Got something in your home that needs fixing? Take it with you on your next trip to Holland. They have a ‘Repair Café’ there, where you can get almost anything fixed. The concept café, sponsored by the Dutch State, is the brainchild of former journalist Martine Postma. She felt that the Dutch people tend to throw away too many things, even the ones that can be easily fixed. Moreover, in modern times people have lost the ability to fix simple things, she says. So as an environmental initiative, she started the Repair Café in Amsterdam, with the intent of bringing together the people who can fix things, and those that need them fixed.
Postma basically believes that people would rather not throw away their stuff. And she sure did turn out to be right. What started off as a local initiative became an overnight success. Today, there are about 20 Repair Cafes across the Netherlands, and another 50 are being planned. A Repair Café Foundation was set up in 2010, where Postma now works full time. The foundation provides volunteers with information on how to set up their own café. The frequency of the cafes range from once a month to twice a week, and are held at a rented workspace.
There’s literally nothing you can’t get fixed at the Repair Café. Be it clothes, furniture, electronic and electrical appliances, or even toys, you will always find an expert willing to lend a helping hand. Books on various repair subjects are available. People who have nothing to be fixed can also hang out at the bar. Sounds like a neat community initiative where people help each other out based on their skills.
A natural gas well in the North Sea 150 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, sprung a massive methane leak on March 25. The 238 workers were all safely evacuated. But the situation is so explosive that an exclusion zone for ships and aircraft has been set up around the rig, reports the Mail Online. And nearby rigs have been evacuated, reports the New York Times:
Royal Dutch Shell said it closed its Shearwater field, about four miles away, withdrawing 52 of the 90 workers there; it also suspended work and evacuated 68 workers from a drilling rig working nearby, the Hans Deul.
But that’s not the worst of it. The platform lies less than 100 yards/meters from a flare that workers left burning as crew evacuated. The French super-major oil company owner of the rig, Total, dismissed the risk, while the British government claimed the flame needs to burn to prevent gas pressure from building up. But Reuters reports:
[O]ne energy industry consultant said Elgin could become “an explosion waiting to happen” if the oil major did not rapidly stop the leak which is above the water at the wellhead.
lgin Field: Adapted from map by NordNordWest via Wikimedia Commons.
And that may not be the worst of it either. The leak is not in the well apparently but in the chalky seabed around it. No one really knows how reparable that will be - especially with the risk of explosion so high for any workers on site.
Plus, the field produces sour gas: a potent mix of natural gas, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide. Twenty years ago the cost of extracting energy from such messy stuff would have been prohibitively expensive. Now, not so much. But the true cost could be brutal, reports the BBC :
The major threat to the local ecosystem is the hydrogen sulphide, which is toxic to virtually all animal life. “You might as well put Agent Orange in the ocean,” says [Simon Boxall of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK]. Because the leak is below the water’s surface, the hydrogen sulphide is bubbling through the sea water. This is the worst-case scenario, says Boxall, because it could lead to mass animal and plant deaths. Boxall says Total needs to monitor the water quality to see if this is happening.
The recent explosion in the number of retractions in scientific journals is just the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a greater dysfunction that has been evolving the world of biomedical research say the editors-in-chief of two prominent journals in a presentation before a committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today.
"Incentives have evolved over the decades to encourage some behaviors that are detrimental to good science," says Ferric Fang, editor-in-chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), who is speaking today at the meeting of the Committee of Science, Technology, and Law of the NAS along with Arturo Casadevall, editor-in-chief of mBio®, the ASM’s online, open-access journal.
In the past decade the number of retraction notices for scientific journals has increased more than 10-fold while the number of journals articles published has only increased by 44%. While retractions still represent a very small percentage of the total, the increase is still disturbing because it undermines society’s confidence in scientific results and on public policy decisions that are based on those results, says Casadevall. Some of the retractions are due to simple error but many are a result of misconduct including falsification of data and plagiarism.
More concerning, say the editors, is that this trend may be a symptom of a growing dysfunction in the biomedical sciences, one that needs to be addressed soon. At the heart of the problem is an economic incentive system fueling a hypercompetitive environment that is fostering poor scientific practices, including frank misconduct.
The root of the problem is a lack of sufficient resources to sustain the current enterprise. Too many researchers are competing for too little funding, creating a survival-of-the-fittest, winner-take-all environment where researchers increasingly feel pressure to publish, especially in high-prestige journals.
