Friday, February 28, 2014

Is Planet Earth Under New Management?

A hundred million years from now, when we're all dead and gone, a team of geologists will be digging in a field somewhere ...

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... and they will discover, buried in the rocks below, a thin layer of sediment — very thin, about the width of a cigarette paper, . That skinny strip, when they look close, will send what's called a "biostratigraphic signal" that something enormous happened back in our era, something life-changing, planet-reorganizing, even Earth-shaping. The evidence, when they look closely, will be visible in that same skinny layer all over the world. In her , The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert describes what they'll find.

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For starters, Kolbert says, below this layer, geologists will see fossil remnants of all kinds of large animals: elephants, buffalo, rhinos, lions, tigers, whales, giant turtles (and deeper down, even earlier — saber-toothed tigers, mammoths and giant sloths). Their big bones will litter those older rocks. But above this layer — after our era — they disappear. Something killed off Earth's megafauna.For starters, Kolbert says, below this layer, geologists will see fossil remnants of all kinds of large animals: elephants, buffalo, rhinos, lions, tigers, whales, giant turtles (and deeper down, even earlier — saber-toothed tigers, mammoths and giant sloths). Their big bones will litter those older rocks. But above this layer — after our era — they disappear. Something killed off Earth's megafauna.

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During this same time, they will discover that animals and plants that used to be in one place — gingko trees in China, tulips in Asia, starlings in Europe — suddenly moved all over the world. Grasses found on one continent now strangely appear on four continents. Flowering plants, rats, goats, pigeons, kudzu, ants, inexplicably spread their territories across enormous oceans, climates, time zones. Specific life forms — chickens, cattle, roses, wheat, rice — turn up everywhere. Something moved them, though they may not 
 know who or how. ... 

For the rest of the story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2014/02/26/282516133/is-planet-earth-under-new-management

People Who Believe Hell Are Less Happy

Dramatic background - dark red sunset, white clouds, blue sky, heaven and hell

A new study links believing in hell, and perhaps even thinking about it, with lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. 

Fire, brimstone, eternal suffering — hell is not a pleasant concept. But research has pointed to the societal benefits of a belief in supernatural punishment, including higher economic growth in developing countries and less crime.

But there are also drawbacks, even in this life. A new study links believing in hell, and perhaps even thinking about it, with lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in life.

"It seems there is this trade-off," said Azim Shariff, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon. 

In research published in January in PLOS ONE, Shariff and a colleague looked at international survey data to see how belief in heaven and hell affected people's daily emotional states, along with a more long-term measure, life satisfaction. [8 Ways Religion Impacts Your Life]

Because many, but not all people believe in both heaven and hell simultaneously, Shariff and Lara Aknin of Simon Frasier University in British Columbia focused on those who believe in one but not the other. In the vast majority of cases, this meant people who believed in heaven unchecked by hell.

Looking at survey data from 63 countries, the researchers found that the more a belief in heaven outstripped a belief in hell in a country, the happier and more satisfied the residents were. When researchers looked at individual responses, they found a similar pattern — people who believe in heaven reported greater satisfaction with life.

The survey data came from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey. Of the 63 nations surveyed, Christianity or Islam dominated in all but eight. However, an analysis of individual responses found no meaningful difference in this pattern of belief and life satisfaction between members of Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and those of non-Abrahamic religions.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/43606-belief-in-hell-means-less-happiness.html

Strange State of Matter Found in Chicken's Eye

Disordered hyperuniformity

This diagram depicts the spatial distribution of the five types of light-sensitive cells known as cones in the chicken retina. Scientists have proposed that this arrangement could be a new state of matter, called disordered hyperuniformity. 

Never before seen in biology, a state of matter called "disordered hyperuniformity" has been discovered in the eye of a chicken.

This arrangement of particles appears disorganized over small distances but has a hidden order that allows material to behave like both a crystal and a liquid.

The discovery came as researchers were studying cones, tiny light-sensitive cells that allow for the perception of color, in the eyes of chickens. [The 9 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics

For chickens and other birds that are most active during the daytime, these photoreceptors come in four different color varieties — violet, blue, green and red — and a fifth type for detecting light levels, researchers say. Each type of cone is a different size.

