Kind of an addendum here to my previous post for something that really deserved its own space. Part of the trip from this past weekend involved hiking down Mt. Ellen in Vermont to the Sugarbush resort. At the bottom we discovered that there were quite a number of people, strange for a ski resort in the summer. Upon minimal investigation we discovered that the American society of dowsers was meeting there. For those not in touch with their spiritual side, dowsing is an "ancient" science (their words here not mine) that purports to be able to find just about anything (though water is the most common) underground or in general by using a simple set of tools called dowsing rods or a dowsing pendulum. The idea is that these people (the dowsers) get in touch with the spiritual life force of the living earth and are able to chanel the energy into the movement of dowsing rods that will let them detect the presence of a variety of things. We met a dowser who explained the basics and claimed to be able to find water in 90-95% of the attempts he has made in over 40 years of doing it. He also claimed that he could find other things like power lines, and other underground objects. Another dowser went further to say that dowsing could answer any yes or no question and furthermore in the right hands could answer multiple choice questions. He related a story of a young woman taking a notaries exam who had not studied but was able to complete the exam using a dowsing technique and scored the only perfect score on the exam. Apparently, the earth is very in tune with the requirement of being a notary public. We also ventured into a bookstore and looked around at some of the items for sale to conventioners. Among them, photographs of one's aura, dowsing rods, digeridoos, crystal skulls, ouija boards, tribal drums etc. Needless to say, I was starting to go crazy with the amount of hippie bullshit approaching from all sides. What worse is that some of the people I was with were being convinced that this shit was real. I had to keep quiet for a while so we wouldn't get into a major fight but by the time we left I just about exploded with fustration at the whole thing. Sometimes I wonder how in this day and age where we have all the advantages of a modern scientific society that some people can be convinced of something that should have died out in the dark ages. I mean seriously, who in their right mind looks at a pair of sticks and truly believes that mother earth will lead them to water or to the correct answers on the notary exam. After leaving I wondered if when you have a dowsers convention wouldn't it be better to just tell people the date of the convention but not the location and have them find it on their own by connecting with the higher powers. I bet if they did that, next years attendance would be a little lower. I wondered why they don't just dowse for winning lottery tickets or for oil all the time...doesn't look like these people are all rolling in dough at this point. I think after that I've worn out my sarcastic skeptical side for quite a while...ok maybe quite a short while. Patrick OUT!