Saturday, April 30, 2022

Giant Marine Reptiles At 2,800 Meters Above Sea Level

Just why do we find fossilized skeletons on the ocean bottom?  where is the evidence of it also happening today?  what we do have makes it rare.

At the same time we age rocks by the apparent fossils and fossils by the rock suite.  It is terribly circular and has been questioned.

what I am saying is that we have a string of assumptions dating back a century that has been used for dating all this.  I am unsure if the ichysaurus is alive and well today in vthe deep.  We have had sniffs..

Giant Marine Reptiles At 2,800 Meters Above Sea Level

More than 30 years ago, researchers from the University of Zurich discovered vertebrae, ribs and a tooth in the High Alps of eastern Switzerland. The typical shape indicated that they had to originate from large marine reptiles known as ichthyosaurs, but there was a lack of corresponding comparative material. A new study led by the University of Bonn now allowed a more precise classification. According to the findings, they belong to three different ichthyosaurs of around 15 to around 20 meters in length. The tooth is particularly unusual: With a root diameter of six centimeters, it is twice as large as the largest aquatic dinosaur tooth found to date. The results have now been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The habitat and animals that were found together with the giant ichthyosaurs
[Credit: Heinz Furrer/University of Bonn]

The first ichthyosaurs swam through the primordial oceans in the early Triassic period about 250 million years ago. They had an elongated body and a relatively small head. But shortly before most of them became extinct some 200 million years ago (only the familiar dolphin-like species survived until 90 million years ago), they evolved into gigantic forms.

With an estimated weight of 80 tons and a length of more than 20 meters, these prehistoric giants would have rivaled a sperm whale. However, they left scarcely any fossil remains -- "why that is remains a great mystery to this day," stresses Prof. Dr. Martin Sander from the Section Paleontology at the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Bonn.

Heinz Furrer with the largest ichthyosaur vertebra
[Credit: Heinz Furrer/University of Bonn]

The finds now examined come from the Grisons (canton of Graubünden). Sander's colleague Dr. Heinz Furrer of the University of Zurich had recovered them together with students between 1976 and 1990 during geological mapping in the Kössen Formation. More than 200 million years before, the rock layers with the fossils still covered the seafloor. With the folding of the Alps, however, they had ended up at an altitude of 2,800 meters. "Maybe there are more rests of the giant sea creatures hidden beneath the glaciers," Sander hopes.

The paleontologist first held the fossilized bones in his hands three decades ago. At that time, he was still a doctoral student at the University of Zurich. In the meantime, the material had been somewhat forgotten. "Recently, though, more remains of giant ichthyosaurs have appeared," the researcher explains. "So it seemed worthwhile to us to analyze the Swiss finds again in more detail as well."

Martin Sander with a rib of the larger skeleton. The estimated length of the
animal is 20 meters [Credit: © Laurent Garbay/University of Bonn]

According to the study, the fossils come from three different animals that lived about 205 million years ago. From one of the ichthyosaurs, a vertebra is preserved together with ten rib fragments. Their sizes suggest that the reptile was probably 20 meters in length. In contrast, only a series of vertebrae were excavated from a second ichthyosaur. Comparison with better preserved skeletal finds suggests a length of about 15 meters.

"From our point of view, however, the tooth is particularly exciting," explains Sander. "Because this is huge by ichthyosaur standards: Its root was 60 millimeters in diameter -- the largest specimen still in a complete skull to date was 20 millimeters and came from an ichthyosaur that was nearly 18 meters long." His colleague Heinz Furrer is delighted with the belated appreciation of the spectacular remains from the Swiss Alps: "The publication has confirmed that our finds at the time belonged to the world's longest ichthyosaur; with the thickest tooth found to date and the largest trunk vertebra in Europe!"

The root of the tooth found has a diameter of 60 Millimeters. This
makes it the thickest ichthyosaur tooth found so far
[Credit: © Rosi Roth/University of Zurich]

However, it is unlikely that the animals that populated the primordial oceans 205 million years ago were much longer than previously thought. "The tooth diameter cannot be used to directly infer the length of its owner," emphasizes paleontologist Martin Sander from Bonn. "Still, the find naturally raises questions."

This is because research assumes that extreme gigantism and a predatory lifestyle (which requires teeth) are incompatible. There is a reason why the largest animal of our time is toothless: the blue whale, which can be up to 30 meters long and weighs 150 tons. Next to it, the teeth-bearing sperm whale (20 meters and 50 tons) looks like an adolescent.

Martin Sander and Michael Hautmann look over the discovery layers on the southern
slope of Schesaplana, on the Graubünden/Vorarlberg border
[Credit: © Jelle Heijne/University of Bonn]

While the blue whale filters tiny creatures from the water, the sperm whale is a perfect hunter. This means it requires a larger portion of the calories it consumes to fuel its muscles. "Marine predators therefore probably can't get much bigger than a sperm whale," Sander says.

It is thus possible that the tooth did not come from a particularly gigantic ichthyosaur -- but from an ichthyosaur with particularly gigantic teeth.

Religion gives life meaning. Can anything else take its place?

All forms of spiritual practise and religion serve exactly one goal or purpose.  They all remind us that we are a central spirit body that cannot actually die without intervention and then it is simply dissapation.  You still exist back in TIME.

Otherwise our life meaning is to advance our habitat into the future by creating it all.

You do have eternity to get this done.

Religion gives life meaning. Can anything else take its place?

Praying at dawn near Our Lady of the Rock, a church in the Mojave Desert, California. Photo by Zackary Canepari/Panos

Michael M Prinzingis a philosopher and scientist who studies human flourishing. His writing features in Greater Good magazine, and on his blog, The Practical Philosopher.

Edited by Matt Huston

Theologians sometimes argue that, without the existence of God, life would be meaningless. Some secular people agree. For instance, in his book An Atheist’s Guide to Reality (2011), the philosopher Alex Rosenberg claims that, because the observable physical universe is all that exists, human life is meaningless. Whether you accept this philosophical claim or not, the fact that many people seem to believe that God or other supernatural entities are necessary for life to be meaningful suggests that, psychologically, there is some important connection between religious faith and the sense of meaning in life.

