The Next Life
created an illustration to accompany tonight's show on Past Lives. Click here
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New Orleans Updates
During the first half-hour, author James Chiles
offered analysis of the New Orleans crisis. The breaches in the levees could have been avoided, he noted, but federal funding to improve the system was not prioritized, even though it had been requested years earlier. Now, it could take months to empty the water out of the lower areas of the city, he said.
Appearing intermittently for brief segments throughout the evening, Richard C. Hoagland
offered updates and commentary on the situation in New Orleans.
Children's Past Life Memories
Dr. Jim Tucker
of the University of Virginia’s division of Personality Studies
shared his international research into children who report memories of past lives. Such memories are most commonly reported by children, who by the age of six or seven tend to start forgetting these remembrances. The evidence from their investigations suggest it's possible that memories and emotions can carry over from one life into the next, he said.
Tucker explained that individual cases are investigated and checked for accuracy. For instance, birthmarks of an unusual shape or size might match up with fatal wounds that the deceased had. Interestingly, he noted that in 70% of the remembered past lives, the deceased died of unnatural causes, suggesting that there might be a connection between the memory carry over and traumatic circumstances.
The time span between lives in the cases they studied appeared to be rather short, with the average being about 16 months. This allowed them to often track down the previous person's family and verify information.
In one case study of a girl in Sri Lanka, she made some twenty statements about her previous life as a man who made incense, and she correctly noted that he died in a bicycle accident, Tucker shared. In a case from Vermont, a boy named Sam said he had been his deceased grandfather, and knew remarkable details such as the grandfather's sister being murdered 60 years earlier. In such cases, "we can say with virtual certainty that coincidence is not a reasonable explanation," Tucker concluded.
Repairing the Levees
Amid the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts in flooded New Orleans, authorities are trying to figure out how to stop breaches in the levees. On Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers said "it is hoping to begin dumping bags weighing as much as 15,000 pounds to stem the flow of water," seeping through three breaches CNN
reported. According to MSNBC
, federal engineers have made plans to "intentionally breach other levees in the city to drain some of the floodwaters."