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NHNE News Brief 35
Friday, November 8, 1996

"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."

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CONTENTS:
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QUOTABLES:
I Never Make a Mistak

NEWS WATCH:
Mars Probe to Re-Examine "Face on Mars"
EMF Paradox
Brain pH & Intelligence
Are Airports Major Polluters?
Secure eMail Plan

GOOD NEWS WATCH:
Counteracting Cynicism in Media
Spiritual Journey Discussion Group
Electric School Buses
Emotional Intelligence

NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
The Sedona Center for the Alexander Technique

NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
Online 2, Offline 1, Total List 736

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK:
"Spirit of Sedona" Set to Soar

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Watch, Listen & Learn
Many of Us Are Baffled
Real News
Meaningful Light

ANCIENT CIVILIZATION WATCH:
Sphinx Controversy Heats Up

CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
Summary of 1996 Crop Circle Season

SPACE WATCH:
A Quiet Sun

EARTH WATCH:
World Volcano Update

JESUS WATCH:
The Jesus Seminar

LIFESTYLES:
Penet.fi is Dead

HEALTH WATCH:
Peanut Risk

WEB WATCH:
Resources for Living
Human Gene Map

NHNE SUBSCRIPTIONS, SPONSORS & DONATIONS
NHNE STAFF
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US

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QUOTABLES:
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I NEVER MAKE A MISTAK

"A person who never makes mistakes,
loses a great many chances to learn something."

---Anon

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NEWS WATCH:
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MARS PROBE TO RE-EXAMINE "FACE ON MARS"
(Source: CNI NEWS, 11/1/96)

NASA has made an apparent 180-degree turn concerning the controversial Cydonia landform complex. Until recently, NASA maintained a posture of disdain toward suggestions that Cydonia might contain evidence of intelligent activity on the Red Planet and thus deserved priority in upcoming photo reconnaissance missions of the Mars Global Observer. Since August 7, however, NASA has energetically defended research suggesting that Mars might indeed once have hosted life. According to a press release published on October 16, NASA has now pledged not only to rephotograph the famous "face" and "pyramids" of Cydonia, but will also post the images on the Internet as fast as they can be processed. The Global Surveyor was launched November 7 from Cape Canaveral and will go into orbit around Mars on September 11, 1997. From its polar orbit, it will have more than two dozen opportunities to image the Cydonia region during its scheduled mission. In the words of NASA project scientist Arden Albee: "We think we have done all the things we can possibly do within the framework of this mission to try to address this question of the 'Face on Mars.' So we hope that we'll be able to satisfy the people who have been asking questions about this." (JG)

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EMF PARADOX
(Source: Sharon Begley, NEWSWEEK, 11/11/96)

According to an exhaustive report just released by the National Research Council (NRC), "The current body of evidence [500 studies] does not show that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) presents a human health hazard." The NRC recognizes that an absence of proof does not mean that there is an absence of risk. EMF has been linked to cancer in children ever since a 1979 study of children in Denver, Colorado discovered that children living near power lines were 50 percent more likely to get cancer. One of the problems that the studies encountered was that it was nearly impossible to continuously monitor actual EMFs inside thousands of houses, much less reconstruct the past exposure of a child who developed leukemia. As a simplified measure of EMF exposure, a wire code rating was used which factored in the distance of the house from power lines and the size of the power lines. Virtually all studies found that the higher the wire code rating, the higher the incidence of childhood leukemia; however, when researchers actually go into houses and measure EMFs they find that field levels are no higher in homes with leukemia than those without. Unravelling this paradox should be the highest priority of future research, says the NRC. (JG)

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BRAIN PH & INTELLIGENCE
(Source: SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK) via NEXUS, Oct-Nov, 96)

According to a team of scientists at JOHN RADCLIFFE HOSPITAL (UK), the more alkaline the brain, the higher the IQ. This discovery raises the prospect that it may be possible to increase intelligence by artificially raising pH levels. The finding was made accidentally while studying the correlation between brain biochemistry and intelligent behaviour in children with muscular dystrophy. (JG)

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ARE AIRPORTS MAJOR POLLUTERS?
(Source: CNN ONLINE, 10/17/96)

