Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eva Green: 'Camelot looks amazing'

Camelot star Eva Green says that she is impressed by the show's visual spectacle.

The actress, who plays the sorceress Morgan, told Collider that the forthcoming Starz fantasy drama "looks amazing".

"I've never seen it like this," she said. "I'm transforming and shapeshifting sometimes, which is really physical. I met a shaman for that. It was fascinating and quite mad. You have to be into it."

Green added that the use of magic in the ten-part series will be different to "Harry Potter or Walt Disney".

"You see people changing shapes, but it's mainly ancient, pagan magic," she explained. "It's magic using... the forces of nature, like air, water, earth and fire. We don't wave a wand."

The Casino Royale star revealed that magic is "like a drug" to her character.

"Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is world-weary when it comes to magic," she confirmed. "He has seen and experienced too much. And for Morgan, magic is new to her and she's drawn to it. It's very exciting."

Camelot premieres on April 1 on Starz.

"The Rite" stuff: interview with exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas

Since priests and demons frighten me, my colleague Peg Aloi, who in addition to being a fine critic and writer is also a practicing Wiccan, agreed to conduct this interview with the exorcist who inspired the new film "The Rite," which opens Friday.

Here's Peg's story:

Father Gary Thomas is the subject of Matt Baglio's book "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist" (Doubleday Religion), which was the inspiration for Mikael Hafstrom's film "The Rite," opening in theatres January 28, 2011. I spoke with Father Thomas on the phone last weekend, and excerpts from our conversation appear below.

Peg Aloi: How long have you been a practicing exorcist?
Father Gary Thomas: I'm pastor of a parish, but also an exorcist who serves this diocese, and I've been eligible to perform exorcisms for just over four years.
PA: How do feel about the film version of THE RITE? (Interviewer's note: I had not seen the film at the time of this interview)
GT: I went down to L. A. to see it last Tuesday and Anthony Hopkins and I sat down and watched it together, just the two of us. He's very comfortable to be around, very down to earth. I was also on the set with Anthony in Budapest; they were being very anal about wanting it to be accurate.
I think it's a very well done movie; it's really a movie about faith. They really took some license with some things but there's nothing I am ashamed of or appalled by or that I found incredulous beyond possibility. I mean, there's no special effects, no green pea soup, no spinning, no levitation.

PA: So do you think it's scary?

GT: This is not a horror film, although there are scenes that, if you see the trailers, they don't really match the movie as a whole and they make it seem more like horror. I've even been telling some of my parishioners that there are scenes that are somewhat startling. But there is nothing to that movie that I could consider to be horror or gore. There is scene where Rosario, the character who is possessed, spits up nails. In my experience I have never actually seen that, and the priest I trained with had never seen that, but another priest in Rome told me himself that he had seen that more than once.

PA: There have been some notable films dealing with exorcism and the Catholic Church. Have you seen any of them and what did you think?

GT: I‘ve seen the original of course, "The Exorcist."


And then a few months ago I saw "The Last Exorcism."

PA: Did you like it?
Actually I thought it was a pretty well done movie. It's a movie about satanic cults, but you don't know that until the last scene. Another priest went with me and he didn't get it.

PA: I actually liked that film, although it has some flaws, and I thought the ending was really interesting, I wasn't expecting it.

GT: I don't tend to go to moves about those kinds of things as a rule. I sometimes use current movies as bylines for my homilies. Like "Hereafter," which I liked, and "127 Hours," which is a movie about realizing you can't live a human life all by yourself, out of the nature that God has made us, we are meant to be in relationships, and you can't say "I don't need anyone."

PA: So you don't like horror films?

GT: Those two I mentioned are the only two demonic movies I've seen I can remember. But it does seem like there are more of them coming out. Like that film a few months ago, "Devil." 

I emailed the producer of "The Rite" and asked him if he had noticed all these other films coming out that had a similar theme.

PA: What implications do you think this trend holds for our culture? From a religious perspective, what does this mean?

