Volume 25, Number 1 – 1/1/22

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Volume 25, Number 1 – 1/1/2022


  • A new process is able to neutralize the radioactivity around Chernobyl by 47%.
  • Wind turbines are using cameras and AI to greatly reduce bird deaths.
  • The Milky Way may be teeming with rogue planets unattached to stars.
  • Just four countries—the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany—make up over half of the world’s economic output by gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms.
Freddy Silva
Scotland’s Hidden Sacred Past
Saturday, January 22nd
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Around 6000 BC a revolution took place on Orkney and the Western Isles of Scotland. An outstanding collection of stone circles, standing stones, round towers and passage mounds appeared seemingly out of nowhere. And yet many such monuments were not indigenous to Britain, but to regions of the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean.

Their creators were equally mysterious. Traditions tell of ‘strangers from afar’ who were physically different, dressed in white tunics and lived aside from the regular population. They were regarded as master astronomers with an uncanny ability to work with enormous stones. But where did these relatively advanced ancient architects come from?

Based on Freddy’s new book, Scotland’s Hidden Sacred Past, we shall examine Scottish Neolithic culture and find a trail of evidence leading to Sardinia and the Armenian Highlands — a plan that would eventually form Ireland’s own megalithic culture.

Click below for more information about this event and to get tickets.
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Here’s a little sample of what Freddy will be talking about when he
joins us on January 22nd, 2022.
We hope YOU will join us too, either In Person or via Livestream!
Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness. He is also a leading expert on crop circles.

He has published six books in six languages.

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 is also a documentary filmmaker, art photographer, and leads private tours to sacred sites in England, France, Egypt, Portugal, Yucatan, Malta, Peru/Bolivia, and Scotland.

learn more at

I’d like to introduce you to TransitionNet, our new project to build a vision for a new world.
In the face of the implosion of the old system, I believe that those of us who want to be a part of building a new world must now rise to the occasion.  That’s why we’re here and we need to get about our task.  Now is our time.
Building a new world is not a simple thing.  The complexity and magnitude of our present global situation makes it seem like an effort multiple times more complex than the original founding of the United State, for example.  It’s a big deal.  But although it is much more complicated, we also have the internet and increasingly capable technologies that can both engage people who want to participate as well as build an integrated concept – a vision – of how that new world might operate.

That’s why, for the past 18 months, The Arlington Institute has been working on the conceptualization, design and development of a global collaboration platform that will allow anyone, from anywhere in the world, to participate in an organized initiative to actively design the new world.  We call it TransitionNet and it will support a worldwide network of local groups, each addressing specific pieces of the big puzzle.

All of the individual ideas and solutions from across the planet will feed into a central hub where they will be integrated into a whole picture of how the new world could work.  We want that picture to be a very interesting, dynamic graphical interface that will allow anyone visiting the TransitionNet website to be able to easily navigate around and both visualize the present, emergent state of the whole concept as well as drill down to see the supporting documents for the proposed solutions.  There will be something for everyone: government, energy, education, transportation, science, technology, etc.

Our plans are also to host an annual forum where all of the “designers” and Founders can come together and further work together in person on the big vision. 

The most important – and pressing – goal is to get the software platform finished to that we can launch it and get the project formally operational.

To do that, the first thing we need is a relatively small group of individuals who see the big picture and want to help in making this initial big step a reality. 

We need Founders – those who want to be enablers of the beginning of the biggest change in recorded history. Really. This is literally where we are. It’s a rather amazing time.

So, I’d like to give you the chance to become a Founder of TransitionNet.  Founders are the early supporters of the project who are on the ground floor for everything downstream.
I don’t have the space here to provide you with all of the specifics of TransitionNet, but you can find more information here … and I’ll certainly include a detailed overview if you choose to help us now by becoming a Founder.

You can become a Founder by investing at least $100 in TransitionNet. If only only 150 Founder friends come forth, we should be able to finish the software development for the platform.

That may sound like a small amount of money. If you know anything at all about software development, then you know that $15,000 is a VERY small amount for developing a significant platform. The only way that we can do this is because TAI has been funding the programing team for almost a year and a half, and we’re now in the last phases of the development process. So we’re very close to being able to share a working model of a new capability that is literally designed to change the world.

Many of you have been wonderful supporters of The Arlington Institute over the years, helping us yearly during these holiday campaigns.  It’s the only way we’ve kept FUTUREdition and our other programs going. 

Now, we’re taking the big step into the future with TransitionNet. Our objective is to build a model for a new world.  That is not hyperbole. It is actually what TransitionNet is designed to do.

It would be wonderful if you would join us. 

If you would like to become a TransitionNet Founder or get more information about this big, world-changing project, just click here.   We’d welcome you warmly in becoming one of the very early enablers to the biggest change in recorded history!

CDC Admits That the Covid Pandemic Was the Product of an Inappropriate Test – (PaulCraigRoberts – December 27, 2021)

Quietly without media attention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has withdrawn the PCR process as a valid test for detecting and identifying SARS-CoV-2. “After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only.” The CDC tacitly admits that the PCR test cannot differentiate between SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses: “CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season.”  I reported several months ago that the “health authorities” had reached this decision but were withholding its implementation until the end of 2021. They needed the fake test to keep the fear going in order to achieve as much vaccination, and therefore as much profit, as possible.

