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Volume 24, Number 5 – 3/1/21




  • In a bid to tackle the junk problem, France last year voted to introduce an index of repairability for a variety of electronics, from washing machines to smartphones.
  • Eyes may provide early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • The cloud computing bill ranks as the third-largest expense for many internet software firms, trailing only payroll and office space.
  • China is planning a rapid expansion of its weather modification program to cover an area more than one and a half times the size of India.


The Practical Process of Preparation for the Coming Changes

You’ve noticed, of course, that everything is coming unglued. Almost all of the institutions, relationships and supports that we have all developed to sustain ourselves emotionally – to say nothing of economically and socially – are moving and being called into question. We’ve entered a time of rapidly increasing fluidity where it’s becoming harder and harder to know what is really REAL, and what the future might hold. The world is becoming “surreal-er and surreal-er.”

Futurist John Petersen returns to TransitionTalks on the 17th of April to specifically address what he has discovered from extracting the characteristics and options available to us all at this leading edge of change. John will present an integrated approach to surfing the great shift that offers the best ideas from conventional assessors of change management coupled with big-picture understandings of this evolutionary jump, where it may be going and . . . how we can all begin to change how we live to be able to ride this wave rather than be battered on the rocks of personal chaos that will confront many around us.

This will be an unusual – and special – opportunity to begin to both understand what is headed this way and to learn of specific, practical ways in which prepare for and navigate the turbulent times ahead.


April 17, 2021

Coolfont Resort, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia


Karen Sokel interviews John Petersen prior to his presentation in December.
John is returning in April — you’ll not want to miss it!





‘Papers, Please’: Vaccine Passports Have Officially Arrived – (Mercola – February 24, 2021)
The U.K. government has given sizeable grants to a number of private companies developing vaccine passports and digital certificates that show vaccination status. It’s likely only a matter of time before you’ll be asked to prove your vaccination status in order to carry on with your daily life. This blatant move toward an ever-increasing surveillance state is being welcomed by many who have been led to believe they’re necessary to protect public health and safety. While many countries have suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandated, by giving special privileges to the vaccinated, such as the ability to travel, attend social events or even enter a workplace, it essentially amounts to the same thing and insinuates a “cleaner” class of people in those who have been vaccinated. See also: European Leaders to Debate EU-wide Vaccine Passports. (Editor’s note: The vaccine passports have not actually arrived quite yet, but it is highly likely they will be in use soon; the EU, which is hugely dependent on tourism, is trying to figure out how it can safely reopen to international travelers.)

Covid: The Virus Was Never Proven to Exist; a Statement from Dr. Andrew Kaufman, Dr. Tom Cowan, and Sally Fallon Morell – (No More Fake News – February 26, 2021)
Recently, Dr. Tom Cowan, Dr. Andrew Kaufman, and Sally Fallon Morell published a statement concerning the existence of SARS-CoV-2. The article prints it in full. Excerpt from Statement: The controversy over whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus has ever been isolated or purified continues. However, using the above definition (in article), common sense, the laws of logic and the dictates of science, any unbiased person must come to the conclusion that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never been isolated or purified. As a result, no confirmation of the virus’ existence can be found. The logical, common sense, and scientific consequences of this fact are: the structure and composition of something not shown to exist can’t be known, including the presence, structure, and function of any hypothetical spike or other proteins; the genetic sequence of something that has never been found can’t be known; “variants” of something that hasn’t been shown to exist can’t be known; and it’s impossible to demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 causes a disease called Covid-19. Article explains the proper way to isolate, characterize and demonstrate a new virus. None of these steps has even been attempted with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, nor have all these steps been successfully performed for any so-called pathogenic virus. Instead, since 1954, virologists have taken unpurified samples from a relatively few people, often less than ten, with a similar disease. They then minimally process this sample and inoculate this unpurified sample onto tissue culture containing usually four to six other types of material — all of which contain identical genetic material as to what is called a “virus.” The tissue culture is starved and poisoned and naturally disintegrates into many types of particles, some of which contain genetic material. Against all common sense, logic, use of the English language and scientific integrity, this process is called “virus isolation.” This brew containing fragments of genetic material from many sources is then subjected to genetic analysis, which then creates in a computer-simulation process the alleged sequence of the alleged virus, a so called in silico genome. At no time is an actual virus confirmed by electron microscopy. At no time is a genome extracted and sequenced from an actual virus. This is scientific fraud.

COVID: If There Is No Virus, Why Are People Dying? – (No More Fake News – January 29, 2021)
Since the beginning of this false pandemic, I (the author of this article) have been offering compelling evidence that no one has proved SARS-CoV-2 exists. Then people ask, “So why are all these people dying?” First of all, the whole notion that COVID-19 is one health condition is a lie. Covid is not one thing. By far, the biggest sources of illness we are dealing with are lung conditions: various kinds of pneumonia; flu and flu-like disease; TB; other unnamed lung/respiratory problems. These are being relabeled “COVID.” It’s a repackaging scheme. People are dying for those traditional reasons, and their deaths are being called “COVID.” Thus, the old is artificially made new. They are dying in nursing homes, in hospitals, in their houses and apartments. In addition to their lung problems, they have been suffering from a whole host of other conditions, for a long time, and they’ve been treated with toxic drugs. They’re terrified that they might receive a diagnosis of “COVID,” and then they are given that diagnosis. Then they’re isolated, cut off from friends and family. They give up and die. This is forced premature death. Why else are people dying? In many cases, it’s a simple matter of bookkeeping. They die in hospitals for a variety of reasons, and staff write “COVID death” on their files. In the US, states receive federal money based on these statistics.


Apple Now Shows Device Repairability Scores in France – (Engadget – February 26, 2021)
The iPhone maker is complying with a new anti-waste law. With the EU outlining a green deal that seeks to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, scrutiny has turned to the shelf life of gadgets that contribute to the barrage of e-waste produced annually on the continent. In a bid to tackle the junk problem, France last year voted to introduce an index of repairability for a variety of electronics, from washing machines to smartphones. Now that the law has come into effect, Apple (whose phones are notoriously hard to fix through DIY means) has started listing iPhone and MacBook repairability scores on its online store in France. The rating covers how easily a device can be disassembled and the availability of repair manuals and spare parts. Starting in January, manufacturers in France started displaying color-coded labels carrying the scores on their products in shops and online. The anti-waste law is designed to keep shoppers abreast of the lifespan of their electronics to encourage them to choose longer-lasting items. Fines for non-compliance are expected to be introduced next year. According to an EC survey, citizens support the sustainability drive, with 77% claiming they would prefer to repair a device over replacing it. In addition, 79% believe that manufacturers should make their products simpler to fix by providing easier access to individual parts. The EU, which already utilizes energy rating labels for appliances, has also been voting to push through repairability reforms in the latest sign that the so-called “right to repair” movement is building steam.

