Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bigfoot Not So Elusive

The problem with the Bigfoot is rather simple.  He is perfectly adapted to living in the woods and we are not.  More important though is that he is a nocturnal animal who hunts and works when we are well asleep.  Put that in place and we get observations split evenly between night and day.  Because he is big, he has a long stride and his speed walking is surely twice ours which pretty well makes tracking him ultimately impossible.  He will get wise and become evasive long before a tracker is very close.  We still need to try, but with an experienced tracker and plenty of nocturnal hardware to capture images.

As I have posted before, we presently have approximately 10,000 individual class A sightings in inventory which is why the TV crews are not going to run out of material any time soon.  We likely do not have that many sightings of the cougar which shares range, principle niche, and general distribution.  Because of this, the creature is certainly out there and it habitually avoids human contact as does the cougar but not the daylight loving bear who is several times more dense on the ground as either the Bigfoot or the cougar.

Importantly, a new generation of searchers and scholarship is now  coming to grips with the reality of this creature and with the mass marketing of the underlying data, we are beginning to get serious traction.  Sooner or later, we will figure out how to commence interaction as Jane Goodall did with her mountain Gorillas.  The best place to do so will likely be in the National parks around Banff were it is claimed that actual troops have been identified.

It is possible and even likely that the majority of individual sightings have been of young males out exploring for a new territory to set up in.  Actual family sightings have been scant in comparison although profoundly instructive when made.

In the meantime, enough critical mass is now created to ensure that serious efforts can go ahead.  This entails targeting established locales with night viewing automatic critter cams that are not obvious at all.  In that way sooner or late we will get lucky.

The main thing is to not underestimate the innate intelligence of the creature itself.  I took my lesson as a young boy attempting to eliminate a wise old ground hog.  After multiple efforts to trap him, including multiple traps and wonderful hiding strategies, I gave it up in complete defeat.  The real lesson is that we need to catch one that is young and dumb.

Camera technology is our best bet to formally establish the real existence of this creature academically.  After that I think actual contact is the only option that can work at all.  I would start by leaving out a bushel of apples with camera coverage.

Bigfoot? He's not so elusive

Real or not, Sasquatch is a larger-than-life figure on TV. It's not so much a search for the creature as a hunt for ratings.

March 27, 2012|T.L. Stanley

Matt Moneymaker, James "Bobo" Fay, Cliff Barackman and Ranae… (Paul Souders / Animal Planet)

Imagine a hulking, growling, 8-foot-tall woodland creature so elusive that professional trackers can't find it, scientists can only speculate about it and believers can't prove -- definitively -- that it exists.

Hiding deep in the forest may be your modus operandi, Bigfoot, but Hollywood and Madison Avenue are pushing you -- however reluctantly -- into the spotlight. A slew of documentary, TV and film projects including Animal Planet's current hit "Finding Bigfoot," and a Sasquatch film trilogy from "Blair Witch Project" director Eduardo Sanchez are poised to get past the old grainy images of yesterday and give the hairy 800-pound biped a high-def close-up.

"There's been a real upswing in scholarly interest along with this huge undercurrent of popularity among the general public," said Jeffrey Meldrum, the Idaho State anatomy and anthropology professor and primates expert who wrote "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" as a companion to a Discovery Channel special of the same name. "There's something about the human psyche that really connects with this icon."

Campfire stories, eyewitness reports and grainy videos have kept the legend alive for decades in the U.S. and worldwide. (The mythology goes back much further if you take cave drawings into account.) And Bigfoot has been a pop culture fixture since the 1950s, popping up in movies, commercials and as a guest on '70s TV hits like "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman."

Each time there's a new development -- such as evidence of a yeti allegedly uncovered in Russia last fall or a Bigfoot body purportedly discovered in Georgia, both of which turned out to be fake -- there's a spike in online searches, blog posts, news reports and, inevitably, Bigfoot-centric entertainment.

"Blair Witch's" Sanchez is working on a Bigfoot-based horror movie, the first of a planned trilogy, and a group of Bigfoot enthusiasts is putting together a documentary called "Sasquatch: The Quest." Meldrum, along with launching an online scholarly journal, is producing an Internet TV project and considering an expanded version of "Legend Meets Science."

"We all want to believe that there are still monsters lurking in the secret corners of the planet, and that's the allure of Bigfoot," said Marjorie Kaplan, president of Animal Planet, home to the hit series "Finding Bigfoot. "It's fun to be reminded that we don't know everything."

"Finding Bigfoot" follows four eccentric field researchers who travel to towns where there have been sightings, gather stories from the locals and set out on their own expeditions. The colorful characters have coined "squatch" as a term of endearment and say things like "It's really squatchy out here," to describe remote areas they think are harboring Bigfoots.

The series, which attracted 1.6 million viewers for its second season premiere, will launch its third season this summer. "If anybody's going to find him, it's going to be us," Kaplan declared, adding with a laugh, "hopefully after 100 episodes."

In coming months, cable TV will be overrun with Sasquatch programming. Syfy thriller "Bigfoot" promises a "big and nasty, teeth and claws" star nestled in a kitschy popcorn flick, according to Thomas Vitale, the network's executive vice president of programming. Airing this summer, the Saturday night movie pits former child stars Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce against each other in a search for the larger-than-life biped at a rural music festival. It fits strategically with the network's tradition of over-the-top original action movies like "Sharktopus" and "Piranhaconda."

Metallic Hydrogen as Propellent

This gives notice that is may be possible to produce a form of metallic hydrogen with a new protocol briefly described.  The value is obvious and until we end our reliance of chemical thrust, a vast improvement.

It may also make practical a surface launch system in which external oxygen is gulped until insertion.  A hot lift at four g's until actual insertion would provide a high speed insertion capability that takes the craft well into even high orbit and well function on small amounts of fuel at that point.   We can go well past the days of just enough.

Such a configuration could eliminate the need for super sizing the tankage as has been the problem to date and even allow us to build large sized lift vessels able to hurl large tonnage into low orbit including plenty of fuel. 

