Organic Universe

Organic Universe
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Organic Universe

The following blogs were built from October 2011 through August 2012 (see research list in left sidebar) and remain available for research during these periods, ending in March 2015, where the project was moved and updated to one blog, see here.

These sites as of this posting have generated over 800,000 visits, and provide an array of alternative news information and transformation occurring during these times.

Everything that was posted here can still be followed exclusively through Twitter as one of five categories. (See widget in sidebar.) Although, now, and because of the transformations occurring, I must move forward and reduce the workload, improve focus, and provide a better platform that reflects the entire house as a course of action.
"It seems impossible to not know what our five senses are being used for. It has been learned that information must include an array of the what we perceive as sensations for preception to occur, that is to say, so that we understand them in context to our environment. Alternative media authors are rapidly working out the kinks in this chain where feelings have been assumed and fed with useless sensational alterations. The truth however, is that these stigmas are not really sensations, they are powerful centers entwined in the octave of life."
Learn more here. You can contact me here.

Postings on this blog may occur in the future for research purposes only. Be sure to visit and bookmark the current posting schedule here.

SOTT Summary February 2015 - Extreme Weather, Earth Changes, and Fireballs

SOTT Media | Mar 8, 2015


The following video compiles footage of 'signs of the times' from around the world during February 2015 - 'earth changes', extreme weather, meteor fireballs, and planetary upheaval.

The pattern of global deluges continued last month as flooding again hit the Balkans, Greece, Bolivia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Northwest, Australia, and East Africa. February saw 'orange' snow, 'blue' snow and 'dirty rain' as particulates from ever more erupting volcanoes and incoming meteors continue to build up in the atmosphere. It's not just conditions above ground that are changing: alarming numbers of whales, sea lions and other sea creatures continue to wash up dead or dying on beaches around the world.

February saw meteor fireballs ranging from flashes that momentarily turned night into day over New Zealand, Florida and Korea... to a long-duration bolide of comet/asteroid size that broke up over the western half of North America. There were several major train derailments in February, particularly in the U.S., where oil companies are bypassing pipeline networks to transport fracked oil. We suspect that many railway lines are deforming due to the increased seismic activity.

More loud booms were heard and felt across the U.S. in February. Although attributed to 'frost quakes', where water seeps into the ground then freezes and cracks the bedrock, these localized booms also happened in ice-free regions, suggesting that some other mechanism is causing them. Besides strong earthquakes off Japan and along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an unusually strong quake in central Spain sent people running into the streets. Japan saw more snow records broken, wild weather continued to pummel the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East was again snowed under.

THE major weather event in February 2015 was the record snow and cold in the U.S. Northeast. The South and Midwest were also hit hard, but the Northeast appears to have had both its snowiest and coldest month ever, at least since since record-keeping began in the mid-19th century. Meteorologists attributed this to the meandering Polar Jet stream delivering a 'Siberian Express' of non-stop winter storms from the northern Pacific down and across the North American continent, but another factor could be super-cool air coming down from the troposphere.

The ice age cometh?

If you like this video, please share!

[...]

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Toxic Chemicals Costing Society Billions in Damages to Human Health Alone

A field of soybeans. (Photo:  Tom Erickson/flickr/cc)
Common Dreams | Mar 6, 2015 | Sarah Lazare

New study finds hormone-disrupting chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, and more driving staggering—and costly—human health problems

Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in human-made products—from plastics to pesticides—are causing health problems that cost society billions, a new study finds.

Published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the examination was conducted by eighteen researchers in eight countries and is the first attempt to quantify the concrete costs of these chemicals.

According to researchers, the costs come to more than $170 billion a year in Europe alone—what they call a "conservative" estimate.

But beyond the dollar amount, the human health problems the study highlights are staggering.

"Global experts in this field concluded that infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders were among the conditions than can be attributed in part to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)," reads a summary of the research.

Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research for Environmental Working Group, points out that endocrine-disruptors are found in common products around the world: "Potent hormone disruptors such as bisphenol A, or BPA, are in the lining of most canned goods and on many cash register receipts. Phthalates are in PVC plastic, food packaging and personal care products. And brominated flame retardants are ubiquitous in most upholstered furniture."

Researchers found that, in the EU, intellectual disabilities caused by prenatal exposure to pesticides containing organophosphates—which are endocrine disruptors—were the number one cause of this high cost.

"The analysis demonstrates just how staggering the cost of widespread endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure is to society," said Leonardo Trasande, associate professor at New York University who led the study. "This research crystallizes more than three decades of lab and population-based studies of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the EU."

And Leiba notes "this is not just a European problem. Americans are routinely exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in everyday consumer products."

Leiba adds, "All of them are everywhere in American households."

Vaccinated Farmed Fish Have Side Effects

Natural Blaze | Mar 5, 2015 | Catherine J. Frompovich

Be forewarned, please, that this will not be very pleasant reading, especially if readers eat farm-raised fish and, in particular, salmon, a highly-farm-raised fish. “Wild-caught” need not apply.

During my years of research, I’ve come across all sorts of information, studies, and papers relating to animal vaccines, but this one sort of “takes the cake,” in my opinion. Farmed fish are vaccinated because, according to the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (NSVS),
Modern fish farming is highly industrialized and relies heavily upon effective vaccines to minimize losses caused by infectious diseases. [1]
Want to know how to vaccinate a fish?

