Volume 13, Number 10 – 5/30/10

Volume 13, Number 10 – 5/30/10


  • President Hugo Chavez has urged supporters to use Twitter to blow the whistle on currency speculators.
  • Using snippets of DNA and other molecules, billions of identical, waffle-like structures can be created that can be turned into logic circuits using light rather than electricity as a signaling medium.
  • Human industry is building up a mighty hunger for CO2, the villainous greenhouse gas. It is becoming a problem to get enough of the stuff.
  • Check out a vehicle that behaves like a plant, photosynthesizing carbon dioxide from the air and exchanging oxygen back into the atmosphere.


Tweet for Traitors – (Associated Press – May 16, 2010)
President Hugo Chavez has urged supporters to use Twitter to blow the whistle on currency speculators and announced that police raids on illegal traders would continue as Venezuela’s government tries to defend the embattled bolivar. The socialist leader asked Venezuelans to send messages identifying illegal traders. He described them as “thieves” who must be punished for currency speculation, which he blames for rapidly rising inflation. “My Twitter account is open for you to denounce them,” Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program. “We’re going to launch several raids. We’ve already launched some raids, thanks to the complaints from the people.”


First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell – (JCVI – May 20, 2010)
Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, have published results describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and is the proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

Does Newly Discovered Supernova Point to Unknown Laws of Physics? – (Daily Galaxy – May 20, 2010)
In the past decade, robotic telescopes have turned astronomers’ attention to strange exploding stars that may point to new and unusual physics. An international team of astronomers has uncovered a supernova whose origin cannot be explained by any previously known mechanism and which promises exciting new insights into stellar explosions.

Man Infects Himself with (Computer) Virus – (PC World – May 27, 2010)
We are one step closer to the future: Dr. Mark Gasson, a British scientist has become the first human being to contract a computer virus by way of an RFID chip implanted in his wrist. Gasson and his colleagues then created a virus and put it on the chip. When Gasson went into the lab and the lab’s computers read the code, the virus implanted itself into the database and began to replicate. Now if any of his other colleagues swipe their traditional swipe-cards to get into the lab, the virus can replicate itself on their swipe-cards. His experiment shows that viruses can be transferred wirelessly from implant devices to the computers they communicate with.


Found: Genes that Let You Live to 100 – (Times – May 16, 2010)
Scientists have discovered the “Methuselah” genes whose lucky carriers have a much improved chance of living to 100 even if they indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle. The genes appear to protect people against the effects of smoking and bad diet and can also delay the onset of age-related illnesses such as cancer and heart disease by up to three decades. The secret of longevity probably lies in having the right “suite” of genes, according to new studies of centenarians and their families. Such combinations are extremely rare – only one person in 10,000 reaches the age of 100.

ADHD Linked to Pesticide Exposure – (CNN – May 17, 2010)
Children exposed to higher levels of a type of pesticide found in trace amounts on commercially grown fruit and vegetables are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children with less exposure, a nationwide study suggests. Children with above-average levels of one common byproduct had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to the study. Exposure to the pesticides, known as organophosphates, has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems in children in the past, but previous studies have focused on communities of farm workers and other high-risk populations. This study is the first to examine the effects of exposure in the population at large.

Silica Cages Help Anti-cancer Antibodies Kill Tumors in Mice – (EurekAlert – May 21, 2010)
Packaging anti-cancer drugs into particles of chemically modified silica improve the drugs’ ability to fight skin cancer in mice, according to new research. Results show the honeycombed particles can help anti-cancer antibodies prevent tumor growth and prolong the lives of mice. Anti-cancer antibodies target a particular protein on cancer cells and – in a poorly understood way – kill off the cells. Examples include herceptin for one form of breast cancer and cetuximab for colon cancer. Unlike popping a pill, however, current antibody-based treatments require patients to go in for intravenous drips into the arm which are expensive and expose healthy tissue to the antibody, causing side effects. Packaging antibodies into particles would concentrate them at the tumor and possibly reduce side effects and other research has shown silicon to be well tolerated by cells, animals and people.

