Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Burnt Hill Fort

Burnt Hill Fort in Dark Ages Scotland Was Likely the Stronghold of the Mysterious Rheged Kingdom

I would like to see this vitrification actually demonstrated. We have a timber and stone assemblage on a hill top.  That at least could burn slowly over several days.  Where i am uncomfortable is in the heat level.  wood gets up to 600 degrees at best and that is too low to melt rock.

It will crack rock all the time though and this often confirms simple camp sites.

I do not think that even charcoal does the job without excessive attention.  

At least we understand these late sixth century forts as such even if their demise is unusual.  Unless they can prove method, we are stuck with a UFO doing the trick using a laser.
Burnt Hill Fort in Dark Ages Scotland Was Likely the Stronghold of the Mysterious Rheged Kingdom


For years, scholars thought a Scottish Dark Ages hill fort that met a violent, fiery end was a stronghold of the Pictish people. But new research shows Trusty’s Hill was likely the royal stronghold of the Britons’ mysterious Rheged kingdom in Galloway.

During the attack, the fire that burned the fort lasted long enough and generated enough heat that it vitrified the stones of its ramparts. The same thing happened to the Mote of Mark, another hill fort also in southwest Scotland, in Galloway.

Thus came the demise of the kingdom of Rheged in the 7th century AD. A kingdom that had once dominated Scotland and northern Britain.

GUARD Archaeology Ltd. produced this re-enactment of the conflagration at Trusty’s Hill.

GUARD Archaeology Ltd. produced this re-enactment of the conflagration at Trusty’s Hill. (GUARD Archaeology Ltd)

The location of the kingdom of Rheged had been lost to history, though one of its kings, Urien, was celebrated centuries later in the poet Taliesin’s works.

Several years ago archaeologists decided to take a second look at Trusty’s Hill, drawn there by enigmatic Pictish symbols. The symbols at Trusty’s Hill are far south of where Pictish marks are usually found, which presented something of a mystery.

Trusty’s Hill was assumed to be a stronghold of what became known as the Galloway Picts. Archaeologists, with a staff of 60 people, launched The Galloway Picts Project in 2012 to verify or refute the idea.

An article on Guard Archaeology’s website quotes Ronan Toolis, the lead archaeologist:

… far from validating the existence of ‘Galloway Picts’, the archaeological context revealed by our excavation instead suggests the carvings relate to a royal stronghold and place of inauguration for the local Britons of Galloway around AD 600. Examined in the context of contemporary sites across Scotland and northern England, the archaeological evidence suggests that Galloway may have been the heart of the lost Dark Age kingdom of Rheged, a kingdom that was in the late sixth century pre-eminent amongst the kingdoms of the north.

An article on the Galloway Picts site explains that when local nobles weren’t making war, they were likely marrying, hiring laborers and trading with other cultures in northern Britain and Ireland. They presumably absorbed foreign elements into their own cultures.

“This is the context for the Pictish Symbols at Trusty’s Hill, where the Pictish Inscription either represents the presence of Picts there, perhaps through marriage into a local family, or where a local family aspired to be seen as Picts,” the Galloway Picts site states.

Excavations since 2012 have shown that in the decades around 600 AD, the hill’s summit had fortifications that included a rampart of timber and stone. Other defenses and enclosures on the lower slopes of the hill made it a nucleated fort. Such forts were used by high-status people in Scotland in the medieval period, says Guard Archaeology.

People entering the fort saw a rock-cut basin on one side and an outcropping on the other, upon which were carved two Pictish symbols. Guard Archaeology calls this a rite of passage into the fort, where royal inaugurations took place. Upon entering, guests would see the king’s feasting hall to the west, and a smith’s workshop to the east. The smith likely worked with gold, silver, bronze, and iron.

One of the Pictish symbols at the gate. Because there is no Rosetta Stone for the Picts, the meaning of the symbol has been lost.

One of the Pictish symbols at the gate. Because there is no Rosetta Stone for the Picts, the meaning of the symbol has been lost. (DGNHAS / CDDV)
“The layout of this fort was complex, each element deliberately formed to exhibit the power and status of its household,” Guard Archaeology states.

Traders came from across Europe, Britain, and Ireland, lured in part by copper and lead, which were mined nearby.

Other activities on Trusty’s Hill included feasting, spinning wool, and preparing leather. The household ate beef, oats, and barley, much the same as their Iron Age ancestors. The people who lived at Trusty’s Hill didn’t farm, according to excavation co-director Dr. Christopher Bowles, Scottish Borders Council Archaeologist.
“Instead, this household's wealth relied on their control of farming, animal husbandry and the management of local natural resources - minerals and timber - from an estate probably spanning the wider landscape of the Fleet valley and estuary. Control was maintained by bonding the people of this land and the districts beyond to the royal household, by gifts, promises of protection and the bounties of raiding and warfare.”
Anglo-saxon style bronze jewelry that was originally gilded and silvered. It was probably brought to Trusty’s Hill as loot.

Anglo-saxon style bronze jewelry that was originally gilded and silvered. It was probably brought to Trusty’s Hill as loot. (DGNHAS / GUARD Archaeology Ltd)
Trusty’s Hill had the highest status in comparison to other similar forts around Galloway. Those Dark Age forts include Whithorn, Kirkmadrine and the Mote of Mark. But only Trusty’s Hill had evidence of royal inauguration and so scholars think it dominated the local hierarchy.

Galloway has been called the cradle of Christianity in Scotland, which could only be accomplished if it had sufficient lands and resources and if the locals were literate and well-connected on the international scene.

