MastersConnection 2020
Issue 494 In This Issue September 17th, 2016

Editors Corner

Did you know that there is now a fabric that harvests energy, that can be used to charge small battery powered devices, from both the wind and the sun? The researchers say this "could be integrated into tents, curtains, and even garments". Click here

Speaking of wind, are you aware that there was a Super Typhoon that hit the Philippines, Taiwan and China? Apparently, there's not much info on it hitting the Philippines, but when it passed the southern tip of Taiwan, it brought more then 20 inches (508 mm) of rain and gusts up to 230 mph (370 km/h). It had slowed by the time it hit China, but they still got hit pretty hard. Click here

While we're on the subject of nature, have you heard about a new desert bee species scientists have discovered, that builds its nests out of hard sandstone? Apparently this bee species' preferred nest building style has given it a reputation for being the hardest working insect. 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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The articles published in these MastersConnection2020 newsletters, or on or, only represent the views or opinions of the person or entity whose name appears as the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the MastersConnection2020 or any of its affiliates.
Comment on County Commissioner Races

Comment from MC2020 reader Bo on the blog post County Commissioner Races by Florence Vincent
I love and respect the author of the Sept. 3rd article about the candidates for county commissioners. The author's good intentions are obvious and unquestionable. However, I respectfully disagree with the conclusions that the ex-sheriff Gary Edwards is a Republican and he does not care about the environment. First of all, Gary Edwards is running as an Independent for a reason, knowing that his chances of winning would increase greatly if he would affiliate himself with either major party. Personally, I'm disappointed with both parties and feel that we have too much government in many aspects of our lives. As such, I've decided to vote for the person running for office and what they stand for, and not the party. Regarding the gopher regulations and their allegedly minimal impact on property owners - again I disagree. As a real estate professional and a property owner, I have seen many property owners hugely affected by this law, suffering both construction delays and additional costs. As an example, I applied for a permit for an agricultural building for hay storage on my property where I live in August of 2015. Prior to the gopher study requirement, I would have been able to get this permit on the spot, pay about $70 and construct my building immediately. As it is, I paid over $550, I am still going through the gopher study and will be lucky to get this building constructed next year!

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In The News

Bayer confirms Monsanto takeover with $66bn bid
German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer has agreed to buy American GMO company Monsanto for $128 a share. The acquisition values Monsanto’s equity at about $56 billion, but including debt, the deal is worth nearly $66 billion. The deal is the largest corporate takeover in almost two decades for a German company. The latest bid offered by Bayer is 22 percent above Monsanto’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The acquisition of the leading GMO maker will make Bayer the world’s biggest seed and pesticide producer. The takeover is expected to be closely scrutinized by antitrust regulators. The deal will potentially leave just a few large global players in the crop and seed industry. American conglomerate DuPont reportedly plans to merge with the Dow Chemical Company and China National Chemical Corporation is set to acquire Swiss agribusiness Syngenta. Last week, Bayer raised its offer aiming to complete the deal that had been negotiated for more than four months. Monsanto is as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of genetically modified seeds. The company has long been criticized in Europe, with many consumers skeptical of GMO-derived produce.

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Technology Watch

Self-driving Uber cars take to the streets in Pittsburgh as firm officially launches its test program
Uber riders in Pittsburgh can get a glimpse of the future by summoning a car capable of handling most of the tasks of driving on its own. Starting Wednesday morning, a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up Uber riders who opted to participate in a test program.  While the vehicles are loaded with features that allow them to navigate on their own, an Uber engineer will sit in the driver's seat and seize control if things go awry. Uber's test program is the latest move in an increasingly heated race between tech companies in Silicon Valley and traditional automakers to perfect fully driverless cars for regular people.  Competitors such as Volvo and Google have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and logged millions of miles test driving autonomous vehicles, but Uber is the first company in the U.S. to make self-driving cars available to the general public. 'That pilot really pushes the ball forward for us,' said Raffi Krikorian, Director of Uber Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh, the company's main facility for testing self-driving vehicles.  'We think it can help with congestion, we think it can make transportation cheaper and more accessible for the vast majority of people.'

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Charging your phone will soon be a breeze: New fabric harvests energy from the wind and sun to create electricity
High-tech fabrics could soon allow you to charge your devices on the go simply by standing outside on a sunny, breezy day. Researchers have developed a ‘hybrid-power textile’ that generates electricity from both sunshine and motion, using a combination of solar cells and triboelectric nanogenerators. So far, a segment roughly the size of a sheet of office paper can create ‘significant power’ just from being held out a car window – and in the future, they say this technology could be integrated into tents, curtains, and even garments. The researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology say this method could one day allow clothing to harvest energy to power smart phones and GPS. Their current design is just 320 micrometers thick, and is woven together with strands of wool. ‘This hybrid power textile presents a novel solution to charging devices in the field from something as simple as the wind blowing on a sunny day,’ said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering.

