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Author Topic: Blasts from the 2012 to 2013 past when there was more HOPE 🌟  (Read 441 times)

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AGelbert

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Fossil fuels are "CHEAP", have a "HIGH EROEI", nuclear fuels are "too cheap to meter" and I sell bridges in Brooklyn and used cars on the side!
 
Quote
Surly said,

Got a source for thsi graphic AG?

If a picture is worth ten thousand words . . . that is worth many more. Have never seen the case made so clearly and simply.

RE answered,
I sourced it. Comes from Clean Technica.

Thanks RE.


Surly,
I have a small confession to make.   I added the "too cheap to meter" and "High EROEI" print along with WTF!? It is factual and accurate to equate the two claims as part of a deliberate con to make those poisonous technologies appealing to WE-THE-PEOPLE. The $$$ subsidiy numbers are bona fide.

I'll dig up the whole story with more graphs and "fun" details from the Union of concerned Scientists about how "versatile" hydrocarbons are in finding new and imaginative ways to make people sick and post it on my news channel.

If you find it convincing enough, you may want to send it the the Diner FB page. People need to have their noses rubbed in this every now and then in order to stop lamenting the coming demise of Big Oil and, instead, START LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!  ;D

I just LOVE to expose Big Boyz Mendacity, Propaganda and Too-clever-by-a-half BULLSHIT!  ;D
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AGelbert

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Solar — A Disruptive Technology (Graph)May 6, 2013 Zachary Shahan
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/06/solar-a-disruptive-technology-graph/#4v1VXoYOrAOfC4pp.99


Agelbert NOTE: As you can see below, this great trend continues to this day: 

Renewable Energy Clean Energy tech cost reductions up to and including 2017
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AGelbert

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Learn EXACTLY where your processed food like corn flakes or treats like oreo cookies and m&ms, etc. come from, who works the supply chain and how they are treated all along the way. Ben & Jerry's is one of the top scorers but the "competition" among processed food giants is mostly for LOW scores.

Quote
Behind the Brands is part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign to help create a world where everyone has enough to eat. Right now, nearly one in eight people on earth go to bed hungry. Sadly, the majority of these people are farmers or farm workers supplying the very food system that is failing them.  Yet there is enough food for everyone. That’s an outrage – but we can be the generation that ends this crazy situation.

While the food system is complex and its problems multi-faceted, we know that the world’s largest food and beverage companies have enormous influence. Their policies drive how food is produced, the way resources are used and the extent to which the benefits trickle down to the marginalised millions at the bottom of their supply chains.

Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign aims to provide people who buy and enjoy these products with the information they need to hold the Big 10 to account for what happens in their supply chains. In putting together a scorecard based entirely on publicly available information on company policies, we posed the question “what are they doing to clean up their supply chains”?
 
The companies

The Behind the Brands Scorecard assesses the agricultural sourcing policies of the world's 10 largest food and beverage companies. It exclusively focuses on publicly available information that relates to the policies of these companies on their sourcing of agricultural commodities from developing countries.

We based our selection on companies with the largest overall revenues globally, as well as their position in the Forbes 2000 annual ranking, which measures companies on the basis of composite sales, assets, profits and market value.

The ten companies ("the Big Ten") assessed in the Scorecard (in order of company size) are:
 
Nestle
 PepsiCo
 Unilever
 Mondelez
 Coca-Cola
 Mars
 Danone
 Associated British Foods (ABF)
 General Mills
 Kellogg’s

 
The issues
 

The Scorecard looks at seven themes, weighing each theme equally. The seven themes are:

 
1.Transparency at a corporate level

2.Women farm workers and small-scale producers in the supply chain

3.Workers on farms in the supply chain

4.Farmers (small-scale) growing the commodities

5.Land, both rights and access to land and sustainable use of it

6.Water, both rights and access to water resources and sustainable use of it

7.Climate, both relating to reducing green house gas emissions and helping farmers adapt to climate change
 
The indicators

The Scorecard approaches six of the seven themes (all except transparency) in a similar way. Within these six themes, the indicators are grouped into four indicator categories (each worth one quarter of the score available for that theme): (i) awareness; (ii) knowledge; (iii) commitments; and (iv)supply chain management. These indicator categories rely on publicly available documents to address the following questions:

 1.Awareness: Does the company demonstrate general awareness of key issues relating to that theme and does it conduct projects to understand and address these key issues?

