Praying away the oil leak

By Phil Plait | May 11, 2010 12:44 pm

A man in Boulder — yes, my home town — is trying to meditate the oil leak away. His idea?

"The basic concept is to try and get as many people to visualize that the valve is actually functioning and is working and closing."

This is part of the Intention Experiment, what is basically telekinesis:

Lynne McTaggart, who started the Intention Experiment, has organized more than a half dozen mind-over-matter experiments — most recently to try to improve the water quality in Lake Biwa, Japan — that involve people focusing their thoughts on something in the physical world to make change. She claims to have scientific evidence that it works.

Scientific evidence? Really? I wonder if she’s interested in making a quick million bucks.

aqua_oilleakLook, we’ve seen this before. People have prayed for rain, and tried to pray the stock market into obedience. These efforts fail, always. Or at best they might coincidentally align with some event, but it’s never clear in advance just what event they were aiming at (making it easy for them to claim success after the fact).

I know that people who believe in this sort of thing have their heart in the right place. I’m frustrated by horrific events like the oil leak too, and I wish I could do something tangible. But trying to pray it away won’t work. One believer said this:

"I completely understand that most people would have a healthy skepticism about these things," said Jahnavi Stenflo, also of Boulder, in an e-mail. "To all those skeptics, I would simply ask them to participate in the exercise if they would like to try. … Ultimately, there is nothing to lose in trying to visualize the valve shutting off. It either will help or it will not."

These "What’s the Harm?" arguments are extremely misleading. Of course there is something to lose. This kind of thing has been tested over and again, and shown to be a waste of time. The time spent by the participants is one obvious thing lost. But more than that, what we lose when we do things like this is our ability to separate fantasy from reality. And we do know quite a bit about human behavior: people who will try to meditate the oil leak away will almost certainly not conclude meditation doesn’t work when it fails. Instead they’ll find excuses why it didn’t work, and try it again next time something happens.

The more we wish for something to be true, the more we must hold it up to scrutiny lest we fool ourselves.

I am not saying things like this shouldn’t be tested. The point is, they already have been. Repeatedly. And they never work. If this oil leak is to be stopped, it’ll have to be done using engineering, using science, using actual physical work. And at the moment there’s not much you or I or anyone outside of the engineers at BP can do to help.

However, I’ll add that thinking about the problem is important. When the root causes of the leak are found — and I don’t mean the physical problems, but what failures allowed the situation to arise in the first place, both in the company and in the political environment — we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. That means keeping up with the news, being aware of the situation, and contacting politicians so that they hear our voices about it.

That is where thinking makes a difference.

Comments (92)

  1. I wish woo would go away…

  2. Chris

    Well, here I am, slaving away at Boulder’s very own Fiske Planetarium, and I’ve gotta say I’m often a bit embarrassed by some of the actions my fellow citizens take.

    Yikes!

  3. Peptron

    It’s self-evident that wishing something alone isn’t going to work. Not unless you hold in your hand one of the stones that are laying in my back yard, which I can mail to willing people for 500$.

  4. Regner Trampedach

    Misterfonzie @ 1: I’ll join you in an “Intention Experiment” to make that happen :-)
    Aaah, makes my brains hurt! But what BP and Halliburton are doing hurts a lot more :-/
    Cheers, Regner

  5. Bill

    Everyone visualize the woo going away — wait, no.

  6. David C

    When will these nut cases learn that if they want to “impress” people with the outcome of their “thought experiments” – they should *pray* for the opposite.

    That is… betcha if they *pray* that the oil keeps spewing – it probably will.

  7. QuietDesperation

    This is getting silly. Just send in Chuck Norris to punch the well.

  8. jiblonghorn

    I’m not saying correlation equals causation, but after Perdue prayed to end Georgia’s drought, it did end within a year. And within two years, there was a massive flood in Atlanta. I know it was bound to end before too long anyway, but it’s still kinda funny.