Researcher Andrew Hill’s Conflict: A $40 Million Gates Foundation Grant vs. a Half Million Human Lives – (World Tribune – December 9, 2021)

In a stunning admission, virologist Dr. Andrew Hill acknowledged in a zoom call that publication of his study could lead to the deaths of at least a half million people. In defending his reversal on the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, he discussed his “difficult situation” and said, “I’ve got this role where I’m supposed to produce this paper and we’re in a very difficult, delicate balance.” Andrew Hill, PhD, is a senior visiting Research Fellow in Pharmacology at Liverpool University. He is also an advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation. As a researcher for the WHO evaluating ivermectin, Hill wielded enormous influence over international guidance for the drug’s use. Hill had previously authored a analysis of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 that found the drug overwhelmingly effective. On Jan. 6 of 2021, Hill testified enthusiastically before the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidlelines Panel in support of ivermectin’s use. Within a month, however, Hill found himself in what he describes as a “tricky situation.” Under pressure from his funding sponsors, Hill then published an unfavorable study. Ironically, he used the same sources as in the original study. Only the conclusions had changed. The incident is recounted in Robert Kennedy Jr.’s New York Times Bestseller, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health.

World Council for Health Reveals Spike Protein Detox – (NewsXpress – December 22, 2021)

If you have ever had COVID-19 or obtained a COVID-19 injection, then you definitely doubtless have harmful spike proteins circulating in your physique. Whereas spike protein is of course present in SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the variant, it’s additionally produced in your physique once you obtain a COVID-19 shot. In its native type in SARS-CoV-2, the spike protein is answerable for the pathologies of the viral an infection. Now, the World Council for Well Being (WCH), a worldwide coalition of health-focused organizations and civil society teams that search to broaden public well being information, has launched spike protein detox information, which gives easy steps you’ll be able to take to doubtlessly reduce the results of poisonous spike protein. Detailed information in the article.

Pfizer and Moderna Thawed: Warmed Vials Become ‘Alive’ Self-Moving Organisms – (Forbidden Knowledge – December 18, 2021)

In this 13 minute video clip, Dr. Jane Ruby joins Stew Peters to discuss the findings of a group of doctors in South Korea, who call themselves the Korean Veritas Doctors for COVID-19. After obtaining vials of partially-used vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, they claim to have observed “moving organisms” via stereomicroscopy at 400X magnification and they warmed the vials to human body temperatures (97ºF–99ºF). Dr. Ruby says she was just contacted by one of the Korean doctors and she says, “They saw these forms under the microscope…start to, not only move, Stew but what’s really new about this is that they changed form, according to these doctors. And this goes along with what Fauci testifies to the House Energy Committee on December 4th, 2019, when he was expanding on the Executive Order that President Trump had signed in September of 2019. He embellished it by adding, ‘These are going to be mRNA particles. These are going to be self-assembling nanoparticles.’ And these [Korean] doctors are apparently seeing this very same thing. And it’s interesting, we’ve all wondered why these materials have to be kept on dry ice, there are very strict parameters and now we’ve learned a lot more since then…”

Open-source Intelligence Challenges State Monopolies on Information – (Economist – August 7, 2021)

The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), a part of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, California is a leader in gathering and analyzing open-source intelligence (OSINT). It has pulled off some dramatic coups with satellite pictures, including on one occasion actually catching the launch of a North Korean missile in an image (pictured in the article) provided by Planet, a company in San Francisco. And it is not just the data. There are also tools and techniques for working with them—3D modeling packages, for example, which let you work out what sort of object might be throwing the shadow you see in a picture. And there are social media and institutional settings that let this be done collaboratively. Eclectic expertise and experience can easily be leveraged with less-well-versed enthusiasm and curiosity in the service of projects which link academics, activists, journalists and people who mix the attributes of all three groups. The intelligence world is thus being democratized, a development which is challenging governments, reshaping diplomacy and chipping away at the very idea of secrecy. The government is a big customer of OSINT because the commercial images provide a useful supplement to its classified in-house capabilities. They also provide a rhetorical resource: pictures bought commercially can be used publicly without revealing anything about classified capabilities. This is not all being done for the benefit of spooks and their civilian OSINT counterparts. Seeing the world in detail and watching it change over time has all sorts of applications for agriculture, for investors, for commodity companies, for environmental monitoring of corporate activities and more. “We are providing a particular role in society that most open countries, including the United States, net benefit from,” says Will Marshall, the CEO of Planet. “It might occasionally expose something inconvenient for them, but that’s the new state of the world.” (Editor’s note: We recommend this article for its in depth look at the current state of global non-secrecy.)

