Monday, December 31, 2012

The Idol Smasher

© Mr. Fish
The Idol Smasher
Dec 31, 2012 | Truthdig | Chris Hedges

Ishmael Reed has spent the last five decades smashing idols—idols of race, idols of capitalism, celebrity idols and the idols of national virtue and greatness. His essays, novels, poems, plays, songs and cartoons routinely shatter the delusions and myths of a nation stubbornly unwilling to confront its past or understand its present. He rips open a history that saw white Europeans exterminate one race and enslave another to create the nation’s prosperity, a past that includes the violent plundering of nations around the globe—Cuba, the Philippines, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan among them—to show us who we have become. He names the corrosive disease of empire. He excoriates what Alexis de Tocqueville called our “perpetual practice of self-applause.” He battles back against the sophisticated forms of propaganda—especially from Hollywood—that perpetuate patriotic fantasies and pander to the dark streams of paranoia, racism and fear that run like electric currents through white society.

Reed’s righteous fury is a heartening antidote to the squeamishness of liberals and the lunacy of the right wing. He says the editors of The New York Times and most other major media outlets “sound like they get their instructions from Julius Streicher [the Nazi propagandist] when it comes to blacks.” He calls the HBO series “The Wire” “a Neo-Nazi portrait of black people” and dismisses the movie “Precious” as a film that “makes D.W. Griffith look like a progressive.”

“Lazy, no-good black people, who are welfare cheats, sitting around eating chicken, and having sex with their children, right out of the Lee Atwater-Paul Ryan playbook,” he said of the portrayals in “Precious” when I reached him by phone at his home in Oakland, Calif. “The wonderful novelist Diane Johnson was right when she said that ‘largely white’ audiences are thrilled by images of black people as dysfunctional. This has become a billion-dollar market which led critics to assert that Black Bogeyman movies sell better than sex, according to the critic C. Liegh McInnis. You even have a critic at The Root website, a post-racial ‘Talented Tenth’ hangout for ‘exceptional blacks,’ praising Quentin Tarantino’s latest sick exercise into racial porn, called ‘Django Unchained,’ ” which I critique at the Wall Street Journal site Speakeasy. This movie is being praised by the same critics who loved ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Precious,’ probably because it revives Stanley Elkins’ discredited ‘Sambo Thesis.’ ”

Reed has no time for Black Bloc anarchists, whom he calls “alienated, spoiled middle-class white kids from the suburbs” as well as “vandals and thugs.” He calls the Oscar presentation “a white supremacist pageant.” He detests the Clintons, who he reminds us sold out the poor and the working class. Hillary, he says, makes “Eva Peron seem benign.” He predicts more tragedies like the recent Connecticut massacre, noting that many white Americans stockpile assault rifles because they are terrified of black people and that mass shootings in the United States almost always are carried out by estranged white men.

“ ‘The Turner Diaries,’ the book that inspired Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma, and assaults by gunmen including one against the North Valley Jewish Community Center [in Granada Hills, Calif.,] in 1999, are very explicit,” he said not long after we were on a panel together at the Miami Book Festival. “The [novel] tells whites they need guns because if they give up their assault weapons blacks will kidnap white women and Jewish men will be their pimps. This fantasy, however absurd, at least addresses the deepest, unspoken fears of whites. The white power structure looks around at what is happening. It sees we are going down. It is terrified of an uprising by a coalition of whites, blacks, Asian-Americans and Hispanics that elected Obama—even though Obama with his pretty, multicultural face and elegant style and his spouse, who is more militant than he and who for that reason has been silenced, serve the empire. The only problem is that white crazies like [Michele] Bachmann and the others are so blinded by white supremacy that they won’t go along with the script. She [Rep. Bachmann] said that Obama was costing the taxpayers $250 million per day on his trip to India, a lie, when Obama’s taking over 100 CEOs along with him brought back billions in contracts.”

 “The other part of the white public, the underclass and working class, has proven that they will go to any lengths to uphold white supremacy,” he said. “Even when they had no fight in the Civil War, owning no slave assets like the planters, they caused the deaths of 640,000 Americans in order to uphold white supremacy. Then, as now, parts of the white working class, who are anti-union and get drunk on the cheap moonshine of racism, are willing to exercise self-extinction in order to uphold white supremacy.”

“One part of the slavery deal was the patriarchal planter’s ownership of black women’s wombs,” he went on. “Now they [the powerful] are mandating this demand of all women. Yet, white women favored Romney by 14 points. They’re intimidated I think by their husbands, brothers, fathers and employers, which is why they scapegoat the [black] brothers for worldwide misogyny.” 

Read more..

Codex Nutrition Committee Chooses Malnutrition

Scott Tips discusses NRVs with Malaysian
and Benin delegates at CCNFSDU Meeting
Codex Nutrition Committee Chooses Malnutrition
Dec 31, 2012 | GreenMedInfo | Scott Tips JD

In a stunning display of nutritional ignorance, three women ram through a Codex standard that leaves many with sub-optimal nutrition

The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) just finished meeting all last week (December 3-7) in Bad Soden, a small German city near Frankfurt am Main. Nearly 300 delegates were in attendance, comprised of government functionaries and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) representatives.  So, for one week, the assembled delegates – including the INGO delegation of the National Health Federation (NHF)[1] –met, discussed, and debated a wide number of food and food-supplement issues, including the controversial draft Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for vitamins and minerals.

order kitchen herbs seed pack
Remember, the food guidelines and standards adopted by this Committee, and approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, are important because they are then used domestically  by numerous countries worldwide and by virtually all countries in international food trade.

Nutrient Reference Values 

Those who have been following the National Health Federation's efforts at Codex since the mid-1990s will recall that at the Codex Nutrition Committee meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany in 2009, the NHF singlehandedly launched the opposition that stopped the Australian delegation and others from "dumbing down" these Nutrient Reference Values.[2]

Read more..

The moral roots of liberals and conversatives - Jonathan Haidt

The moral roots of liberals and conversatives - Jonathan Haidt
Dec 31, 2012 | TEDEducation

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right, or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most. Jonathan Haidt studies how -- and why -- we evolved to be moral. By understanding more about our moral roots, his hope is that we can learn to be civil and open-minded.