Can Bacteria Make You Smarter? – (Discovery News – May 24, 2010)
Tiny organisms living naturally in the soil and carried in the air can actually make us more positive and alert when ingested or breathed in, say researchers from the Sage Colleges of Troy, N.Y. At the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego today, scientists presented research that showed a particular bacterium increased learning abilities in mice when ingested. Studies had already shown that the bacterium could increase serotonin levels and decrease anxiety. It’s another reason to get out into the great outdoors.

Beer Belly Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease – (BBC News – May 20, 2010)
A US study of more than 700 adults showed that being overweight is associated with smaller brain volume, a factor linked with dementia. The finding was particularly strong in those with high levels of visceral fat – fatty tissue which sits around the organs. The results showed that as body mass index increased, brain volume decreased – a finding that has been reported in other studies. But the findings also showed a closer connection between abdominal fat and the risk of dementia. The link between visceral fat and smaller brain volume was independent of overall weight.

Researchers Create Retina from Human Embryonic Stem Cells – (Kurzweil AI – May 27, 2010)
University of California, Irvine (UCI) scientists have created an eight-layer, early-stage retina from human embryonic stem cells, the first three-dimensional tissue structure to be made from stem cells. It also marks the first step toward the development of transplant-ready retinas to treat eye disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration that affect millions.


Crystals at the Center of the Earth – (Wired – May 11, 2010)
Seismic waves traveling between Earth’s poles move faster than those moving east-west, and now scientists think they may know why. The iron alloys in the solid inner core of the Earth appear to have crystallized in such a way that it’s easier for energy to pass on the north-south axis than on the east-west, as described in a new study led by Maurizio Mattesini, a geologist at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His study suggests that as the crystals formed, they received a particular alignment, known as anisotropy, which makes it easier for waves to travel in one direction than the other.

Archaeologists Discover 2,700-year-old Tomb in Mexico – (Guardian – May 18, 2010)
The tomb, found at a site built by Zoque Indians in Chiapa de Corzo, in southern Chiapas state, may be almost 1,000 years older than the better-known pyramid tomb of the Mayan ruler Pakal at the Palenque archaeological site, also in Chiapas. The man – probably a high priest or ruler of Chiapa de Corzo, a prominent settlement at the time – was buried in a stone chamber. The body of a one-year-old child was laid carefully over the man’s body inside the tomb, while that of a 20-year-old male was tossed into the chamber with less care, perhaps sacrificed at the time of burial. The older man was buried with jade and amber collars and bracelets and pearl ornaments. His face was covered with what may have been a funeral mask with obsidian eyes. Nearby, the tomb of a woman, also about 50, contained similar ornaments.

Horned Dinosaurs Island-hopped from Asia to Europe – (BBC News – May 26, 2010)
Horned dinosaurs previously considered native only to Asia and North America might also have roamed the lands of prehistoric Europe, say scientists. Europe in the Late Cretaceous was not a single landmass, but a group of islands known as Tethyan archipelago. Palaeontologists have announced the discovery of fossils belonging to a horned creature in the Bakony Mountains of western Hungary. The find may give them a better understanding of the environment during the late period of dinosaur evolution.


Live Feeds from Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) – (BP – May 27, 2010)
This is a live video feed from the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. Throughout the extended “top kill” procedure – which may take up to two days to complete – very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole. BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate and on its outcome when complete.

Scientists Identify Virulent New Strains of Ug99 Stem Rust – (EurekAlert – May 26, 2010)
Four new mutations of Ug99, a strain of a deadly wheat pathogen known as stem rust, have overcome existing sources of genetic resistance developed to safeguard the world’s wheat crop. The new “races” have acquired the ability to defeat two of the most important stem rust-resistant genes, which are widely used in most of the world’s wheat breeding programs. “With the new mutations we are seeing, countries cannot afford to wait until rust ‘bites’ them,” said Dr. Ravi Singh, distinguished senior scientist International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. The reddish-brown, wind-borne fungus known as Ug99 has decimated up to 80% of Kenyan farmers’ wheat during several cropping seasons, and scientists estimate that 90% of the wheat varieties around the world lack sufficient resistance to the original Ug99.

