Brain Hacking, 'Sonic Weapon' Mystery in Cuba, Why Finland Has the Best Schools
September 19, 2017
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the tech industry's embrace of "brain hacking" to increase advertising revenue by keeping consumers in a constant state of anxiety, a mysterious "sonic weapon" attack on at least 21 American diplomats in Cuba that officials are completely unable to explain, a group of high-profile business leaders trying to convince the United Nations to ban killer robots, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on what the world could learn from Finland's impressive schools, a new pen-sized medical device that purportedly can diagnose cancer in just 10 seconds, how the falling cost of wind energy could usher in the end of nuclear power in the UK, and more. You can also skip to this section now.
Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: Explore an revealing description of the U.S. Federal Reserve and related public misperception on this webpage, where you can scroll down about half way on the page to the section titled "The American Scene and the Federal Reserve." Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." Watch a five-minute BBC video interview of Theresa Wong, Trump's "digital guru" who claims that facebook is what won the U.S. presidency for Trump. Watch and listen to a beautiful, five-minute peace invocation.
Quote of the week: "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach." ~~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
What is "brain hacking"? Tech insiders on why you should care
April 9, 2017, CBS News
The companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it. Ramsay Brown studied neuroscience before co-founding Dopamine Labs. The company is named after the dopamine molecule in our brains that aids in the creation of desire and pleasure. Brown and his colleagues write computer code for apps ... designed to provoke a neurological response. The computer code he creates finds the best moment to give you ... rewards, which have no actual value, but Brown says trigger your brain to make you want more. When Brown says “experiments,” he’s talking generally about the millions of computer calculations being used every moment by his company and others use to constantly tweak your online experience. "You’re part of a controlled set of experiments that are happening in real time across you and millions of other people," [said Brown]. "You’re guinea pigs ... pushing the button and sometimes getting the likes. And they’re doing this to keep you in there. You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there." While Brown is tapping into the power of dopamine, psychologist Larry Rosen and his team at California State University ... are researching the effect technology has on our anxiety levels. Their research suggests our phones are keeping us in a continual state of anxiety in which the only antidote – is the phone.
Note: This new form of "brain hacking" adds to a vast arsenal of behavior modification technologies developed by government and industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control and the disappearance of privacy.
Mystery of Sonic Weapon Attacks at US Embassy in Cuba Deepens
September 14, 2017, The Guardian/Associated Press
The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. The agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room. Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. New details learned by the Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling US officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up. Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has confounded the FBI, the state department and US intelligence agencies involved in the investigation. Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August – nine months after symptoms were first reported. The cases vary deeply: different symptoms, different recollections of what happened. In several episodes recounted by US officials, victims knew it was happening in real time, and there were strong indications of a sonic attack.
Note: Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.
Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots
August 20, 2017, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons. The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots. In their letter, the founders warn the review conference ... that this arms race threatens to usher in the “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear arms. The founders wrote: “Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.” The founders call for “morally wrong” lethal autonomous weapons systems to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons (CCW) brought into force in 1983, which includes chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons. Musk ... has repeatedly warned for the need for pro-active regulation of AI, calling it humanity’s biggest existential threat. While the suggestion of killer robots conjures images from science fiction ... lethal autonomous weapons are already in use.
Note: Despite Gen. Paul Selva's recent warning against putting "robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," the US is among several countries currently moving forward with automating warfare. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Google now highest-spending company for federal lobbying
July 21, 2017, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Google spent the most it ever has in a single quarter trying to influence elected officials in Washington, according to lobbying disclosures made public late Thursday. The past three months have also seen record spending on lobbying by several other major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Uber. Google Inc., according to the disclosure forms, spent $5.93 million between April 1 and June 30. That’s about 40 percent more than it had spent during the same period last year. The only three entities that doled out more money were large business organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($11.68 million), the National Association of Realtors ($10.92 million) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($6 million). Since the 2016 election, the tech industry has had to navigate ... an administration whose decisions have often cut against Silicon Valley’s business interests. The combined lobbying efforts of some of the most influential tech companies - Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft - totaled $15.79 million. Google’s lobbying efforts come as it faces the largest fine the European Union has ever levied against a company for abusing its dominant market position. In June, the European Union’s antitrust chief hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine, saying the company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping site. If the ruling is not overturned, it could reshape the company’s behavior and direct the evolving boundaries of tech-industry regulation.
Note: Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Wells Fargo aggressive with consumers, careful with companies
September 12, 2017, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Wells Fargo’s admission that its employees created up to 3.5 million fraudulent accounts suggests a reckless, out-of-control culture. But the San Francisco banking giant seems to have a split personality of sorts. While branch employees aggressively pressured consumers ... commercial bankers adopted a relatively stingy approach to lending money to companies. That strategy allowed Wells Fargo to avoid the same kind of bad commercial loans that wiped out many banks during the financial crisis a decade ago. Had Wells Fargo applied the same due diligence to consumer banking as it did to commercial banking, the company might have avoided its current troubles. How do we reconcile these reckless/conservative sides of Wells Fargo? For one thing, federal regulators were not exactly keeping a close watch over Wells Fargo’s consumer business. Over the past two decades, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is charged with protecting consumers, issued just 448 enforcement actions against Wells Fargo, even as the bank’s total assets have soared from nearly $200 billion in 1998 ... to $1.85 trillion today. The sheer size ... of the bank allows different divisions to essentially act like separate companies. That means community and commercial operations can boast completely different strategies and methods of compensating employees. In Wells Fargo’s case, branch employees would receive more pay if they hit aggressive sales goals, prompting them to open fraudulent accounts.
Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. Steve Glazer, chairman of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, recently compared this bank's actions with the behavior of Enron when its culture of corruption initially came to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Democrats Fought For 25 Years Over Single-Payer. Now Many Back Medicare-For-All
September 12, 2017, International Business Times
When U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ introduces his Medicare-for-All legislation on Wednesday, advocates of a single-payer, government-sponsored health care hope it will be the end of a bitterly fought policy battle that has roiled the Democratic Party for generations. Since Democratic President Harry Truman first proposed a government-sponsored universal health care system in 1945 - and since a Democratic president and Democratic congress first enacted Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s - progressives have hoped that the United States would follow other industrialized countries by guaranteeing health care to all citizens. Now ... Democrats from across the party’s ideological spectrum are flocking to [Sanders'] legislation. With polls showing rising support for government-sponsored health care, the party’s long civil war over the issue may be over, potentially allowing a more unified party to campaign on Medicare-for-All in 2018. As some ... continue to oppose single-payer, popular support for the idea is rising: 53 percent of Americans support “a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan,” according to a June Kaiser Health survey.
Wormwood review – Errol Morris's splendidly spooky doc about death, LSD and the CIA
September 2, 2017, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
America’s love affair with LSD did not begin in Haight-Ashbury or during the summer of love. Instead it was seeded ... in Midwestern laboratories and government offices, where it comprised one strand of an extensive germ warfare programme. Errol Morris’s splendidly clammy, mysterious docu-drama Wormwood reopens the file on Frank Olson, a jobbing biochemist who fell to his death from a New York hotel. At the time (December 1953) Olson’s death was ruled to be suicide. But 20 years later evidence emerged that complicated the official verdict and prompted Olson’s family to sue the federal government. Even today elderly Eric Olson is in search of a definitive answer. He casts himself in the role of a Cold War Hamlet, haunted and harried by his father’s ghost. So what became of luckless Frank Olson? Did he fall or was he pushed? Infuriatingly – perhaps fittingly – we will have to wait to find out. For Morris’s docu-drama is a six-part series, commissioned by Netflix. So we’re left to blunder on, hands outstretched, past pensive Eric Olson and ... through spooky archive footage of a 1970s congressional hearing where sleazy Colonel Ruwet – surely the villain of the piece – sits with his back to the camera, meaning that we can only see his starched collar and his bald spot and the hint of a smile when he responds to a question. Who, then, can predict how this investigation turns out?
Note: A 1975 US government report said that Frank Olson committed suicide after being given LSD without his knowledge as part of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. The lawsuit filed by his sons claimed Olson was killed by the CIA after he "raised concerns about testing chemical and biological weapons on human subjects without their consent". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Sinead O’Connor Details Years of Physical and Sexual Abuse at the Hands of Her Mother: ‘She Ran a Torture Chamber'
September 11, 2017, People
Sinead O’Connor is opening up about the horrifying sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother in an emotional interview on Dr. Phil. The “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer ... detailed how her mother Marie O’Connor “ran a torture chamber” and tormented her until she ran away from home at 13. “She was not well. She was very, very, very not well. I would say she was possessed. Although I’m not sure I believe in such things,” O’Connor, 50, said.“I ran away,” the singer added. “She used to make me say over and over ‘I am nothing. I am nothing’ or else she’d beat me.” Marie O’Connor died decades ago in a car crash when Sinead was 19 years old. O’Connor has made headlines in recent years for her erratic behavior. Despite this, she denied that she is mentally unstable, telling Dr. Phil, “I am fed up of being defined as the crazy person; the child abuse survivor.”
