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Volume 13, Number 1 – 1/15/10

Volume 13, Number 1 – 1/15/10FUTURE FACTS – FROM THINK LINKS

DID YOU KNOW THAT…
A not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free, high quality education to anyone, anywhere has placed over 1000 videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance.Looking at the top ten technologies that will rock 2010, more than half of them are mobile.The closer one looks at the available evidence surrounding the strange case of the 23-year-old terrorism suspect who recently attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253, the more sinister alleged “intelligence failures” become.Very quietly, China has become the world’s second-largest producer of scientific knowledge, surpassed only by the US, a status it has achieved at an awe-inspiring rate.
PUNCTUATIONS
by John L. Petersen

We’re sorry to be a bit late in publishing this issue of Punctuations. I was doing some business this last week in Europe and something got into my computer. Among other things it tried to log onto my PayPal account and told Microsoft that my version of their operating system was fraudulent. I’m writing this on the plane coming home, hoping that being disconnected from the web will isolate me from cyberspace long enough that I can get this written before something worse happens . . . and I get a chance to fix my problems at home. It appears that when you’re out of your home country sometimes it takes some doing to convince your regular banks, etc. that it’s really you who is trying to access your account from somewhere else. Should be fixed in a couple of days.

Been reading here on the airplane Carl Calleman’s new book, “The Purposeful Universe” (thanks, Bobbie). Quite a compelling argument that there is a very defendable basis for direction and intelligence in the evolution of things on this planet. Kind of a middle ground between Darwinism and Intelligent design. I like it.

They handed out a Wall Street Journal on this flight. The front page was about the Haiti earthquake, of course, but other headlines announced that US banks were about to give away $145 billion in bonuses, Ukraine was on the verge of bankruptcy, and that the future of the Euro was uncertain. This was after reading about a recent talk by Ron Paul suggesting that the US has literally lost its sanity, and the latest missive from Tom Kenyon and the Hathors suggesting that we are in for increasing changes this year driven by significant new cosmic energy transmissions coming from the sun and our galaxy. The magnetic poles of the earth are again beginning to rapidly change, they say, and all of this causes some issues like erratic sleep. Read this after having spent a week with only one night that I wasn’t up wide awake for two-three hours in the middle of the night. I thought it was jet lag . . . but I’ve never had that problem before and the melatonin didn’t seem to work.

They suggest, by the way, that the most effective approach for dealing with the uncertainty and change that we are about to experience is to have an attitude of gratitude – to be happy.

Throughout all of this I’ve been thinking about those people we particularly value. We need some new ideas about those we revere – our heroes. I’m not talking about celebrities here, like someone who hits a lot of homeruns. Rather it’s about individuals who are extraordinary in what they do in facilitating this most important of all global shifts. In a sense, they would be the best examples of the New Human that we would all ascribe to become.

Currently, Nobel prizes value innovation and intellectual achievement, and we certainly give a great deal of value – and many medals – to those who are very destructive in pursuing the defense of our society and country. (I know, I have some of them.) In the US, the president gives away the Medal of Freedom to those who excel in their areas of expertise and contribute to the well being of the country. Prizes are only a few of the ways in which we acknowledge those who excel within our present system of values.

What I’m suggesting here is a somewhat subtle shift that recognizes that there are a new set of emergent global and human imperatives that are critically needed to shape a new world that is quite different from this one. During this transition, there need to be publically acknowledged exemplars that help to move us away from spotlighting nation states and professions (which are intrinsically exclusionary in their definition and perspective) to a far more inclusive, pan-human view. The Nobel Peace Prize attempts to do this, I suppose, but we all know about the problems there.

I guess I’m wondering whose stories we will write about in the next history books and pass along to our kids that tell about those special people who saw themselves and this reality in multi-dimensional terms and operated as though they were citizens of the whole planet, rather than just one country or region. How will we describe the characteristics of those extraordinarily important individuals who lead the way into this new evolutionary era? What are the personal traits of our next heroes?

I haven’t had a chance to think about this as much as I would like to, but as I look around to see who we look up to and acknowledge and hold up to our children as the epitome of what we all value, it seems obvious to me that those metrics will change very soon. We should keep an eye out for that.

