems involving endangered species if he did not accept the deal. He knew that, now that we have a Democratic governor, he could not go on cutting the ancient redwoods the way he did under Governor Wilson. The owner signed 2 minutes before midnight before the federal part of the deal ran out.

Switching from the health of computers, astrology (which keeps being resurrected), and the earth, to humans, the March 1999 issue of Alternatives, the newsletter of Dr. David Williams, is largely devoted to the need to differentiate between some bacteria which are a source of illness and others which are essential protectors of our health. The threat of modern drugs and hospitals is being increasingly reported in a variety of sources. In his current newsletter, Dr. Williams lists the leading causes of death in the U.S. as: 1) heart attacks, 2) cancer, 3) stroke, and 4) reactions to prescription drugs. The overuse of antibiotics can kill people directly, in addition to helping create drug-resistant bacteria which require ever-stronger drugs with still more side-effects, and antibiotics also destroy the helpful bacteria! Dr. Williams says that more than 500 different species of bacteria reside in the GI tract and they are a primary defense against outside pathogens. In addition to antibiotics, a variety of processed foods also attack our “friendly” bacteria. Foods containing a variety of sulphur-based compounds which are used as preservatives include jams, jellies, dried fruit, cider, instant potatoes, packaged salads, colas, meat, and some wines and beers. To sustain the essential bacteria, Williams urges the regular use of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, green olives, and sourdough bread. He also strongly recommends old-fashioned oats. Yogurt with live lactobacillus can also help, but Williams says that the fermented milk products don’t adhere very well to the intestinal wall, so they are less reliable than other fermented foods. I’ve never been a fan of sauerkraut, but on the strength of this article, I’m going to include more green olives and sourdough bread in my diet.

Copyright © 1999 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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