Volume 25, Number 20 – 10/16/22


Volume 25, Number 20 – 10/16/2022


  • A tumor’s resident bacteria and fungi may give it a unique “signature”. 
  • An AI system can predict what words someone is listening to based on brain activity recorded using non-invasive brain-computer interfaces. 
  • Driverless trucking shows great promise – and still faces big hurdles.  
  • Increasingly problematic, “zero-click” attacks are method of placing spyware on a phone without tricking a user into doing anything. 
Our friend in Florida recently lost everything due to Hurricane Ian.  Please consider donating to help with disaster costs and cleanup.  They have a long road ahead as they navigate their next steps.  Click on the image above to access their Go Fund Me page.
Dr. Rainer Viehweger
The Secret Universal Key to
Designing a New World

(or new relationship, health, economy,
government or business)

Saturday, October 22nd, 1:00-5:00
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Dr. Rainer Viehweger and John Petersen discuss the amazing potential Rainer will share in his upcoming talk in Berkeley Springs.
Click Here for Tickets and More Info
Perhaps the best known metaphysical principle on this planet is “as above, so below – as below, so above.”  All of us have heard it – and probably said it – many times, but what do you think it really means?  Most people think it’s about a similarity – a commonness – which can be found throughout all levels of existence, e.g., just as planets circle a star, electrons fly around the nucleus of an atom.  It describes basic structures and processes. 
But what if the concept was far more profound – and fundamental – than just describing how things look or generally behave?  What if the idea held the secret to the design of the new world that is on our horizon, or the basis of how we might build a new economy, new health, or even a family or personal relationship? What if it was universal, the literal glue that held everything in this reality together? 
What if it was . . . the literal glue that held everything in this reality together? 
If this notion of fractal-ness is what Dr. Rainer Viehweger, our TransitionTalk presenter on the 22nd of October, believes it is, then it is one of the most profound discoveries of our lifetime – opening the key to not only understanding and explaining many things that now seem ineffable, but more importantly, providing a conceptual structure – a framework – for designing a new world . . . and everything else. 

Think about it: if there was an underlying animating principle that could be easily applied that would describe why atoms don’t fly apart but stay in a stable configuration, how planets are specifically related to each other so as to maintain the coherence of solar systems, how companies, institutions and individuals could relate to themselves and their environment in the most efficient way – it would allow any of us to plan and design our futures in the ways that would guarantee harmony and stability.  It could be the basis for a new world!
This concept is called Global Scaling and is the underpinnings for a unique world perspective called ‘interscalar cosmology.’  That’s a scientific way of saying, ‘as above, so below.’  Global Scaling not only describes how things – everything, in fact – work in harmony, but also can be predictive, providing a template for anticipating the most stable relationship between any number of dynamic parts of a complex system.   That includes familial relationships, personal healthcare, business organizations, government policies, international relations and any other organized relationship that one would like to be stable. 

The coming months and years promise more unpredictability than ever before in our lives. The trick will be to navigate around the rapidly approaching implosions by understanding the emerging new principles that will shape the emerging new world.  That’s what this TransitionTalk is all about.

Come be with us – either in person or by livestream — on the 22nd of October for an extraordinary afternoon interchange between Dr. Viehweger and John Petersen as they explore and navigate the amazing implications of this newly discovered principle and speak specifically about the practical implications of being able to design our lives and relationships so that there is coherence and stability regardless of the surrounding chaos. 

All tickets include access to the replay!
Dr. Rainer Viehweger

Saturday, October 22nd,  1:00-5:00
Coolfont Resort
Berkeley Springs, WV

Get Tickets at
Dr. Rainer Viehweger studied medicine at the Szent-Györgyi-Albert Medical University in Szeged in Hungary in the 1980s. In 1992, he qualified as an orthopedic surgeon at the famous Berlin Humboldt University. After leaving the university hospital in 1993 he started an outpatient clinic in Hagenow, a small town in the northern part of Germany.
He also trained in acupuncture, chiropractic and many other complementary methods including magnetic field therapies, Scenar, myofascial Trigger shock wave therapy, Psychosomatic Energy, plasma frequency therapy and assessing and treating the informational body field. At the end of 2002 he left his clinic to open a small private clinic in his house where he started to mainly focus on CAM methods. From 2006 onwards he also worked as a trainer of CAM methods for various companies.

In 2009 he and his family made the decision to leave Germany to be able to give their two sons the opportunity to be home-schooled. The family moved first to Austria for about 5 years, then in 2014 they moved to the UK, where Dr. Viehweger was offered to become the chief research officer of a UK based Cam company (NES Health). In 2021, the family moved back to their home in Germany.     

As part of his long quest to find new ways of dealing with chronic pain syndromes, he found out about the Global Scaling theory in 2003. He took a postgraduate course at Dr. Hartmut Müller’s Research Institute in Wolfratshausen near Munich in 2006. Beside his work of teaching practitioners and doing R&D he still runs his holistic medical practice where he applies the principles of the new physics of global scaling. He also devotes  time to spread knowledge about global scaling so that it can be used in more areas of life as the principle of communication and cooperation.

Dr. Viehweger has published numerous articles about both conventional and complementary medicine and a book, “Understanding the Universe through Global Scaling” in 2011, that discusses the physics of the organization of matter with applications to health and biology.

