Volume 25, Number 8 – 4/15/22

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Volume 25, Number 8 – 4/15/2022


  • On the horizon: a drug that reverses hearing loss.
  • Energy storage is the critical issue that must be addressed if there is ever going to be “net-zero” electricity generation.
  • The first audio recorded on Mars reveals that it has two speeds of sound.
  • A new AI system can create realistic images from simple descriptions provided in ordinary English.
Sally Fallon Morell

The Contagion Myth

Saturday, April 23rd
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia


All disease is the result of three causes: malnutrition, toxins and injury.  Microbes (bacteria, fungus, “viruses”) are often present in disease, but they are not the cause.

If you thought about this statement and said, “But they’re telling us that a “virus” is causing all of this “pandemic” . . . then you’ll really want to hear Sally Fallon Morrell, our next TransitionTalk speaker in April. 

The official explanation for today’s Covid-19 pandemic is a “dangerous, infectious virus.” This is the rationale for isolating a large portion of the world’s population in their homes so as to curb its spread. From face masks to social distancing, from antivirals to vaccines, these measures are predicated on the assumption that tiny virus can cause serious illness and that such illness is transmissible person-to-person. 

What if (as it turns out to be), all of that is not true? In this time of Covid, with all of the obvious and competing attempts to shape the narrative about “what you should be doing,” wouldn’t it be critical – and welcome – to practically understand how the human system that defends and supports disease actually works?  That would be a  powerful basis for building a clear, defendable, personal response to all of the competing claims. 

Sally Fallon Morrell, along with her co-author Dr. Thomas Cowan, wrote the book on this subject and will be coming to TransitionTalks on the 23rd of April to walk us through the very understandable logic of why viruses (including “Coronavirus”) are not the cause of disease.  

As it turns out, each of us, through our immune system, have the most powerful  — and primary – defense against the trillions of viruses and bacteria that are an integral part of our bodies. We all carry around the basis for almost every disease that exists. We don’t “catch” it from others. 

Our immune systems are our first line of defense and this presentation is going to describe how it works . . . and how you can take advantage of this knowledge and assure that you have a strong defense against any and all of those potential maladies that are with us wherever we go. 

This information packed afternoon will include discussion of malaria, the black death, scurvy and pellagra (once considered contagious), leprosy, rabies, childhood illnesses, anthrax, TB, smallpox, polio, Spanish flu and Covid-19. The probable cause of Covid-19 will be discussed along with protective dietary strategies. This is practical advice about dealing with the most significant event in our lives.

Join us on April 23rd as Sally Fallon Morell is with us for TransitionTALKS.  A wine and cheese reception will follow Sally’s talk.

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Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of The Weston A. Price Foundation (, a non-profit nutrition education foundation dedicated to returning nutrient-dense food to American tables. She is also the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk (, which has as its goal universal access to clean raw milk from pasture-fed animals.  She is the author of the best-selling cookbook Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD); The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD); Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN); Nourishing Fats; and Nourishing Diets. Her latest book is The Contagion Myth, co-authored with Thomas S Cowan, MD.  She and her husband Geoffrey Morell are owners of P A Bowen Farmstead ( in Southern Maryland, which produces raw cheese and milk from pastured cows, woodlands whey-fed pork and grass-fed poultry and eggs. Visit her blog at  

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Sally Fallon Morell comes to TransitionTALKS April 23rd!

833 Athlete Cardiac Arrests and Serious Issues, 540 Dead, Following COVID Injection – (The Exposé  – April 8, 2022)

The so-called health professionals running the Covid “vaccine” programs around the world keep repeating that “the Covid vaccine is a normal vaccine and it is safe and effective.”  But as of the end of last month, Good Sciencing has recorded 833 athletes, worldwide, who have had cardiac arrests or other serious issues, with 540 dead, post-Covid injection. Post-vaccination injuries in athletes include cardiac arrest; blood clots or thrombosis; stroke; irregular heartbeat; arrhythmia; neuropathy; and, death.  With most of the post-injection injuries being cardiac arrests. Good Sciencing is a small team of investigators, news editors, journalists, and truth seekers. It maintains a non-exhaustive and continuously growing list of mainly young athletes who had major medical issues in 2021/2022 after receiving one or more Covid injections. You can view the list here.

