Volume 24, Number 21 – 11/1/21

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Volume 24, Number 21 – 11/1/2021


  • New research suggests that the firmness of the Earth’s core ranges from hard to semisoft to liquid metal.
  • For the first time, a pig’s kidney has been transplanted into a human and it was not immediately rejected.
  • Across 17 advanced economies surveyed this spring by the Pew Research Center, a median of 56% believe their political system needs major changes or needs to be completely reformed.
  • License plate readers are rapidly reshaping private security in American neighborhoods, bringing police surveillance tools to the masses.


Movie Premiere, Panel Discussion, Reception


Saturday, November 20
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Planet Lockdown is a big-picture documentary film on the most extraordinary time in human history. Ranging far and wide, with the most knowledgeable and insightful observers of our day, the film interviews world authorities – from America throughout Europe — speaking out on the global situation and what its implications are likely to be.

Featuring more than two dozen leading scientists, statesmen, doctors, protestors, and princes – like financial strategist Catherine Austin Fitts, intellectual property authority Dr. David Martin, former Pfizer chief scientist Dr. Michael Yeadon, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò of the Catholic church, former Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus, and Global Fraud Attorney Reiner Fuellmich, Planet Lockdown is an in-depth, sophisticated assessment of the story with a clear, unvarnished overview of the extraordinary events that have transpired as well as an outline of what is headed our way.

Planet Lockdown is an inspirational tour de force, illuminating the nature of courage and character that it takes to maintain sanity while holding one’s own in a world spinning out of control.

As the uncertainty grows, events surrounding Covid-19 are forcing us all to ask fundamental questions about this life and our purpose. This film paints a motivational picture of the biggest quest in this planet’s history.  It is not to be missed!

To view the trailer, please visit Planet Lockdown Trailer.

Join us on November 20th for the premiere screening of Planet Lockdown. After the screening, there will be a Question and Answer panel discussion with James Patrick, the producer and director of Planet Lockdown, followed by a wine and cheese reception.
Click below for more information about this event and to get tickets.
Click Here for Tickets and More Info
Futurist, John Petersen, discusses with Producer-Director, James Patrick, the making of PLANET LOCKDOWN and the upcoming World Premiere at TransitionTALKS.

Join us in person or via livestream / replay.

Pfizer Vax Attacks Human Blood Creating Clots Under Microscope – (Forbidden Knowledge TV – October 26, 2021)

Dr. Richard Fleming, PhD, MD, JD has tested five vials of the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on fresh human blood samples in-vitro and made a string of nightmare discoveries confirming the findings of the medical community. In the video, he shows red blood cells that he, along with Dr Kevin McCairn and Dr Luc Montagnier, took at 40X and 100X magnification, using light microscopy. Then they look at that same blood with added saline, which simply allows the cells to move more freely. When he adds the Pfizer vaxx to the blood, it loses its red color dramatically, signaling that either the hemoglobin is no longer carrying oxygen or that the hemoglobin was damaged or stripped off of the cell and even more troublingly, the blood cells start to clump together. They repeated this test several times with the same results. These effects occurred within a matter of minutes after exposure to the vaxx. Dr Fleming’s tests did not reveal any graphene oxide or parasites but he was able to identify the nanolipids and an enormous amount of detritus or what he called “crystalline garbage crap” and fibers floating around. He doesn’t understand how this could pass quality control and how the FDA can say in a letter to him that they are “happy” with the end product and that it “meets manufacturing specifications”.

Suppression of Early of CV19 Treatment Calamitous – Dr. Pierre Kory – (Rumble – October 23, 2021)

In this video clip, Greg Hunter interviews Dr. Pierre Kory, one of the top Pulmonary and Critical Care experts on the planet who is a co-founder of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance. There is much in this nearly 44 minute segment, but specifically he talks about the use of Ivermectin as an early and effective Covid-19 treatment while noting how “inconvenient” it is to various political and corporate interests.

America’s Frontline Doctors Agree: Murdered Infants at the Heart of Vaccine Research  – (No More Fake News – October 21, 2021)

An article published at America’s Frontline Doctors’ website is headlined: “Aborted Fetal Cells and Vaccines—A Scandal Much Bigger Than Pfizer’s Whistleblower Ever Imagined.”  I’m (Jon Rapaport) going to quote from the article extensively and then add my comments. From the AFD article: “Recently, Pfizer whistleblower Melissa Strickler, a manufacturing quality auditor for the company, exposed some of their internal emails. She was horrified by the information they contained and spoke with Project Veritas about what she had uncovered – the use of fetal cells from aborted babies to test their COVID-19 vaccine. This is some of what top management wrote:” “’From the perspective of corporate affairs,’ [Pfizer Senior Director of Worldwide Research Vanessa] Gelman wrote in one email, ‘we want to avoid having the information on fetal cells floating out there … The risk of communicating this right now outweighs any potential benefit we could see, particularly with general members of the public who may take this information and use it in ways we may not want out there’.” “The fetal cells referred to in Pfizer’s emails were HEK293T cells, obtained from the kidney cells of a female fetus in 1973. In reality, all the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are made using aborted fetal cells.”