The nation's major airports pollute the air as much as oil refineries or steel mills, and may be the new smokestacks of the 21st Century according to a new study by NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL (NRDC), an environmental watch-dog group. The problem, the NRDC says, will get much worse as more Americans travel by air. Davis Plavin, President of the AIRPORTS COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL, counters, "Pollution is something we've been making some real progress on. Over the years, planes have gotten noticeably quieter, and noticeably reduced emissions." The ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) supports Plavin's claim pointing out that aircraft pollution accounts for just 1.4% of all air pollution from mobile sources, and that all aircraft are required to abide by air pollution controls set and enforced under the CLEAN AIR ACT. (JG)

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USPS UNVEILS SECURE eMAIL PLAN
(Source: REUTERS via CNN ONLINE, 10/17/96)

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced a plan to boost online commerce by enhancing the security and reliability of electronic mail traveling on the Internet. Under the plan, businesses and consumers will be able to verify that email has not been tampered with and use services now available for ordinary mail like sending a certified letter. CYLINK is developing the system for the Post Office which will enable people to register a digital "signature" with the Post Office that can be compared against electronic mail they send. If any tampering is discovered, the Postal Service would investigate, just like it investigates tampering with regular mail. (JG)

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GOOD NEWS WATCH:
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COUNTERACTING CYNICISM IN MEDIA
(Source: Ruth Hobeika, NEW AGE JOURNAL, Nov-Dec/96)

As author of "Diet for a Small Planet," Francis Moore Lappe has been interested in what we put in our mouths. Now with her husband Paul Martin Du Bois, she has extended that concern to what we put in our minds, and founded the AMERICAN NEWS SERVICE (ANS) to counteract cynicism and negativism in mainstream journalism. ANS reports on people who are pulling together to solve problems creatively in such areas as education reform, human services, and local government. Started a year ago, the service's subscriber list has expanded to include 700 newspapers, TV, and radio stations. ANS is a non-profit organization and offers its stories at no charge. They can be reached at: ANS, RR 1, Black Fox Rd., Brattleboro, VT, 05301 and emailed at http://www.americannews.com. (JG)

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SPIRITUAL JOURNEY DISCUSSION GROUP

Looking for a friendly, nurturing, spiritually-supportive discussion group that is made up, at least in part, by enthusiastic NHNE fans? Chris Czech, of Moose Meadow, Alberta, Canada, has responded to the need by setting up an email discussion group called "The Spiritual Journey Discussion Group." To join the group, and/or find out more about it, you can send an email message to "journey@cadvision.com". While Chris will be facilitating the list, David Sunfellow and other NHNE staff members and fans will also be joining in. (DS)

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ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES
(Source: Janet Wiscombe, NEW AGE JOURNAL, Nov-Dec/96)

For the first time in history, a school bus has passed the test for cleanliness and quiet. This fall 12 electric school buses went into service in California. They look like any other yellow school buses, yet each is fueled by 112 leak-resistant safety batteries and can travel 80 miles between charges. It is interesting to note that the new electric buses cost 9 cents a mile to operate compared to 14 cents a mile for conventional buses. It is anticipated that the fleet could number 300 in five years. Funding for the project comes from a surcharge on California state vehicle registration fees. (JG)

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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
(Source: Victoria Cooper, NEW AGE JOURNAL, Nov-Dec/96)

In 1993, a student upset over an argument opened fire in the crowded cafeteria of HARPER HIGH SCHOOL in Atlanta killing one student and wounding another. These days, students at the school settle their disputes nonviolently through an innovative process called the RESOLVING CONFLICT CREATIVELY PROGRAM (RCCP). The program founded by educators Linda Lantieri and Tom Roderick in 1985 is teaching "emotional intelligence" to young people in 325 schools across the U.S. A survey of New York teachers in 1990 found that in one year, the program reduced fights in over 70 percent of the classrooms, decreased verbal put-downs by 66 percent, and increased cooperation among students by almost 70 percent. In an attempt to reach a larger audience, Lantieri has just published "Waging Peace in Our Schools." For more information write: THE RESOLVING CONFLICT CREATIVELY PROGRAM, 163 THIRD AVE., SUITE 103, New York City, NY, 10003. (JG)

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NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
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This issue sponsored by:

THE SEDONA CENTER FOR THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

Have stress and a defensive posture toward life gotten you tied in knots? The Alexander Technique can help you learn to release tension and gain greater peace of body, mind and spirit.

