Volume 24, Number 16 – 8/15/21

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Volume 24, Number 16 – 8/15/2021


  • 3D bioprinting technology can now create any type of steak – for example, a thick-cut rib-eye steak.
  • ‘Magment’ is a magnetized concrete for road surfaces which can charge electric vehicles as they pass.
  • Robots and artificial intelligence will replace all field workers on Australia’s first fully automated (demonstration) farm.
  • In Sierra Leone, a device have been developed that can harnesses kinetic energy from pedestrian traffic to generate electricity in communities that don’t have access to a reliable grid.

Seeds of a New World

Saturday, August 28
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Reality systems are seeded, rise to a peak, and fall. This is because corrupt individuals who are always looking to game the system eventually figure out how to do so as it rises to its peak, and it is the corruption that causes the whole thing to fall apart, leaving people to create new systems. For those who are awake and aware, it is quite clear that nothing is working and little is left of the world we grew up in.

This leaves us with the task of rebuilding – a monumental challenge for a fragile and highly technical civilization teetering on the edge of collapse.

The world we live in is the result of the consciousness we hold, and without a shift or expansion of that consciousness, any attempt to create a new world will only result in the same old ideas and structures. To get beyond these, it is necessary to create a whole new vision of what the world could be and how it would work.

In this afternoon gathering, we will look at and discuss the 12 spheres of activity and meaning that could form the foundations of a new world.

Join us for an examination of the amazing possibilities and potentials of the new paradigm coming this way, how that will shift your day-to-day, and a look at the kind of consciousness needed to unfold that new world.

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

Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Penny Kelly, ND, intuitive, author, consultant, naturopathic physician, shares with futurist John Petersen the paths she sees unfolding.

Following her kundalini awakening, Penny clearly saw the nature of reality and what humans are truly capable of.

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift and in the process of creating a new earth. Penny will share the new threads she sees being birthed right now, and how we all have a role to play in weaving them into a new tapestry.

Join us for this exciting vision of what we are moving toward.

Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Tens of Thousands of COVID-19 “Vaccine” Injured in the U.S. Begging for Help as the Medical Community Turns Their Back on Them – (Health Impact News – July 7, 2021)

Over 6 months into the mass vaccination campaign with the experimental, non-FDA approved COVID-19 shots, where about half of the U.S. population now has received at least one of these injections, tens of thousands of victims are beginning to speak out, regretting their choices, and begging for help. The medical community by and large has turned their backs on them, which is really what they have done for the past 40+ years with ALL vaccine injured people, most of whom have been children prior to the COVID-19 shots. So while those speaking out in the past have been primarily parents of vaccine-damaged children that the corporate media and medical system have summarily dismissed as “crazy,” now those speaking out are primarily adults who have had their lives ruined by these injections. These are pro-vaccine adults, obviously, since they chose to receive one of these shots, that many dissenting medical doctors and scientists are now calling “bioweapon” shots. At least they still have a voice to speak out, as thousands of others are now dead following the shots, according to CDC statistics.

Mob Morality and the Unvaxxed – (Charles Eisenstein – August 1, 2021)

Following the thought of the late philosopher Rene Girard, some scholars would argue that human sacrifice is still with us today in the form of capital punishment (and incarceration – a removal from society). For Girard, the original sacrificial crisis – the greatest threat to early societies – was escalating cycles of violence and retribution. The solution was to redirect the vengeance away from each other and, in violent unanimity, toward a scapegoat or class of scapegoats. Once established, this pattern was memorialized in myth and ritual, applied preemptively as human sacrifice, and carried out in response to any other crisis that threatened society. Eisenstein’s ultimate point is that those in the scientific and medical community who dissent from the demonization of the unvaxxed contend not only with opposing scientific views, but with ancient, powerful psycho-social forces. (Editor’s note: We recommend this thoughtful, balanced sociological analysis examining the underlying mechanisms of scapegoating as they are currently being used.)

Asia Departs from the Gates/Schwab Agenda of Vaccinating the World – (Armstrong Economics – July 16, 2021)

Ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasitic infections in humans that are more commonly used on animals, is now trending and exploding in Asia. This is true in India as well. In Indonesia, pharmacies across Asia are reporting a boom in sales of the medication, and it has been sold out on e-commerce sites such as Bukalapak and Shopee. “People have been flocking to buy it,” said a pharmacist at Penang Island Pharmacy in the city of Medan in North Sumatra, who did not want to be named. Asians are not about to die to make Bill Gates boast, “I told you so.” There has been an agenda here. The vaccine companies have most likely paid vast amounts of bribes to pull this off to prevent anyone from trying to treat COVID by saying everything else is dangerous. They are getting $19.50 per shot per person and have already said they will raise prices to $125 per shot next year. This is tearing the world apart and creating separatist movements between vaccinated and non-vaccinated. United Airlines just lost my (Martin Armstrong) business. They created the “United Sweepstakes Gives Vaccinated Customers a Shot to Win Free Flights, a Year of Travel.” Do we need to start a non-vaccinated airline? No sheep allowed?

