SECRETS – Part One

My fun page...


I  NAMED THIS PAGE SECRETS TO INDICATE ITS SPECIALNESS, INTEREST OR SURPRISE to me. Not about secrets but about items I come across that I resonate to and wonder about..

Still 2





[1) From Timothy D. Wilson’s Strangers to Ourselves (56): “Infants have the ability to remember things implicitly (nonconsciously) at birth or even before (in utero), whereas the ability to remember things explicitly (consciously) does not begin to develop until the end of the first year of life.”

I used to have access to and read some early memory journals but do not know if that interest has been carried forward.  UPDATE: I see that  the Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health is current:  My 5-6-16 entry, quoting “What Cells Remember: Toward A Unified Field Theory Of Memory” — Thomas R Verny: “About ten years ago, I read a paper by Paul Pearsall and fellow researchers (Pearsall, Schwartz, & Russek, 2002) in which they discussed ten cases of heart or heart-lung transplants. Pearsall had interviewed transplant recipients, their families, and the donor’s family, while Schwartz and Russek examined parallels between the donor and recipient. According to the authors the recipients experienced profound changes in their lifestyles “changes in food, music, art, sexual, recreational, and career preferences, as well as specific instances of perceptions of names and sensory experiences related to the donors” (Pearsall, Schwartz, & Russek, 2002, p. 191).


(2) More than 35,000 different micro-organisms have been discovered in ocean sites from the Arctic to images Antartica during a 4-year research voyage on a 110-foot schooner. Many of the organisms are transparent or  glow, and they provide as much as 50 percent of the  oxygen we breathe. Study author Chris Bowler says the microorganisms–which provide food for all marine life-   -are very vulnerable to temperature. (TheWeek June 19, 2015)       I included this item originally because I didn’t understand how there could  be so many different kinds of micro-oganisms compared to other beings. Now, in the book Life’s Engines, by Paul G. Falkowski (2015, Princeton U.), I see that there is a good reason for it;  “There are far more species of microbes than there are of all plants and animals combined. …the number is in the several millions, at a minimum…all extant life on Earth is derived from a single, extinct microbial organism (p 39)..about 3.5 billion years ago” (p 44).

Frozen “Water Bears” have been brought to life after 30 years.


(3) Between 300 million and 600 million years ago an asteroid 12 miles wide crashed into the earth and split in two, the remains of which are buried 19 miles under central Australia. It’s a mystery why there is no “extinction event” associated with this asteroid impact, as there was 60 million years ago when a much smaller asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. (The Week, 2015). .

(4) Scientists have discovered that a peptide in opossum blood is a powerful antivenom, which in trials protected mice who were bitten by several snakes, including the   rattlesnake(The/week, 2015)…11…/index.htm

(5) “Compared to what you’d expect by chance alone, there are more people named Ken who moved to live in Kentucky, Florence’s who moved to Florida, and more named Louis who moved to St. Louis; there are more   Denises and Denises who become dentists and Lauras who become lawyers… If your name begins with “H” you are more likely than chance to own a hardware store, and if one of your names begin with “R” you are more likely to own a roofing company, with “C” a computer company and with “T”  travel business….According to selfish-gene theory…we tend to like those who resemble us because they tended to share genes with us,,,” From “The Letters in Your Name Are Hidden Persuaders” by John A. Bargh, reprinted in Cris Evatt’s The Myth of Free Will 98-99, originally appearing in  Are We Free? ed. by John Baer et al,  Oxford U. Press, 2008.


6. Just read that in the Carboniferous era (280 million years ago) cockroaches were so numerous that the era has been called the Age of Cockroaches. The oldest cockroach fossil is 350 million years old. pre-dating both man and dinosaur.  The largest cockroach fossil was found by Carly Easterday, a student at Ohio University, in 1999. . Incidentally, centipedes reached 5 foot long and a foot wide. UPDATE: It appears that the cockroach’s long, long history on planet Earth is due in part to the rapidity with which it can mutate. “In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches in a study  lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the poisoned corn syrup meant to attract them.  The new roach bait failed.  (Malcolm Ritter  October 5, 2015, re Jules Silverman’s discovery of the glucose aversion as reported in the Journal Science.)