In the 7th century, the kingdom of Rheged failed and died out in apparent violent conflict. Trusty’s Hill also may have been burnt by its own people who wanted to destroy it after abandonment. To vitrify the stones of the forts, the fires had to last for days or weeks and be especially hot. Past Horizons says the smoke and flames generated by the fires may have also been meant to send a message of dominance and threat to anyone in the vicinity.

Top Image: This is a reproduction of Trusty’s Hill, erroneously thought to be a Pict site but now believed to have been the stronghold of the lost British kingdom of Rheged of 600 AD or so. Source: 

By Mark Miller

Kellyanne Conway

This is a pretty good Bio on Kellyanne and we should know what informs her in her thinking.  She will obviously have a huge role in both the White house and the essentially reconstituted republican Party.  She has not led a public life.

Trump obviously learned a long time ago that the best pool of unused talent for middle management came from accomplished women. Which makes great sense since he really was in the business start up business in Hotel and Resort management where talent was needed often in a tight market.

 Her resume should give everyone more confidence in this administration.

Hours After The Inauguration, Kellyanne Conway Makes A Stunning Confession

Just hours after Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway speaks out about the real reason why he won.
In a landslide election, Donald J. Trump shocked liberals and republicans alike when he defeated Hillary Clinton in a historic, unprecedented win. And to say that people were astonished at Donald Trump’s victory would be the understatement of the century.

But behind Donald Trump’s victory, stood one woman. So who is this unique lady responsible for helping Trump secure the highest office in the land? Who is Kellyanne Conway?

Throughout his campaign, liberals tried to portray Trump as a he-man-woman-hater (if you don’t recall the term from Little Rascals, please disregard and keep reading.) But it is simply incomprehensible to think that a man “with no respect for women” would hire one. It’s a fact that the media has certainly overlooked and attempted to bury.

In the biggest and most critical “job opportunity” of his life, Donald J. Trump entrusted his political campaign– and ultimately, his fate–  to a woman. And now that she’s been appointed counselor to the president, Conway will be the highest-ranking woman in the White House.
When asked how she felt about being the first woman to “break the glass ceiling,” Conway responded, “I want everybody to remember, that it was Donald J. Trump who elevated a woman to the highest position in his campaign, much like he has done in the Trump Corporation for a number of decades– it is he who gave women responsibilities.”

She traveled with Trump throughout his campaign in its last months and advised him, as well as appeared frequently on TV to speak on his behalf.
Conway considers herself blessed to be given the opportunity. She shared, “I’m not a big gender-identity person, and I wasn’t hired for my gender, but it’s . . . a pretty cool thing to say to my three daughters and my son. Many women work really hard and never get their shot. I feel blessed to have gotten my shot.”
I must admit that after learning a bit more about this unique woman, my admiration for Mrs. Kellyanne Conway has only grown all the more. It’s no wonder why she’s the first female campaign manager in the history of America to win a presidential campaign.

As a Republican campaign manager, strategist, and pollster, Conway is a the queen of wearing many hats– and she wears them quite well.
Aside from her influence in politics, Conway is also the president and CEO of The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend. Her company has consulted and conducted market research for some of the leading companies in America such as Major League Baseball, The Federalist Society, Martha Stewart, American Express, and ABC News.

Additionally, Kellyanne has been a guest and political commentator on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Real Time with Bill Maher, Meet the Press, Hannity, and more.

Today, Kellyanne Conway is quite successful. But unlike most prominent women in politics, she wasn’t born into a successful family, and her childhood was almost anything but glamourous.

Kellyanne Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Conway was born on January 20, 1967, in an impoverished little neighborhood just outside of Camden, New Jersey. Conway’s parents led a very simple lifestyle; her Irish father owned a small trucking company while her Italian mother worked at a bank.

When she was only three years old, Conway’s parents divorced. And from an early age, Kellyanne witnessed first-hand what hard working women looked like. Young Conway was raised by her single mother, Diane Fitzpatrick, as well as her grandmother and two aunts– who all worked tirelessly to help make ends meet.
Conway traces her conservative world-view to growing up in a household, “where family and faith and self-reliance were premier. We were not encouraged or allowed to complain or talk about what we didn’t have.”

It wasn’t long before Kellyanne acquired a job herself. For eight summers throughout her schooling years, the bright-eyed and blonde young Kellyanne worked grueling hours of manual labor as a blueberry picker on a farm in Hammonton, New Jersey. And to this day, she credits her fighter spirit and strong work ethic to that farm.
Conway shared, “The faster you went, the more money you’d make. Everything I learned about life and business started on that farm.”
At age 16 Kellyanne won the New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant. And at 20, her hard work and determination helped her win the World Champion Blueberry Packing competition– which is no easy feat!

But Kellyanne was not only a beautiful hard-worker, she was also quite brilliant. After graduating from St. Joseph High School in 1985, Conway graduated magna cum laude from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., earning a degree in political science.

Conway went on to study at Oxford University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious honors society, and later earned a law degree with honors from George Washington University Law Center. (She now describes herself as a “fully recovered” attorney.)

Early on in her career, Conway appeared on TV frequently throughout the ’90s to take a stand against the Clintons. Since then, the brilliant and outspoken republican has provided commentary on more than 1,500 TV shows.

Throughout her schooling, Kellyanne planned to establish herself as a lawyer, but God had other plans for her life. The half-Irish, half-Italian young lawyer soon found her professional niche in 1988, while working for Ronald Reagan’s pollster, Dick Wirthlin, in the summer before she graduated from George Washington University Law School. Her first assignment was to demystify the gender voting gap: “How could the GOP attract more women?”