Patents Reveal Medical Devices in the Jab, Injectable Computing System and Smart App Technology – (Forbidden Knowledge – October 16, 2021)

In this video clip, Biotech analyst, Karen Kingston joins Stew Peters and she continues to blow holes in the “safe and effective” narrative surrounding the vaxxines, which are clearly part of an intentional global depopulation plan. She says, “There are four advanced technologies that are part of these injections and the purpose of them is to trace your social network and your activities, as well as deliver different drugs and genetics and immune processes…” Article goes on to cover details of different vaccine patents. Further on, Stew comments, “This platform (meaning the website) is not a doomsday platform of darkness. This might seem hyperbolic. This might seem like fear-mongering but if you’re afraid of something, you’re paralyzed. Fear is a weakness. Being aware, being armed with this information only strengthens you. So this is a platform about winning, because I read the book and I know how it ends. God wins.” See also: It All Makes Sense Once You Realize They Want to Kill Us.

Presentation by Dr. David Martin – (Vimeo – no date)

Dr. David Martin is a patent expert. In this video clip, he is speaking at a rally, so the clip opens with a lot of hoopla. Breeze past the noise and just watch Martin’s presentation. By researching patents, he has uncovered a great deal of information about who paid for and owns the patents around the coronavirus itself. Beyond presenting his follow-the-money detective work, he talks about what this whole situation points to. (Editor’s note: We know Dr. Martin personally; he has a high standard of integrity and his investigative patent work is rigorous.)

Would Robot Umpires Have Prevented the Wilmer Flores Giants-Dodgers Controversy? – (Washington Post – October 15, 2021)

Amid all the talk over the controversial Dodgers-Giants checked swing controversy about what the umpire did, what he may have gotten wrong and how it might’ve changed the course of baseball history, a more fundamental question was mostly left unasked: Do we need an umpire in the first place? It’s not a hypothetical question: Major League Baseball is currently in the middle of a three-year partnership with the independent Atlantic League for just such a robo-umpire, a system called Automatic Balls and Strikes (ABS), that this past season rendered a home-plate umpire moot for his most important job. MLB hasn’t given a timetable for when the system could reach the big leagues, but it’s clearly a trial balloon. Under their ABS system, players are measured for a strike zone before the season, with their info then fed into the machine. Then, during the game, the company’s sensor in the stands behind home plate uses Doppler technology to determine where the ball is thrown, and where it should have been thrown based on the player’s strike zone. The sensor then relays the call to, well, whoever wants to hear it. In the case of the Atlantic League, this is an actual umpire behind the plate, who, in an ironic reversal, is a human who simply does what the machine tells him to do and announces the call. The system is not currently being used for checked swings, but the technology is equally applicable.

2.5 Billion-year-old Traces of Life Locked Inside Primeval Ruby – (Live Science – October 24, 2021)

The planet’s oldest rubies, sparkling red gemstones made up of a transparent red mineral called corundum, are found in Greenland. While searching for rubies in the North Atlantic Craton of southern Greenland, a group of researchers discovered a hidden surprise in one of them: graphite, a pure form of carbon, that may be the remains of ancient microbial life. “The graphite inside this ruby is really unique,” said Chris Yakymchuk, a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. “It’s the first time we’ve seen evidence of ancient life in ruby-bearing rocks.” The team concluded the graphite came from an ancient life-form, after they analyzed the ratio of different versions, or isotopes, of  carbon in the graphite, according to the statement. More than 98% of the carbon on the planet has a mass of 12 atomic mass units, but some carbon atoms are heavier, with a mass of 13 or 14 atomic mass units. “Living matter preferentially consists of the lighter carbon atoms because they take less energy to incorporate into cells,” Yakymchuk said. “Based on the increased amount of carbon-12 in this graphite, we concluded that the carbon atoms were once ancient life, most likely dead microorganisms such as cyanobacteria.” At the time this ancient bacteria likely lived, the planet did not have much oxygen — an indispensable element for complex life — so the only life that could eke out an existence were teeny microbes and algae films. Cyanobacteria are thought to be some of the first life on Earth, and through billions of years of converting sunlight into chemical energy, they gradually produced the oxygen necessary for complex life to eventually evolve.

Mysterious Radio Waves Discovered Coming from Heart of the Milky Way – (MLive – October 13, 2021)

Mysterious radio waves coming from the heart of the Milky Way have astronomers baffled. At this point, they have no idea what’s causing them, according to a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal. A University of Sydney news release said the object was discovered by a team of scientists from across the world, using a telescope in Western Austrialia belonging to the Australian government’s scientific research agency. The unusual signals coming from the direction of the Milky Way’s center — “radio waves that fit no currently understood pattern of variable radio source” — could suggest a new class of stellar object. “The strangest property of this new signal is that it is has a very high polarization. This means its light oscillates in only one direction, but that direction rotates with time,” said Ziteng Wang, lead author of the new study and a PhD student in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. “The brightness of the object also varies dramatically, by a factor of 100, and the signal switches on and off apparently at random. We’ve never seen anything like it,” Wang said.

