A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The World Without Us - Part 2





By Tracy W.
In the movie The Day After Tomorrow Manhattan subway tunnels get flooded by unremitting rain over a period of just a few days. Technology that normally pumps excess water is simply overwhelmed.  In the movie things go from bad to worse, with abrupt climate change returning the city to the Ice Age. 
Alan Weisman takes on the subject of water flow in Manhattan from a different perspective.  His book The World Without Us speculates on what would happen to cities without people.
For the sake of argument, let's pretend that humans have simply vanished. Maybe a plague, maybe something else.  What happens to Manhattan?  It would quickly revert to its ancient ecology, while man-made structures would erode and crumble. 
The first act of natural reclamation of the island would be the reflooding of large parts of the city that used to be lakes and streams.
Ancient Manhattan had more than 40 streams running through it, plus lakes and marshes.  It was a landscape efficiently designed by nature to allow water management according to seasonal rain variations.  
When Europeans settled there, they tried to force nature to accept the building of a city that would eventually become a metropolis.  To start with, lakes, marshes and streams were filled in.  All water went underground.
But nature can't ever be defeated.  Man's dominance is tenuous and temporary at best.  Recurrent subway tunnel floods are challenging reminders. Not even the most advanced technology can defeat the force of zillions of drops of water. That water wants to return to the surface and the only way to contain it and rechannel it is by using pumps all over underground Manhattan.
Those pumps run on electric power.  With no people, there would be no power.  In only 30 minutes water would reach the trains.  Even with no rain the underground subways would be completely flooded in only 36 hours.
The Mannahatta Project
To get an idea of what the island used to be, Alan Weisman presents landscape ecologist Dr. Eric Sanderson's Mannahatta Project.  He has reconstructed in virtual form pre-urban Manhattan.
Gathering all kinds of archival and geological information, including sediment and fossil pollen studies, Dr Sanderson has been able to painstakingly recreate old Manhattan, its waterways, even trees and bushes.  With new technology he shows the island as it was first seen by Henry Hudson in 1609.
For more information on Dr. Eric Sanderson and his Mannahatta Project:

Mapping Mannahatta - Slide show

2007 video  -

2011 video -

2011 - New York before the city - interview and pictures.



New York City in the aftermath of 2012 Hurricane Sandy

Pictures of flooded Manhattan in darkness, rats take over.

Pictures of the flood and a technological idea that could protect Manhattan.

Pictures of inside eerie Manhattan subway station months later, still in need of rehabilitation -

Monday, April 29, 2013





The city of HERACLEION, where Cleopatra was inaugurated, remained hidden for 1200 years under the sea, until discovered in 2001. 

Now 3-D technology has created a map representing the city before it sank into the Mediterranean. 
See map, pictures of ancient artwork rescued from the depths, and short video of the still submerged ruins.  -
How many of our coastal cities will someday be nothing but underwater points of interest for scientists? What will they find? McDonald signs?




Part of their training:  They sink into a pool, hands bound behind their back, no respiratory equipment at all.  Orders are to reach their face masks on the floor using only their teeth.

Read article with many pictures taken by Greg Mathieson, who spent the last six years researching and photographing them. He has just released a book he wrote on the subject.

Pictures of US Navy Seals weapons and gadgets.


The government of Peru declared an environmental emergency in part of the Amazon rainforest last month - an area heavily contaminated by oil companies. 
That particular area was first exploited by Occidental Petroleum.  Twelve years ago it changed hands and is now the responsibility of  Pluspetrol, the country's biggest oil and natural gas producer. 
Argentinian-owned Pluspetrol will be obliged to clean up the contamination that includes high levels of lead, barium and chromium, and other petroleum-related compounds. 
The area is inhabited by hunter-gatherer Quichua and Ashuar indians.

