What is on my radar?
Thank you to my patrons who make my writings possible. You are each precious soul to my heart.
Remember: the Gate of Repentance is always open!
Weather and Space Weather
Cosmic Ray Flux for the next 8 days! Heads up for volcanic, earthquake, and weather chaos.
2 quakes felt in San Francisco area in a matter of hours. They're not related, expert says http://bit.ly/32jN2C8
Philippines earthquake: Child killed and dozens injured as major 6.4-magnitude quake hits Mindanao island http://bit.ly/35B0L9H
Worldwide Volcano News and Updates http://bit.ly/2v9JJhO
Snow Ahead for the Western U.S. Mountains http://bit.ly/32nTOae
Here we go, dear friends, the normalization of the guillotine from Homeland Security Newswire!
Concerns about the drugs used for executions are being raised again after the federal government announced it would once again execute inmates convicted of capital crimes almost 16 years after the last execution was carried out. While the death penalty is the ultimate punishment meted out by the state, it is not meant to be torture. The guillotine remains a quick method of execution it takes about half a second for the blade to drop and sever a prisoners head from his body. Although the guillotine may be the bloodiest of deaths, it does not cause the prolonged physical torment increasingly delivered by lethal injections. Should the U.S. consider using the guillotine to administer capital punishment? Read more
US nuclear hostages...I remember clearly when one of our fighter jets was downed and seized by China. I was back at FEMA at the time. There was a TV in every room, and the dining hall sported screens with different news coverage of the incident. These days that would not be necessary as everyone has the same talking points, called messaging.
Trump announced his hasty decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria in a series of Tweets on Sunday, following a phone call with Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan despite months of warnings from the Pentagon, the NSC, the U.S. intelligence community, and the Department of State. As a result, no plans were made to deal with the fifty or so tactical nuclear weapons kept under U.S. control at the Incirlik Air Base in south-central Turkey, which the United States shares with Turkey. One official told the New York Times that the nuclear bombs at the base were now effectively Erdogans hostages. Read more
Media is calling it herds; the military calls them swarms
Weapons Makers Unveil A Herd of Robotanks— As the Army Worries about Battlefield Bandwidth
The U.S. Army is determined to field a mid-sized combat robot vehicle, but the prototypes are outstripping the datalinks that would connect them.
The show floor of the country’s biggest land-warfare convention was crowded with robot tanks this week, roughly two years after the U.S. Army’s declaration that its core 5-year priorities include a new combat vehicle. Among them, and with the greatest fanfare, Textron unveiled its Ripsaw, a 10-ton, 20-foot electrically-powered treaded mini tank that can carry a small aerial drone on its back and can pop a smaller ground robot out of a front compartment. But companies from South Korea and Germany brought their robo-battle machines to flaunt. Army leaders say that they’ve also been experimenting with battle concepts that combine soldiers, unmanned tanks, and small UAVs.
This comes after 1000 pages of food control mandates by the UN in August, and the release of one Food Control Dashboard to control the whole food supply on October 1 and a Pathogen Depopulation Dashboard released several days ago. These dashboard monitors will monitor the carnage real-time. Dashboards were Beta-Tested in Emergency Management to manage disasters. The article below is another reason to prep-up.
A new food economy is taking root. It’s showing up in the dairy section of grocery stores and the drive-thrus of Burger King. Plant-based milk, meat, and even sushi are appearing more regularly on menus, riding a trend created by companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and.
The Age of Animal Protein—with it's environmental, ethical, and health baggage—seems to be giving way to the Age of Alternative Protein.
There are companies going well beyond plant-based burgers or creamy milk made from nuts. Startups are trying to coax animal cells into steaks and bypass the slaughterhouse altogether or tweak the genetics of microbes to produce proteins found in milk and eggs.
If the idea of chowing down on a lab-grown burger someday still sounds a little fantastical, then the following efforts to reimagine and redesign animal-free protein will seem out of this world.
Microbes as Meat and Machine
Let’s start small: Extremophiles are Terran-based organisms that can exist in the most hostile conditions on Earth, like sunless caves or freezing oceans, but could be equally comfortable in the cold vacuum of space. In other words, they’re tough.
A particularly hardy species of microbes that inhabit the volcanic springs of Yellowstone National Park may also turn out to be edible and highly nutritious. A startup spun out of the University of Chicago called Sustainable Bioproducts is attempting to create single-cell protein using extremophile bacteria, leveraging years of fundamental research on the microorganism and proprietary fermentation technology.
Sustainable Bioproducts reproduces the microbes in the lab, feeding them a starchy solution that produces a protein with all nine essential amino acids that humans need in their diet. The resulting product is truly flexitarian in that it can be made savory or sweet, meat-like, or dairy-like.
