Saturday, April 25, 2009

What your wallet says about you

How you literally handle your cash can help you discover your unconscious beliefs about money -- and help you make better conscious decisions.

Your wallet is stuffed with crumpled currency and raggedy receipts, and loose change clutters the floor of your car. That doesn't have anything to do with your ability to build a sound financial future though, right?

Wrong. The way you handle your day-to-day cash speaks volumes about your money personality, according to personal-finance experts.

"Our outer financial life is really created and deeply affected by our unconscious beliefs about money," says Brent Kessel, the author of "It's Not About the Money."

So how do you know what your beliefs are? Think about how you keep your wallet:

Money's there . . . somewhere

You have money in your wallet, but you never have any idea how much. But who cares -- if you can't find it or can't find enough, just whip out one of your many credit cards or debit cards.

"Such behavior is what I call the head in the sand -- an ostrich," says Manisha Thakor, a chartered financial analyst and a co-author of "On My Own Two Feet."

People who don't know how much money they have in their wallets may also be unaware of what's in their bank accounts or even their 401(k)s. "These are people who are afraid to see what the reality of their financial situations is," Thakor says. "You may know where the pile of bills is, but you just don't want to open them."

However, there's a danger in this behavior. You may be tempted to overspend or even pull out a credit card if you aren't aware of how much you have available, says Patrick P. Astre, the author of "This Is Not Your Parents' Retirement."

The key to changing is biting the bullet and facing your finances, Thakor says. You may not have as much money as you wish you had, "but it's really empowering if you know where you're starting from," she says. Try keeping a written tally of how much money you have (and how much you owe) to get comfortable with your financial situation.

Running on empty

Your wallet is usually empty because you can't seem to keep cash in it for long. No matter how many times you go to an ATM, you'll find yourself staring into an empty wallet again very soon and wondering where the money went. Similar to the person whose head is in the sand, this person is making money but has no idea where it's going, Astre says.

However, unlike the head-in-the-sand type, this person likely wants to know where the money is going and may be frustrated by an inability to stop spending. The key to changing is to start paying attention, Astre advises.

It's a stash of cash, but how much do you need? And why should this take priority over other savings goals?

"Be aware of your spending patterns, and keep a notebook," he says. Though you may not change your spending habits overnight, take a realistic first step, telling yourself: Within three weeks, I'm going to know exactly where my money goes.

Chaotic cash

The bills in your wallet are crumpled and in no particular order. There's change in the bottom of your pocketbook or even the floor of your car.

Someone who treats money cavalierly often does not respect money or may not even care about finances, Thakor says. If you leave money around, you're basically saying it's not important enough to put it in a safe and protected place.

Continued: Subconscious sabotage

Sometimes that lack of respect is subconscious, Astre says.

"Very often people sabotage themselves because they think they don't deserve money. It's a thing where, 'My parents worked hard all their lives, and now I'm making $150,000, and I don't deserve it.' So subconsciously, they sabotage themselves," Astre says.

The key to changing this behavior is recognizing the buying power of the money you've been discarding. Try adding up all of the miscellaneous bills and coins on a regular basis. You might amass enough money to start giving your "spare change" a little respect.

Unruly receipts

Your wallet is stuffed with receipts, but there's no sense of order to them, and you never really do anything with them. This is a person who is trying, says Thakor.

"You want to know how to keep tabs on your money; otherwise you would have thrown the receipts away. But you just can't take it to the next step to get them all organized and do something with them. You are like the person that buys all the latest exercise equipment but doesn't get around to using it," Thakor says.

In order to change this behavior, you've got to get organized. Take a day to come up with a filing system for your receipts so you know what to do with them. If you're never going to use the receipts to track your spending, what's the point of keeping them?

File-folder funds

All of the bills in your wallet are lined up from largest denomination to smallest (or vice versa). You have an idea of how much money you have at all times, and you know what's available to spend.

"These are the people who have a firm grasp on how much they are spending and how much they are saving," Thakor says. If you exhibit this behavior, you probably have good financial habits. However, there still may be some potential for financial missteps.

Taken to the extreme -- having all the dead presidents right-side up and facing the same way in order of date, for example -- might mean you "could have a problem allocating enough money toward fun," Thakor says.

It's a stash of cash, but how much do you need? And why should this take priority over other savings goals?

Identifying what your behavior is telling you about your beliefs about money is only the first step. Continuing to monitor your financial habits is key, says Kessel. Note the changes you make to your behavior as well as the times you fall short.

"One of the biggest mistakes people make is they think, 'Now I have this new wisdom about my money life, and therefore my problems are solved,'" author Kessel says. Change takes time, Kessel says, "but the moment you have a new awareness about what was driving your money behavior, your thinking begins to shift."

This article was reported and written by Tamara E. Holmes

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Face-to-Face with Facebook


Stuff happens on the Internet at a fast and furious pace these days, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch up with the Facebook phenomenon, this Facebook primer is for you.

What is Facebook?
Facebook is a popular Web site that for many people today defines online social networking. The lure of Facebook and other social networking sites is that they provide a way for people to easily stay in touch with each other and keep up with changes in their lives.
Facebook reports it currently has more than 175 million active users worldwide. And it’s not just for teenagers and young adults — many use Facebook to market their business or organization. The fastest-growing Facebook demographic is now people 30 years and older.

Signing Up
The first time you visit you are prompted to sign up and create a new account. It’s free — no credit card is required. On the sign-up page, you’ll also see that Facebook offers a separate option for creating a page for a business, band or celebrity.
After you create an account, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes a link to the registration wizard, which guides you through the entire Facebook registration process. During the registration process, Facebook encourages you to join one or more networks to discover more about the people around you. Facebook networks are based on a workplace, region, high school or college.

(© Dimitri Vervitsiotis/Getty Images)

Connecting With Friends
Creating an account is the first step, but the real fun comes from connecting with other Facebook users you know.  Adding other users as Facebook friends allows you to share your lives online.  In Facebook, this takes the form of posting messages, personal photos and videos, interesting Web site links and “status updates” — quick blurbs describing what you are currently doing, thinking or feeling. Facebook also lets you send e-mails to friends and engage in real-time chat (instant messaging).

