Volume 11, Number 02 01/24/2008 Edited by John L. Petersen
johnp@arlingtoninstitute.org
See past issues in the Archives


In This Issue:

Conference Announcement - Matrix Energetics Seminar
Future Facts - From Think Links
Think Links - The Future in the News…Today
A Final Quote



The Arlington Institute would like to call your attention to the Matrix Energetics Seminar which will be taking place in Baltimore over the weekend February 29 - March 3, 2008. The seminar will be taught by Matrix Energetics founder, Dr. Richard Bartlett, D.C., N.D.

Matrix Energetics merges the sciences of subtle energy and quantum physics with the incredible power of our own active imaginations and focused intent to produce physical and verifiable effects. it is a system of healing, self-care and transformation. It is a transferable and teachable phenomenon, powered by intent, which has a physical and observable effect every time. The tools taught in the seminar are simply a language used to access this pathway and map the transformation that occurs. Complete beginners as well as seasoned health care practitioners are able to perform and utilize this work to affect change-with no waiting and no running of energy. Anyone can learn this skill and practice Matrix Energetics.

This Level 1 seminar will teach you how to access and use the matrix to make physical and observable changes instantly. We teach you to move outside the concept of a problem set into a new solution set - where transformation becomes a power that you co-create with. Specific techniques are taught which utilize the power of active imagination, focused intent, playfulness, and a soft gentle touch technique to create real-time changes in physical and emotional patterns. Some specific techniques taught are 2-point, archetype and time travel. Also learn to work with amazing 21 key healing frequencies that can be utilized as a complete self care system or to enhance all the techniques taught.

Descriptions of the seminars can be found here:
https://www.matrixenergetics.com/seminardesc.aspx
https://www.matrixenergetics.com/seminar-registration.aspx?semid=107

Event and hotel information can be found here:
https://www.matrixenergetics.com/seminar-info.aspx?semid=107


FUTURE FACTS - FROM THINK LINKS
DID YOU KNOW THAT...


NEW REALITIES
Ape Trounces the Best of the Human World in Memory Competition – (Daily Mail – January 26, 2008)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article
_id=510260&in_page_id=1770

When scientists found out that chimps had better memories than students, there were unkind comments about the caliber of the human competition they faced. But now an ape has gone one better, trouncing British memory champion Ben Pridmore. Ayumu, a seven-year-old male brought up in captivity in Japan, did three times as well as Mr Pridmore at a computer game which involved remembering the position of numbers on a screen. And that's no mean feat - the 30-year-old accountant is capable of memorizing the order of a shuffled pack of cards in under 30 seconds.



GENTICS/HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

A Dog's Stem Cell Life
USDA Recommends that Food from Clones Stay Off the Market
Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats
Animal-Human Embryo Research is Approved
Scientists Produce Embryo Clones of 2 Men, Using Skin Cells
Synthetic Life Advance Reported
A Scientific Breakthrough Could Mean Humans Live for Hundreds of Years

A Dog's Stem Cell Life – (ABC News – January 9, 2008)
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4109559&page=1
In the race to perfect "regenerative medicine," stem cell therapy for animals is ahead of treatment for humans because it is not so strictly regulated. It's not experimental -- it's here.
And while the debate rages over the ethics of embryonic stem cell research, doctors have made stunning progress with "adult" stem cells recovered from body fat. They are less powerful than embryonic cells, but they don't require the destruction of an embryo. There are no side effects and no problems with rejection, because the patient is also the cell donor.

USDA Recommends that Food from Clones Stay Off the Market – (Washington Post – January 16, 2008)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/15/AR2008011501555_pf.html
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has asked U.S. farmers to keep their cloned animals off the market indefinitely even as Food and Drug Administration officials announced that food from cloned livestock is safe to eat. Executives from the nation's major cattle cloning companies conceded that they have not been able to keep track of how many offspring of clones have entered the food supply, despite a years-old request by the FDA to keep them off the market pending completion of the agency's safety report. At least one Kansas cattle producer also disclosed yesterday that he has openly sold semen from prize-winning clones to many U.S. meat producers in the past few years, and that he is certain he is not alone.

Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats – (New York Times – January 14, 2008)
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14heart.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Medicine’s dream of growing new human hearts and other organs to repair or replace damaged ones received a significant boost when University of Minnesota researchers reported success in creating a beating rat heart in a laboratory. But the researchers cautioned that the dream, if it is ever realized, is still at least 10 years away. The researchers removed all the cells from a dead rat heart, leaving the valves and outer structure as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats. Within two weeks, the cells formed a new beating heart that conducted electrical impulses and pumped a small amount of blood.

Animal-Human Embryo Research is Approved – (Times Online – January 18, 2008)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3204128.ece
Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos combining human and animal material will begin within months. A British government authority has given its approval to two research teams to carry out the controversial work. Scientists at King’s College London, and the University of Newcastle will inject human DNA into empty eggs from cows to create embryos known as cytoplasmic hybrids, which are 99.9 per cent human in genetic terms. The experiments are intended to provide insights into diseases such as Parkinson’s and spinal muscular atrophy by producing stem cells containing genetic defects that contribute to these conditions.

Scientists Produce Embryo Clones of 2 Men, Using Skin Cells – (International Herald Tribune – January 17, 2008)
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/01/17/america/NA-MED-US-Cloned-Embryos.php
Scientists in California say they have produced embryos that are clones of two men, a potential step toward developing scientifically valuable stem cells. However, actual stem cells were not produced by the new embryos. Because of that, experts reacted coolly to the research. The next big advance will be to create a human embryonic stem cell line from cloned embryos. This has yet to be achieved.

Synthetic Life Advance Reported – (BBC News – January 24, 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7203186.stm
A US team reports it has built the entire DNA code of a common bacterium in the laboratory using blocks of genetic material. The group hopes eventually to use engineered genomes to make organisms that can produce clean fuels and take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Based on publication of the research, some have ethical concerns. These critics have been calling for several years now for a debate on the risks of creating "artificial life" in a test tube.

A Scientific Breakthrough Could Mean Humans Live for Hundreds of Years – (Independent – January 23, 2008)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/who-wants-to-live-for-ever-a-scientific-
breakthrough-could-mean-humans-live-for-hundreds-of-years-772418.html

A genetically engineered organism that lives 10 times longer than normal has been created by scientists in California. It is the greatest extension of longevity yet achieved by researchers investigating the scientific nature of ageing. If this work could be translated into humans, it would mean that we might one day see people living for 800 years. Valter Longo is one of the small but influential group of specialists in this area who believes that an 800-year life isn't just possible, it is inevitable.



DISCOVERIES ENABLED BY NEW TECHNOLOGY

Hot Cyclones Churn at Both Ends of Saturn
The New Nostradamus

Hot Cyclones Churn at Both Ends of Saturn – (NASA – January 3, 2008)
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-001
Despite more than a decade of winter darkness, Saturn's north pole is home to an unexpected hot spot remarkably similar to one at the planet's sunny south pole. The source of its heat is a mystery. Now, the first detailed views of the gas giant's high latitudes from the Cassini spacecraft reveal a matched set of hot cyclonic vortices, one at each pole. While scientists already knew about the hot spot at Saturn's south pole, the north pole vortex was a surprise.

The New Nostradamus – (Good Magazine – October, 2007)
http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Features/the_new_nostradamus
Can a fringe branch of mathematics forecast the future? A special adviser to the CIA, Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. Department of Defense certainly thinks so. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita claims that mathematics can tell you the future. In fact, the professor says that a computer model he built and has perfected over the last 25 years can predict the outcome of virtually any international conflict, provided the basic input is accurate. What’s more, his predictions are alarmingly specific. His fans include at least one current presidential hopeful, a gaggle of Fortune 500 companies, the CIA, and the Department of Defense.



ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES


EU Executive Adopts Blueprint for Climate Fight
Biotech Critics Challenging Monsanto GMO Sugar Beet
The RC Theory
Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica
Solar Power Used to Produce Clean Water
Bat Deaths in NY, VT. Baffle Experts
The Lowdown on Topsoil: It's Disappearing

EU Executive Adopts Blueprint for Climate Fight – (Reuters – January 24, 2008)
http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-31556320080123
The European Union's executive has adopted plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions. The plans will transform Europe's energy supply by 2020, with a 10-fold increase in renewable energy production in Britain for example, and raise power bills by 10-15%.The European Commission said the measures were a vital step in the fight against global warming and other countries must now join the effort.

Biotech Critics Challenging Monsanto GMO Sugar Beet – (Reuters – January 23, 2008)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080123/sc_nm/monsanto_lawsuit_sugar_dc
Opponents of biotech crops have filed a lawsuit to challenge the USDA's deregulation of Monsanto Co's genetically engineered sugar beet because of fears of "biological contamination" and other harm to the environment. The lawsuit involved the United States Department of Agriculture's approval of Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant sugar beet, which is engineered to withstand treatment of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. The "Roundup Ready" sugar beets are slated to be grown on a commercial scale for the first time in the United States this year. The concern is that the wind-pollinated biotech sugar beets will cross-pollinate and contaminate conventional sugar beets, organic chard and table beet crops. As well, the biotech sugar beets may increase the recent rise of weeds resistant to herbicide, which have been reported on 2.4 million acres of U.S. cropland,

The RC Theory – (Space and Science Research Center – January, 2008)
http://www.spaceandscience.net/id64.html
The 'Theory of Relational Cycles of Solar Activity' (RC Theory), developed during the spring of 2007, was the culmination of independent research by John L. Casey, Director of the Space and Science Research Center. SSRC is an independent scientific research facility in Orlando, Florida. The original peer reviewed paper by Mr. Casey which concludes that the Earth is headed for another climate change soon – one that will bring record cold to the Earth – is now available through the website above.

Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica – (Washington Post – January 12, 2007)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/13/AR2008011302753.html?wpisrc=
newsletter&sid=ST2008011400051

Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates. The new finding is important because the continent holds about 90% of Earth's ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In addition, the rate of ice loss in the affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years -- as it has on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world.

Solar Power Used to Produce Clean Water – (Sidney Morning Herald – (January 17, 2008)
http://news.smh.com.au/solar-power-used-to-produce-clean-water/20080117-1mjp.html
German scientists are using the sun's rays to power small water treatment plants for developing countries. The system is designed for arid areas of Africa and Asia where a lack of electricity makes it impossible to use large industrial plants for the desalination of seawater, like those in the Middle East. The technology of their solar desalinization plants is similar to that used in breathable, waterproof fabrics, where the membrane prevents rainwater from penetrating through to the skin, while allowing water vapor to pass through to the outside.

Bat Deaths in NY, VT. Baffle Experts – (Associated Press – January 30, 2008)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080130/ap_on_sc/bat_die_off
Bats are dying off by the thousands as they hibernate in caves and mines around New York and Vermont, sending researchers scrambling to find the cause of mysterious condition dubbed "white nose syndrome." The ailment was first noticed last January in four caves west of Albany. It has now spread to eight hibernation sites in the state and another in Vermont. The white fungus ring around bats' noses is a symptom, but not necessarily the cause. For some unknown reason, the bats deplete their fat reserves and die months before they would normally emerge from hibernation.

The Lowdown on Topsoil: It's Disappearing – (Seattle Post Intelligencer – January 22, 2008)
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/348200_dirt22.html
The planet is getting skinned. While many worry about the potential consequences of atmospheric warming, a few experts are trying to call attention to another global crisis quietly taking place under our feet. On average, the planet is covered with little more than 3 feet of topsoil - the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and plays a critical role in supporting life on Earth. However, the estimate is that we are now losing about 1% of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture.



