MastersConnection 2020
Issue 461 In This Issue January 16th, 2016

Editors Corner

You may have heard about honeybee colonies being killed by varroa mites, among other things, but have you heard that there are now honeybees that fight back? Apparently, there is a queen has been artificially inseminated, as a science experiment, with the genes of a colony that demonstrated a unique, mite-fighting grooming behavior. “The bees will take the mite and they will bite the legs and will chew on the mite. And if they bite a leg off of the mite, the mite will bleed to death." Click here

Speaking of experiments, remember the days before Compact Florescent (CFL) and LED bulbs, when incandescent light bulbs were the norm, but were then replaced because they weren't very energy efficient? Researchers at MIT have demonstrated an experimental proof-of-concept incandescent bulb, using a special crystal structure in the glass, that scientists say could be far more efficient then even LED bulbs. Click here

On a slightly different subject, have you ever wondered what would happen if you were to reply to a spam email? You know, those suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. Writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal. Click here

One last thing, the classified section of our website is finally back up. Click here
We want to thank everyone for their patience with this.
Have a wonderful week.

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Nature Watch

This honeybee dismembers its enemies and leaves them for dead
Breaking: A rebel honeybee queen living in the hills of western Pennsylvania is breeding an army of ruthless mite-killers. The queen, nicknamed No. 18, is reportedly sick of waiting around for humans to come up with an effective defense against the colony-killing varroa destroyer and has decided to take matters into her own hands (er — legs?).

NPR is on the front lines with beekeeper Jeff Berta: No. 18 is bit of a science experiment, funded with money from the USDA. This queen’s mother is from a Vermont colony that survived disease and cold winters. And then Berta had her artificially inseminated by Purdue University scientists who were raising bees that demonstrated a unique, mite-fighting grooming behavior. “The bees will take the mite and they will bite the legs and will chew on the mite,” Berta says. “And if they bite a leg off of the mite, the mite will bleed to death. So the bees are actually fighting back. That’s the type of genetic line we’re after right now.”

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The mysterious world of underwater caves

In The News

Legionnaires’ disease spikes in Flint amid poisoned water crisis; National Guard activated
As Flint, Michigan residents continue to deal with a state of emergency declared over their contaminated water supply, a sharp increase in cases of an atypical pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease has hit the community. On Wednesday, state officials hosted a press conference acknowledging the uptick in the cases of Legionnaires’ disease, but gave no new advice to the public regarding water usage, saying they have yet to determine the cause of the disease. Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, said a more thorough analysis was still to come. Between June 2014 and November 2015, there were 87 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint, with 10 ending in death, according to Wells. The fatality rate for the disease ranges from 5 to 30 percent depending on access to antibiotics and other factors, according to the US National Library of Medicine. The source of the drinking water in Flint was changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014. Although the river water was sent to a city water treatment plant, its salt levels were overlooked, causing the lead pipes to corrode. The changeover was noticed by residents right away. Though they complained of bad tastes and smells after the changeover, the Department of Environmental Quality only conceded its failure in October of 2015. DEQ had not added the chemicals necessary to combat corrosion in the pipes, leaving the water to dissolve lead, a poisonous metal.

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Nothing to see here, move along: NSA praises itself for privacy, transparency
The National Security Agency just released its first ever transparency report, as required under last year’s law USA Freedom Act. The agency gave itself a glowing review, wrapping the actual extent of its snooping in dense bureaucratic language. “The government has strengthened privacy safeguards by, among other things, ending the collection of telephone metadata in bulk, and having telecommunications providers, pursuant to court orders, hold and query the data,” said the report, which was compiled by the NSA’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO). CLPO also said the NSA “identified and implemented policies, procedures, compliance safeguards, and metrics that minimize the civil liberties and privacy impact,” while enabling the agency to “demonstrate its good stewardship” of the authority given to the agency under the USA Freedom Act. The report does shed some light on the NSA’s current domestic surveillance program, providing a flow chart of how the agency obtains approval to collect Call Data Records (CDR) on targeted phones, as well as all phone numbers once (“one-hop”) or twice (“two-hop”) removed.

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The feds want to give $14 million in taxpayer money to a Koch brother’s coal mine
Damn, it feels good to be a billionaire. Today in WTF News, we learned that billionaire industrialist William Koch — brother of arch conservatives Charles and David Koch — may be getting a $14 million royalty refund after his coal mine on leased federal property in Colorado shut down. And that $14 mil would come compliments of the American taxpayer. When coal is mined from underground on federal land, the federal government is entitled to an 8 percent royalty. But coal-mining companies can claim they face trying economic conditions and ask for a “royalty rate reduction,” Reuters reports. One of Koch’s companies did just that. It’s not a big surprise that a greedy fossil fuel billionaire would ask for an extra government handout. What’s crazy is that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management wants to grant the request. Put another way, to make it sound even crazier: The Obama administration is proposing to hand $14 million to a billionaire Koch brother to subsidize his past coal-mining efforts on public land, after he already shut down the mine and laid off the workers.

