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Volume 23, Number 10 – 6/1/20

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FUTURE FACTS – FROM THINK LINKS

DID YOU KNOW THAT–

  • Currently, coronavirus testing in the United States includes at least 61 new RT-PCR tests and more than 136 unvetted antibody tests.
  • Scientists find the first animal that doesn’t breathe and isn’t oxygen dependent.
  • Facebook will pay millions to content moderators who suffer PTSD due to their work.
  • A Japanese aquarium is urging the public to video-chat with its eels – to reaccustom the eels to people.

PUNCTUATIONS
by John L. Petersen

William Henry TransitionTalk Postponed – Gregg Braden Coming in July

Sadly, for all of the obvious reasons, we have decided to postpone William Henry’s TransitionTalk until January the 16th, next year. We look forward to starting the new year off appropriately with William’s two day tutorial on ascension. It will be worth the wait, I promise!

But, we’re happy to confirm that Gregg Braden will be with us on the 18th of July for an all-day presentation. That will be a wonderful weekend to come out of hibernation!

Complete program and registration information at TransitionTalks.org.

Big Banks Steal $100 Trillion

At first glance, the notion that the big banks have “stolen” $100 Trillion, sounds farfetched. After all, that’s almost five times the gross national product of the whole country, so, you better know what you are talking about if you’re going to make a claim like that. Well, former spy, Robert David Steele has done his homework, and, as he has done with other issues so often in the past, he is one of the first to identify the significance of “naked short selling” and significantly raise public awareness about the situation.

It’s a bit arcane, but believe me, it’s also a really big deal.

In short, big financial institutions, knowingly shielded by the government oversight agencies that are responsible for regulating such behavior, have, over the years participated in a process where they would take a client’s money for purchasing a stock, indicate on the client’s account statement that the client owned the stock . . . but not buy the stock. They would then put in orders to sell the stock short without ever having bought or borrowed it, (betting that the price would go down). The process can eliminate liquidity for a stock eliminate the ability of the company to raise money needed to operate – further driving the price of the stock down so low that the company goes out of business. Brokers were then able to go back to the client and claim that since the company was out of business, the stock was worthless.

This illegal process has destroyed many otherwise viable companies (and the innovative products and solutions they would have brought to market), and eliminated the value of significant amounts of pension funds (and their ability to provide pensions for their members) – all to the tune of something like $100 trillion.

Robert has done a number of short, informative interviews from insiders who very clearly describe this hugely corrosive process and is leading a movement to have the appropriate government agencies investigate the companies who have been practicing naked shorting. This interview with Robert is a good summary of the issue and why it is so important.

Here’s where you can find all of Robert’s videos on the subject: https://stopnakedshortselling.org/videos/ and here’s a link to a short piece on what the president can do about this: https://youtu.be/D35oS9UAIk0

The Bottom Line on the Plandemic

Tony Heller, whose penetating website www.realclimatescience.com, has produced some of the most in-depth research and analysis about climate change, has focused his unique abiity to identify truth from out of the flurry of efforts to “shape the message”, on the whole issue of the “plandemic”. It is one of the most succinct and compelling overviews that I have found. I recommend it.



THINK LINKS


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Dr. Tenpenny: This is the Biggest Scam Ever Perpetrated on the Human Race – (Forbidden Knowledge – May 3, 2020)
Spiro Skouras is joined by Dr Sherri Tenpenny, physician, author, speaker and publisher of Vaxxter.com. The two assess the lockstep global response to the coronavirus false flag. With Trump de-funding USAID and UN initiatives like Climate Change and the WHO, plus stopping much of the drug- and human trafficking that used to grease the wheels of the Deep State, the latest gambit seeks to tap the public coffer in the name of a vaccine, which Spiro notes, “not only provides unlimited funding, but also provides blanket legal immunity to Big Pharma for any harm attributed with the treatments produced during the declared emergency, including all drugs and vaccines. “This blanket immunity is provided by the US government under the PREP Act and provides the drug and vaccine manufacturers the ‘Ultimate Blank Check’ during a declared emergency. As Dr. Tenpenny points out, the vaccine and drug manufacturers have zero incentive to produce a safe product, as the declared emergency not only rolls back regulatory standards and removes them from any and all liability, but it also ensures the government will purchase their products.” This becomes all the more disturbing with the looming specter of not just mandatory vaccines but compulsory vaccines. In the UK (Tavistock central), they’re working on a law that would jail individuals who make “anti-vax” posts on social media.

Let’s Get Real about Coronavirus Tests – (New York Times – April 28, 2020)
President Trump’s new business advisory council has warned that the American economy will not rebound until wide-scale screening takes place. But there are major problems with this approach. Far too few tests are available in the United States. Some are shoddy. Even the ones that are precise aren’t designed to produce the kind of definitive yes-no results that people expect. The first type of test, the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, diagnoses SARS-CoV-2 infections by analyzing cells collected from the nose or back of the throat. It converts the cells’ RNA into DNA and then, using polymerase enzymes, duplicates the DNA again and again, so that there’s enough of the virus that it can be detected, if it is present at all. This process is known as “amplification.” But the accuracy of RT-PCR tests is inherently limited. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends 40 cycles of amplification, but even after those, too little of the virus’s genetic material might be present to be detectable. One consequence is that even when diagnostic tests aren’t faulty and they are performed properly, some people who test negative for SARS-CoV-2 actually are infected — a reading known as a “false negative.” In a recent study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic of five commonly used diagnostic tests, nearly 15% of the results were false negatives. Chinese scientists published a study in February that found the false negative rate of some tests conducted at the Third People’s Hospital in Shenzhen, southern China, between Jan. 11 and Feb. 3 was as high as 40%. The second kind of test is serology, which detects the presence of antibodies to the virus in the bloodstream. Scientists worldwide are working to determine if in the case of SARS-CoV-2, too, infection confers immunity, and if so, how effectively and for how long. But the first serological studies made public to date have been flawed or too easy to misinterpret. One question that debate has highlighted is whether a study conducted in a suspected hot spot of infection — in Santa Clara County or anywhere — can hope to say something useful about the population as a whole or any other group beyond its own subjects. As for the blood work itself, serological tests, like RT-PCR tests, have inherent limitations to do with accuracy. Even the most precise antibody tests don’t produce neat, binary results. Currently, coronavirus testing in the United States is a Wild West, with at least 61 new RT-PCR tests and more than 136 unvetted antibody tests in use.

