Volume 15, Number 20 - 10/31/12 Twitter  Facebook  

FUTURE FACTS - FROM THINK LINKS

DID YOU KNOW THAT--
  • 41,000 years ago, a complete and rapid reversal of the geomagnetic field occurred.

  • 36% of Fukushima children have abnormal thyroid growths from radiation exposure.

  • Science has found a bacteria that makes 24-carat gold.

  • New design: a cardboard bike that can support a rider weighing up to 485 pounds, won't fall apart in the rain, and has a materials cost of about $12.


PUNCTUATIONS
by John L. Petersen

The Next 100 Years

Those of you who have followed me in this space over the last decade will know that I have rather significantly changed the focus of my musings over the years. I once had someone tell me that my life ran in seven year segments, with significant shifts between each one that led me into a new area. That has turned out to be quite the truth.

Where seven years ago I was heavily involved in developing advanced technology and foresight systems for a government that could anticipate potential future surprises, in the most recent period I have found myself exploring an entirely new space related to making some sense out of the extraordinary change that is happening to this planet and immersing myself in a variety of personal development disciplines that promise some amount of preparation for the major shift.

Some of the key findings that have underpinned my present exploration are these:
  1. This shift has every indication of being the most profound change that has happened in human history.
  2. The shift is nothing less than a state change in the evolution of the planet and our species.
  3. The emerging description of this transition and depiction of the world that is evolving is so unlike anything that humans have experienced before that we, as nations, cultures and individuals, do not generally have either reasonable ideas about the nature of the shift or clarity about how to respond to it.
  4. For most people, the coming months and years will be largely characterized by an increasing number of surprises that are, in important ways, unprecedented and inexplicable.
  5. The nature of the shift is such that the basic metabolic frequency of the underlying consciousness that ultimately determines the physical characteristics and capabilities of both the planet and humans is literally changing. We are becoming something new and different.
  6. An important element of this shift for humans is the increasing correlation between the concrete, physical realm, which has largely defined our lives in this era of history, and the non-physical (or spiritual) realms, which have always been familiar to a limited number of explorers and seers throughout the ages.
  7. The most obvious byproduct of this “thinning of the veil” between the physical and the spiritual is the increasing number of communications from the “other side” which describe the nature of the change we are experiencing and paint pictures of aspects the new world that has a high probability of emerging.
  8. Because this change is so unprecedented and unfamiliar, the only sources that offer any possibility of illuminating the extraordinary nature of what we are experiencing are those who see this transition from outside of the human experience, i.e. from the spiritual side.
  9. That being said, discernment is a top priority, as nonphysical entities seem to vary in terms of perspective, experience, intelligence, and perhaps integrity, much the same way that humans do. You must be careful of who you listen to and believe.
  10. Nevertheless, there are clearly some nonphysical sources who have a long track record of accurately forecasting significant changes on the physical level and who are now describing, in significant detail, the likely nature of the accelerating shift.
I have found a handful of these channeled sources that provide a rather amazing and moving view into the mechanics of how our reality works and what is happening to us and have mentioned them episodically in the past. The sources that I have found that have particular track records of accuracy and insight include: Lee Carroll and Kryon, Tom Kenyon and The Hathors, Frank DeMarco and his sources, Sal Rachele and the Founders, and a number of others that I have mentioned here in the past.

Suffice it to say, these sources describe dynamics and futures that have no equivalents that come from conventional sources. Furthermore, unlike orthodox analysis that is fundamentally based on existing theories and understanding, these perspectives push into very new space, explicating the workings of new worlds and realities that although they exist everywhere around us are ignored, discounted or suppressed by conventional science and professions. (Good examples are the workings of intuition and the existence of ghosts – both of which have been experienced throughout human history but are discounted by mainline science.)

So, these are the reasons why I invite people like Lee Carroll to come to Berkeley Springs every other year to channel the Kryon energy and provide an admittedly very unconventional perspective of what might be on our horizon.

