How Ravers Became the New Flower Children

New Republic — The 400,000-odd people who flocked to Las Vegas last month for the Electric Daisy electronic dance music (EDM) festival probably didn’t make much of its name. Clad in sparkly tutus, neon spandex, glittery bikinis, and enormous furry boots, they came to dance, to gaze starry-eyed at the LED graphics, and to enjoy the warmth and communal spirit of the crowdnot to question the unlikely juxtaposition of electricity and daisies.

But the tension at the heart of the growing electronic music movement is manifest in the festival’s name. Electronic music festivals like Electric Daisy, Electric Forest, and Electric Zoo celebrate a culture of warmth, geniality, and flowers on the one hand, and a musical tradition of impersonal digitization on the other. The Raver’s Manifesto, an anonymous document that outlines the electronic music movement’s core tenets, epitomizes this apparent inconsistency: “the thunderous, muffled, echoing beat was comparable to a mother’s heart soothing a child in her womb of concrete, steel, and electrical wiring,” it proclaims. The music that gave rise to P.L.U.R.“peace, love, unity, and respect,” a doctrine that underlies much of the American EDM sceneis at once tenderly maternal and brutally mechanical.

Why is it this musicwhich has seen an unprecedented surge in attendance in recent years, with the Ultra Music Festival in Miami boasting between 50,000 and 60,000 attendees each daythat has occasioned such an explicit celebration of human connection and community? “Rave culture, despite all the negative attention it receives about its ties to club drugs, is really about togetherness,” a raver gushed to me.  (07/28/2014)

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Unsung Hero

This three minute video has been viewed 15+ million times since April 2014.

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(06/21/2014

The Healing Intention Experiment

Quantum University — Lynne McTaggart and Quantum University want to thank everyone who participated in the first ever Healing Intention Experiment on April 26, 2014, which was broadcast live worldwide on QuantumWorld.TV.

The Intention Experiment was the largest mind-over-matter experiment in history. Lynne invited her audience to take part in well-controlled laboratory experiments with scientists in universities and laboratories, testing the power of intention to affect specific targets.

Thus far, Lynne McTaggart’s global laboratory has completed some 25 experiments, 22 of which have demonstrated significant, measurable effects. Lynne and her team have measured the effects of the power of group intention to make plants grow faster, purify water, and lower violence. These global experiments have attracted participants from 90 countries around the globe. All four of her Peace Intention Experiments have demonstrated powerful effects in lowering violence in violent or war-torn areas around the world.

The Healing Intention Experiment has now concluded. but you can still learn about the results of the experiment, by signing up to the Post Experiment Panel Discussion on May 27th, 2014. (04/28/2014)

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Putting a Human on Mars

BBC Science and Technology – One of Earth’s closest neighbours, Mars is still some 56 million km away at its closest alignment, a journey of at least nine months. Rovers have landed on the Red Planet, probes have scanned its surface but what would it take to put a human on Mars? The BBC asked scientists from Imperial College London to design a mission which could take astronauts to the planet – and back. Watch the videos and explore this interactive to find out about their radical solution.

he crew would need protecting from the rigours of a nine month journey. Long periods of weightlessness cause bone loss and muscle wastage so the craft is designed to create its own artificial gravity by spinning through space. Shields would lessen, but could not eliminate, the threat of solar and cosmic radiation.

During the journey, the crew’s health would be monitored closely with wireless sensors but they will rely entirely on medication aboard the craft and the skills of their fellow crew should they fall sick. The long journey and confined quarters could also affect their mental health and conflicts between crew members could arise. Lack of daylight can disrupt sleep patterns, potentially causing poor concentration. Solar and cosmic radiation are constant threats.

After nine long months in space, the crew would guide the lander vehicle down to the Martian surface, making a fairly conventional landing for such an exceptional voyage. The words spoken as the crew become the first humans to ever set foot on another planet would take between three and 20 minutes to travel back to Earth.