The key is that hydrogen does give us the thrust needed that we cannot get from other fuel configurations that also jam the weight.  Actually flying the craft up to high altitude and high mach has been a fuel management problem that was unforgiving and simply impossible.  Technology is bypassing most of the problems and is waiting for the perfect fuel and metallic hydrogen been reconstituted and burned certainly works.

Metallic Hydrogen: A Game Changing Rocket Propellant

Isaac Silvera

Harvard University

Atomic metallic hydrogen, if metastable at ambient pressure and temperature could be used as the most powerful chemical rocket fuel, as the atoms recombine to form molecular hydrogen. This light-weight high-energy density material would revolutionize rocketry, allowing single-stage rockets to enter orbit and chemically fueled rockets to explore our solar system. To transform solid molecular hydrogen to metallic hydrogen requires extreme high pressures, but has not yet been accomplished in the laboratory. In the proposed new approach electrons will be injected into solid hydrogen with the objective of lowering the critical pressure for transformation. If successful the metastability properties of hydrogen will be studied. This new approach may scale down the pressures needed to produce this potentially revolutionary rocket propellant.

Biologically Enhanced Soldiering

It is all very nice to play soldier, but it is dangerous.  Our technology is reaching the point were we simply get the biological component completely out of the loop.  Our drone planes are a good start and the next generation of fighters will certainly be drones.  A bipedal configuration slaved to a human operator getting superior sensory input but a long way from the point of danger is very plausible.

The reality is that it is expensive to salvage human damage and dirt cheap to salvage a drone soldier.  What do you think we are going to do?  That makes the human soldier a last resort fighter which means he gets a great training of great benefit to society and is never wasted.

Of course a few will want a little of the adrenaline high though likely briefly.

More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers

FEB 16 2012, 3:57 PM ET 87

Our ability to "upgrade" the bodies of soldiers through drugs, implants, and exoskeletons may be upending the ethical norms of war as we've understood them.

If we can engineer a soldier who can resist torture, would it still be wrong to torture this person with the usual methods? Starvation and sleep deprivation won't affect a super-soldier who doesn't need to sleep or eat. Beatings and electric shocks won't break someone who can't feel pain or fear like we do. This isn't a comic-book story, but plausible scenarios based on actual military projects today.

In the next generation, our warfighters may be able to eat grass,communicate telepathically,resist stress, climb walls like a lizard, and much more. Impossible? We only need to look at nature for proofs of concept. For instance, dolphins don't sleep (or they'd drown); Alaskan sled-dogs can run for days without rest or food; bats navigate with echolocation; and goats will eat pretty much anything. Find out how they work, and maybe we can replicate that in humans.

As you might expect, there are serious moral and legal risks to consider on this path. Last week in the UK, The Royal Society released its report " Neuroscience, Conflict and Security." This timely report worried about risks posed by cognitive enhancements to military personnel, as well as whether new nonlethal tactics, such as directed energy weapons, could violate either the Biological or Chemical Weapons Conventions.

While an excellent start, the report doesn't go far enough, as I have been explaining to the US intelligence community , National Research Council, DARPA, and other organizations internationally. The impact of neural and physical human enhancements is more far-reaching than that, such as to the question of torturing the enhanced. Other issues, as described below, pose real challenges to military policies and broader society.

Why Enhancements?

Technology makes up for our absurd frailty. Unlike other animals, we're not armed with fangs, claws, running speed, flight, venom, resilience, fur, or other helpful features to survive a savage world. We naked apes couldn't survive at all, if it weren't for our tool-making intellect and resourcefulness.

And therein lies a fundamental problem with how Homo sapiens wage war: As impressive as our weapon systems may be, one of the weakest links in armed conflicts-as well as one of the most valuable assets-continues to be the warfighters themselves. Hunger, fatigue, and the need for sleep can quickly drain troop morale and cause a mission to fail. Fear and confusion in the "fog of war" can lead to costly mistakes, such as friendly-fire casualties. Emotions and adrenaline can drive otherwise-decent individuals to perform vicious acts, from verbal abuse of local civilians to torture and illegal executions, making an international incident from a routine patrol. And post-traumatic stress can take a devastating toll on families and add pressure on already-burdened health services.

To be sure, military training seeks to address these problems, but it can do only so much, and science and technology help to fill those gaps. In this case, what's needed is an upgrade to the basic human condition. We want our warfighters to be made stronger, more aware, more durable, more maneuverable in different environments, and so on. The technologies that enable these abilities fall in the realm of human enhancement, and they include neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and more. 

While some of these innovations are external devices, such as exoskeletons that give the wearer super-strength, our technology devices are continually shrinking in size. Our mobile phones today have more computing power than the Apollo rockets that blasted to the moon. So there's good reason to think that these external enhancements someday can be small enough to be integrated with the human body, for an even greater military advantage.

The use of human enhancement technologies by the military is not new. Broadly construed, vaccinations could count as an enhancement of the human immune system, and this would place the first instance of military human enhancement (as opposed to mere tool-use) at our very first war, the American Revolutionary War in 1775-1783. George Washington, as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, ordered the vaccinations of American troops against smallpox, as the British Army was suspected of using the virus as a form of biological warfare. (Biowarfare existed for centuries prior, such as in catapulting corpses to spread the plague during the Middle Ages.) At the time, the Americans largely were not exposed to smallpox in childhood and therefore had not built up immunity to the disease, as the British had.

Since then, militaries worldwide have used caffeine and amphetamines to keep their troops awake and alert, an age-old problem in war. In fact, some pilots are required to take drugs-known as "go pills"-on long-distance missions, or else lose their jobs. And there's ongoing interest in using pharmaceuticals, such as modafinil (a cognitive enhancer), dietary supplements, as well as gene therapy to boost the performance of warfighters.