Although psychologists are divided on exactly how to define perceived meaning in life – some suggest it is about making sense of one’s life, others that it’s about seeing value and significance in it – they often assess meaning in life simply by asking how strongly people agree with statements such as: ‘At present, I find my life very meaningful.’ And research has consistently supported the idea that perceived meaning in life is tightly linked with religion. One study from the 1970s found that nuns scored higher on such measures than lay people. More recently, a study published in 2021 found that theists report experiencing more meaning in life than atheists. Numerous other studies have found that religiousness is positively correlated with perceived meaning in life. There is also some experimental evidence that, when presented with a threat to their sense of meaning, people show increased belief in miraculous events – suggesting that they are turning to religion to bolster their perceptions of meaning in life.

Of course, the observation that religion can be a source of existential comfort is not new. Since the 19th century, philosophers (eg, Friedrich Nietzsche), novelists (eg, Fyodor Dostoyevsky) and sociologists (eg, Émile Durkheim) have speculated that societal trends away from religion would lead to a crisis of meaning. Since recent data indicate that people around the world are becoming less religious, it is natural to wonder whether secular society can duplicate the existential benefits of religion. In order to do so, we would need to understand how it is, exactly, that religious faith makes life feel meaningful.

Religious faith helps people to feel that they matter not just to others, but in the grand scheme of things

One possible explanation has to do with the way religion tends to act like social glue, drawing the faithful into likeminded communities. People often find social support and a sense of belonging within such communities, which can be a powerful source of perceived meaning in life. Imagine, for instance, the close personal relationships that someone might find in a Bible study group. Hence, one route from religion to the feeling that life is meaningful could be through this sense that one matters to others. We can call this explanation the ‘social mattering hypothesis’.

Another possibility is that religious faith helps people to feel that they matter not just to others, but in the grand scheme of things. The observable universe is inconceivably vast and ancient: it is approximately 93 billion light-years in diameter and c14 billion years old. Against that backdrop, it’s easy to see why some regard humanity as utterly insignificant. As Stephen Hawking once put it, science tells us that humanity ‘is just a chemical scum on a moderate-size planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies’. That’s not a particularly uplifting thought. In fact, in the experiment mentioned above, the ‘threat’ used to reduce participants’ sense of meaning was an essay about the smallness of human life in the vast expanse of time and space.

This is where religion comes in. Ernest Becker, a cultural anthropologist, argued in The Denial of Death (1973) that religious faith buffers people from the conclusion that humanity is cosmically insignificant by connecting us with an infinite being. Many religious traditions come with stories about the origins and purpose of the Universe. Many claim that humanity has some kind of important relationship with a higher power, that our lives are part of a grand plan, or even that the Universe was ‘designed with you in mind’. We find this idea in the Bible:
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have … crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.

The author of this psalm seems to suggest that, despite our small size, human beings have special importance because of God’s love for us. It’s easy to see why someone who believed this would perceive their life to have cosmic significance and hence a great deal of meaning. We can call this explanation – the idea that religious faith supports perceived meaning in life by fostering a sense of cosmic significance – the ‘cosmic mattering hypothesis’.

These two candidate explanations were well summarised by Rabbi Harold Kushner. Defending the importance of religion, he wrote:
Religion offers us a cure for the plague of loneliness by bringing us into a community of people with whom we share what is most vital in our lives … [R]eligious faith also satisfies another, even deeper human need – perhaps the most fundamental human need of all. That is the need to know that somehow we matter, that our lives mean something, count as something more than just a momentary blip in the Universe.

The primary reason why religiousness is associated with perceived meaning in life is because it is also associated with perceptions of cosmic significance

To test these hypotheses, I and the psychologists Patty Van Cappellen and Barbara L Fredrickson recently conducted four studies that included more than 3,000 participants from across the United States. We used surveys to assess various aspects of religiousness, including attendance of religious services, private practices (such as prayer), and the self-rated importance of religion in one’s life. We assessed perceived meaning in life using questionnaires that ask how strongly study participants agree or disagree with statements such as ‘My life as a whole has meaning’ and ‘I am able to spend most of my time in meaningful activities and pursuits.’ We also assessed perceptions of social and cosmic mattering using questionnaires that asked participants how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements such as ‘My life matters to other people’ (social mattering) or ‘My life matters in the grand scheme of the Universe’ (cosmic mattering).

Across these four studies, the results consistently supported both the social mattering and cosmic mattering hypotheses, but also suggested that the cosmic mattering hypothesis was by far the stronger of the two explanations. In other words, the correlation between religiousness and perceived meaning in life was statistically accounted for by both forms of perceived mattering – but perceived cosmic mattering accounted for a much larger proportion of that association. This suggests that the primary reason why religiousness is associated with perceived meaning in life is because it is also associated with perceptions of cosmic significance.

It’s worth reiterating that these studies were conducted in the US, where most religious people are adherents of Abrahamic monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Things might look very different in other cultures. But, if these findings are correct – at least in this Western context, where being religious typically means believing in a creator God – they raise the question of whether secular Western society is in a position to reproduce the existential benefits of religion.

Unfortunately, the data suggest a pessimistic answer. If religiousness were associated with perceived meaning in life primarily because of the social resources that come from religion, then new forms of social organisation could be developed to step in for religious ones. In fact, a number of ‘atheist churches’ have already been established with this goal in mind. Such communities are likely to be very beneficial for their members. Yet our research suggests that these secular substitutes will be less powerful sources of perceived meaning than religious faith because they are unlikely to support perceptions of cosmic significance.

Is it possible to cultivate a sense of cosmic significance without adopting religious beliefs? One might contribute to science (ie, attempt to comprehend the Universe), or work to protect Earth from the climate crisis or other global threats. These are enormously important and good things to do with one’s life. Yet the impacts of such endeavours are confined to the comparatively humble scale of our planet – which, again, is a very small part of the cosmos overall. Moreover, even if one’s efforts were successful, these secular sources of significance are likely to require an enormous amount of hard work, dedication and opportunities that are not available to everyone. Hence, religion might be a unique source of perceived meaning in life.

