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Volume 24, Number 14 – 7/15/21

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Volume 24, Number 14 – 7/15/2021

FUTURE FACTS – FROM THINK LINKS

  • Dinosaurs were in decline for as many as 10 million years before the city-sized asteroid that landed off the coast of what is now Mexico and dealt the final death blow.
  • A sustainable material combining paper pulp and Teflon can be used to keep buildings or other objects cooler without relying on conventional cooling systems.
  • As more government agencies and private sector companies resort to robots to help fight crime, the verdict is out about how effective they are in actually reducing it.
  • Women have emerged as a powerful force in one of the world’s largest criminal enterprises, working in all aspects of the cartels, including as female “hitmen” or sicarios.

Pure Human:
At the Crossroad of Biology
and Transhumanism

Saturday, July 31
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
or via LIVESTREAM!

We live our lives, choose our relationships, heal our bodies and build our society based upon the way we think of ourselves—our story. For the first time in our history, technology that mimics our biology, and virtual realities that mimic our most intimate relationships, are changing our story.

  • The danger is clear: when we replace our natural biology with computer chips, chemicals and artificial technology, our neurons, cells, unique abilities and coping mechanisms begin to atrophy. We lose the very qualities that we value, and cherish, as humans.
  • The science is clear: new discoveries ranging from human evolution and genetics to the emerging science of neuro-cardiology and heart intelligence have now overturned 150 years of thinking when it comes to who we are, and what we’re capable of. These discoveries add to a growing body of evidence revealing that we are the technology we’ve been waiting for. Within each of us lie dormant abilities and extraordinary potentials far beyond what was believed possible in the past.

In this live presentation, Gregg will provide a blueprint for Pure Human thinking and living, and the new human story that reflects the discoveries revealing who we are, and what we’re capable of. He will also teach you how to access, and program, the operating system of your own body and brain, allowing you to regulate your nervous system, as well as your emotions and perceptions, and the epigenetic triggers of your body.

These discoveries add to a growing body of evidence revealing that we are the technology we’ve been waiting for. Join Gregg Braden for this compelling in-person presentation as he shares the discoveries that that catapult us beyond the conventional thinking when it comes to creating extraordinary states of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual states of health and longevity. For the first time in human history, we have the knowledge to transcend the greatest challenges of our age by writing our new human story.

 
Click below for more information about this event and to get tickets.

Click Here for Tickets and More Info
Watch this recent interview as Gregg Braden discusses his upcoming TransitionTalk.

Everything going on in the world right now (pandemic, economy, unrest) is all just static, just noise. Something deeper is emerging — a battle for our very humanness. Our humanness is on the line right now.
 
The world is changing right now and there’s no going back and the better we know ourselves the less we fear change, and the less we fear one another.
 
Gregg Braden discusses the power within us, and how to know ourselves and apply this within our own lives. Our well-being is no longer hinged on something outside of us.
 
Gregg comes to TransitionTalks, July 31, 2021.  Join us in person or via livestream/replay.
Click Here for Tickets and More Info
In this video Gregg Braden discusses the new concepts and techniques he will present in detail at the upcoming TransitionTalk, July 31, 2021.
This will be presented in person, and also available via livestream.
No matter where in this new world you are, you can attend!
Click Here for Tickets and More Info
THINK LINKS

Covid-19 Vaccines Lead to New Infections and Mortality: The Evidence is Overwhelming – (Global Research – May 27, 2021)

This article by Dr. Gérard Delépine was first published in French; this is an AI translation with some minor edits. It demonstrates unequivocally that mortality and morbidity has increased dramatically as a result of the vaccine. The incidence of Covid positive cases has also increased. “And everywhere they have been followed by a dramatic rise in new infections and mortality for several weeks or months”. Dr. Delépine carefully analyses the pre and post vaccine trends for 14 countries in major regions of the World. The latest official figures for the European Union which are rarely acknowledged by the mainstream media indicate the following: From late December 2020 to  May 22, 2021: 12,184 deaths and 1,196,190 injuries following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots (Moderna, Pfizer-BionTech; AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen). Serious injuries are of the order of 604,744 (i.e. more than 50% of total injuries). The Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA gene-edited vaccine has resulted in the largest number of fatalities: Total reactions for its mRNA vaccine Tozinameran: 5,961 deaths and 452,779 injuries to 22/05/2021. While Pfizer has the largest numbers of deaths and injuries, the EU Commission has largely placed the blame on AstraZeneka.

Science Journals Engaged in Massive Disinformation Campaign – (Mercola – July 7, 2021)

The Lancet and Nature have both promoted the natural origin theory for SARS-CoV-2, and protected the theory by refusing to publish counter arguments and/or publishing scientific statements by individuals with serious conflicts of interest. The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission included Peter Daszak, Ph.D., president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He was recently taken off the Commission due to controversy over his large number of conflicts of interest. The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission also includes Danielle Anderson, an Australian WIV virologist who left Wuhan shortly before the pandemic broke out. Anderson says she “does not believe” the virus is manmade. Anderson’s Commission biography does not mention that she worked at the WIV. In January 2021, 14 global experts submitted a letter to The Lancet in which they argued that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” The submission was rejected with the justification that the topic was “not a priority” for the journal. Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime, and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate.