China Drought Highlights Future Climate Threats – (Nature News – May 11, 2010)
Since last September, the Yunnan province has had 60% less rainfall than normal. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 8.1 million people – 18% of Yunnan’s population – are short of drinking water, and US$2.5-billion worth of crops are expected to fail. Scientists in China say that the crisis marks one of the strongest case studies so far of how climate change and poor environmental practices – such as replacing rainforest with rubber trees known as ‘water pumps’ by locals because of their insatiable thirst and which now cover 20% of the prefecture’s land – can combine to create a disaster.

What Do You Do with Non-Biodegradable Plastics? – (Al Fin Energy – May 16, 2010)
Northeastern University student researchers have come up with an apparatus to convert plastic waste into clean energy without releasing harmful emissions. Self-sustainability is the key to the double-tank combustor design. Plastic waste is first processed in an upper tank through pyrolysis, which converts solid plastic into gas. Next, the gas flows to a lower tank, where it is burned with oxidants to generate heat and steam. The heat sustains the combustor while the steam can be used to generate electric power.

YeZ Concept Car Sucks in C02, Exhales Oxygen – (CNET – May 21, 2010)
Here is a vehicle that behaves like a plant, photosynthesizing carbon dioxide from the air and exchanging oxygen back into the atmosphere. Meet the YeZ, a concept two-seater that makes other eco cars blush when it comes to zero and even negative emissions. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation is behind this clever little creation in partnership with General Motors and Volkswagen. YeZ, pronounced yea-zi, which means “leaf” in Mandarin, works its magic of photoelectric conversion with the help of state-of-the-art solar panels on the roof, wind power conversion via small wind turbines in the wheels, and carbon dioxide absorption and conversion through the bodywork. This last bit is made of a metal-organic framework that can apparently absorb carbon dioxide and water molecules from the air. Through the series of chemical reactions, energy is generated, and it’s then stored in the car’s lithium ion batteries.


Limitless, Cheap Chips Made Out of DNA Could Replace Silicon – (PopSci – May 11, 2010)
Silicon chips are on the way out, at least if Duke University engineer Chris Dwyer has his way. The professor of electrical and computer engineering says that using the unique properties of DNA to coax circuits into assembling themselves could produce more logic circuits in a single day than the entire global silicon chip industry could produce in a month. Indeed, DNA is perfectly suited to such pre-programming and self-assembly. Dwyer’s recent research has shown that by creating and mixing customized snippets of DNA and other molecules, he can create billions of identical, waffle-like structures that can be turned into logic circuits using light rather than electricity as a signaling medium.

Controlling Computers with Your Mind – (Future Tense – May 12, 2010)
Dean Pomerlau, a researcher at Intel and his group are using software to analyze MRI brain scans to determine what a subject is thinking about. He says they can predict the result with about 90% accuracy. While Dean cautions that having this technology in a practical application available to anyone is still many years away, it holds tremendous potential to help the disabled. One possible application of the technology might be to create a pill full of tiny robots that swim up to your brain and embed themselves there to transmit your thoughts.

Seven Atom Transistor Sets the Pace for Future PCs – (BBC News – May 24, 2010)
If the new seven atom transistor can be made in large numbers it could mean chips with components up to 100 times smaller than on existing processors. The Australian creators of the transistor hope it is also a step towards a solid-state quantum computer. The transistor is not the smallest ever created as two research groups have previously managed to produce working single-atom transistors. However, the device is many times smaller than the components found in chips in contemporary computers. On chips where components are 22 nanometres in size, transistor gates are about 42 atoms across.

Sony Shows Rollable OLED Display – (PC World – May 27, 2010)
Sony has developed a flexible color display that’s sturdy enough to be wrapped around a pencil while still showing video images. The 4.1-inch screen has a resolution of 432 by 240 pixels, which is similar to that offered by many mass-market cell phones. The screen contains newly-developed organic thin-film transistors that are used to make the driver circuitry to run the display. The transistors can be directly made on a flexible substrate and remove the need for rigid driver chips that would prevent the screen from being rolled.