A Pathologist Summary of What These Jabs Do to the Brain and Other Organs – (Rumble – August 3, 2021)

A 17-minute video clip of Ryan Cole, MD, a member of America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS), who offers a scientific clarification of what these injections do in the brain and other organs of vaccinated people.

The Panic Pandemic: How Media Fearmongering Led to ‘Unprecedented’ Censorship of Scientific Research – (Global Research – August 7, 2021)

Now that we’re more than a year into the pandemic, it’s crystal clear that the panic that ensued was unnecessary and the draconian measures put into place for public health were unwarranted and harmful. John Tierney, a former reporter for The New York Times, looked back over the pandemic, providing a timeline of the media-induced viral panic that led to censorship and suppression of scientific research on an unprecedented scale. In his article for City Journal, where he is a contributing editor, he explained that the “moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions” during the pandemic was far more catastrophic than the viral pandemic itself. This article offers a good historical recap of how the officially sanctioned response to Covid-19 sidelined and ultimately silenced many highly reputable experts by refusing to publish their research.

The Metaverse Is the Future of Our Reality. Mark Zuckerberg and Its Other Evangelists Are Planning for It. – (Washington Post – July 28, 2021)

The movers and shakers of the Internet are planning for a future in which the digital and the physical are inextricably intertwined in an all-encompassing virtual reality that allows all of us to exist together, whenever and wherever. Hence, the metaverse. The concept of the metaverse came into being before most people had ever sent an email: The writer Neal Stephenson coined the term in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” but any sci-fi nerd will recognize the notion in “Ready Player One,” where a whole other world is accessible within our screens, as full as the one we live in away from them. Recently, though, a newer version of the metaverse has entered venture capital vogue. Mark Zuckerberg wants to help build it. This metaverse-to-be, explain its evangelists, is not just a “virtual world” or a virtual reality, or economy or theme park or space — and it’s certainly not just a game. No, the metaverse is more than that, because it will include infinite theme parks and spaces, and because all of those will integrate into a cohesive experience that serves not just a single purpose or human need but all of them. A lot of people who grew up without the Internet view it, essentially, as a utility: something that enables experiences by helping them to, say, plan a picnic or reserve a ticket to a Bruce Springsteen show or buy a blender. They don’t view it as a place that provides experiences in themselves. More and more people, however, grew up not only with the Internet but on the Internet. Sometimes they interact with folks they know IRL (“in real life”) the same way they interact with folks they don’t — and they talk to the folks they do know IRL as much online as they do off it. They’re in the digital world at one moment, in the physical one the next and in both at the same time. The Internet can’t be separated from real life. The Internet is real life.

Blood, Brains and Burgers: The Future Is Lab-grown Everything – (New Atlas – August 10, 2021)

We currently rear animals for meat and dairy, cut down forests for wood, harvest organs from the deceased and mine the earth for diamonds. But what if all these things, and more, could be grown in a lab? Creating something akin to ground beef was first cracked over a decade ago, but several issues slowed the development of the technology. In 2018 Israel company Aleph Farms presented the world’s first lab-grown steak and then earlier this year it revealed that its novel 3D bioprinting technology could now create any type of steak. A thick-cut rib-eye steak produced entirely in a lab was shown as proof of the new technology. The other big problem slowing down progress in the lab-grown meat industry has been cost-effective scaling. By 2021 those costs had been substantially driven down. Article goes on to discuss the state of development of lab-grown milk products, diamonds, blood, wood, and organs. Silk, chocolate, leather are on the short list of new lab-grown products.  And don’t miss Mercedes Benz’s ambitious BIOME idea from 2010 which shows just how far you can run with this lab-grown idea.

Lake Huron Sinkhole Surprise: The Rise of Oxygen on Early Earth Linked to Changing Planetary Rotation Rate – (PhysOrg – August 2, 2021)

The rise of oxygen levels early in Earth’s history paved the way for the spectacular diversity of animal life. But for decades, scientists have struggled to explain the factors that controlled this gradual and stepwise process, which unfolded over nearly 2 billion years. Now an international research team is proposing that increasing day length on the early Earth—the spinning of the young planet gradually slowed over time, making the days longer—may have boosted the amount of oxygen released by photosynthetic cyanobacteria, thereby shaping the timing of Earth’s oxygenation. Their conclusion was inspired by a study of present-day microbial communities growing under extreme conditions at the bottom of a submerged Lake Huron sinkhole, 80 feet below the water’s surface. The water in the Middle Island Sinkhole is rich in sulfur and low in oxygen, and the brightly colored bacteria that thrive there are considered good analogs for the single-celled organisms that formed mat-like colonies billions of years ago, carpeting both land and seafloor surfaces. The researchers show that longer day length increases the amount of oxygen released by photosynthetic microbial mats. That finding, in turn, points to a previously unconsidered link between Earth’s oxygenation history and its rotation rate. While the Earth now spins on its axis once every 24 hours, day length was possibly as brief as 6 hours during the planet’s infancy.

