The 10 big energy myths

There has never been a more important time to invest in green technologies, yet many of us believe these efforts are doomed to failure. What nonsense, writes Chris Goodall

Myth 1: solar power is too expensive to be of much use

In reality, today’s bulky and expensive solar panels capture only 10% or so of the sun’s energy, but rapid innovation in the US means that the next generation of panels will be much thinner, capture far more of the energy in the sun’s light and cost a fraction of what they do today. They may not even be made of silicon. First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin panels, claims that its products will generate electricity in sunny countries as cheaply as large power stations by 2012.

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Meditation May Protect Your Brain

Research is confirming the medicinal effects that advocates have long claimed for meditation.

For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering.

Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work. They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention — an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise.

A team of Emory University scientists reported in early September that experienced Zen meditators were much better than control subjects at dropping extraneous thoughts and returning to the breath. The study, “‘Thinking about Not-Thinking:’ Neural Correlates of Conceptual Processing During Zen Meditation,” published by the online research journal PLoS ONE, found that “meditative training may foster the ability to control the automatic cascade of semantic associations triggered by a stimulus and, by extension, to voluntarily regulate the flow of spontaneous mentation.”

The same researchers reported last year that longtime meditators don’t lose gray matter in their brains with age the way most people do, suggesting that meditation may have a neuro-protective effect. A rash of other studies in recent years meanwhile have found, for example, that practitioners of insight meditation have noticeably thicker tissue in the prefrontal cortex (the region responsible for attention and control) and that experienced Tibetan monks practicing compassion meditation generate unusually strong and coherent gamma waves in their brains.

Read moreMeditation May Protect Your Brain

Meditation beats antidepressants

GROUP psychology involving Buddhist meditation can be as effective at combating depression as medication, a study published today in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology has found.

Fifteen months after an eight-week trial, 47 per cent of people with depression who under-went therapy suffered a relapse, compared with 60 per cent of those taking antidepressants.

Published Date: 01 December 2008

Source: Scotsman

Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that ‘won’t commit war crimes’

“It sends a cold shiver down my spine. I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination is terrifying.”
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The American military is planning to build robot soldiers that will not be able to commit war crimes like their human comrades in arms.


The Pentagon aims to develop ‘ethical’ robot soldiers, unlike the indiscriminate T-800 killers from the Terminator films

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into “autonomous systems”, the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

A British robotics expert has been recruited by the US Navy to advise them on building robots that do not violate the Geneva Conventions.

Colin Allen, a scientific philosopher at Indiana University’s has just published a book summarising his views entitled Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “The question they want answered is whether we can build automated weapons that would conform to the laws of war. Can we use ethical theory to help design these machines?”

Pentagon chiefs are concerned by studies of combat stress in Iraq that show high proportions of frontline troops supporting torture and retribution against enemy combatants.

Read morePentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that ‘won’t commit war crimes’

Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.


Existing technologies require an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth’s currents are slower than three knots Photo: AP

The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot – about one mile an hour – meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

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Firefighters for 9-11 Truth: Summary of Evidence of Controlled Demolition at the World Trade Center

25 Nov 2008

This work is dedicated to Chief of Department Peter J. Ganci Jr. and his 342 fellow F.D.N.Y. members killed in action while trying to save others.

Summary of Evidence of Controlled Demolition at the World Trade Center
(Expansive citations below)

This article appeared originally at FireFightersFor911Truth.org and is the intellectual property of David R. Wayne & Greg Garrison ©2008 with all use permissions hereby granted provided that all copies include this notice of authorship.

The evidence summarized below proves conclusively that 3 World Trade Center buildings collapsed on 9/11/2001 as the result of controlled demolitions. It makes no attempt to determine why, or to imply by whom. From a scientific standpoint, it is inadvisable to leap to conclusions because there are always scenarios we may not be prepared to imagine. In science, as in life, an open mind is a good thing. It is conceivable that there was a bio-threat airborne in the CIA undercover New York station in Building 7 capable of wiping out 20 million people if it wasn’t immediately neutralized by the use of Thermate. Although that is unlikely, it remains possible and therefore, scientifically, it stands as an unknown, as do many other unknowns.

However, we do know via established empirical evidence that a series of observable events took place that can be analyzed. If we learn the temperatures at which steel melts and at which jet fuel burns we can then determine whether burning jet fuel can melt steel. Proof of evidence can and should preclude personal opinions and lead us to logically necessary conclusions. A fair examination of the evidence establishes unequivocally that 3 skyscrapers collapsed as the direct and proximate result of planned demolition and that the official explanation is literally physically impossible and a blatant contradiction of established laws of science and nature.

