- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon
to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."
~ Abraham Lincoln
RT : 25 Sep 2016
© Stringer / Reuters
A 500-metre (1,640-ft.) aperture spherical telescope (FAST) is seen at the final stage of construction, among the mountains in Pingtang county, Guizhou province, China
The biggest radio telescope located in China's Guizhou Province is now operational. Featuring a reflector the size of 30 football pitches, it took five years and $180 million to construct. Called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope's (FAST), the telescope is located in a karst valley in Pingtang County, a mountainous area in southwest China.
Some 8,000 local residents were relocated to ensure a 5km radio silence zone around the facility. About $269 million were allocated to pay compensations to the villagers. The name FAST referrers to the main structure of the gigantic instrument, which has 4,450 triangular 11-meter panels and measures 500 meters in diameter. For comparison, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which held the title of world's largest radio telescope before FAST, has a 305-meter dish.
FAST was first brought online in July for trial observation and received a set of data from a pulsar about 1,351 light-years away, as Xinhua news agency was told by Qian Lei, an associate researcher with the National Astronomical Observation (NAO) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which built the project. China plans to use one of its best supercomputers, the SkyEye-1, to process the massive amounts of data supplied by FAST. At its peak the data flow is expected to require computing power of over 200 teraflops per second.
The instrument would be used to study gravitational waves, stellar radio emissions and potentially signals from extraterrestrial civilizations, Qian Lei, an associate researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told state broadcaster CCTV. "In theory, if there is civilization in outer space, the radio signal it sends will be similar to the signal we can receive when a pulsar [spinning neutron star] is approaching us," Qian said.
FAST is the world's biggest radio telescope with a single dish. The old Soviet RATAN-600 in southern Russia is bigger still, but, unlike China's new telescope, its 576-meter reflector structure resembles a donut.
On Aug. 16th, the Chinese space agency launched a new kind of satellite from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Nicknamed "Micius," after 5th century Chinese philosopher, the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale mission intends to establish an un-crackable quantum communications network and to test exotic theories of quantum teleportation. This extraordinary picture taken by Yingwei Chen just a few days ago shows that Micius is working:
"In the early morning of Aug. 27th, I photographed an alignment test between the satellite and a telescope at the Xinglong Observation Station," explains Chen. "This is one of the five stations used for communicating with Micius. The telescope sends up a red laser beam to the satellite. Once the red laser is received, the satellite responds with a green laser beam. The telescope captures the beam and feeds it into an optical fiber if successful communication is established. The whole send-and receive process takes less than 3 seconds. In the picture, the red light has a wavelength of 671 nm and the green light has a wavelength of 532 nm."
One of the main goals of Micius will be to demonstrate quantum key distribution (QKD) between the satellite and stations on the ground. A quantum key is a string of ones and zeros, representing the quantum states of particles. These can be used to encode and decode hack-proof messages.
Another goal is to test some of the strange theories of quantum physics. For instance, Chinese physicists will attempt to quantum teleport a photon state from the Ali observatory on the Tibetan Plateau to the satellite, proving if successful that entanglement can exist between particles separated by orbital distances.
Karl Gruber : ABC Science : 22 Jul 2016
Over thousands of years, honey hunters in northern Mozambique have forged a relationship with wild birds to find the location of bees' nests. But not only do humans seek out the small birds known as honeyguides, the birds also actively seek out humans ensuring both species benefit, a new study shows.
Pioneering work by the Kenyan ecologist Hussein Isack in the 1980s confirmed honeyguides communicate reliable information to humans about the location of bees' nests, and this greatly increased honey-hunters' harvests, said the study's lead author Dr Claire Spottiswoode of the University of Cambridge in the UK and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
In return, the greater honeyguide (Indicator indicator), which feeds from bees' nests, eating eggs, larvae and beeswax, relies on their human partner to crack open the hive. "It's a remarkable example of co-operation between humans and a free-living wild animal," Dr Spottiswoode said.
But in a new study of the Yao honey hunters from Mozambique's Niassa National Reserve, published today in Science, Dr Spottiswoode and her colleagues show the interaction has an extra dimension. Not only do the Yao honey hunters follow the birds' call to guide them to the hive, the birds themselves seek out the specific call made by the hunters to initiate the hunt. "Yao honey hunters searching for honeyguides, or wanting to maintain a honeyguide's attention as they follow it through the bush, give at intervals a loud trill followed by a grunt — 'brrrr-hm!'," Dr Spottiswoode said. "They make this sound only in this context, so it's a reliable signal to honeyguides that a human is looking for bees."
The whole story can be read here.