Lee and Kryon were here last on the 30th of June and the major subject was the next 100 years. A number of FE readers who couldn’t make it that Saturday asked if I’d summarize some of the high points of the channeling, so let me send along some bullets here.
  • The next 100 years will present a future not previously experienced, that is, it is not a cyclical consciousness process
  • We are now past the peak of the shift. It will continue for about another 18 years.
  • The coming months and years will see faster progression than most anticipated.
  • The Pleadians seeded life on this planet. There were five starts at human life that were not sustained.
  • This started 1 million years ago and the Pleadians have helped husband and protect our evolution.
  • Other planets have had millions of years of advanced civilization.
  • Other planets are now being seeded. The process on earth is happening many other places.
  • The strongest potentials (timing is unknown) for the future (free will always has the option of changing some directions) are these:
  • A new human will be born with full knowledge of past history and “correct” instincts.
  • Things will happen faster, but not abruptly or catastrophically.
  • New children being born will be “wise” about what is happening.
  • Economic, political and pharma/healthcare paradigms will erode, becoming far less effective.
  • Smoking will be eliminated in the U.S. and outlawed.
  • In the next 100 years, compassion will increase and war will significantly decrease. No war in 100 years.
  • Military will be reduced.
  • Classic Americana is not coming back. A new future is evolving.
  • There will always be the “dark side”, but it will be much smaller.
  • The change will be slow but accelerating and uncomfortable.
  • The old energy will die slowly.
  • The revolution will accelerate as the “old guys” die out.
  • Citizens can change things quickly – particularly with new Internet-based voting approaches.
  • Global population situation will not become dysfunctional except in isolated, ignorant countries.
  • Life extension will offset the falling birthrate.
  • Jobs in cities will change. New technological developments will allow more manufacturing from home.
  • This will drive new paradigm away from cities to smaller communities.
  • Breakthroughs and inventions will happen when the time is right and then many sources will arrive at similar options.
  • First big breakthrough: quantum energy
  • DNA will evolve within a generation. Many will not be ready for it, but kids will get it naturally.
  • Some of us will live to see all of these changes.
  • Must have a sweet heart during this process.
  • Must learn to become comfortable with uncomfortable change.
Some of this material was channeled the week earlier in Seattle, Washington. It can be found here.



NEW REALITIES

Scientists Hear a Star “Scream” as It Gets Devoured by a Black Hole – (University of Michigan – August 3, 2012)
Astrophysicists have detected, for the first time, the oscillating signal that heralds the last gasps of a star falling victim to a previously dormant supermassive black hole. The blips, scientifically known as "quasiperiodic oscillations," occurred steadily every 200 seconds, but occasionally disappeared. Such signals have often been detected at smaller black holes and they're believed to emanate from material about to be sucked in, explained Rubens Reis, an Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow at U-M and first author of a paper on the work. Reis said. "The disk gets heated up and we can see emissions from the disk very close to the black hole in X-rays. As this matter is falling in, it gives a quasiperiodic wobble and that's the signal we detected." "You can think of it as hearing the star scream as it gets devoured, if you like," added Jon Miller, astronomy professor at U-M and a co-author of the paper. The researchers liken the signal to a sound because it repeats at a characteristic frequency, which they say would sound like an ultra-low D-sharp.

Scientists Link Rapid Geomagnetic Field Reversal, Climate Change, and Supervolcanic Eruptions to Same Geological Time Period – (Extinction Protocol – October 17, 2012)
41,000 years ago, a complete and rapid reversal of the geomagnetic field occurred. Magnetic studies of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences on sediment cores from the Black Sea show that during this period, during the last ice age, a compass at the Black Sea would have pointed to the south instead of north. This polarity reversal was a global event. What is remarkable is the speed of the reversal: “The field geometry of reversed polarity, with field lines pointing into the opposite direction when compared to today’s configuration, lasted for only about 440 years, and it was associated with a field strength that was only one quarter of today’s field,” explains Norbert Nowaczyk. “The actual polarity changes lasted only 250 years. In terms of geological time scales, that is very fast.” During this period, the field was even weaker, with only 5% of today’s field strength. As a consequence, the Earth nearly completely lost its protection shield against hard cosmic rays, leading to a significantly increased radiation exposure. This is documented by peaks of radioactive beryllium (10Be) in ice cores from this time, recovered from the Greenland ice sheet. 10Be as well as radioactive carbon (14C) is caused by the collision of high-energy protons from space.



GENETICS/ HEALTH TECHNOLOGY/ BIOTECHNOLOGY

Scientists Make Old Muscles Young Again in Attempt to Combat Ageing – (Kings College London – September 27, 2012)
Researchers at King’s College London, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified for the first time a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during ageing, and discovered how to halt the process in mice with a common drug. Although an early study, the finding provides clues as to how muscles lose mass with age, which can result in weakness that affects mobility and may cause falls. When old muscles in mice were screened the team found high levels of FGF2, a protein that has the ability to stimulate cells to divide. While encouraging stem cells to divide and repair muscle is a normal and crucial process, they found that FGF2 could also awaken the dormant pool of stem cells even when they were not needed. The continued activation of dormant stem cells meant the pool was depleted over time, so when the muscle really needed stem cells to repair itself the muscle was unable to respond properly. Following this finding, the researchers attempted to inhibit FGF2 in old muscles to prevent the stem cell pool from being kick-started into action unnecessarily. By administering a common FGF2 inhibitor drug they were able to inhibit the decline in the number of muscle stem cells in the mice.

