Volume 10, Number 10
Edited by John L. Petersen
ANDREW COHEN TO SPEAK IN WASHINGTON, DC
“A New Culture Beyond Ego: Leadership, Integrity, and a Passion to Create the Future” is the title of a talk and a half-day seminar being given by visionary thinker and spiritual leader Andrew Cohen in Washington, DC on May 11 and 12.
Cohen is founder and editor in chief of What Is Enlightenment? magazine, which has often featured TAI’s president John Petersen. A defining voice in the field of evolutionary spirituality, Cohen marries the perennial wisdom of enlightenment with our need to meet the challenges of a fast-evolving world.
"If change is going to happen on a scale that can truly make a difference, leaders are going to have to become nothing less than heroes--moral, ethical, and spiritual heroes. This is the challenge of authentic leadership and, from a certain point of view, nothing is more important." Andrew Cohen
Evening talk: National Press Club, Friday, May 11 at 8 pm. Half-day seminar: Saturday, May 12 from 1-6 pm in Adelphi, MD. Information and online registration: http://www.andrewcohen.org/locations/dc.asp
A Global Democratic Movement Is About to Pop – (Orion Magazine – May 1, 2007)
An essay by Paul Hawken on the enormous proliferation of small groups of people working toward ecological sustainability and social justice. His conclusions: this is the largest social movement in all of history, no one knows its scope, and how it functions is more mysterious than what meets the eye. This is the first time in history that a large social movement is not bound together by an "ism." What binds it together is ideas, not ideologies.
Text Reveals More Ancient Secrets
Chimps More Evolved Than Humans
Kryptonite Discovered in Mine
Text Reveals More Ancient Secrets – (BBC News – April 26, 2007)
Experts have found that a medieval prayer book has yielded yet another key ancient text buried within its parchment. Works by mathematician Archimedes and the politician Hyperides had already been found buried within the book, known as the Archimedes Palimpsest. But now advanced imaging technology has revealed a third text - a commentary on the philosopher Aristotle.
Chimps More Evolved Than Humans – (New Scientist – April 16, 2007)
It is time to stop thinking we are the pinnacle of evolutionary success – chimpanzees are the more highly evolved species, according to new research. Evolutionary geneticist Jianzhi Zhang and colleagues at the University of Michigan compared DNA sequences for 13,888 genes shared by human, chimp and rhesus macaques. Zhang's team found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by selection since chimps and humans split from their common ancestor about 6 million years ago.
Kryptonite Discovered in Mine – (BBC News – April 24, 2007)
A new mineral matching its unique chemistry - as described in the film Superman Returns - has been identified in a mine in Serbia. Researchers from mining group Rio Tinto discovered the unusual mineral and enlisted the help of Dr Stanley when they could not match it with anything known previously to science. Once the London expert had unraveled the mineral's chemical make-up, he was shocked to discover this formula was already referenced in the literature - albeit literary fiction.
'Cybertooth' for Patients May Replace Pills
Early Baby Sex Test over the Web
Hacking Your Body's Bacteria for Better Health
'Cybertooth' for Patients May Replace Pills – (Reuters – April 19, 2007)
The Intellidrug project hopes to develop an oral device with embedded software that attaches to a tooth and administers medication pre-programmed by a patient's doctor. The device can be fixed in a patient's mouth, either as an attachment or type of crown to a tooth or as an implant. To administer the medicine, a panel on the device opens and releases the dosage into the back of the patient's mouth.
Early Baby Sex Test over the Web – (BBC News – May 4, 2007)
A test is being sold on the internet that enables parents to check the sex of their unborn baby at just six weeks. The early results, obtained from a finger-prick of blood, are 99% accurate; the company offers a refund for wrong predictions. The kit, sold by DNA Worldwide for $280, is controversial. Critics claim it may prompt parents to abort if they are unhappy with the test result.
Hacking Your Body's Bacteria for Better Health – (Wired – April 26, 2007)
Bacterial cells in the body outnumber our own by a factor of 10, with 50 trillion bacteria living in the digestive system alone, where they've remained largely unstudied until the last decade. As scientists learn more about them, they're beginning to chart the complex symbiosis between the tiny bugs and our health. And it now appears that our daily antibacterial regimens are disrupting a balance that once protected humans from health problems, especially allergies and malfunctioning immune responses.
Scientists Create Nano Nose with Aim of Sniffing Out Diseased Cells – (UMass Amherst – April 25, 2007)
A team of scientists has created a kind of molecular nose that uses nanoparticle-based sensors to sniff out and identify proteins. The sensors, which can be trained to detect a wide variety of proteins, could eventually serve as a medical diagnostic tool by sniffing out the proteins made by sickly cells. The chemical nose approach has the potential to be more reliable and cheaper than current technology. The research team is currently focusing on sensors for detecting the malformed proteins produced by cancer cells, but the technique holds promise as a means for detecting a wide variety of diseases.
