MastersConnection 2020
Issue 510 In This Issue January 28th, 2017

Editors Corner

As you may notice, while scrolling through this weeks newsletter, we've changed our format a bit in that we've shuffled things around more then usual. We're hoping to give our advertisers a bit more exposure.

Speaking of the contents of this weeks newsletter, are you aware that China officially wants to use weather manipulation to make it rain? Apparently they want to use this to help with “ecological security, water resource allocation, drought-fighting and forest fire prevention” in provinces plagued by water shortagesClick here

On a similar topic, it seems like a lot of places are currently being hit with unusually cool weather which either includes large amounts of rain, click here, or snow/ice, click here. Chile, however, is one place that is currently being hit with the worst wildfires in modern history. Click here

On a somewhat lighter subject, have you heard of "quantum biology"? Wikipedia defines it as "applications of quantum mechanics and theoretical chemistry to biological objects and problems". This week we have a TED Talk on "How quantum biology might explain life’s biggest questions". 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.
Just What IS the Big Deal About Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers Anyway?
By Teri Simpson of Optimum Preparedness

Back in “the olden days” (i.e. the 1990’s) when people wanted to have Food Storage the choices were to buy #10 cans of dehydrated or freeze dried foods (pricey), pre-packed 5-6 gallon plastic buckets with grains and beans (still pretty pricey) or they could pack up food themselves. Many people had a combination of food in #10 cans, pre-packed buckets and “do it yourself” dried foods in plastic buckets.

Back in the 1990’s and before, there was no such thing as Mylar bags for the “regular” folks back then – only the military had access to Mylar bags, which were developed for the MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) that the military had made up for their soldiers. So the regular folks who wanted to store food used mainly 5 gallon (some 4 gallon and some 6 gallon, but mainly 5 gallon) plastic buckets to put the food in. And then to keep the bugs away, people would either use bay leaves, or dry ice or they would rent a great big tank of nitrogen and get a hose & wand special made so they could flush the food with nitrogen. And there was also vacuum sealing food.

The problem was that a plastic bucket isn’t a true barrier for oxygen or for moisture. And how cool or how warm the storage area was for those buckets had a lot to do with the shelf life of that food. So after 5 or 10 years, the food might be fine or it might have gotten attacked by moisture, causing mold or mildew. And once there was mold or mildew that bucket of food became hog food (oh dear!).

Oxygen absorbers became available around 1999 and then Mylar bags came into the picture after 2000. And why do we care? Just what IS the big deal about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers anyway?

Well, to start with, Mylar bags that are thick enough for long term food storage are considered true oxygen and moisture barriers when properly sealed. What?? Yes!! A Mylar bag made for long term food storage is a true oxygen and moisture barrier the way a tin can is or a glass jar is. And the bags (usually silver, gold or green) also keep out light. And they don’t break if dropped like a glass jar will.

Click here to read full article


Earth Watch

Large earth fissure discovered in Arizona
A new earth fissure, about 3.2 km (2 miles) long, was discovered 16 km (10 miles) SSW of Picacho Peak State Park of Arizona Trust Land in southern Pinal County, Arizona this month. The new fissure is oriented roughly north-south, and it parallels other fissures in the Tator Hills Earth Fissure Study Area. Fissures at Tator Hills were first observed in 1977, and by 2009 over 17.7 km (11 miles) of fissures were mapped there.  The width and depth of the new fissure varies dramatically along its length; from a narrow, inch-wide crack to a shallow crevice up to 3 m (10 feet) wide and 7.6 - 10.6 m (25 - 30 feet) deep, according to the Arizona Geological Survey. At 2.9 km (1.8 miles) in length, this newest fissure is more than 800 m (0.5 miles) longer than other area fissures. Unlike older fissures in the Tator Hills, this fissure is free of vegetation, commensurate with having formed over just the past several years. Comparing dated Google Earth imagery, AZGS Earth Fissure program manager, Joe Cook, determined the fissure began to form between March 2013 and December 2014.

Click here to read full article

Ice Watch

Heavy snowfall in Oregon, Idaho, Alaska is causing buildings to collapse
For buildings in parts of the snow-covered U.S. West, it has become a winter where the weak do not survive. The accumulated weight of snow has crushed an old lumber mill in Oregon, the main grocery store in a small Idaho town, a sports complex in Alaska and a conference center in Colorado, among others. The snow has led to some injuries and at least one death, when the roof of a woman’s snow-laden porch in northern Idaho fell while she was underneath it, officials say. Authorities fear more collapses will come. Storms this month have blanketed the West and kept dumping more snow on top of it. Experts say the rare combination of greater snowfall at lower elevations and prolonged cold temperatures that allowed the snow to accumulate without melting away is partly to blame for the collapses. The combination builds up an amount of snow that exceeds building codes set for weather expected only twice a century, said Dell Winegar, president of the Idaho Onion Growers Association, whose industry has felt the pain at its facilities.

