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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Internet Chatter Earthquake News Faster than USGS, Google, CNN, etc.

[H]ow we get news has dramatically changed. First of all, the word-of-mouth network was the fastest out there. Loved ones are going to probably tell you news like this before anyone else. Twitter is damn fast, too. Beats the USGS Web site with data. And that's saying something because the USGS sites report quakes within minutes.

Lots of chatter on Twitter discussed that Google News, CNN, and other mainstream outlets weren't reporting the news. The local newspaper wrote a story, but this demonstrated how inadequate local journalism is: Twitter had far more information than this story had and had it FAR faster and thanks to things like Twitter, Flickr,, Seesmic, Twittergram, and Utterz, we can cover the story with micromedia in a way that the San [Jose] Mercury News simply hasn't gotten a clue about.
End Excerpt

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More on the mass coverage of last night's earthquake

You'll recall what I said about the earthquake in my previous post:

[N]ote that within the first set of tweets someone could start picking out the breadth of the earthquake - notice that someone felt it in Modesto - and that we were already getting magnitude guesses.

My post relied on the information collected at Mad Dog in the Fog.

It was interesting to see what Robert Scoble said about earthquake twittering:

Last night I was hanging out with a small group of people when Shel Israel told us "there was just an earthquake." His wife had called him and he happened to pick up the phone. I instantly looked at my phone and saw Maryam had already called me. Turned out that 80% of the people at the table had the same experience — that a wife or significant other had called them and checked in.

But what was fascinating was what happened next: we all went to Twitter where the earthquake was causing its own "Twitterquake." Damn, were the posts flowing fast. What a lot of people on Twitter realized was there was MUCH BETTER information flowing through Twitter than on any other media. Quickly we realized no one was hurt, no real damage had been done, so we went back to our dinner....

[H]ow we get news has dramatically changed. First of all, the word-of-mouth network was the fastest out there. Loved ones are going to probably tell you news like this before anyone else. Twitter is damn fast, too. Beats the USGS Web site with data. And that's saying something because the USGS sites report quakes within minutes.

Lots of chatter on Twitter discussed that Google News, CNN, and other mainstream outlets weren't reporting the news. The local newspaper wrote a story, but this demonstrated how inadequate local journalism is: Twitter had far more information than this story had and had it FAR faster and thanks to things like Twitter, Flickr,, Seesmic, Twittergram, and Utterz, we can cover the story with micromedia in a way that the San [Jose] Mercury News simply hasn't gotten a clue about.

I can't speak for the San Jose Mercury News, but I think I can say why the international services were slower. Simple reason: it wasn't newsworthy. If there had been death and destruction, you can bet that they would have been all over it. And if there HAD been death and destruction, there's a chance that the international services may have been faster, since a catastrophic event could very well disable the cell phones that many of us use to Twitter away.

But there's one thing that both the Twitterers and the major networks will have to deal with when such an event occurs - a lack of information. Oh, sure, there's a lot of data, but not a lot of information.

You may notice that when I quoted from the Twitter feed, I did not present all of the data that was available. A ton of data was flowing through at the time, but in retrospect, most of it wasn't true information. If you don't believe me, here's a small chunk - just a small chunk - of the unedited data.

(oscarjr): omg! did u feel the quake?
(sallypnut): Whoa. Hello, earthquake.
(krob): Earthquake in the Bay Area!
(tychay): Earthquake. Sweet.
(vglshn): An earthquake has my cat on edge.
(chipotlecoyote): Earthquake. Fascinating.
(trevor_m_wilson): earthquake in Berkeley
(jimgoldstein): Earthquake in SF
(rcrowley): Earthquake!
(jonk): earthquake!!!!
(MizLit): Earthquake!
(Golabutron): Earthquake!
(malerin): EARTHQUAKE
Nymo: OMG, Earthquake
(jakeludington): Anyone else feel an earthquake in the South Bay about now?
(lloydgomez): Modesto just had an earthquake! Yikes…..
(shawnbot): Whee, earthquake!
(sct): earthquake??
(homesliced): a little shaken from my 1st SF earthquake
(Fenchurch): Whoa, violent earthquake. Not the rolling kind, but a shaky one.
(stevepm): Hello earthquake, welcome to my dinner party.
(hizKNITS): earthquake?
(bernie): wow. best quake yet!
(synergist): Earthquake!
(deebeedee): WOW, we just had an earthquake!!
(aliciarenee): Earthquake! and haus still stands. huzzah.
(abhaykumar): Whoah. Anyone else just feel that? My first earthquake!
(mjyazzie): Earthquake!!!!!
(head_zoo_keeper): that was a pretty big earthquake — a fore-shock?
(lhalff): Quake!

You have to wade - no, nearly drown - through a lot of data (even in that small snippet) to get to the meat. (Apologies to vegans.)

