Ecuador/Colombia Border Earthquake


Dangerous earthquake in Northern Ecuador (border with Colombia)

Last update: October 21, 2014 at 8:56 am by By


Update : Although we mentioned earlier that this earthquake was not linked to volcanic activity, the Carchi authorities have now confirmed that the earthquake was volcanically triggered.

Image copyright and courtesy El Comercio Ecuador

Important update : INGEOMINAS has raised the alert level of the Chiles – Cerro Negrp volcanoes from yellow to orange at these long-dormant, twin volcanoes as seismicity has surged (over 1500 events!) over the past 24 hours (including a magnitude M5.6 earthquake).

Update : One house was apparently damaged in the capital of Carchi province, Tulcan. No more reports about the fear for a missing person in the landslide. Let’s hope that this was a false alert.

Update : Picture below shows a landslide due to this earthquake (image courtesy Army Ecuador). The governor of the Crachi province in Ecuador may decide to suspend the classes in some schools.

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Update : No reports of damage so far, only an Ecuadorian official report of 1 person missing after a landslide in Cerro Negro.

Update : IGEPN (Ecuador) mentions a Magnitude (Richter) of M5.9 at a depth of 6 km only. Although no direct volcanic link was reported, the epicenter was located in the direct vicinity of the border Colombian volcanoes Cumbal and Chiles.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 06.54.41 Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 06.55.03

3km (2mi) WSW of San Gabriel, Ecuador
34km (21mi) SW of Ipiales, Colombia
39km (24mi) NE of Ibarra, Ecuador
49km (30mi) NE of Atuntaqui, Ecuador
117km (73mi) NE of Quito, Ecuador

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.7

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-10-20 14:33:24

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-10-20 19:33:24


Maintaining your Sanity Amidst the Craziness

Ascension 101: How to Not Go Crazy in a Crazy World

ascension-1Deidre Madsen, Contributor
Waking Times

With so many ways for us to be afraid in the world today, like Chicken Little. (“The sky is falling, the sky is falling.”), do we really need to be afraid? Or do we want to arm ourselves with natural homeopathy remedies and immune boosting herbs and foods against dangerous rogue viruses like Ebola and the deadly respiratory viruses hitting children?

Do we want to find a way to remain emotionally balanced (just as important as natural remedies) even though our country is besieged with economic collapse, oil wars, global warming (or cooling), chemtrails, ISIS terrorism, illegal immigrants flooding into America, corrupt government and healthcare systems?

America seems to have become the world’s worst nightmare. How do we want to respond or react? Are we going to allow this to drive us into deep fear and panic, worry over all the terror around every corner? If so, we are really setting our immune systems up with emotions of fear and anger that make us even more susceptible to illness and disease. How do we want to show up in our lives today? Recognize that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our children’s children’s children, our planet and its beautiful animals, birds and sea creatures. Therefore, I offer some of what I have learned on the basics of ascension (and awakening or enlightened way of being in the world and not of it) to help point the way a bit further for you.

c11--the-sorting-hats-new-songWHERE DID I PUT MY SORTING HAT?

Very much like the famed Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter movie series, we need a proverbial shamanic crystal ball psychic guru in order to sort through the mass of available information. As they say in the Heart of the Dove (deep in USA’s midwest) “Land Sakes Alive! There is a lot of spiritual information out there.”  Where do you go and what are you looking for? Well, if you trust your instincts you will end up right where you need to be, is my philosophy. (FYI, I ❤ Gryffindor House)


When my own ascension fully commenced I was inundated with information in every possible direction. I thought my problem was that I did not know what and who to believe in, trust or have faith in. Well that was the actual problem … I was looking for somethingoutside of myself instead of looking within. 

I was visiting the local nursing home the other day and I asked an old woman sitting in a wheelchair how she was doing. She replied, “Well, I’m doing okay but I’m trying to figure everything out now. And the problem is that I don’t know what is true and what is not true.” Her comment rang true. How on earth do we know what is true or not? Even within our own mind, without the influence of so much external stimuli, how do we know? She had a good point. I thought for a moment and remembered what I have been taught myself. I leaned over to her and said, “You will know. You will feel the answer within you. It is in your heart.”


When I first learned about this concept, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Wow, the truth has been there all along. Three clicks and I’m home. It is so simple. Just like in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy always had the ability to “go back home”, she simply had to click her heels three times to do it. And how did she acquire those stunning shoes? Those ruby slippers? That was noooo accident her Kansas house falling on Elphaba’s sister, Nessarose, the Wicked Witch of the East. No it wasn’t. (Sometime, if you have a couple hours, watch that movie again and see what Frank L. Baum intuited in his creation of the Wizard of Oz because our fictional movies (and literature) are very telling.) Remember, to go within and search and feel your heart for the heart holds the key, the heart is the sacred temple, the church within. Our Sacred Space, the Holy of Holies, lies within each and every one of us. Like Dorothy and her purity of spirit and nature of truth and justice, inner wisdom (i.e., to ask others for help if need be, and to ultimately listen to her own heart), are all messages from our subconscious self.

rubyslippersTo further illustrate this point, each additional character within her journey represented an archetypal pattern within her that needed personal care, attention, acknowledgement and healing. The Scarecrow’s knowledge (left brain intellect, structure) were what she sought when she wanted to own her own gift of knowledge or left brained grasping of a situation. The Lion’s search for courage reminded her of her own need to be brave and face her fears with the nasty neighbor wanting to take away little Toto. Even the character of Toto’s free spirited romps were Dorothy’s inner need to be free and test her own inner (and outer) boundaries (worlds/realms). Each character in our own life’s drama, play and novel all represent an inner archetypal structure playing itself out for us to wake up one day and attend to (paying attention).


