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Volume 26, Number 4 – 2/16/23



Volume 26, Number 4 – 2/16/2023


  • Researchers have discovered a form of ice whose haphazard molecular structure resembles that of liquid water, despite being a solid. 
  • Northern Virginia is home to about 275 data centers, handling at least a third of the world’s online use. 
  • An asteroid’s unexpected flyby shows blind spot in planetary threat detection. 
  • NASA has helped to build a humanoid robot. 

Debra Rose
Addressing the Source of All Health
Simplifying the Path to Wellbeing

Saturday, February 18th, 9:00-5:00
in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Albert Einstein and many other physicists have stated simply that everything in our universe is energy…in fact, electrical energy. Because of that, all aspects of this reality respond (in some way) to the frequencies and intensity of the electrical signals within our bodies and those surrounding us in our environment.

Early in the last century, the extraordinary inventor and researcher, Royal Raymond Rife established conclusively that human cells – of all kinds – had unique energetic signatures. He went further to demonstrate that if one introduced enough energy into the body at the signature frequency of specific cells, say, cancer cells, the target organisms resonate and vibrate so greatly that that they destroy themselves.

Expanding on those profound discoveries, Quantum Biofeedback devices are now available to scan and assess the body for the underlying issues related to different imbalances and diseases, and to then respond with customized signals that target the area that is influencing the observed problem at the cellular level. The positive results of thousands of individuals speak to the efficacy of this approach.

Perhaps the most effective use of these principles involves focusing on the gut. Since all life begins in the gut, whether it’s overall health, inflammation, aging, memory, or movement, the desirable performance of each function of our bodies depends upon one’s absorption and digestion capabilities. Debra Rose specializes in relieving the stress associated with chronic or degenerative disease, thereby freeing up the body to heal itself as it was designed to do.

Many people’s lives have been profoundly changed after being exposed to these therapies.

In our February 18th TransitionTalk, Debra will discuss how to detoxify from the newer pharmaceutical products that have flooded the market, how to establish healthy gut function, and how to amplify both absorption and evacuation. Learn more about what “happens in the middle” between eating and elimination—and what we can do to supercharge our bodies.

Despite the modern challenges we face in an increasingly-polluted environment, attendees will learn how they can rid their bodies of harmful foreign material, reverse their declining health, slow the aging process, and get into peak metabolic performance.

Any acquired disease, i.e. hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, and more, can be turned around by the choices you make and the actions you take,” says Debra. She regularly advises her patients, “Your quality of life depends on you! YOU DECIDE BY THE ACTIONS YOU TAKE. The choice is always yours, and it is never too late.”

Debra Rose will clearly explain this powerful approach to the TransitionTalk audience and will perform a live demonstration of how this revolutionary technology works in real time! Attendees will learn the difference between biofeedback, neuro-feedback, and quantum bioresonance—and the differences are both fascinating and mind bending!
SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: Audience members who attend Debra’s February TransitionTalk in person will have the opportunity to receive a complimentary quantum biofeedback scan and assessment on Saturday afternoon.

There are limited tickets remaining.  All remaining tickets sold will receive their assessment two weeks after the event via email.    Easy but specific instructions will be provided following your ticket purchase.
Listen to Debra Rose and John Petersen discuss her upcoming TransitionTALK!
Debra Rose, BCN, is one of the leading quantum biofeedback authorities the United States. She is both a quantum biofeedback specialist and also an instructor. Quantum biofeedback is a non-invasive therapeutic technology that energetically scans and harmonizes stress and imbalance and could certainly be a key component of the future of healthcare. Biofeedback and bioresonance are scientifically-proven methods for reducing stress in the entire body.
For nearly two decades, Debra has dramatically helped many thousands of patients as a holistic health practitioner using quantum biofeedback. She is a Board-certified naturopath through Trinity Schools and maintains practices on both coasts of the US.

She has seen many thousands of patients with chronic Lyme disease, various end-stage cancers, and severe brain issues completely turn their lives around with the help of the powerful tools she has in her arsenal. Debra is blessed to see many people turning their tragic situations into triumphant health opportunities and transformational, life changing events.

Always alert for the most effective way to address sickness, Debra focuses on cutting edge techniques to help her patients detoxify from the chemicals and popular pharmaceutical products that have been introduced to their bodies—these substances affect all of us no matter how clean we think we are living!
Click Here for Tickets and More Info

Criminal Charges Filed against Switzerland’s Future President – (Swiss Times – December 7, 2022)

Switzerland’s Federal Interior Minister, Alain Berset, (who will become president in 2024, a rotating position) falsely claimed on national television that those vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines could not spread the virus, but has not yet been held accountable. Pascal Najadi, a Swiss banker, wants to change that. He has filed criminal charges against Berset for making false statements surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. Berset, whose job also includes serving as the Swiss health minister, has been the head of Switzerland’s Covid-19 response since March 2020. This response includes Covid-19 lockdowns, mask mandates and the introduction of the controversial mobile COVID certificate. On December 7, 2022 Once Swiss residents had obtained both Covid-19 vaccines, they were granted access to a mobile phone pass which allowed them to enter restaurants, venues and other establishments that were limited only to vaccinated people. On October 27, 2021 Berset went onto a national television show during prime time viewing hours and announced that those who have the Covid-19 vaccine cannot spread the virus. He said (in French) “With the certificate, you can show you are not contagious.” But, a Swiss study published nearly three months before Berset’s statement has proven otherwise. The study was published August 3, 2021 and led by Virginie Masserey, head of infection control and vaccines at the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH). Masserey and her team of researchers found that the vaccine did not reduce the contagiousness of Covid-19, even if vaccinated people were not showing Covid-19 symptoms. Masserey’s findings echo what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported. In addition, officials from the biopharmaceutical company Pfizer stated to the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic that the company had not studied whether the vaccine quelled the contagiousness of the virus or not. Shortly before the vaccine’s release, Pfizer’s CEO emphasized that this was still being evaluated. “In my view, [Berset] has put people in danger because of false safety thinking,” Najadi explained. Najadi contends that Berset’s claim may have put many vulnerable Swiss people at risk of Covid-19 infections under the false belief that they could interact with vaccinated people without contracting Covid-19. “People were spreading the virus all over the place!” Najadi said. He underscored that the “get vaccinated for the sake of others” line used to promote vaccines was falsely marketed.