The scientists propose a landing spot near the Martian equator where conditions are relatively mild at an average of -30 degrees Celsius, similar to an Antarctic winter on Earth. The crew would live in a habitat sent ahead in an unmanned mission.

While on the planet, the astronauts would conduct extensive geological and atmospheric surveys. They would also drill into the crust, looking for evidence that simple life once existed on Mars. The length of their stay could be as little as three months or as long as two years, governed by the alignment of Earth and Mars.

It would be expensive to send a craft to Mars with enough fuel for a round trip. So a return vehicle would be sent in advance of the manned mission, landing at a latitude where ice exists just beneath the surface. A robotic device would mine the ice and split it into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis. This would be used to create methane to power the return vehicle into Martian orbit where it would dock with the cruise vehicle for the long journey back to Earth. (04/28/2014)

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Descendant of the Hippocrates’ Tree Saved and Cloned

Hippocrates treeBBC Biological Scence — Jane O’Brien reports: Legend has it that Hippocrates, the ancient Greek “father” of medicine, taught his students under a tree on the island of Kos.

More than 25 centuries later, experts in the US have produced the first DNA barcode of the Oriental plane that is believed to be its descendant. The original tree died centuries ago but the Greeks believe one of its descendents grows in the same place.

“In terms of symbolism this is huge,” said team member Amy Driskell. Dr Driskell manages the Smithsonian’s Laboratories of Analytical Biology, which carried out the barcoding.

Hippocrates invented the idea that people with the same disease exhibit similar symptoms which produced similar outcomes. His book, Prognosis, was the first to compare cases in an organised study and remains the basis of the theory of modern medical diagnosis.

Cuttings from this 500-year-old tree, a member of the Oriental plane tree species, have been presented as gifts to major medical institutions all over the world. One was planted at the National Library of Medicine near Washington DC (part of the National Institutes of Health – NIH), when the building opened in 1962 – and the DNA barcode was created from this tree. Barcodes are fragments of DNA that are unique to individual species and serve as their genetic fingerprint. More than 200,000 have been collected as part of the DNA Barcode of Life Project which aims to create a database of barcodes from every species on Earth. The Hippocrates Tree at the National Library of Medicine has become the source of the first barcode for the Oriental plane tree species. …

“I’m sure that Hippocrates would have been fascinated by the DNA Barcode Project and I think he would have been very excited about how DNA comparison and other modern methods are being used to better understand and ultimately treat human disease,” said Dr David Lipman, director of the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information.

But it very nearly didn’t happen. In 1990 NIH chief landscape architect Lynn Mueller noticed the tree’s health was declining and by 2003 it was almost dead. He began a desperate quest to find ways to clone the tree and save one of the few tangible links to Hippocrates in the US. Nurseries around the country were given cuttings, but all failed to take. Eventually he contacted the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Michigan where experts managed to produce several clones. “A new growth clipping is taken from the plant and the end is submerged in different rooting hormones to encourage new cell growth,” said Mr Mueller. “They’re put into a special soil which is sterilised – and we have our new trees.”  (04/28/2014)

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1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

CommUnity of Minds — Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in December of 1964: I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice. I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sanctuary to those who would not accept segregation. I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

The tortuous road which has led from Montgomery, Alabama to Oslo bears witness to this truth. This is a road over which millions of Negroes are travelling to find a new sense of dignity. This same road has opened for all Americans a new era of progress and hope. It has led to a new Civil Rights Bill, and it will, I am convinced, be widened and lengthened into a super highway of justice as Negro and white men in increasing numbers create alliances to overcome their common problems.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.” I still believe that We Shall overcome! (01/20/2014)

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David Suzuki on Population

Future Positive — Some interesting human population facts: The planet earth can sustainably support; 15 billion people if all consumption was at India’s levels; 18 billion people if all consumption was at Rwanda’s levels; 2.5 billion people if all consumption was at Britain’s levels; or 1.5 billion people if all consumption was at USA levels.