Coronavirus Hype Biggest Political Hoax in History – (Washington Times – April 28, 2020)
The new coronavirus is real. The response to the coronavirus is hyped. And in time, this hype will be revealed as politically hoaxed. In fact, COVID-19 will go down as one of the political world’s biggest, most shamefully overblown, overhyped, overly and irrationally inflated and outright deceptively flawed responses to a health matter in American history, one that was carried largely on the lips of medical professionals who have no business running a national economy or government. The facts are this: COVID-19 is a real disease that sickens some, proves fatal to others, mostly the elderly — and does nothing to the vast majority. That’s it. That, in a nutshell, is it. (Editor’s note: It’s becoming clear that something is very much amiss in the way this whole virus “pandemic” is being played out. BTW, the blurb contains 100% of text of the article.)

We Found and Tested 47 Old Drugs That Might Treat the Coronavirus: Results Show Promising Leads and a Whole New Way to Fight COVID-19 – (The Conversation – April 30, 2020)
In theory, any intersection on the map between viral and human proteins is a place where drugs could fight the coronavirus. But instead of trying to develop new drugs to work on these points of interaction, we turned to the more than 2,000 unique drugs already approved by the FDA for human use. We believed that somewhere on this long list would be a few drugs or compounds that interact with the very same human proteins as the coronavirus. We were right. Our multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco identified 69 existing drugs and compounds with potential to treat COVID-19. A month ago, we began shipping boxes of these drugs off to Institut Pasteur in Paris and Mount Sinai in New York to see if they do in fact fight the coronavirus. In the last four weeks, we have tested 47 of these drugs and compounds in the lab against live coronavirus. We’ve identified some strong treatment leads and identified two separate mechanisms for how these drugs affect SARS-CoV-2 infection. Article goes on to discuss the research process and results in detail.

Exposing the Real Bill Gates the Press Will Never Report – (Armstrong Economics – May 2, 2020)
This video explores the ways in which Bill Gates has used his vast wealth to gain control over every corner of the fields of public health, medical research, and vaccine development. This 23 minute clip, titled “How Bill Gates Monopolized Global Health” comes from the Corbett Report.

Knock, Knock. We’re from the Government, and We Want Your Family’s Blood – (Rand Paul Institute – May 3, 2020)
The Georgia Department of Public Health has announced that it, the United Sates Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and county health boards are together sending teams of government agents to randomly selected homes in two Georgia counties. These teams of government agents are charged with asking questions, including about household members’ health, and extracting blood from all the people living in the homes. The purpose is to test for “antibodies to the novel coronavirus to pinpoint who might have had COVID-19 and estimate how widely the virus has traveled.” People who live at the 420 randomly selected homes are free to refuse the questioning and blood drawing by the government inquisition and phlebotomy teams that show up at their front doors. But, in reality, people often find it hard to muster the courage to say “no” to government agents who accost them in person “asking” them to comply. People are intimidated. They think that even if they say “no” the requested action will still be taken anyway plus they will suffer additional consequences for resisting. That aids police efforts both to get people to say incriminating things and to obtain “permission” to search people and property, even from people who know evidence of a crime is likely to be found. A CNN report by Dakin Andone shows that the government teams knocking on doors are employing some of the look of cops in their effort to obtain maximum voluntary compliance. Uniforms, government badges, official letters are all part of the process, just like when cops show up for a home search holding a warrant. Andone writes: “Health workers conducting the survey have CDC vests and badges, the news release said, and are carrying a letter from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health.” This looks like a program that could expand countrywide. In fact, it fits in well with moving into a forced vaccinations and “digital certificates” next phase of the coronavirus crackdown.


INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

How ‘Secret Burials’ in South Africa Could Help Tackle Covid-19 – (BBC New – May 11, 2020)
All it took was one funeral and 40 people were infected with coronavirus. On 21 March, less than a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa had declared a national state of disaster and banned large gatherings to help contain the spread of coronavirus, around 100 people attended a funeral ceremony in Majola village, Eastern Cape. The village, which lies in the sleepy rural community of AmaMpondomise, is now the epicenter of the virus in that area of South Africa. Under the current provisions, 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral, but the number is too small for some. Eastern Cape Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says some families have been defying the authorities, causing a spike in cases. In a bid to find an alternative and safer way to bury relatives, AmaMpondomise King Zwelozuko Matiwane issued a ban on all funeral services in his kingdom with the aim of re-introducing the ancient practice of ukuqhusheka, or secret burial. His spokesperson, Nkosi Bakhanyisele Ranuga, says the decision was made after consulting local traditional leaders. “When following this custom [of ukuqhusheka] this means people are called on to bury either on the same or the next day and with only those who were present at the time of passing,” he tells the BBC. “By returning to this ancient practice this would mean only immediate family members will able to bury a person. After the burial, the family would still be able to hold an intimate customary cleansing ceremony when they return from the burial site,” explains Mr Ranuga. As well as reducing the risk of spreading coronavirus, some support the return to ukuqhusheka because of how much money families stand to save on funeral costs, especially now when money is tight. “Families get into huge debt in order to pay for funerals nowadays,” Nosebenzile Ntlantsana, a community leader, says. “As traditional leaders we often need to intervene in settling disputes between families and service providers when the families cannot pay. It is heart-breaking to see how much pressure there is to have big funerals these days – maybe this practice will help families especially in our communities.”