'Killer bees' Seem Resistant to Disorder
Taiwan Stung by Millions of Missing Bees
Scientists Identify Pathogens That May Be Causing Global Honey-Bee Deaths
Ebola-like Virus Killing Fish in Great Lake
'Killer bees' Seem Resistant to Disorder – (Azstarnet – April 30, 2007)
Although experts are stumped about what's causing the colony-collapse disorder (CCD) die-off in U.S. commercial beehives, there is some speculation that Arizona's famed Africanized – or "killer bee" – wild-bee population is somehow immune. The Africanized bees are aggressive, slightly smaller wild bees that produce bumper crops of honey and bad press. They also appear to be more resistant to whatever is causing CCD than the European honeybees.
Taiwan Stung by Millions of Missing Bees – (Reuters – April 26, 2007)
Taiwan's bee farmers are feeling the sting of lost business and possible crop danger after millions of the honey-making, plant-pollinating insects vanished during volatile weather.
Over the past two months, farmers in three parts of Taiwan have reported most of their bees gone.
Scientists Identify Pathogens That May Be Causing Global Honey-Bee Deaths – (Science Daily – April 26, 2007)
Using a new technology called the Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS), originally designed for military use to rapidly screen samples for pathogens, scientists have identified both a virus and a parasite that are likely to be behind the recent sudden die-off of honey-bee colonies.
Ebola-like Virus Killing Fish in Great Lakes – (USA Today – April 29, 2007)
A deadly Ebola-like virus is killing fish of all types in the Great Lakes, a development some scientists fear could trigger disaster for the USA's freshwater fish. Last year, the aggressive virus resulted in large fish kills that struck at least 20 species. Scientists are watching to see whether the disease returns in mid-May when water in the lakes warms to temperatures at which the virus attacks.
New Toys Read Brain Waves
Seeing Through Wall
New Toys Read Brain Waves – (Associated Press – April 30, 2007)
Engineers at NeuroSky Inc. have big plans for brain wave-reading toys and video games. Technology from NeuroSky and other startups could even enable players to control video game characters or avatars in virtual worlds with nothing but their thoughts. Adding biofeedback to "Tiger Woods PGA Tour," for instance, could mean that only those players who muster Zen-like concentration could nail a put.
Seeing Through Walls – (New Scientist – April 20, 2007)
Have you considered that someone could be reading what's on your monitor, even a flat screen monitor, from a few rooms away? It's unlikely, but possible. A radio antenna and radio receiver - equipment totaling less than $2,000 - are all you need.
Birth of a New Wedge
Singapore Wants Dutch Dikes
China Creates Tibetan Snow as Glaciers Melt
'Sex Change' for Chinese Trees
Birth of a New Wedge – (TruthOut – May 3, 2007)
Agrichar is the term for what is left over after the energy is removed from biomass: a charcoal-based soil amendment. The agrichar process takes dry biomass of any kind and bakes it in a kiln to produce charcoal. Various gases and bio-oils are driven off the material and collected to use in heat or power generation. The charcoal is then buried in the ground, sequestering the carbon that the plants had pulled out of the atmosphere. The end result is increased soil fertility and an energy source with negative carbon emissions.
Singapore Wants Dutch Dikes – (Spiegel – April 24, 2007)
Singapore has decided not to wait for sea levels to rise, preferring to plan ahead. The city-state has contacted experts from the Netherlands for help with dike construction as it prepares for the effects of climate change. The 663 square kilometer city-state has begun researching such technology, "because by the time the waters have risen… that is too late," said former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
China Creates Tibetan Snow as Glaciers Melt – (Reuters – April 18, 2007)
China has created artificial snow for the first time in Tibet to head off possible drought. Chinese scientists have warned that rising temperatures on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau will melt glaciers, dry up major Chinese rivers and trigger drought, sandstorms and desertification. The snowfall was measured at 2.2 mm and the accumulated snow on the ground reached one cm after the artificial snowfall.
'Sex Change' for Chinese Trees – (The Australian – April 20, 2007)
While there are 300,000 poplar trees in China's capital, only some "female" trees are being injected with a "sex change" substance. The experiment aims to change their nature so no pollen will be produced. Hospitals in Beijing have received increasing numbers of patients who suffer from asthma or allergies after inhaling the pollen, which blankets the city in a snowfall of white fluff.
Police Turn to Psychics to Solve Crimes
Is This Really Proof That Man Can See into the Future?
Mouse Brain Simulated on Computer
Robot Future Poses Hard Questions
Police Turn to Psychics to Solve Crimes – (News Monster – May 02, 2007)
The police are increasingly turning to psychics and mediums for help in their battle against crime. Sources in the National Criminal Intelligence Service (in the United Kingdom) say that officers turn to mediums to help them solve the more difficult cases. There is even a database containing the names of ‘official’ psychics that officers can tap into 24 hours a day.