2.Knowledge: Does the company demonstrate it measures, assesses and reports key issues and facts specifically in its supply chains that relate to that theme?

3.Commitments: Does the company commit to addressing the key issues relating to that theme in its supply chains?

4.Supply chain management: Does the company require its suppliers to meet relevant standards related to that theme?

The transparency theme is structured differently. It has a broader focus and rewards companies for disclosure on cross-cutting and corporate level issues.

What we did not assess
 
Across the Scorecard, some important issues that relate to the policies and practices of companies are not assessed.  The scorecard is focused on the agricultural sourcing operations of the Big 10 companies so issues that do not relate to these “upstream” activities were not included.  This includes critical issues such as nutrition, some of which are covered by other initiatives. Other issues we could not assess include actual practices on farms and exactly how the Big 10, in practice, use their power to shape the behavior of their suppliers. Such issues were not included for the following reasons:
 
a) we decided that a particular issue was not linked closely enough to the lives of small-scale farmers, farm workers and communities in the supply chains of the Big 10;

b) we were unable to find indicators that could assess the issue adequately through use of publically available information; or

c) public information available was not of adequate quality and accuracy for us to assess companies.
 
Where to from here?

This is not a short term challenge, and we’re committed to sticking with it. We will update the scorecard regularly and will continue to improve and strengthen it over time.  The index tackles some cutting edge issues that will require rigorous debate and dialogue between companies, civil society and industry experts. For this reason, Oxfam will work with a range of stakeholders to improve how it assesses the companies, paying particular attention to new approaches to addressing supply chain issues. Through the life of the Behind the Brands campaign, Oxfam will conduct a yearly process of reviewing and improving the indicators that make up the scorecard and will be updating the data as it arises. We’ll also be looking and listening for specific cases where action can make an immediate difference.

 Right across the world, consumers are seeking to make choices in line with their values and are also looking to find out more about the companies whose brands they buy. Oxfam will keep working with people around the world – on Facebook, on Twitter and in person, to push those companies to do more to ensure we all have enough to eat, today and in the future.   


http://www.behindthebrands.org/en-us/brands
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AGelbert

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Quote
The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity just released a new video depicting destruction by Border Patrol vehicles driving through Organ Pipe National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge -- both designated wilderness areas in Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexico border. Cyndi Tuell, a Tucson-based conservation advocate with the Center, is featured in the video, called Too Many Tracks.
 
The ruts, tracks and new roads slicing through once-pristine wilderness are in areas where motorized vehicle travel is prohibited by law. In 2011 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documented more than 8,000 miles of vehicle tracks and roads in the refuge and linked much of that disturbance to U.S Border Patrol operations.
 
"These roads and vehicle tracks cause tremendous damage to some of America's wildest public lands," says Cyndi. "These are beautiful, fragile desert ecosystems that will take decades or even centuries to recover."

 
:(

Link to vimeo video here:
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2013/vimeo--02-2013.html


No doubt the meatheads get off on it too. Is there any more destructive entity on earth, in the history of the earth, than our Federal Government? Nope. (Unless you count a few meteorites, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.)
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AGelbert

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Cork flooring: one of nature’s best building materials

By Janice Howell

For the AJC

Cork flooring is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Although many people think cork is a relatively new and possibly unreliable flooring option, you can find examples of cork floors that were installed in buildings over 100 years ago.

Cork is an environmentally sound product and a rapidly renewable resource.

Many types of trees derive their value from the lumber in the trunk. Cork, however, comes from the bark of the cork oak, which grows primarily in Portugal. Cork is only harvested by hand to prevent harming the tree. Portuguese conservation legislation dates back to 1209, which is only a few decades after the country was formed.

No trees are cut down to harvest the bark, and cork trees produce new cork for re-harvest every nine years. A single cork tree can be harvested more than 20 times during its 250- to 300-year lifespan.

Cork has many attractive qualities. In your home, cork floors create a warm, comfortable, resilient surface that is gentle underfoot and quiet to walk on. Unlike harder surfaces, cork flooring reduces stress on the lower back, feet and joints.