Kellyanne had discovered her purpose. Seven years after that life-changing assignment, Conway founded The Polling Company/WomanTrend, a consulting firm that specializes in market research. A decade later, she co-authored a book titled “What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.”

Raised by four women, ironically, Conway chose to work in what she calls a man’s world — especially as a Republican political pollster.
Conway told CNN, “Republican politics can sometimes feel like you’re walking into, you know, an Elks Club or bachelor party.” She recalled a potential client — a man — asking how she’d balance kids and work. “It’s like, ‘I just hope you ask all the male consultants. Are you going to give up your weekly golf game and your mistresses?’ Because they seem really, really busy too,'” recalled Conway.

But in that “world full of men,” Kellyanne shines. For decades, she has provided a steadfast, fearless, and persistent conservative voice for republicans across our nation. Conway is a long-time pro-life activist, Second Amendment supporter, she stands with Israel, and she boldly defends the Biblical definition of marriage every opportunity she gets.

Pro-life activist Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, talked to The Stream about Conway. “Kellyanne was already a star in her own capacity before she led Donald Trump’s campaign victory,” Hawkins said. “Her broad knowledge of key issues that matter to conservatives was well-established, especially in regards to abortion, conscience rights and religious freedom. Her presence in the White House should be not only a source of comfort to those of us who have worked with Kellyanne for years, but also a source of pride and encouragement. Kellyanne is one of us, a respected leader in the pro-life movement who helped guide organizations with key messaging and wisdom many times over. President-Elect Trump is wise to keep Kellyanne by his side as he takes the oath of the 45th President of the United States.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Chair of the Select Panel on Infant Lives and member of the Trump transition team, also added, “Kellyanne has worked worked tirelessly throughout her career as an advocate for the pro-life movement. She understands that a majority of Americans support common sense regulations for the abortion industry and were deeply troubled by what a Hillary Clinton presidency might mean for legislation, like the Hyde Amendment, a four-decades-old measure to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion-on-demand that, thanks to the 2016 Democratic platform, no longer enjoys bipartisan support. Kellyanne is one of the most talented strategists in politics, and I am grateful for her leadership throughout this campaign in communicating President-elect Trump’s pro-life message. I look forward to working with the new administration in our continued efforts to protect women and the unborn.”

Trump and Conway’s paths crossed by divine intervention — and little did they know they would eventually work together to Make America Great Again. 

Conway met Trump in 2006, when she was living in one of his buildings, according to the Washington Post. She even served on the condo board of the Trump World Tower in Manhattan. Conway recalled being surprised to find how involved Trump was– even showing up to meetings to hear residents’ concerns. Over the following couple of years, Trump would call her to say he’d seen her on TV and ask her opinion about varying issues.

In March 2015, Trump asked Conway to help strategize for his presidential bid and even offered her a job on the campaign, but she declined. Over a year later, on Aug. 17, 2016, Conway accepted the role as his campaign manager — a decision that would alter the course of their lives, and history, forever.

But there’s much more to Kellyanne than just politics. Conway is an outspoken woman of faith, devoted wife, and proud mother of four. Kellyanne’s husband is George T. Conway III, who as a young lawyer played a historic — and largely hidden — role in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

While many believe in luck, Kellyanne believes meeting her hubby George was by Divine appointment. According to The New Yorker, their romance began after Conway saw a picture of Kellyanne on the cover of a Washington society magazine and asked a mutual friend to set them up.

The lovebirds met the following year, and tied the knot in 2001, when Kellyanne was 37-years-old. Together, the Conways have four children — including twins– between the ages of six and eleven.
Conway recalled the joys of being a pregnant middle-aged woman,“I had my first children [twins] at thirty-seven, then I had two daughters in my forties, forty-one and almost forty-three,” she said. “They say there are no eggs left in your forties, but there were two rolling around in there somewhere. I was surprised both times, like, ‘Oh! O.K. Not a stomach ache.’ ”

And despite her hectic career, Conway considers her family her greatest priority on this side of eternity. And like all working mothers, time with her children is precious.

In the middle of her interview with CNN, Kellyanne paused to take time to listen to her 12-year-old-daughter, Claudia, play piano, asked her twin brother, George, about the birthday party they just returned from, and took some time to help her younger daughters, Charlotte and Vanessa, with their hair.

The Conways have made their home in Alpine, New Jersey and have no desire to be in the limelight. In fact, they’re rarely seen in public– unless there’s a baseball game nearby.

Kellyanne Conway’s life boasts of what God can do when one woman is willing work hard, serve her family, honor her country, and strive to make a difference.
“Kellyanne Conway has been a trusted advisor and strategist who played a crucial role in my victory. She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message. I am pleased that she will be part of my senior team in the West Wing,” Trump said in a statement.

Running a successful political campaign is no easy feat. And there’s no doubt that Kellyanne Conway is the kind of woman every young girl can aspire to be. It’s a pitiful shame that the media isn’t giving her the recognition that she so deserves. 

While listening to Kellyanne Conway’s inspiring story, I just couldn’t help but think of 1 Peter 5:5-7, which reads,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”

“I want all the little girls out there to know that the lessons are very simple. Be kind your entire life because all the kindness I showed to other people came back to me manifold in this campaign. And secondly and most importantly, if you work hard and you get your shot one day, you too will shine. You have to believe in yourself, don’t listen to the critics, don’t listen to the naysayers. You know who you are. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you can do it. That’s my message to all those little girls dreaming out there.” – Kellyanne Conway 

Praise God for women like Kellyanne Conway, America needs more women like her! Please keep Kellyanne and her family in your prayers throughout this crucial time as they make their way to the White House.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Kellyanne Conway’s steadfast character and undeniable love for her family sets her apart, while her faith and trust in the Lord is indeed a beautiful sight to behold. Thank you Kellyanne, for your unashamed faith and unwavering principles. May God Bless our new Leaders. And May God Bless America! Please share if you agree!