The tech drew investments from some of the world’s biggest food companies, like Archer Daniels Midland and Danone, along with the save-the-world investment fund known as Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which is backed by $1 billion and a who’s who of philanthropist billionaires such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos.
Several other startups are turning microbes into protein by feeding them everything from methane and carbon dioxide to wastewater from food production. For example, Calysta Energy out of Silicon Valley employs microbes that metabolize methane, while Hong Kong-based iCell Sustainable Nutrition feeds its protein-rich bugs wastewater from sugar production. Many of these companies are targeting animal feed markets like aquaculture.
In other cases, the microbes are not the meat of the product, but a means to an alternative protein that employs the same fermentation science behind brewing beer—but using genetically modified yeast or bacteria. Founded just this year and already backed by more than $117 million in the capital, Motif FoodWorks isn’t stopping at replicating the usual sorts of dairy and egg proteins pursued by companies like Perfect Day or Clara Foods.
Instead, the company—spun out of Ginkgo Bioworks, a startup unicorn that engineers microbes for food ingredients, flavors, and fragrances—plans to serve as an R&D lab for companies seeking to create even more exotic proteins, from platypus milk to sturgeon eggs.
It’s not just about brewing weird food for the next Silicon Valley party of longevity-seeking billionaires: Platypus milk, for instance, has shown antibacterial properties that could help fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Lab-Grown Bugs for Breakfast?
Speaking of bugs: Insects have been touted as a more sustainable and nutritious protein than beef for years now. That’s led to cricket protein bars and cricket protein flour. But, for many, there’s still the ick factor.
So what about lab-grown insect protein?
Scientists at Tufts, led by Natalie Rubio, recently investigated the feasibility of growing insect muscle cells on a mushroom-based scaffolding, which is the structural support for cell attachment and tissue growth. Not only do the cells grow like crazy, but it’s cheaper and easier to culture insect tissues versus mammalian ones.
The research grew out of Rubio’s work on using insect cells as bioactuators for soft robotic muscle applications. Some of the same characteristics that make insect-derived biobots superior to those constructed from mammalian tissues or cells, such as tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, make lab-grown insect protein an attractive alternative, according to Rubio’s team.
“The robustness of established techniques for culturing insect cells … make them ideal candidates for incorporation into cultured meat and other innovative food products,” they concluded.
3D Printing Plant-Based Beef
Even more straightforward plant-based food, like that coming from companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, may soon get a new technological twist: 3D printing. A few startups have emerged in the last year, or so that are developing 3D printing technologies for improving the texture, flavor, and appearance of plant-based meats.
Israeli startup Redefine Meat out of Tel Aviv, for instance, just came on the food tech scene last year but promises to begin selling its 3D printers directly to supermarkets and food manufacturers by 2020.
“We are developing a new 3D printing process that controls texturization and product placement, and a new printer to support it,” chief business officer Adam Lahav told Singularity Hub by email. “Our printer is a semi-industrial printer designed to produce large amounts of meat in a short space of time.”
Lahav explained that existing food technology is very good at mimicking individual aspects of meat, such as good flavor, texture, or appearance, but scoring the trifecta is extremely challenging.
“3D printing enables a new level of control on texture, flavor, appearance, and their combination, resulting in products that ‘behave’ much more like meat in your mouth,” he said.
Barcelona-based startup Novameat, also founded last year, is reconfiguring 3D printing technology that its founder, Giuseppe Sconti, worked on for bioprinting human tissue.
“I realized that if 3D printers could imitate human tissue that well, then I could generate a meat substitute that had the same texture as animal tissue,” Sconti said in a recent interview.
Making the Switch to Alt Protein
All of these innovations require money, and cash is certainly flowing to many of the startups that are attempting to commercialize these alternative proteins.
The venture capital firm itself, AgFunder, announced a new Alt Protein Fund with a tentative target size of $20 million. The fund will invest in alternative animal proteins, including plant-based products, cellular agriculture, and other technologies required to support the emerging industry, according to Rob Leclerc, a founding partner at AgFunder.
In the announcement, Leclerc noted that new technologies are surpassing the animal-based ones that first helped build human civilization.
“We anticipate that many consumers will shift to animal-free food products if those products begin to meet or exceed their animal-based alternatives on key areas like cost, taste, functionality, convenience, and health,” he wrote. “Factor in a more conscious consumer concerned about the impact of animal agriculture on our environment and sustainability, and that switch may happen even faster.”
Analysts at Barclays seem to believe the shift to alternative protein will happen quickly. They project the alt protein market will be worth $140 billion within the next decade, capturing 10 percent of the $1.4 trillion meat industry.