Astrophysicists Re-imagine World Map, Designing a Less Distorted, Radically Different Way to See the World – (PhysOrg – February 16, 2021)
A fundamental re-imagining of how maps can work has resulted in the most accurate flat map ever made, from a trio of map experts: J. Richard Gott, an emeritus professor of astrophysics at Princeton and creator of a logarithmic map of the universe once described as “arguably the most mind-bending map to date”; Robert Vanderbei, a professor of operations research and financial engineering who created the “Purple America” map of election results; and David Goldberg, a professor of physics at Drexel University. Their new map is two-sided and round, like a phonograph record or vinyl LP. Like many radical developments, it seems obvious in hindsight. Why not have a two-sided map that shows both sides of the globe? It breaks away from the limits of two dimensions without losing any of the logistical convenience—storage and manufacture—of a flat map. In 2007, Goldberg and Gott invented a system to score existing maps, quantifying the six types of distortions that flat maps can introduce: local shapes, areas, distances, flexion (bending), skewness (lopsidedness) and boundary cuts (continuity gaps). The lower the score, the better: a globe would have a score of 0.0. Using their metrics, the best previously known flat map projection was the Winkel Tripel, with a Goldberg-Gott score of 4.563. The new map can be displayed with the Eastern and Western Hemispheres on the two sides, or in Gott’s preferred orientation, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which conveniently allows the equator to run around the edge.


Scientists Accidentally Discover Strange Creatures Under a Half Mile of Ice – (Wired – February 15, 2021)
Geologist James Smith of the British Antarctic Survey and colleagues drilled through the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf—a five-hour flight from the nearest Antarctic station – to sample sediment. Instead, they found animals that weren’t supposed to be there. To get through the ice, Smith and his colleagues had to melt 20 tons of snow to create 20,000 liters of hot water, which they then pumped through a pipe lowered down a borehole. It took them 20 hours to melt through the ice inch by inch, finally piercing through the shelf. Unfortunately, they happened to drill right over a rock and there was no access to sediment. But the rock was covered with a kind of film, likely a layer of bacteria known as a microbial mat. An alien-like sponge and other stalked animals dangled from the rock, while stouter, cylindrical sponges hugged the surface. The rock was also lined with wispy filaments, perhaps a component of the bacterial mats, or perhaps a peculiar animal known as a hydroid. The rock Smith had accidentally discovered is 160 miles from daylight—that is, the nearest edge of the shelf, where ice ends and the open ocean begins. It’s hundreds of miles from the nearest location that might be a source of food—a spot that would have enough sunlight to fuel an ecosystem, and be in the right position relative to the rock for known currents to supply these creatures with sustenance. The Antarctic critters on this particular rock can’t roam away from it in search of food. So how could they be getting sustenance? The researchers think it’s likely that the drift of this marine snow (detritus and decomposing dead animals) has been flipped on its side, so that the food source is moving horizontally instead of vertically. Looking at charts of currents near the drill site, the researchers determined that there are productive regions between 390 and 930 miles away. It may not be much, but it’s possible that enough organic material is riding these currents hundreds of miles to feed these creatures.

Dinosaur-Killing Impact Came from Edge of Solar System, New Theory Suggests – (NPR – February 16, 2021)
For decades, the prevailing theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs was that an asteroid from the belt between Mars and Jupiter slammed into the planet, causing cataclysmic devastation that wiped out most life on the planet. But new research out of Harvard University theorizes that the Armageddon-causing object came from much farther out than originally believed. According to this new theory, the devastation came not from a relatively nearby asteroid, but from a sort of long-distance comet that came from the edge of the solar system in an area known as the Oort cloud. The gravity from Jupiter pulled the comet into the solar system. At that point, according to Amir Siraj, a Harvard student who co-authored the paper with Professor Avi Loeb, “Jupiter acts as a kind of pinball machine.” The theory goes: Jupiter’s gravity shot this incoming comet into an orbit that brought it very close to the sun, whose tidal forces caused the comet to break apart. Some of the comet’s fragments entered Earth’s orbit, and one — 50 miles across, roughly the size of Boston — slammed into the coast of Mexico. Goodbye dinosaurs. Other experts disagree with the study’s methods and conclusions.

Dogs Know Where Their Paws End and the World Begins – (Live Science – February 19, 2021)
Dogs may have self-awareness just like humans. Dogs know where their paws end and the world begins, a new study shows, adding our furry companions to a group of animals that, like humans, recognize themselves as distinct entities from their environment. Called body awareness, this ability is one of the most basic manifestations of self-representation (also known as self-awareness). Previous research mainly tested species on more complex forms of the ability. For example, one of the most famous tests of self-representation is the “mirror-mark task,” in which animals are thought to possess a more advanced form of self-representation, if they can recognize themselves in a mirror. Great apes, elephants, dolphins, corvid birds and a “constantly growing list” of species pass this test, said senior author Péter Pongrácz, an associate professor in the department of ethology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. To test canine body awareness, the researchers recruited 32 dogs and conducted a “body as an obstacle” task. This test had previously been conducted only on elephants and toddlers. Dogs have also shown other basic components of self-representation, including the ability to recognize their own odor, body-size awareness and episodic memory, or personal memories of specific events, according to the study. Now, the team hopes to continue investigating self-representation in dogs — for example, by seeing whether other factors influence this ability in individual animals. (Editor’s note: Every adult animal must be able to differentiate between self and not-self and therefore have some sense of “me ”. They are not, like a month old baby, just swimming in a state of undifferentiated awareness. If they were, they wouldn’t survive. We suspect that all animals have some measure of self awareness – and that western science, in this regard, is a bit slow.)


Researchers May Have Found a Cure for Baldness – (BGR – February 13, 2021)
There are various therapies for baldness, but there’s no cure that can reverse the process. Now, however, a team in Japan might have found a solution to restore hair growth with the help of stem cells. The researchers used stem cells to create hair follicles that can regrow hair after it falls out. Hair loss is natural, but every strand of hair should be replaced by a new one that regrows in its place. The RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research scientists published a paper in Nature Scientific Reports detailing their progress with stem cells on mammals. They took fur and whisker cells from mice and then cultured them in the lab together with other ingredients. They used 220 combinations, finding that one type of collagen paired with five factors (NFFSE medium) would lead to the highest rate of stem cell amplification in the shortest period of time. These researchers combined bioengineered hair follicle stem cells with the NFFSE medium, as well as with the medium missing one of the ingredients. They observed the regenerated hair for three weeks and discovered that the NFFSE medium allowed the hair follicles to go through at least three cycles of normal hair production. The other medium wasn’t nearly as efficient, with 79% of follicles producing only one hair cycle. The researchers also found that a specific marker on the surface of cells cultured in the NFFSE medium favored hair cycling. “We found almost 80% of follicles reached three hair cycles when Itgβ5 was also bioengineered into the hair follicle germ,” author Makoto Takeo said in a statement. “In contrast, only 13% reached three cycles when it was not present.” “Our culture system establishes a method for cyclical regeneration of hair follicles from hair follicle stem cells and will help make hair follicle regeneration therapy a reality in the near future,” Takashi Tsuji, the lead author of the study, said. At this point, the RIKEN researchers have demonstrated stem cell therapy in preclinical lab tests. They are looking for backers for clinical trials.