New Part of the Body Found Hiding in the Lungs – (Live Science – April 5, 2022)

Scientists have discovered a brand-new type of cell hiding inside the delicate, branching passageways of human lungs. The newfound cells play a vital role in keeping the respiratory system functioning properly and could even inspire new treatments to reverse the effects of certain smoking-related diseases, according to a new study. The cells, known as respiratory airway secretory (RAS) cells, are found in tiny, branching passages known as bronchioles, which are tipped with alveoli, the teensy air sacs that exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the bloodstream. The new RAS cells are similar to stem cells — “blank canvas” cells that can differentiate into any other type of cell in the body — and are capable of repairing damaged alveoli cells and transforming into new ones. RAS cells serve two main functions in the lungs. First, they secrete molecules that  maintain the fluid lining along bronchioles, helping to prevent the tiny airways from collapsing and maximizing the efficiency of the lungs. Second, they can act as progenitor cells for alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, a special type of alveoli that secrete a chemical that is used in part to repair other damaged alveoli.  A progenitor cell is a cell that has the capacity to differentiate into another type of cell, similar to how stem cells differentiate into other cells.

Shock Result in Particle Experiment Could Spark Physics Revolution – (BBC News – April 7, 2022)

Scientists at the Fermilab Collider Detector just outside Chicago have found that the mass of a sub-atomic particle is not what it should be. The measurement is the first conclusive experimental result that is at odds with one of the most important and successful theories of modern physics. The team has found that the particle, known as a W boson, is more massive than the theories predicted. The result has been described as “shocking” by Prof David Toback, who is the project co-spokesperson. The discovery could lead to the development of a new, more complete theory of how the Universe works. “If the results are verified by other experiments, the world is going to look different.” he said. “There has to be a paradigm shift. The hope is that maybe this result is going to be the one that breaks the dam. The scientists found a tiny difference in the mass of the W Boson compared with what the theory says it should be – just 0.1%. But if confirmed by other experiments, the implications are enormous. The so-called Standard Model of particle physics has predicted the behavior and properties of sub-atomic particles with no discrepancies whatsoever for fifty years. Until now. The result could be related to hints from other experiments at Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider at the Swiss-French border. These, as yet unconfirmed results, also suggest deviations from the Standard Model, possibly as a result of an as yet undiscovered fifth force of nature at play.

MIT Scientists Develop New Regenerative Drug That Reverses Hearing Loss – (SciTech Daily – April 9, 2022)

The biotechnology company Frequency Therapeutics is seeking to reverse hearing loss with a new kind of regenerative therapy. The company uses small molecules to program progenitor cells, a descendant of stem cells in the inner ear, to create the tiny hair cells that allow us to hear. Hair cells die off when exposed to loud noises or drugs including certain chemotherapies and antibiotics. Frequency’s drug candidate is designed to be injected into the ear to regenerate these cells within the cochlea. In clinical trials, the company has already improved people’s hearing as measured by tests of speech perception — the ability to understand speech and recognize words. In Frequency’s first clinical study, the company saw statistically significant improvements in speech perception in some participants after a single injection, with some responses lasting nearly two years.

Scientists Sequence the Complete Human Genome for the First Time – (CNN – March 31, 2022)

In 2003, the Human Genome Project made history when it sequenced 92% of the human genome. But for nearly two decades since, scientists have struggled to decipher the remaining 8%. Now, a team of nearly 100 scientists from the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium has unveiled the complete human genome — the first time it’s been sequenced in its entirety, the researchers say. The new research introduces 400 million letters to the previously sequenced DNA — an entire chromosome’s worth. The full genome will allow scientists to analyze how DNA differs between people and whether these genetic variations play a role in disease. Until now, it was unclear what these unknown genes coded. “It turns out that these genes are incredibly important for adaptation,” said Evan Eichler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Washington and the research leader. “They contain immune response genes that help us to adapt and survive infections and plagues and viruses. They contain genes that are … very important in terms of predicting drug response.” Eichler also said that some of the recently uncovered genes are even responsible for making human brains larger than those of other primates, providing insight into what makes humans unique.