Talk by Jonathan Haidt.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Noam Chomsky on How He Found His Calling

© Alternet
Noam Chomsky on How He Found His Calling
Dec 29, 2012 | Alternet | Michael Kasenbacher

Renowned linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky shares his take on his career and his drive to educate the public on world affairs.

Michael Kasenbacher: The question I would like to ask is what is really wanted work? Maybe we could start with your personal life and your double career in linguistics and political activism? Do you like that kind of work?

Noam Chomsky: If I had the time I would spend far more time doing work on language, philosophy, cognitive science, topics that are intellectually very interesting. But a large part of my life is given to one or another form of political activity: reading, writing, organising, activism and so on. Which is worth doing, it's necessary but it's not really intellectually challenging. Regarding human affairs we either understand nothing, or it's pretty superficial. It's hard work to get the data and put it all together but it's not terribly challenging intellectually. But I do it because it's necessary. The kind of work that should be the main part of life is the kind of work you would want to do if you weren't being paid for it. It's work that comes out of your own internal needs, interests and concerns. 

MK: The philosopher Frithjof Bergmann says that most people don't know what kind of activities they really want to do. He calls that 'the poverty of desire.' I find this to be true when I talk to a lot of my friends. Did you always know what you wanted to do?

NC: That's a problem I never had - for me there was always too much that I wanted to do. I'm not sure how widespread this is - take, say, a craftsman, I happen to be no good with tools, but take someone who can build things, fix things, they really want to do it. They love doing it: 'if there's a problem I can solve it'. Or just plain physical labour - that's also gratifying. If you work on command then of course it's just drudgery but if you do the very same thing out of your own will or interest it's exciting and interesting and appealing. I mean that's why people look for work - gardening for example. So you've had a hard week, you have the weekend off, the kids are running around, you could just lie down to sleep but it's much more fun to be gardening or building something or doing something else. 

It's an old insight, not mine. Wilhelm von Humboldt, who did some of the most interesting work on this, once pointed out that if an artisan produces a beautiful object on command we may admire what he did but we despise what he is - he's a tool in the hands of others. If on the other hand he creates that same beautiful object out of his own will we admire it and him and he's fulfilling himself. It's kind of like study at school - I think we all know from our experience that if you study on command because you have to pass a test you can do fine on the test but two weeks later you've forgotten everything. On the other hand if you do it because you want to find out, and you explore and you make mistakes and you look in the wrong place and so on, then ultimately you remember. 

MK: So you think that basically a person knows what it is that he or she wants to do?

NC: Under the right circumstances that would be true. Children for example are naturally curious - they want to know about everything, they want to explore everything but that generally gets knocked out of their heads. They're put into disciplined structures, things are organised for them to act in certain ways so it tends to get beaten out of you. That's why school's boring. School can be exciting. It happens that I went to a Deweyite school until I was about 12. It was an exciting experience, you wanted to be there, you wanted to go. There was no ranking, there were no grades. Things were guided so it wasn't just do anything you feel like. There was a structure but you were basically encouraged to pursue your own interests and concerns and to work together with others. I basically didn't know I was a good student until I got to high school.

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Nazca lines: Mysterious desert drawings form labyrinth

© Unknown
Nazca lines: Mysterious desert drawings form labyrinth
Dec 30, 2012 | Live Science | Tia Ghose

Some of the Nazca Lines, mysterious geoglyphs that span a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert, may have once been a labyrinth with a spiritual purpose, a new study suggests.

The new insight, published in the December issue of the journal Antiquity, came because two archaeologists decided to use a decidedly low-tech method to understand the sand drawing's ancient secrets: by walking it.

At the time the Nazca Lines, which span 85 square miles (220 square kilometers), were drawn, "people were not looking at this stuff from the air, they were looking at stuff from the ground level," said Timothy Ingold, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Aberdeen, who was not involved in the study. "To appreciate what they might have meant to ordinary people, then you have to walk them."

While that seems like an obvious first step, in actuality, very few archaeologists have studied the Nazca Lines from that vantage point, because most of the pictures drawn out by the lines are only visible from foothills above or from space.

The Nazca Lines have been a mystery since they were first discovered in the 1920s by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejía Xesspe. Long-forgotten people from the Nasca culture created the drawings between 200 B.C. and A.D. 500 by brushing away the dark top layer of barren desert to reveal the light, sandy soil underneath, wrote Clive Ruggles, an archaeologist from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, in an email. The dry, windless climate has preserved most of the carvings - hundreds of depictions of animal shapes such as jaguars and monkeys, as well as geometric designs - to this day.

But just why ancient people created the Nazca Lines has been an enduring mystery: Some archaeologists have suggested it was an alien landing strip, a primitive sun calendar, or an irrigation system.

"There is no simple answer. Different geoglyphs were clearly created over a significant period of time and almost certainly had a variety of meanings and purposes," Ruggles wrote.

Concerns about degradation of the mysterious geoglyphs prevented most traffic through the region since the 1990s. But when Ruggles and Aberdeen colleague Nicholas Saunders came upon a previously undiscovered set of lines north of the Nazca desert in 1984, they wondered whether the geoglyphs might reveal their secrets from a more terrestrial point of view.

Starting in 2007, Ruggles and Saunders spent 150 days walking 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) of the ancient carvings. They found the newly uncovered geoglyph was a single line that radiated out in a mystifying, confusing pattern, with a series of sharp, disorienting turns leading up to a mound whose purpose remains unknown. What's more, the meandering line was in pristine condition, leading the archaeologists to conclude that the paths that were carved out were rarely, if ever, used.

Many labyrinths have a spiritual purpose, so one possibility is that the paths weren't walked at all, but instead were intended for the passage of gods or spirits, Ruggles wrote. For instance, in the 5th century B.C. Herodotus mentions a vast Egyptian labyrinth that served as a mortuary temple, while the Hopi indians saw labyrinths as symbols of Mother Earth.

The researchers note this is still just speculation, Ingold told LiveScience.

"We still have absolutely no idea what these people were doing or what the point of it was," Ingold said.

Signs of Change: Floods, Landslides, Train Wrecks, Super Cold - Heat

Signs of Change: Floods, Landslides, Train Wrecks, Super Cold - Heat
Dec 25, 2012 | HawkkeyDavisChannel

solar power survival kits

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Corporate America has Messed with the Wrong People

Corporate America has Messed with the Wrong People
Dec 29, 2012 | TheBigPictureRT

Professor Richard Wolff, New School University NYC, joins Thom Hartmann. Facing salary cuts, Port workers on the East Coast are threatening a strike that could impact the economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. We'll talk about why THIS strike in particular is so important - and how - if it's successful - it could bring about a future Leisure Society for working Americans.

survival seed vault

Revealing quantum flow

Wigner flow’s stagnation points’ positions
across phase space as a function of time.