NEW DISCOVERIES

Groundbreaking Spinosaurus Discovery Just Made It the First Known Swimming Dinosaur – (Science Alert – April 30, 2020)
Centuries ago, scientists speculated that terrestrial dinosaurs may have dwelled in water environments, but in recent decades, the idea has fallen out of favour, with most researchers suggesting non-avian dinosaurs were limited to roaming on land. Now a single tail from one of the largest and most enigmatic dinosaur species looks to have solved a longstanding mystery about these extinct creatures: whether they could swim. The discovery of a giant fossilised fin-like tail, discovered in the Cretaceous rock deposits of the Sahara Desert in eastern Morocco, belonging to the theropod Spinosaurus aegyptiacus suggests these huge predators were aquatic animals after all, using tail-propelled locomotion to swim and hunt in rivers millions of years ago. Estimated to be between 90 to 100 million years old, the tail discovery fills in the picture on what Spinosaurus looked like, broadening our perspective on the world’s only existing skeleton of the species (another was destroyed in World War II). See also: New Evidence Suggests Spinosaurus Was a Swimming Shark Eater.

Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Is Being Dragged Toward Siberia and Scientists Now Know Why – (Newsweek – May 7, 2020)
Earth’s magnetic field is thought to be generated by the swirling movements of molten iron in the planet’s core. Last year, scientists announced Earth’s magnetic north pole was moving toward Siberia at an unusually fast rate and they could not explain why. It had moved so far, so quickly, there had to be an unscheduled update to the World Magnetic Model (WMM), the representation of Earth’s magnetic field used in navigation systems across the globe. Researchers have now proposed a cause for the unexpected movement: two massive blobs of “negative magnetic flux” sitting beneath Canada and Siberia, on the edge of Earth’s core. Philip Livermore from the School of Earth and Environment at the United Kingdom’s University of Leeds and colleagues looked at high-resolution geomagnetic data collected over the last two decades and found two large magnetic patches beneath Canada and Siberia. While these patches are typical of Earth’s magnetic field as a whole, they say, if they are examined in isolation they could explain the north pole’s recent wanderings. “The present two-patch structure of the high-latitude geomagnetic field then defines two ends of a linear conduit of near-vertical field, along which the north magnetic pole can readily travel,” they wrote. The researchers found that the Canadian patch has elongated and weakened—and that this was likely the result of changes to the pattern of flow in Earth’s core starting from around 1970. With the Canadian patch weaker, the pull of the Siberian patch has had more influence, resulting in the magnetic north being pulled toward it. The team’s models indicate the north pole will continue along its path toward Siberia, traveling between 242 and 410 miles over the next decade.

Scientists Find the First Animal That Doesn’t Need Oxygen to Survive – (Science Alert – May 10, 2020)
We know there are adaptations that allow some organisms to thrive in low-oxygen, or hypoxic, conditions. Some single-celled organisms have evolved mitochondria-related organelles for anaerobic metabolism; but the possibility of exclusively anaerobic multicellular organisms has been the subject of some scientific debate. That is, until a team of researchers led by Dayana Yahalomi of Tel Aviv University in Israel decided to take another look at a common salmon parasite called Henneguya salminicola. They discovered that the jellyfish-like parasite doesn’t have a mitochondrial genome – the first multicellular organism known to have this absence. That means it doesn’t breathe; in fact, it lives its life completely free of oxygen dependency. Exactly how it survives is still something of a mystery. It could be leeching adenosine triphosphate from its host, but that’s yet to be determined. This discovery isn’t just changing our understanding of how life can work here on Earth – it could also have implications for the search for extraterrestrial life.


GENETICS / HEALTH TECHNOLOGY / BIOTECHNOLOGY

Doctors Are Using AI to Triage Covid-19 Patients. The Tools May Be Here to Stay – (Technology Review – April 23, 2020)
Rizwan Malik had always had an interest in AI. As the lead radiologist at the Royal Bolton Hospital, run by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), he saw its potential to make his job easier. In his hospital, patients often had to wait six hours or more for a specialist to look at their x-rays. If an emergency room doctor could get an initial reading from an AI-based tool, it could dramatically shrink that wait time. A specialist could follow up the AI system’s reading with a more thorough diagnosis later. Malik identified a promising AI-based chest x-ray system called qXR from the Mumbai-based company Qure.ai. He then proposed to test the system over six months. But before a conservative clinical trial could kick off, covid-19 hit the UK. Early research had shown that in radiology images, the most severe covid cases displayed distinct lung abnormalities associated with viral pneumonia. With shortages and delays in PCR tests, chest x-rays had become one of the fastest and most affordable ways for doctors to triage patients. Within weeks, Qure.ai retooled qXR to detect covid-induced pneumonia. A preliminary validation study run on over 11,000 patient images found that the tool was able to distinguish between covid and non-covid patients with 95% accuracy.The Royal Bolton Hospital is among a growing number of health-care facilities around the world that are turning to AI to help manage the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic, in other words, has turned into a gateway for AI adoption in health care—bringing both opportunity and risk. In France, as caseloads began to overwhelm the health-care system and the government failed to ramp up testing capacity, triaging patients via chest x-ray—though less accurate than a PCR diagnostic—became a fallback solution. Even for patients who could get genetic tests, results could take at least 12 hours and sometimes days to return—too long for a doctor to wait before deciding whether to isolate someone. In addition to the speed of evaluation, something else may have encouraged hospitals to adopt AI during the pandemic: they are thinking about how to prepare for the inevitable staff shortages that will arise after the crisis. Traumatic events like a pandemic are often followed by an exodus of doctors and nurses.

Age Reduction Breakthrough – (Josh Mitteldorf – May 11, 2020)
In the race to effect substantial, system-wide rejuvenation, Harold Katcher is a dark horse. He has the right academic credentials and a solid history of research. In fact, in earlier life he was part of a team that discovered the breast cancer gene, brca1. But Katcher has no research grants or university lab or venture capital funding, no team of grad students mining databases and screening chemicals in the back room. One thing Katcher has going for him is the correct theory. Most of the explosion in aging research (and virtually all the venture capital startups) are looking to treat aging at the cellular level. Their paradigm is that aging is an accumulation of molecular damage, and they see their job as engineering of appropriate repair mechanisms. The truth, as Katcher understands it, is that, to a large extent, aging is coordinated system-wide via signal molecules in the blood. His results bring together three threads that have been gaining credibility over the last decade. Mutually reinforcing, the three have a strength that none of them could offer separately. 1) The root cause of aging is epigenetic progression = changes in gene expression over a lifetime. 2) Methylation patterns in nuclear DNA are not merely a marker of aging, but its primary source. Thus aging can be reversed by reprogramming DNA methylation. 3) Information about the body’s age state is transmitted system-wide via signal molecules in the blood. Locally, tissues respond to these signals and adopt a young or an old cellular phenotype as they are directed.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES/CLIMATE