The War on Reality – (Off Guardian – June 30, 2021)

The goal of Global Capitalism’s War on Reality isn’t simply to deceive the masses and divide them into opposing camps. Rulers have been deceiving the masses and dividing them into opposing camps since the dawn of human civilization. This time, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Now imagine that you were an immensely powerful, globally hegemonic ideological system, and you wanted to impose your ideology on as much of the entire world as possible, but you didn’t have an ideology per se, or any actual values at all, because exchange value was your only real value, and so your mission was to erase all ideologies, and values, and truths, and belief systems, and so on, and transform everything and everyone in existence into de facto commodities that you could manipulate any way you wanted, because they had no inherent value whatsoever, because their only real value was assigned by the market. How would you go about doing that, erasing all existing values, religious, cultural, and social values, and rendering everything a valueless commodity? You might want to generate a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive realities, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … which would still freak people out pretty badly. Naturally, there would be one official reality that you would force everyone to rigidly conform to at any given moment in time, but you would change the official reality frequently, and force everyone to conform to the new one (and pretend that they’d never conformed to the old one), and then, once they had settled into that one, you would change the official reality again, until people’s brains just shut down completely, and they gave up trying to make sense of anything, and just tried to figure out what you wanted them to believe on any given day. At that point, you could experimentally “vaccinate” millions of people whose risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from your apocalyptic virus was minuscule or non-existent, and kill tens or hundreds of thousands in the process, and the people whose brains you had methodically broken would thank you for murdering their friends and neighbors, and then rush out to their local discount drugstore to experimentally “vaccinate” their own kids and post pictures of it on the Internet.

‘There May Not Be a Conflict After All’ in Expanding Universe Debate – (PhysOrg – June 20, 2021)

Our universe is expanding, but our two main ways to measure how fast this expansion is happening have resulted in different answers. For the past decade, astrophysicists have been gradually dividing into two camps: one that believes that the difference is significant, and another that thinks it could be due to errors in measurement. If it turns out that errors are causing the mismatch, that would confirm our basic model of how the universe works. The other possibility presents a thread that, when pulled, would suggest some fundamental missing new physics is needed to stitch it back together. In a new review paper accepted to the Astrophysical Journal, Wendy Freedman, a renowned astronomer and the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, gives an overview of the most recent observations. Her conclusion: the latest observations are beginning to close the gap. Astronomical particulars in the article.

Dinosaurs Were Already Struggling Before the Asteroid Strike That Doomed Them to Extinction, Study Finds – (CNN – June 30, 2021)

A new study suggests that dinosaurs were in decline for as many as 10 million years before the city-sized asteroid that hit off the coast of what is now Mexico dealt the final death blow and that this decline impeded their ability to recover from the asteroid’s aftermath. The researchers looked at a total of 1,600 dinosaur fossils representing 247 dinosaur species to assess species diversity and extinction rates for six dinosaur families. “We looked at the six most abundant dinosaur families through the whole of the Cretaceous (period), spanning from 150 to 66 million years ago, and found that they were all evolving and expanding and clearly being successful,” said study lead author, Fabien Condamine, a researcher from the Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier in France. “Then, 76 million years ago, they show a sudden downturn. Their rates of extinction rose and in some cases, the rate of origin of new species dropped off.” The authors of the study that published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications said that global climate cooling during the Late Cretaceous period (100 to 66 million years ago) may have contributed to the decline of non-avian dinosaurs. “It became clear that there were two main factors, first that overall climates were becoming cooler, and this made life harder for the dinosaurs which likely relied on warm temperatures.”Then, the loss of herbivores made the ecosystems unstable and prone to extinction cascade. We also found that the longer-lived dinosaur species were more liable to extinction, perhaps reflecting that they could not adapt to the new conditions on Earth,” said Mike Benton, another co-author of the study and a professor from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences.

Were Scientists Wrong About the Planet Mercury? Its Big Iron Core May Be Due to Magnetism! – (SciTech Daily – July 3, 2021)

A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle (the layer between a planet’s core and crust). For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions with other bodies during the formation of our solar system blew away much of Mercury’s rocky mantle and left the big, dense, metal core inside. But new research reveals that collisions are not to blame—the sun’s magnetism is. William McDonough, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland, and Takashi Yoshizaki from Tohoku University developed a model showing that the density, mass and iron content of a rocky planet’s core are influenced by its distance from the sun’s magnetic field. “The four inner planets of our solar system—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—are made up of different proportions of metal and rock,” McDonough said. “There is a gradient in which the metal content in the core drops off as the planets get farther from the sun. Our paper explains how this happened by showing that the distribution of raw materials in the early forming solar system was controlled by the sun’s magnetic field.” McDonough previously developed a model for Earth’s composition that is commonly used by planetary scientists to determine the composition of exoplanets. (His seminal paper on this work has been cited more than 8,000 times.) The composition of a planet’s core is important for its potential to support life. On Earth, for instance, a molten iron core creates a magnetosphere that protects the planet from cancer-causing cosmic rays. The core also contains the majority of the planet’s phosphorus, which is an important nutrient for sustaining carbon-based life.

Did a Cuttlefish Write This? – (New York Times – July 9, 2021)

Cuttlefish have three hearts, green blood and one of the largest brains among invertebrates. Their blood gets that blue-green tint from hemocyanin, which they use instead of hemoglobin to carry oxygen. They are more closely related to insects than to humans. They have no true bones in their bodies, just an internal shell filled with air that helps them float. And more scientists are making the case that cuttlefish hold the key to unlocking evolutionary secrets about intelligence. In recent years, a string of high-profile papers has reported that they are capable of surprising cognitive feats, including rejecting easy meals while holding out for better food in the future, a version of the famous marshmallow test. Given the vast evolutionary gulf between cuttlefish and creatures like apes and crows that perform similar calculations, some scientists believe the shimmering little decapods may help us understand why these mental abilities evolve.

