Pollution is affecting our climates, increasing the severity of storms, and causing shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. It has been said time and time again, and yet it continues to be said, with good reason might I add! A recent study published in the scientific journal Nature, conducted by a team headed by Camilo Mora, claims that global temperatures will be drastically climbing within a generation. In less than 50 years we can see historical increases in temperatures, beating all past recorded highs for global temperatures. Imagine unbearable summers, intense heat waves, and dry times causing droughts and famine. At the same time, imagine freezing winter storms, strange weather patterns and unpredictable seasons. This is all in response to the amount of increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect they have on our temperature and weather patterns.
Now you may be wondering what exactly it all means, what a good comparison would be. The world’s hottest day was on July 10, 1913, clocking in at 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California. With global temperatures on the rise, and with the study predicting a drastic increase of global highs within 50 years, we can expect to see that high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit once again being reached, maybe even surpassed, sometime in the near future. Yikes. It is not only the heat we have to worry abut, but the erratic weather patterns as well, causing melting ice caps, deadly storms, intense rain; just to name a few.
After all, weather patterns are responsible for half of our daily waking lives:
It rains, we cancel our sporting activity (some hardcore players may disagree).
It snows, well SNOW DAY of course! (Sometimes).
Hurricane/Tornado/Typhoon, houses damaged.
Humid Hot Days, stay in and blast the A/C
Anyway, you get the point. Whether you agree that weather and weather patterns are intensifying and impacting the world is up to you, but what are our preventative measures against this? Some talk of greener technology, some speak of wind power and solar power, while some encourage changes in car performance and oil usage. Some ideas even recommend taking advantage of the increasingly severe weather patterns to embrace the positive changes and avoid or harness the bad.
None of these ideas are drastic enough to stop pollution all together, nothing drastic enough to clean up more pollution than we are generating. Maybe it is because we believe ourselves to be unbeatable and indestructible, that no matter what we do or destroy, human ingenuity will persevere.
Actually, we humans have always adapted and something like changing weather patterns and rising temperatures would be nothing new for us. In fact, I believe it would call for new crop irrigation techniques, new ideas towards more efficient cooling systems, and maybe even force us to venture out into space to colonize planets for the sake of our survival. An extreme, yes, but with our rate of pollution, and with the way we like to live comfortably and excessively, I would not be surprised if the proposed colonization of Mars is actually a trial for the coming desperate times. Weather patterns may shift, but so will humanity.
You know him. Maybe you are him. The casual acquaintance, not quite friend, he saunters forward, dilated pupils scanning over each of his shoulders, iPad casually out and ready, a knowing smile forming a crest of righteously pompous paranoia across his stubbled jaw, beads of youthfully enthusiastic perspiration clinging to his hipster handlebar mustache, and, beaming with false solidarity, he presses play:
Half-way through the clip, he starts digging through his leather “Tool” wallet and pulls out five pre-creased bills to further baffle you with (below).
Ok, great, I’ve seen this stuff before. So was 9-11 an inside job? Maybe just allowed to happen for private agendas? It’s old played-out news, and, most likely, your mind was made up long ago. The more important question no one seems to be asking is, “why should we give a shit?”
Woah woah woah!! You can’t mean that?
I do. Absolutely. And if I do my job here, hopefully you’ll be shrugging with indifference as well by the end of this article, and the world can be a happier place with just a few more rainbows and baby unicorn farts. Come follow me on this fanciful rollercoaster ride, enjoy all the benefits of “disregarding bad news.”
Where we stand
Today, 36% of Americans either are certain or pretty sure that 9-11 was an inside job. So, this is not some fringe group of loonies, but a rather hefty chunk of “we the people,” not to mention the masses on the fence open-minded to the idea. The countless YouTube links circulating Facebook are everywhere so the question has been posed to just about everyone by now. If we can all unite for a moment and assume the very worst, “9-11 was our government killing its own people,” that’s exactly why we need to knock this right the hell off. Terrorism is bad, but thinking about terrorism is far worse…
There is a natural rhythm to peering down the rabbit hole. First is the rush of finding something sensational; it triggers this carnal craving to be “in the know”. Then, once the initial high of learning something edgy wears off, the specific details slowly fade away from our memories and we’re left with only a few linchpin ideas. These are the singular points that, at least to us, are utterly irrefutable. The linchpin is a beautiful mental process that allows us to unburden and feel righteous in our opinion, free wonder about other things.
On the official story believer’s side of the case is the old, “how could that many people possibly keep something this big a secret?” Then, to the conspiracy theorists, all they need are 2 words, “building 7,” and the argument is over. In either case, it’s like an atheist preaching to a born-again; it always ends in a, “well I just have faith,” and a perforated stress-ulcer coupled with bloody stool.