The Facebook Friend Finder offers three ways to find other Facebook users to establish friendships with:

  1. You can have Facebook search your e-mail contacts. If Facebook can match any of your contact e-mail addresses to existing Facebook users, it sends friendship invitations to those users. This feature works only with widely used e-mail domains, however.
  2. You can enter a name in the search box and have Facebook display all Facebook users with that name. You can filter your search by former high school classmates, former and current college classmates, and former and current co-workers.
  3. You can have Facebook search for other Facebook users from among your instant message contacts by importing your AOL instant messaging (AIM) and Windows Live contacts.

(© Getty Images)

You can also have Facebook help you make new friends by suggesting people who are friends of your current Facebook friends.
When you invite people on Facebook to be your friend, they must confirm their willingness to establish the Facebook friendship. After the friendship is established, you can see each other’s Profile page.

Your Facebook Pages

Facebook features and options are spread across your Home, Profile, Friends and Inbox pages.  Here is a brief description of each.

  • Home: This page has the latest updates from your friends, including status updates, photos and links that are posted by people in your network.  Facebook provides ways to filter the information you see on this page.
  • Profile: Here you can see and edit your personal information on your Facebook account and view your Wall. The Wall is a public writing space where you and your friends can post messages that anybody visiting your Profile page can see.
  • Friends: Updates from people in your friend network appear here. Again, you can filter the information that is shown.
  • Inbox: Your Inbox page is where you receive and send private messages in Facebook.

Adding Photos and Videos
Adding photos and videos to your Facebook account is a great way to add personality to your profile.  It also allows you to share your pictures with all of your Facebook friends.  Uploading photos and videos is easy. Here are some ways to do it:

  • From your computer: The bar at the bottom of each Facebook page includes Photos and Video buttons. You can click these to take you to pages where you can upload photos or videos on your computer’s hard drive.
  • Plug-ins: You can upload photos to Facebook using third-party plug-ins downloaded from the Internet.  For example, if you use a Macintosh computer with iPhoto installed, you can download the Facebook Exporter for iPhoto to send pictures directly from iPhoto to your Facebook profile. The same type of plug-in is available for Windows Live Photo Gallery.
  • Photo-sharing sites: If you are accustomed to using photo-sharing services like Flickr and Picasa, you can sometimes link your uploaded photos from these sites to your Facebook profile.  All that this requires is that you download the Facebook application associated with your photo-sharing site.  This allows Facebook to search and display the images on your Facebook profile.

You should know that a controversy surfaced earlier this year regarding a “terms of use” change that apparently maintained that Facebook owned the rights to any photos, videos or other content you uploaded — even if you deleted your Facebook account.  Facebook has sincedenied that was the intent of the change and says that users’ content will not be shared if they leave Facebook.

Getting Acquainted With Applications
Facebook encourages developers to build applications that run on the Facebook platform.  As a result, there are many Facebook add-ons that allow users to interact with each other in fun and interesting ways.
One of the most popular applications is SuperPoke, a spinoff of Facebook’s Poke feature.  SuperPoke offers a fun way to get a friend’s attention by, for example, sending a couple of high-fiving sheep characters their way. When you SuperPoke someone, an icon shows up on your friend’s Wall indicating he has been hugged, smiled at or whatever poke you choose.

Other, more practical Facebook applications include:

  • Causes: This helps you start or join the causes you care about.
  • We’re Related: You can build your family tree by finding relatives on Facebook.
  • Birthday Calendar:  You’ll get reminded about birthdays that you may otherwise forget.

To see all the applications available, click the Applications button on the bar at the bottom of a page and then click Find More.

Is Your Information Secure?

Putting so much personal information online evokes privacy concerns.  However, you can filter what information is public and what information only friends can see.  To do so, you select the Privacy Settings option from the Settings drop-down menu at the top of each page. From there, you can manage privacy settings that control who can see your profile information, who can search for you, and more.

Facebook on Your Phone
If staying connected to your Facebook friends is important, even when you are away from your computer, consider a  smartphone. Most smartphones are equipped to run the Facebook Mobile Application. With Facebook Mobile, you can send messages, upload photos and enjoy the functionality of Facebook while away from your computer.

Facebook Trends
If Facebook users find something interesting, they often share it with their friends. One of the most notable recent trends is the 25 Things About Me craze.  It’s a Facebook survey distributed virally among more than 5 million Facebook users, offering the opportunity to write 25 random statements about themselves and invite others to do the same.  Popular chain letters like 25 Things About Me start in the form of Notes, a Facebook application that allows you to share information with friends through written entries.  You can then tag friends whom you want to see the note, encouraging them to comment and create their own note.
So that’s Facebook in a nutshell. The best way to get to know the social network, of course, is to set up an account and begin playing with the features. There are literally millions of Facebook users out there waiting to be your friend!

© Ian Cooley

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brain Myths—Busted

Brain & Body

The human brain has received unprecedented press coverage in the past few years, thanks in large part to big leaps in science's understanding of what goes on in the space between our ears. Yet, some stubborn myths remain.

For this special installment of Brain & Body, we're offering insights into which commonly held beliefs stem from reliable studies in neuroscience—and which are just plain mindless. For further information on these fallacies, we've consulted our favorite research neuroscientist and go-to brain guy, Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, Ph.D., of the Semel Institute's Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity at UCLA.

Myth: Listening to Mozart makes you smarter.

Reality: It may make you feel superior, but listening to Mozart won't make you any smarter than bumping along to the latest cut by Lil' Wayne. The Mozart idea first took hold following a 1993 study published in Nature that showed that 12 students scored higher on a spatial IQ test after listening to a Mozart sonata. Author Don Campbell ran with the notion in his pop-psychology book The Mozart Effect, and a multi-million–dollar industry arose selling CDs and videos to parents holding out hope their little ones would harness the intellectual power of Amadeus.

However, subsequent research failed to replicate the (small) study's results. And the original researchers later re-emphasized the qualifications in their findings; notably, that the effect was temporary, not extending beyond 10 or 15 minutes. "The myth does bring attention to the value of music as a tool for stimulating the brain," says Molnar-Szakacs. "We know thatplaying a musical instrument in childhood improves performance in academic areas other than music. But just listening to Mozart while cramming for a test is no reliable way to improve your score, let alone your IQ."

Myth: People with autism have genius talents.

Reality: There's not a great deal known about savant syndrome, the very curious condition in which people with developmental disorders such as autism show astonishing skills in music, art, or math. But we do know that the widespread misconception about its prominence is traceable to the 1988 film "Rain Man," and that the movie's hero would be exceptionally skilled, and exceptionally rare, even among savants.

