MastersConnection 2020
Issue 467 In This Issue February 27th, 2016

Editors Corner

Have you ever heard the expression "as dumb as a dodo"? Scientists now believe that the dodo bird was not as dumb as that expression would have you think. “If we take brain size – or rather, volume, as we measured here – as a proxy for intelligence, then the dodo was as smart as a common pigeon”. Click here

Speaking of something that may not appear to be smart, are you aware that the Chinese are planning on building a large trash-burning facility? It's projected to burn over 5,000 tons of trash per day that will be used to generate energy. While it won't help with the poor air quality in China, it will help with land-fill issues. Click here

On a slightly different subject, if you enjoyed the Harry Potter series, you might be interested in a hilarious new blog. It imagines the adventures of a Hogwarts I.T. guy attempting to teach muggle technology to wizards. Click here

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Bloggers Corner

Your Vote in 2016
By Florence Vincent
This year the Democrats are electing their Presidential Nominee on March 26th by the Caucus System (rather like a get-together at a local venue), so please put it in your calendar NOW. The Republicans will be using the May 24th Primary Ballot (which will appear in your mail box). While you can certainly check a Democratic preference on your primary ballot, it will only be a 'show vote'. The Democrats will ONLY count the vote you place at the Caucus. IF you want your vote to count, you MUST participate in person on Saturday March 26th, *(there are a few exceptions). You must arrive by 10am. While you can vote when you arrive and leave, it is preferable to stay the couple of hours and participate in the actual get-together to elect delegates to represent you and your nominee on their way to the Democratic Convention. So please don't let other things get in the way of going to your caucus. *If you cannot attend your caucus due to illness, work, disability, military or religious reasons, you can get a "surrogate affidavit' form soon from, along with details about your precinct number and caucus venue. Most Yelm precincts will be meeting at Yelm Middle School, most Rainier precincts will be meeting at Rainier High School, and most Tenino precincts will be meeting at Tenino Elementary School.

Click here to read full article

Consciousness Awakens
By Rene Westbrook
In the summer of 1977, there was an enormous shift on the planet about what might be lurking in the hidden realms of consciousness. Like so many of my friends that summer, we flocked to a new film called Star Wars, where a dynamic team of filmmakers, actors and a man named George Lucas brought us the idea of the "Force", that elusive power that emanates from energy fields created by all living things. That year was memorable for more than Obi Wan Kenobi introducing a startling new way for people to describe an unseen source of power in the universe. It was also a time for another remarkable awakening. In the kitchen of her Tacoma home, an unassuming young housewife encountered a particularly unexplained "Force" of her own. As retold countless times since that fateful day, Ramtha and JZ Knight have embraced and shared with so many of us, the power of consciousness and energy in timeless fields of unlimited possibilities. Their symbiotic relationship throughout these years can be seem as a metaphor, much like the equation, C+E=R. The profound fact of their inextricable connection, yet her separate reality of personal change and growth, has given many people in the world, a phenomenal gift to awaken to their divine potential. And as so many of us yearning to know more, StarWars and Yoda would not be the beginning and end of our spiritual exploration.

Click here to read full article

Weather Watch

Catastrophic storm damage across Virginia, Carolinas, and Texas to the Gulf Coast, 26 confirmed tornadoes, US
A deadly storm system which already wreaked havoc across the South and East Coast, killing three people, continued moving north, sprouting tornadoes, accompanied by intense wind gusts and dangerous thunderstorms. 5 more people were reported dead while numerous others suffered injuries. Reported damage is catastrophic. At least 26 tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS) from Texas to the Gulf Coast states, the Carolinas, and Virginia, as of February 25, 2016. The NWS survey is still underway, and more tornadoes will likely be confirmed soon. At least six tornadoes have caused an EF2 or stronger class of damage, including those reported in Lamar County, Mississippi, and Convent, Louisiana on February 23. A tornado that ripped through Pensacola, Florida on the same day was rated at least EF3. Four people died in Waverly, Virginia, after their mobile home was hit by a suspected tornado, on February 24, according to the police in Sussex County. Downed trees and extensive damage was reported in the area. The debris field was reportedly almost 5 km (about 3 miles) long. Significant damage was also observed in Tappahannock, and at least 20 injuries were reported during the evening of February 24 (local time).

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In The News

California methane leak 'largest in US history'
A scientific analysis of a natural gas leak near Los Angeles says that it was the biggest in US history. The Aliso Canyon blowout vented almost 100,000 tonnes of methane into the atmosphere before it was plugged. The impact on the climate is said to be the equivalent of the annual emissions of half a million cars. Researchers say it had a far bigger warming effect than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. First detected on 23 October, the leak came from one of the 115 wells connected to a massive underground natural gas storage facility, the fifth largest in the US. Seven unsuccessful attempts were made to shut down the billowing plumes of methane and ethane by the owners, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Concerns over the impacts of the spewing gas eventually led to more than 11,000 nearby residents being evacuated as California governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the area. The blowout pushed enough of the gas into the air every day to fill a balloon the size of a football stadium. At its peak, the flow doubled the rate of methane emissions from the entire Los Angeles basin. The leak was permanently sealed on 18 February. By then almost 100,000 tonnes of methane had poured into the atmosphere.

