Monday, April 12, 2010



For $70,000 would you become a complete vegetarian for the rest of your life?

Sunday, November 08, 2009


You can do?

Can you name one thing that you can do that none of your friends seem to be able to do?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Physics Mysteries

Which topic intrigues you more: 1) the ancient Baghdad Battery or 2) the Gabon Prehistoric Nuclear Reactor? Why?
What other physics "mysteries" do you enjoy?

Source of image

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Piano or Guitar

Would you rather be the best guitarist in the world or best piano player? Why?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


What is beauty?

Which one of these items do you think humans would rate the most beautiful? Mossy cavern, dancing flames, kaleidoscope image, or snow crystal? Why?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Bill Gates, Dalai Lama, or the Pope?

Who would you be most excited to learn wishes to meet with you: Bill Gates, Dalai Lama, or the Pope?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Your slightest action?

Jane Roberts who once wrote, "You are so part of the world that your slightest action contributes to its reality. Your breath changes the atmosphere. Your encounters with others alter the fabrics of their lives, and the lives of those who come in contact with them." Do you agree?

Sunday, April 26, 2009



Would you rather be the world's leading expert on the imaginary number "i" or the mathematical constants pi or e? Why?

Thursday, March 19, 2009



Every human on Earth will receive an IQ boost of 30 points if you press a button. Do you press?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Can genius be born or can it be learned?

Can genius be born or can it be learned? Is it possible to cultivate genius? (See article for more information.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Fortune cookie?

Fortune cookie: "We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails." Do you like this fortune cookie message?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


St. Paul?

Some historians say that if there was no St. Paul, there would be no Christianity today. Do you agree?

Monday, November 10, 2008


The bones of Jesus

If archeologists discovered the bones of Jesus, thereby disproving the notion of physical Ascension to heaven, what percentage of Church authorities might prefer to suppress this information rather than have it become widely known?

Friday, October 03, 2008


Two square continents?

If God had created an Earth with two identically-shaped landmasses, for example two square continents, the effects on the world and religion would be profound because they would suggest the presence of a creator. What effect would the existence of a perfect square or circular continent have on religion and science?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Thomas Jefferson, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama?

Who would Thomas Jefferson have preferred for President: Sarah Palin or Barack Obama?

Friday, August 29, 2008


Stuck in your mind?

Have you ever seen something that you just can't forget that you saw? What is it?

Friday, August 15, 2008


Your accomplishments?

Imagine you are 15 years old and can see your life now and your accomplishments. Would your teenage self be "proud" of your accomplishments in life?

Monday, July 14, 2008



If you could change places with God for a day, what would be your first act as God?

Monday, June 16, 2008


Religion and Paranormal?

You are exploring Nazareth, the historic city of Lower Galilee in northern Israel. As you walk through a field you are accosted by seven rodents. One of the rodents whispers "Yeshua," the name of Jesus in the Hebrew language. Another appears to be wearing a crucifix. What is your reaction? Is this experience sufficiently paranormal to alter any of your religious beliefs?

Friday, May 16, 2008


Sunshine or shadows?

You are walking through the town of Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus. You see a light in the sky, and hear God’s voice thundering down. "Which do you choose," He asks, "sunshine could cure cancer, or the shadows of humans can do half of humanity’s work? For example, the shadow of a gas station attendant can pump gas while the attendant works on another car."

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Cliff on Coast to Coast

Did you hear Cliff on the radio show Coast to Coast tonight? If so, what did you learn?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Yes or No

Answer this question with "yes" or "no": Will your next word be "no"? What is your response?

Friday, March 07, 2008


Mary, Jesus, and Jobs

Neo-Jungian Clarissa Pinkola Estes asserts that if Mary, Mother of Jesus, were born today, "Mary would be a teenage girl-gang leader." As shocking as this may sound, one wonders what occupation Jesus or any prophet would have if born today. Would they be involved with computers, biotechnology, or the entertainment industry, or would they be farmers and fishermen? Would a Jesus in the 21st Century be exploring other planets and stars?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Memories or minds?

Although this question sounds quite weird, consider this.... Which is best? Photographs and memories stay vivid through the years -- or all rodents achieve human-like intelligence for a week, allowing us to finally converse as equals with another species.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Pluto or Saturn?