New Technology Enables Predictive Design of Engineered Human Cells – (PhysOrg – February 19, 2021)
Northwestern University synthetic biologist Joshua Leonard and his team have developed a design-driven process to build complex genetic circuits for cellular engineering. One of the most exciting frontiers in medicine is the use of living cells as therapies. Using this approach to treat cancer, for example, many patients have been cured of previously untreatable disease. These advances employ the approaches of synthetic biology, a growing field that blends tools and concepts from biology and engineering. The new Northwestern technology uses computational modeling to more efficiently identify useful genetic designs before building them in the lab. Faced with myriad possibilities, modeling points researchers to designs that offer real opportunity. “To engineer a cell, we first encode a desired biological function in a piece of DNA, and that DNA program is then delivered to a human cell to guide its execution of the desired function, such as activating a gene only in response to certain signals in the cell’s environment,” Leonard said. Like other synthetic biology technologies, a key feature of this approach is that it is intended to be readily adopted by other bioengineering groups. To date, it remains difficult and time-consuming to develop genetic programs when relying upon trial and error. It is also challenging to implement biological functions beyond relatively simple ones. The research team used a “toolkit” of genetic parts invented in Leonard’s lab and paired these parts with computational tools for simulating many potential genetic programs before conducting experiments. They found that a wide variety of genetic programs, each of which carries out a desired and useful function in a human cell, can be constructed such that each program works as predicted. The genetic circuits developed and implemented in this study are also more complex than the previous state of the art. This advance creates the opportunity to engineer cells to perform more sophisticated functions and to make therapies safer and more effective. “With this new capability, we have taken a big step in being able to truly engineer biology,” Leonard said.

Our Eyes May Provide Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – (Washington Post – February 27, 2021)
Pinched off from the brain during embryonic development, the retina contains layers of neurons that seem to experience neurodegenerative disease along with their cousins inside the skull. The key difference is that these retinal neurons, right against the jellylike vitreous of the eyeball, live and die where scientists can see them. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s cause sweeping changes to the landscape of the brain before there are any behavioral shifts — blood vessels atrophy, neurons die prematurely and snarls of misfolded proteins disrupt communication between surviving neurons. Current techniques for detecting these shifts, including PET imaging at $3,000 to $6,000, can identify Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s pathology in the brain before symptoms begin, but they’re too invasive and costly for widespread use. But identifying parallel changes in the retina is a different story. Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, a neuroscientist and professor of neurosurgery, studies early Alzheimer’s intervention and treatment at Cedars-Sinai. She and her team have pioneered a technique to visualize the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s in the retinal neurons of live patients with mild cognitive impairments, at a cost of about $285 a scan. All it requires is modified ophthalmological equipment — and a lot of curry flavoring. Patients prepping for Koronyo-Hamaoui’s retinal exam load up on protein shakes spiked with curcumin, the naturally occurring compound that gives turmeric its color and flavor and is central in curry. Curcumin has an extreme affinity for amyloid beta, the protein that makes up Alzheimer’s plaques. It also glows yellow when exposed to blue light (yes, you can try this on your spice rack at home). Scientists have tied retinal amyloid beta to lower scores on cognitive tests, more plaque in the brain and reduced volume in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory hub. Ruogu Fang is a biomedical engineer who researches applications of artificial intelligence in health and medicine. She and her collaborators at the University of Florida use a fundus camera — a specialized iPhone attachment about the size of a book — to take high-resolution photos of the microscopic blood vessels in the back of the eye. Changes to the blood vessels in the brain are characteristic of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as oxygen deprivation contributes to premature neuron death, and there’s strong evidence that blood vessels in the retina mirror those changes. Initial results suggest that computer algorithms are able to use these fundus images to distinguish Parkinson’s patients from healthy controls with an accuracy upward of 70%.


Solar Panels in Sahara Could Boost Renewable Energy But Damage the Global Climate – Here’s Why – (The Conversation – February 11, 2021)
Researchers imagine it might be possible to transform the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, into a giant solar farm, capable of meeting four times the world’s current energy demand. Blueprints have been drawn up for projects in Tunisia and Morocco that would supply electricity for millions of households in Europe. While the black surfaces of solar panels absorb most of the sunlight that reaches them, only a fraction (around 15%) of that incoming energy gets converted to electricity. The rest is returned to the environment as heat. The panels are usually much darker than the ground they cover, so a vast expanse of solar cells will absorb a lot of additional energy and emit it as heat, affecting the climate. If these effects were only local, they might not matter in a sparsely populated and barren desert. But the scale of the installations that would be needed to make a dent in the world’s fossil energy demand would be vast, covering thousands of square kilometers. Heat re-emitted from an area this size will be redistributed by the flow of air in the atmosphere, having regional and even global effects on the climate. A 2018 study used a climate model to simulate the effects of lower albedo on the land surface of deserts caused by installing massive solar farms. Albedo is a measure of how well surfaces reflect sunlight. Sand, for example, is much more reflective than a solar panel and so has a higher albedo. The model revealed that when the size of the solar farm reaches 20% of the total area of the Sahara, it triggers a feedback loop. The heat emitted by the darker solar panels (compared to the highly reflective desert soil) creates a steep temperature difference between the land and the surrounding oceans that ultimately lowers surface air pressure and causes moist air to rise and condense into raindrops. With more monsoon rainfall, plants grow and the desert reflects less of the sun’s energy since vegetation absorbs light better than sand and soil. With more plants present, more water is evaporated, creating a more humid environment that causes vegetation to spread. This scenario might seem fanciful, but studies suggest that a similar feedback loop kept much of the Sahara green during the African Humid Period, which only ended 5,000 years ago. So, a giant solar farm could generate ample energy to meet global demand and simultaneously turn one of the most hostile environments on Earth into a habitable oasis. Sounds perfect, right? Actually, no. The climate model used in the 2018 study was too localized. The article discusses what the repercussions would be in such far flung places as the Amazon basin and Southeast Asia.