If you’re not religious, you might side with Karl Marx, who wrote that ‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.’ That is, you might think that religion makes life feel meaningful by fostering positive illusions – ie, it’s consoling, but nothing more than a fantasy. On the other hand, if you are religious, you might take this research to demonstrate the importance of faith, the distinctive and perhaps irreplaceable role that it plays in making life worth living.

In any case, one clear implication of this research is that a person’s sense that their life is meaningful depends on their perceptions of their own significance. But a person can be significant in various ways. Hence, those seeking to lead more meaningful lives would do well to seek out ways in which they can matter – whether that means mattering to other individuals, to their communities, or perhaps even in the grand scheme of the Universe.

Discovery Sheds Light On Why The Pacific Islands Were Colonized

This work paces the cultural movement to around 1000 BC.  This may also have been just after the fall of atlantean society giving a power vacuum.

whatever took place it is also important that a colonizing tool kit existed.  Without that such an expansion would have been still born.  We see a comparable in Europe about 4000 BC driven by a toolkit.

All those islands provided land and security to any band of seafarers.

Discovery Sheds Light On Why The Pacific Islands Were Colonized

 4/22/2022 06:00:00 PM

 The discovery of pottery from the ancient Lapita culture by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) has shed new light on how Papua New Guinea served as a launching pad for the colonisation of the Pacific -- one of the greatest migrations in human history.

Discovery sheds light on why the Pacific islands were colonized

A pottery sherd from Brooker Island, east of PNG [Credit: Tracey Nearmy/ANU]

The new study makes clear the initial expansion of the Lapita people throughout Papua New Guinea was far greater than previously thought. The study, published in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal, is based on the discovery of a distinctive Lapita pottery sherd, a broken piece of pottery with sharp edges, on Brooker Island in 2017 that lead researcher Dr Ben Shaw said was "like finding a needle in a haystack."

"Lapita cultural groups were the first people to reach the remote Pacific islands such as Vanuatu around 3,000 years ago. But in Papua New Guinea where people have lived for at least 50,000 years, the timing and extent of Lapita dispersals are poorly understood," Dr Shaw said. "For a long time, it was thought Lapita groups avoided most of Papua New Guinea because people were already living there."

The study shows Lapita people introduced pottery to Papua New Guinea that had distinct markings, as well as new tool technologies and animals such as pigs. "We found lots of Lapita pottery, a range of stone tools and evidence for shaping of obsidian [volcanic glass] into sharp blades," Dr Shaw said. "As we dug deeper, we reached an even earlier cultural layer before the introduction of pottery. What amazed us was the amount of mammal bone we recovered, some of which could be positively identified as pig and dog. These animals were introduced to New Guinea by Lapita and were associated with the use of turtle shell to make tools."

Dr Shaw said the new discovery explains why the Lapita people colonised the Pacific islands 3,000 years ago and the role that Indigenous populations in New Guinea had in Lapita decisions to look for new islands to live on.

According to Dr Shaw, later Lapita dispersals through PNG and interaction with Indigenous populations profoundly influenced the region as a global centre of cultural and linguistic diversity.

"It is one of the greatest migrations in human history and finally we have evidence to help explain why the migration might have occurred and why it took place when it did," he said. "We had no indication this would be a site of significance, and a lot of the time we were flying blind with the areas we surveyed and when looking for archaeological sites, so it is very much like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack."

The research involved many ANU researchers and international collaborators who showed how migration pathways and island-hopping strategies culminated in rapid and purposeful Pacific-wide settlement.

"A lot of our good fortune was because of the cultural knowledge, and we built a strong relationship with the locals based on honesty and transparency about our research on their traditional lands. Without their express permission, this kind of work would simply not be possible. The Brooker community is listed as the senior author on the paper to acknowledge their fundamental role in this research," Dr Shaw said.

Source: Australian National University [April 22, 2022]

Friday, April 29, 2022

FF-2B Plasma Purity Sets New Record

This is important and we are getting there and getting real as well.  Our objective is a steady production that induces usable electrical current.  The impurity problem frustrated advances on other aspects. this is now ending.

so yes, this is good news.

The switches are almost ready and we may soon see production records fall.  This will be direct powerr production without shoving any thing through a heat engine.  .

FF-2B Plasma Purity Sets New Record  (Focus Fusion)

New measurements by the LPPFusion research team have confirmed that the FF-2B device has achieved a new world record for the purity of a fusion-producing plasma. The impurity levels in the plasma have decreased three-fold from that achieved in the previous 2019 experiments with beryllium electrodes and are at least ten times less than those reported for any other fusion device. In the new results, we have confirmed that less than 0.2% of the ions entering the pinch region where fusion is produced are impurities, and all of them are from light elements - just beryllium and oxygen - that affect the plasma the least.

Figure 1. The new spectra (blue lines) from April 6 show the more than 3-fold decrease in the already small beryllium peaks (labeled Be) from our 2019 experiments (red line), as measured relative to the big deuterium peaks (labeled D). Combined with measurements of deposition on vacuum chamber windows, these spectra demonstrate the achievement of record low impurity levels for fusion plasma.

Reducing impurity levels has long been extremely important in fusion research. First of all, impurity elements can greatly increase radiation that cools the plasma, preventing the achievement of the high temperatures needed for fusion. The impact on the plasma increases as the square of the atomic charge (z), so heavy (high-z) ions like copper, iron, nickel and tungsten are especially damaging.

Second, the erosion processes that produce the impurities by vaporizing device components reduce their lifetime. Finally, the same erosion processes, if fast enough, can cause experimental results to deteriorate even in the course of a few months of experiments. LPPFusion’s reduction of impurity levels below any achieved elsewhere is thus a major step forward for fusion research.

LPPFusion’s new world record joins two other records we have earlier achieved. In 2016 we achieved, and published, the world record for confined ion energy of over 200 keV (the equivalent of more than 2 billion degrees, 200 times hotter than the center of the sun). That same year our FF-1 device achieved the highest ratio of fusion energy output to device energy input of any private fusion research effort. With only $9 million spent so far on our project, LPPFusion’s three records make us a world leader in the development of fusion energy.