Note: Watch excerpts from Sinead O’Connor's interview with Dr. Phil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race
September 10, 2017, Bloomberg
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market. Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday. The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban ... will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities. “The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter. The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Norway and the Netherlands are considering a more aggressive way to put an end on fossil fuel cars years earlier than its European peers.
Note: According to a recent study, subsidies propping up the global fossil fuel industry "were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later."
Key Articles From Years Past
‘Human sacrifice’ staged at Cern, home of the God Particle
August 18, 2016, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A human sacrifice has been staged in the grounds of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the home of the God Particle. A video circulating online shows hooded figures apparently engaging in a ritual, staged under a huge statue of a Hindu deity, at the end of which a woman is stabbed. The footage appears to have been recorded as part of a prank by scientists at Europe’s top physics lab, which serves as the home of the Large Hadron Collider. The identity and motives of those behind the video hasn’t yet been discovered. In the footage itself, multiple people are shown wearing long, flowing black robes – and one appears to have hiking boots on underneath. They are depicted walking around, before a woman moves onto the floor and is apparently stabbed. As that happens, the person who is supposedly recording the video appears to react – firing out expletives and apparently running away, which causes the camera to move away from the scene before it is cut off. A Cern spokesperson confirmed that the video had been filmed there, but said that it had been made without permission or knowledge. It’s far from the first time that scientific work has been associated with the occult or the mystical. Because of the highly-specialised – and often terrifying – work that goes on at Cern, it has become a haven of speculation.
Note: Was this sacrifice really faked? Watch the one-minute video available here. The opening of the huge Gotthard tunnel with its most bizarre, occult opening ceremony (as reported by BBC), occurred not long before this ritual. Watch a video filled with intriguing speculation on this and more.
U.S. Military Wants to Own the Weather
October 31, 2005, Space.com
Military officials and weather modification experts could be on the verge of joining forces to better gauge, react to, and possibly nullify future hostile forces churned out by Mother Nature. While some consider the idea farfetched, some military tacticians have already pondered ways to turn weather into a weapon. What would a military strategist gain in having an "on-switch" to the weather? Clearly, it offers the ability to degrade the effectiveness of enemy forces. In this regard, nanotechnology could be utilized to create clouds of tiny smart particles. Atmospherically buoyant, these ultra-small computer particles could navigate themselves to block optical sensors. Alternatively, they might be used to provide an atmospheric electrical potential difference - a way to precisely aim and time lightning strikes over the enemy’s head – thereby concoct thunderbolts on demand. Perhaps that’s too far out for some. But some blue sky thinkers have already looked into these and other scenarios in "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" – a research paper written by a seven person team of military officers and presented in 1996 as part of a larger study dubbed Air Force 2025. In 2025, the report summarized, U.S. aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications. "Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible," the report concluded.
Note: Explore an excellent summary of the 1996 USAF report titled "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025." Links to the original report are available.
November 11, 2005, Toronto Star (one of Canada's leading newspapers)
It started with nausea and vomiting in the morning, followed by insomnia and the annoying sound of clicking in her ears. Marika Bandera, sitting in her east-end Toronto apartment, begins to cry as she recalls how her symptoms gradually got worse over the course of a year. They included everything from shaking hands and blurred vision to burning skin and mild convulsions. Sessions at a sleep clinic, brain scans, an epilepsy test and numerous visits to her family doctor and various specialists in Toronto failed to determine the cause. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe that a doctor there suggested her symptoms may be related to extreme electrical sensitivity, or ES, a suspected allergic- like reaction to radio and electrical frequencies associated with cellphones, wireless base stations, computer screens, power lines and common household appliances. Dr. Magda Havas, a professor of the environmental and resource studies program at Trent University in Peterborough, is one of the few trying to track the condition in Canada. Havas estimates as much as 35 per cent of the population may be suffering from moderate ES, with the severe form Bandera experiences affecting 2 per cent. She speculates that ES may have an association with diseases such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Havas ... has experimented with filters that help block what she calls “ electropollution.” “I have videos of MS patients who walked with a cane and can now walk unassisted after a few days or weeks with the filters.”