GT: I can't give you an opinion other than to say, I think in general humans by nature have a spiritual component. And I don't think it's even about denominations or religious institutions, I think by nature we are very spiritual.  I also think there is a great hunger for spiritual involvement and for some people traditional religion just doesn't work out, and hasn't for a while now. I have a homily all about how the institutions in our society have failed us: the government, the car companies, the banks, the Church. And not just the Catholic Church in terms of what we were talking about earlier, but the Church in general. The Catholics are just the biggest moving target right now, and it will take us at least twenty years, an entire generation, to recover from it.

People want to trust, but who do you believe? What news network even tells you the truth? I have to say the closest thing to the truth I have found in the news is watching Jim Lehrer. He knows how to ask questions. I've never understood why people like Larry King so much,  I think he's one of the worst interviewers out there, and yet he's been so successful.  What I like about Jim Lehrer is he seems to be apolitical.  All these guys on Fox and CNN, I already know where they sit on the issues, I don't care what Hannity and all these guys have to say.  I don't really want to listen to their editorial stuff, let me decide.  news should not be just about opinions.


When this movie comes out, I've been interviewed by loads of people, but I keep wondering, are the things I've said going to really appear in the way I said them? Everything is just sound bytes now. Who do you believe? I think especially with a subject like this there could easily be a perfect storm of hype around it, and what I say can be misinterpreted, so who do you trust to give an accurate picture? The reputation of the Church is already in trouble. I'm not saying we're going to hell in a hand basket, but there are days when I just want to retreat from it all. All you can do is reward and encourage good behavior; I learned that long ago and I have never forgotten it. That is the only way you can build trust is to keep repeating the same behavior over and over again and encourage people to do the right thing.

Preview: Watch Your Back in Salem

The small town of Salem, Massachusetts has a rich history. It was one of the first places in North America to be settled by the English way back in the 16th century. Along with Plymouth and Boston, it was part of the Hudson Bay Trading Company and settlers had to carve out their lives in the midst of an American wilderness previously untouched by European hands. Salem also was the location of one of the most famous witch hunts in the New World, with several young women accusing the wives of rich landowners of practicing witchcraft (as supposedly taught by a Haitian servant.) The Salem witch trials resulted in several executions of both men and women, and became a cautionary tale of mass hysteria and religious extremism for centuries to come.

Nowadays, the town banks on its "occult" background, growing exponentially with tourists around Halloween, and anyone with even a passing interest in Wicca or witchcraft seems to gravitate there. Given all that history, Salem seems a really screwed-up place to set a massively multiplayer game focused on crafting and building.

But that's exactly what makes Salem one of the most interesting concepts that I've heard for an MMO in a really, really long time.

It's hard to encapsulate exactly what makes this game from two Swedish college students so compelling in a pithy statement, because it's an amalgam of so many different and fascinating ideas. Here's a quick rundown of some of the ideas in the game:
  • When you die in Salem, you stay dead.
  • It takes a long time to make stuff, which is shortened by your tools and how many friends you have helping you.
  • Instead of HP or Energy, your status is determined by how much of the four "humors" or bodily fluids you possess: Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile and Black Bile
  • Killing another player, or committing any other crime such as vandalism or stealing, produces a "scent," which can be tracked by a player with the ranging skill
  • If someone wants revenge and tracks you, they can summon you even while you're offline and kill you. (See line item #1)
  • You level by eating and drinking.
  • In places of civilization, the area is full of light. As you move into the wilderness, it gets darker and more mystical enemies will show up.
  • Building certain structures like churches will increase civilization, i.e. make the area brighter.
  • Practicing witchcraft (placing curses, etc.) will produce its own "scent" which can only be detected by those with the correct skill.
Interested yet?