ExoMars Discovers Hidden Water in Mars’ Grand Canyon – The Largest Canyon in the Solar System – (SciTech Daily – December 17, 2021)

The ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has spotted significant amounts of water at the heart of Mars’ dramatic canyon system, Valles Marineris. The water, which is hidden beneath Mars’ surface, was found by the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO)’s FREND (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector) neutron telescope, which is mapping the hydrogen – a measure of water content – in the uppermost meter of Mars’ soil. While water is known to exist on Mars, most is found in the planet’s cold polar regions as ice. Water ice is not found exposed at the surface near the equator, as temperatures here are not cold enough for exposed water ice to be stable. Missions including ESA’s Mars Express have hunted for near-surface water – as ice covering dust grains in the soil, or locked up in minerals – at lower latitudes of Mars, and found small amounts. However, such studies have only explored the very surface of the planet; deeper water stores could exist, covered by dust. “With the TGO we can look down to one meter below this dusty layer and see what’s really going on below Mars’ surface – and, crucially, locate water-rich ‘oases’ that couldn’t be detected with previous instruments,” says Igor Mitrofanov of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia; lead author of the new study; and principal investigator of the FREND telescope. “FREND revealed an area with an unusually large amount of hydrogen in the colossal Valles Marineris canyon system: assuming the hydrogen we see is bound into water molecules, as much as 40% of the near-surface material in this region appears to be water.” The water-rich area is about the size of the Netherlands and overlaps with the deep valleys of Candor Chaos, part of the canyon system considered promising in our hunt for water on Mars.

‘Wind’ from Earth’s Middle Layer Blows through a Secret Passage Beneath Panama – (Live Science – December 18, 2021)

A geological secret passage beneath Panama may explain why rocks from Earth’s mantle are found more than 1,000 miles from where they originated. This opening, located some 62 miles below Earth’s surface, may allow a flow of mantle materials to travel all the way from beneath the Galápagos Islands to beneath Panama. This never-before-discovered form of transport may also help explain why Panama has very few active volcanoes. On the west coast of Central America, the Cocos tectonic plate is diving down and pushes oceanic crust under the continental crust of the North American, Caribbean and Panama tectonic plates, a process called subduction. This subduction zone creates a line of volcanoes called the Central American Volcanic Arc where lava pushes through the boundaries. But the volcanism stops in western Panama, which sits on the Panama plate , said David Bekaert, a postdoctoral scholar in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. When a tectonic plate slides under another tectonic plate during subduction, that subducting plate doesn’t just disappear; it retains its structure as it grinds down into the mantle, only gradually heating and warping. “Just beneath Panama, there is a hole, a window through the slab, that allows for the influx of this mantle component,” Bekaert said. This window may be the result of a natural, pre-existing fracture in the subducting Cocos crust, or it may be a place where the crust snapped during subduction. Either way, it lets materials pass through — from one side of the plate to the other — like a breeze through an open window.

Earth’s First Giant: Newly Discovered Species of Ichthyosaur Was Behemoth of Dinosaurian Oceans – (SciTech Daily – December 24, 2021)

The two-meter skull of a newly discovered species of giant ichthyosaur, the earliest known, is shedding new light on the marine reptiles’ rapid growth into behemoths of the Dinosaurian oceans, and helping us better understand the journey of modern cetaceans (whales and dolphins) to becoming the largest animals to ever inhabit the Earth. While dinosaurs ruled the land, ichthyosaurs and other aquatic reptiles (that were emphatically not dinosaurs) ruled the waves, reaching similarly gargantuan sizes and species diversity. Evolving fins and hydrodynamic body-shapes seen in both fish and whales, ichthyosaurs swam the ancient oceans for nearly the entirety of the Age of Dinosaurs. “Ichthyosaurs derive from an unknown group of land-living reptiles and were air-breathing themselves,” says lead author Dr. Martin Sander, paleontologist at the University of Bonn and Research Associate with the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM). “From the first skeleton discoveries in southern England and Germany over 250 years ago, these ‘fish-saurians’ were among the first large fossil reptiles known to science, long before the dinosaurs, and they have captured the popular imagination ever since.” Excavated from a rock unit called the Fossil Hill Member in the Augusta Mountains of Nevada, the well-preserved skull, along with part of the backbone, shoulder, and forefin, date back to the Middle Triassic (247.2-237 million years ago), representing the earliest case of an ichthyosaur reaching epic proportions. As big as a large sperm whale at more than 17 meters (55.78 feet) long, the newly named Cymbospondylus youngorum is the largest animal yet discovered from that time period, on land or in the sea. In fact, it was the first giant creature to ever inhabit the Earth that we know of.

This Smart Ring Hopes to One Day Monitor Chronic Illnesses – (The Verge – December 27, 2021)

The Oura Ring isn’t the only smart ring on the block anymore. For CES 2022, health tech company Movano is announcing the Movano Ring, a wearable that aims to help people affordably monitor chronic illnesses and better understand their data. The Movano Ring will measure all the basic metrics, including heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, respiration, temperature, blood oxygen levels, steps, and calories burned. However, instead of a raw data dump, Movano says it’ll distill how your metrics relate to each other “take a more proactive approach to mitigating the risks of chronic disease.” For example, the Movano app might tell you how your exercise habits impact your sleeping patterns or HRV over time. This isn’t surprising — more wearable makers are shifting away from steps and calories in favor of simplified scores and insights. So far, the Movano app screenshots don’t show anything groundbreaking, but the way the data is presented is more digestible than many trackers out there. However, the device itself isn’t hideous and is impressively slim. The emphasis on a sleeker design was a deliberate choice, says Movano CEO Dr. John Mastrototaro, as the device was specifically designed for women of all ages. But the big thing is that while most wearable companies sidestep questions about FDA approval, Movano is frank about its medical ambitions. According to Mastrototaro, while the first Movano Ring won’t have FDA clearances, the goal is to eventually get Class II designation and add medical features like non-invasive glucose monitoring and cuffless blood pressure in a “step-by-step” manner over time. To do that, the company is conducting clinical trials for its radio frequency-enabled tech and algorithms, as well as accuracy studies to gain FDA clearance for heart rate, SpO2, and respiratory rate monitoring.