Wikitude Drive Beta – Test Drivers Wanted – (Wikitude – May 20, 2010)
Wikitude Drive, the first mobile Augmented Reality (AR) satellite navigation system with global coverage, is looking for test drivers. Wikitude Drive, the Grand Prize Winner of the Global Navteq LBS Challenge 2010 at Mobile World Congress last February in Barcelona, transforms your Android smartphone into a mobile navigation system looking a bit like something out of a science fiction movie. Driving directions not only appear on screen, they are overlaid on the live video stream of the very street you are driving on. As a result, you are seeing the real world and real road in front of you, while being directed by a digital route on top of it.


The Growing Hunger for Carbon Dioxide – (Al Fin Energy – May 6, 2010)
Human industry is building up a mighty hunger for CO2, the villainous greenhouse gas. It is becoming a problem to get enough of the stuff. For example, the company Algenol is making — to situate its algal farms next to Valero oil refineries, so as to siphon off the CO2 byproduct of the refinery to feed its algae. Other companies making similar plans include Ceres, and Joule. Another CO2 hungry process being discussed is the German project to use wind-generated electricity to produce methanol.

Plotting the Global Hydrocarbon Collapse – (Peak Generation – May 9, 2010)
More than 90% of the world’s energy comes from non-renewable sources – and its decline can be projected on a Hubbert bell curve. We are familiar with the concept of peak oil. But Hubbert’s model proves versatile, as the exploitation of any non-renewable resource – from oil to uranium – follows similar patterns. Experts in the fields of coal, natural gas and nuclear power are beginning to talk of vastly inflated reserves figures and pointing to resource depletion within the next two decades. This, if it proves accurate, would involve all our main sources of energy declining drastically, all within a relatively short timeframe.

“Deep Green”: Kite-Based Tidal Power – (Good Blog – May 13, 2010)
The Swedish start-up Minesto is working on a new kind of underwater turbine, called “Deep Green.” The kite-like apparatus is tethered to the ocean floor, at a depth of anywhere from 60 to 150 meters. Then, as a tide or current pushes against the kite, it moves from side to side because its wings create a lift force. As it moves, water flows through a turbine in the kite. And because it’s moving, the velocity of the flow of water through the turbine can be 10 times the surrounding stream flow, according to Minesto. In theory, Deep Green should be much cheaper to install and maintain than other wave-power technologies, because these things are relatively small. Each kite’s wingspan is about 40 feet. One of these kites, working for an hour, could generate enough power to supply about two weeks’ power for the average home.

Shale Gas Revolution Changes World Energy Balance – (Al Fin Energy – May 10, 2010)
Over the past decade, new techniques have been developed that drastically cut the price tag of shale gas production. One of the biggest effects of the shale boom will be to give Western and Chinese consumers fuel supplies close to home-thus scuttling a potential natural-gas cartel. The political fallout from shale gas will throw world politics for a loop. Shale-gas resources are believed to extend into countries such as Poland, Romania, Sweden, Austria, Germany-and Ukraine. Once European shale gas comes, the Kremlin will be hard-pressed to use its energy exports as a political lever. “The shale boom also is likely to upend the economics of renewable energy. It may be a lot harder to persuade people to adopt green power that needs heavy subsidies when there’s a cheap, plentiful fuel out there that’s a lot cleaner than coal, even if gas isn’t as politically popular as wind or solar.” (Wall Street Journal).

Gene-Engineering the Best of all Possible Algae – (Al Fin Energy – May 10, 2010)
Iowa State University scientists are hard at work engineering the best genetic strain of algae for the production of biofuels. The researchers are investigating the process of genetically stacking traits in algae for biofuels production. With a $4.37 million grant from the U.S. DOE, ISU genetics professor and project lead Martin Spalding intends to develop a micro-algal platform allowing algae to be treated as a crop. The best analogy to this is stacking traits in corn. “Farmers could plant simple unmanipulated lines of corn that have high yield,” Spalding says, “but you wouldn’t get the drought tolerance you want. You could plant drought-tolerant corn, but you wouldn’t get standability. But by genetically manipulating corn, you get all the traits you need.”