Rupert & Linnie Oysler
(520) 204-2566
WWW: http://nen.sedona.net/nen/alexander/
eMail: rupert@sedona.net

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NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
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ONLINE 2, OFFLINE 1, TOTAL LIST 736

Here is our financial report for the week of November 8:

New Online Subscribers last week: 2
New Offline Subscribers last week: 1
Total Paid Online Subscriptions: 42
Total Paid Offline Subscriptions: 7
Total Online Mailing List: 736

Other Income (Sponsors & Donations): $0.00
Total Income: $103.00

Reporters:
Mark Koch ("World Volcano Update"): $5.00
Deb Jamerson ("A Quiet Sun"): $5.00

This Week's Expenses: $487.62
This Week's Deficit: $384.62

Money Needed To Upgrade Computer System: $2500.00
Money Received To Upgrade Computer System: $0.00

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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK:
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"SPIRIT OF SEDONA" SET TO SOAR

Well folks, things are really popping around NHNE these days! Our "Spirit of Sedona: Experience of a Lifetime" contest launches officially on November 16. Here is the chance for you and a friend to come and visit us in Sedona, at our expense. We will be your personal guide to the power vortexes, hidden canyons and sacred sites in this majestic red rock country. Come and fly in the open cockpit of a biplane or drift above the magnificent scenery in a hot-air balloon, visit the Grand Canyon, do body work, and have readings done, all expenses paid. We'll fly you in from anywhere in North America, put you up at a cozy B&B overlooking world-famous Cathedral Rock, rent you a car, feed you, and put $300 in your pocket. All you have to do is write a letter telling us why you want to come to Sedona, and include a donation to NHNE ($50 is suggested). If you ever considered supporting the work of NHNE, here is your chance. Send us a letter and a donation, and spread the word. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. For more information, we invite you to take a look at our "Spirit of Sedona" Web site: http://nen.sedona.net//nhne/spiritofsedona/

We are also in the midst of producing a video about NHNE which will include the Special Report about Gordon-Michael Scallion that aired this month on KHOU-TV in Houston. We plan to make this video available later this month and will post details in future News Briefs.

And last but not least, Gail Rossi, the publisher of a metaphysical newspaper serving Maine and parts of New Hampshire, has agreed to take over the responsibility of publishing the offline (printed) version of the NHNE NEWS BRIEF. Her aim is to expand its reach of the News Brief and link it to regional New Age and Holistic Lifestyle publications. More on this as it develops.

So put your thinking caps on and write us a letter about why you would like to visit Sedona..., as if you needed a reason!

James Gregory
Editor-in-Chief

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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WATCH, LISTEN & LEARN

"What an interesting newsletter! Everything seems to be at an uncomfortable standstill. 1996 is coming to a close and what we are seeing is not at all what many of us expected. And yet I have seen so many others with a similar interest in all these global events, attempting to understand them and evaluate them. I was very frightened and hesitant for many years, but since I have found other people who are looking at this period in our planetary evolution from a myriad of angles, I am no longer afraid of the future. And so we watch, listen and learn to sift through tabloid garbage and the ravings of unreliable sources and find the truth..., or what we can accept as truth."

---Sherry, Walla Walla, Washington

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MANY OF US ARE BAFFLED

"In NHNE NEWS BRIEF 34, Joya Pope says in her letter, 'I must admit I am baffled. The earth has been rather quiet.' Joya, many of us are baffled, as our favorite psychics and intuitive sources appear to be getting worse at prophecy, instead of better. More and more people are laughing at the idea of making preparations for predicted events that seem to damage only the reputations of the prognosticators! The damage from floods, fires, ice, wind, etc. does seem to be increasing, at least from the reports of insurance companies, but the quake and volcano activity is clearly (temporarily?) on hold. We need to keep this discussion ongoing, because it may be a wonderful sign of our spiritual growth as a race. Or maybe there is a deeper explanation. However, it is too easy for most people just to write off the apparently erroneous predictions as more psychic garbage. Most of the futurists I've met seem to be very sincere and honest people who are just reporting what they envision and warning us to get better prepared. It's a shame that they should be branded as charlatans if the timing of events is being altered by some unknown, elusive force."