JLP


INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

The Khan Academy
Kindness Taught in Seattle School’s Online Class


The Khan Academy – (You Tube – December 14, 2009)
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere. It has placed over 1000 videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance which have been recorded by Salman Khan. This is a short overview video about the Khan Academy, a recipient of the 2009 Microsoft Tech Award in Education. See also www.khanacademy.org/

Kindness Taught in Seattle School’s Online Class – (Seattle Times – December 26, 2009)
A small private school in Seattle offered a kindness class this fall. Offered online, the class had 250 people – the most ever – who lived as far away as Poland. Since mid-September, the people in Puget Sound Community School’s online course learned about kindness by practicing it. Along the way, they took emotional risks, repaired relationships, improved their outlook on the world, and realized that kindness is contagious. The first assignment: Do something kind for yourself. The second assignment: Do something kind for someone you love. Then for a neighbor. Then for a stranger. Here’s the link for the online classes: onlinekindnessclass.wordpress.com/


NEW REALITIES

The Spooky World of Quantum Biology
Scientists Say Dolphins Should Be Treated as Non-human Persons


The Spooky World of Quantum Biology – (H Plus – June 1, 2009)
The new science of quantum biology is teaching us about how the actual behavior of evolution is governed by disconcertingly spooky processes – time travel being one of them. Will quantum computation finally be realized by biomimicry, in organic systems? Evolution is the new (old) computation…and we’re about to take the reins.

Scientists Say Dolphins Should Be Treated as Non-human Persons – (Phys Org – January 6, 2010)
Behavioral studies show dolphins (especially the bottlenose) have distinct personalities and self-awareness, and they can think about the future. The research also confirmed dolphins have complex social structures, with individuals co-operating to solve difficult problems or to round up shoals of fish to eat, and with new behaviors being passed from one dolphin to another. Several examples of learning being passed on to other individuals have been observed. One scientist said they should therefore be treated as “non-human persons” and granted rights as individuals.


GENETICS/ HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Researchers Develop Anti-cancer ‘Nano Cocktail’
Therapeutic Intent and the Art of Observation
Vitamin C ‘Cures’ Mice with Accelerated Aging Disease
Can Cell Phones Help Fight Alzheimer’s?
Neuroengineers Silence Brain Cells with Multiple Colors of Light
New Microscope So Powerful It Sees Individual Molecules


Researchers Develop Anti-cancer ‘Nano Cocktail’ – (Phys Org – January 4, 2010)
A team of researchers has developed a “cocktail” of different nanometer-sized particles that work in concert within the bloodstream to locate, adhere to and kill cancerous tumors. In their study, the UC San Diego chemists, bioengineers at MIT and cell biologists at UC Santa Barbara developed a system containing two different nanomaterials that can be injected into the bloodstream. One nanomaterial was designed to find and adhere to tumors in mice, while the second nanomaterial was fabricated to kill those tumors.

Therapeutic Intent and the Art of Observation – (Schwartz Report – January 2, 2010)
Technological medicine finds its central metaphor in competition and struggle. This view of illness sees the body being overwhelmed by alien external forces not, as in the Eastern systems, the result of imbalances in the life energies with little differentiation between mind and body. Indeed, only recently and partially for the West, has Nature become a partner; the idea of energies that can not presently be measured, is a difficult leap for many to make. Psychiatrist and oriental medical specialist Leon Hammer, contrasts this with the Chinese view that ‘Qi shall be known only as it manifests itself, as it materializes, either physiologically or pathologically.” Significantly, this reflects the physicists’ view concerning energy; only by the measurement of its manifestation, i.e., its ability to do work, is it known.

Vitamin C ‘Cures’ Mice with Accelerated Aging Disease – (Phys Org – January 4, 2010)
A new research discovery suggests that treatments for disorders that cause accelerated aging, particularly Werner’s syndrome, might come straight from the family medicine chest. A team of Canadian scientists show that vitamin C stops and even reverses accelerated aging in a mouse model of Werner’s syndrome, but the discovery may also be applicable to other progeroid syndromes. People with Werner’s syndrome begin to show signs of accelerated aging in their 20s and develop age-related diseases and generally die before the age of 50.

Can Cell Phones Help Fight Alzheimer’s? – (Web MD – January 6, 2010)
Cell phone exposure may be helpful in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, a new study shows. The study, involving 96 mice, provides evidence that long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone use may protect against, and even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers say they found that exposing old mice with Alzheimer’s disease to electromagnetic waves generated by cell phones reduced brain deposits of beta-amyloid. Brain plaques formed by the abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloid are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, which is why most treatments try to target the protein.