What Changed In Texas? – (Real Climate Science – February 24, 2021)
Texas experienced a cold snap similar to its most recent one in many years, including in 2011, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1983, 1963 and 1961. Chart and link to the front page of the Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas on February 5, 1989 included in article. But Texas used to rely on fossil fuels, rather than wind. The climate hasn’t changed. What has changed is the propaganda which has driven politicians to lunacy. (Editor’s note: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was founded in 1970. In 1996, ERCOT was appointed to facilitate the power flows and exchanges between emerging utilities in Texas and became the country’s first independent system operator.)

NASA Technology to Map the Stars Could Now Help Save World’s Largest Fish – (Good News Network – February 24, 2021)
Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, whale sharks are one of the least understood of their kind. Marine biologists don’t have good data on their migration patterns, their global hotspots, breeding sites, or if they follow a seasonal food source. It is principally this lack of knowledge that has prevented scientists from being able to develop conservation strategies to protect the animal from sliding further and further towards extinction. Now a new citizen science project utilizes the Hubble Space Telescope’s “Groth” algorithm—normally used for identifying individual stars in the universe—to map photographed-whale sharks’ spotted patterns, of which no two are alike, and therefore effectively act like a fingerprint. The algorithm forms the brain of a new photographic database of whale sharks, the largest ever assembled, that marine biologist Brad Norman of Western Australia’s Murdoch University used to create the Wildbook for Whale Sharks—a library of individually identified sharks that anyone, hobbyist scuba diver, amateur scientist, or professional biologist, can contribute to. “I was fortunate to team up with two brilliant scientists, software guru Jason Holmberg and NASA astrophysicist Zaven Arzoumanian, to develop a user-friendly database where anyone, anywhere can upload their own images of whale sharks.” Now the library contains more than 76,000 sightings of 12,357 sharks, each one capable of growing up to 40 feet long and weighing 20 tons. These gentle, filter-feeding giants are somewhere between Endangered and Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and the database will go a long way towards ensuring that their feeding grounds and migration and breeding habitat can be found and preserved.


Thought-detection: AI Has Infiltrated Our Last Bastion of Privacy – (Venture Beat – February 13, 2021)
Research published from Queen Mary University in London describes an application of a deep neural network that can determine a person’s emotional state by analyzing wireless signals that are used like radar. In this research, participants in the study watched a video while radio signals were sent towards them and measured when they bounced back. Analysis of body movements revealed “hidden” information about an individual’s heart and breathing rates. From these findings, the algorithm can determine one of four basic emotion types: anger, sadness, joy, and pleasure. The researchers proposed this work could help with the management of health and wellbeing and be used to perform tasks like detecting depressive states. Ahsan Noor Khan, a PhD student and first author of the study, said: “We’re now looking to investigate how we could use low-cost existing systems, such as Wi-Fi routers, to detect emotions of a large number of people gathered, for instance in an office or work environment.” Among other things, this could be useful for HR departments to assess how new policies introduced in a meeting are being received, regardless of what the recipients might say. Outside of an office, police could use this technology to look for emotional changes in a crowd that might lead to violence. If this seems farfetched, consider that researchers at Kyoto University in Japan developed a method to “see” inside people’s minds using an fMRI scanner, which detects changes in blood flow in the brain. Using a neural network, they correlated these with images shown to the individuals, and projected the results onto a screen. Though far from polished, this was essentially a reconstruction of what they were thinking about. One prediction estimates this technology could be in use by the 2040s.

This Cloud Computing Billing Expert Is Very Funny. Seriously. – (New York Times – February 17, 2021)
This article profiles Corey Quinn, founder and CEO of Duckbill Group. The consulting company’s only business is to help customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) understand and lower their cloud computing bills. For a large company, that bill may run to 100 pages or more. Along the way, this article sheds some interesting light on AWS. Its computers in Amazon’s data centers power large swaths of the internet, including Netflix and Disney+, while businesses large and small depend on AWS infrastructure to stay digitally connected. Currently, the cloud computing bill ranks as the third-largest expense for many internet software firms, trailing only payroll and office space.


This Futuristic Transit Hub Is Also an Educational Sanctuary in the Mojave Desert! – (Yanko Design – February 25, 2021)
Last summer’s Young Architects Competitions (YAC) saw several amazing concept designs but this Hyperloop Desert Campus by Begum Aydinoglu of Pada Labs, Mariana Custodio Dos Santos, and Juan Carlos Naranjo is a part of the noteworthy 30 shortlisted ones. The challenge was about creating a building in the Mojave Desert, Nevada, that blends the future of transport while also standing as a “sanctuary of science.” Of course, it is an architectural competition so the structure had to visually “wow” the audience/judges. The team kept in mind the current struggles we face as a planet and came up with a design that focused on environmental sustainability, resilience, and knowledge sharing. Hyperloop Desert Campus will be a building that houses multi-dimensional experiences. The team reimagined the Mojave Desert which is North America’s driest desert (and stretches across four states!) as an oasis in their proposal. The campus sports a stadium-like design with smooth curves bordering four courtyards that feature water elements to support the growth of tall palm trees and other greenery which will also allow for natural cooling and ventilation in the space. Hyperloop’s looping structure will have solar panel farms installed on each of its sides to generate renewable energy that can support the campus while the four courtyards will be designed to facilitate rainwater collection and greywater recycling. The “photos” are just architects’ renderings, but they truly are a “wow.”


Big Oil Invests in Eavor’s “Holy Grail”: Pump-free Geothermal Loops – (New Atlas – February 17, 2021)
BP and Chevron have led a US$40 million investment round for a Canadian startup that claims to have developed a unique way to extract energy from geothermal heat on demand, using an unpowered looping fluid design that’s already prototyped in Alberta. There are lower-temperature, low-enthalpy geothermal projects out there that can generate energy from hot rock in a flexible, scalable, on-demand fashion, but according to Eavor CEO John Redfern, these haven’t taken off because they lose between 50-80% of the power they generate in the task of pumping the water up and down. Which makes this Eavor-Loop technology a bit of a unicorn. Essentially it’s a low-enthalpy geothermal station that sends fluid through a sealed loop in a way that self-perpetuates without adding any extra energy at all once it’s running. The idea is simple: hot water wants to rise, cool water wants to fall. So the Eavor-Loop tunnels way down, miles deep into the Earth where the rock is hot, then runs a series of parallel tunnels out horizontally through the rock, where the water can get nice and hot. These tunnels themselves run for several miles deep beneath the surface, then join back together and rise up vertically again. The heat is harvested at the surface, and used either directly as commercial heating or by using a traditional heat engine to convert it into electricity. This cools the water, after which it gets sent back down underground into another similar set of underground radiator tunnels that heat it back up and send the hot water back up to the surface at the original site, where the heat can be harvested again. The fact that this all happens in a sealed loop, says Eavor, means that once the fluid is in motion, the higher density of cooler water will push it downward, and the lower density of the hot water will make it easier to push upwards. Kick-start the loop with a pump, and the water will begin to circulate itself, with no energy losses.

