Tag Archive: Barcelona

Earth Watch Report  –  Hazmat

Image Source


Today HAZMAT Spain Catalonia, Barcelona [Church of Sant Vicenc de Gualba] Damage level Details


HAZMAT in Spain on Monday, 21 January, 2013 at 05:58 (05:58 AM) UTC.

A total of 35 people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning during a concert in the parish church of Sant Vicenc de Gualba in Barcelona yesterday evening. 130 people were at the concert – part of the town’s Winter Festival. According to the emergency services, three of the 35 affected are in a serious condition – an 81-year-old woman, a 50-year-old woman and an eight-year-old boy – another is in a less serious condition and the rest have suffered only mild ill-effects. The alarm was raised at 8.30pm and the cause of the intoxication was found to be the “faulty combustion of the heaters used during the concert”. 13 people were allowed home after being treated at the church, but a further 12 were taken by ambulance to Girona’s Hospital de Palamos and four to the Hospital de Sant Joan d’Espi Moisses Broggi in Barcelona because of breathing difficulties. One person was taken by ambulance to the Hospital de Sant Celoni in Barcelona and five more were treated there after making their own way to the hospital. After venilating the church thoroughly overnight, firefighters confirmed this morning that the levels of carbon monoxide were back down to normal and that it could be reopened to the public.



Health And Wellness Report

Medical Research  :  New Technology

Advanced computer simulator to manage hospital emergencies

by Staff Writers
Barcelona, Spain (SPX)

File image courtesy AFP.

Researchers of the group High Performance Computing for Efficient Applications and Simulation (HPC4EAS) of the Department of Computer Architecture and Operating Systems of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), in collaboration with the team at the Emergency Services Unit at Hospital de Sabadell (Parc Tauli Healthcare Corporation), have developed an advanced computer simulator to help in decision-making processes (DSS, or decision support system) which could aid emergency service units in their operations management.

The model was designed based on real data provided by the Parc Tauli Healthcare Corporation, using modelling and simulation techniques adapted to each individual, and which require the application of high performance computing. The system analyses the reaction of the emergency unit when faced with different scenarios and optimises the resources available.

The simulator was created by lecturer Emilio Luque, main researcher of the project; UAB PhD students Manel Taboada, lecturer at the Gimbernat School of Computer Science – a UAB-affiliated centre – and Eduardo Cabrera, trainee researcher; and Maria Luisa Iglesias and Francisco Epelde, heads of the Emergency Services Unit of Parc Tauli.

“Planning the use of resources available to an emergency unit staff is a complex task, since the arrival of patients varies greatly, not only during the day, but depending on the week, month, etc. That is why those in charge find it useful to have computer tools which simulate the effects of special situations, such as seasonal increases, epidemics, and so forth, in order to be able to identify the best combination of resources for each moment”, Emilio Luque explains.

The most outstanding part of the simulator is the precise representation of the behaviour of individuals who were identified and their interactions. “Several tries have been made to simulate emergency services, but using other types of methodologies which did not gather enough data on a system depending on human behaviour, which is based on the relation of individuals who act more or less independently in the decisions they make.

In addition to in depth knowledge of the methodology, there is also the need to have direct access to the information and data provided by the emergency services, with the aim of verifying and validating the work carried out. This data is very relevant and was not included in other simulators”, Manel Taboada states.

Researchers defined different types of patients according to their emergency level, and doctors, nursing teams, and admissions staff according to different levels of experience.

This permitted studying the duration of processes such as the triage (when the emergency level is determined), the number and type of patients arriving at each moment, the waiting period for each stage or phase of the service, costs associated with each process, the amount of staff needed to determine a type of assistance and, in general, all other quantifiable variables. The system not only helps to make decisions in real time, it also can help by making forecasts and improving the functioning of the service.

The complexity level of the model is very elevated: it takes into account the elements relevant for the functioning of emergency services, such as computer systems, support services for clinic diagnoses (laboratories, X-rays, etc.) and consultations made with specialists. This allows testing service resistance in case any of these elements fail.

Another advantage of the new system compared to previous models is its adaptability to all types of emergency services. “Since it is based on a very complex service as the one we have here at Parc Tauli, it is quite easy to adapt it to other hospitals through a ‘tuning’ process where the data is redefined”, Emilio Luque explains.

For now, the simulator has been used with level 4 and 5 patients – non-urgent patients according to the definition of the Spanish Triage System (SET). These represent almost 60% of total patients being attended, based on admission zones, triage and diagnosis-treatment processes.

The version currently being developed by researchers is taking into account more severely affected patients (SET levels 1, 2 and 3). In the near future, researchers aim to apply the system to other medical specialties, such as surgical areas and paediatrics.

The implementation was carried out using the Netlogo environment simulator, of demonstrated reliability and commonly used in the application of Individual-Based Modelling and Simulation Techniques in the field of social sciences.


