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Volume 26, Number 7 – 4/1/2023

Volume 26, Number 7 – 4/01/2023


  • The next big thing in AI might be proving that you are a human.
  • Japanese researchers have created mice with two fathers. 
  • Worldwide, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year – roughly the same weight as all of humanity.
  • Between 2008 and 2021, China spent $240 billion bailing out 22 countries that are “almost exclusively” Belt and Road project debtors.
Click Here for Tickets and More Info

One of the biggest big-picture thinkers in the world, Dr. David Martin, is coming back to TransitionTalks in Berkeley Springs on the 15th of April . . . and the timing could not be more propitious. As we watch the slow-motion implosion of the giant, familiar institutions that have defined all of our lives, the natural question is – Where is this going?

Never in our lives have things been so uncertain. Truth is almost impossible to ascertain, artificial intelligence is blurring reality, our country is rapidly fraying, extraordinary forces are trying to convince us that fragmentation is more desirable than coherence and, at the same time, giant changes in our climate and solar system are underway.

All of these forces – and many more – are converging in the coming months and year or two to clearly reconfigure the way we live. In some cases – like the emergence of artificial intelligence — the possibilities have never been imagined before.

Your ability to navigate the rapids ahead is completely dependent upon your degree of understanding about what might be headed this way. That is what this presentation is about – getting a sophisticated, useful, understanding about what is inbound.

Dr. David Martin

Your ability to navigate the rapids ahead is completely dependent upon your degree of understanding about what might be headed this way. That is what this presentation is about – getting a sophisticated, useful, understanding about what is inbound.
Forecasters Martin Armstrong and Clif High have both indicated that their computer programs point to this April-May as being a time for significant disruption. What will happen is unknown at this time, but when David Martin comes to TransitionTalks, the outline of the rest of the year should be much clearer. . . and there are few people on this planet better qualified to evaluate the path ahead than he is.

Dave has generated a very large, global following as a planetary leader in translating the giant changes in finance, economics and healthcare that are battering our planet into sophisticated – but easy to understand – explanations and forecasts. He’s a big, integrated, systems thinker with an unexcelled knowledge of history and its implications for the increasingly complicated world that is rapidly emerging.

Last year, when he was at TransitionTalks, Dr. Martin gave one of the most profound and richly informative talks of the whole history of the TT series. This year promises to be an even greater event – focused on the incoming transformations that are headed this way in the next two years.

A fascinating speaker, Dave will present for the whole afternoon in Berkeley Springs and online by livestream describing little known aspects of the big change and how we can prepare for and deal with it. It will be a very memorable afternoon that should not be missed!
Dr. David Martin founded M·CAM® in 1998 and has served as its CEO and Chairman since that time. M·CAM® has been an international intangible asset underwriter and analyst firm spanning work in innovation finance, trade, and intangible asset finance.
Dr. Martin is the developer of several innovation-based quantitative indices of public equities and is the Founder of the Purple Bridge Funds.  He managed the Innovation Alpha ETFs (NYSE:INAU; NYSE:INAG; and NYSE:TWAR). He is the creator of the public equity index – the CNBC IQ100 powered by M·CAM® which now is reported as a leading economic indicator for the U.S. and Global Innovation Economy published by The Conference Board.

As a spokesperson for global financial and intangible asset accountability and quality reform, Dr. Martin has worked closely with the United States Congress and numerous trade and financial regulatory agencies in the United States, Europe, and Asia in advocating and deploying infrastructure to support growing reliance on contract and proprietary rights in business transactions. Under the leadership of Dr. Martin, M·CAM® has supported the modernization of banking, intangible asset, tax, and accounting laws through its work with oversight agencies and policy makers. This work included work with the United States Congress, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the United States Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, the European Union and many other countries. Dr. Martin received his undergraduate (BA) from Goshen College, his Masters of Science from Ball State University, and his Doctorate (PhD) from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Martin is a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

Hundreds of French Citizens Suffer Cardiac Events After Bivalent Boosters – (Global Research – March 31, 2023)

COVID-19 vaccination database has disclosed cardiovascular events after mRNA BA4/BA5 bivalent boosters. All persons who were 50 years of age or older and who had received a booster dose between October 6 and November 9, 2022, were included in the study. The composite of ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke, myocardial infarction, or pulmonary occurred in 335 individuals. A 30 Day Regulatory Window Captured Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Blood Clots.

Houston, We Have a Problem (Part 1 of 3) – (The Ethical Skeptic – August 20, 2022)

Seven of the major eleven International Classification of Diseases codes tracked by the US National Center for Health Statistics exhibit stark increase trends beginning in the first week of April 2021 – featuring exceptional growth more robust than during even the Covid-19 pandemic time frame. This date of inception is no coincidence, in that it also happens to coincide with a key inflection point regarding a specific body-system intervention in most of the US population. These seven pronounced increases in mortality alarmingly persist even now.

New Analysis Shows How the CDC Spread False Information That Exaggerated the Severity of COVID-19 – (Global Research, March 31, 2023)

Several mistakes are related to the completely inaccurate Data Tracker demographics; some are related to the misuse of a flawed pre-print to claim COVID as a “top 5 cause of death in children,” and others are issues with paediatric hospitalization data, variant percentages, and other issues.“These errors have been made repeatedly and were likely to have affected discussion of pandemic policies. During the years the errors occurred, CDC’s guidance repeatedly called for restrictions being placed on children, including school closures, mask mandates, and strong recommendations for vaccinations and multiple boosters even among children who have recovered from the virus.”
Though the tendency to exaggerate risks was worse with kids, 80% of the total errors overestimated risks to the population at large. Expecting the CDC to report both accurately and without a propensity to induce fear is something we should all want and is not a right-wing conspiracy theory. According to a March 2022  report released by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Finland showed there were zero COVID deaths in young people throughout the entire pandemic. Only 26 percent of children ages 5-11 and 80 percent of children ages 12-17 at that point received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Children under 12 were never masked, and only 9 percent of children ages 5-11 were fully vaccinated.

Game Over: Medicare Data Shows the COVID Vaccines Increase Your Risk of Dying – (Global Research, February 27, 2023)

Isn’t it a shame that none of the world’s governments make the vaccination-death records publicly available? My claim is that if they did that, it would end the debate instantly and prove to the world that the vaccines are unsafe. So that’s why they keep it locked up. But apparently there is one whistleblower who is interested in data transparency.

If nobody can explain how the “slope goes the wrong way,” then this should be GAME OVER for the vaccination program because we are using their own “gold standard” database to prove that the vaccines are not safe and that they lied to us. Nobody has ever claimed the vaccine reduces all cause mortality below baseline. There is no clinical trial showing that and there is no known mechanism of action whereby introducing a pathogen into your body will reduce all-cause mortality.

The only claim they make now is that the vaccine reduces COVID deaths. Fine. Let’s say that the vax is perfect and reduces every single COVID death, then the slope must still be downwards due to seasonality as we said before.

Dr. Lee Merritt & Karen Kingston – It’s All Parasites: Cancer, Vaccines, Remedies! – (Patriot Base, Rumble, November 2022)

This video presented by Dr. Lee Merritt and Karen Kingston presents the parasite hypothesis.

Vax death count = COVID death count according to latest Rasmussen Reports poll – (Steve Kirsch’s Newsletter – March 31, 2023)

Why did the CDC never poll Americans as a “reality check” to make sure they got it right? Rasmussen comes out with the most important poll they’ve ever done and the results are devastating.

Worldcoin, Co-founded by Sam Altman, Is Betting the Next Big Thing in AI Is Proving You Are Human – (Tech Crunch – March 7, 2023)

Fake virtual identities are nothing new. The ability to so easily create them has been both a boon for social media platforms — more “users” — and a scourge, tied as they are to the spread of conspiracy theories, distorted discourse and other societal ills. Still, Twitter bots are nothing compared with what the world is about to experience, as any time spent with ChatGPT illustrates. Flash forward a few years and it will be impossible to know if someone is communicating with another mortal or a neural network. Sam Altman knows this. Altman is the co-founder and the CEO of ChatGPT parent OpenAI and has long had more visibility than most into what’s around the corner. It’s why more than three years ago, he conceived of a new company that could serve first and foremost as proof-of-personhood. Called Worldcoin, its three-part mission — to create a global ID, a global currency and an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers using its own token, along with other digital assets and traditional currencies — is as ambitious as it is technically complicated, but the opportunity is also vast.
In broad strokes, the article explains how the process, still in beta and based in San Francisco and Berlin, works. Whether the new parent organization called Tools for Humanity will be able to win over users is an open question, but certainly, more people now understand why proving personhood online is about to become essential.

Physicists Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy out of Nothing – (Quanta – February 23, 2023)

For their latest magic trick, physicists have done the quantum equivalent of conjuring energy out of thin air. It’s a feat that seems to fly in the face of physical law and common sense. Fifteen years ago, Masahiro Hotta, a theoretical physicist at Tohoku University in Japan, proposed that perhaps the vacuum could, in fact, be coaxed into giving something up. At first, many researchers ignored this work, suspicious that pulling energy from the vacuum was implausible, at best. Those who took a closer look, however, realized that Hotta was suggesting a subtly different quantum stunt. The energy wasn’t free; it had to be unlocked using knowledge purchased with energy in a far-off location. From this perspective, Hotta’s procedure looked less like creation and more like teleportation of energy from one place to another — a strange but less offensive idea. Now in the past year, researchers have teleported energy across microscopic distances in two separate quantum devices, vindicating Hotta’s theory. The research leaves little room for doubt that energy teleportation is a genuine quantum phenomenon. 

While studying black holes, Hotta came to suspect that an exotic occurrence in quantum theory — negative energy — could be the key to measuring entanglement. Black holes shrink by emitting radiation entangled with their interiors, a process that can also be viewed as the black hole swallowing dollops of negative energy. Hotta noted that negative energy and entanglement appeared to be intimately related. To strengthen his case, he set out to prove that negative energy — like entanglement — could not be created through independent actions at distinct locations. Hotta found, to his surprise, that a simple sequence of events could, in fact, induce the quantum vacuum to go negative — giving up energy it didn’t appear to have. “First I thought I was wrong,” he said, “so I calculated again, and I checked my logic. But I could not find any flaw.” Hotta’s results are due to the bizarre nature of the quantum vacuum, which is a peculiar type of nothing that comes dangerously close to resembling a something. Article explains further.