The new advance in impurity levels was measured by two independent methods, both relying on our optical spectrometer. A spectrometer measures the distribution of light over a band of wavelengths or colors. Our instrument covers the whole optical range and a bit into the infrared and UV bands.

In the first method, we used the spectrometer to measure the thickness of material deposited on our quartz viewing windows. A layer of material that is thin enough to allow light through, absorbs short wavelength light (such as blue light) more than long wavelength light (such as red light), introducing a slope in the whole spectrum. The bigger the slope, the thicker the layer of material. By comparing the slopes with a clean window and after dozens of shots, the total rate of deposition can be measured and thus the total amount of impurities from solid material determined.

Our new FF-2B measurements, taken140 shots after our new anode was installed in 2021, show a decrease in total deposition by a factor of 2.5 compared with our results in 2019. A layer only 0.15 nm thick of material is being deposited per shot, which works out to a total impurity contribution of only 10 micrograms per shot. We know the amount of gas in the current sheath is 3.3 mg, so the Be impurity level is now no more than 0.3% by mass or 0.08% by number of ions.

A second method confirmed the reduction in impurity. We took spectra of the plasma near the top of the anode, where the current discharge begins. The spectra show “lines” or peaks of intensity at certain wavelengths that are characteristic of each element. The relative intensities of these lines allow us to compare the relative abundances of the elements. In Figure 1., we have plotted a portion of a typical spectrum from 2019 (red line, from Shot 8, June 21, 2019) with a new spectrum (blue line, from shot 1, April 6, 2022). The big peaks, labeled D, come from the deuterium fuel gas, while the small peaks, labeled Be come from beryllium vaporized into the plasma. The lines are broadened into peaks because of the relatively high pressure of the fill gas (deuterium).

The spectra are scaled in this figure so that the intensities of the deuterium peaks at 436 nm are the same. As is clear, measurement of the areas of the small beryllium peaks show that they are nearly 4 times smaller in the new spectra as in the old ones, confirming the decrease in impurities in the plasma that is compressed into the pinch (plasmoid region).

We are certain that the main source of this reduction in erosion of the beryllium prior to the pinch comes from the careful removal of the oxide layer we performed by hand-polishing before the new anode was installed in June 2021. In the previous installation in 2019, the beryllium anode had not been polished and the thin layer of oxides present on the anode was explosively ripped off by the current of the first shot. Beryllium oxide does not conduct electricity, so the current has to burst through it to get to the conducting beryllium metal underneath. This left a roughened surface that eroded faster than the smooth oxide-free surface left by the polishing. See Fig.2, republished from our October 15, 2021 report.

Figure 2. Our 2021 polished anode (left) still shined mirror-bright after three shots in August, 2021. It is viewed through a window on our vacuum chamber. The anode is a bit more than two inches in diameter. The colors on the anode seen here are the result of lighting and camera response. The true color of the anode is still silver. In contrast, our first beryllium anode after one shot in 2019 (right) was covered with a dark ”snow” of beryllium oxide dust, which was vaporized and redeposited by FF-2B’s powerful electric currents. This is what we avoided by our new polishing procedure.

Equally important, the entire spectrum from 300 nm to 800 nm shows only the lines of deuterium, beryllium, oxygen and nitrogen - no heavier elements are present at all. The nitrogen is not an impurity but is deliberately introduced as a mixing gas for experimental purposes.

The oxygen, we are sure, does not come from an external leak. The measured leak amounts to only 1/10,000th of a percent of the deuterium fill pressure. So, it must come from remaining beryllium oxide. This reservoir of oxide is present on the cathode, which was not polished in this assembly. Safety concerns about possible exposure to beryllium dust in the chamber led us to remove the old anode and insert the new one from above, without disassembling the chamber and giving us access to the cathode.

Since in beryllium oxide the oxygen has twice the mass of the beryllium, we calculate that at most 20 micrograms of oxygen are released in each shot. This is consistent with the rough indications from the relative strength of the spectral lines. Such a thin, almost monomolecular layer of oxygen will be only temporarily removed in each shot, since the oxygen will swiftly recombine chemically with the hot metallic beryllium on the surface of the electrodes. This is unlike the beryllium, which will re-deposit equally on all surfaces in the chamber, including the much colder vacuum chamber walls and windows, gradually eroding from the electrodes.

With beryllium and oxygen together, all impurities in the plasma entering the pinch region at the end of the anode (where the fusion occurs) can amount to no more than 0.16% of the ions by number and 0.5% by mass. A better measure of the impact on the plasma of these impurities is the effective atomic charge, zeff, which is only 1.03. This is a record low value for any fusion-producing plasma. The lowest zeff claimed in published papers, by the new W-7X stellarator device, is 1.3, a factor of ten higher (since impurities are measured as the difference between zeff and the 1.0 contributed by the deuterium.)

The achievement of a record plasma purity has important significance for the fusion energy research effort in three major ways. First, since the very start of the fusion energy effort, impurities have increased radiation and thus cooled plasmas. Some of the first fusion experiments ever performed were spoiled by the presence of oxygen from water vapor stuck to metal surfaces of the device. Efforts to reduce impurities, especially those caused by ubiquitous oxides, have been a main feature of just about every fusion research effort. Many other researchers using the dense plasma focus (DPF) devices, like our FF-1 and FF-2B, have been repeatedly set back by impurities caused by rapid erosion of electrodes by the concentrated currents in the DPF. Our recent advance completely eliminates impurities as a significant source of electromagnetic radiation from the plasma.

Second, in DPF devices, the concentration of dense impurities coming off the electrodes, which are millions of times denser than the surrounding plasma, caused asymmetries in the plasma sheath and disruption in the current filaments, preventing high-density plasmoids from forming. The new reduction in impurities has eliminated this headache as well (although we know that there are other factors that still disrupt the filaments.)

Finally, the same process that causes impurities in the plasma - vaporization of the electrodes - also erodes the electrodes, gradually changing their shape and causing deterioration of the fusion yield results. The new measurements show that, for experimental purposes, this process has now been eliminated as a concern. If the erosion is occurring entirely in the 1-cm band near the ceramic insulator, the erosion rate would take 180,000 shots to erode even 1 mm, so will not make any difference in the thousand shots or so we are likely to take with this anode.

