Volume 25, Number 23 – 12/1/22


Volume 25, Number 23 – 12/1/2022


  • Scientists have successfully used an implanted brain–computer interface (BCI) to enable a person with complete paralysis to communicate.
  • Meta trained an AI on 48 million science papers – the search results were so bad, they shut it down after 2 days. 
  • Major tax filing services have been sending users’ financial information to Facebook.  
  • In the US, the fastest-growing demographic group is people 50 and older who live alone.
Joey & Jill Korn

A Silent Global Pandemic
and How to Clear It

Saturday, January 28th, 1:00-5:00
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Joey Korn is one of the most accomplished dousers in the world.  For decades he has explored the outer edges of what can be done with dousing — far more than finding water or underground electrical cables.  He comes to TransitionTALKS in January, with his most important discovery, what he calls Interference Energy and, ultimately, how to clear it.  After conducting many thousands of space clearings — eliminating all forms of negative energy in a specific area — Joey has identified the energy that is the primary and most common cause of problems in people’s lives, homes, and offices.  You have not learned about this unless you’ve heard it from Joey.  His approach eliminates interference energy, which greatly increases negatively in all who attract it — and everyone around that person, especially their families, and pets. 

Joey first found and learned to clear or remove Interference Energy from people and their homes about 16 years ago, and he has helped thousands of people by removing this energy from them, their families, and their homes in his Remote Personal Energy and Space Clearing Sessions. There are two ways to attract Interference Energy:

  1. We can attract it directly by entering intense negative states of mind and emotion, in our reactions to difficult and traumatic times in our lives.  Until Covid, this was the most common way to attract this energy.
  2. Once someone attracts Interference Energy, others in their family and elsewhere can “catch” it, like an energetic virus.  Since Covid, this has become the most common way to attract it.

With the world governments’ reactions to Covid, spreading fear around the world, and the political dichotomies in this country and many others, including the war in Ukraine, Interference Energy has become what Joey calls a Global Silent Pandemic.  It’s affecting more people and wreaking more havoc in the world than Covid is, but nobody knows about this energy or that it can be easily removed from people and their homes. 

In addition to leaving our energy pattern imprints around our bed, we also leave our energy pattern imprints for a period of time everywhere we sleep like hotels, vacation rentals, etc., so Interference Energy is also very common in those places, and it can spread to others who stay and leave imprints of their energy patterns there. And the same happens when we lie down on a therapy table for a massage, acupuncture, a doctor’s examination, etc.  Joey feels certain that well more than half the people on the planet are either directly or indirectly affected by Interference Energy, yet again, no one knows about it unless they learned about it from Joey.

For 14 years, Joey knew only one way to remove this energy from people, as well as their homes and offices, and it would help his clients greatly, but he had a very difficult time teaching anyone else to do it. However, Joey has recently developed what he now calls his Miracle Blessing Process, which just about anyone can use to remove Interference Energy from themselves, from all in their families, and from many others, with no dowsing experience needed.  Joey will share this blessing process with us, and you will be able to clear Interference Energy from all who may have it affecting you, your family, and it will do much more than that.  His goal now is to spread his Miracle Blessing Process to millions of people around the world in the coming year, and you will be part of that process.

Joey & Jill Korn

Saturday, January 28th,  1:00-5:00
Coolfont Resort
Berkeley Springs, WV

Get Tickets at
Joey Korn is a mystic and a global leader in the world of dowsing, with a primary interest in personal energy clearing and space clearing. Joey had a powerful mystical experience in 1974, when he was 21 years old, that put him very soundly on his spiritual Path.  After that fateful night, Joey has had an unquenchable thirst to learn as much as he could about the powers of mind, about energy, light, healing, and about Life itself. Nothing has helped Joey accomplish this more than dowsing combined with the blessing process. 
Joey learned to dowse in 1986 and has been a passionate dowser ever since.  By 1997, he was teaching dowsing, combined with the blessing process, as well as offering on-site and remote space clearing services as his full-time profession, traveling extensively for many years.  Joey no longer travels to teach, as conducting his Remote Personal and Space Clearing Services over the phone is his full-time work.  However, he has made an exemption for our group, as we have become quite special to him after he spoke for us several years ago.  Joey teaches now through Zoom-type sessions and in retreats that he and his wife of 45 years, Jill, conduct in their home near Augusta, Georgia, USA.  Joey couldn’t do all that he does without his partnership with Jill, who will join him in his talk. Joey also shares his understandings in the revised edition of his book, “Dowsing: A Path to Enlightenment,” his videos, and through his Web site at  Joey and Jill can be reached at and 1-706-733-0204.
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Covid Roundup – (Paul Craig Roberts – November 22, 2022)

The “pandemic” was an orchestration for profit, power, and, it appears from the deaths, disabilities, infertility, and stillbirths caused by the “vaccine,” population reduction.  In effect, whether intended or not, the mRNA “vaccines” are bioweapons. The Pfizer documents released by court order show that Pfizer knew in advance from its testing that the “vaccine” caused miscarriages and stillbirths, heart problems, neurological  problems, and death.  Yet the company and the public health agencies responsible for protecting public health went ahead and created a climate of fear, based on the lie that there was no available treatment, and injected 70% of the US population with an untested substance on an “emergency use authorization.” To put it clearly, the pharmaceutical companies, NIH, CDC, FDA, WHO, politicians, presstitutes, medical societies and medical boards coerced a majority of the US population with fear and mandates to play Russian roulette with a “vaccine” that could end or destroy their lives. And despite this enormous crime, so far the only demand for accountability is civil law suits.  