"The surest ticket to getting a grant or job is getting published in a high profile journal," says Fang. "This is an unhealthy belief that can lead a scientist to engage in sensationalism and sometimes even dishonest behavior to salvage their career."
Funding is just one aspect of a very complex problem Casadevall and Fang see growing in the biomedical sciences. In a series of editorials in the journal Infection and Immunity they describe their views in detail, arguing that science is not as healthy as it could be or as it needs to be to effectively address the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.
"Incentives in the current system place scientists under tremendous stress, discourage cooperation, encourage poor scientific practices and deter new talent from entering the field," they write. "It is time for a discussion of how the scientific enterprise can be reformed to become more effective and robust."
The answers, they write, must come not only from within the scientific community but from society as a whole that has helped create the current incentive structure that is fostering the dysfunction. In the editorials they outline a series of recommended reforms including methodological, cultural and structural changes.
"In the end, it is not the number of high-impact-factor papers, prizes or grant dollars that matters most, but the joys of discovery and the innumerable contributions both large and small that one makes through contact with other scientists," they write. "Only science can provide solutions to many of the most urgent needs of contemporary society. A conversation on how to reform science should begin now."
Copies of the Infection and Immunity editorials can be found online here and here.
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.
Physicists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered patterns which underlie the properties of a new state of matter.
In a paper published in the March 29 issue of the journal Nature, the scientists describe the emergence of “spontaneous coherence,” “spin textures” and “phase singularities” when excitons - the bound pairs of electrons and holes that determine the optical properties of semiconductors and enable them to function as novel optoelectronic devices - are cooled to near absolute zero. This cooling leads to the spontaneous production of a new coherent state of matter which the physicists were finally able to measure in great detail in their basement laboratory at UC San Diego at a temperature of only one-tenth of a degree above absolute zero.
The discovery of the phenomena that underlie the formation of spontaneous coherence of excitons is certain to produce a better scientific understanding of this new state of matter. It will also add new insights into the quirky quantum properties of matter and, in time, lead to the development of novel computing devices and other commercial applications in the field of optoelectronics where understanding of basic properties of light and matter is needed.
The research team was headed by Leonid Butov, a professor of physics at UC San Diego who in 2002 discovered that excitons, when made sufficiently cold, tend to self-organize into an ordered array of microscopic droplets, like a miniature pearl necklace.
Using a state of the art refrigeration system, the UC San Diego physicists were able to achieve temperatures ten times colder than that earlier effort, enabling them with an instrument called an interferometer to measure coherence and spin of each pearl or bead within this necklace.
What they discovered was that the exciton particles’ spin is not homogenous in space, but forms patterns around these beads, which they call “spin textures.” They also discovered that a pattern of spontaneous coherence is correlated with a pattern of spin polarization and with phase singularities in the coherent exciton gas.
"It was a surprise to see this pattern," said Alex High, a graduate student and the first author of the paper. "And it was even more surprising that polarization measurements showed that there was a strong correlation between the coherence and polarization."
"We are working both on understanding the basic properties of excitons and on the development of excitonic signal processing," said Butov. "The physics of excitons is interesting by itself. Furthermore, understanding the basic properties of excitons is needed to build excitonic devices in the future."
The physicists discovered a correlation between the coherence (at left) and spin polarization (at right) of the excitons.
The physicists created the excitons by shining a laser on cooled samples of gallium arsenide, the same semiconducting material used to make transistors in cell phones.
The light kicks electrons out of the atomic orbitals they normally occupy inside of the material. And this creates a negatively charged “free” electron and a positively charged “hole.”
The force of electric attraction keeps these two objects close together, like an electron and proton in a hydrogen atom. It also enables the exciton to exist as a single particle rather than a non-interacting electron and hole. However, since the electron and hole remain in close proximity, they sometimes annihilate one another in a flash of light, similar to annihilation of matter and antimatter.
To control this annihilation, Butov and his team separate electrons and their holes in different nano-sized structures called quantum wells. This allows creation of excitons with the required lifetime, about 50 nanoseconds in the experiment.
"During that time, they cool down, form condensates and demonstrate interesting spin physics," said High. "Eventually the electron and hole recombine and the light comes back out."