These cells are crammed into a single tissue layer on the retina. Many animals have cones arranged in an obvious pattern. Insect cones, for example are laid out in a hexagonal scheme. The cones in chicken eyes, meanwhile, appear to be in disarray.

But researchers who created a computer model to mimic the arrangement of chicken cones discovered a surprisingly tidy configuration.

Around each cone is a so-called exclusion region that bars other cones of the same variety from getting too close. This means each cone type has its own uniform arrangement, but the five different patterns of the five different cone types are layered on top of each other in a disorderly way, the researchers say.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/43623-state-of-matter-found-chicken-eye.html

Quantum Dropleton: Weird New Particle Acts Like Liquid

dropleton illustration 

Physicists created the new dropleton particles with fast laswer pulses.
 
Physicists can spend years seeking new particles to illuminate aspects of nature's laws, but an international team decided instead to make their own particles.

Called a dropleton or quantum droplet, the newly created "particle" is actually a short-lived cluster of electrons and positive charges called "holes." Like other so-called quasiparticles, dropletons act like single particles.

At the Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany, and Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics at the University of Colorado, researchers made an agglomeration of electrons and holes that was bigger than any created before — 200 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, across. That is almost big enough to see with a good microscope, about one-50th the thickness of a cotton fiber. Before now, physicists had created two-pair groups of electrons and holes, but never such an agglomeration that could form this liquid-like quantum droplet or dropleton. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature
These dropletons behave according to the rules of quantum physics, and that means scientists can use the particles to investigate how light interacts with matter — a process also governed by quantum rules.

Because the dropletons are so large, in particle terms, they might also help physicists locate the boundaries between the quantum world of the very small and the classical world of the human scale, the physicists report in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal Nature.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/43697-quantum-dropleton-created.html

NASA Kepler telescope doubles number of known planets outside solar system


To the list of planets orbiting distant stars, add another 715. That’s the number of planets, strewn among 305 planetary systems, popping out of the observational data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

“We’ve almost doubled today the number of planets known to humanity,” said Jack Lissauer, a NASA planetary scientist, announcing the discovery during a teleconference Wednesday with reporters. The findings will be published in March in two scientific papers in the Astrophysical Journal.

These new planets are all in multi-planet systems and are relatively modest in size — most of them smaller than Neptune. Four of the new planets are about twice the size of Earth and are in orbits that put them in what is considered the habitable zone of their stars, at a distance that could allow water to be in a liquid state at the surface. 

There are surely more habitable-zone planets out there, scientists said in the teleconference. Small planets in very tight orbits are the ones most likely to be detected by Kepler, which looks for the dimming of starlight as a planet passes, or “transits,” the disk of the star as seen from the telescope. The star, planet and telescope have to be aligned, a matter of pure chance: Planets that are orbiting at a great distance from the parent star are less likely to be lined up propitiously.

For the rest of the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasa-kepler-telescope-doubles-number-of-known-planets-outside-solar-system/2014/02/26/e83af186-9ee0-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html?hpid=z1

The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia

The untold story of the rescue mission that could have been NASA's finest hour.

 
If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.
—Astronaut Gus Grissom, 1965
It is important to note at the outset that Columbia broke up during a phase of flight that, given the current design of the Orbiter, offered no possibility of crew survival.
—Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report
At 10:39 Eastern Standard Time on January 16, 2003, space shuttle Columbia lifted off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A mere 81.7 seconds later, a chunk of insulating foam tore free from the orange external tank and smashed into the leading edge of the orbiter's left wing at a relative velocity of at least 400 miles per hour (640 kph), but Columbia continued to climb toward orbit.

The foam strike was not observed live. Only after the shuttle was orbiting Earth did NASA's launch imagery review reveal that the wing had been hit. Foam strikes during launch were not uncommon events, and shuttle program managers elected not to take on-orbit images of Columbia to visually assess any potential damage. Instead, NASA's Debris Assessment Team mathematically modeled the foam strike but could not reach any definitive conclusions about the state of the shuttle's wing. The mission continued.

For the rest of the story: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/the-audacious-rescue-plan-that-might-have-saved-space-shuttle-columbia/

This Amazing Footage Shows Why Drone Journalism Is About To Go Mainstream

Expect to see broadcasters using unmanned cameras more during 2014.