Read more:

UPDATEPluspetrol denies responsibility for pollution of Peru Amazon Rainforest
In a statement published in local newspapers, Pluspetrol said that when it took over oil production there was already widespread pollution from operations over the last 30 years.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Latest EPA methane release study is based on the fracking industry's own figures
Yahoo News: 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much Methane, a potent heat-trapping gas, leaks during natural gas production
EPA now says that tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in 20 percent reduction from previous estimates.
EPA revisions came even though natural gas production has grown by nearly 40 percent since 1990.
EPA said it made the changes based on expert reviews and new data from several sources, including a report funded by the oil and gas industry. But the estimates aren't based on independent field tests of actual emissions, and some scientists said that's a problem.
Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor of ecology who led a 2011 methane leak study that is widely cited by critics of fracking, wrote in an email that "time will tell where the truth lies in all this, but I think EPA is wrong."
Howarth said other federal climate scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have published recent studies documenting massive methane leaks from natural gas operations in Colorado and other Western states.
Howarth wrote that the EPA seems "to be ignoring the published NOAA data in their latest efforts, and the bias on industry only pushing estimates downward — never up — is quite real. EPA badly needs a counter-acting force, such as outside independent review of their process."
The new EPA figures still show natural gas operations as the leading source of methane emissions in the U.S., at about 145 million metric tons in 2011. The next biggest source was enteric fermentation, scientific jargon for belches from cows and other animals, at 137 million metric tons. Landfills were the third-biggest source, at 103 million metric tons.
The EPA revisions have international implications, too. The agency says the new report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, was submitted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change by an April 15 deadline.

Read more:

Fracking news:

Video Gasland Part 1 -
Video Gasland Part 2 -

Saturday, April 27, 2013






Fooling our mind for a good purposeVirtual Reality Therapy and visualization

- How imaginary time travel rejuvenated seniors' bodies and minds.
- How a video game alleviated a war veteran's pain.
- How musicians and athletes practice in their minds - and see actual results.

By Tracy W.

First, the youth project. A group of seniors travelled back in time for a whole week to the year without breaking the laws of physics, dressing in the same fashion as they did when young, listening to music of that time, dancing, discussing the issues of that year, flirting, feeling young again.

This was an actual study done by psychologist Ellen Langer with seniors home residents who were taken to an isolated location to re-live the year 1959. After a week of vacationing in the past, they were given medical tests and doctors were amazed at how much and how quickly these seniors had been rejuvenated. Their cholesterol levels, their blood pressure, their memory, their energy, their overall sense of well-being and empowerment had greatly improved in comparison with the control group of seniors who had stayed in the seniors home who felt the same.

Read more about the study here:


SnowWorld as pain therapy for a war veteran

Our imagination can also be put to use in a process known as Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT). A patient is asked to participate in a virtual reality game with a theme chosen to counteract his body's message of pain. And it works!

Lieutenant Sam Brown suffered severe burns from the blast of an IED in Afghanistan. Back in the US his treatment was causing such excruciating pain that it was unbearable. Concerned by the prospect of painkillers dependency and side effects, his doctor ordered a video game.

That's right. He ordered SnowWorld, where the gamer throws snowballs at penguins to the music of Paul Simon. The burn victim's mind is partly transported to a cool and beautiful world, away from his burning pain, engaging in an entertaining and soothing activity while the medical staff treats his skin.

SnowWorld was designed by University of Washington psychologists, Dr. David Patterson and Dr. Hunter Hoffman. In 2011 the US military concluded a study proving that it was more effective than morphine to alleviate pain.

Read more about SnowWorld treatment and Lieutenant Brown's recovery and his new life here:


Musicians and athletes getting better by practicing in their minds

Marisa Brook explores another angle of using the imagination to effect real physical improvement on her article The Science of Mental Fitness. Musicians and athletes often use imaginary practice to sharpen their skills. Famous performers such as Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein rehearsed on an imaginary piano.

And here is the astounding fact that for athletes imaginary practice results in greater dexterity and strength. This has been proven by scientific studies.

Read details and more articles here:


Let children daydream

Children fantasies as self-therapy and self-discovery. They use their imagination as self-therapy - beyond usual fun and excitement, although they do not know it at the time. They compensate for what is missing in their lives, empowering themselves to face what we call the "real world".

Many children therapeutic fantasies uncover talents and dreams that would have otherwise remained obscured in their everyday lives, sharpening awareness of goals for their future as adults.

Unfortunately adults cram their children's time with extra-curricular activities these days. Children need a time for solitude and dreams. It's their time for magic.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Three years later: 

Animal deformities all around the Gulf, and massive wipeout of microscopic species at the base of the food chain. 

Humans suffering from bleeding and other abnormalities
Scientists denounce destruction of Gulf of Mexico marine life due to contamination by BPS oil dispersant Corexit. 
David Kirby writes on the Huffington Post that a year ago Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences was finding lesions and grotesque deformities in sea life—including millions of shrimp with no eyes and crabs without eyes or claws—possibly linked to oil and dispersants.

EcoRigs divers took water and marine life samples at several locations in the months following the blowout. Now, they and countless other Gulf residents are sick, with symptoms resembling something from a sci-fi horror film, including bleeding from the nose, ears, breasts, and even anus.

EcoRigs founder Steve Kolian' team has done studies of their own to alarming results. “We recently submitted a paper showing levels of hydrocarbons in seafood were up to 3,000 times higher than safety thresholds for human consumption, he said.

When BP began spraying the Gulf, critics said Corexit oil dispersant is not only toxic to marine life on its own, but when combined with crude oil, the mixture becomes several times more toxic than oil or dispersant alone.

A just-released study from the University of South Florida found that underwater plumes of BP oil, dispersed by Corexit, had produced a “massive die-off” of foraminifera, microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain.

Other studies show that, as a result of oil and dispersants, plankton have either been killed or have absorbed PAHs before being consumed by other sea creatures.


Read David Kirby's complete article and photo gallery looking back at the disaster three years ago:



Several coalitions of Mexican fishermen are suing BP PLC, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co., seeking unspecified damages over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more:



Bomb Bees can detect landmines


Croatian scientists have been training bees with a solution of sugar and the smell of explosives. Once the bees are hooked on this kind of food, they will automatically head for areas with hidden landmines, a remnant of Croatia's war during the 1990s

Information, maps and pictures -

Thursday, April 25, 2013



Japan starts Methane Mining



Ready for more global warming, submarine earthquakes, and tsunamis? Why not? Methane will be cheap.

Also known as  Fire Ice, Methane Hydrates or Methane Clathrates.

They is a huge reservoir of fuel trapped inside ice crystals deep in the ocean floor, under layers of sediments. They could hold up to 15 times the amount of gas in shale deposits, and represent more carbon than all the world's fossil fuels combined. Japan has already started extraction.
Methane use as fuel would result in accelerated global warming. There is also the risk of drilling and pipeline accidents deep in the ocean and along lower margins of continental slopes where land meets ocean. 

William Harris writes: Even if you can situate a rig safely, methane hydrate is unstable once it's removed from the high pressures and low temperatures of the deep sea.

Methane begins to escape even as it's being transported to the surface. Unless there's a way to prevent this leakage of natural gas, extraction won't be efficient. It will be a bit like hauling up well water using a pail riddled with holes.

Believe it or not, this leakage may be the least of the worries. Many geologists suspect that gas hydrates play an important role in stabilizing the seafloor. Drilling in these oceanic deposits could destabilize the seabed, causing vast swaths of sediment to slide for miles down the continental slope.

Evidence suggests that such underwater landslides have occurred in the past (see sidebar), with devastating consequences. The movement of so much sediment would certainly trigger massive tsunamis similar to those seen in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. How Frozen Fuel Works

R.P. Siegel writes: How much of this push into more and more risky forms of energy production, is based on true need, in the absence of viable alternatives, and how much of it is, as I have suggested before, the actions of a very deep-pocketed energy industry using the prospect of lower prices to forestall any movement away from their products, regardless of the risks; be it offshore drilling, tar sands oil pipelines, fracking and now methane hydrates.

All of these energy sources have been known for 40-50 years, but were considered either too risky or not economically viable at the time. What is driving the transformation of that viewpoint? Is it desperation or is it greed, or perhaps some combination of the two?


Also read: Game Over for the Environment -

Wednesday, April 24, 2013






New website calls cat owners to publicly shame bad cats
It shows cats photographed with notes describing their bad behavior


I left black grease pawprints all over the carpet.

I just peed on mommy's last clean workshirt.

The shame kitties online website: 



Prairie Dogs



Prairie dogs big and small eating, eating, and eating some more.

Until one lies flat on the ground unable to move.

But they are so cute!






And it's going to explode some day. 

A mega eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano will immediately wipe out all life over two thirds of the United States.  And much of surviving life in North America would perish soon after due to lack of food, as a huge expanse of the continent would be covered with ash. Abrupt climate change would ensue, as the massive ash cloud would travel all around the planet, covering sunlight and raining ash.
Now scientists have discovered that this ticking time bomb is even larger than thought.  The magma reservoir is at least 50% larger.
Daily Mail reporting in 1911:  It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.  Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1000 miles away.  Two thirds of the United States could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it.