Dr. Viehweger is one of the co-founders of the MiCellF B.V. company in the Netherlands. MiCellF B.V. develops and distributes wearable PEMF devices for the support of the human biofield in terms of circadian rhythms and providing ultra-weak electromagnetic signals as a template for biofield regeneration based on global scaling principles. Furthermore, Dr Viehweger is involved in other R&D projects both in the US and in Europe.
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Investigation: In 2018, the US Deep State Funded Daszak to Create Covid-19 for Moderna’s Vaccine Platform – (Expose News – October 9, 2022) 

In early 2018, when DARPA outwardly rejected Peter Daszak’s application for $14,209,245 for his project DEFUSE to engineer a human lung airway lining cell-specific furin cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction (the junction of the 2 parts of the spike protein) where no other SARS related coronavirus has ever had such a site, the US deep state (US intelligence) actually accepted the project and classified it, having instructed DARPA to reject it as a cover story. We know this to be true because in late 2019 SARS- CoV-2 and Covid19 appeared with a humanized furin cleavage site in precisely the position that Daszak had proposed and furthermore it took the humanized codon form of CCT CGG CGG GCA CGT coding for the 5 amino acids PRRAR, in a humanised furin cleavage site. This form is unknown in any virus at all. But it is known in cows and humans and many bacteria. Since cows, bacteria and humans cannot infect viruses, nature cannot have put it there. The only way for that coding to get into a virus is by a human being gene splicing it into the viral genome. So we know that a human called Peter Daszak proposed the insertion in early 2018. We know that only a human could have achieved it. And we know that said insertion was achieved in late 2019. And we know that said insertion was the only difference between SARS-CoV-2 (causing Covid-19) and the bat coronavirus RaTG13, longer than one Codon (3 bases). And we know that the insertion occurred at the place where Daszak had proposed to insert it. And we know that the insertion was a humanized furin cleavage site as Daszak had proposed. In other words, SARS-CoV-2 was the fulfillment of the 75-page project DEFUSE proposal.  It is clear from the events immediately following the official rejection that the project was funded extremely quickly in a clandestine way and classified. So the US deep state essentially employed Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance to make Covid-19 for US covert operations. It is also apparent that it was funded AND produced in a clandestine way because Peter Daszak arranged for a letter to be written to the Lancet by 27 academics on February19, 2020 calling all scientists who rejected a natural origin for Covid-19 conspiracy theorists. 

Water Droplets Hold the Secret Ingredient for Building Life – (PhysOrg – October 3, 2022) 

Purdue University chemists have uncovered a mechanism for peptide-forming reactions to occur in water—something that has puzzled scientists for decades. “This is essentially the chemistry behind the origin of life,” said Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue’s College of Science.”This is the first demonstration that primordial molecules, simple amino acids, spontaneously form peptides, the building blocks of life, in droplets of pure water.” For decades scientists have theorized that life on Earth began in the oceans. The chemistry, however, remained an enigma. Raw amino acids—something that meteorites delivered to early Earth daily—can react and latch together to form peptides, the building blocks of proteins and, eventually, life. Puzzlingly, the process requires the loss of a water molecule, which seems highly unlikely in a wet, aqueous or oceanic environment. For life to form, it needed water. But it also needed space away from the water. Cooks, an expert in mass spectrometry and early Earth chemistry, and his team have uncovered the answer to the riddle: “Water isn’t wet everywhere.” On the margins, where the water droplet meets the atmosphere, incredibly rapid reactions can take place, transforming abiotic amino acids into the building blocks of life. “The rates of reactions in droplets are anywhere from a hundred to a million times faster than the same chemicals reacting in bulk solution,” Cooks said. The rates of these reactions make catalysts unnecessary, speeding up the reactions and, in the case of early Earth chemistry, making the evolution of life possible. 

The Cerebellum Has a Function We Didn’t Even Know About, New Research Reveals – (Science Alert – October 9, 2022) 

Already known as being important for properly controlling our movements, it now appears that this brain region also has a key role to play when it comes to remembering positive and negative emotional experiences. These types of emotional experiences are particularly well remembered by the brain, not least because it helps the survival of our species to be able to remember times when we were in danger and times when we prospered. “These results indicate that the cerebellum is an integral component of a network that is responsible for the improved storage of emotional information,” says neuroscientist Dominique de Quervain from the University of Basel in Switzerland and one of the research paper’s authors. The amygdala and hippocampus are the brain regions thought to be most responsible for consolidating these emotional memories, but as the cerebellum is already linked to fear conditioning, the researchers behind the latest study wanted to see if it had a part to play in logging emotional memories too. “The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the cerebellum and cerebellar–cerebral connections are involved in the phenomenon of superior episodic memory for emotionally arousing visual information,” write the researchers. Through brain scans of 1,418 individuals taken through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans as they viewed emotional – some positive, some negative – and neutral images, the team was able to establish that the cerebellum was indeed involved. “These findings expand knowledge on the role of the cerebellum in complex cognitive and emotional processes and may be relevant for the understanding of psychiatric disorders with aberrant emotional circuitry, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or autism spectrum disorder,” write the researchers. 

A New Approach to Spotting Tumors: Look for Their Microbes – (New York Times – September 29, 2022) 

A tumor may contain millions of microbes, representing dozens of species. “I think this is an ecosystem,” said Lian Narunsky Haziza, a cancer biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “It means the cancer cells are not alone.” Scientists have long known that our bodies are home to microbes, but have tended to treat tumors as if they were sterile. In recent years, however, researchers have laid that notion to rest, demonstrating that tumors are rife with microbes. In 2020, several research teams showed that tumors are home to various blends of bacteria. And now, two studies published in the journal Cell found that tumors are also home to many species of fungi. Fungi are one of the great success stories in the history of evolution, with an estimated 6.2 million species. Some species have adapted to live inside us. Skin fungi break down oils we make. Others feed on the sugars in our mouths and digestive tracts. Scientists have also found other fungi in our bodies whose lives remain a mystery. Dr. Iliev and his colleagues independently found fungi in tumors from seven parts of the body: mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, breasts and lungs. This so-called tumor microbiome is proving so distinctive in each type of cancer that some scientists hope to find early signs of hidden tumors by measuring the microbial DNA they shed into the blood. And some research hints that microbes may make tumors more aggressive or resistant to treatments. If that proves to be the case, it may be possible to fight cancer by attacking a tumor’s microbiome along with the tumor itself. In 2017, Dr. Straussman, also at the Weizmann Institute, and his colleagues stumbled across bacteria living inside pancreatic tumors. They made the discovery while puzzling over how some tumors managed to resist a chemotherapy drug. It turned out that a species of bacteria that could block the drug was living inside them. 