In fact, there is good reason to believe that most of the beryllium we observed deposited on the windows is eroded after the pinch, from the radiation and blast wave coming from the pinch region and does not even enter into the pinch or affect the fusion process. For one thing, the beryllium lines in the spectra taken from the pinch area are 5 times as strong as those taken near the top of the anode, indicating that perhaps as much as 80% of the deposits we measure come from after the pinch. In addition, the pattern of deposits on the window is much more consistent with the material originating near the pinch region then from the anode generally. If this is the case, the impurity of the plasma entering the pinch is even lower than that we report here.

But even if the worst erosion is happening in the roughly 2 cm of the anode hole nearest to the pinch, the erosion rate would still give 250,000 shots before a mm is eroded off the anode’s tip.

There are two caveats to these good results on erosion. First, erosion is not the only threat to the lifetime of the anode. Mechanical vibrations caused by the shock of the pinch could also lead to cracking and mechanical failures. We’ll be measuring this vibration in experiments later this year. Second, while a lifetime of hundreds of thousands of shots is fine for an experimental device, in an actual fusion generator a lifetime a thousand times longer will be needed to allow monthly maintenance. We have ideas on how this further reduction can be achieved, but most of that work will have to wait until the engineering stage of development.

LPPFusion’s new advance caps years of our own work in reducing impurities. We worked to vastly reduce impurities in 2015-2016, by lengthening the chamber, (to reduce splash-back of impurities); coating the vacuum chamber with titanium oxide (much tougher to remove than stainless steel); switching from multi-part copper electrodes to monolithic tungsten electrodes (thus eliminating severe arcing between parts); baking out the chamber to remove water vapor; and again in 2019 switching in to beryllium and finally, in 2021, eliminating the initial oxygen layer on the anode. The deployment of preionization in 2015 to minimize high-energy runaway electrons near the start of the pulse was also critical in this reduction.

The transition from copper to monolithic tungsten decreased impurity by mass 3-fold, but due to tungsten’s higher z, zeff only dropped from 4 to 3. This was, however, enough to allow the achievement of our two records for fusion yield and confined ion energy in 2016. The big drop, by a factor of 30 in impurity mass and zeff, came with the switch to the far lower-z beryllium electrodes. Overall, including our recent factor-of-3 improvement, the decade-long effort reduced impurities by over 100-fold.

The LPPFusion team will be submitting the evidence for this new purity record for fusion-producing plasma to a prominent peer-reviewed journal. We’re confident our peers will recognize this latest record achieved with our FF-2B device. We are also confident it won’t be the last record we achieve.

To publicize this new major advance, we need help with the PR outreach as the news media is not adequately covering less-funded companies like LPPFusion. If you have contacts who can put this news into the mass media, or on widely-followed YouTube channels or podcasts, please reach out to them. A press release on this advance will be sent out shortly. We also appreciate your recommending us as guests to shows, for presentations or for interviews.

In the meantime, our fusion fans and supporters are no doubt wondering how we are doing with the switches. We just finished replacing all the ceramic parts with Teflon ones and will have a full update on our progress in the next LPPFusion Report. Stay tuned.

Cryptid Phenom

 Cryptid Phenom

I have been reading eyewitness reports, initially focused on the Bigfoot for 25 years now.  That has been at least one a day and a better estimate may well be plausibly two.  The big take home is that is 25 X 360 or over nine thousand reports.  I have personally read or listened to over 10,000 separate eye witness reports on cryptids.

I knew a long time ago we had more than 10,000 reports on the Bigfoot and today we can likely inventory over 20,000 for this creature.

within that body of reports, i early identified a subset of reports which has since blossomed into a large body of its own under dogman, but is the so called extinct Giant Sloth.

Understand that any eyewitness struggled with reporting what he saw, simply because there were few places to do so.  That has steadily improved and wonderfully so with Bigfoot.  That has made other reports finally show up on the radar in numbers to be taken seriously.

We now have a body of sightings that include the following:

Bigfoot cum sasquatch and various types in Eurasia and australia and Africa.

Giant Sloth cum Dogman also global

Thunder Bird

Gargoyle or Giant Vampire Bat global

Mothman or flying alien or humanoid.

Pterosaur in several varieties including a dragon like coloration.

Plausible Giant Owl

Therosaurs in Australia ( think Tyrannosaurus Rex )

These are the big boys and they are wide ranging and the reports are getting better.

For all these we are also seeing smaller versions and smaller oddities as well.  So ye s,the little people are out there beyond just Ireland.

We have amply learned that many of our larger creatures are able to make us either not see them or see something else.  The champion there is the Giant sloth

None of these cryptids have huge populations by our standards, but for most we are looking at a distribution typical of the Cougar who but for unfortunate tactical errors would match the Bigfoot in apparent scarcity. ( dogs chase them up trees for the hunters)  The reason we even know about the Giant Sloth is that the LaBrea tar sands was a perfect trap for them and we got ALL our fossil evidence from there.

Remember that Dogman is the Giant Sloth and is quite a tree swinger.  Its front hands sport several inch long claws able to grab tree limbs and disembowel anything smaller than an elephant.  It is also an ambush hunter.

My take home is that they are everywhere and mostly nocturnal which is why we never see them. Lone tramping in the woods is risky anyway and this should cause us to smarten up and go with a buddy.  That prevents ambush.

Why So Many Middle-Aged Deaths in 2021?

We are starting to pull together proper stats on the Scamdemic and it all tracks back to excess vaccine based deaths as we have long suspected.

This was also well indicated by simple examination of known deaths.  People were dying who should not have been.

when the history is written of all this, expect no kind words.

Why So Many Middle-Aged Deaths in 2021?


Martin Kulldorff recently wrote the following:

For the mRNA vaccines, the big question that needs an urgent answer is whether they cause an increased risk of heart attack and/or other serious heart problems. There are many anecdotal reports, especially among young male athletes, and many VAERS reports.

He further writes:

Public health officials face a temptation to summarily dismiss anecdotal vaccine injury stories and people concerned about the publicly available VAERS reports, but in public health, we cannot do that. We must take people’s concerns seriously.

