Snowden

Snowden Spills: Infamous Whistleblower Opines On Spycraft, AI, And Being Suicided

Another Look Into Facebook

Take Control of Your Privacy
3 Reasons to Leave Facebook IMMEDIATELY!
Are you one of over two billion people that use Facebook, the world’s largest social media site?

Facebook has become so deeply ingrained in people’s lives that it has now become the norm to give it access to personal data without much thought, as if this is but a small price to pay for Facebook’s “free” service. But nothing could be further from the truth.

These traceable and sellable data now give Facebook the power to manipulate what we do, how we feel, what we buy and what we believe. The consequences of giving Facebook this much power is only becoming apparent, with mounting lawsuits against their security breaches and lousy privacy settings.

Even CrossFit, the well-established branded fitness regimen, has decided to stop supporting Facebook and its associated services, putting all their activities on Facebook and Instagram to a halt starting May 22, 2019. This decision came in the wake of Facebook’s deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan user group, which was done without warning or explanation. The group has more than 1.65 million members who post testimonials regarding the efficiency of a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Although the group was later reinstated, Facebook’s action still shows how it acts in the interest of the food and beverage industry. You see, big advertisers on Facebook, like Coca-Cola, don’t want you to have access to this information, and Facebook is more than happy to ban anyone challenging the industrial food system. By doing this, it potentially contributes to the global chronic disease crisis.

Would you continue trusting a company that thinks too little of violating your rights to privacy?

1Facebook’s Primary ‘Product’ Is You

Product

If you think Facebook’s product is the very platform that users interact with, you’re wrong. You are actually Facebook’s primary product. The site makes money off you by meticulously tracking your hobbies, habits and preferences through your “likes,” posts, comments, private messages, friends list, login locations and more. It sells these data, along with your personal information, to whomever wants access to them, potentially facilitating everything from targeted advertising to targeted fraud — this is its entire profit model.

Did you know that it can even access your computer or smartphone’s microphone without your knowledge? So if you’re suddenly receiving ads for products or services that you just spoke out loud about, don’t be surprised — chances are one or more apps linked to your microphone have been eavesdropping on you. These privacy intrusions can continue even after you’ve closed your Facebook account.

Companies can also collect information about the websites you’re visiting or the keywords you’re searching for outside of Facebook’s platform without your permission, and then sell these data to Facebook so it knows which ads to show you. This makes Facebook the most infamous advertising tool ever created, and to increase revenue, it has to continue spying on you.

During Facebook’s early days, its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, assured in an interview that no user information would be sold or shared with anyone the user had not specifically given permission to. However, the site’s blatant disregard for its users’ privacy proves otherwise. In fact, Facebook has been repeatedly caught mishandling user data and lying about their data harvesting, resulting in multiple legal problems.

The origin of Facebook is also far from altruistic, even though it’s said to be created “to make the world more open and connected,” and “give people the power to build community.” A front-runner to Facebook was a site called FaceMash, which was created to rate photos of women — photos that were obtained and used without permission. Some of the women were even compared to farm animals! This speaks volumes about Zuckerberg’s disrespect for privacy. Facebook is basically founded on a misogynistic hate group and it should therefore ban itself.

2Facebook Faces Investigation for Its Lax Security and Privacy Practices

Facebook is currently facing a number of lawsuits regarding its controversial data-sharing practices and poor security measures. Back in 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that Facebook was sharing user data with third-party software developers without the users’ consent, expressing concerns about the potential misuse of personal information, as Facebook does not track how third parties utilized them.

While Facebook agreed by consent order to “identify risk to personal privacy” and eliminate those risks, they did not actually pay attention to their security lapse. Had they done so, they would’ve been able to prevent the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the main focus of FTC’s first criminal probe. This issue involves Facebook’s deal with a British political consulting firm, allowing it access to around 87 million user data, which was used to influence public opinion in the U.S. presidential election.

Another criminal investigation into Facebook’s data sharing practice is underway. This time, it revolves around Facebook’s partnerships with tech companies and device makers, allowing them to override the users’ privacy settings and giving them broad access to its users’ information.

