| FUTURE FACTS – FROM THINK LINKS|
DID YOU KNOW THAT–
- A Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine has been researched in Cuba for 25 years and in Europe. It became available for free to the Cuban public in 2011; now it’s coming to the U.S.
- The Milky Way is part of a massive “supercluster” of galaxies that contains more than 100,000 galaxies and stretches 500 million light years across.
- Japan’s maglev train sets new world record at 373mph.
- Two top-level TEPCO senior managers charged with “decommissioning” the three melted Fukushima reactors “cannot say it is possible.”
by John L. Petersen
A New (Scientific) Version of History . . . a Different Possible Future
In this space recently we’ve presented compelling information that suggests that governments are actively initiating disruptive events against their own people with the objective of shaping the opinions of the populace toward supporting their policies. In light of that, it’s not very hard to believe that history, as it’s commonly known, might be wrong – especially since, as they say, it is written by the victors . . . and influential institutions.
Thirty years ago, Russian Academy of Science member and mathematician Anatoly Fromenko wondered about that and undertook an epic project to use statistics and astronomy determine the accuracy of what historians had presumed to be accurate. Among other things, he was encouraged by the fact that Sir Isaac Newton had similar concerns and questioned the accuracy of the historical dates of events that had preceded him.
Fromenko found (and documented in seven seriously supported books) that recorded history is a finely-woven magic fabric of intricate lies about events predating the sixteenth century. There is not a single piece of evidence that can be reliably and independently traced back earlier than the eleventh century. His first book details events that are substantiated by hard facts and logic, and validated by new astronomical research and statistical analysis of ancient sources.
Penny Kelly has taken this new picture of the history of civilization, consciousness, sex, power and religion and offers a surprising window into the emergence of a new world that is dramatically different from the present – informed substantially by this new understanding of what really happened in the past.
As we contemplate unprecedented change and the emergence of a world that is not at all familiar, it is critical to understand where we came from and how that past will fundamentally shape this extraordinary new era that we will certainly live to see.
Fresh from having just finished her third book on consciousness and energy, Dr. Penny Kelly is coming to Berkeley Springs Transition Talks again on the 13th of June to present her always provocative and well-researched ideas. Always one to challenge the status quo, this time she’s spending the whole afternoon explaining what really happened in the past and how that knowledge will determine our ability to deal with the likely future that is headed our way.
Experience two exercises will that will allow you to explore your own (real) past . . . and your potential future.
Penny Kelly is an author, teacher, speaker, publisher, personal and spiritual consultant and Naturopathic physician. Author of eight books, she travels, lectures, and teaches classes and workshops. She was involved in scientific research and investigations into consciousness at Pinelandia Laboratory and maintains a large consulting practice.
This will be a particularly valuable event. Do come.
Complete information can be found at: www.transitiontalks.org
Even More Admitted False Flag Terror Incidents Come to Light
Washington’s Blog again provides the eye-opening history of governments attacking their own people.
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror
Every time we look, we find new admissions of false flag terror attacks.
In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:
(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.
(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.
(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.
(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.
(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.
Read complete list of 55 examples . . .
A Brave New World
Here are a couple of articles that represent more examples of the extraordinary new human and world that is emerging.
Superhuman Vision Now Possible Thanks To Bionic Lenses
Huffington Post said about this rather extraordinary breakthrough:
The promise of superhuman vision has always seemed a little farfetched, something us mortals have only ever experienced through the eyes of Clark Kent.
At best, those of us who wear contact lenses or glasses hope for a surgery-free breakthrough that will one day give us 20/20 vision.
A Canadian optometrist Dr Garth Webb however, claims that he has produced a Bionic Lens would help us see three times better than 20/20 vision. Step aside superman.
Dr. Garth Webb from British Columbia says the lenses, once fitted, would replace glasses and contacts while also keeping the eyes from developing cataracts, a result of the natural ageing process.
Read more . . .
Quantum Entanglement Verified: Why Space Is Just The Construct That Gives The Illusion Of Separate Objects
Collective Evolution reported that there is no space . . . and probably time.
“Space is just the construct that gives the illusion that there are separate objects” – Dr. Quantum (see video in link)
There is a phenomenon so strange, so fascinating, and so counter to what we believe to be the known scientific laws of the universe, that Einstein himself could not wrap his head around it. It’s called “quantum entanglement,” though Einstein referred to it as “spooky action at a distance.”
An experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function. (1)(2)
Wiesmen stated that:
“This phenomenon is the strongest yet proof of the entanglement of a single particle, an unusual form of quantum entanglement that is being increasingly explored for quantum communication and computation.”
Read more . . .
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Smart Mirrors Boost Sales – (Associated Press– May 11, 2015)
Imagine a fitting room with a “smart” mirror that suggests jeans to go with the red shirt you brought in. It snaps a video so you can compare the image side-by-side with other colorful shirts you try on. It might even show you how the shirt will fit without you having to undress. A handful of primarily upscale retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, are testing versions of this high-tech fitting room. And experts say the masses will be able to try these innovations at more stores in the next few years as the technology gets cheaper. This trend is a way stores aim to catch up to online rivals like Amazon.com that are able to gather information on which items shoppers browse and use that to recommend other products. Later this year, Big Space, a technology company, plans to test at an undisclosed clothing chain a new mirror that recognizes the gender of a customer and makes recommendations based on that. Customers also will be able to request or purchase the items directly from the mirror and have them shipped. Other technologies already are being tested in stores. In recent years, stores that include Bloomingdale’s and Top Shop have tested technology that enable shoppers to see how they look in an outfit without trying it on. The patented MemoryMirror from a Palo Alto, California-based company called MemoMi is one of the most advanced in this so-called virtual dressing, a feature that’s expected to be tested in U.S. stores later this year. The mirror is outfitted with sensors, setting off motion-triggered changes of clothing. MemoryMirror uses pixel technology that captures even small details such as a wrinkle on a skirt as it moves.