There are all kinds of people in this ascension. First, the three basic groups or categories of people are:

  • The awakened ones:  Fully conscious and well into (aka taking action) their ascension
  • The awakening ones:  The veil is thinning, they are nearing their consciousness
  • The sleeping ones:  Veil? What veil? These folks are not aware there even is a veil (in order to ascend, if it is their divine will to do so at this go ’round, they will be receiving their appropriate triggering)

What is really interesting is discovering those you think are awake are actually sleeping and vice versa. In other words, sometimes the very least possible enlightened person is probably the most enlightened of all. So, never judge a book by its cover. How can we work with this?  Have you noticed there are people in the world who are totally into one type of religious organization or another?  Or perhaps they follow a traditional religion like some of the Christian religions? Or they are totally into Paganism?  Religious/spiritual organizations attract all three of those groups listed above.

What about those of us that seemingly follow many paths at once, i.e., Pagan, Christ based, nature based, Native American, and Celtic? All rolled into one? What about those folks who are totally into and resonate with UFOs and ETs and star systems like Orion or Pleiades, Andromedan or Arcturus? I think there is even a “Who’s Who in the Universe” website that lists all types of known extraterrestrials and ultraterrestrials. What about those folks who believe they are “walk-ins” or “starseeds”? Where do all these players fit in?

The lists of players comes from an understanding of what happened long ago and there are many websites that have the answers. Use your intuition and wisdom to seek the  best sources of information for in-depth identifying information on the aforementioned. Now, let’s break down these three categories even more …


Did you know there are three different basic properties that make up an ascending form/body? There are and once you understand this, things will make a whole lot more sense.

We are basically a mixture within our beings. We are magnetic, electric, and radioactive. The original humans however are like Mother Earth, purely magnetic. With the incorporation of so much electrical and radioactive signatures upon Mother Earth of late, we magnetic humans have incorporated all three aspects within. Radionuclides are found in nature all around us; in the air, water and earth’s rich soil. Radionuclides are even found in human beings which we produce naturally because of our environment.

When you begin your search, you may discover you are drawn to various entities, star systems, crystals, totem animals, or deities; you will begin to realize it all boils down to ancestry. What our ancestors did, who they were, where they came from, all play a part in our DNA. Within a magnetic humans’ structure lies the opportunity to become crystalline in nature once again – to ascend in the physical body. In order to do this we must transmute and release all karmic history (ours or otherwise) within this life as well as within our ancestors’ lives (even if we are adopted!). When this release commences, this gives our ascension a big, big boost.

Now, however, if you primarily resonate with electric-based beings, then you will ascend but will be sent to that particular star system or planet to do so. Likewise if you are a radioactive-based human. All will ascend in their own time. And if only a handful of magnetic humans ascend, the whole of the world’s magnetic humans and ancestors will be in their glorious company and will experience it concurrently. Marvelous.

We are the Many and the One … … we are the first and the last of our ancestral lineage therefore we must heal our lineage… because it is also us.


Now that you have an idea of the differences within us, can you see how difficult it is to judge someone? The only way I can explain this is by citing a personal example.

For twelve years, I was married to someone who is very electric by nature. I didn’t know this at the time. I was very naive, young and unaware. Although the relationship suffered from numerous other issues revolving around both our self-worth, self-honoring, and self-love, issues we could have worked through in time, the basic elements to the marriage were not copacetic from the relationship’s onset. In other words, we were not compatible. How well do you think mixing an electric being with a magnetic being will work?

When looking back at the drama of my life, its roller-coaster ups and downs, I can safely say that those events and people were there as divine guides and guideposts along my ascension path. And I can honor each and every experience, with an open and loving heart.

Where is the fear now? ‘Gone with the Schwinn!’  It’s history because I cannot judge what other people do to move along their own path, be it electric, magnetic or radioactive. Judgment is replaced with compassion – quite freeing.


As the new energies increase, allowing Mother Earth her own complete ascension, we all feel the her throes like childbirth and can experience them in grace or in pain. When Jesus walked the earth more than 2000 years ago, his message was to forgive. Forgiveness is an essential ingredient to our ascension. We must openly forgive our ancestors their atrocities as well as forgive our own. In so doing, we mark the path more clearly toward our ascension process. Thus paving a clearer way for our ancestors also.