Wildfires Can Reduce Biodiversity – Can Biodiversity Be Used to Reduce Wildfires? – (Nation of Change – April 29, 2020)
Over the past several months, wildfires have burned almost 18 million acres of Australia’s bushland, forest and national parks. As Dieter Hochuli, an environmental sciences professor at the University of Sydney, said, “The scale of these fires is unprecedented. There are substantial concerns about the capacity of these (ecosystems) to rebound from the fires.” Due to the fires, ecologists estimate that as many as 1.25 billion animals—including iconic Australian species such as koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and gliders—have been killed or displaced by the fires. In some instances, certain species may have even gone extinct. According to research, over the past two centuries, Australia has lost 29 of its 315 terrestrial mammals. This means certain parts of local ecosystems have been lost, which in certain areas could be increasing the risk of fires spreading. Leaf litter is one of the most prominent sources of flammable material when it comes to wildfires. In the past, much of this detritus has been cleaned up by “fossorial species,” like small marsupials, that burrow and turn over the dead leaves with soil, which ultimately helps to break it down. With these populations diminishing, the amount of leaf litter accumulates—and so does the material for starting fires. To test this theory, Matt Hayward, a conservation ecologist at Bangor University in Australia and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, set up an experiment. Together with his colleagues, Hayward reintroduced fossorial species to certain, fenced-off areas. The team went on to compare the accumulation of leaf litter within these enclosed areas versus outside. They discovered that the little critters had helped reduce litter by 24%, which a mathematical model calculated could drastically reduce both the intensity and speed in fires due to the “reduction in fuel.” This approach to tackling wildfires offers a number of benefits: it’s a natural, sustainable method that doesn’t necessarily require huge costs.

Seagulls in Rome Take to Killing Rats and Pigeons as Lockdown Deprives Them of Food Scraps – (Telegraph – May 1, 2020)
Two months into Italy’s lockdown and with trattorias and cafes all closed, the big gulls are now killing rats and pigeons on the mean streets of the capital. “They are going back to being predators,” said Bruno Cignini, a zoologist from the capital’s Rome University Tor Vergata. “They are catching mostly pigeons but also swallows and black birds. They’re also going after fish in the Tiber. Luckily, they are also eating rats. Animals are changing their habits as we change ours,” he said. Rome’s sharp-beaked gulls developed a taste for pigeon and rat in the past but the prey was usually dead – road kill left by the city’s chaotic traffic. The gulls are now switching from pecking at carrion to killing. Rome has a large menagerie of unwelcome wildlife. Wild boar snuffle alongside busy roads and menace dog walkers, the Tiber is full of coypu, a South American rodent once kept in farms for its fur, and the parks ring with the squawks of thousands of Ring-necked and Monk Parakeets.

The Seafloor Is Absolutely Littered in Microplastic – (Gizmodo – April 30, 2020)
Plastic garbage floating on the ocean may draw the most outrage, but it accounts for just 1% of the 10 million tons of plastic that get into the world’s oceans every year. The rest of it ends up in the deep ocean, and new research has revealed where it’s accumulating. Microplastic pollution is piling up on the ocean floor more than ever before. Most of that microplastic is coming not from broken down plastic soda bottles or shopping bags but textiles and clothing made of synthetic materials like polyester. Deep sea currents are acting as conveyor belts, carrying tiny plastic particles across the seafloor—similar to garbage patches that currents create on the ocean’s surface. The researchers collected samples specifically from the Tyrrhenian Sea, an area of the Mediterranean off the western coast of Italy. They chose the area because of the currents that move through as well as the fact that the seafloor there is similar to many other parts of the ocean. Every single sample had microplastic in it. Samples from apparent hotspots contained an estimated 1.9 million pieces of microplastic per just one square meter of seafloor. That’s the highest amount of microplastic ever found on the seafloor. Those same conveyor belts transporting plastic also transport nutrients to the same hotspots. So in essence, pollution is likely accumulating in areas that are also biodiversity hotspots, including breeding zones for fish, sponges, sea cucumbers, corals and other creatures. Scientists have much more to learn about how microplastic pollution is impacting oceanic creatures, but there have already been some concerning discoveries. One recent study found that exposure to microplastic can disrupt hermit crabs’ cognitive functioning, making it harder for them to find shells to live in.

‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet – (New York Times – May 2, 2020)
Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations. With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin. In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States. But two of the predatory insects were discovered last fall in the northwest corner of Washington State — the first sightings in the United States. Scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the hornets, worried that the invaders could decimate bee populations in the United States and establish such a deep presence that all hope for eradication could be lost. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

Silence Is Golden for Whales as Lockdown Reduces Ocean Noise – (Guardian – April 27, 2020)
Evidence of a drop in underwater noise pollution has led experts to predict the crisis may also be good news for whales and other sea mammals. Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships. David Barclay, assistant professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University, the co-author of a paper reviewing the phenomena, examined sound power – a way of measuring “loudness” – in the 100 Hz range from two sites, one inland and one farther offshore. He found a significant drop in noise from both. The deep ocean site, around 60km from the shipping lanes and in 3,000 metres of water, also showed a drop in average weekly noise of 1.5 decibels, or around a 15% decrease in power, Barclay said. “This gives us an idea of the scale over which this reduction in noise can be observed.” The reduction in ship traffic in the ocean, which Barclay compares to a “giant human experiment”, has had scientists racing to find out the effect on marine life. Michelle Fournet, a marine acoustician at Cornell University, who studies humpback whales in south-east Alaska, observed, “We have a generation of humpbacks that have never known a quiet ocean,” Fournet’s work has shown that the whales alter their calling behavior in response to a noisy ocean. Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when ship and air traffic fell in North America, US researchers were similarly able to study whales in a quieter ocean, with a landmark study concluding that ship noise was associated with chronic stress in baleen whales. “What we know about whales in south-east Alaska is that when it gets noisy they call less, and when boats go by they call less,” said Fournet. “I expect what we might see is an opportunity for whales to have more conversation and to have more complex conversation.”