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Snow falls in Sahara for first time in 37 years
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure are better musicians than they are meteorologists. Their 1984 Band Aid prediction that "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime" has once again been proven wrong -- and this time in spectacular fashion. The Algerian town of Ain Sefra, deep in the dry, hot Sahara desert was hit by a freak snowfall on December 19. It's the first time snow has fallen in the region in 37 years. These incredible pictures by amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata show the town's red dunes dramatically capped with white snow. The last time flakes are reported to have fallen here was when a brief blizzard hit town in February 1979. One of several towns to claim the moniker "Gateway to the Desert," Ain Sefra is 1,078 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains. The Sahara is the world's largest hot desert and its more than 9 million square kilometers cover most of North Africa.

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Ship Photos: U.S. Icebreaker ‘Polar Star’ Reaches McMurdo Station, Antarctica
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived at the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station Tuesday after cutting a resupply channel through more than 60 miles of Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea. The path through the seasonal and multi-year ice helps the annual delivery of operating supplies and fuel for two of NSF’s three U.S. research stations in Antarctica. The Polar Star is America’s only operational heavy icebreaker that is capable of conducting the Antarctic resupply mission. The cutter, which was built more than 40 years ago, has a crew of more than 140 people, is 399-feet long, weighs 13,500 tons and uses 75,000 horsepower to muscle its way through ice thicknesses of up to 21 feet. The Coast Guard says that in previous years Polar Star typically worked through approximately 12 to 13 miles of ice to reach McMurdo Station. This year, however, there was more than 60 miles of ice to break with thickness ranging from two feet to more than 10 feet.

Click here to read full article

In The News

China wants to make it rain over an area bigger than Britain and France
An artificial rain project costing 1.15 billion yuan ($168 million) has been approved by China’s top economic planning agency for the country’s dry northwestern provinces; the South China Morning Post reported. The project is part of a government program to modify the weather and will take three years. It comes as China’s Meteorological Administration found that with the proposed investment, rainfall and snow could rise in a 960,000 sq km area which is 10 percent of the country, and more than one-and-a-half times the size of France. The money will cover the purchase of four new planes, the upgrade of eight existing aircraft, the development of 897 rocket launch devices and connection of 1,856 devices to digital control systems. The rainmaking project is expected to help with “ecological security, water resource allocation, drought-fighting and forest fire prevention” in provinces plagued by water shortages, according to He Shengcun, an official at the Qinghai provincial government’s “weather influencing” office.

Click here to read full article

Weather Watch

4 die in California storms, state of emergency declared
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as a trio of severe storms pounded the state with flash floods, mudslides and raging rivers. At least four people died as a result. Flood watches and warnings were in effect in Southern California as downtown Los Angeles received nearly 4 inches of rain, inundating roadways, toppling trees and raising fears of damaging mudslides.

“WHOA! Take a look at this image of the 110 Freeway at the Carson Street overpass in Carson,” tweeted CBSLA. “Stay dry, and safe!” A couple living in Seal Beach, south of Los Angeles were at home when the rain began to fall. They watched as water began to fill the mobile home community, and water crept over the step leading up to their home. “It just started seeping in,” Emily Earhart told AP. “We started getting towels and realized it wasn’t going to do it.” Gov. Brown declared a State of Emergency on Monday to secure funding to help communities respond to and recover from severe winter storms that caused flooding, mudslides, erosion, debris flow and damage to roads and highways.

Click here to read full article

Severe weather, deadly flooding hits southern Italy
A low pressure area is producing heavy rain and strong winds in parts of southern Italy since January 21, 2017. The storm produced wind gusts up to 150 km/h (93 mph), locally large hail and at least two waterspouts, of which one reached land and damaged homes. At least one person has died. Torrential rain and strong winds were affecting the provinces of Agrigento, Messina, Trapani, Palermo, Catania, ANSA reported. Two rivers in Syracuse have overflowed and a stretch of the road in Girifalco, Catanzaro collapsed due to a landslide on January 23, it added. Schools are closed in Reggio, Catanzaro, Crotone and in several municipalities of the Ionian coast.  Some locations measured more than 200 mm (7.87 inches) of rain in 12 hours on January 23. A 67-year-old man died in Castronovo di Sicilia, Palermo after his car was swept away by muddy waters.