When in prayer or meditation or whatever form you go within, focus on your ancestry. Look for the clues or synchronicities throughout the day, or your dreamtime, for these clues will assist you greatly. State to God/Goddess/Universe your intent to release your ancestors’ karma, your own karma, as well as karma that has been bestowed upon you that is not yours to own. Forgiveness lights the path with compassion.


“Be Still and Know that I AM God” God is within all things. On January 3, 2000, my veil was lifted. I saw and knew. In the knowing I experienced the truth about God. First and foremost, there is no separation. If you fall into step with people who separate God from man, then you begin to believe not in yourself but in a separate entity altogether. God made man out of his own likeness. God instilled in man a divine spark of himself. How then can we look outside of ourselves for God? Once you accept that all things are within, fully and completely, then you can feel the grandness of God and know that you are truly a divine being.


Notice I didn’t say ‘when’?! Interpretations of the Bible claim that “Jesus is coming” to rid the world of evil. Many religious organizations teach that there will be a return of the Messiah in human form and we are to diligently look for him, wait for him. Once again some people take it literally and look outside themselves for this “return of Christ.”

Another way to look at it, is that the return of Christ has already happened. It is already here. We are the living human form of the Christ consciousness or a compassionate awareness of inner Light. It is an embracing of God within. Jesus said, “All these things you can do, and more”. He wasn’t kidding. Our potential, once we realize our divinity, is his humble way of saying “You guys are awesome! You just don’t re-member. And when you do … watch out world! ” When we stop looking outside of ourselves for a savior or messiah, and look within to find that saving grace, we will see the fullness of God within

“Be Still and Know that I AM God” by repeating this phrase as a mantra, this can effect our sense of peace, our purpose, our well-being. We can then come from a state of unconditional love for all; like “Ohm-ing” whereby we are brought back to our natural frequency of balance.


In order to regroup, we must reground ourselves. Unplugging the computer and TV is a great start. Take long walks and get out with nature and relish the glory of our planet; the wonderful miraculous animals and beauty of Mother Earth. In this time of mass confusion and overwhelming media stimuli, many lightworkers (especially) are finding that experiencing nature and grounding ourselves within her, is all we need do in order to feel the fullness within. We experience her beauty and we know ourselves. We will once again feel ourselves as integral parts of the whole, and with forgiveness and compassion we shine brightly like stars filled with unconditional love.  

I believe these ascension basics will be helpful to those who are searching. These are truths that have resonated with me for some time now. A reoccurring theme in this article and website is to get back to yourself, trust yourself, know your heart, listen to the still voice within. Energy/chi is power with which we all are gifted from our True Source/ God/dess. Staying centered, focused and clear will keep you from being effected by others attempting to negatively work out their karma with you or stealing your energy/chi. It is essential that centeredness and heart connection be your main focus. With these wonderful tools you will be well on your ascension path.

I bid you peace.


Deidre Madsen


Some De-Cluttering Tips

How to Let Go of Clutter and Simplify Your Life

cluttered mind

You know what I recently noticed? That I am no longer attached to material things like I used to be.

There was a time when, because I was attached to every little thing that I possessed, I would get so mad whenever someone would take my things, use them and at times break them. And oh my, all the drama that was created around that. But now I no longer care.

Even though I can afford to a lot of ‘stuff’, I have reached a point in my life where spending my money on all kind of physical things no longer excites me. In fact I seem to get a lot more excited when I give my things away than I do when I buy them. I guess this is what happens the moment you begin to understand that you are more than your possessions and that your value doesn’t come from how much ‘stuff’ you have but from who you are internally.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” ~ Albert Einstein

We live in a world that teaches us that more is better and that the more we have, the more valuable we become and the better our lives will get. But where is the peace in that?

Where is the peace in always striving and never arriving? Where is the peace in never being satisfied with what you already have and always wanting more, more, more? Where is the peace in allowing your material possessions to control you and your life instead of you being the one in control?

When is enough, enough?

“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should all give our material possessions away and live on the streets. That’s far from it. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t waste our lives working so hard to make money, just so we can spend those money on gathering a lot of stuff and clutter our lives. There’s more to life than hoarding a lot of ‘stuff’.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Living in a constant chase to acquire more stuff is exhausting. It makes you think that where you are, who you are and what you now have is never enough and that you should seek to have more, do more and become more.

It’s a trap.

“But here’s the thing–no matter how many possessions you have, you never feel secure. As soon as you get one thing, there is always something else you “need”.” ~ Karen Kingston

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but there are many people who  give way too much importance and value to their material possessions. And that’s only because they take their sense of identity, their value and their worth from all of those things.

When you have no idea who you are, and what really means to be a valuable and worthy human being, you can’t help but think that the value and quantity of your stuff says a lot about your value.

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

I think it’s very important for people to understand that your value doesn’t come from how much stuff you have, how shiny it all is and how much you paid for it. Your true value comes from the fact that you were once born into this physical world and that you are now living and breathing on this beautiful planet. That’s where your true value comes from.

You are a valuable and worthy human being not because you hoarded a lot of physical things but because you were once born.