No Data Required – (Real Climate Science/You Tube – March 2, 2020)
In this video clip, Tony Heller is setting the record straight about climate science by showing that government agencies don’t need any actual thermometer data to calculate US temperatures. Real US temperatures have been cooling for over a century, but over the last 20 years, government agencies have altered the data to make it look like the US is warming. He offers an interesting experiment showing that no thermometer data is needed to create fake government temperature sets.


COMMUNICATIONS/COMPUTING

Facebook Will Pay Millions to Content Moderators Who Suffer PTSD at Work – (Washington Post – May 12, 2020)
In September 2018, former Facebook moderator Selena Scola broke a confidentiality agreement and sued Facebook, alleging that she developed post-traumatic stress disorder after working at a job reviewing disturbing content including rape, murder and animal cruelty. The complaint, joined by two other moderators, argued that Facebook failed to provide a safe workplace or compensate them for the psychological harms that they endured. As a result of the case, every content moderator who worked for Facebook from 2015 through now will receive at least $1,000. In addition, any worker who has a diagnosis of PTSD from work is eligible to receive up to $50,000 in damages. Facebook has agreed to pay approximately $52 million to thousands of U.S. workers who have suffered the psychological consequences of reviewing posts depicting acts of suicide, murder, child abuse and other disturbing content. The class-action settlement, in which Facebook neither admitted nor denied harms caused to these workers, is the first of its kind, the lawyers said. It applies to any U.S.-based content moderator who has ever worked for a third-party company providing services to Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram, a group that encompasses more than 10,000 people.

Our Weird Behavior During the Pandemic Is Messing with AI Models – (Technology Review – May 11, 2020)
In the week of April 12-18, the top 10 search terms on Amazon.com were: toilet paper, face mask, hand sanitizer, paper towels, Lysol spray, Clorox wipes, mask, Lysol, masks for germ protection, and N95 mask. People weren’t just searching, they were buying too—and in bulk. The shift was sudden: the mainstays of Amazon’s top ten—phone cases, phone chargers, Lego—were knocked off the charts in just a few days. The ripple effects have been seen across retail supply chains. But they have also affected artificial intelligence, causing hiccups for the algorithms that run inventory management, fraud detection, marketing, and more. Machine-learning models trained on normal human behavior are now finding that normal has changed, and some are no longer working as they should. Many of these problems with models arise because more businesses are buying machine-learning systems but lack the in-house know-how needed to maintain them. How bad the situation is depends on whom you talk to. According to Pactera Edge, a global AI consultancy, “automation is in tailspin.” Others say they are keeping a cautious eye on automated systems that are just about holding up, stepping in with a manual correction when needed. What’s clear is that the pandemic has revealed how intertwined our lives are with AI, exposing a delicate codependence in which changes to our behavior change how AI works, and changes to how AI works change our behavior. This is also a reminder that human involvement in automated systems remains key. Machine-learning models are designed to respond to changes, But most perform badly when input data differs too much from the data they were trained on. As a microcosm for the retail industry as a whole, however, you can’t beat Amazon. It’s also where some of the most subtle behind-the-scenes adjustments are being made. (Editor’s note: We recommend this article for its interesting “back room” details.)


SHELTER/ARCHITECTURE

CopenHill: The Story of BIG’s Iconic Waste-to-Energy Plant – (Arch Daily – October 7, 2019)
Nearly a decade in the making, the landmark CopenHill waste-to-energy plant first imagined by Bjarke Ingels Group has finally opened in Copenhagen. As BIG said back in 2011, “The main function of the façade is to hide the fact that factories are having a serious image/branding problem. Their solution: to turn the roof of the new waste management plant into an artificial ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen and its neighboring municipalities. The 170,000-square-foot design seeks to reclaim a typically unused element of a building for the public through the introduction of nature-filled program. During summer months, the rooftop activity park will provide visitors with hiking trails, playgrounds, fitness structures, trail running, climbing walls, and views across the city – and over 1,640 feet of ski slopes on an artificial skiing surface. The plant aspires to embody the notion of Hedonistic Sustainability while aligning with Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. The 41,000m2 project includes an urban recreation center and environmental education hub, turning social infrastructure into an architectural landmark. Beneath the slopes, furnaces, steam, and turbines convert 440,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to deliver electricity and district heating for 150,000 homes. CopenHill features a continuous façade comprised of 1.2m tall and 3.3m wide aluminum bricks stacked like gigantic bricks overlapping each other. Article includes 11 minute video clip, part of which features a professional free skier demonstrating his skills – wild and worth watching. Also some good still photos that showcase the building. Where’s the ski lift? It’s the power plant’s interior elevator.


ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

‘Artificial Leaf’ Concept Inspires Research into Solar-powered Fuel Production – (PhysOrg – May 4, 2020)
Rice University researchers have created an efficient, low-cost device that splits water to produce hydrogen fuel. The platform developed by the Brown School of Engineering lab of Rice materials scientist Jun Lou integrates catalytic electrodes and perovskite solar cells that, when triggered by sunlight, produce electricity. The current flows to the catalysts that turn water into hydrogen and oxygen, with a sunlight-to-hydrogen efficiency as high as 6.7%. This sort of catalysis isn’t new, but the lab packaged a perovskite layer and the electrodes into a single module that, when dropped into water and placed in sunlight, produces hydrogen with no further input. “The concept is broadly similar to an artificial leaf,” Lou said. “What we have is an integrated module that turns sunlight into electricity that drives an electrochemical reaction. It utilizes water and sunlight to get chemical fuels.” Perovskites are crystals with cubelike lattices that are known to harvest light. The most efficient perovskite solar cells produced so far achieve an efficiency above 25%, but the materials are expensive and tend to be stressed by light, humidity and heat. The platform introduced by Lou, lead author and Rice postdoctoral fellow Jia Liang and their colleagues is a self-sustaining producer of fuel that, they say, should be simple to produce in bulk.

