Your brain doesn't contain memories

SUBHEAD: It allows you to integrate something from its past into its future to respond the new.

By Nick Stockton on 19 July 2017 for Wired Magazine -
(https://www.wired.com/story/your-brain-is-memories/)


Image above: DSetail of illustration of human brain function. From (https://www.wtfclub.net/brain-facts/).

Recall your favorite memory: the big game you won; the moment you first saw your child's face; the day you realized you had fallen in love. It's not a single memory, though, is it? Reconstructing it, you remember the smells, the colors, the funny thing some other person said, and the way it all made you feel.

Your brain's ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By extension, it is the basis of you. This isn't just metaphysical poetics. Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another.

That means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories constantly remake your brain. This framework for memory dates back decades. And a sprawling new review published today in Neuron adds an even finer point: Memory exists because your brain’s molecules, cells, and synapses can tell time.

Defining memory is about as difficult as defining time. In general terms, memory is a change to a system that alters the way that system works in the future.

"A typical memory is really just a reactivation of connections between different parts of your brain that were active at some previous time," says neuroscientist Nikolay Kukushkin, coauthor of this paper. And all animals—along with many single-celled organisms—possess some sort of ability to learn from the past.

Like the sea slug. From an evolutionary perspective, you'd have a hard time drawing a straight line from a sea slug to a human. Yet they both have neurons, and sea slugs form something similar to memories.

If you pinch a sea slug on its gills, it will retract them faster the next time your cruel little fingers come close. Researchers found synapse connections that strengthen when the sea slug learns to suck in its gills, and molecules that cause this change. Remarkably, human neurons have similar molecules.

So what's that got to do with your favorite memory? "What is unique about neurons is they can connect to thousands of other neurons, each very specifically," says Kukushkin.

And what makes those connections a network is the fact that those specific connections, those synapses, can be adjusted with stronger or weaker signals. So every experience—every pinch to the gills—has the potential to reroute the relative strengths of all those neuronal connections.

But it would be a mistake to believe that those molecules, or even the synapses they control, are memories.

"When you dig into molecules, and the states of ion channels, enzymes, transcription programs, cells, synapses, and whole networks of neurons, you come to realize that there is no one place in the brain where memories are stored," says Kukushkin. This is because of a property called plasticity, the feature of neurons that memorize. The memory is the system itself.

And there's evidence of memory-making throughout the tree of life, even in creatures with no nervous system—scientists have trained bacteria to anticipate a flash of a light. Kukushkin explains that primitive memories, like the sea slug's response, are advantageous on an evolutionary scale. "It allows an organism to integrate something from its past into its future and respond to new challenges," he says.

Human memories—even the most precious—begin at a very granular scale. Your mother's face began as a barrage of photons on your retina, which sent a signal to your visual cortex. You hear her voice, and your auditory cortex transforms the sound waves into electrical signals. Hormones layer the experience with with context—this person makes you feel good.

These and a virtually infinite number of other inputs cascade across your brain. Kukushkin says your neurons, their attendant molecules, and resultant synapses encode all these related perturbations in terms of the relative time they occurred. More, they package the whole experience within a so-called time window.

Obviously, no memory exists all by itself. Brains break down experience into multiple timescales experienced simultaneously, like sound is broken down into different frequencies perceived simultaneously. This is a nested system, with individual memories existing within multiple time windows of varying lengths.

And time windows include every part of the memory, including molecular exchanges of information that are invisible at the scale you actually perceive the event you are remembering.
Yes, this is very hard for neuroscientists to understand too. Which means it's going to be a long time before they understand the nuts and bolts of memory formation.

"In an ideal world, we would be able to trace the behavior of each individual neuron in time," says Kukushkin. At the moment, however, projects like the Human Connectome represent the cutting edge, and they are still working on a complete picture of the brain at a standstill. Like memory itself, putting that project into motion is all a matter of time.


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The American Empire is ‘collapsing’

SUBHEAD: A United States military study indicates that the Global Order it supports is fraying and crumbling.

By By Darius Shahtahmasebi on 18 July 2017 for the Last American Vagabond -
(http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/military/us-military-establishment-study-american-empire-collapsing/)


Image above: US military equipment including Hummers and tanks fill a road to the horizon. From original article.

A new study conducted by members of the U.S. military establishment has concluded that the U.S.-led international global order established after World War II is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing” as the U.S. continues to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.
“In brief, the sta­tus quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II and has for decades been the principal ‘beat’ for DoD is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing,” the report states.
The report, published in June by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, evaluated the Department of Defense’s (DOD) approach to risk assessment at all levels of Pentagon policy planning.

The study was supported and sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate; the Joint Staff, J5 (Strategy and Policy Branch); the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Develop­ment; and the Army Study Program Management Office.

Imperial hubris
As explained by Nathan Freier, the project director and principal author of the report, the U.S. and its defense establishment “are stumbling through a period of hypercompetition.” From Freier’s point of view, the current era is marred with furious battles for positional advantage at a number of levels, whether national, transnational, or extra-national.

Freier explains that America’s failure to cope is the result of “hubris,” which is reminiscent of Imperial Hubris, a book by Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit. Imperial Hubris also warned the U.S. about the very controversial and hubristic reasons it was losing the war on terror (hubris means “exaggerated pride or self-confidence,” according to Merriam-Webster).

Technically, the report does not officially represent the Pentagon, though it does represent the “collective wisdom” of those consulted – including a number of Pentagon officials and prominent think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the RAND Corporation, and the Institute for the Study of War.

Nevertheless, the report involved consultation with key agencies across the DoD and the Armed Forces and encouraged the U.S. government to invest more heavily in surveillance, better propaganda through “strategic manipulation” of public opinion, and a “wider and more flexible” U.S. military. The report states:
“While as a rule, U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals, the post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action… Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.”
The year-long study concluded that the DoD should discard its outdated risk conventions and change how it describes, identifies, assesses, and communicates strategic-level and risk-based choices.

As investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed observed, these are the very strategies that have led to the U.S.’ declining power in the first place. Further enacting these failed strategies will only exacerbate the problem and demonstrates America’s refusal to go down without a fight.

The blame lies with resistant states
According to Freier and his team, the dangers currently challenging the U.S. don’t just come from countries like Russia and China (and even North Korea and Iran), but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events that could potentially erupt all over the world.

One might wonder, then, why the U.S. decided to support a number of these events, even to the great benefit of known jihadist movements that already existed within them.

Ahmed also astutely points out that the report doesn’t actually substantiate its claims that countries like Russia are a genuine threat to America’s national security, aside from the fact that these countries seek to pursue their own core interests – as most countries should be free to do (within reason).
According to the report, Iran and North Korea are ;

“… neither the products of, nor are they satisfied with, the contemporary order… At a minimum, they intend to destroy the reach of the U.S.-led order into what they perceive to be their legitimate sphere of influence. They are also resolved to replace that order locally with a new rule set dictated by them.”
It is notable that the report does not list Iran and North Korea as nuclear threats — as traditional neoconservative propaganda often asserts — but simply as perceived threats to the American-led world order.

The report also found that the international framework has been restructured in ways that are “inhospitable” and often “hostile” to U.S. leadership. For example, “proliferation, diversification, and atomization of effective counter-U.S. resistance,” as well as “resurgent but transformed great power competition” are seen to be at the heart of this new international restructuring.

According to the report, the U.S. is not prepared for these circumstances, and the report seeks to provide the U.S. with guidance to deal with these emerging scenarios.

In all seriousness, hostility to the U.S. military did not develop in a vacuum – it is quite clearly the sheer arrogance of America’s leadership and its incessant meddling in foreign affairs that have created a number of adversaries who are no longer willing to bow to American interests.

The “Wake Up Call”
Though the report throws the word “adapt” around often, the U.S. is clearly not willing to adapt at all if the only way it can deal with its issues is to strengthen the very sources of said issues in the first place. If the only tool the U.S. has is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail. The more problems the U.S. faces, the more nails it sees in need of quashing.

While some may laud a report in which advisors to the U.S. have acknowledged America’s status as a dying power, the truth, as demonstrated in this recent analysis, is that the U.S. will not give up its place in global affairs without a fight.

As the report states, the reality of this looming collapse should not be seen as defeatism, but rather, should be a “wake up call.”

Take the Syrian conflict, for example. The more places Assad’s military liberates, the more refugees are returning home and the more concerts are being held. Syria, Russia, and Iran have achieved these mounting successes even in the face of direct American intervention – and yet the U.S. still refuses to leave the country.

Irrespective of crimes committed by the pro-Assad axis, if the ultimate objective has been to reduce the suffering in Syria and end the war, the U.S. should admit defeat and move on — especially once ISIS’ caliphate collapses entirely. But the U.S. won’t – and is reportedly considering greater involvement in the war-torn country.

The U.S. knows it is on the brink of collapse but refuses to go down peacefully. From the point of view of the powers-that-be, as long as every nail of resistance can be broken, the American hammer will continue to lead the world in international affairs.

But even as this report indicates, it is precisely because of America’s hubris that it has found itself in this position in the first place.

In this context, the report is somewhat contradictory and only further encourages the United States to provoke further hostility from aggrieved players on the world stage.

Carrying on these practices and exacerbating them is totally nonsensical, but doing so continues to be the go-to mantra of the U.S. war machine.

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Solar Panels to block XL route

SUBHEAD: Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline plan to install of solar panels on its route first.

By Ron Johnson on 11 July 2017 for Earth Island Journal -
(http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/solar_panel_installations_keystone_xl_route/)


Image above: A linear array of solar photo-voltaic panels cross the landscape. From (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gsl-energy-finished-2mw-grid-tied-ground-solar-pv-systems-gsl-energy).

Environmental groups hope to block pipeline’s path, promote renewable energy as Nebraska ponders pipeline approval.

When President Donald Trump signed off on a presidential permit okaying the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in March, it was a real blow to an environmental movement that had tasted victory over the dirty tar sands clunker back in 2015 when President Obama withdrew the permit for the project.

With Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau united in their support of the pipeline, it seemed little could stand in the way of some 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands fuel barreling down a 36-inch crude oil pipe from Hardisty, Alberta through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska to export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline seemed destined to pass over, under, and through environmentally sensitive areas such as Nebraska’s Sandhills, and putt at risk the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest underground freshwater sources.

But not so fast. Anti-pipeline activists are holding strong. And last week, they announced Solar  XL, the latest move in a battle waged against the pipeline. Launched July 7 by a coalition of groups including Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environment Network, and Oil Change International, the campaign features a series of solar panel arrays installed directly on the KXL pipeline route as it passes through Nebraska.

“We are putting solutions in the path of the problem,” said Sara Shor, a campaigner for 350.org.  “TransCanada will have to literally dig up these solar arrays in order to build a polluting pipeline of the past that will pollute land and water, increase carbon emissions, and make climate change worse. The first project will be completed by the time the hearing in Lincoln starts in August.”

Each installation will cost $15,500 for a nine-panel frame, net-metering connection to the Nebraska power grid, and labor. The groups aim to raise $50,000 via crowdfunding at the Action Network to help finance the installation in locations where landowners have refused to sell to TransCanada.

The energy produced by the arrays will be used by Nebraska farmers and ranchers leading the fight against KXL in Nebraska, both symbolically and literally putting a renewable energy future directly in the path of some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet.

“I am vehemently opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline mainly because of the properties of the contents of the tar sands oil it will carry — this is not your Mother’s crude oil, it is the Devil’s, and it can kill,” said Nebraska landowner Jim Carlson.