AUGMENTED/ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Scientists Discover Way to Reverse Loss of Memory – (The Independent – January 30, 2008)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-discover-way-to-reverse-loss-of-memory-775586.html
Scientists have stumbled across a mechanism that could unlock how memory works. The accidental breakthrough came during an experiment originally intended to suppress the obese man's appetite, using the increasingly successful technique of deep-brain stimulation. Electrodes were pushed into the man's brain and stimulated with an electric current. Instead of losing appetite, the patient instead had an intense experience of dιjΰ vu. He recalled, in intricate detail, a scene from 30 years earlier. More tests showed his ability to learn was dramatically improved when the current was switched on and his brain stimulated. Scientists are now applying the technique in the first trial of the treatment in patients with Alzheimer's disease. If successful, it could offer hope to sufferers from the degenerative condition by providing a "pacemaker" for the brain.



ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

Revolutionary Air Car Runs on Compressed Air
EU Rethinks Biofuels Guidelines
Biofuels May Threaten Environment, U.N. Warns
Ethanol for $1 a Gallon without Corn
Fueling the Future
Brighter LED Lights Could Replace Household Light Bulbs within 3 Years
UltraBattery Passes 100,000 Miles in HEV Track Testing
Toshiba Micro Nuclear Reactor Hoax
Giant Solar Plants in Negev Could Power Israel's Future

Revolutionary Air Car Runs on Compressed Air – (The Raw Story – January 4, 2008)
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Air_car_runs_on_compressed_air_0104.html
A French company has developed a pollution-free car which runs on compressed air. India's Tata Motors has the car under production and it may be on sale in Europe and India by the end of the year. The Air Car, also known as the Mini-CAT (Compressed Air Technology) or City Cat, can be refueled in minutes from an air compressor at specially equipped gas stations and can go 200 km on a 1.5 euro fill-up -- roughly 125 miles for $3. The top speed will be almost 70 mph and the cost of the vehicle as low as USD$7,000.

EU Rethinks Biofuels Guidelines (BBC News – January 14, 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7186380.stm
Europe's environment chief has admitted that the EU did not foresee the problems raised by its policy to get 10% of Europe's road fuels from plants. A couple of years ago biofuels looked like the perfect get-out-of-jail free card for car manufacturers under pressure to cut carbon emissions. Since then reports have warned that some biofuels barely cut emissions at all - and others can lead to rainforest destruction, drive up food prices, or prompt rich firms to drive poor people off their land to convert it to fuel crops.

Biofuels May Threaten Environment, U.N. Warns – (CNN – January 23, 2008)
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/01/23/biofuels.fears.ap/index.html
The world's rush to embrace biofuels is causing a spike in the price of corn and other crops and could worsen water shortages and force poor communities off their land, according to a U.N. official. Speaking at a regional forum on bioenergy, Regan Suzuki of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization acknowledged that biofuels are better for the environment than fossil fuels and boost energy security for many countries. However, she said those benefits must be weighed against the pitfalls -- many of which are just now emerging as countries convert millions of acres to palm oil, sugar cane and other crops used to make biofuels.

Ethanol for $1 a Gallon without Corn – (Wired – January 24, 2008)
http://www.wired.com/cars/energy/news/2008/01/ethanol23
A biofuel startup in Illinois can make ethanol from just about anything organic for less than $1 per gallon, and it wouldn't interfere with food supplies, company officials said. Coskata, which is backed by General Motors and other investors, uses bacteria to convert almost any organic material, from corn husks (but not the corn itself) to municipal trash, into ethanol. "It's not five years away, it's not 10 years away. It's affordable, and it's now," said Wes Bolsen, the company's vice president of business development.

Fueling the Future – (Fast Company – February, 2008)
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/122/fueling-the-future.html
As crude-oil prices have risen toward the $100-per-barrel mark, the arguments for alternative fuel sources have grown stronger. "What intrigued me was the strong economic case for bacteria fuel," says LS9 president Robert Walsh, who joined the startup after 26 years at Royal Dutch Shell. Because the fuel produced by LS9's microbes is virtually pump-ready-requiring only a simple cleaning step to filter out impurities-making bacteria into fuel uses 65% less energy than making ethanol, which needs extensive chemical processing that drives up its price and damages its good-for-the-planet credo. LS9's finished product also has 50% more energy content--a gallon of bacteria fuel would last your car about 50% longer than a gallon of ethanol.