---Bill Dewey, Rochester, New York

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REAL NEWS

"Thanks for your wonderful work. I really look forward to the News Brief each week. I consider it the only place where I get the real news."

---Lucida Garneau, Seattle, Washington

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MEANINGFUL LIGHT

"Just wanted to say thank you (David Sunfellow) for your article about predictions in the Global Upheaval Special Report. I am just recently coming off a relationship that my guidance clearly said was meant to be, and that we would be together in a deep and meaningful way for a long time to come. My partner had other ideas. After such a major snafu, I have been mistrusting my source of guidance and reluctant to seek any more advice. I've been feeling like it's all a bunch of hooey. Your cogent and insightful article shed meaningful light on this dilemma for me, and I'm very grateful. Thanks for all the work you do for NHNE and for sharing it so generously with the world."

---J.M., Molalla, Oregon

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ANCIENT CIVILIZATION WATCH:
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SPHINX CONTROVERSY HEATS UP
By David Sunfellow

Reports have been circulating for some time now that a chamber has been discovered under the Sphinx and that some kind of exploration is presently being conducted by the U.S.-based SCHOR FOUNDATION in conjunction with Egyptian authorities. An article in the current issue of ATLANTIS RISING (Number 9), adds more fuel to the speculation by reporting that Graham Hancock ("Fingerprints of the Gods") and Robert Bauval ("The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids") were appearing on an Art Bell radio show in late Septmeber when a call came in from Richard Hoagland ("The Monuments of Mars"). According to the ATLANTIS RISING article, Hoagland called to announce that he had been invited to attend the opening later in the year of newly found chamber(s) beneath the Sphinx. Hancock and Bauval responded by airing their upset feelings for the way the exploration -- and potential opening -- was being handled. They were especially critical of the SCHOR FOUNDATION, which is funding the work, and Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian Antiquities Director for the Giza Plain. (Hancock, Bauval and others critical of the SCHOR INSTITUTE and Egyptian authorities have all been left out of the current exploration.)

The high drama that began on the Art Bell show then spilled over into a conference that Hancock, Bauval, John Anthony West, Robert Schoch and other prominent ancient Egypt/Atlantian researchers were attending. During the conference, which was hosted by THE SOCIETY FOR SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION at the UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE in the last weekend of September, Bauval and Hancock announced that they had been invited to THE SCHOR INSTITUTE to discuss their differences. A representative of the Institute, Joe Jahoda, then took the stage explaining that nothing underhanded was going on. While suggesting that researchers were indeed making discoveries that confirmed many of the radical theories put forth by Hancock, Bauval and others, Jahoda said the foundation had simply contracted with Egyptian antiquities bureaucracy to keep its findings confidential until approval had been obtained from them. Hancock responded by saying that anything other than full public discloser was unacceptable. Later, West entered the fray claiming that Hawass had threatened him with bodily harm, which Jahod countered claiming that Hawass was "just an Egyptian letting you know he was mad."

While there is still a great deal of excitement, uncertainty and intense emotion wrapped around this situation, ATLANTIS RISING claims that the scheduled meeting between Hancock, Bauval and the SCHOR INSTITUTE ended in an "uneasy truce." ATLANTIS RISING also claims it had received information that "some kind of penetration, perhaps with a camera through a drill hole, of what could be the fabled 'Lost Hall of Records' could occur as early as late October. A possible live NBC telecast of the complete opening of the chamber may follow by the end of the year or perhaps early in 1997."

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CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
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SUMMARY OF 1996 CROP CIRCLE SEASON
(Source: Marcus Allen, NEXUS, Oct-Nov/96)

Spring was wet in England this year, and planting was delayed. The crop cirlce season started slowly in mid-May with a few simple circles and rings. By mid-June, the SUSSEX CIRCULAR (the only monthly crop circle publication) had just six circles listed.

Then on June 17, everything changed with the appearance of a double helix formation, dubbed "DNA" -- 648 feet long and consisting of 90 separate circles, some as big as 50 feet across -- which appeared near Alton Barnes, Wiltshire. The formation was created within a five-and-half-hour window.

