Month: May 2019

Invisible Evidence: Building a Case for Spirit Photography

What is spirit photography?

In his 1960 work The Encyclopaedia of Occultism, Lewis Spence describes spirit photography as "The production of photographs on which alleged spirit-forms are visible. When the plate is developed there appears, in addition to the likeness of the sitter, a shape resembling more or less distinctly the human form, which at the moment of exposure was imperceptible to normal vision."(pg. 379) Obviously, Spence was speaking of spirit photography in the 1800s, when an early camera called a "Daguerreotype" used tin plates bathed in various chemicals to produce still images of a posed subject. The progression of photographic technology since the 1800s has demanded that we broaden this definition to incorporate more modern methods of capturing ghost images, including the use of infrared films, stop-motion cameras, and digital video. Generally speaking, spirit photography is the attempt to capture on a photographic medium those things that cannot be observed with the naked eye, such as ghosts, spirits, and so on. It has only been in recent years that spirit photography has gained some credibility in the scientific community as a prospective tool for serious paranormal investigation.

Spirit Photography: A Brief History

Though alleged photographs of ghosts and spirits had been taken before the 1860s, it was an American photographer and engraver, William H. Mumler of Boston, who brought spirit photography to the public ("Occultism and Photography", Cheroux, Oxford Photography Encyclopedia). In 1862, Mumler offered to photograph clients in the company of one or more "ghosts". Though the ghosts would be invisible at the time the picture was taken, they would appear later during the development process. One of Mumler's most famous photographs was a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of assassinated president Abraham Lincoln. The alleged spirit of Abraham Lincoln can clearly be seen over the subject's shoulder (illus. 1). The popularity of the Spiritualism movement in America was largely to blame for Mumler's success, though he was suspected of forgery and fraud. Mumler resurfaced in New York in 1869, and in 1872 authorities attempted to prosecute him. Although many of his photographs were exposed as hoaxes, Mumler was acquitted of fraud due to a lack of evidence.

By this time, the practice of spirit photography had spread to England. Two popular spiritualist mediums, Mr. Samuel Guppy and his wife, Agnes Guppy-Volkert, had been attempting to duplicate Mumler's procedures on their own without success. At length, they called in a professional photographer, Frederick Hudson, for assistance. Hudson was successful in producing spirit photographs, and the ease of his success attracted the attention of noted skeptics and scientists including Trail Taylor, the editor of the British Journal of Photography ("Spirit Photography", online Occultism and Parapsychology Encyclopedia, Answers.com). Hudson reportedly allowed skeptics to view and document his entire photographing and developing processes, but no fraud could be determined. Other spirit photographers soon followed, including Edouard Jean Buguet of France, who appeared in London in 1874 and was ultimately tried and convicted of fraud by the French government. In spite of these setbacks, spirit photography continued to be popular, especially in the years immediately following the first world war. Fraud was rampant, attracting the attention of famous celebrities including former supporter P. T. Barnum and the illusionist Harry Houdini, who began a well-publicized personal crusade against fraud in spirit photography in the 1920s. He published the results of his investigations in the book A Magician Among the Spirits in 1924 (John Mulholland, "Houdini, Harry", World Book Encyclopedia, 1966).

Spirit Photography and the American Spiritualism Movement

Noting the impact of American spiritualism on the history of spirit …

Computer Review: The Dell Inspiron E1505

As the owner of a small business I know that my company's success is largely determined by how well my computer performs. Over the last five years I have gone through three different computers including two desktops and one notebook. The last computer that I purchased was my Dell Inspiron E1505. I selected this particular notebook because I needed a computer that was portable, and I needed a computer that was capable of handling multi-media presentations. I found these features in my Inspiron.