This Is the Most Detailed Map Yet of Our Place in the Universe – (Vox – February 11, 2015)
We know that the Earth and the solar system are located in the Milky Way galaxy. But how, exactly, does the Milky Way fit in among the billions of other galaxies in the known universe? In a fascinating 2014 study for Nature, a team of scientists mapped thousands of galaxies in our immediate vicinity, and discovered that the Milky Way is part of a jaw-droppingly massive “supercluster” of galaxies that they named Laniakea. This structure is much, much, much bigger than astronomers had previously realized. Laniakea contains more than 100,000 galaxies and stretches 500 million light years across. It’s hard to wrap one’s head around how enormous this is. Each of those points of light (in an illustration in the article) is an individual galaxy. Each galaxy contains millions, billlions, or even trillions of stars. Oh, and this all is just our little local corner of an even broader universe. There are many other galaxy superclusters out there. So how did the researchers figure out this structure existed — and how did they distinguish it from other superclusters? The team of scientists, led by R. Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii, first studied the motion of some 8,000 galaxies in our neighborhood. By doing so, they could map out certain patterns. (Editor’s note: The illustrations here are excellent.)
Don’t Freak Out, But the Universe May Be a Hologram – (Fusion – April 29, 2015)
Everything you know to be true may be an illusion, specifically, an optical illusion, according to scientists who suggest our universe is a hologram. This is not the first time the possibility has been raised, but it is the most convincing. New research from scientists at the Vienna University of Technology concludes that the holographic principle is possible in the context of a mostly flat space-time continuum. The holographic principle was first proposed by theoretical physicists Gerard’t Hooft and Leonard Susskind back in 1993. The holographic principle, simply put, is the idea that our three-dimensional reality is a projection of information stored on a distant, two-dimensional surface. Like the emblem on your credit card, the two-dimensional surface holds all the information you need to describe a three-dimensional object — in this case, our universe. The principle serves as a way to solve the black hole information paradox — according to quantum physics, all information is lost within a black hole, but according to the general theory of relativity, information can never be fully destroyed. All the information in our three (spatial) dimensional universe can be “stored” on a two-dimensional surface. In the context of the black hole information paradox, this suggested that information about the stuff in the black hole could somehow be encoded on the surface of the event horizon. Voila, paradox solved.
Cuba’s Had a Lung Cancer Vaccine for Years, and Now It’s Coming to the U.S. – (Huffington Post – May 14, 2015)
A Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine, called CimaVax, has been researched in Cuba for 25 years and became available for free to the Cuban public in 2011. CimaVax works by blocking a hormone that causes lung cancer tumors to grow, a method which has also been shown to be effective in treating colon cancer. Note: CimaVax treats lung cancer; it does not cure or prevent it. The country’s Center for Molecular Immunology signed an agreement last month with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York to import CimaVax and begin clinical trials in the United States. “We’re still at the very early stages of assessing the promise of this vaccine, but the evidence so far from clinical trials in Cuba and Europe has been striking,” said Dr. Kelvin Lee, Jacobs Family Chair in Immunology and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Roswell Park. Cuba has long been known for its high-quality cigars, and lung cancer is the fourth-leading cause of death in the country. A 2007 study of patients with stages IIIB and IV lung cancer, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, confirmed the safety of the CimaVax and showed an increase in tumor-reducing antibody production in more than half of cases. So far, 5,000 patients worldwide have been treated with CimaVax, including 1,000 patients in Cuba. Lee said the latest Cuban study of 405 patients, which has not yet been published, confirms earlier findings about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. What’s more, the shot is cheap — it costs the Cuban government just $1. And studies have found there are no significant side effects.
Federal Government Unwittingly Admits Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells – (Herbal Dispatch – April 15, 2015)
A group of federal researchers commissioned to prove the government’s claim that marijuana has “no medicinal value” may have unwittingly let some crucial research slip through the cracks, forcing the United States to admit that cannabis can kill cancer. The research, which was conducted by a team of scientists at St. George’s University of London, found that the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), weakened the ferocity of cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment. The study, which was published last year in the medical journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, details the “dramatic reductions” in fatal variations of brain cancer when these specific cannabinoids were used in conjunction with radiation therapy. “We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” wrote lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu, in a November 2014 op-ed for The Washington Post. “Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.” See also: Did Monsanto Really Just Get A Patent For GMO Marijuana?(The short answer is: It’s apparently an urban legend and a search of public patent databases has turned up nothing of the sort. However, we don’t know what may be held in non-public patent databases. Non-public databases definitely exist, for example, for defense-related patents.)
UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure for Colorblindness – (Seattle Times – April 11, 2015)
For the more than 10 million Americans with colorblindness, there’s never been a treatment, let alone a cure, for the condition that leaves them unable to distinguish certain hues. Now, two University of Washington professors have teamed with a California biotech firm to develop what they say may be a solution: a single shot in the eye that reveals the world in full color. Jay and Maureen Neitz, husband-and-wife scientists who have studied the vision disorder for years, have arranged an exclusive license agreement between UW and Avalanche Biotechnologies of Menlo Park. Together, they’ve found a new way to deliver genes that can replace missing color-producing proteins in certain cells, called cones, in the eyes. “I don’t think there’s any question that it will work,” said Maureen Neitz, a professor of ophthalmology. The new treatment — which may be tested in humans within two years — could be a boon for the 1 in 12 men and 1 in 230 women with color-vision deficiency. The Neitzes proved in 2009 that they could use gene therapy to correct colorblindness in male squirrel monkeys, which are born unable to distinguish between red and green. In the journal Nature, they reported the success of a technique that inserted the human form of a gene that detects red color into a viral shell, and then injected it behind the retinas of two squirrel monkeys.
Medical 3-D Printing Will Enable a New Kind of Future – (Huffington Post – April 22, 2015)
Advances in 3-D printing and medical technology will soon make it possible to construct human tissue in a lab, implant it in a patient and watch it grow into the body. Tissue engineering, as it’s called, was just one of the exciting new technological advances researchers and doctors have made in the medical 3-D printing field. Medical 3-D printing, begun with such well-known devices as hearing aids and Invisalign braces, has come a long way. Now we have 3-D-printed implants, 3-D-printed models for surgical practice, 3-D-printed bone replacements, even 3-D-printed human tissue. In 2013, surgeons at the University of Michigan saved the life of a 3-month-old boy who had been born with severely weak tissue in his airway. They designed, 3-D-printed and surgically implanted a scaffold-like tube to hold his airway open. After three years, as the baby’s airway tissue grows over and around the tube, the scaffold will dissolve harmlessly. And check out a short, embedded video of a nonprofit called e-NABLE that serves young children who — through birth defects or injury — need a new hand. For free, the nonprofit provides a 3-D-printed, basic plastic robotic hand that can make a fist, hold a ball and grasp a bike handle to children all over the world. To date, e-NABLE has shipped out about 1,000 hands.
Drought in São Paulo: Brazil’s Megacity on Verge of Crisis as Water Rationing, Shutoffs Continue – (Global Research – March 28, 2015)
The past three months have seen the driest winter in 84 years in southeastern Brazil. Water shortages are now critical in São Paulo, home to twenty million people. The city’s primary reservoir is fluctuating between 6-13% of capacity, and officials are estimating São Paolo’s reserves will last a mere 90 days without additional rainfall. The rainy season, from December through February, is over, and sadly, recent flooding within the city has not raised main reservoir levels, which are located further inland. The primary reservoir at Cantareira feeding much of the metropolitan city is nearly bone-dry. People in São Paulo are resorting to deliveries from bicycle riders carrying jugs of water. Others are digging their private wells on their own land or even in basements, which can lead to contamination issues. Those who can afford it are hoarding water, and the more resourceful are using cisterns and building rainwater catchment systems. Local rivers are polluted due to sewage problems and cannot be used for drinking water. Some have simply fled the city, becoming 21st century “water refugees”. Due to the massive glaciers of the Andes, the Amazon and its tributaries, Brazil holds 12% of worldwide freshwater and is called “the Saudi Arabia of water”. So why is this drought happening? Scientists are citing deforestation of the Amazon, Brazil’s very own “chainsaw massacre”, as the causal factor of the drought. As climatologist Antonio Nobre explains: “That’s what we have learned – that the forests have an innate ability to import moisture and to cool down and to favour rain… If deforestation in the Amazon continues, São Paulo will probably dry up. If we don’t act now, we’re lost.” For the human side of water rationing in densely populated urban environment, see here. And here’s an update from the Economist.
US Beekeepers Lost 40% of Their Honeybee Colonies in Just One Year – (The Blaze – May 13, 2015)
The Bee Informed Partnership, which includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Apiary Inspectors of America surveyed more than 6,000 commercial and small-scale beekeepers, learning that from April 2014 to April 2015 winter losses actually improved compared to last year. It was summer losses that surprised experts, and that helped dip total colony loss for year to 42.1%. “We traditionally thought of winter losses as a more important indicator of health, because surviving the cold winter months is a crucial test for any bee colony,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership, said. “But we now know that summer loss rates are significant too. This is especially so for commercial beekeepers, who are now losing more colonies in the summertime compared to the winter. Years ago, this was unheard of.”
We Still Don’t Know Where to Bury Our Nuclear Waste – (Motherboard – April 22, 2015)
When US Senate minority leader Harry Reid announced his imminent retirement last month, all eyes looked to Yucca Mountain. The long-time Senator from Nevada has spent much of his career opposing a long-term nuclear waste storage facility proposed at the desert site. With his sizeable influence set to disappear in 2017, many hope—or fear—that a Republican congress could reverse President Obama’s 2010 decision to defund the project for good. In Canada, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has viewed such drama with great interest. While America’s national nuclear waste repository has been hamstrung by decades of infighting and scientific controversy, mostly over its site selection failures, the NWMO is determined not to make the same mistakes up north. Canada’s nuclear waste is a pressing concern in a country where 2.5 million spent nuclear fuel bundles are currently kept at or near the reactors that burned them which are, by necessity, in some of the most heavily populated portions of the country. The NWMO visualizes this volume of nuclear material as large enough to fill seven regulation hockey rinks, from the ice to the top of the boards. Any location suitable to store that much nuclear material must have an enormous volume of stable geology. The vertical shafts will stretch 500 meters into the Earth, but the storage complex itself will spread outward laterally from there. The waste bundles are contained in heavily shielded casks which can be safely monitored for hundreds of years, and eventually sealed underground for up to a million. Combined with a transportation plan for securely moving spent fuel from reactors to the chosen storage site, the program has an estimated price of roughly $18-billion. Costs could run significantly higher, however, as that number is based on the prospect of storing a projected 3.6 million fuel bundles, while Canada could have as many as 4.6 million bundles before shutdown of all its currently operational reactors. Even on an optimistic timeline, a successfully placed repository project might not see the first fuel bundle actually arrive until 2035, and more likely later.