Related Links
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Hospital and Medical News at InternDaily.com

Fossil egg discovered in Spain links dinosaurs to modern birds

by Staff Writers
Barcelona, Spain (SPX)

Terra Daily / Early Earth


illustration only

Before her death in December 2010, Nieves Lopez Martinez, palaeontologist of the Complutense University of Madrid, was working on the research of dinosaur eggs with a very peculiar characteristic: an ovoid, asymmetrical shape.

Together with Enric Vicens, palaeontologist of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, the two scientists conducted an exhaustive analysis of their discovery, recently published in the journal Palaeontology.

The new type of dinosaur egg has been given the scientific name of Sankofa pyrenaica. The eggs were discovered in the Montsec area of Lleida, in two sites located on either side of the Terradets pass.

The South Pyrenean area is rich in dinosaur egg sites, most of which correspond to sauropod eggs from the upper Cretaceous, dating back more than 70 million years ago. During that period, the area was a coastal area full of beaches and deltas which won land from the sea through sediment accumulation.

Sand and mud from that period gave way, millions of years later, to the sandstone and marl where dinosaur remains now can be found. On the beach ridges and flat coastal lands is where a large group of dinosaurs laid their eggs.

The sites where the discoveries were made correspond to the upper Cretaceous, between the Campanian and Maastrichtian periods, some 70 to 83 million years ago.

The fossils found belong to small eggs measuring some 7 centimetres tall and 4 cm wide, while the eggshell was on average 0.27mm thick. Most of the eggs found were broken in small fragments, but scientists also discovered more or less complete eggs, which can be easily studied in sections.

The eggs found at the sites all belong to the same species. The main difference when compared to other eggs from the same period is their asymmetrical shape, similar to that of chicken eggs. The more complete samples clearly show an oval form rarely seen in eggs from the upper Cretaceous period and similar to modern day eggs.

Their shape is a unique characteristic of theropod eggs from the upper Cretaceous period and suggests a connection with bird eggs. Non avian dinosaur eggs are symmetrical and elongated. Asymmetry in bird eggs is associated to the physiology of birds: they take on this shape given the existence of only one oviduct which can form only one egg at a time.

In this case the isthmus, the region in the oviduct creating the eggshell membrane, is what gives the egg its asymmetrical shape. Thanks to this shape, the wider end contains a bag of air which allows the bird to breathe in the last stages of its development. This evolutionary step was still relatively underdeveloped in dinosaurs.

Thus, the egg discovered by UCM and UAB researchers in certain manners represents Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
between dinosaurs and birds. Only one other egg, discovered in Argentina and corresponding to a primitive bird from the same period, has similar characteristics.

The discover represents proof in favour of the hypothesis that non avian theropods, the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period, and birds could have had a common ancestor.


Related Links
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Explore The Early Earth at TerraDaily.com



Wind pushes plastics deeper into oceans, driving trash estimates up

by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX)

Pieces of plastic debris found in the oceans are smaller than many people think. Most are measured in millimeters. Credit: Sea Education Association.

While working on a research sailboat gliding over glassy seas in the Pacific Ocean, oceanographer Giora Proskurowski noticed something new: The water was littered with confetti-size pieces of plastic debris, until the moment the wind picked up and most of the particles disappeared.

After taking samples of water at a depth of 16 feet (5 meters), Proskurowski, a researcher at the University of Washington, discovered that wind was pushing the lightweight plastic particles below the surface. That meant that decades of research into how much plastic litters the ocean, conducted by skimming only the surface, may in some cases vastly underestimate the true amount of plastic debris in the oceans, Proskurowski said.

Reporting in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters this month, Proskurowski and co-lead author Tobias Kukulka, University of Delaware, said that data collected from just the surface of the water commonly underestimates the total amount of plastic in the water by an average factor of 2.5. In high winds the volume of plastic could be underestimated by a factor of 27.

“That really puts a lot of error into the compilation of the data set,” Proskurowski said. The paper also detailed a new model that researchers and environmental groups can use to collect more accurate data in the future.

Plastic waste in the oceans is a concern because of the impact it might have on the environment. For instance, when fish ingest the plastics, it may degrade their liver functions. In addition, the particles make nice homes for bacteria and algae, which are then transported along with the particles into different regions of the ocean where they may be invasive and cause problems.

Proskurowski gathered data on a 2010 North Atlantic expedition where he and his team collected samples at the surface, plus an additional three or four depths down as far as 100 feet.

“Almost every tow we did contained plastic regardless of the depth,” he said.

By combining the data with wind measurements, Proskurowski and his co-authors developed a simplified mathematical model that could potentially be used to match historical weather data, collected by satellite, with previous surface sampling to more accurately estimate the amount of plastic in the oceans.