Neurons Unexpectedly Encode Information in the Timing of Their Firing – (Quanta – July 7, 2021)

For decades, neuroscientists have treated the brain somewhat like a Geiger counter: The rate at which neurons fire is taken as a measure of activity, just as a Geiger counter’s click rate indicates the strength of radiation. But new research suggests the brain may be more like a musical instrument. When you play the piano, how often you hit the keys matters, but the precise timing of the notes is also essential to the melody. For the first time, Joshua Jacobs, a neuroscientist and biomedical engineer at Columbia University and two coauthors spied neurons in the human brain encoding spatial information through the timing, rather than rate, of their firing. This temporal firing phenomenon is well documented in certain brain areas of rats, but the new study and others suggest it might be far more widespread in mammalian brains. “The more we look for it, the more we see it,” Jacobs said. Some researchers think the discovery might help solve a major mystery: how brains can learn so quickly. (Editor’s note: We recommend this article – it’s fascinating.)

Genetically Engineered ‘Magneto’ Protein Remotely Controls Brain and Behavior – (Guardian – March 24, 2016)

Researchers in the United States have developed a new method for controlling the brain circuits associated with complex animal behaviors, using genetic engineering to create a magnetized protein that activates specific groups of nerve cells from a distance. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of methods that enable them to remotely control specified groups of neurons and to probe the workings of neuronal circuits. The new technique, developed in Ali Güler’s lab at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and described in an advance online publication in the journal Nature Neuroscience, is not only non-invasive, but can also activate neurons rapidly and reversibly. Several earlier studies have shown that nerve cell proteins which are activated by heat and mechanical pressure can be genetically engineered so that they become sensitive to radio waves and magnetic fields, by attaching them to an iron-storing protein called ferritin, or to inorganic paramagnetic particles. These methods represent an  important advance – they have, for example, already been used to regulate blood glucose levels in mice – but involve multiple components which have to be introduced separately. The new technique builds on this earlier work, and is based on a protein called TRPV4, which is sensitive to both temperature and stretching forces. Article details the progress of subsequent research. In one final experiment, the researchers injected Magneto into the striatum of freely behaving mice, a deep brain structure containing dopamine-producing neurons that are involved in reward and motivation, and then placed the animals into an apparatus split into magnetized a non-magnetized sections. Mice expressing Magneto spent far more time in the magnetized areas than mice that did not, because activation of the protein caused the striatal neurons expressing it to release dopamine, so that the mice found being in those areas rewarding. This shows that Magneto can remotely control the firing of neurons deep within the brain, and also control complex behaviors.

Mega-Drought and Mega Food Shortages – (Forbidden Knowledge – June 13, 2021)

How many global populations are being covertly targeted by the climate engineering operations? Let’s start here: ‘Engineered Drought Catastrophe: Target California’. That’s the title of a presentation given by myself (author of this article, Dane Wigington) on behalf of geoengineeringwatch.org many years ago (2014). The data presented in that presentation is more relevant now than ever before. “Climate engineering operations are the crown jewel of the military-industrial complex. Remember that it’s a weapon by which they can bring populations to their knees without those populations ever even knowing or understanding that they are under assault. Crush crop production and blame it on nature.  The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that, based on a warming planet, the Pacific Northwest would receive a huge increase in precipitation in the Lower 48 but that’s not what’s happening. Dane Wigington explains, “That hasn’t happened because they are aerosolizing the moisture that enters from the west and they’re establishing pressure zones, like the high pressure dome [created by a HAARP-like ionospheric heating devices] that’s parked over the Northern California-Southern Oregon region, which deflects all the incoming pacific moisture, over and around us and then, down into the eastern half of the Lower 48, which is statistically, since 2012, the last 9 years, the most anomalously less-warm region in the entire world. “This is not nature, this is climate engineering, period…We can speculate into…the agenda behind the drought-creation, we can speculate as to the motives but the fact of the case of the drought in the Western US, and what the rest of the world have gone through, like Australia, Spain, Portugal – this is a direct result of climate engineering operations, period…That they are completely derailing the hydrological cycle and drying out the US West is beyond dispute.”

NOAA’s Hottest June Ever – (Real Climate Science – July 10, 2021)

In a news release, NOAA states that “June temperatures were the highest scientists have seen in 127 years of tracking temperatures.”  This article digs into past heat records and shows otherwise – particularly narrowing in on 1933 showing that the percent of hot days during June, 2021 was about average and there were only about half as many there were in June, 1933. In fact, the afternoon temperatures were about two degrees cooler than 1933. Article uses many graphs to display and support its points. See also Jon Rapaport’s article, Here Comes Global Cooling in which he discusses how, in 1975, newspapers and magazines were drumming up support for a global cooling scare. The process sounds remarkably similar to current media methods. Those old articles had the same rhythms as today’s warming pieces, the same transitions, and the same reliance, of course, on experts.

DARPA Program Seeks to Develop Camera Tech That Mimics the Human Brain – (New Atlas – July 8, 2021)

Modern imaging cameras are growing increasingly sophisticated, but they are also becoming victims of their own success. While state-of-the-art cameras can capture high-resolution images and track objects with great precision, they do so by processing large amounts of data, which takes time and power. According to DARPA, this is fine when the task is something like tracking an airplane in a clear blue sky, but if the background becomes cluttered or starts to change, as is often the case in military operations, these cameras can soon be overwhelmed. What a new DARPA-funded program hopes to do is to create event-based cameras that are more intelligent thanks to the use of brain-mimicking or neuromorphic circuits. What these do is to drastically reduce the amount of data that needs to be handled by disregarding irrelevant parts of the image. Instead of dealing with an entire scene, the event-based camera focuses only on the pixels that have changed. Because the new technology is aimed at military applications that include autonomous vehicles, robotics, and IR search and tracking, the sensors will need to be flexible and adaptable. “The goal is to develop a ‘smart’ sensor that can intelligently reduce the amount of information that is transmitted from the camera, narrowing down the data for consideration to only the most relevant pixels,” says Dr. Whitney Mason, the program manager leading the program.