Conflict Over Soil and Water Quality Puts ‘Iowa Nice’ to a Test – (New York Times – April 18, 2015)
After years of mounting frustration, the utility, Des Moines Water Works, sued the leaders of three rural Iowa counties last month. Too little has been done, the lawsuit says, to prevent nitrates from flowing out of farm fields into the Raccoon River, one of two rivers that provide drinking water for Des Moines, the state’s capital and urban center. The suit seeks to make farmers comply with federal clean-water standards for nitrates that apply to factories and commercial users, and requests unspecified damages. “It’s very clear to me that traditional, industrial agriculture has no real interest in taking the steps that are necessary to radically change their operations in a way that will protect our drinking water,” said Bill Stowe, the chief executive of Des Moines Water Works. But while the utility want to hold farmers to strict federal water quality standards, the state’s powerful agricultural groups favor a voluntary system. The lawsuit raises not only the legal question of whether the government should regulate the water that drains off farmers’ land, but also the existential issue of whether rural and urban Iowans can collaborate to solve vexing problems. In a state where agriculture drives the economy, grain silos are featured on license plates and people pride themselves on a certain brand of “Iowa nice,” farmers have criticized the litigation as an antagonistic overreach that comes at the expense of cooperation and neighborliness. In Des Moines, Mr. Stowe said years of encouraging changes through voluntary programs had simply not brought about significant results. Nitrate levels in the Raccoon River remain stubbornly high, which required the utility to run its nitrate removal facilities for three months last winter, a rarity. In 2013, he said, Des Moines was barely able to remove nitrates quickly enough to keep up with demand, and nearly violated federal regulations.
We Need to Get the Internet of Things Right – (Tech Crunch – April 19, 2015)
It seems everything is connected to the Internet: socks, shoes, shirts, hats, glasses, appliances, beds, homes, drones, cars and even diapers. Yet, for the Internet of Things (IoT) to play a role in shaping our future, we need to get a few things right. The statement “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” has never been more applicable. At the events and conferences I’ve attended this year, it’s clear that while everything is getting connected, few things are actually connected. Some of you may recall the term “network of networks.” We are in real danger of making the same mistake again — only this time on a massive scale. With IoT, we are not taking full advantage of the Metcalfe effect where value increases exponentially as more things are connected. Instead, we are creating islands of technology. Today, almost all connected devices have their own apps. To get anything done, people have to jump from app to app to control disparate devices, creating a disconnected, rather than a seamless and even enjoyable experience. And because each solution must have its own ecosystem, there are no synergies that can be leveraged to bring down costs. When you combine fractured experiences with higher costs, it’s not long before people give up and go back to the old way of doing things or try yet another solution only to become even more frustrated. In addition to silos of products, there is too much focus on the technology itself.
Timelapse Footage Shows 57-story Chinese Skyscraper Being Built in 19 Days – (Daily News – May 1, 2015)
Timelapse footage shows the glass and steel “Mini Sky City” (link to video clip in article) being assembled in Changsha, Hunan province. Prefab specialists Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) assembled an incredible three floors every single day. high-rise has 19 atriums, office space for 4,000 people and 800 apartments. It also claims to be earthquake-resistant. Workers spent almost five months fabricating its 2,736 individual modules before its assembly began. The first 20 floors were completed in 2014, before bad weather postponed work until Jan. 31. The remaining section was finished in February.
Beautiful Woven Refugee Tents Harness Power From The Sun – (Higher Perspective – April 11, 2015)
There are some 40 million people worldwide who seek basic security and life in refugee camps. Most find themselves living under tarps or in a tent, which is less than optimal and can make a bad situation even worse. So Jordanian-Canadian architect and designer Abeer Seikaly set to work creating a new of woven refugee tents that enable refugees to live with dignity and greater comfort. Abeer, a resident of Amman, Jordan, realized that it’s more than possible to live nomadic lives in tents, provided the tents were comfortable. Her distant ancestors did so with ease. The woven shelters she came up with are still conceptual but are proven to be able to work. The fabric creates a private enclosure and comes with some fundamental amenities, including water and electricity powered via the sun. The solar-powered skin stores the sun’s energy and converts it to usable power. There’s also a water storage tank at the top of the tent that allows people to take showers, albeit brief ones. There’s a drainage system that prevents flooding.
Judge Rules Against Japan Nuke Restart, Cleanup of Melted Reactors Non-existent – (Beyond Nuclear – April 15, 2015)
A Fukui Prefecture court in Japan has ruled that the only real protection from a catastrophic nuclear accident is to keep the nation’s atomic reactors shut down. Hideaki Higuchi, a local judge for Fukui, ordered that the Takahama nuclear power plant remain closed as there is not adequate proof that another disaster caused by an earthquake can be reliably averted if the atomic reactors are operating. The court order occurs as TEPCO officials admit that environmental cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is centuries away. Naohiro Masuda and Akira Ono , two top-level TEPCO senior managers charged with “decommissioning” the three melted Fukushima reactors say that a myriad of extremely complex and unproven technologies for removing, cleaning up and managing the melted reactor cores does not currently exist and “cannot say it is possible.”