Click here to read full article

Worst wildfires in Chile's modern history
As of January 26, 2017, forest fires burning across central and southern Chile over the last couple of weeks have consumed an area of 238 600 hectares (589 600 acres / 981 mi2 / 2 386 km2) and killed 6 people. Red Alert for forest fires is in effect in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgings, Maule and Biobio. As of 07:00 UTC today, ONEMI reported 99 forest fires, of which 64 are still active, 30 have been controlled and five have been extinguished, in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobio, La Araucania. According to local media, as of the same date, the death toll has reached six people, of which five in Maule, and one more in Santiago (Metropolitan). They also reported at least 30 people injured, 4 000 people evacuated and over 340 houses damaged in the regions of Maule, Metropolitan, O'Higgings, Biobio. The wildfires are described as the worst in Chile's modern history and the country has asked for international help.

Click here to read full article

Technology Watch

‘Eureka moment’: AI software programmed to spot skin cancer by checking pics of moles
Scientists at Stanford University have taught an AI to diagnose early signs of skin cancer by feeding tens of thousands of images to its recognition database. They hope the AI would eventually become an effective cancer detection tool outside of clinics. The researchers tested the AI against 130,000 images, comparing the results to diagnoses of 21 clinicians. They say the result showed the software could detect the cancer with a high degree of accuracy. The findings were published in the academic journal Nature. “We realized it was feasible, not just to do something well, but as well as a human dermatologist,” said Sebastian Thrun from the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, in a statement published by the university’s website. “That’s when our thinking changed. That’s when we said, ‘Look, this is not just a class project for students, this is an opportunity to do something great for humanity.’” Using a database of 129,450 photographs showing over 2,000 types of skin diseases the software algorithm, developed by Google, was shown pixels of images with a related disease label, and quickly made the connection through a deep learning mechanism.

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Not sci-fi anymore: Paris introduces first driverless buses (PHOTOS)
The first self-driving buses have taken to the streets of Paris on a route between two train stations. There are now two such buses, each of which can take up to six people the 200 meters over a bridge between the Lyon and Austerlitz train stations.  The buses will be test-trialed for the next three months in a designated lane, without entering Paris’ busy traffic. The city’s authorities consider the new driverless buses a breakthrough. “Autonomous vehicles represent a revolution for every city on the planet... which will change our urban environment and public space in a spectacular fashion over the next 20 years,” Paris Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Missika told reporters. Although Paris has one of the best public transport systems in the world, like most capitals, it is difficult to reach from the suburbs, turning each morning commute into an ordeal. “We dream one day of having buses like these parked near RER stations which would come to collect passengers on demand,” Elisabeth Borne, the head of Paris’ transport network, explained.

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Something to Contemplate

How quantum biology might explain life’s biggest questions

Life Continues Within the Body After Death, Evidence Shows
Even after someone is declared dead, life continues in the body, suggests a surprising new study with important implications. Gene expression — when information stored in DNA is converted into instructions for making proteins or other molecules — actually increases in some cases after death, according to the new paper, which tracked postmortem activity and is published in the journal Open Biology. "Not all cells are 'dead' when an organism dies," senior author Peter Noble of the University of Washington and Alabama State University told Seeker. "Different cell types have different life spans, generation times and resilience to extreme stress." In fact, some cells seem to fight to live after the organism has died. "It is likely that some cells remain alive and are attempting to repair themselves, specifically stem cells," Noble said.

Signs of Cellular Life
The international team of scientists, led by Alex Pozhitkov, studied zebrafish and mice and believe that the phenomenon occurs in all animals, including humans.

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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

January 28th @ 8pm: Comedy LIVE
Chris Walter hosts: Kiera Giordan has worked with the likes of The Howard Stern Show and The Adam Carolla Show as well as hosting several of her own radio programs. Liz Donehue was a finalist in Acme’s “Funniest Person in the Twin Cities” contest. She returned to Seattle in 2015 created and is currently in “One Laugh at a Time,” a comedy show featuring sober comedians. J-Rock has performed across the country at clubs and private events, sharing the stage with nationally touring acts like Sean McBride, and several members of the MTV show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild N' Out. Rated R. Cost is $10. Doors open 7pm. Click for Comedian Bios

January 31st @ 7pm: Scott Mowry fills us in on news here and around the globe!!
Don't forget to come get your weekly updates in January - Every Tuesday night this month. Cost is $10.

February 4th @ 2pm: KESHE TECH presented by Dr. Rodrigo Vildosola
Always a packed house so get your tickets early!! Doors open 1:30pm, Cost is $35. Workshops will be scheduled for Feb 11th at 11am (see poster on for details)

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