Please see slide 4 of the 28-slide presentation, “Side-effects of vaccination: an example of the conflict between guidelines and real life.” 

It looks like a PowerPoint presentation made by Trygve T. Poppe and Gunvor Knudsen of the NSVS.

However, before I go any further about fish vaccinations, readers ought to know that there’s a 404-page book detailing the science of fish vaccinations titled—what else but—“Fish Vaccination,” May 2014 published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The book obviously is a guide to sustainable bio-production, disease prevention to reduce losses by employing the use of antimicrobials and vaccinations, which are considered effective in stimulating the immune system of fish.

Did anyone ask the fish? That may sound like an unlikely and stupid question, but in the NSVS PowerPoint presentation, slide 10 states,
Over the years fish farmers in Norway (and strangly [sic] enough to a very limited extent in other countries) have experienced severe and unacceptable side-effects in vaccinated fish.
[Hmmm! I could have told them to expect that; it’s a no brainer!] [CJF emphasis added]
There’s a photograph of a fish carcass with some sort of black “diseased-like” flesh inside the abdominal cavity. Check it out for yourself here (No. 12) .

The two slides following No. 12 show other fish health problems such as generalized granulomatous peritonitis and abdominal lesions affecting internal organs that often have heavy melanization, meaning causing tissue to turn dark or black.

Something I find rather interesting, and bordering on empathetic, is the remark on slide 15 that vaccines save fish lives [sounds familiar] from acute death from bacterial infections, but some fish are sentenced to “life-long suffering due to severe pathological lesions in internal organs.” If that happens to fish from vaccines, what, if anything, happens to human vaccinees’ organs?

But, the real “kicker” is the remark on another slide about their having no consensus about pain perception in fish! Interestingly, though, there is a caveat that’s added, “…but anorexia and retarded growth are good indicators.” Anorexia in fish! Retarded growth too! Hmmm. Can autism occur in fish?

A fish liver granuloma [nodular inflammation in tissue] with multinucleated giant cell is featured on slide 16.

Slide 18 features the inside cavity of a fish that has to be seen – really – to believe, and people eat vaccinated farmed fish! Or, hopefully, diseased fish never make it to market. But, what if their diseased organs are removed—are those fish marketed? I wonder, “What will happen with vaccinated GMO fish?”

Candidly, the PP presentation reports that the magnitude and significance of fish disease cases are unknown and “certainly underreported” [probably just like human vaccine damage] “as most cases have been closed in agreement between the fish farmers and the vaccine manufacturer. This is confirmed by The Norwegian Medicines Agency (NMA).” Since the fish obviously don’t have legal rights, this sounds familiar and probably similar to what apparently goes on at the U.S. Vaccine Court, in my opinion.

Slide 20 has a chart of “Reported side-effects from fish veterinarians to Norwegian Medicines Agency, 1996 to 2004.” Not knowing how to interpret that chart correctly, I wouldn’t want to take a guess since I was not in the audience to hear the presenters’ interpretation. However, following that on the very next chart, we read two rather disconcerting statements, I think:
  1. Is this an example of testing where results obtained in experiments are far from what happens in real life? [Again, human vaccine tests are fudged; we know that from some whistleblowers [6] and a federal court case [5].]
  2. Possible problems are not addressed well enough prior to release of the products [vaccines]
Whereas, on another slide (22) this most pointed of questions appears:
How can this happen as long as these vaccines are approved by NMA following their testing protocols (since 2001)? [That seems like vaccine adverse event history just repeating itself when human vaccines are used, especially in the USA as the VAERS reports indicate.] [CJF emphasis added]
Apparently, a similar question can – and should be – asked regarding human vaccines and the testing/approval process.

At one point, slide 25, this blunt and self-searching question is asked about vaccines for fish:
Should we INCREASE the number of experimental fish for vaccine testing prior to release in order to reduce the number of side-effects? (or how should we REFINE present testing?)
It would seem that the NSVS scientists have more concern about fish than the U.S. FDA has about vaccines harming children. With all the complaints about the HPV vaccines causing harms, even deaths, to teenage girls, the FDA apparently is not asking any questions!

Now, we get down to what, for me, was the “nitty-gritty” of the fish’s health issues:
  1. They were concerned about animal welfare and the “quality of life” for the fish prior to slaughter.
  2. That the side-effects from vaccines in fish were still occurring after 12 years of extensive use of vaccines, and people were eating vaccinated fish!
  3. They want to find ways to refine present testing to reduce side-effects! So, they realize that side effects still go on after 12 years, and continue to use vaccines. Duh!
I think I know how they can reduce all those vaccine side effects. Eliminate the vaccines; take the fish out of farms, tanks, and pens and let fish be fish! What’s happening with “farmed” fish confirms what happens when corporate-food-production ‘innovates’ on the way in which Nature intends for food production: free roaming; not-confined in close quarters thereby promoting infectious diseases from exposure to filth; and not being subjected to chemical intervention from feed or vaccines.