Humans will be modified to exist on another planet. Do you choose Pluto or Saturn? Why?

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Understanding or persuasion?

Would you rather have the gift of understanding or persuasion?

Sunday, November 11, 2007


100 Languages

You can have the ability to speak and understand a hundred languages, on the condition that a person chosen at random dies one day earlier than he would ordinarily have died. Do you accept this "gift"?

Sunday, October 14, 2007


identity issues

do you have an avatar, and if so, what is your avatar's name?

Friday, October 12, 2007


Is there knowledge we shouldn't seek?

Is there knowledge we shouldn't seek?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007



You get $1 million today or $2 million if you wait two years. Both awards are tax free. Which do you take? In either case, if you received the money, would you leave your job?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Water into Wine

God says, "I will give all humans the ability to turn water into wine and stones into bread, if you request it?" Do you request it?

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Question from God

God appears before you and asks, "What is the most profound question you can ask me?" What is your answer?

Thursday, June 07, 2007


The Three Horses Problem

Consider three horses, each pulling a cart filled with hay. The horses are in a row, walking down the road. As it walks, the second horse gets to eat from the hay that the first horse is pulling. The third horse gets to eat from the hay the second horse is pulling. Which horse would you prefer to be?

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Dreams and reality?

You are offered the ability to have control over your dreams at night and make them as real as your experiences in life. Would you like such a power?

Thursday, April 12, 2007



A being tells you that your current life is actually the afterlife, and it will last for as long as you wish. If you desire, you will not age or get sick. Does this statement bring you happiness or sadness?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Tell us about yourself

On a scale from 0 to 10 (strongly disagree to strongly agree), how do you feel about these items?

1. If I had to give up books or TV, I would give up TV.
2. I would rather have win the Nobel Prize in medicine than write a book that sells a million copies.
3. George Bush is a good president.
4. God answers prayers.
5. I like to eat sushi.
6. I am happy.
7. If I could go back in time and start my education over again, I would major in the same subject.
8. I believe in an afterlife.
9. I believe that America's drug laws are about right.
10. I believe that America's abortion laws are about right.
11. I believe that vitamin supplements are good for one's health.
12. I have had to spend hours fixing my computer due to spyware and related.
13. I believe that the evolutionary process (without intelligent design) is an explanation for life.
14. I believe it is possible to fall in love with someone on the Internet, without ever meeting them.
15. I would rather be the world's best guitarist than be able to speak Chinese and Japanese fluently.
16. For $50 million tax-free, I would stay in the state of New York for the rest of my life and never leave the state for any reason
17. I would rather fantasize about being intimate with someone a spiral staircase than in front of a fireplace.
18. I believe that computers will some day think and be conscious.
19. I would rather lose my hearing that my sight.
20. I like my job (or if in school or retired, replace job with school or retirement).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


A long-lasting relationship?

What is the most important factor in creating a relationship, for example a marriage, that lasts a long time?

Sunday, January 14, 2007


On the nature of society?

Do you like this quotation? Do you agree with it?

“I would sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” -- William F. Buckley, Jr., c. 1965

Friday, December 08, 2006


Clock enigma

The tips of the faster hands of a big clock and the slower hands of a small clock do indeed move at vastly different speeds from each other. How can two things that move at different speeds be said to keep the same time?

Thursday, November 09, 2006



God says, "I will eliminate the emotion of your choice so that you will never experience this emotion again." What emotion do you choose?

Friday, October 13, 2006


Coins in jars?

You have a gallon container (cylindrical bucket) filled with quarters and an equivalent gallon container filled with dimes. Assuming that you tossed the coins randomly into the containers, which has more money?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Rabbit and hat?

Would you rather see a rabbit pulled out of a hat or a hat pulled out a rabbit?

Monday, August 21, 2006


Little pills?

You are given a bottle of pills. If you take a pill, you will be healthy and not age for five hundred years. Do you take the pill? Do you give any of the pills in the bottle to others?

Saturday, July 29, 2006


50 "Greatest" Things You've Never Done

Some people say Anna Karenina is the single greatest novel ever written. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this particular Anna Karenina translation is said to be the definitive text for generations to come.