The data on the earthquake was acquired via Twitter's "track" command, which lets you look for particular keywords (in this case, "earthquake" and "quake"). However, the track command doesn't support any type of filtering, such as

track +earthquake +quake -omg -d00d


Discerning the Signs of the End Times - Red Sky - Fires in California

 Discerning the Signs of the Times
By Christinewjc
The article below may not be a totally comprehensive piece, but what it shares is truly eye-opening and show how very valuable the prophetic end times authors and prophets in the Bible are in order to see the signs of the times. ...
Talk Wisdom -
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Tropical storm watch issued for southeast Florida

Tracking the storm
Tropical Storm Noel
22.6 N 78.8 W
Max. winds: 50 mph
Movement: Nearly stationary

South Florida under storm watch
The National Hurricane Center has put all of South Florida under a tropical storm watch after Tropical Storm Noel lingered longer than expected this afternoon… ( more)
2,500 Greenacres homes lose power
About 2,500 homes in Greenacres are without power this morning, according to officials at Florida Power & Light.… ( more)
Bahamas-Fort Lauderdale flights canceled
At least 16 flights from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale were canceled Wednesday… ( more)

Complete hurricane weblog

Tropical storm watch issued for southeast Florida
A tropical storm watch was issued Wednesday afternoon by the National Hurricane Center for portions of southeast Florida. The agency warned strong, gusty winds swirling between Tropical Storm Noel and a high-pressure system over the East Coast would continue buffeting Florida through Thursday as Noel was expected to skirt the state's coast. Read the story
Broward's already-damaged beaches will suffer from Noel
Days of heavy weather brought on by Tropical Storm Noel will chew up Broward County's already eroded beaches, said Steve Higgins, the county's beach erosion administrator. Read the story
Big waves chew up Palm Beach County's beaches
Gusts of 25 mph and higher spanked the Palm Beach County coast, churned up picturesque foamy ocean swells and ripped sand off local beaches. Read the story
Preparation tip of the week
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane. Here are a list of emergency phone numbers to keep handy in the event of a storm.
- Read more
- Complete preparation guide
We are committed to providing you with the information you need to stay safe this hurricane season. For complete information anytime, please visit

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Could the year 2012 mark a turning point ?

by Owen Waters:
The ancient Mayan civilization existed up until 830 A.D., when they suddenly disappeared from their cities, leaving no traces behind as to where they may have moved. Despite an apparent lack of precision instruments, the astronomical knowledge of the Mayan culture exceeded today's level of knowledge in many ways. They not only knew the precise orbits of the planets in our solar system, but also the orbits of the stars in our galaxy. They had even cataloged major cosmic events going back more than 400 million years. The Mayan calendars are masterpieces which illustrate the repeating time-spirals of cosmic cycles within cycles within cycles.
The Mayans spoke of waves of influence which pass through the galaxy; waves which are so influential that they are capable of triggering the formation of suns from collections of gases. They also spoke of waves of galactic influence which have a profound effect upon human history on planet Earth.
One such critical point is a major galactic synchronization which is due to occur in the very near future, on December 21st, 2012. This date marks the end of a 26,000 year cycle of a style of human experience, as well as the end of a 5,200 year cycle within that, and also the end of many more sub-cycles, all in synchronicity with each other.
On December 21st, 2012, when the Mayan calendar again resets to zero, a new 26,000 year cycle begins. Now, 26,000-year cycles don't suddenly change from an old cycle to a new cycle in the blink of an eye. Such a huge cycle influences a period of overlap, both before and after the exact date of the change to a new cycle. The overlap period before the year 2012 would have included its early influence upon culture in the 1960s, when the current transformation in consciousness began in earnest.
The question is, when future generations look back on our current era, will they see the year 2012 as the pivotal point within The Shift? Could the year 2012 mark a turning point where the old type of humanity, Homo sapiens ("knowing man"), shifts into wholeness as the second tier of consciousness begins to reach popularity? Will the second tier be seen, in retrospect, as a new phase of human evolution, a kind of Homo holisticus?
One thing that is certain at this point is that The Shift is a real phenomenon and, as the Cultural Creatives and memes studies demonstrate, it is happening today. The Shift is not a temporary by-product of the baby boom generation, or of any other generation in modern society. It is not a passing fad and it is not going away.
The Shift is the result of a cosmic cycle which is unfolding and, slowly but steadily, increasing the frequency of all consciousness upon the planet.
The Shift is, to put it simply, the most wonderful transformation in recorded history. This is where humanity gets to build, literally, Heaven on Earth.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Some Favorite Aldous Huxley Quotes


Aldous Huxley Quotes - Oct 15

The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.
Aldous Huxley

The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.
(This one keeps me going quite frequently when I don't feel like keeping going!  And also, the mighty help of God and His dear Angels!  deexxoo)
118 quotes and quotations by Aldous Huxley. ... The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, ... - 40k -
Googling Aldous Huxley, I found this one:
Late in his life Huxley remarked, "It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.'"  (I think he should have congratulated himself for that conclusion!)
What an interesting life he led.  I didn't know that he suffered near blindness, yet finished college and became a prolific writer, with one poor eye.  In his book credits is not mentioned the one that I particularly liked, "You are Not the Target" in which he was a co-author with his wife, Laura Archera Huxley.  That one got me through some tough times in the late sixties.  Needing to read it again, I've just ordered an old used copy I found on the internet for a dollar! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Scientists Excited over possibility of Volcano Eruption near Quesnel, B.C.

canada, canadian search engine, free email, canada news
Possibility of volcanic activty near Quesnel excites scientists
Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun

Scientists are headed tomorrow to an area 75 kilometres west of Quesnel to install seismological equipment aimed at determining whether a "swarm" of small earthquakes are evidence of a forthcoming burst of molten lava -- potentially the first volcanic activity in the province in two centuries.
"It's pretty exciting to see this," John Cassidy, earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, confirmed in an interview. "The earthquakes are continuing, even today. We should have some answers soon."
The story began last Wednesday when existing seismological equipment located, appropriately enough, at Thunder Mountain began recording earthquake activity.
Since then, there have been more than 100 small earthquakes -- most of them magnitude 1.0 or less on the Richter scale, but as big as 3.1 -- including an average of one per hour over the past 24 hours.
Th activity is located 20 kilometers west of Nazko Cone, which last erupted 7,200 years ago and is currently being mined for scoria, used for light-weight aggregate, landscaping and ground cover, and in agricultural and horticultural applications as a soil additive.
The new seismic equipment is expected to be installed as early as Tuesday right on top of the earthquake activity, allowing scientists to better determine the depth and direction of the activity.
Upward movement could be evidence the lava is working its way to the surface, causing small earthquakes as it muscles its way through the earth's rocks.
"That's one option," Cassidy said. "We don't know if it's caused by magma at depth or if it's tectonic -- just an earthquake in an unusual area, because we haven't seen earthquakes here before.
"It may turn out to be a little swarm of earthquakes in an unusual spot, but it may turn out to the be reawakening of a volcano, which is really exciting."
Even if lava is on its way, it could be take weeks or months to reach the surface, Cassidy said, noting it took Mount St. Helens in Washington about two months to finally blow its top in 1980.


Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mutating Polio Virus Causing Outbreak in Nigeria

The New York Times

October 11, 2007

Polio in Nigeria Traced to Mutating Vaccine

Nigeria is fighting an unusual outbreak of polio caused by mutating polio vaccine, world health authorities say, but the only remedy is to keep vaccinating children there.
Officials of the World Health Organization fear that news of the outbreak will be a new setback for eradication efforts in northern Nigeria, where vaccinations were halted in 2003 for nearly a year because of rumors that the vaccine sterilized Muslim girls or contained the AIDS virus. During that lull, polio spread to many new countries, although most have snuffed out the small outbreaks that resulted.
Officials deny suggestions that they kept the outbreak, which began last year, a secret, and say that they did not realize until recently that as many as 70 of Nigeria's last 1,300 polio cases stemmed from a mutant vaccine virus rather than "wild type" virus, which causes most polio.
"It was an oversight on our part," Dr. Bruce Aylward, director of the polio eradication campaign for the W.H.O., said yesterday. The agency discussed the first 16 cases it knew of at meetings early this year and posted information on its Web site in April, he said, "but only in places where lab people would look."
Outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio are unusual but not unheard of. Individual cases have been known for years. For example, a former lieutenant governor of Virginia was partly paralyzed in 1973, apparently after changing the diapers of his son, who had received oral vaccine.
The first spreading outbreak of a vaccine-derived strain, in which 22 children were paralyzed, was detected in 2001 in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Experts now believe another took place in Egypt in the late 1980s but went unnoticed amid the much larger numbers of wild-type infections. There have been others in the Philippines, Madagascar, China and Indonesia.
All were eventually eliminated by immunizing more children, and experts argue that the latest outbreak was able to spread because, until recently, only 30 to 40 percent of the children in northern Nigeria were vaccinated. About 70 percent are vaccinated there now, Dr. Aylward said.
In 2000, the United States switched to injected vaccine made from killed virus, which cannot mutate. But oral drops with the live, weakened version of the virus are still used in most poor countries, including those where the disease has never been eliminated: Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
This vaccine, invented by Albert Sabin, is easier to give, offers much stronger protection and can beneficially "infect" other family members or neighbors, protecting them too.
But in rare cases, it can mutate into something resembling wild polio virus, which can paralyze or kill. Dr. Aylward pointed out that 10 billion doses of oral vaccine had been given in the last 10 years, so such mutations are presumably extremely unusual.
Polio often circulates undetected; in only one of 200 infections will it cause paralysis, which signals health officials to look for the virus in the area.


Faith - Based Prison Programs are Working!

 We need a lot more of these programs.

