Astrologers and psychics have known these tricks for years. The magician Ian Rowland, in his classic "The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading," itemizes them one by one, in what could easily serve as a manual for the beginner profiler. First is the Rainbow Ruse -- the "statement which credits the client with both a personality trait and its opposite." ("I would say that on the whole you can be rather a quiet, self effacing type, but when the circumstances are right, you can be quite the life and soul of the party if the mood strikes you.") The Jacques Statement, named for the character in "As You Like It" who gives the Seven Ages of Man speech, tailors the prediction to the age of the subject. To someone in his late thirties or early forties, for example, the psychic says, "If you are honest about it, you often get to wondering what happened to all those dreams you had when you were younger." There is the Barnum Statement, the assertion so general that anyone would agree, and the Fuzzy Fact, the seemingly factual statement couched in a way that "leaves plenty of scope to be developed into something more specific." ("I can see a connection with Europe, possibly Britain, or it could be the warmer, Mediterranean part?") And that's only the start: there is the Greener Grass technique, the Diverted Question, the Russian Doll, Sugar Lumps, not to mention Forking and the Good Chance Guess -- all of which, when put together in skillful combination, can convince even the most skeptical observer that he or she is in the presence of real insight.
"It seemed like some mornings it was just criss-crossing the whole sky. It was just like a giant checkerboard," described Bill Nichols. He snapped several photos of the strange clouds from his home in Stamps, in southwest Arkansas. Nichols said these unusual clouds begin as normal contrails from a jet engine. But unlike normal contrails, these do 'not' fade away.
Soon after a recent episode he saw particles in the air. "We'd see it drop to the ground in a haze," added Nichols. He then noticed the material collecting on the ground.
"This is water and stuff that I collected in bowls. I had it sitting out in my backyard in my dad's pick-up truck," said Nichols as he handed us a mason jar in the KSLA News 12 parking lot back in September after driving down from Arkansas.
KSLA News 12 had the sample tested at a lab. The results: A high level of barium, 6.8 parts per million, (ppm). That's more than three times the toxic level set by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.
Armed with these lab results about the high levels of barium found in our sample, we decided to contact the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. They told us that, 'yes,' these levels are very unusual. But at the same time they added the caveat that proving the source is a whole 'nother matter.
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