RNA Base in Asteroid Samples Suggests Origins of Life on Earth – (France 24 – March 23, 2023)

Scientists have discovered the chemical compound uracil, one of the building blocks of RNA, in just 10 milligrams of material from the asteroid Ryugu, according to new research. The finding lends weight to a longstanding theory that life on Earth may have been seeded from outer space when asteroids crashed into our planet carrying fundamental elements. It is some of the latest research from analysis of 5.4 grams of rocks and dust gathered by the Hayabusa-2 probe from the asteroid Ryugu. Hayabusa-2 was launched in 2014 and returned to Earth’s orbit in late 2020 with a capsule containing the sample from the asteroid.
The precious cargo was divided between international research teams and has already yielded several insights, including that some of life’s building blocks, amino acids, may have been formed in space. The first drop of water discovered in a near-Earth asteroid has also been found among the samples. The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, went looking for another foundation of life: the nucleobases of RNA. While DNA, the famed double helix, functions as a genetic blueprint, single-strand RNA is an all-important messenger, converting the instructions contained in DNA for implementation. Scientists have previously found some or all of these bases in different asteroids that landed on Earth as meteorites. However, they could not be sure the chemicals came from outer space or were contaminated when they landed.

Does the Future of Medicine Lie in Space? – (Guardian – March 26, 2023)

As CEO of SpacePharma – a company that works with clients around the world, from children’s hospitals to big pharma – Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Yamin has helped to pioneer a new industry. Using technology developed at the Technion, Israel’s oldest university, increasing numbers of biologists are able to miniaturize their experiments and send them to the International Space Station (ISS), where they can be remotely controlled from the ground. “This is not science fiction any more,” says Yamin. “Last year, we accomplished seven in-orbit experiments, and the number is growing. Next month, we are flying five experiments into space in realms ranging from the future of skincare to longevity drugs and brain diseases.”
It is the absence of gravity that has long made space such an attractive playground for teasing apart some of biology’s intricacies. “Learning about the 3D structure of proteins involved in certain health conditions can give us a better understanding of how their function could be improved or inhibited,” says Prof Thais Russomano, a space medicine expert, and CEO of thinktank InnovaSpace. “Crystals grow bigger in space and have fewer imperfections. We can get some idea through computer-generated simulations, but accurate models can only be created by having a lot of data, which we don’t always have.” This has already yielded major breakthroughs. For Massachusetts–based biotech company MicroQuin, a series of experiments conducted on the ISS in the past four years have helped kickstart a new pipeline of drugs for ovarian and breast cancers, as well as traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, and even influenza, based on a family of proteins called TMBIMs.

Scientists Create Mice with Two Fathers – (PhysOrg – March 15, 2023)

Scientists have created eggs using the cells of male mice for the first time, leading to the birth of seven mice with two fathers, according to research Wednesday hailed as “revolutionary”. The technique pioneered in the proof-of-concept experiment is a long way from potentially being used in humans, with obstacles including a low success rate, adaptation concerns and wide-ranging ethical considerations. Out of 630 attempts, seven pups were born, representing a success rate of just over 1%. The pups do not show any sign of abnormalities and are fertile themselves, the study said.
The breakthrough raises the prospect of a raft of new reproductive possibilities, including that gay male couples—or even a single man—could have a biological child without needing a female egg. The research, published in the journal Nature, was carried out by a team of scientists in Japan led by developmental biologist Katsuhiko Hayashi of the Osaka and Kyushu universities. Hayashi and his team previously found a way to take skin cells from a female mouse and transform them into an egg that could be used to give birth to healthy pups. One potential future application could be to bring an endangered species with only one surviving male back from the brink, provided there was a suitable female surrogate from another species, they said.

Big Oil Is Selling Off Its Polluting Assets — with Unintended Consequences – (Washington Post – March 27, 2023)

Major oil companies are selling off polluting assets around the globe. Since 2020, divestments in Nigeria have totaled $1.1 billion, according to an analysis by the Britain-based research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. A $1.2 billion sale by ExxonMobil to a local company is pending. If that sale is finalized, domestic companies would for the first time in Nigeria’s history own more oil leases than international ones, according to the Stakeholder Democracy Network, which focuses on the impact of the extractives industry in the Niger Delta. Executives at Shell and other major companies said their divestments have been prompted mainly by unrest and oil theft in Nigeria, where government regulators report that hundreds of thousands of barrels are stolen each day. Shell, which announced in 2021 that it is looking to exit Nigeria’s onshore market completely, has repeatedly said in annual reports over the past eight years that divestments in Nigeria and elsewhere have played an important role in decreasing the company’s own greenhouse gas emissions.
But interviews with residents, local officials and environmental groups show the divestments made in Nigeria over the past decade have had negative consequences for communities that Shell and other international companies leave behind — and for the environment they say they are aiming to protect. Local companies that have acquired the Niger Delta assets from international firms have failed to respond quickly to oil spills such as the one in Nembe, environmental activists say. Greenhouse gas emissions from gas flaring, a byproduct of oil extraction, have increased dramatically in multiple cases after Nigerian companies took over, according to data from flare tracker Capterio and reports by the Environmental Defense Fund and Stakeholder Democracy Network. At the same time, according to several analyses by these two groups and others, information about those effects has become scarce, because the local companies tend to make fewer environmental commitments and set fewer reporting standards.

Eminent Oxford Scientist Says Wind Power “Fails On Every Count” – (Zero Hedge – March 26, 2023)

The Oxford University mathematician and physicist, researcher at CERN and Fellow of Keble College, Emeritus Professor Wade Allison has done the math. The U.K. is facing the likelihood of a failure in the electricity supply, he concludes. Professor Allison’s dire warnings are contained in a short paper recently published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. He notes that the energy provided by the Sun is “extremely weak”, which is why it was unable to provide the energy to sustain even a small global population before the Industrial Revolution with an acceptable standard of living. A similar point was made  recently in more dramatic fashion by the nuclear physicist Dr. Wallace Manheimer. He argued that the infrastructure around wind and solar will not only fail, “but will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment and be entirely unnecessary”. In his paper, Allison concentrates on working out the numbers that lie behind the natural fluctuations in the wind. The full workings out are can be assessed from the link above.

Tech Group Launches Litigation Hub as Regulation Battle Moves to Courts – (Washington Post – March 21, 2023)

Nearly five years after a Facebook data privacy scandal kicked off increased scrutiny of Big Tech’s practices, the industry’s defenses against regulation are maturing. NetChoice, a tech industry group funded by Google and Facebook’s parent company Meta, has launched a new litigation center, signaling a shift in its playbook as battles over Silicon Valley regulation shift from Congress to the courts. NetChoice’s new center is modeled after the litigation arm of the Chamber of Commerce, which brings lawsuits and briefs on behalf of the powerful business lobbying group. The litigation center will act as a central hub for tech industry efforts to coordinate on lawsuits and amicus briefs, focusing on a range of issues including state social media laws and antitrust suits. It will provide programming for lawyers on regulatory issues affecting the tech industry and collect legal analysis with tech-friendly positions.
The center will also track lawsuits and local laws — a major hurdle for the industry as it scrambles to respond to the patchwork of legislation creating ad hoc rules for tech companies, after years of inaction in Congress. It is designed to respond to the newest regulatory threat: judges who, in the absence of comprehensive federal laws, are increasingly making decisions about social media and competition in the tech industry. The tech industry is increasingly batting back a wave of litigation that could force broad changes to its business practices. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, a lawsuit that argues tech companies should be legally responsible for the harmful content that their algorithms promote.

Text-to-video AI Inches Closer as Startup Runway Announces New Model – (The Verge – March 20, 2023)

Text-to-image AI is mainstream now, but just waiting in the wings is text-to-video. The pitch for this technology is that you’ll be able to type a description and generate a corresponding video in any style you like. Current capabilities lag behind this dream, but an announcement by AI startup Runway of a new AI video generation model is noteworthy nonetheless. Runway offers a web-based video editor that specializes in AI tools like background removal and pose detection. The company helped develop open-source text-to-image model Stable Diffusion and announced its first AI video editing model, Gen-1, in February. Gen-1 focused on transforming existing video footage, letting users input a rough 3D animation or shaky smartphone clip and apply an AI-generated overlay. Gen-2, by comparison, seems more focused on generating videos from scratch, though there are lots of caveats to note. First, the demo clips shared by Runway are short, unstable, and certainly not photorealistic, and second, access is limited. Still, the results are fascinating, and the prospect of text-to-video AI is certainly intoxicating — promising both new creative opportunities and new threats for misinformation, etc.

Could Waste Plastic Become a Useful Fuel Source? – (BBC News – March 13, 2023)

“Effectively, plastic is another form of fossil fuel,” says Prof Reisner, who is professor of energy and sustainability at the University of Cambridge. But of the seven billion tonnes ever created, less than 10% has been recycled. Worldwide, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year – roughly the same weight as all of humanity. Prof Reisner and his team have developed a process that can convert not one, but two waste streams – plastic and CO2 – into two chemical products at the same time – all powered by sunlight. The technology transforms CO2 and plastic into syngas – the key component of sustainable fuels such as hydrogen. It also produces glycolic acid, which is widely used in the cosmetics industry. The system works by integrating catalysts, chemical compounds which accelerate a chemical reaction, into a light absorber. “Our process works at room temperature and room pressure,” he says. “Reactions run automatically when you expose it to sunlight. You don’t need anything else.” And, assures Prof Reisner, the process produces no harmful waste. In addition, Prof Reiner says his system can handle otherwise unrecyclable plastic waste. “Usually, plastic contaminated with food waste goes to incineration, but this plastic is really good for us. In fact, food is a good substrate – so it makes our process work better.”
Article also features a process using enzymes to break [polymers] down, being developed by Dr. Victoria Bemmer, senior research fellow at the University of Portsmouth. “We can tweak these enzymes by changing the structure of them very slightly – to make them go faster, make them more firm or stable.” Using machine learning, Dr. Bemmer and her team have developed variants of enzymes adapted to deconstruct all varieties of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a type of polyester. The enzymes break the plastic down in a similar way to chemical recycling, says Dr. Bemmer but, because they are akin to enzymes found in nature, the process can be done in much more “benign conditions”. Where chemical recycling uses chemicals, the Portsmouth University team are able to use water. And the highest temperature they need is 70C, meaning energy consumption can be kept low compared to other processes.