On July 8, in a window of only 30 minutes, a 915-foot formation consisting of 151 circles appeared within 400 yards of Stonehenge and next to A303, one of the busiest highways in England. The formation, dubbed "The Julia Set," was modelled on a complex mathematical design.

On July 29, the Julia Set design was tripled at Windmill Hill near Avebury. This time a staggering 195 circles made up the formation, dubbed "The Triple Julia Set."

Then on August 11, the world was electrified when the formation of a crop circle was allegedly recorded on videotape. The formation at Oliver's Castle in Wiltshire, dubbed "The Snowflake," consisted of 19 circles and was 390 feet in diameter. Although Colin Andrews has declared the video and circle is almost certainly a hoax, there are a growing number of "croppies" who have seen the video and feel it is the real thing.

Crop circles currently grace the covers of numerous publications, T-shirts, and even ear rings. The complexity of their design and the mystery of their origins seems to have captured the imagination of a great portion of the Western world.

An excellent source of crop circle information is the CROP CIRCLE CONNECTOR Web site: http://alpha.mic.dundee.ac.uk/ft/crop_circles/anasazi/connect.html. They provide up-to-date information on all the crop circle activity of 1996, including 93 crop circles in England, 15 in the Czech Republic, 14 in Holland, 11 in the U.S., and 5 other international crop circles. It has been a very good year! (JG)

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EARTH WATCH:
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WORLD VOLCANO UPDATE
By Mary Koch

In Iceland on September 29 the Grimsvotn Volcano began erupting beneath Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest in Europe. On October 2, a six-mile-long fissure broke through the glacier with the release of steam and ash clouds rising to 30,000 feet. Over the next month, the lake within Grimsvotn caldera rose approximately 45 feet. On November 5, the lake breached the caldera wall in a flood of ice, mud and water damaging and destroying bridges, telephone and electrical lines and roads. A peak flow of an amazing 45,000 m3/sec. -- more than four times the volume of the Amazon River -- was reached in 10 1/2 hours and occurred more rapidly than scientists thought could ever happen. So far, no lives have been lost, but the path of destruction is 30 miles long and damage is currently estimated at $16 million.

Also in Iceland, the neighboring volcano Bardarbung began to erupt on November 6. Scientists believe this was the result of the pressure reduction in nearby Grimsvotn caldera.

In Indonesia, the Merapi Volcano continued the activity begun November 22, 1994 with a large eruption on October 31 which forced the evacuation of 300 people.

In Alaska, the Pavlof Volcano, which began erupting September 16, increased activity on November 4 with ash plumes reaching 25,000 feet. This is its strongest eruption so far. Two vents at the summit are spewing lava flows. Scientists expect the eruption to continue for weeks and possibly months.

(Sources: NORDIC VOLCANOLOGICAL INSTITUTE; VOLCANO WORLD; ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY; ICELAND NATIONAL ENERGY AUTHORITY)

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SPACE WATCH:
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A QUIET SUN
By Deb Jamerson

For the last two months, the magnetic storms which normally mark the Sun's surface with sun spots have been absent. This lack of solar activity isn't unprecedented, but it is unusual in that, up to now, the 90's have been very active, with sunspot activity and resulting solar flares setting records for frequency and intensity. As a result, there has been a lot of interest recently in the nature of sunspots and what their absence might mean to us here on Earth. Weather changes? Earth changes? Catastrophic disasters? Another Ice Age?

Sunspots were first identified in the year 325 B.C. by Theophrastus. Sunspots form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface, cooling areas from a background value of 6,000 degrees C down to 4,200 degrees C; these areas appear as dark spots in contrast to the hotter areas surrounding them. The frequency of sunspots waxes and wanes on an 11.1 year cycle. From 1645 to 1715, there was a lack of recorded sunspots called the Maunder Minimum. That time was also a period of exceptionally cold weather across the northern hemisphere of Earth dubbed the "Little Ice Age."

Sunspots do have an effect on earth -- sometimes material near a sunspot explodes into outer space in an event called a solar flare. Associated with solar flares are bursts of X-rays and electrically charged particles which upon reaching Earth can cause a disruption of long distance radio communication, an expansion of the upper atmosphere of the Earth (such an expansion hastened the fall of the Skylab space station in the early 1980s), and displays of Northern and Southern Lights (Aurora Borealis and Australis).