Researchers Discover How Cancer Cells Can Turn off the Immune System to Help Tumors Grow – (News Medical Life Sciences – September 29, 2022) 

A team led by researchers at Harvard Medical School has identified a way that tumor cells can turn off the immune system, allowing the tumor to grow unchecked. The research, conducted primarily in mice and published in Science, shows that tumor cells with a particular mutation release a chemical, a metabolite, that weakens nearby immune cells, rendering them less capable of killing cancer cells. The findings reveal critical details of how tumors deactivate the immune system and highlight the role of tumor metabolites in this process. The results also point to the essential role that the area around the tumor – the tumor microenvironment – plays in cancer growth. If elucidated through further research, the results could eventually help scientists develop better, more targeted therapies to treat cancers whose growth is fueled by this mechanism. 

Memory-enhancing “Super Neurons” Discovered in the Brains of SuperAgers – (New Atlas – October 2, 2022) 

Scientists studying the brains of so-called “SuperAgers” have discovered a set of significantly enlarged neurons associated with memory. These neurons also appeared more resistant to characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease, and present as a unique biological signature that these subjects may have carried throughout their whole lives. SuperAgers are a group of individuals over the age of 80 with exceptional episodic memory, at least as good as people 20 to 30 years younger. Studies on what makes the brains of these SuperAgers different to typical elderly brains have produced some fascinating insights in the past few years, relating not just to memory but how they may keep neurological degeneration at bay. PET scans have shown that these brains contained far lower aggregations of toxic brain plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and MRI scans have shown they feature the neural network and connectivity akin to the brains of young adults. Other studies on visual memory specifically have found their brain activity can be similar to that of a 25 year old. Building on this is a new study from Northwestern University researchers, who focused on the entorhinal cortex, a brain region responsible for memory and one of the first impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. The team studied six post-mortem SuperAger brains and found larger, healthier neurons in one of the six layers making up this region. These neurons were compared to those in seven cognitively average elderly people, six young subjects and five subjects with early Alzheimer’s, and were found to be significantly larger. “The remarkable observation that SuperAgers showed larger neurons than their younger peers may imply that large cells were present from birth and are maintained structurally throughout their lives,” said lead author Tamar Gefen. “We conclude that larger neurons are a biological signature of the SuperAging trajectory.” 

Human Brain Cells in a Rat’s Brain Could Shed Light on Autism and ADHD – (NPR – October 12, 2022) 

Scientists have demonstrated a new way to study conditions like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and schizophrenia. The approach involves transplanting a cluster of living human brain cells from a dish in the lab to the brain of a newborn rat, done by a team from Stanford University. The cluster, known as a brain organoid, then continues to develop in ways that mimic a human brain and may allow scientists to see what goes wrong in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The success in transplanting human brain organoids into a living animal appears to remove a major barrier to using them as models of human disease. It also represents the culmination of seven years of work overseen by Dr. Sergiu Pasca, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. Human brain organoids are made from pluripotent stem cells, which can be coaxed into becoming various types of brain cells. But after a few months, the lab-grown organoids stop developing, says Pasca. “No matter how long we keep them in a dish, they still do not become as complex as human neurons would be in an actual human brain,” Pasca says. That may be one reason organoids have yet to reveal much about the origins of complex neuropsychiatric disorders, he says. So Pasca’s team set out to find an environment for the organoids that would allow them to continue growing and maturing. They found one in the brains of newborn rats. “We discovered that the [organoid] grows, over the span of a few months, about nine times in volume,” Pasca says. “In the end it covers roughly about a third of a rat’s hemisphere.” The transplanted cells don’t seem to cause problems for the rats, who behave normally as they grow, Pasca says. “But now you also have a group of human cells that are integrating into the [neural] circuitry.” The advance, however, is likely to make some people uneasy, says bioethicist Insoo Hyun, director of life sciences at the Museum of Science in Boston and an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics. See also: Brain Cells in a Dish Played Video Game Pong, Scientists Say

Meta Built an AI That Can Guess the Words You’re Hearing by Decoding Your Brainwaves – (Singularity Hub – September 13, 2022) 

Our ability to probe human brain activity has improved significantly in recent decades as scientists have developed a variety of brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies that can provide a window into our thoughts and intentions. The most impressive results have come from invasive recording devices, which implant electrodes directly into the brain’s gray matter, combined with AI that can learn to interpret brain signals. In recent years, this has made it possible to decode complete sentences from someone’s neural activity with 97% accuracy. But having to implant electrodes into someone’s brain has obvious downsides. Now a team at Meta’s AI research division reports that they’ve developed an AI system that can predict what words someone is listening to based on brain activity recorded using non-invasive brain-computer interfaces. The researchers relied on four pre-existing brain activity datasets collected from 169 people as they listened to recordings of people speaking. Article explains the AI training process and results. 