Australian Architecture: Two Brisbane Skyscrapers Repurposed into One – (BBC News – June 17, 2020)

This 2 minute video clip showcases what is believed to be an Australian architectural first.  Two dated side-by-side office towers, originally separated by about 43 feet, in Brisbane’s city center are getting a new lease of life. In an environmentally driven project, the buildings are being stitched together instead of demolished, using innovative techniques to create a singular modern Class A office space. Repurposing the 1970s structures will save 11,000 tonnes of carbon by doing away with the need for extra concrete and steel, says the scheme’s architect, Fender Katsalidis. More specifics here

New Sustainable Roofing Material Can Naturally Keep Buildings Cool Without A/C – (Good News Network – June 13, 2021)

What if your home could stay cool all on its own—no electricity required? That’s the premise of Yi Zheng’s new invention. The associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Northeastern University in Boston has created a sustainable material that can be used to make buildings or other objects able to keep cool without relying on conventional cooling systems. Zheng envisions this material, dubbed “cooling paper,” covering the roofs of houses, warehouses, and office buildings. Not only does the light-colored material reflect hot solar rays away from the building, it also sucks heat out of the interior – heat that is emitted from electronics, cooking, and human bodies. With the help of a high-speed blender from his home kitchen, Zheng made a pulp out of paper waste, mixed with the material that makes up Teflon. Then he formed it into water-repelling “cooling paper” that could coat homes. Then, he and his team tested its capacity to keep cool under various temperature and humidity conditions. The cooling paper isn’t just eco-friendly in its ability to reduce your energy footprint. It’s also recyclable. The material can be used, exposed to solar radiation, weather, and varying temperatures, then reduced to a pulp (again) and reformed without losing one iota of its cooling properties. Zheng has tried it. And the recycled cooling paper performed just as well as the original. The process for creating and testing the new material was published in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Surprising Study Shows How Wind Turbines Can Work Better Behind Hills – (New Atlas – Jun 16, 2021)

Engineers go to great lengths to maximize the exposure of wind turbines, placing blades atop tall towers on the crests of hills or miles off shore over the wild, unprotected ocean. A new study has thrown up an interesting curve ball that could open up new avenues for the generation of renewable energy, demonstrating how turbines nestled behind hills could actually produce higher amounts of energy than those out in the open. Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands did this through an aerodynamic modeling technique called large eddy simulation, which allowed them to simulate the effects of a three-dimensional hill on the performance of downwind turbines. The simulation was based on a 90-meter-tall (295-ft) turbine with 63-meter (207-ft) blades, being placed 756 meter (2,500 ft) behind a 90-meter-tall (300-ft) tall hill. Counterintuitively, the team found that under some conditions this particular arrangement actually increased the power production of the turbine by around 24%. While the study demonstrates that some turbines placed behind hills in certain environments could produce greater amounts of power, there are other factors to consider. The simulations show that this increase in wind leads to higher amounts of turbulence, which would cause greater wear and tear on the turbines. The scientists are continuing to research whether the benefits outweigh the type of damage the turbines might incur, and whether this uptick in performance can be replicated across broader, real-world settings.

Flying Car Prototype Completes Successful Inter-city Test Flight – (YouTube – June 29, 2021)

AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle moved closer to production this week, fulfilling a key development milestone in a 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava on June 28th, 2021. Powered by a 160 horsepower BMW engine running a fixed propeller positioned at the back of the vehicle, the flying car is the brainchild of inventor Stefan Klein, who heads the company Klein Vision alongside co-founder Anton Zajac. According to the group, this flight was the latest in a series of milestones for the AirCar, which has already demonstrated the ability to reach an altitude of 8,200 feet and a cruising speed of 118 miles per hour. Klein Vision now hopes to take the insights gleaned from this initial prototype and create a more sizeable second test vehicle that will be equipped with a 300 horsepower engine. “AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept,” declared Zajac. For more details, see this article from MotorAuthority.

Lynk & Co Will Make You Rethink Outdated Ideas of Car Ownership – (The Verge – July 5, 2021)

“This is not a car, this is different” is how Lynk & Co, a company spawned by Volvo and Geely, is positioning the launch of its 01 plug-in hybrid, a compact SUV built from the ground up to share. The more you share its digital key the less you pay each month, possibly even turning a profit. It’s a bold experiment being conducted in Amsterdam, where Lynk & Co is staging its first salvo against a century of car ownership mentality. You can buy a Lynk & Co 01 outright for €39,000, but most people are opting for memberships that cost €500 each month. That’s about what you’d pay each month on a four-year lease for a comparable Volvo XC40 which is built upon the same platform as the 01. Only with Lynk & Co you can cancel the agreement at any time. Better yet, you can divide the monthly fee with family and friends, or reduce it further by lending the car out to a general pool of neighbors and tourists at an hourly or daily rate, all of which Lynk & Co will facilitate (more on that later in the article). Membership includes 1,250km (777 miles) of driving per month with each extra kilometer costing €0.15, and unused kilometers carrying over to the next month. The €500/month fee covers insurance, warranty repairs, roadside assistance, and maintenance by Volvo’s dealer network. And because the 01 uses a digital key, Volvo can pick up your car, service it, and return it while you go about your activities. (You get a loaner vehicle if service needs more than a day.) The monthly fee doesn’t cover repairs out of warranty, fuel costs, charging fees, or any costs associated with parking. Only about 10% of paying customers actually buy the car, with the rest signing up for the €500 monthly memberships. Compared to the 9,000 memberships the company expected this year, it already has 16,000 members signed up to pay monthly subscriptions for a car, with most residing in Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Belgium.

