Author Archive

Largest cut stones ever found

http://investmentwatchblog.com/newly-found-megalithic-ruins-in-russia-contain-the-largest-blocks-of-stone-ever-discovered/

or:

http://tinyurl.com/mxysbvv

Those old guys seem to have had a lotta tricks up their sleeves that we can’t duplicate.

Could it be that all the history we were taught is a bit defective? Time for new model?

Peace –

Haj

Comments

Edward Snowden interview on ARD TV in Germany

If you have been wondering what kind of a person Mr. Snowden is, and why he released vast hordes of secret documents, may I recommend that you watch this video. I am grateful to Bruce Steven Holms (bsh@timelessvovager.com) for publicizing this thoughtful and probing interview, and I urge you all to pass it on the others who may be ready to rethink the value of letting the government spy on all of us at all times.

Peace –

Haj

BTW: click on the lower photo to see thevideo.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/02/media-blacks-new-snowden-interview-government-doesnt-want-see.html

or: http://tinyurl.com/ne92qdl

This past Sunday evening former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with German television network ARD. The interview has been intentionally blocked from the US public, with virtually no major broadcast news outlets covering this story. In addition, the video has been taken down almost immediately every time it’s posted on YouTube.

In contrast, this was treated as a major political event in both print and broadcast media, in Germany, and across much of the world. In the interview, Mr. Snowden lays out a succinct case as to how these domestic surveillance programs undermine and erode human rights and democratic freedom.He states that his “breaking point” was “seeing Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress” denying the existence of a domestic spying programs while under questioning in March of last year. Mr. Snowden goes on to state that, “The public had a right to know about these programs. The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public.”

It seems clear that the virtual blackout of this insightful interview is yet another deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth from the view of the American public. The media has continually attempted to shill the official government lies about mass domestic surveillance programs, justifying them as necessary to fight the “War on Terror”, while attempting to painting Mr. Snowden as a traitor.

In regards to accusations that he is a traitor or a foreign agent, he states, “ If I am traitor, who did I betray? I gave all my information to the American public, to American journalists who are reporting on American issues. If they see that as treason, I think people really need to consider who they think they’re working for. The public is supposed to be their boss, not their enemy. Beyond that as far as my personal safety, Ill never be fully safe until these systems have changed.”

Comments

Why women live longer than men: http://tinyurl.com/oar4zh8

Thanks to Chas Pyle for this string of clear-thinking men –

http://tinyurl.com/oar4zh8

Peace –

Haj

Comments

Guess what? 1% vs. 99% was the good ol’ days

Click on:
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

or, shorter: http://tinyurl.com/o8pvex6

You didn’t need me to tell you – everyone has heard it, knows it in their bones. A while back, one percent of the world owned as much as the 99% of the rest of us. Old news. But now, because of the addictive nature of greed, a far smaller number of people – let us say, uncontroversially, 0.01% – owns more than 99.99% of the rest of us. And that split is widening, has been widening increasingly rapidly, since the 1970’s. I won’t bother to give you references, you all can find them, anyone with a computer can.
Because so many people believe that they need not only more than they can spend, but more than anyone else, the crazy race goes on, with terrible consequences for huger and huger numbers of us – who can’t get enough to eat, and therefore either stave to death, or in desperation, turn to crime, to add to the pain of starvation the sharper pain of bullet or knife wounds.

Putting this undeniable and undefined fact so clearly in the headlines is due to the fearless struggle waged by those in the Occupy movement. We owe them a lot.

What is to be done?

Amazingly, from left field, something arising from the incredibly complex mathematical field of cryptography, has been invented: Bitcoin. I owe my slender understanding of this invention to our nephew Dimas de Abreu Dutra, who has the math chops to understand it well enough to give me the basic idea. I do not have a good reference for the technical background that Dimas laid out for me, but my old friend Norm Dolph has just sent me a link to a non-technical article about the economic revolutionarity of Bitcoin – a new way for one person to buy something from another with no governments or banks being involved, As you will see, it will help us in many ways.
I may have misunderstood the following article by Marc Andreessen, but I believe that the fact that this new type of currency cannot be stolen or cheated with, and the fact that no one makes any percentage from me paying you $199.00 in Bitcoin to buy an iPad from you, instead of the 3% ± (at least) that all of us are always paying whenever we use cash from any country – those two facts are going to take a lot of money out of the hands of the super-rich, who have been getting a lot of those 3% from us without our knowledge (or acquiescence). When the world moves to Bitcoin, is is going to be a lot harder to have trillions of dollars.