More information, pictures and map: 

Additional information on Yellowstone supervolcano:

Short National Geographic Yellowstone Park video.  Note that their measurements of the caldera need to be updated now.  -

Yellowstone Supervolcano, where will it erupt -

When Yellowstone explodes -



How to greet a space alien


Do you remember the movie "Independence Day"? And that scene when Will Smith punches the alien in the face and says "Welcome to Earth" Yes, I loved that scene too. I would have done the same thing.
But what if the aliens are just parked up there, above us, watching us, waiting, waiting...
io9 staff questioned several anthropologists gathered for the annual CONTACT conference about earthlings' etiquette regarding visiting space aliens.
One anthropologist said tht if she had to sum up the best ethical response in one word it would be "hospitality." Humans should extend hospitality to the visitors as we would "to any alien entity, including the human variety illegal alien" she added. (Yeah, like the hospitality natives granted to European explorers. Look what it got them. Not a good idea.)
Other scientists speculated about the possible modes of communication. 
But what if the aliens don't want to communicate? Humans don't try to communicate with animals. They just slaughter them. And to a technologically more advanced species we'd be like cattle or pests to exterminate so that they can get on with the business that brought them over here in the first place.
The whole attitude among Contact scientists seems to be an utterly and terminally romantic one. They are still stuck on the movie ET, with the adorable alien.
The harsh truth is that the laws of nature are such that species need to compete and impose themselves by taking over territory, either by killing their competitors or chasing them away. 

There is cooperation in nature also, but not when the arriving species wants to take over territory and resources. 

That dominating behavior is widespread all over our planet, no matter whether it's on land or water, among superior animals, microbes or plants, and we should expect that the same laws of life exist in other planets.
Call me a warmonger if you want, but if space visitors happens to approach, let's not extend the welcome mat.
Read more on the anthropologists' statements and see short video clip of Will Smith punching the alien:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Frankenapples in school cafeterias

NATURAL NEWS reports: 
Thanks to the biotech industry's relentless quest to control our food, McDonald's, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won't turn brown when they're sliced or bitten into.
A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle.
Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Of course, like any non-organic apple, the new GMO ArcticR Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will be cheap, priced considerably lower than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.

Read more:



Humans feel empathy for robots


Studies with subjects watching videos where robots were abused, felt pity for them.  Genuine feelings of empathy.

Read more about the tests on humans here:

This is nothing new.  It is a well-known fact that people develop feelings of real affection for their cars, and even attribute a personality to them.  Just last Saturday a listener called the NPR radio program Car Talk and complained about her case of separation anxiety after her father had sold a car that had been with the family for many years.

Cars are not exactly robots, but they are a machine that has become a member of the family.

By the way, Car Talk is a really funny radio show.  I recommend it.






Experts call for a ban on machines that can kill humans without any human intervention. 

Nobel laureate Jody Williams has started Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

Read more:

I don't know why I have this image of Dr Who Daleks with their call "Exterminate-Exterminate."

Another case of life imitating the movies.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Icebergs with colored stripes



Beautiful pictures of icebergs with black, green and blue stripes formed by frozen melt water, sediment and algae that was subjected to huge pressures.
Daily Mail: Icebergs are large chunks of freshwater ice that have broken off a glacier or an ice shelf, and float freely in open water.

They may subsequently become frozen into pack ice. About one ninth of an iceberg is above the surface, making them dangerous for ships. One of the biggest ones measured 12,000 square miles - bigger than Belgium.

See pictures:


The Tablet you can control with your mind



Samsung is developing a device to help you check your e-mail, listen to music, and more, just using mind power.

More information, pictures and video:

Of course you need to don a ridiculous skullcap full of wires, but the time will come when all that may be reduced to something tiny you'll clip to your ear.

Related:  Mind control games -


Stress on pregnant squirrels makes their pups grow faster



Stress on pregnant squirrels, not food, is the key to their pups' speeded up growth rate. 
A larger young squirrel has an edge in crowded surroundings with limited territory and limited food. 
Scientists played recordings of territorial squirrel vocalizations (known as "rattles") to trick moms into thinking that the forests were more densely populated.
A boost of stress during pregnancy helps red squirrels ensure that their pups will grow fast, due to the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol even gave a boost to offspring born in big litters, which tend to have slower growth rates.
But there is a tradeoff to this speedy growth rate: as adults they will have shorter lives.

