Walmart Pork Found To Have “Superbug” Bacteria Resistant To Antibiotics
A new study published by animal-welfare group World Animal Protection has arrived at some stunning findings about pork products begin sold at Walmart.
The report , published by FoodDive, found that pork samples purchased from Walmart contained “superbug” antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 80% of samples tested from Mid-Atlantic Walmart stores were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Additionally, 37% of the bacteria in the Walmart samples were resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics.
In sum, about 27% of the resistant bacteria found on Walmart’s pork were resistant to classes categorized as Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials by the World Health Organization.
160 samples of pork were tested by researchers at Texas Tech University: 80 were from Walmart and 80 were from a competing national retail chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. The samples were tested in 32 batches for E. coli, salmonella, enterococcus and listeria. Researchers said they found enterococcus in 13 batches, E. coli in 10 batches, salmonella in 6 and listeria in 3 batches.
Alesia Soltanpanah, executive director of World Animal Protection U.S., said: “The presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria on pork products illustrates the role the pork supply chain plays in the global health crisis caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The fact that pork from one of the nation’s largest retailers contains bacteria resistant to antibiotics critically important to human health is particularly alarming and should raise concerns.”
In addition to Walmart, researchers also tested pork sample from another national retail chain and also found antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, the second batch tested did not contain two strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria in a single batch (as the Walmart batch did) and none of the samples were resistant to antibiotics considered “critically important to human health”.
The report didn’t name the second retailer, but FoodDive speculates that it is Costco, Kroger or Target, based on the report noting that the second retailer has “has committed to strengthen its animal welfare policies for its pork suppliers, including working towards a commitment to complete elimination of gestation crates for breeding sows.”
Walmart has not yet made this commitment, while Target and Costco have committed to the initiative by 2022 and Kroger by 2025. In 2016, however, Walmart partnered with IBM and Tsinghua University to track the movement of pork in China using blockchain.
As FoodDive notes, consumers are now challenging major food companies for more transparency with their manufacturing processes:
Food companies are being challenged by consumers demanding more transparency and checking manufacturing processes to make sure the products they buy reflect their values. Younger consumers responding to surveys note how they’re willing to pay premium prices for organic, natural and cruelty-free foods. Both Perdue and Tyson have attracted negative publicity involving animal welfare in recent years and had to change their practices as a result.
Antibiotic-free has become more prevalent as a label claim. Giant Food, a unit of Ahold Delhaize, debuted a private-label pork brand in 2017 with no antibiotics or hormones and 100% vegetarian-fed. And major poultry producers such as Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and Perdue have committed to reducing or removing antibiotics from their chicken.
Soltanpanah said the WAP was in contact with Walmart about the results but that the company was “not responsive” to the concerns. Walmart has not acknowledged the problem as of November 26.
These antibiotics – called Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials – are the ones where there are few, or sometimes no, alternatives to treat people with serious infections. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has said “antimicrobial resistance poses a serious threat to the safety and quality of feed and food, especially in food-producing animals.”
The Centers for Disease Control calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.”
Many People Are Now Celebrating “Buy Nothing Day” Instead of “Black Friday”
Advocates of Buy Nothing Day say that they hope to encourage mindfulness about consumption habits.
(TT) — Each year in the United States, millions of people participate in a mass ritual in consumerism that has come to be known as Black Friday.
Less than 24 hours after people claim to contemplate on what they are thankful for, many of them engage in battle with their neighbors over discounted plastic or electronic goods. As the years go on, the scenes at Black Friday sales have become increasingly chaotic and violent, with deaths and injuries becoming commonplace.
Many people decide to stay home and shop online instead, while others have decided to boycott the sales altogether. The most popular Black Friday boycott is known as “Buy Nothing Day,” and it has been going strong for 24 years now. The boycott was initially organized by Vancouver-based artist Ted Dave, who wanted to promote a “day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.”
The first official boycott kicked off on the same day as Black Friday in 1997, and has spread all over the world in the decades since.
The website of the UK chapter for Buy Nothing Day states that:
“The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from buying stuff – anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending! Instead of shopping, people around the world will take part in a 24-hour moratorium on consuming, either as a personal experiment or public statement. The anarchy that ensues on Black Friday has now become an absurd dystopian phenomenon … Black Friday sucks the life out of small businesses, who cannot compete against this ruthless price cutting. If you really need to shop on Buy Nothing Day, ignore the big retailers … make commitment to support local independent shops and businesses.”
Advocates of Buy Nothing Day say that they hope to encourage mindfulness about consumption habits that will last for years to come.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 174 million Americans shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2016. The average amount that each shopper spent that year was around $335.
This year, experts predict that 165 million people plan on shopping for Black Friday this year.