Bjorn Johannessen and Frederik Tolf currently run a game called Haven and Hearth that is kind of like the first draft of a lot of what Salem intends to be. But where H&H feels homemade with its simple 2D graphics, Salem has the full support of Paradox Interactive behind it and a full 3D interface. It's meant to run on one server where everything is persistent for all players, but they may add more servers after launch. Salem will be free to play, and I'm interested to find out how it is monetized without jeopardizing the balance. Unfortunately, the publisher isn't ready to share that information just yet.

Full Article

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Mystery Tree Inspires Stories with Explanations

The foundational structures revealed

In the mist of a January rain, I enjoyed a peaceful walk in Washington Park behind the Burlingame Recreation Center. Ten acres of grassy fields, punctuated with stands of trees and a fragrant garden, are framed by mature eucalyptus in the distance.

The park was originally part of Crossways Farm. The farm, owned by Francis Carolan in the early 1900s, was an elite horse breeding farm. As such, the atmosphere was highly structured with many people employed to care for the horse facilities.

The breeding barns and training stables were complimented by a classy race track and polo field. People like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts were welcomed and entertained there. But, perhaps most importantly, the farm served as a gathering place for California's influential leaders – people who helped create a solid financial base and governmental structure that served well then and for years to come.

The peace of today's Washington Park is a dramatic contrast to what must have been the farm's active agenda. With rain gently falling, I moved from under the protection of one evergreen to another.

There in the northeast portion of the park was a cluster of five trees, all with gleaming rust-colored trunks. Their leafy cover was blown away, revealing the structural form anchored by roots that snaked above and below ground.

One tree in particular caught my attention. The structure of the trunk seemed to be woven branches, fused together. Up close it looked like a group of muscles on steroids. Large oval depressions cast dark shadows, some mysteriously empty, while others had branches jutting out.

The large upward-reaching branches were in contrast with their relaxed limbs decorated with dangling seed pods, swaying to the music of the wind. With no leaves as reference, the identity of the tree became as mysterious as the shadowy holes.

Mystery inspires stories with their explanations.

The foundational structure revealed in the tree reflects the history of the land. The people who worked, managed and visited Crossways Farm created a foundation that promoted and contributed to California’s growth through the 20th century. The buildings on the farm supported social, sporting and business activities.

Hence, the story of the farm and the story of the tree are the foundations of longevity.

Original Article

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meet Nicolas Cage's 'Witch'

January 06, 2011 ι Jarett Wieselman

When your movie is called "Season of the Witch" you best be damn sure the wiccan one is up to the challenge since it takes a powerful actor to simultaneously convey the required strength and fragility. Thankfully Nicolas Cage's new movie has discovered a supernova in British newcomer Claire Foy.

As the film's potential practitioner, only called The Girl, Claire not only burns up the screen, but she constantly makes you question her curious character's motives. Is she a witch or is she simply another victim of those famed witch hunts that swept the globe? I chatted with Claire about that very question the other day.

But first, watch Claire in action and then read on to see what she has to say about "Season of the Witch."

PopWrap: How was your first experience of being in a major big budget Hollywood movie?

Claire Foy: I absolutely loved it. It was an amazing experience. Obviously quite terrifying to begin with but I had such good fun. Because of the effects, I had no idea what [the finished film] would look like when we filmed it. They kept saying “when we cut it together, it’ll look very scary!” So I trusted them and it looks great.

PW: What was scarier -- the size of the production or working with an intense actor like Nicolas?

Claire: I supposed it was a bit of both. I was more excited than anything to work with Nic. And when I met him, he was so lovely. An absolute dream to work with. Such a good laugh. I was intimidated by the size of the production, but my job is to do the scenes regardless of how big a project it is.

PW: I loved watching you toe that fine line between sane and sadistic.

Claire: Oh yes, it was a really brilliant character because she has so much strength and power. So different from anyone I’ve ever played. I also loved that I could manipulate all the boys. Play with their minds, that’s fun [laughs]. But they gave as good as they got.

PW: Your character is only called Girl in the movie -- to you, does she have a name?