Cork is a healthy floor choice due to its natural ability to repel dust, germs and mold.

Cork flooring is durable and requires no more maintenance than a prefinished hardwood floor. It’s maintained without any harsh chemicals or cleaners, making it the practical choice for any room, especially bathrooms, kitchens and kids’ rooms.

Most cork flooring products now utilize the floating method for installation. This method allows the product to “click” together and float over your sub-floor, which eliminates the need for adhesives.

It’s important, however, to have a flat and dry sub floor. That’s why we recommend that consumers hire a professional installer to ensure the best installation.

Cork flooring design options have exploded in recent years. Products are available in tile to hardwood plank shapes. Colors range from the traditional cork look to vibrant and bold colors. The wide range of colors and styles allow cork to be utilized in all types of decorating styles, from traditional to contemporary.

So check out the new looks of cork, one of nature’s best building materials. :emthup: :icon_sunny:

Janice Howell is vice president of MODA Floors & Interiors, a flooring and window coverings resource in Atlanta’s West Midtown Design District. www.modafloorsandinteriors.com.

http://www.ajc.com/news/business/real-estate/cork-flooring-one-of-natures-best-building-materia/nWhdQ/

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AGelbert

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Now here's something good and wild that you CAN eat!


Daylillies are known as the poor man's asparagus. A nice seasonal summer treat!
Cooking with wild edibles

Please Do Eat the Daylilies
 
Both the buds and the blossoms of daylilies are edible, a fact I regrettably learned only after I had dug out numerous flowering clusters encroaching on my lawn. But now I get a kick out of astonishing friends when I casually pluck a daylily "bean" from their backyard patch, and take a bite. Next thing you know, they're inviting me to gather a handful, which I'm happy to add to my next stir-fry. And they're happy to know that when the vivid flowers bloom, they will make a sweet-spicy bonus in the kitchen.
 
Daylilies are a common garden plant that have "gone wild." They're found throughout most parts of the United States from late spring through summer, often near sunny fields, roadsides and empty lots.   
 
Buds are distinguished from the plant's non-edible fruits by their layered interiors. Choose smallish buds that are just beginning to open and cook them as you would beans: boil and serve them with butter or add chilled, tender-cooked buds to salads. Or, if you happen upon a spicy batch (they're typically mild-flavored, like beans or zucchini), stir-fry them with Asian flavors.
 
Daylily buds will keep in the refrigerator for several days, but the delicate flowers (trumpet-shaped blooms that grow in multiples on a leafless stalk) should be consumed the same day they are picked; they are very short-lived. You can add the petals to egg dishes, soups and salads, or dip whole flowers in batter and deep-fry them, as you would squash blossoms.

http://www.organicvalley.coop/recipes/features/wild-edibles/please-do-eat-the-daylilies/

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AGelbert

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Dear Mr. Gelbert,
 
Today marks a historic moment as today is the first day that the marketing, import, and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients are no longer legal in the European Union (EU). The Physicians Committee spent years rallying support for this ban that will save the lives of countless rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats who suffer and die each year for cosmetics testing.
 
Two years ago, the Physicians Committee delivered nearly 25,000 letters from EU residents and people around the world to the European Commission (EC). The letters called on the EC to maintain its 2013 deadline for a ban on the marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals. Physicians Committee supporters Alicia Silverstone and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer also wrote letters calling for the ban.
 
This ban follows Israel’s Jan. 1 ban that no longer allows the import and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries, or household cleaners that were tested on animals. Earlier this year—encouraged by the EU’s approaching ban—India announced that it is also planning to impose a ban on testing cosmetics on animals.
 
But we’re not resting until the United States joins the EU and Israel. We’re talking with U.S. lawmakers, cosmetics manufacturers, and ingredient suppliers. Our new Come Clean campaign is working to end excruciating skin irritation and corrosion tests on animals. Come Clean asks cosmetics companies to reveal whether they perform these tests, so Physicians Committee scientists can help them transition to superior, cruelty-free test methods.
If the people of the EU, Israel, and India can safely use cruelty-free cosmetics, it’s time for the United States to join them and for all cosmetics companies to come clean.
 Sincerely,

Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H.
Director of Regulatory Testing Issues

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
PCRM's Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H. (info@pcrm.org)

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AGelbert

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Will the real Agelbert please stand up!