Digital Trails: How the FBI Is Identifying, Tracking and Rounding Up Dissidents – (Global Research – September 4, 2022) 

Relying on selfies, social media posts, location data, geotagged photos, facial recognition, surveillance cameras and crowdsourcing, government agents are compiling a massive data trove on anyone and everyone who may have been anywhere in the vicinity of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The amount of digital information is staggering: 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage; 1,600 electronic devices; 270,000 digital media tips; at least 140,000 photos and videos; and about 100,000 location pings for thousands of smartphones. And that’s just what we know. More than 300 individuals from 40 states have already been charged and another 280 arrested in connection with the events of January 6. As many as 500 others are still being hunted by government agents. It’s not just the FBI on the hunt, however. They’ve enlisted the help of volunteer posses of private citizens, such as the Deep State Dogs, to collaborate on the grunt work. As Dinah Voyles Pulver reports, once Deep State Dogs locates a person and confirms their identity, they put a package together with the person’s name, address, phone number and several images and send it to the FBI. According to USA Today, the FBI is relying on the American public and volunteer cybersleuths to help bolster its cases. This takes “See Something, Say Something” snitching programs to a whole new level. 

Expandable Cabin Can Set Itself Up in Different Locations – (Seven Days – September 27, 2022)  

David Jaacks hopes to transform the way the world lives with an expandable steel-frame cabin that can set itself up on legs in a variety of locations. The patented home is designed to leave the factory the size of a 20-foot-long shipping container. At its destination, the legs come down automatically and the building rises, enabling the truck to drive out from underneath it. It then unfolds to become a 450-square-foot house, complete with furnishings — like an oversize camper that could serve as durable shelter for years. Jaacks envisions parents occupying their movable homes for months at a time in the yards of their adult children — and government agencies using them as emergency shelters or offices. These uses fit into a movement known as nomadic architecture, which caters to those who want the freedom to change the view from their living rooms. In 2020, Jaacks purchased the designs of a British company, Tenfold Engineering, and started adapting those to build the expandable homes at his industrial space in Vermont. The steel homes designed by Tenfold (Jaacks kept the name) come in a size that can be trucked without permits. And the setup doesn’t require heavy equipment: After it’s delivered, that can be directed through an app; it takes about four hours. One of the things that sets Tenfold’s designs apart is the steel. Most mobile buildings are made of wood or other conventional materials. But steel, Jaacks said, lends itself to automation in a way that wood — which changes with temperature and other conditions — does not. And automation is key in an economy where construction labor is in short supply. This YouTube clip showcases a number of Tenford’s innovative designs. 

Citroen Announces EV Concept Which Uses Recycled Cardboard and Has a Top Speed of 68 mph – (CNBC – September 29, 2022) 

French automaker Citroen has released details of a new electric concept vehicle which is called oli. Citroen said it had a target weight of roughly 1,000 kilograms, or one metric ton, and a range of as much as 248 miles. Citroen said the oli’s top speed had been limited to 68 miles per hour to maximize efficiency. Citroen said “20% to 80% charging” would take 23 minutes. The automaker added that vehicle parts could be “reused or recycled throughout ownership.” According to the document providing details of the oli, it has a “flat bonnet, roof and pick-up bed panels” that are “made from re-cycled honeycomb cardboard.” The firm was keen to emphasize the vehicle’s smaller scale. “Rather than being a 2,500kg ‘palace on wheels’ filled with screens and gadgets, oli proves that more can be achieved with less,” it said. CEO Vincent Cobée wanted to emphasize the importance of broadening access to EVs. “One thing is, for the last 10 years, we’ve seen an increase in electric vehicle performance,” he said. “I’m talking autonomy, power, speed and, as a consequence, weight and price. This for us is a concern because, honestly, if the future of an electric car is 2.5 tons of weight and 70,000 euros or more of price, then it’s not for everyone.” With European economies facing an energy crisis and soaring prices over the coming months, there have been concerns that the increasing cost of charging an EV will disincentivize uptake among consumers. According to recent data, electric car drivers in the U.K. have seen the cost of using a public, “rapid” charger on a pay-as-you-go tariff rise by 42% since May. (Editor’s note: The oli is only a concept vehicle – and, as such, it’s pointing the way toward future affordable EVs.) 

The Long Road to Driverless Trucks – (New York Times – September 28, 2022) 

In March, a self-driving eighteen-wheeler spent more than five straight days hauling goods between Dallas and Atlanta. Running around the clock, it traveled more than 6,300 miles, making four round trips and delivering eight loads of freight. The result of a partnership between Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving start-up, and U.S. Xpress, a traditional trucking company, this five-day drive demonstrated the enormous potential of autonomous trucks. A traditional truck, whose lone driver must stop and rest each day, would need more than 10 days to deliver the same freight. Each day, Kodiak rotated a new team of specialists into the cab of its truck, so that someone could take control of the vehicle if anything went wrong. These “safety drivers” grabbed the wheel multiple times. Tech start-ups like Kodiak have spent years building and testing self-driving trucks, and companies across the trucking industry are keen to reap the benefits. At a time when the global supply chain is struggling to deliver goods as efficiently as businesses and consumers now demand, autonomous trucks could alleviate bottlenecks and reduce costs. The technology is a long way from the moment trucks can drive anywhere on their own. So they are looking for ways to deploy self-driving trucks solely on highways, whose long, uninterrupted stretches are easier to navigate than city streets teeming with stop-and-go traffic. Restricting these trucks to the highway also plays to their strengths. It’s a sound strategy, but even this will require years of additional development. Part of the challenge is technical. Though self-driving trucks can handle most of what happens on a highway — merging into traffic from an on-ramp, changing lanes, slowing for cars stopped on the shoulder — companies are still working to ensure they can respond to less common situations, like a sudden three-car pileup. Alex Rodrigues, chief executive of the self-driving-truck start-up Embark, said his company has yet to perfect what he calls evasive maneuvers. Deploying these trucks is also a logistical challenge — one that will require significant changes across the trucking industry. (Editor’s note: We recommend this article for its thorough analysis of just how great and varied the challenges for autonomous trucking are.) 