This Amazing Footage Shows Why Drone Journalism Is About To Go Mainstream 

Using small unmanned aerial vehicles allows photographers to capture amazing footage without spending too much money. Which is very appealing to cash-strapped news organisations.

Lewis Whyld, a photographer at the Daily Telegraph, is one of the pioneers of British drone journalism. He went to the Philippines at the end of 2013 to capture this footage of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Drones allowed him to get aerial shots of ruined villages.

This Amazing Footage Shows Why Drone Journalism Is About To Go Mainstream

For the rest of the story: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/this-amazing-footage-shows-why-drone-journalism-is-about-to

Hidden history found beneath Alcatraz

Alcatraz 
Scientists are uncovering a hidden history lying beneath the prison of Alcatraz   

It was America's most notorious prison.

Perched on a rocky outcrop in the middle of San Francisco Bay, from the 1930s to the 1960s the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was reserved for the "worst of the worst".

A who's who of the criminal underworld were incarcerated there: George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Mickey Cohen and Al Capone all spent time locked up in the tiny cells.

Today, the "escape-proof" jail is a much more accessible place: more than a million tourists visit each year.

But scientists say there's much more to "the Rock" than crime and punishment, and they have come to Alcatraz to investigate the hidden history that lies beneath the prison walls.

A team from Texas A&M University has gathered in the prison's recreation yard, where inmates would have spent as little as an hour a week away from the confines of the main block.

The researchers are slowly dragging a bright yellow cart along the ground, pulling it up and down in straight lines.

"That's ground-penetrating radar," says Prof Mark Everett.

"The cart has a transmitter and a receiver - it sends an electromagnetic wave into the ground that then reflects off all the different structures underneath. 

"Much like medical imaging would make a scan of the body, we are making a scan of the ground under the rec yard."

Using this technique, the team has made a remarkable discovery: they have found the remains of a military fortress, which was thought to have been destroyed. 

Standing in the middle of the yard, which is still enclosed by 6m-high (20ft) walls, Prof Everett points to a spot where he has found evidence of a subterranean tunnel system.

For the rest of the story: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26233170

Webcam Images Of Millions Of Yahoo Users Intercepted By U.K. Spy Agency

• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• Yahoo: 'A whole new level of violation of our users' privacy'
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

The GCHQ program saved one image every five minutes from the users' feeds. Photograph.

Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy".

GCHQ does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans' images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant.

The documents also chronicle GCHQ's sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place.

For the rest of the story: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

Ty Bollinger | Momumental Myths of the Mainstream Media



This is Segment 1 of 2. Segment 1 is being provided as a courtesy of VERITAS Radio.  To listen to Segment 2 of this exclusive interview, subscribe at http://www.veritasradio.com to watch the rest.

Veritas is censorship-and commercial-free and survives on your voluntary subscriptions. Thank you for supporting our work. ~Mel Fabregas

S y n o p s i s 

In the words of George Noory, "Monumental Myths, is a veritable buffet for so-called conspiracy theorists." So, put on your seatbelt and prepare to be thrust headlong into the world of "conspiracy reality." "In Monumental Myths, Ty Bollinger welcomes you into a scenic tour of some of the most outrageous events in our modern history - and he is an excellent tour guide. You'll move at a good pace, knocking back topic after topic with gusto. You won't be bogged down with the kind of tedious excess that is the death of most PBS-endorsed political guidebooks, but neither will you lose essential and enlightening detail. And Ty's good-humored, common-sense but well-reasoned approach will keep you involved (and smiling) throughout, wanting to see what big lie gets skewered next.

The events are covered, major and minor, from JFK to GMO, Boston to Waco, aspartame to Oklahoma City, fluoride to Monsanto-land, MLK, chemtrails and beyond. The book functions as a kind of 'greatest hits,' or sportsman's guide to a 'World Series of Conspiracy.' Ty brings that feeling to his work: the love of a good sports writer for a game. The game here is our history of national and international deception, played by the jackals who've manipulated their way into power. Most authors take on one issue to excess, burying us in useless and irrelevant data, without drawing our eye to the hundred similar (or identical) events on the horizon. But what we really want - and what Ty delivers - is a compendium, a means to compare and contrast the lies of history: how much better it is to have it all laid out in one, colorful, entertaining volume. And what's wrong with being entertaining? The bad guys don't know what to do when the truth-tellers crack wise and get funny - it throws them off their pitch.

