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View Article  Hitching a Ride on the Infinite Subway (Dr. Stan Grof's 'holotropic' research)
Here's another excerpt from Michael Talbot's fascinating book The Holographic Universe. I continue to recommend this book.

...Other experiences included the accessing of racial and collective memories. Individuals of Slavic origin experienced what it was like to participate in the conquests of Genghis Khan's Mongolian hordes, to dance in trance with the Kalahari bushmen, to undergo the initiation rites of the Australian aborigines, and to die as sacrificial victims of the Aztecs. And again the descriptions frequently contained obscure historical facts and a degree of knowledge that was often completely at odds with the patient's education, race, and previous exposure to the subject. For instance, one uneducated patient gave a richly detailed account of the techniques involved in the Egyptian practice of embalming and mummification, including the form and meaning of various amulets and sepulchral boxes, a list of the materials used in the fixing of the mummy cloth, the size and shape of the mummy bandages, and other esoteric facets of Egyptian funeral services. Other individuals tuned into the cultures of the Far East and not only gave impressive descriptions of what it was like to have a Japanese, Chinese, or Tibetan psyche, but also related various Taoist or Buddhist teachings.

In fact, there did not seem to be any limit to what Grof's LSD subjects could tap into. They seemed capable of knowing what it was like to be every animal, and even plant, on the tree of evolution. They could experience what it was like to be a blood cell, an atom, a thermonuclear process inside the sun, the consciousness of the entire planet, and even the consciousness of the entire cosmos. More than that, they displayed the ability to transcend space and time, and occasionally they related uncannily accurate precognitive information. In an even stranger vein they sometimes encountered nonhuman intelligences during their cerebral travels, discarnate beings, spirit guides from "higher planes of consciousness," and other suprahuman entities...

Perhaps Grof's most remarkable discovery is that the same phenomena reported by individuals who have taken LSD can also be experienced without resorting to drugs of any kind...The Grofs call their technique holotropic therapy and use only rapid and controlled breathing, evocative music, and massage and body work, to induce altered states of consciousness. To date, thousands of individuals have attended their workshops and report experiences that are every bit as spectacular and emotionally profound as those described by subjects of Grof's previous work on LSD...
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View Article  'Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within', a new feature length documentary
Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within is a feature length documentary which invites the viewer to rediscover an enchanted cosmos in the modern world by awakening to the divine within. The film examines the re-emergence of archaic techniques of ecstasy in the modern world by weaving a synthesis of ecological and evolutionary awareness, electronic dance culture, and the current pharmacological re-evaluation of entheogenic compounds.

Within a narrative framework that imagines consciousness itself to be evolving, Entheogen documents the emergence of techno-shamanism in the post-modern world that frames the following questions: How can a renewal of ancient initiatory rites of passage alleviate our ecological crisis? What do trance dancing and festivals celebrating unbridled artistic expression speak to in our collective psyche? How do we re-invent ourselves in a disenchanted world from which God has long ago withdrawn? Entheogen invites the viewer to consider that the answers to these questions lie within the consciousness of each and every human being, and are accessible if only we give ourselves permission to awaken to the divine within. ...   more »
View Article  'The Holographic Universe', by Michael Talbot
As part of my preparation for an intensive training I'm starting in January on the Big Island of Hawaii with the innovative physicist Nassim Haramein, I'm now reading the book The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot. I recommend this book.

...The idea that consciousness and life (and indeed all things) are ensembles enfolded throughout the universe has an equally dazzling flip side. Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left Hand. we could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. ...   more »
View Article  "Al-Kemi: A Memoir"
Al-Kemi recounts the story of the eighteen months that Andrew VandenBroeck, a painter and writer, spent in daily contact with the remarkable French philosopher, hermetist, and Egyptologist, R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961). Structured like a mystery, and distilled in the crucible of memory for fifteen years, Al-Kemi provides a passionately felt, personal, and dramatic introduction to the startling world of this contemporary alchemist (from back cover).