Two Minerals Never Before Seen on Earth Found Inside 17-ton Meteorite – (Live Science – November 28, 2022)

Two minerals that have never been seen before on Earth have been discovered inside a massive meteorite in Somalia. They could hold important clues to how asteroids form. The two brand new minerals were found inside a single 2.5 ounce slice taken from the 16.5 ton El Ali meteorite, which crashed to Earth in 2020. The researchers classified El Ali as an Iron IAB complex meteorite, a type made of meteoric iron flecked with tiny chunks of silicates. While investigating the meteorite slice, details of the new minerals caught the scientists’ attention. By comparing the minerals with versions of them that had been previously synthesized in a lab, they were able to rapidly identify them as newly recorded in nature. The team is looking into material science applications of the minerals. However, future scientific insights from the El Ali meteorite could be in peril. The meteorite has now been moved to China in search of a potential buyer, which could limit researchers’ access to the space rock for investigation.

Wormholes May Already Have Been Detected, Physicists Say – (Science Alert – November 15, 2022)

Hypothetical bridges connecting distant regions of space (and time) could more or less look like garden variety black holes, meaning it’s possible these mythical beasts of physics have already been seen. However, if a new model proposed by a small team of physicists from Sofia University in Bulgaria is accurate, there could still be a way to tell them apart. Play around with Einstein’s general theory of relativity long enough, it’s possible to show how the spacetime background of the Universe can form not only deep gravitational pits where nothing escapes – it can also form impossible mountain peaks which can’t be climbed. Unlike their dark cousins, these glowing hills would shun anything that drew near, potentially belching out streams of particles and radiation that had no hope of ever turning back. Setting aside the distinct possibility the Big Bang looks just like one of these ‘white holes’, nothing of it’s like has ever been observed. Nonetheless, they remain an interesting concept for exploring the edges of one of the greatest theories in physics. In the 1930s, a colleague of Einstein’s named Nathan Rosen showed there was nothing to say the deeply curved spacetime of a black hole couldn’t connect to the steep peaks of a white hole to form some kind of bridge. Under the right circumstances, it might even be possible for matter to ride this cosmic tube and come out the other end with its information more or less intact. Article discusses how black holes and wormholes might be differentiated.

Brain Implant Allows Person with Complete Paralysis to Communicate – (Physics World – April 9, 2022)

Scientists have successfully used an implanted brain–computer interface (BCI) to enable a person with complete paralysis to communicate – suggesting that verbal communication with such devices may one day be possible for patients in a completely locked-in state. For the trial, a team from the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, ALS Voice and the University of Tübingen implanted a type of BCI called an auditory neurofeedback system into the brain of a 34-year-old male patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The patient was in a completely locked-in state and had no voluntary muscular control. After implantation, he could form words and phrases and communicate at an average rate of about one character per minute. The researchers inserted two tiny 3.2 x 3.2 mm microelectrode arrays, known as Utah arrays, into the surface of the participant’s motor cortex – the part of the brain responsible for movement. Each array contains 64 needle-like electrodes that record neural signals, before transferring them to a computer via a wired connection. Software then decodes the data and runs an auditory feedback speller that prompts the user to select letters to form words and sentences. The participant learned how to alter his own brain activity according to the audio feedback received, enabling him to select letters and ultimately spell words and sentences. According to joint lead author Jonas Zimmermann, senior neuroscientist at the Wyss Center, the study answers a long-standing question about whether people with complete locked-in syndrome (CLIS) – who have lost all voluntary muscle control, including movement of the eyes or mouth – also lose the ability of their brain to generate commands for communication. Successful communication has previously been demonstrated with BCIs in individuals with paralysis but, to Zimmerman’s knowledge, this study is the first to achieve communication by someone who has no remaining voluntary movement and hence for whom the BCI is now the sole means of communication. At present, the BCI system used in the study is for clinical investigations only and is not available outside a research setting. Further demonstrations of its longevity, applicability in other patients, safety and efficacy are needed before it is suitable for widespread clinical use.

How Supergenes Fuel Evolution Despite Harmful Mutations – (Quanta – November 8, 2022)

Supergenes are stretches of DNA that lock several genes together into a single inheritable unit. “They’re kind of a wild card,” said Marte Sodeland, a molecular ecologist at the University of Agder in Norway. This aggregated form of inheritance “has obvious advantages, because it allows rapid adaptation, but there’s a lot we don’t know yet.” Supergenes once seemed like an evolutionary oddity, but the rise of genetic sequencing has shown that they are far more common than researchers believed. Not all supergenes may serve a function, but work in just the past few years has revealed that traits in a wide range of animal and plant species might be driven by these groups of genes that function like a single gene. For example, supergenes help wild sunflowers adapt to a range of environments, such as sand dunes, coastal plains and barrier islands. In other families of plants, they produce subtle but important variations in their sexual organs and fertility that help to prevent inbreeding. Supergenes also seem to hold explanations for many long-standing mysteries of evolution, such as how species can sometimes adapt to new environments rapidly. Recent work on the evolution of supergenes, however, is painting a more nuanced picture of their effects. These theoretical models and studies of real populations have shown that supergenes often accumulate harmful mutations far more rapidly than other pieces of DNA do, and this can gradually lead to degenerative effects that undermine the original benefits. Specific supergenes in humans haven’t been confirmed but likely candidates have been found.

