'DEAD ZONE'

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/dead-zone/


concentrations of algal blooms that contribute to dead zones / photo: NASA

as in : ‘How Big is the Dead Zone this Year?’
http://reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65L6IA20100622
http://bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2010/06/28/daily24.html
“The 2010 forecast released by NOAA predicts that the dead zone could measure between 6,500 and 7,800 square miles, equivalent to the size of Lake Ontario. The Gulf dead zone forms each spring and summer off the Louisiana and Texas coasts when oxygen levels drop too low to support most life in bottom and near-bottom waters. Farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste is the main source of the nitrogen and phosphorus that fuel the growth of algae blooms, that in turn create the dead zone. The five largest Gulf dead zones on record have occurred since 2001. The biggest occurred in 2002 and measured 8,484 square miles. The official size of the 2010 Gulf dead zone will be announced following a NOAA-supported monitoring survey led by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium being held from July 24 through Aug. 2.”

Hypoxia
http://ncddc.noaa.gov/activities/gulf-hypoxia-stakeholders
http://livescience.com/environment/080814-oceans-oxygen.html
“A review of research into these so-called “dead zones,” in the journal Science, finds that the number of dead zones has roughly doubled every decade since the 1960’s. The study authors tallied 405 dead zones in coastal waters worldwide today, affecting about 95,000 square miles (245,000 square kilometers) of ocean.”

Massive Methane Bubble Caused Explosion
http://guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/08/deepwater-horizon-blast-methane-bubble
http://guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/30/biologists-find-oil-spill-deadzones
“A report into last month’s blast said the gas escaped from the oil well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding. Now scientists are confronting growing evidence that BP’s ruptured well is expanding oxygen-depleted “dead zones” where fish and other marine life cannot survive. In two separate research voyages, independent scientists have detected what were described as “astonishingly high” levels of methane, or natural gas, bubbling from the well site, setting off a chain of reactions that suck the oxygen out of the water. In some cases, methane concentrations are 100,000 times normal levels. The finding presents a new challenge to scientists who so far have been focused on studying the effects on the Gulf of crude oil, and the 5.7m litres of chemical dispersants used to break up the slick. Such high concentrations, it is feared, would trigger the growth of microbes, which break up the methane, but also gobble up oxygen needed by marine life to survive, driving out other living things. Joye said the methane was settling in a 200-metre layer of the water column, between depths of 1,000 to 1,300 metres in concentrations that were already threatening oxygen levels. A Texas A&M University oceanographer issued a similar warning last week on his return from a 10-day research voyage in the Gulf. John Kessler recorded “astonishingly high” methane levels in surface and deep water within a five-mile radius of the ruptured well. His team also recorded 30% depletion of oxygen in some locations.”

Pollution vs Pollution : Add More Fertilizer?
http://newscientist.com/article/dn18971-bacteria-help-to-clean-up-deepwater-horizon-spill.html
“Over the past few years, researchers have found that dozens of different kinds of marine bacteria have a healthy appetite for oil. Water samples from the Gulf of Mexico are showing signs that marine bacteria are already pitching in to help with clean-up efforts, and that populations of these bacteria in this area are likely to boom as they feast on the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Crucially, R/V Pelican happened to be in the area when Deepwater Horizon blew up. That means the team could immediately collect water samples to test for bacterial populations from areas that were threatened by the spill but had not yet been contaminated. “Now we plan to see how the microbial community evolves when you give it oil,” says Grimes. He hopes to screen bacteria from oil-affected water for the DNA of oil-eating enzymes, and use this to determine their species. In previous research he found that Vibrio became the dominant type of marine bacteria off the south-eastern US as oil tanker traffic increased after the 1970s. Atlas, who managed the “bioremediation” of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, says the bacterial process will be helped if fertilizer is added to the water, as then the oil-eaters will have the nitrogen and phosphate they need to grow. Fertilizer has already been used to aid the bacterial breakdown of oil that has hit the shore, but it could also help bacteria in the open sea if it is added to the detergents that are being used to disperse the oil. The fertilizer lodges in the surface of the oil droplets created by the detergents, he says – right where the bacteria can use them.”