In their experiments, the physicists sent that emission through a complex set of mirrors called an interferometer, which divides the light into two different paths. This allowed them to compare two spatially separated regions of the same sample, enabling them to see the fine details of spontaneous coherence in excitons that had never been seen before.
"Previous experiments required fiber optics to do any sort of optical measurements in a dilution refrigerator," said High. "But with this equipment, we can actually take pictures of the excitons at extremely low temperatures.’
"This is a very interesting discovery," he added. "There’s very rich physics involved."
Dr. Robert Benfer of the University of Missouri has discovered numerous earthen animals rising above the coastal plains of Peru, including a giant condor, an orca, a duck, and a caiman or puma monster.
The study, published in the journal Antiquity, describes the mounds, measuring from 5 to 400 m long in each of the six valleys Dr. Benfer surveyed in coastal Peru, a region already renowned for the Nazca lines. The mounds pre-date ceramics and were probably built using woven baskets to carry and pile up rock and soil.
"The mounds will draw tourists, one day," Dr. Benfer said. “Some of them are more than 4,000 years old. Compare that to the effigy mounds of North America, which date to between 400 and 1200 AD. The oldest Peruvian mounds were being built at the same time as the pyramids in Egypt.”
Like the Nazca lines, which include a series of giant animal outlines drawn on the ground to the south, the animal mounds were best observed from a higher vantage point. Google Earth images of the mounds revealed the shapes of birds, including a giant condor, a 5000-year-old orca, a duck, and a caiman/puma monster seen in bone and rock carvings from the area.
"The finding of animal effigy mounds where there were none before changes our conception of early Peruvian prehistory," Dr. Benfer explained. "That they probably represent the Andean zodiac is also a new find. A controversial interpretation of some Nazca figures as representations of the zodiac is supported by these mounds."
Dr. Benfer also noted the structures may have been built as terrestrial manifestations of constellations the ancient Peruvians saw in the stars above. The mounds not only represented the stars, they aligned with them. So far, the researcher has found astronomical orientations at every giant mound.
For example, at the Chillón Valley site, an earthen condor’s charcoal eye lined up with the Milky Way when viewed from a nearby temple. The monstrous caiman/puma mound aligned with the June summer solstice when viewed from the same temple.
According to Dr. Benfer, astronomer priests may have made directed construction of the mounds and then made observations of the sky and offerings to the Earth from atop the earthen creatures. For the ancients, having a celestial calendar allowed farmers and fisherman to prepare for the year ahead.
"For example, knowing that December 21 had passed was very important. If there was no sign of an El Niño by then, fishers would know they would have another good year, and farmers would face neither drought nor floods," Dr. Benfer said.
Previously, the only other effigy mounds known from South America were a few sites in the Andes, but Benfer’s discoveries may be just the beginning.
"I had always noted that a very large structure just north of Lima resembled a bird. But since there were supposedly no giant animal effigy mounds in South America, I thought it couldn’t be one," Dr. Benfer said.
Two years ago, while studying satellite views of archeological sites, Dr. Benfer noticed what looked like teeth on one of the mounds north of Lima. The jagged teeth-like structures had been misidentified as irrigation canals. But after a ground survey of the area, he realized he was standing atop the caiman/puma monster of Chillón Valley. He soon found the nearby condor mound and went on to identify numerous other earthen animal effigies.
My path varies. Sometimes it is smooth and at others, filled with the turbulence of the new or the dark shades of the past. At one moment, the light shines brightly and the way seems clear. The next, the old realities assert themselves with all their ancient pitfalls. I find this disorienting in my attempts to hold the Truth of them all.
For me, this path of Ascension is to be walked alone. If I try to align myself to any ascension group-think, I find myself caught in the perceptions of those the group regards as wise or leaders. They are correct for themselves, but they cannot hold the entire Truth for me. I can respect their wisdom but I find I want choices – as many choices as possible – because each choice opens up a potential new pathway to explore and I must listen to the heartbeat of each to learn whether this is for me. Many are not and I must learn to respect the difference and free both of us to go our own ways.
And sometimes it seems like the path vanishes and I am alone with my emotions apparently without waymarkers.
At present, I have just come through a dark passage where ancient scars have ached again, tumbling into pain and grief. The main initiator of my descent to the depths is anger and rage. As a woman, the old regimes tell me of my lack of worth, my lack of value and my exile from this heartless world of men. The harsher the message, the deeper my rage at the Lie. Yet as my Spirit Guides lead me further down, I am reminded of how my anger and rage is just the first Gate to the Underworld of Being. As I dive below, I discover my Truth that these feelings are simply to protect the depths of hurt I feel as a woman.