Brighter LED Lights Could Replace Household Light Bulbs within 3 Years – (Science Daily – January 10, 2008)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109083914.htm
Dr Faiz Rahman, the researcher leading the project at the University of Glasgow, said: “By making microscopic holes on the surface of the LEDs it is possible to extract more light, thus increasing their brightness without increasing the energy consumption. As yet, LEDs have not been introduced as standard lighting in homes because the process of making the holes is very expensive. However, we believe we have found a way of imprinting the holes into billions of LEDs at a far greater speed with much lower cost.

UltraBattery Passes 100,000 Miles in HEV Track Testing - (Green Car Congress – January 17, 2008)
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/01/csiro-ultrabatt.html
A hybrid electric test vehicle equipped with a CSIRO UltraBattery system recently passed 100,000 miles on the test track. The UltraBattery combines an asymmetric supercapacitor and a lead acid battery in a single unit, creating a hybrid car battery that lasts longer, costs less and is more powerful than current technologies used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

Toshiba Micro Nuclear Reactor Hoax – (Atomic Insights blog – January 2, 2008))
http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2008/01/update-posted-on-toshiba-micro-reactor.html
The Toshiba Micro Nuclear Reactor mentioned in the previous edition of FUTUREdition does not exist. The original story describing this device appeared in Next Energy News and was rapidly picked up by technology journalists and the blogosphere. Apparently the "news" article from Next Energy News merged two very different projects and used a sketch associated with the 4S calling it a logo for the "new" device. Bottom line - Toshiba is not introducing an apartment sized machine and does not have any plans for a small reactor to be in operation for quite a few years.

Giant Solar Plants in Negev Could Power Israel's Future – (The Register – January 25, 2008)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/25/faiman_negev_solar_plan/
A series of solar energy power stations in the Negev could supply all of Israel's power needs - or, if you wanted to be really ambitious, you could supply all of the world's electricity needs with the aid of slightly under 10% of the Sahara. So says Professor David Faiman of Israel's Ben-Gurion University, a man with a plan and current proprietor of the largest solar energy dish in the world. One route to cutting the cost is is printing the photo-voltaic cells onto thin sheets. Taking a different approach, the Negev plant uses large curved glass mirrors to focus sunlight onto a 10cm x 10cm area of cells. Both routes have their advantages.



GLOBAL EPIDEMIC
Plague a Growing but Overlooked Threat – (Yahoo – January 15, 2008)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080115/sc_nm/plague_threat_dc
Plague, the disease that devastated medieval Europe, is re-emerging worldwide and poses a growing but overlooked threat, researchers have warned. While it has only killed some 100 to 200 people annually over the past 20 years, plague has appeared in new countries in recent decades and is now shifting into Africa. Most worrying is that outbreaks seem to be on the rise after years of relative inactivity. The most recent large pneumonic outbreak comprised hundreds of suspected cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.



TERRORISM, SECURITY AND THE FUTURE OF WARFARE

FBI Wants Palm Prints, Eye Scans, Tattoo Mapping
Sheikhs for Sale, U.S. Cash Diplomacy in Iraq Will Fail in the End

FBI Wants Palm Prints, Eye Scans, Tattoo Mapping – (CNN – February 4, 2008)
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/02/04/fbi.biometrics/index.html
The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people's physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists. The bureau is expected to announce in coming days the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to help create the database that will compile an array of biometric information -- from palm prints to eye scans. But it's an issue that raises major privacy concerns -- what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans.

Sheikhs for Sale, U.S. Cash Diplomacy in Iraq Will Fail in the End – (Common Ground – January 28, 2008)
http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=83061
Of the many factors contributing to the reduction of U.S. casualties in Iraq, none has been more critical than the decision by the generals in Baghdad to pay more than 80,000 of Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgents a quarter of a billion dollars a year not to shoot at U.S. forces. It's not the first time that a foreign army in the Middle East has bought off troublesome Arab sheikhs and their cohorts with cash. However, it is the first time in American history that buying off the enemy has been presented to the American people as evidence for progress in a war or good generalship.



