Thursday, May 31, 2012

8-minute TEDx video: economics for 100% of Earth’s inhabitants’ success

May 30, 2012: 8-minute TEDx video: economics for 100% of Earth’s inhabitants’ success - Carl Herman - Washington Blog

The Venus Project of Jacque Fresco, featured in the Zeitgeist films, documents a “resource-based economy” to optimize Earth’s resources for the success of all Earth’s inhabitants. This 8-minute video is the best I’ve found for concise and powerful communication of this possibility.

In contrast, the economy we have is by the 1% for the 1%. These are its features:
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  1. What we use for money is created by 1% bank owners as a debt that must be repaid with interest. This causes increasing total debt that can never be repaid because that is what we use for money. The promotion of debt owed by the 99% to the 1% as somehow “good” for the 99% is criminal economic fraud in annual damages of trillions of dollars, harm to billions of people, and deaths to millions of people.
  2. The 1% operate in cartels that collude to transfer the 99%’s wealth to themselves. This includes a war cartel that kills millions in Orwellian violation of war law (military armed attacks are Wars of Aggression in all cases except when under armed attack by another nation’s government).
  3. The 1% corporate media lie and distract rather than ever expose the 1%’s crimes centering in money and war, and never seriously report on topics such as a resource-based economy in benefit for 100% of us.
The solution to get from our “debt supply” in Orwellian opposite of a money supply to a resource-based economy will likely happen through monetary and credit reform as a first step:
  • Monetary reform creates debt-free money that extinguishes national debt (details here),
  • allows government to become employer of last resort for infrastructure investment (hard and soft) for full-employment and optimal infrastructure,
  • causes falling prices because infrastructure historically creates more value to the economy than cost.
Credit reform allows for public loans (interest directly pays for public goods/services) as another monetary tool for stable money supply (credit reform details here). An example could be 2% mortgages from a state-owned bank that would completely fund state taxes.

This brighter future is why we Occupy, and why we demand arrests of the criminal 1% that choose debt, deprivation, and War Crimes.

We invite your full participation. The choice of where you place your thoughts, words, and actions is your future. Choose wisely.

Super-volcanoes can form and erupt in hundreds of years, not thousands says new findings

Enormous eruptions such as
that at Yellowstone result in
"calderas", which
can become huge lakes
Super-volcanoes can form and erupt in hundreds of years, not thousands says new findings -

The largest volcanoes on our planet may take as little as a few hundred years to form and erupt.

These "supervolcanoes" were thought to exist for as much as 200,000 years before releasing their vast underground pools of molten rock.

Researchers reporting in Plos One have sampled the rock at the supervolcano site of Long Valley in California.

Their findings suggest that the magma pool beneath it erupted within as little as hundreds of years of forming.

That eruption is estimated to have happened about 760,000 years ago, and would have covered half of North America in its ash.

Such super-eruptions can release thousands of cubic kilometres of debris - hundreds of times larger than any eruption seen in the history of humanity.

Eruptions on this scale could release enough ash to influence the global weather for years, and one theory holds that the Lake Toba eruption in Indonesia about 70,000 years ago had long-term effects that nearly wiped out humans altogether.

What little is known about the formation of these supervolcanoes is largely based on the study of crystals of a material called zircon, which contains small amounts of radioactive elements whose age can be estimated using the same techniques used to date archaeological artefacts and dinosaur bones.

Zircon studies to date have suggested that the time between the formation of the enormous magma pools and the eventual super-eruptions can be measured in the hundreds of thousands of years.

Now, Guilherme Gualda of Vanderbilt University and his colleagues present several lines of evidence from the Bishop Tuff deposit at Long Valley, suggesting that the pools are "ephemeral" - lasting as little as 500 years before eruption.

Initially, the magma pools are nearly purely liquid rock, with few bubbles or re-crystallised minerals.

Over time, crystals develop, but the process stops at the point of the eruption. As a result, the characteristic development time of these crystals can also give an estimate of how long a magma pool existed before erupting.

Rather than zircon, the team's target was crystals of the common mineral quartz.

Because the processes and timescales of quartz formation in the extraordinary underground conditions of a magma pool are well-known, the team was able to determine how long the crystals were forming within Long Valley's supervolcano before being spewed out in the eruption.

Their estimates suggest the quartz formed over a range of time between 500 and 3,000 years.

"Our study suggests that when these exceptionally large magma pools form they are ephemeral and cannot exist very long without erupting," said Dr Gualda.

"The fact that the process of magma body formation occurs in historical time, instead of geological time, completely changes the nature of the problem."

At present, geologists do not believe that any of Earth's known giant magma pools are in imminent danger of eruption, but the results suggest future work to better understand how the pools develop, and aim ultimately to predict devastating super-eruptions.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zoning vs. Eminent Domain: How Ventura County Shut Down The Pine Mountain Inn

Zoning vs. Eminent Domain: How Ventura County Shut Down The Pine Mountain Inn - ReasonTV

In the northernmost reaches of California's Ventura County, a two-lane rural road called Highway 33 runs into the rugged and mostly undeveloped Transverse Mountain Range. Though it's mostly raw wilderness, a few businesses catering to adventurous explorers have long existed there, some for more than a century.

But now the local government is shutting those businesses down, one by one, using arcane zoning and building-code laws to get the job done.

