MastersConnection 2020
Issue 393 In This Issue August 30th, 2014

Editors Corner

Did you know that people in Napa Valley, California, saw flashes of light in the sky during and/or after a recent 6.0 earthquake? Some thought it was lightning, others explosions, and still others thought it might have been caused by UFOs. Click here

On a different subject, have you ever heard of natural gas that's too cheap to sell? Apparently, if natural gas is found too far from a pipeline, or other viable distribution center, it's generally vented directly in to the atmosphere. Sometimes they burn it first, sometimes they don't. Click here

Did you know that latex paint is not something that should be put down a sink (when washing out a paintbrush, for example), or even washed out on the lawn? Apparently it should be considered a toxic waste, and disposed of accordingly. Click here

That's about it from me for this week.
Enjoy the newsletter, and have a wonderful week.

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Nature Watch

California residents see mysterious lights flash in the sky during earthquake
When a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Napa Valley, California, on Sunday, August 24, residents from the area noticed strange flashes of light appearing in the sky. The local KPIX 5 newsroom was flooded with calls about a strange phenomenon of lights taking place in the sky. Some people thought the strange lights were UFO-generated, while the more practical ones thought that a transformer exploded in the distance. Some took to twitter to voice their bewilderment: "Everybody felt the earthquake but I'm the only one who saw the blue flashes in the sky??" said one Napa Valley resident. Another person tweeted, "Saw flashes of light that looked like lightning right after earthquake, then huge green flash north of Sebastopol."

Nope, they aren't UFOs, says leading scientist
According to scientist Friedemann Freund, who works at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, the "earthquake lights" are not from UFOs or explosions. They are naturally occurring phenomenons that take place when stress builds up below the earth's surface. The stress of the earthquake on rocks underneath the ground causes an electric current to blast its way to the surface of Earth, shooting into the sky as a burst of colorful light.

Click here to read full article

GM mosquitoes increase spread of dengue fever in Brazilian town, causing state of emergency to be renewed
Transgenic insects developed by a British company as the solution to dengue fever in the Third World are causing the debilitating disease to spread even worse, according to new reports. Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes developed by Oxitec have sparked an outbreak of dengue fever in Brazil so severe that officials have had to renew a state of emergency declaring the situation to be a "biological disaster." The GM mosquitoes were released by Oxitec under commercial approval by Brazil's regulatory commission CTNBio, which ignored evidence showing that the insects, branded as OX513, could intensify the spread of dengue fever. CTNBio's commission ultimately approved the GM mosquitoes anyway, which, as predicted, has caused a nightmarish situation that is possibly irreversible. In the Brazilian towns where OX513 mosquitoes have been released, rates of dengue fever have spiked dramatically, prompting the decree of a state of emergency. According to reports, the decree was issued "due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic," reiterating what some CTNBio members had said from the start.

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On The Lighter Side

These adorable car ideas from kids will make your day



For the Toyota Dream car challenge, Japan’s biggest car company asked kids across the world to design their ideal vehicles. But it only takes a quick scan of the winners to see a few themes emerging. Driving is secondary. Flashy and fast vehicles are out. Instead, cars are literal vehicles meant to solve herculean social and environmental hurdles (and in some cases disperse super-cute rescue squids).

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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

Saturday August 30th @ 7 p.m. & Sunday August 31st @ 4pm: Educational Film Studies
The Star Trek film series: The Borg
For Several Centuries The Borg have relentlessly improved their vast numbers by traveling the galaxy conquering, assimilating, and destroying countless cultures in their quest to take over the galaxy. After viewing the films, we will examine the relevance of this message as it applies to today’s world.
Q & A discussion to follow films!
Click here for more info
Tickets $5 for one night or $8 for two nights

Tuesday September 2nd @ 7pm: Miracles & Inspiration
The topic will be: Quantum Evolution to Quantum Ascension
Hosted by Scott Mowry
Click here for more info
Tickets $10 at the door

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In The News

Energy companies in Texas are setting money on fire
To some, like President Obama, natural gas is the “bridge fuel” — a readily available energy source that burns cleaner than coal and that’s cheap enough to put coal out of business while we’re waiting for actually renewable energy sources to come online. But what if it’s so cheap it just gets wasted? The bridge just collapses, is what. As an epic series put together by the San Antonio Express News shows, being really, really cheap can also mean “too cheap to sell.” The Express News spent a year going over stacks of documents and data obtained from the Texas Railroad Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the oil and gas industry in the state. What the investigation found was that fracking operations in the remote Eagle Ford shale were keeping the more valuable oil they produced while venting the natural gas into the atmosphere. Sometimes they just released it directly into the air, despite its being one of the nastier greenhouse gases out there.  Other times they burned it first, which converted it to carbon dioxide — less climate-change inducing, but not exactly Miss Popularity either.