This existential wound asks questions. How is it possible that a woman born to a female Planet can have no place there as Her Self? How is it that, as a woman, my Self is actively and enthusiastically dismembered into aspects that feed the darkness: whether as a physical body socially deemed to be unattractive or as an intelligent, feeling, magnificent Living Being regarded as valueless because I fail to produce money or power for the abusers. And why is it that so many women themselves cling to such personally destructive thought-forms by actually inflicting or perpetuating them for our Sisters of Difference?
In my Awareness, I know these attitudes are passing away – this is part of our Planetary Evolution – but they haven’t passed yet… at least in my own experience. So I look to why they continue to haunt me as they do.
So, it seems today’s lesson is about the value of pain.
I know, beyond all doubt, that the measure of my pain and grief – so deep it can seem without end – is balanced by my capacity for Love. This I know because I use this knowledge to heal others in deep pain, male and female, from the malicious knife-twisting used by Destroyers turning pain into suffering so they may feed their appetite for power.
Today I find I am not yet grown enough to be able to embrace all of this in the poignant awareness of Loving Balance. The desecration of the Feminine into pornography/obscenity and the damage done cannot be healed in an instant, it seems to me, because all the Sacred Lessons contained within each experience would be lost. As a result, I discover I am growing. And the waymarker is through my pain.
Each time I have learned a single Sacred Lesson of Pain, I have also learned that I cannot inflict this upon another Living Being again. Yet, from my perspective, the Lessons are so many and so vast I cannot help suspecting that I will need a whole bouquet of lifetimes in order to learn them all. Yet that very awareness means I am growing.
Each time I experience the vulcanism of my rage – which erupts with the Force of our Earth Mother – I forget that pain dwells beneath the surface and Spirit has to remind me. Each time I encounter the minds of those who cannot conceive the wisdom I have already learned, I can forget that responding in kind – oh so tempting at times – simply shuffles me into my own lessons of pain-not-to-be-disseminated-again-for-the-sake-of-us-all. I do my best to be a part of the solution, yet find all my hurt-not-yet-in-awareness can continue to propel me into being a part of the problem. And that hurts.
I have no answers – only the sense that my sharing of experience might enable my Spirit to guide me to the most creative path of my intentions… and more pain.
So today, I am utterly my incomplete woman where my failings are most obvious and the twisted wounds of Woman Experience rage for a solution that can only be found in re-experiencing the pain as a transformational path towards my wisdom. For this is how we heal, isn’t it? By opening, allowing, expressing all that we are in our present Truths…
As TVNewser‘s Chris Ariens reported today: “CNN bore the brunt of the downward trend the news networks experienced this month and for much of the first quarter, when compared to the busy first few months of…
“Elohim,” the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as “God,” but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean “goddesses.” Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still”—Robert Anton Wilson (via blacksunblackson)
BOSTON – A federal judge late Wednesday denied the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the suspicionless search and seizure of electronics belonging to activist David House when he reentered the U.S. after a vacation.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts represent House in a suit charging that the government targeted House based on his lawful association with the Bradley Manning Support Network, an organization created to raise funds for the legal defense of the soldier accused of leaking material to WikiLeaks. The government had asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that it has broad powers to search and seize laptops, phones and any other electronic device at the border without any justification.
“This ruling affirms that the constitution is still alive at the U.S. border,” said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, who argued the case along with John Reinstein of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Despite the government’s broad assertions that it can take and search any laptop, diary or smartphone without any reasonable suspicion, the court said the government cannot use that power to target political speech.”
The decision allows the case to move forward to the evidence-gathering stage, which could reveal why House became the subject of a government inquiry and which government agencies copied or viewed the contents of his laptop, phone and camera.
While the court held that the government does not need suspicion to search a laptop at the border, it also held that the government’s power to search was not unlimited. U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper wrote that the fact that “the initial search and seizure occurred at the border does not strip House of his First Amendment rights, particularly given the allegations in the complaint that he was targeted specifically because of his association with the Support Network.” The judge also acknowledged the complaint’s allegations that “the search of House’s laptop resulted in the disclosure of” the Support Network’s supporters and internal communications and that these disclosures “will deter further participation in and support of the organization.”
In November 2010, Department of Homeland Security agents stopped House at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and questioned him about his political activities and beliefs. Officials then confiscated his laptop computer, camera and a USB drive and did not return them for nearly seven weeks. The government has not said what it did with House’s possessions during that period. House’s detention and interrogation and the seizure of his electronic papers and personal effects had no apparent connection with the protection of U.S. borders or the enforcement of customs laws.
The court ruled that even if the government could legally search House’s devices at the border, this does not mean that agents could take and keep those devices for nearly seven weeks. Without some reasonable relationship between the original search and the extended seizure, the judge said, government agents may not “seize personal electronic devices containing expressive material, target someone for their political association and seize his electronic devices and review the information pertinent to that association and its members and supporters simply because the initial search occurred at the border.”
March 30, 2012 12:00 am By HIROKO TABUCHI / The New York Times
TOKYO — The damage to one of three stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant could be worse than previously thought, a recent internal investigation has shown, raising new concerns over the plant’s stability and complicating the post-disaster cleanup.
The government has said that the plant’s three badly damaged reactors have been in a relatively stable state, called a cold shutdown, for months, and officials say that continues. But new tests suggest that the plant — which was ravaged last March when a powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the area — might not be as stable as the government or the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, had hoped.
The key to keeping the reactors stable is keeping their fuel rods cool with water.
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd; ac yn nawdd, nerth; ac yn nerth, deall; ac yn neall, gwybod; ac o wybod, gwybod y cyfiawn; ac o wybod y cyfiawn ei garu; ac o garu, caru Duw. Duw a phob daioni.
Grant, God, thy refuge; and in refuge, strength; and in strength, understanding; and in understanding, knowledge; and from knowledge, knowledge of what is right; and from knowledge of what is right, the love of it; and from loving, the love of God. God and all goodness.
If we’re by ourselves we come to feel crazy and alone. We need to make alternate families of small groups of women who support each other, talk to each other regularly, can speak their truths and their experiences and find they’re not alone in them, that other women have them, too…. It makes such a huge difference.
Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant.
Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used to show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the ‘How dare you!’ gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers.
Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man.
Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.
This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’ ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as ‘kooks’, ‘right-wing’, ‘liberal’, ‘left-wing’, ‘terrorists’, ‘conspiracy buffs’, ‘radicals’, ‘militia’, ‘racists’, ‘religious fanatics’, ‘sexual deviates’, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run.
In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain critical reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives.
Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority.
Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb.
No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news.
A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with - a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.
Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just aren’t so.’ Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly ‘call for an end to the nonsense’ because you have already ‘done the right thing.’ Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for ‘coming clean’ and ‘owning up’ to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution.
Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic.
Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions.
Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.
This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses.
If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject.
Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can ‘argue’ with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.
If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’
This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence.
Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body.
Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.
22. Manufacture a new truth.
Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions.
If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics.
If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.
If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
They never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials. Rather, they merely imply this, that, and the other. Virtually everything about their presentation implies their authority and expert knowledge in the matter without any further justification for credibility.
They tend to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against mere commentators supportive of opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues. Should a commentator become argumentative with any success, the focus will shift to include the commentator as well.
They tend to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial topic with no clear prior record of participation in general discussions in the particular public arena involved. They likewise tend to vanish once the topic is no longer of general concern. They were likely directed or elected to be there for a reason, and vanish with the reason.
They tend to operate in self-congratulatory and complementary packs or teams. Of course, this can happen naturally in any public forum, but there will likely be an ongoing pattern of frequent exchanges of this sort where professionals are involved. Sometimes one of the players will infiltrate the opponent camp to become a source for straw man or other tactics designed to dilute opponent presentation strength.
They almost always have disdain for ‘conspiracy theorists’ and, usually, for those who in any way believe JFK was not killed by LHO. Ask yourself why, if they hold such disdain for conspiracy theorists, do they focus on defending a single topic discussed in a NG focusing on conspiracies? One might think they would either be trying to make fools of everyone on every topic, or simply ignore the group they hold in such disdain. Or, one might more rightly conclude they have an ulterior motive for their actions in going out of their way to focus as they do.
6) Artificial Emotions
An odd kind of ‘artificial’ emotionalism and an unusually thick skin — an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that, no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive. The net result for a disinfo artist is that emotions can seem artificial. Most people, if responding in anger, for instance, will express their animosity throughout their rebuttal.
But disinfo types usually have trouble maintaining the ‘image’ and are hot and cold with respect to pretended emotions and their usually more calm or unemotional communications style. It’s just a job, and they often seem unable to ‘act their role in character’ as well in a communications medium as they might be able in a real face-to-face conversation/confrontation.
You might have outright rage and indignation one moment, ho-hum the next, and more anger later — an emotional yo-yo. With respect to being thick-skinned, no amount of criticism will deter them from doing their job, and they will generally continue their old disinfo patterns without any adjustments to criticisms of how obvious it is that they play that game — where a more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up.
There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat ‘freudian’, so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within.
I have noted that often, they will simply cite contradictory information which neutralizes itself and the author. For instance, one such player claimed to be a Navy pilot, but blamed his poor communicating skills (spelling, grammar, incoherent style) on having only a grade-school education. I’m not aware of too many Navy pilots who don’t have a college degree. Another claimed no knowledge of a particular topic/situation but later claimed first-hand knowledge of it.
8) Time Constant
There are three ways this can be seen to work, especially when the government or other empowered player is involved in a cover up operation:
ANY NG posting by a targeted proponent for truth can result in an IMMEDIATE response. The government and other empowered players can afford to pay people to sit there and watch for an opportunity to do some damage. SINCE DISINFO IN A NG ONLY WORKS IF THE READER SEES IT - FAST RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR, or the visitor may be swayed towards truth.
When dealing in more direct ways with a disinformationalist, such as email, DELAY IS CALLED FOR - there will usually be a minimum of a 48-72 hour delay. This allows a sit-down team discussion on response strategy for best effect, and even enough time to ‘get permission’ or instruction from a formal chain of command.
In the NG example 1) above, it will often ALSO be seen that bigger guns are drawn and fired after the same 48-72 hours delay - the team approach in play. This is especially true when the targeted truth seeker or their comments are considered more important with respect to potential to reveal truth. Thus, a serious truth sayer will be attacked twice for the same sin.
Remarkably, even media and law enforcement have NOT BEEN TRAINED to deal with these issues. For the most part, only the players themselves understand the rules of the game.
For years, scientists have looked at the placebo effect as just a figment of overactive patient imaginations. Sure, dummy medications seemed to curb epileptic seizures, lower blood pressure, soothe migraines and smooth out jerky movements in Parkinson’s — but these people weren’t really better. Or so scientists thought.
Much of medicine is based on what is considered the strongest possible evidence: The placebo-controlled trial. A paper published in the October 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine — entitled “What’s In Placebos: Who Knows?” calls into question this foundation upon which much of medicine rests, by showing that there is no standard behind the standard — no standard for the placebo.
Now, using PET scanners and MRIs to peer into the heads of patients who respond to sugar pills, researchers have discovered that the placebo effect is not “all in patients’ heads” but rather, in their brains. New research shows that belief in a dummy treatment leads to changes in brain chemistry.
"There have always been people who have said that we could make ourselves better by positive thinking," says Dr. Michael Selzer, professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "After pooh-poohing this for years, here are studies that show that our thoughts may actually interact with the brain in a physical way."
New insights into how placebos work may even help scientists figure out how to harness the effect and teach people to train their own brains to help with healing.
Mind over brain matter Recent reports show that anticipation of relief from a placebo can lead to an actual easing of aches, when the brain makes more of its own pain-dousing opiates. Brain scans of Parkinson’s patients show increases in a chemical messenger called dopamine, which leads to an improvement in symptoms when patients think — mistakenly — that they are receiving real therapy.
And studies in depressed patients like Park have found that almost as many are helped by placebo treatments as by actual medications. In fact, as it turns out, a person’s response to placebo treatment may offer clues as to whether “real” treatments with antidepressants are likely to work.
Researchers are just starting to appreciate the power that the mind can have over the body, says Tor Wager, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University.
"An emerging idea right now is that belief in a placebo taps into processes in your brain that produce physical results that really shape how your body responds to things," he says. "The brain has much more control over the body than we can voluntarily exert."
As an example of this, Wager points to the body’s response to perceived threats.
"Say it’s late at night and everything is quiet and then suddenly you see someone outside, near a window," he explains. "Your body starts to respond. Your pupils dilate. Your heart rate goes up. You start to sweat."
The belief that something threatening is out there produces a host of physical responses that you have little control over. If you were told to calm down and turn off these sensations, you couldn’t, Wager says. “But if the belief changes — say, it turns out that it’s just your husband coming home — the physical response changes.”
The question, now, is how to tap into these powerful, unconscious responses, Wager says.
Brain waves may hold key At the University of California at Los Angeles, placebo-treated volunteers were hooked up to an electroencephalograph (EEG), a device that records the brain’s electrical activity. After a week of sugar pills, the volunteers were then given either more placebos or an actual antidepressant. They weren’t told which type of pill they received.
Eight weeks later, researchers scrutinized the brain waves recorded by the EEG back when all the volunteers were taking placebos. The UCLA scientists discovered something intriguing: The people who got the most benefit from the actual medication had a specific pattern of brain waves when they were being treated with placebos.
Those results were described in a study published this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers haven’t figured out yet what the specific pattern of brain waves mean, but the study does show how patients might be inexpensively screened with an EEG to show doctors who is most likely to respond to antidepressant medications, says the report’s lead author Aimee M. Hunter, a research associate at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.
Teaching patients to soothe themselves Meanwhile, at Stanford University, scientists figured there must be a way to harness the placebo response to help patients soothe their own pain.Â
The researchers rigged up an MRI so that people could watch real-time images of their brains, while lying in the scanner. The idea was to use the images to teach study volunteers to consciously pump up activity in parts of the brain activated by the placebo effect, says Dr. Sean Mackey, associate director of Stanford’s pain management division and director of its neuroimaging and pain lab.
One of those volunteers, Laura Tibbitts, signed up for the study in hopes that she might be able to find a way to quiet the constant, permanent pain that descended after her right shoulder and arm were smashed in a riding accident eight years earlier.
"Pain is not in the muscles or the arm that may be injured," Mackey says. "The pain is in our brains."
A signal starts out at an injured site and travels up to the brain, Mackey explains. But, until the brain interprets that electrical signal, you don’t actually “feel” pain.
Part of what goes into the brain’s interpretation is expectation, Mackey says. “I think of the placebo response, at least in part, as a manipulation of expectancy. And perhaps by changing the expectancy and bumping up the placebo response we might be able to ultimately find a way to provide sustained therapy for chronic pain.”
Lying back in the scanner watching images of her brain, Tibbitts was told to conjure up memories of her pain on the day of the accident. Later, she was instructed to think soothing thoughts. “I imagined little people scooping away the pain, trying to rescue me,” the 32-year-old San Francisco resident says. “Or I thought about water or snowflakes putting the fire out.”
Empowering experiment Through trial and error, Tibbitts determined which kinds of thoughts fired up and turned down the brain regions that Mackey said were linked to her pain. The mental pictures had an impact.
And the newfound control over pain levels was empowering, Tibbitts says.
"I think the most incredible thing was to see that scan of my brain constantly producing pain," she adds. "And then to actually gain control over the pain, to see that I had that power — even when I was making myself feel worse — was amazing to me."
Linda Carroll is a health and science writer living in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Health magazine and Smart Money.
Tired of the perpetual barrage of artificial chemicals and questionable side effects, many individuals have turned to ancient and completely natural solutions to quell their various ills. DIY types with a bit of space to spare – even a windowsill will do! – may want to take their pharmaceutical pursuits one step further and create for themselves a garden full of traditional herbs and plants. However, it is always a good idea to execute plenty of research before committing to whipping up remedies medicinal herbs. Obviously, not every climate stands as suitable for every botanical, so be sure to discuss which ones thrive best in a given region. Second, one must always consult with a physician and/or pharmacist before committing to any herbal treatment. They are not regulated by the FDA, so caution needs to be taken when it comes to allergies, negative reactions with certain medical conditions or toxicology. Never enter into such a pursuit blindly, though responsible care and use of a medicinal plant can certainly yield plenty of hearty and healthy rewards.
Do you often experience synchronicity in your life? Maybe you think of someone and then they call, or the song you were singing in your mind begins to play on the stereo. I experience this awesomeness on a daily basis. As a Spirit Junkie, I’ve made it my mission to release the blocks to the energetic support around me. The more I believe in divine guidance the more miracles I experience.
A super groovy way I receive guidance is through repeating numbers. For years I’ve witnessed 1111 show up in many unique ways, such as on computer screens, digital clocks, addresses, etc. Intuitively I see these moments as sweet winks from the Universe, reminding me that I am being guided. I am not alone in this philosophy. Many other Spirit Junkies believe that when you frequently see 1111 you’re receiving a message to recalibrate your consciousness and intuition.
It’s super neat to receive these messages but it’s far cooler to respond to them. Rather than just chalk up these moments to a groovy coincidence I’ve chosen to witness the guidance and respond. Each day when I have an encounter with 1111, I recite a prayer. I say out loud to my internal guide (aka my ~ing), “Thank you for your message. I am present to your guidance. Show me what you got.” I could easily breeze past these moments of divine guidance, but I choose to use them as spiritual cues to tune in and connect to the energy around me. When I’m in tune and connected, I expect miracles.
Divine guidance is available to you, too. All the time, in fact! The first step is to stop questioning the synchronicity in your life. When you question it you weaken the power in the moment. Rather than flip out about the “coincidence,” choose to honor the miracle. Pay attention to moments of synchronicity.
The next step to creating more synchronicity and flow is to strengthen your faith in miracles. Negative self-talk and “it’s too good to be true” mumbo-jumbo weakens your desires—rev up your faith instead. Start to affirm that you believe you are a miracle worker. The more you let go of disbelief and focus on a belief system of faith, the more you’ll experience divine guidance. Faith in miracles clears space for divine guidance to show up and support you.
Once you believe in guidance it’s time to pay attention to it. Spiritual guidance comes in many forms. Maybe you witness guidance through repeating numbers, or you feel a strong intuition, or you experience tons of synchronicity. There are all kinds of ways to tap into the divine.
Still not sure? Check out these examples of spirit guidance:
Spirit connects through people. Ever notice those moments when you’re thinking of someone and they call, text or email? This is a great example of spirit energy at work. Regardless of how physically far you may be from someone you can trust that your spiritual connection is always strong. When you are thinking about someone you can surly assume they will feel it and vice-versa.
Connecting to spirit also comes through a strong intuitive feeling. When I connect through intuition I get a strong hit about something. I hear an inner dialogue that is loud and authoritative—there is no questioning my intuition. The way you can strengthen your intuition is to take it seriously. Pay attention to your intuitive spark and listen when it comes through. Maybe jot down your intuition in a notebook or repeat it out loud to yourself. Don’t rush past it. Instead, honor your intuition and fully take it in.
Spirit also connects to us through visual cues and technology. My 1111 encounters are great examples of how spirit will remind me of my guidance. You may experience spiritual connections through your phone, computer or stereo. Often the lights in my home go on and off. I take this as a nod from my spirit guides and pay attention. (So stop bitching to Con Edison and trust that you’re being guided!)
Once you’re aware of spirit’s connection, you can surrender to divine guidance. The first step to working with divine guidance is to be open to receiving it. Begin today by paying attention to the ways that spirit is connecting to you. Then practice the following steps to deepen your miracle mindset and awareness of spirit:
• Practice non-interference. Working with divine spirit guidance is like playing with magic. I want to emphasize this! Don’t eff around. Connecting to the flow of the Universe is our birthright, not some secret trick. So try your best not to interfere with the natural order. Instead, pay attention to your intuitive guidance and take spiritually aligned action.
• Patience is key when working with the Universe. It’s important to trust that spirit has a way better plan than you do. Enjoy the synchronistic flow and let go of the outcome. Connections may speed up and signs may come in, but you have to allow the spiritual process of flow to occur. Don’t rush the process. Let the Universe do her thing.
• Be still. In stillness you will receive guidance. The more you cultivate serious time for contemplation and stillness the easier it will be for you to hear spirit’s call. One way you can do this is by practicing meditation and yoga. If you’re a meditation newbie, click here (gabbyb.tv) for my free guided meditations.
• Gratitude is your only attitude when connecting to spirit. Each day thank the infinite Universe and divine spirit guidance. Say prayers throughout the day thanking spirit for guiding you to exactly what you need. This gratitude will strengthen your faith in miracles and enhance your relationship to the guidance around you.
• Finally, listen for guidance. Pay close attention to what comes through and do not edit it. Just be present with the messages you receive. Listen and take spiritually aligned action.