We are presently close to a solar minimum. According to the NATIONAL SOLAR OBSERVATORY and the NASA SPACE ENVIRONMENT CENTER, despite some claims to the contrary, the Sun is behaving within expected parameters and there is no reason whatsoever to think that the behavior of the Sun in the near future is going to be any different.

The next solar maximum is due in 2001. (Sources: NATIONAL SOLAR OBSERVATORY; NASA SPACE ENVIRONMENT CENTER; David Yarrow, MILLENNIUM MATTERS, 10/31/96 via Joya Pope)

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JESUS WATCH:
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THE JESUS SEMINAR
By James Gregory

"The separation of church and state is not a license to remain piously ignorant. Religion is the fourth "R" of basic knowledge." Thus states the literature of the WESTAR INSTITUTE, a private, non-profit research organization dedicated to bringing together in dialogue reputable scholars representing a broad spectrum of opinion in Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and independent thought for the purpose of examining our religious heritage.

The WESTAR INSTITUTE sponsors the Jesus Seminar, a collection of scholars who gather twice a year to examine sacred scripture and various other sources for the purpose of determining the historical authenticity of Jesus' sayings and deeds. Passages are studied and discussed, and individuals vote on their authenticity using colored beads to designate their opinion -- red means they feel the text is almost certainly historical, pink that it is probably historical, gray that there is significant doubt, and black that it is almost certainly not historical.

The sayings of Jesus marked black can tell us almost as much as those marked red. Though most likely not the words of Jesus, they represent someone's voice, and those voices are worth hearing too. For example, the evangelist Matthew has Jesus saying, "Don't think that I have come to annul the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to annul but to fulfill." (Mt 5:17) This passage has been designated black by the Jesus Seminar. According to Perry Kea, Professor of Biblical Studies at the UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, "When Jesus claims to be fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, we should recognize the actual voice is Matthew's. Clearly the author of Matthew's Gospel wants to represent Jesus as the one who fulfills the predictions of the prophets and the demands of the Law."

In addition, Matthew, being a tax collector, apparently had suffered at the hands of the Pharisees and had a bone to pick with them. He wrote his Gospel in such a way as to have Jesus' words support his position. The passage in his Gospel, "Unless your religion goes beyond that of the scholars and Pharisees, you won't set foot in Heaven's domain" (Mt 5:20), is generally accepted as not being Jesus' words. It is the consensus of the Jesus Seminar that Jesus did have some differences of opinion and practice with the Pharisees, but that the frequency and intensity of controversial encounters was probably less than what Matthew reports.

For many Christians, John's Gospel is the favorite of the New Testament's four. It is the source of some of the most memorable sayings attributed to Jesus:

-- "God so loved the world that he gave his only son..." (Jn 3:16)

-- "In my Father's house there are many mansions..." (Jn 14:2)

-- "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (Jn 14:6)

In fact, the Gospel of John is the very cornerstone on which orthodox Christianity is based. Therefore, it comes as a great shock to many people to learn that in the collective opinion of the Jesus Seminar, by clear consensus, virtually none of the words attributed to Jesus in John is authentic.

Robert Fortna, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at VASSAR COLLEGE, comments, "Scholars work to distinguish 'the Jesus of history' from the 'Christ of faith.' In other words, they recognize the basic fact that Jesus was not a Christian and the idea that he was the Messiah (in Greek, the Christ -- a concept obviously basic to Christianity) was not entertained during his lifetime. The Fourth Gospel overwhelmingly presents us with a post-Easter Jesus."

If the Gospel of John is not historically factual, should it be discarded? Not at all. Fortna explains, "Christianity is not based primarily on the man Jesus. Instead it was based on the resurrection, which in turn forced a radical re-interpretation of who Jesus was in the eyes of faith. So we read John as the most christological, a pure basis for orthodox Christianity."

The scholars of the Jesus Seminar point out that they are not in the business of debunking the Gospels; rather they are against the simplistic, literal reading of the Gospels that leads to fundamentalist and rigid interpretation. They are equally committed to reclaiming the Gospel of John for valid reading by Christians and non-Christians. The Jesus Seminar also admits that there is no certainty in its claims; however, its consensus, arrived at by reducing a wide spectrum of voting to a weighted average is unique and significant. No extended collaborative enterprise of this sort has ever been attempted before.