Amid federal criminal investigations, Zuckerberg announced the company’s latest plan to encrypt messages, so only the sender and the receiver will supposedly be able to decipher what they say. This is ironic, considering it was recently discovered that Facebook stored millions of user passwords in readable plaintext format in its internal platform, potentially compromising the security of millions of its users.

Zuckerberg has repeatedly demonstrated a complete lack of integrity when it comes to fulfilling his promises of privacy. In fact, in a 2010 talk given at the Crunchie awards, he stated that “privacy is no longer a social norm,” implying that using social media automatically strips you of the right to privacy, and that is why they do not respect it.

3Facebook Is a Monopoly

Monopoly

Facebook’s plan to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp would turn it into a global super-monopoly. This merger has been criticized by tech experts, as it robs users of their ability to choose between messaging services, leaving them virtually no choice but to submit to Facebook’s invasive privacy settings. This also gives Facebook unprecedented data mining capabilities.

German antitrust regulator, Bundeskartellamt, is the first to prohibit Facebook’s unrestricted data mining, banning Facebook’s services in Germany if it integrates the three messaging platforms. If other countries follow suit, the merger would fall through, as it probably should.

One of the outspoken proponents of breaking up monopolies like Facebook, Google and Amazon is U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Her campaign to break up Facebook was censored by the site, taking down three of her ads with a message that said the ads went “against Facebook’s advertising policies.”

After Warren took to Twitter to comment how the censorship simply proves why her proposal was necessary, Facebook then reinstated her ads with the lame excuse that they were only removed because they included Facebook’s logo, which violates the site’s advertising policy.

I’ve Decided — I Am Leaving Facebook

At present, I have nearly 1.8 million Facebook followers, and I am grateful for the support. But a while back, I have expressed my concerns that perhaps I am doing more harm than good by being a part of Facebook, as I could be contributing to the invasive data mining, an idea that never sat well with me.

For those reasons, I decided that leaving the platform and going back to depending on email is the responsible way forward. If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet, I urge you, your family and your friends to sign up now. I polled my audience and they agreed with my decision to leave.

Survey

from:   https://www.mercola.com/forget-facebook.htm

Another Look at the Solar System

Every solar system model you’ve seen is wrong

So these filmmakers mapped out the true scale of the planets’ orbits in the sand.

What do you get when you combine science-inspired wonder and seven miles of desert? An incredible video.

Filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, along with a few helpful friends, set out to make a scale model of the solar system. To do that, they traveled 600 miles to Black Rock Desert (home of the Burning Man Festival) in Nevada. Using various technology, vehicles, a drone, math and perseverance, they created “To Scale: The Solar System,” a seven-minute video that shows the orbits of the eight planets in our solar system. (Sorry, Pluto!)

The video is educational, beautiful and awe-inspiring. It shows off our planet’s place in the solar system, and it offers perspective on just how small Earth is in the grand scheme of things. The entire film is captivating, but perhaps the most poignant moment is at sunrise, when the real sun matches the model’s sun, showing that the representation is accurate.

As the video points out, most depictions of the solar system are inaccurate because to create a true scale rendering, the planets would need to be “microscopic.” Overstreet and Gorosh came up with a solution: build a “simulated model” in the middle of a dry lakebed where there’s plenty of space to show off a model of, well, space.

So, why did these filmmakers decide to take on this complex endeavor? Gorosh, a director with high-end commercials and documentaries to his credit, explains the inspiration for the project in a behind the scenes video: “As for why we made the model? Because it’s never been done before, and we felt like it.” Overstreet, a filmmaker with interests in science and nature, also notes, “There is literally not an image that adequately shows you what it [the solar system] actually looks like from out there. The only way to see a scale model of the solar system is to build one.” So they did. They spent 36 hours in what appears to be a rather cold desert to build the model and to capture the footage required.

The technology needed for this undertaking from conception to final cut ranges from sophisticated cameras to analogue tech, like a good old-fashioned compass. They even created a DIY harrow, a piece of equipment typically used to to break up soil but is apparently also excellent for drawing the orbits of planets in desert sand!

According to Overstreet’s website, he’s working on another “To Scale” video about deep time. If the first “To Scale” video is any indication of what’s possible, we can’t wait.

from:    https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/every-solar-system-model-youve-seen-is-wrong

Bookstores Arise!

Why paper books and the independent bookstore aren’t dead

Turns out all those dire predictions were wrong.

Starre Vartan

May 31, 2019, 11:36 a.m.
woman walking by independent bookstore, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco

Don’t ring the death knell for independent bookstores just yet. (Photo: Michael Voelker [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

I love books, and to an irrational degree.

In books, I find psychological and emotional refuge, education and deep wisdom that I just don’t find elsewhere. My passion is connected to the words and the form they come in — printed pages bound together. So I’m not afraid to admit that when I read an article about how print book sales had risen (modestly) and e-book sales had declined (a bit) and that the number of independent bookstores had increased over the past year, I shed tears of joy.

It wasn’t that long ago that everyone was predicting the end of print and the demise of small bookstores. If people were reading, they were doing it digitally, and if they were buying paper books, they weren’t getting them from independent shops. The future looked grim for small stores.

But more and more, we keep hearing about the resurgence of the independent bookstore and how print is not dying after all. As The New York Times reported, “While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.”

And one wonderful consequence of the changing market is that bookstores are slowly coming back.

“That’s right. The phoenix rises from the ashes. According to the American Booksellers Association, there are now 2,321 independent bookstores in the United States,” reported NPR’s Paddy Hirsch in March 2018. “And there are a couple of things that happened to prepare the grind for this recovery. First, when Amazon came along, the independents were decimated, sure. But the corporates — the big-box stores and the chains — they really got crushed. Borders, for instance, went out of business altogether. So that left a gap for the indies to fill.”

That’s hundreds of new, independent bookstores, which is just plain exciting. (I love to find local booksellers whenever I’m in a new city or town, and I know I’m not alone in that regard.)

The good news started to turn around a few years ago. Plus, sales at independent bookstores were up about 9 percent in 2018 from the year before, according to the American Booksellers Association. Bookstores in the U.K. also are experiencing increased revenue. Nielsen Bookscan statistics show year-on-year growth of 22 billion GBP with 2018 book sales reaching 1.59 billion GBP, reported The Guardian.

“I think the worst days of the independents are behind them,” Jim Milliot, coeditorial director for Publishers Weekly magazine, told the Christian Science Monitor in 2013. “The demise of traditional print books has been a bit overblown. Everybody is a little anxious, but they are starting to think they’ve figured it out for the time being.”

Why people want print

A woman reads a book outside of the Shakespeare & Company bookstore Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris has been open since 1919. (Photo: Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock.com)

What media stories don’t delve into are the reasons behind the stagnation in e-books and slight-but-real increase in demand for printed books. I don’t think this is anything like the niche nostalgia that’s driving vinyl record sales, which is still a tiny part of the huge music industry. Print book sales are still 80 percent of the market, the dominant form.

Could it be that, unlike music, there’s a real decline in utility when you choose e-books over printed ones — and only a marginal gain in efficiency? Are printed books simply a superior format, as my friend David Lanphier Jr. commented on Facebook?

Yes, you can carry a number of books with you on an e-book reader, which is an undeniable bonus. But most of us are only reading a couple of books at a time, and it’s not that hard to choose one or two books to carry around. For those who need larger print, e-readers are a definite win. If you live far from your local library, e-books are also a great solution.

And some people like looking up words, which is convenient with an e-reader. But in the days of smartphones, it’s almost as easy to grab your phone to check, so I’d call that one a wash.

The physicality of paper books

But unlike music, printed books are far sturdier and more reliable than e-readers. Many of my books have been dropped into water, partially set on fire by candles or campfires, and I hardly own a book that hasn’t had soup, coffee, tea, or water splashed on it. Printed books suffer all these indignities and more: Dogs chewing on them, toddlers throwing them out the car window, or use as a seat for butt protection against damp grass. All of those books are still readable.

You can take a biography to the seaside or read in the swimming pool as I’m wont to do without concern. You can throw a mystery in your backpack and take it to the top of the mountain and not care if it starts raining or your water bottle spills on it. You can keep reading in an Oregon drizzle and then dry that poetry out next to the fire. You can place a novel over your face and nap in the sunshine, breathing printer’s ink and words. You can even use the pages of a memoir to mop up a bit of blood when you fall off your mountain bike and cut your knee. (What? You’ve never bloodied a book?)

You can’t toss a terrible e-book across the room in frustration (cough, Nicholas Sparks, cough), and of course e-book publishers have made sharing titles nigh-impossible.

Of course, if you don’t like clutter, e-books are great; but if you love books, lots of them stacked up is comforting. And the used book market is still a relatively strong one, so just sell them if you don’t want to keep them around. You can then buy more books, something you can’t do with electronic copies of books. I buy used books for $5-8 each, then sell roughly two-thirds of them back to the bookseller for $3-4 credit. So new used books only end up costing me a few bucks, or I can put my credit towards a new title, cutting the cost below that of an e-book copy. Unless you’re buying new books all the time, I’ve found digital copies to be a significantly more expensive way to go.

A person reads an article on an iPad Reading text in a digital format isn’t always the best way to get all the information from a story. (Photo: smokingapples.com/Flickr)

Besides being fragile, e-readers make scanning back into a book’s content difficult, because your story memory is not tied to a physical object and “spot” within it. You have to remember a word or phrase from the section you want to find. When I’m writing an article with books as reference, I find e-readers impossible to use; same with looking up a favorite few lines for reference later in my journal. And it’s not just because I didn’t grow up a digital native; even those who have grown up with e-readers and tablets still prefer print, according to a survey by Canon that looked at Millennial habits around reading and even sending written notes.

And as Lanphier added to his Facebook comment about this topic, “…my 6 and 1/2 year old niece has an iPad, and she reads on it, but she will read a book too. And, will choose a book over the iPad reading… because a book has that experience. You don’t see moms and kids and dads and kids gathered around the iPad reading together. But, you see them doing that with books.”

Clearly, I’m thrilled books are here to stay. And it looks like the next generation will love their printed books just as I do.

Editors’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in September 2015.

from:    https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/books-independent-bookstore-arent-dead

 

Water Supplies Dwindling

Extremely High Water Stress In 17 Countries, Representing One-Quarter Of The World’s Population

August 20th, 2019

By Amelia Harris

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

It’s no secret that we are experiencing a world water crisis. But the situation may be more critical than we thought. A new list of 17 countries facing extremely high water stress offers insight into this issue.

17 Countries With Extremely High Water Stress

The World Resources Institute is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help people live sustainably and protect the environment. The organization recently released a list of 17 countries facing extremely high water stress. These 17 countries represent 25% of the world’s population. (1, 2) In order of severity, they are:

  • Qatar
  • Lebanon
  • Israel
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Libya
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Eritrea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • San Marino
  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Oman
  • Turkmenistan
  • Botswana

For a country to be considered under extremely high water stress, it must be using 80% of its available surface and groundwater annually. These water sources are feeding municipalities, agriculture, and industry. (1)

If a country is using this much of its water, a negative change in availability can have dire consequences. And because of rising temperatures and population expansion, droughts and higher water withdrawals are projected to increase. (1)

The Impacts Of Water Scarcity

Water scarcity can have far-reaching consequences. Of the 17 countries identified with extremely high water stress, 12 are located in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Experts have identified that water stress can intensify conflicts and migration in these regions. And because water is used to grow crops as well as power industry, food insecurity and financial instability are other possible realities. (1)

Vanishing Groundwater

Places that have relied on groundwater for years are now finding that it’s running out. Mexico City is sinking because it’s using groundwater so quickly. Dhaka, Bangladesh has to draw water from aquifers that are hundreds of feet deep to supply its residents and many garment factories. (3, 4)

India, whose population is three times larger than all 16 of the other countries on the list combined, has widespread water issues. But the situation in Chennai, India’s sixth-largest city, is particularly challenging. The city has run out of groundwater, and the four reservoirs that provide Chennai with water have run dry. And to make matters worse, 2019’s late monsoon season means more time between the replenishing these reservoirs. (3, 4)

Water Stress In The United States

The World’s Resources Institute ranked the United States as having low-medium baseline water stress. But the U.S. is a large country with diverse ecosystems, and water scarcity varies from state to state and city to city. In particular, the Southwest, western Great Plains, and some of the Northwest have water supplies that can’t keep up with the demands of their citizens. (2, 5)