More on Red Squirrels Super-moms

Red Squirrels moms and cute babies - picture gallery-

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Fancy Houses for Dogs and Cats

As cats and dogs become more and more substitute children, people are willing to spend large amounts on their food, medical care, and other expenses. 
Nothing is too good for the only true, loyal, and trusty confidant they'll ever have.   And who can blame them? Marriages don't last very long and they are often heartbreaking.  Children are selfish by nature and don't show enough gratitude for all the efforts their parents invested in them.
But pets are different. They love unconditionally, they are obedient, clean, and grateful.  The are the perfect child, the perfect friend.

Of course pet owners can get a little carried away with their pampering and generosity sometimes.  Check this out and see mansions, air conditioned and heated digs, bunk beds, deluxe high-tech homes, and even one with Michelangelo-type ceiling art - all designed for pets.





Wired Magazine photo gallery:

pictures of giant snails

giant shrimps (there's an oxymoron for you),

Goliath Goldfish

Titanic toads

And several others.  Just click on the small pictures on those pages.



Brain cells in a dish control power grid reports that "a team of neuroscientists and engineers is using neurons grown in a dish to control simulated power grids.
"The researchers hope that studying how neural networks integrate and respond to complex information will inspire new methods for managing the country's ever-changing power supply and demand.

"Living neuronal networks can be made to control computer-simulated animals and simple robots.
"In the current project, the network is trained to recognize and respond to voltage and speed signals from Venayagamoorthy's power grid simulation."

Read more:



Most US Beef, Chicken and Turkey contaminated by Superbugs


A federal report published last year says 81% of raw ground turkey, 55% of raw ground beef, and 39 of raw chicken parts were infected with antibiotic-resistant microbes.
Intensive farming, where animals are grown and kept in inhumane and crowded conditions, demand adding huge amounts of anti-biotics to their feed.
Superbugs are particularly dangerous and even life-threatening to the very young, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems. Antibiotics are helpless to combat them.
Medical News Today says:  At the very least, policymakers shouldn't subsidize factory farms over giving funds to farm and ranch stewardship. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentives Program should encourage and support ranchers who raise livestock on pasture - which would reduce the likelihood of disease

Read more:


Ants change jobs as they get older



That's understandable.  New study shows that young ants are tasked with nursing the queen, older ones work as cleaning ladies, and the oldest of them, being expendable, are sent outside to forage for food.

Pictures and story here:

Friday, April 19, 2013


Geyser erupts in Russian Parking Lot

Huge hot water geyser erupted in parking lot of the city of Smolensk, 220 miles from Moscow.  Its force threw pieces of brick and pavement all around. 

Text, pictures, and video:

What is a Geyser


The World Without Us



Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us, writes about our march towards man-made or naturally caused environmental catastrophe:
"At what point would things have gone so far that, for all our vaunted superior intelligence, we're not among the hardy survivors? 
"The truth is, we don't know. Any conjecture gets muddled by our obstinate reluctance to accept that the worst might actually occur.
"We may be undermined by our survival instincts, honed over eaons to help us deny, defy, or ignore catastrophic portents lest they paralyze us with fright. If those insticts dupe us into waiting until it's too late, thats bad. if they fortify our resistance in the face of mounting omens, that's good. More than once, crazy , stubborn hopee has inspired creative strokes that a snatched people from ruin." - Page 3 of The World Without Us
NORMALCY BIAS  = A mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations.  The assumption is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur.
It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.
It is often puzzling to see our generation face ongoing life-threatening disasters in a variety of emotional states that range from helplessness to indifference to unorganized opposition.  If history is evidence enough, we will most likely allow disaster to unfold until its very catastrophic end. 
We are wasting precious time and resources fighting skirmishes, sometimes over relatively minor issues, while we neglect the greater ones.
For example, we agonize over CO2 but we do nothing about the proliferation of nuclear reactors all over the globe, in spite of the threat that nuclear material represents for ALL life on the planet.  It's not only that they can malfunction and release fatal amounts of radioactivity, but that there is no credible way to deal with nuclear waste.
We demand faster and faster computers, but we are way behind in the development of efficient devices to timely detect large incoming asteroids and to prevent them from impacting earth.


