Volume 11, Number 13 – 07/30/08

Volume 11, Number 13 – 07/30/08
FUTURE FACTS – FROM THIS ISSUERapid changes in the churning movement of Earth’s liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet’s surface.The Large Hadron Collider in a tunnel below the French-Swiss border is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe.Artificial wombs and experiments on human embryos grown in the lab may be commonplace and no big deal ethically in 30 years.
Rock Port, Missouri is the first U.S. town powered completely by wind.
INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE• Real Racing in the Virtual World
• MySpace Signs up to OpenID Scheme

Real Racing in the Virtual World – (BBC News – June 11, 2008)

For any Formula One fan the chance to race against their heroes would be a dream come true.
Sadly, the closest most of us will ever get is watching the Grand Prix on television. But that could soon change if a company from the Netherlands has its way. Andy Lurling, founder of iOpener Media, said that the patented system his company is developing sucks in real-time GPS data from racing events and pumps it out to compatible games consoles and PCs. The idea is that you could pit yourself against the top drivers in the world, as it happens, from the comfort of your living room.

MySpace Signs up to OpenID Scheme – (BBC News – July 23, 2008)

The social networking giant, which boasts more than 100 million accounts, has signed up for the OpenID initiative. The project aims to ease the mental load of going online by letting people use one set of login details for many different places. Sites such as AOL, Blogger, Flickr and Yahoo already use OpenID. Open ID removes some of the need to keep creating new login names and passwords by adopting the approach used by your computer when it looks up a site name you type into an browser address bar. The Open ID approach revolves around an already established web identity that people nominate as their core identifier. When this identity is used to sign on elsewhere, requests are sent back to the original place it was created to be verified.


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NEW REALITIES• Earth’s Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast
• Using Neptunium, Plutonium Provide Insight into Superconductivity

Earth’s Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast – (National Georgraphic – June 30, 2008)

Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth’s liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet’s surface. “What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth’s magnetic field,” said study co-author Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. The findings suggest similarly quick changes are simultaneously occurring in the liquid metal, 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) below the surface, he said. The decline in the magnetic field also is opening Earth’s upper atmosphere to intense charged particle radiation, scientists say.

Using Neptunium, Plutonium Provide Insight into Superconductivity – (Rutgers – July 21, 2008)

While superconductivity holds promise for massive energy savings in power transmission and for uses such as levitating trains, today it occurs only at extremely cold temperatures. As a result, its use is now limited to specialized medical and scientific instruments. Over the past two decades, scientists have made metals that turn superconducting at progressively higher temperatures, but even those have to be cooled below the temperature of liquid nitrogen.
Still, physicists believe room temperature superconductivity may be possible. The work reported by the Rutgers and Columbia physicists is a step in that direction – shedding new light on the connection between magnetism and superconductivity.


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DISCOVERIES ENABLED BY NEW TECHNOLOGY• Seas Striped With Newfound Currents
• Human Speech Traced to Talking Fish
• Yemen Embraces its Jurassic Past
• Cern Lab Goes Colder than Space

Seas Striped With Newfound Currents – (Live Science – July 14, 2008)

Sailors and scientists have been mapping ocean currents for centuries, but it turns out they’ve missed something big. How big? The entire ocean is striped with 100-mile-wide bands of slow-moving water that extend right down to the seafloor, according to a recent study. They flow past each other in opposing directions at 130 feet per hour—just 1/10th to 1/100th the speed of major ocean currents—and subtle changes in temperature demarcate their boundaries.

Human Speech Traced to Talking Fish – (Live Science – July 18, 2008)
Researchers say real fish can communicate with sound. And they say (the researchers, that is) that your speech skills and, in fact, all sound production in vertebrates can be traced back to this ability in fish. (You got your ears from fish, too.) The scientists mapped developing brain cells in newly hatched midshipman fish larvae and compared them to those of other species. They found that the chirp of a bird, the bark of a dog and all the other sounds that come out of animals’ mouths are the products of the neural circuitry likely laid down hundreds of millions of years ago with the hums and grunts of fish.

Yemen Embraces its Jurassic Past – (BBC News – July 21, 2008)
Tucked away in the heart of rural Yemen, Madar now finds itself in the limelight after a series of dinosaur prints were discovered in the village – the first such discovery on the Arabian Peninsula. The dinosaur tracks have been lying exposed, above ground, for centuries, but scientists only recently stumbled across them following a tip-off from a local journalist. The prints – some of which are half a meter wide – show a herd of eleven dinosaurs walking together and offer a glimpse into the dinosaurs’ behaviour, vital information which cannot be gleaned by studying fossils alone.

Cern Lab Goes Colder than Space – (BBC News – July 18, 2008)
A vast physics experiment built in a tunnel below the French-Swiss border is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe. The Large Hadron Collider is entering the final stages of being lowered to a temperature of -456F – colder than deep space. The LHC has thousands of magnets which will be maintained in this frigid condition using liquid helium. The magnets are arranged in a ring that runs for 27km through the giant tunnel. The most powerful physics experiment ever built, the LHC will re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang.