"If there isn't someone complaining, and there isn't really a serious public health and safety issue, why do they spend so much of their time pursuing these kinds of cases?" asks Lynne Jensen, executive director of the Ventura County Coalition of Labor and Business (COLAB).

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Tom Wolf owns the Pine Mountain Inn, a restaurant that's been serving biker groups and local community organizations since the 1930s. Wolf temporarily had to shut the doors when he suffered a heart attack in 2002, and he was never able to reopen when the county informed him that his property had been rezoned as an "Open Space" back in the 1980s without his knowledge.

"[The county] wanted everybody out of here," says Wolf. "And they wanted a complete open space with nothing but deer and frogs... and no people."

No matter how hard Wolf tried to comply with the ever-changing codes, the county just wouldn't relent, at one time even ordering him to remove a chicken coop that had never actually existed on the property.

Wolf isn't alone, says Jensen. Several other small businesses along Highway 33 have been hit by multiple county agencies for no apparent reason.

"They had every department hit us with violations to make sure that they shut us down," says April Hope, who, along with her husband Bob, owns a bed and breakfast called The Wheel, which has existed in the area since the 1890s.

Since the Hopes purchased The Wheel in early 2000, they've never been able to open it to the public. While officials from the county supervisor's office and the planning department refused to speak with ReasonTV for this story, Jensen says that the county is using code enforcement to drive these businesses off the land without compensation.

"This rezoning is really a way to get around eminent domain, because eminent domain means you give up your entire property. And here, you only give up part of your rights," says Jensen.

Invoking eminent domain to seize private property would not only require the county to compensate landowners, but also to demonstrate that the taking served a "public use."

"They have been very successful in taking people's property in a number of different ways without compensation as long as they don't take ownership of it," says Jensen.

About 5.30 minutes.

Written and Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alex Manning, Tracy Oppenheimer, and Weissmueller.

Go to for downloadable versions and subscribe to's YouTube Channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

Electric Comets, Excerpt from 2012 Electric Universe Conference, The Human Story

Wal Thornhill - excerpt - ThunderboltsProject

Radioactive Tuna from Fukushima Found Off California Coast

Radioactive Tuna from Fukushima Found Off California Coast - Jessica Menton - GRTV

On Tuesday the Japanese government said it expected it would have to look at the international monitoring of radioactive fish products following the discovery of a tainted tuna caught off the coast of southern California, but first needed more information.

Low levels of nuclear radiation from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima power plant have turned up in bluefin tuna off the California coast, suggesting that these fish carried radioactive compounds across the Pacific Ocean faster than wind or water can. Scientists reported on Monday small amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in 15 tuna caught near San Diego in August 2011, about four months after these chemicals were released into the water off Japan's east coast.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary said the government still needs more information on this issue. Japan said it will continue to research and monitor the effects of the radioactive material released into the ocean around Fukushima since the March 11, 2011 tsunami crippled and caused a meltdown at the reactors owned by Tokyo Electric Company.

Researchers said in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the amount of radioactive cesium found in the fish off California isn’t thought to be damaging to people if consumed, the but the findings are expected to cause a stir amongst sushi aficionados around the world. Judging by the size of the bluefin tuna the U.S. scientists sampled - they averaged about 15 pounds (6 kg) - the researchers knew these were young fish that had left Japanese water about a month after the accident.
Most of the radiation was released over a few days in April 2011, and unlike some other compounds, radioactive cesium does not quickly sink to the sea bottom but remains dispersed in the water column, from the surface to the ocean floor.

Christian Doctor Explains Why He Performs Abortions

Christian Doctor Explains Why He Performs Abortions by Michael Allen

 For about 20 years, Dr. Willie J. Parker refused to perform abortions at his Washington D.C. office because he was raised Christian and taught that abortion was wrong.

However, he recently told the New Jersey Star Ledger what changed his mind and convinced him to perform abortions as late as 24 weeks:I wrestled with the morality of it. I grew up in the South and in fundamentalist Protestantism, I was taught that abortion is wrong.

Yet as I pursued my career as an OB/GYN, I saw the dilemmas that women found themselves in. And I could no longer weigh the life of a pre-viable or lethally flawed fetus equally with the life of the woman sitting before me.

In listening to a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, I came to a deeper understanding of my spirituality, which places a higher value on compassion. King said what made the good Samaritan "good" is that instead of focusing on would happen to him by stopping to help the traveler, he was more concerned about what would happen to the traveler if he didn't stop to help.

I became more concerned about what would happen to these women if I, as an obstetrician, did not help them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Evolving From T-Rex To Sparrow, Timing Is Critical

When Evolving From T-Rex To Sparrow, Timing Is Critical Related Articles Related Images Related Videos Related Reference Library (via redOrbit)
Although a sparrow and a Tyrannosaurus Rex might appear to have nothing in common, evolutionary biologists see more that relates the two creatures than not.  A new study, led by Harvard scientists, has shown that modern birds are essentially living dinosaurs with skulls that are remarkably similar…

Monday, May 28, 2012

Occupy the Neolithic

© BDA-Neugebauer
On top of the food chain. This 7000-year-old
farmer from Austria was buried with a stone
adze (at his back), a sign that he was
part of the social elite.
Occupy the Neolithic by Michael Balter

Even the most democratic societies are rife with social and economic inequalities, as the current tension between the poorer "99%" and the richest "1%" vividly illustrates. But just how early in human events such social hierarchies became entrenched has been a matter of debate. A new study of skeletons from prehistoric farming communities across Europe suggests that hereditary inequality was an early feature, going back more than 7000 years ago.

