Volume 24, Number 22 – 11/15/21

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Volume 24, Number 22 – 11/15/2021


  • Earth’s first continents emerged from the ocean between 3.3 billion and 3.2 billion years ago.
  • A new drug has reversed paralysis in mice with spinal cord injury.
  • The average return rate for things bought online is somewhere between 15% and 30%.
  • A group of astronomers think they may have discovered a lost fragment of the moon.


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.

8 Top Leaders in Field of Medicine Say Don’t Trust Science – (Principia Scientific – November 8, 2021)

Here are direct quotations from 8 top leaders in the field of medicine who collectively note that much of the “science” driving current medical practice may not be valid largely due to having been biased by the pharmaceutical industry. For example: Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, wrote that “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” taken from this webpage on a U.S. National Institute of Health website. Another example: Dr. Fiona Godlee, 16 years as editor-in-chief of The BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal) – “It’s estimated that 70% of the retractions are based on some form of scientific misconduct. I think we have to call it what it is. It is the corruption of the scientific process.”  Taken from this webpage on the website of the CBC (Canadian Broadcast System)

Elements of Refusal – (Charles Eisenstein – November 11, 2021)

Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, MD, has recently published a long, four-part article entitled Needle Points, in which he examines vaccine skepticism in America. The author, who got vaccinated “early and voluntarily,” is solidly pro-vaccine, yet he displays what is in these divisive times an unusual willingness to see the issue from the perspective of those with whom he disagrees. I (Eisenstein) don’t want to default to critique in responding to the article, which I appreciate for its peaceful intentions, diligent historical research, lucid style, and willingness to bridge a steep ideological divide. Instead I will meet in good will its implicit invitation into dialog around the core question enunciated in its tagline: “Why so many are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine, and what we can do about it.” Dr. Doidge devotes a long section of the essay to cataloging the crimes and cover-ups that pharmaceutical companies have perpetrated over the last several decades. He also describes the “regulatory capture” of agencies like the FDA, CDC, and NIH, whose officials often rotate into lucrative positions in the very companies they had formerly regulated. As a result, he acknowledges, public trust in the pharmaceutical industry is extremely low. But as Doidge’s tagline suggests, an assumption runs quietly through Needle Points that Covid vaccines are by and large safe, necessary, and generally beneficial for personal and public health. Therefore, opposition to them must be explained in psychological or sociological terms, because we all know that, scientifically speaking, the opposition is baseless. Eisenstein’s essay quietly and lucidly navigates the difficult waters implicit in this matter. (Editor’s note: If you have time for only one article in this issue of FuturEdition, we recommend this one.)

Earth’s 1st Continents Arose Hundreds of Millions of Years Earlier Than Formerly Thought – (Live Science – November 8, 2021)

Earth’s first continents, known as the cratons, emerged from the ocean between 3.3 billion and 3.2 billion years ago, a new study hints. This pushes back previous estimates of when the cratons first rose from the water, as various studies suggested that large-scale craton emergence took place roughly 2.5 billion years ago. “There was no uncertainty that continents were partly sticking out of water as early as 3.4 billion years ago,” said Ilya Bindeman, a professor of geology at the University of Oregon, who was not involved in the new study. That’s because scientists have found sedimentary rocks — which form from the broken-up bits of other rocks that have undergone erosion and weathering — that date back to that era. Such sedimentary rocks could only form once land broke through the surface of early Earth’s oceans. The study authors suggest that entire cratons, not just small patches of land, emerged from the oceans 3.3 billion years ago, even though the planet then lacked the “modern-style plate tectonics” needed to drive those floating bits of crust upward, he said. Article explains the research methodology.

Solving the Krill Paradox: Researchers Find Whales Eat (and Poop) Far More Than Previously Thought – (SciTech Daily – November 4, 2021)

From 1910 to 1970, humans killed an estimated 1.5 million baleen whales in the frigid water encircling Antarctica. They were hunted for their blubber, baleen – the filtering fringe they have in place of teeth – and meat. One might assume that from the perspective of krill – the tiny shrimp-like creatures the whales feast on – this would be a boon. But new research from a collaboration led by Stanford University’s Goldbogen Lab suggests the opposite: that the decline of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean has led to a decline of krill. This paradoxical result is a sign of just how much the precipitous decline of the large marine mammals has negatively impacted the health and productivity of ocean ecosystems, the researchers say. The researchers came to their troubling conclusion after asking a very fundamental question: How much do whales eat? Article provides details of the hi-tech data capture processes. Analysis of the data revealed that whales in the Southern Ocean eat about twice as much krill as previous estimates suggested, and that krill-feeding blue and humpback whales off the coast of California eat two to three times as much as previously thought. The Southern Ocean is among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, largely due to the abundance of microscopic algae, called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are a vital food source for krill, small fish, and crustaceans – which are, in turn, consumed by larger animals, including whales, birds and other fish. But whales also help sustain phytoplankton. Through eating krill and then defecating, whales release iron locked within krill back into the water, making that iron available to phytoplankton, which need it to survive. “Without phytoplankton, you’re never going to get all the animals and everything that we care so much about,” said Max Czapanskiy, a graduate student in the Goldbogen lab and co-author of the paper. “When whales were very numerous, they had this incredible role in bolstering the ecosystem.” By trying to pin down how much whales eat, this work has cast doubt upon what people thought whales needed to survive, and how the activities of whales and humans affect ocean ecosystems.“Just this idea that if you remove large whales, there’s actually less productivity and potentially less krill and fish is amazing,” said Goldbogen. “It’s a reminder that these ecosystems are complex, highly intricate, and we need to do more to fully understand them.” See also this fascinating article: Why Whale Poop Matters More Than You Might Think.

New Blood Test Can Spot More Than 50 Types of Cancer – Many Hard to Detect Early – (CBS News – November 2, 2021)

A team at a Menlo Park, California-based company called GRAIL has developed a blood test, called Galleri. It can catch hard-to-detect, aggressive and often deadly cancers like pancreatic, ovarian and esophageal. The blood test tracks the DNA a cancer cell sheds. Two tubes of blood are drawn and sent to GRAIL’s lab for analysis. The results are sent back to the health care provider in 10 business days. “We can find and sequence these tiny bits of tumor-derived DNA in the blood and, based on the patterns we see, we can reveal if there is a signal for cancer present. We can predict with very high accuracy where in the body this cancer signal is coming from,” said Dr. Julia Feygin, who works at GRAIL. An interventional study that included Mayo Clinic with 6,600 participants returned 29 signals that were followed by a cancer diagnosis. Another study found a less than 1% false positive rate. There are some caveats on who can get the test. “It’s intended to be used for people at an elevated risk for cancer. This can be something as simple as age,” Feygin said. Right now, the test is by prescription-only. Insurance doesn’t cover it. You would pay out of pocket with a current cost of $949.

New Drug Reversed Paralysis in Mice with Spinal Cord Injury – (Science Alert – November 12, 2021)

Scientists have developed a new form of drug that promotes the regeneration of cells and reversed paralysis in mice with spinal injuries, allowing them to walk again within four weeks of treatment. The research was published in the journal Science, and the team of Northwestern University scientists behind it hope to approach the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as early as next year to propose human trials according to Northwestern’s Samuel Stupp, who led the study. Other cutting-edge research in the field includes experimental treatments using stem cells to make new neurons (nerve cells), gene therapy that tells the body to produce certain proteins to aid nerve repair, or injecting proteins. Stupp’s team, on the other hand, used nanofibers to mimic the architecture of the extracellular matrix – a naturally occurring network of molecules surrounding tissue that is responsible for supporting cells. Each fiber is about 10,000 times narrower than a human hair, and they are made up of hundreds of thousands of bioactive molecules called peptides that transmit signals to promote nerve regeneration. The therapy was injected as a gel into tissue surrounding the spinal cords of lab mice 24 hours after an incision was made in their spines. The team decided to wait a day because humans who receive devastating spinal injuries from car accidents, gunshots and so on also experience delays in getting treatment. Four weeks later, mice who received the treatment regained their ability to walk almost as well as before the injury. Those left untreated did not. The gel developed by the scientists is the first of its kind, and could usher in a new generation of medicines known as “supramolecular drugs,” because the therapy is an assembly of many molecules rather than a single molecule, said Stupp. Article explains the regenerative process in detail.