An End To Viral Disease? – (No Camels – October 4, 2012)
Some of the worst diseases in the world are caused by viruses: AIDS, Herpes, Rabies, Hepatitis B and C, and Ebola. An Israeli company, Vecoy Nanomedicines, is creating nanoparticles that mimic human cells. These synthetic cells lure viruses into them and subsequently kill them. Team leader Erez Livney says, “Viruses actually charge into [an] open door to their doom. Our synthesized cells are virus decoys. We can imitate any type of cell we choose to lure any type of virus.” Vecoy’s team creates these cells from polymers in the lab, and can create new decoy cells in a matter of weeks. According to Livneh, this is “far quicker than creating a new drug [for a new virus]. It is a rapid solution to an [immediate] crisis.”

Scientists to Simulate Human Brain Inside a Supercomputer – (CNN – October 12, 2012)
The Human Brain Project, with its billion-dollar plan to recreate the human mind inside a supercomputer, sounds like a science fiction nightmare. But those involved hope their ambitious goal of simulating the tangle of neurons and synapses that power our thought processes could offer solutions to tackling conditions such as depression, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. The Human Brain venture is the next step in a long-running program that has already succeeded in using computers to create a virtual replica of part of a rat's neocortex -- a section of the brain believed to control higher functions such as conscious thought, movement and reasoning. If the team’s current bid for $1.3 billion of European Commission funding over the next 10 years is successful, the prediction is that neuroscientists are a decade away from producing a synthetic mind that could, in theory, talk and interact in the same way humans do. Sean Hill, a senior computational neuroscientist on the project, said, "This is a tool for research, not a giant simulated brain that is going to rule the world. Right now, we're in a crisis in neuroscience. There's a lot of wonderful data being gathered but we don't have a place where we can put those experimental results together and understand their implications.”

Protein Could Enable Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer in Its Early Stages – (Giz Mag – October 15, 2012)
While the overall lung cancer five-year survival rate in the U.S. is 15%, the odds of survival increase significantly with early detection. However, the expense or invasiveness of current screening methods and the lack of symptoms at early stages of the disease means most people aren’t diagnosed until the cancer is well advanced. Findings by researchers at the University of York could pave the way for a simple blood test that would detect the disease even in its early stages. Dr. Dawn Coverley from the University of York in the UK has found that one specific form of a protein called CIZ1 (Cip1-interacting zinc finger protein), which is involved with cell growth and division and is present in cancer cells, is prevalent in lung cancers, even at a very early stage. This variant-CIZ1 somehow makes its way into the blood stream where it appears to remain very stable. Researchers are now working to develop a blood test to look for this telltale variant CIZ1 and therefore, lung cancer.

To Sleep, Perchance to Forget Fears – (Nature – October 17, 2012)
Traumatic memories can be manipulated in sleeping mice to reduce their fearful responses during waking hours. The finding, announced by Stanford University researchers suggests that sleep-based therapies could provide new options for treating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, one of the most common treatments for PTSD requires the patient to recall the original trauma — an explosion, for example — in a psychiatrist’s office. With repeated ‘safe’ exposures to the memory, patients may learn new associations that reduce the power of loud noises and other cues to trigger flashbacks. Some patients are daunted by the task of intentionally recalling their traumatic memories. And many patients who undergo the therapy eventually relapse, says lead author Asya Rolls, perhaps because the technique becomes strongly associated with the psychiatrist’s office and does not generalize well to the outside world. As an alternative to this approach, Roll and her colleagues looked to emerging research that suggests sleep may be a unique new setting in which to manipulate memories.



ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES/CLIMATE

Swedish Official Admits Toxic ‘Chemtrails’ Are Real – (The Watchers – October 7, 2012)
Those long, white streams of persistent, cloudy haze commonly blasted into blue skies by unmarked airplanes are not your typical contrails, says Swedish Green Party leader Pernilla Hagberg. As reported by the Swedish paper Katrineholms Kuriren, Hagberg, the first major political leader to come forward on the issue, has openly admitted that these unusual cloud trails, which fail to dissipate like normal contrails do, are actually a toxic mix of chemicals, viruses, and metals that she has collectively referred to as “chemtrails.” According to Hagberg, the sprayings are a joint endeavor by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), as well as the Swedish government in her own country, to modify atmospheric conditions via deliberate aerosol spraying efforts. And included in this “dangerous” mix of aerosols are various chemical components, viruses and viral fragments, and metals such as aluminum and barium, which have already been shown to be accumulating in water supplies and soils around the world. Interestingly, the United Nations (UN) and various Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed groups have recently been forced to admit that such sprayings are taking place, and that the emitted particles are not normal contrails. But their excuse for why chemtrail sprayings are being done is that they will mitigate the effects of so-called global warming. For a different perspective on the same general facts, see: Atmospheric Geoengineering: Weather Manipulation, Contrails and Chemtrails

Russia Confirms Soviets Dumped 14 Nuclear Reactors’ Waste into the Artic Ocean – (Helium – October 10, 2012)
A new report confirms what some global activists feared and warned of as long as 40 years ago: the former USSR consistently dumped radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel into the pristine Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia. The horrendous practice continued over a span of decades. Substantial amounts of radioactive sludge and even entire decommissioned Russian nuclear reactor cores were trashed by simply throwing the deadly material away into the ocean. Official documents provided by Russian authorities to Norwegian officials were recently published in the Norwegian press. The Norwegian organization, The Bellona Foundation, has been working with an international task group to assist the Russian Federation—with funds and expertise—in efforts to clean up the massive radioactive pollution and eliminate the ongoing global threat the nuclear waste products represent. A complete report of the findings is available.