Japan Leading the World in Exposing Fraud with Gardasil HPV Vaccine Injuries and Deaths
In Japan, young women and girls suffering from severe chronic generalized pain following vaccination with Merck’s Gardasil® or GSK’s Cervarix®, have organized and are speaking out.
The issues are being debated at public hearings, at which scientific presentations have been made by independent medical experts who validated the women’s suffering with documented evidence of the severe nature of the pain related to the HPV vaccine.
The opposing view, presented by scientists aligned with the vaccine establishment, disregarded the scientific plausibility of the evidence and declared the pain was a “psychosomatic reaction.”
Such public debates do not take place where vaccine stakeholders are in full control of vaccine safety information. (Like in the U.S., for example.)
Following a public hearing (February 2014), at which scientific evidence was presented by independent scientists , the Japanese government, not only rescinded its recommendation that girls receive the HPV vaccine, but established guidelines and special clinics for evaluating and treating illnesses caused by the vaccine.
It is a scenario that Merck, GSK, and vaccine stakeholders globally are extremely anxious to suppress.
The Merck-commissioned, CSIS report, co-authored by Dr. Larson, paints a picture of an all-out war over media coverage – not over the high rate of serious adverse reactions.
The authors resort to the usual tactic of discrediting vaccine-injured individuals; they dismissed the serious health effects suffered by girls and young women following vaccination, as trivial.
The CSIS report presents the entire issue as an epidemic fueled by Internet rumors and “vaccine hesitators.”
“Over the last year, controversy within the Japanese medical and political arenas over the HPV vaccine has touched the public at large. Through social media and highly publicized events, anti-vaccine groups have gained control of the narrative surrounding the HPV vaccine.”
Global Collaborators in Action: Trash Honest Scientists to Suppress Inconvenient Evidence
The following case demonstrates how the global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders suppresses information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, is engaged in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues.
This case involves inconvenient scientific laboratory findings in post-mortem tissue samples, showing that the HPV vaccine was contaminated with foreign HPV DNA fragments. The case also involves evidence (contained in internal correspondence) of deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions.
In January 2016, pathologist Dr. Sin Hang Lee, MD, Director of Milford Medical Laboratory, sent an open letter of complaint to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan, in which he challenges the integrity of the GACVS Statement on the Continued Safety of HPV Vaccination (issued March 2014), and charges professional misconduct on the part of the following individuals (and suggests that others may have also been actively involved) in a scheme to deliberately mislead the Japanese Expert Inquiry on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine safety before, during and after the February 2014 public hearing in Tokyo.
Dr. Lee challenged the integrity of the GACVS Statement on the Continued Safety of HPV Vaccination written by Dr. Pless, accusing him of deliberately misrepresenting his scientific findings in order to mislead non-scientific readers and those who set vaccination policies.
Dr. Pless is accused of deliberately conflating two unrelated articles, dealing with two different chemicals, written by different authors “apparently to create a target to attack.” Furthermore, Dr. Lee notes that the GACVS Statement relied on an unpublished 12-year-old “Technical Report” written by an unofficial, unnamed “group of participants” (according to CDC’s disclaimer).
He also found that the HPV DNA fragments were not only bound to Merck’s proprietary aluminum adjuvant but also adopted a non-B conformation, thereby creating a new chemical compound of unknown toxicity.
This non-B conformation, Dr. Lee believes, is responsible for the array of autoimmune illnesses experienced by children and young women following vaccination with Gardasil.
In 2012, Dr. Lee testified at a coroner’s inquest of the death of a New Zealand teenager, 6 months after receiving 3 Gardasil vaccine injections.
Dr. Lee was a presenter at the Tokyo hearing (2014), at which he disputed those who claimed the young women weren’t really suffering severe pain; they were having “psychosomatic reactions.” He stated:
“I do not believe psychosomatic reactions can cause sudden unexpected death in sleep, or inflammatory lesions in the brain as demonstrated by the MRI images and the brain biopsy histopathology with perivascular lymphocytes and macrophages and demyelination.”
Following the public hearing, GAVC issued a statement (March 12, 2014) aimed at discrediting Dr. Lee’s research by conflating his research with the research of other scientists who presented at the Tokyo hearing.
This case should have been prominently reported in the medical journals and by the mass media, and the allegation should have been investigated.
Mainstream publications have been silent; the case was reported only in alternative news outlets. 
In July 2016, a victims’ group filed a multi-plaintiff lawsuit in the district courts of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka against the Japanese government and the two pharmaceutical companies that had produced these vaccines.
Furthermore, in December of the same year, additional victims joined the multi-plaintiff lawsuit, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 119 (Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2017).
The Hazards of Aluminum in Vaccines Is the Focus Of Intense Research
Of note: the placebo comparator in (most) vaccine clinical trials is not inert, it contains aluminum.