How Shared Neural Codes Help Us Recognize Familiar Faces – (Dartmouth College – November 5, 2021)

The ability to recognize familiar faces is fundamental to social interaction, as visual information activates social and personal knowledge about a person who is familiar. But how individuals in social groups process this information in their brains has long been a question. Distinct information about familiar faces is stored in a neural code that is shared across brains, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Within visual processing areas, we found that information about personally familiar and visually familiar faces is shared across the brains of people who have the same friends and acquaintances,” says first author Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello, Guarini, a postdoctoral neuroscience scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted this research as a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences. “We were surprised to find that the shared information about personally familiar faces also extends to areas that are non-visual and important for social processing, suggesting that there is shared social information across brains.”

Man Melts Bottle Caps in a Pizza Oven to Make Skateboards – (You Tube – October 30, 2021)

A man in Brazil is churning out new skateboards from plastic bottle caps. The project is the brainchild of Canadian Arian Rayegani, 27, who moved to Rio de Janeiro right before the pandemic hit. He is recruiting neighbors to collect the bottle caps for him so he can make these boards. Each one takes 500 bottle caps that are cleaned, churned, arranged and then melted in a pizza oven.

Drone Photographer Spends 33 Days Camping with Polar Bears in Canada [Interview] – (MyModernMet – October 28, 2021)

Photographer Martin Gregus has been awarded a win at the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Gregus took home the Rising Star Portfolio Award for his work photographing polar bears in northern Canada. Gregus spent 33 days camping in Churchill, Manitoba, where he was able to cultivate a relationship with the polar bears that shines through in his still and video imagery. Using drone photography, Gregus is able to capture incredibly intimate moments with these animals while leaving them undisturbed. From watching a mother nurse her cubs to observing two females go for a refreshing swim together, he manages to document a wide range of behaviors. In addition to an interesting interview with Gregus, article includes many still photos and a beautiful 4 minute video clip.

How to Keep Your Intimate, Embarrassing or Damaging Text Messages as Private as Possible – (Washington Post – November 4, 2021)

Imagine you exchanged romantic text messages with someone you were seeing. Now imagine you are on trial for fraud and a former Walgreens executive reads a private message you received out loud in a court of law, in a dispassionate monotone: “love you, too.” That’s the situation Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos and current defendant, found herself in last month. Hundreds of text messages between Holmes and former Theranos president and chief operating officer Sunny Balwani have been entered into evidence by prosecutors, detailing years of their professional and romantic relationship. If her “on route to dentist my king” or “handling quick email then home to my tiger” could end up logged in a spreadsheet and is viewable by anyone, what about our most personal moments? And take note, the Balwani and Holmes messages were primarily sent using Apple’s iMessage, the default end-to-end encrypted chat tool for Apple devices. Spoiler: you don’t need to be sharing anything high-profile to be at risk. In addition to being subpoenaed by law enforcement, private chats can be shared without consent in social groups, on social media, with reporters or end up in civil trials. Everyone can have a text message they’re not proud of, a conversation that’s too personal for the general public, or be targeted for attending a protest. The precautions detailed in this article can help, but be advised: they still won’t make you 100% safe.

Why Facebook Won’t Let You Control Your Own News Feed – (Washington Post – November 13, 2021)

In at least two experiments over the years, Facebook has explored what happens when it turns off its controversial news feed ranking system — the software that decides for each user which posts they’ll see and in what order, internal documents show. That leaves users to see all the posts from all of their friends in simple, chronological order. Both tests appear to have taught Facebook’s researchers the same lesson: Users are better off with Facebook’s software calling the shots. The internal research documents, some previously unreported, help to explain why Facebook seems so wedded to its automated ranking system, known as the news feed algorithm. That system is under intense public scrutiny. In testimony to U.S. Congress and abroad, whistleblower Frances Haugen has pointed to the algorithm as central to the social network’s problems, arguing that it systematically amplifies and rewards hateful, divisive, misleading and sometimes outright false content by putting it at the top of users’ feeds. And previously reported internal documents, which Haugen provided to regulators and media outlets, have shown how Facebook crafts its ranking system to keep users hooked, sometimes at the cost of angering or misinforming them. A growing number of lawmakers in both parties now think users should have an option to disable such automated ranking systems — for good. A bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week would require social media companies to offer a version of their services that doesn’t rely on opaque algorithms to decide what users see. It joins a similar bill in the Senate. Both are sponsored by high-ranking members of both parties.

Using Microbes to Make Martian Rocket BioFuel on Mars – (Science Daily – November 1, 2021)

Rocket engines departing Mars are currently planned to be fueled by methane and liquid oxygen (LOX). Neither exist on the red planet, which means they would need to be transported from Earth to power a return spacecraft into Martian orbit. That transportation is expensive: ferrying the needed 30 tons of methane and LOX is estimated to cost around $8 billion. To reduce this cost, NASA has proposed using chemical catalysis to convert Martian carbon dioxide into LOX, though this still requires methane to be transported from Earth. However, Georgia Tech researchers propose a biotechnology based in situ resource utilization (bio-ISRU) strategy that can produce both the propellant and LOX from CO2. The researchers say making the propellant on Mars using Martian resources could help reduce mission cost. Additionally, the bio-ISRU process generates 44 tons of excess clean oxygen that could be set aside to use for other purposes, such as supporting human colonization. The bioproduction process would use three resources native to the red planet: carbon dioxide, sunlight, and frozen water. It would also include transporting two microbes to Mars. The first would be cyanobacteria (algae), which would take CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and use sunlight to create sugars. An engineered E. coli, which would be shipped from Earth, would convert those sugars into a Mars-specific propellant for rockets and other propulsion devices. The Martian propellant, which is called 2,3-butanediol, is currently in existence, can be created by E. coli, and, on Earth, is used to make polymers for production of rubber. 

Toronto Is Home to the World’s Largest Lake-powered Cooling System. Here’s How It Works. – (Washington Post – November 5, 2021)

Toronto is home to the world’s largest deep lake water cooling (DLWC) system. Conceptually, the technology is relatively simple. Instead of relying on energy-intensive compressors and chillers to dissipate heat from buildings such as sports venue, Scotiabank Arena, seating over 20,000 people, DLWC uses water from nearby Lake Ontario to whisk away the warmth. The system launched in 2004 with only a handful of customers in the city, but it now cools over 100 downtown buildings, ranging from City Hall and Toronto General Hospital to hotels and even a brewery. Enwave, the company that owns and operates Toronto’s DLWC, says the system already saves 90,000 mega-watt hours of electricity use annually — roughly enough to power a town of 25,000. It is so popular that the city has nearly reached capacity and recently committed to an expansion. Toronto’s cooling process begins about 3.5 miles south of the city and 280 feet underwater, in the depths of Lake Ontario where the water remains cool year-round. The water is first drawn into the city through three massive pipes, spaced about half a mile apart. In the planned expansion, a fourth pipe will be added to increase capacity by 60%. Once the lake water makes it to the city, the DLWC system operates via a series of water loops. There is a loop that moves the lake water; a loop that moves water within the downtown area; and loops in each building the system serves. The water moves itself through these pipes using relatively little energy. Heat exchangers transfer heat, or coolness, between water loops and are located where those water loops meet — at each customer site and where the lake water pipes meet the city pipes. The latter heat exchanger uses the coolness of the lake water to dissipate heat from the downtown buildings. While they may not have proliferated on the scale of other types of climate-friendly technologies, DLWC and SWAC (salt water air conditioning) systems are now up and running in dozens of locations around the world, from Hong Kong to Bahrain.