Scientists Uncover Diversion of Gulf Stream Path in Late 2011 – (Extinction Protocol – October 14, 2012)
Last December, physical oceanographers Glen Gawarkiewicz and Al Plueddemann from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) were alerted by three fishermen about unusually high surface water temperatures and strong currents on the outer continental shelf south of New England. “I promised them I would look into why that was happening,” Gawarkiewicz says. The result of his investigation was a discovery that the Gulf Stream diverged well to the north of its normal path beginning in late October 2011, causing the warmer-than-usual ocean temperatures along the New England continental shelf.

36% of Fukushima Children Have Abnormal Growths from Radiation Exposure – (Business Insider – July 14, 2012)
Of more than 38,000 children tested from the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, 36% have abnormal growths – cysts or nodules – on their thyroids a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The numbers come from the thyroid examination section of the "Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey," published by Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Symptoms Research. The results in Fukushima show a "much faster progression compared to Chernobyl" as research done around Chernobyl showed the rate of thyroid nodules in children 5 to 10 years after the accident to be 1.74%. For further medical analysis, see follow-up article. See also Japan Diplomat: Ground underneath Fukushima Unit 4 is sinking — More than 30” in some areas — Now in danger of collapse. This is a video interview of Mitsuhei Murata, former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, with English translation.



COMMUNICATIONS/COMPUTING

Google Project Glass Available to Developers Now, Consumers in 2014 – (Giz Mag – June 28, 2012)
In order to showcase what Project Glass is already capable of, Google concocted an amazing demonstration. As can be seen in the video link in the article, skydivers conducted a full Google+ Hangout video chat while soaring through the San Francisco air. The only people who can currently pre-order Project Glass devices are developers. For US$1,500 they'll receive a prototype version of the spectacles and a software development kit. The eventual price to consumers will presumably be much less. Mass-production is expected to lower the costs to the point that Project Glass should still be priced in line with Android smartphones.

Italian Supreme Court Affirms Tumor Risk from Long-Term Use of a Cell Phone – (Microwave News – October 23, 2012)
The Supreme Court of Italy has affirmed a ruling granting worker's compensation to a businessman who developed a tumor after using a cell phone for 12 years. This is the first time that a high court —in any country— has ruled in favor a link between mobile phone radiation and tumor development. Innocente Marcolini, a financial manager at an industrial plant in Brescia in northern Italy, used cell and cordless phones for five-to-six hours a day for 12 years. More than five years ago, a research group at the Örebro University Hospital in Sweden reported that the use of cell phones for ten or more years significantly increased the risk of acoustic neuroma. Acoustic neuroma is a tumor of the acoustic nerve, which is known as the eighth cranial nerve. This type of tumor grows from cells which make up the lining or the sheaf of the nerve, called Schwann cells. The trigeminal nerve —where Marcolini's tumor was located— is the fifth cranial nerve. Tumors on the trigeminal nerve are also from Schwann cells and are closely related to acoustic neuroma. In 2005, a joint analysis by Interphone groups in five northern European countries, including Sweden and the U.K., again pointed to a long-term risk of acoustic neuroma. And at the end of 2010, a Japanese team, also working on Interphone, concluded that those who used cell phones for more than 20 minutes a day for at least five years had three times more acoustic neuromas than expected. (Editor’s note: We know of no studies examining the question of whether or not there might be an increased incidence of cancer of internal organs due to increased radiation in individuals who wear their phones on their belts. If any reader comes across such a study, please forward it to FUTUREdition.)



SHELTER

Rooftop Mats Could Let Buildings Sweat to Cool Off – (Tree Hugger – October 3, 2012)
Ways to make your home more energy efficient typically revolve around ways to make heating and cooling more efficient -- better insulation, weather proofing, smart thermostats, etc. But what if there was a way that buildings could cool themselves just like the human body does -- by sweating? Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing a synthetic mat that could be applied to roofs and essentially allow buildings to sweat to cool off. The mat would soak up water when it rains and then, in high temperatures, shrink and "sweat" out that moisture, cooling down the building through perspiration. For the sweating mats, the researchers used a special polymer, abbreviated to PNIPAM, which is protected by a water-permeable membrane. The mat can thus fill with water when it rains. PNIPAM's storage capacity is temperature-dependent. If the material becomes warmer than thirty-two degrees (Centigrade, presumably) in direct sunlight, it shrinks up and adopts hydrophobic properties. This forces the water through the membrane to the surface of the mat, where is evaporates.