The big brains at global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney are even more bullish, writing that one-third of the global meat supply will be provided by alternative meat technologies within ten years, seriously disrupting traditional agriculture and creating a new industry around alternative meat proteins.
“At the current stage, it is hard to tell how fast the disruption will come about,” they wrote. “However, one can already observe how wholesalers, retailers, and consumer goods companies are trying to find a lucrative starting position by purchasing exclusive distribution rights or through the acquisition of startups.”
Apparently, in such a dog-eat-dog world, the vegetarians will end up winning after all. Repost: Singularity Hub
Why star-gaze? To instill awe of God deeper into our being, and if God took the time to name each new star, then it is the least we can do to look up and praise Him!
Astronomers have spotted a toddler dwarf galaxy 9.4 billion light-years away by turning a cluster of other galaxies into a magnifying glass for x-rays, according to a new paper published in Nature Astronomy
What is it: The dwarf galaxy is one 10,000th the size of the Milky Way itself, yet it is brimming with activity. It is currently going through a phase of intense new star formation, resulting in high-energy x-rays pulsing through the region. This is the first time scientists have ever been able to watch this sort of galaxy life stage with x-ray observations.
How did they do it? Galaxy clusters induce gravitational effects on surrounding matter and energy by bending and magnifying it as a glass of water might with a beam of light. This is called gravitational lensing, and scientists can use this phenomenon to study and determine where different electromagnetic signals hailing from other parts of the universe originate from.
Gravitational lensing has never before been used to study x-ray emissions, but the principles apply just the same as they would for light. The team used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the Phoenix cluster, 5.7 billion light-years away—a structure that’s a quadrillion time more massive than the sun. It’s a perfect natural lens to magnify x-ray emissions as they pass through.
After subtracting for x-rays coming from the Phoenix cluster itself, the team found “lensed” emissions magnified 60 times over, coming from a dwarf galaxy 9.4 billion light-years away, born when the universe was a third its current age.
So what? What exactly happened in the first 5 billion years of the universe is still pretty murky. The authors of the study say the new detection shows it’s possible to use natural x-ray magnifiers to identify things that were born soon after the Big Bang. Tools like Chandra could now be used to comb over other aspects of the ancient universe and solve cosmological questions in far greater detail. TechnologyReview
I am seeing evidence that the molten blobs/magma under the crust of the earth is beginning to surface. That is why we see many hot spots. It is also my belief that many of the wildfires that we have seen, with more coming, are a result of the magma heating the crust and igniting dry debris, and, of course, the explosive nano-particulates.
Pharmaceutical expansion into wildfire suppression? Very interesting. They are using California and Hawaii, both experiencing a high incident of wildfires. I am not sure we have enough information about this long-term gel to know the long term effects. Time will tell.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Between the flood them out and burn them out, then buy them out. In whose hands do these properties go?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been offering voluntary buyout programs to homeowners in flood-prone neighborhoods since the 1980s. And with increasingly powerful storms battering coastlines and flooding becoming more ubiquitous after heavy rains, these programs and the idea of managed coastal retreat have continued to garner more and more attention. A new study is the first to examine nationwide data on FEMAs buyout program. Read more HomelandSecurity Newswire
If this was an effective solution, then why are firefighters dying when they wrap up in their expedite protection blankets when caught in a wildfire?
Wrapping a building in a fire-protective blanket is a viable way of protecting it against wildfires, finds the first study to scientifically assess this method of defense. Existing blanket technology can protect an isolated building from a short wildfire attack, but technological advancements are needed for severe fire situations. Read more Homeland Security Newswire
Follow the money......the trail for Sanctuary.ai, the designers of the Synths (or synthetic lifeforms) begins in China. Does that surprise you?
Persecuted Christians often had to flee and gather in subterranean catacombs to worship. This was the abode of the dead with thousands of bones surrounding the faithful. Once again, we may be forced to flee to such locations to worship in spirit and truth. I visited these locations throughout Europe and the Middle-East. It is truly eerie to worship among the bones of those long deceased.
Across the globe, there are magnificent yet macabre displays of bones. These range from the tombs of ancient kings and leaders, to the catacombs that snake their way beneath the streets of Paris. They can be awe-inspiring and stomach-turning all at once.
(Image: Jan Kameníček/Public Domain)
In Évora, Portugal, you can find the Chapel of Bones 12, a 16th-century church where every wall and pillar is covered with skeletal remains. Deep in the heart of Czechia is the Sedlec Ossuary 12, commonly known as the “Bone Church,” where a chandelier comprised of human bones hangs over visitors as they venture through the church. And it’s not just human remains that get all the attention. At the Basilica of Santa Maria e San Donato 16 in Venice, Italy, massive rib bones hang from one wall, purported to have belonged to a dragon slain by Saint Donatus. These are just a few of the places around the world where morbidly fascinating displays of bones take center stage. AtlasObscura
Ancient artifacts, bones, and skeletons are being put in CERN type devices. This is one example.