“We must be focused on clean, renewable energy and America can get along just fine without this foul concoction they call bitumen that TransCanada wants to pipe across our precious soil and water.”

The current pipeline route would also pass through Indigenous treaty lands, and the campaign includes solar panel installation at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp in South Dakota, a prayer camp set up to oppose KXL back in 2014.

“On the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, renewable energy projects are already serving Indigenous peoples, and more are being planned,” said Wayne Frederick, member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

“From Nebraska to Alberta, Indigenous peoples, farmers, and communities along Keystone XL’s route know that our best resistance is through putting the answers in the path of the problem.”

Advocates are honing in on Nebraska as it is the last state reviewing the pipeline — all the other states through which KXL would pass have already approved the project. The publically elected Public Service Commission (PSC) is tasked with approving (or not approving) the route. 

The PSC has been holding a series of hearings over the past months to gather information from the public, and is reviewing the thousands of comments registered in opposition to the project. The crucial final hearings are set to get underway August 3.

For grassroots activists such as Bold Nebraska, PSC is the last line of defense, and they are doing whatever they can to get the message out that Keystone XL has no place in the Cornhusker state. 

The group is made up largely of local farmers and ranchers fighting against the use of eminent domain to get the pipeline onto Nebraska land, as threatened by TransCanada, the Canadian energy company behind the project.

“Building America means relying on energy that protects our property rights and ensures we have clean drinking water. Foreign tar sands in the Keystone XL pipeline, that would flow to the export market, is not in our public or our state’s interest,”

Bold Alliance president Jane Kleeb said in a statement. “When faced with challenges, Nebraskans find solutions together to show our communities’ values and the bond to the land that TransCanada cannot break or buy.”

Since President Trump approved KXL, it seems there has been no shortage of news demonstrating why it isn’t needed, from the withering away of customer interest in using the new pipeline to new statistics showing more people working in the solar industry than oil, gas and coal combined, which begs the question of who stands to benefit from more fossil fuel infrastructure. 

"The fight is absolutley not over," Shor said. "And no matter what happens in Nebraska, Trump's complete disregard for communities in approving this project has only activated thousands more people to fight the fossil fuel projects that are in their backyards," Shor said. 

"Every fossil fuel company should be shaking in their boots because of the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy projects."

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Keystone XL an Act of War 11/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Facebook "likes" Keystone XL 5/2/13

Ea O Ka Aina: DAPL battle not over 6/16/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Defense contractors fought NoDAPL 5/27/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Tribes divest DAPL Bankers 2/13/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Veterans defending NoDAPL 2/11/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Army Corps okays DAPL Easement  2/8/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump orders go on DAPL EIS 2/3/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Water Protectors pipeline resistance 2/1/17 
Ea O Ka Aina: Force a full EIS on DAPL 1/27/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump orders shale oil pipelines 1/24/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Missile launcher at Standing Rock 1/19/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Lockdown at Trans-Pecos Pipeline 1/10/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Rock has changed us 12/9/16
Ea O Ka Aina: As Standing Rock celebrates... 12/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Army Corps denies easement 12/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: My Whole Heart is With You 12/2/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Loving Containment of Courage 12/1/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Beginning is Near 12/1/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Feds to shutdown NoDAPL Camp 11/25/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL people are going to die 11/23/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Hundreds of vets to join NoDAPL 11/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama must support Standing Rock 11/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump's pro oil stance vs NoDaPL 11/15/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai NoDAPL Demonstration 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama to Betray Standing Rock 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump impact on Standing Rock 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Ann Wright on Standing Rock 11/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Turning Point at Standing Rock 11/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jackson Browne vs DAPL owner 11/5/16
Democracy Now: Boycott of DAPL Owner's Music Festival
Ea O Ka Aina: World responds to NoDAPL protests 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL victory that was missed 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: DAPL hid discovery of Sioux artifacts 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Dakota Access Pipeline will leak 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline 11/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sanders calls for stopping DAPL 11/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama hints at DAPL rerouting 11/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: New military attack on NODAPL 11/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: How to Support NoDAPL 11/3/16
Unicorn Riot: Tweets from NoDAPL 11/2/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Rock & the Ballot Box 10/31/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL reclaim new frontline 10/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: How far will North Dakota go? 10/23/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16

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Young men and imaginary worlds

SUBHEAD: For many men the gaming universe is more enjoyable than the real world.

By Mike Shedlock on 17 July 2017 for Mish Talk -
(https://mishtalk.com/2017/07/17/another-reason-men-dont-work-imaginary-world-more-enjoyable-than-the-real-world/)


Image above: Detail if illustration of the hero characters from the top 70 video games of all time. From (http://www.slayerment.com/top-video-game-songs-all-time).

President Trump, like President Obama before him, point out the low unemployment rate as a measure of success.

What they don’t point out are masses of people on welfare via fraudulent disabilities, people in school wasting money in dead-end retraining exercises, people who have simply given up looking for a job, and people in forced retirement needing Social Security payments to survive.

A team of researchers from Princeton, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester discusses another class of individuals who are not working but are not counted as unemployed: People, primarily young men who are addicted to games. For such individuals, games provide a fantasy world that is far more enjoyable than the real world.


Please consider their report on Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men.
Between 2000 and 2015, market hours worked fell by 203 hours per year (12 percent) for younger men ages 21-30, compared to a decline of 163 hours per year (8 percent) for men ages 31-55.

These declines started prior to the Great Recession, accelerated sharply during the recession, and have rebounded only modestly since. We use a variety of data sources to document that the hours decline was particularly pronounced for younger men.

Not only have hours fallen, but there is a large and growing segment of this population that appears detached from the labor market: 15 percent of younger men, excluding full-time students, worked zero weeks over the prior year as of 2016. The comparable number in 2000 was only 8 percent.