These Gorgeous, Intricate Gowns Are Made Entirely of Trash – (Fast Company – July 11, 2021)

Iris van Herpen’s collection for Paris Haute Couture Week consists of five gowns covered in intricate, elaborate lace. It’s hard to believe that the ethereal dresses are made entirely from trash. The Dutch designer has partnered, for a second time, with Parley for the Oceans, an organization that collects plastic waste from the ocean, then recycles it to create new materials. This time around, van Herpen pushes the boundaries of the recycled plastic fabric, hand- and laser-cutting it to create patterns that would not be possible with cotton or silk. The collection as a whole tells a larger story about the fragility of our planet and what it will take for people to survive the environmental crisis that looms before us. Throughout the collection, van Herpen incorporates the concept that people are part of nature, existing within a complex ecosystem. “Everything is interconnected,” van Herpen says. “Everything on this planet depends on everything else: We are actually a single being.” Article includes embedded 34 second clip of the gowns. Van Herpen spends a lot of time thinking about how the fashion industry can stop causing so much harm to the planet. Experts believe that the sector is responsible for the equivalent of one dump truck’s worth of clothing burned or thrown in a landfill every second. She points out that for most of human history, clothes were very valuable because fabric was expensive to make. So people owned a few garments that they carefully cared for. They might take the time to embroider these pieces, and they would repair them when they broke. Van Herpen says that in some ways, couture carries these traditions from the past by focusing on craftsmanship and embellishment. But she believes both consumers and brands could shift their thinking to return to owning fewer clothes but ensuring they’re both beautiful and durable. And this doesn’t have to come at an exorbitant price point.

Study Confirms That Beef and Its Substitutes Differ Nutritionally – (New Atlas – July 7, 2021)

For the study, scientists from North Carolina’s Duke University compared 18 samples of grass-fed ground beef to 18 samples of “a popular plant-based meat alternative.” The latter’s nutritional label listed 13 items – namely certain proteins, fats and vitamins – which are also abundant in meat. That said, the researchers were specifically looking at the type and amount of metabolites that were present in each sample. Metabolites are substances produced via the regulatory processes in an organism’s cells, and the consumption of certain ones has been linked to various health benefits. When 36 cooked patties were compared – 18 made of beef, and 18 made of the substitute – it was found that out of 190 measured metabolites, concentrations of 171 differed considerably between the two foods. In fact, the beef patties contained 22 metabolites that the substitute did not, while the substitute patties contained 31 metabolites that weren’t present in the beef. Among the metabolites found in the beef were nutrients such as creatine, spermine, anserine, cysteamine, glucosamine, squalene and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. According to the scientists, these “have potentially important physiological, anti-inflammatory, and or immunomodulatory roles.” The substitute patties, meanwhile, were rich in phytosterols and phenols. Among other things, these metabolites are known to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and have an antioxidant effect. Lead scientist, postdoctoral researcher Stephan van Vliet noted, “It is important for consumers to understand that these products should not be viewed as nutritionally interchangeable, but that’s not to say that one is better than the other.”

Israeli Firm Develops Camouflage Tech That Can Make Soldiers “Virtually Invisible”- (Newstarget – July 6, 2021)

An Israeli company has recently unveiled a redesigned camouflage net that it claims can make soldiers virtually invisible. Known as the Kit 300, the camouflage net was developed by survival product manufacturer Polaris Solutions in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD). Polaris Solutions said Kit 300 is a camouflage sheet that is made out of thermal visual concealment (TVC) material comprising metals, polymers and microfibers. The Kit 300 is a lightweight and rollable sheet that can provide soldiers with “multispectral concealment.” This makes their detection by enemy forces extremely difficult with the naked eye or even with thermal imaging equipment. The new TVC is also double-sided. Each side has its own colorization, allowing soldiers to blend into different battlefield environments. One side is meant to be used when the soldier is in dense vegetation. The other side is designed for more desert-like settings. The camouflage net is also waterproof and can be used in place of a small tent as an emergency shelter in battlefield environments. Yonatan Pinkas, director of marketing for Polaris Solutions said the Kit 300 has additional value as an emergency medical item. “It can carry weight up to 250 kilograms, can be used as a splint to immobilize a broken bone and can serve as a hypothermia blanket.” The Kit 300 can even be molded into solid shapes, allowing it to be used as a stretcher to carry wounded soldiers.

The Real-life Plan to Use Novels to Predict the Next War – (Guardian – June 26, 2021)

The name of the initiative was Project Cassandra: for the next two years, university researchers would use their expertise to help the German defense ministry predict the future. The academics weren’t AI specialists, or scientists, or political analysts. Instead, the people the colonels had sought out were a small team of literary scholars led by Jürgen Wertheimer, a University of Tübingen professor of comparative literature with wild curls and a penchant for black roll-necks. The idea that literature could be used by the defense ministry to identify civil wars and humanitarian disasters ahead of time, wrote the Neckar-Chronik newspaper, was as charming as it was hopelessly naive. “You have to ask yourself why the military is financing something that is going to be of no value whatsoever.” But Wertheimer said great writers have a “sensory talent”. Literature, he reasoned, has a tendency to channel social trends, moods and especially conflicts that politicians prefer to remain undiscussed until they break out into the open. “It was a small project that created a surprising amount of useful results,” said one defense ministry official. “Against our initial instincts, we were excited.” Article has the details.