The Blob is here!

Remember that old movie The Blob?  Well, this will bring back memories, although the process moves at a much slower pace.
Magnetic putty eats everything in its path.  Filled with tiny ferromagnetic particles, it oozes towards objects containing traces of a certain magnet and gobbles them up!
The blob is infused with millions of micron-sized ferromagnetic particles.  It will slowly, very slowly devour any object containing neodymium iron boron.

See time lapse video and pictures:

Fun with magnetic putty:


Thursday, April 18, 2013





Interview with Professor S. James Gates, a theoretical physicist working on superstrings and supersymmetry. He affirms that he has found computer code within the equations of string theory used to describe the universe in a supersymmetric system. Not just any code, but one that was invented back in the 1940s.

Here are two audio interviews of eight and five minutes with Prof. Gates. It's a very complex subject but not too hard to understand.
Strange Computer Code Discovered Concealed In Superstring Equations!  The universe is in fact a computer

Although the interviewer gets very excited, there should be some caution in accepting the idea that the universe is a computer simulation. My strongest objection to this or any other theory of the universe is that we can only sense less than 5% of all existing matter and energy. 70% is dark energy and 25% is dark matter.

But the act of speculating and formulating new theories is fascinating and stimulates our imagination. Particle physics is more exciting than any science fiction, and one does not need to be a whiz at math to understand it in general. I'm extremely math-challenged but I've been able to follow math-free books of popular physics, such as those by John Gribbin and Michio Kaku.

The only obvious thing we can be sure of is that there is more to the universe than scientists have been able to figure out so far. There is a huge chunk of mystery in 95% of the universe that is so different that none of our best scientific equipment has been able to detect and identify so far.


Related articles:
Are we living in a computer simulation?
The idea we live in a simulation isn't science fiction
The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation
On this blog: Is there a dark matter universe like ours?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013




Japan's Asahi Shimbum reports:
TEPCO misled Diet panel, averted quake-damage inspection at Fukushima plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co. misled a Diet investigation panel citing "pitch blackness" and “dreadfully high” radiation levels in a reactor building to effectively block an inspection for possible quake damage at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
“(TEPCO’s explanation) was absolutely false and seriously obstructed the investigation,” Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former member of the now-disbanded Diet commission, said in a statement submitted to the chiefs of the two Diet chambers on Feb. 7.
Tanaka asked the Diet to inspect the No. 1 reactor building to see if isolation condensers--key safety components at nuclear plants--were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.
If the emergency cooling system was damaged by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, stricter quake-resistance standards would be required for nuclear power plants, further delaying the restarts of idled reactors around the country.
The isolation condensers stopped working soon after the earthquake struck, which is believed to have contributed to the early meltdown of the No. 1 reactor.

TEPCO has denied they were damaged by the quake.

Read more


On a recent report by New Scientist, the magazine reassures readers that nuclear plants are designed well enough to resist earthquake damage.  Which is not accurate, as the report above indicates.


Do Earthquakes Threaten Iran Nuclear Facilities?   
Nuclear power stations generally cope quite well with earthquakes, says Michael Bluck of Imperial College London. They are built on thick slabs of concrete that cushion them, and backup generators are used to keep the reactors cool in the event of an accident.
Didn't the Fukushima disaster show that earthquakes are a risk to nuclear power stations?
Fukushima rode out the earthquake safely but the Japanese disaster was a reminder that nuclear power stations are vulnerable to tsunamis.

Read more:

Iran sits on fault lines, and suffers from frequent strong earthquakes, some of them quite devastating.




Is this for real?  The most amazing-looking creature captured in all its magnificent colors.  Looks like an extraterrestrial.

See picture and read article:




Could a computer hacker crash an airplane in flight using only a smartphone app?  Experts think this is a possibility.  Hugo Teso, a programmer and also a trained commercial pilot, says this technology would not be picked up by security checks.  He has shown an app as  "proof of concept" to airlines to alert them of this danger. It's just a possibility, but that's how all innovations - good and bad - get their start.

Read details and watch video



Eerie abandoned power stations

 Photographer captures so well the apocalyptic look of these abandoned buildings, full of toxic and dangerous equipment.