Vaccines for Other Animals

Other corporate-food-producers, e.g., egg production and chickens, are notorious for cramped quarters, even stacked cages for egg-laying hens, plus supplemented GMO feed ‘enhanced’ with antibiotics and other chemicals for faster growth, or for earlier harvesting than would be normal naturally. Merck & Company produces vaccines for chickens, turkeys, and ducks. (Source)

Feed lots for cattle are another example of stress on animals grown for food. Stress in any form enables or promotes animals from all genres to produce stress-related hormones. Humans produce certain hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Furthermore, cortisol is also produced by cattle! [2] Some researchers contend that animals in fear, or under stress, produce excess adrenalin, cortisol-like excretions and steroid-like hormones, which are secreted into their tissues and have been found in their meat served to research lab animals. Here’s the “Beef cattle herd health vaccination schedule.”

In the above information about fish vaccine adverse effects, it is interesting to learn that two veterinary scientists seem concerned about “quality of life” for fish prior to slaughter.

Animal vaccines for pets have been responsible for tumor growths at injection sites, especially in cats. [3, 4] That’s why veterinarians recommend vaccinating on cats’ limbs, so the limbs can be amputated, if need be.

Vaccines are BIG business for both humans and animals, too. Here are just a few animal vaccination schedules:

The Chicken Vet – Vaccination
http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/vaccination/index.aspx

Cattle Vaccines and Their Use
http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/Beef%20Cattle%20Handbook/Vaccines_Cattle.pdf

Vaccination Schedule for Goats and Sheep
http://www.valleyvet.com/library/sheep_vaccine.html

Vaccination Schedule for Pigs
http://animals.pawnation.com/vaccination-schedule-pigs-2248.html

Caring for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Ferrets
http://www.vetwest.com.au/pet-library/caring-for-rabbits-guinea-pigs-and-ferrets

Vaccinations for Adult Horses
http://www.aaep.org/custdocs/adultvaccinationchart.pdf

Overview of Vaccination for Exotic Mammals
http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/vaccination_of_exotic_mammals/overview_of_vaccination_of_exotic_mammals.html

Preventive Medicine for Zoo Animals

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/zoo_animals/preventive_medicine_for_zoo_animals.html

So, what’s in your meat or fish?

References:

[1] http://oslovet.norecopa.no/gardermoen/2405poppe.pdf
[2] http://www.dairyco.org.uk/technical-information/animal-health-welfare/mastitis/symptoms-of-mastitis/stress-health-and-productivity/#.VPhd8hQ5D9I
[3] http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/cancer/c_ct_vaccine_sarcoma
[4] https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/rbbroch.aspx
[5] http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/27/47851.htm
[6] http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/obama-grants-immunity-to-cdc-whistleblower-on-measles-vaccine-link-to-autism/

Resources:

Vaccines for fish in acquaculture

http://www.aqualifeservices.com/services/fish-vaccination/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15757476
http://www.thefishsite.com/articles/150/vaccines-for-fish-in-aquaculture/

Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=526
http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/aadap/INAD%20Workshop%20Files/Workshop%202011%20Bozeman
/Presentations/Wednesday/Wed%20PM/Mitchell_Fish%20vaccine%20status%20AADAP%20August%202011.pdf

Image source

Catherine retired from researching and writing, but felt compelled to write this article. 

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

Antarctic gaining sea ice despite climate model predictions – study

RT | Mar 7, 2015

For decades, climate scientists have been predicting that quantities of ice in the South Pole would shrink in the face of climate change and other global warming-related issues, but a recent study by scientists in China has found that the ice levels have actually been growing in the region over decades. RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky has more on the controversy from New York.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Grand tree of life study shows a clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity


IMAGE: The tree of life compiled by Temple
University researchers is depicted in a new
way -- a cosmologically inspired galaxy of
life view -- and contains more
than 50,000 species... view more
Credit: Temple University
Eurekalert | Mar 3, 2015

Temple University researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time, and surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate.

"The constant rate of diversification that we have found indicates that the ecological niches of life are not being filled up and saturated," said Temple professor S. Blair Hedges, a member of the research team's study, published in the early online edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. "This is contrary to the popular alternative model which predicts a slowing down of diversification as niches fill up with species."

The tree of life compiled by the Temple team is depicted in a new way --- a cosmologically-inspired galaxy of life view --- and contains more than 50,000 species in a tapestry spiraling out from the origin of life.
For the massive meta-study effort, researchers painstakingly assembled data from 2,274 molecular studies, with 96 percent published in the last decade. They built new computer algorithms and tools to synthesize this largest collection of evolutionary peer-reviewed species diversity timelines published to date to produce this Time Tree of Life.

The study also challenges the conventional view of adaptation being the principal force driving species diversification, but rather, underscores the importance of random genetic events and geographic isolation in speciation, taking about 2 million years on average for a new species to emerge onto the scene.

"This finding shows that speciation is more clock-like than people have thought," said Hedges. "Taken together, this indicates that speciation and diversification are separate processes from adaptation, responding more to isolation and time. Adaptation is definitely occurring, so this does not disagree with Darwinism. But it goes against the popular idea that adaptation drives speciation, and against the related concept of punctuated equilibrium which associates adaptive change with speciation."

Besides the new evolutionary insights gained in this study, their Timetree of Life will provide opportunities for researchers to make other discoveries across disciplines, wherever an evolutionary perspective is needed, including, for example, studies of disease and medicine, and the effect of climate change on future species diversity.