We are all here for a reason. We are all here because each and every one of us has a purpose to fulfill. And that purpose and that reason isn’t about us gathering a lot of ‘stuff’ and then allowing that ‘stuff’ to clutter our lives and to keep us from walking on our life path.

There’s nothing wrong in having beautiful things and allowing those things to give more meaning and color to your life. But if you fall into the trap of allowing your material possessions to keep you from honoring yourself, your purpose and from creating the life you were meant to create, than that can become a problem.

“Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!” ~ Og Mandino

Work on making the relationship you have with yourself and your life path more important than the relationship you have with your material possessions. Never allow your attachment to your material things to keep you from going where your heart wants you to go and from doing the things that your Soul came here to do.

If life ever asks you to relocate. If your hear your heart telling you that you should leave behind the life you are now living and the many material things you are currently clinging on to so that you can start a new life someplace else, dare to listen. Trust the wisdom of your inner voice and trust in the wisdom of life. Because that’s what life is really all about.

“You can only lose what you cling to.” ~ Buddha

Love your things. Let them beautify and give more meaning to your life. But never allow them to get in the way of you living the life you came here to live. Never allow them to burden you, to control you and to keep you from living the simple, beautiful and meaningful life you are meant to live. Never use your attachment to all your physical possessions as an excuse of why you can’t do the things that your heart, soul and intuitions are asking you to do.

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Source: “Let Go of Clutter and Live a More Simple Life,” from, by Luminita D. Saviuc

– See more at:

Sevier COunty, TN Composting Trash

Where Does All the Trash from Dollywood Go? To One of the World’s Best Composting Facilities

Sevier County, Tenn., diverts 70 percent of waste from landfills—and it’s becoming more efficient all the time.


All photos by Erin L. McCoy.



When you think about progressive composting and recycling programs, big cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles might come to mind—yet one of the most efficient composting facilities in the world is in Appalachian Tennessee.

Because of this plant, the majority of the county’s waste is composted or recycled.

Sevier County, Tennessee, is home to the twin tourist destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and attracts more than 11 million visitors per year. Gatlinburg is a quaint mountain town packed with quirky stores, restaurants, moonshine shops, and an aquarium. Pigeon Forge is home to the Dollywood amusement park. These towns are poised at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which covers roughly a third of the county.

Perhaps it’s this proximity to the natural world that helped inspire Sevier County’s unique approach to waste disposal. When it opened in 1991, the Sevier Solid Waste Composting Facility was one of the first in the world to use rotating drums, or “digesters,” for breaking down compost. Because of this plant, the majority of the county’s waste is composted or recycled. Today, it’s still a rare breed.

“There’s about 12 or so [composting facilities] in the world like this,” explains Tom Leonard, general manager of Sevier Solid Waste. “Every one of them has gotten some design feature from here, because we’re one of the oldest.”

As we walk around the facility, Leonard points to a grassy rise in the distance. “That back there is our old Class 1 landfill, but we don’t use it anymore.”

Measures of success

About 100,000 tons of solid waste and treated sewage pass through this facility every year—and an astounding 70 percent is diverted from landfills by being composted or recycled. That’s compared to 34.5 percent of all U.S. waste that was diverted in 2012, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. San Francisco, declared the greenest city in America by the Siemens Green City Index, recycled 77 percent of its waste in 2010, but was the only North American city of the 27 listed in the index to recycle more than Sevier County.

The county’s waste diversion rate becomes even more impressive when Leonard explains that 99 percent of the county’s waste is diverted from its Class 1 landfill—the most environmentally harmful type, requiring heavy lining to prevent runoff, careful regulatory oversight, and decades of maintenance. Garbage in these landfills is eventually covered up, but it never really goes away, Leonard says.

“I just don’t like the word ‘forever,’ because that’s a long time. So what we’re doing is, we’re stabilizing the material back down to its form, and our ultimate goal is not to put anything from this plant into a landfill.”

“Our ultimate goal is not to put anything from this plant into a landfill.”

Another unique component to Sevier County’s approach: residents and businesses aren’t required to separate recyclables from their daily waste. There are no recycling bins for home pickup, and the only items people are required to separate are construction and demolition materials, electronics, and tires. The separation of recyclables happens on the back end, as a part of the composting process. (While cardboard can be composted, citizens are asked to separate it because it makes more money for the county as recycled cardboard than as compost.)

In the end, this facility is financially self-sustaining, thanks in part to the money saved by not sending waste to a Class 1 landfill, where most non-recyclable waste in the U.S. ends up. A great deal of money is also saved on transporting garbage to landfills, which are often far away from pickup locations because of the challenges of finding affordable, usable land.

The facility also ensures that waste management is relatively affordable for the county and its cities; the cost of handling waste is $40 per ton, lower than the national average. In Sevier County, these costs are covered in part through a $12-per-month fee for curbside pickup. The Waste Business Journal reported that the average cost to place a ton of municipal solid waste into a landfill in 2012 was $44.23.

Meanwhile, individuals get free compost, with the rest being used for city and county projects such as road maintenance.