I hope that I am not wrong (and that if I am, someone will be kind enough to explain to me how).

Anyway, I hope that you will find the following article as fascinating as I have.

Thank you old friends Dimas and Norm!

Peace –

Haj

Click on:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/

or, shorter, http://tinyurl.com/l34er52

Why Bitcoin matters
Marc Andreessen

• MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
• INVESTMENT BANKING
• PRIVATE EQUITY
• HEDGE FUNDS
• I.P.O./OFFERINGS
• VENTURE CAPITAL
• LEGAL/REGULATORY
ANOTHER VIEW JANUARY 21, 2014, 11:54 AM 66 Comments
Why Bitcoin Matters
By MARC ANDREESSEN
Keith Bedford/ReutersMarc Andreessen, a co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
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• TWITTER
• SAVE
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Editor’s note: Marc Andreessen’s venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested just under $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. The firm is actively searching for more Bitcoin-based investment opportunities. He does not personally own more than a de minimis amount of Bitcoin.
A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.
Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.
On the other hand, technologists – nerds – are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.
Eventually mainstream products, companies and industries emerge to commercialize it; its effects become profound; and later, many people wonder why its powerful promise wasn’t more obvious from the start.
What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and – I believe – Bitcoin in 2014.
One can hardly accuse Bitcoin of being an uncovered topic, yet the gulf between what the press and many regular people believe Bitcoin is, and what a growing critical mass of technologists believe Bitcoin is, remains enormous. In this post, I will explain why Bitcoin has so many Silicon Valley programmers and entrepreneurs all lathered up, and what I think Bitcoin’s future potential is.
First, Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science – one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world.
Bitcoin is the first practical solution to a longstanding problem in computer science called the Byzantine Generals Problem. To quote from the original paper defining the B.G.P.: “[Imagine] a group of generals of the Byzantine army camped with their troops around an enemy city. Communicating only by messenger, the generals must agree upon a common battle plan. However, one or more of them may be traitors who will try to confuse the others. The problem is to find an algorithm to ensure that the loyal generals will reach agreement.”
More generally, the B.G.P. poses the question of how to establish trust between otherwise unrelated parties over an untrusted network like the Internet.
The practical consequence of solving this problem is that Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.
What kinds of digital property might be transferred in this way? Think about digital signatures, digital contracts, digital keys (to physical locks, or to online lockers), digital ownership of physical assets such as cars and houses, digital stocks and bonds … and digital money.
All these are exchanged through a distributed network of trust that does not require or rely upon a central intermediary like a bank or broker. And all in a way where only the owner of an asset can send it, only the intended recipient can receive it, the asset can only exist in one place at a time, and everyone can validate transactions and ownership of all assets anytime they want.
How does this work?
Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger. You buy into the ledger by purchasing one of a fixed number of slots, either with cash or by selling a product and service for Bitcoin. You sell out of the ledger by trading your Bitcoin to someone else who wants to buy into the ledger. Anyone in the world can buy into or sell out of the ledger any time they want – with no approval needed, and with no or very low fees. The Bitcoin “coins” themselves are simply slots in the ledger, analogous in some ways to seats on a stock exchange, except much more broadly applicable to real world transactions.
The Bitcoin ledger is a new kind of payment system. Anyone in the world can pay anyone else in the world any amount of value of Bitcoin by simply transferring ownership of the corresponding slot in the ledger. Put value in, transfer it, the recipient gets value out, no authorization required, and in many cases, no fees.
That last part is enormously important. Bitcoin is the first Internetwide payment system where transactions either happen with no fees or very low fees (down to fractions of pennies). Existing payment systems charge fees of about 2 to 3 percent – and that’s in the developed world. In lots of other places, there either are no modern payment systems or the rates are significantly higher. We’ll come back to that.
Bitcoin is a digital bearer instrument. It is a way to exchange money or assets between parties with no pre-existing trust: A string of numbers is sent over email or text message in the simplest case. The sender doesn’t need to know or trust the receiver or vice versa. Related, there are no chargebacks – this is the part that is literally like cash – if you have the money or the asset, you can pay with it; if you don’t, you can’t. This is brand new. This has never existed in digital form before.
Bitcoin is a digital currency, whose value is based directly on two things: use of the payment system today – volume and velocity of payments running through the ledger – and speculation on future use of the payment system. This is one part that is confusing people. It’s not as much that the Bitcoin currency has some arbitrary value and then people are trading with it; it’s more that people can trade with Bitcoin (anywhere, everywhere, with no fraud and no or very low fees) and as a result it has value.
