Volume 13, Number 22 - 11/30/10
FUTURE FACTS - FROM THINK LINKS

DID YOU KNOW THAT...
  • Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have held 38 anti-mater atoms in place, each for a fraction of a second.
  • The past 12 months have been the warmest ever recorded by NASA.
  • Could the Stuxnet computer virus affect North Korea's new uranium plant?
  • Huishan Dairy in northeast China is installing the world's largest system for generating electricity by collecting methane gas emitted by fermenting cow manure.


PUNCTUATIONS
by John L. Petersen

The holidays are upon us again. It seems like it wasn't long ago that we were doing this. Is the experience of time changing? I've asked folks in some of my speeches whether they think that time is speeding up and more than half always raise their hands. I don't understand it, but something is happening . . . and it's not old age kicking in!

If you're interested in what I've been talking about lately, here are a couple of links to events in the last few days. I gave a talk on the future of general aviation to the annual Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association convention in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago. They're streaming it here. Just 30 minutes long.

Also, had a wide-ranging, two-hour interview with host Patrick Timpone of the One Radio Network last week. Patrick was perhaps the most sophisticated and broadly-informed interviewer that I have had the pleasure to interact with. It was really fun. You can download both first and second hours separately if you want to listen to them on your iPod or other MP3 player.

Although it is included as an article later in this edition of FUTUREdition, I'd like to mention a piece here that I found particularly provocative. Paul Craig Roberts, has written a wonderfully illuminating piece called Fabricating Terror. In it he lays bare the general strategy of our law enforcement agencies in the so-called war on terror: set up fake terrorist events, see who falls for it, try them as a terrorist, and then tell the American people that you're protecting them from the fake terrorists. Paul's logic is pretty tight. Does all of this make sense to you?

At least once a year - about now - I send along some links to unconventional things that make their way here and cause me to think in new ways. This time I've got two.

If you've ever wondered what crop circles are about, I've got the film for you. FUTUREdition reader, Suzanne Taylor has produced and directed probably the best treatise on that anomaly: What on Earth: Inside the Crop Circle Mystery. If you think crop circles are all human hoaxes, you haven't been doing your homework. There are unique, characteristic molecular deformations in the stem of the grain in the real ones. Something is going on that is not explainable in the usual ways. It's fascinating viewing. This video would be a provocative holiday gift for your open-minded friends.

Speaking of being open-minded; here's one that will require cracks that you can drive a tank through. Although this is quite a reach, there's an interesting internal consistency to Drunvalo Melchizedek's talk about aliens living inside of the earth . . . and other such things. No one can say that the things he talks about are impossible . . . which makes them logically possible, I guess. That being said, there's a lot of unusual things happening these days that are inexplicable in conventional terms. If we all decided some day that this stuff is true, then we'd clearly be living in a new and different world. So if you want to at least be aware of some of what's out on the ragged leading edge, here's your chance. Hint: don't start off parsing every comment for "truth" - step back from it all and ask yourself if the logic flows and if there is internal consistency to the argument. Does it feel truthful? That's about the only way that I know to make an initial assessment of potential veracity in extraordinary situations like this.

On another subject, I'm intrigued with what may come out of the WikiLeaks dustup that is now in the news. Just wondering what the government might know about other things that might be exposed downstream. Is that fear behind the all-out, radical response to what otherwise seems like not very sensitive and damaging information? I really didn't think it was legal and reasonable to do what the government is doing in this case. There are interesting rumors flying around about what might be next. A major bank. NASA docs. Could be big. Hold on.

And while you're holding on, don't forget to have a very blessed holiday season. Even though Christmas is showing up sooner and isn't much different from the over 60 that I've already experienced, it is a special time of the year that can be full of joy and enchantment with those you love. I hope that that is how you find it.

We'll start up FUTUREdition again after the first of the year.

Warm wishes.



INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

Insurers Test Data Profiles to Identify Risky Clients - (Wall St. Journal - November 19, 2010)
Insurers have long used blood and urine tests to assess people's health-a costly process. Today, however, data-gathering companies have such extensive files on most U.S. consumers-online shopping details, catalog purchases, magazine subscriptions, leisure activities and information from social-networking sites-that some insurers are exploring whether data can reveal nearly as much about a person as a lab analysis of their bodily fluids. In one of the biggest tests, the U.S. arm of British insurer Aviva PLC looked at 60,000 recent insurance applicants. It found that a new, "predictive modeling" system, based partly on consumer-marketing data, was "persuasive" in its ability to mimic traditional techniques. The research heralds a remarkable expansion of the use of consumer-marketing data, which is traditionally used for advertising purposes. This data increasingly is gathered online, often with consumers only vaguely aware that separate bits of information about them are being collected and collated in ways that can be surprisingly revealing.