Origin of Dinosaur-ending Asteroid Possibly Found. And It’s Dark. – (Live Science – August 9, 2021)

About 66 million years ago, an estimated 6-mile-wide (9.6 kilometers) object slammed into Earth, triggering a cataclysmic series of events that resulted in the demise of non-avian dinosaurs. Now, scientists think they know where that object came from. According to new research, the impact was caused by a giant dark primitive asteroid from the outer reaches of the solar system’s main asteroid belt, situated between Mars and Jupiter. This region is home to many dark asteroids — space rocks with a chemical makeup that makes them appear darker (reflecting very little light) compared with other types of asteroids. Article explains the research method.

Water Transformed into Shiny, Golden Metal – (Nature – July 28, 2021)

If you can’t turn water into gold like a good alchemist would, the next best thing might be to transform it into a shiny, metallic material that conducts electricity. Researchers have achieved that feat by forming a thin layer of water around electron-sharing alkali metals. The water stayed in a metallic state for a only few seconds, but the experiment did not require the high pressures that are normally needed to turn non-metallic materials into electrically conductive metals. In theory, most materials are capable of becoming metallic if put under enough pressure. Atoms or molecules can be squeezed together so tightly that they begin to share their outer electrons, which can then travel and conduct electricity as they do in a chunk of copper or iron. Geophysicists think that the centers of massive planets such as Neptune or Uranus host water in such a metallic state, and that high-pressure metallic hydrogen can even become a superconductor, able to conduct electricity without any resistance. Turning water into a metal in this way would require an expected 15 million atmospheres of pressure, which is out of reach for current lab techniques, says co-author Pavel Jungwirth, a physical chemist at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. But he suspected that water could become conductive in an alternative way: by borrowing electrons from alkali metals. These reactive elements in group 1 of the periodic table, which includes sodium and potassium, tend to donate their outermost electron.

These Algorithms Look at X-Rays—and Somehow Detect Your Race – (Wired – August 5, 2021)

Millions of dollars are being spent to develop artificial intelligence software that reads x-rays and other medical scans in hopes it can spot things doctors look for but sometimes miss, such as lung cancers. A new study reports that these algorithms can also see something doctors don’t look for on such scans: a patient’s race. The study authors and other medical AI experts say the results make it more crucial than ever to check that health algorithms perform fairly on people with different racial identities. Complicating that task: The authors themselves aren’t sure what cues the algorithms they created use to predict a person’s race. Evidence that algorithms can read race from a person’s medical scans emerged from tests on five types of imagery including chest and hand x-rays and mammograms.  The images included patients who identified as Black, white, and Asian. For most types of scan, the algorithms could correctly identify which of two images was from a Black person more than 90% of the time. Even the worst performing algorithm succeeded 80% of the time; the best was 99% correct. Medical data used to train algorithms often bears traces of racial inequalities in disease and medical treatment, due to historical and socioeconomic factors. That could lead an algorithm searching for statistical patterns in scans to use its guess at a patient’s race as a kind of shortcut, suggesting diagnoses that correlate with racially biased patterns from its training data, not just the visible medical anomalies that radiologists look for. Such a system might give some patients an incorrect diagnosis or a false all-clear. Follow-on experiments showed that the algorithms were not making predictions based on particular patches of anatomy, or visual features that might be associated with race due to social and environmental factors such as body mass index or bone density. Nor did age, sex, or specific diagnoses that are associated with certain demographic groups appear to be functioning as clues. The software could still predict patient race with high accuracy when x-rays were degraded so that they were unreadable to even a trained eye, or blurred to remove fine detail.

A Plant That ‘Cannot Die’ Reveals Its Genetic Secrets – (New York Times – July 31, 2021)

The longest-lived leaves in the plant kingdom can be found only in the harsh, hyperarid desert that crosses the boundary between southern Angola and northern Namibia. The Namib Desert — the world’s oldest with parts receiving less than two inches of precipitation a year — is where Welwitschia calls home. In Afrikaans, the plant is named “tweeblaarkanniedood,” which means “two leaves that cannot die.” The naming is apt: Welwitschia grows only two leaves — and continuously — in a lifetime that can last millenniums. Some of the largest plants are believed to be over 3,000 years old, with two leaves steadily growing since the beginning of the Iron Age, when the Phoenician alphabet was invented and David was crowned King of Israel. By some accounts, Welwitschia is not much to look at. Its two fibrous leaves, buffeted by dry desert winds and fed on by thirsty animals, become shredded and curled over time, giving Welwitschia a distinctly octopus-like look. One 19th-century director of Kew Gardens in London remarked, “it is out of the question the most wonderful plant ever brought to this country and one of the ugliest.” In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers report some of the genetic secrets behind Welwitschia’s unique shape, extreme longevity and profound resilience. Details in the article.

Blood Vessel Coating Could Make Anti-rejection Drugs Unnecessary – (New Atlas – August 10, 2021)

When a patient receives an organ transplant, they have to take drugs in order to keep their immune system from rejecting the organ – and those drugs often have serious side effects. Such medication may one day no longer be necessary, however, thanks to a new blood vessel coating. Ordinarily, the inner walls of blood vessels within organs are naturally coated with special sugars that suppress the body’s immune response. When organs are harvested and stored for transplantation, however, the sugars are damaged and become ineffective. As a result, once such an organ is transplanted, the recipient’s immune system sees it as an unwelcome foreign object. The patient’s white blood cells then proceed to attack the organ, through the walls of its blood vessels. Led by Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu, scientists at Canada’s University of British Columbia have now developed a biocompatible polymer that can be applied to the arteries, veins and capillaries of harvested organs, serving the same protective role as the compromised sugars. Mouse trials have been successful. Kizhakkedathu said that the coating does eventually dissolve, once the crucial introduction period of the organ has passed, and thus it may still be several years before clinical trials on humans begin.