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GENTICS/HEALTH TECHNOLOGY• Gene Tags Fuel Obesity Epidemic
• The Future of Babies
• Tobacco Could Help Treat Cancer
• Human-frog Hybrids Reveal Autism’s Secrets
• Animal Tissue Rejection Advance
• Human Blood Vessels Grown in Mice
• Tongue Drive Technology

Gene Tags Fuel Obesity Epidemic – (BBC News – July 16, 2008)

Researchers increasingly believe that the effect of conditions in the womb on the developing fetus can play an important role in setting future health. Specifically, the womb environment may be able to produce chemical changes which control the level at which certain genes function. This process is called “epigenetics”. Mice genetically prone to obesity get fatter generation by generation. “Epigenetic” tags, which affect the function of our genes, may be responsible, according to researchers.

The Future of Babies – (Live Science – July 16, 2008)

Artificial wombs and experiments on human embryos grown in the lab will be commonplace and no big deal ethically in 30 years, several scientists predict. Here are a couple of the report’s other predictions: newborns and 100-year-olds alike will be able have children and labs will be able to generate sperm and eggs for anybody.

Tobacco Could Help Treat Cancer – (BBC News July 21, 2008)

The tobacco plant – responsible for millions of cancer cases – may actually offer the means to treat one form of the disease, a study suggests. The ironic new role for tobacco is the work of researchers from Stanford University. They are using the plants as factories for an antibody chemical specific to the cells which cause follicular B-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These antibodies are put into a patient newly-diagnosed with the disease, to “prime” the body’s immune system to attack any cell carrying them.

Human-frog Hybrids Reveal Autism’s Secrets – (New Scientist – July 21, 2008)

Human-frog hybrids might reveal the neurological secrets of autism. By fusing cells from the preserved brains of deceased autistic patients with the eggs of a carnivorous African frog called Xenopus, scientists have started investigating the way the brain cells of people with autism behave. The frog eggs work a little like human neurons and the hybrid cells act as a surrogate of a living brain with the condition. “It’s almost as if you were studying a neuron in the human brain,” says Ricardo Miledi, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine, who developed the approach and has previously used Xenopus eggs to study epilepsy.

Animal Tissue Rejection Advance – (BBC News – July 21, 2008)

Scientists have found a way to overcome the problem of the human body rejecting animal parts used in transplants. For instance, chemically treated heart valves from pigs have been transplanted into patients for more than a decade, but have a limited life span as they are inert and cannot be populated by the patient’s own cells, and ruling out any possibility of repair to damage. The Leeds team used a combination of freezing, chemical baths and ultrasound to strip the animal tissue of the cells and biological molecules that trigger a response from the immune system. This left a biological scaffold which could then be populated by cells from a patient’s own body, creating a tissue which carries no risk of rejection, which can be repaired, and which can grow with the body.

Human Blood Vessels Grown in Mice – (BBC News – July 18, 2008)

Scientists have used human cells to grow new blood vessels in a mouse for the first time. Unlike more controversial stem cell therapies, which might require cells taken from an embryo, the study used human cells that can be obtained from blood or bone. They were mixed together in growth-promoting chemicals in the laboratory, then implanted into mice whose immune systems had been weakened to avoid rejection. Within seven days, a vigorous network of new vessels formed, joined up with the host animal’s blood vessels and started transporting blood.

Tongue Drive Technology – (National Science Foundation – July 21, 2008)

Researchers have developed an experimental tongue-based system that may allow individuals with debilitating disabilities to control wheelchairs, computers and other devices with relative ease and no sophistication. Because the tongue is directly connected to the brain via cranial nerves, it usually remains mobile when other body parts lose function to disease or accidents. That mobility underlies the new system, which may one day provide greater flexibility and simplicity to individuals who would otherwise use sip-and-puff controls or brain implants.

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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES• Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate
• How Will the Arctic Sea Ice Cover Develop this Summer?
• Iceberg Damage to Seafloor Increases
• Penguins Threatened with Extinction
• Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest
• Amazon Outflow Powers Ocean Capture of Carbon Dioxide

Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate – (Daily Tech – July 16, 2008)
The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.  The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science.  The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.”

How Will the Arctic Sea Ice Cover Develop this Summer? – (Phys Org – July 9, 2008)
The ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer 2008 will lie, with almost 100% probability, below that of the year 2005 – the year with the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured. Chances of an equally low value as in the extreme conditions of the year 2007 lie around 8%. Participating with their prognosis in an international scientific contest, climate scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association come to this conclusion in a recent model calculation.

Iceberg Damage to Seafloor Increases – (Live Science – July 17, 2008)
Worms, sea spiders, urchins and other creatures that dwell on the Antarctic seafloor are pounded daily by icebergs scraping up their homes. Now scientists say these denizens of the deep take more hits as global warming diminishes the layer of sea ice that blocks the icebergs and protects habitats. As newly broken-off icebergs float in shallower areas, pushed around by winds and tides, their bottoms, which can sometimes reach to a depth of 1,600 feet (500 meters), scour the seafloor beneath them.

Penguins Threatened with Extinction – (Live Science – July 1, 2008)
The dwindling march of the penguins is signaling that the world’s oceans are in trouble, scientists now say. Penguins may be the tuxedo-clad version of a canary in the coal mine, with generally ailing populations from a combination of global warming, ocean oil pollution, depleted fisheries, and tourism and development, according to a new scientific review paper. A University of Washington biologist detailed specific problems around the world with remote penguin populations, linking their decline to the overall health of southern oceans.

Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest – (New York Times – July 15, 2008)
What if “eating local” in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? The “vertical farm,” a 30-story skyscraper growing hydroponic vegetables, could feed 50,000 people in a city (at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars), proposes Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University.