It is perhaps true right at this moment that the value of Bitcoin currency is based more on speculation than actual payment volume, but it is equally true that that speculation is establishing a sufficiently high price for the currency that payments have become practically possible. The Bitcoin currency had to be worth something before it could bear any amount of real-world payment volume. This is the classic “chicken and egg” problem with new technology: new technology is not worth much until it’s worth a lot. And so the fact that Bitcoin has risen in value in part because of speculation is making the reality of its usefulness arrive much faster than it would have otherwise.
Critics of Bitcoin point to limited usage by ordinary consumers and merchants, but that same criticism was leveled against PCs and the Internet at the same stage. Every day, more and more consumers and merchants are buying, using and selling Bitcoin, all around the world. The overall numbers are still small, but they are growing quickly. And ease of use for all participants is rapidly increasing as Bitcoin tools and technologies are improved. Remember, it used to be technically challenging to even get on the Internet. Now it’s not.
The criticism that merchants will not accept Bitcoin because of its volatility is also incorrect. Bitcoin can be used entirely as a payment system; merchants do not need to hold any Bitcoin currency or be exposed to Bitcoin volatility at any time. Any consumer or merchant can trade in and out of Bitcoin and other currencies any time they want.
Why would any merchant – online or in the real world – want to accept Bitcoin as payment, given the currently small number of consumers who want to pay with it? My partner Chris Dixon recently gave this example:
“Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5 percent, which means conventional 2.5 percent payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5 percent to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice. Another challenge merchants have with payments is accepting international payments. If you are wondering why your favorite product or service isn’t available in your country, the answer is often payments.”
In addition, merchants are highly attracted to Bitcoin because it eliminates the risk of credit card fraud. This is the form of fraud that motivates so many criminals to put so much work into stealing personal customer information and credit card numbers.
Since Bitcoin is a digital bearer instrument, the receiver of a payment does not get any information from the sender that can be used to steal money from the sender in the future, either by that merchant or by a criminal who steals that information from the merchant.
Credit card fraud is such a big deal for merchants, credit card processors and banks that online fraud detection systems are hair-trigger wired to stop transactions that look even slightly suspicious, whether or not they are actually fraudulent. As a result, many online merchants are forced to turn away 5 to 10 percent of incoming orders that they could take without fear if the customers were paying with Bitcoin, where such fraud would not be possible. Since these are orders that were coming in already, they are inherently the highest margin orders a merchant can get, and so being able to take them will drastically increase many merchants’ profit margins.
Bitcoin’s antifraud properties even extend into the physical world of retail stores and shoppers.
For example, with Bitcoin, the huge hack that recently stole 70 million consumers’ credit card information from the Target department store chain would not have been possible. Here’s how that would work:
You fill your cart and go to the checkout station like you do now. But instead of handing over your credit card to pay, you pull out your smartphone and take a snapshot of a QR code displayed by the cash register. The QR code contains all the information required for you to send Bitcoin to Target, including the amount. You click “Confirm” on your phone and the transaction is done (including converting dollars from your account into Bitcoin, if you did not own any Bitcoin).
Target is happy because it has the money in the form of Bitcoin, which it can immediately turn into dollars if it wants, and it paid no or very low payment processing fees; you are happy because there is no way for hackers to steal any of your personal information; and organized crime is unhappy. (Well, maybe criminals are still happy: They can try to steal money directly from poorly-secured merchant computer systems. But even if they succeed, consumers bear no risk of loss, fraud or identity theft.)
Finally, I’d like to address the claim made by some critics that Bitcoin is a haven for bad behavior, for criminals and terrorists to transfer money anonymously with impunity. This is a myth, fostered mostly by sensationalistic press coverage and an incomplete understanding of the technology. Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Further, every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds.
What’s the future of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a classic network effect, a positive feedback loop. The more people who use Bitcoin, the more valuable Bitcoin is for everyone who uses it, and the higher the incentive for the next user to start using the technology. Bitcoin shares this network effect property with the telephone system, the web, and popular Internet services like eBay and Facebook.
In fact, Bitcoin is a four-sided network effect. There are four constituencies that participate in expanding the value of Bitcoin as a consequence of their own self-interested participation. Those constituencies are (1) consumers who pay with Bitcoin, (2) merchants who accept Bitcoin, (3) “miners” who run the computers that process and validate all the transactions and enable the distributed trust network to exist, and (4) developers and entrepreneurs who are building new products and services with and on top of Bitcoin.
All four sides of the network effect are playing a valuable part in expanding the value of the overall system, but the fourth is particularly important.
All over Silicon Valley and around the world, many thousands of programmers are using Bitcoin as a building block for a kaleidoscope of new product and service ideas that were not possible before. And at our venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, we are seeing a rapidly increasing number of outstanding entrepreneurs – not a few with highly respected track records in the financial industry – building companies on top of Bitcoin.