Earth Houses of Dietikon, Switzerland – (Archidwell – no date)
The Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse showcases an environmentally conscious living environment. Designed by Vetsch Architektur, these nine residences are located in Dietikon Switzerland. The homes vary in size, having from 3 to 7 bedrooms. They are grouped together surrounding a small artificial lake and have a discreet entry point at the side of the residences. A subterranean parking lot allows access to some of the houses. Orienting the windows towards the south allows the interior areas to capture the natural light during the daytime. For bathrooms to have maximum natural lighting, rooftop windows are provided. Dome lights and wide glass windows are utilized for rooms to bathe in natural light. Using sprayed concrete, the buildings achieve fluid, practically organic shapes. Recycled glass is also used for the additional insulation with a protective layer and natural earth is placed on top to provide bedding for grass or other vegetation to grow on the rooftop. For more photographs of these and other earth houses, see the architect’s website.



ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

Researchers Create ‘Nanoflowers’ for Energy Storage, Solar Cells – (NC Univ. – October 11, 2012)
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS) – a semiconductor material – that have extremely thin petals (only 20-30 nanometers thick), with an enormous surface area. The GeS flower holds promise for next-generation energy storage devices and solar cells. This could significantly increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries, for instance, since the thinner structure with larger surface area can hold more lithium ions. By the same token, this GeS flower structure could lead to increased capacity for supercapacitors, which are also used for energy storage. To create the flower structures, researchers first heat GeS powder in a furnace until it begins to vaporize. The vapor is then blown into a cooler region of the furnace, where the GeS settles out of the air into a layered sheet that is only 20 to 30 nanometers thick, and up to 100 micrometers long. As additional layers are added, the sheets branch out from one another, creating a floral pattern similar to a marigold or carnation.

Scientists Turn Fresh Air into Petrol - (Independent -October 19,2012)
A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five liters of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapor. The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. Although the process is still in the early developmental stages and needs to take electricity from the national grid to work, the company believes it will eventually be possible to use power from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages.

Saudi Arabia Reveals Plans to Be Powered Entirely by Renewable Energy – (Guardian – October 19, 2012)
Saudia Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, has plans to become 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy. But the process is likely to take decades, and some observers are sceptical as to whether it is any more than window-dressing. Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, one of the state's top spokesmen, said that Saudi was moving ahead with investment in renewable energy, nuclear power and other alternatives to fossil fuels and that it could use its vast oil reserves for other goods, such as plastics and polymers. "Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source," he said. "If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world. I wish that may be in my lifetime (he is 67), but I don't think it will be."



TRANSPORTATION

Israeli Man Creates Bike from Recycled Cardboard – (Giz Mag – October 16, 2012)
Israel-based Izhar Gafni has invented a working bicycle which is constructed almost entirely from recycled cardboard, and only costs around US$12 to manufacture. The cardboard bike is ideal for city-dwellers who require an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to commute, as well as a mode of transportation for people living in emerging countries. Gafni, a mechanical engineer and a cycling enthusiast, was inspired to make the cardboard bicycle after overhearing a conversation about somebody who had made a canoe constructed from cardboard. The cardboard bike can support a rider weighing up to 485 pounds, and it won't fall apart in the rain. While the manufacturing process is still being refined, Gafni believes his design could eventually be sold in stores for just $20, making it an attractive solution for commuters who do not wish to worry about an expensive bike being stolen.



AGRICULTURE/FOOD

Scientists Invent Transparent Soil to Reveal the Secret Life of Plants – (Giz Mag – October 3, 2012)
A team of researchers in Scotland has developed an artificial transparent soil that allows scientists to make detailed studies of root structures and subterranean soil ecology on a microscopic level. The result of two years of research, it doesn't look much like conventional soil. In fact, it’s a bit like those high-tech ant farms where instead of sand, the ants burrow through a jelly that also provides them with food and water. However, mechanically, it does mimic real soil. It supports root structures, holds suspended minerals, can be colonized by microorganisms and even exchanges gases like soil. It’s made from granules of Nafion, a sulfonated tetrafluoroethylene based fluoropolymer-copolymer. Forming the polymer into pellets allows it to mimic soil particle properties, such as forming channels, retaining water and nutrients and sustaining plant growth. Fluorescent dyes can also be added to it to aid studies.



TRENDS OF GOVERNANCE

Domestic Cost of War – (UPI – October 12, 2012)
The cost of foreign wars—$1.6 trillion over the past 11 years in Iraq and still climbing in Afghanistan—has short-changed major domestic priorities. U.S. infrastructure repairs and new projects have been repeatedly postponed as defense requirements and two wars over the past 11 years took priority. For example, steam pipes under Manhattan are almost 100 years old and underground explosions occur with dangerous regularity, sending geysers of hot steam skywards. On the other hand, airports from Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Shanghai entered the 21st century with state-of-the-art infrastructure that handles Airbus's 550-passenger super jumbos faster and more efficiently than Washington's Dulles or New York's JFK can handle passenger loads half that size.