Amazon Outflow Powers Ocean Capture of Carbon Dioxide – (EurekAlert – July 22, 2008)
Nutrients washed out of the Amazon River are powering huge amounts of previously unexpected plant life far out to sea, thus trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study. Until now, the areas around the Amazon and other great rivers had been thought to be emitting CO2, so the study may affect climate scientists’ calculations of how the greenhouse gas acts.

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ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS• Solar Energy: Cost Effective Devices Expected Soon
• First U.S. Town Powered Completely by Wind
• Energy from Waves
• Chemical Breakthrough Turns Sawdust into Biofuel
• GM Partners with Utilities to Advance Plug-in Hybrids

Solar Energy: Cost Effective Devices Expected Soon – (Phys Org – July 10, 2008)

Organic solar concentrators collect and focus different colors of sunlight. Solar cells can be attached to the edges of the plates. By collecting light over their full surface and concentrating it at their edges, these devices reduce the required area of solar cells and consequently, the cost of solar power. Stacking multiple concentrators allows the optimization of solar cells at each wavelength, increasing the overall power output.

First U.S. Town Powered Completely by Wind – (Live Science – July 15, 2008)
Rock Port, Missouri has an unusual crop: wind turbines. The four turbines that supply electricity to the small town of 1,300 residents make it the first community in the United States to operate solely on wind power. Northwest Missouri has the state’s highest concentrations of wind resources and contains a number of locations that are potentially suitable for utility-scale wind development. The four turbines that power Rock Port are part of a larger set of 75 turbines across three counties. The turbines have another benefit besides producing clean energy: the Missouri wind farms will bring in more than $1.1 million annually in county real estate taxes.

Energy from Waves – (Technology Review – July 14, 2008)
The ocean’s waves have enough energy to provide two trillion watts of electricity, according to the Department of Energy. Extracting that enormous resource of power, however, has proved to be a herculean challenge. A new device being developed by U.K.-based Checkmate SeaEnergy could help tap a portion of this wave power. The device, aptly named the Anaconda, is a long, water-filled rubber tube closed at both ends. It currently exists as a small laboratory-scale model, but it could eventually be 200 meters long and seven meters in diameter. At such a size, it will be capable of generating one megawatt of power at about 12 cents a kilowatt-hour, which is competitive with electricity costs from other wave-power technologies.

Chemical Breakthrough Turns Sawdust into Biofuel – (New Scientist – July 18, 2008)
A wider of range of plant material could be turned into biofuels thanks to a breakthrough that converts plant molecules called lignin, an essential component of wood, into liquid hydrocarbons. However, lignin is a complex molecule and, with current methods, breaks down in an unpredictable way into a wide range of products, only some of which can be used in biofuels. Now Yuan Kou at Peking University in Beijing, and his team have come up with a lignin breakdown reaction that more reliably produces the alkanes and alcohols needed for biofuels. The reaction reliably and efficiently turns the lignin in waste products such as sawdust into the chemical precursors of ethanol and biodiesel.

GM Partners with Utilities to Advance Plug-in Hybrids – (C/Net – July 22, 2008)
General Motors is teaming up with 30 utilities in 37 states and with the Electric Power Research Institute to develop a charging infrastructure for electric cars. They aim to fine-tune the technology, safety, and customer experience for car-charging stations by 2010, when the Chevy Volt is due to be produced. Another aim is to prevent utilities from being overwhelmed during peak hours when the grid is already challenged. Electric cars can be charged at night when electrical rates and demand are low, but that’s not feasible for drivers either traveling away from a home outlet or living where a personal plug-in isn’t available.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY• As Travel Costs Rise, More Meetings Go Virtual
• Quarter of the Planet to be Online by 2012
• Speak Up
• First Paper-based Transistors
• Say Goodbye to the Computer Mouse

As Travel Costs Rise, More Meetings Go Virtual – (New York Times – July 22, 2008)
As travel costs rise and airlines cut service, companies large and small are rethinking the face-to-face meeting — and business travel as well. Past predictions that technology could replace travel have been frequent and premature. The main difference today, analysts say, is that the technology is finally catching up to its promise. No single breakthrough explains the progress, but rather a series of step-by-step advances — and steady investment — in telecommunications networks, software and computer processing. Videoconferencing technology, known as telepresence, can now deliver an experience so lifelike that “10 minutes into it, you forget you are not in the room with them.”

Quarter of the Planet to be Online by 2012 – (IT News – June 26, 2008)
According to the report by Jupiter Research, the total number of people online will climb to 1.8 billion by 2012, encompassing roughly 25 percent of the planet. The company sees the highest growth rates in areas such as China, Russia, India and Brazil. Overall, the number of users online is predicted to grow by 44% in the time period between 2007 and 2012.

Speak Up – (Economist – June 25)
The war in Iraq has created a demand for machines that can translate between Arabic and English. Although some experimental devices have proved unreliable, they are now improving. The hardware still needs to become more rugged and the error rates need to fall from one word in six to one in ten. The names of people and places also remain difficult for the machines to grasp. On the other hand, one-way translation is easier and can be more reliable. IBM, for instance, has a program for translating Arabic and Chinese television broadcasts into English. It is already good enough to find commercial applications.