In addition, armed with the new model, organizations and researchers in the future might monitor wind data and combine it with surface collections in order to better estimate how much plastic waste is in our oceans.

“By factoring in the wind, which is fundamentally important to the physical behavior, you’re increasing the rigor of the science and doing something that has a major impact on the data,” Proskurowski said.

The team plans to publish a “recipe” that simplifies the model so that a wide range of groups investigating ocean plastics, including those that aren’t oceanographers, can easily use the model. Following the recipe, which is available now by request, might encourage some consistency among the studies, he said.

“On this topic, what science needs to be geared toward is building confidence that scientists have solid numbers and that policy makers aren’t making judgments based on CNN reports,” he said. Descriptions of the so-called great Pacific garbage patch in widespread news reports may have led many people to imagine a giant, dense island of garbage while in fact the patch is made up of widely dispersed, millimeter-size pieces of debris, he said.

In the future, Proskurowski hopes to examine additional factors, including the drag of the plastics in water, complex ocean turbulence and wave height, that might improve the accuracy of the model. He also may have the chance to examine the relationship between wind speed and depth of plastic particles. The 2010 expedition had near-uniform wind conditions so the researchers were unable to test that relationship.

“This is a first pass,” he said.

Other co-authors of the paper are Kara Lavendar Law and Skye Moret-Ferguson, Sea Education Association, and Dylan Meyer, an undergraduate student from Eckerd College. Support for the project came from NOAA and the University of Delaware. The researchers relied on data collected by students participating in the Sea Education Association’s Plastics at SEA program. Paper abstract.


Related Links
The great Pacific garbage patch
2010 North Atlantic Expedition
Water News – Science, Technology and Politics




Australia to protect most vulnerable koalas

by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP)

Australia moved Monday to protect its most vulnerable koalas, listing the much-loved furry tree-dwellers as a threatened species in parts of the country.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the most at-risk koalas needed to be on the national list of threatened species, and populations in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory would be listed as vulnerable.

“Koalas are an iconic Australian animal and they hold a special place in the community,” he said.

Burke said while some koala populations were under serious threat from habitat loss and urban expansion, as well as cars, dogs and disease, in other areas they were thriving to the point they needed to be controlled.

“In fact, in some areas in Victoria and South Australia, koalas are eating themselves out of suitable foraging habitat and their numbers need to be managed,” he said.

“But the Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory koala populations are very clearly in trouble, so we must take action.”

An official report issued last year found the sleepy, furry marsupials were under increasing threat and should be considered a vulnerable species, with habitat loss seeing their numbers plunge.

Believed to number in the millions before British settlers arrived in 1788, the hunting and slaughter of the animals for their furs in the 1920s devastated the species in parts of the country.

Public outrage over the killing of the big-eyed “bears” put an end to the practice but numbers have never fully recovered, with estimates on the population varying from several hundred thousand to as few as 43,515.

Environmentalists have for years been pushing for greater protections for the koala, which sleeps about 20 hours a day and eats only the leaves of the eucalyptus tree.

University of Tasmania zoology professor Chris Johnson said the government’s move was sensible.

“The northern and southern populations are now basically separate,” Johnson said, saying they almost needed be considered as different species.


Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Cyber Space




Google sued in France over ‘Jewish’ searches

By suggesting the term ‘Jewish’ with its autocomplete tool, the Internet giant is violating French laws against keeping ‘ethnic files,’ opponents claim


Google may have honored Israel’s 64th birthday on its homepage last week, but in France, the company is being sued for suggesting the term “Jewish” in searches involving celebrities.

SOS Racisme, a French organization that fights discrimination, is taking the Internet giant to court over a feature intended to speed up searches, but which often suggests the term “Jewish” when users type in the names of famous French people. (Google’s English sites use the same autocomplete tool, suggesting “Jewish” when you look up names including Rupert Murdoch and Jon Hamm. Neither is Jewish, but the suggestion, based on Google’s search algorithm, shows that many users are trying to find out if they are.)

Patrick Kulgman, a lawyer for SOS Racisme, told Agence France Presse that the feature amounts to “the creation of what is probably the biggest Jewish file in history.” That would be a non-issue in many countries, but France has outlawed the compilation of “ethnic files,” AFP reports.

SOS Racisme is joined in the lawsuit by France’s Union of Jewish Students and the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among Peoples, among other organizations.


Read Full Article Here




Mozilla Criticizes CISPA for Having Broad, Alarming Reach

By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PCWorld

Mozilla Criticizes CISPA for Having Broad, Alarming ReachMozilla has publicly decried the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a controversial cybersecurity bill recently approved by the House of Representatives that is now being considered in the Senate.

In a statement to Forbes, the head of Mozilla’s Privacy and Public Policy Department said:

“While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation.”