According to Darold A. Treffert, M.D., of the Wisconsin Medical Society—a recognized expert on savant syndrome— approximately one in 10 people with autism spectrum disorder has some savant skills. (Among those with other developmental disabilities, fewer than 1 in 100 are savants.) Treffert estimates that no more than 50 people in the world are "prodigious savants" like the toothpick-counting character portrayed by Dustin Hoffman.

Beware the characterization of genius, too. The famous "calculating twins" written about by Oliver Sacks, M.D., in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hatcould see prime numbers in a fallen stack of matches or tell you which day of the week July 4 would fall on in the year 3024, but they couldn't do simple multiplication.

Myth: Smarter animals have bigger brains.

Reality: A sperm whale's brain is more than five times the weight of a human's—yet the animal with the world's largest brain still can't play a decent game of chess. What gives?

"The relationship isn't directly between brain size and smarts, but rather in the ratio of brain weight to body weight and smarts," explains Molnar-Szakacs. "In a human, whose brain weighs around 3 pounds, the ratio is about 1:50. But in other mammals it's closer to 1:80 or 1:200. So, the smaller the ratio, the more intelligent the animal."

Molnar-Szakacs adds that, even beyond the brain-to-body weight ratio, it is what's inside the cranium that counts. "The parts of the human brain that control higher cognitive functions are the cerebral cortices," he says. "These are the areas responsible for the uniquely [high-functioning] human abilities of language, memory, and planning for the future. The cerebral cortices enable us to learn and adapt our responses to our environment in much more sophisticated ways than other animals. For example, we have the capability to override predominant, stimulus-driven responses, so that we can say 'no' to chocolate cake if it'll break our diet even if we are still hungry and know it would taste really good."

Myth: Drink enough alcohol and you'll start killing brain cells.

Reality: Drunken frat boys head-butting one another in a bar may give you pause to consider this one, but alcohol does not kill neurons or create holes in the brain. However, there's no denying that alcohol and other drugs of abuse impact brain systems. It's their effect on the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin that goose the brain's reward system, leading to feelings of euphoria—and, when more of the drug is needed to create the same effect, to tolerance and addiction.

"Over the short-term, alcohol and drugs alter brain function rather than affecting brain structure," Molnar-Szakacs clarifies. "Slurred speech, impaired motor response, and impaired judgment are all symptomatic of compromised frontal lobes, the centers of the brain that direct higher-level decision making."

Rarely, a chronic drinker may develop Wernicke-Korsakoff's Syndrome, a condition characterized by atrophy or shrinking of the thalamus and hypothalamus and the inability to recall or form memories. This syndrome's not a direct effect of drinking, but rather a secondary result of alcohol abuse so severe that absorption of vitamin B-1 is prevented, leaving the brain malnourished.

Myth: Most people use only 10 percent of their brain.

Reality: A quote from William James that's been mangled, misinterpreted, and misused may explain the myth's origins. In making a general point about human potential, the philosophical psychologist said that people "make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general." Anecdotal evidence of individuals suffering physical damage to the brain and continuing to function, such as the famous story of Phineas Gage, may also have contributed over the years.

Thanks to the development of neuroimaging technologies—machines that allow us to view not only structures but functions of the brain at work—this myth is handily debunked. While we may not use all of our brain all of time, multiple areas are simultaneously recruited for every task we undertake. For example, all the different parts of the brain responsible for vision, sensation, planning, motor coordination, muscle activity, and homeostasis are required to play a game of tennis or write words on a page. In fact, new studies examining the brain at rest reveal that an entire network of regions is active even when a person is "doing nothing," notes Molnar-Szakacs.

By Rich Maloof

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coping with a Job You Hate

Excerpted from "Career Building: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work"

Here's the bottom line: You have to get a job, you have to go to work and someday, you'll probably have to change jobs. "CAREER BUILDING: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work" (Collins Business) is a one-stop guide for navigating all those times in your career.

There's just no denying the signs. In fact you don't need any signs at all, you just can't stand your job. But how many of us have the luxury of just up and leaving a lousy job without having another lined up?

Having a job you hate is never an easy thing to deal with, but sometimes you just need to grin and bear it until you have another gig lined up. Whether you're currently stuck because you just have to pay the bills or are holding out for the next great opportunity, here are some ways to get through the day:

Set weekly goals for yourself.
Sometimes it is easier to make it to 5 o'clock when you can keep your eye on the prize. Even if you hate your job now, there is something out there that will make you happy. Make weekly goals to help you find that golden opportunity. One week you might strive to send out five résumés or attend one networking event. Setting these goals will give you something to work toward.

Do one thing each day to help you reach your goals.
You don't need to cross all your goals off your list every day, but you can chip away daily. When you get up in the morning, set a daily objective for yourself and make sure you achieve it. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you feeling good about your progress.

Give yourself "me time" before work.
Going into a job you hate will be worse if you get to the office feeling rushed, stressed and frazzled. Set aside some moments of solitude each morning.

Develop a positive morning ritual.
Treat yourself to a latte, get up early enough to read the paper, or just set your alarm to play upbeat music when you wake up. Improving your mornings can do wonders for the rest of your day.

Create a diversion for yourself in the office.
Does being in your office make you yearn for the outdoors? Are the incessant ringing phones driving you batty? Do something to brighten your mood while you're at work. Take in a tropical picture and use it as your screensaver. Buy yourself a "joke of the day" desk calendar. Plug headphones into your computer or bring your iPod to work. Go out for lunch.

Use your time to develop your skills.
Hating your job doesn't mean you can't learn new skills. Use your time to make yourself a better candidate down the road. If your company offers training courses, take advantage of them. Use downtime to learn something new on your computer. Pick up a management development book and read it at lunch. Turn this job into an opportunity for self-improvement.

Blow off some steam.
Most people have an activity that helps them unwind and get rid of tension. Go for a run after work, go swimming on your lunch hour, or take a nice long walk. Put this activity on your schedule so you will have something to look forward to every day.

Treat yourself.
To make up for your office misery, find little ways of treating yourself. Buy a good book to read. Treat yourself to ice cream. Buy some flowers. Shop for a new interview suit. Plan your next vacation. Find out what makes you feel better inside, no matter what is going on outside.

Maintain your performance.
It is important to continue to do your work and do it well, regardless of your current situation. Set personal performance goals. Then use the accomplishments in future interviews.

Keep your bridges intact.
It really is a small world, and you never know when you will run into co-workers from your past. Don't burn any bridges at your company because you are unhappy. Maintain your contacts and keep your relationships positive. You might just need a reference or a good word from one of your colleagues in the future.