MIT Surgical Robot Could Let Surgeons Remotely Treat Stroke Victims – (New Atlas – April 13, 2022)

When someone has experienced a stroke or aneurysm, they may require a surgical procedure known as an endovascular intervention. A new MIT-designed robotic system could ensure that they receive the treatment quickly, even if the physician is nowhere nearby. In a regular endovascular intervention, a specially trainer neurovascular surgeon steers a thin wire through one of the patient’s cerebral blood vessels, up to the clot. Visually guided by intermittent X-ray imaging, they then either physically break the clot part, or deliver drugs to dissolve it.  It’s crucial that the procedure be performed as quickly as possible, before oxygen deprivation to the brain causes irreversible damage. Unfortunately, if the patient is located too far away from a hospital at which a neurosurgeon is based, it may be impossible to transport them to that hospital in time. That’s where the experimental new system is designed to come in. It incorporates an articulated robotic arm with an actuating magnet on the end, which sits beside the patient’s head as they lie on an operating table at their local hospital. There’s also a motorized linear drive unit, which pushes or pulls on the same type of wire used in a conventional endovascular intervention (although the wire does have a magnetically responsive tip). The surgeon – who is located at a larger, more central hospital – utilizes a mouse to advance and retract the wire within the blood vessel, plus they use a joystick to move the arm and rotate the magnet. That allows them to remotely steer the wire from outside the patient’s body, since the direction and strength of the magnet’s pull on the wire varies as it rotates relative to the wire.

Company’s Innovative Smart Beehive Gets $80 Million in Funding to Save Bees From Any Hazard – (Good News Network – April 5, 2022)

The traditional hive most commonly used in the world today (the Langstroth box) was designed about 150 years ago. By completely redesigning the beehive, an Israeli company called Beewise was able to address many of the inefficiencies of the box and significantly improve bees’ well-being and life longevity. Their mission to save bees recently received an $80 million funding boost for their autonomous hive. Utilizing 24/7 monitoring and smart technology that significantly increases pollination capacity and honey production, Beewise’s proprietary robotic beehive, the Beehome, seamlessly detects threats to a honeybee colony such as pesticides and the presence of pests and immediately defends against them. Its automatic robotic system responds to threats in real time and requires no human intervention. To reverse the trend of colony collapse, Beehomes are thermally regulated, and can provide protection from fires, flooding, and Asian Wasps (murder hornets). The hive even feeds the honeybees when local food supply is not available. Beewise’s revolutionary solution uses a chemical-free, heat, and robotics approach to achieve 99.7% success rate. The robot heats frames to a point where it harms the pests (Varroa) but does not harm the bees’ brood. This video shows how it works.

Land of Milk v. Honey: Dairy Farmers Lobby Against Banning Pesticides That Kill Bees – (Seven Days – April 13, 2022)

Unfortunately, the Beewise company (previous article) gives no info on how its product handles pesticides beyond detection. Equally unfortunately, competing interests due to large economic impacts exist on both sides of the issue. Vermont’s bees are dying at unprecedented rates, and it’s not a whodunit: Study after study points to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids as being at least partly responsible for the staggering rate of colony collapse in Vermont and around the world. And yet state lawmakers remain unwilling to address the No. 1 source of these toxic chemicals in the Green Mountains: imported feed-corn seeds that have been treated with the pesticides. A bill to ban their use is being blocked by powerful dairy interests who contend that the coated seeds are essential to make sure pests don’t eat the corn grown for cows. The battle is between two vital but beleaguered agricultural sectors, both of which are fighting to survive and neither of which wants to harm the other.

68% of U.S. Execs Admit Their Companies Are Guilty of Greenwashing – (Fast Company – April 13, 2022)

In a new survey of 1,491 executives across different industries around the world, CEOs and other C-suite leaders said that sustainability was a priority. But 58% also admitted that their companies were guilty of greenwashing (marketing pledges or virtue signaling with little actual impact on sustainability). Among leaders in the U.S., that figure rose to 68%. And two-thirds of executives globally questioned whether their company’s sustainability efforts were genuine. The anonymous survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for Google Cloud with executives primarily at companies with more than 500 employees, has mixed messages: 80% of executives gave their companies an “above-average” rating for environmental sustainability. The majority of leaders both at large corporations and startups said that sustainability is a priority for them; 93% said that they’d be willing to tie their compensation to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, or already do. But 65% said that while they wanted to make progress on sustainability efforts, they didn’t actually know how to do that. See also this article from Space News: Guarding Against Greenwashing in Space.