Harnessing the Energy of the Ocean to Power Homes, Planes and Whisky Distilleries – (Washington Post – November 9, 2021)

It doesn’t matter if the sun shines or the wind blows. The tides turn. You can set your watch to them. The trick is how to generate cost-effective, renewable electricity from that limitless, ceaseless motion. They’re working on the problem here on Scotland’s Orkney Islands. When you first look at the ideas for ocean-energy devices, it does look a little … sci-fi. Underwater corkscrews. Oscillating hydrofoils. Tidal kites? Seriously. And it gets more out there. In Scotland, they want to plug this ocean energy into shoreside electrolyzers, which separate water (good old H20) into oxygen and green hydrogen, and use the gas bubbles to power … whisky distilleries. And maybe someday to heat homes and schools — and power passenger ferries and planes that hop between islands. It’s worth knowing, though, that the sea here is also a graveyard, with once pioneering ocean energy prototypes now turning into rust, after much hyped start-ups were liquidated in bankruptcies. But after two decades of trial-and-error, the sector’s backers say marine energy is getting there. They say tidal machines could begin to work alongside the far more developed energy systems, based on solar and wind power, within the decade. The basic concept? Imagine taking an offshore wind turbine, with its rotor blades spun by moving air, and turning the thing upside down, dunking it into the sea, and letting the tidal currents turn the blades. The idea is simple; execution less so, and these devices — and their computers, turbines and hydraulics — must survive in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Article goes from the idea into the practical details.

PG&E Claims Home Solar is Racist, Wants to Gut Program – (Cal Coast News – November 10, 2021)

PG&E is trying to increase their bottom line by tying home solar to racism. In essence, the utilities’ main argument for the overhaul is that net metering represents a “cost shift” from high income to low income people in the state – and that “regular ratepayers” are now carrying the cost-burden of maintaining the grid, while solar owners (who tend to be whiter and wealthier) get paid. This is a pretty good spin. In fact, they spent $20 million this year on lobbyists to come up with it. However, they’ve got the facts wrong on several key points. First, someone has to invest in clean energy – it’s never free. Whether it is your neighbor spending $15,000 on rooftop panels, or PG&E spending $15 billion on a solar farm (and long distance transmission wires), ratepayers will always need to reimburse the cost of those investments. Second, rooftop solar is cheaper than building solar farms mainly because rooftop solar does not require long distance power transmission lines, which, by the way, spark wildfires. Building out rooftop solar as a key part of reaching ‘net zero by 2050’ is a staggering $120 billion cheaper than relying only on long-distance solar farms. That equals a savings of $300 per ratepayer per year, for the next thirty years. So, if rooftop solar is actually much cheaper, why would we pay more as a state and as ratepayers for solar power? And slow down the rate of adoption of clean energy? PG&E and two other California utilities have proposed a new $90 per-month “solar connection fee,”  along with an 80% reduction in the payment solar panel owners receive for energy sent back to the grid (called net metering). You would essentially be paying PG&E for your own solar power. If the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approves this proposal in December, it will crush the solar industry. And that seems to be their intention. This is the second time this year that PG&E, Edison, and SDG&E have together brought forth this Net Metering Agreement 3.0 (NEM 3.0) proposal. They were crushingly defeated this summer in the State Senate with AB 1139, which would have compelled the California Public Utilities Commission to adopt NEM 3.0.  However, that attempt was largely viewed as a bait and switch to confuse the public. The real fight is now taking place out of public view directly with the CPUC, with a ruling scheduled for Dec 10th. The CPUC are the final decision makers. (Editor’s note: If the price of battery storage continues to drop as expected and the CPUC rules in favor the power companies, it may soon become less expensive for home solar panel owners to completely sever their connections to the grid which, if the math works out, they will do.)

“Genetic Goldmine” Uncovered for Plant Survival in One of the Harshest Environments on Earth – (SciTech Daily – November 1, 2021)

An international team of researchers has identified genes associated with plant survival in one of the harshest environments on Earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama Desert in northern Chile, sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains, is the driest place on the planet (excluding the poles). Yet dozens of plants grow there, including grasses, annuals, and perennial shrubs. In addition to limited water, plants in the Atacama must cope with high altitude, low availability of nutrients in the soil, and extremely high radiation from sunlight. The researchers’ findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may help scientists breed resilient crops that can thrive in increasingly drier climates. The study was an international collaboration among botanists, microbiologists, ecologists, evolutionary and genomic scientists. This unique combination of expertise enabled the team to identify the plants, associated microbes, and genes that enable the Atacama plants to adapt to and flourish in extreme desert conditions, which could ultimately help to enhance crop growth and reduce food insecurity. The study identified 265 candidate genes whose protein sequence changes were selected by evolutionary forces across multiple Atacama species. These adaptive mutations occurred in genes that could underlie plant adaptation to the desert conditions, including genes involved in response to light and photosynthesis, which may enable plants to adapt to the extreme high-light radiation in the Atacama. Similarly, the researchers uncovered genes involved in the regulation of stress response, salt, detoxification, and metal ions, which could be related to the adaptation of these Atacama plants to their stressful, nutrient-poor environment. “Our study of plants in the Atacama Desert is directly relevant to regions around the world that are becoming increasingly arid, with factors such as drought, extreme temperatures, and salt in water and soil posing a significant threat to global food production,” said Gutiérrez, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Heinz Debuts ‘Marz’ Edition Ketchup Made with Tomatoes Grown in Mars Conditions – ( – November 8, 2021)

Heinz has revealed its first bottle of “Marz Edition” ketchup, a sauce made from the same premium-quality tomatoes as used in its popular Earth-based edition, but grown in the same harsh conditions as found on Mars. More than just a new label, the Mars-ready condiment is the product of two years of research conducted by a team of astrobiologists at the Florida Institute of Technology’s Aldrin Space Institute.  Although not available for purchase, a batch of the Marz Edition ketchup was unveiled at Heinz’ headquarters in Pittsburgh, where the experimental sauce passed the company’s quality tests to be approved to become certified bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The 14-member team at the Aldrin Space Institute, led by Dr. Andrew Palmer, has submitted the first of three papers for scientific publication that charts the Heinz mission. The institute, which was founded in 2015, was created to advance a permanent human presence on Mars and maintain the scientific and technical legacy of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first people to walk on the moon. To demonstrate that the tomatoes could be harvested on Mars, the plants were grown in Martian simulant — Earth-based soil chemically matched to the Red Planet’s regolith — under the same temperature and water conditions as found on Mars. Heinz and Aldrin Space Institute experts analyzed soil conditions, selected seeds and implemented agricultural techniques to ensure the end result was the recognizable taste of Heinz ketchup. The research, which was one of the largest projects of its kind related to Mars, also has applications closer to home. If, as shown, the tomatoes can be grown off-planet, they can also be grown in more remote and harsh places on Earth. “With regards to our own survival on this planet, one of the big questions is how do we grow in soils that are less than ideal,” said Palmer.

A Drone Tried to Disrupt the Power Grid. It Won’t Be the Last – (Wired – November 5, 2021)

In July of last year, a DJI Mavic 2 drone approached a Pennsylvania power substation. Two 4-foot nylon ropes dangled from its rotors, a thick copper wire connected to the ends with electrical tape. The device had been stripped of any identifiable markings, as well as its onboard camera and memory card, in an apparent effort by its owner to avoid detection. Its likely goal, according to a joint security bulletin released by DHS, the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center, was to “disrupt operations by creating a short circuit.” The drone crashed on the roof of an adjacent building before it reached its ostensible target, damaging a rotor in the process. Its operator still hasn’t been found. The incident constitutes the first known instance of a modified, unmanned aircraft system being used to “specifically target” US energy infrastructure. It seems unlikely to be the last, however. When it comes to the potential for consumer drones to wreak havoc, experts have sounded the alarm for at least six years, saying that their broad availability and capabilities provide opportunity for bad actors. But the Pennsylvania incident represents an alarming escalation in drone use stateside. Aggressive anti-drone technology, which can range from signal-jamming guns to megadrones to eagles, often face regulatory challenges of their own. Outfitting every single power substation in the US with drone countermeasures would also present significant financial and logistical hurdles.