Most researchers agree that social hierarchies began with the advent of farming. The earliest known farming communities are found in the Near East, dating back almost 11,000 years.

Archaeologists have looked for evidence of social stratification in these societies with mixed results. Some early farming societies show signs that people played different roles and that some were buried with greater ritual - shuffling off this mortal coil with a number of elaborate "grave goods," including pottery and stone tools. However, there is little evidence that social inequality was hereditary or rigidly defined.

That seems to have changed sometime after farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, beginning about 8500 years ago during a period known as the European Neolithic. One of the best studied farming cultures is the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), which arose in what is today Hungary about 7500 years ago and spread as far as modern-day Paris within 500 years, after which it appears to have been superseded by other cultures.

Archaeologists have long noted signs that the LBK culture might have been socially stratified. For example, some, but not all, males were buried with stone tools called adzes, which were thought to be used to build the wooden houses in which the farmers lived. But a few researchers have argued that this stratification took place only gradually over the 500 year period of the LBK.

To get a better handle on the timing and nature of these social inequalities, a team led by Alexander Bentley, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, analyzed the tooth enamel from more than 300 skeletons from seven LBK burial sites across Europe. These cemeteries, located in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, and France, ranged from 7400 to 6900 years in age, and covered most of the LBK's territorial spread.

Specifically, the team looked for the element strontium in teeth and measured the ratio of two isotopes, or types of the atom with slightly different weights. Strontium atoms enter the body in the water that we drink and the food we eat, and the ratio of the heavier isotope strontium-87 to the lighter isotope strontium-86 reflects the kind of soil and geological formations a person lived on, particularly as a child, when the tooth enamel was laid down. The strontium isotopes are increasingly used by archaeologists to track movements of populations.

Previous studies have shown that the kind of soil favored by European farmers, lowland sediments known as loess, has a slightly lower strontium-87/strontium-86 ratio than less fertile areas such as upland hills made from granite or sandstone. Yet because of Europe's variable landscape, in which fertile and non-fertile areas can be as close as several kilometers apart, the team relied more heavily on the degree of variation of strontium ratios among the skeletons in a burial site than on their absolute values.

The results of the study, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that men who were buried with adzes - thought to be an indication of higher social status - were more likely to have grown up on loess soils than men who were buried without adzes. For example, among 310 burials the team analyzed, 62 featured adzes. But only one of the 62 skeletons from the adze burials had a strontium ratio in its teeth typical of a non-loess landscape, whereas all of the others were consistent with growing up on loess. Moreover, the variation in strontium ratios between adze skeletons was significantly lower than the variation between non-adze skeletons, suggesting to Bentley and his co-workers that the adze skeletons came from one kind of landscape, most likely loess, while the others came from a variety of other landscapes.

A similarly striking pattern was seen when the team looked at the female skeletons, which made up 153 of the total 311 individuals analyzed. The variation in strontium ratios for females was significantly greater than for males, suggesting that a greater number of females than males had grown up in non-fertile areas. Moreover, the patterns in the male and female burials appeared in both earlier and later LBK settlements, suggesting that the patterns of social inequality were established from the beginning of the LBK period and did not develop gradually over time.

The team came to two main conclusions: First, some males had greater access to fertile soils than others, probably because they were the sons of farmers who had inherited access to the best land. And second, LBK societies were "patrilocal," meaning that males tended to stay put in one place while females moved in from other areas to mate with them. A number of recent genetic studies have shown similar patterns among early European farmers. "The signatures from these skeletons reinforce other indications of male-dominated descent and even land inheritance," Bentley says, adding that such social inequalities "only grew in extent and scale" over the course of history.

Joachim Burger, an anthropologist at the University of Mainz in Germany, says the authors are on firm ground: "The amount of data is huge and the interpretations are straightforward." He adds that the new data, particularly the differences seen between men and women, are "absolutely coherent" with the pattern seen in more recent farming societies, up to the present day.

Comment: So it would seem these very concepts are also embedded within the English language which begins with an etymological root of ad- followed by ag- where the tool and the land are combined and then becoming many things taken for granted. To learn more about etymology, visit my other blog.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stunning image of smallest possible five-ringed structure

View larger image  ©
Olympicene radical AFM Laplace filtered.
The black bar corresponds to 0.5 nm.
Credit: IBM Research - Zurich, University
of Warwick, Royal Society of Chemistry
Stunning image of smallest possible five-ringed structure -

Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure – about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair – and you'll probably recognise its shape.

A collaboration between the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the University of Warwick and IBM Research – Zurich has allowed the scientists to bring a single molecule to life in a picture, using a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

The scientists decided to make and visualise olympicene whose five-ringed structure was entered on ChemSpider, the RSC's free online chemical database of over 26 million records two years ago.

"When doodling in a planning meeting, it occurred to me that a molecular structure with three hexagonal rings above two others would make for an interesting synthetic challenge," said Professor Graham Richards CBE, RSC Council member.

"I wondered: could someone actually make it, and produce an image of the actual molecule?"

Chemists at the University of Warwick, Dr David Fox and Anish Mistry, used some clever synthetic organic chemistry – the modern molecule designer's toolbox – to build olympicene.

"Alongside the scientific challenge involved in creating olympicene in a laboratory, there's some serious practical reasons for working with molecules like this," said Dr Fox.