Faith-based prison programs flourish

By DAVID CRARY, AP National WriterFri Oct 12, 2:33 PM ET
Killer-turned-artist Manny Hernandez on the prison where he's finishing an eight-year term: "It's a blessing to be here."
Fellow murderer and inmate Raymond Hall likens it to heaven.
"I love this place," says their warden, Cynthia Tilley. "It's so calm."
They're praising the Carol Vance Unit, founded in 1997 on the outskirts of Houston. It's the oldest of a rapidly growing number of faith-based prison facilities across the nation.
Even as they proliferate, fueled by the fervor of devout volunteers, these programs are often criticized. Evidence that they reduce recidivism is inconclusive, and skeptics question whether the prevailing evangelical tone of the units discriminates against inmates who don't share their conservative Christian outlook.
However, evidence is strong that violence and trouble-making drop sharply in these programs, and they often are the only vibrant rehabilitation option at a time when taxpayer-funded alternatives have been cut back.
Inmates at Vance offer another compelling argument. Unlike many of America's 2 million prisoners, they feel they are treated with respect. They have hope.
"A bunch of cats in prison, they never had anyone show them love — even their mother and father," said Anzetta Smith, who served 18 years for attempted murder before graduating from Vance this year. "You get in the program, and everybody shows you love."
Impressed by the Vance operation, Texas officials have opened a dozen faith-based dorms elsewhere in the state, accommodating some 1,300 inmates. At one dorm, at the maximum-security Allred prison near Wichita Falls, infractions by the inmates dropped more than 90 percent once they entered the program.
At Vance, a minimum-security prison, fights among inmates are rare, said Tommie Dorsett, a former parole officer who has directed the unit's Christian-based InnerChange Freedom Initiative since its inception.
He could recall only one incident in those 10 years when a correctional officer used force. "And that officer overreacted," Dorsett said.
Security at Vance is the state's responsibility. But the intensive, daylong programming is entirely in the hands of InnerChange, a project of the Prison Fellowship ministry founded by Chuck Colson, the former Nixon aide imprisoned because of the Watergate scandal.
Vance and eight other InnerChange programs in Kansas, Minnesota, Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa operate on the strength of Prison Fellowship's private financial resources and legions of volunteers.
In Florida, by contrast, the Department of Corrections has taken a more direct role, transforming three prisons — two for men, one for women — into "faith and character-based institutions" which it runs itself. The department says inmates at the three prisons committed 30 percent fewer infractions than comparable inmates elsewhere. A state task force recommended creating five more faith-based facilities.
The InnerChange program at Vance is open, on a voluntary basis, to men with less than two years left on their sentences. Sex offenders and inmates with bad disciplinary records are excluded. The days are filled with spiritual and academic classes, community meetings and work duties.
Bibles are a common sight on the bedside tables in the inmates' cubicles. Religious paintings, including eye-catching works by self-taught Manny Hernandez, decorate the walls.
Tilley, the warden, said the security staff is asked to treat the inmates politely. The atmosphere can be a pleasant shock to men arriving from tougher prisons.
"In my other prison, on a daily basis there was rape, drugs," said Raymond Hall, who was convicted at 16 of murder and hopes to complete his 15-year sentence in early 2009. "When you come to Carol Vance, it's like a load is lifted. It's like heaven."
Hall had just completed a class where readings included Bible passages and pastor Rick Warren's best-seller, "The Purpose Driven Life."
The instructor, Doug Jeffrey, urged the men to focus on using their resources — family, faith, education — to plan for succeeding when they go free.
"When you got accepted for this program, maybe that was the first time you realized God has a plan for you," Jeffrey said. "You guys are a chosen nation. You go out from prison with a different mind-set from guys not in this program."
Each inmate is assigned a volunteer mentor who provides counseling before and after release, assisting with job hunting and housing. Outgoing inmates are feted at a graduation ceremony, then leave the prison with their mentor — a sharp contrast to most Texas inmates, who exit with no assistance beyond $50 and directions to the bus station.
Florida's program also welcomes help from a wide range of volunteers, mostly but not exclusively from Christian organizations. Among them is Allison DeFoor, a former sheriff and judge who volunteers at the Lawtey prison near Jacksonville.
"It didn't feel like any prison I'd been to in my life," DeFoor said. "It felt more like a college."
However, the department's chaplaincy director, Alex Taylor, sees possible problems ahead if well-motivated inmates are concentrated in a few facilities.
"These type of inmates have a calming effect — they help maintain good work levels and good behavior," Taylor said. "If we put them all in one institution, it could have a bad effect on the bad guys elsewhere."
Elizabeth Alexander, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, has qualms about whether the faith-based programs are fair to non-Christian inmates but hesitates to criticize them because they fill a void. Two decades of tough-on-crime policies have sharply reduced the number of rehabilitative prison programs, she said, and volunteer-driven religious initiatives offer states a low-cost way to meet some of the demand.
In all, at least 10 states now have faith-based prison dorms. The Corrections Corporation of America, which operates private prisons, has separate "faith pods" housing about 1,660 inmates at 24 prisons in 13 states.
"The inmates have far fewer discipline issues," said CCA's John Lanz.
While disciplinary trends have been easy to track, it's been harder to compile data proving that faith-based programs succeed at their core mission — reducing recidivism.
Nationally, federal experts estimate that two-thirds of inmates released from state prisons are re-arrested for serious offenses within three years, and 52 percent go back behind bars. Proponents of faith-based programs insist they can achieve lower rates. But supportive data remains scarce, and some skeptics say the programs "cherry-pick" motivated inmates who would be less likely to re-offend under any circumstances.
Only about 10 percent of the inmates released from Florida's faith-based prisons have been reincarcerated. But an independent study last year also found very low recidivism among Florida inmates with similar characteristics who didn't go through the faith program.
Similarly, proponents of the InnerChange program at Vance have touted a 2003 study asserting that only 8 percent of its graduates returned to prison. But critics belittled that finding, saying it measured recidivism only for inmates who completed the program and got jobs, not for the larger number who dropped out and had a high recidivism rate.
"It's not that these programs are a bad idea," said Dan Mears, a Florida State University criminologist. "But there's no good evidence that they work."
To some graduates, like Anzetta Smith, their own positive experience is evidence enough.
He now works for a tent manufacturer and dates a nurse who shares his newly deepened faith.
"There's a team of support that's willing to help with any problem you have," said Smith, 47, after a weekly self-help meeting in Houston. "Our chances of staying out are way better because of it."
Leaders of InnerChange and other faith-based programs say they don't tolerate coercive proselytizing and welcome inmates of all faiths, as well as nonbelievers.
At Vance, the inmates include Quan Pham, 28, a Buddhist whose family came from Vietnam to Texas when he was 2. He's now in eighth year of a 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery committed while he was attending the University of Houston.
Pham said he was comfortable with the volunteers who teach Christian principles at Vance.
"They say, 'Try it, you might like it,' but they don't try to impose it on you," he said. "They don't expect anything from you except to participate."
However, the InnerChange program in Iowa is the target of a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which contends that state funds were used for religious indoctrination. It alleges that cooperative inmates received preferential treatment, while some Roman Catholic inmates — not embracing the evangelical approach — were denigrated.
A federal judge agreed with Americans United. He ordered the program be shut down, and said InnerChange must reimburse its $1.5 million payment from the state. The case could have ramifications for faith-based programs nationwide. It's now under appeal, and the program has been allowed to continue temporarily using only private funds, as is the policy at Vance and other InnerChange programs.
Alex Luchenitser, an Americans United attorney, said his group's primary concern is equal treatment of all inmates, regardless of their faith or lack of one.
"Legally, it's not relevant whether these programs are effective or not," he said.
InnerChange officials have repudiated the anti-Catholic attitudes recounted during the Iowa trial and insist they welcome a diversity of inmates.
Nonetheless, participation by Muslim and Catholic inmates in some of the programs has been modest. At Vance, only 16 of the more than 270 inmates are Catholic — far from the overall 20 percent that Catholics constitute throughout the Texas prison system.
Sam Dunning, a deacon overseeing Catholic social-justice programs in Houston, suggested that InnerChange's evangelical flavor could unsettle Catholic inmates even if they encountered no overt pressure.
"For us to go to Bible study, to hymn sings — that's not complete," Dunning said. "We need the Mass, we need a priest present."
Prison Fellowship's president, former Virginia attorney general Mark Earley, said any move to curtail evangelicals' volunteer work in prisons would undermine the prospects for greater nationwide emphasis on rehabilitation.
"If you excluded faith-based groups, you're excluding the largest number of people willing to be involved," he said. "There's not a whole lot of other people lining up at the prison doors."
Lloyd Knapp, a retired corporate executive who volunteers at Vance, is among those who pitches in.
As a mentor, Knapp, 76, tries to keep in touch with his proteges after their release. At the prison, he counsels inmates who come into a tiny office to share their troubles.
"Some just need someone to listen," Knapp said. "I'm not telling them how to live their life. Everything in life God has given them, and it's up to them how to use it."
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