A Miraculous Turn of Events – (What’s Up With That – May 8, 2020)
Michael Moore’s new film, Planet of the Humans, is a devastating indictment of wind, solar and biofuel energy. The film’s key point is that wind, solar and biofuel energy are not clean, green, renewable or sustainable, and they are horrifically destructive to vital ecological values. The crew films one of those wind turbines being erected outside Lansing, Michigan. Each one is comprised of nearly 5,000,000 pounds of concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, plastic, cobalt, rare earths, fiberglass and other materials. Every step in the mining, processing, manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and (20 years later) removal process requires fossil fuels. It bears repeating: wind and sun are renewable and sustainable; harnessing them for energy to benefit mankind absolutely is not. (Go to 36:50 for a fast-paced mining tutorial on where all these “clean, green” technologies really come from.) Gibbs and Moore next discuss ethanol – and the corn, water, fertilizer and fossil fuels required to create this “clean, green, renewable” gasoline substitute, which emits lots of carbon dioxide when burned. Even worse is the total devastation of entire forests – clear cut, chopped into chips, maybe pelletized, and shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles … to be burned in place of coal or natural gas to generate the electricity that makes modern homes, factories, hospitals, living standards and life spans possible. The crew gets “five seconds” to leave a denuded forest and “biomass” power plant area in Vermont – or be arrested. The film is available to watch for free on YouTube.


TRANSPORTATION

The Faded Beauty of Abandoned Cars across Europe and the US – (BBC News – May 11, 2020)
As so many of us are staying home and leaving our vehicles parked, this article seemed especially apt. Dieter Klein has travelled to remote corners of Europe and the US to find and photograph abandoned cars. The German freelance photographer finds his subject matter in shabby backyards, dusty barns, deserted fields and thick forests. On his travels, Klein has shot images of a dented Porsche, a faded Cadillac, a battered VW Beetle and a whole fleet of abandoned military Jeeps, among others. But his favorite was a 1960 pink Dodge, in north-east Montana. The160 images in Lost Wheels reveal the bygone glamour of the automobiles and classic cars – and the might of nature as it claims them. Photos in the article are exquisite.


AGRICULTURE/FOOD

Piglets Aborted, Chickens Gassed as Pandemic Slams Meat Sector – (CNBC – April 27, 2020)
With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant sows, one by one, that would cause them to abort their baby pigs. Farmers say they have no choice but to cull livestock as they run short on space to house their animals or money to feed them, or both. The world’s biggest meat companies – including Smithfield Foods, Cargill, JBS USA and Tyson Foods – have halted operations at about 20 slaughterhouses and processing plants in North America since April as workers fall ill, stoking global fears of a meat shortage. Van Beek’s piglets are victims of a sprawling food-industry crisis that began with the mass closure of restaurants – upending that sector’s supply chain, overwhelming storage and forcing farmers and processors to destroy everything from milk to salad greens to animals. Processors geared up to serve the food-service industry can’t immediately switch to supplying grocery stores. In Minnesota, farmers Kerry and Barb Mergen felt their hearts pound when a crew from Daybreak Foods Inc arrived with carts and tanks of carbon dioxide to euthanize their 61,000 egg-laying hens earlier this month. Daybreak Foods, based in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, supplies liquid eggs to restaurants and food-service companies. The company, which owns the birds, pays contract farmers like the Mergens to feed and care for them. Daybreak Foods, which has about 14.5 million hens with contractor-run or company-owned farms in the Midwest, is trying to switch gears and ship eggs to grocery stores, said Chief Executive Officer William Rehm. But egg cartons are in shortage nationwide and the company now must grade each egg for size, he said. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, along with both U.S. senators from a state that provides a third of the nation’s pork, sent a letter to the Trump administration pleading for financial help and assistance with culling animals and properly disposing of their carcasses. “There are 700,000 pigs across the nation that cannot be processed each week and must be humanely euthanized,” said the April 27 letter.


SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE

My Friend Lives inside the War on Terror. Listen to Him. – (The New York Times – February 16, 2020)
The war in Afghanistan has lasted more than 18 years. Last year, the Air Force dropped more bombs on the country than in any year since 2013. The 17-year-olds who enlisted with parental consent were not yet born at the time of the terrorist attacks that were the initial impetus for all those deployments. Moral injury — the damage to the soul caused by participating in something unjust — has a wide blast radius for anyone with a conscience. The ambiguity of military operations since 9/11 are fertile ground for moral injury. Average Americans may feel guilt or shame for the conduct of the war on terrorism — the pardoning of war criminals or the indefinite jailing, without trial, of men at Guantánamo or the civilian casualties caused by drone strikes — but it can be devastating for those who are a part of it. The distance between the patriotism of the ballpark and the patriotism of the battlefield is widening in ways that make it harder for Americans to hold on to one another. And the distance between those American experiences is widening in ways that make it harder to hold on to one another and a shared concept of country. Nowhere is it greater than between the public and those who’ve lived their lives inside — and then in the shadow of — the war on terror. This article follows the career of Captain Richard Murphy, whose deployments in Afghanistan eventually led him to switch career paths from being a military lawyer to applying to the Army’s master’s in social work program and becoming a mental health professional working with active duty patients.