The Federal Government Is Tracking the Unvaccinated – (Mercola – February 14, 2023)

The U.S. government has secretly been tracking those who didn’t get the COVID jab, or are only partially jabbed, through a previously unknown surveillance program designed by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program was implemented April 1, 2022, and adopted by most medical clinics and hospitals across the U.S. until January 2023. Under this program, doctors at clinics and hospitals have been instructed to ask patients about their vaccination status, which is then added to their electronic medical records as a diagnostic code, known as ICD-10 code, so that they can be tracked inside and outside of the medical system. These new ICD-10 codes are part of the government’s plan to implement medical tyranny using vaccine passports and digital IDs. They’re also tracking noncompliance with all other recommended vaccines using new ICD-10 codes, and have implemented codes to describe WHY you didn’t get a recommended vaccine. They’ve also added a billable ICD code for “vaccine safety counseling”. 

Now For Sale: Data on Your Mental Health – (Washington Post – February 13, 2023)

Capitalizing on the pandemic explosion in telehealth and therapy apps that collect details of your mental health needs, data brokers are packaging that information for resale. One company advertises the names and home addresses of people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or bipolar disorder. Another offers a database featuring thousands of aggregated mental health records, starting at $275 per 1,000 “ailment contacts.” There’s no law stopping them. In a recent study, a research team at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy outlines how expansive the market for people’s health data has become. After contacting data brokers to ask what kinds of mental health information she could buy, researcher Joanne Kim reported that she ultimately found 11 companies willing to sell bundles of data that included information on what antidepressants people were taking, whether they struggled with insomnia or attention issues, and details on other medical ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease or bladder-control difficulties. Some of the data was offered in an aggregate form that would have allowed a buyer to know, for instance, a rough estimate of how many people in an individual Zip code might be depressed. But other brokers offered personally identifiable data featuring names, addresses and incomes, with one data-broker sales representative pointing to lists named “Anxiety Sufferers” and “Consumers With Clinical Depression in the United States.” Some even offered a sample spreadsheet. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, restricts how hospitals, doctors’ offices and other “covered health entities” share Americans’ health data. But the law doesn’t protect the same information when it’s sent anywhere else, allowing app makers and other companies to legally share or sell the data however they’d like.

The Internet of Bodies – Opportunities, Risks, and Governance – (Rand Corporation – 2020)

Within the broader Internet of Things (IoT) lies a growing industry of devices that monitor the human body and transmit the data collected via the internet. This development, which some have called the Internet of Bodies (IoB), includes an expanding array of devices that combine software, hardware, and communication capabilities to track personal health data, provide vital medical treatment, or enhance bodily comfort, function, health, or well-being. However, these devices also complicate a field already fraught with legal, regulatory, and ethical risks. The authors of this report examine this emerging collection of human body–centric and internet-connected technologies; explore benefits, security and privacy risks, and ethical implications; survey the nascent regulatory landscape for these devices and the data they collect; and make recommendations to balance IoB risks and rewards. Key Findings: As with IoB devices, there is no single entity that provides oversight to IoB data.  Governance of IoB devices is managed through a patchwork of state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and consumer advocacy groups.  Article provides link to the free downloadable 37 page report.

Part of the Sun Has Broken Off and Formed a Vortex… What Is Going On? – (Science Alert – February 10, 2023)

Right now the sun is done something decidedly peculiar. Material from a filament of plasma erupting from the Sun’s surface broke away and appeared to form a crown-like vortex over the solar north pole. Further analysis will be required to determine whether or not this is what actually occurred. For now, scientists are saying that they’ve not quite seen anything like it – and the footage itself is undoubtedly spectacular. Solar shenanigans are not entirely unexpected currently. The sun is ramping up its activity, getting rowdier with sunspot and flare activity. It has flared every day this year so far, and it spat out several X-class and M-class flares in January 2023, the biggest and second-biggest eruptions the Sun is capable of. Very normal for the Sun, it undergoes activity cycles every 11 or so years, from relatively quiet and peaceful, to absolutely rambunctious. These cycles coincide with fluctuations in the solar magnetic field. When the magnetic field is at its weakest at the poles, the Sun’s magnetic poles switch places, and the polarity of the magnetic field reverses. This is when the Sun is at its most active, known as solar maximum. We’re right on the cusp of solar maximum. Because the Sun is so enigmatic and difficult to predict, we don’t know precisely when the polarity reversal will occur (scientists can usually only make a ruling after the event), but we do know a rough ballpark: Our current predictions place it in July 2025. From very early on in the current cycle, which started in December 2019, the Sun’s activity has significantly exceeded expectations and continues to do so.