Click here to read full article

On The Lighter Side

'I'm typing this on my iPhone while I ride a magic staircase': Hilarious blog imagines adventures of Hogwarts IT boss who has to teach wizards about muggle technology
Ever since the final book in the Harry Potter series was published in 2007, fans have been eager for more insight into J.K. Rowling's magical world. Now, they finally have an answer in the form of an American blogger who takes on the persona of a 'Muggle I.T. guy' named Jonathan Dart working at Rowling's fictional school, Hogwarts. His hilarious Tumblr page is filled with imaginary accounts of life in the castle, including conversations with moving paintings and trying to install Wi-Fi under a lake, all through the eyes of a clueless 'muggle' - non-magical person - navigating his way through the witching world. The Tumblr page, called The Setup Wizard, begins with an account of his 'first day on the job', with Jonathan explaining that he has been called in to help install wifi on the school ground to enable students to use their mobile phones. He explains: 'It took them until 2016, but both students and staff alike have finally caved and demanded that their cell phones work on school grounds, and with that request they had to find a “muggle” (a term I’m quickly learning to detest) to install wifi and maintain any technology that functions on school grounds.' He goes on to explain that 'other magical schools' are planning on taking on 'muggle' staff to help out with technology, and that he hopes his experiences can help others.

Click here to read full article

RSE Newsletter

This Sunday RSE celebrates 39 years since Ramtha first appeared to JZ Knight in her kitchen!:
Click here to read article

Ramtha’s description of the original ancient Egyptians and the archaeological evidence that recently came to light:
Click here to read article

About Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment:
Click here to read article

Click here for more

Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

February 26th thru March 13th: THEATRICAL PRODUCTION – Standing Room Only is back with Oscar Wilde's classic “The Importance of Being Earnest”. In this hilarious comedy, pandemonium ensues when a duplicitous duo of wealthy playboys find themselves together, both masquerading as the same person, with each wooing a different woman. All amid a flurry of mistaken identity, witty banter and cucumber sandwiches!

BONUS for an additional $5 at the door: Join the Cast after the Sunday, Feb 28th performance for the "Oscars after Oscar Party" as we watch the Oscars together on the big screen. Open to the public, not just those already in the theater. For all those decked out in their Academy Award Attire, entry for this portion of the evening is FREE. Normal attire is perfectly fine and the fine is $5. The Oscars begin at 5:30pm. Snacks available for purchase.

March 1st @ 7pm: MIRACLES and INSPIRATIONS with independent news reporter Scott Mowry
Every other Tuesday, Scott explores hot issues not heard on mainstream media. Come get the scoop, the whole scoop and nothin’ but the real scoop down at The Triad. Cost $10.

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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.

March 4, 5:30pm to 10:30pm: Center for Self Governance class
The Center for Self Governance (CSG) is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. CSG teaches unconventional, tried and tested techniques in applied civics proven to Keep the Republic. CSG training puts you, the citizen, in the drivers seat of self governance. Click here for full text
This class will be held in Rainier. Call or email Marian Clements for further details or questions. 360-446-7724

Technology Watch

Apple Has Gotten Federal Orders To Help Unlock At Least 13 Devices
While the dispute over cracking into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter is at the center of a legal case between Apple and the FBI, the company recently told a federal court that it has received — and resisted — similar orders to help unlock iPhones and an iPad in recent months. That's according to unsealed court documents in which Apple says that since early October, it has received orders to access data on 12 devices, from an iPhone 3 to two iPhone 6 Plus models. In the documents, the Department of Justice says the list is correct — and adds that it found "at least one additional All Writs Act order" for obtaining information from an iPhone. News of the court filings comes ahead of Friday's deadline for Apple to formally respond to a federal court order in the San Bernardino investigation. Wednesday, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a prominent First Amendment lawyer who is a lead attorney for Apple in the case, told The Associated Press that the company will tell the judge that the issue should be decided by Congress, not by the courts. "The FBI is relying on a law called the All Writs Act from 1789 that's been used to compel companies to assist law enforcement in investigations," NPR's Alina Selyukh reports for our Newscast unit.

Click here to read full article

Brazil-Europe undersea cable to hide web traffic from US snooping
A new underwater cable that is to link Brazil with Portugal will protect Latin American internet traffic from US surveillance, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff indicated after meeting the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. “We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don't want businesses to be spied upon,” Rousseff told a joint news conference. Rousseff was among the world leaders who openly criticized the US after the revelation of the scale of its electronic surveillance program by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. She postponed a scheduled visit to America over a report that the US intelligence agency snooped on her emails and phone. Not only Brazilian political leaders, but also captains of industry have been reportedly under US surveillance, including the oil giant Petrobras. Critics accused the US of using its intelligence capabilities for economic espionage that has nothing to do with national security. Since the revelations, Rousseff has been seeking to reduce Brazil’s reliance on US infrastructure for communications. Most of Brazil’s internet traffic passes US territory and the only underwater cable connecting it with Europe is outdated and can only carry voice communications.