Ingenious Photosynthesis “Hack” Paves Way for Renewable Energy Breakthroughs – (SciTech Daily – March 26, 2023)

An international team of physicists, chemists and biologists, led by the University of Cambridge, was able to study photosynthesis – the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert sunlight into energy – in live cells at an ultrafast timescale: a millionth of a millionth of a second. Using ultrafast spectroscopic techniques to study the movement of energy, the researchers found the chemicals that can extract electrons from the molecular structures responsible for photosynthesis do so at the initial stages, rather than much later, as was previously thought. This ‘rewiring’ of photosynthesis could improve how it deals with excess energy, and create new and more efficient ways of using its power.
Using ultrafast spectroscopy to watch the electrons, the researchers found that the protein scaffold where the initial chemical reactions of photosynthesis take place is ‘leaky’, allowing electrons to escape. This leakiness could help plants protect themselves from damage from bright or rapidly changing light. “The physics of photosynthesis is seriously impressive,” said co-first author Tomi Baikie, from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory “Normally, we work on highly ordered materials, but observing charge transport through cells opens up remarkable opportunities for new discoveries on how nature operates.”

North Korea’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles Could Hit Central US in Just 33 Minutes, Says Chinese Study – (Business Insider – March 17, 2023)

A simulation run by the Beijing Institute of Electronic System Engineering found that one of its missiles could hit the US mainland within 1,997 seconds, if not intercepted by US missile defense, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). The study simulated the firing of a Hwasongpho-15 missile from the central North Korean city of Sunchon, towards Columbia, Missouri. The Hwasongpho-15 is a two-stage, likely nuclear-capable missile with an operational range of up to 8,000 miles. This is “sufficient to hit the entire US homeland,” the SCMP reported the study’s leader, Tang Yuyan, as saying. The study also said the US missile defense system would be alerted about 20 seconds after firing, and that the first interceptor missiles would be launched around 11 minutes later.
It added that while the US’ missile defense network is robust, there are still gaps in its satellite-aided system for tracking missiles, leaving open the possibility that one could slip through, per the outlet. The report, released mid-February, came ahead of a series of North Korean test-firings this week. On Monday, two strategic cruise missiles were fired from a submarine off North Korea’s eastern coast, according to Al-Jazeera. An ICBM test also occured at around 7 a.m. local time on Thursday, the BBC reported, citing Japanese and South Korean officials. The missile traveled around 620 miles and fell into waters west of Japan, per the BBC.

Ransomware Group Claims Hack of Amazon’s Ring – (Motherboard – March 13, 2023)

A ransomware gang claims to have breached the massively popular security camera company Ring, owned by Amazon. The ransomware gang is threatening to release Ring’s data. Ring told Motherboard it does not have evidence of a breach of its own systems, but said a third-party vendor has been hit with ransomware. The ALPHV ransomware gang, known to be behind a spate of BlackCat ransomware attacks operates a ransomware-as-a-service operation. Like other ransomware groups, ALPHV goes beyond just locking a victim’s files, and has a website where it names and shames its victims in an attempt to extort them. If those targets don’t pay, ALPHV threatens to publicly release data stolen from them. ALPHV’s site stands out in that the section of its site which publishes hacked data, called “Collections,” is easier to search than some other hacking group’s sites. ALPHV has previously leaked medical data, and hacked hospitality companies. It recently claimed an attack on an Irish university too.
In 2019, hackers on a Discord channel began hacking a series of Ring cameras all over the country by reusing credentials exposed in earlier hacks. These hackers then terrorized their victims; in Tennessee, for example, a hacker broke into the camera installed in the bedroom of three young girls and spoke through the camera’s speaker to the girls. Those incidents showed how sensitive a cloud-connected surveillance camera could be. Ring has sold millions of devices, which now are commonplace in neighborhoods around the country, where they surveil passersby and delivery drivers. Indoor cameras, meanwhile, are potentially even more sensitive because of the nature of the footage they can collect. Amazon has partnered with at least two thousand police departments around the country to make it easy for users to share footage with law enforcement. The cameras—and the footage they take, which is often posted online—have become so popular that Amazon launched a television show called “Ring Nation,” which is a variety show made up primarily of bloopers shot by Ring cameras. See also this article from Ars Technica, Ransomware Attacks Have Entered a Heinous New Phase, that discusses Cybercriminal gangs who are now releasing stolen photos of cancer patients, student records.

RESTRICT Act Is Orwellian Censorship Grab Disguised As Anti-TikTok Legislation – (Zero Hedge, March 30, 2023)

The RESTRICT Act, introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tom Thune (R-SD), is aimed at blocking or disrupting transactions and financial holdings linked to foreign adversaries that pose a risk to national security, however the language of the bill could be used to give the US government enormous power to punish free speech.  In reality, the RESTRICT Act has very little to do with TikTok and everything to do with controlling online content.

In very specific terms a lot of U.S. websites would be impacted.  Why?  Because a lot of websites use third-party ‘plug-ins’ or ‘widgets’ or software created in foreign countries to support the content on their site.  The “Restrict Act” gives the DNI the ability to tell a website using any “foreign content” or software; that might be engaged in platform communication the U.S Government views as against their interests; to shut down or face a criminal charge.   In very direct terms, the passage of SB686 would give the Dept of Commerce, DNI and DHS the ability to shut down what you are reading right now. This is a big deal. –The Last Refuge 

The RESTRICT Act can also be used to punish people using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) if they’re used to access banned websites, and directs the Secretary of Commerce to “identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate” that which is deemed a national security risk associated with technology linked to the above countries. In very specific terms a lot of U.S. websites would be impacted. Why? Because a lot of websites use third-party ‘plug-ins’ or ‘widgets’ or software created in foreign countries to support the content on their site.The “Restrict Act” gives the DNI the ability to tell a website using any “foreign content” or software; that might be engaged in platform communication the U.S Government views as against their interests; to shut down or face a criminal charge. In very direct terms, the passage of SB686 would give the Dept of Commerce, DNI and DHS the ability to shut down what you are reading right now. This is a big deal.

Chris Hedges: The Donald Trump Problem – (Sheerpost – March 26, 2023)

Donald Trump — facing four government-run investigations, three criminal and one civil, targeting himself and his business — is not being targeted because of his crimes. Nearly every serious crime he is accused of carrying out has been committed by his political rivals. He is being targeted because he is deemed dangerous for his willingness, at least rhetorically, to reject the Washington Consensus regarding neoliberal free-market and free-trade policies, as well as the idea that the U.S. should oversee a global empire. He has not only belittled the ruling ideology, but urged his supporters to attack the apparatus that maintains the duopoly by declaring the 2020 election illegitimate. The most serious charges Trump may face involve his attack on the foundations of the two-party duopoly, especially undermining the peaceable transfer of power from one branch of the duopoly to the other.
Yet, the most egregious of Trump’s actions while in office either received minimal media coverage, were downplayed or lauded as acts carried out in defense of democracy and the U.S.-led international order. Why hasn’t Trump been criminally investigated for the act of war he committed against Iran and Iraq when he assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and nine other people with a drone strike in Baghdad airport? Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the strike and told his parliament that Trump lied in order to get Soleimani exposed in Iraq as part of peace talks between Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution demanding that all foreign troops leave the country, which the U.S. government proceeded to reject. Why wasn’t Trump impeached for his role in the ongoing attempts to engineer a coup and overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela? Trump declared a previously unknown right-wing politician — and would-be coup leader — Juan Guaido to be the true Venezuelan president and then illegally handed him control of the Latin American country’s U.S. bank accounts. The illegal U.S. sanctions that have facilitated this coup attempt have blocked food, medicine and other goods from entering the country and prevented the government from exploiting and exporting its own oil, devastating the economy. Over 40,000 people died between 2017 and 2019 due to the sanctions, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. That figure is certainly higher now.

The Quota Hire Pretending to be a Secretary of Defense is terminating the US Army. – (Paul Craig Roberts – March 28, 2023)

At the end of the Civil War, part of the reconciliation of the north and South was the US military’s honor of the fighting prowess of their opponent.  The barracks at West Point, where Robert E. Lee was superintendent, were named after Lee. Memorials were erected in honor of the defeated South.  Arlington Cemetery, land confiscated from Lee’s wife and the site of the Unknown Soldier, is also a burial site of the South’s soldiers and has a memorial to Southern soldiers that Biden’s black Quota Hire is removing as part of the “diverse” Biden regime’s erasure of Southern history.  Better to name a US military base after a sexual pervert than a Southern hero. The reconciliation that the rabid Southern-hating Republicans agreed to in 1877 is in the process of being overturned by the idiot Biden Democrat Regime.  The Quota Hire at the Pentagon, put there by Democrats as part of their glorification of “diversity,” has ordered all Southern names and monuments to be erased from US military bases and graveyards. Wiping out history is the opposite of “diversity.”
The only reason the US has a military force capable of fighting is that the backbone of today’s US Army is Southern. And here we have the Secretary of Defense dishonoring the Southern soldiers on which the US military is dependent! In 2021 US active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines totaled 1,156,040. Four Southern States–Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida–account for 36.3% of the personnel of US Armed Forces. The four Southern States account for 419,511 members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Spying In Plain Sight – ( – March 15, 2023)

A few weeks ago, the Biden administration asked Congress to permit its agents to continue to spy on Americans without search warrants. The actual request was to re-authorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. FISA requires warrants from the FISA Court for all domestic spying. Section 702 is a 2008 amendment to FISA. It expressly authorizes warrantless spying of foreign persons. After the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974 and the full extent of his use of the FBI and the CIA for domestic warrantless surveillance became known, Congress enacted FISA. It proclaims itself to have established the only lawful method for surveillance outside of the Fourth Amendment. This proclamation is a profound constitutional error – an oxymoron – as all surveillance in defiance of the Fourth Amendment is unconstitutional.
In a linguistic effort to accommodate the warrant requirement and its probable cause pre-condition, the congressional drafters of FISA required that the FISA Court may issue warrants for surveillance based on probable cause, not of crime, but of being a foreign government agent. The FISA Court then, on its own, morphed foreign agency into foreign personhood, and then morphed that into communicating with a foreign person. Even this loosening of Fourth Amendment protection by the Orwellian re-definition of probable cause was not enough to satisfy the rapacious appetite of the government to spy. Thus, President George W. Bush ordered the National Security Agency – the federal government’s 60,000-person strong cadre of domestic spies – to engage in warrantless spying, in defiance of FISA, and on a scale vastly greater than that which Nixon had ordered of the FBI and CIA in the 1970s. When Congress learned of the warrantless spying, rather than defunding it, it enacted Section 702 as an exception to FISA, and thereby made warrantless spying on foreign persons in America legal. In a direct affront to the Fourth Amendment, Section 702 permits the NSA and its cousins in the 16 other federal spying agencies to spy without warrants on all communications involving foreign persons – including your cousin in Geneva or some art dealer in Florence.