How Seville Is Turning Leftover Oranges into Electricity – (Guardian – February 23, 2021)
In spring, the air in Seville is sweet with the scent of azahar, orange blossom, but the 5.7m kilos of bitter (inedible) fruit the city’s 48,000 trees deposit on the streets in winter are a hazard for pedestrians and a headache for the city’s cleaning department. Now a scheme has been launched to produce an entirely different kind of juice from the unwanted oranges: electricity. The southern Spanish city has begun a pilot scheme to use the methane produced as the fruit ferments to generate clean electricity. The initial scheme launched by Emasesa, the municipal water company, will use 35 tonnes of fruit to generate clean energy to run one of the city’s water purification plants. The oranges will go into an existing facility that already generates electricity from organic matter. As the oranges ferment, the methane captured will be used to drive the generator. While the aim for now is to use the energy to run the water purification plants, the eventual plan is to put surplus electricity back into the grid. The team behind the project argues that, given the vast quantity of fruit that would otherwise go into landfill or be used as fertilizer, the potential is huge. They say trials have shown that 1,000kg will produce 50kWh, enough to provide electricity to five homes for one day, and calculate that if all the city’s oranges were recycled and the energy put back into the grid, 73,000 homes could be powered.


You Can Now Cycle Among the Treetops on This Raised Bike Path in a Belgian Forest – (My Modern Met – February 24, 2021)
A new public infrastructure project called Cycling Through the Trees is an incredible elevated path that gives riders a new perspective while pedaling through the forest. The project was designed by BuroLandschap and De Gregorio & Partners as a unique addition to the cycling system in Limburg, Belgium. The designers elevated the bike path in an elegant circular structure that provides stunning views of the Pijnven nature reserve. “The trees were of course very important,” saiys Pieter Daenen, founder of BuroLandschap. “After all, cycling through the trees would no longer make sense if trees were damaged or destroyed after the construction of the structure.” The circular form of the path helped preserve this environmental intention behind the design. A crane was built at the center of the circle and helped to build up the structure while being minimally invasive to the trees and surrounding plant life. Though some trees had to be cut down or trimmed to make room for the route, they were reused to create interesting shelters near the main circular path. Though the view from the upper paths is great, Cycling Through the Trees also makes the ground floor an aesthetic experience. The elevated structure is held up by tall, thin Corten steel pillars that seem to blend into the fir trees around them. Since trees are not regularly spaced in nature, the designers scattered their columns in intervals of one, two, and three meters apart (approximately three, six and a half, and 10 feet). The variety in spacing and the brownish color help keep riders immersed in the natural world when cycling at the lower paths. See also: Cycling Through Water. Don’t miss the photos – both places look enticing.


Software Bugs Reportedly Keep Arizona Inmates Jailed Past Release Dates – (Ars Technica – February 22, 2021)
A failure to update critical prison management software has kept hundreds of incarcerated people in Arizona behind bars longer than they should be, according to a whistleblower report. Employees for the Arizona Department of Corrections have known about the bug since 2019, Phoenix-based NPR affiliate KJZZ reported. The flaw follows a change to state law that the software simply cannot handle and has not been updated to deal with. Arizona has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the country, with drug possession convictions being one of the highest drivers behind the numbers. An amendment to Arizona state law in June 2019 created a mechanism through which inmates convicted of certain nonviolent drug offenses can earn credits toward early release. Eligible inmates who complete a program such as a GED equivalent or substance abuse treatment while imprisoned can earn three days’ credit for every seven days served and shorten the length of time they spend behind bars to 70% of their assigned sentence. The Arizona Department of Corrections’ own FAQ (PDF) about the program specifies that neither inmates nor their families should contact anyone to request an eligibility review. “This is done automatically based on system programming, which generates a list for Time Comp,” the document reads. “The reviews are being completed based on the projected earliest release dates.” According to the whistleblowers, however, that system cannot identify eligible participants and still does not make those calculations. “We knew from day one this wasn’t going to work,” a source in the Department of Corrections told KJZZ. There’s an entire sprawling US industry of “corrections” software out there. On one level, jail and prisoner management systems make sense: you need to know who’s in a facility, where they are, what their medical needs are, who their legal representation is, and so on. As elements of the criminal justice system are increasingly handed over to algorithms for management, however, real people are becoming more affected by the flaws in these software packages. The ACIS software deployment in Arizona took three years longer than it was supposed to and consistently went over budget, local media reported at the time.

Israel Expands Nuclear Facility Previously Used for Weapons Material – (Guardian – February 18, 2021)
Israel is carrying out a major expansion of its Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev desert, where it has historically made the fissile material for its nuclear arsenal.Construction work is evident in new satellite images published by the International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM), an independent expert group. Pavel Podvig, a researcher with the program on science and global security at Princeton University, said: “It appears that the construction started quite early in 2019, or late 2018, so it’s been under way for about two years, but that’s all we can say at this point.” The Israeli embassy in Washington had no comment on the new images. Israel has a policy of deliberate ambiguity on its nuclear arsenal, neither confirming nor denying its existence. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Israel has about 90 warheads, made from plutonium produced in the Dimona heavy water reactor. The nuclear facility is reported to have been used by Israel to create replicas of Iran’s uranium centrifuges to test the Stuxnet computer worm used to sabotage the Iranian uranium enrichment program in Natanz. But that more than 10 years ago, long before the current expansion began. than it was supposed to and consistently went over budget, local media reported at the time.


China Plans Rapid Expansion of Weather Modification Efforts – (Guardian – December 2, 2020)
China is planning a rapid expansion of its weather modification program to cover an area more than one and a half times the size of India, in a move likely to raise concerns among the country’s neighbors. The decision would increase fivefold the world’s biggest cloud-seeding operation, which already employs an estimated 35,000 people. For six decades, the communist nation has deployed military aircraft and anti-aircraft guns to lace clouds with silver iodide or liquid nitrogen to thicken water droplets to the point where they fall as snow or rain. The technology has mostly been used at a local level to alleviate droughts or clear skies ahead of major events, such as the 2008 Olympics or last October’s 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. But the proposed enlargement is on a scale that could affect regional weather patterns. The Chinese government said it wanted to extend the artificial rain and snow program to cover at least 2.1m sq miles of land by 2025. The long-term plan envisages that by 2035, the country’s weather modification capabilities would reach an “advanced” level and focus on revitalizing rural regions, restoring ecosystems and minimizing losses from natural disasters. Part of the plan is a new weather modification system in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Asia’s biggest freshwater reserve. Chinese scientists are working on the ambitious Tianhe (“sky river”) plan to divert water vapor northwards from the Yangtze River basin to the Yellow River basin, where it would become rainfall. They say they have found potential channels near the boundary of the troposphere that could carry 5bn cubic meters of water annually. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has reportedly constructed hundreds of chambers in the mountain region – known as Asia’s water tower – to feed silver iodide into the atmosphere in large volumes. This attempt to hydro-engineer the sky could ease shortages in the dry north of China but may exacerbate problems in south-east Asia and India if it affected the flow of the Mekong, Salween or Brahmaputra rivers – all of which have their sources on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. See also: Weather Engineering Signatures in Cloud Formations


