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Why does our perception of the photo negative of a snow imprint changes from inside to outside

Why does our perception of the photo negative of a snow imprint changes from inside to outside

Some time ago it was quite popular in Holland to put a special kind of picture on the internet. People (mainly young ones) made with their hands or faces, took a photo of it and used the negative function of their mobile camera. Here's one result:

Instead of seeing the imprint bulging inwards, it seems like it's bulging outward. It seems pretty clear that the negative of inward is outward, but does this really answer my question?
Who knows?


Tolerancing Part 3: Color Space vs. Color Tolerance

To control color, you need to be able to compare very small differences, determine their impact and understand how to address that impact. In this series we&rsquove already looked at the history of color analysis and the role of light in tolerancing. Today we&rsquoll discuss the difference between a color space and a color tolerance and introduce the most common methods.

Color Spaces

A color space gives us a way to communicate color. Just like we can find any location on planet earth using longitude, latitude, and altitude, we can locate any color in color space.

Here are the two most common color spaces.

L*a*b* aka CIELab, aka LAB Model
In the 1940&rsquos, Richard Hunter introduced a tri-stimulus model, Lab, which is scaled to achieve near uniform spacing of perceived color differences.

The L axis represents differences in dark colors versus lighter pastels, with absolute white at 100 and absolute black at 0. The rectangular coordinates a and b represent the major color axes, with red at positive a and green at negative a yellow at positive b and blue at negative b. The intermediate hues are between the major color hues of red, yellow, green and blue.

While Hunter&rsquos Lab was adopted as the de facto model for plotting absolute color coordinates and differences between colors, it was never formally accepted as an international standard. Thirty-one years later, the CIE published an updated version of Hunter&rsquos Lab: CIELab. The correct way to pronounce it is &ldquosee-lab&rdquo, or &ldquoL-star, a-star, b-star,&rdquo but some applications and instruments simply call it L, A, B, or Lab.

CIELab navigates through a grid-like color space containing all of the colors we can see. With only a few small changes to Hunter&rsquos original math, this new map became the recommended and internationally sanctioned method for reporting colorimetric value.

L*C*h° (aka CIELCH) Model

In this model, L for stands for lightness, C for chroma, and H for hue. Hue moves in a circle around the &ldquoequator&rdquo to describe the color family &ndash red, yellow, green, and blue &ndash and all of the colors that fall in-between. The numbers in the hue circle range from zero to 360, starting with red at zero degrees, then moving counter-clockwise through yellow, green, blue, then back to red.

The L axis describes the luminous intensity of the color. By comparing value, you can classify colors as light or dark. Just like the L*a*b* model, a lighter color has a higher value. The C axis represents chroma, or saturation. Lower numbers near the center are more dull and gray, while higher numbers near the perimeter are more pure, vivid and saturated.

Color Tolerancing

If you can plot two colors in color space, you can calculate the distance between them. The tolerance is an assessment of the color difference (delta) from a known standard. Using the planet earth analogy, calculating the tolerance between two colors is like determining the distance between two cities on a map.

Although there are many different tolerancing methods, they all work pretty much the same. Think of it like choosing a mode of transportation between those two cities &ndash you can walk, drive, or fly. All three will get you there, but the method will be a little different for each.

Here are some current tolerancing methods.

Delta L*a*b* (aka CIELab and LAB)
To tolerance in Delta L*a*b*, you first define a difference limit for Delta L* (lightness), Delta a* (red/green), and Delta b* (yellow/blue). These limits create a rectangular tolerance box around the standard. In this example, the target is a relatively dark (42.65) shade of greenish/blue. Both a* and b* are negative, placing it in the green/blue quadrant.

Next, you create a limit for how much color difference is acceptable. This image shows a tolerance of one unit each of L*, a* and b*, which forms a box around the target color. Once you create the tolerance, any sample measurement that falls within the box is acceptable, and any sample that falls outside the box is rejected.

This diagram shows the acceptable tolerance as a square, and the visually accepted color as the ellipsoid. You can see the problem - a box-shaped tolerance around the ellipsoid can give good numbers for unacceptable color. On the other hand, if you create a tolerance box that is small enough to fit within the ellipsoid, you can fail visually acceptable color.

The Delta L*a*b* color model is quite arbitrary because it doesn&rsquot really capture the way we perceive, describe and communicate color. While humans are good at communicating the light-dark element, red-green and blue-yellow are harder for us to describe.

DE* = CIELab Delta E

Delta E is the total distance or difference between two colors. In our earth analogy, think of it as the total distance between two cities.

Delta L*C*h° (aka CIELCH)
Tolerancing in Delta L*C*h° isn&rsquot much different than tolerancing in Delta L*a*b*. A color can move up or down in L &ndash that&rsquos in or out of chroma &ndash and clockwise or counter-clockwise in hue. But in Delta L*C*h°, the amount of acceptable error is Delta L, Delta C and Delta H instead of Delta L, Delta A, and Delta B.

The images below show the same bluish/green point on the same color plane. This time, however, the color is identified using Delta L*C*h° terminology. The limits are specified just like with Delta L*a*b*, but here the color&rsquos allowable error range is established in terms of lightness, hue, and chroma.

Remember how the Delta L*a*b* tolerances yielded a cubic shape? Delta L*C*h° forms more of a &ldquoslice&rdquo in than a cube around the target to better correlate with human vision. While the Delta L*C*h° color model is more intuitive, most specifications call for measurements in Delta L*a*b*. In fact, today&rsquos instruments and software slip easily from one model to the next.

DECMC = Delta E CMC
Delta E CMC tolerancing is based on Delta L*C*h°, but provides better agreement between visual assessment and measured color difference. The CMC calculation mathematically defines an ellipsoid around the standard color with semi-axis corresponding to hue, chroma and lightness. The ellipsoid represents the volume of acceptable color and automatically varies in size and shape depending on the position of the color in color space.

As you can see, the ellipsoids in the orange area of color space are longer and narrower than the broader and rounder ones in the green area. The size and shape of the ellipsoids also change as the color varies in chroma and/or lightness.

The CMC equation allows you to vary the overall size of the ellipsoid to better match what is visually acceptable. By varying the commercial factor (cf), the ellipsoid can be made as large or small as necessary to match visual assessment.

Since the eye will generally accept larger differences in lightness (l) than in chroma (c), a default ratio for (l:c) is 2:1. A 2:1 ratio will allow twice as much difference in lightness as in chroma. The CMC equation allows this ratio to be adjusted to achieve better agreement with visual assessment.

DE94 = Delta E 94

In 1994 the CIE released a new tolerance method called CIE94. Like CMC, this tolerancing method also produces an ellipsoid, but you can control of the lightness (kL) to chroma (Kc) ratio, as well as the commercial factor (cf). These settings affect the size and shape of the ellipsoid in a manner similar to how the l:c and cf settings affect CMC.
However, while CMC is targeted for use in the textile industry, CIE94 is more commonly used in the paint and coatings industry. You should consider the type of surface being measured when choosing between these two tolerances. If the surface is textured or irregular, CMC may be the best fit. If the surface is smooth and regular, CIE94 may be a better choice.

DE00 = Delta E 2000

The formula for Delta E 2000 uses the most advanced math available today and provides the best agreement to the human eye. Although it fixes the lightness issue with DE94, it&rsquos not without fault, especially when comparing hues that are 180° from each other.

How to choose the right method

Although no color tolerancing system is perfect, the CMC and DE2000 equations best represent color differences as our eyes see them. When deciding which method to use, consider the following five rules from Billmeyer (1970 and 1979):

  1. Select a single method of calculation and use it consistently.
  2. Always specify exactly how the calculations are made.
  3. Never attempt to convert between color differences calculated by different equations through the use of average factors.
  4. Use calculated color differences only as a first approximation in setting tolerances, until they can be confirmed by visual judgments.
  5. Always remember that nobody accepts or rejects color because of numbers. It is the way it looks that counts.

Check out our other tolerancing blogs for more information, or get in touch to speak with a Color Expert who can help you chose the best method for your needs.

To learn more about tolerancing, check out these additional blogs:


R. Hosley, K. Canfield, S.L. O’Donnell, and G. Roid, “Father Closeness: Its Effect on Married Men’s Sexual Behaviors, Marital, and Family Satisfaction,” Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 15 (2008): 59-76 (69-70).

Patrick Fagan (author): original unpublished research. Available on request.

McIlhaney Jr. and Bush, Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, 136-37 L.J. Waite and M. Gallagher, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 47-123. Chapters 4-8 detail the various emotional, physical, financial, and health benefits of marriage.

Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata, Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (New York: Little, Brown & Company, 1994), 118, 127, 129.

Randy D. Fisher, Ida J. Cook, and Edwin C. Shirkey, “Correlates of Support for Censorship of Sexual, Sexually Violent, and Violent Media,” The Journal of Sex Research 31 (1994): 229-40 (234).

R.E. Longo, S.M. Brown, and D. Price Orcutt, “Effects of Internet Sexuality on Children and Adolescents,” in Sex and the Internet: A Guidebook for Clinicians, ed. A. Cooper (New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2002), 87-105 (91).

Nicholas Zill, “ Quality of Parent-Child Relationship, Religious Attendance, and Family Structure,” Mapping America 48 (2009). See also Mapping America charts of U.S. patterns of viewing x-rated movies (Maps # 37 to 39) and adultery (Maps # 73 to 75),


12 Ontario University Stereotypes That May Or May Not Be True

University rivalries are built-in realities of young adulthood. In campus culture, the question of which university is the most legit institution for higher learning is one of endless debate. Universities in Ontario are certainly no stranger to these contests of school supremacy.

We’ve all, at some point, been infected with a profound sense of pride for our school and we always seemed determined to prove that our own schools were better than everybody else’s. The natural consequence of this hubris, however, was our tendency to create inflated (and usually not all-encompassing) generalizations about students of other institutions.

1. The Independent Erindalers (UofT Mississauga)

“Huh? Erindale? What’s Erindale?” People from outside of Mississauga may be unaware that “Erindale” is simply the alternative (and seemingly fancier) name for UofT Mississauga. The typical Erindale student is thought of as someone who manages to keep a relatively balanced student lifestyle. They are known to have healthy social and extracurricular lives which accompany a good academic performance.

Personality-wise, they may be perceived as the friendlier bunch of the Ontario university students, and are neither too loved nor too hated. This ‘respect’ from other schools could be due to the fact that Erindale is relatively under the radar since its sister campus, UofT St. George, catches most of the heat.

2. The Brock Jocks (Brock University)

You may be familiar with the expression “If you can walk and talk, go to Brock.” This opinion may have been influenced by Brock’s Maclean’s track record over the years, which hasn’t been as impressive compared to that of other Ontario universities. This year, Brock University was placed 7 spots below York University, and let’s face it – York already gets the most flack from everyone, so being behind York is a rough hit.

There also seems to be this prevailing view of the Brock student as a movie-condition jock or frat-type. By association to this branding, Brock students are also believed to be avid beer drinkers. In fact, the Brock student beer philosophy – ‘quantity trumps quality’ – may support this claim (Dollar Beers for the win). Ironically Brock lacks the ‘jockiest’ of sports teams – a football team. Oh well, at least they have a killer rowing team.

3. The Guelph Gleaners (The University of Guelph)

Because the University of Guelph is located in the countryside, the general perception of the typical experience is that it involves farm activities and an epic manure smell. The whole farm theme is kind of fitting because Guelph has a superb Food Science program, complete with dairy classes, cheese labs and the like. But don’t let the farmer stereotype deceive you Guelph has renowned international development and veterinary programs, so it still means business.

Guelph students are generally known to have decent personalities that is, they aren’t too obnoxious or boastful about their school. However, that is not to say that they are devoid of school spirit. In fact, it's quite the opposite especially during homecoming season during which their school spirit attracts the masses. Guelph students also seem to love Harry Potter, more specifically Gryffindor (an appropriate interest since their school mascot is a Gryphon) as evidenced by their Quidditch team.