But I've never read Anna Karenina, nor have most of you. Let's make a list of the 50 "greatest" things that we've never done, experienced, read, or seen. I've never gone to Paris nor watched Citizen Kane from start to finish. You've never read the entire Bible nor read the first page of Proust's long novel. You've never tasted pistachio ice cream nor understood the causes of the Punic and Peloponnesian wars.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Fiction versus nonfiction?

Generally speaking, which gives you more pleasure: reading fiction or reading nonfiction?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Hidden secrets

Are any of these secrets strangely reminiscent of an experience you've had?

Monday, June 26, 2006


Love in the e-mail age?

Do you believe that e-love is possible and meaningful? In other words, can you truly love someone romantically that you've never met and with whom you've communicated only through e-mail and related communications? (Perhaps this will actually become more common over the next decade with the rise of virtual lives and electronic communications.)

Monday, June 12, 2006


Future happiness?

Do you see yourself happier five years from now than you are today? Why?

Friday, June 02, 2006


Favorite food?

(1) What's your favorite food? (2) What's your favorite Chinese food?

Friday, May 26, 2006


Romance & Religion: an Amazing Choice

Imagine you are in a room with 6 side rooms. Assume you are looking for love. Behind each door is a person of the appropriate gender for you for romance. You are truthfully told that the people behind the doors are smart, attractive, and of appropriate age for you. Alas, that's all you're told. Behind the doors are (1) Christian person, (2) Jewish person, (3) Muslim person, (4) Hindu person, (5) Buddhist person, (6) atheist.

Which door would you prefer to choose? Alternatively, if you have no preference, feel free to say so.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006



If you could choose the place and manner of your death, where and what would it be?

Sunday, April 30, 2006


A greater punishment?

God says, "Which do you consider a greater punishment? Every time you cough, someone within a fifty-mile radius from where you now stand will die -- or every time you laugh, someone at random on Earth will die."

Friday, April 28, 2006


Humanitarian mission?

You are assigned to spend a year in service to others. To what region of the world would you go? Why? What is the most worthy humanitarian pursuit you can imagine?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Earliest memory?

What is the first thing you remember?

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Sights or sounds?

Forced to choose between your sight and hearing, which would you rather keep, and why?

Monday, April 17, 2006


Utopian vision?

What would be the top three elements of your own version of paradise?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Love and war?

Is all really fair in love and war?

Saturday, April 08, 2006


DNA of God: Proof of God's Existence?

Astronomers have observed an astonishing double-helix-shaped nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The nebula is 80 light-years in length and situated only 300 light years away from the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Thus, God's body spans the visible universe and beyond. Is this the DNA of God? Does it suggest to you that either God exists or that there are unfathomable mysteries beyond our possible understanding?

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Ultralineamentum: Longest Line in America

Would you like to take a journey with us along the Ultralineamentum -- the longest line in America? Do you like the concept?

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Did Jesus want his message to spread in a clear manner?

If Jesus had wanted his message to spread in an undistorted fashion, why did he not write down his message?

In other words, if one reason he had come was to reveal the will of God, why did Jesus seemingly fail to commit his revelations to writing during his lifetime, and with his own hand. Instead, it appears that he left this important task to "anonymous writers" (and later redactors) who may have made a sufficient number of mistakes and written a sufficient number of contradictory facts and ideas in their accounts to divide Christians for centuries to come.

Couldn't have Jesus written down his message in a clear manner? If he did, why don't the gospels tell us of his writings?

Friday, March 31, 2006


Purpose of consciousness?

What role do you feel consciousness plays in the cosmos?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The Mystery of Brooklyn?

We all know so much about New York City. Many of us have been to the main part. We've walked down Fifth Avenue, seen Central Park, Trump Tower, the Empire State Building. We've seen Soho and Greenwich Village. We've been to the famous museums and wandered through Grand Central Station and Times Square. Yet Brooklyn, a term which we hear so often, remains a mystery. Few of us have ever been there, seen its buildings, or even know what is there. It remains an archetype of something that has meaning and supposed importance but can't quite be imagined in a concrete fashion. We think of it as a breeding ground of so many famous science writers like Asimov, Sagan, Gould and countless others -- but few of us can say where it is or point to in on a map, or articulate how Brooklyn has changed over the years and why someone would want to visit it today. Why did Brooklyn breed some of the most famous science popularizers of recent times? Brooklyn is a true mystery.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Favorite site?