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On The Lighter Side

This is what happens when you reply to spam email

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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.

January 20th, 5:30pm to 9:30pm: The Center for Self Governance beginning 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. Please contact Marian Clements at for details.

January 23rd, 10am to 4pm: The Center for Self Governance beginning class
This class will be held in Gig Harbor. Please contact Marian Clements at for details.

Days for Girls 100 Kit project
Submitted by Anita Marriott

Dear MC 2020 Readers, below is a copy of the letter sent to everyone who participated in the Days for Girls 100 Kit project. We wanted to share it with you as you have been a big part of helping us with this our first project. We will be continually working to provide more Days for Girls hygiene kits, after we rest a few days. If you would like to participate in this amazing act of service-- join us by contributing your time, energy, money, gift cards, etc  We welcome you. Contact us at

Dear Days for Girls supporters, WE did it! Just finished packing up the 100th Days for Girls Kit into a big plastic bag for delivery tomorrow. We actually filled 4 giant plastic bags with beautiful, exquisitely made shields, liners, soap, wash cloths, charts and panties. I just wanted to take a minute to thank every single person that gave of their time and love to make this project happen. On Tuesday, Trish and I were marveling at how gorgeous the sight of all the colors coming together are and how happy it made us to know we were a part of this gift to 100 girls. I calculated that if we are giving each girl 5 days extra to fully live her life each month for 3 years (that's how long our kits should last) we will have contributed 1,800 days to the lives of these young girls. Not to mention the dignity and additional knowledge and income she will create because of being able to fully participate in school.

Click here to read full article

Technology Watch

Return of incandescent light bulbs as MIT makes them more efficient than LEDs
Ever since the EU restricted sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs, homeowners have complained about the shortcomings of their energy-efficient replacements. The clinical white beam of LEDs and frustrating time-delay of ‘green’ lighting has left many hankering after the instant, bright warm glow of traditional filament bulbs. But now scientists in the US believe they have come up with a solution which could see a reprieve for incandescent bulbs. Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through. They refer to the technique as ‘recycling light’ because the energy which would usually escape into the air is redirected back to the filament where it can create new light. "It recycles the energy that would otherwise be wasted," said Professor Marin Soljacic. Usually traditional light bulbs are only about five per cent efficient, with 95 per cent of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14 per cent efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40 per cent.

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‘Suspicionless surveillance’: Cafes, universities may be forced to retain Wi-Fi users’ data

New snooping powers contained in Britain’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill could force cafes, libraries and universities to hand over customers’ confidential data to government authorities. Wi-Fi networks belonging to such outlets will likely be targeted under the legislation, which has been sharply criticized by privacy rights advocates and human rights groups. During a two-hour grilling by Britain’s joint parliamentary scrutiny committee on Wednesday, Home Secretary Theresa May answered a number of questions regarding the bill. The controversial legislation requires telecommunications firms to hand over data to security services and gives police, GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 unfettered access to the records of Britons’ web use.

Click here to read full article

Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

January 16th @ 7pm: Capt. Randy Cramer is back for part 2 to share his out of this world exciting adventures in Mars Defense Force. Regular seating and Showtime at 7pm for $25. VIP tickets at 6pm for $35 include preferred seating and a Randy meet and greet. Get your tickets at our on-line store on our website at

January 17th @ 10:05am: SEA-HAWKS in the PLAYOFFS
The Sea-Hawks advance in their quest for the Super Bowl. This time they take on the Carolina Panthers. No Charge to attend but donations appreciated. Snacks available. Nail biting optional and hopefully not necessary.

January 19th @ 7pm: MIRACLES and INSPIRATIONS
With independent news reporter Scott Mowry. Hot issues not heard on mainstream media. No matter how awful the news, you'll feel good about it. Cost $10.

January 22nd @ 5pm: Friday Night at the Movies
Old classics, old sci-fi's, independant films, cult films, foreign films, double features. $8

January 23rd @ 3pm: The McCloud Family Exhibit
A Nisqually Tribe Family Cultural Event! Plus a premiere film showing of "Journey to Bella Bella The Nisqually Tribal Canoe Journey". There will also be a drumming performance and Native Food. $20

January 24th @ 2pm: FILM - A documentary - "The truth about Cancer" Part One
Learn alternative approaches that doctors can't tell you about... and why they can't. Total Recovery is not Expensive! There is more to recovery then you "Pink"! $8 admission. Total satisfaction or your money back!

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