For Sellers and Buyers, a Very App'y Holiday - (CNet News - November 24, 2010)
Attention bargain hunters armed with smartphones: you have the upper hand this holiday season. This holiday season is shaping up to be the first that mobile shopping has a significant impact on retailers' bottom lines. With well over 50 million smartphones in hand in the U.S., and hundreds of shopping-related mobile applications, people browsing stores have more instantly available information about that GPS device, set-top box, or TV they're shopping for than ever before. They also have the ability to shop any time and any place there's a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. And that is likely to pit retailers against their competitors even inside their own stores.



NEW REALITIES

Anti-matter Atom Trapped for First Time - (BBC News - November 17, 2010)
Researchers at Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider, have held 38 antihydrogen atoms in place, each for a fraction of a second. Antihydrogen has been produced before but it was instantly destroyed when it encountered normal matter. The ability to study such antimatter atoms will allow previously impossible tests of fundamental tenets of physics. The current "standard model" of physics holds that each particle - protons, electrons, neutrons and a zoo of more exotic particles - has its mirror image antiparticle. However, one of the great mysteries in physics is why our world is made up overwhelmingly of matter, rather than antimatter; the laws of physics make no distinction between the two and equal amounts should have been created at the Universe's birth.



GENETICS/ HEALTH TECHNOLOGY/ BIOTECHNOLOGY

Scientists Reverse the Ageing Process in Landmark Trial - (Daily Mail - November 29, 2010)
Cancer researcher Ronald DePinho of Harvard University has reversed the effects of ageing in animals for the first time in experiments on mice. Before treatment, their skin, brains, guts and other organs resembled those of an 80-year-old person. Within just two months of being given a drug that switches on a key enzyme, the creatures had grown so many new cells that they had almost completely rejuvenated. Remarkably, the male mice went from being infertile to fathering large litters. An enzyme called telomerase can rebuild the telomere caps but is normally switched off in the body. Dr. DePinho succeeded in shocking the enzyme back to life in mice that had prematurely aged in a way designed to mimic the human ageing process. He expected the technique to halt or slow the ageing process and so was stunned to find it reversed it.

Superbugs Could Be Destroyed Using Beams of Light that Decontaminate the Air - (Daily Mail - November 15, 2010)
A team from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has developed a 'pioneering' lighting system that can kill hospital superbugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. The technology decontaminates the air and exposes surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light. It works by exciting molecules within the bacteria, which in turn produces 'highly reactive' chemical species that are lethal to it.

Passive Smoking Kills 600,000 Annually Worldwide - (BBC News - November 26, 2010)
The first global study into the effects of passive smoking has found it causes 600,000 deaths every year. One-third of those killed are children, often exposed to smoke at home, the World Health Organization (WHO) found. The study, in 192 countries, found that passive smoking is particularly dangerous for children, said to be at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, pneumonia and asthma.

Research on Psychedelics Makes a Comeback - (American Psychological Association - November, 2010)
Forty years after federal laws criminalized the use of psychedelics for non-medical purposes in FDA-regulated psychological and drug research, the study of these drugs is picking up again, and their use in treating certain patients shows promise. Researchers are finding that the drugs may help improve functioning and lift the spirits of those with cancer and other terminal diseases, as well help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration have eased regulations and also given approval to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and New York University's Langone Medical Center to study the use of psilocybin to treat death anxiety among cancer patients.

HIV Breakthrough as Pills Already on Sale are Found to Help Prevent Virus - (Daily Mail - November 24, 2010)
Scientists gave the pill, which is currently used to treat people who have contracted the virus, to healthy gay and bisexual men during the three-year global trial. Gilead Sciences Inc. donated Truvada for the study, which involved about 2,500 men at high risk of HIV infection in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. The drug lowered the chances of infection by 44%, and by 73% or more among men who took their pills most faithfully. However, high prices of the pills which cost $5,000 to $14,000 a year in the United States could be prohibitive. The generic form sells for roughly $140 a year in some poor countries.



ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES/CLIMATE

NASA Study Finds Earth's Lakes Are Warming - (NASA - November 23, 2010)
In the first comprehensive global survey of temperature trends in major lakes, NASA researchers determined Earth's largest lakes have warmed during the past 25 years in response to climate change. Researchers used satellite data to measure the surface temperatures of 167 large lakes worldwide. They reported an average warming rate of 0.81 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, with some lakes warming as much as 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. The warming trend was global. The greatest increases were in the mid- to high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

Dutch Study Shows Leaves Dying after Wi-Fi Exposure - (Daily Mail - November 25, 2010)
Research in Holland showed that trees that were planted in close proximity to a wireless router suffered from damaged bark and dying leaves. The city of Alphen aan den Rijn, in the West of the country, ordered the study five years ago after officials found unexplained abnormalities on trees which they did not believe had been caused by any known viral infection. Trees placed closest to the Wi-Fi radio developed a 'lead-like shine' on their leaves that appear to have been caused by the dying of the upper and lower epidermis. The scientists behind the research, which has not yet been published, said that further studies were needed to confirm whether it was Wi-Fi radiation that was to blame for the trees' condition.

2010 Among Hottest on Record - (BBC News - November 26, 2010)
The past 12 months have been the warmest ever recorded by NASA. Until now, the hottest year on record has been 1998, when temperatures were pushed up by a strong El Nino - a warming event in the Pacific. This year saw a weaker El Nino, and that fizzled out to be replaced by a La Nina cooling event. So scientists might have expected this year's temperatures to be substantially lower than 1998 - but they are not. Within the bounds of statistical error, the two years are likely to be the same.

Polar Bears Unlikely to Survive in Warmer World, Biologists Say - (Science Daily - November 24, 2010)
As polar bears lose habitat due to global warming, biologists say they will be forced southward in search of alternative sources of food, where they will increasingly come into competition with grizzly bears. To test how this competition might unfold, the UCLA biologists constructed three-dimensional computer models of the skulls of polar bears and grizzly bears - a subspecies of brown bears - and simulated the process of biting. The models enabled them to compare the two species in terms of how hard they can bite and how strong their skulls are. "What we found was striking," said Graham Slater, a National Science Foundation-funded UCLA postdoctoral scholar in ecology and evolutionary biology and lead author of the research. "The polar bear and brown bear can bite equally hard, but the polar bear's skull is a much weaker structure."



COMMUNICATIONS/COMPUTING

Electronics Breakthrough that Paves the Way for Disposable E-readers Made from Paper - (Daily Mail - November 25, 2010)
Imagine reading a newspaper that changes before your eyes, with images, text and even moving video - just like on a computer screen. But instead of storing it away carefully after reading the day's news like you would with an iPad you simply scrunch up your electronic paper and throw it in a bin. That is the exciting idea that has been made a possibility thanks to a remarkable scientific breakthrough which uses paper to host complex electronics. Scientists have developed a way of using paper as a flexible host material for a so-called 'electrowetting' device.

Incredible Photo-realistic Video Made Using Computers - (Daily Mail - November 22, 2010)
Computer generated imagery (CGI) has come of age. This short promotional video for a range of granite kitchen worktops is more than just a series of well-choreographed shots of fruit cascading across another polished surface. Even close analysis of each frame, it is almost impossible to tell that the lemons and tomatoes that tumble past the screen are not actually the real thing. Only when the fruit appears to shatter like glass on the kitchen worktop does it become clear that there is more at work here than mere photography. In fact, this remarkable video is entirely computer -generated from start to finish.

Internet Hijackings Prove Hard to Stop - (Technology Review - November 23, 2010)
On April 8, the networking hardware that routes traffic on the Internet got new marching orders: Requests for data from 15% of Internet addresses-including Dell.com, Yahoo.com, Microsoft.com, and U.S. government sites-were directed to go through China. The April hijacking happened when a small Chinese Internet service provider updated its routing information, advertising that its network was the best way to get to various blocks of Internet addresses assigned to government agencies and companies worldwide. China's state-owned ISP, China Telecom, duly propagated the updates using the lingua franca of Internet routers, the border gateway protocol (BGP). Experts have debated whether the hijacking was an accident, as China Telecom claims. Most accept the explanation, given that a flaw in the structure of the Internet leads to such accidents from time to time, and makes them hard to stop. The essence of the flaw is that the method for router updates runs on the honor system.



ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

High-Flying Spy Drone, Powered By Liquid Coal - (Wired - November 24, 2010)
No unmanned aircraft in the American arsenal flies higher or longer than the Global Hawk. Recently, it soared high and long, powered by a blend of synthetic fuel. Along with other branches of the military, the Air Force is busy developing and implementing alternatives to the petroleum-based jet fuels that have powered its turbine powered aircraft since the late 1940s. The plan is to have 50% of domestic aviation fuel for the Air Force come from an alternative fuel blend by 2016. The synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK for those acronym loving people in the Pentagon) is the latest fuel to be tested.

Chinese Project Puts Cow Dung to Work - (Technology Review - November 22, 2010)
A rapidly growing industry in China-dairy farming-is also a major new source of greenhouse-gas emissions. But Huishan Dairy in northeast China is trying to change this by installing the world's largest system for generating electricity by collecting methane gas emitted by fermenting cow manure. Huishan, one of the biggest dairies in the country, imports 3,000 cows from Australia every month to sustain its massive stock of 250,000 cows-about double the number of dairy cows in the entire state of Florida. Huishan's new electricity generating system will process the waste from 60,000 cows and produce 5.6 megawatts of power. It will generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 3,500 American-size households, which means it will service many more Chinese ones, which use far less energy.



TRANSPORTATION

SpaceX Receives FAA License to Return Private Spaceships from Earth Orbit - (Space.com - November 22, 2010)
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial space transportation, has granted SpaceX a one-year license. Though the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 commercial launches, this was the first time it sanctioned a re-entry operation. Upon successful completion of its demo missions, SpaceX is to begin making regular cargo-delivery runs to the space station under a separate, fixed-price contract valued at $1.6 billion.

The Real Story Behind NASA's Resurrected Space Plane - (Wired - November 26, 2010)
Recently NASA quietly moved its two long-grounded X-34 space planes from open storage at the space agency's Dryden center - located on Edwards Air Force Base in California - to a test pilot school in the Mojave Desert. At the desert facility, the mid-'90s-vintage, robotic X-34s would be inspected to determine if they were capable of flying again. Provided they're in flyable shape, it's far more likely the space agency will make the X-34s available to private industry. After all, America's space future is looking increasingly privatized. In 2004, Scaled Composites boosted its Space Ship One vehicle to higher than 300,000 feet, proving that cheap, reusable, commercial vehicle could reach near-orbit - and potentially score huge profits from spacefaring tourists.



AGRICULTURE/FOOD

Organic Food May Become a Thing of the Past - (Mercola - November 11, 2010)
The article's title is almost certainly an overstatement. However, over the past 15 years or so, five giant biotech corporations - Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont - have bought up more than 200 other companies, allowing them to dominate access to seeds. The takeover has been so dramatic that it is becoming difficult for conventional farmers to find alternatives. As a result, in the U.S., 90% of soybeans are genetically-modified, and many conventional farmers have trouble obtaining non-genetically modified seeds. (Editor's note: Despite an overall consumer preference for discounted grocery items, organic food is far from being relegated to the past: a willingness to pay more for organic and locally grown produce is also on the rise. See also: marketwatch.com article.)



SECURITY

Could Stuxnet Mess with North Korea's New Uranium Plant? - (Wired - November 22, 2010)
There are clues that a piece of malware believed to have hit Iran's nuclear efforts could also target the centrifuges Pyongyang's preparing to spin. Some of the equipment used by the North Koreans to control their centrifuges - necessary for turning uranium into nuclear-bomb-ready fuel - appear to have come from the same firms that outfitted the Iranian nuclear program, according to David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a long-time watcher of both nuclear programs. That's not to say that Stuxnet is making its way inside the North Korean facility: Someone would have to infiltrate the Hermit Kingdom's most sensitive sites and introduce the worm into the command systems, a hard bargain to say the least.



TRENDS OF GOVERNANCE

Wikileaks Release a Risk to Lives and US Security - (BBC News - November 24, 2010)
State department spokesman, PJ Crowley, said the further release of classified documents would do harm to US international relations if the leaks contained diplomatic cables. The Pentagon said US military interests could also be damaged. The Wikileaks website said the US authorities were afraid of being held to account. "They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world," he said. "When this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television or radio, it has an impact," Mr. Crowley said. He said the State Department had known for some time that Wikileaks had obtained some of its classified documents.