1. The architects of the World Trade Center designed the buildings to absorb the impact of a crashing jetliner because that was an obvious structural design imperative in Manhattan. The designers of the buildings always confidently maintained that they would remain structurally secure from collapse under those circumstances.

FRANK A. DeMARTINI, MANAGER, WTC CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT has testified to the fact that the buildings at the World Trade Center should have been able to sustain multiple jumbo jet impacts without threatening the structural integrity of the buildings’ steel-reinforced frames:

“I believe that the building probably could sustain multiple impacts of jetliners because this structure is like mosquito-netting on your screen door-this intense grid. And the jet plane is just a pencil puncturing that screen netting. It really does nothing to the screen netting.”

Detailed structural analysis of the Twin Towers determined that:

“The buildings have been investigated and found to be safe in an assumed collision with a large jet airliner [Boeing 707-DC 8] traveling at 600 miles per hour. Analysis indicates that such collision would result in only local damage which could not cause collapse or substantial damage to the building and would not endanger the lives and safety of occupants not in the immediate area of impact.”

As noted by John Skilling, the engineer responsible for designing the World Trade Center, the buildings would withstand a major crash and the ensuing fires:

“Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the jet fuel would dump into the building. (But) the building structure would still be there.”

See 9/11 – A Closer Look by scientist Kevin Ryan:

911 Mysteries Part 1 – Demolition:

Each tower contained:

  • Over 90,000 tons of concrete;
  • 47 Massive Steel Core Columns and

• 240 Steel Perimeter Columns welded together and connected by hundreds of steel joints, perpendicular cross trusses, thousands of large steel bolts and concrete-filled steel floor decking at each floor level;

  • 100,000 Ton Heat Sink to absorb excess heat;

• Updated fireproofing and a fire control system designed to prevent “chimney effect” and suffocate fires by depriving them of oxygen.To convey the extent of the structural integrity of the World Trade Center, the Engineering News Record reported that:

One “could cut away all the first story columns on one side of the building, and partway from the corners of the perpendicular sides, and the building could still withstand design live loads and a 100 mph wind from any direction.”

2. No large steel-reinforced building anywhere in the world, at any time before or since 9/11, ever experienced full building collapse due to fire:

“Never before in the history of the world has a steel building collapsed due to fire.”

The unique exception is 9/11 when 3 steel-reinforced skyscrapers with state-of-the-art fire-proofing at the World Trade Center allegedly collapsed due to fires, although the fires clearly never seriously threatened the structural integrity of the buildings.

In 1945 a U.S. Air Force B-25 bomber struck the Empire State Building, killing 14 people. However, neither the impact nor the ensuing fires caused significant damage to the building’s steel-reinforced frame and never threatened the structural integrity of the building.

3. Structural analysis conducted by MIT Engineer/Scientist Dr. Jeff King concludes:

Read moreFirefighters for 9-11 Truth: Summary of Evidence of Controlled Demolition at the World Trade Center

Water vapour discovered on Saturn’s moon

Huge plumes of water vapour and ice particles are bursting out from Saturn’s moon Enceladus at supersonic speeds in a way that strongly suggests they come from liquid water down below the icy surface, scientists have said.


Artist’s impression of the Cassini spacecraft passing through plumes from geysers that erupt from giant fissures in the moon’s southern polar region Photo: REUTERS

The research, published in the journal Nature, offers new evidence that the moon may harbor an underground ocean of water, meaning conditions might exist that could support life, even if only microbial organisms.

‘We think liquid water is necessary for life and there is more evidence that there is liquid water there,’ said lead researcher Candice Hansen of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

‘You also need energy, you need nutrients, you need organics. It looks like the pieces are there. Whether or not there’s actually life, of course, we can’t say.’

Scientists are aware of only three places where liquid water exists near the surface of a planet or other body – Earth, Jupiter’s moon Europa and now Enceladus.

In July Nasa’s Phoenix Mars Lander confirmed the presence of ice on Mars.

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‘Heavy water’ could help us live longer

Drinking “heavy water” enriched with a rare form of hydrogen could prolong our lives by up to ten years, it has been claimed.

Mikhail Shchepinov, a former Oxford University scientist, says that the modified drink protects against dangerous chemicals known as free radicals that are known to contribute to conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

He also claims that foods such as steak and eggs could be enriched with the special hydrogen isotope, known as deuterium, raising the possibility of people being able to “eat themselves healthy”.

His research has shown that worms live 10 per cent longer and fruitflies up to 30 per cent longer when fed on heavy water, which is slightly sweeter than normal water.

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