Feb 16, 2020


Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury trapped in Mexico after passport seized; fleet of CA cars to be auctioned

Once at the top of an international yoga empire, Bikram Choudhury is now on the run from creditors, hiding from an arrest warrant and trapped in Mexico where his bills are only growing.

Eyewitness News learned that the founder of the hot yoga brand, whose international Bikram Yoga empire is headquartered in West Los Angeles, had his passport seized in Mexico, where he failed to pay a $180,000 bill at the Princess Mundo Imperial Hotel.

The 76-year-old yogi is also accused of using his trademark name to market his teacher training sessions at the Acapulco resort in violation of court orders.

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On his trail is the woman who brought him down. His former attorney, Micki Jafa-Bodden, won a $6.6 million sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit. Four years after the court judgment, Jafa-Bodden is closing in on Bikram's hidden assets.

Catholic priest says "pedophilia doesn't kill anyone," but bans 44 lawmakers from receiving communion because he says abortion does

A priest in Rhode Island, Reverend Richard Bucci, made national headlines last week by banning lawmakers who supported the state's abortion rights bill from receiving communion at his parish. Now, he is doubling down on that decision with a statement that's sending shockwaves through social media.

. . .

"Pedophilia doesn't kill anyone and this does," he told local station WJAR, claiming that more children have been killed by abortion than have been abused.

This statement didn't sit well with State Representative Carol Hagan McEntee, a Democrat who championed Rhode Island's law to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors.

"When he says that pedophilia doesn't kill people, well, he clearly doesn't understand," she told CBS News. "He should've come to the statehouse and listened to the testimonies because there are lot of victims who are no longer with us. The injured voices that I heard — they've stolen their childhoods. They've practically destroyed their lives. And the ones we still hear from are the lucky ones because they're the ones who are still alive; they didn't die of an overdose or suicide. You know, there's plenty of those that never made it long enough to come forward."

The Argument for Abortion as a Religious Right

When evangelical professor Bruce Waltke shared a standard biblical interpretation in favor of abortion in 1968, his words were hardly controversial.

“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed,” he wrote in a 1968 Christianity Today article. “Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

More than five decades later, a lot has changed. In that time, a concerted effort to place anti-abortion views at the core of the religious right has succeeded in rallying conservative Christians against reproductive rights.

But the success of the Christian anti-abortion movement has overshadowed another group of religious Americans: those who say that the right to abortion is part of their religion. This group includes Jews, Muslims, and even Christians who believe their faith allows—and sometimes even requires—abortion under certain circumstances. They say the right to abortion is a constitutional one, protected not only by the right to privacy, but by the freedom to exercise religion.

The Wild and Messed Up History of ‘Demonic’ Pregnancies

This week video footage emerged of Pastor Paula White calling for prayers to end all “satanic pregnancies.” White serves as an adviser to the Trump administration’s Office of Public Liaison with the Faith and Opportunity Initiative, and so, quite naturally, the footage went viral. Critics of White lampooned her both for her lack of empathy for expectant parents and those who have experienced pregnancy loss. Others couldn’t help but note the apparent hypocrisy of a pro-life advocate asking God to kill unborn children. For most observers, however, the first response was “what on earth is a satanic pregnancy?”

For connoisseurs of horror movies, this question is quite easy to answer. It’s a staple of the genre; from The Omen’s Damian, to Rosemary’s Baby, or even the perhaps underrated Netflix show Eli, the idea that Satan can procreate with human women via sexual intercourse is well established. This is not only the stuff of movies. The Roman Catholic Church teaches at its annual exorcism course in Rome that people can be possessed in the womb and transgenerational possession is a thing. It’s theoretically possible, therefore, that a child could be possessed by a demon even if Catholic teaching would call for an exorcism rather than the end of a pregnancy.

Historically, there have been a number of occasions on which people—either the mother herself or those around her—have designated a particular pregnancy as satanic. One of the most famous examples occurred in 17th century France when an attractive and charismatic priest named Urbain Grandier became a parish priest in the town of Loudun. According to the reports, Grandier was a ladies’ man who regularly disregarded his vows of celibacy. One nun, Mother Superior Jeanne des Anges (“Joan of the Angels”), claimed that she had been seduced by Grandier, who was actually a demon. The seduction was made possible by the fact that he pretended to be an angel and appeared to her as a radiant being. Jeanne claimed that Grandier the Angel-Priest-Demon had gotten her pregnant and her accusations were soon supported by similar allegations of sexual impropriety by other Ursuline nuns.

Top Evangelical Christian Website Says's Pete Buttigieg's Homosexuality Makes Him 'Deserving of Death'

Writing for Charisma News, a website associated with the popular Christian magazine Charisma, Bert Farias decried how people are celebrating that a presidential candidate is publicly introducing, and even "kisses without shame," his husband in the name of progressivism.

"The constant compromising of preachers to avoid controversy is creating much damage—not only to the world, which is looking for a clear sound from preachers, but also to believers who have little discernment or are growing tired of ambiguity," Farias wrote.