Declining Global Sperm Count Could Threaten Humankind’s Survival; Meta-Study Reveals Worrying Results – (Weather Channel – November 16, 2022)

A new international study demonstrated that sperm counts among people from South and Central America, Asia and Africa had been drastically dropping. This builds upon 2017 research that had already shown similar results among North American, European and Australian residents. A lowered sperm count doesn’t just affect the patient’s reproductive ability, but also points to an increased risk of testicular cancer, decreased lifespan and chronic disease. In the past 46 years, sperm counts have fallen by over 50% worldwide. The research draws on data from 53 countries and shows that total sperm counts (TSC) and sperm concentration (SC) have been declining at over 1% per year. In fact, the study showed that the dwindling counts have accelerated since the 2000s. (Editor’s note: The original study, Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries, in the section on “Wider Implications”, strongly suggests that “research on the causes of this continuing decline and actions to prevent further disruption of male reproductive health are urgently needed.”  It does not suggest that the situation threatens the survival of humanity.)

Genetically Engineered Houseplant Does the Air-purifying Work of 30 Plants – (Inverse – November 10, 2022)

A Paris-based startup called Neoplants aims to harness the natural air-filtering properties of plants. By genetically engineering both a pothos (Epipremnum aureum) plant and its associated root microbiome, the team behind Neoplants created an organism they claim is capable of doing the air-purifying work of up to 30 plants. The company’s first high-tech houseplant, called Neo P1, recently hit the market. Focusing on sustainability, Neoplants decided to tinker with flora because they wanted a way to purify air without using electricity. Coincidently, public interest in air quality has peaked in recent years. “One of the side effects of the pandemic is that people are much more aware of what’s in the air they breathe,” says Patrick Torbey, a molecular biologist and chief technical officer of Neoplants. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are highly reactive chemicals that are commonly found in things like paints, cleaning supplies, building materials, and pesticides. As a result, they tend to be abundant in indoor air. VOCs are known to cause headaches, eye and throat irritation, and in some extreme cases, even liver damage or cancer. However, most VOCs are very tiny molecules, which makes them extremely difficult to remove from indoor air with a mechanical filter. Even the molecules large enough to be filtered are simply removed and re-released in a different location, rather than neutralized or eliminated completely. But plants have an advantage here over HEPA filters: Their small size means that VOCs can be absorbed and metabolized by greenery with relative ease. And with a little metabolic tweaking, they could become far more efficient at it. Article includes genetic research details.

South Korea Has Almost Zero Food Waste. – (Guardian – November 20, 2022)

Since 2013, under South Korea’s mandatory composting scheme, residents have been required to use specially marked bags to throw out their uneaten food. A single 3-liter bag costs 300 won (about 20 cents). In one Seoul district, curbside pickup is every day except Saturday. As one resident explained, “Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the country was so poor that very little food actually went to waste. We ate everything we had.” But things changed as urbanization intensified in the following decades, bringing with it industrialized food systems and new scales of waste. Beginning in the late 1990s, as landfills in the crowded capital area approached their limits, South Korea implemented a slate of policies to ease what was becoming seen as a trash crisis. The government banned burying organic waste in landfills in 2005, followed by another ban against dumping leachate – the putrid liquid squeezed from solid food waste – into the ocean in 2013. Universal curbside composting was implemented that same year, requiring everyone to separate their food from general waste. Currently food waste goes to processing plants  where the plastic bags will be stripped off and their contents recycled into biogas, animal feed or fertilizer. Some municipalities have introduced automated food waste collectors in apartment complexes, which allow residents to forgo the bags and swipe a card to pay the weight-based fee at the machine directly. As far as the numbers go, the results of this system have been remarkable. In 1996, South Korea recycled just 2.6% of its food waste. Today, South Korea recycles close to 100% annually. Ease-of-use and accessibility have been crucial to the success of the South Korean model. “South Korea’s waste system, especially in terms of frequency of collection, is incredibly convenient compared to other countries,” says Hong Su-yeol, a waste expert and director of Resource Recycling Consulting. “Some of my peers working at non-profits overseas say that disposal should be a little bit inconvenient if you want to discourage waste but I disagree: I think that it should be made as easy as possible as long as it goes hand-in-hand with other policies that attack the problem of reducing waste itself.” Only nine US states currently have some sort of ban on landfilling organic waste, while others are facing the high costs and logistical complexities of building new recycling infrastructure. “The way this goes, it’s policy first, then money for infrastructure, then making sure that it gets collected at the home,” said Dana Gunders, executive director of food waste-focused non-profit ReFed. “Most cities are at the stage of still needing the policy.”