The Questions

Some of the issues with military enhancements echo now-familiar debates, such as: whether the use of anabolic steroids by athletes is harmful to their health; whether that would set a bad example for impressionable children; whether Ritalin use in academia is cheating and unfair to others; whether longevity would bankrupt pension plans; whether manipulating biology amounts to " playing God"; and so on. But there are new concerns as well.

Ethical and safety issues

Established standards in biomedical ethics-such as the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and others-govern the research stage of enhancements, that is, experimentation on human subjects. But "military necessity" or the exigencies of war can justify actions that are otherwise impermissible, such as a requirement to obtain voluntary consent of a patient. Under what conditions, then, could a warfighter be commanded (or refuse) a risky or unproven enhancement, such as a vaccine against a new biological weapon? Because some enhancements could be risky or pose long-term health dangers, such as addiction to "go pills", should military enhancements be reversible? What are the safety considerations related to more permanent enhancements, such as bionic parts or a neural implant? 

Tactical and logistical implications

Once ethical and safety issues are resolved, militaries will need to attend to the impact of human enhancements on their operations. For instance, how would integrating both enhanced and unenhanced warfighters into the same unit affect their cohesion? Would enhanced soldiers rush into riskier situations, when their normal counterparts would not? If so, one solution could be to confine enhancements to a small, elite force. (This could also solve the consent problem.) As both an investment in and potential benefit to the individual warfighters, is it reasonable to treat them differently from the unenhanced, such as on length of service and promotion requirements? On the other hand, preferential treatment to any particular group could lower overall troop morale. 

Legal and policy issues

More broadly, how do enhancements impact international humanitarian law, or the laws of war? The Geneva and Hague Conventions prohibit torture of enemy combatants, but enhanced soldiers could reasonably be exempt if underlying assumptions disappear-that humans respond to a certain level of pain and need sleep and food-as I suggested at the beginning. Further, enhancements that transform our biology could violate the Biological Weapons Convention, if enhanced humans (or animals) plausibly count as "biological agents", which is not a well-defined term. International law aside, there may be policy questions: Should we allow scary enhancements, which was the point of fierce Viking helmets or samurai masks? Could that exacerbate hostilities by prompting charges of dishonor and cowardice, the same charges we're now hearing about military robots?

Military-civilian issues

As history shows, we can expect the proliferation of every military technology we invent. The method of diffusion is different and more direct with enhancements, though: Most warfighters return to society as civilians (our veterans) and would carry back any permanent enhancements and addictions with them. The US has about 23 million veterans-or one out of every 10 adults-in addition to 3 million active and reserve personnel, so this is a significant segment of the population. Would these enhancements, such as a drug or an operation that subdues emotions, create problems for the veteran to assimilate to civilian life? Would they create problems for other civilians who may be at a competitive disadvantage to the enhanced veteran who, for instance, has bionic limbs and enhanced cognition?

Soldier 2.0 is a Hybrid

The military technology getting the most public attention now is robotics, but we can think of it as sharing the same goal as human enhancement. Robotics aims to create a super-soldier from an engineering approach: they are our proxy mech-warriors. However, there are some important limitations to those machines. For one thing, they don't have a sense of ethics-of what is right and wrong-which can be essential on the battlefield. Where it is child's play to identify a ball or coffee mug or a gun, it's notoriously tough for a computer to do that. This doesn't give us much confidence that a robot can reliably distinguish friend from foe, at least in the foreseeable future.

In contrast, cognitive and physical enhancements aim to create a super-soldier from a biomedical direction, such as with modafinil and other drugs. For battle, we want our soft organic bodies to perform more like machines. Somewhere in between robotics and biomedical research, we might arrive at the perfect future warfighter: one that is part machine and part human, striking a formidable balance between technology and our frailties.

In changing human biology, we also may be changing the assumptions behind existing laws of war and even human ethics. If so, we would need to reexamine the foundations of our social and political institutions, if prevailing norms can't stretch to cover new technologies. In comic books and science fiction , we can ignore or suspend disbelief about these details. But in the real world-as life imitates art, and "mutant powers" really are changing the world-the details matter. 

Acknowledgements: This article is adapted from a research report, in progress, funded by The Greenwall Foundation, with co-investigators Maxwell Mehlman (Case Western Reserve University) and Keith Abney (Cal Poly). 

Images: 1. US Marine Corps. 2. Lockheed Martin. 3. US Marine Corps. 4. US Marine Corps. Note: these images have been digitally enhanced.

Persistence of Coal?

This item addresses the apparent natural persistence of the coal based energy economy and is an eye opener as far as it goes.  Coal is our cheapest way to deliver variable base load power with a secure price structure.  Thus China and India are building as is every other developing economy.

My problem with this thesis is that two game changers are either in place or at least on the horizon and they eliminate the dependency on fuel.  One is the advent of superconducting cable.  It exists and is going into mass production and will soon allow power to be shifted easily around the continent.  This innovation will allow new conventional geothermal power in Nevada to be readily exported with no loss throughout the USA.  This combination will eventually be much cheaper than coal.

The other is the advent of fusion based thermal heat engines either now happening or about to be happening that we know can be delivered shortly.  This technology will not wait because it can be retro fitted into any plant near you that needs it at a scale to fit the customer. This is where mass production will swallow the whole power industry in as little as a decade, in quite the same way as computer technology has transformed the communications and media industry.

I presently can make sound arguments to support the early outright demise of all but a small fraction of the carbon based economy inside of less than fifty years.  Everything is in place and already invented with the exception of superior battery technologies.  Actual roll-out will still take a little time to reach critical mass but it will reach critical mass.

This is a Perspective for the article 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 014019

Myhrvold and Caldeira worked out the climate consequences of various ways in which the world's current fleet of coal power plants could evolve into something different [1].

They imagined one-fortieth of the world's coal plants being closed down each year for 40 years. Two limiting cases are (1) nothing is built to take the place of this power, because efficiency gains have made them unnecessary, and (2) coal plants exactly like those now running take their place. Since coal power is the most carbon-intensive form of power, all other options fall between these limits. They looked at six single-technology alternatives: taking over from coal as we know it are coal with carbon dioxide capture and storage, natural gas, nuclear power and three forms of intermittent renewables (presented as baseload options). Moreover, whatever the alternative, it remains in place unchanged from year 40 through year 100.