4. The Laurier Loafers (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Some people have referred to Wilfrid Laurier University as the 'University of Waterloo’s shadow.' Most Laurier students, therefore, may have some bitterness for Waterloo students. Despite the stereotypes, Laurier does well for itself. It has decent business and music programs, and the majority of its students are passionate about physical health, so they’re all super fit. Laurier is as Canadian as it gets – hockey and beer are key interests of a typical Laurier student.

Where they do trump UWaterloo is in the party department. In fact, there’s a rumour that Laurier kids never actually go to class they simply party for 4 to 5 years and leave with a degree. Doesn’t sound like such a bad deal, does it?

5. The McMasters of Mundanity (McMaster University)

There’s a common assumption that McMaster University is a relatively boring campus. The city’s reputation seems to bleed into that of the McMaster students, who are consequently typecast as an isolated people with no social life beyond their campus. Nevertheless, its distinguished grad schools, excellence in medical studies and steady standing of seventh-ish place in multiple categories of Maclean’s Canadian university rankings this year demonstrate McMaster’s commitment to academic excellence and overall consistency.

McMaster students tend to dislike Western and Queen’s students, but they're not entirely sure why. Perhaps they find the Western-Queen’s arrogance too unbearable, or they are envious of the more exciting environments. Whatever the reason, this is surely not a case of ‘opposites attract.’ In general, the typical McMaster student is an effective mixture of smart and creative.

6. The Queens of Made (Queen’s University)

‘Queens’ may itself be a fitting description of Queen’s students as perceived by other Ontario university students. They have a reputation for being kind of snobbish and self-absorbed, but it’s probably only because they have a few reasons to be. It is after all internationally recognized and ranks 4 th among other Medical Doctoral universities by Maclean’s.

Perhaps their greatest rivals are Western students, which makes some sense because they’re actually both so much alike. Perhaps the most obvious similarity (apart from their love of purple) is that they both know how to party. Yet, despite their partying ways, Queen’s students still manage to pull of amazing academic feats, like studying the night before a midterm and still acing it, or finishing a term paper the morning that it’s due. Money, fun, and success – Queen’s students have it made.

7. The Ryerson Ranters (Ryerson University)

Ryerson students often find themselves having to assure others that their university is in fact a university and not a college. “I swear to you, it’s a real university,” followed by “we’re just more practical and hands-on than other universities” is a common defence.

Then again, being downtown is what makes the Ryerson experience an incredibly vibrant one. Sure, there’s the pain of commuting but aside from that, Ryerson students are smack-dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Toronto life. They always know what’s going on in the city, what the upcoming trends are and which areas are the places to be.

8. The St. George Grade Grubbers (UofT St. George)

A clear Maclean’s favourite, UofT almost always lands a high standing in all categories of the university rankings. High grade cut-offs make this university a difficult one to get admitted to, so those that are admitted immediately gain a reputation for being exceptionally smart individuals. You’ll hear a lot of “Did you know insulin was invented here,” or “The guy who plays President Snow in Hunger Games was a UofT grad,” or “Mean Girls shot a classroom scene here once.”

St. George students are essentially divided into those that can do, and those that can’t. They are usually in a constant state of stress because UofT intentionally makes their courses difficult to weed out the 'unworthy'. Anything short of an 85% is hardly acceptable but they'll never quit- They’ll either try again, or just transfer to Ryerson. It’s a tough life.

9. The Strapped Scarberians (UofT Scarborough)

Being located in Scarborough, UofT Scarborough tends to be assigned the same discreditable stereotypes as the area the most notable ones being that it is a sketchy area. The school buildings have a sort of industrial flare to them that isn't very appealing, and the campus itself is so small that it has been described as a ‘high school in disguise.’

Academically-speaking, UofT Scarborough students live in the shadow of their St. George counterparts. Still, the fact that they are part of UofT means that they are gifted and capable individuals. The students also never stay a second longer than they need to on campus. For most of them, anywhere else is a better place to be.

10. The Waterloo Wonks (University of Waterloo)

Waterloo students are known for being a pretty conceited bunch, especially those in Engineering, Accounting (AFM), and maybe Biomedical Science programs. You’ll probably hear comments along the lines of "We have the best co-op program in Canada" or "Bill Gates only hires Waterloo grads" and so on. But can you blame them? The University of Waterloo was coined "the Silicon Valley of Canada" by the Globe and Mail, and with good reason. It was bestowed multiple honours by Maclean’s this year most notably, a first place rank for National Reputation.

Being known as overly studious can either be a good or bad thing. UWaterloo parents are likely pleased with that generalization. However, such a quality also gives off the impression that UWaterloo kids are boring and don’t know how to have a good time. It doesn’t help that the Waterloo region itself is also relatively dull – most Waterloo students often head back to Toronto to satisfy their nightlife needs.

11. The Wealthy Westerners (University of Western Ontario)

Ah, the notorious Western students. If you go to an Ontario university other than UWO, you probably know of Western students as the kids that everyone loves to hate. Why the hate though? The typical Western student is believed to be a party animal with no real concern for their academics. In other words, the Western male could be thought of as a contemporary Van Wilder, while the Western female may be analogous to a modern Regina George in all her blonde-haired, yoga-pant, pumpkin-spice-lattéd glory.

It’s unclear where this whole ‘live to party’ stereotype came from but it could have to do with the fact that Playboy added it to its list of best party schools in 2011. Some people even compare the Western experience to a night out to the club that lasts for 4 to 5 years. The odd reality is that Western grads are actually relatively in demand. Even more, Western doesn’t even have the wealthiest student body in Ontario- Queen’s wins in that category.. Maybe people are just jealous. It’s along the lines of what Gretchen Wieners says in Mean Girls: Western students are sorry that people are so jealous of them. but they can’t help it that they’re so popular.

12. The Yielding Yorkers (York University)

“If you can hold a fork, you can go to York.” Such is one of several unpleasant opinions on York University. York students tend to be ridiculed the most by students of other Ontario universities, and it may have to do with the university’s run-of-the-mill reputation. A common conversation piece about York is that it is overly desperate for admissions, sending offers to students left and right in an attempt to boost student recruitment.

The typical York student is said to be more concerned with looking good than performing well academically. It’s therefore fitting that York has its own miniature shopping mall within its campus. Also, almost everyone owns a car. So does that make York students cool? Maybe. After all, their university is the host of the Rogers Cup, so it can’t be all that bad, right?


Spiritual aspects of skin

Physical attributes of one’s own skin contribute to the spiritual core concept of self and others. The skin is the largest organ of the body and provides separation and protection, touch and contact, expression and representation, maternal-infant bonding with breast feeding stimulating release of oxytocin in the brain, intimate sexual contact and frictional stimulation with release of oxytocin in the brain at climax, excretion through sweat, and temperature regulation through dilation or constriction of surface blood vessels and through evaporation from sweating. Emotional sweating changes are easily detected by electrodes through galvanic skin resistance measurements, and measurement of the galvanic skin response is an important part of “lie detector” tests. 32 The skin is both the separator and the connector between self and others, and can affect spiritual intimacy with another, a spiritual leader, or a higher power. The skin projects to self and others both physical health or illness and emotional reactions and responses. Skin, hair, and nails at times may reflect inner issues of the body, emotions, psychological states, and spiritual being and meaning. 9

The nervous system and the skin remain intimately connected throughout life. The more spiritually developed the person becomes, the more aware he or she is of what drives his or her life choices, and whether the ego or the soul is directing. On the physical sensation level, this occurs as molecular, biochemical, and electrical interactions between skin cells and nerve cells. On the emotional feeling level, skin blushing or pallor and warmth or coldness reflect some emotional states. On the cognitive thought level, the appearance of our skin, hair, and nails influences our thoughts and vice versa. Anzieu 33 speaks of the skin ego, a psychological semipermeable membrane that separates self from other but permits interchange. On the social level, the appearance of our skin, hair, and nails influences social interactions as well as internal psychical self interactions. 34 – 36 On the spiritual level, the perception of the skin can influence the core self, relationships between people, and a person’s relationship with the Great Unknowable (also known spiritually and religiously as God, הוהי [YHVH, voiced as Adonay], Allah, Manitou, Wakan Tanka, and a multitude of other names).

There are numerous metaphors relating to skin. Sensitive people may be referred to as “thin-skinned”, while insensitive people are called “thick-skinned”. Irritation may be expressed as “he got under my skin”. These boundary metaphors sometimes include spiritual overtones. 37 For example, the metaphor of shedding one’s skin like a snake can invoke an image of inner growth and transformation. All of these aspects and thoughts related to skin add to the spiritual core concept of self and others.

The skin is also associated with subtle energies, electrical charges, auras, energy meridians and points, and other features often less detected and described in Western culture. 38 These can variously be seen, palpated (felt), or detected by effects produced. Acupuncture meridians have been most elaborately described in traditional Chinese medicine, but have been noted in other cultures also.

The type and extent of clothing can have spiritual as well as social and religious aspects. Clothing covers the skin and can vary from none such as in certain tribal cultures or nudist camps to complete coverage of all skin, such as a burqa. Varying degrees of individual expression are acceptable amongst different cultures. Clothing represents nonverbal communication and social identity. 39 While tightly woven cloth or animal skin clothing protects the skin from ultraviolet damage and can protect the skin from heat, cold, and some forms of physical trauma, it can also have designs on it based on spiritual visions.

Skin coloring with makeup, paint, or tattooing has reflected spiritual aspects and dimensions. Examples of the spiritual and social value of applying red paint on the skin have been present in many cultures from ancient times to the present day. Red ochre coloring, a natural earth pigment with iron in hematite or dehydrated iron oxide form, for painting skin has been identified from 100,000 years ago at Blombos Cave, South Africa. 40 Pict warriors in Scotland painted themselves with red ochre as did Chumash Indians in California and the Moche in Peru. Ancient Egyptian women used it as lipstick and rouge. Bones painted with red ochre were found in Australia dating back 62,000 years. Australian aborigines have used red, yellow, and brown ochre for painting their bodies, boomerangs, and rock art based on spiritual visions during dreamtime. Currently, the Maasai paint their bodies with red ochre. This red paint on the skin has been associated with blood, power, fertility, life, and death, all of which have been further associated with spiritual and existential quests. 40

Makeup can in some instances reflect spiritual self-expression based on visions. It includes various shades of paint, base, powder, blusher, eye liner, eye shadow, and lipstick. Hair coloring with various dyes and bleaches is also widespread, as is the use of curling and straightening processes. These can also help depict spiritual experiences or visions. Facial masks based on visions have been worn for spiritual as well as religious purposes. 41 Wigs and hair weaves also change the appearance. Some orthodox Jewish women wear a sheitel as a form of modesty as a spiritual or religious practice. While in Western culture skin coloring with makeup, hair dying, and nail polish are often used primarily to enhance attractiveness and to mask flaws in the skin, hair, or nails in some cultures they can also indicate social status and individualistic expression, including spiritual aspects. In India, the bindi dot on the forehead is an indication of high caste. Women in India traditionally color their hair part with henna, and for their wedding often have elaborate patterns of henna staining on their hands. Subcultures and religions have their own norms and taboos with respect to skin, hair, and nail coloring. This can have both religious and personal spiritual symbolism. 41

Skin tattooing can be performed by piercing the skin with a needle covered with pigment. Charcoal has served as a black tattoo pigment for centuries. Perhaps the first tattoos were accidental, with the skin being pierced by a sharp burned stick coated with charcoal soot. 42 Ötzi, a 5,300-year-old mummy found frozen in the Ötztal Alps, had 39 tattoos, many located at acupuncture sites, and correlated with evidence of disease, such as arthritis, for which use of those acupuncture sites could have been beneficial. Other prehistoric frozen mummies from Siberia, Peru, and Chile have been discovered with decorative tattoos. 42 The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word “tatu” that means to mark something. In Tahitian mythology, one of the sons of the creator taught humans the art of tattooing. This was considered a sacred art form or “tapu” and was performed by shamans “tahua” who knew the religious ritual associated with tattooing, the meaning of the designs, and the methodology. 43

Skin piercing allows attachment of ornaments to the skin. While the most common is pierced earlobes, pierced umbilicus, eyebrow, nostril, lip, tongue, nipple, or genitals are also found. They can be a form of spiritual expression through the symbolism of the ornament as well as having other individual, social, and cultural dimensions.