Frog Skin Cells Turned Themselves into Living Machines – (Science News – March 31, 2021)

Using blobs of skin cells from frog embryos, scientists have grown creatures unlike anything else on Earth, a new study reports. These microscopic “living machines” can swim, sweep up debris and heal themselves after a gash. In a way, the bots were self-made. Scientists removed small clumps of skin stem cells from frog embryos, to see what these cells would do on their own. Separated from their usual spots in a growing frog embryo, the cells organized themselves into balls and grew. About three days later, the clusters, called xenobots, began to swim. Normally, hairlike structures called cilia on frog skin repel pathogens and spread mucus around. But on the xenobots, cilia allowed them to motor around. That surprising development “is a great example of life reusing what’s at hand,” says study coauthor Michael Levin, a biologist at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. “This isn’t some sort of effect where evolution has found a new use over hundreds of thousands of years,” Levin says. “This happens in front of your eyes within two or three days.” Xenobots have no nerve cells and no brains. Yet xenobots — each about half a millimeter wide — can swim through very thin tubes and traverse curvy mazes. When put into an arena littered with small particles of iron oxide, the xenobots can sweep the debris into piles. Xenobots can even heal themselves; after being cut, the bots zipper themselves back into their spherical shapes. The creatures can live for about 10 days without food. When fed sugar, xenobots can live longer (though they don’t keep growing). It’s not yet clear what sorts of jobs these xenobots might do, if any. Cleaning up waterways, arteries or other small spaces comes to mind, the researchers say. More broadly, these organisms may hold lessons about how bodies are built, Levin says. However, with the advent of new organisms comes ethical issues, cautions Kobi Leins, a digital ethics researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Levin agrees. The small xenobots are fascinating in their own rights, he says, but they raise bigger questions, and bigger possibilities. “It’s finding a whole galaxy of weird new things.”

What We Think We Know About Metabolism May Be Wrong – (New York Times – August 12, 2021)

Using data from nearly 6,500 people, ranging in age from 8 days to 95 years, researchers discovered that there are four distinct periods of life, as far as metabolism goes. There’s infancy, up until age 1, when calorie burning is at its peak, accelerating until it is 50% above the adult rate. Then, from age 1 to about age 20, metabolism gradually slows by about 3% a year. From age 20 to 60, it holds steady. And, after age 60, it declines by about 0.7% a year. Once the researchers controlled for body size and the amount of muscle people have, they also found no differences between men and women. The findings from the research are likely to reshape the science of human physiology and could also have implications for some medical practices, like determining appropriate drug doses for children and older people. Metabolic research is expensive, and so most published studies have had very few participants. But the new study’s principal investigator, Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University, said that the project’s participating researchers agreed to share their data. There are more than 80 co-authors on the study. By combining efforts from a half dozen labs collected over 40 years, they had sufficient information to ask general questions about changes in metabolism over a lifetime. But the findings’ implications for public health, diet and nutrition are limited for the moment because the study gives “a 30,000-foot view of energy metabolism,” said Dr. Samuel Klein, who was not involved in the study and is director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He added, “I don’t think you can make any new clinical statements” for an individual. When it comes to weight gain, he says, the issue is the same as it has always been: People are eating more calories than they are burning.

New Research Confirms Cold Kills 17 Times as Many as Heat – (Principia Scientific – July 17, 2021)

Swiss journalist Alex Reichmuth reports on research that finds many more people die from cold than from heat. “That’s why global warming may actually be saving lives, on the balance.” One recent study by environmental epidemiologist Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera from the University of Bern and Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the scientific journal “Nature Climate Change” attributed 37% of the heat-related deaths to man-made global warming. But what is usually overlooked is that cold claims many lives, writes Reichmuth.  “In winter, for example, there are always reports of frostbite victims. […] People who freeze to death because of cold are literally just the tip of the iceberg, however. […] In terms of numbers, people who die from the indirect consequences of cold temperatures are much more significant.” Reichmuth also cites a study appearing in Lancet in 2015, which tallied the number of cold deaths versus heat deaths: “Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study by Antonio Gasparrini et al. According to this Lancet study: “Cold caused 17 times more deaths than heat in the 13 countries studied.”