MILINET: Al Gore and the Mission of the Nobel Prizes--John Berlau

Dee and Roy Rohe <> wrote:
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 01:46:46 -0400
From: "Dee and Roy Rohe" <>
Subject: MILINET: Al Gore and the Mission of the Nobel Prizes--John Berlau

~~~~~~~~ i rest my case! ..................................g.
-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: MILINET: Al Gore and the Mission of the Nobel Prizes--John Berlau
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 20:49:38 +0000

Return to the Article

October 12, 2007

Al Gore and the Mission of the Nobel Prizes
By John Berlau

Al Gore has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. This choice, more than any other Nobel Committee selection, marks the end of a 105-year era. In direct contradiction of Alfred Nobel's last will and testament, the selection of Gore essentially means the Peace Prize can no longer be said to be an award for improving the condition of humankind. Looking at Gore's writing, it's far from clear that Gore even believes that humanity is his most important priority.

Not that there haven't been controversial or dubious selections before. Jimmy Carter was selected by the committee in 2002 in what was partly a
political swipe at the Bush administration's foreign policy. Yasser Arafat was given the Peace Prize despite his ordering the killing of scores of innocent civilians.

But, at the very least, the stated aims of Carter and even Arafat were the improvement of human life. Gore, by contrast, does not even profess improving the human condition as his fundamental goal. Rather, his stated desire is to stop human activity that he sees as ruining what he calls the "ecosystem." Awarding the prize to Gore in 2007 is the equivalent of honoring the
Luddites who tried to stop the beneficial technologies of Alfred Nobels's day.

A common theme of selection for the Nobel Peace Prize and the other Nobel awards has been the use of science and technology to overcome problems afflicting hu mans such as starvation and disease. This fulfills the vision of Swedish inventor and entrepreneur Nobel, who pioneered the product of dynamite. For the first time, an explosive device could be stored safely and detonate predictably on a large scale. Nobel's products were used for war, as even the most primitive explosives had been
for centuries . But dynamite also vastly improved the 19th and 20th century standard of living through its use in the construction of buildings, railroad tunnels, and sea passages such as the Panama Canal.

In creating the annual prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of world peace (roughly the same five fields for which Nobels are awarded today today), Nobel stated the desire in his
will to honor

"those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

According to
Alfred Nobel: A Biograpy by Kenne Fant, an earlier draft of Nobel's will stipulated that prizes in all categories should be

"a reward for the most important pioneering discoveries or works in the field of knowledge and progress."

But for Albert Gore, Jr. the fields of knowled ge and progress are suspect, and so are many types of technology with benefits to mankind. This is a man who speaks despairingly of "our civilization" and sees as flawed man's attempt to rise above "nature." He
describes global warming as "the category 5 collision between our civilization - as we currently pursue it - and the earth's environment."

He has been critical of "civilization" and human technological advancement even before global warming became his main issue. In the introduction to his 1992 book Â
Earth in the Balance, Gore writes,

"In one sense, civilization itself has been on a journey from its foundations in the world of nature to an ever more contrived, controlled and manufactured world of our own imitative and sometimes arrogant design. And in my view, the price has been high."

But exactly what part of "controlling" and "contriving" does Gore object to? Does he really think the price of curing diseases through new drugs or feeding the world through advance farming techniques been too "high." In many passages of his writing, the answer seems to be yes. This puts him conflict with the vision of Nobel as well as that of many of the previous prize recipients honored for their pioneering achievements in agriculture or medicine.

Several Nobel prizes, for instances, have
honore d life-saving breakthroughs in stopping cancer. But in Earth in the Balance , Gore wonders aloud whether cancer treatments should be used if they would result in the harvesting of what he considers to be to be too many trees. On page 119 he writes:

"The Pacific Yew can be cut down and processed to produce a potent chemical, taxol, which offers some promise of curing certain forms of lung, breast, and ovarian cancer in patients who would otherwise quickly die. It seems an easy choice - sacrifice the tree for a human life - until one learns that three trees must be destroyed for each patient treated."

As Gore's apologists have
pointed out , he does later in the passage list one of his reasons as saving some trees for future generations. But there is no discussion in Gore's passage about a basic solution to this dilemma -- simply plant new groves of yews! Thus, he still seems to be giving the life of an old Pacific Yew a competing claim with a dying cancer patient.

But it's not just cancer patients that come into Gore's technological crosshairs. Gore also points out the supposedly dire effect on nature of growing more food to feed the hungry. Ironically, he blasts what is called the "green revolution," the high-yield farming and plant breeding that has made countries like
India and Pakistan self-sustaining in agriculture. Norman Borlaug won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering these techniques and bringing them to the Third World.

But in
Earth in the Balance Gore decries "the much-heralded Green Revolution" as well as biotechnology that promises to further revolutionize agriculture. Gore concedes,

"To be sure, these same new ‘miracle crops' ... have temporarily conquered hunger in a few of the Third World Nations."

But, he concludes,