China Has Shattered the Assumption of US Dominance in the Middle East – (CNN – March 15, 2023)

With a diplomatic flourish China brokered a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in the process upending US calculus in the Gulf and beyond. While the United States has angered its Gulf allies by apparently dithering over morality, curbing arms supplies and chilling relations, Saudi Arabia’s King-in-waiting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, has found a kindred spirit in China’s leader Xi Jinping. The recent announcement that Riyadh and Tehran had renewed diplomatic ties was unexpected, but it shouldn’t have been. It is the logical accumulation of America’s diplomatic limitations and China’s growing quest to shape the world in its orbit. Beijing’s claim that “China pursues no selfish interest whatsoever in the Middle East,” rings hollow. It buys more oil from Saudi Arabia than any other country in the world.
Xi needs energy to grow China’s economy, ensure stability at home and fuel its rise as a global power. His other main supplier, Russia, is at war, its supplies therefore in question. By de-escalating tensions between Saudi and Iran, Xi is not only shoring up his energy alternatives but, in a climate of growing tension with the US, also heading off potential curbs on his access to Gulf oil.  Xi’s motivation appears fueled by wider interests, but even so the US State Department welcomed the surprise move, spokesman Ned Price saying, “we support anything that would serve to deescalate tensions in the region, and potentially help to prevent conflict.” Iran has buy-in because China has economic leverage. In 2021 the pair signed a trade deal reportedly worth up to $400 billion of Chinese investment over 25 years, in exchange for a steady supply of Iranian oil. Saudi has buy-in because war with Iran would wreck its economy and ruin MBS’s play for regional dominance. His bold visions for the country’s post fossil-fuel future and domestic stability depend on inwardly investing robust oil and gas revenues.

Canada Is Aiming to Beat China in the Critical Race for Rare Earth Metals – (CNBC – March 14, 2023)

Canada is positioning itself as a solution for the many European governments that are looking to rely less on China for critical raw materials — which are essential for the manufacture of goods like electric cars. The G-7 member announced in December a plan to ramp up the production of these minerals, with Canada having one of the largest deposits. Canada is estimated to have over 15.1 million metric tons of rare earth oxide. According to government data, it might take between 5 and 25 years for a mining project to become operational, so the Canadian authorities are trying to speed up the approval process for news plants. More broadly, there’s a growing recognition by several governments that minerals and other raw materials are now a matter of national security. This has become a reality in the European Union, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlighting that the bloc had become solely reliant on one huge supplier.
When asked if Canada was keen to topple China in becoming the main supplier of critical materials for the planned green transition in the West, Mary Ng, Canada’s international trade minister, said: “If I take a look at one statistic that was recently issued, Canada now is number two in the battery ecosystem space. So that is number two next to China.” Ottawa was number five in these rankings “not that long ago,” she added.

China Gave Huge Loans to Belt and Road Countries. Now It’s Spending Billions to Bail Them Out. – (CNN – March 26, 2023)

For the past decade, China has lent massive sums to governments across Asia, Africa and Europe, growing its global influence through its Belt and Road infrastructure megaproject and becoming one of the world’s biggest creditors. Now, Beijing has also become a major emergency rescue lender to those same countries, many of which are struggling to repay their debts. Between 2008 and 2021, China spent $240 billion bailing out 22 countries that are “almost exclusively” Belt and Road project debtors, including Argentina, Pakistan, Kenya and Turkey, according to the study by researchers from the World Bank, Harvard Kennedy School, Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the US-based research lab AidData. Though China’s bailouts are still smaller than those provided by the United States or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which regularly makes emergency loans to countries in crisis, it has become a key player for many developing countries.
Beijing’s rise as an international crisis manager looks familiar: The US has taken a similar strategy for nearly a century, offering bailouts for high-debt countries such as those in Latin America during the 1980s debt crisis, the report said. “We see historical parallels to the era when the US started its rise as a global financial power, especially in the 1930s and after World War 2,” it said. But there are differences, too. For one, China’s loans are far more secretive, with most of its operations and transactions concealed from public view. It reflects the world’s financial system becoming “less institutionalized, less transparent, and more piecemeal,” the study said.

This Arizona Town Captures America’s Deepening Rural-urban Divide – (Washington Post – March 23, 2023)

Arizona’s rapid transformation from a Republican bastion to a swing state is largely a story about the divergence between suburban and rural values. Nowhere is this more evident than in this fast-growing exurban town. Queen Creek was once a small farming community. As recently as 1990, a mere 2,500 people called it home. Today, more than 68,000 people do, and thousands more arrive each year. It’s the third-fastest growing city in the United States and is projected to have 175,000 residents when fully developed. It’s easy to see the attraction if you drive around. Houses are new, cheap and plentiful. Sparkling new strip malls offer convenient shopping and dining within a few minutes’ drive. The city, located on the edge of the Phoenix metro area, also offers pristine mountain views and open space. It’s a magnet for millennials who want to raise their children in a safe, comfortable community. The tech industry has driven much of this growth. Intel, the big semiconductor manufacturer, and Boeing are the town’s largest employers, attracting an educated, affluent workforce. This suburban future stands in stark contrast to Queen Creek’s rural past. It still pays homage to that legacy, hosting an annual stop on the professional rodeo tour called Roots N’ Boots. Stetson hats and cowboy boots were de rigueur for attendees. Country music played in the background as people sampled barbecue, tacos and Italian ice. The bar served Coors Banquet beer rather than craft brews. The cultural change taking place in Queen Creek does not share the violent undertone of the “Yellowstone” story line, but the conflict in values that drives that show is manifest. That’s becoming evident on the area’s voting patterns.
This cultural conflict is not unique to Arizona — or even the United States. Canada is seeing a deepening rural-urban divide in its voting, with populist right-wing parties winning 10% percent or more in rural Ontario or the prairies in the 2021 federal election. Australia’s most recent election also revealed a sharper urban-rural divide than in prior years. This month’s Dutch regional elections were won by a rural protest party, the FarmerCitizen Movement, which arose in opposition to the urban-dominated government’s climate change policy. Managing this divide will be a challenge for both political parties in the United States.

What Pope Francis’ AI Puffer Coat Says about the Future of Fashion – (CNN – March 28, 2023)

A peculiar image of Pope Francis recently set the internet alight. Widely circulated on social media, the picture shows the 86-year-old pontiff dressed in a chunky longline white puffer coat, cinched at the waist and seemingly layered with other winter weather streetwear. It appeared to be a drastic departure from the typical regalia often worn in the papal household. The outfit prompted a torrent of tongue-in-cheek questions online. More than anything, however, social media users exclaimed how they couldn’t believe the image was real. And it wasn’t. Twitter has since attached a contextual footnote to several of the best-performing tweets clarifying that it is AI-generated and was created using the software tool Midjourney. A 31-year-old construction worker from Chicago has since claimed ownership of the viral image.
If dressing is an important form of self-expression, then an AI-generated outfit might not only diminish the power and messaging inherent in clothes, but digitally altering someone’s outfit could have a lasting reputational damage, too. A doctored 2005 photo that appeared to show Paris Hilton at a nightclub wearing an inflammatory tank top that read “Stop Being Poor” became one of the most recognizable pop culture images of the early aughts. It added to the public perception of Hilton as an out-of-touch heiress. She publicly addressed the fake image in 2021, insisting people shouldn’t “believe everything you read.” (The vest, which came from a fashion collection designed by Hilton’s sister, Nicky, actually read “Stop Being Desperate.”) The technology has been used to design inclusive fashion shows, create entire graphic novels, and even help envision new forms of architecture. But as AI develops and computer-generated “deep fake” imagery grows more convincing, many are concerned about the ethical implications, including the removal of subjects’ agency (placing people in fabricated scenarios that may be defamatory or malicious, for example) and whether machine learning technology will one day make fake news indiscernible.

A New Discovery Could Impact the Future of Human Exploration of Mars – (KSL – March 17, 2023)

Scientists say the discovery of a “relict glacier” on the red planet could mean surface water ice exists on Mars even to this day. A “relict glacier” is not made of ice, but is rather one of several “light-toned deposits” found in the area. Scientists say LTDs are typically made up of light-colored sulfate salts; however, this one appears to have very similar features to a glacier. Researchers say the relict glacier was found near Mars’ equator, meaning ice may still be around the area at shallow depths which could have “significant implications for future human exploration.” The discovery suggests Mars may have had a more  watery history than scientists previously suspected, which could change our understanding of how the red planet can sustain human life.
“We’ve known about glacial activity on Mars at many locations, including near the equator in the more distant past. And we’ve known about recent glacial activity on Mars, but so far, only at higher latitudes. A relatively young relict glacier in this location tells us that Mars experienced surface ice in recent times, even near the equator, which is new,” said Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist with the SETI Institute and the Mars Institute, and the lead author of the study. “What we think happened here is that salt formed on top of a glacier while preserving the shape of the ice below, down to details like crevasse fields and moraine bands.” Scientists add that as volcanic materials in the area eroded over time, the glacier’s imprint became visible in the salt deposits.