The recipe for compost

The tourist industry posed a unique dilemma when Sevier County administrators began seeking new waste disposal options in the late 1980s: “Because so much of our waste stream comes from our millions of visitors that come to the county every year, it’s almost impossible to get them to recycle in the way that we’d need them to,” explains Larry Waters, who has been Sevier County mayor since 1978. The county is home to nearly 94,000 people, a population dwarfed by the huge volume of tourists.

County administrators visited other sites where composting strategies had been implemented and ultimately contracted with Bedminster Bio-Conversion to build the original facility and operate it for the first few years.

Waters says that the county was the first to install a facility of this type. “We were pretty nervous about that—whether or not it was going to meet our needs and do what we needed it to do.”

However, the Sevier County facility would soon become a model for other, similar composting plants throughout the world. What’s more, the tourist industry proved to be a key advantage, since the high volumes of restaurant food waste are great for compost.

“For us, [composting and recycling] is not only the right thing to do, it financially makes sense for us to do it, so it’s exciting.”

Today, the Sevier Solid Waste Composting Facility receives visitors from around the globe, seeking to gain insights from what Sevier County has learned through trial and error. More efficient processes and technologies have been developed over the lifetime of the facility, and even today operators are always on the lookout for better approaches, Leonard says.

Constant improvement is on Leonard’s mind as he guides me through the facility. We walk inside a huge structure covered with corrosion-resistant plastic, where broken-down materials are pulled from the ends of 185-foot-long cylindrical digesters that rotate slowly.

After three days, materials are pulled out of the digesters and placed onto a conveyor belt, which carries them into the next room. There, they’ll be sifted for glass and recyclables, then laid out into windrows for roughly 37 days. Windrows are narrow, long piles of material that are turned regularly to improve aeration and aid the breakdown into compost.

For all the streamlining this process has undergone, Leonard is today preoccupied with resolving two problems: First, he needs to reduce the moisture in these massive rooms of windrowed compost—not so much that the microorganisms breaking down the compost die, but enough to make it easier to separate glass from the moist compost. It’ll mean more glass recycling in the long run, and will increase the amount and quality of compost the facility can produce.

The second problem is how to make more efficient use of the plastics the facility collects. Many of them can be recycled, but there may be a more financially and environmentally efficient way to put them to use. Leonard believes this problem may soon be resolved with the type of innovative approach that has become the norm here. He hopes to sign a contract with the technology company PHG Energy soon, in the hopes of starting to convert used plastics into fuel within a year.

“We can produce about 6 megawatts of power from just our plastics,” Leonard says, enough to power about 2,400 homes per year.

“For us, [composting and recycling] is not only the right thing to do, it financially makes sense for us to do it, so it’s exciting,” Leonard says.


About 300 tons of garbage a day pass through the 188,000-square-foot Sevier Solid Waste Composting Facility in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and this tipping floor is where that garbage is first collected. The floor is enclosed by a woven, corrosion-resistant plastic. Garbage is funneled through five pits in the tipping floor and into up to five “digesters,” which are long, cylindrical drums that rotate 24 hours a day.

“Paper, food waste, cardboard—anything that’s organic can be broken down in our system,” explains Tom Leonard, general manager of the facility. Biosolids from the local wastewater treatment plant are also mixed in, and help contribute to the microorganisms that will eventually break down waste into compost.


Leonard explains how the composting process gets started. The tipping floor is where municipal waste and biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant are first collected before they’re funneled into rotating “digester” drums, which start the composting process.


Leading from the tipping floor to another enclosed structure, digesters rotate 24 hours a day. It takes three days for garbage to travel 185 feet along these drums. The three larger digesters are 14 feet in diameter, and two more measure 12 feet in diameter; all are slightly tilted toward the building where compost will eventually be removed.

“Basically, it’s breaking up all those bags and allowing all that stuff to mix together, so now you can get all your organics, all your food waste and paper waste, all mixing together, and then the bugs can start working on that,” Leonard explains. Microorganisms are naturally occurring in the garbage and sewage that enter the digesters. The process is aerobic, so air is blown into the digesters to keep the microorganisms alive and well.

The process of breaking down the waste creates a lot of energy, increasing temperatures in the middle of the digesters to between 160 or 170 degrees.


“They turn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so about one revolution a minute,” explains Leonard, showcasing the digesters that kick-start the composting process. The functionality of these digesters has been improved over the years through trial and error, and now they serve as models for composting plants around the world.


Leonard points out the ends of the digesters, where garbage is removed after three days of constant rotation. By this time, much of the garbage resembles compost, but large pieces of plastic, metal, and other items that can’t be broken down into compost remain. The material that comes out of the digesters is transported by conveyer belt into the next room, where it’s sifted to remove larger items.

Construction materials such as wire, carpet, hoses, and large pieces of plastic aren’t allowed in everyday trash, since they can clog up the digester.

After the garbage is sifted, “there’s no organics left,” Leonard says. “It’s inert material, so it goes into a Class 3 landfill, which takes construction, demolition, vinyl siding, plastic, glass windows.” Leachate—runoff that has passed through waste and often carries elements and chemicals from that waste as a result—is minimal in Class 3 and Class 4 landfills, meaning these landfills are less harmful to the environment.