I mean something far greater than apathy when I say this: once you quit giving a shit, it’ll all be roses. I promise.
What that means is, if a small powerful group of the world’s elite was responsible for 9-11, they knew full-well that some would shout “bullshit.” It’s a matter of human nature. So don’t you think, just maybe, if they knew how you’d react, that might have been part of the plan?…
I hope you can bear with me here. Remember, we’re still assuming the “truthers” are right.
Since the 60’s, the idea of “the man” has been all but ubiquitous, but in the last decade especially, an overwhelming shift in perspective has occurred to where it’s now just assumed common knowledge that “your government is out to get you,” like some unspoken rule. FEMA camps, chemtrails, illuminati symbols, clips of cops beating rioters all flood through our bandwidth. Ideas that would have gotten one ostracized a decade ago are now commonplace. politicians are corrupt, the news is filled with lies, food is poison and breathing causes cancer, so cynicism seems to be justified, but let me ask you this: How bad was 9-11 really?
Even the “they” out to get you isn’t out to get you.
3000 people died that day. That’s terrible, but not really (how dare you?). Nearly 3000 people have died since you started reading this article.
But those weren’t Americans so it’s not as important? Or, those were largely natural causes (circle of life)?
The callous truth is, in spite of all the hype, the numbers are a speck of rubble amidst the heap of steel and concrete that is human mortality. Being blown up by a terrorist is terrifying (hence the name), but not only are you more likely to die slipping in the shower than you are to die in a terrorist attack, you are 4,167 times more likely (where’s the war on hygiene?).
Here’s what I’m suggesting: the result has been accomplished. Even If our own government were the orchestrators of 9-11 (again, maybe so, maybe not), it absolutely doesn’t matter.
The numbers are so small they are inconsequential. If the government attacks its own people, you should worry about it if you also expect to be struck by lightning while holding a winning lottery ticket; it could happen, but it won’t.
The dwindling baby-boomers who still trust FOX-news may fear terrorist, but the internet doesn’t. The internet, though, is afraid. We are afraid of something far worse…
If these elusive shadow men really run the show, the larger game was not anything tangible, but the propaganda campaign that followed, where we now collectively fear our government. That was the aim. The result has been this massive uneasiness on the collective mind of the people that the one’s they were supposed to rely on were out to get them, and that is far scarier.
Pissed off guys in caves with access to box cutters is not a threat to a heavily armed nation. But a group who controls the riot police, watches all the satellites, monitors your browsing history, and owns the judicial system is trying to kill you… that’s scary.
Guess what, my friends; they aren’t. 3000 people. Whoever it was killed just enough to make it seem plausible that they are killing us. They aren’t. They just aren’t. Do serial killers exist? Of course. Will you be skinned and made into a lampshade at some point this week? Absolutely not!!!
Now I can already hear the backlash. “He must be working for the man. They got to Qwizx, too.” Or, “What about the FEMA camps, flying drones, and U.S. citizens put on no-fly lists or labeled terrorists without trial?”
Yep. Those are things alright. So what? The only thing that’s changed is now we know about it. Far worse things have happened and will continue to, because that is part of the human condition. Say thank you to the internet for being a check on the villains of the world’s nefarious bullshit. You are just as safe you were before you did a Google search for codex alimentarius, but now you are aware.
Historically, when the House of Representatives and the Senate represented two legislative chambers that kept in check the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, Congress actually had a real purpose! It was a bicameral setup where in one house, the House of Representatives, the members were elected to protect the interests of the constituents of the district in the state which they represented. The Senate, on the other hand, was made so that each state had equal representation, regardless of the state’s population. As we know, this is why each state sends two Senators to Congress.
The United States Senate Is Useless For a Couple Reasons
The biggest reason why the US Senate is useless is because it clearly does not reflect the will of the people at large. When close to 90% of the citizens agree on broader background checks for guns bought online and gun auctions, and when 74% of the National Rifle Association (NRA) members support the measure as well, then how does that become blocked? 90% of the time we don’t agree on anything! Senate members work to fulfill the interests of the lobbies that support them. In this case, it was in their better interest to appeal to the gun lobbies which hold many of the Senators’ positions by the balls.
The proposed document did not ban any weapons nor capacity on ammunition. It did not take anybody’s guns away. The government wasn’t coming to anybody’s front door. It was simply proposing to do more background checks. Who would that hurt? I am not hating on guns. This is just one of the most recent examples of the point that I am trying to prove. We could take any other example, dissect it, and come to the same conclusion.
The second reason the Senate is useless is because it takes ages to get legislation passed.
