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Society for Psychical Research

The Society for Psychical Research is a nonprofit organisation in the United Kingdom. Its stated purpose is to understand events and abilities described as psychic or paranormal, it describes itself as the "first society to conduct organised scholarly research into human experiences that challenge contemporary scientific models." It does not, since its inception in 1882, hold any corporate opinions: SPR members assert a variety of beliefs with regard to the nature of the phenomena studied. The Society for Psychical Research originated from a discussion between journalist Edmund Rogers and the physicist William F. Barrett in autumn 1881; this led to a conference on the 5 and 6 January 1882 at the headquarters of the British National Association of Spiritualists which the foundation of the Society was proposed. The committee included Barrett, Stainton Moses, Charles Massey, Edmund Gurney, Hensleigh Wedgwood and Frederic W. H. Myers; the SPR was formally constituted on the 20 February 1882 with philosopher Henry Sidgwick as its first president.

The SPR was the first organisation of its kind in the world, its stated purpose being "to approach these varied problems without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned enquiry which has enabled science to solve so many problems, once not less obscure nor less hotly debated."Other early members included the author Jane Barlow, the renowned chemist Sir William Crookes, physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, Nobel laureate Charles Richet and psychologist William James. Members of the SPR initiated and organised the International Congresses of Physiological/Experimental psychology. Areas of study included hypnotism, thought-transference, Reichenbach phenomena and haunted houses and the physical phenomena associated with séances; the SPR were to introduce a number of neologisms which have entered the English language, such as'telepathy', coined by Frederic Myers. The Society is run by a President and a Council of twenty members, is open to interested members of the public to join.

The organisation is based at 1 Vernon Mews, with a library and office open to members, with large book and archival holdings in Cambridge University Library, England. It publishes the peer reviewed quarterly Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, the irregular Proceedings and the magazine Paranormal Review, it holds an annual conference, regular lectures and two study days per year and supports the LEXSCIEN on-line library project. Among the first important works was the two-volume publication in 1886, Phantasms of the Living, concerning telepathy and apparitions, co-authored by Gurney and Frank Podmore; this text, subsequent research in this area, was received negatively by the scientific mainstream, though Gurney and Podmore provided a defense of the society's early work in this area in mainstream publications. The SPR "devised methodological innovations such as randomized study designs" and conducted "the first experiments investigating the psychology of eyewitness testimony and conceptual studies illuminating mechanisms of dissociation and hypnotism"In 1894, the Census of Hallucinations was published which sampled 17,000 people.

Out of these, 1, 684 persons reported having experienced a hallucination of an apparition. Such efforts were claimed to have undermined "the notion of dissociation and hallucinations as intrinsically pathological phenomena"The SPR investigated many spiritualist mediums such as Eva Carrière and Eusapia Palladino. During the early twentieth century, the SPR studied a series of automatic scripts and trance utterances from a group of automatic writers, known as the cross-correspondences. Famous cases investigated by the Society include the Enfield Poltergeist. In 1912 the Society extended a request for a contribution to a special medical edition of its Proceedings to Sigmund Freud. Though according to Ronald W. Clark "Freud surmised, no doubt that the existence of any link between the founding fathers of psychoanalysis and investigation of the paranormal would hamper acceptance of psychoanalysis" as would any perceived involvement with the occult. Nonetheless, Freud did respond, contributing an essay titled "A Note on the Unconscious in Psycho-Analysis" to the Medical Supplement to the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research.

Much of the early work involved investigating, exposing and in some cases duplicating fake phenomena. In the late 19th century, SPR investigations into séance phenomena led to the exposure of many fraudulent mediums. Richard Hodgson distinguished himself in that area. In 1884, Hodgson was sent by the SPR to India to investigate Helena Blavatsky and concluded that her claims of psychic power were fraudulent; however these findings were much reviewed and retracted by the SPR. In 1886 and 1887 a series of publications by S. J. Davey and Sidgwick in the SPR journal exposed the slate writing tricks of the medium William Eglinton. Hodgson with his friend, S. J. Davey, had staged fake séances for educating the public. Davey gave sittings under an assumed name, duplicating the phenomena produced by Eglinton, proceeded to point out to the sitters the manner in which they had been deceived; because of this, some spiritualist members such as Stainton Moses resigned from the SPR. In 1891, Alfred Russel Wallace requested for the Society to properly investigate spirit photography.

Eleanor Sidgwick responded with a critical paper in the SPR which cast doubt on the subject and discussed the fraudulent methods that spirit photographers such as Édouard Isidore Buguet, Frederic Hudson and William H. Mumler had utilised. Due to

Lucie Rie

Dame Lucie Rie, was an Austrian-born British studio potter. Lucie Gomperz was born in Vienna, Lower Austria, Austria-Hungary the youngest child of Benjamin Gomperz, a Jewish medical doctor, a consultant to Sigmund Freud, she had Paul Gomperz and Teddy Gomperz. Paul Gomperz was killed at the Italian front in 1917, she had a liberal upbringing. She studied pottery under Michael Powolny at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of arts and crafts associated with the Wiener Werkstätte, in which she enrolled in 1922. While in Vienna, Lucie's uncle from her mother's side had a collection of art that inspired her interest in archeology and architecture, she was first inspired by her uncle's Roman pottery collection, excavated from the suburbs of Vienna. She set up her first studio in Vienna in 1925 and exhibited the same year at the Paris International Exhibition, she was influenced by Neoclassicism, Jugendstil and Japonism. In 1937, she won a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition. Rie had her first solo show as a potter in 1949.