TRENDS OF GOVERNANCE

Coronavirus: What Newsweek Failed to Mention about “Continuity of Government” – (Mint Press – March 23, 2020)
Recently Newsweek published a report entitled “Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government,” which offered vague descriptions of different military plans that could be put into effect if the civilian government were to be largely incapacitated, with a focus on the potential of the current novel coronavirus pandemic to result in such a scenario. The article’s author, William Arkin points out that some of these “Continuity of Government”, or COG, plans include the “devolution” of leadership and Constitutional authority, which he notes “could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.” Indeed, many of the “extra-Constitutional” aspects of COG that Arkin mentions began during the Reagan administration, when these plans were redrafted to largely exclude members of Congress, including the Speaker of the House, from succession plans and even moved to essentially eliminate Congress in the event of COG being implemented, with near total power instead being given to the executive branch and the military. Of more significance is his failure to mention one of COG’s major components, one that has gone essentially unmentioned by well-known media outlets for well over a decade – Main Core. As the de facto leader of COG development and planning during the Reagan administration, Oliver North oversaw the creation of a controversial database that later became known simply as “Main Core.” The Main Core database, first built using the stolen PROMIS software, was essentially a list of American dissidents and “potential troublemakers.” A senior government official with a high-ranking security clearance and service in five presidential administrations described the database in 2008 as follows: A database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” Though Main Core was reportedly in use after September 11 to target “unfriendly” individuals for increased domestic surveillance, concern that COG plans in the age of coronavirus could take a more drastic turn and involve the detention of Americans included in that database now seems more plausible than ever. Politico has reported that the Department of Justice has demanded new “emergency powers” during the current pandemic and these powers include being able to indefinitely detain Americans without trial. (Editor’s note: We recommend this article and a number of its embedded links.)

Democrats Try to Eliminate Proof of Who You Are to Vote – (Armstrong Economics – May 13, 2020)
Tucked inside House Democrats’ new coronavirus bill is language that would create a loophole in states’ voter ID requirements, allowing people to cast ballots without having to prove who they are. After accusing Russia of influencing the 2016 election, they are trying to sneak in open-season for total corruption. It has long been a joke in Chicago where all the dead manage to vote Democratic in elections and the number of votes always exceeds the population. Now they want votes to be counted with no proof of who you are, alive, dead, an illegal alien not paying taxes or a tourist from Europe, or perhaps even from Mars with green or grey skin. This has been about removing Trump because they see him as the person stopping their dream of reconstructing the world economy to their New Green World Order. Fauci has told the senate people will die needlessly if we open up too soon. He is preaching the Gates Agenda to destroy the economy to rebuild this in their dream. Of course, all the left press is in on this coup. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, are all conspiring to try to keep the country locked down to destroy as much as possible in hopes the people will overthrow Trump and then we will all openly accept mandatory vaccines from Bill Gates. I wonder how much it cost him to buy the whole bunch? Did he get a discount as a package deal? They have certainly turned against the people for a price.


LIFE STYLE/SOCIAL TRENDS AND VALUES

Abortion by Telemedicine: A Growing Option as Access to Clinics Wanes – (New York Times – April 28, 2020)
Abortion through telemedicine is a quietly growing phenomenon, driven in part by restrictions from conservative states and the Trump administration that have limited access and increased the distance many women must travel to abortion clinics. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is catapulting demand for telemedicine abortion to a new level, with much of the nation under strict stay-at-home advisories and as several states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, have sought to suspend access to surgical abortions during the crisis. The telemedicine program has been allowed to operate as a research study for several years under a special arrangement with the Food and Drug Administration. It allows women seeking abortions to have video consultations with certified doctors and then receive abortion pills by mail to take on their own. Over the past year, the program, called TelAbortion, has expanded from serving five states to serving 13, adding two of those — Illinois and Maryland — as the coronavirus crisis exploded. Not including those new states, about twice as many women had abortions through the program in March and April as in January and February. Abortion through medication, first approved by the F.D.A. in 2000, is increasingly becoming women’s preferred method. Recent research estimated that about 60% of abortion patients early enough in pregnancy to be eligible — 10 weeks pregnant or less — chose medication abortion over suction or surgery. But the F.D.A. requires that the first drug in the two-medication regimen, mifepristone, be dispensed in clinics or hospitals by specially certified doctors or other medical providers. The F.D.A. rules, however, do not specify that providers must see patients in person, so some clinics have begun allowing women to come in for video consultations with certified doctors based elsewhere. TelAbortion goes further, offering telemedicine consultations to women at home (or anywhere), mailing them pills and following up after women take them.


CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Pentagon Formally Releases 3 Navy Videos Showing “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” – (CBS – April 27, 2020)
The Pentagon has formally released three unclassified videos taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with “unidentified aerial phenomena.” One of the videos shows an incident from 2004, and the other two were recorded in January 2015, according to Sue Gough, a Defense Department spokeswoman. The videos became public after unauthorized leaks in 2007 and 2017, and the Navy previously verified their authenticity. “After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena,” Gough said. The 2004 incident occurred about 100 miles out in the Pacific, according to The New York Times, which first reported on the video in 2017. Two fighter pilots on a routine training mission were dispatched to investigate unidentified aircraft that a Navy cruiser had been tracking for weeks. The Navy pilots found an oblong object about 40 feet long hovering about 50 feet above the water, and it began a rapid ascent as the pilots approached before quickly flying away. “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” one of the pilots told The Times. The pilots left the area to meet at a rendezvous point about 60 miles away. When they were still about 40 miles out, the ship radioed and said the object was at the rendezvous point, having traversed the distance “in less than a minute,” the pilot said. The two other videos of incidents in 2015 include footage of objects moving rapidly through the air. In one, an object is seen racing through the sky and begins rotating in midair. Gough said, “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified.'”

Astronomers Have Found a Star That Survived Being Swallowed by a Black Hole – (Science Alert – April 27, 2020)
When black holes swallow down massive amounts of matter from the space around them, they belch out tremendous flares of X-rays, generated by the material heating to intense temperatures as it’s sucked towards the black hole, so bright we can detect them from Earth. What isn’t normal is for those X-ray flares to spew forth with clockwork regularity, a puzzling behavior reported last year from a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy 250 million light-years away. Every nine hours, boom – X-ray flare. After careful study, astronomer Andrew King of the University of Leicester in the UK believes he has identified the cause – a dead star that’s endured its brush with a black hole, trapped on a nine-hour, elliptical orbit around it. Every close pass, or periastron, the black hole slurps up more of the star’s material. “This white dwarf is locked into an elliptical orbit close to the black hole, The black hole is the nucleus of a galaxy called GSN 069, and it’s pretty lightweight as far as supermassive black holes go – only 400,000 times the mass of the Sun. Even so, it’s active, surrounded by a hot disc of accretion material, feeding into and growing the black hole. According to King’s model, this black hole was just hanging out, doing its active accretion thing, when a red giant star – the final evolutionary stages of a Sun-like star – happened to wander a little too close. The black hole promptly divested the star of its outer layers, speeding its evolution into a white dwarf, the dead core that remains once the star has exhausted its nuclear fuel (white dwarfs shine with residual heat, not the fusion processes of living stars). But rather than continuing on its journey, the white dwarf was captured in orbit around the black hole, and continued to feed into it. As for the star’s future, “It will try hard to get away, but there is no escape,” King said. “The black hole will eat it more and more slowly, but never stop.”