Several independent teams of international autoimmune experts have investigated this, led by the internationally recognized authority of autoimmune diseases, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld of Tel Aviv University, Israel, and another group by Dr. Christopher Exley, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry, Keele University in the UK.
However, studies that document the hazards of aluminum in vaccines are not published in major influential medical journals.
In two cases, journal editors received over $1 million from industry sources. (Ed Silverman, STAT, 2017.)
The following case is an example of how science is subverted by tightly controlled journal gatekeepers. Journal editors who have sold their integrity by accepting industry kickbacks block publication of reports that might pose a financial threat to an intricate web of government and non-government institutions and professional associations – all of whom are financially tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
The case demonstrates the great difficulty encountered by independent scientists who have not sold their integrity to the highest bidder.
Publication Saga: Case Examples of Harassment Aimed At Suppressing Harmful Findings Regarding the HPV-Gardasil Vaccine
Indeed, Dr. Shoenfeld identified a new syndrome ASIA (Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants).
“The idea of ASIA as a new syndrome developed after some studies on Gulf War syndrome reported that soldiers who had not been deployed to the Gulf area were suffering from symptoms such as severe fatigue, cognitive impairment, myalgias and arthralgias. This raised the question of whether it was the vaccines administered to the soldiers that induced these syndromes. The most common adjuvants are silicone implants and aluminum in vaccines.” 
The focus of the research seeks to shed light on “the roles and mechanisms of action of different adjuvants which lead to autoimmune/ inflammatory response.”
Prof. Shoenfeld encountered blockades from journal editors who attempted to suppress the findings of neuroinflammation and “behavioral abnormalities following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the HPV vaccine Gardasil.”
Those editors have financial stakes in the business of vaccines.
The HPV-mouse study was first submitted to for publication to the Journal of Human Immunology where it was shelved for 8 months and was then rejected by that journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Michael Racke.
“Dr. Racke has received personal compensation for activities with EMD Serone, Novartis, Roche Diagnostics Corporation, Genentech, and Amarantus as a consultant.”
EMD Serono, Inc. is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
The HPV-mouse study was published in the journal Vaccine in January 2016.
It was summarily withdrawn a month later following orders by the Editor-in-Chief, Gregory Poland. 
Dr. Poland’s direct conflicts of interest  include those disclosed on the Mayo Clinic website:
“Dr. Poland is the chairman of a safety evaluation committee for investigational vaccine trials being conducted by Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Poland offers consultative advice on new vaccine development to Merck & Co., Inc. [Dr. Robert Chen is an Associate Editor of Vaccine.]”
How is it that this incestuous relationship did not raise loud cries of foul play? Those rejections by editors who had deeply vested financial interest in protecting vaccination rates, whose own financial interest was intertwined with vaccine manufacturers, elicited no protest from the scientific academic community.
Instead, these rejections were followed by vicious attacks against two of the scientists by industry’s cyber hit-squads that are hired to attack independent scientists whose honest research contradicts vaccine orthodoxy. That is viewed as a heresy inasmuch as it poses a financial threat. 
The study was revised, again peer-reviewed, and published in the journal Immunological Research (Nature-Springer) (2017). 
The reported findings remained the same:
“Vaccine adjuvants and vaccines may induce autoimmune and inflammatory manifestations in susceptible individuals. To date most human vaccine trials utilize aluminum (Al) adjuvants as placebos despite much evidence showing that Al in vaccine-relevant exposures can be toxic to humans and animals…It appears that Gardasil via its Al adjuvant and HPV antigens has the ability to trigger neuroinflammation and autoimmune reactions, further leading to behavioral changes…”
“In light of these findings, this study highlights the necessity of proceeding with caution with respect to further mass-immunization practices with a vaccine of yet unproven long-term clinical benefit in cervical cancer prevention.”
The basis for those findings was deemed to be scientifically sound by three sets of peer-reviewers, at three different journals.
A smattering of small galaxies appear to be missing a whole lot of dark matter.
Most of a typical galaxy is invisible. This elusive mass, known as dark matter, seems to be an indispensable ingredient for creating a galaxy — it’s the scaffolding that attracts normal matter — yet reveals itself only as an extra gravitational tug on gas and stars.
But now, researchers have found 19 dwarf galaxies — all much smaller than the Milky Way — that defy this common wisdom. These newly identified outliers have much less dark matter than expected. The finding, published November 25 in Nature Astronomy, more than quintuples the known population of dark-matter renegades, adding fuel to an already simmering mystery.
“We are not sure why and how these galaxies form,” says Qi Guo, an astrophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Typical dwarf galaxies concentrate dark matter far more than their larger cousins, she notes. Their smaller size leads to weaker gravity, which has trouble holding on to tenuous clouds of gas. That usually shifts the balance of mass in dwarf galaxies away from normal matter and toward dark matter.