First Paper-based Transistors – (ZD Net – July 22, 2008)
Portuguese researchers have created the first paper-based transistors. To be more precise, they’ve made the first field effect transistors (FET) with a paper interstrate layer.  The research team fabricated the devices on both sides of the paper sheet such that the paper acts simultaneously as the electric insulator and as the substrate. Furthermore, electric characterization of devices showed that the hybrid FETs’ performance outpace those of amorphous silicon TFTs, and rival with the actual state of the art of oxide thin film transistors.

Say Goodbye to the Computer Mouse – (BBC News – July 17, 2008)
It’s nearly 40 years old but one leading research company says the days of the computer mouse are numbered. Taking over will be so called gestural computer mechanisms like touch screens and facial recognition devices. “The mouse works fine in the desktop environment but for home entertainment or working on a notebook it’s over,” declared analyst Steve Prentice. “You’ve got Panasonic showing forward facing video in the home entertainment environment. Instead of using a conventional remote control you hold up your hand and it recognises you have done that,” he said.

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TERRORISM, SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE• Palm Scanning: Better Than Fingerprints
• Oyster Card Hack to be Published

Palm Scanning: Better Than Fingerprints – (Live Science – June 30, 2008)
Forget fingerprint scanners, which have replaced password access on some high-end laptops. Forget iris scanners. The future of biometrics (automated identification using body parts) involves scanning palms. At least, that’s the message from Fujitsu Computer Products of America, which recently unveiled palm-scanning technology for the U.S. market that’s already in widespread use in Asia.

Oyster Card Hack to be Published – (BBC News – July 21, 2008)
“Oyster cards” are used as payment on London’s public transportation system. In March, 2008, security weaknesses in the card were discovered by Prof. Bart Jacobs and colleagues from Radboud University, in the Netherlands. The weaknesses center on the chip that sits at the heart of the contactless card system. As well as being used on 17 million Oyster cards, the Mifare chip is used by about 1bn smartcards worldwide. Many organizations, including governments, use Mifare technology as a secure entry system for buildings. Given the many millions of cards in use, Prof. Jacobs held off publishing details about how the information on the chips can be copied and used. It told the Dutch government and NXP about its work to give them time to harden systems against the attack.

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GLOBAL EPIDEMIC• Malaria Gene Increases HIV Risk
• Ancient Bones Could Yield TB Clue

Malaria Gene Increases HIV Risk – (BBC News – July 16, 2008)
A gene which apparently evolved to protect people from malaria increases their vulnerability to HIV infection by 40%, say US and UK scientists. People of African descent have a variation of the “DARC” gene which may interfere with their ability to fight HIV in its early stages. The Cell Host and Microbe study says the gene accounts for millions of extra HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa. However, people with the gene appear to live longer with HIV than others.

Ancient Bones Could Yield TB Clue – (BBC News – July 16, 2008)
Little is known of TB’s evolution, but it is believed to have been prevalent in the early settlements of the Near East many thousands of years ago. Jericho, located in the present-day West Bank, is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back 9,000 years. TB is often regarded as a disease of crowded areas, so scientists believe the conditions in the early cities of the “fertile crescent” region would have been ripe for the spread of infection. Researchers are using human remains from the ancient city to study the evolution of tuberculosis. The work could also help medical researchers combat modern forms of the bacterial disease.

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NANOTECHNOLGYInvisible Nanotube Cable Could Support a Human – (New Scientist – July 20, 2008)
Being narrower than the wavelength of light, nanotubes are normally invisible – as long as they are separated by more than one wavelength. Now Nicola Pugno of the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, has calculated how many nanotubes would be needed to support a person, taking into account small defects that develop in the tubes during manufacture. When held 5 micrometers apart, to keep them invisible, they would form a cable only 1 centimeter in diameter weighing a mere 10 milligrams per kilometer. Circus acts and movie special effects may never be the same again.

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TRENDS OF GOVERNMENT• Collateral Damage
• Comcast Pressured Over Porn

Collateral Damage – (Washington Post – July 13, 2008)
In The Dark Side, Jane Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker, documents some of the ugliest allegations of wrongdoing charged against the Bush administration. Her achievement lies in weaving into a comprehensive narrative a story revealed elsewhere in bits and pieces. Mayer substantiates her facts in persuasive detail, citing the testimony of military officers, intelligence professionals, “hard-line law-and-order stalwarts in the criminal justice system” and impeccably conservative Bush appointees. In Washington, the concept of the global war on terror continuing for generations has become widely accepted. The Dark Side allows us a glimpse of what that achievement signifies.

Comcast Pressured Over Porn – (Washington Post – July 22, 2008)
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wants major Internet providers to agree on steps to remove newsgroups that contain child pornography and purge their servers of Web sites that contain child porn. New York has already reached such agreements with AT&T, AOL, Verizon Communications, Sprint Nextel and Time Warner Cable.

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CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACEManned Spaceship Design Unveiled – (BBC News – July 22, 2008)
The first official image of a Russian-European manned spacecraft has been unveiled. It is designed to replace the Soyuz vehicle currently in use by Russia and will allow Europe to participate directly in crew transportation. The reusable ship was conceived to carry four people towards the Moon, rivaling the US Ares/Orion system.