"the higher yields made possible b y genetically altered crop strains often cannot be sustained over time, as the pests and blights catch up to them and as overirrigation and overfertilizing take their toll on soil productivity."

Modern farming techniques, he writes, are

"a set of dangerous bargains with the future worthy of the theatrical legend that haunted the birth of the scientific revolution: Dr. Faustus."

This is an example of how Gore alarms and misleads at the same time. Yes, any agricultural improvement may have negative side effects that need to be fixed. But India's "temporary" conquering of hunger has lasted 40 years, and the nation is now a net grain exporter. Borlaug has also been honored by politicians of both parties, as he is a senior consultant to the
Carter Center and was surrounded by President Bush and the House and Senate leaders Pelosi and Reid when he received the Congressional Gold Medal this July. Gore's disparaging of Borlaug's prize-winning achievement shows how far out of the scientific mainstream Gore is on this and other issues.

Unfortunately, Gore still has plenty of influence as an ambassador of science to the media and lay public, and a Nobel Peace Prize may magnify this even more. The results of honoring Gore's dishonoring of human progress could be tragic and devastating. Look no further than Gore's tira des against another Nobel-winning achievement: the life-saving insecticide DDT.

The Nobel Committee recognized DDT's immeasurable contribution to public health. In 1948, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Paul Hermann Muller, the Swiss chemist who discovered DDT's effectiveness at combating the insects that spread deadly diseases. As the Nobel web site entry for Dr. Muller
states , "Field trials now showed it [DDT] to be effective not only against the common housefly, but also against a wide variety of pests, including the louse, Colorado beetle, and mosquito," The web site notes further that during World War II, DDT "proved to be of enormous value in combating typhus and malaria -- malaria was, in fact, completely eradicated from many isl and areas."

And after World War II, DDT eradicated malaria in vast areas of the world, including parts of the southern United States. But it was vilified in the 1962 book "Silent Spring" written by Rachel Carson, a woman Gore has called a heroine. As a result of the ensuing U.S. and worldwide near-prohibition on making DDT, several
millions have died in Africa from mosquito-borne malaria that DDT could prevent.

Even after the turnabout by the
World Health Organization , the New York Times and other establishment venues, Gore has never once said that Rachel Carson was wrong. As late as 1996, he called DDT a "notorious compound" that "presented serious human health risks." The tragedy is that on this issue, Gore could have used his tremendous political capital to make a difference in reducing malaria deaths.

And Gore is still hindering anti-malaria efforts by spreading misinformation about its main causes. In his movie and book An Inconvenient Truth, Gore blames global warming for recent outbreaks of malaria in the cooler regions of Kenya. But as I have reported in my book
Eco-Freaks and elsewhere, the World Health Organization had documented epidemics in those very regions in the 1940s, long before global warming was on the radar screen. The malaria was wiped out there, as elsewhere, by DDT, and unfortunately, as elsewhere, has now returned in the absence of DDT's use.

Also unfortunate is that the establishment media for the most part has not seen fit to correct Gore on this and many other dangerous misstatements in
An Inconvenient Truth. Now, they may be even less inclined to do so. Never before would the awarding of a Nobel Prize have to potential to due so much damage to public health and human progress. If the Nobel Committee goes with the "politically correct" winds, it is incumbent on every Nobel laureate who cares about the legacy of Alfred Nobel to denounce this terrible decision.

Updated 9:02 AM EDT

John Berlau is a policy director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the Amazon best-selling book Eco-Freaks.

Page Printed from: at October 12, 2007 - 10:10:59 PM EDT

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Morphogenic Resonance - or a Plethora of Galactic Center Disinformation?

"Disinformation is most successfully crafted when it disseminates a distorted concept that is very close to the target concept, thereby rendering a state of confusion."
~End Excerpt
Aha!  Who or What entity(ies) would want to render us into a state of confusion?
It could only be the adversary..
Morphogenic Resonance or a Plethora of Galactic Center Disinformation?
    In June of 1979 Dr. Paul LaViolette deciphered an ancient constellation message describing the past arrival of a cosmic ray volley from our Galaxy's core and of its subsequent cataclysmic effect on the Earth. The following month he wrote this up as a short paper on this "superwave" concept. In 1983, after 4 years of Ph.D. research, he published his dissertation investigation of this Galactic superwaves and their connection with cyclic global cataclysms. In this dissertation and in his subsequent papers and books (Beyond the Big Bang and Earth Under Fire), LaViolette has made every attempt to establish the logical basis for every statement he has made.
    However, beginning in 1991, several individuals began writing on a similar theme of the imminent arrival of a Galactic center energy wave, claiming to have been enlightened on the subject directly through psychic contact with extraterrestrials. Unfortunately, they did not subject their intuited information to the test of reason and observation. Instead they have combined factual concepts with fictional ideas and misrepresented them to an unwitting public as uncontestable fact. So readers should observe caution in selecting reading material in this area. Below are a few examples of papers and books that present channeled misinformation that could be confused with the scientifically researched superwave concept.