Realize that this too shall pass.
Right now, it might seem like you will be stuck in this job forever. Keep your chin up and remind yourself that you are in charge of your destiny. Search internal postings for new positions. Start your search for a new job externally

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

10 Craigslist Tips for Power Users

More and more people have gotten hip to the power of Craigslist. Here's what you need to know to get the most out of this site, as a buyer or a seller.

Craigslist, the online classifieds site that has all but destroyed its print brethren, has blasted past MySpace to become the No. 1 Web search term in the United States. That means more and more people have gotten hip to the site's expansive resources.
Almost entirely text-based, Craigslist is one of the simplest sites on the Net: Anyone can find what they're looking for with a few clicks of the mouse. But with the help of a few advanced tricks and tools, you can cut through the clutter and discover precisely what's available, all the while avoiding scams and wasteful search software. Follow our advice, and you can use Craigslist with greater efficiency -- and with style.
Here are 10 tips that will make your Craigslist experience a more rewarding one.
1. Use Google as the middleman
Using Google Advanced Search for Craigslist
One of the best ways to get the most out of Craigslist is to start outside of the site itself. Using Google Advanced Search can narrow your browsing options in an effective, clean manner. Say you're looking for a couch in Boston, but you don't want to drive 25 miles to pick it up. Using Google Advanced Search, you can put your desired neighborhood in the "this exact wording or phrase" field and keep "couch" in the generalized search. You can also add other words you'd like to see in the posting, such as "good condition." Specify your city's Craigslist site (, in this example) in the 'Search within a site or domain' field, and tell Google to do its work. You'll see your results, organized how you want them, in Google's easy-to-read format.
2. Search on the move with iPhone apps
CraigSearch CraigSearch
Need to scour listings while you're on the go? A variety of iPhone/iPod Touch apps exist for that express purpose. Craigsphone and CraigSearchare both free and available in the iTunes App Store. Functionally and aesthetically, not much differentiates the two. I found CraigSearch to be superior, however, since it loaded results faster and it lets you e-mail posters directly from the app. Craigsphone, on the other hand, appeared on the edge of crashing at all times, and it failed to show me the results I wanted.
Craigsphone Craigsphone
For those willing to drop some dough, there's CraigsMobileList ($1.99) and Craigster ($0.99). CraigsMobileList uses an interface similar to CraigSearch's, but provides more-clear-cut results. Unfortunately, it has some formatting problems: You can't shrink listings with large pictures or massive text using multi-touch; instead you must whisk the page back and forth. Craigster, in contrast, has the simplest interface -- to a fault. Unlike with the other apps, when I looked for an apartment in Craigster I was unable to make any specifications (such as dogs allowed or maximum rent) to narrow my search. In the end, with free apps available, there isn't much point in paying for one.
One thing worth mentioning: CraigSearch does not display erotic or personal ads. But that's not what you're using it for anyway, right?
3. Dig into listings with free desktop apps
CraigsList Reader is a free download that provides a deep search of Craigslist and has a friendly (to some) Microsoft Outlook style. The app is intensely thorough: You can search any listing anywhere, set up notifications, change and save parameter options, and more.
The program functions best for people who embark on epic searches of Craigslist's database rather than those who hope to pick out only a few tidbits. It lets you categorize results, and helps you establish a variety of updates and notifications. In my experience, though, the software complicated tasks that should be simple; for example, it incorporated many features that I found unnecessary for the basic search I conducted. Another drawback is that the app requires Microsoft's .Net framework, which takes forever to download. But heavy Craigslist users -- and those who are obsessive about categorizing their searches -- may find CraigsList Reader helpful.
4. Monitor posts through paid desktop apps
CraigsPal is like CraigsList Reader, but pared down and easier to use. The $30 version, which features an Outlook-like appearance, comes chock-full of features. You can set up e-mail or SMS notifications or e-mail digests, create a favorites list, flag posts and add posts to the "Best of Craigslist" section.
A free version is available, but it's a vicious tease of these great features -- you can see, but you can't touch. If you have money to spare and you really want to dig your fingers into Craigslist, go with the $30 program, since the free one functions about as well as the original Web site does. Paying $30 can be hard to justify; but if you're intimidated by CraigsList Reader, spending money could be worth it.
5. Have listings sent to you via RSS feeds
Why continuously check a site for updates when an RSS reader can do that for you? Make Google Reader do the heavy lifting. Simply set up the search you want to run constantly -- personal-assistant gigs in Los Angeles, for example -- and click the orange RSS button located on the far-right side of the URL bar. Google Reader will do the rest of the work, and all you need to do is check your Reader page, which you can do in any browser and on most mobile devices. If you're really motivated, you can also have RSS results texted to you.
6. Get the lay of the land when apartment hunting
People who are picky about where they live will love PadMapper, a great tool for apartment hunting. It uses the familiar Google Maps interface to show precise apartment locations. PadMapper works outside of Craigslist, but is integrated with the site via Google Maps word balloons that open the respective Craigslist page. Using it is like seamlessly flicking between two sites that have the same goal in mind. You can filter your search results, too, so you don't waste your time gaping at $3,000 one-bedroom apartments. The one flaw of PadMapper is that it ignores Craigslist apartment postings that do not list an address, which can be a sizable number.
7. Search it all
Not satisfied with Google Advanced Search? Try a dedicated Craigslist search engine such as Search All Craig's, which scours hundreds of thousands of listings and displays them in a Google-style format. You can't specify search terms as categorically as you can with Google Advanced Search; but if your inquiry is general enough, or if you're comfortable using quotation marks to narrow down your desires, it won't matter. Search All Craig's is great for anyone with a devil-may-care attitude as to what city and state in which their results appear -- it's especially useful for job hunters unafraid of relocating.
8. Avoid bulky and impractical search tools
Stay away from sketchy and redundant Craigslist search software. While you have lots of useful methods of navigating Craigslist outside of the actual site, there are also far too many programs that complicate the process rather than help it.
Search Tempest (formerly Craig's Helper) allows you to set a starting point, no matter how many miles away from your actual location, and search from there. This aspect of the free, Web-based Search Tempest is useful, but it's nothing you can't do with a higher-profile tool like CraigsPal. I felt like my computer was being slaughtered by spyware just looking at the site, and it's downright ugly. But you don't need it anyway: Search Tempest is mostly a rehash of other available resources. also presents multi-city searches, but it requires dismantling referrers in your browser. I tried to execute the procedure in Firefox, and the browser screamed that I was wandering into treacherous territory that may be harmful to its stability, security and performance. Definitely not an app you'd want to tinker with if you value your online safety.
The home page of Anthony Damata's Global Craigslist Search Engine announces that it has undergone several crashes and unexplained blocks due to Craigslist interference. Again, I'm far too paranoid a Web surfer to want to play around with something that might harm my computer. Anyway, this search engine acts merely as a direct portal to Craigslist itself, so you might as well just go straight to Craigslist.
On the Net you can find many similar programs that all promise advanced Craigslist navigation, but you must weigh the negatives against the positives and craft an educated assessment of your situation. Personally, I found these programs more dangerous than helpful.
9. Sidestep scams and useless add-ons
A lot of people out there are seeking to take advantage of insecure and unknowledgeable Craigslist users. Make sure you're not one of them by watching out for methods commonly employed to grab your money, waste your time and make you look foolish.
It sounds like common sense, but one of the first things you need to do is make certain that you're at the right site. A lot of sites try to make themselves look like Craigslist, so double-check, and ensure that ".org" is at the end of the URL.
Keep an eye out for messages that are longer than necessary. If someone responds to your Craigslist post with too much information, it could be a scam. For example, if you're selling your iPhone and someone in Kentucky wants you to send it to his niece but he's paying for it, sell it to the guy down the street instead.
Approach e-mail from Nigeria and other parts of Africa skeptically, as many scams originate from those places. Con artists typically offer more money than your advertised price, claiming that they want to cover the shipping or something along those lines. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Payment options also present dilemmas. Money orders pose a particular threat to unwary people. Although scammers may use a trusted source such as Western Union, they have also devised ways to create fake money orders that will slap you with fees. As always, whether you're dealing with checks or money orders, make sure the payment clears before you send any goods. Try to conduct all sales in cash.
The best way to avoid being ripped off is to deal exclusively with local buyers and sellers, approach all offers with caution, avoid people who want you to ship items to addresses that aren't their own (or who ask you to deal with "business partners"), and use common sense.
You might also encounter paid services that "train" you how to sell items on Craigslist. Avoid these. Not only will they inundate you with boring information readily found elsewhere, but you may find yourself digging further into debt rather than scuffling your way out. In my travels around the Web, I also found another paid service that promises to help create eye-catching advertisements. Craigslist functions on basic HTML, folks. With a few good photographs and detailed product descriptions, you won't need neon signs to become a successful seller.
Craigslist provides a run-through of the most common rip-offs and how to report them, and Fraud Guides has another detailed list.
10. Get there first
The best way to get the job, MP3 player, or apartment you have your eye on is to be the first in line. Using the tips above, you can easily organize your Craigslist hunt, scope it out while you're on the go, and sell like a pro. In a world where information whizzes past in the blink of an eye, it's critical to maintain the focus that will get you what you want.