Scientists Discover Amorphous Ice That’s Weirdly Similar to Liquid Water – (Gizmodo – February 3, 2023)

Researchers have discovered an ice form whose haphazard molecular structure resembles that of liquid water, despite being a solid. The peculiar ice, named medium-density amorphous ice (or MDA), also has a density similar to liquid water. Amorphous ice has been known before, but not at this middle ground for density. “We know of 20 crystalline forms of ice, but only two main types of amorphous ice have previously been discovered, known as high-density and low-density amorphous ices,” said study co-author Christoph Salzmann, a materials scientist at University College London. To find the loosely structured, Goldilocks-density ice, the team shook ordinary water ice in a jar crammed with steel balls, cooled to about -376 degrees Fahrenheit (-200 Celsius.) The method is called ball milling and is a way of breaking up molecules using mechanical forces. The principle is simple: As the balls crash against the ice, the latter is pulverized. As a result, MDA looks like white powder; though it is a solid, it has the molecular composition of liquid water. MDA had a final quirk: When the material recrystallized into ordinary water ice, it released a large amount of heat. The researchers believe the discovery could have geophysical implications for ice on the surfaces of frozen moons like Europa, to which NASA is scheduled to launch an orbiter in 2024. “Amorphous ice in general is said to be the most abundant form of water in the universe,” said co-author Angelos Michaelides, a chemist at the University of Cambridge, in the release. “The race is now on to understand how much of it is MDA.”

With the Discovery of 12 New Ones, Jupiter Now Has More Moons Than Any Other Planet – (CNBC – February 3, 2023)

Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter, putting the total count at a record-breaking 92. Saturn, the one-time leader, comes in a close second with 83 confirmed moons. These newest moons range in size from 0.6 miles to 2 miles. In April, the European Space Agency is sending a spacecraft to Jupiter to study the planet and some of its biggest, icy moons. And next year, NASA will launch the Europa Clipper to explore Jupiter’s moon of the same name, which could harbor an ocean beneath its frozen crust. Jupiter and Saturn are loaded with small moons, believed to be fragments of once bigger moons that collided with one another or with comets or asteroids. The same goes for Uranus and Neptune, but they’re so distant that it makes moon-spotting even harder. For the record, Uranus has 27 confirmed moons, Neptune 14, Mars two and Earth one. Venus and Mercury come up empty.

An Ant’s Sense of Smell Is So Acute, It Can Sniff Out Cancer – (Washington Post – January 24, 2023)

Ants have such a refined sense of smell, in fact, that researchers are now training them to detect the scent of human cancer cells. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences highlights a keen ant sense and underscores how someday we may use sharp-nosed animals — or, in the case of ants, sharp-antennaed insects — to detect tumors quickly and cheaply. “The results are very promising,” said Baptiste Piqueret, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany who studies animal behavior and co-wrote the paper. He added, however: “It’s important to know that we are far from using them as a daily way to detect cancer.” For his study, Piqueret’s team grafted pieces of a human breast-cancer tumor onto mice and trained 35 ants to associate urine from the tumor-bearing rodents with sugar. Placed in a petri dish, the silky ants (Formica fusca) spent significantly more time near tubes with urine from the “sick” mice compared with urine from healthy ones. “The study was well conceived and conducted,” said Federica Pirrone, an associate professor at the University of Milan who was not involved in the ant research but has conducted similar investigations into the smelling ability of dogs. But ants, Piqueret suggested, may have the edge over dogs and other animals that are time-consuming to train (and more expensive to maintain). Researchers have to do a lot more work before ants or other animals help make an actual diagnosis. Piqueret’s team plans to test ants’ ability to sniff out the markers of cancer in urine from actual patients. If ants are ever used in cancer screening, Piqueret wants to make one thing clear: No, they will not need to crawl on you. “There will be no direct contact between ants and patients,” he said. “So even if people are afraid of insects, it’s fine.”

Cancer Vaccines Are Already a Reality—But Your Doctor Might Not Tell You about Them Unless You Ask – (Fortune – February 4, 2023)

Cancer vaccines exist today. Clinical trials have long been underway using traditional vaccine technologies—and participants are already receiving cancer vaccines, many personalized. A handful of vaccines have already received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And cancer-preventing vaccines have been around since the 1980s. If this is news to you, you’re not alone. Doctors don’t always offer cancer-preventing or cancer-treating vaccines to patients—due to lack of knowledge, or bias against certain racial, gender, or age groups. Cancer vaccines are not much different from vaccines for infectious diseases like the flu, measles, mumps, and COVID, said Dr. Keith Knutson, a professor of immunology at the Mayo Clinic who researches and develops cancer vaccines. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to fight a target—usually a virus. In this case, however, the target is cancer. Right now, the bulk of cancer vaccines are therapeutic—used to treat patients who already have advanced cancer, often in concert with other interventions like chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. Two are currently approved by the FDA, according to the Cancer Research Institute: one for early-stage bladder cancer, and another for prostate cancer. But there are also vaccines for cancer survivors. They’re given to those in remission with a high risk of relapse, Knutson says. Knutson’s lab is working on a vaccine that targets six points of attack frequently found on breast cancer. Fortuitously, many are also found in lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. “We may be generating immunity that targets breast cancer specifically, but we think that immunity may also be protective against other cancers as well,” he says. Then there are the vaccines that can prevent cancer altogether. There are four that are FDA approved: three for HPV, or human papillomavirus, and one for Hepatitis B. Article goes on to discuss “personalized” cancer vaccines.

This Software Tries to Spot Lung Cancer Years Earlier – (Washington Post – February 1, 2023)

Researchers have created an artificial intelligence tool that could predict whether a person will get lung cancer up to six years in advance, paving the way for doctors to spot tumors that are notoriously hard to detect early. The finding, announced by a team of researchers at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is part of a growing medical trend of using algorithms to predict everything from breast cancer and prostate cancer to the likelihood of tumors regrowing. Though research is increasing, scientists say more testing needs to be done before fully unleashing these products into clinical settings. The software tool is called Sybil, named after the prophet in ancient Greek literature. It is a deep-learning model, meaning computers parse through huge data sets to identify and categorize patterns. Sybil was trained on six years of lung scans of patients in the United States and Taiwan, researchers said. The study results showed Sybil achieved scores scientifically considered “good” and “strong” in predicting lung cancer over six years. It was stronger with its one-year prediction rates, the researchers noted. Building Sybil was a challenge, study authors said. Most of the imaging data to train Sybil didn’t contain overt signs of cancer, since early-stage lung cancer is in small portions of the lung and can be hard for the naked eye to spot. To ensure the software could assess cancer risk, the study team “labeled hundreds of CT scans with visible cancerous tumors” and fed them into Sybil before unleashing the software on CT scans with limited signs of cancer, researchers said. (Paywall waived.)

