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© Copyright 1995 By NewHeavenNewEarth
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Wednesday, May 31, 1995
A New Age Of Miracles
Encounters With The Divine:
The Jerusalem Syndrome: A Gathering Of Messiahs
Network For Exceptional Experiences
Dreams, Visions & Revelations:
The Celestine Prophecy:
The Tenth Insight
Nuclear Waste Leak Update
1995 Still The Big Year
World War III & Turkey
Scallion Studios Off The Power Grid
Earth Festival Update
Ancient Eygpt: Cigar-Shaped Ships & Time Machines
California: Flood Crop Losses
California: Endangered Species Act Suspended
A Bad Year For Hurricanes
Midwest Floods Continue
Japan's New Early Warning System
PinPoint: Alternative Earthquake Predictions
Doomsday Cults On The Rise
Saving Rainforests Stirs Up Locals
Dino DNA & New Extinction Theory
Modern Man Younger Than Expected
Small Is Beautiful
"Chant" Monks Get Upset, Then Get Even
Hippies: CyberSpace Founding Fathers
Police Shut Down Japanese Access To The Net
INTELINK: Spies On The Internet
People Tracking Databases
Internet 1996 World Expo
The US Post Office: Headed For Extinction?
NHNE Donations & Sponsors
How To Join Us
Up & Coming Special Reports:
How To Tell The Sheep
From The Wolves In Sheep's Clothing
Barbara Marx Hubbard
A Summary Of Her Life, Visions And Work
A NEW AGE OF MIRACLES
"We are living in a new Age of Miracles. Despite declining church attendance on the continent, religious shrines and pilgrimage sites are attracting record crowds, from Fatima in Portugal to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The great religious shrines continue to draw millions of the faithful, to Varanasi in India, the Hindu 'City of Shiva' on the Ganges; to Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of Islam; and of course to Jerusalem, which is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Lourdes, in France, the most famous Christian shrine for healing, was welcoming five and a half million visitors a year by the early '90s, a million and a half more than came a decade before."
Dan Wakefield, "In Search of Miracles," New Age Journal, June 1995
Encounters With The Divine:
THE JERUSALEM SYNDROME: A GATHERING OF MESSIAHS
Jerusalem, which is one of the most important spiritual centers in the world, is also home to a peculiar psychological disorder. Each year, dozens of tourists end up believing that they are the Savior, or some other biblical figure, that have been given a special message by God. Called THE JERUSALEM SYNDROME, the psychological disorder mostly afflicts people from North America (usually America) and Western Europe. Cases are apparently split equally between Christians and Jews. Muslim tourists have managed to escape the disorder--so far, anyway.
Psychiatrists working at Kafar Shaul, a psychiatric Hospital in Jerusalem that treats people afflicted with this disorder, indicate that most of these people have a history of mental problems. In addition, they sometimes treat two or three messiahs at the same time. "But they don't fight about it," says Moshe Kalian, a psychologist at Kafar Shaul. "They are so sure that they are each the one and that the others will be revealed sooner or later as frauds."
The hospital's job is not to cure these patients, but rather, to simply calm the wouldbe messiahs down so they can be returned home. And, so far, there have been few escapes. One notable exception was an escape by a man who claimed to be Samson. A Canadian by birth, the burly tourist ripped the metal grille off a ward window and got as far as a local bus station before he was spotted by a hospital staff member and returned, without incident.
Source: Time, April 17, 1995 --DS
In five different cases over the past two months, Italians have reported blood or tears streaming from the eyes of Roman Catholic images. Although the Vatican dismisses the growing sightings, thousands of believers have created traffic jams and instigated a nationwide debate.
A ceramic mural of Padre Pio, a famous Catholic priest renowned for all kinds of miracles, was removed after countless pilgrims flocked to see the priest's ribs bleed. In an effort to undermine a plaster statue of Mother Mary that allegedly cried blood, a consumer group made a statue that cries and bleeds by remote control.
Sociologist Franco Ferrarotti summed up the ongoing Italian phenomenon (which has also been reported in other parts of the world), saying, "Whenever things aren't going right, there is always a Madonna that starts crying."
Source: Newsweek, March 27, 1995 --DS
NETWORK FOR EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES
Angelic visitations. Inner visions, voices, dreams and intuitions. Near-death experiences. Out-of-body experiences. UFO encounters. Many of these experiences, and others like them, have profoundly changed the lives of people who have experienced them. And now there is a network designed to explore and share information about these life-changing events.
The long-range goal of THE EXCEPTIONAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE NETWORK is to rejuvenate Western society. Current offerings include counseling centers for people having difficulty with their experiences, research projects and information exchanges. They also publish a newsletter called EHE NEWS.
Exceptional Human Experience Network, Inc.
2 Plane Tree Lane
Diox Hills, NY 11746
Source: Venture Inward, May/June 1995 --DS
Dreams, Visions & Revelations:
For those of you who are tired of hearing about the airy fairy world of intuition, dreams, visions, inner voices and angelic visitations, and long for some kind of scientific method to accurately predict the future, your ship may be coming in.
A project called "PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS" (which, of course, is named after the famous French seer), recently launched a site on the World Wide Web. Although the site only consists of a couple pages of information at the moment, the couple pages that are there, along with the framework that has been laid for future pages, is thought-provoking--and original.
In a nut shell, the people behind PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS believe that there are repeating patterns at play in the collective consciousness of humanity. They also believe that if a person could gather together enough data on human events, and organize those events into meaningful patterns with the aid of super-computers that can crunch huge numbers and endless variables, you might come up with a reliable method to predict future human events.
According to the material presented on the PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS web site, the idea to organize the seemingly chaotic events of human history into predictable future trends started with a research scientist named John A. Botherill back in 1978. Ever since then, a team of researchers has been working to develop Botherill's ideas into a regular, and reliable, method of predicting the future. And after two decades of tedious research, they think they have succeeded--succeeded enough anyway to finally offer "an ongoing and continuous flow of predictions... to anybody via computer links, fax services, or other means of distribution."