"The compound is related to single-layer graphite, also known as graphene, and is one of a number of related compounds which potentially have interesting electronic and optical properties.

Continue reading..

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EXCLUSIVE: Florida Telling Hundreds Of Eligible Citizens That They Are Ineligible To Vote

EXCLUSIVE: Florida Telling Hundreds Of Eligible Citizens That They Are Ineligible To Vote by Judd Legum

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has ordered the state to purge all “non-citizens” from the voting rolls prior to November’s election. But that list compiled by the Scott administration is so riddled with errors that, in Miami-Dade County alone, hundreds of U.S. citizens are being told they are ineligible to vote, ThinkProgress has learned exlusively.

According to data from the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections obtained by ThinkProgress:
- 1638 people in Miami-Dade County were flagged by the state as “non-citizens” and sent letters informing them that they were ineligible to vote.

- Of that group, 359 people have subsquently provided the county with proof of citizenship.

- Another 26 people were identified as U.S. citizens directly by the county.

- The bulk of the remaining 1200 people have simply not responded yet to a letter sent to them by the Supervisor of Elections.
You can see a similar letter sent to alleged “non-citizens” by the Broward County Supervisor of Elections HERE. (“The Supervisor of Elections… has received information that you are not a citizen of the United States.”) If recipients of the letter do not respond within 30 days — a deadline that is mere days away — they will be summarily removed from the voting rolls. The voters purged from the list, election officials tell ThinkProgress, will inevitably include fully eligible Florida voters.

In short, an excess of 20 percent of the voters flagged as “non-citizens” in Miami-Dade are, in fact, citizens. And the actual number may be much higher.

An analysis of the state-wide list by the Miami Herald found that “Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to be targeted” as ineligible by the list. Conversely, “whites and Republicans are disproportionately the least-likely to face the threat of removal.”

Late last year, Scott ordered his Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, to “to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls.” Browning could not access to reliable citizenship data. So election officials attempted to identify non-U.S. citizens by comparing data from the state motor vehicle administration with the voting file. That process produced a massive list of 182,000 names, which Browning considered unreliable and refused to release. Browning resigned in February and Scott pressed forward with the purge.

The Fair Elections Legal Network, which is challenging the purge, noted that database matching is “notoriously unreliable” and “data entry errors, similar-sounding names, and changing information can all produce false matches.” Further, some voters may have naturalized since their license information was collected.

For example, Juan Artabe, a resident of Miami-Dade, was flagged as a “non-citizen” based on motor vehicle records from 2006. He became a citizen in 2008 but no one notified the state. He was able to retain his ability to vote only by sending his citizenship papers to the Supervisor of Elections.

The situation in Miami-Dade is also apparent in elsewhere in Florida. According to a local reports in smaller Polk County of the 21 voters flagged by the state “nine appear to be citizens, leaving 12 as questionable.”

The purge of fully eligible voters from the voting rolls by Scott could be enough to tip the balance in Florida and, perhaps, the presidential election. In 2000, the final (disputed) margin was just 537 votes.

World’s Oldest Musical Instruments Discovered

World’s Oldest Musical Instruments Discovered (via redOrbit)
According to a new paper published in the latest edition of the Journal of Human Evolution, researchers from Germany and the UK claim that they have identified the oldest known musical instruments on Earth. The research, conducted by experts from Oxford University and Tuebingen University, used carbon…

How Rural America Got Fracked

© unknown
May 23, 2012: How Rural America Got Fracked by Ellen Cantarow

The environmental nightmare you know nothing about.

If the world can be seen in a grain of sand, watch out. As Wisconsinites are learning, there's money (and misery) in sand—and if you've got the right kind, an oil company may soon be at your doorstep.

March in Wisconsin used to mean snow on the ground, temperatures so cold that farmers worried about their cows freezing to death. But as I traveled around rural townships and villages in early March to interview people about frac-sand mining, a little-known cousin of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," daytime temperatures soared to nearly 80 degrees—bizarre weather that seemed to be sending a meteorological message.

In this troubling spring, Wisconsin's prairies and farmland fanned out to undulating hills that cradled the land and its people. Within their embrace, the rackety calls of geese echoed from ice-free ponds, bald eagles wheeled in the sky, and deer leaped in the brush. And for the first time in my life, I heard the thrilling warble of sandhill cranes.

Yet this peaceful rural landscape is swiftly becoming part of a vast assembly line in the corporate race for the last fossil fuels on the planet. The target: the sand in the land of the cranes.

Five hundred million years ago, an ocean surged here, shaping a unique wealth of hills and bluffs that, under mantles of greenery and trees, are sandstone. That sandstone contains a particularly pure form of crystalline silica. Its grains, perfectly rounded, are strong enough to resist the extreme pressures of the technology called hydraulic fracturing, which pumps vast quantities of that sand, as well as water and chemicals, into ancient shale formations to force out methane and other forms of natural gas.

That sand, which props open fractures in the shale, has to come from somewhere. Without it, the fracking industry would grind to a halt. So big multinational corporations are descending on this bucolic region to cart off its prehistoric sand, which will later be forcefully injected into the earth elsewhere across the country to produce more natural gas. Geology that has taken millions of years to form is now being transformed into part of a system, a machine, helping to drive global climate change.