One of the reasons I chose the Bot Blogger alias, was from the back n forth with a certain poster called Cheryl on the Auto Earth. There was no doubt that 'she' (turned out to be a he) was provoking people to disrupt conversation, just at the time that news came out about the tendering of contracts by the US military for multiple online personality(avatar) management software, up to 20 identities at a time, by one person. If you aren't paranoid yet, it's time.

This is my take.

When this-shizz-got-real, not so long ago, with the development of the foxstead, the roller coaster took off and a bunch of people got alternately euphoric and queasy. Myself included. (Apologies if I offended you GO. Glad you're back. Love your posts.  )

This brings up feelings of security naturally, cause this all seems like a dream when you get right down to it, and who wants that to end? So people start to draw their lines of involvement. How deep could this go? Well, we just don't know. Are there threats from people of dubious identity? Sure. Are there people listening? Sure.

RE is proving himself to be a very competent manager of the ride, so far, and has established an inside and an outside. This doesn't happen magically, like taking the red pill, and we all don't have to become the Borg in the process...sorry for mixing my sci-fi metaphors.

In defense of Bob, I can imagine that he's just trying to protect y'all from the threats. And doing it from the outside ironically. LOL

Agelbert, took a break right after a big show down with Ashvin, saying he'd had enough of the style/tone/tendencies of the conversation. It only makes sense to me he would come back with a fresh approach to posts. I'm enjoying them all. I was grateful for the cat video right after the photo put up by Gypsy M, of the walk in the woods of SC. Brought a tear and a laugh, and I hate cats. Thanks GM and AG.

BTW go see Sugar Man, the documentary. It's is freakin' amazing and will make you hopeful for all of us. Needed that after reading about the scum Jim Steele.


Well done, AG.

My goodness, I seem to have created a fuss with my low stress hopium newfound posting style. I admit I am somewhat more laconic and controversy avoiding than before. A couple of visits to the ER will do wonders to get a person to modify his behavior in order to keep the blood pressure under control and possibly live a little longer. 

Thanks Surly, RE and Golden Oxen for recognizing it is really me that has returned from the dead (not literally but it was pretty damned close! :o). I have also been through a family tragedy. Last September my brother in law, ten years younger than me, was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer with mets to the liver. You can imagine all the internet research on cancer that followed in search of some therapy that would extend his life. He died Sunday, February 24, 2013.  :emthdown:

For those others who didn't recognize my writing style because it avoids controversy and a lot of back and forth fireworks, I wish to explain that my views on renewables, the biosphere and energy have not changed and I continue to plug my articles and comment posts on energy in the Waste Based Society Series that are parked here thanks to RE all over the web. I was gratified to see that Robert F. Kennedy Jr shares my views about fossil fuels (he calls them a theft of the commons).

Thom Hartmann has also come out plainly stating that fossil fuels were never cheap or cost effective so I am in good company. It was Grand Biosphere Poisoning and Robbery combined.  As time goes by I hope more will share this view and BYPASS the RULING CLASS with decentralization of energy use and distribution for a more democratic , equitable society that respects and blends in harmoniously with the biosphere for a truly livable planet. Until then I will continue my upbeat style of finding information and news to lift your spirits a bit along with some hard truths sprinkled in.

For those such as luciddreams that haven't read my stuff, the whole Waste Based Society Series, which includes  important historical articles by RE as well as my screeds, is an excellent big picture view of how we got to this clusterfuck and possibly how we can get out of it.

Everybody just do your thing because I am certainly going to do mine!  ;D


agb,

Thanks for understanding why I raised the uncomfortable question virtual pat down, and explaining the different online persona from last year. The post above was indubitably yours and not a Gitmo guard's while the real agb is cuffed and hooded in orange overalls. I never read your stressful stoush with ash, cant follow every thread in this multiplex, but it seemed then you were saying risky things about 911 radar when you suddenly dropped off the radar after being outspoken, and now saying very little, which I see is wise. Were meant to be crazy conspiracy theorists after all  :o 8).