Results are presented as 100 yr trajectories for the increment in the average global surface temperature due only to this power production. For the coal-for-coal scenario, the surface temperature increase is about 0.13 °C in 40 yr and 0.31 °C in 100 yr. For the efficiency-for-coal scenario, the rise is 0.07 °C in 40 yr and 0.06 °C in 100 yr. Clearly, temperature rise is approximately proportional to emissions and these are self-consistent answers. For example, after 40 yr efficiency-for-coal has brought approximately half the temperature rise of coal-for-coal, and there have been exactly half the emissions. The efficiency-for-coal trajectory falls ever so slightly between years 40 and 100, because once CO2 enters the atmosphere it lingers.

As for the absolute magnitude of the coal-to-coal trajectory, today's global coal power production (8300 TWh in 2008) is almost exactly what would be produced from one thousand one-gigawatt coal plants running flat out (8760 TWh), which is the coal power production assumed by Myhrvold and Caldeira. From table S1 of their paper, each GW-year of coal power production is accompanied by 6.59 Mt of CO2 emissions. Thus, a century of this coal will emit 659 billion tons of CO2. A rule of thumb recently promoted associates each trillion tons of carbon emissions (each 3.7 trillion tons of CO2 emissions) with a long-term temperature rise whose fifth and 95th per cent confidence intervals are 1.0 and 2.1 °C [2]. With this rule of thumb, the long-term temperature rise should fall between 0.18 and 0.38 °C, so the estimated rise of 0.31 °C agrees with the rule of thumb.

Much of the paper is about estimates of the emissions for the alternatives to coal and efficiency. Emissions are estimated for building the physical stock as well as running it. The authors cite a high and a low value for each alternative, and the lower limits, with one exception, are close to what most analysis assumes. (The exception is natural gas, whose lower limit is 60% of the value for coal, even though values of 50% or lower are widely claimed.) The high limits are unorthodox and are already creating consternation. The high limit for hydropower reflects large emissions of methane from the lakes that form behind dams. In the cases of nuclear power, solar electric power, solar thermal power and wind power, the high limits can be attributed to emissions during construction. One suspects that these high values are straw men, avoidable with care.

It is illuminating to compare the Myhrvold–Caldeira partial emissions scenarios with the two full blown scenarios of the International Energy Agency (IEA)—the Current Policy Scenario and the 450 Scenario, presented in World Energy Outlook 2010 [3]. Both IEA scenarios go only to 2035. In the Current Policies Scenario, coal emissions approximately double by 2035 (to 16 500 TWh); Myhrvold and Caldeira actually do not tell us that this is where global coal power is heading, in the absence of new policies and priorities.

As for the IEA's 450 Scenario, it provides insight into the 40 yr phase-out for global coal power chosen by Myhrvold and Caldeira as their base case. In the 450 Scenario, global coal power falls to 5600 TWh in 2035, down one third from its 2008 value. By contrast, the pace for coal phase-out explored in the Myhrvold and Caldeira paper is about twice as fast: if their 40 yr phase-out had started in 2008, by 2035—27 yr later—global coal production would have fallen by about two thirds. I think one can view the 450 Scenario as capturing the IEA's judgment about the fastest achievable decarbonization of the world energy system. It is sobering to realize that allowing 40 yr for the closing out of world coal power production, which might strike some readers as relaxed, is actually so intense as to stretch credibility.

The IEA 450 Scenario also sheds light on the small fraction of the potential change in the future of the global energy system that the Myhrvold–Caldeira paper captures. The 2700 TWh reduction in coal power production between 2008 and 2035 in the 450 Scenario is smaller in magnitude than the increases in wind power (3900 TWh), nuclear power (3700 TWh), and hydropower (2800 TWh) in the same interval. Myhrvold and Caldeira present a textbook exercise, not to be confused with an exploration of the full range of possible futures.

I would not recommend this paper for its insight into energy systems. Rather, I would recommend it, strongly, as one of the rare papers that adequately confronts both of the sources of inertia that characterize our world: the inertia of the climate system epitomized by the durability of atmospheric CO2 and the inertia of the energy system epitomized by the durability of our capital stock. Confronting this inertia can lead us to despair that what we can change for the better each year matters so little. Or it can inspire us, because what we do each year that points in the wrong direction will take so long to undo.


[1] Myhrvold N P and Caldeira K 2012 Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricityEnviron. Res. Lett. 7 014019
[2] Matthews H D, Gillett N P, Stott P A and Zickfeld K 2009 Nature 459 829
[3] IEA 2010 World Energy Outlook 2010 (Paris: IEA)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vedic Reinterpretation and UFOs

I copied this material from Dr Donald Ryle’s newsletter.  It provides us a short discussion on the curious content of the Vedic texts that is now better informed through the advent of modern science than was ever true in earlier attempts to come to grips with the material.

Recall our own mythology from the Mt. Ararat Colony.  It states that Noah landed on Mt. Ararat itself which conforms with the physical requirements of a magnetic field exclusion vessel.  This took place around 10,000 years ago after the climate of the new Holocene had stabilized.  It also make equal sense, following the implied logic of what is described in these ancient reports, that a similar landing occurred in the mountains of India close by the Himalayas, another perhaps in China,  another certainly in Europe and surely one in the Andes and maybe one in Central America.

The decision was based on readily available farm friendly lands to exploit.  Six initial centers were established using the same technique to jump start the plant domestication process.  In reality, the case for a deliberate colonization effort is strong and eliminates any issue of coincidence.

I suspect that Africa was left alone mostly because the original population had largely survived the Pleistocene nonconformity as it was at the center of crustal rotation and had moderate disturbance.  Yet the highlands of Ethiopia would also be a good locale to establish a new colony and the present African population is also part of the modern human genome.