7. Gazzaniga and LeDoux have made the startling suggesion we all share the tendency to confabulate explanations, arguing that the “conscious verbal self often does not know why we do what we do and thus creates an explanation that makes the most sense.” (Strangers to Ourselves, Wilson, 97).  “a sense of conscious will cannot be taken as evidence that conscious thoughts really did cause our behavior. The causal role of causal thought has been vastly overrated ; instead, it is often a post-hoc explanatioin of responses that emanated from the adaptive unconscious.


8. “Scientists hope that new genetic letters, created in the lab, will endow DNA with new powers.” … “DNA as a molecule has many things wrong with it,” said Steven Benner, an organic chemist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution  in Florida,..”Nature has written the entire language of life using just four chemical letters: G, C, A and T….Perhaps expanding the code could make it better. (New Letters Added to the Genetic Alphabet,” by Emily Singer  [The two new letters are P and Z.] offline .


9. I FOUND THIS INTERESTING, from Fritiof Capra’s The Web of Life, p 169, speaking of Gregory Bateson’s new concept announced in a 1969 presentation.  “Bateson had a unique ability to glean insights from nature by very intense observation. This was not just imagesordinary scientific observation. He was able, somehow, to observe a plant or animal  with his whole being, with empathy and passion. And when he talked about it he would describe that plant in minute and loving detail, using what he considered to be the language of nature to talk about  the general principles he derived from his direct contact with the plant. He was very taken by the beauty manifest in the complexity of nature’s patterned relationships, and the description of these patterns gave him a strong aesthetic pleasure.”


10. At Edward Taub’s “constraint-induced” (CI) Therapy Clinic, paralyzed stroke victims are treated by “re-wiring” their brains. The use of their good limb is constrained and the affected limb is forced to begin moving by the process of shaping.  See Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes, 2007.


11. “A plant can spot and favor close kin.” A little beach plant can recognize other plants that grew from its own mother’s seeds, according to experiments on root growth. “Sibling sea rocket plants don’t compete with each other as fiercely as unrelated plants do,” reports Susan A. Dudley in Science News June 16. 2007, 171 (372).


12. When  I read The Men Who Stare at Goats  by Jon Ronson I had already heard about Frank Olsen and the Artichoke and MK-ULTRA. What I didn’t know was how 39 people came to suicide over the Hale-Bopp comet. It seems in 1997 a U.S. army remote-viewing training program psychic spy interpreted an amateur astronomer’s photo of a side-kick companion of the comet, and told a radio audience that the adjacent object was “four times the size of the planet Earth…under intelligent control…sentient…alive…There are more of them coming!”  A few nights later, when Hale-Bopp could be seen, 39 people took a lethal cocktail because they believed doing so would get them a ride to the “level above human.” (ibid., 108, 111)   Author Ronson hypothesized that the amateur astronomer decided to play a trick on the remote viewers and doctored the original photograph (p 112).


13. “As far as I know, only the Hottentots believed that God was a preying mantis.” (David Barash, 1979, p 11).


14. “For a biologist, the alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.”  Sir Peter Medawar in ibid, p 9


15. “The number of people who were alive in 1950 was about equivalent to the number who had been alive for the entire previous history of the world.”  p 146 Who’s in Charge.


16.Hasson, Uri (2010) measured the brain activity of a pair of conversing subjects with fMRI and found that the listener’s brain activity mirrored the speakers’.  (The behavior of one person can affect another person’s behavior.). Gazzaniga, 147. [Remnant of esp?]


17.  Brain, in 1996, carried an article by Vittorio Gallese and other researchers, followed in 2005 JenniferAniston05190064Nature, 1102  by Quiroga et al  in an article “Invariant Visual Representation by Single Neurons in the Human Brain,”   “What they discovered was stunning.”  One single neuronal cell responded only to various pictures of Bill Clinton, another only to pictures of the Beatles, another only to Michael Jordan. another only to the Simpsons cartoons. The Jennifer Aniston cell as it was immediately dubbed, responded  to several different pictures of Jennifer Anniston , but not at all to a large number of similar stimuli (Iacoboni, 2008).2019.