Solar Storm Confirms Vikings Settled in North America Exactly 1,000 Years Ago – (Guardian – October 20, 2021)

Long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, eight timber-framed buildings covered in sod stood on a terrace above a peat bog and stream at the northern tip of Canada’s island of Newfoundland, evidence that the Vikings had reached the New World first. But precisely when the Vikings journeyed to establish the L’Anse aux Meadows settlement had remained unclear – until now. A new type of dating technique using a long-ago solar storm as a reference point has revealed that the settlement was occupied in AD1021, exactly a millennium ago and 471 years before the first voyage of Columbus. The technique was used on three pieces of wood cut for the settlement, all pointing to the same year. The Viking voyage represents multiple milestones for humankind. The settlement offers the earliest-known evidence of a transatlantic crossing. It also marks the place where the globe was finally encircled by humans, who thousands of years earlier had trekked into North America over a land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska. Ordinary radiocarbon dating – determining the age of organic materials by measuring their content of a particular radioactive isotope of carbon – proved too imprecise to date L’Anse aux Meadows, which was discovered in 1960, although there was a general belief it was the 11th century. The new dating method relies on the fact that solar storms produce a distinctive radiocarbon signal in a tree’s annual growth rings. It was known there was a significant solar storm – a burst of high-energy cosmic rays from the sun – in AD992. In all three pieces of wood examined, from three different trees, 29 growth rings were formed after the one that bore evidence of the solar storm, meaning the wood was cut in 1021, said the University of Groningen archaeologist Margot Kuitems, the study’s first author. It was not local indigenous people who cut the wood because there is evidence of metal blades, which they did not possess. See also this interesting article which explains the dating technique in much greater detail.

New Hidden World Discovered in Earth’s Inner Core – (Live Science – October 27, 2021)

For over half a century, the scientific community thought that Earth’s inner core was a solid ball of compressed iron alloy surrounded by a liquid outer core. But new research suggests that the firmness of the planetary ball ranges from hard to semisoft to liquid metal. In some ways, Earth’s inner core remains as mysterious as it was when Jules Verne published his fanciful “Journey to the Center of the Earth” in 1864. Though scientists have known since the 1950s that our planet isn’t hollow as Verne predicted, the planet’s interior is still unexplored; the immense heat and pressure are simply too great for any human or human-made probe to travel there. For Rhett Butler, a geophysicist at the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, the new study started as a question of mismatched numbers. Butler was looking at how the seismic waves created by large earthquakes in five different locations travel through Earth’s core to the exact opposite side of the globe. But something was off — the quakes’ shear waves, which should have passed through a solid ball of metal, were instead being deflected in certain areas. The numbers surprised Butler. He knew the seismic wave math was correct, which could mean only one thing: Scientists had the structure wrong. So Butler and his co-author reevaluated their base assumption that Earth’s inner core was solid all the way through. They discovered that the waves they observed worked if, rather than being a solid ball, the core had pockets of liquid and “mushy,” semisolid iron near its surface. The range of iron consistencies was particularly striking, according to Butler. “We’ve seen evidence that not only is it not soft everywhere; it’s really hard in some places,” he said. “It’s got hard surfaces right up against melted or mushy iron. So we’re seeing a lot of detail within the inner core that we didn’t see before.” This research could potentially revolutionize our understanding of Earth’s magnetic field.

The Underwater ‘Hotspot’ Feeding La Palma’s Volcano Will Create New Islands – (El Pais – October 6, 2021)

The Canary Islands lie on the African Plate, which “floats” over the Earth’s mantle in an easterly direction, moving at a speed comparable to the growth of fingernails. About 20 million years ago, the plate started to move over the “hotspot” that injected magma and began to create the first islands – now the oldest islands – of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. La Palma and El Hierro are the youngest islands, at just 1.8 million and 1.2 million years old respectively. The hotspot is still beneath them and that is why they have active volcanoes that make them grow and extend in surface area. Volcanologists believe that the magma flow is currently under La Palma. In 2011, it created a submarine volcano close to the island of El Hierro that almost reached the surface. This is how all the islands, which are actually huge volcanoes, originated. From the bottom of the sea, La Palma is about 6,500 meters high – almost as tall as the highest peak of the Andes.

Surgeons Tested a Pig Kidney Transplant in a Human Patient — and for the First Time, It Worked – (CBS News – October 20, 2021)

A pig’s kidney has been transplanted into a human and was not immediately rejected for the first time. The medical advancement, called a “transformative moment” by researchers, could pave the way to help the thousands of people in need of organ transplants every year. On September 25, researchers at New York University performed the transplant, called xenotransplantation, in a two-hour procedure. The kidney, which was obtained from a genetically engineered pig, was placed in a brain dead human who had been placed on a ventilator with the consent of her family. The kidney was attached to the blood vessels in the donor’s upper leg and kept outside the abdomen, where it was covered with a protective shield, for the duration of the 54-hour study. Researchers observed that the body was producing levels of urine and creatinine that were “normal and equivalent to what is seen from a human kidney transplant,” NYU said, and there were no signs of the body rejecting the organ. What allowed this transplant to work was genetically engineering the donor pig so that it didn’t have the enzyme that the human body is designed to immediately attack, said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team.