Note: This article appears to have been erased from the website of the Toronto Star. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Why Finland has the best schools
March 18, 2016, Los Angeles Times
Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation. In Finland, children don't receive formal academic training until the age of 7. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light. Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. One evening, I asked my son what he did for gym that day. “They sent us into the woods with a map and compass and we had to find our way out,” he said. In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors. “Our mission as adults is to protect our children from politicians,” one Finnish childhood education professor told me. “We also have an ethical and moral responsibility to tell businesspeople to stay out of our building.” Skeptics might claim that the Finnish model would never work in America's inner-city schools. But what if the opposite is true? What if high-poverty students are the children most urgently in need of the benefits that, for example, American parents of means obtain for their children in private schools, things that Finland delivers on a national public scale.
Note: For more, read this informative article.
This Pen Can Diagnose Cancer in 10 Seconds
September 6, 2017, Time
When it comes to treating cancer, surgeons want to get rid of as much cancerous tissue as possible during tumor removal. Now a new technology - the size of a pen - is attempting to make that easier by distinguishing between tumors and healthy tissue in just 10 seconds. The MasSpec Pen is a real-time diagnostic tool created by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers report that their handheld device (which is not yet FDA-approved) uses tiny droplets of water to analyze human tissue samples for cancer. “It’s a gentle, simple chemical process,” says study author Livia Schiavinato Eberlin. “It’s highly specific and highly sensitive. The fact that it’s non-destructive brings a new approach to cancer diagnosis.” Getting rid of all cancerous tissue while also preventing any harm to healthy tissue is a delicate process. Other tools available to surgeons for tissue diagnosis ... use gases or solvents that can be harmful for the human body [and] are slower than the MasSpec Pen. In the study, the researchers tested 253 human tissue samples from lung, ovary, thyroid and breast cancer tumors and compared them to samples of healthy tissues. The device was 96% accurate at identifying cancerous tissues. The researchers also tested the MasSpec Pen in live mice with tumors and found that the device was able to identify the presence of cancer without harming healthy surrounding tissues.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Nuclear plans 'should be rethought after fall in offshore windfarm costs'
September 11, 2017, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The government is under pressure to reconsider its commitment to a new generation of nuclear power stations after the cost of offshore wind power reached a record low. Experts said green energy had reached a tipping point in the UK after two windfarms secured a state-backed price for their output that was nearly half the level awarded last year to Britain’s first new nuclear power site in a generation, Hinkley Point C. Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the breakthrough should prompt a rethink of the government’s energy plans, which have pencilled in atomic plants at Wylffa in Wales, Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. “The spectacular drop in the cost of offshore wind is extremely encouraging and shows the need for a radical reappraisal by government of the UK’s energy provision,” he said. The government spending watchdog this year described Hinkley as a “risky and expensive” project that generations of British consumers will have to pay for through electricity bills. The auction results are unlikely to halt the Hinkley project. But they pose a serious dilemma for ... new nuclear power plants around the UK and are likely to feed into a flagship government review of energy costs out next month. Most industry watchers had expected future nuclear projects to cost £80-£90 per MWh, a long way from the £62.14 average awarded to offshore windfarms. The price of building offshore windfarms has fallen by nearly a third since 2012 as the technology matured.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Schools replace punishment with meditation and see drastic results
September 23, 2016, Miami Herald
Students who are misbehaving are usually taken out of class and sent to the principal, who punishes the child by revoking privileges, calling home or sometimes suspending them. But students in some Baltimore schools are sent somewhere different when they are acting out: a designated meditation room where they can calm down and decompress. The Mindful Moment room is equipped with bean bags and dim lighting, and students go through calming exercises with trained staff. At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, teachers and staff can refer students to the room for an emotional “reset” when they are worked up. The student is led through breathing exercises and is encouraged to discuss the emotions that led to an outburst. They work with the adult to come up with a plan to use mindfulness in a similar situation in the future, to prevent an outburst. After about 20 minutes in the room, they rejoin classmates. Students usually show “visible signs of relaxation and emotional de-escalation after guided practices” in the room. The program also includes a “Mindful Moment” twice a day, which leads students in breathing exercises for 15 minutes over the PA system. Students can also participate in yoga classes. It has drastically reduced suspensions, with zero reported in the 2013-14 school year. The program has also been implemented with older students, including those at Patterson High School, [which] has also seen a decrease in suspensions both in the hallways and in class.
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