By Brennon Slattery, PC World

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Азербайджан создает уникальный курорт на острове в Каспийском море.

Группа компаний «Eurositi Holding» провела сегодня в Баку презентацию проекта «Zirə Sıfır İxrac Adası».
Группа компаний «Eurositi Holding» провела сегодня в Баку презентацию проекта «Зиря Адасы».
Финансовый менеджер компании Кямран Гулиев отметил, что проект будет реализован на острове Зиря (бывший Наргин) и охватит территорию в 1 млн. квадратных метров. В реализации проекта участвуют дизайнеры компании Дании «BIG Architects», инженерной компании «Ramboll» и строительной «Pihl & Son».
Архитектор «BIG Architects» Каи Уве Бергманн сообщил, что созданный на острове жилищный комплекс будет снабжаться ветряной энергией. На острове, где будут проживать 10 тыс. человек, установят 16 ветряных мельниц производства Дании. В ходе строительства будет осуществляться сотрудничество с местными компаниями.
В рамках проекта на острове Зиря будут построены 4 и 5-звездочные отели, 300 люксовых вилл, жилые дома. Из Баку на остров можно добираться посредством судов-такси и вертолетов. На острове обычные автомобили заменят легковые автомобили, работающие на электричестве.
Архитектор также добавил, что в проекте осуществляется концепция «Yeddi zirvə» («Семь вершин»). Каждая из «Семи вершин» символизирует одну из известных гор в Азербайджане. На каждой вершине смешиваются частные и общественные функции. Вместе горы формируют горизонт, органично сливающийся с естественной топографией острова. Плотное яркое городское сообщество объединено с частными курортами, центральной общественной долиной с полями для гольфа и пляжами. Общая трасса соединяет горы и приглашает посетителей посетить вершины всех семи пиков за один день.
«Проект будет завершен в течение 6-8 лет. За этот период не исключается внесение каких–либо изменений. В настоящее время подготавливаются документы по дизайну, и в ближайший год планируется приступить к строительным работам», - подчеркнул архитектор.
Предварительная стоимость проекта оценивается в 4-4,5 млрд. долларов, однако в будущем возможно изменение этой суммы. Специалисты проекта уверяют, что финансовый кризис не скажется на ходе работ.
«В финансировании проекта возможно участие частного сектора, государства и иностранных инвесторов. Проект принадлежит государству, его реализация поручена компании «Eurositi», - отметил Бергманн.
После реализации проекта отходы с острова будут утилизироваться посредством специальных установок, а сточные воды после очищения будут использоваться для орошения. Для водоснабжения будет использоваться очищенная морская вода. Здания на острове будут обогреваться и охлаждаться посредством насосов, выходящих в Каспий.
Авторы проекта возведут на острове памятник турецким и азербайджанским солдатам, убитым здесь армянами и большевиками в 1918-20 годах. По словам Бергманна, памятник будет воздвигнут в центральном парке острова. Останки погибших будут перезахоронены.
Бергманн отметил, что в ближайшее время начнется утилизация боеприпасов и ракетного топлива, принадлежащего военной базе в Зиря. Уже определены заминированные территории, о разминировании которых ведутся переговоры с правительством.

Monday, April 6, 2009

История развития мировой фотографии

Безусловно, изобретение фотографии изменило мир. Появление и развитие фотографии изменило взгляд человека на мир и жизнь, повлияло на то, каким способом люди стали видеть, преображая этот процесс от просто фиксирования реальности до умения ее конструировать на композиционной плоскости. Изобретение и развитие фотографии – это не просто техническое новшество, как и ряд других, созданных в пышном девятнадцатом веке. Фотография – это новый способ взаимодействия человека и мира.