These Cities Turned Parks into Orchards Where Anyone Can Pick for Free – (Washington Post – October 10, 2022) 

The city of Andernach, Germany, planted 101 varieties of tomatoes in the town center and told everyone to pluck and take whatever they wanted. It was such a hit, the following year the city did the same with beans. The next year, it was onions. After that, the city planted fruit trees, lettuce, zucchini, berries and herbs. All were free to anyone who lived or happened to be in the town of 30,000 people. The town, which sits in the Rhine River Valley, has an unofficial motto: “Picking is encouraged — help yourself.” It’s one of a growing number of places across the globe known as edible cities. In the United States, there are public lands from Seattle to North Carolina where people are welcome to pick and take from fruiting trees and bushes. Detroit has an urban farming movement, Philadelphia has food forests, and there are edible community projects in Atlanta and Los Angeles. All rely on volunteers to do the weeding, pruning and planting. Smaller cities such as Bloomington, Ind., and Hyattsville, Md., also have fruit trees and vegetable gardens that can be accessed by anyone. Organizers interviewed for this article said there has never been a problem with people taking more than they need, whether they grab a single pear or a bag full of potatoes and artichokes. Every year, there is more than enough produce to go around. The Edible Cities Network is a group of about 150 cities worldwide with fruit trees and vegetable gardens in public places for anyone to access free of charge, said Marisa Pettit, a coordinator for Edible Cities.  

‘Zero-Click’ Spyware Emerges as a Menacing Mobile Threat – (Bloomberg – October 13, 2022) 

In July 2020, an Azerbaijani journalist’s iPhone silently received a command to open the Apple Music app. Without the journalist’s knowledge or interaction, the app connected to a malicious server and downloaded spyware onto the phone that remained there for 17 months, eavesdropping on phone calls and text messages. The hack was an example of a “zero-click” attack—a method of placing spyware on a phone without tricking a user into doing anything, such as clicking on a malicious link sent in an email or text message. It’s a technique that governments have utilized to target their opponents on a greater scale and for a longer duration than previously known, according to recent research from Amnesty International and Citizen Lab. The Azerbaijani journalist—researchers didn’t disclose the identity—was a victim of spyware manufactured by NSO Group, which sells technology to governments and law enforcement agencies. The Israeli company says clients use its software to stop terrorism and curb violent crime. Some governments have misused NSO’s spyware—known as Pegasus—to target critics in more than a dozen countries, rights groups say. NSO has helped governments hack phones with zero-click malware since at least July 2017 and has utilized at least six different zero-click exploits that were used to covertly hack Apple iOS versions 10 through 14, according to the Amnesty and Citizen Lab research, which was presented at the Virus Bulletin conference in Prague on Sept. 28. Flaws were exploited in iMessage, the Apple podcast and music apps, Apple photos and a Wi-Fi calling feature, the researchers found. In November, Apple sued NSO Group, accusing the company of “flagrant violations of US federal and state law.” NSO Group also designed zero-click attacks that could compromise Android phones by exploiting a flaw in WhatsApp that was used to transmit malicious code onto a device. 

“A C.I.A. Theme Park.” (The Scrum – October 3, 2022) 

John Pilger, the noted Australian-British journalist and filmmaker, published the following piece in The Guardian on 13 May 2014, three months after the U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev set Ukraine on the path to the current crisis. “The U.S. is threatening to take the world to war,” Pilger warned. The Scrum is republishing this piece to mark Pilger’s exceptional prescience. “Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his ‘updated summary of the record of U.S. foreign policy’ which shows that, since 1945, the U.S. has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders. The name of “our” enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory, or merely offering an alternative to U.S. domination. Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the U.S. is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of NATO, the last “buffer state” bordering Russia – Ukraine – is being torn apart by fascist forces unleashed by the U.S. and the EU. Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a C.I.A. theme park – run personally by C.I.A. director John Brennan in Kiev, with dozens of “special units” from the C.I.A. and F.B.I. setting up a “security structure” that oversees savage attacks on those who opposed the February coup. Watch the videos, read the eye-witness reports from the massacre in Odessa that month. Bussed thugs burned the trade union headquarters, killing 41 people trapped inside as the police were standing by. 

Whistleblower: 665 Left FBI Over Misconduct in Two Decades – (US News – October 6, 2022) 

A U.S. senator is pressing the FBI for more information after a whistleblower alleged that an internal review found 665 FBI personnel have resigned or retired to avoid accountability in misconduct probes over the past two decades. The whistleblower told the office of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the Justice Department launched the review of the FBI’s disciplinary database in 2020 following an Associated Press investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving at least six senior FBI officials. The follow-up review found 665 FBI employees, including 45 senior-level officials, resigned or retired between 2004 and 2020 following a misconduct probe but before a final disciplinary letter could be issued, according to a letter this week from Grassley to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland. It was not clear how many of those cases involved sexual misconduct. Grassley’s office, which declined to make the whistleblower or underlying documents available to protect the person’s identify, said that was the kind of information it was still seeking but estimated the number could be in the “hundreds.” 