Surly & GO
You were right this time, but what if you were not. According to Sophie Posel of Occupy Corporatism, Occupy mostly lost mojo because of cointelpro infiltrators, and others either calling out vs vouching for. Vetting for would have been better IMO, however awkward.

RE
2 olympic athletes, swimmers Nick Darcy and another were severely reprimanded and almost dropped from the team for visiting a gun shop and posing with guns and getting their picture taken, putting the pic on facebook. I dont own the computer Im on, a govt and private funded organizn does. I walk a fine line between standing tall and speaking up in the truth movement and being told to STFU, see, hear and speak no evil. Suppose some IT investigation pulls up me visiting pics of little girls with guns, it would be worse than getting caught surfing p o r n which would be reassurance im another typical sleeping sheep. You have my good will at DD because you proved for me how money will be worthless soon and just how many people are probably going to die, and convincing me to bug out instead of in. Ill keep you all posted how that goes, but create less work for you all for now.
 

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AGelbert

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Surly & GO
You were right this time, but what if you were not. According to Sophie Posel of Occupy Corporatism, Occupy mostly lost mojo because of cointelpro infiltrators, and others either calling out vs vouching for. Vetting for would have been better IMO, however awkward.


Bob,
NOBODY has to tell me about Occupy and infiltrators. You are correct.
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2013/02/27/looking-back-at-occupy-looking-forward/

Just suffice it to say, in this case, we stand by our earlier statement.

Bob,
Discretion is 100% of valor for me now.
8)

Now back to some more strange stuff to keep everyone interested.


Full Agelbert disclosure: I am a cat lover. My avatar is a Lemon Catnip leaf. I eat Lemon Catnip but I've never smoked it!

What Effect Does Catnip Have On Humans?
By: Tracy Hall

Have you ever watched a cat playing with a catnip toy and wondered what the experience was like? An estimated 70-90% of domestic cats have some reaction to this member of the mint family, and it's hard not to be curious. After all, who wouldn't want to share in the giddy frenzy or blissful relaxation of a playtime session with their feline friend? Throughout history many cultures have experimented with Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, the extent of which might surprise you.

For felines, the main attractant in catnip is a chemical called nepetalactone. This oil is metabolized in the cat's body and passes harmlessly through urine. How humans discovered the effect that the herb had on animals is unclear. It is also unclear when humans began using it for themselves. However, there are countless records of humans using catnip for medicinal purposes. Its use in the treatment of illnesses was prominent enough for catnip to be included in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1840-1890. Catnip has been used to treat nervousness, menstrual cramps, digestive tract irritation, colds, and the flu. It was only a matter of time before curiosity got the best of people and they decided to explore even more applications. Eventually there surfaced yet another potential use of catnip: as an intoxicant.

The intoxicating effect of catnip has long since been the stuff of urban legends. According to one paper on catnip, it was used as a "filler" in (or even in place of) marijuana in the 1960's. Today, an Internet search for "catnip human intoxicant" yields more than 10,000 results. Despite this number, the vast majority of published experiences have come from individuals, not research groups. Most indicate the ingestion of catnip via drinking tea or smoking, either by itself or mixed with tobacco. And the effects are...reportedly, nothing like Fluffy's.

Most people indicate mild feelings of relaxation or drowsiness, coupled with complaints of foul taste or smell. At higher doses, some users feel nauseous. Some have suggested that the lightheaded feeling sometimes caused by smoking catnip is due to simple lack of oxygen in the body. Notably lacking are the euphoric or hallucinogenic experiences suggested by feline reactions to the herb.

In short, catnip has a long history of human use and is still included today in many natural remedy compendiums. Although it might help quell a stomachache or calm frazzled nerves, humans experience few, if any, intoxicating effects from catnip. So when it comes to "feelin' groovy", it's best to leave the toy mice to the cats.

Resources:

http://www.herbcompanion.com/herb-profiles/herb-basics-catnip-not-just-for-felines-anymore.aspx
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/208/7/1190-a
http://www.springerlink.com/content/f613756573257t02/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480656/?page=2

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AGelbert

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How Does a Photo Influence Perceived Veracity of a Statement?