"The valleys will be filled…the mountains and hills made level" 

Boom times for hydraulic fracturing began in 2008 when new horizontal-drilling methods transformed an industry formerly dependent on strictly vertical boring. Frac-sand mining took off in tandem with this development.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chemical Revolution Beginning in 1940's Linked to Rise in Obesity, Autism, Mental Illness

Chemical Revolution Beginning in 1940's Linked to Rise in Obesity, Autism, Mental Illness by Ryan Flynn

 The World War II generation may have passed down to their grandchildren the effects of chemical exposure in the 1940s, possibly explaining current rates of obesity, autism and mental illness, according to one researcher.

David Crews, professor of psychology and zoology at the University of Texas at Austin, theorized that the rise in these diseases may be linked to environmental effects passed on through generations. His research showed that descendants of rats exposed to a crop fungicide were less sociable, more obese and more anxious than offspring of the unexposed.

The results, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are part of a growing field of study that suggests environmental damage to cells can cause inherited changes and susceptibility to disease. Crews said his findings are applicable to humans.

Learn more..

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Out of Sight - Out of Mind

Jan 30, 2012: Out of Sight - Out of Mind - CIWFFOOTAGE

Related:  Georgia’s poultry CAFOs extreme case in cruelty, eco-hazards; but alternatives abound by Rady Ananda

Produced by Compassion in World Farming for the Georgians for Pastured Poultry Campaign

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Partial Eclipse of the Strawberry Moon

Partial Eclipse of the Strawberry Moon - Science@NASA

On Monday, June 4th, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing a partial lunar eclipse visible across the Pacific from China to the United States.

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New Solar Cells Shine With Potential

New Solar Cells Shine With Potential (via redOrbit)
Today’s solar cells have several limitations, including high production costs, low efficiency and durability, and reliance on scarce materials for production. Now, a group of Northwestern University researchers say they have developed a new solar cell that minimizes these problems. The device uses…

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greek Town Develops Bartering System Without Euro

Greek Town Develops Bartering System Without Euro - LeakSource2012

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Planet Earth: Pesticide Turns Bees Into Picky Eaters

Pesticide Turns Bees Into Picky Eaters (via redOrbit)
[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for New research shows that a common pesticide can alter the appetite of honey bees  and turn them into “picky eaters.” Biologists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) found that a single dose of imidacloprid given to bees made the insects…

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shrimp At Grocery Retailers Contains Antibiotics and Carcinogens Affecting DNA

May 22, 2012: Shrimp At Grocery Retailers Contains Antibiotics and Carcinogens Affecting DNA by Marco Torres

Texas Tech University researchers have found evidence of antibiotics -- one a suspected human carcinogen -- after testing farm-raised shrimp samples of international origin in imported seafood going directly to grocery store shelves.

© Prevent
Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech, said researchers tested only the muscle tissues consumed by people. When concluded, they found evidence of three antibiotics in 30 samples tested.

Though the sample sizes were small, he said finding antibiotic residues at all is cause for concern. Todd Anderson, a professor of environmental toxicology, and instrument manager QingSong Cai conducted the shrimp analyses.

"We estimate that at least 80% of all shrimp imported to grocery retailers comes from farmed sources with similar practices," said Graham Beaton, a head toxicologist and food inspector.

"We know that 80% of all farmed shrimp comes from Asia, mostly from Thailand and China who are well known for producing 'dirty shrimp'."

Shrimp farming has changed from traditional, small-scale businesses in Southeast Asia into a global industry whose primary motive is profit. Technological advances have led to growing shrimp at ever higher densities, and broodstock is shipped worldwide.

Sodium Tripolyphosphate is in more than 90% of packaged shrimp and seafood, something of great concern, especially since it's also used in detergents, antifreeze and flame retardants.

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This controversial additive can make expired products appear firmer and glossier, and fool consumers into buying old or spoiled fish, shrimp and other seafood foods that could ultimately make people sick. Worse yet, exposure to the chemical itself could also be very harmful.

In Anderson's study, his researchers discovered the antibiotic nitrofuranzone, a probable carcinogen, in two of the samples purchased in New York -- one from a farm in India and the other from Thailand. Both samples were 28 and 29 times higher than the amount allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The limit is 1 part per billion.

"Finding this particular antibiotic is of great interest, especially considering someone could have been eating an item that would have been banned," Kendall said. "Nitrofuranzone is a genotoxic substance. It can affect the DNA of cells and result in genetic toxicity that can possibly result in cancer. You don't want to ingest it. That's why the FDA has adopted a zero tolerance stance with it."

The antibiotic chloramphenicol showed up in one sample at 150 times the current FDA required detection limits on prohibited antimicrobial agents in seafood. Trace amounts of enrofloxacin showed up in a sample purchased from a store in Washington, D.C.

"With chloramphenicol, 45 parts per billion is considerably higher than the .3 parts per billion," Kendall said. "It's a very powerful, broad spectrum antibiotic. There is a reason why the U.S. FDA and other countries have set a very low tolerance for this product. You shouldn't be consuming this."

ABC contacted TIEHH to test the shrimp about a year after the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) raised serious questions about the safety of imported seafood. In their 51-page report, they cited that half of the seafood imported into the U.S. comes from fish farms, and that these animals, when grown in confined areas, may require antibiotics to treat infections.

The GAO questioned the FDA's oversight program to check for unapproved drug residues in imported seafood samples and called it limited, especially when compared to programs in the European Union.

Samples were purchased from grocery stores in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Los Angeles.