Is Artificial Intelligence About to Transform the Mammogram? – (Washington Post – December 21, 2021)

Regina Barzilay, an MIT researcher who survived breast cancer, has devised a technique that seems to predict many breast cancer cases. Barzilay had spent years researching the AI specialty known as natural-language processing, which applies algorithms to textual data. Those skills, she realized, might be put to a different use: predicting cancer. She decided to shift her research. That choice is now bearing fruit. Barzilay, 51, and her protégé, 26-year-old Adam Yala, have built an AI that seems able to predict with unprecedented accuracy whether a healthy person will get breast cancer, in an innovation that could seriously disrupt how we think about the disease. As she and her team laid out in an article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and explore further in an upcoming piece set to be published in Nature Medicine, by analyzing a mammogram’s set of byzantine pixels and then cross-referencing them with thousands of older mammograms, the AI — known as Mirai — can predict nearly half of all incidences of breast cancer up to five years before they happen. Assuming that validation happens — trials are about to begin — Mirai could transform how we use mammograms, open up a whole new world of testing and prevention, avoid aggressive treatments and even save the lives of countless number of people who get breast cancer. The AI has an oracular quality: the designers themselves don’t understand how it works. They’re just certain that it does. That fact raises many broader social and moral implications. But there’s also a more practical matter: whether the medical establishment and insurance companies will at all embrace this. For example, some radiologists are conflicted, fearing automation could take their jobs. Some more traditional detection-related technologies — machines meant to identify cancers already present — are in various stages of research or deployment by Google, the Dutch start-up ScreenPoint and British firm Kheiron Medical. Those efforts have already caused some consternation in the radiology community.

Revolutionary Technology Neutralizes Radioactivity Around Chernobyl by 47% – Using Only the Processes of Earth – (Good News Network – December 11, 2021)

As they committed to doing last April, on the occasion of the 35th commemoration of the Chernobyl accident, the Swiss-based company Exlterra has reported spectacular results after one year of decontamination on a 2.5 acre plot of land (1 hectare), located in the radioactive exclusion zone around the plant in Ukraine. Exlterra announced last month that radioactive pollution in the soil decreased by 47%, and in the air above the ground by an average of 37%, one year after the installation of its NSPS technology (Nucleus Separation Passive System). The company believes total remediation of the area is “seriously conceivable within four years”—without moving any earth or using any chemicals. The NSPS underground technology was installed at Chernobyl between November 2019 and September 2020, and it significantly accelerated the decay of radioactive elements by harnessing existing energy in the ground in a sustainable process. It uses a series of tubes that are a specific shape, with a designated length and distance between each other, which enables the radionuclides to naturally decontaminate at a much faster pace than the 24,000 years, it would take on its own. Twelve months after its deployment, the radioactive substances Cs137, Sr90, and Am241, were reduced by 47%, on average. “These results are remarkable,” says Sergiy Kireiev, General Director of SSE Ecocenter in Chernobyl. “It is the first time in 35 years that such any technology has succeeded in reducing the level of radioactivity in the soil and air so significantly. This is a real hope for the whole area.” Frank Muller, co-founder and CEO of Exlterra explains, “This 12-month reduction in radioactivity will allow us to bring this parcel back to its original radioactivity level over a 5-year period. We also want to quickly offer our solution at other problematic sites around the world, including Fukushima in Japan.”

Wind Turbines Are Using Cameras and AI to See Birds – And Shut Down When They Approach – (Good News Network – December 25, 2021)

Wind turbines can be a threat to birds and bats, which is why experts are looking for—and finding—ways to eliminate the danger. The US government has allocated $13.5 million to look for solutions. But, already a Boulder, Colorado company has produced a camera and AI-based technology that can recognize eagles, hawks and other raptors as they approach in enough time to pause turbines in their flight path. Their tool, called IdentiFlight, can detect 5.62 times more bird flights than human observers alone, and with an accuracy rate of 94%. Using high-precision optical sensors, the system calculates a bird’s speed and flight trajectory, and if it is on a collision path with a turbine, a signal is sent to shut that turbine down. Winning an award for its performance in Australia, the tracking system was installed in 2018 at a Tasmanian facility and was found to cut eagle deaths at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm by more than four-fifths.