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ECONOMIC INDICATORSBhutan King to be Crowned at Last – (BBC News – July 23, 2008)
The transition from Bhutan’s monarchy to democracy has been deliberately designed to be slow and steady and the monarchy will continue to play a central role in Bhutanese life. Both the new government and the opposition say they are committed to the king’s own five-year plan, and to the royal philosophy of Gross National Happiness – or GNH – which aims to strike a better balance between the spiritual and the material. A date has been announced in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan for the long awaited coronation of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. who took over after his father abdicated in 2006 as part of a move towards a constitutional monarchy. “Gross National Happiness”? Bhutan’s monarchs have been remarkably forward-looking for decades. What would the global economy look like if that economic metric were more widely embraced?

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JUST FOR FUNArchitectural Monuments in a Reshaped Beijing – (New York Times – July 10, 2008)
Get ready for the Olympics. Explore five new, notable architectural projects in Beijing.  These buildings are audacious and beautiful, not to mention: very large.  The new airport terminal is two miles across and would reach all the way across lower Manhattan.

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A FINAL QUOTE…I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.  -Thomas Jefferson


A special thanks to:, Erik Beaumont, Philip Bogdonoff, Tom Burgin, Bernard Calil, Ken Dabkowski, Walter Derzko, Neil Freer, Ursula Freer, KurzweilAI, Oliver Markley, Planet 2025, Sebastian McCallister, Diane C. Petersen, John C..Petersen, Planet 2025, the Schwartzreport, Joel Snell, Gary Sycalik, and Steve Ujvarosy, our contributors to this issue.

If you see something we should know about, do send it along – thanks.
[email protected]
In This Issue:FUTURE FACTS – FROM THINK LINKSINSTITUTIONAL CHANGENEW REALITIESDISCOVERIES ENABLED BY NEW TECHNOLOGYGENTICS/HEALTH TECHNOLOGYENVIRONMENTAL ISSUESENERGY DEVELOPMENTSINFORMATION TECHNOLOGYTERRORISM, SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFAREGLOBAL EPIDEMICNANOTECHNOLGYTRENDS OF GOVERNMENTCONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACEECONOMIC INDICATORSJUST FOR FUNA FINAL QUOTE…Contact InfoLinks
LinksThe Arlington InstituteWorld’s Biggest ProblemsA Vision for 2012TAI PresentsFUTUREdition ArchiveContactEdited by John L. Petersen
[email protected]

www.arlingtoninstitute.org

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Joni Patry is one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in the world. She was a faculty member for ACVA, CVA and Instructor for online certification programs, published many books, journals and appeared on national and international television shows. As the keynote speaker for international conferences, she has a Japanese website, and teaches in Austria, Turkey and India. She has been awarded the 2015 Jyotish Star of the year and Dr B. V. Raman’s Janma Shatamanothsava Award Jyotisha Choodamani. She publishes an online astrological magazine, Astrologic Magazine http://astrologicmagazine.com/ and has an online University for certification, the University of Vedic Astrology. http://universityofvedicastrology.com

Regina Meredith

As Regina’s career progressed, so did her decades long exploration into the world of esoteric and hidden sciences – the reality beyond the 5 sense world. Guidance from these realms suggested it was time to bring her skill set to the world of video/televised media, so in late 2004, along with her husband Scott, she co-created ‘Conscious Media Network’, the first online network to feature full length original video interviews with authors and experts in the realms of the meta-physical, healing arts and alternative theories, opening up a world that many had experienced but never had access to on this scale.

Gaia: In 2012, Conscious Media Network merged with Gaiam TV in 2012, with Regina serving as anchor in their new media division on Open Minds and Healing Matrix. The demand for Regina’s unique perspective on a variety of subjects has drawn attention from conference organizers, moving her into the public as a presenter at conferences. In addition, Regina offers retreats and workshops for those who wish to ‘Dive Deep’ into a new understanding of the nature of reality and life itself. In this venue she shares her exclusive approach to meditation and regression work for a greater understanding of life’s challenges and identifying the innate joys.

Dr. Harold Puthoff

Although nominated for a Nobel Prize in physics for his breakthrough theoretical work on zero-point energy, Dr. Harold Puthoff, is most recognized for having been a co-founder of the secret US government “remote viewing” program that successfully used psychics to spy on the Soviet Union and China.

Now a principal and science advisor in a leading-edge effort by former senior military and intelligence managers to disclose the many decades of interest that the US has had in UFOs, he comes to Berkeley Springs on the 8th of February to give a TransitionTalk about his work in making sense out of the UFO phenomena.

Dr. Puthoff’s presentation will include a summary of his current activities with To The Stars Academy, which is on the forefront of bringing into the open formerly highly classified efforts by the government to track, record and understand the meaning of hundreds of encounters that the military has had with UFOs over the past years.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from and question one of the foremost thinkers and leaders of the rapidly accelerating global effort to both make the public aware of what was previously unacknowledged about UFO and alien interaction with humans and also to address the deep questions about what is happening and what it might mean for the future of humanity.

Gregg Braden

Gregg Braden is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, and is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science, spirituality and human potential! His discoveries have led to 12 award-winning books now published in over 40 languages. The UK’s Watkins Journal lists Gregg among the top 100 of “the world’s most spiritually influential living people” for the 5th consecutive year, and he is a 2017 nominee for the prestigious Templeton Award.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a leading expert on the paranormal and supernatural. With more than 50 books – including 10 encyclopedias – and hundreds of articles in print on a wide range of paranormal, spiritual and mystical topics, she possesses exceptional knowledge of the field. Her present work focuses on inter-dimensional entity contact experiences and communication.