4G Internet Is Set to Arrive on the Moon Later This Year – (CNBC – March 28, 2023)

Nokia is preparing to launch a 4G mobile network on the moon later this year, in the hopes of enhancing lunar discoveries — and eventually paving the path for human presence on the satellite planet. The Finnish telecommunications group plans to launch the network on a SpaceX rocket. The network will be powered by an antenna-equipped base station stored in a Nova-C lunar lander designed by U.S. space firm Intuitive Machines, as well as by an accompanying solar-powered rover.
An LTE connection will be established between the lander and the rover. The infrastructure will land on the Shackleton crater, which lies along the southern limb of the moon. The network will be used within Nasa’s Artemis 1 mission, which aims to send the first human astronauts to walk on the moon’s surface since 1972.

‘Live Free and Die’? The Sad State of U.S. Life Expectancy – (NPR – March 25, 2023)

Life expectancy around the world decreased in 2020 due to COVID-19. Most peer countries rebounded by 2021, while the U.S. continued to decline. Maternal mortality in the U.S. reached a high in 2021. Also, a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association found rising mortality rates among U.S. children and adolescents. Across the lifespan, and across every demographic group, Americans die at younger ages than their counterparts in other wealthy nations. In a country that prides itself on scientific excellence and innovation, and spends an incredible amount of money on health care, the population keeps dying at younger and younger ages. In a landmark, 400-page study ten years ago with a name that says it all: “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health.” The results showed – convincingly – that the U.S. was stalling on health advances in the population while other countries raced ahead. The authors tried to sound an alarm, but found few in the public or government or private sectors were willing to listen. In the years since, the trends have worsened. American life expectancy is lower than that of Cuba, Lebanon, and Chechnya.
Looking across different age and racial and economic and geographic groups, that this problem existed in almost every category. That’s why, says Eileen Crimmins, professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California who was on the panel that produced the report, they made a deliberate choice to focus on the health of the U.S. population as a whole. “That was a decision – not to emphasize the differences in our population, because there is data that actually shows that even the top proportion of the U.S. population does worse than the top proportion of other populations,” she explains. “We were trying to just say – look, this is an American problem.” The panel looked at American life and death in terms of the public health and medical care system, individual behaviors like diet and tobacco use, social factors like poverty and inequality, the physical environment, and public policies and values. “In every one of those five buckets, we found problems that distinguish the United States from other countries.”

Revolutionary “Camera” With Shutter Speed of 1 Trillionth of a Second Reveals Hidden World of Atomic Dynamics – (SciTech Daily – March 15, 2023)

Researchers are coming to understand that the best-performing materials in sustainable energy applications, such as converting sunlight or waste heat to electricity, often use collective fluctuations of clusters of atoms within a much larger structure. This process is often referred to as “dynamic disorder.” Understanding dynamic disorder in materials could lead to more energy-efficient thermoelectric devices, such as solid-state refrigerators and heat pumps, and also to better recovery of useful energy from waste heat, such as car exhausts and power station exhausts, by converting it directly to electricity. A thermoelectric device was able to take heat from radioactive plutonium and convert it to electricity to power the Mars Rover when there was not enough sunlight. When materials function inside an operating device, they can behave as if they are alive and dancing–parts of the material respond and change in amazing and unexpected ways. This dynamic disorder is difficult to study because the clusters are not only so small and disordered, but they also fluctuate in time.
Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Université de Bourgogne report that they have developed a new kind of “camera” that can see the local disorder. Its key feature is a variable shutter speed: because the disordered atomic clusters are moving, when the team used a slow shutter, the dynamic disorder blurred out, but when they used a fast shutter, they could see it. The new method, which they call variable shutter PDF or vsPDF (for atomic pair distribution function), doesn’t work like a conventional camera–it uses neutrons from a source at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to measure atomic positions with a shutter speed of around one picosecond, or a million million (a trillion) times faster than normal camera shutters. Simon Billinge, professor of materials science and applied physics and applied mathematics, said, “It gives us a whole new way to untangle the complexities of what is going on in complex materials, hidden effects that can supercharge their properties.”


The Great Food Reset Has Begun – (Global Research, March 30, 2023)

France is in flames. Israel is erupting. America is facing a second January 6. In the Netherlands, however, the political establishment is reeling from an entirely different type of protest — one that, perhaps more than any other raging today, threatens to destabilise the global order. The victory of the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) in the recent provincial elections represents an extraordinary result for an anti-establishment party that was formed just over three years ago. But then again, these are not ordinary times. The BBB grew out of the mass demonstrations against the Dutch government’s proposal to cut nitrogen emissions by 50% in the country’s farming sector by 2030 — a target designed to comply with the European Union’s emission-reduction rules. While large farming companies have the means to meet these goals — by using less nitrogen fertiliser and reducing the number of their livestock — smaller, often family-owned farms would be forced to sell or shutter. Indeed, according to a heavily redacted European Commission document,  this is precisely the strategy’s goal: “extensifying agriculture, notably through buying out or terminating farms, with the aim of reducing livestock”; this would “first be on a voluntary basis, but mandatory buyout is not excluded if necessary”. It is no surprise, then, that the plans sparked massive protests by farmers, who see it as a direct attack on their livelihoods, or that the BBB’s slogan — “No Farms, No Food” — clearly resonated with voters. But aside from concerns about the impact of the measure on the country’s food security, and on a centuries-old rural way of life integral to Dutch national identity, the rationale behind this drastic measure is also questionable. Agriculture currently accounts for almost half of the country’s output of carbon dioxide, yet the Netherlands is responsible  for less than 0.4% of the world’s emissions. No wonder many Dutch fail to see how such negligible returns justify the complete overhaul of the country’s farming sector, which is already considered one of the most sustainable in the world: over the past two decades, water dependence for key crops has been reduced by as much as 90%, and the use of chemical pesticides in greenhouses has been almost completely eliminated.
Farmers also point out that the consequences of the nitrogen cut would extend well beyond the Netherlands. The country, after all, is Europe’s largest exporter of meat and the second-largest  agricultural exporter in the world, just behind the United States — in other words, the plan would cause food exports to collapse at a time when the world is already facing a food and resource shortage. We already know what this might look like. A similar ban on nitrogen fertiliser was conducted in Sri Lanka last year, with disastrous consequences: it caused an artificial food shortage that plunged nearly two million Sri Lankans into poverty, leading to an uprising that toppled the government.

Panera Bread Tests Amazon’s Palm-scanning Technology in St. Louis – (CNBC – March 22, 2023)

Panera Bread is piloting Amazon’s palm-scanning technology in St. Louis to offer customers a faster way to connect to their loyalty program and pay. The bakery-cafe chain, which has long been considered a leader in restaurant technology, is the latest restaurant to use what the tech giant has dubbed Amazon One. It’s already been implemented in dozens of Amazon-owned Whole Foods locations, Amazon Go stores and some stadiums and arenas. Panera has more than 2,000 locations and its loyalty program has more than 52 million members, representing a big expansion opportunity for Amazon One. A representative for Amazon declined to share data on existing signups for the palm-based payment system. The palm scanners are located near the restaurant’s registers. To use them, customers need to link their loyalty program accounts to Amazon One, which they can do at home or inside the restaurant. They’ll also need to enable loyalty identification and payment for their accounts.
Amazon has faced some backlash from consumers and privacy experts for its use of biometrics, which use biological measurements to identify someone. An Amazon Go customer has filed a lawsuit in New York, alleging the retailer broke the city’s law that requires it to post signs informing customers that it’s using facial recognition. Security experts have warned that even palm scans can be a risk because that data is stored in the cloud. Last March, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado dropped Amazon One from the venue after privacy groups pushed it to reconsider. But Panera said it chose Amazon’s technology for three reasons: it’s contactless, customers have to opt in, and a person can’t be identified by their palm alone.

Bitcoin Is Poised to Blow up Africa’s $86 Billion Banking System – (CNBC – March 26, 2023)

As a parallel financial system, cryptocurrencies can serve a tangible social good, offering an onramp to the financial system for people who would otherwise be left out. In countries where the vast majority of the population is unbanked, national currencies are no longer a safe store of value, remittances comprise a hefty portion of GDP, and international sanctions complicate connections to the global economy, a virtual currency that doesn’t require an intermediary to approve transactions can be a vital lifeline for survival. Moving money in Africa is an expensive and complicated process. Commercial bank branch access is limited, especially for people living in remote and rural areas. Digital banking options are also limited. Tack on rampant hyperinflation, widespread government corruption, and capital controls trapping domestic cash in banks, and money can stop making sense altogether.
“The entire banking system in Africa is completely and utterly broken, even amongst the mobile money providers, the telcos,” said Youssef from Paxful, a peer-to-peer crypto marketplace where users can directly buy and sell tokens with one another. “Two thousand payment networks and only 2% of them talk to each other. That number continues to grow. It’s not getting better, it’s actually getting worse.” Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer an expansive physical network of storefronts around the world designed to move money for those who are unbanked. That cash network was extraordinarily difficult and expensive to build, which is why there aren’t a lot of direct competitors. It is also why those cash transfers often incur substantial fees. Bitcoin could eliminate all these intermediaries, allowing citizens to send digital payments directly to one another, without relying on credit and without incurring multiple settlement fees along the way. “If you can get access to the internet, you can settle bitcoin payments,” said Brock. “And the government can’t do anything about it.”

