Boom Has 76 Pre Orders for Future Supersonic Passenger Jets

October 22nd, 2017

Via: TechCrunch:

Boom has a new design for its XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator jet, the working prototype aircraft it’s creating to prove out its tech before beginning work on building real, commercial supersonic passenger aircraft. The new design was revealed Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, along with new business milestones: Boom has orders for 76 aircraft thus far, across five airline customers.

That’s a lot of orders booked for an aircraft that doesn’t actually exist yet, from a small startup, but you can tell why airlines are excited. Boom’s promise is one of reducing flight time significantly on popular intercontinental business routes, with economics that will roughly match current business-class fares for travelers while offering sustainable economics for airplane operators at the same time.


Insect Ecosystem Collapse

October 22nd, 2017

Via: Guardian:

They are multitudinous almost beyond our imagining. They thrive in soil, water, and air; they have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every continent bar Antarctica, in every habitat but the ocean. And it is their success – staggering, unparalleled and seemingly endless – which makes all the more alarming the great truth now dawning upon us: insects as a group are in terrible trouble and the remorselessly expanding human enterprise has become too much, even for them.

Does it matter? Oh yes. Most of our fruit crops are insect-pollinated, as are the vast majority of our wild plants
The astonishing report highlighted in the Guardian, that the biomass of flying insects in Germany has dropped by three quarters since 1989, threatening an “ecological Armageddon”, is the starkest warning yet; but it is only the latest in a series of studies which in the last five years have finally brought to public attention the real scale of the problem.


Trump Says He’ll Allow Release of Kennedy Assassination Files

October 21st, 2017

My guess is that anything released will support the official narrative, but… Maybe not.

Via: AFP:

US President Donald Trump said Saturday he will allow long blocked secret files on the assassination of John F Kennedy to be opened to the public for the first time.

The November 22, 1963 assassination — an epochal event in modern US history — has spawned multiple theories challenging the official version that Kennedy was killed a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.

So the release of all the secret documents has been eagerly anticipated by historians and conspiracy theorists alike.

Trump’s announcement followed reports that not all the files would be released, possibly to protect still relevant intelligence sources and methods.

But Trump appears to have decided otherwise.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” he said in a tweet.

The files are due to be opened in their entirety Thursday, nearly 54 years after Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas — unless the US president decides otherwise.

Millions of classified Kennedy files have been made public under a 1992 law passed in response to a surge in public demand for disclosure in the wake of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-heavy movie on the assassination.

But the law placed a 25-year hold on a small percentage of the files that expires October 26.

Some reports put the number withheld at 3,100. Tens of thousands of files that had been released with portions blacked out are also set to be fully declassified.


Air Force Recalling Retired Pilots

October 21st, 2017

Via: USA Today:

President Trump signed an executive order Friday allowing the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty to address a shortage in combat fliers, the White House and Pentagon announced.

By law, only 25 retired officers can be brought back to serve in any one branch. Trump’s order removes those caps by expanding a state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush after 9/11, signaling what could be a significant escalation in the 16-year-old global war on terror.

“We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years,” Navy Cdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

But the executive order itself is not specific to the Air Force, and could conceivably be used in the future to call up more officers and in other branches.


Global Pollution Is the World’s Biggest Killer and a Threat to Survival of Mankind, Study Finds

October 21st, 2017

Via: USA Today:

Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world, accounting for three times more deaths in 2015 than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to a sweeping global study published Friday in The Lancet medical journal.

The report by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health blames pollution for an estimated 9 million premature deaths, about 15 times more than all wars and other forms of violence. It concludes that pollution “endangers the stability of the Earth’s support systems and threatens the continuing survival of human societies.”


Catalonia Crisis: Spain Moves to Suspend Autonomy

October 19th, 2017

Via: BBC:

Spain is to start suspending Catalonia’s autonomy from Saturday, as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence.

The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia’s leader said the region’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued “repression”.
Catalans voted to secede in a referendum outlawed by Spain.

Some fear the latest moves could spark further unrest after mass demonstrations before and since the ballot on 1 October.

Spain’s supreme court declared the vote illegal and said it violated the constitution, which describes the country as indivisible.


Over 30,000 Published Studies Could Be Wrong Due to Contaminated Cells

October 18th, 2017

Via: Science Alert:

Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades.

A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines, owing to so-called immortal cells contaminating other research cultures in the lab.

The problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells, or vice versa, or something else entirely.

If you think that sounds bad, you’re right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable.

“Most scientists don’t intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells,” explains one of the researchers, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

“It’s an honest mistake. The more concerning problem is that the research data is potentially invalid and impossible to reproduce.”

Related: Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Edward T. Haslam


UK Spies Using Social Media Data for Mass Surveillance

October 18th, 2017

Via: TechCrunch:

Privacy rights group Privacy International says it has obtained evidence for the first time that UK spy agencies are collecting social media information on potentially millions of people.

It has also obtained letters it says show the intelligence agencies’ oversight body had not been informed that UK intelligence agencies had shared bulk databases of personal data with foreign governments, law enforcement and industry — raising concerns about effective oversight of the mass surveillance programs.

The documents have come out as a result of an ongoing legal challenge Privacy International has brought against UK intelligence agencies’ use of bulk personal data collection as an investigatory power. (The group also has various other active legal challenges, including to state hacking).

It says now that the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) oversight body “sought immediate inspection when secret practices came to light” as a result of its litigation.

The use by UK spooks of so-called bulk personal datasets (BPDs) — aka massive databases of personal information — was only publicly revealed in March 2015, via an Intelligence and Security Committee report, which also raised various concerns about their use.


Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

October 18th, 2017

There are some similarities here to the well known accounts of trauma based mind control.

Via: New York Times:

Last March, five women gathered in a home near here to enter a secret sisterhood they were told was created to empower women.

To gain admission, they were required to give their recruiter — or “master,” as she was called — naked photographs or other compromising material and were warned that such “collateral” might be publicly released if the group’s existence were disclosed.

The women, in their 30s and 40s, belonged to a self-help organization called Nxivm, which is based in Albany and has chapters across the country, Canada and Mexico.

Sarah Edmondson, one of the participants, said she had been told she would get a small tattoo as part of the initiation. But she was not prepared for what came next.

Each woman was told to undress and lie on a massage table, while three others restrained her legs and shoulders. According to one of them, their “master,” a top Nxivm official named Lauren Salzman, instructed them to say: “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”

A female doctor proceeded to use a cauterizing device to sear a two-inch-square symbol below each woman’s hip, a procedure that took 20 to 30 minutes. For hours, muffled screams and the smell of burning tissue filled the room.

“I wept the whole time,” Ms. Edmondson recalled. “I disassociated out of my body.”

Since the late 1990s, an estimated 16,000 people have enrolled in courses offered by Nxivm (pronounced Nex-e-um), which it says are designed to bring about greater self-fulfillment by eliminating psychological and emotional barriers. Most participants take some workshops, like the group’s “Executive Success Programs,” and resume their lives. But other people have become drawn more deeply into Nxivm, giving up careers, friends and families to become followers of its leader, Keith Raniere, who is known within the group as “Vanguard.”

State medical regulators also declined to act on a complaint filed against another Nxivm-affilated physician, Brandon Porter. Dr. Porter, as part of an “experiment,” showed women graphically violent film clips while a brain-wave machine and video camera recorded their reactions, according to two women who took part.

The women said they were not warned that some of the clips were violent, including footage of four women being murdered and dismembered.

“Please look into this ASAP,” a former Nxivm member, Jennifer Kobelt, stated in her complaint. “This man needs to be stopped.”

In September, regulators told Ms. Kobelt they concluded that the allegations against Dr. Porter did not meet the agency’s definition of “medical misconduct,” their letter shows.

The proposition seemed like a test of trust. After Ms. Edmondson wrote a letter detailing past indiscretions, Ms. Salzman told her about the secret sorority.

She said it had been formed as a force for good, one that could grow into a network that could influence events like elections.

“No one goes in looking to have their personality stripped away,” he said. “You just don’t realize what is happening.”

Research Credit: PW


LAPD Becomes Nation’s Largest Police Department to Test Drones

October 18th, 2017

Via: Los Angeles Times:

After months of often-heated debate, a civilian oversight panel Tuesday signed off on a yearlong test of drones by the Los Angeles Police Department, which will become the largest police department in the nation to deploy the controversial technology.

The Police Commission’s 3-1 vote prompted jeers, cursing and a small protest that spilled into a downtown intersection just outside the LAPD’s glass headquarters — evidence of the opposition police have faced in recent weeks as they tried to reassure wary residents that the airborne devices would not be misused.


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