John L. Petersen

John L. Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises (wild cards) and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future.

 

He has led national non-profit organizations, worked in sales, manufacturing, real estate development, and marketing and advertising, mostly for companies he founded. A graduate electrical engineer, he has also promoted rock concerts; produced conventions; and worked as a disc jockey, among other things.

Mr. Petersens government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984. He was twice the runner-up to be Secretary of the Navy.

In 1989, Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The “think tank” serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.

An award-winning writer, Petersens first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on The World Future Societys best-seller list for more than a year. His Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises book was also a WFS best-seller. His latest book is a Vision of 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. His coauthored article, (The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?) was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report (The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment) was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media.

Petersen is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a former network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, Petersen invests in and develops resources for large, international projects and advanced technology start-up companies. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Speaking Inquiries: Email [email protected]

Robert David Steele

Robert David Steele, former spy, former Marine Corps officer, a proponent of Open Source Everything, Presidential candidate in 2012 and perhaps again in 2024, recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 will integrate his life’s experience with his lessons from the works of others to explore love versus fear as a foundation for politics; liberty under natural law versus predatory fascism as we now have in the USA; and the possibilities for cosmic awakening very soon, in a full-on defeat of the Deep State and its Archon masters.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson’s amazing ability to dream about the future in terms that can be reliably translated into people, times, places, and activities has been the subject of books, major university scientific studies, films, articles, TV shows, and just about all forms of media. He has taught many people how to dream about the future and, through his advanced intuitive capabilities, helped thousands to understand how to deal with seemingly impossible personal situations. He is also a healer, having on numerous occasions led people with supposedly terminal conditions to eliminate those issues and return to a healthy life. There is no one else in the world that has Chris’s fascinating background (undercover police work, etc.), coupled with these amazing personal gifts.

Frank DeMarco

FRANK DeMARCO has been reporting on his conversations with non-physical beings for more than two decades, in magazine articles, talks, and in a dozen non-fiction books and two novels.

FRANK DeMARCO is the author of 14 books rooted in more than 25 years of psychic exploration, including It’s All One World, Awakening from the 3D World, Rita’s World (two volumes), The Cosmic Internet, The Sphere and the Hologram, and Imagine Yourself Well. Since 2005, he has been actively engaged in an on-going series of conversations with various non-physical beings, including historical individuals, “past lives,” aspects of personal guidance, and a generalized group he calls “the guys upstairs.”

He is also the author of three novels, Messenger, That Phenomenal Background (originally published as Babe in the Woods) and Dark Fire.

Dr. Larry Dossey

Dr. Larry Dossey is a physician of internal medicine and former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital. He received his M. D. degree from Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), and trained in internal medicine at Parkland and the VA hospitals in Dallas. Dossey has lectured at medical schools and hospitals throughout the United States and abroad. In 1988 he delivered the annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India, the only physician ever invited to do so. He is the author of twelve books dealing with consciousness, spirituality, and healing, including the New York Times bestseller HEALING WORDS: THE POWER OF PRAYER AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, and most recently One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. His books have been translated into languages around the world. Dr. Dossey is the former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is the executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing. Dr. Dossey lectures around the world. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife Barbara, a nurse-consultant and the author of several award-winning books.

William Buhlman

William Buhlman is a recognized expert on the subject of out-of-body experiences. The author’s forty years of extensive personal out-of-body explorations give him a unique and thought provoking insight into this subject. His first book, Adventures beyond the Body chronicles his personal journey of self-discovery through out-of-body travel, and provides the reader with the preparation and techniques that can be used for their own adventure. He has conducted an international out-of-body experience survey that includes over 16,000 participants from forty-two countries. The provocative results of this survey are presented in his book, The Secret of the Soul. This cutting edge book explores the unique opportunities for personal growth and profound spiritual awakenings that are reported during out-of-body experiences.

Over the past two decades William has developed an effective system to experience safe, self initiated out-of-body adventures. He conducts an in-depth six-day workshop titled, Out-of-Body Exploration Intensive at the renowned Monroe Institute in Virginia. As a certified hypnotherapist, William incorporates various methods, including hypnosis, visualization and meditation techniques in his workshops to explore the profound nature of out-of-body experiences and the benefits of accelerated personal development. Through lectures, workshops and his books the author teaches the preparation and techniques of astral projection and spiritual exploration.

The author brings a refreshing look to how we can use out-of-body experiences to explore our spiritual identity and enhance our intellectual and physical lives. William is best known for his ability to teach people how to have profound spiritual adventures through the use of out-of-body experiences. In addition, he has developed an extensive series of audio programs that are designed to expand awareness and assist in the exploration of consciousness. William has appeared on numerous television and radio shows worldwide. William’s books are currently available in twelve languages. The author lives in Delaware, USA. For more information visit his web site, www.astralinfo.org.

Joe McMoneagle

Joe was the longest operational psychic spy in the US government’s very highly classified Stargate program where they used psychics and intuitives to look into installations and people around the world that were of interest to government intelligence agencies. They called the process remote viewing.

As it turned out, the remote viewers discovered that they were – not limited by either time or space and produced drawings and assessments that could not have been obtained in any other way. The Soviets had an active remote viewing program at the same time and it is rumored that Russia, China and the U.S. still have initiatives of this kind that are operational.