18.David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdesolo, psychologists and authors of Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us (2011, 69) , reported on an experiment in which ovulating women  in a lab were asked to smell a number of men’s  unwashed t-shirts and asked which man’s scent they preferred.  “We know, it sounds a bit strange, but believe it or not , the ovulating women overwhelmingly preferred the smell of men who had more symmetrical features [and therefore were more genetically fit]. (R. Thornhill and S. Gangstad,  Human Nature 4 (1993) 237-69.


19. Duchenne smiles are the type that psychologists consider to be “true” smiles because they involve muscle movements that are difficult to fake. (DeSteno and Valdesolo, p 78.


21. Based on painstaking experimentation by Chen-Bo-Zhong, , it has been found that “while it’s true that we cheat when we see cheating, it is also true that we cheat evenmore when we think we can’t be seen cheating.” (Involved was a poorly lit classroom and also the use or non-use of sunglasses!) ibid, 177


22. “The mind is loaded with mechanisms meant to ensure that  our genes are passed on, and the urge to have sex with an attractive (and thus genetically fit) stranger is one of them.” lbld, 68

23. Work by Mattie Haselton at UCLA  indicated that when ovulating, even relatively demure women will dress more sexily…ibid, 70



24. For years now, whenever I have cautioned someone not to teach their grandmother to suck eggs they have been stymied,  never having heard that phrase before. Even I never knew where it came from, but  tonight I found it, in Anton Chekhov’s “Selected Stories,” newly translated by Ann Dunnigan, p 43, in the  short short story “Surgery.”   The dentist says, “Teach your grandmother to suck eggs! Oh Lord the ignorance of  the  people!”  Anton Chekhov   ——–>


25.G. Rosadini (Brain, 90, 102-112) did experiments with normal subjects in which he alternately placed one half brain  (hemisphere) under anesthesia by injecting sodium amytal into the left or right  carotid artery. When only the right brain was awake, the subject was more depressed, and the subjects were euphoric when only the left brain was awake.  Diamond’s research showed that the right brain tended to regard films as more “unpleasant” or “horrific” than the left. The left frontal lobe is more responsive to joyful music, and the right frontal lobe responds more to fearful and sad music. (ESP Enigma, Powell 254, Notes.)



26.”One reason the Mona Lisa’s smile is called ‘enigmatic’  is because she is smiling only on the left side of the face, which is controlled by the right brain,We subconsciously expect the happier side of the face to be on the right.” ibid p 255.









27. I always have to work with myself to remember that the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body (inside the body, looking out. not outside the body regarding it.) And I have usually felt more kinship and awe for the right, more intuitive brain, than the left, rational one. (And more cheerful?)

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS – ( Right  HAND , Right side of FACE/body):


detail oriented

facts rule

words and language

literal meaning

math and science

can comprehend



knows object name

vertical neuronal connections

present and past

neurotransmitters:  dopamine and acetylcholine


future and past

fine  motor control

separate individual

Purposeful. directed


serial or linear processing

order/pattern based

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS – Left HAND, L side of face/body 

When only the right brain was awake, the subject was more depressed, Diamond’s research showed that the right brain tended to regard films as more “unpleasant” or “horrific” than the left.  The right frontal lobe responds more to fearful and sad music. (ESP Enigma, Powell 254, Notes.)  Powell: R brain more violent or aggressive?

uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

The above 2 lists are primarily from  Mark McGuinniss’ <>, which has an intriguing perceptual challenge which is fun.  (“Which Way Do You Spin? Left Brain or Right Brain?”)

Our left brains create structures that can act as barriers to alternative solutions and perspectives and sorta goes along with Powell’s 2009 statement that the right hemisphere is the more aggressive or violent hemisphere. “Controlling the more aggressive right brain might be one reason the left brain dominates over the right and can keep the right brain’s intentions unconscious,” (ibid., 254)   Working with “split brain” patients,  one patient grabbed his wife and shook her violently with his left hand while his right hand tried to intervene.(Ibid., 254, citing Roger Sperry, 1973).

I’m not sure I can make sense out of this. It seems kinda counter-intuitive (If that’s the right word).