Specification for the Dell Inspiron E1505

While the basic specifications for this model are probably adequate to meet most people's needs, I needed to customize my computer so that it would be able to handle animation software and video editing software. I upgraded to the highest processing speed of 2.16GHz, I doubled the memory, and I added a wireless card. I also upgraded the software package to include Microsoft Office and the full version of Adobe Acrobat. In addition to the upgrades that I made to my computer Dell also included: a battery, an AC adapter, Photoshop, and a variety of other software programs.

My Experience with the Dell Inspiron E1505

The first thing that I noticed when I first set up my computer is that the picture clarity was superb. I also enjoyed the fact that I could watch a DVD on my computer while working on a data file. The Bluetooth capabilities of the Inspiron E1505 are also fantastic. I think that the wireless keyboard and mouse make this notebook a lot easier to use, especially for word processing.

While I enjoyed all of the perks offered by the Dell Inspiron E1505, I have had a few problems with my machine. The first problem is that it seems to run slower than a 2.16 GHz machine should run. Now this observation could be due to my limited experience working with a notebook, and it could also be due to the animation software that I have loaded on my machine. The second problem that I had was with the Bluetooth wireless drivers. As a result of this problem I have not been able to use my Bluetooth mouse, however, the Bluetooth keyboard works fine. This problem could be a problem with the mouse instead of a problem that the notebook has.

Price

The Dell Inspiron E1505 retails for about $949. However, if you wait for one of Dell's great sales you can save $200 or more off the list price. I bought mine during a special promotion and actually saved about $400 off the entire package. If you have good credit you can also finance your notebook for about $23 per month. Dell also offers special discounts for small businesses, CPAs, teachers, and other professionals.

If you are interested in accessories for your computer then Dell offers a great selection of cameras, cases, tablets, and printers. Dell even selects several prized accessories for your machine and they offer you a great discount on these accessories if you order them when you order your computer. If you don't see what you want on your check out pages then you can also shop at the Dell store. Here you will find wireless devises, tablets, and other high quality digital accessories.…

Product Review: E-Machines Computers

Computers. Is that all there is to say? Does everyone already know how much they can do? Do you cringe at all the possibilities out there with this power at your fingertips? Boy I do. I bought an E-Machines. To the tune of $600 I got 120 GB hard drive, 512 MB RAM, a DVD+/-RW double layer burner, and a whole world of interest to write about, browse about, connect with, and share. I can email family and friends who are 875 miles away, listen to them perform, goof off, and share pictures of everything.

But you can do that too can't you? That's great. Now, what do you do about viruses? Trojans? I can tell you what I did, computer savvy as I am. I called E-Machines 23-hour-7 days a week tech support. And they DID help. Step by step, over the phone, and nothing has been more appreciated in this matter than that. My membership came with the purchase of my computer, as I am sure your tech support service has also.

Big Fix is incorporated with this as well. And naturally, Microsoft has their updates going too. But how many times have you called one of them 2 o'clock in the a.m. and gotten your problem fixed? I mean fixed, not patched. And will replace any faulty equipment, should there be any, free of charge and free of shipping. THAT was nice of them I would say. A real person, first call.

So, I am not really writing about the internet, or all the cool or unsavory things you can do with one, but about the brand of affordable technology, and my experiences with this company and their product. E-Machines went on sale at Wal-Mart for close to $1,000. That was with only 80GB of hard drive. Then newer stuff came out, and the market opened up for bigger, better, faster and naturally companies lowered their prices to compete.

Folks, you gotta take it from me. Sometimes cheaper, with a plan, can be beneficial for the time being. Even rewarding. Look at me, making money with mine. You can't beat that. You can even buy their line of CD-ROM protection software, and eliminate the need of calling them a few more times than necessary. They will keep you on their subscription plan for the first year, and I remember thinking it was quite affordable to renew it if I had a job at the time it ran out. Certainly cheaper than renewing Norton, which I also recommend.

If this computer crashed, burnt, and I was unable to use it anymore, and I went to Wal-Mart and saw this product on the shelf, I would purchase it again. Over any other they advertised. The name is all I need. I trust them completely.…