For this reason alone, new challengers to Bitcoin face a hard uphill battle. If something is to displace Bitcoin now, it will have to have sizable improvements and it will have to happen quickly. Otherwise, this network effect will carry Bitcoin to dominance.
One immediately obvious and enormous area for Bitcoin-based innovation is international remittance. Every day, hundreds of millions of low-income people go to work in hard jobs in foreign countries to make money to send back to their families in their home countries – over $400 billion in total annually, according to the World Bank. Every day, banks and payment companies extract mind-boggling fees, up to 10 percent and sometimes even higher, to send this money.
Switching to Bitcoin, which charges no or very low fees, for these remittance payments will therefore raise the quality of life of migrant workers and their families significantly. In fact, it is hard to think of any one thing that would have a faster and more positive effect on so many people in the world’s poorest countries.
Moreover, Bitcoin generally can be a powerful force to bring a much larger number of people around the world into the modern economic system. Only about 20 countries around the world have what we would consider to be fully modern banking and payment systems; the other roughly 175 have a long way to go. As a result, many people in many countries are excluded from products and services that we in the West take for granted. Even Netflix, a completely virtual service, is only available in about 40 countries. Bitcoin, as a global payment system anyone can use from anywhere at any time, can be a powerful catalyst to extend the benefits of the modern economic system to virtually everyone on the planet.
And even here in the United States, a long-recognized problem is the extremely high fees that the “unbanked” — people without conventional bank accounts – pay for even basic financial services. Bitcoin can be used to go straight at that problem, by making it easy to offer extremely low-fee services to people outside of the traditional financial system.
A third fascinating use case for Bitcoin is micropayments, or ultrasmall payments. Micropayments have never been feasible, despite 20 years of attempts, because it is not cost effective to run small payments (think $1 and below, down to pennies or fractions of a penny) through the existing credit/debit and banking systems. The fee structure of those systems makes that nonviable.
All of a sudden, with Bitcoin, that’s trivially easy. Bitcoins have the nifty property of infinite divisibility: currently down to eight decimal places after the dot, but more in the future. So you can specify an arbitrarily small amount of money, like a thousandth of a penny, and send it to anyone in the world for free or near-free.
Think about content monetization, for example. One reason media businesses such as newspapers struggle to charge for content is because they need to charge either all (pay the entire subscription fee for all the content) or nothing (which then results in all those terrible banner ads everywhere on the web). All of a sudden, with Bitcoin, there is an economically viable way to charge arbitrarily small amounts of money per article, or per section, or per hour, or per video play, or per archive access, or per news alert.
Another potential use of Bitcoin micropayments is to fight spam. Future email systems and social networks could refuse to accept incoming messages unless they were accompanied with tiny amounts of Bitcoin – tiny enough to not matter to the sender, but large enough to deter spammers, who today can send uncounted billions of spam messages for free with impunity.
Finally, a fourth interesting use case is public payments. This idea first came to my attention in a news article a few months ago. A random spectator at a televised sports event held up a placard with a QR code and the text “Send me Bitcoin!” He received $25,000 in Bitcoin in the first 24 hours, all from people he had never met. This was the first time in history that you could see someone holding up a sign, in person or on TV or in a photo, and then send them money with two clicks on your smartphone: take the photo of the QR code on the sign, and click to send the money.
Think about the implications for protest movements. Today protesters want to get on TV so people learn about their cause. Tomorrow they’ll want to get on TV because that’s how they’ll raise money, by literally holding up signs that let people anywhere in the world who sympathize with them send them money on the spot. Bitcoin is a financial technology dream come true for even the most hardened anticapitalist political organizer.
The coming years will be a period of great drama and excitement revolving around this new technology.
For example, some prominent economists are deeply skeptical of Bitcoin, even though Ben S. Bernanke, formerly Federal Reserve chairman, recently wrote that digital currencies like Bitcoin “may hold long-term promise, particularly if they promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” And in 1999, the legendary economist Milton Friedman said: “One thing that’s missing but will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A – the way I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and you may get that without knowing who I am.”
Economists who attack Bitcoin today might be correct, but I’m with Ben and Milton.
Further, there is no shortage of regulatory topics and issues that will have to be addressed, since almost no country’s regulatory framework for banking and payments anticipated a technology like Bitcoin.
But I hope that I have given you a sense of the enormous promise of Bitcoin. Far from a mere libertarian fairy tale or a simple Silicon Valley exercise in hype, Bitcoin offers a sweeping vista of opportunity to reimagine how the financial system can and should work in the Internet era, and a catalyst to reshape that system in ways that are more powerful for individuals and businesses alike.