Software Is Eating the State – (Bitcoin Magazine – December 23, 2021)

Marc Andreessen’s most famous prophecy, that “software is eating the world” is continually proving its remarkable prescience. Not only is software transforming most business models, but it is also disrupting the largest enterprise in human history — the nation state. In each industry disrupted by digital innovation, previously impossible economic efficiencies have been unlocked, making the lives of consumers easier and cheaper. But what happens when digital innovation disrupts modernity’s dominant enterprise, the state? In the “international waters” of the Digital Age, overly taxed or otherwise coerced individuals will take refuge from nation-state predation. And since most nation states today are totally insolvent after decades of capital confiscation and misallocation, their future efforts to increase tax revenues will push citizens to shelter their capital by any means necessary. As the “ultimate offshore bank,” bitcoin (or some type of digital currency) is the obvious tool of choice in the face of rising monetary and fiscal policy aggressions. (Editor’s note: This article may have overlooked some considerations that would invalidate its conclusions, but its points are interesting and worth examining.)

Another World Record for China’s EAST Fusion Reactor – (Nuclear Engineering International – June 1, 2021)

China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor on 28 May achieved another world record by maintaining a plasma temperature at 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds and at 160 million Celsius for 20 seconds, a major step toward the test run of the fusion reactor. EAST is located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Science (ASIPP) in Hefei. It is one of three major domestic tokamaks now in operation in China. China’s HL-2M tokamak fusion reactor at CNNC’s Southwestern Institute of Physics (SWIP) in Chengdu, Sichuan was commissioned in December 2020 – an upgrade the previous model, the HL-2A. The third is J-TEXT at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). The latest achievement breaks the record set by South Korea’s KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research) which in December 2020 maintained 100 million C for 20 seconds. According to Li Miao, director of the physics department of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, this is a milestone in reaching the goal of keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time. “The breakthrough is significant progress, and the ultimate goal should be keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time,” he told the Global Times, adding that the next milestone might be to maintain the stability for a week or more. However, Lin cautioned that as the technology is still in the experimental stage and still needs at least 30 years to mature. “It’s more like a future technology that’s critical for China’s green development push.” The results from EAST will feed into the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility under construction in France that is being jointly constructed by the EU, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the USA. At ITER, which is aiming for first plasma in 2025, researchers are seeking to hold a plasma heated to a temperature of 150 million Kelvin for 400 seconds.

A Company’s Recycling Technology is Making Lithium-Ion Batteries Green – (Good News Network – December 27, 2021)

From smartphones to laptops and EVs, lithium-ion batteries are everywhere. Now a new company breaks batteries down and extracts around 95% of the valuable materials for reuse, and investments are pouring in. Recycling plants in Canada and Rochester, New York, have the capacity to salvage tens of thousands of tons of spent batteries each year, removing waste and aiding the creation of a semi-circular battery economy. Li-Cycle, borrowing the periodic table’s call sign for Lithium, also claims their “Spoke and Hub” proprietary recycling method is cost-effective, allowing battery manufacturers to actually afford recycled material. The batteries, no matter their size or shape, are broken down by a mechanical process that results in two lines of raw materials. The first is the line of cathode and anode waste in a black powder that consists of lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, copper, and aluminum. The second is scrap aluminum and copper from the insulating or conducting foils. The black powder waste is then sent through another recovery process that yields high quality lithium carbonate of the required purity to be used as cathode precursor and production, effectively closing the loop on those grams of lithium. Cobalt and nickel sulphates are also produced. The company is attracting big time investors looking for a source of sustainable lithium and other minerals, the mining which gathers them being after all a major source of emissions, deforestation at times, and even regional conflict. Device manufacturing giant LG is looking to deliver $50 million in investment into Li-Cycle, as well as enough lithium batteries to harvest 20,000 tons of nickel over 10 years.

Solid-State Batteries Rev Up Electric Cars, Boost Grid Storage – (IEEE Spectrum – October 25, 2021)

Solid-state batteries promise to prove safer and longer lasting than conventional batteries. Now companies suggest they may commercialize solid-state batteries in the next five years for use in electric “hypercars” and power grids. Solid-state batteries can provide more energy than conventional batteries for the same amount of weight or space. “Solid-state batteries will be of huge benefit for electric vehicles, where the range is quite a key parameter,” says Noshin Omar, CEO and founder of Avesta Battery and Energy Engineering (ABEE) in Brussels. “Solid-state batteries are also much safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which use organic liquid electrolytes that are flammable and volatile.” Now ABEE is helping develop a street-legal electric “hypercar,” the Fulminea, which is set to go to market in the second half of 2023. It will feature a hybrid battery pack that combines ABEE’s solid-state cells with ultra-capacitors. Italian automaker Automobili Estrema is developing the Fulminea, which will feature four electric motors with a total peak power of 1.5 megawatts (2,040 horsepower), allowing the car to accelerate from 0 to 200 mph in under 10 seconds. Its 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack will give it an expected range of about 520 kilometers (323 miles). ABEE is supplying the batteries, which use metallic lithium anodes, nickel-rich cathodes and a sulfide electrolyte, while battery specialist Imecar Elektronik will help package the cells. The battery pack will have a predicted weight under 300 kilograms, and Fulminea will have a predicted total curb weight of approx. 3,300lbs.