A Fully Transparent Solar Cell That Could Make Every Window and Screen a Power Source – (Extreme Tech – April 20, 2015)
Back in August 2014, researchers at Michigan State University created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other “transparent” solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, this one really is transparent, as you can see in the photos throughout this story. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research at the time, the team is confident the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.” Currently, Ubiquitous Energy, an MIT startup first reported on in 2013, is getting closer to bringing its transparent solar panels to market. Lunt cofounded the company and remains assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University. Essentially, what they’re doing is instead of shrinking the components, they’re changing the way the cell absorbs light. The cell selectively harvests the part of the solar spectrum we can’t see with our eye, while letting regular visible light pass through. “It opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way,” Lunt said. “Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there.”
Japan’s Maglev Train Sets New World Record with 603kph Test Run – (RT – April 21, 2015)
When it comes to fast trains, Japan takes top honors. A trailblazing maglev – short for ‘magnetic levitation’ – train has set a world speed record during a test run near Mount Fuji, clocking over 600kph (373mph). The new record comes less than a week after the seven-car train clocked 590kph, breaking its own 2003 record of 581kph. The maglev hovers 10cm above the tracks and is propelled by electrically charged magnets. The challenge for the Japan Railway Central company is to have a train in service in 2027 to travel some 286km between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya. The service, which would run at a top cosmic speed of 500kph, is expected to connect the two cities in 40 minutes. It’s less than half the present journey time for the Shinkansen bullet trains. By 2045, maglev trains are expected to link Tokyo and Osaka in just one hour and seven minutes, slashing the journey time in half, the Japan Times reported.
Bike Balls Bring Bicycle Nuts to All You Bicycle Nuts – (GizMag – May 14, 2015)
If there are a lot of good ol’ boys where you live, then you’re likely familiar with Truck Nuts – rubber steer testicles that are hung from a pickup truck’s trailer hitch. Well, a couple of Toronto-based designers have come up with something similar for bicycles. Known as Bike Balls, they actually serve as a tail light that catches motorists’ attention by swinging merrily back and forth. Bike Balls consist of a waterproof silicone, um … sack, inside of which is a red LED module. Users turn it on and then switch between flashing and steady modes by squeezing a button at the top. When the LED is on, the translucent nature of the silicone causes the whole thing to light up. The device is hung from one of the bike’s saddle rails via an integrated strap, and secured against theft using a supplied zip-tie. If you’d like to get a set of the balls for yourself, they’re currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign that has already surpassed its funding goal. See the self-described “world’s most overconfident bike light” in action in an embedded video clip.
The FDA Just Released Scary New Data on Antibiotics and Farms – (Mother Jones – Apr. 14, 2015)
Back in April 2012, the Food and Drug Administration launched an effort to address a problem that had been festering for decades: the meat industry’s habit of feeding livestock daily low doses of antibiotics, which keep animals alive under stressful conditions and may help them grow faster, but also generate bacterial pathogens that can shake off antibiotics, and make people sick. The FDA approached the task gingerly: It asked the industry to voluntarily wean itself from routine use of “medically important” antibiotics—those that are critical to human medicine, like tetracycline. In addition to the light touch, the agency plan included a massive loophole: that while livestock producers should no longer use antibiotics as a growth promoter, they’re welcome to use them to “prevent” disease—which often means using them in the same way (routinely), and at the same rate. How’s the FDA’s effort to ramp down antibiotic use on farms working? Last week, the FDA released data for 2013, the year after it rolled out its plan. The use of medically important antibiotics actually grew 3% in 2013 compared to the previous year, while the industry’s appetite for non-medically import drugs, which it’s supposed to be shifting to, shrank 2%. A longer view reveals an even more worrisome trend: between 2009 and 2013, use of medically important drugs grew 20%. Farms burn through 9.1 million kilograms of medically important antibiotics vs. 5.5 million kilograms of those not currently used in human medicine.
Gardening in a Drought – (Survival Mom – April 9, 2015)
During the past several years, severe drought has hit a number of states in America. Gardens are blackened and burnt, with food only coming in, grudgingly, thanks to heavy watering every other day. Watching this happen immediately took the author of this article back to two of the hardest places she has ever tried to raise food: Kenya and Botswana. Both places have no rain at all for months at a time, and then an entire year’s worth of rain in about 6 weeks. The temperatures, especially in Kenya, make even Texas heat waves look like a refrigerator. Water sources are unreliable, even in the towns. Yet both places are stuffed with families that grow not only enough to feed themselves, but enough to sell from their personal gardens. So how do they manage that? This article provides detailed, user-friendly information.
Portable Farms That Can Grow an Acre of Food in One Shipping Container – (Minds – April 14, 2015)
Freight Farms has developed a farm-in-a-box that can be shipped anywhere on wheels. These hydroponic farms contain climate controls to ensure ideal growing environments, air and water monitoring sensors, and controls that allow people to adjust their containers’ growing conditions from a mobile device. They can also monitor from a distance with cameras. One box can grow about 6,000 plants at once, which is the equivelent of about on acre of basil. The food grows vertically. Titled the “Leafy Green Machine,” it’s all contained within a 40’ x 8’ x 9.5’ shipping container and is specifically designed for “high-volume, consistent harvests.”
SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE
Jade Helm, The Minerva Project, and The Coming Mega-Drought – (Covert Book Report – May 8, 2015)
The upcoming “Jade Helm” military exercise planned for the southwestern United States this summer has been quite the buzz on the internet and right-wing talk radio recently, but it’s not just the fantasy of the tin-foil cowboy hat crowd. “JADE HELM 15″ is a real military exercise planned by the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). It’s also, if you ask a certain cohort of internet dweller who thinks each day will be the one when Barack Obama personally carries away his guns, the first phase of martial law in America. Realizing that ignoring the paranoid will do nothing to quiet them, Army spokespeople are trying to ease everyone’s nerves with some military boilerplate. The following is from Stars & Stripes: “This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.” But you don’t need to believe in FEMA death domes or an Islamofascist White House to find Jade Helm a little bit unsettling—even if it just a routine exercise meant to simulate a future Middle Eastern war zone inside America. To a certain extent it’s understandable why these studies and drills are being conducted. NASA predicts that the southwest in general will soon run out of water for irrigation, let alone household use. In a mass exodus, people from the southwest and California will attempt to relocate to areas in the northwest. Prior to this we can expect a lot, a lot of violence as food and water run short. Here are some projections from The Washington Post.
TRENDS OF GOVERNANCE
See How Congress Has Become Polarized over the Past 60 Years in One Chart – (Vox – April 23, 2015)
The growth of partisan polarization has transformed US politics in recent decades, and the effects are especially visible in Congress. Now a new paper in PLOS One demonstrates this transformation in a particularly cool way. Six researchers have created a visualization of how likely the House of Representatives’ Democrats (in blue) and Republicans (in red) are to vote with their own party, or to cross party lines. The change over the past six decades is remarkable. (Editor’s note: What this suggests is that over the last 60 years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have become increasingly dependent on their party’s endorsement – such that they now can seldom vote with either their constituents’ priorities in mind or vote based on their own opinions, when those differ from the party line.)
How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text – (First Look – May 5, 2015)
Most people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record. But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either. Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored. The documents show NSA analysts celebrating the development of what they called “Google for Voice” nearly a decade ago. Though perfect transcription of natural conversation apparently remains the Intelligence Community’s “holy grail,” the Snowden documents describe extensive use of keyword searching as well as computer programs designed to analyze and “extract” the content of voice conversations, and even use sophisticated algorithms to flag conversations of interest. The documents include vivid examples of the use of speech recognition in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in Latin America. But they leave unclear exactly how widely the spy agency uses this ability, particularly in programs that pick up considerable amounts of conversations that include people who live in or are citizens of the United States. Spying on international telephone calls has always been a staple of NSA surveillance, but the requirement that an actual person do the listening meant it was effectively limited to a tiny percentage of the total traffic. By leveraging advances in automated speech recognition, the NSA has entered the era of bulk listening.
Iraq Turmoil Today a Consequence of 2003 Invasion – ex-UN Chief Annan – (RT – May 1, 2015)
The fragile state Iraq is now in is directly linked to the US-led invasion of 2003, which happened without a US Security Council mandate, Kofi Annan, who was UN Secretary General between 1997 and 2006, told RT. “You cannot disassociate the situation in Iraq today from the US intervention of 2003. Because not only did the intervention take place, but they dismantled the Iraqi Army, which was the tool of Saddam to maintain law and order,” Annan said. “The civil service, the Baathist Party were all [dismantled]. So the structures and state institutions vanished overnight, creating a very serious vacuum, which has led to where we are today. So I don’t think anybody can argue with that. The link is clear,” he added. The interview Annan gave focused on the UN’s role as an international arbiter of conflicts, the costs of overstepping the UN Security Council in use of military force and potential mechanisms for making great powers accountable for breaking rules. Annan said one of UN’s bigger failures is that of not giving smaller nations a greater voice in world affairs and the inability to hold greater powers accountable for their wrongdoings.
With US Accountability MIA, Poland to Make Payout for Torture of CIA – (Common Dreams – May 15, 2015)
The people of Poland are expressing outrage as news spread that their own government is on the verge of paying more than $250,000 to victims of CIA torture which took place at an agency black site in the country even as the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge the crime or take responsibility for the grave human rights abuses that took place under the Bush administration. The European Court of Human Rights imposed the penalty against Poland for its role in the torture of two individuals— Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—both of whom were rendered by the CIA to a secret location in Poland in the wake of 9/11 attacks. Taken into custody overseas as “suspected terrorists,” the men remain detained by the U.S. government in the offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay. According to the Associated Press, “It irks many in Poland that their country is facing legal repercussions for the secret rendition and detention program which the CIA operated under then-President George W. Bush in several countries across the world after the 9/11 attacks. So far no U.S. officials have been held accountable, but the European Court of Human Rights has shown that it doesn’t want to let European powers that helped the program off the hook.” Bartlomiej Jankowski, a Polish lawyer representing Abu Zubaydah, said his client wants the money he is awarded to go to an organization that helps women and children displaced or otherwise victimized by war. The exact organization has not been decided on yet because of limits U.S. officials have placed on Zubaydah’s communications with his lawyers. In the meantime the money will be kept in a fund, Jankowski said. A lawyer for al-Nashiri, Amrit Singh, refused to disclose how his money will be used. Poland apparently received millions of dollars from the United States when it allowed the site to operate in 2002 and 2003, last year’s report on the renditions program by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said in a section that appears to refer to Poland though the country name was redacted.
