Psychics need not apply?
Of course I don't believe what psychics say. As a boy, I was busy doing experiments with my chemistry set in my basement laboratory located in a closet under the stairs. I experimented with making gunpowder, looked into nitroglycerin, but ended up making smoke bombs and selling them to the other kids in the neighborhood, which was quite the profitable business. I was horrified when my mother found out and insisted that I return the money. I never did, because that was simply too unjust, since the smoke bombs had already been consumed and enjoyed by the buyers. When not in the lab or at the drugstore purchasing chemicals, I collected rocks of every type, learning their chemical composition and properties. Science was my religion, books were my teachers, and the library was my treasury. In high school, I discovered physics and computers, and the future seemed to spill open. I went on to study physics and chemistry in college, while grabbing as much psychology and French as I could squeeze into five years. I was the quintessential scientist that no psychic could sway.
I also read lots of biographies as a boy that influenced me, including George Washington Carver, the humble but gifted scientist who worked with peanuts, and Harry Houdini, the magician and escape artist. Houdini in particular was a serious researcher of psychics, and his knowledge of the magic trade allowed him to expose them as charlatans and frauds every time, despite his burning desire to find a legitimate psychic. The lesson was that both physics and psychics provided answers, but only one of them was right.
So why am I reading a book by psychic Sylvia Browne called "Secrets and Mysteries of the World"? An unscientific friend of mine is a big fan of Sylvia, and when I rattle on about the things I've seen on the Internet about secret labs and projects, UFOs, EBEs, constructions on the Moon and Mars, and other esoteric subjects, my friend often chimes in with "Sylvia says..." Naturally, I'm hardly interested in what Sylvia has to say, who gets much of her information from her spirit guide named Francine. After a while, though, I couldn't help but notice that Sylvia always had something to say about the same thing I was studying, like crop circles, ancient civilizations, or catastrophic planetary changes. So when my friend gave me the book with an itemized list of pages to read about what Sylvia had to say on these subjects, I relented.
Strange as it may sound, given that Sylvia and I come from completely different foundations, many of our tentative conclusions are quite similar. The chapter on "The Pyramids and the Sphinx", which was not even on my itemized list, was the most interesting for me, and by the end of that chapter, I had gained a passing respect for her "imaginary" friend, Francine. Yes, it's true. How could a voice in Sylvia's head win me over? It was a single sentence that Sylvia throws in "as an aside" enclosed in parentheses, something that Francine had mentioned to Sylvia related to reincarnation:
"As an aside, Francine did say that anyone who comes to this planet is the bravest of the brave and learns faster than anywhere else because this is the insane asylum of the universe."
Francine, we need to meet.