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Weather Watch

Meranti: The strongest cyclone of the year slams Philippines, Taiwan and China
After the eye of Super Typhoon "Meranti" passed right over the Philippines island of Itbayat in the Luzon Strait, Meranti lashed Taiwan with powerful winds and heavy rain, killing 1 person and injuring more than 40. It then continued west and made its final landfall in China near Xiamen. According to the JTWC, Meranti peaked at 305 km/h (190 mph) sustained winds on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. This tied it with Typhoon "Tip" as the second-strongest tropical cyclone in the northwest Pacific since 1970 and made it the strongest tropical cyclone so far in 2016, surpassing Winston which had winds of 285 km/h (180 mph) when it struck Fiji in February. Meranti's eye passed right over the Philippines island of Itbayat (population 3 000) at 17:35 UTC on September 13. Communications with the island have been lost and as of 08:00 UTC on September 15, there is still no word on the fate of Itbayat's residents or the damage it made.

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Earth Watch

Is Hawaii's Kilauea volcano about to blow? Lava lake at summit of world's most active volcano is rising
Visitors to Hawaii's Kilauea volcano are being treated to dramatic views of a lake of lava bubbling and splattering at its summit after it rose to one of its highest level in 42 years. Geologists say the rising lava lake marks a new period of activity from the 4,100 feet high volcano as the summit has repeatedly risen and shrank in the past few days. The lava lake in the crater at the summit is unusually high and has risen to within 16 feet (5m) of the rim that contains it. Scientists at the US Geological Survey (USGS) said it was part of a long term inflation of the summit magma reservoir that has been ongoing since 2010. The lava overflowed onto the crater floor in May last year, raising the rim that confines the lake by 30 feet. Before that, the lava lake was last this high in 1974. The mountain has also been shaken with several tremors as the lava lake has hurled out spatters of molten rock. Meanwhile lava flows pouring from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater in the eastern rift zone of Kilauea are pouring into the ocean at Kamokuna, creating two huge plumes of steam. Scientists insist the flows from this area pose no risk to nearby communities.

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Outback turns into an inland OCEAN! Majestic aerial pictures show Australian desert lake full of water after drought-breaking rain

Flood waters have ravaged parts of Australia as torrential rains have turned the drought-stricken outback into an inland ocean. Parts of Victoria and South Australia were drenched with rain as houses flooded in Adelaide's eastern suburbs, including Brownhill Creek, and at various places in the Mt Lofty Ranges, including Hahndorf.

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Science Watch

Skin cells might be used instead of eggs to make embryos, scientists say
Babies may one day be born from embryos made with skin cells rather than eggs, according to scientists, a possibility that could transform not only efforts to save endangered animals but also human fertility treatment. The team of researchers proposed the futuristic scenario after producing a litter of healthy mice with a technique that bypasses the normal step of fertilising an egg cell with sperm. The study hints that eggs may not be unique in their ability to form embryos with sperm, and that skin and other cells in the body could even take their place. “Our work challenges the dogma, held since early embryologists first observed mammalian eggs around 1827 and observed fertilisation 50 years later, that only an egg cell fertilised with a sperm cell can result in live mammalian birth,” said Tony Perry, an embryologist and lead researcher on the project at Bath University. “What we’re talking about are different ways of making embryos. Imagine that you could take skin cells and make embryos from them? This would have all kinds of utility,” he added.

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Nature Watch

New desert bee species builds nests out of solid rock (PHOTOS)
Scientists have discovered a new bee species that has reinforced the creature’s reputation as the hardest working insect by the efforts it makes to construct nests out of hard sandstone in the harsh desert terrains of the US. Utah State University entomologists have published their study on the Anthophora pueblo bee in the journal Current Biology after examining how the species excavates sandstone nests. "Not much is known about this hard-to-find species and our first step was to confirm it actually prefers nesting in sandstone," Michael Orr, USU doctoral student in biology and lead author on the paper said in a press statement. The Anthophora pueblo was first discovered by retired USDA-ARS research entomologist Frank Parker almost 40 years ago, when he collected samples of their nests at two sites in Utah's San Rafael Desert. His research was never published, however, nor was the species formally identified. Orr re-examined Parker’s work a few years ago and discovered five new nesting sites at Colorado's Mesa Verde and natural formations in southern Utah and California's Death Valley. While these bees are considered uncommon, they are familiar in appearance with their trademark black and yellow stripes.

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RSE Newsletter

Headline News: Washington Supreme Court Denies Coverdale Petition for Review:
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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

September 17th @ 7pm: BIGFOOT NIGHT with Dr. "J"
Come hear about this famous Sasquatch!! Doors open 6:30pm.

September 18th @ 1:05pm: WATCH the Sea-Hawks battle the Rams
Doors open 30 min prior. FREE (donations welcome).

September 20th @ 7pm: Scott Mowry presenting Miracles & Inspiration
Filling us in on today's news. Cost is $10-pay at the door.

September 23rd @ 7pm: Friday Night Movie - Spark: A Burning Man Story
See poster below for details. Cost is $8-pay at the door.

September 24th @ 7pm: Saturday Night Movie - "Vaxxed"
Showing again by overwhelming request! This will be followed by discussion about the movie. Cost is $8-pay at the door.
​Note: The previously advertised Auction & Gala on September 24th has been postponed. Watch this space for the rescheduled date coming soon.

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