Claire: Yes. It’s important that I know exactly where my character is coming from, regardless of whether or not it’s ever on screen. So to me, “Girl” is “Anna.” It's important to think about her life and what she went through before the film so the audience can see there’s another world outside.
PW: What's your take on the history of witch hunts?

Claire: What women must have gone through is terrifying. There’s all those stories about “the symptoms” of witchcraft. So many people say it’s possible that a lot of them were simply suffering from menopause. A lot of those women got burned simply for having an opinion. The whole witch hunt period is so fascinating – not only the atrocity of it, but how it was all about stopping what you couldn’t control. I think that’s intriguing.
"Season of the Witch" opens in theaters tomorrow

 Original Article and Video

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Barbara Love publishes book about son's angelic encounter

Guardian Angels By My Side: True Stories of Angelic Encounters and Divine InterventionsBarbara Love • Reader Submitted • January 5, 2011 

My Sons angel appeared to him at the age of six leading me on this spiritual journey. As Barbara Love began sharing her Son's story with others, she realized many others also had amazing stories to share leading her to write: "Guardian Angels by My Side" True Stories of Angelic Encounters and Divine Interventions. Her book was released by West Bow Press, (a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing), on November 15, 2010.
Barbara (Wood) Love grew up in Hastings, Michigan and currently resides in Eagle, Michigan with her husband and two boys. Love is also a Certified Hypnotherapist and a Reiki Practitioner.




To purchase Loves book and to view upcoming book signing events, visit her website: www.guardianangelsbymyside.com

Original Article

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finding Your Second Calling

If two roads diverged in a yellow wood – like the bard Robert Frost once wrote – which one would you take? That's an answer worth exploring if you're considering a second career.
All of us are multidimensional, meaning there's an artist within a scientist or a lawyer destined to be a chef. Whichever path you choose, make sure there's a right mix of reason and passion. As they say – unless we're cats, which we're not, there is just one life to live. So why not be inspired by these people who dared to make their dreams come true?


Where Humans Fear To Tread

Sue Prihar, 43, of West Hartford, has spent the last 20 years of her life as an environmental consultant.
"I will be spending the next 20 as a high school science teacher," she said. Currently enrolled at the University of Connecticut, Prihar, a physics major, has taken a spate of qualifying courses and is now poised to obtain an advanced degree in education.

She has no intention of nabbing a cushy job. "I'm going to be available to children who are very needy, who are underperforming, and are square pegs in round holes. Kids with ADHD, anger issues, behavioral issues – I'm going to understand them," she said. "I have visions of being able to speak in a language that each child will comprehend, I will have a bowl of apples on my desk because many of my kids will come to school hungry, I know how to diffuse the anger that builds up in them."

Prihar grew up in a modest income home headed by her huge-hearted mother who bought an additional three to four gallons of milk a week for hungry kids in their neighborhood. Now a mother herself of two boys aged 15 and 13, she and her husband are preparing for an empty nest.

"My children are at an age where they are growing and will be going away from me, as they should so they can live their own life. But I'd make a terrible empty nester because I still have a lot of nurturing in me," said Prihar, whose younger son has autism.

Her inspiration to become a teacher came from her sons' teachers.

"My 15-year-old is a genius. He's always been in the gifted program and is now taking pre-calculus. But even truly gifted children don't excel in everything and I've seen how his teachers have motivated him. My autistic son is mostly nonfunctional and some of his teachers get physically hurt but still show up everyday. It's a blessing. So the philosophy in our household now is to pay it forward," she said. "I have grown from valuing money, prestige, social status and materialistic things because I've been shown a higher path by teachers."

Venturing Out On An Unplanned Journey

Remember how when you were six, you were in such a hurry to grow up so you could become a fireman and drive the fire truck? Now you're sitting in an office staring at numbers on a computer screen. There's nothing wrong with that, if you've found your soul's calling in, say, operations research. But sometimes folks chug along a path that diverges most unexpectedly to an unknown place. Gee, what'd you do?