A natural question is how these younger men support themselves given their decline in earnings. We document that 67 percent of non-employed younger men lived with a parent or close relative in 2015, compared to 46 percent in 2000.

One avenue to gauge how younger men perceive their fortunes is to use survey data on happiness. In this spirit, we complement the patterns in hours, wages, and consumption with data on life satisfaction from the General Social Survey.

We find that younger men reported increased happiness during the 2000s, despite stagnant wages, declining employment rates and increased propensity to live with parents/relatives. This contrasts sharply with older men, whose satisfaction clearly fell, tracking their decline in employment.

See also:

 http://www.theonion.com/video/warcraft-sequel-lets-gamers-play-a-character-playi-14240



Island Breath: Man's Nintendo Memories 6/14/08
Island Breath: California imitates GTA 10/25/07
Island Breath: Virtual World & Apocalypse 12/19/05
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Waialeale Water Lease

SOURCE: Ken Taylor (littlewheel808@gmail.com)
SUBHEAD: A cultural study in preparation for renewal of a sixty-five year lease on Wailua River water.

From Ken Taylor on 18 July 2017 in Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2017/07/waialeale-water.html)


Image above: "The Blue Hole" is valley shaped by countless waterfalls from "The Weeping Wall" below Waialeale that feed into the largest river in Hawai - the Wailua. From (http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/hawaii/hi-weeping-wall/).

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has contracted Cultural Surveys Hawaii to complete a cultural study on the proposed 65 year water lease of North Fork Wailua River, Waikoko, Iliiliula, Waiaka and Waiahi Streams, Puna District, Kauai.

KIUC is currently diverting 100% of the base flow of these mountain streams orgiginating from the Alakai and Mount Waialeale, for hydropower. These 2 KIUC hydropower plants produce only 1% of Kauai's power needs, which now is 90% supplied by solar panels during the day.

The Waiahi Hydropower plants, over a hundred years old, were needed to supply power to Lihue Mill. We now have other power options, that do not depend on diverting 100% of stream water from our forests.

Nicole Ishihara, from Cultural Surveys Hawaii, is coming to Kauai this Thursday and Friday, July 20th & 21st, to talk to Kauai about the impacts of this proposed 65 year lease by KIUC.

She will be available to talk to folks at Hā Coffee Shop in Lihue from 10 am to about 12. We will then meet up at Wailua State Park parking lot, by the Birth Stones, to carpool up to the area of the KIUC diversion (Blue Hole). Vehicles with 4WD are welcome.

Nicole Ishihara will also be available to meet with the community Thursday early evening, and Friday morning until about noon.

This is a chance for Kauai to let their voices be heard about the impacts of the diversion of a culturally important stream, proposed for the next 65 years. A lifetime without Mauka-Makai water connection from Mount Waialeale. It's just not right.

Attached is CSH letter requesting comments, and sample questions. Please let Nicole know the importance of Waialeale water by letter, phone call, chant, dance, art - however you need to express what water from Waialeale means to you, your family and your community, for the next 65 years.

CONTACT
Nicole Ishihara
Cultural Surveys Hawaii
(808) 965-6478
nishihara@culturalsurveys.com

See also concerning Waialeale water rights:
Ea O Ka Aina: The Mo'o and the Well 1/29/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Horizontal Well Presentation 9/19/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Kahili Vampire Project Meeting 9/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: No to the Horizontal Well 4/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Scoping Meeting on Horizontal Well 4/6/13
Ea O Ka Aina: This is for your own good 10/13/12

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Robot guard "commits suicide"

SUBHEAD: Robot security guard stumbles into fountain pool in mall and drowns itself.

By Tyler Durden on 18 July 2017 for Zero Hedge -
(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-17/robot-security-guard-commits-suicide-mall-fountain)


Image above: Photograph of Knightscope  security guard robot in mall pool after stumbled down steps into water and its own death. From original article.

"We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots."

That was the comment of Twitter user Bilal Farooqui who this afternoon surprised the social network with a bizarre image: a robot which "committed suicide" by drowning itself in a mall fountain.

The Knightscope K5 security robot was supposed to patrol the Georgetown Waterfront, a ritzy shopping-and-office complex along the Washington Harbour in D.C.

Looking like a mutant hybrid of R2D2 and a Dalek, the K5 was built to be a crime-fighting robot that could rove the streets and monitor for suspicious activity. It has been used in some offices and malls across America.

But, in the absurdist take of NY Mag, "the pressure was too much for the rolling robot, which can turn, beep, and whistle in order to maintain order."

At one point today, it had had enough, rolled into fountain and drowned itself.

The robot's maker, Knightscope, describes itself as "an advanced security technology company that uses Software + Hardware + Humans to provide its clients with advanced anomaly detection capabilities. Knightscope's long-term vision is to predict and prevent crime utilizing autonomous robots, analytics and engagement." It may soon also need to provide therapy to its "robotic guard army."

To be sure, the robot has pros and cons. It’s a good deal for any place that wants something patrolling an area on the cheap. It’ll roll around malls or parking lots, with rental prices starting at $7 per hour — 25 cents less than the federal minimum wage.

Uber uses it to patrol certain parking lots. On the downside, NY Mag reports that it’s has been knocked over by a drunk man. Before that, it knocked down and ran over a 16-month-old boy.


Image above: Robot security guard is taken off duty after it injures six year old child while on duty. From original article.

See also:
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Giving the Finger to Modernity

SUBHEAD: Amish family gathers forage for the winter while a stoplight blinks commands on a four-lane highway.

By Brian Miller on 17 July 2017 for Wnged Elm Farm -
(http://www.wingedelmfarm.com/blog/2017/07/16/giving-the-finger-to-modernity/)


Image above: An Amish buggy in the farmland of America. From (http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-07-17/giving-the-finger-to-modernity/).