The Imminent Danger of A.I. Is One We’re Not Talking About – (New York Times – February 26, 2023)

Ted Chiang, one of the great living sci-fi writers, has astutely noted, “I tend to think that most fears about A.I. are best understood as fears about capitalism. And I think that this is actually true of most fears of technology, too. Most of our fears or anxieties about technology are best understood as fears or anxiety about how capitalism will use technology against us. And technology and capitalism have been so closely intertwined that it’s hard to distinguish the two. Chiang’s warning points to a void at the center of our ongoing reckoning with A.I. We are so stuck on asking what the technology can do that we are missing the more important questions: How will it be used? And who will decide? A.I. researchers obsess over the question of “alignment.” How do we get machine learning algorithms to do what we want them to do? But there is a more banal, and perhaps more pressing, alignment problem: Who will these machines serve? We are talking so much about the technology of A.I. that we are largely ignoring the business models that will power it. That’s been helped along by the fact that the splashy A.I. demos aren’t serving any particular business model, save the hype cycle that leads to gargantuan investments and acquisition offers. But these systems are expensive and shareholders get antsy. The age of free, fun demos will end, as it always does. Then, this technology will become what it needs to become to make money for the companies behind it, perhaps at the expense of its users.
What if Google and Microsoft and Meta and everyone else end up unleashing A.I.s that compete with one another to be the best at persuading users to want what the advertisers are trying to sell? I’m less frightened by a Sydney that’s playing into my desire to cosplay a sci-fi story than a Bing that has access to reams of my personal data and is coolly trying to manipulate me on behalf of whichever advertiser has paid the parent company the most money. Nor is it just advertising worth worrying about. What about when these systems are deployed on behalf of the scams that have always populated the internet? How about on behalf of political campaigns? Foreign governments? “I think we wind up very fast in a world where we just don’t know what to trust anymore,” said Gary Marcus, the A.I. researcher and critic. “I think that’s already been a problem for society over the last, let’s say, decade. And I think it’s just going to get worse and worse.”

In San Francisco, Some People Wonder When A.I. Will Kill Us All – (CNBC – March 20, 2023)

“AGI,” or artificial general intelligence, and related terms like “AI safety” or “alignment” — or even older terms like “singularity” — refer to an idea that’s become a hot topic of discussion with artificial intelligence scientists, artists, message board intellectuals, and even some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley. All these groups engage with the idea that humanity needs to figure out how to deal with all-powerful computers powered by AI before it’s too late and we accidentally build one. Enter the Misalignment Museum. Audrey Kim is the curator and driving force behind the museum, a new exhibition in San Francisco’s Mission District displaying artwork that addresses the possibility of an “AGI,” or artificial general intelligence. That’s an AI so powerful it can improve its capabilities faster than humans are able to, creating a feedback loop where it gets better and better until it’s got essentially unlimited brainpower. If the super powerful AI is aligned with humans, it could be the end of hunger or work. But if it’s “misaligned,” things could get bad, the theory goes. Or, as a sign at the Misalignment Museum says: “Sorry for killing most of humanity.” “The goal isn’t actually to dictate an opinion about the topic. The goal is to create a space for people to reflect on the tech itself,” Kim said. “I think a lot of these questions have been happening in engineering and I would say they are very important. They’re also not as intelligible or accessible to nontechnical people.”
The exhibit features dense, arcane references to obscure philosophy papers and blog posts from the past decade. These references trace how the current debate about AGI and safety takes a lot from intellectual traditions that have long found fertile ground in San Francisco: The rationalists, who claim to reason from so-called “first principles”; the effective altruists, who try to figure out how to do the maximum good for the maximum number of people over a long time horizon; and the art scene of Burning Man. For example, there’s a reference to Nick Bostrom’s paperclip maximizer problem. Bostrom, an Oxford University philosopher often associated with Rationalist and Effective Altruist ideas, published a thought experiment in 2003 about a super-intelligent AI that was given the goal to manufacture as many paper clips as possible. Now, it’s one of the most common parables for explaining the idea that AI could lead to danger. Bostrom concluded that the machine will eventually resist all human attempts to alter this goal, leading to a world where the machine transforms all of earth — including humans — and then increasing parts of the cosmos into paper clip factories and materials. 

How the Environmental Movement Can Find Its Way Again – (Charles Eisenstein – March 26, 2023)

If we are to focus our attention on a single substance, it should be not carbon dioxide but water. Beyond greenhouse effects, water is crucial in the ways the world maintains conditions for life to thrive. An emerging understanding among many environmentalists is that we have made a scientific, strategic, rhetorical, and political error by reducing the ecological crisis to climate, and the climate crisis to carbon.
Earth is best understood as a living being with a complex physiology, whose health depends on the health of her constituent organs. Her organs are the forests, the wetlands, the grasslands, the estuaries, the reefs, the apex predators, the keystone species, the soil, the insects, and indeed every intact ecosystem and every species on earth. If we continue to degrade them, drain them, cut them, poison them, pave them, and kill them, earth will die a death of a million cuts. The earth will die of organ failure—regardless of the levels of greenhouse gases. This thoughtful essay that pinpoints the reasons why nature dies in the service of “sustainability.” Forests are cut for solar farms. Landscapes are sacrificed to pit mines to extract lithium, cobalt, silver, rare earths, etc. for decarbonization. There is an awful lot of money in the sustainability industry.

Elon Musk Concedes Twitter Is Now Worth Less Than Half What He Paid – (Business Insider – March 25, 2023)

Elon Musk paid $44 billion to take control of Twitter in late October. He recently offered stock grants to staff that value the company at $20 billion, Platformer reported. Musk told the employees left after the last round of layoffs that they were “highly regarded.” He also wants employees to think of Twitter as an “inverse startup,” in a reference to the thousands of jobs that have been cut since he took over. Twitter now has few as 1,300 staff, down from about 7,500.  See also: Twitter Says Parts of Its Source Code Were Leaked Online. Twitter executives recently discovered that the code had been leaked and have surmised that whoever was responsible left the company last year. It was unclear how long the leaked code had been online, but it appeared to have been public for at least several months. Twitter has asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to order GitHub to identify the person who shared the code and any other individuals who downloaded it, according to the filing. 

Amazingly Realistic Animal Sand Sculptures Come Alive on Shore – (My Modern Met – March 20, 2023)

When we think of sand sculptures, castles likely first come to mind. But you can do a lot more with sand than construct tiny buildings; artist Andoni Bastarrika is proof of it. He creates realistic animal portraits that are so lifelike you’ll do a double-take when you see them. To create the illusion, Bastarrika tightly packs the sand to create a blank canvas for textures like fur and wrinkles. He adds to the realism with stone powders that color the sand as well as other materials as necessary. The resulting animals appear to be laying on the ground with an ocean view behind them.
Bastarrika has a deep interest in evoking the spirit of his subjects that then find a connection with the viewer. “I am fascinated that people can confuse sculptures made simply with sand and water as if they were real,” he says. “The sculptures that I make have life, they have a soul, it is the same soul that Mother Earth has. My sculptures speak for her and for all the animals that are the most connected to Mother Earth. For this, I focus on the wisdom, strength, and beauty that nature transmits.” Article includes numerous photos of the sand sculptures.


If something in society is obviously not working and yet it doesn’t change, realize that for those who have the power to change it, it is working. – Unknown
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Joni Patry

Joni Patry is one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in the world. She was a faculty member for ACVA, CVA and Instructor for online certification programs, published many books, journals and appeared on national and international television shows. As the keynote speaker for international conferences, she has a Japanese website, and teaches in Austria, Turkey and India. She has been awarded the 2015 Jyotish Star of the year and Dr B. V. Raman’s Janma Shatamanothsava Award Jyotisha Choodamani. She publishes an online astrological magazine, Astrologic Magazine and has an online University for certification, the University of Vedic Astrology.

Joey Korn

Joey Korn is one of the most accomplished dowsers in the world. Known internationally for an extraordinary ability to change and manipulate energy at all levels, he brings a deep, practical understanding of how to balance these energies . . . and change the way that they influence humans and their lives.

Robert David Steele

Robert David Steele, former spy, former Marine Corps officer, a proponent of Open Source Everything, Presidential candidate in 2012 and perhaps again in 2024, recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 will integrate his life’s experience with his lessons from the works of others to explore love versus fear as a foundation for politics; liberty under natural law versus predatory fascism as we now have in the USA; and the possibilities for cosmic awakening very soon, in a full-on defeat of the Deep State and its Archon masters.

Lee Carrol a.k.a. Kryon

Lee Carroll, Ph.D. has channeled Kryon for 25 years worldwide and is the author of the Kryon Series of 16 books in 24 languages. Well known in metaphysics, Kryon books have made the top seller’s list within months of their release. Having presented seven times at the United Nations in New York, as well as in 33 different countries overseas, Lee attracts audiences in the thousands.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna’s research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dr. McKenna is author or co-author of 4 books and over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Paul H. Smith

Paul H. Smith is the longest-serving controlled remote viewing (CRV) teacher active today, having begun his career as an instructor in 1984. He served for seven years in the government’s Star Gate remote viewing program at Ft. Meade, MD (from September 1983 to August 1990). Starting 1984, he became one of only five Star Gate personnel to be personally trained as remote viewers by the legendary founders of remote viewing, Ingo Swann and Dr. Harold E. Puthoff at SRI-International.

Raymon Grace

Raymon Grace, one of the world’s most extraordinary dowsers, travels the world teaching and demonstrating how dowsing can be used by most anyone to change themselves and the world around them. His down-home, direct approach is sought out by many thousands of searchers who are looking for bettering their lives and dealing with the extraordinary change that the world is experiencing.

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His on-line writings have generated a vast following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts.

Jim McCarty

In 1980, Jim McCarty joined L/L Research where Don Elkins and Carla L. Rueckert were researching the field of the paranormal in general, and contact with extraterrestrial intelligence in particular. Soon later the Ra Contact began, producing 106 sessions with the social memory complex of Ra. Five books of The Law of One series were published documenting this contact.

Michael Waters

Michael Waters is an advanced technology consultant, researcher, inventor, and sustainable recovery strategist. His automated disaster recovery and library preservation systems are used worldwide. Michael has researched cutting edge science and technologies that redefine current understandings in mainstream physics. He is currently on the board of a number of organizations involved in advanced energy, mining, agriculture, and finance.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson’s amazing ability to dream about the future in terms that can be reliably translated into people, times, places, and activities has been the subject of books, major university scientific studies, films, articles, TV shows, and just about all forms of media. He has taught many people how to dream about the future and, through his advanced intuitive capabilities, helped thousands to understand how to deal with seemingly impossible personal situations. He is also a healer, having on numerous occasions led people with supposedly terminal conditions to eliminate those issues and return to a healthy life. There is no one else in the world that has Chris’s fascinating background (undercover police work, etc.), coupled with these amazing personal gifts.