5G Wireless Could Interfere with Weather Forecasts – (Scientific American – August 3, 2021)

Federal agencies are competing with one another over radio waves used to help predict changes in the climate as the sky is increasingly cluttered with noise from billions of smartphones. On one side are NOAA and NASA. They have developed space satellites that passively capture and decode the faint energy signals given off by changes in water vapor, temperatures, rain and wind that determine future weather patterns. They are supported by weather and earth scientists who say the signals are threatened by 5G, the emerging “fifth generation” of wireless communication devices that could create enough electronic noise on radio spectrums to reduce forecasting skills and distort computer models. “These data are absolutely critical,” explained William Mahoney III, associate director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the leaders of the science-related agencies involved in the dispute. He explained the biggest issue involves a spectrum called 24 gigahertz, which weather satellites use to monitor natural microwave signals produced by water vapor at various levels in the atmosphere. The device they use is a microwave radiometer. “It is one of those things that are a gift of nature,” Mahoney said, because the signals from the varying presence of water vapor allows satellites to explore the weather forming in different layers of the atmosphere. “A third of the current forecasting skill comes from this data,” he added, noting that the data captured by orbiting satellites can “make the difference between a blue sky day and a tornado day.” On the other side are wireless communication companies, smartphone manufacturers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates the use of the radio frequency spectrum. The FCC has begun a series of moves to allow companies to “share” spectrums used by federal science-related agencies to accommodate the rapid growth of 5G.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations – (Intercept – February 2, 2014)

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. Among the core self-identified purposes of Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, GCHQ’s (UK equivalent of CIA) previously secret unit, are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).” Article includes screenshots from JTRIG training materials.

Hackers Steal $600m in Major Cryptocurrency Heist – (BBC News – August 11, 2021)

Blockchain site Poly Network said hackers had exploited a vulnerability in its system and taken thousands of digital tokens such as Ether. Poly Network is a decentralized finance – or Defi – provider, which allows users to transfer tokens tied to one blockchain to a different network. Poly Network said a preliminary investigation found a hacker exploited a “vulnerability between contract calls”. It urged various exchanges to block deposits of the coins, after millions of dollars in tokens were transferred to separate cryptocurrency wallets. About $267m of Ether currency has been taken, $252m of Binance coins and roughly $85 million in USDC tokens. In a letter posted on Twitter, it urged the thieves to “establish communication and return the hacked assets”, adding “Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued.” Hours after the hack, the attacker started returning the funds – first in small amounts and then in millions. See: Hackers have returned $342 million to Poly Network after saying the massive crypto heist was done ‘for fun’.  Cryptocurrency systems such as Ether and Binance were developed independently, so have struggled to work in conjunction with each other. Losses from fraud in the Defi sector hit an all-time high of $474m in the first seven months of the year, a report from research company CipherTrace said on Tuesday. But losses from crime in the overall cryptocurrency market dropped sharply to $681m, compared to $1.9bn for the whole of 2020 and $4.5bn in 2019.

Why High-profile Smart Cities Fail, from Sidewalk’s Quayside to Amazon’s HQ2 in Queens – (Fast Company – August 10, 2021)

In 2017, Alphabet/Google was commissioned to develop the Quayside area on Toronto’s waterfront into a totally smart city.  In May 2020, after a long, messy process plagued by controversy over financing, governance, data privacy, and a host of other concerns, Alphabet pulled the plug. The purported cause: the “unprecedented economic uncertainty” wrought by COVID-19. The economic projections could be computed, leading the team to deem the project a bad bet. What was less amenable to computational modeling, however, and more likely to have shaped the project’s outcome, was public engagement and reception. “While the failure is certainly due in part to a changed world,” local Sidewalk critic and public technology expert Bianca Wylie writes, “this explanation brushes under the rug years of sustained public involvement in the project, from supporters and critics alike. From its inception, the project failed to appreciate the extent to which cities remain strongholds of democracy.” Toronto was only the most visible of several smart city projects that had been abandoned, derailed, mothballed, or run out of town in the preceding years. However, the technical means through which that fantasy was to be realized readily lent themselves to appropriation. Gadgets that were once sold as necessary equipment for autonomous vehicles and drone deliveries could be justified as (and have, in fact, long served as) critical infrastructure for public health and security surveillance. Over the next several years we’ll see what becomes of our smart city dreams, how those cameras and cables will be (re)deployed, and what governments will cement or sever relationships with Big Tech contractors.

Underground Sun Conversion Tech Uses Sunlight to Produce Natural Gas – (New Atlas – June 22, 2021)

In many countries, long, dark winters limit the amount of solar energy that can be generated for much of the year. That’s where the Underground Sun Conversion system comes in, as it’s intended to use sunlight to help produce natural gas deep underground. The technology has been patented by energy company RAG Austria. It is now being developed via a European Union project that includes several Austrian and Swiss companies. The procedure begins in the summer, when surplus electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines is used to produce hydrogen. More specifically, that electricity is utilized in an electrolysis process, to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen – along with liquid carbon dioxide – is injected into natural porous sandstone deposits such as depleted natural gas reservoirs, up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft) below the Earth’s surface. There, “in a relatively short time,” naturally occurring microorganisms known as archaea metabolize the hydrogen and CO2 into methane gas and water. The methane is then pumped back up to the surface, where it can be used as the main component of carbon-neutral natural gas during the winter months.