LIFE STYLE/SOCIAL TRENDS AND VALUES
Rising Police Aggression, a Telling Indicator of Our Societal Decline – (Peak Prosperity – April 24, 2015)
It’s time to face some uncomfortable ideas about the state of civilization in the United States. This country is no longer the beacon of freedom illuminating a better way for the world. Why not? Because it has ceased to be civilized. The recent spate of police brutality videos and the complete lack of a useful or even sane response by the police unions is shaping my writing here. The problem, it seems, is that the US police have been trained to be highly confrontational and to escalate, rather than defuse, any situation. Police in the US have shot an individual’s highly trained service dog after showing up at the wrong address, and even a family’s pet pot-bellied pig simply because they ‘felt threatened.’ So the one-two punch here is that cops are trained to be highly confrontational and then to react with force — oftentimes deadly force — when they ‘feel threatened.’ It’s pretty easy to end up feeling threatened when you are creating threatening situations. Exactly how and when did policing and crowd control in the US slip into a set of methods that match those used by occupying forces — like those of Isreal — who subjugate whole populations? It turns out, by going to Israel and learning Israeli methods of crowd ‘control.’ (Editor’s note: The article provides documented support for the last sentence.) The article also offers a suggested means for addressing excessive police force: realigning incentives. One solution is simply this: every time a police department loses an excessive force or wrongful death case and has to pay out money, that money should come from their local police union’s pension fund. And by law, these losses cannot be refilled with taxpayer funds.
New Software Accurately Predicts What Your Children Will Look Like as Adults – (GizMag – April 11, 2015)
Predicting what a child will look like as an adult from a single baby picture is extremely difficult, even for the people whose profession it is to create facial composites for the police. Try to get a completely automated software to do the same, and you’ll run into an additional layer of problems in the source picture, including poor lighting, strange facial expressions, and other imponderables like, say, a milk mustache. But researchers led by University of Washington assistant professor Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman say that they’ve managed to create a computer algorithm that can actually do a much better job than its human counterpart. The software relies on a database of thousands of faces, grouped by gender and age. For each age bracket, it determines the average pixel distribution of various facial features, and then calculates how those features change from one bracket to the next, as age advances. The system’s algorithm then takes a baby picture as input. After correcting for tilted faces, turned heads and inconsistent lighting, the software applies the age bracket-related changes to the child’s photo to predict how he or she will look like as an adult, reportedly guessing his or her appearance with remarkable accuracy, up to the age of 80. In order to test the algorithm’s performance, Prof. Kemelmacher-Shlizerman and colleagues collected the actual pictures of 82 people over a span of several years, and fed the subject’s baby pictures to the software. From that single input, the program-generated facial composites were so close a match to actual photos that when a group of people was presented with the original and the rendered pictures side by side, they were unable to tell which was which. (Editor’s note: Alternative: stick around and see for yourself what your children look like as adults.)
NEW TOOLS/NEW PROCESSES
How You Can Go Solar Without Even Owning a Single Panel – (Reader Supported News – April, 20 2015)
Not everyone has the ability to harness the sun’s power, especially those who are not property owners, don’t have the proper rooftop or can’t afford the costly solar panel installation process. Enter Yeloha, a new Boston-based peer-to-peer solar startup that allows anyone to go solar. Yes, even if you live in a rented apartment, have a roof blocked by a particularly shady tree or don’t have the funds for panels. Customers can sign up for the service as a “sun host” or a “sun partner.” Sun hosts are for homeowners who have a suitable roof for solar but can’t afford panels. Yeloha will install the panels for free in exchange for access to the solar power the panels create. Sun hosts will also get about a third of the electricity created by the panels, all for free. This translates to lower monthly power bills for the homeowner. The remaining power goes to the sun partners, who are customers that want to go solar but don’t have a proper roof or don’t own their home. Sun partners can buy as many solar credits as they’d like from Yehola at a price that’s less than what they’d normally pay to their utility. The savings cut utility bills by about 10%. The service is currently offered only for residents in Massachusetts, but the company has plans for expansion across the country. In this growing sharing economy, people are already renting out their homes, cars and even their clothes. Yehola is simply asking, why not share the sun’s power for all?
Haptics System Could Transmit Emotions Via Users’ Hands – (GizMag – April 22, 2015)
We’ve already seen interactive technologies that create smells or tactile sensations on command. Now, however, British scientists have developed a system that they claim can be used to make users experience specific emotions – and it does so without even touching the person. Known as SenseX, the system incorporates existing UltraHaptics technology, which uses a phased array of ultrasonic emitters to produce steerable focal points of ultrasonic energy that provide sufficient radiation pressure to be felt by the skin. In other words, it gives the sensation of touching (or being touched by) an invisible object that’s floating in midair. Led by the University of Sussex’s Dr. Marianna Obrist, the researchers started out with the knowledge that different emotions can be induced by touching different parts of a user’s outstretched hand. In order to see how that might apply to SenseX, they then got a group of test subjects to view five different images – calm scenery with trees, whitewater rafting, a cemetery, a burning car, and a clock on a wall – and then create UltraHaptics hand stimulations that reproduced the emotions that those images made them feel. The article goes on to explain further the research process. Obrist now believes that once developed further, SenseX could have various applications. These could include the ability to send wordless “emotion messages” to other people, to add an extra dimension to things like games and movies, or even to transmit a sense of excitement to the upraised hands of dancers at night clubs. (Editor’s note: This technology is still in a development stage, but the article offers a peek at a very interesting, nascent technology. Imagine being able to induce a particular, chosen emotion in a crowd.)