New President, New World

What is completely valid is that we need a completely new global arrangement. The current system arose out of the Second world War and was not properly reset after the cold War and then after the emergence of a healthy China.

What Donald is telling everyone is that it all must be renegotiated and making everyone think the unthinkable.  Maybe we have better solutions to hand.  After all that is what must happen to Obamacare and many have better solutions elswhere.

It is also obvious that he will actually address it all. My main hope is that he rewrites all drug law as soon as possible to end the cash drain and social distortion.
New President, New World

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Friday - January 20, 2017
"Don't Make Any Sudden Moves" is the advice offered to the new president by Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations, which has not traditionally been known as a beer hall of populist beliefs.

Haass meant the president should bring his National Security Council together to anticipate the consequences before tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or shooting down a missile being tested by Kim Jong Un.

In arguing against rash action, Haass is correct.

Where the CFR and the establishment are wrong, and Donald Trump is right, however, is in recognizing the new world we have entered.

The old order is passing away. Treaties and alliances dating from the Cold War are ceasing to be relevant and cannot long be sustained.

Economic patriotism and ethnonationalism, personified by Trump, seem everywhere ascendant. Transnationalism is yielding to tribalism.

The greater danger for President Trump is that the movement he led will be abandoned, its hopes dashed, and the agenda that Trump rejected and routed will be reimposed by a Republican Establishment and its collaborators in politics and the press.

Again, it was Trump who read the nation right, which is why he is taking the oath today.

The existential threat to the West no longer comes from the East, from a Russian army crashing through Poland and Germany and driving for the Elbe and Fulda Gap.

The existential threat to the West comes, instead, from the South.

The billion-plus peoples of the Maghreb, Middle East and sub-Sahara, whose numbers are exploding, are moving inexorably toward the Med, coming to occupy the empty places left by an aging and dying Europe, all of whose native-born populations steadily shrink.

American's bleeding border is what concerns Americans, not the borders of Estonia, South Korea, Kuwait or the South China Sea.

When Trump calls NATO "obsolete," he is saying that the great threat to the West is not Putin's recapture of a Crimea that belonged to Russia for 150 years. And if the price of peace is getting out of Russia's face and Russia's space, maybe we should pay it.

George Kennan himself, the architect of Cold War containment of Stalin's Russia, admonished us not to move NATO to Russia's border.

Of Brexit, the British decision to leave the EU, Trump said this week, "People, countries want their own identity and the U.K. wanted its own identity ... so if you ask me, I believe others will leave."

Is he not right? Is it so shocking to hear a transparent truth?

How could Europe's elites not see the populist forces rising? The European peoples wished to regain their lost sovereignty and national identity, and they were willing to pay a price to achieve it.

Apparently, the Davos crowd cannot comprehend people who believe there are more important things than wealth.

Yet while President Trump should avoid rash actions, if he is to become a transformational president, he will spurn an establishment desperately seeking to hold onto the world that is passing away.

Article V of the NATO treaty may require us to treat a Russian move in the Baltic as an attack on the United States. But no sane president will start a war with a nuclear-armed Russia over Estonia.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of so rash an action.

Rather than risk such a war, Ike refused to send a rifle or bullet to the heroic Hungarian rebels in 1956. Painful, but Ike put America first, just as Trump pledged to do.

And given the strength of ethnonationalism in Europe, neither the eurozone nor the EU is likely to survive the decade. We should prepare for that day, not pretend that what is taking place across Europe, and indeed worldwide, is some passing fever of nationalism.

Notwithstanding Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson's diktat, the United States is not going to force China to vacate the fortified reefs in a South China Sea she claims as her national territory.

Stick to that demand, and we best prepare for war.

As for the Taiwan card, it was played in 1972 by Richard Nixon as the price of his opening to China. Four decades ago, Jimmy Carter cut diplomatic ties to Taiwan and terminated our security pact.

For Xi Jinping to accept that Taiwan might be negotiable would mean an end of him and the overthrow of his Communist Party of China.

The Chinese will fight to prevent a permanent loss of Taiwan.

The imperative of the new era is that the great nuclear powers — China, Russia, the United States — not do to each other what Britain, France and Germany did to each other a century ago over a dead archduke.

President Trump should build the wall, secure the border, impose tariffs, cut taxes, free up the American economy, bring the factories home, create millions of jobs and keep us out of any new wars.

With rare exceptions, wars tend to be fatal to presidencies.

Taking on Global Drought using Oranges and Avocados.

This tech needs to be integrated with drip irrigation.  Then you create a local stable wet spot that surrounding plants can draw water from and even transport that water throughout the root system itself.  all this remains well covered discouraging any evaporate water losses.

Recall those holes in tropical Sahel.  Adding bio char retains nutrients while this system of drip irrigation retention provides a useful wet spot allowing the plant to become large enough to break up the soil.

Better yet is that there must be plenty of  other potential feed stocks as well.  The process used is easily adapted anywhere.  A pot to boil out pectin is easy and actually drying can be done by actually spreading it all over a flat of packed soil. the sun and soil heat will quickly prepare the material and simple rollers will crush the material.  Brooming it all together will include ample dust which may well be best practice anyway.  It makes it much easier to handle.

This science fair winner is taking on global drought using oranges and avocados.
Who ever thought you could fight the effects of drought just by mixing fruits together?

A 16-year-old from Johannesburg, that's who!

Science whiz Kiara Nirghin, a grade 11 student at St. Martin's School in Johannesburg, came up with an idea that could make a big difference in drought-stricken regions.

"Currently, South Africa is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history," said Nirghin. "I started looking at it, and not only is it affecting my community, it's a worldwide problem. From there, I started looking at, 'OK. What could I do to lessen the impact that the drought had on South Africa's food supply?' — which is one of the main things that it is affecting."

With temperatures rising to blistering levels and South Africa declaring a state of disaster due to drought in eight provinces, Nirghin's game-changing invention couldn't have come at a better time.
Using orange peels and avocado skins, Nirghin created her own superabsorbent polymer (SAP) to nourish crops in desperate need of water.
An SAP is a powder-like material that can take in large amounts of liquid without taking up a lot of space. In fact, it's known to absorb hundreds of times its own weight. SAPs are planted alongside crops to create mini reservoirs of water that keep soil moist longer and allow growing plants to survive with less rainfall or water.

A helpful slide from Nirghin's award-winning submission. Image via Google Science Fair.
According to Science Direct, the problem with many SAPs is they're made from some pretty harsh chemicals that can harm people as well as the environment. So Nirghin set out to create a more natural, biodegradable alternative. 

"I started looking at what characterized a superabsorbent polymer and how I could emulate that characterization," she said. "And one of those things were the polysaccharide found in orange peels."

Nirghin breaks down her process in a video for the Google Science Fair. First, she boiled the orange peels to extract pectin (more typically used as a gelling agent in jams and jellies). She then combined the pectin with sun-dried orange peels, baked the mixture, crushed it into a powder, and added more sun-dried orange peels and avocado skins.

The project, dubbed "No More Thirsty Crops," earned Nirghin the grand prize at this year's Google Science Fair.

Not only is Nirghin's SAP biodegradable, it's also affordable — and creating it produces less pollution than regular SAPs.

"[Commercial SAPs are] not biodegradable and they’re extremely costly," said Nirghin. "And one of the important aspects that’s often overlooked is that the making of the superabsorbent polymers pollutes the environment. … The production is not only timely, it’s very difficult to reproduce in poorer areas … So I looked at basically minimizing all those negative aspects."

In Nirghin's research paper, she estimates her SAP would cost about $30 to $60 per metric ton to mass produce — whereas current commercial SAPs can go for a staggering $2,000 to $3,000 per metric ton. Even better? Nirghin found her method to be more effective at retaining water than commercial SAPs.

Nirghin now has her sights set on getting her SAP in as many hands as possible and affecting more positive change around the world.

"I would love for it to go into actual farms out there," Nirghin said. "I want it to actually be supplied to farmers all over the world that are currently experiencing a drought. I don’t want to keep it as an idea that I just came up with … I would really like for it to go out and help people out there."

On top of her Google Science Fair victory, Nirghin's invention also garnered her a spot on Time's 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016 — an honor that could help her spread even more good. For starters, she's already looking to expand her SAP to test water filtration as well as oil removal from water.

Nirghin also has an inspiring message for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps. 

Nirghin (third from left) and her fellow finalists. Photo by the Nirghin family, used with permission.

She said, "One of the main things is looking at what your community is facing because it's great coming up with an idea, but unless it impacts your community and makes it better — like the Google Science Fair says, 'What will you make better?' — that should be one of the main driving forces to lessen the impact of the problems of your community."

From there, just think of that idea as a freshly planted crop. With a little nourishment and attention, it can grow into something even stronger and more essential than you ever imagined.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Parting Shot at Personal Freedom

The ugly truth is that all electronic communication is essentially freely available to any government agency that wishes to go on a fishing expedition.  No one intended that but agents have assumed and gone out and got those rights by legalese of the worst kind.

All this information has been rendered useless in terms of legal action because no such court order exists.

I am actually ambivalent about this whole issue.  I simply do not think that we can or necessarily want such data gathering to be made impossible.  what we want is that it simply cannot be used.  That alone is valuable.  If data collection leads to knowledge of a crime but no evidence path, we at least are no longer spending resources on false leads.

It also can lead to a break up of organized criminal activity as that is too easy to observe.   My point though is that criminality itself is discouraged when all communications records exists in perpetuity.

Ending crimalization as a blanket solution to human behavior issues also needs to be properly addressed.

A Parting Shot at Personal Freedom

By Andrew P. Napolitano

January 19, 2017


On Jan. 3, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly signed an order directing the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person-strong domestic spying apparatus — to make available raw spying data to all other federal intelligence agencies, which then can pass it on to their counterparts in foreign countries and in the 50 states upon request. She did so, she claimed, for administrative convenience. Yet in doing this, she violated basic constitutional principles that were erected centuries ago to prevent just what she did.

Here is the back story.

In the aftermath of former President Richard Nixon’s abusive utilization of the FBI and CIA to spy on his domestic political opponents in the 1960s and ’70s — and after Nixon had resigned from office in the wake of all that — Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created a secret court that was charged with being the sole authority in America that can authorize domestic spying for non-law enforcement purposes.

The standard for a FISA court authorization was that the subject of the spying needed to be a foreign person in the United States who was an agent of a foreign power. It could be a foreign janitor in a foreign embassy, a foreign spy masquerading as a diplomat, even a foreign journalist working for a media outlet owned by a foreign government.

The American spies needed a search warrant from the FISA court. Contrary to the Constitution, the search warrant was given based not on the probable cause of crime but rather on probable cause of the status of the person as an agent of a foreign power. This slight change from “probable cause of crime” to “probable cause of foreign agency” began the slippery slope that brought us to Lynch’s terrible order of Jan. 3.

After the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, numerous other statutes were enacted that made spying easier and that continued to erode the right to be left alone guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act permitted FBI agents to write their own search warrants for business records (including medical, legal, postal and banking records), and amendments to FISA itself changed the wording from probable cause “of foreign agency” to probable cause of being “a foreign person” to all Americans who may “communicate with a foreign person.”

As if Americans were children, Congress made those sleight-of-hand changes with no hoopla and little serious debate. Our very elected representatives — who took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — instead perverted it.

It gets worse.

The recent USA Freedom Act permits the NSA to ask the FISA court for a search warrant for any person — named or unnamed — based on the standard of “governmental need.” One FISA court-issued warrant I saw authorized the surveillance of all 115 million domestic customers of Verizon. The governmental need standard is no standard at all, as the government will always claim that what it wants, it needs.

All these statutes and unauthorized spying practices have brought us to where we were on Jan. 2 — namely, with the NSA having a standard operating procedure of capturing every keystroke on every computer and very telephone conversation on every landline and cellphone, and all domestic electronic traffic — including medical, legal and banking records — of every person in America 24/7, without knowing of or showing any wrongdoing on the part of those spied upon.

The NSA can use data from your cell phone to learn where you are, and it can utilize your cell phone as a listening device to hear your in-person conversations, even if you have turned it off — that is if you still have one of the older phones that can be turned off.

Notwithstanding all of the above gross violations of personal liberty and constitutional norms, the NSA traditionally kept its data — if printed, enough to fill the Library of Congress every year — to itself. So if an agency such as the FBI or the DEA or the New Jersey State Police, for example, wanted any of the data acquired by the NSA for law enforcement purposes, it needed to get a search warrant from a federal judge based on the constitutional standard of “probable cause of crime.”

Until now.

Now, because of the Lynch secret order, revealed by The New York Times late last week, the NSA may share any of its data with any other intelligence agency or law enforcement agency that has an intelligence arm based on — you guessed it — the non-standard of governmental need.

So President Barack Obama, in the death throes of his time in the White House, has delivered perhaps his harshest blow to constitutional freedom by permitting his attorney general to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, thereby enabling people in law enforcement to get whatever they want about whomever they wish without a showing of probable cause of crime as the Fourth Amendment requires. That amendment expressly forbids the use of general warrants — search where you wish and seize what you find — and they had never been a lawful tool of law enforcement until Lynch’s order.

Down the slope we have come, with the destruction of liberty in the name of safety by elected and appointed government officials. At a time when the constitutionally recognized right to privacy was in its infancy, Justice Louis Brandeis warned all who love freedom about its slow demise. He wrote: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Someday we will learn why Obama did this. I hope that when we do, it is at a time when we still have personal liberty in a free society.

A New Hope With Mike Adams


These are serious issues that need the full unfreindly gaze of the American govermnent.  We all have seen how easily science can be corrupted in pursit of comerocal and illegal agendas.  That must be tackled agressively.

It is one thing for myself to point out targets of interest.  That costs little.  Real investigation costs money.  You really have to do the work never done or hidden deep.

I am presently optimistic.  Trump understands the climate racket for what it has always been and has [personal reason to understand the vaccine game. He will not accept a phony dog and pony show
A NEW HOPE: Ten of the best and boldest ideas for President Trump to MAGA while prosecuting the real enemies of this great nation

(NaturalNews) With the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, America has now been blessed with “A New Hope” (yes, the title of the first Star Wars movie). A true political outsider has been voted into the White House, and the status quo establishment is going absolutely berserk.

Here are 10 bold ideas for President Trump to turn America around and help Make America Great Again. These are ideas “beyond the obvious” which would include protecting our borders, defending the Second Amendment, taking care of our veterans and so on.

#1) Shut down the federal reserve and start issuing debt-free money

End the counterfeiting of fiat currency. End the cycle of endless debt that enslaves future generations of American taxpayers. Take back the Federal Reserve from the globalists and end its 103-year reign of financial terror and confiscatory monetary debasement that keeps Americans trapped in a cycle of poverty.

#2) Decriminalize natural medicine and end the FDA-Pharma monopoly over health care treatments

It’s time to nullify the FDA’s monopoly power over natural medicine and legalize healing across America.

End the censorship of truthful health claims on nutritional supplements. Shatter the FDA’s absurd, baseless position that “there is no such thing as a nutrient that can prevent, cure or treat disease.” Arrest the criminals at the CDC who are pushing toxic vaccines laced with mercury, a brain-damaging chemical.

Legalize healing in America. See more of my suggestions for saving hundreds of billions of dollars on health care costs in this video:

#3) Initiate anti-trust action against Google, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter for their anti-American censorship and monopolistic practices that stifle pro-America free speech

Investigate, prosecute and break apart the info-monopolies of Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, all of which are engaged in incessant, targeted censorship of the voices of liberty.

To make America free again, we must shatter the vicious monopolies of the internet’s globalist gatekeepers. We must, in essence, make the internet great again by encouraging competition and innovation. This can only be done when the dangerous monopolists like Google are prosecuted for their illegal monopolies and abuse of power.