  9. Douglas Troy

    I recall a similar experiment about 9 or 10 years ago, where people all around the globe were asked to Meditate for enlightenment, or world peace, or some such thing. If I’m not mistaken, it even made the news at one point.

    Of course, when it didn’t work, the claim was that not enough people did it and/or the ones that did, did not truly believe.

  10. rick

    Corporations: making big government look competent since the 1850s

  11. Mike

    I wish a giant sta-puft marshmellow man would deep dive down to the well head and stick his finger in the hole to plug the dam, I mean the leak.

    Remember – don’t cross the streams.

  12. As a practicing buddhist I’d like to first express that meditation is a perfectly valuable thing, and second apologize for the way the word has been commandeered by the most ridiculous of people.

    I’m sure you’ve notice the same phenomenon with “quantum physics.” As in, when people use quantum uncertainty as a means of amateur deconstructionism and then cram in whatever crazy they had in mind in the first place.

    “Prayer is what people do so they don’t feel bad about doing nothing.” This is just the same. Instead of sitting around “meditating” or “praying” the thing fixed, get out there start working on something to make this world a little better. Buy solar. Get a more efficient car. Work on oil drilling safety mechanisms. Petition your government for better regulations. Something.

  13. Cheyenne

    “I’m frustrated by horrific events like the oil leak too, and I wish I could do something tangible.”

    But you can. The main reason we are drilling there is to provide the energy for our transportation systems. Energy use that also creates global warming. So, obviously, reducing demand for oil would lead to less drilling and reduce the chance of accidents such as this.

    A lot of people read your blog and you have influence. You could take the personal responsibility route and cut back on your use of planes and cars to some measurable degree as an example to a large number of people (and Phil, let’s face it, your yearly energy usage is probably measurably higher than your average blog fan judging by your travels). So, rather small idea but sort of win/win all around. And it’s doable.

  14. moe

    “The time spent by the participants is one obvious thing lost. But more than that, what we lose when we do things like this is our ability to separate fantasy from reality.”

    Well, sign me up for the “What’s the harm” crowd. Now, I don’t believe that we can pray the leak closed. And, yes, whoever spends the time visualizing that the oil stops flowing is losing their time. But it’s theirs to do so.

    As far as separating fantasy from reality — if someone thinks they’re going to visualize the oil stopping and that’s going to work, well, you’ve already lost that battle. And it’s not going to result in some worldwide change in rational thought. Just because some people think it’s going to work, it doesn’t mean everyone else is somehow going to lose their ability to use reason and the scientific method.

    So, at the end of the day … Relax, it’s not hurting anyone.

  15. If this is a group of people that are going to “meditate” like this every day anyway, toward this end or toward no end at all, I don’t see the harm. You might even argue that if there’s a need to recognize “what failures allowed the situation to arise in the first place”, you’d be better off if the crisis was fresh in the minds of the unwashed meditation-believing masses. Some people are just not going to separate fantasy from reality to the extent that you’d like; maybe it isn’t so awful that their fantasies are at least in touch with the horrors of reality.

  16. Leon

    It’s ridiculous this kind of thing goes on. You’d think people would learn from early in their own romantic histories that wishing for something–no matter how hard–never changes the situation.

  17. Chris A.

    Another reason that these “intention experiments” are doomed to failure (in a scientific proof sense) is that they never employ a control. (“For this oil leak, nobody pray, just to show the expected null result.”)

  18. @Chris A.

    There’s also the problem of controlling for confounders. How many are praying/meditating for it to continue or get worse? Do prayers/meditations from different people have differing efficacy? That problem with controls always gives these sorts of researchers a very convenient “out” to explain away why their study failed.