The mercury is already pushing the mid-80s by afternoon, and clouds are beginning to build in the west. I sit in my car in a Pennsylvania parking lot next to a mattress store, watching.

Across a field, a boy is perched on the bench seat of a hay wagon, holding the reins to a team of Belgians. Farther back stands an older boy.

He is reaching down and catching square bales as they are tossed up to him from other boys on the ground.

He already has stacked a layer three-high on the 16-foot wagon. The driver, maybe 8 to 10 years old, twitches the reins and moves the load forward every few minutes before again coming to a stop.

Up ahead, the father is driving a second team that pulls a gasoline-powered baler, spitting bales onto the ground at regular intervals as it tracks the windrows of hay.

The scene I observe is a Hieronymus Bosch painting with a twist: In the background of the tableau, the family of man and boys gathers forage for the winter.

At the forefront, a stoplight blinks commands on a four-lane highway, the center of a tortured world of strip mall architecture, where the obese and the tattooed pour onto the roads and the pavement groans under bumper-to-bumper traffic.

A boy, the same age as the ones working the field, sits in a car, screen-staring his young years away.

A man in the front passenger seat stares ahead, oblivious to any other way of living. A Chick-fil-A and an Olive Garden shoehorn the paved landscape and the fields of the family at work.

Farther down the road, back in the stream of modernity, I pass three different buggies of Amish women, all driving teams, their children aboard, moving down the highway at five to eight miles an hour.

If the journey is indeed more important than the destination, then these women and their children have learned the lesson well. They are chatting and laughing, as their fellow travelers, mere feet away, are entombed and unsmiling.

Do they ever glance at the cars and wonder, May Swenson-like:
“Those soft shapes,  shadowy inside the hard bodies — are they their guts or their brains?”
I pull into my hotel parking lot, retrieve my luggage, check in, and go up to my room. I open the curtains to glimpse the last of the day.

Across another parking lot, across a road, lies another field. In the dying evening light, another man and a team of Percherons pull a manure spreader across the pastures back to the barn.

On the seat, on either side of him, are his two sons, sharing an unheard conversation.

Standing at the window of the third floor, in isolation and sadness and cowardice, I think, we chase our lives across the decades seeking a sense of purpose.

Yet our gaze is averted from the possibilities and the wisdom gained from living slowly, at five to eight miles an hour.

.

America's Disneyland Economy

SUBHEAD: Unfortunately, the economic suffering that we are seeing right now is just the beginning.

By Muchale Snyder on 16 July 2017 for Economic Collapse Blog -
(http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/our-disneyland-economy)


Image above: Entry to Dismaland bemusement park by Banksky "The Unhappiest Place on Earth!". From (http://cavemancircus.com/2015/08/21/banksys-just-made-a-theme-park-and-its-the-unhappiest-place-on-earth/).

Disneyland is known as a place “where dreams come true” and where every story always has a happy ending. But there is going to be no happy ending for the U.S. economy.

Wishful thinking has resulted in one of the greatest stock market rallies in history in recent months, but like all childhood fantasies, it won’t last. The real economy continues to deteriorate, and we can see this even right outside of the gates of Disneyland.

Every night growing numbers of homeless people sleep on the pavement just steps away from “the happiest place on Earth”. It can be fun to “play make believe” for a while, but eventually reality always catches up with us.

Without a doubt, the stock market has been on a tremendous run. Since Donald Trump’s stunning election victory in November, the market has been setting record high after record high, and it is now up a total of 17 percent
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its 23rd all time high of 2017 yesterday closing at 21,532. There have been a total of 120 days where the markets have closed since President Trump’s inauguration on January 20th. The ‘DOW’ has closed at all time highs 23 of those days for nearly 20% or one-fifth of the days the market has been open. The market is up 9% since the inauguration.

Since the election on November 8th the DOW has closed at record highs an amazing 40 times! Nearly one-fourth or 24% of the 168 days the markets have closed have been record highs since the November 8th election. The market is up 17% since the election!If this surge was supported by hard economic data, that would be something to greatly celebrate, but that has not been the case at all.
Instead, stock prices have become completely disconnected from economic reality, and now we are facing one of the greatest stock bubbles of all time. As Graham Summers has pointed out, stocks are now trading at price to sales ratios that we haven’t seen since the very height of the dotcom bubble…
Earnings, cash flow, and book value are all financial data points that can be massaged via a variety of gimmicks. As a result of this, valuing stocks based on Price to Earnings, Price to Cash Flow, and Price to Book Value can often lead to inaccurate valuations.

Sales on the other hand are all but impossible to gimmick. Either money came in the door, or it didn’t And, if a company is caught faking its sales numbers, someone is going to jail.

So the fact that stocks are now trading at a P/S ratio that matches the Tech Bubble (the single largest stock bubble in history) tells us that we’re truly trading at astronomical levels: levels associated with staggering levels of excess.
There is no possible way that this is sustainable, and just like before the 2008 crisis a whole host of experts are warning that disaster is imminent. One of them is John Mauldin
Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it’s highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it?And even though the stock market has been surging deeper and deeper into bubble territory in recent months, the middle class has continued to shrink and poverty has continued to grow all over the country.
In fact, because so many homeless people have been sleeping at bus shelters across from Disneyland lately authorities decided to completely remove the benches that they had been sleeping on
The vanishing benches were Anaheim’s response to complaints about the homeless population around Disneyland. Public work crews removed 20 benches from bus shelters after callers alerted City Hall to reports of vagrants drinking, defecating or smoking pot in the neighborhood near the amusement park’s entrance, officials said.

The situation is part of a larger struggle by Orange County to deal with a rising homeless population. A survey last year placed the number of those without shelter at 15,300 people, compared with 12,700 two years earlier.
But simply removing benches will not make the problem go away.