Возникла фотография благодаря взаимодействию, казалось бы несовместимого. Ее изобретение и развитие - это совместный вклад и труд художников, ученых и инженеров. Фотография являет собой разноплановый, многогранный, разновеликий предмет. В истории ее развития тесно переплелись и искусство, и техника, и наука. На развитие фотографии влияли художественные веяния, сама фотография влияла на них. Именно поэтому, история развития мировой фотографии – это влияние на фотографию достижений науки и техники, искусства, а так же культурной и общественной жизни человечества.

Будучи изобретенной в первой половине девятнадцатого века, уже к его концу, фотография перестала быть уделом избранных и стала доступной для широких масс. Людей привлекали удивительные зрелища, которые демонстрировали фотоаппараты, часто называемые тогда «волшебными фонарями». Позже, фотокамеры становились более простыми в использовании и доступными по цене. Технические достижения в области фотографии привели к тому, что фотографы все больше становились фото-журналистами.

Газеты стали иллюстрироваться фотографиями еще до 1880 года. Первые фотографии на страницах газет печатались металлическими или деревянными гравюрами. В 1880 году, газета «Daily Graphic» впервые напечатала снимок фотомеханическим процессом автотипии. Примерно с 1890 года начинается появление документальной фотографии, которая прочно вошла на страницы газетных полос.

Огромный вклад в популяризацию фотографии в конце 19-го века внес Джордж Истмэн. Фотография была его любимым хобби, однако, его волновало то, что это увлекательное занятие доступно не многим. Он занялся научными изысканиями и проводил опыты, в результате которых была создана первая рулонная фотопленка. В 1888 году, Истмэн изобретает фотоаппарат «Кодак», разработанный специально под эту фотопленку. Продавался этот фотоаппарат с уже заряженной пленкой. Когда пленка была «отщелкана», фотоаппарат отдавался в специальную лабораторию, где пленка проявлялась и печаталась. Затем фотоаппарат заряжался новой пленкой и возвращался владельцу. « Вы нажимаете кнопку, мы делаем все остальное» - рекламный слоган Истмэна был весьма правдивым. Однако, его фотоаппараты стоили 25 долларов и такая цена была еще далеко не всем по карману. Выпущенная в 1900 году фотокамера «Box Brownie», собиралась из картона и дерева, а стоила всего 1 доллар, и именно она окончательно сблизила фотографию и самые широкие слои населения.

Пока черно-белая фотография активно завоевывала массы людей, энтузиасты фотодела искали все новые пути в развитии фотографии. Так, благодаря всем известным братьям Люмьер, в 1904 году появилась возможность промышленного метода записи и тиражирования цветных снимков. Этот способ назывался автохромным процессом. Проявленный при помощи этого процесса снимок выглядел как позитивный слайд, с яркой, широкой тональной палитрой. Благодаря этой технологии, фотографы Первой мировой войны, делали снимки военных действий, даже на передовой. Один из самых известных военных фотографов того исторического периода Жан-Батист Турнассу.

Но не только военные фотографы доносили при помощи фотографий правду о реальностях жизни. Огромный вклад в развитие фотодокументалистики внесли ее энтузиасты. Одним из первых был Якоб Ринс, работающий журналистом в «New York Tribune». Его фотографии, показывающие жизнь трущоб Нью-Йорка, стали настоящей агитационной компанией, и повлияли на развитие документального фото современности. Огромное влияние на развитие фотодокументалистики оказала серия фотографий, которую заказал Рой Страйкер. Он работал в правительстве США, в Федеральном управлении защиты сельского хозяйства (FSA), созданном для поднятия сельского хозяйства после Великой депрессии. Собрав группу отличных фотографов, он поставил им задачу показать жизнь на селе. Эта подборка фотографий до сих пор самая публикуемая и выставляемая в мире.

Меж тем, продолжались поиски в области усовершенствования фотокамер. Была изобретена однообъективная зеркальная камера(SLR), которая работала по принципу: зеркало на пути светового луча, идущего из объектива, переводило изображение на фокусировочный экран. Считается, что первой фотокамерой SLR стала «Kine Exakta», которая была выпущена в 1936 году. Однако, некоторые специалисты считают первым зеркальным фотоаппаратом стал советский «Спорт». Параллельно шли разработки по изобретению двухобъективной зеркальной камеры - Twin-Lens Reflex, TLR. Она была устроена проще, чем однообъективная и работала практически бесшумно, при этом давала точную настройку резкости. Однако, оба эти изобретения имели один существенный недостаток – в этих камерах изображение в видоискателе получалось перевернутым слева направо. Но, уже в 1948 году, благодаря тому, что фотоаппараты стали оснащаться пентапризмой, которая позволяла видеть изображение реально, эти недостатки были устранены.

На развитие фотографии, как искусства, оказали влияние модернистские идеи, возникших в Европе в 20 годах двадцатого столетия. Такие течения этого направления, как дадаизм и сюрреализм, вдохновляющие художников в области субъективного и неосознанного, особенно ярко отражались на фотографиях того периода. Правдивость, которую нес фотографический снимок, была прекрасным способом выражения радикальных взглядов фотографов. Наиболее талантливые и последовательные из них, например, Ансель Адамс, Пол Стрэнд и Эдвард Вестон, создали группу в 1932 году, назвав ее «f/64». Эта группа внесла огромный вклад в совершенствование фотографии.

Уже с 1944 года начались опыты в области изобретения моментальной фотографии. А в 1948 году, американец Эдвин Лэнд, выпустил первый фотоаппарат «Model 95 Polaroid». Чуть меньше, чем через 20 лет после этого, появились цветные полароидные пленки, а в 1972 году и полароидные снимки в виде цельной фотокарточки размером с почтовую открытку. Таким образом, моментальная фотография вошла в жизнь многих людей.

Вторая мировая война внесла еще одну огромную веху в развитие фотографии. С одной стороны военные фотокорреспонденты, снимая события с полей войны, доносили до народа все ее ужасы. С другой, расцветала фотография для журналов, таких, которые сегодня принято называть гламурными. Красивые фотографии нарядных и счастливых моделей были призваны отвлекать людей от кошмаров войны.