NANOTECHNOLOGY

Silicon Nanowires Turn Heat to Electricity – (IEEE Spectrum – January, 2008)
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jan08/5879
Silicon nanowires may lead the way to converting waste heat into electricity. Two separate teams, one at Caltech and the other at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that they could increase silicon's ability to convert heat into electric current by as much as 100 times. If they can use what they've learned to improve silicon even further, or translate their findings to other materials, the discovery could lead to new ways to cool computer chips, build refrigerators, or get more power out of car engines.



CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Entrepreneur Unveils New Tourist Spacecraft
Texans Report Seeing UFO

Entrepreneur Unveils New Tourist Spacecraft – (New York Times – January 23, 2008)
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/science/space/23cnd-spaceship.html?
em&ex=1201237200&en=c5f3a007d2c77cdf&ei=5087%0A

Mr. Rutan, the creator of SpaceShipOne, the first privately-financed craft to carry a human into space, traveled to New York to show detailed models of the bigger SpaceShipTwo and its carrier airplane, WhiteKnightTwo. WhiteKnight, a two-fuselage, four-engine plane in its new incarnation, will ferry the smaller spacecraft high into the sky and release it. The spacecraft pilot then fires the craft’s rocket engine, which burns a combination of nitrous oxide and a rubber-based solid fuel, and shoots the vehicle upward to an altitude of more than 62 miles, the realm of black sky.

Texans Report Seeing UFO – (Associated Press – January 14, 2008)
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/current-affairs/
42353-texans-report-seeing-ufo.html#post448565

Several dozen people in and around Stephenville, TX -- including a pilot, county constable and business owners -- say they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it. While federal officials say there's a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object.



ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Record Power Shortage Hits China
Banks May Write Down $70 Billion
A Tide of Lawsuits Approaches U.S. Mortgage Market
The Worst Market Crisis in 60 Years
A Global Fed

Record Power Shortage Hits China – (Reuters – January 23, 2008)
http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSPEK8411420080123?pageNumber=
1&virtualBrandChannel=0

China is facing its most severe power shortage ever as some plants struggle to secure increasingly costly coal and others shut down capacity rather than rack up losses by selling electricity at low rates. The rebellion by power plant managers unwilling to generate at a loss is likely to worry policymakers still haunted by the nationwide diesel supply crisis last autumn, when refiners under similar pressure quietly curbed output and forced the government to make an unplanned and unwanted rise in fuel prices. The problem is largely the result of Beijing's attempts to control inflation and avoid social unrest by controlling the price of some types of energy, like power, while allowing others like coal to be liberalized.

Banks May Write Down $70 Billion – (Bloomberg – January 30, 2008)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVFVkFUo.XM4&refer=home
Citigroup Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., UBS AG and other banks may post another $70 billion in writedowns should bond insurers lose their top credit ratings, according to Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney. “When it becomes clear, as we expect it will, that more charges are on the horizon, we believe the market will take another turn for the worse,'' said Whitney. Whitney, 38, correctly predicted two months in advance that Citigroup would slash its dividend to preserve capital. Her downgrade of the largest U.S. bank helped erase almost $500 billion in value from the nation's stock market on Nov. 1, 2007.

A Tide of Lawsuits Approaches U.S. Mortgage Market – (International Herald Tribune – January 20, 2008)
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/21/business/legal.php
Everyone wants to know who is to blame for the losses paining Wall Street and homeowners. The answer, it seems, is someone else. A wave of lawsuits is beginning to wash over the troubled U.S. mortgage market and the rest of the financial world. American homeowners are suing mortgage lenders. Mortgage lenders are suing Wall Street banks. Wall Street banks are suing loan specialists. And investors are suing everyone. Two questions lie at the heart of many of the cases. The first is whether lenders and investment banks alerted borrowers and investors to the risks posed by subprime loans or securities backed by them. The second is how much they were legally obliged to disclose.

