A new parapsychological research center is soon to open in a popular virtual arena called Second Life. The Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education (The AZIRE) was founded to provide resources for researchers, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, therapists and counselors, and teachers and students interested in seemingly psychic phenomena. A project of Alvarado Consulting, The AZIRE is located in
Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado and Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone, the folks behind The AZIRE, have enjoyed careers in parapsychology since the late 1970s. Focusing mainly on the psychology of experience — especially on the out-of-body experience — they have been lucky enough to have worked at some of the premiere institutions in the field, such as the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina, the Koestler Parapsychology Unit in the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, the Parapsychology Foundation in New York City and Greenport, New York, and at the Division of Perceptual Studies in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, where they now hold part-time grant-based research faculty appointments.
The AZIRE website — http://www.theazire.org — includes links to blogs on various aspects of their field of study including parapsychology as a profession, parapsychology’s contribution to science, and biographies in parapsychology, as well as links to personal blogs such as those written by Dr. Charles Tart and Dr. Dean Radin. The AZIRE website also includes links to many universities, institutes, and organizations all over the world as well as to those few opportunities for accredited and/or high quality online learning in parapsychology. Links are also provided to web-based freely available articles by Alvarado and Zingrone and to recommended books in the field.
In addition to developing online courses, a “Virtual College Fair” is in the planning stages. So far Dr. Charles Tart, Dr. Caroline Watt of the
The AZIRE has committed to Second Life as a particularly vibrant media for education. To exploit that potential, The AZIRE Learning Center presents similar resources to those provided by The AZIRE website but using some of the interactive media available inworld such as continuously running slideshows, “notecards,” a YouTube viewer and click-throughs to buy books and download articles. Still in development in Second Life are The AZIRE Library that will include an expanded selection of articles and books to download or buy, and The AZIRE Classroom Building, a cosy space where discussions and classes will be hosted.
If you’re experienced in Second Life, Alvarado and Zingrone want to remind you that The AZIRE’s first open house is on Sunday, September 20th, 2009 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm PST. Once inworld, IM Maggie Larimore (Zingrone’s Second Life alter ego) and she will send you the landmark. For those who’d like to give Second Life a try, once inworld IM Maggie Larimore and/or Rodolfo Mirabella (Alvarado’s SL alter ego) for a warm welcome!