Researchers around the world utilize molecular clocks to estimate species divergence times, calculating DNA mutational rates with species divergence times from gene and genomic sequences, that together with the fossil record and geological history, provide a constantly improving view of Darwin's "grandeur of life."

These new results add to the decade-long efforts of the Timetree of Life initiative (TTOL), which includes internet tools and a book, led by team members Hedges and Sudhir Kumar. "The ultimate goal of the TTOL is to chart the timescale of life -- to discover when each species and all their ancestors originated, all the way back to the origin of life some four billion years ago," said Hedges.

As an ongoing service to the scientific community, Hedges and Kumar plan to continue adding new data to TTOL from future peer-reviewed studies. They also will improve their current tools, such as web and smartphone apps, and develop new tools, that will make it easier to access the information and to explore the TTOL, and for scientists to update the growing tree with their new data.

###

Besides Hedges and Kumar, other members of the research team that published this new article included Julie Marin, Michael Suleski, and Madeline Paymer.

Oil & gas execs ‘pressured’ Oklahoma geologists not to reveal fracking-quakes link

Reuters / Jim Urquhart
RT | Mar 5, 2015

Newly-obtained emails reveal that Oklahoma geologists were pressured by oil industry big-shots not to push on with their assessments of possible links between earthquakes in the state and hydraulic fracturing industry, most often referred to as fracking.

More than a year since a sharp spike in earthquakes in the region, which coincided with fracking for oil and gas, the Oklahoma Geological Survey say there might be a possible link. The rise resulted in magnitude 3 earthquakes almost twice daily on average – three times as many as in disaster-prone California.

But after the body issued a joint statement with the USGS in October 2013, saying that "activities such as wastewater disposal" could be a “contributing factor to the increase in earthquakes,” oil execs started to panic, according to newly-obtained emails by EnergyWire.

This allegedly led to the OGS avoiding mentioning that the lion’s share of earthquakes in the region was man-made. The silence has lasted since 2010 and was apparently due to pressure not to disclose the findings.

OGS geologist at the University of Oklahoma, Austin Holland, was one of the scientists aware of the link, but earlier did not wish to discuss it for lack of direct scientific proof.

It now turns out he was later being influenced by oil executives with a vested interest in the continuation of fracking in the area, according to the obtained emails.

“Researchers in Oklahoma, notably Austin Holland… have repeatedly said the increase in seismic activity cannot be fully explained by man-made causes,” Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA) President Mike Terry said in a 2013 statement, pointing to Holland’s earlier scientific skepticism.

That statement coincided with Holland’s research, which found disturbing data from the southern town of Marietta, but stopped short of wholeheartedly acknowledging the fracking and earthquake link.

But when the OGS cautiously joined the USGS assessment in admitting that there was a relationship between fracking and growing seismic risks, Austin Holland was called into meetings with his boss at the university, President David Boren, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC). He spoke with Jack Stark of the OCC, then also vice president of exploration at Continental Resources.

The OCC is the main regulatory body for oil and gas in the state.

Reuters / Gareth Fuller
Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm – the University of Oklahoma’s leading financial donor – started getting really interested in the findings around that time. Hamm, who was Mitt Romney’s energy adviser, is not a believer in the relationship between seismic activity and the oil and gas industry.

The joint statement by OGS/USGS aroused fear in the oil execs, as Holland recounted in one of the emails from 2013.

He was trying to explain to Continental and the OCC that his input only benefited the USGS assessment, but that "Continental does not feel induced seismicity is an issue and they are nervous about any dialog about the subject," as he wrote to his superiors at the university.

"They are in the denial phase that this is a possibility,” he wrote of the execs.

One of the people also dissatisfied with the Oklahoma geologists partnering up with the USGS was Patrice Doubles, the OCC commissioner. At the time, she was running for Congress and got more campaign funds from Continental than almost any other senator. That included money from Hamm.

As Holland explained in the email, Douglas said that she wished to “of course, protect the safety of Oklahomans, but also balance that with industry in the state.”

Earlier this year, in the Washington Post, Holland did admit that higher-ups were trying to influence his work – specifically, Hamm. In fact, according to a piece by fellow geologist Bob Jackman, Holland told him at the time: “you don’t understand – Harold Hamm and others will not allow me to say certain things.”

Holland later tried to downplay Jackman’s quote to EnergyWire, but Jackman later said he had written down Holland’s confession word for word immediately after the conversation.

A few other geologists have spoken out about the relationship between Hunton dewatering operations and a rise in earthquakes in the vicinity of Oklahoma City. They have also been warning that a surge in smaller quakes could increase the likelihood of greater ones.

Unlike other states where fracking is also commonplace, Oklahoma did little in the way of caps or regulations or shutdowns. Instead, reports emerged that state authorities limited such powers to information-gathering missions.

According to EnergeyWire, the view on Oklahoma having fracking-related earthquakes is shared by many academic and federal seismologists.

These new revelations come on the heels of fresh data from Oklahoma that has the US Geological Survey pointing to a clear scientific link between quakes and fracking. 

