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The Dark Forest Theory of the Universe

MAYBE IT'S TIME WE CONSIDER THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THE 'DARK FOREST THEORY.' If – as the numbers would indicate – we do have intelligent alien neighbors, why are we not hearing from them? Maybe it's time to think this situation through. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"But this scenario is a bit different in the Dark Forest theory which arises from Liu Cixin’s novel The Dark Forest, a sequel to the award-winning Three Body Problem. In the novel, the theory becomes an attempt to answer the question of the Fermi Paradox, a problem in science named after physicist Enrico Fermi. It is, in short, an exploration of why we’ve so far seen no signs of alien life when we should statistically be able to see at least 10,000 of them in the universe with 20 of those alien civilizations existing somewhere nearby (on a cosmic scale). These numbers come from the Drake equation, conceived by astronomer Frank Drake in 1961. The equation is an estimate of how many civilizations should exist in our galaxy by examining the many factors that might play a role in their development.
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"In The Dark Forest, the assumptions of life are this: living organisms want to stay alive — they have a survival drive — and there is no way to know the true intentions of other lifeforms. Because there can be no certainties of a peaceful encounter, the safest course of action is to eradicate the other species before they have a chance to attack you instead. This also explains why an alien society might want to stay quiet, reducing the risk of discovering that humanity, for example, might be hostile after all. The novel also brings up the point of limited resources. A civilization that wishes to continue expanding across the universe will need to compete for the limited resources with any other intelligent life. With this assumption, one need not even consider that the species is hostile. We endanger animal populations on our planet all the time, not out of hatred but out of need for resources."

The Dark Forest Theory of the Universe

A terrifying answer to “where are all the aliens?”


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Watch: Eerie Deepfake Video Depicts Nixon Announcing Apollo 11 Disaster | Coast to Coast AM

OUR BRAVE NEW WORLD: WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL OF "DEEPFAKE" VIDEOS FROM HERE ON OUT. Technology has advanced to the point where malefactors-with-a-motive are now capable of creating flawless "Deepfake" videos which are indistinguishable from the real thing.
Watch this Deepfake video (7:46) created by experts at MIT in order to demonstrate the point of believeability of a faked version of the July 1969 Moon event. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Initially unveiled last November at an art event, MIT's Center for Advanced Virtuality posted the creation online for the public on Monday in commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the Apollo landing. The group hopes that the video will enlighten people as to just how well-crafted and believable these so-called 'deepfake' videos can be, especially since it is almost certain the quality of such productions will only improve as technology advances."

Watch: Eerie Deepfake Video Depicts Nixon Announcing Apollo 11 Disaster | Coast to Coast AM

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers surrounding deepfake videos, experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released a chilling creation which depicts President Nixon announcing that the Apollo 11 mission had turned tragic.


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Research: Crop plants are taking up microplastics

NEW RESEARCH ASSERTS THAT 'MICROPLASTICS' ARE GETTING INTO THE FOOD WE CONSUME. New research published in the journal 'Nature Sustainability' confirms that edible plants do indeed take up microplastics (MPs) serving as a point of entry into the human body.
One controversy in organic agriculture has been the banning under USDA 'National Organic Program' standards of so-called "biodegradable" bio mulch. This research now confirms that the cautious ban has been visionary. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Microplastics (MPs), i.e., tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in length, can now be found throughout the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems, and even in our seafood and salt. As MPs have become ubiquitous, scientists have become concerned about the transfer of MPs from the environment to the food chain and the potential impact of MPs on human health…

"Most MPs are emitted to the terrestrial environment and accumulate in large amounts in soil. In addition, secondary particles are formed by the degradation of plastics. Wastewater, an important source of water for agricultural irrigation, also contains small-sized MPs…

"For decades, scientists believed that plastic particles were simply too large to pass through the physical barriers of intact plant tissue. But this new study disproves this assumption.

"'Cracks at the emerging sites of new lateral roots of lettuce and wheat crops can take in MPs from the surrounding soil and water. Those MPs can then be transferred from the roots up to the edible parts of the crop,' said Prof. Luo.