Fabricating Terror - (Information Clearinghouse - November 30, 2010)
Why does the FBI orchestrate fake terror plots? The Associated Press report by William Mall and Nedra Pickler (11-27-10) is headlined in Yahoo News: "Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon." This is a misleading headline as the report makes it clear that it was a plot orchestrated by federal agents. Two sentences into the news report we have this: "The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the [FBI] agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said." The teenager was supplied with a fake bomb and a fake detonator. When the US government has to go to such lengths to create "terrorists" out of hapless people, an undeclared agenda is being served. What could this agenda be? The answer is many agendas.

Tension Grows Between Calif. Muslims, FBI after Informant Infiltrates Mosque - (Washington Post - December 4, 2010)
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has used informants successfully as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States. Agency officials say they are careful not to violate civil liberties and do not target Muslims. But the FBI's approach has come under fire from some Muslims, criticism that surfaced again late last month after agents arrested an Oregon man they said tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. FBI technicians had supplied the device. In one case, an informant's activities backfired: Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him. Now that informant has gone public, revealing secret FBI methods and charging that his "handlers" trained him to entrap Muslims as he infiltrated their mosques, homes and businesses. He is now suing the FBI.



LIFE STYLE/SOCIAL TRENDS AND VALUES

Japanese 3D Singing Hologram Hatsune Miku Becomes Nation's Strangest Pop Star - (Daily Mail - November 12, 2010)
She is cute, stylish and has had a number one chart-topping single. But Japan's newest and biggest pop star differs from most of her peers in one crucial aspect: Miku is a digital avatar created by Japanese technology firm Crypton Future Media that customers can purchase and then program to perform any song on their computer. Crypton uses voices recorded by actors and then puts them through Yamaha's Vocaloid software to create its characters. Miku has now gone on a sell-out tour where thousands of fans wave light sticks and scream as if she is a real-life pop star.

Tightwads and Spendthrifts: A Black Friday Tradition - (Science Daily - November 26, 2010)
University of Michigan Marketing Professor Scott Rick says anticipating the psychological pain that goes along with paying money drives some people to spend less than they would like, while not experiencing enough pain causes others to spend more. While a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, he and a group of colleagues developed and validated a "Spendthrift-Tightwad" scale to measure stable differences in the level of pain that come from spending decisions. He and his colleagues have since been able to observe the expected patterns of pain in the brains of tightwads and spendthrifts in fMRI experiments involving shopping tasks.



CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Astronauts to be Sent to the Far Side of the Moon for First Time in 40 Years - (Daily Mail - November 25, 2010)
Scientists are planning to explore the far side of the Moon using a manned spacecraft for the first since since the Apollo landings of 1968. Lockheed Martin wants to send up astronauts into stationary orbit above Earth's best-known natural satellite to study it further. The firm hopes to use remote controlled robots dispatched from their spacecraft to collect samples and explore the South Pole-Aitken basin on the Moon, one of the oldest craters in the solar system. Crucially it will serve as a test for a future possible mission to Mars - the six month trip would see if the equipment and the astronauts were capable of enduring long-term space travel.



DEMOGRAPHICS

India's Secret Weapon in its Economic Race with China: Demographics - (Seeking Alpha - November 11, 2010)
The eclipse of the G7 by the G20 puts the spotlight more than ever on India and China as the economic superpowers of the future. So far, China has the lead, but India has a secret weapon that will carry it into first place by the end of the century. It is not just that sometime around 2030, India's total population will become larger than China's. More critically, it is the inner dynamics of population growth, in particular, the evolution of the dependency ratio, that will make the difference for India and China.

Is Marriage Obsolete? - (ABC News - November 18, 2010)
Not only are more marriages on the rocks these days, so is marriage itself, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. A survey of 2,691 Americans done in association with Time magazine found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. That's an 11% spike since 1978. Younger people are leading the way in redefining what marriage means. Forty-four percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 saw marriage as obsolete, compared to 32% of those 65 and older. Other groups more likely to see marriage as a fading institution included blacks, at 44%, those with a high school diploma or less, at 44%, and people who made $30,000 or less a year, at 48%.