What's your favorite website? Why?

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Future Job Skills?

What skills do today's children need to learn to do well in life and in their future jobs? Here's one idea:

"What are the [future office-place] skills that are going to be the most important for those kids? Is it going to be mastering new interfaces and keeping complex virtual relationships alive and multitasking and managing to think about new technologies in interesting ways? Or is it going to be algebra skills? I think you’d have to make the case that it’s probably the former, not the latter." -- Steve Johnson, "Around the Corner," Interview in March 20, 2006 TIME

Friday, March 10, 2006



What is your favorite word?


Favorite science-fiction novel?

What's your favorite science-fiction novel of all time? Which science-fiction novel would you recommend that we read if we want to stretch our minds or ignite our souls?

Monday, March 06, 2006



Two people just had a big discussion about monogamy. Their respective positions are outlined below:

A: Monogamy is an unnatural state. Primates aren't monogamous. We wouldn't be here now if our ancestors were monogamous. People get married out of fear. Limiting yourself to one person puts you at a disadvantage.

B: Monogamy can be a symbiotic commitment that transcends the mundane. Complacency is not the effect of monogamy...on the contrary, it is often the cause for infidelity. Human consciousness enables people to rise above the level of primates and attain great spiritual depth by choosing monogamy.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Theory of everything?

Posthuman Blues has a question about when physicists will arrive at the theory of everything. If a TOE is accomplished, he wants to know, do you think it will have any unexpected effects on human consciousness? If so, of what kind?


Real life

Which is more important to you: to live true to your idea of who you think you are, or to behave in a way that is consistent with the idea other people have of who they think you are?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Cartoon meaning?

Here is a CARTOON at Can anyone explain what it means?


Alive and/or dead?

What do you think about Schrodinger's Cat?

Friday, February 24, 2006



What are coincidences? Do you find that they build on themselves, hit a crescendo, and then start to ebb before flowing again?

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Ending in "A"

Haven't you ever wondered why so many country names, or names of US states, end in "a"? Quite a mystery.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Frozen in time

You have ten years left to live. You can finish out your days consecutively, if you choose, or be frozen in time and resurrected at will, for a year each time. How lengthy a gap would you choose between resurrections? If complete annihilation of the species and/or planet occurs during one of your hibernation periods, you're done. How far in the future are you willing to plan your final year?

Thursday, February 16, 2006


New world order

Do you sense that a powerful transcendental movement is taking shape? If so, who are the leaders?

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Out of the blue

What is the wildest thing you've ever done?

Friday, February 10, 2006


Observe your thoughts?

Have you ever tried to observe your thoughts without getting entangled in them? Do you find this practice helpful or interesting?



What kinds of things do you want to learn before you die?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Prophetic cartoons

Riots have broken out because some Muslims are upset that the prophet Mohammed was depicted in cartoon format. What do you make of the situation?

Sunday, February 05, 2006


A great start

You are about to write the greatest novel the world has ever read. What is the first sentence?

Friday, February 03, 2006


The Six Thousand?

Which of the individuals highlighted at my page The Six Thousand would you a) most like to have as a future business/creative partner, b) have as your friend?



Sometimes as we go about our daily lives, we encounter devices and gadgets that surprise us by truly improving the quality of our lives. As two simple examples, for me, these two items are surprisingly useful or important: Waterpik and Document Stand that lets you clip a paper to the vertical stand so you can look at your marked-up manuscript while you type. What products delight you -- products that you now find difficult to live without?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


All over the world

People from 88 countries and all seven continents have visited the Galactic Question Center. If you are from the United States, do you have something you'd like the foreign visitors to know about this country? If you are from outside the United States, do you have something you'd like to say to American visitors to this site?

Let us know where you're from.


Stairway to heaven?

Do you believe that organized religion helps or hinders humanity?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


A World Without Israel?

Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like today had Israel never formed in the 1900s -- for example, if the Jews fleeing their fate in Europe during World War II went to various countries outside the Mideast and maintained their lives in these new locations instead of in the land we now call Israel. How would the world be different today?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Too far gone?

Some scientists predict that the tipping point for extreme climate change may have already passed, meaning that nothing can be done to prevent the inevitable cycles of nature from altering life on earth. Do you believe that all species face eventual extinction, or that consciousness will find a way to perpetuate itself before an irrevocable calamity changes the environment on this planet? How does your view shape your thoughts on reproduction?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Hard habit to break?

Is there a deeply entrenched pattern or habit in your life (this could be a person, place, thing or behavior) that you wish you could abandon? Why don't you?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Implications of America in Iraq?

On the whole, is the world made worse or better as a result of America invading Iraq?

Monday, January 23, 2006



Would you rather be deeply romantic with someone in front of a living-room fireplace, on a spiral staircase, or in a cavern?

Sunday, January 22, 2006



Do you feel that time moves at a different pace in various situations, or does a minute, or an hour or a day feel more or less the same to you regardless of content?


Which image?

If we type my last name, Pickover, into the Google image search, we find an amazing array of images -- from computer graphics, to creatures, to startling people. Which image do you like best?

Friday, January 20, 2006


An ant?

A wise man tells you, "An ant is bigger than an elephant."

How could he be right?

Thursday, January 19, 2006


The dilemma of the dials

You have the opportunity to determine the beauty level and intelligence level of your child, before the child is born, simply by turning two dials from 0 to 10, 10 being high. "5" is average. To what number would you set your dials?


Vesica piscis

Using the following diagram, how would you describe your own journey?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Should we specialize?

Do you agree with this Heinlein quotation: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006



Is there a question you're dying to ask a particular person but you don't because you fear the answer? What is the question?

Monday, January 16, 2006


Can we improve?

How can we we improve the Galactic Question Center so that it is more interesting, attractive, or useful to you? Are we asking the wrong kinds of questions if we would like to generate more interest in this Blog?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


What is enlightenment?

Is enlightenment a permanent condition that becomes part of the fabric of consciousness once achieved, or a fleeting state that can arise in anyone at any time?

Friday, January 13, 2006


Alien Web?

You are browsing eBay on the Web with an alien. You will buy the alien any object in the following list that the alien chooses. Which do you think the alien will choose? Why? Which object is the least likely to be chosen by the alien?

1. Several unpolished ancient Roman coins all from Thrace and the Balkan peninsula after the Roman conquest in 46 AD.
2. Anna Kournikova poster (25" x 35"), never used, along with a protective mailing tube.
3. Burlap sack containing uncut emeralds straight from a Brazilian mine.
4. 100 top-selling CDs
5. Chess set comprising a solid glass board with alternating frosted squares, along with chess pieces made of clear glass.
6. A box containing Adobe PhotoShop software.
7. A 10 by 14 foot handmade Kerman Persian rug.
8. Grandfather wall clock of beautifully crafted cherry wood, with glass front revealing a swinging pendulum. The clock chimes twice on the hour and once every half hour.
9. French empire crystal chandelier, dressed with 24% lead hand-cut crystal. This chandelier is characteristic of the grand chandeliers that decorated the finest European palaces.
10. Cute giraffe pair with intertwined necks (small statue).
11. American-flag, alabastrite bookends adorned with highly-detailed renditions of eagles.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Pearls before swine

Is it possible to win this game ?

Monday, January 09, 2006



Approach the book nearest you and open it up to a random page. Point to the first sentence you see. What does it say?

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Dream insects from higher dimensions

"What I saw before me was a small room like the interior of a tent, populated by enormous insects. These insects were at once strange, distant-seeming creatures, totally unlike me and not communicating any sense of the human at all, and yet at the same time aware of me in a way that eloquently and terrifyingly signaled intelligence."

How do you feel about the author of this, Whitley Strieber? Does this ever make you question the nature of reality?

Friday, January 06, 2006


Land bridge?

About 15,000 years ago, humans crossed a land bridge that joined Asia to Alaska at the time. What would today's world be like if the land bridge that joined Alaska to Asia had never existed?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Swingers and soccer moms

Do you think a hotel is obligated to inform soccer parents that a group of swingers are also booked for the night to avoid a situation like the one that took place in Orlando over the holidays?