Founders hoped Senators would be more likely to consider the long-term effects of legislation and practice a more mature, thoughtful and deeply deliberative approach in their deliberations. Setting aside the validity of this “maturity” factor, the Senate undeniably does take longer to consider bills, often brings up points not considered by the House and just as often votes down bills passed easily by the House. –http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/whyhouseandsenate.htm
Mature? Thoughtful? Deeply deliberative approaches? Please! Is that how they passed the Monsanto Protection Act swiftly with most of the useless Senate not aware that it was slipped into the legislation? What was so mature and thoughtful about that? Once again, proving that the Senate is useless really isn’t that hard. Still not convinced? How about a sadly hilarious list of all the things the senate has done and is doing to waste all of our time and money?
The bottom line is, the House of Representative members are elected every two years, which means they are running for reelections more often and are more likely to stick to the opinions and wishes of their constituents. Let’s not forget that legislation also gets passed faster in the House of Representatives. On the other hand, the useless Senate members are elected every six years, and are not swayed by public opinion as easily.
The House members are supposed to represent the interests of the people. The Senate members are supposed represent the interest of the State. But what are State’s interests if they are not the people’s interests?
Two solutions: Either dissolve the useless Senate and completely dismantle it. Or, if there is any legislation that is in very high interest to the people, then that should be able to become law by just passing it through the House of Representatives. It shouldn’t be so difficult to pass something that is accepted by nearly every american citizen!
What would interstellar warfare be without the original ideas that brought us there? Like, for instance, humans developing new space technologies and exploring space in the first place. Lucky for us, we have a great amount of our budget invested in NASA, a hefty proposed 17.7 billion dollars to be exact, which, surprisingly, is still 50 million less than in 2012. Looks like NASA’s planned mission to an asteroid was not just a pipe dream!
The Budget includes $78 million for NASA to develop needed technologies and study alternative approaches for a robotic mission to rendezvous with a small asteroid—one that would be harmless to Earth—and move it to a stable location outside the Moon’s orbit.
That is to say we will send men to space to commandeer an asteroid and bring it home! As if the asteroid had any say in the matter anyway, I foresee a cult uprising like no other before! That is all chump change compared to what NASA is really planning to do with this excavating of asteroids. Sometime in 2014, there is a planned launch of Orion, which will bring us one step closer to herding asteroids and ultimately reaching Mars in 2030!
Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Division (what a title!) says:
It’s a key element of our overall plan to get humans beyond Earth’s orbit as quickly as we can
With that test flight accomplished, the scientists and engineers can analyze Orion’s design and maneuverability, capability of Orion housing humans, and heat shields designed for Orion’s reentry, all of which will hopefully bring us all closer to sun bathing on our red brother’s atmosphere. That, or using it as a space station for our intergalactic space battles!
For a full low down on the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, visit that link and check out whether or not you agree with the budget and the changes it will bring. One definite that it prescribes is an eventual decline in our debt, but at what cost?
Aside from selling treasury shares which collect huge amounts of interest, tax revenues are the only way in which our government gets money. So every paycheck you give money to the government in exchange for a service. Do you like the results that you’re getting?
Now that we know how much money the great tax vacuum inhales every year lets examine the federal budget spending (outlays in billions of dollars) for that same year:
As you can see, the majority of spending is divided between discretionary programs and mandatory programs. Social security, medicare, medicaid, and other programs received approximately $2 trillion dollars in government spending. Great, we’ve got around $400 billion left! Lets spend it on some cool stuff that will make us all happier.
Right away we’ve got a problem: The defense budget is allocated almost $700 billion. That’s 30% of 2011 total collected tax revenue.
…nearly all of the federal government’s investments in primary and secondary education, in transportation infrastructure, and in scientific, technological, and health care research and development. It also includes nearly all of the federal government’s law enforcement resources, as well as essentially all federal efforts to keep our air, water, food, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, workplaces, highways, airports, coasts, and borders safe. It includes veterans’ health care services and some nutritional, housing, and child care assistance to low-income families. It even includes the funding for such national treasures as the Smithsonian Institution, our national parks system, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA.
In lay speak that means: all of the neat stuff.
Next on the list comes the net interest. $230 billion dollars of interest was accrued by previous treasury bonds. In the unlikely case that you are completely unaware of debt and its practice; interest accrued is a compounding tax on borrowed money. It acts as incentive for borrowers, giving them a payout for “helping” a country in need. As the U.S. general public holds $11,855,687,948,374.48 in debt, I’ll spare you any more ironic explanations of debt.