All such colonies would have remained in communication with each other for around two to four thousand years due mostly to the longevity of the founders and the implied continuity of historical knowledge.  We can presume a serious effort to preserve knowledge and the Vedas and the Noah report are two examples of just that.  Our past difficulty was to understand them without understanding their technology.

This item makes note of present interpretation which is providing unexpected knowledge  on alloys and clearly shows us than we are coming closer to a full understanding of these  texts, just as knowing that a magnetic field exclusion vessel is plausible and what that implies  about the design limitations of a colonizing Ark and were it may land.

We presently live in an age that has still rejected the implications of these texts by the simple expedient of dismissing them as primitive mythology.  That is a blunder that will surely end in the next three decades if not immediately.

India – Vimanas (UFOs) Flew in 4,000 B.C. 

In Indian ancient Vedic writings the topmost authority in the material universe are known as Brahma, and he lives in the highest material planetary system, called Brahmaloka. In these writings they describe UFO like craft called Vimanas flown by angelic like alien beings. Numerous temples are topped with UFO like architecture or Vimanas. 

Mukteswar Temple Bhubaneswar, India and many others have Vimana (UFO) shapes sitting at the top of the Temples.

These extraterrestrial angelic visitors are real and not simply myths, but are based on actual visits by angels, visitors, watchers, or ET, or whatever you choose to call them. They are given credit for bringing writing and civilization to Earth.

According to Dr. V. Raghavan, retired head of the Sanskrit department of India's prestigious University of Madras, contends that centuries-old documents in Sanskrit (the classical language of India and Hinduism) prove that aliens from outer space visited his nation."Fifty years of researching this ancient works convinces me that there are livings beings on other planets, and that they visited earth as far back as 4,000 B.C.,” The scholar says. "There is a just a mass of fascinating information about flying machines, even fantastic science fiction weapons, that can be found in translations of the Vedas (scriptures), Indian epics, and other ancient Sanskrit text. 

"In the Mahabharata (writings), there is notion of divine lighting and ray weapons, even a kind of hypnotic weapon. And in the Ramayana writings, there is a description of Vimanas or flying machines that navigated at great heights. "These were space vehicles similar to the so-called flying saucers reported throughout the world today.

The Ramayana even describes a beautiful chariot which 'arrived shining, a wonderful divine car that sped through the air'. In another passage, there is mention of a chariot being seen 'sailing overhead like a moon.' "The references in the Mahabharata are no less astounding: At Rama's behest, the magnificent chariot rose up to a mountain of cloud with a tremendous din. Another passage reads: "Bhima flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm." In the ancient Vymanka-Shastra (science of aeronautics), there is a description of a Vimana: "An apparatus which can go by its own force, from one place to place or globe to globe." 

Dr. Raghavan points out, "The text's revelations become even more astounding. Thirty-one parts of which the machine consists are described, including a photographing mirror underneath. The text also enumerates 16 kinds of metal that are needed to construct the flying vehicle: "But only three of them are known to us today. The rest remain untranslatable." Thanks to the India Daily.
In India it was, and still is, believed that man descended from gods who flew fiery crafts. The ancient Indian Vedic texts refer to Vimanas or craft that match our descriptions of UFOs. The Mahabharata ancient religious writing claim the gods, in cloud-borne chariots, and bright celestial cars flew in the sky. The Indians built thousands of temples with amazing objects sitting at the top that depict how the gods flew aboard their craft called Vimanas.

The Vedas are sacred scriptures believed by Hindu tradition to be not of human origin, but composed by the gods from a previous age. The Mysore International Academy of Sanskrit Studies says the Mahabharata and Ramayana manuscripts describe automatic ships adapted for travel on land, sea or in the air. 

They flew from planet to planet. 

In India the temples are usually shown with disc shaped objects perched at the top. Here in Bhubaneswar the Temple City of eastern India in a literal sense means the 'God's World.' The city has 600 temples many have with what looks like a typical disc perched at the top. Bhubaneswar is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Orissa that depicts a unique pattern of construction showcasing the way of Hindu architectural splendor. The temple walls are artistically carved out of numerous sculptures depicting the scenes from courtiers, celestial dancers, birds, divine animals or scenes from religious epics and legends. 

The Lingaraj temple - the largest of these is an outstanding specimen of the Orissa style of temple building. 

The temple, dedicated to Tribhuwaneswar or 'Lord of the Three Worlds'(Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). Lord Brahma is the first member of the Brahmanical triad, Vishnu being the second and Shiva, the third. Brahma is the god of creation and he is traditionally accepted as the Creator of the entire universe. Lord Vishnu holds a discus which always returns by itself after being thrown. He rides a huge flying creature, called Gandara. His home is in a heaven. Many religions throughout the world have beliefs indicating God and his messengers ride in space ships. 

Mr. Prabhu said. Sanskrit epics are the flying chariots employed by various gods in the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.: such as the Sun chariot and several other Vedic deities are transported by flying wheeled chariots.

Mukteshwar Temple, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India 

India on October 22, 2008, launched its moon rocket called Chandrayaan-1 — which means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit — from the Sriharikota space center for a mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions. A close and careful study of the Vedic literature tells of a collection of primeval poetry but a varied literature of a powerful and dynamic society where the people had the knowledge of meteorological concepts and the strength of the wind blowing at high speed. The spacecraft could become invisible using the lead alloy Thamogarbha loha. The craft would absorb light around it in a photo chemical reaction that would make it disappear. On testing the metal mentioned in the formula in the laboratory of Birla Institute of Science, Mr. Prabhu found the metal absorbed 78 per cent of laser light, and could easily absorbed, giving ample proof that there existed a technology to make things invisible.

Also the use of an alloy of copper, zinc and lead made the spacecraft's body resist corrosion by 1000 times over that of the current levels. Using Ararakamra material for the axle and wheels it was possible for the craft to make `U' turns and serpentine movements.