How One of America’s Largest Employers Leans on Federal Law Enforcement – (Politico – December 21, 2021)

Amazon has found a powerful ally to help it protect its sprawling operations from fraud and abuse: the U.S. government.  The company has increasingly tipped off the Justice Department and FBI to investigate Amazon’s own employees and the sellers using its platform, according to a POLITICO analysis and a dozen interviews with Amazon employees, former federal prosecutors and financial crime experts. In the process, Amazon has built a closer relationship than many large companies have with federal law enforcement, a deep cooperation with one branch of the federal government that could help the company’s reputation in Washington as Amazon faces intensifying scrutiny from Congress and federal agencies over its market dominance and fraud on its platform. The federal government has also indicted 20 people for crimes related to Amazon in the past year and a half, according to an analysis of public records. While federal officials have discretion over which criminal cases they choose to pursue, Amazon has invested significant resources into pushing prosecutors and investigators to take on cases that it prefers. Ankush Khardori, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in financial fraud and white-collar crime, called Amazon’s tighter relationship a “smart thing for a company like Amazon to do in the current political climate,” in which the major tech companies are coming under greater regulatory scrutiny. Many of the law enforcement actions show Amazon attempting to address the billions of counterfeit goods, fraudulent listings and scams on its ever-growing e-commerce platform amid criticism from federal regulators and U.S. lawmakers that it hasn’t done enough to curtail criminal activity. In doing so, Amazon has also built up an apparatus to make sure its issues get quick attention from law enforcement agencies with limited resources, in what some critics argue amounts to outsourcing what should be internal policing of its platform to federal law enforcement.

3 Retired Generals: The Military Must Prepare Now for a 2024 Insurrection – (Washington Post – December 17, 2021)

Recently, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, the commanding general of the Oklahoma National Guard, refused an order from President Biden mandating that all National Guard members be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Mancino claimed that while the Oklahoma Guard is not federally mobilized, his commander in chief is the Republican governor of the state, not the president. The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines — from the top of the chain to squad level — is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the “rightful” commander in chief cannot be dismissed.

The Assange Case Explained Simply – (Caitlin Johnstone – December 16, 2021)

The issues around Julian Assange only look complicated because many years of media distortion have made it appear so. The US government is trying to extradite a journalist and prosecute him under the Espionage Act for exposing its war crimes, with the long-term goal of normalizing this practice. That’s it. That’s the whole entire thing. So simple you can sum it up in a single sentence. The fact of the US government setting a legal precedent which would allow it to extradite any journalist anywhere in the world for exposing its malfeasance would unquestionably have a massive chilling effect on journalism everywhere in precisely the area where press scrutiny is most sorely needed. It’s not any more complex or nuanced than that. However, through a mass-scale smear campaign, the public is being told that Assange is “not a journalist” and should therefore not be defended as such. This is first of all objectively false; providing the public with factual information about the powerful which helps them understand their world better is the thing that journalism is, which is why Assange has received many awards for journalism. More to the point, Assange wouldn’t need to be a journalist for worldwide press freedoms to be gravely threatened by his prosecution for publishing authentic documents about the US government.

Stripped, Beaten, Tasered: Complaints by Palestinians Reveal Jerusalem Police Brutality – (Haaretz – December 27, 2021)

A 16-year-old stripped and beaten in a public washroom, a 60-year-old woman handcuffed and dragged across the floor, a female journalist subjected to sexist comments during an interrogation, a youth attacked in a city center, and another one dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, falsely identified as someone else, his family members beaten. All of this can be found in six complaints filed in recent months at the unit for investigating police misconduct at the Justice Ministry, copies of which have reached Haaretz. Following several complaints of serious violent behavior towards Palestinians, only one indictment was filed against a policeman. The Jerusalem police response: “This is a distorted and one-sided picture which does not reflect the truth.” Article details each of these cases.

Step Aside, LeBron and Dak, and Make Room for Banjo and Kazooie – (New York Times – December 19, 2021)

A surging migration among members of Generation Z — as those born from 1997 to 2012 are often labeled — is seeing kids shift away from the basketball courts and soccer fields built for previous generations and toward the PlayStations and Xboxes of theirs. It’s not a zero-sum game: Many children enjoy sports both virtual and physical. But it’s clear that the rise of e-sports has come at the expense of traditional youth sports, with implications for their future and for the way children grow up. Participation in youth sports was declining even before Covid-19: In 2018, only 38% of children ages 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis, down from 45% in 2008, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. In June 2020, the pandemic’s early days, 19% of parents with kids in youth sports said their child was not interested in playing sports, according to a survey conducted by The Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program. By September 2021, that figure was 28%. The waning interest in sports is hardly surprising when 87% of teenagers in the United States have iPhones, according to a survey of 10,000 young people by investment bank Piper Sandler, or when 26% of Gen Z youths named video games as their favorite entertainment activity, compared to 10% who chose watching television. On average, children play less than three years in a sport and quit by age 11, according to the survey. Why? Mostly, because it is not fun anymore. The implications are global. There are currently more than 2.4 billion gamers — about one-third of the world’s population, according to Statista, an international marketing and consumer data firm based in Germany.