28. A black hole engulfing another black hole. First time ever photocaptured. I’ll add the source tomorrow.


FEB. 11, 2016 – For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe.  (A black hole engulfing another black hole).This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

29. Medievil Selfies Monastic decorators
When a decorator is seen on the page, we must assume that a conscious choice was made to become part of the book’s decoration program. This is particularly evident when the decorator added his or her name and designation (“decorator”). This is precisely what the nun Guda did: she depicted herself inside an initial letter D with abanderole (title banner) that reads “Guda, sinner, copied and decorated this book” (Fig. 2). It seems out of sync with the modest life style of nuns to identify oneself with name and title. Pride was a vice so there must have been another reason behind Guda’s self-identification. Perhaps she did so with a sense of history: she is raising her right hand as if to greet future readers.

Frankfurt, Staatsbibliothek Ms. barth. 42
Fig. 2 – Frankfurt, Staatsbibliothek, MS Barth. 42 (late 12th century)

 30. A new book by Paul G. Falkowski (Life’s Engines):  On page 39 he reports that “all extant life on Earth is derived from a single, extinct microbial organism. The Earth itself is estimated to be 4.55 billion years old.But if all life on Earth is derived from a common microbial ancestor, when did that last [or first?] ancestor arise? It appears to be about  2.4 billion years ago. Many genes (microbes) are not inherited by descent, but transferred horizontally, a major mode of evolution in microbes.”Simply put, genes that were preadapted via selection in one organism can somehow be transferred to another, completely unrelated organism without sexual recombination.” (p  101, 102).The rise of animals was about 700 million years ago; first were sponges. “Animals are most closely related to fungi.” (p 37)”All organisms on Earth are descendants from one single but extinct, common ancestor” (p 38).

31. Quanta Magazine: Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. They guide adaptive behaviors. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be. If you had to spend all that time figuring it out, the tiger would eat you.

32.  For reference   from      via Shay’s


The above  is included in case I write a mystery novel and need to describe exactly where the mosquito bit him that made him wreck the car.

33.  When bilinguals switch languages, their personalities subtly change. Do bilinguals have 2 personalities?  A special case of extreme switching.  By Ramirez-Espersa, N., Gorling, S.D., Benet-Martinez, V., Potter, J., and Pennebaker, J. W. (2005).

34. 1997.pdf index.htm :

Disclosing and Sharing Emotion by James W. Pennebaker . In Chilli branch, Handbook of Bereavement Research. BF575.G7  H355   2001Z (?)

35. Anne Sexton:  “The poetry is often more advanced, in the terms of my unconscious, than I am.” (p 162) ?

36. Neuroscience News  Shared publicly  –  Yesterday 5:21 PM     Biotech Companies Given Green Light to Attempt to Regenerate Brains of the Dead     Two biotech companies in the United States have been given the green light to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people.

#neuroscience #futurism #neuroethics


37. From  According to a study titled “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature,” nature engages our involuntary attention. We hear a bird’s song, feel a breeze, or notice the clouds moving across the sky in a manner known as effortless attention. We can concentrate much better after we have spent some time in a natural environment or paid “effortless attention.” Walking around a city block doesn’t count, given that that requires vigilance and directed attention, and does not give your brain a break.




39. Research has shown that being in nature or looking at photos of nature srengthens the immune system.

40. From “What Is Quantum Mechanics?”  John Wheeler, mechanics. htm “The principle of Uncertainty fixed once for all the realization that all knowledge is limited, that there is no such thing as absolute certainty….What quantum mechanics tells us is that nothing is real and that we cannot say anything about what things are doing when we are not looking at them….Something is going on that we are completely unaware of.”

41. I don’t know where this came from–just on my desk–but someone with more time could check these out. (I left the two last lines out because it was in poor taste):                       Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.                                                                                 John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.                                                                                 Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.                                                                                     John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.                                                                                   Both wives lost children while living in the White House.                                                                   Both presidents were shot on a Friday.                                                                                                       Both presidents were shot in the head.                                                                                                   Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.                                                                                                   Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.                                                                                                   Both were assassinated by Southerners.                                                                                                   Both were succeeded by Southerners.                                                                                                         Both successors were named Johnson.                                                                                                       Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.                                                             Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.                                                       John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.                                                   Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.                                                   Both assassins were known by their three names.                                                                               Both names are comprised of fifteen letters.                                                                                           Lincoln was shot at the theater named “Kennedy.”                                                                               Kennedy was shot in a car called Lincoln.                                                                                                 Booth ran from from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.                                                   Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.                                                               Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

*42. Confirmation with additional experiments re No. 39 above in Time July 25, 2016, p. 24, “The Healing Power of Nature,” by Alexandra Sifferlin.