Light Billions of Times Brighter Than the Sun Used to Read Charred Scrolls From Herculaneum
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. carbonized papyrus scrolls, which may now be readable
Researchers are hoping that new technology will help them to begin reading charred scrolls dating back 2,000 years. If successful, the technique could help decipher other charred, faded, or damaged scrolls and documents from the ancient world.
These particular scrolls were unearthed in 1752 in the ruins of Herculaneum, which was covered in ash by Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. They were discovered, specifically, in the library of a grand villa, believed to belong to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. As Nicola Davis at The Guardian reports, the documents were a major find since the site, which became known as the Villa of the Papyri, is the only known intact library from the ancient world. Most of the documents, however, were charred into rolled up logs, rendering the texts more or less useless. Read More
It is the season of the wheat harvest. I will pray to Hashem (God) and He will send thunder and rain; then you will take thought and realize what a wicked thing you did in the sight of Hashem (God) when you asked for a king.” (Samuel 1 12:17)
Thunder and lightning storms continued to light up Israel’s skies for the second day in a row on Tuesday. And as expected, Israelis caught some amazing images of the lightning on their camera phones.
One particular image of lightning over the Jerusalem skyline went viral on social media. That’s because the lightning gives the appearance of a huge man walking over Jerusalem and zapping it with his thunderbolt arms.
And while the lightning storms have created some incredible images for some, they have also brought great devastation to others. That’s because five Israelis have been struck by the lightning at the Zikim beach near Israel’s southern coastal city of Ashkelon.
All five victims were taken to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, according to a Magen David Adom spokesperson.
One of the victims, Elazar Hazut of Beersheba, told the Jpost from his hospital room: “I ask for Israelis to pray for us.” Elazar, his brother, Elhanan, and wife, Efrat, 21, remain in serious condition. His brother, Asher, 14, was transferred in critical condition to the hospital as resuscitation attempts continued. Another sister, 13, whose name was withheld, is in serious but stable condition.
Due to the lightning and thunderstorms, flash flood warnings have been sent out with Israel’s Parks Services cautioning hikers against sensitive trails, especially in the south, including the Dead Sean and Eilat area. The thunderstorms are expected to subside on Wednesday. Israelis are currently celebrating the holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Sukkot is a time where most are on vacation and utilize the time to go on hikes or to the beach.
I would not have posted this except for my experience in treating goats with mastitis with sugar and egg whites. In animal husbandry, not the same as people husbandry, that sugar and egg whites eradicate the most virulent pathogens. I am not sure I would want a modified or artificial sugar to use as treatment. We all know those dangers.
Snot, the green goo we rocket from our nose when it’s cold, has a surprising use for disarming pathogens. It turns out mucus does more than physically trap bacteria and viruses; it interferes with bacteria’s communication and behavior, effectively making them harmless and keeping us healthier in the process.
New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows mucus contains “glycans,” specialized sugar molecules that can disarm pathogens and prevent infection.
Scientists are now calling mucus a “therapeutic gold mine.” The discovery could lead to the development of “artificial mucus” and new ways of treating antibiotic-resistant infections. These sneaky sugar molecules, however gross or uncomfortable, play a powerful role in stopping an infection in its tracks. Inverse
And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20
Mankind is experiencing a reckoning because of our sin. Someday the process of ridding humanity and the world of sin will be complete. We will see Jesus in all of His majesty, not through a dim glass.
Your prayers and my prayers of repentance have a profound effect upon all of creation. Our faith, joy, and obedience to His Word will, just as it did in ancient times, have a cosmic impact on the destiny of the world and all of creation. Your prayers, as Jesus said, can move mountains. With our simple childlike faith during these of Tribulation Days, we may move mountains-literally. Your prayers are not some when a Hindu when a butterfly flaps its wings or New Age mumbo jumbo. Jesus is telling you that your fervent prayers are powerful.
Surely, we will see the day that nothing will be impossible for us. Is that not what Jesus also indicated when He was at the Gates of Hell of Caesarea Philippi and telling His disciples that He would build His church upon this rock. The rock can be interpreted many ways-Jesus as the Rock, but it can also mean that the things of this world will be buried, blotted out-as if they never were. Blotting out is very common in the Middle-East where archaeology uncovers layers upon layers of ancient cities, built one on top of another, making a Tell.
God Bless you from the trenches. Be safe, everyone.