As the spacecraft had to be capable of resisting high temperature, on reentering our atmosphere from outer space, the craft was made with a metal called `Raja Loha Its special feature was that apart from resisting heat, it converted light from lightning into energy. The solar power, when coupled with gamma rays produced nuclear energy that had the power to propel a rocket', Mr. Prabhu observed.

The Ramayana describes a Vimanas as a double-deck, circular flying cylindrical craft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the speed of the wind and gave forth a melodious sound. 

Mr. Prabhu said he had submitted the model and some more information on the `super metal' to the Indian Metal Society Conference and further claimed that the advisor to the government on scientific affairs. He has proposed a project called `Bharadwaja Institute of Vedic Science and Technology', the objective of which was to derive, decipher and reproduce advanced methodologies and processes from Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit texts, for which he sought government's support.

Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti- gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man’s physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull."

Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras” by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima"; "the cap of invisibility" and "garima"; "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead." Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

The hundreds of ancient pyramids in China and Tibet indicate a huge work force was used to build these structures to launch flying vehicles. The Chinese claim they were built by extraterrestrials with white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. It’s logical they flew south to India just over the Himalayan Mountains. The pyramid height helps in collecting electrical and anti-gravity energy for the craft.

Oceanography Enters the Iron Age

This is an important discovery along with our understanding of the limiting nature of iron content in terms of surface water productivity.  What it suggests to me is that there is a need to determine an appropriate methodology that successfully releases iron into surface waters and we need to be a little clever about it all.

One way may be to mandate a iron rich mineral as plastic fillers so that bio-degradation is both accelerated and significant in providing the nutrient.  Otherwise, we need to be able to introduce iron onto surface waters in such a way that they stay suspended until released.  There may be mineral forms that will meet this need.  We need to look. 

Fine grinding will produce such particles of even generally heavy product.  Once put in the water, they can linger and provide the necessary nutrients.  All this is done by the mining industry as a matter of course.  Plenty of minerals have iron in some form or the other and in time the oxygen will oxidize out.  None of them have ever been mined for their iron or ever will be.  The issue is to make it fine enough to rust out the iron fairly quickly.

Nature does this for us at times by blowing dust storms out to sea.  Maybe the simple answer is to load desert sand on a ship as ballast and proceed to jump it as the ship transits.

Oceanography enters the Iron Age

Mar 27, 2012

For many years scientists have known that iron is often associated with organic carbon in sediment but did not know why. Now researchers from Canada have found that just over 20% of the organic carbon in sediments is directly bound to reactive iron phases.

They estimate that worldwide 19–45 Gigatonnes of organic carbon are locked up in surface marine sediments in this way. Because reactive iron phases are metastable over long time periods, the sediments could be an efficient "rusty sink" for organic carbon.

"Burial in sediments is the only long-term sink of organic carbon on the planet, on geological timescales," Yves Gélinas of Concordia University told environmentalresearchweb. "Yet only a tiny fraction of organic carbon – about 0.3% – produced in the surface waters through photosynthesis eventually reaches the seafloor and is preserved in sediments. The rest is degraded in the water column and at the surface of the sediment."

The most widely accepted explanation for the tiny proportion of organic carbon preserved, says Gélinas, is that it's protected by sorption on clay mineral surfaces in the water column and in sediments.

"Our work shows that iron oxides are also very important, which is totally new," he added. "Why does it matter? Simply because iron oxides are not stable in anoxic [no-oxygen] environments (they form only in oxic settings), while clay minerals are stable whatever the redox conditions of the system."

The expansion of oceanic "dead zones" – regions where oxygen levels are too low to sustain life – could eventually affect this iron complexation mechanism for preserving organic carbon. According to Gélinas, this will "create a positive feedback mechanism fuelling greater oxygen consumption" as more organic matter will be degraded in the water column or at the surface of the sediments, using additional oxygen and so contributing to the expansion of dead zones.

"Iron has become a very popular research topic in chemical oceanography since the discovery that it is a limiting nutrient for primary productivity in large areas of the ocean," said Gélinas. "We show for the first time that iron also plays an important role in organic carbon preservation. We are definitely in the Iron Age of oceanography."

Gélinas and colleagues from Concordia University and McGill University tested sediments from around the world sampled from freshwaters, estuaries, river deltas, continental margins and the deep sea, using an iron reduction method previously used in soils.
"We now better understand the controls on organic matter preservation in sediments through its stabilization by iron complexation," said Gélinas. "[This] means that we can do a better job building models representing carbon preservation and cycling in marine environments. It also means better prediction of the evolution of the organic carbon preservation function in these models as bottom-water dissolved oxygen concentrations keep decreasing."

Now Gélinas says the team plans to get a clearer idea of the types of chemical bonds that link iron and organic matter, and how changes in local redox conditions affect their relative proportions in sinking particulates and sediments.

"We have recently obtained Synchrotron X-Ray beam time at the Brookhaven National Light Source Laboratory (NLSL) in Long Island, US, and acquired a very promising first set of data showing that our working hypothesis – that iron complexation to organic carbon plays a much greater than anticipated role in preserving a large fraction of organic carbon in sediments – is correct," he said. "We have applied for more beam time at the NSLS and at the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron in Saskatchewan to pursue this work."

The team would also like to estimate the importance of the mechanism in the stabilization of soil organic carbon.

About the author

Liz Kalaugher is editor of environmentalresearchweb.

Fusion Simulation Infers High Gain Energy Output

That they are able to simulate a positive outcome is nice and what it does do is trigger financing to run the proper experiments.  What is happening is that anyone with skin in the game is playing around with magnetic fields and any containment strategy to see if it can be optimized in simulation at all.  This all can happen prior to cutting much metal.

It also means that an experiment will be a true learning experience that opens avenues for advancement.  This is another reason that I am expecting the fusion problem to not only be solved soon but that it will be solved in several different ways.  This then opens the door for optimizing applications.