(1981): This disinformation story actually begins in 1981 with an article on the "photon belt" written by Shirley Kemp and published in the Australian International UFO Research Society magazine, and reprinted in the February/March 1991 issue of Nexus magazine. Kemp's article focused on the Pleiades star cluster as the source of the photon belt and made no mention of the Galactic center. The mixing of the photon belt concept with the idea of a Galactic center wave came later, being injected by subsequent authors such as Robert Stanley and Barbara Hand Clow. Kemp described the photon belt as a ring of energy that encircles the Pleiades with its outer border presently being positioned just about to touch our solar system. She claimed that its presence had been detected in 1961 by satellite observations of the Pleiades. In fact, there is no record of such a satellite detection, nor is it likely that satellites in those days would have been equipped to make such observations. Also neither is there evidence of such a belt from observations with present day ground and space based telescopes.
    Furthermore Kemp claimed that in the course of 24,000 years our solar system completes an orbit about the star Alcyone in the Pleiades cluster and passes through the photon belt twice in the course of a revolution, alternately bathing in the belt for a period of 2000 years, followed by a period of 10,000 years outside of the belt. Moreover she claimed that during the imminent time when the solar system is within the photon belt, the present day/night cycle would cease and be replaced by a 2000 year-long period of continuous light during which time humanity would be transformed into spiritually enlightened "Atmosphereans."
    As for the part about the solar system orbiting the Pleiades, or more specifically orbiting the star Alcyone, this can be shown to be absurd. The Pleiades lie about 400 light years away in the Taurus constellation; hence an orbit about them would necessarily measure about 2500 light years. To circle them in a period of only 24,000 years, the solar system would then have to be travelling through the Galaxy at over 10 percent the speed of light, a thousand times faster than the Earth's orbit about the Sun. If this were true the shape of the constellations would noticeably change within a single lifetime due to stellar parallax effects. There is no evidence of this. Moreover to cause such an orbital speed by gravitational action, Alcyone would have had to be over a billion times more massive than our Sun, thus rivaling the core of our own Galaxy. In fact, there is no evidence of any kind that the solar system nor any of the Pleiades stars are in orbit about Alcyone. The whole idea of the photon belt would seem to be ludicrous were it not for the fact that so many people have completely fallen for the idea and adopted it as part of their reality. An additional critique of Kemp's paper may be found at the following website:

(1991): In the summer of 1991 Robert Stanley published an article in Unicus magazine entitled "The Photon Zone: Earth's Future Brightens." His article combined the photon belt concept with a Galactic center outburst concept that had striking similarities to LaViolette's Galactic superwave concept, but lacked any kind of scientific or observational basis. Stanley described the "photon zone" as a belt or toroid of excess photons being emitted from the center of our Galaxy and that "rotate at a 90 degree right angle to our solar system's horizontal orbit."
    Stanley apparently did not reference LaViolette's scientific papers which describe evidence of Galactic cosmic ray superwaves being emitted from the Galactic center, each outwardly moving superwave shell producing a ring of electromagnetic radiation concentric with the Galactic center and lying along the galactic plane, accompanying the superwave as it travels outward. This radiation zone could be termed a "photon band" or "photon belt". LaViolette has shown that radiation coming from the nearest of these superwave radiation rings, at its closest point to us, would appear to originate from a region lying about 7000 light years away in the Taurus constellation region (~6500 light years further away than the Pleiades), and that in the opposite direction, toward the Galactic center (Scorpius constellation region), it would lie furthest from us, about 30,000 light years away. Thus the photon band concept which lacks supporting observational evidence, creates a climate of confusion for those interested in learning about the superwave concept.
    Although Stanley describes this photon band as being emitted from the Galactic center, he also presents the contradictory notion that it is a stationary zone. Adopting many of Shirley Kemp's proclamations, he states that the photon band lies near our Sun and that our solar system periodically passes through it as a result of a 26,000 year epicycle-like orbit that it supposedly follows through space. In her book The Pleiadian Agenda, B. H. Clow quotes Stanley as saying "our solar system enters this area of our Galaxy [the photon zone] every 11,000 years and then passes through for 2000 years while completing its 26,000-year galactic orbit" about the star Alcyone. However, there is no astronomical evidence that the solar system circumscribes a 26,000 year orbit about Alcyone. There is evidence that the Sun orbits the Galactic center (Sagittarius A*) once in about 200 million years, the Galactic center being situated in a direction opposite from the Pleiades in the direction of the Sagittarius and Scorpio constellations.
    Ancient Hindu astronomers taught that the Sun moves radially inward and outward from the Galaxy's "Grand Center" on a 24,000 year cycle, but this would constitute an oscillatory movement, not an "orbit". Neither is there any reason to think that the ancients considered Alcyone, and not Sgr A* as being the Galaxy's "Grand Center." As described in Earth Under Fire, cyclical radial motion with respect to the Galactic core Sgr A* could occur if superwaves were to exert a tidal force on the Sun and planets.