Chris Hedges: The Puppets and the Puppet Masters – (Scheerpost – October 9, 2022) 

This article provides the text of the speech given by Chris Hedges outside the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on Saturday October 8 at a rally that called on the U.S. to revoke its extradition request for Julian Assange. It includes an embedded video clip of the speech. Here are excerpts from Hedges’ speech: The United States has undergone a corporate coup d’etat in slow motion. It is no longer a functioning democracy. The real centers of power, in the corporate, military and national security sectors, were humiliated and embarrassed by WikiLeaks. Their war crimes, lies, conspiracies to crush the democratic aspirations of the vulnerable and the poor, and rampant corruption, here and around the globe, were laid bare in troves of leaked documents. We cannot fight on behalf of Julian unless we are clear about whom we are fighting against. It is far worse than a corrupt judiciary. The global billionaire class, who have orchestrated a social inequality rivaled by pharaonic Egypt, has internally seized all of the levers of power and made us the most spied upon, monitored, watched and photographed population in human history. Julian was long a target, of course, but when WikiLeaks published the documents known as Vault 7, which exposed the hacking tools the CIA uses to monitor our phones, televisions and even cars, he — and journalism itself — was condemned to crucifixion. The object is to shut down any investigations into the inner workings of power that might hold the ruling class accountable for its crimes, eradicate public opinion and replace it with the cant [cant: hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature] fed to the mob. 

Liz Truss Will Make Johnson Seem a Political Genius, May a Mistress of Empathy, Cameron a Beacon of Sincerity – (Irish Times – September 5, 2022) 

In a healthy or happy democracy, Truss doesn’t get to be prime minister, even in her own fantasies. She is Theresa May without the seriousness and Boris Johnson without the charisma — a combination of ingredients scraped by a mad chef from the bottom of a very deep barrel. With her, the Tory Party has chosen, not to wake up to the increasingly grim realities of contemporary Britain, but to double down on the game of “let’s pretend”. You only have to pretend this hard when you’re avoiding something big. What’s being evaded here is decline. In thinking about Britain’s slow decline, the usual point of comparison is with, say, the rise of China. But a much better comparator is much closer to home — the little country just across the Irish Sea. Ireland, God knows, has very serious problems, most of them rooted in its peculiar combination of hyperdevelopment and underdevelopment. But it’s doing better than Britain is. Twenty five years ago, Ireland was poorer, more corrupt and more in thrall to reactionary nationalism than Britain was. Now, on all three counts, the reality is reversed. The Tories came back into power in 2010. Over the course of this unbroken period of rule, typical household incomes in Britain have risen more slowly than those in only two other western European countries: Greece and Cyprus. And, from our point of view, the remarkable fact is that typical incomes of ordinary people in Ireland are now 6% higher than they are in Britain. 

Laughing Gas Could Be a Sign of Life on Distant Planets – (CNET – October 4, 2022) 

A team of astrobiologists has proposed looking for nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, as a possible indication of life on distant worlds. “There’s been a lot of thought put into oxygen and methane as biosignatures. Fewer researchers have seriously considered nitrous oxide, but we think that may be a mistake,” said astrobiologist Eddie Schwieterman, at University of California, Riverside. Nitrous oxide can be generated by microorganisms on Earth, but it’s not currently very concentrated in our own atmosphere. That suggests it might not be worth looking for on exoplanets. “This conclusion doesn’t account for periods in Earth’s history where ocean conditions would have allowed for much greater biological release of N2O,” Schwieterman said. “Conditions in those periods might mirror where an exoplanet is today.” Schweitermen’s team ran computer models to simulate how living organisms might generate nitrous oxide on other planets and discovered scenarios where the gas could act as a notable biosignature. The point is we would have to look for it. 

First Martian Life Likely Broke the Planet with Climate Change, Made Themselves Extinct – (Live Science – October 13, 2022) 

Ancient microbial life on Mars could have destroyed the planet’s atmosphere through climate change, which ultimately led to its extinction, new research has suggested. The new theory comes from a climate modeling study that simulated hydrogen-consuming, methane-producing microbes living on Mars roughly 3.7 billion years ago. At the time, atmospheric conditions were similar to those that existed on ancient Earth during the same period. But instead of creating an environment that would help them thrive and evolve, as happened on Earth, Martian microbes may have doomed themselves just as they were getting started, according to the study published Oct. 10 in the journal Nature Astronomy. The model suggests that the reason life thrived on Earth and was doomed on Mars is because of the gas compositions of the two planets, and their relative distances from the sun. Being farther away from our star than Earth, Mars was more reliant on a potent fog of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen, to maintain hospitable temperatures for life. 

New Air Traffic Control Recording Reveals Pilot’s Encounter with UFOs above His Commercial Airplane – (The Pulse – October 11, 2022) 

Radio communications between airline pilots and the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center on August 18, 2022 reveal a startling UFO encounter. Multiple UFOs were performing maneuvers well above the air craft. The recording embedded in the article comes from radio communications between airline pilots and the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in the early morning hours of August 18, 2022. A Gulfstream 650 and an American Airlines flight both reported witnessing multiple UFOs while overflying the Catalina and Channel Islands area. The retired F-18 pilot describes multiple objects getting very bright, then dimming, then getting bright again and moving in multiple directions, including in circles. The ARTCC employee notes that she was getting calls from other pilots who were witnessing the same phenomenon during that time. Also the US Navy has admitted it has a lot more footage of UFOs — but won’t share them anytime soon. See Classified UFO Videos Would ‘Harm National Security’ If Released, Navy Says

China Says They’ve Been “Overwhelmed” With “Rapidly Mounting Sightings” of UFOs – (The Pulse – October 10, 2022) 

Some proponents of the theory that UFOs are secret military craft from foreign nations fail to realize that dozens of governments are dealing with the “UFO” issue, and have been for decades. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported in June 2021 that Chinese analysts “have been overwhelmed in recent years by rapidly mounting sighting reports from a wide range of military and civilian sources” by what the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are calling “unidentified air conditions.” No one can deny that there are air safety issue concerns here. But the vast majority of UFO encounters with human aircraft, be it civilian or military, perform evasive maneuvers to avoid our own aircraft. This is what’s been reported for decades, and that is made clear by going through the literature that describes military and civilian encounters with UFOs.  