The purpose of CISPA, which was introduced to the House in November 2011, is to allow the government and corporations to work together to protect the United States from foreign online attacks. The bill has been criticized because it includes a provision that would let companies share users’ private data with government agencies, in the event of cyberattacks.

Mozilla Criticizes CISPA for Having Broad, Alarming ReachThe bill passed last Friday after the House added new amendments that extended that controversial provision beyond just cyberattacks; companies will now be able to share users’ private data in the event of “computer crime,” exploitation of minors, and to protect individuals from “the danger of death or serious bodily harm.”

Needless to say, such a broad definition of when data can be shared concerns many people. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is avidly against CISPA, and claims that the proponents of the bill are “inciting fears of security threats” that have existed for years.

CISPA “opens the floodgates” for companies to “intercept communications of everyday Internet users and pass unredacted personal information to the governments,” says Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Frontier Foundation.

A group of security experts, professors and academics and engineers wrote an open letter to Congress, stating their criticism of CISPA.


Read Full Article Here




Survival / Sustainability



‘Preppers’: Ready for anything

By Tim Graham



To the average passer-by, the Peter J. Crotty Casino in Cazenovia Park looks like a monument to teenage vagrancy.

Skateboarders wheel past walls of vulgar, sometimes racist graffiti. Sullen kids sneak cigarettes under the canopy on the way home from school. Pop bottles and junk-food wrappers litter the shrubbery.

But in Howard Marston’s mind, it’s a castle.

Marston sees beyond all the clutter. To him, the historic structure is a fortress, one he could retreat to when catastrophe strikes.

Solar flares might knock out power grids. A massive earthquake or meteor strike could cause widespread destruction. A pandemic might occur. A restricted oil supply or terrorist attack could trigger panic. A global financial collapse may cause riots on Main Street.

Marston has concerns. He’s always on guard and strives to be ready for life’s uncertainties. It’s how he’s wired.

He anticipates scenarios, foresees trouble — perhaps coming soon, real soon.

If a cataclysmic event drives him from his West Seneca home, Marston plans to flee with his wife and 5-year-old daughter to the Crotty Casino. The sturdy brick building has a fireplace and is near a water supply. The doors are steel. Upstairs windows face every direction, helping to defend against approaching marauders. Eight concrete steps provide high ground and can stop vehicles from ramming through the entryway.

“That’s almost too good to be true from a defensibility aspect,” Marston said.

Many would view Marston’s mindset as a form of radical paranoia, but he’s not alone — not nearly. He is what’s known as a “prepper,” someone who readies for the possibility of significant change, and there are millions across the country.

Preppers, also referred to as survivalists, have a dubious, often unfair reputation. They’re generally labeled right-wing kooks, although they come from all walks of life. Cable television series “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic Channel and “Doomsday Bunkers” on the Discovery Channel have put them in the spotlight.

Such fictional characters as Robinson Crusoe and, less classically, MacGyver romanticized survivalism. But the ideal has been stigmatized by infamous real-life survivalists like Theodore Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) and Timothy McVeigh, who were also terrorists.

Preppers frequently are ridiculed because of the oddball fringe that believes the Mayans might have been onto something with their 2012 Armageddon forecast or that a horde of zombies will overtake the planet.

But the prepper spectrum is expansive. The needle can point anywhere from incredibly practical to practically certifiable.

Some preppers merely cultivate a backyard garden to stock cellar shelves. They might be on alert for nothing more than an emergency weather situation, with a generator at the ready and enough provisions to last a week.

Others, such as members of the Mormon church, store food and supplies as faith-based policy.

There also is a group that takes the prepping lifestyle to an extreme, literal diehards who maintain underground bunkers or isolated backwoods retreats.

“Many people think the worst when they hear certain comments about survivalists,” said Bill Heffron, a retired National Guard colonel from the Town of Tonawanda. Heffron spent much of his career as a commander at the Connecticut Street Armory.

“It’s just comfort for some people. When you’re prepared ahead of time, then that’s just good planning. That’s never a problem.

“But when you start getting guns out, you start to wonder.”

Regardless of commitment levels or reasons for doing it, a critical component to a prepper’s lifestyle is anonymity.

Preppers want to stay off the grid to avoid social persecution and for one particularly important, sensible reason. When the SHTF (an abbreviation preppers commonly use for “stuff” hitting the fan) or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) is at hand, they don’t want panicky nonpreppers trying to crowd their space or raid their reserves.

“We’re not into exposing ourselves even to close friends and family,” said the 31-year-old Marston, who asked that his real name not be used in this story. “People might be shocked to learn a family member is a prepper, an uncle, a cousin.

“The fear of being rejected is there. Yeah, there’s a lot of crazies out here. But there are crazies into everything else. There are legitimate, upstanding people doing this. It bothers me that when you say ‘I’m a prepper,’ you get the eye roll.”

Marston’s wife does that quite a bit.