Chronic Pain Is Surprisingly Treatable — When Patients Focus on the Brain – (Washington Post – October 15, 2021)

One-fifth of American adults — 50 million people — suffer from chronic pain, defined as pain experienced most days or every day during the past six months. The view that chronic pain originates in the brain — that it’s fundamentally a psychological phenomenon, and can be eliminated by altering thoughts, beliefs and feelings rather than by changing something in the body or flooding it with chemicals — has long been controversial and is still largely dismissed as New Age hooey or offensive victim-blaming. But what started out as a hunch by health-care practitioners on the fringe is finally being proven by science. It’s increasingly clear that chronic pain is often “neuroplastic” — generated by the brain in a misbegotten effort to protect us from danger. And that’s good news, because what the brain learns, we are discovering, it can unlearn. The latest evidence comes in a peer-reviewed study just published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry that includes striking results from a randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In the study, 151 subjects with persistent back pain were randomly assigned to one of three groups. A third of them were given no treatment other than their usual care (the control group), a third were given a placebo, and a third were given eight one-hour sessions of a new treatment called “pain reprocessing therapy” (PRT). Developed by Alan Gordon, director of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles, the technique teaches patients to reinterpret pain as a neutral sensation coming from the brain rather than as evidence of a dangerous physical condition. As people come to view their pain as uncomfortable but nonthreatening, their brains rewire the neural pathways that were generating the pain signals, and the pain subsides. Remarkably, 66% of the subjects receiving PRT were nearly or fully pain-free after this purely psychological intervention, compared with just 10 percent of the control group. A whopping 98% had at least some improvement, and these outcomes were largely maintained a year later.

Epigenetics, the Misunderstood Science That Could Shed New Light on Ageing – (Guardian – October 10, 2021)

The case for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans has crumbled. One well documented finding alone seems to present a towering obstacle to it: except in very rare genetic disorders, all epigenetic marks are erased from the genetic material of a human egg and sperm soon after their nuclei fuse during fertilization. Researchers have come to think of the epigenome less as the language in which the environment commands the genes, and more as a way in which the genes adjust themselves to respond better to an unpredictable environment. “Epigenetics is often presented as being in opposition to genetics, but actually the two things are intertwined,” says Jonathan Mill, an epigeneticist at the University of Exeter. Researchers can generate genome-wide maps of DNA methylation, the most studied type of epigenetic modification, and use these to track biological ageing, (not the same as chronological ageing). The first such “epigenetic clocks” were established for blood, and showed strong associations with other measures of blood ageing such as blood pressure and lipid levels. But the epigenetic signature of ageing is different in different tissues, so these couldn’t tell you much about, say, brain or liver. The past five years have seen the description of many more tissue-specific epigenetic clocks. James Flanagan of Imperial College London is among those who are exploiting this aspect of the epigenome to try to understand how lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol and obesity shape cancer risk. Indeed, cancer is the area where there is most excitement in terms of the clinical application of epigenetics. Meanwhile, the US-based company Grail – which has just been bought, controversially, by DNA sequencing giant Illumina – has come up with a test for more than 50 cancers that detects altered methylation patterns in DNA circulating freely in the blood. (Editor’s note:  We recommend this article which does a good job of laying out what’s new in epigenetic research over the last decade and discussing where the research is trending now.)

A Half-mile Installation Just Took 20,000 Pounds of Plastic out of the Pacific – Proof That Ocean Garbage Can Be Cleaned – (Yahoo News – October 15, 2021)

It’s been nearly a decade since Boyan Slat announced at age 18 that he had a plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Slat, now 27, is a Dutch inventor and the founder of the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that aims to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040. That goal has often seemed unattainable. But over the summer, the organization pinned its hopes on a new device, which it nicknamed Jenny. The installation is essentially an artificial floating coastline that catches plastic in its fold like a giant arm, then funnels the garbage into a woven funnel-shaped net. Two vessels tow it through the water at about 1.5 knots (slower than normal walking speed), and the ocean current pushes floating garbage toward the giant net. In early August, the team launched Jenny in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a trash-filled vortex between Hawaii and California. The garbage patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world, encompassing more than 1.8 trillion pieces, according to the Ocean Cleanup’s estimates. Last week, Jenny faced its final test as the organization sought to determine whether it could bring large amounts of plastic to shore without breaking or malfunctioning. The Ocean Cleanup said the device hauled 9,000 kilograms, or nearly 20,000 pounds, of trash out of the Pacific Ocean – proof that the garbage patch could eventually be cleaned up. Article explains how the device works. Once it’s brought to shore, the plastic gets recycled. For now, the Ocean Cleanup is using the plastic to make $200 pairs of sunglasses, funneling the proceeds back into the cleanup efforts. Eventually, the organization hopes to partner with consumer brands to make more recycled products. Slat estimated that the team would need about 10 Jennys to clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