  19. Yojimbo

    Obviously this won’t work – no matter how many people visualize stopping the leak, the Illuminati will have more people visualizing keeping it going. Not to mention the aliens…

  20. Yojimbo

    Todd W @18 – you’re too fast for me :)

  21. BJN

    Visualizing a “valve” closing won’t help move the rams that have only partially activated within the BOP device. If visualization actually worked, wouldn’t the visualizer have to imagine the correct mechanism working? It’s like saying you can get an airplane to fly by visualizing its propellers spinning, but the airplane is actually a ramjet without propellers. Of course it really doesn’t matter to these folks. They have no idea of the real mechanics and physics involved. If they did, they wouldn’t engage in a visualization circle jerk in the first place.

  22. @Yojimbo

    The black helicopters should be landing near you soon, upon which you will be taken to the Ministry of Love for reeducation. Let us know how many lights you see.

  23. Matt T

    I’m going to visualize thousands of skeptically minded young women showing their cleavage. Will that help? I don’t see any harm in it…

  24. Leon

    @moe

    Since you asked (sort of)…

    The harm starts with little things, like thinking this sort of thing can work. Groups of people try this sort of thing, and whether it works or not they reinforce their belief that it does. And if you think a physical problem can be solved by wishful thinking rather than getting-hands-dirty hard work, that spills over into other things.

    People think meditation can directly affect the world, that prayer is effective, that the world can best be understood by making intuitive guesses about it, or believing the intuitive guesses others have made. The little parts add up to a big whole.

    So when you’ve got a lot of easy answers that you think are effective, why bother with doing the hard work? What’s the point of science, hard engineering (like maintaining our electrical and plumbing infrastructure), and so on? That’s a lot of how people lose confidence in the hard work that built our technological society in the first place and is needed to maintain it.

    And on an individual level, this kind of magical thinking makes otherwise sensible people susceptible to scams, frauds, scaremongering (witness the current 2012 hysteria) and so on. The “What’s the Harm?” site illustrates the end result of that part of it.

    So yes, this might seem like a tiny thing. But it’s a piece of a big whole, and if no one speaks out about these kinds of things, it helps perpetuate this type of thinking.

  25. Well, last time someone mediated, namely Deepak Chopra, it caused the Mexican earthquake. So this guy may do more harm than good. Unless of course, both this man and Deepak Chorpa are full of it. Then in that case, I recommend that well drill on Deepak and this guy, because BS is a good source of methane.

    People prayed that this would not happen. Look at how good that worked out. What makes them think that it would work better after the fact.

    Noah and the Dinosaurs

  26. I wish these folks would spend a few minutes to test their awesome powers. How about all “half dozen”,or 0.1% of SIX THOUSAND of them, sit down in a circle with a paper cup in the center. If they can move that paper cup out of the circle simply by wishing it, well then perhaps they can move on to bigger and better things.

  27. mike burkhart

    I find that some people pray as a last resort.As A Cathloic I would pray for the victims of this spill I don’t see her doing that.Why don’t we just let her do what shes going to do? When the spill dosen’t stop Phill point will be proven .To Buddhists ,Catholics use the word meditation in our faith it means to contemplate in slience,usely on the life of Jesus ,the Bible or on one relationship with God .

  28. Art

    It seems it would be smart to drill a relief well (with enhanced safety measures) at every site, simultaneously or immediately following the initial drilling, thus avoiding the three month wait it will take to drill one now that we need it.

    Maybe their good will has the ability to travel back in time, to a better place, a place where our government cares less about monitoring our phone conversations, etc., for key words to put us on watch lists, and actually cares about the potential long term environmental effects that can result from such a massive oil spill. No. They’d rather raid homes and destroy families to regulate our personal lives than actually worry about the big picture.

    This disaster could have been prevented and we can’t wish it away. We can only hope they can figure out a way to search for and transport oil without slinging it all over the place. Better yet, we can hope to reduce our dependence on petroleum for anything other than an industrial lubricant. Then the question would be, “What do we do with the bi-products from the refining process?”.

    Also, as a respectful note to some of the bloggers out there: if you feel your opinion is valid, and you want people to embrace it, maybe you should express it in an intelligent manner by using spaces between sentences, spelling the words correctly, using the possessive “s”, when needed, and use contractions properly-you know, the stuff you were taught in middle school English.