Almost One in Three of Republicans Say Violence May Be Necessary to ‘Save’ US – (Guardian – November 1, 2021)

Researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, found that 30% of Republicans agreed with the statement “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country”. Among Americans who believe the 2020 election was “stolen” from Donald Trump, which it was not, 39% believe violence may be required. The troubling statistics show the post-election rancor that led to the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January is still very much in place. Republicans are most likely to believe “true American patriots may have to resort to violence”, PRRI found, with just 11% of Democrats and 17% of independents agreeing with the statement. Among all Americans, 18% agreed. The PRRI poll is not the first to discover an apparent readiness for violence among Republican voters. In February a survey by the American Enterprise Institute found that 39% of Republicans thought that “if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions”. Among all Americans, 29% agreed with that statement. Some 31% of independent voters and 17% of Democrats thought violent action might be required.

A Novel Way to Reduce Emissions? China Tries Confiscating Coal from Households. – (Washington Post – November 3, 2021)

On a crisp Saturday morning last month, men in the black jackets favored by local Chinese officials were going door to door. They were checking to make sure villagers in Tangshan’s Fengrun district — one of China’s smoggiest spots — had quit burning coal for heat. After knocking on 596 doors, the officials had turned up nearly a ton of unprocessed coal and nine tons of briquettes, and warned residents of the steelmaking hub that burning coal was no longer allowed. The household checks reflect tensions in China’s northeastern rust belt as the country comes under new global pressure to reduce its carbon emissions. For years, China has enacted a range of draconian-sounding measures to tamp down its air pollution, including suspending factory production for weeks on end, allowing cars in Beijing to drive only every other day, and now, raids on household coal stashes. Yet China’s carbon emissions have continued to grow. In recent weeks in Tangshan, officials have urged residents to go green by ditching their coal stoves for electric heaters, according to local government announcements. “It’s relatively small fry compared to those major sources of coal consumption like electric power and industry,” said Cecilia Han Springer, a senior researcher at Boston University’s Global China Initiative. Nearly 60% of China’s electricity supply still comes from coal. In guidelines released Oct. 24, China pledged to cut reliance on fossil fuels to less than 20% by 2060, but that still leaves a long runway for coal-powered electricity. Beijing will host the Winter Olympics this year. Officials in Tangshan and other cities near the capital have been preparing for months to ensure blue skies. In Tangshan this winter, factories will need to suspend production. They won’t be able to use the excuse that they had already powered down but residual fumes were still wafting: “For industries where air pollution may continue after production is halted, enterprises must leave sufficient time to adjust production,” the regulations state. Use of diesel trucks for transporting cargo will be suspended in Tangshan during the Olympics. Officials must decrease their car trips by 80%. All new municipal buses must be new-energy models. One complication has been a global energy crunch. After many years of stable electricity supply, China is implementing rolling power outages to conserve fuel, while officials scrambled to secure more coal from neighboring countries.

The Nasty Logistics of Returning Your Too-Small Pants – (Atlantic – October 7, 2021)

What happens to the stuff you order online after you send it back? The average brick-and-mortar store has a return rate in the single digits, but online, the average rate is somewhere between 15% and 30%. For clothing, it can be even higher, thanks in part to bracketing—the common practice of ordering a size up and a size down from the size you think you need. Last year, U.S. retailers took back more than $100 billion in merchandise sold online. Some of it will be diverted into a global shadow industry of bulk resellers, some of it will be stripped for valuable parts, and some of it will go directly into an incinerator or a landfill. The retail-logistics industry is split into two halves. Forward logistics—the process of moving goods from manufacturers to their end users—is the half most consumers regularly interact with. The other half—reverse logistics—isn’t straightforward at all. This article does a deep dive into that second half. By one estimate, an online return typically costs a retailer $10 to $20 before the cost of shipping. And we can dispense now with a common myth of modern shopping: Most of the stuff you return probably isn’t restocked and sent back out to another hopeful owner.

The Next Generation of Home Robots Will Be More Capable — and Perhaps More Social – (Washington Post – November 10, 2021)

We were promised homes full of intelligent (and sometimes sassy) robotic assistants, not just the cavalcade of glorified, rolling appliances we wound up with. But over the next few years, a new wave of domestic robots could start to do more than just clean up after us. Amazon introduced Astro earlier this fall, a $1,000-plus robot meant to ferry around small items and keep its eyes — well, cameras — peeled for intruders while roaming our homes. Samsung, which at one point or another has built almost every kind of home gadget imaginable, has spent the last few years openly wondering about what a new generation of domestic robots should be able to do. And researchers and start-ups have continued to work on robots meant to help people in still more personal and social ways. So, does this mean we’re on the verge of a home-robot renaissance? Maybe, but it’s not going to materialize overnight. Until then, here’s information about how these machines are changing. The rise of the multi-taskers: slowly but surely, though, some of the biggest names in tech have designed robots that are meant to play multiple roles in our homes. The rise of social robots: In some ways, Buddy — a robot developed by a French company called Blue Frog Robotics — has a lot in common with Amazon’s Astro. But for Blue Frog founder Rodolphe Hasselvander, Buddy is different in one crucial way: It’s meant to be an “emotional companion” as much as it is a gadget. “Social robots are designed to engage with people more as a collaborative partner,” said Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. “As opposed to a tool that you use, you interact more in an interpersonal way to achieve tasks or goals or experiences.” Amazon’s Astro has some characteristics that Breazeal believes could make it a social robot of sorts, but the company’s product page plays up the machine’s home monitoring and security feature before almost anything else. Article discusses in further depth robotic developments in both the multi-tasking and social areas.

Snoopy to Fly on NASA’s Artemis I Mission in One-of-a-kind Spacesuit – (CollectSpace – November 12, 2021)

Snoopy is bound for the moon again – and he has work to do. The intrepid space explorer, who in 1969 became the world’s first beagle to land on the lunar surface — at least in the Peanuts comic strips drawn by the late Charles M. Schulz — is set to fly for real aboard NASA’s first Artemis mission in 2022. Snoopy, in plush form, will serve as the “zero-g indicator” on the Artemis I Orion spacecraft as it loops around the moon. Snoopy made a similar journey more than 50 years ago, flying with “Charlie Brown” as the call signs for the lunar and command modules that flew astronauts on a final dress rehearsal before the first moon landing. Aboard Artemis I, Snoopy will be dressed in a one-of-a-kind, miniature version of NASA’s Orion Crew Survival System (OCSS) pressure suit. The 10-by-7-inch (25-by-18-cm) bright orange garment was made from the same materials as the suits that will be worn by astronauts on future Artemis missions. During the planned three week flight, Snoopy will leave Earth atop the first Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and travel farther into space than any human-rated spacecraft has flown before. As the zero-g indicator, the doll will float above the mission’s seated and strapped-in “crew”: an instrumented manikin named after an Apollo 13 engineer and two “phantom” human torsos that will be collecting data about the radiation and physical conditions aboard the Orion capsule.

Scientists Think They’ve Found a Mysterious Lost Piece of the Moon – (CNet – November 11, 2021)

Every April, for a fleeting few weeks, the faint glow of a near-Earth asteroid curiously shimmers on scientists’ telescopes. Religiously catching the annual event, a group of astronomers pieced together a surprising revelation about the little shard: It doesn’t appear to be any old space rock. It looks like a broken piece of the moon. The Ferris wheel-sized chip goes by the Hawaiian name of Kamo`oalewa, and evidence for its lunar identity was published in the journal Nature Communications Earth & Environment. Article explains the research underpinning the conclusion. As this is the first near-Earth asteroid to indicate lunar properties, it’s still unclear whether the space rock is an anomaly or if there are other moon fragments lurking in the solar system, waiting to be found. There’s just one more unanswered question: How did Kamo`oalewa break off the moon?

