Research and Puzzles

IMPERATOR. \Im`pe*ra"}.] (Rom. Antiq.)
A commander; a leader; an emperor; -- originally an appellation of honor by which Roman soldiers saluted their general after an important victory. Subsequently the title was conferred as a recognition of great military achievements by the senate, whence it carried wiht it some special privileges. After the downfall of the Republic it was assumed by Augustus and his successors, and came to have the meaning now attached to the word emperor.

Why did this word jump out at me when visiting the site of the American Association - Electronic Voice Phenomena? I'd gone to the site after visiting the link providing by Garapata's blog on the movie thriller White Noise. And I saw an article regarding safety. Here's an excerpt:

Attitude is everything. Attitude is an expression of our worldview, and it
is our worldview that we use as a mold to build our personal reality.
We have
had a number of people ask us about the dangers in seeking to communicate with
our friends on the other side. Some have expressed great concern that they might
leave themselves open for attack from angry entities or that they might
inadvertently invite a disruptive force into their home. The words, “demon” and
“low levels” have come up more than once. We think a better term might simply be
“less spiritually evolved entities,” as this is what they are. However, “low
level” seems to be the term that is most used and understood...
... It has been made clear, via just about all of the forms of spirit
communication, that Spirit entities are always with us. They may be in our home
at any time, whether we sense them or not. A group we have communicated with,
the Imperator Group, has told us that they do not watch us, and that they only
come to us when we call on them or when we need help. We are certain that this
group is not earthbound. It may be that earthbound entities do watch us. With
that said, we believe that EVP researchers can request privacy and can tell
earthbound entities to go away if they are being bothersome. An entity certainly
does not have to be in your home to initiate EVP.

That word jumped out at me. Perhaps because it's Latin? I figured that the site could be a pseudo-site used to market the movie and it sounded like a term that the movie might use. Latin's always great for making scary movies.

A quick search online brought me some results...

Lisa says she and Tom were stunned. "It has been over two years since we had
recieved a medium stick artifact from the Imperator Group," said Lisa. The
Imperator Group is a Spirit World group that specializes in independent writing,
and frequently include small "Medium" sticks in their correspondence.

(from this link to the National Spiritualist Association of Churches newsletter archive)

Here's another...

In 1897 the Imperator group took charge of the séance proceedings. Phinuit
disappeared and Pelham became relegated to the role of a minor communicator.
While Phinuit had much difficulty in keeping back other would-be communicators,
the advent of the Imperator group of controls made the communications freer from
interruptions and from the admixture of apparently foreign elements. They
excluded "inferior" intelligences, whom they speak of as "earth-bound" spirits,
from the use of the light. Under the new regime the communications assumed a
dignity and loftiness of expression, as well as a quasi-religious character,
which they had heretofore entirely lacked. Moreover, the passing in and out of
the trance state which in the earlier stages had been attended with a certain
amount of difficulty and discomfort, now, under the new conditions, became quiet
and peaceful. Prof. William James called special attention to the point that the
Imperator group of controls not only exhibited characteristic personalities, but
they could divine the most secret thoughts of the sitters.

(from the Biography of Leonora Piper)

What we now call the "Imperator group," representing
alleged spirits, assuming Latin names for reasons that have not been explained
and for which we need not care until later discussion, may best be described,
for the sake of clearness in understanding, as a group of personalities
purporting to take charge of the "communications" from the "other side"
precisely in the same manner in which Mrs. Piper has been scientifically managed
on this side. From what has been said the reader can perceive that, on any
theory whatever of the facts, they appear to be intermediaries for the
"communication" of supernormal facts and that their work takes the form of
supervision of the whole process. What will be the outcome is not yet known. But
they still control the experiments and represent, with the frequent assistance
of George Pelham, a most interesting and complicated psychological problem for
science. What the Imperator group does cannot be treated as evidence of spirits
until they prove their identity, but what is mediated through their action in
proof of the identity of others must receive serious consideration of some kind
and may indicate the supernormal acquisition of knowledge, while its analysis
and explanation may suggest a theory beyond any form of secondary personality
that we know.

(from History of the Piper Case)

Fascinating indeed...

Mighty Men and Monster Maker

I always had leanings towards art. I never really pursued it with the same passion that my other classmates did, though. I was always a dabbler, deferring to classmates who apparently had greater talent in the field.

Then I found a toy: the Mighty Men and Monster Maker! It allowed you to build a wide variety of heroes and villains, and all you needed was a the toy itself... a crayon, and a sheet of paper. You had plates that you could shift around (for the head, torso, and legs) and when satisified you put the paper on top of the templates and rubbed the crayon.

Viola! Instant character.

Alas, they only had a certain number of poses and could never give me the sense of motion I wanted... just like in the comic books... so after a while I put it away. Somewhere.

Still... all is not lost... check out online! It's almost like an online version (upgraded and improved and... well... new!)