"These findings were pretty surprising to me," Kendall said. "Considering someone may walk in to a grocery store to buy shrimp to eat, I think that's worth further investigation, and more extensive testing should be done. This was a grab-bag sampling, and we reported what we saw. I don't know yet if it's a greater problem or a lesser problem, but it should be looked into at this point."

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

IQ Foods: Processed Food Lowers IQ in Children, Nutritious Food Raises It

IQ Foods: Processed Food Lowers IQ in Children, Nutritious Food Raises It by Anthony Gucciardi

Processed foods are the staple of far too many diets, particularly in the United States where 105 million people have either diabetes or prediabetes. These processed foods are filled with white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, artificial food colorings, and a wide variety of other toxic substances. Interestingly enough, research shows that these are some of the worst IQ foods. Given the makeup of processed foods, is it any wonder that children are suffering from IQ reduction upon introducing these foods into their diet?

IQ Foods: The Findings

British researchers uncovered the connection between processed foods and reduced IQ. They followed what 14,000 children ate and drank at the ages of 3, 4, 7, and 8.5 years of age, with answers submitted via parents through questionnaires. The researchers found that if children were consuming a processed diet at age 3, IQ decline could begin over the next five years. The study found that by age 8, the children had suffered the IQ decline.

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On the contrary, children who ate a nutrient-rich diet were found to increase their IQ over the 3 year period. The foods considered nutrient-rich by the researchers were most likely conventional fruits and vegetables. If children were to eat a wide variety of organic produce, superfoods, mineral-rich plants, and perhaps even consume a food-based multivitamin, the researchers would most likely see a substantial IQ increase. This eating plan would also benefit the children — or even adults — in other aspects of their lives as well, such as better overall health & well-being.

Processed foods have been known to wreak havoc on the body for quite some time. One joint American and Spanish study has even found that junk food products, particularly those containing trans fats, can make healthy young men infertile by damaging their sperm. Another study, conducted by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, reported that both junk food and fast food consumption can bring on depression. The link was so strong, in fact, that those who consumed fast food were 51% more likely to be depressed. It isn’t surprising that some of the worst IQ foods are the same foods that cause numerous health complications.

Caldicott: The corium hasn’t finished and will never finish — I think it means the end of Japan financially (VIDEO)

Caldicott: The corium hasn’t finished and will never finish — I think it means the end of Japan financially (VIDEO) -
Dr. Helen Caldicott: They don’t know how to clean it up. It’s not in cold shutdown.
The corium — the mass, hundred tons of melted uranium lava — is laying on the floor of the containment vessels.

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It hasn’t finished and will never finish.

I think it means the end of Japan financially.
Is the corium inside the containment vessels? Top Japan official: Very strong possibility there is nuclear fuel outside containment vessel (VIDEO)

Title: Helen Caldicott
Source: Wikipedia
Caldicott… received her medical degree in 1961 from the University of Adelaide Medical School. In 1977 she joined the staff of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, and taught pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School from 1977 to 1978. [...]

During her time in the United States from 1977 to 1986, Caldicott was involved with Physicians for Social Responsibility (founded originally in 1961), an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating others on the dangers of nuclear energy. She also worked abroad to establish similar groups [...] One such international group (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 [...]
 Watch the 58-minute video here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

World’s Oceans ‘Plasticized’ and Trashed, Finds Research Ship

World’s Oceans ‘Plasticized’ and Trashed, Finds Research Ship by Anthony Gucciardi

 The world’s major oceans are full of concerning amounts of ‘plastic waste’ that amounts to a colossal ‘synthetic soup’ according to new reports from a large research ship that has set out to determine the condition of the world’s oceans. What is known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, which is essentially a large mass of trash inhabiting the Pacific ocean, is reportedly only a small extent of the contamination. In fact, the scientists have gone as far as to say that the oceans are ‘plasticized’, or laced with synthetic waste.
The expedition was organized by two leading nonprofit groups — the 5 Gyres Institute and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Once funded and set to sea, the 72-foot yacht is now voyaging from the Marshall Islands to Japan. Nicknamed the Sea Dragon, the boat was provided by Pandea Exploration and seeks to test sea contamination levels throughout the massive journey — particularly of interest, however, is the previously unexplored western half of the North Pacific gyre (where high amounts of plastic debris are driven via the current). Stationed right below the 35th parallel, the area is home to the famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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All in all, the crew seeks to observe how the trash affects marine life and the extent to which it is present. Led by former United States marine and Ph.D student Marcus Eriksen, the findings are quite shocking. According to Eriksen:
“We’ve been finding lots of micro plastics, all the size of a grain of rice or a small marble,” he stated. “We drag our nets and come up with a small handful, like confetti — 10, 20, 30 fragments at a time. That’s how it’s been, every trawl we’ve done for the last thousand miles.”
The startling findings, he said, confirmed his view that the oceans are heavily ‘plasticized’. Eriksen believes that virtually everywhere you go in the ocean, you will find plastic waste. This statement is perhaps most concerning when considering the fact that Eriksen has actually sailed through all five gyres, and has therefore seen mass contamination on a planetary scale. Looking for large objects like overturnes boats, refrigerators, and other big appliances, Eriksen is also concerned about the amount of toxins being emitted from these items.
“We’ll get an idea of how much is out there, what’s going on and what it’s carrying with it, in terms of toxins,” he said.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Dirty Frackers and Dealers: Let’s end polluter welfare

Sen. Bernie Sanders rallies supporters
of the End Polluter Welfare Act.
Let’s end polluter welfare by Sen. Bernie Sanders

At a time when we have more than $15 trillion in national debt, American taxpayers are set to give away over $110 billion to the oil, gas, and coal industries over the next decade. Clearly, we cannot afford it. The five largest oil companies made over $1 trillion in profits in the last decade, with some paying no federal income taxes for part of that time, so they certainly do not need it.