Неудивительно, что после окончания войны в фотографии начался период новых идей. Наиболее влиятельными из них стали реформистские и гуманитарные идеи. Центром воплощения этих идей стала фотовыставка «The Family of Man» - «Семья Человеческая», которая открылась в 1955 году. Проект, организованный Эдвардом Штайхеном, демонстрировал 503 снимка от 273 фотографов со всего мира. Цель этой фотовыставки формулировалась так: «искусство фотографии - это динамический процесс придания форм нематериальным идеям и донесения их в таком виде другому человеку». Этот знаменитый проект демонстрировался 8 лет, и его посетили более 10 миллионов человек.

В 50-60-тых годах, фотографы становятся все более мобильными, требуется все больше снимков событий и реальности. Снимать движение все еще чрезвычайно трудно. Американский физик Гарольд Эдгертон пришел на помощь, начав исследования в области сверхкоротких экспозиций, которые смогли бы запечатлеть даже невидимые глазу процессы. В результате его исследований появился стробоскоп, который выдавал большое количество света буквально за долю секунды. Это стало основой для разработки и появления портативной фотовспышки. Будучи по профессии физиком, Эдгертон, сделал ряд замечательных фотографий, которые стали классикой, на них смотрели, ими восхищались тысячи людей. Например, фотография пули, которая разрывает карточную колоду. Это яркий пример того, как в фотографии тесно связаны наука и искусство.

Фотография активно проникала в миры, которые ранее были не доступны человеку. Так в сотрудничестве с Эдгертоном, великий исследователь подводного мира Жак-Ив-Кусто, уже в шестидесятых годах при помощи фотографии доносил людям волшебный мир морей и океанов. В 1962 году появилась первая фотография из Космоса. Сделал его астронавт Джон Гленн, пронесший на борт «Меркурия» фотокамеру тайком. Фотография так поразила ученых, что НАСА стала создавать фотоаппараты специально для космоса, в сотрудничестве с «Linhof», «Nikon» и «Hasselblad».

В шестидесятые и семидесятые годы прошлого столетия фотографы становились такими же знаменитыми и популярными персонажами, как звезды кино. Особенно это касалось фотографов, которые делали снимки для газет и журналов мод. В эти годы, именно благодаря фотографам, сексуальность становится инструментом повышения продаж. Фотография этого периода развивается в разных направлениях: в духе свободы и защиты, в рекламе, в пропаганде. Несмотря на свой диссидентский протест, фотография и фотографы становятся в глазах масс истэблишментами.

Фотокореспонденты, освещающие военные действия во время Вьетнамской войны, показали, насколько велика сила документальной фотографии. Военное командование США, в начале войны приветствовавшее появление фотографов в зоне боевых действий, позже, пыталось воспрепятствовать этому. Именно фотографы доносили до людей честную информацию о том, как американцы бесчинствуют во Вьетнаме. Благодаря фотографиям мир узнал о том, что творится на этой войне. Уже установлено и признано, что серия фоторепортажей Рональда Хаберле, о резне местных жителей американскими солдатами в местечке Май Лай, способствовала тому, что возмущенная мировая общественность в конечном итоге настояла на выводе солдат США из Вьетнама.

В семидесятых, развитие технологий в области фотографирования, позволило еще больше экспериментировать, размывать традиционные границы, импровизировать. Эта тенденция в развитии фотографии привела к тому, что фотография мира мод активно перенимала документальные приемы, а не постановочное фото стало стремиться к высокому искусству. И эта, последняя тенденция, очень интересна. Видеть прекрасное в обыденном, при помощи видоискателя своей фотокамеры и уметь это показать другим, разве это не искусство? Лучшим и признанным талантом этого направления фотографии был Уильям Эгглстон, его снимки увековечивали самые простые вещи – детские велосипеды, уличные вывески, туфли. Другие известные фотографы, например, Стивен Шор, фотографировали совсем неприглядные стороны нашей жизни – грязные улицы, неопрятные здания, пустые бассейны…

Уже в 1970 году начала появляться цифровая фотография. Произошло это очень забавно. Ховард Сочурек, который работал фотографом в журналах «Life» и «National Geographic», случайно нашел выброшенный компьютер. Его выбросили сотрудники НАСА. На нем он начал обрабатывать свои фотографии, опередив «Adobe Photoshop» на 20 лет! Несмотря на то, что он был вынужден фотографировать результаты обработки с телевизионного экрана, его фотографии были просто фантастическими. К сожалению, он очень сильно опередил время, и его новаторство не было встречено с восторгом.

Поворотным, кульминационным стало для развития мировой фотографии сотрудничество с миром рекламы. Фотографы внесли в рекламу свежесть, новые стили, творческую активность. Практически классикой стали остроумные, яркие, визуальные каламбуры фотографов для «Dunhill», «Smirnoff», «Ferguson». Фотографии, используемые в рекламных акциях этих компаний, открыли мир изощренности и зрительного обмана. Это стало возможным благодаря мастерству фотографов, например, Джону Клариджу, полагавшихся, в свою очередь, на умения технических специалистов, которые вручную раскрашивали и изменяли фотографические изображения.

Технологические возможности фотографии перевернули наши представления о мире. Благодаря им, мы смогли увидеть то, что недоступно человеческому взгляду. В медицине – эндоскопы позволили нам увидеть человеческое тело изнутри. Спутники позволили взглянуть на родную землю, зафиксировать и предсказывать погоду, разглядеть земную кору.

Сила фотографии велика и безгранична. От первых, черно-белых изображений светописи, до современных цифровых фотографий, она информирует, провоцирует, радует, развлекает, изменяет наши представления. Фотография и общество людей постоянно обмениваются друг с другом. Это культурный обмен позволил измениться и развиться и людям, и обществу, и фотографии. Фотография расширила кругозор людей, углубила их понимание окружающего мира, показала проблемы происходящих событий. Новые достижения в технологической области фотографии, в частности, развитие цифровой фотографии в девяностые годы, открыли новые горизонты для всех.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can't Believe I Just Sent That

How to prevent embarrassing, misfired e-mails.

Last week, Google announced what one of its managers referred to as a "Gmail embarrassment reduction pack." The Web app will now give you a window of five seconds to cancel a sent e-mail. The "undo send" feature joins the little-used but funny "mail goggles," which require you to answer math questions before sending late-night mail on the weekends, and the very useful "forgotten attachment detector." The final element of the embarrassment-reduction pack is the built-in Gmail feature that signals when the message thread that you're reading has been updated. This theoretically prevents you from being the fourth person to drop the same witticism in an officewide e-mail jokefest.