New CO2 Battery Will Make Wind and Solar Dispatchable at an Unprecedentedly Low Price – (Recharge – July 27, 2021)

Italian start-up Energy Dome says that its new long-duration “CO2 battery” system, which only uses off-the-shelf equipment will achieve a levelized cost of storage (LCOS) of $50-60/MWh in the next few years. That would be more than twice as low as the LCOS of lithium-ion batteries — $132-245/MWh, according to Lazard — and almost twice as cheap as current long-duration storage market leader Highview Power’s CRYObattery ($100/MWh, according to a 2019 interview with Recharge). Chief executive Claudio Spadacini said that Energy Dome’s thermodynamic liquid-CO2 system has a round-trip efficiency of 75-80% — higher than any other long-duration energy storage technology currently on the market, including liquid-air, compressed-air and gravity-based solutions. But in an increasingly competitive, fast-moving sector, Energy Dome’s technology might not be the cheapest energy storage on the market once it is commercialized. Highview aims to hit $50/MWh by 2030, while US-based Echogen is promising an LCOS of $50-60/MWh from its supercritical CO2-based system. The CO2 battery utilizes aspects of thermal energy storage, which stores electricity as heat, and compressed-air and liquid-air systems, which reduces the volume of air (by compressing/condensing it) and then generates electricity by allowing it to rapidly expand to its natural state, with the whoosh from that expansion driving a power-generating turbine.

How Pedestrians Are Lighting Homes in Sierra Leone – (BBC News – July 26, 2021)

Energy poverty is a major challenge in Sierra Leone. The West African country has one of the lowest access rates for electricity in the world. According to the UN-backed organization Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), just 26% of the population have access to electricity. In rural areas, only 6% of people have electricity and most people rely on solar lanterns and dry-cell batteries as they cannot connect to the national grid. Even those who are connected to the grid experience frequent power cuts due to low energy capacity and ageing infrastructure. Jeremiah Thoronka says he had “first-hand experience of growing up without energy or electricity,” says Thoronka, who is now 20. “Around 18:00, the entire neighborhood would be in darkness.” When he was 10 years old, he was awarded a scholarship to attend one of the best schools in the region. Thoronka’s solution was to invent a device that would provide people in his community with clean, affordable and reliable energy. When he was 17 and studying at the African Leadership University in Rwanda, Thoronka founded Optim Energy, an innovative start-up that uses kinetic energy – the energy objects have when in motion – to generate clean electricity. He developed a piezoelectric device that harnesses energy from heat, movement and pressure – all which occur naturally in the environment. When the device is placed under a road, in an area with a lot of traffic and passers-by, it absorbs the vibrations they create and uses them to generate an electric current. As nothing is being burned, no emissions are released in the process. Unlike other forms of renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, the device does not rely on certain weather conditions to produce electricity.

Indiana to Test ‘Magment’: a Magnetized Concrete to Charge Electric Vehicles – (Techxplore – July 28, 2021)

The Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University will soon begin testing the viability of “Magment”—a magnetized concrete for use in charging electric vehicles as they drive. Magment was developed by a German company with the same name. Several initiatives have been developed in the past several years aimed at charging electric vehicles as they drive by, providing power from the road or a strip near it. In this new effort, a team of researchers from Purdue University, working with road engineers from INDOT will construct a small stretch of road on or near the Purdue campus this summer. Magment has not yet released many technical details regarding its product but its website shows road (or floor) segments made of magnetized particles mixed with concrete are applied to a substrate. This would differ significantly from the way that roads are normally made—typically, material is poured and dumped into a prepared pathway and then tamped and smoothed. Also unclear is how such a road would be electrified and whether the roadways would be safe for pedestrians. The Magment page claims that their product is able to transfer power from the road to a vehicle with 95% efficiency. (Editor’s note: This is effectively road-as-a-service and we wonder how it would be monetized – possibly in connection with charging electric vehicles a per/mile road tax.)

Robots and Artificial Intelligence to Guide Australia’s First Fully Automated Farm – (ABC Net – June 3, 2021)

Robots and artificial intelligence will replace workers on Australia’s first fully automated farm created at a cost of $20 million. Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga will create the “hands-free farm” on a 1,900-hectare property to demonstrate what robots and artificial intelligence can do without workers in the field. Food Agility chief executive Richard Norton said the reality of “hands-free” farming’ was closer than many people realized. “Full automation is not a distant concept. We already have mines in the Pilbara operated entirely through automation”, he said. The farm will use robotic tractors, harvesters, survey equipment and drones, artificial intelligence that will handle sowing, dressing and harvesting, new sensors to measure plants, soils and animals and carbon management tools to minimize the carbon footprint. The farm is already operated commercially and grows a range of broadacre crops, including wheat, canola, and barley, as well as a vineyard, cattle and sheep. “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a farmer could be sitting in a study in front of a computer driving multiple vehicles”. See also: Fruit-picking robot technology will be efficient and affordable for farmers within years.