See the Winners – (Royal Museums Greenwich – no date)

The Royal Museums in Greenwich, England—which include the Observatory—have announced the winners of their Astronomy Photographer of the Year award for 2021. There are some stunners. The overall winner is a photo of an annular eclipse taken in Tibet last year, but each of the multiple categories—Aurorae (check out “Goðafoss Flow”), Galaxies, Our Moon, Skyscapes (the winner is of the moon over Death Valley), and others—has photos that will take your breath away. Just scroll past the marketing at the top until you get to “The Winning Photographer.”

Shroom Scapes- MicrodoseVR – (Vision Agency – no date)

Here’s an extraordinary example of the future of computer graphics and a marvelous experience as well.  The company Vision Agency has been specializing in full stack development for interactive apps, design, software engineering, and motion graphics since 1998. Established by Android Jones, Anson Phong and Scott Hedstrom, Vision Agency is an immersive media studio based in Colorado. Its flagship product is Microdose VR, a creative flow state simulator that combines art, music and dance into a real-time virtual reality experience, defining a new medium of artistic expression. See here for a Microdose VR tutorial on YouTube. Or you can just catch a sample of the Microdose VR visuals and music from Phong’s personal website at the headline link for this blurb.

How Gloves Brought the Music Back to the Maestro – (CNN – December 8, 2020)

This brief video clip features concert pianist João Carlos Martins who lost the use of both his hands. Two decades later, bionic gloves are letting him play again. The bionic gloves, created by an industrial designer named Ubiratan Bizarro Costa, who became familiar with Martins’ problems after he saw the maestro on a Brazilian television show in 2019. There is nothing high-tech about the gloves Costa invented, which is how he prefers it. The gloves are both deceptively complicated looking and incredibly precise. The hand slips into a neoprene sleeve outfitted with a 3D-printed frame and stainless steel bars on the fingers. Costa, a fan of Formula One racing, was inspired by the cars’ rear suspension mechanism: When weight bears down on it, it springs back up. Without the gloves, when Martins’s fingers hit a key, they stay depressed; the steel bars pop them back up. The video clip is exquisite, but there’s much more to the story. We recommend “How the Maestro Got His Hands Back.”

We Need to Talk about the Real Reason Behind US Inflation – (Guardian – November 11, 2021)

The US labor department announced that the consumer price index – a basket of products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – rose 6.2% from a year ago. That’s the nation’s highest annual inflation rate since November 1990. A major reason for this is supply bottlenecks, as Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, has pointed out. He believes they’re temporary, and he’s probably right. But there’s a deeper structural reason for inflation, one that appears to be growing worse: the economic concentration of the American economy in the hands of a relative few corporate giants with the power to raise prices. If markets were competitive, companies would keep their prices down in order to prevent competitors from grabbing away customers. But they’re raising prices even as they rake in record profits. How can this be? They have so much market power they can raise prices with impunity. Viewed this way, the underlying problem isn’t inflation per se. It’s lack of competition. Corporations are using the excuse of inflation to raise prices and make fatter profits. For example, P&G faces almost no competition. The lion’s share of the market for diapers, to take one example, is controlled by just two companies – P&G and Kimberly-Clark – which roughly coordinate their prices and production. It was hardly a coincidence that Kimberly-Clark announced price increases similar to P&Gs at the same time P&G announced its own price increases. Since the 1980s, when the US government all but abandoned antitrust enforcement, two-thirds of all American industries have become more concentrated. Monsanto now sets the prices for most of the nation’s seed corn. The government green-lighted Wall Street’s consolidation into five giant banks, of which JP Morgan is the largest. Airlines have merged from 12 in 1980 to four today, which now control 80% of domestic seating capacity. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas have merged, leaving the US with just one large producer of civilian aircraft: Boeing. Three giant cable companies dominate broadband: Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. A handful of drug companies control the pharmaceutical industry: Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck. All this spells corporate power to raise prices.

Las Vegas Billionaire Pays $1.8M in Prize Money for Winning Essays on Life After Death – (Mystery Wire – November 10, 2021)

An international competition to find the best evidence for life after death has announced its winners. The Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) will award nearly $2 million to its prize winners, including $500,000 for the best essay about life after death. The question of what, if anything, happens to us when we die, is a central mystery of human existence. Mainstream science dictates that death is truly the end, leaving the existence of a soul or an afterlife to religions and philosophers. Bigelow wanted to know how many academics around the planet might be studying consciousness from a scientific point of view, so he sponsored an essay contest, offering large prizes for the top three essays. There were as many as 1,200 applicants. BICS hired six esteemed writers and academics familiar with the subject matter to act as judges. The list of 29 winners has been posted on the BICS website. BICS will publish all 29 essays on the BICS website in the next two weeks. The top essay was submitted by parapsychologist Jeffrey Mishlove of New Mexico, well-known in the field for his interviews on YouTube. His presentation to BICS, titled “Beyond the Brain: The Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death” was a unanimous choice by the panel of judges. Mishlove’s essay included video snippets and testimonies regarding near-death experiences, reincarnation cases documented by memories of past lives, and seven other types of evidence that consciousness survives physical death. The second-place essay, “The Continuity of Consciousness: A Concept Based on Scientific Research on Near-Death Experiences During Cardiac Arrest,” was submitted by a Dutch cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel, who launched a major study of near-death experiences as reported by patients who died of heart attacks, then were resuscitated and returned with vivid memories of what they encountered on “the other side.” 

Spiders Are Much Smarter Than You Think – (Ars Technica – October 30, 2021)

It’s long been assumed that the smallest brains simply don’t have the capacity to support complex mental processes. But what if they do? The vast majority of Earth’s animal species are rather small, and a vanishingly small portion of them have been studied at all, much less by cognition researchers. But the profile of one group of diminutive animals is rapidly rising as scientists discover surprisingly sophisticated behaviors among them. ”But I think spiders are one case where this general idea is challenged. Some small things are actually capable of doing very complex stuff,” said arachnologist and evolutionary biologist Dimitar Dimitrov of the University Museum of Bergen in Norway“.“It’s not so much the size of the brain that matters, but what the animal can do with what it’s got,” says arachnologist Fiona Cross of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Cross studies the behavior of jumping spiders, the undisputed champs of cognition among spiders. Although these tiny arachnids have brains that could literally fit on the head of a pin, the work of Cross and other scientists suggests that they have capabilities we’d have no problem hailing as signs of intelligence if exhibited by animals with much larger brains, like dogs or human toddlers. The jumping spiders shown to have the sharpest eyesight and the most impressive smarts belong to the genus Portia, found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. These spiders prefer to hunt other spiders and have strategies tailored to each species they prey upon. Renowned University of Canterbury jumping spider researcher Robert Jackson has discovered that many of Portia’s tactics are quite devious. In laboratory experiments, Jackson found that Portia will try different plucking methods, speeds, and patterns until it finds just the right combination to fool each individual web spider it hunts—essentially learning on the job. Article explains the tactics.

7 Scientific Mysteries – (MentalFloss – October 25, 2021)

Scientists are essentially detectives, gathering evidence to draw conclusions about natural phenomena. The more available evidence, typically, the better the conclusion. But sometimes they’re flat-out stumped. Justin Dodd at Mental Floss gathers up a few scientific mysteries for which there are, so far, no good explanations. For example, people who’ve emerged from comas speaking fluently in a language not their own? Baffling. Or what about the woman whose charred remains were found in a room that was itself untouched by flames? You tell me.

Spot Me Up – (YouTube – October 29, 2021)

Talk about an inter-species…um… crossover. 40 years ago, The Rolling Stones debuted their iconic Tattoo You album. Recently, the robotics company Boston Dynamics and the Rolling Stones released a video of BD’s robotic dogs—they’re called Spot—mimicking the Stones on their 1981 video for “Start Me Up.” It’s called “Spot Me Up,” and though it’s both a hoot and kind of unnerving, you know whoever programmed the Jagger Spot had a lot of fun.
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Joni Patry

Joni Patry is one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in the world. She was a faculty member for ACVA, CVA and Instructor for online certification programs, published many books, journals and appeared on national and international television shows. As the keynote speaker for international conferences, she has a Japanese website, and teaches in Austria, Turkey and India. She has been awarded the 2015 Jyotish Star of the year and Dr B. V. Raman’s Janma Shatamanothsava Award Jyotisha Choodamani. She publishes an online astrological magazine, Astrologic Magazine and has an online University for certification, the University of Vedic Astrology.