If only pictures were as informative as the one above.  ;D



Images that can set you up to believe a lie
Image on left warns of you of deceit (when there may not be any in order to undermine someone's credibility  ;)). Image on the right is a spoof on a misleading newspaper story (with the possible intention to inform you of a truth OR set you up to believe a true newspaper article was false!   :o


A truthful image from the UCS about Media propaganda. NOTE: Propagandists use an apparently truthful image (which is actually misleading and confusing) to set you up to believe a lie. SEE NEXT IMAGE BELOW: >:(


You would be amazed at how many people are fooled because they can't figure out the nonsense pie chart above and then swallow a lie of some sort (don't want to be accused of being "stupid").



Grossly Misleading IMPLIED promises for a PRO-Nuclear Power Propaganda Film marketed by Billionaire Paul Allen and investor in "future" nuclear power, Bill Gates. 

1. A clean area (nuclear power plants are highly toxic with continual risk of meltdown as well as radioactive waste storing dangers to the biosphere in general and humans in particular).

2. A cube/box promising pie in the sky unlimited energy (Clearly VIOLATING the laws of thermodynamics - they've done it before - in the 1950s with the "too cheap to meter" LIE).

3. A SINGLE cube/box, not many (implying a SINGLE - i.e. nuclear power -  SIMPLE (A Nuclear power plant is extremely complex) "Energy Solution" LIE.

All the above totally avoids the discussion of WHO WILL FINANCE AND INSURE (we-the-people) the nukes and WHO WILL PROFIT FROM THEM "private" investor one percenters connected to the government (Fascists' 'R' US) guarantees and land they are given for pennies. :P >:(


Yeah, it's funny! But imagine that you have never heard of photoshop or seen a cat before...
As ridiculous as it sounds, people exposed to enough photos of some animal doing unusually smart things will begin to unconsciously believe the animals in question are much smarter than they are. This technique is used in presidential photo ops quite effectively.  ;D REMEMBER, the image is a lead in to reinforce whatever the article or ad below the image says.  ;)


Impossible fruit Sometimes, in devious marketing, they will use an OBVIOUSLY false image as an attention getter; a sort of visual non sequitur to get you to turn your head. I say DEVIOUS because, depending on the location on the page, they may not want you looking too hard at something they HAD to print so they distract you with a strategically placed image.

There are many ways to use the above, including making the fruit look quite believable and nutritious prior to a pitch for some processed product like vitamins that are made from a tiny bit of some fruit extract and 47 other totally artificial ingredients, some of them carcinogenic!  ???

It's a jungle out there! >:(

Here's WHY propagandists can fool us easier with images/photos before an article than without them.

When a photo is added along with a statement, it tends to make a person more likely to believe the statement to be true. Research has found that when study participants are given a photo statement, they are more likely to believe the statement than when it is printed alone. This is thought to be the result of fluency, which means that the brain is more able to recall things if there are more items — such as pictures — associated with it. The more fluent an item, the more likely the brain might be to recall it and thus judge it as being true.   :o

More about truth:

•"Truthiness," a word coined by American comedian Stephen Colbert that means the intuitive feeling of truth without necessarily having evidence, was Merriam-Webster's word of the year in 2006.

•When a person has been in a relationship for an extended period of time, he or she is more likely to use the part of the brain responsible for habitual decisions and thus more likely to quickly believe his or her partner.

•People typically do not perceive strangers as being truthful. In one study, half of the people believed that a fellow participant would help them as promised, when the actual number was closer to 80%.

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-does-a-photo-influence-perceived-veracity-of-a-statement.htm

Agelbert NOTE: The last bit of info helps explain why a real con artist will NEVER expect you to trust him when he begins his approach, whether in his capacity as a government brainwasher or a corporate brainwasher (the common street con artist is much less a threat because they are not as informed on your habits and personality).
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'Wool': Why all the hype?

Hugh Howey and 'Wool' represent a story-book story about getting a book into print.

By Ben Frederick, Contributor / March 15, 2013

"Wool" was a New York Times bestseller before it was even released in print form.

It reads like the collective dream of authors everywhere. A writer closing in on middle age self-publishes a serial novel. The book slowly gains traction in the underground of the writerly world, selling for only $1 on e-readers.

Within a year, the writer has already made a million dollars all by himself. That's when the big publishing houses close in on him, trying to buy digital and print rights to the book with big seven-figure deals. But the author is making around $120,000 a month from book sales, so he turns them all down.

Until Simon & Schuster comes along and offers to buy just the print rights – leaving digital sales to the writer – for a six-figure sum.

Hugh Howey, author of the incredibly popular e-book "Wool" is the man who got to live this story. (A much more detailed version in the author's own words is available on IndieReader.com).

"Wool" is the story of the last remnant of humanity all living together in an underground silo. The only contact they have with the desiccated outside world is through cameras that transmit back to the silo. Sometimes, a member of the community will be sent to his or her death by cleaning the lenses of the cameras. According to the The Wall Street Journal Howey says he got the idea for "a future where people get all of their information from a single, unreliable screen" when he was watching cable news.

Howey seems to be the modern-day William Wallace of the self-publishing world. He refused "life-altering" sums of money in favor of a contract that, in his words, "when read, made [him] feel like a human being." His cry of "freedom" is being closely watched by publishers and authors alike. He has stated that he made a stand on the details of his contract to pave the way for other self-publishers, but that he didn't think any publisher would go along with the idea.

Simon & Schuster released the hardcover and the paperback editions at the same time and positive reviews are coming in from mainstream venues like The Washington Post and The Guardian, perhaps opening the door to a whole new wave of readers.

Howey's taken an unprecedented stand on his contract – refusing to sign the digital rights to his book over to a company that wouldn't necessarily be able to do much more for him than he had done for himself. "In the end," says Howey on IndieReader, "it turned out that it was easier for the publishing industry to change just a little bit, just a smidgeon, in order to accept me just the way I am."

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2013/0315/Wool-Why-all-the-hype

Good for Howey!   
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AGelbert

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The changing face of landscape photography - in pictures

As the Earth's landscapes rapidly change, so landscape photography embarks on a new era. Our changing environment provides the focal point for an exhibition at Somerset House in London, of 130 original photographic works taken around the world, from Mitch Epstein's image of an American oil refinery to Nadav Kander's smog-filled vision of the Yangtze river in China

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2013/mar/15/changing-face-landscape-photography-exhibition
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AGelbert

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Yes, I know Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar is no angel but what he did here was GOOD!

World’s Largest Solar Power Towers To Rise In California

March 15, 2013 Tina Casey
 
Two leading solar innovators have teamed up to build the world’s largest solar power towers in California, and we can all thank Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar for that. Abengoa and BrightSource Energy are the two companies involved in the project, a 500 MW (megawatt) utility scale behemoth called the Palen Solar Electric Generating System. Consisting of two 250-MW units, it will be located in a federally designated Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County, on public land administered by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management. It is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs (Keystone who?) when work starts at the end of this year, and it will generate enough clean energy to power 200,000 homes. Wait for it…Hey, we built this!

What Is A Solar Energy Zone?

We also got word today that Secretary Salazar has approved another 900 MW in new solar projects in the same Solar Energy Zone, so this is a good time to go over the whole concept of a Solar Energy Zone.

President Obama’s Solar Energy Zone initiative was finalized just last October. The intent is to streamline the process for approving utility-scale solar projects on public lands. In the context of a long history of leasing public land for fossil fuel and mining operations, there’s nothing new to see here.

The Riverside zone is one of 17 initial Solar Energy Zones located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The selection of the zones is based on solar potential, environmental impact and the availability of existing or planned transmission lines among other factors.

All together, the first 17 zones encompass a total of 285,000 acres of public land. To give you an idea of how pared-down that figure is from the amount of public land out there, another 19 million acres are potentially available for solar projects but were not included in the streamlined umbrella, and almost 79 million acres have been identified as “inappropriate for solar development” altogether.

World’s Largest Solar Power Tower

The Palen Solar Electric Generating System is one fruit of the Concentrating Solar Power Alliance, which Abengoa and BrightSource launched last year along with Torresol Energy. The aim was to put concentrating solar power front and center in the U.S. energy market, and it seems to have worked.

Concentrating solar power systems basically consist of a field of specialized mirrors called heliostats which aim reflected sunlight onto a relatively small central collector. The concentrated solar energy creates steam that powers a turbine.