Chemosynthetic Community Locations in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil Eaters (This Has Come Up Before)
http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/regulate/environ/chemo/chemo.html
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/06/22/science/20100622cold.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/science/22cool.html
“The deep seabed was once considered a biological desert. Life, the logic went, was synonymous with light and photosynthesis. The sun powered the planet’s food chains, and only a few scavengers could ply the preternaturally dark abyss. Then, in 1977, oceanographers working in the deep Pacific stumbled on bizarre ecosystems lush with clams, mussels and big tube worms — a cornucopia of abyssal life built on microbes that thrived in hot, mineral-rich waters welling up from volcanic cracks, feeding on the chemicals that leached into the seawater and serving as the basis for whole chains of life that got along just fine without sunlight. In 1984, scientists found that the heat was not necessary. In exploring the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, they discovered sunless habitats powered by a new form of nourishment. The microbes that founded the food chain lived not on hot minerals but on cold petrochemicals seeping up from the icy seabed. Today, scientists have identified roughly one hundred sites in the gulf where cold-seep communities of clams, mussels and tube worms flourish in the sunless depths. And they have accumulated evidence of many more — hundreds by some estimates, thousands by others — most especially in the gulf’s deep, unexplored waters. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there were 2,000 communities, from suburbs to cities,” said Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University who studies the dark ecosystems. The world’s richest known concentration of these remarkable communities is in the Gulf of Mexico. The life forms include tube worms up to eight feet long. Some of the creatures appear old enough, scientists say, to predate the arrival of Columbus in the New World. Now, by horrific accident, these cold communities have become the subject of a quiet debate among scientists. The gulf is, of course, the site of the giant oil spill that began April 20 with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drill rig. The question is what the oil pouring into the gulf means for these deep, dark habitats, in contrast to the slow, diffuse, chronic seepage of petrochemicals across much of the gulf’s northern slope. Many factors, like the density of oil in undersea plumes, the size of resulting oxygen drops and the potential toxicity of oil dispersants — all unknowns — could grow into threats that outweigh any possible benefits and damage or even destroy the dark ecosystems.”

EMPTY LOT, OCEAN VIEW

from http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/charter-cities

Charter Cities
http://chartercities.org/concept
http://newsweek.com/blogs/wealth-of-nations/2009/08/12/the-best-development-plan-in-the-world-originated-with-the-british-empire.html
“The secret to turning a poor nation into a rich one can’t be found in a World Bank report. It wasn’t hatched in the corridors of the International Monetary Fund, either. It came from the British Empire. That is one way, at least, of interpreting Stanford economist Paul Romer’s new plan for turning economically backward countries like Cuba into engines of growth like China. Experts have long known that the traditional tools of development don’t work: free trade, foreign investment, and charity have failed as many countries as they’ve helped. The rot in a dysfunctional country is at its core—in the laws, institutions, and informal rules that govern daily life. How to fix a problem so fundamental? Let a rich country take over part of a poor one. The hope, says Romer, is that the superior norms of the developed country will take root abroad. One problem, admits Romer, is the parallel between charter cities and colonialism. Great Britain, for instance, would surely have qualms about taking over a few hundred acres of coastline in Ghana, where the legacy of slavery is still deeply felt. Romer says the similarities are surface level only—there’s no coercion involved in a charter city since it would be founded on empty or near-empty land, and anyone who lives there would do so by choice. Charter cities would only be considered in countries that welcome them. But the colonial parallel would certainly still rankle some. One way to mitigate the PR problem would be to let a group of rich countries administer the charter area; that way, no single nation could be accused of exploiting the host.”

Adopt-A-City
http://video.forbes.com/fvn/21-century-cities-09/adopt-a-city
http://theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/07/the-politically-incorrect-guide-to-ending-poverty/8134/
“Halfway through the 12th Century, and a long time before economists began pondering how to turn poor places into rich ones, the Germanic prince Henry the Lion set out to create a merchant’s mecca on the lawless Baltic coast. He seized control of a fledgling town called Lübeck, had Niclot beheaded on the battlefield, and arranged for Lübeck to become the seat of a diocese. A grand rectangular market was laid out at the center of the town; all that was missing was the merchants. To attract that missing ingredient to his city, Henry hit on an idea that has enjoyed a sort of comeback lately. He devised a charter for Lübeck, a set of “most honorable civic rights,” calculating that a city with light regulation and fair laws would attract investment easily. The stultifying feudal hierarchy was cast aside; an autonomous council of local burgesses would govern Lübeck. Onerous taxes and trade restrictions were ruled out; merchants who settled in Lübeck would be exempt from duties and customs throughout Henry the Lion’s lands, which stretched south as far as Bavaria. The residents of Lübeck were promised fair treatment before the law and an independent mint that would shelter them from confiscatory inflation. With this bill of rights in place, Henry dispatched messengers to Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Merchants who liked the sound of his charter were invited to migrate to Lübeck. The plan worked. Immigrants soon began arriving in force, and Lübeck became the leading entrepôt for the budding Baltic Sea trade route, which eventually extended as far west as London and Bruges and as far east as Novgorod, in Russia. Perhaps the only thing more remarkable than Lübeck’s wealth was the influence of its charter. As trade routes lengthened, new cities mushroomed all along the Baltic shore, and rather than develop a legal code from scratch, the next wave of city fathers copied Lübeck’s charter, importing its political and economic liberties. The early imitators included the nearby cities of Rostock and Danzig, but the charter was eventually adopted as far afield as Riga and Tallinn, the capitals of modern Latvia and Estonia. The medieval world had stumbled upon a formula for creating order out of chaos and prosperity amid backwardness. Lübeck ultimately became the seat of the Hanseatic League, an economic alliance of 200 cities that lasted nearly half a millennium.”