Covid Policies Show Many People in Prison Are No Danger to the Public – (Washington Post – September 29, 2022) 

We are keeping many people in prison even though they are no danger to the public, a jaw-dropping new statistic shows. To protect those most vulnerable to covid-19 during the pandemic, the Cares Act allowed the Justice Department to order the release of people in federal prisons and place them on home confinement. More than 11,000 people were eventually released. Of those, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reported that only 17 of them committed new crimes. That’s not a typo. Seventeen. That’s a 0.15 percent recidivism rate in a country where it’s normal for 30 to 65% of people coming home from prison to reoffend within three years of release. Of those 17 people, most new offenses were for possessing or selling drugs or other minor offenses. Of the 17 new crimes, only one was violent (an aggravated assault), and none were sex offenses. These 11,000 releases were not random. Many of the people released to home confinement had years or even decades left to serve on their sentences. But they changed in prison and are no longer a danger to others, as the new data confirms. People with serious chronic illnesses or physical disabilities are another group who can be safely released from long sentences. They are not dangerous, but their increased medical needs make them exponentially more expensive to incarcerate. Taxpayers aren’t getting much public safety bang for their buck when we incarcerate bedridden people. It’s time to rethink our incarceration policies for those with a low risk of reoffending. 

Amazon Is Always Watching – (CNN – October 2, 2022) 

At a recent invite-only press event, Amazon unveiled a long list of product updates ahead of the holiday shopping season that appear designed to further insert its gadgets and services into every corner of our homes with the apparent goal of making everything a little easier. But the event was also another reminder of just how much Amazon’s many products are watching us. Amazon has previously raised eyebrows with blatant examples of surveillance products, including drones and Astro, the dog-like robot that patrols the home. But this year, Amazon’s advancements in everyday tracking were a bit more subtle.  The new Halo Rise sleep tracking device, for example, sits on the nightstand and monitors a person’s breathing and micro-movements as they sleep without the need to wear a sleep tracker. The device is said to work even if the person is turned in the other direction, or covered up by pillows and blankets. On the new Echo Show 15 smart display, Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa can now rattle off a morning routine for each person in the home, provide calendar updates and highlight traffic reports for the commute to the office. There’s also an option to ask Alexa to turn off the lights up to 24 hours in the future if they won’t be home. Amazon continues to expand Astro’s features, too. It can now detect the faces of pets in the home and stream footage to owners when they’re out of the house. The robot can also make sure windows and doors are closed and it can perform deeper monitoring when the owner is away as part of a virtual surveillance subscription. Amazon, perhaps more than any of its peers, has created a sprawling suite of products and services that arguably track more of our daily lives in and around our homes. In the months leading up to the product event, Amazon made two big announcements that could expand its reach into our lives even more. Amazon agreed last month to acquire iRobot, the company behind the popular automated Roomba vacuums, some of which create maps of the inside of our homes. It also announced plans to broaden its reach in the health care market by buying One Medical, a membership-based primary care service. In the process, Amazon is possibly testing customers’ comfort levels with how much any single company should know about our lives, and perhaps shifting our tolerance, too.  

Businesses Brace for Currency Chaos in Asia, a Region With a History of Crisis – (New York Times – October 3, 2022) 

Throughout Asia, from the Vietnamese dong to the Philippine peso, currencies are tumbling to record lows, the type of widespread currency weakness not seen since the 1997 financial crisis. That has unnerved businesses and policymakers who recall how a string of Asian currencies folded under the pressure of a strong dollar. To minimize the risk of that kind of calamity, policymakers are scrambling to stabilize their currencies. The State Bank of Vietnam raised interest rates by a full percentage point last month after Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh implored the central bank to act. The dong had fallen for nine straight days to a 29-year low. On the same day, Japan, where the yen has dropped around 25% against the dollar this year, announced it would intervene to strengthen its currency for the first time since 1998. In China, where the renminbi is trading near 14-year lows, the central bank has taken a series of measures to slow the currency’s depreciation, including warning speculators against making bets on it. Heightening the alarm, the dollar — powered by the most rapid Federal Reserve interest rate increases in decades — shows no signs of slowing. It is up nearly 20% against a group of major currencies from a year ago. Many Asian central banks that used to keep their exchange rates in line with the greenback now allow them to fluctuate with market forces. While that means more volatile exchange rates, it also relieves some pent-up pressure that can trigger a collapse. And most Asian countries have more foreign currency coming in than going out, allowing them to sock away significant reserves that they can deploy in an emergency to supplement imports or protect their own currency from depreciating. As a result, Asia today is “in much better shape than any other region in the world,” said Sayuri Shira, a professor of economics at Keio University and former member of the Bank of Japan’s policy board. Still, the strong dollar is testing the region’s defenses, forcing central banks to use their war chests to prop up their currencies — mainly by buying their own currencies and selling dollars. India and Thailand have spent more than 10% of their reserves on interventions this year, spending $75 billion and $27 billion in the foreign exchange markets, according to estimates from Nomura Holdings. See also: The All Too Real Risk of a Global Recession which offers a good explanation of how a strong US dollar forces other countries either to raise their interest rates or face a sharp devaluation, which further stokes inflation. The consequences of this global deflationary cycle are hard to predict. We have never done this before on this scale. 