Intentional scarring of the skin can be an expression of spirituality or culture. Some individuals form hypertrophic scars, and in groups where this trait is common, patterns of scarring can help to identify individuals as well as permit individual spiritual expression based on visions.

Scalp hair can be grown long, cut short, shaved, dyed, bleached, made wavy or straight, and worn in many styles. Within a given range of cultural acceptance, there is often a fairly wide range of opportunity for individual expression with scalp hair, and in men with beard hair. This permits individual spiritual expression based on visions or others’ spiritual experiences. Body hair can also permit spiritual expression within a culturally acceptable range.


Why does our perception of the photo negative of a snow imprint changes from inside to outside - Psychology

It isn’t invisible. It isn’t abstract. It isn’t far off in the future, or far off in a different country. Climate change is here. It’s not only in the Arctic Circle, or barrier reefs, but on the farm. And it has the potential to make your next masked trip to the grocery store even more uncomfortable. If climate change goes unaddressed, food prices could rise, availability could drop and the consequence, especially for those that are most vulnerable, could be limited access to food. But progress is being made. Farmers and scientists are working together to help mitigate the effects of climate change, help make farms more resilient, and keep our food supply affordable and reliable.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and imposed tremendous hardships, it has also revealed the best in us. We’ve innovated. We’ve collaborated. We’ve put our nose in a mask, and put our trust in science. We’ve had to completely reimagine the way the world could work. All in the name of public and personal health.

But, of course, there have been consequences to the lockdown. Mandatory distancing has strained supply chains. In some cases, these chains have broken, creating shortages of certain foods. And rising unemployment and school closures put us at risk of losing the progress we’ve made against hunger over the last few decades.

While we continue to work through the challenges that COVID-19 has created within our food supply chains, we can’t lose sight of what the future demands of us. Because, while many of us are still stuck at home, the world outside continues to warm.

A Slow Rolling Emergency

Though climate change doesn’t happen overnight, its ramifications can.

In one region, climate change may look like a flood—deeper and more frequent—or it may look like a wildfire sweeping through an orchard, or it may look like a little green worm the size of a push pin.

That’s the puzzling equation of the climate challenge. A simple, slow, linear increase in planetary temperature produces vastly diverse consequences on the ground. Consequences that are tough to predict, and even harder to prepare against. There are reasons to be optimistic about the future, though. Innovation doesn’t stop in the face of a challenge, it accelerates. And as temperatures rise, this sense of urgency is being felt by farmers, scientists, and researchers around the world.

Right now, global temperatures are about 1°C above pre-industrial averages. However, different parts of the world are warming at different rates. For example, the Arctic’s cold season, and the earth’s mid-latitude regions during the summer, which include the United States and Europe, are warming the fastest.

In the traditional temperate zones, where much of the developed world’s grain is grown, we’ve seen weather extremes intensify—high winds and floods have thrashed crops in the American Breadbasket, heat waves and insufficient rain have reshaped agriculture across Europe, and in the western U.S., droughts and wildfires threaten even the most resilient farms—and communities.

$220 Billion

What could happen with another half degree Celsius rise in temperatures?

In addition to an uptick in extreme weather, farmers have also been facing increasing severity and scale of crop diseases since the middle of the 20th century as a result. Currently, up to 30% of worldwide crop loss comes from plant diseases. And climate change is exacerbating the problem. Crop diseases aren't only getting worse. They’re moving. Many diseases are expanding beyond their historical geographic range.

Research tracking crop disease since the 1960s shows that as the earth warms, pathogens like fungi are moving at a rate of about two miles (3.2 km) a year toward the North and South Poles.

Important crops like citrus, bananas, soybeans and potatoes are all threatened by emerging diseases, the battles against which will be further complicated by rising global temperatures. Citrus Greening Disease, for example, may move north as temperatures rise. This incurable plant disease threatens the existence of the citrus industry, and has already cost American farmers billions of dollars.

At a 2°C global temperature rise, the planet will reach irreversible tipping points, which is why the United Nations’ Paris Agreement chose this mark as its threshold. If the earth’s temperature were to rise 2°C, about 13% of our land area would shift from its current ecosystem into another. This will deeply change the way agriculture works.

One repercussion would be that moving climates would drive insect pests into new regions, faster. For American farmers, this means pests that are in the South now, would travel farther north, potentially disturbing local food production and biodiversity.

A recent study found that if we fail to limit global temperature rise to 2°C, American corn production could decrease by 18%. That would set farm production back at least 15 years to a time when there were a billion fewer people on the planet. If we reach 4°C, corn production would be cut nearly in half. But, of course, the climate problem is far bigger than one crop, or one country.

Can Farmers Defend Our Food?

Our climate is like a giant ship. Steering it one way or the other takes time, foresight and a lot of moving parts. And the farther off course we go, the more dangerous the waters become.

It can feel like the challenges of climate change are far away and theoretical. But what if the threat felt more immediate? For those growing our food, it does.

Farmers, partnered with innovators in science and technology, are tackling climate change on two fronts. One—researchers and scientists working in agriculture are finding ways to overcome the effects of climate change to continue growing enough food, and two—farmers themselves are a tremendous part of the solution addressing the root cause of climate change by implementing practices that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and lock it into the soil.

Resilience, to the Extreme

Crops may have to change shape in response to a changing climate. When traditional corn, which stands around 8-10 feet tall, snaps during a powerful storm, we lose the grain that crop would have produced, and we lose the natural resources that went into growing it. So, scientists at Bayer are breeding and testing corn that stands shorter in the field. When it’s launched, shorter corn could be more resilient in a storm, just as productive for farmers, and ultimately more sustainable for our planet.

In some parts of the world, climate change could limit rainfall. But farmers have innovation on their side. Drought resistant varieties of plants, and artificially intelligent monitoring systems that let plants tell farmers when they need water, and when they don’t, allow agriculture to conserve. Some farmers also have drip irrigation systems that can lead to water conservation of up to 40%.

Another tool farmers have to stabilize moisture levels in their fields comes in the form of decomposing plants. Sustainable farming practices, like planting offseason cover crops and choosing not to till the soil, help the fields hold more water. In fact, every 1% increase of organic matter in soil results in maintaining 20,000 gallons of available soil water per acre.

Along with water, cover cropping and conservation tillage also help keep carbon in the ground and out of the atmosphere.

Few on-farm, yield-impacting factors are harder to predict and more consequential than the decision to apply a fungicide to manage plant disease. With digital farming tools in their hands, farmers are able to monitor the progression of their fields throughout the season, tracking field health and managing in-field scouting activities easily. The next generation of digital agriculture capabilities will include prescriptive fungicide recommendations built using advanced data science and artificial intelligence. Application prediction capabilities, coupled with plant varieties that express resistance to certain diseases, will help agriculture respond quickly to diseases pushed to new areas by climate change.

Warmer weather makes insects more active, more reproductive, and ultimately hungrier. One of the costliest insect pests, the fall armyworm, has been emboldened by climate change. This pest, whose meal of choice is corn, prefers warmer, wetter climates, so the warming of the Midwest is cause for concern. But farmers have an answer. Bayer has developed GM crops that contain proteins that allow the crop to protect itself. So, when a fall armyworm bites into the plant, the reaction is fatal to the insect.

A Silver Lining in the COVID Cloud?

It’s true. Carbon emissions have fallen recently. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed travel, dropped energy consumption, and curbed the flow of manmade carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But that’s far from the end of the story. The approximately 8% drop in emissions this year is the opposite of sustainable. This minor drop in emissions has come at the highest possible cost.

So, when it comes to carbon emissions, does the pandemic offer a silver lining? It does, if you believe that science and innovation should lead the way on pressing global challenges. This year has reassured us that collaboration is still our best idea, and ingenuity is still our best tool.

There’s never been a question of whether we will overcome this pandemic, because we have bigger plans on the horizon—long-term goals like health for all, and hunger for none—for this generation, and each that follows. Managing carbon and bringing our planet back into balance should feel the same. Of course, agriculture and farmers are just one part of the larger global puzzle. Solving these problems will require bold innovation in a number of industries.


Why does our perception of the photo negative of a snow imprint changes from inside to outside - Psychology

Alas one of our oldest and truest legends of all. Everything our organization works for almost is because of the existence of apparitions. I will try and cover the levels of haunting's, the types of ghost out there, and a dictionary on this page you can use to help you understand what you are dealing with. The key to understanding a haunting is to respect what is haunting it. Ghost cannot really hurt you there are cases where they can push you some have been scared so bad that they died of fright or fear. Very simple in theory what a ghost is. A ghost is what it is the spirit of an animal, human or living being but it goes beyond just that. Its about energy residue from the past. Sometimes this energy is negative, sometimes it dramatic, sometimes its good but that energy sometimes is left over and does not go away. There for we are haunted by the past. When an area becomes so quiet it becomes a dead cell many reasons for it perhaps there is not enough energy for the spirit to absorb, maybe nobody is within the area in years to recognize the spirit, or perhaps the spirit finally found someone they are comfortable with. How a spirit movies objects is simple for example lets say you got a group of people in a room and a ghost lets say the ghost wants to slam a door well the ghost needs energy to do this what I mean by energy is living souls within its range. By absorbing our flashlight batteries, are intense souls giving off fear and adrenalin they are able to have just enough energy lets say to slam this door. Its like a light switch you can light the bulb by turning it on and feeding electricity threw it. However most ghost are very quiet and depressed alot of them want to be left in peace so alot of them are found in dark abandoned places. Places even nobody has died in just places that usually do not have alot of people, sunlight, or noise. Many spirits become alive when there are things familiar to them what i mean alive is they react to only certain people, objects, scents and things. When we went to Central Terminal Station on the train platform the ghosts there seemed to react to cigarettes apparently most of them smoked 50 years ago while waiting for the trains. Ghost still remain a mystery since we do not have all the facts about them. Why do they only show up sometimes my theory is because perhaps ghost cross between the spiritual realm and ours, or perhaps its the right time and place, or maybe we happen to walk in on them caught in the act. Spirits will show themselves in they want to this is why some photographers get better photos then others some spirits are more comfortable with certain types of people but more so then others they are as curious about the living as we are the dead. Ghosts can do many things yes they do talk, yes they give off scents such as roses, they normally feel like ice cold spots and sometimes all they are is a blur of light or foggy cloud. Not all ghost are good natured some intentionally get a kick out of scaring you at least the ones that do know they are dead. The sad thing is many of these spirits do not know they are dead so they keep repeating history roaming down halls perhaps checking someone's bed at night thinking they are checking on there kids. Ghost do have a conscious yes you can talk to them and yes they will react. Not all ghost are of people or objects some are animal spirits. If you go into a barn chances are you will get lots of ghost pictures mostly they are of chickens, cows and horses because that is where most pass away. Ectoplasm in theory is the ghost itself my organization and myself have taken many photos of ectoplasm some of the best ghost shots ever taken I think were by me where I have had human faces, features, within this misty ectoplasm itself. Although common colors of it are white, blue, and pink at least for the photos I take. As far as orbs I have taken them many times motion streaks, them traveling in circles up down etc. There are 2 types of orbs the type snow and rain create and the type that are energy balls of the deceased. Orbs are ghost as well I have seen orbs giving off brilliant ectoplasm I have even seen them with the naked eye however they are fast. Those that work a lot with the dead know that when the soul leaves a body it usually is just a ball of light. Perhaps not all orbs are ghost some may be alien probes to watch us while others maybe a undiscovered species that travels in the air. Some orbs have faces on them and you can usually tell a fake orb from the real ones because a real one gives off a corona while the center remains transparent. Now vortex's in my theory are orbs that spin so quick that it gives off a tornado type of anomaly. Last off all phantoms they are also ghost but phantoms are usually people that killed themselves, passed away in a violent or sudden way or were murdered these are common. Its a ghost that repeats itself over and over which becomes a residual effect repetitive effect. Most civil war ghost are phantoms in the middle of war they were killed some instantly they had no chance to make amends therefore there business remains unfinished and sadly until someone helps guide them they probably will always remain. We must respect spirits learn about them. They will show up on photos the camera is quicker then the eye just remember that they are everywhere. If you want to see them you first must believe in them.