Meta Trained an AI on 48M Science Papers. It Was Shut Down After 2 Days – (CNet – November 20, 2022)

In the first year of the pandemic, science happened at light speed. More than 100,000 papers were published on COVID in those first 12 months — an unprecedented human effort that produced an unprecedented deluge of new information. It would have been impossible to read and comprehend every one of those studies. No human being could (and, perhaps, none would want to). But, in theory, Galactica could. Galactica is an artificial intelligence developed by Meta AI (formerly known as Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) with the intention of using machine learning to “organize science.” It’s caused a bit of a stir since a demo version was recently released online, with critics suggesting it produced pseudoscience, was overhyped and not ready for public use. The tool is pitched as a kind of evolution of the search engine but specifically for scientific literature. Upon Galactica’s launch, the Meta AI team said it can summarize areas of research, solve math problems and write scientific code. Galactica’s training set was “a large and curated corpus of humanity’s scientific knowledge” that included 48 million papers, textbooks, lecture notes, websites (like Wikipedia) and more. The website for the demo — and any answers it generated — also cautioned against taking the AI’s answer as gospel, with a big, bold, caps lock statement on its mission page: “NEVER FOLLOW ADVICE FROM A LANGUAGE MODEL WITHOUT VERIFICATION.” Once the internet got hold of the demo, it was easy to see why such a large disclaimer was necessary. Galactica struggled to perform kindergarten math. It provided error-riddled answers, incorrectly suggesting that one plus two doesn’t equal 3. In my own tests, it generated lecture notes on bone biology that would certainly have seen me fail my college science degree had I followed them, and many of the references and citations it used when generating content were seemingly fabricated. Within 48 hours of release, the Meta AI team “paused” the demo. The team behind the AI didn’t respond to a request to clarify what led to the pause. However, Jon Carvill, the communications spokesperson for AI at Meta, said, “Galactica is not a source of truth, it is a research experiment using [machine learning] systems to learn and summarize information.” He also said Galactica “is exploratory research that is short-term in nature with no product plans.”

Tax Filing Websites Have Been Sending Users’ Financial Information to Facebook – (The Verge – November 22, 2022)

Major tax filing services such as H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Facebook when Americans file their taxes online, The Markup has learned. (The Markup is an American nonprofit organization founded in 2018 with the goal of focusing on data-driven journalism, covering the ethics and impact of technology on society.) The data, sent through widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email addresses but often even more detailed information, including data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts. The information sent to Facebook can be used by the company to power its advertising algorithms and is gathered regardless of whether the person using the tax filing service has an account on Facebook or other platforms operated by its owner Meta. TaxAct, for example, which says it has about 3 million “consumer and professional users” also uses Google’s analytics tool on its website, and The Markup found similar financial data, but not names, being sent to Google through its tool. TaxAct wasn’t the only tax filing service using the Meta Pixel. Tax preparation giant H&R Block, which also offers an online filing option, embedded a pixel on its site that gathered information on filers’ health savings account usage and dependents’ college tuition grants and expenses. TaxSlayer, another widely used filing service, sent personal information to Facebook as part of the social media company’s “advanced matching” system, which gathers information on web visitors in an attempt to link them to Facebook accounts. Even Intuit, the company that runs America’s dominant online filing software, employed the pixel. Intuit’s TurboTax, however, did not send financial information to Meta but only usernames and the last time a device signed in. After a successful lobbying push from private companies, tax preparers in the US effectively act as middlemen between taxpayers and the government. Market researchers have estimated that tax preparation is a more than $11 billion industry in the United States. (Editor’s note: We highly recommend this article for the additional details, including marketing and profit strategies that are in play here. Some of the companies referred to above changed their reporting to varying degrees after being contacted by The Markup.)

Cutting-edge Tech Made This Tiny Country a Major Exporter of Food – (Washington Post – November 21, 2022)

Starting around two decades ago, concern mounted about the Netherland’s ability to feed its 17 million people. That morphed into a goal: produce twice as much food using half as many resources. The country, which is a bit bigger than Maryland, not only accomplished this feat but also has become the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products by value behind the United States. Perhaps even more significant: It is among the largest exporters of agricultural and food technology. The Dutch have pioneered cell-cultured meat, vertical farming, seed technology and robotics in milking and harvesting — spearheading innovations that focus on decreased water usage as well as reduced carbon and methane emissions. The Netherlands produces 4 million cows, 13 million pigs and 104 million chickens annually and is Europe’s biggest meat exporter. But it also provides vegetables to much of Western Europe. The country has nearly 24,000 acres — almost twice the size of Manhattan — of crops growing in greenhouses. These greenhouses, with less fertilizer and water, can grow in a single acre what would take 10 acres of traditional dirt farming to achieve. Dutch farms use only a half-gallon of water to grow about a pound of tomatoes, while the global average is more than 28 gallons. This article looks at how they do it. (Paywall waived.)