Maggie Downie, 29, chose to explore the fork in the road. A history buff since as long as she could remember, Downie landed her dream job as Assistant Director of Education at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford. Around the same time, being an avid runner, she joined a gym to continue exercising and staying fit. Then the unexpected happened. In 2005, the gym's management asked her if she'd like to teach a Pilates class in the evenings after work. She went for it and realized she loved it. In fact, she loved it so much that she resigned from her job at the museum and launched her own Pilates company, Personal Euphoria, in 2007.

"I've always loved fitness and health and wellness, but never considered it as a career path. I'm not sure why. I think I was too preoccupied with history – that's what I have my degree in – and I always wanted to be a college professor growing up. That was the plan, but then life provided me different opportunities," Downie said. "I love Pilates. I'm getting to teach, and the historian in me researches the body the way I used to research historical events. Instead of studying history now, I study the body and the history of Pilates and fitness. It's the best of both worlds."

Downie planned her career transition step by step with minimal risk. First, she saved enough from her museum job to cover basic living expenses. Next, she paid for certification and coursework from the evening Pilates class she was teaching. She decided not to invest in equipment until she made enough money. So instead of opening a studio, she collaborated with county Parks and Recreation and colleges to offer affordable Pilates classes in towns.

"This enabled us to reach more people since our studio space wasn't stationary. First it was just me and then I added one instructor at a time. As that grew, I invested in equipment and this year I got permission to teach private classes out of my home," she said. "Working out of my home enables me to offer affordable rates for private instruction. Pilates is an expensive career in that the coursework to get certified and maintain
certification is expensive, insurance is expensive, the equipment and maintenance is expensive, but instead of taking out loans to pay for those items, I raised the money in advance and built up slowly."

Downie currently employs around eight instructors who work on a contract basis primarily in the Greater Hartford area, but also in Fairfield and Tolland counties.

"Making the leap to leave my reasonably secure job and risk starting my own company was scary. While I've never gone into debt starting the business, I did originally take an overall pay cut from my job at the museum. But I knew that was going to happen and I prepared for it," Downie said. "I think I took the leap with minimal risk at a time in my life when I needed a change and had found a career I was really excited about. And, while I've always worked with and for wonderful people, I wanted to work for myself. Finding a passion really helps." 

From Fixing Airplane Engines To Healing People

Manchester-based Jan Iyengar, 66, owner of Body-Mind Wellness Center LLC, is a homeopathic doctor, hypnotherapist and massage therapist.

Iyengar has a PhD in aerospace engineering and several patents to his credit, but had always wanted to be a medical doctor. But growing up in India, his father, who was influenced by a Hindu monk, dissuaded him from studying medicine because dissecting corpses was not acceptable.

For the next 40 years, Iyengar worked as an engineer in Canada and the U.S., retiring from United Technologies Corp. (UTC) in 2008 as Manager, Materials and Structures, Pratt & Whitney.
"I always had a passion to help and heal people, so I decided to become a homeopathic doctor," said Iyengar.

UTC, which offers one of the best employee education programs, bore the cost of Iyengar's four-year homeopathy degree followed by a two-year massage therapy certification. "Since 2001, I had a second job in the evening. I'd work till 5:00 p.m. and then do massage therapy at various yoga, chiropractic and acupuncture centers. That's how I built my client base," he said.

He subsequently saved up to invest in equipment and lease a clinic onn Main Street in Manchester. "People come for a massage but many have chronic health problems. Slowly they open up to you and if you can offer them something more – like homeopathy – you can provide better support. It's a holistic approach," he said. "It's financially very rewarding and emotionally satisfying."

Iyengar says the job requires sacrifices. "For example, this New Year's eve five people wanted a massage. You have to be there when they need you. My wife gives me wonderful, wholehearted support so I can do what I want to do."

Often, Iyengar picks up seniors from their nursing homes or houses, brings them to his clinic for a free massage, and drops them back. "I feel very fortunate to be able to help people," he said. 