Chinese Hackers Disguised Themselves as Iran to Target Israel – (Technology Review – August 10, 2021)

When hackers broke into computers across Israel’s government and tech companies in 2019 and 2020, the first evidence pointed directly at Iran, Israel’s most contentious geopolitical rival. The hackers deployed tools normally associated with Iranians and wrote in the Farsi language. But after further examination of the evidence—and information gathered from other cyber-espionage cases across the Middle East—analysts realized it was not an Iranian operation. Instead, it was conducted by Chinese operatives posing as a team of hackers from Tehran. The hackers successfully targeted the Israeli government, technology companies, and telecommunication firms—and by deploying false flags, it appears, they hoped to mislead analysts into believing the attackers were from Israel’s regional nemesis. New research from the American cybersecurity firm FireEye, working with the Israeli military, exposes the failed deception and describes the techniques the hackers used to in their effort to put the blame elsewhere. On top of multiple technical giveaways, an important clue was the kind of information or victims that the hackers targeted. UNC215 repeatedly attacks the same kinds of targets in the Middle East and Asia, all of them directly related to China’s political and financial interests. The group’s targets overlap with those of other Chinese hacking groups, which do not always coincide with the interests of known Iranian hackers. “You can create significant deception, but ultimately you have to target what interests you,” says John Hultquist, vice president of threat intelligence at FireEye. “That will provide information on who you are because of where your interests are.”

In Warfare, the Future Is Now – (Washington Post – May 27, 2021)

Welcome to the rapidly advancing world of autonomous weapons — the cheap, highly effective systems that are revolutionizing militaries around the world. These new unmanned platforms can make U.S. forces much safer, at far lower cost than aircraft carriers and fighter jets. But beware: They’re being deployed by our potential adversaries faster than the Pentagon can keep up, and they increase the risk of conflict by making it easier and less bloody for the attacker.  Article showcases three particular AI-based systems. Wars of the future may look like video games, as operators control faraway swarms of autonomous systems, but the lethality on the ground will be devastating.

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Records on Alleged Transfer of Bank Financial Data of Every Person in Washington, DC Area around January 6 – (Judicial Watch – July 6, 2021)

Judicial Watch announced that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice for records of communication between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and several financial institutions about the reported transfer of financial transactions made by people in DC, Maryland and Virginia on January 5 and January 6, 2021 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:21-cv-01216)). The FBI refused to confirm or deny any such records exist. However, Bank of America reportedly “actively but secretly engaged in the hunt for extremists in cooperation with the government” and, following the events of January 6, gave the FBI financial records of their customers who fit the following profile: Customers confirmed as transacting, either through bank account debit card or credit card purchases in Washington, D.C. between 1/5 and 1/6; Purchases made for Hotel/Airbnb RSVPs in DC, VA, and MD after 1/6; Any purchase of weapons or at a weapons-related merchant between 1/7 and their upcoming suspected stay in D.C. area around Inauguration Day; Airline related purchases since 1/6. On June 8, 2021, the court overseeing the lawsuit ordered the FBI/DOJ to respond substantively to Judicial Watch’s request within 30 days. On June 17, 2021, the FBI responded to Judicial Watch’s request, stating that the request was “too broad” and asked for “further clarification and/or narrowing” of the request. On June 24, 2021, Judicial Watch responded to this request by sending a news article detailing Bank of America’s handing over transaction records to the FBI of people in the Washington, DC area around the date of January 6. On July 1, 2021, the FBI responded to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request with a letter stating that it accepts Judicial Watch’s narrowing of the search, but that it neither confirms nor denies the existence of these documents.

Are Aliens Already Here? – (Daily Dose – August 1, 2021)

What if we’re the aliens on Earth? While a recently declassified report on alleged UFO sightings by U.S. navy pilots raised more questions than it provided answers, some prominent scientists have been positing a much more interesting theory: that life on Earth could have actually originated on Mars, making us, well, Martians. How? Life forms when planets cool down and liquid water eventually emerges. Evidence is increasingly pointing to the fact that Mars formed and cooled down before Earth, and that it had methane (an ingredient for the birth of life). Add that to the theory that various forms of life travel across the universe through asteroids and other debris, and you have a hypothesis more credible than distant sightings by pilots that could be explained in part by optical illusions. Scientists have recently discovered more than 2,000 stars from where Earth would be visible when it passed in front of the sun. That means that aliens with powerful telescopes on planets near those stars could actually be looking at us without visiting us on UFOs. Hector Socas-Navarro, an astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, says that if there’s life out there, we currently have a good chance of finding it. “The new large telescopes will allow us to scrutinize the chemical composition of many exoplanet atmospheres,” he says. “With those tools, we could find life elsewhere within the next 10 to 20 years.”

Video Shows Texas Tech Firm 3D Printing Room to Help NASA Simulate Life on Mars as It Prepares to Send Astronauts to the Red Planet by 2037 – (Daily Mail – August 11, 2021)

ICON – a developer of advanced construction technologies – was awarded a subcontract by the space agency to print Mars Dune Alpha, designed by world-renowned architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group for the Johnson Space Center. The Austin-based company, known for delivering the first permitted 3D-printed home in the U.S. in 2018, had released stunning video renderings earlier this week showing what the completed modules would look like. Individuals will spend a month living inside 3D-printed habitats that could host the first humans on Mars. There will be three one-year-long programs hosted in Houston, Texas. Four crew members will participate in each while isolated in the habitats. The habitats including living quarters, workstations, medical facilities and a place to grow food. Applications for the program are open and will run through September 17, 2021. From Scientific American, see also: The Ethics of Sending Humans to Mars in light of the mistakes European countries made during the age of colonization.

