MastersConnection 2020
Issue 442 In This Issue August 15th, 2015

Editors Corner

Have you ever heard of a technology called BioDirect? Apparently Monsanto is looking in to using something called "RNA Interference", so instead of genetically modifying an organism, they could temporarily alter the genes being expressed. BioDirect is apparently their name for the product that would accomplish this. Click here

Growing your own food is the most ideal, but if you've ever had an over-producing, or under-producing, garden you may be interested in what one Spanish town is doing with their food waste. They now have a communal refrigerator they are calling the Solidarity Fridge. It has a few rules, a small fence of it's own, and volunteers who keep it clean. Click here

On a slightly different subject, did you know that scientists have discovered 180 species of glowing fish? It turns out that if you apply blue light to many of the fish in deeper water, they will glow. Click here

There's more, but I will leave the rest for you to discover and enjoy.
Have a wonderful week.

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GMO Watch

Washington state initiative I-735 seeks signatures to stop corporations from GMO bullying through anti-personhood movement
After the disappointment of failing to get GMO labeling passed in Washington in 2013 (I-522), the citizens of Washington have banded together to pass an even more powerful initiative that would claw back the rights of the people from the clutches of billionaire multinational agrochemical corporations. All over the country, grassroots organizations are fighting against GMOs, including the Pacific Northwest Coast, Hawaii and even the Lone Star State. The Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution (WAmend) is a grassroots organization that is going up against some of the biggest names in politics, including the largest chemical corporations in America. WAmend is pursuing a Constitutional amendment that would change the way corporations are viewed by the law. Specifically, it would mandate that constitutional rights belong only to individuals — not corporations. Also, it would stipulate that spending money does not constitute free speech as defined by the First Amendment. Finally, the amendment would make it possible to regulate political contributions and expenditures in order to prevent undue influence, and both political contributions and expenditures would have to be promptly disclosed to the public.

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Monsanto’s coming up with an alternative to GMOs
Sharpen your talons, Monsanto haters. Everyone’s favorite biotech company is cooking up a new GMO alternative, and it’s just begging to be crucified. The new technology, called BioDirect, is a kind of temporary, spray-on defense mechanism for plants. It relies on a natural phenomenon called RNA interference that scientists can use to block crucial genes in, say, Roundup-resistant weeds or killer pests. MIT Technology Review’s Antonio Regalado took a deep dive into the new technology, and it sounds a bit like an Arnold Schwarzenegger character. No one has ever tried spraying RNA on thousands of acres of crops before, so it does raise some legitimate concerns. Here’s how it works: All living things contain DNA, and that DNA carries the genetic information that cells need to make proteins. But it’s actually RNA, DNA’s less famous workhorse of a partner, that takes that genetic information out into the cell to get shit done. Viruses also use RNA, however, so cells have a kind of defense mechanism to detect viral RNA, memorize its contents, destroy it, and then hunts down its progeny to destroy them too. Told you it was kind of badass. With a little tweak, however, this defense mechanism can be turned against itself, so that a cell starts attacking its own genetic code.

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Garden Watch

3 Tips for Beginner Companion Planting
Last year I was visiting a friend near Santa Cruz, California. She took me out to her garden where she was planting all kinds of produce, and I noticed a bunch of ladybugs in the plants. “Aren’t you worried these bugs will eat your plants?” I asked. “No, ladybugs are awesome,” she replied. “They eat other bugs, so I planted stuff that would attract them. I’m trying this thing called companion planting so I don’t have to use fertilizer.” Companion planting is the act (or art form depending on who you ask) of using plants that help each other grow and ward off insects. Basically, you establish two or more plant species near each other in the hopes of using natural rhythms and ecosystems to yield a good crop. If it sounds a bit complicated, that’s because it can be. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, while this practice has been around for ages, it’s not always totally understood. After all, you are dealing with a lot of different species and ecosystems and sometimes things don’t work out as well as you planned. You also run the risk of accidentally establishing plant species that don’t work well together. While it takes time to learn the intricacies of companion planting, there are a few things you can do to get started. If you’re interested in reducing fertilizer usage and helping your plants grow, consider some of the following beginner techniques.

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RSE Newsletter

JZ Knight, RSE Staff in Italy for largest 2015 World Tour event:
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Community Calendar

We do love to hear from you especially about community events that you think our readers ought to know about. So, thanks and keep the info flowing.