Click here to read full article

Chinese waste-to-energy plant will be a mile in circumference
On the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, a fast-growing megacity in China, the largest waste-to-energy plant in the world is on the horizon. You can bet that this disk-shaped trash-burning plant isn’t going to do any wonders for China’s notoriously bad air quality. It’s projected to burn 5,500 tons of trash per day — one-third of the waste Shenzhen produces. But the alternative isn’t very pretty, either. Fast Company reports:

In China, most waste currently goes to landfills or illegal dumps — piles of trash so huge that they can actually be dangerous, like the landfill in Shenzhen that collapsed in December and killed dozens of people nearby. It’s a space problem, but also a climate problem, because landfills emit potent greenhouse gases as garbage rots away. Incinerating trash also pollutes, but a state-of-the-art plant like the one planned for Shenzhen can dramatically reduce pollution compared to a city dump. “Burning waste naturally creates pollutants, mainly carbon dioxide — something in the region of one metric ton of CO2 per metric ton of waste,” says (architect Chris) Hardie.

Click here to read full article

Food Watch

Cancer-linked pesticide found in popular German beer
Fourteen different beers sold in Germany contain traces of a pesticide believed to be carcinogenic, a new study reveals. Small amounts of Glyphosate – a substance most commonly used for weed killing and supposedly carcinogenic – were found in fourteen of the most popular brews in Germany, a new study conducted by the Environmental Institute in Munich has shown.  The highest amount of the pesticide – 29.74 micrograms – was detected in a liter of Hasseröder, while a liter of Bavarian Augustiner contained 0.46 micrograms, making it “the safest” of the brews tested. Well-known Beck’s Pils finished with 5 micrograms per liter. Paulaner Weissbier and Erdinger Weissbier had 0.66 and 2.92 micrograms, respectively. The allowable limit of glyphosate in drinking water is 0.1 micrograms per liter, according to Der Spiegel. The study was dubbed “not credible” by the German Brewer’s Association (BfR), which said the pesticide has been widely-used in agriculture for so long that it must be “found virtually everywhere.” The amounts of Glyphosate found in beer don’t pose any danger to public health, the group said. “An adult would have to drink around 1,000 liters (264 US gallons) of beer a day to ingest enough quantities to be harmful to health,” they said.

Click here to read full article

Would You Like a Little Wood Pulp with Your Pizza?
You wouldn’t normally sprinkle sawdust on your pizza. But what if it’s on the packaged grated cheese you use when you top off the sauce? That doesn’t sound particularly appealing. But it turns out, it’s pretty common. Lots of companies—even some of the organic ones—sell pre-grated cheese in a plastic bag or tub that’s been dusted with something called “cellulose” to help keep the cheese dry and fluffy so it won’t clump together. That cellulose, which is basically plant fiber, can be derived from different kinds of plant materials, but the most common is wood pulp. Manufacturers grind up the wood, extract the cellulosic fibers—the saw dust, if you will—and add it to the cheese. This isn’t a particularly new practice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed off on using cellulose to keep cheese loose in part because they say that the fiber passes through our stomachs and intestines without being absorbed. However, now the FDA is investigating manufacturers who claim their product is, for example, “100% Parmesan Cheese” because it probably contains wood-based cellulose. “Organic Valley does use cellulose in our shredded cheeses,” Elizabeth Horton of Organic Valley, told National Public Radio. “It’s a pretty standard anti-caking agent” that helps prevent the bits of cheese from clumping together. So does Lucerne.

Click here to read full article

History Watch

The Truth About Dodo – An Extinct Flightless Brainy Bird
The dodo is an extinct flightless bird whose name has become synonymous with stupidity. But it turns out that the dodo was no bird brain, but instead a reasonably brainy bird. Scientists said on Wednesday they figured out the dodo’s brain size and structure based on an analysis of a well-preserved skull from a museum collection. They determined its brain was not unusually small but rather completely in proportion to its body size. They also found the dodo may have had a better sense of smell than most birds, with an enlarged olfactory region of the brain. This trait, unusual for birds, probably let it sniff out ripe fruit to eat. The research suggests the dodo, rather than being stupid, boasted at least the same intelligence as its fellow members of the pigeon and dove family.

“If we take brain size – or rather, volume, as we measured here – as a proxy for intelligence, then the dodo was as smart as a common pigeon,” paleontologist Eugenia Gold of Stony Brook University in New York state said. “Common pigeons are actually smarter than they get credit for, as they were trained as message carriers during the world wars.”

Click here to read full article

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