Radioligand Therapy, a Game-changer for Cancer Treatment, Forces Manufacturers to Race Against a Ticking Clock – (CNBC – February 10, 2023)

Radioligand therapy, also called radionuclide or radiopharmaceutical therapy, is a targeted form of cancer treatment that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells. While other forms of cancer treatment can target any rapidly dividing cells in the body, radioligand therapy’s precision helps limit damage to healthy, surrounding tissue. It’s an effective form of treatment that many experts and patients are excited about, but there’s a significant catch — the medication expires within days after it’s manufactured. A radioligand is made of a radioisotope, which emits radiation that damages cells, and a targeted ligand — a molecule that binds to specific markers on cancer cells. The radioactive component has a very short half-life, or the time it takes for the radioactivity to decrease by 50%. Once the radioactivity decays, it can no longer kill the cancer cells as effectively, which means radioligand therapy has a limited window of viability. By the time it is packaged and ready to ship, the treatment has to reach patients in a matter of days. Pharmaceutical company Novartis currently produces two radioligand therapy treatments called Lutathera, which treats neuroendocrine tumors, a rare form of cancer in the digestive tract, and Pluvicto, for patients with a specific type of prostate cancer. They were both approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As of October, Novartis had treated more than 16,000 neuroendocrine patients and 4,000 prostate cancer patients in the U.S. Pluvicto was approved only last March and demand is increasing. As many as 60,000 U.S. patients could ultimately benefit from the medicine, said Jeevan Virk, head of radioligand therapy at Novartis. But in order to realize that potential, Novartis has to move the medication through the supply chain (i.e. delivery issues, etc.) seamlessly. Producing radioligand therapy is expensive, and companies have to be willing to shoulder the costs and navigate a challenging supply chain in the hope that they can eventually make a profit. The list price (wholesale acquisition cost) of Pluvicto is around $42,500, while Lutathera is around $53,200, and most patients require between four to six doses. Novartis, which generated more than $50 billion in net sales last year, believes Pluvicto holds multibillion-dollar peak sales potential.

Northern Virginia Is the Heart of the Internet. Not Everyone Is Happy About That. – (Washington Post – February 10, 2023)

Northern Virginia is home to about 275 data centers, handling at least a third of the world’s online use, with dozens more of the massive structures either under construction or planned as local officials seek to tap into the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue generated by an industry that requires few government services in return. But Amazon’s plans to invest $35 billion by 2040 to build multiple data centers across the state have sparked debates about local land use policies in neighborhoods where data center buildings — some the size of several football fields — sit less than 100 feet from the nearest home, creating serious noise pollution from cooling fans. The concrete and glass buildings just off Loudoun County Parkway in Ashburn, VA look like an ordinary collection of offices, save for the spiked metal fences and a security guard posted at the parking lot entrance. Inside is the beating heart of the internet in the eastern United States. Informally known as the MAE-East network access point, the Ashburn site owned and operated by the Equinix digital infrastructure company is one of several “primary nodes” for the internet in the world. From it springs a web of underground fiber-optic cables linking to the region’s growing number of data centers and to trans-Atlantic cables that connect Northern Virginia to other parts of the world. Ashburn became the center of the internet on the East Coast in the 1990s, after AOL and WorldCom Inc. moved their operations there, said Josh Levi, president of the Data Center Coalition trade group. Because the success of online computing is measured by the least amount of delay — or latency — in the movement of data, physical proximity to the MAE-East primary node is key, leading many of the earliest data centers to also set up their operations in Loudoun, Levi said. Each new data center built has meant more fiber-optic cable laid, increasing the network’s density while broadening it outward — “and it becomes this kind of snowballing of connectivity,” he said. “A lot of local governments in Northern Virginia, they look at data centers as local governments downstate look at casinos,” said state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City). “They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s free money.’ It’s not free,” Petersen said. “[If] you’re going to get paid a lot of revenue, millions of dollars, believe me, there’s going to be an impact on your community.” (Editor’s note: If you have time to read only one article from this issue of FE, chose this one.)

Researchers Successfully Turn Abandoned Oil Well into Giant Geothermal Battery – (Good News Network – February 13, 2023)

What if abandoned oil and gas wells across the country could solve the problem of renewable energy storage? 3,000 feet below ground in a geological structure of porous sandstone, researchers from the University of Illinois deposited excess energy as heated water which could be used to generate electricity in the same way that geothermal power plants function. The Illinois Basin is ideal for oil extraction, but has no subsurface source of heat to produce geothermal power. The same reasons however that make it ideal for extracting oil make it perfect for a potential new method of solving the problems with renewable energy storage. The Illinois Basin boasts the correct thermal conductivity for the deposition of water heated through excess renewable energy production from solar or wind. Minerals with high conductivity are sandwiched between insulative layers, creating the conditions for the water to retain its heat enough to generate electricity. “Many of the same properties that make a subsurface rock formation ideal for oil and gas extraction also make it ideal for geothermal storage,” said lead researcher Tugce Baser, an environmental engineering professor at the University of Illinois. “And because our test site is a former gas well, it already has most of the needed infrastructure in place.” To test the heat storage capacity of the site, the researchers injected water heated to 50 degrees Celsius into the well for three days of injection in April 2021. After shutting down the well, the team monitored changes in pressure, thermal conditions, and hydraulics for five days. “Our field results, combined with further numerical modeling, find that the process can sustain a thermal storage efficiency of 82%,” Baser said. The study further reports an average overall net cost of electricity generation of $0.138 per kilowatt-hour, making the proposed system economically viable and profitable.