September 19th @ 4pm: Phoenix Rising's grand Fall Celebration & Fundraiser
Kick up your spurs and come celebrate with us at Schorno's Agri-Business/Nisqually Springs Farm. There will be live music with the BEATNIKS, the most sought after band in the area, delicious food catered by Garden To Gourmet. a Dessert Dash, Raffles, Raised Paddle Call, an Art auction with unique art from the students, and much, much more! It will be a night to remember! Limited tickets available. Get your tickets now at Garden to Gourmet, the Yelm Food Coop or The Phoenix Rising School.
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Food Watch

This communal fridge is pretty damn amazing
Anyone who’s ever lived with roommates knows that communal fridges are basically just big boxes of chilled nightmares and disease sprinkled with 500 mostly empty condiment bottles. The idea of a communal fridge for 30,000 people should make even Sigourney Weaver shudder — but the people of the Spanish town of Galdakao are making it work. The goal, NPR reports, is to divert perfectly good food from the dumpster:

In April, the town established Spain’s first communal refrigerator. It sits on a city sidewalk, with a tidy little fence around it, so that no one mistakes it for an abandoned appliance. Anyone can deposit food inside or help themselves. This crusade against throwing away leftovers is the brainchild of Alvaro Saiz, who used to run a food bank for the poor in Galdakao. “The idea for a Solidarity Fridge started with the economic crisis — these images of people searching dumpsters for food — the indignity of it. That’s what got me thinking about how much food we waste,” Saiz told NPR over Skype from Mongolia, where he’s moved onto his next project, living in a yurt and building a hospital for handicapped children.

Click here to read full article

The pork industry is full of this drug you’ve never heard of
Like little kids trying to show you their karate moves, food labels will do anything to get your attention. They’ll scream “organic,” “all-natural,” “grass-fed,” “hormone-free,” “antibiotic-free,” “free-range,” “farm-raised,” “fresh,” “pasture-raised,” or whatever else marketers think will elicit happy thoughts of animals frolicking on sunlit farms. And now, thanks to one Virginia farmer, there’s “no ractopamine.” What’s ractopamine, you ask? According to NPR, it’s basically FDA-approved pork roids, and conventional pig farmers use it all the time to pork up their chops. It’s not a hormone (those are illegal in pig farming), but it does help ole’ Wilber and Babe pack on the pounds. Here’s more from NPR:

Most pigs in America get this drug, because it’s extremely effective. It’s a “beta agonist” and has effects that are similar to adrenaline. It gets a pig to put on more muscle, instead of fat, and also put on weight more quickly. That’s money in the farmer’s pocket: According to some experts, it adds two or three dollars of income per pig.

But David Meren of Tendergrass Farms just got approval from the USDA to stick this label on his pasture-raised pork: “no ractopamine — a beta-agonist growth promotant.”

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On The Lighter Side


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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

August 19th @ 7pm: Guest lecture - Early India - Sacrificial Fire
Focus on Agni - God of the sacrificial Fire-Alter and messenger of the Gods - a key figure in early Indian Religion, and texts from the Vedas - the earliest strata of Indian oral literature. Free. Donations to The Triad Theater welcomed.

Coming in August: The Triad Art Gallery
Attention all Artists, Musicians, and Actors! Art Directory (Greater Yelm Area) taking apps now! The Triad along with the Yelm Business Association is creating an Artist Directory... $10 one-time processing fee and you are in forever. Go to the Triad Website to submit your application. It's easy!

September 11th @ 7pm: Alpha Centauri Presents - John Hogue - Expert on Nostradamus
Skype interview to Yelm. Predictions for 2015. $20

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Phoenix Rising School

“I am 1,000 percent behind this school.” - Ramtha

Fall Celebration & Fundraiser!
Kick up your spurs and come celebrate with us at Phoenix Rising's grand Fall Celebration & Fundraiser September 19th at Schorno's Agri-Business/Nisqually Springs Farm. There will be live music with the BEATNIKS, the most sought after band in the area, delicious food catered by Garden To Gourmet. a Dessert Dash, Raffles, Raised Paddle Call, an Art auction with unique art from the students, and much, much more! It will be a night to remember! Limited tickets available. Get your tickets now at Garden to Gourmet, the Yelm Food Coop or The Phoenix Rising School. Click here for more information

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Ramtha quote copyright 2011 JZ Knight. Used with permission.
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Credit for creation of this newsletter comes to you from: Ben Mann

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