This close encounter description, sent to us by a reader and used with his permission, is exceptionally clear and carefully written, and is very different from the sorts of fleeting encounters that people were describing to us in the past.

It is consistent with the types of description we have been getting more often in recent years, where the witness has a startling closeup look at something that is truly, truly beyond explanation.

The witness is a trained and experienced observer.
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Many of us are stressed out lately, and spikes of anxiety can cause some people’s blood pressure to rise when a doctor is examining them, a phenomenon known as the “white coat effect.” But new studies show that there is ALSO a “reverse white coat effect”?where some people’s blood pressure goes DOWN in a doctor’s office.

9% of patients show signs of white coat hypertension, which could cause doctors to prescribe unneeded medication and potentially lower their blood pressure to dangerous levels. Some people think doctors shouldn’t be taking blood pressure readings at all. Researcher Gbenga Ogedegbe says, “Automated devices should be doing it [instead].”
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Whitley communicated with an elephant in Portland Zoo. Sadly, a new study comparing wild?and even working?elephants with those found in zoos finds that the zoo animals have much shorter lives, mainly because they don’t get enough exercise, so they get too fat.

The average lifespan for African elephants is only 19 years, compared with 56 years for elephants in the wild, who live almost 3 times longer!

BBC News quotes elephant expert Ros Clubb as saying, “The vast majority are overweight in zoos, this could explain the high still-birth rates and why they’re dying early. Bigger mothers have bigger calves and more of these are still-born.”

Art credit:
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In the holiday season’s flurry of shopping, gift-giving, parties and celebrations, it’s easy for the joy of the season to be lost in heightened anxiety and depression. Despite the recession, we need to remember: Christmas is a reason to be happy.
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