Electric Vehicles Can Now Power Your Home for Three Days – (Washington Post – February 7, 2023)

Here’s what some automakers are now promising anyone with an EV: An enormous home battery on wheels that can reverse the flow of electricity to power the entire home through the main electric panel. Beyond serving as an emissions-free backup generator, the EV has the potential of revolutionizing the car’s role in American society, transforming it from an enabler of a carbon-intensive existence into a key step in the nation’s transition into renewable energy. Home solar panels had already been chipping away at the United States’ centralized power system, forcing utilities to make electricity transfer a two-way street. More recently, home batteries have allowed households with solar arrays to become energy traders, recharging when electricity prices are low, replacing grid power when prices are high, and then selling electricity for a profit during peak hours. But batteries are expensive. Using EVs makes this kind of home setup cheaper and a real possibility for more Americans. So there may be a time, perhaps soon, when your car not only gets you from point A to point B, but also serves as the hub of your personal power plant. Bidirectional charging, the ability for vehicle electricity to flow both ways, is now a commercial reality in the United States. By 2024, numerous makes and models will be in dealerships. You can even buy one today: The Ford F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of America’s best-selling pickup truck. It’s scrambling the economics of home energy. Ford changed how customers saw their trucks when it rolled out a hybrid version of the F-150, says Ryan O’Gorman of Ford’s energy services program. The truck doubles as a generator sporting as many as 11 outlets spread around the vehicle, including a 240-volt outlet typically used for appliances like clothes dryers. During disasters like the 2021 ice storm that left millions of Texans without electricity, Ford dealers lent out their hybrid F-150s as home generators. The Lightning, the fully electric version of the F-150, takes the next step by offering home backup power. Under each Lightning sits a massive 98 kWh to 131 kWh battery pack. That’s enough energy, Ford estimates, to power a home for three days (10 days if rationing). “The vehicle has an immense amount of power to move that much metal down the road at 80 mph,” says O’Gorman. (Paywall waived.)

Auto Insurers Drop Coverage of These 2 Vehicles Due to Ease of Theft – (The Street – January 30, 2023)

If you frequented TikTok anytime in the last couple of years there’s a good chance you caught a glimpse of the “Kia Challenge.” It’s a viral trend showing just how easy it is to steal certain Kia and Hyundai models. The “Kia Boyz” problem has gotten so bad that State Farm and Progressive, two of the largest insurers in the country, have confirmed that they no longer write policies for some Kia and Hyundai models manufactured between 2015 and 2019 in certain cities. The vehicles being stolen lack electronic mobilizers that can make it harder for a thief to steal a car by just bypassing the ignition, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Immobilizers became standard on all vehicles produced after November 1, 2021. The trend became so popular that police in St. Petersburg, FL., said during a period in July that half the 56 cars stolen in the city were Kia/Hyundai model years from 2021 and before that used key fobs to start. The trend reportedly started in Milwaukee, but thanks to the power of social media it is now national, the Tampa Bay Times reported. More than 1,800 Hyundais and Kias were stolen in the city of St. Louis as of August 2022. But to crystallize just how viral the problem is, about 2/3 (1,200) of those thefts came in the months of July and August alone. Cities and citizens that have not been able to stop the problem through law enforcement now are looking to the courts. The city of Seattle filed a complaint in federal court against Hyundai and Kia for failing to install adequate anti-theft technology, according to Car and Driver magazine. Lawyers representing claimants in the Hyundai lawsuits are looking for more people to join the class action. “Engine immobilizers have been widely available since 1992, and there seems to be no good reason for Hyundai not to add them to cars,” according to Select Justice. Meanwhile, St. Louis has said that if the companies don’t do something about the thefts by Sept. 19, the city will be filing a lawsuit against them. (Editor’s note: Some people are suggesting that TikTok should be sued for inadequate monitoring of its channel.)

Artificial Light Harms Our Bodies and Souls. It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way. – (Washington Post – February 1, 2023)

In the last ten year, light pollution has grown by a troubling 10% each year, new data shows. In other words, the world’s skies have doubled in brightness in less than eight years. One big culprit? The tsunami of electronic lighting such as LEDs — barely on the horizon a decade ago — that has washed over the planet. Too often, city planners assume adding more light is an effective way to address crime. Yet many lights are used in ways — unshielded and shining into the sky, blazing over empty parking lots through the wee small hours — that serve little purpose. While artificial light at night might make us feel safer, there is no clear evidence that it actually improves our safety. Worse, these lights take a toll on our health. Artificial light at night disrupts sleep cycles, hormones and more. It has been linked to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and some cancers. Now, our night skies face the expected expansion of low Earth orbit satellites from 5,000 to more than 100,000 in the next decade. Bright enough to be visible with the naked eye and to blind the world’s most important research telescopes, these mega-constellations threaten to fundamentally alter humanity’s experience of looking at the stars. Is all this light an unavoidable cost of modern life? Not at all. In the United States alone, for example, at least 30% of outdoor light is wasted. Worldwide, momentum is growing for smarter regulation and policy. At the United Nations, a new dark and quiet skies movement is taking shape. Last year, a promising new policy initiative at the European Union was spearheaded by the Czech Republic. The city of Pittsburgh recently adopted the most dark-sky-compliant lighting ordinance in the eastern United States while Mexico has made nighttime lighting subject to pollution regulations. With dimmers, movement sensors and more, the tools exist to light our nights differently. What is lacking is public awareness of the steep costs of light pollution and the political will to make smarter decisions about the future.