Homelessness has been growing so rapidly in Los Angeles that the the L.A. City Council actually asked Governor Jerry Brown to formally declare a state of emergency.

And in New York City, street homelessness is up 39 percent over the past year.

This is where the real economy is heading, but a rising stock market makes for much happier headlines.

Many major cities around the nation are passing laws to essentially make it illegal to be homeless. Forcing homeless people to go somewhere else may mask the problem for a while, but it certainly doesn’t do anything to solve it.

 In my new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”, I talk about how real love is not just about loving those that are just like us. Rather, real love is about caring for people no matter what they look like and no matter what they are going through.

Unfortunately, the economic suffering that we are seeing right now is just the beginning.

Just like in 2008, the major financial crisis that is coming is going to greatly accelerate our economic problems. And just like last time, millions of people are going to lose their jobs, and millions of people are going to lose their homes.

Homelessness is already worse in many parts of the nation that it was during the depths of the last recession, and what we are going to see during the next economic downturn is going to be absolutely unprecedented.

So don’t look down on those that need a helping hand, because in the not too distant future you may find yourself needing some help.

.

Wonderland of Magical Economics

SUBHEAD: The Earth's economy glorifies waste, exploitation, debt, expediency and magical thinking.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 17 July 2017 for Of Two Minds -
(http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly17/earth-economy7-17.html)


Image above: Painting of a Magritte-like figure swirling the sky with a wand and producing illuminated light bulbs. From (http://adelaidereview.com.au/opinion/magical-thinking-modern-world/).

Humanity appears to default to magical thinking when faced with untenable situations that demand systemic change.

How would extraterrestrial anthropologists characterize Earth's dominant socio-economic system? It's not difficult to imagine their dismaying report:

"Earth's economy glorifies waste. Its economists rejoice when a product is disposed as waste and replaced with a new product. This waste is perversely labeled 'growth.'

Aimless wandering that consumes fossil fuels is likewise rejoiced as 'growth.'

The stripping of the planet's oceans for a few favored species of edible fish is also considered 'growth' as the process of destroying the ocean ecosystem generates sales of the desired seafood.

Even more perversely, the resulting shortages are also causes of rejoicing by the planet's elites, as their ability to purchase the now-scarce resources boosts their social status and grandiose sense of self-worth.

This glorification of waste is the same dynamic that destroyed the civilization on Zork.

Earth's economy also glorifies exploitation, as this maximizes profits, which appears to be the planetary equivalent of a secular religion that everyone believes as a Natural Law.

Thus slavery and monopoly are highly valued as the most reliable sources of profits. If ethical concerns limit the actual ownership of humans, Earth's economy incentivizes feudal arrangements that share characteristics of servitude and bondage.

In the current era, the favored mechanisms are over-indebtedness (debt-serfdom) and taxation by the state, which extracts approximately 40% of all labor via threat of imprisonment.

Earth's elites exhibit a pathological preference for micro-managing the commoners via criminalizing much of everyday life and imposing extremely harsh punishments for any dissent or resistance to elite domination.

This is the same dynamic that doomed planetary civilizations in the Blug system.

Earth's economy is currently dependent on depleting fossil fuels and borrowing from the future to fund consumption in the present, i.e. debt.

Rather than face the reality that this is not sustainable and pursue other arrangements, Earth's elites have chosen expediency, responding to the inevitable crises caused by depletion and dependence on debt with expedient but ultimately destructive policies that paper over the crises but at the cost of generating greater crises in the next iteration.

Humanity appears to default to magical thinking when faced with untenable situations that demand systemic change. This is eerily parallel to the now-lost civilization of Frum.

It seems Earth's dominant species has selected the most destructive policies and mindsets to glorify and worship. Earth's current civilization is doomed, with near-zero prospects for the necessary transition to a more sustainable, less exploitive arrangement.

Earth's decline is a tragi-comedy, much like the one on Ononon that entertained our home planet audiences for a time."

In case you missed it, here's a snapshot of total debt as a percentage of median household income: from 79% to 584% between 1980 and 2016.


Image above: Chart of Total debt as a percentage of median household income. From original article.

If this strikes you as "healthy growth" because "debt doesn't matter"-- welcome to the Wonderland of Magical Thinking.
.

Ex Fukushima bosses on trial

SOURCE: Norman Lewter (normandlaurie@gmail.com)
SUBHEAD:  Report said Fukushima was a man-made disaster caused by Japan's culture of "reflexive obedience".

By Staff on 29 June 2017 for Phys.org -
(https://phys.org/news/2017-06-ex-bosses-trial-fukushima-crisis.html)


Image above: Ex-Tokyo Electric Power chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro, 71, and Sakae Muto, 66, were formally charged with professional negligence. From original article.

Three former executives at the operator of Fukushima's power plant start their trial Friday on the only criminal charges brought over the 2011 disaster, the worst nuclear accident in a generation.

The hearing in Tokyo comes more than a year after ex-Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, were formally charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

The indictments are the first—and only—criminal charges stemming from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

"We hope the trial will shed light on where the responsibility for this accident lies," Ruiko Muto, who heads a group that pushed for the trial, told AFP ahead of the trial.

If convicted, the men face up to five years in prison or a penalty of up to one million yen ($9,000).
The trio are expected to plead not guilty and argue that they could not have predicted the size of the massive tsunami that slammed into Japan's northeast coast following a huge undersea earthquake.

A 2011 government panel report said Tepco simulated the impact of a tsunami on the plant in 2008 and concluded that a wave of up to 15.7 metres (52 feet) could hit the plant if a magnitude-8.3 quake occurred off the coast of Fukushima.

Executives at the company—which is facing huge clean-up and liability costs—allegedly ignored the internal study.

Waves as high as 14 metres swamped the reactors' cooling systems in March 2011.