Monday, January 02, 2006


Greek peninsula?

What would today's world be like if the land mass that formed the Greek peninsula had never existed? Would this effect be lesser or greater than if the Italian peninsula had never existed?

Friday, December 30, 2005


Politics of a single supercontinent?

How would the world be different today, geopolitically speaking, if the ancient land masses had never drifted apart and, therefore, today's world consisted of a single supercontinent? How would biological life be affected?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Accepting our mortality?

For some reason, I have always enjoyed this quotation. Do you?

"When you are seventy years old and look back at what your life has meant, you will not focus on your solo activities. What you will remember are the incidents of touching, those times when your life was enriched by a moment of sharing with a friend or loved one. It is our mutual awareness of this miracle called life that allows us to accept our mortality." - A. Clarke, G. Lee "Cradle"

Monday, December 26, 2005


Virtual ventricumbent vampire?

For $50 million tax free, would you become a virtual vampire? This means you must stay in your home during daylight hours for the rest of your life -- never to leave except in cases of medical emergencies and doctor visits.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Wikipedia journey?

The Wikipedia Encyclopedia has some great material on interesting people. Here's the nice one on Nikola Tesla. What other cool biographies have you enjoyed at the Wikipedia?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The nature of reality?

People afflicted with Charles Bonnet Syndrome see beings from another world. Many scientists would call these beings hallucinations. Others call this syndrome a portal to a parallel reality.

People with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (or "Bonnet-people") are otherwise mentally sound. The beings appear when the Bonnet-people's vision deteriorates as a result of eye diseases Bonnet-people report that they see apparitions resembling distorted faces, costumed figures, ghosts, and little people. What does this tell us about the nature of reality?A web page on Charles Bonnet Syndrome is here.


Past or future?

If you had the choice to travel to anytime in the future or anytime in the past, and STAY THERE, would you choose future or past?

For example, one might argue that it is far better to go into the future where all the scary diseases are probably cured, so that you will probably live longer.On the other hand, perhaps you yearn for simpler times of the past, where the pace of life was a little slower, where you can dream of falling in love in the Italian Renaissance and walking hand in hand with your lover along the Amalfi coast of Italy.So, the question for today is: where would you choose to reside -- the future or the past?


Who are you?

Do you think it's possible to change certain fundamental aspects of your personality, or do you think you are who you are, and that while the circumstances of your life may change, you'll react more or less the same?


Become an author expert?

If you could magically be an instant expert on any author and his writings, whom would it be? As an example, perhaps you would choose Joyce, Dostoevsky, or Shakespeare. Perhaps you'd choose a more ancient or more modern author. Whom would you choose?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Prodromic dreams?

"Prodromic dreams" are dreams that give an indication of an illness of which a person is not consciously aware. For example, an uncomfortable series of dreams about clogged pipes could refer to an impending blood-vessel problem. Perhaps such dreams suggest that the unconscious has becomes aware of tiny symptoms long before they can be consciously perceived. The dream provides the communication channel to consciousness....

Do you feel that prodromic dreams provide any special insight into the nature of reality? More information on prodromic dreams can be found here.


Naughty or nice?

If the list was being checked twice, which side would you be on? Why?

Monday, December 19, 2005


Book and reality?

Have you read any books that made you change your thinking about the nature of ultimate reality?


Mystic or medium?

Would you rather be regarded as a great mystic (with mastery of the divination method of your choice) or a great artist(with mastery in the medium of your choice)?

What divination method or medium would you choose?

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Upstanding citizen or scofflaw?

Do you believe in the rule of law or do you thumb your nose at rules? This simple questionnaire might help you determine where you stand.



Secret and mysterious tunnels have fascinated humans since the dawn of civilization. Which do you find more interesting, this story of a woman who lived in a furnished lava tube or this story of the Cu Chi tunnels -- a parallel universe fill with 10,000 people?

What are your favorite tunnel images, stories, and myths? What famous people through history dreamed of spending their lives in tunnels?

Saturday, December 17, 2005


What is lucid dreaming?