Alain Nu

Las Vegas headliner, Alain Nu – “The Man Who Knows”, brings us his mind-bending mental and metaphysical abilities. His highly entertaining and most provocative show intermingles feats of mind-reading and spoon bending with other baffling demonstrations that defy explanation.

Joni Patry

Joni Patry is one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in the world. She was a faculty member for ACVA, CVA and Instructor for online certification programs, published many books, journals and appeared on national and international television shows. As the keynote speaker for international conferences, she has a Japanese website, and teaches in Austria, Turkey and India. She has been awarded the 2015 Jyotish Star of the year and Dr B. V. Raman’s Janma Shatamanothsava Award Jyotisha Choodamani. She publishes an online astrological magazine, Astrologic Magazine and has an online University for certification, the University of Vedic Astrology.

Regina Meredith

As Regina’s career progressed, so did her decades long exploration into the world of esoteric and hidden sciences – the reality beyond the 5 sense world. Guidance from these realms suggested it was time to bring her skill set to the world of video/televised media, so in late 2004, along with her husband Scott, she co-created ‘Conscious Media Network’, the first online network to feature full length original video interviews with authors and experts in the realms of the meta-physical, healing arts and alternative theories, opening up a world that many had experienced but never had access to on this scale.

Gaia: In 2012, Conscious Media Network merged with Gaiam TV in 2012, with Regina serving as anchor in their new media division on Open Minds and Healing Matrix. The demand for Regina’s unique perspective on a variety of subjects has drawn attention from conference organizers, moving her into the public as a presenter at conferences. In addition, Regina offers retreats and workshops for those who wish to ‘Dive Deep’ into a new understanding of the nature of reality and life itself. In this venue she shares her exclusive approach to meditation and regression work for a greater understanding of life’s challenges and identifying the innate joys.

Dr. Harold Puthoff

Although nominated for a Nobel Prize in physics for his breakthrough theoretical work on zero-point energy, Dr. Harold Puthoff, is most recognized for having been a co-founder of the secret US government “remote viewing” program that successfully used psychics to spy on the Soviet Union and China.

Now a principal and science advisor in a leading-edge effort by former senior military and intelligence managers to disclose the many decades of interest that the US has had in UFOs, he comes to Berkeley Springs on the 8th of February to give a TransitionTalk about his work in making sense out of the UFO phenomena.

Dr. Puthoff’s presentation will include a summary of his current activities with To The Stars Academy, which is on the forefront of bringing into the open formerly highly classified efforts by the government to track, record and understand the meaning of hundreds of encounters that the military has had with UFOs over the past years.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from and question one of the foremost thinkers and leaders of the rapidly accelerating global effort to both make the public aware of what was previously unacknowledged about UFO and alien interaction with humans and also to address the deep questions about what is happening and what it might mean for the future of humanity.

Gregg Braden

Gregg Braden is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, and is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science, spirituality and human potential! His discoveries have led to 12 award-winning books now published in over 40 languages. The UK’s Watkins Journal lists Gregg among the top 100 of “the world’s most spiritually influential living people” for the 5th consecutive year, and he is a 2017 nominee for the prestigious Templeton Award.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a leading expert on the paranormal and supernatural. With more than 50 books – including 10 encyclopedias – and hundreds of articles in print on a wide range of paranormal, spiritual and mystical topics, she possesses exceptional knowledge of the field. Her present work focuses on inter-dimensional entity contact experiences and communication.

John L. Petersen

John L. Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises (wild cards) and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future.


He has led national non-profit organizations, worked in sales, manufacturing, real estate development, and marketing and advertising, mostly for companies he founded. A graduate electrical engineer, he has also promoted rock concerts; produced conventions; and worked as a disc jockey, among other things.

Mr. Petersens government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984. He was twice the runner-up to be Secretary of the Navy.

In 1989, Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The “think tank” serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.

An award-winning writer, Petersens first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on The World Future Societys best-seller list for more than a year. His Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises book was also a WFS best-seller. His latest book is a Vision of 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. His coauthored article, (The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?) was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report (The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment) was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media.

Petersen is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a former network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, Petersen invests in and develops resources for large, international projects and advanced technology start-up companies. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Speaking Inquiries: Email

Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and abuse; the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11; and critical 9/11 intelligence failures. He is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Dr. John McMichael

John McMichael, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Beach Tree Labs, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new therapeutic agents targeting unmet medical needs. These disorders range from herpes infections to chronic fatigue syndrome to urinary incontinence. His PhD is in virology and immunology from Oregon State University. He headed up the labs at one of the largest private veterinary research practices in the country, was a college professor for more than a decade, and now works out of a small lab on his form in New York state and a larger, more sophisticated lab in Providence, Rhode Island. He holds over 200 patents, has published in books and peer-reviewed journals, and is currently working with his team to begin formal FDA trials for product candidates for chronic traumatic brain injury and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

William Henry

William Henry is a Nashville-based author, investigative mythologist, art historian, and TV presenter. He is an internationally recognized authority on human spiritual potential, transformation and ascension. He has a unique ability to incorporate historical, religious, spiritual, scientific, archaeological and other forms of such knowledge into factually-based theories and conclusions that provide the layperson with a more in-depth understanding of the profound shift we are actually experiencing in our lifetime.

The spiritual voice and Consulting Producer of the global hit History Channel program, Ancient Aliens, and host of the Gaia TV series The Awakened Soul: The Lost Science of Ascension, and Arcanum, along with his wife, Clare, William Henry is your guide into the transformative sacred science of human ascension. By bringing to life the ancient stories of ascension through art and gnostic texts, he teaches the secrets of soul transfiguration or metamorphosis and connects people to one another across cultures, time and space. With over 30 years of research distilled into 18 books and numerous video presentations, William’s work will guide you to next level of human consciousness and our expanding reality.

William’s present work has taken him into the area of transhumanism, which he first began writing about in his 2002 bestseller, Cloak of the Illuminati. His latest book, The Singularity Is Near: The Next Human, the Perfect Rainbow Light Body and the Technology of Human Transcendence is a primer and a warning for the looming potential transformation of humanity as we speed closer to meshing computer technology with human flesh. William discusses transhumanism as the fulfillment of an ancient impulse to transcend our human bodies. His work has propelled him into the role of human rights activist and advisor on the biopolitics of human enhancement as he informs audiences of the unparalleled perils and potentials of Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism.

Freddy Silva

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness. He has published six books in six languages, and produced eleven documentaries. Described by one CEO as “perhaps the best metaphysical speaker in the world right now,” for two decades he has been an international keynote speaker, with notable appearances at the International Science and Consciousness Conference, the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, in addition to appearances on Gaia TV, History Channel, BBC, and radio shows such as Coast To Coast. He also leads private sell-out tours to ancient temples worldwide.

Pierre Dubois

Pierre Richard Dubois is Registered Architect and holds two advanced degrees from Columbia University. He has been on a life quest to satisfy his inner and intuitive knowing about consciousness-expanding technologies and wisdom. He is an author, life coach, healer, ascension teacher, and a minister. Pierre has travelled the world and studied many religions and belief systems and found that we are all seeking the same thing: merger back with the uncreated Source of all. An insightful listener and counselor, Pierre deeply aspires to share with others his wisdom and has helped countless people on their journey of healing, expansion, and ascension over the past 20 years.

Frank DeMarco

FRANK DeMARCO has been reporting on his conversations with non-physical beings for more than two decades, in magazine articles, talks, and in a dozen non-fiction books and two novels.

FRANK DeMARCO is the author of 14 books rooted in more than 25 years of psychic exploration, including It’s All One World, Awakening from the 3D World, Rita’s World (two volumes), The Cosmic Internet, The Sphere and the Hologram, and Imagine Yourself Well. Since 2005, he has been actively engaged in an on-going series of conversations with various non-physical beings, including historical individuals, “past lives,” aspects of personal guidance, and a generalized group he calls “the guys upstairs.”

He is also the author of three novels, Messenger, That Phenomenal Background (originally published as Babe in the Woods) and Dark Fire.

William Buhlman

William Buhlman is a recognized expert on the subject of out-of-body experiences. The author’s forty years of extensive personal out-of-body explorations give him a unique and thought provoking insight into this subject. His first book, Adventures beyond the Body chronicles his personal journey of self-discovery through out-of-body travel, and provides the reader with the preparation and techniques that can be used for their own adventure. He has conducted an international out-of-body experience survey that includes over 16,000 participants from forty-two countries. The provocative results of this survey are presented in his book, The Secret of the Soul. This cutting edge book explores the unique opportunities for personal growth and profound spiritual awakenings that are reported during out-of-body experiences.

Over the past two decades William has developed an effective system to experience safe, self initiated out-of-body adventures. He conducts an in-depth six-day workshop titled, Out-of-Body Exploration Intensive at the renowned Monroe Institute in Virginia. As a certified hypnotherapist, William incorporates various methods, including hypnosis, visualization and meditation techniques in his workshops to explore the profound nature of out-of-body experiences and the benefits of accelerated personal development. Through lectures, workshops and his books the author teaches the preparation and techniques of astral projection and spiritual exploration.

The author brings a refreshing look to how we can use out-of-body experiences to explore our spiritual identity and enhance our intellectual and physical lives. William is best known for his ability to teach people how to have profound spiritual adventures through the use of out-of-body experiences. In addition, he has developed an extensive series of audio programs that are designed to expand awareness and assist in the exploration of consciousness. William has appeared on numerous television and radio shows worldwide. William’s books are currently available in twelve languages. The author lives in Delaware, USA. For more information visit his web site,

Joe McMoneagle

Joe was the longest operational psychic spy in the US government’s very highly classified Stargate program where they used psychics and intuitives to look into installations and people around the world that were of interest to government intelligence agencies. They called the process remote viewing.

As it turned out, the remote viewers discovered that they were – not limited by either time or space and produced drawings and assessments that could not have been obtained in any other way. The Soviets had an active remote viewing program at the same time and it is rumored that Russia, China and the U.S. still have initiatives of this kind that are operational.

