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Sun, 21 Jan 2018
The World for People who Think


Fireball 2

Michigan Meteor Event: Fireball Numbers Increased Again in 2017

meteor fireball michigan

Still from a dash-cam video of the meteor fireball event over Michigan, 16 January 2018.
Another major meteor fireball event occurred in the US earlier this week. Shortly after 8pm on Tuesday evening, a bolide estimated to have been up to three meters in diameter blazed across southern Michigan before exploding somewhere high above Detroit. Though brief, the meteor caused a blinding light that briefly turned night into day across metropolitan Detroit, most of Michigan, and was seen as far away as Des Moines, Iowa and Toronto, Canada.

This one was a little different than the 'regular' fireball events occurring globally these days: people across southern Michigan also heard a powerful boom that arrived about three minutes after the white-out, and the event even registered as a magnitude 2.0 earthquake on local seismographs.

USA

US Needs Sh*thole Countries, Not the Other Way Around

america shining city hill
We may never know what exactly President Trump said during a meeting on immigration, but Trump supporters - including popular media figures such as Tomi Lahren - overwhelmingly relished the use of the word "sh*ithole" to describe poor nations. Why Christians would mock the poor is beyond comprehensible; from a diplomatic perspective, this is obviously wrong; and from a human perspective, it's cruel. However, there are many conservatives who seem to only understand the language of money and self-interest. They also seem to believe that America is the center of the world, but fail to comprehend how the US is extremely dependent on the rest of the world.

Haiti and Congo

Take, for example, Haiti and Congo - two sh*thole countries. These two countries can quickly threaten America's economic and national security. Haiti can cut ties with the US and strike a deal with Russia to create a military base or a missile defense system. It will be a sweet revenge for Putin who's threatened by US missile systems in Eastern Europe.

Star

Jordan Peterson Goes International: Takes London by Storm

Jordan Peterson
Why are young Brits flocking to hear a psychology professor talk about morality?

Last Sunday night a capacity crowd of mainly young people packed into the Emmanuel Centre in London. Those who couldn't find a seat stood at the back of the hall. When the speaker entered, the entire hall rose to its feet. It was his second lecture that day, the fourth across three days of sold-out London events. For an hour and a half the audience listened to a rambling, quirky, but fascinating tour of evolutionary biology, myth, religion, psychology, dictators and Dostoyevsky. Occasionally a line would get its own burst of applause. One of the loudest came after the speaker's appeal for the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing.

Yet this was not a Christian revivalist meeting. At least not explicitly or intendedly so. It was a lecture by a 55-year-old, grey-haired, dark-browed Canadian academic who until 18 months ago was little known outside his professional field of psychology. Today, for at least one generation, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has become a mixture of philosopher, life-coach, educator and guru. He has the kind of passionate, youthful, pedagogical draw that the organized churches can only dream of. Anybody interested in our current culture wars, not to mention the ongoing place of religion, should head to YouTube, where his classes have been viewed by millions.

Comment: If you are still new to Peterson's ideas and wisdom, see the short documentary, Jordan Peterson: Truth in the Time of Chaos:


Also this recent television interview to get a sense of how he responds to someone who attempts to critique him:


And here's one of the talks he gave in London, about his new book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:




SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: Billie Gene's not my lover, and neither is Genetic Determinism

DNA ADN
Genetic determinism is the theory that genes have a privileged level of causation for a number of diseases and, therefore, have a special status in biology. Science is desperately clinging to the idea that DNA is the sole determinant of who we are as individuals. Geneticists claim that hundreds of human diseases and attributes have genetic causes and their research is supported by numerous newspaper headlines touting the prominent role that gene therapy will have in the new dawn of medical treatments. Genetic research is well-funded and 'sexy' at the moment but it has its detractors. These skeptics have referred to the genetic determination of disease as a phantom or a mirage because the genetic variation expected to explain common diseases cannot be found!

Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we discuss the ultimate futility of current gene research, the often-ignored epigenetics paradigm, the hubris of CRISPR gene editing technology and whether scientists even know enough about DNA to go tinkering with it.

And stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where she highlights the opinion of a rational vegetarian on the insane ideas of vegans regarding owning pets and their diets.

Running Time: 01:25:19

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Windsock

Storms Batter The Netherlands: All Five Dutch Storm Gates Closed For The First Time In History

storm nederland
© Tineke Dijkstra
Strong storm on the Dutch coast. The storm led to high water levels near the shore.
When storm Eleanor was sweeping through Europe in early January, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a code orange weather warning for northwestern provinces due to powerful wind gusts. The storm caused widespread damage and chaos in the Netherlands: Trees crashed down blocking the roads, flights were canceled, and several buildings were damaged.

It also led to high water levels, which moved the Dutch infrastructure agency, Rijkswaterstaat, to simultaneously close all five flood barriers for the first time in history. These storm surge barriers are:
  • The Maeslantkering, a flood barrier on the Nieuwe Waterweg, which closes if the city of Rotterdam is threatened by floods.
  • The Hartelkering, another barrier which lies in the city of Spijkenisse. The last time this gate was closed, was in November 8th, 2007, after a storm hit the Dutch coast.
  • The five-mile-long Oosterscheldekering in the province Zeeland, south-west of the country.
  • The Hollandsche IJsselkering in the province Zuid-Holland, near the city of Rotterdam.
  • The Balgstuw Ramspol, an inflatable rubber dam, which lies between the lakes Ketelmeer and the Zwarte Meer, in the province of Flevoland.

Magic Hat

Russiagate Circus Comes to Mexico

Russia Moscow Circus
As I watched 'Russian interference' spread through Europe last year, I remember joking that Russiagate might also come to Mexico. The joke is on me now.