Although their PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS predictions aren't free, they claim their research team "is in the process of developing the most revolutionary resource of technical aids ever accomplished to forecast with very high accuracy the development of... future social and economic trends."
"The team of PN has been organized into a formal company which specializes in the interpretation of current affairs in social, economical, political and financial issues. With the help of computers, charts and other unique aids developed in-house, the team measures such data and compares them with available historical figures and statistical charts and then isolates wave-patterns and mathematically measurable indexes of social, economical, political and financial trends. Based on such comparisons and interpretation of data, PN makes predictions of the future. The unique technique and calculations developed by the team of PN such as "Sector Based Exhilaration Indexes" and "Lateral Social Web Structures," makes continuously important predictions possible."
Sounds, uhh, "scientific," but does it really work?
The PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS TEAM claims to have accurately predicted the following world events:
- The collapse of the Soviet Union
- The election of George Bush as President
- The "Black Monday" stock market crash--and recovery
- The failure of Mikhail Gorbachev and his resignation from office
- The end of 44 years of relative stability and the beginning of many warlike developments within the power structure of the former Soviet Union.
- 1989 was selected as "The Year of Great Significance," the year the team believes initiated an age of depression, terror and other manmade disasters.
- The failure of George Bush to be re-elected as President in 1992
Although the site doesn't mention how many predictions their team of researchers made, or what their overall percentage of hits and misses is, they did provide the following summary of what they see for the future:
"Many incidents will destabilize the world's economy and trigger political events leading eventually to hyper-aggression (open war), and a confusion of all social structures. Eventually, these climaxes will lead to a deep economic and social depression from which a "new world order" will arise, based on pacifism and constitutional restructuring."
The PN TEAM is also predicting another final and complete stock market crash in the mid to late '90s.
If you happen to be one of those who are interested in this kind of scientific fortunetelling, you're in luck, because PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS has several prediction packages to choose from:
- General forecasts about specific geographical and political areas.
- General predictions for business and product trends.
- For the serious business owner, PN will compile a forecast designed to meet your specific needs.
- And, perhaps best of all, the PN Team plans to provide many of its services online on a minute-by-minute basis. In addition, a fax service, satellite connection, and an interactive system that will allow subscribers, as well as one-time customers, to pose a specific question to their computer and receive a custom tailored analysis will also be available. PN expects this lightning fast service to work especially well for individuals who need to make quick business and political decisions.
So how can you sign up for all these great services? We don't know. The various areas on the Project Nostradamus web site that were supposed to give interested people more information, aren't yet operational.
But, don't worry. We'll keep you posted.
The URL for PROJECT NOSTRADAMUS is:
Email can be sent to:
The Celestine Prophecy:
THE TENTH INSIGHT
James Redfield has been busy writing a sequel to his best-selling book, THE CELESTINE PROPHECY. In the April, 1995 issue of Redfield's newsletter, THE CELESTINE JOURNAL, Redfield reported that he was holed up in a small room in Sedona, Arizona struggling to get THE TENTH INSIGHT on paper. According to the newsletter article, Redfield believes his next book will be finished in time for a November, 1995 release.
Meanwhile, THE CELESTINE PROPHECY is still selling briskly. This week, it is Number 4 on the New York Time's Best Seller List.
NUCLEAR WASTE LEAK UPDATE
In our last News Brief (News Brief 7) we mentioned another of Dannion Brinkley's predictions. Taken from Brinkley's best-selling book, SAVED BY THE LIGHT, we reported that Brinkley's prediction concerning a massive nuclear waste accident may be coming true.
Here, again, is Brinkley's prediction:
"A second nuclear accident appeared in the box [CHERNOBYL was the first nuclear disaster Brinkley claims to have accurately predicted], this in a northern sea so badly polluted that no ships would travel there. The water was a pale red and was covered with dead or dying fish. Around the water were peaks and valleys that made me think I was seeing a fjord like those in Norway. I couldn't tell where this was, but I knew that the world was frightened at what had happened, because radiation from this accident could spread everywhere and affect all of humankind. The date on the picture was 1995.
"The vision didn't stop there. People were dying and deformed as a result of these nuclear catastrophes. In a series of what seemed like television pictures, I saw cancer victims and mutated babies in Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland, not hundreds or thousands of people, but tens of thousands, in vast array of deformity, going on through generations. The poisons released by these accidents were carried to the rest of the world through water, which was tainted forever by this nuclear waste. The Being made it clear that humans had created a horrible power that had not been contained. By letting this power out of their control, the Soviets had destroyed their own country and possibly the world."
SAVED BY THE LIGHT, Chapter 5, "The Boxes of Knowledge," Pgs. 36-37
In News Brief 7 we reported on a story that appeared in the February-March, 1995 issue of NEXUS. And we also asked for help authenticating the NEXUS story which, among other things indicated that Moscow has admitted that it spent 30 years disposing of atomic waste by pumping it directly into the Earth--and that the dumping is continuing.
Since then, we have received confirmations from several sources, including articles that ran in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES and in THE TOWNSEND LETTER FOR DOCTORS. These sources confirm that Russia has indeed been engaged in the massive dumping of nuclear waste into rivers, lakes and oceans. Of special note is information from a July, 1994 Townsend Letter for Doctors which indicated that Russia had dumped at least 15 used nuclear reactors containing uranium fuel into the Kara Sea. According to this article, officials at the Northern Division of the Polar Institute of Fish and Oceanography in Arkhangelsk have reported that thousands of seals are dying of cancer. The Kara Sea and Arkhangelsk are located in the far northern regions of the former Soviet Union--the same general area that Brinkley predicted would be affected.
For more information about the nuclear program in Russia and the United States, as well as a process that may be able to neutralize nuclear wastes, you can write:
4510 E. Willow Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Ask for a reprint of an article entitled "The Roy Process For Neutralizing Nuclear Waste."