Written By Rick-AngelOfThyNight

Orbs: Orbs are very commen entities and best taken with a 35 mm camera. They are also referred to as globes of light, globules, energy balls etc. Some of them appear in different colors some are white and transparent. Some have faces on them and some give off brilliant light. Others can be seen with the naked eye but its rare because they are always moving or high up in the trees, corners, closets and hidden areas. I speculate there intelligence since when you talk to them and ask them to show up in photos they usually do. They are always found in most haunted places as opposed to nonhaunted. They show up night or day and often have a conscious as if they are trying to tell me something in photos like one I took was on a rail on some tracks where alot of deaths have occured. They are harmless and you can feel them sometimes blow past your face. When orbs are in motion and they have tails on them or motion trails there called plasma or plasmoid trails or streamers only a camera can catch this. Most orbs are transparent in the center and my believe is there color may actually be what there aura was once like or reflects how old of a soul they are. Orbs I believe can manifest with enough energy the more energy they gather the brighter they become. Some skeptics say they are dust or errors in digital cameras however I have gotten them on many types of cameras in nondusty environments even as high as up in trees.

Ghost Lights: Also called will o' the wisps, spooklights, and earthlights this phenomenon is unknown and there is many areas that have ghost lights such as the ones on Brown MT in NC, Seneca ghost lights including the famous marfa ones as well as many more. This is not a new ghostly happening talk about ghost lights existed in 1656. What they are is most likely many spirits traveling together and with enough energy light is given off. Although scientist have theorized that its possible that these are marsh gas rising up, UFOs, sub-atomic particles burning up, Many who have followed these lights have gotten lost, disapeared or even faced death. They are a big mystery sometimes they look like 100s of glowing balls traveling perhaps they are gateways to the spiritual world and the dead travel together through them. Alot of areas that have ghost lights have had tragedies happen in them areas train wrecks, massacres things of that sort. I would post a photo but what they actually look like is headlights from a mile away seeing them is alot better I can imagine.

Apparitions-Disembodied Spirits: These are rare but an apparition basically is a ghost in its full form same clothes usually, appearance before they died, they will not hurt you they may scare you since they appear tranparent. The only time they appear is when they want to tell you something and at times they become deperate to gain attention. They will move things around, make noise, talk, cause disruptions with appliances such as lights, televisions, sterios etc. They are basically the deceased and they know they are dead. If they still live in a house they died in they may go around and tidy up or even try to fix something in the kitchen. Most of the time talking to them generates a response. You may see apparitions of your family members they may come to visit you perhaps relate a message by making things happen familiar smells, opening a book, calling on the phone etc. They do seem to show emotions happiness, anger, sadness so they must be treated like us.

Spirits: Departed souls of the dead generally they do not have a form just a blur or cloud of light perhaps. Everything has a soul on earth animals have spirits and so do we. Most people call them guides spirits that will stick by your side and help you deal with lifes tribulations.

Residual: These are most commen as to where the the ghost, spirit, or entity repeats its last moments before departing. This can be quite dramatic and terrorfying. These types of ghost are called phantoms they do not know there dead and there imprint from the past is left for the future. An example of this type of phenominal might be an anniverary of someones death, or lets say a sailor is lost at sea the ghost of his lover might show up on the beach every night at 1am looking for him because he did not return. These ghost ignore you I mean you can talk to them, shine lights on them and they just keep going about there business.

Ectoplasm: This generally is a thick mist, fog, plasma type of material that shows up on cameras generally in most ectoplasm it looks like swirls however I have gotten faces, morphed souls within it. This ectoplasm is a sign that an apparition is either manifesting or has just got done manifesting. It can appear in many colors mainly white or blue but I have seen red and pink as well.

Vortex: There is 2 types of vortexes ones that are funnel like entities and ones that are a swirl of souls together like a gateway to the spirit realm. These forms are rare and often are said to be camera straps. Generally the center of them is darker and the outside lighter most appear in white. They most likely are caused by orbs when they move downward then stop all of sudden.

Shadow Ghosts: These are very elusive ghost many theories come about them saying they are entities from other worlds, live underground, are ghost, demons etc. But they fit all the categories as a ghost there usually solid or transparent black most are seen near walls as if the shadow has become alive. Often the shadow ghost have red eyes there very quick and once you notice them they either vanish, fade, move quickly away. They appear to have a human figure very tall, thin, arms, legs just that most have no neck. They do not seem threatoning nor are they very outgoing unlike the apparition.

Poltergeist: This means a noisy ghost however to me a poltergeist is an angry ghost who cannot accept they are dead. The easiest target is children since feeding off its fear gives it energy, momentum, and the attention it wants. Poltergeist are said to move objects, bite, growl, scratch, scare, hit, push, vandalize, start fires and so much more. Poltergeist also are the ghost we create with our mind like a false ghost our minds create when usually our brain is overwhelmed meaning a form of psychosis. Nobody is sure if these are even ghost or souls they may be an entity of some other kind not as bad as demons perhaps but they will scare you.

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Poltergeist were usually thought of as very violent spirits where they would feed off of your fear and grow in power however new studies show that its very possible they are manifestations of our own psychosis what I mean by this is lets say john doe is real stressed out perhaps he keeps his emotions in well his brain manifest these emotions into the form of objects violently flying in a room, voices, things of that sort but below is the levels of hauntings not just for poltergeist but they apply to some ghost activity as well.

Here are the five known levels of Poltergeist/Ghost activity.

Level 1. Senses Attack

Cold spots, hearing voices, not able to understand what they are saying, strange noises, odd odors and smells, hearing foot steps, unusual animal activity (like dogs or cats running from rooms, ect.) feelings of being watched.

Level 2. Communication

Presence felt. No longer mind tricks

Whispers, laughs or giggles, moans or shrieking, moving shadows, breeze in closed areas, visible clouds (base apparitions) strong static, electricity, marks on the floors or walls- not writing.

Level 3. Electrical Control

Lights and other electrical appliances turning off and on, unseen hands grabbing or touching people, writings on the wall or pattern markings, doors open and close or lock and unlock, hearing voices or words clearly, full apparitions or dark figures, showing levels of communication with living people, strange telephone calls.

Level 4. The Trickery Stage

It gains knowledge of what scares you.

Flying objects, moving objects, objects disappearing and reappearing else where, shaking furniture or beds, fire starting, appearing as frightening entities, pushing or shoving people or shaking them, creating visions or illusions, speaking in ordering tones, people feel dizzy, nausea or sick to their stomach, windows, mirrors or other house hold objects breaking for no reason.

Level 5. The Danger Level

Dangerous activity, biting. slapping or punching, rape, animating objects- possession, use of house hold electrical systems to cause harm, fires and burning, blood on the walls-floor or ceilings, attacked by unseen forces, held down, hair pulled, flying knives or other sharp objects, heavy objects falling, treating writings or visual signs.

Poltergeist last for an unknown period of time, but after level 5 it'll lay dormant and then back to level 1 and
it builds up again

Ghost Classifications

By Manalapan Ghostbusters

CLASS I - This type of spectre is defined as an undeveloped form, insubstantial and difficult to see. The Class I's interaction with the physical environment is limited and enigmatic (i.e. spectral lights, voices, sounds).

CLASS II - A ghost that begins to have actual visible characteristics and can physically manipulate things (i.e. poltergeist). Class II forms tend to be vague and inconsistent, like hands or a face just floating there.

CLASS III - When a ghost begins to take an actual distinct human form (i.e. face, torso, arms) it's classified as a Class III. III's can often change their forms as well.

CLASS IV - When investigation reveals the former identity of a Class III ghost, it is reclassified as a Class IV. Usually indistinct from the chest down.

CLASS V- An ectoplasmic manifestation of definite but non-human form. Theory supposes that Class V's are formed from emotionally-charged events or locations. (i.e. Slimer/onionhead: see films based on GBI)

CLASS VI - A non-human "animal" ghost.

CLASS VII- A Metaspectre with extra-dimensional powers far beyond human ken. Powers often include the ability to change form at will, dematerialize objects, summon pests, or possess people and animals just to name a few.

Demons: These are the fallen angels or ancient beings. We can call them lower dimeaning spirits where there is so much evil or hate that there soul reflects the true form of a demon. They can materialize but often they sit back and observe. Demons off have a rotten stench, they usually are humanoid looking or half beast with horns but human features. Demons are said to have different levels of powers some can possess, others can be a nuisance, and even some are after souls. They are masters of trickery and most hate anything holy or human. Alot of hatred comes with these creatures as they do not feed of negative energy but rather make it in your life. Demons want to be seen and many cults with call upon them or deities to do its bidding so more or less these are entities most likely older then ghost and powerful ones. Many haunted places may have a demon in it and many of the ghost in that area will try and warn you since even spirits are afraid of it.

Angels: They do show up just as an apparition on VERY highspeed cameras. They do not haunt more or less they are smart, surve a bigger purpose perhaps they keep away the demons and other lesser beings. Often they look human but do usually have wings.

Rods: These beings seemed to be found near alot of orbs, vortexes or in haunted locations. They definately are not orbs of light traveling fast but rather stick like beings that seem to be on the move. Not much is known about them just yet but they can appear in a variety of colors. Some rods are seen in the sky and are large said to be fast moving ufos. But when you look at a rod up close most look like barbed wire. Below is a shot taken near albany crossing near an airplane. Of course I have seen photos like this taken inside peoples homes such as bright yellow ones, white as well.

Interactive Former Human Spirit Pattern Location Based Haunting Non-Interactive Psychokinetic Non-Human Entity
Phantom Residual Haunting General PK Angels
Apparition Spirit (Psychic) Burn Poltergeist Demons
Classic Haunting Psychic Echoes Psychic Attack Elementals
Graveyard Spectres Phantom Craft Psychic Disturbance Banshees?
Etheric Revenant Vortexes Psychic Vampire Ghost Lights?
Spirits Ley Lines Thoughtforms Wild Hunt
Ghost Power Points Astral Projection Spirit/Animal Guides?
Feng Shui Bilocation/Double Lower Astral Entities?
Spiritual Residue Time Slips Etheric Larvae?
Imprints Artificial Ghost Animal Ghosts

This is a minor listing of terms ghostbusters will use. I know there probably is 100 more out there but this will give a general idea if you need to refer to something in general that we talk about or cover when investigating.
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Agent: A human being, typically a teenage female, who unknowing directs poltergeist energy.

Altered State of Consciousness (ASC): Any state of consciousness that is different from "normal" states of waking or sleeping.

Amulet: An object that has the power to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.

Angel: Benevolent spiritual beings who help and watch over people.

Apparition: The disembodied soul or spirit that can be seen visually.

Apport: When a solid object seemingly appears from out of nowhere, with the help of the spirits in the presence of a medium.

Asport: When a solid object is teleported to a different location with the help of the spirits in the presence of a medium.

Astral Body: The soul of an individual projected outside of their bodies.

Astral Projection: See Out-Of-Body (OBE).

Atmospheric Apparition: Not actually a ghost or spirit, but instead a "visual imprint" of people and events that was left behind in the environment that continues to replay.