... Before reaching these particulars, it must be known that de Lubicz held the traditional conception of an esoteric science and its transmission: true knowledge is inaccessible to the rational mind. This epistemological tenet caused his writings to be spiked with metaphor, innuendo, and at times, obscurity. He mistrusted the written word, disliked writing because truth was inevitably degraded when committed to paper through a profane language. This attitude most clearly ordinates the lineage along which he inscribes himself by his premises and his results. His low regard for “demotic” writing as a means of truth-communication made personal contact with him invaluable, for he had no such reservations concerning the spoken word, the word of gesture. Thus he actively believed in oral transmission of a kind of knowledge best called “gnosis,” [3] and in private, I always found him accessible to leisurely conversation on the most exalted topics. As our relationship soon proved more than casual, his information became increasingly direct, in contrast to his written expression which often presents problems of meaning and referent.

    To such an epistemology, personal contact is the kingpin of communication, and I found out later to what extent his frame of reference was tailored to his correspondent. ...
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View Article  Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit on Jan. 30, 2008
An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars next month, scientists said Thursday. -- Researchers attached to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, who sometimes jokingly call themselves the Solar System Defense Team, have been tracking the asteroid since its discovery in late November.

The scientists, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, put the chances that it will hit the Red Planet on Jan. 30 at about 1 in 75. -- A 1-in-75 shot is "wildly unusual," said Steve Chesley, an astronomer with the Near-Earth Object office, which routinely tracks about 5,000 objects in Earth's neighborhood.

"We're used to dealing with odds like one-in-a-million," Chesley said. "Something with a one-in-a-hundred chance makes us sit up straight in our chairs." ...
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View Article  India's President to Visit Auroville
Thaindian News

New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will pay an official visit to Andhra Pradesh from December 21 to January 6.

On Friday, President Patil will visit Puducherry where she will attend the inaugural function of the 34th Jawahar Lal Nehru National Science Exhibition for Children-2007.

The President will also visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Auroville on Saturday.

During her visit, President will tour the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from December 26 to 28 where she will be visit the rehabilitation work sites in the Tsunami affected areas and interact with the islanders.

In Hyderabad, she will attend various programmes organised by the State Government and the Ministry of Defence, including Defence Research Establishments and the Air Force Training Institute. (ANI)
This is the season for year-end lists of books in which the mainstream review media steer literate culture away from deep questions about how our world works and who we are and toward celebrations of narcissism, celebrity gossip, and literary cliques. What I wrote in 1991 in "The Emerging Third Culture", still pertains today:

A 1950s education in Freud, Marx, and modernism is not a sufficient qualification for a thinking person in the 1990s. Indeed, the traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time. Their culture, which dismisses science, is often nonempirical. It uses its own jargon and washes its own laundry. It is chiefly characterized by comment on comments, the swelling spiral of commentary eventually reaching the point where the real world gets lost.

Given the well-documented challenges and issues we are facing as a nation, as a culture, how can it be that there are no science books (and hardly any books on ideas) on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year list; no science category in the Economist Books of the Year 2007; only Oliver Sacks in the New Yorker's list of Books From Our Pages? ...
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View Article  SEX AND PHYSICS, A Talk with Dennis Overbye
Thanks to RYD for his previous article, 'Laws of Nature, Source Unknown'—by Dennis Overbye (from NYT), which led me to this article by the same author. ~ ronjon
Ten years ago at the AAAS, Dennis Overbye, author of the classic 'Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos', found himself on a rainy Sunday afternoon in an auditorium watching a handful of historians and physicists arguing about whether Einstein's first wife Mileva had actually invented relativity. This was an eye opener to him, to put it mildly. He was astounded that there could be any mystery about either the origin of relativity or about Einstein's life. He had just assumed that he was so famous and so recent that everything that could be known about him was known.

What followed was a 10-year investigation in which Overbye immersed himself in Einstein's life and wrote his recently published book, 'Einstein In Love'.