What’s an economist’s reaction to anecdotal evidence? A friend recently asked me about the statistical relevance of anecdotal evidence. My answer to him was the following. The sum of life experiences by the many leads to a picture of the whole, while a picture of the whole hides unique and varied life experiences.

No “anecdotal evidence” should be dismissed a priori, just because it has been observed over a small and/or unique sample. The questions are the same, whether about “anecdotal evidence” or “evidence over a larger sample or population”: Have we really observed a change in the pattern in our data? What kind of inferences, if any, can we make from our observations?

I have never paid much attention to athletes (no offense to the athletes), but I have recently paid attention to U.S. deaths. Using publicly available CDC data, I simply plotted monthly U.S. deaths, from 1999 to 2021.

To my surprise, deaths due to suicides do not show an increase in 2020-21. But we thought they did, didn’t we? Does this mean we were not paying attention to suicides before, but recent events made us more attune to the suffering of others? Or does it mean deaths of despair are found in other cause of death categories? Deaths due to accidental poisoning and exposure to noxious substances (which include accidental drug and alcohol overdose) have increased. Deaths due to homicide, and deaths due to liver diseases, have too.

Some thought April 2020 deaths were too high and justified putting our lives on hold, but January 2021 numbers were worse—the percentage death rate in 2021 is the same as it was in 2020. Why the increase in January 2021 deaths? Continued upward trend in deaths due to the increase and aging of the US population? Deaths of despair? Increased deaths due to untreated conditions in 2020? Deaths due to COVID or one of its variants? Vaccine deaths?

In 2021, death numbers have peaked at unprecedented levels, in September, for the 45-54, 35-44 and 25-34 years old. September 2021 deaths for the 65-74 and 55-64 years old were also higher than their April 2020 numbers.

Ok, so why is that significant? Let’s take the 45-54 years old group for example. Seasonal variations in deaths for this group has always been less pronounced than for the 85 years and older group, but whatever peaks they had, they still occurred mostly in January for both groups—so a 45-54 years old death peak in September is unheard of.

Epoch Times Photo

Why the increase in September 2021 deaths? Continued upward trend in deaths due to the increase and aging of the US population? Deaths of despair? Not consistent with a September peak of deaths. Increased deaths due to untreated conditions in 2020? Deaths due to COVID or one of its variants? Not consistent with a peak of deaths predominantly observed for “younger” age groups.

Vaccine deaths? The January 2021 peak, which is higher than the April 2020 one, is dominated by deaths from 65 years and older age groups. The September 2021 peak is dominated by 64 years and younger age groups.

But don’t those peaks also correspond to the COVID-19 ones? That’s correct.

But, while the April 2020 and January 2021 COVID-19 deaths peaks show the usual age distribution, with deaths experienced in greater numbers for older age groups, the September 2021 does not. In September 2021, recorded COVID-19 deaths show 65-74 years old died in greater numbers than 75 years and older, and COVID-19 deaths for the 45-54 years old were as high as for the 85 years and older.

This has never happened before for deaths due to respiratory diseases, from 1999 to 2019. These September 2021 peaks for “younger” age groups are consistent with the vaccine deaths hypothesis.

My motivation has always been to minimize the suffering. Even if COVID-19 had been alarming, panic certainly wouldn’t help. Even if the vaccines were harmless, denying individuals the ability to opt out, doesn’t help the ones who willingly opt for it. Am I afraid to admit COVID vaccines have caused deaths? Are you?

Humans Disrupting 66-Million-Year-Old Feature Of Ecosystems

I do not think that i woulkd read much into this rather natural behavior.  It may well be adjusting in the presence of human dominance, but even that is a work in progress.  I am expecting a much nuanced outcome as the centuries roll on.

The wild solution is rarely the best and is never an optimization.

Recall no wild  herbivore eats hay in the winter and instead suffers starvation in the lean months.  A really modest human intervention changed all that for select species.

Humans Disrupting 66-Million-Year-Old Feature Of Ecosystems

The U-shaped relationship between diet and size in modern land mammals could also stand for "universal," says a new study, which has found that the relationship spans at least 66 million years and a range of vertebrate animal groups.

An illustration featuring mammalian herbivores (green), omnivores (purple), invertivores (yellow) and
carnivores (red). Each column includes mammal species lost in the past 2.58 million years (light
shade); those expected to be lost in the near future (medium shade, probability of extinction >50%);
and those likely to persist (dark shade, probability of extinction <20%). Human-related extinctions
of the largest herbivores and carnivores are disrupting what appears to be a fundamental feature
of past and present ecosystems, says a new study from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and
institutions on four continents [Credit: Julius Csotonyi/Nature Ecology and Evolution]

It's been several decades since ecologists realized that graphing the diet-size relationship of terrestrial mammals yields a U-shaped curve when aligning those mammals on a plant-to-protein gradient. As illustrated by that curve, the plant-eating herbivores on the far left and meat-eating carnivores on the far right tend to reach sizes much larger than those of the all-consuming omnivores and the invertebrate-feasting invertivores in the middle.

To date, though, virtually no research had looked for the pattern beyond mammals or the modern day. In a new study, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and institutions on four continents have concluded that the pattern actually dates back to deep time and applies to land-dwelling birds, reptiles and even saltwater fishes.

But the study also suggests that human-related extinctions of the largest herbivores and carnivores are disrupting what appears to be a fundamental feature of past and present ecosystems, with potentially unpredictable consequences.

"We're not sure what's going to happen, because this hasn't happened before," said Will Gearty, a postdoctoral researcher at Nebraska and co-author of the study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. "But because the systems have been in what seems to be a very steady state for a very long time, it's concerning what might happen when they leave that state."

Size up, size down

The evolutionary and ecological histories of animal species can be told in part through the intertwined influences of diet and size, Gearty said. A species' diet determines its energy consumption, which in turn drives growth and ultimately helps dictate its size. Yet that size can also limit the quality and quantity of food available to a species, even as it sets thresholds for the quality and quantity needed to survive.

"You can be as big as your food will allow you to be," Gearty said. "At the same time, you're often as big as you need to be to catch and process your food. So there's an evolutionary interplay there."