Quantum Computing Has a Hype Problem – (Technology Review – March 28, 2022)

Prominent University of Maryland quantum researcher Sankar Das Sarma says that everybody needs to take a deep, deep breath. The research is fascinating, he writes, and may well eventually lead to extraordinary breakthroughs. But the reality, according to his analysis, is that things are progressing slowly so far and we’re unlikely to see anything world-changing from the tech in the near future. Das Sarma traces the the history of quantum hype back to 1994, when an analysis showed that it’s theoretically possible that the tech could crack open the strongest existing encryption algorithms. That represented a threat, so governments started pouring money into the space. The problem, in Das Sarma’s analysis, is that even though the tech appears to be physically possible, actually solving it at scale has proven to be immensely challenging. The jump-out figure in his essay, for instance, is that today’s top quantum computers have dozens of the types of qubits believed to be necessary to produce genuinely impressive results. But to effectively harness them, he writes, we would need to scale that number to the millions.

Self-contained Ootbox Portable Office Is Made from a Shipping Container – (New Atlas – April 13, 2022)

The ootbox, a rentable portable office made out of an upcycled shipping container, was conceived in 2016, when home-based American entrepreneur Robbie Friedman found that he needed a private – but nearby – place to conduct business. He proceeded to build an “Escape Pod” in his backyard. Fast forward to the ootbox, which officially launched in 2020. It measures 10 feet long by 8.5 ft high by 8 ft wide (3 by 2.6 by 2.4 m), and tips the scales at about 4,000 lb (1,814 kg). The exterior features a fiberglass outward-opening door with a smart lock, large windows, and signage panels. Its interior sports a finished/insulated plywood ceiling and walls, carpeted flooring, motion-activated lighting, and a smart thermostat. Each unit also incorporates its own electrical system, which includes a full HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) setup – it should be noted that the HVAC compressor takes up 2 ft (61 cm) of interior space. The whole ootbox is delivered by truck, set down wherever it’s needed, then simply plugged into a nearby 20-amp electrical outlet. Several versions of the ootbox are available, tailored toward specific usage scenarios such as corporate, healthcare, real estate development, and retail. Rental rates start at US$1,000 a month, with a four-month minimum.

‘Net Zero’ Promisers Are Clueless About Energy Storage – (Principia Scientific – March 31, 2022)

Apart from using nuclear power, the storage problem is the critical issue that must be addressed if there is ever going to be “net-zero” electricity generation, let alone a “net-zero” economy based on all energy usage having been electrified. The problems of trying to provide enough storage to back up a fully wind-and-solar-powered system without ‘fossil fuels’ are so huge and costly that you would think that everyone pushing the “net zero” agenda would be completely focused on these issues. Instead, if you read about the plans and proposals in various quarters for “net zero” in some short period of years, you quickly realize that the people pushing this agenda have no clue. This article looks at discussions of the storage situation coming out of three jurisdictions with ambitious “net zero” plans: California, Australia, and New York. Briefly, the issue is that wind and solar generators have substantial periods when they generate nothing (e.g., calm nights), and other times when they generate far less than users demand. The question is how to create enough energy storage to cover those periods.

Liquid System Stores Solar Energy for Years and Releases It on Demand – (New Atlas – April 12, 2022)

Back in 2017, researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology designed an interesting energy system to store solar energy in liquid form. By hooking it up to an ultra-thin thermoelectric generator, the team has now demonstrated that it can produce electricity, a development it believes lays the groundwork for self-charging electronics that use solar power on demand. Called the MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST) system, the technology has been in the works for more than a decade and centers on a specially designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. When it comes into contact with sunlight, the atoms within the molecule are rearranged to change its shape and turn it into an energy-rich isomer, which can be stored in liquid form. The energy captured by the MOST system can be stored in this liquid state for up to 18 years, before a specially designed catalyst returns the molecule to its original shape and releases the energy as heat. The Chalmers team has now collaborated with scientists at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who have used a compact thermoelectric generator to turn that heat into electricity. “The generator is an ultra-thin chip that could be integrated into electronics such as headphones, smart watches and telephones,” said researcher Zhihang Wang from Chalmers University of Technology. “So far, we have only generated small amounts of electricity, but the new results show that the concept really works. It looks very promising,”

Flying Through Giga Berlin – (YouTube – April 1, 2022)

Tesla has opened a massive new production facility, Giga Berlin, in Germany for its Model Y, and they decided the best way to show off what state-of-the-art automobile assembly looks like is to swoop a drone through the factory. Kudos to the drone operator for playfully navigating the labyrinth of robotic machinery stamping out new cars—only slightly less jaw-dropping than the sheer scale of the AI-infused Tesla operation itself.