Most organic materials have started to break down into compost after three days in the digesters, but recyclables such as the metal can that Leonard is pictured with here still need to be sifted out. The conveyer belt to Leonard’s right transports the materials to a primary trommel screen, which sifts the materials that come out of the digesters down to a 1-inch diameter. In this way, items like recyclable cans and plastics are separated.


After larger items are filtered out, remaining organics are laid out in windrows—long rows of compost pictured at left. Compost in the windrows will be turned twice a day over a period of about five weeks.

Leonard holds finely sifted compost after it’s passed through a final trommel screen, which sifts down the compost to particles not larger than a quarter-inch in diameter. The sifting process helps to separate glass from the organic material. That glass can be recycled later. One of the biggest challenges the Sevier Solid Waste Composting Facility faces today is managing the moisture in the area of the windrows: it needs to be moist enough to keep the compost breaking down, but dry enough so that glass can be better separated from the compost. The better it separates, the more can be recycled.


Though cardboard can break down into compost, Sevier Solid Waste asks customers to separate it, since it has more value when sold for recycling. It can be sold at about $100 to $125 per ton. Sevier County has plenty of cardboard waste, too, because of the many restaurants catering to the county’s large tourism industry.


After about 40 days, what was once considered trash has become finely sifted, nutrient-rich compost. “Sixty percent of everything that comes in goes out as compost … and is used on farms, goes back to the earth,” explains Leonard, who is pictured holding the final product here. An added bonus: individuals can come and pick up bags of compost for free.

“That’s one way the citizens can see that we can make something useful out of this waste,” says Larry Waters, Sevier County mayor.


Was US Searching for Alien Bases?

Secret X-37B Was Used To Search For Abandoned Alien Bases, Oct 2014, UFO Sighting News.

This week the X-37B returned to earth after a two-year mission. Most of humanity believes this craft was used to orbit Earth, but I want you to think out of the box. Let’s assume that the US military has had hundreds of orbiting satellites already. Why would one more be anything new or useful? It wouldn’t.  Therefore, its purpose was not in Earths orbit. Its purpose was out there. Beyond Earth. There is a high likely hood that the X-37B was used for one of three purposes.
1. It could have been used to search for living organisms that are capable of living in space. Actual animals that swim in space like fish swim in water. They do exist, the NASA tether incident video which was recorded in infrared was proof of this. The tether incident happened in Feb 1996. The X-37B program was created in 1999 by Boeing…just three years later.
2. It could have been used as reconnaissance around Earths moon on the dark side, or even on Mars or other planets and moons. There are a lot of structures on every planet and moon in the solar system, most of them long since abandoned. It only made sense that the US military would want to commandeer some of those off-world bases to create US off-world bases. The USAF already has personnel stationed off world, so says Gary McKinnon, UK hacker.
3. It was on a mission of communication, going from planet to planet, having secret communication with aliens. Allowing the US to have access to an alliance with many species that have millions, maybe even billions of years worth of tech evolution behind them.
Now…I have to ask you. Do you still believe the X-37B was in Earths orbit for the full two years? SCW

Huge Sunspot Emerging

A BEHEMOTH SUNSPOT EMERGES: A large and active sunspot is rotating over the sun’s southeastern limb on Oct. 17th. J. P. Brahic sends this picture of the behemoth from Uzès, France:

“I inserted a picture of Earth for scale,” says Brahic. The sunspot’s primary dark core could swallow our entire planet with room to spare.

This sunspot could cause a sharp increase in solar activity over the weekend. Earlier this week, while it was still hidden behind the southeastern limb, the active region unleashed several M-class solar flares and hurled a massive CME into space. Considering the fact that the blast site was partially eclipsed by the edge of the sun, those flares were probably much stronger than their nominal classification. Now that the sunspot has revealed itself, X-flares may be in the offing.


Looking for A new Way fo Educating

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist

Architect and designer Neri Oxman sits in her “Gemini” chaise, which was 3D-printed by Stratasys using a Connex Multi-Material printer, CNC milled by SITU Fabrication and designed in collaboration Prof. W. Craig Carter (Dept. of Materials Science, MIT). The chaise is part of the interactive creative learning environment at the author’s Le Laboratoire in Cambridge, Mass. It uses cutting-edge materials and technologies to provide an unexpected insight into the experience of being in the womb.

Are Americans getting dumber?

Our math skills are falling. Our reading skills are weakening. Our children have become less literate than children in many developed countries. But the crisis in American education may be more than a matter of sliding rankings on world educational performance scales.

David Edwards is a professor at Harvard University and the founder of Le Laboratoire.

Our kids learn within a system of education devised for a world that increasingly does not exist.

To become a chef, a lawyer, a philosopher or an engineer, has always been a matter of learning what these professionals do, how and why they do it, and some set of general facts that more or less describe our societies and our selves. We pass from kindergarten through twelfth grade, from high school to college, from college to graduate and professional schools, ending our education at some predetermined stage to become the chef, or the engineer, equipped with a fair understanding of what being a chef, or an engineer, actually is and will be for a long time.