1995 STILL THE BIG YEAR
Scallion has been predicting for some time that 1995 would be the year that the major West Coast changes he envisions would begin. And he is continuing to say this. In the April, 1995 issue of his EARTH CHANGES REPORT, Scallion writes:
"I see a portion of the Imperial Valley under water this year. I see no turning back now. I believe all my predictions will occur regarding the West Coast. My visions are now in full color with no alternative aspects, or realities, to shift to. In other words, events will now unfold with no possibility of change. I suggest everyone living on the West Coast pay attention to their dreams and intuitive sense. Time is now very short. Earth changes in the year 1995 will create new maps of the West Coast."
In addition, Scallion is continuing to predict that his "4-Quake Scenario" will become active this year. (Scallion's 4-Quake Scenario begins with an earthquake in Japan, which triggers earthquakes in the Indian Ocean and/or South Pacific, followed by earthquakes in South America and, finally, the West Coast of America.) The recent 7.5 earthquake on Russia's Sakhalin Island (5/28/95) may be especially significant. Although it was not located in southern Japan, it is located in the same general area. It also triggered concern among Japanese earthquake experts who fear the Russian quake might trigger more earthquakes in Japan.
According to information in his most recent May, 1995 EARTH CHANGES REPORT:
"I expect a major quake, greater than 7.0, in May-June in southern Japan. This will signal the beginning of the second 4-Quake Scenario for 1995. All my sensors are now on alert. For May-June watch for quakes greater than 6.5 in northwestern Australia, Mexico, southern India, Iran, and northwest South America."
WORLD WAR III & TURKEY
Along with the various earth changes that Scallion has been predicting, he is also continuing to predict that World War III will be initiated by troubles in Turkey. According to Scallion's April, 1995 EARTH CHANGES REPORT:
"Religious civil unrest in Turkey has been one of my longstanding early warning sign predictions for the beginning frame of WWIII...
"Before this year is out, additional conflicts will occur in Turkey and adjoining countries. As to when WW III will officially begin, remember, history determines the date... For the United States, our official entrance into WW II began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). Based on what has occurred in Iraq, Iran, Bosnia, and is now occurring in Turkey, I believe WW III--the Great Holy War--has begun."
There has been growing unrest in Turkey--much of which has escaped mainstream news coverage. Along with recent riots and ethnic and religious disputes, Turkey is situated in a very volatile region of the world. To the east of Turkey lies Iraq, Syria and Iran, while on the west Turkey is affected by the conflicts in places such as Bosnia and Chechnya, where Muslims are being badly beaten by superior Serbian and Russian forces. Turkey, a nation of some 60 million people, most of whom are Muslim, has been deeply disturbed by these ethnic and religious conflicts, which have tended to feed the growing Islamic fundamentalist movement in Turkey (and elsewhere for that matter).
SCALLION STUDIOS OFF THE POWER GRID
Is Scallion taking his own predictions seriously?
The April, 1995 issue of Scallion's EARTH CHANGES REPORT mentions that Scallion's new studios, located in southern New Hampshire, recently demonstrated its ability to operate free of the main power grid. Scallion conducted a live satellite video program with people gathered together at the EARTH FESTIVAL conference in Dallas, Texas.
According to Scallion, "We have now demonstrated our emergency delivery system running under emergency power. When the grid begins to go down we will be able to keep you informed."
EARTH FESTIVAL UPDATE
And what about the EARTH FESTIVAL conference?
As reported in News Brief 6, the EARTH FESTIVAL conference was organized by Annie Kirkwood and her husband, Byron. Annie is the author of "Mary's Message To The World" while Byron is the author of "Survival Guide For The New Millennium." Together they run B&A Products, a small company that specializes in end-time books, resources and survival kits.
According to their April/May MARY'S MESSAGE newsletter, the conference was attended by 500 people (they had expected 800). People from a total of 36 states, plus Australia and Canada, attended.
Scallion's presentation was one of the highlights of the conference. Although Scallion didn't go into detail about what he said during the conference in his April newsletter, he did mention the topics he covered: UFOs & ETs, earth changes 1995-2001, the three days of darkness, the collapse of the U.S. monetary system, the 13 colonies of the new U.S., the coming tent cities in California, the coming nuclear power plant meltdown in the U.S., World War III, the coming nuclear war, migrations, why people are guided to move to key areas in the U.S., the new spiritual awakening, the coming new energy systems of the world, comments on the photon belt, and the birth of an additional sun in this decade.
An audio tape of Scallion's talk can be ordered by calling his toll-free number: (800) 628-7493 and asking for "Gordon-Michael Scallion Live at the Earth Festival."
ANCIENT EGYPT: CIGAR-SHAPED SHIPS & TIME MACHINES
Well, after our last two reports that spelled out what Scallion expects archeologists to find in Egypt this year (in News Brief 6 & News Brief 7), I didn't think he could come up with anything more far-fetched. But I was wrong. In his most recent EARTH CHANGES REPORT (May, 1995), Scallion shared more about the visions he claims to have had during his recent trip to Egypt.
Out of the gate, Scallion makes it clear that these were visions unlike those he has become accustomed to.
"The visions I received at Giza are quite different from the visions I've been receiving since 1979. Typically, when I see a vision it's like viewing a split screen, like watching two or three aspects of the same scene. Not so at Giza."
According to Scallion, the visions he saw, which he described in great detail, were so real that he felt he was there. In addition, Scallion claims that these visions were "the most amazing experience" of his life.
So what new pieces did Scallion add to his unique portrait of ancient Egypt? Two areas, in particular, seem worth mentioning.
First, Scallion claims to have witnessed how the Great Pyramid was constructed. Whereas Edgar Cayce indicated it was constructed by using a force that caused the massive stones to swim through the air, and whereas most modern archeologists believe it was constructed by carting the enormous blocks over a complicated system of ramps, Scallion thinks the blocks were transported using large cigar-shaped flying machines.