#4) Arrest the mayors of Sanctuary Cities who refuse to recognize immigration law

One of the most important law enforcement actions President Trump can take is to order the arrest and prosecution of Sanctuary City mayors who willfully violate U.S. immigration law.

It is time to end the lawlessness of the insane left and finally enforce our national borders. While we welcome immigration, it must be legal immigration. Those who openly violate U.S. immigration law must be held accountable for their actions.

#5) Declare George Soros a funding source for international terrorism and issue a warrant for his arrest
George Soros is an international terrorism money man who funds a long list of radical left-wing media slander websites and terrorism front groups in America.

Soros belongs on the Interpol list of international fugitives wanted for serious crimes, and we can only hope that President Trump will finally name Soros a “wanted criminal” and seek his prosecution.

#6) Reactivate the House Un-American Activities Committee and start arresting seditious traitors in the left-wing media who actively conspired to undermine America

CNN is a dangerous, traitorous, anti-American cabal of communists and subversives. As suggested by radio host Michael Savage, it is now time for the Trump administration to activate the House Un-American Activities Committee and initiate investigations into the poisonous, traitorous left-wing media outlets that actively sought to overthrow America and turn it into a communist stronghold run by left-wing totalitarians.

We must defend America against threats, both foreign and domestic. CNN is a domestic threat to America, and it is run by globalists pushing “fake news” disinformation and social engineering propaganda with the intended purpose of destroying liberty, destroying the Constitution, destroying America’s culture and destroying the Trump administration. I’ve labeled CNN a purveyor of “journo-terrorism” and a genuine threat to America.

While we support free speech and the First Amendment, those media outlets that are actively and maliciously working to undermine the nation must be investigated, prosecuted and stopped.

#7) Initiate criminal investigations into the CDC and its criminal collusion with the vaccine industry to poison America’s children with brain-damaging mercury

The CDC is a criminal organization run by anti-science industry hacks who have, for decades, conspired to conceal the dangers of vaccines from the American public. Their “war on children” has damaged countless innocent children with permanent neurological damage, including autism and other side effects of vaccine damage.

The CDC’s reign of medical terror must be brought to an end. Genuine science must win the day, and fraudulent “pharma science” must be exposed as the fraud it has become.

#8) Initiate anti-trust investigations into Monsanto and its persecution of farmers, scientists and journalists who question its dangerous monopolies over food, seeds and agrichemicals

Alongside the CDC, Monsanto also needs to be investigated for its role in the persecution of farmers, scientists and journalists who attempt to warn the public about the dangers of GMOs and glyphosate.
Monsanto, widely known as the “most evil corporation in the world,” profits from poisoning America, cost-shifting trillions of dollars in future health care expenditures to the federal government. Steeped in a culture of criminality, conspiracy and malicious character assassination, Monsanto exists as a scourge on America’s landscape and needs to be excised from this nation like a cancer tumor.

#9) De-fund NPR and PBS; stop using taxpayer money to fund hate-filled left-wing propaganda

Let us hope that President Trump will take every step necessary to completely de-fund NPR and PBS, both bastions of mentally ill left-wing “fake news” and mindless propaganda. It is completely insane that taxpayer are funding this radical left-wing propaganda that parades around as “news.”

While we’re at it, lets also slash the funding of the EPA, FDA, CDC, USDA and DEA, all of which have become nothing more than corporate shills and pushers of quack science and tyranny over the People.

#10) Pardon the Oregon ranchers and journalists like Pete Santilli who were unjustifiably imprisoned by the Obama regime colluding with Harry Reid and the corrupt BLM

In his last few days in office, Obama handed out pardons to a long list of felons, traitors and criminals. Yet innocent journalists like Pete Santilli still sit in prison thanks to the collusion of Harry Reid and the Bureau of Land Management.

We ask President Trump to pardon the Oregon ranchers who were wrongfully convicted for merely starting common brush fires on their own land. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” said Trump today at his inauguration. We ask President Trump to remember Pete Santilli and the other Oregon ranchers. Don’t just set them free; also investigate Harry Reid and the BLM criminals who colluded to wrongfully imprison these ranchers in the first place!

'Rewilding' Movement Aims to Restore Land to the Way It Was 11,000 Years Ago

This is actually the BIG project for all humanity that as we enter our true futures, that we all will be engaged in setting up and seeing through.  The challenge though is to establish secure Refugio on continental lands.

Evgery island represnts a rat removal project before you try anything.  Most certainly introduction of the passenger pigeon needs rat protection.

So it will not be quick but it will be ineviotable as we master the necessary husbandry.  The wild is always in need of husbandry to avoid excessive dead zones.  Think blow downs to see things halted for decades.

'Rewilding' Movement Aims to Restore Land to the Way It Was 11,000 Years Ago 

Jan 20, 2017 12:52 PM ET


What was Earth like before humans dominated the planet? Ecologists are creating pristine spaces to find out. 

Rob Brewster has worked in environmental management for nearly two decades. Over the years, on Friday evenings, he would sit with colleagues and assess the week's work. Brewster said he repeatedly heard stories about "apathetic public servants" and other people who felt, "too small to make a change, so I'm just going to enjoy my time on the planet and not care anymore." 

Frustrated by this grim view for the future, Brewster decided to shake things up in his homeland of Australia. "It just became obvious that we have to change the message and say, 'No! I don't accept a worse environment,'" he said. "I'll only accept a healthier more biodiverse Australia, and I'm going to tell everyone about this better, more exciting future, and breed enthusiasm for creating a rich, more interesting environment that we inevitably share with our wildlife. That led us to create Rewilding Australia."