We “learn,” and after this we “do.” We go to school and then we go to work.

This approach does not map very well to personal and professional success in America today. Learning and doing have become inseparable in the face of conditions that invite us to discover.

Against this arresting background, an exciting new kind of learning is taking place in America.

Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance. Microbiological threats will increase as our traditional techniques of anti-microbial defense lead to greater and greater resistances, and to thwart these we must discover new approaches to medical treatment, which we can afford, and implement in ways that incite compliance and good health. The many rich and varied human cultures of the earth will continue to mix, more rapidly than they ever have, through mass population movements and unprecedented information exchange, and to preserve social harmony we need to discover new cultural referents, practices, and environments of cultural exchange. In such conditions the futures of law, medicine, philosophy, engineering, and agriculture – with just about every other field – are to be rediscovered.

Americans need to learn how to discover.

Being dumb in the existing educational system is bad enough. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster. The good news is, some people are working on it.

Against this arresting background, an exciting new kind of learning is taking place in America. Alternatively framed as maker classes, after-school innovation programs, and innovation prizes, these programs are frequently not framed as learning at all. Discovery environments are showing up as culture and entertainment, from online experiences to contemporary art installations and new kinds of culture labs. Perhaps inevitably, the process of discovery — from our confrontation with challenging ambiguous data, through our imaginative responses, to our iterative and error-prone paths of data synthesis and resolution — has turned into a focus of public fascination.

Discovery has always provoked interest, but how one discovers may today interest us even more. Educators, artists, designers, museum curators, scientists, engineers, entertainment designers and others are creatively responding to this new reality, and, together, they are redefining what it means to learn in America.

At Harvard University, where I teach, Peter Galison, in History of Science, asks his students make films, to understand science; Michael Chu, in business, brings students to low income regions to learn about social entrepreneurship; Michael Brenner, in Engineering and Applied Science, invites master chefs to help students discover the science of cooking; and Doris Sommer, in Romance Languages, teaches aesthetics by inviting students to effect social and political change through cultural agency. Similarly, in the course I teach, How to Create Things and Have Them Matter, students are asked to look, listen, and discover, using their own creative genius, while observing contemporary phenomena that matter today.

Because that’s what discoverers do.

Learning by an original and personal process of discovery is a trend on many US university campuses, like Stanford University, MIT, and Arizona State University. It also shows up in middle school, high school and after school programs, as in the programs supported by the ArtScience Prize, a more curricular intensive version of the plethora of innovation prizes that have sprung up in the last years around the world. Students and participants in these kinds of programs learn something even more valuable than discovering a fact for themselves, a common goal of “learning discovery” programs; they learn the thrill of discovering the undiscovered. Success brings not just a good grade, or the financial reward of a prize. It brings the satisfaction that one can realize dreams, and thrive, in a world framed by major dramatic questions. And this fans the kind of passion that propels an innovator along a long creative career.

Discovery, as intriguing process, has become a powerful theme in contemporary culture and entertainment. In art and design galleries, and many museums, artists and designers, like Olafur Eliasson, Mark Dion, Martin Wattenberg, Neri Oxman and Mathieu Lehanneur, invite the public to explore contemporary complexities, as in artist Mark Dion’s recent collaborative work with the Alaskan SeaLife Center and Anchorage Museum on plastic fragments in the Pacific Ocean. Often they make visitors discovery participants, as in Martin Wattenberg’sApartment, where people enter words that turn into architectural forms, or sorts of memory palaces. In a more popular way, television discovery and reality programs, from Yukon Men to America’s Got Talent, present protagonists who face challenges, encounter failure, and succeed, iteratively and often partially, while online the offer is even more pervasive, with games of discovery and adventure immersing young people in the process of competing against natural and internal constraints.

All this has led to the rise of the culture lab.

Culture labs conduct or invite experiments in art and design to explore contemporary questions that seem hard or even impossible to address in more conventional science and engineering labs. Their history, as public learning forum, dates from the summer of 2007, when the Wellcome Collection opened in King’s Cross London, to invite the incurably curious to probe contemporary questions of body and mind through contemporary art and collected object installations. A few months later, in the fall 2007, Le Laboratoire opened in Paris, France, to explore frontiers of science through experimental projects in contemporary art and design, and translate experimental ideas from educational, through cultural, to social practice. And in the winter 2008 Science Gallery opened in downtown Dublin to bring contemporary science experimentation to the general public (and students of Imperial College) with installations in contemporary art and design. Other culture labs have opened since then, in Amsterdam, Kosovo, Madrid and other European, American, Asian, African and Latin American cities. In the USA, culture labs especially thrive on campuses, like MIT’s famous Media Lab, Harvard’s iLab, and the unique metaLAB, run by Jeffrey Schnapp within Harvard’s Berkman Center. These will now be joined by a public culture lab, Le Laboratoire Cambridge, which opens later this month near MIT and Harvard, bringing to America the European model with a program of public art and design exhibitions, innovation seminars, and future-of-food sensorial experiences.