  29. Yojimbo

    @22 I feel better now. We have always been at war with Eastasia, and there have always been five lights…

  30. Too bad Deepak Chopra is too busy causing earthquakes in Cali to help out.

  31. I do not agree with what you write this time, especially it’s wrong what you say regarding praying rain. You’ll find interesting information in books and videos of Gregg Braden, ex NASA scientist who combines scientific knowledge and the wisdom of ancient traditions. In “Secret of the lost mode of prayer” he investigates how to pray for something in order to come to fruition. The secret is not to pray FOR something, but to PRAY something. With all our senses. It’s not a mind thing, it’s a heart thing.

    He describes the experience of when he went with his indigenous friend in Santa Fé out and watched him “pray rain”. And it rained after this. This is ancient knowledge, and Lynne McTaggarts work shows scientific proof of how our intentions and thoughts affect the world around us, interact with the very energy field that not only surrounds us, but of which we are a part that takes part in creating every experience we have.

    So why not give it a try and focus our intentions and all our 5 senses on the Gulf area and see, feel, taste, smell, hear how the reality for this area already IS while we hold that whole, complete version of it in our hearts!

  32. Steve in Dublin

    Todd W. and Yojimbo, thanks for the Winston refs. Made my day.

    @Leon #24

    Well said, bro.

  33. Heike (#31): Again, I’ll make this offer: want to win a million dollars?

  34. #24 Leon
    You suggest that these fantasies spill into reality, but you really have no evidence for it in your answer. Has there been a study to suggest that prayer, meditation, and even this silly telekinetic experiment are in fact causing people to fall for scams? In fact, I think it is possible that your argument is an intuitive guess. But I would like to know if there are studies.

    You suggest that people who do these things are foolish because there is no scientific evidence that they work. I would agree, although I am not aware of any studies on the subject, my general experience in life leads me to agree.

    But I don’t think I agree that the small percentage of people who believe in meditating the oil leak closed (and similar people) are endangering the greater majority of people into falling for scams. But I am also only making an intuitive guess.

  35. jcm

    Smells like whishful thinking. Chopra is that you?

    Now:

    source: http://www.cslacker.com

  36. ethanol

    Ah, Boulder. Lots of scientists in boulder, also lots of these people. Weird combination, really.

  37. t-storm

    might have more success then what they’ve tried.

    that was a dig on bp, not pro prayer. I am praying I win the lottery tonight, though, and if I win I’ll donate to the clean up effort.

  38. John Paradox

    14. moe Says:

    So, at the end of the day … Relax, it’s not hurting anyone.

    If you wonder how he eats and breathes and other science facts
    repeat to yourself “it’s just a show, I should really just relax”.

    J/P=?

  39. Brian Too

    Let me express my whole-hearted support for prayer as an effective way of closing the stuck blow-ou *DELETE!*

  40. He must be going for his Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame…I presume he’s selling a book or video that should make a fortune. He could buy his way on to the board of BP… I’ve heard that there will be some jobs going there shortly, and the cash flow’s a bit tight at the moment due to some unforseen circumstances!!

  41. reidh

    I would rather visualize the heads of BP and Halliburton dying of cancer in the next few months, it can’t hurt, and what if it works?

  42. Well, I’m not sure it’s any worse than what the Russians have told the US to do with it: Nuke it.

  43. Daniel J. Andrews

    Any of you ‘old-timers’ remember the group that wanted to try and push Skylab into a higher orbit through telekinesis? It was in many newspapers, and at a specific time everyone was to visualize pushing Skylab back up so it wouldn’t crash to earth. As I recall, Skylab crashed and scattered itself across parts of Australia and the ocean. Just checked Wiki to refresh my memory.