"Scientists already knew that particles as tiny as 50 nanometers in size could penetrate plant roots. But Prof. Luo's group revealed that particles about 40 times that size can get into plants as well…

"These findings shed new light on the possibility of food chain transfer of MPs. If MPs are getting into our crop plants, they are also getting into our meat and dairy. This raises obvious concerns about growing crops on fields contaminated with wastewater treatment discharge or sewage sludge, a process that could introduce MPs into the food chain. It also raises the key question of how MPs affect human health, a question for which there is as yet no clear answer."

Research: Crop plants are taking up microplastics

Microplastics (MPs), i.e., tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in length, can now be found throughout the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems, and even in our seafood and salt. As MPs have become ubiquitous, scientists have become concerned about the transfer of MPs from the environment to…


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The Future of Food: To fix the food system, fix our democracy

IS FIXING OUR DEMOCRACY KEY TO FIXING OUR FOOD SYSTEM? Iconic food writer Frances Moore Lappe – who wrote 'Diet for a Small Planet' almost 50 years ago – argues YES. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Fifty years ago, our world was also gripped by fear. Paul Ehrlich’s book 'The Population Bomb' predicted 'mass starvation' on a 'dying planet.' The ensuing scarcity scare triggered a fixation on ever-greater production of food.

"Along the way, agribusinesses have warned that only their seeds and agricultural chemicals could save us. 'Worrying about starving future generations won’t feed them. Food biotechnology will,' declared a 1998 Monsanto ad

"As our fear-driven vision narrowed, we continued to perceive lack — even when our more-than-ample food supply has kept well ahead of population growth…

"As creatures of the mind, we see the world through frames of meaning that determine what we can see and what we cannot. With a frame fixed on production, we’ve not seen how our global, corporate-driven food system has turned our food supply into a health hazard. Today, noncommunicable diseases account for almost 70 percent of deaths — and diet is implicated in most of them…

"It soon becomes clear that, as was true a half century ago, today people go hungry not from lack of food but from lack of power — the power to access food and the land to grow it…

"This is a lot easier when we team up — just as millions of courageous Americans are discovering, as today they step out together to demand deep, systemic reforms."

The Future of Food: To fix the food system, fix our democracy

The Future of Food from @GlobeIdeas: What we eat, where it comes from, and how we get it are being reimagined like never before. Our food can be tastier, more accessible, and healthier for us and the planet.


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How Has the Pandemic Affected Food Prices?

WHAT A DILEMMA: "CONSUMERS PAY MORE FOR FOOD, FARMERS EARN LESS." National Farmers Union (we are members) has prepared a valuable analysis of Food Price trends.
NFU highlights the enormous problem with a wobbly food system dominated by self-serving Industrial Ag: consumers are paying more – WAY MORE – and farmers are getting less.
The article contains helpful graphics which lay out the predicament.
Time to reform our food system so it will best serve the interests of citizens and the family farmers working hard to grow our nation's food.
A good place to start would be vigorous enforcement of EXISTING ANTI-TRUST LAWS. Honest enforment would effectively bust up competition-crushing monopolies which increasingly control agricultural inputs, production and market channels. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"In the last 12 months, food prices at grocery stores have risen 5.6 percent – the largest annual increase in nearly a decade. The severity of price increases vary drastically depending on the product; beef prices, for instance are 25 percent higher than they were a year ago, while those for fruits and vegetables are just 2.3 percent higher.

"But the extra money consumers are shelling out for their pantry staples isn’t being passed on to the farmers and ranchers who grew that food. In fact, the prices that farmers are currently receiving are, on average, 4.8 percent lowerthan they were last year. Like consumers’ prices, fluctuations in farmers’ prices differ significantly by product: livestock prices are 17 percent below where they were last May, whereas fruit and tree nut prices are 49 percent higher…

"…Many farmers, ranchers, and fishermen had nowhere to sell their products, forcing some to bury surplus crops or dump milk. Even those who were lucky enough to find a market often sold at a loss because the sudden drop in demand dragged down prices."

How Has the Pandemic Affected Food Prices?