“This new class of galaxy is straining our ability to explain all galaxies in one cohesive framework,” says Kyle Oman, an astrophysicist at Durham University in England who was not involved in this research.
In 2016, Oman and his colleagues identified two galaxies that appeared to be missing dark matter. In short order, two more oddballs turned up (SN: 3/28/18).
Guo and her colleagues wondered if these galaxies had more company. So using existing data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, the team weighed dwarf galaxies by looking at how fast hydrogen whipped around each one. Higher speed means more total mass. The researchers then combined the mass of the hydrogen and of all the stars, inferred from starlight, to estimate how much of each galaxy’s mass is made up of normal matter.
For every galaxy, total mass added up to more than the mass of the gas and stars — not surprising, as that extra mass is the dark matter. But in about 6 percent of cases, there wasn’t as much extra mass as expected.
One oddball, designated AGC 213086, weighs in at around 14 billion suns. If it were typical, about 2 percent of its mass — nearly 280 million solar masses — would be gas and stars. Instead, its actual inventory of normal matter is about 3.8 billion solar masses, or about 27 percent of its total mass.
Of 324 dwarf galaxies analyzed, 19 appear to be missing similarly large stores of dark matter. Those 19 are all within about 500 million light-years of Earth, and five are in or near other groups of galaxies. In those cases, the researchers note, perhaps their galactic neighbors have somehow siphoned off their dark matter. But the remaining 14 are far from other galaxies. Either these oddballs were born different, or some internal machinations such as exploding stars have upset their balance of dark matter and everyday matter, or baryons.
It may not be a case of missing dark matter, says James Bullock, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Irvine. Instead, maybe these dwarf galaxies have clung to their normal matter — or even stolen some — and so “have too many baryons.” Either way, he says, “this is telling us something about the diversity of galaxy formation…. Exactly what that’s telling us, that’s the trick.”
The world is increasingly complicated. This increased complexity is not helped by the fact that people are less aware of simple principles and simple practices. Simplicity is often overlooked, and yet simplicity is exactly the thing that tends to be effortlessly helpful and near endlessly applicable in situations of complexity. Complexity normally has limited applicability, while simplicity normally has unlimited applicability.
Complex principles and practices are as difficult to stand on as clouds and tend to result in clouded situations instead of clarity. Simple principles and practices, on the other hand, provide a great base to develop on, near endlessly. Complexity is often pursued because in the design of the status quo, complex practices and principles offer a quick means to ends, a way to win money.
The results of complex pursuits are complex problems. Simple pursuits do not result in complex problems. It’s not simplicity that blossoms from complexity, only more complexity. Simplicity blossoms from simplicity, as does our potential ability to solve complex problems.
The unsustainable status quo of humanity is illustrated in the allegory of the islander who leaves home. The proverbial ‘go-getter’ islander leaves home aiming to gain enough money to purchase an island home – but when he finally returns, the island has changed due to aggregate complexity. His island is no longer the same. Simplicity would have been remaining on the island or going to a different island to find work and a home there.
Why Do We Prefer Complexity?
Simply put, because complexity is more profitable than simplicity.
All too frequently simplicity is overlooked because the most profitable pursuits in an unsustainable world are complicated. Simplicity is often an intangible quality, whereas complexity yields mostly tangible quantities. This distinction makes complexity a preferable pursuit to win money. Many also find it preferable to stay busy with quantifying things, rather than performing sometimes uncomfortable qualitative inner work.
Sometimes complexity is preferred because complexity profits, and sometimes complexity is preferred because it is a distraction, a way to keep our attention on obtaining stuff rather than paying attention to our own inner stuff, rather than performing the difficult duty of performing the great work; the inner work.
This has resulted in many sensible systems, ideas, truth and fairness, and even the ability to obtain clean water on whole continents, being left behind in favour of complex profitable means with complex and dire results.
Truth and Fairness Suffer Under Complexity
Truth and fairness have been removed and shifted in order to uphold the profitability of various complexities globally. Sometimes we learn about these transgressions of truth and fairness, sometimes we do not, even though we are living through their consequence. The energy oligarchies and related institutions are among the most obviously guilty of gross lying about destructive actions with endless complex consequences.
Truth and fairness are generally overlooked in relation to gaining means towards ends. People will boldly exclaim that they are conducting their business for profit. Hardly any proclaim their pursuit of truth and fairness. We, collectively, presume most all other institutional functions are formed in order to profit, truth and fairness be damned. And it is apparent, clean water be damned. In fact, we have allowed some of the most preposterous greedy pursuits to infiltrate the institutions we trust with our maintenance, healing, and social development worldwide.