"In the air was a large cigar-shaped flying machine which resembled a hot air balloon. Cables hung down from the craft to anchor points below. Workers dressed in white kilts with cloth hats extending down to shoulder length, were removing stones from cradles that were housed below the craft. The activity reminded me of today's helicopters that can transport heavy materials in cradles supported by cables. I could see other air ships coming into the area being guided by anchor cables from point to point. Each ship carried a series of carriages, one stone to each carriage, with markings on each stone in glyph form. Herein lies yet another possibility in the pyramid puzzle: air ships were used to transport the stones from the quarries to the site, not barges, rollers, and ramps!"
Scallion's vision also included detailed descriptions of a semi-tropical climate and ancient prehistoric birds that were chased away by men using a sling that created a high pitched noise that the giant birds found offensive.
The second aspect of Scallions visions relates to the purpose of the great pyramid. According to Scallion, an inner voice told Scallion that "the great pyramid is a time machine."
A time machine that provided "a way to communicate with the Lord and His angels."
In addition, Scallion's inner voice indicated that the great pyramid also served several other purposes.
"The machine's purpose, as constructed, was multiple in design. Bending time was its focus so as to provide a process for initiation. However, the manner in which this was accomplished provided other benefits for its people. These varied from increased crop yield, weather control, a form of electrical power, and a learning institute for the study of the heavens--astronomy, astrology and cosmic forces, mathematics, chemistry, inner world dimensions, and the seven levels of initiation."
So how, exactly, was the pyramid turned into a time machine? According to Scallion's inner voice, the chambers of the great pyramid were designed to be filled with gases that would help create portals to other dimensions.
"Stones in specific portions of the instrument were set in place with a sealer-adhesive that allowed for airtight chambers and passageways to exist. The gases were a mixture of gasses brought up from deep within the Earth...
"...When tuned properly, a time-space shift occurred... and, depending on the chamber selected, the desired result would occur: a portal opened."
What can I say? Scallion has managed to add a few more visions to the increasingly bizarre world of ancient Egyptian myths, legends, hypotheses and wild speculation.
Americans spend about $110 billion annually on cancer treatment, nearly two percent of our GNP and 10 percent of our total health care bill. The American Hospital Association predicts that, by the year 2000, cancer will replace heart disease as the nation's leading killer.
Cancer, in other words, is epidemic in America.
Why? Up until now the American Cancer Association and most medical practitioners would tell you that smoking and diet is responsible for perhaps two thirds of all cancers. The rest can be blamed on a host of other factors: excessive sunbathing, which promotes skin cancer; occupational exposure, especially among asbestos workers; genetic proclivity to cancer; excessive drinking; and infectious diseases like AIDS.
Now, however, a new, exceedingly sinister and all-pervasive area is beginning to get some attention: toxic chemicals.
Traditionally, the medical establishment has dismissed the role toxic chemicals play in causing cancer, saying that their presence, which is often measured individually, rather than collectively, is insignificant. In other words, the minute presence of one exceedingly toxic chemical, like DDT for instance, is harmless. But what happens when you multiply the minute presences of a horde of highly toxic chemicals?
"No matter how well you've lived over the years, whether a pure vegetarian or beef-eater, city-dweller or Eskimo, you live on a polluted planet. Measurable quantities of chloroform, freon and carbon tetrachloride flow from lungs when you breath, and your fatty tissue and blood carry trace amounts of the infamous DDT and its breakdown partner DDE. Every man's semen swims with 35 different kinds of PCBs, plus ethers and phenols, and every woman's breast milk boasts a Frankensteinian brew of the pesticides chlordane, dieldrin, lindane and mirex, mixed with some 65 isomers of PCBs and dioxins.
"Greenpeace reports that, through activities as diverse as incinerating trash, spraying crops, chlorinating drinking water and bleaching paper, your body is burdened with some 177 different kinds of organochlorines, reactive compounds with carbonchlorine bonds that include pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, solvents, acids and more. The environmental Protection Agency's reassessment of the dangers of dioxin, the chemical that shuttered Times Beach, Missouri in 1982 and earlier rained over Vietnam in the defoliant called Agent orange, calculates that the average American carries some 40 to 60 parts per trillion of dioxin compounds in our tissues, a level of exposure that, while minute, is 'very near the levels expected to cause adverse health effects.'
"Toss into your tissues the heavy metals lead (in food and air), mercury (mostly in fish [and fillings]), cadmium (in food and cigarette smoke), chromium (a by-product of steel production) and arsenic (from pesticides and burning coal). Throw in a pinch of radioactive strontium 90 (from nuclear testing) in your bones and iodine 131 (concentrated in milk since Chernobyl) in your thyroid. Shake vigorously... and the cancer war has just begun. For while industry has introduced anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 synthetic chemicals into the environment, the National Research Council has substantive toxicity data available on a meager two percent of the chemicals used in commerce. While some 1,500 new chemicals--plastics, solvents, cleaning agents and reformulated fuels--enter the marketplace annually, underfunded government watchdogs check the toxicity of only about a dozen, or maybe 20. That's it.
"We know that 750 million pounds of some 20,000 different pesticide potions are poured over the American landscape annually, and regulations legally allow for 40 pesticides in carrots, 67 in strawberries and 82 in grapes. A 1992 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study concluded that the average American shopping trip is laden with some 60 to 80 pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides and fungicides--several of them, considered carcinogenic--though, of course, all at 'acceptable levels.'"
I guess you get the picture. We are all walking timebombs.
So now that we know what is roaming around our blood stream and planetary eco-system, what can we do about it?