The worlds human population was self-regulated to about 1 billion up until the year 1800, since which time the exploitation of fossil fuels has seen the population explode to the current number of 7.1+ billion. The worlds population is currently increasing by 2 people every single second.

If this doesn’t get your attention watch this 3.5 minute video by David Suzuki. (01/20/2014)

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Smart Contact Lens Measures Glucose

BBC Medical Technology — Google has said it is testing a “smart contact lens” that can help measure glucose levels in tears. It uses a “tiny” wireless chip and a “miniaturised” glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material. The firm said it is also working on integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed certain thresholds …

Many global firms have been looking to expand in the wearable technology sector – seen by many as a key growth area in the coming years.

Various estimates have said the sector is expected to grow by between $10bn and $50bn (£6bn and £31bn) in the next five years. Within the sector, many firms have been looking specifically at technology targeted at healthcare. Google’s latest foray with the smart contact lens is aimed at a sector where consumer demand for such devices is expected to grow.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in ten people across the world’s population are forecast to have diabetes by 2035. People suffering from the condition need to monitor their glucose levels regularly as sudden spikes or drops are dangerous. At present, the majority of them do so by testing drops of blood. Google said it was testing a prototype of the lens that could “generate a reading once per second”. (01/20/2014)

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Preventing Blindness

Graphic showing gene therapy to prevent blindnessBBC Medical Science — Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy technique to improve the vision of six patients who would otherwise have gone blind. The operation involved inserting a gene into the eye, a treatment that revived light-detecting cells. The doctors involved believe that the treatment could in time be used to treat common forms of blindness.

Prof Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who led the research, said he was “absolutely delighted” at the outcome. “We really couldn’t have asked for a better result,” he said. …

If the improvements seen in the patients continue, the aim will be to offer the treatment to younger choroideremia patients to prevent them from losing their sight. The condition is relatively rare: it is thought to affect a thousand people in the UK. But Professor MacLaren believes that success with choroideremia demonstrates the principle that gene therapy could be used to cure other forms of genetic blindness including age-related macular degeneration. This condition causes blindness in 300,000 people in Britain and causes a deterioration in the vision of one in four people over the age of 75.

“The mechanisms of choroideremia and what we are trying to do with the treatment would broadly be applicable to more common causes of blindness,” the professor explained. “Choroideremia shows some similarities with macular degeneration in that we are targeting the same cells. We don’t yet know which genes to target for macular degeneration but we do know now how to do it and how to put the genes back in.”  (01/20/2014)

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The Value of Vaccine

BBC Medical Science — India is marking three years since its last reported polio case, a landmark in the global battle against the disease. It is seen as confirmation of one of India’s biggest public health successes, achieved through a massive and sustained immunisation programme. India’s health minister hailed it as a “monumental milestone”.

In 2012 the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remain on it. The list refers to countries in which the virus is circulating freely and the transmission of the infectious disease has not been stopped. Despite India’s success, health experts fear a resurgence of polio in other parts of the world.

“This monumental milestone was possible due to unwavering political will at the highest level, commitment of adequate financial resources, technological innovation … and the tireless efforts of millions of workers including more than 23 lakh (2.3 million) vaccinators,” Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. The WHO is expected to formally certify India’s polio-free status next month after testing its last samples. …

After the eradication of smallpox in 1980, polio is the second disease in India that has been eliminated through immunisation. Nearly 2.3 million volunteers vaccinate some 170 million children under five years of age in India during every round of immunisation.

Polio is capable of causing crippling disability or death within hours. It plagued societies in ancient times – and was present in more than 100 countries even in the 1980s, when it left 350,000 people paralysed each year. Global cases have decreased since then as part of a mass eradication programme – to 372 last year.

Despite the quarter-century-long vaccination programme, experts fear it could make a comeback in countries riven by fighting. Most of last year’s cases were in conflict areas like Somalia and Syria, where polio had previously been eradicated.  (01/20/2014)

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November 2013, Warmest Weather Recorded

The Atlantic Journal– Rebecca J. Rosen reports: If you live in the eastern half of the United States, last month probably seemed like a normal November for you, perhaps even a bit chilly.