While he considers prepping a serious and vital pursuit, Jill Marston finds it amusing and borderline silly.

“Lay off the comics, people,” Jill Marston said, trying unsuccessfully to stifle a giggle. “You’ll be all right. Nothing’s going to happen.”

The Marstons met as online pen pals when Jill (also not her actual name) was working on an English project at Hamburg High. He was living near the Alaska-Canada border. After several visits over a few years, he moved here to marry her.

Still, she didn’t know he was a prepper until they began watching the TV shows together. He began to tip his hand.

“He’s always been a lumberjack,” Jill Marston said. “I was marrying him for who he was, but this whole prepping thing? I think he’s nuts. He sees this as a strategy of survival, and I see it as a hobby. But he enjoys it.”

Howard Marston doesn’t come off as the least bit unreasonable. He’s a burly man, soft-spoken and articulate. His salt-and-pepper hair makes him look weathered and wise when talking about constantly scouting out locales that are easy to defend.

He said he has thought this way since he was 13, when he had a vivid dream about a nuclear blast destroying the hydroelectric Bennett Dam on the Peace River in northern British Columbia. He furiously jotted ideas in his spiral notebook and mapped areas that would be safe or unsafe to travel under various emergency scenarios. He read whatever he could find about survivalist techniques.

Howard Marston never stopped pondering TEOTWAWKI circumstances. He once worked for a major big-box retailer (he didn’t want to reveal the name) and figured it was a darn-near-perfect refuge.

“Those [stores] are designed so that no one can get in anywhere but usually two places, some of them only one place,” he said. “There are very few windows, concrete walls, an outdoor garden center that has 30-, 40-foot chain-link fence up the side of it. Some of these places, it wouldn’t take much to seal them up. Then you also have supplies.”

Howard Marston would gather with his co-workers and, much like a football coach at a chalkboard, X-and-O the store map. They would discuss who would be included, where they would be stationed, what roles they would have when the SHTF.

“I wouldn’t be surprised that if something were to happen now,” Howard Marston said, “a lot of those guys still would go there and execute the plan.”

Jill Marston insisted she wouldn’t execute any disaster plan her husband devises for an impromptu stronghold, whether it’s an abandoned Walmart or Cazenovia Park.

“I’ve already told him ‘If anything ever happens, consider me dead.’ I won’t survive,” Jill Marston said, laughing again. “It would be too much a shock to me and my system.

“To me, that’s just the way it is. It’s not real until it happens.”


Read Full Article Here





Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Protests in May Day Revival

Henry Goldman and Esmé E. Deprez, ©2012 Bloomberg News

(Adds rainfall in third paragraph.)
May 1 (Bloomberg) — Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe today calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.

In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower. Rain may limit the number of protesters.

“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.

Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

FBI: 5 men charged in Ohio bridge bomb plot




CLEVELAND (AP) — Five men described by federal authorities as anarchists angry with corporate America and the government were charged Tuesday with plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge linking two wealthy Cleveland suburbs.

The men were arrested Monday night after unknowingly working with an FBI informant for months, a strategy that federal investigators have used repeatedly in recent years to nab alleged terrorists.

“They talked about making a statement against corporate America and the government as some of the motivations for their actions,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said in announcing the arrests with the head of the FBI in Cleveland, Stephen Anthony.

The alleged plotters researched explosives and obtained what they thought was C-4 explosives. The material, in fact, was harmless and the public was never at risk, because the men got it from the informant, officials said.

The men planted the fake explosives at the base of the bridge, armed them, went to a remote spot and “entered the codes that they thought would blow up the bridge with innocent people traveling over it,” Dettelbach said.

Court documents detail several conversations the FBI secretly recorded in which its informant discussed the bomb plans with some of the suspects.


Read Full Article Here



Occupy Bilderberg To Unify The Resistance

Occupy Bilderberg To Unify The Resistance

By. J.G Vibes

Throughout the long history of political and economic enslavement there has been many times where the average people realized that they were being taken advantage of and fought back against the established orders of the time. Unfortunately, in so many of these revolutions the justified anger of the masses was misdirected onto meaningless issues or scapegoats who were merely slaves themselves. This is why we have remained enslaved over all of these generations, because each time we have had an opportunity to achieve freedom, we were intentionally divided and misdirected by the “powers that shouldn’t be”.

Once again, the world is on the brink of both collapse and revolution, so we can be sure that there is a lot to gain, and a whole lot to lose for those who have spent their entire lives in control. With that being said there is no doubt that they will attempt to thwart any resistance movement that may gain momentum. We saw this recently with both the Republican Party hijack of the tea party and how establishment fronts such as George Soros and moveon have consistently attempted to funnel occupy Wall Street into counterproductive political goals.