"For example, one very influential and popular minister who has millions of followers was asked if homosexuality was wrong, and his general response was that his views were evolving. Evolving? That's like saying the Bible is evolving. How pathetic of an answer.

"In fact, when those who practice such things that are 'deserving of death' also approve of others who practice them (Rom. 1:32), it is one of God's final signs of His wrath on a society.

In 141 years of record-keeping, there has never been a warmer January

If you felt that January was warmer than usual, you're right.

January 2020 was Earth's hottest start to a year in over a century -- and it's not likely to be the last record of this type, according to a report released by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday.

In 141 years of record-keeping from NOAA, there has never been a warmer January.

This agrees with data released by the European climate observing program, Copernicus, released last week.

Temperatures surpassed the previous record set in January 2016 by 0.04 degrees Fahrenheit (0.02 degrees Celsius).

Fireflies are facing extinction due to habitat loss, pesticides and artificial light

Around the world, fireflies light up the night with their shimmering bodies. But scientists say this magical display is under threat -- with the loss of their natural habitats, pesticide use and artificial light putting some of the 2,000 or so species at risk of extinction.

Habitat loss is leading to the decline of many wildlife species, with some fireflies suffering because they need certain environmental conditions to complete their life cycle, said Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University, who led the research published Monday in the journal Bioscience.

For example, she said, one Malaysian firefly (Pteroptyx tener), famous for its synchronized flashing displays, needs mangroves and the plants they contain to breed but across Malaysia mangrove swamps have been converted into palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms.

More surprisingly, the researchers found that the use of artificial light at night, something that has grown exponentially over the past century, was the second most serious threat to the creatures.

Huge red star might explode soon and next few weeks are critical

Supergiant star Betelgeuse has been getting dimmer at an unprecedented pace over the past few months, leading some astronomers to wonder if it might be in the process of the collapse that precedes a supernova explosion. But there are other possible explanations, and we should have a better idea of what's happening to the massive star by the end of the month.

Veteran Villanova University astronomer Edward Guinan has been watching Betelgeuse for decades and reported earlier this month that the star appears to be "the least luminous and coolest yet measured from our 25 years of photometry."

It's well known Betelgeuse has no more than about 100,000 years left to burn and could start its death throes just about anytime between now and then. When it does go supernova, it's expected to result in a dramatic light show that could be visible in daylight and appear brighter than the full moon for a few weeks. The last time humans were treated to such a sight was the 17th century.

But as astronomer Tony Phillips points out on Spaceweather.com, the sudden fainting of Betelgeuse could also have less catastrophic explanations like a giant sunspot or clouds of stellar dust. 

Something in Deep Space Is Sending Signals to Earth in Steady 16-Day Cycles

A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), and is a major step toward unmasking their sources.

FRBs are one of the most tantalizing puzzles that the universe has thrown at scientists in recent years. First spotted in 2007, these powerful radio bursts are produced by energetic sources, though nobody is sure what those might be. FRBs are also mystifying because they can be either one-offs or “repeaters,” meaning some bursts appear only once in a certain part of the sky, while others emit multiple flashes to Earth.

Pulses from these repeat bursts have, so far, seemed somewhat random and discordant in their timing. But that changed last year, when the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB), a group dedicated to observing and studying FRBs, discovered that a repeater called FRB 180916.J0158+65 had a regular cadence.

Music takes 13 minutes to ‘release sadness’ and 9 to make you happy, according to new study

New research from the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) has shown there is a common dosage for music and revealed how long an individual needs to listen to it for a therapeutic effect to be experienced.

In recent years, psychologists have proven that music can have a positive effect on our health, so researchers at BAST were keen to discover whether it would be possible to prescribe music to help us with specific mood states.

Their study, Music as Medicine, tested 7,581 participants and found that 89 percent believed music to be essential for their health and wellbeing, so there’s no doubt that it plays an important part in our daily lives.

While 90.15 percent participants used music to relax, 81.80 percent used it to make them feel happy, 46.5 percent to process and/or release sadness, and 32.53 percent to aid concentration.

People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia

It was something Tom Pollak had heard whispers about—an odd factoid, referred to now and again, usually with bewilderment: No person who was born blind has ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Over the past 60-some years, scientists around the world have been writing about this mystery. They've analyzed past studies, combed the wards of psychiatric hospitals, and looked through agencies that treat blind people, trying to find a case.

As time goes on, larger data sets have emerged: In 2018, a study led by a researcher named Vera Morgan at the University of Western Australia looked at nearly half a million children born between 1980 and 2001 and strengthened this negative association. Pollak, a psychiatrist and researcher at King's College London, remembered checking in the mental health facility where he works after learning about it; he too was unable to find a single patient with congenital blindness who had schizophrenia.

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More strangely, vision loss at other periods of life is associated with higher risks of schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms. Even in healthy people, blocking vision for just a few days can bring about hallucinations. And the connections between vision abnormalities and schizophrenia have become more deeply established in recent years—visual abnormalities are being found before a person has any psychotic symptoms, sometimes predicting who will develop schizophrenia.

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