Bladeless wind turbine inspired by Tesla – (PhysOrg – May 7, 2010)
A bladeless wind turbine whose only rotating component is a turbine/driveshaft could generate power at a cost comparable to coal-fired power plants, according to its developers at Solar Aero. The New Hampshire-based company recently announced its patent on the Fuller wind turbine, which is an improvement on a patent issued to Nikola Tesla in 1913.

Nuclear Reactor Aims for Self-Sustaining Fusion – (Technology Review – May 25, 2010)
In a few years, an experimental nuclear fusion reactor near Moscow could be the first to yield a self-sustaining fusion reaction. If the Italian-Russian project is successful, it would be a key milestone for fusion power. The proposed reactor is based on a design developed at MIT, where three similar reactors based on the same design have already been built. The “Ignitor”, as it’s called, is a tokamak reactor, a doughnut-shaped device that uses powerful magnetic fields to produce fusion by squeezing superheated plasma of hydrogen isotopes.

Electric Car Breaks World Record: 623 Miles Without Recharging – (Impact Lab – May 27, 2010)
The Japan Electric Vehicle Club broke its own Guinness World Record last weekend by driving an electric vehicle for a distance of 623.76 miles (1,003 kilometers) without recharging. The new distance record nearly doubles the old record of 345 miles (555.6 kilometers) that was set last November. The Tokyo-based Japan Electric Vehicle Club, a group of electric vehicle enthusiasts, converted the Daihatsu Mira EV from gas to electric using Sanyo lithium-ion batteries.


Discovery May Lead to Safer Drinking Water, Cheaper Medicine – (EurekAlert – May 26, 2010)
A discovery that may pave the way to helping reduce health hazards such as E. coli in water could also make chemicals and drugs such as insulin cheaper to produce and their production more environmentally friendly. Queen’s University biochemistry professor Zongchao Jia and post-doctoral student Jimin Zheng discovered exactly how the AceK protein acts as a switch in some bacteria to bypass the energy-producing cycle that allows bacteria like E. coli and salmonella to go into a survival mode and adapt to low-nutrient environments, such as water. The discovery opens the door for scientists to identify a molecule that can keep the bypass switch from turning on so bacteria will die in water.


Outstanding in Their Field Effect – (EurekAlert – May 25, 2010)
Rice University researchers have discovered thin films of nanotubes created with ink-jet printers offer a new way to make field-effect transistors (FET), the basic element in integrated circuits. While the technique doesn’t scale down to the levels required for modern microprocessors, Rice’s Robert Vajtai hopes it will be useful to inventors who wish to print transistors on materials of any kind, especially on flexible substrates. The nanotube-based circuitry is created using high-end ink-jet printers and custom inks.

Antibacterial Silver Nanoparticles are a Blast – (EurekAlert – May 24, 2010))
Your running shoes, socks and even computer keyboard may be impregnated with silver nanoparticles that can kill some bacteria, keep you smelling sweet and preventing the spread of infection among computer users. Researchers in India point out that silver nanoparticles are not only antibacterial against so-called gram-positive bacteria, such as resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae but, also against gram-negative Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics is threatening human health the world over. Medicinal chemists are desperately trying to develop new compounds that can kill strains such as MRSA (methicillin, or multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and E. coli O157. Frontline defenses, such as environmentally benign and cost-effective antibacterial compounds could prevent such infective agents spreading through contact with computer keyboard, phones and other devices.


Digital Photocopiers Loaded with Secrets – (CBS – April 19, 2010)
Almost all copiers made since 2002 have a hard drive buried inside, which stores images of every document that is scanned or copied – turning an office staple into a a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal and/or sensitive data.