Is This Really Proof That Man Can See into the Future? – (Daily Mail – May 04, 2007)
Experimental research suggests that ordinary people have a sixth sense that can help them 'see' the future. Professor Brian Josephson, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Cambridge University, says: "So far, the evidence seems compelling. What seems to be happening is that information is coming from the future. In fact, it's not clear in physics why you can't see the future. You certainly cannot completely rule out this effect."
Mouse Brain Simulated on Computer – (BBC News – April 27, 2007)
Computing power is working to catch up. US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer. Brain tissue presents a huge problem for simulation because of its complexity and the sheer number of potential interactions between the elements involved. The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for 10 seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life - the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain.
Robot Future Poses Hard Questions – (BBC News – April 24, 2007)
Autonomous robots are able to make decisions without human intervention. As they become more common, these machines could also have negative impacts on areas such as surveillance and elderly care, the roboticists warn. Samsung, for example, has developed a robotic sentry to guard the border between North and South Korea. It is equipped with two cameras and a machine gun.
Beer Maker, Scientists to Create Energy
The Century of Roots
Solar Silicon Solution Wins MIT Energy Plan Contest
Buildings Could Save Energy by Spying on Inhabitants
Beer Maker, Scientists to Create Energy – (Physorg.com – May, 02, 2007)
Researchers at Australia's University of Queensland are installing a microbial fuel cell at a Foster's Group brewery near Brisbane. The fuel cell is essentially a battery in which bacteria consume water-soluble brewing waste such as sugar, starch and alcohol. The battery produces electricity plus clean water by harnessing the chemical energy the bacteria release from the organic material and converting it into electrical energy.
The Century of Roots – (A.M Samsam Bakhtiari – April, 2007)
Dr. Ali Bakhtiari is a retired senior energy expert, employed by the National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) of Tehran between 1971 and his mandatory retirement due to age in 2005. At the time he retired, Dr. Bakhtiari was attached to the director's office in the Corporate Planning Directorate of NIOC, specializing in issues related to the global oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. He is now an independent consultant with no official affiliation with NIOC. In this essay, Dr Bakhtiari begins to examine what may be the psychological impacts of Peak Oil.
Solar Silicon Solution Wins MIT Energy Plan Contest – (PES Network – May 02, 2007)
Reaction Sciences, Inc (RSI) won the "People's Choice" award and first place in MIT's energy business plan contest for its ultra-disruptive process which provides solar grade Silicon at a fraction of the cost of current Silicon process plants, with only 10% of the capital cost. Once RSI is in high-volume production, the price of photovoltaic solar products will be able to drop significantly, making solar energy 35-60% cheaper than at present.
Buildings Could Save Energy by Spying on Inhabitants – (New Scientist – April 28, 2007)
A SMART building, one with a network of motion detectors, can improve the energy efficiency and safety of the building while remaining deaf and blind to the activities of individuals. Such systems could use their knowledge of where groups congregate to turn down the air conditioning when there are only a few people in one part of the building, for example. In an emergency, electronic signs could direct people to the nearest available escape route when one becomes congested
TERRORISM, SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE
U.S. Asks Court to Cut Lawyers' Access to Guantánamo
The Militarization of Neuroscience
Pentagon to Merge Next-Gen Binoculars With Soldiers' Brains
DARPA’s iXo Artificial Intelligence Control Grid
Homeland Security Classifies TRON as "Sensitive"
U.S. Asks Court to Cut Lawyers' Access to Guantánamo – (Herald Tribune – April 26, 2007)
Under a proposal filed in the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the government would limit lawyers to three visits with an existing client at Guantánamo; it would permit only a single visit with a detainee to have him authorize a lawyer to handle his case; and it would permit a team of intelligence officers and military lawyers not involved in a prisoner's case to read mail sent to him by his lawyer. The proposal would also reverse existing rules to permit government officials, on their own, to deny the lawyers access to secret evidence used by military panels to determine that their clients were enemy combatants. The federal appeals court is scheduled to hear the case on May 15, 2007.
The Militarization of Neuroscience – (The Bulletin – April 10, 2007)
According to Jonathan Moreno's new book, Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense (Dana Press 2006), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been funding research in the following areas: mind-machine interfaces that will enable military personnel to control high-tech weapons by thought alone; "living robots" whose movements could be controlled via brain implants; "cognitive feedback helmets" that allow remote monitoring of soldiers' mental state; MRI technologies for use in interrogation or airport screening for terrorists; pulse weapons or other neurodisruptors that play havoc with enemy soldiers' thought processes; "neuroweapons" that use biological agents to excite the release of neurotoxins; and new drugs that would enable soldiers to go without sleep for days, to excise traumatic memories, to suppress fear, or to repress psychological inhibitions against killing.