NEW TOOLS/NEW PROCESSES

Scientists Teach Robots to Read So They Can 'Live' for Themselves - (Daily Mail - November 25, 2010)
Experts believe developing literate artificial intelligence should be relatively simple because computers are already able to turn scanned books into text. A team of roboticists are working on a test robot - named Marge - which has been fitted with advanced optical character recognition (OCR) reading software. It is hoped the fledgling technology can be used in rescue operations and work out where they are going inside buildings from signs. However, the robot has had difficulties working out what is and is not writing - and still cannot read text on curved surfaces. The OCR software does not take into account the fact that it might not be seeing text. Marge tries its level best to force everything into text - brick walls, chimney stacks, everything.

High-Yield Biomass Alternative to Petroleum for Industrial Chemicals - (Science Daily - November 26, 2010)
A team of University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineers report that they have developed a way to produce high-volume chemical feedstocks including benzene, toluene, xylenes and olefins from pyrolytic bio-oils, the cheapest liquid fuels available today derived from biomass. The new process could reduce or eliminate industry's reliance on fossil fuels to make industrial chemicals worth an estimated $400 billion annually. Instead of buying petroleum by the barrel, chemical manufacturers will now be able to use relatively cheaper, widely available pyrolysis oils made from waste wood, agricultural waste and non-food energy crops to produce the same high-value materials for making everything from solvents and detergents to plastics and fibers.



ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Few Businesses Sprout, with Even Fewer Jobs - (Wall St. Journal - November 19, 2010)
Research shows that new businesses are the most important source of jobs and a key driver of the innovation and productivity gains that raise long-term living standards. Without them there would be no net job growth at all, say economists John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland and Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau. But fewer new businesses are getting off the ground in the U.S., available data suggest, a development that could cloud the prospects for job growth and innovation.

US Reserves of Rare Earth Elements Assessed for First Time - (New Scientist - November 19, 2010)
"Rare earth" is an alternative name for the lanthanides - elements 57 to 71 - plus yttrium and scandium. The elements are integral to modern life, and are used in everything from disc drives, hybrid cars and sunglasses to lasers and aircraft used by the military. China controls 97% of the world's supply and has been tightening its export quotas, sparking concerns that the rare earths could live up to their name. Now, the US Geological Survey has looked at all known national reserves of the elements as part of a larger assessment of the threat posed to defense by limited rare earth supplies. The US has 13 million tons of rare earth elements but it would take years to extract them, suggests the first detailed report on the country's supply.



FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH - articles off the beaten track which may - or may not - have predictive value.

Chemtrails - What's Going On - (View Zone - no date)
The word "chemtrails" is a knock off of the word "contrails." Contrails are trails of condensation that can be seen in the sky when a jet airplane is traveling at above 30,000 feet altitude. Typically, chemtrails contain aluminum particles. One reason they are being sprayed in the atmosphere is in an attempt to protect micro-circuitry and semiconductors - primarily involved with avionics - from atmospheric and solar radiation that causes them to fail. In 2008, samples around California's Lake Shasta and the Pit River Arm tributary were tested in a State Certified Lab following weeks of fly-overs and chemtrails. The results of the water samples showed 4,610,000 parts per million of aluminum - 4610 times the maximum contaminant level. Weather modification may also be behind some of the chemtrails.

Chemtrails - a List of Patents for Stratospheric Arial Spraying Programs - (Sovereign Independent - November 3, 2010)
The article provides an extensive list of patents stretching from 1920 through 2003 for the equipment and processes used in aerosol and weather modification technologies (i.e. for the technologies that produce chemtrails). Just browsing through the titles of the patents - particularly the more recent ones - is informative.



JUST FOR FUN

For Cats, a Big Gulp with a Touch of the Tongue - (New York Times - November 11, 2010)
It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose. Cats lap water so fast that the human eye cannot follow what is happening, which is why the trick had apparently escaped attention until now. With the use of high-speed photography, the neatness of the feline solution has been captured. The research required no financing. The robot that mimicked the cat's tongue was built for an experiment on the International Space Station, and the engineers simply borrowed it from a neighboring lab.



A FINAL QUOTE...

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt



A special thanks to: Kenton Anderson, Bernard Calil, Kevin Clark, Kevin Foley, Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Kurzweil AI, Diane Petersen, T. Roberts, Hal Taylor and all of you who have sent us interesting links in the past. If you see something we should know about, do send it along - thanks.
johnp@arlingtoninstitute.org



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Edited by John L. Petersen
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www.arlingtoninstitute.org

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