Chemical Concussions and Secret LSD: Pentagon Details Cold War Mind-Control Tests – (Wired – May 11, 2010)
More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments. Most of the details included in the 17-page document have been revealed in earlier CIA papers. Still, there are some tantalizing new details. Take the origins of MK-ULTRA, the notorious CIA program that dosed thousands of unwitting participants with hallucinogenic drugs. Not surprisingly, the released report also doesn’t address darker questions that persist about the specifics of the CIA projects. Last year, a group of vets sued the agency for illnesses and trauma caused by the “diabolical and secret [MK-ULTRA] testing program,” which they allege included experiments with nerve gas, psychochemicals, and brain implants.


More Cities on Brink of Bankruptcy – (CNBC – May 26, 2010)
The possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the city of Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, looms large these days – and it could be the first in a series, say some Wall Street traders. Harrisburg, population 55,000, owes nearly $70 million in debt payments this year, and it’s unclear where that money will come from. On May 1, the city missed a $452,282 loan payment related to the incinerator. Raising taxes or selling assets, like real estate or parking lots, are options for Harrisburg. So is a restructuring plan – either inside or outside of bankruptcy. If Harrisburg does file for bankruptcy, it would do so under Chapter 9 – which is employed by cities, but rarely. In one closely watched case, the city of Vallejo, Calif., has been in Chapter 9 since 2008.

Gates, Congress, and Obama: Mutually Assured Debacle – (Huffington Post – May 27, 2010)
A historic opportunity to tame a voracious source of our horrific federal debt is being squandered by short sighted games, some of them abysmally selfish. At a post World War II high in inflation adjusted dollars, we have the smallest Navy and Air Force we have had since 1946, and the Army is just barely above its post World War II low. Our major equipment inventories are, on average, older than at any point in the last sixty years. The current Pentagon plan is to make both problems worse, at higher cost.


Former Legislator Makes Statement on Un-Released Eisenhower Briefing on Extraterrestrials – (ExoNews – May 12, 2010)
Henry W. McElroy, a former New Hampshire state legislator, claims he saw a briefing for President Eisenhower that revealed the presence of extraterrestrials in the United States. It went on to discuss a possible meeting being arranged between the President and extraterrestrial entities. The alleged briefing witnessed by McElroy supports earlier whistleblower testimonies that President Eisenhower did in fact meet with extraterrestrials in 1954 and 1955. The article also lists four former U.S. astronauts and two former U.S. presidents, among others, who have made informative statements concerning this general topic.


9/11 Link to Rise in Male Fetal Death Rate – (BBC News – May 24, 2010)
The stress caused by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center may have led to an increase in miscarriages of male foetuses, US researchers say. A study found 12% more male babies, more sensitive to stress than female ones, were lost in September 2001 after the 20th week of pregnancy than in a “normal” September. Data says fewer boys were born in all states three to four months after 9/11. The review by the University of California, Irvine, is said to support the theory of “communal bereavement”.


US Money Supply Plunges at 1930s Pace as Obama Eyes Fresh Stimulus – (Telegraph – May 26, 2010)
The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history. The M3 figures – which include broad range of bank accounts and are tracked by British and European monetarists for warning signals about the direction of the US economy a year or so in advance – began shrinking last summer. The pace has since quickened. Larry Summers, Obama’s top economic adviser, has asked Congress to “grit its teeth” and approve a fresh fiscal boost of $200bn to keep growth on track.

Are We Hiring Yet? – (Atlantic – May 11, 2010)
The number of unemployed workers per job opening peaked at the end of 2009 at 6.1% — the highest level ever recorded. Even after three months of job growth, that number was still near its historic high. Remember, the unemployment rate does not tell us whether Americans are unemployed because they just lost their job (indicated by a high job separation rate), or because they have been out of job for an extended period of time (indicated by a low job finding rate). In fact, more than 95% of the change in the unemployment rate since the beginning of the recession is due, not to job separation, but record-low job finding, the Cleveland Fed reported. See graph in article.