Why US Scientists Are Combining Catfish and Alligator DNA – (VBalTV – February 6, 2023)

Catfish is a heavily farmed fish: In 2021 alone, 307 million pounds of live catfish were produced in the U.S. — primarily in the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.  Rex Dunham, who’s on the team working on genetic improvement of catfish at Auburn, said about 40% of the fish worldwide die from diseases between the time they’re born to the time they’re harvested.  That’s largely because the farm ponds where they’re produced make the fish susceptible to infections. In order to reduce the chances of infection, researchers at Auburn University in Alabama are combining catfish and alligator DNA. The gene-edited fish were given an antimicrobial protein called cathelicidin that Dunham and other researchers believe make alligators more resistant to infections after being injured. The hybrid catfish are sterile because of the way the genes are swapped.

The Military Wants AI to Replace Human Decision-making in Battle – (Washington Post – March 29, 2023)

When a suicide bomber attacked Kabul International Airport in August last year, the death and destruction was overwhelming: The violence left 183 people dead, including 13 U.S. service members. This kind of mass casualty event can be particularly daunting for field workers. Hundreds of people need care, the hospitals nearby have limited room, and decisions on who gets care first and who can wait need to be made quickly. Often, the answer isn’t clear, and people disagree. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — the innovation arm of the U.S. military — is aiming to answer these thorny questions by outsourcing the decision-making process to artificial intelligence. Through a new program, called In the Moment, it wants to develop technology that would make quick decisions in stressful situations using algorithms and data, arguing that removing human biases may save lives, according to details from the program’s launch. Though the program is in its infancy, it comes as other countries try to update a centuries-old system of medical triage, and as the U.S. military increasingly leans on technology to limit human error in war. But the solution raises red flags among some experts and ethicists who wonder if AI should be involved when lives are at stake. DARPA’s In the Moment program will create and evaluate algorithms that aid military decision-makers in two situations: small unit injuries, such as those faced by Special Operations units under fire, and mass casualty events, like the Kabul airport bombing. Later, they may develop algorithms to aid disaster relief situations such as earthquakes, agency officials said. The program is expected to take roughly 3.5 years to complete. Similar to DARPA, a NATO team is working with Johns Hopkins University to create a digital triage assistant that can be used by NATO-member countries. Peter Asaro, an AI philosopher at the New School, said military officials will need to decide how much responsibility the algorithm is given in triage decision-making. Leaders, he added, will also need to figure out how ethical situations will be dealt with. For example, he said, if there was a large explosion and civilians were among the people harmed, would they get less priority, even if they are badly hurt? “That’s a values call,” he said. “That’s something you can tell the machine to prioritize in certain ways, but the machine isn’t gonna figure that out.” (Paywall waived.)

Enter the Hunter Satellites Preparing for Space War – (Ars Technica – February 2, 2023)

Former US Air Force major Even Rogers is worried about a space war. “Conflict exists on a continuum that begins with competition and ultimately leads into full-scale conflict like what you’re seeing in Ukraine,” he says. The US, he adds, is already “in active competition with Russia and China for freedom of action and dominance of the space domain. And it’s evolving very quickly.” So in 2022, the former US Air Force major incorporated True Anomaly, Inc to “solve the most challenging orbital warfare problems for the US Space Force,” he later tweeted. According to a recent filing with the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC), True Anomaly is now gearing up for its first orbital mission. In October, True Anomaly hopes to launch two Jackal “orbital pursuit” spacecraft aboard a SpaceX rocket to low earth orbit. The Jackals will not house guns, warheads, or laser blasters, but they will be capable of rendezvous proximity operations (RPO)—the ability to maneuver close to other satellites and train a battery of sensors upon them. This could reveal their rivals’ surveillance and weapons systems or help intercept communications. In their first mission, dubbed Demo-1, the Jackals will merely spy on each other, using thrusters, radar, and multi-spectral cameras to approach within a few hundred meters. If that goes well, Rogers envisages deploying thousands of autonomous spacecraft in service of the US military, controlled by a team of human operators and AI “to pursue adversaries wherever they fly, and to provide the tools of accountability.” Those tools start with understanding what technologies America’s adversaries are deploying in space. “But an active defense is going to be required,” says Rogers, now True Anomaly’s CEO. In a series of posts, Rogers tweeted: “Tactically disabling enemy spacecraft can be the difference between the loss of an entire Carrier Strike Group or its survival… And there are many ways to destroy spacecraft that don’t ruin the environment. After all, they are just floating computers.”

These Radically Simple Changes Helped Lawmakers Actually Get Things Done – (Washington Post – February 9, 2023)

We hear a lot about the shocking dysfunction in Congress. But what about stories of shocking function? For example, if any congressional committee were set up to fail, it was the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. It was the only House committee in the last Congress required to get a supermajority vote of its members to get things done. But it was also evenly split: six Republicans and six Democrats, so you do the math. Oh, and its mission? To fix Congress. No biggie. The last select committee created to reform Congress, which focused on budgeting, passed exactly zero recommendations by the time it ended in 2018. So, how did this modernization committee become one of the most high-functioning bipartisan workplaces on Capitol Hill, creating what a Roll Call reporter called a “parallel congressional universe”? How did it manage to adopt, in just four years, 202 bipartisan recommendations, about two-thirds of which have already been executed or made significant progress in that direction? This article lays it out. (Editor’s note: This article proves that hope for a functional government is not complete folly.)