The culture lab is the latest indication that learning is changing in America. It cannot happen too fast.

We may not be getting dumber in America. But we need to get smarter in ways that match the challenges we now face. The time is now to support the role of learning in the pursuit of discovery and to embrace the powerful agency of culture.


Volcano Report fr/E. Klemetti

Eruption Update: Copahue, Poás, Sinabung, Kilauea, Holuhraun and Italy

Webcam image of Copahue in Chile, seen on October 16, 2014. A small steam-and-ash plume can be seen along with deposits of fresh, dark grey across on the volcanoes slopes. Image: SERNAGEOMIN.

I apologize for being missing for the last week. The big Geological Society of America meeting is next week in Vancouver BC and not only am I giving a talk and co-chairing a session, but two of my students are presenting posters. Needless to say, things have been busy. My talk centers on what zircon can tell us about the storage conditions and source magmas across the Cascade Range. I have zircon data from four Cascade volcanoes: St. Helens, Hood, South Sister and Lassen, it is a great chance to see how the differences in different parts of the Cascade arc might influence the composition of zircon. My two students are both presenting on their pieces of the Lassen Volcanic Center project, so we’ll be presenting over 800,000 years of zircon data.

Not only that, but I also built a volcano on the Denison campus, so if you missed the video of that, check it out.

So, without further ado, here’s some brief updates around the world of volcanoes:


The Holuhraun lava field eruption is now one of the largest continuous eruptions in the past few centuries in Iceland here in its second month of activity. Lava flows and fountains are continuing on the plain between Barðarbunga and Askja while the Barðarbunga caldera itself is still subsiding at a rate of 30-40 cm/day. So far, that subsidence is over 0.75 cubic kilometers of lost volume below the caldera floor and large earthquakes are still occurring near the caldera. The biggest danger from this eruption so far has been the copious sulfur dioxide emissions that continue to cause problems for people in Iceland (depending on the winds). If you want to see some stunning images of the eruption, check these out — especially some of the overhead shots of the lava flows. Also, there might be something lost in translation, but Haraldur Sigurðsson make the odd prediction that the eruption would end on March 4, 2015 — a little too specific for my tastes.


Sinabung has entered back into a phase of more intense dome-collapse pyroclastic flows. This crisis at Sinabung has now lasted well over a year and local residents are running into problems with access to food and water. Not only that, but rainfall around the volcano combined with these eruptions has caused the threat of volcanic mudflows (lahars) to increase dramatically. The loose volcanic ash and debris is easily remobilized when heavy rains occur, creating a concrete-like slurry that can be very damaging and dangerous. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the pyroclastic flows have also triggered fires in the regions around Sinabung.


Copahue has had a number of moderate explosive eruptions over the last week that prompted some minor evacuations of herders near the volcano. This is the third bout of explosive activity at the volcano since it became restless at the end of 2012. The alert status at Copahue is Orange and if you want to check out what is up there, use the SERNAGEOMIN webcam.

Costa Rica

Poás experienced a number of explosions as well. These mainly steam-driven events closed off the summit of the volcano to tourists for a few days, but access has been reopened after signs of the volcano settling down again – although the overall unrest continues. Be sure to check out the OVSICORI time-lapse video of the explosion as well.


The lava flow headed down the slopes of Kilauea towards Pahoa is still continuing to crawl forward. Now the flows are moving at ~25 meters/day, but the threat still remains for the flows to reach houses and roads if it continues to flow. The current estimate has the flow reaching Apaa Street in Pahoa around November 1. So far, the only damage the flows have caused is to vegetation.


In case you missed it, be sure to read David Wolman’s coverage of the appeal for the Italian geologists convicted in the aftermath of the L’Aquila earthquake. It still amazes me how much the Italian judicial system is willing to believe in charlatans and find scapegoats for an act of nature.


Your Color Vibe for Saturday, 10/18

Saturday, October 18:   Pink Hue

This will start out as one of those Not-Quite days, but will end up just fine. There are conflicts around you that do not belong to you, and if you let yourself fall into that energy you can find yourself being dragged into a situation in which you have to make decisions for people, etc. that are not your to make. Best to step back and involve yourself with your own stuff. There are things to get done today and even though it might feel overwhelming at first, by the end of the day you can be pleasantly surprised by all you have accomplished. This is all about personal power, and it is time to own it. This is a time for exercising it so that it becomes a habit as the year winds down and chaos ramps up.

Your Color Scope for Thursday, 10/16

Thursday, October 16:   Light Tangerine

There is a bit of the exotic in the air today. You can embrace it or feel intimidated by it. You will find that there are certain physical symptoms appearing that are seemingly not related to anything, and while you might find these things unsettling, in fact they are just your physicality responding to the energy that is now hitting at such a a pulse and vibration that those who are not in sync find themselves totally out of whack. It is best to start every day with a grounding and breathing exercise. The breathing can be your Go-To place when things get crazy, while grounding keeps you in alignment with the larger whole. You are moving forward, even as you attempt to remain behind. But then, choices are always there. And, as always, there is neither right nor wrong, merely your choice.