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

Communications Satellite Avoided Interference by a Second, Rogue Satellite – (Sun Sentinel – May 24, 2010)
The owner of a satellite that transmits programming to all U.S. cable systems says it avoided interference from another, out-of-control satellite that was drifting into its path. SES World Skies says programming transmitted by its AMC 11 satellite was not affected by the Galaxy 15 satellite, which is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth and had threatened to wander into AMC 11’s orbit. Bottom line: there’s a growing amount of “junk” up there, some of which is no longer in anyone’s control.

Predictions for the Rest of 2010 – (Rense – May 25, 2010)
Here are 25 economic predictions for the rest of the year. They can’t all be right. One of them, dated 03/13/2010, is already clearly wrong: “In fact, the euro has recently stabilized. My gut is that the dollar sell-off will be sharp and swift.” And we have not had run-away inflation. But the overwhelming consensus is that things will be in the proverbial handbasket rolling downhill by the second half of the year. If nothing else, they make interesting reading.


Weird Clouds Look Even Better from Space – (Wired – May 12, 2010)
Cloud-watching from Earth can be endlessly entertaining, but some of the most amazing cloud patterns can only be properly appreciated from space. Satellites can take in thousands of miles of the Earth’s surface in one shot, revealing complicated and intriguing cloud patterns we could never see from below. Here are some of the best cloud formations – seen from above.


“The future influences the present just as much as the past.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche


If you’d like to take part in an International Delphi Survey and Scenario development project about Latin America 2010 – 2030, please click here.

A special thanks to: Matthew Budny, Tom Burgin, Bernard Calil, Kevin Clark, Kevin Foley, Ursula Freer, Kurzweil AI, Diane Petersen, Abby Porter, T. Roberts, John Rolls, Stu Rose, Cory Shreckengost, the Schwartz Report, Winslow Wheeler 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]


Edited by John L. Petersen
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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

Paul H. Smith

Paul H. Smith is the longest-serving controlled remote viewing (CRV) teacher active today, having begun his career as an instructor in 1984. He served for seven years in the government’s Star Gate remote viewing program at Ft. Meade, MD (from September 1983 to August 1990). Starting 1984, he became one of only five Star Gate personnel to be personally trained as remote viewers by the legendary founders of remote viewing, Ingo Swann and Dr. Harold E. Puthoff at SRI-International.

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]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Joni Patry

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

Alain Nu

Las Vegas headliner, Alain Nu – “The Man Who Knows”, brings us his mind-bending mental and metaphysical abilities. His highly entertaining and most provocative show intermingles feats of mind-reading and spoon bending with other baffling demonstrations that defy explanation.

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.

Joey Korn

Joey Korn is one of the most accomplished dowsers in the world. Known internationally for an extraordinary ability to change and manipulate energy at all levels, he brings a deep, practical understanding of how to balance these energies . . . and change the way that they influence humans and their lives.

Jim McCarty

In 1980, Jim McCarty joined L/L Research where Don Elkins and Carla L. Rueckert were researching the field of the paranormal in general, and contact with extraterrestrial intelligence in particular. Soon later the Ra Contact began, producing 106 sessions with the social memory complex of Ra. Five books of The Law of One series were published documenting this contact.

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His on-line writings have generated a vast following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts.

Raymon Grace

Raymon Grace, one of the world’s most extraordinary dowsers, travels the world teaching and demonstrating how dowsing can be used by most anyone to change themselves and the world around them. His down-home, direct approach is sought out by many thousands of searchers who are looking for bettering their lives and dealing with the extraordinary change that the world is experiencing.

Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna’s research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dr. McKenna is author or co-author of 4 books and over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

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.

Lee Carrol a.k.a. Kryon

Lee Carroll, Ph.D. has channeled Kryon for 25 years worldwide and is the author of the Kryon Series of 16 books in 24 languages. Well known in metaphysics, Kryon books have made the top seller’s list within months of their release. Having presented seven times at the United Nations in New York, as well as in 33 different countries overseas, Lee attracts audiences in the thousands.

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.

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.

Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and abuse; the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11; and critical 9/11 intelligence failures. He is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

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.

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.

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

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.

Joe Dispenza

needs bio…


Needs Bio…

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.

Mary Rodwell

Needs Bio…

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.

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.

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.