The Importance of Regenerative Agriculture, with Will Harris of White Oak Pastures – (YouTube – August 18, 2022)

Will Harris is a regenerative farming pioneer who runs White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia. He produces high-quality grass fed products, including beef and other animal products, and is an inspirational example of how to convert from conventional to regenerative agriculture and thrive financially. Prior to the mid-’90s, Harris ran his farm the way his father and most every other farmer in the country had — “as a very linear, monocultural cattle operation. The factory farm model,” he said.  He now practices what he describes as regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture, Harris says, “is a kinder, gentler agriculture … we call it biomimicry, the emulation of nature.” While it’s an imperfect emulation, it helps to restore the natural cycles that have been broken by industrial farming. As noted on the White Oak Pastures webpage, “Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy focus on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more.”  There are major differences in cows raised on grass versus grains. Those fed grass would have a life expectancy of about 20 years, but Harris states that feedlot cows are so unhealthy at slaughter, he doubts they’d live much more than about three years. “You’re eating an unnaturally obese creature that would never occur in nature and is slowly dying of the same diseases of a sedentary lifestyle, the obesity that’ll eventually kill most of us.”  In this 40 minute video, Will Harris talks about the importance of regenerative farming practices for animal welfare and soil quality, and delves into why most modern farming operations break the cycles of nature (thus negatively impacting the environment and the health of everyone involved).

US Is Increasing Pace of Hypersonic Weapons Development to Chase China and Russia, Senior Admiral Says – (CNN – November 20, 2022)

“Up until just recently, there hasn’t been a real driver for us to take that technology and put it into a weapon system. The need was not there,” said Vice Admiral Johnny Wolfe, director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems program. “The need is now there, which is why we’ve got a sense of urgency to get after this.” Wolfe, speaking last month as the military carried out two rocket test launches to gather data for hypersonic development, acknowledged that China and Russia have developed weapons the US hasn’t. Each of the two test launches carried about a dozen different experiments in different fields such as heat-resistant materials, high-end electronics, and lightweight materials, all of which are necessary to successfully develop and deploy a hypersonic weapon. Russia has deployed its own hypersonic Kinzhal missiles in Ukraine, marking perhaps the first time such weapons have been used in war. And during a test last year, a Chinese hypersonic missile flew around the world before hitting its target. Hypersonic weapons travel at speeds greater than Mach 5, or approximately 4,000 miles per hour, making them difficult to detect and intercept in time. The missiles can also maneuver and vary altitude, allowing them to evade current missile defense systems.

Snowden Highlights ‘Most Important Video of the Year’ – (RT – November 8, 2022)

US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden says a 1983 interview with former CIA officer Frank Snepp, detailing how the agency used mainstream newspapers in the US to distribute disinformation, is still the “most important video of the year.” In the video, the former intelligence officer explained how he had served as an interrogator, agent debriefer and chief strategy analyst while working in the US embassy in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Snepp said one his duties was to brief the press when the CIA wanted to “circulate disinformation on a particular issue,” noting that this information was not necessarily a lie, and could be a half-truth. “We would pick out a journalist, I would go do the briefing, and hope that he would put the information in print,” Snepp said, noting that the journalists would usually have no way of actually verifying any of the information provided to them. Snepp went on to name a few journalists who the CIA had specifically targeted over their “terrific influence,” and named a few “respected journalists” who were working in Saigon at the time, such as Robert Chaplin of the New Yorker, Kies Beach of the Los Angeles Times, Malcolm Brown of the New York Times, and Maynard Parker of Newsweek magazine, among others. Shortly after this interview, Snepp was sued by the CIA in a trial that made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that any publications by intelligence workers must first be submitted to the agency for approval. The NSA whistleblower separately thanked another Twitter user for starting a “do you think the CIA still does this?” series of posts, detailing the inner workings of the agency as shared by other whistleblowers who had been “sued into silence.”

The Death Debate: Why Some Welcome Canada’s Move to Assisted Dying for Mental Illness and Others Fear It – (CTV News – October 16, 2022)

On March 17, 2023 assisted dying will become legal for Canadians with a mental disorder as their sole condition. MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) became a legal medical procedure in 2016. It was first offered to those with terminal illnesses such as cancer. In 2021, the law was amended to include non-terminal physical conditions such as chronic pain. Mental illness was initially excluded to give the government more time to come up with safeguards, which an expert panel of psychiatrists recommended in May of 2022. Just like for physical illnesses, Canadians with mental disorders will need to show “grievous and irremediable” illness, suggesting their mental condition was incurable, with an advanced state of decline and intolerable suffering. Two assessors need to confirm the request. And the patient must be found to be competent to make the decision, with a minimum 90-day assessment period before death is provided. But some experts warn Canada is about to offer what they say will amount to “state-assisted suicide” for the mentally ill, at a time when health services are strained. Psychiatrist Dr. John Maher says, “the wait times for our treatment programs in Ontario are up to five years.” He goes on, “You’re assisting someone in the completion of their suicide. The doctor is the sanitized gun.”  One of his key concerns is how anyone can determine if someone with a mental illness is incurable, as is required by the legislation. “I’m not at all disagreeing that there are people who have an irremediable illness. What I defy you or any other person in the universe to prove to me is that it’s this person in front of you.” Studies confirm that there are long waits for mental health care across Canada. One in 10 Canadians looking for counseling services wait more than four months. It’s even longer for children and youth. Canadians are questioning whether offering a mentally-ill person assisted dying while they’re awaiting treatment is the right thing to do. A CTV News Nanos poll suggests that 61% of Canadians are unsure or don’t support MAiD for those waiting for care.