Neuroengineers Silence Brain Cells with Multiple Colors of Light – (Phys Org – January 6, 2010)
Neuroscientists at MIT recently developed a way to turn off abnormally active brain cells using multiple colors of light. This research could prove useful for managing disorders including chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. The tools work on the principle that such disorders might be best treated by silencing, rather than stimulating, brain activity. These “super silencers” exert exquisite control over the timing of the shutdown of overactive neural circuits – an effect that’s impossible with existing drugs or other conventional therapies.

New Microscope So Powerful It Sees Individual Molecules – (Phys Org – January 6, 2010)
Researchers are finding that the ability to see very small things-objects 20,000 times thinner than a human hair-can help answer big biological questions. The microscope incorporates two cutting-edge fluorescence techniques that give researchers the ability to observe and track individual protein molecules. UMass Amherst is the second university in the country to use one of these, called Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM).


DISCOVERIES ENABLED BY NEW TECHNOLOGY

Data to Expose ‘Ghost Mountains’
Where Did the Time Go? Do Not Ask the Brain


Data to Expose ‘Ghost Mountains’ – (BBC News – December 18, 2009)
Scientists who mapped one of the most enigmatic mountain ranges on Earth have given a first glimpse of their data. An international team spent two months in 2008/9 surveying the Gamburtsevs in Antarctica – a series of peaks totally buried under the ice cap. The hidden mountains are more jagged and more linear in shape than the sparse data collected in the past had suggested. This latter finding hints at a possible origin for the mountains whose existence has perplexed scientists for 50 years: they were formed by the collision of tectonic plates.

Where Did the Time Go? Do Not Ask the Brain – (New York Times – January 4, 2010)
Scientists are not sure how the brain tracks time. One theory holds that it has a cluster of cells specialized to count off intervals of time; another that a wide array of neural processes act as an internal clock. Either way, studies find, this biological pacemaker has a poor grasp of longer intervals. Researchers are finding that if very few events come to mind, then the perception of time does not persist; the brain telescopes the interval that has passed. Left to its own devices, the brain tends to condense time. But the way it fixes the relative timing of events depends on memory, the new study found.


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth
C.I.A. Is Sharing Data with Climate Scientists


7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth – (Wired – December 23, 2009)
Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can’t be ignored. “The problem with tipping elements is that if any one of them tips, it will be a real catastrophe. None of them are small,” said Anders Levermann, a climate physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Possibilities include South Asia’s monsoon cycles, ocean circulation, polar icecaps, Amazon rainforests, seafloor methane deposits and a west African dustbowl. Each is stressed by rising planetary temperatures. Some are less likely than others to tip; some might not be able to tip at all. Ambiguities, probabilities, and a limited grasp of Earth’s complex systems are inherent to the science.

C.I.A. Is Sharing Data with Climate Scientists – (New York Times – January 4, 2010)
The nation’s top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government’s intelligence assets – including spy satellites and other classified sensors – to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests. The monitoring program has little or no impact on regular intelligence gathering, federal officials said, but instead releases secret information already collected or takes advantage of opportunities to record environmental data when classified sensors are otherwise idle or passing over wilderness.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain?
10 Technologies that Will Rock 2010
Secret Mobile Phone Code Cracked
The Year’s Best Tech Ideas
The Top Underreported Tech Stories of 2009
Why You Won’t Recognize the ‘Net in 10 years


The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain? – (Wired – July 10, 2009)
In the past year, researchers have developed technology that makes it possible to use thoughts to operate a computer, maneuver a wheelchair or even use Twitter – all without lifting a finger. But as neural devices become more complicated and go wireless, some scientists say the risks of “brain hacking” should be taken seriously. “Neural devices are innovating at an extremely rapid rate and hold tremendous promise for the future,” said computer security expert Tadayoshi Kohno of the University of Washington. “But if we don’t start paying attention to security, we’re worried that we might find ourselves in five or 10 years saying we’ve made a big mistake.”

10 Technologies that Will Rock 2010 – (Seeking Alpha – January 2, 2010)
If there is any theme here it is the mobile Web. Of the top ten technologies that will rock 2010, more than half of them are mobile. But those technologies are tied to advances in the overall Web as well. From the tablet to real time search to augmented reality, the new technologies of 2010 will be focused around connectivity.