How Complexity Subdues Individuality
The majority prefer complexity and artificiality due to bureaucratic training. We end up institutionalized, in one form of survival mode or another, where questioning beyond the status quo is outside our scope. Seeking individuation or self-development is hardly considered. Most prefer not to think much and not to think much differently than the majority. The impulse to not think much and not think much differently are institutionally pushed from Beijing to London. Alternative and critical thinking has been continuously subtly punished, and is increasingly overtly punished. We are institutionalized to the point where we accept systems of individual detriment in order to progress institutional development. This is evidence of how we have been manipulated. This thinking must be removed for our collective good.
“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” ~ Bruce Lee
To not question and not reason goes against our true nature. Asking ‘why’ repeatedly and near obsessively is perhaps distinct in human nature. It is our first impulse when we first are capable of communication. Following complexity and artificiality without question requires us to have been immersed in it to the point that we do not notice what is around us. Institutionalization rather than individuation damages and degrades the psyche to the point we do not observe self nor surroundings.
In this increasingly complex world we are trained to not consider, to not reason, and to not seek truth. We are further repetitively steered to think not as individuals, but as institutions, and perform all sorts of work which builds institutions, and not our own individuation.
Humanity’s Inhumanity Arises from Complexity
There are many ways humanity is steered to be inhumane, but a large portion of it all can be understood as the removal of, or distortion of, simplicity. If we stand on simple principles we are not so easily steered off base. When we know a few simple practices we are not so easily tricked with proverbial carrots on strings. If on the other hand we are immersed in complexity without principled roots and steady development practices, we easily topple to the winds of institutional and artificial influences.
Planetary pollution is the most blatant outcome of a complex world which lacks a majority of reasoned individuals. The artificiality destroying the planet and transforming ecosystems into lifeless zones is due to humanity celebrating complexity. Humanity has collectively decided that the complexity of being wasteful at the cost of our environment is preferable to simplicity of secured and sustained existence. Humanity altered the planet to the point that we are responsible for extinctions of species because of our illogical, unreasonable, unsustainable greed.
We collectively destroy and allow for the destruction of simplicity while enabling complexity. We collectively have obfuscated truth and authenticity for artificiality with dire results. Simple principles and practices are less easily manipulated. From a base of simplicity, we would not choose complexity. Simplicity enables us to shake off artificiality in part because it provokes curiosity rather than culling it.
The Simplicity of the Tao and the Tenets of Thoth
The knowledge and wisdom found in the teachings related to The Tao and to The Tenets of Thoth are denied importance and ridiculed as antiquated.
Yet, one of the simplest concepts leading to the most profound ideas and observations is The Taiji. The Taiji is what is typically known in The West as The Yin Yang symbol. The Taiji is the symbol of The Tao. The Taiji is made up of four parts. There is Major and Minor, Yin and Yang aspects. There is a set of four, or a duality of polarity displayed; this helps us in considering contrasts and transforming our observations into potential paradigm thought, energy and invention.
The innumerable ideas spawning from and related to these four parts all start with the simple contrasts of Major and Minor, Yin and Yang. The Major parts are the swirls and the Minor parts are the circles within the swirls. Try to utilize the contrasts presented in this format to face a perplexing situation. You may find a solution to problems or a new direction through your use of more balanced patterns.
There is usually an obvious positive and obvious negative, and often an unnoticed subtle positive and subtle negative too, which may offer preferable outcomes in numerous situations. You might consider the active and the passive and also the passive in the active and active in the passive as well.
The Tao of Thoth presents principles and practices based on deep simplicity. It is useful for shifting negative patterns and raising consciousness. Most systems of artificiality are based on complexity and limited applicability, but the simple principles put forth here are applicable toward both individual refinement and our collective betterment. The Tao of Thoth unites East and West through Thoth Energy and offers layered lessons for individuation and inspiration.
The Taiji symbol and Taiji practice represent the principles and practices embodied in what is commonly referred to as The Yin Yang symbol and Tai Chi. The Tenets of Thoth are among the simplest and most vividly potent philosophical approaches to understanding the world and the self. And The Taiji depicts the simplest and most potent practical approaches to understanding the world and developing self.
Both The Tao and The Tenets of Thoth lack ardency and in such promote expansion. The ideas of The Tao and The Seven Tenets of Thoth are simple and their lack of ardency means that the ideas can be applicable to innumerable situations, subjects, and objects. The Tao and Tenets of Thoth are entirely simple and yet near unlimited in their applicability and profundity.
“The possession of knowledge unless accompanied by manifestation and expression in action is like the hording of precious metals, a vain and foolish thing. Knowledge like wealth is intended for use, the law of use is universal and he who violates it suffers by reason of his conflict with natural forces.” ~The Kybalion
This article is an excerpt from The Tao of Thoth. The Tao of Thoth is based on the Taiji of The Seven Tenets of Thoth as illustrated in The Kybalion written by The Three Initiates. The Tao of Thoth is inspired by the relationships of The Tao and The Tenets of Thoth. The Tao provides parallel lessons with The Tenets of Thoth, and each aim towards enhancement and embodiment of lessons pertaining to self-development.