    Interesting reading. Apparently if the group had been successful in moving Skylab it would have messed up NASA’s maneuvering, which was done so Skylab would fall into relatively unpopulated areas/ocean. I wonder if the group would have proclaimed it a successful experiment if the lab had scattered across populated areas, causing a few million dollars in damage? :)

  44. George Martin

    I wonder if John Hagelin will offer Transcendental Meditation as a method to stop the oil leak? For those who haven’t heard of Hagelin, search for him at Bob Park’s What’s New site, www dot bobpark dot org. One such entry starts:

    . HAGELIN IN 2003: THIS TIME YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO VOTE.
    Yesterday, at a press conference in Washington, John Hagelin – string theorist (PhD Harvard ’81), follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and erstwhile Presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party – announced the formation of a US Peace Government, not to be confused with the one in the Constitution.

    George

  45. Mark Hansen

    Heike @31
    “…So why not give it a try and focus our intentions and all our 5 senses on the Gulf area and see, feel, taste, smell, hear how the reality for this area already IS while we hold that whole, complete version of it in our hearts!

    Taste and smell crude oil, along with decaying wildlife. I think I’ll pass if you don’t mind…

  46. Gary Ansorge

    41. reidh

    Why?They’re just doing what we ask them to do; finding oil to supply our transport, fertilizer, plastics and other base chemicals requirements. Granted, they made a serious mistake and should be accountable so that particular error will not be repeated however, wishing them dead is really the same thing as wishing all humans who partake of the oil they provide dead as well.

    31. Heike: prayer has been shown to be just as effective as chance.

    Meditation may be good for stress but it doesn’t produce telekinesis,,,unfortunately.

    42. MichaelL

    The Russians said that? Wonder how I missed it? Actually, a 1.5 kilo ton nuke probably WOULD seal and collapse the pipe,,,along with the oil dome. I expect the oil would then smoosh out somewhere else.

    GAry 7

  47. MadScientist

    Ah, the “wishful thinking” experiment. You can bet lots of folks at BP are wishing it would just stop – but they know better. Although it will stop when the reservoir pressure is no longer sufficient to push that gunk out, that could be a long time and an awful lot of oil.

    @Daniel#43: NASA was controlling Skylab? I thought they just crossed their fingers and hoped it didn’t whack anyone (and odds are it wouldn’t whack anyone). It was not a controlled re-entry as in the case of Mir (perhaps no great advantage since once it’s in the atmosphere, how it decelerates is anyone’s guess). I have vague (maybe not real even) memories of the station being tracked in the last weeks and new guesses for where debris will be falling updated every few hours as the orbit decayed.

  48. DarthWader

    Perhaps a log should be placed in the hole at the bottom of the sea, and a bump on the log and a frog on the bump, in the hole at the bottom of the sea.

    I guess if the loonies can make a mockery of an environmental disaster than so can I.

  49. Pi-needles

    @25. Holytape :

    ROTFLMAO. That “unabridged Noah” was classic – thanks! :-D

  50. JB of Brisbane

    The next sound you will hear is that of one-hundred-plus monkeys laughing their asses off.

  51. Wouter Lievens

    Hoping politicians will change anything is almost as effective as praying, though.

  52. Michel

    Being dutch, I´ll pray for a big finger to plug the hole.

  53. Keith (the first one)

    Funny that last night I was watching a youtube video about “The Secret”. You know that crackpot idea of how you attract everything in your life. The idiots that claim that you only have to think hard enough about what you want and you’ll get it. Oh, and if something bad happens to you, it’s your own fault for not being positive enough.

    This sounds a lot like that.

    And Heike @31. There’s a barely anything right in your story, but I’ll start with a basic one. The heart is simply a blood pump. It can’t “feel” or “think” anything.

  54. Hannu Siivonen

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t scientific evidence disqualify something as supernatural? Even claims of scientific evidence should disqualify from Jref Challenge by default.