Alaa Basatneh : Fusion : 27 Mar 2016
If you saw someone on the street sitting next to a sign that read "Ask A Muslim," what would you ask?
Sebastian Robins has probably heard it before. He and his wife Mona Haydar have gained local fame in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for setting up a booth on the street and fielding questions from strangers about all things Islam. "We were really afraid the first time, up to the point where we considered notifying the police," Robins told Fusion about the couple's unconventional idea.
"I never really realized how people stared at you," he would tell his wife.
Robins, a white American, converted to Islam in 2012 after meeting his wife, a Syrian American Muslim from Flint, Michigan, on a trip to New Mexico. A few months ago, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the two of them started putting up their booth around town "to conquer fear through conversation," as Haydar put it. The couple's idea has been successful beyond their imagination, helping them spread love and awareness and even inspiring others around the country to do the same. "We love it if you can just break bread with us," said Haydar, who offers free coffee, donuts, and flowers along with her conversation. "Take a moment out of your day and hang out with us."
The couple said they felt the need to reach out to their community for open dialogue amid heightened security fears and Islamophobic comments from Republican politicians. "Post Paris and San Bernadino, I had never only felt the fear of going out, but kind of this incredible impotence and depression," said Robins. "It was the first time I was afraid in my own country."
His own education about Islamophobia had come from his wife. "It's been a huge reckoning for me," said Robins about his marriage. "Re-examining my place in society, and what it means to be a white, straight, educated, upper middle-class male in society. I knew these things through studies, but to experience them through Mona's eyes...it's pretty amazing." "I never really realized how people stared at you," he would tell his wife when they started spending time in public together.
The booth idea, the couple said, was inspired by an episode of This American Life in which an Iraqi refugee traveled the U.S. with a "Talk to an Iraqi" sign to encourage dialogue about the Iraq War. Haydar and Robins, 27 and 43, first set up in front of a high school and a library in Cambridge, a relatively diverse college town. They thought it would be the safest place—and close to a bathroom, too. Little did they know who had attended that school. "The booth was in front of the school where the Boston Marathon bombers went to school. We had no idea," said Haydar. But the coincidence spurred thoughtful conversations.
Most of all, the couple wanted people to see that they are typical Americans. "We are normal humans living our silly and mundane lives as parents to a two-year-old, who change diapers and cook eggs in the mornings," said Haydar."We certainly do not want to convert anybody," added Robins.
Not that everyone who stopped at the booth had a positive comment. Some people confronted Haydar about wearing "an oppressive thing" on her head, referring to the hijab. Robins was surprised by that, he said. "Here we were in Cambridge, home of Harvard, MIT and all the prestigious universities, with very smart people and I was amazed how the media effectively creeped up into people's minds," he said. Haydar said that it's a matter of perspective. "My perspective is that hijab is liberating, whether you see that as me being brainwashed or not," she said.
Haydar was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. She met Robins in 2013 on a trip to New Mexico for a summer course. They fell in love after meeting on a mountaintop. "It was my birthday. I ventured up the mountain and Sebastian was sitting on a bench. He was the first one I saw there," said Haydar.
Haydar recalled the time she told her parents that she was marrying a white man. Arab expatriates tend to marry each other; the idea of marrying an American isn't very popular within the community due to cultural and religious differences. "It was definitely not an easy conversation with my parents. But when they met him, everybody knew and felt that it was right," she said. The couple now lives in Massachusetts with their two-year-old son.
To date, over 100 conversations have taken place at the booth over donuts and coffee, said Haydar. People were happy to see a Muslim couple on the streets extending a hand and willing to talk, she said. "Suddenly we had all these people thanking us for what we were doing," said Robins. People came up to the couple to talk about everyday things, like "making breakfast and the weather," said Haydar. "We stepped out of our comfort zone and it paid off. We went and did something that took a lot of guts for us," said Haydar. "We didn't feel safe and we did it anyways because we believe in love. We believe that the world is a generous and beautiful place. Period."
People nationwide have reached out to her for advice about setting up booths in their own cities.
Kryon Live Channeling "Communicating With Spirit"
January 2016 in Boulder, CO, USA
Speak your truth out loud and affirm things that you believe are within your potential. They become reality, and the more you affirm them to yourself, the more real they will become. Did you know that you have the power to adjust your own cycle? Repeat your affirmations every day. I dare you! [Laughter] Because you're going to feel it happening, and you're going to know I'm right. It's like exercising energy. The more you hear it, the more you say it, the more the neurons will come together and create it. Do you understand this? You cognize things and they become you. It's a circle - you with you - and it's never been more powerful. This is different from when I talked to you when I came in 1987, different even from 10 years ago. You've earned it.
through Lee Carroll, the Original Kryon Channel
Channels: AUDIO | TRANSCRIPTIONS
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The biological superhighway linking the plant kingdom
Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth's astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological superhighway linking together the members of the plant kingdom in what researchers call the "wood wide web". This organic network operates much like our internet, allowing plants to communicate, bestow nutrition, or even harm one another.