Lightweight Metal Composite Floats on Water – (GizMag – May 14, 2015)
In a development that could mean big things in the automotive and marine industries, researchers from Deep Springs Technology (DST) and the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering have created a new metal matrix composite that is so light it can float on water. The magnesium alloy matrix composite is what is known as a syntactic foam: a type of composite material created by filling a metal, polymer or ceramic matrix with hollow particles. In this case, a magnesium alloy matrix is reinforced with hollow particles of silicon carbide, resulting in what the researchers claim is the world’s first lightweight metal matrix syntactic foam. This structure helps give the material a density of 0.92 grams per cubic centimeter, which is less than the 1 g/cc density of water, thereby giving it the ability to float on water and potentially be used in the construction of marine vessels that stay afloat even after experiencing damage to their structure. Furthermore, the researchers say it is also strong enough to withstand rigorous marine conditions. Additionally, the material boasts heat resistance properties that would make it a viable alternative to the lightweight polymer matrix composites that have been the focus of much research and development for use in both marine vessels and automobile components as a replacement for heavier metal-based components.
The Stunning Evolution of Millennials: They’ve Become the Ben Franklin Generation – (Huffington Post – November 7, 2014/May 10, 2015)
Wealthfront – an online financial services start-up targeted squarely and unashamedly at Millennial wallets – raised $64 million last month. Wealthfront works by first asking a few basic questions – age, income, liquid assets, risk tolerance. It’s the bromidic stuff of financial planning for decades. Then it provides a financial plan consisting of ETFs that track underlying indices in a variety of asset classes, trades based on what the algorithm instructs. It’s not surprising that Millennials are willing to put their financial faith in the crunch of algorithmic investing (or as its called, robo-investing from robo-advisors. After all, this is a generation of digital natives and semi-natives who trust code jockeys to find the cheapest plane ticket, recommended the best oxtail pizza, and soon, to provide driverless cars. The Pew Study “Millennials in Adulthood” confirms the Wealthfront thesis finding that “… just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.” If you can’t trust people in general – which was the question – what hope is there for the conniving financial advisor? The technology lure of Wealthfront is unsurprising, but what is remarkable is that Millennials are so drawn to the core Wealthfront investment thesis, which argues against individual stock picking, and balances a personalized mix of actively managed ETFs instead. As they put it, “…our service is premised on the consistent and overwhelming research that proves index funds significantly outperform an actively managed portfolio.” The giants of financial service haven’t seen the telluric shifts that travel, media, entertainment and home thermostats have – but they will. (Editor’s note: The Millennials are becoming known as very savvy, very cost-conscious shoppers, i.e. Ben Franklins.)
Make the Rich Panic – (Nation of Change – May 5, 2015)
“It does not matter to the corporate rich who wins the presidential election. It does not matter who is elected to Congress. The rich have the power. They throw money at their favorites the way a gambler puts cash on his favorite horse. Money has replaced the vote. The wealthy can crush anyone who does not play by their rules. And the political elites—slobbering over the spoils provided by their corporate masters for selling us out—understand the game. There may be good people within the system—Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are examples—but that is not the point. It is the system that is rotten. It must be replaced. This is called revolution. It is about ripping power away from a cabal of corporate oligarchs and returning it to the citizenry. This will happen not by appealing to corporate power but by terrifying it. And power, as we saw in Baltimore, will be terrified only when we take to the streets. There is no other way.” (Editor’s note: We strongly recommend this article written by an excellent journalist. Whether you agree with his position or disagree with it, the article is well worth reading for its “flavor of the times”.)
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH – articles off the beaten track which may – or may not – have predictive value.
NASA’s Time Lapse Video Shows Humanity’s Impact on the Earth – (Nation of Change – May 8, 2015)
How much of an impact can billions and billions of people make on the environment? In the embedded video, you’ll see that in a mere 40 years, human activity can leave quite the mark. The images are courtesy of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat satellite program that the space agency launched in 1972 with the sole intention of studying our planet’s surface and how it has been changing over time. The satellite takes pictures of the entire surface of the planet every 18 days and orbits the Earth 14 times a day. In the video, photos taken over the last four decades have been strung together to show humanity’s footprint on five different locations. For example: the deforestation of Rondônia, Brazil (where the area’s global beef exports have mowed down enough trees to fill the state of West Virginia) and the rampant water use in the Aral Sea causing a loss of 60,000 fishery jobs due to rising salt levels.
JUST FOR FUN
Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico – (YouTube – May 31, 2012)
In 1944, Edward James, a wealthy British poet and artist and early patron of surrealist art, purchased a plot of land in Mexico’s Huasteca region. For the next forty years, James designed and built a network of canals and pools in this rugged region, which he interspersed with whimsical sculptures and architectural structures to create a surrealist landscape. James collaborated with Plutarco Gastélum Esquer and local artisans to create his surrealist vision. There are more than thirty architectural follies at Las Pozas, including a stairway to nowhere, a library without books, a cinema with no seats, and La Casa de Tres Pisos (The Three-Storey House), which, in fact, has five. Since James’s death in 1984, the tropical trees and plants have grown and interwoven with the structures to great dramatic effect, further marrying the natural world with man-made elements.
A FINAL QUOTE–
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind— Winston Churchill
A special thanks to: Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Sergio Lub, Diane Petersen, Gary Sycalik, 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.
Edited by John L. Petersen