"Lucid dreaming occurs when the dreamer knows that she is dreaming. It's among the most controversial areas of dream research, partly because of misperceptions over how much individuals can influence dreams -- or more importantly, whether they should. Yet proponents say lucidity is an important step in understanding dreams and creates a vital bridge between people's sleeping and waking states." -- Virginia Linn

A few nice lucid dream links can be found Here.

Do you think that lucid dreaming lets us glimpse valid realities or that it allows us to interact with our own reality in new ways? Is lucid dreaming "just" a dream?

Friday, December 16, 2005


One month alone

If you had to go someplace by yourself and spend a month (you could meet people in the place of your choosing but not take a travel companion with you), would you pick:
these mountains, this city or the beach?


Hypersonic Ben Franklin?

I am just finishing an autobiography of Ben Franklin by Walter Isaacson. Franklin was certainly an interesting and special person!

Today, as I glance through the latest Popular Science magazine with its host of gadgets, megapixel cameras, Japanese robots, hypersonic bombers, high-tech audio speakers and the like, I wonder what would have happened if Ben Franklin were to be given this issue?

1. How would it affect him personally?
2. How would it affect the world?
3. Do you think Ben Franklin was an interesting or special man?

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Too much information?

If you could know the exact date and manner of your death, would you want the information? (assume that nothing could be done to alter the outcome).


The shape of the Earth?

God says, "In order to shake things up and give humans a feeling of awe and wonder, I will turn the Earth from a sphere into the shape of a doughnut." Do you accept? (Assume that gravity will still work in such a way as to hold people and landmasses to the Earth as it does today.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005



What is the best way to determine if you are dreaming?


The mind's eye

What is it that you think of most often? Do you fear that your thought patterns ever teeter on obsession?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Holy grail?

Is the path of your life dictated by your quest for a certain goal, idea or piece of information? What is it?


Dinner and conversation?

With whom you would most like to have dinner and conversation about reality: Lisa, Fractal, Stelarc, Xeni, Ray, or Maria. Why?

Monday, December 12, 2005


Preserving information?

If all human religious thought, history, science and knowledge were lost in a cataclysm, what single statement would preserve the most information for the next generation of creatures?


Pick one



Sunday, December 11, 2005


In trouble for reading?

What book did you get in trouble for reading? (For example, perhaps your parents were upset with the fact they discovered you were reading a certain book.)


Stranger in a strange land

Do you think it's true that people are the same wherever you go?

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Taboo subjects?

In which of the three "taboo" subjects--politics, sex and religion--are you most interested? Why?



Choose: Kati Astraeir versus Neil Gibson

Friday, December 09, 2005


What do you believe to be true?

What do you believe to be true that your friends usually do not believe to be true?


Know your audience?

You just wrote a book on the subject of your choice. It will be an international best-seller, celebrated for its insightful brilliance, earning you hard-won financial riches...but you won't ever have a single conversation with anyone who has read it.

You just wrote a book...It will remain obscure and keep you at your day job, yet you will enjoy lengthy, meaningful conversations from time to time with people about how your work affected their lives.

Which do you choose?

Thursday, December 08, 2005



To ensure the survival of your consciousness, you must get your brain implanted in another human body. Thankfully, medical technology has evolved to a point at which the transaction will be safe and effective. Given the equal opportunity to choose from ten bodies (five male, five female, your age, various races...) do you stick with your present gender and race, or switch?

What if your consciousness could be uploaded with the push of a button into a mechanical body that appears completely lifelike? Would you be more apt to experiment with race and gender under such circumstances?


Real dreams?

If you could have control over your dreams at night and make them as real as your experiences in waking life, would you accept such a power?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Peninsulas pointing south?

Why do all the major peninsulas on Earth point south? See for example: Italy, Greece, Florida, Baja, and the tips of Africa, South America, India, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Kamchatka (Russia), Cap May (New Jersey), and many other landmasses.

Do you believe that this extreme and unnatural deviation from randomness is the surest sign that God exists? Or do you have a better explanation?


Flight or fantasy?