Joe’s stories are fascinating, like the time he mentally got inside a Chinese nuclear weapon and saw how the triggering mechanism worked . . . and then went out and bought the parts at Radio Shack to show the scientists in the intelligence agency exactly how it was done. The remote viewers could find submarines at the bottom of the ocean and crashed aircraft in the middle of African jungles.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dr Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 33 countries on six continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

Dr. Joe is also a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York; and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He’s also an invited chair of the research committee at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a researcher, Dr. Joe’s passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to explore the science behind spontaneous remissions. He uses that knowledge to help people heal themselves of illnesses, chronic conditions, and even terminal diseases so they can enjoy a more fulfilled and happy life, as well as evolve their consciousness. At his advanced workshops around the world, he has partnered with other scientists to perform extensive research on the effects of meditation, including epigenetic testing, brain mapping with electroencephalograms (EEGs), and individual energy field testing with a gas discharge visualization (GDV) machine. His research also includes measuring both heart coherence with HeartMath monitors and the energy present in the workshop environment before, during, and after events with a GDV Sputnik sensor.

As a NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Joe has written Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon(Hay House, 2017), which draws on research conducted at his advanced workshops since 2012 to explore how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives; You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Hay House, 2014), which explores our ability to heal without drugs or surgery, but rather by thought alone; Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (Hay House, 2012) and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007), both of which detail the neuroscience of change and epigenetics. His film appearances include Transcendence: Live Life Beyond the Ordinary (2018); HEAL (2017); E-Motion (2014); Sacred Journey of the Heart (2012); People v. the State of Illusion (2011); What IF – The Movie (2010); Unleashing Creativity (2009); and What the #$*! Do We Know? & Down the Rabbit Hole, extended DVD version (2005).

Dr. Todd Ovokaitys

After two years at Northwestern, he was accepted into an accelerated combined graduate/undergraduate program at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, which conferred both B.A. and M.D. degrees. Advanced training was at Georgetown University Hospital, with a Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine followed by a Fellowship in Pulmonary and Intensive Care Medicine.

During his Pulmonary Fellowship, the specialty that concerns the lungs, Dr. Todd began his research with cells of the immune system. Many procedures were done on AIDS patients to diagnose their lung problems. Observing this dire disease firsthand and the toxic results of early medical treatments, Dr. Todd developed a passion for finding better solutions. Towards the end of his Fellowship, he became aware of the benefits of Holistic Medicine for improving the function of the immune system while building rather than impairing the function of other systems.

Inspired to learn more, he moved to Southern California to study with practitioners of Complementary Medicine. In the context of these studies, he had an experience so radical that the course of his life and work were forever transformed.

During a meditation class in the summer of 1989, Dr. Todd paired with another student for an exercise. The process was profound and they took turns, one in the process while the other scribed to record any breakthroughs of awareness. Much as in the Jodie Foster movie “Contact,” the usual anchor points dissolved with the feeling of instant transport to a different dimension of being. There was a doorway or portal to traverse, with a message of the responsibility taken on through the choice to go further.

Instantly upon walking through this doorway, a living form was seen that filled a room – and had the shape of a DNA strand enlarged millions of times. This form communicated that science only partly understood how DNA worked. The linear understanding of DNA as an enormous data string was correct but incomplete. In addition, DNA was a structure of coils within coils in an environment of moving charges that permitted DNA to send electromagnetic signals much as a radio transmitter. Further, DNA could receive and be conditioned by electromagnetic signals. Most significantly, if it were possible to determine and transmit the correct resonant signals, that it was possible to switch the activity of a sick cell to that of a healthy cell, an old cell to that of a young cell.

This experience brought with it a certainty that solutions were possible. After intensive review of the previous work showing the effects of electromagnetic energy patterns on cellular health and function, Dr. Todd located a colleague with the technical expertise to build the desired invention.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organized a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organization aimed at researching close encounters.

She is the author of, Awakening – How extra-terrestrial contact can transform your life. Mary is working on her second book, The New Human, due for release this year.

Freddy Silva

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness. He has published six books in six languages, and produced eleven documentaries. Described by one CEO as “perhaps the best metaphysical speaker in the world right now,” for two decades he has been an international keynote speaker, with notable appearances at the International Science and Consciousness Conference, the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, in addition to appearances on Gaia TV, History Channel, BBC, and radio shows such as Coast To Coast. He also leads private sell-out tours to ancient temples worldwide. www.invisibletemple.com

Sharry Edwards

Sharry Edwards has been accused of being too scientific by some, too esoteric by others. In actuality, she is a bridge between both fields of inquiry. Sharry is the acknowledged pioneer in the emerging field of Vocal Profiling using BioAcoustic Biology. For many years she has provided the leading-edge research to show the voice as a holographic representation of the body that can be used to change the face of medicine.

Sharry asks that we imagine a future in which we can be individually identified and maintained through the use of frequency based biomarkers that keep us healthy and emotionally balanced. Her work at the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has shown that we can each have dominion over those frequencies by individual mind management or a simple remote control that is completely programmable. Using the unique techniques of Vocal Profiling and evaluation, emotional as well as physiological issues can be revealed and addressed.

Her work with the human voice reveals that people who share similar traumas, stresses, diseases, toxicities…share similar, if not identical, vocal anomalies. She brings together ancient knowledge with modern ideas of harmonics and frequency relationship theories to show that math can be used as a form of predictive, diagnostic and curative foundation for wellness. Through entrainment of the frequency grids of the brain, the body can be programmed to support its own optimal form and function.