Secret Mobile Phone Code Cracked – (Financial Times – December 29, 2009)
Computer hackers this week said they had cracked and published the secret code that protects 80 per cent of the world’s mobile phones. The move will leave more than 3bn people vulnerable to having their calls intercepted, and could force mobile phone operators into a costly upgrade of their networks. Karsten Nohl, a German encryption expert, said he had organized the hack to demonstrate the weaknesses of the security measures protecting the global system for mobile communication (GSM) and to push mobile operators to improve their systems.

The Year’s Best Tech Ideas – (New York Times – December 30, 2009)
The Pogie Awards aren’t meant to identify the best products of the year; that’s way too obvious. Instead, the Pogies celebrate the best ideas of the year – great, clever features that somehow made it past the obstacles of cost, engineering and lawyers. They’re all good but there’s one that really stands out: The single best tech idea of 2009, the real life-changer, has got to be Readability. It’s a free button for your Web browser’s toolbar that eliminates everything from the Web page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, blinking, links, banners, promos or anything else. (get Readability here)

The Top Underreported Tech Stories of 2009 – (Info World – December 28, 2009)
Think your wireless service is crummy? Just wait until next year when the spectrum drought really hits home. And maybe you’ve been telling your users that installing a graphics card in an office PC is a waste of money. If that’s the case, you’re missing a chance to make them a lot more productive (as long as the games stay at home). You’ve known about CMOS for years. But do you know that an emerging technology called PCMOS, which uses non-Boolean logic, is on the verge of slashing power consumption in ASICs?

Why You Won’t Recognize the ‘Net in 10 years – (Network World – January 4, 2010)
The goal is audacious: To create an Internet without so many security breaches, with better trust and built-in identity management. Researchers are trying to build an Internet that’s more reliable, higher performing and better able to manage exabytes of content. And they’re hoping to build an Internet that extends connectivity to the most remote regions of the world, perhaps to other planets. The United States government is funding the world’s largest virtual network lab across 14 college campuses and two nationwide backbone networks so that it can engage thousands – perhaps millions – of end users in its experiments.


AUGMENTED/ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Roxxxy the Robot Is Not about Sex, Except When She Is – (Las Vegas Weekly – January 9, 2010)
Pay no attention to the suggestive triple Xs in her name or her classification as a high-end sex toy. Roxxxy, the self-described world’s first sex robot, is not about sex. She’s about artificial intelligence and preserving the unique but finite personality of an individual in the potentially infinite realm of technology. At least, this is what creator, Douglas Hines, says. If she were human, Roxxxy might be described as having split personality disorder. The robot has five distinct but customizable personalities – Frigid Farrah, Wild Wendy, S&M Susan, Young (barely 18, the press release clarifies) and Mature Martha – as well as the capacity for the owner to create unique personalities.


ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

China Mandates Renewable Energy While U.S. Deepens Its Dithering
JLN Labs Replicates Steorn’s Free Energy Motor


China Mandates Renewable Energy While U.S. Deepens Its Dithering – (True Slant – December 28, 2009)
As often as socialism and communism are evoked to discredit the Obama Administration’s agenda, it can be illustrative to observe how communist governments actually behave. China’s National People’s Congress has passed a law requiring China’s energy companies to buy all energy generated through renewable sources – wind, solar power, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and ocean energy. What if that energy is more expensive? Buy it anyway, the legislature told the energy companies, or pay twice its cost in fines. What if that energy can’t be accessed with the existing power grid? Improve the grid, China told the energy companies.

JLN Labs Replicates Steorn’s Free Energy Motor – (Pure Energy Systems – December 15, 2009)
The Irish company, Steorn, has launched a public demonstration of their e-Orbo technology which purportedly is a self-looped system in which the same battery that turns the motor is then recharged by a generator that is powered by that motor – apparently picking up extra energy somewhere in the process, in the tradition of Nikola Tesla and more recently of John Bedini and Tom Bearden. French replicator, Jean-Louis Naudin, says he has confirmed that there is no counter electromotive force (back EMF) in the toroidal coils — a key to converting magnetic power into kinetic (motion) power.


GLOBAL EPIDEMIC

European Parliament to Investigate WHO and “Pandemic” Scandal – (Global Research – December 31, 2009)
The Council of Europe member states will launch an inquiry in January 2010 on the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the global swine flu campaign, focusing especially on extent of the pharma’s industry’s influence on WHO. The Health Committee of the EU Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the inquiry. The step is a long-overdue move to public transparency of a “Golden Triangle” of drug corruption between WHO, the pharma industry and academic scientists.