Comments

Underwtaer pyramid found near the Azores

Folks –

What do you think when you see something like this?

http://worldtruth.tv/underwater-pyramid-found-near-portugal-has-portuguese-navy-investigating-2/

That it’s a hoax? Not me. I am comfortable with aspast that is as mysterious as was the furtue. Hope you all are too.

May I suggest that oyu subscribe to Bruce Stephen Holms’s blog? I do, and I find it astounding. See whatcha think.

http://worldtruth.tv/underwater-pyramid-found-near-portugal-has-portuguese-navy-investigating-2/


To subscribe: Reply with “subscribe” in the subject line.
To unsubscribe: Reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Bruce Stephen Holms
bsh@timelessvoyager.com

“Nothing happens by accident. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is connected.”

“… if time travel is ever accomplished then it exists throughout time…”

TIMELESS VOYAGER PRESS
PO BOX 6678
SANTA BARBARA CA 93160
http://www.timelessvoyager.com

Comments

Anunnaki base suspected by the Russians. Subtitled in English:

Hi friends –

Here’s one to start the year off with a strangest bang:

http://www.examiner.com/article/did-us-navy-battle-ufos-protecting-nazi-antarctic-sanctuary-1947

or, shorter:

http://tinyurl.com/ocohw8v

It comes to us from a great source: TIMELESS VOYAGER PRESS
PO BOX 6678
SANTA BARBARA CA 93160
http://www.timelessvoyager.com

Check it out.

Happy 2014!

Peace –

Haj

Comments

Scamming season! Be on your toes!

http://randolphbeck.com/blog/2013/12/theyre-always-out-there-2/

They’re always out there but now is the time of year when you’re more likely to assume that a message from FedEx is really from FedEx.

It may really be a virus.

You should always look closely at the web links attached to your email before you click them.