The highlight of the Palen system is a pair of 750-foot tall towers. The heliostats are pole-mounted directly into the ground, which eliminates the need to level the ground to install concrete bases.

As a sustainability bonus, the Palen project was initially approved as a facility covering 4,366 acres. The tech partnership between Abengoa and BrightSource resulted in an improved design that shrank the footprint down to 3,800 acres. The new design will also use half the water needed under the original plan (for those of you new to the topic, conventional solar arrays use water as a coolant).

Oh Snap, Google!

Err…by the way, if that thing about “world’s largest solar power tower” rings a bell, you’re probably thinking about a Google solar energy investment of $168 million back in 2011 for the Ivanpah Solar Generating System in the Mohave Desert.

Ivanpah is another BrightSource Energy project. It includes 173,000 heliostats, which sounds pretty impressive. However, the Ivanpah solar tower is “only” 450 feet tall, which was apparently a record back in 2011. Sorry, Google.

Interior Department Steps Up

Under the Obama Administration, the Interior Department has been transitioning federal land use goals from straight-up fossil fuel and mining development to include alternative energy on the same footing.


Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/15/worlds-largest-solar-tower-to-rise-in-california/#3uEhVpOAHSSpxHQM.99
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AGelbert

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Third closest star system to Sun discovered

by phenomenica on March 12, 2013

in Space

Scientists have discovered two new stars that are said to be the third-closest star system to the Sun.

The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916.

The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University and a researcher in Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds.

Both stars in the new binary system are “brown dwarfs,” which are stars that are too small in mass to ever become hot enough to ignite hydrogen fusion.

As a result, they are very cool and dim, resembling a giant planet like Jupiter more than a bright star like the Sun.

“The distance to this brown dwarf pair is 6.5 light years, so close that Earth’s television transmissions from 2006 are now arriving there,” Luhman said.

“It will be an excellent hunting ground for planets because it is very close to Earth, which makes it a lot easier to see any planets orbiting either of the brown dwarfs,” he said.

Since it is the third-closest star system, in the distant future it might be one of the first destinations for manned expeditions outside our solar system, Luhman said.

The star system is named “WISE J104915.57-531906″ because it was discovered in a map of the entire sky obtained by the NASA-funded Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.

It is only slightly farther away than the second-closest star, Barnard’s star, which was discovered 6.0 light years from the Sun in 1916.

The closest star system consists of Alpha Centauri, found to be a neighbor of the Sun in 1839 at 4.4 light years, and the fainter Proxima Centauri, discovered in 1917 at 4.2 light years.

The findings are set to be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

ANI

http://www.phenomenica.com/
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AGelbert

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Excellent source of complex carbohydrates, manganese, Beta carotene and anti-oxidants!
Sweet Potatoes: History & Nutrition


Superstars of Nutrition... and More!

I once met a woman in her mid 70s who looked 35 and enjoyed a very active sex life. She was happy to share her secret: "I eat a sweet potato every single day," she said.

Sweet potatoes are superstars of not only nutrition, but some of the fun stuff too--giving a super boost to your libido, erasing PMS, making your skin younger and smoother, and (if we shift to the purple variety) possibly helping you live to well over 100 years old.

These foods, which are not potatoes at all actually, but belong to the Morning Glory family, are possibly THE most super of the super foods, if all is tallied.

Including but not limited to:

Beta carotene (vision, skin health, bone health and more)

Manganese (brain function, wound healing, balancing mood swings)

Hyluronic acid levels (keeps skin moist and joints lubricated)

Anti-oxidants (150% more than blueberries)

DHEA (young, vigor, hormone balancing)


Start eating both orange, yellow and purple sweet potatoes today and change everything for the better.

The video is about orange sweet potatoes but please also read this article at the website below about the Okinawa purple variety that is eaten by the longest living youngest looking people on the planet, the Okinawans!

http://www.alongerhealthylife.com/eating-for-longevity/okinawan-sweet-potato-boosts-your-anti-aging-defenses/

--Celia Farber

Celia Farber is the author of "Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS" (Melville House Press/2006) and her website is www.truthbarrier.com.

This video was produced by Superfoods

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