Laboratories for Innovation
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/can-charter-cities-change-the-world-a-qa-with-paul-romer/
Q. Let’s move to logistics. Who might grant the charter for one of these cities and see that it will be enforced?
A. Different charters could specify different arrangements. This means that we could try many new types of innovative structures. If a national government has sufficient credibility, it could start a charter city within its own territory and administer it from the national capital. This is, in effect, what some countries have done when they have created special economic zones with rules that are different from the ones that prevail in the rest of the country. You could imagine that a country like India might try something like this to speed up urbanization by cutting through many local rules that get in the way of urban development. In poorer countries that don’t have the same kind of credibility with international investors, a more interesting but controversial possibility is that two or more countries might sign a treaty specifying the charter for a new city and allocate between them responsibilities for administering different parts of the treaty. Let me give you a specific example. Right now, the United States and Cuba have a treaty that gives the United States administrative control in perpetuity over a piece of sovereign Cuban territory, Guantanamo Bay. I’ve suggested that Canada and Cuba sign a new treaty in which Canada would take over administration of this area, bring Canadian rule of law there, and let a city grow up that could bring to Cuba some of the advantages that Hong Kong brought to China.

Q. It all sounds great as a theoretical exercise, but honestly, don’t your colleagues tell you that something like this will never happen?
A. They do say this, which is actually kind of ironic when you line it up with the other things they say. They recognize that the construct of a charter city is something that could make everyone better off. They admit that there is no technological or economic constraint that keeps us from building many of these. Then they say that for political reasons, it will never happen. They tell me that you can’t change politics; you can’t overcome nationalism; there is no way for countries to work together to extend the reach of good rules. Then these same economists suggest that we should just stick to business as usual. We should offer conventional economic advice and assume that political systems will naturally follow our advice when we point to something that could make everyone better off. But of course, they have already revealed that they don’t believe this. What’s going on here is a kind of self-censoring. Economists seem to think that we should propose things that are acceptable and that political systems will pursue, but that we should avoid proposing or even discussing things that are controversial or politically incorrect. I think we’d do our jobs better if we just said what’s true without trying to be amateur politicians.


students do homework under the parking lot lights at G’bessi Airport in Guinea

LIKE THEY DO IN ALASKA

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/like-they-do-in-alaska/

How to Calculate Your Resource Wealth
http://apfc.org/home/Content/dividend/dividend.cfm
http://pfd.alaska.gov/faqs/index.aspx
http://iraqdividend.com/alaska_dividend/
“The Alaska dividend, which Hammond helped create while governor, is “an existing basic income guarantee in the world today. Without a permanent fund dividend program,” Hammond said. “Alaska will face the same fate as Nigeria.” There, the World Bank estimates that $296 billion flowed in and out of the government’s treasury during its oil boom, “leaving them worse off than they were before,” Hammond said. The pattern has been repeated around the globe where countries have come into an oil windfall, he said. “Iraq is but the latest example. What better way to induce a capitalistic, democratic mindset among Iraqis? Far better than a few privileged kleptocrats living in opulent splendor while others grovel in squalor,” Hammond said. In Iraq, the economist Smith recommended following Alaska’s precedent but avoiding Alaska’s mistakes, Hammond noted. Those mistakes were two-fold: Not putting all public resource wealth into the fund, and not reserving the income solely for dividends unless approved by a vote of the people. “Public resources should belong directly to the public through mechanisms such as Alaska’s permanent fund … It is a model governments all over the world would be well-advised to copy.”

or Brazil
http://widerquist.com/karl/Suplicy-Interview.htm
http://adn.com/2008/08/09/488420/pfd-rebate-pack-a-punch.html
“The Brazilian National Congress approved Law 10.835 that institutes an unconditional Citizen’s Basic Income, sanctioned by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in January 8, 2004. The law says that it will be established step-by-step, starting with those most in need, until the day when everyone in Brazil will have that right. Everyone in Brazil, including the foreigners living here for more than five years, regardless his/her social or economic condition, will receive R$ 40 per month. In a family with six members, the total will be R$ 240. With the progress of the country, this amount will be raised, we shall say to R$ 100, someday to R$ 500, R$ 1,000 and so on. It will not be denied to anybody. It will be unconditional.”

Step One : Locate Resources
http://afghanistan.cr.usgs.gov/airborne.php
http://independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/afghanistans-resources-could-make-it-the-richest-mining-region-on-earth-2000507.html
“The sheer size of the deposits – including copper, gold, iron and cobalt as well as vast amounts of lithium, a key component in batteries of Western lifestyle staples such as laptops and BlackBerrys – holds out the possibility that Afghanistan, ravaged by decades of conflict, might become one of the most important and lucrative centres of mining in the world. According to a Pentagon memo, Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium”, with one location in Ghazni province showing the potential to compete with Bolivia, which, until now, held half the known world reserves.”