Although the quake-tsunami disaster left some 18,500 people dead or missing, the Fukushima accident itself is not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone.

The charges against the three Tepco executives are linked to the deaths of more than 40 hospitalised patients who were hastily evacuated from the Fukushima area and later died.

More than six years after the accident, many evacuees are still living in other parts of Japan, unable or unwilling to go back home as fears over radiation persist.

A 2015 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said a misguided faith in the complete safety of atomic power was a key factor in the Fukushima accident, pointing to weaknesses in and unclear responsibilities among regulators.

A parliamentary report compiled a year after the disaster said Fukushima was a man-made disaster caused by Japan's culture of "reflexive obedience".



Former TEPCO bosses indicted
By Staff on 29 February 2017 for Phys.org - 
(https://phys.org/news/2016-02-tepco-bosses-indicted-fukushima-disaster.html)


Three former executives of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant operator were indicted Monday over the 2011 atomic accident, in what will be the first criminal trial linked to the disaster.

Ex-Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, and former vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro were formally charged with professional negligence resulting in deaths and injury for their role in the crisis.

The trio were not taken into custody.

"I'm full of emotion," Ruiko Muto, head of a campaign group pushing for a trial, told a Tokyo press briefing.

"This will be a great encouragement for hundreds of thousands of nuclear accident victims who are still suffering and facing hardship," she added.

A judicial review panel composed of ordinary citizens ruled in July—for the second time since the accident—that the three men should be put on trial.

The decision compelled prosecutors to press on with the criminal case under Japanese law.
Prosecutors had twice refused to press charges against the men, citing insufficient evidence and little chance of conviction.

It will be the first criminal trial over responsibility for the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns that forced thousands from their homes in the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco plan to dump tainted water 7/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop Fukushima as Olympic venue 5/10/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than ever 2/5/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation on West Coast 1/13/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup cost to double 12/9/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Tokyo damaged by nuclear pellet rain 9/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: High radioactivity in Tokyo 8/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
Green Road Jounral: Balls filled with Uranium, Plutonium 2/19/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
ENE NEws: Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo 8/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima, What me worry? 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11
.

Iranian woman mathematician dies

SUBHEAD: Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win the Fields Medal - the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics"

By Staff on 15 July 2017 for the BBC News -
(http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40617094)


Image above: Stanford faculty photograph of Maryam Mirzakhani. From (https://mathematics.stanford.edu/people/name/maryam-mirzakhani/).

[IB Publisher's note: My daughter Laura was born in Tehran, Iran in 1976, just about the time Maryam was born. I was working there on a one year contract for a planning firm. I found the Iranians to be wonderful people. When I finished the following article I felt stricken as if she were my daughter too. It is incomprehensible to me that we perceive the Iranians to be evil while we buddy up to the Saudis royals as our friends.]

Nearly three years after she became the first woman to win math's equivalent of a Nobel Prize, Maryam Mirzakhani has died of breast cancer at age 40. Her death was confirmed Saturday by Stanford University, where Mirzakhani had been a professor since 2008.

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and a daughter, Anahita — who once referred to her mother's work as "painting" because of the doodles and drawings that marked her process of working on proofs and problems, according to an obituary released by Stanford.

"A light was turned off today .... far too soon. Breaks my heart," former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi said in a tweet.

He later added, "A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife."

Naderi later posted a time-lapse video of Mirzakhani presiding over a lecture hall, filling chalkboards with a proof.

Early in her life, Mirzakhani had wanted to be a writer. But her passion and gift for mathematics eventually won out.

"It is fun — it's like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case," Mirzakhani said when she won the prestigious Fields Medal in 2014. "I felt that this was something I could do, and I wanted to pursue this path."


Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran, and she lived in that country before coming to the U.S. to attend graduate school at Harvard University. By then, she was already a star, having won gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad in the mid-1990s — after becoming the first girl ever named to Iran's team.

"There were more accolades," Danielle Karson reports for NPR's Newscast unit. "Mirzakhani was the first Iranian woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences last year, in recognition of her 'distinguished achievement in original research.' She was in good company: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were past honorees."

Describing Mirzakhani's work, Stanford says:
"Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry.

"In short, Mirzakhani was fascinated by the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces — spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas. Despite the highly theoretical nature of her work, it has implications in physics, quantum mechanics and other disciplines outside of math. She was ambitious, resolute and fearless in the face of problems others would not, or could not, tackle."
.

Trump is a cornered animal

SUBHEAD: More than at any point since January, Trump is, right now, the most dangerous man in the world.

By William Rivers Pitt on 15 July 2017 fir Truth Out -
(http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41281-trump-is-a-cornered-animal-and-cornered-animals-are-dangerous)


Image above: President Donald Trump arrives at the start of the the G20 summit on July 7, 2017, in Hamburg, Germany. From original article.

You have to hand it to this First Family. As advertised, they do nothing small. Buildings wreathed in gold, steaks thicker than city sidewalks, golf courses manicured like supermodels … and scandals rich enough to clot the blood.

The present Russia eruption is a sumptuous feast with all the trimmings, served by a court jester named Junior who, as Stephen Colbert recently observed, decided to be his own "Deep Throat" on the front page of every news publication on the planet.

All the way back to the campaign, the members of the Trump crew have been dogged by questions regarding their relationship with Russia. Before last weekend, Trump and company were content to smother themselves in smug denials while hoping Robert Mueller would get lost on the way to his office, but that all went up in a cloud of stink when The New York Times stepped to the plate.

We have emails, it said, detailing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and some mysterious Russian lawyer. Junior, who had denied the whole thing until the Times told him they were about to print the emails, threw caution to the wind and released the emails himself.