For more information on the Jesus Seminar, contact POLEBRIDGE PRESS, PO Box 6144, Santa Rosa, CA 95406. For more information on the Jesus Seminar, see the article by Robert Perry in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 2. (Source: Perry V. Kea and Robert T. Fortna, THE FOURTH R, Sept-Dec/95)

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LIFESTYLES:
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PENET.FI IS DEAD
(Source: Joshua Quittner, TIME, 9/16/96)

Newsgroups on the Internet have become a popular way for people to share stories and experiences. However, for some, such as participants in newsgroups concerning sexual abuse or addiction, people asking embarrassing questions, and whistle-blowers, privacy is an important concern.

Since November 1993, such privacy was provided by Johan Helsingius, a Finn living near Helsinki. For four years his garden-variety PC performed the lofty task of allowing people to send and receive email and post messages to newsgroups, anonymously. One such person, known only as an145396@anon.penet.fi, was a 39-year-old woman who had suffered years of sexual abuse. Her cloak of anonymity allowed her to communicate honestly and openly with others about her experiences at "alt.sex.recovery" for the first time in her life.

Helsingius set up the blind electronic mailbox service, "anon.penet.fi," because he loved the idea of free speech. There are now dozens of similar services around the world, but Helsingius' service was the oldest, best known and largest, having served 500,000 people.

Sadly, "penet.fi" is no more. In August, a Finnish court ruled that Helsingius must divulge the true email address of a penet.fi user who posted Church of Scientology secrets to a news group. He has refused to comply, and has unplugged his anonymous service because "there is no real protection for free speech on the Internet in Finland." (JG)

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HEALTH WATCH:
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PEANUT RISK
(Source: John Sedgwick, NEWSWEEK, 10/14/96)

Peanuts pose a health risk for one percent of children -- double what it was ten years ago -- and the number of kids with peanut allergies still seems to be growing. 100 Americans die each year from food allergies, with peanuts being the top killer on the list. How did peanuts go from being America's wonder food to persona non grata?

Allergies require a genetic predisposition, but allergists suspect genes are more likely to kick in if youngsters are exposed to peanuts before their immune systems are fully developed by the age of three. In a study of 185 subjects, pediatric allergist Robert Ziegler found that virtually every one had been exposed to peanuts by the age of two. And no wonder -- it seems that peanuts are everywhere. A 15-year-old with a peanut allergy died in August in Connecticut after eating a piece of coffee cake that she thought was safe. A three-year-old from Maine had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering a reaction from eating a piece of a nut-free chocolate bar that had been made in a machine that earlier had processed the nutty version.

Some kids are so sensitive that just touching peanuts can cause hives, and ingesting even the tiniest amount can induce anaphylactic shock, killing the child in minutes. At the BRECK SCHOOL in Minneapolis, peanut products must be eaten at separate tables; at THE BRADSTREET EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER in North Andover, Maine peanut-free classrooms have been created; at the TRINITY SCHOOL in New York City peanuts in all forms have been expelled.

The food industry says it is doing its best to label ingredients clearly and is taking steps to prevent accidental cross-contamination. Worried parents should take their children to board-certified allergists for testing. (JG)

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RESOURCES FOR LIVING
http://www.rfl.com

For those of you who are interested in learning how to successfully blend business concerns with spiritual ones, Joan Sotkin has created a Web site full of valuable information, helpful tips, and thought-provoking insights. She also publishes an email newsletter that is packed full of news and information (send email to her autoresponder at "news@rfl.com" and you will receive the latest issue and be subscribed to the list). (DS)

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THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/science96/

For the first time, scientists are publishing the most up-to-date map of the human genome -- containing more than 16,000 genes -- on the Internet. The map is the product of a massive international effort of 104 scientists from three continents to sequence all of the 50,000 to 100,000 genes -- containing 3 billion nucleotides or DNA building blocks -- that make up the genetic identity of Homo Sapiens. The researchers hope that making the information available to the public will further research into the genes contributing to common diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and psychiatric disorders. (JG)

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