So much the better for the truth-seekers that we keep our sense of humor - and Ty certainly does. Even when the material goes into dark country, even when we're faced with acts of willful destruction so callous, brutal and monstrous you'd think we'd just lay down and give up, Ty marshals us on by shining a light on the things that make us human: our curiosity, wit and humor, compassion, integrity, critical thinking; and, thank goodness, the thing that governments and media ignore - our irreplaceable common sense." ~ Liam Scheff, author of Official Stories. "Why did Monumental Myths need to be written? To fill the monumental gaps in the real history not taught to most Americans! And Ty Bollinger is just the man for the job, covering a comprehensive array of events from perspectives unapproved by any government agency, but guaranteed to cure your historical deficiency diseases.

 The time is right and the people are finally hungry enough to see through the empty calories fed to us by the mainstream media. What Ty has done with this book is to satisfy the most voracious of appetites for those who are the hungriest to know what has gone wrong over the last 100+ years right up until today. With great breadth, depth and humor, prepare to have your historical and contemporary chakras aligned to see through some of the most monumental myths that, up until this point, have misled generations of freedom-loving people into 'misinformational' bondage. I can't thank Ty enough for putting all of this information into one book!" ~ Robert Scott Bell, Syndicated host of the "Robert Scott Bell Show."

B i o

Ty Bollinger is a happily married husband and father, a CPA, health freedom advocate, cancer researcher, former competitive bodybuilder, talk radio host, and best-selling author.

After losing several family members to cancer (including his mother and father), Ty refused to accept the notion that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were the most effective treatments available for cancer patients. He began a quest to learn all he possibly could about alternative cancer treatments and the medical industry. What he uncovered was shocking.

There is ample evidence to support the allegation that the "war on cancer" is largely a fraud and that multinational pharmaceutical companies are "running the show." In 2006, after almost a decade of cancer research, he published "Cancer - Step Outside the Box" which (now in its 5th edition) has become a best-seller (over 100,000 copies sold) and has been called the "most eye-opening book since 1984." Ty has now made it his life mission to share the most remarkable discovery he made on his quest: the vast majority of all diseases (including cancer) can be easily prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery. Speaking from personal experience and extensive research, Ty has touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of people around the world. The website is http://www.CancerTruth.net.

In 2011, Ty collaborated with his colleague, Dr. Michael Farley, to edit and publish a revolutionary book on medicinal herbs entitled, "A Guide to Understanding Herbal Medicines and Surviving the Coming Pharmaceutical Monopoly." The book simplifies and demystifies herbal medicine and puts it back within the grasp of all who want to reclaim some control over their health options. The website is http://www.SurvivalHerbs.com.

Teaming up with Dr. Farley once more, in October 2012, Ty published "Work With Your Doctor To Diagnose and Cure 27 Ailments With Natural and Safe Methods." This is a book that contains scientific research and studies to support every treatment that is contained in its 500+ pages, since Ty believes that it is important to form a partnership with your doctor. The website is http://www.MedicalDreamTeam.com.

Ty's published his latest book, "Monumental Myths of the Modern Medical Mafia and Mainstream Media and the Multitude of Lying Liars that Manufactured Them," in November 2013. This book shatters over 30 myths - some of them medical and health related - some of them political - some of them economic. It's a great book to put on your coffee table to stimulate conversation and help "wake up" those who are still sleeping.

Ty speaks frequently to health groups, at seminars, conferences, churches, and is a regular guest on multiple radio shows and writes for numerous magazines and websites. He also co-hosts a weekly radio show (along with Robert Scott Bell) called "Outside the Box Wednesdays." Ty and his wife, Charlene, are the owners of Infinity 510 Squared Partners, which is a health book publishing company. The website is http://www.Infinity510Partners.com.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

97 Percent of Europe Doesn’t Put Hydrofluorosilicic Acid In Their Water – Why Do We?

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For over 60 years, governments have been adding fluoride to drinking water supplies all over the world. Since then, we’ve seen a dramatic reduction over time as communities all over the world have come together to stop water fluoridation within their communities. Examples in Europe include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, 90 percent of the UK, Spain, Scotland, Norway, Switzerland and many more. It’s become more obvious everyday that industrial byproducts do not belong in our water. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the natural element of fluoride here. Over 90 percent of Europe doesn’t fluoridate their water. (4)(5) It’s not just Europe, other countries like Japan, and communities within Australia and Canada have followed suit as well.