Credit: University of Hertfordshire
Revealing quantum flow
Dec 28, 2012 |

(—UK-based physicist Ole Steuernagel from the University of Hertfordshire, alongside Dimitris Kakofengitis and Georg Ritter, have found that a new powerful tool they call 'Wigner flow' is the quantum analogue of phase space flow.

Wigner flow provides information for quantum dynamics similar to that gleaned from phase space trajectories in classical physics. Wigner flow can be used for the visualisation of quantum dynamics. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, Wigner flow helps with the abstract analysis of quantum dynamics using topological methods.

Ole Steuernagel, from the University's Science and Technology Research Institute, said: "Because trajectories are missing in quantum phase space, physicists did not pay much attention to the associated flow-fields, although these do exist. Now, our research shows that quantum phase space flow is well worth studying."

In classical physics, phase space trajectories give rise to flow-fields representing the dynamics of the system along its trajectories; they yield additional insight into a system's behaviour.

Quantum theory phase space trajectories do not exist because Heisenberg's uncertainty principle does not allow for the formation of sharply defined trajectories. But quantum physicists have not given up entirely on phase space. The study of the next best thing, the movement of quantum physics' phase space-based probability distributions has actually boomed in recent years.

Sophisticated schemes for the reconstruction of the most prominent of these distributions, 'Wigner's function', from experimental data, have set quantum phase space analysis on a firm footing. Yet, since quantum trajectory studies cannot be carried out, some of the power of established classical methods is missing.

The researchers have been studying Wigner flow, which is based on the dynamics of Wigner's function, and have shown that it reveals new and surprising features of quantum phase space dynamics. It forms, for example, vortices that spin the 'wrong' way round and which appear in the 'wrong' part of phase space, when viewed from a classical physics standpoint. So, such dynamical patterns are manifestations of the quantum nature of the system.

On top of such new riches the team has established the existence of a conservation law that reveals a new type of topological order for quantum dynamics. As an application they have shown that Wigner flow sheds new light on quantum tunnelling, the fundamental process that governs the workings of electronic computer circuits, and also the decay of radio-nuclides.

More information: The paper "Wigner flow reveals topological order in quantum phase space dynamics" is published in Physical Review Letters.

Journal reference: Physical Review Letters search and more info website Provided by University of Hertfordshire

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Vagus nerve: Your friend in weight loss and a better mood

The Vagus nerve: Your friend in weight loss and a better mood
Dec 27, 2012 | Dr. Daniel Zagst

(NaturalNews) It's no secret that a healthy nervous system is important for well-being and longevity. The spinal nerves are responsible for controlling most of the muscles in your torso, arms, and legs, along with bowel, bladder, and reproductive functions. The cranial nerves reside mostly in the head region and control much of what goes on in the face and neck, but the tenth cranial nerve goes way beyond. The Vagus nerve influences your body and brain more than most people realize.

What is the Vagus nerve?

The Vagus nerve is responsible for speech, swallowing, keeping the larynx open for breathing, slowing heart rate, monitoring and initiating digestive processes, and modulating inflammation, among other actions. It arises from the medulla in the brain and passes through the skull down within the chest cavity where it branches off in multiple directions to innervate organs and muscles. 80 to 90 percent of the nerve fibers are devoted to sending information from the organs/gut back to the brain. The Vagus nerve is the main line of communication between the brain and the energy-producing digestive tract. It also relays information to the brain from what is known as the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). The ENS is our "second brain" controlling the digestive process; it is made up of over 500 million neurons that surround the digestive tract. It is called a second brain because it can function independently from the brain if the Vagus nerve is severed. Research into the Vagus nerve and its effects on the body and brain have revealed good reasons to keep it stimulated.

Research shows health-promoting effects

The Vagus nerve is an activator of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS is responsible for relaxation, slowed heart rate, digestion, sleep, and general well-being by the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that acts as a messenger. Furthermore, Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been found to activate anti-inflammatory pathways that work in the digestive tract. Another recent study found VNS to be a possible treatment for chronic depression in people that didn't respond to any other treatments. It is not entirely understood how VNS affects the brain in such a profound manner but it may be due to the inhibition of certain aberrant pathways. A secondary effect of VNS was weight loss due to the "feeling of fullness" caused by activation of the Vagus nerve, the same that is felt after consuming a large meal. Research is now moving forward into possible applications in the treatment of anxiety disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and fibromyalgia.

How to activate the Vagus nerve

VNS is commonly performed as a surgical procedure to install a pacemaker-like device that continuously stimulates the nerve. Although effective, it carries many risks and there are easier ways you can stimulate the Vagus nerve without surgery. VNS can be achieved by performing a vagal maneuver; the same given to people with a fast heartbeat or blood pressure issues. These maneuvers include holding your breath, placing a cold, wet washcloth over your face, or tensing your abdomen as if you were going to get punched in the stomach. Taking deep, long breaths using your diaphragm to expand your belly is one of the best ways to achieve VNS while simultaneously oxygenating your blood. When hungry, performing these maneuvers may help you resist those high-calorie holiday snacks in the brake room.


About the author:
Dr. Daniel Zagst is a chiropractic physician at Advanced Health & Chiropractic in Mooresville, NC. He has a BS in Professional Studies of Adjunctive Therapies, Doctorate of Chiropractic from NYCC, and an Advanced Certificate in Sport Science and Human Performance. Find out more at

Cloud Seeding Experiments Enhance Globalist Control Over the Weather

© Occupy Corporatism
Cloud Seeding Experiments Enhance Globalist Control Over the Weather
Dec 26, 2012 | Susanne Posel

Above the sands belonging to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), fifty rainstorms have been manufactured by scientists using large ionizers to generate negatively charged particle fields. These structures promote cloud formation. Metro Systems International (MSI), the technology purveyors, claims to have “achieved a number of rainfalls.”

MSI scientists use ionizers to negatively charge electrons that naturally attract specks of dust in the atmosphere. Using convection, these particles are carried upward on air currents can become clouds at the right height. The electrons will attract water molecules from the air and condense them. With enough water collected, the “cloud” can create rain.