More Than 120,000 US Sites Feared to Handle Harmful PFAS ‘Forever’ Chemicals – (Guardian – October 17, 2021)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 120,000 locations around the US where people may be exposed to a class of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with various cancers and other health problems that is a frightening tally four times larger than previously reported. The list of facilities makes it clear that virtually no part of America appears free from the potential risk of air and water contamination with the chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Colorado tops the EPA list with an estimated 21,400 facilities, followed by California’s 13,000 sites and Oklahoma with just under 12,000. The facilities on the list represent dozens of industrial sectors, including oil and gas work, mining, chemical manufacturing, plastics, waste management and landfill operations. Airports, fire training facilities and some military-related sites are also included. People living near such facilities “are certain to be exposed, some at very high levels” to PFAS chemicals, said David Brown, a public health toxicologist and former director of environmental epidemiology at the Connecticut department of health. Brown said he suspects there are far more sites than even those on the EPA list, posing long-term health risks for unsuspecting people who live near them. “Once it’s in the environment it almost never breaks down,” Brown said of PFAS. “This is such a potent compound in terms of its toxicity and it tends to bioaccumulate … This is one of the compounds that persists forever.” In July, a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility presented evidence that oil and gas companies have been using PFAS, or substances that can degrade into PFAS, in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a technique used to extract natural gas or oil. The EPA said in 2019 that it was compiling data to create a map of “known or potential PFAS contamination sources” to help “assess environmental trends in PFAS concentrations” and aid local authorities in oversight. But no such map has yet been issued publicly.

Three Studies Reveal Natural Phenomena, Not Humans, Behind Global Warming – (Natural News – October 26, 2021)

Three studies have found that natural phenomena, not human activity, is to blame for global warming. The papers published from June through October revealed that occurrences in the atmosphere and in the ocean trigger increased temperatures. Humanity’s role in global warming appears to be minimal – and even causes a drop in temperatures, the studies noted. In June, Geophysical Research Letters published a study pointing to Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) as the reason for global warming. “EEI is a relatively small difference between global mean solar radiation absorbed and thermal infrared radiation emitted to space,” the study explained. The study pointed to another natural phenomenon called the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), which is “a large-scale climate pattern associated with substantial shifts in sea-surface temperatures and clouds.” According to the authors, the PDO shifted into a warm phase from around 2014 until 2020. Lead study author Norman Loeb said: “The two very independent ways of looking at changes in Earth’s energy imbalance are in really, really good agreement. They’re both showing this very large tend, which gives us a lot of confidence that what we’re seeing is a real phenomenon and not just an instrumental artifact.” Another study by two researchers from Germany also disproved the alleged role of humans in global warming. Earlier this month, a study published in Atmosphere argued that anthropogenic emissions might actually cause global temperatures to drop. The study authors referenced research by Loeb and his colleagues, which cited “a reduction in low cloud cover” for higher temperatures.

Plug-in Cars Are the Future. The Grid Isn’t Ready. – (Washington Post – October 13, 2021)

The Biden administration wants to see electric vehicles account for half of all sales by 2030, and New York state has enacted a ban on the sale of internal combustion cars and trucks starting in 2035. But making America’s cars go electric is no longer primarily a story about building the cars. Against this ambitious backdrop, America’s electric grid will be sorely challenged by the need to deliver clean power to those cars. Today, though, it barely functions in times of ordinary stress, and fails altogether too often for comfort, as widespread blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere have shown. By 2030, according to one study, the nation will need to invest as much as $125 billion in the grid to allow it to handle electric vehicles. The current infrastructure bill before Congress puts about $5 billion toward transmission line construction and upgrades. By 2050, the State of New York projects, electric cars, trucks and buses will use 14% of the state’s total output. That’s equivalent to half of all the electricity used in New York City in 2019 — so it’s like powering a new city of four million people. Overall demand could grow by as much as 50%. the country’s 20th-century point-to-point grid, delivering energy over long distances, will not be adequate to serve this century’s needs. “The grid of the future isn’t going to be a grid at all,” said Shuli Goodman, executive director of a Linux Foundation project called LF Energy. “It will be more like the Internet,” she said, with power generation happening all over the place. “Something,” she said, “like a forest.” Officials have been depending on wind to be a big part of the solution. But in New York and nationally, wind will have trouble meeting the expectations. The rest of the article looks at the various issues around increasing the amount of wind-generated power. As with the rest of the article, the emphasis is on New York state but expands to the whole US.

I Found My Stolen Honda Civic Using a Bluetooth Tracker. It’s the Latest Controversial Weapon Against Theft. – (Washington Post – October 27, 2021)

In April of this year, Apple released the $29 AirTag, bringing an even more effective Bluetooth tracking technology than Tile to a much wider audience. Similar products from Samsung and smaller brands such as Chipolo are testing the limits of how far people will go to get back their stolen property and what they consider justice. “The technology has unintended consequences. It basically gives the owner the ability to become a mini surveillance operation,” said Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law professor at the American University Washington College of Law. The gadgets are the latest addition to a booming “do it yourself” security market that can generate as much fear as safety. WiFi-connected cameras such as Nest and Ring record property crimes as they happen, and home security systems like SimpliSafe make it easy to set up motion sensors and alarms. Hyperlocal apps such as Nextdoor and Neighbors let anyone broadcast the details of criminal incidents, perhaps hoping it will net clues. But tiny Bluetooth trackers can offer something bigger: a real chance at getting back what was taken, immediately. Trackers bring people closer to the humans who actually take their things, far more than cameras ever did. That means people aren’t just having to consider how much danger they’re willing to put themselves in, but how far they will go for justice. Some victims might seek out revenge, even violence. Others may worry that calling police could escalate a situation, or find themselves having to decide whether to press charges and send someone to jail. “Everybody’s had something like this stolen from them and wished they had gotten it back, had some agency in that scenario, had something they could do,” said Dan Guido, a technology CEO in Brooklyn who got his electric scooter back using AirTags. “It feels empowering and feels accessible, that’s what’s attractive about it.” Apple has been careful to never say AirTags can be used to recover stolen property. The marketing for the device is light and wholesome, focusing on situations like lost keys between sofa cushions. “Apple does not advertise these products as a way of tracking down stolen items. It is not the usage Apple has in mind — they don’t want to encourage people to do it,” said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights organization. “The problem is it’s impossible to build a tool that is designed to track down stolen items without also building the perfect tool for stalking.”