Google, busy organizing all of the world's knowledge, has apparently given itself a more difficult mission: saving us from our idiot selves. One of the leaders of this mission is Gmail product manager Keith Coleman, who explained the thinking behind "undo send": "When we looked at the mistakes, we realized they were being discovered right after send. The user would see the wrong guy in the 'To' field and rush to close the browser window." Sending an e-mail, he said, has the paradoxical effect of clarifying what you actually meant to say: "When you hit send and the thing becomes real, that triggers people to realize what they were really thinking." In our haste, we often don't know what's in an e-mail until it's gone.

Is five seconds really enough? You can catch obvious mistakes, but, in my experience, the "I probably shouldn't have written that" regret sets in around the two-minute mark. Coleman says other time options will be added, but more along the lines of 10 seconds than 10 minutes. The problem with longer hold times is that people don't like their e-mail to be "slow." While "undo send" is undeniably useful, it's not the ultimate face-saving tool. That would be "e-mail recall" (without anyone knowing that you recalled it). Let's say you accidently forward the details of your boring law internship at Skadden to half the partners in the firm. With "undo send," you have five seconds. The magical "recall" button would let you extract a misfired e-mail out of anyone's inbox at any time. Coleman said that this was impossible to implement for mail sent to a non-Gmail address but that it could potentially be done for Gmail-to-Gmail communication, provided the recipients haven't read the e-mail yet. But don't expect this anytime, ever, as it would create usability and server issues that are "nontrivial." Not to mention the creepy, stalker-standing-outside-the house vibe of taking a message out of someone's inbox rather than keeping it in a holding pattern in your own.

As we strive to answer more and more e-mail—and get annoyed with it—the blunders increase. Reply-all gaffes are legendary and sometimes just legend. In January, the State Department's e-mail system was brought down by excessive reply-alling, and this MetaFilter thread has a great but unverifiable story of how a five-word e-mail—"Free bananas in the kitchen!!!"—crippled a global company's servers for several days. (Each division would wake up and start complaining about getting the stupid/pointless e-mail.) Despite these examples, we seem to be getting better at reply-all, as an etiquette of replying only to the sender is catching on (though it would be a good idea to make the reply-all button the size of an M&M). To me, the most potent threat at the moment is the auto-completing e-mail address.

Auto-complete is insidious because it's just helpful enough. You don't have to remember anyone's e-mail address, and it would be tedious to disable the feature and go back to the old days. But it's so easy to type a few letters, hit return, and ruin your year. Just ask Steve Shanks, an athletic director at a Catholic High school in Iowa who complained about the "[l]ong-ass singing and a long-ass homily" of one of the priests and slighted the girls basketball team in an e-mail that was meant for his brother Joe Shanks, but instead was sent to Joe Katich, a coach he had fired. Or, to give the most prominent example, the lawyer for Eli Lilly who wanted to e-mail her co-counsel Bradford Berenson details of a negotiation but instead sent them to Alex Berenson, a reporter for the New York Times. The result was a front-page scoop revealing that Eli Lilly was talking with the government about a billion-dollar fine for improperly marketing its anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. (And so much for the effectiveness of those lengthy legal disclaimers at the bottom of corporate e-mails.)*

Despite any gaffe-proofing of our e-mail systems, the problem remains that e-mail is too disembodied and abstract. Unless you tweak things, a message from your boss looks the same as one from your fantasy baseball league commissioner. You don't feel the presence of a thousand people when your mouse hovers over the reply-all button. The next breakthrough will be better visualization. The auto-complete problem could be combated by making e-mail into "facemail" that would show photos of any recipients in the compose window. The commercial version of Gmail already has a feature where the "To" field turns orange if one of the recipients has an e-mail address that is not in your domain. The most charming visualization that I've seen is one that turns e-mails into little pulsating microbes. (I especially like how old messages become hairless and inert.) Someday soon, a design and programming team will find a workable, intuitive way to detect which messages may be private and confidential and give them heft and gravity. In the meantime, type carefully.

*Note: I can't confirm that auto-complete was the culprit in these cases, but it seems highly likely given the name similarities. (Return to the text.)

P.S. If you have any great e-mail-gaffe stories, please e-mail me. I find them addictive.

Michael Agger

Friday, April 3, 2009


"И вот я умер. Чем бы мне заняться?" - похоже, горько-шутливая строчка Михаила Светлова не дает покоя людям науки. Они опять пытаются заглянуть за крышку гроба.
Есть ли "тот свет" и что ждет нас там после смерти? Этот вопрос волнует большинство людей, а сильнее всего после появления 30 лет назад нашумевшей книжки доктора Муди "Жизнь после смерти", в которой он анализировал "околосмертный опыт" десятков людей.
Международный проект "Человеческое сознание", которым руководит британский нейрофизиолог Сэм Парниа, начал программу "Сознание во время реанимации". Ее суть в том, что в 25 больницах разных стран мира врачи попытаются ответить на вопрос: как работает мозг человека, когда он близок к смерти? Ученые планируют опросить 1500 пациентов, которые пережили клиническую смерть.
Участник проекта, нейрофизиолог Марио Борегар из Университета Монреаля получил разрешение на обследование пациентов во время операций на аорте и головном мозге, когда температуру тела искусственно понижают, а сердце временно останавливают. Эксперимент несложен: при помощи аппаратуры он будет записывать электроэнцефалограмму. Кроме этого, он намерен поместить под потолком операционной различные предметы и изображения, которых пациент не может видеть, лежа на столе. В ходе операции он будет также произносить отдельные, не связанные с процессом фразы. Цель - проверить, действительно ли "душа" в процессе смерти наблюдает тело сверху, как утверждают пережившие это состояние, а также слышат ли люди в состоянии клинической смерти что-нибудь.
Доктор Борегар известен тем, что он уже пытался найти "место для Бога" в человеческом мозге. Для этого при помощи ядерно-магнитного резонанса он исследовал мозг монахинь-кармелиток во время молитвы. Специального места там не нашлось, но оказалось, что в молитве задействовано сразу много участков головного мозга, а наиболее активен тот, где живет любовь - как романтическая, так и родительская. Так что по крайней мере один религиозный постулат - "Бог есть любовь" - наука подтвердила.
Большинство ученых-нейрофизиологов скептически относятся к теме жизни после смерти. Однако, возможно, наука слишком рано сняла этот вопрос с повестки дня. К сожалению, российские ученые в проекте "Человеческое сознание" не участвуют. Но мы постараемся рассказать своим читателям о нем подробнее.