STATISTICS/DEMOGRAPHICS

My Retirement Plan Is You – (New York Times – May 2, 2020)
A growing number of millennials are supporting their parents financially and, in some cases, giving them a place to live. Known as the reverse-boomerang effect, the phenomenon of parents moving in with their adult children, often for financial reasons, is on the rise. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of population data, 14% of adults living in someone else’s home in 2017 were a parent of the head of household, up from just 7% in 1995. And this trend is expected to balloon in the coming decades as baby boomers leave the work force but can’t afford to support themselves. Expressed in starker terms, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has predicted that half of today’s workers will not have enough savings to sustain their standard of living when they retire. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030 (compared with one in seven in 2017), “and our nation will face a severe shortage in accessible and affordable housing to meet their needs.” Enter the resurgence of multigenerational housing, when adults from at least two generations share the same home. After declining to its lowest point in 1980, multigenerational housing is now close to its 1950 peak, representing 20 percent of the total American population in 2016, according to another Pew analysis. While that trend is largely driven by 20-somethings living with their middle-aged parents, Pew researchers found that older adults were also significantly more likely to be living with their grown children in recent years than they were in the 1990s.


ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Who’s Profiting from the Coronavirus Crisis? – (New York Times – April 29, 2020)
The invisible killer is testing global capitalism as never before. The corporate debt bubble has finally burst — another long-awaited reckoning. Companies with too much debt are in an existential struggle. On April 15, Neiman Marcus, the luxury retailer, skipped a $5.7 million interest payment on its outstanding bonds, setting the stage for its inevitable bankruptcy filing. Another large retailer, Macy’s, has hired restructuring advisers. Ford has seen its debt downgraded to junk status, as has Kraft Heinz. The United States will soon be awash in corporate bankruptcies, which means a world of hurt for creditors, shareholders and employees of overleveraged companies or companies that have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fairness, no company could have anticipated the catastrophic effects of the pandemic. But the investors and employees of companies that for years gorged on cheap debt will pay the biggest price. And yet, things are not be playing out exactly as one would expect. That’s in large part because of the Federal Reserve. It has intervened into the capital markets in a way that dwarfs what it did in 2008, an intervention that has been so big and so fast that it introduces another wild card into America’s deeply uncertain economic future. This problem is revealed most clearly in a spat that has pitted one group of billionaire investors against another. On one side are private-equity firms including Apollo Global Management and the Carlyle Group, which want some of the Paycheck Protection Program bounty for their struggling, overleveraged portfolio companies. This is an outrage, of course. Private-equity firms have more than $1.5 trillion of their own capital that they could use to salvage their losers instead of hoovering up money meant for the less fortunate. On the other side are people like Howard Marks. He is the co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, one of the largest investors in distressed securities in the world. He made his billions betting that markets will act rationally in challenging times. In recent years, he has been warning that overleveraged companies will fail and that overpriced bonds will return to earth.


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

Japanese Aquarium Urges Public to Video-chat Eels Who Are Forgetting Humans Exist – (Guardian – May 1, 2020)
When the garden eels at a Tokyo aquarium remove their heads from the sand, they are usually confronted by pairs of human eyes staring back at them through the glass. But like other animals around the world, the eels at Sumida Aquarium are finding their environment transformed by the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. They also appear to be forgetting what humans look like. Concerned that the garden eels – so named because their grass-like appearance when, en masse, they poke their heads out of the seabed – could come to see visitors as a threat, the aquarium is asking people to get in touch in the form of a calming video calls. The aquarium, housed in Tokyo Skytree – Japan’s tallest structure – has been closed since the start of March and its garden eels have become used to a largely human-free environment. But the aquarium said the “unprecedented situation” had had put the eels and other creatures ill at ease. Garden eels in particular disappear into the sand and hide every time the keepers pass by,” it said, adding that their oversensitive nature was making it difficult to monitor their health. “Here is an urgent request,” the aquarium wrote. “Could you show your face to our garden eels from your home?” it said, naming the event a “face-showing festival”. While garden eels are sensitive and wary by nature, the 300 of them living in one of the aquarium’s tanks had grown accustomed to human visitors and rarely hid when approached by visitors. To help the eels reconnect with their admirers, the aquarium is setting up five tablets facing their tank, with users asked to connect through iPhones or iPads via the FaceTime app.


JUST FOR FUN

Lose Yourself in a Mesmerizing, Meticulous Map of the Met – (Atlas Obscura – March 30, 2020)
The beloved New York museum comes alive in this massive and mysterious illustration. This article showcases a charming, illustrated map of the museum that was created before the Met had a Digital Media Department. Hand-drawn by artist John Kerschbaum, who received the commission in 2004, the Family Map charts out every gallery of the museum on a single, 18-by-24-inch page. Kerschbaum lives in New York City and based the Met map on a similarly saturated 1976 poster of Manhattan by artist Tony Graham. Kerschbaum made countless visits to the encyclopedic museum and drew hundreds of sketches. “Each department head gave me 50 of their most important pieces that are almost always on display,” Kerschbaum says. “I’d have a floor plan of the museum and a clipboard, and I’d make notes of where each item was, either by name or a quick sketch.” Beginning with Egypt in the lower-right-hand corner, he worked his way outward, condensing hundreds of galleries across five floors—plus the roof garden—into a single plane teeming with history and culture. Scroll down to the bottom of the article for a version of the map that you can click on and then zoom in to see each minute detail.


A FINAL QUOTE

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. ― Noam Chomsky

A special thanks to: Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Diane Petersen, Burt Rutan, 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.
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Arlington Transition Council – Session 3 – May 25, 2020

Volume 23, Number 11 – 6/3/20