NANOTECHNOLOGY

Nanowires Could Boost Battery Life 10X – (Computer World – December 20, 2009)
Researchers at Stanford University are using silicon nanowires that allow lithium-ion batteries to hold 10 times the charge they could before. The batteries could be a boon for business travelers tired of having their laptops run out of juice on long flights. They would also work for iPods, cell phones and even electric vehicles. As it stands now, a lithium-ion battery’s capacity is limited by how much lithium its anode can hold. Anodes now are generally made of carbon; silicon, however, has a much higher storage capacity.


TERRORISM, SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE

Who Would Benefit Politically from a Terrorist Incident on
   American Soil?
DARPA Kick-starts Flying Car Program


Who Would Benefit Politically from a Terrorist Incident on American Soil? – (Global Research – January 4, 2010)
Despite some $40 billion dollars spent by the American people on airline security since 2001, the botched attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day was foiled, not by a counterterrorist bureaucracy, but by the passengers themselves. And yet, the closer one looks at the available evidence surrounding the strange case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the more sinister alleged “intelligence failures” become. As security researcher and analyst Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed wrote in the New Internationalist (October 2009): “Islamist terrorism cannot be understood without acknowledging the extent to which its networks are being used by Western military intelligence services, both to control strategic energy resources and to counter their geopolitical rivals. Even now, nearly a decade after 9/11, covert sponsorship of al-Qaeda networks continues.”

DARPA Kick-starts Flying Car Program – (Network World – January 4, 2010)
In a program known as the Transformer (TX), DARPA is are looking to ramp up research and development of a flying military vehicle that will hold up to 4 people and have the ability to launch vertically and soar when necessary. The goal of the TX will be to build a flying vehicle that will let military personnel avoid water, difficult terrain, and road obstructions as well as IED and ambush threats by driving and flying when necessary.


TRENDS OF GOVERNMENT

Is the US Government Buying Stocks?
US Public Pensions Face $2,000bn Deficit


Is the US Government Buying Stocks? – (Washington’s Blog – January 2, 2010)
Nouriel Roubini wrote that the government might buy U.S. stocks: The Fed (or Treasury) could even go as far as directly intervening in the stock market via direct purchases of equities as a way to boost falling equity prices. Some of such policy actions seem extreme but they were in the playbook that Governor Bernanke described in his 2002 speech on how to avoid deflation. Given that Roubini was previously a senior adviser to Tim Geithner, he probably knows what he’s talking about. Now, Charles Biderman, CEO of TrimTabs, argues that the government may, in fact, have been buying stocks to prop up the stock market. Given that 25% of the top 50 hedge funds in the world use TrimTabs’ research for market timing, it is a credible source.

US Public Pensions Face $2,000bn Deficit – (Financial Times – January 4, 2010)
Estimates of aggregate funding requirement of the US pension system have ranged between $400bn and $500bn, but the analysis of the chairman of New Jersey’s pension fund has concluded that public funds would need to find more than $2,000bn to meet future pension obligations. A shortfall of that size could force state governments to take unpalatable decisions such as pouring more public money into their funds or reducing pension benefits. Thirty-six of the 50 US states, including California and New York, have plunged into budget deficits since fiscal year 2010 began, which for most states was July 1 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Will Signals from Pulsars Guide Future Space Missions? – (Daily Galaxy – January 1, 2010)
Pulsars have huge advantages over a traditional deep space satellite network (which doesn’t scale and costs a fortune) to fix a ships position. Autonomous navigation is clearly preferable, tying the navigation system to natural objects like pulsars. The European Space Agency’s Ariadna initiative is examining the feasibility of navigation relying on millisecond pulsars, rotating neutron stars that spin faster than 40 revolutions per second. The pulses of these dead stars can be used as exquisitely accurate timing mechanisms.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Can Farming Save Detroit?
The Year Food Was Totally Schizoid
Get Ready for China’s Domination of Science


Can Farming Save Detroit? – (CNN – December 29, 2009)
John Hantz is a wealthy money manager who lives in an older enclave of Detroit where all the houses are grand and not all of them are falling apart. Then one day about a year and a half ago, Hantz had a revelation. “We need scarcity,” he thought to himself as he drove past block after unoccupied block. “We can’t create opportunities, but we can create scarcity.” And that, he says “is how I got onto this idea of the farm.” Yes, a farm. A large-scale, for-profit agricultural enterprise, wholly contained within the city limits of Detroit. This may not be as crazy as it sounds.