Canadian Province Tries Decriminalizing Drugs to Fight Overdose Crisis – (Reuters – February 1, 2023)

The western Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday has begun a three-year pilot program to stop prosecuting people for carrying small amounts of heroin, meth, ecstasy, or crack cocaine, as part of an effort to fight a drug overdose crisis. B.C. accounts for about a third of the 32,000 deaths due to overdose and trafficking nationally since 2016, according to official data. The province declared drug overdose a public health emergency that year. The problem worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted illicit drug supply chains as well support services, leaving people with more toxic drugs that they used alone. By not prosecuting people carrying small amounts of drugs, the B.C. government hopes to tackle the issue as a health problem rather than through the criminal justice system. The drugs on the exemption list, which also includes fentanyl and other opioids, remain illegal and the exemption from arrest is only for possession of up to 2.5 grams for personal use. The province says the exemption is intended to reduce the stigma associated with substance use and to make it easier for people to approach authorities for guidance. Other Canadian communities, also facing a rise in drug overdose deaths, are closely watching the pilot.

How Three Dust Specks Reveal an Asteroid’s Secrets – (PhysOrg – January 29, 2023)

The specks smaller than the diameter of a hair. The three minute particles from an asteroid called Itokawa show some of these space rocks are vastly older than was thought, and are much tougher. And that could mean we need bolder ways to prevent catastrophic collisions with Earth. The three samples were collected in 2005 from the peanut-shaped Itokawa, some 300 million kilometers (186 million miles) from Earth. It took the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa five years to return them to Earth, along with hundreds of other particles from Itokawa, and scientists have been analyzing them for clues ever since. Fred Jourdan, professor at Curtin University’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, wanted to see what the specks could reveal about the age of rubble-pile asteroids like Itokawa. These form when solid asteroids collide and the resulting fragments assemble into new structures. Solid asteroids are thought to have a lifespan of several hundred million years, and are gradually ground down by constant collisions. But rubble-pile asteroids have a very different structure, composed of rocks, dust, pebbles and a void, and held together by the gravitational pull of their various components. Analysis suggests Itokawa was formed by an asteroid collision at least 4.2 billion years ago, ten times older than solid asteroids of similar size are predicted to be. NASA’s recent DART test showed asteroids like Itokawa can be nudged off course, but that would likely require a lead time of several years. An asteroid just weeks from colliding with Earth would require a different approach, and Jourdan argues a nuclear blast might be needed. “It’s not ‘Armageddon’-style,” blowing it up, he hastens to add, referring to the 1998 sci-fi movie. “The shockwave should push the asteroid out of the way.”

Asteroid’s Sudden Flyby Shows Blind Spot in Planetary Threat Detection – (Reuters – January 28, 2023)

The discovery of an asteroid the size of a small shipping truck mere days before it passed Earth on Thursday, albeit one that posed no threat to humans, highlights a blind spot in our ability to predict those that could actually cause damage, astronomers say. NASA for years has prioritized detecting asteroids much bigger and more existentially threatening than 2023 BU, the small space rock that streaked by 2,200 miles from the Earth’s surface, closer than some satellites. If bound for Earth, it would have been pulverized in the atmosphere, with only small fragments possibly reaching land. But 2023 BU sits on the smaller end of a size group, asteroids 5-to-50 meters in diameter, that also includes those as big as an Olympic swimming pool. Objects that size are difficult to detect until they wander much closer to Earth, complicating any efforts to brace for one that could impact a populated area. The probability of an Earth impact by a space rock (meteor) of that size range is fairly low, scaling according to the asteroid’s size: a 5-meter rock is estimated to target Earth once a year, and a 50-meter rock once every thousand years, according to NASA. But with current capabilities, astronomers can’t see when such a rock targets Earth until days prior. The roughly 20-meter meteor that exploded in 2013 over Chelyabinsk, Russia is a once-every-100-years event, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It created a shockwave that shattered tens of thousands of windows and caused $33 million in damage, and no one saw it coming before it entered Earth’s atmosphere. One major upgrade to NASA’s detection arsenal will be NEO Surveyor, a $1.2 billion telescope under development that will launch nearly a million miles from Earth and surveil a wide field of asteroids. It promises a significant advantage over today’s ground-based telescopes that are hindered by daytime light and Earth’s atmosphere. That new telescope will help NASA meet a goal assigned by Congress in 2005: detect 90% of the total expected amount of asteroids bigger than 140 meters, or those big enough to destroy anything from a region to an entire continent.

‘Less Clumpy’ Universe May Suggest Existence of Mysterious Forces – (Guardian – January 31, 2023)

The observations by the Dark Energy Survey and the South Pole Telescope chart the distribution of matter with the aim of understanding the competing forces that shaped the evolution of the universe and govern its ultimate fate. The extraordinarily detailed analysis adds to a body of evidence that suggests there may be a crucial component missing from the so-called standard model of physics. The results did not pass the statistical threshold that scientists consider to be ironclad enough to claim a discovery, but they do come after similar findings from previous surveys that hint a crack could be opening up between theoretical predictions and what is actually going on in the universe. The latest work uses data from the Dark Energy Survey, which surveyed the sky over six years from a mountaintop in Chile, and the South Pole Telescope, which looks for the faint traces of radiation travelling across the sky from the first few moments of the universe. In both cases, the analysis uses a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, whereby light is slightly bent as it passes massive objects, such as galaxies and clumps of dark matter, allowing scientists to infer the distribution of matter in the universe. The analysis indicates that matter is not as “clumpy” as expected. According to Professor Carlos Frenk, a cosmologist at the University of Durham who was not involved in the research, there are three likely explanations. First, it could be a result of noise in the data or a systematic error in the telescope. It is also possible that, rather than a major rewrite of cosmological theory, a poorly understood astronomical phenomenon could explain the results. “For example, supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can produce huge jets of radiation that can, in principle, push the matter around and smooth it out a bit,” he said. The third, most exciting option, is that the discrepancy is explained by entirely new physics, such as the existence of new kinds of neutrinos, exotic behavior of the dark energy or unconventional forms of dark matter. “From the three possibilities, I hope it is the last one, I fear it is the second one but I suspect it is the first one,” said Frenk.