"Romantically speaking, Einstein always felt — and always told his girlfriends — that Paradise was just around the corner," he says," but as soon as he got there, it started looking a little shabby and something better appeared. I've known a lot of people like Albert in my time. During this project I have felt lots of shocks of recognition. I feel like I got to know Albert as a person, and I have more respect for him as a physicist than I did when I started, simply because I have more a sense of what he actually did — and how hard it was — than before. If he was around now, I'd love to buy him a beer ..... but I don't know if I'd introduce him to my sister." ...
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View Article  The Malthusian energy-trap: old Europe, new China
Thanks to Rich for recommending the excellent openDemocracy.net, in which this article appeared. ~ ronjon
The price of oil is approaching $100 a barrel, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is accumulating faster than the most pessimistic scenarios are predicting, anthropogenic climate change is occurring. The recognition that the world's scientists, diplomats and media gathered at the Bali climate-change summit are arguing over - the necessity of moving beyond dependency on a fossil-fuelled, carbon-emission-based global economy - is becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

Where is leadership in the quest for a new model to come from? The results of a BBC opinion-poll inviting the views of 22,000 people in twenty-one countries, released in November 2007, included the striking discovery that the Chinese were the most willing to change their lifestyle and accept higher energy prices in order to save the environment. ...
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View Article  Cancer will claim 7.6 million lives worldwide this year
Cancer will claim 7.6 million lives worldwide this year, and more than 12 million people will receive cancer diagnoses, according to Global Cancer Facts and Figures 2007, the newest edition to the American Cancer Society's family of Facts and Figures reports. ...

Global Cancer Facts and Figures 2007 also includes data on growing tobacco use in developing countries, warning that if current patterns continue, the number of smokers worldwide will reach 2 billion by 2030. In 2000, an estimated 5 million people died from diseases related to smoking, and of these, about 1.42 million were from cancer. Approximately 84% of the nearly 1.3 billion smokers worldwide live in developing countries, says the World Health Organization. ...
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View Article  "Code Name God" – Science Could Support Spiritual Beliefs
Dr. Mani Bhaumik is the co-inventor of the laser technology that made Lasik eye surgery possible. His contributions to science merited the rare dual election as a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, while his successes won him a spot on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Eventually he discovered that :happiness is an inside job," and immersed himself in study of the hidden relationship between science and spirituality and the integration of mind and matter. He has published over fifty papers in professional journals and maintains a lively correspondence with other physicists around the world. His alma mater, Indian Institute of Technology, bestowed him with an honorary D.Sc. degree for lifetime academic achievements. Dr. Bhaumik is the founder of the Mani Bhaumik Educational Foundation, which currently provides full scholarships to sixty seven extremely bright but underprivileged Indian young men and women to enable them to earn a university degree in science, engineering or medicine. His US Foundation, Cosmogenics, is set up to foster research in consciousness and healing as well as mind/body integration. ...   more »
View Article  Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy
A jet of highly charged radiation from a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy is blasting another galaxy nearby -- an act of galactic violence that astronomers said yesterday they have never seen before.

Using images from the orbiting Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other sources, scientists said the extremely intense jet from the larger galaxy can be seen shooting across 20,000 light-years of space and plowing into the outer gas and dust of the smaller one. ...

"What we've identified is an act of violence by a black hole, with an unfortunate nearby galaxy in the line of fire," said Dan Evans, the study leader at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. He said any planets orbiting the stars of the smaller galaxy would be dramatically affected, and any life forms would likely die as the jet's radiation transformed the planets' atmosphere. ...
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View Article  Jesus and the Lost Goddess Sophia
I've taken the liberty of transcribing the following passages from the remarkable book Jesus and the Lost Goddess, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy. I highly recommend purchasing and studying this book. Reading it is like a moist vivifying breeze in the scorched lifeless desert of deadly strife between cults of religious fanatics who each believe they alone worship the true God. It documents the horrifying behavior of the misogynous and patriarchal Roman Church and the self-serving lies and propaganda its repressed male leaders have been spreading for two thousand years in their attempt to exterminate Sophia, the divine Goddess of Wisdom and Gnosis. I've felt for years that the RC Church was more Roman than Christian, this book substantiates that intuition with an illuminating compendium of well-referenced scholarship. ~ ronjon
...For the original Christians, the Jesus story was a myth used to introduce beginners to the spiritual path. For those wishing to go deeper than the 'Outer Mysteries', which were only 'for the masses', there were secret teachings or 'Inner Mysteries'. These were 'the secret teaching of true Gnosis' which, according to the 'Church Father' Clement of Alexandria, were transmitted 'to a small number by a succession of masters'. Those initiated into these Inner Mysteries discovered that Christianity was not just about the dying and resurrecting Son of God. They were told another myth that few Christians today have even heard of – the story of Jesus' lover, the lost and redeemed Daughter of the Goddess.