Determine True Costs
http://seattlepi.com/specials/mining/26875_mine11.shtml
“Gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals for free. Land for $5 an acre or less. It’s pretty much the same deal miners have had for 129 years, ever since Congress approved the General Mining Law in 1872. Modern mining methods have left the West pockmarked by huge craters, some so large that they are visible from space. Under terms of the antiquated law, miners cart away everything from gold to kitty litter from public lands — minerals worth about $11 billion in the last eight years alone. Not only does the U.S. Treasury get nothing, Congress has granted miners a tax break worth an estimated $823 million in the coming decade. Over the years, public lands the size of Connecticut have been made private under terms of the 1872 law, all for $2.50 to $5 an acre, though not all of it has been used for mining. Like the better-known Homestead Act, which offered free land to anyone willing to farm it, the mining law was intended as an incentive to those willing to push West and settle the frontier. That frontier was closed long ago, but the mining law remains on the books and very much in use. Not all critics of the 1872 law call for reform because of environmental damage. Some are galled by the fact that the law, breaking with tradition, allows miners to dig a fortune from public land without giving a share to the American citizens who own it. In 1920, Congress removed oil, natural gas and other minerals that could be used for fuel from the 1872 Mining Law. Instead, the government would lease the rights. And in 1977, Congress decreed that miners of coal on federal land would have to pay a royalty of 8 to 12.5 percent, and clean up after themselves. The government in the past decade has collected $11.08 billion from companies taking coal, oil, and natural gas, plus $35.8 billion in rents, bonuses, royalties and escrow payments for offshore oil and gas reserves. Still, hard-rock miners pay nothing for the gold, silver, platinum, copper and other minerals they get. Walish, the manager of Cambior’s Top of the World project, joins many in the mining industry in warning, “If massive royalties are put on federal land, you’re going to see a lot less mining.”

Distribute Equally
http://nytimes.com/2003/09/10/world/struggle-for-iraq-iraq-s-wealth-popular-idea-give-oil-money-people-rather-than.html
“The notion of diverting oil wealth directly to citizens, perhaps through annual payments like Alaska’s, has become that political rarity: a wonky idea with mass appeal, from the laborers in Tayeran Square to Iraq’s leaders. American officials have projected that a properly functioning oil industry in Iraq will generate $15 billion to $20 billion a year, enough to give every Iraqi adult roughly $1,000, which is half the annual salary of a middle-class worker. ”A fund like Alaska’s is the best way to prevent one kleptocracy from succeeding another in Iraq,” Mr. Clemons said. ”It would go a long way to curbing the cynical belief that Americans want Iraqi oil for themselves, and it would give more Iraqis a stake in the success of their new country. It would be the equivalent of redistributing land to Japanese farmers after World War II, which was the single most important democratizing reform during the American occupation.” Thomas I. Palley, an economist at the Open Society Institute, proposed dividing a quarter of the oil revenue each year among all adults in Iraq. Oil companies would not be directly affected by an oil fund, since they would be paying the same taxes and fees no matter what the government did with the money. But they could benefit indirectly if citizens eager for higher payments pressed the government to increase production and open the books to outside auditors. ”The oil industry likes working in countries with dedicated oil funds and transparent accounting, because there’s less loose money to corrupt the government. Corruption is bad for business,” Mr. West said, ”because it creates instability. In places like Alaska and Norway, people support the oil industry because they see the benefits. In places like Nigeria, they see all this wealth that doesn’t benefit them, and they start seizing oil terminals.”

Namibia Pilot Program
http://usbig.net/links.html
http://globalpolicy.org/home/211-development/48036-a-basic-income-program-in-otjivero.html
“Haarmann is talking about Namibia the way a doctor discusses a patient’s symptoms. “Here,” he says, scrolling through his statistics, “more than two-thirds of the population live on less than $1 a day. The basic income scheme,” says Haarmann, “doesn’t work like charity, but like a constitutional right.” Under the plan, every citizen, rich or poor, would be entitled to it starting at birth. There would be no poverty test, no conditions and, therefore no social bureaucracy. And no one would be told what he or she is permitted to do with the money. The concept is being discussed in many countries of the world. In Germany, it has gained the support of politicians across the political spectrum, including Dieter Althaus, the conservative governor of the eastern state of Thuringia, and businessmen like drugstore chain owner Götz Werner. More than 50,000 German citizens have signed a petition to the German parliament. The pilot project is taking place in Otjivero, a settlement of 1,000 inhabitants in a hot and dusty region 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Windhoek. A few weeks ago, Dirk Haarmann published his annual report: economic activity in the village has grown by 10 percent, more people are paying tuition and doctors’ fees, health is improving and the crime rate is down. Only 3 percent of the gross domestic product, or €115 million, would be enough to provide a basic income for all Namibians.”