Artemis: NASA Expects Humans to Live on Moon This Decade – (BBC News – November 19, 2022)

Humans could stay on the Moon for lengthy periods during this decade, a NASA official has told the BBC. Howard Hu, who leads the Orion lunar spacecraft program for the agency, said habitats would be needed to support scientific missions. He said that the recent launch of the Artemis rocket, which carries Orion, was a “historic day for human space flight”. Orion is currently about 83,300 miles from the Moon. Sitting atop the rocket is the Orion spacecraft which, for this first mission, is uncrewed but is equipped with a manikin which will register the impacts of the flight on the human body. Mr Hu explained that if the current Artemis flight was successful then the next would be with a crew, followed by a third where astronauts would land on the Moon again for the first time since Apollo 17 50 years ago in December 1972. A large part of the reason for going back to the Moon is to discover whether there is water at the satellite’s south pole, he added, because that could be converted to provide a fuel for craft going deeper into space – to Mars, for example. “We’re going to be sending people down to the surface and they’re going to be living on that surface and doing science,” Mr Hu said.

Icy Asteroids Dumped Huge Amounts of Water on Ancient Mars, Scientists Say – (CNET – November 17, 2022)

Scientists are pretty sure there was a decent amount of water on Mars in its earlier days. An international team has worked out a new estimate for just how much water the planet might have had 4.5 billion years ago. Their conclusion? So much it could have covered the planet in a global ocean 1,000 feet (300 meters) deep if it was all spread out. The study published in Science Advances points to asteroids as a delivery mechanism for water on early Mars. “At this time, Mars was bombarded with asteroids filled with ice. It happened in the first 100 million years of the planet’s evolution,” said study co-author Martin Bizzarro from the University of Copenhagen. The researchers saw clues to this activity by studying the composition of Martian meteorites found on Earth. They worked out how much of the precious liquid the asteroids might have packed when they dive-bombed the planet long ago. This isn’t just a story of water, it’s also a story of how early Mars could have been habitable. “Another interesting angle is that the asteroids also carried organic molecules that are biologically important for life,” Bizzarro said. Mars may have been welcoming to life long before Earth was. Researchers have seen lots of evidence for past oceans and water flow on Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently investigating an ancient river delta and lakebed in the Jezero Crater as it looks for signs of ancient life.

Scroll through the Universe with a New Interactive Map – (PhysOrg – November 17, 2022)

A new map of the universe displays for the first time the span of the entire known cosmos with pinpoint accuracy and sweeping beauty. Created by Johns Hopkins University astronomers with data mined over two decades by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the map allows the public to experience data previously only accessible to scientists. The interactive map, which depicts the actual position and real colors of 200,000 galaxies, is available online, where it can also be downloaded for free. The map visualizes a slice of the universe—each dot on the map is a galaxy and each galaxy contains billions of stars and planets. The Milky Way is simply one of these dots, the one at the very bottom of the map. The expansion of the universe contributes to make this map even more colorful. The farther an object, the redder it appears. The top of the map reveals the first flash of radiation emitted soon after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

NASA Mars Rover Finds ‘Very, Very Strange Chemistry’ and Ingredients for Life – (Vice – November 23, 2022)

Mars is currently a frigid and desiccated world that is hostile to life, but there is abundant evidence that it was warmer, wetter, and more welcoming many billion of years ago. Simple forms of life may have emerged in the lakes and rivers that once flowed in this ancient era, which is why NASA sent Perseverance to search for fossilized traces of any bygone Martian microbes. The rover is also collecting samples from Jezero Crater that the mission team hopes to pick up with a future spacecraft so that they can be delivered back to Earth for more rigorous examination. The data for the new studies was collected over nearly two years of extraterrestrial exploration. As Eva Scheller, a planetary scientist at MIT who led the study, and her colleagues describe in their study, SHERLOC (an onboard ultraviolet spectrometer) detected two distinct periods when the crater was influenced by the presence of water. While it’s challenging to pin down an exact timeline, the team estimated that the area hosted water around 3.8 billion years ago. More than a billion years later, the crater contained a saltier brine that produced “weird” chemicals called perchlorates, Scheller said. “In that kind of environment, we’re seeing very, very strange chemistry which is not common on Earth at all, but seems to be more common on Mars because we’ve seen these kinds of materials in almost all the missions now,” she explained. “So there are two liquids from different rocks with two different ages with very different chemistry that [SHERLOC] was able to determine.” The instrument was also able to detect organic molecules, which are key ingredients for life, confirming that habitable conditions did once exist in Jezero Crater. 