The recent claimed advent of a over unity heat engine will have a ready market merely because much of what we do uses heat in the first place.  There is little advantage in shipping electrical power to produce heat if a simply device will merely heat the water for you as needed

Nuclear fusion simulation shows high-gain energy output

March 20, 2012

Component testing under way at Sandia’s Z accelerator for fast-firing magnetic method

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — High-gain nuclear fusion could be achieved in a preheated cylindrical container immersed in strong magnetic fields, according to a series of computer simulations performed at Sandia National Laboratories.

The simulations show the release of output energy that was, remarkably, many times greater than the energy fed into the container’s liner. The method appears to be 50 times more efficient than using X-rays — a previous favorite at Sandia — to drive implosions of targeted materials to create fusion conditions.

Prototype assembly of MagLIF system - the top and bottom coils enclose the lit target. (Photo by Derek Lamppa) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

“People didn’t think there was a high-gain option for magnetized inertial fusion (MIF) but these numerical simulations show there is,” said Sandia researcher Steve Slutz, the paper’s lead author. “Now we have to see if nature will let us do it. In principle, we don’t know why we can’t.”

High-gain fusion means getting substantially more energy out of a material than is put into it. Inertial refers to the compression in situ over nanoseconds of a small amount of targeted fuel.

Such fusion eventually could produce reliable electricity from seawater, the most plentiful material on earth, rather than from the raw materials used by other methods: uranium, coal, oil, gas, sun or wind. In the simulations, the output demonstrated was 100 times that of a 60 million amperes (MA) input current. The output rose steeply as the current increased: 1,000 times input was achieved from an incoming pulse of 70 MA.

Since Sandia’s Z machine can bring a maximum of only 26 MA to bear upon a target, the rese0archers would be happy with a proof-of-principle result called scientific break-even, in which the amount of energy leaving the target equals the amount of energy put into the deuterium-tritium fuel.

This has never been achieved in the laboratory and would be a valuable addition to fusion science, said Slutz.

Inertial fusion would provide better data for increasingly accurate simulations of nuclear explosions, which is valuable because the U.S. last tested a weapon in its aging nuclear stockpile in 1992.

The MIF technique heats the fusion fuel (deuterium-tritium) by compression as in normal inertial fusion, but uses a magnetic field to suppress heat loss during implosion. The magnetic field acts like a kind of shower curtain to prevent charged particles like electrons and alpha particles from leaving the party early and draining energy from the reaction.

The simulated process relies upon a single, relatively low-powered laser to preheat a deuterium-tritium gas mixture that sits within a small liner.

At the top and bottom of the liner are two slightly larger coils that, when electrically powered, create a joined vertical magnetic field that penetrates into the liner, reducing energy loss from charged particles attempting to escape through the liner’s walls.

An extremely strong magnetic field is created on the surface of the liner by a separate, very powerful electrical current, generated by a pulsed power accelerator such as Z. The force of this huge magnetic field pushes the liner inward to a fraction of its original diameter. It also compresses the magnetic field emanating from the coils. The combination is powerful enough to force atoms of gaseous fuel into intimate contact with each other, fusing them.

Heat released from that reaction raised the gaseous fuel’s temperature high enough to ignite a layer of frozen and therefore denser deuterium-tritium fuel coating the inside of the liner. The heat transfer is similar to the way kindling heats a log: when the log ignites, the real heat — here high-yield fusion from ignited frozen fuel — commences.

Tests of physical equipment necessary to validate the computer simulations are already under way at Z, and a laboratory result is expected by late 2013, said Sandia engineer Dean Rovang.

Portions of the design are slated to receive their first tests in March and continue into early winter. Sandia has performed preliminary tests of the coils.

Potential problems involve controlling instabilities in the liner and in the magnetic field that might prevent the fuel from constricting evenly, an essential condition for a useful implosion. Even isolating the factors contributing to this hundred-nanosecond-long compression event, in order to adjust them, will be challenging.

“Whatever the difficulties,” said Sandia manager Daniel Sinars, “we still want to find the answer to what Slutz (and co-author Roger Vesey) propose: Can magnetically driven inertial fusion work? We owe it to the country to understand how realistic this possibility is.”

The work, reported in the Jan. 13 issue of Physical Review Letters, was supported by Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development office and by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Neal Singer, (505) 845-7078

MER as Fraud

\Ah yes, that little detail about clear title.  It is going to now take an out act of congress to reset the system and secure title.

This spells out just now amazingly bad the situation has become.  On its own, it will takes years to restore certainty with title and title insurance m ay become impossible to get.  Yet the tools are there to protect the individual buyer through insurance,though I suspect that it will also take time to perfect.

If there is a lesson to be learned from all this, it is that local lending needs to remain local and it should even be outright mandated.  Let the local banks have their local market and  make local money carry a large part of the paper.  In that environment, all stakeholders have skin in the game and will work to sort out title issues cleanly as they are the buyers at the end of the paper chain.

It was the ability to sever responsibility that made this type of fraud so enticing.  The money flowed from overseas investors having limited recourse to enforce rights to managers who were happy to abscond when the game got dicey.  The fact remains that fraud works best if you can seduce the source of funds go deliver same funds outside his own legal jurisdiction.  Brokers do this all the time, but through well established protective measures.  New products created to bamboozle even the regulators are quite another matter.  Then if the product turns out to be successfully sold, everyone copies the format and stuffs together new product to ride the coattails of the success.

If someone particularly understood the risks and manged them properly, he is quickly forgotten in the stampede to loot the buyers.  This certainly happened when the real estate boom generated huge new apparent wealth.


When Will the Obama Administration Recognize that MERS Destroyed the Chain of Title Making All Foreclosures Suspect?

Author: L. Randall Wray  ·  March 16th, 2012  

I’ve been writing about the MERS monster since 2010. Here is one of my early pieces:

I suppose it is now safe to reveal that a staffer of Representative Marcy Kaptur put me on the trail of this fraud—in dollar terms it has to be the single biggest fraud in human history. In sheer utter disregard for law it is certainly the most audacious fraud in Western history. To tell the truth, I had never heard of MERS until she called. If you recall the Michael Moore movie, Rep Kaptur stood on the steps and told homeowners facing foreclosure to stay in their homes. She was right: the banksters have no legal claim on the homes they are foreclosing. Foreclosure is theft. Any bank that used MERS has no legal claim on property—there are 65 million such mortgages to which no bank has a legal claim to foreclose.