Weeks ago, US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster gave a speech at the Jamestown Foundation in which he commented on the as yet unfounded claim that Russia has been meddling in democratic processes around the world. The Jamestown Foundation is D.C.'s preeminent anti-Russian 'think-tank', founded as it was in 1984 to gather all Soviet defectors for propaganda purposes against Moscow, so he was speaking to a crowd that is only too willing to believe any allegation against Russia.

"We've seen that this is really a sophisticated effort to polarize democratic societies and pit communities within those societies against each other," McMaster told the imperial gathering. He added that this is what happened in the referendum for Catalonian independence, and now "you've seen, actually, initial signs of it in the Mexican presidential campaign already."

McMaster didn't elaborate on how Russia is supposedly doing this, nor did his office at the White House return a request for comments from Reuters. That was literally all he said about Mexico. Naturally, Russia's Ambassador to Mexico Eduard Malayan called the allegation "foolish" and an attempt "to keep the subject afloat."


USA

Praise the Lord! Freedom House Says Trump "Abdicating" US Role as Worldwide Democracy Promoter

Trump thumbup
© CNN
The orange-faced duck-haired God-Emperor of the United States doesn't get much good press. In fact, even his good press tends to be bad press, except when it's coming from places like Breitbart and Fox. But sometimes even the most 'eminent' and 'respectable' sources can't help but pay Trump an unintentional compliment. The neocon-infested, U.S.-government-backed NGO Freedom House released a report today with attention-grabbing conclusions that would make Chicken Little die in a fit of acrobatic hysterics.

According to Freedom House, democracy is "under assault and retreating" around the world. The U.S. is "abdicating" its "traditional role" of acting as galactic champion of "democratic ideals". The Demon-Spawn Nations of Russia and China are "increasing repression" and exporting their "malign influence" abroad. Indeed, this is democracy's "most serious crisis in decades"; basic democratic tenets are "under siege" across the world, according to Freedom House President, Michael Abramowitz. The gates of hell have been opened, Satan has appeared, and he looks a lot like Xi, Putin and Trump.

USA

Obnoxious, Arrogant, Imperial America in Syria

us troops syria
© AP Photo/ Hammurabi's Justice News
Leveraging core competencies, one jihadist at a time: US troops somewhere in northeastern Syria, July 2017.
When the US govt./deep state first decided that 'regime change' was necessary in Syria (circa 2006) - primarily as a way to hem in Iran - it decided (along with its Gulf allies and Israel) to use a proxy force of tens of thousands of jihadist mercenaries along with Kurdish factions to do the fighting with US-supplied weapons and training. The goal was to destroy the Syrian military, overthrow the democratically-elected Assad government and install a vassal administration. Cover for this imperial conquest was provided by initiating a 'color revolution' in 2011 that had little support among the Syrian people - Western media propaganda notwithstanding - and from there launch their proxy war.

By the summer of 2015 the project was close to achieving its aims; the Syrian Arab Army was severely pressed and on the brink of defeat. But in late September 2015, the Russian military intervened in the conflict and, over the last two years, routed Western-backed proxy forces and turned the tide decisively in favor of the Syria Arab Army, securing the Assad government in the process. One would have thought that having had its plans thwarted in Syria, the USA would bow out gracefully, but we're talking about the 'exceptional nation' here, which neither knows nor recognizes defeat.

Cookies

Bullshit For Breakfast: Kellogg's Processed Breakfast Cereal Health Claims Are Reasonably Unbelievable

Special K advertisement

I feed my unborn baby heat-treated extruded grain slurry with added low quality folic acid because advertising.
Sometimes you just have to marvel at the lies we're surrounded by. The number of untruths proffered by advertising is so blatant that it's rather astounding that it isn't illegal. Well, technically it is illegal, but it seems advertisers are well aware of ways around the rules, or simply break them until they're called out.

In a previous piece, I detailed a lawsuit filed against Coca-Cola by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) for claims the company had made for their product "Vitaminwater," a sugary soft drink masquerading as a health beverage. In the legal proceedings, Coke's lawyers argued that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage." Essentially, Coca-Cola's stance is that if you're stupid enough to believe them, that's too bad for you, and that it is within their rights to lie, exaggerate or otherwise skew the truth about their product in advertising it to the public because there's no risk of anyone reasonably believing it.

Since the writing of that piece, the suit has been resolved. From CSPI:
The agreement approved yesterday by Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York bars Coca-Cola from making those health claims in connection with Vitaminwater, as well as such statements as "vitamins + water = what's in your hand," "vitamins + water = all you need," and "this combination of zinc and fortifying vitamins can... keep you healthy as a horse." The company will also prominently add the words "with sweeteners" on two places on the label where the brand's name appears.
How about 'vitamins + water + sugar + hype = soda - bubbles'? Can they put that on the bottle? That seems reasonable.

Road Cone

California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?

oprah mudflow

Oprah Winfrey surveys the damage from the mudflow on her property in Montecito, southern California
13 years to the day since the La Conchita landslide killed 10 people following a deluge, the same stretch of southern California between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles was hit with another deluge that produced instant and devastating mudflows. With the area torched by the Thomas Wildfire the preceding month, the heavy rain that fell on 9-10 January produced instant run-off from higher ground that washed away everything in its path, all the way down to the ocean.

As more dead bodies are found in the disaster zone, local authorities have gradually increased the death toll - which currently stands at 20 - while they report that another 8 people remain missing. The surge also injured about 200 people and destroyed or damaged about 500 homes in Montecito, Santa Barbara County - located just a few kilometers from La Conchita - and washed out a 30-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway.

From above, the debris flow appears to have converted the wealthy neighborhood - which is home to mega-stars like Oprah and Ellen - into a brown swamp.