This privately owned Swiss corporation “s focused on providing a rain enhancement service to increase the supply of fresh water in arid regions of the world.” The globalist-controlled Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPM) was involved in the MSI experiments to create rain.

MPM attributes industrialization, rising need for more resources due to population growth and greenhouse emissions to the current state of our planet and seeks to use scientific methods to manipulate our atmosphere to create their desired effect – to alter the climate so that the variations created will change weather patterns worldwide.

© Occupy Corporatism
The Earthsystem Model (ESM) developed by MPM studies atmospheric-ocean systems with hypothesis tested and the integration of simulating natural weather patterns.

MSI is collaborating with meteorological scientists and researching and development projects for governments across the globe in order to fabricate rainstorms using Weathertec projects.

Weathertec has been around since 2010 wherein 50 rainstorms complete with thunder and lightning were created in Abu Dhabi where rainfall is scarce. This $11 project is an “innovative rainfall enhancement technology.” MSI, working with the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE, embarked on the rain-making experiment by manipulating electrons with ionizers.

Cloud seeding, an international effort to modify the weather, manufactures precipitation and forces the development of clouds that are rife with condensation by coercing the microphysical process within the cloud itself. This process is achieved by injecting silver iodide aerosols into the atmosphere to cause ice crystals to grow and facilitate rainfall.

Experiments in cloud seeding began in the 1940s with experiments conducted by General Electric Laboratory, and have been broadened by international scientific communities with over 150 weather modification programs active with the majority of those endeavors being cloud seeding. An estimated 11 programs are being utilized in the US.

The environmental effects of cloud seeding have not been fully explored for the sake of using this modification technology to control weather patterns. Because of this fact, there are no studies directly linking weather modification techniques to the effects we call global warming. This is part of the scheme of blaming man for climate change. As weather modification project continue, their long-term influence causes the changes we attribute to human activity, which justifies the need for control over greenhouse emissions by eco-fascists.

Project Cirrus (PC), a.k.a. Project Stormfury), was conducted by the US government between 1962 and 1983, in an attempt to manipulate the weather by affecting hurricane behavior. PC was headed by General Electric, the US Army Signal Corps, the Office of Naval Research and the US Air Force.

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri, environmental writer and former university professor and scholar, states: “For more than a decade, first the United States and then Canada’s citizens have been subjected to a 24/7/365 day aerosol assault over our heads made of a toxic brew of poisonous heavy metals, chemicals, and other dangerous ingredients. None of this was reported by any mainstream media. The US Department of Defense (DoD) and military have been systematically blanketing all our skies with what are known as Chemtrails (also known as Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering).”

© Occupy Corporatism
According to the Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy (GGTP) report , produced by the Congressional Research Service, the US government “has joined with other nations . . . as a participant in several international agreements on climate change.”

The experimental aspect of geoengineering in the US is directed in the “absence of a comprehensive [climate change] policy” that will “modify the Earth’s climate” and make these technologies available to “foreign governments and entities in the private sector to use unilaterally without authorization from the US government or an international treaty.’

Oversight concerning geoengineering research and experimental projects is allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Agriculture (DoA), and the DoD.
John Holdren, US Science Adviser to Obama, has come out publicly to claim that geoengineering will assist the planet in stabilizing its weather with regard to global warming.

Holdren says geoengineering as a perfectly viable way to cool the planet’s temperature. He fully supports the process of releasing particles of barium, magnesium, aluminum, nano-fibers, bacillus blood spores and other chemicals to reflect sunlight away from the Earth.

The implementation of geoengineering, a scheme of the UN’s decisive endeavor to create global governance, is not only fully supported by the US government, but the UN’s direct policies and procedures are literally adopted as strategies of the Obama administration.

In 2009, the Congress’ House Science and Technology Committee discussed “potential environmental risks and benefits of various proposals, associated domestic and international governance issues, evaluation mechanisms and criteria, research and development (R&D) needs, and economic rationales supporting the deployment of geoengineering activities.” The United Kingdom (UK), Germany, and India provided scientists that supported the engagement of geoengineering technologies in the name of reducing emissions, preserving “climate sensitivity”, and climate thresholds under the pursuit of political, social and economic mitigation strategies.

The UN’s assertion that climate change is directly causal to humans has inspired that mandates for geoengineering governance. This scheme relies on no scientific data or research studies, but rather real world experiments with chemtrail technologies conducted by governmental agencies and private sector corporations employed by policymakers and international entities.

Through the covering of governmental policy, the UN hopes to design technologies to control the climate; advance geoengineering options in lieu of effectively mitigating greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions (for example, could result in a number of adverse effects, including ocean acidification, stresses on biodiversity, climate sensitivity shocks, and other irreversible consequences); engage the private sector corporations by enticing them with government subsidies while examining their ownership models, intellectual property rights and trade and transfer mechanisms for the dissemination of geoengineering technologies.

While the UN anticipated that the general public would become aware of their schemes (as is happening now) they planned a propaganda campaign to assert transparency while hiding the actuality of critical technologies to avoid liabilities and compensation to the public for adverse effects of geoengineering.

Los Angeles prepares to fight Fukushima debris

Debris are scattered before the sixth reactor
building of stricken Tokyo Electric Power Co
(TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power
plant (AFP Photo / POOL)
Los Angeles prepares to fight Fukushima debris
Dec 27, 2012 |

Nearly two years after the Fukushima nuclear plant suffered a massive meltdown in Japan, some Americans could be just now seeing first-hand evidence of the disaster — and right in their backyards.

It’s certainly been a while since an earthquake and tsunami took down the Fukushima power plant, but the results of that ravaging natural disaster might only now be ending up in the United States. People in Los Angeles, California are already on the lookout for debris that has been washing across the Pacific Ocean since March 11, 2011.

Northern California could soon see "scattered and intermittent" episodes of flotsam from Fukushima washing ashore, says Peter Murphy, a marine debris expert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

According to the Associated Press, the NOAA has only traced 17 pieces of debris strewn across the ocean to the Japanese coast, although more than 1,400 sightings have been reported to the agency. With a series of severe storms surrounding the United States moving matter around lately, though, Murphy says it isn’t unlikely that items from Fukushima will start to be found near LA.