It is time we end this corporate welfare in the form of massive subsidies and tax breaks [PDF] to hugely profitable fossil-fuel corporations. It is time for Congress to support the interests of the taxpayer instead of powerful special interests like the oil and coal industries. That is why I joined with Rep. Keith Ellison to introduce legislation in the Senate and the House called the End Polluter Welfare Act. Our proposal is backed by grassroots and public-interest organizations, Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and many others.

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It is immoral that some in Congress advocate savage cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security while those same people vote to preserve billions in tax breaks for ExxonMobil, the most profitable corporation in America. It is equally obscene that as those members of Congress fight to continue never-ending fossil-fuel subsidies worth tens of billions, they are working overtime to deny a one-year extension for key sustainable energy incentives for the emerging wind and solar industries. Instead of passing strong legislation to help reverse global warming, Congress continues giveaways to the 200-year-old fossil-fuel industry even as that industry’s carbon pollution wreaks devastation on our planet. Enough is enough.

While there have been attempts to remove some of these fossil-fuel subsidies in the past, our legislation is the most comprehensive ever put together in that it would end all of the tax breaks, special financing arrangements, and federal research support for fossil fuels. Our bill would make sure the fossil-fuel industry pays its fair share by reforming royalties for drilling or mining on public lands or in federal waters. It would also end the loopholes that allow tar-sands pipeline operators to avoid paying the oil-spill cleanup tax.

It is important that the American people understand just how egregious these fossil-fuel handouts [PDF] are:
  • A tax deduction for an oil spill? We all remember the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. What is less well-known is that BP is claiming a $9.9 billion tax deduction on the money it had to spend cleaning up its own mess and paying for damages it caused. That is absurd.
  • They manufacture what? Coal and oil lobbyists added fossil fuels to a bill aimed at helping American manufacturers, so those industries too could claim “manufacturing” tax deductions. The added cost for taxpayers: $12 billion over the next 10 years.
  • Good enough for Big Oil, but not clean energy. Most of us have not heard about Master Limited Partnerships. These special financing arrangements allow oil and gas investors to avoid paying certain corporate income taxes, but they’re not available to clean energy businesses. Ending this fossil-fuel loophole would not only start to level the playing field for clean energy investment, but would save the government an estimated $2.4 billion over the next decade.
  • Free federal oil and gas leases? Fossil-fuel corporations are supposed to pay the government fair market royalties in exchange for the right to drill on public lands or in federal waters. But thanks to a loophole in federal law, some oil and gas corporations drilling in the Gulf of Mexico pay zero in royalties. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office estimated this could cost taxpayers up to $53 billion over the life of these loophole leases.
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These are just a few examples of the obscene subsidies that the oil, gas, and coal industries reap from the government year after year. We know that with the enormous sums these industries spend on lobbying and campaign contributions — no doubt made worse by the new era of unlimited corporate campaign spending ushered in by Citizens United — passing a bill like our End Polluter Welfare Act will not be easy. But we know too that all across our country, and across the political spectrum, the American people are angry and frustrated with a government beholden to big-money interests. They want their elected officials to stand up for the needs of working families and our environment, not the powerful special interests.

While it is true that the fossil-fuel industry has a virtually unlimited supply of money and lobbyists in Washington, D.C., they still can be defeated. If the American people stand up and demand that the fossil-fuel industry and other corporations pay their fair share in taxes, we can defeat them. If the American people demand that we transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, we can defeat them. With your help, we can defeat them. Join this fight by signing up to be a citizen cosponsor of this legislation.

U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He is chairman of the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee.

Researchers aim to assemble the tree of life for all 2 million named species

Angel Oak in Charleston South Carolina
MarkReqs photography Getty Images
Researchers aim to assemble the tree of life for all 2 million named species -

A new initiative aims to build a grand tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all living things are related, from the tiniest bacteria to the tallest tree.

Scientists have been building evolutionary trees for more than 150 years, ever since drew the first sketches in his notebook. But despite significant progress in fleshing out the major branches of the tree of life, today there is still no central place where researchers can go to browse and download the entire tree.

"Where can you go to see their collective results in one resource? The surprising thing is you can't — at least not yet," said Dr. Karen Cranston of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.

But now, thanks to a three-year, $5.76 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, a team of scientists and developers from ten universities aims to make that a reality.

Figuring out how the millions of species on Earth are related to one another isn't just important for pinpointing an aardvark's closest cousins, or determining if hagfish are more closely related to sand dollars or sea squirts. Information about evolutionary relationships has helped scientists identify promising new medicines, develop hardier, higher-yielding crops, and fight infectious diseases such as HIV, anthrax and influenza.

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If evolutionary trees are so widely used, why has assembling them across all of life been so hard to achieve? It's not for lack of research, or data. Thanks in large part to advances in DNA sequencing, thousands of new phylogenetic trees are published in scientific journals each year —most of them focused on isolated branches of the tree of life, for everything from birds to botflies.