Wait a second. Wait just one second. In 2011 the U.S. Government spent approximately $3.6 trillion. The tax revenue accounts for approximately 67% of that money spent. So, as I stated earlier, the other 32% must come from treasury shares. That means that almost a third of our 2011 spending was covered by a pseudo-credit card.
So who all helped finance our deficit? The chart to the left shows the amount of money, in billions of dollars, that the united states owes to various countries and companies.
China and Japan rake in the most with a combined $2.1 trillion. To put that into perspective that’s almost the entire collected tax revenue for 2011. An entire year of hardworking laborers would just barely be able to pay off these two debts. This is assuming that the United States spends absolutely nothing on anything else.
So, when you hear about congress and the president running around every year trying to figure out a budget, you now have a better understanding of what the heck they are actually doing. Every person has a different idea of what the United States budget should be and when there are outside interests holding gigantic stakes there is absolutely no easy way to get out of this.
The best way to fix anything is to start small. A billion dollars here a billion dollars there. It might be an idea to start turning off the white house bowling alley an hour earlier each night.
Ninety percent of organizations in our study have had at least one breach. When asked to consider cash outlays, internal labor, overhead, revenue losses and other expenses related to the security breach, 41 percent of respondents report that it was 500,000 or more.
If security breaches due to hacking is happening regularly to companies, what happens if the attacks are on a larger scale? We turn now to nations hacking other nations, and the waging of cyber warfare between super powers.
Apart from billions of dollars being at stake, different depictions in various texts about China’s influence paired with our growing debt to China all point toward a potential future where most of the world is speaking Mandarin Chinese. Maybe being under Chinese rule wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Or maybe this public knowledge of our nations engaged in cyber warfare will strengthen ties between the Bald Eagle and the Dragon and they will give birth to the first super powered scaly griffon. Maybe it is a good thing that the hacking is occurring. It may be helping to improve security and prepare for even more dangerous hack attempts. Unfortunately, all this talk of potential crippling cyber warfare is only maybes in the end.
Brazil’s “Redemption through Reading” program has announced that it will offer to reduce prison sentences for inmates in high security prisons by four days (up to a maximum of 48 days per year) for each book they read. They will also need to submit a well written book report proving their comprehension.
The program is an effort to reduce recidivism through education and provide incarcerated men and women with a different worldview. Brazil will test out the program’s efficiency with criminals from four high-security prisons. They will have 4 weeks to read each book and write a book report.
So far there is no approved book list or detailed requirements. I can’t imagine The Anarchist Cookbook or Prison Escape would be appropriate reading material.
Sao Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi stated that:
“A person can leave prison more enlightened and with an enlarged vision of the world.”
Many people in favor of the program argue that studies all over the world regarding prisons suggest that
“long periods of isolation with little mental stimulus contributed to poor mental health and led to intense feelings of anger, frustration, and anxiety.”
Hopefully reading and writing can provide adequate mental stimulus to ensure prisoners never return. However, reading and writing aren’t the only approach being tried on inmates to reduce recidivism. In America we’re trying some new techniques too. From puppies to entrepreneurship, recidivism is being tackled head on.
For the first time in history scientists have taken a photo that shows the double helix shape of DNA clearly. Using an electron microscope, Enzo di Fabrizio from the University of Genoa, Italy, did what was once thought to be impossible.
The structure of DNA was first hypothesized (and later understood to be spot on) by Francis Crick, who received a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure. Interestingly, after remaining unable to piece together the details of the structure for some time, Crick was reportedly able to comprehend it fully while under the effects of LSD.
After Crick and his colleagues made the discovery, the double helix structure was further validated using x-ray crystallography. Even that was still just convincing speculation. Despite learning that DNA is a double helix in school, no one had any actual visual evidence for this claim and it remained a theory backed by some pretty solid mathematics.
Well, solid mathematics is now backed by solid photography. Case closed.
Take a good, long look at that picture – that’s what you look like under an electron microscope.
UVB-76, aptly nicknamed ‘The Buzzer,’ is a radio station that has been broadcasting since at least 1982 from an unknown, though widely speculated upon location in Russia. It broadcasts on the frequency 4625 khz, and its broadcasts are generally an endless series of buzzing sounds, interrupted with a series of Russian names 3 times in the last 27 years. Have a listen to the radio station and I’m sure you will agree; it is strangely spooky, especially the voices. Many people have speculated on what the station might be used for, such as a numbers station, a way to measure the ionosphere, or possibly some type of Russian military spy relay. The truth is that there is no hint of an explanation for it.
The vocal interruptions are described in the following quote:
At 21:58 GMT on Christmas Eve 1997, 15 years after it was first observed, the buzzing abruptly stopped; to be replaced by a short series of beeps, followed by a male voice speaking Russian who repeated the following message several times: