Literal Fur Babies: The Evolution of ‘Puppy Dog Eyes’

June 17th, 2019

Via: AFP:

The researchers found two muscles around the eye were routinely present and well formed in the domestic dogs, but not the wolves, and only dogs produced high-intensity eyebrow movements as they gazed at the human.

“It makes the eye look larger, which is similar to human infants,” Professor Anne Burrows of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, who was one of the co-authors, told AFP. “It triggers a nurturing response in people.”

Since the muscles were robust in the dogs but not wolves, “that tells us that that muscle and its function are selected,” she added.

The current study was led by Juliane Kaminski at the University of Portsmouth and also included researchers from Howard University in Washington and North Carolina State University.

It builds on past work, including a notable 2015 paper by a group of researchers in Japan that demonstrated that gaze exchange between humans and their pet dogs led to a mutual spike in the so-called love hormone oxytocin, similar to an effect seen between human mothers and their babies.

GPS Outage Would Cost U.S. Economy $1 Billion Per Day

June 17th, 2019

Via: Ars Technica:

Since becoming fully operational in 1995, Global Positioning System technology has become widely adopted in the United States and abroad. The concept of satellite-based navigation has become so essential that other world powers, including China, Russia, the European Union, India, and Japan, have all started building their own regional or global systems.

Now, one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject has assessed the value of this GPS technology to the US economy and examined what effect a 30-day outage would have—whether it’s due to a severe space weather event or “nefarious activity by a bad actor.” The study was sponsored by the US government’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology and performed by a North Carolina-based research organization named RTI International.

To The Stars Academy CIA UFO “Disclosure” Scam

June 16th, 2019

I began warning on Tom Delonge back in 2016.

My current best guess assessment of this To The Stars/CIA imbroglio is that it’s a high profile limited hangout. See, Limited Hangout: ‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects.

Via: Dark Journalist:

Electric Grids Down in Argentina and Uruguay

June 16th, 2019

In other news:

U.S. Ramps Up Online Attacks on Russian Power Grid, NYT Says:

The U.S. is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir Putin, the New York Times reported, citing current and former government officials.

While the U.S. has probed the Russian grid since at least 2012 and there’s no evidence it has turned off power, the Trump administration’s strategy has shifted more toward offense with the deployment of U.S. computer code inside the grid and other targets, the newspaper said. The effort has gotten far more aggressive over the past year, the Times quoted an unidentified senior intelligence official as saying.

The administration declined to disclose specifics, according to the report. However, National Security Adviser John Bolton said publicly on Tuesday that the U.S. is taking a broader view “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price,”’ the Times said.


The Russian Hackers Behind Triton Tried to Attack the U.S. Power Grid:

A hacking group linked to the Russian government has been attempting to breach the U.S. power grid, Wired reports.

The hackers have been tracked by security experts from the non-profit group the Electric Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and security firm Dragos. They warn that the hacking group has been probing the grid for weaknesses, searching for ways that they could access the systems.

Even though there are no signs that the group has succeeded in accessing the power grid, the attacks still have experts worried. And that’s partly because of the history of this particular hacking group: Xenotime, who created the infamous Triton malware. Triton attacked critical infrastructure like industrial control systems which are often used in power plants, and could have been used to cause massive destruction through tampering with power plant controls. That lead it to be labeled the “world’s most murderous malware.”

And now two entire countries just had their grids fail.

I wonder if this is blowback.

Via: BBC:

A massive electrical failure has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, according to a major Argentine electricity provider.

Reports said the power cut had also affected parts of Brazil and Paraguay.

Argentine media said the power cut occurred shortly after 07:00 (11:00 BST), causing trains to be halted and failures with traffic signalling.

It came as people in parts of Argentina were preparing to go to the polls for local elections.

“A massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power,” electricity supplier company Edesur said in a tweet.

Argentina’s energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, said the cause of the power failure had not yet been determined. He said power was being restored to some parts of the country, but added that the process could take several hours.

Edesur said that power had been restored to parts of Buenos Aires.

Uruguay’s energy company, UTE, said in a tweet that power had been restored to coastal areas.

The combined population of Argentina and Uruguay is about 48 million people.

The Wilson Leak: Latest Developments

June 16th, 2019

Via: Richard Dolan:

Drone Over Hong Kong Protests

June 15th, 2019

Via: Team BlackSheep:


June 15th, 2019

Via: Reuters:

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, in a dramatic retreat after anger over the bill triggered the city’s biggest and most violent street protests in decades.

The extradition bill, which would have covered Hong Kong’s seven million residents as well as foreign and Chinese nationals there, was seen by many as a threat to the rule of law in the former British colony.

Around a million people marched through Hong Kong last Sunday to oppose the bill, according to organizers of the protest, the largest in the city since crowds came out against the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations centered around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Demonstrations continued through the week and were met with tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets from police, plunging the Asian finance hub into turmoil and piling heavy pressure on Lam.

The Omnipresent Surveillance State: Orwell’s 1984 Is No Longer Fiction

June 14th, 2019

Via: The Rutherford Institute:

The government now has at its disposal technological arsenals so sophisticated and invasive as to render any constitutional protections null and void. Spearheaded by the NSA, which has shown itself to care little to nothing for constitutional limits or privacy, the “security/industrial complex”—a marriage of government, military and corporate interests aimed at keeping Americans under constant surveillance—has come to dominate the government and our lives. At three times the size of the CIA, constituting one third of the intelligence budget and with its own global spy network to boot, the NSA has a long history of spying on Americans, whether or not it has always had the authorization to do so.

Money, power, control. There is no shortage of motives fueling the convergence of mega-corporations and government. But who is paying the price? The American people, of course.

China’s Father of Electric Cars Says Hydrogen Is the Future

June 14th, 2019

I doubt it, due to the hassles related to producing and storing hydrogen and the near total lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

Toyota’s deranged pursuit hydrogen, despite all the obstacles, has caused it to look like a chicken running around with its head cut off as the industry pivots to battery electric. Toyota has been quietly researching solid state batteries, but that technology is a minimum of four to five years away. They can’t afford to wait.

So, that’s the state of things at Toyota, the global leader in fuel cell passenger vehicles.

Lithium ion has problems, but this is very much a case of better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

All of that said, if some wildcard technology, such as artificial photosynthesis, becomes truly viable… Who knows?

In that case, my guess is that hydrogen would work better at utility scale as an energy storage system to handle excess production from wind and solar. Even if there was some sort of massive improvement in hydrogen production efficiency, for passenger vehicles, you would still have problems with storing it and a lack of delivery infrastructure.

In summary:

Hydrogen for direct use in vehicles: Doubt it.

Hydrogen for grid scale energy storage: Maybe.

Via: Bloomberg:

His vision to make China an electric-vehicle powerhouse revolutionized the global auto industry, cementing a move away from the combustion engine. Now, Wan Gang says get ready for the next game-changing moment.

The world’s biggest car market is set to embrace hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles the way it did EVs, Wan, who’s been called the father of China’s electric-car movement, said in a rare interview in Beijing on June 9.

A former Audi executive who went on to become China’s science-and-technology minister, Wan convinced leaders two decades ago to bet on the then-untested technology of vehicle electrification, selling it not only as a way to boost economic growth but also to tackle China’s dependence on oil imports and its mounting levels of pollution. His strategy — using government subsidies to bring carmakers and drivers on board — made China home to one of every two EVs sold globally today.

And now it’s hydrogen’s turn, Wan said.

“We should look into establishing a hydrogen society,” said Wan, 66, who’s now a vice chairman of China’s national advisory body for policy making, a role that ranks higher than a minister and gives him a voice in the nation’s future planning. “We need to move further toward fuel cells.”

That means the government will commit resources to developing such vehicles, he said. While China plans to phase out the long-time subsidy program for the maturing EV industry next year, government funding for fuel-cell vehicles may stay in place to some extent, Wan said.

Mexico Refuses To Name International Figures Bankrolling Migrant Caravans

June 13th, 2019

Via: ZeroHedge:

After freezing the bank accounts of 26 individuals and entities amid a probe into human trafficking, Mexico has refused to name the account owners – some of which appear to have originated in the US, UK, African nations and Central America, according to Breitbart.

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