The network is comprised of thin threads of fungus known as mycelium that grow outwards underground up to a few meters from its partnering plant, meaning that all of the plant life within a region is likely tapped into the network and connected to one another. The partnership of the roots of plants and the fungi is known as mycorrhiza and is beneficial for both parties involved; plants provide carbohydrates to the fungi and in exchange, the fungi aids in gathering water and providing nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen to its partnering plant.
This fungal network has been found to allow plants to aid one another in growth and flourishing. University of British Columbia graduate Suzanne Simard was the first to show that trees such as the Douglas fir and Paper birch were capable of transferring carbon to smaller trees that may not be receiving enough sunlight, allowing seedlings to grow in the shade of other trees. Simard believes that many of the world's seedlings would not be able to survive if it weren't for the lifeline this network provides.
You can read the whole article here.
From Kryon Live Channel, “You Don't Know How the Frog Jumps", January 2011 in Tuscon, AZ
It would seem intuitive to every single Human Being in the room that in order to accomplish what you do as Americans in Congress, you must have at least two parties. For that is the way it has always been - the red and the blue.
What if I told you that there will come a time when there will be no parties? You might then say, "Well, that's impossible, Kryon, because you're not Human and you don't know how funding works." You might say, "It has to be a party that creates the power to raise money for the ones who cannot, and then the funding is spread around and this is the way we work. If you didn't have parties, you'd have no funding. Nobody could advertise, and no one could get elected."
Are you aware right now, that you have a president who was elected on the Internet? He figured it out. When everybody can talk to everyone, you have plenty of funding. A few dollars here, a few dollars there. You talk to millions at the same time, they talk to millions at the same time. It's a new paradigm of communication. The young people know all about it, and you can't stop it. Watch for more from this new paradigm.
It is worldwide communication, one person at a time. It doesn't matter how many laws you pass, and it doesn't matter what you decide about who is in charge of it, you can't stop it. It's out of the bag now, and the communities of the young are going to be communicating. This is how the politicians are going to be communicating to you, literally coming into your home in a holographic form perhaps, explaining their position one by one, without a party. Then you will elect them to your Congress without a party and they will sit in the chairs without a division and there will be no such thing as the "other side of the aisle."
And that, Human Being, is called unity and there is a paradigm that you cannot even imagine. And it's in the works. And then you'll have a Congress that works together and gets things done without the current duality.
through Lee Carroll, the Original Kryon Channel
Karli Petrovic : iQ: 15 Feb 2016
Shocked to learn a braille printer can cost $2,000, preventing many blind kids and adults from being able to read braille, one 12-year-old boy used Legos to create a cost-effective option.
When Shubham Banerjee's mother vetoed his initial science fair project idea — an experiment involving colored lights and plant growth — saying he could do better, the then 12-year-old was forced to get creative.
Around the same time, Banerjee found a pamphlet requesting donations for the blind. Intrigued, he asked his parents how blind people learned to read. His busy parents directed him to Google. "So I Googled it, 'how blind people read,' and I found out about braille, braille printers, how much they cost," Banerjee said, shocked that a traditional printer was $2,000. "I've been to India a couple times, and I've seen blind people and a lot of poverty everywhere, and it's very hard for them."
Banerjee empathized when he and a friend closed their eyes in attempts to navigate the world as if they were blind. "We couldn't walk more than five seconds without thinking there was a pole in front of us," he said. He knew there must be a better way to help the blind see. "I felt like they should not pay over $1,000 just to get what they need to become literate." So he got to work building a better, more affordable braille printer using an unlikely material:Lego Mindstorms EV3.
After seven frustrating attempts to modify Lego cars and mechanisms to create holes necessary for braille, he had a breakthrough. Braigo was born. Excited but filled with self-doubt, he called out for his mom. It was 2 a.m. "She was very mad," he said. "I showed it working, and she was really happy. Then she went back to bed."
Despite using his entire summer vacation to craft the $350 Braigo, Banerjee knew the machine needed a "better brain." So he built a second version using Intel Edison technology and Python code. "The Edison didn't cost too much, and it had built-in wireless, which was super important," Banerjee explained. "I needed the printer to easily communicate directly with the computer."