Aura: A field of energy believed by some to surround living creatures.

Automatic Writing: A type of communication with ghosts or spirits where they take control over the writer's hand and write out a message.

Automatism: An unconscious or spontaneous muscular movement caused by ghosts or the spirits. Automatic Writing is one form of Automatism.

Banshee: Omen spirits of Scotland and Ireland.

Channeling: A form of spirit communication where an unseen entity possesses a medium in a controlled environment to impart guidance, wisdom or future events. The channeled entity could be a deceased human being, an Angel, Demon, Elemental or other higher plain spirit.

Charms: A spell or object possessing magic power.

Clairaudience: A persons ability to hear spirits.

Clairvoyance: Either an internal or external vision of present or future events, spirits, objects, places, and people.

Cold Reading: A psychic reading given with no prior knowledge of the sitter.

Collective Apparition: A ghost or spirit sighting simultaneously by more than one living person.

Collect Unconscious: Form of analytical psychology developed by Carl lung. It is the collective memory of all the humanity's past and is held somewhere inside the unconscious mind.

Crisis Apparition: Ghosts that appear to loved ones and close friends just before or soon after their death.

Cross Correspondence: Information received from the spirit world.

Crossroads: Point where two roads intersection. Said to be a focus point of supernatural energy.

Death: The grim reaper perhaps the spirit that is behind your fate or guides your soul after death to where its going.

Death Bed Apparitions: See Crisis Apparition.

Demon: Fallen angels associated with evil.

Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP): The voice of a ghost or spirit being spoken to the sitters of a seance. The voice usually comes from some point near the medium, but not through the medium. Sometimes a spirit horn or trumpet is used. Direct Writing: When ghost or spirit's handwriting appears directly on a previously unmarked, unwritten surface.

Drop-In Communicator: A ghost, spirit or entity that makes its presence known at a seance.

Dowsing: The paranormal detection of underground water or mineral deposits ( or lost persons and objects) using a divining rod or pendulum.

Dybbuk: A Jewish legend. The restless soul of a deceased human being that enters the body of a living person and takes possession.

Earth Lights: Luminous phenomena typically shaped in ball form or irregular patches of light appearing randomly and defying explanation.

Ectoplasm: Ectoplasm can be either a solid, liquid or vaporous substance produced by ghosts or spirits, It is usually a milky white color and has an ozone smell. Some forms of ectoplasm are known to move in lifelike patterns.

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP): EVP is the attempt to capture a ghost or spirits voice on audio recording tapes. Typically there is no voice heard to the people present in the recording but after reviewing the tapes there are strange voices recorded.

Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) Detectors: Handheld scientific instruments that can pick up electronic and magnetic fields over different frequencies. They can read changes and distortions in the normal electro-magnetic fields.

Elemental Spirit: A spirit associated with one of the classical four elements (fire, earth, air and water).

Energy Vortex: see Ectoplasm.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP): The acquisition of information by means beyond the five human senses.

Exorcism: A religious rite used to cast out a ghost, spirit or entity from a living persons body or a particular location.

Exorcist: A religious "holy man" who conducts an exorcism.

Fairy: Small, human-like mythical being. May be benevolent or malevolent.

False Awakening: An experience in which a person believes he or she has woken up, but actually is still dreaming.

Family Apparitions: Ghosts that haunt one particular family. Their appearance usally means that someone within the family is about to die.

Focal Person: Person who is at the center of poltergeist activity.

Ghost: The visual appearance of a spirit or soul of a deceased being, human or animal. The disembodied soul or lifeforce.

Ghost Catcher: A wind chime like device that makes noise as a ghost or spirit passes by it.

Ghost Hunt: An attempt made by the living to find and see a ghost or spirit.

Ghost Hunter: A living individual who searches out and sometime finds and identifies ghosts and spirits.

Ghost Investigation: A scientific endeavor, in a controlled environment, set up to communicate, record, and capture visual evidence of the existence of ghosts.

Ghost Lights: See Earth Lights.

Ghostbuster: A living person who can remove an unwanted ghost, spirit, entity or poltergeist activity from a particular location.

Ghoul: Evil spirit or monster that robs graves and feeds off of the flesh of the dead.

Gray Lady: The ghost of a woman who has died at the hands of a lover or waits for the return of a loved one.

Guardian Angel: An angel believed to protect the individual.

Halloween: All Hallows Eve, is the night of October 31 st when the spirit and nor- mal world allegedly become one.

Hallucination: A false and distorted perception of reality.

Haunt: A place where a ghost or ghosts frequently return.

Haunting: The continuous manifestation of inexplicable phenomena associated with the presence of ghosts or spirits attached to a particular location.

Haunted Objects: Jewelry, furniture, clothing, etc, that seem to be haunted by a past owner or have been cursed.

Hypnotism: An induced trance or sleep state.

Ley Lines: Invisible lines that run between sacred objects or locations.

Levitation: The paranormal raising or suspension of an object or person.

Lucid Dreams: A dream where the dreamer does not know that they are dreaming.

Luminous Phenomena: The experience of strange lights or glows, often around objects or people.

Magnetometer: A technical device used to study the strength, direction and fluctuation or magnetic fields.

Marian Apparition: The appearance of the Virgin Mary.

Materialization: The manifestation of physical objects, animals or people.

Medium: A person with a gift to communicate with ghosts and spirits on behave of the living.

Modern Apparitions: "New" Ghosts of deceased individuals. They appear in fashion from the current time.

Near-Death Experience (NDE): A phenomenon in which a person clinically dies or comes very close to death only to be revived and then can recall in great detail stories of spiritual worlds and other supernatural events.

Necromancer: A person usually considered a wizard or sorcerer, who can raise the dead and command the spirits to obtain information about the future.

Necromancy: A form of prophecy preformed by a necromancer.

Omen: A foretelling of a future event.

Oracle: A seer who can communicate with ghosts, spirits and Gods to obtain information.

Orb: A mass of energy in the shape of a ball, there are several classifications depending on size, ghostly appritions are usally always associated with an orb and are present.

Ouija Board: A board with letters and numbers used by people who are attempting to communicate with ghosts or spirits.

Out-Of-Body (OBE): Also called Astral Projection. The phenomenon in which a living person's spirit can exit their body, travel the earth and other spiritual worlds and then return back to their bodies.

Paranormal: Beyond the normal.

Parapsychology: The scientific study of unusual events associated with the human experience and PSI subjects.

Percipient: A living person who sees a ghost, spirit or paranormal event. Phantom Animals: Ghosts of deceased animals.

Phantom Hitchhiker or Traveler: A ghost or spirit that haunts a particular stretch of road or route. Phantom Hitchhikers ask for rides only to suddenly disappear when they reach their destination.

Photographic Apparitions: Ghosts and spirits that you can't see, but appear in photographs after they are developed.

Planchette: A pointer used with a Ouija Board to communicate with ghosts, spirits or higher plane entities.

Poltergeist: "Noisy Ghost." Poltergeists are invisible masses of spirit energy that may or may not be connected to a living human Agent. Some of the most common poltergeists activities include loud unexplained noise, levitations, the moving of objects, and electrical problems.

Possession: When a persons mind and body are taken over by ghosts, spirits or other supernatural entities such as demons.

Precognition: The paranormal awareness of future events.

PSI: A general term used to denote the unknown factors responsible for a variety of paranormal phenomena.

Psychic: Popular term used to denote a person who regularly uses, or who appears to be especially gifted with, psi abilities.

Psychic echo: When sounds from the past have mysteriously recorded themselves into the natural environment.

Psychokinesis (PK): Mind Movement. Psychokinesis (PK) is the apparent ability to influence the environment by intention alone.

Purgatory: The place where the souls of those who have died must go to be cleansed of all their sin before they can be admitted to Heaven.

Radio Voice Phenomenon (RVP): The voice of a ghost or spirit communicating through a regular radio.

Reciprocal Apparition: An experience where both the agent and the ghost or spirit see and react to each other.

Recurring Apparitions: Ghosts or spirits that appear in regular cycles, usually once a year, on the anniversary of their dead for example.

Reincarnation: The belief that a soul can be reborn into a new body after death.

Repressed Psychokinetic Energy: A theoretical psychic force unconsciously produced by an individual while undergoing a physical or mental trauma.

Retrocognition: Paranormal knowledge of past events.

Scrying:
A type of prophecy where an individual can see future events by staring into a shiny or reflective surface, such as a mirror or crystal ball.

Seance: The gathering of a group of individuals for the purpose of communicating for the ghost of the dead.

Sensitive: Someone who is aware or can detect paranormal events beyond the range of their five human senses.

Screaming Skulls: Human skulls that protest with poltergeist activity when their final wishes are not fulfilled.

Shaman: A witch doctor or medicine man who communicates with spirits while in a trance and who has the power of healing.

Sixth sense: Popular term for ESP.

Sleep Paralysis: A frightening state of seeming to being awake but unable to move.

Soul: The spiritual life force or essence, carrying an individual's personality and consciousness of all actions.

Spectre: A ghost or apparition.

Spirit: Often used to define the soul of a person, but it can also be used to represent places such as sacred lakes or objects, shrines, and elemental entities.

Spirit Detection: The reading made by scientific equipment (EMF Detectors, Temperature changes, etc.) when a ghost or spirit is present.

Spirit Photography: Photographs of figures or faces, believed by some to be those of deceased persons.

Spirit Profile: Researching the background and history of the ghost or spirit, then determining it's consistent patterns as a result of the findings.

Spiritualism: Belief systems that ghosts and spirits can and do communicate with the living.

Spook Lights: See Earth Lights.

Stigmata: Unexplained markings on a person's body that correspond to the wounds of Christ.

Super-ESP: A more powerful form of telepathy that allow certain individuals to pick up information about a deceased person from other living people.

Supernatural: Something that exists of occurs through some means other than any know force in nature or science.

Time-Slips: Moments where the past and present collide at one point. Telepathy: Mind-to-mind communication.

Telephone Calls From The Dead: When a person receives a telephone call from someone who is dead. The person may or may not know that the caller is deceased.

Teleportation: Paranormal transportation of an object from one location to another, even throgh solid objects.

Transportation Apparitions: The appearance of ghostly cars, trucks, ships, bicycles, carriages, trains, airplanes and anything else that carry people. They haunt their old routes.

Vampire: A supernatural creature (undead) that can only come out at night and lives by drinking the blood of the living. There are pyschic vampires as well.

Vortex: A opening or doorway between our world and the spirit world.

Wild Hunt: A group of ghost horsemen or packs of ghostly dogs see at night.

Witch: A women with supernatural powers.

Wraith: A ghost that comes back to avenge its own death. Considered an omen spirit.

There are basically three types of hauntings.

The first type of haunting is exactly like a video playback of a historic or tragic event. This is called a residual haunting. The event unfolds in front of you and there is no interaction between you and the ghosts. They seem to not notice you and go through the motions of the event that occurred in the past. This event has been imprinted on the area or building and is replayed back later when conditions are right. The ghosts that you see in this type are not earthbound spirits, they are just visual play backs. Since everything is made up of energy, the theory is that some of the energy from an event can be recorded by certain materials and played back when the atmosphere triggers it. Remember that video and audio tape is just oxidized (rust) film that enables the images and sounds to "stick" to it. This type may be frightening when you see it, but you are in no danger so enjoy the experience.