(1994): The book The Pleiadian Agenda, channeled by Barbara Hand Clow, further propagated the photon belt myth, combining it with a Galactic center origin. In this case, however, Clow had prior knowledge of LaViolette's ideas. In August of 1991, LaViolette had submitted to Clow the manuscript for his book Beyond the Big Bang (then titled Warriors of Creation) along with the first chapter and outline for its sequel Earth Under Fire (then titled Astrology Decoded). These were sent to her in confidence, in her capacity as being then Vice President editor of Bear and Company, a New Age book publisher. These materials described LaViolette's 1979 theory that about 13,000 years ago the Earth had been affected by an expanding "zone" or "belt" of radiation that had issued from the Galactic center, a phenomenon he called a Galactic "superwave." After reading this work, Clow expressed great interest in publishing both books in revised form, especially the second book describing the Galactic superwave. However, later in November 1991, LaViolette had reservations about choosing this publisher and turned down her offer to publish his books.
    Some months later, in 1992, Clow says she began psychically channeling an entity called Satya, a Pleiadian extraterrestrial astrologer supposedly residing in the Alcyone star system. Then, a few years later, in 1994 she reportedly began channeling her book The Pleiadian Agenda, which she subsequently published in 1995. Curiously, her book presented ideas very similar to LaViolette's superwave concept, describing a "photon band" emanating from the Galactic center, that engulfed the Earth around 13,000 years ago bringing about the legendary apocalyptic cataclysm. Although LaViolette was the first to propose such an idea, and although she had prior knowledge of Dr. LaViolette's work, Clow/Satya did not mention his work in her book, neither did she reference his many scientific papers nor his book Beyond the Big Bang, which were published on this topic between 1983 and 1995. Instead, Clow/Satya only refer to Shirley Kemp's photon belt paper and to Robert Stanley's photon zone paper, which interestingly was published the same summer that LaViolette had submitted his confidential manuscript to her, and which presented ideas similar to LaViolette's superwave idea (see above).
    Like Stanley, Clow/Satya describes the impending movement of the Earth into a stationary photon band and frames this event in terms of a coming New Age global psychic transformation. But in places The Pleiadian Agenda confuses the idea of a Galactic center origin by stating that the photon band originates from the Pleiadian star Alcyone, a region which it claims is always bathed in the "photon band" radiation. In these parts she describes the photon band as originating from a region on the side of the Earth opposite to the Galactic center, hence approaching from a direction exactly opposite from the direction that superwaves would approach. In the direction of the Pleiades, LaViolette's superwave event horizon (radiation zone) would instead be receding from us, not approaching.
    Disinformation is most successfully crafted when it disseminates a distorted concept that is very close to the target concept, thereby rendering a state of confusion. The photon band conjecture very appropriately achieves this objective. Around this same time, other channeled writings were published that similarly described a "photon belt" and web pages have sprung up disseminating these concepts. Unfortunately, rather than being educational, these works have the potential of creating general confusion by diverting attention about approaching Galactic energy waves away from the Galactic center and toward the Pleiades.
(1997): Robert Cox's book Pillar of Celestial Fire, published in 1997, also described a Galactic center influence on the Earth. Like Beyond the Big Bang and Earth Under Fire, this book speaks of the Galactic center producing a "ray" or "wave" of "celestial fire" that washes over the Earth causing geologic change, and also mentions a connection between the Sagittarius arrow indicator and the Galactic center. Although the book lists Beyond the Big Bang in its bibliography, it does not cite LaViolette's prior work as the source of these ideas. It mixes these concepts with other channeled ideas about a "pillar of celestial fire" of pure consciousness that it says is approaching the Earth from the direction of the Pleiades, a location which, it claims, contains the conscious "Center of the Universe." Thus, by calling attention to a celestial fire phenomenon that supposedly approaches from a direction opposite to the Galactic center, this celestial fire concept, like the photon belt concept, participates in creating an atmosphere of confusion.
(1998): James Gilliland circulated an email announcement claiming the arrival of a "pulse of consciousness" from the "center of the universe" whose secondary cause is a luminous "photon belt" and which he claims is responsible for solar and geomagnetic disturbances currently going on. Although Gilliland writes that this pulse "has been observed and measured, in fact his "knowledge" of it comes from psychic channeled contacts that he claims he has had with Pleiadians during close encounters with their spacecraft. Could he and others be unwitting participants in an extraterrestrial disinformation campaign?
(1998): On his website, Drunvalo Melchizedek published an incorrect announcement that the Galactic center has been seen to "pulse huge amounts of energy out into the universe" since the time of December 14, 1997 and that in June of 1998 the "beeper" satellite "was destroyed by one of these blasts from the center of our galaxy." In fact, no such thing had happened. Up to the present, the Galactic center has been observed to continue its relatively quiescent state. The "psychic scientist" who supplied Melchizedek this disinformation later withdrew his Galactic center pronouncement. But it has been well over 8 months now and Melchizedek has still persisted in leaving this startling disinformaition on his website. Melchizedek was aware of Dr. LaViolette's scientific work since a year earlier he had attended a seminar in which LaViolette had spoken about Galactic superwaves and had purchased a copy of Earth Under Fire from him. However, for some reason he chose not to consult LaViolette to check the validity of the information he posted.

© 1999 Paul LaViolette

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