"There's a bit of tsunami debris fever. It's like an Easter egg hunt," Charlie Plybon adds to the AP’s report. Plybon works as the regional manager of the Oregon branch of the Surfrider Foundation and has spent over a decade cleaning up the Pacific Coast there. Only lately, however, has he actually seen people actively looking out for Fukushima flotsam.

"People used to walk past debris. Now they want to be engaged,” Plybon says.

Earlier this week, eight US sailors who were aboard the USS Ronald Regan during rescue missions after the disaster sued the state-owned Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) because they say they were led to believe radiation off the coast of Japan was not as bad as it really was. While those crewmembers are asking for tens of millions in compensation, though, any evidence of the meltdown that makes its way to America is likely to be relatively speaking not all that radioactive. Although the Japanese are believed to have lied about how dangerous the meltdown really was, the thousands of miles material would have to travel between Fukushima and LA would likely decontaminate almost all of the debris. While around 80 percent of the radiation released by the meltdown was pushed off of Japan by wind and sea, there it was quickly diluted by Mother Nature.

“It is unlikely any epidemiological investigations will detect an increase [in cancers] in Japan or elsewhere that can be directly attributed to Fukushima,” the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year.

Even still, that doesn’t rule out the odds of Californians coming into contact with some Japanese artifacts: debris has already been discovered along the West Coast of Canada and parts of Alaska. The fact that it’s expected anytime now in Los Angeles raises some other concerns, though. In July, an NOAA study suggested that the West Coast wouldn’t receive any contaminated debris until five years after the fact.

“The levels of radiation that hit the US coast will be small relative to the levels released by Fukushima,” co-author Claus Böning, wrote in the report, “but we cannot estimate accurately what those levels will be because we do not know for certain what was released by Fukushima.”

A separate study conducted by the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey this year found that after examining roughly 38,000 children from the area, more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids. With the release of those findings, the organization said it could be years before the extent of the damage is properly known.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Germaphobes Beware: 3 Reasons to Welcome Germs and Nix Antibacterial Agents

© Natural Society
Germaphobes Beware: 3 Reasons to Welcome Germs and Nix Antibacterial Agents
Dec 25, 2012 | Natural Society | Elizabeth Renter

Are you the type to carry antibacterial hand wash in your car, purse, or pocket? Do you wipe down the cart at your grocery store with those complimentary wipes? While you might believe you are practicing safety and avoiding germs, you could be doing more harm than good.

If you are over the age of 20, you likely remember a time before these things were commonplace – where children played ball with other children without using alcohol-spray in between catches, and where kids actually played in the dirt without a parent losing their temper. We exchanged germs freely, and as far as I remember, we were all okay.

Now, however, things are different.

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on soap. I’m not advocating we all stop washing, but we are also spending billions on antibacterial chemicals—something we likely don’t really need. As late as 1993, there were only a few dozen antibacterial products available to consumers. Now, there are well over 10,000.
Are we healthier now? Are these products somehow keeping us safe? Not hardly. As a matter of fact, they are helping to create super-germs and may actually be weakening our immune systems.

1. Creating Super-Germs

Scientists call it “selection”, where germs that survive an antibacterial slathering get stronger and reproduce. These super-germs don’t die when you wash your hands or use an antibacterial gel, they become resistant to all of the germ-killers and they mutate to become even stronger. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s true.
Some research even shows that these bacterium are becoming resistant to antibiotics. These death-defying germs get stronger and actually grow faster than those who succumb to the anti-bacterial agents. In a way, we are sort of speeding germ-evolution along, helping these little guys get stronger and stronger by giving them progressively stronger chemicals to beat.

2. Triclosan and Other Harmful Chemicals

Triclosan is found in cleaning agents and soap, often those touting an anti-bacterial label. It is added to reduce bacterial contamination, but while the FDA says triclosan dangers aren’t at all a threat, they admit that some valuable studies have linked it with several different problems. Researchers in one study found that the popular chemical triclosan is tied to muscle function impairments in humans, mice, and fish. Exposure could eventually contribute to heart disease and heart failure because of reduced contractions in cardiac and skeletal muscles—unsettling news given the chemical’s growing prevalence since the 1970s.

3. Soap and Water Works

So, what’s the solution? It isn’t a plastic bubble or gloves. It’s far simpler. When your hands are dirty, wash them—not with some super-power antibacterial germ-annihilator, but with soap and water. Eat healthy foods to build your immune system and combat contagious illnesses; don’t rely on topical chemicals to do it for you.

The human body is an amazing machine when we allow it to function normally. It’s when we try to improve upon it with chemicals and lab-created solutions that we actually end up doing far more harm. While sneezing in the face of your children to build their immune system may be a bit over the top, it wouldn’t be extreme to allow them some contact with germs in the outside world. After all, the germs are there no matter what you do, you might as well encourage resistance to them from the inside (through diet) rather than the outside (through chemicals).

Additional immune boosters include: garlic and onion, elderberry, Vitamin D3, physical activity, and Vitamin C.

Scientists find five new planets close to Earth

organic-vegan-biodynamic wines Scientists find five new planets close to Earth
Dec 19, 2012 | Phenomenica

Scientists using an intra-galactic speed gun have detected five new planets, relatively close to Earth, and one of them is orbiting a star’s habitable zone, where conditions are suitable for life.

It would take only 12 years to reach the planets when travelling at the speed of light.

Scientists analysing about 6000 measurements of the star Tau Ceti’s velocity, believe that slight inconsistencies in its speed and direction are being caused by the gravitational pull of other celestial bodies.

“We believe the star is going very slightly backwards and forwards and shows the evidence for doing that at five different periods,” said Professor Chris Tinney of the University of New South Wales.

“We think five different planets are going around that star tugging on it making it move backwards and forwards,” Tinney said.

An international team of researchers from Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom and the United States believe one of the five planets orbiting Tau Ceti is within the star’s habitable zone, where conditions are suitable for life.

The planet in the habitable zone has a mass about five times that of Earth, making it the smallest known planet orbiting in the “Goldilocks” zone – where conditions are just right – of any Sun-like star. Tinney said scientists believe smaller, rocky planets have the best chance of hosting life.

The finding comes after 14 years of research and analysis, and it might take that long again before scientists are certain of what lurks in Tau Ceti’s neighbourhood.

“But if somebody else could prove that we’re wrong, I’d be more than happy with that,” Tinney said.
The planets, of which the smallest is at least twice the size of Earth, are too far away to send probes to explore.

“Even if we could send something at the speed of light, it would take 12 years to get there and 12 years to send a signal back,” Tinney said.

“At the moment we have no way of even getting close to a 10th of the speed of light,” Tinney added.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Thunderbolts of the Gods -- Official Movie

Thunderbolts of the Gods -- Official Movie
Dec 23, 2012 | ThunderboltsProject

NEWS FLASH: "ELECTRIC UNIVERSE 2013: The Tipping Point." A breakthrough conference, Jan 3-6 in Albuquerque New Mexico. Wal Thornhill, David Talbott, Rupert Sheldrake, Gerald Pollack, Mae Wan Ho, Dean Radin, and many more, including most of the speakers highlighted in the ThunderboltsProject videos.

Here, for a limited time, we present the full version of the popular film Thunderbolts of the Gods, which helped to introduce the world to the Electric Universe in 2006. High res version available from Mikamar Publishing.

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Hypothermic sea turtles continue to wash up in record numbers on Cape Cod

This distressed loggerhead sea turtle was
found on Nantasket Beach in Hull. Another turtle
was found earlier in the week in Humarock.
Hypothermic sea turtles continue to wash up in record numbers on Cape Cod
Dec 24, 2012 |

Hypothermic sea turtles continue to wash up in record numbers on Cape Cod but in an unusual twist, two large loggerhead sea turtles have stranded on South Shore beaches since Monday. On Tuesday, Hull animal control officer Casey Fredette retrieved a live loggerhead from Nantasket Beach while on Monday another 40-pounder was rescued in the Humarock section of Scituate.

Cold-stunned sea turtles strand annually on Cape Cod but almost always on the southern and eastern beaches of Cape Cod Bay from Sandwich to Truro. Typically, the northwest and northeast winds of late autumn create enough wave activity to drive the floating, nearly immobile marine reptiles ashore on those windward towns. Strandings on the South Shore are very rare events, and normally are confined to the discovery of long dead, smaller turtles early in the winter.

Hardy beach walkers on Cape Cod are familiar with the drill of what to do when they encounter stranded sea turtles as they call the Mass Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay, which is the sea turtle first responder organization for the Cape. However, for South Shore residents, this is an unusual event.

Earlier in the week, well-meaning but misdirected beach walkers tried to return a hypothermic sea turtle to the frigid waters that it was trying to escape. Instead, those finding a sea turtle whether alive or appearing dead, should call the Aquarium's Marine Animal Hotline at 617-973-5427 or contact their local animal control officer. Washed - up sea turtles with body temperatures in the 40s and with heartbeats as low as one per minute may appear dead but can still be re-warmed and revived at the Aquarium's off-site animal care center in the Quincy Shipyard.

Aquarium officials are puzzled by the unusual stranding locations but are asking for the public's help in watching for more turtles on South Shore beaches. These two loggerheads were easy to see given their fairly large size and beautiful, chestnut brown shells,. However, most of the turtles that wash up are much smaller at 2 to 12 pounds and black in color, which blends in with other flotsam at the high tide line on a beach. These turtles are Kemp's Ridleys, which are the most endangered sea turtle in the world.

This most strange sea turtle stranding season for many reasons marches on. This past Saturday, 13 hypothermic sea turtles were brought to Quincy from Cape Cod. That is an unusually large number for a single day this late in December. Double digit admission dates are not common and normally happen in November. Among the 13 were nine loggerhead sea turtles. In a typical year, the Aquarium might treat 4-6 large loggerheads in its two-month long season. The two additional South Shore loggerheads over the past 24 hours brings the total number of stranded loggerheads total to 45! The 40 to 100 pound loggerheads create a strain on available tank space at the Aquarium's new sea turtle hospital that has a capacity of about 100 sea turtles.

A total of 74 re-warmed and stabilized sea turtles have been transported to other marine animal rescue facilities up and down the East Coast, including 35 sea turtles that were flown from Cape Cod to Florida aboard a Coast Guard plane earlier this month. To help with the overwhelming clinical demand of caring for so many sea turtles, biologists from the Virginia Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Riverhead Foundation on Long Island and IFAW on Cape Cod have been brought in to assist.

The Aquarium welcomes financial donations to help offset the cost of such an unexpected record event. Over the past 20 years, the Aquarium in partnership with Mass Audubon has rescued, rehabbed and released over 1,000 endangered sea turtles.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Lie that Prosecuting Bank Fraud Will Destabilize the Economy Is What Is REALLY Destroying the Economy

The Lie that Prosecuting Bank Fraud Will Destabilize the Economy Is What Is REALLY Destroying the Economy
Dec 22, 2012 | Washington's Blog

Failing to Prosecute White Collar Crime Guarantees a Weak and Unstable Economy … and Future Financial Crashes 

The Departments of Justice and Treasury are pretending that criminally prosecuting criminal banksters will destabilize the economy.

The exact opposite is true.

Failing to prosecute criminal fraud has been destabilizing the economy since at least 2007 … and will cause huge crashes in the future.

After all, the main driver of economic growth is a strong rule of law.

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that we have to prosecute fraud or else the economy won’t recover:
The legal system is supposed to be the codification of our norms and beliefs, things that we need to make our system work. If the legal system is seen as exploitative, then confidence in our whole system starts eroding.

And that’s really the problem that’s going on.
 Read more..

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What is color? - Colm Kelleher

What is color? - Colm Kelleher
Dec 18, 2012 | TEDEducation

View full lesson:

Have you ever wondered what color is? In this first installment of a series on light, Colm Kelleher describes the physics behind colors-- why the colors we see are related to the period of motion and the frequency of waves.

Lesson by Colm Kelleher, animation by Vitreous.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Earth's 10 Most Mysterious Events

organic-vegan-biodynamic wines Earth's 10 Most Mysterious Events
Dec 21, 2012 | HybridLibrarian

2012: A Year of Weather Extremes

This GOES-13 satellite image was captured on
Oct. 31 at 1240 UTC as Sandy's circulation
was winding down over Pennsylvania.
Sandy had been downgraded a
remnant low pressure area.
2012: A Year of Weather Extremes
Dec 21, 2012 | Becky Oskin | LiveScience

From unprecedented drought to killer cold, 2012 was a year of weather extremes.

In 2012, the United States suffered 11 weather-related events that cost $1 billion apiece, according to a preliminary list released Thursday (Dec. 20) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Economic losses for Hurricane Sandy and the yearlong drought are still being calculated, but NOAA estimates 2012 will surpass 2011 in terms of aggregate costs for disasters (exceeding $60 billion).

Severe weather disasters hit beyond the United States, too, as super typhoons slammed into Asia and a cold snap froze Europe's rivers. Globally, countries battled heat waves and droughts.

The World Meteorological Organization projects 2012 to be the warmest year on record since 1850, even with the cooling effects of La Niña in the early months. And 2013 could be even hotter, the WMO estimates.

Cold lows and hot highs

Winter's extremes included January's record snowfall in Alaska, which hit as the rest of the country sauntered around in T-shirts. In February, Europe suffered through a cold snap that killed hundreds of people and froze the continent's rivers and canals, interrupting commerce.

An early, April start to tornado season raised fears of another devastating series of twisters, as happened in 2011. But this year, the funnels fizzled out. In the end, 2012 may go down as the year with the fewest tornadoes on record.

The combination of an ongoing drought and a crippling heat wave throughout the summer had lethal effects on people, animals and crops. Nebraska experienced its driest year since record keeping started more than a century ago, according to NOAA. Colorado suffered its worst fire season in more than a decade, with western wildfires charring 9.15 million acres (37,000 square kilometers) as of November, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. [2012: A Year of Weather Extremes]

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Super storms

But 2012 may ultimately stand out in the history books mostly due to its continent-sized storms, which relentlessly pounded coastlines in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In Asia, super typhoons swept across Korea, China and Japan like cars on a train, one after another, causing record flooding. Even into December, Super Typhoon Bopha destroyed homes in the Philippines, claiming more than 1,000 lives.

The Atlantic hurricane season produced 19 named storms, well above the yearly average of 12, according to a statement from NOAA. Two tropical storms, Alberto and Beryl, developed in Maybefore the season even officially began.

However, 2012 was the seventh consecutive year that no major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) hit the United States. But Hurricane Sandy showed it doesn't take a big hurricane to make a major impact. [Hurricane Sandy: Photos of a Frankenstorm]

Sandy, which was a post-tropical cyclone when it made landfall, will go down in the record books as the second-costliest storm in U.S. history. Its tremendous storm surge, coupled with a high tide, wreaked havoc along the New Jersey and New York coastlines. Sandy registered the lowest barometric pressure in the history of the Northeast.

A higher number of named storms and hurricanes than predicted hit the Atlantic basin, in large part because El Niño, which likely would have suppressed overall storm activity, never materialized as anticipated by many climate models, NOAA said in a statement.

Yet several storms this year went largely unnoticed because they stayed out over the Atlantic. A persistent jet stream pattern over the eastern portion of the country helped steer many of this season's storms away from the United States, according to NOAA.

Outlook for 2013

Instead of El Niño, NOAA predicts that the neutral phase of the El Niño/ La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index will prevail through spring. Jokingly called "La Nada," it is the middle ground between El Niño and La Niña (the pattern associated with cool water in the equatorial Pacific).

The lack of a reliable weather pattern to hang a prediction on makes forecasting harder. The temperature outlook through March indicates above-normal temperatures for the southern half of the continental United States, except for coastal southern California, Florida and part of the southeast coast, according to the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.

The center also predicts colder-than-normal temperatures in the northern Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains and southern Alaska.

Reach Becky Oskin at Follow her on Twitter @beckyoskin. Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

Netflix May End Up Selling Your Viewing History to Corporate Psychopaths

Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution
Dec 21, 2012 | TheBigPictureRT

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quentin Tarantino: Drug War, Justice System Are Modern-Day Slavery

Quentin Tarantino: Drug War, Justice System Are Modern-Day Slavery
Dec 20, 2012 | Disinformation

Not that anyone in Washington is likely to be listening, but bad boy film director Quentin Tarantino makes a very good point. Movieline reports on his interview with disinformation ally Strombo:
Quentin Tarantino says slavery continues in the United States.  The outspoken filmmaker — whose spaghetti southern Django Unchained unflinchingly depicts the brutality of slavery — stoked the debate on race Tuesday night when he appeared on the Canadian television talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight to suggest that the United States’ “war on drugs” and  its “mass incarcerations” of black men is “just slavery through and through.”

Tarantino didn’t cite these figures, but he could have: According to the  New York Times, half of the 2.3 million Americans in prison or jail are black, an astonishing figure when compared to 2011 U.S. Censusinformation that indicates blacks comprise only 13.1 percent of the country’s population.

In other words, he’s got a point, and this is a conversation our country should stop avoiding…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wal-Mart Bribery Investigation Reveals Damning Evidence

Wal-Mart Bribery Investigation Reveals Damning Evidence
Dec 19, 2012 | Activist Post | John Galt

Following on the heels of a former Wal-Mart executive exposing a widespread bribery campaign inside Mexico orchestrated to "gain market dominance," additional details have been provided in a recently released New York Times investigation.

The former executive had been in charge of obtaining permits for Wal-Mart's subsidiary Wal-Mart de Mexico. He led investigators to a paper trail which showed that the price to skirt zoning regulations to construct their outlets and do business was ultimately $24 million dollars; next to nothing compared to its now $380 billion annual revenue in that country.

Surprising as it may seem to those who are understandably wary of corporate media, the New York Times has taken the lead in an independent investigation, which has resulted in the NYT issuing a definitive accusation of widespread corruption based on the evidence they uncovered, as detailed in the video below.

The evidence of political payoffs, alterations of zoning maps, and unsafe construction practices is too overwhelming to deny. Furthermore, Wal-Mart had already taken steps to shut down their own investigation of their Mexican subsidiary in 2006 and Wal-Mart's then chief executive, H. Lee Scott, Jr. criticized internal investigators for being" overly aggressive." And their bribery campaign apparently is not only contained to Mexico . . . .

Read more..

Monday, December 17, 2012

10 Girls Dead Following Deadly Blast in Afghanistan

The body of a girl killed when a landmine
exploded is loaded into a vehicle in Jalalabad.

(Photograph: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)
10 Girls Dead Following Deadly Blast in Afghanistan
Dec 17, 2012 | Common Dreams | Andrea Germanos

As US mourns 20 children killed in gun massacre amid calls for greater gun control, landmine blast leaves Afghans mourning

At least 10 young girls in Afghanistan were killed on Monday from what is believed to be a landmine explosion.