Click here to read full article

China scoffs at our puny bikeshare programs
The Chinese have tried every trick in the book to clear up urban smog that, at times, has literally broken the pollutometer. We’ve seen everything from protest art to threats from the government to execute some of the country’s worst polluters. But there’s another smog fighting tool hitting the streets now, too: The humble, and once common bicycle. According to a 2008 report by the Earth Policy Institute, bicycling in China took a serious dive between 1995 and 2005: The country’s bike fleet declined by 35 percent, while private car ownership doubled. Now, according to the Atlantic, bikes are making a comeback, in part because of ubiquitous bikeshare programs. In fact, of the top 30 cities worldwide with more than 5,000 bikes in their systems, 24 of them are in China, Vox reports:

“…over the last couple of years, China has lapped the field several times over. As its private bicycle fleet has declined — largely because more and more people can afford cars — officials have implemented bike share programs to give residents a transportation option that cuts down on traffic.

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Something Worth Knowing

Is your deodorant drugging you through the armpits daily with this neurotoxin?
As the temperature rises in the body, thousands of sweat glands begin to bead up, preparing to cool the body down. The average person possesses about 2.6 millions sweat glands -- a built in thermostat. This system is made up of eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are the most numerous, harbored in places like the forehead, hands, and feet. These glands are activated at birth and do not secrete proteins or fatty acids. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, do secrete proteins and fatty acids and are found in the genital area and armpits. These become active during puberty and usually end in hair follicles. The sweat coming from both types of glands does not have an odor. Body odor comes from bacteria living on the skin. The bacteria metabolize the proteins and fatty acids secreted from the eccrine glands, ultimately producing an odor. That odor can be influenced by the type of bacteria living on the skin and the kind of food a person eats. This often unpleasant odor is the reason why deodorants and antiperspirants have become a popular body care product today. Many people have their favorite brand but are unaware that many antiperspirants are actually drugs that change the physiology of the body.

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Is it really OK to pour paint down the drain?
Q. I’ve been painting the inside of our home and find myself with paintbrushes and rollers filled with latex paint (don’t worry, it’s a zero-VOC paint!). I can either 1) wash out all this paint in the sink, which seems to take forever and makes me worried about the water treatment facility; or 2) throw them away, which, wow, seems horribly wasteful. Suggestions?
Corvallis, Ore.

A. Dearest Inara,
Did Michelangelo toss his brushes after a hard day at the Sistine Chapel? Did da Vinci chuck his bristles once he had Mona Lisa’s smile just so? I confess I don’t know this for sure, but doubt it. They (or, more likely, one of their lackeys) cleaned their brushes for tomorrow’s works of art, and so should you. Proper care and cleaning will keep your tools in masterpiece-ready shape for years, so it would indeed be wasteful to treat them as short-lived disposables.

Click here to read full article

Weather Watch

Musty old weather reports may hold climate change secrets
Turns out the secret to better climate models could be hiding in the dreaded storage closet of many a weather station around the world. Members of the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) — a nonprofit organization that works with meteorological centers to digitize their climate data — think weather reports of yore could offer crucial glimpses into historical weather patterns, helping scientists to better track climate change. They estimate there could be more than 100 million potentially useful records worldwide. But instead of being used to shape the next climate model or helping city planners plan around future climate issues like flooding, many of these records are collecting dust in backrooms and oft-forgotten filing cabinets, waiting to be digitized. The Atlantic’s CityLab reports:

“There’s data tied up in paper records that goes all the way back to the late 1800s,” says Theodore Allen, a graduate student at the University of Miami and IEDRO volunteer. “So rather than working on observations from 1960 to present, we can work on things from 1880 to present.” With that kind of information, climate scientists can make their models far more reliable.

Click here to read full article


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Credit for creation of this newsletter comes to you from: Ben Mann

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