William Henry

William Henry is a Nashville-based author, investigative mythologist, art historian, and TV presenter. He is an internationally recognized authority on human spiritual potential, transformation and ascension. He has a unique ability to incorporate historical, religious, spiritual, scientific, archaeological and other forms of such knowledge into factually-based theories and conclusions that provide the layperson with a more in-depth understanding of the profound shift we are actually experiencing in our lifetime.

The spiritual voice and Consulting Producer of the global hit History Channel program, Ancient Aliens, and host of the Gaia TV series The Awakened Soul: The Lost Science of Ascension, and Arcanum, along with his wife, Clare, William Henry is your guide into the transformative sacred science of human ascension. By bringing to life the ancient stories of ascension through art and gnostic texts, he teaches the secrets of soul transfiguration or metamorphosis and connects people to one another across cultures, time and space. With over 30 years of research distilled into 18 books and numerous video presentations, William’s work will guide you to next level of human consciousness and our expanding reality.

William’s present work has taken him into the area of transhumanism, which he first began writing about in his 2002 bestseller, Cloak of the Illuminati. His latest book, The Singularity Is Near: The Next Human, the Perfect Rainbow Light Body and the Technology of Human Transcendence is a primer and a warning for the looming potential transformation of humanity as we speed closer to meshing computer technology with human flesh. William discusses transhumanism as the fulfillment of an ancient impulse to transcend our human bodies. His work has propelled him into the role of human rights activist and advisor on the biopolitics of human enhancement as he informs audiences of the unparalleled perils and potentials of Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism.

Pierre Dubois

Pierre Richard Dubois is Registered Architect and holds two advanced degrees from Columbia University. He has been on a life quest to satisfy his inner and intuitive knowing about consciousness-expanding technologies and wisdom. He is an author, life coach, healer, ascension teacher, and a minister. Pierre has travelled the world and studied many religions and belief systems and found that we are all seeking the same thing: merger back with the uncreated Source of all. An insightful listener and counselor, Pierre deeply aspires to share with others his wisdom and has helped countless people on their journey of healing, expansion, and ascension over the past 20 years.

Frank DeMarco

FRANK DeMARCO has been reporting on his conversations with non-physical beings for more than two decades, in magazine articles, talks, and in a dozen non-fiction books and two novels.

FRANK DeMARCO is the author of 14 books rooted in more than 25 years of psychic exploration, including It’s All One World, Awakening from the 3D World, Rita’s World (two volumes), The Cosmic Internet, The Sphere and the Hologram, and Imagine Yourself Well. Since 2005, he has been actively engaged in an on-going series of conversations with various non-physical beings, including historical individuals, “past lives,” aspects of personal guidance, and a generalized group he calls “the guys upstairs.”

He is also the author of three novels, Messenger, That Phenomenal Background (originally published as Babe in the Woods) and Dark Fire.

William Buhlman

William Buhlman is a recognized expert on the subject of out-of-body experiences. The author’s forty years of extensive personal out-of-body explorations give him a unique and thought provoking insight into this subject. His first book, Adventures beyond the Body chronicles his personal journey of self-discovery through out-of-body travel, and provides the reader with the preparation and techniques that can be used for their own adventure. He has conducted an international out-of-body experience survey that includes over 16,000 participants from forty-two countries. The provocative results of this survey are presented in his book, The Secret of the Soul. This cutting edge book explores the unique opportunities for personal growth and profound spiritual awakenings that are reported during out-of-body experiences.

Over the past two decades William has developed an effective system to experience safe, self initiated out-of-body adventures. He conducts an in-depth six-day workshop titled, Out-of-Body Exploration Intensive at the renowned Monroe Institute in Virginia. As a certified hypnotherapist, William incorporates various methods, including hypnosis, visualization and meditation techniques in his workshops to explore the profound nature of out-of-body experiences and the benefits of accelerated personal development. Through lectures, workshops and his books the author teaches the preparation and techniques of astral projection and spiritual exploration.

The author brings a refreshing look to how we can use out-of-body experiences to explore our spiritual identity and enhance our intellectual and physical lives. William is best known for his ability to teach people how to have profound spiritual adventures through the use of out-of-body experiences. In addition, he has developed an extensive series of audio programs that are designed to expand awareness and assist in the exploration of consciousness. William has appeared on numerous television and radio shows worldwide. William’s books are currently available in twelve languages. The author lives in Delaware, USA. For more information visit his web site,

Joe McMoneagle

Joe was the longest operational psychic spy in the US government’s very highly classified Stargate program where they used psychics and intuitives to look into installations and people around the world that were of interest to government intelligence agencies. They called the process remote viewing.

As it turned out, the remote viewers discovered that they were – not limited by either time or space and produced drawings and assessments that could not have been obtained in any other way. The Soviets had an active remote viewing program at the same time and it is rumored that Russia, China and the U.S. still have initiatives of this kind that are operational.

Joe’s stories are fascinating, like the time he mentally got inside a Chinese nuclear weapon and saw how the triggering mechanism worked . . . and then went out and bought the parts at Radio Shack to show the scientists in the intelligence agency exactly how it was done. The remote viewers could find submarines at the bottom of the ocean and crashed aircraft in the middle of African jungles.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dr Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 33 countries on six continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

Dr. Joe is also a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York; and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He’s also an invited chair of the research committee at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a researcher, Dr. Joe’s passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to explore the science behind spontaneous remissions. He uses that knowledge to help people heal themselves of illnesses, chronic conditions, and even terminal diseases so they can enjoy a more fulfilled and happy life, as well as evolve their consciousness. At his advanced workshops around the world, he has partnered with other scientists to perform extensive research on the effects of meditation, including epigenetic testing, brain mapping with electroencephalograms (EEGs), and individual energy field testing with a gas discharge visualization (GDV) machine. His research also includes measuring both heart coherence with HeartMath monitors and the energy present in the workshop environment before, during, and after events with a GDV Sputnik sensor.

As a NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Joe has written Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon(Hay House, 2017), which draws on research conducted at his advanced workshops since 2012 to explore how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives; You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Hay House, 2014), which explores our ability to heal without drugs or surgery, but rather by thought alone; Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (Hay House, 2012) and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007), both of which detail the neuroscience of change and epigenetics. His film appearances include Transcendence: Live Life Beyond the Ordinary (2018); HEAL (2017); E-Motion (2014); Sacred Journey of the Heart (2012); People v. the State of Illusion (2011); What IF – The Movie (2010); Unleashing Creativity (2009); and What the #$*! Do We Know? & Down the Rabbit Hole, extended DVD version (2005).

Dr. Todd Ovokaitys

After two years at Northwestern, he was accepted into an accelerated combined graduate/undergraduate program at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, which conferred both B.A. and M.D. degrees. Advanced training was at Georgetown University Hospital, with a Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine followed by a Fellowship in Pulmonary and Intensive Care Medicine.

During his Pulmonary Fellowship, the specialty that concerns the lungs, Dr. Todd began his research with cells of the immune system. Many procedures were done on AIDS patients to diagnose their lung problems. Observing this dire disease firsthand and the toxic results of early medical treatments, Dr. Todd developed a passion for finding better solutions. Towards the end of his Fellowship, he became aware of the benefits of Holistic Medicine for improving the function of the immune system while building rather than impairing the function of other systems.

Inspired to learn more, he moved to Southern California to study with practitioners of Complementary Medicine. In the context of these studies, he had an experience so radical that the course of his life and work were forever transformed.