Because the plant-based diet of herbivores is relatively poor in nutrition, they often grow massive for the sake of covering more ground to forage more food -- and accommodating long, complex digestive tracts that extract maximum nutrients from it. Carnivores, meanwhile, must grow large enough to both keep up with and take down those herbivores. Though the buffet-style menu of omnivores usually keeps their stomachs full, their high energy demands generally leave them focusing on nuts, insects and other small, energy-dense foods. And while invertivores enjoy mostly protein-rich prey, the diminutive nature of that prey, combined with stiff competition from many other invertivores, relegates them to the smallest sizes of all.

A figure illustrating the U-shaped relationship between diet and size (or mass, in kilograms) among
land-based mammals. The gray portions of the bars represent species currently under the threat
of extinction, with the white portions accounting for species that have already gone extinct
[Credit: Nature Ecology and Evolution]

The ultimate result: a U-shaped distribution of both average and maximum body sizes in mammals. To analyze the generalizability of that pattern in the modern day, the team compiled body-size data for a huge number of surviving species: 5,033 mammals, 8,991 birds, 7,356 reptiles and 2,795 fishes.

Though the pattern was absent in marine mammals and seabirds, probably due to the unique demands of living in water, it did emerge in the other vertebrate groups -- reptiles, saltwater fishes and land-based birds -- examined by the team. The pattern even held across various biomes -- forests vs. grasslands vs. deserts, for instance, or the tropical Atlantic Ocean vs. the temperate North Pacific -- when analyzing land mammals, land birds and saltwater fishes.

"Showing that this exists across all these different groups does suggest that it is something fundamental about how vertebrates acquire energy, how they interact with one another, and how they coexist," said co-author Kate Lyons, assistant professor of biological sciences at Nebraska. "We don't know whether it's necessary -- there might be other ways of organizing vertebrate communities with respect to body size and diet -- but it certainly is sufficient."

But the researchers were also interested in learning how long the U-curve may have endured. So they analyzed fossil records from 5,427 mammal species, some of which date as far back as the Early Cretaceous Period of 145 million to 100 million years ago. Lyons and colleagues originally collected the fossil data as part of a 2018 study on the extinction of large mammals at the hands of humans and their recent ancestors.

"To my knowledge, this is the most extensive investigation of the evolution of body size and especially diet in mammals over time," Gearty said.

It revealed that the U-curve stretches back at least 66 million years, when non-avian dinosaurs had just been wiped out but mammals had yet to diversify into the dominant animal class that they are today.

"It is really interesting, and really striking," Gearty said, "to see that this relationship persists even when you have other dominant animals around.

"We suspect that it's actually existed since the inception of mammals as a group."

The shape of things to come

Having catalogued the present and past of the U-curve, Gearty, Lyons and their colleagues turned to its future, or potential lack thereof. The median sizes of herbivores and omnivores have plummeted roughly 100-fold since the emergence of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens over the past few hundred thousand years, the team reported, with the size of carnivores dropping by about 10 times in that same span. As a result, the U-curve that has persisted for so long has begun to noticeably flatten, Gearty said.

In that vein, the team has projected a greater than 50% chance that multiple large- and medium-sized mammals -- including the tiger and Javan rhinoceros, both of which count humans as their only predators -- will go extinct within the next 200 years. Those predicted extinctions would only exacerbate the disruption of the U-curve, the researchers said, especially to the extent that the loss of large herbivores could trigger or accelerate the loss of the large carnivores that prey on them.

"It's certainly possible that as we take some of these animals off the top (of the U-curve), and as we collapse some of these ranges of body sizes, that we're altering the way the energy is divvied up," Gearty said. "That could perhaps have fundamental repercussions for the environment and ecosystem as a whole."

It's also possible, the researchers concluded, that the forthcoming decline in mammal body sizes could outpace even the unprecedented drop observed over the past few hundred thousand years.

"You keep seeing, in ecological literature, people speculating about how ecosystems are less stable now, and less resilient, and more prone to collapse," Lyons said. "I think this is just another line of evidence suggesting that that may indeed be the case in the future."

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Decentralized and Neutral

I am no fan of the state and this should help you understand why.  This has never happened, but money creation needs to be at the level of the natural community.  This inspires deep internal growth and eliminates poverty.

such a system naturally spurs all levels of economic enterprise forward.

Our present state style system keeps all forms of money close to the top of a heirarchy and starve the rest while actually starving themselves.

Decentralized and Neutral


States, regardless of their constitution, are not economic enterprises. In contrast to the latter, states do not finance themselves by selling products and services to customers who voluntarily pay, but by compulsory levies: taxes collected through the threat and use of violence (and through the paper money they literally create out of thin air). Significantly, economists have therefore referred to governments—i.e., the holders of state power—as stationary bandits. Governments and everyone on their payroll live off the loot stolen from other people. They lead a parasitic existence at the expense of a subdued and “host” populace.

A number of further insights emerge from this.

Naturally, stationary bandits prefer larger loot to smaller loot. This means that states will always try to increase their tax revenue and further increase their spending by issuing more paper money. The larger the loot, the more favors they can do for themselves, their employees, and their supporters. But there are natural limits to this activity.

On the one hand, the bandits have to be careful not to burden their “host,” whose work and performance make their parasitic existence possible, so much that the latter stops working. On the other hand, they have to fear that their “hosts”—and especially the most productive among them—will migrate from their dominion (territory) and settle elsewhere.

Against this background, a number of historical tendencies and processes become understandable.

First of all, it becomes understandable why there is a tendency towards territorial expansion and political centralization: with this, states succeed in bringing more and more “hosts” under their control and making it more difficult for them to emigrate to foreign territories. This is expected to result in a larger amount of loot. And it becomes clear why the end point of this process, the establishment of a world state, would by no means be a blessing for all mankind, as is often claimed. Because one cannot emigrate from a world state, and in this respect there is no possibility of escaping state looting by emigration. It is therefore to be expected that with the establishment of a world state, the scope and extent of state exploitation—indicated, among other things, by the level of state income and expenditure, by monetary inflation, the number and volume of so-called public goods and persons employed in the “public service”—will continue to increase beyond any previously known level. And that is certainly not a blessing for the “host population” that has to fund this state superstructure!