Short of demanding that all of the problems outlined above are stopped and cleaned up immediately (including whatever personal contribution we are making by buying and using harmful products ourselves), here is a list of ten simple ways to lower our personal cancer risk:
1. Don't smoke
2. Eat organic food
3. Stopping eating fat (avoid meat--mostly red meat, and fast food joints)
4. Eat more cancer killers (cauliflower, carrots, onions, garlic and tofu)
5. If you are a man, wear boxer shorts (the rapid rise in testicular cancer and dramatic drop in sperm counts may be caused by testicles being held too close to bodies)
6. Avoid alcohol
7. Avoid too much sun
9. Find ways to reduce stress
10. Learn to laugh (laughter releases cancer-killing chemicals into the bloodstream)
Source: "Toxic Shock: The Environmental-Cancer Connection" by Mike Weilbacher, The Environmental Magazine, June 1995 --DS
Well, if there weren't enough health hazards for us to worry about, the human race is also faced with a growing list of potentially deadly plagues.
Plagues, of course, have always been a part of human history--and the history of other earthly creatures for that matter. Sometimes these plagues simply kill off hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people, but the culture as a whole remains relatively stable. At other times the plagues not only kill off vast numbers of human beings, but they rewrite history in the process, sometimes in a matter of days, or weeks.
The Bubonic Plague, or Black Death, of the 13th and 14th centuries killed off a full quarter of Europe's population, but European populations recovered. Natives in South and Central America weren't as fortunate. Smallpox epidemics, which were carried to the new world by Europeans, not only killed off millions of natives but they are often sighted today as the main reason Europeans were able to successfully dominate, enslave and ultimately destroy the far-flung and deeply established civilizations of the new world.
Plagues, in other words, have done more than kill off human beings. They have been a powerful evolutionary force that have sometimes dramatically changed the course of history. Recently, some scientists have even suggested that a plague of some kind may have been responsible for wiping dinosaurs off the face of the earth.
With this in mind, we have to wonder where the modern epidemics of AIDS, ebola, cholera, dengue fever, diphtheria, the hanta virus, lassa, and others, may be taking us as a species. When the smoke clears, what new cultures, trends and peoples will emerge?
Although no one knows what effect these modern day plagues will ultimately have on human civilization, what is known is that new viruses are emerging "with terrifying regularity" (Newsweek, May 22, 1995) and that we are unprepared to deal with global epidemics, even though our highly mobile species makes such epidemics a growing likelihood.
Ironically, many of these new plagues can be attributed directly to human meddling. It is, in other words, our own thoughtless cramming of millions of people into densely populated areas, our own careless invasion and destruction of delicate eco-systems, and our own experiments gone amiss that may, in the end, be more responsible for epidemics than Mother Nature or her tiny little microbes.
CALIFORNIA: FLOOD CROP LOSSES
The recent flooding in California has done more than riddle the state with National Disaster areas. It has also affected the rest of the country by damaging California produce. So far, the California Department of Flood and Agriculture estimates:
- 7,018 acres of almonds were lost (worth $37 million)
- 10,206 acres of broccoli were lost (worth $65.4 million)
- 10,753 acres of lettuce were lost (worth $70 million)
- 743 acres of strawberries were lost (worth $25 million)
- 220 acres of wine grapes were lost (worth $6.3 million)
Source: Newsweek, March 27, 1995 --DS
CALIFORNIA: ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT SUSPENDED
California's crops and people weren't the only thing that suffered during the recent massive flooding. So did many of California's endangered species: first, because of the flooding and, second, because California Gov. Pete Wilson signed an order suspending the California Endangered Species Act so farmers could clear their flood-ravaged lands.
Farmers have complained that endangered species regulations prevent them from dredging rivers, building higher levees and, in some instances, even clearing away brush. Some of these actions might have prevented, or minimized, flooding in some areas.
Source: Reuters --DS
A BAD YEAR FOR HURRICANES
Looks like a bad year for hurricanes.
William Gray, the professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University is predicting 6 hurricanes this year, two of which could be killers with winds greater than 100 mph. If Gray's predictions come true, that would make this hurricane season the worst in five years.
Why are Gray's predictions worth taking stock of? Gray has an unusually high rate of successfully predicting hurricanes. In the past eleven years, he has successfully predicted 54 of 57 hurricanes.
Gray made his predictions at a four-day conference in April that was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The conference was attended by 1,200 meteorologists, insurers, disaster experts and emergency management officials. Gray made his predictions based on numerous factors, including wind patterns, air pressure and El Nino.
Source: The Earth Changes Report, May 1995 --DS
200,000 head of cattle have been killed and water supplies have been severely depleted by the most severe dry spell to hit northern Mexico in more than 50 years. The states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas suffered an estimated $72 million in damage. Mexican government officials asked for Texas to make water available from the Rio Grande River. But officials in Texas refused.
Source: Chronicle Features, Earthweek, May 26, 1995 --DS
MIDWEST FLOODS CONTINUE
While Mexico is shrivelling up due to lack of water, a seemingly endless wave of torrential rains and severe thunderstorms kept floodwaters high over parts of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Several agricultural levies around St. Louis collapsed. Although the levy breaks helped lower the level of the Mississippi, many farmlands were flooded in the process. Illinois's governor asked President Clinton to declare two of his state's hardest-hit counties federal disaster areas.
Source: Chronicle Features, Earthweek, May 26, 1995 --DS
In still another Earthweek article, Taiwan is reporting that an alarming seven percent of the island is sinking into the ocean! The report said 400 square miles along the western shoreline and Taipei basin have been sinking into the Pacific at a rate of about nine feet during the past 14 years. $224 million were spent last year to build support structures along the coast, and to relocate numerous buildings, including schools.
What is causing this dire situation? Taiwan blames the problem on illegal pumping of underground water reserves.
Source: Chronicle Features, Earthweek, May 26, 1995 --DS
JAPAN'S NEW EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
Japan's Meteorological Agency has introduced a new nationwide fast-warning system to alert authorities and the media about earthquakes within minutes of them happening. Comprised of 152 unmanned observatories around the country, double the previous number, the new system will detect and automatically report moderate or stronger earthquakes within two minutes.