METHANE-BASED

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/methane-based/

the Simplest Answer is Often Correct
http://nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/titan20100603.html
What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?
“Two new papers based on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan’s surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized “methane-based life.” One key finding comes from a paper that shows hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan’s atmosphere and disappearing at the surface. Another paper maps hydrocarbons on the Titan surface and finds a lack of acetylene. This lack of acetylene is important because that chemical would likely be the best energy source for a methane-based life on Titan. One interpretation of the acetylene data is that the hydrocarbon is being consumed as food. On Titan, where temperatures are around minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit, a methane-based organism would have to use a substance that is liquid as its medium for living processes, but not water itself. Water is frozen solid on Titan’s surface and much too cold to support life as we know it. The list of liquid candidates is very short: liquid methane and related molecules like ethane. While liquid water is widely regarded as necessary for life, there has been extensive speculation published in the scientific literature that this is not a strict requirement. In addition Cassini’s spectrometer detected an absence of water ice on the Titan surface, but loads of benzene and another material, which appears to be an organic compound that scientists have not yet been able to identify. “Titan’s atmospheric chemistry is cranking out organic compounds that rain down on the surface so fast that even as streams of liquid methane and ethane at the surface wash the organics off, the ice gets quickly covered again,” Clark said. “All that implies Titan is a dynamic place where organic chemistry is happening now.””

Methane-Based Life
http://dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/03/life-of-saturns-titan-could-it-be-methane-based.html
“Saturn’s giant moon Titan has water frozen as hard as granite and Great Lakes-sized bodies of fed by a complete liquid cycle, much like the hydrological cycle on Earth, but made up of methane and ethane rather than on water. Methane-natural gas-assumes an Earth-like role of water on Titan. It exists in enough abundance to condense into rain and form puddles on the surface within the range of temperatures that occur on Titan. “The ironic thing on Titan is that although it’s much colder than Earth, it actually acts like a super-hot Earth rather than a snowball Earth, because at Titan temperatures, methane is more volatile than water vapor is at Earth temperatures,” even going so far as to call Titan’s climate ‘tropical’, even though it sounds odd for a moon that orbits Saturn more than nine times farther from the sun than Earth. But on Titan, which rotates only once every 16 days, “the tropical weather system extends to the entire planet.””


The team found two types of bacteria living in Lost Hammer that feed off the methane and likely breathe sulfate.

Non-Hypothetical
http://sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=73778
Bacteria Suited for Life on Mars Discovered
“Researchers have discovered that methane-eating bacteria survive in a unique spring located on Axel Heiberg Island in Northern Canada. The Canadian spring’s sub-zero water is so salty it doesn’t freeze and it has no consumable oxygen in it. There are, however, big bubbles of methane that come to the surface, which had provoked the researchers’ curiosity as to whether the gas was being produced geologically or biologically and whether anything could survive in such an extreme hypersaline sub-zero environment. “We were surprised that we did not find methanogenic bacteria that produce methane at Lost Hammer,” Whyte said. “But we did find other very unique anaerobic organisms — organisms that survive by essentially eating methane and probably breathing sulfate instead of oxygen.””

Flammable Methane Rivers, Flammable Methane Rain
http://newscientist.com/article/dn6910-methane-rivers-and-rain-shape-titans-surface.html
“Hills made of ice and rivers carved by liquid methane mark the surface of Saturn’s giant moon. Scientists speculated long ago that some kind of hydrocarbon liquids might flow on Titan. They now know that the fluid that carved the moon’s rivers and channels is methane. “Titan is a flammable world.” But all the oxygen is trapped in ice. “That’s a good thing, or Titan would have exploded a long time ago.”


imagery from Galileo showing emission of gases

NO SERIOUSLY

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/no-seriously/

Exopolitics (n. art or science of government as concerned with creating/influencing policy toward extraterrestrial beings)