LIFE STYLE/SOCIAL TRENDS AND VALUES

Will the Guys with the [Printed] Guns Make the Rules? – (Huffington Post – October 10, 2012)
Major media outlets have been abuzz lately with discussion of "3D printing's next frontier": guns. Specifically, the focus has been on a University of Texas law school student who had the 3D printer he leased reclaimed after announcing he would begin printing "Wiki weapons" (i.e., receivers for assault rifles and crude handguns) and freely distributing the plans for these firearms over the Internet. Desktop manufacturing company Stratsys felt that the student in question, Cody Wilson, was flouting existing federal firearms laws and stated that it is not its policy to "knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes." Wilson was also booted off Indiegogo, where he tried to fundraise for the project. Much of the media’s coverage has focused on the new technology which "promises to revolutionize manufacturing". Less-discussed was the stated motivation behind the project and the radical political views of its founder. To Cody Wilson's credit, he has not been secretive about what he believes and why he wants Americans to mass-produce firearms in their homes. Wilson is equally up-front about the purpose of his Wiki Weapon project. The website of his online collective for the project, "Defense Distributed," states that, "WikiWep is about challenging gun control and regulation."

Citing Privacy Concerns, U.S. Panel Urges End to Secret DNA Testing – (Reuters – October 11, 2012)
They're called discreet DNA samples, and the Elk Grove, California, genetic-testing company easyDNA says it can handle many kinds, from toothpicks to tampons. Blood stains from bandages and tampons? Ship them in a paper envelope for paternity, ancestry or health testing. EasyDNA also welcomes cigarette butts (two to four), dental floss ("do not touch the floss with your fingers"), razor clippings, gum, toothpicks, licked stamps and used tissues if the more standard cheek swab or tube of saliva isn't obtainable. If the availability of such services seems like an invitation to mischief or worse - imagine a discarded tissue from a prospective employee being tested to determine whether she's at risk for an expensive disease, for instance - the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues agrees. "It's not a fantasy to think about how, without baseline privacy protection, people could use this in a way that would be really detrimental," such as by denying someone with a gene that raises their risk of Alzheimer's disease long-term care insurance, or to jack up life insurance premiums for someone with an elevated genetic risk of a deadly cancer that strikes people in middle age.

Housecleaning, Then Dinner? Silicone Valley’s Perks Come Home – (New York Times – October 19, 2012)
It is the latest innovation from Silicon Valley: the employee perk is moving from the office to the home. Facebook gives new parents $4,000 in spending money. Stanford School of Medicine is piloting a project to provide doctors with housecleaning and in-home dinner delivery. Genetech offers take-home dinners and helps employees find last-minute baby sitters when a child is too sick to go to school. Evernote’s 250 employees — every full-time worker, from receptionist to top executive — have their homes cleaned twice a month, free. Now that technology has allowed work to bleed into home life, it seems that companies are trying to address the impact of home life on work. “The workplace was built on the assumption that there was somebody at home dealing with the home front,” said Anne Weisberg, a longtime human resources executive who helped write a book about new kinds of workplace policies. Not only is that no longer the case, she said, but the work-life pressures seem to be building. “There’s a greater awareness that we’re pushing things to the limit and something’s got to give,” she said.



CONTACT AND THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

How to Build a Flying Saucer – (National Archives – September 20, 2012)
Recently declassified records from the Aeronautical Systems Division, USAF (RG 342 – Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations) reveal some surprising, perhaps never-before-seen images. For example, one illustration was discovered in the pages of a document titled “Project 1794, Final Development Summary Report” (dated 1956). However, the U.S. Air Force had contracted the work out to a Canadian company, Avro Aircraft Limited in Ontario, to construct the disk-shaped craft. According to the same report, it was to be a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) plane designed to reach a top speed of Mach 4, with a ceiling of over 100,000 feet, and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles. Curiously, these pictures bear a strong resemblance to ‘flying saucers’ in popular science fiction films made during the years these reports were created: 1956 and 1957.

NASA Observatory Measures Expansion of Universe – (NASA – October 5, 2012)
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have announced one of the most precise measurements yet of the Hubble constant, or the rate at which our universe is stretching apart. The Hubble constant is named after the astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who astonished the world in the 1920s by confirming our universe has been expanding since it exploded into being 13.7 billion years ago. In the late 1990s, astronomers discovered the expansion is accelerating, or speeding up, over time. Determining the expansion rate is critical for understanding the age and size of the universe. Spitzer took advantage of long-wavelength infrared light for its latest Hubble constant measurement of 74.3 kilometers per second per megaparsec. A megaparsec is roughly three million light-years. In addition, the findings were combined with published data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe to obtain an independent measurement of dark energy, one of the greatest mysteries of our cosmos. Dark energy is thought to be winning a battle against gravity, pulling the fabric of the universe apart. Research based on this acceleration garnered researchers the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.