The second type of haunting is an interactive spirit that manifests in many ways. You may see a full bodied or partial bodied apparition. More frequently than that, you may here voices, music, footsteps, etc. You may also smell odors which sources cannot be found (i.e. pipe tobacco when no one smokes). You may also see orbs, mists and other light effects. You may feel touches, cold spots, and other light physical contact. This ghost is the spirit of a deceased human being. They may be stuck here (earthbound) for reasons such as tragic sudden death, fear of moving on, guilt or unfinished business. They also could be here visiting loved ones or to warn or pass along a message. These human spirits are the same as they were in life, so they may be good or bad, but not really evil. Think of all the people you know, probably a bit of good and bad, some worse than others. This type can cause some scary situations but you must think about the situation they are in, you don't see them but they see you. They will try to get your attention any way they can. Many times this is the terrifying event people will write to me about like the lights going on and off, items moving, noises, etc. For the most part these are just attention getters and nothing more. There are a few more mischievous human spirits that will do these things to bother you and scare you on purpose. They may just be a prankster or maybe they want you to leave the old home or not to change something in the home. They have all the same motivations you and I would have. These human spirits account for a majority of the hauntings we encounter and are relatively harmless. Yes, there are extreme cases and sometimes they can cause dangerous situations, but this is not the norm and is rare.

The third type of ghost you may encounter is not a rare one, but is rare that they interact with the living. They are non human spirits, commonly known as demons and devils. They are mentioned in the bible numerous places in both the old and new testaments. People like Ed and Lorraine Warren have been dealing with this type of spirit for years. This type is dangerous and can cause you harm. I believe that if there is good, there must be a counter balance, evil. These non human spirits often disguise themselves and friendly and helpful human spirits. They often appear in cases dealing with Ouija boards, black magic and satanic worship. This is why I recommend not trying to contact spirits and doing ghost hunts without some understanding of what's out there. It's also why I recommend you go with or learn from experienced people before hand. That way you can ghost hunt with relative safety from these entities.

Digital Photography and Photographing Ghosts

There has been a lot of speculation in this field in regards to the
validity of Digital Technology for use in modern research of life after
death. In order to validate or dismiss a piece of equipment for this
research one must first gain a better understanding of the device in
question. What I intend to do is dispel some of the myths in regards to
Digital Cameras and show how these devices are better suited for our
research than old fashioned film cameras.

The Parapsychology of Ghosts

Ghosts appear in many forms. The most common of these forms is what
we refer to Electromagnetic Luminaries or EML's. EML's, if you were
to break it down to a very basic level, are balls of electrostatic
energy with what seems to be a conscience. They seem to be able to
reason and have some sort of intelligence. From EML's, a 'ghost' will
manifest into what is referred to as a free formed vapor. This vapor
appears like a mist. Most of the time it will not have a definite
shape. From this vaporous mass, a 'ghost' will then manifest into a
full human form which is extremely rare to see and even more rare to
catch on film.

Many people who see a full form floating apparition or 'ghost',
notice that they seem to be dressed in clothing from the period in which
they once existed. As we know, clothes do not have souls nor do those
leisure suits from the 70's have an afterlife, however, there are a few
reasons we have to take into account why these 'ghosts' appear the way
they do. First, many of the 'ghosts' are not aware they are no longer
alive. Going by what we know, 'ghosts' are nothing more than EML's
that go through a manifestation period of balls of energy to a vaporous
mist to full form. During the period of the vapor manifestation is
when the energy begins to take shape. This shape, being whatever form
it chooses to take and not knowing that it is no longer alive, usually
takes the same shape it had in life. In life, when we perceive
ourselves, we see ourselves clothed, as do these apparitions. This is
the reason they will form with clothing they are familiar in.
Children will often be seen with their toys once they manifest to full
form. Some spirits know they are deceased due to a violent demise and
choose to stay behind in the world of the living. This is why those
who did indeed have a violent demise can be seen with wounds that
pertain to way they were killed.


God’s grace, charis, is a gift.

In and through his grace, God heals us and brings us freedom to live a new life. Sometimes grace does not come easily to us. We have to work at changing our thinking. We need to humble ourselves to accept God’s grace and extend grace to ourselves when we don’t measure up, knowing that God already sees us as the perfect reflections of Christ that we will be in eternity (1 John 3:1-3).

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care. 1 Peter 1:10

Once we extend grace to ourselves, we will be able to extend grace to those around us, both those in the church community and those outside. We need to cease trying to live up to these distorted beliefs and learn to line our thinking up with the way God views us.

Once we extend grace to ourselves, we will be able to extend grace to those around us.

Instead of being so focused on ourselves and our failures, we will be able to extend a helping hand to those around us and be God’s vessel of grace to those we come into contact with wherever we go.


She starred on ER at 8 years old

Lily the enthusiastic AT&T employee may be relatively new, but it's hardly the first character Vayntrub ever played in a commercial. In fact, she began acting in TV ads at the age of just five years old, starring in Barbie commercials to help her family make ends meet. Her first big break happened in 1995, when Vayntrub landed a guest spot on the classic hit TV drama ER, where she appeared alongside stars like Julianna Margulies at the precocious and precious age of eight!


Sleeping Beauty

Here's a name not many recognize: Giambattista Basile. Basile is the man who originally wrote the story "Sun, Moon and Talia" in 1634. This story is the basis for the Grimm's "Sleeping Beauty" (1812), and from the Grimm's tale Disney created their version of "Sleeping Beauty."

So, what happened in "Sun, Moon, and Talia" that makes it so different from the Disney version? Talia, the sleeping beauty character, had her fortune told when she was a baby, and it was said a great peril awaited her from a piece of stalk. The King ordered all such things out of the kingdom to keep her safe, but she still wound up being enraptured by an old woman and her spinning wheel. A piece of stalk went underneath Talia's nail, and she dropped dead. Out of grief, her father set her body up under a canopy in the castle and left to forget all of the misery that had befallen him there. Now, the King from another land happened upon this place and found the dead Talia, and finding himself so struck by her beauty, he had intercourse with her before leaving the palace. Talia gives birth to twins named Sun and Moon. While trying to nurse, one of the babies sucked on Talia's finger and sucked the stalk from the nail bed. Talia awakens and is really confused by what happened.

The King returns to find Talia awake and with the twins. He falls in love with them all, and when he returns home, the names Talia, Sun, and Moon are always on his lips. The Queen becomes jealous and suspicious of her husband. She orders for him to be followed, learns of Talia and the children, and orders the cook to kill the twins and serve them as a meal to the King. The cook takes pity on them, saving them and giving them to his wife, and he prepares two other children to feed the King. The Queen is still not satisfied and orders to have Talia burned alive. The King sees Talia in his home and finds out the truth. The Queen is killed instead, and Talia becomes his new wife.

At least the King, Talia, Sun, and Moon ended up together for a somewhat happy ending. Even though the King raped Talia while she was pretty much dead, and that is not okay. No wonder Disney had to make some serious changes to the cartoon version.


POLITICO

Trump’s presidency may be best remembered for its cataclysmic end. But his four years as president also changed real American policy in lasting ways, just more quietly. We asked POLITICO’s best-in-class policy reporters to recap some of the ways Trump changed the country while in office, for better or worse.

President Donald Trump changed some key areas of federal policy in ways that may have lasting impact well after his four years are up. | AP/Getty Images/POLITICO illustration

Many Americans will remember President Donald Trump’s presidency as a four-yearlong storm of tweets, rallies and on-air rants that ended in a mob riot and historic second impeachment. But there was more to the Trump presidency than attention-hogging political drama and conflict often unnoticed, Trump and his administration actually did succeed in changing some of the ways Washington works.

From imposing a ban on Chinese-made drones to rolling back rules on sexual harassment, from cracking down on robocalls to letting states legalize marijuana, Trump changed some key areas of federal policy in ways that may have lasting impact well after he’s gone.

But here’s the thing — between all the news coverage of the president himself, a global pandemic and various other upheavals, there’s a good chance you missed a lot of them. So here is POLITICO’s list of 30 important policy changes Trump made as president, how they’ve affected our lives, families and businesses, and the prospects they will survive the incoming Biden administration.

Obamacare

Trump didn't repeal Obamacare — he accidentally bolstered it

Pedro Rojas holds a sign directing people to an insurance company where they can sign up for the Affordable Care Act. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump came into office vowing to repeal Obamacare — and even took the law to court when that failed in Congress. But his most significant imprint on the Affordable Care Act was an accidental boost that happened when he stumbled into pouring billions of extra federal dollars into subsidizing Americans’ coverage.

The move: House Republicans had tried for years to cut off subsidies that helped low-income Obamacare enrollees with the co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles that come with their health plans. In 2017, Trump finally did it through administrative means after the GOP effort to replace the law fell apart — and he immediately drew intense outcry from Democrats and policy experts who called the move “sabotage.”

The impact: The health exchanges didn’t collapse, as Trump had hoped. Instead, health plans and states quickly figured out a way to claw back the federal dollars they lost: They built the costs of the subsidies into premiums for Obamacare’s benchmark “silver” policies. This meant that premiums for these “silver” plans spiked and as a result, the premium subsidies the government had to pay for low-income enrollees vastly increased. The concept, known as “silver-loading,” grew government subsidizing of the exchanges by upwards of $20 billion per year.

The upshot: While Trump’s moves made Obamacare plans increasingly unaffordable for the unsubsidized, Democrats quickly tamped down their criticisms since it accomplished their goal of significantly boosting funding for Obamacare. The incoming Biden administration isn’t likely to reverse course. — Susannah Luthi

Strategy

Trump refocused national security on great power competition

American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan. | Rahmat Gul/AP Photo

Defense policy documents are so abundant they could wallpaper the Pentagon. But the Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy stands out as one of the most important defense policy shifts of the last generation, reorienting the American military to confront rising and increasingly aggressive powers Russia and China.

The move: The 2018 strategy rewired the Defense Department’s vast bureaucracy away from a focus on fighting insurgents and terrorists in the Middle East toward a long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. As a result, the military is changing how it trains personnel, which technologies it buys, and the geographic areas of the world where it prioritizes its forces.

The impact: Already it has led to a reordering of the Pentagon budget and new investments supported by a bipartisan majority in Congress, including billions of dollars to beef up the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific.

The upshot: Despite differences in tone and rhetoric, this is a refocusing of the United States’ military posture that is expected to continue in the Biden administration. — Bryan Bender

Coronavirus

Trump failed to provide workplace guidance, making safety harder for workers

People suit up in personal protective equipment before conducting coronavirus testing in Malibu, Calif. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

Arguably the most consequential decision Trump made involving American workers was something it chose not to do: It declined to implement a so-called “emergency temporary standard” when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Such a standard, issued when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration determines workers are in “grave danger,” would have established immediate and mandatory workplace safety rules employers must follow to protect employees from exposure.

The move: Despite pressure from Democrats, unions and worker advocates, OSHA refused to set rules for worker safety during the pandemic. Republicans defended the decision by saying the burden on companies struggling to stay afloat amid the recession would be too great. In the absence of a standard, employers have only had to comply with a mix of optional guidelines, able to pick and choose what precautions they take.

The impact: The agency’s backseat approach to workplace safety means Americans still face a dangerously unpredictable range of safety conditions when they show up to work. Though OSHA has cited some companies for coronavirus-related transgressions, many large corporations received meager fines even in cases where workers died from Covid-19. Democrats have attempted to include language mandating an emergency temporary standard in future rounds of pandemic aid — but their efforts have been unsuccessful.

The upshot: One of the first things a Biden administration will likely move to do is instruct OSHA to step up worker safety enforcement — including by enacting an emergency standard and ramping up penalties on violators. Biden’s campaign also pledged to double the number of OSHA investigators to enforce the law and existing standards. — Eleanor Mueller

Religion in schools

Trump boosted religious organizations in education

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on March 26, 2020. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump failed to enact any sweeping school choice policy that sends money to parents to help them pay for private and religious schools. But his administration, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a devout Christian, found ways to expand federal support for religious schools and organizations at the Education Department.

The move: DeVos tweaked a wide range of federal education policies, large and small, to bolster faith-based organizations. She changed regulations, for example, to make it easier for members of religious orders to access federal financial aid and expanded federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness to cover clergy members. And she created new protections for faith-based campus organizations at public universities.