43. MRI scans showed that the dogs [of various breeds] process meaningful words with the left side of the brain–the same side humans use to process language–and intonation with the right side.Dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it,” says Attila Andics, the study’s lead researcher, “but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really mean.” (The Week Sept. 16, 2016 p 20). My daughter tells me that the MRI imaging was done at Emory.

44. A series of studies have shown young children to be surprisingly good at metaphors…Metaphor hinges on meaningful but nonobvious connectons. (David Gelernter,  The Muse in the Machine: Computerizing the Poetry of Human Thought, 1994.)


Tid bits from Family Trees:

1). Douglas (Shorty) A. Mitchell b 3-7-1911 in Ordway, 0Crowley Co., CO…when he went to school at age 6 he named himself and gave his middle initial as “A” so it would spell “DAM.”

2) After Caleniece died,  James married his son Quincy’s wife’s sister,  Sally Eggleston, 19, who had been widowed by her first husband Elijah Carr Wyatt, Jr.,  who died downstairs while his son Carr Massey Wyatt was being born upstairs in October, 1882.


45. From the New York Times, n.d., by Natalie Angier:  “In fish, social status goes to the right brain”:   In cichild fish, males battle each other  for breeding territory.  Dominant males, which gain special colors, have now been found to have distinctly larger cells in the brain region known as the hypothalmus. If these males are  defeated, the cells shrink and the fish lose their colors and breeding behavior.  Dr. Simon LeVay of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., has reported findings which he interprets as evidence that homosexuality may be genetically determined……Newsweek reported that “in people reading Braille after becoming blind, the area of the brain controlling the reading finger grew larger.”  (There are also chemical brain similarities between subjects who fake manicky actions and those who are really manicky….

46. From CNN Breaking News 4/13/17:  NASA has new evidence that the most likely places to find life beyond Earth are Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Enceladus particularly has almost all of the key ingredients for life as we know it, researchers said. New observations of these active ocean worlds in our solar system have been captured by two NASA missions and were presented in two separate studies in an announcement at NASA HQ in Washington.

47. From “Into the Silent Land” by clinical neuropsychologist Paul Broks: “…the brain…assembles a ‘self’ , which can be thought  of as the device  we humans employ as a means of negotiating the socual environment,,,We build a story of ourselves frm the raw material of language, memory and experience. The idea of the ‘narrative self’ has a long history with roots in Buddhist teaching. According to the doctrine of Anattavada , the self  is no more than the aggregate of an individual’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions and actions. There is no central core or ego….David Dennett has offered a contemporary version, emphasizing the power of language in giving coherence to our experience over extended periods. According to Dennett, the self is best understood as an abstract ‘centre of narrative gravity’……You will search in vain for any semblance of  a self within the structures of the brain…The brain thinks it’s a soul. There is real pathos in that.”

48.  The study does indicate that the fetus is able to learn and remember familiar auditory stimuli in the womb, retain this information over the birth period and that this learning is specific to the familiar stimulus. Other studies have confirmed the ability of the fetus to learn familiar audtory stimuli in utero (31,32)Hepper PG, Fetal memory: Does it exist? What does it do? Acta Pædiatr (Stockholm) 1996; Suppl 416:16-20.


4 Responses to SECRETS – Part One

  1. iwritedid says:

    You have a blog with so much interesting content, this is one of those special pages you wrote, thank you for creating such page!


    • Nan Mykel says:

      Bless you. How did you know I needed a pick-me-up?


      Liked by 1 person

      • iwritedid says:

        I have read more of your posts.It’s a place to stay and read. My compliments for all the work and the themes you choose ! Jim


      • Nan Mykel says:

        Thanks for visiting and reading and responding, iwritedid. I’m primarily motivated to keep up with my pages if someone visits. Personally, I like my Dear Downs page but I don’t think anyone has ever actually visited it. I think you know how folks try and avoid what sounds unpleasant! Many thanks again and you know how splendidly honest I regard your site to be!

        Liked by 1 person

Please share your own experiences here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.