Dr. John McMichael

John McMichael, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Beach Tree Labs, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new therapeutic agents targeting unmet medical needs. These disorders range from herpes infections to chronic fatigue syndrome to urinary incontinence. His PhD is in virology and immunology from Oregon State University. He headed up the labs at one of the largest private veterinary research practices in the country, was a college professor for more than a decade, and now works out of a small lab on his form in New York state and a larger, more sophisticated lab in Providence, Rhode Island. He holds over 200 patents, has published in books and peer-reviewed journals, and is currently working with his team to begin formal FDA trials for product candidates for chronic traumatic brain injury and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

Dr. Carrie Hempel & Brian Sanderoff

Integrative Physician Dr. Carrie Hempel and Holistic Pharmacist Brian Sanderoffare both experts in the medicinal use of cannabis in Maryland.

Dr. Hempel is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. As an Osteopathic Physician, she has embraced a holistic approach to patient care, providing loving attention to the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For the past 11 years she has received specialist training, Board Certification and expertise in several fields including Internal Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, along with many Integrative modalities. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and is registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Over the course of her career she has seen the consistent struggle of patients dealing with chronic, progressive, debilitating illness, and witnessed the challenges and limitations of the current pharmaceutical options for pain and symptom managment. Her passion for this population has grown, along with her desire to advocate for patients to have access to non-opioid, holistic options to enhance quality of life and optimize function.

Trained as a pharmacist, Brian Sanderoff has integrated 25 years of experience with his traditional medical training and herbalism, nutrition and numerous other holistic modalities to help clients devise practical, common-sense, safe solutions to most any health issue.

His clients appreciate how he embraces a complementary approach to health and how his holistic “compass” brings them new solutions to their unique health concerns – especially chronic diseases.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organised a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organisation aimed at researching close encounters.

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is an extraordinary Australian thinker and researcher who arguably knows as much about the structure of the global planetary transition that we are experiencing as anyone on the planet. He draws coherent pictures from the deep insights of Clair W. Graves and paints clear, explanatory images of not only how humanity has evolved to this point, but what is inevitably on our horizon . . . and how this epic transition will continue to play out.

He is currently writing a book about the global paradigm shift that’s taking us beyond the scientific-industrial era. Steve served with the Australian Army for 15 years, including war service as an infantry company commander in Somalia, 1993. He is also a qualified military helicopter pilot and on leaving the army he flew a rescue helicopter in the tropical Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland. Building upon his extensive experience in unpredictable environments, after retiring from flying Steve specialized as a change management consultant. He consequently studied the developmental psychology research of Dr Clare W Graves and became one of the first Australians qualified to teach Dr Graves’ theory under the banner of Spiral Dynamics Integral. A long-term struggle with posttraumatic stress has driven Steve’s deep interest in human nature and consciousness. He is a founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine, an Australian non-profit association. He is also a founder of AADII, a non-profit company created to support worldwide transformational change.

Robert Coxon

Although Robert Coxon had been studying and composing music for many years, it was after taking the Silva Mind Control course that he realized how powerful sound could be in relaxing the body and opening the consciousness. He then decided to write his first album.

Cristal Silence quickly became a major hit throughout Canada, staying on top of the charts for many years. This was the beginning of his continuing phenomenal success as composer and solo artist. For the last 29 years he has performed only his original compositions in concert. Robert has been nominated four times for the prestigious “Felix” award (French Canada equivalent to the Grammy), and became Canada’s best-selling New Age artist. His international breakthrough came after composing The Silent Path in 1995. This album was an instant hit in Canada, the USA and France. After hearing The Silent Path, Lee Carroll, internationally renowned author of 15 bestselling Kryon and Indigo books, contacted Robert and asked him to join his team on tour. Through the years this has given Robert the opportunity to experience different cultures and inspires him to write music honoring these many countries he performs in.

Robert offers us nine albums, the latest three being The Infinite, essence of life, Goddess -The Power of Woman and Passion Compassion Alegeria.

Joe Dispenza

needs bio…

Gary Sycalik

Gary Sycalik has been described as an entrepreneur, businessman, project developer/manager, consultant/advisor, organizational troubleshooter, strategic planner, facilitator, futurist, business and social architect, complex problematic game designer (policy, strategic, tactic levels) and writer. Gary brings a robust horizontal and vertical functional capability to any project from the conceptual to operational stage.

Kingsley L. Dennis Phd.

Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD, is a sociologist, researcher, and writer. He previously worked in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, UK. Kingsley is the author of numerous articles on social futures; technology and new media communications; global affairs; and conscious evolution. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including Healing the Wounded Mind, The Sacred Revival, The Phoenix Generation, New Consciousness for a New World, Struggle for Your Mind, After the Car, and the celebrated Dawn of the Akashic Age (with Ervin Laszlo). He has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. He currently lives in Andalusia, Spain.

 

His homepage is www.kingsleydennis.com

Penny Kelly

Penny Kelly is an author, teacher, speaker, publisher, personal and spiritual consultant, and Naturopathic physician. She travels, lectures, and teaches a variety of classes and workshops, and maintains a large consulting practice. She has been involved in scientific research and investigations into consciousness at Pinelandia Laboratory near Ann Arbor, MI.