Smaller Cakes, Shorter Dresses, Bigger Diamonds: The Pandemic Is Shaking up the $73 Billion Wedding Industry – (Washington Post – February 11, 2021)
In 2019, the average wedding cost nearly $25,000, with most going toward the reception, according to the Wedding Report, a market research firm. But with nuptials increasingly taking place outdoors or online, the average couple now spend significantly less, forcing retailers and vendors to adapt. As a result of the pandemic, couples are redirecting their wedding dollars — splurging on engagement rings, individually packed charcuterie plates and macarons, and moving away from multicourse dinners, traditional venues and tiered cakes. Hotels are offering elopement packages, bridal gown designers are creating simpler, shorter dresses, and bakers are churning out miniature cakes. Azazie, an online bridal boutique based in Silicon Valley, has doubled down on virtual showrooms where brides and their friends can select, share and vote for their favorite dresses. The company also expanded its at-home try-on program, which allows brides to select as many as three gowns at a time. At diamond giant De Beers, fourth-quarter sales of engagement rings rose 12% from a year earlier, with much of that growth coming from larger stones, according to Stephen Lussier, the company’s executive vice president of consumer markets. Signet Jewelers’ president, Jamie Singleton noted that the typical engagement ring now comes with a 2.5-carat diamond (price tag: $6,000 to $9,000), compared with the 1-carat stones seen pre-pandemic. And a growing contingent of videographers and wedding planners will produce and host Zoom nuptials, often with a price tag in the thousands. When traditional wedding bookings dried up at the beginning of the pandemic, Caroline Creidenberg took a chance on planning Zoom weddings instead. It paid off. Her company, Wedfuly, hosted 500 online weddings from March through December, with as many as 30 bookings on some weekends. “Pretty quickly the lightbulb went off in my head: This isn’t just something that’s going to get us through [the pandemic], but it’s going to create radical change in the industry.”

The Golden Age of Free Stuff Is Upon Us – (New York Times – February 24, 2021)
Looking through other people’s trash and dragging away used objects isn’t new. But what has come to be known as “stooping,” or more recently, “trash stalking,” has become so widespread since the start of the pandemic that several Instagram accounts devoted to it have attracted thousands of followers and transformed what used to be a niche activity into a phenomenon. Early on, many of the items found discarded, according to regular sidewalk shoppers, appeared to be from New Yorkers leaving the city, at least temporarily, as the outbreak grew worse. But over time, cooped up New Yorkers are seemingly going through an extended spring cleaning, yielding a windfall of unwanted stuff. “I don’t see the amount of stuff on the street diminishing at all, it just seems to be increasing,” said Jessica Wolff, 36, who works in sustainable fashion and runs @stoopinginqueens on Instagram. She started the account in the summer of 2019 and had about 250 followers. Now she has over 10,000. Some of those prowling the streets in search of possible gems appear motivated by frugality. Another major driver, simply put, is boredom. Stooping has given people a creative outlet as well as an opportunity to get out of the house. Perhaps the most popular Instagram account for abandoned goods is @stoopingnyc, which has 130,000 followers and is run by a couple who prefer to shield their identities. They are credited with coming up with the term “stooping.” What stoopers and trash-stalkers say is most gratifying are “stooping successes” — when items are rescued and repaired, their before-and-after photos posted on Instagram.


Federal Authorities Confirm Sighting of Yet Another UFO, This Time in New Mexico – (Gizmodo – February 26, 2021)
Multiple authorities have confirmed that commercial airline pilots recently saw, well, something, hurtling through America’s southwestern skies. The lowdown is this: American Airlines Flight 2292 was passing over Clayton, N.M., on Sunday, February 21, traveling at 36,000 feet en route to Phoenix from Cincinnati, when the crew witnessed a “long, cylindrical” object. The object shot over the top of the plane, traveling at a very high rate of speed, then disappeared. Shortly after it occurred, the pilots of 2292 radioed the FAA’s Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center to ask what was going on. The transmission associated from the incident was actually recorded by blogger and self-styled “radio interceptor” Steve Douglass, who featured it on his blog Deep Black Horizon. The transmission from Sunday reads: “Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us – I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing – moving really fast right over the top of us.” Article includes link to the actual flight audio. American Airlines recently released this short statement: “Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received, we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21. For any additional questions on this, we encourage you to reach out to the FBI.” More recently, the Federal Aviation Administration also confirmed that the incident had occurred, releasing a curt explanation: “A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.” Now the speculation has begun as to what it was exactly that the pilots saw. Given the pilot’s “missile” comment, a number of commentators have pointed out that the U.S. Military’s White Sands Missile Range is located in New Mexico—albeit quite a ways out from where the sighting took place (by about 400 miles). Could it have been some sort of long-range missile test? The range apparently told The Arizona Republic that they weren’t running any tests that day and never run tests in that area.

China Officially Plans to Move Ahead with Super-heavy Long March 9 Rocket – (Ars Technica – Febrary 24, 2021)
China has officially approved the development of a super heavy lift rocket, named the Long March 9, or CZ-9 vehicle. In a snippet from an interview, the deputy director of the China National Space Agency, Wu Yanhua, said the main purpose of the new rocket is for any “crewed lunar landing or crewed Mars landing missions” the country may undertake. According to Chinese officials, the country will target the year 2030 for a debut launch. This is consistent with previous timeline estimates. The rocket is planned to have a lift capacity of 140 metric tons, with the capability of sending 50 or more tons into lunar orbit. It would be an immense vehicle, with a 10-meter diameter core and 5-meter side boosters. China would also like to eventually make the rocket, or at least part of it, reusable. The target date of 2030 for CZ-9 might seem distant for rocket development, but it would be relatively speedy compared to NASA’s design and construction of the Space Launch System rocket, which began a decade ago. The initial configuration of the SLS rocket will have a lift capacity of 70 to 85 tons and may launch in 2022. Only after two additional major updates—likely to cost about $20 billion and not to be completed before 2030—will NASA’s rocket have a lift capacity of about 130 tons. China’s announcement offers a powerful statement of its intent to press ahead with human deep space exploration. The country has already talked in generalities about establishing a Moon base in about a decade, but this appears to be the first time the country is also expressing an interest in sending humans to Mars as a follow-up mission.