An Apparent Ransomware Hack Puts the NRA in a Bind – (Wired – October 29, 2021)

Recently the Russian ransomware group Grief posted a sample of data that it (very plausibly) claimed was stolen from the National Rifle Association. Dealing with ransomware is a pain under any circumstances. But Grief presents even more complications, because the group is connected to the notorious Evil Corp gang, which has been subject to US Treasury sanctions since December 2019. Even if you decide to pay Grief off, you could face serious penalties. The US government has been increasingly aggressive about imposing sanctions on cybercriminal groups, and in recent months the White House has hinted that other ransomware actors may soon be blacklisted. And as these efforts ramp up, they’re shaping the approaches of ransomware actors and victims alike. Ransomware experts note that sanctions have not stopped Evil Corp from attacking targets and getting paid. But they do seem to have impacted the group’s operations, forcing the hackers to factor sanctions into how they present themselves and what they communicate to victims. “Grief has been operating slowly and steadily for some time,” says Brett Callow, a threat analyst at antivirus company Emsisoft. “What we’ve seen is Evil Corp cycling through various brands in order to either trick companies into paying, not realizing that they’re dealing with a sanctioned entity, or perhaps to provide them with plausible deniability.”

Citizens in Advanced Economies Want Significant Changes to Their Political Systems – (Pew Research Center – October 21, 2021)

As citizens around the world continue to grapple with a global pandemic and the changes it has brought to their everyday lives, many are also expressing a desire for political change. Across 17 advanced economies surveyed this spring by Pew Research Center, a median of 56% believe their political system needs major changes or needs to be completely reformed. Roughly two-thirds or more hold this view in Italy, Spain, the United States, South Korea, Greece, France, Belgium and Japan.  But while many want change, many are also skeptical about the prospects for change. In eight of the 17 publics, roughly half or more of those polled say the political system needs major changes or a complete overhaul and say they have little or no confidence the system can be changed effectively. There is also a strong desire for economic reform in many of the publics surveyed. In Italy, Spain and Greece – three countries where the economic mood has been mostly dismal for over a decade – at least eight-in-ten of those polled believe their economic systems need major changes or a complete overhaul. About three-quarters in South Korea and two-thirds in the U.S. and France share this sentiment. In comparison, there is less demand for changes to health care systems. But the U.S. and Greece are clear outliers: About three-quarters of Americans and Greeks say their health care system needs major changes or needs to be completely reformed.

License Plate Scanners Were Supposed to Bring Peace of Mind. Instead They Tore the Neighborhood Apart. – (Washington Post – October 23, 2021)

License plate readers are rapidly reshaping private security in American neighborhoods, bringing police surveillance tools to the masses with an automated watchdog that records 24 hours a day. With “safety-as-a-service” packages starting at $2,500 per camera a year, the scanners are part of a growing wave of easy-to-use surveillance systems promoted for their crime-fighting powers in a country where property crime rates are at all-time lows. Once found mostly in gated communities, the systems have — with help from aggressive marketing efforts — spread to cover practically everywhere anyone chooses to live in the United States. Flock Safety, the industry leader, says its systems have been installed in 1,400 cities across 40 states and now capture data from more than a billion cars and trucks every month. “This is not just for million-dollar homes,” Flock’s founder, Garrett Langley, said. “This is America at its core.” The explosion of such systems, however, has created a new point of friction between crime-fearing residents and their privacy-minded neighbors, who note that by cataloguing time-stamped photos of every car’s comings and goings, the systems can generate a revealing portrait of drivers’ daily routines — residents and strangers, alike. In Paradise Hills, a neighborhood of 185 homes in the Denver suburbs, a bitter debate over the system’s risks sparked fury in the community’s meetings and on its sidewalks, including a shouting match between a former board member and a camera-skeptical couple who had been walking their dog past his yard. Both groups saw the debate as a microcosm of a polarized America, where everyone was angry and afraid all the time, and where no issue could be resolved without a fight. Flock deletes the footage every 30 days by default and encourages customers to search only when investigating crime. But the company otherwise lets customers set their own rules: In some neighborhoods, all the homeowners can access the images for themselves. Sixteen states have laws governing license plate readers, but most of them restrict government, not private, use. Even those efforts have come up short. In Vermont, one out of 10 license plate database searches by police broke the rules on how the system could be used, a 2018 state audit found. (Editor’s note: We recommend this article.)