During a meditation class in the summer of 1989, Dr. Todd paired with another student for an exercise. The process was profound and they took turns, one in the process while the other scribed to record any breakthroughs of awareness. Much as in the Jodie Foster movie “Contact,” the usual anchor points dissolved with the feeling of instant transport to a different dimension of being. There was a doorway or portal to traverse, with a message of the responsibility taken on through the choice to go further.

Instantly upon walking through this doorway, a living form was seen that filled a room – and had the shape of a DNA strand enlarged millions of times. This form communicated that science only partly understood how DNA worked. The linear understanding of DNA as an enormous data string was correct but incomplete. In addition, DNA was a structure of coils within coils in an environment of moving charges that permitted DNA to send electromagnetic signals much as a radio transmitter. Further, DNA could receive and be conditioned by electromagnetic signals. Most significantly, if it were possible to determine and transmit the correct resonant signals, that it was possible to switch the activity of a sick cell to that of a healthy cell, an old cell to that of a young cell.

This experience brought with it a certainty that solutions were possible. After intensive review of the previous work showing the effects of electromagnetic energy patterns on cellular health and function, Dr. Todd located a colleague with the technical expertise to build the desired invention.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organized a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organization aimed at researching close encounters.

She is the author of, Awakening – How extra-terrestrial contact can transform your life. Mary is working on her second book, The New Human, due for release this year.

Freddy Silva

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness. He has published six books in six languages, and produced eleven documentaries. Described by one CEO as “perhaps the best metaphysical speaker in the world right now,” for two decades he has been an international keynote speaker, with notable appearances at the International Science and Consciousness Conference, the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, in addition to appearances on Gaia TV, History Channel, BBC, and radio shows such as Coast To Coast. He also leads private sell-out tours to ancient temples worldwide.

Dr. Larry Dossey

Dr. Larry Dossey is a physician of internal medicine and former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital. He received his M. D. degree from Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), and trained in internal medicine at Parkland and the VA hospitals in Dallas. Dossey has lectured at medical schools and hospitals throughout the United States and abroad. In 1988 he delivered the annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India, the only physician ever invited to do so. He is the author of twelve books dealing with consciousness, spirituality, and healing, including the New York Times bestseller HEALING WORDS: THE POWER OF PRAYER AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, and most recently One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. His books have been translated into languages around the world. Dr. Dossey is the former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is the executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing. Dr. Dossey lectures around the world. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife Barbara, a nurse-consultant and the author of several award-winning books.

Sharry Edwards

Sharry Edwards has been accused of being too scientific by some, too esoteric by others. In actuality, she is a bridge between both fields of inquiry. Sharry is the acknowledged pioneer in the emerging field of Vocal Profiling using BioAcoustic Biology. For many years she has provided the leading-edge research to show the voice as a holographic representation of the body that can be used to change the face of medicine.

Sharry asks that we imagine a future in which we can be individually identified and maintained through the use of frequency based biomarkers that keep us healthy and emotionally balanced. Her work at the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has shown that we can each have dominion over those frequencies by individual mind management or a simple remote control that is completely programmable. Using the unique techniques of Vocal Profiling and evaluation, emotional as well as physiological issues can be revealed and addressed.

Her work with the human voice reveals that people who share similar traumas, stresses, diseases, toxicities…share similar, if not identical, vocal anomalies. She brings together ancient knowledge with modern ideas of harmonics and frequency relationship theories to show that math can be used as a form of predictive, diagnostic and curative foundation for wellness. Through entrainment of the frequency grids of the brain, the body can be programmed to support its own optimal form and function.

Dr. Carrie Hempel & Brian Sanderoff

Integrative Physician Dr. Carrie Hempel and Holistic Pharmacist Brian Sanderoffare both experts in the medicinal use of cannabis in Maryland.

Dr. Hempel is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. As an Osteopathic Physician, she has embraced a holistic approach to patient care, providing loving attention to the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For the past 11 years she has received specialist training, Board Certification and expertise in several fields including Internal Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, along with many Integrative modalities. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and is registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Over the course of her career she has seen the consistent struggle of patients dealing with chronic, progressive, debilitating illness, and witnessed the challenges and limitations of the current pharmaceutical options for pain and symptom managment. Her passion for this population has grown, along with her desire to advocate for patients to have access to non-opioid, holistic options to enhance quality of life and optimize function.

Trained as a pharmacist, Brian Sanderoff has integrated 25 years of experience with his traditional medical training and herbalism, nutrition and numerous other holistic modalities to help clients devise practical, common-sense, safe solutions to most any health issue.

His clients appreciate how he embraces a complementary approach to health and how his holistic “compass” brings them new solutions to their unique health concerns – especially chronic diseases.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organised a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organisation aimed at researching close encounters.

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is an extraordinary Australian thinker and researcher who arguably knows as much about the structure of the global planetary transition that we are experiencing as anyone on the planet. He draws coherent pictures from the deep insights of Clair W. Graves and paints clear, explanatory images of not only how humanity has evolved to this point, but what is inevitably on our horizon . . . and how this epic transition will continue to play out.

He is currently writing a book about the global paradigm shift that’s taking us beyond the scientific-industrial era. Steve served with the Australian Army for 15 years, including war service as an infantry company commander in Somalia, 1993. He is also a qualified military helicopter pilot and on leaving the army he flew a rescue helicopter in the tropical Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland. Building upon his extensive experience in unpredictable environments, after retiring from flying Steve specialized as a change management consultant. He consequently studied the developmental psychology research of Dr Clare W Graves and became one of the first Australians qualified to teach Dr Graves’ theory under the banner of Spiral Dynamics Integral. A long-term struggle with posttraumatic stress has driven Steve’s deep interest in human nature and consciousness. He is a founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine, an Australian non-profit association. He is also a founder of AADII, a non-profit company created to support worldwide transformational change.

Robert Coxon

Although Robert Coxon had been studying and composing music for many years, it was after taking the Silva Mind Control course that he realized how powerful sound could be in relaxing the body and opening the consciousness. He then decided to write his first album.

Cristal Silence quickly became a major hit throughout Canada, staying on top of the charts for many years. This was the beginning of his continuing phenomenal success as composer and solo artist. For the last 29 years he has performed only his original compositions in concert. Robert has been nominated four times for the prestigious “Felix” award (French Canada equivalent to the Grammy), and became Canada’s best-selling New Age artist. His international breakthrough came after composing The Silent Path in 1995. This album was an instant hit in Canada, the USA and France. After hearing The Silent Path, Lee Carroll, internationally renowned author of 15 bestselling Kryon and Indigo books, contacted Robert and asked him to join his team on tour. Through the years this has given Robert the opportunity to experience different cultures and inspires him to write music honoring these many countries he performs in.

Robert offers us nine albums, the latest three being The Infinite, essence of life, Goddess -The Power of Woman and Passion Compassion Alegeria.

Joe Dispenza

needs bio…

Gary Sycalik

Gary Sycalik has been described as an entrepreneur, businessman, project developer/manager, consultant/advisor, organizational troubleshooter, strategic planner, facilitator, futurist, business and social architect, complex problematic game designer (policy, strategic, tactic levels) and writer. Gary brings a robust horizontal and vertical functional capability to any project from the conceptual to operational stage.

Kingsley L. Dennis Phd.

Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD, is a sociologist, researcher, and writer. He previously worked in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, UK. Kingsley is the author of numerous articles on social futures; technology and new media communications; global affairs; and conscious evolution. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including Healing the Wounded Mind, The Sacred Revival, The Phoenix Generation, New Consciousness for a New World, Struggle for Your Mind, After the Car, and the celebrated Dawn of the Akashic Age (with Ervin Laszlo). He has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. He currently lives in Andalusia, Spain.