When it looks like this: http://www.fedex.com@ajax11a.cz/arrival/ it may look like it’s at fedex.com, but it’s really at ajax11a.cz. That “@” instead of a “/” makes all the difference. (BTW: I made up that URL, and am assuming there’s nobody there.)

Scammers may also have a correct-looking link with the “/” displayed in the message, but have the “@” in the actual link.

It pays to be extra careful. (Thanks to Chas Pyle for this warning)

Another friend warns that

Amazon Order Details Invoice 87710 from amazonreportx.com
is a scam email. don’t open it – plants a trojan horse.

I have tried to confirm this at Snopes.com, but could not. I have asked a geek friend about it, but he is on vacation till January 6. So it may be OK, but erring on the side of caution is to be recommended.

In case I don’t write again before Christmas, is wish you the happiest times for anything you like to celebrate, whether linked to a religion or not. And let’s all try to make our planet a happier one in 2014 (and 2015 2016, etc.)

Peace –

Haj

Here’s a lovely piece that my daughter sent to me. I don’t know who wrote it, but I sure agree with its philosophy.

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every
day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you received this, it is because someone cares for you.

If you’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won’t be the last.

Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.

“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”

I don’t believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
[A present from Pip]

Comments

Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code

Friends –

This may be one of the greatest turning points in the history of science. It has that faintest fragrance of the Infinite.

And if you like this post from Bruce Stephen Holmes, consider signing on to his blog. I’ve been with him for maybe a year, and it has been a wonderful trip.

Much love to you all for the Turning of the Light.

Peace –

Haj

SOURCE: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/12/12/scientists-discover-double-meaning-in-genetic-code/

December 12, 2013
Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code
UW Health Sciences and UW Medicine
Posted under: Health and Medicine , News Releases , Research , Science , Technology

Scientists have discovered a second code hiding within DNA. This second code contains information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.

High resolution Click to expand
Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopolous led a team that discovered a second code hidden in DNA.

A research team led by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, made the discovery. The findings are reported in the Dec. 13 issue of Science. The work is part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, also known as ENCODE. The National Human Genome Research Institute funded the multi-year, international effort. ENCODE aims to discover where and how the directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome.
Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write information about proteins. UW scientists were stunned to discover that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages. One describes how proteins are made, and the other instructs the cell on how genes are controlled. One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden for so long.
“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”

The genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. The UW team discovered that some codons, which they called duons, can have two meanings, one related to protein sequence, and one related to gene control. These two meanings seem to have evolved in concert with each other. The gene control instructions appear to help stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they are made.
The discovery of duons has major implications for how scientists and physicians interpret a patient’s genome and will open new doors to the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
“The fact that the genetic code can simultaneously write two kinds of information means that many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously,” said Stamatoyannopoulos.
Grants from the National Institutes of Health U54HG004592, U54HG007010, and UO1E51156 and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases FDK095678A funded the research.

In addition to Stamatoyannopoulos, the research team included Andrew B. Stergachis, Eric Haugen, Anthony Shafer, Wenqing Fu, Benjamin Vernot, Alex Reynolds, and Joshua M. Akey, all from the UW Department of Genome Sciences, Anthony Raubitschek of the UW Department of Immunology and Benaroya Research Institute, Steven Ziegler of Benaroya Research Institute, and Emily M. LeProust, formerly of Agilent Technologists and now with Twist Bioscience.


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Bruce Stephen Holms
bsh@timelessvoyager.com

“Nothing happens by accident. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is connected.”

“… if time travel is ever accomplished then it exists throughout time…”

TIMELESS VOYAGER PRESS
PO BOX 6678
SANTA BARBARA CA 93160
http://www.timelessvoyager.com

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The ideas contained in this material are the sole property of Timeless Voyager Press. This material has not been published and contains valuable trade secrets of Timeless Voyager Press, embodying substantial creative efforts and confidential information, know-how, ideas and expressions, no part of which may be used, communicated, loaned, reproduced, or copied in any manner, directly or indirectly, for any purpose, without prior written permission of Timeless Voyager Press. Copyright 2013, an unpublished work by Timeless Voyager Press

(*Dr.) Haj Ross
1919 Mistywood Lane,
Denton, Texas, USA. 76209-2267
Phone and FAX: 940 383 0224 (H) Cell: 940 735 2502
Blog: haj.nadamelhor.com
Some poetics and some pragmantax papers are at:
http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler/hajpapers.html
Squibnet is at: http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler/haj/Squibnet/

Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle, # 305298
Denton, TX 76203-5017
My office: Language 407K
Office hours: Thursdays 4-6, or by appointment.
Tel: 940 565 4458 (for messages only)
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Your work is to discover your work
and then with all your heart
to give yourself to it.

