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Impossible – A Word Without Meaning

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “impossible” as: ” incapable of being or of occurring or felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled.”  It’s a word that is frequently used by many people. Yet, as history has shown us, time and again, many things that were once considered “impossible” have become not just possible but commonplace.
Before the Wright Brothers developed the first gas motorized and manned airplane in 1903, these comments were made:
Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”  Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895
Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”  Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902
After aerial flight was proven to be possible:
The aeroplane is the invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of a nation.”  Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence, 1914
By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth’s surface. The field for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain.”  Hugh Dryden, 1908
The [flying] machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.”  Octave Chanute, 1910
Regarding space travel:
I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur regardless of all scientific advances.”   Lee De Forest, “the father of electronics”
There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth’s gravity.”  Forest Ray Moulton, astronomer, 1932
Space travel is utter bilge.”  Richard Woolley, Astronomer Royal, 1956
As we all know today, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
As for computers, something that we all take for granted today:
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”  Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
People who use the word “impossible” only demonstrate their lack of vision and limited imagination – and to some extent, their arrogance. For anyone to assume that what they know now is all there is to know is arrogant. There is only one thing that is certain and that is that we know so very little.
That does not mean that I believe that people should believe everything they hear.  I believe in being open-minded, not gullible.  For instance, I believe that it’s possible for people to possess certain psychic abilities.  The human mind is something that we do not fully understand yet and there have been numerous studies that support the existence of telepathy, ESP, remote viewing, and telekinesis.  But I don’t believe that every person who calls themselves a psychic is genuine.  Psychic mediums in particular bother me.  I have a difficult time believing in a medium who starts off a reading by asking a person whether their deceased loved one’s name starts with a “K” or a “L”.  If they are capable of receiving messages from a departed loved one, I would think that the first name of the person they have contacted would be the one piece of information that comes in crystal clear.  But unlike James Randi, I’m not willing to label all of them frauds.  I am still searching for that one gifted person who will be able to tell me something specific and relevant without asking me any questions.  I am keeping my mind open. (This post originally appeared on my website –

Astrology and Science

Serious astrology (not horoscopes) is not about something that magically happens when a person is born. It is a process that largely culminates upon birth but still continues to exert an effect on us thereafter.  “We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else.” That statement was made by Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, who studied astrology in relation to the mind and human behavior. “My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth.” “Astrology occupies a unique and special position among the intuitive methods… I have observed many cases where a well-defined psychological phase, or an analogous event, was accompanied by a transit (particularly when Saturn and Uranus were affected).” – Carl G. Jung

Recently, a study by the Office of National Statistics in the UK found that the birth month of a child apparently affects the kind of career that they follow. See… If the link doesn’t work, just search for Birth Month Determines Baby’s Career or something similar and it will show up.

According to the Daily Mail, a  neuroscientist from  Oxford, although he won’t admit to believing in astrology stated: “It seems absurd the month in which you are born can affect life chances, BUT how long you  live, how tall you are, how well you do at school, your body mass index as an adult, your morning-versus-evening preference and how likely you are to develop a range of diseases are all correlated to some extent with the time of year in which you emerge from the womb.” Researchers have suggested that the differences might be linked to a mother’s exposure to sunlight during her pregnancy since sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D in the body and lack of this vitamin in the first months of life may have long-lasting effects.  But, in effect, what they are saying is that the Sun’s energy in fact affects many aspects, physical and psychological, of an unborn child.

Lunar cycles are known to affect animal behavior and physiology. Studies have revealed that in birds, the daily variations in melatonin and corticosterone disappear during full-moon days. The lunar cycle also exerts effects on laboratory rats with regard to taste sensitivity and the ultrastructure of pineal gland cells. It is suggested that the release of neurohormones may be triggered by the electromagnetic radiation and/or the gravitational pull of the moon. We already know and accept the fact that the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun affects the ocean’s tides (more accurately the rise and fall of the ocean). It is also a scientific fact  that when aligned with the moon, the sun will strengthen the moon’s pull, creating more extreme high and low tides called spring tides. When at a 90-degree angle from the moon, the sun will pull the water slightly away from the moon, making less apparent tides. There are people who still plant crops based on the cycles of the Sun and Moon because their positions in relation to our planet affect the amount of moisture pulled up to the surface of the earth.

In light of all this scientific evidence, why is it so difficult to believe that such forces – planetary energy and gravitational fluctuations – can affect the physical and mental development of a person who spends the first 9 months of their life in the watery environment of the womb.  Why is it so hard for some to at least acknowledge the possibility that these forces affect humans even outside of the womb since a significant portion of the human body is composed of water?  Babies are not born as blank slates; they are not all born alike.  They exhibit different personalities almost as soon as they exit the womb and long before they are subject to external stimuli that can affect their psyche.  Some are prone to crying and are demanding; others are quiet and observant; and there are those who smile a lot.

The astrologers of ancient civilizations, most of whom were also astronomers, may not have known about the scientific principles of gravity  or solar and lunar cycles and planetary energies or Vitamin D, but they saw patterns in the positions of the Sun and Moon and planets and they recognized the effects that those patterns had on earth.  Now, scientists are beginning to recognize those patterns and effects as well.

Do I believe that everything about a person can be explained through astrology?  Of course not.  Every human being is affected by external forces – upbringing, life experiences, the people that they choose or are forced to interact with.  But I do believe that astrology may be able to shed some light on why two people born under different signs, even those raised together, react differently to such external forces and how they are inclined to deal with these forces and their individual problems.  I noted this in an earlier post about my older sister, who is a Sagittarius.  She has those Sagittarius traits of being too trusting, or gullible if you want to refer to it that way,  is a bit clumsy, has a tendency to say things the wrong way, and gets physically ill when her environment is emotionally gloomy or pessimistic.  I am a Scorpio, so it drives me crazy when she trusts or believes in people that I know can’t be trusted or believed and when she allows the gloominess of others to stress her out.  It frustrates me when, even after discovering that she shouldn’t have trusted so easily, she hesitates to stand up to the person.  She often thinks that I’m too hard, that I should let bygones be bygones, and can’t understand why I’m not more interested in marriage.  I often feel that although she’s older than I am, I have to look out for her because she’s so naïve, I see no reason to let bygones be bygones since I don’t like allowing a wrongdoer to believe that he/she got away with anything, and I know that she’ll never understand me if I try to explain to her that I’m not opposed to marriage—I just don’t want to be married for the sake of being married.  I want to find my twin soul and I would rather be alone and occasionally lonely than stuck in a relationship with the wrong person for the wrong reasons and miserable every day.

On the other hand, there are aspects of our personalities that reflect our personal life experiences.  Sagittarius women are not supposed to be exceptionally great housekeepers, but somewhere in my sister’s life, she became germ phobic and her house is always clean.  My home, which is supposed to be clean and orderly, is definitely not because my life experiences makes me put other things—like  work—first on my list of things to do. I have stacks of paper everywhere.

I supposed the point that I’m really trying to make is that people, in their quest to gain some understanding of themselves and others, should keep an open mind.  After all, it seems as though every week scientists are discovering a new planet, or a new species, or rediscovering a species that was believed to be extinct, thereby proving that there are so many things that we don’t know about this world and the Universe and to speak in absolutes based only on what we know today is simply foolish.

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.”
Alfred North Whitehead  (1861-1947)
(English mathematician and philosopher)

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