The First Crop of Space Mining Companies Didn’t Work Out, But a New Generation Is Trying Again – (CNBC – October 9, 2022) 

Just a couple of years ago, it seemed that space mining was inevitable. Analysts, tech visionaries and even renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson predicted that space mining was going to be big business. Fast forward to 2022, and humanity has yet to commercially mine even a single asteroid. So what’s taking so long? “If we had to develop a full-scale asteroid mining vehicle today, we would need a few hundred million dollars to do that using commercial processes. It would be difficult to convince the investment community that that’s the right thing to do,” says Joel Sercel, president and CEO of TransAstra Corporation. This has not dissuaded Sercel from trying to mine the cosmos. TransAstra will initially focus on mining asteroids for water to make rocket propellant, but would like to eventually mine “everything on the periodic table.” Article also showcases AstroForge, founded in 2022 by a former SpaceX engineer and a former Virgin Galactic engineer. AstroForge plans to mine and refine rare earth metals in space. To keep costs down, AstroForge will attach its refining payload to off-the shelf satellites and launch those satellites on SpaceX rockets. Nineteen minute video with more details embedded in article. 

Future Generations, If There Are Future Generations – (YouTube – October 12, 2022) 

This 4 minute video clip showcases a reading of Caitlin Johnstone’s poem “Future Generations, If There are Future Generations” with a video collaboration by Tonika Todorova working under her platform name, Visceral Adventure. Johnstone wrote the poem a couple of weeks ago and releases her work to others to use as they wish (she even grants permission to do so without giving her credit).  Johnstone’s website features a daily article, free to subscribe. 

No One in Physics Dares Say So, But the Race to Invent New Particles Is Pointless – (Guardian – September 26, 2022) 

Imagine you go to a zoology conference. The first speaker talks about her 3D model of a 12-legged purple spider that lives in the Arctic. There’s no evidence it exists, she admits, but it’s a testable hypothesis, and she argues that a mission should be sent off to search the Arctic for spiders. The second speaker has a model for a flying earthworm, but it flies only in caves. There’s no evidence for that either, but he petitions to search the world’s caves. The third one has a model for octopuses on Mars. It’s testable, he stresses. Kudos to zoologists, I’ve never heard of such a conference. But almost every particle physics conference has sessions just like this, except they do it with more math. It has become common among physicists to invent new particles for which there is no evidence, publish papers about them, write more papers about these particles’ properties, and demand the hypothesis be experimentally tested. Many of these tests have actually been done, and more are being commissioned as we speak. It is wasting time and money. Since the 1980s, physicists have invented an entire particle zoo, whose inhabitants carry names like preons, sfermions, dyons, magnetic monopoles, simps, wimps, wimpzillas, axions, flaxions, erebons, accelerons, cornucopions, giant magnons, maximons, macros, wisps, fips, branons, skyrmions, chameleons, cuscutons, planckons and sterile neutrinos, to mention just a few. We even had a (luckily short-lived) fad of “unparticles”. All experiments looking for those particles have come back empty-handed, in particular those that have looked for particles that make up dark matter, a type of matter that supposedly fills the universe and makes itself noticeable by its gravitational pull. However, we do not know that dark matter is indeed made of particles. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) hasn’t seen any of those particles either, even though, before its launch, many theoretical physicists were confident it would see at least a few. Talk to particle physicists in private, and many of them will admit they do not actually believe those particles exist. They justify their work by claiming that it is good practice, or that every once in a while one of them accidentally comes up with an idea that is useful for something else. But is this a good strategy? 

The Onion Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief Defending the Right to Parody – (Washington Post – October 3, 2022) 

The Onion — a satirical publication known for poking fun at everything from popular culture to global politics — is taking a stab at a serious issue. It has filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of an Ohio man who faced criminal charges over a Facebook page parodying his local police department. Anthony Novak, an amateur comic from Parma, a Cleveland suburb, was arrested and briefly jailed after creating a fake social media page in 2016 styled after the Parma Police Department’s Facebook page. His lawyers argue it was an obvious parody, and he was acquitted at trial. Novak subsequently filed a civil suit alleging his constitutional rights were violated, though that was dismissed after a federal appeals court granted the police officers qualified immunity — a legal doctrine that protects government officials from being sued for allegedly violating civil rights. “There’s no recognized right to be free from a retaliatory arrest that is supported by probable cause,” the appellate judges ruled. Now, Novak is petitioning the Supreme Court to take up his case. Despite the sarcasm and hyperbole, the legal brief isn’t a joke. The publication’s aim is to get the Supreme Court to scrutinize qualified immunity and free speech rights. (Amicus briefs are documents filed by parties not directly involved in a case to provide the court with additional information.) “The Onion cannot stand idly by in the face of a ruling that threatens to disembowel a form of rhetoric that has existed for millennia, that is particularly potent in the realm of political debate, and that, purely incidentally, forms the basis of The Onion’s writers’ paychecks,” the brief says. It also highlights what The Onion suggests are shortcomings in the legal system when it comes to protecting those who use comedy to question people in positions of authority. 

He Paid Over $170,000 to Climb the Seven Summits — Despite Being ‘Terrified of Heights’ – (CNBC – October 6, 2022) 

Vivian James Rigney is an executive coach and speaker who has visited more than 80 countries and lived on three continents. He’s also climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents, the so-called Seven Summits. It’s a feat that took him 14 years — one, he estimates, that fewer than 1,000 people have completed. And he did it despite being “terrified of heights,” he said. In this interview, Rigney talked about what he learned — and how much it cost him — to reach some of the highest points on earth. Strictly in terms of money, Rigney estimates he’s paid between $170,000 and $180,000 to climb the Seven Summits. But that’s hardly the whole cost. 

Nikon Small World Microscopy Contest 2022: This Year’s Top 10 Winners – (Ars Technica – October 11, 2022) 

An image of the hand of an embryonic Madagascar giant day gecko took first place in the annual competition. Article also features the other 9 winners of this year’s contest. You can check out the full list of winners, as well as several honorable mentions, here — 89 in all, selected from thousands of submissions around the world. 
When you drop any new idea in the pond of the world, you get a ripple effect. You have to be aware that you will be creating a cascade of change.
– Joel Barker, futurist
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