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Jung & Mysticism

Date: 08-28-10
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Gary Lachman, Harry Shearer

Author (and founding member of Blondie) Gary Lachman delved into the occult and mystical dimensions of psychiatrist Carl Jung's life and work. Jung's formative years were spent surrounded by paranormal activity. His paternal grandfather kept an empty chair at the dinner table for his deceased wife, Lachman revealed, noting that Jung's mother was tasked with keeping ghosts away from her own father, a preacher, when he was writing sermons. Jung's mother often fell into trance states where another personality would take over and make prophetic statements or speak in tongues, he said. Jung himself claimed to see a floating head leave her room one night, and was convinced he also had two personalities, Lachman added.

Jung went through an existential crisis following the end of his partnership with Sigmund Freud, Lachman continued, pointing out how he was able to work through this dire situation by developing a relationship with his unconscious. The symbols and dream images Jung saw in his waking visions during this time convinced him humans have something bigger within them ('the Self'), and they share their inner space with other beings, Lachman said. Jung's own words and illustrations detailing this journey into the unconscious have recently been published as The Red Book. Lachman also spoke about Jung's participation in séances, a near death experience he had in the 1940s, as well as his concept of synchronicity.

The Big Uneasy

In the first hour, actor Harry Shearer discussed his new Katrina documentary, The Big Uneasy, which examines the causes of the levee failures in New Orleans. The film, told through the words of investigators and whistleblowers, blames the devastation on slipshod work by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The federally designed hurricane protection system was built over four and a half decades and riddled with flaws, Shearer explained, noting that it was still not complete when Katrina hit. To make matters worse, the system was constructed to withstand only a 'standard project hurricane' instead of the Congressionally mandated 'maximum probable hurricane', Shearer added. The Big Uneasy opens in theaters nationwide on August 30th, for one night only.

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Crawling up vertical walls like Spider-Man could soon be a reality thanks to a new material being developed at Stanford University. The rubber-like fabric is covered with thousands of tiny hairs, like the feet of a gecko, that vastly increase the surface area and create a sticky "one-way adhesive." A small robot, called Stickybot, fitted with the textile on its feet can climb up smooth surfaces like glass or metal. Researchers are currently working to make the material strong enough for humans. More at The Telegraph.

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Bumper music from Saturday August 28, 2010

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