Much of the U.S. has experienced a drop in rainfall in recent years, leading to widespread drought. Water is a limited resource in places like California, where 66% of its agriculture faces extremely high water stress. Drought impacts two-thirds of Texas. And there are fears of a modern Dust Bowl in Colorado. (6)

It is hard to tell if these conditions will improve, as rainfall rates become more unpredictable in the coming years. And as average temperatures rise, soil dries out. So even if more rain does fall, it will remain challenging for farmers to water crops and feed their herds. (6)

Steps To Take For A Water-Secure Future

With a global water crisis looming, many are looking for small-scale actions they can take to be a part of the solution. On a cooperative scale, countries, states, and cities can evaluate their water usage. They should identify ways to decrease demand and invest in water efficiency systems. They can plan for droughts by collecting rainwater, refurbishing unused wells, and cleaning lakes and wetlands. Companies are also responsible for assessing and mitigating their water usage. (3, 6)

Additionally, individuals can take steps to conserve water in their homes and practices. These actions include:

  • Never leave faucets running unnecessarily (washing dishes, brushing teeth, shaving, etc.)
  • Take shorter showers – set a timer to get the hang of showering efficiently
  • Fix any leaks as soon as you discover them
  • Switch to low-flow toilets and shower heads
  • Harvest rainwater for non-drinking functions, like watering the garden or irrigating your yard. (7)
  • Repurpose clean water from the sink or shower (waiting for the water to get hot) for plants
  • Grow or purchase foods that require less water to grow. For instance, millet needs far less water than rice. (3)
  • Buy clothing made from flax, linen, or monocel, which is a bamboo material that uses a reduced amount of water and toxic chemicals. Cotton takes an incredible amount of water to grow, so purchasing clothing that uses alternative fabrics is a great way to conserve water. (8)

As with any resource, consciously doing your part to conserve water where possible goes a long way. It may seem like a small contribution, but multiply that by 7.5 billion people, and the amount of water saved could make all the difference.

Article sources:

  1. https://www.wri.org/news/2019/08/release-updated-global-water-risk-atlas-reveals-top-water-stressed-countries-and-states
  2. https://www.wri.org/applications/aqueduct/country-rankings/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/06/climate/world-water-stress.html
  4. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/20/world/chennai-satellite-images-reservoirs-water-crisis-trnd/index.html
  5. https://www.globalchange.gov/browse/multimedia/water-stress-us
  6. https://www.wri.org/blog/2014/04/water-stress-magnifies-drought-s-negative-impacts-throughout-united-states
  7. https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/Advantages_Disadvantages_Rainwater_Harvesting.php
  8. https://goodonyou.eco/fashion-and-water-the-thirsty-industry/

About the author:

Amelia Harris is a writer and eco-activist, interested in health and all things esoteric, with a passion for sharing good news and inspiring stories. She is a staff writer for Wake Up World.

from:    https://wakeup-world.com/2019/08/20/extremely-high-water-stress-in-17-countries-representing-one-quarter-of-the-worlds-population/

Mark My Words — No, Mark-ing your World

Facebook ‘News’: A bold step toward total control of reality?

Facebook ‘News’: A bold step toward total control of reality?
Facebook’s plan to hook ad-cash-deprived mainstream outlets on licensing payouts seems to be an attempt to hijack narrative control en route to total domination of the infosphere – the ultimate safe space, Zuckerberg-style.

More than two thirds of American adults get their news from social media at the same time that more than half expect that news to be “largely inaccurate.” Perhaps sensing a business opportunity, Facebook has moved in to manage that news consumption, reportedly offering mainstream outlets millions of dollars per year to license their content in order to present it to users authoritatively, as “Facebook News” – having long since ceased trusting users to share news among themselves.

But trusting Facebook to deliver the news is like trusting a cheetah to babysit your gazelles – all that’s left at the end is likely to be a pile of bones. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned legacy media last year that if they did not work with his plan to “revitalize journalism,” they would be left dying “like in a hospice.”