Robot Arranges 100,000 Dominoes into a Super Mario Bros. Mural in One Day – (The Verge – July 29, 2021)

Engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober has created a robot that can make domino murals at lightning speed, and has shown it off with a video of it arranging 100,000 dominoes into a Super Mario Bros.-themed mural in just over 24 hours. Rober says it would take a team of seven humans a week to do the same thing. The robot, named the “Dominator,” achieves this by putting down 300 dominoes at a time — which are, of course, loaded into it by another robot. Rober says in the video that the current version of the Dominator is the culmination of years of work.  He goes into some detail on how the device actually works, as well as showing some of the failed designs that led to the final product. (Editor’s note: Even if you have zero interest in domino floor murals or in Super Mario Bros., the embedded 16 minute Youtube clip is worth watching to really see just how efficiently – and thoroughly – robotics can replace human workers. We don’t see why any country is necessarily going to find a falling birthrate a disadvantage. Perhaps quite the contrary.)

How the Cofounders of Ephemeral Reinvented Tattoos to Make Them Last Just a Year – (Fast Company – August 10, 2021)

Tattoos were a lifetime commitment – until New York–based startup Ephemeral opened a shop last March offering tattoos that promise to fade away after one year. The tattoo itself is applied by traditional, mechanical needles. What’s different is the ink. Typical tattoo inks clump up in the skin’s dermis, where the pigments resist anti- body proteins that try to break them down. Ephemeral cofounders Brennal Pierre and Vandan Shah (both with PhDs in chemical engineering) developed an ink that’s laced with the same FDA-approved plastics used in pills and medical implants, so it still clumps in the skin but biodegrades as the immune system breaks it down. Once the ink has been broken down, it can pass through the skin, gradually lifting over a period of 9 to 15 months. After five years of development and safety testing—”We’re still the guinea pigs,” Shah jokes—the team found a formula that works (and applied for two patents) and opened a shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s currently booked eight months out, and business is growing 100% month over month.

Wait, Slavery Is OUR “Original Sin”? – (Unz Review – July 26, 2021)

There has been slavery in every period of history, and just about everywhere. The Greeks and Romans had it, the ancient Egyptians had it, it’s all over the Bible, the Chinese and the pre-Columbian Indians had it, the Maoris in New Zealand had it, and the Muslims had it. Tlingit and Haida Indians, who lived in the Pacific Northwest, went raiding for slaves as far south as California. About one quarter of the population were slaves, and the children of slaves were slaves. During potlatches, or huge ceremonial feasts, the Tlingit would sometimes burn property and kill slaves, just to show how rich they were. What were called the Five Civilized Tribes of the American Southeast bought black slaves. In 1860, there were 21,000 Cherokee, and they owned 4,000 slaves. And that was just the Cherokee. Many took their slaves with them when they were forced to move West. Free blacks in the South owned slaves. The fact of having been slaves didn’t stop them from wanting to be slave masters themselves. In 1840, in South Carolina alone, there were 454 free blacks who owned a total of 2,357 slaves. Article includes references to support its statements.

Is the Collapse of the Western World Too Advanced To Be Reversed? – (Paul Craig Roberts – July 14, 2021)

The failure to prosecute George Floyd rioters and looters has created for blacks a form of “squatter’s rights” to loot stores. San Francisco has an even more insane government than Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York. In San Francisco children of the criminal class become District Attorney. San Francisco’s District Attorney is Chesa Boudin, whose parents were members of the violent Weather Underground and were convicted of murdering two police officers and a security guard. Boudin was raised by other members of the violent group. Chesa protects black thieves by treating thefts that don’t exceed $950 as misdemeanors, not subject to meaningful punishment. As long as the blacks add up the prices correctly, they can walk off with the goods. America, once a proud nation, now a crime-ridden, perverted Tower of Babel, is experiencing the simultaneous rise in crime and perversion. Beastiality advocates are the latest “marginalized” group to demand their rights. Zoophiles, as they call themselves, demand to join the LGTBQ+ movement and become a member of Pride. Some years ago I predicted that once homosexuals ceased to be perverts and became instead protected members of a marginalized community, every perversion would become normalized. People who have sex with animals and with children are the only two perversions left, and they are now demanding the same acceptance as homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, and whatever else.

Danish Road Safety Council – (YouTube – June 7, 2021)

There are so many reasons not to wear a helmet when you’re riding: It makes your scalp itch…plays hell with your braids…and the English guy coming at you with a broadsword might not take you seriously. A couple of months ago, the Danish Road Safety Council dropped a pro-bicycle helmet PSA that opens up whole new avenues for Viking humor.

Yann Tiersen – Porz Goret – (YouTube – December 25, 2016)

Tarek Rammo & Kami-Lynne Bruin are Netherlands-based circus artists with, among other things, some serious duo straps skills. This is an elegant, lyrical act set to French composer Yann Tiersen’s equally beautiful “Porz Goret.”
The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
Peter Drucker
A special thanks to: Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Diane Petersen, Gary Sycalik, Steve Ujvarosy and all of you who have sent us interesting links in the past.  If you see something we should know about, do send it along – thanks.
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