Amongst the original Christians the divine was seen as having both a masculine and feminine face. The related to the Divine Feminine as Sophia, the wise Goddess. Paul tells us, 'Among the initiates we speak of Sophia', for it is 'the secret of Sophia' that is 'taught in our Mysteries'. When initiates of the Inner Mysteries of Christianity partook of Holy Communion, it was Sophia's passion and suffering they remembered. Amongst the original Christians, priests and priestesses would offer initiates wine as a symbol of 'her blood'. The prayer would be offered: 'May Sophia fill your inner being and increase in you her Gnosis.' ...
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View Article  The Spiritual Tradition at the Roots of Western Civilization
Here's another remarkable article from Vol 1, No 2 (2007) of SCIY Editor Ulrich J. Mohroff's superb new journal: Anti-Matters. I'll soon post another article from a different source to conclude this series re the roots of western civilization. (Hint: the original meaning of the word "philosophy" was "love of Sophia," the Goddess of Wisdom.) ~ ronjon

So many of us today are concerned about the extinction of all the species that the western world is wiping out. But there's hardly anyone who notices the most extraordinary threat of all: the extinction of our knowledge of what we are.

Perhaps the simplest way of describing the situation would be to say that, two and a half thousand years ago in the West, we were given a gift  and in our childishness we threw away the instructions for how to use it. We felt we knew what we were playing with. And, as a result, western civilization may soon be nothing but an experiment that failed.

Even in these modern times, what half-heartedly is described as mystical perception is always pushed to the periphery. When it's not denied it's held at arm's length  out there at the margins of society. But what we haven't been told is that a spiritual tradition lies at the very roots of western civilization. ...
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View Article  Introducing SCIY Editor Ulrich J. Mohroff's superb new journal: "Anti-Matters"
I'm introducing here SCIY Editor Ulrich J. Mohroff's superb new journal: Anti-Matters, which I highly recommend reading. I'm taking the liberty of reproducing below the Table of Contents of Vol 1, No 2 (2007). ~ ronjon

The following is from Ulrich J. Mohrhoff's "Preface to the Second Issue":

The release date of the last yearly issue of AntiMatters — the second issue in the case of this first volume — is November 24th. On this day in 1926, Sri Aurobindo arrived at a turning point in his yoga. According to Sri Aurobindo, there is a highest mental plane, to which he gave the name “overmind.” The Isha Upanishad refers to it as a “brilliant golden lid” obstructing the passage from mind to supermind. For years Sri Aurobindo had striven to negotiate this passage. Success came on that day in 1926, when the light and power of the overmind descended into his physical being. Subsequently Sri Aurobindo withdrew from outer contacts to concentrate on the more difficult task of enabling the supermind to descend, take possession of his body, and for the first time act on matter directly, rather than through mental intermediaries. Here is part of a conversation of the Mother with Satprem (Mother’s Agenda, August 2, 1961): ...   more »
View Article  Buried in the Sands of Time: The Gospel according to Thomas
The following article is from Vol 1, No 2 (2007) of SCIY Editor Ulrich J. Mohroff's superb new journal: Anti-Matters, which I'll introduce in the next SCIY article. ~ ronjon

The question we have to consider in this essay is whether Jesus, regarded as the founder of the Christian religion, actually believed in the God of the Jews or in any God in Heaven and thus divided reality into two worlds. The writers of the four gospels seem to think he did, and the churches both Catholic and Protestant, deriving their doctrines largely from these gospels, follow this view. The gospel writers were naturally influenced by the popular Jewish religious sentiment of the time as well as by prevalent pagan Greek and Egyptian eschatological beliefs. Their writings reflect the feelings and mirror the beliefs of the ordinary man the soldier, merchant, artisan, slave living in a world of differentiation, division, hostility and discord. To the simple man whose mental capacities denied him a wider, more penetrating vision, this division was the reality, the truth. Did Jesus also subscribe to this idea of the world, or is there proof to the contrary? Was he a dualist, a believer in two realities and two worlds: this one here, and another above or was he a monist, a man to whom reality was one unitary, organic whole?