Dangling a few million in front of news outlets after depriving them of the advertising cash on which they once subsisted is merely the final step in the process of consolidation and control that began when Facebook removed actual news from its newsfeed in an effort to manage the narrative in the run-up to the 2016 election. A move ostensibly designed to “favor friends and family over publishers,” it instead plunged mainstream and especially alternative media into financial oblivion, setting them scrambling to recoup lost traffic as their place in subscribers’ feeds was taken by cat videos and family snapshots.Alternative media were further marginalized after Zuckerberg inked a deal with the Atlantic Council – NATO’s narrative-managers whose board is populated by some of the most notorious warmongers of recent history – who arrived to set the platform straight after it failed to deliver the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton. The group would ensure Facebook played a “positive role” in democracy in the future, a press release promised. Six months later, hundreds of popular political pages had been purged for getting in the way of the Atlantic Council’s version of “democracy.” Several more purges followed, many pages getting the axe for nothing more than espousing views “favorable to Iran’s national interests” or posting content with “anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes.”

Zuckerberg has never hidden his desire to see Facebook become an internet driver’s license, and he has no doubt watched gleefully as French President Emmanuel Macron’s government weighs requiring citizens to turn over actual identity documents in order to sign up to use Facebook. The platform was the first to adopt an intelligence-agency-friendly “real name policy,” irritating political activists, performers, and others who prefer not to have their social media activity follow them around in real life.

Privacy advocates are currently up in arms over the FBI’s recently-revealed plans to monitor social media platforms in real time. Combined with the recently leaked FBI decision to label all “conspiracy theorists” as potentially-dangerous domestic extremists, this looks an awful lot like a manufactured rationale to spy on the majority of the US population. Yet Facebook has been feeding users’ data to the government for over a decade. It joined the NSA’s PRISM program in 2009, providing the agency with its own convenient backdoor for slurping up the data others have had to hack themselves. Not that that’s been very hard – Facebook admitted last year that data on “most” of its users has been compromised at some point by “malicious actors.”

Facebook’s decision to hire one of the co-authors of the notorious PATRIOT Act as General Counsel earlier this year was touted as a move that would help the company “fulfill its mission.” Which would be what, exactly?

Despite its egregious privacy record, the areas of reality outside Zuckerberg’s control are dwindling rapidly. With the rollout of Facebook’s Libra coin, commerce, too, is falling under the shadow of this menacingly bland figure

When Zuckerberg was photographed traveling through Middle America several years ago, many pointed out it looked like he was running for president. His announcement around the same time that he had found religion – a vague, made-for-TV, feel-good faith guaranteed not to antagonize anyone – also had the feel of a campaign move. If Facebook – and Zuckerberg’s – history is any guide, he has bigger things in mind for Facebook News than a new tab on the user interface. Every campaign needs a press office, after all…

Helen Buyniski

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator, working at RT since 2018.

from:   https://www.rt.com/usa/466199-facebook-control-news-zuckerberg-reality/

Sometimes You Just Want To Live in Canada

Chase Bank Forgives “All Outstanding Credit Card Debt” for Canadian Customers

(ZH) — In a shocking move, Chase Bank announced on Thursday that it was going to be forgiving all outstanding credit card debt from its Canadian customers, according to Yahoo Finance. The bank closed all of its credit card accounts in Canada back in March of 2018.

When the accounts were initially closed, customers were told to continue paying down their debt. Now, they’re being told by the company that their debt is cancelled. CBC talked to some customers who got letters from the bank this week.

Douglas Turner of Coe Hill, Ontario, who still owed about $4,500, said:

“I was sort of over the moon all last night, with a smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it. It’s crazy. This stuff doesn’t happen with credit cards. Credit cards are horror stories.”

Turner also said his last payment to the account was also going to be reimbursed.

Paul Adamson of Dundalk, Ontario said he called his bank after seeing his account was closed because he was concerned about missing a payment. Adamson said:

 “I’m honestly still so … flabbergasted about it. It’s surprise fees, extra complications – things like that, definitely, but not loan forgiveness.”

The bank had previously offered rewards cards for both Amazon and Marriott in Canada. Maria Martinez, vice-president of communications for Chase Card Services, said that the bank could have sold the debt, but that forgiving it “was a better decision for all parties, including and most importantly our customers.”

It’ll be interesting to see if the news is as well received by diligent Chase customers in Canada who paid off their cards, as well as American customers who have undoubtedly racked up massive sums of debt with the bank.