The organization is one of several efforts across the globe to restore areas of land to an uncultivated state. The process sometimes involves the reintroduction of species that have seen steep population declines, or been driven out or completely exterminated.

In Australia, there have been notable successes with two meat-loving marsupials, the Tasmanian devil and the quoll. Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease has devastated wild populations of these animals over the past 20 years. Captive breeding, island introductions and population augmentation programs that return healthy devils to the wild "mean that the future is looking brighter for the species," Brewster said.
Quoll. Credit: Wikimedia CommonsThe flagship project of Rewilding Australia is the reintroduction of eastern quolls to the mainland, and it's gaining pace. Feral cats and foxes have contributed to the decline of this and other smaller animals across Australia in recent years. But with the assistance of the local government, funding partners and more, Brewster said, the species has been successfully reintroduced.

Work to strengthen populations of existing endangered animals is something that few environmentalists would question. After all, as Phil Seddon, a professor of zoology at the University of Otago, told Seeker, reintroductions "have taken place for decades, conservation introductions are growing in number, and the idea of rewilding has already taken hold in Europe."

"De-ex," Seddon said, "is the new frontier." 

Giant Cattle, Woolly Mammoths

A de-extinction project is currently underway in Europe to bring back giant wild cattle, known as aurochs, which died out in 1627. Standing up to 6 feet tall and weighing 1,500–3,000 pounds, aurochs were the ancestors of today's domestic cattle.

Aurochs depicted in a cave painting at Lascaux, France. Credit: Wikimedia CommonsRewilding 

Europe and the Taurus Foundation have established five breeding sites for the Tauros program, which is primarily crossbreeding Iberian and Podolian breeds of cattle in order to achieve mammals with auroch-like properties. The resulting cattle, called Tauros, are now located in Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Romania and the Netherlands.

"In the near and more distant future, herds of Tauros will live as wild cattle and will contribute to the sustainable conservation of Europe's open landscapes and biodiversity," Ronald Goderie of the foundation and his colleagues wrote in a recent report. 

Progress is also being made to bring back the woolly mammoth, which disappeared from its primary range around 10,000 years ago (with isolated populations surviving on two islands until 5,600–4,000 years ago), and the passenger pigeon, which died out around 1900. 

The Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival team, led by George Church, is currently using genetic engineering to copy and paste DNA from the mammoth genome into living elephant cell cultures. Mutations for mammoth blood, fat and hair development have already been engineered into the elephant cell lines utilizing the genetic editing technology known as CRISPR. 

Much work remains, but "the ultimate goal of woolly mammoth revival is to produce new mammoths that are capable of repopulating the vast tracts of tundra and boreal forest in Eurasia and North America," according to the project. "The goal is not to make perfect copies of extinct woolly mammoths, but to focus on the mammoth adaptations needed for Asian elephants to live in the cold climate of the tundra."

Church and his team explain that there are three primary reasons for bringing back the woolly mammoth: The work offers clues to large mammal conservation; ancient DNA holds secrets that affect modern biology and medicine; and mammoths are thought to have maintained grasslands, which could insulate permafrost and sequester climate change-associated atmospheric carbon.

Debate Over Conservation Benchmarks

The Harvard project and others have looked to the pre-Pleistocene era, more than 11,700 years ago, for inspiration. At that time, mammoths existed in habitats with abundant herds of antelope, deer, cattle, horses and other animals before climate change, human impacts or some combination of the two led to the herds vanishing.

Dutch forest ecologist Frans Vera, however, has indicated that the pre-Neolithic period (around 8,000 to 5000 years ago) could serve as a benchmark for current conservation, given that parts of Europe were likely in a relatively pristine or natural state then. 

Kathy Hodder of Bournemouth University led an exploration of Vera's proposal, attempting to determine if the pre-Neolithic period could serve as a template for modern nature conservation. Hodder and her team wrote: "It would seem reasonable to assume that no one really believes that past landscapes can be restored exactly, but that invaluable lessons may be learned by looking back, and that we can strive towards, but never reach, a future natural state.The outcomes of such efforts are by definition uncertain and unpredictable, and none of us will live long enough to see the outcome of these attempts."

Benefits Could Exceed Risks, So Long as There's an Easy Out

Seddon warned that there are risks in moving plants and animals around.

"A reintroduction involves putting organisms back where they used to be, so in some ways is the most conservative and least risky type of conservation translocation," he said. "However, when we start moving species outside their indigenous range, to protect them from threats or to perform certain ecological functions, then there is a much higher level of uncertainty — uncertainty over whether it will work, or whether there might be unforeseen consequences.

"The potential for 'even worse problems' is certainly there and that is why no translocation should be undertaken lightly and importantly there should be an 'exit strategy' — can you reverse it by taking the released plants or animals back out of the release site if there are problems?"

Brewster admitted that, with the human population at over 7 billion and rising, defining nature is now is complicated, given that our species has influenced virtually every ecosystem on the planet. Australian biologist Tim Low even coined the term "new nature," to describe today's environment.

Brewster remains undaunted by the challenges. He he still derives joy and wonderment from "seeing a Tasmanian devil slowly moving through a forest, or looking under a rock ledge to see a quoll looking back at you.

"While rewilding looks back in time to learn about those lost ecosystem connections we can restore, we have to work with the environmental constraints we now have in our environment — invasive species, people seeking resources, farms, cities, roads and a warming climate — and we need to help to manage ecosystems to maintain ecosystem function and connections that are so important for biodiversity to flourish."

Photo: Tasmanian devil. Credit Thinkstock