 The girls, aged 9-11, were collecting firewood in the eastern section of the country.

Reuters reports:
Relatives and villagers carried the bodies of the girls - aged between nine and 11 - from the site of the blast on simple wooden beds on their shoulders. They were covered in thick bedspreads.

Hundreds of mourners prayed near their corpses, spread out on the dirt floor out before burial.
Agence France-Presse reports that "despite international clearance efforts, more than three decades of war have left Afghanistan one of the most heavily-mined countries in the world."

Following its latest annual report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Mark Hiznay, editor of the report, said that despite the "great gains" made towards achieving a mine-free world, "eliminating the daily impact landmines have on countless communities will require a sustained international effort for years to come.”

The US is not a signatory to the landmine treaty, thus maintaining the right to produce them.
In a separate incident on Monday, a suicide bombing in Kabul that targeted US contracting company Contrack International Inc. left two civilians dead.

Human rights lawyer and law professor Bill Quigley writes that while the President offers condolences to the families of the 20 children shot in the massacre in Newton, Connecticut, he must also remember the countless children across the globe who die in tragedies every day, including "the 231 children killed in Afghanistan in the first 6 months of this year."

And on Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in a report that ongoing violence in Afghanistan was taking an “unacceptable toll” on civilians, with an increase in civilian casualties of 28 per cent between 1 August and 31 October compared to the same period last year.

"Women and children are often the victims of the war between the Taliban and US-led Nato and Afghan forces, now in its eleventh year," the Irish Times writes in a report on Monday's blast.

Secular Britain is ruled by religious bureaucrats

© Mike Wilkinson
Joseph Devine, the Catholic bishop of Motherwell,
who admonished David Cameron
over his support for gay marriage.
Secular Britain is ruled by religious bureaucrats
Dec 16, 2012 | Nick Cohen

Why is the church still such a force in our society when most of us disregard its clerics' teachings?

A few months ago, Suffolk police stopped me for driving over 30mph. My excuse that East Anglia was so flat it was impossible not to break the limit did not wash, and they sent me on a speed awareness course. Very good it was too. After surveying the human cost of bad driving, I resolved never to speed again. Unfortunately, the instructor was over-fond of his own voice and his lecture went on for hours. "I hope he winds up soon," I whispered to the woman next to me. "I am meant to be speaking to the National Secular Society."

She was a little astonished and a little amused. "A National Secular Society? Why does Britain need a National Secular Society? Surely the secularists have won?"

It can feel that way. The number of people who say they have no religion jumped from 15% in the 2001 census to 25% in 2011. If the remaining 75% were believers, this leap in free-thinking would be significant but not sensational. But those who say they are religious are not faithful to their creeds, or not in any sense that the believers of the past would have recognised. Church attendance is in constant decline. Every year that passes sees congregations become smaller and greyer. As striking as the fall in religious observance is the public's near total disregard for the teachings of the clerics and prelates, who could once claim to be society's moral guides.

Read more..

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oldest pharaoh carvings discovered near Nile River

Standing on the top of this boat is a crowned
figure who may represent Narmer, the first
pharaoh to rule unified Egypt. Image credit:
Stan Hendrickx, John Coleman Darnell
& Maria Carmela Gatto
Oldest pharaoh carvings discovered near Nile River
Dec 13, 2012 | Phenomenica

Researchers believe the oldest-known representations of a pharaoh are carved on rocks near the Nile River in southern Egypt.

The style of the carvings and hieroglyphics place the creation of the images around 3200 BC to 3100 BC, researchers reported in the December issue of the journal Antiquity.

During that time, Egypt was transitioning into the dynastic rule of the pharaohs.

“It’s really the end of prehistory and the beginning of history,” in Egypt, CBS News quoted study researcher Maria Gatto as telling LiveScience.

The carvings were first observed and recorded in the 1890s, but only rediscovered in 2008.

In them, a white-crowned figure travels in ceremonial processions and on sickle-shaped boats, perhaps representing an early tax-collecting tour of Egypt.

Gatto, a Yale University researcher, led the archaeologists who rediscovered the site in 2008. Archaeologist Archibald Sayce first sketched the carvings, found at the village Nag el-Hamdulab, in the 1890s, but the only record of Sayce’s discovery was a partial illustration published in a book.

The site was then forgotten until the 1960s, when Egyptian archaeologist Labib Habachi took photographs of the carvings, which he never published. It wasn’t until one of these photos resurfaced in 2008 that Gatto and her team started searching for the site, which many people assumed had been destroyed in the interim.

Some of the carvings have indeed been vandalized since the 1960s, but Gatto and her team found the etched rocks in a natural amphitheater west of Nag el-Hamdulab. They then compared the carvings to Habachi’s 1960s photographs.

There are seven carvings scattered throughout the area, and many are tableaus of boats flanked by prisoners. One of the most extensive carvings shows five boats, one of which houses the white-crowned pharaoh, his fan-bearer and two standard-bearers. Falcon and bull insignia on the pharaoh’s boat symbolize royalty, further emphasized by the four men with ropes standing alongside that boat, likely towing it along the Nile.

A hieroglyph labels this scene a “nautical following,” a likely reference to the following of Horus, Gatto said. In this periodic royal jaunt across Egypt, the pharaoh cemented power and collected taxes. Thus, not only do the carvings represent the oldest known vision of a pharaoh, they may also show the oldest Egyptian tax campaign.

Other carvings include a scene of people and dogs herding cattle and a cluster of animals, two of them apparently some mythical part-lion beasts. The other animals are familiar native African species, including two ostriches, an ibex and a bull. Another scene shows the brewing and drinking of beer, perhaps a reference to a festival.

Gatto said this would have been craved during the reign of Narmer, the first pharaoh to unify Upper and Lower Egypt.

Based on the symbols of power and control in the carvings, Gatto and her colleagues believe the artwork came from the first part of Narmer’s reign, before he unified both parts of Egypt.

“It seems that for Narmer it was important first to settle the situation in the South, to control the South, and then apparently move to the North, and at that time he unified Egypt and we have the first dynasty,” Gatto said.

The next step for researchers, Gatto said, is to protect the site. That presents a challenge, not only because of the carvings’ outdoor location, but also because of recent political upheaval in Egypt.