Pentagon to Merge Next-Gen Binoculars With Soldiers' Brains – (Wired – May 1, 2007)
U.S. Special Forces may soon have a strange and powerful new weapon in their arsenal. Dubbed "Luke's Binoculars" - after the high-tech binoculars Luke Skywalker uses in Star Wars - high-tech binoculars 10 times more powerful than anything available today, augmented by an alerting system that literally taps the wearer's prefrontal cortex to warn of furtive threats detected by the soldier's subconscious is under development. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says it expects to have prototypes in the hands of soldiers in three years.
DARPA’s iXo Artificial Intelligence Control Grid – (Google video – March 25, 2007)
This twenty minute video was constructed almost entirely using government/military quotes, animations, videos, images and photos. The narrative is sourced from government quotes from start to finish. It unveils the government’s numerous and ongoing programs related to artificial intelligence., “NBIC”, the “Global Information Grid”, nanotechnology, biotechnology, autonomous drones, “naval sea-bases”, space weapons and weather modification. The makers of the video clearly had an agenda that exceeded mere information. Leaving aside the agenda, the video is nonetheless an introduction into types of technology that many civilians know little about.
Homeland Security Classifies TRON as "Sensitive" – (Kuro5hin – March 29, 2007)
Reports are emerging from members of the movie industry that the Department of Homeland Security has designated the 1982 film TRON as "sensitive", and ordered Walt Disney Studios to turn over all copies of the film in its possession. Retailers are also receiving notices to remove all copies of the film from stock shelves and turn them over to Federal officials. A portion of the movie's live-action sequence was filmed at Shiva, a nuclear fusion research facility created at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The facility was dismantled in 1981. However, as a government funded nuclear research program, it is subject to comprehensive national security guidelines, and it is this point that seems to have gotten the film into trouble.
CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE
Potentially Habitable Planet Found
Pilot’s UFO Shock
Riding the Solar Wind on a 30-Mile Sail
Potentially Habitable Planet Found – (My Way – April 24, 2007)
For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described as a big step in the search for "life in the universe." The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But a few caveats about how alien that world is: Gravity is 1.6 times as strong as Earth's so a 150-pound person would feel like 240 pounds and birthdays would add up fast since it orbits its star every 13 days.
Pilot’s UFO Shock – (Guernsey Press – April 26, 2007)
Two experienced airline pilots on separate flights saw something up to a mile wide off the coast of Alderney in the English Channel. An air traffic controller said he had received simultaneous reports from the two pilots. The Jersey radar equipment did not pick up the object. However, if the object was stationary, our equipment would not have picked it up because the radar would have screened it out.
Riding the Solar Wind on a 30-Mile Sail – (Wired – May 08, 2007)
A spinning web of electrified wire 30 miles wide may become the spacecraft propulsion system of the future. A team from the Kumpula Space Center in Finland is proposing a huge electronic sail for spacecraft that may dramatically reduce journey times across the solar system. The giant sail, which would be twice the length of Manhattan, is made from about 100 wires spun up into a whirling disk. Electrified by an onboard, solar-powered electron gun, the negatively charged wires repel the positively charged protons of the solar wind, providing thrust.
DEMOGRAPHICS AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Around Globe, Walls Spring up to Divide Neighbors – (Reuters – May 01, 2007)
Walls that divide neighbors, cause controversy and form part of an array of physical barriers are going up around the world. When completed, the barriers will run thousands of miles, in places as far apart as Mexico and India, Afghanistan and Spain, Morocco and Thailand, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. By an irony of history, the United States - the country that hastened the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 - has emerged as a champion wall builder.
JUST FOR FUN
Is That an MP3 Player in Your Pants ...? – (Spiegel – March 22, 2007)
In a Munich beer garden sipping on a fresh liter of Helles, the locals in their lederhosen at the next table complete the image of traditional rusticality - at least until their lederhosen, Bavarian leather pants, start ringing. Instead of the traditional deer-antler buttons down the side, the digital lederhosen comes equipped with five buttons to control MP3 player, complete with cell phone reception. Digital traditionalists can also outfit themselves with a classic Bavarian jacket with MP3 control in the arm.
The future influences the present just as much as the past. - Friedrich Nietzsche
A special thanks to Bernard Calil, Ken Dabkowski, Kate Delaney, Neil Freer, Ursula Freer, Humera Khan, KurzweilAI, Sher Patterson-Black, Diane C. Petersen, John C. Petersen, Christopher Robinson, the Schwartzreport, Joel Snell, and Steve Ujvarosy, our contributors to this issue. If you see something we should know about, do send it along - thanks.