"There's a firehose of data," said Cranston, principal investigator of the project. "[Over the years] scientists have published tens of thousands of evolutionary trees, but there's been very little work to connect the dots and put them all together into a single resource."

Part of the difficulty lies in the sheer enormity of the task. The largest evolutionary trees built to-date contain roughly 100,000 taxa. Assembling the branches for all two million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes — not to mention the countless more still being named or discovered — will require new tools for analyzing large data sets and stitching together vast numbers of published trees.

Another difficulty lies in how scientists typically disseminate their results. A tiny fraction of all evolutionary trees that have been published — researchers estimate a mere 4% —end up in a database in a digital form. Instead, most of that knowledge is locked up in figures in journal articles, as PDFs or other file formats that are impossible for other researchers to download, reanalyze, or merge with new information.

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This new initiative — dubbed Open Tree of Life ( — aims to change all that.
What makes this project different from previous efforts, the researchers say, is its scope. "This is the first real attempt to put together the entire ," Cranston said.

The team hopes to have a first draft of the complete — compiled from the evolutionary trees that are already available in existing databases — by August 2013. The first draft that emerges will be far from finished. "There will always be new studies that come out," Cranston said. "There will also be places in the tree where we don't have enough data, or where the data lead to conflicting hypotheses, or where groups of researchers simply disagree."

But with a first draft in hand, scientists will be able to go online and compare their trees to others that have already been published, or download it for further study. They'll also be able to expand the tree, filling in the missing branches and placing newly named or discovered species among their relatives. Eventually, the team's goal is to be able to detect when new trees are published and incorporate them automatically, so that the complete tree can be continuously updated.

If the project is to succeed, one of the biggest challenges will be encouraging more scientists to publish their results in digital form. Growing numbers of scientific journals now require authors to deposit phylogenetic data in a digital database, but many published trees never make it. "We hope to provide infrastructure and tools that will make it easier to do that, such as a more user-friendly interface for submitting data," Cranston said.

"In the long run, we hope this will become the central resource for synthesized phylogenetic data," she added.

Provided by National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

‘Ring of fire’ eclipse awes people…and lemurs (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

AFP Photo/Stan Honda
‘Ring of fire’ eclipse awes people…and lemurs (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - RT

Skywatchers from Mount Fuji to the Grand Canyon enjoyed a treat: the moon nearly blotting out the sun to create a dramatic “ring of fire” over a narrow strip of eastern Asia and the western United States.

­The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible in Asia early Monday. It then moved across the Pacific and was seen in parts of the western United States Sunday afternoon.

In Japan, “eclipse tours” were arranged at schools and parks, on pleasure boats and even private airplanes. Similar events were held in China and Taiwan as well, with skywatchers warned to protect their eyes.
In the US, viewing parties were held at observatories in Reno, Nevada, and Oakland, California, and elsewhere. Members of the crowd smiled and cheered and children yelled with excitement as the moon crossed the sun and the blazing halo of light began to form.

Continue reading..viewing photos..

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BP Coverup, Coverup: BP's History of Mishaps

BP Coverup, Coverup - TRNN

Greg Palast: US corporate media ignoring evidence of BP foreknowledge of problems that led to Gulf disaster

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries

Mar. 13, 2012: How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries - TEDEducation

Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.

"How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries" was animated by the TED-Ed Animation Team (Jeremiah Dickey, Biljana Labovic, Celeste Lai, Kari Mulholland and Franz Palomares)

View the full lesson:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - by Isao Hashimoto

Oct. 24, 2010: A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - by Isao Hashimoto - aConcernedHuman

 Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.

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Solar: May 20, 2012: Annular Eclipse For Western US Will Be Spectacular

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May 20, 2012: Annular Eclipse For Western US Will Be Spectacular - Red Orbit

Something is happening in the western US that hasn’t happened in nearly two decades, and national parks from California to New Mexico are preparing for the show of a lifetime, inviting people to watch either the partial or annular solar eclipse that will occur on May 20, 2012.

It will be the first annular eclipse of the sun visible from the west coast in 18 years, and Bluewater Lake State Park will hold a special viewing program at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the event, according to a New Mexico State Parks Division news release about the event.

While the event won’t be quite as spectacular as a total solar eclipse, anyone within a 200-mile-wide strip of territory between the Oregon-California coast and northwestern Texas, should have the chance to see a rare occurrence, weather permitting of course.

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Planet Earth: Fighting Against Industrial Waste

Editor's note: We live in a polluted world so the question to ask is how do we survive on a planet that is contaminated. Some believe that planet earth will heal the harm that humans create, however this will not stop the contamination and withdrawal from life and healthy living. The problem is the manufacturers and their insistence on using oil and fire and the profits thereof. There's at least one other story that never occurred, that of hemp. If that had played out, we might not be in the mess we're in. Hawaii has taken the stand against those who tell us that oil is what we as humans should use when everything that it represents is death and anyone who goes near it dies. Our landfills are full of it and especially in other countries in which plastic is deliberately dumped to get rid of it, all made from oil byproducts. It's greatest power is the fire in which it burns.

Hawaii Bans Plastic Shopping Bags

"Perhaps because of their proximity to what has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Hawaiians have voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags throughout the state by 2015.

This month, Honolulu County became the final county in the island state to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags at shopping centers. Voters also approved the ban of paper bags that did not contain at least 40 percent recycled material.

Officials said the 2015 deadline will allow local retailers and shoppers the time to make the appropriate changes"

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