...Most Christians are acquainted with those sayings in John's gospel which explain reality from a monistic point of view, such as the famous John 17:22: "And the glory (of oneness) which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, as we are one." But in addition to these famous words there is a whole collection of monistic sayings of Jesus which the church literally dropped under the table. What kind of work is this Gospel according to Thomas, which is officially regarded as "apocryphal," unauthentic, not admitted to the New Testament canon? ...
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View Article  Google now using "behavioral targeting" for its ads placements
...Google, however, has been very reluctant to use all this data in its advertising business. One reason is that it has other information that solves its main problem: picking the right ads to show on each page. It uses what people are searching for on its search site and the content of other pages on which ads appear (including, of course, the content of messages displayed in Gmail).

But as Google gets bigger it is tiptoeing into using more data for targeting. It tries to determine the location of users in order to show ads of local businesses. It also gets some personal information about users from partner sites on which it displays ads — like MySpace — to help it choose ads.

And Google has now started dipping its little toe into the pool that Madison Avenue calls behavioral targeting. That approach is based on the idea that the best way to pick an ad to show you now is to look at your online activity from a few hours or days ago. The classic example is showing car dealer ads to someone who searched for minivans yesterday. ...
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View Article  U.S. Resists Calls for Emission Cuts, Threatening [Bali] Climate Talks
The U.S. is resisting calls from the European Union and developing nations to commit to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming, threatening progress on a new accord to fight climate change.

Ministers from more than 130 nations are meeting in Indonesia this week to decide on guidelines for two years of talks to write a successor to the Kyoto climate-change treaty, which expires in 2012. The European Union, a group of 77 developing nations and China say they want industrialized countries including the U.S. to agree to reduce emissions by as much as 40 percent by 2020.

The Bush administration says talks should begin without a set emission target. Without U.S. support, the negotiations may not be completed in time to replace the Kyoto treaty, said Munir Akram, a Pakistan ambassador and spokesman for the group of 77 nations. The lack of an emission-cut target threatens investment in power and carbon-trading markets, UN officials say. ...
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View Article  Mars Rover [Spirit] Finding Suggests Once Habitable Environment
The right front wheel of Spirit stopped turning in March 2006. Since then, the rover has been driving backwards, dragging the lame wheel along. This May, scientists noticed a bright spot in the trail of overturned dirt. - They turned Spirit around for a closer look, finding high levels of silica, the main ingredient of window glass. They then aimed the rover at a nearby rock, wanting to break it apart to determine if the silica was just a surface coating, or if the rock was silica all the way through.

The target rock survived Spirit’s charge, but a neighboring rock cracked open. The interior of that rock, which the scientists informally named “Innocent Bystander,” turned out to be rich in silica. - On Earth, such high concentrations of silica can form in only two places: a hot spring, where the silica is dissolved away and deposited elsewhere, or a fumarole, an environment, often near a volcano, where acidic steam rises through cracks. The acids dissolve other minerals, leaving mostly silica. On Earth, both environments teem with life. ...
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View Article  Gore Urges Bold Moves in Nobel Speech
OSLO, Dec. 10 — He has said it again and again, with increasing urgency, to anyone who will listen. And on Monday, former Vice President Al Gore used the occasion of his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize lecture here to tell the world in powerful, stark language: Climate change is a “real, rising, imminent and universal” threat to the future of the Earth.

Saying that “our world is spinning out of kilter” and that “the very web of life on which we depend is being ripped and frayed,” Mr. Gore warned that “we, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here.” But, he added, “there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst — not all — of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.”