Joe’s stories are fascinating, like the time he mentally got inside a Chinese nuclear weapon and saw how the triggering mechanism worked . . . and then went out and bought the parts at Radio Shack to show the scientists in the intelligence agency exactly how it was done. The remote viewers could find submarines at the bottom of the ocean and crashed aircraft in the middle of African jungles.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dr Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 33 countries on six continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

Dr. Joe is also a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York; and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He’s also an invited chair of the research committee at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a researcher, Dr. Joe’s passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to explore the science behind spontaneous remissions. He uses that knowledge to help people heal themselves of illnesses, chronic conditions, and even terminal diseases so they can enjoy a more fulfilled and happy life, as well as evolve their consciousness. At his advanced workshops around the world, he has partnered with other scientists to perform extensive research on the effects of meditation, including epigenetic testing, brain mapping with electroencephalograms (EEGs), and individual energy field testing with a gas discharge visualization (GDV) machine. His research also includes measuring both heart coherence with HeartMath monitors and the energy present in the workshop environment before, during, and after events with a GDV Sputnik sensor.

As a NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Joe has written Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon(Hay House, 2017), which draws on research conducted at his advanced workshops since 2012 to explore how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives; You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Hay House, 2014), which explores our ability to heal without drugs or surgery, but rather by thought alone; Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (Hay House, 2012) and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007), both of which detail the neuroscience of change and epigenetics. His film appearances include Transcendence: Live Life Beyond the Ordinary (2018); HEAL (2017); E-Motion (2014); Sacred Journey of the Heart (2012); People v. the State of Illusion (2011); What IF – The Movie (2010); Unleashing Creativity (2009); and What the #$*! Do We Know? & Down the Rabbit Hole, extended DVD version (2005).

Dr. Todd Ovokaitys

After two years at Northwestern, he was accepted into an accelerated combined graduate/undergraduate program at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, which conferred both B.A. and M.D. degrees. Advanced training was at Georgetown University Hospital, with a Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine followed by a Fellowship in Pulmonary and Intensive Care Medicine.

During his Pulmonary Fellowship, the specialty that concerns the lungs, Dr. Todd began his research with cells of the immune system. Many procedures were done on AIDS patients to diagnose their lung problems. Observing this dire disease firsthand and the toxic results of early medical treatments, Dr. Todd developed a passion for finding better solutions. Towards the end of his Fellowship, he became aware of the benefits of Holistic Medicine for improving the function of the immune system while building rather than impairing the function of other systems.

Inspired to learn more, he moved to Southern California to study with practitioners of Complementary Medicine. In the context of these studies, he had an experience so radical that the course of his life and work were forever transformed.

During a meditation class in the summer of 1989, Dr. Todd paired with another student for an exercise. The process was profound and they took turns, one in the process while the other scribed to record any breakthroughs of awareness. Much as in the Jodie Foster movie “Contact,” the usual anchor points dissolved with the feeling of instant transport to a different dimension of being. There was a doorway or portal to traverse, with a message of the responsibility taken on through the choice to go further.

Instantly upon walking through this doorway, a living form was seen that filled a room – and had the shape of a DNA strand enlarged millions of times. This form communicated that science only partly understood how DNA worked. The linear understanding of DNA as an enormous data string was correct but incomplete. In addition, DNA was a structure of coils within coils in an environment of moving charges that permitted DNA to send electromagnetic signals much as a radio transmitter. Further, DNA could receive and be conditioned by electromagnetic signals. Most significantly, if it were possible to determine and transmit the correct resonant signals, that it was possible to switch the activity of a sick cell to that of a healthy cell, an old cell to that of a young cell.

This experience brought with it a certainty that solutions were possible. After intensive review of the previous work showing the effects of electromagnetic energy patterns on cellular health and function, Dr. Todd located a colleague with the technical expertise to build the desired invention.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organized a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organization aimed at researching close encounters.

She is the author of, Awakening – How extra-terrestrial contact can transform your life. Mary is working on her second book, The New Human, due for release this year.

Dr. Larry Dossey

Dr. Larry Dossey is a physician of internal medicine and former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital. He received his M. D. degree from Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), and trained in internal medicine at Parkland and the VA hospitals in Dallas. Dossey has lectured at medical schools and hospitals throughout the United States and abroad. In 1988 he delivered the annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India, the only physician ever invited to do so. He is the author of twelve books dealing with consciousness, spirituality, and healing, including the New York Times bestseller HEALING WORDS: THE POWER OF PRAYER AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, and most recently One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. His books have been translated into languages around the world. Dr. Dossey is the former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is the executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing. Dr. Dossey lectures around the world. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife Barbara, a nurse-consultant and the author of several award-winning books.

Kingsley L. Dennis Phd.

Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD, is a sociologist, researcher, and writer. He previously worked in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, UK. Kingsley is the author of numerous articles on social futures; technology and new media communications; global affairs; and conscious evolution. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including Healing the Wounded Mind, The Sacred Revival, The Phoenix Generation, New Consciousness for a New World, Struggle for Your Mind, After the Car, and the celebrated Dawn of the Akashic Age (with Ervin Laszlo). He has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. He currently lives in Andalusia, Spain.


His homepage is

Sharry Edwards

Sharry Edwards has been accused of being too scientific by some, too esoteric by others. In actuality, she is a bridge between both fields of inquiry. Sharry is the acknowledged pioneer in the emerging field of Vocal Profiling using BioAcoustic Biology. For many years she has provided the leading-edge research to show the voice as a holographic representation of the body that can be used to change the face of medicine.

Sharry asks that we imagine a future in which we can be individually identified and maintained through the use of frequency based biomarkers that keep us healthy and emotionally balanced. Her work at the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has shown that we can each have dominion over those frequencies by individual mind management or a simple remote control that is completely programmable. Using the unique techniques of Vocal Profiling and evaluation, emotional as well as physiological issues can be revealed and addressed.

Her work with the human voice reveals that people who share similar traumas, stresses, diseases, toxicities…share similar, if not identical, vocal anomalies. She brings together ancient knowledge with modern ideas of harmonics and frequency relationship theories to show that math can be used as a form of predictive, diagnostic and curative foundation for wellness. Through entrainment of the frequency grids of the brain, the body can be programmed to support its own optimal form and function.

Dr. Carrie Hempel & Brian Sanderoff

Integrative Physician Dr. Carrie Hempel and Holistic Pharmacist Brian Sanderoffare both experts in the medicinal use of cannabis in Maryland.

Dr. Hempel is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. As an Osteopathic Physician, she has embraced a holistic approach to patient care, providing loving attention to the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For the past 11 years she has received specialist training, Board Certification and expertise in several fields including Internal Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, along with many Integrative modalities. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and is registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Over the course of her career she has seen the consistent struggle of patients dealing with chronic, progressive, debilitating illness, and witnessed the challenges and limitations of the current pharmaceutical options for pain and symptom managment. Her passion for this population has grown, along with her desire to advocate for patients to have access to non-opioid, holistic options to enhance quality of life and optimize function.

Trained as a pharmacist, Brian Sanderoff has integrated 25 years of experience with his traditional medical training and herbalism, nutrition and numerous other holistic modalities to help clients devise practical, common-sense, safe solutions to most any health issue.

His clients appreciate how he embraces a complementary approach to health and how his holistic “compass” brings them new solutions to their unique health concerns – especially chronic diseases.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organised a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organisation aimed at researching close encounters.

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is an extraordinary Australian thinker and researcher who arguably knows as much about the structure of the global planetary transition that we are experiencing as anyone on the planet. He draws coherent pictures from the deep insights of Clair W. Graves and paints clear, explanatory images of not only how humanity has evolved to this point, but what is inevitably on our horizon . . . and how this epic transition will continue to play out.

He is currently writing a book about the global paradigm shift that’s taking us beyond the scientific-industrial era. Steve served with the Australian Army for 15 years, including war service as an infantry company commander in Somalia, 1993. He is also a qualified military helicopter pilot and on leaving the army he flew a rescue helicopter in the tropical Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland. Building upon his extensive experience in unpredictable environments, after retiring from flying Steve specialized as a change management consultant. He consequently studied the developmental psychology research of Dr Clare W Graves and became one of the first Australians qualified to teach Dr Graves’ theory under the banner of Spiral Dynamics Integral. A long-term struggle with posttraumatic stress has driven Steve’s deep interest in human nature and consciousness. He is a founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine, an Australian non-profit association. He is also a founder of AADII, a non-profit company created to support worldwide transformational change.

Robert Coxon

Although Robert Coxon had been studying and composing music for many years, it was after taking the Silva Mind Control course that he realized how powerful sound could be in relaxing the body and opening the consciousness. He then decided to write his first album.

Cristal Silence quickly became a major hit throughout Canada, staying on top of the charts for many years. This was the beginning of his continuing phenomenal success as composer and solo artist. For the last 29 years he has performed only his original compositions in concert. Robert has been nominated four times for the prestigious “Felix” award (French Canada equivalent to the Grammy), and became Canada’s best-selling New Age artist. His international breakthrough came after composing The Silent Path in 1995. This album was an instant hit in Canada, the USA and France. After hearing The Silent Path, Lee Carroll, internationally renowned author of 15 bestselling Kryon and Indigo books, contacted Robert and asked him to join his team on tour. Through the years this has given Robert the opportunity to experience different cultures and inspires him to write music honoring these many countries he performs in.

Robert offers us nine albums, the latest three being The Infinite, essence of life, Goddess -The Power of Woman and Passion Compassion Alegeria.

Joe Dispenza

needs bio…

Gary Sycalik

Gary Sycalik has been described as an entrepreneur, businessman, project developer/manager, consultant/advisor, organizational troubleshooter, strategic planner, facilitator, futurist, business and social architect, complex problematic game designer (policy, strategic, tactic levels) and writer. Gary brings a robust horizontal and vertical functional capability to any project from the conceptual to operational stage.

Penny Kelly

Penny Kelly is an author, teacher, speaker, publisher, personal and spiritual consultant, and Naturopathic physician. She travels, lectures, and teaches a variety of classes and workshops, and maintains a large consulting practice. She has been involved in scientific research and investigations into consciousness at Pinelandia Laboratory near Ann Arbor, MI.