Responding To The Sound Of Music

Bolton-based Debbie Shea, 55, works as a paralegal at the Connecticut Attorney General's office. She is already building a second career post retirement as a Tibetan bowl vibration healer.

Shea's rather unusual choice sprung from losing her sister to ALS, a disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord.

"One day, a hospice person came home with singing bowls and I cold see it helped my sister. She was able to relax. I felt immediately that this is what I wanted to do," she said.

Shea currently puts in an eight-hour workday as a paralegal, and performs healing sessions in the evenings.
"I saved up to buy 11 singing bowls and a gong. It's an ancient method of healing that will help supplement my retirement," she said.

Shea is passionate about her calling. She obtained a certification in Reiki, and studied West African and Native American shamanic healing, even meditating for two weeks in the Amazon rainforest.
"People come with so much stress. It's good to see them leave relaxed," she said.

Original Article

Helping explore alternative healing

By Erin DeCoste - Ladysmith Chronicle

The sharp smell of herbs and essential oils greets health-seeking visitors at a unique shop in Ladysmith.
The Medicine Garden, owned and operated by Francis Cherrett and Connor Drader, is a one-stop shop for everything alternative.

Cherrett, a master herbalist, hypnotherapist, Reiki master and aromatherapist, is not only multi-talented, but has a warm and inviting presence.

Cherrett attended the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in Calgary where she met Drader, a shamanic coach.

Both had found their way to the college through a long soul search.
Cherrett said she always had an interest in alternative health ­— even as she was studying physiotherapy.
She ended up at a health food store when visiting her family and it just clicked, she said.

The three-year, full-time program she took, incorporated Western information, chemical compositions and physical exams with alternative health, Cherrett said.

“It was just what I needed,” she said. “It was a huge personal revelation as well as a career one.”
Drader grew up in small-town Alberta, moving away for college.

He was quickly introduced to tarot cards and had his first shamanic experience in Calgary.
“I was invited to a sweat lodge,” he said. “It was quite magical, very healing, very eye opening into a different world.”

After time in Toronto, he reconnected with his journey back in Calgary.

The two immigrated to the Island when they decided it was time to create their own space and vision.
“We kept being pulled back to Ladysmith,” Cherrett said.

Things moved fast for the couple.

Within a month of finding property in the town, they were doing renovations and opening up the store.
“We were not sure who our clientele would be,” she explained. “It’s evolved as we’ve understood the community.”

The Medicine Garden serves a wide variety of clients, from the seasoned health veterans to the curious.
“We see clients who want a health check up,” Cherrett said. “To the odd cases.”

Cherrett said many people seek alternative health treatments because they’re disillusioned with Western medicine and health care.

“The way the health-care system is set up in the Western world, there is definitely a use for it, but it takes away personal power,” she explained. “There’s no control over what’s happening. People feel powerless and it’s scary.”

She said it’s satisfying to watch someone heal and feel better after using alternative forms of health care.
“The fear goes away,” she said. “It’s a fantastic thing.”

Drader said many don’t really know what shamanism is.

“It’s a traditional teaching with native people’s traditions,” he said. “It’s Earth-based teaching.”
He said he usually gets clients who are looking for healing in their body or who are looking for a ‘journey through the self.’

He uses drum journeys, crystals, sound healing with tuning forks and special ceremonies.
“All symptoms within the body are a manifestation of what’s going on mentally,” he explained. “Most traditional systems understand that.”

Like Cherrett, he enjoys seeing the changes in people after his treatments.
“I can actually watch the change in people I work with,” he said. “I love that. I’ve worked with people and watched them change before my eyes.”

He said shamanic tradition is all about healing the self.

“Everything’s about intent in shamanism,” he said. “I don’t actually heal you, I supply you with the tools and energy and you do all the healing work.”

He said it works as long as the person is open and willing.

“I can’t push healing onto someone,” he said. “I have clients that are utterly shocked it worked. Some people just need a tool.”