What Makes a Diner Tip $10,000? Servers Spill Their Secrets. – (Washington Post – December 23, 2021)

Feel-good stories about outsize generosity are catnip during the holiday season. And, yes, seasonal goodwill and an ongoing pandemic explain some grand gestures, but not all. Sometimes, customers “give back financially what they’ve been given emotionally,” says Andrea Jackson, 54, a hospitality veteran of more than 30 years and a server at the upscale Annabelle in Washington. For more dish on this, read the article.

Astronomers Detect Up to 170 Rogue Planets Hurtling Aimlessly Through Space – (Science Alert – December 23, 2021)

Interstellar space is a graveyard of lost souls. Adrift far from any star, these planets float in the darkness like ghost ships in the night. Catching sight of one requires patience, and a good eye. But a new approach based on tens of thousands of images collected by the European Southern Observatory’s facilities has resulted in the identification of as many as 170 potential ‘rogue’ worlds in our corner of the galaxy. If a good fraction of them are confirmed to be planets, it would suggest the Milky Way is swarming with solar exiles. “There could be several billions of these free-floating giant planets roaming freely in the Milky Way without a host star,” says Hervé Bouy, an astronomer at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux in France. Rogue planets all start their existence in the same swirls of gas and dust that give rise to a typical solar system, but some of these clouds of matter may be too small to form the star part of the system. How many are virgin births, created without a star in sight, and how many are kicked out of their nest is hard to say. We just don’t have enough information.

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity Passes One of Its Toughest Tests Yet – ( – December 13, 2021)

Scientists have put Einstein’s theory of general relativity to the test repeatedly over the past 105 years, trying to find situations or circumstances in which it comes up short. In a new study, researchers report the results of one of the most ambitious and involved challenges to general relativity ever undertaken. They analyzed observations of a double-pulsar system made by seven different radio telescopes around the world from 2003 to 2019. Pulsars are a type of neutron star, or superdense stellar corpse, that emit powerful beams of radiation and particles from their magnetic poles. These beams are continuous, but they appear to pulse (hence the name) because pulsars are rotating; this light can be seen only when a pole is pointed at Earth. The pulsar pair that the research team investigated lies about 2,400 light-years from Earth. One of the pulsars spins 44 times per second, whereas the other completes one rotation every 2.8 seconds. The two objects orbit a common center of mass once every 147 minutes, each of them moving through space at around 620,000 mph (1 million kph), team members said. “Such fast orbital motion of compact objects like these — they are about 30% more massive than the sun but only about 24 kilometers [15 miles] across — allows us to test many different predictions of general relativity — seven in total!” study co-author Dick Manchester, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, said in a statement. All seven of the tested predictions were borne out, the study found. So general relativity remains undefeated — but that doesn’t mean that researchers should stop trying to find cracks in it. “General relativity is not compatible with the other fundamental forces, described by quantum mechanics. It is therefore important to continue to place the most stringent tests upon general relativity as possible, to discover how and when the theory breaks down,” co-author Robert Ferdman, a physicist at the University of East Anglia in England, said in the same statement.

A Spacecraft Has ‘Touched’ the Sun for the First Time – (PhysOrg – December 14, 2021)

In 2018, NASA launched Parker Solar Probe with the goal of finally reaching the sun’s corona and making humanity’s first visit to a star. On April 28, 2021, at 0933 UT (3:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time), the Parker Solar Probe reached the sun’s extended solar atmosphere, known as the corona, and spent five hours there. The spacecraft is the first to enter the outer boundaries of our sun. The probe made the first direct observations of what lies within the sun’s atmosphere, measuring phenomena previously only estimated. The sun’s outer edge begins at the Alfvén critical surface: the point below which the sun and its gravitational and magnetic forces directly control the solar wind. Many scientists think that sudden reverses in the sun’s magnetic field, called switchbacks, emerge from this area. “The concept of sending spacecraft into the magnetized atmosphere of the sun—sufficiently close that the magnetic energy is greater than both ion and electron kinetic and thermal energy—predated NASA itself,” said Kasper. Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the Alfvén critical surface is wrinkled. The data suggest that the largest and most distant wrinkle of the surface was produced by a pseudostreamer—a large magnetic structure more than 40 degrees across, found back on the innermost visible face of the sun. It is not currently known why a pseudostreamer would push the Alfvén critical surface away from the sun.

Visualizing the $94 Trillion World Economy in One Chart – (Visual Capitalist – December 22, 2021)

Just four countries—the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany—make up over half of the world’s economic output by gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms. In fact, the GDP of the U.S. alone is greater than the combined GDP of 170 countries. GDP serves as a broad indicator for a country’s economic output. It measures the total market value of final goods and services produced in a country in a specific timeframe, such as a quarter or year. In addition, GDP also takes into consideration the output of services provided by the government, such as money spent on defense, healthcare, or education. How do the different economies of the world compare? In this visualization we look at GDP by country in 2021, using data and estimates from the International Monetary Fund. At $22.9 trillion, the U.S. GDP accounts for roughly 25% of the global economy, a share that has actually changed significantly over the last 60 years. The finance, insurance, and real estate ($4.7 trillion) industries add the most to the country’s economy, followed by professional and business services ($2.7 trillion) and government ($2.6 trillion). China’s economy is second in nominal terms, hovering at near $17 trillion in GDP. It remains the largest manufacturer worldwide based on output with extensive production of steel, electronics, and robotics, among others. The largest economy in Europe is Germany, which exports roughly 20% of the world’s motor vehicles. In 2019, overall trade equaled nearly 90% of the country’s GDP. In 1970, the world economy was only about $3 trillion in GDP—or 30 times smaller than it is today. Over the next thirty years, the global economy is expected to more or less double again. By 2050, global GDP could total close to $180 trillion. (Editor’s note: the graphic representations of the data make it easy to see comparisons. We wish, however, that the article had given the percentage of the world’s population that is included in that half of the world’s economic output for a more meaningful comparison of GDP produced per person across countries.)