If you had a choice between having a sexual fantasy fulfilled with no strings attached, one time only, or the ability to fly, for twenty-four hours, at the speed, height and distance of your choice, which would you pick?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


On a cylinder

You wake up one morning to find yourself on top of a mile-high telephone pole that has a 12-foot radius. With you is a German Shepherd dog, a can of unopened chicken soup, a tube of very strong epoxy and a half-mile long rope. Is there any way you can reach the ground safely? (The telephone pole consists only of a smooth, cylindrical column. It has no additional structures.)


Paradise lost?

If a child at the age of reason asked you whether Santa Claus is real, would you say yes or no?

What if she asked about the existence of heaven?

Monday, December 05, 2005


Fish in a Pond?

Assuming each of the entities is successful at their respective stated missions, and your position is meaningful in each, which do you prefer: being a key player in a small organization with no name recognition, or assuming a minor role in a massive, well-known operation?


Bible or Britannica?

If you were stuck in your home for 5 years with no computer or TV, and could only choose one of the following as reading material, which one of the following would you choose? Remember, you can only have one of these:

1. The Bible (Old and New Testament)
2. The Encyclopedia Britannica (latest edition)
3. A stack of Playboy magazines for the years 1995-2005
4. Every Stephen King Novel
5. Every Robert Heinlein novel
6. Every Anne Rice novel
7. One current TIME magazine a week for the 5 years you are confined

Which do you choose?


Trade places?

Would you completely give up your house and all possessions if doing so could guarantee shelter for 1000 people left homeless by the hurricane season?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Fresh Start?

If you could start a new life, with a celebrated career and salary of your choice, in a new geographical location of your choice, with a clean bill of health and fitness, would you accept the situation if contact had to be severed with all but one person you currently love?


Mathematician or chess player?

In my book, A Passion for Mathematics, I conducted a large survey on this question: "Would you rather marry the best mathematician in the world or the best chess player? What would most people choose?" -- and I give answers in the book.

What is your answer?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Field of knowledge?

Imagine you could choose 10 books from any field of knowledge so that you would instantly have complete memory and understanding of the 10 books. Which field of knowledge would you choose?

As an example, you might chose 10 very difficult mathematics books, 10 biology books, 10 economics books, 10 religion books, or 10 psychology books -- and you'd have them completely understood and memorized.

From which ONE field of knowledge would you choose the 10 books?

Friday, December 02, 2005


Books or minds?

Given a choice between the ability to read minds or books, which would you choose? Why?


Arm for Arms?

Would you trade one of your own arms for instant, global nuclear disarmament?


Jesus, Moses, and beyond?

If Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and Buddha, and Confucius were gathered in a room, who would be the first to speak? What would he say?


Nobel prize or bestseller?

Would you rather win the Nobel Prize in medicine or write a book that sells a million copies?


Stay in New York?

For $30 million tax free, would you stay in New York for the rest of your life, never to leave it for any reason?


Rich or poor?

Which do you prefer: being a rich person in a poor country, or a poor person in a rich country?


Money, energy, or information?

Humans can have one of the following gifts, you decide: unlimited money, unlimited energy, or unlimited information.


Which of the Following Objects Best Represent Human Nature?

and why?

pick three

1) books
2) flags
3) space shuttles
4) musical instruments
5) tools
6) cloned sheep
7) clothing
9) computer chips
10)processed food

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Bible or Bach?

An alien hands you a note that reads, "We have just travelled through a wormhole in space and would like you to select a single gift for us to bring our people. We come in peace, but have only five minutes before the wormhole closes." You walk into a nearby barn that has an assortment of objects from which to choose one potential gift:

  1. The Bible (Old Testament)

  2. Physician's Desk Reference (lists drugs and drug interactions)

  3. Mobil 2006 Travel Guide to the North East (lists hotels, restaurants, family activities, towns, parks, and includes colorful maps)

  4. One jar of Peter Pan creamy peanut butter

  5. The Starry Night (an original oil painting by Vincent van Gogh)

  6. Sheet music for Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D-minor

  7. Chap Stick lip balm

  8. A Pentium computer

  9. A severed human finger

Which do you choose and why?


Piano or languages?

Would you rather be the 10th best piano player in the world or speak 10 languages of your choice, fluently? Why?


We welcome your own questions

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