The Worst Market Crisis in 60 Years – (Financial Times – January 22, 2008)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/24f73610-c91e-11dc-9807-000077b07658.html
George Soros, writing for the Financial Times, notes, “…the current [financial] crisis marks the end of an era of credit expansion based on the dollar as the international reserve currency. The periodic crises were part of a larger boom-bust process. The current crisis is the culmination of a super-boom that has lasted for more than 60 years.” He concludes, “Although a recession in the developed world is now more or less inevitable, China, India and some of the oil-producing countries are in a very strong countertrend. So, the current financial crisis is less likely to cause a global recession than a radical realignment of the global economy, with a relative decline of the US and the rise of China and other countries in the developing world.” However, his argument that the developing economies have become “decoupled” from the US and European economies has come under serious question in the last few weeks.

U.S. Woes Still Tug on World Economies – (USA Today – January 29, 2008)
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2008-01-29-decouple_N.htm
The near-universal character of this month's global financial markets plunge came as a surprise to many people. After persistent growth in recent years in countries such as India and China, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan all had assured investors that the world no longer depended upon the U.S. economy. "Who Needs the U.S.?" scoffed Time magazine last year. That once fashionable belief in global "decoupling," however, has been deeply shaken, if not obliterated, by Wall Street's recent upheaval and a cascade of downbeat economic reports suggesting the $14 trillion American economy may be starting to shrink. "What decoupling?" says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of the consulting firm Global Insight.



DEMOGRAPHICS


Shanghai's Middle Class Launches Quiet, Meticulous Revolt – (Washington Post – January 26, 2008)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/25/AR2008012503500.html
?wpisrc=rss_world

Bundled against the cold, the businessman made his way down the steps. Coming toward him in blue mittens was a middle-aged woman. "Do you know that we're going to take a stroll this weekend?" she whispered, using the latest euphemism for the unofficial protests that have unnerved authorities in Shanghai over the past month. Behind her, protest banners streamed from the windows of high-rise apartment blocks, signs of middle-class discontent over a planned extension of the city's magnetic levitation, or maglev, train through residential neighborhoods.



TRENDS OF GOVERNMENT

Inquisition at JPL – (Los Angeles Times – January 16, 2008)
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-rutten16jan16,0,2608869.story?coll=la-
opinion-rightrail

The problem began -- as so many have -- in the security mania that gripped the Bush administration after 9/11. Presidential Directive No. 12, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, directed federal agencies to adopt a uniform badge that could be used by employees and contractors to gain access to government facilities. In order to issue the badges, the government demanded that the scientists employed by Caltech who work at the Jet Propulsion Lab fill out questionnaires on their personal lives and waive the privacy of their financial, medical and psychiatric records. The government also wanted permission to gather information about them by interviewing third parties. In other words, as the price of keeping their jobs, many of America's finest space scientists were being asked to give the feds virtually blanket permission to snoop and spy and collect even malicious gossip about them from God knows who.



JUST FOR FUN


The 10 Strangest (Real) Things in Space
The Ten Nastiest Fish of All Time

The 10 Strangest (Real) Things in Space – (Orbiting Frog – July 27, 2007)
http://orbitingfrog.com/blog/2007/07/25/the-10-strangest-real-things-in-space/
Presented here are 10 photographs of astronomical observations from some of the world’s finest telescopes. The universe is indeed populated with strange phenomena, for example a ruby-like nebula and the Sombrero Galaxy– some of which are extraordinarily beautiful.

The Ten Nastiest Fish of All Time – (Mercola – January 26, 2008)
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/1/26/the-ten-nastiest-
fish-of-all-time.aspx

But if beauty doesn’t do it for you, try this website. Some of these fish are rare, others are near extinction, but they all have the look of something from another world. These are not creatures you’d want to meet alone in the dark!



A FINAL QUOTE...

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. – Mark Twain



A special thanks to: Brian Addison, Tom Burgin, Bernard Calil, Ken Dabkowski, , Neil Freer, Ursula Freer, Humera Khan, Deanna Korda ,KurzweilAI, Oliver Markley, Sebastian McCallister, Diane C. Petersen, Gary Sycalik, the Schwartzreport, Joel Snell, Steve Ujvarosy, Heidi Waltos, and Ed Weklar, our contributors to this issue.

If you see something we should know about, do send it along - thanks.
johnp@arlingtoninstitute.org