Taste the TV: Japan Invents Lickable Screen to Imitate Food Flavors – (Guardian – December 23, 2021)

Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University in Toky, has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavours, another step towards creating a multisensory viewing experience. The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The flavor sample then rolls on hygienic film over a flat TV screen for the viewer to try. “The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home,” he said. Miyashita works with a team of about 30 students that has produced a variety of flavor-related devices, including a fork that makes food taste richer. He said he built the TTTV prototype over the past year and that a commercial version would cost about 100,000 yen (£653) to make. Potential applications include distance learning for sommeliers and cooks, and tasting games and quizzes, he said. Miyashita has also been in talks with companies about using the spray technology for devices that can apply a pizza or chocolate taste to a slice of toasted bread.

Nike Buys Virtual Sneaker Maker to Sell Digital Shoes in the Metaverse – (Reuters – December 14, 2021)

Nike has purchased virtual sneaker company RTFKT for an undisclosed sum, as the sportswear giant looks to quickly expand its footprint in the fast-growing “metaverse.” In November, Nike became one of the first big brands to enter the shared virtual world that gained prominence after Facebook recently rebranded itself to Meta Platforms. In such blockchain-based environments, users can buy virtual land and other digital assets such as clothing for avatars in the form of a crypto asset called a non-fungible token (NFT). Formed in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT also makes NFT collectibles and memes, according to its website. “This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture,” Nike Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe said in a statement.

Now Supply-chain Woes Have Come for the Color Blue – (Washington Post – December 23, 2021)

Once more valuable than gold, ultramarine blue, now sold in its synthetic form, is so popular today it ranks just below whites and blacks in sales by top suppliers of paint for artists. But if you’re a painter keen on “true blue,” you might want to rethink your next masterpiece. In our volatile, supply-chain-challenged world, sourcing ultramarine, along with a host of other blue pigments, has been difficult to impossible. Jumping straight into your “Rose Period” might not help, either. A shortage of titanium dioxide, the pigment for titanium white and a fundamental ingredient in about a third of artist paints, also puts other colors at risk. Earlier this year, paint companies feared they might run out of synthetic ultramarine when one of two main factories in France that supply the pigment for the color stopped making it, and the other, unable to keep up with the resulting demand, restricted international exports. And that’s not the only blue that has been scarce. AkzoNobel, a house-paint manufacturer based in the Netherlands, has reported difficulties sourcing the 50 to 60 ingredients needed to make a shade of blue used in its industrial coatings. “Something that people don’t think about is that everything is colored,” says Narayan Khandekar, curator of the Forbes Pigment Collection at Harvard Art Museums, which has more than 2,700 pigments. “A white wall is not just a white wall, it’s either a warm or cool white. Even car tires — each car tire has probably six pounds of carbon black in it to make it black instead of latex milky white. There are pigments used everywhere, even in ways that we take for granted.” Artist paints are unique in that they feature highly concentrated pigments, made of elements and other ingredients sourced directly from the earth. It is this combination of hyper-specific pigments and a global trade network that makes artist paints uniquely vulnerable to supply-chain issues. Named for the long trip it took from Asia to reach the palettes of European painters, “ultramarine” derives from the Latin “beyond the sea.” At a time of pandemic-related physical restrictions, when good health is fickle and travel is fraught, we might find ourselves especially aching for blue. “We associate [blue] with things that are big and limitless,” says Joan Cummins, curator of Asian art at the Brooklyn Museum. “I think a lot of people find it transporting.”

11 Strange Things That Washed Ashore in 2021- (Live Science – December 27, 2021)

Beaches across the globe saw their share of weird blobs wash ashore. Sometimes this shoreline debris was small and weird, like a tangled rope coral that found its way onto a beach in Texas, or the tar balls that dotted Israel’s Mediterranean coastline in February. Other times, the organisms numbered in the millions, such as the by-the-wind sailor jellyfish whose corpses stranded across shores; and in other instances, the beached animal itself was a behemoth, such as the rotting body of a nearly 10-foot-long “river monster” spotted near the Gulf of Mexico this year. So here’s a look at the wild and strange “things” that washed ashore in 2021.

Ballet of Arms – (YouTube – September 5, 2021)

In September, the closing event for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo (postponed a year) featured 126 performers in wheelchairs, both amateurs and pros, doing an eye-bending piece by French choreographer Sadeck Waff. It’s a handoff to the Paris 2024 games, building on a variety of dance styles, including tutting, which uses the body to create geometric positions and movements. The piece, just under 3 minutes long, is exceptional. Enjoy.
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