At the K-12 education level, DeVos stopped enforcing a policy that had prohibited religious organizations from providing publicly funded services—such as tutoring, technology and counseling—in private schools. And she opened up federal grants for charter schools to religiously affiliated organizations.

The move: Many religious education groups praised DeVos’ changes, which she often described as effort to expand religious liberty. “Too many misinterpret the ‘separation of church and state’ as an invitation for government to separate people from their faith,” she said.

The move: The Biden administration is expected to move quickly to roll back many of DeVos’ education policies, but it’s not yet clear how the incoming administration will approach her various policy tweaks to promote religious organizations. — Michael Stratford

Oversight

Trump's Interior Department set a new standard for ignoring Congress

David Bernhardt testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Trump’s Interior Department set a precedent that, while it may have escaped notice outside Washington, D.C., is almost certain to be influential going forward: It stonewalled Congressional oversight and got away with it.

The move: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt showed up for Congressional hearings that decided the fate of the department’s budget, but otherwise refused invitations from the House Natural Resources Committee to defend its policy actions under Trump. The attitude flowed down to sub-agency heads as well. Scott Angelle, the administration’s head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the office in charge of setting offshore drilling safety standards, told the committee he was “too busy” to answer the committee’s request that he explain its practice of handing out waivers on regulation put in place in response to the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.

The impact: The foot-dragging in providing even basic information stretched to written requests from Congress and the public. House Democrats complained that Interior, in responding to written questions, would flood the zone with thousands of documents that had little relation to the topic at hand and even include pages containing nothing but Wingdings font. Interior was also sued by outside groups and subject to an internal watchdog audit over complaints it was slow walking public information requests.

The upshot: All in all, the agency got away with it: Democrats complained but never followed through on a subpoena threat. By the final six months of the Trump administration, Interior officials completely stopped attending House hearings meant to flag issues with the department. The behavior all but guarantees that future administrations will follow suit. — Ben Lefebvre

Cannabis

Legal marijuana spreads across most of the country

Allison Johnson, an employee of Buckeye Relief LLC, works on topping a marijuana plant, in Eastlake, Ohio. | David Dermer/AP Photo

Cannabis legalization advocates were alarmed when Trump picked Jeff Sessions as his first attorney general. For marijuana supporters, Sessions’ anti-cannabis rhetoric harkened back to “reefer madness“ days, and they feared he would crack down on the burgeoning state-regulated marijuana industry. Their fears were founded: In January 2018, Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, an Obama-era Justice Department guidance that called for deprioritizing marijuana enforcement. The memo had provided some protection for state-legal marijuana markets and informed how state governments set up their own cannabis laws. But a Sessions-led crackdown never materialized.

The move: Despite its anti-weed rhetoric, the Trump administration stood to the side as 18 states liberalized their marijuana laws from 2016 to 2020, including staunchly conservative states like Mississippi and South Dakota. Despite former Attorney General William Barr’s anti-trust scrutiny of cannabis deals, the federal government remained relatively hands-off on marijuana policy.

The impact: Cannabis is now legal in some form in 36 states, meaning that a majority of Americans have some form of legal access even though the drug remains officially illegal at the federal level. In fact, more than one-third of Americans now live in states with full legalization.

The upshot: Cannabis has become a massive business, generating billions in state revenues. The move toward legalization is likely to accelerate under a Biden administration, which is expected to pressure Congress to pass legislation fixing some legal problems for cannabis companies, such as access to banking, and might even move to change its illegal status under the federal Controlled Substances Act. — Mona Zhang

Loan forgiveness

Trump curbed relief for defrauded students

Trump dismantled Obama-era policies that were designed to curb abuses by for-profit colleges, including rules designed to make it easier for borrowers to obtain loan forgiveness if they were cheated or duped by their college. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the Obama administration’s approach was too lenient, akin to allowing borrowers to access “free money” at taxpayer expense.

The move: DeVos rewrote the Obama administration’s rules that govern when federal student loan borrowers can have their debt wiped out as a result of their college’s misconduct, imposing stricter standards of proof. She also required the Education Department to provide only partial loan relief in many cases, a departure from the Obama administration’s policy of providing full loan forgiveness. Congress moved to block the rules, with 10 GOP senators joining Democrats, but Trump vetoed the legislation and the new rules took effect.

The impact: Borrowers seeking to have their loans wiped out because of the misconduct of their college such as misleading or deceiving students about their job prospects will have a tougher time proving their claims. The Education Department estimates that the Trump policy will reduce federal loan forgiveness by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The upshot: Biden has already committed to swiftly reversing Trump’s changes to the rules, which are known as “borrower defense to repayment.” But he’s facing pressure from progressives to go further and provide sweeping debt cancellations to all borrowers, regardless of whether they were defrauded. — Michael Stratford

Shell companies

Trump made it easier to prosecute financial crimes like money laundering

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

The Trump administration played a major but little-noticed role in pushing Congress to enact the most sweeping overhaul of financial crimes safeguards in decades, measures intended to stop money flowing to terrorists, drug traffickers and other wrongdoers. The legislation made its way into the National Defense Authorization Act, historically a must-pass bill each year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin personally negotiated the anti-money laundering safeguards with Republicans and Democrats who crafted the deal.

The move: The new law would require millions of business entities to report their true owners, puncturing the veil of anonymity that shell companies give to money launderers and tax evaders and making it easier for prosecutors to literally follow the money.

The impact: The information businesses report to the Treasury Department would be accessible to law enforcement agencies that would have an unprecedented tool to investigate shell companies. Banks, which are responsible for policing criminal activity by their customers, would also be able to tap into the database.

The upshot: Criminals will keep finding ways to operate in the shadows. But the new disclosure rules could give law enforcement leverage over their frontmen and may make it harder for bad guys to find lawyers willing to help hide their money because of the new paper trail. — Zachary Warmbrodt

Poverty

Trump shrank the food safety net — a lot

A Transportation Security Administration employee stands at a booth to learn about a food stamp program. | Julio Cortez/AP Photo

Under Trump, the Agriculture Department scaled back the $60 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the food support program for low-income Americans formerly known as food stamps. The administration said it wanted to cut back on waste and save money within the program.

The move: In 2018, the Agriculture Department introduced a new rule that aimed to more strictly enforce certain work mandates under the program, making it more difficult for states to seek waivers from SNAP work requirements for able-bodied adults who aren’t caring for children or other dependents.

The impact: 755,000 Americans have lost their access to food aid under SNAP, according to the USDA’s own estimates.

The upshot: The courts could reverse the change. In October, a judge halted the rule and said that it “radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving states scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans.” But the Trump administration appealed that decision in December, prolonging the legal battle. — Liz Crampton

Overtime pay

Millions of workers lost access to extra pay for long hours

Under Trump, the federal government rolled out a series of employer-friendly rules and decisions, many of which slid under the national radar. One of the most significant: His Labor Department finalized an overtime rule notably weaker than that issued under Obama, leaving millions of workers ineligible.

The move: In 2016, Obama’s Labor Department finalized a rule that would raise the salary threshold for overtime eligibility from around $24,000 to some $47,000 a year, with triennial increases. At the time, only about 6 percent of workers were eligible. But Trump’s White House declined to defend the rule in court, and in 2019, proposed its own, much more lax rule, which would raise the threshold to about $35,000 with no scheduled raises.

The impact: The Trump rule applies to just 15 percent of full-time, salaried workers, whereas the Obama rule would have applied to twice as many. That’s at least 8 million workers who would have been eligible for overtime pay under the 2016 version and now are ineligible some estimates place the amount of wages lost at around $1 billion annually.

The upshot: Biden’s role in the Obama administration, which proposed the original rule, and his sweeping pro-worker agenda indicate that he will likely overturn the Trump rule and issue his own overtime rule — though when, exactly, that will happen remains unclear. — Eleanor Mueller

Greenhouse gases

On gas emissions, Trump went the opposite direction from the rest of the world

Pump jacks at an oil extraction site are seen at the Maria Fire. | Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Trump’s attempts to roll back Obama-era rules aimed at cracking down on methane emissions had major implications for not only the near-term warming caused by this potent greenhouse gas, but also shrunk the United States’ stature on the global stage.

The move: The Trump administration loosened the standards oil and gas companies had to meet for how much methane — the largest chemical component of natural gas and a major heat-trapping substance — they could allow to leak out of pipelines, storage tanks and other oil field infrastructure. Senate Republicans had failed to kill the Obama rule at the beginning of the Trump administration, leaving the White House to roll back an environmental regulation even some oil and gas companies supported as a way to keep an increasingly green-minded public on their side.

The impact: Trump’s stance was the polar opposite of what China and European countries pledged to do to rein in emissions of a gas considered one of the leading causes of climate change. The Trump rollbacks, finalized in August, were considered so out of the norm that even oil companies such as BP and Shell publicly spoke out against them. The French government stepped in to force trading firm Engie, in which it owns a stake, to reject a proposed contract to import U.S. gas, citing reputational risk. Trump’s rejection of strict methane standards has also allowed Europe to claim the global mantle for fighting climate change.

The upshot: Trump’s rule changes are still being litigated in court and will be immediately in Biden’s sights for reversal when he officially takes office. But reputational damage has already been done. — Ben Lefebvre

Drones

Trump imposed a near-ban on government use of Chinese drones

A DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter drone is seen in flight. | Omer Messinger/Getty Images

Like many Chinese products and services, Chinese-made drones became a focal point for the Trump administration. Federal agencies seeking to end China’s dominance of the drone market, amid concerns that equipment could be used to spy, have looked for ways to bolster domestic production.

The move: In late 2019, the Interior Department temporarily stopped all non-emergency use of its mostly Chinese-made drones after officials from several agencies — including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice — warned that drones and drone equipment made in China might be used for espionage. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt further escalated efforts in October when he told department leadership that all future drone purchases should be vetted against a list of DoD-approved, U.S.-made drones. More recently the Commerce Department added China-based manufacturer DJI, which is the largest civilian drone manufacturer in the world, to a trade blacklist, citing concerns about the company’s possible involvement in human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

The impact: DJI’s placement on the trade blacklist doesn’t affect ordinary consumers or businesses, but it’s a significant blow to U.S. companies, such as Microsoft and PrecisionHawk, who do business with DJI including provide components for their drones. This is bad timing for those companies, since the FAA is getting ready to greenlight new commercial uses, such as drone-based delivery services, which will increase sales. What’s more, Congress may soon put even more restrictions on use of Chinese-made technology because of security concerns.

The upshot: While a Biden administration might be less prone to take actions to disrupt the global supply chain, it also might try to avoid perceptions of being soft on China. A Biden administration might use the Commerce Department’s blacklist as a “bargaining chip” with the Chinese government, meaning DJI might stay on the list for some time. Biden also has expressed support for bolstering U.S. drone manufacturing, which could translate to further actions that would reduce U.S. reliance on Chinese technology. — Stephanie Beasley

Defense spending

Trump made it possible to follow the Pentagon's money

The Pentagon makes up the largest slice of discretionary spending in the federal budget, so it might surprise you that until Trump, no one had conducted an audit of where America’s defense dollars go, and its financial accounting systems were notoriously messy and complicated.

The move: In 2018, the Trump administration for the first time attempted a Defense Department-wide audit. An army of 1,000 outside accountants and 150 personnel from the Defense Department inspector general's office fanned out to some 600 locations and collected 40,000 pages of financial documents.

The impact: In the end, as widely expected, the Pentagon failed the audit overall too much paperwork was missing or incomplete. Officials now predict the Defense Department won’t be able to pass a full audit until 2027 at the earliest. But there are bright spots: for example, the first time around the military pay system, an enormous stream of dollars, came back clean. In follow-up audits conducted in 2019 and 2020, meanwhile, a few more defense agencies and military components were added to the clean column.