His homepage is

Dr. John McMichael

John McMichael, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Beach Tree Labs, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new therapeutic agents targeting unmet medical needs. These disorders range from herpes infections to chronic fatigue syndrome to urinary incontinence. His PhD is in virology and immunology from Oregon State University. He headed up the labs at one of the largest private veterinary research practices in the country, was a college professor for more than a decade, and now works out of a small lab on his form in New York state and a larger, more sophisticated lab in Providence, Rhode Island. He holds over 200 patents, has published in books and peer-reviewed journals, and is currently working with his team to begin formal FDA trials for product candidates for chronic traumatic brain injury and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson’s amazing ability to dream about the future in terms that can be reliably translated into people, times, places, and activities has been the subject of books, major university scientific studies, films, articles, TV shows, and just about all forms of media. He has taught many people how to dream about the future and, through his advanced intuitive capabilities, helped thousands to understand how to deal with seemingly impossible personal situations. He is also a healer, having on numerous occasions led people with supposedly terminal conditions to eliminate those issues and return to a healthy life. There is no one else in the world that has Chris’s fascinating background (undercover police work, etc.), coupled with these amazing personal gifts.

Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and abuse; the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11; and critical 9/11 intelligence failures. He is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Robert David Steele

Robert David Steele, former spy, former Marine Corps officer, a proponent of Open Source Everything, Presidential candidate in 2012 and perhaps again in 2024, recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 will integrate his life’s experience with his lessons from the works of others to explore love versus fear as a foundation for politics; liberty under natural law versus predatory fascism as we now have in the USA; and the possibilities for cosmic awakening very soon, in a full-on defeat of the Deep State and its Archon masters.

Lee Carrol a.k.a. Kryon

Lee Carroll, Ph.D. has channeled Kryon for 25 years worldwide and is the author of the Kryon Series of 16 books in 24 languages. Well known in metaphysics, Kryon books have made the top seller’s list within months of their release. Having presented seven times at the United Nations in New York, as well as in 33 different countries overseas, Lee attracts audiences in the thousands.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna’s research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dr. McKenna is author or co-author of 4 books and over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Paul H. Smith

Paul H. Smith is the longest-serving controlled remote viewing (CRV) teacher active today, having begun his career as an instructor in 1984. He served for seven years in the government’s Star Gate remote viewing program at Ft. Meade, MD (from September 1983 to August 1990). Starting 1984, he became one of only five Star Gate personnel to be personally trained as remote viewers by the legendary founders of remote viewing, Ingo Swann and Dr. Harold E. Puthoff at SRI-International.

Raymon Grace

Raymon Grace, one of the world’s most extraordinary dowsers, travels the world teaching and demonstrating how dowsing can be used by most anyone to change themselves and the world around them. His down-home, direct approach is sought out by many thousands of searchers who are looking for bettering their lives and dealing with the extraordinary change that the world is experiencing.

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His on-line writings have generated a vast following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts.

Jim McCarty

In 1980, Jim McCarty joined L/L Research where Don Elkins and Carla L. Rueckert were researching the field of the paranormal in general, and contact with extraterrestrial intelligence in particular. Soon later the Ra Contact began, producing 106 sessions with the social memory complex of Ra. Five books of The Law of One series were published documenting this contact.

Joey Korn

Joey Korn is one of the most accomplished dowsers in the world. Known internationally for an extraordinary ability to change and manipulate energy at all levels, he brings a deep, practical understanding of how to balance these energies . . . and change the way that they influence humans and their lives.

Michael Waters

Michael Waters is an advanced technology consultant, researcher, inventor, and sustainable recovery strategist. His automated disaster recovery and library preservation systems are used worldwide. Michael has researched cutting edge science and technologies that redefine current understandings in mainstream physics. He is currently on the board of a number of organizations involved in advanced energy, mining, agriculture, and finance.

Alain Nu

Las Vegas headliner, Alain Nu – “The Man Who Knows”, brings us his mind-bending mental and metaphysical abilities. His highly entertaining and most provocative show intermingles feats of mind-reading and spoon bending with other baffling demonstrations that defy explanation.

Joni Patry

Joni Patry is one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in the world. She was a faculty member for ACVA, CVA and Instructor for online certification programs, published many books, journals and appeared on national and international television shows. As the keynote speaker for international conferences, she has a Japanese website, and teaches in Austria, Turkey and India. She has been awarded the 2015 Jyotish Star of the year and Dr B. V. Raman’s Janma Shatamanothsava Award Jyotisha Choodamani. She publishes an online astrological magazine, Astrologic Magazine and has an online University for certification, the University of Vedic Astrology.

Regina Meredith

As Regina’s career progressed, so did her decades long exploration into the world of esoteric and hidden sciences – the reality beyond the 5 sense world. Guidance from these realms suggested it was time to bring her skill set to the world of video/televised media, so in late 2004, along with her husband Scott, she co-created ‘Conscious Media Network’, the first online network to feature full length original video interviews with authors and experts in the realms of the meta-physical, healing arts and alternative theories, opening up a world that many had experienced but never had access to on this scale.

Gaia: In 2012, Conscious Media Network merged with Gaiam TV in 2012, with Regina serving as anchor in their new media division on Open Minds and Healing Matrix. The demand for Regina’s unique perspective on a variety of subjects has drawn attention from conference organizers, moving her into the public as a presenter at conferences. In addition, Regina offers retreats and workshops for those who wish to ‘Dive Deep’ into a new understanding of the nature of reality and life itself. In this venue she shares her exclusive approach to meditation and regression work for a greater understanding of life’s challenges and identifying the innate joys.

Dr. Harold Puthoff

Although nominated for a Nobel Prize in physics for his breakthrough theoretical work on zero-point energy, Dr. Harold Puthoff, is most recognized for having been a co-founder of the secret US government “remote viewing” program that successfully used psychics to spy on the Soviet Union and China.

Now a principal and science advisor in a leading-edge effort by former senior military and intelligence managers to disclose the many decades of interest that the US has had in UFOs, he comes to Berkeley Springs on the 8th of February to give a TransitionTalk about his work in making sense out of the UFO phenomena.

Dr. Puthoff’s presentation will include a summary of his current activities with To The Stars Academy, which is on the forefront of bringing into the open formerly highly classified efforts by the government to track, record and understand the meaning of hundreds of encounters that the military has had with UFOs over the past years.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from and question one of the foremost thinkers and leaders of the rapidly accelerating global effort to both make the public aware of what was previously unacknowledged about UFO and alien interaction with humans and also to address the deep questions about what is happening and what it might mean for the future of humanity.

Gregg Braden

Gregg Braden is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, and is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science, spirituality and human potential! His discoveries have led to 12 award-winning books now published in over 40 languages. The UK’s Watkins Journal lists Gregg among the top 100 of “the world’s most spiritually influential living people” for the 5th consecutive year, and he is a 2017 nominee for the prestigious Templeton Award.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a leading expert on the paranormal and supernatural. With more than 50 books – including 10 encyclopedias – and hundreds of articles in print on a wide range of paranormal, spiritual and mystical topics, she possesses exceptional knowledge of the field. Her present work focuses on inter-dimensional entity contact experiences and communication.

John L. Petersen

John L. Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises (wild cards) and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future.


He has led national non-profit organizations, worked in sales, manufacturing, real estate development, and marketing and advertising, mostly for companies he founded. A graduate electrical engineer, he has also promoted rock concerts; produced conventions; and worked as a disc jockey, among other things.

Mr. Petersens government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984. He was twice the runner-up to be Secretary of the Navy.

In 1989, Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The “think tank” serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.

An award-winning writer, Petersens first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on The World Future Societys best-seller list for more than a year. His Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises book was also a WFS best-seller. His latest book is a Vision of 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. His coauthored article, (The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?) was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report (The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment) was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media.

Petersen is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a former network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, Petersen invests in and develops resources for large, international projects and advanced technology start-up companies. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Speaking Inquiries: Email

Penny Kelly

Penny Kelly is an author, teacher, speaker, publisher, personal and spiritual consultant, and Naturopathic physician. She travels, lectures, and teaches a variety of classes and workshops, and maintains a large consulting practice. She has been involved in scientific research and investigations into consciousness at Pinelandia Laboratory near Ann Arbor, MI.