As In : Are State Secrets Safe From Telepathy?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8662822.stm
http://trueslant.com/juliaioffe/2010/05/05/serious-allegations-kalmyk-governor-leaks-classified-information-to-humanoid-aliens/
“A Russian MP has asked President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate claims by a regional president that he has met aliens on board a spaceship. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader of the southern region of Kalmykia, made his claim in a television interview. MP Andre Lebedev is not just asking whether Mr Ilyumzhinov is fit to govern. He is also concerned that, if he was abducted, he may have revealed details about his job and state secrets. The MP has written a letter to Mr Medvedev raising a list of his concerns. In his letter he says that – assuming the whole thing was not just a bad joke – it was an historic event and should have been reported to the Kremlin. He also asks if there are official guidelines for what government officials should do if contacted by aliens, especially if those officials have access to state secrets. During the interview, Ilyumzhinov openly discussed his 1997 encounter with benevolent aliens: he came home to his Moscow apartment, watched some TV, read a bit, and drifted off to sleep. Mid-drift, he heard the balcony door open. Then someone called to him. Ilyumzhinov went to check it out, only to discover a hovering transparent tube, which he, naturally, entered. Inside, humanoids in yellow spacesuits awaited him. They had a pleasant talk, which occurred on the level of mindwaves because, Ilyumzhinov said, “there wasn’t quite enough oxygen.” The humanoids, who were friendly, told Ilyumzhinov that they were not yet ready for direct contact with human humans. Instead, they gave him a tour of the ship and sent him on his way. Lebedev wants to know, did Ilyumzhinov let the President know about his contacts with such beings? And, while we’re at it, “who else among the governors of the Russian Federations, members of the government, and other federal civil servants is communicating with aliens?” “Dmitry Anatolyevich,” Lebedev wrote, addressing the Medvedev by his patronymic, “you will agree that, unless Ilyumzhinov is bluffing, then this information is historically significant. If possible, I ask you to brief the deputies of the Federal Duma about your conclusions.” Medvedev has yet to respond.”

Need to Know
http://extracampaign.org/
http://bluebookarchive.org/
http://presidentialufo.com/

the Disclosure Project
http://disclosureproject.org/
http://youtube.com/user/DisclosureLobby
http://disclosureproject.org/docgallery.shtml
http://web.archive.org/web/20021202090635/http://www.cohenufo.org/Military+Nuclear+Specialists+Testify+To+UFO+Reality.htm

Lt. Colonel Dwynne Arneson, US Air Force (retired): “I was the top-secret control officer at Malmstom AFB for the 20th Air Division. I happened to see a message that came through my communications center. It said…that ‘A UFO was seen near missile silos’…and it was hovering. It said that the crew going on duty and the crew coming off duty all saw the UFO just hovering in mid-air. It was a metallic circular object and from what I understand, the missiles were all shut down. What I mean by ‘missiles going down’ is that they went dead. And something turned those missiles off, so they couldn’t be put back in a mode for launching.”

Acknowledgment
http://aolnews.com/weird-news/article/exopoliticians-say-governments-must-start-planning-for-alien-visits/19456520
“According to Salla, the issues include deciding how the alien presence will be announced (he advocates announcing the presence of microbes and working up to more sentient beings), and who will be in control — a secret committee or a corporate entity. Of course, another big issue is determining the protocol for contact between humans and aliens, lest either side be exposed to strange viruses, a Romeo and Juliet situation between Martians and Earthlings — or worse. “A big question is how will humans interact with aliens,” Salla said. “If someone is threatened by one, will they take a shot at them while driving by? And, if so, will this be as illegal as shooting a human?” Luckily, for Salla and the others in this pioneering form of paranormal political science, they aren’t the only ones asking these questions. “In the last six months, both the Vatican and the Royal Society of London have held astrobiological conferences studying the implications of life found on other worlds,” he said. Other exopoliticians, like political activist Stephen Bassett, believe that the governments of the world — especially the United States — don’t want to give such a momentous announcement to the U.N. Although Bassett believes any such announcement would be made by one nation, Webre says he and other exopoliticians have been talking with members of the U.N. General Assembly regarding U.N. Resolution 33/426, which is a proposal to set up a Department of Extraterrestrials Affairs. Salla says the extreme divide between cynics like Hawking and optimists like the Vatican, which has declared that God may have created theologically minded beings on other planets besides Earth, is OK, just as long as the debate is happening. “While one can heartily disagree with Hawking’s public policy recommendation of ignoring intelligent alien life, he is to be congratulated for elevating exopolitical study as a ‘perfectly rational’ discussion,” Salla said.


UN report on UFOs 14-July 1978; Gordon Cooper, Jacques Vallee, Claude Poher, Allen Hynek, Sir Eric M. Gairy with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim

Hawking : ‘Think of Columbus, + How Well That Turned Out’
http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece
“Stephen Hawking has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity. He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.” He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