NASA Scientist Claims That “Humans Live in A Matrix Powered by an Alien Race” – (True Blog – February 22, 2021)
Nick Bostrom, one of the most prestigious scientists at NASA’s corporation, recently issued quite a jarring statement in which he said that we all live in a computer simulation after all, and that we will never be allowed to leave it in the first place. Nick even went so far as to say that the 1999 film Matrix actually made a lot of sense. It makes sense that we are currently suspended in tanks full of liquids, and that our world is just a reality that we have formed ourselves. He claims that if anything, in reality, we don’t even have a body to start with. We’d just be stagnant cells within a network of circuits of some kind. But he’s not alone in this, as the director of the Center for Revolutionary Calculation and Automatic Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Rich Terrile said, our own computers would be able to create something similar within ten years or so, so it’s not surprising that such an idea could exist in a more advanced world. Our own brains cannot keep up with the supercomputers that NASA has already developed, as information is said to be processed twice as quickly as a common human brain can.


Scientists Achieve Real-Time Communication With Lucid Dreamers In Breakthrough – (Motherboard – February 18, 2021)
Scientists have made a breakthrough in the exploration of the hallucinatory world inside dreams. An international team of researchers from the US, France, Germany, and the Netherlands was able to achieve real-time dialogues with people in the midst of lucid dreams, a phenomenon called “interactive dreaming.” Participants in the study were able to correctly respond to questions, such as simple math problems, while they were deep in the throes of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. The research reveals a “relatively unexplored communication channel” that could enable “a new strategy for the empirical exploration of dreams,” the study reports. “There are studies of lucid dreamers communicating out of dreams, and also remembering to do tasks,” said Karen Konkoly, a PhD student at Northwestern University and first author of the paper, in a call. “But there’s a fairly limited amount of research on the stimuli going into lucid dreams.” “One thing that surprised us is that you could just say a sentence to somebody, and they could understand it just as it actually is,” she added. Konkoly and her colleagues recruited 36 people to fall asleep in laboratories located in the United States, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, with the aim of entering a lucid state in which the person was aware that they were in a dream. The researchers verified that participants had entered REM sleep by placing electrodes next to their eyes, on their scalps, and on their chins. By measuring activity such as brainwaves and eyeball movements, sleep experts can determine if a person had entered this deep sleep state. Some of the participants were then asked to confirm that they were in a dream with a pre-arranged ocular response in which they moved their eyes in a specific left-right pattern. Roughly 18% of the trials resulted in clear and accurate communication from the dreamer; 17% produced indecipherable answers, 3% ended with incorrect responses, and 60% did not provoke any response at all. The fact that different groups of scientists, in different parts of the world and using slightly different methods, were all able to record this happening indicates that it’s not just some isolated or misidentified phenomenon.

Startup Turns 32 Million Discarded Chopsticks into Gorgeous Decor and Furniture – (Good News Network – January 12, 2021)
Attempting to tackle the immensely small, and invariably ignored problem of chopstick waste, Felix Böck created a startup that recycles used chopsticks into bespoke furniture and other useful items like tablet stands. In 2016, Böck, a doctoral student in the faculty of forestry at the University of British Columbia, estimated that 100,000 pairs of chopsticks were being sent to landfills every day in Vancouver alone. Now in its fourth year, ChopValue has exploded into success. Böck employs 40 people, and using his special methods of steam and press machines, he has recycled 32 million pairs of chopsticks. Armed with a mindset of German engineering and Canadian sustainability, Böck not only created a flourishing business, but a new model of production for a circular economy. The furniture and other items he creates like shelves, cutting boards, coasters, and hexagonal decorative blocks often contain thousands of chopsticks per item, a good thing, since billions of chopsticks are used across the Western Hemisphere every year. Once collected from restaurants that throw the used ones in a separate bin, they are coated in resin and pressed into blocks. Hundreds of restaurants across North America pay a small sum to Böck for the recycling of their used chopsticks. Böck hopes to scale up his business model by spreading factories for recycling local wood like chopsticks worldwide without relying on distribution chains, something he calls the Microfactory, and which he has set up in 10 countries.

Invasion of the Robot Dolphins! – (The Hill – January 29, 2021)
We are riding a surprising wave of enthusiasm for aquariums in the United States. Groups from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to New York City to Memphis, Tenn., to Detroit to Shreveport, La., to St. Louis have recently proposed or started construction on watery wonderlands. But aquariums have also been swamped with controversy. We’ve come a long way from the wholesome TV image of Flipper. Movies like “Free Willy” and “Blackfish” have raised public awareness of the psychological stress endured by large aquatic mammals. Hollywood to the rescue. Edge Innovations is the brainchild of founder and CEO Walt Conti. In the 1980s, Conti began using his background in mechanical engineering to work on movies like “Star Trek: The Voyage Home,” designing and building realistic animatronics of humpback whales. This odd niche proved increasingly valuable as many movies in the ’90s began using animatronic doubles to stand in for actual animals. More recently, Conti and his partner, Head of Experience Design Roger Holzberg, have set their sights on a brave new frontier: aquariums. They think they have the perfect answer to keep the animals in their native habitats, and keep the aquariums and marine parks in business. Edge has developed a hyper-realistic animatronic dolphin that can take the place of the captive dolphins in today’s aquariums. They have partners in China to build out an immersive experience with these robotic dolphins and have also set up a pilot program at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif. So how realistic are these dolphins? Surprisingly good and satisfying to audience members – even when people are told in advance that they are seeing robots.


How Bitcoin’s Vast Energy Use Could Burst Its Bubble – (BBC – February 6, 2021)
The cryptocurrency’s high profile support helped pushed the price of a single Bitcoin to more than $58,000. But it isn’t just the digital asset’s price that has hit an all-time high. So has its energy footprint. It’s unclear exactly how much energy Bitcoin uses. The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), which studies the burgeoning business of cryptocurrencies, calculates that Bitcoin’s total energy consumption is somewhere between 40 and 445 annualized terawatt hours (TWh), with a central estimate of about 130 terawatt hours. The UK’s electricity consumption is a little over 300 TWh a year, while Argentina uses around the same amount of power as the CCAF’s best guess for Bitcoin. And the electricity the Bitcoin miners use overwhelmingly comes from polluting sources. The CCAF team surveys the people who manage the Bitcoin network around the world on their energy use and found that about two-thirds of it is from fossil fuels. Huge computing power – and therefore energy use – is built into the way the blockchain technology that underpins the cryptocurrency has been designed. The software that generates Bitcoins ensures it always takes 10 minutes for the puzzle to be solved, so if the number of miners is increasing, the puzzle gets harder and the more computing power needs to be thrown at it. Bitcoin is therefore actually designed to encourage increased computing effort. What this means is that, as Bitcoin gets more valuable, the computing effort expended on creating and maintaining it – and therefore the energy consumed – inevitably increases. We can track how much effort miners are making to create the currency. They are currently reckoned to be making 160 quintillion calculations every second – that’s 160,000,000,000,000,000,000, in case you were wondering. And this vast computational effort is the cryptocurrency’s Achilles heel, says Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomist website and an expert on Bitcoin. The vast effort it requires also makes Bitcoin inherently difficult to scale, he argues. “If Bitcoin were to be adopted as a global reserve currency,” he speculates, “the Bitcoin price will probably be in the millions, and those miners will have more money than the entire [US] Federal budget to spend on electricity. We’d have to double our global energy production,” he says with a laugh. “For Bitcoin.” He says it also limits the number of transactions the system can process to about five per second. This doesn’t make for a useful currency, he argues, a view is echoed by many eminent figures in finance and economics. The two essential features of a successful currency are that it is an effective form of exchange and a stable store of value, says Ken Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He says Bitcoin is neither.