  55. Michel

    Maybe this will help more: Donate your hair
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8672124.stm

  56. Josh

    Now, I am normally skeptic, but what about the powers of prayer in healing? I’ve seen some studies (don’t remember where or who they were vetted by) showing that prayer helped people heal faster, even if the person didn’t know about it. Now, the studies I saw only studied prayer’s power to heal. I do believe that there are things we cannot *yet* understand in this universe. So, please, I am asking this seriously, does anyone know for sure that these studies were made up?

    And again, I apologize for not being able to find and post the ones I saw.

  57. Steve in Dublin

    @Non-Believer #34

    You suggest that these fantasies spill into reality, but you really have no evidence for it in your answer. Has there been a study to suggest that prayer, meditation, and even this silly telekinetic experiment are in fact causing people to fall for scams? In fact, I think it is possible that your argument is an intuitive guess. But I would like to know if there are studies.

    You don’t need studies when you have lots of tragic Real Life™ examples to choose from. There have been instances lately of several families where the parents *allowed their child to die with no medical care* because they believed they could pray for them to get well. How’s that for reality? Once you adopt the “It’s God’s will” position, rational thought goes right out the door.

    Don’t want to get held up in moderation, so Google these for more details:

    Dale and Leilani Neumann
    Carl and Raylene Worthington

  58. Rob L

    We could be seeing a lot more of this in the future. They’re also praying away storms in Oklahoma.

  59. @Josh

    Typically, the studies that show some positive effect of prayer have very significant flaws, some of which include (but are not limited to): small sample size, biased subject selection, poor controls, lack of blinding, post-hoc data mining, etc. There is also a pretty big file-drawer effect for a lot of alt-med studies. In other words, if the study comes up negative, it just isn’t submitted for publication. I recall one pretty big study looking at prayer in cardiac patients in which the subjects who were prayed for did worse than the ones that did not receive prayer. I’ll try to find a link to that if you like.

  60. Wrysmile

    Maybe the people of Louisiana were praying for oil

  61. #55 Steve in Dublin
    True, and I am aware of those cases. But to me those folks are already in the small group of people who comprise the telekinetic experiment, Chopra meditating earthquakes, etc. My point is that those folks will always exist. And we are unlikely to change that.
    Further, I don’t think their extremist thinking is likely to drift into the larger population.
    Belief in prayer or meditation does not always equal a belief that you can pray away disease or disaster.

    I think there are some studies that show that people who have an active spiritual life are generally happier. So eliminating the effectiveness of the answered prayer, the act of praying or meditating does appear to have some positive effect on the person doing it. If you are no one of the small group of extremist who think that they have a “secret” power, then there is no real harm.

    The argument that is often used by Atheists is that these activities are cruel because they raise false hopes. And if you are deliberately causing someone to believe you can speak to their dead granny, then yes – its cruel. But I do think that the hope can be beneficial.

    Like so many things though, it is a many colored scale and there aren’t any black and white answers.

  62. #58 Maybe God doesn’t like Louisiana. I’ve noticed a certain level of bad mojo going on down there. I expect some televangelists to be discussing it soon. ; )

  63. You ever get the feeling that you’re preaching to the choir?

  64. Gary Ansorge

    I keep “praying” God will respond to Pat Robertson in an appropriate fashion(like a lightening bolt from a clear sky) but, so far,,,nothing.

    Bummer!

    62. Non-Believer

    I expect it’s really “bad mojo” to be living on the Gulf coast, when sea levels are rising, temps are rising and mosquitos are having a ball.

    It’s not that God hates Louisiana, it’s just that He keeps aiming for Pat Robertson but Pat doesn’t sit still long enough for the Old Guys bad eyesight to zero in.

    Gary 7

  65. Michel

    Did “they” ever looked into how many positive thinkers they need to outdo us skeptics?

  66. Non-Believer Said:
    “I think there are some studies that show that people who have an active spiritual life are generally happier. So eliminating the effectiveness of the answered prayer, the act of praying or meditating does appear to have some positive effect on the person doing it.”

    See the link at my name for one example of why this is false regarding active spiritual life. There are many more examples like this too.