Alien Signals from Proxima Centauri? What a Year of Detective Work Reveals – (Inverse – October 26, 2021)

On April 29, 2019, an Australian telescope detected a radio signal that appeared to be coming from the closest star to our Solar System, Proxima Centauri. The signal’s features looked a lot like a signal coming from deep space, perhaps produced by an alien civilization. Following its discovery, a team at Breakthrough Listen, a private effort that is part of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) research field, went on a yearlong journey to find out where the signal was coming from. Although the signal turned out to be interference coming from Earth, the detective work involved led to the development of better techniques involved in the search for alien life. Since it was established in 2016, Breakthrough Listen has tuned in to the cosmos to detect any type of technological signal that may be coming from an alien civilization. This signal, dubbed BLC1 for Breakthrough Listen candidate 1, was the first time a detection sparked a detailed search for its source because of its intriguing characteristics that match up with a possible alien technosignature. Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center, explains that the most likely source of narrowband radio signals is always terrestrial interference. “We know that technology ubiquitously produces this kind of emission because our own technology does so,” said Siemion. “Usually we are able to confirm that they are interference in minutes or hours, but BLC1 was much more confounding.”

How a Nuclear Bomb Could Save Earth from a Stealthy Asteroid – (New York Times – October 18, 2021)

Unlike some melodramatic Hollywood blockbusters of the 1990s, real-life scientists are largely unconcerned by any planet-sterilizing behemoths. The orbits of almost every asteroid two-thirds of a mile across or larger have been precisely mapped out. “We know they’re not going to be a threat anytime soon,” said Megan Bruck Syal, a planetary defense researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Instead, their focus is on relatively small asteroids, those about the size of football stadiums, notable for their abundance as well as their ability to evade asteroid-hunting observatories. “Those are the ones that we tend to worry more about because they could come out of nowhere,” Dr. Bruck Syal said. Such a diminutive asteroid may not sound like much of a danger compared to the 6.2-mile colossus that slammed into Earth 66 million years ago with apocalyptic results. But a meteor that exploded over Siberia back in 1908 was only about 200 feet across — and the blast’s shock wave leveled 800 square miles of forest. “That’s the size of the whole Washington D.C. metro area,” said Dr. Bruck Syal. Using high-fidelity simulations, scientists reported in a study published earlier this month that a stealthy asteroid as long as 330 feet could be annihilated by a one-megaton nuclear device, with 99.9% of its mass being blasted out of Earth’s way, if the asteroid is attacked at least two months before impact. Ideally, asteroids targeting our blue marble would be identified decades ahead of time. If so, the hope is that an uncrewed spacecraft could slam into them with sufficient momentum to nudge them out of Earth’s way. This strategy, known as deflection, is getting its first test next year with NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) space mission. But an asteroid even several years away from Earth may not be suitable for deflection. At that stage, it may be too late to sufficiently alter its trajectory with a nudge. And if any deflection attempt proves overzealous, the asteroid may break up into smaller but still portly pieces that could hit Earth in multiple spots. Using a nuclear blast to obliterate an interplanetary interloper “will always be the last resort,” said Patrick Michel, an asteroid expert at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur who was not involved in the study. But if we are short on time, it may be our only hope.

Astronomers Found a Planet That Survived Its Star’s Death – (New York Times – October 13, 2021)

When our sun enters its death throes in about five billion years, it will incinerate our planet and then dramatically collapse into a dead ember known as a white dwarf. But the fate of more distant planets, such as Jupiter or Saturn, is less clear. On Wednesday in the journal Nature, astronomers reported observing a tantalizing preview of our solar system’s afterlife: a Jupiter-size planet orbiting a white dwarf some 6,500 light years from here. Known as MOA-2010-BLG-477Lb, the planet occupies a comparable orbit to Jupiter. The discovery not only offers a glimpse into our cosmic future, it raises the possibility that any life on “survivor” worlds may endure the deaths of their stars. “While there is quite a lot of evidence of rocky planetary debris orbiting around white dwarfs, we have very few data points of intact planets,” said Joshua Blackman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tasmania and lead author of the study. Astronomers using a different method last year reported spotting another intact Jupiter-like planet, known as WD 1856 b, closely orbiting a white dwarf. But MOA-2010-BLG-477Lb circles its hidden stellar husk at nearly three times the distance between Earth and the sun, making it the first known planet to occupy a Jupiter-like orbit around a white dwarf. WD 1856 b, by contrast, orbits its white dwarf every 1.4 days, suggesting that it migrated into its current position after the death of its star, though the exact mechanics of that journey are still being hashed out. The new discoveries can yield insights about the search for extraterrestrial life and the potential habitability of white dwarf systems. Lisa Kaltenegger, the director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, has suggested that some life-bearing star systems might even experience what she calls a “second genesis” in which new organisms emerge in the reconfigured fallout of a white dwarf system. “I find the study exciting because it adds to the growing evidence that planets can survive the death of their star, which leads to intriguing questions about the future of the cosmos,” said Dr. Kaltenegger, who was part of the team that discovered WD 1856 b. “If planets can survive the death of their stars, can life as well?”