A 24 year old university student, Christine Langlois of Montreal, said she hadn’t paid the card in 5 years. 

“It’s kind of like I’m being rewarded for my irresponsibility,” she said. 


By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.

from:   https://themindunleashed.com/2019/08/chase-bank-forgives-credit-card-debt-canadian-customers.html

THe Universe Just Keeps getting Bigger

Scientists Find Dozens of ‘Invisible’ Galaxies, Changing Our Understanding of the Universe

(TMU) — Using the combined power of multiple astronomical observatories across the world, astronomers have discovered a stunning set of 39 massive galaxies that had previously been invisible.

The multiple discovery is the first of its kind, according to a study published on Wednesday in Nature, and is set to forever change the way in which scientists look at how galaxies are formed.

The galaxies, which are located billions of light-years away, are intimately connected with supermassive black holes and the distribution of dark matter.

In a press release, lead researcher Tao Wang at the University of Tokyo said:

“This is the first time that such a large population of massive galaxies was confirmed during the first 2 billion years of the 13.7-billion-year life of the universe. These were previously invisible to us … This finding contravenes current models for that period of cosmic evolution and will help to add some details, which have been missing until now.”

And while the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to gain major insights into previously unknown parts of the universe, the research team from the University of Tokyo relied on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to uncover this latest massive find.

And it appears that the huge galaxies would overwhelm our humble view of the heavens if they were actually visible to us humans. Given the age and distance of the huge galaxies, they have always been hidden from our view thanks to the weak and stretched light emanating from them. As a result of such distance, the visible light becomes infrared.

Kotaro Kohno, the study’s author and a professor at the University of Tokyo, explained:

“The light from these galaxies is very faint with long wavelengths invisible to our eyes and undetectable by Hubble.

So we turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which is ideal for viewing these kinds of things. I have a long history with that facility and so knew it would deliver good results.”

The infrared light from the distant galaxies was originally revealed by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope before ALMA’s “sharp eyes” detected them, cutting through the thick dust that obscured them from our sight, Wang explained.

“It took further data from the imaginatively named Very Large Telescope in Chile to really prove we were seeing ancient massive galaxies where none had been seen before.”

The new discovery will also shed light on the existence of supermassive black holes. Professor Kohno explained:

“The more massive a galaxy, the more massive the supermassive black hole at its heart. So the study of these galaxies and their evolution will tell us more about the evolution of supermassive black holes, too.

Massive galaxies are also intimately connected with the distribution of invisible dark matter. This plays a role in shaping the structure and distribution of galaxies. Theoretical researchers will need to update their theories now.”

So what would the sky look like if we happened to live in one of these ancient, massive galaxies? Wang explained:

“For one thing, the night sky would appear far more majestic. The greater density of stars means there would be many more stars close by appearing larger and brighter … But conversely, the large amount of dust means farther-away stars would be far less visible, so the background to these bright close stars might be a vast dark void.”

Wang is sure that in the future, new space-based telescopic technology will be able to reveal the chemicals, number of stars and basic composition of the dozens of galaxies that have been revealed. He explained:

“Previous studies have found extremely active star-forming galaxies in the early Universe, but their population is quite limited.

Star formation in the dark galaxies we identified is less intense, but they are 100 times more abundant than the extreme starbursts. It is important to study such a major component of the history of the Universe to comprehend galaxy formation.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

from:   https://themindunleashed.com/2019/08/invisible-galaxies-universe.html

Watching How You Think

THE NORMALS VS. CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Jon Rappoport, Guest
Waking Times

In the wake of the recent mass shootings; and after the FBI concluded that conspiracy theories could fuel terror attacks; and after the major media and politicians hoisted the notion that free speech should be further eroded, in order to protect the citizenry; the obvious choice for persons who want to avoid blame for violence is: REMAIN NORMAL.

Eyes straight ahead. Don’t think. Obey official orders. Maintain a pleasant outward appearance. Don’t question authority. If you accidentally encounter information that points to crimes committed by those in power, don’t bother trying to figure out where on the political spectrum they reside. Instead, move along, forget what you experienced, keep your mouth shut. Play dumb. Better yet, become dumb.

A Thought

From Nietzsche:

For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: “What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?”