XRP & the Rise of Barter – (Armstrong Economics – February 19, 2021)
XRP is a digital asset built for payments. It is the native digital asset on the XRP Ledger—an open-source, permissionless, and decentralized blockchain technology that can settle transactions in 3-5 seconds. The reason the IMF and others are pushing this is not about the dollar, it is to end paper money. They are forced to realize that Keyensian economics failed as the solution to 6 years of quantitative easing unable to stimulate the economy. Hence, they need to end paper money to prevent hoarding but to do so, they need an instant clearing of digital currency. The push behind XRP requires 5G communication speed to be able to instantly clear transactions. Without that, you cannot replace paper currency. Consequently, the only way to move to electronic money in order to eliminate non-taxable hidden cash and the underground economy is to move toward the digital world. In the United States, in 2020, it is estimated that the underground economy is about 11 or 12% of U.S. GDP, or roughly $2.5 trillion total. Politicians look at that and see dollar sign visions in their heads. Make no mistake about it, XRP will also terminate all private cryptocurrency. No matter how politicians try to eliminate the underground economy, all they will do is give rise to the reestablishment of barter. In prison, cigarettes were money. Who knows what will emerge? Perhaps private paper money issued by companies that are a hybrid-coupon.


Has Covid Changed the Price of a Life? – (Guardian – February 14, 2021)
The dilemmas are achingly familiar by now. Should we lock down or stay open? If we lock down, when and in what order should the different sectors of the economy open up? What about schools? Places of worship? Cultural and sporting venues? In each case, the question being asked is essentially the same: is saving x lives from Covid-19 worth y potential damage to society? The question is usually framed in terms of damage to the economy rather than damage to society, because the former is easier to measure (how do you measure the damage done to religious people of not being able to pray together, to schoolchildren of not being able to mix, or to any of us of being deprived of art?) That calculation is complex enough, but feeding into it is another that’s even more morally fraught: Are some human lives more valuable than others? There are two broad approaches to valuing a human life. The first is known as the value of a prevented fatality (VPF). The second approach applies when you have more information about the individuals concerned and is called the quality-adjusted life year (QALY). A QALY is one year in full health, whatever that means for the individual in question. That’s an important detail, because the value of a QALY is the same for a person born deaf as one born hearing, but less for a “sickly old” man than for a “healthy young” child. Age and health are taken into account, but that’s all. “This is nothing to do with economic importance,” British economist Julian Jessop explains. “A rich person’s QALY is the same as a poor person’s.” From an economist’s point of view, at least, Jessop says these are reasonable applications of the tools. But problems arise when you try to apply them to extraordinary, society-wide interventions such as lockdown – when the counterfactual, or how many lives would have been lost or harmed if you hadn’t locked down, is much harder to assess. But Yaneer Bar-Yam, a physicist and president of the New England Complex Systems Institute in Massachusetts, thinks we’ve been looking the wrong question. Researchers are focused on trade-offs, he says, because they assume we have to live with Covid-19 – that there is no exit from this situation. For him the culprit is the World Health Organization (WHO), which never communicated that elimination was possible even after China and other countries had demonstrated it. “The WHO, which has elimination plans for other diseases, did not put it on the table for Covid-19,” he says.


The Boredom Economy – (New York Times – February 20, 2021)
One way the pandemic has had an impact on the economy is by making people bored. By limiting social engagements, leisure activities and travel, the pandemic has forced many people to live a more muted life, without the normal deviations from daily monotony. The result is shaping what we do and what we buy, and even how productive we are. Boredom’s impact on the economy is under-researched, experts say, possibly because there has been no modern situation like this one, but many agree that it’s an important one. Boredom, in some ways, is a luxury, experienced by those who have unfilled, and unfillable, time. Early in the pandemic, bread-making fervor prompted stores across the country to sell out of yeast. Puzzle sales have skyrocketed. Gardening has taken off as a hobby. Scotts Miracle-Gro sales increased more than 30% for the fiscal year that ended in September, to a record $4.13 billion. Home improvement, too, has boomed. Sherwin-Williams said it had record sales in the fourth quarter and for the year, in part because of strong performances in its do-it-yourself and residential repaint businesses. Pandemic boredom evidently has nothing on watching paint dry. Boredom may be driving people to more self-destructive behavior as well, though even that has economic implications. Alcohol sales have soared. Pandemic boredom, however, just might be reorienting the economy. Sandi Mann, a psychologist and author of The Science of Boredom, said boredom could lead people and businesses to become more creative. “That’s what downtime and boredom does,” she said. “It forces us to think differently because that’s what we do when we have time to think.”


Simon Beck’s Snow Art – Banff National Park – (YouTube – March 10, 2015)
#ProjectSnow is a spectacularly beautiful, poignant video montage of ‘Snow Art’ in motion, which intimately captures the creative journey of internationally-acclaimed snow artist Simon Beck during his first artistic exploration of North America. #ProjectSnow tells the visual story of Beck’s magnificent imprints on the pristine, mountainous landscape of Banff National Park in Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Through fascinating, high-definition footage shot over many, many hours – amongst bright daylight and under starlight skies and astounding Northern Lights color – #ProjectSnow illustrates the intense intricacy of Beck’s unique work within an innovative time-lapse format. The montage also features impressive ‘light drawing’ effects, highlighting Beck’s Snow Art masterpiece through LED lighting gently retracing the artist’s steps.


If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.
― Winston Churchill


A special thanks to: Ken Dabkowski, Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Marv Langston, Diane Petersen, Gary Sycalik, Steve Ujvarosy and all of you who have sent us interesting links in the past. If you see something we should know about, do send it along – thanks.




Edited by John L. Petersen

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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.

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.