It was thought that small amounts of natural fluoride in drinking water would help with tooth formation, but these claims were always referring to the naturally occurring fluoride, never industrial toxic waste.

Despite being dubbed “one of the top ten public health achievements of the twentieth century,” and praised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, it’s clear that we’ve been subject to manipulation of truth yet again. The United States has more people drinking fluoridated water than the rest of the world combined. Most industrialized nations do not fluoridate their water.

Water fluoridation started many years ago, when asbestos, PCB’s and DDT were all deemed safe. These chemicals have been banned since, when the people woke up, and it seems that water fluoridation will follow the same route. Opposition to water fluoridation has existed since its inception.

“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer deaths than any other chemical. When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that’s been working in this world for generations. There are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions. Fluoride amounts to public murder on a grand scale. It is some of the most conclusive scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research.” (2) – Dr. Dean Burk, Biochemist, Founder of Biotin, and Former Chief Chemist at the National Cancer Institute of Health.

For the rest of the story: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/02/23/97-percent-of-europe-doesnt-put-hydrofluorosilicic-acid-their-water-why-do-we/

Fewer Soldiers, More Robots: Pentagon Budgets For The Future

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has proposed the smallest United States military since 1940. It's also the most technologically advanced.

 

U-2 Reconnaissance Aircraft
The U-2 is a venerable workhorse spyplane of the Cold War. But the Global Hawk drone can fly for three times as long. 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds, via Wikimedia Commons 
 
The last time the U.S. Army was smaller than 450,000 troops, it was 1940 and the United States had yet to join World War II. Announced yesterday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's proposed budget would shrink the American military to the smallest it has been since right before the deadliest war in history. Yet this is not a return to the pre-war state of unreadiness. While the military Hagel proposes might be smaller than the one that precedes it, it will also remain the most technologically advanced military in history.

The proposed budget reflects several major changes since the start of 1940. Three of them in particular stand out: technology has improved, manpower is less important, and weapons are smarter. All of these mean a military that can do more, with fewer people, while remaining flexible for the future.

Improved Technology

For one key example, let's look at spy planes. The U-2 (pictured above) first flew in 1955, and was America's chief high-altitude spy plane for the entire Cold War. Giant film test patterns, made to calibrate the spy plane's original film cameras, still dot the American landscape, artifacts of time before satellite surveillance. U-2s cruise at 70,000 feet, and can do so for well over 10 hours. The chief constraint on a U-2 isn't the plane itself, but the need for an onboard pilot, who must be awake and seated for the entirety of that exhausting flight.

Hagel's budget wants to replace the venerable U-2 with the modern Global Hawk, a high altitude surveillance drone used in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because the Global Hawk's remote pilots are on the ground, they can swap out mid-flight, making sure a fresh and alert crew is always in charge of the aircraft. This is something that simply wasn't possible when the U-2 first started flying 59 years ago.

For the rest of the story: http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/fewer-soldiers-more-robots-pentagon-budgets-future?dom=PSC&loc=topstories&con=fewer-soldiers-more-robots-pentagon-budgets-for-the-future

What Is Bitcoin and Its Current Crisis?


The virtual currency’s once largest exchange, Mt. Gox, has abruptly shut down. A Bitcoin expert explains the potential impact.
What will become of Bitcoins?
 
Problems at the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange, once the world’s largest, have come to a head, leaving the virtual currency and peer-to-peer payment system in a state of flux and threatening to undermine much of the acceptance Bitcoins have garnered over the past year or so. The Mt. Gox Web site has been shut down, and the organization’s Twitter feed has been cleared amid reports that the exchange was hacked, resulting in the theft of hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin value fluctuates, but currency conversion Web sites indicate that the more than 744,000 Bitcoins taken could be worth as much as $386 million as of Tuesday. Details are scarce, particularly with Mt. Gox having gone dark, but if that number is correct it means about 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins created since the currency’s inception in January 2009 have been taken out of circulation.