Feds Uncover a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for Hacking Industrial Control Systems – (Wired – April 13, 2022)

The Department of Energy, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the NSA, and the FBI have jointly released an advisory about a new hacker toolset potentially capable of meddling with a wide range of industrial control system equipment. More than any previous industrial control system hacking toolkit, the malware contains an array of components designed to disrupt or take control of the functioning of devices, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that are sold by Schneider Electric and OMRON and are designed to serve as the interface between traditional computers and the actuators and sensors in industrial environments. “This is the most expansive industrial control system attack tool that anyone has ever documented,” says Sergio Caltagirone, the vice president of threat intelligence at industrial-focused cybersecurity firm Dragos, which contributed research to the advisory and published its own report about the malware. “It’s like a Swiss Army knife with a huge number of pieces to it.” Dragos says the malware has the ability to hijack target devices, disrupt or prevent operators from accessing them, permanently brick them, or even use them as a foothold to give hackers access to other parts of an industrial control system network. He notes that while the toolkit, which Dragos calls “Pipedream,” appears to specifically target Schneider Electric and OMRON PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), it does so by exploiting underlying software in those PLCs known as Codesys, which is used far more broadly across hundreds of other types of PLCs. The CISA advisory refers to an unnamed “APT actor” that developed the malware toolkit, using the common acronym APT to mean advanced persistent threat, a term for state-sponsored hacker groups. It’s far from clear where the government agencies found the malware, or which country’s hackers created it. Caltagirone says it doesn’t appear to have been actually used against a victim—or at least, it hasn’t yet triggered actual physical effects on a victim’s industrial control systems.

In a Break with the Past, U.S. Is Using Intel to Fight an Info War with Russia, Even When the Intel Isn’t Rock Solid – (NBC – April 6, 2022)

It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine. President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions. Multiple U.S. officials acknowledged that the U.S. has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect, as with chemical agents, and other times, as an official put it, the U.S. is just “trying to get inside Putin’s head.” At times, the Biden administration has released information in which it has less confidence or about things that are possible rather than truly likely. Last week, U.S. officials told reporters they had intelligence suggesting Putin is being misled by his own advisers, who are afraid to tell him the truth. But when Biden was asked about the disclosure later in the day — after it made headlines around the globe — he was less than definitive.

Selective Outrage – (Daily Blog – March 10, 2022)

On 16 December 2021, the United Nations tabled Resolution A/RES/75/169, calling for ‘combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism’. A 67% majority, including Israel, voted for it. The only nations to vote against were the United States and Ukraine. Both New Zealand and Australia abstained. So did the NATO allies. In 2017, at a time when it seems the newspaper was more open, the Washington Post warned us that a Ukrainian war with Russia should never allow us to forget about the power of neo-Nazism in the Ukraine. Ukraine has the only army in the world with a neo-Nazi component, the Azov Battalion; it formally joined the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014. The Battalion’s badge is strikingly similar to that of the 2nd Waffen SS Panzer Division emblem in World War Two. Ukraine’s Azov movement is inspiring right-wing racism across the globe, including New Zealand. (The author of this blog is based in New Zealand.) In 2019, the Australian, Brenton Tarrant, wearing an Azov Battalion symbol, attacked two mosques in Christchurch, murdering 51 worshippers. Tarrant had earlier visited several East European countries and, while producing his manifesto, wrote that he was in Ukraine. The Israeli historian, Professor Ilan Pappé observes that “those of us experiencing, reporting and digesting the human catastrophes in Palestine cannot escape the hypocrisy of the West and we can point to it without belittling, for a moment, our human solidarity and empathy with victims of any war. The news media and world leaders fall silent when Israel uses its military might to assault defenseless communities, villages and towns, not just in Palestine but elsewhere, including in Lebanon. No sanctions have been called for, let alone imposed. Instead the peace-oriented Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been ignored, vilified and even outlawed. See also: Make Nazism Great Again. Portions of this article are now out of date, but readers may find some of its background information insightful.

Is It Possible to Actually Know What Has Been and Is Going On in Ukraine? – (Unz Review – April 2, 2022)

Here is perhaps the clearest and most reasonable account of what has been going on in Ukraine. Its importance comes due to the fact that its author, Jacques Baud, a retired colonel in the Swiss intelligence service, was variously a highly placed, major participant in NATO training operations in Ukraine. Baud’s article was originally written in French. This article includes a slightly edited version in more colloquial English of “The Military Situation In Ukraine”. (Editor’s note: We recommend this translated article which describes a situation substantially more complex and nuanced than the one being consistently shown in the western mainstream media.)