The Year Food Was Totally Schizoid – (AlterNet, December 27, 2009)
As 2009 closes out, the dominant issues in the world of food could be lumped into two competing paradigms that have framed much of the decade. In one corner we have Big Food: factory farms, fast food restaurants, mystery meat, biotechnology and other examples of when the economics of scale are applied to how we feed ourselves. In the other corner is Small Food, whose players include farmers’ markets, ecology-based agriculture and seasonal diets of minimally processed food. In the battle between Big Ag and Small Food there were notable victories on both sides.

Get Ready for China’s Domination of Science (New Scientist – January 6, 2010)
Very quietly, China has become the world’s second-largest producer of scientific knowledge, surpassed only by the US, a status it has achieved at an awe-inspiring rate. If it continues on its current trajectory China will overtake the US before 2020 and the world will look very different as a result. The historical scientific dominance of North America and Europe will have to adjust to a new world order. In 1998, China’s research output was around 20,000 articles per year. In 2006 it reached 83,000, overtaking the traditional science powerhouses of Japan, Germany and the UK. Last year it exceeded 120,000 articles, second only to the US’s 350,000.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Walk Away From Your Mortgage! – (New York Times – January 7, 2010)
John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently said that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the “message” they will send to “their family and their kids and their friends.” Courson was implying that homeowners – record numbers of whom continue to default – have a responsibility to make good. However, businesses – in particular Wall Street banks – decide to walk away routinely. Morgan Stanley recently decided to stop making payments on five San Francisco office buildings. A Morgan Stanley fund purchased the buildings at the height of the boom and now their value has plunged. Nobody has said Morgan Stanley is immoral – perhaps because no one assumed it was moral to begin with. But the average American is supposed to honor his debts, or so says the mortgage industry as well as government officials. Hmmmm.


FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH – articles off the beaten track which may – or may not – have predictive value.

Top Censored Media Stories of 2009
Prepping for the Coming Ice Age
Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned


Top Censored Media Stories of 2009 – (Want to Know – December, 2009)
Project Censored specializes in covering the top stories which were subjected to censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who annually review up to 1,000 news story submissions for content, reliability of sources, and national significance. A summary of the top 25 media censorship stories of 2009 proves revealing and informative. After the headline of each news story is a link for those who want to read the entire article.

Prepping for the Coming Ice Age – (Al Fin – January 1, 2010-01-09
An Ice Age is an example of a long term survival setting. If you are prepared to survive an ice age, you are prepared for almost anything. But the chances are that you are like the residents of New Orleans during Katrina — not even prepared for a few days without electrical power, ATMs, and supermarkets. Where do you go to learn to prepare? Here is a list of websites offering a variety of survival know-how, tools and sources.

Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned – (New York Times – December 30, 2009)
Beef Products Inc. has been marketing a product made from beef trimmings once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that an ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella. With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone. But government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products substance.


JUST FOR FUN

The Sting of Employment
True Economic Barometer? How About Bowling


The Sting of Employment – (Atlantic Monthly – December 30, 2009)
Unemployment is the pits, but employment can be a pain, too. You want proof? Here’s proof.

True Economic Barometer? How About Bowling – (New York Times – January 4, 2010)
Forget everything you think you know about bowling alleys. They’ve been reinvented. The new bowling alleys are not the beer-belly bowling alleys of yesteryear, but souped-up, hipster alleys often interwoven with restaurants, V.I.P. lounges, clubs, sports bars. Dark lighting. D.J.’s and thundering music. Videos dancing over flat-screen televisions above the pins. Waiter service. Dress codes. Coolness. The bowling is often a way to kill time between drink orders. Some customers never bother to bowl.


A FINAL QUOTE…

“Learn the past, watch the present, and create the future.”
— Jesse Conrad


A special thanks to: Kevin Clark, Ursula Freer, Tucker Greco, Bob Hawkins, Oliver Markley, Diane Petersen, Steve Ujvarosy and all of you who have sent us interesting links in the past. If you see something we should know about, do send it along – thanks.
[email protected]


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Edited by John L. Petersen
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