Mt. Gox’s fall has been messy, much to the chagrin of the rest of the Bitcoin community. The exchange claims that the cybertheft of Bitcoins from its computers has taken place over a period of years and is at least in part the result of a flaw in the Bitcoin software. Bitcoin developers dispute Mt. Gox’s claims that their software has inherent security flaws. Meanwhile, despite being a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation that advocates the virtual currency, Mt. Gox on Sunday vacated its position on the board of directors. All of this has helped sink the value of Bitcoins on other exchanges.

For the rest of the story: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-bitcoin-and-its-current-crisis/

Photos: Giant Spiral Grows Out of Egypt's Desert

 

Desert Breath: 
 
Danae Stratou, Alexandra Stratou and Stella Constantinides worked as a team to design and build the enormous 1,076 square foot (100 square meters) piece of artwork — called Desert Breath — to celebrate "the desert as a state of mind, a landscape of the mind," as stated on the artists' website.

 

Baffing Tourist:

The art installation lies in the desolate reaches of the Egyptian desert, just a short distance from the shores of the Red Sea. And it's been baffling tourists and armchair travelers since it was constructed in March 1997.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/43645-photos-giant-spiral-in-egypt-desert.html

Water Found in Atmosphere of Nearby Alien Planet

Tau Bootis Water 

Scientists have detected water vapor features around the hot Jupiter Tau Bootis B. 

Water vapor has been detected in the atmosphere of one of the first alien planets ever identified by astronomers.

Advances in the technique used to scan the atmosphere of this "hot Jupiter" could help scientists determine how many of the billions of planets in the Milky Way contain water like Earth, researchers said.

The exoplanet Tau Boötis b was discovered in 1996, when the search for worlds outside our solar system was just kicking off. At about 51 light-years away, Tau Boötis b is one of the nearest known exoplanets to Earth. The planet is considered a "hot Jupiter" because it is a massive gas giant that orbits close to its parent star. [A Gallery of the Strangest Alien Planets]

To analyze the atmosphere surrounding Tau Boötis b, scientists looked at its faint glow. Different types of molecules emit different wavelengths of light, resulting in signatures known as spectra that reveal their chemical identify.

"The information we get from the spectrograph is like listening to an orchestra performance; you hear all of the music together, but if you listen carefully, you can pick out a trumpet or a violin or a cello, and you know that those instruments are present," study researcher Alexandra Lockwood, a graduate student at Caltech, explained in a statement.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/43666-water-vapor-exoplanet-hot-jupiter.html

NASA Shows How Dark North Korea Really Is

That vast swath of darkness at the center of the above image, looking like a speckled, oddly shaped body of water — that’s the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, photographed from the International Space Station on January 30th. NASA has some relevant landmarks labeled for context.

 
It’s a striking reminder of how literally and figuratively dark the country is: Pyongyang, North Korea, a city of 3.26 million, looks about the same size as Gunsan, South Korea, population 280,000. The rest of the DPRK might as well be an extension of the Yellow Sea.

For the rest of the story: http://www.animalnewyork.com/2014/nasa-shows-dark-north-korea-really/

Göbeklitepe pictures revealed for the first time

gbk1

Göbeklitepe may be the hottest archaeological dig site on this planet right now. The place is at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa and it cradles massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.

Klaus Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time… It’s the site of the world’s oldest temple
“This is the first human-built holy place,” he says. ”First came the temple, then the city.”
Photographer Zekai Demir, took pictures of the animal engravings and T shaped pillars. Nobody knows how to read these engravings, although they look simple enough. Because there are no sources to explain what they might mean.
“We’re 6,000 years before the invention of writing here,” says Schmidt.
Schmidt says this temple with these monuments inside, could not have been built by hunter-gatherers. This undertaking, carving and erecting seven-ton pillars would have required hundreds of housed workers. This led to the eventual emergence of settled communities in the area around 10,000 years ago.

For the rest of the story: http://techandle.com/2014/02/24/gobeklitepe-pictures-revealed-for-the-first-time/

They're Spying On You Everywhere. What Are You Going To Do?

They're Watching You On Email, On Reddit, On The Phone, At The Mall.


You are being tracked. Besides comprehensive government spying, there are hundreds of data brokers compiling and selling information about you: Phone records, texts, phone location, computer location, web history, social networking use, background checks, credit history and now even entrance to some retail stores, with facial recognition linking you to your online data.