Missing link? African bones predate earliest-known humans by 400,000yrs

Screenshot from vimeo user Arizona State University
RT | Mar 5, 2015

A newly discovered fossil has shaken up science’s view of human evolution and could be the missing link between apes and humans: 400,000 years older than the oldest human bone found, the discovery could entirely rewrite our story.

For decades scientists have been stumped on the gap between humans that walked bent over and those that walked upright. Who was the mysterious ancestor that joined the ape-like Australopithecus with the human-like Homo? We could be looking at an answer. It now appears the timeline for earliest upright humans goes back not to 2.3 – but to 2.8 million years.


Institute of Human Origins Discovery
from Arizona State University on Vimeo.


An Ethiopian student at Arizona State University and an accompanying research team discovered the lower jawbone and five teeth in Ethiopia in 2013. Now, for the first time, the findings have been published in two papers simultaneously, while a third supprorted the notion that this could indeed be a unique species, and not a Homo habilis.

The fragments definitely belong to the Homo lineage (of which we are the only remainder), but scientists are puzzled about what the species exactly is. In fact, it could turn out to be a completely new one.

Found 250 miles from Addis Ababa, the fragments are believed to belong to our ancestor from when the current dry land was still wetlands, interspersed with trees providing shade and rivers nourishing them. It was discovered not too far from another famous find – Lucy, the ape-like Austrolapithecus afarensis, known to be the earliest potential ancestor of the human family.

That transition between the two types is the first time in our history we switched from bashing things with rocks to actually using our brains to solve puzzles, although there was another transitional type – the crude and less brainy Paranthropus – thought to have appeared just before the transition to Homo.

Chalachew Seyoum of ASU, screenshot
from video, Arizona State University
"There is a big gap in the fossil record between about 2.5 million and 3 million years ago — there's virtually nothing relating to the ancestors of Homo from that time period, in spite of a lot of people looking," study co-author and one of the leaders of the team, Brian Villmoare of the University of Nevada, told Live Science.

Now, for the first time, the 700,000-year hole between Lucy-like and Homo-type humans is beginning to fill up with information.

“This is a little piece of the puzzle that opens the door to new types of questions and field investigations that we can go after to try to find additional evidence to fill in this poorly known time period,” ASU Institute of Human Origins director William H. Kimbel said in the press release.

“It’s an excellent case of a transitional fossil in a critical time period in human evolution,” he added.
The nature of the new find is not without its naysayers: some scientists have posited that the fossil actually belongs to the well-known species of Homo habilis –the earliest known member of the Homo lineage. But careful digital processing has shown that these are not Homo habilis fragments and they in fact belong to a creature that came shortly before it.

It took years for scientists to get to where they are now. The research started in 2002 with painstaking surveying. The scientists were careful not to disturb anything unnecessarily. “So it took us basically 13 years to find this [human ancestor]. It doesn’t mean that the work that we did was wasted up until that time. But when we did find this [jaw], we were pretty excited that after all this time it actually worked out,” assistant professor and co-author Chris Campisano said.

Screenshot from vimeo user Arizona State University
The expectation was that if they were to dig around the area, they would find Lucy’s contemporaries – not what looked like the missing link.

“We first started collecting fossils in the area around where the jaw was eventually found in 2012,” Campisano went on. “When we realized how old the sediments were, we thought we might be able to find more specimens of Lucy’s species and figure out what happened to that lineage. Instead, we were rewarded with a much more exciting discovery.”

“Honestly, it was an exciting moment…I had good experience in field surveying and knew where potential sediments are. I climbed up a little plateau and found this specimen right on the edge of the hill,” said Chalachew Seyoum, the student behind the find.

What we know for sure, according to Professor Kaye Reed of ASU, is that the creature walked on two legs and lived in eastern Africa. Diet and tool use are very important logical next steps to understanding just how clever this ancestor was.

The research continues at ASU for other fossils around the same area to find answers to those questions.

Screenshot from vimeo user Arizona State University

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shock: Fracking Used to Inject Nuclear Waste Underground for Decades

TruthStream Media | Mar 4, 2015 | Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton

Unearthed articles from the 1960s detail how nuclear waste was buried beneath the Earth’s surface by Halliburton & Co. for decades as a means of disposing the by-products of post-World War II atomic energy production.

Fracking is already a controversial practice on its face; allowing U.S. industries to inject slurries of toxic, potentially carcinogenic compounds deep beneath the planet’s surface — as a means of “see no evil” waste disposal — already sounds ridiculous, dangerous, and stupid anyway without even going into further detail.

Alleged fracking links to the contamination of the public water supply and critical aquifers, as well as ties to earthquake upticks near drilling locations that are otherwise not prone to seismic activity have created uproar in the years since the 2005 “Cheney loophole,” which allowed the industry to circumvent the Safe Drinking Water Act by exempting fracking fluids, thus fast tracking shale fracking as a source of cheap natural gas.

Now, it is apparent that the fracking industry is also privvy to many secrets of the nuclear energy industry, and specifically, where the bodies are buried, err… dangerous nuclear waste is buried, rather — waste that atomic researchers have otherwise found so difficult to eliminate.

Truthstream uncovered several published newspaper accounts from the Spring of 1964 concerning a then-newly disclosed plan to dump nuclear waste produced by the atomic energy industry into hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wells using a cement slurry technique developed by Halliburton & Co. The top two fracking companies in the nation at the time were Halliburton and Dowell, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical.