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director In the last 12 months, food prices at grocery stores have risen 5.6 percent – the largest annual increase in nearly a decade. The severity of p…


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Congress passes the Great American Outdoors Act, President Trump praises the ‘historic bill’

CONGRESS PASSES MAJOR MILESTONE FUNDING BILL FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND PUBLIC LANDS. As a much-maligned institution, Congress deserves credit for this wise bi-partisan move to commit desperately-needed funds to properly manage our public lands and at the same time create 100,000 jobs nationwide.
"The Great American Outdoors Act is the most significant and historic conservation accomplishment in over fifty years," said primary sponsor Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
President Trump has indicated he will sign this bill into law. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"A bipartisan bill is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk for a signature that would spend about $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands.

"The U.S. House gave approval to the Great American Outdoors Act on Wednesday by a vote of 310 to 107.

"'By fixing and repairing our public lands and National Parks, we not only have the chance to improve the roads, hiking trails, campsites, and visitor centers for generations to enjoy but also to create thousands of job opportunities in Colorado and across the nation at a time when our country needs them most,' Gardner said. 'The LWCF not only provides funding to support and protect public lands, but it also dedicates 40 percent of its funding to state and local communities for things like city parks and ballfields, which allows people everywhere to enjoy the great outdoors…"

"The bill would spend about $900 million a year on land and water conservation and $1.9 billion on parks and other lands. According to Gardner, the act will bring more than 100,000 jobs nationwide and thousands of jobs in Colorado."

Congress passes the Great American Outdoors Act, President Trump praises the ‘historic bill’

The Great American Outdoors Act passed the U.S. House and is headed to President Donald Trump's desk for a signature.


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Maine utility critics plot public takeover of the state’s electric grid

MAINE STATE REP. SETH BERRY'S BILL ADVOCATING PUBLIC TAKEOVER OF MAINE'S POWER GRID SLATED FOR COMMITTEE HEARING THIS WEEK. Rep. Berry is a good man and a forward thinker. His landmark bill (LD 1646 ) would create a consumer-owned utility, give Mainers control over our State's power grid and deliver Mainers savings. (http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp…).
Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, is a six-term legislator, Legislative leader and chairs the Legislature’s joint Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.
If the bill is voted out of the EUT Committee it will then go to the floor for action by the full Legislature.
This article provides additional background on the pioneering legislation (https://www.boothbayregister.com/…/legislator-explai…/128293). Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Years of simmering frustration over power outages and transmission issues in Maine is fueling a pitch for a public takeover of the state’s electric grid.

"Maine records longer and more frequent power outages than any other state, according to federal data. The state’s investor-owned utilities blame the state’s rugged topography, but critics say the companies have underinvested in the grid infrastructure that could improve reliability and better accommodate renewables.

"Now, a bipartisan bill is proposing to buy the transmission and distribution infrastructure of Central Maine Power and Emera and create a new publicly owned utility to operate it…

"The proposal’s architects and supporters say the benefits of what they call a 'consumer-owned utility' are clear — Mainers would save money and it would create thousands of green jobs while vastly improving one of the nation’s most unreliable grids.

"It would also give Maine control over utility infrastructure, which is essential to quickly decarbonizing the state and meeting climate goals, said Rep. Seth Berry, the bill’s author. While Maine is now aiming to reduce its 1990 carbon emission levels by 80% by 2050, a consumer-owned utility could potentially halve that timeline, according to Berry’s calculations.

“'The key here is to understand that the grid is the foundation of our clean energy future,' he said. 'So control of the grid and the decision making process around it is critical.'

"LD 1646 would create a nonprofit called the Maine Power Delivery Authority that would purchase Emera’s and Central Maine Power’s infrastructure. Power plants and other generation sources would not change hands…

“'Shareholders are there to make a profit from the companies’ investments,' Ely said. 'In the model that Rep. Berry is putting forward, Mainers are the shareholders and our goals are not just lower cost energy, but really forwarding Maine’s clean energy goals, and that would be a breath of fresh air'…

"Berry’s proposal has at least some support on both sides of the aisle, including those who are concerned about climate change, as well as globalism and large corporations that 'control vital aspects of our lives,' Berry said. Meanwhile, the proposal would be a job creator at a time when the nation is teetering on the edge of recession.

“'All across the political spectrum, the stars are aligned, Berry said."

Maine utility critics plot public takeover of the state’s electric grid

Creating a publicly owned distribution utility could boost reliability and renewables, supporters of the proposal argue.