Julia Angwin, a reporter for ProPublica who was on a Pulitzer-winning team at the Wall Street Journal, spent a year trying to find out if a reasonably consumer tech-savvy person could circumvent the information-collecting dragnets while keeping her friends and her sanity.

Angwin spoke with me about her successes and failures, the FBI tracking Reddit jokers, visiting the Stasi archives in Berlin, how to leak stuff, how to utilize child password labor, the values of a personal Faraday cage, and whether or not a healthy market for privacy could ever exist.
 
OK, why don't we just start off with talking about some of people you interviewed for the book. Mostly I'm interested in: What's the sort of person that's being tracked by the government.

What type of person is being tracked by the government? As we've learned from Snowden, everybody is being tracked by the government.

We now know that every single person’s call records are being swept into these dragnets that the government has. We have also seen many other instances of indiscriminate mass surveillance: the automatic license plate readers that the government is using, there's all the facial recognition with cameras and, increasingly, drones!

That's why I called my book Dragnet Nation, because there are so many dragnets. It used to be you could say the kind of people the government tracks are suspects. Now they're basically tracking everyone, because they have technology that allows them to.
 
Say I'm a Muslim writing something on Reddit. What are my chances of that being picked by and pursued by the FBI?

Yeah. I don’t know what the chances are, but certainly in my book I tell a story about two young Muslim men living in California. One of them wrote a kind of snarky thing on Reddit, basically making fun of the TSA's screening procedures. There was a long discussion on the board about taking away your deodorant, and the checkpoints, so this guy wrote something saying, Well it's silly, because I could just go bomb a mall, and nobody's checking anything there. I could walk in with a trenchcoat and a duffel bag and bomb it.

So, a couple weeks later, he and his best friend were getting his friend's car oil changed. The car went up on a hoist, they looked underneath their car and saw this weird thing hanging off of it, and in fact the FBI had installed a GPS tracker on their car, and had been following them around. 

For the rest of the story: http://www.theawl.com/2014/02/theyre-watching-you-on-email-on-reddit-on-the-phone-at-the-mall-what-are-you-going-to-do

How Slavery Made the Modern World

Slavery was the flywheel on which America’s market revolution turned—not just in the United States, but in all of the Americas

Shackles

A nineteenth-century bilboes for an adult, typically found on slave ships. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.

Many in the United States were outraged by the remarks of conservative evangelical preacher Pat Robertson, who blamed Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake on Haitians for selling their souls to Satan. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble—as many as 300,000 died—when Robertson went on TV and gave his viewing audience a little history lesson: the Haitians had been “under the heel of the French” but they “got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’”

A supremely callous example of right-wing idiocy? Absolutely. Yet in his own kooky way, Robertson was also onto something. Haitians did, in fact, swear a pact with the devil for their freedom. Only Beelzebub arrived smelling not of sulfur, but of Parisian cologne.

Haitian slaves began to throw off the “heel of the French” in 1791, when they rose up and, after bitter years of fighting, eventually declared themselves free. Their French masters, however, refused to accept Haitian independence. The island, after all, had been an extremely profitable sugar producer, and so Paris offered Haiti a choice: compensate slave owners for lost property—their slaves (that is, themselves)—or face its imperial wrath. The fledgling nation was forced to finance this payout with usurious loans from French banks. As late as 1940, 80 percent of the government budget was still going to service this debt.

In the on-again, off-again debate that has taken place in the United States over the years about paying reparations for slavery, opponents of the idea insist that there is no precedent for such a proposal. But there is. It’s just that what was being paid was reparations-in-reverse, which has a venerable pedigree. After the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the US, London reimbursed Southern planters more than a million dollars for having encouraged their slaves to run away in wartime. Within the United Kingdom, the British government also paid a small fortune to British slave owners, including the ancestors of Britain’s current Prime Minister, David Cameron, to compensate for abolition (which Adam Hochschild calculated in his 2005 book Bury the Chains to be “an amount equal to roughly 40 percent of the national budget then, and to about $2.2 billion today”).

For the rest of the story: http://www.thenation.com/article/178509/how-slavery-made-modern-world

10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon

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The truth does not cease to exist when it is ignored.

You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.

This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

1. The average human life is relatively short.

We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.

Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.

And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

For the rest of the story: http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/01/29/10-painfully-obvious-truths-everyone-forgets-too-soon/
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