NEW TOOLS/NEW PROCESSES

Modern Meadow Plans on Producing Lab-grown Leather – (Giz Mag – October 5, 2012)
A more humane and cleaner type of leather could become available in the near future (and meat a few years later) thanks to the development of an in-vitro version of the material being developed by Modern Meadow. The company has focused on leather because it is a simpler structure than meat. The process would start with a puncture biopsy of an animal. The extracted cells would be isolated and possibly genetically modified (not for meat, though). They would then be reproduced by the billions in a bioreactor and centrifuged to eliminate the agent that supports cell growth. Next, they would be lumped together to create aggregated spheres of cells, which would be then layered and fused together in a process called bioassembly. The layered and fused cells would subsequently be placed in a bioreactor for a few weeks. The skin tissue would evolve into hide, and muscle and fat would be harvested for food. Because the hide would not have hair or a tough outer skin, the tanning process would be shorter and require fewer chemicals.

3D Printers Can Now Print Chemicals – (Huffington Post – October 11, 2012)
3D printers, or additive manufacturing as it is also called, have gone beyond printing prototypes to printing final products ready for use such as jewelry, chairs, human jaw bones, and parts for jet engines to name just a few. 3D printers work by using lasers to deposit and fuse a thin layer upon layer of materials such as plastic or metals to create a solid object. Recently, Professor Lee Cronin from the University of Glosgow has taken the idea of 3D printing a step further. He's using a $2,000 3D printer to print lab equipment—blocks containing chambers that connect to mixing chambers—and then injecting the desired ingredients into the chambers to produce organic and/or inorganic reactions that can yield chemicals, and in some cases new compounds. Just as early 3D printers were used for rapid prototyping, his new chemical printer can initially be used to rapidly discover new compounds. And if you look at the development of 3D printers, it is not hard to see that in the near future you could print highly specialized chemicals and even pharmaceuticals. The team is currently working on printing ibuprofen, the main ingredient in popular painkillers. This, of course, raises a regulatory red flag. Thanks to the ability to share chemical recipes over the Internet, this will make specialized chemical production of all types far more feasible. Further, it will be impossible to regulate what individuals in all parts of the world will do with access to the Internet and a 3D chemical printer.



ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

The Patent, Used as a Sword – (New York Times – October 7, 2012)
Federal judges, economists, policy makers and technology executives say is the U.S. software patent system is so flawed that it often stymies innovation. Alongside the impressive technological advances of the last two decades, they argue, a pall has descended: the marketplace for new ideas has been corrupted by software patents used as destructive weapons. In the smartphone industry alone, according to a Stanford University analysis, as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions. Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.

Hoisington Investment Outlook Third Quarter 2012 – (Investor Insight – October 20, 2012)
This entry comes from John Mauldin’s Outside the Box blog. In introducing the Hoisington Outlook, he notes “The Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook is one of the cornerstones of my reading on where the economy is headed. This month they waste no time in dissecting the Fed’s recent move to QE3 and similar efforts in Europe, arriving at the conclusion that ‘While prices for risk assets have improved, governments have not been able to address underlying debt imbalances. Thus, nothing suggests that these latest actions do anything to change the extreme over-indebtedness of major global economies.’ Their expectation: global recession. The only issue left to sort out, they say, is How deep will the downturn be?” Following Mauldin’s intro is a fairly detailed economic analysis of the recent actions of the Federal Reserve Board and their intended and potentially unintended consequences.

Anger Grows over Large Companies' Tax Bills – (Guardian – October 21, 2012)
This article examines international trends in corporate tax avoidance: it’s not just all the rage in the US. Starbucks has not paid UK corporation tax for three years. Ikea is said to have legally halved its UK corporation tax bill by siphoning off profits abroad in the form of royalty payments to a sister company. eBay legally channels payments through Luxembourg and Switzerland to avoid paying nearly £50m in tax in Britain.

Bank Cyber Attacks Enter Fifth Week as Hackers Adapt to Defenses – (Bloomberg – October 18, 2012)
Three more major US banks have acknowledged being hit by a new round of cyber attacks, marking the fifth week of sustained assault on many of the largest U.S. financial institutions. The banks’ websites have been disrupted with so-called denial of service attacks, some of which originated in Iran and Russia, according to Carl Herberger, a vice president for the network security firm Radware Inc., said in a phone interview yesterday. “There is a target list that is essentially being worked,” said Herberger, whose New Jersey firm is working with banks to investigate the attacks. “They appear to have been near-100 percent effective, at least in bringing these financial institutions some level of duress.” The assaults, which began last month, have differed from other types of denial-of-service attacks by commandeering commercial servers to overload bank websites with Internet traffic. The attacks have temporarily disrupted or slowed online services for customers. There are no signs data or money have been stolen, said Herberger and Rodney Joffe, senior vice president at security firm Neustar Inc. It could take months to determine if that occurred, they said. A group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Quassam Cyber Fighters has claimed responsibility for the attacks in statements posted to the website pastebin.com, saying they’re in response to a video uploaded to YouTube ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad and offending some Muslims. Security experts have been concerned about the attacks because U.S. financial institutions are considered to have some of the best network defenses of any industry.