    Again, meditating can mean different things to different people, same with prayer, so until these are explicitly defined I wouldn’t even attempt to answer this. To me, meditating certainly doesn’t mean sitting around and wishing something to happen, or worse pretending you’re some kind of a jedi lifting spaceships out of the mud with your mind.

    I do think I’m a happier person for gaining some control over my thoughts so that I can find some peace in a sea of endless worries and ideas when I need to. This is not what these guys are talking about at all though. But that’s what “meditating” translates to in my vocabulary.

  67. Jim

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Sure, the spill is an act of God (per TX Guv Rick Perry), but LA Guv Bobby Jindal – while he was in college – successfully exorcised a demon from a woman, so I’m sure he can handle a little ol’ oil spill. Who needs meditation?

  68. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    If the oil companies would meditate they wouldn’t be drilling.

  69. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    I wondered how long it would take them to ruin the gulf. They are more efficient than I expected.

  70. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Haliburton provided the cement……..h-m-mmmmmmmm

  71. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Chaney wasn’t involved. He was water boarding in Hawaii.

  72. DigitalAxis

    @8. jiblonghorn

    Gov. Perdue prayed for rain on the first day it was actually forecast to rain. And then it DIDN’T rain. It eventually rained three days later and Perdue declared victory anyway.

  73. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Let me take care of it. I am now going to project you all into the future. You will be arriving at a point in time when the oil leak is plugged. When you get there you will remember that I have projected you there and you will all say : Damn! He really did it!….Watch closely……

  74. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    You can send me the million as soon as the leak is plugged. Thanks Phil! In advance.

  75. Tristan

    Unless your praying to Gork and Mork, I don’t think this is going to work like this.

  76. Art
  77. rob

    pray in one hand and poop in the other and see which fills up first.

  78. Chris Winter

    Personally, I’m going to meditate on dead batteries. By this time next month, the batteries in all BOPs will have been checked and the dead ones replaced, I gar-on-tee.

    There, you see how that works?

  79. Chris Winter

    I just learned that Oklahoma City has an “Emergency 911 Prayer Group” whose duty is to pray that any tornadoes coming their way will dissipate harmlessly.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/05/okla_city_has_emergency_prayer.php

  80. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    I have been praying for that cleavage thing for years and I have only had mixed results.

  81. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Of course there was that one time though………..OH GOD!

  82. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    I suppose that was a short prayer of thanks.

  83. I wouldn’t say these people are entirely harmless. The Intention Experiment has a lot of things in common with Scientology and adherents can be quite aggressive in trying to recruit people.

    I’ve lost a very good friend to Lynne Mctaggart, she all but worships her and is constantly trying to gain new converts. And she doesn’t take no for an answer. My dear friend you don’t want to convert? Well you’re not my friend anymore.

  84. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    I didn’t realize how hard it would be to project you all into the future…..Have patience. I am working on it. It might take a month or so to get you all there.

  85. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    This is a Big Projection.

  86. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Once you are all at the point where the oil is stopped, some of you will feel that I was pretty slick at projecting you there.

  87. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    So far I have only been able to project the BP management to a solution. Every one else is to slick to project.

  88. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    If you will all bend over, BP has suggested stuffing golf balls to stop the leak.

  89. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Then they cut off the bent pipe to remove the obstruction?????? And with the Gulf awash in oil they want to disperse it?????

  90. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    I was thinking a nuclear weapon would fuse the sand into a glass table top to plug the well. The pipe would be vaporized along with the oil drenched water. The ocean would flood in to fill the void with clean water. The radioactive water vapor would float over to Ohio, where it would precipitate onto the land fills saving transportation of hazardous materials. The back flow would suck the oil off the beaches and a second nuke would clean it all up. A third nuke could clean up the BP home office.

  91. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Or, you will all just have to be patient and wait until I project you all into the future.

  92. Charles J. Slavis,Jr.

    Perhaps Bishop Sheen will intercede for us.

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