(CNN) – The 18,000-year-old body of a near perfectly preserved puppy has left scientists puzzled.
Russian scientists discovered the body of the canine near Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia. Preserved by permafrost, the specimen’s nose, fur and teeth are remarkably intact.
Using carbon dating on the creature’s rib bone, experts from Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics were able to confirm that the specimen had been frozen for around 18,000 years, but extensive DNA tests have so far been unable to show whether the animal was a dog or a wolf.
“It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two,” David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, told CNN.
“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,” he explained.
Stanton told CNN that the period the puppy is from is “a very interesting time in terms of wolf and dog evolution.”
“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time. We are interested in whether it is in fact a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two,” he said.
Further tests might provide more insight into exactly when dogs were domesticated, Stanton said.
Modern dogs are thought to have been domesticated from wolves, but exactly when is unclear — in 2017, a study published in the journal Nature Communications found that modern dogs were domesticated from a single population of wolves 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.
In contrast, a 2016 University of Oxford study, published in the journal Science, suggested that dogs were independently domesticated twice from gray wolves during the Paleolithic era, once in Asia and once in Europe.
Scientists from the Center for Palaeogenetics said on Twitter that genome analysis had revealed that the puppy was male. They said that, after conferring with their Russian colleagues, they would call the puppy Dogor — meaning “friend” in Yakutian.
The scientists plan to run more genome data tests on the creature to find out more about its origins.
The formation of galaxies is a complex dance between matter and energy, occurring on a stage of cosmic proportions and spanning billions of years. How the diversity of structured and dynamic galaxies we observe today arose from the fiery chaos of the Big Bang remains one of the most difficult unsolved puzzles of cosmology.
In search of answers, an international team of scientists has created the most detailed large-scale model of the universe to date, a simulation they call TNG50. Their virtual universe, some 230 million light-years wide, contains tens of thousands of evolving galaxies with levels of detail previously seen only in single-galaxy models. The simulation tracked more than 20 billion particles representing dark matter, gases, stars and supermassive black holes, over a 13.8-billion-year period.
The unprecedented resolution and scale allowed the researchers to gather key insights into our own universe’s past, revealing how various oddly shaped galaxies morphed themselves into being and how stellar explosions and black holes triggered this galactic evolution. Their results are published in two articles to be featured in the December 2019 issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
TNG50 is the latest simulation created by the IllustrisTNG Project, which aims to build a complete picture of how our universe evolved since the Big Bang by producing a large-scale universe without sacrificing the fine details of individual galaxies.
“These simulations are huge datasets where we can learn a ton by dissecting and understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies within them,” said Paul Torrey, associate professor of physics at the University of Florida and co-author of the study. “What’s fundamentally new about TNG50, is that you’re getting to a sufficiently high mass and spatial resolution within the galaxies that give you a clear picture of what the internal structure of the systems looks like as they form and evolve.”
The model’s attention to detail comes at some cost. The simulation required 16,000 processor cores of the Hazel Hen supercomputer in Stuttgart, Germany, running continuously for more than a year. The same calculation would take a single processor system 15,000 years to compute. Despite being one of the most computationally heavy astrophysical simulations in history, the researchers believe their investment has paid off.
“Numerical experiments of this kind are particularly successful when you get out more than you put in,” Dylan Nelson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich, Germany, and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “In our simulation, we see phenomena that had not been programmed explicitly into the simulation code. These phenomena emerge in a natural fashion, from the complex interplay of the basic physical ingredients of our model universe.”
That emergent phenomenon might be essential to understanding why our universe appears as it is today 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang. TNG50 allowed researchers to see firsthand how galaxies may have emerged from the turbulent clouds of gas present shortly after the universe was born. They discovered that the disk-shaped galaxies common to our cosmic neighborhood naturally emerged within their simulation and produced internal structures, including spiral arms, bulges and bars extending from their central supermassive black holes. When they compared their computer-generated universe to real-life observations, they found their population of galaxies were qualitatively consistent with reality
As their galaxies continued to flatten into well-ordered rotating disks, another phenomenon began to emerge. Supernova explosions and supermassive black holes at the heart of each galaxy created high-speed outflows of gas. These outflows morphed into fountains of gas rising thousands of light-years above a galaxy. The tug of gravity eventually brought much of this gas back unto the galaxy’s disk, redistributing it to its outer edge and creating a feedback loop of gas outflow and inflow. Apart from recycling the ingredients for forming new stars, the outflows were also shown to change their galaxy’s structure. The recycled gases accelerated the transformation of galaxies into thin rotating disks.