But, historically, the month was anything but.

According to NOAA, November 2013 was the warmest November since at least 1880, the year when NOAA’s global temperature records begin. During the 20th century, the average global temperature for November was 55.2° F; in 2013 we managed to beat that by 1.40° F.

The longer three-month period, stretching from September to November, was also unusually warm—the second warmest on record since 1880; only 2005 was warmer. For the entire year to date, 2013 is on track to be among the top five or six warmest years since we started keeping track. All ten of the ten warmest years on record have happened in the past 15 years. (12/18/2013)

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Understanding Mechanism and Consequence
CommUnity of Minds

First Atomic Bomb Explosion

CommUnity of Minds — Timothy Wilken, MD writes: Human intelligence develops over time and can achieve four levels of understanding. We start with PERCEPTION then develop and sometimes master CONCEPTION, then develop and sometimes master MECHANISM and finally develop and sometimes master CONSEQUENCE. These levels are sequential–CONCEPTION follows and depends on first mastering PERCEPTION, MECHANISM follows and depends on first mastering CONCEPTION, and  finally CONSEQUENCE follows and depends on first mastering MECHANISM.

It is possible for most humans to understand, and then master their intelligence fully. Those who choose to do so, can with practice, develop the ability to access five modes of thinking: Survive, Adapt, Control, Create, and Co-Operate at will. With additional study and contemplation they can gain mastery of the four levels of knowing: PERCEPTION, CONCEPTION, MECHANISM, and CONSEQUENCE.

PERCEPTION is the understanding of space and sameness—spacial integrity— recognizing WHAT is associated with Good Space and WHAT is associated with Bad Space. PERCEPTION is also knowing WHERE to go to enable or avoid a recognized event—knowing WHERE to go to secure Good Space and WHERE to go to avoid Bad Space. PERCEPTION enables the ability of Adaptation.

CONCEPTION is the understanding of time and difference—temporal sequence—local cause and effect, and from that understanding knowing WHEN to act in time to encourage a desired event, or WHEN to act in time to discourage an undesired event from occurring. CONCEPTION enables the ability of Control.

MECHANISM is the understanding of HOW things work together—what events and actions are necessary to produce a desired resultant—knowing how PERCEPTION and CONCEPTION relate to each other. MECHANISM enables the ability of Creation.

And finally, CONSEQUENCE is the understanding of the potential risks and benefits of our actions and their effects on our selves and upon others. CONSEQUENCE enables the ability of Co-Operation.

Let me provide one example of these four levels of knowing, and how they might apply to one problem currently threatening our civilization. As Albert Einstein warned us over sixty-six years ago: “The splitting of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

Einstein had discovered one of Nature’s MECHANISMS: E=mc2

The scientists and technicians working at the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico used their KnowHow to weaponize this MECHANISM of Nature with the creation of nuclear bombs.

Now let us examine the threat of nuclear weapons from the perspective of our four levels of human knowing.

PERCEPTION is the level of knowing necessary to adapt to a nuclear event — to know what is associated with a nuclear blast, and to know where to go to escape from the blast of a nuclear weapon. Where is Good Space? Where can I go to avoid Bad Space?

CONCEPTION is the level of knowing necessary to control a nuclear event — to know when to act to either detonate, or deactivate a nuclear weapon. What is the proper sequence of actions to control the process? And, when do I enter the activation code? Or, when do I enter the deactivation code?

MECHANISM is the level of knowing necessary to create a nuclear event — to know how reality allows the forces of nature to interact and result in a nuclear explosion — E=mc2. And, it also is the level of understanding necessary to invent and manufacture the technology of a nuclear weapon — the Manhattan Project. How do I design a nuclear device?

And finally, CONSEQUENCE is the level of knowing necessary in order to co-Operate — to know why we should never have created nuclear weapons in the first place. Why are we creating these devices? What will be the consequence of their existence? (11/17/2013)

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