Secondly, a central reason for the rise of the “West” to become the world’s leading economic, scientific, and cultural region becomes understandable. In contrast to China in particular, Europe was characterized by a high degree of political decentralization, with hundreds or even thousands of independent dominions from the early Middle Ages up until the recent past. Some historians have described this state of affairs as “orderly political anarchy.” And it is now common among economic historians to see in this quasi-anarchic state a key reason for the so-called European miracle. Because in an environment with a large variety of independent, small-scale territories in the immediate vicinity of each other, it is comparatively easy for the subjects to vote with their feet and escape the robberies of state rulers by emigration. To avert this danger and to keep local producers in line, these rulers are constantly under great pressure to moderate their exploitation. And this moderation, in turn, promotes economic entrepreneurship, scientific curiosity, and cultural creativity.

Finally, in the light of the above considerations, a well-founded historical classification and assessment of the European Union (EU) is possible.

The EU is a prime example of the aforementioned tendency towards territorial expansion and political centralization, with the resulting consequences: an increase in exploitative state measures and a corresponding growth in the parasitic state superstructure (keyword: Brussels).

More concretely: the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) are the first step towards the establishment of a European superstate, which should eventually merge into a one-world government dominated by the USA and its central bank, the Federal Reserve. Contrary to euphonious political pronouncements, the EU and the ECB have never been about free international trade and competition. You don’t need thousands and thousands of pages of paper for this, full of ordinances and regulations! Rather, it was always and above all a matter of harmonization of the tax, legal, and regulatory provisions of all member states in order to reduce or eliminate all economic location competition in this way. Because if the tax rates and state regulations are the same everywhere or are increasingly being aligned, then there are fewer and fewer economic reasons for productive people to relocate their activities to another location, and the stationary bandits can be all the more undisturbed and therefore continue in their activity of taking and distributing booty.

In addition, the current EU, as a cartel of various governments, only holds together as long as the wealthier bandits, who can draw on a more productive “host population,” above all the German governments, are willing and able to support their needier counterparts in the south and east, with their less productive “hosts,” on a permanent and large scale. And all at the expense of local producers!

In sum, the EU and the ECB are moral and economic monstrosities. You cannot consistently penalize productivity and economic success while rewarding parasitism, waste, and economic failure without causing disaster. The EU will tumble from one economic crisis to the next and eventually disintegrate.

In view of this, it seems urgent to gain a clear idea of ​​possible alternatives to the current course of increasing political centralization. And the memory of the aforementioned “European miracle” should point the way to proceed. Radical decentralization is required for Europe to thrive. Instead of the EU and the ECB, what is needed is a Europe made up of thousands of Liechtensteins and Swiss cantons, linked by free trade and an international gold standard and competing to keep and attract productive people with attractive locational conditions.

However, in order to make this situation not only conceivable, but feasible, it is necessary that states and politicians are no longer regarded as what they claim to be, but as what they actually are: stationary bandits, gangsters and crooks. Until recently, this insight was unthinkable for the overwhelming majority of the population. But the coronavirus regime over the last two years, with its arbitrary and absurd bans on going out, contact, and assembly, and its constantly changing test, certificate, and vaccination regulations, including compulsory vaccinations, has meanwhile caused a great many politicians to be regarded as heavily armed and unscrupulous violent criminals.

PS: Do the current military events in Ukraine require a revision or correction of the above analyses?

On the contrary.

First of all, it is not the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Germans, or the Americans who cause wars, but the bandit gangs that rule Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and America and who can pass on the costs of a war to the civilian population in question.

Then, small states or bandit gangs only wage small wars against small opponents. Large states, on the other hand, which emerged from successful earlier small wars, are generally more warlike and wage not only small but also larger wars against large opponents. And the largest and most powerful of all states, the USA, and its vassal states assembled in NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), is the most keen on war and expansion. That alone is a reason for small states and decentralization.

Finally, when a smaller state is faced with the expansionist drive and threat of a larger one, it basically has two options: It can submit. Or it can try to maintain its independence. And in order to achieve this goal and avoid war or minimize the risk of war, there is only one promising recipe: neutrality. One does not interfere in the internal affairs of the great power, and one does not threaten or provoke it. Even a great power cannot simply invade another country. For this always requires justification to its own population, which has to bear the burden of a war. And the smaller a state, the more difficult it is to portray its behavior as a threat or a provocation. (Who feels threatened by Liechtenstein?!) And this imperative of neutrality applies all the more when, as in the case of Ukraine, you are faced with two major powers with rival claims at the same time and taking the side of one means an additional threat for the other. The current war is the result of multiple violations of this rule by the government of Ukraine. If the government that came to power in a US-orchestrated coup in 2014 had expressly refrained from joining NATO and the EU, like Switzerland did, and the two then breakaway Russian-speaking provinces in the east of the country would have been let go instead of bullied and terrorized, the potential threat to Russia would have been reduced and the present catastrophe would almost certainly not have occurred. Under sustained US pressure, combined with their own audacity, the Ukrainian ruling clique did nothing of the sort and continued to demand NATO membership. This would have extended the US military presence right up to the borders of greater Russia, which had been declared an enemy state. Therefore, no one could doubt that the behavior of the Ukrainian government would be perceived by the Russian side as a tremendous provocation and a serious threat. The actual result of this provocation, which is now available, was not foreseeable, but it was quite foreseeable that one’s own behavior would also make a Russian reaction like the one that actually took place more likely. In the war in Ukraine, as so often in history, Putin does not have just one father, but several. The completely one-sided anti-Russia hysteria and agitation that is currently widespread in the West is therefore not only factually incorrect, but is primarily intended to distract from the West’s own role in the current drama. And it is meant to make us forget that the United States and its NATO vassals have been responsible for far more war casualties and war damage over the past thirty years than Russia has since the collapse of the Soviet Union and currently in Ukraine.


Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an Austrian school economist and libertarian/anarcho-capitalist philosopher. He is the founder and president of The Property and Freedom Society.