Despite these initial findings, the team is far from finished dissecting their model. They also plan to release all of the simulation’s data publicly for astronomers across the world to study their virtual cosmos.
“There’s a huge road ahead of us now that we have these simulations completed,” Torrey said. “A whole team of researchers are working to better understand the detailed properties of the galaxies that form and what emergent trends show up in that data.”
According to a new study, cats understand certain laws of physics. Does this make them smarter than their owners? Dog lovers will probably have an opinion on this. If he were still around, Isaac Newton might have one as well.
This study may be viewed as evidence for cats having a rudimentary understanding of gravity.
And not just the “cats always land on all fours” kind of gravity. Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Saho Takagi, collected 22 cats from Japanese cat cafes and eight domestic cats (they weren’t volunteers – cats don’t volunteer for anything) and tested their ability to understand the physics principle of cause-and-effect and some others.
Cat cafes? In countries like Japan where cats are popular but apartments allowing cats are not, cat cafes charge people an hourly rate to come in and play with cats. Sounds like a great plan to prevent the stray cat problem other countries like the U.S. have.
The researchers used a plastic container lined with an electromagnet and three iron balls to test the cats. They rattles the balls and dumped them out, then turned on the magnet, rattled the box (no sound) and nothing came out. Next they switched things around to fake out the cats – noise with no balls dropping, no noise with balls dropping.
According to the study, the cats demonstrated their awareness of gravity by moving away from the noisy box so they didn’t get hit by falling iron balls. Then they showed their awareness of cause-and-effect by staring longer at the box that made noise (anticipating the falling balls) and looking puzzled when sometimes nothing came out of a noisy box.
At the risk of sounding like a biased dog owner … that’s it?
The results suggest that cats used a causal-logical understanding of auditory stimuli to predict the appearance of invisible objects. The ecology of cats’ natural hunting style may favor the ability for inference on the basis of sounds.
“Hunting based on sounds” sounds like the strategy of many animals, not just cats. If this is a demonstration of an understanding of physics, then there’s a lot of pets who could qualify for government grants to conduct government studies like this one.
Do cats understand physics better than some humans? Can you think of anyone you know who would flunk the “iron balls stuck to hidden magnets” test? Sober?
Did this cat sleep through the physics class on gravity?
You may recall that yesterday I blogged about an allegedly successful experiment in the “freezing”, or at least, “extreme cooling” of a human being, and his or her successful “reanimation.” The key to the allegedly successful experiment was, you might also recall, the removal of the patient’s blood and its replacement by an “ice-cold saline solution.” And I speculated that the whole procedure, since it was performed with the consent of the government, might have had as a hidden goal to discover what happened to that individual’s consciousness while undergoing the “procedure.” We may now also wonder if, indeed, the removal of the individual’s blood was part of my hypothesized “consciousness experiment”; was the individual’s own blood even restored to him or her? Or was it someone else’s?
We don’t know, because there was scanty information provided about the whole alleged success; we were told only that its performer, Dr. Samuel Tisherman, promises to deliver a paper on the whole thing in 2020.
But in that respect, there’s another odd story that was spotted by M.C., who is due a big thank you for sending it along:
Now, this is not exactly new; I have in fact blogged about the unusual nature of this “heart-brain” idea before; neurons are not confined merely to the brain, but appear in the heart as well. There was, however, something that caught my eye in this article, and I rather suspect it’s what caught M.C.’s eye as well and compelled M.C. to send the article along; you’ll note that the article enumerates various cases of individuals who have received heart transplants, and whose behavior suddenly changes to embrace habits and behaviors associated with the donor of the heart. While the article does not mention them, similar experiences have been recorded for other types of organ transplants. One wonders if a similar phenomenon can be associated with blood transplants.
But in any case, what caught my attention in this article was this statement:
Neurologist Dr. Andrew Armour from Montreal in Canada discovered a sophisticated collection of neurons in the heart organised into a small but complex nervous system. The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons called sensory neurites that communicate with the brain. Dr. Armour called it “the Little Brain in the Heart”. It has been known for many years that memory is a distributive process. You can’t localize memory to a neuron or a group of neurons in the brain. The memory itself is distributed throughout the neural system. So why do we draw a line at the brain? (Emphasis added)
This idea of distributed memory sounds a bit like a hologram, and the article quickly proceeds to try to avoid the unpleasant aspects of that by quickly trying to tie it all to good-old-fashioned-and-purely-materialistic speculations:
Other medical experts offer different explanations, but all agree that it is not so much mystical as it is science, and a science that needs further exploration.Professor Pr Paul Pearsall and Pr Gary Schwarz got together.