Bucha Massacre and Genocide of Ethnic Russians in Ukraine – (Global Research – April 4, 2022)

In the 2001 census, nearly a third of Ukraine’s over 40 million population registered Russian as their first language. In fact, Russian speakers constitute a majority in urban areas of industrialized eastern Ukraine and socio-culturally identify with Russia. Ethnic Russians constituted the social and political elite of Ukraine in the heyday of the Soviet Empire, but were reduced to second-class citizens following the break-up of the Soviet Union in the nineties. The state-sponsored persecution of ethnic Russians intensified across Ukraine following the colored revolution in January 2005, dubbed the Orange Revolution, orchestrated by the Western powers and their Ukrainian collaborators, subversively toppling the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. But the real ethnic cleansing of Russians in Ukraine began after the 2014 Maidan coup, once again ousting pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, and NATO powers initiated an eight-year war of attrition against Russia in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region by nurturing the Ukraine’s infamous Azov Battalion, officially part of the National Guard of Ukraine, that has been widely acknowledged as a neo-Nazi volunteer paramilitary force connected with foreign white supremacist organizations. Despite all the evidence of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Russians by the neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine, the establishment media is abuzz with reports of alleged genocide of Ukrainians by the withdrawing Russian forces in the outskirts of the capital. Hundreds of dead bodies “buried in mass graves” were found in Bucha, a town 37 km (23 miles) northwest of Kyiv, allegedly massacred by the Chechen contingent of the Russian forces occupying the area. Denying the unsubstantiated allegations of purported war crimes and genocide by Russian troops, Russia’s chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Russian Investigative Committee, ordered a probe be opened on the basis that Ukraine had insidiously spread “deliberately false information” in order to malign Russia’s month-long military campaign in Ukraine. Leveling spurious accusations of alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing in order to vilify regional and global adversaries has become a preferred tool in the psyops’ arsenal of the corporate media in the recent years. Following the rise of China as a major economic power in the 21st century, the mainstream media was similarly tasked by the security establishments to demonize the global rival by blowing out of proportions the sheer fabrication of alleged “genocide and ethnic cleansing” of Uyghur Muslim’s in China’s western Xinjiang province in order to drive a wedge between the rising industrial power and the energy-rich Islamic World.

Pluto’s Peaks Are Ice Volcanoes, Scientists Conclude – (Guardian – March 29, 2022)

Two peaks that tower over the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto have perplexed planetary scientists for years. Some speculated it could be an ice volcano, spewing out not lava but vast quantities of icy slush – yet no cauldron-like caldera could be seen. Now a full analysis of images and topographical data suggests it is not one ice volcano but a merger of many – some up to 7,000 meters tall and about 10-150km across. Their discovery has reignited another debate: what could be keeping Pluto warm enough to support volcanic activity? Possibly, it suggests Pluto’s rocky core is warmer than anticipated, and that heat energy released from the radioactive decay some of its elements is being somehow becoming trapped, for example by an insulating layer of material, and periodically released, triggering volcanic eruptions. Whatever the explanation, the old idea of Pluto as just an inert ball of ice is looking increasingly improbable.

Photographer Uses 2 Million Photos to Produce GIF Showing Moon’s Movement – (MyModernMet – March 30, 2022)

Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy spent a month chasing the Moon in order to create a gif that shows the beauty of its movement. Using over 2 million individual photos, he put together a spectacular look at how it “dances in the sky.” This dance is called libration and it’s the result of the Moon’s slightly tilted axis and elliptical orbit around Earth. Inspired by the fact that he’d never seen a high-resolution gif of the lunar libration and rotation at zenith, McCarthy set out to create his own. This required him to photograph the Moon as it transited zenith every 25 hours for 26 days. Based on the weather forecast, he found himself traveling around Arizona to get the best view of the Moon. But weather can be unpredictable. “One night had clear skies forecasted, and I ended up getting rained on. Another I was shooting through a dust storm,” he said. The challenges didn’t stop there. “Postprocessing was a challenge because conditions varied from day to day,” McCarthy admits, “so I had to match sharpness, contrast, and noise levels from day to day, despite each image having vastly different quality.” It’s his biggest project of the year thus far, and one that he hopes will instill in others the passion for the Moon that he himself has.