As Gen X and Boomers Age, They Confront Living Alone – (New York Times – November 27, 2022)

In the US, the fastest-growing demographic group is people 50 and older who live alone. In 1960, just 13% of American households had a single occupant. But that figure has risen steadily, and today it is approaching 30%. For households headed by someone 50 or older, that figure is 36%. Nearly 26 million Americans 50 or older now live alone, up from 15 million in 2000. Older people have always been more likely than others to live by themselves, and now that age group — baby boomers and Gen Xers — makes up a bigger share of the population than at any previous time in the nation’s history. People 50-plus today are more likely than earlier generations to be divorced, separated or never married. Women in this category have had opportunities for professional advancement, homeownership and financial independence that were all but out of reach for previous generations of older women. More than 60% of older adults living by themselves are female. “There is this huge, kind of explosive social and demographic change happening,” said Markus Schafer, a sociologist at Baylor University who studies older populations. In many ways, the nation’s housing stock has grown out of sync with these shifting demographics. Many solo adults live in homes with at least three bedrooms, census data shows, but find that downsizing is not easy because of a shortage of smaller homes in their towns and neighborhoods. Compounding the challenge of living solo, a growing share of older adults — about 1 in 6 Americans 55 and older — do not have children, raising questions about how elder care will be managed in the coming decades. (Paywall waived.)

A Wave-powered Prototype Device Is Aiming to Produce Drinking Water from the Ocean  (CNBC – November 24, 2022)

Plans to use marine energy to desalinate water received a further boost this week, after a Norwegian firm presented a system that will be put through its paces in waters off Gran Canaria. The Oslo-headquartered Ocean Oasis said its wave-powered prototype device, which it described as being an “offshore floating desalination plant,” was called Gaia. The plant — which has a height of 10 meters, a diameter of 7 meters and weighs roughly 100 tons — was put together in Las Palmas and will undergo testing at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands. Ocean Oasis said its technology would enable “the production of fresh water from ocean waters by harnessing the energy of the waves to carry out a desalination process and pump potable water to coastal users.” According to the Canary Islands Institute of Technology, the islands have been “a pioneer in the production of desalinated water at affordable cost.” A presentation from the ITC highlights some of the reasons why. Describing the Canary Islands’ “water singularities,” it refers to a “structural water deficit due to low rainfall, high soil permeability and aquifer overexploitation.” While desalination — which multinational energy firm Iberdrola describes as “the process by which the dissolved mineral salts in water are removed” — is seen as a useful tool when it comes to providing drinking water to countries where supply is an issue, the U.N. has noted there are significant environmental challenges linked to it.

The Strange, Brain-like Memory of Vanadium Dioxide Glass – (Big Think – November 20, 2022)

A new research paper describes a very unusual material — vanadium dioxide glass — that appears to store memory within its atomic and molecular configurations. This allows it to act in a manner more akin to a neuron and less like that of a digital chip. The main working memory banks within a computer, often referred to as RAM and cache, are essentially electron prisons. Within each “prison” cell of memory, the computer can check if it is “occupied” or “not occupied” by an electron, to read out the values of 0 or 1. Experiments described in the paper produce the surprising result that vanadium dioxide (VO2) glass appears to retain memory in an entirely different way. The VO2 “remembers” not just “full” or “empty” but a range of particular states, as well as when the information was stored. It does this without trapping electrons or even requiring continuous power. The ability of the VO2 to keep this memory is likely linked to the nature of glass. Article explains in depth.

These Riderless Electric Lawn Mowers Can Run on Their Own for 10 hours – (CNBC – November 28, 2022)

A Colorado-based startup is experimenting with commercial-grade electric mowers that not only produce no carbon emissions, but can run on their own. No rider necessary. Scythe Robotics’ autonomous electric mower can run for 8 to 11 hours at a time, depending on the grass length. But the mowers are not for sale to consumers, or anybody else. Instead the company leases them to landscaping companies, which are charged for the acreage that the machines mow. That makes it much more attractive to the companies because these machines typically last only two to three years. The mowers appear to be careful with surrounding objects. Two of them rolled across a park recently in downtown Austin, stopping automatically when dogs ran across their paths.

Top Economist Mohamed El-Erian Says We’re Not Just Headed for Another Recession, But a ‘Profound Economic and Financial Shift’ – (Fortune – November 23, 2022)

One major economist who has seen warning signs mounting for many months says this potential recession is unlike what we’re used to. Mohamed El-Erian was previously the chief executive officer of the massively influential bond-market player PIMCO. He also chaired former President Barack Obama’s Global Development Council and has written several economic best-sellers. “The world isn’t just teetering on the brink of another recession,” he said. “It is in the midst of a profound economic and financial shift.” He referenced economic theory that a recession occurs when a business cycle reaches its natural endpoint and before the next cycle really takes flight, but he said this time won’t be one more turn of the “economic wheel,” as he sees the world experiencing major changes that “will outlast the current business cycle.” He highlighted three trends that suggest a transformation in the global economy is under way. The first transformational trend, El-Erian says, is the shift from insufficient demand to insufficient supply. The second is the end of boundless liquidity from central banks. And the third is the growing fragility of financial markets. Article explores these more fully. These help to explain “many of the unusual economic developments of the last few years,” he wrote, and looking forward he sees even more uncertainty as economic shocks “grow more frequent and more violent.” Analysts aren’t waking up to this yet, he added.