In 1938, she emigrated to England, where she settled in London. Around this time she separated from Hans Rie, a businessman whom she had married in Vienna in 1926, their marriage was dissolved in 1940. For a time she provided accommodation to the physicist Erwin Schrödinger. During and after the war, to make ends meet, she made ceramic buttons and jewellery, some of which are displayed at London's Victoria and Albert Museum and as part of the Lisa Sainsbury Collection at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich. In 1946, she hired Hans Coper, a young man with no experience in ceramics, to help her fire the buttons. Although Coper was interested in learning sculpture, she sent him to a potter named Heber Mathews, who taught him how to make pots on the wheel. Rie and Coper exhibited together in 1948. Coper became a partner in Rie's studio, where he remained until 1958, their friendship lasted until Coper's death in 1981. Rie's small studio was at a narrow street of converted stables near Hyde Park.

She was renowned for giving her visitors tea and cake. The studio remained unchanged during the 50 years she occupied it and has been reconstructed in the Victoria and Albert Museum's ceramics gallery. Rie was a friend of Bernard Leach, one of the leading figures in British studio pottery in the mid-20th century, she was impressed by his views concerning the "completeness" of a pot, but despite his transient influence, her brightly coloured, modernist pottery stands apart from Leach's subdued, oriental work. She taught at Camberwell College of Arts from 1960 until 1972, she exhibited with great success. Her most famous creations are vases and bowls, which drew some inspiration from Japan as well as many other places. There are other works such as buttons, which she bequeathed to her close friend the Japanese designer Issey Miyake, she stopped making pottery in 1990. She died at home in London on 1 April 1995, aged 93. Rie's work has been described as cosmopolitan, she is best remembered for her bottle forms.

Her pottery is displayed in collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the York Art Gallery in the UK, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Paisley Museum in Scotland. She influenced many during her 60 year career and developed inventive kiln processing, her studio was moved and reconstructed in the new ceramics gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum opened in 2009. She was awarded the title of Dame Commander after teaching at the Camberwell School of Art from 1960 until 1971. 1937 Silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition 1968 Officer of the Order of the British Empire 1969 Honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art 1981 Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1991 Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1992 Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University Birks, Tony. Lucie Rie, Stenlake Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84033-448-7. Coatts, Margot. Lucie Rie and Hans Coper: Potters in Parallel, Herbert Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7136-4697-7.

Cooper, Emmanuel. Lucie Rie: The Life and Work of Lucie Rie, 1902-1995, Ceramic Review Publishing Ltd. 2002. ISBN 4-86020-122-1. Frankel, Cyril. Modern Pots: Hans Coper, Lucie Rie & their Contemporaries, University of East Anglia Press, 2002. ISBN 0-946009-36-8. "Dame Lucie Rie, 93, Noted Ceramicist", New York Times, April 3, 1995, B10. Erskine, Hall & Coe Gallery BBC Woman's Hour, 15 March 2002 "Bottle". Victoria & Albert Museum. Retrieved 19 November 2007. American Museum of Ceramic Art, a selection of her works is in AMOCA's Permanent Collection "Lucie Rie,'Teapot & Jug'". Victoria & Albert Museum. Retrieved 9 December 2007. "Lucie Rie: A New Zealand Connection". The Dowse Art Museum. 16 May - 26 July 2015 Justine Olsen, curator of Decorative and Applied Arts at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, interviewed on Lucie Rie: Lucie Rie & New Zealand Modernism New Zealand ceramicist John Parker interviewed on working with Lucie Rie in London in the 1970s A New Zealand Connection

Psalm 136

Psalm 136 is the 136th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 135 in a different numbering system, it is sometimes referred to as "The Great Hallel". Is recited in its entirety during the Pesukei Dezimra on Shabbat, Yom Tov, Hoshana Rabbah. Is recited on the eighth day of Passover in some traditions. Verse 1 is part of the final paragraph of Birkat Hamazon. Verse 4 is recited. Verse 6 is recited in Rokah Ha'aertz Al Hamayim of Birkat HaShachar. Verse 7 is part of Likel Barukh in Blessings before the Shema. Verse 25 is part of the opening paragraph of Birkat Hamazon. Along with Psalm 135 is called the Polyeleos or translated to "Many Mercies", named such after the refrain used "for His mercy endures forever"; the Polyeleos is sung at Vigils. In some Slavic traditions and on Mt. Athos it is read every Sunday at Orthros. On Mt. Athos it is considered one of the most joyful periods of Matins-Liturgy, the highest point of Matins.

In Athonite practice, all the candles are lit, the chandeliers are made to swing as the Psalms are sung, it is accompanied by a joyful peal of the bells and censing of the church, sometimes with a hand censer which has many bells on it. At vigils, it accompanies the opening of the Royal Doors and a great censing of the nave by the Priest or Deacon. Psalm 136 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre Psalm 136 King James Bible - Wikisource