Professor Gary Schwartz says that “Feedback mechanisms are involved in learning. When we talk, for example, about how the brain learns, we talk about what we call neural networks in the brain. It turns out that the way a neural network works is that the output of the neurons feeds back into the input of the neurons. And this process goes over and over again. So long as the feedback is present the neurons will learn. If you cut the feedback, there is no learning in the neurons.”
The Mind is Not Just in the Brain
Dr. Candace Pert, a pharmacologist at Georgetown University believes that the mind is not just in the brain, but also exists throughout the body. This school of thought could explain such strange transplant experiences. “The mind and body communicate with each other through chemicals known as peptides. These peptides are found in the brain as well as in the stomach, in muscles and in all of our major organs. I believe that memory can be accessed anywhere in the peptide/receptor network. For instance, a memory associated with food may be linked to the pancreas or liver and such associations can be transplanted from one person to another”.
Now I’m all for feedback loops as I’ve talked about them in all sorts of contexts. And for that matter, the idea of the heart being part of a kind of “distributed brain” also appeals to me; for one thing, octopuses appear to have this type of structure to their nine brains. But more importantly, I’ve always been an advocate of the more ancient idea that human reason is not mere ratiocination, but incorporates and includes what the ancients would have called the passions, a deeper word than “emotions.” So it appeals to me for this reason as well.
But it’s that “distributed memory” idea and its “holographic” overtones that really appeals, for lurking deeply within that idea is the idea that memory is not local, existing or concentrated in this or that area of the brain, or the body. It rather as if what is implied by that idea is the opposite: that the body exists within a memory, and is imprinted with it like a psychotronic object. If it’s distributed, and non-local, then perhaps it’s also an indicator that the body, in order to be a body, is integrated at the quantum level, by quantum tunneling, perhaps, and that memory may be a function of this somehow. Whatever one makes of my speculations here, I strongly suspect that this idea of distributed memory means that those old Cartesian dualisms and epiphenomena are, like all over-simplified dualisms, going to go the way of the dodo bird, and that the relationship between the tangible physical body and the immaterial intangible world of things like memory are going to turn out to be far more complex than we imagined, and that those “feedback loops” between the two are the key.
Enjoy the silence. It’s hard to find these days. It really does seem like you need to go up a mountain and climb into a cave to find silence. Even then, you will have the intruding sounds of airplanes overhead. What is a person seeking relief from this loud, loud world to do?
Would Siddhartha Gautama have been able to spend several weeks alone in the forest meditating without being bothered by the sounds of modern industry and crowds flocking to him and building a village around him, as happened to Ram Bahadur Bomjon, aka the Buddha Boy, in the mid-2000s?
Silence is more precious than ever today, and also more needed. Look around you. Most people seem to be stressed and anxious about something. About 43% of Americans are on mood-altering prescription drugs, which is not counting those who are going the route of plant-derived substances to get help with relaxing and just being in silent presence. There’s lots of doing, but hardly any being.
This is unfortunate, since silence awakens your world. People oftentimes find it difficult to just sit in silence, with themselves and with others. However, when you are utterly silent, a wave of peace washes over you. The secrets of the universe open up to you because you have become quiet enough to be aware of them. You connect with your inner being that connects with the Source Supermind of Reality.
How to Practice Silence
In today’s demanding and noisy world, it can be difficult to get truly silent and be at peace. Here are some tips on how you can cultivate silence for yourself.
Find a Place to Retreat Into Silence
Come up with a place outside, or a location within your home, where you can retreat to and become silent. You can consider this a sacred space where you will come to specifically practice silence. Make sure to leave your technology behind, or at least turn it off. Do what you can to make sure any intrusive sounds are not going to distract you.
If you hear the various modes of noisy transportation, incessant leaf blowers, or people shouting, you should probably find another space. If this is simply too difficult for you to do, get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones and put those on.
Set a Time for Silence
It may seem strange to schedule quiet time, but it really does help make this a new habit for you. Set a calendar reminder on your phone or write it down somewhere in an agenda so you will remember to go into silence at the same time, every day.
Close your Eyes and Listen
When you finally sit (this will help you avoid falling asleep), get comfortable and close your eyes. This is when you start the practice of silence awakening your world. Become open and receptive to the subtle voice of your inner being and the all-permeating field of consciousness that is All that Is.
You may find it difficult to get silent initially It may take you 15, 20, or 30 minutes at first to get to that place of inner calm, especially if you had a long day and are busy rehashing everything that happened to you that day. If you have difficulty breaking free from the distracting thoughts, focus on your breath or on peace. You can even visualize a calm lake with gentle ripples. Whatever works for you will work best, so just take these as suggestions.
Once you become truly silent, your world becomes alive in a way that brings you the clarity of insight, as well as a profound sense of inner peace. In a world which is becoming increasingly loud, it is imperative to give ourselves the gift of silence.
About the author:
Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counseling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyperdimensional matrix when providing guidance, counseling, and coaching.