First Audio Recorded on Mars Reveals Two Speeds of Sound – (PhysOrg – April 1, 2022)

The first audio recordings on Mars reveal a quiet planet with occasional gusts of wind where two different speeds of sound would have a strange delayed effect on hearing, scientists said. After NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February last year, its two microphones started recording, allowing scientists to hear what it is like on the Red Planet for the first time. The audio revealed previously unknown turbulence on Mars, said Sylvestre Maurice, the study’s main author and scientific co-director of the shoebox-sized SuperCam mounted on the rover’s mast which has the main microphone. The study confirmed for the first time that the speed of sound is slower on Mars, traveling at 240 meters per second, compared to Earth’s 340 meters per second. This had been expected because Mars’ atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide—compared to Earth’s 0.04%—and is about 100 times thinner, making sound 20 decibels weaker, the study said. But the scientists were surprised when the sound made by the laser took 250 meters a second—10 meters faster than expected. They had discovered there are two speeds of sound on the surface of Mars—one for high-pitched sounds like the zap of the laser, and another for lower frequencies like the whir of the helicopter rotor. This means that human ears would hear high-pitched sounds slightly earlier. It was otherwise so quiet on Mars that the scientists repeatedly feared something was wrong, the French CNRS research institute said, possibly provoking memories of two failed previous attempts in 1999 and 2008 to record sound there.

Hubble Finds a Protoplanet That Could Upend Planet Formation Models – (PhysOrg – April 4, 2022)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has directly photographed evidence of a Jupiter-like protoplanet forming through what researchers describe as an “intense and violent process.” This discovery supports a long-debated theory for how planets like Jupiter form, called “disk instability.” The new world under construction is embedded in a protoplanetary disk of dust and gas with distinct spiral structure swirling around, surrounding a young star that’s estimated to be around 2 million years old. That’s about the age of our solar system when planet formation was underway. (The solar system’s age is currently 4.6 billion years.) All planets are made from material that originated in a circumstellar disk. The dominant theory for Jovian planet formation is called “core accretion,” a bottom-up approach where planets embedded in the disk grow from small objects—with sizes ranging from dust grains to boulders—colliding and sticking together as they orbit a star. This core then slowly accumulates gas from the disk. In contrast, the disk instability approach is a top-down model where as a massive disk around a star cools, gravity causes the disk to rapidly break up into one or more planet-mass fragments. The newly forming planet, called AB Aurigae b, is probably about nine times more massive than Jupiter and orbits its host star at a whopping distance of 8.6 billion miles—over two times farther than Pluto is from our Sun. At that distance it would take a very long time, if ever, for a Jupiter-sized planet to form by core accretion. This leads researchers to conclude that the disk instability has enabled this planet to form at such a great distance. And, it is in a striking contrast to expectations of planet formation by the widely accepted core accretion model.

Amazing New AI Can Spit Out Realistic Images From Simple Descriptions – (The  Byte – April 6, 2022)

Artificial intelligence company OpenAI has released its latest creation, called DALL-E2 — an impressive demonstration of the power of generative adversarial networks. The system can turn simple text descriptions into photorealistic images. While that may sound like a simple task, it’s deceptively difficult for a machine learning algorithm to pick up on the cues of natural language, never mind produce the crisp, evocative images that OpenAI is showing off. DALL-E2 can edit images and change their composition, shadows, reflections, and textures on the fly. It can even combine totally alien concepts, like generating several believable images of an astronaut riding a horse in space, or a koala bear dunking a basketball. Here is the company’s interactive website that showcases more of the system’s capabilities.

World’s Busiest Shipping Port Is Closed – (Armstrong Economics – April 13, 2022)

Shanghai went under a full lockdown at the end of March under China’s zero-COVID tolerance policy. When cases allegedly rose, China extended the lockdown indefinitely. Shanghai hosts the busiest container port in the world, and its inability to operate is contributing to the supply chain crisis in a profound way. A member of the EU Chamber of Commerce’s Shanghai Chapter estimated that volume was down by 40% during the first week that the ports were prohibited from operating. There is no set date for when the port will resume operation. The implications of shutting down the world’s largest shipping port amidst a supply crisis will send aftershocks throughout the global economy. To understand how crucial Shanghai’s port is to the global flow of goods, the Port of Shanghai hosts over quadruple the volume of the Port of Los Angeles (one of America’s largest shipping ports). Those in the industry warned that this would cause problems. One of the largest international container companies, Maersk, said that Shanghai’s shutdown would cause a 30% rise in trucking costs alone. See also: People Are Starving Under Shanghai’s Lockdown

Why Amazon Makes You Click a Box to Redeem Coupons – (CNN – March 26, 2022)

Why does Amazon make us go through the extra step of clicking a box to “save $2 when you apply this coupon?” Why doesn’t the coupon just apply automatically? The answer lies in the subtle but highly effective way Amazon and other stores use shopping psychology to influence our buying decisions. Around 70% of online shopping carts with at least one item are eventually abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute, an e-commerce consultancy based in Copenhagen. The top reason customers walk away: They say they were just browsing and weren’t ready to make a purchase, according to the firm. So companies look for persuasion tactics to get shoppers to follow through and click the “buy” button. Amazon’s tactic to display a coupon option, instead of just automatically showing a discounted price, gives shoppers an extra incentive to make the purchase right away. More details of Amazon’s “subtle persuasion” in the article.

Chris Hedges: The Pimps of War – (Consortium News – April 11, 2022)

The same cabal of warmongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. They are pimps of war, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who lavishly fund their think tanks — Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, Atlantic Council and Brookings Institute. Like some mutant strain of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be vanquished. It does not matter how wrong they are, how absurd their theories, how many times they lie or denigrate other cultures and societies as uncivilized or how many murderous military interventions go bad. They were the authors of the policy to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Their children do not serve in the military, but they eagerly ship young American men and women off to fight and die for their self-delusional dreams of empire and American hegemony. Or, as in Ukraine, they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in weaponry and logistical support to sustain long and bloody proxy wars. To them, the world remains binary, us and them, good and evil. These Dr. Strangeloves, if we don’t stop them, will terminate life as we know it on the planet.

Your Thoughts Control Your DNA: Biologist – (Principia Scientific – March 29, 2022)

The common idea that DNA determines so much of who we are—not only our eye or hair color, for example, but also our addictions, disorders, or susceptibility to cancer—is a misconception, said stem-cell biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. “You find yourself to be more or less a victim of your heredity,” Lipton said in the documentary “Biology of Belief.” This concept “says you are less powerful than your genes,” Lipton explained. He said a person’s perception, not genetic programming, is what spurs all action in the body: “It’s actually our beliefs that select our genes, that select our behavior.” To explain how this works, he started at the level of the 50 to 65 trillion cells that comprise the human body. He showed how a cell functions independent of DNA and how its perceptions of environmental stimuli affect DNA. He then applied the same principles to the human body as a whole, showing the power our perceptions, our beliefs, have over DNA. The article offers a five point summary of Lipton’s understanding.

The Library Ends Late Fees, and the Treasures Roll In – (New York Times – March 31, 2022)

When New York’s public library systems announced last October that they would be eliminating all late fines, the goal was to get books and people back to the more than 200 branches, as well as research centers, across the city after a year and a half of limited hours and access. The goal was achieved: A wave of returned overdue materials came crashing in, accompanied by a healthy increase (between 9 and 15%, depending on the borough) of returning visitors. Since last fall, more than 21,000 overdue or lost items have been returned in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx, some so old that they were no longer in the library’s systems. About 51,000 items were returned in Brooklyn between Oct. 6 through the end of February. And more than 16,000 were returned in Queens. In 2019, the New York, Brooklyn and Queens Public Libraries collected more than $3 million in late fees, according to Angela Montefinise, the vice president of communications and marketing for the New York Public Library. When Tony Marx joined the New York Public Library as president in 2011, it was his mission, he said, to eliminate fines for good. Amnesty programs were put in place and, in Brooklyn, a study was conducted on the effectiveness of fines and the barriers that patrons faced in returning books. Then, in 2017, the public library in Nashville eliminated fines, and those in Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco followed two years later. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit, and fines were temporarily suspended in New York, that Mr. Marx saw a clear opportunity to change the city’s system permanently. “We are not in the fine-collection business. We’re in the encouraging-to-read-and-learn business, and we were getting in our own way.” “I can’t tell you how stressed out these fines made our customers,” said Tienya Smith, a librarian who runs the branch in Long Island City, Queens. “Not having these fees erases all of that.” (Editor’s note: If you haven’t visited your local public library lately, maybe put it on your next errands list. “No late fines” seems to be gaining momentum – and not just in big city libraries.)

Best Game of Keepie-uppie Ever Seen – (Twitter – March 24, 2022)

In 12 seconds: the border collies’ version of Hacky Sack. A bit short on teams, rules, and that sort of thing; long on fun and excitement.
Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on Earth, is an infinite game,
the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all. 

Paul Hawken
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