There is hope though, because this is the first time in history where we have had this much information about our society and this kind of ability to quickly communicate instantly with millions of people, all over the world. This puts a huge monkey wrench in the plans of the global elite, because it is now more difficult for them to completely co-opt revolutionary movements without getting noticed. This doesn’t mean that they still aren’t trying to do it, because they obviously are, this just means that we can actually notice it when it’s happening, call it out and then focus our attention in the right direction.


Read Full Article Here





Articles of Interest



 What If A Collapse Happened And Nobody Noticed?

Every once and awhile I’ll be listening to a podcast with one or the other writers specializing on the subject of Peak Oil or collapse and the subject of timetables will come up. When will the collapse finally be here, the callers ask insistently, almost pleadingly, so that they can finally justify their investments in freeze-dried foods, water purification tablets and solid gold coins. Inevitably the guest will demur, and speak more in general terms. But I’m going to be the first pundit to go out on the limb and assign a timeline for the collapse. Spread it far and wide, and let’s see just how good my predictive powers are. Are you ready? Here it is:

Right now.

What do they think a collapse is supposed to look like? It seems people just cannot just cannot get past the “Zombie Apocalypse” theory of collapse. They imagine hordes of disease-ridden folks dressed in rags stumbling around and fighting over cans of petrol and stripping cans of food from shelves. That’s not what collapse looks like. It never has been. In fact, there’s very little evidence that a Zombie Apocalypse style collapse ever occurred in the historical record. Instead we see subtle patterns of abandonment and decay that unfold over long periods of time. Big projects stop. Population thins. Trade routes shrink and people revert to barter. Things get simpler and more local. Culture coarsens. High art stagnates. People disperse. Expectations are adjusted downward. Investments are no longer made in the future and previous investments are cannibalized just to maintain the status quo. Extend and pretend is hardly a recent invention.

No, what happens in a collapse is very much more subtle than a Zombie Apocalypse. Things tend to look pretty normal for the following reasons:

1.) People and Institutions are resistant to change.
2.) The system has a formidable array of resources to preserve the status quo.
3.) Sheer momentum.
4.) Creeping Normalcy
5.) Denial

This is how history says collapses go down, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Based on recent archaeology, it seems this is how the Roman collapse unfolded was well. Although images of pillaging barbarians looting burning cities sticks in people’s imaginations when they think of the fall of the Roman Empire, this was not the experience for most people according to recent scholarship. Big events tended to come down to us in the written record, but for ordinary people, it probably seemed much less dramatic. Yes, there were some famines and plagues, as there had always been. The population declined, but there were no apocalyptic battles or mass starvation. Many of the cities appear to have been continually inhabited. There were no mass graves, ruined cities or signs of malnutrition found in excavations. Most people who survived the plagues lived right through the transition from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity to the Medieval period with remarkable continuity, just a change of institutions and expectations. But something clearly was happening, because we know it from history. Buildings got plainer. Citizens got poorer. Trade routes shrank. Economies became local. Lawlessness increased. The old Roman Empire had been around since far before anyone could remember, and as it broke down more and more and failed to do things it had once done easily, it must have seen to some people like the world was collapsing in on them. It wasn’t, but something was happening. Much depended on who you were, where you were, what your expectations were, and how much you had invested in the status quo, both mentally and in terms of status and resources.

What brought this thought about was reading the heartbreaking article: Suicides in Greece increase 40%


Read Full Article Here

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Rousseff pressed to veto Brazil forestry law

by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) April 26, 2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff came under enormous pressure Thursday from environmentalists to veto a new forestry bill they fear will speed up deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

Brazil’s powerful agribusiness sector scored a major victory with congressional approval Wednesday of the forestry code reforms, which Rousseff repeatedly promised to veto while on the campaign trail in 2010.

The current code, which dates back to 1965 and which farmers argue is not respected anyway, limits the use of land for farming and mandates that up to 80 percent of privately-owned land in the Amazon rainforest remains intact.

The new bill would allow landowners to cultivate riverbanks and hillsides that were previously exempt, and would provide an amnesty from fines for illegally clearing trees before July 2008.

Farmers, whose industry represent more than five percent of Brazil’s GDP, argue that the existing legislation is confused, putting economic development at risk and costing valuable investment.

They say the new code would promote sustainable food production and bring an end to severe environmental restrictions that have forced many smaller farmers off their land.

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved the controversial legislation in a 247-184 vote on Wednesday night. The text now goes to Rousseff for ratification after having been approved by the Senate in December.

Paulo Moutinho of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) warned that if Rousseff did not use her veto, years of successful efforts to rein in the ruination of the Amazon would be jeopardized.

“Without a veto by President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil will lose the gains of the last few years which led the country to curb deforestation. We will lose leadership and credibility,” Moutinho said.

Opponents say the bill will mean more deforestation and warn it will embarrass the country ahead of hosting the Rio+20 in June, a UN gathering aimed at addressing global threats to the environment.

“It grants amnesty to loggers and raises the risk of environmental disasters in major cities,” opposition lawmaker Ricardo Tripoli said as he left Wednesday night’s vote. “Now it is important that the president veto it.”

Gilberto Carvalho, secretary-general for the presidency, said Rousseff would weigh the decision “with a lot of serenity, without animosity,” adding: “We have a great responsibility toward the country.”

A recent study by the University of Brasilia found that the new forestry code would increase deforestation in Brazil by 47 percent by 2020.

Carlos Rittl, a WWF climate expert, called it the “biggest environmental retreat in Brazil in decades,” while former environment minister Marina Silva urged the public to join a “VetoDilma” online campaign.

But Assuero Doca Veronez, president of the national environmental commission of the National Farming Confederation, said the present code “has long been incompatible with the changes in Brazilian agribusiness.”

The proposed reform threatens 690,000 square kilometers (270,000 square miles) of land and would prevent Brazil from reaching its goal of reducing deforestation by 80 percent, according to the Climate Observatory, a network of 26 non-governmental organizations set up in 2002.

Authorities say key reasons for the deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest — a region of amazing biodiversity that is considered crucial to the fight against climate change — are fires, the advance of agriculture and stockbreeding, and illegal trafficking in timber and minerals.

Deforestation has slowed since Brazil declared war on the practice in 2004, vowing to cut it by 80 percent by 2020.

Between 1996 and 2005, 19,500 square kilometers (7,530 square miles) of forest was cut down on average, peaking in 2004 when more than 27,000 square kilometers was lost.

Better law enforcement and the use of satellite imaging saw the lowest rate of deforestation in 2011 since records began three decades ago. Just over 6,200 square kilometers was cut, a 78 percent reduction on 2004.

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Forestry News – Global and Local News, Science and Application



Brazil to boost military presence to protect Amazon wealth

by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) April 26, 2012

Brazil will boost its military presence in the Amazon region to protect its huge natural resources from any external threat, Defense Minister Celso Amorim told the Senate Thursday.

“The commitment to the defense of the Amazon is fundamental. Navy, Air Force, all services will boost their presence in the Amazon in the next few years,” he said without giving further details.

Amorim said Brazil did not feel threatened by any neighboring country but added: “We cannot rule out that some power from outside the region” may covet the natural resources of the Amazon, the planet’s largest rainforest and its main source of fresh water.

“We are working on a plan to deploy (security) forces and the Amazon plays a very important role. It’s the most vulnerable part of our country,” Amorim said.

“We have a wealth of resources which can make us the target of adventures,” he added.

Amorim said the country’s strategic planners were planning to boost “transparent cooperation” with other Amazon countries, referring to plans to set up a security commission with Peru and Colombia.

“We do not feel threatened by any South American countries and we do not want anyone to feel threatened by us. We always want full transparency to avoid suspicions,” the minister said.

Brazil, Latin America’s largest country and the world’s sixth largest economy, shares the sprawling Amazon with Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Brasilia is also boosting its naval power in the South Atlantic with a ambitious submarine program to protect its huge deep-water oil reserves and project its growing influence.

Under the National Defense Strategy unveiled in 2008, the navy was tasked with developing a blue-water force to protect Brazil’s huge sub-salt oil reserves, the Amazon river basin and its 7,491 km (4,655 miles) coastline.

The sub-salt oil fields, located off the country’s southeast Atlantic coast beneath kilometers of ocean, bedrock and hot sat-beds, could contain more than 100 billion barrels of high-quality recoverable oil, according to official estimates.

The centerpiece of the naval buildup is the ProSub program under which France is to supply four Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarines and help develop the non-nuclear components of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered fast attack submarine.

Related Links
Forestry News – Global and Local News, Science and Application



Survival / Sustainability


From Storey Publishing

The Backyard Cow

Have you ever considered raising your own backyard cow? Well, many people haven’t, but they have considered making their own cheeses from scratch. In Sue Weaver’s new book, The Backyard Cow, you can find all the information you need to make simple cheeses and yogurts from scratch. And if you find yourself impressed with your newly developed cheese making skills, then go for it — get yourself the backyard cow of your dreams! The book lays out all you’ll need to know about raising a happy, healthy, and highly productive backyard cow. Until then, enjoy this easy recipe from the book.

Soft Citrus Cheese Recipe

This cheese is delicious on crackers or bagels. Or, purée it in a food processor and add a dash of honey to make a tasty base for fruit dips.


1/2 gallon milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
Salt (optional)
Herbs (optional)


1. Heat milk to at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and no more than 180 degrees. Maintain that temperature and stir for 30 seconds, then slowly whisk 1/8 cup lemon or lime juice into the hot milk. Cover, turn off the heat, and let the milk sit for about 15 minutes, or until the curd clearly separates from the whey. If it hasn’t separated in 15 minutes, add small amounts of the remaining citrus juice until it does.