In addition, the new system will also transmit specific data on the strength and precise location of earthquakes and tsunamis within five minutes after the tremor, twice as fast as previously. The agency said it moved to upgrade the warning system after tidal waves caused by an undersea earthquake measuring 7.8 on the open-ended Richter scale devastated the tiny island of Okushiri in northern Japan in July, 1993. More than 200 people were killed and hundreds injured in that earthquake.
Source: Reuters --DS
PINPOINT: ALTERNATIVE EARTHQUAKE PREDICTIONS
Speaking of earthquakes and early warning systems, PINPOINT, an electronic newsletter published by Robert Shannon is presently studying, tracking and sharing various alternative methods of earthquake prediction.
With a mailing list of over 400 people, many of whom are professional geologists and seismologists, Shannon regularly makes earthquake predictions himself and tracks the predictions of others. Some of these predictions come from inner experiences like dreams, while others are based on physiological reactions. Shannon, for instance, who began publishing his newsletter as a way to better understand his own experiences, got involved in the earthquake predicting business some 14 years ago when he noticed he suffered serious physical and emotional disorders just before an earthquake occurred.
And he's not the only one to suffer bizarre physical and emotional disorders just prior to earthquakes. Several other people on Shannon's mailing list claim to suffer similar symptoms.
Just how much mileage--and accuracy--is Shannon able to squeeze out of his unsettling pre-quake experiences? He claims to be accurate about 80% of the time. What's more, he, and many of the folks he regularly compares notes with, all say that Gordon-Michael Scallion's time tables and predictions are very similar to their own!
PINPOINT is available free of charge. You can subscribe by writing Shannon at: Bob_Shannon@RedwoodFN.org
In addition, Shannon also has his own web site on the World Wide Web. His URL is: http://www.execpc.com/~bblick/pinpoint/
DOOMSDAY CULTS ON THE RISE
As the year 2000 approaches, an increasing number of doomsday groups are appearing on the scene. Although many of these end-time groups are harmless, a few have turned out to be dangerous, and, in some cases, deadly. While groups like Jim Jones and the Swiss Order of the Solar Temple have taken mostly to killing themselves, other groups, like the Japanese group, Aum Shinriyo, have taken to killing others, sometimes indiscriminately.
Bruce Hoffman, director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, points out that there are at least a dozen groups that are driven more by religious than political zealotry. And religious zealots, according to Hoffman, are more interested in wiping out entire classes of people, than scoring political blows. In addition, millennial cults may be particularly prone to violence because their belief that a catastrophic war or natural disaster will land them in paradise.
The bottom line: According to Hal Mansfield, a Colorado expert on alternative religions, "This is only the beginning as the year 2000 approaches. We're in for a helluva ride with these millennial groups."
Source: Newsweek, April 3, 1995 --DS
SAVING RAINFOREST STIRS UP LOCALS
Douglas Tompkins, co-founder and ex-president of San Francisco clothing maker Esprit de Corps, spent the last four years--and $15 million--quietly buying up 667,000 acres in a remote area of southern Chile. His goal: to turn his newly acquired land into a national park, protecting it forever from the ravages of modern civilization.
Unfortunately, many of the locals apparently think he is crazy. Some of them have begun to spread angry rumors (saying, among other things, that Tompkins is planning to turn his acreage into a Jewish state--a groundless rumor). Worse yet, Chilean congressmen are demanding an investigation.
Why all the fuss, especially when the country of 14 million adopted a law encouraging private investors to create nature preserves? Tompkins admits that he his bewildered. He thinks the problem is that Chileans have a hard time understanding why it is necessary to set aside large chunks of land that people can't live on and develop. Many irrate Chileans, on the other hand, seem to be upset that a foreigner now owns 20% of their local province. In addition, at least some Chileans, notably a Roman Catholic archbishop, feels that Tompkins' New Age leanings mark him as "an anti-Christian pagan."
Source: Newsweek, May 22, 1995 --DS
DINO DNA & NEW EXTINCTION THEORY
Chinese scientists recently announced that they had obtained DNA from a 70 million year old fossilized dinosaur egg. This is the first time gene material has ever been found in fossilized eggs and it brings the scientific community one step closer to duplicating the feats popularized by Steven Spielberg's movie, "Jurassic Park."
Elsewhere in China, Chinese and German scientists have unearthed 305 dinosaur eggs in 24 nests at the site, which is located in central Henan province. They have also discovered fossilized dinosaur skeletons, tortoises and dinosaur footprints.
Dinosaur eggs dug up in southern Guangdong province are providing another possible breakthrough. These eggs contain traces of a disease in the thickness of the shells. Believing the disease was related to an imbalance in the dinosaur's diet, scientists are adding another theory to how dinosaurs became extinct: they are speculating that a deficient diet may have been responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs worldwide.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, March 17, 1995 --DS
MODERN MAN YOUNGER THAN EXPECTED
In News Brief 5 we reported that scientists, using genetic techniques, have been able to determine that all human beings are surprisingly similar genetically, that surface differences like skin color are, in fact, only skin deep. What's more, they have also been able to determine that all modern humans also evolved in Africa and then spread out around the world.
Now scientists are saying that we are also a great deal younger than previously thought. Biologists at Harvard, Yale and the University of Chicago believe there is growing evidence that modern homo sapiens evolved some 270,000 years ago--not a million years, as experts had previously theorized.
Source: Reuters --DS
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
An explosion in numbers is not the only thing worrying scientists who study humanity's effect on planet Earth. They are also starting to worry about an explosion in size.
According to Thomas Samaras, the author of a new book called "The Truth About Your Height," if humans continue to grow at the remarkable rate they have in the past century--averaging an inch a generation--there will be dire ecological consequences. If the US population grows a projected 20 percent taller in the next 150 years, Samaras predicts:
- Energy demands (on everything from refrigerators to houses) will increase by 50%.