Security Robots Expand across U.S. with Few Tangible Results – (NBC – June 27, 20210)

As more government agencies and private sector companies resort to robots to help fight crime, the verdict is out about how effective they are in actually reducing it.  One model developed by Knightscope deployed in a large apartment complex is a conical, bulky, artificial intelligence-powered robot that stands just over 5 feet tall.  It slowly roams around at about a human walking speed, with four internal cameras capturing a constant 360-degree view. It also can scan and record license plates and unique digital identifiers that every cellphone broadcasts, known as MAC addresses. Knightscope, which experts say is the dominant player in this market, has cited little public evidence that its robots have reduced crime as the company deploys them everywhere from a Georgia shopping mall to an Arizona development to a Nevada casino. Knightscope’s clients also don’t know how much these security robots help. “Are we seeing dramatic changes since we deployed the robot in January?” Lerner, the Westland spokesperson said. “No. But I do believe it is a great tool to keep a community as large as this, to keep it safer, to keep it controlled.” For its part, Knightscope maintains on its website that the robots “predict and prevent crime,” without much evidence that they do so. Experts say this is a bold claim. “It would be difficult to introduce a single thing and it causes crime to go down,” said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington, comparing the Knightscope robots to a “roving scarecrow.”

Using Disaster Capitalism to Control All Humans – Catherine Austin Fitts  (USA Watchdog – July 3, 2021)

Investment advisor and former Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts contends CV19 and vaccines to cure it are all part of the “Going Direct Reset.”  Fitts explains, “This is so simple at the root.  The central bankers are using the government to shut down the main street economy, and then they are going direct and injecting money into the private equity firms and Wall Street who are running around the country buying things.  Think of this as a leverage buyout of the world.  We are being purchased with our own money.  Also, we are liable.  If you look at all the debt the government is issuing, our assets are liable for that debt.  This is a continuation and consolidation of the financial coup that we have been taking about.” Fitts goes on to say, “We have had a small group of people who have gotten away with crime, and crime that pays is crime that stays. We have been talking about this, and many people have tried to stay in the middle of the road.  Now, the message in 2021 is there is no middle of the road.  You’ve got to pick sides. . . . This is freedom or tyranny, and tyranny is slavery.  We are talking about very invasive slavery because they are planning on installing the smart grid into our bodies.  There will be 24/7 surveillance and control of your money.  If you don’t behave, they will turn off your money.  If they don’t want you to go more than five miles, your money won’t work further than five miles.” Article includes embedded link for a 36 minute interview with Fitts.

Animals to Be Formally Recognized as Sentient Beings in Domestic Law – (United Kingdom government website – May 13, 2021)

Vertebrate animals will be recognized as sentient beings for the first time in UK law thanks to the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, introduced in Parliament. The legislation will also ensure that animal sentience is taken into account when developing policy across Government through the creation of a Animal Sentience Committee which will be made up of animal experts from within the field. By enshrining sentience in domestic law in this way, any new legislation will have to take into account the fact that animals can experience feelings such as pain or joy. The Bill will underpin the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which sets out the government’s plans to improve standards and eradicate cruel practices for animals both domestically and internationally. Article gives details of the proposed law. The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill is now working its way toward passage.  Here you can find out where the bill is currently. 

Japan Is Trying to Lure People into Rural Areas by Selling $500 Homes – (Insider – June 26, 2021)

While the US faces a shortage of homes, Japan is experiencing an altogether different issue: There’s a glut of unoccupied homes throughout the country’s rural areas. Japan’s Housing and Land Survey, conducted every five years, logged a record high of 8.49 million akiya – abandoned houses – in 2018. These abandoned houses have created “ghost villages” in Japan’s rural prefectures where homes can neither be filled nor knocked down. In some areas, nearly one out of every five homes is empty. The government is offering incentives like $500 homes and tax breaks to entice residents to move from urban centers into rural areas, but cheap housing may not be enough to bridge the cultural divide and the bureaucratic difficulties that moving to a small town create. Chris McMorran, an associate professor in the department of Japanese studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS), offers a bleak outlook for rural communities. He said that young people are hesitant to move to countryside homes because of limited opportunities — and because of the akiya themselves. “People don’t want to live in a terminal village surrounded by ‘ghost houses’.” “This will only get worse,” McMorran said, “because the core of the problem is there aren’t enough people to go around in Japan.” Richard Koo, chief economist at Japan’s Nomura Research Institute (NRI), said that 30 years ago, there was a lot of economic activity — mostly factories — in the Japanese countryside. But the Japanese yen kept rising until it hit a high in April 1995, which started hollowing out the countryside and creating a rust belt area that he likened to Ohio’s. The rural-urban migration trend stretches back decades before that, said Tsutsui Kazunobu, professor of regional studies at Japan’s Tottori University. In 1960, there was an average of 39 households per rural community in Japan. By 2015, Tsutsui said, that number had fallen to just 15. Of Japan’s 47 prefectures, 37 recorded smaller populations in the 2018 census than they did in 1995. Notably, the prefectures that are home to Japan’s three biggest cities (Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka) each saw a population increase in this same period. See also: 8 U.S. Cities and Towns That Will Pay You To Move There and Work Remote in 2021.

Meet the Queens at the Top of Mexico’s Most Ruthless Drug Cartels – (New York Post – June 26, 2021)

“The cartels used to be a men’s-only game, and women were kept around for parties,” said security consultant Robert Almonte, an expert on Mexican cartels who trains law enforcement. Now, women have emerged as a powerful force in one of the world’s largest criminal enterprises, working in all aspects of the cartels, including as female “hitmen” or sicarios. “The cartels like to use pretty girls as hitmen to lure their victims,” Almonte said. “And some of them are in important leadership positions.” Here are four of the most high-ranking Cartel Queens. After two high-profile busts, these drug doyennes are being tried like their male counterparts — and possibly turning against them.