How Companies Have Assembled Political Profiles for Millions of Internet Users – (Nation of Change – October 23, 2012)
Across the country, companies are using cookies to tailor the political ads you see online. One of the firms is CampaignGrid, which boasted in a recent slideshow, “Internet Users are No Longer Anonymous.” CampaignGrid collects 18 different “attributes” for every voter. The slideshow includes an image of the famous New Yorker cartoon from 1993: “On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” Next to it, CampaignGrid lists what it can now know about an Internet user: “Lives in Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District, 19002 zip code, Registered primary voting Republican, High net worth household, Age 50-54, Teenagers in the home, Technology professional, Interested in politics, Shopping for a car, Planning a vacation in Puerto Rico.” ProPublica has identified seven companies that advertise the ability to help campaigns target specific voters online. Among them is Experian, the credit reporting company. Datalogix, a company that works with Facebook to track users' buying patterns, is also involved. Article includes link to marketing materials and comment from the seven companies.



PROVOCATIVE IDEAS

New Theory Says the End of the Universe is Nigh (Relatively Speaking)– (You Tube – September 30, 2012)
A new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe predicts that the end of the universe may come sooner than you think. Standard cosmologies predict that the end of the cosmos will not arrive for hundreds of trillions of years. But the Big Bagel—The Bloom Toroidal Model of the Universe—predicts that the end may be as little as 1.68 billion years away. The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates, a book by Howard Bloom, unveils the Big Bagel Theory. It incorporates the Big Bang science theory and expands to plot out the end of the Universe. Big Bagel Theory (the Bloom Toroidal Model of the Universe) answers two of the biggest questions in today's theoretical physics and cosmology science: 1) If matter and anti-matter are generated in equal amounts at the same time, why is there so much matter in this universe and so little anti-matter? And 2) And why did the galaxies in this universe start accelerating away from each other 6 billion years after the big bang? Where does the energy to pick up the pace come from? In other words, what the heck is dark energy?

Harvard Neurosurgeon Described Heaven after Near-death Experience – (Huffington Post – October 9, 2012)
A successful neurosurgeon, who has taught at Harvard Medical School and other universities, spent his life dismissing claims of heavenly out-of-body experiences and refuting such talk with scientific logic, until he himself had a near-death experience. During that time, Dr. Eben Alexander says he saw heaven and knows the afterlife exists. Now he's telling the world in his new book, "Proof of Heaven." Alexander, an Episcopalian, describes his journey to the afterlife when he slipped into a coma in 2008 after contracting a rare bacterial meningitis. Alexander says that he traveled through this heaven, surrounded by "millions of butterflies," with a woman. This woman gave him three messages: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever," “You have nothing to fear." and “There is nothing you can do wrong.” Article includes links to his complete description.



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

Science Has Found Bacteria That Makes 24-Carat Gold – (The Blaze – October 4, 2012)
A team at Michigan State University has landed on a gold mine — albeit on the micro scale. They call it “microbial alchemy.” Using the extremophile bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans — a microbe that can grow in harsh, metallic environments – Kazem Kashefi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, and Adam Brown, associate professor of electronic art and intermedia, have found that it can produce nearly 24-carat, 99.9 percent, pure gold. The men gave the bacteria “unprecedented amounts” of gold chloride, which is a toxic chemical compound, and found not only do the microbes thrive on it, but they can produce gold in a relatively quick manner. Unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately—bringing operations to a larger-scale production is not cost-effective.



JUST FOR FUN

Flight 1549 3D Reconstruction – (You Tube – 2009)
Well, not exactly “fun”, but definitely remarkable. This is a computer-generated reconstruction of US Airways flight 1549 which made a forced landing in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 based on the plane’s black box recording. Watch it from the pilot’s perspective.



A FINAL QUOTE--

Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet. - Victor Hugo



A special thanks to: Kenton Anderson, Thomas Bergin, Howard Bloom, Bernard Calil, Ken Dabkowski, Kevin Foley, Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Diane Petersen, Petra Pieterse, Bobbie Rohn, Paul Saffo, Gary Sycalik, Steve Ujvarosy, Kermit Weeks 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
johnp@arlingtoninstitute.org
www.arlingtoninstitute.org

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