And here we thought fracking was a relatively new industrial phenomenon growing in popularity over just the last couple of decades. Boy were we wrong. Revealed within these articles is Halliburton’s long-standing relationship with the secret government and deep ties between the oil and nuclear industries.

Teaming up with the U.S. Government and Union Carbide Corp., who operate nuclear materials divisions at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, Halliburton was then credited with “solving” the radioactive waste problem faced by America’s secretive nuclear industry. Dumping waste via fracking had apparently been going on since 1960, according to the reports, but was only made public here in 1964.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind


Each of the articles Truthstream found carry the same account under different headlines, with four of them using identical copy, and the fifth, published in the San Antonio Express, slightly rewritten based upon the same source information. The photo captions of each story also add some useful tidbits:

These ran in the:

April 19, 1964 edition of the Great Bend Tribune,
the April 22, 1964 edition of the Warren Times-Mirror,
the April 26, 1964 edition of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal,
the May 3, 1964 edition of the San Antonio Express News (original)
and the June 15, 1964 edition of the Denton Record Chronicle.

The story read, in part:

“Two techniques originated by the petroleum industry for its own uses are expected to solve a major problem in the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The problem is the disposal of dangerous, sometimes deadly, radioactive waste by-products.”

“Researchers at Halliburton Co’s. Technical Center here working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists, have combined the oil well cementing technique with the hydraulic fracturing production stimulation technique to entomb radioactive wastes in an impermeable shale formation a thousand feet underground.”

“The method used at Oak Ridge begins by mixing the waste with a cement slurry, pumping the mixture down a hole drilled into the Conasuaga shale and then fracturing the shale to create a horizontal crack. The crack fills with the mixture to form a thin, horizontal sheet several hundred feet across. The mix sets to permanently hold the radioactive waste in the formation.”

“Union Carbide Corp., which operates facilities at Oak Ridge for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and Halliburton, which provides specialized oil field services such as cementing fracturing worldwide, have collaborated on the project since 1960.”

The mix remained liquid for 48 hours before it was supposed to permanently set and remain there, entombed, forever.

The articles make clear that the Atomic Energy Commission was preparing to use fracking as a means of disposing of nuclear wastes at additional facilities, with Oak Ridge being simply one of the largest, and the first to publicly disclose these out-of-sight disposal procedures:

“Oak Ridge has a radioactive waste disposal problem typical of the nation’s nuclear sites. Each year about four million gallons of waste, including such fission products as strontium 90, cesium 137 and ruthenium 103, are generated at Oak Ridge.”

“Among the disposal methods already tried have been dumping concrete-encased barrels of waste in the ocean or burying the waste in lead-lined containers. These are considered either too dangerous or too expensive or both.”

Unfortunately, the ocean has been used as a giant trashcan not only by the nuclear industry, but municipal garbage and landfill companies and many other entities as well, without any real concern about its significant effects on the food supply and larger ecosystem of the planet.

“If this process is successful for disposal of Oak Ridge National Laboratory intermediate-level wastes, it has potential application at other atomic energy sites where suitable geological conditions exist,” the Atomic Energy Commission says.”

The slightly different version in the San Antonio Express News added these details:

“A couple of techniques used by oilmen when they have hopes of production may soon be used by the Atomic Energy Commission for – of all things – radioactive garbage disposal.”

“Final tests are now under way at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, in trying a combination of oil well cementing plus hydraulic fracturing to entomb radioactive wastes in an impermeable shale formation a thousand feet underground.”

Meanwhile, the Great Bend Tribune added information about the Halliburton executives involved in the plan in their caption for a photo which shows businessmen looking at a diagram explaining how nuclear waste like strontium 90 is mixed with cement and injected into shale formations:

“Halliburton engineer Mack Stogner, left, reviews the project with Harry P. Conroy, senior vice president and general manager of the oil field service firm, and W.D. Owsley, senior vice president.”

The process includes remote controlled operation of the hydraulic fracturing drill in order to shield workers from the “medium level” radioactive substances being dumped into the earth’s crust, as the Warren Times Mirror in Pennsylvania notes in the caption:

“Disposing of Waste – Working behind shielding and wearing film badges, Halliburton Company personnel use demounted oil field service units to dispose of radioactive waste generated at the Oak Ridge, Tenn. nuclear site.”

How often this procedure has been used at other facilities since then is not entirely clear, though we know from reports discussed below that the practice continued and there is no indication that it ever stopped.

Five years later, the October 22, 1969 edition of the San Bernardino County Sun carried a report titled, “3 Ways to Manage Radioactive Waste.”

It discussed the ongoing and growing problems with nuclear waste, naming three principle strategies for managing the toxic stuff, summed up as “(1) delay and decay, (2) concentrate and confine and (3) dilute and disperse,” discussing how materials with lower half lives can supposedly be safely sequestered and later dumped, while other materials can be simply diluted and poured into existing groundwater supplies and systems.

The UPI story originating out of Oak Ridge states, in part,

“Since the start of the atomic era in the 1940s, nuclear reactors around the nation have produced 75 million gallons of hazardous high level radioactive waste materials.”