20 Million Americans Still Don’t Have Enough to Eat. A Grass-roots Movement of Free Fridges Aims to Help. – (Washington Post – June 28, 2021)

The concept of the community fridge ― sometimes called a “freedge” ― has been around for more than a decade, but it exploded during the pandemic as hunger spiked in the United States and worldwide. Images of thousands of cars lined up at U.S. food banks shocked the nation, and people looked for ways to help. There are now about 200 of these community fridges in the United States, up from about 15 before the pandemic, according to the organizers of the Freedge website, at freedge.org. For example, Philadelphia now has more than 20 of these refrigerators sitting outside homes and restaurants, offering free food to anyone passing by. Volunteers keep the fridges clean and stocked with food donated from grocery stores, restaurants, local farmers and anyone with extra to share. Each fridge in Philadelphia has a group of volunteers who maintain it and keep it stocked, but the high volume of traffic at some of the fridges has made it difficult to keep them clean at all times. On occasion, people have dumped chairs and other trash illegally beside the refrigerators. Someone stole the first fridge. City inspectors who largely stopped patrolling for code enforcement violations during the pandemic are also starting to get more aggressive about the public refrigerators. The city has fined one property owner who hosts a free fridge several times for violating trash regulations. City officials say they are working on a set of guidelines for the free fridges, although they are not ready yet. The share of Americans saying they “sometimes” or “often” do not have enough to eat was falling steadily this year, but progress began stalling in late April, worrying experts who had expected a further decline in hunger and are instead seeing numbers start to tick up again.

The Police Called It an Accident. She Turned to 1-800-Autopsy. – (New York Times – July 8, 2021)

There is a shortage of certified forensic pathologists in the country, with only around 500 of them working full time in 2,400 jurisdictions in the United States. Before the 1970s, between 40-60% of people who died in a U.S. hospital received autopsies. That rate has since plummeted to 4%. If a death is not deemed suspicious or unusual, the body will not go to a local medical examiner or coroner for an examination. Doctors also do not promote or conduct autopsies in-house as they might have in the past. “Hospitals don’t get paid for an autopsy,” said Dr. Sally Aiken, chairwoman of the National Association of Medical Examiners, who also serves as a forensic pathologist in Washington State. The close ties between coroners and law enforcement have fueled an unusual and unregulated industry: for-profit forensic examinations. Private-autopsy experts are largely unregulated: The National Association of Medical Examiners offers a list of private-autopsy services for paying customers but warns it has not verified the training or experience of those on it (“Please conduct your own investigation and assessment of the qualifications,” its site suggests). But in the absence of faith in a system run by the police, the city, the county or the local coroner, they are seen by many as a necessary check on the system.

Researchers Trace Dust Grain’s Journey Through Newborn Solar System – (Science Daily – June 21, 2021)

Combining atomic-scale sample analysis and models simulating likely conditions in the nascent solar system, the study revealed clues about the origin of crystals that formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. The findings provide insights into the fundamental processes underlying the formation of planetary systems, many of which are still shrouded in mystery. For the study, the research team led by the University of Arizona developed a new type of framework, which combines quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, to simulate the conditions to which the grain was exposed during its formation, when the solar system was a swirling disk of gas and dust known as a protoplanetary disk or solar nebula. Comparing the predictions from the model to an extremely detailed analysis of the sample’s chemical makeup and crystal structure, along with a model of how matter was transported in the solar nebula, revealed clues about the grain’s journey and the environmental conditions that shaped it along the way.

China Plans Mass Rocket Launch to Divert Asteroid That Could Wipe Out Life on Earth – (MSN – July 7, 2021)

Chinese researchers want to send more than 20 rockets from the country to practice diverting asteroids away from Earth. Scientists at China’s National Space Science Centre found in simulations that 23 Long March 5 rockets, which weigh 900 tonnes when they leave the planet, hitting simultaneously could divert an asteroid from its original path by nearly 9,000 kilometers – 1.4 times the Earth’s radius. The Long March 5B rocket was also the type that was infamously left free-falling by China in May this year, traveling around the world every 90 minutes – too fast for space agencies to tell where it is going to land. Fortunately, it disintegrated over the Indian Ocean. The probability of an asteroid colliding with Earth is low but one, the 78 billion kilogram Bennu, has been targeted for investigation. Between 2175 and 2199, Bennu will come within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth’s orbit and will be classified as potentially hazardous. Although the chance that Bennu will impact Earth is only 1-in-2700, that risk is still enough to concern scientists due to the amount of destruction the asteroid could cause.

Mystery of Jupiter’s Northern Lights Solved after 40 Years – (CNN – July 9, 2021)

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, are Earth’s greatest light show, dazzling those lucky enough to see them in the northernmost reaches of our planet. It’s a phenomenon shared by other planets in our solar system, including the largest, Jupiter, which is bathed in spectacular color at its poles. Characterized by massive pulsating X-ray flares, Jupiter’s northern lights were first discovered 40 years ago. Astronomers have long sought to explain the mechanism behind these auroras. “They are unimaginably more powerful (than Earth’s) and much more complex. Jupiter’s northern lights have these bright flares, and these flares can be up to terawatts of power that would power all of civilization,” said William Dunn, a research fellow at University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. By combining observations and data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which launched in 2016, and the European Space Agency’s X-ray telescope, the researchers found that the pulsating X-ray auroras are caused by fluctuations of Jupiter’s magnetic field. On Earth, the northern lights are driven primarily by solar winds — particles emitted during solar storms that flow out through space and tear through Earth’s magnetosphere, creating a colorful light show.  On Jupiter, there are other factors at play, Dunn said. Jupiter spins much faster than Earth, and it has the strongest magnetic field of any planet in the our solar system. What’s more, Jupiter’s third-largest moon, Io, is covered by more than 400 active volcanoes, which pump out volcanic material into Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the area controlled by a planet’s magnetic field. “The northern lights are basically the video of what’s going on in the magnetosphere,” Dunn said.