MALL FARMING

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/mall-farming/

Mall as Organic Greenhouse
http://deadmalls.com/
http://rentedspaces.com/2010/03/12/future-farmers-of-the-mall/
“Shopping malls may be on the brink of major reinvention and adaptive reuse…as farms. The Galleria Mall in Cleveland, Ohio is leading the way by growing organic food for mall patrons and local restaurants. The mall has transformed the lost retail space within its glass-top confines into a gigantic, organic-food greenhouse. The idea sprouted when the mall’s marketing and events coordinator Vicky Poole teamed up with Jack Hamilton, a business owner in the Galleria. Together they began operating Gardens Under Glass, a hydroponic garden in the Galleria at Erieview in downtown Cleveland. The project is funded by a $30,000 start-up grant from the Civic Innovation Lab. Gardens Under Glass at the Galleria will start with lettuce, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and herbs, and, if successful, add fruits, more vegetables and edible flowers. Food will be raised hydroponically, aquaponically and in organic soils through a combination of raised beds, vines and vertical structural supports. The plan also includes composting and using nutrient-rich waste from aquariums to nourish the plants. The duo hopes that the project will be a model for sustainable farming, while bringing additional visitors or curious onlookers to the mall’s stores. If successful and implemented at the mall on a larger scale, Gardens Under Glass could help extend Ohio’s short growing season and increase the amount of food dollars spent locally. It could also serve as a case study for communities struggling to figure out productive uses for otherwise underutilized or abandoned shopping malls. The adaptive reuse of the space is not without obstacles. For example, even though the glass ceiling provides ample light and the interior location significantly reduces possible pests, the mall was not built to be insulated and heated like a typical greenhouse. So, hardy crops need to be selected. Another challenge — and opportunity — is finding people to tend the mall’s gardens. For now, the workers will be volunteers, but one can easily imagine a future where farmers are hired to work inside the mall. It’s predicted that shopping malls and other “single use” structures will slowly disappear over the next thirty years. That could be the extreme pressure required for positive reinvention.”

Food Court
http://civicinnovationlab.org/newly_funded.aspx
http://web.me.com/gardensunderglass/gardensunderglass/Opportunities.html
http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/02/galleria_has_gardens_now.html
“Millions in Cleveland have passed through the Galleria at Erieview, sun glinting on its barrel-shaped glass roof. But it took a nurseryman’s granddaughter to look up and think: This place looks like a giant greenhouse. Now Vicky Poole, the Galleria’s marketing and events director, who worked on her grandpa’s farm as a child, expects that by late spring or early summer, there will be fresh tomatoes for sale among the shops and galleries at the downtown Cleveland mall. Very fresh — as in vine-grown in bags and troughs hanging from steel stair banisters and ceiling beams in the shopping center that stretches between East Ninth and East 12th streets. “I know of no other urban garden in the country like this,” said Hamilton about Gardens Under Glass. Poole got the idea last year when she spotted a photo of dozens of plants growing on a two-story window grid in a New York cafe. “I said, ‘That’s our food court.'” They dream of hosting school groups and teams of volunteer urban gardeners eager to work beds of herbs and greens and vine systems raised hydroponically, aquaponically and in organic soils. On Thursday, Poole gave a presentation to the Cleveland chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, composed of professionals and students. “One of the students came up to me after and said, ‘Have you ever considered growing aereoponically?’ ” said Poole. “I invited him to come in and help me set up a system.”

Because of Ohio’s short growing season and the fact that the Galleria will not be heated to greenhouse temperatures, Poole is focusing on easily raised greens, herbs and tomatoes. That is good news for the manager of Sweetwater’s Cafe Sausalito, a long-established Galleria restaurant. He sells a lot of salads at lunchtime. “I’m very excited about the project,” said Chandrababu, who has already given a list of the herbs the restaurant uses to Poole. Michele and Mark Bishop, who operate Urban Organics from their Brunswick farm, will soon provide Sweet Peet, an organic mulch, as well as organic soils to Gardens Under Glass. Meanwhile, Poole, 57, and Hamilton, 44, have collected products from other such vendors to grow the plants they are purchasing with grant money. “So far, we haven’t had to pay for a thing,” said Poole, who is also searching for a composting system that would take care of scraps from the food court. Within two weeks, two portable 6-by-12-foot beds will be installed on the first floor of the Galleria, where passers-by will watch greens grow. “We’ll be propagating seeds for that this week,” said Poole. By summer, she expects lush banister mountings of greens and tomatoes. “It will be beautiful.”

Contact
Vicky Poole & Jack Hamilton
http://facebook.com/gardensunderglass
e-mail : gardensunderglass [at] yahoo

Seed Libraries
http://seedsavers.org/
http://www.ecologycenter.org/basil/
http://treehugger.com/files/2010/05/maker-faire-2010-seed-libraries-prove-tough-to-sprout.php
“SPROut is based on gardeners taking only the seeds they need for the plants they’re really going to grow (one doesn’t need a whole packet of seeds of broccoli when they only have room for 5 plants) and bringing back at least one seed of that type of plant. The more gardeners who participate, the more diverse the seed library becomes as members contribute the plants that they enjoy the most.

Co-operatives
http://www.ncba.coop/ncba/about-co-ops
http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/13/cooperatives-co-op-leadership-citizenship-ethisphere.html
“Many co-ops, from purchasing ones–people who pool together resources to buy in bulk–to agricultural ones, have reported positive or at least even sales through the recession. Why? Perhaps at least partly because the public has grown more hospitable to cooperative values. Cabot Creamery, an agricultural cooperative that sells dairy products nationally, hasn’t suffered during the recession. The people there believe it’s because of customers’ affinity for their brand, which stresses its ownership by farmers and its stewardship of the land. Most U.S. farmers don’t own the brands under which their goods are sold; they’re just atomized commodity producers. At Cabot each farmer can participate democratically in running the co-op. That and their shared ownership gives them great loyalty to it. Cabot’s strengths have kept it financially healthy even as households have cut back on spending.”