- An additional 180 million acres will be needed to grow food.
- Three billion tons of carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere.
Samaras suggests that we might be able to avoid these dire consequences by turning our "tall is beautiful" culture into one that celebrates shorter, more compact bodies. He also suggests putting children (and adults for that matter) on a REAL diet for a small planet--a low fat, reduced calorie diet designed to keep growth in check.
The ideal size? According to Samaras, the ideal human being should be about five feet five, 110 pounds.
Samaras himself is a towering five foot ten, five inches taller than his ideal.
Source: New Age Journal, June 1995 --DS
"CHANT" MONKS GET UPSET, THEN GET EVEN
"Chant," the best-selling CD recorded by the singing Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo, was a record industry miracle. Not only did it sell 6 million copies and ascend to No. 3 on the pop music charts, but it grossed more than $50 million for EMI Records.
How much of that $50 million made it back to the chanting monks? A paltry $40,000. Why? EMI reportedly held the monks to a contract the Benedictines had signed 30 years ago that entitled them to only a flat $1,500 per record (the additional money came through a small royalty that was added later).
To add insult to injury, EMI also put a painting of brown-robed Franciscan friars on the cover instead of black-robed Benedictine monks.
Although EMI pocketed the lion's share of the profits from the monks' first album, the monks apparently learned their lesson--and changed record companies. Their second CD, "The Soul of Chant," was released last month by Milan Records. At present, it is No. 10 on the classical charts--and rising.
Source: Time, May 22, 1995 --DS
Most people tend to think that making stunning scientific breakthroughs, reporting on dramatic news stories or bringing peace to turbulent regions of the world are fundamentally more important jobs than baking cookies, cakes and pies. Be that as it may be, the bottom line is that a good baker can make more money than a Pulitzer Prize winning scientist or a Nobel Peace Prize winning statesman. Worse yet, even a Playmate of the Year (who doesn't have to do anything except take her clothes off) can win more prize money than a world-class journalist.
Here is a list of a few prestigious awards:
- Pillsbury Bake-0ff Grand Prize -- $1 million
- Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion -- $1 million
- Nobel Peace Prize -- $930,000
- MacArthur Fellowship -- Up to $375,000
- Playmate of the Year -- $100,000, plus a Chrysler Eagle Talon
- Goldman Environmental Prize -- $75,000
- Pulitzer Prize -- $3,000
Source: Time, May 22, 1995 --DS
HIPPIES: CYBERSPACE FOUNDING FATHERS
Along with flower power, free love, LSD, the peace movement and a migration back to land and spiritual communities, another legacy of the sixties generation is computers and the Information Superhighway. That's right, the counter-culture that spawned anti-war protests and scorned centralized authority are the main ones that launched the entire personal computer revolution. And what the '60's generation started, other counter-culture types have continued.
First there was Steve Jobs, a long haired, vegetarian hippie who dropped out of college and made a pilgrimage to India. Along with Steve Wozniak, the two Steve's developed and sold "blue boxes," outlawed devices for making free telephone calls. In their spare time, they also invented and launched APPLE COMPUTER, which, of course, changed the world by making computers "user-friendly" and putting them into the hands of the everyday person.
Next, there was Mitch Kapor, a former Transcendental Meditation teacher, who created a spreadsheet program called Lotus 1-2-3, which insured the success of IBM's Apple-imitating PC. In addition, Kapor also helped start the ELECTRONIC FREEDOM FOUNDATION, an organization that monitors and fights for personal freedom on the Internet.
Along with well-known and legendary figures like Jobs, Wozniak and Kapor, there are a host of other revolutionary types that created innovative, people empowering software, established altruistic trends (like distributing software as "freeware" and "shareware") and helped transform a system designed by the Defense Department to withstand nuclear strikes into a grass roots movement that is allowing human beings all around the world to dialog and share information with one another: the Internet.
In other words, the same essential counter-culture principles that guided the founding fathers of yesterday's personal computer revolution continues to guide and inspire today's global communication pioneers.
What, exactly, are those counter-culture principles?
A book written by Steven Levy, "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution," set out the five basic tenets of the personal computer revolution:
1. Access to computers should be unlimited and total
2. All information should be free
3. Mistrust authority, promote decentralization
4. You can create art and beauty on a computer
5. Computers can change your life for the better
Source: Time, Spring 1995, Special Issue: "Welcome To CyberSpace" --DS
Incredibly, scientists have discovered a way to take pieces of DNA--the genetic building blocks of life--and turn them into "molecular computers."
The ramifications of this are staggering. Not only are these new molecular computers based on biological systems that Mother Nature created, but they leave man's clumsy modern-day microchips in the dust. Some experts estimate that a system using a jug's worth of DNA can process more math than all the conventional computers in the world!
What's more, molecular computers may end up costing very little and requiring almost no energy to work. While biological calculations are slower than lightning-quick computer chips, their true strength is in their numbers. Whereas, it may take days for a massive super computer to crack a complicated math problem, it would only take seconds for billions of DNA processors to nibble it down to size.
On the negative side, no one knows how long it will take to transform this new discovery into something practical--say a DNA powered laptop. But a lot of people are working on it and since Mother Nature has already developed a planet full of working, highly complicated biological computer systems, it may be only a matter of time before man figures out how to duplicate Mother Nature's secrets.
Which leads to one more realization. Things are moving so fast, often into directions that are completely unexpected, no one knows where all of these new discoveries will take us. The only thing that is certain at this point, is that we are in for a series of increasingly astonishing breakthroughs.
Source: Newsweek, May 1, 1995 --DS
POLICE SHUT DOWN JAPANESE ACCESS TO THE NET
In a move that unleashed a fury of protest, Hong Kong police recently shut down almost all Internet access in Japan. While initial reports suggested the shutdown was due to police tracking computer hackers, later reports stated that Internet providers were unplugged due to disputes over government licensing of Net providers. Interestingly enough, the raid left Japan's most established provider intact and undisturbed--the only one in the country that wasn't affected.
Could a similar event happen in the United States? Not likely--and probably impossible. While Japan is the most advanced online market in Asia, only 10,000 people were affected by the crackdown. In addition, there are far fewer Internet providers. In the United States some 40 million people are presently online and online providers are located everywhere.
Mac Home Journal, June, 1995 --DS
INTELINK: SPIES ON THE INTERNET
Last December the CIA and the Pentagon kicked INTELINK, a world-wide computer network, into full operation. INTELINK, which borrows much of its technology from the Internet, has 35 intelligence organizations feeding it and so far more than 3,000 users, all with secret or top-secret clearances. Among other things, INTELINK allows White House aides, State Department analysts, Pentagon generals, even soldiers in the field, instant access to secrets on a vast array of subjects--more than 4 trillion bytes worth.
The agency's computer system, which is stored at Langley, Virginia, takes up two football field-size floors and has numbers and letters painted on walls, like parking lots, so technicians won't get lost. In addition to providing massive amounts of information at lightning quick speeds, the system also enables spymasters to convert satellite photos into virtual reality images. These virtual reality images can allow spys to wander through virtual streets, peer into alleys, and generally familiarize themselves with the dangerous area they plan to visit.
With all of this information gathered together in one place, isn't there a danger of someone breaking in and using it for no good?
CIA officials believe the new INTELINK system (as well as their own system for that matter) is virtually invulnerable to invasion by outsiders--and they also have elaborate safeguards built in to prevent insiders from abusing the system. Among other defense measures, the system runs on its own independent line or leases special lines from phone companies to send encrypted messages. In order to gain access to this system, a hacker would first have to wiretap a Defense Systems Network line, then break the sophisticated encryption of its messages, and finally steal a user's password.
In addition, insiders must pass a series of tests, including polygraph tests that ask them if they have ever tried hacking. Meanwhile, the agency also stages regular "red-team" exercises, during which various computer experts attempt to storm INTELINK'S defenses.
Source: Time, March 20, 1995 --DS
PEOPLE TRACKING DATABASES
Speaking of spying on the Internet, the common everyday person can also come up with an amazing amount of personal information. Using the PEOPLETRACKER DATABASE (CDB Infotech, 800-427-3747) a reporter for HOME OFFICE COMPUTING was able to find out Vice President Al Gore's and House Speaker Newt Gingrich's home addresses and phone numbers, their length of residency, the value of their homes, and their estimated incomes. How long did it take her to gather all of this information? 10 minutes.
How much information can we (or someone else) dig up about us on the Internet? Here is a list of what may be available:
- Your name
- Your age
- Who lives with you
- The ages of your spouse and children
- How much your house is worth
- Who you bought your house from
- When you bought your house and what size or type of dwelling it is
- Your neighbor's addresses and phone numbers
- What you earn
- Whether or not you have been incarcerated--and, if so, why and for how long
- Whether there are any federal or state tax liens against you
- Your creditors
- Your real estate holdings
- Whether you do business under another name
- Your property tax bill
- Whether you have violated environmental regulations
- Whether you have filed for bankruptcy
- If you have owned property that was foreclosed
- Your divorce record
- If you have been sued, or sued
On the positive side, there is still a chance you may not show up in any of the online databases. Why? Many of the online databases are new and still in the process of gathering information.
Source: Home Office Computing, June 1995 --DS
INTERNET 1996 WORLD EXPO
INTERNET MULTICASTING SERVICE is busily preparing a world fair based on the Internet. Due to run throughout 1996 and to remain a permanent presence on the Internet thereafter, THE INTERNET 1996 WORLD EXPOSITION is being sponsored by MCI, NBC, SUN MICROSYSTEMS and other corporations. At present, there are 24 different institutions participating. Current web sites include:
- A Public Park for the Global Village
- World's Fairs Ushered in the Industrial Age
- A World's Fair for the Information Age
- The Internet Railroad
- The Internet Town Hall
- The Reinventing Government Pavilion
- The Global Schoolhouse Pavilion
- The Industrial Exhibition
Although THE INTERNET 1996 WORLD EXPOSITION is being billed as a world event, judging by the poor turnout of international participation (Japan, Thailand, Holland and Great Britain are the only foreign countries presently mentioned), things look a little bit thin on that level. In addition, what is up and running also looks rather slim.
On the positive side, the expo is hoping to increase the Internet's global capacity by creating huge data storehouses linked by a new high-speed "Internet Railroad" that can haul data around the world at record speeds. It also has one of the largest collections of hard disk drives in the world (roughly a terrabyte of storage space--that's equivalent to a million floppy disks) and festivities are free--if you have access to a computer, modem and the Internet.
Their world wide web site is located at: http://town.hall.org/fair/
US POST OFFICE: HEADED FOR EXTINCTION?
The United States Post Office presently employees 780,000 employees at 40,000 branches. Their annual budget is $50 billion. But as big as they are they, like the dinosaur, are in danger of extinction.
While the total volume of mail delivered by the post office has actually risen 5% since 1988, business-to-business mail during that same period dropped an alarming 33%. Most of that traffic didn't disappear, it moved from letter mail to fax machines, email and electronic fund transfers.
The main reason businesses ( and private individuals) are switching from the post office to the computer is speed, convenience and reliability. While the post office is lucky to deliver 80% of its first class letters within three days, email is instantaneous--and seldom lost (if addressed correctly).
The post office is, however, gearing up to compete with the emerging electronic communications system. Among other ideas, they are considering setting up computers in post offices that would allow people without computers to exchange email and tap into services offered by the Social Security Administration, the Federal Communications Commission and other government agencies that are already online.
Source: Time, Spring 1995, Special Issue: "Welcome To CyberSpace" --DS
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