The upshot: The overall exercise is seen as a milestone in the odyssey to someday verify where all our defense tax dollars are going. What’s more, the audit effort is helping Pentagon managers make their programs more efficient and minimize waste. Efforts to inject more accountability into Pentagon spending are likely to get even more intense during the Biden administration. — Bryan Bender

Taxes

Trump goosed the economy with tax cuts that didn't pay political dividends

Activists hold signs during a Tax March D.C. event on the U.S. Capitol East Lawn. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Trump’s biggest legislative achievement was arguably the $1.5 trillion tax cut package Republicans pushed through Congress, which he said would super-charge the economy.

The move: The 2017 tax bill slashed individual and corporate tax rates and made dozens of other major changes to the tax code that affected virtually every facet of the economy, from small businesses to university endowments.

The impact: The tax cuts helped goose the economy before the coronavirus struck, as unemployment fell steeply and the economy expanded, though many economists argued it was a sugar high or questioned whether a direct line could be drawn between the cuts and the good times. Also, the economic impact wasn’t all good — the tax cuts also fueled record deficits. Supporters inside and outside the Trump administration still insist the cuts will pay for themselves in the long run through economic growth — though many economists are skeptical, or outright dismissive, of that prediction.

The upshot: While the tax cuts benefited the economy in the short turn, they failed to pay political dividends for Trump. Polls showed the tax bill was never very popular, with the Democrats doing a good job of convincing voters it mainly benefited the wealthy. Biden has vowed to roll back much of the tax cut, particularly for high earners, by boosting the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent and raising the top individual income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 37 percent for those earning more than $400,000 annually. However, he could have a hard time getting that through Congress, with Democrats holding a one-vote majority in the Senate and a diminished number of House seats. — Toby Eckert

Robocalls

Trump cracked down — mostly successfully — on unwanted calls and texts

For years the federal government made little headway against the plague of unwanted automated phone calls that have annoyed Americans — 19 billion such calls last year alone. Despite plenty of rancor, Trump and his agency heads succeeded in working with Congress to make significant headway in curbing — but not yet eliminating — the annoyance.

The move: At the end of 2019, Trump signed into law carefully crafted bipartisan legislation designed to ensure phone companies would install technology to verify that calls were authentic and bolster federal enforcement powers. These efforts built on work already underway at the FCC and among state attorneys general to ward off the unwanted calls and crack down on the perpetrators, many of whom were slapped with record-setting fines in recent years under FCC Chair Ajit Pai.

The impact: The volume of robocalls in 2020 seems to be on track to be lower than the previous two years, although the global pandemic could be affecting the numbers in ways not immediately apparent (not to mention prompting scams specific to Covid-19).

The upshot: Although these efforts will provide a strong foundation for any moves under Biden to further tamp down the number of calls, businesses say they still lack the legal clarity they need to use automated phone calls and texts for legitimate communication with their customers. Biden and Congress will now face pressure to provide such clarity. — John Hendel

Climate science

Trump exiled climate scientists from Washington—literally.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks during a forum in Washington, D.C. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Agriculture Department went to great lengths to quietly quash scientific research conducted by its employees or funded by government dollars, in particular research about how the agriculture industry could play a critical role in combating climate change. Secretary Sonny Perdue was aggressive in reshaping USDA, most overtly by relocating many of the department’s research scientists out of Washington to the Midwest.

The move: Officials refused to publicize dozens of studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change on the agriculture sector. The department even stopped the release of a plan on how to respond to the climate change crisis.

The impact: Perdue’s contentious decision to relocate hundreds of scientists to Kansas City was among the reasons morale has been so low among department employees, prompting many of them to jump ship, leaving research agencies with a fraction of their former staff.

The upshot: The Biden administration is facing pressure to quickly rehire scientists to get USDA research agencies back to full capacity, and they are expected to boost spending on research studying threats facing the food system, including climate change. — Liz Crampton

Medical records

Trump took a big swing at finally fixing health-care technology

A sign for a medical records department is seen. | M. Scott Mahaskey

Patients who have had to tote x-ray scans around hospitals, or explain their medicine allergies for the umpteenth time, are familiar with the problem Trump tried to fix: that having spent billions of dollars digitizing the health care system’s medical records, the information in those records does not exactly zip around at the speed of the internet.

The move: Early in 2020 — just before coronavirus upended daily life — the Trump administration released a big ball of rules meant to sweep aside barriers to sharing health information. The administration’s rules have several targets but they focus on practices like “information blocking,” whereby companies or providers might not release necessary data for competitive advantage, and require companies to use standardized recipes to exchange information.

The impact: Not much, yet. Providers and other parts of the industry successfully argued that complying with the rules would be too heavy a lift amid the pandemic, so the Trump administration has delayed the effective date.

The upshot: The provisions are, broadly speaking, popular and flow from bipartisan work beginning in the Obama administration. If anything, the biggest critics of the rules want them to be tougher and go into effect faster. For that reason, it’s unlikely a Biden administration will be looking to reverse course. — Darius Tahir

Sexual harassment

Trump rescinded rules protecting workers at federal contractors

On the eve of the #MeToo era, Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress repealed transparency safeguards designed to protect hundreds of thousands of people working for companies bidding for federal contracts from sexual harassment. Business groups vehemently opposed the requirements, which they dubbed the “Blacklist Rule,” arguing that the regulation was so broadly worded that potential contractors could be barred from doing work with the government based on allegations alone.

The move: In March 2017, Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution to revoke a regulation enacted under Obama the previous year that required businesses to publicly disclose any sexual harassment or labor law violations over the previous three years whenever they bid on large federal contracts. The goal of the rule was to prevent federal money from flowing to firms with a history of such infractions. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule also barred companies with federal contracts of more than $1 million from requiring that workers address claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault in private arbitration, taking away their option to sue in court.

The impact: Federal contractors with a history of sexual harassment or other labor violations can win bids without having to reveal their problematic history.

The upshot: Biden can reinstate the executive order, but it’s legally murky for the Department of Labor to reissue the rule because the Congressional Review Act bars agencies from issuing “substantially the same” regulation after it’s been overturned by Congress. — Rebecca Rainey

Auto emissions

Trump went all-in on ending curbs on auto emissions, dividing the industry

A hybrid car charges at a charging station at a parking garage in Los Angeles. | Richard Vogel/AP Photo

Obama used his stimulus leverage over the auto manufacturers to negotiate landmark federal rules to curb carbon dioxide pollution from new vehicles through 2025 — a central component of his work to fight climate change. Automakers took advantage of Trump’s election to ask for moderate changes to those targets, but Trump instead completely scrambled the regulatory scheme, attacked California’s special regulatory authority and created a schism among automakers.

The move: The Obama administration’s plan would have required automakers to improve fuel efficiency by 5 percent per year, but the Trump administration rolled those targets back to just 1.5 percent improvement each year.

The impact: Vehicle emissions represent the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and the rollback was likely the biggest climate-related action of Trump’s term, especially as electric utilities continue to move away from coal on their own and as electric vehicles are slow to take hold in the U.S. But some of the effect was mitigated when the state of California brokered a deal with five major auto manufacturers to meet standards similar to the Obama-era ones.

The upshot: The Biden administration is expected to laser in on the auto rules for reconsideration, but the multiyear lead time manufacturers need to design and test their vehicles means the gains mandated under the Obama-era rules but scaled back by Trump are all but forfeited. — Alex Guillén and Annie Snider

Antitrust

The anti-monopolists started winning — despite Trump at first, then with his help

Life-sized cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are displayed by an advocacy group on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2018. | Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

For the past decade, politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about the growing size, power and influence of tech giants including Facebook, Google and Amazon, but rarely took action against them. Progressive anti-monopoly advocates were largely overruled during the Obama years at the U.S.’ two antitrust agencies, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department. But amid growing conservative anger at the tech giants, Trump's regulators eventually joined the fight and dusted off an antitrust legal playbook that hadn’t been used since the breakup of AT&T in the 1980s.

The move: Early on, Trump’s tenure seemed to be following recent patterns by waving through major mergers like the combination of telecom giants Sprint and T-Mobile. But two Trump picks, FTC Chair Joe Simons and DOJ's Barr, have spent the past two years more aggressively looking into antitrust concerns raised by Silicon Valley. In recent months, the DOJ filed a landmark antitrust case against Google, its biggest monopolization case since the 1990s suit against Microsoft. The FTC, meanwhile, is pursuing its own watershed suit against Facebook that could see the social network broken up.

The impact: It’s too soon to tell whether the antitrust actions will succeed in forcing changes at Google or Facebook, but they have sent a signal that there will be more scrutiny of their business practices going forward.

The upshot: Both lawsuits will continue into the Biden administration — and possibly beyond. Major antitrust cases can take 3 to 5 years, and a trial in the Google suit likely won’t even begin till the fall of 2023. — Leah Nylen

Immigration

A big crackdown on legal immigrants

Leo Wang, whose H-1B visa was denied in 2019, packs a suitcase at his home in San Jose, Calif. | Ben Margot/AP Photo

While it was no surprise to anyone who followed his 2016 presidential campaign that Trump wanted to crack down on illegal immigration at the southern border, his administration also imposed tighter restrictions on legal immigration, even of the high-skilled workers he claimed to want in the country.

The move: The Department of Homeland Security has pushed through restrictions and changes to the H-1B visa program that allows U.S. businesses to hire high-skilled foreign workers for “specialty“ jobs. Businesses rely on these workers to fill jobs they say they can’t fill with U.S. citizens. The administration, however, said U.S. employers are abusing the work visa because they want to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. The administration’s most recent rules sought to limit the types of jobs foreign workers can apply for, while also requiring employers to pay them more.

The impact: Some changes — including those that narrow the definition of a "specialty occupation" and that require employers to pay foreign workers more — were expected to reduce the number of approved H-1B visa petitions by one-third. Those efforts have since been halted in court. Businesses seeking these non-immigrant worker visas also saw an increase in requests to provide more evidence in their applications and a higher rate of visa denials.

The upshot: Biden promised during his campaign that he would support expanding the number of high-skilled visas available, but after first reforming the temporary visa system to prevent favoring “only entry level wages and skills.” That’s likely to be a heavy lift Congress hasn’t been able to pass comprehensive immigration reform since 1986. — Rebecca Rainey

Toxic chemicals

Trump impeded regulation — even though Republicans wanted it

Trump’s EPA essentially blew up a bipartisan deal to more strictly regulate toxic chemicals that Americans are exposed to daily and instead tapped a group of chemicals industry experts to run and advise the program. The 2016 overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, had given EPA new teeth to go after well-known dangerous chemicals, like asbestos and methylene chloride, in a bid to boost public confidence in the safety of consumer products.

The move: Trump officials muzzled scientists and civil servants at the agency and crafted narrow approaches to assessing chemicals’ dangers that have massive loopholes. Specifically, while under the new law Congress urged EPA to consider all possible exposures to a chemical, cumulatively, whether in the water, air, through consumer uses or exposure at work. But Trump’s EPA opted only to look at risks from exposures that couldn’t be regulated under other laws for instance, they wouldn’t weigh potential exposure to a chemical in drinking water since it could be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, even if it wasn’t. Trump’s EPA also mostly whiffed statutory deadlines to finish studying risks for the first round of chemicals under the 2016 law and was slapped by a federal court for ignoring certain ways Americans are exposed to toxins.

The impact: The administration’s approach paves the way for less stringent regulation of toxic chemicals. If the Biden EPA leaves the laxer evaluations intact, its subsequent regulations will not be able to limit certain ways people are exposed — meaning Americans may not get comprehensive protection. While it is likely the Biden administration will take a more holistic look at future chemicals EPA reviews, it is unclear whether it will have time to re-analyze the chemicals the Trump administration already finished reviewing.

The upshot: Biden’s EPA is expected to take a more holistic approach to assessing and addressing chemicals’ risks, but because of strict timelines set under the 2016 law, it is unclear to what extent it will be able to redo assessments done under the Trump administration. — Alex Guillén and Annie Snider


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