Hubble Telescope Spots Doomed Star That Is the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of Supernovas – (Space – October 25, 2021)

A new supernova captured by the Hubble Space Telescope may act as a decoder for other star explosions. Given that the telescope caught the star so early in its “cataclysmic demise,” as NASA called it, astronomers say the research may eventually help them formulate an early warning system for other stars that might be about to explode. Scientists are dubbing the event, known as SN 2020fqv, as the “Rosetta Stone of supernovas.” That’s a reference to the Rosetta Stone, which has the same text written in three different scripts, allowing historians to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. The actual stone, dating from about 2,200 years ago, was found by accident in 1799 by soldiers in Napoleon’s army campaigning in Egypt; you can see it today in the British Museum in London. “This is the first time we’ve been able to verify the mass with three different methods for one supernova, and all of them are consistent,” said lead author Samaporn Tinyanont, a graduate student in astronomy at California Institute of Technology. “Now we can push forward using these different methods and combining them, because there are a lot of other supernovas where we have masses from one method but not another.” The Hubble Telescope allowed astronomers to look at the material close by the star, known as circumstellar material, only a few hours after the explosion occurred. Because the material clung onto the star until the last year of its life, astronomers say studying this stuff allows further research into what the star was doing before it died. “We rarely get to examine this very close-in circumstellar material since it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually don’t start observing a supernova until at least a few days after the explosion,” Tinyanont said. “For this supernova, we were able to make ultra-rapid observations with Hubble, giving unprecedented coverage of the region right next to the star that exploded.”

Meet the People Getting Paid $10,000 for Moving to West Virginia – (Washington Post – October 15, 2021)

West Virginia wants you to come live in the Mountain State and see if you want to stay forever. That’s the mission of Ascend West Virginia, a program that pays full-time remote workers $10,000 to move to the state. They will also get $2,500 worth of outdoor recreation experiences and access to a co-working space, along with other perks. If they stay a second year, they get $2,000 more. When West Virginia’s program was announced in April, about 7,500 people from 74 countries applied to move to Morgantown, which is home to West Virginia University. According to the Ascend website, the city has 1,400 climbing routes, 200 mountain-bike trails, 100 paddling runs and access to seven different ski areas. In the end, 50 people were chosen, and so far about 10 have made the move. Brad Smith, West Virginia native executive chairman of Intuit, donated $25 million to fund Ascend West Virginia and the university’s Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative. He believes the state has been challenged by a negative reputation for years, hindering it from becoming a major tourism destination or home for remote workers. Programs such as Ascend are not unique to West Virginia. Tulsa Remote was a pioneer in the concept, offering remote workers and entrepreneurs $10,000 to move there for a year. More opportunities exist in Alabama, Michigan, Vermont and Arkansas, where they’ll even throw in a bicycle.

Sanity – (Charles Eisenstein – October 18, 2021)

Here is Charles Eisenstein, a very thoughtful writer, commenting on the reasons most of us choose to conform generally to the norms of our society and offering his definition of insanity.

Revealed: Secret US Government Psychic Research Programs – (Daily Guardian – October 22, 2021)

Much of the research done under the secret CIA research program codenamed Gateway/Stargate was related to the work of Robert Monroe, the founder and director of the Monroe Institute in Virginia. Several members of the US Armed Forces were sent to the Monroe Institute’s secluded facilities to undergo the tests and experimental processes designed to achieve paranormal insights by raising the level of consciousness according to methods derived from Carl Jung’s psycho-analytical therapies and more broadly from yoga, TM and other “eastern” meditational techniques. Among the major conclusions drawn from that research, the mapping of cerebral functions has uncovered the virtually infinite powers of the mind to visualize all things beyond space and time and shown that the “brain capital” (which is actually outside the brain) survives death as it is located in non-local, entangled space-timelessness whereas “everything is omnipresent” and time is only a measurement for the motion of energy. In that light the brain is a receptor that decodes and interprets signals or algorithms originating in universal consciousness and produces the appearances that our senses make us regard as Reality. The salience of the Gateway report lies in the fact that it does not simply enunciate theories. It documents a scientifically tested method to reach elevated states of out-of-body “non-local consciousness”. The means used under the Gateway program were specific sounds beamed to human subjects in isolation chambers through earphones at a different frequency for each ear, which leads the brain to syntonize them to produce Delta waves (4 Hertz), denoting deep meditational states. Article further explains this process.

AI Will Enslave Us – (Dilbert – October 25, 2021)

Here’s Dilbert offering Scott Adams’ commentary on AI – served with a little chuckle for sweetener.

The World’s 14 Most Awe-Inspiring Canopy Walks – (Fodors – October 4, 2021)

One of the best ways to experience nature and the magic of trees is by climbing high up into the canopy of a forest. You not only get to have a bit of an adventure but can also enjoy views and see sights that you just can’t find on the ground. Whether they offer close access to treetops, wildlife sightings, expansive views beyond the forest, or incredible sunsets, these are some of the world’s most amazing canopy walks. These canopy walks promise a bird’s-eye-view of some of the most beautiful forests and jungles on earth when you choose to walk amongst the trees.
Reality is not a given.  — Orland Bishop
A special thanks to: Come Carpentier, Ken Dabkowski, Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Diane Petersen, Patty Ray, 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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Quartet – From Logic and Experience to Intuition

News Alert, November 7, 2021