Why Do We Procrastinate, and How Can We Stop? Experts Have Answers. – (Washington Post – July 9, 2021)

Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of Still Procrastinating?: The No Regrets Guide to Getting It Done, has found that about 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators. “That’s higher than depression, higher than phobia, higher than panic attacks and alcoholism. And yet all of those are considered legitimate,” he said. “We try to trivialize this tendency, but it’s not a funny topic.” Among his findings: Chronic procrastination doesn’t discriminate based on gender, race or age; we’re all susceptible. As he put it, “Everybody procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.” And contrary to popular belief, procrastinating has little to do with laziness. It’s far more complicated, he added, than simply being a matter of time management. Fuschia Sirois, a professor of psychology at the University of Sheffield in England, defines procrastination this way: “The voluntary, unnecessary delay of an important task, despite knowing you’ll be worse off for doing so.” Ferrari theorizes that there are three types of procrastinators: thrill-seekers, who crave the rush of putting off tasks until the last minute and believe they work best under pressure; avoiders, who procrastinate to avoid being judged for how they perform on a project; and indecisives, who have difficulty making important or stressful decisions, often because they’re ruminating over several choices. If any of those reasons sound all too familiar to you, check out the article.

Japan Proposes Four-day Workweek as Idea Gains Purchase Amid Pandemic – (Washington Post – June 24, 2021)

Japan, known for its rigid work culture, is entertaining changes to the standard workweek few would have predicted even several years ago. The country’s annual economic policy guidelines, released this month, unveiled plans to push employers to adopt four-day workweeks, marking official acceptance of a once-fringe approach that has gained increasing purchase internationally amid workplace changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. The recommendation that companies adopt an optional shorter workweek is meant to support employees who want to further their education, take care of family members or simply to go out, spend money and even meet others, as Japan’s population ages and shrinks. In proposing four-day weeks, Japan joined Spain, which is launching a three-year, nationwide, voluntary 32-hour week experiment, and several other countries have been mulling the prospect. Microsoft in Japan instituted a temporary three-day weekend in August 2019 — which resulted in a reported 40%  increase in productivity, according to the company, and reduced electricity consumption and paper printing.

An Officer Played a Taylor Swift Song to Keep His Recording Off YouTube. Instead It Went Viral. – (Washington Post – July 2, 2021)

When James Burch and several activists began filming a sheriff’s deputy during a confrontation on the Alameda County courthouse steps in Oakland, Calif., the officer caught the group by surprise. He pulled out his phone and started blaring Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit single “Blank Space.” After he and the other activists pressed the officer about what he was doing, the deputy — identified by local media as Sgt. David Shelby — said, “You can record all you want, I just know it can’t be posted on YouTube.” He was referring to YouTube’s automated copyright system, which detects and removes unauthorized protected material — such as a popular song — from being uploaded to the Internet. The officer’s plan, however, appears to have been a misfire. The video captured by Burch and his organization — the Oakland-based Anti Police-Terror Project, which seeks to hold local police departments accountable — ended up amassing more than 680,000 views on Twitter. A version uploaded to YouTube received more than 110,000 views. The tactic used by Shelby is one law enforcement personnel have tried before. But some of the attempts seem to amount to prime cases of the “Streisand Effect,” a term used to describe an attempt to hide or censor information that actually makes it more widespread. In February, a police officer in Beverly Hills, Calif., reportedly turned on Sublime’s “Santeria” in an attempt to prevent a video from being uploaded to Instagram, according to Vice News. The video, however, remains on the social media site. Regardless of how effective the tactic is, observers say it signals concerning behavior from law enforcement personnel at a time when the public is demanding more accountability from police. “This does seem to be a trend right now,” said Chessie Thacher, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Northern California. “People have the right to film the police, and efforts by the police to infringe on this right are unconstitutional.”

There’s a Reason Why Hot Dogs and Buns Don’t Come in Equal Count Packages – (Yahoo – July 7, 2021)

It’s weird that there’s an uneven hot dog-to-bun ratio in their respective packagings. The National Hot Dog Sausage Council, founded in 1994, explained that the mismatch packaging is simply because of the way these things were sold back in the day. In fact, it wasn’t until 1940 that we actually began seeing hot dogs packaged in packs of 10. (Before that, people bought whatever number they wanted at a butcher counter.) So why are buns not in 10-packs too? The NHDSC says it’s because of the way they are baked. “Sandwich rolls, or hot dog buns, most often come eight to the pack because the buns are baked in clusters of four in pans designed to hold eight rolls,” said the council: “While baking pans now come in configurations that allow baking 10 and even 12 at a time, the eight-roll pan remains the most popular.” The increased talk around this particular issue comes on the heels of a recent petition by Heinz Ketchup Canada to end the hot dog packaging mismatch. At the time of publication, the Change.org petition—which is steadily climbing toward its goal of 7,500 signatures—had near 5,500. See also: Ritz Leaves Internet ‘Speechless’ after Explaining Reason Behind Cracker Shape.

10 Virtual Tours of Spectacular Buildings around the World – (Guardian – March 2, 2021)

If you are not ready to sign up for a cruise or put yourself through the hassles of an airport, you can still travel. Virtually, that is. Visit stately homes and fortresses, from Blenheim Palace to Bran Castle (of Dracula fame) without getting off the sofa. Here are 10 exquisite buildings from the vast eclectic trove online.
The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.
Leonard I. Sweet
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