2. Pour the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. Tie the corners in a knot and hang the bag to drain for several hours until the curds stop draining.

3. Remove the cheese from the bag. Add salt and herbs to taste. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

By Christopher Nyerges

It turns out I was practicing permaculture before I ever heard the word. The coined word means “permanent agriculture,” referring to finding the way to let nature seek its own balance in gardening and other areas of life.

Here are some sections adapted from my Self-Sufficient Home book.


When I was still living with my parents, we had no space at all to garden. It was unthinkable then to tear up a front lawn and use it for a garden – something I wouldn’t hesitate to do today. The next door neighbor offered us the use of an empty yard between  our houses. My mother – who grew up on a farm – sat up at night with  me planning how to use that space for gardening. Most of what I learned about what to plant and not to plant was learned by making mistakes.

I began by planting herbs, tomatoes, and corn, all neatly arranged in north-south lines with some pathways in-between. I knew nothing about fertilizer or mulch or pest control. I just went out there and planted what I believed would make the best garden, and I watched the results.

Herbs took care of themselves – mints, fennel, oregano, lavendar, and others. Herbs tended to be drought-tolerant, and required very little of my time and effort.

Tomatoes grew good too, but I learned that they just grew and grew, longer and longer, and only began to produce lots of tomatoes when I pinched back the stems so the branches would not grow as long. Yes, I got tomato worms, which I just picked off and tossed to the birds.

Corn was quite an education. It grew tall and the ears formed. As they got bigger, I noticed that they were very infested with lots of ants, and aphids, and earwigs.  In horror, I would take the hose and wash all the bugs off, and this worked to some extent since it was a small garden.

That first season’s corn was a disaster, with bug-infested, half-developed ears, and I even used some bug poison for the first and last time.  I experimented with some of the natural pest-repellants, and made my own insecticide from a mixture of garlics and hot peppers, liquified in the blender, and sprayed on the plants. I even added a little Basic H to the mix. I had some results, but I was still working with poor soil.

In desperation, I studied all I could on natural pest control.  After all, I had fresh memories of one of my uncles in Chardon, Ohio, who had to dress up in what looked like a bee suit every time he went into his apple orchards so he would be protected from all the pesticides that he sprayed on the apples.  (He died of cancer).  Shouldn’t farming and gardening be about life, not death, I wondered?  Can’t nature take care of itself?  Isn’t there a way to find a balance so that the bugs keep the other bugs in check?

 Read Full Article Here




Sometimes Civil Disobedience is the Only Way to be Heard


Leah Bolger, a retired navy officer, talks about her arrest at Congress and plans for NATO protest


Leah Bolger is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy who retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander. She was elected as the first female president of Veterans For Peace. Bolger has been involved in several national efforts and she has been arrested several times for acts of civil disobedience, most recently in a hearing of the Super Committee, where she called on the Committee to “End the Wars and Tax the Rich.”

Read Transcript Here

Occupy v. Whole Foods? Activists Take Over Land Slated for Development and Start a Farm

The Gill Tract is prime agricultural soil that activists hope can feed hundreds. But the UC Berkeley-owned land may be sold to Whole Foods.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Konstantin Sutyagin

Invoking the spirit of international peasant farmer movements La Via Campesina and Brazil’s Movimento Sem Terra, hundreds of people entered a five-acre plot of land at the Berkeley/Albany border on Sunday April 22, in one of this spring’s first high-profile actions of the Occupy movement. Their goal? To farm the land and share the food with the local community.

Under the banner “Occupy the Farm,” a coalition of local residents, farmers, students, researchers, and activists broke the lock and entered the UC Berkeley-owned Gill Tract on a sunny Sunday afternoon, bringing with them over 15,000 seedlings, a pair of rototillers and a half-dozen chickens in mobile chicken-tractors. Hundreds of people, including a dozen or so children, went to work clearing weeds, tilling garden beds, filling holes with compost, and planting seedlings. At the end of four hours, they’d planted an estimated three-quarters of an acre.

After last fall’s burst of Occupy actions raised a challenge to corporate control writ large, organizers of Occupy the Farm say they are kicking off the spring season with efforts to reclaim land not just as a way of occupying space, but to meet the needs of communities through food production.

Read Full Article Here




Protesters with the Occupy movement block one of the entrances to the Port of Oakland in California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergProtesters with the Occupy movement block one of the entrances to the Port of Oakland in California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Bloomberg News

Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Protests in May Day Resurgence

By Henry Goldman and Esmé E. Deprez on April 30, 2012

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe today calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.

In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s (BAC) 55-story tower.

“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.

Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.



Read Full Article Here





Psy – Ops

Consuming Kids – The Commercialization of Childhood (Full Film Documentary)

Uploaded by

Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.


[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]