Sci-fi Ideas That Could Change the Future of Space Exploration – (CNN – February 4, 2023)

How will space exploration change in the coming decades, and what new possibilities will emerge? These questions are at the heart of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program, or NIAC, which awards funding for concepts that could be part of future missions. The lastest NIAC competition selected 14 new concepts, awarding each $175,000 in January. Now, these researchers have nine months to use that funding toward refining and testing their ideas to see whether they can advance to the second phase of funding, which is $600,000 to flesh out their concepts and bring them closer to reality. Only five projects have made it to the third phase during the NIAC program — $2 million to make something implementable. Some of the latest NIAC-funded concepts include a fluid space telescope, self-growing bricks intended for Mars and a plane that could fly on Saturn’s moon Titan, among others. Many of the ideas are the result of creative collaborations between experts in different fields challenging one another to come up with new ideas. “It really is a community of innovators,” said Michael LaPointe, program executive for NIAC at NASA. “We’re looking for ideas that will enable brand-new ways of doing things.”  Article reports in depth on a number of the projects that have been funded.

The Humanoid Robot NASA Is Helping Build – (CNET – February 5, 2023)

We’ve seen impressive developments in humanoid robots over the last few years. Elon Musk and Tesla introduced the Optimus robot last year, and every few months Boston Dynamics teaches its Atlas robot a few new tricks. Now meet the new kid on the block: Apollo.  Apptronik calls its newest robot Apollo, in part because it partnered with NASA on commercializing the robot. Though there aren’t plans to send Apollo to space, the space agency wants to encourage the development of humanoid robots that could one day lead to a robotic space-explorer. We haven’t seen any official images of Apollo, but Apptronik has released several videos over the past few weeks showing off some of its prototype robots that ultimately helped lead to Apollo’s design. “Apollo is the robot that we’ve always wanted to build,” CEO Jeff Cardenas told CNET. “We’ve designed the whole world for the human form. Having a robot that’s the same footprint as a human and can use all the same tools that we use and fit in the same places, is incredibly useful.” Embedded video has more.

How Precision Scheduled Railroading at Norfolk Southern Caused a Toxic Vinyl Chloride Mushroom Cloud over East Palestine, Ohio – (Naked Capitalism – February 12, 2023)

This post will not cover what has been well-covered elsewhere: The derailment itself (50 cars, 20 of which carried toxic materials, 14 of those vinyl chloride), the subsequent fire, which burned for three days, the ultimate “controlled release” of the poisonous gas, the toxicity of vinyl chloride, the effects of the poison on locals, their pets, and their streams, or the arrest of the reporter who asked questions at Governor DeWine‘s presser. Rather, I shall begin from the very concrete (“for want of a nail…”) and move to the very abstract: From the wheel, to the truck, the cars, the firm (Norfolk Southern), and the owners. The crux of the matter is Precision railroading or precision scheduled railroading (PSR). It is a concept in freight railroad operations adopted by nearly every North American Class I railroad. It shifts the focus from older practices, such as unit trains, hub and spoke operations, and individual car switching at hump yards to emphasizing point-to-point freight car movements on simplified routing networks. The result is an often substantial improvement in railroad operating ratios and other financial and operating metrics at the cost of less-reliable service (particularly to smaller customers), long-term capacity issues, increased derailments, and other safety risks associated with longer trains and crew fatigue. This article details what went wrong and why. The short version is that equipment wasn’t properly monitored and maintained in the service of profit; the specifics shine a strong light on current rail transportation practices. See also: Footage Showing a Fiery Axle 20 Miles before East Palestine Train Derailment Raises Questions about Alert Timing for more technical information.

Severely Understaffed Hospitals Shouldn’t Be Buying Super Bowl Ads – (Washington Post – February 8, 2023)

Emergency rooms across the country have become chronically overcrowded and understaffed. Hospitals often claim they don’t have the funds to hire more employees to meet the urgent needs of patients. Yet in between Super Bowl advertisements for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, it’s now commonplace to see commercials for institutions such as the University of Rochester Medical Center, NYU Langone Health and Inspira Health. Multiple studies have demonstrated that overcrowding is directly associated with an increase in patient mortality. To make matters worse, a 2016 report by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that over 90% of American emergency rooms are routinely crowded; that number has only increased since then. At the same time, a recent investigation revealed that many American hospitals have spent years pursuing an “industrywide movement” of keeping labor costs low by wringing “more work out of fewer employees.” Indeed, hospital administrators often measure success by determining how much they can lower operating expenses by reducing the number of “employees per occupied bed.” In other words, low staffing levels are not a result of the coronavirus pandemic, staff burnout or a tight labor market — they are a business model. Simultaneously, as hospitals save money by cutting staffing, hospital marketing budgets have skyrocketed. According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, between 2004 and 2016, direct-to-consumer advertising by hospitals and health-care systems jumped 74% to $1.4 billion per year. Many hospital executives would insist that marketing is a necessary operating expense that a modern hospital must invest in to succeed. But if spending on advertisements is nonnegotiable but hiring enough nurses to save patients’ lives isn’t, who is our health-care system truly serving? At what point can it be said that this system has lost its way and the margin has, in fact, become the mission?

Handmade – Stop Motion Woodworking – (YouTube – July 19, 2022)

The pros on This Old House and woodworking channels make it all look so easy and everything always comes out perfectly. Well, a Japanese YouTuber named Omozoc also knows how to make everything look effortless, apparently turning out a lovely tissue-box holder with just his hands and in hardly any time at all. And it only took 22 days and 791 individual photos to make the minute-long video.
Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.
  Victor Hugo
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