Banerjee also appreciated the Edison's size, performance and Bluetooth capabilities. When he finished putting the pieces altogether, however, the real reward came from watching other kids use the printer. "Henry [Wedler] tested both my products," Benerjee said. "I printed out, 'Hello, my name is Shubham,' and he could read that perfectly. That was just amazing, and seeing that it really worked...was just the best feeling." It also inspired him to keep working and innovating.
"When I saw the braille dots that came out, I started Braigo Labs, a company dedicated to developing 'humanely optimized' technologies that offer affordable solutions to life's most critical problems."
"Find the Others" (Terence Mckenna)
In this lecture segment, Terence Mckenna discusses what he considered to have been Timothy Leary’s most powerful words, “find the others.” In a world polluted with ego, gender, race, social status, greed, et cetera, it is important that those who are attuned to the higher vibrations are interacting with one another in order to stay emotionally afloat and motivated despite the corruption, racism, and misogyny our species is putting each other through.
RT : 02 Nov 2015
© Wikipedia : West coast US view from Orcas Island
In a true show of community spirit, an American island too far from the mainland came together as one to build their own internet service powered by radios in trees. Orcas Island off Washington State has been transformed by its people's inventiveness.
For several years the residents of one of the San Juan Islands had suffered very weak internet from provider CenturyLink, located on the mainland. Despite promises of higher speeds and renewed infrastructure, nothing materialized. Many couldn't log on to work from a distance, as outages lasted anywhere from one to 10 days, according to Ars Technica. Private ISPs were expensive, demanding around $388,500 for setting things up.
DBIUA - or Doe Bay Internet Users Association - was the way to go, a group founded by local resident Chris Sutton and friends. Sutton, who is a software developer, came up with an ingenious plan to equip trees and other objects with receivers to channel internet directly into people's homes. But the island also needed a microwave link to tie Doe Bay to the mainland.
"The part of Orcas Island we're on looks back toward the mainland," Sutton explains. "We can see these towers that are 10 miles away, and you realize, hey, can't we just get our own microwave link up here to us from down there, and then do this little hop from house to house to house via wireless stuff?"
So, the DBIUA paid StarTouch Broadband Services some $11,000 to position a microwave link atop an old 50-foot water tower overlooking the bay - the only option tall enough for a point-to-point wireless link with the mainland.
Next up was the issue of dispersing that signal to some 50 houses. Sutton then carried out the insurmountable task of planning receiver locations in trees and other locations. Everything needed to be within reach of the 10 relay points on Orcas Island, and not obscured too much by its many hills. Using Google Earth, Sutton mapped out the signal paths, before performing further tests on the ground. "For some people, like me, the signal comes to my tree, and then down into my house to service me," Sutton explained.
To really get the best out of the positioning, Sutton also fashioned drones with cameras, as well as radio receivers, mapping out the best locations for the relay points and related receivers. Each relay point depends on one radio to receive a signal, and another couple to send it back out in different directions. Those relay points are technically similar to the microwave device that sits on the top of the water tower. And, for the first time ever, people could afford not just to stay home for work, but to watch HD movies without interruption.
A number of agreements needed to be signed with the outside world, such as if a resident's house were sold, the next occupant would have to pay the remaining credit, plus monthly costs (an initial loan of $25,000 was included; and customers also pay $75 a month for the service, which is unlimited).
Read the whole story at : Source.
Published on 5 Jun 2015 : SmithsonianNMAI
Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018.
Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.
This video is narrated by John Ochsendorf, professor of civil engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and produced by Noonday Films.
Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka
Sarah Scoles : New Scientist : 31 Mar 2015
Telescopes have been picking up so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) since 2001. They last just a few milliseconds and erupt with about as much energy as the sun releases in a month. Ten have been detected so far, most recently in 2014, when the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, caught a burst in action for the first time. The others were found by sifting through data after the bursts had arrived at Earth. No one knows what causes them, but the brevity of the bursts means their source has to be small - hundreds of kilometres across at most - so they can't be from ordinary stars. And they seem to come from far outside the galaxy.
The weird part is that they all fit a pattern that doesn't match what we know about cosmic physics.
To calculate how far the bursts have come, astronomers use a concept called the dispersion measure. Each burst covers a range of radio frequencies, as if the whole FM band were playing the same song. But electrons in space scatter and delay the radiation, so that higher frequency waves make it across space faster than lower frequency waves. The more space the signal crosses, the bigger the difference, or dispersion measure, between the arrival time of high and low frequencies - and the further the signal has travelled.
This article can be read in its entirety at : Source
_This section is for interesting items which are brought to my attention but which do not merit a separate article.
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