See pictures here:


New York State Government Confiscates Psychiatrists Records


This measure is being taken in connection with NY state's program to severely restrict ownership of fireguns by private citizens, 
This wholesale violation of doctor-patient confidentiality may backfire, as people with mental ailments will now be afraid to consult psychiatrists, knowing that their discussions and diagnosis could be accessed by public servants. 
Untreated mentally ill people may have to carry on with all kinds of activities, including piloting aircraft, looking after small children, and working in nuclear facilities, because seeking psychiatric help would make them vulnerable to losing their jobs. 
The ramifications of this decision will be even more profound, as governments could theoretically use this medical information for political advantage or worse.
NATURAL NEWS: This is not a gun rights issue, this is a patient rights issue. If a state government can simply seize all records from all psychiatrists, then it can also use that information to decide whose children to have taken away by CPS.(Children's Protective Services).. or who to deny the right to vote by having them labeled "mentally incompetent."

Read more


Confiscation of legally purchased firearms has already started.

THE BLAZE:  Despite promises from the president and a host of other politicians who are pushing for more gun control that nobody is coming for your guns, the confiscation of guns and gun permits has apparently started in some form in New York State.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Family Guy Episode predicted Boston Marathon Massacre

Popular art sometimes predicts historical events 

By Tracy W.

There are countless fiction books that have accurately predicted future events.  Some told of the sinking of a giant luxury cruiseship across the Atlantic years before the Titanic's own demise.  George Orwell's "1984" seems even more relevant today, as we trudge along the 2000s.
Prior to the Nazi takeover of Europe, paintings, drawings, and movies, particularly  Expressionists such as filmmaker Fritz Lang, described a chaotic and distorted world. They seemed to reflect the upheaval in traditional society and science, as extreme political forces fought for supremacy after World War One, and as new particle physics demolished orderly concepts of matter and energy.  

These days there is a strange fascination with vampires and different forms of apocalypse.

Vampires eat brains. In real life people's brains and their ability to think independently are under attack by school, government, and media indoctrination, and by the addictive power of high tech communication and entertainment devices.

Fiction and non-fiction writers anticipate the apocalypse as economic and environmental collapse and/or as political enslavement, and it is announced all over the web every day.


Music too reflects our times. The music of the Forties was upbeat, full of energy or romanticism.  The music of the Sixties expressed the same but in a different way.  Although there was in far away places, it was still a time of prosperity and hope for the future.  Songs were catchy.

In the following decades all that began to change. Music turned dark, with sounds of anger and dissonance. Much of Rap falls under the category of "unsuitable for young children".  The bizarre and the depraved rule. Even current classical music is often oppressive or exploratory, not a means to convey listening pleasure.  It does not reflect human rhythms, but those of a disturbing vision of present and future.

The anachronistic Andre Rieu can draw thousands to his concerts, but it's a nostalgic escape into an idealized age. There is not much that could be considered the equivalent of waltz or swing or 1960s ballads in the 21st century. Nothing like that with true mass appeal.  Our world seems bracing for the Apocalypse.

Our science and technology are truly out of control. Neither the food we eat, nor the water we drink, nor the air we breathe are free from deliberate contamination.  It's not even in the name of prosperity anymore - but in the name of "jobs", any job to keep our countries from sinking into abject poverty too fast.  Because sinking they are.

An activity as wholesome as a marathon falls under a terrorist attack.  Schoolchildren are massacred in demented expressions of rage.   

Artists, our modern day prophets, tune in to the currents of the day.  A prescient Family Guy episode recently told about a Marathon filled with terror.


An episode of the popular show Family Guy which was first aired less than a month ago eerily predicted aspects of the Boston Marathon attack, depicting the main character detonating two bombs in addition to winning the marathon by killing the rest of the participants.  -

“Turban Cowboy” is the fifteenth episode of the eleventh season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. This episode aired on Fox in the United States on March 17, 2013.    Video:

UPDATE - This Family Guy episode has been pulled from the internet. No longer available.

Monday, April 15, 2013






Wired Magazine' Stunning Architecture of the Week skyscraper is remarkable not only for its design - simulating water waves - but also for the fact that its undulating terraces help restrict the angle the reflections can be seen from, thus minimizing the chance of birds crashing against the glass.

See picture here: