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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
January 23, 2015     The Catalina Islander
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January 23, 2015

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Watson From page 1 quarters full to zero in only about four hours. And at that point, I had yet to plug the charger in anywhere in the United States, so you can't blame Edison. In other words, I was still using the same "Chinese electricity" that had served me well up until returning to the Island. So, you say, the battery drains when the phone is off because it's a defective battery or because it continues to transmit its location to our friendly neighbor- hood NSA. The prob- lem with that theory is it presumably would have been the same situation in China. Could it be that there really is something dif- ferent about Catalina from a physics stand- point? Something that might account for the mysterious draining of battery power? Ever on the lookout for so- called logical explanations for mysterious phenomena, I asked my brother Fritz, the aerospace engineer, if he knew any bonafied electrical engineers that might be able to help with this. His response was "Nope, I don't know any elec- trical engineers that specialize in voodoo." So much for that idea. I'm sure there's a "logical" ex- planation for it, bearing in mind that what we consider a "logical" explanation today is often yester- day's pseudoscience. By exten- sion, who's to say that the pseu- doscience explanations of today aren't the "logical" explanations of tomorrow? Take those radio waves that carry our conversations over cell phones, for example: It wasn't un- til 1867 when James Maxwell first theorized the existence of radio waves that anyone had any idea that such a thing existed. This en- ergy had been dancing all around us and through us from time im- memorial and we had no clue it was even there. We had no idea that everything we could see with our eyeballs represented only a tiny sliver (the visible spectrum) of all there was to "see" in this universe. Maxwell was, of course, ridiculed in some circles untilT~ ~/e~;s!later when German physicist Heinrich Hertz proved the naysayers wrong. So is there something "special" about Catalina from a scientific perspective? One person who did indeed think so was none other than Thomas Townsend Brown, our resident quantum physicist, who lived on the Island in the '70s and '80s. I've written about his exploits before, such as his re- ported creation of artificial gravity fields and his supposed work on the Philadelphia Experiment. The U.S. Navy was certainly impressed with him as well and kept him on the payroll--complete with personal bodyguards from the 1930s, through the dark years of the war and then some. But Dr. Brown was fascinated with the physical properties of Catalina Island, specifically the Pebbly Beach area. Our own Chuck Liddell knew Dr. Brown in those days and re- called that the good doctor would walk up and down the beach hand selecting certain rocksl "He felt that the Pebbly Beach area was a special area and that Jim Watson Columnist somehow (the energy) had morphed into the rocks" said Chuck. ?He was able to put battery connectors on them and he showed us how the rocks did give off a significant amount of energy." In fact, Chuck said Dr. Brown was toying with the idea of some- how "harvesting" the i:ocks for the purposes of power generation. "He never talked about how long the energy would be coming out of the rocks," said Chuck. "His whole concept was that this was a cheap source of energy." Dr. Brown's daughter Linda told me once of an incident involving these unique rock specimens. It happened back when the family lived in ene of the old Quonset huts out at Pebbly Beach, where Dr. Brown did much of his research. Linda recalls answer- ing a knock at the door one night only to find four members of a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine that had been anchored offshore for a few days. One of them was an of- ricer, and at least one of the other crew members was armed with an automatic rifle. Dr. Brown, apparently expect- ing the men, welcomed them into the home and proceeded to bring them a box of some of the rocks he had collected over the years. Linda noted that the rocks had what appeared to be copper anodes and cathodes on them. After a brief discussion, the Navy men thanked Dr. Brown and left with their box o' rocks. The following day, the sub was gone. Linda's father never did explain to her what that whole episode was about. But that was all part and parcel of life with her father. We all know that there is some- thing indeed "special" about Cata- lina Island, something that goes beyond the marvelous climate, the picture-postcard vistas at every turn and the general amity among the folks who live here. But is there something more to it than that? Thomas Townsend Brown thought there was. And remember, the pseudosci- entific explanations of today, just might be the logical explanations of tomorrow. Health insurance enrollment ends Sunday, Feb. 15 Islanders can seek free and con- fidential assistance from several sources to meet the open enroll- ment for health insurance deadline of Feb. 15. Open enrollment is the only time during the year when most Californians who need insur- ance cannot be denied by a health plan. Millions will be able to get subsidized health insurance for the upcoming year. Covered California offers a range of choices in private insurance plans. Information from the Covered California website or a consultation with a certified insurance agent allows individuals to compare plans. Catalina Island Medical Center has used Tom Martin Insurance Services (phone 949-683-6643; email but can also direct patients to free con- sultations that are available online at Click on "Find Local Help" to search for an agent, certified enrollment counselor or county eligibility worker. SLANDER CROSSWORD T0- 12 ;I-- m mmmmmm Across: 2 Whale Food 4 Outboard Rinse 6 Dry Winter, La _____ 7 For Scrap 9 Platform Boat 11 To Remove 12 Wet Winter, El 14 Fall to Sleep Slang i5 Nasty Stare Down: 1 Electrical Discharge 3 To Think 5 East Coast Lobster 8 Fluff and 9 Open Fishing Boat 10 Bill 13 Haulout, on the_.__ Answers on page 1 Puzzle Sponsored By: 301 and IDa)5 CreJcent iilvenue Visit your doctor-- not just any doctor. With full-time physicians and a family nurse practitioner dedicated to the island and its patients, we invite you to have an on-going relationship with a provider who knows youand your medical needs. Monte Mellon, MD Tracey Norton, DO Laura Ulibarri, MD CONVENIENT PROFESSIONAL COMPASSIONATE Catalina Island Medical Center 24-Hour Emergency Care Radiology, Laboratory & Physical Therapy Skilled Nursing Facility (310) 510-0700 Provider appointments Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm Evening appointments also available (310) 510-0096 IslandMedicalCenter I THE CATALINA ISLANDER Friday, January 23, 201519