And, to be sure, even those mortgages that were not run through MERS are suspect if they are handled by any of the five biggest servicers. These servicers keep such shoddy records that they cannot be trusted to accurately credit payments. They’ve been adding on fees and penalties that were unwarranted since they cannot keep track of records.

Folks, there are $7 trillion of securitized mortgages. It was (mostly) the securitization process that demanded fraud. Securitization could never have been profitable—it was a flawed way to go about financing homeownership. It was simply too expensive to compete with Jimmy Stewart thrifts. It required fraud to show profits. (As Bill Black always says: fraud is a sure thing. It is always the most profitable way to run a business—until you get caught.)

In addition to the MERS monster, we also know the securities did not meet the “reps and warranties” claimed. The banks that did the securizations will continue to get sued to take back bad mortgages. They are trying to shovel as many of these back to Fannie and Freddie as they can so that Uncle Sam will take the losses—as discussed in my previous blog they are now doing it through sale of servicing rights.

And of course Uncle Ben has helpfully put a lot of them on the Fed’s balance sheet. This is all part of the cover-up to avoid the obvious: all these big banks are massively insolvent as soon as the courts wake up to the fact that the whole damned real estate finance onion is layer upon layer of fraud.

But let us stick to the MERS fraud.

There should be an immediate and complete halt to all foreclosures in the US, and all foreclosures that have been completed over the past decade should be nullified. Yes that will get messy. But continuing with foreclosures will make the mess immeasurably worse. This foreclosure crisis is not going to stop.

No one should buy any bank owned real estate because it is probable that eventually the US will return to the rule of law. The property will be returned to the rightful owners—those who were illegally kicked out of their houses.

Now that might be a pipe dream, but if the US is not going to be a nation ruled by law then it will not survive.

The biggest banks—including the GSEs—created MERS and proceeded to destroy our nation’s real estate property law. That is not an overstatement. Robo-signing is just one small and inevitable consequence of the fraud. The truth is that foreclosure cannot go through without fraud because the banks do not have the documents to show clear title.
Banks don’t have them because they do not exist.

There are no records because that was MERS’s business model: destroy all records of ownership while speeding the securitization process.

And since the mortgages themselves were often frauds (designing “affordability products” that homeowners could not afford), many would end in delinquency. So MERS was designed to speed the foreclosure process—it would be so much easier to foreclose if you didn’t bother with documents, records, and property law. Just kick the owners out, take the home, sell it, and reboot the whole scam again.

Another whistle-blower has come forward, this one from CBO. Lan Pham was fired because she refused to get with the program: the government is supposed to help the banksters cover-up their frauds, NOT expose them! She refused. So she was fired. Now she tells her story.

I won’t repeat her entire story—you can read it at Zerohedge. Here are a few quotes from Lan Pham, the CBO whistle-blower:

I was repeatedly pressured by the CBO Assistant Director, Deborah Lucas… to not write nor discuss issues in the banking sector and mortgage markets that might suggest weakness in these sectors and their consequences on the economy and households…
…Issues at the heart of the foreclosure problems pertain to securitization….and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), which purports to have legal standing on electronic records of ownership on about 65 million…mortgages… MERS…facilitated Wall Street’s ability to expedite the pooling of subprime mortgages into MBSs by bypassing standard ownership transfer procedures as the housing bubble escalated…

The implications have profound financial and economic consequences that would be of compelling interest to Congress and the public, but the CBO sought to silence a discussion of such risks, that in reality have been materializing. These risks put into question the ability of investors or bondholders to make claims on the collateral (the homes) that underlies trillions of dollars in MBSs, the bulk of which are now guaranteed by …Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This affects $10 trillion in residential mortgage debt outstanding, of which $7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBSs)…

The CBO dismissing such issues prevents an analysis of the risks, so that the public may be forced again to shoulder the consequences for which they have not been a given a voice or a choice.

Essentially, the chain of title on securitized mortgages appears broken, whether or not there is a foreclosure. This would pertain to most homebuyers in the past 10 years as most mortgages were securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac providing the guarantees, and the largest banks (“The $7 Trillion MBS Problem – Foreclosure Problems and Buybacks”). Recall that these same entities founded MERS, which expedited securitization and purported to have foreclosure authority from its electronic records of ownership on about 65 million mortgages. “Robo-signing” emerged as fraudulent or defective documents were used or created to establish the legal authority to foreclose as MERS faced legal challenges; as of July 22, 2011, foreclosures could no longer be initiated in MERS’ name. At last year’s pace, some figures suggest it could take lenders in New York 62 years to clear their foreclosure inventory, 49 years in New Jersey and a decade in Florida, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

It is unclear how the recent State attorney generals’ agreement to a proposed yet unpublished terms of the $25 billion robo-signing settlement would repair the chain of title issues that continue to mutate. In January 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed the foreclosure actions of two banks for lacking proof of clear title, followed by a decision in October 2011 that a buyer who purchased a house that was improperly foreclosed upon does not make the buyer the new owner of the house; the sale does not transfer the property.

A striking little mention fact of the Massachusetts foreclosure case was that the lenders could not show that the two mortgages were part of the securitization pool. Let’s consider a thought exercise. Others have the raised the question: if the entity that has been taking the homeowners’ mortgage payments is not the real owner, what happens when the true owner(s) of the mortgage shows up? Are homeowners on the hook again for those ‘missed’ mortgage payments? It was not uncommon for mortgages to be sold multiple times, and it is my understanding that loans were intentionally not given unique identifiers as it moved from origination or purchase through to securitization.

This is what I’ve been arguing since 2010. This will not go away—no matter how much the Administration, the Congress, and the banks try to cover it up.