Leonard Cohen in Joy and Sorrow: “Hallelujah” – (Global Research – November 21, 2022)

This essay celebrates singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, along with Bob Dylan. As it notes: Both Cohen and Dylan … have been so popular because in their darkest visions they also offer a glimmer of hope, not much, but a bit of light presented in enigmatic lyrics. “You want it darker/We kill the flame,” Cohen sings, as he goes very deep indeed. But Cohen also knew another truth: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”  Both Cohen and Dylan came to prominence in the 1960s when darkness and doom dominated the news. Both knew then and later that only a spiritual revolution offered hope – because spirit, secular or sacred, even when incognito, sustained the resistance to the political nihilism that was then rising to a crescendo.  Where it was absent, resistance collapsed. They sensed, even if they did not explicitly say, that the personal can only be understood within the social. Isn’t this what Homer and Virgil did? (Editor’s note: We recommend this essay with its balanced honoring of both the darkness and the light in the music and the life of a very fine poet and singer. If you don’t have time to read the essay, at least give yourself the treat of hearing – or rehearing – Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.) 

‘Extinction Is on the Table’: Jaron Lanier Warns of Tech’s Existential Threat to Humanity  (Guardian – November 27, 2022)

Jaron Lanier, the eminent American computer scientist, composer and artist, credited with coining the term “virtual reality”, has long sounded dire sirens about the dangers of a world over-reliant on the internet and at the increasing mercy of tech lords, their social media platforms and those who work for them. Nothing about the recent past – of chaos on Twitter and the ever-increasing spread of conspiracy theory and disinformation – has changed that. The current state of the tech industry is ripe with danger and poses an existential threat, he believes.  “People survive by passing information between themselves,” Lanier said. “We’re putting that fundamental quality of humanness through a process with an inherent incentive for corruption and degradation. The fundamental drama of this period is whether we can figure out how to survive properly with those elements or not.” In short, the web is not a free market of information as originally envisioned. It is a gamed system being rampantly abused. “There are all kind of intermediaries. They might be the people who own a platform, for example Elon Musk, or third parties who are good at sneaking in influence. The interveners can be varied. Some are official, some are revealed, others hidden. Some are competent, some incompetent. Some are random, like an algorithm that someone made but didn’t understand.” Lanier is no longer a fan of how the digital utopia is coming along. He’s called it “digital Maoism” and accused tech giants like Facebook and Google of being “spy agencies”. And he’s been brutally clear about what he sees as the consequences of over-dependence on social media: in essence, you’ll get both popular cat videos and civil war.

The Future of Parking Is in New York — and It Costs at Least $300,000 per Space – (CNBC – November 23, 2022)

Hidden deep below some of New York City’s most luxurious apartment buildings is an exclusive world of futuristic parking spaces where high-end vehicles are parked and retrieved by robotic parking systems. The spots are only accessible to residents of buildings where the apartments will set you back several million, and if you want your car to live there too you’ll need between $300,000 and $595,000 or more to score some precious space in the private garage. One such garage is located at 121 East 22nd Street near NYC’s Gramercy Park where a 140-unit condo building offers 24 automated parking spots. Spots in the system that include a charging plug for electric vehicles will run you $350,000. And whether it’s electrified or not, every parking spot carries a $150 per-month maintenance fee. The system can lift and shuffle two dozen cars across four rows and two levels.  Article explains the robotic works. The system can lift and shuffle two dozen cars across four rows and two levels. One of the perks: You never have to put the car in reverse to exit the building. “The car is turned for you by the robot,” one owner told CNBC. “Who doesn’t live for a robot that sets you in the right direction in NYC?” Pedro Fernandez, a local sales representative for Klaus Parking, the company that sold the German-made parking system to the building’s developer, said it’s the most automated garage he’s ever installed in Manhattan. The company’s top-tier system typically costs between $50,000 and $70,000 per spot installed. Fernandez said developers may invest over a million dollars in the intelligent parking infrastructure because it’s super efficient at arranging vehicles and maximizing space. The self-parking system can unlock more spaces per square foot because it doesn’t require the ramps and driving lanes you see in most conventional garages. ?“As crazy as it may sound, $300,000 for a residential parking spot is considered a reasonable price in New York City,” said Senada Adzem, a Florida-based real estate broker at Douglas Elliman.

Japanese Artist Creates Amazing Miniature Dioramas Every Day For 10 Years – (Digital Synopsis – no date)

Miniature Calendar is an ongoing project by Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka that features beautiful miniature dioramas of everyday life, using common household objects such as food, cloth, stationery, electronic devices, and even masks. Tanaka began to create these dioramas in 2011 to give everyday objects a humorist twist. Since then he has continued to update his content on a daily basis with scenes relevant to the seasons and world events. His exhibitions in Japan and other countries have had over 1.5million visitors to date. A selection of his work is showcased in link above. See his website, Miniature Calendar for a fascinating 2 minute video showing a little of his creative process and the artist’s studio that supports it. (The studio alone is a complete wow.)
After the final no there comes a yes
and on that yes the future of the world hangs.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.
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