Cherrett said she uses traditional tools, such as Chinese medicine, tongue and pulse, ridology and a combination of other teachings to find out what’s happening in someone’s body.

“It works really well with Western medicine,” she said, adding she would never tell a client to stop taking medicine.

“I work with doctors, I need to know what they’re taking,” she said. “I recommend seeing their doctor again.”

Cherrett said working with herbs is something that most people understand.

“It’s easier for most people to wrap their heads around it,” she said. “They grasp the functioning of it.”
She explained Western drugs come from plants, just in a more distilled form.

“Herbs are more balanced and it’s rare to have side effects because it’s the whole herb. Nature’s genius has already balanced it out.”

The two have strived, and achieved, a work-and-life balance.

“It’s really fun,” Cherrett said of running the shop. “We learn new things every day and it’s not stressful. You get to stay balanced.”

She said it’s not a drag to get up in the morning.

“Everyday’s an opportunity,” she said. “The goal is to impart what I’ve learned.”

Both Cherrett and Drader are not concerned about naysayers and skeptics.

“Most people who think this won’t work just won’t come in,” she said. “The stuff we do does work. They’re going to have results. They’ll experience their own healing.”

Cherrett said many think it’s just a placebo effect and she understands that.
“But it doesn’t matter,” she argued. “You still feel better.”

The two have plans to stay and continue running the shop.

“We love Ladysmith,” Cherrett said. “We fill a much-needed niche here and we want to continue to do that.”

Original Article

More Birds Fall From Sky - This Time in Louisiana

More birds fall from sky - this time in Louisiana
Some 500 dead and dying birds fell onto a Louisiana highway on Monday, just three days after a similar incident in Arkansas. But a key federal agency emphasized that mass bird die-offs are not that rare.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40904491/ns/today-green/from/toolbar

No poison found in birds that fell on town

No poison found in birds that fell on town
Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 birds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state's top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40885546/ns/us_news-environment/from/toolbar

Press Release: Shopping for Wiccan Supplies Has Gotten Easier at Wiccan Joy

American Consumer News Staff - January 2, 2011

Palm Coast, FL, January 02, 2011 –(PR.com)– Shopping for Wiccan supplies has gotten easier with the December, 2010 launch of Christina Naves’ new website Wiccan Joy. She believes it will not take long for her Palm Coast, FL based company to grow into a leading, nationwide on-line shopping location.
Wiccan Joy contains blogs written by Ms. Naves in which she expresses the challenges of finding acceptance for a Wiccan lifestyle, which is often misunderstood. She also advocates understanding and acceptance of others despite their making different lifestyle choices. Furthermore, she claims Wiccan Joy is a visually appealing website that promises to be continually growing and evolving throughout its existence.
Visitors to Wiccan Joy will be provided with links to on-line shopping sites for Wiccan supplies. They will find Wiccan supplies ranging from Wiccan clothing and Wiccan jewelry to tools for altars and rituals, plus a myriad of related items such as bumper stickers, books and home decor. It also provides links for organic foods, clothing and other organic household products for all members of the family, including the pets.
While Wiccan Joy has been created to cater to the needs of Wiccans, Ms. Naves attempts to make it of value to anybody shopping for New Age, Pagan, Metaphysical and even Christian items. It contains everything from pentacles to angels. She hopes it will help Christians gain better understandings of friends, family members or even strangers that have made alternate religious choices, and help bridge differences when shopping for that perfect gift. Ms. Naves is excited over the infinite possibilities.
Initially, the purpose of the website was for Ms. Naves to break into the world of internet marketing. However, as the website developed, she felt that she would be remiss to not include several organizations that are important to her, regardless of the fact that she would receive no compensation. Interested visitors will be provided with opportunities to open their hearts and donate time and/or money, or just further their knowledge on various topics and situations.

Ms. Naves’ motto is, "It Is Time to Come Out of the Broom Closet." She excitedly goes on to say, "The portal can be found at www.wiccanjoy.com."

Original Article