All of them. Maybe.
The content in brief: HEY JUNIOR, I KNOW THIS RUSSIAN LAWYER WITH TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WHO HAS DIRT ON CLINTON SHE WANTS TO GIVE YOU BECAUSE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO HELP YOU WIN.
Reply: I LOVE IT, LET'S MEET AT TRUMP TOWER OF ALL PLACES AND I'LL DRAG IN THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE CAMPAIGN, BUT BE SURE TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT OUR SECRET PLAN TO HAVE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HELP US WIN.
It does come across as just that absurd. That meeting with the Russian lawyer so meticulously documented by Junior was in all likelihood what they call in the intelligence business a "dangle".

That is an offer of information with no real substance to gauge the interest and enthusiasm of the intended target. The fact that Russia made direct efforts to help Donald Trump win in 2016 is now settled fact, but there is far more to this than the election, and the depth of it is dangerous in the extreme.

Some years back, Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor for a Russian law firm, uncovered a tax fraud scheme in his country so vast as to beggar historical precedent.

The perpetrators were stealing whole corporations, looting them, and then using the stolen corporations to launder vast sums of dirty money. In some cases, Russian security forces were involved in these crimes.

Other instances of money laundering involved "Manhattan real estate" entities, according to the criminal complaint filed by former US Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump not long after the inauguration.

That Bharara complaint, by the way, was filed against a man named Denis Katsyv, who was the alleged mastermind of the scheme uncovered by Magnitsky.

The story did not end well for Sergei Magnitsky. He was arrested for tax evasion and jailed at the behest of the very oligarchs he was investigating, and later died in prison under very suspicious circumstances.

In retaliation for his death, Congress in 2012 passed a law freezing the assets of 18 Russians involved in the annihilation of Magnitsky. His investigation went nowhere, and when Preet Bharara lost his job as US Attorney, the whole thing quietly blew away.

Or did it? Vladimir Putin was not happy when those 18 Russians had their assets frozen, and retaliated by ending all adoptions of Russian children by US families.

To promote this edict, Putin tapped an attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya to help with the public relations push. Natalia Veselnitskaya was also the attorney for Denis Katysyv, author of the scheme uncovered by Magnitsky, in the matter being pursued by Bharara.

Natalia Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower in June of 2016 as part of the Russian government’s effort to help Donald Trump win the election.

On Friday morning, the story took a remarkable twist when NBC News revealed the existence of a fifth person present at the meeting with Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort and Veselnitskaya. Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist and former counter-intelligence officer with the Soviet military, accompanied Veselnitskaya to the meeting.

Red flags began waving immediately upon this revelation: Not only were Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin associates in the lobbying effort to undo the sanctions against those 18 Russians involved in the Magnitsky affair, but Akhmetshin has been accused of orchestrating a massive international hacking conspiracy at the behest of a billionaire Russian industrialist. It is worth noting that Akhmetshin is a US citizen, and Robert Mueller's subpoena power absolutely includes US citizens.

… and then, just before 9:00am on Friday morning, Trump Jr.'s own lawyer revealed the existence of a sixth person who was present at the Trump Tower meeting. At the time of this writing, the name of that sixth person remains unknown. Before 5:00pm on the same day, CNN was reporting that eight people or more actually attended the meeting.

Magnitsky to Katsyv to Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin to Trump Tower, with Vladimir Putin hovering over it all and an indeterminate number of others along for the ride.

Junior's first explanation for the meeting was that Veselnitskaya wanted to talk about "adoptions," which may well have been code for a push to have the sanctions lifted against those 18 Russians involved in the Magnitsky matter, should Trump emerge victorious in November.

Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin have been working for years, the former at the behest of Putin, to undo those sanctions. It is all of a piece, and as the old saying goes, when you hear hoofbeats, don't think of zebras.

We are dealing with some very grim possibilities here. In the worst case scenario, the president of the United States, his son and top campaign/administration staffers got themselves involved with an agent for the Russian government who is neck-deep in a massive money laundering scandal that may very well have gotten a guy killed in prison.

These issues could explain why Robert Mueller has tapped the best money laundering prosecutors and investigators in all of US jurisprudence to join his team.

It would seem that whatever slivers of credibility the Trump administration ever possessed have been consumed by this bonfire of hubris, lying and shady dealing (though much of his base remains loyal).

Congressional Republicans are trying to pretend the White House doesn't actually exist as their legislative agenda founders like a rot-riddled rowboat. The only statement coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is "Talk to the lawyers," lather rinse repeat.

Junior is about to have a series of incredibly unpleasant conversations with some very serious people, whereupon he may come to learn -- perhaps for the first time in his life -- the meaning of the word "consequences."

Messrs. Kushner and Manafort, who were actual campaign employees when that fateful meeting took place, and are therefore subject to a whole raft of other laws, can expect the same. The legal fate of the other meeting attendees remains to be determined.

And as for the Tweeter in Chief? On Thursday, he blamed the whole thing on Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration for allowing Natalia Veselnitskaya to enter the country in the first place. This is the growling of a cornered animal.

Any takeaway from all this, though, must not include "Donald Trump is finished," because sometimes a cornered animal is exceedingly dangerous. Trump and his whole crew are preposterous frauds, but he still retains the enormous powers of the presidency, and he is watching much of his world collapse around him.

At this point, he is capable of just about anything, especially if he believes he is defending his family.

Thanks to the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Trump has the power to start and/or escalate wars at will, and war is a time-tested method of distraction. He still has control over a vast nuclear arsenal.

The current scandal is yet another glaring indication that Trump and his people are more than comfortable engaging in shady dealings behind closed doors. Plus, in the event of a terrorist attack, real or imagined, Trump has astonishing police powers at his disposal. None of us can accurately guess what he's capable of as president.

This is not alarmism. This is enlightened self-interest. Fear and vigilance are highly appropriate responses at this juncture. More than at any point since January, Donald Trump is, right now, the most dangerous man in the world.

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