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Fresh veg sales at retail up 16% from year-ago levels

FRESH VEGETABLE SALES WAY UP THANKS TO PANDEMIC. Produce Industry journal 'The Packer' is reporting that with more Americans cooking at home, compared to year-ago-figures, fresh produce sales are way up, most especially fresh vegetables. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Retail sales of fresh vegetables continue to significantly exceed 2019 as many consumers continue to eat more meals at home during the COVID-19 pandemic…

"In that environment, fresh produce sales for the week ending July 12 were up 11% to $1.39 billion, according to IRI. Fresh vegetable sales were up 16.1%, while fresh fruit sales were up 6.5%…

"On the vegetable side, eight of the top 10 items saw double-digit gains, including the following with growth of 20% or more compared to last year: tomatoes (up 21.6% to $95 million), peppers (up 22.9% to $55 million), mushrooms (up 24.2% to $27 million), corn (up 44.2% to $38 million) and broccoli (up 20.6% to $22 million)…

"'We knew Independence Day was a tough bar to beat, so it was hard to say where everyday demand would land us in the non-holiday week,' Watson said in the release. 'I am pleased to see that everyday demand for fresh produce is strong, boosting sales gains back into double digits over year ago. But while the strong retail demand is a big plus for our industry, the reversal on opening in-restaurant dining is a devastating hit to foodservice produce sales.'"

Fresh veg sales at retail up 16% from year-ago levels

Retail sales of fresh vegetables continue to significantly exceed 2019 as many consumers continue to eat more meals at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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New billboard warning of GM Mosquitoes

WILL FLORIDA ALLOW GENETICALLY-MODIFIED-MOSQUITOES? Not a good idea and a Pandora's Box for MANY reasons, including that GMM supplier 'Oxitec' lacks competency and integrity. Jim

"…growing opposition to the pending decision about the release of millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes (GMMs) in Monroe County, Florida. The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is expected to vote on the release tomorrow afternoon, July 21, 2020, at its public meeting…

"The EPA first rejected the release of these experimental mosquitoes, and then replaced all knowledgeable personnel and approved GM mosquitoes with new personnel for environmental release…

"Although documents submitted by British company Oxitec, owned by venture capital firm Third Security, LLC, claim that they will not release female mosquitoes, a recent study from the Powell Lab at Yale University found that the GM female mosquitoes were not sterile as Oxitec claimed, and that the offspring of the company's genetically modified mosquitoes survived into adulthood. The study also raised major concerns that GM mosquitoes could create hybrid wild mosquitoes, which may worsen the spread of disease and be more resistant to insecticides than the original wild mosquitoes. In the wake of Powell's discoveries, Oxitec has publicly contradicted their previous claims, admitting females were released and hybrid species are expected…

"Recent trials in the Cayman resulted in the rejection of the Oxitec technology and 128 pages of emails
released from Chief Scientist, Dr. Allan Wheeler, for the Cayman Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), who oversaw the testing. The emails exposed the numerous misrepresentation and scientific performance issues experienced during the trial. Oxitec has never addressed the conflict or disparity of their performance claims, versus the actual data collected.

"The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is expected to vote on the rejection or approval of Oxitec's proposed genetically modified mosquito field trial on Tuesday, July 21, at 5pm EST. The public may offer public comments during the meeting via the agency's website."

New billboard warning of GM Mosquitoes

For Immediate Release: New billboard warning of GM Mosquitoes in the Florida Keys


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UNLOADING A 'NEW' OLIVER 77 TRACTOR. Before the hot weather, Caleb an…

UNLOADING A 'NEW' OLIVER 77 TRACTOR. Before the hot weather, Caleb and Jim ventured north up to Fork Kent, at Maine’s northernmost tip, to check out a 1951 Oliver 77 Gas tractor which had shown up on Craig’s List.
It turned out the owner was anxious to sell so we got ourselves a good deal. We're still deciding whether we’ll run this tractor or, alternatively, strip it out for parts.
We need to rebuild another tractor we’ve owned for 25 years, a somewhat newer 1950s Oliver ‘Super 77’ which needs a new engine, radiator and replacement rear wheels and tires. This new '77 is outfitted for a belt pulley but lacks hydraulics. Super 77s had factory-built hydraulics which every farmer values. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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