“And scientists here and elsewhere around the nation still are wrestling with the problems of what to do with this material, which promises to become even more plentiful as more and more commercial nuclear reactors go into power production.”

Oak Ridge proclaims that it found a solution to dealing with high level nuclear wastes, which has thus far been to keep it,

“…buried a few feet underground in storage tanks – tanks which must be periodically replaced because of the natural deterioration of the steel and other materials of which they are fabricated.”

“It is in this area of confining the high level wastes, whose radioactive half life ranges up to 30 to 50 years, that the Atomic Energy Commission is pushing dramatic new concepts.”

“One disposal system, involving materials in the medium range of radioactivity, is the hydraulic fracturing procedures. This system is now being used at Oak Ridge and involves mixing the liquid radioactive waste with concrete to form a grout which is pumped into shale formations 500 to 800 feet underground.”

Note, this article cites a shallower depth, at levels as shallow as 500 feet, after the 1964 articles claimed a further removed depth of 1,000 feet to 5,000. The even “higher level wastes” were disposed of in abandoned salt mines, according to Oak Ridge.

Nuclear Waste ‘Safely Flushed Away’ into the Water Supply


The 1969 article states that “low level waste” is “material which can safely be flushed away into rivers and lakes or released into the atmosphere because the level of radioactivity is so low that is presents no hazard when diluted and flushed into man’s natural environment. The more difficult problem is involved in the high level, liquid and solid wastes which are produced in the reprocessing of used fuel elements from nuclear reactor cores.”

The idea that the waste dumped into water supplies was so “low level” as to be completely harmless is likely dubious and hopeful at best. Fluoride, a by-product of the nuclear power industry, was one of those constituents, and was transformed from being known as a rat poison to being known as a dental benefit by the original spin doctor and propagandist, Edward Bernays.

In his book “The Fluoride Deception,” author Christopher Bryson revealed how the nuclear industry also used fluoridation of the public water supply as a means of secretly dumping industrial waste after fluoride was a major by-product in the uranium enrichment process for building the atomic bomb. Bryson told Democracy Now:

The Manhattan Project needed fluoride to enrich uranium. That’s how they did it. The biggest industrial building in the world, for a time, was the fluoride gaseous diffusion plant in Tennessee the Manhattan Project and Dr. Hodge as the senior toxicologist for the Manhattan Project, were scared stiff less that workers would realize that the fluoride they were going to be breathing inside these plants was going to injury them and that the Manhattan Project, the key — the key of U.S. Strategic power in the Cold War Era, would be jeopardized because the Manhattan Project and the industrial contractors making the atomic bomb would be facing all these lawsuits from workers, all these lawsuits from farmers living around these industrial plants and so Harold Hodge assures us that fluoride is safe and good for children.

More recently, an Associated Press investigation found in 2011 that 48 of 65 nuclear sites in the United States were leaking tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, into groundwater supplies via corroded pipes and tunnels. AP found at least 37 locations were in direct violation of federal drinking water standards for tritium, in some cases hundreds of times over.

Fracking Nuclear Waste ‘Safe for Millions of Years’… Unless It Leaks


Some 30 trillion gallons of toxic waste has been kept out of sight, out of mind by U.S. industries that have injected it hundreds and thousands of feet underground into wells since the 1960s.

Scientists who work for these corporations have used computer modeling to assure the Environmental Protection Agency that this waste poses no threat to our aquifers and that layers of rock deep within the Earth would safely store this stuff like Tupperware for millenia.

Already, several incidents have proven that scientific computer models are no match for reality.

It is clear from a December 21, 1973 article that disposal of nuclear waste via fracking continued, along with promises that it would be safe for millions of years to come.

The Dixon Evening Telegraph wrote in “Geologists look at energy crunch”:

“The U.S. Government is disposing of approximately 250,000 gallons of intermediate-level wastes each year using a technique called hydraulic fracturing. Liquids are pumped into impervious shales 1,000 to 5,000 feet below the surface. High pressure is applied causing the rocks to fracture and the liquid moves out laterally. Because the rock and radioactive wastes it contains will not be exposed to the biosphere for millions of years, this method should be safe unless leakage into an overlying aquifer occurs.”

That is, as the article points out, unless there are leaks.

As we found in research, leakage is exactly what has happened time and again throughout the years, including at disposal sites for Oak Ridge National Laboratories, according to reports in the following cases.

Via ProPublica:

In April, 1967 pesticide waste injected by a chemical plant at Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal destabilized a seismic fault, causing a magnitude 5.0 earthquake — strong enough to shatter windows and close schools — and jolting scientists with newfound risks of injection, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A year later, a corroded hazardous waste well for pulping liquor at the Hammermill Paper Co., in Erie, Pa., ruptured. Five miles away, according to an EPA report, “a noxious black liquid seeped from an abandoned gas well” in Presque Isle State Park.

In 1975 in Beaumont, Texas, dioxin and a highly acidic herbicide injected underground by the Velsicol Chemical Corp. burned a hole through its well casing, sending as much as five million gallons of the waste into a nearby drinking water aquifer.

And these are hardly the only examples… in fact, it is just scratching the surface of an issue that is almost as incomprehensible as it is unfathomable.

Then in August 1984 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., radioactive waste was turned up by water monitoring near a deep injection well at a government nuclear facility.

Bingo…

There it is. The infallible, permanent, and “impermeable” deep injection wells that Halliburton and the Atomic Energy Commission considered as a solution to nuclear waste for eons to come were found turning up radioactive nuclear waste at the very Oak Ridge site where these 1960s disposal projects were taking place.

Subterranean Waste Disposal a ‘Cornerstone of the Nation’s Economy’


Those cemented wells, filled with injected disposal substances may be safely secured for a few years or even decades, but that is no guarantee for the years down the road and its certainly not the millenia as promised by Halliburton and others in the industry. In fact, many of the wells have been forgotten, abandoned, and are lost to the record books.
As ProPublica reports:

There are upwards of 2 million abandoned and plugged oil and gas wells in the U.S., more than 100,000 of which may not appear in regulators’ records. Sometimes they are just broken off tubes of steel, buried or sticking out of the ground. Many are supposed to be sealed shut with cement, but studies show that cement breaks down over time, allowing seepage up the well structure.

And many of these are injection wells, where all kinds of unwanted, toxic substances are dumped in order to be forgotten… though not necessarily gone.

Not only are these practices taking place, they are widespread… and widely defended, even with the known failures and safety issues.

Many scientists and regulators say the alternatives to the injection process — burning waste, treating wastewater, recycling, or disposing of waste on the surface — are far more expensive or bring additional environmental risks.

Subterranean waste disposal, they point out, is a cornerstone of the nation’s economy, relied on by the pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical industries.
It’s also critical to a future less dependent on foreign oil: Hydraulic fracturing, “clean coal” technologies, nuclear fuel production and carbon storage (the keystone of the strategy to address climate change) all count on pushing waste into rock formations below the earth’s surface. (source)

Sure, maybe it’s better than dumping it directly into the waterways, but still. This isn’t just playing with fire, this is playing with the lives of everyone in the nation for generations to come.

Please read ProPublica’s full series of reports on this, starting here. Things have to change.

These people should not have started messing with something they did not know how to fully and safely manage.

How long can this madness continue until it winds up tainting every drinking glass in America?

Engineer Mario Salazar, who worked as a technical expert for 25 years with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington, told ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten something that should give us all pause about how radioactive nuclear waste and industrial pollutants in general are being handled, and where they may ultimately end up:

“In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted. A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.”

Sustainability on Steroids: Organic Farmer Grosses $100K an Acre

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Mar 4, 2015 | Christina Sarich

Could he have found the most effective way to grow food?

We need GMOs to feed the world like a fish needs dry land. A controversial farmer in California is proving that a veritable bumper crop can be had using new farming methods that don’t require GMO pesticides, herbicides, or even weeding, and require 10 times less water than the average farm. The best part – he earned $100K per acre last season without even harvesting all of his land.

What kind of super-fertilizer allows Paul Kaiser to grow so much food on a mere 8 acres? Lot’s of rotten food scraps and rotten plants – otherwise known as compost. And he uses loads of it.

He uses farming practices both old, and cutting-edge-new so well that agricultural specialists from University of California at Davis who have tested his top soil can drive a four-foot steel pole all the way through his fields. This, as opposed to most parts of California, where it would hit infertile hard-pan in less than 12 inches.

Last year, Kaiser’s farm located in Sonoma Valley, CA grossed more than $100,000 an acre, too. This is ten times the average for most farmers of this area, even in lucrative wine-country.

His farm is no mega-farm, either. At just under 8 acres, he is beating even other large organic farms because the soil is still so damaged in other conventional and organic farms alike. He is certainly out-performing Big Ag methods of farming as his unique farming practices have turned the soil into a goldmine.

Kaiser also doesn’t plow his fields (which means a lot less work) and he uses around 10 times less water than his peers. His neighbors still run sprinklers, but he waters for about an hour a week, using almost exclusively drip irrigation. This means that while California is still recovering from a drought, most farmers are watering the air – since most of the water is lost to evaporation. Kaiser is watering – how novel an idea – just his plants.

Read: Russians Prove Small-Scale Organic CAN Feed the World

Kaiser uses a thick, acrylic blanket to
keep both soil and compost piles
covered. Most farmers, if the cover
soil at all, us immense plastic
sheets, which end up each
year in the landfill. “These
blankets last me 10 years!”
Many California farmers recently spent millions tanking in water to try to save their crops, while Kaiser just made a healthy annual salary for even most high-paid lawyers. Water was being sold on the black market for ridiculous prices, but you can bet Kaiser wasn’t paying them.

Kaiser is a bit of a mad genius, and a dreamer, too. He rattles off statistics at local talks he gives about exactly how he grows so sustainably, often including surprising facts. For example, he leaves his roots in the ground after harvest to feed the worms. He sounds a bit like a Martin Luther King for growing green:
“Sustainable farming methods are just one corner,” he said. “Economic sustainability is another, and social sustainability is the third.”
During a recent Sunday farmers’ market, representatives of several different agricultural organizations approached Kaiser, each asking him for advice. Now, when billed for talks, he often packs the house.

Kaiser envisions small farms near every city around the globe, even in the most dry, arid climates, and with the proof of his own sweat, and soil, I believe his dream is possible.

Additional Sources:

Article images from Craftsmanship.net