The Buddha
The Dhammapada
Thomas Byrom, Shambhala Press

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every
day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you received this, it is because someone cares for you.

If you’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won’t be the last.

Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.

“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”

I don’t believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
[A present from Pip]

Comments

Matt Taibbi: Another Batch of Wall Street Villains Freed on Technicality

Folks –

If you have never read Rolling Stone for politics, you can start right here. Matt Taibbi is a terrific writer. Please pass on what he says to your friends. It is way past time for the 1% to start paying their fair share. I’m tired of their abuses and greediness. They shoudl be sent to bed without their supper, and then to federal prison.

Peace and Marry and Happy whatever you like to celebrate around the Turning of the LIght.

Haj

Another Batch of Wall Street Villains Freed on Technicality
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

05 December 13

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/304-justice/20782-another-batch-of-wall-street-villains-freed-on-technicality

I love covering trials, which is one reason I’ve been a little sad since switching over to the Wall Street beat: Few of the bad guys in this world ever even get interviewed by the authorities, much less indicted, so trials are comically rare.

But we did have one last year, a big one, and though it was boring and jargon-laden enough on the surface that at least one juror fought sleep in its opening days, I thought it was fascinating. In a story about the Justice Department’s Spring 2012 prosecution of a wide-raging municipal bond bid-rigging case, I called it the “first trial of the modern American mafia “:

“Of course, you won’t hear about the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that . . . But this just completed trial in downtown New York . . . allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.”

Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm were mid-level players who worked for GE Capital. They were involved in a wide-ranging scheme (one that also involved most of America’s biggest banks, from Chase to BOA to Wachovia) to skim billions of dollars from America’s cities and towns by rigging the auctions banks set up to help towns earn the highest returns on the management of municipal bond issues.

The case was over 10 years in the making and involved offenses that took place long before the 2008 crash. All three defendants were convicted in May 2012, with Goldberg ultimately getting four years and the other two getting three.

Now, they’re all free. A New York federal judge last week ordered their convictions overturned in a quiet Thanksgiving-week transaction.

The GE Muni-riggers will now join such luminaries as the Gen Re defendants (executives from an insurance company who were convicted in 2008 of helping AIG conduct a fraudulent accounting transaction) and the KPMG defendants (executives of the U.S. arm of the Dutch accounting giant who were convicted in the 2000s of selling illegal tax shelters) in the ranks of Wall Street line-crossers who improbably made it all the way to guilty verdicts in criminal cases, only to be freed on technicalities later on.

As one antitrust lawyer I know put it: “Apparently, the government can’t seem to get criminal trials involving financial executives (as opposed to, well, drug dealers) right. Go figure.”

In this case, the defendants were shielded by the sheer complexity of the case. It would appear that the state took so long sorting through the mountains of recorded conversations and interviews to find the massive but well-camouflaged crime – these men, along with others like them in other banks, were using code words to rig the auction process so that banks and finance companies could collude and bid lower for city and town money management business – that the statute of limitations ran out on their own individual actions. When that happened, the Feds then switched up and charged them with different crimes related to what they claimed was an ongoing conspiracy, using continuing interest payments to establish the “ongoing” part of the indictment.

According to the lawyers for the three men, this allowed the government to unfairly bypass the statute of limitations. The lawyers for two of the men gave statements that recalled the heartwarming courthouse-steps speeches given by attorneys for genuine innocents, freed from prison after years of suffering by DNA results.

“We feel gratified by the Second Circuit’s order, which allowed Steve Goldberg to be freed in time for Thanksgiving with his family,” said David Frederick, Goldberg’s attorney.