Farmland in Trinoma’s center lobby

GOD-LIKE

from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/god-like/

Scientists Create Synthetic Organism
http://npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127010591&ft=1&f=1001
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559004575256470152341984.html
“Scientists for the first time have created a synthetic cell, completely controlled by man-made genetic instructions. Created at a cost of $40 million, this experimental one-cell organism, which can reproduce, opens the way to the manipulation of life on a previously unattainable scale. Several companies are already seeking to take advantage of the new field, called synthetic biology, which combines chemistry, computer science, molecular biology, genetics and cell biology to breed industrial life forms that can secrete fuels, vaccines or other commercial products. Synthetic Genomics Inc., a company founded by Dr. Venter, provided $30 million to fund the experiments and owns the intellectual-property rights to the cell-creation techniques. The company has a $600 million contract with Exxon Mobil Corp. to design algae that can capture carbon dioxide and make fuel. To make the synthetic cell, a team of 25 researchers at labs in Rockville, Md., and San Diego, led by bioengineer Daniel Gibson and Mr. Venter, essentially turned computer code into a new life form. They started with a species of bacteria called Mycoplasma capricolum and, by replacing its genome with one they wrote themselves, turned it into a customized variant of a second existing species, called Mycoplasma mycoides, they reported. To begin, they wrote out the creature’s entire genetic code as a digital computer file, documenting more than one million base pairs of DNA in a biochemical alphabet of adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. They edited that file, adding new code, and then sent that electronic data to a DNA sequencing company called Blue Heron Bio in Bothell, Wash., where it was transformed into hundreds of small pieces of chemical DNA. To assemble the strips of DNA, the researchers said they took advantage of the natural capacities of yeast and other bacteria to meld genes and chromosomes in order to stitch those short sequences into ever-longer fragments until they had assembled the complete genome, as the entire set of an organism’s genetic instructions is called. They transplanted that master set of genes into an emptied cell, where it converted the cell into a different species. The scientists didn’t give the new organism its own species name, but they did give its synthetic genome an official version number, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0. To set this novel bacterium—and all its descendants—apart from any natural creation, Dr. Venter and his colleagues wrote their names into its chemical DNA code, along with three apt quotations from James Joyce and others. These genetic watermarks will, eventually, allow the researchers to assert ownership of the cells. “You have to have a way of tracking it,” said Stanford ethicist Mildred Cho, who has studied the issues posed by the creation of such organisms.”

No Gods No Masters
http://edge.org/3rd_culture/age_of_wonder10/age_of_wonder_index.html
http://guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/may/20/craig-venter-life-god
“Craig Venter’s production of an entirely artificial bacterium marks another triumph of the only major scientific programme driven from the beginning by explicit atheism. Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, was a militant atheist, who refused to accept a job at a newly founded Cambridge college if it had a chapel, and who invented molecular biology partly to prove there was nothing special or mystical about life: it was just the behaviour of complex chemicals acting in accordance with the normal laws of nature. Now Venter says he has built a living bacterium from nothing but chemicals and code: “Our cell has been totally derived from four bottles of chemicals”, he says. In fact, it was grown using yeast as an intermediary, but to the molecular biologist, organisms are just another kind of apparatus. It looks like the complete triumph of the materialist programme. Atheists of the Dawkins type will take it as practical proof that there is no need to hypothesise God at all: we can make life without any miracles, and there’s no need to imagine a creator. Descending from these rarefied speculations, there’s a much lower and more urgent sense in which Venter will disturb theologians and atheists alike. The man who can make life can also give humans apparently godlike powers. “We are as gods and might as well get good at it” said the Californian visionary Stewart Brand 40 years ago; and Venter’s techniques should make it possible to engineer bacteria to do almost anything we can imagine, from cleaning up the oceans to supplying us with energy. The bacteria found in nature can work like the philosophers” stone, transforming almost any substance into anything. The trouble with gods, as the Greek philosophers observed, is that they were not any morally better than humans, just more powerful.”

1st Self-Replicating Synthetic
http://jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/first
http://jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell/overview/
http://jcvi.org/cms/fileadmin/site/research/projects/first-self-replicating-bact-cell/fact-sheet1.pdf
http://sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/science.1190719v1.pdf

Previously On Spectre _ Pan-Fried T-Rex with Apricot Mint Chutney Glaze
http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/pan-fried-t-rex-with-apricot-mint-chutney-glaze/
Algae to Oil – Hacking Nature (for Salvation and Profit)
http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/hacking-nature-for-salvation-and-profit/