The ceremony marking the 2007 prize, given to Mr. Gore and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comes as representatives of the world’s governments are meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali to negotiate a new international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new treaty would replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. ...
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View Article  Human Evolution Speeding Up, Study Says
Explosive population growth is driving human evolution to speed up around the world, according to a new study. - The pace of change accelerated about 40,000 years ago and then picked up even more with the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, the study says.

And while humans are evolving quickly around the world, local cultural and environmental factors are shaping evolution differently on different continents.

"We're evolving away from each other. We're getting more and more different," said Henry Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who co-authored the study. ...
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View Article  The Presidential Climate Action Project
...Leading climate experts estimate that the international community has 10 years to make dramatic changes in greenhouse gas emissions if we wish to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. A similar need for action in the next decade is being created by the growing international competition for oil, the approaching peak in world petroleum production and America’s increasing dependence on oil from unstable or hostile regions. Left unaddressed, these problems may create unprecedented economic and environmental hardships and increasing global tensions.

By the time the 44th President takes office, the window of opportunity to prevent these crises will be one-third gone. The people of the United States, as well as other nations, will be looking for an early indication of whether the President intends to lead the world’s largest energy-consuming and greenhouse-gas emitting nation on a responsible course of action.

To help the President launch effective Federal leadership on these issues, the University of Colorado and several partner organizations are engaging the nation’s science, policy, business and civic leaders to produce a Presidential Climate Action Plan (PCAP). ...
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View Article  Xohm's law: Can WiMAX defeat cellular’s resistance to change?
...What makes WiMAX so special? Think of it as WiFi’s big brother. But where a wireless network in a home, hotel lobby, airport lounge or coffee shop can provide reliable wireless connections at speeds of one or two megabits per second over distances of a few hundred feet, WiMAX is good for at least 10 megabits per second over five miles or more. Better still, in its latest guise, WiMAX can “hand off” connections from one radio tower to the next as users roam around—just like a cellular network.

WiMAX can thus fill the gaps in internet coverage, especially in rural areas and developing countries, where laying cables or telephone lines is too expensive. WiMAX can also provide internet access to mobile users from nearly anywhere. That opens up a whole new market for mobile carriers as well as for makers of internet-access equipment and suppliers of web services.

But WiMAX is not just for people on the move or in remote places. It can also provide internet connectivity to all sorts of devices. Intel wants to put its cheap WiMAX chips in traffic lights, surveillance cameras, television sets and medical equipment. Expect to see them also in digital cameras, iPods and dozens of other portable gizmos. ...
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View Article  Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything
I think this may be an important development. My intuition tells me that Lisi is really on to something here, that we'll be hearing lots more about this, and if his predictions are verified when Large Hadron Collider comes online next year, physics will never be the same. ~ rj

An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists. - Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt)...

Lisi's inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. ...
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View Article  New Climate Change Performance Index: Sweden Best, US Second Worst
A new report rates the climate-protection performance of 56 countries that account for 90 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. While Germany came in at second best, the US ranked second worst.

Traditionally, environmentalists have reserved the majority of their climate-related bile for those countries belching the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But with the world gathered in Bali this week (more...) to figure out a way to combat climate change, the annual Climate Change Performance Index, released on Friday, once again reminds us that other factors should be taken into account.

When government policy and long-term trends are considered, Germany rises all the way to second place on the list, which ranked the biggest emissions offenders in the industrialized world -- meanwhile, weak policies in the US are only enough to lift it from last place to second-to-last.

The index, compiled by Germanwatch, a nonprofit climate research institute based in Berlin and Bonn, evaluates and ranks the climate-protection performance of 56 industrialized nations that account for 90 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. On this year's list, Sweden retained the top spot, while Saudi Arabia was deemed the most irresponsible emitter among the world's major economies. ...
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View Article  Electricity Revives Bali Coral Reefs
Just a few years ago, the lush coral reefs off Indonesia's Bali island were dying out, bleached by rising temperatures, blasted by dynamite fishing, and poisoned by cyanide.

Now they are coming back, thanks to an unlikely remedy: electricity. ...
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