There are two important reasons why Wall Street defendants tend to slink out of convictions more easily than, say, drug dealers or burglars. Both reasons showed loudly in this case.

One is obvious. The Wall Street types have better lawyers. They don’t miss anything and they all have gigantic balls (or are paid to have them, anyway). In this case, who knows, the court might even have been technically right in its decision. But it needed to be led there by lawyers with the skill to pull it off.

The argument in this case was relatively straightforward, as the government itself admitted it missed the deadline to charge the defendants based upon their own actions. But in the KPMG case, for instance, the court had to be convinced that an official Department of Justice policy for securing cooperation from corporate targets – one originally dreamed up by Eric Holder in the Clinton years, incidentally – was inherently violative of defendants’ rights to counsel. That was a long bomb of a legal argument and in that case the KPMG lawyers hit the court right in the hands.

So unlike street-crime cases – where prosecutors screw up all the time but overworked defense counsel rarely have the time or the resources to call them on their mistakes – in these finance-sector cases, no error ever goes unnoticed.

It’s one of the reasons prosecutors don’t like to bring these cases at all. You make one misstep, and the whole case goes away – in this case, 10 years of work by God knows how many lawyers and investigators goes down the drain, with the snap of a finger. Imagine the last time you lost a paper thanks to a computer error, multiply that feeling by about 10 billion, and you might get close to grasping the horror of the DOJ prosecutors in this case this week.

The other reason these cases get overturned so much is equally obvious. These scandals are crazily complex. It’s not just juries that have a hard time sorting them out. In many cases the crimes are so subtle, and the standard of proof to even call the crimes crimes is so high, that it takes years and years for investigators to build cases.

You can send a guy away for life on a murder charge based on a speck of blood and an old lady who saw a piece of a license number on a car screeching away from the scene. But you need to build a massive rhetorical case from scratch just to indict someone for being part of a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy.

The crimes take place in a world unknown to ordinary people, so it is not unlike trying to explain a crime committed by aliens on another planet. In fact, the crime, in many cases, is not one that has even been seen in American courtroom before.

Judges need to be convinced they’re not wasting their time. Juries need to be walked by the hand down a very deep rabbit-hole of inscrutable paper transactions and then literally trained on the fly to recognize evidence – these trials are often more like seminars than court cases.

So bringing these cases takes forever. This one took forever. And in the end, for these three anyway, it was all for nothing.

The Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm case was important on a number of levels. Many years from now, we will look back on this story that began as far back as the late Nineties and recognize in it an early, smaller-scale preview of the major global manipulation/collusion scandals that have already rocked the planet and will likely continue to do so in the years to come.

After all, the most dangerous possible consequence of the extreme concentration of financial power that has taken place in the last few decades has always been the possibility that these giants might figure out ways to work together, to game the costs of things for the rest of us. That’s what took place in this case, as these defendants (and many big banks which have already settled with the state for similar actions) were caught colluding to skim from the investment returns owed to all of us local taxpayers.

Something similar also took place in the Libor case, and in the global currency exchange scandal now blowing up, and in numerous other manipulation cases (involving everything from metals to chocolate) already coming down the pipeline.

All of these cases will share the same features. The defendants, if there will be any, will have the best lawyers money can buy. And if they’re charged at all, it will be for the most complex crimes imaginable, offenses so convoluted that it will take years to make cases.

This carries serious risks for anyone trying for justice, and we’ve just seen what those risks are. It’s hard to put these guys away. It’s even harder to keep them there.


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Bruce Stephen Holms
bsh@timelessvoyager.com

“Nothing happens by accident. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is connected.”

“… if time travel is ever accomplished then it exists throughout time…”

TIMELESS VOYAGER PRESS
PO BOX 6678
SANTA BARBARA CA 93160
http://www.timelessvoyager.com

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5 REGRETS OF THE DYING

HI FRIENDS –

Check these out. If you would regret them, time to fix things is yesterday. Click on this

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying?view=mobile

or this:

http://tinyurl.com/mbp44ms

Be well!

Peace –

Haj

Comments